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October President's message

Hon. Linda S. Jamieson


For those of us of a certain age, October always brought on the excitement, and signaled the anticipation of Halloween’s approach. And for many of us, Trick or Treating on Halloween was among the first real liberation from the watchful eyes of our parents. Helicopter parenting (and the perceived need for it) had not yet become in vogue and we were allowed to go out with friends in our neighborhoods without parental presence on that magical night hopeful of returning home with pillow cases full of candy that did not have to be passed through any sort of scanning device to make sure there were no foreign objects in it.

From Horseman’s Hollow in Sleepy Hollow, to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton, to the apple farms of the northern county and their hayrides and mazes, all those events let us know for sure that Fall is not just in the air— it is here.

U.S. Supreme Court Docket

From a professional standpoint, October starts with the Supreme Court beginning its 2019-2020 session. This year’s Supreme Court docket has a number of cases which will have tremendous significance to and impact upon attorneys and citizens of our great country.

In addition, the health and welfare of the senior members of the Supreme Court is always an issue of importance as any vacancies on this Court will be sure to produce even more heightened skirmishes in the judicial approval process as has been the case, regardless of party affiliation, from Bork through Garland through Kavanagh to the present.

There are some cases on the Supreme Court Docket that I think will be interesting to watch due to the anticipated complexity of the arguments to be presented and the importance of the eventual decisions.

Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California is a case in which the Supreme Court will decide whether the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to wind down the Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy is judicially reviewable and whether the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to wind down the policy is lawful.

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is a case in which the Court will decide whether a state law that provides funding for education, but excludes religious education options, violates the Religion Clauses or the Equal Protection Clause of the Federal Constitution.

McKinney v. Arizona is a death penalty case in which the Court will determine whether the Arizona Supreme Court was required to apply the current law rather than the law that existed at the time of the conviction giving rise to a death sentence. Given the advances in DNA evidence that has led to the exoneration of many defendants in cases of this type, this may be an interesting case to observe through the prism of the eyes of our nine Justices as to whether or not the death penalty will remain the law of the land.

Closer to home, in a case entitled New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, the Court will decide whether New York City’s ban on transporting a licensed, locked, and unloaded handgun to a home or shooting range outside the City’s limits is consistent with the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the constitutional right to travel.

R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a case in which the Court will decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against transgender employees based on their status as transgender or sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.

Meet the Judges on October 2

On October 2nd, an event which I hope will be greatly attended by all, is the “Meet the Judges” event held at The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. This is a wonderful event for new law students and attorneys alike to get to know our Judges from the Ninth Judicial District. I encourage all WCBA members to attend as the event provides an opportunity to mentor these students and to enhance our Association’s bond with the Law School.

Enjoy Lunch with the Judges on October 16

Our October “Lunch with the Judges” will feature Justice Robert M. DiBella, J.S.C., of the Guardianship Part. As always, this will be an informative discussion about the Judges’ likes and dislikes in a very informal setting, while enjoying a lunch sponsored by Lachtman Cohen P.C.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is the month of Breast Cancer Awareness and towards that end, the WCBA’s Public Service Committee recently formed a team, “The Battling Barristers” to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on Sunday, October 20, 2019. I encourage all to participate by joining and/or financially contributing to this worthy cause. Breast Cancer affects both men and women, and last year alone, 609,640 people died from it in the United States. I know that each and every one of us has been affected by this disease in some way. We need to eradicate this disease! So please join us in this fight. Please go to our team page at http://main.acevents.org/goto/wcba and sign up to walk with our members.

WCBA Membership Month

And, of course, October is Membership Month, so please renew your membership and reach out to others to join. WCBA offers a reduced rate for attorneys working for the government or non-profit organizations. Membership has many benefits, including professional support, education, camaraderie and so much more! Additionally, all new members get the benefit of free CLE for the first two years of membership.

As always, I can be reached at 914.761.3707, president@wcbany.org, or by appointment at the WCBA offices.

Have a Happy Halloween, filled with many treats and little to no tricks!