How Appealing

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Philip Morris in Philip Morris USA v. Williams may not have helped Philip Morris much in Oregon today, but the ruling did help Philip Morris in California yesterday: The new blog "California Punitive Damages" provides this post about a California Court of Appeal ruling, issued yesterday, that set aside a $28 million punitive damages award against Philip Morris based on the U.S. Supreme Court's February 2007 ruling in the case out of Oregon.

And an even more recent post at that blog opines that the result of today's Oregon Supreme Court decision against Philip Morris, holding under Oregon law that a partially valid proposed jury instruction can be rejected if the instruction is also partially invalid, would not be reached by a court that was applying California law.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Panel Approves Judicial Pay Raise And Junkets Ban": Lawrence Hurley of The Daily Journal of California has this post at his "Washington Briefs" blog.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"NJ Supreme Court justice Rivera-Soto sued": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger provides a news update that begins, "A former star high school football player sued state Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto today, alleging the associate justice wielded the considerable prestige of his robe against him because of a running dispute on the gridiron with Rivera-Soto's son."

And The Associated Press reports that "Teen sues NJ Supreme Court justice over actions in dispute with son."
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ala. Inmate Wins Stay of Execution": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"A guide to 'Selyaisms'": Frederick A. Brodie, a former law clerk to First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Seyla, has this essay in the current issue of The National Law Journal.
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman


Next will the Sixth Circuit permit Tennessee to sue the North Carolina Valley Authority? Today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a federal district court's decision that refused to dismiss North Carolina's common-law nuisance action against the Tennessee Valley Authority. The lawsuit contends that the TVA's coal-fired power plants in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky emit various pollutants that travel through the atmosphere into North Carolina, adversely impacting human health and environmental quality. You can access today's Fourth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman


If you don't want your children in kindergarten, first, or second grades to be exposed to books that favorably portray same-sex couples, then don't send your children to public school: So holds the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in this ruling that a unanimous three-judge panel issued today.
Posted at 04:22 PM by Howard Bashman


The cost to Philip Morris of trying to slant jury instructions too far in its favor -- $79.5 million in punitive damages: As I first noted in this post from this morning, today the Supreme Court of Oregon issued its ruling, on remand from the Supreme Court of the United States, in Williams v. Philip Morris Inc. Although Philip Morris had won before the U.S. Supreme Court, today's ruling by Oregon's highest court reinstates a jury's award of $79.5 million in punitive damages, on top of a compensatory damages award of $821,000, against Philip Morris and in favor of a cigarette smoker's widow. How could this be?

When Philip Morris most recently brought this case to the U.S. Supreme Court, the company asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider two objections to the punitive damages award. First, Philip Morris advanced a procedural due process challenge, asserting that that a defendant's due process rights are violated if a jury assesses punitive damages to punish a defendant for having caused harm to persons other than the plaintiff. And second, Philip Morris advanced a substantive due process challenge, asserting that the punitive damages award was unconstitutionally excessive because, among other reasons, it was nearly one hundred times larger than the award of compensatory damages.

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5-4 ruling in February 2007, the Court agreed with Philip Morris's procedural due process argument. The Court held that a defendant's due process rights are violated if a jury assesses punitive damages to punish a defendant for having caused harm to persons other than the plaintiff. As a result, the U.S. Supreme Court found it unnecessary to address the company's substantive due process challenge to the punitive damages award as unconstitutionally excessive.

Philip Morris had sought to preserve its procedural due process objection, which the U.S. Supreme Court recognized as meritorious, by means of a proposed jury instruction. Today, the Supreme Court of Oregon, acting on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, held that the trial court properly refused to deliver to the jury Philip Morris's proposed jury instruction because it misstated Oregon's law of punitive damages in various other respects. Under Oregon law, a party has no right to have a trial court deliver its proposed jury instruction unless the instruction is entirely unobjectionable. Philip Morris's proposed jury instruction was far from entirely unobjectionable, according to Oregon's highest court, and therefore Philip Morris has no one to blame other than itself (and its trial lawyers) for failing to have its procedural due process rights vindicated in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court's February 2007 ruling.

Let's assume, as is most likely the case, that today's Supreme Court of Oregon decision constitutes an adequate and independent state law ground that will prevent Philip Morris from benefiting from the U.S. Supreme Court's February 2007 procedural due process ruling in Philip Morris's favor. This still leaves the company with the ability to pursue its substantive due process challenge to the punitive damages award as unconstitutionally excessive. Remember that the U.S. Supreme Court had originally granted certiorari to review that question but then found it unnecessary to resolve.

For better or worse, today's Supreme Court of Oregon ruling has likely transformed this case into an unattractive vehicle for U.S. Supreme Court review on the substantive due process question of the unconstitutional excessiveness of punitive damages. My reasoning proceeds as follows. To determine whether a punitive damages award is unconstitutionally excessive, one must consider the evidence that was before the fact-finder. Here, due to Philip Morris's failure to tender a valid punitive damages instruction, Philip Morris has forfeited any ability to object to the jury's consideration, in assessing punitive damages, of the harm that Philip Morris caused to Oregon smokers other than the plaintiff. Determining whether this particular punitive damages award is unconstitutionally excessive will require the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh a type of evidence that, as a result of its earlier ruling in this very case, other juries deciding whether to award punitive damages won't ever be considering. Thus, a substantive due process ruling in this case would amount to little more than error correction and would be unlikely to result in a ruling of widespread application to other cases.

Even though this case may no longer present an attractive vehicle for examining the substantive due process limits of excessive punitive damages, Philip Morris can still hope that the U.S. Supreme Court, before it gets around to denying the company's forthcoming cert. petition, will decide or agree to decide another case presenting a substantive due process challenge to excessive punitive damages. Unfortunately for Philip Morris, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down this issue in the Exxon Valdez case.

In closing, to return to the title of this post, it is worth emphasizing that the reason Philip Morris failed to benefit from the U.S. Supreme Court's punitive damages ruling in its favor in this very case is that the trial lawyers for Philip Morris tried to slant their proposed punitive damages instruction too far in defendant's favor. Had the company's proposed punitive damages instruction faithfully tracked the applicable Oregon statute, today's Supreme Court of Oregon ruling would have likely set aside the jury's punitive damages award and granted a new trial. So, to you young litigation associates pondering how far you should twist the law in your client's favor in proposed jury instructions, remember: attempting to gain your client some subtle, modest advantage could backfire and someday cause your client to lose its ability to overturn a nearly $80 million punitive damages award.

Elsewhere, Ashbel S. Green of The Oregonian (with whom I had the pleasure of speaking about this case a bit earlier today) has a news update headlined "Oregon Supreme Court backs $79.5 million award; The judgment against Philip Morris had been overturned twice."

The Associated Press reports that "Oregon high court reaffirms decision in Philip Morris case."

At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Oregon Supreme Court to U.S. Supreme Court: Thanks, But No Thanks."

And Eric Turkewitz, at the "New York Personal Injury Law Blog," has a post titled "Philip Morris $79.5M Punitive Award Reinstated By Oregon High Court."
Posted at 03:57 PM by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit grants rehearing en banc to consider the constitutionality of a school's strip-search of a 13-year-old female honor roll student with no prior disciplinary problems based on the allegation she had given a classmate a prescription-strength ibuprofen tablet: You can access at this link today's order granting rehearing en banc.

A divided three-judge panel upheld the constitutionality of the search in a decision issued on September 21, 2007. My coverage of that decision appeared at this link.
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Ala. Execution Could Be First in Months" and "Court Rules for TiVo in Patent Dispute."
Posted at 02:12 PM by Howard Bashman


Pending amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure -- who has commented thus far? Yesterday, I had this rather lengthy post describing the proposed amendments -- now up for public comment -- to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Next Monday's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com will also discuss these proposed amendments.

My post from yesterday described how to submit public comments, but I neglected to note that you can access online, via this link, the comments received thus far pertaining to the proposed FRAP amendments. (Comments on amendments to the other federal procedural rules now up for discussion can be accessed via this link.) Of the handful of comments received thus far on the proposed FRAP amendments, I nominate the comments of Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook as most entertaining.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirms $74 million patent infringement award in favor of TiVo, Inc. and against EchoStar: If the TiVo smiley face logo seems a bit happier than usual, it may be as a result of this ruling issued today.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds $79.5 million smoker verdict": Ashbel S. Green of The Oregonian provides this news update. My most recent coverage appears immediately below.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Oregon once again upholds a jury's award of $79.5 million in punitive damages, on top of a compensatory damages award of $821,000, against Philip Morris and in favor of a cigarette smoker's widow: You can access today's ruling at this link. It is inevitable that Philip Morris will again seek U.S. Supreme Court review.

The U.S. Supreme Court's February 2007 ruling in the case can be accessed here. For the record, my prediction of what Oregon's highest court would do today was wrong.
Posted at 11:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Thank You. Now Go to Hell. Mukasey stonewalls Senate Democrats on water-boarding, and practically everything else." Dahlia Lithwick has this dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion provider must turn over files; Opponents hope the patient records will lead to additional charges against the Kansas doctor who performs late-term procedures": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Wichita Eagle reports today that "Tiller must turn over records to grand jury."

And The Washington Times reports that "Clinic must release abortion data."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey Will Not Rule Out Waterboarding": The New York Times contains this article today, along with an editorial entitled "A Disappointing Debut."

The Washington Post reports today that "Mukasey Hints at Wider CIA Probe."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Democrats decry Mukasey's silence on waterboarding; The Senate Judiciary Committee members say the attorney general's refusal to give a legal opinion is an effort to protect the Bush administration."

The Hill reports that "Democrats grill Mukasey."

The Washington Times reports that "Mukasey still mum on waterboarding."

The Wall Street Journal contains an article headlined "Three Young Men Try Waterboarding And Tell the Tale" and an editorial entitled "'Waterboarding' Mukasey."

And from National Public Radio, today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Mukasey, Senators Revisit Torture Debate." Yesterday evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Mukasey Dodges Senate Panel's Torture Questions." And yesterday's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "What to Expect from Mukasey" featuring Dahlia Lithwick. RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

C-SPAN has made available for on-demand viewing in two parts (morning session and afternoon session) (RealPlayer required) the Attorney General's testimony yesterday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Better Pay for Federal Judges: To ensure a good deal for the public, the new pay package should include an overdue tightening of the gift rules to bar corporate-sponsored junkets." This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law Without Suits: New Hires Flout Tradition; Young Attorneys' Casual Attire Draws Criticism at Big Firms; A Crackdown on Ugg Boots." The Wall Street Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Snipes' jury still deliberating": This article appears today in The Ocala Star-Banner.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Nichols case needs a judge": Today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article that begins, "The judge who will appoint a replacement for Superior Court Judge Hilton Fuller, who resigned Wednesday from the beleaguered case of courthouse rampage suspect Brian Nichols, said he hopes to name a jurist within days but may have trouble finding someone willing to take the case." The newspaper also reports today that "Nichols judge both praised, faulted."

The New York Times reports today that "Judge in Courthouse Shooting Case Steps Down."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Quote prompts judge to quit case; After being quoted in a magazine article as saying of defendant, 'Everyone in the world knows he did it,' a jurist recuses himself from a murder trial."

And the Fulton County Daily Report contains an article headlined "Judge Recuses From Courthouse Shooting Trial Following Remarks in Magazine Article."

For more on why the judge stepped down from the case, see this earlier post from yesterday.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"More Wecht staffers testify about go-fer work": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato reports that "Errand kept body unretrieved, witness says."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Signs of trouble in Medina finances; Records show judge tapped all his home's equity": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "An investigation into a suspicious fire that destroyed the home of Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina brought unprecedented scrutiny of his life: from cell phone calls to bank records to personal relationships to the whereabouts of family members on the night in question."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"An Empirical Analysis of the Confirmation Hearings of the Justices of the Rehnquist Natural Court": Jason J. Czarnezki, William K. Ford, and Lori A. Ringhand have posted this paper (abstract with links for download) at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").

The article's abstract begins, "Despite the high degree of interest generated by Supreme Court confirmation hearings, surprisingly little work has been done comparing the statements made by nominees at their confirmation hearings with their voting behavior once on the Supreme Court. This paper begins to explore this potentially rich area by examining confirmation statements made by nominees regarding three different methods of constitutional interpretation."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Debate Over How Much Supreme Court Decisions Truly Matter": Edward Lazarus has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Jury to Start Deliberations in Wesley Snipes Tax Case": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Ocala Star-Banner reports today that "Wesley Snipes' fate now in hands of jury; Actor says 'I look forward to walking out of here.'" The newspaper also provides an update headlined "Jury asks judge in Snipes trial: What does 'conspiracy' mean?"
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Thomas Barr, Top Lawyer in I.B.M. Case, Dies at 77": Adam Liptak is the author of this obituary that appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Hears Appeal in Iraq Ambush Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Relatives of civilian truck drivers killed in Iraq emerged from a closed-door hearing Wednesday hopeful that a federal appeals court would resurrect their cases against a military contractor." Today's oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit was not open to the public or the press.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Oregon high court to rule (again) on smoker-death case": Ashbel S. Green of The Oregonian provides a news update that begins, "The Oregon Supreme will decide tomorrow what to do with a $79.5 million punitive damage award against Philip Morris that has twice been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court."

The Supreme Court of Oregon's ruling should become available online via this link by noon tomorrow.

You can access the U.S. Supreme Court's February 2007 ruling in the case at this link. Shortly after that ruling issued, law.com published an installment of my "On Appeal" column headlined "'Philip Morris' Punitives Ruling May Contain Silver Lining for Plaintiffs." It is unlikely that the Philip Morris ruling will contain a silver lining for this particular plaintiff, however. Rather, there's a strong likelihood that she will need to present her punitive damages claim to a new jury, which will not be allowed to consider one of the key arguments that likely caused the first jury to award $79.5 million in punitive damages on top of a compensatory damages award of $821,000.
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Federal recusal case: $160,000 and 'the meter still is running.'" The West Virginia Record provides a report that begins, "The state Supreme Court of Appeals has spent more than $160,000 on a federal court case Massey Energy brought against it over the way justices recuse themselves from cases."
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Retired US worker becomes champion of women's fair pay": Agence France Presse has a report that begins, "Ten years ago, someone slipped an anonymous note into Lilly Ledbetter's locker and the tire factory worker learned that she was being paid less than her male counterparts who were doing the same work. Ledbetter took her case all the way to the US Supreme Court, but never received compensation. Today, she is leading the charge to change the laws that allow men to be paid more than women who do the same work."

And The New York Times today contains an editorial entitled "Restoring Civil Rights."
Posted at 07:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Law lecture features Supreme Court’s Breyer": Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law issued this news release today.
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Colins Nominated By Governor To Pennsylvania Supreme Court": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Bulletin.
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court rejects Nazi guard Demjanjuk's appeal": Reuters provides this report.

My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pakistani Justice Breaks Silence": Thursday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the former chief justice of Pakistan who was removed last year when President Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency, has finally broken his silence."
Posted at 07:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judges on Industry-Backed Group's Board": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "A federal judge has resigned from the board of a corporate-funded group that provides free seminars and trips to judges after a judicial ethics panel recommended he quit. Two other judges remain on the board, either unaware of the ethics advice or unconcerned by it. U.S. District Judge Andre Davis of Baltimore said he resigned from the board of the Montana-based Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment soon after he received a private opinion from the federal judiciary's Codes of Conduct Committee."

The organization Community Rights Counsel issued this news release today. Also today, that organization sent this letter to the chair of the federal Judicial Conference's Committee on Codes of Conduct based, at least in part, on this transcript excerpt. And later today, the chair of that committee issued this response.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Rejects Buddhists' Temple": Lynne Tuohy of The Hartford Courant has a news update that begins, "The state Supreme Court Wednesday unanimously rejected the legal arguments and efforts by the Cambodian Buddhist Society of Connecticut to build a temple on 10 acres they own in Newtown."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Connecticut at this link.
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge in courthouse shooting case stepping down": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "The trial judge in the beleaguered death penalty case of Fulton County Courthouse rampage suspect Brian Nichols announced Wednesday he is removing himself from the case. Superior Court Judge Hilton Fuller's decision came just one day after he was quoted in an article on the New Yorker's Web site about why Nichols plans to use a mental health defense: 'That's their only defense, because everyone in the world knows he did it.'"

And The Associated Press reports that "Ga. Courthouse Shooting Judge Steps Down."

You can access Jeffrey Toobin's article about the case, which appears in the current issue of The New Yorker, here (HTML) and here (PDF).
Posted at 04:52 PM by Howard Bashman



February 15, 2008 is the deadline for commenting on various proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure: The law professor who now serves as reporter for the federal judiciary's Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules sent me an email yesterday asking that I draw that deadline and these proposed amendments to the attention of this blog's readers.

In her email, she writes:

In particular, I thought it would be useful to draw your readers' attention to two sets of proposals.

One is the set of Appellate Rules proposals, which include, inter alia, a proposal for a new Appellate Rule 12.1 that sets forth procedures to be followed when a district court is asked for relief that it lacks authority to grant because an appeal is pending. The other set of proposals that I'd like to mention concerns the method for computing time under the Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil and Criminal Rules.

In brief, the principal time-computation proposal is to adopt a "days-are-days" approach to computing all periods of time, including short time periods. Under the current rules, intermediate weekends and holidays are omitted when computing short time periods but included when computing longer periods. By contrast, under the new proposal, intermediate weekends and holidays are counted no matter the length of the specified period.

The project has been published for comment as proposed amendments to Appellate Rule 26(a), Bankruptcy Rule 9006(a), Civil Rule 6(a), and Criminal Rule 45(a). Also published for comment are proposed amendments to numerous deadlines set by the Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil and Criminal Rules; the goal of those amendments is to offset the effect of the change in time-counting approach by lengthening most short rule-based deadlines.

In large measure, the rules-provided deadlines have been sufficiently lengthened to make the change to a days-are-days approach neutral to practitioners; moreover, in a few notable instances -- such as the proposal to lengthen the current 10-day deadlines in Civil Rules 50, 52, and 59(b), (d) and (e) to 30 days -- the deadlines proposals will give practitioners significantly more time than they now have.

The new time-computation rules will govern a number of statutory deadlines that do not themselves provide a method for computing time, and so one of the project's current goals is to identify key statutory deadlines that the Standing Committee should recommend that Congress lengthen in order to offset the change in time-computation approach.

Your readers' comments on any and all aspects of the proposals would be appreciated. Comments can be submitted electronically to Rules_Comments@ao.uscourts.gov.

The proposed creation of FRAP 12.1 and other amendments that do not principally relate to the calculation of time under the rules can be accessed by clicking here. Rule changes that relate principally to calculations of time under the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure can be accessed by clicking here.

As Cathie's email notes, amendments have also been proposed to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to expand, from 10 days to 30 days, the time in which to make post-judgment motions for judgment as a matter of law, for a new trial, to alter a trial judge's non-jury findings of fact, and to alter or amend the judgment. These changes will likely also be of great significance to attorneys who handle appeals in federal court in civil cases. You can view these proposed amendments to the FRCP by clicking here.

As noted above, the deadline for submitting comments pertaining to these proposed rule changes is February 15, 2008, and comments may be submitted via email. Before submitting a comment, you can consider suggestions about how to submit an effective comment. All of the pending proposed rule changes to the federal Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Rules that are now subject to public comment can be accessed via this link (scroll down).
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"For Yale Law School, conflicting narratives": The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "In court, Padilla v. Yoo is a lawsuit about human rights and the Constitution. But in headlines and in the blogosphere, it looks more like a case about Yale."
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"11th Circuit lifts stay of execution for Alabama inmate": The AP provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court has lifted a stay of execution for James Harvey Callahan, who is scheduled to be executed Thursday, but it could be delayed again by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments in a Kentucky challenge to lethal injection, a case that has delayed executions nationwide. Alabama uses lethal injection in its executions. In a 2-1 decision, the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday lifted the stay granted by U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins in Montgomery on Dec. 14. The court said Callahan waited too late to challenge the method of execution."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit at this link.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey Refuses to Judge Waterboarding": Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press has this updated report.

You can view the Attorney General's Senate Judiciary Committee testimony live via C-SPAN using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Electing judges -- with cash: Merit, not money, should sway judicial elections." Cornell Law student Cody Corliss has this op-ed today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Denies Alleged Nazi Guard's Appeal": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected an alleged Nazi death camp guard's challenge to a final deportation order by the nation's chief immigration judge. A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled there was no basis to John Demjanjuk's challenge of a December 2005 ruling that he could be deported to his native Ukraine or to Germany or Poland."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge won't suppress statements by suspect in obscenity case": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge yesterday denied a motion to suppress statements made by a Donora woman charged with transmitting obscene materials. Karen Fletcher, 56, is charged with six counts of sending lewd stories, depicting the rape and killing of children, on the Internet. Ms. Fletcher ran what was known as the 'Red Rose' Web site, where she posted her fictional stories."

What makes this case unusual is that the alleged obscenity in question consists entirely of text, unaccompanied by any allegedly obscene images. The October 9, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey Offers View on Waterboarding": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Mukasey Holds Back on Torture Issue; Attorney General Won't Offer Senate Panel Definitive Opinion on Waterboarding."

The Los Angeles Times contains an article headlined "Is waterboarding torture? Mukasey's still not ready to say; The attorney general says whether the technique is legal is 'not an easy question'; He will face a Senate committee today."

Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press reports that "Mukasey Refuses to Judge Waterboarding."

Reuters reports that "US law chief, Democrats face clash on waterboarding."

And CQ Today reports that "Democrats Warn That Justice Nominees Are Hindered by Mukasey Silence."

At the "Balkinization" blog, Marty Lederman has a post titled "Torture: 'Reasonable People' Can Disagree."
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Rendell's pick for judge draws Republicans' ire": The Philadelphia Inquirer contains this article today.

And The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports today that "Duquesne professor tapped for judgeship."
Posted at 07:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Cadavers wrongly went to Carlow, former aide says in Wecht case": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today contains articles headlined "'Reaper Wear' sold from morgue" and "Students embalmed donated bodies: witness." Reporter Jason Cato will provides updates from the trial throughout the day at this link.
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge 'Thinking Very Hard' About Lynne Stewart Case": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun.

And The New York Daily News reports today that "Judge's light term for terror lawyer Lynne Stewart ripped."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"The Items Were Worth $177": Syndicated columnist James J. Kilpatrick has an essay that begins, "The Supreme Court splendidly split last week in the Case of the Missing Prayer Rug. By all the usual criteria, it was a nuthin' case -- a case of minimal public interest, tossed over to Justice Clarence Thomas for another ho-hum opinion. I'm writing about it for a reason."

Kilpatrick, who is now 87 years of age, announces in this essay that "With this column, I retire from writing about the Supreme Court." He will continue to write a weekly column about the English language.
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"2nd Circuit Considers Intent, Knowledge in Lynne Stewart Case; Federal appeals court judges pepper defense with questions; attorney repeatedly cites 'Brandenburg' Supreme Court case": law.com provides this report.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Prosecutor to appeals court: NYC lawyer got 'slap on the wrist.'"
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Wecht trial: Aide says cadavers wrongly went to Carlow." The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides this news update.
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Travesty of justice' prompts protest; A dangerous line was crossed when prosecutor succeeded in getting defense attorneys changed in Pike death penalty case, lawyers say": Bill Rankin had this article yesterday in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jefferson wants income, race, education as criteria; Aim is to keep diversity; court trashed old policy": Today's edition of The Louisville Courier-Journal contains an article that begins, "Race, income and education would be considered equally in assigning students and keeping Jefferson County's public schools integrated under a student-assignment plan released yesterday. Seven months after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the district's desegregation policy because it considered individual students' race in assigning them to schools, Superintendent Sheldon Berman unveiled a new proposal -- checked by the district's lawyers -- that he believes meets the court test."
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Two-Year Term Sought for Lawyer in Milberg Conspiracy": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun has a news update that begins, "Federal prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison term for one of the nation's most successful class-action attorneys, William Lerach."

The Associated Press reports that "2-year prison term recommended for lawyer in kickback scheme."

And Reuters reports that "U.S. prosecutors seek two-year prison term for Lerach."
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Alarmist Clock: Let's do away with the legislative fiction of the terrorist alarm clock." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds smoking ban": The Rocky Mountain News provides an update that begins, "The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Colorado's smoking ban today, dealing a blow to restaurant and bar owners who argued the law is unconstitutional."

And The Denver Post provides a news update headlined "Appeals court upholds smoking ban, DIA exemption."

Currently, the Tenth Circuit's opinion does not appear to be available over the court's web site, but you can access the court's judgment at this link.

Update: The Tenth Circuit has substituted the panel's opinion for that court's judgment at the link that appears immediately above.
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"9th Circuit deals setback to Costco on wine and beer sales": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer provides this news update.

The Seattle Times provides a news update headlined "Costco loses effort to overturn state liquor laws."

The Wall Street Journal provides a news update headlined "Court Sides With Regulators in Costco Case."

And Reuters reports that "Costco fails to overturn Wash. state liquor rules."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rendell nominates Colins to Supreme Court despite GOP objections": The Philadelphia Inquirer provides this news update.

The Associated Press reports that "Rendell names 4 to fill appellate court vacancies."

And you can access a press release headlined "PA Governor Rendell Announces Judicial Nominations for Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts."
Posted at 07:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"Breyer Keeps Up Bush Speech Attendance": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Four Supreme Court justices donned their robes to attend this year's State of the Union, but only one among them could boast a perfect attendance record during the Bush presidency."
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: I will be working this afternoon from the office of co-counsel finalizing an appellate brief that is due to be filed tomorrow. Additional posts will appear here later today.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"EU Court: Downloaders Can Stay Private." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Record labels and film studios cannot demand that telecom companies hand over the names and addresses of people suspected of breaking European copyright rules by swapping illegal downloads, the EU's top court ruled Tuesday."

