Hey, Denver city councilors: nixing an airport concession to punish Chick-fil-A for its politics is a blatant First Amendment violation [Jonathan Adler, Denver Post; earlier on mayors-vs.-Chick-fil-A here, here (diversity of views within ACLU), here, etc., and my writing elsewhere] In Board of Commissioners, Wabaunsee County v. Umbehr (1996), the Supreme Court found that under the First Amendment, while some balancing tests and exceptions are applicable, the government is not broadly free to withhold business from independent contractors based on disapproval of those contractors’ speech on issues of public concern. Note also the more recent round in which Boston and New York City officials vowed retaliation against Donald Trump after controversial remarks.
- “Denver DA charges man with tampering for handing out jury nullification flyers” [Denver Post, earlier New York case covered here, here, here, etc.] More: Tim Lynch, Cato.
- Occupational licensure vs. the First Amendment: Texas regulators seek to shutter doc’s veterinary advice website [Ilya Shapiro, Cato]
- Fired for waving rebel flag? Unlikely to raise a First Amendment issue unless you work for the government, or it twisted your employer’s arm [Huntsville (Ala.) Times, Daniel Schwartz]
- “Twitter joke thieves are getting DMCA takedowns” [BoingBoing]
- A reminder of Gawker’s jaw-droppingly bad stuff on freedom of speech (“Arrest Climate Change Deniers”) [Coyote, related]
- Canadian lawyer/journalist Ezra Levant facing discipline proceeding “for being disrespectful towards a government agency” [Financial Post, earlier]
- “‘Shouting fire in a theater’: The life and times of constitutional law’s most enduring analogy” [Carlton Larson via Eugene Volokh, also Christopher Hitchens on the analogy]
A federal judge has declined to award summary judgment to Cinemark Holdings against a claim that it should have foreseen a madman’s mass shooting rampage at its Aurora, Colo. theater two years ago. [Deadline Hollywood] Ken White at Popehat corrects some media misapprehension about the difference between a summary judgment motion and disposition of the merits, but as a commenter points out, much of the practical damage is indeed done when a judge declines summary judgment in such a case, since the defendant then faces not only the substantial cost of trial but also the unpredictability of a jury faced with very sympathetic plaintiffs and a deep-pocket defendant; there is nothing either unusual or untraditional about judges’ averting these costs by ruling out particular liability theories as a matter of law.
More from Scott Greenfield: “The biggest growth job in America will be armed guard. … A theater showing a movie, even a Batman movie at midnight, is not a crazy killer magnet such that Cinemark could have possibly anticipated what would happen…. The law shouldn’t impose a duty that suggests otherwise.”
Turned down by all 150 (or however many) Denver bakers in their quest for a wedding cake, this couple had no choice but to sue. Oh, not really: they had an endless supply of perfectly good alternative options, but they apparently wanted to make a point by suing, as did the ACLU which represented them. [Associated Press; earlier here, here, etc.]
“A group of Spanish-speaking custodial workers in Colorado have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that the Auraria Higher Education Center in Denver discriminated against them by failing to provide Spanish translations.” [Caroline May, Daily Caller; Denver Post]
- “Property Rights Panel at the Cato Institute’s Constitution Day” [Ilya Somin] Related: “Sackett v. EPA and the Due Process Deficit in Environmental Law” [Jonathan Adler]
- Feds’ fishy forfeiture attack on Massachusetts scallopman [Ron Arnold, Examiner]
- California politicos seek crackdown on lenders’ supposed “retaliation” against municipalities considering seizing mortgages by eminent domain: “You Can’t Use Voluntary Action to Try to Stop Government Coercion” [Coyote; earlier here, here, here] Will Congress step in to shut down the grab? [Kevin Funnell]
- “The government of Honduras has signed a deal with private investors for the construction of three privately run cities with their own legal and tax systems.” [A Thousand Nations, Todd Zywicki, FedSoc Blog]
- A Philadelphia business owner decides to clean up and improve an adjacent, neglected city-owned lot, and soon has sad cause for regret [Philly Law Blog]
- Georgia claimant: “Hi, I own your land although I have no evidence of that” [Lowering the Bar, update]
- “Blight” condemnation could stymie hopes for historic preservation in Denver [Castle Coalition]
- Chamber of Commerce’s annual survey of which states businesses consider unfair in litigation: where does yours rank? [survey, PoL]
- “Toothless cootie” in Denver: “Jury Says PI Firm Must Pay Ex-Client $2M for Pressuring Her to Settle Auto Case for Too Little” [ABA Journal, WestWord]
- “Thoughts on Reporters Reading New Lawsuit Filings” [Jim Dedman]
- Cruise line, defending lawsuit: no, our ship didn’t pass stranded boat [AP/KATU]
- Two Harvard lawprofs on why it’s time to get rid of the interference-with-inheritance tort [Juan Antunez, Florida Probate Litigation Blog]
- New Jersey high court rejects loss-of-pet emotional-distress damages [NJLRA]
- “An Alternative Explanation for No-Fault’s ‘Demise'” [Nora Engstrom, SSRN]
“A police lieutenant, fired for covering up a hit and run crash involving a fellow officer [she] was involved in a relationship with, has been reinstated following an arbitration decision that chastised the city’s Police Commission.” Christine Burns also got six months back pay. The arbitrator found that Burns’s boyfriend had been treated leniently, drawing only a one-year unpaid suspension despite serious misconduct, which in turn deprived her of her right to be treated “evenhandedly and without discrimination.” [Connecticut Post]
Today I’m talking to state legislators courtesy of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Next week I head off for luncheon talks about my new book Schools for Misrule before Federalist Society lawyers’ chapters in Greenville, S.C. on Wed. Dec. 7, and Charlotte, N.C. on Thurs. Dec. 8. And then the following week I keynote the annual luncheon of the Colorado Civil Justice League Dec. 13 in Denver. If you’re in the audience, do introduce yourself!