How Appealing

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Court Takes Second Look at Enemy Combatant Case": Adam Liptak will have this interesting article Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney general nominee's confirmation may now be in doubt": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.

And The New York Times on Thursday will contain an article headlined "Nominee's Stand Avoiding Tangle of Torture Cases."
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Perfect example of why torture is a failed tactic: A recent court ruling shows how the FBI allegedly threatened to use torture to coerce a terror suspect into a false confession." The Denver Post today contains an editorial that begins, "The next time you hear 'Trust us' from the Bush administration when it comes to fighting the war on terrorism, think of Abdallah Higazy. A federal appeals court ruling issued recently revealed details of how an FBI interrogator is said to have coerced Higazy into confessing to a crime he didn't commit. The ruling from the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals gave Higazy the legal footing to sue the FBI over his treatment. A version of the ruling on the court's website last week was quickly replaced with a redacted version omitting the embarrassing details. But the early version gave the public a window on the tactics this administration is accused of using to pursue suspected terrorists. It's another compelling example of why federal lawmakers need to push for oversight and greater disclosure of the methods the administration uses."

The original version of the Second Circuit's ruling remains available online at this link.
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



Higazy-related posts at "Daily Kos": "Valtin" today has a post titled "Cover-up: FBI Threatens Suspect's Family with Torture."

"dday" has a post titled "The FBI, Egyptian Torture, and the Court Opinion That Wasn't."

And "albaum" has a post titled "Federal Appeals Court Covers Up Abuse?"

I'm planning to discuss the Higazy matter in the November 5, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com.
Posted at 09:14 PM by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Stayed Executions Revive Lethal Injection Debate" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Mukasey's Torture Comments Give Panel Pause."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Did these federal district courts properly decide to order that a criminal defendant be involuntarily medicated in order to be competent to stand trial? In a case from Louisiana, the Fifth Circuit answered "yes" in this decision issued today.

And in a case from California, the Ninth Circuit answered "no" in this decision issued today.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Father of slain Marine wins case against funeral protesters; Pa. man awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages": The Baltimore Sun provides a news update that begins, "Albert Snyder of York, Pa., the father of a Westminster Marine who was killed in Iraq, today won his case in a Baltimore federal court against members of Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church who protested at his son's funeral last year. The jury of five women and four men awarded Snyder $2.9 million in compensatory damages. The amount of punitive damages to be awarded has not yet been decided. The jury deliberated for about two hours yesterday and much of today."

And The Associated Press reports that "Jury Awards Father $2.9M in Funeral Case."

Update: Later today, as updated versions of the articles linked above confirm, the jury's award increased to nearly $11 million after the jury announced, following further deliberations, that it was also awarding $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for emotional distress.
Posted at 05:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former Detroit Prosecutor Acquitted": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A jury has acquitted a former federal prosecutor of withholding evidence in the nation's first major terrorism trial after Sept. 11."

The Detroit News provides an update headlined "Exonerated Convertino: Prosecution of terror case 'politically motivated.'"

And The Detroit Free Press provides a news update headlined "Jury: Convertino not guilty on all charges."
Posted at 05:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Law grads face off at high court: Pat Diamond and Ben Butler, both Law School alumni, will present to the Supreme Court on opposing sides." The Minnesota Daily today contains an article that begins, "When oral arguments begin today in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, it's clear history will be made - not just in terms of the eventual decision, but because of who's squaring off in the courtroom. That's because two University Law School alumni - Pat Diamond, Hennepin County attorney who graduated from the school in 1986, and Ben Butler, state public defender who graduated in 2001 - are representing opposing sides in what promises to be an intriguing case with nationwide implications. Cynthia Huff, Law School spokeswoman, said it's the first time in recent history that anyone at the school knows of where two University Law School alumni have faced each other before the U.S. Supreme Court. "
Posted at 04:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"October Ends With No Executions in US": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "For the first time in nearly three years, a month passed with no executions in the United States." Of course, because October doesn't end until midnight, the article's claim could be seen as premature.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Danforth v. Minnesota, No.06-8273: The Court has posted the transcript at this link.
Posted at 03:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"There is no provision in the rules of procedure for a district court to predict that an appellate court will find an appeal frivolous and to set a bond for costs on appeal based on an estimate of what 'just damages' and costs the appellate court might award." I guess it's too much to expect that a trial judge will always rejoice at the prospect of appellate review, but it's never ceased to amaze me the extent to which some trial judges will go to try to prevent a party from obtaining appellate review.

I related one such scenario in a recent installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com headlined "May a Trial Court Force the Parties to Waive Appellate Review?"

Today, in an entirely separate case, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has vacated a federal district court's order requiring the appellant to post an appeal bond in the amount of $150,000 just to obtain appellate review. The proper amount of an appeal bond in that case, today's Fifth Circuit ruling holds, is $1,000.
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court: Former Ill. Gov Must Go to Jail." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Wednesday denied former Gov. George Ryan's request to remain free on bail while he appeals his conviction on corruption charges. The ruling means Ryan will likely have to go to prison next week."

The Chicago Tribune provides a news update headlined "Ryan a step closer to prison."

And The Chicago Sun-Times provides a news update headlined "Appeals court refuses Ryan bond, says must go to prison next week; 'End of the line' for Ryan, judge says."

Today's Seventh Circuit rulings in this case consist of a decision refusing to allow the defendants to continue to remain on bail and a decision refusing to issue a stay of the Seventh Circuit's appellate mandate.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney General Chess: If Mukasey is knocked out, which party loses?" Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 01:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Children of the Porn: The Supreme Court contemplates lying about porn in the real world." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 01:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"What does the Supreme Court really do?" At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has this post reporting on today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Danforth v. Minnesota.
Posted at 01:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court Hears Enemy Combatant Case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Enemy Combatant Gets Day in Court": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

Earlier today, I collected additional press coverage at this link.
Posted at 11:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Fury at vote reflects a politicized process": Yesterday in The Boston Globe, columnist Peter Canellos had an essay that begins, "Last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California either created 'a miracle of bipartisanship,' in the words of the Hattiesburg American, a Mississippi newspaper, or committed a 'slap in the face to African-Americans and people of good will,' in the words of Wade Henderson of the liberal-leaning Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Feinstein, a Democrat, voted with Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to advance President Bush's nomination of Leslie Southwick, a former Mississippi state court judge, to the federal appeals court for his region."
Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court overturns ban on Ind. House prayer": The Indianapolis Star today contains an article that begins, "Sectarian prayers, including those to Jesus Christ, could return to the front of the Indiana House chamber after a court ruling Tuesday, but opponents warned of a legal challenge if that happens."

The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana reports today that "House prayer ban falls on appeal; Court finds plaintiffs have no legal right to sue."

And The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that "Limits on House prayers lifted; Plaintiffs don't have standing, court says."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Seventh Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Reprieve: U.S. Supreme Court halts execution of Miss. man." This article appears today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi, along with articles headlined "Victim's spouse must endure longer wait for justice" and "Death penalty protesters rejoice at stay of execution."

Joan Biskupic of USA Today reports that "Supreme Court halts Miss. execution."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "High Court Signals Execution Halt During Lethal-Injection Case."

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "Mississippi death row inmate gets last-minute stay."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jury gets 2 views of terror prosecutor": The Detroit News today contains an article that begins, "The Justice Department says Richard Convertino was a politically ambitious federal prosecutor willing to break the law to notch a high-profile terrorism case under his belt. Convertino's lawyer says he was an overworked hero fighting to make Americans safe from radicals plotting to harm them. Today, jurors begin deciding which picture is accurate after a full day of emotionally charged closing arguments Tuesday."

The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Terror prosecutor faces judgment; Corruption case goes to jury today."

And The New York Times reports that "Ex-Prosecutor 'Crossed Over the Line,' Jury Is Told."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"California may be forced to redesign executions; A decision to toss latest plan would increase uncertainty over state's death penalty, already on hold because of a constitutional challenge": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "State's new lethal injection procedures ruled invalid."

And The Marin Independent Journal reports that "Marin judge ready to toss new method of execution."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"An isolated case: The fall of a renowned class-action lawyer isn't evidence for curtailing such lawsuits." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Jury sees video of funeral protest; Five women and four men begin weighing lawsuit by Marine's family against church": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "The father of a young Marine killed in Iraq wept repeatedly in federal court in Baltimore yesterday as a jury watched video images of members of a Kansas church protesting the military's inclusion of homosexuals by picketing his son's Westminster funeral. The videos provided an emotional ending to the evidence portion of the weeklong trial in U.S. District Court. Albert Snyder of York, Pa., the Marine's father, is attempting to be the first in the nation to hold members of Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church legally liable for their shock protests at military funerals."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Partners In the War On Terror: Telecommunications Firms And the Senate's FISA Bill." U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Hear Arguments on Internet Pornography Law": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "High Court Surveys Child Pornography Law's Scope."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "High court weighs child porn law; Justices seek to establish whether a tool to punish online purveyors of illegal pictures infringes on the 1st Amendment."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Court puts child porn law to test; Justices appear skeptical of challengers' arguments."

In The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant reports that "Child porn law goes to high court; Critics say statute too broad to stand."

And The Miami Herald reports that "Child-porn law debated; The attorney for a former Miami-Dade officer argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that a law to curb child pornography is too broad."
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Who Lost Pant Suit Loses Job": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Roy L. Pearson Jr., the administrative law judge who lost his $54 million lawsuit against a Northeast Washington dry cleaner, lost his job yesterday and was ordered to vacate his office, sources said. Pearson, 57, who had served as a judge for two years, was up for a 10-year term at the Office of Administrative Hearings, but a judicial committee last week voted against reappointing him. The panel had a seven-page letter hand-delivered to Pearson about 3:30 p.m., directing him to leave his office by 5 p.m. Pearson's term ended in May, at the height of his battle with the dry cleaners. Since then, he has remained on the payroll, making $100,000 a year as an attorney adviser. A source familiar with the committee's meetings said Pearson's lawsuit played little role in the decision not to reappoint him."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"When Judges Attack! The war president is finding a less pliant judiciary." Nat Hentoff has this essay in the current issue of The Village Voice.
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Appeals Court to Hear 'Enemy Combatant' Case": The Washington Post provides a news update that begins, "The battle over President Bush's power to indefinitely detain a U.S. resident without charge moves to the full federal appeals court in Richmond this morning, as the judges consider the case of Qatari national Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled in June that Bush had overreached his authority when he declared Marri an 'enemy combatant' and that the Constitution protects U.S. citizens and legal residents such as Marri from unchecked military power. The administration is now appealing to the full court, which will hear arguments from both sides."

Today in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey reports that "Appeals court weighs who's an enemy combatant; Enemy combatant Marri says the US can't hold him without charge indefinitely."

And The Peoria Journal Star reports that "Al-Marri challenges Bush's war on terror; Judges to decide whether ex-West Peorian can be held as an 'enemy combatant.'"

My earlier coverage of the original three-judge panel's ruling in the case can be accessed here, here, and here.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey Calls Harsh Interrogation 'Repugnant'": The New York Times contains this article today.

Today in The Washington Post, Dan Eggen has a front page article headlined "Mukasey Losing Democrats' Backing; Nominee Unsure If Waterboarding Breaks Torture Law."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Mukasey's reply draws more fire; The attorney general nominee declines to call water-boarding torture, as Democrats on Senate panel had sought."

Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Mukasey calls waterboarding repugnant but declines to say it's illegal."

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Mukasey Riles Backers On Waterboarding Issue."

The New York Sun reports that "Mukasey's Fate Now in Doubt in the Senate." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Mukasey's Mettle."

James Rowley of Bloomberg News reports that "Mukasey Vote for Attorney General May Be Closer Than Predicted."

And The Washington Times contains an editorial entitled "The Mukasey test."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Some Respite, if Little Cheer, for Skid Row Homeless": This article, reporting on Los Angeles, appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roots of False Confession: Spotlight Is Now on the F.B.I." The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "This month, Abdallah Higazy managed to crawl from the landslide of forgotten history on a slow-motion journey toward the truth."

The article refers to the original, now-withdrawn version of the Second Circuit's ruling in the case, which I have posted online at this link.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Justices Stay Execution, a Signal to Lower Courts": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times.

And in Wednesday's edition of The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will have an article headlined "Stay of Execution Is Granted For Mississippi Murderer."
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court hears arguments over child-pornography law": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court Examines Law to Curb Child Porn on Internet" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Respected Marine Lawyer Alleges Military Injustices."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 08:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"AG Nominee Unsure About Waterboarding": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "President Bush's nominee for attorney general told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that an interrogation technique called waterboarding is repugnant but that he did not know if it is legal."

And Dan Eggen of The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Attorney General Nominee Sends Letter to Dems."

You can view the four-page letter at this link.
Posted at 08:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Halts Halt Miss. Execution": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.

Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times has a news update headlined "Supreme Court Stays Execution in a Sign of a Broader Halt."

Jan Crawford Greenburg of ABC News has a written report headlined "'De Facto Moratorium' on Lethal Injections? With Lethal Injection Case Pending, Supreme Court Blocks Miss. Execution."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court delays Mississippi execution."
Posted at 07:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Convicted killer hoping Supreme Court will grant appeal in 6 o'clock execution": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi provides this news update.
Posted at 06:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court overturns ban on Statehouse prayer": The Indianapolis Star provides this news update.

My earlier coverage of today's Seventh Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcripts of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: By clicking on the following links, you can access the transcripts of oral argument in United States v. Williams, No. 06-694, and Logan v. United States, No. 06-6911.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lethal Injection in Mississippi": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of the public radio program "Here & Now."
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Takes Up Child Porn Case": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."

And at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr has a post titled "Oral Argument in United States v. Williams."
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"[T]he fact that a litigant is psychotic does not mean that he cannot assist in his case": Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner issued this interesting decision today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge Seventh Circuit panel discussing what level of mental competency a state death row prisoner must possess in order for his federal habeas challenge to proceed.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"An anti-porn law that will survive?" Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Divided three-judge Seventh Circuit panel rejects for lack of standing a taxpayer challenge to the practice of the Indiana House of Representatives' opening each session with a prayer: You can access today's ruling at this link. The effect of today's ruling is to overturn a permanent injunction that a federal district court had issued to prohibit the prayers in question.

Both the majority opinion and the dissenting opinion engage in a lengthy discussion of the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation, Inc. on the issue of taxpayer standing in an Establishment Clause challenge such as this.

In her dissenting opinion, Circuit Judge Diane P. Wood writes:

I do not rule out the possibility that some or all of the prayers offered before the Indiana House might similarly pass muster under Marsh. Unfortunately, however, we are never to find out. Under the majority's approach, even if the Speaker decides to start working his way through the Anglican Book of Common Prayer day by day, notwithstanding the presence of Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and other legislators, staff, and constituents, nothing can be done to enforce the command of the Establishment Clause. As long as a majority of the House is Christian, it is also reasonable to predict that the House itself will never take action to curb such a practice.
I previously had this post linking to the briefs filed in the case and the online audio of the appellate oral argument.
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has begun posting online its decisions on judicial misconduct complaints: If these have been available online previously, they've avoided my notice until now. In any event, you can access the decisions, which date back to November 29, 2006, via this link.
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Reviews Child Pornography Law": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Bush administration urged the Supreme Court Tuesday to uphold a law against the promotion of child pornography, rejecting First Amendment claims that it limits legitimate creative expression."
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman


Federal Circuit denies en banc rehearing to reconsider its decision declaring the District of Columbia's Prescription Drug Excessive Pricing Act of 2005 preempted by federal patent law: You can access today's order, which is accompanied by both a concurring opinion and a dissenting opinion, at this link.

My earlier coverage of the three-judge panel's original ruling appears at this link. A few days later, The Washington Post published this article about the decision.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Inactive Senior Judge Wilson Cowen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has died at the age of 101: An announcement appears at that court's internet home page. Biographical information about Judge Cowen can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Executive Power & the War: A panel of Supreme Court experts talk about the Boumediene v. Bush case in a session titled, 'Executive Power and the War on Terror.'" If you missed this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America & the Courts" or, more likely, you can't wait to watch it again, you can access the broadcast online, on-demand by clicking here (RealPlayer required). On this occasion, Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times allowed C-SPAN to record her remarks. Among her co-panelists were Lyle Denniston, Walter Dellinger, and John Yoo.
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"When Punitive Damages Make No Sense": Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay about the Exxon Valdez case in this week's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Happy Birthday To Us!" Two days after I declared myself forty-three years old, the blog "Drug and Device Law" today declares itself one year old. I first noted that blog's existence in this post from December 18, 2006.

Update: In other blog birthday news, the blog "LawBeat" also declares itself to be one year old today.
Posted at 10:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wilson on 'Today' show, says his release was unexpected": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains this article today. In addition, Law Professor Donald E. Wilkes Jr. has an op-ed entitled "Justice gets new lease on life; Wilson didn't deserve cruel punishment."

USA Today reports today that "Man in teen sex case considers his future."

The Associated Press reports that "Many Teens Don't Know the Law About Sex."

And The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "Judgment call: The ruling that freed a Georgia man in a sex case wasn't judicial activism, it was righting a wrong."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Class-action lawyer pleads guilty; Former Milberg Weiss partner William Lerach faces up to two years in prison for conspiracy in a scheme to bribe plaintiffs": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Lerach Enters Guilty Plea In Class-Action Conspiracy."

And The New York Times reports that "Leading Class-Action Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy."
Posted at 08:53 AM by Howard Bashman



"Opening Halls of Justice": The Dallas Morning News today contains an editorial that begins, "It may be impossible to remove the stain that Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, has placed on the state's judiciary. But two lawyer-driven actions might keep it from spreading. More than 300 members of the Texas bar joined a petition last week asking Judge Keller's court to adopt modern procedures and allow e-mailed filings in death penalty cases. Of course it should. Electronic filing in life-or-death cases might have avoided Judge Keller's disgraceful decision Sept. 25 in which she refused a condemned man's plea for a 20-minute extension beyond the court's usual 5 p.m. closing."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"On Torture, 2 Messages and a High Political Cost": This news analysis appears today in The New York Times. And Adam Cohen has an Editorial Observer essay entitled "Honey, They Shrunk the Congress."

Today's edition of USA Today contains an editorial entitled "Is Mukasey willing to be a 'no' man in the White House? Bush's pick for attorney general must clarify views on executive authority." And Bradford A. Berenson has an op-ed entitled "President has inherent powers; Mukasey, a fine nominee, is simply pointing out constitutional reality."

And The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "The Waterboarding Dodge: Who's really to blame for Mr. Mukasey's evasions on torture?"
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Elizabeth Taylor to Keep Van Gogh": Linda Greenhouse has this newsbrief today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Killer down to final appeal; Justices have one last chance to halt execution": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, "Convicted killer Earl Wesley Berry's final request to halt his execution remained unanswered by the nation's high court Monday as Mississippi continued preparations to put him to death tonight. Attorneys for Berry and the state expected a ruling on his appeal before his 6 p.m. execution at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Exxon Valdez on radar of high court; Justices agree to reconsider whether Exxon can be forced to pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages for allowing a heavy drinker to take the helm of the ship": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Court to weigh $2.5B award in Valdez spill."

And The Anchorage Daily News contains articles headlined "Exxon appeal granted; high court to hear case" and "Exxon case may turn on 1818 court ruling; Shipowner was not liable for a captain's recklessness."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Thomas J. Meskill Dies at 79; Ex-Congressman, Connecticut Governor and Federal Judge": This obituary appears today in The New York Times.

And The Hartford Courant today contains an obituary headlined "A Public Life: Governor, Congressman And Federal Appellate Judge, He Was A Principled 'Man Of The Old School.'"
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Va. group's $ behind high court candidate; Maureen Lally-Green is beneficiary": The Philadelphia Daily News today contains an article that begins, "A mysterious non-profit group based in Virginia is throwing tens of thousands of dollars into Pennsylvania's state Supreme Court campaign, without disclosing the sources of the money."

And The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article headlined "Plugging tirelessly toward high court" that begins, "He's been a biker, a Philly police officer, a lawyer, the Eagles Court judge, a Marine, an Air Force colonel, and an appellate judge. And now, Seamus P. McCaffery wants more than anything to be a justice on Pennsylvania's highest court."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Supreme Court rejects ex-convict's legal argument; Austin company argued most inmates must be freed on technicality": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Child porn law at center of free-speech case; Opponents argue statute is too broad": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.

The Deseret Morning News reports today that "Child-porn law focus of appeal."

And on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment entitled "Supreme Court Considers Range of Child Porn Law" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court Considers a Procedural Roadblock to Recovery Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act": Joanna Grossman has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "High Court Finds High-Tech Persuasive."

And in other news, "Major Publishers Back National Geographic in Copyright Fight."
Posted at 07:37 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, October 29, 2007

"Justices to Hear Exxon's Challenge to Punitive Damages": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.

And in Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will have an article headlined "Justices to Examine Punitive Damages In Exxon Oil Spill."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Eyes on Supreme Court in Execution Case Tuesday": In Tuesday's edition of The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse will have an article that begins, "By 6 p.m. Tuesday, when a Mississippi inmate is scheduled to die by lethal injection, the Supreme Court may give the clearest indication so far of whether it intends to call a halt to all such executions while a case from Kentucky that the justices accepted last month remains undecided."

The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi provides a news update headlined "High court denies first of two appeals by convicted killer."

And The Hattiesburg American reported on Sunday that "USM student to watch grandmother's killer die."
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Clarence Thomas at Baltimore Book Party": This post appears today at The Washington Post's "Maryland Moment" blog.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bursting the dam on judicial nominations; Though the big-spending left exacts a price": The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "On Wednesday, the Senate voted 59-38 to approve the nomination of former Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Those not familiar with the process might figure a vote that lopsided means the nomination didn't generate much controversy."
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mack prosecutors resume testimony today in Vegas": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "After a three-day weekend to observe Nevada Day, prosecutors will resume today trying to prove that Reno businessman Darren Mack is guilty in the fatal stabbing of his wife shooting of the judge who was handling their contentious divorce."

That newspaper's "Darren Mack Blog" provides additional updates from the trial.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Is child-porn law too broad? US Supreme Court takes up the case of a man convicted of trying to distribute make-believe porn." Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge won't block 'moment of silence'": The Chicago Tribune provides a news update that begins, "Despite signaling he has concerns about a new state law mandating a moment of silence in Illinois public schools, a federal judge today declined to issue a temporary restraining order that would have prevented a period of reflection at Buffalo Grove High School beginning Tuesday."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Allows Ill. Moment of Silence."
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Exxon Asks Supreme Court to Limit $2.5M Spill Tab; Oil giant argues that punitive damage award for the Valdez disaster is excessive": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.

At CNN.com, Bill Mears reports that "Supreme Court to review Exxon Valdez award; The high court will determine if the $2.5 billion in punitive damages owed for the 1989 Alaska oil spill is excessive."

And today's broadcast of the public radio program "Here & Now" included an audio segment featuring Lyle Denniston entitled "Supreme Court and Exxon Dispute" (RealPlayer required)
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcripts of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: By clicking on the following links, you can access the transcripts of oral argument in Klein & Co. Futures v. Board of Trade of City of New York, No. 06-1265, and Ali v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, No. 06-9130.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman


On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast included audio segments entitled "Future of Lethal Injection in Question" (featuring Dahlia Lithwick) and "Controversial Suicide Law Marks 10 Years." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court may cut Exxon Valdez damages": Joan Biskupic of USA Today provides this news update.

And The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court to Hear Exxon Valdez Case."
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer Pleads Guilty in Kickback Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "William Lerach, a former partner at a prestigious New York law firm, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy for his role in a scheme to bribe people to become plaintiffs in lucrative class-action lawsuits."
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal courts are not comprised of philosopher-kings or legislative aides, and the Constitution forbids us from pontificating about abstractions in the law or merely giving advice about the potential legal deficiencies of a law or policy when no ongoing controversy exists with respect to that law or policy." So writes Fourth Circuit Chief Judge Karen J. Williams, on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of that court, in dismissing as moot a South Carolina state prison inmate's First Amendment challenge to a policy that prevents inmates in the maximum security unit from receiving publications via mail.

As today's ruling explains, because the inmate was released back into the general prison population from the maximum security unit over two years ago, and because the inmate "controls his own fate so far as the prospects for his return to the MSU are concerned," the panel today dismisses the inmate's appeal as moot.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Mukasey Ultimatum: The Dems do have a way to make the attorney general nominee talk about waterboarding." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-convict appeals to inmates' hopes for freedom; Company says cases can be won on a legal technicality": Chuck Lindell had this article yesterday in The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Muslim Says Copies of Quran Confiscated": Pete Yost of The Associated Press has an article that begins, "The Bush administration urged the Supreme Court on Monday to bar a Muslim inmate from suing prison officials who allegedly confiscated two copies of his Quran and prayer rug. The inmate should be limited to filing an administrative complaint as thousands of other prisoners do every year for a variety of allegations, a Justice Department lawyer told the court."
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News is reporting: He has articles headlined "Exxon Gets Court Review of $2.5 Billion Valdez Award" and "Elizabeth Taylor Can Keep van Gogh Work as Court Rejects Appeal."
Posted at 12:43 PM by Howard Bashman


James Vicini of Reuters is reporting: He has articles headlined "Supreme court to decide Exxon Mobil Valdez appeal"; "US court rejects ex-trader's 7-year contempt case"; and "Court lets Liz Taylor keep van Gogh painting."
Posted at 12:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rocky Mountain High": CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen, author of the "Bench Conference" blog hosted by washingtonpost.com, lives in Denver and roots for the Boston Red Sox. That apparently gives him at least two reasons to gloat today at the expense of a certain Philadelphia Phillies fan. On a brighter note, there are now only three and a half months till pitchers and catchers report for spring training.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Man freed in teen sex case says no 'negative energy' toward DA": CNN.com provides this report.
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "Court Declines Case Involving Painting" begins, "The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a dispute involving actress Elizabeth Taylor over ownership of a Vincent van Gogh painting. The painting is claimed by descendants of a Jewish woman who fled Nazi Germany."

And an article headlined "Court Declines Alabama Murder Case" begins, "The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a triple-murder case in which the trial prosecutor stood up in court, clapped his hands several times and said 'bravo' after the accused killer finished testifying in his own defense."
Posted at 11:03 AM by Howard Bashman



Senior Second Circuit Judge Thomas J. Meskill has died: The Associated Press reports that "Former Gov. Thomas Meskill Dies."

Judge Meskill was continuing to perform the work of his court until the end, as this ruling issued today demonstrates.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



Is that a one-pound package of powder cocaine in your pants or are you just glad to see me? In a decision issued today, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirms the suppression of a one-pound package of powder cocaine discovered during the pat-down search of a car passenger. Today's ruling holds that a pat-down search of the passenger was unlawful because the prosecution had failed to show that the police officer had a reasonable suspicion that the passenger was armed and dangerous before conducting the search.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman


U.S. Supreme Court can't hear case in which seven of that Court's nine Justices are recused: The Order List that the Supreme Court of the United States issued today contains the following order at the bottom of page one:
Because the Court lacks a quorum, 28 U.S.C. §1, and since a majority of the qualified Justices are of the opinion that the case cannot be heard and determined at the next Term of the Court, the judgment is affirmed under 28 U.S.C. §2109, which provides that under these circumstances the Court shall enter its order affirming the judgment of the court from which the case was brought for review with the same effect as upon affirmance by an equally divided Court. Justice Stevens, Justice Scalia, Justice Kennedy, Justice Souter, Justice Thomas, Justice Ginsburg, and Justice Breyer took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition.
You can learn a little more about the case in this decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissing the action in October 2006. Ironically, the current lawsuit alleged that these Justices should have recused from deciding the plaintiff's earlier lawsuit. As a result of their recusal from deciding this lawsuit, he again loses.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to Hear Exxon Valdez Case": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court to rule on Exxon Valdez verdict." That blog has posted online the petition for writ of certiorari, the brief in opposition, and the petitioner's reply brief. You can access amicus briefs filed at the cert. stage via this link (scroll down to seventh case).