Reuters reports that "EU court says file sharers don't have to be named."

And BBC News reports that "File-sharers 'need not be named'; Internet service providers do not have to divulge the names of users suspected of illegally sharing music files, Europe's top court has ruled."

You can access today's ruling of the European Court of Justice at this link.
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling may aid talent managers; They could be entitled to pay for procuring work for clients, the state high court says": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California appears at this link.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Plaintiff-for-hire sentenced; A retired lawyer gets home detention in the Milberg Weiss case": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. accused of blocking Gonzales probe; Office of Special Counsel chief says his investigation into alleged politicization of the attorney general's agency has been repeatedly 'impeded'": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Greater Use of Privilege Spurs Concern": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. government has been increasing its use of the state secrets privilege to avoid disclosure of classified information in civil lawsuits, prompting legislation in the Senate that would provide more congressional oversight of the practice."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"GOP Unable to Force Vote on Bush Surveillance Bill; Senators Can't Stop Democratic Debate; Current Law Set to Expire Thursday": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial entitled "Wiretrapped."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"'Wecht details' described to jury; On the first day of trial, deputy coroner tells of running errands": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today contains an article headlined "Corpse van carried hot dogs for Wecht: witness." Reporter Jason Cato will provides updates throughout the day at this link.

And online at the First Amendment Center, Douglas Lee has an essay entitled "3rd Circuit lets sunshine in on famous coroner's trial."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Illegal Globally, Bail for Profit Remains in U.S." Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Can a Sandwich Be Slandered?" This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Rendell to name Colins as justice": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "Gov. Rendell is poised to name former Commonwealth Court Judge James Gardner Colins an interim appointee to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, over the objection of Senate Republicans who predicted a battle over the nomination. Colins, 61, a Democrat from Philadelphia, was the longest-serving judge in the 37-year history of the intermediate appellate court. He announced in October that he was stepping down to speak out about the need for judicial independence and perhaps to return to practicing law."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Statewide judge race raises heat; GOP candidates for highest criminal court trade barbs": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "5th Circuit to Weigh Jurisdiction Over Contractors in Iraq; Iraq war's outsourcing of military functions poses new legal issues for contractors like KBR and Halliburton, now facing suit."

And in other news, "Former White House Counsel Tapped by N.Y. Chief Judge to Prepare Judicial Pay Suit."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"'Choose Life' license plate ruled free speech": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And The Arizona Daily Star reports today that "U.S. appellate court OKs pro-life AZ license plates."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



Which U.S. Supreme Court Justices attended last night's State of the Union address? From this photograph, the answer would seem to be the Chief Justice and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Stephen G. Breyer, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online at FindLaw: Douglas W. Kmiec has an essay entitled "Why Congress Must Renew FISA Immediately: If It Dallies, National Security Professionals Will Not Be Able to Protect America From Terrorism in the Interim."

And Anthony J. Sebok has an essay entitled "Is It Constitutional for the Senate to Retroactively Immunize From Civil Liability the Telecoms That Provided the Government with Information About Customers' Communications?"
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, January 28, 2008

"Gag order lifted in part" against law blog: The "Southern District of Florida Blog" contains this post from late this afternoon.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Alabama Supreme Court reverses course, offers hope to ill workers": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "In a 5-4 decision, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed direction and allowed lawsuits from workers who become ill many years after being exposed to dangerous chemicals. The majority said the two-year statute of limitations for filing suit begins to run when an injury manifests itself. That overruled a 1979 decision, where the court said the window for filing suit began to run at the last exposure to the chemicals -- a standard that made it impossible for workers to sue if the illness did not show up for many years."

And the blog "Alabama Appellate Watch" provides this link to the ruling, along with a post titled "Alabama Supreme Court Overrules Garrett v. Raytheon; Claim For Exposure To Toxic Substance Now Accrues When There Is A Manifest Injury."
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Verdict in on Talent Agency Act; No clear victory for either side": Variety provides an article that begins, "The California Supreme Court did not hand a clear victory to either side, but managers came out ahead with Monday's much-anticipated decision about the Talent Agency Act."

The Hollywood Reporter reports that "Court rules on Talent Agencies Act."

And The Los Angeles Business Journal reports that "Court Rules for Manager."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Gun Shy: Has the Bush administration abandoned gun rights advocates?" Benjamin Wittes has this essay online at The New Republic.

And Jan Crawford Greenburg, at her "Legalities" blog, recently addresed the same question in a post titled ""No Gun Quickdraw."
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Looking Anew at Campaign Cash and Elected Judges": You can access tomorrow's installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column at this link.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"John Grisham's Bad Guys Poison Rivers, Buy Judges": Charles Taylor of Bloomberg News provides this book review.

And Tuesday's edition of USA Today will contain a book review headlined "Grisham's 'Appeal' rules harshly on bought elections."
Posted at 10:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Cases piling up before justices": The San Antonio Express-News on Sunday contained an article that begins, "At a time when the Texas Supreme Court's case backlog has reached record levels, Justice Paul Green was spending Friday driving to Corpus Christi to speak to a group of appeals lawyers."
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. and British High Courts Compared; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Baroness Brenda Hale of Richmond Share Similarities of Serving in Top Judicial Seats": Georgetown University issued this news release today.
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wanted: lawyers to defend accused terrorists." Canwest News Service provides a report that begins, "The federal government is having trouble recruiting an experienced pool of lawyers to work as 'special advocates' on behalf of terror suspects under Canada's security certificate law."
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rendell said to settle on Colins for Pa. high court job": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Gov. Ed Rendell is preparing to nominate a former Commonwealth Court judge to fill a vacant spot on the state Supreme Court, according to the judge and legislative officials who were briefed Monday by the governor's aides. Judge James Gardner Colins, reached by telephone, said he believes his nomination may face some opposition in the Senate, but was confident he will ultimately be confirmed."
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Did McCain take a swipe at Alito?" Today at "The Swamp" blog of The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant had this post, along with a post titled "More on McCain and Alito." You can read John Fund's column, which raised this issue today, at this link.
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court OKs 'Choose Life' license plates in Arizona": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides this news update.

The Arizona Daily Star provides a news update headlined "Court OKs anti-abortion license plates for Arizona vehicles."

The Associated Press reports that "Court rules Arizona must allow 'choose life' license plate."

And Reuters reports that "Anti-abortion slogan OK'd on Arizona license plates."

My earlier coverage of today's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Wecht trial: Aide says staff regularly ran errands." The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides this news update.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


If a district court incorrectly instructs the jury on how to calculate damages, and the jury compounds the error by returning a verdict for a larger amount of damages than the erroneous instruction would permit, what is a federal appellate court to do? Today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addresses whether the correct remedy is a remittitur, thereby reducing the damages down to the maximum amount that could have been awarded under the erroneous but unobjected-to instruction, or a new trial with a proper instruction on calculating damages.

The court's opinion, written by Circuit Judge Ed Carnes, holds that a new trial is necessary. In the course of reaching that conclusion, he has the pleasure of considering whether to apply the legal doctrine "known by the delightful title of the 'tipsy coachman.'"
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Kenneth S. Geller argues FLSA class action aribtration appeal for Long John Silver's, and loses: Here's hoping that the seafood preparing pirate understands the unfavorable standard of review applicable to appeals from an arbitrator's rulings. You can access today's decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


E-commerce and personal jurisdiction: In a case involving allegations of copyright infringement via eBay, no less. Circuit Judge Neil M. Gorsuch issued this interesting opinion today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Unanimous three-judge Ninth Circuit panel holds that Arizona's refusal to authorize a "Choose Life" license plate violated the applicant's First Amendment rights: You can access today's ruling at this link.

Perhaps this gives me another opportunity to opine that "'Choose Life' Tags Appear Headed to Supreme Court."
Posted at 01:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Beware of Waiver on Appeal, Even if You Represent the Party That Won Below": Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Carona's pro bono defense deal; A lawyer at one of the country's top law firms has taken a professional interest in the case of the former Orange County sheriff": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "As former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona prepares for trial on criminal charges that he sold access to his office for cash, favors and gifts, he has retained the best lawyers money can buy. And he's getting them nearly free of charge. Jones Day, the fourth-largest law firm in the United States, with 2,300 lawyers worldwide and estimated annual revenue of $1.3 billion, has agreed to represent Carona on a pro bono basis. Based in Cleveland, the elite firm represents more than half the companies that constitute the Fortune 500. Though not unheard of, the case -- defending an allegedly corrupt sheriff who is making about $200,000 a year in retirement -- is unusual by pro bono standards. Typically, pro bono work involves providing legal services to society's most vulnerable -- the indigent, the homeless, the infirm."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Grace Bets On Winning Asbestos Lawsuits; Judge's Ruling May Decide Firm's Future": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Huge Lawsuit Could Change Handling of the Dead": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pathologist Accused of Profiting From Office": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "By his own count, Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, one of the nation's foremost forensic pathologists, has testified in more than 1,000 civil and criminal trials in his 46-year career, and opined on thousands more on television, on radio and in print. But now, for the second time in his life, Dr. Wecht is the accused. In a case Congressional Democrats say is a politically motivated prosecution by a Republican administration, Dr. Wecht, a Democrat, is in federal court here facing 41 criminal counts. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday. Those counts include mail fraud, wire fraud and theft of honest services. The most serious charges could send him to prison for up to 20 years per count."

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today contains profiles of the lead opposing lawyers in articles headlined "Jerry McDevitt's client will be judged, but so will the government" and "Stephen Stallings is no stranger to high-profile cases." Reporter Jason Cato will provide trial updates at this link.

And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today offers a listing of key figures in the case; a timeline; and access to the indictments and some other key documents.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"If You Can't Win the Case, Buy an Election and Get Your Own Judge": Today in The New York Times, Janet Maslin has this review of John Grisham's new book, "The Appeal."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Get sensible on judgeships": The Boston Globe today contains an editorial that begins, "The process of picking the next president is hogging the spotlight, but the public should also be paying attention to the process of vetting federal judges."
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Quizzing Justice: Justice Scalia speaks, answers questions at honors lecture." This article appeared Friday in The Reflector of Mississippi State University.
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Holocaust Victims' Lawyer Asks for Interest on His Fee": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Death In Georgia: The high price of trying to save an infamous killer's life." Jeffrey Toobin has this Annals of Law article in the February 4, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Grisham's 'Appeal' Tackles Down-and-Dirty Politics": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ohio Supreme Court writing opinions quicker": The Cleveland Plain Dealer provides this news update.
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Releasing Crack Convicts Early: The first batch of convicted crack cocaine dealers will getting out this year, and Virginia will feel the brunt." Emma Schwartz will have this article in the February 4, 2008 issue of U.S. News & World Report.
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appointing appellate judges is no panacea": Columnist Sid Salter has this op-ed today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Millionaires' Amendment": The Washington Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court's decision to hear arguments surrounding the so-called Millionaires' Amendment attached to the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance restrictions gives reason for hope."
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


Does the Montana Supreme Court take too long to decide cases? The Billings Gazette today contains articles headlined "Supreme Court cases pile up"; "Local attorneys would like to speed up appeals": and "Study will look at performance measures."
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ruling near on Abu-Jamal jury; A U.S. court is weighing race and other issues in death sentence": Today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Emilie Lounsberry has an article that begins, "In the nearly 26 years since his conviction for the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner, the international tempest over Mumia Abu-Jamal has fixed primarily on this question: Did he do it, or was he framed by Philadelphia police? Yet inside the chambers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Abu-Jamal's innocence or guilt is not the issue. Since May, three judges have been weighing whether to reinstate his death sentence, overturned in 2001. If they do, his last hope will be the U.S. Supreme Court, which hears fewer than 2 percent of all petitions filed each year."
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Courts to sort Jehovah's Witness blood battle when kids involved": The Canadian Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Expensive judicial race worries pundits; contest tops $1 million": This article appears today in The Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat.
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"District ready to unveil school assignment plans; Final decision expected by mid-May": The Louisville Courier-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Civil-rights leaders want to make sure schools stay racially integrated. Parents want to keep school choice. And students want to stay where they are. The stakes will be high tomorrow when officials with Jefferson County Public Schools make public their highly anticipated student-assignment proposals in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling rejecting the district's desegregation policy."
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Massey-Maynard photos highlight judicial recusal rule": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Death in Georgia: The high price of trying to save an infamous killer's life." Jeffrey Toobin will have this Annals of Law article in the February 4, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, January 26, 2008

"Son of former O.C. assistant sheriff released from prison; Gregory Haidl, convicted in a notorious sexual assault, must register as a sex offender and serve high-control parole": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And last Thursday's edition of The Orange County Register reported that "Greg Haidl will go free this weekend; Man prosecutors called 'maestro' of videotaped sexual assault on pool table will be released from state prison on parole."
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge tells court she's okay with suspension; Governor has called on Coffey to resign": The Concord (N.H.) Monitor today contains an article that begins, "Superior Court Judge Patricia Coffey told the state Supreme Court yesterday she is now willing to accept a disciplinary panel's recommended three-month suspension without pay, if necessary, for helping hide her husband's assets from creditors. That suspension is harsher than the public censure Coffey and her attorney advocated last month but far short of Gov. John Lynch's more recent call for Coffey's resignation. Coffey communicated her new position to the state Supreme Court yesterday, in anticipation of the court's Feb. 6 hearing on her case."
Posted at 08:59 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Balloter's New Burden": Columnist Kenneth Jost has this essay in the current issue of CQ Weekly.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion debate refuses to die, 20 years after historic court ruling": The Canadian Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bar Exam Controversy: Toal says fairness drove decision; Chief justice says effort to do the right thing led to passing 20 who had flunked." This article appears today in The State of Columbia, South Carolina.
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Save the whales from the Navy: A Navy end-run around a ruling to limit its sonar test is an attack on the Constitution." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"So Is Waterboarding Torture? Mukasey May Never Say." This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey may try to derail early releases; Judges in Oregon have already shortened prison time for several crack cocaine offenders; Controversial new sentencing guidelines are to take effect in March": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bill's Provision May Help Terror Victims Gain Redress": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"The FISA Follies, Redux": The New York Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Opportunity: Another wacky Ninth Circuit opinion." This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Henry made chief judge of 10th Circuit at OU": The Norman (Okla.) Transcript contains this article today.

The Tulsa World reports today that "Robert Henry ready for court; The Oklahoma native is now officially the chief justice of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."

And The Journal Record reports that "Henry honored as new chief judge."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Parents of woman shot at Trolley renew court appeal; They want to be declared 'victims' of man who sold gun": This article appears today in The Deseret Morning News.

And today in The Salt Lake Tribune, Pamela Manson has an article headlined "Victim's parents press for gun evidence."
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Beware of Waiver on Appeal, Even if You Represent the Party That Won Below": The new installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chief justice notes progress; State courts make headway on pay, new technology": The Statesman Journal of Salem, Oregon contains this article today.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Jewish rite case needs more info, ruling says; The high court says a parents' battle over circumcising their son lacks the boy's state of mind": This article appears today in The Oregonian, along with an article headlined "Son caught between parents is vulnerable; Kids could face depression or have lifelong issues with relationships, some say."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Oregon at this link.
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, January 25, 2008

"The Court's Personal Path to Roe v. Wade": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Jeffrey Toobin appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "The Bryant Park Project."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court: Taking Care of Business; How the high court caters to corporations and ignores commoners." Stephanie Mencimer has this essay online today at the web site of Mother Jones magazine.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"West Virginia Supreme Court to rehear case of energy firm": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


In bookstores on Tuesday, January 29, 2008, "The Appeal" by John Grisham: You can read an excerpt at this link.

You can access some early reviews here, here, and here. It's just another example of art imitates life.
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge hearing Wal-Mart bias case is named to state appeals court": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "Martin Jenkins, the federal judge presiding over a major sex-discrimination case against Wal-Mart, was nominated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to a state appeals court today. Jenkins, 54, of Oakland, was a judge in Alameda County for eight years before President Bill Clinton named him to the federal bench in San Francisco in 1997. Schwarzenegger nominated him today to a seat on the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco, a vacancy created when Justice Joanne Parrilli retired in July. Jenkins revealed in August that he had asked the governor for the job. His appointment requires confirmation by the state Commission on Judicial Appointments. It's unusual, though not unprecedented, for a judge to give up a lifetime appointment on a federal court for a seat on a state court, where justices must seek retention from the voters every 12 years. On the state Supreme Court, Justice Carlos Moreno is a former federal judge, and former Chief Justice Malcolm Lucas also left the federal bench for the state's high court."
Posted at 09:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Police investigate Tenn. Supreme Court burglary": This article appears today in The Jackson Sun.
Posted at 09:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Man who isn't dad still has to pay; Appeal is denied despite DNA test": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "A Hunterdon County divorcé who claimed he discovered he was not the father of a 10-year-old girl was denied his appeal to lower his child support payments, according to an opinion handed down this week by the state Appellate Division."

You can access Wednesday's unpublished ruling of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, at this link.
Posted at 09:45 PM by Howard Bashman



On Tuesday, January 29, 2008, the paperback edition of Jan Crawford Greenburg's book -- "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court" -- will go on sale: In paperback, the book will feature a new chapter. Details here. Just the other day, a non-lawyer friend was telling me how very much she enjoyed reading Jan's book.
Posted at 04:01 PM by Howard Bashman


On March 3, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will begin implementing electronic case filing: You can access the court's announcement at this link.
Posted at 03:52 PM by Howard Bashman


The smell of marijuana emanating from a tenth-floor apartment in a high-crime area does not provide probable cause for police, while lacking a search warrant, to require the apartment's occupant to open the door: A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued this interesting opinion today.

Although today's opinion could be seen as providing lessons for why a suspect should not slap at a police officer's hand or wrestle with police once handcuffed, the suspect may ultimately have the last laugh as a result of this ruling in his favor.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ore. Court: Boy Has Say in Circumcision." The Associated Press provides this report.

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Oregon at this link.
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Justice and the Baroness": Today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "Two female judicial pioneers -- one from the U.S. and the other from the U.K. -- compared notes at Georgetown University Law Center Thursday and found they both had restroom stories to tell."

My earlier coverage, including a link to video of the event, appears here.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"This is a patent infringement case relating to chimeric genes." How do you alter the DNA of corn so that what results is toxic to certain crop-destroying insects but harmless for humans and most animals? A discussion of the science involved is found in this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued today.

Today's ruling in Monsanto Co. v. Bayer Bioscience N.V. affirms a trial court's decision that Bayer's patents at issue in the case are unenforceable due to inequitable conduct.
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court blocks father from circumcising 12-year-old son": The Oregonian provides a news update that begins, "The Oregon Supreme Court on Friday blocked a divorced former Southern Oregon man from circumcising his 12-year-old son against the wishes of the boy's mother. The court ruled that the trial judge failed to determine whether the boy wanted to have the procedure. The child's mother, Lia Boldt, claims that circumcision is dangerous and that her son is afraid to say he doesn't want the procedure. The court ordered the case back to the trial judge to determine the boy's wishes."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Oregon at this link.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Resegregation of U.S. schools deepening; Districts in big cities of the Midwest and Northeast undergo the most change": This article appears today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"OSJCL Amici launches with four district judges on Gall and Kimbrough": In this post at his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, Doug Berman notes the availability online of "original commentaries by four district judges discussing federal sentencing after last month's Gall and Kimbrough rulings."
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court ruling clouds naming of Major League players who used steroids": In today's edition of The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court has for the second time generally sided with Justice Department efforts to use the names and urine samples of about 100 Major League baseball players who tested positive for steroids four years ago. But the convoluted 119-page ruling likely means federal investigators will still be unable use the controversial test results for the foreseeable future because the issue is expected to be tied up in the courts for some time."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's revised Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Workers can be fired for using medical pot off duty, court rules; Patients under doctor's care can be dismissed, even if marijuana use occurs during off hours, high court rules": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Company can fire medical pot user, court rules."

The Sacramento Bee reports that "Medical pot rights don't apply at work, court says; Despite 1996 state law, employers can fire those who flunk drug test."

The New York Times reports that "California Justices Put Limits on Medical Marijuana Law."

The Washington Post reports that "Calif. Firms Can Fire Medical Marijuana Users; State's High Court Finds Compassionate Use Act Does Not Affect Employers' Rights."

And law.com reports that "Calif. Supreme Court Gives Bosses Leeway to Fire Medical Pot Users; Plaintiff was upfront about medical pot use, and it didn't affect his job performance, but court majority OK'd his firing."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Demands a Report on Destroyed C.I.A. Tapes": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "A judge on Thursday gave the Justice Department three weeks to report in writing whether the destruction of C.I.A. videotapes in November 2005 violated an order he issued four months earlier to preserve evidence."
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Nominee Withdraws: President Bush has another chance to fill vacancies on a federal appeals court." The Washington Post today contains an editorial that begins, "President Bush owes E. Duncan Getchell Jr. a debt of gratitude. Mr. Getchell recently asked that his nomination be withdrawn for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, the federal court that hears appeals from Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and the Carolinas."
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Senate, a White House Victory on Eavesdropping": The New York Times contains this article today.

The Washington Post reports today that "Phone Firms' Bid for Immunity in Wiretaps Gains Ground."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Senate spy bill still shields telecoms; A revision is blocked; it omitted retroactive immunity for firms sued for cooperating with the government."

And The Providence (R.I.) Journal contains an article headlined "ACLU: Lynch caves in to feds on phone privacy."
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Seeks More Violent Crime Funds; Possible Early Release for Crack Cocaine Offenders Is Cited as Rationale": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Mukasey sees risk in early release; Clemency for crack inmates could boost crime, the attorney general says."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Turkey to Alter Speech Law": The New York Times today contains an article reporting that "Turkey's government has taken on the issue of free speech and is expected as early as Friday to announce a weakening of a law against insulting Turkishness, an amendment that is considered a key measure of the democratic maturity of this Muslim country as it tries to gain acceptance to the European Union."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Swedes Ponder Whether Killer Can Be a Doctor": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Stoneridge and the Rule of Law": Paul S. Atkins has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Constitutional Law Professor Klarman Joins HLS; Winner of 2005 Bancroft Prize, Klarman studies race relations and the role of the Supreme Court": The Harvard Crimson provides this news update.

And yesterday, the Harvard Law School issued a news release entitled "Michael Klarman to join HLS faculty."
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lynne Stewart Case Returning to Court": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The disbarred attorney Lynne Stewart next week will seek to have overturned her conviction of acting as middleman between a terrorist she represented and his followers in Egypt. The Justice Department isn't pleased with the outcome of the case, either: It will be arguing that Stewart's sentence of 28 months, which prompted celebration among her supporters outside the courthouse in 2006, was much too lenient. Prosecutors are aiming for a sentence of several more decades. Stewart's case, along with those of two co-defendants, her translator and law clerk, will be argued Tuesday afternoon before the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Complaints filed against Medina, Hecht; Advocacy group raises a red flag over justices' reimbursements for travel expenses": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Ethics complaints were filed Thursday against Texas Supreme Court Justices David Medina and Nathan Hecht questioning charges they made to their campaign accounts for travel."

Texas Lawyer provides reports headlined "Watchdog Group Files Ethics Complaint Against Three Texas Justices" and "Foreman: Grand Jury Wants to Make Presentation on Medina Investigation to Incoming Panel; 'You've got 12 angry jurors,' says foreman."

And today's edition of The San Antonio Express-News contains an editorial entitled "Repay travel expenses, follow the ethics rules."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court is border guard, lightning rod, Breyer says": This article appears today in The Norman (Okla.) Transcript.

And The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court justice discusses terrorism, civil liberties."

As noted in an article headlined "OU alumnus will be sworn in as chief judge this week at OU" that The Norman Transcript published on Wednesday, today "Robert Henry will be sworn in as the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit" at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"New Chief Judge beginning February 11, 2008": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday issued a press release that begins, "Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg announced that he will relinquish his position as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on February 10, 2008." The press release goes on to report that "Judge Ginsburg will continue as an active member of the Court of Appeals."

Chief Judge Ginsburg's seven-year term as the D.C. Circuit's leader was scheduled to expire in July 2008. By stepping down a few months early, Chief Judge Ginsburg allows Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle to succeed him as chief judge. Judge Sentelle turns 65 years of age later this year, and upon reaching that age would become statutorily ineligible to serve as chief judge of a U.S. Court of Appeals. By becoming chief judge before reaching age 65, Judge Sentelle can serve in that post until he reaches the age of 70.

Update: In describing several of Chief Judge Ginsburg's more notable accomplishments, yesterday's press release notes: "On the national front, Chief Judge Ginsburg fostered the move to allow the citation of unpublished opinions, a practice now codified in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure." That is a praiseworthy accomplishment, indeed. And I can't help but remember the time when "How Appealing" published an email from Chief Judge Ginsburg announcing that the D.C. Circuit had decided to make freely available over its web site orders granting rehearing en banc in response to a suggestion that I had made here a few months earlier.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Female Jurists Hold Court at GU; Ginsberg, Hale Discuss Judicial Systems": This article (whose headline misspells Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's last name) appears today in The Hoya of Georgetown University.

