First Amendment - Anti-SLAPP - California Constitution - grpub.net

First Amendment

[Schenck, Debs, Abrams, Gitlow, Stromberg; Ghen, Keeble, Popov] First Amendment—Class #2—Punishing Sedition Sedition and "Clear and Present Danger" (1310-1311) / (582-584) Schenck v. United States (1311-1313) / (584-586) Debs v. United States (1314-1315) / (586-588) Abrams v. United States (1316-1320) / (588-592) Gitlow v. United States (1320-1324) / (592-597) Stromberg v. California (1325-1326) / (597-598) Supplement: Chapter 52  Property 1—Class #2—Efficiency and Fairness Ghen v. Rich, 27-30 Notes and Questions, 30-35 Keeble v. Hickeringill, 35-36 Notes and Questions: 36-39 Popov v. Hayashi: 46-51 Notes: 52 
The City of Oakland, California, has once again raised the bar on community control of police surveillance. Last week, Oakland's City Council voted unanimously to strengthen the city's already groundbreaking Surveillance and Community Safety Ordinance. The latest amendment, which immediately went into effect, adds prohibitions on Oakland's Police Department using predictive policing technology—which has been shown to amplify existing bias in policing—as well as a range of privacy-invasive biometric surveillance technologies, to the city’s existing ban on government use of face recognition. Oakland is now (as far as we know) the first city to ban government use of voice recognition technology. This is an important step, given the growing proliferation of this invasive form of surveillance, at home and abroad. Oakland also may be the first city to ban government use of any technology that can identify a person based on “physiological,…
Two weeks ago, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) heard oral argument in Deweese-Boyd v. Gordon College, a case which tests the limits of the “ministerial exception” and the legal protection it provides for religious employers. The “ministerial exception” is a religious protection based in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC, 565 U.S. 171 (2012), the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom “bar[s] the government from interfering with the decision of a religious group to fire one of its ministers.” Thus, the Supreme Court held, state and federal statutes which protect employees from discrimination in traditional employment contexts do not govern “the employment relationship between a religious institution and its ministers.” Application of such statutes to religious employers…
["The greater the importance of safeguarding the community from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force ..., the more imperative is the need to preserve inviolate the constitutional rights of free speech ... to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion, to the end that government may be responsive to the will of the people and that changes, if desired, may be obtained by peaceful means."] Barenblatt v. U.S. (1959) upheld the House Un-American Activities Committee's demand that Lloyd Barenblatt, a professor, testify about his alleged Communist activities while a graduate student. Justice Hugo Black, joined by Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justice William O. Douglas, dissented; I've long found the opinion to be particularly thoughtful and forceful, and since I was reminded of it while preparing for my First Amendment Law class next week, I decided to pass along some excerpts: [A.] I do not agree that laws directly abridging First…
“In Washington D.C., ruthless fanatic violence erupted in the halls of Congress,” the news opened.  Extremists had burst into the Capitol. They made a beeline for the chamber, looking for members of Congress. It was “pandemonium.” The anchor declared that the attackers had earned “the evil distinction of having perpetrated a criminal outrage almost unique in America’s history.” He decried the attack as “wanton violence that shocked and stirred the nation,” but “only did harm to the cause” the attackers purported to represent.  Sound familiar? It should—except that the attack in question took place on Mar. 1, 1954, at the hands not of #MAGA extremists but of Puerto Rican independence radicals. In the hours and days after the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection in the Capitol, commentators and journalists rushed to label the siege as “unprecedented” or “never-before-seen.” Any number…
[The First Amendment should not be a viable defense in an impeachment trial] There has been an active debate on the pages of the Volokh Conspiracy over whether the First Amendment should be understood to give President Trump any shelter from the article of impeachment adopted by the House of Representatives in the aftermath of the storming of the Capitol. Josh Blackman and Seth Barrett Tillman have offered the president some solace. Ilya Somin and Jonathan Adler have not. I find this issue particularly intriguing both because I am intrigued by most things related to the impeachment power and because this was actually my entry point into thinking about impeachments. I began studying impeachments while working on my dissertation and was drawn to the impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson. Both of those impeachments involved questions regarding the speech of high government officials and the extent to which they could be held accountable by Congress…

