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First Amendment

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California’s elimination of the personal belief exemption for immunization requirements for children did not violate the state constitution's protections for the free exercise of religion, due process, privacy, and public education. Read More

First Amendment’s ministerial exception barred seminary dean-plaintiff’s claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, but not breach of contract, since the latter is a matter of compliance with a faculty handbook and hence does not turn on an ecclesiastical inquiry or excessively entangle the court in religious matters. Read More

Ads for musical, political or artistic works are not categorically excluded from protection under the Anti-SLAPP statute, but still must concern a matter of public interest to be protected; here, an ad for Michael Jackson’s posthumous record album was protected because its claim Jackson was the lead singer on three tracks addressed a matter of public interest. Read More

Growers’ First Amendment rights were not violated by having to pay assessments that funded advertising by the California Table Grapes Commission since the advertising was government speech and there was sufficient government responsibility for and control over the advertising. Read More

An internet website may assert the First Amendment rights of its anonymous posters when opposing a subpoena requiring it to reveal a poster’s identity, but the poster has no right to remain anonymous if the party issuing the subpoena demonstrates that the posted information was defamatory. Read More

Later filed state court proceedings warrant Younger v. Harris abstention only when the district court proceedings are at an "embryonic stage." State statute requiring in-state incorporation to obtain license to conduct interstate business violates the dormant Commerce Clause, but First Amendment is not infringed by statutes requiring a disclosure that the existing lender did not sponsor or authorize third-party ads… Read More

One heir’s suit against another, which sought to disinherit a co-heir defendant under the no contest clause in the decedent's trust, is a suit based on protected activity and thus is subject to an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike, since the defendant’s prior contest was a protected judicial proceeding. Read More

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