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

October 2015 Archives

When the New England Patriots were caught using slightly deflated footballs in championship games, allegations of cheating soon followed. In response, the NFL suspended Pat's quarterback Tom Brady for four games. "Deflategate" or, as some call it, "Ballghazi," soon went before the federal courts, where U.S. District Judge Richard Berman vacated Brady's suspension this September.

Now Brady's controversial footballs are directly before Second Circuit, with the NFL submitting the first brief in its appeal. The court, the League argues, overstepped its bounds by reversing the NFL's decisions on an issue that "struck at the heart of the game's integrity."

New York and Connecticut gun control laws prohibiting the possession of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines do not violate the Second Amendment, the Second Circuit ruled Monday. The laws were passed following the December, 2012, school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In the attacks, 20-year-old Adam Lanza used three semiautomatic weapons to kill 20 children and six adults, firing 156 shots in less than five minutes.

The ruling upholds the core provisions of both laws, which were some of the only gun control legislation successfully enacted after the Sandy Hook attacks.

Google Library Book-Scanning Project Is Fair Use

More than a decade ago, Google announced what, at the time, seemed like an unbelievably ambitious extension of Google Print: it would create a massive online library of 15,000,000 digitally scanned books. We all know now, however, not to underestimate Google.

The project did raise the ire of a number of copyright holders and lawyers who claimed the project was a massive copyright violation and two suits followed. Well, the Second Circuit just sided with Google and ruled that the Google Books Library Project had met all the elements of "fair use."

'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town' Rights Passed to Author's Family

Everyone knows the popular Christmas song, "Santa Clause is Comin' to Town." What's not so widely known is the story of the song's ownership. Currently, it's owned by Sony ... but not for much longer.

On Thursday, the Second Circuit ruled that the rights to the song will end in December of 2016 and will pass down to the descendants of John Frederick Coots, the original author.

2nd Circuit Revives ADA Case, Treats Student Like Employee

The Second Circuit revived a discrimination case that was originally brought in August of 2014 in which the former student accused his medical school of expelling him based on discrimination.

The University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (UBMED) dismissed Dean from the M.D. program after he failed to appear for his third administration of Step 1 of the United States medical Licensing Examination. In Dean's original suit, he alleged UBMED's dismissal of him from the school was based on disability and race; he pled violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, 42 U.S.C. sec. 1981, and 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983.

This case is notable because it marks possibly the first time the 2nd Circuit has been asked to analyze the ADA in the context of education discrimination. In doing so, the Court clarified the permissible use of the ADA as applied to former students.

Your credit is once again as good as gold in New York, thanks to a recent ruling by the Second Circuit. The state's ban on credit card surcharges is not unconstitutional, the court ruled Tuesday. Under the law, companies cannot impose a surcharge on a customer who chooses to pay by credit card rather than cash, check, or gold doubloons.

That law, in place since 1984, was invalidated two years ago when a district court found that it violated merchants First Amendment and due process rights. The Second Circuit disagreed, however, reviving the 31 year old law.