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

September 2015 News

It was a sad day in the Seventh Circuit last Tuesday, as Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Cudahy died of natural causes in his home. Judge Cudahy, a Carter appointee, joined the circuit in 1979 and served for a total of 36 years, with 15 years on active status. He was 89 years old.

Judge Cudahy was "unusually productive," his Seventh Circuit bio notes. And though he got his start in the U.S. Air Force and later ran a family meatpacking plant, he made his name as an influential jurist and a respected expert on environmental and energy law. He was a great example of "how to combine intellect with compassion," his former clerk Ralph Weber told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Just in time for Labor Day comes a (relative) success for union organizers. The Seventh Circuit slapped down an auto dealership which threatened its employees against unionizing last Friday. When workers at Libertyville Toyota in Illinois began organizing, the dealership's owner, AutoNation, called them together to warn them against unionizing, saying that they would face wage cuts and blacklisting if they did. AutoNation is the largest auto chain in the country.

One sly employee surreptitiously recorded one of the meetings, conducted by two AutoNation executives. Those recordings lead to the Seventh Circuit's recent ruling against the company.

Non-citizens have a right to bear arms, even if they are in the country illegally, the Seventh Circuit ruled late in August. The ruling overturns a district court finding that the Second Amendment doesn't protect unauthorized aliens. In so holding, the Seventh created a split with the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Circuits, all of which have ruled otherwise.

But, there's a catch. While the right to bear arms extends to unauthorized non-citizens in the U.S., the Second Amendment also allows for limits. That includes a federal law banning unauthorized immigrants and nonimmigrant visa holders from possessing firearms, the court concluded.