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

First Amendment

Here is a conversation between Tim Wu and myself, moderated by Floyd Abrams, about the First Amendment issues in the NetChoice cases before the Supreme Court. (Tim and I participated in writing amicus briefs on opposite sides of the case.) This event, which was recorded on March 4, 2024, is a part of a series of conservations on free speech issues hosted by the Abrams Institute for Free Expression at Yale Law School.   
We recently discussed the students who conducted a protest inside the home of Berkeley Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and his wife, law Professor Catherine Fisk. The students, including UC Berkeley law student Malak Afaneh, refused to stop disrupting the dinner as Chemerinsky and Fisk reminded them that this is their home, not a public forum. Now Afaneh is claiming a First Amendment right to enter a private home and protest and she is citing legal advisers with the National Lawyers Guild. Chemerinsky was told to expect protests and student groups demanded that the dinners be cancelled. Once at the dinner, Afaneh and others began their protest. She started by saying “as-salamu alaykum” — or peace and blessings to you — when Fisk took hold of her and tried to take away her microphone. Fisk teaches civil rights and civil liberties at Berkeley. An Instagram post by the two student groups said that Fisk was guilty of “violently…
[Neighborhood character, three-judge district court panels, and a moldy office.] Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature written by a bunch of people at the Institute for Justice. New on the Short Circuit podcast: a judge-selection jaunt and a baptism in lieu of arrest. "Whose house?" "Our house!" D.C. Circuit: The United States Capitol building is, in fact, not your house. Nor is it a traditional public forum. So this Florida man's various First Amendment challenges to his convictions for "parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building" on January 6, 2021, all fail. In a shocking twist, biotech CEO who compares himself to both Steve Jobs and Jesus Christ and claims his company's products cure paralysis and opioid addiction is convicted of fraud. In an even more shocking twist, he dies while his case is on appeal. So what happens to his conviction—and, more importantly, the more than…
News You Can Use Digest – April 12, 2024 - April 12, 2024 - Jim Sedor
National/Federal Woman Sentenced to Month in Prison Over Theft of Ashley Biden’s Diary DNyuz – Adam Goldman (New York Times) | Published: 4/9/2024 A federal judge sentenced Aimee Harris to a month in prison for her role in a brazen scheme to steal the diary of President Biden’s daughter and sell it to a right-wing group in the hope of disrupting the 2020 election. In August 2022, Aimee Harris pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport the stolen diary to New York, where she met with employees of Project Veritas and sold it for $40,000 just weeks before the election. How the No Labels 2024 Presidential Campaign Failed to Launch MSN – Ken Thomas and Kristina Peterson (Wall Street Journal) | Published: 4/4/2024 No Labels, the centrist group which has sought to field a third-party presidential bid, is abandoning efforts to create a “unity ticket” aiming to win the White House. Even as the group cited polling showing public…
In its motion, Disney said that its right to "dissociate" from actors and actresses is protected by the First Amendment.
[whether at administrators' homes or in law school classrooms.] A couple of people, both of whom I respect a great deal, asked me for a First Amendment analysis of the students' trying to orate about the Israel-Palestine conflict at the class party at Berkeley Dean Erwin Chemerinsky's home. Happy to oblige! [1.] Some people have argued that the party was a public law school function, and thus not just a private event. I'm not sure that's right—but I don't think it matters. Even if Berkeley law school put on a party for its students in a law school classroom, students still couldn't try to hijack that for their own political orations. Rather, much government property is a "nonpublic forum"—a place where some members of the public are invited, but which is "'… not by tradition or designation a forum for public communication'" (Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky (2018), quoting a leading 1983…

