Because We Say They Don’t: Do the Title IX Regulations Violate the First Amendment?

by Chris Gilbert, Thompson & Horton LLP

Because it’s Title IX Week(s) here at Thompson & Horton, I decided to look and see how the new Title IX regulations address the First Amendment.  One of the Trump Department of Education’s (“DOE”) oft-stated concerns about pre-2020 Title IX jurisprudence was that the First Amendment rights of speakers to discuss Title IX-adjacent issues (or protest Title IX itself) were being violated, often by chilling protest speech on university campuses.  There was therefore concern on the Right that the Biden DOE Title IX regulations would weaken the First Amendment rights of student parent and even teacher speakers.  The Biden DOE assured commentators that they were taking these rights seriously.

And we now know that the new regulations do not violate the First Amendment – in part because they tell us they don’t, repeatedly, in the…

Menorahs One, Sacred Sheep Zero: The Eleventh Circuit rules that a ban on religious advertising in public transit is unconstitutional

by Chris Gilbert, Thompson & Horton LLP

In Young Israel of Tampa, Inc. v. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, 89 F.4th 1337 (11th Cir. 2024), the Eleventh Circuit was asked to consider whether a ban on advertisements that “primarily promote a religious faith or religious organization” in mass transit advertising violates the First Amendment.  An Orthodox Jewish synagogue wished to post an advertisement featuring both a menorah and what looks like a dancing dreidel in the Tampa, Florida metro system for a “Chanukah on Ice” program, but the transit authority rejected it under its prohibition on religious advertisements.  Both the trial court and the court of appeals found that the decision violated the First Amendment, although for slightly different reasons.

So why did I find this case interesting?  Well, partially because in 2018, the D.C. Circuit was faced with the exact same case,…