The legendary basketball coach Dean Smith was famous for, among other things, his Four Corners offense, a strategy all about controlling the clock. Dean Smith Dies at Age of 83, ESPN.com (Feb. 12, 2015), http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/12296176 /dean-smith-former-north-carolina-tar-heels-coach-dies-age-83 (“Smith’s Four Corners time-melting offense led to the creation of the shot clock to counter it.”). During his 36 seasons coaching basketball at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Coach Smith amassed a .776 winning percentage that included eleven Final Four appearances, two national championships, seventeen ACC regular-season titles, and thirteen ACC tournament titles. Id. When Coach Smith passed away, the Tar Heels paid tribute to him by running his Four Corners offense in their first offensive possession in the game following his death. UNC Honors Dean Smith by Running Four Corners Offense, SportsIllustrated.com (Feb. 21, 2015), https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2015/02/21/dean-smith-unc-four-corners-tar-heels.The rest of the intro, in case you are interested in what the case was about:
And Plaintiff-Appellee Jim Barrett asserts that the lesson wasn’t lost on Defendant-Appellant Walker County School District, either. To speak at a Walker County Board of Education meeting, the District requires a member of the public to first go through a process that can consist of several steps. If the entire process is not completed at least one week before the Board meeting, the citizen may not speak at the meeting. Yet critically, the Board completely controls the timing of a step at the beginning of the process. If the Board drags its feet in completing this step, a member of the public cannot finish the rest of the steps in time to be permitted to speak.
Barrett is a public-school teacher who believes that the District has wielded this policy to unconstitutionally censor speech critical of the Board and its employees at school-board meetings. He filed suit in federal court, asserting a variety of First Amendment facial and as-applied claims in his quest for, among other things, an injunction against various aspects of the Board’s policy governing public comment at its meetings.
The district court ultimately granted Barrett a permanent injunction based on some of his facial claims and enjoined the Board’s public-comment policy. It also allowed a number of Barrett’s other claims to proceed to discovery.
Defendants now appeal the injunction. We have appellate jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1), which allows us to review “[i]nterlocutory orders . . . granting . . . injunctions.” After careful review, and with the benefit of oral argument, we affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings.
Judge Julie Carnes concurred in a written opinion.