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Argument preview: Justices consider availability of punitive damages in maritime unseaworthiness case

The few admiralty cases the Supreme Court hears often address common-law questions resembling those that normally arise on land and are generally within the province of state courts. These maritime adventures tend to involve a deep journey into relatively esoteric doctrinal areas, requiring the court to determine its proper judicial role as well as to make appropriate substantive choices. This term’s second admiralty excursion, The Dutra Group v. Batterton, presents another such occasion. On M...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Circuit, Dutra, Miles, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, 9th Circuit, Townsend, U S Court of Appeals, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy


"Don't Overlook First Step Act Pilot Programs"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new Law360 commentary authored by By Addy Schmitt and Ian Herbert.  I recommend the piece in full, and here are excerpts (with footnotes omitted): Much attention has been paid to the provisions in the law designed to address systemic issues for defendants in drug cases.... The First Step Act also includes numerous changes to address quality-of-life issues for current inmates and to help individuals transition back to society following their in...
Tags: Law, Congress, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, Addy Schmitt, Ian Herbert


Connecticut high court, PLCAA or no PLCAA, allows Remington suit

Over a dissent from three of its seven justices, the Connecticut Supreme Court has green-lighted a suit over purportedly negligent marketing of the Bushmaster rifle used in the Sandy Hook massacre, even though the firearm in question was never marketed or sold to the killer, who stole it from his mother who had purchased it lawfully long before. To do so, it had to get around a specific federal law (the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA) intended to stop exactly this kind of su...
Tags: Law, Congress, Uncategorized, Connecticut, Protection of Lawful Commerce, Ninth Circuit, House Judiciary Committee, Soto, Remington, Kevin Williamson, Stephen Reinhardt, Connecticut Supreme Court, Bushmaster, Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, PLCAA, Chris Woodyard USA Today


"When Chelsea Clinton showed up at a vigil Friday night in New York City for victims of the New Zealand mosque massacre, she was confronted by a small group of college students who blamed her for inciting the violence."

"Last month, the former first daughter joined throngs of Democrats and Republicans in condemning language used by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the two first Muslim women elected to Congress last year, to critique U.S. policy in Israel as perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes. At the vigil, the New York University students said reactions like Clinton’s 'stoked' hatred of Muslims. 'This, right here, is a result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put out into the wo...
Tags: Protest, Law, Congress, New York City, Israel, Chelsea, Islam, New Zealand, Anti-semitism, Chelsea Clinton, Clinton, New York University, Nyu, WaPo, Ann Althouse, Ilhan Omar


"Beto O'Rourke said Friday night that he had been wrong for joking... that his wife has been raising their three children 'sometimes with my help.'"

CNN reports."Not only will I not say that again, but I'll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage, and also the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege," he said...."So yes, I think the criticism is right on. My ham-handed attempt to try to highlight the fact that Amy has the lion's share of the burden in our family -- that she actually works but is the primary parent in our family, especially when I served in C...
Tags: Marriage, Law, Congress, Fiction, Cnn, Teenagers, Apologies, Amy, Rourke, Aren, Ann Althouse, Gender Politics, Beto O'Rourke, Beto Don


Trump Vetoes Funding Bill

Donald Trump has issued his first veto in response to Congress's rejection of his emergency declaration of a border crisis. It's unlikely Congress will have the votes to override the veto. Still, at least some Republicans refused to go... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Tags: Law, Congress, Bill, Donald Trump


WIRTW #546 (the “Arrivederci” edition)

Today is good bye … but only for two weeks. My kids' school gives them that much time off for Spring Break each year. So we are headed to Italy. Rome and Florence to be precise. I'll be back on April 1 (no foolin') with some thoughts about what I learned on my Spring Break. In the meantime, if you have any last minute tips on what to do, see, or eat in either of these cities, drop a note in the comments below. Here's what I read this week: Discrimination Two-Percent, Schmoopercent — via Kate Bi...
Tags: Spotify, Texas, Law, Congress, Chicago, Ada, Florence, Harvard Business Review, Joe, Citrix, Jonathan, EEOC, NLRA, Eric Meyer, FLSA, Jon Hyman


