How Appealing

Friday, February 29, 2008

"Prolific Spammer's Conviction Upheld": The Associated Press provides this report on a 4-3 ruling that the Supreme Court of Virginia issued today.

And Venkat Balasubramani offers these thoughts about the ruling at his "Spam Notes" blog.
Posted at 05:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge orders feds to try again on Bonds indictment": The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "A federal judge on Friday told the government to re-craft its perjury case against Barry Bonds, saying prosecutors had improperly lumped multiple alleged offenses into each of four counts of its indictment of the former Giants star."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge Unseals Barry Bonds' Testimony."
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman



You can count on First Circuit Judge Juan R. Torruella's foreshadowing of the denial of rehearing en banc in Cerqueira v. American Airlines, Inc.: One week ago yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued an en banc ruling in a federal sentencing case. As I noted in this post that evening, Judge Torruella's dissent from the en banc ruling in the sentencing case cited to his separate dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc in the Cerqueira case.

That was unusual, however, because the First Circuit had not yet denied rehearing en banc in the Cerqueira case. Today, however, the First Circuit did formally issue its denial of rehearing en banc in Cerqueira and, no surprise, it includes a dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc that Judge Torruella wrote. The vote on whether to grant rehearing en banc was 3-2 against. My original coverage of the three-judge panel's ruling in Cerqueira appeared at this link.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Podcast: Richard Posner and David Lat on 'Judges as Public Figures.'" "The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog" has posted online this podcast (61.5MB mp3 file) (via "Above the Law").
Posted at 01:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Safe from searches: Two Supreme Court cases will help define the boundaries between privacy and policing." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court denies injunction against controversial Arizona law; Statute that can shut down businesses for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants will be enforced beginning Saturday": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Arizona Republic reports today that "Appeals to stop state sanctions law denied."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Quaker teacher fired for changing loyalty oath": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "California State University East Bay has fired a math teacher after six weeks on the job because she inserted the word 'nonviolently' in her state-required Oath of Allegiance form."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Pennsylvania's highest court agrees to consider whether to modernize its approach toward product liability claims: The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on Wednesday issued an order granting review of a case that presents the question "Whether this Court should apply Section 2 of the Restatement (Third) of Torts in place of Section 402A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bill Would Remove Doubt on Presidential Eligibility": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Senator John McCain said Thursday that he had no concerns about his meeting the constitutional qualifications for the presidency because of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone. A Democratic colleague said she wanted to remove even a trace of doubt."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Greenhouse To Leave Times; Pulitzer-Prize winning Supreme Court reporter will retire": This article appears today in The Harvard Crimson.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Skilling prepares for another round; Arguments scheduled for April in relation to 'honest services' issue": Tuesday's edition of The Houston Chronicle contained an article that begins, "Lawyers for former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling and the government will soon face off once again as his side argues to erase his convictions while prosecutors seek to maintain them. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled arguments in Skilling's appeal for April 2 in New Orleans. The arguments will come nearly two years after a Houston federal jury convicted Skilling of multiple crimes and more than 15 months after he began serving a 24-year prison term at a lockup in Minnesota."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Exxon's Day of Valdez Reckoning May Never Arrive": Bloomberg News columnist Ann Woolner has this essay today.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, February 28, 2008

State of Texas seeks rehearing en banc of Fifth Circuit ruling that declared unconstitutional a Texas statute making it a crime to promote or sell sexual devices: You can access the rehearing petition, filed last week, at this link (via "The Legal Satyricon").

My earlier coverage of the Fifth Circuit's ruling from earlier this month appears at this link.
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"EBay patent case settled; It owns 'Buy It Now' after 6-year battle": The San Jose Mercury News provides a news update that begins, "EBay said Thursday that it reached a settlement that gives the online auction company the rights to the 'Buy It Now' patent that sparked a precedent-setting Supreme Court case, spurred a call for patent reform and shifted the leverage in patent battles."

The Wall Street Journal on Friday will report that "EBay Ends Patent Fight With MercExchange."

USA Today reports that "EBay settles 7-year dispute over patents."

The Associated Press reports that "EBay Ends Patent Suit With MercExchange."

Bloomberg News reports that "EBay Agrees to Settle 'Buy It Now' Patent Lawsuit."

And Reuters reports that "EBay, MercExchange settle long legal battle."
Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Is Association Discrimination Disability Discrimination or Expense Discrimination?" At the "Workplace Prof Blog," Paul Secunda has this interesting post about a thought-provoking ruling (see, in particular, Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner's concurring opinion) that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued yesterday.
Posted at 04:38 PM by Howard Bashman


Seventh Circuit offers its take on the controversial religion-based "ministerial exception" to federal employment laws: Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner issued this ruling today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
Posted at 12:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Swiss Bank Defends Wikileaks Shutdown": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Swiss bank that won a court order shutting down a whistle-blower Web site said Thursday that it just wanted stolen and forged documents removed. 'It wasn't our intention to shut down the Web site,' bank spokesman Martin Somogyi told The Associated Press. 'Our intention was to remove the documents.'"

The bank has also issued a press release that you can access here.
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Help wanted: Times SCOTUS search begins." Mark Obbie has this post today at his "LawBeat" blog.

And the "Media Mob" column of The New York Observer has an article headlined "Supreme-Court-Whisperer Linda Greenhouse Takes $300K Times Buyout."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Federal government wins appeal challenging, as too lenient, criminal sentences arising from Arkansas cross-burning incident: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Detroit Mayor Loses Fight Over Secret Papers": The New York Times contains this article today.

Today's edition of The Detroit News contains articles headlined "Kilpatrick loses court fight; Secret records heat up probes by council, prosecutor"; "Newly released papers show mayor tried to hide messages": and "Mayor ponders filing civil suit over text message leak; His attorney says only two people were supposed to get documents, not the media."

And The Detroit Free Press contains articles headlined "Ruling called victory for public, council" and "Documents show keys to mayor's cover-up."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's order of the Supreme Court of Michigan appears at this link
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"GOP Uses Surveillance Bill to Bash Democrats": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Former Prosecutor to Testify for Detainee": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "Until four months ago, Col. Morris D. Davis was the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay and the most colorful champion of the Bush administration's military commission system."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court rejects California limits on ship emissions; Appellate judges say the state needs federal approval for the regulation, which was designed to cut pollution generated by ports": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Court tosses state ship emissions standard."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court may be divided over Exxon Valdez damages; Several justices seem likely to slash the record punitive award in the oil-spill case": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "High court appears split on Exxon case; Justices debate appeal of $2.5B ruling in 1989 oil spill."

The Anchorage Daily News contains articles headlined "Exxon makes last pitch; Justices seem willing to cut damages but not dismiss them outright" and "Plaintiffs watch, wait and worry; Talk of a new standard bothers Alaskans in D.C."

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that "Exxon asks Supreme Court to toss out damages."

The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports that "Kodiakans respond to oil spill arguments at Supreme Court."

And in The Washington Post, Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "At the High Court, Damage Control."
Posted at 08:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Too confident in the FDA": The Boston Globe today contains an editorial that begins, "Last week, the US Supreme Court ruled that patients injured by defective medical devices have no right to sue for damages if the devices were approved by the Food and Drug Administration."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Web surpasses TV, papers as top news source": This article appears today in The Washington Times.

More details on the survey can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:09 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Alters Tone in Discrimination Case": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Justices Let Age Bias Lawsuit Move Ahead."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Court allows suit against FedEx; Justices criticize agency over forms in age bias case."

And Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal reports that "High Court Rules Age Case Can Proceed; Court Lets Workers Suit Proceed Despite Failure Of EEOC to Notify Firm."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Mulls Limit on Travel Ban to Rogue States": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"McCain's Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The question has nagged at the parents of Americans born outside the continental United States for generations: Dare their children aspire to grow up and become president? In the case of Senator John McCain of Arizona, the issue is becoming more than a matter of parental daydreaming."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"As Retired Justice O'Connor Speaks Out Against the Problems Plaguing State Judicial Elections, the Supreme Court Still Refuses to Allow Reform": Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Justices Take Up Battle Over Exxon Valdez Damages": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.

Thursday in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will have an article headlined "Justices Assess Financial Damages in Exxon Valdez Case; Supreme Court May Reduce Billions Awarded Over Environmental Debacle in Prince William Sound."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Could Limit Damages in Exxon Valdez Case; Packed courtroom hears historic 90 minutes of arguments."

And this evening's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" contained a segment entitled "Justices Consider Exxon's Valdez Damages Challenge" (transcript with link to audio) featuring Marcia Coyle.
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"30-year Supreme Court reporter for NYT, Linda Greenhouse, accepts buyout offer": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Linda Greenhouse, who has covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times for 30 years, said Wednesday that she has accepted a buyout package from the newspaper."
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman


Superior Court of Pennsylvania rejects confrontation clause challenge to Pennsylvania statute authorizing videotaped testimony by child witnesses: You can access yesterday's ruling at this link.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Oil and Water: The Exxon Valdez case runs aground at the Supreme Court." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.

And on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment entitled "Exxon Makes Case on Valdez for High Court" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Documents Give Insight Into Hicks Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "When young Australian David Hicks got an offer from a Saudi friend to go to Osama bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan in December 2000, he did not think twice."
Posted at 05:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Implications of the Exxon Valdez Oral Argument": Curt Cutting has this post at the blog "California Punitive Damages."
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Hears Exxon Case": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 04:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Exxon makes final pitch to avoid spill penalty": The Anchorage Daily News provides this update.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, No. 07-219: You can access the transcript at this link.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Recusals Because of Stock Ownership": Eugene Volokh has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy." I just posted a comment over there in response to the post.
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman


In today's mail: Charles Lane's new book, "The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction."

Chuck began researching and writing this book while serving as U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for The Washington Post. After completing the book, he returned to that newspaper, where he now serves as an editorial writer.

The book has received much praise in advance of its official publication from notable authors including Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David J. Garrow, Jeffrey Rosen, Jan Crawford Greenburg, Dahlia Lithwick, and George F. Will. The book officially goes on sale March 4, 2008, although you can now pre-order it (and save 34 percent off its cover price) via Amazon.com.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Lara Jakes Jordan reports that "Mukasey Visits Guantanamo."

And in other news, "Bush Urges House to Pass Intel Law."
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court split on Exxon damages; A tie vote is possible as justices debate whether to uphold the $2.5 billion verdict on the 1989 Valdez oil spill": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Exxon Valdez Award Questioned at U.S. Supreme Court."

And James Vicini and Chris Baltimore of Reuters report that "Supreme court hears Exxon Mobil Valdez appeal."
Posted at 01:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Could Limit Exxon Valdez Damages": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed inclined to reduce the $2.5 billion award of punitive damages to victims of the Exxon Valdez disaster."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Exxon may both lose and win."
Posted at 01:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fortunately, we need not decide today whether a seller of drugs or medical devices has a constitutional right to promote off-label uses." Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook today issued this ruling -- which contains an interesting discussion of the constitutionality of limits on commercial speech -- on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court rules against Mayor Kilpatrick": The Detroit News provides an update that begins, "The Michigan Supreme Court in a unanimous decision has declined to hear an appeal from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to keep documents from a secret settlement of a whistle-blowers' lawsuit from being made public. The ruling ends the City of Detroit's months-long attempts to conceal the secret details of a deal to keep the embarrassing text messages private."

The Detroit Free Press provides a news update headlined "Supreme court backs document release; State's high court won't hear appeal."

And The Associated Press reports that "Mich. Court Rejects Detroit Mayor Case."

You can access today's order of the Supreme Court of Michigan at this link. The City of Detroit issued this statement in response to the order.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Someday, Linda Greenhouse will cease covering the U.S. Supreme Court for The New York Times: In this post at National Review Online's "Bench Memos" blog, Ed Whelan says Greenhouse will conclude her coverage of the Court for The NYTimes at the end of this Term.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court rules on pleading age bias case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "FedEx Workers Can Sue Over Age Bias."

Today's only U.S. Supreme Court opinion in an argued case issued in Federal Express Corp. v. Holowecki, No. 06-1322. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Minimize the politics in selecting justices": Today in The Detroit Free Press, Cate McClure has an op-ed that begins, "In a recent U.S. Supreme Court case upholding a New York law on the election of judges, several of the justices wrote concurring opinions to pointedly question whether judicial elections promote the perception or reality of judicial independence and excellence. The issue is important to Michigan."
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney: Jailhouse lawyer under investigation for legal help." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The prison law clerk who convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a fellow inmate's case is being investigated by South Carolina authorities for practicing law without a license, the prisoner's attorney said. Lawyer Rauch Wise said the state attorney general's office informed him last week they were investigating Michael Ray, a federal inmate in South Carolina."
Posted at 09:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"NBC game show faces illegal gambling lawsuit": In today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bill Rankin has an article that begins, "When a Forsyth County couple sent 99-cent text messages trying to win a prize on the NBC game show 'Deal or No Deal,' they engaged in illegal gambling and should get their money back, a lawyer told the Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday."
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge is asked to rescind shutdown of website; Media and public interest organizations tell the jurist that his order violates constitutional provisions against prior restraint of free speech": Today in The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein has an article that begins, "A coalition of media and public interest organizations went to federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday urging a judge to reconsider his order to shut down a muckraking website that publishes leaked documents from businesses and government agencies worldwide."

And the organization Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a news release headlined "EFF, ACLU Move to Intervene in Wikileaks Case; Domain Name Shutdown Harms First Amendment Right to Access Information." You can view the motion to intervene by clicking here.
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"After 6 years, al Qaeda suspect meets lawyers; In secret detention at Guantanamo Bay, an Al Qaeda suspect saw lawyers for first time since his 2003 capture": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Keep crack criminals in prison; A move to revise offenders' sentences should stop until its effects can be weighed": Acting Deputy U.S. Attorney General Craig Morford has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Village sues energy firms for climate change; 23 companies blamed for emissions tied to coastal erosion threat": The Anchorage Daily News today contains an article that begins, "The eroding village of Kivalina in the Northwest Arctic is suing Exxon Mobil and 23 other energy companies for damage related to global warming. The suit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on behalf of the Native village's federally recognized tribe and its city government, according to lawyers for the village. Kivalina, located on a shrinking barrier island in the Chukchi Sea, says the energy companies should pay to move the village to safer ground." The newspaper has posted online at this link a copy of the complaint initiating suit in federal court.

And The New York Times reports today that "Flooded Village Files Suit, Citing Corporate Link to Climate Change."
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Door Could Open To Class Actions; Banks watch closely to see if a couple's legal struggle with their lender will launch a new front in the battle over troubled mortgages": Today's edition of The Washington Post contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court is nearing a decision on a battle between Chevy Chase Bank and a Wisconsin couple that could for the first time enable homeowners across the country to band together in class-action lawsuits against mortgage firms and get their loans canceled."
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Case-by-Case Ruling on Discrimination": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Ruling May Aid Those Charging Age Bias."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has an article headlined "No ruling from justices in age-bias case; The Supreme Court fails to say whether co-worker testimony should be allowed and returns the matter to the trial judge."

And The Kansas City Star reports that "Supreme Court rules on Sprint age discrimination case."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"In Wiretap Law's Stead, Uncertainty": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "All last week, intelligence officials fielded calls from nervous lawyers for the country's phone companies. With a wiretapping law allowed to lapse in Congress, they were no longer certain what they were supposed to do when the government came to them with a wiretapping order, administration officials said."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Decision Could Affect Wis. Appeal": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "An accusatory letter penned by a woman who turned up dead ultimately helped a jury convict her husband. But it also could be what gets him a new trial in the nearly 10-year-old case."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"A tortured defense: The guessing game is over; We know the U.S. government OK'd and utilized waterboarding; So what -- if anything -- are we going to do about it?" Jonathan Turley has this op-ed today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"A lot rides on how 'flood' defined; La. justices hear arguments on Katrina's waters": This article appears today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, along with an article headlined "Insurance law's intent is key for high court."

And The Advocate of Baton Rouge reports today that "Katrina cases get hearing; La. high court gets issue of wind-water damage."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Do you have a legal right to own a gun? It's been a divisive issue for decades; Finally, the Supreme Court weighs in." Joan Biskupic has this front page article today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Case may change how published works used; Photographer sues National Geographic over photo reused in CD compilation": Today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article that begins, "Twelve federal judges heard arguments in Atlanta on Tuesday in an 11-year-old lawsuit that could have wide repercussions for the publishing industry. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considered the merits of a suit filed by a freelance photographer who sued National Geographic magazine for using his photographs in the publication's 1997 30-disc CD-ROM anthology. The hearing drew a packed house to the Elbert P. Tuttle U.S. Court of Appeals Building downtown, including former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell. Representing National Geographic was former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, author of the 1998 report to Congress that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton."

And today's edition of the Fulton County Daily Report contains an article headlined "1976 Copyright Law Meets 21st Century in Case Before 11th Circuit; In closely watched case, court debates whether to join 2nd Circuit position or set its own path and a road to Supreme Court."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"19 years later, Exxon Valdez case heads to closure; Alaskans say it has dragged on too long": James Oliphant has this article today in The Chicago Tribune.

Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin has an article headlined "Watershed for Punitive Awards: High Court Decision On Exxon Valdez Could Ripple Far."

The Anchorage Daily News reports that "'Shame pole' points at Exxon; Court will hear oil giant's last arguments today."

The Los Angeles Times contains a front page article headlined "Exxon Valdez oil spill lingers in Alaska; In one fishing village, residents say they've never recovered from the 1989 disaster; Now the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether the company should pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages."

The Seattle Times reports that "19 years after Exxon spill, it's fishermen's big day."

Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court to Hear Exxon Valdez Case."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Exxon Valdez Spill Reaches U.S. Supreme Court After 19 Years."

And Agence France Presse reports that "Two decades on, US high court takes up Exxon Valdez oil spill case."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"'High-value detainee' gets lawyer": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update that begins, "Alleged arch-terrorist Abu Zubaydah, whom the CIA waterboarded in secret overseas interrogations, has agreed to let a civilian American attorney handle his case, the lawyer said Tuesday."
Posted at 09:58 PM by Howard Bashman


The law deals another setback to the widow of a Connecticut state court judge who reportedly worked himself to death: Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article headlined "Ruling: Widow Can't Be Lone Beneficiary" that begins, "The state Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a state law passed 14 years ago to permit the widow of a workaholic judge to sue the state over his death was unconstitutional because it benefited her alone."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Widow can't pursue claim husband was worked to death."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Connecticut at this link.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman



In news updates available online from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans: "La. Supreme Court hears arguments over whether Katrina's waters constituted a 'flood'" and "La. Supreme Court hears Hurricane Rita insurance case."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court rules in Sprint discrimination complaint": The Kansas City Star provides this news update.
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Patent court rules on Microsoft, Amado case": Reuters provides a report that begins, "A federal court which hears patent appeals told a lower court on Tuesday to reconsider damages that Microsoft must pay a Guatemalan inventor for infringing his software in its popular Office Suite."

And Wednesday's edition of The Wall Street Journal will report that "Court to Review Damages In Microsoft Patent Case."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court to hear Exxon Valdez damages case; At issue: Should the company pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages for the 1989 oil spill?" Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.

Today's edition of The Anchorage Daily News contains articles headlined "Exxon Valdez: Long voyage to justice; On Wednesday, Supreme Court takes up oil giant's final appeal of $2.5 billion in damages awarded in wake of 1989 spill" and "Cordova braces for court ruling; Fishing town residents say spill ruined their livelihoods." You can access that newspaper's extensive earlier coverage of the oil spill disaster via this link.

And The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports today that "Supreme Court to hear Exxon Valdez case Wednesday."
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Clarence Thomas' Two Years of Silence": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


First Circuit today becomes the first circuit to hold that the federal Bureau of Prisons may, through rulemaking, deny placement in a community corrections center to all prisoners during the first 90 percent of their sentences: You can access today's ruling of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link. Before today, four other federal appellate courts have ruled that the BOP lacks that authority.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Did Allison Engine Case Throw a Rod?" Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

The U.S. Supreme Court has posted online at this link the transcript of today's oral argument in Allison Engine Co. v. United States ex rel. Sanders, No. 07-214.
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Age Ruling May Help Ex-Employee": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"The effect of our Court's rulings is that every local robbery of a business in the United States is a federal crime." In a concurring opinion issued today, Senior Sixth Circuit Judge Richard F. Suhrheinrich calls on the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether the Sixth Circuit, "[b]y continuing to allow a de minimis standard for individual violations of the Hobbs Act, [is] essentially nullifying the 'substantial effect' test of Lopez and Morrison."

