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

October 2012 News

Waive Goodbye: Amended Complaints Must Include All Claims

Just so we're clear, the Seventh Circuit is a stickler for details. If you file a lawsuit, and then you file an amended complaint, you have to repeat all of your original claims in your amended complaint. Otherwise, you waive the claims.

Clearly, we wouldn't be discussing this unless someone learned this lesson the hard way, so let's get to discussing his case.

Court Upholds Illinois Campaign Finance Law

An Illinois campaign finance law limiting contributions to political campaign can remain in force through the November 6 election, Reuters reports.

The challenged provisions were enacted in 2009 as part of the Illinois Disclosure and Regulation of Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Act, which recognizes three classes of political contributors: individuals, political committees and corporations, labor unions, or other associations. The Illinois campaign law imposes a $5,000 limit on contributions from individuals, a $10,000 limit on unions and corporations, and a $50,000 limit on political action committees.

Seventh Circuit Blocks Indiana Law Defunding Planned Parenthood

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that Indiana cannot cut Medicaid funding to abortion providers, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In 2011 Indiana adopted a law prohibiting state agencies from providing state or federal funds to "any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed."

That law made Indiana the first state to deny the Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds for general health services including cancer screenings, The Associated Press reports.

Supervised Release Decisions Must Include Court's Reasoning

Nicolai Quinn pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, and was sentenced to 97 months' imprisonment. While his plea agreement contained a promise not to appeal the conviction and length of imprisonment, it didn't stop him from appealing his sentence of supervised release.

And so we turn to Quinn's supervised release challenge in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

It May Stink Like a Hog Farm, But It's Not 'Retaliation'

Much like the hog farms that once populated Tazewell County, local political battles really stink.

But even when a local board's actions look — and smell — like retaliation, a plaintiff can still lose a retaliation lawsuit.

Court Says Competing Immigration Actions Can Coexist

Trinidad Klene applied for citizenship. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied the application after concluding that Klene's marriage to a U.S. citizen had been fraudulent.

Klene asked a district court for relief under 8 U.S.C. §1421(c), which allows a judge to make an independent decision about an alien's entitlement to be naturalized. Later, CIS opened removal proceedings. Once the administrative removal proceedings were under way, the agency asked the district court to dismiss Klene's suit.

So what's a district court to do in this situation? The Seventh Circuit says that both cases can move forward.

Benefit Denial Must Be Backed by Reasons, not References

Charles Kastner sought disability insurance benefits because he was suffering from a degenerative disc disorder. He claimed that his disorder of the spine constituted a disability under the Social Security Act. An administrative law judge (ALJ) disagreed, concluding that Kastner’s impairments were severe, but did not meet the requirements for a presumptively disabling condition. The ALJ concluded that Kastner had residual capability to perform certain jobs in the economy.

After losing a challenge before the district court, Kastner may have found relief in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Wednesday, the Seventh Circuit reversed the district court’s judgment, concluding that the ALJ had not adequately explained why Kastner did not met the requirements for a presumptive disability.

Font of Fonts: Seventh Circuit Typography Guide

In college, a classmate introduced us to the magical world of the Courier New font.

Back in the old days -- before we grew to loathe serif fonts -- Courier New was a welcome alternative to Times New Roman: It was slightly wider, so we could satisfy the written assignment page-length requirements with fewer words. (Surely our professors knew what we were doing, but who would object to reading less undergraduate drivel about Beowulf or European globalization?)

Unlike our professors, who secretly welcomed the font-based reprieve, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has more discriminating taste in fonts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Lying on an Asylum Application is a Really Bad Idea

You know that saying, "Go big, or go home"? The inverse is true when it comes to application asylums.

If the feds bust an alien telling big lies on an asylum application, there's a good chance the alien will be going home.