The Fifteenth Annual Supreme Court Review Conference

October 16, 2010

Professor Leora Harpaz

Western New England College School of Law

The First Amendment Decisions: United in Doctrine and Divided in Application



  1. Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, 130 S. Ct. 2971 (June 28, 2010) (5-4) (holding that state law school did not infringe the First Amendment rights of the Christian Legal Society when it required it to comply with a non-discrimination policy applicable to all student clubs in order to receive official recognition and funding).

  2. Doe v. Reed, 130 S. Ct. 2811 (June 24, 2010) (8-1) (agreeing that signing petition to place referendum on the ballot is expressive activity so that state disclosure of signers’ names must satisfy “exacting scrutiny” and recognizing the sufficiency of the state’s interest in preventing election fraud, but remanding to decide if state interest must give way in the case of signatures on petition to overturn state domestic partnership law to prevent harassment of signers).

  3. Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz v. United States, 130 S. Ct. 1324 (Mar. 8, 2010) (9-0) (upholding provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 that prohibit bankruptcy lawyers from advising their clients to incur additional debt in anticipation of filing for bankruptcy and require that they disclose in their advertisements that they are “debt relief agencies” that “help people file for bankruptcy relief”).

  4. Salazar v. Buono, 130 S. Ct. 1803 (April 28, 2010) (5-4) (remanding for district court to reconsider whether a congressional statute transferring federal land on which a Latin cross is erected to private ownership is an effective means of curing a violation of the Establishment Clause).

  5. United States v. Stevens, 130 S. Ct. 1577 (April 20, 2010) (8-1) (refusing to create a new category of unprotected expression and striking down federal statute criminalizing depictions of “animal cruelty” as substantially overbroad).


Sponsored by the Law School's Institute for Legislative and Governmental Affairs