I’ll be speaking to the Federalist Society chapter at Duke Law School in Durham on Monday at 12:30, on the subject of gerrymandering and redistricting reform, with Prof. Bob Joyce responding. Drop by and introduce yourself if you’re local!
- “Twenty-five years of developments in both the law and social science show that a police command to ‘stop’ is more than a mere request for information.” Courts should handle accordingly [Ilya Shapiro on Cato amicus brief in Cisse v. New York, New York Court of Appeals]
- Procedures must be followed: “Murder suspect tries to turn himself in at New Orleans jail, but deputies demand proper ID” [Matt Sledge, The Advocate]
- New project aims to educate public on how to navigate oft-complex police complaint process [Cato Daily Podcast with Steve Silverman and Caleb Brown]
- “Are We About to See a Wave of Police Using ‘Victim’s Rights’ Laws to Keep Conduct Secret?” [Scott Shackford, earlier]
- “Militarization Fails to Enhance Police Safety or Reduce Crime but May Harm Police Reputation” [Jonathan Mummolo, Cato Research Briefs in Economic Policy, earlier]
- In letter to Google, NYPD threatens legal action if Waze app fails to remove feature allowing users to post locations of police checkpoints [Amanda Robert, ABA Journal]
One of the most significant changes happening at the moment in the ideological complexion of the courts is not related to the federal courts at all. The Florida Supreme Court, for many years firmly in the hands of a liberal majority of justices, is likely to take a new turn with three appointments from new governor Ron DeSantis, a conservative Republican who campaigned against what he called judicial activism. The previous court is remembered especially for holding the national stage during the 2000 Bush v. Gore controversy. Among its other hits, it killed a school voucher program and liberalized tort law in such areas as premises, municipal, recreational, and rental-equipment liability. It also repeatedly struck down legislation aimed at reining in litigious excess in such areas as medical liability and expert testimony. [David Freddoso, Washington Examiner]
Claim: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) obliges live-entertainment vendors such as Broadway shows to offer “sensory-friendly” versions for autistic customers as “a civil right.” [Whitney Ellenby, Washington Post/Taunton Gazette]
- Michigan’s Oakland County seizes rental property owned by elderly man over $8.41 unpaid tax bill plus $277 in fees and interest, sells property for $24,500, keeps all the surplus cash for itself. Constitutional? [Joe Barnett, Detroit News]
- Pruning obsolete laws: “Teaneck Council repeals more than a dozen old laws, including ban on cursing” [Megan Burrow, North Jersey Record, quoting Councilman and longtime friend of this site Keith Kaplan]
- “What does the Constitution have to say about national emergencies, both real and imagined?” [Cato Daily Podcast with Gene Healy and Caleb Brown]
- Lawyer in drunk-driving case: my client’s chewing on her coat could’ve thrown off breath test [AP/WSBT (Berwick, Pa.)]
- Baltimore police corruption, tax policies that attract people, densifying MoCo and more in my latest Maryland policy roundup [Free State Notes]
- Busybodies in Bismarck: “North Dakota’s Excellent Food Freedom Act Is Under Attack Yet Again” [Baylen Linnekin]
Are the federal courts really becoming a lost cause for liberal Democrats? My new piece for the New York Post, complete with detailed map, examines claims that Trump administration nominations are transforming the lower federal courts, with results that, as the cliche goes, will last for generations. But “the nature of the courts in our system is not that one side wins any permanent victories on judicial selection. And that’s a good thing.” Over the eight years of the Obama presidency, of the 13 federal appeals courts, the number with a majority of Republican appointees fell from 10 to 4; even though Trump has had a higher number than usual of holdover vacancies to fill, that number for the moment remains 4.
The courtroom camera in San Juan County, Washington “zoomed back out and then panned to the left to the defense counsel’s table and zoomed down directly on [her] yellow legal pad….” So why’d it do that? The sheriff appears to have argued that releasing the video in question “‘could expose weaknesses in court security,’ but it’s a little late for that. In any event, there is a more interesting question still to be answered, namely why the sheriff can control a courtroom camera from his office.” [Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar]
- “Illinois Supreme Court Allows No-Injury Biometric Information Privacy Act Claims in Complete Victory for Plaintiffs’ Bar” [Locke Lord] Google’s “which museum portrait is your selfie like?” an early local casualty [Illinois Policy and generally on the law]
- “Class action reform isn’t dead. It’s just not coming from Congress” [Alison Frankel, Reuters]
- To get around Daimler v. Bauman line of cases, state statutes now provide that by registering to do business in the state an out-of-state business consents to general personal jurisdiction. Is that consistent with due process? [Anand Agneshwar and Paige Sharpe, WLF, and on Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway case in Pennsylvania; Beck with survey of state statutes]
- “As Pelvic Mesh Settlements Near $8 Billion, Women Question Lawyers’ Fees” [Matthew Goldstein, New York Times, earlier and more]
- More on Department of Justice crackdown on fraud and mismanagement in asbestos bankruptcy trusts [ABA Journal, AP, Alison Frankel/Reuters, Sen. Chuck Grassley statement, earlier]
- Judge: Port Authority not liable over George Washington Bridge jumpers [Julia Marsh, New York Post]
“For Congress to impose a racialized and non-neutral regime on parents and children is not only unwise and unfair, but unconstitutional.” The Cato Institute has joined an amicus brief challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in the Fifth Circuit case of Brackeen v. Bernhard. I’ve got more details in a new post at Cato at Liberty. Earlier on ICWA here.
“An end to industrial civilization, but like in a totally pro-union way.” My two cents at Ricochet on the politics of this week’s “Green New Deal” boomlet, the land of pure imagination that exists beyond trade-offs, and the likelihood of universal high-speed rail’s getting even through its preliminary litigation stages, let alone built and operating, within ten years.