Thursday, May 29, 2008

Student's First Amendment rights. The Second Circuit upheld a denial of an injunction to void the election of a Seniro Class Secretary and ordering the school to have a new election in which the plaintiff's daughter would be allowed to participate. The daughter had been disqualifed from the election because she posted a vulfar and misleading message about the supposed cancellation of an upcoming school event on an independently-operated, publicly accessible blog. The District Court held that the plaintiff was unlikely to prevail on the merits. The Second Circuit affirmed, stating that the student's blog post created a foreseeable risk of substantial disruption at the the school. The Court held that the, under the circumstances of the case, warratned the disciplinary action imposed and the fact that the student's statement on the blog did not take place on school grounds was irrelevant because the statement was likely to create a disruption. All this about a school concert.

Much ado about nothing.

The decision in Doninger v. Niehoff can be found here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Civil First. The Second Circuit has held that a tax evader is not entitled to argue his tax position in a civil proceeding before being prosecuted for tax evasion. Not really a shocking holding. Many white collar crimes have a civil claim that can also be brought by the government. To allow a defendant an opportunity to try his or her case civilly first would allow the defendant to get to see the government's evidence and witnesses while the stakes are lower.

The decision in United States v. Ellett can be found here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Remand. The Second Circuit has held that it has the authority to remand an issue of nationality to the Board of Immigration Appeals if the issue had been presented but not decided by the Board. The Government had taken the position that 8 U.S.C. 1252(b)(5), which provides that the Court of Appeals is to decide issues relating to nationality without saying anything about remand, precludes the Court from sending a nationality case back to the BIA. The Court disagreed.

The decision in Poole v. Mukasey can be found here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Solicitor General. Paul Clement has resigned as Solicitor General of the United States. It is likely that principal deputy Solicitor General Gregory Garre will close out the Bush administration as acting Solicitor General.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

No Jurisdiction. The Second Circuit, based on its prior precedent, found that it did not have jurisdiction to review a claim that an immigration judge erred in its application of law in determining whether an alien's removal would result in "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship." The Court stated that it agreed with the petitioner's legal position, but lacked jurisdction under its prior precedents.

The decision in Mendez v. Mukasey can be found here.
Payment. A lawyer failed to take the required actions to proceed with an appeal from a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals because his client had not paid the agreed upon fee. When the fee was paid, a year after the appeal had been dismissed, the attorney sought to reinstate the appeal and recall the mandate.

Judge Newman, while appalled that an attorney would think that he had no ethical obligation to proceed with an appeal after accepting some money and entering into a retainer agreement, granted the motion, stating that "it seems unfair to penalize the client because of his lawyer's conduct." A copy of the file was transmitted to the Grievance Committee of the Circuit for such action as it sees appropriate.

The decision in Bennett v. Mukasey can be found here.