On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered":
The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court Hears Arguments on 'Victim Buttons'
" (featuring Nina Totenberg
) and "Grisham Traces Exoneration of an 'Innocent Man.'
RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
"Button It: The Supreme Court learns to stay out of this messy business of deciding cases."
Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch
online at Slate.
"Skilling Asks Judge to Throw Out Verdict":
The Associated Press provides this report
"Reflections on the Cunningham oral argument":
Law Professor Doug Berman has this post
at his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog.
"South Dakota's stark abortion choice; A proposed ban on the ballot would be the nation's strictest since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling upholding the practice": This article
will appear Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
"The principal issue in this appeal is whether Congress may constitutionally impose patent fees in an amount above what is used to fund the PTO."
Are patent fees too high, thus giving rise to a profit center that the federal government improperly uses for other purposes, such as to fund homeland security? Today a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
issued a ruling
rejecting this constitutional challenge.
Circuit Judge Pauline Newman filed a separate opinion concurring in the judgment in which she wrote that the plaintiff's "constitutional arguments are not devoid of merit, and warrant deeper exploration than they have thus far received."
Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Carey v. Musladin, No. 05-785:
The transcript of today's AEDPA-victim button oral argument is available at this link
At page 15 of the transcript, Justice Antonin Scalia remarks, "You don't allow people to come into most courtrooms in tank shirts, and we don't allow people to, you know, to wear beany hats." An exception to the prohibition exists, however, for propeller beanie hats.
On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day":
The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "High Court Takes Up 'Victim Pin' Case
" (featuring Dahlia Lithwick); "Brother of Murder Victim Defends Wearing Pin
"; and "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in an Overstretched Army
." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
There were cameras in this courtroom:
Newsday provides an update headlined "For a day, O'Connor back on the bench
." Accompanying the article is this photograph
And WSJ.com's "Law Blog" provides a post titled "The Second Circuit, Starring Sandra Day O'Connor!" No word yet on whether Peter Lattman will be following Justice O'Connor to San Francisco or, after that, to the Eighth Circuit.
Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Cunningham v. California:
Sentencing gurus can begin rejoicing, because the Supreme Court has just posted online at this link
the transcript of today's oral argument.
Three-judge Seventh Circuit panel rejects constitutional challenge to Gary, Indiana ordinance governing "sexually oriented businesses":
You can access today's ruling at this link
"Supreme Court Hears Murder Cases":
The Associated Press provides this report
on today's oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court
"Argument recap: Cunningham v. Calif. on 10/11."
At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post
that begins, "A few minutes into the Supreme Court's hearing Wednesday on a California criminal sentencing case, it already had become clear that the case is not really about a specific state sentencing law but is all about what is constitutionally 'reasonable' in any system that gives a judge discretion to impose an enhanced prison term."
"Jury Awards Woman $11.3M in Internet Defamation Suit":
law.com posted this article
online last Friday.
In related coverage, USA Today reports today that "Jury awards $11.3M over defamatory Internet posts."
Holding no grudge for being bonked on the head:
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was nearly killed by a falling beam at the grand opening of the National Constitution Center
in Philadelphia on July 4, 2003, has agreed to serve on the organization's board of trustees. Coverage appears today in both The Philadelphia Inquirer
and The Philadelphia Daily News
. O'Connor's agreement allows her to remain a safe distance away from any potentially fatal construction accidents at the Center.
This blog's earlier coverage of the July 4, 2003 incident began at this link and continued on for a really long time thereafter. To see for yourself, go to this blog's July 2003 archive page and use your browser's "Find" function to search for the word "bonk."
"Admissions, abortion and arguments":
Don Erler has this op-ed
today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
"New U.S. law OKs torture, professor argues":
The Daily Princetonian contains this article
"Migrant laws keeping same-sex pairs apart": This article
appears today in The Arizona Republic.
"State will ask U.S. justice to let ID rule stay":
Today's issue of The Arizona Daily Star contains an article
that begins, "The state will ask a justice of the nation's high court to let Arizona election officials require voters to produce identification for next month's general election."
"Supreme Question: What Would Warren Do?" This audio commentary segment
(RealPlayer required) appeared on yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR
's "All Things Considered
"Supreme Court Hears Case on Photos of Victim": This audio segment
(RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg
appeared on today's broadcast of NPR
's "Morning Edition
The architect's drawings provide no office space for activist judges:
WSJ.com's "Law Blog" offers a post titled "Debating the 'William H. Frist, M.D., Federal Courthouse.'
