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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 9 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Jerome Michael Burton v. State of Indiana, a 10-page opinion, Sr. Judge Sharpnack writes:

In this interlocutory appeal, Jerome Michael Burton challenges the trial court’s denial of his motion to dismiss the charge of failure to register as a sex offender. We reverse and remand.

The issue is whether it is a violation of the ex post facto provision of the Indiana Constitution to require Burton to register under the Indiana Sex Offender Registration Act (“SORA”) as one who is required to register in another state, Illinois, when the statutes requiring him to register in Illinois and in Indiana were enacted after he had been convicted of the qualifying offense in Illinois. * * *

We conclude that the analysis and holding in Wallace apply to this case. We are deciding whether the ex post facto provision of the Indiana Constitution prevents the application of Indiana’s SORA to require Burton, a resident of Indiana, to register as a sex offender on the ground that he is required to register in Illinois as a consequence of having been convicted in Illinois of a sex offense prior to the enactment of both the statutes of Illinois and Indiana that required registration. Had the qualifying offense and the enactment of the registration requirement occurred in Indiana, Wallace would dictate dismissal of the charges. We hold that Burton has the protection of our constitution as to the application of our SORA, without regard to the fact that he was convicted of the qualifying sex offense in Illinois. It is for us, not Illinois, to determine who is required to register under our SORA. * * *

For the reasons stated, we reverse the trial court and remand with instructions to grant Burton’s motion to dismiss.

NFP civil opinions today (5):

Jeff Clade v. Hunt Construction Group, Inc. (NFP)

T.B. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and A.R. (NFP)

F.M., Mother v. N.B., Father (NFP)

Jason Bond, David Lear and Leslie Bridges, et al. v. Veolia Water Indianapolis, LLC, Veolia Water North America Operating Service, LLC and The City of Indianapolis, Dept. of Waterworks (NFP)

The City of Shelbyville, Indiana and Shelbyville Board of Works and Safety v. Frank P. and Shirlene Sundvall (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (4):

Clay R. Firestone v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Troy Phillips v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Brian E. Graves v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Zachary A. Sebastian v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, November 08, 2012
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Law - The inside strategies behind the gay rights victories Tuesday

This short article yesterday by David Weigel in Slate lists the successful gay marriage votes Tuesday.

U. of Minn. Law Prof. Dale Carpenter had this long post yesterday in The Volokh Conspiracy that began:

Most of the post-election attention on the gay-marriage ballot fights has focused on the inspiring wins in Maine, Maryland, and Washington state, where same-sex marriages will now be legal. But equally important in the long-term is what happened in Minnesota on Tuesday. Eighteen months ago, when the state legislature voted to place a ban on same-sex marriages on the ballot, I wrote that “on November 6, 2012, Minnesota will become the first state to reject one of these amendments.”
The remainder of the long post explains how opponents of the constitutional amendment:
... built a political movement from the ground up. Under the banner of Minnesotans United For All Families, and led by an incomparable tactician and campaign manager in Richard Carlbom and a ferociously smart board chair in Cristine Almeida, we organized a campaign that was unprecedented in size and scope for a ballot fight in the state. We put together a coalition of more than 700 faith groups and churches, political allies across the spectrum (including prominent conservative and libertarian Republicans), labor groups, people of color, and businesses.

I was told we’d never raise a million dollars in Minnesota and that national donors would stay out because of our poor track record around the country and because the Midwest was a lost cause. Some national donors did stay out. But we still raised $12 million. And while hundreds of thousands of dollars were donated by national groups like the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry, and more by some wealthy individual donors, the vast majority of the money was raised from some 65,000 individual donors in the state.

In addition, Slate had this article yesterday, by Nathaniel Frank, headed "How Gay Marriage Finally Won at the Polls: The inside strategy behind victory in Maryland and Maine."

[More] Adam Liptak of the NY Times speculates today on how Tuesday's votes may impact the SCOTUS in its consideration of "what the Constitution has to say about same-sex marriage." A quote:

But it is not clear which side benefited more from those developments at the Supreme Court.

Supporters of traditional marriage, even as they registered disappointment, said the results showed that the question could be resolved democratically.

“It bolsters our case,” said Brian S. Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage. “It’s very difficult to say you need a federal resolution of this question if states are resolving it for themselves.”

Adam Umhoefer, the executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group behind a California case seeking to establish a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, expressed mixed feelings about the developments. They were, he said, the right outcomes in the wrong forums.

“Fundamental constitutional rights like marriage,” he said, “should never be subjected to a popular vote.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, November 08, 2012
Posted to General Law Related

Courts - The history behind Michigan’s judicial selection system

Prof. Larry Solum at Legal Theory Blog highlights a new paper titled "The Politics of Judicial Selection: The Case of the Michigan Supreme Court" and quotes the abstract:

As the debate rages between those who argue that judicial elections are bad for legal justice vis-a-vis those who argue that they are good for democracy, there remains the singularly unique system of judicial selection in Michigan. For its Supreme Court justices, Michigan employs a hybrid electoral system, where candidates are first nominated at political party conventions, after which those candidates run in non-partisan general elections. Moreover, vacancies are filled by interim appointments made by the governor with no outside input or oversight. How did Michigan come to utilize this system which is different from all other states in the country? In this study we discuss the history behind Michigan’s judicial selection system. We show how Michigan transformed from an appointive system to one that employed partisan elections, and finally to the current hybrid system. The accounts behind the manner in which Michigan selects its Supreme Court justices provide a glimpse into the political forces among political and legal elites, interest groups, and the electorate that have shaped judicial politics within the state. We thus illustrate how the form of judicial selection that is unique to Michigan evolved and has been sustained over time.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, November 08, 2012
Posted to Courts in general