Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Oral arguments

Video here (you will need to log-in with your Username/PW); all three arguments are on one file.

Enjoy. Great job today and thanks for a great semester.

Enjoy your break.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Shapiro v. McManus

SCOTUS today decided Shapiro v. McManus (the case Amanda and I will be arguing and everyone else will be judging). For purposes of the argument before our fictional Supreme Court, act as though this decision has not come down, although you may use the opinion for questions and arguments.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Congressional control commentaries

Here and here.

Opinions are graded and are available for pick-up outside my office.

Final Commentaries are graded and are available for pick-up outside my office.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

For Thursday

Tuesday audio. Papers are due at the start of class on Thursday. Papers on the final Abstention doctrines are due next Tuesday at noon. Papers on Congressional Control will be due on Monday, November 29 (day after the Thanksgiving Break) at noon.

We will pick up with the "no untruths" idea. Can Congress dictate interpretation/application/methodology/etc. for interpretation of statutes? What is the principle in Plaut and how is it different than Klein (and the interpretations of Klein)? Look at the FISA Amendments Act, the PLCAA, and the Schiavo law; be ready to talk about whether they comport with the various principles of Klein? Does FRCP 60(b) raise Klein or Plaut problems? Why or why not?

Please note that the standing order and schedule for oral arguments has been posted.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Response to "Rooker-Feldman Barred?"

I see a few reasons why, unfortunately, a § 1983 action would be unsuccessful in this case. Especially including the fact that the Judge apparently found Jesus after social media lost its collective mind. He changed the judgment to temporarily allow the parents to keep the child. The judgment did still include his concerns about children being raised by homosexual parents.

To begin with, Rooker-Feldman applies because the parents, dissatisfied with the state court judgment, are prohibited from going to federal court to have the state court judgment overturned. Rooker-Feldman applies when the injury to be redressed is the state court judgment, which is precisely the parents’ injury here. Telief would only come from the judgment being set aside, a power the federal court does not have.

Now let’s imagine that Rooker-Feldman does not apply. The parents could try to bring a § 1983 action, but it would be against the judge, who has absolute judicial immunity when acting within his jurisdiction and in his judicial capacity. The immunity covers § 1983 actions for damages, but not for prospective injunctive relief. So the parents could sue for prospective injunctive relief to keep the judge from applying his version of the law in the future. Because the judge only temporarily returned the child to the parents, this prospective injunctive relief would be important.

Jumping back to reality, regardless of how the parents frame it, the injury is in the decision and Rooker-Feldman bars a federal court from hearing the case.

Oral Arguments

Here is the schedule for oral arguments. Here is the Standing Order of the Court on oral arguments.

Please note that arguments will be in RDB 1000 (the Large Courtroom).

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rooker-Feldman barred?

A seemingly blatantly unconstitutional federal court order. Should the couple be able to file a § 1983 action?

A monkey, an animal rights organization and a primatologist walk into a federal court

Thus begins the argument section of the motion to dismiss in the copyright infringement lawsuit filed on behalf of a crested macaque whose "selfies" (the manaque pressed the shutter of a camera he pulled away from a photographer) were published by the camera owner. We discussed this case briefly in class when discussing standing. The motion argues both lack of standing and failure to state a claim, both based on the argument that copyright protections do not extend to non-human animals. As we discussed in class, under Lexmark, statutory standing is a merits question about the scope of the cause of action, so the better basis for dismissal is failure to state a claim.

For Tuesday

Thursday audio.

We will begin Tuesday with some review problems on Rooker-Feldman and Abstention generally. Read Marie and the RF discussion. Read the complaint and opinion in Tyler v. Commonwealth (both on Blog); what are the arguments in the case for Younger and RF? Commentaries on the last Abstention topic will be due on Tuesday, November 24 (you can drop it outside my office).

We then turn to When Does Congress "Decide" a Case, which will focus on Klein and Plaut. What, according to the brilliant analysis cited in the book, are the three possible meanings of Klein? Does Klein have any real force after Robertson? Why didn't the law at issue in Plaut not violate Klein? Review the sample legislation (listed in Syllabus) and decide whether it violates Klein and why or why not.