The Court's October term is about to begin, and a number of legal scholars are weighing in on what to expect from the upcoming term. Above the Law has links to several quick and easy-to-understand summaries of the major issues before the Court this term, including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and more.
A: According to a recent news report all of them will be appearing on the upcoming season of Sesame Street. Justice Sotomayor will be reprising last year's visit to the Street. That appearance was made memorable by her controversial on-air ruling on a dispute between Baby Bear and Goldilocks concerning defendant's trespass and subsequent breaking of plaintiff's chair. Her impending appearance will be limited to a discussion of the meaning of the word "career" and is not expected to result in any new rulings.
In the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's anti-immigrant SB 1070, Department of Justice lawyers avoided arguing that any of the law's provisions, including the requirement that state police check the documents of suspected undocumented immigrants, invite racial profiling.
The technocrat lawyer in me might understand this strategy, reasoning that it's too soon to know if Latinos will be targeted by SB 1070 (although there's plenty of evidence already). The cynic in me believes that the Obama administration stayed away from racial profiling allegations because that claim falls too close to home. The framework for SB 1070 mirrors the federal immigration enforcement laws and guess what, ICE engages in racial profiling every day. The immigration historian in me, however, understands that SB 1070 is in fact all about racial profiling given the institutionalized racism under which the law and its copycat statutes across the country have emerged.
Prof. Freiwald specifically addresses a pending case before the Fifth Circuit which could add some clarity to the question of under what circumstances government agents will be required to seek a probable cause warrant for cell phone location data. She is eminently qualified to write on the subject having submitted an amicus brief in the case.
This blog post is only the first of a series of posts that will be appearing in Concurring Opinions by Prof. Friewald on the topic. Scholars and citizens with and interest in civil liberties and digital privacy will be interested in following what promises to be a lively series of posts.
What is stunning about the Golinski decision is what it reveals about how far gay rights have come. In this rather run-of-the-mill employment benefits dispute, a federal district court's methodical application of judicial reasoning from recent gay rights victories has resulted in a sweeping ruling in Golinski's favor.
The Wall Street Journal has a story today entitled, "Jurors' Tweets Upend Trials," which discusses the negative impact of social networking on jury trials. Interestingly, it appears that judges are becoming less tolerant of jurors who break the rules banning social media use during trials. The article reports that a Florida judge sentenced a juror to three days in jail after the juror friended the defendant in a personal injury case on Facebook.
This Sunday, February 19, marked the 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. On that day in 1942, then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, setting the wheels in motion for one of the largest violations of civil liberties in the country's history. The forced exclusion of those of Japanese descent from the West Coast -- most of whom were American citizens -- and their mass incarceration in American concentration camps provides a lesson in human rights abuse that, unfortunately, the nation tends to forget too conveniently.
The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision striking down California's Proposition 8 attempt to take away marital rights from same-sex couples sends a strong immigration-reform message to Congress: it's time to allow U.S. citizens lawfully married to same-sex partners the opportunity to apply for lawful immigrant status. Under current law, prospective immigrants who want to immigrate through marriage can only do so if they are parties to a heterosexual relationship.
The Ninth Circuit issued its substantive opinion in Perry v. Brown this morning, ruling that Proposition 8 violated the federal Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. Judge Reinhardt's majority opinion states:
Proposition 8 had one effect only. It stripped same-sex couples of the ability they previously possessed to obtain from the State, or any other authorized party, an important right--the right to obtain and use the designation of 'marriage' to describe their relationships. Nothing more, nothing less. Proposition 8 therefore could not have been enacted to advance California's interests in childrearing or responsible procreation.