José A. Cabranes : biography
SEC v. Dorozhko, 574 F.3d 42 (2d Cir. 2009): Writing for a unanimous panel, Cabranes held that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission could sue a computer hacker under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 even though the defendant was neither a fiduciary nor corporate insider, so long as the theory of fraud was an affirmative misrepresentation in connection with the purchase or sale of a security, rather than the violation of a duty to disclose the basis for a trade.
In re N.Y. Times Co., 577 F.3d 401 (2d Cir. 2009): Cabranes, writing for a unanimous panel, held that neither the First Amendment nor the common law right of access entitled the New York Times and other media companies to review wiretap applications that were sealed pursuant to a federal statute, where the media companies had not met the statutory threshold of “good cause.” The wiretap applications were submitted and approved as part of a federal investigation of the “Emperor’s Club,” a prostitution ring linked to the former Governor of New York, Elliot Spitzer.
Henry v. Ricks, 578 F.3d 134 (2d Cir. 2009): Writing for a unanimous panel, Cabranes held that a ruling of the New York Court of Appeals that affected the elements of depraved indifference murder under New York law did not apply retroactively in a state prisoner’s habeas petition. Notably, Cabranes held that the Due Process Clause did not require the retroactive application of a change in state criminal law.
United States v. Ray, 578 F.3d 184 (2d Cir. 2009): Considering a speedy-trial challenge to a sentence imposed 15 years after conviction, Cabranes, writing for a unanimous panel, held that the Speedy Trial Clause of the Sixth Amendment applies to trials only, not to sentencing proceedings. Although the Sixth Amendment was inapplicable to the appellant’s sentencing, Cabranes held that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment did apply to sentencing proceedings. Because the 15-year delay in sentencing was not justified by any legitimate reason and was prejudicial, the sentence violated the Due Process Clause.
United States v. Rigas, 583 F.3d 108 (2d Cir. 2009): Writing for a unanimous panel, Cabranes upheld the sentences imposed on John J. Rigas and Timothy J. Rigas, the former CEO and CFO of Adelphia Communications Corp, which was among the largest U.S. cable companies before its collapse in an accounting scandal. Cabranes rejected arguments that the sentences were “substantively unreasonable,” and described that standard as akin to a “manifest-injustice” or a “shocks-the-conscience” standard. In other words, wrote Cabranes, appellate review of the substance of a sentence “provide[s] a backstop for those few cases that, although procedurally correct, would nonetheless damage the administration of justice because the sentence imposed was shockingly high, shockingly low, or otherwise unsupportable as a matter of law.”
Selevan v. New York Thruway Authority, 584 F.3d 82 (2d Cir. 2009): Cabranes, writing for a unanimous panel, held that plaintiffs, who challenged an interstate highway toll policy that afforded a discount to citizens of Grand Island, New York stated claims under several provisions of the Constitution, including the “dormant” Commerce Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Cabranes rejected the New York Thruway Authority’s argument that its action was not subject to scrutiny under the dormant Commerce Clause because it was a “market participant,” and the opinion established that dormant Commerce Clause challenges to highway toll policies must be analyzed under the factors set forth in the Supreme Court’s opinion in Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. County of Kent, 510 U.S. 355, 369 (1994). Cabranes also held that one of the plaintiffs, who was a United States citizen residing in Canada, could not state a claim under the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV, which, he explained, was designed to integrate the several states into coherent whole and did not afford protection to residents of foreign countries.