My earlier coverage of the Ninth Circuit's ruling in this case can be accessed here, while I collected press coverage of that ruling in this post.

Today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List, which can be accessed here, indicates that Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. has recused himself from this case.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Advocacy Matters": Guest-blogger Richard Lazarus has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy" about his new paper "Advocacy Matters Before and Within the Supreme Court: Transforming the Court By Transforming the Bar" (abstract with links for download).
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Refusing to Accept Defeat as the Result on Appeal": You can access today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com at this link.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sperm donor needed pact, high court rules": Saturday's edition of The Topeka Capital-Journal contained an article that begins, "The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that a sperm donor who wants to have parental rights with any subsequent children must have a written agreement with the mother. The 4-2 decision upholding constitutionality of Kansas' current donor law was the first of its kind in the nation."

And The Kansas City Star reported on Saturday that "Kansas high court rules against sperm donor."

You can access Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Kansas at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court overturns $30 million award in Walter Hollins case": Friday's issue of The Cleveland Plain Dealer contained an article that begins, "Walter Hollins of Cleveland, brain-damaged since birth 20 years ago, must return to court with a new lawyer if he hopes to ever be compensated for his injuries. The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday threw out the $30 million verdict that Hollins won in 2004, blaming his attorney, Geoffrey Fieger of Southfield, Mich., for courtroom misconduct that critically tainted the outcome. The verdict was the state's largest medical malpractice award ever. But it was a verdict influenced by passion and tainted by Fieger's theatrics and inappropriate behavior, Justice Terrance O'Donnell wrote in the court's 6-1 opinion."

And The Associated Press reports that "Ohio court tosses $30M verdict over Fieger antics."

You can access last week's ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio at this link.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appellate judge called 'out of control'": Today's edition of The San Antonio Express-News contains an article that begins, "Sharon Keller won election to Texas' highest criminal court 13 years ago with a promise to be a staunch supporter of the death penalty and a 'pro-prosecution' judge."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Floridians head back to court for Big Tobacco fight": This article appears today in The Palm Beach Post.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Exxon asks high court to void Valdez spill damages; Justices may say today whether they'll hear case involving jury's $2.5 billion award": Patty Reinert has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.

And The Anchorage Daily News reported on Saturday that "Exxon's run of appeals could end Monday; Supreme Court will decide if it will take the case."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Enforcing flag law is a long shot": The Omaha World-Herald today contains an article that begins, "Nebraska's law prohibiting flag desecration is the legal equivalent of a butter churn or slide rule: a device that has outlived its usefulness, according to two scholars and a lawyer seeking to declare the law void."

Today's newspaper also contains related articles headlined "Nebraskans' beer label brought flag fracas to head" and "Defender adds touch of irony."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"ABA seeks execution moratorium; Study of states finds 'deeply flawed' process, inequities": The Chicago Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Checking Child Pornography: The Supreme Court considers a pandering case." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Good judges: Voters should retain the best and let one go." Today's edition of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains an editorial that begins, "Judicial retention elections, until quite recently, have been low-key and easily overlooked. Not this year, not after what happened in 2005. That's when angry voters lashed out at the only statewide candidates on the ballot and threw Supreme Court Justice Russell Nigro off the bench. They nearly did the same to Justice Sandra Schultz Newman, who was also on the ballot; she later resigned. That stunning election was a response to a middle-of-the-night pay raise enacted, then rescinded, by the Legislature and to a subsequent state Supreme Court ruling that upheld the increases for judges."

The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an editorial entitled "For Pa. Supreme Court: Todd and McCaffery."

The Allentown Morning Call contains an editorial entitled "These candidates for appellate courts offer chance to restore their esteem."

And yesterday's issue of The Harrisburg Patriot-News contained an editorial entitled "Todd, Lally-Green deserve election to the Supreme Court."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Muslim Says Copies of Quran Confiscated": Pete Yost of The Associated Press has an article that begins, "A Muslim inmate says prisoners around the country are regularly mistreated by their jailers because of religious faith. The Supreme Court is considering his case Monday. The issue in the inmate's lawsuit is whether he can sue prison officials for allegedly confiscating two copies of his Quran and his prayer rug."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Wiretap This Time": Studs Terkel has this op-ed today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kent, his accuser in same building": Saturday's edition of The Galveston County Daily News contained an article that begins, "The chief judge of the Southern District of Texas on Friday said he didn't know when -- or whether -- Galveston would get a permanent federal judge. Meanwhile, it was hard to learn the reason why suspended U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent was removed Thursday as Galveston's permanent judge. Some speculated it could be an attempt to inconvenience the judge and get him to resign. Others said it might be an attempt to avoid the appearance that some attorneys would receive favored treatment by filing cases in Galveston. Still others said it might be an attempt to retaliate against a court employee who transferred from Galveston after she made a sexual harassment complaint against the judge. Once he resumes hearing cases in January, Kent will be based primarily in Houston -- in the same building with his accuser."

Friday's newspaper reported that "Galveston to keep court after Kent's transfer."

And in yesterday's newspaper, columnist Heber Taylor had an op-ed entitled "Moving Kent a confusing and weak response."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Torturing Mukasey: The judge becomes a pawn in the politics of interrogation." This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bond Funds With $155 Billion Imperiled If U.S. Court Voids Law": Greg Stohr and Jeremy R. Cooke of Bloomberg News have an article that begins, "Municipal-bond investors may be owed billions of dollars, and bond funds holding $155 billion rendered obsolete, as the result of a U.S. Supreme Court fight over state tax powers."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why Does the U.S. Sentence Adolescents To Life Without Parole?" Sherry F. Colb has this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, October 28, 2007

"The Smart Way to Shut Gitmo Down": Matthew Waxman has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Act on the Shield Law: The Senate majority leader has two good choices." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"On trial in Atlanta: Cost of justice; Georgia's death penalty cases are on hold as state, judge wrangle over $1.8 million price tag for defending Brian Nichols." This article will appear Monday in The Christian Science Monitor.

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "Judge for Nichols hearing is familiar with spotlight."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Now free, Genarlow Wilson plans to attend college": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update.

Today's print edition of that newspaper contained an article headlined "Jackson warns of crisis in justice; Thousands of black men wrongly punished, the veteran activist says; Genarlow Wilson to address church today." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Genarlow Wilson is free ... but other victims of Georgia's sweeping sex offender laws are not." And columnist Jim Wooten has an op-ed entitled "Court ruling is legislating from the bench."
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



Mark Sherman of The Associated Press is reporting: He has articles headlined "Black Lawyers Rare at Supreme Court" and "Lawyers' Group Wants Halt to Executions."
Posted at 06:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial Races Now Rife With Politics; Corporate Funds Help Fuel Change": Robert Barnes has this front page article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"A killer argument against assisted suicide: In exposing the euthanasia lobby's disregard for equality before the law, and for free will itself, Neil M Gorsuch has written the most important book yet on the 'right to die.'" In the October 2007 issue of "the spiked review of books," Kevin Yuill has this review of Tenth Circuit Judge Neil M. Gorsuch's book, "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia."
Posted at 02:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice O'Connor Addresses Oral Argument, Supreme Court": This article appeared last Wednesday in The Cornell Daily Sun.

And The Ithaca Journal on Wednesday reported that "O'Connor stresses role of oral advocacy."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion's 'So-What' Factor": Today in The Washington Post, columnist George F. Will has an op-ed that begins, "Almost 35 years have passed since the Supreme Court decided to end America's argument about abortion. Because of the court's supposedly therapeutic intervention in the nation's supposedly inadequate democratic debate about that subject, the issue still generates an irritable irrationality that was largely absent before 1973."
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas' rulings contrast meager beginnings; The justice has carved out a stern judicial philosophy in which his early struggles are rarely apparent": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Last Wednesday in The Chicago Sun-Times, columnist Steve Huntley had an op-ed entitled "Thomas' life story, philosophy win admirers."

And last Thursday, High Point University issued a news release titled "Justice Clarence Thomas To Speak At HPU Commencement."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Scalia honored by Jesse Helms Center; Conservative Supreme Court justice defends his concept of strict constructionism, claiming Constitution 'is not a living organism' but a 'legal document'": This article appeared in yesterday's edition of The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Posted at 09:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush sets US Supreme Court legacy": BBC News provides this report.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, October 27, 2007

"President's power to detain in U.S. at issue": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "In Courtroom Two of the federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday morning at 9, ten judges of the Fourth Circuit Court take up a broad new test of the power of the President to detain terrorist suspects inside the borders of the U.S."
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Torture Stance Raises Doubts on Mukasey": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And The New York Times today contains an article headlined "Denounce Waterboarding, Democrats Tell Nominee."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeal to halt execution is denied; U.S. high court ruling on lethal injection may decide Berry's fate": This article appears today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Political Sway at Guantanamo? Former Prosecutor Says Pressure Began With Australian's Case." Jess Bravin has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wilson's Sentence Overturned": This article, in which I am quoted, appears online at the web site of Time magazine.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article headlined "Wilson rejoices: 4-3 decision frees Gemarlow."

The New York Times reports today that "Georgia Court Frees Man Convicted in Sex Case."

The Washington Post reports that "Court Orders Release of Man in Teen-Sex Case; Ruling Determines 10-Year Prison Sentence Was Cruel and Unusual Punishment for Consensual Act."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "After teen sex ruling, he's a free man; Georgia's high court overturns Genarlow Wilson's conviction, saying his sentence was 'cruel and unusual.'"

And Jonathan Ringel of Fulton County Daily Report has an article headlined "Ga. Justices' Ruling in Teen Sex Case Confounds Some Predictions; Justice Thompson provided swing vote in releasing Genarlow Wilson, though he dissented in a similar case."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia at this link.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judicial confirmation process 'broken,' federal appeals judge says": The Arkansas News Bureau provides a report that begins, "The judicial confirmation process is 'broken' and needs an overhaul, a federal appeals court judge whose confirmation process lasted three years said Thursday. Senate confirmation of a president's judicial nominees should be rigorous but should not be allowed to drag on for years, said Brett Kavanaugh, a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Kavanaugh was a guest speaker Thursday at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service."

And a related news release is titled "D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh speaks at Clinton School."

This is not the first time that Clinton and Kavanaugh have been mentioned together in the mass media.
Posted at 01:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"From CIA Jails, Inmates Fade Into Obscurity; Dozens of 'Ghost Prisoners' Not Publicly Accounted For": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 01:03 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Abortion Ban Back at 4th Circuit; Virginia case tests high court ruling in 'Gonzales.'"

In other news, "NHL's Insurers Score Hat Trick in N.J. Supreme Court."

An article reports that "Court Ruling Spikes Internet Ministers, Highlights Legal Issue; Divorce attorneys claim ruling could be used as a way to avoid alimony, division of property."

In news from Texas, "The Decision-Making Behind the Wait for the HLF Verdict."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Refusing to Accept Defeat as the Result on Appeal."
Posted at 12:57 PM by Howard Bashman



Friday, October 26, 2007

Three-judge Fifth Circuit panel denies stay to Mississippi death row inmate who is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection next Tuesday and who seeks to challenge that State's protocol for lethal injection: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


And since they resided in Alabama, the wife couldn't lawfully purchase a sex toy to ameliorate her sexless marriage: The Associated Press reports that "Ala. Appeals Court Ends Sexless Marriage." According to the article, now that they are no longer married, the former husband and wife are planning to have lots of sex. In any event, it's on occasions like these that one is glad Alabama state appellate court rulings are not readily and freely available over the internet.

In earlier, unrelated coverage, on February 22, 2006, I had a post titled "When will this Bad Marriage end?"

Update: The blog "Alabama Appellate Watch" has posted the opinion at this link.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Craig to Make Constitutional Argument": The AP provides a report that begins, "Idaho Sen. Larry Craig will argue before an appeals court that Minnesota's disorderly conduct law is unconstitutional as it applies to his conviction in a bathroom sex sting, according to a new court filing. This is the first time Craig's attorneys have raised that issue. However, an earlier friend-of-the-court filing by the American Civil Liberties Union argued that Craig's foot-tapping and hand gesture under a stall divider at the Minneapolis airport are protected by the First Amendment."
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-Gov. Ryan Ordered to Prison by Nov. 7": The Associated Press provides this report.

And The Chicago Tribune provides a news update headlined "Ryan lawyers to seek bond this afternoon."
Posted at 03:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Allows Anti-Harass Training Suit": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A high school student can pursue nominal damages from an eastern Kentucky school district over its required anti-harassment training, an appeals court ruled Friday."

My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



Seventh Circuit dismisses for lack of standing Indiana Right to Life's federal constitutional challenge to Indiana's Code of Judicial Conduct, which prohibits candidates for judicial office from pledging or promising how they will rule on cases or issues likely to come before the court: Circuit Judge Terence T. Evans issued this interesting ruling today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Sixth Circuit reinstates student's claim alleging that his high school's now-abandoned policy against making stigmatizing or insulting comments about the sexual orientation of other students unlawfully chilled his ability to express his religiously influenced beliefs about homosexuality: You can access today's ruling from a divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel at this link.

Circuit Judge Deborah L. Cook dissents, explaining that "The majority burdens a federal district judge with a full-blown trial to determine whether to award the plaintiff a single dollar if a policy no longer in effect was unconstitutional despite never being enforced against the plaintiff."
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



BREAKING NEWS -- "Supreme Court frees Genarlow Wilson": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "The Georgia Supreme Court on Friday ordered the release of Genarlow Wilson, the Douglas County teenager who has been serving a controversial 10-year sentence for consensual oral sex. The court's 4-3 decision upholds a Monroe County judge's ruling that the sentence constituted cruel and unusual punishment under both the Georgia and U.S. constitutions. The majority opinion said the sentence appeared to be 'grossly disproportionate' to the teenager's crime and noted that it was out of step with current law."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Ga Court: Release Man Jailed in Sex Case."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia at this link. The court also issued this news release summarizing the decision.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"CIA Paranoia and the Lady from Vermont: 9/11 hysteria, even surrounding 60-year-old documents about American spies." The Village Voice contains an article that begins, "On October 9, Charlotte Dennett, a prim Vermont woman uneasily holding her handbag, stood up in federal court in Manhattan to try yet again to pry the 60-year-old secrets about her father's death from the U.S. government."

Update: A bit later this morning, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a non-precedential ruling dismissing Dennett's appeal for having been filed too late.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court won't rehear ex-Gov. Ryan's appeal; The Illinois Republican is to begin a prison sentence for fraud and corruption; He'll ask the Supreme Court to hear the case": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Chicago Tribune reports today that "Ryan down to last hope; Ex-governor looks to high court to overturn corruption verdict."

And The Chicago Sun-Times contains an article headlined "From his house to...the big house? He was sentenced to prison more than 400 days ago. Now ex-Gov. George Ryan could finally report in about two weeks; But even after his appeal was denied Thursday, he might be able to avoid jail again -- for a while."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Seventh Circuit order denying rehearing en banc can be accessed here.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Panel to See Papers on Agency's Eavesdropping": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "The White House on Thursday offered to share secret documents on the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program with the Senate Judiciary Committee, a step toward possible compromise on eavesdropping legislation."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel to probe Nichols' judge; House speaker forms committee; Delays, soaring expenses anger Richardson": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "Angered by trial delays and spiraling costs, Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson (R-Hiram) set up a special committee Thursday to investigate whether the judge in the Brian Nichols murder case has abused his office and should be impeached."

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Costly trial puts heat on Georgia judge; The escalating price tag of Brian Nichols' public defense is causing lawmakers to look at how the capital case is being handled."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



A kinder, gentler method of imposing the death sentence: The Birmingham News reports today that "State's new execution procedure detailed; New method aims to ensure inmate is unconscious."

The Associated Press reports that "Cancer may claim serial killer before execution in Alabama."

And The Huntsville Times today contains an editorial entitled "Facing legal realities."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Detectives testify about 'to-do' list, suspect identification": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Family Court Judge Chuck Weller was laying in a trauma room with an oxygen mask on his face and blood on his chest when a Reno police detective leaned down and asked if he knew who might have shot him, the officer testified Thursday."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Sees No Reason For New Skakel Trial": Lynne Tuohy has this article today in The Hartford Courant.

The Stamford Advocate today contains an article headlined "No new trial for Skakel."

And The New York Times reports that "Skakel Loses in Effort to Gain a New Trial."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Funeral protest case opens; Member of anti-gay church denies father of soldier could see rally": The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday contained an article that begins, "A member of a Kansas-based anti-gay church told a federal jury yesterday that America's acceptance of homosexuality spurred her and fellow parishioners to picket a Westminster Marine's funeral, one of the demonstrations by the group that have become so frequent that 22 states have enacted or proposed laws limiting the rights of protesters at memorial services."

And The New York Times reports today that "Marine’s Father Sues Church for Cheering Son's Death."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Princeton Faces Trial Over Use of Gift Now Worth $880 Million": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "In a legal battle watched nervously by universities around the country, a New Jersey judge yesterday sent to trial a dispute between Princeton University and the heirs of a supermarket fortune and left open the possibility that Princeton could lose a donation that is now worth $880 million. In a set of rulings, the judge, Neil H. Shuster of Superior Court, established the ground rules for one of the largest lawsuits ever filed exploring how closely colleges must adhere to the original intent of donors."

The Newark Star-Ledger reports today that "Trial nears on family's Princeton donation; Suit alarms nonprofits."

And The New York Sun reports that "Battle Over Use of Donor Gift Could Cost Princeton $1.5 Billion."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Trials & Tribulations: A quick glimpse at court decision." The Times Herald-Record of Middletown, New York today contains an article that begins, "A local lawyer and blogger Steve Bergstein played a major role in revealing information that someone wanted to keep secret, although they can't say why."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's En Banc Rehearing in the Navajo Nation Case: Striking the Difficult Balance Between Religious Liberty and Law." Vikram David Amar has this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Sullivan Settles With Former Associate Who Sued Firm for Discrimination": law.com provides a report that begins, "Sullivan & Cromwell said Thursday it had reached a settlement with former associate Aaron Charney, who sued the New York law firm earlier this year for sexual orientation discrimination."
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Embattled judge moved to Houston": The Galveston County Daily News provides an update that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent, reprimanded last month by a judicial panel after a court employee accused him of sexual harassment, has been transferred from Galveston to Houston."

And Harvey Rice of The Houston Chronicle has a news update headlined "Order leaves Galveston without federal judge."
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Insanity defense begins; Mack attorney says divorce, stress, drug abuse sparked slaying": The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Wealthy Reno pawnshop owner Darren Mack abused illegal drugs to intensify his sexual encounters, but the drugs eventually made Mack so delusional that he shot the judge presiding over his divorce -- after first killing his estranged wife in self-defense, defense attorneys said Wednesday."

And The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains articles headlined "Opening words paint contrasting motives" and "The Jury: Who made the cut?" The newspaper also provides an update headlined "Mack trial testimony focuses on judge."
Posted at 09:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judges impose secrecy on remake of ethics rules": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers has an article that begins, "As the federal judiciary embarks on a historic revision of its rules against judicial misconduct, the panel of judges that's overseeing the drafting of new regulations refuses to disclose the public comments that could help shape the overhaul. After requesting public comments about the proposed rules, the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability refuses to say how many responses it received, who commented or what was said."
Posted at 06:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"We decide principally whether a 19th-Century shotgun hanging on a defendant's living room wall qualifies as an 'antique firearm' not subject to the general registration requirement of the National Firearms Act": So begins the opinion that the majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued today.

Based on the rule of lenity, the majority's decision in favor of the defendant-appellant on that issue in this federal criminal case saves him a whopping $100 but leaves his criminal sentence otherwise unchanged.
Posted at 05:24 PM by Howard Bashman



Eleventh Circuit grants rehearing en banc in Alabama death row inmate's lethal injection challenge: Today's order granting rehearing en banc vacates the three-judge panel's stay of execution entered yesterday but then in the very next sentence grants a new stay of execution on behalf of the en banc court. (Take that, three-judge panel!) Fortunately for the inmate, the State of Alabama did not execute the inmate after reading that the three-judge panel's stay had been vacated but before reading that the stay had been reimposed by the en banc court.

Earlier today, I collected at this link news coverage of yesterday's three-judge panel ruling.
Posted at 05:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ryan loses appeal": The Chicago Tribune provides a news update that begins, "Former Gov. George Ryan may soon be reporting to federal prison after an appellate court refused today to reconsider an August ruling that affirmed his sweeping convictions for public corruption and fraud."

And The Chicago Sun-Times provides a news update headlined "Ex-Gov. Ryan loses appeal."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Denies Ex-Gov. Ryan a New Hearing": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court refused Thursday to grant former Gov. George Ryan a fresh hearing on his racketeering and fraud conviction." You can access today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denying rehearing en banc at this link.

The joint opinion dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc, in which three judges joined, concludes: "The role of the courts of appeals in protecting jurors and litigants from excessively protracted criminal trials that strain the capacities of jurors, and by doing so undermine procedural justice, merits plenary consideration by this court."
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judges hear arguments in DPS security tape case; DPS lawyer says release of tapes would set bad precedent, compromise security": The Austin American-Statesman today contains an article that begins, "An attorney for the Department of Public Safety told a Court of Appeals panel Wednesday that publicly releasing security camera tapes from public buildings was little different from giving someone the access codes to a building's security center. DPS has for more than two years been arguing to keep certain security tapes secret, after a public information request by the Texas Observer, a small nonprofit investigative newspaper. The case made its way to the 3rd Court of Appeals after the Texas attorney general's office and a state district judge ruled that the public's right to the tapes in this case outweighed security concerns."

And The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Court hears appeal on Capitol surveillance video."
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"300 lawyers seek change in court policy on death row appeals; Petition asks appeals judges to avoid another 'unnecessary execution'": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.

And The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Texas lawyers call for e-filed execution appeals."

You can view the petition at this link.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Following Moratorium Trend, Court Halts Alabama Execution": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Birmingham News reports today that "Dying killer gets stay of execution."

You can access at this link yesterday's decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Ginsburg and Legislative Independence": Orin Kerr has this post today at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Southwick approved for 5th Circuit seat; Democrat Feinstein saluted for breaking partisan deadlock": The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi contains this article today.

The New York Times reports today that "Senate Backs Disputed Judicial Nomination."

The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "One Judge Makes It."

And The Clarion Ledger contains an editorial entitled "Southwick: Judge judged by region's history."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey's take on torture: His evasive testimony hinders what was supposed to be a breezy confirmation process." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"The $114.69 Speech Police": Today in The Washington Post, columnist George F. Will has an op-ed that begins, "The speech policeman's lot is not a happy one, as the University of Montana at Missoula is learning. Herewith a tale about the mess that institution has made by regulating political speech."

My earlier coverage of the Ninth Circuit ruling that is the subject of Will's op-ed can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Second Court Ruling Redacts Information About Interrogation": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And ABA Journal has a post titled "Appeals Clerk Explains Why Details of Alleged FBI Coercion Withdrawn from Opinion."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Texas Judge Draws Outcry for Allowing an Execution": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the target of a rising national outcry a month after turning away the last appeal of a death row inmate because the rushed filing was delayed past the court's 5 p.m. closing time."
Posted at 08:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Laurence Fishburne as Thurgood Marshall": The New York Times today contains a newsbrief that begins, "Laurence Fishburne is going to Broadway next spring in a production of 'Thurgood,' the one-man play by George Stevens Jr. about the former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fight over TV indecency is on high court's doorstep; Case tests FCC's attempt to limit expletives": Joan Biskupic has this front page article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Lawyers to begin arguing today": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Opening statements will begin today in the trial of Darren Mack, who is accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife and shooting a Reno judge about 16 months ago."

The newspaper also contains an update headlined "Mack: My wife pointed gun at me, I killed her."
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey's confirmation: a vote about torture; The attorney general nominee's evasive remarks on 'water-boarding' should disqualify him from the job." Law Professor Jonathan Turley has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"What the Senate Should Do": At "Balkinization," Chris Eisgruber yesterday had a post that begins, "This post is the last of three marking the 20th anniversary of the Senate vote rejecting Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court (the vote was twenty years ago today: October 23, 1987)."
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to consider gun case Nov. 9": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And at "PrawfsBlawg," Michael O'Shea has a lengthy but interesting post titled "What Happened in Heller, Chapter I: The Certiorari Briefing."
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Advocacy Matters Before and Within the Supreme Court: Transforming the Court By Transforming the Bar." On Monday, Tony Mauro had this article reporting on a new study by Law Professor Richard Lazarus.

Lazarus has posted his paper to SSRN, and you can access it via this link (abstract with link for download).
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court attempts to hide FBI threats to innocent man's family": Josh Wolf has this post today at his "Media Sphere" blog hosted by c|net.

Andrew Sullivan at "The Daily Dish" has a post titled "Bush's America: The Higazy Case."

The blog "Corrente" has a post titled "Court Decision Redacted to Obscure FBI Role In Coerced False Confession Is a Non-Story? What's With That?"

"The Group News Blog" has a post titled "FBI Tortures Innocent Civilians."

The blog "TFS Magnum" has a post titled "Welcome to the Police State."

Kevin Drum at "Political Animal' has a post titled "Higazy revisited."

And "ACSBlog" provides a post titled "Bloggers Reveal Redacted Second Circuit Opinion Contained Allegations of Coercion That Occurred During an FBI Interrogation Related to 9/11."
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Southwick confirmation to federal bench clears Senate": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi provides this news update.
Posted at 06:03 PM by Howard Bashman


Eleventh Circuit overturns a Florida federal district court's dismissal of a lawsuit stemming from a 2001 collision between two aircraft in Milan, Italy that was the deadliest aviation disaster in Italian history: Circuit Judge Ed Carnes wrote today's ruling on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Interrogation of Abdallah Higazy: So far, press accounts have missed the point." Clint Hendler has this interesting article, in which I am quoted, online today at Columbia Journalism Review.
Posted at 05:48 PM by Howard Bashman


The "Last, Best" trademark that federal law prohibits anyone from registering: The Last Best Beef, LLC between 2001 and 2004 sought to register eight trademarks of the phrase "The Last Best Place" in connection with a variety of different products and services. A federal appropriations act signed into law on November 22, 2005 prohibits the registration, issuance, transfer, or enforcement of any trademark of the phrase "The Last Best Place."

When the appropriations act became law, Best Beef's eight trademark applications were in various stages of consideration with the USPTO. As a result of the appropriations act's having become law, the USPTO suspended all proceedings and canceled two registrations that it had approved.

