What’s That Sign Say? : A Brief Examination of the Four Opinions in Reed v. Town of Gilbert

RoadsignsBy Emily Jessup; Staff Member (Vol. 15)

Imagine you’re driving around town, when something catches your eye. You slow down, and look. There, right in front of you, spray painted in giant letters on the side of a house is this: “SCREWED BY THE TOWN OF CARY.” Huh? Why hasn’t the Town done anything about this? Well, they tried to do something and consequently, the Town of Cary found themselves in Court battling over whether their sign ordinance, which prohibited signs of that size, violated the First Amendment. Although the Town’s ordinance was eventually upheld as a reasonable restriction on speech, and thus not contrary to the First Amendment, the case went all the way to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for a final decision. Continue reading

Protecting One Artist’s Expression of Another Artist’s Work: An Analysis of the Intersection of the First Amendment and Copyright Law in Seltzer v. Green Day, Inc.

scream-iconBy Katherine Rippey; Staff Member (Vol. 15)

Oscar Wilde once said, “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is predicated on this concept of individual expression in regards to speech, religion, and even art. This protection of individual consciousness is further protected through copyright laws, where an individual’s work can be protected from duplication in an effort to preserve the creativity and distinct nature of certain products. However, in considering self-expression, it appears contradictory that for your own artistic self-expression you are unable to utilize the works of others as a basis of inspiration.

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“Chilling” Campaign Finance Law Upheld

money photo high resBy Joseph M. (Max) Swindle; Staff Member (Vol. 14), Notes Editor (Vol. 15)

Political silence, the inability to have one’s voice heard, is an issue that marginalizes many citizens and residents. In an effort to remedy this pervasive issue, some citizens choose to give money to public policy think tanks that help foster discussion about important public policy topics. Continue reading

Cecil the Lion’s Roar: Libel in an Internet Age

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By Elizabeth (Beth) A. Kapapoulos; Staff Member (Vol. 14), Chief Staff Editor (Vol. 15)

With the advent of the Internet, an entirely new realm of libel law has emerged in the courts, forcing judges to examine entirely new questions of Internet vigilantism and how to deal with crimes in a digital world.  Defamation, 20 N.C. Index 4th Libel and Slander § 1, includes the two separate torts of libel and slander. This blog will focus specifically on the libel associated with Walter Palmer and Cecil the Lion. Continue reading

Abortion Ambiguities Remain Post-FACE Act

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By Elizabeth C. Nye, Staff Member (Vol. 14)

When people think about the abortion debate, they think Roe v. Wade. However, the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe was only the beginning of legislation and controversy surrounding abortion rights. The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, has sparked years of debate and discussion surrounding the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and protest at—or near—abortion clinics. Continue reading