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Cases Citing Legal Blogs

[Update: This post has now been revised and updated here.]


This is a collection of cases that cite legal blogs. The cases are listed below, and each case name is hyperlinked to a blog post containing 1) the excerpt with the blog citation, and 2) additional commentary. The URL's for the blog citations are active, and will bring the reader to the original online source.


The blog with the most case citations is Sentencing Law and Policy, with 21 citations in 17 cases. (Note that the majority and dissenting opinions in Ameline are posted separately; thus SLP is cited in cases #1-18.) Three other well-known legal blogs are represented, each being cited once: Legal Theory Blog for its archived lexicon, in Brasher's Cascade Auto Auction (case #19); The Volokh Conspiracy for a song parody, in Suboh v. Borgioli (case #20); and How Appealing for a reference to its "20 Questions" series, in Kennedy v. Lockyer (case #21).


The case of Batzel v. Smith (case #22) does not cite any legal blog as an authority, but instead names four examples of "popular and respected legal blogs": How Appealing, SCOTUSBlog, The Volokh Conspiracy, and Lessig Blog. It also names Instapundit as an example of a political blog. The final, unpublished case, Tsukroff v. Hedgeside Property & Inv. Co. (case #23) cites a California blog, The UCL Practitioner, for its collection of trial court orders and appellate briefs.


Cases Citing Legal Blogs

  1. United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 278 (2005) (Stevens, J., dissenting)
  2. United States v. Penaranda, 375 F.3d 238, 247 (2d Cir. 2004)
  3. United States v. Ameline (majority), 376 F.3d 967, 978 (9th Cir. 2004)
  4. United States v. Ameline (dissent), 376 F.3d 967, 986 (9th Cir. 2004) (Gould, J., dissenting)
  5. United States v. Rodriguez, 406 F.3d 1261, 1284 (11th Cir. 2005) (Tjoflat, J., dissenting)
  6. United States v. Levy, 391 F.3d 1327, 1341 (11th Cir. 2004) (Tjoflat, J., dissenting)
  7. United States v. Valencia-Aguirre, 409 F. Supp. 2d 1358, 1379 (D. Fla. 2006)
  8. United States v. Bailey, 369 F. Supp. 2d 1090, 1092 (D. Neb. 2005)
  9. United States v. Khan, 325 F. Supp. 2d 218, 223 (D. N.Y. 2004)
  10. United States v. Onunwor, Order NO. 1:04-CR-211 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 19, 2004)
  11. United States v. Phelps, 366 F. Supp. 2d 580, 584 (D. Tenn. 2005)
  12. United States v. Croxford, 324 F. Supp. 2d 1255, 1261 (D. Utah 2004)
  13. United States v. Wilson (Feb. 2, 2005), 355 F. Supp. 2d 1269, 1271, 1286 (D. Utah 2005)
  14. United States v. Wilson (Jan. 12, 2005), 350 F. Supp. 2d 910, 922 (D. Utah 2005)
  15. United States v. Johnson, 333 F. Supp. 2d 573, 577 (D. W. Va. 2004)
  16. United States v. Greer, 375 F. Supp. 2d 790, 795 (D. Wis. 2005)
  17. Smylie v. State, 823 N.E.2d 679, 687 (Ind. 2005)
  18. State v. Foster, 2006 Ohio 856, P8 (Ohio 2006)
  19. Brasher’s Cascade Auto Auction v. Valley Auto Sales & Leasing, 119 Cal. App. 4th 1038, 1057 (Cal. Ct. App. 2004)
  20. Suboh v. Borgioli, 298 F. Supp. 2d 192, 194 (D. Mass. 2004)
  21. Kennedy v. Lockyer, 379 F.3d 1041, 1065 (9th Cir. 2004)
  22. Batzel v. Smith, 351 F.3d 904, 906 (9th Cir. 2003)
  23. Tsukroff v. Hedgeside Property & Inv. Co., California Superior Court, Napa County, case no. 26-25117 (order dated 01/19/05) (unpublished)

April 15, 2006 in Cases Citing Legal Blogs | Permalink


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» Blog Cited Over 20 Times in Court Cases: from The Volokh Conspiracy
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Your post shows that Courts (including SCOTUS) have been willing to cite to Blogs. However, I think this practice will become much more common-place when the Bluebook develops a better rule for Blog citations.

In the latest edition of the Bluebook, there is a Rule on Blog citations, but it is not well drafted. In my opinion, it was written by someone (or some group) who did not have knowledge of Bloging, and therefore does not include key informaion for citation.

Posted by: DEJ | Apr 17, 2006 6:02:38 PM

Excellent point, DEJ. I really think that does have a lot to do with it. I've wanted to write about the latest edition of the Bluebook, but haven't had the time. Once school is over, I plan to post about the Bluebook rules and ask for reader comments. If there is enough substantial feedback about better ways to cite blogs and other online sources, I can send it along to the Harvard publishers.

Posted by: 3L Epiphany | Apr 17, 2006 6:15:52 PM

In answer to a e-mailed question by the author of the post above if there are any Japanese cases that cite bloggers:

I am not aware of any such court case, and I would be surprised if there is one.

That is especially true at the Supreme Court level. A typical Japanese Supreme Court decision will lay out what they want in a couple of sentences and maybe add "it is appropriate to understand the law in this way" as a reason.

In other words, Japanese courts don't cite anything else than precedents in the first place.

That is in a rather marked contrast to decisions by the German Federal Constitutional Court or the Federal Court of Justice. They cite lots of publications.

However, I am also not aware of any blog citation by German courts.

Posted by: Karl-Friedrich Lenz | Jun 17, 2006 12:40:11 AM

I am not aware of any court cases in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba that have cited legal blogs. BTW, there are not many legal blogs in these countries.

Compared to US court decisions, the decisions of most Dutch and Dutch Caribbean judges are a bit dry to read and if they do cite anything else than papers filed or witnesses heard, it is only one or several precedents. They almost never cite publications and I guess there are not many judges reading legal blogs.

Kind regards,

Karel Frielink

Posted by: Karel Frielink | Jun 18, 2006 1:38:44 PM

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