Saturday, August 08, 2009

Justice Sotomayor and the Freelancers

Sonia Sotomayor has taken the oath and joined the Supreme Court. As noted here at the time of her nomination, she was the district court judge who, in 1997, made the initial ruling in the Tasini v. New York Times case that was the seed of the current Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick. Sotomayor interpreted Section 201(c) of the Copyright Act as favoring the publishers', rather than the writers', position, and she was resoundingly reversed -- by the Second District Court of Appeals in 2000 and by the Supreme Court (on a 7-2 vote, with Scalia and Ginsburg both in the majority) in 2001.

Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick turns on the technicality of the jurisdiction of the federal courts to oversee the settlement of a consolidated class action copyright infringement suit emerging from Tasini. It is also an opportunity for Sotomayor to help get right something she at first got wrong.


Anonymous Moxie said...

She likely won't get the chance, since this likely will be her first recusal ...

8:07 AM  
Blogger Irv Muchnick said...

Moxie may be right. But experts tell me that Sotomayor's ruling in Tasini v. Times is not grounds for recusal in Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick -- on either the merits or, here, on the procedural question of jurisdiction.

9:22 AM  

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