Return to Home
  Legal Update Archives

An up-to-date list of judicial nominees

Confirmation Watch

The Archives

Noteworthy Cases 2001

Noteworthy Cases 2002

Noteworthy Cases 2003

Other Noteworthy Cases — 2002

Below are archived updates on selected cases affecting individual rights and individual freedoms.

Clicked Into Submission?

A decision issued by seven judges sitting half a world away, interpreting another country’s law, may have a greater effect on Internet publishing in the United States than our own First Amendment.  According to a ruling from the High Court of Australia, individuals and media that post material online available in Australia must answer for their electronic speech in the courts “down under.”...[more]

Boo-Hoo, Moo-Moo

Most would agree that cows are by and large pretty happy creatures, slightly less jovial than the common tree squirrel, but seemingly content with their lot in life. They stand.  They lie.  They chew.  They swat.  They get milked.  They get eaten.  ‘Nuff said. Au contraire, say the activists cum circus freaks at PETA...[more]

Rulings Breed Victory for Cheney in Dog-Fight Over Task Force Records

Proving that a watchdog’s bark is often worse than its bite, two federal courts have ruled that Vice President Richard Cheney does not have to turn over private energy task force meeting documents.  At least not yet...[more]

Flying the Unfriendly Skies:
It’s Time for Tort Reform to Take Off

Perhaps running low on new deep-pocket defendants to sue, plaintiffs’ lawyers are reaching to new heights and making the skies an unfriendly place in which to do business.  The latest wave of personal injury lawsuits, titled the “economy class syndrome,” are being brought by long-haul air travelers who claim they have developed life-threatening blood clots after sitting immobile on long flights in economy class...[more]

Empire State Restrictions On Out-Of-State Wine Declared Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Manhattan on November 12 ruled that New York’s laws prohibiting the out-of-state shipment of wine directly to consumers in that state are unconstitutional.  Nevertheless, the judge stopped short of striking down the restrictions, instead choosing to wait and hear arguments on December 5 about remedies to the constitutional problem...[more]

One Electron Too Far?: Trespassing Via the Internet

You get to the office, pour the obligatory cup of coffee, turn on the computer, and the work day begins. Most likely, your first order of business is checking your messages, which in this information age means checking your e-mail. Inevitably, the inbox opens to page after page of new e-mail messages that have piled up overnight, and now your sole goal is to quickly determine how many you can delete in one swift click without ever reading past the subject line. After all, although there might be one or two messages from colleagues at work or friends from college, most of your inbox is full with the Internet equivalent of direct mail advertisements and telephone solicitations...[more]

Much Ado About the 9th Circuit

There has been a lot of hand-wringing in our nation’s capitol lately over the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Fueled by the ongoing backlash to the court’s controversial decision against the Pledge of Allegiance, and the overwhelming reversal rate of 9th Circuit cases by the U.S. Supreme Court, some in Congress are arguing the appeals court is too unwieldy and should be split up...[more]

One Nation, Under Siege by Establishment Clause Revisionism

A nation at war, which continues to mourn its fallen heroes from 9-11, wrapping itself in the collective comfort of a renewed spirit of patriotism, was rudely awakened this morning to news that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional...[more]

Ninth Circuit Issues Lincoln Club Ruling On Independent Expenditure Contributions

A quarter century ago, the Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo held that restrictions on contributions to candidates were subject to lower scrutiny than restrictions on expenditures themselves because such contributions were only "speech by proxy," enabling someone else other than the contributor to speak...[more]

Summer Reading Assignment:
Library Internet Pornography Filtering Case

The recent decision in American Library Association, Inc. v. United States is getting considerable attention because of the sexiness of the issue it addresses — access in public libraries to Internet pornography. The interest will likely still not inspire many to sit down and read the entire decision, which is decidedly unsexy. It is almost 100 pages long and filled with a multitude of technical terminology and legal citations. Don’t let that turn you off. This dissertation, rather opinion, is a must read for every First Amendment enthusiast and cyberspace junkie...[more]

"Annie Get Your Gun"
Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms

In recent weeks, litigation, legislation and news-related events regarding the right to keep and bear arms seem to be exploding nationwide. While gun-control advocates have claimed some minor victories, it is more the gun-rights advocates who are winning in these showdowns...[more]

Chardonnay Crowd Takes on the Empire State

Lawyers for a group of independent wineries recently had their day in a New York courtroom where they uncorked their case to transport direct wine shipment regulations out of the stone age and into the internet age...[more]

Reading Beyond the Headlines:
"Qualified Immunity" Case Disguised as "Hitching Post" Case

We are all guilty of it: merely scanning newspaper headlines and reading the entire article only if the headline grabs our attention. The shortsightedness of that habit, however, recently became more apparent.

On Thursday, April 18, 2002, the New York Times ran an article headlined "U.S. Joins Inmate in Prison Discipline Case — Justices Weigh Liability for Shackling Convict to a Post for 7 Hours." Another Eighth Amendment prisoners’ rights case, right? Wrong!...[more]

Property Rights Update:
Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Tahoe Sierra

The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument on January 7, 2002, in the property rights’ case of Tahoe Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (No. 00-1167). At issue in this case is whether a three-year building moratorium constitutes a temporary taking, requiring just compensation under the Fifth Amendment...[more]

Township Bent on Taking Farmer’s Land

On January 14, New Jersey State Superior Court Judge James Hurley ruled that North Brunswick Township could use eminent domain powers to acquire 104 acres of farmland against the wishes of property owner Edwin Otken...[more]

To subscribe to our e-mail list for periodic updates on important litigation and legislation affecting your individual freedoms, click here.

The Archives

Other Noteworthy Cases: 2001 •  2002 •  2003