Court of Appeals

A Pioneer At Age 12

Elena Kagan was Lincoln Square’s first bat mitzvah.

05/12/2010
Staff Writer

Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, wanted a bat mitzvah when she turned 12. But that simply was not done in May 1973 at Lincoln Square Synagogue, the Orthodox congregation to which the Kagan family belonged.

“I remember she was very definite,” recalled Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the congregation’s spiritual leader. “She came to me and very much wanted it; she was very strong about it. She wanted to recite a Haftorah like the boys, and she wanted her bat mitzvah on a Saturday morning.”

Kagan’s bat mitzvah was “watershed moment.”

Liberal Jewish Groups Optimistic About Stevens’ Replacement

04/14/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Jewish groups who liked John Paul Stevens as a Supreme Court justice are getting ready to dish out the same like to whomever replaces him.

Most of the Jewish groups closely tracking court decisions favor Stevens' liberal record, with minor qualifications, and do not believe that President Obama will choose a replacement who deviates from the norm.

Attack on Building is Hate Crime, N.Y. Court Rules

State Appeals Court rules in case involving 2000 Bronx synagogue firebombing

04/01/2010

(JTA) -- A person can be guilty of a hate crime even if his victim is a building and not a person, a New York court found.

The state's Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday that Mazin Assi's conviction under New York's hate crimes statute for throwing firebombs at a Bronx synagogue in 2000 was valid.

Assi was convicted in 2003 of attempted arson and criminal mischief as hate crimes and sentenced to five to 15 years in prison. In an appeal, Assi claimed that his conviction under the hate crimes law should be reversed since he attacked property and not a person.

Survivors' Cases Back On Track

08/15/2003
Staff Writer
In a surprise legal development that could impact on the Bush administration, a Manhattan federal appeals court last week quietly breathed new life into potential billion-dollar class-action lawsuits by Holocaust survivors against the governments of Poland and Austria over the loss of their property during and after World War II. Last week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit overturned a Brooklyn federal judge's June 2002 decision to dismiss the case "Garb vs. Poland" on the grounds that Poland was protected by sovereign immunity.

Judge Strikes Down State's Kosher Laws

08/04/2000
Staff Writer
Declaring that New York State's kosher laws excessively entangle government with religion, a Brooklyn federal judge has struck down the 118-year-old statutes as unconstitutional. Orthodox kosher law advocates immediately said they would appeal the July 28 decision by U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Nina Gershon, who ruled in favor of a Commack, L.I., butcher whose 1996 lawsuit claimed that the state's kosher laws violated church-state separation.

Eruv Fight Going The Distance

02/07/2003
Staff Writer
The next stop for a New Jersey town's legal battle against an eruv erected by a group of Orthodox residents may be the U.S. Supreme Court. The Tenafly Borough Council voted 5-1 last week to petition the high court to hear its case against the Tenafly Eruv Association, two months after the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to rehear the case.

Suffolk Police Anti-Semitic, Court Says

01/24/2003
Staff Writer
When he first proudly donned a badge as a Suffolk County cop three decades ago, Howard Mandell walked a beat in Huntington, L.I. He made headlines a few years later when he and his partner foiled a bank robbery in Northport, shooting and killing the gunman.

Uniting To Protect The First Amendment

05/02/2008
Special to the Jewish Week

Last December, The Jewish Week published an Opinion piece titled "Last Stop On The Libel Tour," in which I discussed a lawsuit that few people had heard of and almost nobody seemed to care too much about. The suit between Rachel Ehrenfeld and Sheikh Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz had proceeded virtually off the media radar. I only learned of it when researching defamation lawsuits initiated by individuals accused of involvement in terror financing.

Last Stop On The Libel Tour

12/05/2007
Special to the Jewish Week

Several weeks ago the New York State Court of Appeals began hearing arguments in a case with monumental and far-reaching implications for the protection of United States citizens abroad and the rights afforded by the First Amendment. The stakes are high in the case of Ehrenfeld v. Mahfouz, and the very future of free expression and public participation for all U.S. journalists, authors and their publishers hangs in the balance. The decision of the Court of Appeals will affect whether foreign defamation judgments rendered against U.S.

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