U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

October 2013 Archives

The last presidential campaign brought to public view the impact of Super PACs, or Political Action Committees, as a result of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC. And while the next presidential campaign is a few years off, we have some smaller elections going on around the country that are not immune from PACs.

Earlier this year in Floyd v. City of New York, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin handed down a 237-page liability opinion finding that the City of New York, through the New York City Police Department ("City"), violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of plaintiffs by engaging in racial profiling in the execution of its stop and frisk policy.

On the second go-around of appeals, the Second Circuit found that a Lebanese bank, with no "operations, branches or employees" is still subject to the personal jurisdiction of federal courts in New York.

Despite the finding of personal jurisdiction, the decision was vacated and remanded, this time to address subject matter jurisdiction. For the Lebanese Canadian Bank ("LCB"), the third time may be the charm.

J.P. Morgan the longtime teacher's pet, usually found sitting across from the President at meetings, has in a symbolic shift, been relegated to the corner, reports The Wall Street Journal (subscription only). This figurative demotion comes presumably as a result of civil investigations into the mortgage-backed securities that caused, in large part, the financial crisis of 2008.

That hasn't tarnished J.P. Morgan's reputation among investors and analysts however, as two-thirds of the mortgage-bond liability arise from Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, which J.P. Morgan acquired in 2008 after strong encouragement by U.S. regulators, according the Journal. But one analyst stated: "JPMorgan took it on the chin," reports Bloomberg.

The government may be in a partial shutdown, but the Second Circuit is alive and well, with two cases with big repercussions making moves in the judicial system.

State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition v. Rowland

On Friday, Connecticut officials submitted a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court, asking it to review a Second Circuit decision that could have a national ripple effect on the relationship between state governments and their unionized work force, reports The Associated Press.

When you stream television content on your mobile devices, do you consider those private, or public, performances insofar as copyright law is concerned? That's the basic question television broadcasters are petitioning the Supreme Court to decide.

For anyone who is a parent, one of the most frightening things always in the back of our minds is child abduction. But, what happens when the abductor is the child's other parent? And, what if she takes your child out of the country?

This term, the Supreme Court will interpret the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction -- and will determine whether the "now settled" defense is subject to equitable tolling.

Though the founders of our country sought to evade religious persecution, and explicitly sought to separate church and state, more than 200 years later we are still talking about the intersection of religion and public life. (Sidebar: Someone please give Congress a refresher on our country's history. Today.)

And, we're not talking about a case coming out of the Bible Belt, the latest religion case comes out of the usually hip older sister circuit, the Second.

Though Judge Weinstein means well when he quotes the Bible and wants leniency for a particular defendant convicted of distributing child pornography, he may be standing alone.

"[T]hou shalt not let any of thy [children] pass through the fire to Molech," he recites in his Memorandum and Order, but it seems he's overlooking one important fact. The defendant, though a minor when he started his crimes, was 19 when he committed the crime he was convicted of.

In fact, you can see the divide between the district court and the Second Circuit just from the case titles alone. Judge Weinstein chose to shield the defendant and refers to him as C.R., while the Second Circuit addresses him by his full name, Corey Reingold, since he is an adult.