Publications

Articles on Constitutional Law

First Amendment bars pastor’s claims against church

November
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
A pastor accused of sexual misconduct toward a parishioner was subjected to internal church disciplinary proceedings that exposed him to "public disgrace and scandal."

Dues Over

By Pete Sherman
August
2018
LawPulse
Page 10
The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Janus grew from an Illinois case that had its end in mind from the very start.

Counsel’s failure to object to de minimis fines does not render the representation constitutionally deficient

February
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Trial counsel's failure to object to de minimis fines does not constitute a performance so inadequate as to render the representation constitutionally deficient in violation of the Sixth Amendment's right to counsel.

Illinois high court addresses conflicts and the PD’s office, DUI blood draws

By Matthew Hector
January
2018
LawPulse
Page 12
The Illinois Supreme Court rules that 1) a hospital blood draw does not violate the Fourth Amendment without evidence it was ordered by the police, and 2) it's not a conflict for the public defender to represent multiple codefendants.

Continuing to not extend mutual property rights to unmarried cohabitants does not violate due process or equal protection

November
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Citing the State's unquestionable interest in the creation, regulation, and dissolution of marriage, the Illinois Supreme Court reaffirmed its 1979 Hewitt v. Hewitt holding that Illinois public policy precludes unmarried cohabitants from bringing claims against one another to enforce mutual property rights rooted in a marriage-like relationship.

Arrest but no prosecution in Fourth of July flag burning

By Matthew Hector
September
2016
LawPulse
Page 12
The Champaign County State's Attorney explains her decision not to charge an Urbana man arrested for violating Illinois' unconstitutional but still on the books flag-desecration law.

Stalking and cyberstalking statutes held unconstitutional for lack of mens rea requirement

September
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On June 24, 2016, the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court vacated a defendant's conviction and sentence for stalking and cyberstalking, finding that both crimes are unconstitutional as they lack a mens rea requirement.

DNA Evidence and the Confrontation Clause after People v. Barner

By Julia Kaye Wykoff
August
2016
Article
Page 36
Supposed the prosecution's expert testifies about a lab report conducted by a scientist the state didn't call. Is the defendant's right to confront adverse witnesses violated? Not if the report was done for reasons other than proving the defendant's guilt.

Police’s unauthorized entry of home after auto accident violates the Fourth Amendment

August
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On May 9, 2016, the Appellate Court of Illinois upheld a trial court's ruling to suppress evidence obtained by a warrantless entry into defendant's home.

When Is Identity Evidence Unsuppressible in a Criminal Case?

By Charles P. Burns and Michael Conte
February
2016
Article
Page 40
Does a stop's illegality taint the evidence obtained from it? A Fourth Amendment debate in the federal courts could spill over into Illinois criminal cases.

A court-ordered Facebook post

January
2016
Article
Page 32
A concurring appellate justice opines that a trial judge's contempt order forcing a litigant to post a retraction on Facebook violates the First Amendment.

Where probable cause for traffic stop exists, use of narcotics dog does not violate Fourth Amendment if stop is not unreasonably prolonged

November
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
On August 26, 2015, the Third District Appellate Court reversed the circuit court's grant of defendants' motions to suppress evidence of heroin obtained during a traffic stop.

Groundbreaking Supreme Court opinion dooms panhandling law

By Matthew Hector
October
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
After the U.S. Supreme Court's expansion of the First Amendment, the seventh circuit invalidates Springfield's panhandling prohibition.

For Traffic Stops, Ignorance of the Law Can Be an Excuse

By Rob Shumaker
September
2015
Article
Page 38
Recent cases from the United States and Illinois Supreme Courts hold that an officer's objectively reasonable mistake of law can justify a traffic stop.

A Sniff Too Far: No Dog Sniffs after Completed Traffic Stops

By David J. Robinson
July
2015
Article
Page 42
Unless they have reasonable suspicion, police may not extend an otherwise completed traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff.

