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

First Amendment

Klasfeld’s reporting is part of Just Security’s Trump Trials Clearinghouse. The first time that Manhattan prosecutors met Michael Cohen inside a federal prison to enlist his cooperation, the former fixer for then-President Donald Trump had a familiar question on his mind: What’s in it for me? The meeting took place at a federal prison in Otisville, N.Y., on August 27, 2019, some three months into Cohen’s three-year prison sentence for what a federal judge described as a “veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct.”  For months, Cohen had reassured the courts and the public that he committed his crimes for Trump, but he had now turned over a new and public-spirited leaf. No person had been closer or more central to Trump’s alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, through what prosecutors describe as a conspiracy to falsify business records to cover up scandals that could have derailed the campaign in its final…
FDA LDT Rule Begins Enforcement Discretion Phaseout, But Some Discretion Remains - May 21, 2024 - Rebecca Jones McKnight, Kevin Madagan, Sarah Thompson Schick and Akosua Tuffuor
On May 14, 2024, FDA hosted a webinar to provide an overview of its final rule “Medical Devices; Laboratory Developed Tests” as well as FDA’s phaseout of its general enforcement discretion approach to laboratory developed tests (LDTs).    The October 2023 proposed rule sought to phase out enforcement discretion for LDTs more broadly. However, FDA seems to have considered some of the concerns commenters raised about access to LDTs and the cost of compliance. The final rule retains varying degrees of enforcement discretion for specific types of LDTs. Amended Definition of Device In the final rule, FDA amended the definition of “device” under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) to In Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) offered as LDTs stating: “. . . These products are devices as defined in section 201(h)(1) of [FDCA] and may also be biological products subject to section 351 of the Public Health Service Act, including…
US Supreme Court declines hearing parent challenge to school gender identity policies - May 20, 2024 - Gabrielle Pasternak | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US
The US Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a challenge to a Maryland school district’s gender identity policy, which parents are alleging violates their rights. In John and Jane Parents v. Montgomery County Board of Education, three parents with children who attend Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) allege the school enacted policies that violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights. The policies adopted by the school in the 2020-2021 school year enabled students of any age to “transition socially to a different gender identity at school without parental notice or consent.” The policies address a multitude of topics: establishing a gender support plan, protecting student privacy, the use of appropriate names and pronouns, and participation in gender based activities. The goal of the policies was to create a safe environment for students. The complaint alleged no specific allegations regarding the application of the policies. The primary issue at hand was…
In an indictment against Defend the Atlanta Forest activists in Georgia, state prosecutors are citing use of encrypted communications to fearmonger. Alleging the defendants—which include journalists and lawyers, in addition to activists—in the indictment were responsible for a number of crimes related to the Stop Cop City campaign, the state Attorney General’s prosecutors cast suspicion on the defendants’ use of Signal, Telegram, Tor, and other everyday data-protecting technologies. “Indeed, communication among the Defend the Atlanta Forest members is often cloaked in secrecy using sophisticated technology aimed at preventing law enforcement from viewing their communication and preventing recovery of the information” the indictment reads. “Members often use the dark web via Tor, use end-to-end encrypted messaging app Signal or Telegram.” The secure messaging app Signal is used by tens of millions of people, and has hundreds of…
Firm’s Unusual First Amendment Case to Head to Trial - May 20, 2024 - Famighetti & Weinick
In April 2022, the civil rights law firm Famighetti & Weinick PLLC filed a First Amendment retaliation case on behalf of its client, Devanand Persaud, against the City of New York and individuals employed by the City. The firm regularly handles free speech cases, but this case was unusual. In this case, Persaud alleged that he did not engage in any free speech. Yet, on two occasions with two different judges, the court refused to grant the City’s request to dismiss this case alleging violations of free speech. How could that be? Today’s Long Island employment law blog explains. The following information is taken from the publicly available court orders issued in the case. Persaud worked for the New York City Department of Finance (the DOF). He is of Guayanese national origin. In October 2020, a Guyanese newspaper published an article entitled “Gutter Work.” Boiled down to its essence, the article discussed the rise of oil jobs in Guyana and public…
Today's advance release election law opinion: Markley v. State Elections Enforcement Commission (Administrative appeal; claim that defendant had violated plaintiffs' first amendment rights by enforcing applicable statutes and regulations (public campaign financing under statutory (§ 9-700 et seq.) Citizens' Election Program) to preclude publicly funded candidates from using candidate committee funds to pay for campaign communications that, as rhetorical device, invoked name of candidate in diffe

