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U.S. Court Of Appeals Hears Arguments That Lawsuit Against Disney For 'Pirates' Shouldn't Have Been Dismissed (techdirt)

Back in 2019, we wrote about a lawsuit filed against Disney by two writers that pitched a piratey movie to the company. The writers' screenplay about Davey Jones, they said, was so similar to Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movies so as to constitute copyright infringement. Much of this appeared to stem from the fact that the two writers had pitched the screenplay to Disney a few years before the Pirates franchise began, but the similarities laid out in the lawsuit were classic idea/expression...
Tags: News, California, Disney, Johnny Depp, Disneyland, Caribbean, Timothy Geigner, Lowe, Walt Disney Co, U S Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Pirates, Davy Jones, Paez, Jack Sparrow, Davey Jones


Symposium: Channeling an old chief to reject a new immunity

Toby J. Heytens is solicitor general and Martine Cicconi is deputy solicitor general of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which filed an amicus brief on behalf of 15 states and the District of Columbia in support of the respondent in Trump v. Vance. Writing for the Supreme Court in Trump v. Vance, Chief Justice John Roberts began with a history lesson. “In the summer of 1807,” he narrated, “all eyes were on Richmond, Virginia,” where “Aaron Burr, the former Vice President, was on trial for treason.”...
Tags: New York, Featured, Law, Congress, Virginia, Manhattan, Department Of Justice, District Of Columbia, Donald Trump, Trump, Marshall, Thomas, State, Thomas Jefferson, John Roberts, Vance


SCOTUS Drawn Into Battle Over Florida’s Ex-Felon Voter Restrictions

The Supreme Court has before it a request from voter groups that it intervene in the high-stakes legal fight over a 2019 Florida law restricting the voting rights of ex-felons. The parties challenging the law filed the emergency request with the Supreme Court on Wednesday. On Friday, Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees the appellate circuit that includes Florida, asked that the state file a response to the request by next Tuesday. A district court had partially blocked the controversial law...
Tags: Florida, News, Supreme Court, Gop, Trump, Tierney Sneed, U S Court of Appeals, U S District, Clarence Thomas, Purcell, 11th Circuit, Eleventh Circuit, Hinkle, Robert Hinkle


Symposium: The Trump subpoena cases and the search for normalcy

Peter Shane is the Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. The 2016 victory of Donald Trump after his malignant campaign posed a question for lawyers, judges and government officials that has never really gone away: To what extent should the law treat now-President Trump as a normal president? Both constitutional and administrative law are shot through with doctrines in which challengers to executive branch action are met with “defere...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, White House, United States, Hawaii, House, Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Department, Committee, Trump, Nixon, Sonia Sotomayor


United States: Federal Circuit: Digital Guitar Instruction Patent Directed To An Abstract Idea - Holland & Knight

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit can be added to the list of cases invalidating claims under Section 101 that include "do it on a computer" limitations.
Tags: News, United States, Holland, U S Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit


Before the summer recess, one last set of grants

This afternoon the Supreme Court issued a final set of orders – often called the “clean-up” orders – before its summer recess. The justices sent several cases back to the lower courts for another look in light of the court’s recent decisions holding that, for purposes of the federal Major Crimes Act, much of eastern Oklahoma remains a Native American reservation and that the Trump administration did not violate the Affordable Care Act or the notice provisions of federal laws governing administra...
Tags: Facebook, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Georgia, SEC, Oklahoma, Collins, Federal Trade Commission, Securities And Exchange Commission, Ftc, Trump, Freddie Mac, 9th Circuit, Treasury Department, Liu


Relist Watch: The final countdown

SCOTUSblog reviews the relists at October Term 2019’s final conference. Before the justices leave town for the summer (or in this age of lockdown, stay home but change out of their “work” sweatpants into their “casual” sweatpants), they have one last impromptu conference to consider — and usually dispose of — all of the cases remaining after their last scheduled conference. Yesterday, the little yellow square on the Supreme Court’s calendar over July 8 signifying an “opinion day” turned into a g...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Treasury, Collins, Federal Trade Commission, Securities And Exchange Commission, Ftc, Agency, Freddie Mac, Liu, CFPB, U S Court of Appeals, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


Florida voters with felony convictions ask justices to intervene in voting-rights dispute