Last Best Beef filed suit, claiming that the appropriations act violated Section 1052 of the Lanham Act, which provides that "[n]o trademark ... shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature." A federal district court agreed, but today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision holding that the USPTO acted properly in suspending proceedings and canceling registration pursuant to the appropriations act.

The Missoulian previously covered this controversy in articles you can access here and here. And in October 2006, "The TTABlog" had this post reporting on the federal district court's ruling that the Fourth Circuit reversed today.
Posted at 05:23 PM by Howard Bashman



We are joining this program already in progress: Attorneys Tom Goldstein and Maureen Mahoney are discussing business cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, at an event hosted by the Institute for Legal Reform. You can view the discussion live by clicking here (RealPlayer required). I'll link to archived video of the event later, when it becomes available.
Posted at 04:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Urged to Enter Spurned Spouse Case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Southwick Wins Confirmation": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Judge Leslie Southwick to the federal appeals court in Mississippi despite complaints by some Democrats that decisions he supported were racially insensitive and inappropriate for a region still shadowed by civil rights struggles. The 59-38 vote on confirmation was sealed after the nomination survived its main obstacle, a test tally moments earlier. Majority Democrats pressured by labor unions and other constituencies did not have the votes to filibuster, or block, Southwick's confirmation."

The U.S. Senate's official vote tally on cloture, achieved by a margin of 62-35, can be accessed here. The vote tally on confirmation is not available yet but should be posted to this link.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Ruling Removes Hurdle to a VW Takeover": This article appears today in The New York Times.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's European Court of Justice ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court rules child-porn law invalid": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Tuesday backed a Cleveland sex magazine publisher's claim that a law intended to fight child pornography is unconstitutional because it restricts protected speech by setting reporting requirements that are overbroad."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Anti-Terrorism on Trial: Why the Government Loses Funding Cases." Law Professor David Cole has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-Attorney General Says Politics Drove Federal Prosecution; House Panel Evaluating Justice Dept." The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Richard L. Thornburgh, who served as attorney general under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, accused the Justice Department yesterday of prosecuting a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat for political reasons, one of a series of cases singled out by House Democrats as examples of alleged GOP meddling at the Justice Department."

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Ex-attorney general says Democrats were targets; Richard Thornburgh accuses the U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh of ignoring evidence of misconduct by Republican officials."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "Wecht arguments go to Washington; The question of whether the prosecution of former Coroner Cyril H. Wecht is politically motivated reverberates around Capitol Hill."

And Jason Cato of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that "'Trivial' Wecht charges baffling, Thornburgh says."
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Death Penalty Be Not Proud, Courts Reckon": The New York Sun today contains an article that begins, "By vacating the death sentence of New York's last death row inmate, the Court of Appeals yesterday sent Albany a clear message: The resurrection of capital punishment in this state won't be achieved by judicial intervention but only by the will of the Legislature."

The New York Times reports today that "State's Highest Court Tosses Out Death Sentence in Killings at a Queens Wendy's."

And The Times Union of Albany, New York reports that "Death penalty law dead; Queens killer avoids execution as high court affirms 2004 decision halting capital punishment in state."
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Limited gun ruling urged": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts Skirts Hot Topics at BYU Speech": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Students and community members lined up by the dozens at Brigham Young University to ask the U.S. Supreme Court's chief justice about subjects including race, Roe v. Wade, Guantanamo Bay prisoners, and gay marriage."

The Salt Lake Tribune today reports that "Chief justice speaks at BYU."

And The Deseret Morning News reports today "Tech cases critical, Roberts says at Y."
Posted at 10:01 AM by Howard Bashman



"Tilting the Scales of Justice": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Every time we take a look at the United States attorney scandal, more evidence emerges that Alberto Gonzales politicized the Justice Department to the point where it sometimes seems like a branch of the Republican National Committee."
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: A forthcoming issue of ABA Journal magazine will contain a feature article about law bloggers. The magazine has hired photographers to go out and take pictures of some of the handful of law bloggers on whom the article will focus.

This morning, my photo is being taken by photographer Chris Chrisman. You can view examples of his quite impressive work via this link.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Surveillance Law That Matters: The president is bound by the Constitution, not the whims of Congress." Robert F. Turner has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "Texas Judge Known for Toughness on Crime" begins, "The path to the nation's busiest death chamber winds through a court of last resort where the presiding judge recently refused to keep her office open past 5 p.m. to accept a last-minute appeal from an inmate about to be executed."

And in news from Rhode Island, "Prisoner Fights for Religious Expression."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Deal Struck on Southwick Vote": Roll Call today contains an article (subscription required) that begins, "A hands-off posture by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and promises from key Republicans to help smooth the way for deals on outstanding appropriations bills appear to be the right recipe for the Senate confirmation this week of controversial appellate court nominee Leslie Southwick."

The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi reports today that "Senate debate on Southwick may end today."

The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi contains an article headlined "Circuit judge vote today" that begins, "The Senate is scheduled to vote at 10 a.m. today on the nomination of former Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit."

And The Associated Press reports that "GOP Senators to Push Judicial Nominee."
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Republicans target red-state Dems on Judge Southwick": Wednesday's issue of The Hill will contain an article that begins, "Senate Republicans and their conservative allies on Tuesday were targeting red-state Democrats in a last-ditch bid to win a confirmation battle over the most contentious judicial nominee of the 110th Congress, Leslie Southwick."
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Financing Mistrial Adds to U.S. Missteps in Terror Prosecutions": Adam Liptak and Leslie Eaton will have this news analysis Wednesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Microsoft Is Yielding in European Antitrust Fight": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Microsoft Yields to European Regulators; Software Giant Ends Years-Long Antitrust Fight."

Jim Puzzanghera of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Microsoft ends 9-year battle with European regulators; The software giant, running out of legal options, agrees to make highly guarded code available at low prices."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Microsoft drops EU battle; Company agrees to concessions, won't pursue antitrust appeal."
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutors: Qwest had a pact; Assertion shoots hole in Nacchio's secret info stance." The Rocky Mountain News contains this article today.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Papers Contradict Nacchio's Defense; Qwest Was Considered for NSA Contract."

In related coverage, Denver's NBC news affiliate 9NEWS reported yesterday that "2nd investigation of federal judge launched after disabled parking violation."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge Nottingham accused of parking in handicapped spot."

You can access online both the judicial misconduct complaint and the judge's response thereto.
Posted at 11:23 PM by Howard Bashman



Judge who filed suit against dry cleaner for losing his pants will soon be losing his judgeship: The Washington Post reports today that "Judge Set to Lose Job, Sources Say; Panel Reportedly Votes Against Reappointment."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senators Say White House Cut Deal With Panel on FISA; Documents Said to Be Traded for Telecom Immunity": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "The Price of Admission: The White House will share details on telecommunications firms' immunity, but only with those who agree with it."
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Top Court in Georgia Again Delays an Execution": The New York Times contains this article today.

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "No execution today, state high court rules."
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Dead Spy, a Daughter’s Questions and the C.I.A." This article about a case now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Immigrant fights to keep $59,000 U.S. confiscated": Yesterday's edition of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contained this article reporting on a case now pending on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

And Reuters reports that "Guatemalan migrant fights U.S. for his wages."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Companies Seeking Immunity Donate to Senator": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Executives at the two biggest phone companies contributed more than $42,000 in political donations to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV this year while seeking his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Death Penalty Is Thrown Out in Wendy's Killings": The New York Times provides a news update that begins, "Closing a chapter on one of the bloodiest crimes in recent New York City history, the state's highest court today tossed out the death sentence imposed on a man for his role in the murders of five workers at a Wendy's restaurant in Queens seven years ago. The man, John B. Taylor, was the last remaining inmate on New York State's death row. The divided decision by the Court of Appeals not only ordered the trial court to resentence Mr. Taylor -- almost certainly to life in prison without parole -- but it also reaffirmed a landmark decision in 2004 that effectively invalidated the state's death penalty law."

My earlier coverage of today's New York State Court of Appeals ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman



Latest crop of Higazy-related posts: The blog "Wash Park Prophet" has a post titled "FBI Coverup Thwarted."

The blog "Donkey Punch" has a post titled "Your Tax Dollars at Work."

Matthew Yglesias offers these thoughts.

The blog "Educated Guesswork" has a lengthy post titled "Information wants to make you look foolish" in which the post's author concludes, "I'm not a lawyer, but I must admit to being a little puzzled as to why this is an appropriate matter to seal. If Templeton hadn't worked for the FBI and threatened a confession out of someone would that be sealable? If not, doesn't the public have a pretty significant interest in knowing what their law enforcement officials do? Whatever the reason, once you've made the mistake of posting this to a web site somewhere, trying to take it back just makes you look stupid."

And the blog "Petunias" has a post titled "Higazy and Coerced Confessions."
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"An ancient wrong and the Constitution": Lyle Denniston has this interesting post this evening at "SCOTUSblog" about a case involving the tort of alienation of affection.
Posted at 08:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"NY Court: Police Can Pose As Children." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Law enforcement officers investigating sexual predators can pose as children to catch their prey, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, saying the First Amendment provides no refuge for such criminals."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"We have consolidated for decision four intertwined cases that present nine questions under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, several of which have engendered considerable controversy at the circuit level and even some circuit splits." So begins an opinion that Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Several of the questions ask whether the Act should be applied in the same manner where the consumer is represented by, and being contacted through, a lawyer as where the consumer is being contacted directly by the debt collector.
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Highest court upholds change to death penalty law": The Times Union of Albany, New York provides a news update that begins, "The state's highest court today upheld a 2004 ruling that effectively overturned New York's death penalty law."

You can access today's 4-3 ruling of the Court of Appeals of New York at this link.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman



Majority on partially divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel strikes down as facially unconstitutional the recordkeeping requirements federal criminal law places on producers of images of "actual sexually explicit conduct" to verify the ages of those depicted in the images: Describing the federal statute at issue, the majority opinion explains, "The plain text, the purpose, and the legislative history of the statute make clear that Congress was concerned with all child pornography and considered recordkeeping important in battling all of it, without respect to the creator's motivation." The majority proceeds to hold the statute facially overbroad and then strikes down the law as unconstitutional.

You can access today's ruling at this link. Even the dissenting judge agrees that the statute is overbroad, but he believes that judicial narrowing of the statute can save it from being unconstitutional.

This decision is a significant First Amendment ruling that directly implicates the controversial subjects of legal adult pornography and illegal child pornography. I expect that the ruling will receive plenty of attention.
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Vote Expected This Week on Judge Southwick Nomination to Circuit Court": FOXNews.com provides this report.

And Politico.com reports that "Vote to indicate heft of Southwick baggage."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawbreaker in Chief": Today in The New York Times, Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld has an op-ed that begins, "At his confirmation hearings last week, Michael B. Mukasey, President Bush's nominee for attorney general, was asked whether the president is required to obey federal statutes."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"European Court Strikes Down 'Volkswagen Law'": The New York Times provides a news update that begins, "The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg today struck down a 47-year-old German law that was the only roadblock standing between Porsche and its long-sought goal of taking over Volkswagen."

The Wall Street Journal provides a news update headlined "EU Court Overturns Law That Shields Volkswagen."

BBC News provides reports headlined "'Volkswagen law' is ruled illegal; The European Union's highest court has said a German law protecting carmaker Volkswagen from takeovers is illegal" and "Porsche expected to take control of VW."

The Telegraph (UK) provides a news update headlined "EU ruling may trigger Porsche bid for Volkswagen."

Reuters reports that "EU's top court strikes down VW law."

And The Associated Press reports that "EU Court Strikes Down VW Law."

You can access today's ruling of the European Court of Justice at this link. That court today also issued a press release summarizing the ruling.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"The War for the Constitution : The anniversary of Robert Bork's failed nomination reminds us what's at stake in the coming election." Gary L. McDowell has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Due Process for Exxon": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. has an op-ed that begins, "It has been nearly two decades since the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska, spilling 258,000 barrels of crude oil. The company long ago paid dearly for the catastrophic accident: some $3.4 billion in clean-up costs, natural resource damages, claims payments, fines and penalties. Now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages, the largest such award affirmed by a federal court in history."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Former Florida Professor, Al-Arian, Again Rebuffed Over Contempt Citation": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A federal judge has rebuffed another bid by a former Florida college professor, Sami Al-Arian, to end a contempt of court citation stemming from his refusal to testify before a grand jury investigating Islamic charities in Virginia, one of Al-Arian's daughters said yesterday."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Jonathan Ringel reports that "Ginsburg Notes Israeli Judges' Ban on Torture."

In other news, "Rough Seas Forecasted for Mukasey: Can attorney general nominee pilot the Justice Department through turbulent waters?"

And this week's installment of Tom Goldstein's "Conference Call" column is headlined "Exxon Appeals Award to High Court; Justices consider challenge of a $2.5 billion decision."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Second Circuit's Stunning Reversal, in Two Suits Involving the Alien Tort Claims Act": Anthony J. Sebok has this essay, part one of a two-part series, today at FindLaw.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, October 22, 2007

"No Convictions in Trial Against Muslim Charity": The New York Times provides a news update from Dallas that begins, "A deadlocked federal jury here did not convict any leaders of a Muslim charity who were charged with supporting Middle Eastern terrorists, and the judge today declared a mistrial in what has been widely viewed as the government's flagship terror-financing case."

And The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Mistrial Declared in Muslim Charity Case; Holy Land Foundation Official Acquitted on Other Counts."
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Microsoft drops appeal of European antitrust case; The software giant, which faces a $1 billion fine, will make some of its Windows operating system code available so developers can better design products for it": Jim Puzzanghera of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Microsoft Concedes in European Antitrust Case."

And The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Microsoft Yields to EU Antitrust Ruling."
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Canada Revises Indefinite Terror Jailing": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Canada's government moved Monday to address a court ruling against one of its most contentious anti-terrorism measures, a law allowing authorities to detain foreign terrorism suspects indefinitely without disclosing evidence against them."
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online at Slate: Phillip Carter and Dahlia Lithwick have a jurisprudence essay entitled "All Wet: Why can't we renounce waterboarding once and for all?"

And Frank Bowman has a jurisprudence essay entitled "From Toady to True Believer: How confirming Michael Mukasey will further cripple Congress."
Posted at 08:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"FBI Coerced Confession Deemed 'Classified'": This post appears today at Slashdot.

At his "Political Animal" blog, Kevin Drum has a post titled "Redactions."

Patterico is already up to his fourth update on a post titled "Was a Passage Omitted from a Recent Second Circuit Opinion for 'Security' Reasons -- Or to Cover Up Material Embarrassing to the FBI?"

The blog "Appellate Law & Practice" has a post titled "Why not more about the Second Circuit's censorship?"

And additional coverage can be accessed in the following linked posts at the blogs "Unqualified Offerings"; "Free Constitution"; "anotherpanacea"; and "A Second Hand Conjecture."
Posted at 06:10 PM by Howard Bashman



If you ever wish to conclude your service as jurors in this criminal case, you the jury will return a unanimous verdict: An impermissibly coercive jury instruction constituted plain error and thus caused a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to vacate a criminal conviction in a decision issued today.
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate vote on Southwick nomination near; Dems may block judge's confirmation": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday he would schedule a vote this week on the nomination of Mississippi Judge Leslie Southwick. Reid's press secretary, Jim Manley, said the long-awaited vote could come as early as Tuesday."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge declares mistrial in Holy Land Foundation case; Jurors unable to reach unanimous decision on most counts": The Dallas Morning News provides this update.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Mistrial Declared in Muslim Charity Case" that begins, "A judge declared a mistrial Monday for most former leaders of a Muslim charity accused of funding terrorism, after chaos broke out in the court when three jurors disputed the verdict that had been announced."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Holy Land Foundation defendants face mixed verdicts": The Dallas Morning News provides an update that begins, "The original chairman and director of endowments of the Holy Land Foundation was found not guilty of supporting terrorism by sending money to charity committees controlled by Hamas. The jury in the terrorism-financing trial was unable to reach unanimous decisions on three of the six defendants, U.S. District Judge Joe Fish said Monday as he unsealed their verdicts."

And The Associated Press reports that "Verdicts Unclear in Muslim Charity Case."
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman



A picture may be worth 1,000 words, and the U.S. Sentencing Commission has decided that a video is worth 75 still images: How can someone convicted of possessing child pornography in the form of 204 still images and 49 videos have his federal criminal sentence enhanced under a provision applicable to an offense that involved 600 or more images of child pornography? This ruling that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today provides the answer.
Posted at 10:57 AM by Howard Bashman


On yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Supreme Court Reviews Lethal Injection Policy"; "Observers Watch Missouri Judge Selection Process"; "Lawmakers Question Mukasey on Ideas"; and "Mukasey Torture Testimony Weak" (commentary from Daniel Schorr).

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Who are the bench's judicial activists? Looking at the Supreme Court justices' voting records, the lines between activism and restraint may surprise you." Law Professors Thomas J. Miles and Cass R. Sunstein have this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Security tight for Holy Land verdict Monday; Marshals assigned to reading prepared for variety of factors, chief says": The Dallas Morning News today contains an article that begins, "Security will be tight Monday around the federal courthouse in downtown Dallas as people gather to hear the verdict in the landmark Holy Land Foundation terror-finance trial at 10 a.m. Jurors announced Thursday that they had reached a decision in the case, but the verdict was sealed because U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish was out of town last week."
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Suing to Abolish Unpublished Appellate Court Rulings": Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Immunity demand for telecoms raises questions; As history shows, mass snooping can sweep up innocent citizens": Today's edition of USA Today contains this editorial.

In addition, Peter Hoekstra has an op-ed entitled "Shield the phone companies: Telecom carriers that aided war on terror deserve lawsuit immunity."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Wiretap Deal: An intelligence victory, but a defeat for Presidential power." This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:53 AM by Howard Bashman


"Harry Potter and the Framers' Intent": Michael C. Dorf has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blawg Review #131": Hosted here by David Maister at the blog "Passion, People and Principles."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Say What You Like, Just Don't Say It Here": Monday's edition of The New York Times will contain the new installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column, which begins, "The American commitment to free speech is the most robust in the world. But these days that tolerance stops at the border."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"High drama of appeals at new supreme court may go out on television": Monday's edition of The Times of London contains an article that begins, "Cameras will be allowed to broadcast hearings before Britain's highest court when the new supreme court opens for business, The Times has learnt. Judges say that Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, is keen to permit cameras into the court as part of the aim to make it more transparent. The move could see some of Britain's most high-profile appeals being shown on television. Such appeals have included the legality of detaining terror suspects without trial, whether the deaths of six Iraqis at the hands of British soldiers was covered by the Human Rights Act, and the extradition of General Pinochet."
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Procedural point gets pedophile's case to high court; A Minnesota man convicted of sex abuse wants the Supreme Court to intervene because he never got to confront his accuser": The Minneapolis Star Tribune on Monday will contain an article that begins, "Stephen Danforth has followed a twisted legal path from disbarred Minnesota attorney to test case for the right to confront an accuser. From the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, Minn., where he is serving a 26-year term for sexually abusing a 6-year-old boy, he will follow a Supreme Court case he launched in his new incarnation as a jailhouse lawyer. His case, Danforth vs. State of Minnesota, will be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court later this month."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


The current issue of The Harvard Law Record is reporting: The publication contains articles headlined "Students Get a Sneak Peek at Supreme Court Term" and "Enemy Combatant Case Mooted at HLS."
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Bader-Ginsberg visits Atlanta, noting threats to women's rights": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update.

In other coverage, The Associated Press provides an article headlined "Justice: Abortion will always be accessible to 'women of means.'"

And yesterday's edition of The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that "On visit to Asheville, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg catches up with an old friend."
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Court Decision Elbows a Village in Favor of Religious Rights": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "It all began with an Indian who wanted to eat peyote. His name was Alfred Smith. He belonged to the Klamath tribe in Oregon and was a member of the North American Church, whose sacramental rites included ingesting peyote buds."
Posted at 10:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Says Law Degree 'Worth 15 Cents'": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has a 15-cent price tag stuck to his Yale law degree, blaming the school's affirmative action policies in the 1970s for his difficulty finding a job after he graduated."
Posted at 07:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Was a Passage Omitted from a Recent Second Circuit Opinion for 'Security' Reasons -- Or to Cover Up Material Embarrassing to the FBI?" Patterico has this post today at his blog, "Patterico's Pontifications."
Posted at 05:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"A tale of two decisions (or, how the FBI gets you to confess)": Steve Bergstein has this interesting post today at his "PsychSound" blog.

At his other blog -- "Wait A Second!" -- Steve on Thursday and Friday of last week provided extensive coverage of the Second Circuit's issuance, withdrawal, and reissuance in redacted form of that court's ruling in Higazy v. Templeton.
Posted at 04:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Empty Seats on the Bench: Realistic nominations might get them filled." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Blog server issues: Both yesterday afternoon and again right now, this blog's usual web server was and is offline. As a consequence, documents that I've previously uploaded to the web (which resides on the blog's usual server) are temporarily unavailable. Some additional posts that I made last night were also temporarily unavailable overnight although they've been restored from back-up now. Eventually, everything will return to normal (as it did for a time last night), or so we can hope.

Update at 11:44 a.m.: This blog's usual web server appears to be up and running once again, so all documents previously uploaded to the web should once again be accessible.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Thomas landed the right job for himself -- and America": Columnist Jim Wooten has this op-ed today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, October 20, 2007

"Transcript: Convertino told judge of hospital pictures; Ex-prosecutor said a witness was coming in with photos of Jordan facility, evidence shows." The Detroit News today contains an article that begins, "Former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino told a judge at a closed-door hearing in 2002 he was obtaining photographs of a hospital in Jordan that he would present as evidence in the trial of four men accused of supporting terrorism, Convertino's criminal trial in U.S. District Court was told Friday."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mack jury selection nears end of candidates": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Judge Douglas Herndon brought in the third of four panels of potential jurors in the Darren Mack murder trial on Friday and approved four more people, bringing the number picked so far to 24 as they build toward a final group of 35."
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wiretapping Compromise Was Months in the Making": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"FBI works to bolster Al Qaeda cases; A 300-person task force has been gathering evidence for war crimes tribunals for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 14 others held at Guantanamo Bay; The concern is that information previously obtained through CIA tactics could be inadmissible": This article will appear Sunday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Catherine Roraback, 87, Influential Lawyer, Dies": The New York Times today contains an obituary that begins, "Catherine Roraback, a lawyer who pressed the Connecticut case that eventually led the United States Supreme Court to rule that laws banning the use of contraceptives were unconstitutional, a precursor to its Roe v. Wade decision on abortions, died on Wednesday in Salisbury, Conn."
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"A scolding, but no full hearing, in Barnes case": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "A routine court session over the latest attempt to block the Barnes Foundation art collection from leaving Merion for Philadelphia turned to drama yesterday when a lawyer accused the judge of doing too little, too slowly, in the case."

And The New York Times today contains a news brief titled "Fighting for the Barnes."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Prosecutor Alleges Pentagon Plays Politics; Pressure for 'Sexy' Guantanamo Hearings": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Immunity push for telecom firms might not kill wiretap suits": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The Bush administration's proposal to protect telecommunications companies from lawsuits for aiding the government's electronic surveillance program won't necessarily scuttle cases pending in San Francisco against the companies, a lawyer for AT&T customers said Friday."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawsuit against college to be pulled; Decision comes after North Harris allows access to blog about official": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 02:02 PM by Howard Bashman


This past week was not the first time that this blog has posted online a decision that a federal appellate court claimed to have made publicly available in error: The earlier instance occurred in January 2007, as noted in posts that appeared that month here and here. The decision in question remains accessible online via this blog here (all but page nine) and here (the initially elusive page nine). In that instance, this blog received no communications from the issuing court requesting that the decision be taken off-line, even though Westlaw apparently did agree to remove the decision from its database following a request to do so from the issuing court.

On various occasions, clerks from numerous federal appellate courts -- from the Clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court to the Chief Clerks of Court on various regional appellate courts -- have emailed me to ask that the "How Appealing" blog be updated to include a post that would draw the attention of this blog's readership to important notices posted at those courts' web sites. Last week was the first instance in this blog's more than five-year existence that the Chief Clerk of Court (or anyone affiliated with any appellate court, federal or state) ever called on this blog to take down from the internet a decision that the court itself had posted to the internet at an earlier time. And, of course, my reasons for not agreeing to do so appear here and here.
Posted at 01:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Doctors appeal ruling on executions; A North Carolina judge had said the state medical board can't bar members' involvement": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Naming Names at Gitmo: How Navy Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Diaz put himself in the middle of the prisoner-detention issue -- and went to jail for it." Tim Golden will have this very interesting article tomorrow in The New York Times Magazine.
Posted at 12:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Hugh Hewitt interviews Justice Clarence Thomas: The interview took place on Thursday and was the subject of yesterday's broadcast of Hugh's radio show. You can access some excerpts of the interview transcript via this post at Hugh's blog.

The complete transcript of the interview can be accessed here. You can access the audio of the interview online, on-demand in two parts: part one and part two. Hugh's radio show yesterday concluded with a bonus re-broadcast of an earlier interview that Hugh had conducted with Jeffrey Toobin. You can access that audio via this link.
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman



Two interesting new posts from Law Professor Daniel J. Solove at "Concurring Opinions": The posts are titled "Who, Exactly, Is a Journalist?" and "The Boy Who Cried 'National Security': The Need for Greater Skepticism About Government Secrecy."

As noted in those posts, a comparison between the unredacted version of the Second Circuit's ruling in Higazy v. Templeton, which that federal appellate court initially released over the internet on Thursday only to shortly thereafter pull it offline without any meaningful public explanation, and the redacted version of that same decision issued yesterday can be performed by anyone who wishes to evaluate whether the redacted information should have been treated as confidential in the first place.

And you needn't feel reluctant to perform this examination. As the first of Dan's two posts linked above notes, "the Supreme Court held in Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469, 496 (1975), that '[o]nce true information is disclosed in public court documents open to public inspection, the press cannot be sanctioned for publishing it.'"
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman



Friday, October 19, 2007

"Lawsuit Is Reinstated for Man Wrongly Suspected in 9/11": This article will appear Saturday in The New York Times.

You can access today's Second Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Plainly, a Justice Department Pick of Like Mind": Adam Liptak will have this news analysis Saturday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Claim of Pressure for Closed Guantanamo Trials": This article will appear Saturday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "New Study Suggests Veteran Advocates Sway Supreme Court; Research draws controversial connection between growth of the Supreme Court Bar and the Court's new pro-business tilt."

An article is headlined "Federal Circuit: Legal-Mal Suits With Patent Infringement Elements Belong in Federal Court." My earlier coverage appears at this link.

An article reports that "Fla. High Court Rules Those Who Disclose HIV Results Can Be Sued for Damages." You can access Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida at this link.

In other news from Florida, "Judge Defends Sealing of Electronically Filed Porn Images; Litigation by longtime crusader against violent video games prompts judge's administrative order."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Suing to Abolish Unpublished Appellate Court Rulings."
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Constitutional originalist' speaks out at VU campus": The Post-Tribune of Gary, Indiana today contains an article that begins, "Standing in the pulpit of the Chapel of the Resurrection in Valparaiso, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia preached his judicial philosophy of originalism Thursday."

And The Times of Munster, Indiana reports today that "Scalia speaks at VU."

