Slavery & Lawn Maintenance

In May 2009, the City of Riverdale, Georgia ticketed “Linda Gasses for violating [a] local ordinance when she failed to cut the high grass on the portion of her property adjacent to a public right-of-way.” (The ordinance, in case you’re wondering, makes “[i]t is unlawful for either the occupant or the owner of property… to have… [...]

Junkyard John

Meet John Reget. He claims that the City of La Crosse ”selectively enforced its junk-dealer ordinance against him, targeted him for rezoning in a discriminatory fashion, and selectively enforced its noise regulations.” Mr. Reget and the City, according to today’s opinion from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, “have had a long, acrimonious relationship stemming from Reget’s operation of a [...]

A 1-2 punch

Tandem opinions from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals were released yesterday.  In the first case, Entertainment Productions, Inc. and others sued Shelby County, challenging the constitutionality of the Tennessee Adult-Oriented Establishment Registration Act on First Amendment grounds. EP argued four points: First, the definitions of “adult cabaret,” “adult-oriented establishment,” and “adult entertainment” render the Act unconstitutionally overbroad; [...]

An argument for getting that cell phone away from your head

Gayle, Kristine and Angela sued the City of Chicago, challenging the constitutionality of its ordinance that prohibits the use of wireless telephones without a “hands-free” device while driving a motor vehicle. How do you think that suit fared? Good job. Judge Wood (my prediction for the next SCOTUS Junior Justice) began the opinion like this: “The [...]

No escaping this adult entertainment ordinance

A little over a week ago, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued this (majority) opinion. A divided court (2-1) affirmed that Erie Township did not violate the rights of Alcatraz Industries, Inc. by adopting an ordinance restricting adult entertainment establishments to C-2 zoning districts. Among other restrictions, the ordinance requires an adult business to obtain a [...]

I ain’t no senator’s son

“A Maryland law that sought to block strip clubs in Prince George’s County from selling alcohol carved out an unconstitutional exception for a club that was owned by a former state senator, a federal judge held this week,” reports The Washington Post here. Read the decision.

LaBella’s Loss

Judge Virginia M. Kendall issued this opinion (from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) last week. It concerns a restaurant (LaBella) that claimed it was the victim of selective enforcement and due process violations by the Village of Winnetka. LaBella sued under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, alleging violations of the Equal Protection [...]

Slots & Sovereignty

It’s a video poker case. Over at SCOTUSblog, they’re betting that that it is taken up by the Supreme Court. I won’t (meaning, I can’t) handicap the odds. The case concerns Jimmy Martin and his company, Lucky Strike, which have sought to enjoin enforcement of two South Carolina statutes criminalizing certain “device[s] pertaining to games [...]