2nd Circuit Civil Rights Law News - U.S. Second Circuit
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Recently in Civil Rights Law Category

A case that's been up and down the Second Circuit several times since 1994 is once again in the spotlight. And, the latest in the recent slew of art-related cases in the Second Circuit involves the sale of forgeries for millions. Details below on the latest on Second Circuit legal news.

Rothko Forgeries

New York art gallery Knoedler & Company, several of its employees, and an art historian are being sued by Frank J. Fertitta III, a man who claims that the gallery knowingly sold him a forged Rothko painting for over $7 million, reports The New York Times.

Many high profile cases are making their way through the Southern District of New York, and to the Second Circuit. Today, we'll give you the latest on Apple's e-books suit, Chinese search engine Baidu's free speech, Rajat Gupta's failed appeal and JPMorgan's win.

Apple e-books Class Action Certified

Apple was dealt another blow last week when U.S. District Judge Denise Cote granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The consumers are suing Apple for "conspiring with five major publishers to fix e-book prices in violation of antitrust law," reports Reuters. Last year, Judge Cote found Apple liable in an antitrust action brought by the Department of Justice based on the same conduct. Today, 33 states have brought actions against Apple, and class actions have been filed in the remaining states, reports Reuters.

It's never a dull day in the Second Circuit, and cases at varying stages of litigation are progressing through the courts. Today we look at an atheist group's challenge to the inclusion of a steel cross in a 9/11 museum, the ACLU's appeal of a phone data ruling and the Department of Justice weighs in on the Aereo case that the Supreme Court will hear in April.

Atheists Challenge 9/11 Steel Cross

An activist group of atheists, American Atheists, continues to challenge the inclusion of a steel cross in a 9/11 museum. The steel cross was formed by the debris of the World Trade Center and is being included as one of the many artifacts left from the destruction. For some, the cross was seen as a symbol of hope, but some atheists have allegedly been suffering from "physical and emotional pain" because of the crosses inclusion in the museum, reports The Blaze.

If you were just thinking, will this ever go away, then we're on the same page. And the short answer to your question is: no. Though we're headed there ... we think.

Last Friday, the Second Circuit handed down the latest in a series of decisions that have been going back and forth between the Southern District of New York and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. While there will doubtless be more appeals, we're hoping that we're getting close to the end on this issue.

Where do we begin? There is so much legal news brewing in the Second Circuit that we couldn't just pick one story to highlight. Here's a quick roundup of litigation that's making headlines in the Second Circuit.

When Is Incest, Incest?

Um, one would think the answer to that question is -- always. But, in a recent Board of Immigration Appeals decision regarding whether a marriage between a woman and her husband by "half-blood" is void for incest under New York law, the Second Circuit certified the question to the New York Court of Appeals. Though the effect of the precedent may not be very wide-reaching, we're all curious to see how the court decides this one.

Just when you thought it was over. Last week we posted that new New York City Mayor de Blasio dropped the stop and frisk appeal, as he had promised in his mayoral campaign. If you thought that would be the end of the saga surrounding the former New York City Mayor Bloomberg's administration's stop and frisk policy, then you thought wrong.

Last Friday, five police association's filed two memoranda of law in opposition to the City's motion for remand with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, reports The Associated Press. So what does it all mean for stop and frisk?

One of the most controversial cases of the last year in New York City has been the litigation surrounding the former Bloomberg Administration's stop and frisk policy. As the case progressed through the appeals process, it became clear that the outcome would be dependent on politics, and not the judicial system. As of last week, there may be a political end in sight.

There have also been developments surrounding the heartbreaking school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Read on as we take a look at the new legal outcomes.

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit struck down portions of New York City’s Local Law 17 in The Evergreen Association v. City of New York, but held that the definition of “pregnancy service centers” wasn’t impermissibly vague.

Local Law 17 required pregnancy centers to disclose whether they have licensed medical professional on staff, whether the center provides referrals for abortion, emergency contraception, or prenatal care, and that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene encourages pregnant women to consult with a licensed doctor, according to the opinion.

One of the issues in this case is whether the definition of ‘pregnancy services centers’ was too vague and would compel them to speech they didn’t endorse.

Not quite sure why we still get surprised, but sometimes we read about things people do to each other and it really boggles the mind. Just how exactly does a person come up with the idea to spray a combination of feces, vinegar and some type of machine oil on another person?

We have no clue how such an awful idea comes to fruition, but we do know that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals considers it cruel and unusual punishment. In an appeal heard late December, the court vacated a district court's decision that came to the opposite conclusion.

We know it's not OK to play favorites, but we're not going to lie: the Second Circuit is one of our (or specifically, my) favorite circuits to cover. And how could it not be? With New York City in its jurisdiction, it would be hard not to have interesting cases coming out of the Second Circuit.

So, as we leap into the new year, let's take a moment to look back on the legal highlights of the Second Circuit in 2013: