Recent Rulings: Federal Court Decisions Summarized

Enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature by the Institute for Justice. In North Carolina, it is illegal for state-certified paralegals to provide advice on court-created forms to resolve legal problems, leaving low- and moderate-income residents to navigate the legal system. However, legal advice is speech, and the state must provide a good reason to ban it. A man falls off the Washington, D.C. Metro train platform, breaking his neck and asphyxiating. His estate sues, and the D.C. Circuit certifies a novel question of tort law to the district’s courts. An Alabama man enters the Capitol on Jan. 6 and is convicted of misdemeanors. The D.C. Circuit affirms the convictions and sentence. A Massachusetts parent is prevented from videorecording a meeting with school officials, but the First Circuit finds no First Amendment violation. Michael Cohen is sent back to prison for criticizing the then-president. The Second Circuit rules that there are no consequences for imprisoning someone for free speech. A West Virginia man sues an officer for brutalizing him during an arrest, and the Fourth Circuit orders a new trial after discovering that the officer had another similar lawsuit that wasn’t disclosed. The Fourth Circuit also orders a new trial for an inmate subjected to humiliating conditions. A missing woman’s child is taken without a warrant, and the Fifth Circuit orders the case to go to trial. The court also finds that HHS’ guidance on abortion was arbitrary and capricious. The Fifth Circuit upholds the conspiracy to commit murder conviction of hitmen in Mexico. A man’s Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when his information from a state drug database is used by law enforcement to get a warrant. The Ninth Circuit upholds the conviction of an undocumented man who confessed after receiving a Miranda warning.