The Limits on Disciplining Public Employee Speech

By Joshua D. Herman
April
2015
Article
Page 24
Disciplining public-sector employees for speech that is insubordinate, inappropriate, or simply unwanted gives rise to complex legal issues. Here's a framework for analyzing them.

ACLU sues over reaction to fake mayoral twitter account

By Matthew Hector
August
2014
LawPulse
Page 366
The lawsuit alleges that the mayor and other officials conspired to violate the First and Fourth Amendment rights of accountholder and tweeter Jon Daniel.

Citizen Tips and the Fourth Amendment

By Rob Shumaker
July
2014
Article
Page 336
More cases, including a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling, define whether a police investigatory stop based on a citizen tip is valid.

Police can search handcuffed arrestee’s luggage, high court rules

By Janan Hanna
April
2014
LawPulse
Page 162
The Illinois Supreme Court rules that police can search an arrestee's luggage after he was handcuffed on a civil warrant for failure to pay child support.

Silence as Self-Incrimination after Salinas v. Texas

By Robin B. Murphy
April
2014
Article
Page 184
After Salinas, non-custodial suspects must expressly invoke the right to remain silent, or silence can be held against them. But in Illinois, state law provides some evidentiary protection.

Making Constitutional Challenges to the Illinois Tax on Trust Income

By Robert J. Kolasa
November
2013
Article
Page 584
Under Illinois law, income from a trust created by an Illinois resident is taxable even if the trust is not otherwise connected to Illinois. But is the state tax constitutionally infirm?

A Guide to the Confrontation Clause

By Geoffrey Burkhart
June
2013
Article
Page 304
When does the Sixth Amendment require prosecutors to produce a live witness rather than an out-of-court statement against a defendant? Here's a look at the latest developments.

SCOTUS rules warrantless dog-sniff search of home unconstitutional

By Adam W. Lasker
May
2013
LawPulse
Page 222
Unlike an earlier decision this term that allowed dog-sniff evidence from a traffic stop, Jardines holds that the dog-sniff search of a front porch requires a warrant.

Admissibility of Dog-Sniff Evidence: Evaluating Probable Cause after Florida v. Harris

By David J. Robinson
April
2013
Article
Page 194
In Harris, the U.S. Supreme Court held that dog-sniff evidence can be admissible even if prosecutors do not lay a detailed foundation that the dog is well trained.

Despite 7CA ruling, Illinois judges not dismissing concealed-carry cases

By Adam W. Lasker
March
2013
LawPulse
Page 118
According to a lawyer monitoring such cases, local judges are unlikely to stop enforcing the ban until this summer, the state's deadline for enacting a law that passes Second Amendment muster.

Crime victims’ rights amendment won’t appear on November ballot

By Adam W. Lasker
June
2012
LawPulse
Page 286
A proposed constitutional amendment that would have made crime victims party to the defendant’s trial undermined the constitutional presumption of innocence, the ISBA and other opponents, including prosecutors, argued.

Is the Illinois Eavesdropping Act unconstitutional? The saga continues…

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2011
LawPulse
Page 604
Defendants being prosecuted under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act for recording police and other public officials are fighting back, thus far with mixed success.

Miranda: Youth a factor in determining whether interrogation is “custodial”

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2011
LawPulse
Page 382
The U.S. Supreme Court holds that a subject's youth matters when determining whether a Miranda warning is required - a conclusion the Illinois Supreme Court came to years ago.

Who Posted That? Anonymous Online Speech and the First Amendment

By Sarah A. Smith
April
2011
Article
Page 194
There's a trend in defamation litigation to use pre-suit discovery procedures to uncover the identities of anonymous online commenters. The author considers the implications.

The Right of Publicity in Illinois

By John M. Touhy and Lauren R. Noll
March
2011
Article
Page 148
Illinois's right of publicity lets people limit the appropriation of their likeness, a power restricted by the First Amendment. Where to draw the line? Here's what courts are doing.

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