Anti-SLAPP

Most mechanics lien actions follow a pretty standard process: A mechanics lien claimant, either a contractor subcontractor, material supplier, or laborer, performs work but is not…
This is the twelfth instalment in a regular series from Inforrm highlighting press and case reports of new media and information cases from around the world.  It is intended to complement our United States: Monthly Round Up posts.  Please let us know if there are other cases and jurisdictions which we should be covering. In the Media Australia The Guardian has coverage of an upcoming defamation case of Australia’s tax commissioner Chris Jordan against Sydney Accountant Vanda Gould. Google has stated it is “running a few experiments that will each reach about 1% of Google Search users in Australia”, the impact appears to remove some media sites from its search results. The Guardian reports. The Sydney Morning Herald has a piece on free speech considering who gets to judge what speech is permissible. Following the violence in the Capitol on January 6 Junkee has a piece considering the incitement to violence in Australia. Canberra Times has…
On 6 January 2021 President Donald Trump  spoke at a “Save America” rally in Washington D.C before Congress was set to confirm the election results in Joe Biden’s favour. Trumps speech is said to have incited groups of protesters who believed his allegations of election fraud: see the Dispatches fact checking of the speech here. Shortly after the speech ended protestors descended on the Capitol where Joe Biden was being ratified by the electoral college as the next President of the United States. Dozens of protesters broke into the building causing the Congressmen gathered there to flee as law enforcement lost control of the situation. President Trump tweeted during the incident- three tweets of which were labelled by Twitter as inciting violence, an unprecedented move by the social media platform to stem tweets from the account. The account was later suspended for 12 hours on the evening of Wednesday 6 January for banning Twitter Rules. In the aftermath…
I never thought I'd see a day like today in American politics.  I certainly didn't imagine any such thing five or six years ago.How the world -- and American democracy -- has changed.This opinion from the Court of Appeal today involves a "typical" election.  Maybe some misleading speech, maybe some "dirty tricks" or the like, maybe some made-up names on the Internet slinging mud about particular candidates.It's a qualitative, not quantitative, difference to go from that to what we've seen today.  Huge.Coincidentally, today's Court of Appeal opinion involves an election in Solana Beach, a community down here in San Diego in which I once lived.  And the woman shot and killed in the Capitol today apparently lived in Ocean Beach, another beachside community down here in San Diego -- and the one in which I currently reside.These are strange and disturbing times, my friends.I'm confident that, over time, things…
On December 3, my new report titled Whistleblowers Not Protected: How the Law Abandons Those Who Speak Up in the Public Interest in Alberta was published by the Parkland Institute. The report looks at whistleblowing in a broad sense, meaning anyone who either publicly or anonymously discloses information that is in the public interest. The report considers not only the gross deficiencies of Alberta’s whistleblower protection legislation but also looks at the need for both anti-SLAPP legislation, and a journalist shield law to protect confidential news sources. The week before the report, a major controversy erupted in Alberta politics over the “leak” of audio recordings of the provincial COVID response team meetings which showed that politicians were not following the recommendations of medical experts including the chief medical officer. In response to criticism about the leak, I wrote an op-ed in the Edmonton Journal which highlighted the need for protection…
On December 10, 2020, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals decided Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee v. Institute for Gulf Affairs, 18-CV-1296, slip op. (D.C. Dec. 10, 2020), in which it reviewed a trial court’s decision to summarily deny a special motion to dismiss under the District of Columbia Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation Act (“Anti-SLAPP Act”), D.C. Code §§ 16-5501 to -5505. By way of background, “[a] strategic lawsuit against public participation, or SLAPP, is an action filed by one side of a political or public policy debate aimed to punish or prevent the expression of opposing points of view.” Slip op. at 3 (internal quotation marks omitted).  The Anti-SLAPP Act “provides a party defending against a SLAPP with procedural tools to protect [itself] from ‘meritless’ litigation.” Id. One of those tools is “a special motion to dismiss a complaint in…

