TEXAS v. JOHNSON: First Amendment challenge to Texas criminal conviction for burning United States flag in political demonstration. Supreme Court held that flagburning is protected expression under First Amendment, and cannot be prohibited.
UNITED STATES v. EICHMAN; UNITED STATES v. HAGGERTY: First Amendment challenges to prosecutions for flagburning under Flag Protection Act of 1989, passed by Congress in response to Texas v. Johnson. Supreme Court held federal legislation unconstitutional.
AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE v. RENO: First Amendment challenge to provisions of McCarran-Walter Act authorizing deportation of aliens advocating doctrines of world communism or destruction of property. District Court declared provisions of McCarran-Walter Act unconstitutional; reversed on ripeness grounds in 9th Circuit. District Court granted preliminary injunction on selective prosecution and due process claims; 9th Circuit affirmed, holding that immigrants and citizens have same First Amendment rights, and that the INS's use of secret evidence violates due process. Supreme Court reversed First Amendment decision, ruling that 1996 Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act had divested courts of jurisdiction over selective prosecution challenges.
OPEN DOOR COUNSELLING, LTD. v. REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Challenge under the European Convention on Human Rights to Ireland's constitutional prohibition on counseling about abortion. Ireland banned clinics from telling women about opportunities to obtain legal abortions outside of Ireland. European Court of Human Rights held that Irish ban violated Article 10 of the European Convention, guaranteeing freedom of expression and information.
FINLEY v. NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS: First Amendment challenge to NEA's politically-based denial of federal funding to four performance artists whose works address issues of sexuality, and to the 1990 statutory provision requiring NEA grants to made "taking into consideration general standards of decency." District Court declared "decency" standard unconstitutional in 1992; 9th Circuit affirmed in 1996. Supreme Court reversed in 1998, interpreting statute as merely advisory and upholding on that ground. .
BULLFROG FILMS, INC. v. WICK: First Amendment challenge to USIA regulations denying tax benefits to internationally distributed documentary films identified as propaganda. Ninth Circuit held regulations unconstitutional; Congress subsequently enacted legislation barring USIA from issuing certificates based on political viewpoints of films.
LEBRON v. NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORP.: First Amendment challenge to Amtrak's refusal to lease "Spectacular" billboard in Penn Station to artist who sought to display parody of Coors advertisement. District Court held Amtrak was state actor and issued injunction ordering display of artwork; 2d Circuit reversed on state action grounds; Supreme Court reversed, holding Amtrak is a government entity for constitutional purposes. On remand, 2d Circuit found no First Amendment violation.
MARTINEZ-BACA v. SUAREZ-MASON; FORTI v. SUAREZ-MASON: Suits against Argentine ex-General alleging torture, arbitrary detention, and "disappearances" in violation of international human rights law. District Court in Forti established "disappearances" as violation of customary international law, and awarded $8 million judgment; District Court in Martinez-Baca awarded $21 million judgment.
HAASE v. WEBSTER; HEIDY v. U.S. CUSTOMS: First and Fourth Amendment challenges to Customs and FBI policies concerning seizures of written materials carried by travelers returning from Nicaragua. Customs changed its policy in response to suits. District Court in Heidy issued permanent injunction.
IN RE RANDALL; RANDALL v. MEESE: Defensive and affirmative First Amendment litigation resisting INS attempt to deport feminist author Margaret Randall for advocating "world communism." Board of Immigration Appeals reversed order of deportation for political writings on ground that Randall never lost her U.S. citizenship.
RAFEEDIE v. MEESE: Due process and First Amendment challenge to INS attempt to exclude and deport Palestinian permanent resident for his political associations on the basis of confidential information, without a hearing. District Court issued preliminary injunction; D.C. Circuit affirmed; District Court issued declaratory relief finding INS violated plaintiff's First Amendment and due process rights.
KIARELDEEN v. RENO: Habeas corpus petition challenging INS detention of Palestinian man based on secret evidence that he never had opportunity to confront, and challenging reliance on secret evidence to deny asylum. District court declared detention on secret evidence unconstitutional and granted habeas corpus. INS released him shortly thereafter.
