There's not a lot of major news on First Street today, but there are a handful of updates.
For one, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg still isn't retiring. No seriously, she's not. Glad she cleared that up (again). She also reflected on her experience as one of the first female justices. Meantime her BFF, Justice Antonin Scalia, made a pair of speeches in which he stressed the importance of oral arguments and of the Court as an institution.
And remember the Aereo case? The company's competitor, formerly known as AereoKiller and now known as FilmOn, didn't win its parallel case in a district court. Though the Ninth Circuit has yet to weigh in, FilmOn also wants the Supreme Court's attention.
Finally, last month, the Court denied to hear a case about parents who prayed, instead of seeking medical help, while their diabetic child died. Now they'll have to serve a truly unusual sentence, unless the lower court has a change of heart.
Ready for the roundup? Read on.
In addition to reiterating her desire to stay on the bench as long as she is able, Justice Ginsburg shared a few humorous stories about what it's been like to be one of the first females on the High Court. When she joined the Court as the second female justice, people would regularly mistake her voice for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, reports The Washington Post. That doesn't happen anymore, with two more women on the bench. Also, before she started, the justices' robing room lacked facilities for females -- Justice O'Connor changed in her office. Fortunately, that has also changed.
Though many, Justices Ginsburg and Thomas included, have downplayed the importance of oral arguments, Justice Scalia took the opposite side in a speech at the University of Memphis, saying that oral arguments have helped him "make up his mind," reports the Memphis Daily News. He also disagrees with folks calling for shortening law school.
In a second speech at The Peabody Hotel, he argued that state courts are more important to everyday Americans, quipping, "If you murder someone anywhere in the country, if you do it right, you haven't broken federal law." He also stressed the importance of an independent judiciary in protecting Americans' freedoms, arguing, "Do you not realize every tyrant in the world has a bill of rights? Every banana republic? ... Unless the real constitution of a country prevents the centralization of power, all the rest is words on paper."
FilmOn Willing to Appeal
With its competitor agreeing with the television networks' request for certiorari, FilmOn wants to get in on the party too. Only, the Ninth Circuit hasn't ruled yet. Nonetheless, the company's founder expressed a willingness to appeal all the way, should the present injunction stand, reports Multichannel. At issue is the companies' rebroadcasting of free over-the-air television programming via the Internet.
Prayer for Relief?
A Wisconsin couple, who chose to treat their daughter's diabetes with prayer rather than medicine, and reportedly insisted that God would raise their daughter from the dead, had their certiorari petition denied last month. Now, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette, Leilani and Dale Neumann face a truly odd sentence: one month in jail each, per year, for six years, along with 10 years' probation. The unique sentence was fashioned to allow the couple to care for their other children. A hearing at the end of January will determine if or when that sentence will be carried out.
Yep, we know, it's a slow Wednesday. Still, it's always fun to play the "how many times will they ask RBG about retirement?" game.
- FilmOn X, Rival to Aereo, Argues to Appellate Court That Its "Innovation" Is Legal (Variety)
- Contract Sets Timing in ERISA Claim; Clock Ticks Before Accrual (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- Union Case Dropped; Younger Clarified; Congress Comes to Court (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)