Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This might be a scoop for this blog. Just received this comment from a guy in Guam whose pro se case has been granted a hearing at the supreme court:

It is I. 
I am fielding many offers of representation. 
All along I have been confident about the legal issue because the Supreme Court has said that the right to  bodily integrity is a fundamental liberty specially protected by the Constitution And the plain language of the Gonzalez Act section 1089(e) supports that.
[fixed my editing mistake here -ed.]
Assuming success at the Supreme Court, I will still need to prevail at a bench trial.  So far, I am worried that discovery has been inadequate.  I made a FOIA request to the Navy.  That was denied in its entirety.  When the case resumes, I pray that a Federal Judge will order that most, if not all, of my FOIA requests be honored.

From: Robbin Stewart <gtbear@gmail.com>
To: [redacted]
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 1:17 AM
Subject: are you the guy who the supreme court just granted cert to?

or is that some other steven alan levin?

if so, congrats, and any comment?

Court grants appeals from 2 people without lawyers

 Levin v. United States, 11-1351: Whether the Gonzalez Act, which immunizes military medical personnel from claims arising out of the performance of their health care functions by designating the Federal Tort Claims Act as the exclusive remedy for such claims, authorizes a battery claim against the United States.

I had never heard of the Gonzalez act, and neither has wikipedia, but Justice Stevens' dissent in Smith v Unites States (1991) explains that it is intended to provide for suits against the united states when army doctors commit malpractice. (Part of the idea is that an army doctor might have shallow pockets.) So I'm guessing we are dealing with a statutory interpretation question as to whether the act also covers battery. I will try to find the 9th circuit opinion. Lately the 9th circuit has not been overruled as often as the 6th, but when the court grants cert in a pro se case decided by the 9th, I would not bet against the plaintiff.

There is a split between the circuits; the 10th has ruled that Levin is right about what the statute means. The equities of the case lie in his favor; it is unconscionable that navy doctors would have license to go around beating people up with no civil liability. The 9th makes some decent points about statutory interpretation required by precedent. I think the case is rightfully before the high court. It's not plain error by the court below; it's one of those tangles that only the supreme court has the authority to fix. So it'll be interesting to see how it shakes out.

Steven Levin
10:35 PM (45 minutes ago)

to me, bill
If you email me with more questions I'd be happy to reply.  Here are more personal reactions after a little more reflection and relaxation:
The cert grant announcement was made near the end of the Days of Awe on or about Yom Kippur.  I felt as though I were on the mountain with Moses, G-d had to check his hat in the cloak room, so all I got to see were 9 people, six or seven of whom aren't even Jewish.  Some derivatives and reasonable versions will have to do.

(0) comments <$BlogCommentDeleteIcon$>
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?