Ninth Circuit Rules In Favor of Plaintiff In Bivens Claim Brought Against Federal Agents
A federal appeals court has ruled that a Washington state bed-and-breakfast owner has an implied right of action for damages, called a Bivens claim, for a First Amendment violation by federal agents. The decision is significant, as many lower courts have declined to find such an implied right of action for a violation of the First Amendment, leaving some plaintiffs without an effective remedy.
Florida Court Upholds Arrest of Mother Who Recorded Son’s Detention by Police
On May 5th, a split three-judge panel on the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida for the Fourth District upheld the arrest of Sharron Tasha Ford, who sued the city of Boynton Beach for violating her First Amendment right to record police.
Federal Judge Rules Former Medical Student Cited for Lack of Professionalism Has a Plausible Retaliation Claim
The treatment of former University of Virginia medical student Kieran Ravi Bhattacharya raises serious concerns about the use of “professionalism” to punish those who hold dissident views or dare to challenge authority. The university suspended and dismissed Bhattacharya after he raised concerns about a presentation from a faculty member about “microaggressions”.
Can A Public School Punish A Student For Off-Campus Speech?
On January 8th, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving a high school student who was suspended from her cheerleading team for a Snapchat selfie she made after school hours. The lower courts are currently split as to whether a school can discipline off-campus speech that is substantially disruptive and closesly linked to school.
Investigation into NYPD’s Response to George Floyd Protests Found Officers Violated First Amendment
A new report found that NYPD officers deployed during the George Floyd protests this summer "failed to discriminate between lawful, peaceful protesters and unlawful actors,” and frequently resorted to aggressive crowd control tactics that failed to adequately take protesters' expressive rights into consideration.
To Help ICE Detainees Speak Out, a First Amendment Clinic Asked a Court to Keep Their Testimonies Secret
For almost a year, women detainees in an immigration detention center in Ocilla, Georgia have tried to call public attention to a pattern of medical neglect and mistreatment, many at the risk of deportation. The pattern of retaliation led to what might at first sound like a paradox: a free-speech group asking the court to block public access to records.
Teacher Guide: The Right to Peacefully Assemble
This teacher guide examines the role peaceful protest has played in United States history, how the law evolved to ensure greater protections for protest, and contemporary threats to assembly rights. It includes information about the civil rights movement, major court cases, and the philosophy of civil disobedience.
Teacher Guide: The Sedition Act of 1798
The Sedition Act of 1798 was the first great test of the First Amendment’s protection for the freedom of speech and press. Under the new law, Americans could face up to $2,000 in fines (nearly $42,000 in 2020 dollars) and two years in prison for criticizing a public official. Passed only seven years after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the Sedition Act forced the young country to decide not just whether it was truly dedicated to freedom of speech, but also what that idea would even mean in a democratic republic.