How Appealing

Monday, June 4, 2007

"An Unacceptable Nominee": The New York Times on Tuesday will contain an editorial that begins, "President Bush's latest appeals court nominee, Leslie Southwick, has a disturbing history of insensitivity to blacks and other minority groups. The Senate should reject this nomination and make clear to the White House that it will reject all future nominees who do not meet the high standards of fairness that are essential for such important posts."
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"FBI Wiretaps Played in Padilla Case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"So when I come across a sentence like this--in which a nonviolent, relatively minor drug dealer receives a twenty-four year sentence that will consume the better portion of the remainder of her natural life--I ask: is this the case? If this within-Guidelines sentence is reasonable, does an unreasonable within-Guidelines sentence exist?" Today, Tenth Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell issued a very interesting concurring opinion in a federal Sentencing Guidelines case.
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Naked Protester Must Pay Attorney Fees": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Throws Out Charges in Guantanamo Prisoner Case": The New York Times provides a news update that begins, "A military judge here dismissed the war crimes charges against a Canadian detainee today, saying there was a flaw in the procedure the military has used to file such charges against Guantanamo detainees. The ruling in the case of the Canadian, Omar Khadr, is likely to stall the military's war crimes prosecutions here. Critics of the prosecutions immediately called for Congress to reexamine the system it set up last year for military commissions to try detainees."

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "U.S. Judge Clears Canadian Detainee at Gitmo."

Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald provides a news update headlined "War court tosses case against young captive."

From National Public Radio, this evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Judge Dismisses Guantanamo Suspect's Case." Today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "Charge Dismissed Against Guantanamo Detainee." And today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Accused's Age Is Focus at Guantanamo Tribunal." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

And, as The Associated Press reports in an article headlined "Judges at Guantanamo Throw Out 2 Cases," all charges against Salim Ahmed Hamdan were also dismissed today on the same basis.
Posted at 08:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices reinstate death penalty for West Coast killer": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.

Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times provides a news update headlined "High Court Ruling Helps Prosecutors in Death Penalty Cases."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court reinstates death sentence for man."
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court calls FCC's indecency crackdown 'arbitrary'": Jim Puzzanghera of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

Tuesday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article headlined "F.C.C. Rebuffed by Court on Indecency Fines."

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Indecency Ruling Against Fox Tossed Out."

The Associated Press reports that "Appeals Court Hands Broadcasters a Win."

And Reuters reports that "Court rejects FCC broadcast decency rule."

My earlier coverage of today's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link. And my earlier coverage of the Second Circuit's oral argument (RealPlayer required) can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals Court upholds decision blocking Michigan's ban on 'partial birth' abortions": The Detroit News provides this update.

The Detroit Free Press provides a news update headlined "Michigan's ban on late-term abortion unconstitutional, federal appeals court rules."

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals Court Rejects Mich. Abortion Law."

My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 05:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Headed Southwick?: The case against Bush's latest controversial judicial nominee." Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


If a case settles after the sua sponte grant of rehearing en banc, but before an en banc ruling has issued, should a federal appellate court agree to vacate the original three-judge panel's ruling? In most federal appellate courts, this question would not arise, because the grant of rehearing en banc is recognized as having the effect of vacating the three-judge panel's ruling.

In the Ninth Circuit, by contrast, an order granting rehearing en banc typically provides that "[t]he three-judge panel opinion shall not be cited as precedent by or to this court or any district court of the Ninth Circuit, except to the extent adopted by the en banc court."

The Ninth Circuit's unique wording of orders granting rehearing en banc today produces nearly twenty-five pages of opinions in a case that has settled. The majority on the en banc panel today orders the three-judge panel's decision vacated in accordance with the parties' settlement.
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling opens door for executions to resume in Missouri; A federal appeals court says lethal injections do not constitute 'cruel and unusual punishment' in violation of the Constitution": Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

My earlier coverage of today's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Divided three-judge Second Circuit panel holds that FCC's new policy regarding "fleeting expletives" is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act: You can access today's ruling in Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FCC at this link.

Circuit Judge Rosemary S. Pooler issued the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Peter W. Hall joined. The first paragraph of the majority opinion concludes:

We find that the FCC's new policy regarding "fleeting expletives" represents a significant departure from positions previously taken by the agency and relied on by the broadcast industry. We further find that the FCC has failed to articulate a reasoned basis for this change in policy. Accordingly, we hold that the FCC's new policy regarding "fleeting expletives" is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. The petition for review is therefore granted, the order of the FCC is vacated, and the matter is remanded to the Commission for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Because we vacate the FCC's order on this ground, we do not reach the other challenges to the FCC’s indecency regime raised by petitioners, intervenors, and amici.
Senior Circuit Judge Pierre N. Leval dissented, explaining that he would have held that the FCC "gave a reasoned explanation for its change of standard and thus complied with the requirement of the Administrative Procedures."
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Insurers Win at U.S. Supreme Court on Credit Law": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report. He also has an article headlined "Pollution Suits Against Foreigners Draw Top U.S. Court Inquiry."

