7th Circuit Court News News - U.S. Seventh Circuit
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Recent Court News Decisions

We're only three months into 2014, and the "Benchslappy" Seventh Circuit (so dubbed by Above the Law) has already issued enough benchslaps to warrant a review. And we're not just talking Judge Posner, but Judge Easterbrook as well. Here's a little round up of some of the latest benchslaps coming out of the Windy City.

Judge Posner's Benchslaps During Oral Arguments

Earlier this month we posted on the Seventh Circuit's opinion, written by Judge Posner, affirming a district court's denial of Notre Dame's motion for a preliminary injunction in a contraception mandate case. Apparently, the court's opinion may be getting as much press as some of the interactions between the bench and Notre Dame's attorney Matthew Kairis during oral arguments.

We usually leave the marketing talk to the Strategist Blog writers, but we have a hunch that attorneys in the Seventh Circuit might need some help marketing too. While you're trying to get through the winter hunkered down under blankets (as we can only imagine here in sunny California), putting together a marketing plan may be just the thing you need to get the blood pumping.

Here are three easy things you can do to boost your firm's business, so next winter you can take that tropical vacation and leave those blankets behind.

Last week, Above the Law reported on a most interesting clerkship rejection letter they called "rejection via resignation." In the letter, Judge John Daniel Tinder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit softly let an applicant down, stating: "Your credentials are outstanding. However, I recently decided that I will be leaving the court in 2015 so I will not be hiring any additional clerks."

A testament to the applicant's resourcefulness, the "tipster" could not find any formal retirement announcements and let ATL know.

The Seventh Circuit is a delight to cover -- how could it not be when you have the likes of Posner and Easterbrook writing opinions? And with such high-profile judges on the bench, the Seventh Circuit is in the news sometimes as much for its personalities as it is for the law coming out of the jurisdiction.

As we take this time to get prepped for what 2014 has to offer, here's a look back at 2013 to see the legal highlights from the Seventh Circuit:

We recently posted about Judge Posner's thoughts on the Crawford voter-id opinion he authored. Based on an excerpt from his book "Reflections on Judging," he seemed to hint that he didn't agree with the direction the case took -- the view that the "law [is] now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than fraud prevention."

Reporting on a depressing case of child pornography was just too much for us, so we're trying to even things out, if possible, by letting you in on other judicial related news from around the 7th Circuit ...

New Law School Dedication

Indiana Tech is dedicating its new law school in Fort Wayne on September 14, 2013, reports the Daily Reporter. The charter class began session on August 26th. For the dedication ceremony, Judge Easterbrook of the Seventh Circuit is speaking, along with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

If there's one list you don't want to appear on as a judge, it's probably a list of "judges you'd totally want to hang out with this weekend." Especially, if it's because of your ability to procure "really good drugs," as Above the Law likes to put it.

But it looks like that's exactly what former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook has done.

Chances are if you have insomnia and watch late-night TV, you've probably seen Kevin Trudeau trying to sell you something. You're too smart for that of course, but 25 million Americans weren't, reports the Daily Mail.

Kevin Trudeau has reportedly made millions out of duping the American public into buying his life-enhancing (and purportedly life-saving) products ... which is funny considering Trudeau has no medical training and a few criminal convictions, according to the Daily Mail. But, the FTC has been diligently working over a decade to bring Trudeau -- and his false claims -- to justice.

7th Cir. Denies Illinois Gun Law Rehearing Request

In December, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in a 2-1 decision that an Illinois ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional.

In striking the law, Judge Richard Posner said that Illinois had to provide the court with more than merely a rational basis for asserting that its sweeping ban was justified by an increase in public safety. The court, however, stayed its ruling for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law.

The decision was controversial, particularly after the Sandy Hook school shooting that happened only three days later, but controversy isn't enough to guarantee en banc rehearing. Last week, the Seventh Circuit declined to reconsider its decision.

For the Record, SCOTUS Won't Stop Citizens from Recording Police

Maybe you have seen Exit Through the Gift Shop, a delightful documentary about a French guy trying to make a documentary about the street art movement. There are several scenes in which police officers try to thwart the artists/hooligans' attempts to leave their marks on buildings. The aforementioned French guy caught the interactions on tape.

Cop-recording can be controversial. Most police officers don't want bystanders to tape them while they're working, and some cops will intimidate or arrest people who try to film them with their cellphones. Citizens who try to record the police -- like the Frenchman in the film -- are often told to shut off their cameras.