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

First Amendment

Judges Found Plaintiffs Have Standing to SueSAN FRANCISCO–A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of FOSTA, a federal law that has driven marginalized communities and speech about sex and sex work offline, was reinstated today in a court ruling that recognizes the statute poses a substantial threat to free speech.The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that two plaintiffs in the lawsuit—brought by Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Human Rights Watch, Alex Andrews, the Internet Archive, and Eric Koszyk to block enforcement of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA)—had “standing” to pursue their constitutional challenge to the statute. The lawsuit argues that the act expansively criminalizes online speech related to sex work and removes important protections for online intermediaries in violation of their First Amendment rights. The plaintiffs are represented by EFF, Davis, Wright Tremaine LLP,…
[Fireburn, puppycide, and the DOJ beggars belief.] Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice. This week, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Espinoza v. Montana Dep't of Revenue, an IJ school choice case. Click here for an account of the hearing from IJ's Nick Sibilla. Or click here to ponder along with Anthony Sanders, the director of IJ's Center for Judicial Engagement, what it means to have the gov't on both sides of the case. Or click here for an IJ podcast that notes, among other things, that the U.S. stands nearly alone among the world's democracies in providing so few educational options—pedagogical, secular, religious, private, public—to families. Zeta drug cartel assassins attack two American agents in Mexico, killing one and injuring the other. After extradition to the U.S., they are convicted of, among other things, killing an officer or employee of the United…
Perhaps you know someone who was unjustly arrested by police, and video of the incident may have proven their innocence. But are you legally allowed to film or take video of police officers in Texas? The answer, in general, is yes. Let’s elaborate further. First amendment rights apply Taking video or “filming” a police officer performing an official duty is a right protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. That amendment provides freedom of speech, press and assembly. According to an article featured in The Washington Post: “The First Amendment protects actual photos, videos, and recordings, and for this protection to have meaning the Amendment must also protect the act of creating that material. There is no practical difference between allowing police to prevent people from taking recordings and actually banning the possession or distribution of them.” The bottom line is that taking video, photos or audio in public places…
Perhaps you know someone who was unjustly arrested by police, and video of the incident may have proven their innocence. But are you legally allowed to film or take video of police officers in Texas? The answer, in general, is yes. Let’s elaborate further. First amendment rights apply Taking video or “filming” a police officer performing an official duty is a right protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. That amendment provides freedom of speech, press and assembly. According to an article featured in The Washington Post: “The First Amendment protects actual photos, videos, and recordings, and for this protection to have meaning the Amendment must also protect the act of creating that material. There is no practical difference between allowing police to prevent people from taking recordings and actually banning the possession or distribution of them.” The bottom line is that taking video, photos or audio in public places…
The proposed rules change is the latest salvo in a campaign to cast the Federalist Society as too political, and thereby politically risky, for judiciary participation. The Wall Street Journal editorial board labeled the proposal “judicial political mischief masked in high sounding rhetoric,” a step that is spurring a backlash among “judges and others” who should denounce it as “undermining legal education in America and perhaps violating the First Amendment right of association.” via www.realclearpolitics.com I still remember (I say in my old man voice) when I walked the long walk down the length of the YLS dining hall to go to one of the first dinners of the Federalist Society, then just formed.
Petitions of the week - January 24, 2020 - Andrew Hamm
This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, whether the due process and equal protection clauses prohibit states from imposing substantial financial burdens on indigent parties seeking judicial review, whether it violates the First Amendment to designate a labor union to represent and speak for public-sector employees who object to its advocacy on their behalf, and whether the Federal Arbitration Act permits a court to refuse to enforce the terms of an arbitration agreement assigning questions of arbitrability to the arbitrator if those terms would be enforceable under ordinary state-law contract principles in a non-arbitration context. The petitions of the week are below the jump: Malpasso v. Pallozzi 19-423Issue: Whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit typical, law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense in any manner. Facebook Inc. v. Duguid…

