FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court – 6/12/08


ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, AEROSPACE & DEFENSE, CIVIL PROCEDURE, GOVERNMENT LAW, TRADE SECRETS

Taylor v. Sturgell, No. 07-371
In a case involving two friends’ and antique aircraft enthusiasts’ separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests asking the FAA for copies of technical documents related to a vintage airplane, summary judgment finding petitioner’s suit barred by claim preclusion based on his friend’s prior suit is vacated and remanded where: 1) the Court disapproves the doctrine of preclusion by “virtual representation”; and 2) based on the record as it stood, the judgment against petitioner’s friend in the prior action did not bar petitioner from maintaining the suit at hand.

 

CIVIL PROCEDURE, CLASS ACTIONS, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, DEBT COLLECTION, GOVERNMENT LAW, INTERNATIONAL LAW, JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

Republic of the Philippines v. Pimentel, No. 06-1204
In an interpleader action commenced to determine the ownership of property allegedly stolen by Ferdinand Marcos when he was the President of the Republic of the Philippines, a circuit court’s decision finding that the action could proceed without the Republic of the Philippines and a Philippine Commission as parties, which had successfully asserted sovereign immunity and been dismissed from the action, is reversed where: 1) the circuit court gave insufficient weight to the foreign sovereign status of those two parties; and 2) it further erred in reaching and discounting the merits of their claims.

 

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, GOVERNMENT LAW, HABEAS CORPUS, MILITARY LAW

Boumediene v. Bush, No. 06-1195, 06-1196
In habeas proceedings brought by aliens detained at Guantanamo after being captured in Afghanistan or elsewhere abroad and designated enemy combatants by tribunals, the Court rules that petitioners have the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus. The procedures for review of the detainees’ status provided by the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 are not an adequate and effective substitute for habeas corpus, and consequently, section 7 of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), operates as an unconstitutional suspension of the writ.

 

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, HABEAS CORPUS, INTERNATIONAL LAW, MILITARY LAW

Munaf v. Geren, No. 06-1666
In cases concerning the availability of habeas corpus relief arising from an international coalition force’s detention of American citizens who voluntarily traveled to Iraq and were alleged to have committed crimes there, the Court rules that the habeas statute extends to American citizens held overseas by American forces operating subject to an American chain of command, even when those forces are acting as part of a multinational coalition. However, district courts may not exercise their habeas jurisdiction to enjoin the United States from transferring individuals alleged to have committed crimes and detained within the territory of a foreign sovereign to that sovereign’s government for criminal prosecution.

 

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

Irizarry v. US, No. 06-7517
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32(h), which states that “[b]efore the court may depart from the applicable sentencing range on a ground not identified . . . either in the presentence report or in a party’s pre-hearing submission, the court must give the parties reasonable notice that it is contemplating such a departure,” does not apply to a variance from a recommended Guidelines range. 

Governor, Legislature Ordered To Raise Pay of State’s Judges


The New York Law Journal-Governor, Legislature Ordered To Raise Pay of State’s Judges

By Daniel Wise
June 11, 2008

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward H. Lehner yesterday gave the Legislature and Governor David A. Paterson 90 days to adjust the pay of the state’s 1,300 judges to reflect the rise in the cost of living since their last raise nearly 10 years ago.

Justice Lehner found that the Legislature and the governor had “unconstitutionally abused their power” by neglecting to raise judicial pay. He concluded in Larabee v. Governor, 112301/07, that the executive and legislative branches had violated the separation of powers doctrine by linking judicial pay to extraneous legislative issues such as raises for the legislators themselves and campaign finance reform.

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Judge Lehner cited a Delaware County case:

In Kelch v. Town Board of Davenport, 36 AD3d 1110 (3rd Dept. 2007), where a local town board reduced the salary of a town justice, who was not subject to the no-diminishment-in-compensation provision of § 25(a) of Article VI of the State Constitution, the court directed the board to set an appropriate salary, finding that its action in reducing the salary was a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.