Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
Weds 6/7 - Michigan Court Pronouns, Trump Can't Escape, Biden Wants a Dismissal and UBS is Almost Done Chewing Credit Suisse

Weds 6/7 - Michigan Court Pronouns, Trump Can't Escape, Biden Wants a Dismissal and UBS is Almost Done Chewing Credit Suisse

We have Michigan considering pronoun selection in court, Trump probably can’t get his lawsuit dismissed, Biden seeks a dismissal in ESG investing suit, and UBS plods forward with CS acquisition.

On this day, June 7, in legal history Griswold v. Connecticut was decided by the US Supreme Court, holding that the use of contraceptives was protected by the constitutional right to privacy. 

In the landmark case of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law that criminalized the use of birth control devices and the provision of advice regarding their use. The Court asserted that the Constitution protected a right to privacy, relying on various amendments and their penumbras, or implied rights. Justice William O. Douglas, writing for the majority, emphasized that the First Amendment safeguarded collateral rights, such as association, education, and intellectual freedom. He linked these rights to provisions in other amendments, including the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth, to establish a comprehensive right of privacy that protected married couples' choice to use contraception. Concurring opinions by Justices Arthur J. Goldberg, John Marshall Harlan II, and Byron R. White further supported the notion of a right to privacy based on the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments' due process clauses. The ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut laid the foundation for subsequent privacy-based decisions, including the now overturned Roe v. Wade case in 1973, which had legalized abortion.

Griswold v. Connecticut | Oyez

A proposed rule change in the Michigan Supreme Court regarding pronoun selection is sparking a divide among judges, highlighting perceived competing interests in civility and judicial discretion. The proposed change aims to accommodate transgender and gender-nonconforming lawyers and litigants by requiring courts to use their preferred pronouns or respectful alternatives for clarity in court records. Advocates argue that these changes are necessary to ensure equal treatment and access to justice. However, shocking no one, some judges express concerns about potential confusion, mistakes, and religious liberty infringements. 

Similar rules have been enacted in other states, and proponents emphasize the importance of accuracy, dignity, and respect to foster trust in the judicial system. The ongoing debate reflects a nationwide discussion on inclusive language changes and parallels past efforts to properly recognize women in court. Ultimately, the outcome of the proposed rule change in Michigan may significantly impact the courtroom experiences of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals.

Pronoun Selection for Lawyers, Litigants Divides Michigan Courts

A New York appeals court is unlikely to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Letitia James against Donald Trump, his family business, and three of his children for alleged fraud. James accuses Trump of lying to lenders and insurers between 2011 and 2021 about asset values at the Trump Organization and his own net worth. She is seeking damages of at least $250 million and wants to prevent the Trumps from operating businesses in New York. Trump's children, Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, are also named as defendants in the case. Trump's lawyer argued that James filed the lawsuit too late and lacked the authority to investigate legitimate transactions, but some judges expressed skepticism about this argument. The court seemed more receptive to the possibility that James may have sued Ivanka Trump too late. The appeals court did not announce a date for its ruling. This case is separate from a criminal indictment brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg against Trump over hush money payments, to which Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Donald Trump faces skeptical court in New York fraud appeal | Reuters

The Biden administration has requested a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Republican-led states that aimed to invalidate a rule permitting socially-conscious investing in employee retirement plans. The U.S. Department of Justice argued that the rule was necessary to replace the restrictive limitations imposed by the Trump administration on considering environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions. A coalition of 25 states, led by Utah and Texas, filed the lawsuit in January, claiming that the Department of Labor rule would jeopardize the retirement savings of millions of Americans by allowing investments based on political agendas rather than financial considerations. The Biden administration contended that the rule emphasizes the importance of financial factors in retirement plan decisions while recognizing that issues like climate change and social justice can impact companies' long-term financial health. 

Biden admin. moves to nix US states' challenge to ESG investing rule | Reuters

UBS expects to finalize its agreement with the Swiss government to cover up to 9 billion Swiss francs ($9.92 billion) in losses from its emergency takeover of Credit Suisse by June 7, according to a regulatory filing. Under the terms of the takeover, UBS agreed to cover the first 5 billion francs in potential losses, while the government committed to shoulder up to 9 billion francs on top of that. The completion of the government agreement is one of the final steps UBS needs to take before officially closing the acquisition of Credit Suisse. The filing also mentioned discussions between UBS and Switzerland's financial regulator, FINMA, regarding the capital and liquidity requirements for the combined bank, with higher capital requirements phased in by the end of 2025 and completed by the start of 2030.

UBS sees agreement on Credit Suisse loss guarantee by June 7 - SEC filing | Reuters

Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
The idea is that this podcast can accompany you on your commute home and will render you minimally competent on the major legal news stories of the day. The transcript is available in the form of a newsletter at