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

First Amendment

A clear violation of the First Amendment -- and not even justified under the College's own reportedly stated reasons. Townhall (Beth Baumann) reports that the Orange Coast College chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom was barred from displaying this banner at a campus student recruitment fair. The careful reader will doubtless say, "Ah, it must be because the college is deeply committed to historical precision, and officials insist that the Amendment has only existed as an Amendment, rather than just as a proposed Amendment, since 1791 rather than 1789." Well, no: According to the Townhall report, the College objected to the banner's depicting the sillouettes of two rifles—which, college officials said, were forbidden by a college policy that bars not just firearms but any "facsimile of a firearm." But such a decision (if accurately reported) violates the First Amendment. Once a university opens up a space where students may display…
I’m shaking my head at how many politicians block their constituents on social media. What a terrible practice. Today’s case is particularly mind-blowing. Rep. Reisch is a representative in the Missouri House of Representatives tweeting @CheriMO44. The court describes the allegations: On June 22, 2018, Reisch tweeted about her appearance at a public event, at which her political opponent in the November 6, 2018 general election, Maren Jones, also appeared. Resich tweeted “Sad my opponent put her hands behind her back during the Pledge.” On June 23, 2018, Representative Kip Kendrick criticized Reisch’s tweet by commenting, “Maren’s father was a Lieutenant in the Army. Two of her brothers served in the military. I don’t question [Maren’s] patriotism. That’s a low blow and unacceptable from a member of the Boone County delegation.” Campbell retweeted Kendrick’s criticism in Reisch’s Account. After…
Every semester brings a fresh round of incidents of professors coming to public attention for the wrong reasons, testing the ability of college and university leaders to work through the controversy without sacrificing institutional values. To take a recent example, during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, Georgetown University was forced to issue a statement defending the “right of our community members to exercise their freedom of expression” after a tenured member of the faculty briefly had her Twitter account suspended for posting that “entitled white men” deserved castration and “miserable deaths.” So long as such comments did not “substantially affect their teaching, research, or University service,” Georgetown’s statement insisted, faculty members were not subject to university discipline for their extramural remarks. In the aftermath of the Kavanaugh hearings, Brooklyn College pointed to First Amendment…
Ungleiche Brust im Lichte der Verfassung - February 15, 2019 - USAnwalt
CK • Washington.   Gerichte dürfen sich nicht auf Wikipedia verlassen, und das gelte auch für die Erörterung der Ungleichbehandlung und Schockwirkung weib­li­cher Brü­ste, erklärt die Revisionsbegründung aus Denver in Free the Nipp­le v. Ci­ty of Fort Col­lins am 15. Februar 2019. Die beklagte Stadt hat­te nack­te Brü­ste von Frau­en in der Öffentlichkeit verboten, wie auch das Ge­richt in Chi­ca­go und kürzlich die erste Instanz in Maryland, siehe Gleich freier Torso am Strand als Menschenrecht, während Nachbarorte diese Freiheit gestatten.Vor dem Bundesberufungsgericht des zehnten Bezirks ging es um die Ver­fas­sungs­ga­ran­tie der Gleichbehandlung, die die Revisionsgerichte unter­schied­lich be­ur­tei­len. Daher kann der Fall zum Supreme Court in Washington gelangen. Ungleich ist die Behandlung ganz offensichtlich, und als…
Zestimates, Big Girl Panties, and Scabby the RatPlease enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice. Suppose a La Plata, Md. public school teacher compelled a Christian student to write part of the Shahada: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." First Amendment violation, right? Fourth Circuit: It was homework for a world history class. About what Muslims believe. Judgment for the school. Allegation: Rumor spreads at Sterling, Va. warehouse that an employee was promoted only because of her sexual relationship with a higher-ranking manager. The highest-ranking manager at the facility helped to spread the rumor, barred her (but not her paramour) from attending a mandatory all-staff meeting where the rumor was discussed, and told her he'd no longer recommend her for promotions. She's later fired. Fourth Circuit: Because "traditional negative stereotypes regarding the relationship…
By Ellen P. Aprill Several commentators have called attention to the statement of the IRS in Revenue Procedure 2018-5, just reiterated in Rev. Proc. 2019-1, that it will not issue a determination letter recognizing exemption from income tax for “an organization whose purpose is directed to the improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business relating to an activity involving controlled substances (within the meaning of schedule I and II of the Controlled Substances Act) which is prohibited by Federal law regardless of its legality under the law of the state in which such activity is conducted.” These commentators suggest that this position could constitute impermissible viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.  I do not view the IRS announcement in this way. Instead, I see it as an application of the long-standing principle denying exemption to entities with an illegal purpose or engage primarily in illegal activities.…