Morning Docket: 03.15.19

* "This is not a normal vote. This will be a vote about the very nature of our constitution and the separation of powers." The Senate voted to reject President Trump's declaration of the national emergency, with 12 Republicans joining with their Democratic colleagues. Now, we'll wait for the reality TV spectacular that will be the president's first veto. [Washington Post] * A poster of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the target of anti-Semitic graffiti in New York. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task F...
Tags: Law, Congress, Washington Post, Senate, Copyright, New York Times, House Of Representatives, Deaths, Department Of Justice, Title IX, Donald Trump, Nirvana, Marc Jacobs, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Department, Kurt Cobain


The Trump Administration’s Relationship With Boeing Is Under Scrutiny After Crashes

Patrick Shanahan, Acting Secretary of Defense, told Congress that he welcomes an inspector general investigation into whether he violated any ethics rules by promoting Boeing Co. products while serving in the Trump Administration. Shanahan, who came to the Pentagon after spending more than three decades at Boeing, has routinely fended off questions about potential conflicts…
Tags: News, Congress, White House, Defense, Uncategorized, Military, Pentagon, Donald Trump, Boeing, Boeing Co, Shanahan, Trump Administration, Patrick Shanahan


"The Source of the Stink: A Private Delegation Framework for Recidivism Risk Assessment"

The title of this post is the title of this recent paper authored by Andrea Nishi now available via SSRN. Here is its abstract: This paper explores the use of privately developed risk assessment algorithms in criminal sentencing, arguing that these tools are developed in a way that hinders the enforcement of constitutional protections and gives private algorithm developers undue influence in sentencing determinations.  Using the private delegation doctrine, which limits Congress's ability to de...
Tags: Law, Congress, Douglas A Berman, Andrea Nishi


Rankings Make The (Law School) World Go Round — See Also

Yes, Rankings Really Are Important: Though context is key. Sure, Trump Is Going To Veto It... But you should still care about Congress's vote on the national emergency. Manafort's Sentence Won't Satisfy The Bloodthirsty: But it is still fine. Gordon Caplan Is On A Leave Of Absence From Biglaw: He probably has other things to think about. Missed TECHSHOW? Here's the CliffsNotes version.
Tags: Law, Congress, Manafort, Gordon Caplan, See Also


Conundrum of the Day.

So if Nancy Pelosi, as @CharlesPPierce so eloquently argues here, is violating the solemn oath she swore and is refusing to perform the duties required her of the US Constitution, shouldn't she be impeached? https://t.co/fCp5Bgx5di — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 12, 2019 Technical point: Removal would be by expulsion, not impeachment, and it would be done by a 2/3 vote of the House acting alone. Of course, it's not a serious proposal. It's not possible to remove members of Congress on ...
Tags: Law, Congress, US, House, Glenn Greenwald, Nancy Pelosi, Trump, Pelosi, Greenwald, Ann Althouse, Impeachment, Democratic Party in Trumpland, Charles P. Pierce


SCOTUS Map: February and March 2019

At a February 1 Hastings Law Journal symposium honoring retired Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 43 years as a federal judge, Kennedy bemoaned what he sees as the lack of “rational, enlightening dialogue” and the dissipation of the “social framework of decency.” Of the Supreme Court’s two newest justices (and former Kennedy clerks), Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, Kennedy had only ringing endorsements: “[Gorsuch is] going to be a wonderful judge, just like Brett.” The San Francisco Chronic...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, Brown, John Roberts, Board of Education, Brett, Roberts, San Francisco Chronicle, Ginsburg


New Pentagon Policy Requires Most People To Serve In Their Birth Gender

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Defense Department has approved a new policy that will largely bar transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex, and require most individuals to serve in their birth gender. The memo outlining the new policy was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, and it comes after a lengthy and complicated legal battle. It falls short of the all-out transgender ban that was initially ordered by President Donald Trump. But it will likely force the mili...
Tags: News, Obama, Congress, California, Washington, Defense, Ap, Military, House, Pentagon, Associated Press, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, Defense Department, Ash Carter, Trump


Morning Docket: 03.13.19

* Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) of the House Intelligence Committee is none too pleased with the Justice Department at the moment. Apparently two unnamed senior officials said the DOJ might refuse to share special counsel Robert Mueller's report with Congress, a claim Schiff called "absolutely insupportable." [ABC News] * Last week, Paul Manafort was sentenced to under four years in jail by Judge T.S. Ellis III (just a little less than the 19 to 24 years called for in the sentencing guideline...
Tags: Elon Musk, Law, Congress, Breastfeeding, Theresa May, Department Of Justice, Usa Today, House Intelligence Committee, Women's Issues, Abc News, Sexual Harassment, Doj, Wall Street Journal, Justice Department, Brexit, Securities And Exchange Commission


