Weekly constitutional law case summaries and related news, from FindLaw.com.
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Constitutional Law
Digest for Week of April 28th, 2016

Constitutional Law Case Summaries & Blog Posts

Case Summaries:
Blog Posts:

Constitutional Law Case Summaries


Heffernan v. City of Paterson

April 26, 2016
Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law, Constitutional Law
(United States Supreme Court) - In a suit brought by a demoted police officer, claiming that the police chief and other defendants had demoted him because, in their mistaken view, he had engaged in conduct that constituted protected speech, the Third Circuit's decision, that plaintiff's claim was actionable under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 only if his employer's action was prompted by plaintiff's actual rather than his perceived exercise of his free-speech rights, is reversed where when an employer demotes an employee out of a desire to prevent the employee from engaging in protected political activity, the employee is entitled to challenge that unlawful action under the First Amendment and section 1983, even if the employer's actions are based on a factual mistake about the employee's behavior.
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Schoenefeld v. Schneiderman

April 22, 2016
Ethics & Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Law, Judges & Judiciary
(United States Second Circuit) - In a challenge to a N.Y. Judiciary Law section 470, which requires nonresident attorneys to maintain an 'office for the transaction of law business' within New York State in order to practice law in that state's courts, the District Court's judgment declaring section 470 unconstitutional under the Privileges and Immunities Clause, is reversed where the law does not violate the Privileges and Immunities Clause because it was enacted not for a protectionist purpose to favor New York resident attorneys but, rather, to provide a means whereby nonresidents could establish a physical presence in the state akin to that of residents, thereby resolving a service concern while allowing nonresidents to practice law in the state's courts.
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Constitutional Law Blog Posts


The Case of Mistaken Retaliation: Demoted Cop Can Sue Chief

Casey C. Sullivan, Esq.
April 26, 2016
When Jeffrey Heffernan, a police officer in Paterson, New Jersey, was spotted with a campaign sign for his mayor's political challenger, he was quickly demoted, as punishment for his "overt involvement" in the opponent's campaign. Heffernan sued, arguing that...
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DC Circuit Sides With Gov't in TSA/Flight School Case

Jonathan R. Tung, Esq.
April 26, 2016
Unless the petitioner appeals to a higher power (SCOTUS, that is), it appears that the battle is over between a Venezuelan man and the TSA concerning his denial into flight school. The reasons for the denial? Security concerns. Of course,...
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Struggling Lawyers Show How Not to Argue Before the Supreme Court

Casey C. Sullivan, Esq.
April 22, 2016
Wednesday was not a shining moment in the history of Supreme Court oral arguments. This was not Paul Clement going punch-for-punch with Justice Souter in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. It wasn't even Margie Phelps, a crazed member of the Westboro...
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Quality School Education Is Not a Fundamental Right in CA

Jonathan R. Tung, Esq.
April 22, 2016
California's State Constitution does not guarantee children a minimum quality K-12 education, according to the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco. The decision was reached amidst broad attention being directed towards the K-12 spending debate. The disappointed plaintiffs...
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Free Speech on College Campus Addressed in 9th Cir. Ruling

Jonathan R. Tung, Esq.
April 21, 2016
Controversy has been rumbling at Fresno State since 2010 when conservative student Neil O'Brien started a chapter of Young Americans for Liberty at the school and allegedly began "harassing" professors in the Latin American Studies department there. Last week, the...
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If no blog posts appear in this area, there are no new blog posts this week.
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