Legal Briefs


Issue: "Arafat: The devil you know," Sept. 20, 2003

A federal judge in Alabama has ruled that the state may force abortionists to give patients information favoring childbirth over abortion. The state may not, however, make abortionists pay for it. The decision in Summit Medical Center of Alabama vs. Riley was written by Chief U.S. District Judge W. Harold Albritton, a 1991 Bush appointee.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld the dismissal of a public high-school teacher who advocated sex with children. He belonged to the North American Man/Boy Love Association, editing its newsletter. The appeals court said that the teacher's speech and association here related to his employment, and the loss of parental confidence outweighed his First Amendment rights. The decision in Melzer vs. New York City Board of Education was written by Senior Judge Richard Cardamone, appointed by President Reagan.

The same court also upheld a state's exclusion of the Boy Scouts from a workplace charity drive because of its policy against openly homosexual Scoutmasters. Connecticut's Gay Rights Law excludes from its workplace charitable campaign groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. The court said the law furthers the state's interest in preventing discrimination rather than suppresses the Boy Scouts' expression. The decision in Boy Scouts of America vs. Wyman was written by Judge Guido Calabresi, appointed by President Clinton.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a state law requiring adult businesses to close at 1 a.m. The time restriction, the court said, did not restrict the content of speech and noted that six other circuits have upheld similar restrictions. The decision in Center for Fair Public Policy vs. Maricopa County was written by Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain, appointed by President Reagan.


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