Posts Tagged ‘Eleventh Circuit’

Constitutional law roundup

  • Judge says Emoluments Clause suit based on Trump’s DC hotel can proceed [Andrew M. Harris, Bloomberg, Washington Post; two views at Volokh Conspiracy from David Post and Josh Blackman and Seth Barrett Tillman; earlier on Emoluments Clause litigation] Last year I noted the hotel-competitor fact pattern as the kind of emoluments case most likely to clear the standing hurdle;
  • Excessive fines are unconstitutional, whether levied on persons or on groups of persons [Ilya Shapiro and Matthew Larosiere and Dave Kopel on Cato/Independence Institute brief in Colorado Dept. of Labor v. Dami Hospitality]
  • Federalist Society conversation with author Joseph Tartakovsky about his new book, The Lives of the Constitution: Ten Exceptional Minds that Shaped America’s Supreme Law;
  • “In 2016, Birmingham, Ala. officials imposed $10.10 minimum wage, but the next day state legislators preempted it, enacting a statewide minimum wage of $7.25. Plaintiffs: Which discriminates against blacks, who make up 72 percent of Birmingham and most of its City Council. Eleventh Circuit: ‘Today, racism is no longer pledged from the portico of the capitol or exclaimed from the floor of the constitutional convention; it hides, abashed, cloaked beneath ostensibly neutral laws and legitimate bases, steering government power toward no less invidious ends.’ Plaintiffs’ equal protection claim should not have been dismissed.” [John Kenneth Ross, Short Circuit, on Lewis v. Governor of Alabama]
  • “This is the old ‘why do you make him hit you?’ argument applied to civil liberties. It excuses the actions of the abuser—the state in this case—as reactions to the missteps of the abused.” [J.D. Tuccille on curious ACLU argument that maintaining expansive Second Amendment rights just provokes the state into wider crackdowns]
  • North Carolina’s constitution has a clause endorsing right to “the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor” which might furnish ground to challenge some economic regulation [Eugene Volokh]

Lawsuit against dog dismissed

Randall Kevin Jones was injured by police canine Draco when apprehended, and proceeded to sue the animal itself, among others, under Georgia law for negligence. The Eleventh Circuit ordered the claim against the dog dismissed, noting “that the practical problems with suing a dog are virtually endless.” [Jordan Fowler, Washington Legal Foundation] To quote the opinion in Jones v. Fransen:

…under the express terms of Georgia law, only a person may be held liable for breaching a legal duty. … Not surprisingly, O.C.G.A. § 50-21-22(4), which we use to determine the meaning of words used in Georgia’s tort statutes, does not define the word “person” to include dogs.

In a 2001 case called Dye v. Wargo, the Seventh Circuit likewise dismissed an attempt to sue a police dog.

P.S. “I have here a stack of affidavits declaring the defendant a good boy.” — @jhimmibhob on Twitter.