Hello, fellow advocates and enthusiasts of the First Amendment! If you thought the summer heat was intense, wait until you hear about the sizzling legal battles currently underway in the realm of free speech. Buckle up, because we’re about to embark on a whirlwind tour of some of the most significant First Amendment cases currently in play.
First stop: the Golden State. Today, July 17, is oral argument day in the appeal of McDonald v. Newsom. This case revolves around the controversial California AB 2098, which Judge Slaughter refused to halt via a preliminary injunction. The bone of contention? The standard of review used by Judge Slaughter, which I believe was the wrong one. The judge applied a rational relationship standard, which is dead wrong, even in the 9th Circuit which regrettably is not so high on free speech, at when it comes to the government’s attempt to restrict it for the good of the people.
This case is of particular interest to me as most of your know because in my similiar challenge to AB2098, Hoang v Bonta, and the related case Hoeg v. Lawson, our eastern disrict judge Willima J. Schubb granted a preliminary injunction on 5th Amendment vagueness grounds.
Here is my post about our preliminary injunction: https://rickjaffeesq.com/2023/01/26/we-won-ab-2098-bp-section-2270-has-been-stopped/
Interestingly (and disppointedly for me and counsel in the Hoeg case) the Attorney General’s office chose not to appeal Judge Schubb’s decision. The AG’s decision has sparked speculation among scholars, with some suggesting that the AG would rather take up a case they won rather than one they lost. As we wait with bated breath for the outcome of the McDonald v. Newsom appeal, Judge Schubb isn’t letting the lawyers in his case stand around and twittle their thumbs. Summary judgment motions are due by early October, with a hearing set for early January.
Next, we turn our attention to the nation’s capital, where Bobby Kennedy is set to appear before a congressional subcommittee on censorship, headed by Jim Jordan, this Thursday morning, July 20th. I hear that CHD TV is going to live-stream the hearing, and I hear that there might be a panel of lawyers maybe interviewing Bobby after the hearing. And I might even be on the panel, but we’ll see.
A key topic of discussion at the Congressional hearing will be the recent preliminary injunction in Biden v. Missouri, which halted Biden officials from pressuring social media platforms to censor individuals like Bobby K. However, the 5th Circuit has put an administrative stay on the district court’s decision. While it is just an “administrative” stay and not uncommon, a stay is a stay, which is a stay. This could potentially lead to a request by a higher court to stay the stay; the only higher court being the U.S. Supreme Court. This ties into the Supreme Court’s increasingly utilized shadow docket. To me it was a easy call to reach for the Supremes.
Here is my post suggesting the plaintiffs reach out to the Supremes.
However, a recent tweet by a highly respected, well placed First Amendment advocate formerly connected to the case may suggest that the prevailing plaintiffs may just defend the disrict court’s decsion in the 5th. So well see what they do. But kudos to that team for getting the Injunction.
In any event, Thurday with Bobby is going to be must see TV. And yes, look to the Dems to slam him on his position that the Finn’s are genetically engineered themselves to withstand Covid-19 (also engineering the Askenazi jews, and a small tribe of African pigmy lepricons).
Finally, we head to Washington state for the Eggleston case. The state Medical Commission is pursuing a retired physician for expressing anti-mainstream COVID-19 views in a regional newspaper. The day before the hearing was set to start, an appellate court commissioner halted the proceedings. (Something which has never happened before by my reckoning).
Here is my post, about the Commission’s sanction hearing being stopped.
Since then, the paperwork has been flying back and forth fast and furiously, with hearings set for early and mid-August and a third date yet to be determined.
In short, it’s a busy time for First Amendment litigation. From courtrooms to Congress, free speech is having a field day. And IMO, all this talk about the First Amendment is a very good thing.
Stay tuned, folks, because this First Amendment summer frenzy is just getting started!
Rick Jaffe, Esq.