"Grand jury won't indict Planned Parenthood":
Today's edition of The Kansas City Star contains an article
that begins, "A Johnson County grand jury wrapped up its three-month investigation of Planned Parenthood's Overland Park clinic Monday without issuing any indictments."
"State Supreme Court appears split in gay marriage hearing; The justices pose varying questions during arguments over the constitutionality of California's ban on same-sex marriage; They have 90 days to reach a decision":
Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update
The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update headlined "State Supreme Court grills lawyers in same-sex marriage case."
And The Associated Press reports that "Gay Marriage Returns to Calif. Court."
"Justices to Release Audio in Guns Case":
The Associated Press provides this report
And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Listening in on the D.C. Gun Case."
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has begun to post online its judicial misconduct decisions:
The announcement appeared yesterday at that court's web site
, and the decisions now available online via this link
date back to the beginning of 2008.
On a related note, one week from today, the Judicial Conference of the United States will consider draft Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings. You can view the latest version of the draft at this link. A reporter for a large mainstream media outlet contacted me yesterday to ask for my thoughts regarding "the abrupt changing of draft reforms of federal judicial discipline rules last Monday," but unfortunately that's the first I had heard about the subject.
Finally for now, the web site of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has recently posted online two new opinions of the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability. You can access them both by clicking here (they appear back-to-back in the same PDF file). The second of the two opinions involves U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real, while the first may or may not involve to him.
What precautions may police validly take to avoid a feared mass murder-suicide by someone thought to be in possession of a vast number of guns and lots of ammunition?
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
today addresses that question in an opinion
that Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III
wrote on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
"Ex-justice takes Duane Morris law job":
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article
that begins, "Cynthia Baldwin, former justice on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, has joined the Pittsburgh office of law firm Duane Morris, where she will be a partner in the trial practice group and work in appellate litigation."
"Specter presses Leahy on judges":
Alexander Bolton has this article
in today's issue of The Hill.
And at "The Swamp" blog of The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant has a post titled "Political rhetoric over federal judges heats up."
Senator Specter's letter to Senator Leahy can be viewed at this link, while the text of Senator Leahy's comments in response can be accessed here.
To what extent does the First Amendment allow the public and the media to access the transcript of a plea colloquy, a plea agreement's "cooperation addendum," and the documents supporting a motion to seal the plea proceedings:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
today issued this ruling
on the federal government's appeal from a federal district court's ruling unsealing these documents. Today's ruling, written by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski
on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel, affirms in part and vacates in part the federal district court's ruling.
Footnote five to today's ruling explains that the ruling contains a "sealed addendum [that] will be made available [only] to the government, to the district court, to our colleagues on this court and to the Supreme Court, should it choose to review our opinion."
Second Circuit affirms jury verdict rejecting three trademark infringement claims that Polo Ralph Lauren asserted against the United States Polo Association:
You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
at this link
Today's oral argument before the Supreme Court of California in the same-sex marriage cases is now underway:
Via The California Channel
, you can view the oral argument live, online by clicking here
(Windows Media Player required).
Sixth Circuit addresses whether a provision of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 eliminates a deficiency claim when, in a Chapter 13 plan, the debtors propose to surrender a car purchased within 910 days before filing for bankruptcy:
Today, the members of a three-judge Sixth Circuit
panel issued a ruling
that announces three separate views on how this question should be resolved.
The lead opinion, which uses the judicial "we" although speaking for only its author, begins:
This consumer bankruptcy, Chapter 13 case arises because the debtor bought a car under a typical financing arrangement in which the lender retained a lien or mortgage on the car as security for payment of the outstanding loan that enabled the debtor to buy the car. The debtor proposed to surrender the car to the finance company as part of the Chapter 13 plan. The value of the car was less than the outstanding debt. Due to a glitch or gap in a recent revision of the Bankruptcy Code intended to benefit creditors, the law is now silent on what happens to the remaining indebtedness in the surrender-of-the-car situation. The bankruptcy court below held that the congressional mistake in drafting the revision means that the remaining indebtedness is completely wiped out. We believe the gap should be filled and the Congressional mistake corrected. The law previously governing this situation should be restored until Congress can correct its mistake and fill in the gap.
Previously, the Seventh Circuit
) and the Eighth Circuit
; my coverage here
) have weighed in on this interesting question of statutory construction.
"Suits vs. Pfizer in Michigan can go on":
Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides a report
that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked Monday in a fight about patient lawsuits over federally approved drugs and devices, issuing a 4-4 decision that lets Michigan patients sue Pfizer Inc. over its now-withdrawn Rezulin diabetes treatment."
And this week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com is headlined "Avoiding Recusal-Based Tie Votes at the U.S. Supreme Court."
"California high court to hear arguments on gay marriage ban":
The Sacramento Bee today contains an article
that begins, "The California Supreme Court today begins probing a pivotal civil rights question, one that has sparked controversy in courthouses across the country: Should gay couples be allowed to marry?"