Today's Sixth Circuit ruling upholds a defendant's federal criminal conviction for interfering with commerce by robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act by using a gun to steal $538 from a Cleveland-area Little Caesar's restaurant.
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Short Bench: Why the Dems lack Supreme Court nominees." Jeffrey Rosen has this article online at The New Republic.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


You call that Parmesan cheese? A ruling that the European Court of Justice issued today has resulted in seemingly conflicting headlines from some major mainstream media outlets.

On the one hand, Reuters provides a report headlined "Parmesan? It's OK if it's German, EU court says." And BBC News reports that "Germany cleared in Parmesan case; A claim that Germany has failed to protect genuine Italian Parmesan cheese from imitation has been rejected by the top court in the European Union."

On the other hand, Bloomberg News reports that "Only Italians Can Call It Parmesan Cheese, Court Says." And Financial Times reports that "ECJ ruling protects Parmesan."
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"WTC Bomber Claims Sept. 11 Retaliation": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Fifteen years after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a Palestinian sentenced to more than 100 years in prison in the attack claims that a vengeful U.S. government has blocked him from appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 10:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court decides 'me-too' case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

Today's lone U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an argued case issued in Sprint/United Management Co. v. Mendelsohn, No. 06-1221. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.
Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court to rule on warrantless search of vehicle; Arizona jurists ruled against police who looked through a car while the handcuffed driver was in their patrol unit, saying the officers weren't in danger": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The Arizona Daily Star, Howard Fischer reports that "High court to hear local warrantless case; Will decide whether state justices correct in overturning TPD search of car in 1999."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Encino judge gets no award in escalator fall; The Encino jurist who fell from an escalator had sought $21 million": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury has ruled against a federal judge who was seeking $21 million after alleging that he was severely injured when he fell from a malfunctioning escalator at an Encino shopping center. U.S. District Judge George P. Schiavelli, 59, said he was riding the escalator at Encino Place shopping center in August 2005 when it stopped 'suddenly and without warning,' knocking him down the stairs and causing permanent injuries, according to court records."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush like a Nazi? Cancel commercial, judge tells Fieger; It could influence jurors in lawyer's trial, Borman says." Today's edition of The Detroit Free Press contains an article that begins, "A federal judge told lawyers for embattled Southfield attorney Geoffrey Fieger that he must pull at least one of his TV commercials because it could influence potential jurors in a trial on charges he illegally contributed $127,000 to John Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign."

And The Detroit News reports today that "Fed judge says Fieger will have to pull TV ads; Ahead of ruling in appeal, jurist calls spots a 'blatant' attempt to taint jury pool."

You can view the advertisement in question by clicking here.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"State high court's output low, so far, in a complex year": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "By this time in an ordinary year, the Wisconsin Supreme Court would have released about 20 of the approximately 90 rulings it makes during its September-to-July term. But this is no ordinary year. While one newly elected justice has been embroiled in an ethics investigation and another justice is mired in a contentious campaign for his seat, the court's output has fallen. The current session has yielded only 10 case rulings, less than half the 20.5-ruling average of the previous four years through the end of February. Its rate of dealing with lawyer discipline matters has dropped off, too. For the court, it's a sensitive question whether its uneasy place in the midst of highly partisan debate has held back the pace of justice - historically a point of pride."
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman


In recent news coverage pertaining to the death of Baltimore-based Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Luna in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania more than four years ago: Two Sundays ago, The Lancaster Sunday News contained an article headlined "Show him the money: A convict throws another twist into 4-year-old Luna mystery" that begins, "He's not trying to smear Jonathan Luna's name, Nacoe Brown insists. He just wants to get out of jail. And if that means suggesting that the man who put him in prison -- the man who was found dead in a Brecknock Township stream more than four years ago -- had something to do with the theft of $38,000 in evidence money from Brown's trial, so be it."

That same newspaper issue also contained a related article headlined "Detective plans to take another shot at getting autopsy report."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Defense stymied in 9/11 death-penalty case": Yesterday in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg had an article that begins, "Two weeks after the Pentagon announced plans to stage death-penalty trials for six Guantanamo captives as alleged Sept. 11 co-conspirators, none of the men has seen a military defense lawyer. Only one of the six has an assigned lawyer, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bryan Broyles. But Broyles failed to see his client during a Feb. 13-16 visit to the isolated Navy base."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Hats Off To Kagan: The law school dean's tenure has been marked by numerous accomplishments." This editorial appears today in The Harvard Crimson.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


The Providence (R.I.) Journal is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Supreme Court to hear R.I. case" and "Jury selection begins in Narragansetts' smoke-shop raid case."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Exxon spill revisited at high court; Justices to decide whether $2.5 billion awarded after Alaska disaster will stand": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"When Does Federal Law Preempt State Law In Tort Cases? Last Week's Supreme Court Decision Offers Some Guidance." Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 25, 2008

In Tuesday's edition of The New York Times: Linda Greenhouse will have an article headlined "Justices Weigh if Cash Hidden Is Cash Laundered."

And in other news, "Court Considers Protecting Drug Makers From Lawsuits."
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Troll Tracker' Tracked to Cisco IP Team; The mystery blogger who took IP holding companies to task is forced to unveil himself as a top IP attorney for tech giant Cisco": law.com provides this article reporting on this blog post at "Patent Troll Tracker."
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Right to Counsel, in the Right Situations": You can access at this link tomorrow's installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column published in The New York Times. The essay focuses on Zacarias Moussaoui's opening brief for appellant, filed recently in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

My earlier coverage of that brief appears at this link.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to speak": Princeton University has issued a news release that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will give an address on 'The Role of the Courts in a Liberal Democracy' at 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, in McCosh 50 on the Princeton University campus. The lecture is free, but is a ticketed event open primarily to University students, faculty and staff, with a limited number of tickets available to the general public."
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Solicitor General shares insight on highest court": ASU News provides a report that begins, "As U.S. Solicitor General, Paul Clement has argued nearly 50 times before the United States Supreme Court on issues as varied as campaign reform, medical marijuana, the access of disabled people to public buildings, and the military detention of American citizens on American soil. But there's something that never changes when standing before the highest U.S. court: fear."
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court will rule on Narragansett dispute with Rhode Island": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"State Supreme Court throws out life-without-parole sentence for convicted rapist": Bill Rankin of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "State prosecutors cannot obtain a sentence of life in prison without parole against someone who rapes a child unless they are seeking the death penalty, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday."

And The Associated Press reports that "Divided court says rape convict can't receive life without parole."

You can access today's 4-3 ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia at this link.
Posted at 10:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"Longtime Pentagon Lawyer Stepping Down": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Defense Department's longest-serving general counsel, who has been criticized for his role in crafting Bush administration policies for detaining and trying suspected terrorists, is resigning to return to private life next month, the Pentagon said Monday. William J. Haynes II was confirmed as general counsel by the Senate in May 2001."
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"No Bark, No Bite: Is the wrong watchdog investigating how the Justice Department came to approve water-boarding?" Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcripts of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: The Court has posted the transcripts in both Cuellar v. United States, No. 06-1456, and Warner-Lambert Co. v. Kent, No. 06-1498.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Tenth Circuit affirms federal death sentence imposed for a double-murder committed at the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma: Today's ruling contains a lengthy discussion of the defendant's challenge to the exercise of federal jurisdiction over the crimes.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Supreme Court to Hear Exxon Spill Case"; "Court Struggles With Pharma Suits"; and "Court Questions Money Laundering Cases."
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to decide police car search case": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "U.S. Supreme Court Won't Question West Virginia Tobacco Suits."
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Warner-Lambert v. Kent argument": Ted Frank has this post at PointofLaw.com.
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gun Case Argument Schedule is Set": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Vote Against Opinions From Evenly Divided Appellate Courts": Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column from law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Lobbies for Surveillance Law": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Circuit split -- Does the public safety exception to the requirement that Miranda warnings be given apply in the absence of any immediate danger to the police or public: Circuit Judge Raymond W. Gruender has issued an interesting concurring opinion that is part of a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit released today.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Rules Against Tobacco Companies"; "Court Will Rule on Vehicle Searches"; and "Court Takes Indian Land Case."

You can access at this link today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Today's Order List contains the following order in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290, the pending Second Amendment challenge to the District of Columbia's gun laws: "The motion of Texas, et al. for leave to participate in oral argument as amici curiae and for divided argument, and, in the alternative, for enlargement of time for oral argument is denied. The motion of the Solicitor General for enlargement of time for oral argument and for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument is granted."
Posted at 11:17 AM by Howard Bashman



Sixth Circuit holds that an Ohio county's online publication of traffic ticket revealing a woman's personal identifying information, including the woman's Social Security number, did not violate the woman's constitutional right to privacy: You can access today's ruling at this link. As a result of the county's online publication of this information, the woman claims that she became the victim of identity theft.
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court adds three new cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"S.C. bar exam: Men who benefited speak out; They comment on ordeal as new test starts today." This article appears today in The State of Columbia, South Carolina.
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Confirmation Needed: The Senate should allow the Justice Department to fill its No. 2 post." The Washington Post today contains an editorial that begins, "On its return this week, the Senate should act quickly to confirm Mark R. Filip as deputy attorney general."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Scare Tactics and Our Surveillance Bill": Jay Rockefeller, Patrick Leahy, Silvestre Reyes, and John Conyers have this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blogger, Sans Pajamas, Rakes Muck and a Prize": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawsuit Inc." The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "Should state Attorneys General be able to outsource their legal work to for-profit tort lawyers, who then funnel a share of their winnings back to the AGs?"
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why Big Law Is Bracing For a Leaner 2008; After Several Flush Years, Revenue Growth May Slow Amid Economic Turmoil": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


In the current issue of The Harvard Law Record: The publication contains articles headlined "Nader Criticizes Corporate Influence at Law Schools; Dean Kagan Responds to Consumer Advocate's Criticisms" and "Law Review President Talks About Upcoming Volume."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Job discrimination cases run into new opposition; Justices signal they may be less willing to broadly interpret laws": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas: 2 Years of Court Silence." Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Two years and 142 cases have passed since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas last spoke up at oral arguments."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connor to receive Byrd service award": The Winchester (Va.) Star today contains an article that begins, "Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will receive the Virginia Military Institute's Harry F. Byrd Jr. Class of 1935 Public Service Award on March 26."
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Did Justice Stevens Pull a Fast One? The Hidden Logic of a Recent Retroactivity Case in the Supreme Court." Michael C. Dorf has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Interpreting the Supreme Court's Medical Device Decision": The March 3, 2008 issue of U.S. News & World Report will contain this article.
Posted at 11:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"White House backtracks on claims of lost intelligence; Hours after chiding Congress for not finishing a wiretapping bill and leaving the nation 'vulnerable to terrorist attack,' officials acknowledge all requested information is being received": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Conservative Distrust of McCain Lingers Over '05 Deal on Judges": Monday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "Back in 2005, Senator John McCain of Arizona and fellow members of the so-called Gang of 14 were hailed as heroes in some quarters when they fashioned an unusual pact that averted a Senate vote on banning filibusters against judicial nominees."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court criticism mobilizes Dems in court primaries": From Texas, The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The court of public opinion has not been kind recently to the state's two highest courts. Usually not in the spotlight, the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court grabbed unwanted headlines in the last year. Primary challengers for seats on those benches say the headlines signal it's time for a change."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Canadian same-sex marriage faces U.S. challenge": Canwest News Service provides this report.
Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"2 La. insurance lawsuits may rock legal world": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides a news update that begins, "For thousands of Louisiana hurricane victims still battling their insurers over policy interpretations, Tuesday is the biggest of judgment days, with millions of dollars and, possibly, the future of the state's insurance landscape at stake. The state's high court will hear its first Hurricane Katrina insurance payment case Tuesday, and later in the day, will hear its first Hurricane Rita insurance case. And if the Supreme Court rules in favor of policyholders in either case, it would trump federal court rulings in similar cases that have gone in favor of insurance companies."
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief justice prods governor to fill vacancies in state judiciary": This article will appear Monday in The Providence (R.I.) Journal.
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Hicks case 'pushed to suit Howard'": Monday's edition of The Australian contains an article that begins, "It was January 9 last year when Morris Davis, the chief prosecutor for the Bush administration's military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, took what he regards as a disturbing telephone call about David Hicks."
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"The World Is Watching": In the current issue of CQ Weekly, Kenneth Jost has an essay that begins, "War is hell, and President Bush's 'war on terror' has been no exception."
Posted at 09:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Weller files suit against Darren Mack in 2006 shooting": Saturday's edition of The Reno Gazette-Journal contained an article that begins, "Family Court Judge Chuck Weller, who was hit in the chest with shrapnel when a bullet blasted through his window while he stood in his third-floor chambers in 2006, has sued the man who fired the sniper-style shot: Darren Mack."

And The Associated Press reports that "Nevada Judge Shot at Work Sues Gunman."
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Photo Tech Complicates Child-Porn Cases": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Baldwin, Fla., wants its kids to hitch their britches; Old-timers in a North Florida town really aren't interested in seeing the generation gap": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 01:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"English cost going to high court": The Arizona Daily Star today contains an article that begins, "The amount of money Arizona taxpayers have to spend to teach English will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Late Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a 91-page ruling in typescript format examining whether Arizona's funding for English language instruction for non-native speakers complies with a federal law known as the Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974.
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Secret files against terror suspects revealed": This article appeared yesterday in The Toronto Globe and Mail.
Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief justice drops bid to speed up death penalty appeals; State budget woes derail Ronald M. George's proposed constitutional amendment that would have let other appellate courts handle the initial review of capital cases": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman


Robert Barnes is reporting: Today in The Washington Post, he has a front page article headlined "Exxon Oil Spill Case May Get Closure; Almost 20 Years After Valdez Wreck, Justices to Weigh In."

Also in today's newspaper, he has a news analysis headlined "Justices Further Resist Finding Right to Sue."
Posted at 12:22 PM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, February 23, 2008

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Ruling to Shut Down Leak Site Called Censorship" and "Calif. Law Puts Sex Offenders on the Streets."
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"More Sharp Words Traded Over Lapsed Wiretap Law": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Spy Law Lapse Blamed for Lost Information; Some Telecom Firms Not Cooperating for Fear of Liability, U.S. Says."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "White House intensifies spying standoff; Bush administration officials tell congressional Democrats their failure to act has made the U.S. 'more vulnerable to terrorist attack.'" The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Focus on FISA: The debate over immunity for telecoms is distracting attention from more urgent work."
Posted at 11:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Probes Authors Of Waterboarding Memos": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.

And The New York Times reports today that "Waterboarding Focus of Inquiry by Justice Dept."
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mr. Cheney's Government: The vice president once again pursues his own agenda." Today's edition of The Washington Post contains an editorial noting that "This month Mr. Cheney joined a brief filed by 305 lawmakers in the Supreme Court case over the constitutionality of the District's gun control laws."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Iowa's high court rules on medical lawsuits": The Des Moines Register today contains an article that begins, "A Des Moines woman who claims her doctor failed to spot the early signs of breast cancer scored a legal victory Friday that will allow wrongly diagnosed medical patients to sue up to two years after they discover what caused their injury."

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Iowa issued two rulings addressing when a cause of action for medical malpractice accrues, and you can access those two rulings here and here.
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Dysfunction In Black Robes": The Ledger of Lakeland, Florida today contains an editorial that begins, "Is it something in the water? What else can explain a clash engulfing the Judicial Qualifications Commission and the Tallahassee-based 1st District Court of Appeal?"
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Roseville artist wins appeal of jail sentence": The Detroit Free Press today contains an article (via "Althouse") that begins, "The once-bare breasts of Eve -- painted on the side of a Roseville art studio -- may be uncovered again after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled the city unjustly sentenced the artist to jail in 2005."

And The Macomb Daily reports today that "Roseville artist wins appeal; City may take case to state Supreme Court."

Yesterday's ruling of the Michigan Court of Appeals consists of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.
Posted at 07:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"A long way to fall: Fort Smith police and federal agents investigate Ron Fields, once one of Arkansas's most distinguished prosecuting attorneys." The current issue of Arkansas Times contains this cover story.
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Is Ricky Really a Sex Offender? California’s registry for life may soon include promiscuous kids." This article appears in the current issue of Los Angeles CityBeat.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Refusing to Name Sources, Reporter May Face Big Fines": Today's edition of The Wall Street Journal contains an article that begins, "Toni Locy, a former USA Today reporter, could face some tough and expensive decisions beginning next week."
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Friday, February 22, 2008

Available online from law.com: An article reports that "2nd Circuit Rejects Agent Orange Claims by U.S. Veterans, Vietnamese Nationals." My earlier coverage appears at this link.

In news from New Jersey, "'Super Lawyers' Contest Heads for the Stretch."

An article reports that "Millions May Be at Stake in Suit Over Hit NBC Game Show; Dispute over 'Deal or No Deal' heads to Ga. Supreme Court."

And the new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "A Vote Against Opinions From Evenly Divided Appellate Courts."
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "A Twist in the Case Against Bin Laden's Driver" (RealPlayer required) and "New Hampshire Ponders New Death Chamber."
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Second Justice Dept. Waterboarding Probe Revealed": Dan Eggen of The Washington Post has a news update that begins, "An internal watchdog office at the Justice Department is investigating whether Bush administration attorneys violated professional standards by issuing legal opinions that authorized the CIA to use waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques, officials disclosed today."

And Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press reports that "Justice Reviews Role in Waterboarding."
Posted at 02:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court wants fast filing on new detainee case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog" reporting on an order that the U.S. Supreme Court issued earlier today.
Posted at 01:17 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit affirms injunction prohibiting the "distribution of false and misleading tax materials concerning corporate obligations to withhold federal taxes on wages": Today's ruling also requires the defendants to to provide to the government the names and contact information of the individuals who have received the tax materials.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


The dispute between "Beanie Babies" and "Screenie Beanies" returns to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: And, not surprisingly, Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner is the author of today's ruling.
Posted at 11:53 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court rules for companies in 'agent orange' case": Reuters provides this report.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued three Agent Orange-related decisions, and you can access them here, here, and here.
Posted at 11:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"No One Likes Snitches, Including Judges": Bloomberg News columnist Ann Woolner has this essay today.
Posted at 11:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Harm Initiative: How we got hoodwinked into tolerating abusive interrogations." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Totenberg notes rightward shift on Court; Award-winning NPR correspondent discusses effect of court decisions on women": This article appears today in The Michigan Daily.
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices give owner chance to keep home; House was foreclosed, resold without notice": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court yesterday ruled that a South Jersey woman should have a chance to get her house back because she was not given proper notice of a sheriff's sale after falling behind on the mortgage."

And The Daily Journal of Vineland, New Jersey reports today that "Local woman gets 2nd chance at keeping home."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 09:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Dolphin dies near sonar site; Researchers say it's too early to tell if exposure to Navy exercises caused its death": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today. As noted in the article, a related appeal is now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Medical Device Ruling Redraws Lines on Lawsuits": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an editorial entitled "No Recourse for the Injured."

And today's edition of Newsday contains an editorial entitled "Supreme Court chips away right to sue."
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling not my fault, Nelson says": The Omaha World-Herald today contains an article that begins, "When the Nebraska Supreme Court voted 6-1 to outlaw the electric chair, the Nebraska Republican Party jumped on the fact that the six judges were appointees of former Gov. Ben Nelson, a Democrat."

Today's newspaper also contains a related article headlined "An 'activist' court?"
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"In Pleasant Grove case, a religious group wants to avoid U.S. high court": The Daily Herald of Provo, Utah today contains an article that begins, "A religious organization is hoping to preserve its most recent legal victory over the city and keep a case regarding a monument in Pleasant Grove's Pioneer Park out of the U.S. Supreme Court. Summum, a Salt Lake City-based religious group that follows tenets of Gnostic Christianity and ancient Egyptian teachings, including mummification, filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Thursday, asking the court to reject Pleasant Grove's request for it to weigh in on a 2007 ruling by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That ruling granted a preliminary injunction to Summum, allowing the group to build a monument in Pioneer Park while it awaits the outcome of a federal lawsuit against Pleasant Grove."
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice refuses to disqualify himself from Massey case; Benjamin says 'innuendo' not basis for recusal": This article appears today in The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette.
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federal judge wants detailed Phelps financial data": Today's edition of The Topeka Capital-Journal contains an article that begins, "A federal court hearing next month in Maryland is designed to lay out the financial situation of Westboro Baptist Church. The matter is a $4 million question. That is the difference between what the Phelps family says it and their church is worth and the amount awarded to the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, whose funeral last year in Westminster, Md., was picketed by members of Westboro Baptist."
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Legislation bans use of evidence tied to torture": The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, "The Canadian government will reintroduce a controversial anti-terrorism measure as early as today in a bid to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that has forced Parliament to give more rights to immigrants accused of links to terrorist groups."
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Jessica's Law may increase crime risks; State officials say danger of sex offenders may rise as legal provisions lead to more homelessness": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Capano will get hearing on new trial bid; Federal judge will hear arguments March 18": Today's edition of The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware contains an article that begins, "A federal judge has agreed to hear arguments next month about why Tom Capano's 1999 conviction for the murder of Anne Marie Fahey should be overturned."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Serendipity' plays role in Yale Law School admissions": This article appears today in The Yale Daily News.
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Public view sought on desegregation plan; Forums, surveys will gauge reaction": The Louisville Courier-Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Incumbent GOP Ohio Supreme Court candidates have huge fund-raising lead; Democrat challengers have yet to make push": This article appears today in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Top U.S. court backs S.F. health care": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court allowed San Francisco on Thursday to continue requiring employers to pay part of the cost of providing health care to uninsured residents while a group of restaurant owners tries to overturn the program."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Former Dallas district court judge questioned by senators; Haynes stresses fairness at hearing for federal seat nomination": This article appears today in The Dallas Morning News.

