To Mask Or Not To Mask? It’s Not a Constitutional Question

In 1979, police in Pensacola, Florida, arrested Ku Klux Klan member B.W. Robinson for covering his face at a rally. He pleaded no contest so he could appeal his conviction to the Florida Supreme Court. Once there, Robinson challenged the constitutionality of Florida’s anti-mask statute. He insisted it deprived him of due process and infringed upon his First Amendment rights. The Florida Supreme Court reversed Robinson’s conviction, ruling that the law was constitutionally overbroad because it was “susceptible of application to entirely innocent activities.”[1]

Wait a second. Are we saying that not too long ago, an ultra-conservative Floridian took … Read more

Killing Class Actions Means Everybody Loses

It’s back. Congress is trying to kill class actions again. Last year, Representative Robert Goodlatte introduced a one-paragraph dagger, H.R. 1927, requiring that all class members’ damages be of “the same type and scope.” To many, this language meant that class members’ damages had to be identical. This requirement was perilous because it meant, for instance, that in securities-fraud class actions, where class members necessarily buy different numbers of shares, purchasers could never bind together as a class since their damage amounts would be different. Because that bill explicably limped through the House, the Senate didn’t bother voting on it.… Read more