Justiceline: December 4, 2012

Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice’s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice

  • The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in an environmental protection case that was materially altered when the EPA issued a new regulation on the issue than 72 hours before argument. Chief Justice John Roberts expressed frustration at the sudden change, but the government had actually argued in May that the court not take the case because of the expected agency rules change.
  • A federal appeals court in New York rejected the conviction of a pharmaceutical sales representative for promoting “off-label” use — a practice in which reps recommend the use of prescriptions for purposes other that for which they received FDA approval. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said the ban on the practice punished honest representations and violated the First Amendment.
  • In another decision coming out of the Second Circuit, a panel upheld a $1 million settlement for a school district’s failure to address continued racial harassment against a high school student.
  • The Huffington Post reports on the continuing federal judicial vacancy crisis that has emerged since President Obama took office.