And yesterday, the newspaper contained an article headlined "Judicial nominee's record may aid confirmation; Former Dallas judge hasn't had to weigh in on controversial issues" that begins, "By nominating Catharina Haynes to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, President Bush has chosen a widely praised, longtime insurance defense lawyer with a particularly attractive quality -- no record on controversial issues, such as abortion or the death penalty."

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) yesterday issued this statement in connection with yesterday's confirmation hearing for Fifth Circuit nominee Catharina Haynes.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Detainees at Guantanamo Fight Further Appeal Delay": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Friday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ohio Supreme Court upholds state law preventing manufacturer lawsuits in some cases": The Toledo Blade has this news update reporting on a ruling that the Supreme Court of Ohio issued today.

That court's news release about the ruling is headlined "Court Upholds Workers Comp Subrogation Law, 10-Year Time Limit for Suing Manufacturers."
Posted at 08:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Daytona Beach wins last appeal of nude dancing rule": This article appeared yesterday in The Orlando Sentinel.
Posted at 08:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Maraman sworn in as justice": Friday's edition of The Pacific Daily News of Guam contains an article that begins, "The Guam Judicial Center was packed with well-wishers sitting, standing in the center's atrium and looking down from the balcony as Katherine Maraman was sworn in as an associate justice for the Supreme Court of Guam. Maraman filled the seat vacated by Frances Tydingco-Gatewood upon Tydingco-Gatewood's appointment as the chief Judge of the District Court of Guam in November of 2006."
Posted at 08:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Benjamin won't withdraw from Massey case": The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia provides this news update.

The West Virginia Record provides a report headlined "Benjamin: Count me in."

And The Associated Press reports that "Benjamin refuses to step away from Massey case."
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"First Circuit weighs in on Rule 32(h) issue soon to be addressed by SCOTUS": At his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, Law Professor Doug Berman has this post about an en banc ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit decided today by a vote of 3-2.

Doug's post also notes the interesting statements found at the outset of Circuit Judge Juan R. Torruella's dissenting opinion. It almost sounds as though Judge Torruella is complaining that the en banc decision was being rushed out the door before he had an adequate opportunity to offer an explanation of the reasons for his dissent.

It also appears that Judge Torruella's dissent cites to his separate dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc in the case captioned Cerqueira v. American Airlines, Inc., even though the PACER docket entries in the Cerqueira case do not yet reflect the entry of an order denying rehearing en banc. That's got to be an unusual to learn that rehearing en banc has been (or, more likely, is about to be) denied.
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Kennedy Defends Foreign Law References": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Just who was Justice Anthony Kennedy calling out when he fired back at critics of the Supreme Court's use of international law in its opinions?"
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeal on Time, or Don't Appeal at All, U.S. Supreme Court Advises": Back on June 18, 2007, I had this installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column for law.com discussing the U.S. Supreme Court's then-recent 5-4 ruling in Bowles v. Russell.

Last month, the "Colloquy" web site of the Northwestern University Law Review published two essays about the Bowles ruling. Law Professor Perry Dane's essay is entitled "Sad Time: Thoughts on Jurisdictionality, the Legal Imagination, and Bowles v. Russell" (also available in PDF format).

And attorney E. King Poor has an essay entitled "The Jurisdictional Time Limit for an Appeal: The Worst Kind of Deadline--Except for All Others" (also available in PDF format).
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Faxed Notice of Appeal Not 'Filed,' Not Effective": This post at the blog "Alabama Appellate Watch" reports on a ruling that the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals issued last week.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law Blogging for Fun and Profit: Building Your Audience, Building Your Practice." Along with Kimberly A. Kralowec of "The UCL Practitioner" blog and J. Craig Williams of the "May it Please the Court" blog, I'll be taking part in this West Legalworks audio program live at noon eastern time today.

There's still time to register for the program via this link, and by using the code WLW15 at checkout, you can obtain a 15 percent discount on the program's cost.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Cost-cutting may close courts; Workers may be sent home without pay; A judge calls it a 'catastrophe'": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "Judges across Florida say the state's budget crunch will shutter courthouses for weeks this spring as thousands of court employees are sent home without pay. At risk, they say, is a halt to all civil litigation for those weeks, such as foreclosures and divorces. All that would be heard is priority family law cases and critical criminal proceedings."
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Rigged Trials at Gitmo": Ross Tuttle has this article online at The Nation.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Supreme Court Allows Suit over 401(K) Loss" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Congressman: U.S. Not in Danger Without Spy Law."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Schiavo judge gets no shelter from storms; Judge George Greer moves from the Terri Schiavo case to the divorce wars": This article appeared last month in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"AG backs abortion buffer zone; Her brief responds to group's lawsuit": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Attorney General Martha Coakley said yesterday that a new law restricting antiabortion activists from standing within 35 feet of an abortion clinic's entrance did not violate their right to free speech. Coakley filed a brief in federal court in response to a lawsuit filed last month by antiabortion activists, who oppose the new restriction, saying it violates their constitutional right to protest on a public sidewalk."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyers divided on death penalty system; Prosecutors and defense attorneys tell a state panel that the system is dysfunctional but differ on solutions": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court gives business 2 wins; It interprets federal law broadly to protect companies from juries and state regulators": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has articles headlined "Supreme Court Shields Medical-Device Makers; Decision Rules Out State Lawsuits Over Products That Meet FDA's Highest Standards" and "Supreme Court Strikes Down State's Law to Diminish Internet Tobacco Sales to Teens."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Court draws line on state safeguards."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Continues Pro-Business Stance; But a high court ruling in an ERISA case prevents a clean sweep for business."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that "Ruling shields med-tech firms; The Supreme Court decision in a case involving Medtronic curbed the ability of consumers to sue medical-product makers."

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that "Justices side with Medtronic; Supreme Court reins in medical device lawsuits."

Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "High court ruling favors medical device firms."

And in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "In Blow to Spitzer, Court Strikes Down Tobacco Law."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Top Court Allows Suit Over 401(k)": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Ruling Allows Workers to Sue On 401(k) Losses."

USA Today reports that "High court greenlights worker's 401(k) suit; It's the first time an individual can sue employer over losses."

And The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "A Victory for Workers: The Supreme Court allows employees to sue their retirement plans."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Time asks Indonesian court to reverse Suharto libel ruling": Reuters provides this report.

And The Associated Press reports that "Time Appeals Indonesian Verdict."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Inmate Crusades Against Judge Nominee": The Associated Press provides this report. And don't miss this related post of mine from last night.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Stifling Online Speech": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an editorial that begins, "The rise of Internet journalism has opened a new front in the battle to protect free speech. A federal judge last week ordered the disabling of Wikileaks.org, a muckraking Web site. That stifles important speech and violates the First Amendment. It should be reversed, and Wikileaks should be allowed to resume operations."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Journalism on Trial": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Judith Miller has an op-ed that begins, "There are many ways to intimidate or silence journalists. One depressing tactic in this country is to jail them for refusing to divulge the names of confidential sources who have provided sensitive information for articles, or to turn over telephone logs, emails, memos or notebooks identifying those informants to whom reporters have pledged confidentiality."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Investigates Whether Lott Had Role in Mississippi Judge Case; Federal Inquiry Examines Former Senator's Links To a Scruggs Suit Ruling": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Unknown Entity Backs Suit To Expose U.S.-Kuwait Pact": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Supreme Court snuffs Maine's Internet cigarette sales rule; The justices, citing need for unfettered interstate commerce, say delivery companies cannot be required to verify that tobacco recipients are over 18": Warren Richey will have this article Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.

And Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "Court rubs out Maine law regulating Internet tobacco sales."
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Rules Employees Can Sue Over 401(k) Misconduct": The Washington Post will contain this front page article on Thursday.

Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Supreme Court rules that employees can sue 401(k) managers; The 7-to-2 decision gives workers and retirees recourse for the mishandling of individual retirement accounts."

And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court rules workers can sue over 401(k) losses."
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeal to stall Jefferson trial for months": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides a news update that begins, "New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson on Wednesday appealed a key ruling in his public corruption case, a move certain to delay the trial -- possibly until the fall election season."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Meet Bush's Prison Nominee: Tennessee's next trial court judge might be a prison company executive who has less courtroom experience than most inmates." This article appears online today at the web site of Mother Jones magazine.
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Rule on Retroactivity of Decisions": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Make It Tougher to Sue Medical Device Makers": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times. Tomorrow's paper will also contain a news analysis headlined "Justices Add Legal Complications to Debate on F.D.A.'s Competence."

And Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times reports that "Supreme Court ruling limits medical lawsuits."
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Why Protect Private Arms Possession?" Law Professor Michael Steven Green has posted this article (abstract with link for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").

Coincidentally, Professor Green clerked after law school for Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner. This week's topic at "The Becker-Posner Blog" is "Can Gun Control Laws be Effective?" Becker's post is here, while Posner's response is here.
Posted at 08:07 PM by Howard Bashman



Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio is reporting: On this evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered," she had an audio segment entitled "Federal Rules Beat State Laws in High Court Rulings."

And on today's broadcast of "Morning Edition," she had an audio segment entitled "Retaliation Case Reaches Supreme Court."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online at "SCOTUSblog": Lyle Denniston has posts titled "'Creating' or 'declaring' rights" and "Another way to limit Sec. 1981."

And Tom Goldstein has a post titled "Practice Pointer: Navigating a Novel Cert. Problem."
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online Zacarias Moussaoui's Brief for Appellant filed last month in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: A law librarian who works for a west coast-based law school and who is a fan of "How Appealing" yesterday kindly sent to me a PDF file consisting of Zacarias Moussaoui's opening brief in his current Fourth Circuit appeal. The file is quite large -- almost 18MB -- so I've posted it to eSnips. You can download the brief in PDF format via this link. The brief -- which is over 200 pages in length -- contains lots of redactions that were made before the Fourth Circuit was able to release it for public review.

Seven attorneys from Arnold & Porter's Washington, D.C. office, and one attorney from Richmond, Virginia, are listed on the cover of the brief as Moussaoui's attorneys on appeal.

Last Saturday's issue of The Washington Post reported on Moussaoui's opening brief in an article headlined "Moussaoui Deprived of Constitutional Rights, Attorneys Say; Appeal Seeks to Overturn Guilty Plea, Life Sentence Because of Evidence Kept Secret, Counsel Choice Denied." According to the article, the Fourth Circuit unsealed Moussaoui's appellate brief last Friday.
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Examining the retroactive effect of a newly adopted statutory cap on non-economic damages for "any injury to a person in an action arising out of a motor vehicle accident": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued this ruling today. The statutory cap in question is one that now exists under the local law of the U.S. Virgin Islands, but the cap took effect after the plaintiff was injured and after the plaintiff had filed his lawsuit. The law imposing the cap is silent concerning its retroactive effect.

The plaintiff sustained his injuries when the motorcycle he was driving was hit by a jeep driven by United States Army recruiter. Thus, today's Third Circuit ruling, which holds that the damages cap cannot apply to this plaintiff's claim, is adverse to the United States government.
Posted at 05:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Legality of Bush bugging policy shifts to S.F." Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal Tuesday to hear a lawsuit challenging President Bush's electronic surveillance program left a critical balance-of-powers question - whether judges can decide the legality of the secretive program - in the hands of two federal courts in San Francisco."
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit examines the constitutionality of a warrantless search of a storage unit when the person who lived in the storage unit denied permission to search but the person who owned the storage unit granted permission to search: On behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt applies the U.S. Supreme Court's 2006 ruling in Georgia v. Randolph to hold that the search was unlawful.

Today's opinion states:

Next, the government argues that Randolph does not apply because the storage unit was not a residence. As an initial matter, Murphy's living situation was unconventional, but the record shows that the storage units were the closest thing that he had to a residence. He was sleeping in unit 14 and storing his belongings in unit 17. For the purposes of the Fourth Amendment, this is sufficient to create an expectation of privacy and thus the authority to refuse a search. Moreover, even if the storage units could not be considered a residence, there is no reason that the rule in Randolph should be limited to residences. Randolph is rooted in the idea of common authority and the Supreme Court has extended the principle of common authority well beyond residences.
You can access today's Ninth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Videotaping middle school students dressing and undressing in a school locker room is "wholly disproportionate to the claimed policy goal of assuring increased school security, especially when there is no history of any threat to security in the locker rooms": Not to mention that the video was apparently capable of being accessed over the internet. More details can be found in this ruling that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in CBOCS West v. Humphries, No. 06-1431: At this link.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds man's conviction for having sex with dead deer": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin issued yesterday.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court limits lawsuits in Medtronic case; The high court decision will curb the ability of aggrieved consumers to sue companies that make faulty medical devices": The Minneapolis Star Tribune provides this news update.

And the "Drug and Device Law" blog has a post titled "More on Riegel."
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Supreme Court rules against 'Judge Alex' star; Jurists say Alex Ferrer must resolve a fee dispute with a former manager in arbitration; High court also issues rulings on 401K accounts, medical devices, and alcohol and tobacco shipments": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Today's five U.S. Supreme Court decisions in argued cases: The Court today issued rulings in the following five cases:
1. Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transp. Assn., No. 06-457: opinion here and oral argument transcript here;

2. Preston v. Ferrer, No. 06-1463: opinion here and oral argument transcript here;

3. Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 06-179: opinion here and oral argument transcript here;

4. Danforth v. Minnesota, No. 06-8273: opinion here and oral argument transcript here; and

5. LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Associates, Inc., No. 06-856: opinion here and oral argument transcript here.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has posts titled "State laws preempted in three areas" and "States allowed to expand criminal rights."

Mark Sherman and Pete Yost of The Associated Press report that "Court Gives Business 2 Wins, 1 Loss." Yost also has articles headlined "Court Limits Suits Over Medical Devices"; "Court Invalidates Maine Tobacco Law"; and "Court Rules Against Judge Alex." And in other coverage of today's rulings, The AP reports that "Court Extends Cross-Examination Rule" and "Court Says 401(k) Participants Can Sue."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Patient Medical-Device Suits Curbed by Top U.S. Court" and "Retirement-Fund Suits Allowed by U.S. Supreme Court."

And Reuters reports that "Top court rules for Medtronic in devices case" and "Daytime television judge loses high court case."
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: A bit later this morning, I'll be visiting an appellate client who is incarcerated in central Pennsylvania. Additional posts will appear here this afternoon.

If the U.S. Supreme Court issues any opinions in argued cases at 10 a.m. eastern time today, "SCOTUSblog" can be counted on to provide timely coverage.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court dismisses challenge to Bush's wiretapping policy; Though not a ruling on the legality of the president's action, it effectively precludes any successful legal attack on the policy before Bush is out of office": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Privacy case is rejected by court; U.S. wiretapping battle now over."

And The Detroit News reports that "Spy-law suit dealt blow; Supreme Court denies latest bid, which originated in Detroit, for hearing into federal wiretapping program."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Will Hear Case on Evidence Suppression": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

And today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court to review 'exclusionary rule' on evidence; Conservative justices have their eyes on the controversial doctrine that requires judges to throw out anything improperly obtained by police."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Public could fund high court candidates; Proposal aims to prevent possible conflicts of interest": The Detroit Free Press contains this article today.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tape Inquiry: Ex-Spymaster in the Middle." This profile of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., the central figure in a controversy over destroyed C.I.A. interrogation tapes, appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reporter Held in Contempt in Anthrax Case": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "A federal judge found a former reporter for USA Today in contempt of court on Tuesday for refusing to name her confidential sources who had discussed a former Army scientist's possible role in the 2001 anthrax attacks."

USA Today reports today that "Judge holds reporter in contempt in '01 anthrax case."

And The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette reports that "Journalism professors support colleague."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"'Superstar' to Join HLS Team in Fall": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "After more than 30 years away from his alma mater, Cass R. Sunstein ’75--the most cited law professor in the U.S.--will be returning to Harvard to join the Law School faculty this fall."

And The Boston Globe reports today that "Leading scholar joins Harvard Law faculty."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Searching Laptops at the Border and In Airports: A Disturbing Practice That Imperils Fourth and First Amendment Rights." Anita Ramasastry has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Anonymous Blogging and Defamation: Balancing Interests of the Internet." Law Professor Betsy Malloy has posted this paper (abstract with link for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Declines Review of NSA Wiretapping Program."

In other news, "N.Y. High Court Approves Consequential Damages Claims Against Insurers." Today's rulings of the New York State Court of Appeals can be accessed here and here.

And an article reports that "Amicus Briefs Pile Up in Bid to Sway N.Y. High Court on Judge's Removal Over Cell Phone Incident; Briefs cite Restaino's judicial record and community standing, as well as the isolated nature of the 2005 courtroom incident."
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court: 'I Plead the Fifth' Is Not an Ambiguous Assertion of Rights." Metropolitan News-Enterprise provides this report.

My earlier coverage of last week's Ninth Circuit en banc ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Seven million site visits: According to this blog's Site Meter hit counter, earlier today the number of visitors to "How Appealing" passed the seven million mark. And that same hit counter also shows that soon this blog will pass the thirteen million page view threshold.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court refuses to hear wiretapping case": The Detroit Free Press provides this news update.

James Vicini of Reuters reports that "Top court won't review Bush domestic spying case."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Bush Spying Program."

Financial Times provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court rejects eavesdropping case."

BBC News reports that "Top US court rejects spying case; The US Supreme Court has dismissed a legal challenge to a domestic anti-terrorism eavesdropping programme."

And Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "High court stays out of NSA surveillance row."
Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Age Discrimination Hits Supreme Court": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Katrina insurance lawsuits": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides this news update.
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nebraska attorney general asks court to reconsider ban on electric chair": The Omaha World-Herald provides this news update.
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kansas Supreme Court stalls subpoena of Tiller abortion records": The Wichita Eagle provides this news update.
Posted at 08:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Likely To Uphold Energy Crisis Power Contracts": Mark H. Anderson of Dow Jones Newswires provides this report.

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Voices Support for Power Producers."
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Grumpy Young Men: The Supreme Court squints at America's elderly federal employees." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Weighs Reach of Age Discrimination Law": Robert Barnes of The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Web Site That Posts Leaked Material Ordered Shut": Adam Liptak and Brad Stone of The New York Times provide this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Web Site 'Wikileaks' Shuttered Over Post."

My earlier coverage appeared in this post from last night.
Posted at 07:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"FCC Must Study Bird-Tower Collisions": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"[W]e conclude that, where the victim is less than 13 years of age, evidence of the victim's consent to sexual contact, like in criminal proceedings, is not an available defense in determining a defendant's civil liability." So rules the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania today by a 4-2 vote. Today's ruling consists of a majority opinion and an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Update: The Associated Press reports that "Justices reject consent defense."
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mumia Abu-Jamal Loses Bid for Hearing": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued today.
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcripts of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: The two cases argued today were Gomez-Perez v. Potter, No. 06-1321, and Morgan Stanley Capital Group v. Public Utility Dist. 1, No. 06-1457.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court rejects wiretap suit; The domestic spying case ends quietly as the justices issue a one-line order dismissing the ACLU challenge of the Bush program": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online is an article headlined "Court Will Hear Labor Union Fee Dispute."

And an article headlined "Judge Gives Eatery Victory Over Yale" begins, "Yale University produces presidents and Supreme Court justices, but it's no match for a restaurant that produces lobster cassoulette."
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Declines to Hear School District Appeal Over Student's 'Immigration' Essay": Mark Walsh has this post at "The School Law Blog" of Education Week.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sunstein to join Harvard Law School faculty": Harvard Law School issued this news release today (via "The Volokh Conspiracy").
Posted at 12:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge May Hold Reporter in Contempt": Hope Yen of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge says he will hold a former USA Today reporter in contempt if she continues refusing to identify sources for stories about a former Army scientist under scrutiny in the 2001 anthrax attacks. At a hearing Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said that reporter Toni Locy must cooperate with Steven J. Hatfill in his lawsuit against the government."
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"White Shoe, Black Hat: Michael Clayton's devastating critique of the legal profession." Patrick Radden Keefe has this essay online at Slate.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"House Democrats Let Spy Law Lapse": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to hear four cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog." You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.

