Related to: First Amendment

N.J v. Sonnabend: A First Amendment Face-Off at the District Court Level

On June 15, 2022, the Seventh Circuit issued its decision in N.J v. Sonnabend, holding that schools must apply the test from Tinker v. Des Moines prior to restricting students from wearing clothing depicting firearms. Through this decision, the Sonnabend Court has resolved conflicting decisions within the Eastern District of Wisconsin. In addition to reversing…

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The U.S. Supreme Court Rendered a 6-3 Decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, 597 U.S.

On June 27, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a 6-3 decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, 597 U.S. ___ (2022), where it held the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protects an individual engaging in sincerely motivated religious exercise and private speech from government punishment. The Court ultimately found…

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The U.S. Supreme Court Rules that a Board’s Verbal Censure of its Board Member’s Speech Does Not Violate the First Amendment

On March 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a unanimous decision that an elected body can censure other members of the same body for their speech, without running afoul of First Amendment protections. The case is Houston Community College System v. Wilson, ___ S.Ct. ___, 2022 WL 867307 (2022).  As we discussed in…

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Janus v AFSCME

U.S. Supreme Court to Address First Amendment Rights of Censured Board Member

On April 26, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a Petition for Certiorari review in Wilson v. Houston Community College System. The issue before the Court is whether a Board’s resolution to censure a Board member violated the First Amendment. This issue is before the U.S. Supreme Court after a decision by the U.S. Court of…

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school dress code

Censorship at the Schoolhouse Gate: Dress Code and First Amendment Implications

Imagine a student comes to school wearing a t-shirt that depicts a firearm or other weapons, in violation of the school’s dress code. Can you require the student to remove or cover the t-shirt? Is the student subject to discipline if he or she refuses? Does it make a difference what specifically is written and/or…

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