California Constitution

New Complaint: Shutdown Is A (California) Taking Or Damaging Of Wine Country Restaurants - January 20, 2021 - Robert Thomas (inversecondemnation.com)
Here's the latest complaint in a long train of complaints alleging that a COVID-related shutdown or moratorium is a taking or damaging of private property for public use. This time, it's from Northern California wine country (Napa County Superior Court, to be specific), and the taking claims (skip to page 19 if you want to cut to the takings chase) only seeks relief under the California Constitution ("Private property may be taken or damaged for public use and only when just compensation, ascertained by a jury unless waived, has first been paid to, or into court for, the owner."). The complaint alleges: 91.    Coalition members have property interests in their respective outdoor-service restaurants, wineries, and related businesses. Prohibiting them from reopening for outdoor service while allowing similarly-situated businesses to reopen for indoor customer service, and without recourse or protection from arbitrary enforcement,…
A 17-year old gets convicted of forcible rape and is sentenced to 66 years to life in prison.  That sentence means he's not even eligible for parole until he's 73 years old, at which point he'd have little (if any) life expectancy.  Further, while Section 3051 of the Penal Code, passed in 2013, grants parole eligibility for anyone under 25 years old once they've served a quarter century in prison, that statute doesn't apply to people like Mr. Moseley convicted of various violent sex offenses -- even though it does apply to people 25 years old (or younger) who commit first degree murder.Mr. Moseley files a habeas petition claiming that it's unconstitutional to definitively keep him in prison (with no possibility of parole) until he's 73, especially since similarly-situated first degree murderers get parole eligibility after 25 years.  The District Attorney confesses error and agrees, and the trial court grants the…
No Shortage Of Amicus Briefs In SCOTUS Physical Invasion Takings Case - January 11, 2021 - Robert Thomas (inversecondemnation.com)
If you are lacking good things to read, fear not: thanks to amici curiae, you now have boocoo merits-stage friend-of-the-court briefs (16!) on your plate. This is the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the nature of physical invasion takings, and how permanent a permanent intrusion must be in order to qualify for Loretto and Kaiser Aetna-ish per se treatment. In Cedar Point Nursery v. Shiroma, 923 F.3d 524 (May 8, 2019), a 2-1 panel of the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a complaint for failure to plausibly state a takings claim under Twombly/Iqbal. At issue was a regulation adopted by California's Agricultural Labor Relations Board which requires agricultural employees to open their land to labor union organizers. The regulation is framed as protecting the rights of ag employees to "access by union organizers to the premises of an agricultural employer for the purpose of meeting and talking with employees and soliciting their support."…
Contracts * Kidstar v. Facebook, Inc.,  2020 WL 4382279 (D.N.J. July 31, 2020). The plaintiff sued Facebook because he lost access to photos in his account. assuming, arguendo, that Plaintiff opened a Facebook account in 2004, the 2009 User Agreement became the governing document upon his registration in 2009 until 2017, when the 2017 User Agreement became the governing document upon his creation of a subsequent Facebook account… Plaintiff had reasonably conspicuous notice of Facebook’s contract terms, based on the layout of the page, and the color, size, and location of the text. Accordingly, the Court concludes that Plaintiff unambiguously manifested his assent to these terms, including the forum selection clause, by clicking “Sign Up” in 2009 and “Create Account” in 2017 * Hansen v. Ticketmaster, 3:20-cv-02685-EMC (N.D. Cal. Dec. 11, 2020): • The sign-in page at issue was relatively uncluttered. Although there was a graphic with…
President-elect Biden - January 8, 2021 - fvanloon
President-elect Biden CertifiedOver 4,700 Georgia Absentee Votes Tied to Non-Residential Addresses Inactive Registrations Stayed on Kentucky Rolls Despite Consent DecreeJudicial Watch Exposes a $1 Billion Mask Deal Between California and Chinese Company Nasdaq Wants to Require Minority and Female Directors for Members President-elect Biden Certified To give some perspective on the controversies we’ve witnessed in this election, remember that four years ago this week Obama, Biden and Comey were talking about spying on and targeting Donald Trump and his team for prosecution. In my view, the election results in the various battleground states were compromised by unlawful rule changes that led to votes being counted that shouldn’t have been counted. State legislatures, the courts – in particular the Supreme Court – and Congress failed to seriously grapple with these and other problems. It is shameful. And the inexcusable and deadly violence at the U.S.…
Quotas Violate the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution    (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a public comment with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in response to a proposed rule change requiring race and gender quotas on the boards of corporations listed on the Nasdaq exchange. The proposed rule would require a self-identifying female and a self-identifying member of certain listed racial backgrounds, or an explanation from the company as to why it does not have at least two directors on its board who self-identify as such. In September 2020, Judicial Watch also filed a taxpayer lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of California County of Los Angeles to prevent California from enforcing Assembly Bill 979 (AB 979), which requires that boards of directors of California-based, publicly held domestic or foreign corporations satisfy racial, ethnicity, sexual preference and transgender status quotas by the end of…