In early news coverage from The Associated Press, "Court Rejects ACLU Challenge to Wiretaps"; "Court to Consider Suppression Case"; "Court Allows Montana Suit Vs. Wyoming"; "Court Won't Hear Ex-Ala. Coaches' Appeal"; and "Justices Turn Aside Flood Insurance Plea."
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Candidates debate judicial climate": The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette today contains an article that begins, "Candidates for the West Virginia Supreme Court debated the state's previous label as a 'judicial hellhole' during a Monday forum at the Charleston Marriott."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge's bathroom to cost $30,000": This article appears in Wednesday's issue of The Courier-Mail of Queensland, Australia.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Dared to Uphold Handgun Ban by Man Who Has None": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News has a report that begins, "Robert Levy, the man paying for a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the District of Columbia's handgun ban, has built his own financial-data business and enrolled in law school as a 50-year-old. The one thing he has never done is own a gun."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Appellate Judge Has an Opinion, but He's Not Sharing It": You can access this week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com at this link. A quite recent manifestation of the phenomenon that is the subject of my column this week can be seen on page 17 of this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued on Friday of last week.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pelosi's Wiretap Offensive": The Wall Street Journal contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"State educators to decide evolution standards Tuesday": This article appears today in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. In addition, columnist Michael Mayo has an essay entitled "You say you want some evolution? Say your prayers."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Shame, Sen. McCain: His vote against a ban on 'enhanced' interrogation methods belies his opposition to torture." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Extremes emerge in fetal rights arguments": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice at Guantanamo: Once again the Bush administration is trying to curtail it." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"1976 Law Is Just One in D.C.'s Maze Of Gun Rules": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Impressions of Terrorism, Drawn From Court Files": Today's edition of The New York Times contains this installment of Adam Liptak's weekly "Sidebar" column.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pentagon to challenge interview of 9/11 suspect": Today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has an article that begins, "Pentagon prosecutors are challenging a military court's decision to let Osama bin Laden's driver send written questions to alleged senior al Qaeda members held incommunicado at Guantanamo."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Yale Law Journal ties for top ranking": This article appears today in The Yale Daily News.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Neuborne Withdraws Request For Interest From Holocaust Survivors": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "An acrimonious and protracted dispute over legal fees that pitted a New York University law professor against a group of Holocaust survivors has ended. Less than a month after Burt Neuborne asked for $300,000 in interest above the $3.1 million he had already received for administering a settlement between Swiss banks and Holocaust survivors, the professor decided to withdraw the request for the interest."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 18, 2008

"Climate Change & the Constitution: A discussion on how the U.S. Constitution restrains states from enacting global warming legislation; Panelists include Paul Clement, U.S. Solicitor General, and others." By clicking here (RealPlayer required), you can view this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts."

And if you find that a nearly 58-minute broadcast on that subject is not enough, by clicking here (RealPlayer required) you can view the entire 110-minute panel discussion.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Valdez: 19 Years Later." This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Future of Reputation -- Now Online for Free!" Daniel J. Solove has this post at the "Concurring Opinions" blog providing a link via which you can download his book for free.
Posted at 10:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Whistleblower' website shut by US court over bank documents": Agence France Presse provides a report that begins, "A website designed to let whistleblowers publish sensitive documents has been ordered shut down by a US federal judge at the request of a Swiss bank and its Cayman Islands subsidiary, court documents showed Monday. US District Judge Jeffrey White in California, in an injunction order dated Friday, ordered the shutdown of the website known as Wikileaks.org."

BBC News reports that "Whistle-blower site taken offline; A controversial website that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously post government and corporate documents has been taken offline in the US."

Tuesday's edition of The Guardian (UK) reports that "Whistleblowing website vows to defy court gag."

The Sydney Morning Herald provides a news update headlined "Court puts kybosh on telltale site."

And The Register (UK) reports that "US judge arranges summary execution of Wikileaks.org; Many-headed whistleblower site still standing."

You can view Friday's order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California both here and here.

And via "TPM Muckraker," you can access here the motion that sought to shut down the web site.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Maraman will join Guam Supreme Court": Tuesday's edition of The Pacific Daily News of Guam contains an article that begins, "Judge Katherine Maraman will be sworn in to the Supreme Court of Guam Thursday."
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Warner, Scalia, Brundtland earn UVa's top honors": Saturday's edition of The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Virginia contained an article that begins, "Sen. John W. Warner, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and United Nations special envoy Gro Harlem Brundtland have been named the 2008 recipients of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals, the highest external honors given by the University of Virginia."
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Unique Lives & Experiences: Interview with Sarah Weddington." This article appears today in The Vancouver Sun.
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Business waits on Supreme Court rulings": Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times has a news update that begins, "US companies are facing high-stakes litigation at the Supreme Court starting on Tuesday, as the justices begin a two-week session in which they will hear several important business cases from employment discrimination to punitive damages."
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Employer retaliation cases reach U.S. Supreme Court: When can workers sue against acts of retaliation by employers? Two cases slated for hearing this week may help clarify." Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sniping Continues in Gun Case": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Did the Ninth Circuit's 'Plead the Fifth' Case Get It Right?" Orin Kerr has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts on shared Jewish-American legal heritage": Yesterday's edition of The Jerusalem Post contained an article that begins, "US Chief Justice John Roberts appeared before the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly at its convention here last week, the first time he has addressed a Jewish body since assuming his role at the Supreme Court in 2005, according to the assembly."
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tale of ring finally over? State Superior Court overturns decision, rules Porreco prenup valid." Today's edition of The Erie Times-News contains an article that begins, "The case of the phony diamond engagement ring has taken another turn. This one indisputably favors well-known Erie auto dealer Louis Porreco. Porreco has won what could be the decisive court victory in the decade-old dispute over the fake ring and the prenuptial agreement he signed with his now former wife."

Because last week's ruling of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania was a non-precedential decision, the ruling is not readily available online.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Death penalty panel looks at reasons for reversals; In second meeting, state commission focuses on work by defense, prosecution": Howard Mintz has this article today in The San Jose Mercury News.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Can there be justice in Guantanamo Bay? The US military commissions could mean that America risks having its own system of justice being put on trial." Clive Baldwin has this op-ed today in The Times of London.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer's penalty too light for some; Gemma Graham prosecuted serious crimes for 20 years while her license was on hold; the handling of her case is questioned": This article appears today in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Just ten days ago, the newspaper contained an article headlined "Punishment for prosecutor who was unauthorized to practice for 20 years: Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Gemma Graham was reprimanded and placed on unsupervised probation by the state Supreme Court for the unauthorized practice of law for 20 years."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey's skillful evasions on torture": Nat Hentoff has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyers target GPS data in Jersey courts; Data used in drug case challenged by defense": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Twenty years ago today: According to the popular "Today in History" feature from The Associated Press, on this date in 1988, "Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Nominees: Too far right." This editorial, focusing on judicial nominations, appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

And The Baltimore Sun today contains an editorial entitled "Judicial balance."
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Churches weigh in on same-sex marriage": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 07:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial Rebukes on Clean Air": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Freedmen's Remedy: The big discrimination case before the Supreme Court." Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo, Evil and Zany in Pop Culture": The New York Times today contains this article, which begins by discussing the forthcoming movie "Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay."
Posted at 07:05 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online at FindLaw: Donna M. Byrne has an essay entitled "Disclosing the Potentially Dangerous Dyes that Make Gray Salmon Pink: The California Supreme Court Holds that Actions to Enforce the State's Food Labeling Law Are Not Preempted by Federal Law."

And John R. Steer and Mark H. Allenbaugh have an essay entitled "The State of Federal Cocaine Sentencing Policy: Will Congress Soon Finish What the U.S. Sentencing Commission Started?"
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Gov't to insist at US high court Arelma account is ill-gotten": Monday's issue of The Sun Star of Manila contains an article that begins, "State lawyers will try to argue next month before the US Supreme Court (SC) that the US$35-million Arelma account held in the name of a dummy corporation allegedly owned by the late President Ferdinand Marcos is ill-gotten and actually belonged to the Philippine government."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to hear case about detaining rape victims; Justices will review an appeals court ruling that overturned a San Marcos man's convictions": The North County Times of Escondido, California today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court has agreed to review a San Marcos rape case that could determine how the legal system treats sexual assault victims who live out of state and refuse to return to California to testify in court."
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mayor Kilpatrick takes case to Michigan Supreme Court; City says legal principle, not politics, is at stake": Yesterday's edition of The Detroit Free Press contained an article that begins, "Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick took his text message scandal to the Michigan Supreme Court on Friday, urging justices to strike down decisions from two lower courts to provide the public with secret documents he used to settle police whistle-blower lawsuits last year for $8.4 million. The city filed the appeal under seal, but city law director John E. Johnson Jr. said in a statement the city asked the high court to consider the same arguments that were rejected Wednesday by the Michigan Court of Appeals and on Feb. 5 by Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Colombo Jr., in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Free Press."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge denies setting up 'sham residence'": The Grand Rapids Press contained this article yesterday, along with articles headlined "Servaas battles to stay on bench" and "Judicial complaints seldom reach public airing."

Today's newspaper contains an article headlined "Residents critical of inquiry involving judge."

The newspaper has also posted online this profile of the judge originally published in August 2006.
Posted at 10:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Starcher recuses himself from Massey case; Justice suggests colleague Benjamin do the same": This article appeared yesterday in The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette.

The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia reported yesterday that "Starcher steps away from Massey case."

And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported yesterday that "Second justice recuses himself in W.Va. case."
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Candidates weigh in on Guantanamo trials": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Complicated sentencing laws blamed for long prison stays": Today's edition of The Los Angeles Times contains an article that begins, "The thousands of incorrect release dates for state prisoners result from a series of decisions by the California Supreme Court and two state appeals courts between May 2005 and January 2006."
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"New York 'Crack Tax' Proposal Is Derided; Many States Aid Enforcement With Levy on Illicit Drugs": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 07:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Official Defends Rough CIA Interrogations; Severe, Lasting Pain Is Torture, He Says": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Weighs 5 Age Bias Cases": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Did politics trump law in case of polluting Canadian smelter?" McClatchy Newspapers provide this report on the Teck Cominco case.
Posted at 12:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Rider could sue stable despite waiver." In Saturday's edition of The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko had an article that begins, "A rider who fell from her horse and was injured on a trail in Marin County can sue the stable despite having signed a release that warned of the dangers of horseback riding, a state appeals court says."

You can access Thursday's ruling of California's First District Court of Appeal at this link.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Man linked to accused terrorist denied bail": Yesterday in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko had an article that begins, "A federal appeals court denied bail Friday to a San Jose man who is charged with sending money and supplies to his brother, a reputed terrorist leader in the Philippines."

And yesterday in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reported that "Court rejects bail for engineer accused in global terror plot."

You can access Friday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court race is back on voter radar; Questions over recent case has judge on defense": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals does not get much publicity, unless it is negative, and much of that revolves around controversy over the death penalty."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge: Victims aren't legal experts." Today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal, Edward Fitzpatrick has an article that begins, "The judge who handled the Station fire criminal cases says crime victims and their families aren't in the position to tell him what sentences he should impose because they are often focused on their loss and not on the criminal charges or pleas that dictate sentencing options."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"When God and the Law Don't Square": Adam Liptak has this article today in the Week in Review section of The New York Times.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, February 16, 2008

In the current issue of The Harvard Law Record: The publication contains articles headlined "Panelists Clash on Political, Legal Implications of War on Terror" and "Legal Journalism and Writing Op-Eds: Advice for Breaking In."
Posted at 05:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Toobin Talks Book, Bench, and Beloved (Alma Mater)": The Harvard Crimson provides this news update.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Ruling Has Some Claws": Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, "Belligerent cats and their owners beware: The state Supreme Court has set new guidelines that could hold you to a higher standard of liability when cats attack people. Connecticut's highest court has refused to adopt the more liberal 'first bite' rule, popular in Southern states in particular, which essentially holds pet owners accountable only after their pet has shown a propensity to bite people."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Connecticut at this link.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Law school's law library gives rise to lawsuit: The Hartford Courant reports today that "State Files Suit Over Law Library."
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Deal keeps Penry imprisoned for life; Inmate who had death sentence overturned three times apologizes": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "The long saga of convicted murderer Johnny Paul Penry, whose case helped push mental retardation into the national debate over capital punishment, ended Friday with a plea agreement to a life sentence. Penry, one of Texas' best-known death row inmates, agreed to three life sentences and to a stipulation that he was not mentally retarded, in spite of what his lawyers have asserted for almost three decades. His death sentence had been overturned three times, most recently in 2005, because of problems in instructing the jury how to weigh the mitigating effect of his mental capacity."

The Associated Press reports that "State won't seek death penalty against killer Penry."

And Reuters reports that "Guilty plea ends long death-penalty appeal saga."
Posted at 04:54 PM by Howard Bashman



Friday, February 15, 2008

Available online from law.com: Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "Will Fonda's On-Air Blooper Help CBS in the Janet Jackson Case?"

And the new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "The Appellate Judge Has an Opinion, but He's Not Sharing It." The latest manifestation of this phenomenon can be seen on page 17 of this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today.
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court delays deportation of unlucky immigrant": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court gave a second chance Thursday to an immigrant who was ordered deported after his car overheated on a Southern California freeway and he showed up two hours late for his asylum hearing."

You can access yesterday's ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"West Wing Aides Cited for Contempt; Refusal to Testify Prompts House Action": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "House Votes to Issue Contempt Citations."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "House OKs contempt citations against Bush aides; The vote targets Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former Counsel Harriet Miers, who failed to answer subpoenas in the U.S. attorney firing case. Republicans stage a walkout."
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Appeals to Justices on Detainees Case": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"House Defies Bush on Wiretaps; Expiring Law's Fate Is at Issue": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post. In addition, Mike McConnell has an op-ed entitled "A Key Gap In Fighting Terrorism: Private Firms Need Liability Protection."

The New York Times reports today that "House Leaves Surveillance Law to Expire."

The Christian Science Monitor reports that "House set to let warrantless eavesdropping law lapse; President lobbied hard Thursday for renewal of Protect America Act, which expires Feb. 16."

And from National Public Radio, today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Intel Chief: Telecom Immunity a Security Issue." And this evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "National Security Immunity Sought for Phone Firms." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Rules Waiters Are Entitled to Fees Disguised as Tips": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "In a major victory for the state's restaurant employees, New York's highest court ruled on Thursday that restaurants must pay their wait staff any mandatory service fees that customers are led to believe are substitutes for tips."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the New York State Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 11:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Says Use of MySpace May Violate a Court Order": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And yesterday's issue of The Staten Island Advance reported that "Teen to face real charges for cyberspace behavior; MySpace 'friend requests' may have violated protection order."
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama and Guns": ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has this post today at her "Legalities" blog.
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Why Now? The timing of the Guantanamo trials is not an accident." Charles Swift has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.

And online at The New Republic, Benjamin Wittes has an essay entitled "Trial by Fire: The trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will finally reveal how Bush's military commissions work--or, more likely, why they fail."
Posted at 05:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Supports Individual Gun Rights": The Associated Press provides this report (updated link).
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Expanded argument on Exxon Valdez": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Of Beethoven, of vodka, or of the Bill of Rights containing the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution? The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that if a criminal suspect indicates in any manner during custodial questioning that he wishes to remain silent, interrogation must cease. Today, a fifteen-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit resolves whether a criminal defendant's statement, during an interrogation, that "I plead the fifth" is sufficient to invoke the right to remain silent. Complicating this question, the appeal arises in the habeas context challenging a state court conviction and is governed by the federal law whose acronym is AEDPA. The majority, in a decision that you can access here, overturns the federal district court's denial of habeas relief.

Back on November 6, 2006, a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel voted 2-1 to affirm the district court's denial of habeas relief. Now-Chief Judge Alex Kozinski joined in the original panel's majority opinion, which a federal district judge sitting by designation wrote. The judge who dissented from the panel opinion wrote the en banc majority opinion on behalf of a sizable majority. Because this case was reargued en banc before Kozinski became the Ninth Circuit's chief judge, he was not guaranteed a seat on the en banc panel, and he was not randomly selected to serve on the en banc panel. Thus, we can only imagine what he might have said in response to today's ruling.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Arguing Over Argument Time in D.C. Gun Case": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman


Today is the final day to comment on pending amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and other federal procedural rules: I linked to the text of those amendments, and to the email address where comments can be submitted, in the February 4, 2008 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "Deadline for Commenting on Federal Appellate Rule Amendments Is Fast Approaching."

This comment from Brian Wolfman of Public Citizen Litigation Group echoes one of the concerns that I voiced in that essay. And attorney Stephen P. Stoltz has submitted a comment questioning whether setting a deadline at "midnight" on a particular day means that the deadline occurs immediately upon the beginning of the day instead of at the day's absolute completion. You can access all of the comments relating to the proposed appellate rule changes via this link.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Suit Accuses Homeland Security of Illegal Searches": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

I linked to the complaint initiating suit in this earlier post.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



By a vote of 8-5, en banc Sixth Circuit holds that the federal constitutional right to the appointment of counsel for indigent defendants seeking first-tier review of plea-based convictions in Michigan state court does not apply retroactively on habeas review: You can access today's ruling at this link. The U.S. Supreme Court specifically recognized this right to counsel in Halbert v. Michigan, a ruling that issued in June of 2005.
Posted at 10:48 AM by Howard Bashman


The D.C. Circuit affirms the dismissal of a lawsuit brought against a retired general of the Israeli Defense Forces by the relatives of civilians who died or were injured when IDF forces attacked a UN compound in Lebanon where civilians had sought refuge: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


To obtain a conviction under a provision of the federal "[a]ggravated identity theft" statute, must the government prove the defendant knew the "means of identification" he "transfer[red], possesse[d], or use[d]" actually belonged to "another person"? Or, is it sufficient for the government to show that the means of identification happened to belong to another person? Today, the majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit holds that the government must prove that the defendant actually knew the identification in question belonged to someone else. The ruling thus gives rise to a circuit split.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Experts have doubts about grand jury bid; Suit to allow the disclosure of evidence appears unprecedented": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Legal analysts are skeptical that members of a disbanded grand jury who are asking a court for permission to disclose evidence presented to them in a politically sensitive arson case will meet with any success. Six members of the grand jury that indicted Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife in connection with a suspicious fire at their home last summer have resurrected an 85-year-old case to bolster their lawsuit, which seeks to let them speak openly about secret matters because of the criticism that was directed at them by prosecutors."

The Associated Press reports that "Grand jurors sue to disclose evidence in case against Supreme Court justice; Six indicted Supreme Court justice, but DA dismissed the charges."

And ABCNews.com provides a report headlined "A Texas Drama: the 'Runaway' Grand Jury; Grand Jurors Want to Indict a Supreme Court Justice; a Prosecutor Dismissed the Charges."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Exxon Spill Award Hits High Court; Justices to decide whether $2.5 billion verdict will stand."

In other news, "N.Y. High Court Approves Derivative Lawsuits for LLCs; Dissenting judge calls the majority's ruling 'unique in the annals of the Court of Appeals.'" You can access yesterday's ruling of the New York State Court of Appeals at this link.

And an article is headlined "Will Fajitagate Case Set 9th Circuit Precedent?" I had this post yesterday about the case.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Government appeals new detainee case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 11:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Joseph Sneed dies - longtime 9th Circuit judge": Bob Egelko has this obituary today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bill Curbing Terror Interrogators Is Sent to Bush, Who Has Vowed to Veto It": This article appears today in The New York Times. In addition, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has an op-ed entitled "When We Torture."

The Washington Post reports today that "Senate Passes Ban On Waterboarding, Other Techniques."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Senate OKs limits on interrogation methods; The measure, which would ban the CIA's use of waterboarding, is expected to be vetoed by Bush." In addition, columnist Rosa Brooks has an op-ed entitled "Bush's last push for torture: In its lame-duck year, the administration has been conducting a PR campaign for waterboarding."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sex, Lies, Hostility in the Court: Rare Judicial Ethics Case Exposes Florida Appellate Judges' Dirty Laundry." ABCNews.com provides this report.

