Several states have laws that prohibit credit card surcharges. The Ninth Circuit recently joined two other courts in deciding that those laws implicate the First Amendment. In Italian Colors Restaurant v. Becerra, the San Francisco-based court invalidated a California law that banned credit card surcharges but allowed cash discounts. In other words, a business could charge cash-paying consumers less, but only if the businesses called its practice a “cash discount” rather than a “credit card surcharge.”
We filed our opening brief today in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, a case that the Supreme Court of the United States will hear on February 28. Here’s a snippet:
In Minnesota Voters Alliance, PLF represents Minnesota voters in their First Amendment challenge to a law that bans apparel with a logo of any group with a “recognizable political view,” from the National Rifle Association to the NAACP. Lead client Andy Cilek is a Minnesota voter who was prevented from voting for five hours, and had his name taken down for potential criminal prosecution just for wearing a Tea Party shirt. Rather than endorse any candidate or ballot measure, the shirt merely featured an image of the Gadsden flag and the words “Don’t tread on me.”
Read the rest on Pacific Legal Foundation’s blog.
The week of February 26th will be a huge week for the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has just announced that it will hear argument in three important First Amendment cases that week.
Please join us at 6 p.m. this Friday at Hawk and Dove. The address is 329 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington DC 20003.
This will be a casual event in which I will give a short presentation and answer questions about the case to AFF member and other attendees. If you’re in the area, please come drink a few beers, meet a few people, and learn about an exciting First Amendment case now pending at the Supreme Court. In addition to the event this Friday, there will another (more formal) presentation about this case in early February.
(This blog post is cross-posted at Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog).
As you might imagine, my clients in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky were extremely pleased that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case. I recently recorded a podcast with Andy Cilek, the executive director of the Minnesota Voters Alliance; Dan McGrath, the communications director of the MVA; and Sue Jeffers, the host of a popular radio show and an election judge in the 2010 election.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided to hear Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, which involves a First Amendment challenge to Minnesota’s broad ban on political apparel (including shirts featuring the logo of the Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, or other non-partisan organizations that one might associate with a political viewpoint). You can read more about the case on CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Huffington Post.
As lead attorney for the petitioners, I delivered some remarks to reporters at Minnesota Voter Alliance’s press conference this morning in St. Paul, Minnesota. Here is a transcript of the speech:
A huge day for the First Amendment. I’m flying to Minnesota now and will have more later.