Anti-SLAPP

2019 Employment Law: Cases Pending in the California Supreme Court - February 14, 2019 - <a href='http://www.seyfarth.com/ColleenRegan'>Colleen Regan</a>
Seyfarth Synopsis: Employment-related cases pending before the California Supreme Court concern various questions that sometimes seem technical, but the answers they elicit will have big consequences. Questions raised by the current crop of cases include standing to sue, the availability of certain claims and remedies, federal preemption of California laws, what counts as compensable time, and—that perennial favorite—how to interpret the infernal PAGA statute. We expect the California Supreme Court in 2019 to issue decisions addressing many important issues in private employment. Some topics easily warrant their own article or blog post, and will receive that treatment as the Supreme Court’s decisions emerge. But it’s not too soon to highlight some coming attractions. Anti-SLAPP and Alleged Employer Motive Is an employer’s anti-SLAPP motion to strike an employee’s suit affected by the employer’s alleged discriminatory motive? In Wilson…
Epic invokes California’s anti-SLAPP statute to argue that its theft of 2 Milly’s dance was 'free speech.'
*Unpublished Opinion The recent unpublished opinion of Chemers v. Quail Hill Community Association et al. (2018) shines some light on the oft-misunderstood California Anti-SLAPP statute and its effectiveness as a defense for actions by a homeowners association’s board of directors.  The Fourth District California Court of Appeal held that certain actions by the board in a dispute with a director were not in furtherance of the right of free speech or petition as to be protected by the anti-SLAPP statute. Plaintiff Evan Chemers (“Chemers”) was a member of the board of directors for defendant Quail Hill Community Association (“Quail Hill”), a planned unit development located in Irvine, California.  A series of disagreements and escalating tension between Chemers and other members of the board resulted in the board taking affirmative steps to remove Chemers from the board permanently.  In June 2016, the board proposed a resolution to…
GOLO, LLC v. Higher Health Network, LLC, No. 18-cv-2434-GPC-MSB, 2019 WL 446251 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 5, 2019)GOLO sells a weight loss program and a proprietary supplement to help promote weight loss. HHN defendants published a review of this supplement, allegedly with inaccuracies, misleading statements, and blatant falsehoods, which led to this lawsuit. HHN moved to dismiss and moved to strike the state law trade libel claim under California’s anti-SLAPP law. The court granted the motion to dismiss but denied the special motion to strike because HHN make a prima facie showing that GOLO’s claim arose from an act in furtherance of HHN’s right of petition or free speech in connection with a public issue.HHN (and its founder Shanks) allegedly compete with GOLO in the diet and weight-loss industry. Shanks specializes in SEO, and he and HHN allegedly bought and created dozens of information websites that generate revenue exclusively through advertising sales. One such…
Law and Media Round Up – 11 February 2019 - February 10, 2019 - INFORRM
The most high profile media law story of the week concerned the discontinuance of Sir Philip Green’s libel action against the Daily Telegraph. In a judgment handed down on Friday 8 February 2019 ([2019] EWHC 223 (QB)) Warby J granted the claimants permission to discontinue and refused to impose any conditions on them. It was reported that the claimants faced a £3m legal bill. The discontinuance of the action meant that the interim injunction granted by the Court of Appeal in September 2018 was discharged.  The Daily Telegraph [£] immediately published allegations that Sir Philip Green had subject five individuals to racial, physical and sexual abuse.  The Telegraph also published excerpts from six phone conversations with Sir Philip Green [£] discussing the newspaper’s intent to publish a story based on the allegations. The other high profile story of the week concerned an award of libel damages to Labour MP Richard Burgon after…
The Texas Supreme Court upheld protections for anonymous online speakers in a January ruling, albeit in a way that sidestepped thorny legal questions but will likely have the effect of vindicating First Amendment rights going forward. The case, Glassdoor, Inc. v. Andra Group, concerned an effort by clothing company Andra to unmask anonymous speakers who posted on the employee review website Glassdoor. Andra believed that some of its current or former employees posted content on Glassdoor that was defamatory and damaged its business. Rather than file a lawsuit against the anonymous speakers and then seek to unmask them, Andra sought to use a Texas court rule (Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202) against Glassdoor to engage in pre-litigation discovery without filing an actual legal case. The rule allows parties, without filing an underlying civil complaint, to collect evidence that would support claims in a subsequent lawsuit. In this case Andra relied on a Rule 202 to try to…

