First Amendment

From Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University v. Trump, 2019 WL 2932440 (2d CIr. July 9, 2019): Considering the interactive features, the speech in question is that of multiple individuals, not just the President or that of the government. When a Twitter user posts a reply to one of the President’s tweets, the message…

Read More Trump Twitter Blocking Violates the First Amendment, Second Circuit Holds

In a decision issued today, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia Univ. et al v. Donald Trump et al, 17-cv-5205 (S.D.N.Y. May 23, 2018), U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald held that Donald Trump may not, consistent with the First Amendment, “block” Twitter users from his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account based on their political views. From…

Read More Trump Twitter Ban Violates the First Amendment, SDNY Judge Holds

In Fratello v. Archdiocese of New York, St. Anthony’s Shrine Church, and St. Anthony’s School, No. 16-1271, 2017 WL 2989706 (2d Cir. July 14, 2017), the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the Title VII gender discrimination and retaliation claims brought by plaintiff, a former Roman Catholic school principal, under the “ministerial exception”. The Second Circuit, addressing…

Read More 2d Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Roman Catholic School Principal’s Gender Discrimination & Retaliation Claims Under the “Ministerial Exception”

In a lawsuit filed yesterday (Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University v. Donald J. Trump, SDNY 17-cv-5205), plaintiffs seek to declare as unconstitutional – as violating the First Amendment – defendant Trump’s practice of “blocking” users from his Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump. The complaint contains a single cause of action, which alleges: 79. Defendants’ blocking…

Read More First Amendment Lawsuit Asserts Trump’s Twitter Blocking is Unconstitutional

Bible quotes and religious messages have no place inside public school classrooms. That is, basically, the takeaway from Silver v. Cheektowaga Cent. Sch. Dist., No. 16-102, 2016 WL 6584914 (2d Cir. Nov. 7, 2016) (Summary Order), which affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff teacher Joelle Silver’s claims under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. In her complaint,…

Read More 2d Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Christian Teacher’s Constitutional Claims Arising From Directive to Remove Biblical Quotes and Religious Messages From Classroom

In Gravano v. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2016 NY Slip Op 05942 (App. Div. 1st Dept. Sept. 1, 2016), the court held that the claims asserted by plaintiffs Lindsay Lohan and Karen Gravano against the makers of the “Grand Theft Auto V” video game under New York Civil Rights Law § 51 should have been dismissed. Ms.…

Read More Lindsay Lohan’s Civil Rights Action Based on “Grand Theft Auto” Game Dismissed

A recent Manhattan federal lawsuit, An v. City of New York, SDNY 16-cv-05381, challeng[es] the constitutionality of the New York City Police Department’s [] widespread practice and custom of interfering with and deterring the exercise of the First Amendment right of individuals to film, photograph, videotape, or otherwise record[] NYPD officers performing their official duties in public…

Read More First Amendment Lawsuit Challenges NYPD Retaliation for Recording Officers

In Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14-1280 (decided April 26, 2016), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a circuit court decision that affirmed the dismissal of a police officer’s First Amendment retaliation case arising from his punishment for engaging in what was (incorrectly) perceived as protected political activity. Justice Breyer authored the opinion; Justices Thomas…

Read More SCOTUS Holds That First Amendment Retaliation Case May Continue, Despite Employer’s Incorrect Belief that Employee Engaged in Protected Political Activity

In Penn v. The New York Methodist Hospital, No. 11-CV-9137 (NSR), 2016 WL 270456 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 20, 2016), the court dismissed plaintiff’s Title VII religion-based discrimination claim under the so-called”ministerial exception,” which operates at the intersection of anti-discrimination and First Amendment law. The ministerial exception, which is based on the Religion Clauses of the First…

Read More Court Dismisses Methodist Chaplain’s Religious Discrimination Claim Against Hospital Under the “Ministerial Exception”