Donald Trump, not one to shy away from the headlines, reportedly has dismissed his defamation lawsuit against comedian Bill Mahr. Trump sued Mahr over his offer to donate $5 million to charity if Trump could prove that he was not the progeny of an orangutan. Trump, clearly irate, sued Mahr for defamation, however, the lawsuit, if only based on those comments, would be frivolous and without legal foundation because that kind of comment is not defamatory for a number of reasons.
Eminent domain is one of the harshest tools government can assert to curtail property rights. Zoning regulates how a property owner may use their property, but eminent domain goes to their right to own the property itself. Traditionally victorious, the government occasionally is overzealous in its application of the doctrine against property owners. Recently, the Chicago Tribune wrote about a victory for property owners against a forfeiture action brought by the US government. The case involves a family owned motel in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.
As the calendar year turned, many new local, state, and federal laws came into effect. One of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which is also called "Obamacare", has raised the hackles of a pair of privately held corporations. These corporations are religiously objecting to complying with PPACA's birth control access requirements, because as we know, corporations are people except for the purposes of carpooling, but they must have religious beliefs, right? As it turns out, (surprise!) not many courts are buying the argument that closely held private corporations have religious beliefs. Clearly these Court have not run into the cultish Apple devotees.
Weak jokes aside, Hobby Lobby's attempt to escape the regulatory clutches of PPACA is a novel attempt at imputing further First Amendment rights on corporations. It is a bold strike at enlarging recent caselaw and enhancing their position as a corporation.
The US Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a 7th Circuit Appellate ruling that the Illinois Eavesdropping Statute violates the First Amendment where it prevents citizens from audio recording police officers when they make otherwise non-confidential or priviledged statements. As the Chicago Tribune reports, The Seventh Circuit reversed the trial court's holding that prevents the ACLU from amending its complaint as well as directing the trial court to enter a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the Eavesdropping Statute.
The ACLU confirmed its latest victory in Illinois when Judge Hyman approved its settlement agreement with the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding the Department's prior policy of mandating gender reassignment surgery before it would consider reissuing changed birth certificates reflecting the applicant's new gender.
ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT REVERSES TRIAL COURT ON STANDING IN FIRST AMENDMENT CHALLENGE TO CHICAGO DISORDERLY CONDUCT ORDINANCE
The ISBA reports today that a recent Seventh Circuit Decision in Bell v. Chicago Police Chief Keating, No. 11-2408 (September 10, 2012) has threatened a Chicago Municipal Code Ordinance, Section 8-4-010(d), which prohibits acts of disorderly conduct when individual knowingly fails to obey lawful police order under circumstances where three or more other persons are committing acts of disorderly conduct in immediate vicinity, and where said acts are likely to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. The plaintiffs alleged that the Ordinance violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The District Court ruled that the plaintiff's lacked standing to bring a facial Constitutional challenge to the ordinance. The Seventh Circuit reversed the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division and concluded that there was standing.
Rishi Nair owns Nair Law LLC and practices as Of Counsel at Keener and Associates, P.C.