How Appealing

Friday, March 4, 2005


"More than 100 people interviewed in murders of judge's family": This article will appear Saturday in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro has articles headlined "The Next Chief Justice No Longer? Kennedy's 'Roper' stance seen as hurting his chances of heading the Supreme Court" and "Turf War Erupts Over Supreme Court Petitions."

In other news, "Texas Expected to Commute 28 Death Sentences to Life in Prison; U.S. Supreme Court says executing juvenile offenders unconstitutional."

In news from California, Jeff Chorney has articles headlined "Two Theories Too Many, Says Calif. Supreme Court; Justices flip death sentence, flog prosecutor" and "Calif. Supremes Toss Varian Verdict, Order New Trial."

Shannon P. Duffy reports that "3rd Circuit Denies Shooting Victim's Appeal in Wal-Mart Suit."

And Joshua Spivak has an essay entitled "Judicial Nomination Battles Are Not New."
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman




"On death penalty, Scalia's consistency shines": The Boston Globe yesterday posted online this essay by Thomas Oliphant.
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Gonzales Talks Martha, Judicial Nominees": FOXNews.com provides this report.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"The new religious wars": Michael Kirkland, UPI legal affairs correspondent, has this essay today.
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"F.B.I. Agents Seize Letters From Supremacist's Friend": This article will appear Saturday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Tuesday hearing is set on cross; Council meeting moved to accommodate crowd": The San Diego Union-Tribune yesterday contained an article that begins, "San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre and Councilman Scott Peters say the Mount Soledad cross should be moved to end a long legal battle."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bid to Put Restoration of Cross on County Seal to a Vote Fails": Yesterday's edition of The Los Angeles Times contained an article that begins, "A petition drive for a ballot measure to reinstate the old Los Angeles County government seal, with its controversial gold cross, has collapsed."
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman



U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder (S.D. Ind.) answers ten questions: The blog "Underneath Their Robes" offers the first half of Judge Tinder's "20 questions" interview at this link.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Backs 3-Oxen Dowries": The blog "iowahawk" anticipates what the U.S. Supreme Court may still have up its sleeve.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"A side issue in Moussaoui -- or might it be the main event?" At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston offers this post, in which he links to Zacarias Moussaoui's reply brief in support of the petition for writ of certiorari.
Posted at 08:24 PM by Howard Bashman



Evan Schaeffer offers some blogging advice for Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner: You can access the advice here and Judge Posner's blog here.
Posted at 06:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"L.A. death sentence is reversed; Prosecutor told two juries that different defendants did killing" Claire Cooper, legal affairs writer for The Sacramento Bee, has this article today.

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Justices rule against differing facts at trials."

Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times reports that "High Court Condemns Conduct of Prosecutor."

The Daily Journal reports that "Court Tosses One of Two Death Verdicts; Prosecutor Argued Different Theories In the Same Crime."

And Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports that "Death Sentence Overturned Over Ipsen's Inconsistent Arguments."

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




"U.S. asks court to reconsider tobacco case penalty": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 05:52 PM by Howard Bashman



Accommodations for the disabled when delivering oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court: A reader emails to note that, at the conclusion of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's oral argument in the Ten Commandments case, presiding Justice John Paul Stevens is quoted in the oral argument transcript as stating, "General Abbott, I want to thank you for your argument and also for demonstrating that it's not necessary to stand at the lectern in order to a fine job. Thank you."

A photograph of Attorney General Abbott on his office's web site depicts him in a wheelchair, and his biography available there states that "Shortly after graduation [from law school], he was partially paralyzed by a falling tree while jogging."

Thus, I assume that's what Justice Stevens is referring to, and not that Attorney General Abbott for rhetorical emphasis delivered the oral argument from a perch near the frieze depicting the Ten Commandments inside the oral argument chamber.

Update: This article reporting on the oral argument published in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram confirms the point: "The 47-year-old attorney general, who was partially paralyzed when he was struck by a falling tree while jogging two decades ago, made his arguments from his wheelchair. Stevens told Abbott that his presentation demonstrated 'that it's not necessary to stand at the lectern in order to do a fine job.'"
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman




Unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejects constitutional challenge to Georgia law requiring incarcerated felons to submit DNA sample for felon DNA database: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Dropping bomb to halt filibusters": Columnist Jules Witcover has this op-ed today in The Baltimore Sun.

