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Catholic Student Group's Civil Rights Suit Againt University, Plus Criminal & Immigration Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on September 02, 2010 3:25 PM

US v. Lupton, 09-2710, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for corrupt solicitation, wire fraud, and making false statements to government officials for seeking kickbacks in connection with a sale and leaseback of a government owned building.  In affirming, the court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding expert testimony.  Also, a rational factfinder could readily conclude that defendant had authority to act on behalf of the state and was thus an "agent" as defined in 18 U.S.C. section 666(d)(1), and that the proposed transaction was not a bona fide transaction.  The court rejected defendant's challenges to his wire fraud conviction, and held that the district court did not err in finding that defendant knowingly and willfully made the statements in the course of a matter within the jurisdiction of the U.S. and that the statements were false and material.

 

Lin v. Holder, 09-3090, concerned a Chinese couple's petition for review of a BIA's affirmance of an IJ's decision that petitioners were not entitled to asylum or withholding of removal and are eligible to be deported.  In denying the petition, the court held that the petitioners have not met their burden of demonstrating past persecution or a well founded fear of future persecution that if they return to China they will be persecuted on account of their opposition to and failure to comply with family planning policies.

Badger Catholic, Inc. v. Walsh, 09-1102, involved a Catholic student group's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against University of Wisconsin for refusing to reimburse any of the group's expenses.  In affirming the district court's declaratory judgment in favor of plaintiff in concluding that reimbursing the expenses of religious speakers, through a program equally available to secular speakers, does not violate the Establishment Clause, and that, having established a public forum, the University must not exclude speakers who want to use the forum for worship, the court held that, underwriting a religious speaker's costs, as part of a neutral program justified by the program's secular benefits, does not violate the Establishment Clause even if the religious speaker uses some of the money for prayer or sectarian. instruction.

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