Morris County is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether excluding religious institutions from receiving taxpayer funds as part of a historic preservation program conflicts with the Supreme Court’s decision in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer and the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause. Facts of the Case In 2002, the
In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Carol S. Comer, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the State of Missouri violated the U.S. Constitution when it denied a playground resurfacing grant to the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia based solely on its status
By a vote of 2-1, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held in Munroe v. Central Bucks School District that a Pennsylvania teacher’s anti-student blog posts were not protected under the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee. According to the appeals court, the teacher’s speech did not rise to the
The implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Reed v. Gilbert are already be felt by municipalities across the country and not just with respect to sign ordinances. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently relied on the Court’s decision to strike down a panhandling ordinance. The Legal Background
A Hudson County Superior Court judge recently awarded more than $280,000 in attorneys’ fees and sanctions in a defamation lawsuit against three Hoboken bloggers. The decision in Bajardi v. Pincus highlights the costly consequences of filing a frivolous SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) suit, which can often be used
A federal judge in New Jersey recently dismissed a suit alleging that the Township of Hamilton’s zoning board violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by improperly denying an adult entertainment establishment’s application for a business license and repair permit. The Facts of the Case In Harding Brass v.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered whether a public employee could be disciplined for his perceived exercise of First Amendment rights. In Heffernan v. City of Paterson, the appeals court held that the individual must provide some evidence that he or she actually exercised those constitutional rights in