Previously, Valparaiso University School of Law issued news releases titled "Supreme Court Justice Scalia to give public lecture" and "Law students present arguments to Supreme Court Justice Scalia."
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"20 Mack jurors picked, 15 to go": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Continuing at a snail’s pace, defense attorneys and prosecutors questioned another 14 people on Thursday and selected five to potentially serve as jurors in the Darren Mack murder case."

And later today, the newspaper posted online an update headlined "Jury selection continues in Mack case."
Posted at 08:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"NY court: Egyptian student can sue FBI agent over 9/11 detention." The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today.
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Withholds Opinion on Waterboarding": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Howard Bashman, journalist": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

Update: At the "LawBeat" blog, Mark Obbie offers these thoughts. And Carolyn Elefant has this related post at "Legal Blog Watch.
Posted at 05:38 PM by Howard Bashman



The few, the proud, the watchers of U.S. Supreme Court TV: Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has an article headlined "Alito: Few Would Watch Supreme Court TV."

I expressed some thoughts on this issue in the April 17, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "Should Congress Mandate Supreme Court TV? Will original understanding go high-definition?"
Posted at 05:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"More lawyers join criticism of Keller; Latest complaint against judge in death row case also includes signatures of other judges": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Joining a swelling tide of criticism, 130 attorneys from Harris County have filed a judicial conduct complaint condemning the actions of Judge Sharon Keller, who presides over the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The latest complaint against Keller, filed late Wednesday by the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, also was signed by state District Judge Susan Criss of Galveston, retired state District Judge Jay W. Burnett and six regular citizens."

And on Tuesday of this week, The Houston Chronicle contained an article headlined "Views divided on judge in dispute over executed man; Keller is seen either as a solid jurist or an ideologue."
Posted at 03:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Should former BP chief testify? Court to decide if 'Lord John' can be questioned in Texas City explosion cases." Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.

And The Houston Chronicle today contains an article headlined "Court hears arguments on BP blast testimony" that begins, "A battle over whether former BP CEO John Browne should be forced to testify in a deposition about the deadly 2005 explosion at the company's Texas City refinery reached the state Supreme Court on Thursday."
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Hawaiians Argue Over Ancestry": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "In Hawaii, where blood and ancestry matter as in no other state, a legal challenge is posing this question: Who is sufficiently Hawaiian? In Hawaii, ancestry is more than just a matter of ethnic pride. Under a program created by Congress in 1921, Native Hawaiians with strong bloodlines can get land for a home for $1 a year. Those with more mixed ancestry still receive many other benefits, including low-interest loans and admission for their children to the richly endowed and highly regarded Kamehameha Schools."
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"More Thoughts on Death Penalty Stays": Tom Goldstein has this interesting follow-up post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Journalist? Says Who?" Matthew Felling has this post about me today at the CBS News blog "Public Eye."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit reinstates in part a lawsuit challenging as preempted by federal law Connecticut's efforts to make the gift card industry more consumer-friendly: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:37 AM by Howard Bashman


As expected, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has today issued a revised version of its decision in Higazy v. Templeton: On page seven, today's version of the opinion states, "This opinion has been redacted because portions of the record are under seal. For the purposes of the summary judgment motion, Templeton did not contest that Higazy's statements were coerced." The version of the opinion that the Second Circuit posted online yesterday and then withdrew did not contain those redactions.
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"On Day 2, Democrats See Change In Mukasey; Nominee Endorses President's Positions": The Washington Post contains this front page article today.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Mukasey hearing turns prickly; Widely praised a day earlier, the Justice nominee angers Democrats with remarks on a torture and executive power."

The New York Times reports that "Senators Clash With Nominee About Torture."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Mukasey won't rule out expansive action in war on terror."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Panel Approves New Surveillance Bill; Immunity for Telecom Companies May Raise Concerns": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Panel Approves Eavesdropping Compromise."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Senate panel OKs spying legislation; The measure, approved 13-2, is a compromise regarding the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program."
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Tribune deal is mired in FCC rift over cross-ownership rules": Jim Puzzanghera has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Young law school grad skips the bars and tries to pass the bar instead; Eighteen-year-old Kathleen Holtz has already been hired by a Century City firm; If she doesn't fail the exam, she'll be the youngest licensed lawyer in the nation": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Other fledgling lawyers may toast the news that they've passed the bar exam by popping open a chilled bottle of champagne. Not Kathleen Holtz. When results of the most recent California bar exam are released next month, the 18-year-old law school grad will be too young to drink legally. And, as the youngest practicing attorney in California -- if not the nation -- Holtz is loath to break the law."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Trying to Decipher the State of the Death Penalty": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blogger Posts Opinion Withdrawn Over Security Concerns": This report appears this morning at the ABA Journal, referring to this post of mine from yesterday afternoon.

Because I happen to be the blogger in question, I reproduce here the response I just dispatched to the email I received this morning from the author of the ABA Journal's report:

The opinion had already been publicly issued by the Second Circuit on October 18, 2007, posted to the internet, viewed by hundreds if not thousands of individuals, and was in circulation via email among those interested in the case. The Higazy case is a case in which there is great public interest, and I received at least half a dozen emails alerting me to the opinion's issuance yesterday morning.

I was unable to link to the opinion immediately because I was out of the office on client business until yesterday afternoon. When I returned to the office, the opinion had already been taken offline by the Second Circuit without any publicly-issued explanation. I therefore put a post on my blog asking if any of my readers had retained a copy and would be willing to email it to me so that I could return the decision to the internet, where the Second Circuit had originally placed it. Shortly thereafter, one of my regular email correspondents forwarded a PDF copy of the decision that the Second Circuit had posted earlier in the day to its web site.

No one from the Second Circuit has attempted to explain to me the so-called security concerns -- which as far as I can tell based on my own analysis apparently arise from certain statements attributed to Mr. Higazy in the opinion's factual recitation -- that led the Second Circuit to remove the opinion from its web site after the opinion had been posted there for all to see and access. Regardless, the Second Circuit official who contacted me admitted that the court was in no position to attempt to retrieve every electronic copy of the decision that the public had downloaded from that court's web site on October 18th, and thus it seemed clear to me that whatever security concerns there were had already been irreparably harmed by the Second Circuit's apparently premature public release of the decision.

When I posted the opinion at the "How Appealing" blog, hosted by American Lawyer Media, a respected publisher of legal news, there was no explanation publicly available anywhere or privately available to me for why the Second Circuit had withdrawn the opinion. In my role as a member of the news media, I determined that it would be inappropriate to take down my posting of the decision based on a general claim that the opinion, issued earlier in the day to the public over the internet, referred to information contained in an appendix whose contents remained under seal.

If there is a lesson here, it is that courts should not make publicly available over their web sites decisions that they do not want to make available to the public, and if a court does so, there is no way to "undo" a decision's public issuance.

The article from Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun reporting on the opinion's issuance, which that newspaper posted online at 7:51 p.m. eastern time last night, can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Mother of Olympic bomber Rudolph complains of son's prison treatment": Wednesday's edition of The Chattanooga Times Free Press contained an article that begins, "The mother of convicted Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph said Tuesday her son is enduring inhumane treatment in a federal maximum security prison in Colorado where he is denied books and family visits and his mail is delayed for weeks. 'They're (the Federal Bureau of Prisons) a law unto themselves,' Patricia Rudolph said in a phone interview. 'They should be the ones behind bars.'"

You can access the letter that Patricia Rudolph sent to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons by clicking here.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Clarence Thomas promotes new book in Atlanta; Journalists at luncheon raise questions about his success and others'": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide, Government Surveillance Threatens Your Freedom: The Case Against Expanding Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Powers." John W. Dean has this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Available online from National Public Radio: This evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained audio segments entitled "Mukasey Refuses to Call Waterboarding Torture" and "Senate Committee Strikes Deal on Wiretaps."

And today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Mukasey Nomination Hearings Go Smoothly" (featuring Nina Totenberg).

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Pamela A. MacLean has an interesting article headlined "Longtime Rebel Alex Kozinski Prepares to Lead the 9th Circuit."

An article reports that "Justice Thomas Reflects on Path to the Supreme Court; Speaking in Atlanta, justice discusses early job hunt and how race and expectations affect perceptions of his Court opinions."

In other news from Atlanta, "Judge in Courthouse Shooting Case Recuses From Contempt Hearing; Public defender council declares state-funded group cannot afford to represent courthouse shooting defendant."

An article reports that "Pa. High Court to Review Its Underinsured Motorist Stacking Decision."

And in other news, "Lerach's Guilty Plea Gives Coke New Defense in Securities Fraud Case; Claim about lawyer's tactics stems from shareholder litigation alleging Coke artificially inflated revenues and stock prices."
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"US defends its harsh treatment of an American citizen: The administration offers its legal rationale for the long detention of Jose Padilla." Warren Richey will have this article Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.

I have posted online at this link the brief, which the federal government filed on Monday, that is the subject of Richey's article.
Posted at 10:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"5 added to Mack juror panel": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Five more jurors were added Wednesday to the Las Vegas jury pool in the Darren Mack case, bringing the total prospective jury pool to 15."
Posted at 08:37 PM by Howard Bashman


In news updates from The Houston Chronicle: An update headlined "Court hears arguments on BP blast testimony" begins, "A battle over whether former BP CEO John Browne should be forced to testify in a deposition about the deadly 2005 explosion at the company's Texas City refinery reached the state Supreme Court today."

And an update headlined "Blog ban on campus prompts lawsuit" begins, "Access to an Internet blog critical of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District's chancellor is being barred from campus computers, a lawsuit says. Richard C. McDuffee filed suit in a Montgomery County district court claiming a violation of free speech."
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Daniels Picked for High Court": The Albuquerque Journal today contains an article that begins, "It wasn't until he read a biography of crusading attorney Clarence Darrow that Charles Daniels decided to become a lawyer. Come November, the son of a sharecropper will be on the state Supreme Court."

And New Mexico Business Weekly reports that "Richardson selects Albuquerque attorney for Supreme Court."
Posted at 08:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Hands Win to Higazy, Then Balks": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun provides a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court today revived a lawsuit brought by an Egyptian student detained as a material witness after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but the court withdrew its opinion within hours after releasing it. A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Abdullah Higazy could proceed with his lawsuit against an FBI agent who allegedly coerced Mr. Higazy into admitting that he had an aviation radio in his room at the Millennium Hotel at the World Trade Center on the morning of the attacks."

My earlier coverage appears here and here.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ambassador testifies agent could have gotten OK for photos in terror trial; Evidence is at heart of federal case against ex-officials": The Detroit News provides an update that begins, "Taking photos of a military hospital in Amman, Jordan, would have been difficult but not impossible, a former U.S. ambassador to Jordan testified Thursday in the continuing prosecutorial misconduct trial involving a former State Department aide and an ex-federal prosecutor who participated in a 2003 terror trial in Detroit."
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Coerced confession decision will return on Friday ": The blog "Wait A Second!" provides this post.

And the blog "Library Stuff" has a post titled "Bloggers Rule."
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Reluctant juror is sent to jail; Unemployed carpet installer protests jury duty; judge finds him in contempt of court": This article appears today in The Detroit News.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ga. Supreme Court stays Alderman execution": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily blocked the scheduled execution of murderer Jack Alderman, sending a signal that the state's justices will not allow any executions here until there is a resolution to national concerns about lethal injection."

And The Detroit News today contains an article headlined "Feds push for capital punishment in Michigan cases."
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jury reaches verdict in Holy Land trial": The Dallas Morning News provides an update that begins, "After 19 days of deliberations, the jury in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial returned a verdict Thursday afternoon. But it will be three days before the verdict is made public."
Posted at 07:08 PM by Howard Bashman


And in other news from The Associated Press: Now available online are articles headlined "Mukasey Mum on Torture Techniques"; "Ex-Kansas AG Still Anti-Abortion Leader"; "'Lingerer' Asks NYC Court to Drop Case"; and "Man Pleads Guilty in Kickback Case."
Posted at 06:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas Rejects Notion He Follows Scalia": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas condemned suggestions that he follows the lead of fellow conservative Antonin Scalia, telling an audience Thursday the notion is based on a racial stereotype."

Justice Thomas was speaking today in Atlanta, Georgia, which is the second stop on his current book tour. At 7 p.m. eastern time this evening, The Heritage Foundation will broadcast online at this link from Atlanta a "Reception with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas."
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman



This is not the Second Circuit's opinion issued today in Higazy v. Templeton: I have posted online at this link the opinion that the Second Circuit posted to its web site earlier today. Shortly thereafter, however, the opinion was withdrawn from the web site and in its place was posted an announcement that "The opinion has been withdrawn."

Additional coverage of today's non-decision appears here and here.

In earlier press coverage, CNN.com reported in December 2002 that "Former 9/11 detainee files $20 million civil rights suit; 'Put in solitary, confinement, shackled, strip searched.'" The Associated Press reported in September 2006 that "False 9/11 accusation landed student in jail; Ex-cop, Egyptian, and an aviation radio make an unfortunate 9/11 footnote." And The New York Times reported in November 2002 that "F.B.I. Report On Student In 9/11 Case To Be Public."

Update: Catherine O'Hagan Wolfe, the Clerk of Court of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, has telephoned to advise that the opinion was withdrawn out of a concern that it might disclose information contained in a portion of the appendix on appeal that was submitted under seal. The Second Circuit plans to reissue the decision, as revised to omit any disclosure of information filed under seal, tomorrow morning. The purpose of Ms. Wolfe's telephone call was to ask me to take down this blog's posting of the decision to the internet.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Mukasey hearing, day two: In case you didn't even realize that the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey is now in its second and apparently final day, C-SPAN has kindly posted the video of this morning's session at this link (RealPlayer required) for viewing online, on-demand.

Marty Lederman was watching, and he has a post at "Balkinization" titled "Judge Mukasey is Agnostic on Whether Waterboarding is Lawful."

Update: You can view the afternoon session of today's confirmation hearing by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Hamdan trial to go forward": Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 03:57 PM by Howard Bashman


Asylum petitioner's voluntary withdrawal of petition for review following en banc reargument in the Ninth Circuit "threatens the integrity of our processes by inviting manipulation by parties unhappy with the questions at oral argument and fearful of the result they believe the court is going to reach": So asserts Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski in an interesting dissent joined by three other judges on the fifteen-judge en banc panel. Apparently the other eleven judges on the en banc panel were happy to have one fewer en banc decision to worry about getting out the door.

You can access by clicking here the parties' earlier filings addressing whether en banc review should be granted.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Patents relating to to drive trains for hybrid electric vehicles, on appeal: The invention in question may be environmentally friendly, but was the litigation that the ensued? In any event, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued this ruling today in a lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp. Don't print out the ruling if you care about the environment.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sept. 11 coerced confession violates the Constitution": Now you see it; now you don't. Apparently this morning was not the best time to be away from the computer, because as reported here at the blog "Wait A Second!" the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit this morning issued a decision in Higazy v. Millenium Hotel and Resorts holding that a man could sue a Federal agent for coercing a confession about the man's involvement in the September 11 attacks.

A short time later today, as noted at this link on the Second Circuit's web site, the Second Circuit withdrew its opinion. If anyone still has a copy floating around that they'd like me to post here, feel free to send it along.
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman



Steve Wermiel and Seth Stern's biography of U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. sold to publisher Houghton Mifflin for publication in 2010: So reports Publishers Marketplace. Some additional background from earlier this year can be found here and here.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: I will be participating in an appellate mediation this morning. Additional posts will appear here this afternoon.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to reconsider sacred mountain row": Reuters provides a report that begins, "A U.S. appeals court said on Wednesday that it would reconsider its decision that barred an Arizona ski resort from using treated sewage to make snow on a mountain sacred to several Native American tribes."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit order granting rehearing en banc can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"George Bush's role reversal: The pro-death-penalty president wants Texas to give a death row inmate from Mexico a new hearing." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Evidence in 9/11 Damages Cases Is Restricted": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The federal judge hearing damages cases filed by families of Sept. 11 victims has tightly restricted evidence that one family may present at the first trial."
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney General Pick Treads Careful Line at Hearing": The New York Times contains this article today, along with an article headlined "Warmth for a Nominee Viewed as Unlike His Predecessor." And an editorial is entitled "The Attorney General Nominee."

The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "Mukasey Vows Not to Bow to Political Power." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Mr. Mukasey's Answers: The attorney general nominee speaks clearly -- and senators swoon."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Mukasey pledges Justice Dept. reform; In Senate testimony, the attorney general-designate pledges to rid partisan influence and appears to keep at arm's length from Bush."

In The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage reports that "Mukasey asserts his independence; AG nominee vows to resist political push."

The Wall Street Journal contains an article headlined "Mukasey's First Dilemma? Backing Off From Acting Deputy May Anger Justice Ranks."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Mukasey Breezing Through; But Terror War Could Take a Hit."

The Washington Times reports that "Mukasey hits 'partisan politics.'"

And USA Today reports that "Mukasey vows to distance Justice Dept. from politics; Key senators say he's likely to be confirmed quickly."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate and Bush Agree On Terms of Spying Bill; Some Telecom Companies Would Receive Immunity": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Test of Religious Protections, Court Sides With Jewish School in New York": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "In a decision watched closely by religious rights groups and municipal officials, a federal court has ruled in favor of an Orthodox Jewish religious school that fought for five years with the village of Mamaroneck, N.Y., over its right to construct a new school building."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Killer's life is spared again; U.S. Supreme Court gives stay of execution to Virginia inmate": The Richmond Times-Dispatch contains this article today.

And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Court Review Slows Number of Executions."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion Charges Filed Against Kansas Clinic": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Kansas City Star reports today that "Planned Parenthood is charged with performing illegal late-term abortions."

You can access the criminal complaint at this link.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Plan Would Ease Limits on Media Owners": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The head of the Federal Communications Commission has circulated an ambitious plan to relax the decades-old media ownership rules, including repealing a rule that forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Military mistakenly recruits gays; Some find irony in ads on website": This front page article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"State, anti-abortion groups battle over 'Choose Life' plates": The Business Journal of Phoenix yesterday posted online an article that begins, "Anti-abortion advocates and state attorneys argued before a federal appeals court Monday over Arizona's rejection of a specialty license plate that says 'Choose Life.'"

You can download the audio of Monday's Ninth Circuit oral argument via this link (2.81MB Windows Media audio file).
Posted at 11:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules players' stats are fair game": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "The use of professional athletes' statistics and names is protected by the First Amendment and fair game for companies that run fantasy sports leagues, a federal court ruled Tuesday in St. Louis."

And USA Today reports today that "Fantasy ruling may result in wide reality check."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:37 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "At Confirmation Hearings, Mukasey Denounces DOJ Memos, Partisan Politics."

Justin Scheck reports that "Bad Choices Dog Weiss in Milberg Probe; Former partners say decisions made since the '90s have led to the firm's decline."

And in news from Georgia, "Funding Woes Halt Trial of Accused Courthouse Killer; Legislators criticize judge's handling of defense spending requests."
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Senate Panel Asks Mukasey About Torture, Spying"; "Debate on FISA Expansion Bill Stalls in House"; and "Report Compares Teen Sentencing Around World" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nichols jury selection halted, jurors sent home; Judge stops Nichols trial until money issues resolved": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update.
Posted at 11:16 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Halts Va. Inmate's Execution; Ruling Could Lead To National Hiatus In Lethal Injections": Robert Barnes and Jerry Markon will have this front page article Thursday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Both divorced parents must agree to grandparent visits, court rules": The Detroit Free Press provides a news update that begins, "The right of grandparents to maintain relationships with their grandchildren even after the parents divorce does not extend to cases in which both parents oppose grandparent visitation, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled."

You can access Tuesday's ruling of the Michigan Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Juror pool grows": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "A nuclear scientist, a day-care worker, the manager of a pizza parlor and the pastor of a Christian church were among the eight potential jurors chosen Tuesday among 18 questioned in the murder trial of Reno businessman Darren Mack."
Posted at 09:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Accused Law Firm Continues Giving to Democrats": Thursday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "Over the years, as it became Exhibit A for critics of shareholders' class-action lawsuits, the law firm of Milberg Weiss often enjoyed the support of Democrats who called the suits an invaluable weapon in the universal conflict between big business and the little guy."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Vows to Keep Politics Away From Justice Dept." The New York Times provides this news update.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rebound Relationship: The Senate runs into the arms of Michael Mukasey." Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Stops Va. Execution": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court on Wednesday halted Virginia's planned execution of a man who murdered a co-worker. Virginia had prepared to execute Christopher Scott Emmett, 36, even as several other states stopped executions after the high court agreed to review claims that the method of death is unconstitutionally cruel."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "A 'moratorium' on lethal injection?"
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney general nominee promises change, repudiates torture": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Mukasey Strives for Balance in Confirmation Testimony."

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Mukasey goes before Senate; The attorney general nominee says in his confirmation hearings that partisan politics has no place in the Justice Department."

The Associated Press reports that "Mukasey Would End White House Meddling."

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" contained an audio segment featuring Dahlia Lithwick entitled "Attorney General Nominee Goes Before the Senate" (RealPlayer required).

Via C-SPAN, you can access today's hearing online, on-demand in two parts: part one and part two (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"'High-value detainee' meets with lawyer": Today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has an article that begins, "For the first time, a pair of New York civil liberties lawyers on Tuesday were allowed to meet with a ''high-value detainee'' at the prison camps here. That detainee is Baltimore area high school graduate Majid Khan, who in 2003 disappeared into the CIA's secret prison network until his transfer a year ago to these remote prison camps."
Posted at 05:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"This is the latest in a series of appeals in copyright infringement cases arising out of the design and use of the logo for the Baltimore Ravens football team." So begins a ruling that a unanimous two-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 05:03 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit grants rehearing en banc in case challenging Forest Service's approval of the Snowbowl's use of recycled sewage effluent to make artificial snow on sacred Indian land as a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act: You can access today's order granting rehearing en banc at this link.

My earlier coverage of the three-judge panel's ruling in the case appears here and here. And this post of mine reporting on the original Ninth Circuit oral argument contains a link to the federal district court's ruling.
Posted at 12:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Their motion for selection said that they owned 2,663 shares; discovery revealed that they owned only 2.663 shares. (Their lawyer, who has since been indicted for fraud in conducting other class-action suits, called the misrepresentation an 'administrative error.')" So writes Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel in an interesting decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today.
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Seventh Circuit holds that real estate brokers lack prudential standing to challenge city ordinance that forbids the sale of a house without an inspection to determine whether it's in compliance with the city's building and zoning codes: You can access today's ruling, in which Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner wrote the opinion of the court, at this link.
Posted at 12:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Disavows Torture Memo": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Attorney General-designate Michael Mukasey said Wednesday the president doesn't have the authority to use torture techniques against terrorism suspects, a stance not taken by predecessor Alberto Gonzales and considered key to the nominee's confirmation. Mukasey repudiated a 2002 memo by then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee that said the president has the power to issue orders that violate the Geneva Conventions as well as international and U.S. laws prohibiting torture."
Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Notorious B.I.G. and the Ohio Players, on appeal: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has issued this copyright infringement ruling today.
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman


En banc Sixth Circuit tackles question of antitrust standing: You can access today's ruling in NicSand, Inc. v. 3M Co. at this link.
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Confirmation for Attorney General to Start": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

C-SPAN3 will broadcast today's Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearing live. You can view the hearing online using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.
Posted at 09:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Scalia opines on faith and justice; 'There is no such thing as a "Catholic judge,"' the jurist declared": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Impeachment: Cumbersome, but it's doable." The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Impeachment is an unwieldy club to use against misbehaving federal judges. But some legal experts believe it might be the only constitutional way to discipline them."

According to the article, "Impeachment and its mechanics are in the news because of U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent, who sits in Galveston. Late last month, the judicial council of the 5th Circuit reprimanded Kent after his case manager made a sexual harassment complaint against him. The complaint involved unwanted physical contact, said the lawyer for the woman who complained. The judicial council cited other, unspecified complaints by court employees against the judge."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Shannon P. Duffy reports that "3rd Circuit Upholds FCC's Deregulation of High-Speed Internet Access; Federal appeals court decision is a victory for big telephone companies." My earlier coverage of yesterday's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link.

An article reports that "Mindful of 'Booker,' 2nd Circuit Revises Sentencing Opinion." My earlier coverage of last week's Second Circuit ruling can be accessed at this link.

In news from New Jersey, "Punitives Mulled for Lawyer for Pressing Widow to Revise Will."

And an article reports that "Right to Arbitrate Survives Participation in Litigation." You can access yesterday's ruling of the New York State Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Inmate faces death tonight or 2nd delay": Today's edition of The Richmond Times-Dispatch contains an article that begins, "Christopher Scott Emmett may escape execution tonight because the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider the constitutionality of lethal injection. Or Emmett, 36, who beat a co-worker to death for money to buy drugs, could be the 99th person executed in Virginia since the death penalty was allowed to resume in 1976."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Attorneys Seek to Halt Execution Tonight."
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"White House to Give Senate Panel Surveillance Program Documents": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And USA Today reports today that "Sen. Specter says he won't support telecom immunity in FISA bill until he gets answers."
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"House Passes Bill to Protect Confidentiality of Reporters' Sources": The Washington Post contains this article today.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "House extends federal shield law for reporters; The legislation to protect journalists and their confidential sources garners enough bipartisan support to override Bush's promised veto."

And The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "House OKs bill to protect reporters in U.S. courts by wide margin."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Democrats to Press Justice Department Pick on Independence": This article appears today in The New York Times. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Pressing Mr. Mukasey" and an op-ed from various contributors entitled "Questions of Justice."

The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "Justice Dept.'s Focus Has Shifted; Terror, Immigration Are Current Priorities." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The Mukasey Hearing: Maybe senators will have better luck getting answers than they did from his predecessor."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Restoring morale a crucial test for Mukasey; The attorney general nominee is seen as well-qualified; Still, he will face tough questions on how he intends to mend the Justice Department." In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Two questions for Mukasey: What the Senate Judiciary Committee should be sure to ask the attorney general nominee."

In The Daily Journal of California, Lawrence Hurley has an article headlined "Not the Social Conservative Some Wanted: AG Nominee and National-Security Expert Defended in an Obscenity Case."

McClatchy Newspapers report that "Lawmakers demand AG nominee review border agents' prosecution."

Bloomberg News reports that "Mukasey Has Senate Mission to Restore Justice Department Esteem."

In The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has an op-ed entitled "A Question for Mr. Mukasey."

And at FindLaw, Carl Tobias has an essay entitled "Five Key Questions for President Bush's New Attorney General Nominee, Michael Mukasey."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"After Guantanamo, An Empty Freedom; Ethnic Uighurs Frustrated in Albania": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Stays Execution in Nevada": This article appears today in The New York Times.

This post of mine from yesterday links to additional, related press coverage.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hofstra Polite as Lawyer Guilty in Terror Case Talks on Ethics": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "One student walked out in protest, but the reception for Lynne F. Stewart, the radical lawyer convicted on charges of smuggling messages out of prison for a terrorist client, was generally courteous here on Tuesday as she addressed a Hofstra University Law School conference on legal ethics."