My most recent earlier coverage appeared at this link. And you can access via this link the documents filed in the ongoing proceeding before the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, including this interesting document that attorney Bruce S. Rogow filed yesterday.
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"TV judge slammed by Florida Supreme Court": The Miami Herald provides a news update that begins, "A former Miami-Dade judge who now has his own syndicated television show was chastised by the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday. The court took aim at former Circuit Judge Alex Ferrer in a lengthy 73-page ruling that upheld the death sentences of Noel Doorbal, who was part of a gang that kidnapped, tortured and murdered Miami elites in the 1990s."

And The Associated Press reports that "Justices question TV judge's testimony to aid witness."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida at this link.
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Defendants' Lawyers Fear Loss of Potential Evidence at Guantanamo Bay": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update headlined "Navy judge lets driver's lawyers question 'KSM.'" In addition, in yesterday's newspaper she had an article headlined "First of 9/11 defendants given a military lawyer; One of the six alleged 9/11 instigators held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, got a seasoned military commissions attorney."
Posted at 08:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Scalia's comments on torture latest taste of bluntness": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Guantanamo Six' on Trial": You can access the first hour of today's broadcast of the public radio program "On Point" using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Bush Criticizes Congress on Terror Bill"; "Justice: Waterboarding Is Not Legal Now"; "Judge Asks Details on Destroyed Evidence"; and "House Holds Bush Confidants in Contempt."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Growing up Italian in Jersey: Alito reflects on ethnic heritage." The Trenton Times today contains an article that begins, "When Samuel Alito Sr. graduated from the former Trenton State Teacher's College he faced difficulty obtaining a job in the Trenton schools due to his low social status and background as an Italian immigrant. He probably never imagined his son would one day become the second Italian-American U.S. Supreme Court justice."

The Daily Targum of Rutgers University reports today that "Justice reigns 'supreme'; New Jersey native Samuel A. Alito Jr. speaks to crowd at U."

And The Associated Press reports that "Justice Alito Sounds Off on 'Sopranos.'"
Posted at 03:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Texas fetal murder law upheld; Appeals court affirms Lufkin man's life sentence in death of girlfriend's 2 fetuses": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.

And The Associated Press reports that "Court upholds Texas fetal protection law."

Yesterday's ruling of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals -- that State's highest court in criminal cases -- consisted of a majority opinion and an opinion concurring in the judgment. In addition, two judges concurred in the result without joining either of those opinions or issuing any opinion of their own.
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman



Some upcoming audio appearances: One week from today -- on February 21, 2008 starting at noon eastern time -- I will be a panelist on the West Legalworks online audio program "Law Blogging for Fun and Profit: Building Your Audience, Building Your Practice." My co-panelists will be Kimberly A. Kralowec of "The UCL Practitioner" blog and J. Craig Williams of the "May it Please the Court" blog. Those who register for the program can obtain a fifteen percent discount on the price by using the discount code "WLW15." I don't know if substituting 100 for the 15 gets you in for free.

And a bit earlier this afternoon, I did an audio interview with reporter Wei Hu of the VOA Mandarin Service. She hosts the Voice of America program "Legal Issues," which is described as "a 20-minute feature program which introduces US law and legal cases to VOA's Chinese speaking listeners in Asia." Within a week's time, a report on my interview should be available via this link. And the VOA will also post online audio clips from my interview that have been voice-overed in Chinese. My interview focused on the federal obscenity prosecution of Pittsburgh-area resident Karen Fletcher. Background on that case can be accessed here, here, and here.
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"New chapter opens in Fajitagate case": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Lawyers for two men injured by off-duty San Francisco police in an argument over a bag of takeout fajitas asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to reinstate their lawsuit against the city, saying police officials deserved some responsibility for the beatings because they ignored one officer's history of brutality."

Today in The Oakland Tribune, Josh Richman reports that "SFPD 'fajitagate' case argued in federal court; 9th Circuit mulls city's liability over off-duty officers' actions."

And The Daily Californian reports that "Boalt Hosts Arguments In Fajitagate Appeal; Law Students Allowed To See Oral Arguments First-Hand, Participate In Q&A with Judges."

You can download the audio of yesterday's Ninth Circuit oral argument via this link (5.70MB Windows Media audio file).
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman



By entering into a plea that required at least a 27-year prison sentence on one count of child exploitation, defendant waived any Eighth Amendment challenge to what that the federal district judge described as "the most unjust sentence that I have ever imposed": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued this ruling today.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Houston sex-toy sellers hail federal court's ruling; 35-year-old Texas law that banned the items overturned by appeals court": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

My earlier coverage of Tuesday's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Out of Commission: Why the government may lose the Guantanamo trials, even if it wins." Law Professors Jack Goldsmith and Eric Posner have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 06:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Federal judge dismisses suit over torture flights": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit today that accused a San Jose flight-planning company of helping the CIA transport prisoners to overseas dungeons for interrogation and torture, agreeing with the Bush administration that the case risks exposure of state secrets."

And Adam Tanner of Reuters reports that "Court dismisses lawsuit on secret US kidnapping."

I have posted online at this link today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jurors file suit to disclose evidence in Medina case": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "Six members of a Harris County grand jury who indicted Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife on charges stemming from the fire that destroyed their Spring home have filed a lawsuit to talk about the evidence they saw before handing up the indictments."
Posted at 10:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court strikes down Texas ban on sex toys; Federal appeals court says law violates right to privacy": The Austin American-Statesman provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Texas Ban on Sex Toy Sales Is Overturned."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rules for Lawyers Of Detainees Are Called Onerous; Fair, Adequate Defense Questioned": This article appears today in The Washington Post, along with an article headlined "White House Pushes Waterboarding Rationale; Administration May Be Trying to Shore Up Prosecution of Terrorism Suspects." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The 9/11 Trials: Their fairness should be indisputable; That's not likely under the current military commission system."

The New York Times today contains an article headlined "U.S. Acts to Avert Tactic Expected in Qaeda Trial" and an editorial entitled "Unnecessary Harm."

And online at FindLaw, Michael C. Dorf has an essay entitled "Is The Bush Administration Right to Seek the Death Penalty for 9/11 Captives?"
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey's bid on crack releases is denied; The attorney general sought legislation to cancel sentencing rules that he said could put dangerous criminals on the streets; A senator accuses him of rousing public fear": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 04:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Authorizes Broad Expansion Of Surveillance Act": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

Today in The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage reports that "Senate OK's immunity on wiretaps; Backs telecoms' role in surveillance efforts."

The New York Times reports that "Senate Votes to Expand Spy Powers."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Senate OKs bill to extend eavesdropping; The measure also shields phone carriers from lawsuits; House Democrats have opposed such protections."
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Telecom Amnesty: Congress should stop lawbreaking, not reward it--as the Senate's spy bill does." Timothy B. Lee has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 04:03 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Mark Sherman has an article headlined "Scalia Weighs in Again on Controversy."

And an article headlined "Law Curbing Inmates' Lawsuits Questioned" begins, "As longtime chairman of the American Conservative Union, David Keene seems an unlikely ally of the American Civil Liberties Union in a prisoners-rights campaign. But this cause is personal."
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Spotlighting the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"A supreme honor": Today in The Providence Journal, Edward Fitzpatrick has an article that begins, "Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr. yesterday launched the centennial celebration of the federal courthouse in downtown Providence, marking the first time a sitting Supreme Court chief justice has been in Rhode Island on official business in more than two centuries."

The newspaper also contains a related article headlined "Protesters call on U.S. to 'end torture.'"
Posted at 02:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court of Appeals Mourns Loss of Senior Circuit Judge Joseph T. Sneed": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this news release yesterday.
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Religion Joins Custody Cases, to Judges' Unease": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge OK's limits on student speech in Poway case; Brother and sister are likely to appeal the ruling, their attorney says": The North County Times today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit against the Poway Unified School District that school officials can restrict student speech that expresses 'damaging statements about sexual orientation' and can limit students to stating their views 'in a positive manner.' U.S. District Judge John Houston reached that conclusion in a 12-page decision that affirmed a similar ruling he made a year ago in the lawsuit. The case stems from an incident in which a Poway High School student wore a T-shirt bearing a message opposed to homosexuality."

And The San Diego Union-Tribune reports today that "Student's rights not violated, judge rules."

Alliance Defense Fund has posted online at this link yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in Harper v. Poway Unified School District.
Posted at 11:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Races Congress in Crack Cases": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "The Justice Department is pressing Congress to act immediately to prevent thousands of crack cocaine offenders from being released from prison early in response to a federal commission's decision making retroactive sentence reductions possible for such criminals."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Sixth Circuit dismisses appeal from dismissal of lawsuit raising a Second Amendment challenge to a federal law that prohibits U.S. citizens who reside outside of the United States from receiving or selling firearms for non-sporting purposes: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit at this link. Today's ruling does not address the merits of the lawsuit, holding that the lawsuit had been voluntarily dismissed without prejudice at the plaintiffs' request. Attorney Alan Gura represented the plaintiffs-appellants before the Sixth Circuit.
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia in uncompromising form: Law in Action has a rare, extended interview with Antonin Scalia, the most outspoken and acerbic of Justices on the US Supreme Court." BBC News provides this report.

You can listen to the entire thirty-minute "Law in Action" broadcast by clicking here to launch the BBC iPlayer. According to the show's summary, "The US Supreme Court's Justice Antonin Scalia talks to Clive Coleman about terrorists and torture, abortion, the legal image of the US abroad and how judges judge." You can also access the audio via RealPlayer by clicking here.
Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Does terror trump torture?" At her "Legalities" blog, ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has this post about Justice Antonin Scalia's interview that BBC News aired yesterday. ABC News has made available at this link the audio from that interview.
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"This case assesses the constitutionality of a Texas statute making it a crime to promote or sell sexual devices." So begins a ruling that a partially divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued today. And, by a vote of 2-1, the appellate court holds that "the statute has provisions that violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

According to the majority opinion:

Because of Lawrence, the issue before us is whether the Texas statute impermissibly burdens the individual's substantive due process right to engage in private intimate conduct of his or her choosing. Contrary to the district court's conclusion, we hold that the Texas law burdens this constitutional right. An individual who wants to legally use a safe sexual device during private intimate moments alone or with another is unable to legally purchase a device in Texas, which heavily burdens a constitutional right.
In so ruling, the Fifth Circuit's majority opinion reaches a result in conflict with a February 2007 ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upholding a similar Alabama law. I wrote about that Eleventh Circuit ruling in the March 5, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "'Lawrence' Fails to Open Floodgates to Unfettered Sexual Freedom."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman


McClatchy Newspapers are reporting: Michael Doyle reports that "Supreme Court gun-ban case draws blizzard of briefs."

And in other news, "Disputed Moussaoui reward money may go to two more."
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"No Extra Prison Time For D.C.'s 'Tractor Man'": This article will appear Wednesday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Energy Contracts Spark High-Stakes Supreme Court Case; Justices to review multibillion-dollar energy contracts": Marcia Coyle has this article in the current issue of The National Law Journal.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"State's high court says injured bobsled passenger can sue": Geoffrey Fattah of The Deseret Morning News has a news update that begins, "The Utah Supreme Court has ruled a man who broke his back while riding the Winter Sports Park bobsled run can sue the Utah Athletic Foundation for gross negligence, although he signed a liability waiver form acknowledging the risks."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Utah at this link.
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Suit revived over UW response to alleged rape by athlete": The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "The state appeals court breathed new life Monday into a lawsuit that accused the University of Washington of minimizing an allegation of rape against a Husky football player and treating his accuser with 'deliberate indifference.'"

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "UW forced to defend actions in alleged rape."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division One, at this link.
Posted at 07:57 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: This evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained audio segments entitled "Scalia Enters Debate on Constitution and Torture" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Senate Passes FISA Bill with Immunity for Telecoms."

And today's broadcast of "Talk of the Nation" contained an audio segment entitled "A Visual Tour of Detention at Guantanamo." In addition, yesterday's broadcast contained an audio segment entitled "Detainees Charged with Murder in Sept. 11 Case."
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "US Judge Scalia on 'So-Called Torture'" (additional coverage appears at this link); "Executions May Be Carried Out at Gitmo": and "Senate Dems Support New Crack Sentences."
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Women sue over marriage; Pair challenging voter-backed Amendment 43": The Rocky Mountain News today contains an article that begins, "A lesbian couple wants to overturn a voter-approved ballot measure that defines marriage in Colorado as the union of one man and one woman. Kate Burns and Sheila Schroeder, of Englewood, on Monday filed suit in Denver County Court, asking that Amendment 43 be declared unconstitutional. The couple unsuccessfully tried to obtain a marriage license last year."

And The Denver Post provides a news update headlined "Same-sex marriage ban challenge set; A lesbian couple is charged with trespassing after they staged a sit-in when they were refused a license."
Posted at 07:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Bybee Won't Recuse Himself in Fajitagate Excessive-Force Case": This article appeared Monday in The Daily Journal of California.

Via this link, you can access both the recusal motion and the order denying it.
Posted at 07:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Trial could put focus on interrogation; Administration practice may be key in 9/11 cases": Charlie Savage has this article today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 07:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"India court in moustache notice; India's Supreme Court has issued a notice to a state-run airline asking it to explain why an air steward was sacked for wearing a big moustache": BBC News provides this report.

And The Hindu today contains an article headlined "Flight steward sacked for sporting moustache?"
Posted at 03:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sentelle Takes Over": Joe Palazzolo has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times." Additional evidence can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"UK's 'concerns' over 9/11 trials; Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said he has 'some concerns' over US military tribunals for six men charged with involvement in the 9/11 attacks": BBC News provides this report.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"US judge steps in to torture row; The most outspoken judge on the US Supreme Court has defended the use of some physical interrogation techniques": BBC News provides this report. You can access related audio via this link.

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "Top court's Scalia defends physical interrogation."
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Supreme Court chief in R.I. today": Edward Fitzpatrick has this article today in The Providence Journal. The newspaper also provides an update headlined "Dozens use chief justice's visit to protest Guantanamo."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. seeks shutdown of South Africa case": Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog." You can access the federal government's cert-stage amicus brief at this link.
Posted at 02:04 PM by Howard Bashman


Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, does a claim for compensation for a vaccine-related injury survive the death of the child who received the vaccine? In an interesting decision issued today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is unanimous in answering "yes," but the panel divides 2-1 over the reasons for reaching that outcome.
Posted at 12:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial skeptics may be excluded from juries": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A state appeals court upheld a Richmond man's assault conviction and prison sentence of 40 years to life Monday, rejecting defense attorneys' argument that prosecutors were racially biased in dismissing black jurors who were skeptical about the criminal justice system."

You can access yesterday's ruling of California's First District Court of Appeal at this link.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pardon the personal aside. Just wanted to give a brief mention to my father, who died this morning and who's in my thoughts." So begins a post from Law Professor Shaun Martin late yesterday at his blog, "California Appellate Report."
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from National Public Radio: Yesterday's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Pentagon Levels Capital Charges at Detainees."

And yesterday's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "Pentagon to Seek Death Penalty for Detainees" featuring Dahlia Lithwick.

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

Earlier today, I collected additional related news coverage at this link.
Posted at 11:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"South Korea Holds Its First Jury Trial": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "South Korea held its first-ever trial by jury Tuesday as part of reform measures aimed at increasing confidence in the judicial system."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Consumer food labeling suits reinstated": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Private citizens can sue to enforce California's food labeling laws, the state Supreme Court said Monday in a ruling that revives a consumer complaint about the chemically induced orange coloring of salmon raised on fish farms."

Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports today that "Supreme Court Revives Suit Over Artificially Colored Salmon."

The Associated Press reports that "Top Calif. Court Allows Salmon Lawsuit; California Supreme Court Reinstates Salmon Label Lawsuit."

And Bloomberg News reports that "High court OKs salmon suit against grocers; Consumers allege that chains dyed farm-raised fish pink; companies say that federal laws trump claims."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Upholds Ron Isley Prison Sentence": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "An appellate court has upheld a 37-month federal prison sentence for tax evasion for R&B singer Ronald Isley. The three-judge panel rejected the 66-year-old singer's argument that his sentence was unreasonable due to his age, poor health and lack of proof that the federal prison system can provide him adequate health care."

You can access yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Leading Class-Action Lawyer Is Sentenced to Two Years in Kickback Scheme": The New York Times contains this article today.

Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun reports today that "Lerach Sentenced to Two-Year Term."

The Los Angeles Times contains an article headlined "Two-year sentence for Lerach; The famed lawyer who admitted his role in a client kickback scheme says, 'I knew what I was doing was wrong.'"

The Washington Post reports that "Lerach Gets Two Years In Prison for Kickbacks; Prominent Plaintiff Lawyer Loses Appeals for Leniency."

law.com reports that "Contrite Lerach Gets Maximum Two-Year Term; Former securities class action king apologizes to firm, family and 'the legal system I've abused.'"

The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "Lerach Gets Two." And at WSJ.com, you can access Peter Lattman's interview via an item headlined "'I Was Guilty': Iconic plaintiffs lawyer William Lerach looks back on his past and considers what lies ahead."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mr. Mukasey's False Fear: The attorney general wrongly opposes adjustments of sentences for crack cocaine offenses." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"As on Bench, Voting Styles Are Personal": Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Lucy Shackelford have an article that begins, "You won't find Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on the list of registered voters in Montgomery County, where he lives, but that doesn't mean he has given up his franchise. Extending the private world of the Supreme Court just a bit, Roberts is a Maryland 'confidential voter.' That means that, unlike other voters, he is not required to make his home address, birth date, party affiliation and history of participation available to the public, according to Marjorie Roher, public information officer for Montgomery County's elections board. Roher said she is allowed to confirm the names of confidential voters when asked."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Finding 11-Day Sentence Not Too Little but Too Late": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has this installment of his weekly "Sidebar" column.

Additional coverage is available via this post (scroll down) at the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hurdles Seen as Capital Charges Are Filed in 9/11 Case": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with a news analysis headlined "Trial's Focus to Suit Bush."

Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that "Capital Charges Are Filed in 9/11 Trials."

The Washington Post contains a front page article headlined "U.S. to Try 6 On Capital Charges Over 9/11 Attacks; New Evidence Gained Without Coercive Tactics."

The Los Angeles Times contains articles headlined "9/11 suspects may face death penalty; The Pentagon brings murder and conspiracy charges against six detainees accused of plotting the attacks" and "A wary hold on 9/11 trials; The Pentagon is bound by tightened rules in prosecuting detainees." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Out of order: Evidence obtained through waterboarding would taint the 9/11 trials -- and our nation."

In The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg reports that "Prosecutors seek death penalty for six al Qaeda captives" and "Pentagon scrambling to line up 9/11 defense." And last week, she had articles headlined "'Platinum' captives in off-limits camp; The Pentagon has placed its newest camp strictly out of bounds for both media and military defense attorneys" and "New court could try 6 terror suspects at once."

In The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey reports that "U.S. charges six to start 9/11 military trials; They're the first to be tried in Guantanamo's war court for direct ties to plot."

In The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "'Guantanamo Six' Should Be Tried in N.Y., Some Say." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The Guantanamo Six."

And USA Today reports that "U.S. prosecutors to seek death penalty for six; Alleged Sept. 11 plotter among suspects charged."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Toleration and Islamic Law": David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Lee A. Casey have this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.

And today's edition of The Christian Science Monitor contains an article headlined "Archbishop controversy: does sharia have a role in Britain? The head of the Church of England answers critics of a speech in which he said it might be applicable in certain areas." According to the article, "an informal system of Islamic legal arbitration already functions happily alongside British common law (as do traditional Jewish tribunals)."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Anna Mae Goes to China: Caught in a Six-Year Custody Struggle, She Starts New Life With Biological Family." ABCNews.com provides this report.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lopez Torres and the Democrats": This editorial appears today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Back to basics on rights and freedoms": Yesterday in The Guardian (UK), columnist Marcel Berlins had an essay that begins, "Antonin Scalia is the supreme court judge American liberals love to hate. Last week he was in London trying his best to acquire the same reputation here." (Via "Althouse.")
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Oregon Supreme Court Once Again Affirms a Blockbuster Punitive Damages Award Against Philip Morris - Even in the Face of a U.S. Supreme Court Decision Seemingly to the Contrary." Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online today at FindLaw. He kindly mentions yesterday's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Signal Claims Are Not Patentable: Nuijten Stands -- Rehearing Denied." The blog "Patently-O" has this post reporting on an order denying rehearing en banc, over the dissent of three judges, that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued yesterday.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 11, 2008

Mark Walsh, who has been covering legal issues in education for more than 15 years for Education Week, announces the launch of "The School Law Blog": You can access the blog at this link.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman


A "motion to stay the permanent injunction pending appeal," if filed within the thirty-day period for appeal, qualifies as a notice of appeal even if the party desiring to take the appeal never filed a formal notice of appeal: So holds the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a ruling issued today.