You can view online a webcast of yesterday's event via this link.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gun-rights arguments": Yesterday's edition of The Washington Times contained an editorial that begins, "Last week, the Bush administration put troubling distance between itself and principled Second Amendment defenders. We refer to the amicus brief that Solicitor General Paul Clement filed Friday in support of the plaintiffs in District of Columbia v. Heller -- the D.C. gun-ban challenge, widely expected to be the court's most significant gun-rights case in 60 years when a decision is reached."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Birmingham lawyer retires to pursue passion: sculpting." Yesterday's edition of The Birmingham News contained an article that begins, "Birmingham lawyer Warren Lightfoot was finally ready last year to show colleagues at his law office his latest sculpted work- a commissioned bust of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia: Morality not job of judges." This article appears today in The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Oregon Supreme Court to decide circumcision case Friday": The Oregonian provides a news update that begins, "A divorce dispute over whether to circumcise a 12-year-old boy will be decided Friday by the Oregon Supreme Court. The nationally-watched case pits a father who converted to Judaism and wants his son to undergo the religious ritual, against his mother, an orthodox Christian who claims the boy doesn't want to be circumcised." The decision should be available online by noon eastern time on Friday.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"School Board tries to recover 'Bong Hits' court fees": Today's edition of The Juneau Empire contains an article that begins, "A lawyer representing the former local high school student whose 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' banner unfurled a lengthy free speech debate is accusing the attorney for the Juneau School Board of harassing his client over a $5,000 legal bill. Douglas Mertz said the board's lawyer is trying to force his client, Joseph Frederick, to leave his job in China to face a February deposition in Juneau regarding his personal finances."
Posted at 11:17 PM by Howard Bashman


In news from Texas: The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Lawyer wants to erase charges against Texas Supreme Court justice" and "Group files ethics complaints against justices Hecht, Medina."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"State Supreme Court OKs new rule protecting journalists' sources": The Salt Lake Tribune provides a news update that begins, "The Utah Supreme Court has adopted one of the strongest rules in the nation allowing reporters to refuse to identify confidential sources."

And Geoffrey Fattah of The Deseret Morning News has a news update headlined "Utah moves to adopt first reporter's shield rule."
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to rehear Massey case": The West Virginia Record provides a report that begins, "In a unanimous vote Thursday, the Justices of the state's Supreme Court of Appeals decided to reconsider their ruling in a controversial case."

And The Associated Press reports that "In wake of photos, recusal, Supreme Court to rehear Massey case."
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Rejects Patriot Act Challenge": From Connecticut, The AP provides a report that begins, "A federal judge rejected a former sailor's claim Thursday that the government illegally intercepted phone calls and obtained e-mails it is using against him in a terrorism-support case. Hassan Abu-Jihaad's attorneys had claimed elements of the USA Patriot Act used to obtain the evidence were unconstitutional, and cited a ruling by a federal judge in Oregon striking down key portions of the law. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Kravitz, however, said he disagreed with that ruling, and noted that other courts have found that the law does not infringe on constitutional rights."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut at this link.
Posted at 04:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Rejects Secret Court Measure": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Senate on Thursday rejected an attempt to expand a secret court's oversight of government eavesdropping, sticking instead with a surveillance bill favored by the White House."
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


In today's mail: The book "Solo by Choice," by Carolyn Elefant, author of the newly redesigned "My Shingle" blog. It seems that I'm mentioned on page 175.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Surprise! The Times Attacks the Messenger; Linda Greenhouse is conflicted, so obviously the problem is Ed Whelan." Andrew C. McCarthy has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit's "superseding opinion" in baseball steroids probe turns out to be, at least at the outset, too complicated for The Associated Press to understand: A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this order and superseding opinion today.

The AP, reporting on today's development in an article headlined "Appeals court to reconsider baseball order," overlooks the fact that today's Ninth Circuit action not only vacates that court's earlier decision, but it also replaces it with a brand new decision. Indeed, that article even goes so far as to say that "The 9th Circuit did not set a timetable for reconsidering the case." Perhaps that's because the reconsideration, such as it was, has already occurred.

Update: I'm pleased to report that The AP has rewritten its coverage to take into account that the Ninth Circuit in fact issued a new ruling on the matter today. The AP's updated coverage is headlined "Court Affirms Access to Player Drug Data."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Workers can be fired for using medical pot, state Supreme Court rules": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "An employee who uses medical marijuana at home can be fired for testing positive for the drug at work, the California Supreme Court ruled today. In a 5-2 decision, the court said Proposition 215, the 1996 state initiative that allowed Californians to use marijuana for medical purposes with a doctor's recommendation, did not protect workers from dismissal for violating federal drug laws."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Calif. Court: Medical Pot Not OK at Work."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Supreme Court of the State of Washington holds that the crime of "attempted first degree felony murder" does not exist: According to today's unanimous ruling, "It follows that a charge of attempted felony murder is illogical in that it burdens the State with the necessity of proving that the defendant intended to commit a crime that does not have an element of intent."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


After dying, would you prefer to be buried with your brain? Chances are that you wouldn't miss it very much. Nevertheless, that is the question presented in a case argued yesterday before the Supreme Court of Ohio. I previewed the oral argument in this post from yesterday morning.

In coverage of yesterday's oral argument, The Dayton Daily News reports today that "Justices hear case about rights to organs after autopsy; The dispute stems from a 2001 drowning when the family realized they couldn't claim the man's brain."

The Columbus Dispatch reports today that "Justices to decide rights to organs; Parties argue case on control of body parts after autopsy."

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that "Suit could change how coroners work; High court examines autopsy rules."

And The Cincinnati Enquirer contains an article headlined "Who owns removed body parts?"

You can view yesterday's appellate oral argument online, on-demand by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman



Reefer employment-termination litigation madness on the horizon in California? The Supreme Court of California has announced that in just under two hours from now, the court will issue its ruling in Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications, Inc.

The case presents the following question:

When a person who is authorized to use marijuana for medical purposes under the California Compassionate Use Act is discharged from employment on the basis of his or her off-duty use of marijuana, does the employee have either a claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act for unlawful discrimination in employment on the basis of disability, or a common law tort claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy?
The court plans to make the ruling available online via this link at 1 p.m. eastern time.
Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman


Something fishy with the majority's approach to this case? If an employment agency for nurses enters into an agreement with those nurses forbidding them from working overtime, must the employment agency nevertheless pay enhanced overtime wages to nurses who work overtime in breach of that agreement with the agency?

This question lurks in the background of an interesting ruling that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today.

In his separate opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs writes, "The justification offered by the majority opinion is that 'application of the Tennessee Coal test to the facts of this case is something of a red herring.' I do not find this ichthyological approach useful." A quick Westlaw search reveals that Senior First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya hasn't used the word ichthyology in a published opinion since 1994.
Posted at 10:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Opens Debate On Wiretap Measure; Telephone Company Immunity at Issue": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Taxing Illegal Drugs, the Trouble Comes in Collecting": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:39 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bonds' lawyers ask judge to trim indictment": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for Barry Bonds asked a federal judge Wednesday to dismiss part of his perjury indictment, saying prosecutors had asked the former Giants slugger 'fundamentally ambiguous' questions when he testified before the grand jury investigating the BALCO steroids scandal."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"IRS agents continue to testify in Wesley Snipes' tax trial": The Ocala Star-Banner contains this article today, along with an article headlined "Courts don't buy the '861 argument.'"

And The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article headlined "Famous client, local lawyer; Milwaukee attorney defends actor in tax evasion charges."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ryan lawyers take appeal fight to U.S. Supreme Court; Lawyers file petition to overturn conviction": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Duquesne professor a top contender for state court vacancy": The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today contains an article that begins, "Duquesne University law professor Ken Gormley and Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Scanlon are among those being considered for interim appointments to the state Supreme and Superior courts."

And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "Local man in running for seats on state courts."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"3rd justice draws criticism for trips; Facing ethics complaint, Hecht defends flights charged to his campaign account": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle. Another article reports that "Jurors disbanded in Medina case want to offer evidence." And the newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Looks matter: Ethics issues involving Texas justices have put a cloud over top judicial panels."

The San Antonio Express-News reports today that "Texas Supreme Court justice defends spending for travel."

Texas Lawyer reports that "Grand Jury That Indicted Texas Justice, Wife Not Properly Empaneled."

And in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, columnist Linda P. Campbell has an op-ed entitled "As the Texas Supreme Court turns."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court's Recent Opinion in New York State Board of Elections v. Lopez Torres: A Wise Decision to Stop Meddling in the States' Primary Systems." Marci A. Hamilton has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Justice Nomination Seen as Snub to Democrats": The New York Times on Thursday will contain an article that begins, "The Justice Department lawyer who wrote a series of classified legal opinions in 2005 authorizing harsh C.I.A. interrogation techniques was renominated by the White House on Wednesday to a senior department post, a move that was seen as a snub to Senate Democrats who have long opposed his appointment."
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. faces challenges in an appeal of Padilla sentence": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "U.S. prosecutors face steep legal hurdles if they appeal prison terms imposed on Jose Padilla and two other men convicted of terrorism conspiracy and material support charges because of the broad powers federal judges have to decide sentences."
Posted at 09:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Musings on Medina melodrama": Today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Rick Casey has an op-ed that begins, "The drama involving the district attorney, the grand jury and the Texas Supreme Court justice descends into absurdity."
Posted at 09:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"$10,000 spent by Texas judge on flights draws complaint": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht spent nearly $10,000 from his campaign cash on in-state flights last year, but said he was not commuting from a home he owns in the Dallas area. Hecht said his homestead is in Travis County but that he did travel to Dallas, Houston and other areas to speak to groups and meet with supporters."
Posted at 09:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ryan lawyers take appeal fight to U.S. Supreme Court": The Chicago Tribune provides a news update that begins, "In a final bid for a new trial, lawyers for former Gov. George Ryan urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to overturn the sweeping corruption conviction for which he is serving a 6 ½-year prison sentence."
Posted at 09:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nader urges Rendell to reject court candidate": The "Pennsyltucky Politics Blog" of The Harrisburg Patriot-News today has a post that begins, "There's nothing like settling old scores. Gov. Ed Rendell has a new penpal and it's none other than Ralph Nader, who wrote the governor today urging him not to choose Commonwealth Court Judge James Gardner Colins to fill the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacancy created by Chief Justice Ralph Cappy's retirement."
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court clears way for UC students to get tuition refunds": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "Thousands of University of California students are in line for refunds of part of their 2003 tuition after the state Supreme Court rejected the university's appeal Wednesday of a ruling that said UC broke its promise to hold the fees steady."
Posted at 08:53 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bonds Asks for Perjury Charge Dismissal": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Barry Bonds asked a federal judge to dismiss perjury charges against him Wednesday, arguing the indictment is 'scattershot' and noted for its 'striking inartfulness.'"
Posted at 06:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Debating a Judicial Pay Raise": Joe Palazzolo has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 03:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Missouri inmates can obtain elective abortions, appeals court rules": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.

And The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that "Mo. court upholds prison abortions."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer's deep pockets in Ill. judicial race raise hackles": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "A Swansea lawyer is poised to spend more than $600,000 of her own money to win a Southern Illinois appellate court seat, potentially adding a new dimension to what critics say is the disturbing trend of high-priced judicial races."
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Patching up the DOJ": Yesterday at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Joe Palazzolo had a post that begins, "Today's confirmation hearings for Kevin O'Connor and Gregory Katsas marked the 9th and 10th Justice Department nominations to be scrutinized by the Senate Judiciary Committee since Alberto Gonzales stepped down in September."

C-SPAN has posted online the video from yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, and you can access it by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman



Enhancing a criminal defendant's sentence based on the conduct at issue in charges dismissed under a plea agreement is not potentially as objectionable as enhancing a criminal defendant's sentence based on acquitted conduct: Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton issued this decision today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Reader email re: "Judicial Pay Raise." The following email arrived this morning:
I simply wanted to write and thank you for your well reasoned and articulate response to Scott Baker's LA Times piece. I personally work as a ballet teacher, a field that has never been well compensated, and I find that the work is a great deal of the reward.

My father, who is a federal magistrate judge, is one of the hardest working people I know, and will continue to do the job he loves for as long as he is able. Having said that, I have watched my parents' standard of living stagnate in proportion to their salary. It strikes me that the judiciary is more than deserving of this raise, and has been waiting far too long for it.

The email is in response to this week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "Performance Pay for Federal Appellate Judges?"
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge blisters Harris County DA over Medina case; Says Rosenthal's error nullified the grand jury's work": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "A judge criticized the Harris County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday for not supporting a grand jury's decision to indict a Texas Supreme Court justice and his wife for a 2007 arson that destroyed the couple's Spring home."

And The New York Times reports today that "Jury Blocked From Reindicting a Justice."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge facing ethics complaint will try to validate trips": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Texas Supreme Court Justice Paul Green said Tuesday that he would try to locate records showing that 272 trips he made between the court and San Antonio over the past three years were for purposes allowed under state ethics laws."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Padilla gets 17 years in 'jihad' conspiracy; Terrorism supporter Jose Padilla and two other men avoided life sentences pushed by the federal government, but they still face lengthy prison terms": Jay Weaver has this article today in The Miami Herald.

Today in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Vanessa Blum reports that "Padilla judge criticizes U.S. for 'enemy combatant' detention."

The New York Times reports that "Padilla Gets 17 Years in Conspiracy Case."

The Washington Post reports that "Judge Sentences Padilla to 17 Years, Cites His Detention."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Padilla gets unexpected sentence; Rejecting life in prison for the alleged 'dirty bomber,' a judge gives him 17 years; Prosecutors call it too lenient."

And USA Today reports that "'Enemy combatant' Padilla gets 17 years for conspiracy."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court rejects investors' suit against Enron bankers": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Carrie Johnson and Robert Barnes report that "Court Declines Enron Investors' Appeal."

The Houston Chronicle reports that "Enron plaintiffs stay in fight despite losing ruling."

And in The New York Sun, Theodore Frank has an op-ed entitled "Enron: Extortion, Interrupted."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Broaden Immunity for Officers": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

And today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Court Rules Inmates Can't Sue for Property Loss."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Far From Sober: Slate's defense of Linda Greenhouse." Edward Whelan has this essay today at National Review Online.

Ed's essay responds to the jurisprudence essay headlined "Lay Off Linda: Why doesn't the New York Times stand up for Linda Greenhouse?" by Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick, which Slate posted online yesterday evening.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ohio Court Debates Rights to Body Parts": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "During an autopsy, the Hamilton County coroner removed Christopher Albrecht's brain and never put it back -- a common practice for coroners. But when Albrecht's parents learned years later that they had buried him without a brain, they filed a lawsuit that raises ethical, moral and religious questions about the treatment of one's body after death. The case, to be argued Wednesday before the Ohio Supreme Court, has drawn international attention for its ramifications to coroners, crime investigators, EMTs, funeral directors and followers of religions that espouse the importance of burying the whole body."

At the wonderful web site of the Supreme Court of Ohio, you can access a preview of the case titled "Does Family Have 'Protected Right' to Recover Decedent's Organs Removed For Forensic Testing?" The case reaches Ohio's highest court on certification from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. You can access the briefs filed in the case via this link (scroll down).

This case is the fourth of five cases to be orally argued this morning before Ohio's Supreme Court. Oral arguments get underway at 9 a.m. eastern time, and you can view them live, online via this link. Back in April 2006, I offered high praise for the Ohio Supreme Court's oral argument telecasts in an installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com headlined "Should Congress Mandate Supreme Court TV? Will original understanding go high-definition?"
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Defamation suit unlikely to succeed; Law professors say harassment charges would stand better chance in court than those of defamation": The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "The Yale Women's Center's message to Zeta Psi was clear: 'Lawyer up.' But the legal merits of a possible sexual-harassment case against the fraternity are much less clear, several legal experts told the News on Tuesday. After a picture of the fraternity's pledge class standing in front of the Center with a sign that read 'We Love Yale Sluts' surfaced on the Internet over the weekend, the Center board said Monday that it has contacted two lawyers, who tentatively agreed to work on the case pro bono."
Posted at 08:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Shows Independent Streak; Big Test Awaits Attorney General When He Testifies Before Senate Panel": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online at law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Denies Review of Enron Case."

In other news, "N.J. High Court Hears Pitch for Palimony Sans Cohabitation."

And this week's installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Performance Pay for Federal Appellate Judges?"
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ode to Howard Bashman": Attorney Scott H. Greenfield has this post today at his blog, "Simple Justice: A New York Criminal Defense Blog." Thanks for the kind words, Scott!
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Law Professor Paul L. Caron on "the Caron process": How does the founder of the Law Professor Blogs Network do it? This post appears today at "TaxProf Blog."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"High Court Limits Suits by Shareholders": Carrie Johnson and Robert Barnes will have this article Wednesday in The Washington Post.

And Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times reports that "Court rejects Enron investors' appeal."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Starcher wants probe into Maynard-Blankenship relationship": The West Virginia Record provides this report.

And The Associated Press reports that "Justice Seeks Probe of Colleague's Ties to Massey."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court: State must provide transport for inmate abortions." Bill Mears of CNN.com provides this report.

My earlier coverage of today's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ad Campaign Holds Susan Collins Accountable for Votes to Confirm Bush's Supreme Court Nominees": People For the American Way issued this press release today.
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nichols trial may face new delay; Appeal to state Supreme Court allowed": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday will contain an article that begins, "The death penalty trial of Brian Nichols, suspect in the Fulton County Courthouse shootings, was supposed to be back on track, but could face another delay."
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Muslim inmate loses court case over lost Quran": Joan Biskupic of USA Today will have this article in Wednesday's newspaper.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Exxon's Alaska Oil Spill Case Heads to High Court" and "Terrorism Suspect Padilla Sentenced to 17 Years" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge disbands grand jury behind Medina indictment": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "A judge criticized the Harris County District Attorney's Office today for not standing behind a grand jury's decision to indict a Texas Supreme Court Justice and his wife in connection the 2007 fire that destroyed the couple's Spring home."

The newspaper has also posted online this statement from the District Attorney's Office.

And The Associated Press reports that "Case of Supreme Court justice's house fire takes bizarre turn."
Posted at 09:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"In Padilla case, no life sentence; The judge cited harsh military detention to justify a lighter term of 17 years in prison": Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 09:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Attorneys probe deepens": The Hill today contains an article that begins, "The federal investigation into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys could jolt the political landscape ahead of the November elections, according to several people close to the inquiry."
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Suit against bankers tied to Enron debacle is tossed; In dismissing the appeal by the University of California, nation's high court appears to have doomed other big cases against former energy trader's bankers": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

And The Houston Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Court declines to hear Enron investors' case."
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Enron Investors Suing Banks Spurned by Top U.S. Court": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.

And James Vicini and Rachelle Younglai of Reuters report that "Supreme Court rejects appeal by Enron investors."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lay Off Linda: Why doesn't the New York Times stand up for Linda Greenhouse?" Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.

Meanwhile, at National Review Online's "Bench Memos" blog, Ed Whelan has been cranking out a slew of new posts on the subject.
Posted at 08:53 PM by Howard Bashman



"Antonin Scalia's Textualism in Philosophy, Theology, and Judicial Interpretation of the Constitution": Herman Philipse has posted this article (abstract with links for download) online at SSRN. (Via "Religion Clause.")
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


Criminal defendant's right to a randomly selected replacement for recused federal district judge does not mandate a retrial where the replacement judge, whom the recused judge personally selected, was not biased against the defendant: A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued this ruling today.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


En banc Ninth Circuit addresses whether state judge violated clearly established law by requiring a criminal defendant who invoked the right of self-representation to appear through advisory counsel at a chambers conference to discuss how to respond to a query from the deliberating jury: You can access today's ruling, in favor of the habeas petitioner, at this link. And don't miss Chief Judge Alex Kozinski's snarky concurring opinion, in which he takes to task the six judges (including a former Kozinski law clerk!) who concurred in only part of the majority opinion.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"The constitutionality of the City of Portland's policy on the use of deadly force by its police officers is squarely presented by this appeal from grant of summary judgment by the decedent's estate." So begins the majority opinion that a partially divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today. Even the judge who dissented in part praises the majority opinion for bringing "a degree of clarity to the law of deadly force."
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


Law Professor Jonathan Turley has a blog: Perhaps you already knew. If not (and even if so), you can access it here.
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal appeals court upholds abortion access for Missouri inmates": The Kansas City Star provides this news update.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides a news update headlined "Court: Mo. must transport inmates for abortions."

And The Associated Press reports that "MO Must Take Inmates to Abortion Clinics."

My earlier coverage of today's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 03:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Padilla gets 17 years, 4 months": The Miami Herald provides this news update.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel provides a news update headlined "Convicted terror conspirator Padilla gets 17 years in prison."

The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Padilla Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Prison."

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Jose Padilla Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison; Justice Dept. Pushed for Life Sentence for Alleged Dirty Bomb Plotter."

And the "Southern District of Florida Blog" provides a post titled "Jose Padilla sentenced."
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Commas, Clauses and Missing Butter at the Supreme Court": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jose Padilla Is Sentenced to 17 Years": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:02 PM by Howard Bashman


On today's thirty-fifth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a federal appellate court holds unconstitutional the Missouri Department of Corrections' policy of refusing to allow inmates to obtain elective, non-therapeutic abortions: You can access today's ruling of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Roe v. Crawford at this link.
Posted at 11:43 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Rules Against Muslim Inmate"; "Court Sides With St. Louis University"; and "Court Rejects Wireless Carriers' Appeal."
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court bars new look at Enron case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Refuses to Hear Enron Case."

You can access today's Order List at this link. The Court today also requested the views of the Solicitor General in two cases.

The Court today issued one opinion in an argued case, a 5-4 ruling in favor of the federal respondents in Ali v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, No. 06-9130. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. How the Justices lined-up in deciding this dispute over statutory meaning is unusual. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justices Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the lead dissenting opinion, in which Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, and Stephen G. Breyer joined.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Misfire at Justice": The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "The Second Amendment's right to bear arms has rarely been considered by the Supreme Court, but this year the Court is hearing a case that could become a Constitutional landmark. So it is nothing short of astonishing, and dispiriting, that the Bush Justice Department has now weighed in with an amicus brief that is far too clever by half."

You can view the amicus brief at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Maine smokers' case going before U.S. Supreme Court": The Bangor Daily News contains this article today.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Starcher stepped down from ’96 case; Motion cited campaign contributions; high court debate to resume Thursday": This article appears today in The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices stick to judging": Bruce Fein has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Antiabortion cause stirs new generation; Born into a time after Roe vs. Wade, many young adults are eager to reverse it; And veteran activists are happy to enlist their help": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Roe, 35 years later: The landmark abortion ruling is established law; Overturning it would cause severe upheaval." And Frances Kissling and Kate Michelman have an op-ed entitled "Abortion's battle of messages: It's not 1973; Pro-choice forces must adjust to regain the moral high ground."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bradley Details Supreme Court Detainee Jurisprudence": This article appears in the current issue of The Harvard Law Record.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Padilla Sentence Due in Terror Case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"No politics? Evidence to the contrary." Today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Lisa Falkenberg has an op-ed that begins, "The dismissal of Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina's grand jury indictment had everything to do with insufficient evidence and nothing to do with politics. At least that's what Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal and Medina's attorney, Terry Yates, would have us believe. And we might have taken their word for it and forgotten all about the peculiar circumstances surrounding the burning of Medina's Spring home -- if not for an outspoken jury foreman and assistant foreman who decided to talk publicly about what they believed was a miscarriage of justice."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Another state justice faces ethics allegation; Group scrutinizes Paul Green's mileage reimbursements from contributions": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 07:59 AM by Howard Bashman


"New Technologies, New Problems: The Arkansas Supreme Court Rules Against an Inheritance Claim by a Posthumously-Conceived Child." Joanna Grossman has this essay online today at FindLaw.

My earlier coverage of the ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, January 21, 2008

"Democrats have choices for Texas Supreme Court; Party shows signs of life with first contested primaries since 1994": Chuck Lindell will have this article Tuesday in The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"State: Exxon violated its vow; Punitive damages are warranted in Valdez oil spill, brief says." This article appears today in The Anchorage Daily News.
Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"35 years after Roe: A legacy of law and morality." Bill Mears has this article online at CNN.com.
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Vioxx Settlement, Testing a Legal Ideal: A Lawyer's Loyalty." Tuesday in The New York Times, Adam Liptak will have this new installment of his "Sidebar" column.
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Padilla sentence: Does terror training merit life? On Tuesday, a federal judge will announce Al Qaeda recruit's long-awaited prison sentence." Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 08:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice for gun owners": Today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman have an op-ed that begins, "Martin Luther King Jr. put it best: 'A right delayed is a right denied.' The lesson appears to have been lost on the Department of Justice and Solicitor General Paul D. Clement in the amicus curiae brief submitted recently for the government in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, which challenges the city's 31-year-old handgun ban, a horrible gun law that has had its day in court and lost."
Posted at 05:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Grand jurors jab at lawyer; Attorney for Medina insists the two have acted illegally": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "The long weekend failed to quell the rhetoric as a lawyer for state Supreme Court Justice David Medina and two of the grand jurors who voted to indict the jurist continued to jab at each other."
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judging Science: Courts may be too skeptical of research done with juries in mind." This article appears in this week's issue of Science News magazine.
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Probe of judge goes beyond sex allegations": Yesterday's edition of The Galveston County Daily News contained an article that begins, "The FBI's investigation of a Galveston County federal judge is looking into more than just sexual misconduct allegations. The Daily News was told last week that federal agents had been interviewing Galveston restaurateurs about who U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent had dined and drank with throughout the years, and who has picked up the tab. Dick DeGuerin, Kent’s attorney, on Friday confirmed that the federal probe extended beyond claims of sexual misconduct."
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney Struggled Over Case For Years": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Lawyer Leslie P. Smith brooded over what he knew for a decade: information that might spare the life of an inmate on Virginia's death row. He had thought about disclosing it long ago. But back in 1998, he had been told not to jeopardize the interests of his own client. The case he could not forget was that of Daryl Atkins, who was convicted in a carjacking murder in York County, Va., and whose appeals spurred the U.S. Supreme Court to a landmark ruling that banned executions of mentally retarded inmates. Ironically, Atkins remained on death row in spite of the historic decision, his own mental limitations still under debate."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"I'm Sorry, I Can't Answer That": Law Professor Lori A. Ringhand has posted this paper (abstract with links for download) online at SSRN. The paper's abstract begins, "Professors Robert Post and Reva Siegel have suggested that nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court should answer questions posed at their Senate confirmation hearings regarding how they would have voted in cases the Supreme Court has already decided." (Via "Legal Theory Blog.")
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clarence Thomas is not a sellout: Blacks who challenge affirmative action and other 'black orthodoxies' are not betraying their race; Or so argues 'N-Word' author Randall Kennedy." Today at Salon.com, James Hannaham has this review of Randall Kennedy's new book, "Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal."
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Overlooks a Blind Spot in Picking Judges": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of New York State's official method for selecting trial judges was blind to a significant fact: In New York City, more than 40% of those judges are picked by an altogether different and unofficial process that has largely escaped scrutiny."
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, January 20, 2008

"Young, Female, Energetic and, Now, Dean": An article that appears in today's Long Island supplement to The New York Times begins, "Nora Demleitner has never been afraid to take chances. At the age of 19, she left her home in Germany to attend college in the United States, following her dream of becoming a lawyer like her childhood TV idol, Perry Mason. Since then her path has included a degree from Yale Law School, a master's degree in international and comparative law from the Georgetown University Law Center, and a clerkship for Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., then sitting on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and now a Supreme Court justice."

