Friday, June 29, 2012
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has decided, in recent days, two important decisions that should be of interest to MOJ readers. First, in this case, the court invalidated a Baltimore rule requiring that "limited-service pregnancy centers" post signs saying that they "do[ ] not provide or make referral for abortion or birth control services." The rule's defenders had argued that this speech-compulsion was a permissible regulation of "commercial speech" (which enjoys reduced First Amendment protection) and this argument was rejected. (More here.) And, as Marc reports here, the court in this case held that it does not violate the Establishment Clause to allow public-school students to receive "two academic credits for off-campus religious instruction offered by private educators." Both results, in my view, are welcome.