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

May 2014 Archives

2nd Cir. Joins Everyone Else in Okaying 'In God We Trust' Currency

Take a look at a dollar bill or a coin. Ever noticed the phrase, "In God We Trust?"

Yeah, me neither. But thanks to 31 U.S.C. §§ 5112(d)(1) and 5114(b), the slogan is mandatory on coinage and paper currency. Eleven individuals, including a coin collector, a teacher, atheists, secular humanists, and others, all argue that they are harmed by the placement of the slogan.

It might've been an interesting argument -- if it weren't the umpteenth time the argument has been brought, unsuccessfully, in federal court.

Last week, voters with disabilities were vindicated when the Second Circuit affirmed a district court's ruling that New York City failed to provide accessible polling locations for people with disabilities.

And while voters gained more access to the polls, SAC's Michael Steinberg was sentenced to 3-1/2 years' imprisonment for insider trading.

Let's call this the copyright lawsuit that just won't go away. What Disney thought was finality in a lawsuit involving the creation of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' now has new life.

In its fourth iteration, this lawsuit may now actually move forward. Let the drama begin.

In just the past year, the Second Circuit has decided at least four 9/11 related cases. It reversed a district court decision, resulting in bringing Saudi Arabia back into litigation, and it affirmed (on other grounds) a district court's dismissal of Con Edison's negligence claims against the World Trade Center building developers.

More recently, the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in a case where atheists are challenging the inclusion of a steel cross, created by debris in the wreckage of the World Trade Center collapse, in a 9/11 museum, and just last week heard arguments in a case that will likely drag former Attorney General John Ashcroft back into court regarding the treatment of 9/11 detainees.

The latest decision stemming from the 9/11 tragedy was handed down earlier this month by the Second Circuit.

The town of Greece, New York starts town hall meetings with a prayer, and that practice was challenged by two Greece residents who argued that the town was aligning itself with the Christian faith and that the prayers were not secular, but sectarian.

The district court found for the Town of Greece, and the Second Circuit reversed, stating "a legislative prayer practice that, however well-intentioned, conveys to a reasonable objective observer under the totality of the circumstances an official affiliation with a particular religion violates the clear command of the Establishment Clause."

On Monday, the Court issued five opinions -- let's just say this was a close one.

A case 12-years in the making was argued on appeal before a panel of the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals last Thursday, and it may potentially go on for a few more, according to The Associated Press.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, on behalf of plaintiffs -- men of Arabic, South Asian or Muslim backgrounds, initiated an action regarding the unlawful detention of men after the 9/11 attacks. A district court dismissed the claims against former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, but it looks like the Second Circuit is poised to revive the claims.

The past month was a busy one for fashion brands as two lawsuits made headlines (but thankfully had no effect on hemlines).

In the first suit, designer Rachel Roy is suing Jones Apparel Group ("Jones"), where she is trying to stop Jones from selling her brand for $14.6 million to Bluestar Alliance, allegedly in violation of several agreements between Roy and Jones, reports WWD. (subscription only)

In the next, Aeropostale is suing H&M for trademark infringement over the use of the phrase "Live Love Dream," says WWD. (subscription only)

Here's a breakdown of each case.