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Constitutional Law

2013

First Amendment

Scott W. Gaylord

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"Kill The Sea Turtles" And Other Things You Can't Make The Government Say, Scott W. Gaylord Aug 2013

"Kill The Sea Turtles" And Other Things You Can't Make The Government Say, Scott W. Gaylord

Scott W. Gaylord

In Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, the Supreme Court confirmed that there is no heckler’s veto under the government speech doctrine. When speaking, the government has the right to speak for itself and to select the views that it wants to express. But the Court acknowledged that sometimes it is difficult to determine whether the government is actually speaking. Specialty license plates have proven to be one of those difficult situations, raising novel and important First Amendment issues. Six circuits have reached four separate conclusions regarding the status of messages on specialty license plates. Three circuits have held that ...


For-Profit Corporations, Free Exercise, And The Hhs Mandate, Scott W. Gaylord Mar 2013

For-Profit Corporations, Free Exercise, And The Hhs Mandate, Scott W. Gaylord

Scott W. Gaylord

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, most employers must provide their employees with health insurance that covers all FDA approved contraceptive methods and sterilization procedures (the “HHS mandate”). Across the country, individuals, religious schools, and corporations have sued to enjoin the mandate, arguing, among other things, that it violates the free exercise clause of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”). Federal district courts have reached conflicting decisions in the fifteen cases decided to date, leaving the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits to sort out the complex relationship between the ...