On March 2, 2015, Bancroft attorney Paul D. Clement presented oral argument in the United States Supreme Court in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, No. 13-1314, on behalf of appellant Arizona State Legislature. Bancroft attorneys George W. Hicks, Jr., Taylor Meehan, and Raymond P. Tolentino assisted with the briefing. The question presented is whether the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution and 2 U.S.C. § 2a(c) permit the displacement of the Arizona State Legislature’s redistricting authority by an independent commission. The Court also requested briefing and argument on the question whether the Arizona State Legislature has standing to bring this suit. Arizona voters passed Proposition 106, which amended the state constitution to remove redistricting authority from the state legislature and place it in the hands of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. But the Elections Clause provides that the “Times, Places and Manner” of holding congressional elections “shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” In a divided decision, a three-judge district court panel held that this displacement of the Arizona Legislature’s redistricting authority does not violate the Elections Clause. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision no later than June 2015.
Bancroft Attorneys Steve Potenza and Chris Bartolomucci Help Long Island High School Student Secure Approval of Christian Club
On November 20, 2014, Bancroft attorneys Steve Potenza and Chris Bartolomucci and attorneys from the Liberty Institute helped their client, a sophomore at Wantagh High School in Wantagh, N.Y., secure approval from the Board of Education of the Wantagh Union Free School District for a proposed Christian faith-based club. After a Wantagh High School official initially asserted that Christian student groups are “illegal” and refused to recognize the proposed Dare to Believe Christian club, Bancroft sent the school district a demand letter challenging the wrongful rejection. In the letter, Bancroft explained that the Equal Access Act of 1984 provides that once a secondary school such as Wantagh High School allows students to form noncurriculum related clubs that meet on campus, the school must give equal access to, and must not discriminate against, students who wish to form faith-based clubs. Just days after receiving the letter, the school board approved the club.
Liberty Institute, Dare to Believe Webpage (Nov. 24, 2014)
Fox News Insider, UPDATE: School District Will Allow Student’s Christian Club (Nov. 25, 2014)
Andrew Hackmack, Wantagh OKs Christian club, six others, LI Herald (Nov. 24, 2014)
Bart Jones, Wantagh school district approves sophomore Liz Loverde’s Christian faith-based club, Newsday (Nov. 24, 2014)
On November 17, 2014, Bancroft partner Erin Murphy presented argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of the plaintiffs-appellants in Fyock v. Sunnyvale, No. 14-15408. The case involves a Second Amendment challenge to a Sunnyvale ordinance that flatly prohibits possession of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.
Howard Mintz, Sunnyvale Gun Law Up in the Air in Federal Appeals Court, San Jose Mercury News (November 17, 2014)
Maria Dinzeo, 9th Circuit Hears Arguments on Ammo Law, Courthouse News Service (November 17, 2014)
On October 6, 2014, Tony Mauro in Supreme Court Brief noted that Bancroft partner Paul Clement will argue his 75th case before the Supreme Court of the United States on October 8, 2014. Clement represents the appellant in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk.
Tony Mauro, Docket Chat: Clement’s Milestone and a Jones Day Associate’s Debut, Supreme Court Brief (October 6, 2014)
On September 27, 2014, the AmLaw Litigation Daily discussed the recent unanimous victory by Bancroft partners Paul D. Clement and George W. Hicks, Jr., in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Krys v. Farnum Place, LLC (In re: Fairfield Sentry Limited), No. 13-3000. The court’s decision vacated and remanded the district court’s affirmation of the bankruptcy court’s decision and ordered the bankruptcy court to hold a hearing under Section 363 of the bankruptcy code over whether the trade of a claim against the estate of Bernard Madoff continued to be financially justifiable.
Jan Wolfe, Fairfield Liquidator Wins New Chance to Void Madoff Deal, The AmLaw Litigation Daily (September 27, 2014)
On September 17, 2014, oral argument was heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit over whether a district court abused its discretion by sentencing Ty Warner, the creator of Beanie Babies, to probation and community service, in addition to paying back taxes plus interest and $50 million civil penalty, for a single count of tax evasion in connection with failure to disclose a foreign bank account. Bancroft partner Paul Clement, who argued on behalf of Mr. Warner, asserted that the district court acted well within its discretion in concluding that Mr. Warner’s unique personal history and characteristics made a sentence of probation—the sentence most commonly imposed in offshore account cases—appropriate. Bancroft partner Erin Murphy also serves as counsel in the case.
Jason Keyser, Beanie Babies Creator’s Sentence Debated in Court, Associated Press (September 17, 2014)
On September 15, 2014, Bancroft partner Viet Dinh testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the constitutionality of S. 132, the New Columbia Admission Act. The act would grant full statehood to the District of Columbia, while preserving a reduced federal district containing the White House, the Capitol, the National Mall, and various monuments and federal government buildings. Dinh testified that the bill is constitutional as it violates neither the New States Clause, the District Clause, nor the Twenty-Third Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and does not require the consent of the State of Maryland. Dinh concluded, in all events, that the courts would likely not rule on the bill’s constitutionality, but would defer to Congress by finding this a political question.
On September 15, 2014, the National Law Journal named Bancroft partner Erin Murphy to the “D.C.’s Rising Stars” list. She was singled out for her victory in McCutcheon, as well as her work in Aereo and Bond. The Journal felt inclined to point out that Ms. Murphy argued and won her first Supreme Court case at age 33.
The National Law Journal’s DC’s Rising Stars: Erin Murphy, National Law Journal (September 15, 2014)
Bloomberg Businessweek Highlights Bancroft Partner Chris Bartolomucci’s Involvement in SEC Challenge
On August 8, 2014, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on the legal challenge to the SEC’s “Pay to Play” rule, which prohibits investment advisers from providing advisory services for compensation to a government client for two years after the adviser or associated parties contribute to certain elected officials or candidates. Bloomberg reports that the success of the challenge could significantly impact the fundraising ability of state officials running for federal office. Bancroft partner Chris Bartolomucci represents the New York Republican State Committee and Tennessee Republican Party in the challenge to the SEC rule.
Robert Schmidt, Wall Street Campaign-Cash Restrictions Face Legal Attack, Bloomberg Businessweek (August 8, 2014)
Fortune Magazine Profiles Bancroft Partner Paul Clement’s Representation of International Franchise Association
On August 14, 2014, Fortune magazine profiled Bancroft partner Paul Clement and his representation of the International Franchise Association in a challenge to elements of Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance. Clement states in the article: “[A]lthough Seattle is in the headlines because this law gives them the highest minimum [w]age in the land, the legal challenge is not over the simple fact that they raised the minimum wage above the national standard; the lawsuit really focuses in on the discriminatory treatment of franchise businesses.”
Claire Zillman, Supreme Court Ace Challenges America’s Highest Minimum Wage, Fortune (August 14, 2014)