Larry Crain's Constitutional Ligitation


United States Supreme Court :

Scheidler v. NOW, Inc ., 537 U.S. 393, 154 L. Ed. 2d 991, 123 S. Ct. 1057, 2003 U.S. LEXIS 1738, 16 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 93, 2003 Cal. Daily Op. Service 1626, 2003 D.A.R. 2087, 188 A.L.R. Fed. 741 (2003). Overview: RICO challenge to free speech pro-life protests; held application of RICO to such protests unconstitutional.

Lee v. Weisman , 505 U.S. 577; 112 S. Ct. 2649; 120 L. Ed. 2d 467; 1992 U.S. LEXIS 4364; 60 U.S.L.W. 4723 (1992). Overview : The inclusion of clerical members who offered prayers as part of official public school graduation ceremonies was inconsistent with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. (Amicus Curiae)

Rust v. Sullivan , 500 U.S. 173; 111 S. Ct. 1759; 114 L. Ed. 2d 233; 1991 U.S. LEXIS 2908; 59 U.S.L.W. 4451 (1991). Overview: Health department regulations limiting the ability of Title X fund recipients to engage in abortion-related activities were upheld as constitutional, permissible constructions of the underlying legislation. (Amicus Curiae)

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services , 492 U.S. 490; 109 S. Ct. 3040; 106 L. Ed. 2d 410; 1989 U.S. LEXIS 3290; 57 U.S.L.W. 5023 (1989) Overview : A Missouri statute that regulated the performance of abortions was not unconstitutional. The prohibition against state funded abortions and counseling did not put a governmental obstacle in the path of a woman who chose to have an abortion. (Amicus Curiae)

Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578; 107 S. Ct. 2573; 96 L. Ed. 2d 510; 1987 U.S. LEXIS 2729; 55 U.S.L.W. 4860 (1986) Overview: Louisiana Creationism Act was facially invalid and violated Establishment Clause because it sought to advance religious viewpoint that rejected evolution in entirety and there was no secular purpose for the Act's enactment. (Amicus Curiae)

Ansonia Bd. of Educ. v. Philbrook , 479 U.S. 60; 107 S. Ct. 367; 93 L. Ed. 2d 305; 1986 U.S. LEXIS 18; 55 U.S.L.W. 4019 (1986) Overview: Unless prohibition against use of personal days for religious purposes was found, on remand, to be discriminatory, employer met its obligation to accommodate employee by allowing him time off without pay for religious observance. (Amicus Curiae)

Bender v. Williamsport Area Sch. Dist., 475 U.S. 534; 106 S. Ct. 1326; 89 L. Ed. 2d 501; 1986 U.S. LEXIS 35; 54 U.S.L.W. 4307 (1985) Overview: Court lacked jurisdiction over a school board member's appeal who lacked standing to appeal individually from a District Court decision against the school board and district in favor of students who sought to conduct spiritual activities at school. (Amicus Curiae)

Witters v. Washington Dep't of Services for Blind , No. 84-1070, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 474 U.S. 481; 106 S. Ct. 748; 88 L. Ed. 2d 846; 1986 U.S. LEXIS 49; 54 U.S.L.W. 4135, (1985). Overview : State statute giving vocational rehabilitation aid for petitioner's training at Christian school to become pastor, missionary, or youth director did not advance religion in violation of First Amendment's establishment clause. (Amicus Curiae)

Second Circuit Court of Appeals:

Leblanc-Sternberg v. Fletcher , 91 Civ. 2550 (GLG), Second Circuit 143 F.3d 748 (2 nd Cir. 1998); U.S. App. LEXIS 9864, 159 A.L.R. Fed. 747. Overview: Religious use of property to establish house of worship could not be prohibited due to violation of Fair Housing Act.

Wojnarowicz v. American Family Ass'n, No. 90 Civ. 3457 (WCC), 745 F. Supp. 130; (1990). Overview: Religious publisher did not violate New York Artists' Authorship Rights Act (Act) claim was not preempted by federal copyright law because the Act endeavored to protect an artist's reputation, a right not equivalent to any under federal copyright law.

Third Circuit Court of Appeals:

Thompson v. Waynesboro Area School Dist ., 673 F. Supp. 1379 (M.D. Penn. 1987); aff'd en banc , 3 rd Cir. (1988). Overview: Equal Access Act suit against public school district; held establishment clause not violated by distribution of religious literature).

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals:

North Carolina Civil Liberties Union Legal Foundation v. Constangy , 947 F.2d 1145; 1991 U.S. App. LEXIS 25073 (1991) Overview: Judicial prayer in the courtroom was not legitimated under the Establishment Clause by past history or present practice and, therefore, a judge was properly enjoined from opening court with prayer.

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals:

Guidry v. Broussard , No. 89-4172, 897 F.2d 181 (1990). Overview: Student desire to share religious message during valedictorian address raised establishment clause concern.


Chico Feminist Women's Health Center v. Scully, No. C000584, Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, 208 Cal. App. 3d 230 (1989). Overview: Health center's motion to amend injunction by seeking additional order enjoining anti-abortion citizens from picketing center to protect clients' identity was properly denied as clients had no reasonable expectation of anonymity on city streets.


Rivera v. East Otero School Dist ., 721 F. Supp. 1189 (D.Colo. 1989). Overview: A school district's policy that prohibited extracurricular material that proselytized a particular religious or political belief was unconstitutional on its face.


Curtis v. School Comm. , SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS, 420 Mass. 749; 652 N.E.2d 580; 1995 Mass. LEXIS 302; 52 A.L.R.5th 877 (1985). Overview: Condom distribution program was not compulsory and did not violate the students' and parents of students' right to familial privacy nor the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.

North Carolina:

In re Renfer , , SUPREME COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA, 345 N.C. 632; 482 S.E.2d 540; 1997 N.C. LEXIS 179 (1997). Overview: The court declined to rule on the recommendation by the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission that the judge be removed because the judge had not had the benefit of counsel at her hearing and had not participated.


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