According to the article, on March 11, 2008 Justice Alito will visit Hofstra Law School, where Demleitner recently became both the law school's youngest dean ever and the first woman to fill the dean's chair.
Posted at 09:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"State's judicial ethics reputation sullied by friendship": The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia contains this editorial today.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pair reflect on months as married gay couple": This article appears today in The Des Moines Register.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecutors Appeal Reporter Notes Case": From Minnesota, The AP provides a report that begins, "Prosecutors seeking a reporter's unpublished notes from an interview with a man who shot two police officers before killing himself have appealed their case to the state Supreme Court."

And The Free Press of Mankato, Minnesota reported yesterday that "Blue Earth County appeals Amboy reversal; County seeks supreme court review."
Posted at 10:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Self-taught lawyers vanish as more states require law school": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Inmates seek IDs of executioners": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for five death row inmates are pressing Missouri to provide the names of members of its execution team after a Post-Dispatch investigation revealed that one was a convicted stalker."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"After rules changed, strip clubs dwindled": This article appears today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Posted at 10:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Michigan's court of last resort gets its first report card": Columnist Brian Dickerson has this op-ed today in The Detroit Free Press.
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Public and Private Lives, Intersecting": Today in The New York Times, Public Editor Clark Hoyt has an essay that begins, "Linda Greenhouse, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Times reporter who has covered the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years, is used to dealing with top-drawer legal authorities. But it's not always convenient that she is married to one."

You can access some of Ed Whelan's posts on this topic, at National Review Online's "Bench Memos" blog, via this link.
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Administration Rankles Some With Stance in Handgun Case": Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has an article that begins, "The Bush administration's position in the case before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the District of Columbia's ban on handguns has created an unexpected and serious backlash in conservative circles, disappointing gun enthusiasts and creating implications for the presidential campaign."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, January 19, 2008

"High court overturns porn verdict; No intention to distribute obscene material featuring Amherst campers' faces": The Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court has overturned the child-pornography conviction of a man who digitally put faces of girls from a local camp onto pictures of naked adult women, partly because he never intended to distribute the pictures."

And The Associated Press reports that "NH high court overturns 2006 child porn conviction."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire at this link.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Texas and the Death Penalty": Jonathan Gurwitz has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"More join fight about 'under God' in Pledge": This article appears today in The Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme court justices visit OU law next week": Yesterday's edition of The Norman Transcript contained an article that begins, "The University of Oklahoma College of Law will make history next week when two U.S. Supreme Court justices participate in activities surrounding the investiture ceremony of Robert H. Henry to the position of chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit."

And The Journal Record reports that "High court justices to visit OU for 10th Circuit investiture."

The web site of the University of Oklahoma College of Law provides this listing of upcoming events.
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Symposium looks at effect of court ruling on school integration plans": The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky today contains an article that begins, "Six months after the U.S. Supreme Court limited schools' ability to use race in student-assignment plans, the jury is still out on whether districts will find permissible ways to maintain integrated schools, a top expert said yesterday."
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court won't hear case of minister's custody blog": Today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal, Edward Fitzpatrick has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court is refusing to review or halt a Family Court order that told a state agency to 'advise' a retired minister to stop publishing a blog 'as it pertains' to two children involved in a divorce and custody case."
Posted at 10:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Terrorist Tort Travesty": John Yoo has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge denies Mack's request for new trial": The Reno Gazette-Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 03:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Alabama Supreme Court rules 'Borat' agreement binding; Etiquette coach's suit belongs in New York": This article appears today in The Birmingham News.

And The Telegraph (UK) provides a news update headlined "Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat has the last laugh."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Alabama appears at this link.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Convictions of hospital officials overturned": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court has overturned the convictions of Roger Williams Medical Center executives Robert A. Urciuoli and Frances P. Driscoll, who had been charged with paying a state senator to push the hospital's agenda in the legislature."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's First Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutor Quashes Charges Against Judge": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A grand jury's bitter backroom struggle to charge a Texas Supreme Court justice and his wife in the burning of their house burst into the open on Friday after a prosecutor who had opposed the indictments went to court and had them quashed. The grand jury foreman and assistant foreman said political favoritism was behind the decision to drop the day-old charges against the justice, David M. Medina, and his wife, Francisca."

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "D.A. rejects grand jury's indictment of justice; David Medina of the Texas Supreme Court faced arson-related charges, as did his wife; Two jurors say he was protected by politics."

The Houston Chronicle contains articles headlined "Medina attorney asks judge to sanction 2 grand jury members" and "Justice Medina may face ethics inquiry; Report raises questions about his mileage costs."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that "DA drops indictment of judge and wife."

And law.com reports that "Indictments Against Texas Supreme Court Justice Medina Dismissed; Judge David Medina and his wife had been indicted in connection with a fire that destroyed their home and a neighbor's."
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Declaration falls through the cracks; The Supreme Court's rare copy is safely tucked away, then forgotten for seven years, a spokeswoman says": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to locate a rare, vintage copy of the nation's founding document, try looking behind the filing cabinet. That was a lesson learned the hard way at the Supreme Court, where a 185-year-old facsimile of the Declaration of Independence gathered dust for seven years, tucked behind the office furniture, a court spokeswoman acknowledged this week."
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Drives in 5 states target affirmative action; Activists aided by Prop. 209's Ward Connerly aim to put the issue before voters; Foes say the initiatives will be hard to block": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to Hear Cigarette, Drug Cases; High Court to Also Take On Age Discrimination and Worker Protection Suits": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

Today in The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse has articles headlined "Justices to Hear Cases on Product Liability" and "Justices Add More Cases on Job Discrimination."

And in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage has articles headlined "Supreme Court to consider shield for drug, cigarette firms; Federally approved warning labels should block consumer lawsuits in state courts, the industries say" and "Supreme Court will hear employee harassment case; The justices will decide whether workers who cooperate with discrimination investigations are protected against losing their jobs."
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Detainee's Lawyers Rebut C.I.A. on Tapes": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for Majid Khan, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have challenged the Central Intelligence Agency's assertion that videotaping of interrogations stopped in 2002, saying that Mr. Khan's interrogations after that time were recorded on videotape."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Lawyers for Detainee Refer In Filing to More CIA Tapes."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judicial Conference Backs 9th Circuit's Censure of Los Angeles Federal Judge; The U.S. Judicial Conference also sent an additional complaint back to the appellate court for further consideration": law.com provides a report that begins, "It seems the disciplinary actions involving Los Angeles federal Judge Manuel Real just won't die."

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Federal judge could face harsher punishment; The justice in Los Angeles who was reprimanded is being reviewed again after lawyer argues that sanction was insufficient."

You can access the two opinions of the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability at this link.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"West Virginia Judge Steps Out of Case Involving a Travel Companion": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "Chief Justice Elliott E. Maynard of the West Virginia Supreme Court disqualified himself on Friday from further participation in a case involving a powerful coal executive after photographs of the two men meeting in Monte Carlo in 2006 were filed in court this week."

The Gazette-Mail of Charleston, West Virginia reports today that "Benjamin in, Maynard out of Massey cases; Lawyers for Harman Mining sought both justices' recusals." Yesterday, the newspaper reported that "Justice Benjamin added to request for recusal."

The Charleston (W. Va.) Daily Mail reports that "Maynard withdrawing from Supreme Court case after vacation photos with Blankenship released."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "Chief justice recuses self in W.Va.; Replacement named by 2nd justice accused of bias in $75 million coal case."

The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia reports that "Chief justice bows out of coal case."

The Register-Herald of Beckley, West Virginia reports that "Coal operator surprised by justice's recusal from case."

The West Virginia Record reports that "Maynard recuses, Benjamin refuses."

The Associated Press provides articles headlined "Judge Removes Himself From Massey Case" and "Maynard flap underscores W.Va.'s small-town nature."

And Huntingtonnews.net reports that "'Spike' Out but Benjamin Refuses to Recuse; Acting Chief Justice Names Hampshire County Judge."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Getchell pulls nomination as federal judge; Bush selection for 4th Circuit cited long odds he'd get Senate hearing": This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Washington Post reports today that "4th Circuit Nominee Withdraws Name."

The Virginian-Pilot reports that "Richmond lawyer pulls out of bid for federal appeals court."

And The Hill reports that "Judicial nominee withdraws amid Democratic criticism."
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer Reveals Secret, Toppling Death Sentence": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, January 18, 2008

"'Borat' actor Sacha Baron Cohen wins Ala. suit over hit movie": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Borat to the Alabama Supreme Court: High fives! The nine-member court sided with British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen on Friday in a lawsuit filed by etiquette teacher Kathie Martin, who unwittingly appeared in his hit movie 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.' The justices overruled a lower court and said Martin can't sue Cohen and the companies that produced the movie in Alabama because she signed an agreement stating only courts in New York could hear any disputes that arose from her appearance."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Alabama at this link.
Posted at 06:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Indictments tossed against Texas Supreme Court justice, wife": The Houston Chronicle provides this news update, along with a news update headlined "Judge may hold hearing on grand jurors' complaints."

And The Associated Press reports that "Charges Dismissed on Texas Justice, Wife."
Posted at 04:25 PM by Howard Bashman



First Circuit rejects First Amendment challenge to Concord, New Hampshire's ban on electronic billboards: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 04:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court vacates Urciuoli, Driscoll convictions": The Providence Journal provides a news update that begins, "In a major decision announced this afternoon, a federal appeals court has vacated the corruption convictions of two former top Roger Williams Medical Center executives and ordered a new trial."

The second to last paragraph of today's First Circuit ruling concludes, "It is frustrating not to be able (yet) to reduce the 'honest services' concept to a simple formula specific enough to give clear cut answers to borderline problems. But it is in the nature of sections 1341 and 1346, at least as applied to political activities, that the problems generated sometimes have to be settled one at a time until an accretion of concrete precedents forms a pattern that can be usefully articulated."
Posted at 04:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to hear case on 'light' cigarette ads": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Court Will Hear 'Light' Cigarettes Case"; "Court Takes Drug Lawsuit"; "Court Takes Retaliation Case"; and "Supreme Court Denies Kucinich Ballot Bid."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Altria Gets U.S. High Court Hearing on 'Lights' Suits."

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "Top court to decide sex harassment retaliation case."

You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.
Posted at 03:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Baffling vacancy on federal bench": Today in The Baltimore Sun, Law Professor Carl Tobias has an op-ed that begins, "Next week, when federal judicial selection resumes, participants in the process could learn much from efforts to fill Judge J. Michael Luttig's vacancy on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 11:22 AM by Howard Bashman


Daryl Atkins is no longer on Virginia's death row: The Daily Press of Newport News, Virginia reports today that "York killer's death sentence commuted; The legal battle included a Supreme Court ruling on executing the mentally retarded."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Death Sentence Commuted In Va. Case; Prosecutor Action Is Issue, Not Mental Status of Defendant."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Enron Investors Ask Supreme Court to Clarify Stock-Fraud Ruling": Bob Van Voris and Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provide this report.

And today's edition of The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "Corporate Impunity: Investors should be able to sue for losses caused by fraud."
Posted at 08:59 AM by Howard Bashman



"Federal Judge Criticizes C.I.A. Handling of Interrogation Tapes": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Secret Service: Detailed Look at '06 Turmoil." The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The arrest of a man named Steven Howards in June 2006 after he approached Vice President Dick Cheney at a Colorado ski resort and denounced the war in Iraq might have seemed, at the time, no more than a blip on the vice president's schedule. But now the blip has become a blowup, with Secret Service agents -- under oath in court depositions -- accusing one another of unethical and perhaps even illegal conduct in the handling of Mr. Howards's arrest and the official accounting of it."

The article furnishes links to deposition transcripts.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court and Public Opinion: Will They Soon Diverge, If a Democrat Is Elected This Year?" Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Texas Supreme Court justice, wife indicted": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle. In addition, columnist Lisa Falkenberg has an op-ed entitled "Rosenthal shouldn't obstruct grand jury."

Today in The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell reports that "Texas Supreme Court justice indicted; Medina, wife charged in arson, kicking off political melee in Houston."

The New York Times reports that "Texas Supreme Court Justice Is Embroiled in an Arson Case."

The Dallas Morning News reports that "Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina indicted in connection with fire."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that "Supreme Court judge, wife are indicted in fire."

And Texas Lawyer reports that "Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina Indicted."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Year of the Gun": Law Professors Glenn Harlan Reynolds and Brannon P. Denning have this essay about the Second Amendment case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court at "See Also," the online companion of the Texas Law Review.

You can also access the essay via SSRN (abstract with link for download).
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court divide threatens to deepen; Gun rights, voter ID laws among issues before justices": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:01 AM by Howard Bashman


"Investors Lose Again, Thanks to Supreme Court": Bloomberg News columnist Susan Antilla has this essay.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "CIA Faulted for Destruction of Interrogation Videotapes; No contempt holding; N.Y. federal judge puts the focus on a possible remedy."

And Amaris Elliott-Engel reports that "JNOV Wipes Out Verdict of $1.5 Million in Hormone Replacement Case." [Disclosure: I am serving as co-counsel for plaintiffs on appeal.]
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Novell's Suit Against Microsoft Cites Decline of WordPerfect": James Rowley of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 07:49 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Chancellor Rules Hagler Tape Should Be Returned To Judge; Brown Says Tape Not To Be Released To Newspaper": The Chattanoogan provides this news update.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Judge's Fantasy Tape Isn't Public."
Posted at 06:01 PM by Howard Bashman



"Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina indicted in connection with fire": The Dallas Morning News provides an update that begins, "A Houston grand jury indicted Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife on Thursday in connection with a June fire at their Spring, Texas home. But within hours of the indictments -- Fran Medina's on an accusation of arson, Mr. Medina's on an accusation of tampering -- Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said his office didn't think there was enough evidence to charge Mr. Medina or his wife with a crime."

The Houston Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Texas Supreme Court justice, wife indicted."

And The Associated Press reports that "Texas Supreme Court Justice indicted in arson of his Houston home."
Posted at 05:37 PM by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit grants rehearing en banc to consider what limits the Fourth Amendment places on governmental searches of FedEx packages addressed for delivery outside of the United States: You can access today's order granting rehearing en banc at this link.

You can access the ruling of a partially divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel in the case, from August 2007, at this link.
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman



On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, a unanimous three-judge Seventh Circuit panel holds that plaintiffs' allegations of securities fraud in Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd. v Tellabs Inc. create the requisite "strong inference" of scienter: You can access today's ruling of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at this link.

The Supreme Court's ruling from June 2007, which vacated the Seventh Circuit's earlier decision reinstating plaintiffs' securities fraud claims, can be accessed here. Today's Seventh Circuit ruling, written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, reaches the same result as the Seventh Circuit's original ruling in the case. You can access the Seventh Circuit's earlier ruling, and the audio from two Seventh Circuit oral arguments, via this link.
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Woman says nude photos were passed among her husband's jailers; Woman says county owes her at least $100,000 for humiliation": Tuesday's edition of The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction, Colorado contained an article that begins, "Mesa County is being asked to pay at least $100,000 to a woman who said her nude photos were passed among jailers when her husband was incarcerated there." The article goes on to establish that if you don't want prison staff to have access to nude photos of you, don't mail nude photos of yourself to prison.
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bill targets law allowing judges to give teens abortion permission": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"An intoxicating way to celebrate the Gall ruling": Would you rather have a U.S. Supreme Court opinion cite to the internet address of a document that you have uploaded to your blog or have a federal district judge send you a package containing a dozen beers? Fortunately, Law Professor Douglas Berman didn't have to make that difficult choice.
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel orders judge to explain Qwest ruling; 'Illumination' into $400 million settlement sought": The Rocky Mountain News today contains an article that begins, "An appellate panel on Wednesday ordered a U.S. district judge to provide a 'more extensive explanation' for his decision to approve a $400 million shareholder class-action settlement involving Qwest Communications. The panel is specifically ordering federal Judge Robert Blackburn to explain why he decided it was fair to exclude former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio and former CFO Robert Woodruff from the settlement."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Tenth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Tale of Abuse: Was Jose Padilla, an American arrested in the United States, subjected to illegal torture? Congress should find out." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:41 AM by Howard Bashman


"House Panel Criticizes CIA Tape Destruction": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Account of C.I.A. Tapes Is Challenged."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Lawmaker says CIA official defied instructions to preserve tapes; Republican Pete Hoekstra contradicts accounts that Jose Rodriguez was never told to save the interrogation videos."

James Rowley of Bloomberg News reports that "CIA Official May Have Destroyed Tapes on His Own, Lawmaker Says."

And in The Wall Street Journal, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey have an op-ed entitled "Justice for the CIA."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"New chief justice sworn in; Ronald D. Castille, a former Phila. district attorney, took the oath at City Hall; He said courts cannot serve political parties": Tuesday's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer contained this article.

Also on Tuesday, The Philadelphia Bulletin reported that "Complaint Filed Against Castille For Revealing Decision."

And The Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pennsylvania reported yesterday that "Advocate says judge had ethical violation."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law," the video game: This review appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


Which part of the U.S. Constitution says that? The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article headlined "Ex-lawyer: Mack said Constitution gave him the right to shoot judge" that begins, "Darren Mack's former lawyer David Chesnoff testified Wednesday that Mack suffered from 'a form of insanity' and believed that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave him the right to shoot a judge."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia to visit RWU law school in April": Today in The Providence Journal, Edward Fitzpatrick has an article that begins, "All rise. One day after court officials confirmed that Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr. will visit Rhode Island next month, college officials yesterday announced that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will visit the Roger Williams University School of Law in April. Also, honor students at the state's only law school will meet with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. when they travel to Washington, D.C., and a pair of Pulitzer Prize winners who have written about the Supreme Court will speak at the Bristol campus."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court upholds state judge selection": This article appears today in Newsday.

The Buffalo News reports today that "Judicial selection process is upheld; Justices rule state law isn’t unconstitutional."

Robert Barnes of The Washington Post reports that "Court Lets 'Party Boss' Law Stand, Reluctantly."

Joseph Goldstein of The New York Sun reports that "9 Rebuff Brooklyn Court Reformers." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Light 'Em Up."

And The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "A Defeat for Judicial Reform."
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"US Supreme Court hears LG-Quanta patent case": Reuters provides this report.

And Dow Jones Newswires report that "US High Court Uncomfortable With LG Position In Patent Case."
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Dream court for American business": Thursday's edition of Financial Times contains an editorial that begins, "Corporate America has scored a hat-trick in the US Supreme Court, winning a trio of big cases that could substantially reduce the amount of cripplingly costly investor litigation faced by any company that lists on US soil."
Posted at 11:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Rebuffs a Challenge to New York's Way of Picking Its Judges": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.

And law.com reports that "U.S. Supreme Court Upholds New York State's Judicial Election System."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"If the Yoo Fits... Why shouldn't Jose Padilla sue John Yoo?" Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.

And today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, John Yoo has an op-ed entitled "Terror suspects are waging 'lawfare' on U.S."
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



Does the U.S. Olympic Committee's policy of awarding benefits to athletes training for the Olympics or the Pan American Games while excluding those training for the Paralympic Games unlawfully discriminate against the disabled? By a vote of 2-1, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit answers "no" in this decision issued today.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court wants more info on Qwest settlement": Reuters provides a report that begins, "A U.S. district judge must explain why he approved a $400 million payout by Qwest Communications International Inc to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by shareholders, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday."

You can access today's ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in an appeal filed by former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio and former Qwest CFO Robert Woodruff, at this link.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcripts: You can now access the transcripts from today's two argued cases, Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., No. 06-937, and MeadWestvaco Corp. v. Illinois Dept. of Revenue, No. 06-1413.
Posted at 05:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Stoneridge Sanity: The most important case you never heard of." Robert Alt and Brian Walsh have this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"The able lawyers who briefed and argued this case could have saved us some work and presented their positions more effectively had they done the translations from reinsurancese into everyday English themselves." Can Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner make an opinion deciding an appeal involving reinsurance both interesting and understandable? The answer seems to be yes.

For example, earlier in the opinion, Judge Posner writes:

One who voluntarily confers a benefit on another, which is to say in the absence of a contractual obligation to do so, ordinarily has no legal claim to be compensated. If while you are sitting on your porch sipping Margaritas a trio of itinerant musicians serenades you with mandolin, lute, and hautboy, you have no obligation, in the absence of a contract, to pay them for their performance no matter how much you enjoyed it; and likewise if they were gardeners whom you had hired and on a break from their gardening they took up their musical instruments to serenade you. When voluntary transactions are feasible (in economic parlance, when transaction costs are low), it is better and cheaper to require the parties to make their own terms than for a court to try to fix them--better and cheaper that the musicians should negotiate a price with you in advance than for them to go running to court for a judicial determination of the just price for their performance.
Perhaps the reinsurance lawyers were thinking that if Judge Posner was familiar with the musical instrument known as the hautboy, he'd be quite well-versed in obscure reinsurance terms as well.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court Reinstates New York Election Rules": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Business of blogging: How to make it work." This Reuters report from Monday mentions "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court May Limit Patent Owners' Rights": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared ready to make it harder for patent owners to demand licensing fees from companies throughout the manufacturing supply chain."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senators Hope to Ban Judges from Educational Junkets": Lawrence Hurley has this front page article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 12:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Upholds N.Y. Judicial Selection": Joseph Goldstein of The New York Sun provides this news update.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Nina Totenberg is reporting: On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition," she had an audio segment entitled "Supreme Court Blocks Suits by Defrauded Investors."

And on yesterday evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered," she had an audio segment entitled "High Court Rules Against Investors in Fraud Case."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 11:48 AM by Howard Bashman



Was the alienation of affection judgment that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit previously upheld based on the wife's allegedly untruthful testimony motivated by a desire to keep from losing her children and marriage? We may never know for certain, as today the Eighth Circuit issued this opinion holding that the defendant's motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) to reopen the case was filed too late.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"In this appeal, we address whether an elementary school student has a First Amendment right to promote an unsolicited religious message during an organized curricular activity." A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit answers "no" in this decision issued today.
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Engaging in Sexual Activities With a Patient Is Not Within the Scope of Employment of a Therapist": So holds the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today, in an opinion applying Kentucky law.
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"No need for primary to pick judges": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued its ruling in New York State Board of Elections v. Lopez Torres, No. 06-766. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

Today's second and final opinion in an argued case issued in Knight v. Commissioner, No. 06-1286. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court Upholds NY Judicial Elections" and "Court Limits Trusts' Tax Deductions."
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Inquisition at JPL: The government shouldn't be prying into the personal lives of its scientists." Today in The Los Angeles Times, columnist Tim Rutten has this op-ed.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge hard on Padilla, co-defendants in first phase; She rules he should face 30 years to life": This article appears today in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Los Angeles Times today contains an article headlined "Judge: Terror suspects will get 30 to life; She rejects pleas for leniency for alleged 'dirty bomb' plotter Jose Padilla and two others convicted of support of terrorism."

And yesterday in The Miami Herald, Jay Weaver had an article headlined "Life sentence looms for Padilla; A federal judge in Miami is likely to slap Jose Padilla and two other men convicted of terror-conspiracy charges with long prison sentences."
Posted at 09:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Locking up kids for life: California can sentence criminals under 18 to life without parole; It's cruel and unusual punishment." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blake lawyer says civil trial was unfair; Appellate court is urged to overturn a $30-million award": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"My First Post -- Crime Victim's Right to Be Heard": Law Professor, and former U.S. District Judge, Paul Cassell has this post today at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Child Porn Case, a Digital Dilemma; U.S. Seeks to Force Suspect to Reveal Password to Computer Files": The Washington Post today contains a front page article that begins, "The federal government is asking a U.S. District Court in Vermont to order a man to type a password that would unlock files on his computer, despite his claim that doing so would constitute self-incrimination. The case, believed to be the first of its kind to reach this level, raises a uniquely digital-age question about how to balance privacy and civil liberties against the government's responsibility to protect the public."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Station Chief Made Appeal To Destroy CIA Tapes; Lawyer Says Top Official Had Implicit Approval": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Limits Lawsuits by Shareholders": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Carrie Johnson report that "Corporate Fraud Lawsuits Restricted; Enron and Other Shareholders Limited by Court."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Ruling limits reach of investor suits; The Supreme Court decision in a cable firm's fraud case is a victory for businesses." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Congress, hold companies accountable: The Supreme Court ruled that companies aiding and abetting Enron-style fraud can't be held liable."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic and Edward Iwata report that "Investors lose in court ruling; Third parties can't be held liable in corporate fraud."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor reports that "Supreme Court keeps investor suits narrow; In a 5-to-3 ruling, justices say firms that merely abetted fraud can't be sued."