I wrote about this topic in the August 20, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "You Call That a Notice of Appeal?"
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Sorry, but your religion requires too many absences from work: Today, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision rejecting the EEOC's appeal from the grant of summary judgment against that federal agency in a religious discrimination case. On appeal, the EEOC argued that a Firestone subsidiary had failed to reasonably accommodate the beliefs of an adherent of the Living Church of God. The Fourth Circuit disagreed, holding that it would be too burdensome to give the employee as much time off as he was seeking.
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Not Even U.S. Supreme Court Victory Can Vanquish $79.5 Million Punitive Award Against Philip Morris": Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer Sentenced in Kickback Scheme": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "William Lerach, a former partner at a prestigious New York law firm, was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison for his role in a lucrative kickback scheme involving class-action lawsuits against some of the nation's biggest corporations."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Defense Department Seeks Death Penalty for Six Guantanamo Bay Detainees": The U.S. Department of Defense today issued a news release that begins, "The Defense Department announced today it has sworn criminal charges and is seeking the death penalty against six detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The detainees charged include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and five others charged in connection with the attacks, Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, legal advisor to the convening authority in DoD's Office of Military Commissions, told reporters at the Pentagon."

You can view the charges, which contain a list of the names of those killed in the 9/11 attacks, by clicking here.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Suit: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive." Jeanne Meserve of CNN.com provides this report.

You can access this blog's earlier coverage of the lawsuit at this link.
Posted at 12:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"2008 Election, the Supreme Court and Punitive Damages": Jeremy Rosen has this post at the blog "California Punitive Damages."
Posted at 12:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Republican Candidates' Views on Judicial Selection: How Would a President McCain, Huckabee, or Paul Influence the Supreme Court and the Rest of the Federal Judiciary?" Carl Tobias has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wiretap Showdown": This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Unworthy Nominees": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "President Bush staged an event in the East Room last week for his unconfirmed appointees and repeated a story line so tired that it's hard to imagine even he believes it. His nominations -- of judges, top Justice Department officials and others -- are stalled, he said, because of undue Senate delay. The real problem, of course, is that 15 months after American voters put the Democrats in control of the Senate, Mr. Bush is still trying to muscle far-right ideologues with troubling records into important positions."
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clinton v. Obama: The Lawsuit." Theodore B. Olson has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lerach Says Payoffs Were Widespread": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A prominent class-action lawyer facing sentencing today for secretly paying plaintiffs to file securities lawsuits, William Lerach, is suggesting that the under-the-table practice was widespread and was not isolated to the firm he helped run for decades, Milberg Weiss."

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Class actions feel effects of Milberg case; The probe of William Lerach, who will be sentenced today, has altered the arena."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



Sunday, February 10, 2008

"The Future of the Supreme Court : New York Times Supreme Court Correspondent Linda Greenhouse and CNN's Jeffrey Toobin talk about recent cases and shifts in the Court since Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts joined." This installment (RealPlayer required) of C-SPAN's "America and the Court" series aired on Saturday, February 2, 2008.
Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman


In the current issue of The Harvard Law Record: The publication contains articles headlined "Advocates Argue History of the 2nd Amendment" and "Cato Leader Discusses the Scope of Unenumerated Rights."
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecutor to Review Official Handling of C.I.A. Tapes": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"Because They Said So": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Even by the dismal standards of what passes for a national debate on intelligence and civil liberties, last week was a really bad week. The Senate debated a bill that would make needed updates to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- while needlessly expanding the president's ability to spy on Americans without a warrant and covering up the unlawful spying that President Bush ordered after 9/11."
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Said to Seek Execution for 6 in Sept. 11 Case": The New York Times on Monday will contain an article that begins, "Military prosecutors have decided to seek the death penalty for six Guantanamo detainees who are to be charged with central roles in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, government officials who have been briefed on the charges said Sunday."
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judgment lacking in ethics case": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Put aside, for a moment, the possible motivations. An appellate judge who blew the whistle on a jarring conflict of judicial interest is now being punished by the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, and its selective prosecution is indefensible. The commission, which has shown undue tolerance in recent years for many judges' misdeeds, is all but throwing the book at 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Michael E. Allen. His crime is that he questioned whether the court's then-chief judge, Charles J. Kahn Jr., should have recused himself in a high-profile corruption case that was defended by his former law partner."

One week ago today, the newspaper contained an article headlined "Lust, lies and disorder in court; Sworn statements of judges show a bizarre conflict playing out behind the scenes." On Friday, the newspaper reported that "Perjury charge looming for district judge; Judge Michael E. Allen is accused of lying about his feelings toward a fellow judge." And on Thursday, the newspaper contained an article headlined "Misdeeds of other judges off limits? A panel wants to block some testimony in the trial of a judge accused of unbecoming conduct."

Friday's edition of The Tallahassee Democrat contained an article headlined "Judge's impropriety not relevant, says attorney" that begins, "Judge Charles Kahn's hot temper and sexual affairs have nothing to do with charges of misconduct against a fellow 1st District Court of Appeal judge and mention of it should be barred as evidence, lawyers for the Judicial Qualification Commission argue."

And The Pensacola News Journal yesterday contained an editorial entitled "Court panel's actions outrageous."

I wrote about this matter in the May 14, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com headlined "When Should a Judge Face Discipline for What an Opinion Says?"

This blog's earliest coverage of this matter appeared in this post from July 2006.
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lee residents prepare to take on Big Tobacco": This article appears today in The News-Press of Fort Myers, Florida. The newspaper also posted online this complaint initiating suit.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Time to bench Judge Kent": The Southeast Texas Record yesterday posted this editorial online.

And on Thursday, the publication posted online articles headlined "Kent's social scene called into question" and "Kent connection not Buzbee's first time in the headlines."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Spring man explains civil suit against law school": Yesterday's edition of The Houston Chronicle contained an article that begins, "A Spring man suspended last fall by a private Virginia law school for posting an unflattering Internet image of its founder, televangelist Pat Robertson, told a Houston federal judge Friday that he was misled into enrolling at the Christian university."

According to the article, U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent has been assigned to the case.
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"W.Va. needs to consider merit selection for judges": This editorial appears today in The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia.

And on Friday, The Charleston Gazette reported that "Maynard recuses himself for third time."
Posted at 01:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Key figures face grueling times in capital cases": The Casper Star-Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Intensely stressful. Overwhelming. Simply miserable. The attorneys who've litigated death penalty cases in Wyoming don't mince words when describing the experience. Fighting for the ultimate punishment, or fighting to prevent it, is an emotionally taxing business that sticks with the participants long after the outcome has been decided."
Posted at 01:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Anybody's Guess: The legality of water-boarding as work in progress." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, February 09, 2008

"Mulling court's schools ruling; Experts divided whether diversity steps are needed": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article that begins, "Seven months after the U.S. Supreme Court shot down the racial tiebreaker once used to help assign students to public schools in Seattle, educators and legal experts are still divided over how to interpret the ruling, and what steps -- if any -- districts could take to foster diversity in schools."
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Exxon plaintiffs brace for Supreme Court arguments": This article appeared yesterday in The Cordova Times of Prince William Sound, Alaska.

And in today's issue of The Anchorage Daily News, John Devens has an op-ed entitled "Punitive damages are needed to keep big oil accountable."
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"James Bentley's attorney files brief with U.S. Supreme Court": Today's edition of The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa contains an article that begins, "An attorney for a child pornographer facing trial on child sexual abuse charges has argued that the U.S. Supreme Court should uphold an Iowa Supreme Court finding that allowing a videotape of a deceased child into evidence would violate his client's right to confront and cross-examine his accuser."

Earlier this week, The Associated Press had a report about the case headlined "26 states join Iowa in seeking Supreme Court review."
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Who Should Own Guns in America?" Voice of America provides this report (text with links to audio) in which Law Professor Eugene Volokh and Ben Wittes are quoted.
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Reversal, Courts Uphold Local Immigration Laws": The New York Times on Sunday will contain a news analysis that begins, "After groups challenging state and local laws cracking down on illegal immigration won a series of high-profile legal victories last year, the tide has shifted as federal judges recently handed down several equally significant decisions upholding those laws."
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Six Guantanamo Detainees Expected To Be Charged for Sept. 11 Attacks": Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal provides this news update.
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"W.Va. Judges Asked to Recuse in Massey Coal Case": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring John Grisham appeared on yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 09:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"A smoldering controversy at UCLA: The school accepts money from tobacco giant Philip Morris in its three-year study of nicotine addiction; Teenagers and monkeys are part of the research." Today's edition of The Los Angeles Times contains an article that begins, "Here's a recipe for academic controversy: First, find dozens of hard-core teenage smokers as young as 14 and study their brains with high-tech scans. Second, feed vervet monkeys liquid nicotine and then kill at least six of them to examine their brains. Third, accept $6 million from tobacco giant Philip Morris to pay for it all. Fourth, cloak the project in unusual secrecy."
Posted at 09:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appellate Panel Rejects E.P.A. Emission Limits": The New York Times contains this article today.

The Washington Post reports today that "Court Rejects Emission 'Trades'; EPA Effort to Limit Mercury Output Is Said to Ignore Law."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Court rejects Bush's mercury emissions trading plan; EPA's 'cap-and-trade' approach -- letting coal- or oil-fired power plants to buy credits from cleaner facilities -- broke the Clean Air Act, the judges said."

And yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Court Rejects Bush Policy on Mercury Emissions" (RealPlayer required).

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Junkets for Judges: They should end, in return for higher pay." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cheney Joins Congress In Opposing D.C. Gun Ban; Vice President Breaks With Administration": Robert Barnes has this front page article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Electrocution Is Banned in Last State to Rely on It": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

The Omaha World-Herald today contains articles headlined "Nebraska Supreme Court says electrocution unconstitutional"; "State senators see no quick fix to carry out executions"; "Murder victims' families dismayed by decision"; "Ruling won't slow down local capital cases"; and "Case of child's killing led to ruling."

And The Lincoln Journal Star contains articles headlined "Electric chair, likened to torture, declared unconstitutional"; "If not the electric chair, then what?"; "Ruling divides those close to death row's victims"; "Death row inmate says ruling ignites hope"; and "Pastors applaud death penalty ruling."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Nebraska at this link.
Posted at 07:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Toward Drug Case Justice": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Attorney General Michael Mukasey tried to scare the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday into blocking a responsible plan by the United States Sentencing Commission to address the gross disparity in penalties for possession or sale of crack cocaine and those for powder cocaine offenses. His alarm is unwarranted."

And yesterday, The Los Angeles Times reported that "Confusion surrounds new crack sentencing rules; Mukasey and some U.S. attorneys are not on the same page when it comes to the controversial guidelines."
Posted at 06:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Dobson's Choice": This editorial published today in The Wall Street Journal misspells the last name of President Bush's former U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers.
Posted at 06:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Government contractor not entitled to immunity; A debt collector paid by prosecutors can be sued, judges rule": This article appeared yesterday in The Los Angeles Times.

Thursday in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reported that "Government contractors denied legal immunity."

Thursday in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reported that "Court sides with consumers; Collections company used by District Attorneys can be sued."

And law.com provides a report headlined "9th Circuit: No Sovereign Immunity for DA Contractors."

You can access Wednesday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Punitive Damages, Retribution, and Due Process": Law Professor Mark A. Geistfeld has this article (abstract; full-text PDF) in the January 2008 issue of the Southern California Law Review. (Via "Concurring Opinions.")

The article's abstract begins, "Tort law provides awards of punitive damages for reasons of deterrence and retribution. In light of a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Phillip Morris USA v. Williams, the retributive rationale for punitive damages will inevitably come under heightened scrutiny. The case involves a punitive award of $79.5 million, which is ninety-seven times greater than the compensatory damages, making it constitutionally suspect for exceeding the single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages. The Court, though, has never addressed the constitutional issue in a case involving serious bodily injury or death, and so Williams poses a number of new questions."

Coincidentally, the new installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com is headlined "Not Even U.S. Supreme Court Victory Can Vanquish $79.5 Million Punitive Award Against Philip Morris."
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Cheney disagrees in D.C. gun case": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "Vice President Richard Cheney, parting company with the official Bush Administration position on the test case before the Supreme Court on the Second Amendment, signed onto a brief Friday urging the Justices to strike down the District of Columbia handgun ban without ordering any further proceedings."
Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, February 08, 2008

"Majority of Hill Stands Against D.C. Gun Ban; Members to File Friend-of-the-Court Brief in 2nd Amendment Case Before Justices": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"E911 rules aid police in tracking cell phones": Declan McCullagh of c|net News.com provides this report. You can access the recent ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota at this link.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Homeland Security sued for not divulging info": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Yesterday, the organization Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a press release entitled "Civil Liberties Groups Sue Homeland Security for Records on Intrusive Questioning and Searches of U.S. Travelers; Information Sought in Response to Growing Complaints of Harassment at U.S. Borders." You can access a copy of the complaint initiating suit at this link.
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Military Prosecutors Set to Open Major 9/11 Case": The New York Times provides a news update that begins, "Military prosecutors are in the final phases of preparing the first sweeping case against suspected conspirators for the 9/11 plot that led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on a clear September day and drew the United States into war, people who have been briefed on the case said. The charges, to be filed in the military commission system at Guantanamo, would involve as many as six detainees held at the detention camp in Cuba, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the former senior aide to Osama bin Laden, who has said he was the principal planner of the plot."
Posted at 08:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nebraska Supreme Court Outlaws Electric Chair": Adam Liptak of The New York Times has this news update.

My earlier coverage of today's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Nev. Man Gets Life Term for Killing Wife": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A former pawn shop owner was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for the killing of his estranged wife and shooting of the judge who handled their bitter divorce. Darren Mack, 46, will be eligible for parole after 36 years. Mack pleaded guilty in November to first-degree murder in the June 2006 stabbing death of his wife, Charla, and entered an Alford plea to a charge of attempted murder of Washoe Family Court Judge Chuck Weller."
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


In jurisprudence essays available online from Slate: Dahlia Lithwick has an essay entitled "Alito Is Neato: John McCain gets taken to school on judicial picks."

And Emily Bazelon has an essay entitled "Obama the Lawyer President: How would he choose judges?"
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Rejects EPA's Approach on Mercury Emissions Standards": The Washington Post provides a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court today threw out the Environmental Protection Agency's approach to limiting mercury emitted from power-plant smokestacks, saying the agency ignored laws and twisted logic when it imposed new standards that were favorable to plant owners."

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "EPA's move to regulate mercury emissions rejected; An appeals court, ruling that the agency violated the Clean Air Act, strikes down the policy that would have allowed some power plants to exceed levels of the powerful toxin."

The Associated Press reports that "EPA's Relaxed Emissions Rule Struck Down."

And Reuters provides a report headlined "US EPA must rewrite utility mercury rule - US court."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman



First Circuit rejects argument that the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 violates Article III, the separation of powers, and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution: Today's ruling, by a unanimous three-judge panel, rejects a habeas petitioner's challenges that AEDPA is unconstitutional because that federal statute restricts the capacity of federal judges to reach independent decisions and limits the sources of law on which they may rely.
Posted at 03:07 PM by Howard Bashman


Three-judge Ninth Circuit panel breathes new life into litigation arising from C. Delores Tucker's crusade against "gangsta rap": Tucker herself may now be dead, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued a decision that revives one claim alleging malicious prosecution against an attorney for Death Row Records. And one of the judges on the Ninth Circuit panel would have overturned the federal district court's grant of summary judgment against Tucker on additional claims.

Both the majority opinion and the opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part cannot resist quoting the following lyrics from Tupac Shakur's song "How Do U Want It?": "Delores Tucker, yous a muthaf*cka." See slip op. at pages 23 & 41.

This blog's coverage of a different aspect of this dispute, from April 2004, can be accessed here.
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Recognizing a blind person's right under the Americans with Disabilities Act to receive effective communication of the menu choices at fast food restaurants: A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued this per curiam opinion, which overturns the dismissal of the plaintiff's lawsuit.
Posted at 01:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Neb. Electric Chair Not Legal." The Associated Press provides this report.

The Lincoln Journal Star provides news updates headlined "High court: Electrocution 'cruel and unusual'" and "Lawmakers look to next steps in death-penalty debate."

The Omaha World-Herald provides a news update headlined "Nebraska Supreme Court says electrocution unconstitutional." In addition, yesterday's newspaper reported that "Stage set for fight on death penalty in Nebraska."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Last state's electric chair-only execution ended."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Nebraska at this link.
Posted at 01:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judges Press IRS on Church Tax Break": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A Jewish couple's bid to take a tax deduction they say the Internal Revenue Service reserves only for members of the Church of Scientology is getting a friendly reception from a federal appeals court, increasing the possibility of a ruling that could create a tax break for taxpayers of many religions who pay tuition to religious schools." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "A School Case To Watch."

You can download the audio of Monday's oral argument before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Sklar v. Commissioner via this link (7.06MB Windows Media audio file).
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pro Bono Case Triggers a Fee Fight; Two recent instances of large firms collecting large fees in pro bono cases point to an increasingly controversial issue": The National Law Journal contains an article that begins, "A Seattle school district that lost a case before the U.S. Supreme Court is arguing that its opposing counsel, Davis Wright Tremaine, should not be entitled to nearly $1.8 million in attorney fees because it took the case pro bono."
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Breyer treads around admissions case": The Honolulu Star-Bulletin today contains an article that begins, "Affirmative action cases are so difficult for the U.S. Supreme Court because of two opposing views on how to fairly treat the country's wide diversity of people, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer said here yesterday."

And in related news, The Honolulu Advertiser reports today that "Kamehameha Schools settled lawsuit for $7M."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, February 07, 2008

"Child-Soldier Case Trips Tribunal": Jess Bravin and Alex Frangos have this Guantanamo-related article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman


Federal district court rejects facial challenge to the validity of the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which gives the Superior Court of Arizona the power to suspend or revoke the business licenses of employers who intentionally or knowingly employ unauthorized aliens: The Arizona Republic provides a news update headlined "District judge upholds employer sanctions law."

And The Associated Press reports that "Az Illegal-Immigrant Hiring Law Upheld."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona at this link.
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Encrypted Laptop Poses Legal Dilemma": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"This service mark infringement case is about the use of a purely descriptive term, 'Ski,' in conjunction with a geographically descriptive term, 'Vail,' or more precisely, 'Ski Vail.'" A divided three-judge panel of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued this 62-page ruling today.
Posted at 09:55 PM by Howard Bashman


In a case in which two co-defendants are also co-appellants filing separate appellate briefs, may one co-defendant use its reply brief to join in the opening brief of the other co-defendant? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit considers the meaning of Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(i) -- which provides that "In a case involving more than one appellant or appellee, including consolidated cases, any number of appellants or appellees may join in a brief, and any party may adopt by reference a part of another's brief. Parties may also join in reply briefs." -- in footnote two of this opinion issued today.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"More Ammo for Gun Rights": ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg -- who will be speaking in the Philadelphia area tomorrow morning -- has this post at her "Legalities" blog.

And via this link at "SCOTUSblog," you can access amicus briefs filed in support of the respondent's position in the D.C. gun ban case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jury Awards $33 Million In Lawyer Fight": Today's edition of The Albuquerque Journal contains an article that begins, "It's a legal battle between two prominent New Mexico lawyers that started as a dispute over $160,000 in legal fees and allegations of a 'stolen' client. On Wednesday, a Bernalillo County jury delivered a verdict that included more than $33 million in punitive damages for attorney Robert McCorkle in his countersuit against one-time friend and colleague Turner Branch and the Branch Law Firm. The punitive damages award dwarfed the $165,000 in compensatory damages awarded in the case, and Branch's lawyer said he expected to appeal."

That's a punitive-to-compensatory damages ratio of 200:1.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "House, Senate Members Back DC Gun Owners" begins, "Bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate are backing gun owners in a landmark Supreme Court case."

An article headlined "Commuting of Va. Death Sentence Delayed" begins, "A man in the center of a case that led to the U.S. Supreme Court banning execution of the mentally retarded will remain on death row for now. A judge Thursday agreed to a request by special prosecutors to stay his order to commute Daryl Atkins' sentence to life in prison while they appeal the ruling to the Virginia Supreme Court."

And an article about Salim Ahmed Hamdan is headlined "Lawyers: Gitmo Detainee Breaking Down."
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney general: No waterboarding investigation." CNN.com provides this report.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "CIA Boss: Waterboarding May Be Illegal."
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman



Eighth Circuit holds that federal district court may, if it so desires, reconsider sentence imposed on two men for crack cocaine-related crimes in light of crack cocaine-powder cocaine sentencing disparities: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit at this link.

