There were just too many interesting things happening in the Second Circuit last week so here's a roundup of some of our favorites.
Recently in Court News Category
In what may be the most dramatic twist of events this year, the Second Circuit stayed Judge Scheindlin's injunctive order in New York City's stop and frisk case. But, that's not the surprising part. The Second Circuit panel, sua sponte, removed Judge Scheindlin from the case and had the action reassigned to another district judge.
Oh no they didn't ... Um, oh yes, they did. Though, it may not even matter.
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.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals stays busy. And, even though it's fully staffed, the existing lineup could use an extra body on the bench to review the hefty caseload.
But Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has a plan: the Court Efficiency Act.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals told Westchester County last week that it needs to get serious about compliance with a 2006 decree requiring the County to promote source-of-income legislation to ensure fair housing.
The decree evolved from a qui tam action filed by the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York (ADC), alleging that the County submitted false claims to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to obtain federal fair housing grant funds.
In 2009, New York City banned the sale of flavored smokeless tobacco products except in tobacco bars.
Apparently, there are only eight tobacco bars in New York City. None of them sell flavored smokeless tobacco. That means that the city ordinance effectively eliminated flavored smokeless tobacco sales in the city.
Tuesday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected tobacco companies' claims that federal law preempted the ordinance.
Will District Judge Jed Rakoff's controversial SEC settlement rejection set the tone for a bolder, badder judiciary?
In 2011, Rakoff blocked a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup over a mortgage-bond deal because the SEC didn't provide the court with facts "upon which to exercise even a modest degree of independent judgment." In the opinion, which described the $285 million settlement as "pocket change," Judge Rakoff noted that "there is an overriding public interest in knowing the truth," and the SEC "has a duty ... to see that the truth emerges."
Instead of disposing of the matter, Judge Rakoff ordered to parties to move forward with a trial.
Judicial clashes can be pretty amusing, particularly because we expect judges to be stoic and unflappable. But clearly there has been some flapping on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Last August, a split Second Circuit panel upheld a high school field hockey coach’s 30-year sentence for attempting to produce child pornography. Circuit Judge Reena Raagi wrote the majority opinion, explaining that the sentence, which fell within the Guidelines range, was reasonable because “no limitation shall be placed on the information concerning the background, character, and conduct of a person convicted of an offense which a court of the United States may receive and consider for the purpose of imposing an appropriate sentence” within the prescribed range.”
Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs dissented, arguing that the sentence unfairly reached beyond “the offense of conviction,” which “amounts to a single act of attempted sexting.”
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is popping up throughout the circuits lately. It's like she's the judicial groundhog, telling us we're in for six more weeks of legal winter.
For part-time New York residents seeking a gun license in the state, that legal winter will be spent waiting for the New York Court of Appeals to answer a certified question.
Friday, a Second Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously ruled that it lacked standing to hear a sanctions dispute about terrorism financing allegations.
The appeal stemmed from claims brought by victims and families of victims of terrorist attacks committed in Israel between 1995 and 2004. More than 100 families and 700 individuals are seeking more than $1 billion in damages from Arab Bank in the lawsuits, Thomson Reuters News & Insight reports.