Also, Steve and Cokie Roberts have an essay entitled "In judicial picks, will Bush unite or divide?"
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman




"Court Allows HIV Lawsuit Against American Airlines": Reuters provides this report on an interesting ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"The most powerful man in Washington? The substitute for Robert Bork, Kennedy has wielded immense power in his years on the court." Tom Curry, national affairs writer for MSNBC, has this essay today.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman



Transcript of U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Texas Ten Commandments case is available online: Via The Associated Press, you can access the transcript online at this link.

Update: The AP has also posted at this link the oral argument transcript in the companion case from Kentucky.
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman




"FBI Offers Reward for Ill. Killing Info": The Associated Press provides this report.

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Reward offered for information in killing of judge’s relatives."

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that "Top officials join probe of killings."

And cbs2chicago.com reports that "Judge Lefkow And Family Issue Statement."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman




Two noteworthy rulings from Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner: Today, the Seventh Circuit has issued an opinion by Judge Posner explaining why the phrase "constructive amendment of the pleadings" must be banished from the lexicon in civil cases pending in federal court.

And in an opinion issued yesterday, Judge Posner included an interesting passage in which he explains that "The law is not finders keepers":

Wausau has an alternative theory of entitlement to the return of the $239,132 that it sent the defendants in error: restitution for money paid by mistake. The defendants argue that it was a careless mistake and therefore restitution should be denied. There is no "therefore." Probably the mistake was careless; but the law does not permit a person to keep money that he has received by mistake, just because the mistake is careless. Such a rule would make people too careful, penalizing them for mistakes that caused nobody any harm and so should not be penalized at all--the defendants do not argue that having to return their windfall will cause them harm beyond the natural disappointment that one is bound to feel at having to cough up money to someone else, for whatever reason. The law is not finders keepers, unless the property found has been abandoned, which is to say deliberately relinquished, not merely lost or misplaced. It would be absurd to suppose that if Wausau owed the defendants $1 and by the careless mistake of one of its clerks issued them a check for $1 million, they could keep the $1 million because the mistake was a careless one. But that is their argument.
(citations omitted).
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"However much individual judges chafe at the Supreme Court's decisions in Ewing and Andrade or the electorate's continuing and clear expression of support for tough treatment of repeat offenders, our obligation is to apply the law which the Supreme Court upheld in Andrade and Ewing." So writes Circuit Judge Richard C. Tallman in dissenting from a three-judge panel's ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.

The author of today's majority opinion is none other than Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson, whose antipathy toward the U.S. Supreme Court's three-strikes rulings (available online here and here) was previously the subject of an op-ed of mine that The Los Angeles Times published in June 2003. The circumstances discussed in that op-ed are described in more detail in this blog post from May 2003.
Posted at 02:11 PM by Howard Bashman




The Fifth Circuit speaks!! The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued this decision today. According to a correspondent, "The Fifth Circuit this morning issued its first opinion interpreting and applying U.S. v. Booker. The Fifth Circuit basically sides with the approach taken by the Eleventh and First Circuits." (Thanks to Law Professor Douglas A. Berman for the inspiration for this post's title.)
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Big Ten: Can the Supreme Court find a middle ground between church and state?" Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen will have this essay in the March 14, 2005 issue of The New Republic.
Posted at 12:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Supreme Court pre-empts legislators": Today in The Arizona Republic, columnist Robert Robb has an essay that begins, "In striking down the death penalty for those under the age of 18, the U.S. Supreme Court continued its transformation from a court into a super legislature, if that process is not by now complete. I say that as an opponent of the death penalty who believes it should be abolished entirely."
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Filibustering the Truth": Judd Legum and Christy Harvey will have this essay in the March 21, 2005 issue of The Nation.
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"What is Richard Posner So Afraid Of? The high cost of the falling sky." Reason has posted online this essay by Ronald Bailey.

And the March 24, 2005 issue of The New York Review of Books will contain a review entitled "Very Bad News", written by Clifford Geertz, of Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner's book, "Catastrophe: Risk and Response."

