John Lowe, P.C.

Civil Rights

I have handled many types of civil rights actions. 

In 1969, I was lead counsel in the successful suit against the University of Virginia to bring about coeducation.

In 1972 I represented Jeffrey Bigelow, the editor of an underground student newspaper at the University of Virginia, on a misdmeanor Virginia state court charge for publishing an ad for a New York City abortion clinic (where abortions were perfectly legal at the time).  After he was convicted I appealed the case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, where I argued the case (along with a co-counsel whose argument did not affect the decision) and won it, setting a landmark precedent about First Amendment protection of newspaper advertisements.   Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U.S. 809 (1975)

Listen to an actual recording made by the Supreme Court.  John makes his winning argument following the initial argument (19 minute) by his co-counsel.  The Court’s decision was based on John’s portion of the argument.  (The Oyez Project, Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U.S. 809 (1975), sound recording available at: <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1974/1974_73_1309/>.)

I have handled claims for police misconduct, governmental denial of benefits, denials of Due Process or Equal Protection of Laws in disciplinary proceedings, and many other claims under the Constitution of the United States and the constitutions of various states.

In 1970, I obtained an order from the very conservative Supreme Court of Virginia striking down the Virginia Riot Act on First Amendment grounds.