Anti-SLAPP

A Substantial Basis In Law - April 9, 2024 - Legal Profession Prof
The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department remanded for calculation of fees and costs of a defamation case dismissed on anti-SLAPP rounds This case presents the issue of what constitutes a "substantial basis in law" under the...
Law and Media Round Up – 8 April 2024 - April 7, 2024 - INFORRM
There have been no media law hearings for the past fortnight. The Easter Legal Term begins on Tuesday 9 April 2024.  It will end on Friday 24 May 2024. On 27 March 2024 Warby LJ refused permission to appeal in the case of Trump v Orbis.  He said that appeal would have “no real prospect of success,” finding that some of the former President’s arguments were contradictory and his appeal attempted to offer new points that he didn’t present before Steyn. On Monday 1 April 2024, the Scottish Hate Crime and Public Order Act came into effect, extending protections to minorities, including transgender people, who are currently not covered by the law against those ‘stirring up hatred’. The Act has been controversial, attracting criticism from Elon Musk, Rishi Sunak and J.K. Rowling, who argued that the law undermines free expression and freedom of belief. Critics say that it will criminalise those who identify as gender critical feminists…
This post was co-written by EFF legal intern Melda Gurakar. Researchers, journalists, and everyone else has a First Amendment right to criticize social media platforms and their content moderation practices without fear of being targeted by retaliatory lawsuits, a federal court recently ruled. The decision by a federal court in California to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Elon Musk’s X against the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting online hate speech and misinformation, is a win for greater transparency and accountability of social media companies. The court’s ruling in X Corp. v. Center for Countering Digital Hate Ltd. shows that X had no legitimate basis to bring its case in the first place, as the company used the lawsuit to penalize the CCDH for criticizing X and to deter others from doing so. Vexatious cases like these are known as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs. These…
Justice Stratton doesn't exactly pay lavish compliments to Loeb & Loeb -- or its attorneys -- in this opinion.A guy (Sadlier) enters into an agreement with a company (Medallion Film) to help the company try to get some funding. The guy promises not to use any of the contacts the company gives him, but the company subsequently learns that the guy (allegedly) got some money for someone else from one of the contacts (BlackRock) the company provided. So the company sends an email to the contact (BlackRock) that says:"Randy hope all is well. We have a fee agreement with Bill Sadle[i]r based upon monies raised from Blackrock thru my introduction to you. What can you do to assist us here in collecting what is due to us. Jesse [Kennedy, of Medallion] will provide a reconciliation. As you know our financial models were provided to you and Blackrock on the P&A. Let us know so we dont have to litigate and can resolve the matter in an amicable fashion. Thx.”The guy…
US federal judge dismisses lawsuit by X against nonprofit anti-hate speech organization - March 26, 2024 - Caitlin Williams | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US
A federal judge in California dismissed Monday a lawsuit brought by X (formerly known as Twitter) against the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a nonprofit organization that researches digital hate speech and campaigns for social media reform. X, owned by Elon Musk, filed its suit in July 2023, alleging that by reporting instances of hate speech and misinformation on X, the CCDH “scraped data” from X in violation of its terms of service. According to the suit, the CCDH “embarked on a scare campaign to drive away advertisers from the X platform.” X sought damages for losses caused by the CCDH’s reports and enjoinment of the nonprofit from accessing and using the data it obtained from X. In its motion to dismiss, the CCDH relied on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) in arguing that X’s suit failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. It also reasoned that California’s anti-SLAPP law, which serves to protect…
Self-proclaimed free-speech absolutist Elon Musk is notoriously thin-skinned when it comes to criticism directed at him. (As the phrase goes, “he can dish it out, but he can’t take it“). This well-publicized lawsuit is an example of Musk waging lawfare over a critic’s speech. Judge Breyer of the Northern District of California had none of it. He calls out Twitter for its bad choice: This case is about punishing the Defendants for their speech…X Corp. has brought this case in order to punish CCDH for CCDH publications that criticized X Corp.—and perhaps in order to dissuade others who might wish to engage in such criticism. As a result, the court finds that much of the lawsuit is a SLAPP. If the case stands on appeal, Twitter will write a check to CCDH to compensate it for the litigation harms Twitter has imposed on it. The check to CCDH may not dent Musk’s finances, but it has painful symbolism. It’s a reminder of why Twitter…

