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

Recent People and Events Decisions

For 19-year-old political hopeful David Krupa, Chicago-style politics aren't something he's afraid of. Krupa has filed a lawsuit against both the House Speaker, Michael Madigan, and his opponent, Alderman Marty Quinn, alleging the two have attempted to strongarm him out of the election.

The lawsuit alleges that agents of Madigan and Quinn followed and threatened Krupa, telling him: "You're a nice kid, but I'd hate to see something bad happen to you." Krupa also alleges they intimidated individuals that signed his petition to be included on the ballot so that those individuals would retract their signatures from the petition. However, Madigan and Quinn blast Krupa as being a part of the right-wing propaganda machine.

Judge Richard Posner is perhaps the most interesting judge in the world (quick, someone call Dos Equis). The popular and widely celebrated (by legal correspondents, reporters, journalists, and writers) jurist recently announced his retirement. After serving on the bench for decades, Judge Posner explained that he felt like he was wasting precious time.

The once fiscal conservative and Reagan appointee has embraced his new role as a liberal voice for progressive change in society, and doesn't want to waste time on the bench when he can put his own boots on the ground. Given his personal politics, and his proclivity for passionate, powerful, and Posnerific opinions, it's no wonder that the internet has skyrocketed the jurist into the canon of American cultural icons.

As we've enjoyed writing about Judge Posner over the years, below you'll find a list of the top ten most popular FindLaw blog posts about Judge Posner, which provide a good sample of his most crazy opinions, and, of course, his most epic benchslaps.

5 Reasons We'll Miss Judge Posner

There are some judges that the internet and general public just love. Here at FindLaw, it's pretty clear that we have had two favorites for some time -- the Notorious RBG and Judge Posner -- and one of those two is retiring.

Over the years, we've written 40 blogs where Judge Posner's name appeared in the title, while RBG just barely beat him with 42 blogs with her name in the title (though that number jumps to 53 when you add in the number of times we've used the RGB moniker in a title). Surprisingly, the two are neck and neck in terms of overall site mentions, with RGB coming in at 1,313 and Posner peaking at just over 1,390.

To honor and celebrate our second favorite judge, here are the top 5 reasons why we'll miss the honorable, and awesome, Judge Richard Posner.

If you've ever run into the so-called 'sovereign citizen' theory of the law, you know that it is, well, complete BS. The sovereign citizen movement is based on a strange interpretation of common law, the Uniform Commercial Code, and maritime law, which followers believe allows them to avoid taxes and pretty much all legal authorities. It's a movement based out of conspiracy, confusion, and a paranoid view of reality. It's just nuts.

But Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner is taking some heat from his colleagues for saying as much in court. Faced with a pro se sovereign citizen defendant in 2015, Posner showed little patience for the man's arguments, calling them "complete bullshit." Now his colleagues are considering whether Posner's frustration denied the man a fair trial.

Listen up, suspicious husbands, nosy wives, and exes who just can't let go: unpermitted snooping into your partner's email may be a violation of the federal Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act. That is, according to a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit.

The case involves a contentious divorce between Paula and Barry Epstein. Paula accused Barry of "serial infidelity." Barry demanded proof. Much to his surprise, Paula handed over Barry's own, purloined emails. Barry sued, saying that his soon-to-be ex-wife had violated the Wiretap Act. It was an interpretation of the act the Seventh Circuit endorsed, though it noted that "Congress probably didn't anticipate" the use of the Wiretap Act "as a tactical weapon in a divorce proceeding."

If you want to possess a firearm in Illinois, you need a Firearm Owners Identification card, or FOID. FOIDs aren't hard to get. A driver's license, recent photograph, and $10 are all that's required of most applicants. But if you're between the ages of 18 and 20, you'll also need a parent's consent. If mom and dad won't sign off, you have to jump through a few administrative hoops.

That extra hassle for teens who want guns isn't unconstitutional, the Seventh Circuit ruled on Monday.

Customers who have seen their personal information stolen due to corporate data breaches have suffered recognizable injuries and have standing to sue, the Seventh Circuit ruled in late July. The court's holding revived a consumer class action against Neiman Marcus. Customers had sued after a data breach exposed their personal information and credit card numbers.

The ruling could be a boon for consumer advocates and class action lawyers, helping to reduce a major roadblock to litigation. For corporations who are victims to hacking, it could greatly increase their potential liabilities.

You won't find him wandering the streets of Chicago anytime soon, let alone reviving his political career, but ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich became a bit less of a felon yesterday, as the Seventh Circuit tossed out five of his 18 convictions. Blagojevich, you may remember, was arrested while serving as Governor of Illinois in 2009, after investigators caught him trying to sell Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

Blagojevich was convicted on 18 counts of corruption, attempted extortion, wire fraud, and associated crimes. Mistakes in jury instructions require that five of those convictions be vacated, the Seventh Circuit ruled.

Smoking Gun in Text Message Antitrust Suit Not Smoking Enough

Remember the days before unlimited text messaging plans? Text messages seemed to cost an obscene amount of money. If you actually calculated the data cost, at 20 cents per text, it averaged out to over $1,300 per megabyte.

The current litigation in the Seventh Circuit is now over four years old. It's a class action brought by text messaging customers claiming wireless providers conspired to drive up text message prices in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. After all that time, a district court granted summary judgment for the wireless carriers and dismissed the case. Last week, in an opinion by Judge Richard Posner, the Seventh Circuit affirmed.

5 Things to Be Thankful for in the Seventh Circuit

As we give thanks this year, we wondered, what is there to be thankful for in the Seventh Circuit?

Partly it's that we never stop to consider the court beyond its opinions (and partly it's a slow news week in the Seventh). When we crunched the numbers, we found out there was a lot of great stuff happening in the court of appeals that covers Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Here are just five of them.