Anti-SLAPP

Political Commentary Protected By First Amendment - January 23, 2020 - Lee E. Berlik
Hey, all you politicians from around the country who would bring your defamation lawsuits here in Virginia because you’ve been told it’s a plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction: just because our anti-SLAPP laws may not be as robust as they are in some other states (and that may be about to change: see House Bill 759) doesn’t mean that the First Amendment doesn’t afford protection to political commentary and opinion. Even in Virginia, a person’s personal opinions regarding a politician or celebrity are immune from defamation claims, no matter how insulting or derogatory those opinions may be. You knew when you ran for office that there would be a lot of public discussion about your behavior; the occasional inadvertent factual error comes with the territory. Politicians are expected to have skin thick enough to withstand public criticism. Not all of them do. Much has been written about the Virginia lawsuits filed by California Congressman Devin Nunes, but…
“I just want to sue people.” It’s an all too familiar phrase and one that perhaps all of us law students, current and prospective, are guilty of uttering at one time or another. It’s not surprising. Here in the U.S., legal pop culture thrives on stories about dramatic litigation, heated courtroom debates, and eccentric big law personalities hurling slews of fast-spoken quips. Throw on an episode of “Suits” and you’ll see what I mean. Ironically, it took two years of law school for me to realize that, for the most part, litigation isn’t really “good” for anyone (except the lawyers). So why do we fetishize it? Why do we fixate on achieving what essentially amounts to financial ruin, damaged reputations, and shuttered businesses? Like doctors and nurses that pride themselves on saving lives, shouldn’t we pride ourselves on preventing litigation?  Now, I know what you’re thinking, sometimes…
Sometimes lawsuits get filed to chill speech or harass people, rather than resolve legitimate legal disputes. Unfortunately, this trend has increased over the past few decades. Since the 1980s, these lawsuits have been called SLAPPs—or Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. The best solution to stop SLAPPs are strong anti-SLAPP laws. The specifics vary by state, but in general, anti-SLAPP laws allow courts to expedite cases in which a defendant’s free speech rights are at risk. The laws also allow defendants who win anti-SLAPP motions to get their legal fees paid. This year, the Commonwealth of Virginia has a chance to pass a strong anti-SLAPP law by passing H.B. 759. This bill would be a huge improvement over Virginia’s current law, and we’re asking EFF supporters who are Virginia residents to contact their lawmakers and express their support. TAKE ACTION Defend Free Speech in Virginia Virginia has a particular need for a strong anti-SLAPP…
In Nancy J. Sheehan, 1957-2019, the DJ recounts how the Sacramento County Bar Association is naming its Distinguished Attorney Award after the longtime Porter Scott partner who died from a recurrence of cancer in November. Sheehan had worked as a judicial attorney in the 3d District and the effort to name the award after her was spearheaded by retired Justice Art Scotland, who collected over 180 signatures for the effort. "The very first signature on the letter was that of Chief Justice Tani-Cantil Sakauye. The next few names included 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Consuelo M. Callahan, former U.S. Eastern District of California Chief Judge Morrison C. England Jr. and 3rd District Justice Vance W. Raye."On the anti-SLAPP front, the DJ also has Appellate Courts Splits on Indemnity Claims and Anti-SLAPP (by Benjamin Clements of TroyGould) and Precedent is building for Twitter defamation defenses.
Cheryl BeiseFactual questions precluded deciding novel legal issues regarding the scope of MMA’s preemption of state-law infringement claims involving pre-1972 sound recordings and whether Pandora qualified for the preemption defense. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has returned a case to the federal district court in Los Angeles to consider in the first instance whether the 2018 Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (“the MMA”) was likely to preempt California statutory and common law copyright infringement claims brought against Pandora Media by two members of 1960s folk rock band, The Turtles—who claimed that their Pandora violated their rights by publicly performing the group’s pre-1972 musical works without authorization. The MMA preempts common-law copyright claims arising from the use of pre-1972 recordings that occurs on or after the date of the MMA’s enactment, as well as certain statutory claims if specific…
Effective on September 1, 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature’s amendments to the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act, Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code Chapter 27 (“TCPA”) essentially removed the vast majority trade secret claims from the TCPA’s grasp.[1] These amendments intentionally sought to eliminate the application of the TCPA, an anti-SLAPP statute[2] to certain run-of-the-mill trade secret cases with fact patters arising from independent contractor relationships and departing employees. Nevertheless, the TCPA may apply in light of past precedent to other, less common fact patterns. This article explores other trade secret claims that may still be “slapped” under the TCPA. It is important to note that at the time of publication, no cases interpreting the new TCPA amendments have yet progressed to the reported appellate level. Texas courts previously applying the TCPA to trade secrets claims,[3] however, generally concluded…