And Reuters reports that "US court backs insurance companies on credit law."
Posted at 01:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court restores killer’s death sentence": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Dismisses Charges Against Detainee": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A military judge dismissed charges Monday against a Canadian who was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan, a surprise ruling that came minutes into the arraignment of the man classified as an 'enemy combatant' at Guantanamo Bay."
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"We conclude that Missouri's written lethal injection protocol does not violate the Eighth Amendment." So holds a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued today.

In early press coverage of the ruling, The Associated Press reports that "Court Backs Mo. Death Penalty Procedure."
Posted at 12:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Years later, Valdez's stain remains; ExxonMobil's legal battle rages 18 years after the oil spill, as the case is likely headed to the Supreme Court": This article appears today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Backs Firms on Credit Reporting"; "Court Reinstates Man's Death Sentence"; "Court Rules on Florida Legal Fee Case"; and "Leukemia Widow Loses Court Fight."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Today's U.S. Supreme Court opinions: The Court today issued three opinions in argued cases, one dismissal of an argued case, and one summary decision vacating and remanding.

1. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Sole v. Wyner, No. 06-531. You can access the opinion here and the oral argument transcript here.

2. Justice David H. Souter delivered the opinion of the Court in Safeco Ins. Co. of America v. Burr, No. 06-84. You can access the opinion here and the oral argument transcript here.

3. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court in Uttecht v. Brown, No. 06-413, a 5-4 ruling in which the Court's conservative majority was on the prevailing side. You can access the opinion here and the oral argument transcript here.

Today's dismissal of an argued case came in Claiborne v. United States, No. 06-5618, due to petitioner's death. You can access the per curiam order of dismissal at this link.

In reporting on these rulings at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court protects trial judges on juror dismissal."

Finally, today's lone per curiam opinion vacated a ruling of the Tenth Circuit. You can access today's ruling in Erickson v. Pardus, No. 06-7317, at this link.
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court seeks response in detainees' cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

You can access today's Order List at this link.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Michigan Attorney General appeals the district court's decision declaring unconstitutional a state law that regulates abortion methods. Because we find that Michigan's law fails to comply with the explicit limitations that the Supreme Court has established for statutes regulating abortion, we agree with the district court's disposition, and affirm." So begins a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today. The law at issue is Michigan's Legal Birth Definition Act.

In April 2006, the Michigan Attorney General's Office issued a news release titled "Attorney General Cox Files Brief on Partial Birth Abortion Ban in 6th Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivers the commencement address at St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN." You can view online, on-demand this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America & the Courts" by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sterile thinking on pay equity": The Chicago Tribune today contains an editorial that begins, "Under federal law, it's illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of sex, so Lilly Ledbetter should have had a good claim against Goodyear Tire & Rubber."

And in yesterday's edition of that newspaper, columnist Clarence Page had an op-ed entitled "Supreme Court should do justice in the workplace."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Abolishing Non-Precedential Appellate Court Rulings: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?" Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial pay: Attracting the best." In today's issue of The National Law Journal, Abner Mikva has an essay that begins, "Judicial salaries have always been much lower than the quality of service we expect (and get) from the judicial branch of government."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Youth won't hurt AG nominee; Just 36, Milgram has won respect as the first assistant attorney general": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Shielding the right to know": The Chicago Tribune today contains an editorial that begins, "A lot of the important stories that journalists uncover come via people who prefer anonymity."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Efforts would disregard race; Affirmative action in UW System, state contracting targeted": This article appears today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Posted at 07:53 AM by Howard Bashman


"This divorce could break up records; Splitting mega-rich couple's assets equally could be a first": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "In one of the largest contested divorces ever, a Chicago energy industry magnate is fighting to overturn a judge's ruling that would give half of his fortune -- or about $176 million -- to his wife."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice official is said to have favored GOP loyalists; Bradley Schlozman is slated to testify Tuesday in the U.S. attorneys investigation": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Nominee to Spark Showdown; Judicial Fight on Tap": Today's edition of Roll Call contains an article (subscription required) that begins, "After six months of steadily approving President Bush's top-tier judicial nominations, Senators this week may be headed for their first partisan battle over the bench this Congress when the Judiciary Committee votes to install Leslie Southwick to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice has its purpose: Attorney General Thurbert Baker must right the wrong sentence thrown at Genarlow Wilson." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains this editorial today.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Ruling Brings Split in Antiabortion Movement": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Show Us the Money": Today in The New York Times, Susan E. Reed has an op-ed that begins, "This year, each of the eight associate justices of the Supreme Court will earn $203,000. The only woman and the only African-American on the court are paid the same as their six white male colleagues. Only Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. earns more than everyone else, $212,100. Their pay is set by Congress, and it is a matter of public record."
Posted at 06:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court Slams the Door on Pay Discrimination Claims: The Ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co." Joanna Grossman and Deborah Brake have this essay today online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Oddity in Picking Jurors Opens Door to Racial Bias": The installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column published today in The New York Times can be accessed here (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link).
Posted at 06:22 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Mark Sherman has an article headlined "Ginsburg a Minority of One on High Court."

And in other news, "2 Gitmo Detainees Face Trials."
Posted at 06:20 AM by Howard Bashman



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