Saturday, January 31, 2009
The December 2008 issue of the Eighth Circuit Bar Association's newsletter calls a Second Circuit judge to task for suggesting that the Eighth Circuit was not sufficiently sensitive to the problem of guns and urban crime. The district judge's sentencing discretion was at issue in United States v. Cavera. During oral argument, the en banc court was considering whether national disparities in sentencing were justified due to the "greater damage inflicted by guns in urban areas," in part because of their greater population density. A second circuit judge observed, "Having a gun is a serous problem in New York City. Maybe in the Eighth Circuit they worry about cow-tipping or something."
The newsletter authors took issue with the judge's statement, calling him "misinformed" after a text search of Eighth Circuit opinions revealed no cases dealing with cow-tipping.