Lozman v. Riviera Beach. This case involving a Florida man addressed whether a person who has been arrested, based on probable cause that he had committed a crime, can sue on the grounds that the real reason for the arrest was his constitutionally protected speech. Argument before the Supreme Court took place on February 27, 2018.
Ruling 8-1, the Court vacated and remanded, holding that the existence of probable cause for Lozman’s arrest for disrupting a city council meeting did not bar his First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim under the circumstances of this case.
National Institute of Family & Life Advocates v. Becerra. In this case, the Supreme Court considered the Free Speech implications of California’s Reproductive FACT Act, a statute requiring licensed facilities to notify all clients about free or low-cost family planning services provided by the state. Pro-life clinics asserted that the required notices established by this law violate their First Amendment rights. Argument before the Supreme Court took place on March 20, 2018.
In a 5-4 vote, the Court reversed and remanded, holding that the pro-life pregnancy center petitioners were likely to succeed on their claim that the FACT Act violated the First Amendment.
Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. This case examined whether or not states may prohibit clothing with ideological messaging inside polling places. Argument before the Supreme Court took place on February 28, 2018.
In a 7-2 opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court reasoned that a polling place is a nonpublic forum under its precedents, which means that the state may place reasonable limits on speech therein.
Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. This case decided whether or not it violates a public-sector employee's First Amendment rights to pay compulsory union dues that help fund collective bargaining activity. Argument before the Supreme Court took place on February 26, 2018.
In a 5-4 vote, the Court reversed and remanded, holding that the State of Illinois’ extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violated the First Amendment, meaning that Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Education, which held otherwise, was overruled.
Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This case, argued before the Supreme Court on December 5, 2017, determined whether Colorado's public accommodation law, intended to eliminate discrimination, violated the First Amendment rights of a baker who did not want to design a cake for a gay wedding.
The Court reversed in a 7-2 decision, holding that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's conduct in evaluating a cake shop owner's reasons for declining to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple violated the Free Exercise Clause.
J 20 Trials. In a series of trials at the DC Superior Court, 188 defendants faced charges related to rioting during the Inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017. On January 18, 2018, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia dropped all charges against 129 of the defendants. 59 defendants faced charges in D.C. Superior Court.
No convictions were issued. In the first trial, federal prosecutors dropped their cases against the seven people charged with rioting after a D.C. judge determined that the government intentionally misrepresented information and withheld evidence from the defense. In the second, ne person was acquitted on all charges. For the other defendants, the jury delivered not-guilty verdicts on some counts and deadlocked on others.