Anti-SLAPP

Written by Eduardo Silva de Freitas (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Xandra Kramer (Erasmus University Rotterdam/Utrecht University), members of the Vici project Affordable Access to Justice, financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), www.euciviljustice.eu. Introduction After extensive negotiations, on 24 April 2024, the European Parliament approved the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD or CS3D) as part of the EU Green Deal. Considering the intensive discussions, multiple changes, and the upcoming elections in view, the fate of the Commission’s proposal has been uncertain. The Directive marks an important step in human rights and environmental protection, aiming to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour throughout global value chains. Some Member States have incorporated similar acts already, and the Directive will expand this to the other Member States, which will also ensure a level playing field for companies…
Trial Seminar Defamation Claim Survives - May 16, 2024 - Legal Profession Prof
The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed a district court order denying anti-SLAPP relief Respondents Sean K. Claggett and Claggett & Sykes Law Firm (collectively, Claggett) taught trial seminars operated by appellants Don C. Keenan, William Entrekin, D.C. Keenan & Associates, P.A....
Some defamation cases are so lacking in merit that a defendant can pick and choose among multiple grounds for dismissal. Virginia’s anti-SLAPP statute, for example, is designed to provide a remedy for defendants who are sued for exercising their First Amendment rights while speaking on matters of public concern. A demurrer, on the other hand, allows a defendant to challenge the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff’s complaint in situations where the complaint fails to present a valid claim even if one assumes all the plaintiff’s allegations are true. The anti-SLAPP statute authorizes an award of attorney fees to a prevailing defendant; a successful demurrant may succeed in getting the case dismissed but will generally not be entitled to recovery of legal fees. Virginia defense lawyers often struggle with the strategic decision of which dispositive motion to file and argue first to maximize the likelihood of both a dismissal and an award of legal fees. In a…
On Friday 3 May 2024, amendments [pdf] to the Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation Bill [pdf] were tabled by MPs Wayne David and Sir David Davis. The Bill is due for its Committee Stage in the House of Commons this week. The serious problems with the existing draft of the Bill have been commented on before on Inforrm (here and here). These amendments do not materially address these problems. Instead Sir David is proposing a wholesale revamping of the Bill – removing all its operative provisions and replaced them with the  “UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition Model Anti-SLAPP law” [pdf] (“the Model Law”) This would have extreme and uncertain consequences – causing serious damage to access to justice while doing little to address the perceived “SLAPP problem”. The proposed amendments fall into two categories. There are amendments tabled by both MPs to tweak the existing draft. In particular, these involve expanding the…
The  Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation Bill [pdf] sponsored by Labour MP Wayne David but supported by the Ministry of Justice returns to the House of Commons for its Committee Stage on 8 May 2024.  The Bill is poorly drafted and has come under attack from both sides of the “SLAPP” debate. On 10 April 2024 the “Anti-SLAPP” coalition wrote to the Secretary of State of Justice [pdf] complaining that, “If enacted in its current form, the Bill risks becoming an ineffective, inaccessible, and ultimately redundant legal instrument”.  Two particular complaints were raised: That the definition of a SLAPP in clause 2(1) requires a court to make a subjective judgment as to the intent of the claimant. That the definition of “public interest” in the Bill should be “refined”. In relation to the first point it is suggested that the subjective test should be replaced by an objective test. …
[Reasonable SWAT mistakes, lying forensic pathologists, and de minimis injuries. ] 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 Bound By Oath podcast: We get neuroanthropological, philosophical, and just a tad practical – and determine conclusively that property rights are a good thing and property isn't theft. New on the Short Circuit podcast: Special guest Michel Paradis of Columbia Law (among other affiliations) gives us a lesson on secret submersibles and FOIA responses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, three employees at Whole Foods start wearing masks with Black Lives Matters slogans. Corporate policy forbids masks with any slogans, but the employees persist, eventually racking up enough disciplinary infractions to be fired. They sue, alleging they were discriminated against for their pro-Black message. First Circuit: Maybe one of them was; her final disciplinary…

