The Appellate Strategist

The Appellate Strategist

Insights on appellate issues, trial consultations, and evaluating appeals

Category Archives: Constitutional Law

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Illinois Supreme Court Allows Petitions for Leave to Appeal in Eight New Civil Cases

Posted in Constitutional Law, Illinois
Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed petitions for leave to appeal in eight new civil cases. They are: Sheffler v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 399 Ill.App.3d 51 (1st Dist., 2010), which involves the question of whether a complaint seeking injunctive and damages relief in connection with defendant’s alleged failure to give priority, in restoring power after… Continue Reading

Florida’s Statute Banning Gays and Lesbians From Adopting Ruled Unconstitutional

Posted in Constitutional Law
In a landmark decision, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling striking down as unconstitutional the state’s statute that prohibited gays and lesbians from adopting.  In a 42-page opinion, Florida Department of Children and Families v. In re: Matter of Adoption of X.X.G. and N.R.G. (pdf), the Court found there… Continue Reading

How Well Are Senate Confirmation Hearings Working?

Posted in Constitutional Law, Federal, Supreme Court Vacancy
Earlier this week, we discussed “advice and consent.”  Can Senators legitimately ask a Supreme Court nominee about a hot button issue and expect a direct answer? Do Senators have the right to vote up or down on a particular nominee for purely political reasons? Now we turn from the question of what the confirmation process should… Continue Reading

High Court Sides With Hastings in Religious Student Organization Debate

Posted in Constitutional Law, Federal
Yesterday, a divided U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the University of California, Hastings College of the Law’s right to condition official recognition of a Christian student group on the organization’s agreement to open eligibility for membership and leadership to all students – including homosexual students. In an opinion on behalf of a narrow 5-4 majority, Justice Ginsburg concluded… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Expresses Perplexity During Hastings Argument

Posted in Constitutional Law, Federal
“What do I do with this case?” asked Justice Breyer in the final minutes of oral argument Monday morning in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez [pdf]. Justice Breyer’s question underscored the apparent confusion regarding what exactly was being challenged in the Christian Legal Society’s case against Hastings College of the Law. Despite the acknowledged importance of the… Continue Reading

The Short List For a Supreme Court Vacancy

Posted in Constitutional Law, Federal, Supreme Court Vacancy
Within the past several weeks, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has dropped several hints that he might be about to announce his retirement.   Even though nothing’s definite yet, the news media and the legal blogs are busy speculating about possible replacements. Here’s the roundup – both the “short list” and some of the long shots:… Continue Reading

Going Forum Shopping? Supreme Court Holds That Federal Class Action Rule Trumps State Anti-Class Statute in Diversity Action

Posted in Constitutional Law
The United States Supreme Court just issued an opinion holding that state statutes that purport to limit a claimant’s ability to bring a class action do not govern proceedings in federal court, even in a diversity case.  Shady Grove Orthopedic Assoc., P.A. v. Allstate Ins. Co. began as claimant Shady Grove’s attempt to recover statutory interest… Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Allows Petitions for Review in Eight New Civil Cases

Posted in Constitutional Law, Illinois
This afternoon, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed petitions for review in eight new civil cases.  They are: Williams v. Board of Review, 395 Ill.App.3d 337 (1st Dist., 2009), which involves review of a decision by the Board of Review of the Department of Employment Security to deny a terminated employee’s application for a Federally-funded trade readjustment… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Civil Issues Pending: Constitutional Law

Posted in Constitutional Law, Texas
[UPDATED THROUGH APRIL 1, 2010] Takings, Standing. Does the operator of non-consent towing and storage facility have a sufficient property interest in the stored vehicles to support a takings claim? May the operator assert a claim under the Declaratory Judgment Act? Are operator’s claims moot since it is no longer licensed to operate a vehicle… Continue Reading