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Sample Weekly Opinion Summaries
Constitutional Law

July 05-09, 2010 Weekly Constitutional Law Newsletter
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Table of Contents

Constitutional Law

  • Toribo-Chavez v. Holder
  • Ruston v. Town Bd.
  • Comer v. Scott
  • Sweeney v. Bartow
  • US v. Faulds
  • Orr v. Larkins
  • US v. Johnson
  • First Vagabonds Church of God v. City of Orlando
  • Pharmaceutical Care Mgmt. Corp. v. Dist. of Colum.

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Constitutional Law

United States First Circuit, 07/08/2010
Toribo-Chavez v. Holder
A Mexican citizen's petition for review of the BIA's affirmance of an IJ's order of removal and a denial of his request for cancellation of removal is denied where: 1) there is substantial evidence to support the IJ's and BIA's finding that petitioner is removable, given the multiple marriage license and immigration forms that inaccurately reflected petitioner's marital history and children, as well his false testimony under oath that his current marriage was his first; and 2) the IJ's and BIA's denial of cancellation of removal is affirmed; and 3) petitioner has failed to establish any due process violation. Read more...

United States Second Circuit, 07/08/2010
Ruston v. Town Bd.
In a "class of one" equal protection action by property owners, who were denied sewer hookups for their proposed subdivision, against a village, the Town Board, and the Town Planning Board (and individual members of the Boards), dismissal of the action is affirmed where plaintiffs failed to allege specific examples of the Town's proceedings, let alone applications that were made by persons similarly situated, and thus failed to make out an Equal Protection claim. Read more...

United States Fifth Circuit, 07/06/2010
Comer v. Scott
In an action claiming that the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) neutrality policy constituted an establishment of religion, in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where there was no evidence to support the conclusion that the principal or primary effect of TEA's policy was one that either advances or inhibits religion. Read more...

United States Seventh Circuit, 07/08/2010
Sweeney v. Bartow
Defendant's petition for a certificate of appealability challenging state court proceedings to commit him civilly as a sexually violent person, claiming that the use of his assault convictions as the basis for civil detention as a sexually violent person would infringe the ex post facto clause, is denied as, if all a defendant in a state proceeding had to do in order to obtain federal court review of his federal claims before the proceeding was over was to move to dismiss and exhaust state remedies, Younger would be a dead letter. Read more...

United States Seventh Circuit, 07/08/2010
US v. Faulds
Defendant's convictions for distributing and possessing child pornography are affirmed where no double jeopardy violation has been shown as the Blockburger test is implicated only where the same act or transaction constitutes a violation of two distinct statutory provisions, and here, defendant's two convictions are based on different acts that occurred over a period of more than a month. Read more...

United States Eighth Circuit, 07/07/2010
Orr v. Larkins
In an action claiming that prison officials violated plaintiff's rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and under the Eighth Amendment, by keeping him in administrative segregation for about nine months following his third "dirty" urine test, dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where a demotion to administrative segregation, even without cause, was not itself an atypical and significant hardship. Read more...

United States Ninth Circuit, 07/06/2010
US v. Johnson
Defendants' mail fraud convictions are affirmed where: 1) defendants' courtroombehavior, although eccentric at times, would not have justified, let alone required, the involuntary deprivation of their constitutional right to represent themselves; 2) it was not an abuse of discretion for the district court to conclude that a prior judge's rulings did not display a "deep-seated favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment impossible"; and 3) the district court’s instructions were not findings of fact. Read more...

United States Eleventh Circuit, 07/07/2010
First Vagabonds Church of God v. City of Orlando
In an action claiming that the City of Orlando's Large Group Feeding Ordinance, as applied to First Vagabonds Church of God and Orlando Food Not Bombs, violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act, partial judgment for defendants is affirmed in part where the city could rationally conclude that it can more effectively regulate vendors' conduct in parks directly through contracts or licenses. However, the judgment is reversed in part where: 1) the feedings presented at most an ambiguous situation to an objective reasonable observer and the expressive nature of the conduct was not "overwhelmingly apparent"; and 2) the ordinance was a neutral law of general applicability that serves a rational basis. Read more...

United States DC Circuit, 07/09/2010
Pharmaceutical Care Mgmt. Corp. v. Dist. of Colum.
In an action seeking a declaration that Title II of the District of Columbia's Access Rx Act of 2004 was preempted by ERISA and various constitutional provisions, summary judgment for plaintiffs is affirmed in part where sections 48-832.01(a), (b)(1), and (d) of Title II were pre-empted by ERISA insofar as they applied to a pharmaceutical benefits manager (PBM) under contract with an employee benefit plan (EBP) because they "related to" an EBP. However, the judgment is reversed in part where sections 48-832.01(b)(2) and (c) were not preempted by ERISA, because each may be waived by an EBP in its contract with a PBM. Read more...
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