Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice.
Friends, qualified immunity is not our favorite doctrine; in fact, it’s among our least favorite. (We might even go so far as to say it’s worse than Noerr-Pennington, though certainly reasonable minds might quibble.) Which is why IJ has drafted model legislation that legislators can use to reform (or nuke) the doctrine. And we’re pleased to report that a bill that hews closely to our model bill passed New Mexico’s House of Representatives this week. Among other highlights, the bill gives victims a remedy when gov’t employees violate their constitutional rights and requires gov’t agencies (or their insurers) to cover the cost of litigation and any judgments, rather than imposing personal liability on gov’t employees. Click here to learn more.
New on the Short Circuit podcast: Thanks to special guest Ed Walters of Georgetown Law we finally live up to the 1980s-movie-sense of our name and talk robot law.
- The Horse Protection Act bans intentionally injuring horses’ limbs so they have fancy gaits in shows and exhibitions. But the law is enforced before administrative law judges who, under a recent Supreme Court case, haven’t been strictly speaking constitutionally appointed. The feds now admit that, in a prosecution that began in 2017, the ALJs it used were not-okay (but only kind of not-okay). Do they get a re-do in front of new ALJs? D.C. Circuit: Yes. Petitioners didn’t raise the constitutional issue they now seek to press below, and so it is waived. Concurrence: You don’t have to preserve constitutional issues because ALJs can’t do anything with them anyway.
- Plaintiffs challenge new federal rules protecting free speech and due process rights in “Title IX Hearings.” Free speech groups move to intervene, claiming the feds will not adequately protect their interests. District court denies motion before any response with sparsely written order. First Circuit: Affirmed. When it comes to the gov’t we gotta assume it’s here to help. Plus, even though district court didn’t have great reasons, we came up with some.
- In 2020, New York repealed section 50-a of its Civil Rights Law, which shielded police disciplinary records from disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Law. New York Police Union: If our disciplinary files are made public, our members will have a hard time getting jobs! Second Circuit: Sounds like that one’s on you guys.
- Convicted mafioso fights deportation to Italy, arguing that if he’s sent back, he’ll face the country’s “41-bis prison regime,” a highly restr
Article from Latest – Reason.com