A courageous decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals [opinion] finds that the President does not have the power to detain U.S. citizens captured on U.S. soil as enemy combatants (at least not until Congress tells him he can). Normally, courts don't like to mess with the President when it comes to national security and foreign affairs, so this is a noteworthy decision, particularly given the fact that there was even a decent legal precedent supporting the Government's position.
Consumer Power! Not only can you register to join dozens of pending or proposed class action lawsuits, but you can try to convince an attorney to start a new one just for you. A welcome alternative to the Better Business Bureau or a sign of the approaching demise of Western civilization?
It seems likely that we'll be hearing a lot more about tort reform, especially medical malpractice tort reform, over the next couple years. Sadly, many don't even know exactly what a tort is, let alone how the tort system works, although most have heard about individual lawsuits through the media. Conservatives tend to focus on capping damages, reigning in juries, and allowing businesses to contract out of tort liability. Liberals generally oppose these proposals, and some have a few ideas about reform as well. Of course, we could always follow the example of New Zealand and scrap the tort system altogether. Maybe the Supreme Court will give the GOP some suggestions about reform in their latest tort case.
In a major policy reversal, the Justice Department has officially endorsed an individual right to bear arms. In doing so, the Justice Department has abandoned its long-held position that the second amendment is limited in scope to protecting militia activities. Does this mean the Justice Department will stop enforcing federal laws that it sees as violating the 2nd amendemnt? Should it? If there is a individual right to bear arms, how far should it extend?
Catholic church plays hardball in the courts. [NYTimes link, login metafi/metafi] "The dioceses have on the whole acted little differently from commercial institutions confronted by explosive litigation risks. They have tried aggressively to limit exposure to claims by setting up parishes as individual corporations, invoked the statute of limitations, subjected plaintiffs to days of grueling depositions and settled claims in secret." Should the church be behaving just like any private company? What would Jesus do?