Byline: Derek Hawkins
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: Joseph Miller v. Michael Downey, et al.
Case No.: 17-1507
Officials: FLAUM, ROVNER, and SCUDDER, Circuit Judges.
Focus: 1st Amendment Violation
Between 2012 and 2013, the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee, Illinois, prohibited inmates from receiving any newspapers. While awaiting trial on bank robbery charges, Joseph Miller's family bought him a $279 subscription to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin to help him with his case. Deeming the Law Bulletin a newspaper, jail officials precluded Miller from receiving it. Miller responded with a lawsuit challenging the jail's prohibition and confiscation of the publication and seeking to recover the subscription fee. The district court construed the lawsuit as requiring it to answer, not the narrow question of whether Miller had a right to receive a legal publication like the Law Bulletin, but instead the broader question of whether the jail's ban on all newspapers offended the First Amendment. In the end, the district court...