Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Roman Catholic Bishop v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - April 28, 2005)

I noted in a previous post that the constitutionality of retroactive punitive damages under the ex post facto clause of the Constitution would make a good law review article, and noted that Justice Croskey had written a well-reasoned opinion (in the context of the revival of otherwise-barred insurance claims that arose out of the Northridge earthquake) concluding that such a revivor was constitutionally permissible. Well, it's still a good law review topic. And here's another case -- this one by Justice Rubin -- that reaches the same result, albeit in a different context (here, to validate the revivor of otherwise time-barred punitive damages claims for alleged sexual abuse of a minor by a priest who worked for the Bishop of Oakland).

Both are good opinions. But there are definitely counterarguments out there. Someone should pick up this gauntlet (and topic) and run with it. It's clearly going to reach the Supreme Court at some point.