California Constitution

Domen characterizes himself as a “former homosexual” who has now embraced heterosexuality. Domen (through his organization Church United) published 89 videos on Vimeo. Vimeo flagged the videos as violating its policy against the promotion of “Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE),” and after a short warning, it terminated Domen’s account. Domen claims “Vimeo restricted and censored Plaintiffs’ videos because those videos were based on a viewpoint regarding sexual orientation and religion with which Vimeo disagrees.” The court easily dismisses the case on Section 230 and other grounds. Section 230(c)(1). The court says: “Plaintiffs are seeking to hold Vimeo liable for removing Plaintiffs’ own content….Vimeo plainly was acting as a ‘publisher’ when it deleted (or, in other words, withdrew) Plaintiffs’ content on the Vimeo website.” Cites to Riggs v. MySpace, Ebeid v. Facebook, Lancaster…
In Anderson v. City of San Jose (2019), the Sixth District Court of Appeal held that California’s charter cities must comply with the Surplus Land Act (Govt. Code § 54220 et seq.).[1] This decision, essentially, ruled that the statewide housing crisis is of paramount importance, and that all cities – even charter cities – must yield to the state law processes governing surplus land disposition and give affordable housing preference when building on surplus city land. This ruling sets an important precedent establishing that, where there are concerns of statewide importance, a charter city’s authority to control the disposition of its own property may be superseded by state law. In light of California’s ongoing housing crisis and approved legislation designed to address it, the Anderson ruling signals a tightening grip on state control over local municipal land holdings and the related policies that cities use to dispose of real estate. In…
In Anderson v. City of San Jose (2019), the Sixth District Court of Appeal held that California’s charter cities must comply with the Surplus Land Act (Govt. Code § 54220 et seq.).[1] This decision, essentially, ruled that the statewide housing crisis is of paramount importance, and that all cities – even charter cities – must yield to the state law processes governing surplus land disposition and give affordable housing preference when building on surplus city land. This ruling sets an important precedent establishing that, where there are concerns of statewide importance, a charter city’s authority to control the disposition of its own property may be superseded by state law. In light of California’s ongoing housing crisis and approved legislation designed to address it, the Anderson ruling signals a tightening grip on state control over local municipal land holdings and the related policies that cities use to dispose of real estate. In…
A California appellate court overturned a lower court decision on Friday, ruling that charter cities must comply with the state’s sanctuary laws. The city of Huntington Beach argued that because they are a charter city they are entitled to autonomy in regulating and enforcing laws deemed to be “municipal affairs” without state intrusion in accordance with the California Constitution, Article XI, Section 5. The city argued the California Values Act (CVA) “is ‘an impermissible, un-Constitutional overreach, is void, and should be invalidated’ because it intrudes upon the City’s control of its police force.” Section 7284.6 of the CVA was specifically targeted in the suit because it imposes specific limits on state and local law enforcement when aiding federal law enforcement in the execution of federal immigration enforcement. The California Supreme Court previously set forth a “four-step ‘analytical framework’ to…
2019 CEQA 4th QUARTER REVIEW - January 7, 2020 - William W. Abbott, Diane G. Kindermann, Glen C. Hansen and Daniel S. Cucchi
Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann’s 2019 4th Quarter cumulative CEQA update. This summary provides links to more in-depth case write-ups on the firm’s blog. The case names of the newest decisions start with Section 3 and are denoted by bold italic fonts. 1.    2019 CEQA UPDATE To read the 2018 cumulative CEQA review, click here: https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2019/01/articles/ceqa/2018-ceqa-annual-review/ 2.    CASES PENDING AT THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT There are 2 CEQA case pending at the California Supreme Court. The cases and the Court’s summaries are as follows: Protecting Our Water & Environmental Resources v. Stanislaus County, S251709. (F073634; nonpublished opinion; Stanislaus County Superior Court; 2006153.) Petition for review after the Court of      Appeal reversed the judgment in a civil action. This case presents the following issue: Is the issuance of a well permit pursuant to state groundwater…
2019 CEQA 4th QUARTER REVIEW - January 7, 2020 - William W. Abbott, Diane G. Kindermann, Glen C. Hansen and Daniel S. Cucchi
Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann’s 2019 4th Quarter cumulative CEQA update. This summary provides links to more in-depth case write-ups on the firm’s blog. The case names of the newest decisions start with Section 3 and are denoted by bold italic fonts. 1.    2019 CEQA UPDATE To read the 2018 cumulative CEQA review, click here: https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2019/01/articles/ceqa/2018-ceqa-annual-review/ 2.    CASES PENDING AT THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT There are 2 CEQA case pending at the California Supreme Court. The cases and the Court’s summaries are as follows: Protecting Our Water & Environmental Resources v. Stanislaus County, S251709. (F073634; nonpublished opinion; Stanislaus County Superior Court; 2006153.) Petition for review after the Court of      Appeal reversed the judgment in a civil action. This case presents the following issue: Is the issuance of a well permit pursuant to state groundwater…