First Amendment

  • December 12, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Reuben Guttman, Founding member, Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC

    *This piece was originally posted on Huffington Post.

    Our nation has survived a sordid past from slavery to the internment of Japanese citizens. It even survived a duel between a sitting Vice President, Aaron Burr, and the former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton that resulted in the Secretary’s untimely death. President Franklin Roosevelt tried to “pack the Court” as a counter measure to the “nine old men” who threatened his New Deal legislation. The republic even lived past Watergate and a President who used the power of the office to suppress dissent.

  • December 4, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Caroline Mala Corbin, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

    On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case centers on a cake, but at stake is the future of LBGTQ civil rights. The main issue is whether Colorado’s public accommodations law violates the Free Speech Clause.

    Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to sell his baking services to Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a Denver couple seeking a wedding cake. He was fined for violating Colorado’s public accommodations law, which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in places open to the public. Phillips is religiously opposed to same-sex marriage, and believes that to avoid condoning same-sex marriage, Jesus himself would refuse to employ his carpentry skills to make a bed for this couple. Phillips argues that forcing him to make a cake for Craig and Mullins would violate the Free Speech Clause by compelling him to use his creative talents to express approval of same-sex marriage. He is wrong.

  • October 30, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Victoria Bassetti

    *Victoria Bassetti is leading ACS' analysis of US Attorneys.

    While campaigning for office, President Trump actively courted National Rifle Association members. "The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” President Trump said during a speech earlier this year at the NRA’s leadership forum. "[You] have a true friend and champion in the White House," he told them.

    His nominees to be U.S. Attorneys, the top federal law enforcement officers throughout the states, show he meant it.

  • October 19, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Robert Post, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School     

    *This blog was originally published on Take Care

     Last month, DOJ filed an amicus brief last month in support of the petitioner in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. V. Colorado Civil Rights Commiss. DOJ argues that First Amendment guarantees of freedom of expression preclude the application of Colorado’s general antidiscrimination law to a boutique bakery that produces custom-made wedding cakes. The DOJ brief raises important theoretical questions about the scope of judicial review under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment. 

    I yield to no one in my support of these First Amendment freedoms. But precisely because I treasure them, I think it important properly to understand and apply them, lest they be diluted and weakened during times of actual political repression when we will need their strong and clear protection.

  • October 19, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Reuben Guttman, Founding Member, Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC

    *This piece was originally published on Huffington Post.

    As President Donald Trump takes on the National Football League (NFL) and challenges players for kneeling during the national anthem, I am reminded of two athletes who made headlines four decades ago but whose names have perhaps faded from the American psyche.

    It was the fall of 1968. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had lost their lives to assassin’s bullets earlier in the year. Across the nation, college campuses were fraught with unrest from antiwar and civil rights protests. A strong showing by upstart candidate Eugene McCarthy in the New Hampshire primary forced the withdrawal of incumbent President, Lyndon Johnson, in his race for re-election. The nation was one month away from the Nixon Presidency.