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Key Cases Relevant to Intel v. Hamidi

State Action and the Public Forum Doctrine:

These cases are relevant to the question of the applicability of the First Amendment (or other Constitutional protections) when the purported constitutional violation was arguably instigated by a private actor, not the government.  These cases are important because the trial court in Intel v. Hamidi, held that Hamidi's email messages are not protected by the First Amendment, emphasizing that "[t]he federal guarantee of free speech operates against governmental entities, not private parties. Intel is not a governmental entity . . . ."

In First Amendment cases, the state action issue is closely tied to (and sometimes conflated with) the public forum doctrine.

Key Supreme Court Cases:

Other Notable State Action Cases:

  • Cape Cod Nursing Home Council f. Rambling Rose Rest Home, 667 F. 2d 238 (1st Cir. 1991)
  • Illinois Migrant Council v. Campbell Soup Co., 574 F.2d 374 (7th Cir. 1978)
Unsolicited Email
  • Compuserve Inc. v. Cyber Promotions, Inc., 962 F. Supp. 1015 (S.D. Oh. 1996)
  • Cyber Promotions, Inc. v. America Online, 948 F. Supp. 436 (E.D. Pa. 1996)
  • Trespass to Chattels

    Other Forms of Unsolicited Speech

    Supreme court cases:
    California cases:
    • Allred v. Shawley, 232 Cal. App. 3d 1489
    • Wollam v. City of Palm Springs, 379 P. 2d 481 (1963)
    • United Farm Workers Organier Committee v. Superior Court of Kern County, 62 Cal. Rptr. 567 (1967)
    • Laguna Publishing Co. v. Golden Rain Foundation of Laguna Hilles, 131 Cal. App. 3d 816 (1982)
    The Internet as a Speech Forum

    Last modified
    Jocelyn Dabeau
    Berkman Center for Internet & Society