Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
Please enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature written by a bunch of people at the Institute for Justice.
State constitutions don’t have enumerated powers like the U.S. Constitution. On the one hand, that’s a dangerous thing. On the other, state constitutions try to compensate by guaranteeing rights even more strongly than the federal version. And a key aspect of that guarantee is judicial engagement. So says IJ’s Anthony Sanders in his review, over at Duke Law’s Judicature, of the book Who Decides? by Sixth Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton.
Friends, if you only read one article today about the FBI and U.S. attorneys lying to a judge and seizing over $100 mil. in cash, precious metals, and jewelry from hundreds of people’s safe-deposit boxes over unknown crimes and without any probable cause whatsoever, we hope you’ll read this one from the Los Angeles Times.
- Allegation: New York regulator threatens insurers who have relationships with the NRA that she’ll come down hard on them unless they sever their ties with the gun-rights organization. NRA sues, claiming First Amendment retaliation for its First Amendment protected activities. District court: This case can go forward. Second Circuit: Qualified immunity. It was kind of a threat, but not like a threat threat.
- Allegation: Warren County, N.C. couple live in the woods a mile from the nearest paved road, but the tranquility of their rural existence is shattered in 2017 when an ATV racetrack and recreation park opens on their nearest neighbor’s property. District court: Ooh, bummer, but since you want to sue the county over the 2011 changes to its noise ordinance that allowed for the racetrack and the statute of limitations is three years, it’s too late. Fourth Circuit (unpublished): On the contrary, there was no injury in 2014; the couple’s claims didn’t accrue until 2017 at the earliest. Case undismissed.
- Back in 1980, the Supreme Court held that California could prohibit shopping centers from excluding pamphleteers, the state having determined that malls had replaced town squares as an “essential and invaluable forum” for exercising First Amendment rights. Fifth Circuit: Twitter’s monopoly on tweets makes them the shopping mall of the twenty-first century. Thus, the Texas law requiring Twitter to host tweets it finds objectionable is un-enjoined.
- Plaintiffs challenging Harris County, Tex.
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