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Samuel Alito's majority First Amendment opinions

Compiled by David L. Hudson Jr.
First Amendment Center research attorney

This compilation is part of an online symposium on the First Amendment Center Online concerning Judge Samuel Alito’s First Amendment jurisprudence.

Child Evangelism Fellowship of New Jersey Inc. v. Stafford Township School District, 386 F.3d 514 (3rd Cir. 2004). Upheld free-exercise claim of religious group seeking entry to school.

Blackhawk v. Pennsylvania, 381 F.3d 202 (3rd Cir. 2004). Affirmed lower court ruling preventing enforcement of permit scheme in free-exercise claim brought by Native American; however, court granted qualified immunity to individual officials.

The Pitt News v. Pappert, 379 F.3d 96 (3rd Cir. 2004). Involved alcohol advertisement in student newspaper; opinion was protective of commercial speech.

White v. Communs. Workers of Am., AFL-CIO, Local 13000, 370 F.3d 346 (2003). (No First Amendment claim because no state action — union worker challenging policies of union.)

Swartzwelder v. McNeilly, 297 F.3d 228 (2002). Prior restraint/public employee claim — pro-First Amendment opinion.

Fraise v. Terhune, 283 F.3d 506 (3rd Cir. 2003). Rejected Five Percenters free-exercise claims.

ACLU-NJ v. Township of Wall, 246 F.3d 258 (3rd Cir. 2001). Rejected establishment clause challenge in religious-display case on standing grounds.

Saxe v. State College Area Sch. Dist., 240 F.3d 200 (3rd Cir. 2001). Part of student speech code invalidated.

Tucker v. Fischbein, 237 F.3d 275 (3rd Cir. 2001). Part of defamation claim allowed.

Nicholas v. Pennsylvania State Univ., 227 F.3d 133 (3rd Cir. 2000). Professor’s First Amendment claim denied.

Waterman v. Farmer, 183 F.3d 208 (3rd Cir. 1999). Prison inmate's free-expression challenge to regulation on pornographic materials rejected.

Council of Alternative Political Parties v. Hooks, 179 F.3d 64 (3rd Cir. 1999). Election law upheld.

Fraternal Order of Police Newark Lodge No. 12 v. City of Newark, 170 F.3d 359 (3rd Cir. 1999). Affirmed district court's order permanently enjoining the police department from disciplining two Islamic officers who refused to shave their beards for religious reasons.

ACLU v. Schundler, 168 F.3d 92 (3rd Cir. 1999). Rejected challenge to holiday displays; addition of secular symbols deemed to have diluted religious endorsement.

Edwards v. California Univ., 156 F.3d 488 (3rd Cir. 1998). Professor’s First Amendment claim rejected; no First Amendment right to decide what is taught in classroom.

Patriot Party v. Allegheny County Dep't of Elections, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 12688 (unpublished). Political party association case.

Reynolds v. Wagner, 128 F.3d 166 (3rd Cir. 1997). Prisoner's First Amendment claim rejected.

Mitchum v. Hurt, 73 F.3d 30 (1995). Public employee First Amendment claims reinstated.

Pfizer Inc. v. Giles (In re Asbestos Sch. Litig.), 46 F.3d 1284 (3rd. Cir. 1994).

Sanguigni v. Pittsburgh Bd. of Public Educ., 968 F.2d 393 (3rd Cir. 1992). Rejected teacher's First Amendment claim, finding that her statements in a newsletter were not statements of public concern for which public employees were protected under the First Amendment.


Bush nominates Samuel Alito for high court

Judicial conservatives say 3rd Circuit judge is powerful voice for First Amendment's guarantees of free speech, free exercise of religion. 10.31.05

Judge Alito fairly strong on free expression
By Ron Collins, David Hudson Nominee's opinions show receptivity to First Amendment concerns. 10.31.05

Online symposium: Samuel Alito & the First Amendment

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