California Constitution

California Governor Gavin Newsom, in his first State of the State Address, called for a “Data Dividend” (what some are calling a “digital dividend”) from big tech. It’s not yet clear what form this dividend will take. We agree with Governor Newsom that consumers deserve more from companies that profit from their data, and we suggest that any “dividend” should take the form of stronger data privacy laws to protect the people of California from abuse by the corporations that harvest and monetize our personal information. In his February 12 address, Governor Newsom said: California is proud to be home to technology companies determined to change the world. But companies that make billions of dollars collecting, curating and monetizing our personal data have a duty to protect it. Consumers have a right to know and control how their data is being used. I applaud this legislature for passing the first-in-the-nation digital privacy law…
*Unpublished Opinion The recent unpublished opinion of Chemers v. Quail Hill Community Association et al. (2018) shines some light on the oft-misunderstood California Anti-SLAPP statute and its effectiveness as a defense for actions by a homeowners association’s board of directors.  The Fourth District California Court of Appeal held that certain actions by the board in a dispute with a director were not in furtherance of the right of free speech or petition as to be protected by the anti-SLAPP statute. Plaintiff Evan Chemers (“Chemers”) was a member of the board of directors for defendant Quail Hill Community Association (“Quail Hill”), a planned unit development located in Irvine, California.  A series of disagreements and escalating tension between Chemers and other members of the board resulted in the board taking affirmative steps to remove Chemers from the board permanently.  In June 2016, the board proposed a resolution to…
GOLO, LLC v. Higher Health Network, LLC, No. 18-cv-2434-GPC-MSB, 2019 WL 446251 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 5, 2019)GOLO sells a weight loss program and a proprietary supplement to help promote weight loss. HHN defendants published a review of this supplement, allegedly with inaccuracies, misleading statements, and blatant falsehoods, which led to this lawsuit. HHN moved to dismiss and moved to strike the state law trade libel claim under California’s anti-SLAPP law. The court granted the motion to dismiss but denied the special motion to strike because HHN make a prima facie showing that GOLO’s claim arose from an act in furtherance of HHN’s right of petition or free speech in connection with a public issue.HHN (and its founder Shanks) allegedly compete with GOLO in the diet and weight-loss industry. Shanks specializes in SEO, and he and HHN allegedly bought and created dozens of information websites that generate revenue exclusively through advertising sales. One such…
The Supreme Court today announced its March calendar.  Among the seven cases to be argued is one of the pending bail cases and one concerning the scope of recoverable damages in lawsuits stemming from the massive Aliso Canyon natural gas leak in 2015 and 2016. On March 5 and 6, in San Francisco, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or stated by the court itself): Plantier v. Ramona Municipal Water District: Were ratepayers seeking to challenge the water district’s method of calculating wastewater service fees required to exhaust administrative remedies by participating in the public hearing required by California Constitution, Article XIII D, section 6? The court granted review in September 2017. People v. Valenzuela: Does a conviction for active gang participation in violation of Penal Code section 186.22, subdivision (a), which requires that the defendant willfully promote, further, or assist in…
Most real estate developers would likely agree that, even when correctly applied and complied with, CEQA can be an onerous law which can significantly complicate, delay, increase the cost of, and in some cases (particularly where CEQA litigation is involved) even preclude projects.  But what recourse does a project applicant have under the law when CEQA is misapplied – and blatantly so – by a local agency which denies approval of a project that is clearly exempt from CEQA on the meritless basis that extensive (and expensive) CEQA review is required?  When the developer’s only recourse is time-consuming and expensive litigation to obtain a writ of mandate setting aside the agency’s illegal action subjecting the project to CEQA, can the developer who succeeds in obtaining the writ recover from the public agency compensation and damages resulting from the temporary “taking” of all reasonable economic use of its property? The…
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California on Wednesday filed a complaint against the Sacramento County Sheriff for blocking Black Lives Matter (BLM) leaders from his Facebook page. Tanya Faison and Sonia Lewis brought this complaint against Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, alleging violations of their freedom of speech rights under the First Amendment and the California Constitution. Jones posted to his public page looking for support after locking the Inspector General out of the police department’s facilities. Faison and Lewis were targeted in the discussion following it. The activists both had their comments deleted before being banned from the page. The ACLU argues that the Facebook page is analogous to a public forum. The publicly accessible page hosts direct communications between constituents and public officials. All are able to read the posts and consider the viewpoints presented, but only those with unblocked accounts are able to…