Back in January 2005, The New York Times Sunday Book Review published this review of the book, as I noted then in a post that you can access here.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman




"To Love, Honor, and Be Gay: How the state Supreme Court will decide whether gay marriage can be illegal in Washington." The current issue of Seattle Weekly contains this article.
Posted at 12:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Apple 1, bloggers 0: Judge says web sites can be forced to reveal sources." This article appears today in The San Jose Mercury News.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation offers additional information about the case.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman




"How can society assure security and remain free?" Today in The Chicago Sun-Times, columnist Debra Pickett has this essay.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Courts Gird for Likely Impact of Sentencing Appeals, Class Action Lawsuits": The Administrative Office of the United States Courts issued this news release today. According to this backgrounder that I've also uploaded, the U.S. Supreme Court's Sentencing Guidelines ruling in United States v. Booker is "projected to raise costs for the judiciary by an estimated $91.3 million."
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court: Breath test valid despite tongue stud; Woman had challenged 2001 drunken-driving arrest." This article appears today in The Indianapolis Star. You can access Wednesday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Indiana at this link.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judicial Nominees Face Showdown in the US Senate": Yesterday's broadcast of Public Radio International's "To the Point" program contained this lengthy segment (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Digital Future: Copyright Law in Cyberspace." Yesterday evening, Law Professor Lawrence Lessig delivered a quite entertaining talk on this subject at the Library of Congress. Thanks to C-SPAN, you can view Professor Lessig's talk online by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Thou Shalt Make No Sense: Commandments and confused jurisprudence." Rich Lowry has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman



So this is Movable Type?
Overnight, this blog's software publishing platform changed from Blogger to Movable Type, a change that I foreshadowed here and here.

As with any new endeavor, there are a few issues that remain to be ironed out. If the new format isn't working as well as the old format for you, let me know why and I'll see if there's anything I can do to address the matter.

One change that I've noticed is that MT lacks its own internal spell-checker, so be assured that from this point forward spelling will be much wurst.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman




Decalogue blog: The Toledo Blade reports today that "Fate of courthouse tablets linked to ACLU attorney; UT speaker argued case before high court."

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that "Students have supreme time; Local group takes in Ten Commandments cases before justices."

From Indiana, The Princeton Daily Clarion reports that "Princeton native carved county's Decalogue."

The Birmingham News contains an editorial entitled "Ten Commandments without Roy Moore."

The Cincinnati Enquirer contains an editorial entitled "Ky. wrong in Commandments case."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an editorial by former U.S. Senator Zell Miller entitled "Rules for life ought to be in full view."

And in The Washington Times, Cal Thomas has an op-ed entitled "Supreme Judge and the Supreme Court."
Posted at 07:15 AM by Howard Bashman




"Frist won't show hand on Senate rules decision": This article appears today in The Knoxville News Sentinel.

The New York Post today contains an editorial entitled "Radioactive Politics."

In The Washington Post, U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) has an op-ed entitled "'Nuking' Free Speech."

And online at The Weekly Standard, Hugh Hewitt has an essay entitled "Byrd Droppings: Have the Democrats already lost the filibuster fight?"
Posted at 07:05 AM by Howard Bashman




"Senate panel grills N.C. judicial choice; Boyle's civil rights record and number of higher reversals at issue": The Charlotte Observer contains this article today.

The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina reports today that "Boyle defends rights rulings; Judge finally gets hearing for post."

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that "Senators ask Boyle about his record; Federal judge gets a confirmation hearing after waiting 14 years."

And The Washington Times reports that "Judicial pick Boyle gets hearing after 4-year wait."
Posted at 06:55 AM by Howard Bashman




"$50,000 offered for Lefkow leads": The Chicago Sun-Times today contains an article that begins, "Authorities are expected to announce a $50,000 reward today in their investigation into the killing of federal Judge Joan Lefkow's husband and mother."

The Chicago Tribune today contains articles headlined "Hale calls murders 'heinous'; Police quiz supporters; hate groups regard him as living martyr" and "Friends, strangers write words from the heart." In addition, columnist John Kass has an essay entitled "You be the judge of Schakowsky's true intentions."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Agents Target Followers of Supremacist; Investigators release sketches of two men wanted for questioning in the Chicago slayings of a federal judge's husband and mother."

USA Today reports that "Chill passes through courthouse; Shootings at judge's home heighten fears for colleagues."

The Rocky Mountain News reports that "Inmate blasts Chicago killings; White supremacist denies role in slaying of federal judge's kin."

And The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that "Judge's mother had Kansas ties; Clues sought in slaying of family."
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman



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