And Monday's issue of Newsday reported that "Hofstra speaking engagement spurs controversy."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Temping at the Justice Department": This post appears at "The Board," a new blog written by The New York Times editorial board.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lifers as Teenagers, Now Seeking Second Chance": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "In December, the United Nations took up a resolution calling for the abolition of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for children and young teenagers. The vote was 185 to 1, with the United States the lone dissenter. Indeed, the United States stands alone in the world in convicting young adolescents as adults and sentencing them to live out their lives in prison. According to a new report, there are 73 Americans serving such sentences for crimes they committed at 13 or 14."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Are All Those Who Author Creative Works Created Equal? How Much Congress Can Constitutionally Revise Copyright Law." Julie Hilden has this essay, the second of a two-part series, today at FindLaw. Part one can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:34 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"The Dog Ate My Evidence: What happens when the government can't re-create the case against you?" Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. partially backs Vatican in abuse suit; Holy See can only be sued as nation": This article appears today in The Louisville Courier-Journal.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Favors Independent Justice Dept." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Attorney General-designate Michael Mukasey told Senate Democrats Tuesday exactly what they want to hear during his confirmation hearings: That he'd be willing to say 'no' to the White House and review the administration's eavesdropping and interrogation techniques."
Posted at 09:07 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Desegregation Plan Criticized by Black Parents"; "House Passes Federal Shield Law"; and "What Happens to Horses as Slaughterhouse Closes?" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Watchdog group eyes Alabama; Says 2008 judicial elections to be expensive, nasty": Yesterday's issue of The Birmingham News contained an article that begins, "Next year's race to replace retiring state Supreme Court Justice Harold See is one of five judicial elections nationwide that merit close scrutiny, the watchdog group Justice at Stake said. Expect the kind of no-holds-barred battle between business and plaintiff trial lawyer interests that have helped Alabama set the standard for expensive and nasty elections, said the Washington-based group that monitors judicial elections."
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"House Expected to Back Media Shield Bill": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Defendant-appellant John J. Connolly, Jr., a disgraced former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, appeals from the denial of his motion for a new trial in a celebrated criminal case." So begins the opinion that Senior Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Bottom line: judgment affirmed.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia: Catholicism has little effect on his judicial decisions." The Philadelphia Inquirer provides this news update.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Fantasy Sports Win Right to Player Names, Statistics": Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "Companies that operate fantasy sports leagues have a First Amendment right to use players' names and statistics for free, a court ruled in a case filed against Major League Baseball."

My earlier coverage of today's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 04:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers Say Justice Repeating Detainee Hearings": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:08 PM by Howard Bashman


Third Circuit rejects challenges to FCC order that substantially limits federal regulation of high-speed Internet access service provided over traditional telephone lines: According to today's decision, "The dispute centers, in large part, on the FCC's decision to relieve telephone companies of decades-old regulations that required them to grant competing Internet service providers nondiscriminatory access to their wirelines in order to reach consumers."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Surprising Legacy of the Bork Hearings": Chris Eisgruber -- whose new book I recently mentioned at this link -- had this post yesterday evening at "Balkinization."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Crime Lab employees frequently worked with corpses, so pornography depicting necrophilia might not have the same shocking overtones there as it would in another setting." So observes a decision that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today.
Posted at 01:32 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit vacates as moot its decision holding that arresting the homeless of Los Angeles would violate the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: The order that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued late yesterday can be accessed at this link.

A divided three-judge panel on April 14, 2006 issued the ruling that was vacated yesterday.

My earlier coverage of the three-judge panel's ruling appears here and here. And the April 24, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "Arresting the Homeless Is Unconstitutional? Where the 9th Circuit Went Wrong."
Posted at 01:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"[W]e hold that CBC's first amendment rights in offering its fantasy baseball products supersede the players' rights of publicity": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit today issued its ruling in C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P.

Today's majority opinion begins:

C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc., brought this action for a declaratory judgment against Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., to establish its right to use, without license, the names of and information about major league baseball players in connection with its fantasy baseball products. Advanced Media counterclaimed, maintaining that CBC's fantasy baseball products violated rights of publicity belonging to major league baseball players and that the players, through their association, had licensed those rights to Advanced Media, the interactive media and Internet company of major league baseball. The Major League Baseball Players Association intervened in the suit, joining in Advanced Media's claims and further asserting a breach of contract claim against CBC. The district court granted summary judgment to CBC, see C.B.C. Distrib. and Mktg., Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., 443 F. Supp. 2d 1077 (E.D. Mo. 2006), and Advanced Media and the Players Association appealed. We affirm.
Back on August 9, 2006, I had this post linking to extensive news coverage of the federal district court's ruling.
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Justice Clarence Thomas's book tour officially begins today with a stop in New York City: If you can't attend in person, you can watch the festivities online beginning at 12:40 p.m. eastern time by clicking here.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia courts conflict: 'Fundamentalist' justice goads Roberts to be bold -- from his own safe spot." Tom Levinson had this op-ed Sunday in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge defends conduct at hearing; Ethics in question over letters to publisher": The Boston Herald today contains an article that begins, "Superior Court Judge Ernest B. Murphy yesterday aggressively defended himself against charges of willful misconduct for sending letters on court stationery to the publisher of the Boston Herald after a jury awarded the judge a $2.1 million libel verdict."

And The Boston Globe reports today that "Judge in Herald libel case hoped letters would end family's trauma."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Not a mirror of Genarlow Wilson's case": Matt Towery has this op-ed today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Convertino case heads to Jordan to obtain testimony; Four aboard a helicopter when photos were allegedly taken of a hospital are to be questioned": This article appears today in The Detroit News.
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Mack jury selection moves slowly": The Reno Gazette-Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sen. Craig appeals judge's ruling from airport arrest; The Idaho Republican filed with the Minnesota Court of Appeals, but papers don't show the grounds for his request": This article appears today in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Sen. Craig Appeals Judge's Decision; Lawmaker Wants To Withdraw His Guilty Plea."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Modesto case": Today in The Modesto Bee, Michael Doyle has an article that begins, "Modesto's at-large council elections lost big today, as the Supreme Court declined to hear the city's appeal of a lower court's ruling. Issued without comment, the Supreme Court's decision means Latino residents will be able to challenge the at-large elections in a Stanislaus County trial. The residents claim the at-large elections discriminate against minorities."

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Supreme Court denies review of state law favoring minority voices."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"More Milberg Weiss Pleas Are Likely": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.

And The New York Times reports today that "After Not-Guilty Pleas, Lawyers May Part Ways."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Won't Take Up Delayed Executions": Robert Barnes has this item today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:21 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Reprieve in Nevada Adds to Lethal-Injection Drama; With Supreme Court Taking On Issue, Some States Apply Brakes to Executions": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "An eleventh-hour reprieve in Nevada last night for condemned murderer William Patrick Castillo marked the latest victory for opponents of the death penalty who do not regard lethal injection as the humane method of execution that its supporters say it is."

In local coverage, The Reno Gazette-Journal reports today that "State justices halt inmate's execution."

And The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that "State's high court stays execution of Castillo."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court sets date for Del.-N.J. hearing; BP gas terminal plan at stake in legal battle": This article appears today in The Wilmington News Journal.

And The Gloucester County Times reports today that "Court tackles LNG battle."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



Linda Greenhouse is reporting: Today in The New York Times, she has articles headlined "Justices to Hear Challenge to Money-Laundering Law" and "New Jersey and Delaware Take Long-Brewing Boundary Fight to Supreme Court."

My earlier coverage of the Fifth Circuit's February 2007 en banc ruling in the money laundering case appeared in a lengthy post titled "To convict someone of international money laundering, no actual washing, folding, and ironing of the money is required."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Dianne Feinstein's Vote for a Judge Has Civil Rights Groups Asking 'Why?'" The New York Times yesterday launched a new blog called "The Board," "written by The New York Times editorial board, a group of journalists with wide-ranging areas of expertise, whose primary responsibility is to write The Times's editorials."

That blog's first substantive post yesterday begins, "Mississippi Judge Leslie Southwick, whose record includes decisions that have been labeled anti-black and anti-gay, is just the sort of Bush judicial nominee everyone thought would be blocked when Democrats retook the Senate. But Judge Southwick may be headed for confirmation thanks to Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Juror choice crucial for Nichols; Defense lawyers will be able to declare victory if they can find one panelist out of 12 who resists prosecutors' call for capital punishment, analysts say": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, along with an article headlined "Jurors questioned, but can the trial go forward?"

The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The price for death: As Brian Nichols' trial moves forward, Fulton must brace to pay even more for his defense."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, October 15, 2007

"Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders; Firm's Letter to Lawmakers Details Government Requests": The Washington Post will contain this front page article on Tuesday.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"For Mukasey, a quiz about independence at Justice; The nominee for attorney general appears Oct. 17 at the Senate; Democrats aim to size up his will to resist political pressure from the White House": This article will appear Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Continues Microsoft Antitrust Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Two antitrust claims brought against Microsoft Corp. by Novell Inc. can proceed, a federal appeals court ruled Monday."

My earlier coverage of today's Fourth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mom who sued motel over porn film wins $85,000": This article appeared Saturday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Upcoming events: Justice Antonin Scalia will deliver the keynote address at the Second Annual John F. Scarpa Conference on Law, Politics, and Culture tomorrow at Villanova University. Details are available here and here.

And this Friday in Malibu, California, the Pepperdine University School of Law, in association with the National Constitution Center, will host a Caruso Family Chair Symposium on the Constitution titled, "An Enigmatic Court? Examining the Roberts Court as it Begins Year Three." Details are available here and here.
Posted at 08:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"On the Docket: A Supreme Court Preview." You can access online today's broadcast of NPR's "Justice Talking" -- featuring a stellar group of guests -- in both Windows Media Player and mp3 formats.
Posted at 07:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Deny Arizona Death Row Appeal": The Associated Press provides this report.

You can access Justice Stephen G. Breyer's dissent from the denial of certiorari at this link.
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer Who Quit Temporarily Tapped As AG": Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press has an article that begins, "A funny thing happened to Peter Keisler after he quit the Justice Department: They put him in charge."
Posted at 04:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"James L. Oakes, Federal Appeals Court Judge, Dies at 83": Adam Liptak will have this obituary Tuesday in The New York Times.

The home page of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit also contains a related announcement.

And you can access the judge's Federal Judicial Center biography at this link.
Posted at 04:08 PM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Pentagon Accused of Domestic Spying" and "Atlanta Shooting Suspect to Use Insanity Defense" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued its ruling in Novell, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.: You can access today's ruling at this link.

The decision -- issued by a unanimous two-judge panel -- begins:

We are asked here to review cross appeals from two interlocutory orders in an antitrust action by Novell, Inc. against Microsoft Corp. Novell seeks treble damages under sec. 4 of the Clayton Act for injuries allegedly suffered as a result of Microsoft's anticompetitive conduct in violation of secs. 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. In its suit filed in the District of Utah and transferred by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to the District of Maryland, Novell made six specific claims for damages to software applications it owned between 1994 and 1996. Two of the six claims allege that Microsoft's conduct injured competition in the market for PC operating systems, a market in which Novell's products did not directly compete. The district court declined to dismiss these claims over Microsoft's objection that Novell, as neither a consumer nor a competitor in the relevant market, lacks antitrust standing to bring them. Microsoft appeals the denial of this motion to dismiss.

The remaining four claims allege harm to competition in the software-application market, in which Novell did compete. The district court dismissed these claims as untimely, and Novell appeals.

Today's Fourth Circuit decision affirms both aspects of the district court's ruling.
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit rejects another challenge to San Diego's regulation of adult businesses: Today's opinion considers and rejects a challenge to San Diego's requirement that doors be removed from peep show booths.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


Reuters is reporting: James Vicini reports that "Court rejects appeal by 30-year death row inmate."

And in other news, "Top court rejects appeal by Microsoft, Best Buy."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: In news from Boston, "Libeled Judge Faces Ethics Charges."

And an article headlined "Lawyers, Co-Defendant Plead Not Guilty" begins, "The co-founder of a prestigious New York law firm and two co-defendants pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges related to a major class-action kickback scheme."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Do you wish you knew the addresses, telephone numbers, regular business hours and final collection times for outgoing mail for every United States post office? Today, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision holding that such information must be disclosed in response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act.
Posted at 01:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reading Clarence Thomas: You know whom Justice Clarence Thomas really chastises in his new book? Himself." Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David J. Garrow has this very interesting review (free access) of "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir" in today's issue of Legal Times.
Posted at 12:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Supremely Objects to Memoir": New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams has this essay today in that newspaper.
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issues two decisions holding that patent-related legal malpractice suits "arise under" the patent laws and thus belong in federal court: You can access today's rulings here and here.

The second of those two decisions is noteworthy because at some point the defendants, who removed the case from state court to federal court, decided that they would prefer the case to be in federal court, while the plaintiffs, who initially filed the lawsuit in state court, decided that they would prefer to remain in federal court.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman



The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting: Today's newspaper contains an article headlined "Courthouse security cuts no corners; As jury selection begins in trial of alleged killer Brian Nichols, Fulton works to ensure violence never strikes another courtroom."

And yesterday's newspaper contained an article headlined "State Supreme Court rejected plea that mirrored Genarlow's."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers: New law makes child-porn defense tougher." Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers today has an article that begins, "As the Justice Department steps up an aggressive crackdown on Internet child pornography, a little-noticed provision of a sex offender law is making it harder for defense attorneys to review some of the most important evidence against its suspected purveyors and consumers."
Posted at 10:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Rejects Microsoft, Best Buy Appeal": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by Microsoft Corp. and a unit of Best Buy Co. Inc. in a lawsuit alleging the two companies fraudulently signed up customers for Microsoft's online service."
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"FISA Follies: Psst! The Dems and Bush Don't Really Disagree Much on FISA. (Don't Tell Anyone!)" Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court will define money 'laundering'": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Takes Money Laundering Case."

You can access at this link the Order List that the U.S. Supreme Court issued today.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Demystifying the U.S. Supreme Court's Cert Granted Process": This week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.

And in the current issue of the Texas Law Review, Law Professor David R. Stras has a book review essay titled "The Supreme Court's Gatekeepers: The Role of Law Clerks in the Certiorari Process." Therein, Stras reports on "the results from the first empirical examination of every pool memo from four Terms of the Supreme Court: October Terms 1984, 1985, 1991 and 1992."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Clarence Thomas is not the hypocrite; It's not fair to use affirmative action against the Supreme Court's lone black judge": James Kirchick has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Going to See a Ghost: Majid Khan and the Abuses of the 'War on Terror.'" Today in The Washington Post, Gitanjali S. Gutierrez has an op-ed that begins, "Today at Guantanamo Bay, I am supposed to meet a ghost."
Posted at 08:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Interim Heads Increasingly Run Federal Agencies": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "For now, the most powerful law enforcement official in the federal government is a 47-year-old lawyer little known outside Washington. Or inside Washington, for that matter. He is acting Attorney General Peter D. Keisler, who is running the Justice Department until a new attorney general is confirmed by the Senate to replace Alberto R. Gonzales."

And today's edition of USA Today reports that "Mukasey hearings might not draw big fight; Many agree he's the 'right man' for attorney general."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Measure to shield reporters' secret sources likely to pass": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"When Does Pregnancy Begin?: A Federal Appeals Court Decision Implicates a New Abortion Question." Sherry F. Colb has this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Craig to file appeal Monday": KTVB.com provides a report that begins, "Senator Larry Craig said Sunday he and his attorneys will file an appeal Monday morning, after a judge earlier denied Craig's earlier attempt to overturn his guilty plea."

And The Associated Press reports that "Sen. Craig to File Appeal."
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Sunday, October 14, 2007

"U.S. Mulls New Status Hearings for Guantanamo Inmates": This article will appear Monday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"One man's humiliation; Another's exhilaration. Like Justice Thomas, I was an 'affirmative action baby'; Unlike him, I was not ashamed; I pinched myself for the opportunity." Columnist Bill Maxwell has this op-ed today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Parity on drug sentencings": Columnist Derrick Z. Jackson had this op-ed yesterday in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"New rules on court records often ignored; Some Miami-Dade and Broward judges aren't following tough new rules meant to prevent the wrongful sealing of court records": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tent city sets up for detainee tribunals; Authorities opt for an expeditionary approach to Guantanamo trials instead of building a costlier judicial center": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Justice's Candid Opinions: Clarence Thomas has been a polarizing figure for nearly two decades; He says he's just doing his job." This interview will appear in the October 22, 2007 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"5 Myths About That Demon Crack": Craig Reinarman has this essay today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas-Hill Dispute: Time to close the book." Law Professor Scott D. Gerber will have this essay in the October 15, 2007 issue of The National Law Journal.

And today in The Washington Post, Law Professor Emma Coleman Jordan has an essay entitled "For Clarence Thomas, Lynching Is Personal. Only."
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former Phone Chief Says Spy Agency Sought Surveillance Help Before 9/11": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 02:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Spies, Lies and FISA": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.

And The Washington Post today contains an editorial entitled "Surveillance Update: The House considers a balanced bill on collecting foreign intelligence."
Posted at 02:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Detentions to Be Top Topic for Mukasey": The Associated Press provides this report.

And in the October 22, 2007 issue of U.S. News & World Report, Emma Schwartz will have an article headlined "His Turn on the Hot Seat: Congress to grill the AG pick."
Posted at 01:47 PM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, October 13, 2007

"Lawmakers Criticize CIA Director's Review Order; Congress Wants to Protect Investigator's Independence": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Lawmakers criticize CIA inquiry; Congress members of both parties express concern that the internal investigation could hamper the inspector general's autonomy."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former CEO Says U.S. Punished Phone Firm; Qwest Feared NSA Plan Was Illegal, Filing Says": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rights Case Against 50 Companies Is Reinstated": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A divided federal appeals court ruled yesterday that a human rights lawsuit filed against 50 major corporations that did business in South Africa under apartheid should be revived and reconsidered by the lower court that dismissed it."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"NOW says impeach Kent if he harassed": The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article that begins, "The National Organization for Women said Friday that, if U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent is guilty of sexual harassment, he should be impeached."
Posted at 08:24 PM by Howard Bashman


Best, as in most popular: The 2007 Weblog Awards are seeking nominations for the category of "Best Law Blog." You can nominate a law blog to participate in the contest via this link.

If memory serves, "How Appealing" achieved second place in last year's popularity contest, so it would be nice just to be nominated for this year's festivities. The deadline for making nominations is Monday, October 15, 2007.
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Coming of age with Clarence": Yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, Law Professor Jeannie Suk had an op-ed that begins, "I came of age during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings."

Justice Clarence Thomas's book -- "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir" -- will debut at number one on the October 21, 2007 list of hardcover nonfiction best sellers as ranked by The New York Times.
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Portable Halls of Justice Are Rising in Guantanamo": This article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Death Penalty Stays": Tom Goldstein has this interesting post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Class-action lawyer to fight federal charges; Six people, including Melvyn Weiss' protege, attorney William Lerach, have made plea deals in the case": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Melvyn I. Weiss, the co-founder of a law firm that was among the nation's most successful in class-action litigation, vowed Friday to clear his name and beat federal charges that he participated in a kickback scheme that allegedly netted millions of dollars in illicit legal fees."

The New York Times reports today that "Bail Is Set for Lawyer Who Sued for Investors."

The Associated Press reports that "NYC lawyer posts $1.5 million bond in class-action kickback case."

And Reuters reports that "Lawyer Melvyn Weiss free on $1 million bond."
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Demystifying the U.S. Supreme Court's Cert Granted Process": The new installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed here.
Posted at 12:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court to reconsider suit on roommate discrimination": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit order granting rehearing en banc can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, October 12, 2007

In press releases that almost evaded my attention: On the first Tuesday in October, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP issued a press release that begins, "Former Assistant to the Solicitor General Patricia A. Millett has joined Akin Gump as a partner in the appellate practice in Washington, the firm announced today." Patricia is now co-chair of that firm's Supreme Court practice.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman


On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "CIA Investigates its Inspector General" and "Jury Selection Begins in Reno Murder Case" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


In today's mail: "The Next Justice: Repairing the Supreme Court Appointments Process," by Christopher L. Eisgruber. The book's official publication date is October 31, 2007. You can watch an interview in which Professor Eisgruber talks about the book by clicking here (Windows Media Player required).
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Reinstates Some Apartheid Claims": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "An appeals court Friday reinstated some of the class-action claims of millions of people who say they suffered under apartheid while living in South Africa because of the actions of American, Canadian and European companies. The U.S. government has said the litigation would interfere with South Africa's reconciliation and redress efforts and would cause 'significant tension between the United States and South Africa.' A lower court had tossed out the case, in part because of the vigorous objections by the U.S. and its allies."

My earlier coverage of today's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 03:04 PM by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit grants rehearing en banc in Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com: On May 15, 2007, I had a post titled "Splintered Ninth Circuit panel holds that the Communications Decency Act does not protect the online roommate matching service Roommates.com from liability under the Fair Housing Act" reporting on a decision that a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel had issued that day.

Today, the Ninth Circuit entered an order granting rehearing en banc in the case.

My criticism of the now-vacated majority opinion appeared in the May 21, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "When Should a Commercial Web Site Be Held Liable for User-Generated Content?" That column concluded, "Last week's 9th Circuit ruling reinstating Fair Housing Act claims against Roommates.com based on user-generated content is in direct conflict with that court's earlier decision involving the fake dating profile. Therefore, I believe that the Roommates.com case should be reviewed en banc, and Judge Ikuta's more robust view of the Communications Decency Act's protections should be adopted by the en banc court."

Law Professor Eric Goldman, at his "Technology & Marketing Law Blog," has a post providing access to the rehearing petition and related briefing. Eric's original devastating critique of the three-judge panel's ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Hey Sixth Circuit, you can't say that! Even before Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1 became law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had one of the more permissive approaches toward allowing advocates to cite unpublished decisions.

Thus, it is surprising that the Sixth Circuit's web site continues to feature the following "Please Note" message on its opinions page: "Citation of unpublished decisions in briefs and oral arguments in this Court and in the district courts within this Circuit is disfavored, except for the purpose of establishing res judicata, estoppel, or the law of the case. If a party believes, nevertheless, that an unpublished disposition has precedential value in relation to a material issue in a case, and that there is no published opinion that would serve as well, such decision may be cited if that party serves a copy thereof on all other parties in the case and on this Court. Such service shall be accomplished by including a copy of the decision in an addendum to the brief."

Update: Later today, the Sixth Circuit removed that "Please Note" message from the web page linked above.
Posted at 12:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jury awards nearly $3M in Maine defamation case": Back on June 29, 2006, The Associated Press published an article that begins, "A federal jury awarded nearly $3 million to a North Yarmouth woman in what's believed to be the largest judgment ever in a defamation case in Maine. Deborah Galarneau's lawsuit claimed she was defamed by Merrill Lynch after she was fired in January 2004. Merrill Lynch denied any wrongdoing, saying it was legally mandated to explain the firing to the National Association of Securities Dealers."

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a decision affirming the jury's verdict as to liability and compensatory damages but setting aside the jury's award of $2.1 million in punitive damages. Law Professor Eugene Volokh is listed on the opinion as one of the appellate attorneys for defendant-appellant Merrill Lynch.
Posted at 11:47 AM by Howard Bashman



Federal Circuit reinstates patent infringement action against maker of Dragon Naturally Speaking software: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:32 AM by Howard Bashman


By means of a lengthy decision in which each member of the three-judge panel writes separately, Second Circuit reinstates, in part, lawsuit alleging that corporate defendants actively and willingly collaborated with South Africa in maintaining apartheid system: You can access today's 147-page ruling at this link.

The lead per curiam opinion begins, "The plaintiffs in this action bring claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act against approximately fifty corporate defendants and hundreds of 'corporate Does.' The plaintiffs argue that these defendants actively and willingly collaborated with the government of South Africa in maintaining a repressive, racially based system known as 'apartheid,' which restricted the majority black African population in all areas of life while providing benefits for the minority white population."
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "Pratter Set for 3rd Circuit Seat; Replacement on district court will be Reed Smith partner, formerly GC to the Senate Judiciary Committee, say sources."

And in news from Texas, "20 Lawyers Join in Complaint Over Execution Stay Thwarted by Early Office Closing." This post of mine from yesterday collected additional, related news coverage.
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Republican calls for Congress to probe Kent": The Galveston County Daily News today contains a front page article that begins, "The ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a leading constitutional scholar added their voices Thursday to those calling on the committee to begin investigating whether U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent should be impeached."
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"State defies high court over sex offenders; Hundreds will be sent back to prison for violating Jessica's Law": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Vowing to fight an order from the state's highest court, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and corrections officials Thursday defiantly began sending hundreds of freed sex offenders back to prison for violating strict residency requirements imposed by voters last year. The California Supreme Court late Wednesday temporarily blocked the state from arresting four sex offenders who went to court in an effort to avert arrest under what is commonly known as Jessica's Law, which decrees that they must live more than 2,000 feet from schools, parks and other areas where children gather."

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "State Supreme Court rules in sex-offender residency case."

And The Sacramento Bee contains an article headlined "Moving in on sex offenders: Sweep targets those too close to parks, schools; many seek legal help."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court holds off new background checks for NASA workers": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena won a federal court reprieve Thursday from extensive new background checks ordered by the Bush administration."

You can access yesterday's Ninth Circuit order granting an injunction pending appeal at this link.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"In Defense of the Office of Legal Counsel": The Washington Post today contains a letter to the editor that begins, "We write on behalf of all nine deputy assistant attorneys general who currently work or formerly worked for Steven G. Bradbury during his tenure as acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Detainee's Lawyers Fear That Mail Is Uselessly Slow at Guantanamo": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kane County paper settles libel suit with Illinois chief justice; Kane newspaper to publish apology": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that "Justice gets $3 mil., apology; Newspaper settles Supreme Court chief's lawsuit."

And The Kane County Chronicle reports today that "Chronicle, Illinois chief justice settle libel case."
Posted at 08:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Watchdog of C.I.A. Is Subject Of C.I.A. Inquiry": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, has ordered an unusual internal inquiry into the work of the agency's inspector general, whose aggressive investigations of the C.I.A.'s detention and interrogation programs and other matters have created resentment among agency operatives."

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "CIA investigates conduct of its inspector general; The internal inquiry is prompted by senior agency officials who say they were criticized unfairly in the watchdog's reports on secret overseas prisons."
Posted at 08:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Legal Grounds: Plaintiffs Suing U.S. Tribes Can't Get Their Day in Court; Hit With Lawsuits, Indian-Owned Casinos Can Claim Immunity." The Wall Street Journal contains this front page article today.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"KPMG Trial, Pared in Scope, Nears After Stormy Prologue": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Court Shirks": Yesterday's edition of The New York Sun contained an editorial that begins, "If one adds up all the salaries of the nine justices of the Supreme Court, it comes to something like $2 million a year -- plus benefits, security, huge offices, and a private gymnasium. On top of that, each one of these berobed geniuses gets four or five assistants, and not just any assistants but the brightest assistants that can be found in all the law schools of the land."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Fight Over State Laws Favoring In-State Alcohol Purveyors: Do Such Laws Violate the Dormant Commerce Clause? A Federal District Court in New York Says No, But May Well Be Wrong." Vikram David Amar has this essay today at FindLaw.

As I noted yesterday in this post, the First Circuit yesterday issued a related ruling.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Inside The Incredibly Shrinking Role Of the Supreme Court. And Why John Roberts Is O.K. With That." This lengthy article will be the cover story in the October 22, 2007 issue of Time magazine.