Adam Tanner of Reuters reports that "California's top court ponders gay marriage."
And today's edition of The San Francisco Chronicle contains an article headlined "Same-sex couples see stories mix with history."
The California Channel will supposedly be broadcasting the oral argument live online, beginning at noon eastern time today. You can access via this link the briefs filed in the case.
"Mukasey's Paradox: When you think about it, his manipulations are a beautiful, twisted thing."
Law Professor Jonathan Turley
has this op-ed
today in The Los Angeles Times.
"U.S. Bows Out of Court Fight Over PLO Funds":
Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article
that begins, "The Justice Department has decided not to intervene, at least for now, to prevent the wife of a terrorism victim from pursuing a $174 million legal judgment against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization."
"Wiretap Compromise in Works; FISA Update May Hinge On Two Separate Votes": This article
appears today in The Washington Post.
"Supreme Court defers action on TV 'expletives' case":
David G. Savage has this article
today in The Los Angeles Times.
$54 million pants suit leads to proposed legislation in Maryland:
The Washington Post reports today that "Md. Bill Offers Recourse to Customers of Dry Cleaners; $54 Million Suit Inspires Proposal
"To Magna Excitement, Magna Carta Returns; After Seven Centuries, the Words of Liberty Still Look Good": This article
appears today in The Washington Post.
"'Friends Of The Barnes' Fire Back":
Yesterday in The Philadelphia Bulletin, Jim McCaffrey had an article
that begins, "Attorney Eric Spade, newly hired to represent the Friends of the Barnes, threw a flurry of punches in his opening round in the fight to keep the Barnes Foundation in Lower Merion."
"Senate confirms Chicago judge for Justice post; Senate OKs choice amid torture issues":
Today in The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant has an article
that begins, "Chicago federal Judge Mark Filip was unanimously approved by the Senate on Monday as the Justice Department's second-ranking official, marking the end of a small-scale odyssey that saw Filip's nomination tumble into limbo because of continuing tension between Congress and Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey."
And today in The Washington Post, Dan Eggen reports that "Senate Confirms New No. 2 for Justice Dept."
"Preparation for Soon-to-Be Judicial Clerks":
At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has this post
asking readers to opine on the best ways to prepare for a judicial clerkship.
"Bill Clinton admits 'regret' on crack cocaine sentencing":
Columnist DeWayne Wickham has this op-ed
today in USA Today.
And in somewhat related news, The St. Petersburg Times reports today that "Prisoners released on term reductions; The move is enacted to fix disparities in cocaine sentences."
"Sanity and the Second Amendment: Individuals have a right to bear arms -- but not any arms, anywhere."
Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe
has this op-ed
today in The Wall Street Journal.
"Court may opt to pay fees from Bible suit; Long case over removing book from monument cost $400,000": This article
appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
"Al-Arian Gets Federal Subpoena":
The Tampa Tribune today contains an article
that begins, "Less than three months after Sami Al-Arian was released from a federal contempt citation for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury, the Justice Department has informed him he will be called to testify before another grand jury, according to his supporters."
And The New York Sun reports that "Justice Department Taking Steps To Charge Sami Al-Arian."
Law Professor Jonathan Turley, one of Al-Arian's attorneys, yesterday had a blog post titled "The Justice Department Calls Dr. Sami Al-Arian Before Third Grand Jury."
"Judges Revolt Over Death Penalty; In Brooklyn, U.S. Jurists Are Balking":
Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article
that begins, "A revolt over capital punishment is brewing among Brooklyn's federal judges, who are appealing to Attorney General Mukasey to stem the rising number of death penalty trials over which they must preside."
In the March/April 2008 issue of Mother Jones magazine:
The publication contains articles headlined "I Was Kidnapped by the CIA: Inside the CIA's extraordinary rendition program and the bungled abduction of would-be terrorists
"; "Am I a Torturer? Ben Allbright watches The Daily Show, worships Dave Eggers--and still wound up 'softening up' prisoners in Iraq
"; and "The Final Act of Abu Ghraib: A front-row seat at the military scandal's farcical last trial
"Judge faces new charge; Misconduct case postponed as Allen accused of making false statements":
The Pensacola News Journal today contains an article
that begins, "Judge Michael Allen faces new charges of making false statements in the judicial misconduct case against him that continues to reveal a poisoned atmosphere at the 1st District Court of Appeal. Broward County Judge Paul Backman, chairman of the Judicial Qualifications Commission hearing panel, put off Allen's hearing, originally scheduled for March 10, in light of the new charges."
You can view the Amended Notice of Formal Charges, filed yesterday, at this link. And you can view all of the other filings in the judicial disciplinary proceeding via this link.
My most recent earlier coverage of this matter appeared last month in this lengthy post.
"The Supreme Court Takes a Broad Approach in Interpreting the Age Discrimination in Employment Act: A Surprising Opinion from a Formalistic Court."
Joanna Grossman has this essay
online today at FindLaw.