With the deadline to register to vote in Florida’s August primary election 12 days away, a group of Florida voters and civil rights groups today asked the Supreme Court to reinstate a ruling by a federal trial court that struck down a state law that requires Florida residents who have been convicted of a felony to pay all court fees and costs before voting. An order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit that put the trial court’s ruling on hold, the voters argue, “creates chaos and c...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Smith, Paul Smith, Howe, District Court, Gonzalez, U S Court of Appeals, Clarence Thomas, Purcell, 11th Circuit, DeSantis, Campaign Legal Center, Emergency appeals and applications


Opinion analysis: Court rules that Catholic elementary school teachers are “ministers,” cannot sue for employment discrimination

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a doctrine known as the “ministerial exception,” which bars ministers from suing churches and other religious institutions for employment discrimination, prohibited a lawsuit filed by a teacher at a Lutheran school who was also an ordained minister. Today, by a vote of 7-2, the court held in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru that the exception also forecloses lawsuits by two teachers at Catholic elementary schools in southern California. Althou...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Los Angeles, Css, United States, Philadelphia, Catholic, Jesus Christ, Sonia Sotomayor, Fulton, 9th Circuit, The Supreme Court, Torrance, Howe


Opinion analysis: Fractured court rules in favor of political consultants in First Amendment challenge to federal robocall law but keeps robocall ban in place

On Monday, in a fractured set of opinions, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an association of political consultants challenging the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. That statute bans robocalls to cellphones. In 2015 Congress added an exception to permit robocalls collecting government-backed debts. In Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, the court decided that the 2015 exception violates the First Amendment’s speech clause. The consultants won the constitutional ar...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Town, Thomas, Reed, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, TCPA


Opinion analysis: Court upholds “faithless elector” laws

This morning the Supreme Court unanimously rejected two challenges to the constitutionality of so-called “faithless elector” laws, which penalize or remove presidential electors who fail to vote for the candidate they have pledged to support. The rulings came with just under four months remaining before the 2020 election. The Supreme Court heard arguments in May in two different disputes involving states’ efforts to enforce their faithless elector laws during the 2016 presidential election proce...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, Washington, Hillary Clinton, Broadway, Ohio, States, District Of Columbia, Donald Trump, Hamilton, Clinton, John Kasich, Thomas, State


Court grants Alabama’s request to block ruling on COVID-related accommodations for upcoming runoff election

Tonight a divided Supreme Court granted a request by Alabama to temporarily freeze a lower-court ruling, issued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that would make it easier for voters in the state to cast absentee ballots in the state’s upcoming primary election runoff, which is scheduled for July 14. By a vote of 5-4, the justices put the order by a federal district court in Alabama on hold while the state appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and, if necessary, the Supre...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Senate, Court, Alabama, Wisconsin, Donald Trump, U S Senate, Howe, Auburn University, U S Court of Appeals, Jeff Sessions, Elena Kagan, 11th Circuit, Texas Democratic Party


Justices grant new cases, send Indiana abortion cases back for a new look

This morning the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices’ private conference yesterday. The justices granted five new cases, for a total of four additional hours of argument. The biggest news from the order list was the announcement (which I covered in a separate post) that the court will weigh in on whether the Department of Justice must disclose secret materials from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to the House Judiciary Committee. The remaining new cases, which are likely...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Planned Parenthood, Kentucky, Germany, Nazis, Berlin, City, Indiana, Hungary, United States, Mali


Appeals Court Reinstates Florida’s Ex-Felon ‘Poll Tax’ Law While It Hears Case

A federal judge’s ruling striking down Florida’s ex-felon “poll tax” law was put on hold Wednesday, after the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit voted to hear the case. Florida had used an uncommon procedural move to get the case in front of the full circuit court — which was recently flipped to a majority GOP-appointed court — while skipping the usual step of having the case first heard by a three-judge panel from the appeals court. The 11th Circuit said Wednesday that it would ...
Tags: Florida, News, Gop, Appeals Court, Trump, Tierney Sneed, U S Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, Hinkle, Robert Hinkle, Felon Voting Rights


