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Year in Review 2013: Highlights From the 3rd Circuit

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on January 08, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Like the Second Circuit, the Third Circuit holds a special place in my heart as I spent five years of my life in Philadelphia. And though reading Third Circuit opinions does not sate my appetite for cheese steaks or hoagies, there is never a lack of interesting cases coming out of the Third (yes, I'm looking at you Tenth Circuit and Federal Circuit).

Third Circuit in the News

The Third Circuit made headlines with important cases being decided including a student free speech case that centered on students' right to wear bracelets proclaiming "I Heart Boobies" as part of a breast cancer awareness campaign. Also notable, in a warrantless GPS case (with a circuit split brewing) the court held that officers should have first obtained a warrant before affixing a slap-on GPS tracking device to a car. The warrantless GPS decision is awaiting en banc review, and the school district has voted to petition SCOTUS for review, so these will be a hot issues in 2014 as well.

Cases Headed to SCOTUS

Of the cases before SCOTUS this term, some of the most compelling originated in the Third Circuit. Just last month SCOTUS granted cert to the contraception mandate cases, which involves a circuit split where the Third Circuit held that a for-profit corporation could not exercise religion. The Court will also hear a case on the issue of gentrification, disparate impact and the FHA, and whether a jilted spouse who poisons her husband's lover can be tried under a chemical weapons law.

Cases That Make You Go Hmmmmm .....

There are also cases that make you scrunch your nose and scratch your temple, and any case involving the Real Housewives of New Jersey Giudice family is one of them. Then of course there was the case of the Wharton Professor convicted on child pornography counts, and the judge who was involved in the "Kids for Cash" scandal. Yeah, they lost their appeals.

What were some of your favorite Third Circuit cases from 2013? Let us know on Facebook at FindLaw for Legal Professionals.

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