Posts from January 2010.
Posted in Public Records

January has been a prolific month on the U.S. Supreme Court docket for cases raising First Amendment or other media issues.  In addition to the Citizens United and Presley decisions addressing limits on corporate political speech and access to jury voir dire proceedings, the Supreme Court earlier this month agreed to hear a case out of the Ninth Circuit involving public access to the petitions that put in place a controversial Washington ballot initiative.  The petitions were sought under a state sunshine law in an effort to learn the identities of those who ... Read More 

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations (and labor unions) may make unlimited expenditures to directly advocate for the election or defeat of a Federal candidate at any point in the election cycle.  The crux of the Court’s decision is that the First Amendment prohibits Congress from banning certain types of political speech based on the corporate identity of the speaker. The decision opens the way for greatly increased participation by corporations—large and small, for-profit and non-profit—in ... Read More 

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a 7-2 per curiam opinion summarily reversing a Georgia Supreme Court decision that had found no error in a lower court ruling that emptied a courtroom during jury selection in a criminal case.  The case was notable in the short work the majority made of the notion that the Sixth Amendment right to a public trial somehow may not include the voir dire process or that applicable test is not clear.  The case therefore represents an important victory for access to court proceedings.

The case, Presley v. Georgia, involved a criminal trial in which a ... Read More 

Posted in Internet

With 2009 drawing to a close, a panel of the Fourth Circuit affirmed a decision by the Eastern District of Virginia holding that the website was an “interactive computer service” entitled to immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act with respect to 20 website postings concerning a class-action lawsuit against an auto dealer. The Fourth Circuit’s opinion in Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd. v., Inc. is linked here.

The Fourth Circuit panel’s majority opinion is largely procedural, but it offers an important lesson about ... Read More 

Posted in Indecency

Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that the Third Circuit has scheduled oral argument in the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" case for February 23, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. 

The case involves review of the FCC's determination that the Super Bowl half-time broadcast of less than one second of Janet Jackson's bare breast was actionably indecent.  In July 2008, the Third Circuit vacated and remanded the FCC's decision, finding that the Commission's action was arbitrary and capricious because the material at issue was "fleeting" and, at the time of the broadcast, the FCC's policy was ... Read More 


* indicates required


Recent Posts


Jump to Page

This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. For more information on our cookie use, see our Privacy Policy.