Tomorrow I'll be attending this event
at the National Constitution Center
in Philadelphia. Because the event gets underway early, and because the U.S. Constitution's framers neglected to enshrine the right to free, publicly-accessible wireless internet access, this blog won't be updated again until late in the day on Friday. By then, I will have earned five hours of CLE credit and had lunch in Chinatown with Ben Wittes.
Fortunately, the brand new issue of the Harvard Law Review is all about celebrating the judicial greatness of Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner. You can access lots of interesting reading material from that issue, to keep you busy until I return to the keyboard, via this link.
Update: Wittes's forthcoming book, about the federal appellate courts, sounds quite interesting. More details definitely to follow.
"Ex-Aide Rejects Gonzales Stand Over Dismissals": This article
will appear Friday in The New York Times.
And The Washington Post on Friday will contain a front page article headlined "Ex-Aide Contradicts Gonzales on Firings." A related article is headlined "Bush Loyalist Rose Quickly at Justice." And Dana Milbank will have an essay entitled "Taking One for the Team, When He Could Remember."
"Justices Weigh Opening New Phase on Guantanamo":
Linda Greenhouse will have this article
Friday in The New York Times.
Available online from National Public Radio:
This evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered
" contained audio segments entitled "Former Gonzales Deputy Contradicts Boss's Story
" and "Specter: Gonzales 'Likely Knew' of Confirmation Plan
Today's broadcast of "Talk of the Nation" contained an audio segment entitled "Gonzales: What's the Country Saying?" featuring David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times.
Today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "Former Gonzales Aide Appears Before Congress" featuring Dahlia Lithwick.
And today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained audio segments entitled "Sampson to Testify on Fired Prosecutors"; "Goodling's 'Fifth' No Win for White House"; and "Senate Bypassed on Many Key Justice Jobs."
RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
"The Reluctant Executioner: Kyle Sampson cuts down his ex-boss, Alberto Gonzales."
Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay
online at Slate.
C-SPAN has posted online today's Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of D. Kyle Sampson:
Using RealPlayer you can view online, on-demand both the morning
"N.Y. High Court Affirms Absolute Privilege for Securities Industry's Termination Notices":
law.com provides this report
My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Federal government files Brief in Opposition to Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Hamdan v. Gates:
I have posted a copy of the Brief in Opposition at this link
And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Quick action on Hamdan urged."
"Harris County civil judge nominated to federal bench":
The Houston Chronicle provides a news update
that begins, "A Harris County civil court judge was nominated today to fill a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The White House has tapped Jennifer Walker Elrod to replace retiring Judge Patrick Higginbotham. To get the seat, she will have to be confirmed by the Senate. Elrod, 40, has presided over the 190th State District Court since 2002. She ran for re-election unopposed last year."
"Neither the text of the Sixth Amendment nor the history of murder trials supports the extension of the Confrontation Clause to testimony relevant only to penalty selection in a capital case."
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
today upheld a federal death sentence in a decision
in which the three-judge panel divided 2-1 over the Confrontation Clause issue.
On the Confrontation Clause point, Circuit Judge Jerry E. Smith wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Carolyn Dineen King joined.
Circuit Judge Fortunato P. Benavides -- who wrote the balance of the lengthy majority opinion rejecting the remainder of the defendant's challenges to the conviction and sentence -- dissented on the Confrontation Clause issue, writing: "I would find that the Confrontation Clause applies to capital sentencing as it is structured under the FDPA and remand this case for resentencing."
This is a very lengthy and, at first glance, quite interesting decision.
"Congress debates transferring Guantanamo detainees to U.S. sites":
McClatchy Newspapers provide this report
"Gonzales involved in firings, former aide says":
The Los Angeles Times provides this news update
McClatchy Newspapers report that "Sampson denies, under oath, U.S. attorneys fired for political reasons."
law.com provides a news update headlined "Sampson Contradicts Gonzales' Testimony in Attorney Firings."
And CNN.com reports that "Ex-aide contradicts Gonzales on attorney firings."
"US detainee tribunals notch wins, raise concerns: Successes include David Hicks's guilty plea this week. But experts say the process is riddled with problems."
Warren Richey will have this article
Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
On certified question from the Second Circuit, New York State's highest court holds that statements made by an employer on a National Association of Securities Dealers employee termination notice are subject to an absolute privilege in a defamation lawsuit:
You can access today's ruling of the Court of Appeals of New York
, that State's highest court, at this link
The Second Circuit's decision certifying this issue to the Court of Appeals of New York can be accessed here.
The AP is reporting:
Now available online are articles headlined "Ex-Aide: Gonzales Signed Off on Firings
"; "Potential Padilla Jurors Show Bias
"; and "Deals Unlikely for Others at Gitmo
"Appeals Court Upholds NWA Strike Ban":
The Associated Press provides a report
that begins, "A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld an injunction barring a strike by flight attendants at Northwest Airlines Corp., which is operating under bankruptcy court protection."
You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
President Bush has nominated Jennifer Walker Elrod to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit:
Currently, Elrod serves as a state district judge in Houston. She has been nominated to fill the vacancy created when Circuit Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham
took senior status. A brief biography of Elrod can be accessed here
Update: The official notice from the White House is now available at this link.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issues decisions involving child-sex tourism and nude pictures of women:
In a decision
issued today, the Ninth Circuit examines whether a U.S. citizen who began living in Cambodia in 2002, and who in late June 2003 had sex with underage boys there, could be convicted of violating a federal law enacted on April 30, 2003 intended to punish any U.S. citizen "who travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any illicit sexual conduct with another person." The Ninth Circuit affirms the dismissal of the indictment, holding that the statute "only proscribes the conduct of an individual 'who travels in foreign commerce' after the enactment of the statute. Because [the defendant's] travel had ended by April 30, 2003, he is not covered by the provision."
