HOW THE CONSTITUTION REGULATES BUSINESS
2-1 English in the Workplace
In 1988, as a result of a general election, Arizona added Article XXVIII to its constitution, Article XXVIII provided that English was to be the official language of the state and required all state officials and employees to use only the English language during the performance of government business. Maria-Kelly, an employee of the Arizona Department of Administration, frequently spoke in Spanish to Spanish-speaking persons with whom she dealt in the course of her work. Maria claimed that Article XXVIII violated constitutionally protected free speech rights and brought an action in federal court against the state governor, Rose Mofford, and other state officials.
Does Article XXVIII violate the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? Why or why not?
2-2 Importing Fishing Bait
Thomas owned a bait business in Maine and arranged to have live baitfish imported into the state. The importation of the baitfish violated a Maine statute. Thomas was charged with violating a federal statute that makes it a federal crime to transport fish in interstate commerce in violation of state law. Thomas moved to dismiss the charges on the ground that the Maine statute unconstitutionally burdened interstate commerce. Maine intervened to defend the validity of its statute, arguing that the law legitimately protected the state’s fisheries from parasites and nonnative species that might be included in shipments of live baitfish.
Were Maine’s interests in protecting its fisheries from parasites and nonnative species sufficient to justify the burden placed on interstate commerce by the Maine statute? Discuss.
2-3 Adult Entertainment
With the objectives of preventing crime, maintaining property values, and preserving the quality of urban life, New York City enacted an ordinance to regulate the locations of commercial establishments that featured adult entertainment. The ordinance expressly applied to female, but not male, topless entertainment. Adele owned the Cozy Cabin, a New York City cabaret that featured female topless dancers. Adele and an anonymous dancer filed a suit in a federal district court against the city, asking the court to block the enforcement of the ordinance. The plaintiffs argued in part that the ordinance violated the equal protection clause.
Under the equal protection clause, what standard applies to the court’s consideration of this ordinance? Under this test, how should the court rule? Why?
2-4 Pray Before Meeting
Isaiah was the director of the information services department for Polk County, Iowa. During department meetings in his office, he allowed occasional prayers and, in addressing one meeting, referred to Bible passages related to sloth and “work ethics.” There was no apparent disruption of the work routine, but the county administrator reprimanded Isaiah. Later, the administrator ordered him to remove from his office all items with a religious connotation. Isaiah sued the county, alleging that the reprimand and the order violated, among other things, the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
Could the county be held liable for violating Isaiah’s constitutional rights?
TATOO PARLOR AND FREE SPEECH
This case involved the intersection of municipal zoning regulations and the right of tattoo artists to ply their trade. After the City denied Plaintiffs a permit to operate a tattoo parlor, Plaintiffs filed this action alleging violations of their rights to free speech, due process, and equal protection. The superior court dismissed the complaint for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
City requires some businesses, including pawn shops, tattoo parlors, and body piercing salons, to obtain a Council Use Permit (“Permit”) before operating in a commercially zoned area within the City.
In July 2008, the Plaintiffs initiated the preliminary review process for obtaining a Permit and formally applied for the Permit the following January. The Board’s staff reviewed the application, found the Plaintiffs in compliance with Permit requirements imposed by the City Code, and recommended issuance of a Permit with conditions. The Board reviewed the Plaintiffs’ application and staff recommendations at a February 2009 meeting and ultimately voted 3-2 to urge denial of the application, voicing concerns that a tattoo parlor was not “appropriate” for the neighborhood.
The Plaintiffs sued the City in March 2010, alleging violations of their civil rights guaranteed under the state and federal constitutions and seeking declaratory and mandamus relief as well as monetary damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Plaintiffs allege in their complaint that they are entitled to relief because the City violated their state and federal constitutional rights to engage in free speech, receive equal protection under the law, and be afforded substantive due process.
To determine whether the Plaintiffs state a sufficient claim against the City for violating their free-speech rights, we initially must decide whether engaging in the act and business of applying tattoos is such a right guaranteed by the state or federal constitutions.
Please identify the arguments the City would have to support its claim that denial of the permit does not violate Plaintiffs’ free speech rights. Do some internet research and locate any material on this subject. How should the court decide?