Blum v. Holder

744 F.3d 790 (2014)

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Blum v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
744 F.3d 790 (2014)

Facts

The United States Congress passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), which criminalized force, violence, and threats involving animal enterprises. The AETA further conditioned criminal liability on acting with the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise. Sarahjane Blum, Ryan Shapiro, Lana Lehr, Iver Robert Johnson, III, and Lauren Gazzola (the activists) (plaintiffs) were all animal activists who believed that, under the AETA, they could be prosecuted for exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech in support of animal rights. Thus, the activists filed suit against the Government (defendant), alleging that the AETA violated the First Amendment by: (1) certain subsections being overbroad; (2) discriminating on the basis of speech’s content and viewpoint; and (3) being unconstitutionally vague. The Government filed a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The district court granted the motion, holding that the activists failed to allege an objectively reasonable chill on their First Amendment rights and failed to establish an injury-in-fact. The activists appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lynch, C.J.)

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