Friday, June 14, 2019
Each week, the Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup presents a few tidbits of news and Twitter posts from the past week concerning appellate advocacy. As always, if you see something during the week that you think we should be sure to include, feel free to send Dan Real a quick email atDReal@Creighton.edu or a message on Twitter (@Daniel_L_Real). You can also send emails to Danny Leavitt at Danny@tsalerno-law.com or a message on twitter @Danny_C_Leavitt.
Supreme Court Opinions and News:
The Supreme Court’s Next Three Weeks Could Shake Up the 2020 Election: “The U.S. Supreme Court enters the homestretch of its term with looming decisions that could affect the 2020 election and thrust the Court even deeper into the nation’s political wars. Between now and the end of the June, the nine justices will rule on two intensely political issues – whether President Donald Trump’s administration can put a citizenship question on the 2020 census and whether federal courts can strike down voting maps as excessively partisan. The Court will also be making pivotal decisions about what cases to add for the term that starts in October and ends the following June, during the heat of the presidential campaign.” More from Bloomberg.
On Monday, the Court issued an opinion in Quarles v. United States, a case about intent requirements for a frequently-litigated sentencing law that imposes mandatory minimums on gun offenders. The Armed Career Criminal Act imposes 15-year mandatory minimum prison terms for gun offenders with three prior “violent felony” convictions. In the Quarles case, Quarles pleaded guilty to gun possession in 2015, and he had three prior convictions – two assaults which qualify as violent felonies and a conviction for third-degree home invasion, which does not require that the intent to commit the crime be formed when the defendant enters the location. The issue was whether the lack of an intent-at-entry requirement allowed the conviction to be considered a “violent felony” consistent with the definition of burglary in prior high court cases. The Court, in a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Kavanaugh, sided with the government in concluding that it was a third “violent felony” conviction. More from Bloomberg. Opinion.
Challengers of the proposed census question about citizenship filed a motion this week asking the Supreme Court to delay in ruling whether the Trump administration should be allowed to place the question on the 2020 census form. Since the lower court decisions ruling that the question could not be added, new allegations have surfaced to suggest that the question was added at the urging of a Republican who sought to benefit the Republican party and white voters. In its motion, the ACLU urged the Court to either uphold the lower court rulings or send the matter back down to the lower courts to consider the new allegations, arguing that the case has sufficient consequences to merit being decided on the basis of a true and complete record. More from the Washington Post.
Federal Appellate Court Opinions and News:
Led Zeppelin has been involved in ongoing litigation for several years now over claims of copyright infringement concerning portions of the band’s iconic 1971 hit, “Stairway to Heaven.” The trustee for the estate of guitarist Randy California, formerly of the band Spirit, brought suit against Led Zeppelin and asserted the band failed to credit a 1968 Spirit instrumental track for portions of Stairway. In 2016, the case went to trial and the trial court ruled in Led Zeppelin’s favor. But a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision last year and ordered a new trial, based on erroneous jury instructions. Now, the circuit court has agreed to rehear the case before an eleven-judge panel in an en banc hearing. More from TrialInsider.com.
United States Department of Justice, Civil Division is hiring four new Appellate Staff Attorneys (Washington D.C.): More Information HERE.
Illinois Office of the State Appellate Defender his hiring for attorneys in three of its offices (Chicago, Springfield, and Elgin): More Information HERE.