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THE JUDICIARY BELOW THE WATER LINE


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the-judiciary-below-the-water-line.phpPowerline:

 

Decisions of the Supreme Court understandably get a lot of attention, but what about the decisions of the Circuit Courts of Appeals, not to mention District Court and state appellate courts? Their decisions are often very important to the evolution of case law, but receive much less attention and often don’t get appealed successfully to the Supreme Court (except, it would seem, for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals because of its relentless nuttiness).

The good folks at the Institute for Justice do a weekly roundup of lower court proceedings worthy of note in a weekly email and podcast called “Short Circuit.” You can sign up to receive “Short Circuit” in your email here. The summaries are brief and snappy. (Listen to the podcasts if you want more details.) A few of this week’s highlights:

• Fairfax, Va. nurse engages in sexual innuendo in the workplace. For shame! NLRB: Many staff members enjoyed the odd ribald joke. In fact, the hospital actually fired her for asking management—in concert with other nurses—for certain accommodations. D.C. Circuit: Agreed. Fun Fact: No union = no problem. The NLRB has jurisdiction.

• To impose a penalty, in this case for late paperwork, four of six FEC commissioners must vote in favor of enforcement. Is it cool that failing to vote counts as a yes vote? D.C. Circuit: It gives us pause, but we need not resolve the issue just now.

• Litigation pro-tip from the Sixth Circuit: When challenging an ordinance that requires your client to mow the curb strip in front of his house, maybe don’t compare the city to North Korea, “a totalitarian regime that notoriously tortures criminal defendants, executes non-violent offenders, and sends those accused of political offenses to ‘brutal forced labor camps.’”Scissors-32x32.png


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