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first amendment

May 3, 2021

Texas inmate’s death leads to $1.6M settlement

Welcome to Monday, the 50th anniversary of National Public Radio. Here are some news items to get your week started. — Texas county pays $1.6 million settlement in death of allegedly untreated ill inmate. — What is the secret of attorney Ben Crump‘s success? — Victims’ families have a North Carolina district attorney removed from […]

Mar 9, 2021

Nonunion Md. teachers lose bid for refund of dues

Maryland public school teachers who declined to join the state labor union but were statutorily compelled to pay a representation fee are not entitled to a refund on the money they paid before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the compelled payments unconstitutional in 2018, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court […]

Feb 9, 2021

Challenge to Baltimore’s aerial surveillance survives grounding, ACLU says

A constitutional challenge to the Baltimore Police Department’s use of aerial surveillance to fight crime last year did not end when the pilot program was grounded in October, despite what the BPD says, the American Civil Liberties Union told a federal appeals court Monday. The BPD’s retention of images collected during the six-month program and […]

Feb 5, 2021

Davis, ex-judge, will defend Baltimore’s aerial surveillance

The full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals might hear a familiar voice as it considers whether the Baltimore Police Department’s use of aerial surveillance to fight crime in the city last year violated Baltimoreans’ constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and their right to peacefully associate. Retired 4th Circuit Judge – and former Baltimore City […]

Jan 12, 2021

Supreme Court declines ex-Md. officer’s First Amendment appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a former Maryland Natural Resources Police officer’s claims he was fired in retaliation for exercising his constitutional right to speak in criticizing an MNRP captain’s behavior and was denied his statutory right to carry a gun as a retired law enforcement officer. The justices Monday let stand […]

Dec 22, 2020

Full 4th Circuit will hear challenge to Baltimore’s aerial surveillance program

The full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consider whether the Baltimore Police Department’s use of aerial surveillance to fight crime in the city violated  Baltimoreans’ constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and their right to peacefully associate. The full 15-member court on Tuesday agreed to review a federal judge’s ruling that BPD’s Aerial Investigation [&helli[...]

Nov 19, 2020

Frosh urges justices to decline ex-Md. officer’s First Amendment appeal

Maryland’s attorney general Wednesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear a former state Natural Resources Police officer’s claims he was fired in retaliation for exercising his constitutional right to speak in criticizing an MNRP captain’s behavior and denied his statutory right to carry a gun as a retired law enforcement officer. In papers […]

Nov 18, 2020

U.S. judge dismisses challenge to Hogan’s COVID-19 orders

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a constitutional challenge to Gov. Larry Hogan’s safer at home orders, calling the governor’s directives a valid effort to achieve Maryland’s significant goal of protecting the public from the deadly COVID-19 virus. With her decision, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake rejected claims from business owners, clergy and three […]

Nov 6, 2020

Md. high court hears free-speech challenge to Baltimore’s billboard tax

Baltimore’s tax on commercial billboard operators unconstitutionally infringes on their right to free speech in the advertisements and messages they post, an attorney for the city’s leading billboard owner told a skeptical Maryland high court Friday. Billboards are “a venerable form of media,” like newspapers and books, Virginia A. Seitz said. Baltimore’s “targeted tax” on […]

Nov 5, 2020

4th Circuit upholds Baltimore’s aerial surveillance program

A divided federal appeals court Thursday gave the Baltimore Police Department an all-clear regarding its use of aerial surveillance to fight crime in the city, rejecting arguments that the overflights violate Baltimoreans’ constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and their right to peacefully associate. In its published 2-1 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals […[...]

Oct 21, 2020

Justices show interest in ex-Md. officer’s First Amendment appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has shown interest in hearing a former Maryland Natural Resources Police officer’s claims he was fired in retaliation for exercising his constitutional right to speak in criticizing an MNRP captain’s behavior and denied his statutory right to carry a gun as a retired law enforcement officer. The high court this week […]

Sep 22, 2020

Judge orders Baltimore to pay $44K in nondisparagement case

A federal judge Monday ordered Baltimore to pay a woman more than $44,000 for having withheld half the money she was owed in settlement of her police brutality claim because she had publicly criticized officers in violation of the agreement’s nondisparagement clause, which a U.S. appeals court later deemed an unenforceable restriction on free speech. […]

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