Despite ordering a remand to allow the district court to exercise a power that the district court did not recognize it possessed when it imposed the sentences in question, today's Eighth Circuit ruling goes on to explain: "We do not believe, though, that Kimbrough means that a district court now acts unreasonably, abuses its discretion, or otherwise commits error if it does not consider the crack/powder sentencing disparity."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



En banc Sixth Circuit issues decision addressing "reasonableness" review of criminal sentence imposed under federal Sentencing Guidelines: The court splits 9-6 over the outcome, and one of the three dissenting opinions cites U.S. District Judge Richard G. Kopf's blog-based "top ten" list.
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Warring sides in same-sex marriage debate look to court date": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The California Supreme Court scheduled a March 4 hearing Wednesday for the long-awaited clash between gay-rights advocates, the state and religious conservatives over the constitutionality of banning same-sex marriage."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Crack-Sentencing Reductions Decried; Mukasey: Gang Members Would Be Let Go." This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Anti-Clinton film backers take on campaign-funding law; Activists, in appeal to Supreme Court, say TV ads promoting 'Hillary: The Movie' are covered by free speech." David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clarity Sought on Electronics Searches; Travelers' Devices Seized at Border": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:36 AM by Howard Bashman


"White House Defends CIA's Use Of Waterboarding in Interrogations": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Waterboarding is legal, White House says; The assertion stuns critics and revives debate over the widely condemned interrogation technique."

And The Boston Globe contains an editorial entitled "The CIA's criminal admission."
Posted at 09:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Panel Questions School Ban on Phones": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Most of the judges on a state appellate court panel seemed to be sympathetic on Wednesday to arguments by parents that a ban on cellphones in New York City schools trampled on their right to make decisions about the safety of their children. During a hearing in Manhattan on the constitutionality of the ban, the five judges indicated that they were looking for a compromise policy."

The New York Daily News reports today that "School cell ban fight back in court."

The New York Sun reports that "Parents Ask for School Cell Phone Ban To Be Lifted."

And The Associated Press reports that "NYC parents take school cell phone fight to appeals court."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice attorneys may have known CIA had destroyed tapes; Federal court documents show that prosecutors had been informed of the destruction of the interrogation videos": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times reports today that "C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes as Judge Sought Interrogation Data."

ABCNews.com reports that "Terrorist's Appeal Uncovers CIA Tape Info; Documents in Moussaoui Case Show How Much Government Knew of Interrogation Tapes."

And The Associated Press reports that "Prosecutor May Have Known of CIA Tapes."

The relevant filings that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unsealed yesterday in redacted form consist of: (1) Moussaoui's motion for a limited remand; (2) the federal government's brief in opposition thereto; (3) Moussaoui's reply brief in support of his motion for a limited remand; (4) a supplemental letter from the federal government; and (5) Moussaoui's supplemental response. The fourth and fifth items on this list appear to be particularly relevant to the news articles linked above.

Another motion that Moussaoui's appellate lawyers have recently filed, and that the Fourth Circuit unsealed in redacted form yesterday, points out that those lawyers are greatly restricted in their ability to discuss the case with their client.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"SJC blasts 2 lawyers for ethics breach; Disbarment caps long-running case": Today's edition of The Boston Globe contains an article that begins, "The state's highest court ordered the disbarment of two Boston lawyers yesterday for crossing ethical boundaries in the Demoulas supermarket family feud in the 1990s, issuing the harshest possible ruling in what is probably the final chapter of the long-running case. In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court said Gary C. Crossen, a prominent lawyer and former adviser to Republican governors, and Kevin P. Curry, a longtime defense attorney, shamed themselves and the legal profession. The two men were trying to prove that the Superior Court judge on the case was biased and committed misconduct."

You can access here and here yesterday's rulings of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in this matter.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gravel's justice of choice: Akhil Amar; Constitutional law scholar says he is not quitting his 'day job' for seat on Court." The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel, currently polling at 0 percent, will probably never have an opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court justice. But if he has the chance, the former Alaska senator says he has already made up his mind. His man: Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar '80 LAW '84."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wecht's private correspondence handled on county time, aide says": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato has an article headlined "Coroner's 'invoices' bogus: witness."
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Criminals get a break on fines; Court rules that many penalties don't have to be paid": Today in The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell has an article that begins, "Since the mid-1970s, Texas courts have fined criminals the old-fashioned way: If there were 10 criminal counts, there could be 10 separate fines, and together they added up to some potentially large penalties. That formula changed Wednesday when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that many court fines must now run concurrently instead of consecutively, much the same way many prison terms must be served at the same time instead of being stacked one after the other. Under the 5-4 ruling, a defendant pays the largest fine assessed by a court, and then every other fine is considered paid in full, providing a substantial reduction in a criminal's debt to society."

Yesterday's ruling of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in State v. Crook consists of an opinion announcing the judgment of the court and two dissenting opinions (here and here).
Posted at 08:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Objection! Funny Legal Ads Draw Censure; Sharks, Pit Bulls Out In Florida; UFO Clients Get the Ax in Syracuse." Nathan Koppel has this front page article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court Agrees to Review a Sixth Circuit Ruling that Narrowly Construes Title VII's Protection Against Retaliation": Joanna Grossman and Deborah Brake have this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"White House, Senate clash over frozen nominees": James Oliphant has this post today at "The Swamp" blog of The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer's threat led to secret deal in whistle-blower lawsuit; Stefani used text messages to get $8.4M settlement; Judge rules city must release files; Detroit weighs appeal": The Detroit News contains this article today.

And The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Mayor's secrets unraveling as text message scandal grows; Judge orders release of settlement papers city denied existed."
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Terrorist and the Baby-Killer: They met outside a Pennsylvania abortion clinic; What happened next took everyone by surprise." This article appeared in last week's issue of the Philadelphia City Paper.
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"State high court takes up Flesh Club suit": The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California provides a news update reporting that "The nude cabaret and San Bernardino officials squared off before the state high court Wednesday in a fight over whether city government should pay a $1.4 million judgment to the club for hurting its business."
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief justice proposes more openness in judge selections": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "The state's top judge Tuesday pledged to give the public a peek into the nonpartisan court plan, a system of choosing judges that is under heavy fire from conservatives. Starting this month, court officials will disclose when and where screening panels will meet to fill an opening on the bench, said Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Laura Denvir Stith."

The Kansas City Star reports today that "Changes ahead for selection of Missouri judges."

And The Columbia Missourian reports that "Chief Justice argues in favor of non-partisan selection of judges."
Posted at 08:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Justice in Hawaii": KGMB9 provides this report, which includes access to video coverage.
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman


Fifth Circuit holds that a Louisiana-based federal district court may exercise personal jurisdiction over claims alleging for fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty against the Chicago-based law firm of Winston &Strawn, LLC: Today's ruling overturns the district court's dismissal of the case for lack of personal jurisdiction over the law firm.
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"ACLU suit against S.J. firm gives judge pause; 'Torture flights' invoke state secrets privilege": Howard Mintz has this article today in The San Jose Mercury News.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Secrecy plea ties up torture flights case."

And The Associated Press reports that "Feds Want Rendition Lawsuit Dismissed."
Posted at 05:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rejects mother's suit over son's circumcision; Parents upset with result, said Unity Hospital didn't offer informed consent": The St. Paul Pioneer Press today contains an article that begins, "A mother cannot sue Unity Hospital in Fridley and one of its doctors because she didn't like the way her baby's circumcision looked, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday."

You can access yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the Minnesota Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"State high court sets hearing on same-sex marriages for March 4": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "The California Supreme Court said today it will hear arguments over the state's ban on same-sex marriage next month in San Francisco. A court scheduled a special three-hour hearing, three times as long as its usual sessions, for March 4 to consider lawsuits filed by the city of San Francisco and same-sex couples challenging the California law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. A ruling is due within 90 days of the hearing."
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Wants to Block Crack Releases": Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Attorney General Michael Mukasey wants Congress to act within weeks to prevent the release of thousands of violent criminals from federal prison under new crack cocaine sentencing rules."
Posted at 04:25 PM by Howard Bashman


When should an appellate judge recuse from deciding an appeal based on having served as a judge on the court that decided the case below? In early January 2008, two new Justices joined the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, which is one of the Commonwealth's two intermediate appellate courts. Even more recently, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell nominated the former President Judge of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, the state's other intermediate appellate court, to fill the third and final vacancy on Pennsylvania's highest court.

Some legislators who will be able to vote on whether to confirm Governor Rendell's nominee have questioned the nomination on the ground that the nominee, having served on the Commonwealth Court, will need to recuse himself from too large a number of cases if allowed to serve on the Pa. Supreme Court. Ironically, during the campaign that culminated in elections to the Pa. Supreme Court in November 2007, I did not hear anyone oppose the three candidates from the Pa. Superior Court on the ground that they would need to recuse from too many cases if elected to Pennsylvania's highest court.

I think there is general agreement that if a judge is promoted from a trial court to an intermediate appellate court, that judge should not hear and decide appeals from orders that he or she entered as a trial judge. [Update: Indeed, as a federal appellate judge who emailed in response to this post observed, a federal statute titled "Disqualification of trial judge to hear appeal" states that "No judge shall hear or determine an appeal from the decision of a case or issue tried by him."]

If a judge is promoted from an intermediate appellate court to the highest court of a jurisdiction, however, the recusal inquiry becomes more complicated. I think there would continue to be general agreement that the judge, while serving on the jurisdiction's highest court, should not preside over appeals from rulings issued by panels on which he or she served while sitting on the intermediate appellate court.

But what if the judge in question did not serve on the three-judge intermediate appellate court panel that issued the decision under review but had the ability to vote for rehearing en banc when the losing party sought that relief before the intermediate appellate court? If the order denying rehearing en banc simply said that the requested relief was denied without identifying how any of the judges on the en banc court voted, I would not be of the view that a judge who merely considered a request for en banc rehearing while serving on the intermediate appellate court should be recused from hearing and deciding the case on the jurisdiction's highest court.

Some intermediate appellate courts, such as the Pa. Commonwealth Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, circulate decisions that are proposed to be issued as precedential opinions to all active non-panel judges before the decisions are officially issued. This pre-release circulation allows non-panel judges to flag any inconsistencies with the court's earlier precedential rulings and other governing law, and also to call for pre-decision rehearing en banc in the event the proposed decision is objectionable enough. In such a jurisdiction, a non-panel judge has the ability to become intricately involved in a decision, totally hidden from the public's view. But I would not rely on that possibility as a reason to advocate that a judge who is promoted to the jurisdiction's highest court must recuse from considering any cases that resulted in precedential rulings of the intermediate appellate court before his or her promotion.

If readers of this blog have views on these issues, which I plan to address in an forthcoming installment of my monthly "Upon Further Review" column for The Legal Intelligencer of Philadelphia, I welcome hearing your thoughts via email.

It is also noteworthy that neither the Pa. Supreme Court nor the U.S. Supreme Court has any provision to allow temporary appointments from other courts to fill vacancies on a case-by-case basis in the event of recusals. By contrast, the highest courts of many other jurisdictions -- California and West Virginia come to mind most quickly -- maintain a full complement of judges even in cases where some members of the court have recused by replacing the recused judges with judges from lower courts. Is it better to have a system where recused judges of a jurisdiction's highest court can be replaced by judges serving on an intermediate appellate court? Views on this subject are also welcome via email. Thanks!
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Whatever Happened to 'One Person, One Vote'? Why the crazy caucus and primary rules are legal." Law Professor Richard L. Hasen -- author of the "Election Law" blog -- has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial-Pay Bill in Jeopardy?" Ed Whelan has this post today at National Review Online's "Bench Memos" blog.

On Monday night, I linked here to Lawrence Hurley's article headlined "Senate's Effort to Ban Junkets Could Stall Judicial Pay Raises" published that day in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge Seventh Circuit panel rejects constitutional challenges to provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act that limit a criminal defendant's access to alleged child pornography in a child pornography prosecution: Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook wrote today's ruling. This decision represents the first time that a federal appellate court has addressed the constitutionality of these particular statutory provisions, which were enacted in July of 2006.

To access this blog's earlier posts on this subject, click here and here.
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court disbars two attorneys involved in Demoulas family feud": The Boston Globe provides a news update that begins, "Two lawyers were disbarred today by the state's highest court, which ruled that the attorneys violated ethical rules when they tried to find evidence of bias against a former Superior Court judge who was then presiding over the bitter and costly family fight for control of the billion-dollar Demoulas supermarket company. In bluntly written rulings, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall said the actions of former federal prosecutor Gary C. Crossen and Boston attorney Kevin P. Curry were unprecedented and were also clearly improper and unethical. The attorneys lured a law clerk of then Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez to Canada and New York with a false promise of a job."

And Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports that "Crossen, Curry disbarred by SJC."

Today's rulings of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued in In re Kevin P. Curry and In re Gary C. Crossen.
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman



What makes metal baseball bats so dangerous? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued this decision today.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


In federal death penalty trial of defendant charged with two counts of murder committed while engaged in drug trafficking, the federal district court erred in precluding the prosecution from introducing evidence at the guilt phase related to post-mortem dismemberment: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


Access today's nude dancing decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: It's available online this link. Courtesy of Kenton County, Kentucky.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion law challenge still in limbo": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "It's been more than three years since California challenged a federal anti-abortion law that threatens the state with huge financial penalties, and more than a year since the opposing sides argued before a federal judge in San Francisco. All that either side has heard since then is a question from the judge about whether the law has expired."
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecutor stresses Wecht performed private morgue work": Jason Cato has this article today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Georgia Loses Federal Case in a Dispute About Water": The New York Times contains this article today.

And today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article headlined "Georgia's Water Crisis: 'Big loser...is metro Atlanta'; Court declares 2003 pact null without OK."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Three were waterboarded, CIA chief confirms; Director Michael V. Hayden says the Al Qaeda suspects were the only ones subjected to the interrogation method; The CIA needs access to such 'enhanced' techniques, he argues to a Senate panel": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times reports today that "Intelligence Chief Cites Qaeda Threat to U.S."

And The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "Tall Torture Tales."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Schools' interim desegregation plan challenged": The Louisville Courier-Journal today contains an article that begins, "The Louisville lawyer who successfully challenged Jefferson County's school desegregation policy is now challenging the district's interim plan, saying it illegally uses race to assign students. Attorney Ted Gordon filed a motion yesterday in U.S. District Court in Louisville, asking Judge John Heyburn II to review the temporary plan adopted last week for the 2008-09 school year."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge dismisses felony charges against 'gap kids'": Today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal, Edward Fitzpatrick has an article that begins, "A judge yesterday dismissed felony charges filed against 115 teenagers during the 130 days when the state prosecuted 17-year-olds as adults, but he refused to dismiss the second-degree murder indictment of the state's most high-profile 'gap kid,' Barrington’s Ryan Greenberg."

And The New York Times reports today that "Judge Rules to Dismiss Cases of 17-Year-Olds Seen as Adults."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Shameful Record": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The United States leads the world in a shameful category: the number of people it has locked up for life without parole for crimes committed by juveniles."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Transylvania University Library heist -- Panel: Book thieves deserve more time." This article appears today in The Lexington Herald-Leader.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Calif. High Court's Leanings Hard to See in City of Hope Patent Case; Justices strongly question both sides in highly watched patent case."

In other news, "New Judge, but Same Obstacles, in Ga. Courthouse Shooting Case; 'The change in judges doesn't make the problems go away,' notes a former judge."

Amaris Elliott-Engel reports that "Question of Law on Bystander Recovery Sent to Pa. High Court."

And in news from New York, "Second Suit Proceeds Seeking Pay Raise for Judges; Possible 'separation of powers' violation."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court panel grills lawyers over firing of former Khalil Gibran principal": The New York Daily News today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court panel Tuesday grilled city lawyers over the way officials handled the ouster of the principal of a controversial Arabic-language school."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Judges: City overreacted over Muslim principal."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Breyer in isles for forum": This article appears today in The Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

And The Honolulu Advertiser reports today that "U.S. justice urges Islanders to study the Constitution." You can access a related photo gallery at this link.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"A New York Appellate Court Gives Effect to a Canadian Same-Sex Marriage: Using Traditional Rules to Validate a Non-Traditional Marriage." Joanna Grossman has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Fraud claim heads to high court; Definition of false claim at issue": The Cincinnati Enquirer today contains an article that begins, "A federal whistle-blower lawsuit that originated in Cincinnati more than a decade ago will be argued Feb. 26 before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case has implications for everything from defense contracts to health care. It's not the first time a Cincinnati case has made it to the nation's highest court. But it's only the sixth time in the 148-year history of the federal False Claims Act that the Supreme Court has heard a case dealing with the arcane statute - a Civil War-era law allowing citizens to bring government fraud suits and collect a bounty if successful."
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Two local lawyers say arguing before high court was career highlight": The Kansas City Star today contains an article that begins, "Baseball players strive to play in the World Series, while singers dream of performing in Carnegie Hall. For attorneys, few career achievements can rival arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Second Case on Detainees Complicates Supreme Court Deliberations": Linda Greenhouse will have this news analysis Wednesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Louisville lawyer challenges interim desegregation plan": The Louisville Courier-Journal provides a news update that begins, "Louisville lawyer Ted Gordon is asking a federal judge to review an interim desegregation plan that Jefferson County Public Schools has adopted for the coming school year, saying the plan violates the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling limiting the use of race."
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court overturns ruling in Shaler slayings": Jason Cato of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court today gave the mother of a slain Carnegie man another shot at suing Allegheny County and seven 911 call center employees for failing to protect her son."

My earlier coverage of today's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court: Transy library thieves should receive more prison time." The Lexington Herald-Leader provides this news update.

My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Doctor describes morgue work under Wecht": Jason Cato has this article today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

And today's edition of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains an article headlined "Witness: Private autopsies done on county time."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Georgia loses major ruling on rights to Lanier water": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Georgia Loses Major Water Ruling."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman



In this afternoon's FedEx delivery: The Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis bobblehead doll. He's riding on the Erie Railroad, and he's carrying a green bag.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Moussaoui Judge: Terror Trials Work." The Associated Press on Sunday had a report that begins, "The judge who presided over Zacarias Moussaoui's trial questioned the government's decision to seek a death sentence against the Sept. 11 conspirator, and offered a strong defense of federal courts' ability to handle terror trials. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said in a speech Friday at the American University law school that the government's decision to seek a death sentence against Moussaoui appeared to be politically motivated, and that the zealous pursuit of a death sentence opened up numerous issues of exposing classified information that otherwise could have been avoided."

I see from this post by Marty Lederman at "Balkinization" that you can access a podcast of Judge Brinkema remarks via this link (10.2MB mp3 audio file). A media advisory from American University Washington College of Law, headlined "Moussaoui Trial Judge Brinkema Keynotes AU Law/Brookings Conference," advised that "For security reasons, absolutely no photography or filming of Judge Brinkema will be permitted." Sketches of Judge Brinkema, however, appear to be allowed.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Kan. Court Blocks Abortion Grand Jury": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Kansas Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked a grand jury from obtaining patient records from a physician who is one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers. The grand jury is investigating whether Dr. George Tiller has broken Kansas laws restricting abortion, as many abortion opponents allege. The grand jury subpoenaed the medical files of about 2,000 women, including some who decided against having abortions."

You can access today's order of the Supreme Court of Kansas at this link.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Not your typical "state created danger" case involving a 911 call center: In this decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued today, a 911 call center dispatcher used the databases available to him to track down the whereabouts of his former girlfriend and the former girlfriend's new boyfriend. After being fired from the 911 call center, the former dispatcher then used that information to kill his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. Today's ruling contains an extensive discussion of the application of the pleading standards set forth in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly outside of the antitrust context.
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit holds that the Illinois offense of "aggravated battery of a peace officer" is not a "crime of moral turpitude" under federal immigration law: And chances are quite good that, after reading today's opinion by Circuit Judge Ann Claire Williams, you will agree with the outcome. Also available for download is the oral argument audio (4.43MB mp3 file).
Posted at 02:02 PM by Howard Bashman


More reasons why you shouldn't steal rare books from Transylvania University: Even if you aren't attacked by vampires, you could still get caught and end up serving time in federal prison. Consider the case of four college buddies who hatched what must have seemed like the perfect plan -- in a world where truth is stranger than fiction. In any event, today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit demonstrates that nothing good ever comes of attacking a librarian with a stun pen.

