Tag Archives: 1st Amendment

On This Date in Legal History

On February 7, 1946, Arthur Terminiello delivered a controversial speech at a Christian Veterans of America meeting. In response to the views he expressed, protesters threw rocks, stones, and bricks that broke windows and doors. The police were unable to … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Taxpayers sued New York City’s Board of Education in order to challenge a policy that permitted students to leave school during the day to attend religious instruction elsewhere. No public funds were used and no religious instruction took place on … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On November 14, 1968, Vietnam protesters attempted to disseminate literature against the draft and war at Lloyds Center in Portland, Oregon. The mall had a policy, however, that prohibited the distribution of handbills on its premises that had no relation … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Gregory Lee Johnson was arrested for burning an American flag as a means of protesting President Reagan’s policies. He timed his demonstration to coincide with the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas. The delegates were meeting to renominate Reagan for … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

A West Virginia newspaper, the Charleston Daily Mail, published the name of a 14-year-old who was apprehended and taken into custody for allegedly shooting a classmate at school. Reporters were able to determine the name of the student shooter simply by … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On March 11, 1943, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette was argued before the United States Supreme Court. The case arose after the Board of Education required all public school students to use a “stiff-arm” salute while reciting the Pledge … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Eugene Debs gave a speech intending to encourage others not to join the military. He was indicted and convicted by a jury for violating the Espionage Act. The Act made it a crime to obstruct military recruitment during World War … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On March 2, 2011, the United States Supreme Court decided Snyder v. Phelps. Snyder, the father of a marine who died serving in Iraq, sued the Westboro Baptist Church (“Westboro”) and its founder, Fred Phelps, for picketing near his son’s funeral … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

The Good News Club, a private Christian organization for children, wanted to use Milford Central School property for their after school meetings. Milford denied their request. The Club sued, claiming that their rights to free speech were violated. Their case … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Clarence Brandenburg, a Ku Klux Klan leader, spoke at a rally and remarked– if matters continued as is, then “revengeance” might have to be taken. He was referring to the government’s alleged “suppress[ion] of the white, Caucasian, race.” On another … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On March 2, 1961, African American students gathered to protest racial segregation in South Carolina. They began their demonstration in a church and marched to the State House in small groups of about 15. There were 187 students, in all. … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On January 27-28, 1919, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Debs v. United States. The case arose after Eugene Debs gave a speech on June 16, 1918, intending to encourage others not to join … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On January 9-10, 1919, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Schenck v. United States. Charles Schenck was the general secretary of the Socialist Party in Philadelphia. When the United States was at war with Germany … Continue reading

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This Week in the News

Two high school students had a heated argument over Twitter after a shooting. Their Twitter exchange led to one of the students being adjudicated delinquent. The student appealed the adjudication. This week the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed the lower … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

A Massachusetts law granted schools and churches the power to prevent businesses, within a 500-foot radius of their premises, from obtaining a liquor license. After a church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, raised an objection to a restaurant obtaining a liquor license, … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On November 29, 1976, the case of Wooley v. Maynard was argued before the United States Supreme Court. New Hampshire had a law that made it a crime to cover up the state’s motto “Live Free or Die” on automobile … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1958, a New York school district required the following prayer be recited each morning in its public schools: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On June 24, 1992, the United States Supreme Court decided Lee v. Weisman. Daniel Weisman sued his daughter’s public school to bar them from inviting clergy to offer invocation and benediction prayers at her graduation. Weisman claimed that the practice … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1984, protesters gathered in Dallas, Texas, to voice objections to policies adopted by the Reagan administration. During the demonstration, Gregory Lee Johnson doused an American flag with kerosene, and set it on fire. He was arrested for violating a … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Louisiana passed the” Creationism Act,” also known as the “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public School Instruction Act.” The law forbade the teaching of evolution unless creationism was taught as well, in public elementary and secondary schools. Parents, … Continue reading

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