Argument preview: Justices to determine relevant statute of limitations for whistleblower suits under the False Claims Act

Liza Starr, a student at Stanford Law School and a member of Stanford’s Supreme Court Clinic, co-authored this post. On March 19, the Supreme Court will hear argument in Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States, ex rel. Hunt. The justices will consider how two statutes of limitations under the False Claims Act apply to whistleblower (also known as “qui tam”) suits when the government has not intervened in the case. Enacted in 1863 amidst rampant fraud by Civil War contractors, the FCA has grown...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Iraq, Afghanistan, United States, Fca, Graham, Department Of Justice, Chamber of Commerce, Wilson, Hunt, Parsons, U S Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit


Making progressive (but not political) case that the FIRST STEP Act "does much harm"

Marie Gottschalk that this new Jacobin commentary assailing the FIRST STEP Act under the headlined "Did You Really Think Trump Was Going to Help End the Carceral State?" The piece reiterates at length a variety of the criticisms from the left waged against the risk assessment tools in FIRST STEP while its fate was being debated in Congress. I recommend the whole piece, and here is how it starts and some excerpts: With much fanfare, President Donald Trump signed the First Step Act into law in De...
Tags: Law, Congress, Cnn, New Jersey, Donald Trump, Jones, Trump, Prez Obama, Cory Booker, Van Jones, Bureau of Prisons, Bop, Douglas A Berman, Marie Gottschalk


Appellate Standing, Biosimilars, and the Federal Circuit

Guest post by Jonathan Stroud (Unified Patents) and Saurabh Vishnubhakat (Texas A&M Law).  After a long wait, the Federal Circuit last month decided Momenta Pharms. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (Fed. Cir. 2019), dismissing Momenta’s appeal of an adverse PTAB decision based on standing and mootness concerns.  (The PTAB had instituted Momenta’s petition for inter partes review of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s patent on certain formulations of an immunosuppressive agent, but ultimately sustained the paten...
Tags: Texas, Law, Congress, Uspto, Rpx, Fda, DuPont, Itc, AIA, Patent, Kennedy, Consumer Watchdog, Warf, Bms, Gkn, Mylan


Supreme Court Requires Completed Copyright Registration Before Filing Suit–Fourth Estate Public Benefit v. Wall-Street (Guest Blog Post)

Guest Blog Post by Tyler Ochoa On March 4, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, No. 17-571, 139 S.Ct. ____, 2019 U.S. LEXIS 1730.  The case involved the interpretation of section 411(a) of the Copyright Act, which provides:  “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title.”  The questi...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Copyright, United States, Library Of Congress, Oracle, Slip, Beard, Copyright Office, U S Supreme Court, Roberts, Congressional, Ginsburg, Ninth Circuit


Argument preview: Justices to decide whether dismissal as untimely of Supplemental Security Income claimant’s request for review is final decision subject to judicial review

After a hearing, an administrative law judge denied Ricky Lee Smith’s application for supplemental security income benefits based on disability. The ALJ’s decision was dated March 26, 2014, and under the agency regulations, Smith was required to request review of the ALJ’s decision by the Appeals Council within 60 days of receiving the decision. Smith’s counsel alleges that he timely requested review of the ALJ’s decision. The Social Security Administration, however, has no record of receiving...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Social Security, Smith, Social Security Administration, Medicaid, Sanders, APA, Sims, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Gupta, 7th Circuit, ALJ


Trump Wants $8.6 Billion for Worthless Wall

Donald Trump is asking Congress to pass his budget bill includes $8.6 billion to help pay for his worthless wall. I do not want a wall. We do not need a wall. Mexico will not pay for a wall. America will not see a dime from El Chapo. Instead,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Tags: Law, Congress, Mexico, America, Donald Trump, Trump Wants


H.R. 1, political omnibus bill, passes House

H.R. 1, the political regulation omnibus bill, contains “provisions that unconstitutionally infringe the freedoms of speech and association,” and which “will have the effect of harming our public discourse by silencing necessary voices that would otherwise speak out about the public issues of the day.” That’s not just my opinion; it’s the view of the American Civil Liberties Union, expressed in this March 1 letter (more). For example, the bill would apply speech-chilling new restrictions to issu...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Washington, Senate, Uncategorized, David, House, Aclu, House Of Representatives, First Amendment, American Civil Liberties Union, Federal Election Commission, John Sarbanes, Ilya Shapiro, Redistricting Reform


