Monthly Archives: August 2014

‘Cross at Ground Zero’: History lesson or state religion?

By Charles C. Haynes

At a time when Americans are deeply divided over the meaning of “separation of church and state,” a ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week provides a much-needed case study in how the First Amendment’s establishment clause is supposed to work.

In a unanimous decision, the three-judge panel dismissed a challenge by atheists to the display of a cross-shaped beam at the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero in New York City.

As the court explained, “the Establishment Clause is not properly construed to command that government accounts of history be devoid of religious references.”

The …read more



Media and Missouri: What the heck is going on?

By Gene Policinski

What in the heck is going on with the police in Ferguson, Mo., and journalists?

The St. Louis suburb has been the scene of peaceful protests and charged emotions, and nightly chaos and occasional looting, since the Aug. 9 shooting death of a black teenager, Michael Brown, by a yet-to-be-identified police officer. (Editor’s note: The officer was later identified as Darren Wilson.)

In the confusion and protests of the first nights of violence, journalists first reported being ordered away from where rioting occurred or barred from entering the city. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch photojournalist who had been assaulted Aug. 10 by a …read more



Attorney can quote judicial opinions in advertising

By David L. Hudson Jr.

A New Jersey attorney has a First Amendment right to post accurate quotations from judicial opinions about himself and his abilities, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Newark-based attorney Andrew Dwyer posted several quotations from court opinions concerning applications for fees in employment-discrimination cases on his firm’s website. For example, these two quotes from two judges appeared on Dwyer’s site:

“Mr. Dwyer is, I think an exceptional lawyer, one of the most exceptional lawyers I’ve had the pleasure of appearing before me. He is tenacious, professional in his presentation to the Court, a bit too exuberant at times, certainly passionate …read more