In the Headlines
November 13, 2021

Palm Beacher Asks Supreme Court to Hear Free-Speech Case Over Board’s Denial of Mansion

Palm Beach Daily News

Litigation Attorneys Laurie Webb Daniel and Jennifer Mansfield spoke to Palm Beach Daily News about their arguments to the Supreme Court regarding the Architectural Commission's rejection of their client's mansion design, citing violation of the client's First Amendment rights. According to the article, now the client "is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the question he claims is central to his case: Is architecture protected as free speech by the constitution — and if so, to what extent?"

This month, Ms. Daniel and Ms. Mansfield "filed requests asking the Supreme Court to review a 2-1 ruling issued in June by justices at the federal 11th District Court of Appeals, who essentially upheld the town's position by refusing to overturn a lower court's decision."

When speaking on the significance of the case, Ms. Daniel mentions, "We believe our petition raises important issues of constitutional law and, in particular, the scope of free speech protection."

The article mentions that an appellate Judge Marcus argued, that the First Amendment "protects art, like architecture, and it protects artistic expression in a person's home as powerfully as in the public sphere, if not more so" and that both Ms. Daniel and Ms. Mansfield welcomed the opinion, "hoping the Supreme Court will consider addressing concerns that Judge Marcus raised about the appellate decision by tackling the freedom of expression question."

"We think (the appellate majority) improperly dodged it and relied on improper factors to reach that decision," Ms. Daniel said, adding that the house could have been seen from the beach or by guests at the property, if nothing else. "The principal issue here, as (Marcus') dissent pointed out, was: How much 'viewing' is needed to have expression protected by free speech?"

READ: Palm Beacher asks Supreme Court to hear free-speech case over board's denial of mansion (subscription required)

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