How Appealing

Thursday, June 8, 2006

"Akaka Bill fails a vote in the Senate; The measure is not dead but will not be voted on in this session of Congress": The Honolulu Star-Bulletin provides this news update.

And The Honolulu Advertiser provides a news update headlined "Akaka bill fails to move to Senate floor debate."

You can access today's roll call tally from the U.S. Senate at this link.
Posted at 10:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Doggone: Judge's pets must go; Supreme Court, Eastpointe team up to keep her terriers out of courtroom." This article appears today in The Detroit News.
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman


The Kansas City Star is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Decision clears lesbian's path to foster parenthood; Missouri attorney general says new law decriminalizing homosexuality renders moot the case of KC woman" and "High court is last resort for Myrna Dick; Myrna Dick and her family will leave for San Diego a day before the Saturday deadline."
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Dole, Burr call for more N.C. judges on 4th Circuit court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 09:02 PM by Howard Bashman


The law may yet enforce a remedy in favor of clergyman who claims that he was unlawfully forced to give up his job as a law enforcement officer: Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell today issued an opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge Tenth Circuit panel that begins:
Plaintiff-Appellee Rex Shrum is both a law enforcement officer and a clergyman. After eight apparently successful years of juggling the two responsibilities, his relationship with the management of the police department soured, and the Chief of Police allegedly rearranged Officer Shrum's work schedule so it would conflict with his duties as a minister. Forced to choose between his police and his ministerial responsibilities, Officer Shrum resigned from the police department and filed this lawsuit. We must now decide whether the City of Coweta and the Chief of Police violated Officer Shrum's constitutional rights to freedom of association, free exercise of religion, and substantive due process.
You can access the complete ruling at this link.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kennedy Made Me Do It: How one Supreme Court Justice makes all conservatives stupid." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Shakespeare: Slate legal writer Dahlia Lithwick talks speech wall, Supreme Court." This profile appears in the current issue of C-Ville Weekly. Thanks to John Rosenberg for the pointer.
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"How I Became A Famous Weblogger and Achieved Rock Star Status as a Lawyer": There are days such as today when Evan Schaeffer would "even settle for a link from Howard Bashman." Consider it done.
Posted at 04:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"The District of Columbia Court of Appeals is pleased to announce a new service to the public, streaming audio, which permits internet access to oral arguments as they occur." So states the home page of the web site of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. The Washington Post provides this report (second item). Despite pervasive confusion, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals still isn't the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cornwall Outcry Spurs A License Plate Debate": "Choose Life" plates are the subject of this article published today in The Litchfield (Conn.) County Times.
Posted at 01:58 PM by Howard Bashman


California agricultural growers' medfly-related challenge to USDA rule permitting the importation of Spanish clementines doesn't fly, Ninth Circuit rules: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 01:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"A practice has developed in this court of writing dissents from denial of rehearing en banc consideration as a matter of routine." Today Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon issued an opinion concurring in the order denying the petition for rehearing en banc that begins:
I begin by explaining why I am writing this concurrence: A practice has developed in this court of writing dissents from denial of rehearing en banc consideration as a matter of routine. Those dissents sometimes read more like petitions for writ of certiorari than judicial opinions of any stripe. They pose a dilemma for those who believe the original opinion correct, as they may raise issues not addressed by that opinion because not articulated by the parties before the petition for rehearing stage--or ever.

The result, absent some response, is a distorted presentation of the issues in the case, creating the impression of rampant error in the original panel opinion although a majority--often a decisive majority--of the active members of the court either perceived no error or thought the case not one of much consequence. At the same time, answering the newly raised contentions by amending the panel opinion is usually not feasible. The court has voted not to rehear en banc the original opinion and ought not to have to accept a new version without a second opportunity to determine whether the opinion deserves en banc consideration. The result, quite obviously, could be a form of infinite regression which precludes us from ever finally deciding the case.

In this case, Judge Kozinski writes an impassioned dissent from denial of en banc consideration, accusing the panel majority of all manner of judicial perfidy. The problem is that his accusations are either flat wrong or indicate a misunderstanding of the holdings in the panel opinion. As the author of the panel opinion, I have no choice but to try to set the record straight. So as to avoid establishing a new tradition of group concurrences in denial of en banc to match the group dissents, I intentionally write for myself alone, without the concurrence of any of my colleagues.

You can access today's order denying rehearing en banc, together with Judge Berzon's concurrence and two opinions dissenting from the order, at this link.
Posted at 01:48 PM by Howard Bashman


In news from Hawaii: The Honolulu Advertiser today contains articles headlined "Close vote expected today for Akaka bill" and "Senators get an earful on Hawaiian recognition bill."

And The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports today that "Akaka Bill opponents occupy Iolani Palace."
Posted at 01:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Supreme Court of Virginia grants death row inmate Daryl Atkins a new trial to prove whether he is mentally retarded: You can access today's ruling at this link. In early press coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Va. Death Row Inmate Wins New Trial."

In June 2002, in the case of Atkins v. Virginia involving this very same inmate, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the execution of mentally retarded inmates.
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman



In an amazing coincidence: Last Friday night, law.com posted online the newest installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column, headlined "Which Federal Appellate Court Has the Best Web Site?"

Therein, I offered a bit of constructive criticism for the Tenth Circuit's web site: "[F]or whatever reason, that court hosts its opinions online for only 90 days after issuance. Given how inexpensive online storage has become, I can conceive of no reason why a federal appellate court would terminate access after such a brief period."

