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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc, withdrew the prior opinion, and substituted the following opinion. The court reversed the district court's decision to enjoin the enforcement of federal laws that generally prohibit the direct sale of a handgun by a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) to a person who is not a resident of the state in which the FFL is located. The court held that the laws did not violate the Second Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The court held that the in-state sales requirement was narrowly tailored to a compelling government interest in preventing circumvention of the handgun laws of various states; the in-state sales requirement was not unconstitutional as applied to plaintiffs; the in-state sales requirement did not discriminate based on residency and was thus not subjected to any scrutiny under the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause; and plaintiffs' equal protection claim failed because the in-state sales requirement did not favor or disfavor residents of any particular state. View "Mance v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether a Brady claim is cognizable in the context of a petition for writ of error coram nobis and whether Appellant’s petition for a writ of error coram nobis should be dismissed as time-barred even though the State was not brought into the coram nobis proceedings at the trial court level and, consequently, did not assert the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense in the trial court. Appellant filed a coram nobis petition alleging that the State committed a Brady violation. The trial court dismissed Appellant’s petition in part because it was filed after expiration of the statute of limitations. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed because the petition did not present newly discovered evidence warranting coram nobis relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) an error coram nobis proceeding is not the appropriate procedural vehicle for obtaining relief from an alleged Brady violation; (2) timeliness under the statute of limitations is an essential element of a coram nobis claim that must be demonstrated on the face of the petition; (3) the facts supporting an equitable tolling request must likewise appear on the face of the petition; and (4) the trial court did not err in dismissing the coram nobis petition in this case. View "Nunley v. State" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeal affirmed an order granting the petition of the Public Guardian of the County of San Luis Obispo for reappointment as the conservator of S.A. In this case, the jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that S.A. continued to be gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder. The court held that the Public Guardian was authorized to offer S.A.'s records to prove the historical course of her mental disorder, and the manner of production and use of the records did not violate S.A.'s statutory or constitutional rights. View "Conservatorship of S.A." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the sentence of death imposed in connection with Defendant’s conviction for the first degree murder of a police officer and the attempted murder of a police officer, holding that the trial court, over defense objection, erroneously excused for cause a prospective juror based on his written response to questions about his view on capital punishment, requiring reversal of the penalty verdict. After finding that Defendant did not have an intellectual disability, and following a penalty trial, the jury returned a verdict of death. The trial court imposed a judgment of death after denying the automatic motion to modify the verdict. The court also imposed a prison sentence on the other counts for which Defendant was convicted and enhancement allegations. The Supreme Court held (1) the trial court erred in excusing a prospective juror based on his questionnaire responses, an error that automatically compelled reversal of the penalty phase; and (2) the trial court’s judgment is affirmed in all other respects. View "People v. Woodruff" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an amended habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. 2254 as time-barred. Petitioner filed an amended habeas petition eight months after the statute of limitations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) had run. The panel held that the facts set out in the state court order were not clearly incorporated into petitioner's original petition, and Rule 2 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States precluded the panel from construing the petition as incorporating such facts. Therefore, the district court did not err in concluding that the amended petition could not relate back to the claims in his original petition. View "Ross v. Williams" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's complaint against his employer, the Customs and Border Protection Agency, alleging discrimination in violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. After plaintiff suffered multiple injuries on the job, he returned to work and was erroneously placed in a lesser-paying position. Although the agency quickly corrected the error, plaintiff filed suit for retaliation and disability discrimination. The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction based on the Federal Employees' Compensation Act. The court held that plaintiff waived his claim of retaliation on appeal when he failed to make arguments and cite authorities in support of his position. The court also held that the district court erred in ruling that it lacked jurisdiction where the statutory schemes of the Compensation Act and the Rehabilitation Act concerned different kinds of injuries and thus did not conflict. Therefore, the court could not avoid giving effect to both statutory schemes. Although the district court had jurisdiction to consider plaintiff's claim of disability discrimination, plaintiff failed to present evidence that the nondiscriminatory reasons offered by the agency were a pretext for discrimination. Therefore, the district court properly granted summary judgment as to the disability discrimination claim. View "Center v. Secretary, Department of Homeland Security" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the city in an action brought by plaintiff, the former city attorney for Minot, North Dakota. The court also affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion seeking to sanction the city for its alleged malfeasance in losing evidence. The court held that plaintiff's sex-based harassment claim failed because the only articulated basis for concluding that she was experiencing sex-based harassment was that the city manager unfavorably compared her work style to the previous city attorney; plaintiff's sex-based retaliation claim failed because she never made a report of sex stereotyping, so such a report could not have been the reason the city fired her; plaintiff did not suffer reputational harm from the allegedly false statements about her job performance and termination in the affidavits accompanying the city's summary judgment motion; and plaintiff cited no authority for the novel proposition that a defendant in a civil action can violate due process simply by submitting evidence in court. Finally, the court held that plaintiff's challenge to the district court's denial of her motion for additional time to respond was not properly before the court; plaintiff forfeited any right to challenge the award of litigation costs; and plaintiff's unopposed motion to seal certain portions of the record was granted. View "Auer v. City of Minot" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and sentences for the capital murder of two individuals within a three-year period in violation of Va. Code 18.2-31(8), holding that the punishments did not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In a multi-count indictment, Defendant was charged with the capital murder of Ronald Kirby in 2013 and the capital murder of Ruthanne Lodato in 2014. Both counts relied upon Va. Code 18.2-31(8), which states that the “willful, deliberate and premeditated killing of more than one person within a three-year period” is capital murder. A jury found Defendant guilty of both charges, concluding that he murdered Kirby within three years of Lodato and that he murdered Lodato within three years of murdering Kirby. Prior to sentencing, Defendant argued that punishing him for two capital murder convictions under section 18.2-31(8) would violate double jeopardy. The trial court rejected the double jeopardy argument, convicted Defendant of two counts of capital murder, and imposed two life sentences. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant was not punished twice for on criminal act because “killing two victims at two different times in two different places constitutes two different criminal acts.” View "Severance v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of Brown University’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in this case brought by a college student alleging that she was sexually assaulted by three students of Brown University on Brown’s campus and that Brown abandoned the investigation and did not bring any disciplinary action against the Brown students. Plaintiff initiated this action seeking damages and equitable relief against Brown under Title IX of the Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 20 U.S. 1681 et seq. The district court granted Plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Plaintiff’s complaint failed to allege sufficient facts for a plausible Title IX claim against Brown. View "Doe v. Brown University" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's order denying the quashing of IRS summonses to Bank of America in the course of investigating the federal income tax liabilities of a lawyer, his law firm, and associated parties (plaintiffs). The court held that neither plaintiffs nor their law firm clients whose interests plaintiffs attempted to invoke have a viable Fourth Amendment objection to the IRS's collection of plaintiffs' bank records from plaintiffs' bank. Plaintiffs' arguments were foreclosed by the Supreme Court's holdings in United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435 (1976), and United States v. Powell, 379 U.S. 48 (1964). View "Presley v. United States" on Justia Law