Tag Archives: First Amendment

Sixth Circuit concludes that the Kentucky Billboard Act violates the First Amendment.

The Kentucky Billboard Act requires a permit for billboards that advertise off-site activities—but no permit is required for on-site billboard advertising. Lion’s Den, an “adult superstore” that sought to advertise to interstate drivers with a billboard on a neighbor’s property, challenged the law as a violation of its rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit stays injunction in challenge to Kentucky public health measures that did not exempt religious schools from general prohibition on in-person instruction.

This post arrives thanks to Erica M. Van Heyde, a 2020 graduate of The Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law, who joins Squire Patton Boggs as an associate in 2021.  Like most states, Kentucky is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Governor Andy Beshear has responded by implementing a number of public health measures aimed … Continue Reading

Tenn. Billboard Act Violates First Amendment, Says Sixth Circuit

In a big win for noncommercial outdoor speakers and a loss for LBJ enthusiasts, the Sixth Circuit issued a major First Amendment decision striking down Tennessee’s Billboard Regulation and Control Act. Judge Batchelder’s unanimous opinion (Donald and Cole joining) in Thomas v. Bright held that the law’s on/off-premises distinction represents an unconstitutional content-based abridgment of speech … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit To Rehear Legislative Prayer Case En Banc

Last week, the Sixth Circuit granted en banc review in Bormuth v. County of Jackson, where a split panel had held that a district court had erred in rejecting the plaintiff’s argument that the prayer preceding a Michigan county’s Board of Commissioners’ monthly meeting violated the First Amendment by coercing residents to support and participate in the … Continue Reading

Objections To Criminal Presentence Report Protected Against Discovery In Class Action

In Cyphert v. Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. (In re: Morning Song Bird Food Litig.), No. 15-3943, the Sixth Circuit imposed a high standard on class action plaintiffs seeking to use two sets of objections to a presentence report (PSR) in a criminal case against the corporate defendant.  The plaintiffs argued that the objections, which had been … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Strikes Down Ohio Political False-Statements Laws

Last week, in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, the Sixth Circuit applied United States v. Alvarez to strike down Ohio’s political false-statements laws. The provisions in question prohibited knowingly or recklessly making false statements with the intent of affecting the outcome of an election.  The statute specifically identified certain types of false statements as … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Revives “Juggalo” First Amendment Lawsuit

In 2011, the National Gang Intelligence Center—part of the FBI—included fans of the band “Insane Clown Posse,” also known as “Juggalos,” in its report on gang activity, describing Juggalos as a “hybrid gang” and claiming that “Juggalo subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence.”  Six plaintiffs (four Juggalos and the two … Continue Reading

Hotel’s Inclusion on TripAdvisor’s List of “Dirtiest Hotels In America” Not Defamatory

In 2011, TripAdvisor rated Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee number one on its list of the “Dirtiest Hotels in America.”  Based on TripAdvisor users’ opinions, the list featured quotations such as: “There was dirt at least ½ inch thik in the bathtub which was filled with lots of dark hair.”  … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rules that Provision of Medicaid Services Is No Bar to Campaign Contributions in Ohio

With the coming political season soon upon us, the Sixth Circuit has struck down an Ohio statute that criminalized the acceptance by state Attorney-General or county-prosecutor candidates of campaign contributions from Medicaid providers or persons with an ownership interest in a Medicaid provider.  See Lavin v. Husted (6th Cir., Case No. 11-3908, Aug. 3, 2012) … Continue Reading

Video Interview on LXBN TV: Discussing The Sixth Circuit’s High Profile Decision on the New Federal Tobacco Marketing Law

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN TV to discuss the Sixth Circuit’s long-awaited opinion in the free speech challenge to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, Public Law 111-31, which gives the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco advertising and marketing.  See Opinion, Discount Tobacco … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Reverses Sixth Circuit in Landmark Religious Freedom Case

In a 9-0 decision yesterday, the Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit and affirmed a religious body’s right to make employment decisions free from government intervention.  It was the Supreme Court’s first decision on the ministerial exception to employment discrimination laws. The plaintiff was a “called teacher” within the Lutheran Church, where part of her … Continue Reading

Upcoming Food Fight at the Sixth Circuit

In our continuing coverage of cases that are making their way up to the Sixth Circuit, we noticed this recent appeal from the Western District of Michigan, Martha Elizabeth, Inc. v. Scripps Networks Interactive, LLC.  The case pits an owner of a retail business specializing in products for the home chef that uses the trademark … Continue Reading

Recent Decision on Kentucky Judicial Elections Continues to Shake Ohio Politics

As this blog has reported, in July 2010, the Sixth Circuit struck as unconstitutional two Kentucky regulations governing judicial elections.  In Carey v. Wolnitzek (6th Cir., Case Nos. 08-6468 & 08-6538, July 13, 2010) (PDF) the Court struck a regulation prohibiting judicial candidates from identifying their political party affiliation and also a different regulation prohibiting … Continue Reading

Ohio Changes Judicial Election Rules as Fallout Begins from Recent Ruling on Judicial Party Affiliation and Fundraising

As reported previously in this blog, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently struck as unconstitutional two Kentucky regulations governing judicial elections.  In Carey v. Wolnitzek (6th Cir., Case Nos. 08-6468 & 08-6538, July 13, 2010) (PDF) the Court struck a regulation prohibiting judicial candidates from identifying their political party affiliation and … Continue Reading