Everyone knows that money talks. But today, the Supreme Court made it official: political donations are speech. Therefore, they ruled, the right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment applies to them too. And that means removing the limits.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision in a case involving limits on donations to political campaigns. In a 5-4 decision, the Supremes ruled that caps placed on an individual’s total campaign contributions were a violation of their First Amendment rights. [More]
Back in 2011, we told you about a U.S. District Court ruling that determined the wearing of “I Heart Boobies” breast cancer awareness bracelets by middle school students was protected under the First Amendment. An appeals panel later sided with the lower court, but the school district recently attempted to take its case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, the Supremes shot down that petition.
The legal hill that cloud-based TV service Aereo has to climb just keeps getting a little bit steeper. This week, interested parties filed their briefs in Aereo’s Supreme Court case. Broadcast networks and cable companies hate Aereo, but now even the Obama administration is joining the pile-on, too.
After several years of shutting down class-action lawsuits or affirming businesses’ ability to preempt such suits with forced arbitration, the U.S. Supreme Court today chose not to hear challenges to a trio of class actions about supposedly defective washing machines from three leading manufacturers. [More]
Does the thought of missing your favorite show make you want to sit firmly planted in front of the television all day every day? What if you didn’t have the option of using a DVR or (gasp!) tape recorder? You almost didn’t, except for an important ruling made 30 years ago. [More]
The Supreme Court announced this afternoon that it will hear the lawsuit filed by the broadcast networks against streaming video startup Aereo. How the court rules will have an impact not just on consumers’ ability to stream live network feeds online, but on all cloud-based media storage. [More]
You know those arguments where you’re certain you’re right, so when the other person says “Well, let’s just go look up the answer,” you are more than happy to oblige? That appears to be the attitude of streaming video startup Aereo, which today said it will not try to stop the broadcast networks from taking their complaint to the Supreme Court. [More]
When the broadcast networks first sued Aereo over allegations of copyright infringement, the TV-streaming service was only available in the New York City area. In the short time since, it has expanded to Boston, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City, with plans to add around 20 more markets in the coming months. In a move that seems intended to preempt this growth, the networks are reportedly asking for their case to get Supreme Court attention ASAP. [More]
Supreme Court Deals Another Blow To Consumers, Lets Companies Use Forced Arbitration To Skirt The Law
The Supreme Court has once again ruled that forced arbitration clauses in contracts are enforceable, and that they can be used to preempt class-action lawsuits, even in cases where class-action suits are the only economically feasible way for the plaintiff to make its case. [More]
When a generic version of a drug comes on the market, the holder of the brand-name drug’s patent stands to see a steep drop in sales as many customers switch to the lower-price option. Thus, some companies will go to great lengths to delay the release of generics. One such method, dubbed “pay-for-delay,” involves the patent-holder suing manufacturers of generics and then settling for millions of dollars with the agreement that the generic suppliers will hold off on releasing their product. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission has the right to challenge these sorts of deals. [More]
For the last several years, the tobacco industry has been fighting a federal law that requires, among other restrictions, cigarette manufacturers to place graphic warning labels on packaging. Big Tobacco may need to finally get with the program, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the companies’ challenge to the law on the grounds that it violates their First Amendment rights. [More]
The legality of “gray market” books and other media just got slightly less gray, with the Supreme Court ruling that a person who buys books overseas has the right to resell those books here in the U.S. without violating a publisher’s copyright. [More]
It’s been nearly two years since the Supreme Court slapped U.S. consumers across the face, ruling in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion that companies could take away customers’ rights to class-action lawsuits by including a tiny arbitration clause in user agreements. Today, SCOTUS hears another arbitration case that could shift the balance even further in favor of corporations. [More]
It’s always fun when judges get a bit creative in how they phrase decisions, and in the case of a fight over whether a floating home counts as a boat, and would therefore be regulated under federal admiralty laws, the U.S. Supreme Court got pretty sassy. The court sided with the owner of a floating home, saying just because it floats, doesn’t make it a boat. [More]
It’s been two years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee case and declared that limiting corporate spending on political campaigns is a violation of businesses’ right to free expression. Today, the Supremes affirmed that controversial decision by striking down a 100-year-old Montana law that capped spending on state-level elections.
While the Supreme Court has previously sided with the Federal Communications Commission over its decision to ramp up its enforcement of indecency rules, today it ruled that the FCC screwed up when it decided to start slapping mammoth fines on broadcasters without warning.