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

In an opinion this morning, the Second Circuit largely affirmed the decision by Judge Marrero (covered here) to allow the Manhattan DA to enforce a grand jury subpoena to President Trump’s accountants seeking (among other things) President Trump’s tax returns.

The Second Circuit acknowledged that the President, occupying “a unique position in the constitutional scheme,” could be shielded from certain types of judicial process, but concluded that a subpoena to his accountants did not merit that protection:
Continue Reading Second Circuit Refuses to Block Manhattan DA Subpoena to Trump for Tax Returns

Last week, the Second Circuit vacated a decision by Judge Daniels that dismissed a suit against Fox News by the family of DNC staffer Seth Rich (see our coverage of that decision here).  The complaint alleged that Fox News and two contributors intentionally exploited the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich during the 2016 election season.  According to the complaint,  Rich was murdered in Washington in what authorities believed was a botched robbery; Fox News then allegedly reported a false story that Rich had been murdered after leaking thousands of DNC emails to Wikileaks.

According to the Second Circuit, the family members had plausibly plead their claims against the network for intentional infliction of emotional distress:
Continue Reading Second Circuit Revives Suit Against Fox News for “Campaign of Emotional Torture” Against Family of Murdered DNC Staffer

Friday morning, the Second Circuit vacated the district court’s dismissal of a suit challenging President Trump’s business dealings under the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.  (See our prior coverage here.)  In December 2017, Judge Daniels found that Plaintiffs had failed the causation and redressability prongs of the Article III standing inquiry, and lacked prudential standing because they fell outside the “zone of interests” that the Emoluments Clauses were intended to protect.

In a 2-1 decision, the Second Circuit held that Plaintiffs had satisfied the requirements for standing:
Continue Reading Second Circuit Revives Emoluments Case Against President Trump, Creating Circuit Split

In an opinion today, the Second Circuit revived Sarah Palin’s suit accusing The New York Times of defaming her in an editorial suggesting that her political action committee’s use of “stylized cross hairs” over the districts of several members of Congress in online materials was responsible for the “political incitement” of Jared Lee Loughner, who killed six people and wounded many others (including Representative Gabby Giffords) in a 2011 mass shooting (see our prior coverage here).

The Second Circuit took issue with Judge Rakoff relying on evidence from an evidentiary hearing — the testimony from Times editor James Bennet — to dismiss the case under Rule 12.  As the Second Circuit held, Rule 12(d) allows District Courts to either rule based on the pleadings alone, or to convert the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment (with an opportunity to introduce more evidence):
Continue Reading In Reviving Sarah Palin’s Suit Against the Times, Second Circuit Rejects Use of Evidentiary Hearings on Motions to Dismiss

In the ongoing case regarding whether President Trump can block individual Twitter users under the First Amendment (see our previous coverage here), the Second Circuit earlier this week affirmed Judge Buchwald’s earlier ruling that the president’s Twitter account is a public forum and that blocking individual users represented unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.
Continue Reading Second Circuit Affirms Judge Buchwald in Trump Twitter Case

Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two consolidated cases raising the question of whether sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII.

One of the cases is Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., in which Judge Failla applied, but heavily criticized, binding Second Circuit precedent disallowing such claims.  The Second Circuit, sitting en banc, ultimately reversed

In an opinion today, the Second Circuit held that the “fair use” defense under copyright law did not apply to a service called “TVEyes” that allows users to search transcripts of cable news and other TV shows, and then watch clips up to 10 minutes long (called the “Watch” function).  The decision was a reversal of an earlier ruling by Judge Hellerstein (see our prior coverage here).

The Second Circuit first concluded that TVEyes’ Watch service was “transformative,” a key component of a fair use defense, insofar as it allows users to isolate clips based on their searches:
Continue Reading Second Circuit: Searchable Database of TV Clips Is Not “Fair Use”

Today, an en banc panel of the Second Circuit held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of discrimination “because of . . . sex” in violation of Title VII, overturning Simonton v. Runyon, 232 F.3d 33 (2d Cir. 2000).  In 2017, a Second Circuit panel reviewing a decision of Judge Failla that was highly critical of Simonton, had ruled that it was bound by the Simonton rule until the en banc Court ruled otherwise (see our coverage here) — which is what happened today.

The majority found that Title VII’s legal framework had evolved substantially since its enactment in 1964, including a “sea change in the constitutional framework governing same-sex marriage.”  According to the majority:
Continue Reading Second Circuit: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Violates Title VII