Thursday, February 9, 2012

Q: What were some surprising court decisions?

  • American Council for the Blind v. Boorstin, 644 F. Supp. 811 (D.D.C. 1986), holding that the First Amendment required the U.S. Government to continue publishing the Braille edition of "Playboy" magazine.
  • Rodriques v. Furtado, 575 N.E.2d 1124 (Mass. 1991); Rodriques v. Furtado, 950 F.2d 805 (1st Cir. 1991). Upholding execution of 1 a.m. search warrant, signed by an assistant clerk-magistrate and not by a judge, of plaintiff's vagina.
  • The Trial of John Peter Zenger, 17 Howell's State Trials 675 (1735). Philadelphia attorney Andrew Hamilton persuades jury to acquit defendant on charge of seditious libel, on the grounds that anonymous essay criticizing New York government was true.
  • Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803). U.S. Supreme Court held that it did not have the authority to issue order to U.S. Secretary of State when petitioned as court of first instance, despite petitioner's legal entitlement to relief and Congress's purported grant of such authority in Judiciary Act of 1789.
  • Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001), holding police use of thermal imaging camera to take infrared photographs of petitioner's house was a search and was presumptively unreasonable without a warrant.
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