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Monday, April 28, 2008

Right of Action. Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, an alien is entitled to be informed of his right to contact his consulate in the event of arrest. The plaintiff in Mora v. People of New York was not so informed and sued under the Alien Tort Statute. The case was dismissed because the court believed that the Convention did not convey an individual right that could be enforced in domestic courts. On appeal, the plaintiff asserted that the right could be enforced not only under the Alien Tort Act, but also under section 1983 and through an implied right of action arising from the Convention itself.

The Second Circuit held that no such right of action existed. The decision can be found here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Kelo redux. In an attempt to stop proposed development of downtown Brooklyn through, in part, the use of eminent domain, the plaintiffs in Goldstein v Pataki claimed that the use of that power, which they claimed, was not for a public purpose and hence violated the Public Use clause of the Fifth Amendment.

The District Court dismissed the action, and the Second Circuit, based on the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London, affirmed.

The decision can be found here.

Light cigarettes. The Second Circuit has reversed an order granting certification of a class consisting of individuals who were deceived into believing that "light" cigarettes were healthier than ordinary cigarettes. The Court found that individual issues outweighed issues susceptible to common proof.

The decision in McLaughlin v. American Tobacco Co. can be found here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Inter-racial marriage. The Second Circuit has held that a white person married to a black person may sue under Title VII if his employer takes action against him because of his inter-racial marriage. The decision in Holcomb v. Iona College can be found here.

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