Short Circuit 307 | Working Both Sides of the Bench
An “utterly bonkers” case this week. Jaba Tsitsuashvili, attorney at IJ and attorney for his client Erma Wilson, tells us about the Fifth Circuit’s recent ruling in her case. By day a prosecutor worked for the office that prosecuted her but then moonlighted with the judge in her case by night. That’s what we call in constitutional law “a problem.” But she only found out about this years later, long after she had served her time. Now that this double-dealing story has come to light can she go back and clean up her record? With a result the Fifth Circuit admits is unjust, but mandated by the Circuit’s precedent, it says she can’t. If she were still in prison, though, she could. Which is pretty nuts. But that’s not all this week. Keith Neely of IJ skates onto the podcast with a story of “Chanukah on Ice,” and why religious groups were prevented from advertising it and other religious messages on the sides of buses in Tampa, Florida. The Eleventh Circuit figures out what to do with this obviously unconstitutional policy while showcasing a double lutz of concurrences.