And The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "A Win for Investors."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"All-white jury seated for Snipes; Defense team confident panel will 'seek the truth'": This article appears today in The Ocala Star-Banner.

And The St. Petersburg Times reports today that "All-white jury ready for Snipes' tax trial; The lead defense attorney says he has faith in the panel."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Diane Keaton swears on TV, FCC stammers": Via Reuters, Hollywood Reporter has an article that begins, "The nation's top TV regulator said it would be difficult for the Federal Communications Commission to take action against ABC stations that aired 'Good Morning America' on Tuesday when actress Diane Keaton used the f-word."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeal of the court: Yearlong celebration in store for historic federal courthouse." Today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal, Edward Fitzpatrick has an article that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts is scheduled to visit Rhode Island on Feb. 12 to help celebrate the centennial of the federal courthouse in downtown Providence. The event will mark the first time a sitting Supreme Court chief justice has come to the state since Charles Evan Hughes was here in 1937, said Senior Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya, a Rhode Islander who is the liaison for Roberts' visit. Newspaper articles indicate that Hughes, an 1881 Brown University graduate, came to see his grandson graduate from Brown."
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court Club": The New York Times today contains an editorial that concludes, "It would still be best if the court moved on its own to allow coverage of oral arguments similar to C-Span's valuable coverage of the House and Senate. Since Mr. Roberts and his camera-averse colleagues show no signs of budging, Congress needs to force the issue."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "ACLU: Sex in Restroom Stalls Is Private" and "Snipes' Lawyer May Be Ineligible."
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Get Another Shot at Patent Law": Jess Bravin and Justin Scheck have this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"The punishment fits the times": Law Professor Jonathan Turley has this death penalty-related op-ed today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Criminal cases stripped from Kent's docket; It now contains only civil matters": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Federal judge Samuel Kent, who recently returned to work after a four-month paid leave of absence, has had his docket stripped of all criminal cases."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Quanta-LG Case at U.S. Supreme Court May Limit Patent Royalties": Greg Stohr and Susan Decker of Bloomberg News provide this report.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Today in MeadWestvaco Corp. v. Illinois Department of Revenue": A case involving proceeds from the sale of Lexis/Nexis will be argued today before the U.S. Supreme Court, "TaxProf Blog" reports today in this post.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Another Campaign Finance Case on the Fast Track to the Supreme Court?" Rick Hasen has this post at his "Election Law" blog.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Techno-toys in court challenge": In Wednesday's edition of Financial Times, Patti Waldmeir has an article that begins, "The US Supreme Court is mediating in a dispute between a bunch of Taiwanese computer makers and a Korean rival that could affect everyone who buys a computer in America."
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Oh, I'm not actually recording, honey...'" Reuters provides a report that begins, "Recording secret videos of sex with your partner is not illegal, Italy's supreme court has ruled. Rome's highest appeals acquitted a 49-year-old man who, unbeknown to his girlfriend, had recorded and kept films of them having sex."
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Torres sworn in as new chief justice": Wednesday's edition of The Pacific Daily News of Guam contains an article that begins, "The shift in judicial power that takes place every three years occurred yesterday in the atrium of the judiciary, when Robert Torres Jr. was sworn into the position of chief justice of the Supreme Court of Guam."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Seattle weighs in on handgun ban; Major cities urge Supreme Court to uphold D.C. law": This article will appear Wednesday in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Punitive Damages Shrink as High Court Reins in Trial Lawyers": Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Restricts Securities Lawsuits": Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times has this news update.

And Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times has a report headlined "Supreme Court blow to investor lawsuits."
Posted at 10:37 PM by Howard Bashman



Law blogs acknowledge that "Law blogs acknowledged in The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin": Kimberly A. Kralowec has this post at her blog, "The UCL Practitioner."
Posted at 10:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court roughs up TV judge; The justices appear ready to rule that Alex Ferrer must go to arbitration with his former manager": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Won't Hear Appeal on Drugs for Terminally Ill": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Supreme Court Lets Stand Experimental-Drug Ruling."

And in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Justices uphold ban on test drugs for the dying; Declining an appeal, the Supreme Court lets stand an FDA policy forbidding unapproved drugs for patients, even the terminally ill; The decision illustrates a wariness to create 'new rights.'"
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"W.Va. chief justice accused of bias; Papers filed say he vacationed with CEO in case": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Last night, I collected additional news coverage in this post.
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ginsburg Is Latest Justice to Reflect on Faith": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Supreme Court Reversal: Abandoning the Rights of Voters." Adam Cohen has this Editorial Observer essay today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcripts of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: A Kansas City Royals fan, with whom my son and I grabbed lunch at Citizens Bank Park this past summer before the start of a Philadelphia Phillies game, argued one of the cases on the Supreme Court's calendar today.

The Court has posted the transcripts for both United States v. Gonzaga Rodriquez, No. 06-1646, and Begay v. United States, No. 06-11543.
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Allows MSNBC to Bar Kucinich": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Nevada Supreme Court said Tuesday MSNBC can exclude Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich from a candidate debate."

You can access this evening's order of the Supreme Court of Nevada at this link. The court papers filed in connection with that case in Nevada's highest court can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court First: A Female Special Master." At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "The Supreme Court today quietly helped shatter a glass ceiling you may not have known existed by appointing the first female special master in the Supreme Court's history."
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"911 audio from tiger attack at S.F. Zoo": The San Francisco Chronicle has made the audio available online via this link.
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Homestore CEO's fraud conviction overturned": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court on Monday overturned the fraud conviction and 15-year sentence of a Southern California home-listing company's chief executive in a $67 million revenue-inflation scheme, saying the trial judge should have disqualified himself because of stock holdings in a firm linked to the case."

You can access yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Hereditary Perk the Founding Fathers Failed to Anticipate": Beginning today, Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column will appear in The New York Times on Tuesdays.
Posted at 03:23 PM by Howard Bashman


Seventh Circuit reinstates federal death row inmate's lawsuit challenging as unconstitutional a policy that prohibits federal death row inmates from giving face-to-face interviews with the media and from talking with the media about other inmates: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at this link.

Timothy McVeigh's interview with the CBS News program "60 Minutes" appears to have given rise to the challenged policy. Today's opinion explains that the death row inmate who is challenging the policy is no longer sentenced to die, although the federal government's appeal from the order setting aside the death sentence remains in the process of being briefed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Notwithstanding the order vacating the inmate's death sentence, he continues to be housed on the federal death row at the Special Confinement Unit of the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana
Posted at 03:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Rules Against Investors in Securities Fraud Case": Robert Barnes of The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court shields bankers in stock fraud cases; Secondary players cannot be held liable for participating in a scheme to inflate a company's value, the U.S. Supreme Court rules": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Court Limits Shareholder Suits Against Vendors, Banks."

Reuters reports that "US court upholds limits on securities fraud suits."

And Dow Jones Newswires report that "Court Restricts 3rd-Party Suits In Stoneridge Case."
Posted at 12:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Won't Accept Chimp As Person": The Associated Press provides this report.

The organization Verein gegen Tierfabriken (Association Against Animal Factories) has issued a news release headlined "Austrian Supreme Court refuses legal guardian for chimp Hiasl."
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Case on Police Searches Pits State Laws Against Federal": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Virginia argues for evidence found in unauthorized bust."

The Virginian-Pilot reports that "U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on searching Portsmouth suspect after traffic stop."

And on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment entitled "Supreme Court Reviews Case of Illegal Search" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"$28,000 question plays out in public; After a successful career representing others, Willie Gary says he botched his own child support case; It's taken him to state Supreme Court": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court limits securities fraud law": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Rules Against Investors."

Today's only U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an argued case issued in Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., No. 06-43. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"That's [not] me in the corner [of the jury box]": The Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald reports today that "R.E.M.'s Stipe dismissed as juror in school intruder case." (This post's title inspired by the lyrics to R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion.")
Posted at 10:06 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court To Consider City's Liability in Ferry Disaster": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "A new round in the fight over how much New York City will pay the victims of the 2003 Staten Island ferry crash will begin next week, when a federal appeals court considers whether the city is liable for the disaster."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Convicted judge-shooter and wife-killer Darren Mack seeks to withdraw his plea of guilty to those offenses: The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article headlined "Family: Mack ready, eager to defend himself."

Over the past week, that newspaper has published articles headlined "Mack: Lawyers 'psychologically raped' him"; "Mack says judge demanded money in guilty-plea deal"; "Weller denies Mack's plea-deal accusation": and "Prosecutor balks at subpoena by Mack's lawyer."

The newspaper has also posted online "State's opposition to Mack's withdrawal of plea"; "Mack's supplement to motion to withdraw pleas of guilty": and "Mack's declaration."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court revives lease-to-fee efforts of 36 condo owners": The Honolulu Advertiser today contains an article that begins, "A federal appellate court yesterday reinstated a lawsuit that may allow 36 current or former owner-occupants in Waikiki's Discovery Bay condominium to buy the fee in their leasehold units or collect damages from the city."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Trolley Square gun seller gets 15 months; Victim's parents still working to make it 99 months": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.

And The Deseret Morning News today contains an article headlined "15-month sentence in Trolley case."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pay judges more: Public salaries should rival private ones to attract a diverse and talented bench." David M. Axelrad has this essay online today at the web site of The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"UNC settles harassment suit": The Daily Tar Heel today contain an article that begins, "Highly successful women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance and the University have ended a nine-year sexual harassment lawsuit brought against them by a former player. Dorrance avoided trial but was forced to apologize for inappropriate discussions about sex among his teams in a settlement announced last week to the UNC Board of Governors."

And The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina reports today that "Cash, apology settle UNC-CH soccer suit; Other colleges 'are looking at this case.'"
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, January 14, 2008

"Life in prison for Padilla? In sentencing, the judge must find that the convicted Al Qaeda recruit aimed to influence a government; But his trial has scant record of motive." Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court spanks lawyer for TV's 'Judge Alex'": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Motion Ties W. Virginia Justice to Coal Executive": Tuesday in The New York Times, Adam Liptak will have an article that begins, "A justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court and a powerful coal-company executive met in Monte Carlo in the summer of 2006, sharing several meals even as the executive's companies were appealing a $50 million jury verdict against them to the court. A little more than a year later, the justice, Elliott E. Maynard, voted with the majority in a 3-to-2 decision in favor of the coal companies."

The West Virginia Record reports this evening that "Maynard's relationship with Blankenship questioned again, this time with photos."

And last Thursday's edition of The Charleston Gazette reported that "High court may review petition against Massey."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Justice Scalia to visit MSU": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, "U.S. Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will speak at Mississippi State University Jan. 24." According to the article, "A press release announcing the event said Scalia will enforce a media policy similar to the one that pushed him and the U.S. Marshal's service into the critical eye of the national media in 2004."

And the University of Central Missouri today issued a news release headlined "Tickets Available for Lecture by Justice Antonin Scalia."
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Oral history: The Monica Lewinsky scandal ten years on; Ten years after a young intern nearly brought down a president, the players in the Monica Lewinsky scandal talk to our correspondent." This article appears Tuesday in The Times of London.
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Man sentenced to 15 months in prison for Trolley Square gun sale": Pamela Manson of The Salt Lake Tribune provides this news update.
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Federal Judge Joins Notorious Conspiracy": At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has a post that begins, "I'm delighted to report that the judiciary's loss is our gain: Prof. Paul Cassell will be joining us a coblogger."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reshuffle for top lawyers when supreme court opens": The Times of London today contains an article that begins, "Britain’s most senior judge is being tipped to take over as head of the first supreme court in what will trigger a major reshuffle of top judicial posts."
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Asahi Loses U.S. Supreme Court Bid to Revive $25 Million Award": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"The way to size up a Supreme nominee": Bob Braun, columnist for The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, had this essay last week.
Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"The search for a 'humane' execution": BBC News provides this report.

And yesterday in The Arizona Republic, former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods had an op-ed entitled "Reflections on death in gas chamber."
Posted at 10:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Portsmouth case to test limits in police searches": The Virginian-Pilot today contains an article that begins, "A seemingly routine traffic stop in Portsmouth five years ago has morphed into a major constitutional confrontation to be played out today in the nation’s highest court . The case of David Lee Moore began with an offense so mundane that state law instructs police to hold most suspects only long enough to write a ticket. It could end with new limits on police tactics in pursuing more serious crimes or a redefinition of the Constitution's protection against 'unreasonable' searches."
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wal-Mart, Worker Cancel High Court Clash, Settle Case": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.

And Dow Jones Newswires report that "US Supreme Court Dismisses Disability Suit Against Wal-Mart."
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Three Texas killers lose U.S. Supreme Court appeals": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer defends his monthly $14K child payments": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "Renowned trial lawyer Willie Gary had a very personal case before the Georgia Supreme Court Monday."
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Declines to Hear Experimental Drug Case; Petitioners Argue Terminally Ill Should Have Right to Drugs Not Yet Approved by FDA": Robert Barnes of The Washington Post provides this news update.

James Vicini of Reuters reports that "U.S. court rejects appeal seeking unapproved drugs."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Expand Experimental-Drug Access."

And Agence France-Presse provides a report headlined "No right to experimental drugs for dying patients: Supreme Court."
Posted at 06:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"At the Supreme Court, the Seventh Time is Not a Charm": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "Seven may be Eric Brunstad Jr.'s unlucky number."
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court dismisses appeal in test drugs case; Justices let stand a ruling that the terminally ill have no constitutional right to unapproved drugs": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 03:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Skeptical of TV Judge's Claims": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A majority of the Supreme Court's justices appeared to side against a daytime television judge Monday in a contract dispute."

You can access a transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Preston v. Ferrer, No. 06-1463, at this link.
Posted at 03:01 PM by Howard Bashman



"Virtual representation," privity, and due process: When may a defendant invoke a jury's ruling in the defendant's favor against one plaintiff to prevent another plaintiff, who claim was not before that first jury for resolution, from taking a similar claim arising from the same transaction or occurrence before a second jury for resolution?

On Friday of last week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review in the case of Taylor v. Sturgell, No. 07-371, which presents that question in the context of similar successive claims against the federal government. You can access the D.C. Circuit's decision in that case at this link, while "SCOTUSblog" has posted online the cert. petition, the briefs in opposition (here and here), and petitioner's reply.

When the Supreme Court on Friday conferenced, and decided to grant review in, the Taylor case, the Court also conferenced Eddy v. Waffle House, Inc., No. 07-495, a case between private parties that raises an issue quite similar to the one raised in Taylor. It appears that the Court is holding Eddy pending its resolution of Taylor.

I wrote about the Fourth Circuit's decision in Eddy in the April 16, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "The N-Word and a Plaintiff's Right to His Day in Court." I have obtained the cert. papers filed in the Eddy case, and you can access them at the following links: cert. petition; brief in opposition; and plaintiffs' reply.

Coincidentally, just last Thursday, one day before the Supreme Court granted review in Taylor, I filed this Brief for Appellants in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in a case raising many of these same due process issues.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Virginia v. Moore, No. 06-1082: The Court has posted the transcript at this link.
Posted at 02:19 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Weigh Ex-Con's Drug Case": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:13 PM by Howard Bashman


"If a 42-year-old man wants to change his identity and fly through the remainder of his life under the radar screen with a fake name, what kind of name would he be likely to select?" So begins an opinion that Circuit Judge Terence T. Evans issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

As the opinion recounts, the man changed his last name to "Ducks," but at least he had the common-sense to also change his first name, which had been "Donald."
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Suspect Seminars": Today in The Daily Journal of California, Timothy J. Dowling of Community Rights Counsel has an op-ed that begins, "Would football fans be upset if NFL referees attended seminars on the rules of football at Hilton Head Island or other posh resorts, with the travel expenses paid for by the New England Patriots? Everyone (except Patriots fans) would view the arrangement as a threat to the integrity of the game. Even if the seminars were unbiased, the appearance of impropriety would be overwhelming. Why, then, do we allow federal judges to attend legal seminars at tony resorts, with the travel expenses paid for by nonprofit groups funded by large corporations or private foundations that also fund litigation campaigns?"
Posted at 12:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"TV's Judge Alex Goes to the Supreme Court": Nina Totenberg had this audio segment (RealPlayer required) on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

This post of mine from earlier today collects additional coverage.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court seeks advice on settling worker claims": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "The Supreme Court on Monday asked the U.S. Solicitor General for the government's view on whether workers may settle with their employers their claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act."

And in other news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court Declines Experimental Drugs Case" and "Court Declines Pollution Case."

You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Don't Raise Too Many Issues on Appeal in Bad Faith": Email troubles that plagued law.com's San Francisco office on Friday prevented this week's installment of my "On Appeal" column from appearing today.

Coincidentally, on the second Monday of each month (which for this month just happens to be today), The Legal Intelligencer -- Philadelphia's daily newspaper for lawyers -- publishes my "Upon Further Review" column. Today's installment of that column is headlined "Don't Raise Too Many Issues on Appeal in Bad Faith." It focuses on a recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that I linked to in this earlier post.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Joint Chiefs Chairman: Close Guantanamo." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wesley Snipes to Go on Trial in Tax Case": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Associated Press reports that "Wesley Snipes Tax Trial to Begin in Fla."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"On Today's Docket: 'Judge Alex' Does The Supreme Court; TV Justice's Case Is Heard In Camera-Shy Chamber; 'Rather Watch Paint Dry.'" Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin has an article that begins, "If you want to watch 'Judge Alex,' a television show where a former judge settles small-time squabbles for the amusement of daytime viewers, check your local listings. If you want to see Judge Alex himself -- today, anyway -- come to the U.S. Supreme Court."

And today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "High court to hear TV judge's case; Alex Ferrer says he should not have to abide by a contract. At issue is the legality of binding arbitration."

The "Judge Alex" in question is not this one, who once referred to himself as "a member of OOPPSSCA, the Organization of People Patiently Seeking Supreme Court Appointments." Rather, he's this one. No word yet on whether this "Judge Alex" likewise considers blogs to be "hateful things."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Cuomo Stands Alone on 2nd Amendment": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "In arguing that the Second Amendment case now before the Supreme Court shouldn't have any bearing on state gun control laws, Attorney General Cuomo is finding himself largely alone among state attorneys general." Via "SCOTUSblog," you can access New York State's amicus brief at this link.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Key district attorneys urge Supreme Court to uphold handgun ban." Via "SCOTUSblog," you can access the amicus brief in question at this link.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jose Padilla's Suit Against John Yoo: An Interesting Idea, But Will It Get Far?" Elaine Cassel has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:27 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Again, whose ox is Gore-d?" Today in The Indianapolis Star, columnist Dan Carpenter has an op-ed that begins, "Judging by last week's hearing and the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, a partisan election law should win a partisan victory for the Indiana GOP and their eager brethren everywhere. I've taken to calling America's most onerous voter ID requirement the RRPP -- Rokita's Republican Protection Plan -- in light of the obvious motive behind it and the readily foreseeable results. A textbook example of a solution in search of a problem, Secretary of State Todd Rokita's 'ballot security' brainchild makes it harder for low-income citizens to vote without offering a single case of in-person voter fraud as justification for the abridgment. This means the demand for a specific state-issued ID is accomplishing two things: policing illegal activity that wasn't happening anyway; and discouraging participation by people more likely to vote Democratic than Republican."
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Courting justice": The Register-Guard of Eugene, Oregon today contains an article that begins, "Two mismatched tables form a desk around a thrift-store-quality office chair in the chambers of Oregon Supreme Court Justice Martha Walters. It is clearly a place where the work trumps the trappings of prestige, power and pride."
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"California Supreme Court's financial conflicts doom appeal": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyers say city, zoo on shaky legal ground if tiger victims sue": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "In the eyes of the law, keeping a caged tiger is like hauling dynamite or storing uranium - an activity so dangerous that even the most careful proprietor is responsible for any injuries to bystanders."
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prisoner's lawsuit says it was too easy to escape; He fell and hurt himself while trying to rappel down the side of a Colorado jail; He blames his injuries on inadequate security": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

I have posted online at this link a copy of the complaint that the plaintiff's counsel filed initiating suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush administration backs gun regulation; A D.C. ban on home handguns may not be constitutional, the solicitor general tells the Supreme Court, but rights are limited and federal firearm restrictions should be upheld": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

"SCOTUSblog" has posted the Solicitor General's amicus brief at this link.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Arrest of 'Chubs' Is Before High Court": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecutor Who Unraveled Corruption in Boston Turns to C.I.A. Tape Case": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"$190,000 for 2 trials, 3 years is inadequate, lawyer says; Defense attorneys group says others may avoid capital cases over pay": The Houston Chronicle today contains a front page article that begins, "A veteran Houston lawyer who defeated the government's attempt to secure a death sentence against his client in two smuggling cases has refused to accept a payment that he considers inadequate for his services. Craig Washington, who was appointed to represent truck driver Tyrone Williams in two federal trials involving the 2003 deaths of 19 illegal immigrants, said he will not cash two checks totaling $190,000 that he was paid for his first three years working on the case."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kent talks of personal struggles; But judge says he'll wait to tell his side against the allegations of misconduct": The Houston Chronicle contains this front page article today.

And The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article headlined "Federal court's future unclear" that begins, "Will the Galveston federal court be a federal court in name only?"
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Federal judicial pay hike merited, long overdue": This editorial will appear Sunday in The San Antonio Express-News.
Posted at 11:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Militia of One (Well Regulated)": Sunday in The New York Times, Adam Liptak will have a "Week in Review" article that begins, "The Supreme Court is poised to decide whether the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms or only a collective right tied to service in a state militia. While the arguments in the case will draw on history, policy and empirical data, the discussion must at least start with the text of the amendment."

Speaking of which, "SCOTUSblog" has posted online this amicus brief filed in that case by linguists.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Let merit replace mudslinging": In this editorial published in its Sunday edition, The Wisconsin State Journal calls on that State to adopt merit selection of judges.
Posted at 11:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Terror Threat in the Courts": Sunday in The New York Times, John Farmer will have an op-ed in which he writes, "A closer look at the Padilla case and other terrorism prosecutions reveals, to the contrary, that the continued reliance on our criminal justice system as the main domestic weapon in the struggle against terrorism fails on two counts: it threatens not only to leave our nation unprotected but also to corrupt the foundations of the criminal law itself."
Posted at 11:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Smoke shop trial set to begin": Sunday's edition of The Providence (R.I.) Journal will contain an article that begins, "To many Narragansett Indians, the upcoming trial of seven tribe members accused of fighting with state police officers as they raided a tribal smoke shop is the continuation of centuries of mistreatment at the hands of Rhode Island leaders."
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"White House Secrecy Starts to Give; As Congress Intensifies Efforts for Openness, Administration Accedes": This article will appear Sunday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Activists Pose as Guantanamo Prisoners": The Washington Post on Sunday will contain an article that begins, "More than 24 hours after he was arrested while kneeling on the steps of the Supreme Court in an orange prisoner jumpsuit and a hood, Tim Nolan stood before a judge yesterday in D.C. Superior Court Room 202 and said the word he'd come to Washington to say: 'Fazaldad.'"
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Blog battle becomes free speech case": Sunday's edition of The Providence (R.I.) Journal will contain an article that begins, "The divorce and custody case involving children 'Sara Doe' and 'Mary Doe' might have remained just another of the bitter battles that play out in Family Court, deeply personal and unnoticed by the public. But a retired minister began a blog that blasted the state Department of Children, Youth and Families and others involved in the case, saying they'd used a 'bogus theory' to take a mother's two daughters from her and to send one of the sisters to live with the father -- after the father had been accused of sexually abusing the girl. At DCYF's request, a Family Court judge ordered the state agency to 'advise' the Rev. Anne Grant to stop publishing the blog 'as it pertains' to the two children."

And now, according to the article, the blogger is asking the Supreme Court of Rhode Island to overturn the trial court's order.
Posted at 11:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Execution nurse had criminal past": This article appears in Sunday's issue of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court bars parents from speaking at gun case sentencing; Panel agrees slain woman was not a direct victim of the illegal firearm sale to the killer prior to the rampage": Pamela Manson has this article today in The Salt Lake Tribune.

And The Deseret Morning News reports today that "Shooting victim's parents denied again; Sentencing to go forward for Trolley Square gun seller."

See also this post from yesterday, in which I previously linked to yesterday's Tenth Circuit order.
Posted at 07:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court defies lawmakers on salaries; Justices say their employees' pay is their business, not the Legislature's": This article appears today in The Las Vegas Sun.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Embryo implanted in mother's womb after father's death not an heir." The Arkansas News Bureau provides a report that begins, "A child conceived through in vitro fertilization but implanted in his mother's womb after his father's death is not automatically considered his father's heir under Arkansas' inheritance laws, the state Supreme Court said Thursday in an advisory opinion."

You can access Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Arkansas at this link.
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Terror suspects can't sue Pentagon": This article appears today in The Washington Times.

McClatchy Newspapers report that "In voiding suit, appellate court says torture is to be expected."

And Agence France-Presse reports that "US court rebuts torture claim by Britons."
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Students get a firsthand look at state's high court": Today's edition of The World of Coos Bay, Oregon contains an article that begins, "Michael Gillette's first visit to Marshfield High School was much different than his second. In 1959, Gillette arrived in Coos Bay as a starting forward for the McLoughlin High School basketball team. With the help of his inside play, Gillette helped guide the Pioneers past Coquille in the semi-finals and then defeat Newport to win the Oregon A2 title. On Tuesday, Gillette returned to Marshfield on a different kind of team, the Oregon Supreme Court."
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman


The Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Las Vegas has turned down an appointment to serve as a Supreme Court justice: On the Republic of Palau, no less. Pacific Magazine reports that "Newly Appointed Supreme Court Justice Marsh Declines Job."
Posted at 03:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. Critical Of Appellate Ruling On D.C. Handgun Ban": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

"SCOTUSblog" has posted the Solicitor General's amicus brief at this link.
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Older workers' benefits argued to Supreme Court; State retirement plan challenged": Thursday in The Louisville Courier-Journal. James R. Carroll had an article that begins, "Kentucky's public employee retirement plan discriminates against older workers in violation of federal law, the U.S. Supreme Court was told yesterday."
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Blogging lawyer silenced as judge expands gag order in Liberty City 7 case": Vanessa Blum of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel today has an article that begins, "A prominent South Florida criminal defense lawyer who writes online commentary about federal court cases can no longer opine on the so-called Liberty City 7 terror case because the judge has expanded a sweeping gag order. David O. Markus, an affable attorney who is often critical of prosecutors, gave a forlorn sign-off Friday explaining how he had agreed to challenge the gag order on behalf of a defense lawyer in the case, only to find himself silenced."

Markus writes the "Southern District of Florida Blog."
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman



Wal-Mart seeks en banc review of revised Ninth Circuit ruling that, once again, affirms certification of the largest-ever employment discrimination class action: The majority on a divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel issued its original decision affirming class certification in February 2007. I covered that ruling in posts you can access here and here.

In response to Wal-Mart's rehearing petition directed toward that original ruling, last month the same three-judge panel, still divided 2-1 over the outcome, issued a revised ruling that once again affirmed the federal district court's class certification order. My coverage of last month's ruling can be accessed here and here.

Now, this past Tuesday, Wal-Mart filed a petition for rehearing en banc directed toward the panel's revised ruling. I have also posted online a PDF document that illustrates in redlined format the differences between the Ninth Circuit's original ruling and the court's revised ruling.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. attorney's office accused of anthrax case leaks; An Army doctor, a 'person of interest' never charged in the deadly 2001 mailings, names three federal officials": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"S.F. appeals court bars government's probes of NASA scientists": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court barred the Bush administration Friday from looking into the personal lives of NASA scientists and engineers who have no access to classified information, saying the probes are intrusive and unrelated to national security."

The New York Times reports today that "Court Allows Scientists to Work at NASA Until Trial Over Background Checks."

And The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that "Judge halts JPL worker checks; Privacy issues must be decided by court."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices to Hear Case Testing Rule on Witness": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Justices to decide whether murder victims' prior statements are admissible; A Los Angeles killer says his late girlfriend's plea to an officer shouldn't be used in court, because she can't be cross-examined."

Extensive coverage of the above case is available at "The Confrontation Blog," whose author filed this amicus brief in support of U.S. Supreme Court review.

And Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Supreme Court agrees to hear campaign-finance case."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. supports gun rights, but more narrowly": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "The Bush Administration urged the Supreme Court Friday night to rule that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a gun for private use, but argued that the D.C. Circuit Court went too far in applying that personal right view." You can access the federal government's amicus brief at this link.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, January 11, 2008

"Special Issue: Commemorating Twenty-five Years of Judge Richard A. Posner." The University of Chicago Law Review has just published this special issue (via "Concurring Opinions").
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Accepts Case on Provision Of McCain-Feingold; Millionaires' Amendment to Be Decided In Time for Congressional Campaigns": Robert Barnes will have this article Saturday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Genarlow Wilson: College next step for freed offender." This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And The Associated Press reports that "Wilson Going to Morehouse on Scholarship."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Muslim officer appeals ruling": The Philadelphia Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Kimberlie Webb has been a Philadelphia police officer since 1995 and a follower of the Islamic faith for just as long. But since 2003, the 35th District officer has been embroiled in a legal battle over her right to wear a khimar, a traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women, while in uniform." According to the article, the police officer has just appealed her case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (Via "Religion Clause.")
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Inside Guantanamo": This photo essay (photos by Louie Palu and text by Andrew Sullivan) appears in the current issue of The Atlantic Monthly. An expanded collection of those photos, plus audio, can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Anti-torture protesters invade the Court": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog." By "invade," he simply means that the protesters had entered into the building before being arrested in the Great Hall.
Posted at 05:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Weighs Murder Victim's Statements": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court said Friday it will decide whether a murder victim's prior statements can be used against her killer in a case that tests the limits of a defendant's constitutional right to confront witnesses."
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tenth Circuit rejects CVRA claim in shooting case": At his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, Law Professor Doug Berman has this post linking to an order that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued today.

Pamela Manson of The Salt Lake Tribune has a news update headlined "Appeals Court: Victim's parents still can't speak at Trolley Square massacre gun case sentencing."

Earlier, today's edition of The Deseret Morning News reports that "U.S. court to rule in Trolley gun case." Additional newspaper coverage of this case from earlier this week can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Denied flight, now denied bucks": The Boston Herald today contains an article that begins, "The $400,000 awarded by a jury to a Portuguese native in a civil suit last year, after he was bounced from an American Airlines flight in Boston because of allegedly alarming behavior, remains in a holding pattern. Three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston late yesterday vacated John Cerqueira's historic post-9/11 payday and slammed federal Judge William G. Young for not putting a stop to the civil-rights complaint."

And The Associated Press reports that "Airline Wins Appeal on Passenger Removal."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to Review Millionaire's Amendment": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"71 Arrests at Supreme Court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "More than 70 people were arrested at the Supreme Court Friday in a protest calling for the shutdown of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
Posted at 02:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court to rule on campaign finance, 3 other cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

You can access today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List at this link.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge Ninth Circuit reverses federal district court's denial of a preliminary injunction against NASA's recently adopted requirement that "low risk" contract employees submit to in-depth background investigations: You can access today's ruling, issued in typescript format, at this link.

In early coverage, the Los Angeles-based CBS2.com provides a report that begins, "A federal appellate court Friday granted a preliminary injunction barring what 28 scientists at Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Laboratory contend are invasive employee background checks by the federal government."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Nixes NASA Background Checks."
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"For Veteran Advocates, an Uphill Climb at the Court": Legal Times has posted online this interview that Tony Mauro recently conducted with Donald Verrilli Jr. and Paul Smith.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court Rules Against Ex-Detainees": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Detainees barred from challenging torture, abuse": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog." My earlier coverage appears several posts below.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


Word processing programs that think they know best: Has section 3553 of Title 18, United States Code, been copyrighted, or is the Second Circuit in this opinion issued today attempting to cite to subsection "c" of that provision, and some word processing program has turned the cite into a copyright symbol, "©"?

Update: Of course, the Second Circuit has corrected this issue in the copy of the opinion now available from that court's web site. The opinion as originally posted can instead be accessed here.
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"After finding the beginning guideline sentence, it is up to the judge to act like a common law judge of old engaged in the same process that prevailed in the federal system after 1790 but before the failed, 20-year experiment in mandatory guideline sentencing." Senior Sixth Circuit Judge Gilbert S. Merritt today issued a passionate dissent criticizing federal courts, when imposing criminal sentences, for engaging in "guidelineism, or 'guidelinitis,' the inability of most federal courts to break their habit of mechanically relying just on the guidelines alone." You can access today's Sixth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman


D.C. Circuit grants Cindy Sheehan a new trial, vacating her conviction for demonstrating without a permit on the White House sidewalk during an antiwar protest: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


D.C. Circuit holds that the Freedom of Information Act does not require the Department of Defense to disclose records containing the opinions and recommendations of non-governmental lawyers about how to establish terrorist trial commissions: You can access today's ruling, by a divided three-judge panel, at this link.

Circuit Judge David S. Tatel's dissenting opinion begins with this background:

In November 2001, President Bush issued a military order authorizing the Department of Defense to create military commissions to try suspected terrorists. DoD then sought advice about how to implement the order from legal luminaries outside the agency, including Bernard Meltzer, Lloyd Cutler, Ruth Wedgwood, Newton Minow, Terrence O’Donnell, William Coleman, Geoffrey Hazard, William Webster, Martin Hoffman, Jack Goldsmith, and Joseph Tompkins. In response, these outside experts sent letters, faxes, or emails to DoD. All were unpaid volunteers and none were appointed by DoD to any type of committee, task force, or other position, or made a part of DoD in any other way. Nonetheless, the district court held--and now this court agrees--that these documents are "intraagency memorandums or letters" protected from public disclosure under Exemption 5 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote the majority opinion.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


D.C. Circuit rejects claims seeking damages for alleged illegal detention and torture at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Rasul v. Myers at this link.
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sparks fly in Padilla sentencing hearing; Five months after terror-conspiracy convictions, prosecutors and the defense still battle over the evidence": Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.

And The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Attorneys debate whether Padilla should get tough terrorism penalties."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Cruel and unusual punishment: Execution by lethal injection is on trial in the US; Jeff Sparrow talks to a man who has killed 65 people about life on death row." This article appears in Saturday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald.

And Bloomberg News columnist Ann Woolner has an essay entitled "Putting Inmates Down Like Dogs and Making It Hurt."
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"What cost justice?" Today in The Boston Globe, columnist Steve Bailey has an op-ed that begins, "The state's Supreme Judicial Court, the oldest appellate court in the Western Hemisphere, was in session yesterday in the magnificently restored John Adams Courthouse at Government Center. Chief Justice Margaret Marshall and the six other justices peppered attorneys with questions about yet another insurance company that - no surprise here - didn't want to pay yet another claim. But that is not our story today. Instead, our story is about the 104-year-old courthouse itself, and about the increasingly contentious - and expensive - legal battle that could add tens of millions of dollars in cost to Margie Marshall's fabulous but already pricey monument to justice."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Legal experts weigh death penalty reform; State's chief justice wants appellate judges to handle most of the review process; But others are not so certain that is the best solution": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Sacramento Bee reports today that "Death penalty cases piling up; Chief justice says it's time to open review process to lower courts."

And in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "Death penalty system is a mess, legal experts tell Calif. panel; Experts confer on failings in state system."
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"O'Malley wants to expand DNA testing; Governor to seek bill for sampling of arrestees": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "Taking aim at Maryland's high violent crime rate, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced yesterday that he would seek legislation to expand DNA sampling to people arrested for violent crimes and burglaries."

And The Washington Post reports today that "O'Malley Wants DNA Database Expanded; Samples Would Be Taken From Those Arrested for, Not Just Convicted of, Crimes."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wiretaps Are Cut Over Unpaid Bills": Today in The Washington Post, Dan Eggen has an article that begins, "Telecommunications companies have repeatedly cut off FBI access to wiretaps of alleged terrorists and criminal suspects because the bureau did not pay its phone bills, according to the results of an audit released yesterday."

And USA Today contains a front page article headlined "Audit: FBI's lapse in paying phone bill snips wiretaps."

Somewhat relatedly, The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "Wiretap Politics."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Failed bar exam-taker apologizes to gays": This article appeared yesterday in The Boston Herald.

The Associated Press reports that "Suit over bar exam query dropped; Man alters view on same-sex marriage."

The original report of this news, including a letter to the editor from the bar exam-taker and an interview with him, appeared last week in Bay Windows.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jurors testify about claims of racism": Today's edition of The Boston Globe contains an article that begins, "Jurors who convicted a black trash collector in 2006 of raping and murdering a white fashion writer on Cape Cod hurled allegations yesterday of racism and inappropriate behavior in an extraordinary court hearing held to determine whether bias tainted the verdict."

The Boston Herald reports today that "Jurors deny bias fueled verdict; Truro murder trial scrutinized."

The Cape Cod Times reports that "Jurors in McCowen trial grilled."

And The New York Times reports that "Jurors in a Cape Cod Murder Case Testify About Racial Remarks."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Different 'Right to Life'": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Steven Walker, co-founder of the Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs, has an op-ed that begins, "Today the Supreme Court will consider a petition to hear a case raising profound issues regarding the right of individuals to make their own health-care decisions."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Kent all smiles back at Galveston court": The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent was upbeat and unfailingly polite Thursday when he returned to the Galveston bench. Kent had served a four-month suspension starting in September after his case manager filed a sexual-harassment complaint in May, accusing Kent of touching her in ways she didn't want."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pay Hikes for U.S. Judges Challenged; New research questions flight from bench and efficacy of pay increases": The National Law Journal provides this report, which suggests that Law Professor Eric Posner opposes a pay hike for his dad.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Death Across the Border Awaits Horses Spared It in the U.S." This article will appear Friday in The New York Times.

According to the article, "Amid pressure from animal rights groups, horse slaughter virtually ended in the United States last year, as courts upheld state laws banning it in Texas and Illinois, home to the nation's last three horse slaughterhouses. But there have been unintended consequences, including more grueling travel for tens of thousands of horses now being sent to slaughter in Canada and Mexico, where, animal advocates say, they sometimes face more gruesome deaths."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Tenth Circuit holds that Utah's Voluntary Contributions Act, prohibiting any state or local public employer from withholding voluntary political contributions from its employees' paychecks, violates the First Amendment by restricting those employees’ political speech: You can access today's Tenth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman


The National Park Service has killed the entire feral pig population on Santa Cruz Island. California, and thus a challenge to use of a lethal method of eradication is moot, Ninth Circuit holds: Dead pigs results in a lack of a live controversy, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled today in an opinion that you can access here.
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Major case over apartheid 'reparations'": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Despite Probation Violation, Lafave Won't Go To Prison": The Tampa Tribune provides a news update that begins, "Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett determined that Debra Lafave did violate her house arrest by having private conversations with a 17-year-old co-worker at a Sun City Center restaurant. He also determined, however, that the violation was neither willful nor substantial, therefore she will continue house arrest under the current conditions."

The blog of The St. Petersburg Times has a post titled "Judge lets Lafave stay on house arrest."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge Won't Punish Teacher in Sex Case."
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ginsburg Talks About Jewish Heritage": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday that the change in U.S. acceptance of Jews can be seen on the Supreme Court, where two members are Jewish yet their faith played no role in their selection."
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman


Two Hammond, Indiana police officers stopped Earkle Tyler to ask him "why he was being so nonchalant about walking on the street with a beer bottle": Unbeknownst to the police officers, it is not illegal to have an open alcoholic beverage on the streets of Hammond, justifying a high degree of nonchalance.

The cops then asked Tyler for his ID and had radio dispatch run a check for warrants, which came back clear. Only then, after informing Tyler that he was free to leave, did the police notice the bulge in Tyler's pants that turned out to be a purple Crown Royal sack containing about 30.3 grams of crack and 24 grams of powder cocaine.

Today, in an opinion you can access here, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the officers lacked reasonable suspicion to make the initial stop of Tyler and thus the package of powder and crack cocaine discovered as a result of that illegal stop had to be suppressed. Circuit Judge Diane S. Sykes wrote the opinion of the court.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Appear Divided Over Indiana Voter ID Law": This segment (transcript with links to audio and video) featuring Marcia Coyle appeared on yesterday evening's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."

In addition, C-SPAN provides online access to a segment (RealPlayer required) that aired on this morning's broadcast of "Washington Journal" featuring both Paul Smith and Tom Fisher, the attorneys who argued for the opposing parties yesterday in the U.S. Supreme Court. And you can view the appearances before the microphones on the steps of the Court immediately following yesterday's argument by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 01:51 PM by Howard Bashman



"CIA-Tapes Prosecutor Known for FBI-Mob Ties Case": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 01:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Blame for 1993 Attack at Center Is Still at Issue": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "One of the most painful parts has been the wait, a lawyer for victims of the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center told an appeals court on Wednesday."

And The Associated Press reports that "Lawyers Debate Blame Over '93 WTC Attack."
Posted at 11:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Padilla, co-defendants seek leniency; They were terrorist bit players at most, their lawyers argue; Prosecutors say they deserve life sentences": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 11:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Friday is deadline for ailing smokers to sue Big Tobacco": This article appears today in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

According to the article, "Courtrooms across the state are poised to become battlegrounds for the latest incarnation of tobacco cases that must be filed by Friday for ill smokers to capitalize on a Florida Supreme Court ruling."
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Split court could uphold Indiana's voter ID law": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.

The Indianapolis Star reports today that "Justices seem hesitant to toss Indiana's voter ID law; Some on high court appear to search for middle ground on law that is toughest in nation."

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that "Queries hint at court split on voter ID; Justices expected to rule on Indiana case by June."

And The Washington Times reports that "Court questions voter-ID critics."
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"If he wanted, Bush could fill court vacancies": Law Professor Carl Tobias has this op-ed today in The Roanoke Times.

I expressed a similar thought nearly one year ago. The February 5, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "For Federal Appellate Judicial Nominations, It's a Time for Pragmatism."
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Blog Takes Failed Marriage Into Fight Over Free Speech": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "Normally, Garrido v. Krasnansky, a divorce case playing out in Vermont family court, would be of little interest to anyone but the couple involved. But the court has ordered the husband to stop posting blog items about his wife and their crumbled marriage, possibly turning an ordinary divorce into a much broader battle over free speech on the Internet."
Posted at 10:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Yale and the Terrorist": The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "John Yoo can be forgiven if he's having second thoughts about his career choice. A Yale Law School graduate, the Berkeley professor of law went on to serve his country at the Justice Department. Yet last week he was sued by convicted terrorist Jose Padilla and his mother, who are represented by none other than lawyers at Yale. Perhaps if Mr. Yoo had decided to pursue a life of terrorism, he too could be represented by his alma mater."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Council Bill Could Protect Authors": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "A bill introduced this week in Albany would give new protection to New York authors and journalists against libel judgments from foreign courts and would make it easier for writers to use New York courts to challenge foreign judgments against them."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge under investigation to hold court to Galveston": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Federal judge Samuel Kent, who returned to work last week after a four-month paid leave of absence and under the shroud of a federal criminal probe, is making his first courtroom appearance on Thursday, but in the same Galveston building where a court employee accused him of sexual assault. Kent resumed his duties last week at the Houston federal courthouse, a reassignment ordered in the fall amid allegations that the longtime Galveston judge inappropriately touched a female employee. The Department of Justice is investigating the complaint filed by Cathy McBroom. Kent, who agreed not to 'handle any civil or criminal cases in which the United States is a party or in which sexual misconduct of any kind is alleged' scheduled two of Thursday's hearings on Monday. His orders stated that the lawyers in each case should note the location of the hearing and that late-comers would be sanctioned by the court."

And The Galveston County Daily News reports today that "Kent gets new case manager -- a male."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wales case witness's appeal heard": The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "Judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held a closed hearing Wednesday in connection with an appeal by a witness in the grand-jury investigation into the 2001 shooting death of federal prosecutor Thomas Wales. Joseph Conte, the Washington, D.C., lawyer for the witness -- Bellevue gun dealer Albert Kwok Leung Kwan -- said the topic of the hearing was his appeal over the FBI's seizure of Kwan's personal papers in connection with the Wales investigation. The hearing was closed and all of the lawyers' briefs sealed. Clerks could not even say whether it was Kwan or the government who had sought the appeal."
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds conscientious objector's status": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court ruled yesterday in favor of an anesthesiologist who asked to be discharged from the US Army as a conscientious objector after the military paid $184,000 for her to attend Tufts University School of Medicine. In a 2-to-1 vote, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld a judge who in October 2006 halted the Army's effort to force Dr. Mary Hanna, 31, of Somerville, to report for active duty, ruling that an Army review board's denial of her request for conscientious objector status 'was without a basis in fact.'"

My earlier coverage of yesterday's First Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Seattle Center limits on street performers OK'd; But critics call the appeals court ruling a blow to free speech": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article that begins, "Michael Berger -- aka Magic Mike -- whose balloon animals and sleight-of-hand tricks have been a Seattle fixture for almost three decades, can be regulated and even banished by Seattle Center, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. The 2-1 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Seattle Center rules aimed at addressing territorial disputes between street performers and complaints about performers making too much noise, blocking access or aggressively seeking donations. Berger, the dissenting judge and the American Civil Liberties Union called the ruling a blow to freedom of speech."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Breyer Just Missed Record as Junior Justice."

An article reports that "9th Circuit's Stay Lets S.F. Force Bosses to Fund Health Care; The overturning of a San Francisco federal judge is good news for City Hall, and bad news for employers."

In news from Pennsylvania, Amaris Elliott-Engel reports that "Court Reissues Opinion in Case Involving Seizure of Porn Defendant's Computer From Circuit City."

And Mark Herrmann, co-author of the "Drug and Device Law" blog, has an essay entitled "Blogging Lessons Learned."
Posted at 09:57 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"Justices Indicate They May Uphold Voter ID Rules": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.

And Thursday in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will have an article headlined "Justices May Seek Compromise in Voter ID Case."
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Indiana Voter ID Case: Bush v. Gore All Over Again?" Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his "Election Law" blog.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ind. Voter Identification Law Likely to Survive High Court Challenge": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from National Public Radio: This evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Supreme Court Hears Indiana Voter ID Case" featuring Nina Totenberg.

And today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "High Court Hears Voter ID Case" featuring Dahlia Lithwick.

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 08:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Partisanship surfaces in Supreme Court arguments over voter-ID law": McClatchy Newspapers provide a report that begins, "The Supreme Court appeared to split along partisan lines Wednesday as the justices weighed a challenge to Indiana's toughest-in-the-nation law requiring every voter to show a photo identification card before casting a ballot."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Grandma Got Carded: The Supreme Court looks closely at Indiana's voter-ID law." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 08:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Won't Inquire Into CIA Tapes Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge refused on Wednesday to delve into the destruction of CIA interrogation videos, saying there was no evidence the Bush administration violated a court order and the Justice Department deserved time to conduct its own investigation."
Posted at 05:24 PM by Howard Bashman


The U.S. Army helped pay for her to attend medical school, then she decided her religion prohibited her from killing, and today the First Circuit affirms a federal district court's order overturning the Army's refusal to discharge her as a conscientious objector: You can access today's ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.

Chief Judge Michael Boudin's dissenting opinion concludes, "Holmes' famous aphorism notwithstanding, it is far from clear that hard cases make bad law. Often, the problem in a hard case is a tension between existing law and what the judge feels is the 'right' result. Here, doctrine gives the close calls to the army. If a judge disregards that doctrine, it is the judge and not the case that has made bad law. This decision, alas, is such an instance."
Posted at 05:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court won't reinstate S.F. handgun ban": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "A state appeals court refused today to revive a ban on handgun possession in San Francisco, saying the measure that city voters approved in November 2005 conflicts with state law. The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco agreed with a June 2006 ruling by Superior Court Judge James Warren, who said local governments in California have no authority to prohibit handguns. Warren said a California law that authorizes police agencies to issue concealed-weapon permits implicitly forbids a city or county to ban handgun possession by law-abiding adults."

You can access today's ruling of California's First District Court of Appeal at this link.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court lets S.F.'s universal health care law go forward": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "The city of San Francisco won approval from a federal appeals court today to begin providing health coverage to all uninsured adult residents under a new ordinance and require employers to share the cost. A three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the city's request to suspend a federal judge's Dec. 26 ruling striking down a key funding provision of the ordinance. That provision requires large and medium-size companies to offer insurance to their workers or pay a fee to the city."

A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decision today in typescript form, and you can access the ruling at this link.
Posted at 04:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"We must determine the bounds of a city's authority to restrict expression in a public forum." So begins Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain majority opinion that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today. The lawsuit was brought by street performer Michael Berger, a/k/a "Magic Mike," against the City of Seattle, which seeks to regulate the manner of his performances at a public forum known as the Seattle Center.

Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon's dissenting opinion concludes:

The majority does not acknowledge how radically its holdings alter our law, creating a legal structure which will make it far easier to shut down discourse in public parks and other traditional public fora. Democracies survive and grow through public conversations among their citizens. For this reason, we have always viewed any limitations on speech in traditional public fora with extreme skepticism. Today's opinion departs from that long tradition. I respectfully dissent.
You can access the complete 61-page ruling at this link.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcripts of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: By clicking on the following links, you can access the transcripts of today's oral arguments in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, No. 07-21, and Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC, No. 06-1037.
Posted at 04:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Voter ID Law; Indiana Law Requires Voters to Show Identification at Polls": Robert Barnes of The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Hears Indiana Voter ID Case": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court cool to voter ID challenge; Justices indicate they don't agree with Democrats' claim that an Indiana law would deter thousands from casting ballots."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "The partisan elephant unnoticed in the room."
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Campaign Cash Mirrors a High Court's Rulings": On October 1, 2006, The New York Times published this lengthy article by Adam Liptak and Janet Roberts about the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Among other things, the article reported on the efforts of intermediate Ohio state appellate court Judge William O'Neill to achieve election to a seat on Ohio's highest court while refusing to accept campaign contributions. According to the article, "Judge O'Neill's assertion that seats on the Supreme Court are for sale infuriates many in the legal establishment in Ohio, and in July 2004 the Disciplinary Counsel of the Ohio Supreme Court began an investigation into whether Judge O'Neill had violated judicial ethics by making similar statements in the last campaign." The article went on to note that "For the time being, a federal judge has suspended the investigation on First Amendment grounds."

Today, the majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held, in a decision you can access here, that a federal district court had erred in granting Judge O'Neill's request to enjoin enforcement against him of three canons of the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct. Instead, the federal district court should have abstained, today's Sixth Circuit majority holds.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Weighs Voter ID Requirements": Nina Totenberg had this audio segment (RealPlayer required) on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Appeals Court: No Delay in Snipes Trial" (my coverage of yesterday's Eleventh Circuit ruling appears at this link); "Ark. Reporters' Execution Lawsuit Tossed": and "Judge Won't Block Noriega Extradition."
Posted at 11:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Not-so-natty neckwear raises judge's hackles": Today's edition of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contains an article that begins, "Justice may be blind, but Milwaukee County Circuit Judge William Sosnay's sense of courtroom fashion is not. In the courtroom of the pompadoured judge long known as a fastidious dresser, a sentencing hearing in a misdemeanor case was delayed for three hours Tuesday after a veteran prosecutor turned up for court wearing an ascot. A courthouse rule requires all lawyers to wear neckties, but prosecutor Warren Zier's occasional choice of creative cravats drew the judge's ire. Sosnay's review found Zier's red ascot - which matched the handkerchief in the breast pocket of Zier's pinstriped gray suit - 'borders on contemptuous,' given the judge's prior warnings that he only cottons to neck- and bow-ties."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Judge: Ascots Aren't Same As Neckties."
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to hear voter-ID arguments today; Constitutionality of law questioned": This article appears today in The Louisville Courier-Journal.

The Post-Tribune of Gary, Indiana reports today that "High court to weigh legality of Hoosier voter ID law."

And The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "The Court and Voter ID's."
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Election Burden: Indiana's voter-ID law is harmful and worthless." Walter Dellinger and Sri Srinivasan have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion Clinic Violence: Is 'Pro-Life' Murder An Oxymoron?" Sherry F. Colb has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

McClatchy Newspapers are reporting: Greg Gordon has an article headlined "Supreme Court to consider whether voter ID law is constitutional."

And Michael Doyle reports that "Divergent rulings complicate immigration law."
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court case: Should you be able to vote without a photo ID? Arguments over Indiana's voter-identification law, the most stringent in the US, will be heard Wednesday." Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.

And at ABCNews.com, Dennis Powell has a report headlined "Supreme Court to Hear Voter ID Case; Supporters Say Law Combats Fraud; Others Charge It Unfairly Impacts Poor, Minorities."
Posted at 06:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"UC snubs ruling as interest adds up; University system asks for review of $34 million judgment by the state Supreme Court in rising student fees case": The San Jose Mercury News today contains an article that begins, "The University of California has asked the state Supreme Court to review a $34 million judgment, which has grown to $40 million with interest. UC attorneys said the unanimous November ruling by three appeals court justices was flawed and unfairly faulted the university for raising fees for some students after promising prices would remain stable. They also criticized justices for awarding money to students whose financial aid negated the 2003 fee hikes. If the Supreme Court declines to take on the case -- or if the university loses again -- UC will have to pay about 35,000 graduate and undergraduate students involved in the class-action suit."
Posted at 06:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Breath analyzer is built up and picked apart in top N.J. court": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "A computerized device that has widely replaced the Breathalyzer to detect whether a driver is drunk is either trustworthy or so riddled with problems that it violates drivers' constitutional rights. Those two pictures emerged during arguments before the New Jersey Supreme Court yesterday."
Posted at 06:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wesley Snipes' attorneys file appeal to have tax evasion trial moved from central Florida": The Associated Press a few days ago published a report that begins, "Wesley Snipes is trying again to have his federal tax-evasion trial moved from this central Florida city. Snipes' lawyer, Robert Barnes, filed a motion with a federal appeals court in Atlanta on Friday, arguing that U.S. District Judge William T. Hodges erred last month when he denied Snipes' motions to relocate and postpone the trial."

And The Ocala Star-Banner reports today that "Snipes trial delay axed by judge."

This afternoon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a per curiam opinion dismissing the actor's appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction.
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sand, Gravel and Stare Decisis": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "An otherwise mind-numbing Supreme Court ruling this morning nonetheless contains an interesting debate among the justices about an issue that often comes up during confirmation hearings: stare decisis, or the importance of respecting precedent."
Posted at 05:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Colville Tribes can pursue mining giant over pollution": Today's issue of The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington contains an article that begins, "The Colville Tribes will get the chance to hold an international mining giant accountable under U.S. law for dumping a century’s worth of toxic waste into the Columbia River. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by Teck Cominco Ltd. to intervene in a lower court decision that the Canadian corporation is subject to U.S. environmental law."
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court declines sturgeon case; Inaction means earlier rulings backing decision to list rare Alabama fish as endangered will stand": This article appears today in The Mobile Press-Register.

And The Birmingham News reports today that "Sturgeon stays on protected list; High court declines industry coalition's case."
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"What Does the Future of Death Penalty Look Like? 'Father of Lethal Injection' Procedure Reviewed by Court Says Executions Being Botched." ABCNews.com provides this report.

Voice of America reports that "US Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Lethal Injection Case."

And The Guardian (UK) reports today that "Lethal injections challenged in US supreme court."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion foes won't yield to legal setback": The Detroit Free Press today contains an article that begins, "Michigan's leading anti-abortion group said it would not give up on trying to pass another ban on so-called partial-birth abortion, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal Monday to revive debate on a 2004 state ban struck down by a lower court."
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"750,000 dollars in damages for cuckolded husband": Agence France-Presse provides a report that begins, "A Mississippi businessman must pay more than 750,000 dollars in damages to the man whose wife he wooed away, after the US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal in the case."
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-trial lawyer Stephens joins state Supreme Court": The Olympian of Olympia, Washington today contains an article that begins, "Appellate judge Debra L. Stephens of Spokane was sworn in Monday as the 92nd justice to serve on the Washington Supreme Court."

And The Associated Press reports that "Stephens sworn in on state's high court."
Posted at 02:53 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Imposes Strict Deadline in Lawsuit" and "Appeals Judges Question Safavian Ruling."
Posted at 01:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Padilla co-defendant asks for CIA documents; Fireworks erupted on the eve of Jose Padilla's sentencing as lawyers for a co-defendant moved to reopen the case by seeking classified statements by an al Qaeda operative": Jay Weaver has this article today in The Miami Herald.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Judge rules destruction of CIA tapes has no bearing on Padilla conviction; CIA tapes had no bearing, judge rules."

And The Associated Press reports that "Sentencing Begins for Padilla, 2 Others."
Posted at 01:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Lethal Injection": This segment (transcript with link to audio) featuring Marcia Coyle appeared on yesterday evening's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Litigator's Nightmare: Late Filing Costs Client $1 Million." At WSJ.com's "Law Blog," Peter Lattman has a post that begins, "It's a litigator's worst dream -- costing your client serious money by missing a filing deadline. That nightmare was a reality for MoFo, which appears to have cost its client Toshiba America $1 million when it was one-minute late -- 1 minute! -- in filing a motion for attorneys fees."

In fairness, the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California reveals that the judge would in any event have denied the motion for attorneys' fees due to its substantive inadequacy.

The ruling raises other issues. Why didn't the lawyers file the motion electronically using that federal district court's electronic filing system instead of having a courier deliver it to the clerk's office in rush hour traffic on the last day for timely filing? And why doesn't the Los Angeles-based federal district court have a late filing box where after-hours court filings can be time-stamped and filed, allowing anything filed in person before midnight to be treated as filed on the date of deposit even after the clerk's office has closed?

Update: The district court's web site states here that "The drop-off box service has been discontiuned" [sic]. Apparently inadequate funding from the U.S. Congress is to blame for that court's reduced hours of operation.

Second update: Also, it appears that the Central District of California did not implement electronic filing in all civil cases until January 1, 2008. Thus, electronic filing may not have been an option for filing the motion for attorneys' fees in question.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules on Claim Court powers": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog" reporting on the one and only decision that the U.S. Supreme Court issued today in an argued case.

Today's ruling issued in John R. Sand & Gravel Co. v. United States, No. 06-1164. You can access the oral argument transcript at this link.

When the ruling becomes available, we shall learn if the Court has definitively resolved whether the company sells sand and gravel and was named after "John R." or whether the company was named after "John R. Sand" and sells "& gravel."

Update: You can access today's 7-2 ruling in the case -- containing much discussion of stare decisis -- at this link.
Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Supreme Court Seems Split Over Lethal Injection" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Congress, DOJ Investigations of CIA Could Interfere"; and "Kansans Call Grand Jury Over Abortion Clinic."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"'Dykes on Bikes' trademark OKd - challenger rebuffed by high court": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A San Francisco motorcycle club gained long-sought legal approval Monday for its trademark of the name 'Dykes on Bikes' when the U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge from a lawyer who said the term denigrated men."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices seem unswayed by lethal injection foes; The high court doubts arguments that a three-drug compound causes cruel and unusual punishment": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Joan Biskupic of USA Today reports today that "Supreme Court justices struggle with lethal-injection case."

James Oliphant of The Chicago Tribune reports that "Court weighs lethal cocktail; Justices' reactions range from derisive to deeply concerned."

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that "Court Seems Divided On Execution Protocol."

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that "Justices appear divided on Baze lethal-injection case; 2 Kentucky inmates claim punishment cruel, unusual."

And Hearst News Service reports that "Court hints at unease over ban on lethal injection; Justices weigh whether drugs could cause pain."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Tinkering with Lethal Injection: An Eighth Amendment challenge comes before the high court." This article appears in the January 2008 issue of ABA Journal.
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Republicans, Democrats Clash Over Voter-ID Law at Supreme Court": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"A cold-war case of CIA detention still echoes; The Yuri Nosenko affair unveiled US use of extreme isolation to try to 'break' the KGB defector": Today in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey has an article that begins, "Behind the debate over the Central Intelligence Agency's destruction of videotapes depicting waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques lies a fundamental question: Can government officials use such aggressive tactics without violating US law? No American court has yet ruled on the legality of Bush administration interrogation policies. But the war on terror isn't the first time US officials have used harsh methods to try to 'break' a detainee."
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Restoring Public Confidence in the Justice Department: Seven Key Steps Attorney General Mukasey Should Take." Carl Tobias has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, January 07, 2008

Bill Rankin of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting: In Tuesday's newspaper, he will have articles headlined "Judge: It's senseless to banish man to one county; State Supreme Court questions sentence given to Gregory Mac Terry" and "Court: Prison may have wrongly opened inmate Al-Amin's mail."

You can access at this link today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the Al-Amin case.
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Ga. Supreme Court Wrestles With Case of Banishment; In its brief, state concedes judge may have gone too far in imposing banishment from all but one county as parole condition."

And in other news, "Stanford Professor Records 9th Circuit's Oral History."
Posted at 10:53 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Weigh Injection Issue for Death Row": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.

And Tuesday in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will have an article headlined "Lethal-Injection Ruling May Have to Wait; Justices Question Whether Kentucky Case Is Enough to End Three-Drug Protocol."
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Killing Me Softly: The Supreme Court ponders whether to pull the plug on lethal injection." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court hears debate over execution methods": Michael Doyle and Halimah Abdullah of McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 07:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Weigh Legality of Lethal Drug Cocktail": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"More states try to model N.Y.'s passenger bill of rights; Airlines are resisting talk of a passenger bill of rights, saying such regulation is the purview of US government": This article will appear Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 06:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Skeptical Over Lethal Injection Challenge": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 04:12 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcripts of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: The Court has posted online the transcripts of today's oral arguments in Baze v. Rees, No. 07-5439, and Dada v. Mukasey, No. 06-1181.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Divided Over Lethal Injection": Robert Barnes of The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"By One Standard, Republican Domination of Federal Appellate Courts Was Short-Lived": You can access at this link today's installment of my "On Appeal" essay for law.com.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Hears Lethal Injection Case": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: An article reports that "Court Revives No Child Left Behind Suit." My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.

And in other news, "Wis. Jury Hears Dead Wife's Letter" and "Scotsman Wins Release From Ohio Jail."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Insurance Groups Seek To Sue Saudi Arabia, Others for Attacks": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "Whether Saudi Arabia and several members of its royal family can be sued over the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will be the topic of arguments this month before a federal appeals court in Manhattan."
Posted at 02:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"No Fourth Amendment Protection in E-Mail Addresses, IP Addresses, Ninth Circuit Holds": Back on July 6, 2007, Orin Kerr had this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy" about a ruling that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued that day.

Today, the same Ninth Circuit panel issued an order containing some rather detailed amendments to that earlier decision.
Posted at 02:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices won't hear Teck Cominco pollution case": James Vicini of Reuters provides a report that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by the Canadian mining company Teck Cominco Ltd of a ruling that an American environmental law applied to a foreign company when some of its pollution reaches U.S. territory."

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Top U.S. Court Won't Shield Foreigners From Pollution Suits."
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Oral Arguments: Baze v. Rees." C-SPAN has made available for online access the audio of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in the case involving the constitutionality of the three-drug protocol used for lethal injections by States with the death penalty. You can access the audio by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court takes skeptical view of lethal injection challenge": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Court Divided Over Lethal Injection Case."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Justices Suggest They Won't Bar Lethal Injections Now."

And at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr has a post titled "Oral Argument in Baze v. Rees."
Posted at 02:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"This lawsuit, a simple tort case, is in its tenth year. It is high time the district judge, who has presided over it from the beginning, grabbed it by the neck, gave it a good shake, and placed it on the path to a speedy decision." So concludes an opinion that Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Posted at 12:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lethal injection goes before Supreme Court": Bill Mears of CNN.com provides this report.
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Lyle Denniston of "SCOTUSblog" is reporting: He now has posts up titled "Focus on the mechanics of execution" and "Court: No ban on lawyering by telephone."
Posted at 12:03 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the two per curiam opinions that the U.S. Supreme Court issued today: The opinions issued in Arave v. Hoffman, No. 07-110, and in Wright v. Van Patten, No. 07-212.

In coverage of these decisions, The Associated Press reports that "Court Rules in Speakerphone Dispute" and "Scotus Nixes Fight Over Plea Deal."
Posted at 11:13 AM by Howard Bashman



At 11:15 a.m. eastern time this morning, C-SPAN2 plans to broadcast the audio of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Baze v. Rees regarding the constitutionality of the lethal injection drugs to execute death row prisoners: You can access C-SPAN2 online using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit addresses whether States must comply with the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 regardless of any federal-funding shortfall: The majority in today's decision reverses the dismissal at the pleadings stage of a lawsuit that school districts and education associations brought seeking a declaratory judgment that they need not comply with the Act's requirements where federal funds do not cover the increased costs of compliance.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Stays Out of Mich. Abortion Case" and "Court Won't Review Pollution Ruling."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court: The Court has posted its Order List at this link.

As expected, because the Court issued grants of review last Friday, today's Order List contains no new grants of cases to be orally argued. The list does, however, contain a multitude of GVRs resulting from the Court's recent Sentencing Guidelines rulings. And an order issued today requests the views of the Solicitor General on one case.

Lastly, in the currently-pending Guantanamo detainee case awaiting decision after oral argument, counsel for the detainees were granted permission to file a supplemental brief, while the Solicitor General was given permission to file the first section of the federal government's supplemental brief, but not the second section.
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Supreme Court Takes Up Lethal Injection" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Supreme Court to Scrutinize Indiana Voter ID Law."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Probe: Joyce claim dealt with justly; Internal review says Erie Insurance acted appropriately." The Erie (Pa.) Times-News today contains an article that begins, "An internal review at Erie Insurance Group has concluded the company appropriately handled a claim filed in 2002 by Michael T. Joyce, who was then a state Superior Court judge. The claim remains at the center of the criminal case against Joyce that is slowly moving to trial in U.S. District Court in Erie. Joyce's retirement from the Superior Court was effective Sunday."

That newspaper also contains an article headlined "New lawyer sought; Government says witness presents conflict of interest in Joyce case."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"What's in a word? The spirit of law; U.Va. law students help win a case by arguing the value of ordinary speech." Yesterday's edition of The Richmond Times-Dispatch contained an article that begins, "Lawyers often are reviled for torturing the English language. Notwithstanding that truth, maybe, heretofore, we should give them a break. A crack team of University of Virginia law students who are part of the school's fledgling Supreme Court Litigation Clinic took on a case arguing, in essence, for the integrity of ordinary speech. The team won."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"A humble road to Supreme Court; Unassuming Lawyers Argue Death Penalty": Today's edition of The Lexington Herald-Leader contains an article that begins, "Monday could mark one of the most important days in the legal careers of David Barron and Jeff Middendorf. The two Kentucky lawyers will be in Washington for the legal equivalent of a New Year's Day bowl game -- playing key roles in a closely watched case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court that carries nationwide implications for the administration of the death penalty. To get to this momentous moment in their professional lives, Barron and Middendorf both chose to travel on the cheap. Barron, 29, a public defender who has argued that the state's method of execution amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, drove to Washington in an aging Toyota Corolla with temperamental tires and an odometer pushing past 233,000 miles. He will likely be the only lawyer in the Supreme Court chambers Monday -- perhaps ever -- who has been homeless. Middendorf, 35, who represents the Kentucky Department of Corrections in defending the state's method of execution, flew to Washington late last week, flew back to Kentucky this weekend -- he's the father of three children under age six -- and then flew back Sunday because it was cheaper than staying five days in Washington."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to rule whether lethal injection humane; Suit says drugs used allow cruel execution afoul of Constitution": James Oliphant has this article today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Voter ID law going before high court; State says it prevents fraud; critics call law an unnecessary burden": This article appears today in The Indianapolis Star.

The Times of Munster, Indiana reports today that "High court to consider voter ID law."

And The Minneapolis Star Tribune contains an article headlined "One citizen, one vote, one form of ID? Minnesotans are deeply involved in a partisan fight, headed to the Supreme Court, over requiring photo IDs to vote; Democrats say such laws keep minorities from voting."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Death Clock: Don't count out the death penalty yet." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Weighs Constitutionality of Lethal Injections": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tiger mauling survivors' lawyer is at home in the spotlight": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Pit bull. Hollywood. Showboat. All of these have been used to describe Mark Geragos, the attorney who jetted up from Los Angeles last week to represent the two brothers who were mauled in the Christmas Day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo. And does that bother Geragos? Hardly."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reform death penalty appeals: Allowing state appellate courts to review cases would help ease a huge backlog." Today in The Los Angeles Times, California Chief Justice Ronald M. George has an op-ed that begins, "Thoughtful individuals on both sides of the death penalty debate should be able to agree on one thing: The existing system for handling capital appeals in California is dysfunctional and needs reform. The state has more than 650 inmates on death row, and the backlog is growing."
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Still her husband's voice; In a new book, the widow of a policeman gunned down in 1981 questions the high-profile support for his killer": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "In the 26 years since former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal gunned down her cop husband on a Philadelphia street, Maureen Faulkner has often felt like a reed in a tornado. As death penalty opponents around the world rallied to win Abu-Jamal a new trial, contending that he had been framed by local police, Faulkner quietly fought back one hearing at a time. She never missed a court hearing through the long appeals process, even after she moved from Philadelphia to suburban Ventura County. She's appeared at pro-Mumia events, handing out fliers to explain the evidence that led a jury to convict and sentence Abu-Jamal to death."

Attorney and radio personality Michael A. Smerconish is the co-author of that book.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court takes up lethal injection battle; States have kept the execution process shrouded in secrecy; That could change when justices hear arguments Monday": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The constitutionality of capital punishment: It's time for a Supreme Court review of the practice."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court will hear voter ID case; Republicans say they want to prevent voter fraud. Democrats say rights will be damaged; Neither has concrete evidence": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-Harvard President Meets a Former Student, and Intellectual Sparks Fly": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The "Big Think" interview with Justice Stephen G. Breyer can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Defying U.S. Plan, Prison Expands in Afghanistan": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "As the Bush administration struggles for a way to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a similar effort to scale down a larger and more secretive American detention center in Afghanistan has been troubled by political, legal and security problems, officials say."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cruel and Far Too Usual Punishment": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court hears arguments on Monday in a case about whether Kentucky’s use of a 'cocktail' of injected poisons to carry out the death penalty is unconstitutional. We believe that the death penalty, no matter how it is administered, is unconstitutional and wrong. If a state does execute anyone, it must do so in a way that is humane and does not impose needless suffering. Kentucky's method does not meet that standard."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice on hold in quadruple murder trial; Ga. courts, public frustrated over case stalled by lack of defense funds": Today's edition of USA Today contains an article that begins, "The case stunned the nation: A man on trial for rape at the Fulton County Courthouse overpowered a sheriff's deputy, took her gun and allegedly went on a killing rampage. He allegedly shot the trial judge, the court reporter, a second deputy and, later that night, a federal agent. Then, in a made-for-TV-movie twist, he surrendered after allegedly holding a young woman hostage for several hours in her suburban Atlanta apartment."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Top Cases Reflect Political Fray; Supreme Court to Hear Arguments On Death Penalty, Voter ID": Jess Bravin and Gary Fields have this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Indiana voter ID case may hinge on the theoretical; Supreme Court takes up dispute in which both sides are lacking proof of actual harm": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fraud Alert: The myth of voter fraud." Jeffrey Toobin has this Talk of the Town essay in the January 14, 2008 issue of The New Yorker. The essay focuses on Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, and Toobin writes, "This week, a majority of the Justices will likely find a way to make a bad situation worse, and uphold the Indiana law."
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, January 06, 2008

"If Your Hard Drive Could Testify...": You can access at this link Monday's installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column in The New York Times. Beginning next week, Adam's column will appear on Tuesdays.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Voter ID Laws Are Set to Face Strictest Test": The New York Times on Monday will contain an article that begins, "In April 2006, a federal judge upheld Indiana's law on voter identification, the strictest in the nation, saying there was no evidence that it would prevent any voter from having his ballot counted. But on Election Day last November, Valerie Williams became that evidence, according to lawyers in a case that will be argued Wednesday before the Supreme Court."
Posted at 11:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"State secrecy clouds supreme court case": Monday in The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein will have an article that begins, "The legal battle over lethal injection, which comes before the Supreme Court on Monday, has been conducted in unusual secrecy, with courts permitting states across the country to keep from lawyers and the public precisely how death row inmates are executed."
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to Hear Arguments in Case Challenging Lethal Injections": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Lethal Injection: Executions should not cause pain."
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lethal injection case puts US executions on hold": Patti Waldmeir will have this article Monday in Financial Times.

The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina yesterday contained an article headlined "Cooper won't support lethal injection case; The attorney general didn't join peers in backing a case the Supreme Court will consider next week."

Today in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "California to review use of death penalty in state."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "State's death verdicts edge up: 2007 reverses recent decline."

James Vicini of Reuters reports that "Court to consider execution by lethal injection."

And CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has an essay entitled "A Mixed Cocktail of Law and Fact."
Posted at 08:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"US Supreme Court To Resolve AT&T, Sprint Payphone-Fee Dispute": Mark H. Anderson of Dow Jones Newswires provides this report.
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lethal injections: U.S. Supreme Court takes up death-penalty logjam; On Monday, the court hears arguments on whether Kentucky's lethal injection is too painful." Warren Richey will have this article Monday in The Christian Science Monitor.

The Louisville Courier-Journal today contains articles headlined "Baze unapologetic about shootings or fighting for life now" and "Some say it can be inhumane, but others argue it has safeguards."

And The Dallas Morning News reports today that "Case on execution method's pain risk reaches Supreme Court; Question of risks with lethal injection methods reaches Supreme Court."
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"What not to say to a judge": Yesterday's edition of The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, South Carolina contained an article that begins, "The South Carolina Appellate Court has handed down a decision that upheld a circuit court judge's 2005 contempt ruling after a St. Matthews woman instructed the judge to kiss her derriere. Judith Law will serve extra time in jail after losing an appeal on a 2005 contempt-of-court charge for offering the written instruction to a circuit court judge."

You can access last month's unpublished ruling of the South Carolina Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Roy Englert, attorney arguing case for Kentucky's lethal injection law, and Ty Alper, attorney for death row inmates, explain Baze v. Rees, the lethal injection case to be argued on Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court": This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of C-SPAN's "Washington Journal."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Takes Up Lethal Injection Case": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:04 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, January 05, 2008

"Ziegler should be reprimanded, 3-judge panel says; But written decision finds her 'without moral culpability'": Yesterday's edition of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contained a front page article that begins, "A panel of three appeals judges recommended Thursday that state Supreme Court Justice Annette K. Ziegler be reprimanded by her colleagues on the high court for mishandling cases when she was a Washington County circuit judge."
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice McCaffery gets the cheers; From 'Eagles Court' to Pa.'s top court": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Texas schools' moment of silence upheld after Carrollton couple's challenge; Judge says law doesn't mandate prayer": The Dallas Morning News contains this article today.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram today contains an article headlined "Judge: Minute of silence at school is constitutional."

And The Houston Chronicle reports that "Dallas judge rules silence is secular; Mandatory moment upheld in couple's school prayer lawsuit."

I have posted online at this link Wednesday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Posted at 08:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jessica's Law faces critical test; Supreme Court review may affect state law allowing the execution of child sex offenders": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 07:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Padilla Sues Former U.S. Lawyer Over Detention": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gun Law Prevents Harm, D.C. Argues; Strict Controls Are Warranted to Quell Violence, Says Brief to Supreme Court": Robert Barnes and David Nakamura have this article today in The Washington Post.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "D.C.: 2nd Amendment Does Not Apply Here."
Posted at 11:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to weigh whether lethal injection is cruel": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to Decide if Rape of a Child Merits Death": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Justices to Consider Death Penalty Issue; Legality in Case of Child Rape at Stake."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Justices to rule on child rapist's death sentence; A Louisiana man is the only person to be executed who was not convicted of murder."