That issue also features an interview with Justice Clarence Thomas headlined "'We Realize This Is Not About Us.'"
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court weighs fairness, secrecy of executions": The Miami Herald provides this news update.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judges' opinions off the bench: Can Clarence Thomas attack liberals and still be a fair justice?" Law Professor Kermit Roosevelt will have this op-ed Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.

And today in The Boston Globe, Helgi Walker has an op-ed entitled "Why are the media so angry at Clarence Thomas?"
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fight over court role in US eavesdropping; President Bush and Democrats battle anew over oversight of government surveillance operations": This article will appear Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nacchio appeal detailed in 58 pages; The brief argues there was insufficient evidence and the Denver trial took place in an atmosphere of 'vitriol'": Yesterday's edition of The Denver Post contained this article.

Yesterday's edition of The Rocky Mountain News contained an article headlined "Nacchio appeal claims 'prejudgment, vitriol.'" And today's newspaper reports that "Court unlikely to toss conviction, experts say."

The Wall Street Journal reports today that "Nacchio Appeal Argues Qwest Woes Unforeseeable."

Bloomberg News reports that "Ex-Qwest Chief Nacchio Appeals Conviction, Sentence."

Reuters reports that "Nacchio appeal says trades not based on inside data."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Documents Reveal Nacchio's Defense."

Via WSJ.com's "Law Blog," you can access the brief for appellant at this link.
Posted at 07:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"States Still Planning Lethal Injection Executions": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Telecom Immunity Firing Up Congress' Surveillance Debate": Lawrence Hurley has this article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Anita Hill Asks, Has Workplace Changed?" The AP provides this report.
Posted at 05:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Reviews Gitmo Combatant Hearings": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Brian Lamb of C-SPAN interviews Justice Clarence Thomas: If you missed Sunday evening's broadcast of "Q & A," you can now access the video here (RealPlayer required) and the transcript here. You can also download a podcast mp3 version here (19.7 MB audio file).
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge chastised for vacating assault conviction; 'Deviation from laws of Commonwealth'": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "A prominent federal judge issued an angry rebuke yesterday against his counterpart in the state district court, adding another extraordinary twist in the now failed attempts of a repeat convict to sidestep a lengthy prison term under the career criminal statute."
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Unanimous three-judge First Circuit panel rejects dormant commerce clause challenge to Maine's decision to allow small wineries to operate partially outside the usual strictures of that State's alcohol control laws: Senior Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya is the author of today's opinion.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


State of Hawaii, which had participated on appeal as an amicus curiae, can intervene to file petition for rehearing en banc in case holding that individuals can sue under the federal civil rights act to enforce sec. 5(f) of the Hawaiian Admission Act: You can access today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

The original three-judge panel's ruling, which I previously covered here, suggested that the losing party might be well-served by seeking rehearing en banc:

A considerable line of precedent in this circuit holds that Native Hawaiians, as beneficiaries of the sec. 5(f) trust, have a right under the Admission Act that is enforceable by sec. 1983. The district court, however, held to the contrary, taking the view that recent Supreme Court cases have so undermined our prior case law that suits like this one may no longer be maintained. After a careful comparison of our prior cases with the recent Supreme Court sec. 1983 cases on which the district court relied, we cannot agree that there is a conflict sufficient to justify a district court or a three-judge panel of this court disregarding well-established precedent.
However, the losing party did not file for rehearing on the issue, and only the State of Hawaii -- a non-party amicus curiae -- did so, simultaneously moving to intervene as a party to thereby have standing to seek rehearing en banc. Today's order grants that motion and orders Hawaii's rehearing petition filed. This may not be the last that we hear of this case.
Posted at 04:03 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Tax Evaders Denied Appeals As Fee Unpaid" and "Court Orders Apology for Insult to Dog."
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas Book a Best-Seller Online": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "By one unscientific measure taken Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was not as popular as Alan Greenspan, but a bit better off than Rosie O'Donnell. Thomas' autobiography, like memoirs by Greenspan and O'Donnell, was among the best-selling books on Amazon.com. The justice's new book also ranked a few places ahead of another book about the court."
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman


Federal Circuit reverses judgment of contempt that Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner issued while sitting by designation as a trial court judge in a patent infringement matter: You can access today's Federal Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:37 AM by Howard Bashman


In today's mail: A signed copy of Justice Clarence Thomas's new book, "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir."

A copy of Law Professor Daniel J. Solove's new book, "The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy."

And a copy of "Bench Press: The Collision of Courts, Politics, and the Media," edited by Keith J. Bybee.
Posted at 11:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"The crux of the district court's argument for Cavera's above-Guidelines sentence is its belief that trafficking firearms in urban environments threatens greater harm than trafficking in less densely populated places." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued a revised decision in United States v. Cavera.

Today's ruling replaces a decision that the same three-judge panel issued on June 6, 2007. My earlier coverage of that ruling appeared at this link. And the trial court's opinion in support of its above-Guidelines sentence can be accessed here.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"It’s Time For a Big Story on the Supreme Court": In this post at WSJ.com's "Law Blog," Peter Lattman previews the cover story of the October 22, 2007 issue of Time magazine.
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"State Supreme Court to hear case challenging 49ers pat-down policy": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether the San Francisco 49ers invade their fans' privacy by conducting pat-down searches at the stadium gates, a measure ordered by the National Football League to catch potential terrorists. A state appeals court upheld the searches in a 2-1 ruling in July, saying two fans who challenged the policy had tacitly agreed to be searched when they bought their season tickets. But six of the high court's seven justices voted Wednesday to set the appellate ruling aside and review the case."

My thoughts on why the "consent" approach is intellectually bankrupt can be found in the July 9, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers in Citgo trial annoyed by online 'fly'": The San Antonio Express-News today contains an article that begins, "A dispute between a South Texas activist-turned-cyber-fly and a giant oil company could reverberate across the World Wide Web, depending on the decision of a federal court in Corpus Christi. Citgo Petroleum Corp. wants a federal judge to order a retrial in one of the biggest environmental cases in years because of a local activist's blog entry that portrays her as a 'fly on the wall' in the jury room during deliberations."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Questions raised about judge's fairness": Yesterday's edition of The Galveston County Daily News contained an article that begins, "Since U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent has been accused of -- and apparently sanctioned for -- sexual harassment, some people are wondering how he can preside over such cases himself. One particular decision, dating from 2002 and involving a complaint filed by a former employee of the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, might be a case in point."

And the newspaper's publisher, Dolph Tillotson, had an op-ed entitled "Kent should resign" that begins, "Federal District Judge Samuel B. Kent should resign his post, or the U.S. House of Representatives should begin an impeachment inquiry. That is a judgment not offered lightly, and it is based on the belief that the appearance of justice in Judge Kent's court is damaged beyond repair."
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ethics complaint filed against Texas appeals judge; Execution would not have taken place if court had stayed open after 5 p.m., 19 lawyers claim": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.

The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Lawyers say judge violated executed man's rights."

And The San Antonio Express-News reports that "Judge is under fire after execution."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"L.A., homeless advocates reach deal on sidewalk sleeping; The homeless can sleep on L.A. streets from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. with certain restrictions": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The New York Times reports today that "Los Angeles to Permit Sleeping on Sidewalks."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge allows California cities to ban cat declawing": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court allowed cities in California to ban cat declawing Wednesday, rejecting veterinarians' challenge to a West Hollywood ordinance that could lead to copycat measures elsewhere."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Case of Texas Murderer Engrosses Supreme Court": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Chief Justice Prolongs Executive Powers Debate." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The Law of the Land: Does an American or international court get to say what it is?"

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "High court cool to Bush claim on death cases."

Joan Biskupic of USA Today reports that "Death row dispute puts Bush at odds with Texas; State resists order to review Mexican's case."

In The Houston Chronicle, Patty Reinert reports that "Texas fights at Supreme Court in death row case; Solicitor general argues that the World Court and the president don't trump state law in Mexican inmates controversy."

In The Dallas Morning News, Todd J. Gillman reports that "Supreme Court hears debate on scope of president's power in court affairs; Justices must decide if he had power to demand review sought by tribunal."

And The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that "Bush administration, Texas square off over treaty."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Five Years Ago: No amount of time can erase the horror of the sniper shootings." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court nominee wins praise; Kaine's pick for high court called 'Va. success story'": The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said 'the enormous talent pool on the bench' in Virginia gave him plenty of choices for a Supreme Court appointment. He picked Chesapeake Circuit Judge S. Bernard Goodwyn. Kaine announced Goodwyn's Virginia Supreme Court appointment yesterday morning."

The Virginian-Pilot reports today that "Kaine appoints Chesapeake judge to Virginia Supreme Court."

And The Washington Post reports that "Kaine Appoints Chesapeake Judge to Supreme Court."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"House Panels Vote for More Scrutiny Over Foreign Eavesdropping": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "White House Fights Democratic Changes to Surveillance Act."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "House panels pass spy restrictions; Democrats advance legislation hours after Bush denounces it as weakening a terrorism-fighting tool."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney General Nominee Made His Name With Terror Cases": The Washington Post today contains a front page article that begins, "Early in the Bush administration, Michael B. Mukasey's position at the intersection of terrorism and the justice system may have cost him a promotion. Mukasey, then chief judge of the main federal court in New York City, caught the eye of the White House for elevation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Home Court Advantage": Today in The New York Times, Law Professor Michael J. Broyde and Deborah E. Lipstadt have an op-ed that begins, "Thanks to the Internet, universal access to the printed word and economic globalization, the 21st century is expected to be shaped by the free exchange of ideas. But casting a shadow over this optimistic prediction is the emerging threat of 'libel tourism.'"
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Schools Stymie Justices; Deadlock Over New York Case": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Court Is Split, Won't Hear Special-Education Case."

And The New York Times reports that "Supreme Court Upholds Tuition Ruling."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"The United States Attorneys Scandal Comes to Mississippi": Adam Cohen has this Editorial Observer essay today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Disgrace": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court exerts leadership over the nation's justice system, not just through its rulings, but also by its choice of cases -- the ones it agrees to hear and the ones it declines."

And The Los Angeles Times today contains an editorial entitled "The human cost of secrecy: Even if the Supreme Court turned away a torture victim's case, El-Masri deserves an apology and compensation" along with an op-ed by Rosa Brooks entitled "Too much cloak and swagger: When the White House plays 'I've Got a Secret,' who is being protected?"
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"School Integration Efforts Face Renewed Opposition; Supreme Court Ruling Sways Milton Battle; Off to Private School": This front page article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Innocence testing on back burner; $8M targeted for DNA appeals gathering dust": Richard Willing has this front page article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Faces an End-of-Term Slowdown on Appellate-Court Nominees": James Rowley of Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "President George W. Bush wants to fill 15 U.S. appeals-court vacancies before he leaves office in January 2009. The Democratic-controlled Senate is likely to approve fewer than half that number. Which nominees make it will largely depend on their political connections, and luck."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "High Court Justices Question Power of Bush Order in 'Medellin' Case; Presidential directive that Texas heed World Court ruling on rights of jailed foreign nationals is aggressively challenged."

In other news, "NYC Loses Round Before Supreme Court on Tuition Payback Policy for Learning-Disabled Students."

And Pamela A. MacLean reports that "Filing Error Comes at a Bad Time for Federal Judicial Hopeful."
Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Immigrant's sex with minor doesn't merit deportation, court rules": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "An immigrant who is in the United States legally does not have to be deported if convicted of having sex with a minor, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the crime that Alberto Quintero-Salazar admitted in 1998, illegal intercourse between an adult over 21 and a youth under 16, was not the type of 'vile, base or depraved' conduct that subjects a lawful U.S. resident to deportation."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Secrecy defense prevails in torture case; The Supreme Court refuses to hear a lawsuit from an alleged victim of brutality by the CIA; The decision is seen as a setback for civil libertarians": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Supreme Court Won't Review Alleged CIA Abduction."

And Joan Biskupic of USA Today reports that "Supreme Court rejects case of CIA accuser; Man says he was abducted, tortured."
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Texas Holds Him: Leave it to Texas to put a stop to executive overreaching." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court seems likely to limit suits in Charter case; Justices appear skeptical of investors' right to sue outside firms that may have played key roles in a company's fraud scheme": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Justices Doubt Investors' Arguments; Court Hears Case Seen as Proxy For Enron."
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Cal Supremes to consider legality of pat-down searches at 49er games": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "The state Supreme Court agreed today to decide whether the San Francisco 49ers invade their fans' privacy by conducting pat-down searches at the stadium gates, a measure ordered by the National Football League to catch potential terrorists. A state appeals court upheld the searches in a 2-1 ruling in July, saying two fans who challenged the policy had tacitly agreed to be searched when they bought their season tickets. But six of the high court's seven justices voted today to set the appellate ruling aside and review the case. No hearing date has been scheduled."

The July 9, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "Did a Federal Appeals Court Avoid Tackling the Real Issues Behind Football Fan's Lawsuit? 11th Circuit rules that season ticket-holder can't object to being searched upon entering stadium."
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-detainee Hicks gets prerelease help": Yesterday in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg had an article that begins, "David Hicks, the lone Guantanamo captive convicted of a war crime, is getting special counseling ahead of his December release from a prison in his native Australia, a newspaper reports in its Monday's editions."

And Monday's edition of The Adelaide Advertiser contained an article headlined "Tailor-made package to help Hicks."
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo Detainees Enjoy Historic Protections, Administration Says": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sniper says he feels shame, guilt for murders": Online at CNN.com, Soledad O'Brien has a report that begins, "Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo said in a letter to CNN that he is still 'grappling with shame, guilt, remorse and my own healing if that will ever be possible.' And a social worker who has worked extensively with him said he draws self-portraits that often show him with a tear running down his cheek."
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


Today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Medellin v. Texas, No. 06-984, featured an extra twenty-six minutes of oral argument time: At her "Legalities" blog, ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has a post titled "Overtime."

And at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr's review of the oral argument transcript caused him to write a post titled "Great Argument."
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers argue R.I. should allow gays to divorce": The Providence Journal today contains an article that begins, "Rhode Island’s first same-sex divorce case has generated a pile of detailed legal arguments, but lawyers for the two Providence women yesterday told the state Supreme Court that the issue is simple and clear-cut."
Posted at 07:47 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "High Court Considers Test of Federal-State Power" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "House Panels Retool Eavesdropping Legislation."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 07:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"Thomas and Oral Argument": At her "Legalities" blog, ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has a post that begins, "Justice Thomas is known for his silence on the bench, and he's talked over the years about why he rarely asks questions."
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court weighs case of Mexican on Texas death row": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Rights of Mexicans on Death Row Questioned by U.S. High Court."
Posted at 05:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Government's witness in Convertino prosecution admits he lied": The Detroit News provides an update that begins, "The prosecution of former federal assistant U.S. attorney Richard Convertino hit an early hitch today when the government's first scheduled witness admitted he lied under oath during a pretrial hearing on Tuesday."

And The Associated Press reports that "Ex-Prosecutor on Trial Over Terror Case."
Posted at 05:44 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: Today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained audio segments entitled "High Court Hears Case of Mexican on Death Row" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Indian Trust Funds Suit Returns to Court."

And today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "Judge Bars Pentagon from Shipping off Detainee."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 05:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"[T]he making of finer gradations within the category of deferential review strains judicial competence": So writes Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner in an opinion issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge Seventh Circuit panel.

Judge Posner goes on to explain, "The gradations exist formally: there is clear-error review, substantial-evidence review, review for rationality (as of jury verdicts, where the test is whether any rational trier of fact could have arrived at the jury’s verdict), arbitrary-and-capricious review, abuse-of-discretion review, ultra-narrow review of credibility determinations based on a witness's demeanor, and more."
Posted at 04:52 PM by Howard Bashman



Three-judge Ninth Circuit panel rejects challenge to San Diego County's comprehensive zoning ordinance that governs the operation of adult entertainment businesses: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman


The U.S. Supreme Court has posted online the transcript of today's oral argument in Medellin v. Texas, No. 06-984: You can access it at this link.
Posted at 04:13 PM by Howard Bashman


"The question in this case is whether it is arbitrary and capricious for an ERISA plan administrator to deny Personal Accident Insurance benefits to the beneficiary of an insured who died as result of his own drunk driving." So begins the lead opinion announcing the decision that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today. Each of the three judge on the panel issued his own decision, with the court ruling 2-1 that the denial of insurance benefits should be upheld.

That this issue proved difficult should not be surprising, as the en banc Eighth Circuit in July 2005 issued opinions totaling 40 pages in a decision that appears to have reached the opposite result from today's Sixth Circuit ruling.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush, Texas at Odds Over Death Case": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Neither the president nor an international court can tell Texas how to treat criminal defendants, the state's top Supreme Court advocate told the justices in a lively argument Wednesday over the fate of a Mexican citizen on death row."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "How to say no to the President?"
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"New York Loses Special Education Appeal": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed a ruling that requires New York City schools to reimburse a wealthy businessman for private special education for his son. The justices split 4-4 on the case, which means a lower court ruling siding with former Viacom executive Tom Freston remains in place."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court rules for parents of disabled child."

Today's per curiam ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court can be accessed here.
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: I have a court appearance in a neighboring State this morning. As a result, additional posts should appear here by mid-afternoon.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Exotic Dancer Worker's Comp Upheld": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "An Indiana appeals court upheld a worker's compensation award Tuesday for an exotic dancer who was injured while performing on a pole at a strip club."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Court of Appeals of Indiana at this link.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Justices Appear Skeptical of Investor Class Actions in 'Stoneridge' Case."

Laurel Newby has an article headlined "Supreme Court Argument Report: Calling Noam Chomsky and Gertrude Stein; In linguistics debate, will justices decide that a use is a use is a use?"

And in other news, "Qualcomm Lawyers Late to Search Laptop; Outside counsel didn't search witness's laptop until midtrial, but may have had indications of relevant e-mails months before."
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate and Jan Crawford Greenburg of ABC News discuss Justice Clarence Thomas's book on Bloggingheads.tv: You can view the webcast by clicking here.
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts, Alito Appear Skeptical Of Plaintiffs' Arguments in Stoneridge": Jess Bravin and Kara Scannell will have this article Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman


Linda Greenhouse is reporting: Wednesday in The New York Times, she will have articles headlined "Plaintiffs Face Skeptical Court in Key Fraud Case" and "Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Torture Appeal."
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Justice Looks Back and Settles Old Scores": In Wednesday's edition of The New York Times, William Grimes will have this review of Justice Clarence Thomas's new book, "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir."
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman


Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News is reporting: He has articles headlined "Shareholder Suits Against Vendors, Banks Questioned" and "German Alleging CIA Abduction Rejected by U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 10:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Blinded teen seeks to compel use of unpublished court rulings": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has an article that begins, "An errant paintball partially blinded Joshua Hild. It also opened his eyes to how courts work. Hild of Fresno County, Calif., won $704,633 in a civil lawsuit, only to lose the award in appeals court. Now, in a potentially ground-breaking federal lawsuit, the former resident of tiny Big Creek is challenging how judicial opinions are used while he gets a crash course in the law."

According to the article, "The 19-year-old restaurant worker is suing the California Supreme Court to reverse its practice of largely ignoring unpublished court opinions. In California, these opinions disposing of routine cases can't be cited as precedent. They also become difficult to appeal."
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court leans toward business in fraud case": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.

And on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment entitled "Court Considers Investors' Rights in Stock Fraud" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Torture Appeal": Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times provides this news update.
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rendition: High court refuses to hear the claims of a German man who says he was abducted and tortured by the CIA." This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of the public radio program "Here & Now."
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Is...Mute: With the opening of the Supreme Court's new term this week, Jeffrey Toobin's recently published book might help shed light on the inner workings of the notoriously tight-lipped nine." This segment (transcript with links to audio) appeared on last Friday's broadcast of NPR's "On The Media" (via "LawBeat").
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Punishing Clarence Thomas": Sunday in The San Diego Union-Tribune, columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. had an op-ed that begins, "The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas may be the ultimate Rorschach test. Americans look back at what transpired in that Senate hearing room in October 1991 and see what they want to see."

And today at Human Events Online, columnist Thomas Sowell has a two-part essay (access part one and part two) that begins, "It would be hard to think of anyone whose portrayal in the media differs more radically from the reality than that of Justice Clarence Thomas."
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"New York Times U.S. Supreme Court correspondent to speak at U of M Law School": The University of Minnesota today issued a news release that begins, "Linda Greenhouse, long-time U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, will give the University of Minnesota Law School's Horatio Ellsworth Kellar Distinguished Visitors Lecture for 2007. It will be presented at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, in Willey Hall Auditorium (Room 125), 229 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. This event is free and open to the public."
Posted at 05:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Admin., Texas Wrangle Over Death Penalty Case; Supreme Court to Examine State Sovereignty Fight Over Mexican National on Death Row": Ariane de Vogue has this report at ABCNews.com.
Posted at 05:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"LBJ talks of Thurgood Marshall, Vietnam in taped conversations": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:34 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcripts of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: You can now access the transcripts in Watson v. United States, No. 06-571, and Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., No. 06-43.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Foul Ball Case Goes to Nevada Supreme Court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Case Pits Texas Against International Court": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief U.S. justice questions 3rd-party lawsuits": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court won't hear the appeal of apparent CIA victim": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update that begins, "The Supreme Court today refused to give a hearing to a German man who says he was wrongly abducted, imprisoned and tortured by the CIA in a case of mistaken identity."

And Robert Barnes of The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Court Declines Case of Alleged CIA Torture Victim."
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"In a twist, high court case sets Bush against Texas; A Mexican national's death sentence will have Supreme Court justices sorting out US treaty obligations, federal vs. state powers, and World Court rulings": Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Skeptical Court Considers Investors Case": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides this report.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that "Key Justices Resist 3rd-Party Liability In Securities Suits."

And MarketWatch reports that "Supreme Court hears securities fraud case; Outcome could affect Enron investors' ability to sue."
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"We must decide the proper burden of proof to be borne by the removing defendant when plaintiffs move to remand the case to state court and their complaint alleges damages less than the jurisdictional threshold for diversity cases but does not specify a total amount in controversy." So begins an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today. Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain wrote both the opinion of the court, noting that the Ninth Circuit has employed three arguably conflicting tests, and a concurring opinion, explaining which approach he views as best.
Posted at 01:32 PM by Howard Bashman


Is California's statutory rape law, which makes it a crime to engage in intercourse with a minor who is under 16 years of age when the perpetrator is 21 years of age or older, categorically a crime involving moral turpitude? By a vote of 2-1, today a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this ruling answering "no."
Posted at 01:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"No big threat to investment houses": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston provides this recap of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta, No. 06-43.
Posted at 01:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Backs Special Courts for Terror Suspects": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to hear gay divorce argument": The Providence Journal today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court will hear arguments this morning in Rhode Island's first same-sex divorce case."
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to Examine Scope of Investor Rights; Case Could Decide Whether Investors Can Pursue Firms That Aided Enron-Like Fraud": Ariane de Vogue has this report at ABCNews.com.

And on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment entitled "Supreme Court Weighs Third Parties in Fraud" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court grants no new cases, turns down CIA case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Court Rejects Alleged CIA Kidnap Victim."

And Reuters reports that "Top court won't hear appeal in CIA torture case."

You can access today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List at this link.
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Error in major case tied to federal judge nominee": The Virginian-Pilot today contains an article that begins, "Two years ago, someone made a huge mistake at the Virginia Supreme Court -- a clerical error that cost a client a chance to win an $8 million appeal."

According to the article, "It was a simple goof -- someone forgot to file a trial transcript -- but it caused the Supreme Court to throw out an appeal of an $8 million jury verdict. The lead attorney for that appeal was E. Duncan Getchell Jr., who has been nominated by President Bush for a judgeship on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond."
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Handling of obscenity cases disputed; A Justice task force tackles small producers of porn's most extreme content; Conservative groups say it's not enough and many prosecutors say it's a waste of time": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Newspapers, bloggers now on same page; Journalistic websites see amateur scribes as partners, not rivals; They increase coverage and may share revenue": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Democrats Seem Ready to Extend Wiretap Powers": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"A First-Class Civil Rights Lesson: Stamp Commemorates Early Latino Victory Against Segregation." This article appears today in The Washington Post. You can view the postage stamp by clicking here (large image file).
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Public's Right to Know": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an editorial that begins, "Efforts to enact a federal shield law for journalists have passed a critical milestone in the Senate."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Political Parties, Under Challenge, Seem to Have Justices' Sympathy": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sex Case to End After Defendant's Suicide": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Prosecutors plan to dismiss the case against a federal prosecutor who committed suicide in a Michigan prison after being accused of traveling there from Florida to have sex with a 5-year-old girl, the authorities said Monday."

And The Detroit News reports today that "Autopsy details lawyer suicide; Questions remain about death of man indicted in sex sting who hung sheet from shower head."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge fighting subpoena to testify; He presided over terror trial in which ex-prosecutor is accused of obstructing": The Detroit News today contains an article that begins, "A Detroit federal judge is trying to stop the U.S. Justice Department from forcing him to testify in the criminal trial of former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino, which begins today. U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen, who presided over the 2003 terrorism trial in which Convertino is accused of obstructing justice, filed a motion Friday to quash a government subpoena requiring him to testify at Convertino's trial."

Yesterday's newspaper, meanwhile, reported that "Terrorism prosecutor now is defendant."

And The Detroit Free Press reported yesterday that "Prosecutor to go on trial over conduct in terror case; Jury to decide whether he hid evidence."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Recovered Emails Bedevil Qualcomm in Court": The Wall Street Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Big-Money Battle Pits Business vs. Trial Bar; Supreme Court Case Could Open More Firms To Lawsuits Over Fraud": This front page article appears today in The Wall Street Journal. In addition, SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins has an op-ed entitled "Just Say 'No' to the Trial Lawyers."

And Pete Yost of The Associated Press reports that "High court to hear securities fraud case."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"The justice run amok": Today in The Boston Globe, columnist Derrick Z. Jackson has an op-ed that begins, "The bitterness in Clarence Thomas makes you wonder if he ever can realize that he won."

And today in The Wall Street Journal, Law Professor John Yoo has an op-ed entitled "The Real Clarence Thomas: His fidelity to the Constitution often leads to results liberals like."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online at law.com: An article reports that "Sports-Injury Plaintiffs Strike Out at Texas Appeals Court." The ruling consists of both a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.

And Shannon P. Duffy reports that "$3 Million Verdict Reinstated for Real Estate Brokerage That Sued Its Lawyer, Insurer." You can access Friday's ruling of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at this link. As I noted in this post on Friday, I served as co-counsel on appeal for plaintiffs-appellants and argued this appeal on their behalf.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, October 08, 2007

"Investors ask Supreme Court to sanction claims": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides a report that begins, "Investors will confront corporations on Tuesday when the Supreme Court considers the highest-profile business case of the year."

Investor's Business Daily reports that "Supreme Court Set To Hear Major Case On Securities Lawsuits Vs. Third Parties."

CNBC.com reports that "Supreme Court Hears Landmark Investor Suit."

Reuters provides a report headlined "Lifting the Lid-Top US court weighs scope of fraud suits."