Symposium: How to count to one

John Knepper is a private attorney based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He previously was chief deputy attorney general of Wyoming. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Susan B. Anthony List in support of the respondent in June Medical Services v. Russo. Marks v. United States instructs that when a majority of the justices cannot agree on more than the outcome, “the holding of the Court may be viewed as that position taken by those Members who concurred in the judgments on the narrowest grounds.” Mu...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, United States, Wyoming, Louisiana, Kafka, John Roberts, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Stephen Breyer, Ramos, Clarence Thomas


Opinion analysis: Court holds that “generic.com” marks may be registered trademarks or service marks when consumers do not perceive them as generic

When the digital travel company Booking.com sought to register its domain name as a service mark for hotel reservation services, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office denied registration under a longstanding policy that the combination of a generic term for goods and services with the “.com” suffix did not create a protectable trademark. Booking.com sought review of the PTO’s decision in federal district court, and introduced survey evidence supporting an inference that 74 percent of consumers re...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Ginsburg, PTO, U S Court of Appeals, U S Patent and Trademark Office, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, 4th Circuit, Merits Cases, U S Patent and Trademark


Symposium: June Medical and the many faces of judicial discretion

Jane Schacter is the William Nelson Cromwell professor of law at Stanford Law School. She signed an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Russo. The headline from the 5-4 decision in June Medical Services v. Russo striking down Louisiana’s abortion restriction is unquestionably the vote of Chief Justice John Roberts. He determined the outcome. While he may have previewed his position a year ago when he voted to stay the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for t...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Law, Stanford, Louisiana, King, John Roberts, Roberts, Williamson, Lochner, Alito, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Stephen Breyer, Breyer


Relists Return

John Elwood reviews Monday’s relists. After a couple of weeks with no new relists, the Supreme Court is back this week with a vengeance. The court has scheduled an impromptu conference for Wednesday, July 1. In most years, an impromptu conference scheduled for the last week of June would be the mop-up conference for the entire term in which all outstanding business for the term is resolved. But the court still has enough outstanding opinions in argued cases that things may continue for a while y...
Tags: Florida, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Colorado, Kentucky, Germany, Virginia, Hungary, United States, Williams, Tennessee, Sharp, Atkins


Symposium: June Medical decision is no cause for congressional complacency

Richard Blumenthal is the senior United States senator from Connecticut. He joined an amicus brief on behalf of 197 members of Congress in support of the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Russo. He is the Senate lead sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act. Today’s Supreme Court decision in June Medical Services v. Russo is a landmark legal victory against radical politicians relentlessly attacking reproductive rights cross the country. Roe v. Wade is safe—for now. This ruling is an i...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, United States, Connecticut, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Richard Blumenthal, John Roberts, Baton Rouge, U S Court of Appeals, Stephen Breyer, Breyer


Opinion analysis: Court strikes down restrictions on removal of CFPB director but leaves bureau in place

In response to the 2008 financial crisis, Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency with approximately 1,500 employees that tackles everything from payday loans to financial literacy programs and helping consumers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The director of the CFPB, Kathy Kraninger, was appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate in December 2018 to serve a five-year term. Under the law that created the CFPB, Kraninger can be removed fro...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Senate, United States, Social Security Administration, Donald Trump, Paul Clement, Federal Trade Commission, Securities And Exchange Commission, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, 9th Circuit


"The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a challenge to new federal death penalty protocols..."

"... potentially clearing the way for the government to resume executions as soon as next month for the first time since 2003. The court, without comment, declined to take up the lawsuit filed by four death row inmates. As is customary, it gave no reason. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor indicated they would have accepted the case.... The individual inmates facing execution could file additional challenges, which could affect whether and when these sentences are carried out.... A...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Gop, Death Penalty, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Department, Sonia Sotomayor, D C Circuit, WaPo, U S Court of Appeals, Ann Althouse, William P Barr


Opinion analysis: Justices uphold condition for HIV/AIDS funding

Seven years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that nongovernmental organizations based in the United States cannot be required to have a policy that expressly opposes prostitution and sex trafficking in order to receive government funds to fight HIV/AIDS. However, by a vote of 5-3, the court held today in U.S. Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International that enforcement of a similar requirement against the foreign affiliates of the same U.S.-based NGOs does not vio...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Cnn, United States, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, U S Agency for International Development, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Kavanaugh


Opinion analysis: With Roberts providing the fifth vote, court strikes down Louisiana abortion law (Updated)

