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First Amendment

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Here is the recent decision in Barboza v. D’Agata, SDNY 13-cv-4067 (9/10/15) in which Judge Seibel ruled on the parties’ summary judgment motions. In this case, plaintiff alleged in his federal lawsuit that his arrest under (now unconstitutional) NY Penal Law § 240.30(1) for writing “fuck your shitty town bitches” on a speeding ticket payment form violated his constitutional […]

In Gordon v. City of New York, 14-545-cv (2d Cir. 2015), the Second Circuit affirmed, in a summary order, the dismissal of plaintiffs’ First Amendment retaliation and hostile work environment claims. The facts, as summarized by the court: While working as emergency medical technicians (“EMTs”) for the New York City Fire Department (“FDNY”), plaintiffs Tomeko […]

SCOTUS Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

by mjpospis on June 26, 2015

in Uncategorized

In Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556, 2015 WL 2473451 (U.S. June 26, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that “a State has no constitutional obligation to license same-sex marriages or to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of State.” Justice Kennedy reversed that decision, holding that the […]