Friday, February 17, 2006

Court criticizes parties and legislature in UPEA case

The trib has story on the darker side of the H.B. 213 litigation.

I didn't include the court's chastisement of the parties and the legislature in my summary because it wasn’t central to the court’s holding. But one point the trib missed: the court apparently was also not happy with the briefing provided by the parties.

The court wrote, “Given the extremely short time allotted to each party to present its arguments in the briefs, the submission were adequate.” (¶ 15).

But elsewhere, the majority made clear that it had relied predominantly on its own research and not on the parties. The court said things like, “Our extensive research led . . .” (¶ 3) and “Our own research has also led . . .” (¶ 7). It also criticized the parties for misstating the statutory history (¶ 3). The court pointed out the parties' failure to “address the complex history of the statutory scheme and its relevance to the constitutional challenge presented” and further reproached the parties for “discount[ing] the issue raised by the court [in a supplemental briefing request]” and failing “to shed any meaningful light on the questions.” (¶ 15).


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