And The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reports that "Death penalty in child rape tested; Supreme Court to hear Jeff Parish case."
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online at law.com: Tony Mauro has an article headlined "For the Supreme Court, a Docket Full of Drama; High-profile election-year cases will keep justices in the limelight."

In other news, "11th Circuit Ruling Costs Lotto Winners Millions."

An article reports that "N.Y. Chief Judge Proposes New Measure to Boost Pay of State Judges."

And the new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "By One Standard, Republican Domination of Federal Appellate Courts Was Short-Lived."
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, January 04, 2008

"If Clinton wins, would Justice Clinton be far behind?" At CNN.com, Bill Mears has an article that begins, "It is a title that would be sure to bring either fear or cheer to many Americans, depending on your political leanings: Supreme Court Justice Bill Clinton."
Posted at 08:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Padilla versus Yoo": Duncan Hollis has this post at "Opinio Juris." He has also posted online at this link an as-filed, time-stamped copy of the complaint.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Padilla Sues Ex-Bush Official Over Memos"; "Court Considers Prison Sentence Cases"; and "Death Penalty Remains Strong in Texas."
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman


If employees of a company who, unbeknownst to the company at the time, happen to be illegal aliens cast the decisive votes in favor of unionization, is the result of that election enforceable? A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today issued this quite interesting decision addressing that question.
Posted at 04:03 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online what I believe to be the complaint initiating suit in Padilla v. Yoo: A usually reliable source has forwarded to me in Microsoft Word format a document that appears to be the complaint initiating Jose Padilla's lawsuit against John Yoo, which was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. For ease of downloading, I have transformed the document into a PDF file, and you can access the document by clicking here.

This blog's earlier coverage appears here and here.
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to rule on death penalty for child rape": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Court Mulls Death Penalty for Child Rape."

You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court, granting review in six cases, at this link.
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Padilla sues ex-Justice official over torture": The Chicago Tribune provides a news update that begins, "In the latest legal contest over the treatment of detained terrorist suspects, attorneys for Jose Padilla filed a suit in a California federal district court this morning against John Yoo, the former deputy assistant Attorney General whose legal opinions formed the basis for Padilla's detention and the interrogation techniques used against him that the attorneys call torture."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman



The 2008 edition of The Green Bag Almanac and Reader announces its selections for "Exemplary Legal Writing 2007": You can access the announcement at this link. Congratulations to all!
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"John Yoo, Architect of the 'Torture Memos,' Sued by Jose Padilla": Jonathan Freiman, Clinical Visiting Lecturer in Law and Senior Schell Fellow at Yale Law School, has today issued a press release that begins, "John Yoo, the author of legal memos that gave the go-ahead for government agents to use torture against terrorism suspects, was sued this morning in federal court in San Francisco. The lawsuit was brought by Jose Padilla, an American citizen seized from a civilian setting and interrogated for years in a military prison, and his mother, Estela Lebron. The lawsuit claims that Yoo, then a senior lawyer in the Justice Department, purported to provide legal justifications for torture. This is the first lawsuit against Yoo seeking to hold him accountable for the suffering unleashed by his 'Torture Memos.' Yoo's memos justified and set in motion the use of harsh and illegal interrogation methods not only abroad -- in places like Guantanamo Bay and the secret CIA 'black sites,' -- but also here in the United States."

I will link to a copy of the complaint initiating suit when it becomes available online.
Posted at 01:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judicial Misconduct, Disability Orders Will Be Posted Online": The Public Information Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a news release that begins, "Orders pertaining to the disposition of judicial misconduct and disability complaints against federal judges sitting in the Ninth Circuit will be publicly available via the Internet, beginning January 2008."

The decisions can be accessed via this link. The first and thus far only decision available as of yet addresses, among other things, whether the term "shyster" should be construed as anti-Semitic.

I applaud the Ninth Circuit for joining the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in making these decisions available online (the Seventh Circuit's decisions can be accessed at this link), and I hope that all of the other federal appellate courts will soon join these two in providing easy online access to their adjudications of judicial misconduct complaints.
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Petitioners' Brief in DC Guns Case Now Available": The District of Columbia has today filed its opening brief on the merits in the closely-watched Second Amendment case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. "SCOTUSblog" has posted the Brief for Petitioners at this link and the Joint Appendix at this link.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a related post titled "Walter Dellinger on the case."
Posted at 01:22 PM by Howard Bashman



The perils of waiting till the last day to file a timely notice of appeal -- only to have the trial court's electronic filing computer "eat" your notice of appeal: Because it takes the federal government a long time to decide whether to appeal from the judgment in civil cases, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure double the amount of time for filing a notice of appeal -- from thirty to sixty days -- in a civil case where the United States or its officer or agency is a party. And, to be fair, this extra time is available to any party, not just the federal government.

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided an appeal whose merits involve retaliatory tariffs imposed on toasted breads imported from Spain. The company doing the importing wanted to appeal from a ruling in favor of the United States, but its attorney waited until the sixtieth day to accomplish the filing of the company's notice of appeal using the electronic filing website maintained by the Court of International Trade. According to today's opinion:

After the trial court entered its order granting the government's motion to dismiss on October 10, 2006, Gilda had 60 days within which to file a notice of appeal. Gilda's counsel asserts that on December 11, 2006, the last day of that 60-day period, he logged on to the electronic filing website maintained by the Court of International Trade. He entered the information that Gilda was taking an appeal from the trial court's judgment and entered the required information to effect payment of the filing fee. However, he apparently logged off the website before reaching the final confirmation page. As a result, Gilda's notice of appeal was not recorded as having been filed on that day. The following day, when counsel realized he had not received the standard email notification that a filing had been received, counsel again logged on to the electronic filing website. Upon discovering that the notice of appeal had not been recorded as filed, counsel once again completed the electronic form to file the notice and made the required payment. This time, the filing was received and recorded as docketed by the Court of International Trade.
Unfortunately, however, because the notice of appeal was filed on the day after the deadline had expired, the appeal was previously dismissed as untimely by the Federal Circuit. Today's decision involves whether the CIT had the ability to consider Gilda's motion to extend the filing deadline for the notice of appeal after an untimely notice of appeal had been filed, or whether at that point exclusive jurisdiction over the case was lodged with the Federal Circuit.

Today's ruling holds that the CIT had jurisdiction to consider that motion and remands for that purpose. Today's ruling even goes so far as to opine that "if the facts attested to by Gilda's counsel are accurate, Gilda has made a strong showing of excusable neglect." I know of a few other federal appellate courts that might not be as forgiving under the circumstances.
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"A raise that's hard to justify: Federal judges exhibit no link between performance and pay." Law Professor Scott Baker has this provocative op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.

The op-ed's final paragraph states, "In a time of strained budgets, both Democrats and Republicans need to make hard choices on spending priorities. Federal judges earn six figures. Why choose to pay judges more -- as opposed to equally deserving, lesser-paid federal employees such as park rangers, members of the military or FBI agents -- if it ultimately makes no difference to how well the judges perform their jobs?"

Via SSRN, you can access Baker's law review article titled "Should We Pay Federal Circuit Judges More?" (abstract with links for download). According to its abstract, "the article finds that judicial pay is largely irrelevant to the performance of the circuit courts."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"2003 letter told CIA: Trashing tapes would harm image; Rep. Harman discloses her warning against disposing of interrogation videos." This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times, along with an editorial entitled "Handling the CIA tapes case: With a criminal investigation underway, Congress members should tread carefully."

And today's edition of USA Today contains both an editorial entitled "Give 'Bull' Durham a chance: Career prosecutor, not a special counsel, is best bet for swift probe" and an op-ed by John Conyers entitled "Appoint a special counsel: The administration can't be trusted to keep politics out of prosecutions."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"City Picks Head of Team for Supreme Court Case": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Acting D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles has selected former acting U.S. solicitor general Walter E. Dellinger to defend the District's handgun ban in a high-stakes Supreme Court case."

The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Mr. Dellinger at Bat: The city gets a top lawyer to argue its gun control case, but the process wasn't pretty."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. District Chief Judge Calls a Career Recess; Hogan Was in Thick of Post-9/11 Debates": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Prisoners' lethal injection case stirs debate; Kentucky appeal sparks unofficial moratorium on most common form of capital punishment": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, January 03, 2008

"CIA in 2003 Planned Destruction of Tapes; Congresswoman Argued Against the Move": This article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "11th Circuit Wrestles With Sentencing; Panels split in upholding sentences in child pornography and bribery cases that fell below sentencing guidelines."

And Amaris Elliott-Engel reports that "Sperm Donor Not Required to Pay Child Support." My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Clark loses appeal for new trial in Brinks robbery-murder case": The Journal News of Westchester, New York provides a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court today ruled against convicted murderer Judith Clark's bid for a new trial in the 1981 Brinks robbery-murder case, reversing a lower court ruling. The U.S. Court of Appeals held that Clark's right to have an attorney present during her 1983 trial on triple murder charges and robbery had not been violated. The panel ruled that Clark chose to defend herself and would not participate without disrupting the trial. The three-judge panel found her claims that she had been denied her Sixth Amendment right to counsel were without merit."

And The Associated Press reports "No new trial for getaway driver in Rockland Brink's robbery."

My earlier coverage of today's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Inside-Outsider: Can the CIA tapes investigation truly be an independent one?" Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Death Penalty Walking": Time magazine has today posted to its web site an article that begins, "On Jan. 7, the supreme court will hear oral arguments in a pair of Kentucky lawsuits challenging the lethal three-drug cocktail used in most U.S. executions."
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lack of courtroom drama is boring judges to sleep": This article appears today in The Australian.
Posted at 07:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Two Important Supreme Court Anniversaries for 2008: The Cases of Trop v. Dulles, Concerning Citizenship, and Cooper v. Aaron, Concerning Civil Rights Enforcement." Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"WA court: Signs on apartment doors protected speech." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A ban on apartment door displays in public housing projects is an unconstitutional violation of free speech, the state Supreme Court said Thursday. In a 5-4 ruling, the court agreed that the Seattle Housing Authority's restrictions on signs, flags, and other exterior door displays constituted an illegal government ban on speech."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judges call for reprimand for high court justice Ziegler": The Wisconsin State Journal provides a news update that begins, "Saying it must not bow to 'public clamor,' a three-judge panel recommended Thursday that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler receive a public reprimand -- the mildest discipline possible -- for presiding over cases as a circuit judge in which she had a conflict of interest."
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"The death penalty is wrong, always": Rachel Walsh has this op-ed in Friday's edition of The Age of Melbourne, Australia.
Posted at 07:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Son seeks estate of mother he killed": This article appears today in The Seattle Times. According to the article, "Hoge's claim to that money is now poised to set legal precedent for interpretation of Washington's sometimes-vague Slayer Statute: the law that prohibits most killers from profiting off their victims. While some states have decided whether people found not guilty by reason of insanity can inherit the estates of their victims, Washington has not."
Posted at 07:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Injured fan will be given hearing; High court looks at case involving LV baseball team": The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains an article that begins, "The Nevada Supreme Court has decided that all of its members will consider the appeal of a Las Vegas 51s fan who was injured by a foul ball in 2002. A panel of three justices heard oral arguments in the case in October, but the court issued an order Friday announcing that it will consider the appeal 'en banc.'"

Via this page at the web site of the plaintiff's appellate attorney, you can access the appellate briefs and the oral argument audio from when the appeal was argued before the three-judge panel.
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Since the placebo effect can be obtained from sugar pills, charging $200 for a device that is represented as a miracle cure but works no better than a dummy pill is a form of fraud." Defendants ordered to disgorge more than $16 million in profits obtained through selling the Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet as a miraculous cure for chronic pain failed to obtain any relief today when a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed in all respects a federal district court's ruling in favor of the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has made available various trial court documents in the case via this link.

You can access Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook's entertaining decision on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel at this link.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Does a chemist violate the Confrontation Clause when testifying that the substance seized from defendants was cocaine based on the output of infrared spectrometer and a gas chromatograph test results that another, non-testifying chemist produced? On behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook today holds that "the instruments' readouts are not 'statements', so it does not matter whether they are 'testimonial.'"

The Seventh Circuit's ruling goes on to explain:

A physician may order a blood test for a patient and infer from the levels of sugar and insulin that the patient has diabetes. The physician's diagnosis is testimonial, but the lab's raw results are not, because data are not 'statements' in any useful sense. Nor is a machine a 'witness against' anyone. If the readings are 'statements' by a 'witness against' the defendants, then the machine must be the declarant. Yet how could one cross-examine a gas chromatograph? Producing spectrographs, ovens, and centrifuges in court would serve no one's interests. That is one reason why Rule 703 provides that the expert's source materials need not be introduced or even admissible in evidence. The vital questions--was the lab work done properly? what do the readings mean?--can be put to the expert on the stand. The background data need not be presented to the jury.
You can access the complete ruling at this link.
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Does a Seattle Housing Authority regulation prohibiting the posting of signs on the exterior of resident apartment doors violate the First Amendment rights of low income tenants? Today, by a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington answers "yes." Today's decision consists of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.
Posted at 11:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"New Trial Ordered For Former Radical; Judge Rules Judith Clark Did Not Get Fair Trial In Brinks Robbery": So reported The Associated Press in an article published in late September 2006. The article begins, "A federal judge has ordered a new trial for a radical Weather Underground cell member serving 75 years in prison after she was convicted as a getaway driver in a 1981 armored-truck robbery in which a guard and two policemen were killed."

And The New York Times, on October 1, 2006, published an article headlined "New Trial for Woman in 1981 Brink's Case Is Reopening Old Wounds." The article begins, "It has been a quarter-century since a group of self-styled freedom fighters, including Judith A. Clark, carried out an armored-car robbery in Rockland County, N.Y."

Today, however, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a 40-page ruling overturning the grant of a new trial in favor of Judith Clark.
Posted at 11:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gag order raises questions in Liberty City terror retrial": The South Florida Sun-Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge who declared a mistrial last month for six South Florida men charged with conspiring to support al-Qaida is taking aggressive steps to limit publicity related to the case, including silencing lawyers for a man the jury found not guilty." (Via "Southern District of Florida Blog.")

And a few weeks ago, Jay Weaver of The Miami Herald had an article headlined "Judge lays out rules for terror retrial."
Posted at 10:57 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Federal Prosecutor Named to CIA Probe" and "Updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."
Posted at 10:01 AM by Howard Bashman


"For judges, a justifiable raise: A bill to increase their wages and sever a link to Congress members deserves approval." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Criminal Probe on CIA Tapes Opened; Case Assigned to Career Prosecutor": The Washington Post contains this front page article today, along with an article headlined "Probe Leader Called A Tough Prosecutor; Durham Handled Corruption, Mafia Cases" and an editorial entitled "Mr. Mukasey's Move: The destruction of CIA interrogation tapes will get the criminal investigation it deserves."

The New York Times today contains a front page article headlined "Justice Dept. Sets Criminal Inquiry on C.I.A. Tapes" and an editorial entitled "The Right Move on the C.I.A. Tapes."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Mukasey launches probe of CIA; A top mob-busting prosecutor will head the Justice Department's inquiry on the agency's destruction of videotapes of terrorism suspects' interrogations."

USA Today reports that "CIA to yield to criminal probe; Mukasey assigns outside prosecutor in destroyed-tapes case."

The Hartford Courant reports that "Leader Chosen In CIA Probe; Attorney General Names Prosecutor From Connecticut."

And The Washington Times reports that "Justice commences CIA videotape inquiry."
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney For D.C. in Gun Ban Case Fired; Counsel Was Set To Defend Law Before High Court": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Washington Times reports today that "District fires lead lawyer in gun-ban case."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Reversed 1970 Adoption Decision Is Circulating In Blogosphere As Current": The blog "Religion Clause" has this post today.

As if to prove the point, just last night a reader sent me a link to this Time magazine article -- which currently ranks as the "most popular" article on the entire Time web site -- along with the message "Here's an interesting case the NJ Supreme Court agreed to hear." True enough -- although the Time article is from 1970 and, according to the "Religion Clause" post, New Jersey's highest court reversed the ruling in question in 1971.

The Technorati site compiles recent links to the Time article.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Accused judge's return to bench draws protest": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

And The Associated Press reports that "Protesters greet return of judge accused of sexual harassment."
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Dallas man on death row gets fourth trial after review; Man first sentenced in '75 to have fourth chance in court": The Dallas Morning News contains this article today.

You can access last week's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Push made to post court data on Web; Maine's judicial branch aims to make documents available while protecting privacy": This article appears today in The Portland Press Herald.
Posted at 07:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"What kind of reason is that?" Today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, columnist Linda P. Campbell has an op-ed that begins, "It might be easier if the death penalty case coming before the Supreme Court on Monday involved a dry sponge."
Posted at 07:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"High court urged to take up water fight; Montana wants to sue Wyoming over river compact": The Billings Gazette today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Office of the Solicitor General filed a brief in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday that urged the U.S. Supreme Court to accept a lawsuit Montana wants to bring against Wyoming over water rights on the Tongue and Powder rivers."
Posted at 07:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"1 appeal to delay Wecht trial is rejected": Today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato has an article, in which I am quoted, that begins, "A federal appeals court has denied one of three requests to delay the upcoming corruption trial of former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht."

And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "3rd Circuit denies Wecht trial delay."
Posted at 12:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Full Nevada Supreme Court taking 'baseball rule' case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The state Supreme Court is poised to decide whether stadium owners should be held liable when fans are hit by baseballs or suffer other game-related injuries while sitting in the stands at Nevada sporting events. A three-judge panel issued a brief order Dec. 28 saying all seven justices will decide the case with no additional oral or written arguments. No date was set for a ruling."

Earlier, in October 2007, The Las Vegas Review-Journal published an article about the case headlined "Ballpark injury case to make law; Stadium's duty to protect fans is limited, attorneys contend."
Posted at 12:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice says medical malpractice reforms fueling absurd cases": This article appeared Wednesday in The Charleston (W. Va.) Daily Mail.
Posted at 12:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"States Hesitate to Lead Change on Executions": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

The Associated Press reports that "China to Switch to Lethal Injections."

Reuters reports that "China favors execution by lethal injection."

And syndicated columnist James J. Kilpatrick has an essay entitled "How Cruel is 'Cruel'?"
Posted at 12:05 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"Barnes allies acquire new attorney": This article, in which I am mentioned, appears in today's issue of Montgomery Life.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Department to Investigate CIA Tapes": This audio segment appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Police Say Hagler Tape Contains Dialogue Of Murder, Torture": The Chattanoogan provides a news update that begins, "Chattanooga Police officers testified Wednesday that a tape made by Judge John Hagler contained 'shocking' dialogue relating to a murder and torture. Asked if release of the tape would be very damaging to the judge and his family, Det. Bill Phillips said, 'I guarantee you it would.'"

And The Associated Press reports that "Tenn. Judge Resigns Over Fantasies Tape."
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Dept. Sets Criminal Inquiry Into C.I.A. Tapes": The New York Times provides this news update.

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Justice Dept. opens criminal probe in CIA tapes case."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Criminal inquiry ordered into destruction of CIA tapes."
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"We agree with the conclusion of several of our sister circuits that a punitive damages award under Title VII and § 1981 need not be accompanied by compensatory damages." So holds a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a decision issued today.

The ruling affirms a jury's award of $125,000 in punitive damages, but zero dollars in compensatory damages, to each of eight plaintiffs in a case where the plaintiffs alleged a racially hostile work environment.
Posted at 08:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pa. sperm donor wins challenge to court-ordered child support": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A woman who promised a sperm donor he would not have to pay child support cannot renege on the deal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled."

Last Thursday's 3-2 ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consists of a majority opinion and two dissenting opinions (here and here).
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"D.C. Lawyer Preparing to Defend City's Gun Ban Fired": The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"During winter recess, Democrats keep Congress in session to thwart Bush; The tactic is a result of a 'press for presidential power,' some analysts say; But it's too early to tell whether the use of pro forma sessions will mean no more recess appointments by the president": Gail Russell Chaddock will have this article Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Opens Criminal Probe of CIA Tape Destruction": James Rowley of Bloomberg News provides this report.

The Associated Press reports that "Criminal Probe Opened Over CIA Tapes."

Reuters reports that "U.S. launches criminal probe of CIA tapes."

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Justice Dept. to Open Criminal Probe in CIA's Destruction of Tapes."

And The Hartford Courant provides a news update headlined "Connecticut Prosecutor Named To Head CIA Probe."

Also available online is the "Statement by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey Regarding the Opening of an Investigation Into the Destruction of Videotapes by CIA Personnel."
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Top D.C. lawyer weighs in on Morrison firing": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro now has a new post that begins, "In an interview with Legal Times today, Peter Nickles, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's general counsel, said he is considering Supreme Court veterans Walter Dellinger III and Thomas Goldstein as possible replacements for Alan Morrison to argue D.C.'s cause at the Supreme Court in the key gun control case of D.C. v. Heller."
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman


Today is the last day to vote for your favorite law blogs in the "The ABA Journal Blawg 100": You can vote for "How Appealing" and/or its many worthy competitors in the "Generally Speaking" category via this link.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Accused judge's return to bench draws protest": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "Three generations of the family of the federal court employee who has complained that U.S. Judge Samuel Kent assaulted her turned out today on a near-freezing morning to protest his return to the federal bench. On the sidewalk outside the federal courthouse in downtown Houston, the youngest -- 14-year-old Caleb McBroom -- yelled out at passing Metro buses that Kent should be impeached for what the judge allegedly did to his mother."
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"This case requires us to determine how the Copyright Act applies to karaoke devices that enable individuals to sing along to recordings of musical compositions": So begins a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Alan Morrison is Benched": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "Veteran Supreme Court advocate Alan Morrison has been fired and apparently won't be arguing on behalf of the District of Columbia this spring in the pivotal Second Amendment gun rights case D.C. v. Heller."
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Death penalty ban could boost efforts across the country": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "Opponents of the death penalty say last month's historic repeal in New Jersey could boost similar movements across the nation."
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Quiz on Death Penalty No Mandate." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A judge's failure to question jurors who indicated they opposed the death penalty is not reason enough to overturn the convictions of two men in the killing of a police informant, a federal appeals court says."

My earlier coverage of last Friday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Chance to Defend Themselves": This past Sunday in The Washington Post, Thomas B. Wilner had an op-ed that begins, "The Supreme Court heard arguments this month in cases brought by detainees held at Guantanamo Bay."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Louis Wolfson, Central to the Fall of a Justice, Is Dead at 95": This obituary appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Victim to Be Heard at Husband's Trial": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Julie Jensen will essentially testify from the grave when her husband's murder trial begins this week."
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Presidential candidates diverge on U.S. joining war crimes court": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 07:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ski accident snowballs into a public dispute; A 7-year-old collided with a man, 60, who is suing for more than $75,000 to cover medical bills; The elder skier faces an Internet-fueled backlash": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:21 AM by Howard Bashman


"Conservative courts likely to be Bush legacy; The president's success in getting judicial nominees confirmed gives the federal bench a decided GOP tilt": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Stonewalled by the C.I.A." Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton have this op-ed today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice Roberts Tries New Angle on Judicial Pay Raises": Jess Bravin has this post at WSJ.com's "Law Blog."
Posted at 07:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Wilkinson Writes Extremely Important Dissent from Denial of Rehearing En Banc in Virginia Open Primary Case": Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his "Election Law" blog.
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

"Who would Antonin Scalia torture? Next week, when the Supreme Court hears a case challenging the use of lethal injections, we may learn more about the legal limits to state-sanctioned pain." Alan Berlow has this essay online at Salon.com.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Year-End Report, Chief Justice Urges Swift Action on Judicial Pay Increases; Roberts' report also focuses on procedures for handling complaints of judicial misconduct": Tony Mauro has this article online at law.com.
Posted at 11:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Same-Sex Divorce Challenges the Legal System; Most States Lack Law, Precedent To Settle Issues": This article will appear Wednesday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cranston man loses federal appeal on crack sentence": Today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal, Edward Fitzpatrick has an article that begins, "A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which lets judges impose shorter prison sentences for crack-cocaine crimes, proved of no help to a Cranston man who appealed after being convicted of a crack offense and sentenced to more than 24 years behind bars."

You can access last week's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Time Inc to challenge Soeharto's $125 million libel win": This article appears in Wednesday's edition of The Age of Melbourne, Australia.
Posted at 08:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Falling out of love with death: Though a majority of Americans back capital punishment, surveys find growing unease over it." Vince Beiser has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pa. committed to death penalty; The state Supreme Court has affirmed four sentences; Prosecutors are trying to get executions carried out": This front page article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Public Defender Builds Injection Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "One of the biggest capital punishment cases to come before the U.S. Supreme Court in a generation was put together largely by a young, fresh-out-of-law-school member of Kentucky's overworked and underpaid corps of public defenders. David Barron, 29, filed an appeal on behalf of two Kentucky death row inmates, arguing that the three-drug cocktail used in lethal injections across the country can cause excruciating pain, and thus amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution."
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Okla. judge to head Denver appeals court; Clinton appointee Henry, 53, has been legislator, educator": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Robert Henry, of Oklahoma City, is to become chief judge of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver today."

And yesterday's edition of The Oklahoman contained an even more detailed article headlined "Judge captures top seat in federal court of appeals."

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Again Calls for Pay Raise for Judges": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Chief Justice Argues for 'Vital Legislation' to Raise Pay for Federal Judges."

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Roberts Calls on Congress to Act on Salaries."

You can access the "2007 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary" by clicking here.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice urges inter-branch harmony": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And Pete Yost of The Associated Press reports that "Roberts Urges Higher Pay for Judges."
Posted at 12:07 AM by Howard Bashman




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Stop the Bleating!

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Sugarpoet.com

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