This evening's broadcast of the public radio program "Marketplace" contained an audio segment entitled "Court to hear Enron shareholders' case" (transcript with link to audio).

Financial Times contains an item headlined "Lawyer liability."

And online at law.com, Richard A. Booth has an essay entitled "In 'Stoneridge,' the Supreme Court Should Focus on Who Really Gains."
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush wants ideological fights, not judges": Glenn Sugameli has this commentary at Politico.com.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court takes up shareholder rights; In its biggest business case of the term, the high court examines the scope of investors' rights to sue in the wake of corporate fraud": Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Thomas and the First Amendment": The First Amendment Center has today posted this online symposium.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas on Precedent": At her "Legalities" blog, ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has this post today based on her recent series of interviews with Justice Clarence Thomas.
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Blawg Review #129": Posted here today at "HealthBlawg."
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court Case May Be 'Securities Law's Roe v. Wade'": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 10:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"On the Horizon: More Powers for Some Federal Judges?" Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed here.

My column focuses on a provision in a pending piece of legislation, which has already passed the U.S. Senate, that purports to give a senior circuit judge "all the powers of a judge" on the court on which he or she serves. The specific issue that I discuss is whether that provision would enable senior status federal appellate judges to cast votes on whether cases should be reheard en banc and/or to participate in deciding the merits of cases that have been granted en banc review even where the senior judges had not served on the original three-judge panel that issued the initial decision in the case.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush faces court ruling over CIA prisons": Today in Financial Times, Patti Waldmeir and Demetri Sevastopulo have an article that begins, "The administration of President George W. Bush could face a further challenge to its anti-terrorism policies from the Supreme Court, which is expected to say on Tuesday whether it will take up a case involving US secret prisons overseas."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Murder case pits Texas against Bush; As U.S. justices consider local killer's consular issue, control of courts is at stake": Patty Reinert has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.

Today in The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant reports that "It's U.S. versus Texas in death penalty case; Supreme Court to rule whether international treaty trumps state law."

And The Guardian (UK) reports that "Bush tries to halt execution of convicted killer in Texas."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Could Kent lose his bench? Judge may face Congress over abuse allegations." Lise Olsen and Harvey Rice had this article yesterday in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court To Hear Atlantic Yards Case": The New York Sun today contains an article that begins, "Opponents of the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn will argue before a federal appeals court tomorrow in one of their few remaining attempts to challenge the use of eminent domain for the project."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"The College of William & Mary Law School hosts a panel discussion on the makeup of the Roberts Court": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times served as moderator of this panel discussion (RealPlayer required), which was featured on Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America & the Courts."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kevin Merida, Author, 'Supreme Discomfort' discusses his profile of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas": This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on Friday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "Washington Journal."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clarence Thomas Book Party": C-SPAN2's "Book TV" was there, and you can view the event online, on-demand by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Do the crime, do how much time? The Supreme Court should find an equilibrium between judicial discretion and strict guidelines on criminal sentences." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


'State secrets' case may get airing; The U.S. says security will be at stake if the Supreme Court decides to hear the suit of an apparent CIA victim of mistaken identity": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Bill Aims to Define Who Is a Journalist": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 is the grand title attached to the bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week with bipartisan support. It is better known as the reporter's shield law."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Roberts Court: The Rule of Law, Not Ideology." Law Professor Steven G. Calabresi had this letter to the editor yesterday in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fewer suits charge securities fraud; Plaintiffs' lawyers find it harder 'to make a living'": Today's edition of USA Today contains an article that begins, "Once-thriving securities-fraud lawsuits, hailed by shareholders and bashed by businesses, are facing an onslaught of legal challenges that could cripple the controversial class actions. The number of federal securities-fraud lawsuits is steadily falling. Businesses are stepping up their assault on what they call frivolous litigation. Government investigations are chilling plaintiff's attorneys. And Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a hotly debated case that may greatly narrow the scope of such lawsuits."

In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Must fighting bogus lawsuits mean ignoring blatant fraud? Immunity for some in fraud cases leaves many investors vulnerable." And John Engler has an op-ed entitled "Say no to trial lawyers: Unending securities litigation would not help shareholders."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Kennedy Court": ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg was a guest on the most recent broadcast of "The Journal Editorial Report." You can access the transcript by clicking here.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, October 07, 2007

"Debate Over Terrorism Torture Deepens": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Disorder in the Court: Military commissions were supposed to ensure easy terror convictions, but that hasn't been the case." This article will appear in the October 15, 2007 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Going to Court, but Not in Time to Live": Monday's edition of The New York Times will contain the brand new installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column.

It begins, "Let us consider the arithmetic of death. There are nine justices on the Supreme Court. It takes four votes for the court to agree to hear a case. But it takes five votes to stay an execution. It is possible, then, for a death row inmate to persuade the court that his case is so important that it deserves a place on the court's tiny docket of roughly 80 cases a year -- but not so important that he should be allowed to stay alive in the meantime."
Posted at 11:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Case Tests Boundaries of Prayer in Sports": The Washington Post today contains this article reporting on a case argued recently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush, Texas at Odds Over Death Case": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "To put it bluntly, Texas wants President Bush to get out of the way of the state's plan to execute a Mexican for the brutal killing of two teenage girls. Bush, who presided over 152 executions as governor of Texas, wants to halt the execution of Jose Ernesto Medellin in what has become a confusing test of presidential power that the Supreme Court ultimately will sort out."
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"At high court: In a drugs-for-gun deal, is the gun being 'used'? The issue is coming up more often in sting operations -- and has meant more jail time for convicts." Warren Richey had this article Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice moved through 2 worlds; Thomas' story starts in tiny Pinpoint, Ga." This article appeared Friday in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 04:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Read This Book: Clarence Thomas's memoir is almost as important a contribution to his beloved country as his work as a Supreme Court justice." William Kristol will have this essay in the October 15, 2007 issue of The Weekly Standard.

At Newsweek's web site, Weston Kosova has an essay entitled "Fortunate Son -- There is a theme running through Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's new autobiography: It's only affirmative action if you go looking for a job, not if it comes looking for you."

And Friday at washingtonpost.com, Howard Kurtz had an essay entitled "Thomas Controversy Still Ticking."
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Long wait, high cost plague Nichols trial": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "Prosecutor Al Dixon stood silently in Courtroom 8-H at the Fulton County Courthouse and tried to come to terms with what had just happened. A judge he admired, who wore cowboy boots under his black robe, was slumped over dead behind the bench from a bullet to the head. Nearby, the judge's court stenographer, known for bringing jurors homemade treats, lay lifeless."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Let Me Be the Judge: A Supreme Court justice recounts a difficult ascent." Today in the Book World section of The Washington Post, Jabari Asim has this review of Justice Clarence Thomas's new book, "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir."
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"More Torture Memos: The Bush administration's secret legal decisions defy Congress and the courts." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 02:56 PM by Howard Bashman


"Democrats to Offer New Surveillance Rules; Bill Aims to Meet Privacy and Security Concerns; Fierce Debate Is Expected": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 02:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Race Gap: Crime vs. Punishment." This article appears today in the Week in Review section of The New York Times.
Posted at 02:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Justice’s Scribbles on Journalists' Rights": In the Week in Review section of today's issue of The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "The Supreme Court has only once ruled on whether reporters may be forced to testify about their confidential sources, in a 1972 decision called Branzburg v. Hayes. Thanks to a cryptic concurring opinion from Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., to this day no one is quite sure what the decision meant."
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"I Did Do It: Confessions of Clarence Thomas." Columnist Maureen Dowd has this op-ed today in The New York Times.
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, October 06, 2007

"Supreme downsizing: A growing group of scholars from both left and right say the nation's highest court is out of control; Cut back its power, they argue, and the country will be better off." Christopher Shea will have this essay in the "Ideas" section of Sunday's edition of The Boston Globe.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nobody Knows the Lynchings He's Seen": Sunday in The New York Times, columnist Frank Rich will have an op-ed that begins. "What's the difference between a low-tech lynching and a high-tech lynching? A high-tech lynching brings a tenured job on the Supreme Court and a $1.5 million book deal. A low-tech lynching, not so much."
Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman


Justice Clarence Thomas will discuss his new book --"My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir" -- on Sunday evening's broadcast of C-SPAN's "Q & A." More details are available at this link.
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"On Torture and American Values": This editorial will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Law on Lies by Politicians Is Found Unconstitutional": Sunday in The New York Times, Adam Liptak will have an article that begins, "Not that they need encouragement, but politicians were given the green light to lie about their opponents by the Washington Supreme Court the other day."

My earlier coverage of the ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman



In news that could be appellate related but isn't: The Associated Press reports that "Purpose of appendix believed found."

A recent installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "The Appendix on Appeal: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court bars new background checks for JPL workers; U.S. judges seek more time to study the regulation, which employees say would violate constitutional rights": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday issued a temporary injunction blocking a federal government directive that would require new background checks for employees at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A group of 28 JPL scientists to stop the investigations, which they said amounted to a blank check for the federal government to look into such areas as their sexual orientation and consumer histories. The employees had been facing the potential loss of their jobs unless they met a Friday deadline to comply with the directive by filling out questionnaires and signing a waiver allowing the investigations. A U.S. District Court had upheld the background checks Wednesday."

And The Associated Press reports that "Background Checks at NASA Lab Blocked."

You can access yesterday's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Let politicians lie: The Washington state Supreme Court wisely rules that politicians are allowed to tell tales about their opponents." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

My earlier coverage of the ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Federal judge delays Watada trial; Lawyers call a 2nd court-martial double jeopardy": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge in Tacoma has delayed the court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, a Fort Lewis Army officer who refused to deploy to Iraq. In a rare intervention of a civilian court in the military justice system, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle granted the emergency stay to stop the court-martial."

And The Seattle Times reports today that "Federal judge tells military to halt Watada court-martial."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at this link.
Posted at 04:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo prosecutor quits amid dispute; Chief prosecutor Col. Morris Davis resigned in a dispute about administrative powers over war-crimes trials": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

The New York Times reports today that "War-Crimes Prosecutor Quits in Pentagon Clash."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "War court prosecutor quits post; Air Force Col. Morris Davis' resignation comes amid discord on trials and pressure from the White House."
Posted at 03:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Says Interrogation Methods Aren't Torture": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Bush Defends Interrogations; Democrats Demand Documents Justifying Tactics' Legality."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Bush denies CIA torture of suspects; Interrogation methods are legal, he says amid controversy over Justice Department memos sanctioning disputed techniques such as simulated drowning."
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Pete Yost reports that "Enron Investors Banking on High Court."

And in other news, "Automakers to Appeal Emissions Ruling."
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Class-Action Scheme: The Supreme Court's business case of the year." The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "Next week the Supreme Court takes up what may be the business case of the year when it hears oral arguments in Stoneridge v. Scientific Atlanta."
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jailed fed prosecutor commits suicide; Florida man charged with arranging sex with child was on suicide watch after earlier attempt": This article appears today in The Detroit News.

The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Sex case ends in a suicide; Federal prosecutor charged with trying to lure tot hangs self while in custody."

The Pensacola News Journal reports that "Atchison hangs self in cell."

And The New York Times reports that "U.S. Prosecutor Held in a Child Sex Sting Kills Himself."
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, October 05, 2007

Available online from law.com: An article reports that "2nd Circuit Reinstates Copyright Claims Against Singer." My earlier coverage of today's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "On the Horizon: More Powers for Some Federal Judges?" This earlier post provides links to the relevant statutes and proposed legislation.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Woman wants apology after court scans bra; Security makes her remove garment even though there was no privacy screen": Yesterday's edition of The Coeur d'Alene Press contained an article that begins, "Victoria has no secrets at the federal courthouse. A Bonners Ferry woman said she was forced to remove her bra by court security -- in full view of everyone -- before she was allowed to go inside." Today's newspaper, meanwhile, reports that "Courthouse to have private room for changing."

And in other coverage, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington reported yesterday that "Bra check upsets court visitor."
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"With Him or Against Him: The black-and-white world of Clarence Thomas has nothing to do with race." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Souter's Upcoming Autobiography": Scott Moss has this post at "PrawfsBlawg."
Posted at 09:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ogborn awarded $6.1 million in strip-search hoax in Kentucky case against McDonald's": The Louisville Courier-Journal provides this news update.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Holding Court: Dahlia Lithwick dishes with readers on the Supremes and the start of the new term." Slate has posted online this transcript.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Third Amendment Rights Group Celebrates Another Successful Year": This article appears online today at the web site of The Onion.
Posted at 03:07 PM by Howard Bashman


Eleventh Circuit rejects Presidential Airways, Inc.'s effort to dismiss lawsuit brought by survivors of three soldiers in the United States Army who died when the airplane that was transporting them crashed into the side of a mountain in Afghanistan: According to today's lengthy decision, "Presidential entered into a contract with the Department of Defense to provide air transportation and other support services in aid of the military mission in Afghanistan."
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"[W]e are inclined to believe that the same Fourth Amendment reasonable suspicion standard that applies to Terry investigative stops should apply to the issuance of a purely investigative warrant to conduct a limited thermal imaging search from well outside the home": In a decision issued today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit considers what "quantum of evidence required to obtain a warrant solely for the purpose of conducting investigative thermal imaging."

Update: Orin Kerr criticizes the ruling in this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Today's ruling of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in an appeal that I argued on behalf of the plaintiffs-appellants on May 22, 2007: On May 22, 2007, I had a post titled "Programming note" that began, "Today, I'll be arguing an appeal before a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania from a ruling reported on here."

Working very closely with plaintiffs' trial attorneys, who had labored skillfully and tirelessly to obtain a jury verdict on behalf of their clients, I was serving as co-counsel on appeal for the plaintiffs, who were appealing from a trial court ruling that had overturned the jury's $3 million verdict in favor of the plaintiffs. Today, a unanimous three-judge Pa. Superior Court panel issued a non-precedential opinion that reinstates the jury's verdict in plaintiffs' favor. You can access today's decision by clicking here.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"State's highest court backs lying in politics; Justices say law regulating speech unconstitutional": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article that begins, "You just can't keep a politician from lying. In a 5-4 ruling Thursday, the state Supreme Court struck down a 1999 law that banned political candidates from intentionally lying about their opponents. The high court majority said the law was an affront to free speech."

And The Seattle Times reports today that "Split court says candidates can lie."

Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Washington State consists of a majority opinion, a concurring opinion, and a dissenting opinion.

Update: Eugene Volokh criticizes the ruling in this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"The question presented, one of first impression in the courts of appeals, is whether an action for infringement by one co-author of a song can be defeated by a 'retroactive' transfer of copyright ownership from another co-author to an alleged infringer." So begins today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case captioned Sharice Davis v. Mary J. Blige, et al.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"The school of very hard knocks: Inside the mind of a Supreme Court justice." The October 6, 2007 issue of The Economist contains an article that begins, "He's powerful. He's conservative. His daddy was an oil man. He found God and stopped drinking in middle age. The certainty and simplicity of his world view infuriate his many opponents. George Bush? No. The autobiography that is making the American left wobble with rage this week is by Justice Clarence Thomas, the only black member of the Supreme Court."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Will the Sixth Circuit consider acquitted conduct enhancements en banc?" At his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, Doug Berman has this post noting the Sixth Circuit's issuance today of a short opinion in which all three panel members note their agreement that rehearing en banc should be granted to consider the question.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


So you weren't invited to Justice Clarence Thomas's book party, hosted by Armstrong Williams? Don't despair, C-SPAN's "Book TV" was there. You can watch the festivities on C-SPAN2 Saturday night and again on Sunday morning. Click here to access the broadcast schedule.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court revives deep-vein thrombosis suits against airlines": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Bloomberg News reports that "Court upholds dismissal of claims over blood-clot risk."

And the Central Valley Business Times reports that "Airlines may be off the hook for DVT deaths, injuries."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gitmo: America's black hole; A lawyer for prison detainees is struck by how the immoral mistreatment of inmates has become so mundane." Clive Stafford Smith has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fired teacher receives help from ACLU; Chesterfield being sued over dismissal for using body parts as paintbrush": This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

And The Associated Press reports that "Va. Teacher Fired for Buttocks Art Sues."
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Foes of D.C. Handgun Ban Seek Supreme Court Review; Both Sides Want Rulings on D.C. Law Reconciled": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senate confirms Harris County judge for appeals court": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "The Senate has confirmed Harris County state District Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"SJC mulls remedy for a sentence not served": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Middlesex prosecutors came under fire yesterday from the state's top jurists, who demanded to know why a Lowell man has remained free for the past 16 years when he should have spent at least two years behind bars for a 1990 rape conviction."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Angriest Justice": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Justice Clarence Thomas's new autobiography dredges up his 16-year-old battle with Anita Hill and fulminates against liberal groups, Democratic senators and others who opposed his nomination."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why Two Museums Are Now Going at It Hammer and Tongs; One in Alaska Shows Tools, One in Los Angeles, Art; Will Mr. Pahl Get Nailed?" This front page article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"How Much Can the Government Revise Copyright, Without Running Afoul of the First Amendment and the Copyright Clause?" Julie Hilden has this essay, part one of a two-part series, online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, October 04, 2007

"Congress Seeks Secret Memos On Interrogation": This front page article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.

And The New York Times on Friday will report that "Debate Erupts on Techniques Used by C.I.A."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"High Court's Fraud Case Widely Seen as Stand-In for Enron": Carrie Johnson and Robert Barnes will have this article Friday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


View online, on-demand the video of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.'s remarks last month at the Newhouse III dedication in Syracuse, New York: You can view the Chief Justice's more extensive, indoor remarks by clicking here. His remarks at the outdoor dedication ceremony can be accessed here. Windows Media Player is required to launch these video segments.

I previously collected press coverage of the event at this link.
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Will Blogs Supplant Legal Journals?" law.com provides this report on a panel discussion that occurred last month at the Santa Clara Law School.

You can view archived video of the panel discussion by clicking here (Windows Media Player required).
Posted at 10:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senate confirms Harris County judge for appeals court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The U.S. Senate has confirmed Jennifer Walker Elrod for a spot on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 10:00 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Memos Reportedly Authorized Harsh Interrogation"; "White House Reacts to Interrogation Claims"; "Montana Town Awaits Asbestos Trial"; and "Clarence Thomas Takes a Chance on Memoir" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 06:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Congress Wary of Domestic Policing Plan; Civil War Era Law May Prohibit Use of Military's Satellites": Today in The Daily Journal of California, Lawrence Hurley has an article that begins, "The Bush administration's hopes of using military satellites for domestic law enforcement has hit an unlikely obstacle: a 19th century law passed in the wake of the Civil War. The statute in question is the Posse Comitatus Act that Congress passed in 1878 in reaction to concerns from former Confederate states that Union forces would seek to supervise elections in occupied areas."
Posted at 06:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Injection Injunction: Are we just one tweak away from the perfect execution method?" Jacob Sullum has this essay online at Reason.
Posted at 05:35 PM by Howard Bashman


An interview with Justice Clarence Thomas was part of today's broadcast of the Laura Ingraham Show: You can listen to the program by clicking here or download the audio in mp3 format via this link (12.5 MB audio file).

And yesterday evening's broadcast of the PBS program "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" contained a segment entitled "Supreme Court Justice Thomas Speaks Out in New Autobiography" (transcript with links for audio and video).
Posted at 05:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Impending Judicial Crisis: How Politics and Indifference are Destroying Our Federal Courts." Law Professor A. Benjamin Spencer and law students Capri M. Miller and Lesley E. McCall have posted this article (abstract with link for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory" blog).
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


In news from Nevada: The Reno Gazette-Journal provides news updates headlined "Judge orders Mack trial moved to Las Vegas"; "Judge explains why he moved Mack trial"; "Darren Mack questioned about trial move"; and "Lawyers understand moving Mack trial."

In addition, The Associated Press reports that "Vegas lawyers glad Mack case going there."
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Newspaper Finds Justice Authorized Torture in 2004" and "'Three Strikes' Law Packs California Prisons" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 04:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Washington Gun Ban Under Fire": The Associated Press provides this report, which mentions that "the high court could issue its first direct ruling on the Second Amendment in 70 years, solidifying some of the nation's toughest gun laws or exposing them to a torrent of new challenges."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court urged to hear D.C. gun case" -- by the parties who prevailed before the D.C. Circuit, no less.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit reinstates, in part, lawsuit seeking to hold airlines liable for injuries to passengers who developed deep vein thrombosis: You can access today's ruling at this link.

Today's ruling affirms the dismissal of the passengers' state law failure to warn claim but reinstates for further factual development the passengers' seating configuration claim, which asserts that the airlines provided an unsafe seating configuration by limiting each passenger's legroom.
Posted at 03:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Selective Justice in Alabama?" Adam Zagorin has this article today at Time magazine's web site.
Posted at 03:32 PM by Howard Bashman


Clarence Thomas on "Being a Justice": ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has this post this afternoon at her "Legalities" blog.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"White House Denies Torture Assertion": Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "House Democrats demanded Thursday that the Justice Department turn over two secret memos that reportedly authorize painful interrogation tactics against terror suspects - despite the Bush administration's insistence that it has not violated U.S. anti-torture laws."

And at CNN.com, Terry Frieden reports that "Debate rages over secret Justice memo on torture."
Posted at 03:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Policing sex-toy ban is not seen as high priority": The Tuscaloosa News today contains an article that begins, "While it's now against the law to sell sex toys in Alabama, enforcement of the law doesn't seem to be high on officials' list of threats to society."
Posted at 12:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court Leans Toward TiVo": The AP provides this report on a case argued today before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Posted at 12:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Panel Approves Press Shield Bill": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced a bill to shield reporters from being forced to reveal their sources in federal court, setting up a floor fight between supporters and Bush administration allies who believe the measure would harm national security."
Posted at 12:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Clarence Thomas Unplugged": At her "Legalities" blog, ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has a post that links to two online video segments (access them here and here) described as parts one and two of "the 'Director's Cut' version of [her] Clarence Thomas report for Nightline." Jan's post explains that "It's a special extended version and adds some extraordinary material we had to trim from the broadcast Monday night, including Thomas' thoughts on being cast as a 'follower' of Justice Antonin Scalia and his response to those who said he was not a worthy successor to Thurgood Marshall."

Jan's post concludes, "Over the next few days, I'll be posting additional segments that explore Thomas as a Justice, including his thoughts on the usefulness of oral argument, why he believes the Constitution is 'color-blind,' and how he really feels about stare decisis."
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Republicans seek quicker action on judges from the White House": The Hill today contains an article that begins, "Senate Republicans are growing increasingly concerned that the White House is dragging its feet in nominating judges to the federal bench, with some saying that the lack of nominees could undermine election-year GOP arguments of Democratic obstructionism."
Posted at 12:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Officials: Justice's house fire intentional; No charges are filed in blaze that gutted home of judge on Texas Supreme Court." The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "The June fire that destroyed the Spring home of Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina was intentionally set, the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office ruled Wednesday. Investigators would not comment on a motive for the arson, which destroyed a neighboring house and damaged a third, chief investigator Dan Given said Wednesday afternoon."
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lethal injection won't go away, experts say; If chemical cocktail is ruled cruel and unusual, states likely to just adjust mix": This front page article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

And yesterday at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston had a post titled "Court drops one issue on lethal injection." Yesterday's order of the U.S. Supreme Court can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 10:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Law prof. borrows text for book": The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Several passages in Yale Law School professor Ian Ayres' '81 LAW '86 newest book are unattributed verbatim reproductions or nearly identical paraphrases of passages from various newspaper and magazine articles published in the last twenty years, an investigation by the News has shown."

In a review of the book -- "Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart," by Law Professor Ian Ayres -- that David Leonhardt wrote for the September 16, 2007 issue of The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Leonhardt accused Ayres of including in the book "two sentences about a doctor in Atlanta that were nearly identical to two sentences I wrote in this newspaper last year."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Suit may spur greater Web access for blind; As more transactions move online, the case could prompt businesses and the government to adjust their pages": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

My earlier coverage of Tuesday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California appears at this link.
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge says U.S. must alert lawyer on detainee transfer; The ruling comes as the Supreme Court weighs whether prisoners held overseas have legal rights in U.S. system": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Needed Shield: A bill protecting news sources is well balanced." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.

Relatedly -- under the heading "Shield Law Perils . . . Or Safeguards?" -- today's newspaper also contains an op-ed by Theodore B. Olson entitled "Limited Protections Are Vital to a Free Press," while Patrick J. Fitzgerald has an op-ed entitled "Bill Would Wreak Havoc on a System That Isn't Broken."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Memoirs Are Made of This: A Book Bash for Justice Clarence Thomas." The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Full of broad smiles, backslaps and bonhomie, the usually taciturn Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was outspoken last night at a soiree celebrating his just-published memoir 'My Grandfather's Son.'"
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Democrats Won't Block Hearing for Gonzales Successor": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post today reports that "Leahy Set to Schedule Hearings on Mukasey; Demand for White House Papers Dropped." In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "A Hearing for Mr. Mukasey: The Senate should stop stalling consideration of the attorney general nominee."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Mukasey hearing set to proceed; In light of papers withheld by White House, Senate panel signals it will hold the attorney general-designate to a higher standard."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"ACLU Urges Supreme Court to Review NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Case": The ACLU issued this press release yesterday. The petition for writ of certiorari can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Seem to Support How New York State Selects Judges": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "High Court Set To Let Parties Choose Judges." Yesterday, the newspaper contained an editorial entitled "Lopez Torres Before the Nine."

And law.com reports that "Supreme Court Justices React Skeptically to N.Y. Judge Selection Challenge."

You can access the transcript of yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in New York State Board of Elections v. Lopez Torres, No. 06-766, at this link.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"International Tort Crisis": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Norman Lamont has an op-ed that begins, "Most commentators who talk about the 'special relationship' the United States has with the United Kingdom focus on military, diplomatic and intelligence cooperation between our countries. But in many ways, the foundation of that relationship is economic. And, unfortunately, that foundation is now in jeopardy because of securities litigation in the U.S. and, in particular, one case -- Stoneridge v. Scientific Atlanta -- that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 9."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"A liberal's lament: The NRA might be right after all." Today in USA Today, Law Professor Jonathan Turley has an op-ed that begins, "This term, the Supreme Court may finally take up the Voldemort Amendment, the part of the Bill of Rights that shall not be named by liberals. For more than 200 years, progressives and polite people have avoided acknowledging that following the rights of free speech, free exercise of religion and free assembly, there is 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms.'"
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Scalia Joins 24": Slate provides this video parody written by Dahlia Lithwick.
Posted at 07:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Drugs, Disparity, and Judicial Sentencing Discretion: Two Cases Invite the Roberts Court To Finally Clarify What Constitutes A Reasonable Sentence Under the Now-Advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines." Mark H. Allenbaugh and Donald A. Purdy, Jr. have this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Report: Security for Judges Falls Short." Hope Yen of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Federal judges are in danger because the U.S. Marshals Service does not work quickly enough to protect them amid growing threats of violence, Justice Department investigators said Wednesday."

The report of the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice is titled "The United States Marshals Service Judicial Security Process."
Posted at 11:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations": The New York Times on Thursday will contain a lengthy article that begins, "When the Justice Department publicly declared torture 'abhorrent' in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations. But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales's arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency."
Posted at 10:53 PM by Howard Bashman


What's a federal district court to do when a pro se litigant who is unable to afford counsel asks the district court to recruit pro bono counsel? Back in late December 2006, I had a post titled "Chief Judge Easterbrook versus Circuit Judge Posner, once again" reporting on the divided three-judge panel's ruling in this case.