California Constitution

Since nothing in the federal or state constitutions expressly requires the governor of California to act on commutation petitions within a set timeframe, it's fairly clear that the governor can take as long as s/he wants on these petitions -- including, essentially, forever.But to the degree it was unclear before, today's Court of Appeal opinion expressly so holds.I did learn one thing today, however, that I didn't know previously. Apparently, the California Constitution says that the governor can only grant a pardon or commutation to someone "twice convicted of a felony except on recommendation of the Supreme Court, 4 judges concurring." (Article V, Section 8).I'm quite confident that others knew about this quirk in the California pardon scheme, but I didn't. I was more familiar with the federal system, where the president can do whatever s/he wants.Interesting wrinkle.
States May Be Warming to Green Amendments - March 12, 2024 - Evan George
Last week, New Jersey lawmakers and a variety of stakeholders crammed into a statehouse committee room for a relatively rare legislative hearing. This 2-hour hearing centered on New Jersey’s proposed green amendment, which committee chair Senator Bob Smith described as “a very controversial topic” as he gaveled in the meeting. This green amendment would add a constitutional guarantee to a healthy, clean environment. Advocates have been pushing for such a hearing for years. Dozens of supporters spoke up for the legislation while a handful of corporate lobbyists and executives read statements against the bill. In 2024, these kinds of hearings may take place more and more in statehouses around the country as legislatures warm to the idea of so-called green amendments. At least 10 states so far this year have proposed legislation that would let voters decide in November whether they want the right to a clean, safe environment spelled out in their state…
01 March 2024 See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.Click here for the latest articles on Hospitality Dispute Resolution. Why Judicial Reference is better than Arbitration for resolving Hotel Management Agreements & Hotel Franchise Agreements. Advanced analysis of Judicial Reference features. Hotel Management Agreements & Franchise Agreements by Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute LawyerPartner & Senior Member JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®   In prior articles, we have looked at the options available to parties in resolving hotel industry disputes. See, Critical considerations for hospitality litigation, arbitration & alternate dispute resolution clauses in hotel contracts. See also, Is Judicial Reference better than Arbitration to resolve Hotel Contract disputes? The basics of Judicial Reference.  The authority for Judicial Reference in California comes from two sources. The first is the California Constitution which…
In Discovery Builders, Inc. v. City of Oakland (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 799, the First District Court of Appeal held an agreement between a developer and the City of Oakland was unenforceable to the extent it prevented the city from imposing new impact fees in the future. The court reasoned such a provision constituted an impermissible contracting away of the city’s police power. Between 2004 and 2005, the city approved a vesting tentative map and final tract maps for a 400-unit housing project. The city’s approval required that the developer satisfy various terms and mitigate various environmental impacts. In 2005, the city and developer entered into a separate agreement (“2005 Agreement”), which set the terms by which the developer would compensate the city for employee services and outside consultants required to satisfy the agreed-upon terms and mitigation requirements. Development of the project began soon thereafter. In 2016, as development was…
Construction accidents in CA refer to mishaps on construction sites leading to harm. Construction site accidents occur during construction operations involving poor safety precautions, equipment malfunction, human mistakes, or carelessness. Identifying and addressing these issues can prevent Construction Site Injuries. Also, the state legislation has developed a few stunning workers’ rights that protect them from several losses involving both bodily and financial. Reach out to a construction accident law firm Gaylord & Nantais promptly when faced with a Construction Site Injury in CA. A skilled construction accident injury lawyer can assess your case, ensuring timely action and optimal legal guidance. An overview of the construction site safety features described in the California constitution. The California constitution emphasizes construction site safety through stringent regulations and provisions. It mandates a safe work environment, requiring…
Last year, I commented on the likely unconstitutionality of two California laws compelling forced speech: The California legislature has of late adopted the tactic of driving behavior by compelling speech.  SB 253 (Wiener), for example, compels disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions and SB 261 (Stern) requires disclosure of climate-related financial risks.  Both of these requirements clearly compel speech arguably in contravention of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc., 547 U.S. 47, 61 (2006) ("Some of this Court's leading First Amendment precedents have established the principle that freedom of speech prohibits the government from telling people what they must say."). I had previously noted that SB 253 was very similar to an earlier bill that did not make it into law. Yesterday, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and several…