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

February 2014 News

With the Supreme Court in full swing, Monday was a busy day for denials (just take a look at the order list). One of the cases denied cert. was a case originating in the Seventh Circuit, and one of a trio of cases the SCOTUSblog likes to call the "washing machine" cases.

We also take a look at Wisconsin's voter photo ID law that is before Wisconsin's highest court.

In September 2009, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and to commemorate the event, Sports Illustrated devoted an issue to highlighting Michael Jordan's legendary career. Sports Illustrated offered Jewel-Osco supermarkets ("Jewel") a free ad in the magazine, in exchange for Jewel selling the magazines in its store.

Jewel's ad was a full-pager, placed on the inside back cover, and featured a pair of basketball shoes bearing Michael Jordan's number 23, with a congratulatory note, as well as Jewel's logo and slogan, reports the Chicago Tribune. What was meant as a congratulatory note was instead seen as a misappropriation of identity and resulted in a lawsuit, reports ESPN.

Darnell Boyce was convicted of five state felonies in 1991, and served concurrent sentences. After he served his sentences and was on supervised release, he was arrested and convicted of unlawful use of a weapon. As a result, he returned to prison, and his supervised release was revoked. After he was released for the unlawful use of weapon charge, he received a letter restoring his civil rights to vote and hold state office.

In 2010, Boyce's girlfriend called 911 shortly after a domestic violence incident, in which she told the operator that Boyce had a gun. When police arrived on the scene, Boyce ran away, and was observed throwing a gun. A gun was found in the area where he threw the object, and when searched he was found to have ammunition on him.

Earlier this month, the Seventh Circuit had the opportunity to address a First Amendment free speech case regarding public protest, reports Courthouse News Service. Eric Smith planned a protest of the United Nations' proposed Arms Trade Treaty at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument Circle in Indianapolis, Indiana. Though he publicized the event, only he and his son showed up. The two set up five signs on the ground to promote the protest.

A few minutes later, an Indiana War Memorials Commission ("Commission") employee asked Smith to leave the property after asking Smith if he had a permit to protest, which he did not. He refused to leave at first, but changed his mind when police officers threatened his arrest.

The Jaros brothers have been trying to open up a Bible camp since 2004, and have been involved in litigation since 2010 to try to get the appropriate permits for the camp, reports The Lakeland Times. In a last ditch effort, the brothers may petition the Supreme Court of the United States for certiorari, but because of the small impact of the case, as well as a lack of circuit split, we think it's doubtful that the Supreme Court will take it on.

Margarita Zayas was an ultrasound technician employed at Rockford Memorial Hospital from November 1999 to April 2011. Though she received positive work evaluations as recently as 2008 and 2009, she was terminated because of repeatedly sending disrespectful emails to her direct supervisor Larry Griesman.

Over the course of one year, Zayas sent a series of insubordinate emails to Griesman, despite several meetings and warnings. Even after Zayas received a formal written warning, she persisted in sending emails that "were perceived as negative, unprofessional and disrespectful towards her managers and peers." Because she did not heed her employer's warnings, she was terminated in April 2011, at the age of fifty-five, the oldest ultrasound tech at Rockford Memorial Hospital.

In the latest fall out resulting from United States v. Windsor, the ACLU of Wisconsin is challenging Wisconsin state laws that prohibit same-sex marriage. Today, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin challenging Wisconsin laws that prohibit same-sex marriages.

The Back Story

Two of the named plaintiffs are Roy Badger and Garth Wangemann, a Milwaukee-based couple that has been together for 37 years. Wangemann had part of his lung removed after being diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago. Complications followed surgery, and Wangemann was in a coma for almost a month. Wangemann's father wanted to override Badger's power of attorney and take Wangemann off of life support. Fortunately, his father's attempt failed and Wangemann recovered.