SPLC’s 5 minute guide to B.L. v. Mahanoy

Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., No 20-255 B.L. v. Mahanoy is a free expression case the Supreme Court decided in June 2021. The case has major implications for public school students across the country. This page is a primer for reporters, students and teachers who want a quick explanation of the case and how… Continue reading SPLC’s 5 minute guide to B.L. v. Mahanoy

Supreme Court declines to hear First Amendment challenge over school’s American flag clothing ban

A petition to the nation’s highest court followed a February 2014 ruling from three judges on the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in California, who found Live Oak High School officials did not violate the First Amendment when they ordered students to remove American flag T-shirts during a Cinco de Mayo celebration in 2010.

Teachers, professors can speak more confidently after Supreme Court protects whistleblower's rights

The Supreme Court has taken a step -- whether it's a giant step or a baby step is yet to be seen -- toward restoring sensible First Amendment protection for teachers, professors and other government employees who blow the whistle on wrongdoing they learn about on the job.

Thursday's 9-0 ruling in Lane v. Franks protects government workers against firing, demotion or other retaliatory action for speech addressing matters of public concern, even if those matters relate to the speakers' work responsibilities.

Edward Lane brought the case after he was fired from Central Alabama Community College in 2009, a decision that suspiciously followed his testimony that helped convict an Alabama state legislator of defrauding the taxpayers for holding down a no-show "job" in Lane's department at CACC.

Supreme Court knocks down barrier insulating unconstitutional statutes against challenge

Justice Clarence Thomas, who famously insists that young people have no more rights than houseplants, just rescued students from a potentially devastating ruling making it nearly impossible to challenge an unconstitutional restraint on speech.

In a 9-0 opinion authored by Thomas, the Supreme Court decided Monday that a would-be speaker can bring a First Amendment claim against a statute penalizing speech without having to wait to suffer the punishment.

The Court's unanimous opinion overturns an errant decision from the Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal, which departed from First Amendment precedent in ruling that a speaker could challenge a restraint on speech only by incurring the punishment or proving that punishment was imminent.

Supreme Court won't hear 'boobies' bracelet case; Third Circuit ruling siding with students stands

Pennsylvania students Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez won’t have to worry about removing their “I <3 boobies! (KEEP A BREAST)” bracelets anytime soon, as the nation’s highest court declined to hear their school district’s latest appeal to ban the accessories