A mentally disabled man named Karl Taylor died in prison, and his estate has sued, accusing prison guards of beating and choking him to death.  In defending the case, New York State proposed to offer expert testimony “that in the time leading up to and at the time of his death, Mr. Taylor was experiencing acute symptoms of his psychotic illness.”

In an order today, Chief Judge McMahon granted a motion in limine to exclude the testimony, and, in doing so, warned the defendants about trying to devalue the life of Mr. Taylor: Continue Reading In Case Over Inmate Death, Judge McMahon Tells NY: Good Luck Arguing that Mental Disabilities Reduced the Value of the Inmate’s Life

In an order yesterday, the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, stayed a nationwide preliminary injunction Judge Daniels issued against a new rule redefining when those applying for legal residency can be denied admission as a “public charge” (see our prior coverage here).

Justice Gorsuch issued a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Thomas, expressing an interest in resolving the broader procedural question of whether District Judges should issue nationwide injunctions at all: Continue Reading Supreme Court Stays Judge Daniels’ Nationwide Injunction Against “Public Charge” Rule

In a class action lawsuit filed Thursday, a fantasy sports contestant alleged that the cheating scandals that have recently engulfed Major League Baseball fatally compromised the fairness of fantasy contests promoted by the league.  The complaint alleges that contestants would not “have wagered on fantasy baseball contests if they had known that the players’ performance statistics on which their wagers were based were not honest.” Continue Reading Class Action Alleges MLB Cheating Scandal Tainted Fantasy League

In a complaint filed today, congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard sued Hillary Clinton for defamation over Clinton having referred to Gabbard as a “Russian asset” during a podcast.  The complaint accuses Clinton of harboring a grudge ever since Gabbard endorsed Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election: Continue Reading Tulsi Gabbard Sues Hillary Clinton for Defamation Over “Russian Asset” Comment

New York regularly places voters on inactive status if it believes that the voter has moved, but it does not provide the names of these inactive voters to poll workers at polling locations.  In an opinion last week, Judge Nathan ruled, following a bench trial, that the refusal to maintain the inactive list at polling locations violates the the Equal Protection Clause.

Judge Nathan found that the refusal to provide the inactive list served no legitimate state interest.  The State argued that not having the inactive list would ensure that people vote in the location in which they were registered, but, as Judge Nathan concluded, failed to explain how the practice would “actually advance” that interest.  The State claimed that the practice increased efficiency at the polls, but Judge Nathan found that the practice actually created delays which produced ripple effects that burdened all voters.

Continue Reading Judge Nathan: Refusal to Provide List of Inactive Voters at Polling Locations Serves No Legitimate State Interest

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Rakoff refused to dismiss a case brought by New York State and the Kings County District Attorney challenging a policy by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE, of arresting suspected unauthorized immigrants when they show up for court proceedings.  The opinion introduces the case as follows:

Courts cannot be expected to function properly if third parties (not least the executive branch of the government) feel free to disrupt the proceedings and intimidate the parties and witnesses by staging arrests for unrelated civil violations in the courthouse, on court property, or while the witnesses or parties are in transit to or from their court proceedings. Accordingly, more than 500 years ago, the English courts developed a common law privilege against civil arrests on courthouse premises and against arrests of parties and other persons necessarily traveling to or from court.

This ancient privilege, incorporated into American law in the early years of our republic by virtually all state and federal courts, has remained largely intact over the centuries. But now, according to the State of New York, [ICE], in implementation of an Executive Order issued by the Trump Administration in January 2017 and a Directive to ICE agents promulgated in January 2018, has increased its civil arrests in or around New York state courthouses by a remarkable 1700 percent and more. By this lawsuit, plaintiff The State of New York, joined by co-plaintiff Eric Gonzalez (the District Attorney of Kings County), demand that these intrusions be halted.

Judge Rakoff rejected the government’s argument (among others) that the immigration laws trump any common law privilege, because there was no “clear” statutory language to that effect: Continue Reading Judge Rakoff: New York May Challenge ICE Policy of Making Immigration Arrests at Courthouses

In an opinion today, Judge Furman certified for interlocutory appeal a question about calculating economic losses in the GM ignition switch litigation (covered here).  One reason for doing so, he ruled, was that in the context of an MDL, where there are powerful pressures to settle, these sorts of questions would never otherwise be the subject of a final judgment that would be heard in an ordinary appeal: Continue Reading Judge Furman: Interlocutory Appeals More Appropriate In MDL Context, Where Cases Are More Commonly Settled, Precluding Ordinary Appellate Review

In a opinion today, the Second Circuit held that two financial institutions must comply with recent subpoenas issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Financial Services Committee seeking information related to the Trump Organization and Trump family businesses.  President Trump and others had filed a suit to prevent the banks from complying with the subpoenas (see our previous coverage here).

The Second Circuit affirmed in part Judge Ramos’ earlier denial of President Trump’s request for an injunction.  In part, the Second Circuit found that the public interest outweighed individual privacy concerns because the lead plaintiff was the President of the United States: Continue Reading Second Circuit: Banks Must Comply with House Subpoena for Trump Financial Records