California Constitution

2nd District Court of Appeal Upholds Local Governments’ Discretion to Override Housing Density Caps - May 15, 2024 - Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., William W. Abbott and Kara Anderson
In AIDS Healthcare Foundation v. Bonta (2024) 101 Cal.App.5th 73, the Second District Court of Appeal upheld the power of local governments to override housing density caps, including caps adopted by voter initiative. Legal Background Under Senate Bill 10 (“SB 10”), passed in 2021, the Legislature granted counties and cities discretion on a parcel-by-parcel basis to supersede local housing density caps. This discretion was limited to particular parameters, namely that the local government could adopt an ordinance to zone a parcel for up to 10 residential units if: (1) the parcel was located in a transit-rich area or an urban infill site, (2) the parcel was not located in a fire hazard zone, and (3) the local legislative body making the increased density zoning determination did so consistent with its “obligation to affirmatively further fair housing.” For a local government to override a housing density cap that was previously instituted via local…
Article 14, Section 12 of the California Constitution requires the Governor to submit a budget to the Legislature by January 10 of each year.  The Constitution further required that the budget be accompanied by a budget bill, which the chairperson of the budget committees of each house of the legislature must introduce "immediately".  The legislature must pass the budget by June 15.    In the interval between the introduction and passing of the budget, various adjustments to revenues and expenditures are made.  The administration communicates these proposed changes by sending what is known as a "finance letter" to the chairpersons of the budget committees.  Adjustments to the Governor's budget are reflected in what is known as the "May Revise".  On May 10, Governor Newsom release the May Revise of  his 2024-2025 budget (California's fiscal year begins on July 1).    With respect to the…
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has a budget deficit of $27.6 billion, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday – a gap so wide that he’s proposing cutting 10,000 vacant state jobs and suspending some widely used business tax deductions. The Democratic governor outlined the deficit Friday as part of his proposed $288 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. It’s the largest of any state. “These are programs, propositions that I’ve long advanced — many of them,” Newsom said. “But you’ve got to do it. We have to be responsible. We have to be accountable.” Newsom also is proposing to cut funding for 260 different state programs. One-time cuts would include $2 billion for broadband that would have expanded broadband connections, $500 million that would have improved “water storage” in the drought-plagued state, and $272 million for employment services for the state’s welfare program.…
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has a budget deficit of $27.6 billion, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday – a gap so wide that he’s proposing cutting 10,000 vacant state jobs and suspending some widely used business tax deductions. The Democratic governor outlined the deficit Friday as part of his proposed $288 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. It’s the largest of any state. “These are programs, propositions that I’ve long advanced — many of them,” Newsom said. “But you’ve got to do it. We have to be responsible. We have to be accountable.” Newsom also is proposing to cut funding for 260 different state programs. One-time cuts would include $2 billion for broadband that would have expanded broadband connections, $500 million that would have improved “water storage” in the drought-plagued state, and $272 million for employment services for the state’s welfare program.…
Police officers will no longer be required to disclose their own gender identity when they report details of traffic stops to the state in an effort to end a lawsuit over the issue. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Christopher Krueger last week approved a permanent injunction barring California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta’s office from requiring the information, which was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Bonta’s office did not contest evidence submitted by the police organizations who filed suit earlier this year alleging the disclosure rules violated their privacy rights under state law. The agency wrote in a court filing in April that it continues to dispute plaintiffs’ claims; however, the group wanted to resolve the case. Bonta’s office did not provide additional comment Tuesday, saying instead that it would “let the settlement speak for itself.” At the heart of the issue is recently enacted regulations under the Racial…
CHARGES. CALIF LAWMAKERS WILL BE TALKING ABOUT SOME NEW LEGISLATION THIS WEEK THAT WOULD PROHIBIT THE USE OF NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS WHEN NEGOTIATING STATE LAWS. TY STEELE IS HERE NOW WITH WHAT’S NEXT FOR THIS PROPOSAL AND EDIE THAT PROPOSAL IS THE RESULT OF OUR REPORTING BY CAPITOL CORRESPONDENT ASHLEY ZAVALA ON HOW NDAS WERE USED IN THE FINAL NEGOTIATIONS OF CALIFORNIA’S FAST FOOD LABOR LAW, ASSEMBLY BILL 2654 WOULD PROHIBIT LAWMAKERS, LOBBYISTS AND GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FROM SIGNING, REQUESTING OR DRAFTING NDAS DURING THE LEGISLATIVE NEGOTIATION PROCESS. DOING SO COULD BE A MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE. REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLYMAN VINCE FONG WROTE. THIS PROPOSAL, WHICH WOULD REQUIRE CHANGING THE POLITICAL REFORM ACT OF 1974, THAT MEANS IT WILL NEED A TWO THIRDS VOTE FROM THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR’S APPROVAL. THE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS COMMITTEE WILL HAVE A SPECIAL HEARING ON THURSDAY RIGHT AFTER THE FLOOR SESSION, TO HEAR JUST THIS. BILL AND OUR CAPITOL…