Update: An article about the case, published in the November 12, 2007 issue of The Lexington Herald-Leader, begins: "The scheme was hatched in a haze of marijuana smoke, with inspiration from popular heist flicks. And the motivation stemmed from a desire to escape the 'mundane, nickel-and-dime existence' of suburbia, according to a new article in Vanity Fair about one of Lexington's most notorious crimes." Unfortunately, Vanity Fair magazine has not made the article readily available online.
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"This case presents the question whether the hanging paragraph eliminates an under-secured creditor's deficiency claim when, in a Chapter 13 plan, the debtors propose to surrender a car purchased within 910 days before filing for bankruptcy. The courts are split on this issue." Addressing the "hanging paragraph" of 11 U.S.C. sec. 1325, a provision added to the Bankruptcy Code as part of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, a three-judge Eighth Circuit panel today rejects the rulings of a majority of bankruptcy courts that have addressed the issue and sides instead with what it describes as "the emerging trend" to allow a deficiency claim. You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online the January 2008 issue of The Circuit Rider: The Journal of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole (N.D. Ill.), the publication's editor-in-chief, has graciously permitted me to post the issue online at this link.

Among the articles of interest in this issue are "Toward A More Impure Writing Style: The Opinions of Judge Posner and Chief Judge Easterbrook and What the Bar Can Learn From Them"; "Appealing an interlocutory decision: What EXACTLY IS a 'Controlling Question of Law' Under 28 U.S.C. sec. 1292(b)?"; and "How Will Seventh Circuit Pleading Requirements And Dismissal Standards Change In The Wake Of Bell Atlantic?"

I have also received permission to post here at "How Appealing" some recent earlier issues of that publication, so stay tuned for additional online access to recent issues The Circuit Rider in the days ahead.
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"9th Circuit panel rules against police officer who ran sex site": David L. Hudson Jr. has this news analysis online at the First Amendment Center.

The Ninth Circuit issued its original ruling in this case on September 5, 2007, and my coverage of that ruling appears here and here. On Friday of last week, the Ninth Circuit issued a slightly amended opinion in the case.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Prosser's link to priest case assailed; As DA in '79, he decided not to prosecute, records indicate": This article appears today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

And yesterday, The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin contained an article headlined "Did Justice Prosser shrug off accused priest?"
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Kohring accuses his trial judge of bias; Ex-legislator says he tried to cut job of Sedwick's wife": The Anchorage Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Late last week, just days before his scheduled sentencing on corruption charges, former state Rep. Vic Kohring accused the federal judge presiding over his case of bias and asked that a jury's guilty verdicts be thrown out. On Monday, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick asked another judge to decide if he should step aside."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reform judicial elections this year: State should get ahead of special-interest money 'tsunami.'" This editorial appears today in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge cuts court award; Anti-gay church sees reduction of penalty for protest": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge in Baltimore substantially reduced yesterday the amount of damages a Kansas-based anti-gay group and three of its leading members must pay for their protest at a Marine's funeral in Westminster."

Yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland reduces the jury's total damages award from $10.9 million to $5 million. The jury's compensatory damages award remains unchanged at $2.9 million, but the jury's punitive damages award has been reduced from $8 million to $2.1 million.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Reinstates Rules on Sonar, Criticizing Bush's Waiver for Navy": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "White House Went Too Far in Sonar Case, Judge Rules."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Judge rejects Navy request for sonar training exemption; Ruling upholds court- ordered protections for whales and dolphins."

Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Judge rejects Bush's try to overturn ruling."

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Judge: Navy Not Exempt from Sonar Ban" (RealPlayer required).

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California at this link.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



Today at noon local time at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's Regency Room in Honolulu: The Rotary Club of Honolulu hosts a luncheon featuring Justice Stephen G. Breyer. More details are available here and here.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyers Fighting D.C. Gun Ban Argue Against Militia Focus": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

You can access at this link the Brief for Respondent filed yesterday in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Corporate View of Mafia Tactics: Protesting, Lobbying and Citing Upton Sinclair." Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has this installment of his weekly "Sidebar" column.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Victory for Same-Sex Marriage": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "In a decision at once common-sensical and profound, a New York State appeals court ruled Friday that same-sex marriages validly performed in other jurisdictions are entitled to recognition in New York. It was common sense because it simply accorded same-sex marriages the same legal status as other marriages. It was profound because of the way it could transform the lives of gay people."

My earlier coverage of last Friday's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"No stranger to the spotlight: New Nichols judge tested; Cobb's Jim Bodiford has overseen high-profile cases, including some aired on Court TV, but didn't seek courthouse shootings trial." This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. plans swift new appeal on detainees": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "The Justice Department disclosed Monday that it will file a swift new appeal to the Supreme Court, in a new round in the continuing legal combat over the Guantanamo Bay detainees."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online from FindLaw: Carl Tobias has an essay entitled "Is Senator and Presidential Candidate John McCain Soft on Judges? A Closer Examination of the Basis for these Charges."

And Marci A. Hamilton has an essay entitled "The Connecticut Supreme Court Reaches the Right Decision In a Case Under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act." My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, February 04, 2008

"'Text-Only' Web Obscenity Case Attracts National Attention; Motions to dismiss said obscenity laws should not be applied to text where no pictures were involved": law.com provides this report.

I wrote about this case in the October 9, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column, headlined "Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Law buffs compete in moot court; In past, Justices Alito and Roberts attended event": This article appears today in The GW Hatchet.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate's Effort to Ban Junkets Could Stall Judicial Pay Raises": Lawrence Hurley has this article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 08:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kathryn Kolbert to Head People For the American Way; Renowned Civil Rights Lawyer, Advocate, and Award-winning Journalist": The organization People For the American Way issued this press release today.
Posted at 08:37 PM by Howard Bashman


Respondent's Brief filed today in the U.S. Supreme Court in the D.C. gun case: You can access the brief at this link. And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Second Amendment Lawyer Still In the Saddle."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Constitution and the Candidates: What would the framers say?" Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Child Soldier Case on Docket at Gitmo": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A U.S. military tribunal convening Monday at Guantanamo will hear challenges from attorneys for a Canadian terror suspect accused of killing an American soldier when he was 15 - an age they say should disqualify him from trial."
Posted at 12:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cobb Judge Bodiford to take on Brian Nichols case; He's handled high-profile cases, including crematory, Tokars and Lynn Turner murder trials": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "New Judge in Courthouse Shooting Case."
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



American Express owes nothing to man who claims to have thought up "My Life, My Card" catch-phrase as a means for marketing credit cards: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued this ruling today.
Posted at 11:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Deadline for Commenting on Federal Appellate Rule Amendments Is Fast Approaching": Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law on back pay proposed in Fort Lawton case": The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "Samuel Snow got a check from the Pentagon after the Army announced last October it would overturn convictions of Snow and 27 other African-American soldiers wrongly tried for rioting at Seattle's Fort Lawton in 1944. The check was for $725 -- the amount of pay that Snow, now 82, lost while serving a year in an Army lockup. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., have introduced legislation to make the military pay much more to Snow and the other surviving Fort Lawton soldier, and to the families of those who have died since the convictions. The legislation would calculate the back pay in current dollars with interest. That could change the $725 sent to Snow to about $88,000, according to Nelson's office."
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge rejects federal workers' pension suit": The Honolulu Advertiser today contains an article that begins, "A lawsuit by federal workers in Hawai'i and Alaska seeking to increase their pension benefits has been dismissed by a visiting federal judge, who ruled that the issue should be resolved by Congress. The lawsuit stems from a pay system that treats federal workers in the two states differently than elsewhere."

I have posted at this link last Wednesday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii.
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Trust, but verify: Any law authorizing surveillance of foreign calls and e-mails needs to include safeguards against abuse." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Was encounter with Cheney a touch, a slap or a shove? A Colorado man had an encounter with the vice president, but no one, including Secret Service agents, agrees on what happened; Could Cheney be forced to testify?" The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:59 AM by Howard Bashman


"Felons' DNA clogs system; Recent cases highlight the database's value and the burden on U.S. crime labs": This article appears today in The Denver Post.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Begging Bush's Pardon": Today in The New York Times, George Lardner Jr. has an op-ed that begins, "The first rule for handling requests for presidential pardons was set down in a report to Congress in 1887, during Grover Cleveland's first term in office."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"McCain and the Supreme Court": Steven G. Calabresi and John O. McGinnis have this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:13 AM by Howard Bashman


"New judge selection Monday: Nichols death trial may start in weeks." This article appeared yesterday in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"High Court To Consider Ashcroft Case": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Does the Fifth Amendment Protect the Refusal to Reveal Computer Passwords? In a Dubious Ruling, A Vermont Magistrate Judge Says Yes." Sherry F. Colb has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, February 03, 2008

"McCain Due at Conservative Gathering": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Republican John McCain says he will try to win over some conservative Republicans by promising to appoint judges in the mold of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito."
Posted at 07:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Grisham: 'Got to get away from elected judges.'" This article appears today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Clearer Picture on Voter ID": Jimmy Carter and James A. Baker III have this op-ed today in The New York Times.
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jailhouse 'lawyer' gets rare nod from U.S. Supreme Court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 01:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Breyer will weigh in on isle issues": This past Friday's issue of The Honolulu Star-Bulletin contained an article that begins, "Associate Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court will be on a panel next week discussing the legal challenge to Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy giving preference to native Hawaiian applicants. Other panelists include two key lawyers in the case - Kathleen Sullivan, who defended the private school's admissions policy, and Eric Grant, who represented the unnamed non-native Hawaiian student in the lawsuit contesting the policy."
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Supreme Conflict' chronicles the tips of balance on court": This article appears today in The Sarasota Herald-Tribune. According to the article ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg will be speaking about her book this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Sarasota's Holley Hall.
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge's social life raises questions": The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article that begins, "At 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 6, 2006, Galveston attorney Tony Buzbee scored an important victory in a case involving 52 victims of the 2005 explosion at BP's Texas City refinery. Minutes after the hearing, Buzbee took the judge who made the ruling, U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent, to lunch, said a witness who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal."
Posted at 01:22 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, February 02, 2008

"Guantanamo Decision Rebuffs Government": The New York Times contains this article today.

And Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "Court hands White House another setback over detainees."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"It's torture; it's illegal: The attorney general's evasions on waterboarding are repugnant, and set a dangerous global precedent." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Also today in that newspaper, columnist Tim Rutten has an op-ed entitled "Mukasey's confession: Is waterboarding torture? It it's done to him, it is; if it's someone else, uh, he's not sure."
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Grand Jury Subpoenas Times Reporter Over Book Sources": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Snipes acquitted of felony charges; Actor, guilty of misdemeanors, may face prison": The Ocala Star-Banner contains this article today.

The St. Petersburg Times reports today that "Snipes wins, loses in trial; The actor is acquitted on two felony charges but convicted of not filing tax returns."

The Orlando Sentinel reports that "Wesley Snipes found not guilty of tax fraud, guilty of misdemeanors."

The New York Times reports that "Wesley Snipes Cleared of Serious Tax Charges."

The Washington Post reports that "Wesley Snipes Fights Taxman To a Draw; Action Star Found Guilty Only of Lesser Charges."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Actor Snipes acquitted of tax fraud, guilty of failing to file a return; The onetime box office star faces up to three years in prison."
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Gay marriage on ballot; An initiative to ban same-sex marriage in Florida is certified for the November vote": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

And The Orlando Sentinel reports today that "Florida to vote on gay marriage ban amendment."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers claim Kline could ID Tiller patients; A Phill Kline spokesman counters that 'No patient has ever been identified'": The Wichita Eagle today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for Wichita abortion provider George Tiller began turning over names of clinic employees to a Sedgwick County grand jury Friday. They also began, under subpoena, compiling files on women who sought late-term abortions."
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"State dropping rape prosecution": Friday's edition of The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts contained an article that begins, "The state is no longer pursuing charges against a 59-year-old pharmacist who was accused of rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery. Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth G. Dineen recently filed papers to end the prosecution of Nicholas Creanza, of Wilbraham, because of a state Supreme Judicial Court interpretation of the rape law."

And The Associated Press reports that "Legal Loophole Stops Charges in Mass."
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Insulting collections letter draws lawsuit": The Buffalo News today contains an article that begins, "There are 'Dear John' letters, and then there’s the kind of missive Justin Thompson got. The Derby resident received a letter from a national collections agency that threatened to sue him over the $16.39 he owed for some CDs he ordered a year ago from Columbia House. The envelope was addressed to 'S--t Face' and the letter’s salutation read 'Dear S--t.'"
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Money talks, says study of justices; Donations taint La. top court, it finds": This article appeared yesterday in The Times Picayune of New Orleans.
Posted at 03:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Civil unions get the nod in Oregon; A referendum ruling clears the way for gays and lesbians to register as domestic partners": Ashbel S. Green has this article today in The Oregonian. The newspaper also reports today that "Gay couples elated by judge's decision; Officials expect an onslaught of registrations; the forms are available online."

And The Statesman Journal of Salem, Oregon reports today that "Domestic-partnership law takes effect; Federal judge lifts 34-day stay on Oregon benefits."

You can access a transcript of yesterday's oral ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon at this link.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ga. legislators have Roe in their sights; Lawmakers propose amendment defining life as beginning at conception; critics say it could lose in court and provide case law and windfall for abortion-rights attorneys": This article will appear Monday in the Fulton County Daily Report.
Posted at 01:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Divorce wants Supreme Court to rehear case; Jewish religion targeted, lawyer insists; Former wife was awarded $47,500": The Montreal Gazette today contains an article that begins, "A Montreal man who took years to grant his wife a Jewish divorce has taken the exceptional step of asking the Supreme Court to rehear his case and is challenging the constitutionality of a section of the Divorce Act that penalizes spouses who stand in the way of religious divorces."
Posted at 01:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds dismissal of suit over schools' same-sex teaching": The Associated Press provides this report.

And the ACLU issued a press release entitled "Federal Appeals Court Says It's OK for School to Teach Children's Book Encouraging Tolerance for Gay People."

My earlier coverage of Thursday's First Circuit ruling appears at this link.

Elsewhere, this week's issue of The Memphis Flyer contains an article headlined "Don't Say 'Gay': A proposed state law would ban any discussion of homosexuality in elementary and middle schools."
Posted at 01:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"State Court Recognizes Gay Marriages From Elsewhere": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "A New York appellate court ruled Friday that valid out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples must be legally recognized in New York, just as the law recognizes those of heterosexual couples solemnized elsewhere. Lawyers for both sides said the ruling applied to all public and private employers in the state."

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports today that "Gay marriages ruled valid in N.Y."

Reuters reports that "N.Y. court declares out-of-state gay marriages valid."

The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Gay marriage in Canada should be recognized in New York."

And the ACLU yesterday issued a press release entitled "Appeals Court Says State Must Recognize Canadian Marriage of New York Lesbian Couple."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, at this link.
Posted at 12:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Enron investors get new chance; Judge will allow arguments not covered previously": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge in Houston on Friday left open a sliver of hope for Enron investors suing big banks over their alleged roles in defrauding investors in the energy company's collapse. U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon will allow the plaintiffs to file additional arguments by mid-March concerning the banks' investment-banking roles that weren't covered previously in the case."
Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle reports that "Retaliation Cases Hit High Court En Masse; Justices to review trio of key cases."

In news from California, "Google Appeal Carries Big Evidence Issue."

And the new installment of my "On Appeal" essay for law.com is headlined "Deadline for Commenting on Federal Appellate Rule Amendments Is Fast Approaching." In addition, my two recent blog posts on this subject can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, February 01, 2008

"Art or Obscenity? Unusual Case Draws Controversy; Child Rape Fiction Case Tests if Writers Can Be Punished Under Federal Obscenity Law." ABCNews.com provides this report today. My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 11:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Snipes not guilty on felony charges, convicted on 3 misdemeanors": The Ocala Star-Banner provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Jury Acquits Wesley Snipes of Tax Fraud."
Posted at 04:48 PM by Howard Bashman



If a mail order company authorizes the U.S. Postal Service to destroy its undeliverable merchandise instead of returning it, the company has not suffered a loss entitling it to restitution if someone steals that merchandise from the Post Office's trash: For those who are wondering what happens to all of the undeliverable DVDs and CDs that BMG Columbia House mails out, this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued today provides an answer.
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman


Richard Hatch may have won the reality television show "Survivor," but he did not win his First Circuit appeal from a tax evasion conviction: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued this 52-page ruling today affirming Hatch's conviction and sentence.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Won't Reconsider Guantanamo Ruling" and "Fake Bomb Defendant Cites 1st Amendment."
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Roadblock for Justice nominee": Today in The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant has an article that begins, "Chicago federal Judge Mark Filip, slated to be the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, is caught in a standoff between Senate Democrats and the Bush administration, putting his nomination on hold. And he can thank one of his home-state senators, Dick Durbin, for it."
Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman


Unanimous three-judge Second Circuit panel affirms dismissal of lawsuit alleging that New York State's use of eminent domain for the Atlantic Yards project violates the Public Use Clause of the Fifth Amendment: You can access today's interesting ruling at this link.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Federal appeals court says Atlantic Yards project can go forward."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Times Reporter Subpoenaed Over Source for Book": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A federal grand jury has issued a subpoena to a reporter of The New York Times, apparently to try to force him to reveal his confidential sources for a 2006 book on the Central Intelligence Agency, one of the reporter's lawyers said Thursday."
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today issued an order denying rehearing en banc in Bismullah v. Gates: The order denying rehearing en banc, in this Guantanamo detainee-related case in which the U.S. Supreme Court previously indicated it was looking forward to receiving the D.C. Circuit's views, is accompanied by five separate opinions -- two concurring in the denial of rehearing en banc and three dissenting therefrom.

According to today's order, five of the D.C. Circuit's active judges voted to grant rehearing en banc. Because that court currently consists of ten active judges, a majority of six votes was needed to grant rehearing en banc.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "No rehearing on major detainee ruling." In September 2007, Lyle previewed the federal government's rehearing request in this post.

I had this post about the original three-judge panel D.C. Circuit's ruling in this case on July 20, 2007, the day that opinion issued.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Four judges in the hat for Nichols trial": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, along with an article headlined "Nichols writer didn't expect fuss."
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey's Mojo: Yes, he stonewalled on water-boarding, but the attorney general's testimony still revealed something profound about the man himself." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online at The New Republic.
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Stanford's Lessig tackling even bigger battle": This article appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Surveillance Law Extended For 15 Days": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:36 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush's hedge on bill renews debate over 'signing statements'; Critics worry they may be seen as giving the president authority to disregard laws that have been passed": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"TiVo Wins Injunction in Patent Fight; Since the 'eBay' ruling, injunctions have been harder to come by": law.com provides this report.

The Rocky Mountain News reports today that "Court upholds patent infringement ruling."

And Reuters reports that "U.S. patent court rules for TiVo, against EchoStar."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Federal Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Release of 1950s U.S. Grand Jury Transcripts Is Sought in Rosenberg Atomic Spy Case": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Crime Victims' Right to Object to a Plea Agreement": Paul Cassell has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Backlog: Texas Supreme Court justices must dispose of their cases in a more timely manner." This editorial appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-high school athlete sues N.J. Supreme Court justice": The Atlantic City (N.J.) Press today contains an article that begins, "A former high school football player is suing a state Supreme Court justice, alleging the justice used his power to intervene in a dispute between his son and the teen. Conor Larkin, who played on the Haddonfield High School football team with Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto's then-sophomore son, is seeking unspecified monetary damages in the suit filed Thursday. In July, the state Supreme Court took the rare step of censuring Rivera-Soto for his conduct in the case. The court found that he violated judicial standards while interceding in the dispute."

And The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reports today that "Star athlete sues state justice over dispute with son."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Delayed: Judicial confirmations should keep pace with Clinton's final years." U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Testimony focuses on campaign work in Wecht trial": Jason Cato has this article today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "More Wecht staffers say errands impaired work."
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bail bond company sees Wesley Snipes as flight risk; Judge refuses firm's motion to be released from actor's bond; jury still deliberating": The Ocala Star-Banner contains this article today.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law students protest Bybee's torture memo; Audience members place trash bags on heads during talk by former chief of Bush's Office of Legal Counsel": This article appears today in The Yale Daily News.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Oregon court upholds award; State justices affirm a $79.5 million verdict against Philip Morris for a second time": Ashbel S. Green has this article, in which I am quoted, today in The Oregonian.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online from FindLaw: Scott Gerber and Kevin Hawley have an essay entitled "Blame Canada: The Arguments For and Against Increasing Federal Judicial Salaries."

And Vikram David Amar has an essay entitled "The California Supreme Court's Decision on Whether an Employee Can Be Fired For Testing Positive for Off-the-Job, Doctor-Suggested Medical Use of Marijuana."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Alito Stops Short of Thomas, Scalia in Abortion, Religion Cases": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this interesting report, based in part on Stohr's recent interview with Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



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