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Category Archives: Courts

Is This the Beginning of the End of the Internet?

The Atlantic: “Occasionally, something happens that is so blatantly and obviously misguided that trying to explain it rationally makes you sound ridiculous. Such is the case with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’s recent ruling in NetChoice v. Paxton. Earlier this month, the court upheld a preposterous Texas law stating that online platforms with more than 50 million monthly active users in the United States no longer have First Amendment rights regarding their editorial decisions. Put another way, the law tells big social-media companies that they can’t moderate the content on their platforms. YouTube purging terrorist-recruitment videos? Illegal. Twitter removing a violent cell of neo-Nazis harassing people with death threats? Sorry, that’s censorship, according to Andy Oldham, a judge of the United States Court of Appeals and the former general counsel to Texas Governor Greg Abbott. A state compelling social-media companies to host all user content without restrictions isn’t merely, as the First Amendment litigation lawyer Ken White put it on Twitter, “the most angrily incoherent First Amendment decision I think I’ve ever read.” It’s also the type of ruling that threatens to blow up the architecture of the internet. To understand why requires some expertise in First Amendment law and content-moderation policy, and a grounding in what makes the internet a truly transformational technology. So I called up some legal and tech-policy experts and asked them to explain the Fifth Circuit ruling—and its consequences—to me as if I were a precocious 5-year-old with a strange interest in jurisprudence…”

Supreme Court Trust, Job Approval at Historical Lows

Gallup: “Forty-seven percent of U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the judicial branch of the federal government that is headed by the Supreme Court. This represents a 20-percentage-point drop from two years ago, including seven points since last year, and is now the lowest in Gallup’s… Continue Reading

CREW urges Judicial Conference to implement judicial ethics rules

CREW: “The Judicial Conference—a national policymaking body for the federal courts…should implement a comprehensive prohibition on all federal judges and Supreme Court Justices owning or trading individual securities and develop a strong code of conduct for the Supreme Court. In a letter sent [September 20, 2022], CREW urges the Judicial Conference to act swiftly to… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court’s new term could be even more consequential than its last one

Vox – The Republican justices who overruled Roe v. Wade are only getting started. “The headline of this piece is likely to turn a few heads. The Supreme Court’s last term, after all, was an orgy of conservative excess unlike any since the Court’s Great Depression-era attacks on the New Deal. And it culminated in… Continue Reading

Manufactured Uncertainty in Constitutional Law

Waldman, Ari Ezra, Manufactured Uncertainty in Constitutional Law (September 6, 2022). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 91, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4211548 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4211548 “Civil rights litigation is awash in misinformation. Courts find that abortion causes cancer, that adolescent hormone therapy is irreversible, that in-person voter fraud is a growing problem. Except none of that is… Continue Reading

Privacy Rights Under the Constitution: Procreation, Child Rearing, Contraception, Marriage, and Sexual Activity

CRS Legal Sidebar – Privacy Rights Under the Constitution: Procreation, Child Rearing, Contraception, Marriage, and Sexual Activity, September 14, 2022: “A line of Supreme Court cases establishes that the U.S. Constitution guaranteesa person’s ability to make certain decisions in matters related to procreation, child rearing, contraception, marriage (including interracial marriage and same-sex marriage), and consensual… Continue Reading

Free Law Project Collaborates with vLex to Launch Complete, Updated, and Audited Open Case Law Database

Free Law Project: “In early 2010, we launched CourtListener.com. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. It could scrape decisions off court websites and whenever it found new decisions, it would send alerts by email and make the documents publicly searchable Pretty soon, our ambition grew. We came to believe that an open database… Continue Reading

Abortion Training for Medical Students and Residents

CRS  Insight – Abortion Training for Medical Students and Residents, September 7, 2022: “The U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision gives states greater discretion to restrict abortion, and a number of states have subsequently done so. This change has implications for medical training both for medical students attending medical school and… Continue Reading

Could the Internet Archive Go Out Like Napster?

Slate: “Two and a half years ago, the Internet Archive made a decision that pissed off a lot of writers—and embroiled it in a lawsuit that many netizens fear could weaken the archive, its finances, and its services long into the future. In March 2020, as bookstores and libraries joined other businesses in closing their… Continue Reading

DOJ responds to Judge Cannon – classified documents do not belong to private citizens

CNN: “The Justice Department is appealing a court-ordered special master review of the materials seized by the FBI at former President Donald Trump’s Florida home…” and UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA WEST PALM BEACH DIVISION. CASE NO. 22-CV-81294-CANNON. DONALD J. TRUMP, Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant. THE UNITED STATES’ MOTION… Continue Reading

Files seized at Mar-a-Lago include material on foreign nation’s nuclear capabilities

Washington Post – “A document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents who searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club last month, according to people familiar with the matter, underscoring concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about classified material stashed in the Florida property. Some… Continue Reading

Is Open Access Equal Access? PACER User Fees and Public Access to Court Information

Moreland, John, Is Open Access Equal Access? PACER User Fees and Public Access to Court Information (2021). “Is Open Access Equal Access? PACER User Fees and Public Access to Court Information,” DttP: Documents to the People, 49, no. ¾ (Fall/Winter 2021): 42-48, Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 484, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4194979 “Our country… Continue Reading