On Tuesday of this week, the Tenth Circuit scrapped its earlier method of posting opinions online and replaced it with this new opinions page that offers access to all Tenth Circuit opinions dating back to 1995. I congratulate the Tenth Circuit on this quite timely improvement of its beautifully redesigned web site.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge to hold private review of AT&T case": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The judge in a lawsuit that accuses AT&T of turning over millions of customer records to the federal government for illegal surveillance says he must examine government evidence about the spying program in secret before deciding whether to dismiss the case."
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Chief Judge Markey will be interred on June 23, 2006 at Arlington National Cemetery": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has posted this notice at its web site.
Posted at 12:04 PM by Howard Bashman


For a third time, the Federal Circuit considers the case of Xerox Corp. v. 3Com Corp., a lawsuit that began when Xerox alleged that one of its patents was infringed by 3Com's "Graffiti" system for handwriting recognition used with 3Com's PalmPilot handheld digital devices: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit -- a ruling that all but guarantees that the case will return yet again for another appeal -- at this link.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"In this appeal, we consider the nature of damages that can be recovered as the result of the failure by a funeral home that caters to members of the Jewish faith to ensure that orthodox ritual requirements are met when the rituals have been requested by a member of the deceased's family." So begins an opinion that a unanimous three-judge panel of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, issued today. According to the opinion, the ritual that had been requested, but not complied with, is where "watchers or shomerim conduct a continuous vigil or shmeerah over the body of the deceased until the time of the funeral." Some additional background on the ritual is available via this link.
Posted at 11:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Delayed: For Global Court, Ugandan Rebels Prove Tough Test; African Politics, Tactical Fights Hamper Chief Prosecutor; No Trial Date in Sight; Who Will Arrest Mr. Kony?" Jess Bravin has this front page article (pass-through link) today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online at Slate: Jack Shafer has a press box essay entitled "Wen Ho Ho Ho Lee Gets Last Laugh: Gauging the fallout from the legal settlement."

And Jacob Weisberg has an essay entitled "The Gay Panic Button: Why pressing it won't work this time."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge's Loss Stuns Experts; Election system and the jurist's Latvian name are cited; Winner is a lawyer and shopkeeper": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "The rare defeat of a highly regarded sitting judge ousted from the bench Tuesday by a bagel store owner who'd barely practiced law in the last decade sent a jolt through Los Angeles County legal circles, leading some to question whether the system to select judges needs overhauling."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Schoolteacher's firing upheld; Ursuline had right to terminate woman who dissented on abortion, court says": The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware contains this article today.

And The Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that "Teacher's suit over firing tossed; She signed on to an abortion-rights ad, then was dismissed; Appeals judges threw out the case."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Rebuffs Same-Sex Marriage Ban": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Gay Marriage Amendment Fails in Senate."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Senate Blocks Ban on Gay Marriage; A proposed amendment to the Constitution can't muster enough support for an up-or-down vote; A House measure is seen as similarly doomed."

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Same-sex marriage ban fails in Senate."

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Senate marriage ban amendment rejected."

The Washington Times reports that "Senate halts marriage amendment."

The Denver Post reports that "Nuptials ban flops in Senate; 'One man, one woman' fails to get even 50 votes."

The Boston Globe reports that "Gregg cites states' rights in voting against amendment; N.H. senator reverses stance taken in 2004."

USA Today reports that "GOP still plans to make issue of gay marriage; Amendment falls far short in Senate vote."

And The Hill reports that "Marriage amendment fails to garner majority."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Republicans opposed to abortion ban lose in S.D." USA Today contains this article today.

And The Rapid City (S.D.) Journal reports today that "Conservative victories mark trend."
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"In Las Vegas, They're Playing With a Stacked Judicial Deck; Some judges routinely rule in cases involving friends, former clients and business associates -- and in favor of lawyers who fill their campaign coffers": This lengthy article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. And a related article is headlined "A Judge Who Isn't Playing by Fast and Loose Rules."
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Block of Chestnut Street named for federal judge": The Philadelphia Inquirer contains this news brief today.
Posted at 07:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Inmate's Execution Still Set for Tonight; Stay Voided for Man Experts Say Is Retarded": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains an article headlined "Does killer grasp death? Experts say he has schizophrenia; can he comprehend penalty?"

On March 9, 2006, I provided this coverage of the en banc Fourth Circuit's sharply divided ruling on this case.
Posted at 07:05 AM by Howard Bashman



On the editorial page of today's edition of The New York Times: An editorial entitled "One Down, One to Go" begins, "Now that the Republican leaders in the Senate have finished wasting the nation's time over a constitutional ban on gay marriage, we're bracing for Act Two of the culture-war circus that the White House is staging to get out the right-wing vote this fall. Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, plans to continue to set aside work on pressing issues facing the country to vote on yet another unworthy constitutional amendment -- a prohibition on burning the American flag."

And an editorial entitled "When Drug Firms Pay Off Competitors" begins, "We hope that the Supreme Court agrees to take up a pivotal drug patent case brought by the Federal Trade Commission against Schering-Plough."
Posted at 06:55 AM by Howard Bashman



USA Today publishes interview with retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: The interview, published today, appears in two parts -- "Reflections of a retired justice: Sandra Day O'Connor says judicial independence is imperiled and electing judges is not wise; The immigration debate? Spanish was her grandmother's first language" and "Civics and America's 400th anniversary."
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court Grants Review in Two Cases Regarding Public Schools' Use of Race In Pupil Placement - And Thus Confronts the Question of How To Define Brown's Legacy": Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:35 AM by Howard Bashman


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