AHMED v. RENO: Habeas corpus petition challenging INS detention of Egyptian man based on secret evidence that he never had opportunity to confront, and challenging reliance on secret evidence to deny asylum. In November 1999, the INS released Mr. Ahmed after we had compelled it to disclose much of the previously secret evidence and had successfully defended him in immigration court.
AL-NAJJAR v. RENO: Habeas corpus petition challenging INS detention of Palestinian man based on secret evidence. District Court ruled use of secret evidence unconstitutional in May, 2000, and remanded to INS for a new bond hearing. Al Najjar released December 2000.
AD-HOC COMMITTEE OF BARUCH BLACK AND HISPANIC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION v. BARUCH COLLEGE: First Amendment and Equal Protection challenge to Baruch College's selective refusal to grant recognition to Black and Hispanic Alumni Association. District Court dismissed; 2d Circuit reversed and remanded. College settled, granting full recognition and support to Association.
BURKE v. BARNES: Challenge to constitutionality of pocket veto of El Salvador human rights legislation. D.C. Circuit held President's use of pocket veto unconstitutional; Supreme Court dismissed as moot.
NEW YORK STATE NOW v. TERRY: Section 1985(3) action for injunction against Operation Rescue blockades of family planning and abortion clinics in New York metropolitan area. Obtained injunction, upheld by 2d Circuit, and $500,000 in contempt fines.
MASSACHUSETTS v. SULLIVAN: Statutory and constitututional challenge to Reagan Administration's restrictions on counseling about abortion by Title X family planning clinics. District Court issued permanent injunction; 1st Circuit affirmed en banc; reversed in light of Rust v. Sullivan.
GAY MEN'S HEALTH CRISIS v. SULLIVAN: First Amendment challenge to requirement that all federally-funded AIDS education materials, even where targeted to a specific audience, be "inoffensive to a majority of adults outside the target audience." District Court declared requirement unconstitutional.
WOJNAROWICZ v. AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION: First lawsuit under New York Artists' Authorship Rights Act, by artist David Wojnarowicz, against Reverend Donald Wildmon and American Family Association for leaflet misrepresenting Mr. Wojnarowicz's works of art in a mailing to 6,000 people, including every member of Congress, during National Endowment for the Arts controversy. District Court enjoined mailing of leaflet and required corrective mailing.
HUMANITARIAN LAW PROJECT v. ASHCROFT, First and Fifth Amendment challenge to federal statute criminalizing material support to designated terrorist organizations, without regard to the purpose or effect of the support. District Court and Court of Appeals struck down parts of law; Congress amended law; Supreme Court upheld statute as amended.
AL HARAMAIN ISLAMIC FOUNDATION V. GEITHNER: Constitutional challenge to procedures employed to freeze assets and designate as “terrorist” a Muslim charity. Court of appeals ruled that government violated the First, Fourth, and Fifthe Amendments.
KINDHEARTS FOR CHARITABLE AND EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, INC. V. U.S. DEPT’ OF TREASURY: Constitutional challenge to procedures employed to freeze assets and designate as “terrorist” a Muslim charity. District Court ruled that freezing of charity’s assets violated Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment; government settled case and removed KindHearts from designated list.
TURKMEN V. ASHCROFT: Bivens action against federal officials for constitutional violations in treatment of immigration detainees after attacks of September 11. Dismissed by District Court, affirmed by Second Circuit.
NORTH JERSEY MEDIA GROUP v. ASHCROFT: First Amendment challenge to government’s policy of closing all “special interest” immigration hearings in the wake of September 11 attacks, without individualized findings of necessity. District court held closure policy unconstitutional; Third Circuit reversed.
HADDAD v. ASHCROFT: Due process challenge on behalf of detained immigrant to closed immigration hearings. District Court held closure violated plaintiff’s due process rights.
ARAR v. ASHCROFT: Constitutional challenge on behalf of Canadian citizen stopped at JFK Airport while changing planes, interrogated without a lawyer, ordered deported on secret evidence, and sent to Syria, where he was tortured and held without charges for ten months. District Court dismissed on national security grounds; Second Circuit affirmed en banc.
CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS v. BUSH: Constitutional challenge to National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping of Americans in “war on terror.” Pending in District Court.