DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL WITH SUPPORTING BRIEF Page 3
motions for a new trial must: (1) clearly establish either a manifest error of law or fact; or (2) present newly discovered evidence.
See Simon v. United States
, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159 (5th Cir.1990). Moreover, “[a]ny error of law, if prejudicial, is a good ground for a new trial.”
Colegrove v. Cameron Mach. Co.
, 172 F. Supp. 2d 611, 632 (W.D. Pa. 2001) (
§ 2805 (1995)).
The Order is manifestly erroneous as a matter of law because it does notfollow the rule of constitutional avoidance.
The rule of constitutional avoidance requires that prior to reaching any of theconstitutional questions presented in litigation, federal courts must first consider the non-constitutional grounds for decision – resolving the case on non-constitutional grounds if possible.
Gulf Oil Co. v. Bernard
, 452 U.S. 89, 99 (1981). This principle, under which a “Court will notdecide a constitutional question if there is some other ground upon which to dispose of the case .. . is a well-established principle governing the prudent exercise of this Court’s jurisdiction.”
Northwest Austin Mun. Util. Dist. No. One v. Holder
, 557 U.S. 193, 205 (2009) (
quoting Escambia County v. McMillan
, 466 U.S. 48, 51 (1984)). Constitutional avoidance is also a“fundamental rule of judicial restraint.”
Three Affiliated Tribes of Berthold Reservation v. Wold Eng’g
, 467 U.S. 138, 157 (1984). “[I]f there is one doctrine more deeply rooted than any other in the process of constitutional adjudication, it is that we ought not to pass on questions of constitutionality ... unless such adjudication is unavoidable.”
Jean v. Nelson
, 472 U.S. 846, 854(1985) (Rehnquist, C.J.) (affirming Circuit Court’s judgment to remand to federal district courtfor consideration of non-constitutional issue instead of constitutional issue) (quotation omitted).
Case 3:11-cv-03200-O Document 87 Filed 11/13/12 Page 3 of 11 PageID 1979