Stuart Banner is a legal historian who has written books on the history of baseball’s antitrust exemption, the struggle to control airspace and how American Indians lost their land. On Wednesday, Banner achieved a new distinction: He won his first U.S. Supreme Court argument.
Banner, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a former clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, won in the high court in Nelson v. Colorado. The justices, in a 7-1 opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, held that Colorado’s Exoneration Act—the exclusive scheme for refunds of costs, fees and restitution paid by exonerated defendants—violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of due process.
The Colorado Supreme Court had held that the Exoneration Act, which requires a defendant seeking a refund to show innocence by clear and convincing evidence, was the only state authority for refunds. Neither of the two petitioners, Shannon Nelson and Louis Alonzo Madden, had filed a claim under that act.
Thirteen law professors who specialize in common-law torts have thrown their weight behind a negligent entrustment appeal lodged against the makers of the AR-15 rifle used in the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Their 35-page amicus brief filed with the Connecticut Supreme Court Monday focuses on how negligent entrustment should apply to Remington and Bushmaster Firearms, the makers of the AR-15 rifle used in the massacre. The brief was submitted in an appeal to the state Supreme Court filed by attorneys representing some of the families of students and educators killed.
The professors are tort law experts from such universities as Stanford, Yale, Brooklyn Law School and the University of Connecticut School of Law.