Nov 22, 2022

Suit over government watchlist dismissed

Where a man alleged his inclusion on the federal government’s watchlist resulted in detentions, interrogations and searches of his electronic devices when flying, but the government showed he was no longer on the watchlist, the suit was dismissed for lack of standing. Background Abdulkadir Nur sued Chris Magnus, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and […]

Oct 9, 2022

No First Amendment violation for limiting record access

Where one Virginia statute denies non-Virginia-barred attorneys remote access to records otherwise available at the courthouse, and another statute prevents individuals who have remote access from selling, posting or redistributing data obtained from these records to third parties, the statutes don’t violate the First Amendment. They are narrowly tailored to serve significant governmental intere[...]

Aug 16, 2022

Challenge to election system mooted by change in law

Where two Virginia Beach residents challenged the system used to elect members of the City Council, but the General Assembly changed the system before the trial court issued its decision, that mooted the suit. Background Two Virginia Beach residents sued, challenging the “at-large election system used to elect members of the City Council of Virginia […]

Aug 15, 2022

Board of Elections chair dismisses suit by candidate

Where the Virginia Republican Committee chairman concluded that a candidate for office had insufficient signatures on her voter forms, her subsequent suit against the Board of Elections chair was dismissed. The Republican party is a private organization, and no Virginia law suggests that the board had the power to review the party chairman’s decision. Background […]

Aug 1, 2022

Plaintiff lacks standing to challenge districts

Where a man alleged that Virginia was constitutionally required to use 2020 U.S. Census data to draw the legislative districts for the 2021 House of Delegates election, but he did not reside in an underrepresented House of Delegates district and did not demonstrate “that he intends or intended to run for the House of Delegates,” […]

Aug 1, 2022

Equal Protection attack on school COVID policy fails

Where parents argued that a Fairfax school policy violated the Equal Protection Clause by treating their unvaccinated children differently from their vaccinated classmates, but the defendants relied on public health experts like the CDC in developing their quarantine policy, the equal protection claim failed. Background Eric and Jenny McArthur and their four minor children challenge […]

Jun 24, 2022

Skirt requirement violates equal protection, Title IX

Where a charter school’s dress code required girls to wear skirts, that rule violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and subjected the girls to discrimination and denied them the full benefits of education in violation of Title IX. Background Charter Day School or CDS, a public charter school in North Carolina, requires […]

Jun 24, 2022

No immunity for solitary confinement practices

Where detainees at supermax facilities alleged that solitary confinement violated their Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and their 14th Amendment right to receive sufficient process, prison officials were properly denied qualified immunity at the motion to dismiss stage. The detainees adequately pleaded deliberate indifference and denial of basic due […]

Jun 16, 2022

Suit alleging dilution of votes dismissed

Where a man alleged that Virginia held an election in 2021 for the House of Delegates based on outdated population data, thereby unconstitutionally diluting his vote, his complaint was dismissed for lack of standing. Background This matter comes before the court, sitting as a three-judge district court, on defendants’ motion to dismiss the second amended […]

Bus with no advertisements on the side
Jun 12, 2022

Unreasonable restraint: Political ad ban doesn’t pass constitutional muster

A public transit system had a legitimate interest in avoiding some politically charged advertisements, but its lack of a formal definition of “political” or written guidelines clarifying how its prohibition on political ads was to be applied doomed its policy as unconstitutional, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held. Judge Julius N. Richardson […]

Jun 3, 2022

Richmond Transit’s advertising policy struck down

Where the Richmond Transit Authority had a legitimate interest in avoiding some class of politically charged advertisements, but had no formal definition of “political” and no written guidelines clarifying how the ban on all political ads was to be applied, the policy was unconstitutional. Background When White Coat Waste Project tried to run an advertisement […]

Jun 3, 2022

Voters may proceed with ineligibility challenge

Where voters filed a challenge with the North Carolina board of elections, alleging that Madison Cawthorn was ineligible for office because of his conduct in connection with the Jan. 6, 2022, insurrection, the district court erred when it held the 1872 Amnesty Act barred their effort. Background In 1868, the Constitution was amended to disqualify […]

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