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:
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In an opinion Tuesday, Judge Furman ruled that the complaint in an “international saga” of fraud in the art world must be filed publicly and without redactions, even though it contained sensitive information about transactions facilitated by the international auction house Sotheby’s.

Plaintiffs hired an art dealer to assist in purchasing a world-class art collection, and the dealer allegedly defrauded them of approximately $1 billion by purchasing the artworks himself and re-selling them to plaintiffs at inflated prices.  Plaintiffs claim that Sotheyby’s aided and abetted the fraud.  Sotheby’s sought to keep certain portions of the complaint under seal, but Judge Furman held that confidentiality concerns were insufficient because the information at issue went to the very heart of the case:
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The Supreme Court today, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, largely affirmed Judge Furman’s conclusion (see here) that the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census was based on a rationale —  to help enforce the Voting Rights Act — that was pretextual, and agreed that the matter must be remanded back to the agency to reconsider:
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In two opinions yesterday (here and here), Judges Furman and Carter concluded that Due Process requires timely, individual bond hearings, with the Government bearing the burden to show a risk of flight, for those awaiting removal hearings.

In the case before Judge Furman, the detainee has been held for 21 months with no hearing.  In a previous opinion (covered here), Judge Furman concluded that, given the “liberty interests” at stake, it was appropriate for the Government to bear the burden of proof.

While the Board of Immigration Appeals has a policy of putting the burden on the detainee, Judge Carter’s decision yesterday agreed with Judge Furman that the policy was inconsistent with Due Process:
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In a 277-page decision today, Judge Furman vacated the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, finding that the decision was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.  (Our prior posts on the case are here.)

Judge Furman found that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross justified the new question based on a rationale – that doing so would enhance enforcement of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) – that was clearly a pretext.  Judge Furman stated he was unable to determine “what Secretary Ross’s real reasons for adding the citizenship question were,” but found the evidence overwhelming that “the VRA was a post hoc rationale for a decision that Secretary had already made”:
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On Friday, the Supreme Court, as expected, granted certiorari in the challenge pending before Judge Furman over the addition of a citizenship question to the census.  The question presented concerns whether it is appropriate to order discovery outside the administrative record (such as the deposition Judge Furman had earlier ordered of Commerce Secretary Wilbur

In the ongoing saga of New York State’s challenge to the U.S. Census question on citizenship (see our previous coverage here), Judge Furman has rejected the Department of Commerce’s 11th hour attempt to delay the trial in the case currently scheduled to begin on November 6.   Citing “the defendants’ own urgent need for finality,” Judge Furman found that the Department of Commerce failed to show any irreparable harm should the trial proceed as planned, noting that they had already “conced[ed], as a procedural matter, that a trial is appropriate” by electing not file a summary judgment motion, at the Court’s invitation, which could have argued that the case be decided on the administrative record without a trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent order preventing the deposition of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross loomed large in Judge Furman’s decision:
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