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U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


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Jared Fogle's Pitch for Mercy Fails at the 7th Circuit

Last month Jared Fogle attempted to convince the court that his 188-month sentence had been unjustifiably enhanced and should be reduced. The case made headlines in particular because of the controversial theory his lawyer pushed: fantasizing about having sex with minors is not a crime.

Now, the Seventh Circuit has affirmed the district court's ruling, effectively closing the door to further calls for mercy unless an appeal to SCOTUS is made.

No Racial Slurs Allowed by Chicago School, Teacher Firing Upheld

In the ironically-named case of Brown v. Board of Ed., a teacher who was suspended from his position for using the N word in his classroom (for educational purposes) has no First Amendment claim, according to the recent Seventh Circuit ruling. Also, for related reasons, the court says the teacher suffered no violation of his due process. It's Brown v. Board of Education again, but it still has yet another layer of appeal left to go.

The ruling will upset many of those who have pointed out repeatedly the gray line that exists between proper use of language in a setting that has restricted Free Speech interests.

7th Circuit Employs Rarely Used FRE 807 Residual Hearsay Rule

The always insightful Seventh Circuit employed the rarely used Federal Rule of Evidence 807 "residual hearsay" rule recently to allow phone evidence connecting a man to the illegal sale of a gun used in a shootout with Indiana police.

The analysis, in our view, could have gone either way -- especially when looking at the authoring judge's language.

Jared Fogle's Latest Pitch: A Plea for a Shorter Sentence

Jared Fogle, the disgraced former Subway pitchman, is attempting to reduce his sentence by pushing an argument that's sure to cause a stir: sex fantasies with minors cannot support an enhanced sentence.

It's an argument that some legal analysts regard with some skepticism, particular when seen in context of the rest of Fogle's conduct, some of which famously includes traveling specifically to engage in sex with an underage girl. Whichever way this turns out, this case will not simply fizzle away.

Posner to Judges: Semper Scribo Simpliciter Sodes

Three cheers for perennially popular federal Circuit Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit who took the time, once again, to stand again on his soap-box decrying legalese in court opinions. The judge lamented overly prolix sentences and wordplay in court opinions. We admit, the habit is hard to break.

Posner's most recent anti-jargon pontificating comes as no surprise: Posner has long been a maverick in the legal community calling for the abolishment of some of the profession's more prized institutions, the Bluebook.

Can Cops Use iTranslate to Get Consent to Search? Si...

How accurate must a broken translation be in order for actual consent to be granted for a vehicle search? This question was the very center of a recent ruling by the Seventh Circuit which decided that the iPhone's iTranslate app can be used to obtain consent in lieu of warrant for an automobile search.

It does raise a very interesting question, though. What are the limitations on broken speech and consent and what implications will they have on broader civil rights?

7th Circuit Affirms Combined Convictions Against Child Abuser

A divided Seventh Circuit affirmed both child abuse and felony gun use convictions against admitted abuser David Resnick in a split decision that implicates the admissibility of polygraph information -- or rather, evidence of the defendant's refusal to submit to a polygraph.

But although the affirmation may strike many as being the proper outcome, the Fifth Amendment implications the opinion raises should really give even the most casual reader pause.

Wisconsin Polling of Jury During Trial Leads to Mistrial

A criminal defendant is entitled to a polling of the jury after a verdict has been reached and announced. But one slip of how the polling is done could basically necessitate a whole new trial. And this is exactly what happened in a Wisconsin federal district court.

The case below discusses interesting aspects of the Fifth Amendment's "overly coercive" doctrine.

P.F. Chang's Data Hack Case Revived by 7th Circuit

A class action suit against ersatz-Chinese food chain P.F. Chang's is allowed to proceed, said the Seventh Circuit, because two separate plaintiffs had alleged "enough" to meet the Twombly standards of standing in this breach of data case.

The circuit's ruling upholds the 2014 finding that a breach and increased risk of identity theft is "injury" enough for justiciability.