Weekend Circuit: Muslim Group Under Fire, Mass. Gun Law Stands

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

This is Weekend Circuit, a weekly review of the serious and the silly in federal appellate courts in the last week.

Council On American Islamic Relations Will Stand Trial For Fraud

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday senior officials at CAIR, a public interest law firm representing Muslim-Americans, must stand trial in a civil fraud case. The case concerns the conduct of a man named Morris Days and other senior CAIR officers. Days, a manager conducting non-legal civil rights advocacy for the organization, began presenting himself to CAIR clients as an attorney, though he had no legal education and is not certified to practice law. CAIR officials allegedly covered up his conduct on discovering it. A three-judge panel led by Judge Sri Srinivasan reversed a district court ruling absolving other CAIR officials of wrongdoing. A jury trial will begin in the coming months. (RELATED: CAIR Claims Washington Times, National Review, Fox News Are Part Of ‘Islamophobia Network’)

First Circuit Upholds New Gun Law

A Massachusetts law requiring all handguns to include load indicators and magazine safety disconnects was upheld by the First Circuit Court of Appeals Friday. The requirements are a de facto ban on all third and fourth generation Glock handguns within the commonwealth, as these models (according to the Massachusetts attorney general) fail to satisfy the law’s requirements. Several gun deals and two Second Amendment advocacy groups challenged the law as unconstitutionally vague and violating the the Second Amendment. The First Circuit’s ruling upholding the Massachusetts law was written by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Retired Supreme Court justices frequently serve on panels in circuit court cases.

“You Know I Loved Her”

A competition between two Ohio men for the affection of the same woman ended with only one. Adam Eggers fired several shots into the home of his rival suitor Dustin Bryant in a bid to scare him off. One of the shots struck Julie Snyder, the woman both men were vying for, and killed her. Eggers pleaded guilty and agreed to admit to his guilt, known as an allocution, during sentencing. His allocution was short and non-definitive, and at one point he suggested he was actually innocent. Eggers claimed his assertion of innocence during the allocution required the court to ascertain the voluntariness of his plea and ensure there was evidence supporting his guilt. After the state courts upheld his guilty plea, Eggers filed a federal habeas petition, a plea for a federal court to evaluate the lawfulness of his attention. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his conviction as lawful.

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