And in a separate decision issued today, the Ninth Circuit decides whether defendants sued by Perfect 10, which publishes an adult magazine and operates a subscription-only website, are protected from copyright infringement claims under the safe-harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
View live, online, this morning's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Preserving Prosecutorial Independence: Is the Department of Justice Politicizing the Hiring and Firing of U.S. Attorneys?--Part III." The hearing
, featuring D. Kyle Sampson, former Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of the United States, is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. eastern time.
You can watch live, online, via either the committee's own webcast feed (RealPlayer required) or via C-SPAN3 (using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player).
As I noted here last night, the prepared text of Sampson's opening statement can be accessed at this link.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice has reportedly refused invitation to attend event at Duquesne University School of Law honoring Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. because one law professor there has been a harsh critic of decision upholding Pennsylvania's judicial pay raise:
The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article headlined "Supreme rebuke for lawyer who took on Pa. high court
The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports today that "Justice threatened sanctions, courts critic says."
And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "Law professor keeping heat on Supreme Court."
I previously mentioned Justice Alito's forthcoming visit to Duquesne in this post.
"Did Nominee Super-Seal Case? Possible Role In Secret Litigation Questioned."
Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article
that begins, "The judicial branch is taking unusual measures to expedite release of information on whether chief justice nominee Chase T. Rogers 'super-sealed' one of two court cases involving the same parties in January 2000."
"Law's iron fist not consumer's friend":
Columnist Steve Chapman has this op-ed
today in The Chicago Tribune about a case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court
"A man and his protest sign -- key in case involving police car at anti-war rally; Only demonstrator charged in incident says he was a 'scapegoat'":
Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article
that begins, "Gabriel Meyers and his Styrofoam sign will probably end up as footnotes in the story of Josh Wolf, another formerly anonymous political dissident who has become the longest-ever imprisoned journalist in the United States. But Meyers has paid his own price for his brush with history."
"D.A.s can be sued over jailhouse informants, court finds; Ruling in the case of a man wrongly convicted in slaying, U.S. 9th Circuit finds that district attorneys aren't immune from claims for failing to establish policies and procedures on such witnesses":
Today in The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein has this article
reporting on a ruling
that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
"Ex-Aide to Say Others at Justice Knew of Firings; Department Apologizes to Hill For Any 'Inaccurate' Information": This article
appears today in The Washington Post. In addition, Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt have an op-ed entitled "The Myth Of Voter Fraud
Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Gonzales feels heat from GOP senators." The newspaper also reports that "Former Justice official defends firings; The attorney general's former chief of staff testifies today before Congress about the role of politics in dismissals." An editorial is entitled "Sacrificial Lam: Firing U.S. attorneys over politics is bad; Firing them over immigration politics, as may have happened to Carol Lam, is even worse." And Joseph D. Rich has an op-ed entitled "Bush's long history of tilting Justice: The administration began skewing federal law enforcement before the current U.S. attorney scandal."
In The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage has articles headlined "AG's top aide expected to back firings; To testify today in D.C. probe" and "Insider's sudden downfall in prosecutors' case familiar to D.C." The newspaper also contains an article headlined "Kennedy: Justice firings are keyed to '08 vote." And Stanley I. Kutler has an op-ed entitled "The 'executive privilege' dodge."
USA Today reports that "February letter shows Justice Dept. misled investigators."
And The Washington Times contains articles headlined "Ex-Gonzales aide to testify today" and "Gonzales receives mixed Hispanic support."
"The Right to Sue Vs. Suing Too Easily; Supreme Court Considers Limits To Investors' Complaints of Fraud":
Robert Barnes and Carrie Johnson have this article
today in The Washington Post.
"Prosecutors' Slip Keeps Money in Limbo; Court Refuses Restitution Order for Mogul, Says Plea Deal Cites Incorrect Law": This article
appears today in The Washington Post.
Qualified or not, now she's a U.S. District Judge:
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate
, apparently by unanimous consent
, confirmed Vanessa L. Bryant
to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Connecticut
My recent earlier coverage of this once-controversial judicial nominee can be accessed here and here.
"Ousted Judge in Pakistan Urges Musharraf to 'Respect' Judiciary":
The New York Times today contains an article
that begins, "In his first public appearance since he was suspended as chief justice nearly three weeks ago, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry insisted Wednesday that the government 'respect and observe the independence of judiciary.'"
And The Washington Post reports today that "Ousted Chief Justice Speaks Out in Pakistan; Protesting Lawyers Hail Judge as Hero, Call on President Musharraf to Resign."
"Colleagues Help S.D. Judge Stay on Bench":
The Associated Press provides a report
from South Dakota that begins, "Supreme Court watchers often speculate about aging justices holding off retirement until the election of a president who will pick an ideologically similar replacement. But some Washington conservatives are questioning whether a federal district judge here is doing the same thing - and getting help from two colleagues who have added some of his cases to their own already heavy caseloads."
"Ex-her might be him, but alimony same":
The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article
that begins, "In a mixed ruling for Florida's transgendered community, a state circuit judge Wednesday dismissed a Seminole man's request to halt alimony payments because his ex-wife had a sex change. Judge Jack R. St. Arnold knocked down both of Lawrence Roach's arguments: that he shouldn't have to pay alimony because his ex-wife is now a man and therefore legally dead and the argument that it is illegal for a man to pay alimony to a man because Florida does not recognize same-sex marriage."