Thereafter, the Seventh Circuit granted rehearing en banc in the case, and today the en banc court issued its ruling, which appears to side with the dissenting view on the original three-judge panel.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer: Kent sex complaint more than words." The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article that begins, "When Cathy McBroom complained in May that she had been sexually harassed by U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent, she wasn't just recounting an off-color remark. Rather, she described an episode that her attorney, Rusty Hardin, characterized as unwanted physical contact."

The article goes on to report, "While Hardin wouldn't further describe what McBroom claims happened, The Daily News was told the judge called his case manager to his office, where physical contact occurred. When she resisted, he told her she owed him because he had interceded in her favor in a dispute among clerk's office employees, the paper was told. Since Kent was suspended in August, The Daily News has conducted interviews with more than a dozen members of the legal community -- lawyers, their employees and employees of the court. Some claimed first-hand knowledge of allegations of Kent's misconduct, but none agreed to be identified. McBroom wasn't the only female employee Kent, who is more than 6 feet tall and more than 200 pounds, is alleged to have touched inappropriately, The Daily News was told. The judicial council's report also seems to indicate more than one incident occurred."

Later, the article states, "Those aren't the only reports that Kent engaged in inappropriate conduct. Other sources have told The Daily News that, at a party and in the offices of a law firm, a drunken Kent cornered women and grabbed them."

And The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Congress might consider Kent investigation."
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Anita Hill, stung by justice's book, stands by story; She defends 1991 testimony about Thomas": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Government duty in detainee cases narrowed": At "SCOTUSblog" this evening, Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "The D.C. Circuit Court, in a significant opinion Wednesday denying rehearing in the key case setting procedures for civilian court review of Guantanamo Bay detainees' legal status, appeared to have narrowed an earlier ruling that had stirred a vehement protest by the government."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 10:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Anger Still Fresh in Clarence Thomas' Memoir": Monica Dolin has this review online today at ABCNews.com.
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Colorado Rockies 4, Philadelphia Phillies 2: Well, no one said the post-season would be easy. This afternoon, my son and I were at Citizens Bank Park to see game one of this Division Series match-up.

The Rockies stayed red-hot, while the Phillies are once again facing the same sort of adversity that the team has thrived in the face of all season. When two "Baseball Tonight" commentators on this morning's broadcast of ESPN's "SportsCenter" both picked the Phillies to face the New York Yankees in the World Series this year, they said that the Rockies-Phillies series would go five games. I don't have tickets in this series again until game five, so I hope it happens, although I'd settle for a Phillies sweep of the next three in a row.

Tomorrow afternoon's game is now almost a must-win for the Phillies. Unlike today, I'll be watching that game on television. You can access the box score of today's game at this link, while wraps from MLB.com are here and here.
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: Due to an event that my son and I will be attending out-of-the-office this afternoon, additional posts will appear here this evening.

Plenty of additional coverage of the event can be accessed here and here, and don't forget to study these notes in advance of this afternoon's 3:07 p.m. eastern time start.
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Hears NY Judicial Elections Case": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:04 PM by Howard Bashman


Additional coverage of Justice Clarence Thomas's new book, "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir." Ann Althouse is blogging her way through the book. At "Althouse," you can access recent posts titled "Justice Thomas steels himself by listening, over and over, to 'The Greatest Love of All'"; "Justice Thomas drives south, 'drinking beer and watching other cars slide off the road and crash into one another'"; "Clarence Thomas helps 'a sister' -- Anita Hill"; "Clarence Thomas on middle-class white women who think they're 'oppressed'"; "'Cases and terms of which I knew nothing swirled about me in an incomprehensible miasma'"; and "Clarence Thomas on Ayn Rand."

Yesterday's broadcast of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" contained video segments titled "Minority Opinion: Justice Clarence Thomas not only disagrees with the Left - he personally hates them" and "Here Comes the Grudge: Jason Jones reports that justice is blind until she gets her hands on the person who blinded her."

And on a more serious note, an interview with Justice Thomas appeared yesterday on the Fox News program "Hannity & Colmes." You can access both a text report and three video reports (part one; part two; and part three).
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"'Howl' too hot to hear; 50 years after poem ruled not obscene, radio fears to air it": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Fifty years ago today, a San Francisco Municipal Court judge ruled that Allen Ginsberg's Beat-era poem 'Howl' was not obscene. Yet today, a New York public broadcasting station decided not to air the poem, fearing that the Federal Communications Commission will find it indecent and crush the network with crippling fines."

And online at the First Amendment Center, Lydia Hailman King has a report headlined "'Howl' obscenity prosecution still echoes 50 years later."
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"Porn Vendor, Paper Among Mukasey Clients": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas seen as role model": The Washington Times today contains an article that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has lived a life that should serve as an example for today's youth -- one of hard work, self-discipline, academic achievement and moral conviction, conservative blacks say."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel Is Told of 'Mess' Over Eavesdropping": Today in The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis has an article that begins, "Jack L. Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department office that objected to a Bush administration domestic eavesdropping plan, told a Senate committee on Tuesday that the situation became a 'legal mess' because the White House did not believe either the courts or Congress had any role to play."

And The Washington Post today contains articles headlined "White House Secrecy On Wiretaps Described" and "Telecoms Pressed on Surveillance; Democrats Seek Details on What Government Is Given."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"California Supreme Court will rule on boycott leafleting at a mall": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A divided California Supreme Court debated Tuesday whether a mall can prohibit union members and others with gripes about retailers from leafleting shoppers to urge a boycott. The case is an outgrowth of the court's landmark 1979 ruling that extended the state constitutional right of free expression to large shopping centers, which the justices described as the modern equivalent of a town square. By contrast, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the federal Constitution prohibits only government interference with free speech."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judges weigh whether city's emblem religious; Las Cruces, N.M., man says cross is; city calls symbol historic": Yesterday's issue of The Denver Post contained an article that begins, "Three Latin crosses displayed on the official city emblem of Las Cruces, N.M., are the subject of a legal battle over the U.S. Constitution's treatment of religion and its proper place in government. The fight made its way to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday as a three-judge panel heard arguments from lawyers representing the city and Paul Weinbaum, a resident who is fed up with the seal."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Two court employees suing over Bible study; Group meetings at courthouse barred": The San Diego Union-Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Two San Diego court employees are suing the Superior Court because they say they have been prohibited from holding a lunch-hour Bible study in the courthouse. The federal civil rights suit claims court officials unfairly denied the group's request to meet in an empty courtroom or jury deliberation room."

The "Religion Clause" blog provides this post linking to the plaintiffs' complaint initiating suit in federal court.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Malvo Offers an Apology By Phone; Five Years Later, Sniper Talks to Ariz. Victim's Daughter": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Texas Ruling Signals Indefinite Halt to Executions": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Austin American-Statesman reports today that "Ruling could halt Texas executions; After stay, temporary ban likely while judges debate appeal."

The Houston Chronicle reports that "Appeals court halts execution of Honduran man."

The Dallas Morning News reports that "Arlington killer granted reprieve."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that "Gunman in Arlington case gets stay of execution."

And The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "The death penalty injection paradox: The search for 'humane' capital punishment could end up making state-sanctioned killing more prevalent."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice's house fire seen as 'suspicious'": The Houston Chronicle today contains a front page article that begins, "Three months after a fire destroyed the home of Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina, investigators are treating the blaze as arson, saying it is 'very suspicious,' in part because a dog detected an accelerant, the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office said Tuesday."

The article goes on to report that "Green said six 'persons of interest,' all of whom are Medina family members or friends, have been identified in the investigation, which is expected to be completed within 90 days. He said there were inconsistencies in Medina's and his wife's account of where he was the night of the fire. She was at home. Contacted by telephone on Tuesday, Medina said he would not comment about his whereabouts that night. The judge also said he was unaware that investigators had identified six people of interest, including family members and friends."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Take Up Discretion of the Courts in Sentencing": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Court Revisits Sentencing Guidelines; Increased Penalties for Crack Cocaine Disproportionately Affect Blacks." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The Crack Gap: The Supreme Court hears a case about unequal penalties for cocaine possession."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Justices say they lean to sentencing leeway; Foes of strict guidelines point to overcrowded prisons and substantial variations in terms."

And Joan Biskupic of USA Today reports that "High court examines judges' power to be lenient; Some impose penalties that fall short of what sentencing guidelines call for."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey Papers Cite Giuliani Friendship; Nominee Recused Himself From Cases": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge allows class action against Target website": Reuters provides a report that begins, "A federal judge in California certified a class action lawsuit against Target Corp brought by plaintiffs claiming the discount retailer's website is inaccessible to the blind, according to court documents. Judge Marilyn Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California also rejected Target's motion for summary judgment in the case, according to the ruling filed October 2."

And the National Federation of the Blind has issued a press release headlined "Court Ruling Says California Disabled Rights Law Applies to the Web; Federal Court Issues Landmark Decision Certifying Nationwide Class Action Against Target Corporation to Make its Web Site Accessible to the Blind."

I have posted online at this link yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals Court Extends Time for Suit on Holocaust Insurance Payments": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court yesterday extended a long-running dispute over unpaid life insurance claims brought by victims of the Holocaust and their families, potentially reopening a case that many thought had been resolved."

You can access yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"When $1,000 an Hour Is Not Enough": David Lat has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Thomas looks back in anger": Today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Karen Heller has a book review that begins, "Clarence Thomas has sat on the Supreme Court for 16 years. He chose this week, the moment of the court's return, to publish his $1.5 million My Grandfather's Son, possibly the most intimate, angry and vindictive book ever written by a justice on the nation's highest court, the government's last bastion of professional reserve."

And today in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has an op-ed entitled "One Angry Man: Clarence Thomas Is No Victim."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"State panel files complaint against Judges Fiss, Young in DUI case; Discipline sought for judges' actions": The Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat today contains an article that begins, "St. Clair County Circuit Judges Patrick Young and Jan V. Fiss drank Bloody Marys and beers before a traffic crash that injured a Swansea man, according to an Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board complaint filed Tuesday. The complaint alleges the judges' actions were 'prejudicial to the administration of justice and brought the judicial office into disrepute,' and seeks to discipline them."

The Madison County Record reports today that "Judicial Inquiry Board files complaint against Fiss and Young."

And The Associated Press reports that "2 Judges' Jobs on Line After Car Wreck."

You can access the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board's complaint both here and here.
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas, Redux": These seven letters to the editor appear today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Seems To Tilt Toward City on Special Ed": Yesterday in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein had an article that begins, "The Supreme Court appears poised to make it more difficult for the parents of children with disabilities to get the government to pay for a private education. On the first day of the high court's new term yesterday, several justices seemed to side with New York City's interpretation of a federal law that requires school districts to pay for children who require specialized teaching techniques to attend private schools."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online from FindLaw: Marci Hamilton has an essay entitled "Did the Six Supreme Court Justices Who Chose to Attend the 54th Annual 'Red Mass' Exercise Bad Judgment?"

And Joanna Grossman has an essay entitled "Maryland's Highest Court Rules Against A Claim to a Right to Same-Sex Marriage: Why, In This Area, Litigation Still Matters."
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"NOW takes Kent complaint to Congress": The Galveston County Daily News today contains a front page article that begins, "The National Organization of Women said Monday it was asking Congress to investigate whether U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent should be impeached and removed from the bench."

On Sunday, that newspaper contained an article headlined "Experts: Judges discipline too secretive." In addition, Heber Taylor had an op-ed entitled "Judge story displays arrogance in court."

And The Associated Press reports that "Reprimanded federal judge accustomed to attention."
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Witness for the Persecution": Today in The Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson has an op-ed that begins, "I believe in affirmative action, but I have to acknowledge there are arguments against it. One of the more cogent is the presence of Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court."

And at the Pajamas Media web site, Richard Miniter has a post titled "My Dinner With Clarence Thomas."
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Shannon P. Duffy reports that "3rd Circuit to Hear Appeal of Prayer Lawsuit Over High School Coach's Actions; Coach's lawyer had argued that bowing and genuflecting are secular coaching techniques for fostering team unity."

And Mike McKee reports that "Lawyers' Notes Become Ethics Test in Case Before Calif. Supreme Court; Justices hear arguments from an attorney who used pretrial notes he inadvertently obtained from the opposing counsel."
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"State of Washington Defends Its Primaries Before Supreme Court": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

The Seattle Times reports today that "Justices question state's 'top two' primary."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Supreme Court justices skeptical of state's 'top-two' primary system."

Joan Biskupic of USA Today reports that "Court weighs rights of parties and candidates; Organizations fight Wash. law."

And Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "State's primary laws get harsh critique from Supreme Court."
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeal planned in Garden Grove girl-kissing case; Lawyer for then-student says he’ll appeal ruling against girl punished for kissing other girl at Garden Grove school": The Orange County Register provides this news update.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Judge rules against lesbian in O.C. school suit; Garden Grove officials were found not to have violated the student's rights when they disciplined her for kissing her girlfriend on campus."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Turns Down Cases on Religious Separation": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports today that "High court says no to new rights for church groups; Justices rebuff a quest for services in a library, along with a Catholic group's effort to avoid paying for employees' birth control."

Joseph Goldstein of The New York Sun reports that "Supreme Court Declines To Hear Church-State Cases."

And Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has articles headlined "East Bay church's plea rejected by U.S. Supreme Court" and "Supreme Court denies hearing for fired 'honk for peace' teacher."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court opens, Thomas center stage; Jurist's new memoir, '60 Minutes' interview grab spotlight before his more assertive colleagues take reins": James Oliphant has this article today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial Pushback: Two rulings curtail the Bush administration's overreaching in national security investigations." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Real Judicial Elections": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The United States Supreme Court hears arguments tomorrow in a challenge to New York's undemocratic method of electing its Supreme Court judges. A federal appeals court ruled that the process, a relic of the era of clubhouse politics, infringes on the constitutional rights of voters and candidates. The Supreme Court should affirm that well-reasoned decision."
Posted at 10:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Preview": This audio segment (available in both RealPlayer and Windows Media Player formats) featuring Jeffrey Toobin and Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen appeared on Monday's broadcast of the public radio program "The Diane Rehm Show."
Posted at 08:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"The war over unconscious bias: Wal-Mart and others are facing class actions for job discrimination; But the biggest problem isn't their policies, it's their managers' unwitting preferences; Can any company be immune?" In the October 15, 2007 issue of Fortune magazine, Roger Parloff will have an article that begins, "Last February a federal appeals court panel in San Francisco decided, 2-1, to allow the largest class action employment discrimination case ever convened to go forward against Wal-Mart Stores."
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court Mulls Crack-Cocaine Sentencing Disparity" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Disparity Related to Crime History of Crack" (featuring Law Professor Doug Berman); and "Ex-Official Speaks Against Key Bush Strategies" (reporting on Law Professor Jack Goldsmith's congressional testimony today).
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Thomas: I'm not 'bitter', you 'uninformed ... traitor'": Scott Moss has this post today at "PrawfsBlawg."

A much more favorable perspective on Justice Clarence Thomas's new book -- "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir" -- can be found at the "Justice Thomas Appreciation Page." That blog also contains a post providing an email address "to send feedback to Justice Clarence Thomas on his new book."
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman



Congratulations to Law Professor Daniel J. Solove of the "Concurring Opinions" blog on the publication of his new book, "The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy": Additional details are available here.
Posted at 08:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Run-On Sentencing: The Supreme Court takes another crack at the sentencing mess." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


Today's links for a certain Philadelphia Phillies fan on the U.S. Supreme Court: Today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, retired columnist Bill Lyon has an essay entitled "Never-say-die Phillies offer reason to believe; A surging, surprising team finds a place in our hearts."

And The Rocky Mountain News reports today that "Rockies, Phillies set to rekindle contentious relationship."

Update: In addition, the brand new issue of Sports Illustrated contains a cover story headlined "J-Rollin' In Philly: Why Jimmy Rollins Is MVP."
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"GOP Still Hunting for Southwick Votes": Roll Call today contains an article that begins, "While it appears increasingly likely that the Senate will punt a vote on the controversial appellate court nomination of Leslie Southwick until at least after the October recess, Republican leaders are still eyeing the possibility of a roll call this week and are igniting a wholesale lobbying campaign to try to come up with 60 votes to win his confirmation."

And today at Politico.com, Carrie Budoff Brown has an article headlined "Bush stirs sparks on judges" that begins, "President Bush's snub of home-state senators on several recent judicial nominations could doom those candidates in the Senate, setting the stage for a confrontation fueled by election-year politics. Senators from Virginia, New Jersey and Michigan are threatening to withhold support for U.S. Court of Appeals nominees because they say Bush dismissed their recommendations."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Step by step on a path toward conservatism; From 'black radical' to Reagan Republican, Clarence Thomas logs his trip": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


What we have here is a failure to communicate: A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit today issued a very short but interesting decision holding that a criminal defense lawyer who did not hear his client's spoken request to appeal from the client's judgment of conviction and sentence was not ineffective for failing to appeal where no valid basis for appeal was readily apparent.
Posted at 04:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-White House Lawyer Targets Spy Tactic": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A former top lawyer for the Bush administration on Tuesday said that parts of the President Bush's much-criticized eavesdropping program were illegal. There were aspects of the Terrorist Surveillance Program 'that I could not find the legal support for,' Jack Goldsmith, the former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, told the Senate Judiciary Committee."

Earlier, on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition," Nina Totenberg previewed today's hearing in an audio segment titled "Senate Panel to Hear from Ex-DOJ Official."
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"State set to enforce ban on sex toys; Supreme Court won't hear store owner's challenge": The Huntsville Times today contains an article that begins, "Within days, police and deputies in Alabama could begin to arrest merchants who sell sex toys. Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the challenge of a state ban on sex toy sales by Sherri Williams, effectively ending a nine-year legal battle over the constitutionality of the law."
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"CBS vs. ABC: The Thomas interviews." Mark Obbie has this interesting post today at his "LawBeat" blog.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Smear This Time": Today in The New York Times, Anita Hill has an op-ed that begins, "On Oct. 11, 1991, I testified about my experience as an employee of Clarence Thomas's at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I stand by my testimony."

Hill also appeared on today's broadcast of the ABC News program "Good Morning America." Via ABCNews.com, you can access both written and video coverage of her appearance.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Hill: Thomas Harassment Charge True."
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Crack Sentence Gets High Court Review": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court wrestled Tuesday with how to give judges discretion to impose shorter prison terms, including for some crack cocaine crimes, without abandoning the long-standing national goal of similar punishments for similar crimes. In a pair of cases involving drug crimes, trial court judges handed down sentences that were shorter than those called for in the federal sentencing guidelines established by the U.S. Sentencing Commission."

Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Supreme Court Weighs Federal Sentencing Guidelines."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Analysis: More trouble for Guidelines."

From National Public Radio, Nina Totenberg previewed the oral arguments on today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" in a segment titled "Justices to Review Cases on Sentencing Limits" (segment begins 4 minutes and 24 seconds into audio clip). And on today's broadcast of "Day to Day," Dahlia Lithwick had an audio segment titled "Justices Review Disparities in Drug Sentencing." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

The U.S. Supreme Court has posted online the transcript of today's oral arguments in Gall v. United States, No. 06-7949, and Kimbrough v. United States, No. 06-6360.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge slams lawyers' delays; The attorneys were sanctioned for stalling in a class-action case": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "Delivering a blistering rebuke, a federal judge slammed some of the region's top law firms and lawyers, saying they deliberately dragged their feet in producing evidence in a class-action lawsuit."

Last Friday, U.S. District Judge James Knoll Gardner of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued this opinion and order in the case.

Update: And at WSJ.com's "Law Blog," Peter Lattman has a post titled "Federal Judge Slams Pennsylvania Lawyers."
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: I'll be presenting oral argument today before a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in the appeal that was the subject of this commentary. Additional posts will appear here later today.

Update: The oral argument seemed to go quite well from my client's perspective.
Posted at 06:24 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, October 01, 2007

"An evening with Justice Thomas": Paul Mirengoff has this post tonight at "Power Line."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court looks again at sentencing laws: The Supreme Court takes up two cases Tuesday that could bring clarity to what has become a murky federal sentencing system." Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Courting Justice Kennedy's 'Swing' Vote": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"In the Bedroom: A first Monday heavy with rumor and gossip." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Presidents Can't Withhold Records": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Presidents don't have indefinite veto power over which records are made public after they've left office, a federal judge ruled Monday."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at this link.
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"'My Grandfather's Son' by Clarence Thomas: The Supreme Court justice lambastes liberals and those who challenged his confirmation." Edward Lazarus has this book review today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 05:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rush Interviews Justice Clarence Thomas": You can access at this link a transcript of the 90-minute interview broadcast today on The Rush Limbaugh Show.
Posted at 05:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Leaves Ala. Sex Toy Ban Intact": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a challenge to Alabama's ban on the sale of sex toys, ending a nine-year legal battle and sending a warning to store owners to clean off their shelves."
Posted at 05:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Crack Sentencing Is Wack: But a fix may finally be on the way." Harlan J. Protass has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court convenes to crowded, controversial docket": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Laura Smith-Spark of BBC News has a report headlined "US Supreme Court's swing to right: As the US Supreme Court begins a new term, it promises once again to become the stage where America's ideological battles are played out."

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "U.S. court opens term, with terrorism, death penalty."
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lilly Withstands U.S. High Court Challenges to Zyprexa Patent": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 02:12 PM by Howard Bashman


Reuters is reporting: James Vicini reports that "U.S. top court won't hear Guantanamo prisoner's case."

And in other news, "US top court rejects tobacco industry in Fla. case."
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Washington State Grange v. Washington State Republican Party, No. 06-713: The Court has posted the transcript at this link.

Update: The transcript of the other case argued today, Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York v. Tom F., No. 06-637, can now be accessed here.
Posted at 02:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"David Savage, Los Angeles Times, Supreme Court Reporter reviews the major cases of the Supreme Court term which begins today." C-SPAN has posted online this video segment (RealPlayer required) from today's broadcast of "Washington Journal."
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: An article reports that "Washington State's Primary System Argued."

And Mark Sherman reports that "Dispute on Private School Payments Heard."
Posted at 01:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court opens term with First Amendment case": Tony Mauro has this news analysis at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 12:55 PM by Howard Bashman


Lyle Denniston is reporting: At "SCOTUSblog," he has posts titled "Court refuses to hear Hamdan case" and "Court opens new Original case in water dispute."
Posted at 12:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices' docket a combustible mix; Death penalty, guns, drugs among issues": James Oliphant has this article today in The Chicago Tribune.

And today in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey has an article headlined "Too-close-to-call cases at Supreme Court; In this term, beginning Monday, several key cases could hinge on one justice."
Posted at 12:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Commentary: Conservative Supreme Court is Bush's legacy." Jeffrey Toobin has this essay online at CNN.com.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Time: Why I'm Not Looking Forward to the New Supreme Court Term." Benjamin Wittes has this essay today at The New Republic.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Detainee, Gun Cases at High Court May Temper Roberts-Led Shift": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman


In early coverage of today's denials of review by the U.S. Supreme Court: The first Monday in October is typically accompanied by a lengthy Order List from the U.S. Supreme Court denying review in a massive number of cases. Today is no different. You can access today's 83-page Order List at this link.

The Associated Press provides reports headlined "High Court Won't Hear Birth Control Case"; "Court Refuse Osama Driver Detainee Case"; "Court Rejects Tobacco Case"; "Court Turns Down Evangelical Group"; and "High Court Won't Hear Two Religion Cases."
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Detainee Rights to Top Supreme Court Docket" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Justice Clarence Thomas' Memoir Hits Stores."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sowell of a Justice: An early influence on Clarence Thomas." Kathryn Jean Lopez has this essay at National Review Online.
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kennedy talks poverty, rights; Justice avoids topic of Court politics": Last Friday's issue of The Yale Daily News contained an article that begins, "He may be the swing vote on the U.S. Supreme Court, but Anthony Kennedy said calling it the 'Kennedy Court' might motivate his colleagues to rebel. 'If you keep saying that, the decisions will be 8-1,' Kennedy joked after delivering a lecture at the Yale Law School. His speech, according to attendees, mostly avoided talk about the High Court, its decisions and its internal politics." A related photo can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"On the Bench in the Philippines, An Improbable Revolutionary; Chief Justice Campaigns to End Killings of Journalists, Activists": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Woman Suing IRS Over Sex-Change Tax Claims; Case to Test if Procedure Is Deductible": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Courtroom to be full as jury selection starts": The Rene Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Beginning today, a stretch of Virginia Street in front of the Washoe District Court will be lined with large satellite television vans as jury selection begins in Darren Mack's trial on charges of murder and attempted murder. National, state and local news organizations will pack the courtroom as prosecutors and defense lawyers begin questioning potential jurors to decide the fate of the 45-year-old pawn shop owner, charged with fatally stabbing his 39-year-old estranged wife, Charla, and shooting their divorce judge, Chuck Weller."

And The Associated Press reports that "Reno Courthouse Shooting Case to Begin."
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Yale Law, Newly Defeated, Allows Military Recruiters": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Exoneration Using DNA Brings Change in Legal System": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Right Judicial Litmus Test": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Law Professor Steven G. Calabresi has an op-ed that begins, "Today the U.S. Supreme Court begins its second full term since President Bush's appointments of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. Given the complaints made by many on the left and in the press about the Court's alleged 'radical turn to the right' last year, now is a good time to consider how the Court ought to decide its constitutional cases."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"New Issues, Familiar Battles: Supreme Court Begins Term With Kennedy Again as Swing Vote." Jess Bravin has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Supreme Court to Take On Contentious Cases in New Term."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Guantanamo inmates' rights to get fresh look; The Supreme Court will also consider drug sentences, workplace fairness and how lethal injection is carried out." In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Consensus on the Supreme Court: After a fractious last term, the Supreme Court has a fresh chance to forge a strong voice."

And at National Review Online, Jonathan H. Adler has an essay entitled "First Monday: What next for the 'Kennedy Court'?"
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Thomas memoirs try to clear 'untruths' about him": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.

Today in The Washington Post, Kevin Merida has an essay entitled "To Cite a 'Mockingbird': Justice Thomas Casts His Ordeal in a Literary Light."

And The New York Sun reports today that "Justice Thomas's Remarks May Impact Race in 2008."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court To Hear Ground Zero Liability Case": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court's reading of an obscure Cold War-era law, passed amid fears of a Soviet nuclear attack, will decide whether the thousands who toiled at ground zero can hold the city liable for their exposure to toxins. The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which sits in Manhattan, will hear oral arguments today on whether the city is immune from lawsuits brought by the thousands of firefighters, police officers, and construction workers who searched for survivors and cleaned up on the site of the World Trade Center."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clarence Thomas: The Justice Nobody Knows; Supreme Court Justice Gives First Television Interview To 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft." You can access the transcript of Sunday's "60 Minutes" segments by clicking here (or click here to access the single-page print version).

The two video segments themselves can be accessed online here (part one) and here (part two).
Posted at 12:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Law-and-order issues top Supreme Court docket": Bill Mears has this report at CNN.com.
Posted at 12:23 AM by Howard Bashman



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