Every Week Feels Like It Lasts 47 Months — See Also

THIS 16-YEAR-OLD IS GOING TO LAW SCHOOL NEXT YEAR: I'm inclined to inform child protective services. MEME OF THE WEEK: Involves UCLA v. Georgetown and I would pay to see this for real. ALITO AND KAGAN DIAL FOR DOLLARS: Not really, but they were in front of Congress explaining why courts need money and stuff. FIND THIS PERSON: Law firm is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot one of their associates. IN MARTIN SHKRELI NEWS: This freaking guy.
Tags: Law, Congress, Ucla, Martin Shkreli, Georgetown, Kagan, See Also


Sexual harassment victims can still deduct legal fees

Part of today's International Women's Day celebrations are for the continuing employment advances by women. Our 21st century progress is due in large part to the pivotal roles of female employees in traditionally male jobs, like this woman machining parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1942. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons) Back in 2017 when Congress was formulating the comprehensive tax law changes that would become the Tax Cuts ...
Tags: Politics, Texas, Taxes, Law, Sexual Assault, Congress, Time, Harvey Weinstein, Sexual Harassment, Irs, International Women's Day, Tax Reform, Fort Worth Texas, Senate Finance Committee, Internal Revenue Service, NDA


Senator (and Prez candidate) Cory Booker introduces "Next Step Act of 2019" with wide array of sentencing and criminal justice reforms

As set forth in this press release, "U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) today introduced a sweeping criminal justice bill — the Next Step Act  — that would make serious and substantial reforms to sentencing guidelines, prison conditions, law enforcement training, and re-entry efforts."  Here is more about this new (lengthy) legislative proposal from the press release: The Next Step Act is the most comprehen...
Tags: Law, Congress, Senate, House, Department Of Justice, Booker, Senate Judiciary Committee, Cory Booker, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Douglas A Berman


"3 more steps to make 'First Step Act' work"

The title of this post is the headline of this recent Hill commentary authored by Jessica Jackson. Here are excerpts: The First Step Act aims to transform the federal prison system, prioritize rehabilitation over punishment, and reform some of our nation’s harshest prison sentences — remnants of the outdated War on Drugs.  While getting any meaningful legislation signed into law is worthy of celebration, in most cases it is just the beginning of a much longer battle. The hard work — the part th...
Tags: Law, Congress, Senate, White House, House, Department Of Justice, Trump, Bureau, Review Committee, Barr, Jessica Jackson, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, William Barr, Mark Inch, Independent Review Committee


Relist Watch

John Elwood previews next Monday’s likely relists. With my long-awaited argument finally out of the way, my preparations will no longer keep me from creating humorous and informative posts on the relisted cases the Supreme Court is considering; instead, my lack of talent will. We had fairly little movement at the last conference. We got an opinion respecting the denial of certiorari in two cases that had been relisted five times. And one new grant in a case involving Yeezy’s latest persona. But ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Colorado, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Dhs, Walgreens, United States, Ford, Wheeler, Davis, Kansas


Petitions of the week

This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, the constitutionality of requiring an ultrasound as part of informed consent before an abortion, the standard for establishing that a statement is a true threat unprotected by the First Amendment, and whether Congress can abrogate a statutory promise to pay by limiting the availability of appropriations. The petitions of the week are: Knox v. Pennsylvania 18-949 Issue: Whether, to establ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States, Knox, Cases in the Pipeline, Moda Health Plan Inc, Kentucky Inc, Maine Community Health Options, Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Co


Lawyer Arrested And Held Without Bail For Witness Tampering Emoji

Yes, I do think we should talk about Matt Gaetz again.
Tags: Law, Congress, Courts, Litigators, Matt Gaetz, Witness Tampering


Funding the one percent

Justices Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan appeared this afternoon before the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the House Committee on Appropriations. They were invited to discuss the Supreme Court’s budget requirements for fiscal year 2020, but they also fielded questions about cameras in the courtroom, law clerk diversity, partisan attacks on the judiciary, and the #MeToo movement. Perhaps most notably, Kagan disclosed that Chief Justice John Roberts is studying a code ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Donald Trump, Bishop, Calif, John Roberts, Roger Stone, Roberts, Howe, Torres, Granger, Alito, Elena Kagan, Kagan



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