Four years ago, by a vote of 5-3, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that (among other things) required doctors who perform abortions to have the right to admit patients at a nearby hospital. In that case, Justice Anthony Kennedy joined his four more liberal colleagues in holding that, although Texas has a genuine interest in protecting the health of pregnant women, there was no evidence that the law actually did anything to promote that interest – but it did make it more difficult for wo...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, New Orleans, Louisiana, Kennedy, Thomas, John Roberts, Roberts, Baton Rouge, District Court, Alito, U S Court of Appeals


Justices reject effort to allow mail-in voting for all in Texas

The Supreme Court today refused to reinstate a ruling by a federal trial court that would have allowed all eligible voters in Texas to vote by mail for the 2020 election cycle. In a brief order without any noted dissents, the justices turned down a request from the Texas Democratic Party and a group of Texas voters to block a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that put the trial court’s ruling on hold. In a short statement, Justice Sonia Sotomayor urged the 5th Circuit to se...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Sonia Sotomayor, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, 5th Circuit, Fred Biery, Texas Democratic Party, Biery, Emergency appeals and applications


Opinion analysis: Court confirms limitations on federal review for asylum seekers

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court in Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam upheld a scheme of limited and narrow judicial review over expedited removal, a bare-bones administrative process created under the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Expedited removal allows an immigration official to make the immediate decision to deport a person without a hearing if the person is apprehended within 100 miles of a border and if they cannot prove they have liv...
Tags: Featured, Guantanamo Bay, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Afghanistan, United States, Cuba, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sri Lanka, Executive Branch, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, 9th Circuit, Alito


Trump Takes Victory Lap Over Court Ordering Flynn Case Dismissal: ‘Great!’

President Donald Trump applauded an appeals court’s ruling on Wednesday that allowed the Justice Department to drop the criminal case against Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser. “Great! Appeals Court Upholds Justice Departments [sic] Request To Drop Criminal Case Against General Michael Flynn!” Trump tweeted. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan must immediately throw out the case after the Justice Department made th...
Tags: News, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Trump, Flynn, Roger Stone, D C Circuit, U S Court of Appeals, Michael Flynn, Emmet Sullivan, Michael Flynn Trump, Trump Tweets, FBI Trump, Cristina Cabrera


Appeals Court Orders Judge To Dismiss Flynn’s Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan dismiss Michael Flynn’s case. The majority opinion was written by Judge Neomi Rao, an appointee of President Trump. Judge Robert Wilkins, an Obama appointee and the only Democratic-appointed judge on the three judge appellate panel, dissented. Flynn had asked the appeals court to intervene when, instead of immediately granting the Justice Department’s request to drop the case, Sullivan app...
Tags: News, Obama, Court, Justice Department, Appeals Court, Executive Branch, Tierney Sneed, Flynn, D C Circuit, District Court, Wilkins, Sullivan, U S Court of Appeals, Wilkens, Rao, Michael Flynn


United States: Ninth Circuit Rejects Plaintiffs' Claims In Trio Of ADA Disability Access Cases - Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

In a big win for Starbucks and all other restauranteurs, retailers, and places of public accommodation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held in three related cases...
Tags: News, United States, Starbucks, Ada, Stewart, U S Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak, Ninth Circuit Rejects Plaintiffs


Petitions of the week

This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that ask the court to decide, among other things, whether an impeachment trial before a legislative body is a “judicial proceeding” under Rule 6(e)(3)(E)(i) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, whether and to what extent the manner in which the federal government can execute federal prisoners is governed by state execution protocols and whether statistical surveys may be used to establish commonality and predominance in a c...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Department Of Justice, House Committee, Tyson Foods Inc, U S Court of Appeals, Stone, 7th Circuit, Reese, Barr, Goldstein Russell, Roane, Tackett, Cases in the Pipeline, Bouaphakeo, CNH Industrial N V


Symposium: SCOTUS 2020 and the DACA decision: just another reason to wish it were still 2019

Kimberly Hermann is General Counsel at Southeastern Legal Foundation, which filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. The date is June 19, 2020. The America we live in today is drastically different from the America we lived in when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve. In the past six months, our country has endured a pandemic, economic instability, tragedy, hard yet overdue conversations and riots. I...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Congress, America, Barack Obama, Dhs, Pandora, United States, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Department Of Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency, University Of California, Duke