Monthly Archives: March 2011

Workers Protected from Retaliation for Oral Complaints

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that workers are protected from retaliation when they make oral complaints about labor law violations, but do not formalize them with a written complaint. The case was Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. To see the decision go to http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-834.pdf

Justice Antonin Scalia joined by Justice Clarence Thomas dissented arguing that the plain meaning of the statute should be used.  Justice Scalia wrote “While the jurisprudence of this court has sometimes sanctioned a ‘living Constitution, it has never approved a living United States Code.”  For more commentary, briefs, and court documents go to, http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/kasten-v-saint-gobain-performance-plastics-corp/ [DEL]

Have Ideas or Suggestions for Us?

The Coleman Karesh Law library wants to hear from you. If you have comments, criticism, suggestions, or problems that you have noticed in using the library or the library resources, please let us know.  We will also take compliments! We have installed a suggestion box on our website that allows you to share your comments. You can go directly to the suggestion box at http://www.law.sc.edu/library/suggestions/.

We hope to hear from you. [DEL]

Book Review Lawsuit Resolved in Defendant’s Favor

An author living and working in Israel brings criminal proceedings in France against a law professor and journal editor at NYU who refused to remove from his website a book review by a German professor. Sounds like fun? You bet! International law fans have been eagerly following Calvo-Goller v. Weiler, but it makes tasty reading for anyone. The case offers elements of criminal defamation, academic freedom, forum-shopping, and abuse of the right to sue. You can find the original judgment (in French) here, but don’t miss the background information. Additionally, don’t miss the “defendant’s” blog posts about his experience, where he includes translations of portions the judgment, as well as a fascinating description of how the French legal system approaches defamation.  A follow-up post explains the judgment.
[RKM]

Free Speech Can Be Hurtful But It Is Still Protected

The United States Supreme Court is in session and announced  a new First Amendment decision today. The U.S. Supreme Court saying even hurtful speech is protected by the Constitution. The Court made this determination in its ruling that members of a Kansas church can’t be punished for staging an anti-homosexual demonstration at a military funeral. The case is Snyder v. Phelps, Docket # 09-751. In the case, the Court affirmed the lower court decision dismissing a $5 million dollar award against Westboro Baptist Church  for its funeral protest of a homosexual soldier.  For the full text of the opinion go to SCOTUS, http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-751.pdf. If you are interested in commentary on the decision, see http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/snyder-v-phelps/ [DEL]

Supreme Court statistics

Ever wondered how many times Justice Kennedy has agreed with Justice Scalia in a minority opinion?  Or what the Court’s workload has been in the past few years?  Or how often Justice Ginsburg voted with the majority?  The  Scotusblog has been keeping statistics on the Court since 1995.  You can find the statistics here.

[PRM]