Wednesday, May 18, 2011

School paper. The Second Circuit held that a school can prohibit a student newspaper from publishing a sexually explicit stick-figure cartoon.

R.O. v. Ithica City School District can be found here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cigarette taxes on Indian reservations. The Second Circuit has held that the District Court improperly enjoined the state from enforcing a cigarette tax on sales in Indian reservations. Because the tax was paid by the consumer, not by the Indian retailer, the law did not violate tribal immunity or the tribal immunity for state taxation. And while the retailers would bear an economic burden from the prepayment of the tax, that is only because they chose to participate in the taxable cigarette market.

The decision in Oneida Nation of New York v. Cuomo can be found here.

UPDATE: After losing before the Second Circuit, the tribes went to state court and obtained a temporary restraining order enjoining New York frommtaxing reservation cigarette sales to non-Indian customers. A hearing on the tribes' motion for an injunction will be held on June 1, 2011.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Certified Question. In Connecticutt, there is a common law "make whole" doctrine, under which an insurer's right of subrogation may only be enforced after the insured has been fully compensated for his loss. In Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. TD Banknorth Ins. Agency Inc., an insured argued that the insurer could not collect from the escrowed funds containing the settlement of its claims against third-parties until it had recovered its deductible ($150,000) under the "make whole" doctrine. The District Court held that the subrogation clause in the insurance contract abrogated the "make whole" doctrine. On appeal, the Second Circuit disagreed. However, the Court noted that the Connecticut courts had not decided whether the "make whole" doctrine applied to deductibles. The Court certified this question to the Connecticutt Supreme Court.

The Second Circuit's decision in this case can be found here.