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Supreme Court Preview: Packingham v. North Carolina - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Jonathan Sherman, Melissa Arbus Sherry February 23, 2017

On February 27, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Packingham v. North Carolina. This First Amendment case deals with whether a state may bar citizens from accessing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. A North Carolina state law makes it a felony for any person on the state's registry of former sex offenders to "access" a wide array of popular websites that enable communications among users if the site is known to allow minors to have accounts. The statute does not require the state to prove the defendant has actually had contact with a minor, intended to do so, or accessed a website for any illicit or improper purpose. In the trial court, the Defendant was convicted of violating the law for a Facebook post in which he celebrated the dismissal of a traffic ticket, declaring "God is Good!" Some contend that the law amounts to a sweeping, overbroad, and vague ban on protected speech untailored to any legitimate interest and is unjustified by any compelling need.

Jonathan Sherman, Partner at Boies Schiller Flexner and Melissa Arbus Sherry, Partner at Latham & Watkins will provide a preview of this interesting case.

Featuring:

  • Jonathan Sherman, Partner at Boies Schiller Flexner
  • Melissa Arbus Sherry, Latham & Watkins

Courthouse Steps: McLane v. EEOC - Podcast

Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Podcast
Karen Harned February 23, 2017

In McLane v. EEOC the Supreme Court is being asked to resolve a circuit split regarding appellate court standard of review of district court decisions to quash or enforce an EEOC subpoena.

Damiana Ochoa worked for McLane Company, a supply chain company. After returning from maternity leave, Ms. Ochoa was required to take a “physical abilities” test, which she failed three times. Subsequently, she was fired and Ms. Oschoa brought a gender discrimination claim against McLane. The district court denied part of one of the subpoenas EEOC issued to McLane. The 9th Circuit reversed, reviewing the district court’s decision to limit the scope of the EEOC subpoena “de novo,” which is contrary to the deferential review eight other appellate courts follow. The Supreme Court has been asked to resolve this circuit court split.

Karen Harned, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, attended oral argument and will join us to provide her impressions of argument, examine the case, and explore potential impacts of the upcoming decision on employers, employees, and the EEOC during this Courthouse Steps Teleforum conference call.

Featuring:

  • Karen Harned, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center

 

Litigation Update: American Bankers Association and Washington Federal v. U.S. - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Stephen J. Obermeier, Brett A. Shumate February 21, 2017

The American Bankers Association and Washington Federal, a bank holding company, have filed a suit against the United States government for reducing the amount of dividends paid to banks that own Federal Reserve stock. In the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the Federal Reserve agreed to pay 6% annual dividends to stockholders of regional Federal Reserve Banks, but Congress decreased that amount to 2% in 2015 in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act, which appropriated the other 4% of would-be-dividends for highway funding. Proponents of the change argue that 6% dividends were exorbitant returns for the stock, and that banks are still guaranteed a positive return, even at 2%.

Brett Shumate and Steve Obermeier of Wiley Rein, who represent the plantiffs in this case, joined us to discuss the pending litigation.

Featuring:

  • Stephen J. Obermeier, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Brett A. Shumate, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP

Federal, State, Local, and Tribal Partnerships Feat. Governor Tom Ridge - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Tom Ridge, Adam R. Pearlman February 17, 2017

Over the last fifteen years, homeland security has become a field unto itself. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has become the second-largest federal executive department in the number of people it employs, and includes three law enforcement agencies and a military service (the United States Coast Guard). But the heavy responsibility of keeping Americans safe at home extends well beyond the jurisdiction of that department alone. Still at the federal level, the Department of Justice has four law enforcement agencies of its own, the Department of Defense is authorized to support domestic law enforcement and disaster response operations under certain circumstances (consistent with the Posse Comitatus Act), and the Departments of State, Treasury, Interior, Transportation, and Energy all have components that perform some domestic security-related functions.

Vertical integration has also been a strategic focus. DHS-led intelligence fusion centers, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) led Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) each include non-federal, that is state, local, or tribal personnel to help accomplish their missions, and surplus military-grade equipment has increasingly proliferated into local law enforcement. Each of these measures is controversial, with some municipalities attempting to limit by legislation their police forces’ participation in JTTFs, and many observers criticizing the increased “militarization” of law enforcement. Further, the rise of so-called “sanctuary cities” also pits some localities against federal immigration laws in ways that may have significance for counterterrorism efforts.

This first episode in our Security Partnership Teleforum Series explored the limits of federal, state, local, and tribal cooperation. Can and should federal authorities commission local law enforcement to surveil potential threats, and compel compliance with immigration enforcement efforts? How blurred is the line now between “domestic surveillance” for “domestic security” purposes (to which the Fourth Amendment applies) and broader national security concerns that have a foreign intelligence nexus that might be governed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act? Are there limits on how technologies developed for intelligence gathering purposes may be used in law enforcement missions? What limits should there be on the military’s supplying equipment and training to law enforcement agencies?

Featuring:

  • Governor Tom Ridge, Chairman, Ridge Global, Formerly the First Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Former Governor of Pennsylvania
  • Moderator: Adam R. Pearlman, Special Advisor, International and National Security Law Practice Group