"NYTimes Suggests Religious Conspiracy on Third Circuit": This post
appears at the blog "Constitutionally Correct."
My earlier, extensive coverage of the underlying case can be accessed via posts here and here.
"High Court to Hear Overturned Murder Cases":
The Associated Press provides this report
As explained in my essay for law.com summarizing the cases being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week:
Oct. 11 is the final day of oral arguments for the Court's October 2006 oral argument session, and the day begins with the argument of a case that is of interest to sentencing law gurus nationwide and also those who prosecute and defend criminal cases in the State of California. In Cunningham v. California, the question presented is whether California's Determinate Sentencing Law violates the 6th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by permitting California state court judges at sentencing to impose enhanced sentenced based on their determination of facts neither found by the jury nor admitted by the defendant.
The second and final case to be argued on Oct. 11 is another interesting criminal law case arising from the 9th Circuit. At issue in Carey v. Musladin is whether the 9th Circuit, exercising federal habeas corpus jurisdiction, properly overturned the murder conviction of a defendant who claimed he was denied a fair trial in California state court because the victim's relatives appeared in court wearing buttons with the deceased's picture on them. Once again, Judge Reinhardt is the author of the decision under review, and his majority opinion for a divided three-judge panel begins, "At a murder trial in which the central question is whether the defendant acted in self-defense, are a defendant's constitutional rights violated when spectators are permitted to wear buttons depicting the 'victim'?" Reinhardt's opinion answers that question in the affirmative.
The complete essay can be accessed at this link
"Sexual abuse case could upend state's sentencing rules; Ex-Richmond officer says judge lacks right to add years based on facts jury didn't hear":
Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article
that begins, "A former Richmond police officer's appeal of his 16-year prison term for sexually abusing his son goes before the U.S. Supreme Court today in a case that could rewrite the criminal sentencing rules that California has used since 1977."
"Deaf drivers due a chance at UPS jobs, court says; Some may be as safe as rivals with normal hearing, ruling holds":
Bob Egelko has this article
today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "UPS Ban on Deaf Drivers Is Rejected; An appeals court ruling could lead employers to consider disabled workers for more jobs."
"Firm Must Pay Asbestos Costs; The high court upholds the EPA's claim that W.R. Grace must clean up a Montana mine site": This article
appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
"Panel discusses military issues":
The Yale Daily News today contains an article
which reports that "Although the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment earlier this year, Yale Law School has a separate pending lawsuit, Burt v. Rumsfeld, that allows Yale to continue to deny equal access to military recruiters."
I will leave it to others to debate whether the lesson that open defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling is proper is what one of the Nation's top law schools ought to be teaching its students.
"New Twist In Case Of Intrigue: New Trial."
Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article
that begins, "The state Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for the Ledyard handyman convicted of kidnapping and assaulting Stonington teacher Leslie Buck in May 2002, the day before she mysteriously died in an apparent fall down a flight of stairs at her home."
You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Connecticut at this link.
"Pastors unite against ban; Group stands apart from other churches":
The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota today contains an article
that begins, "Pastors from five mainline denominations criticized South Dakota's abortion ban Tuesday, separating themselves from their Roman Catholic and evangelical counterparts and ramping up a politically charged debate that already is influenced by strong religious undercurrents."
And today in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has an op-ed entitled "Giving Up Too Much On Choice."
"Case in Germany Puts An Old Taboo to the Test": This article
appears today in The Washington Post.
"Malvo Pleads Guilty to Montgomery Slayings":
The Washington Post contains this article
The Washington Times reports today that "Malvo pleads guilty to 6 sniper killings."
And The Baltimore Sun contains an article headlined "Malvo's lawyers seek plea deal; Young sniper reportedly seeks prison change for admitting to shootings."
"Judge asked to rule fast to clear Lay's record; Lawyers say no reason to wait on their request": This article
appeared last Thursday in The Houston Chronicle.
"The Cost of Doing Your Duty":
The New York Times today contains an editorial
that begins, "During the recent debate over how to handle the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the Bush administration made a lot of noise about its commitment to fair treatment for the detainees and its respect for the uniformed lawyers of the armed forces. Anyone who believed those claims should consider the fate of the Navy lawyer whose integrity helped spark that debate in the first place."
"South Bay criminal case reaches high court; Buttons of victim at trial stir dispute":
Howard Mintz had this article
yesterday in The San Jose Mercury News.
And today, The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "Photos and a Fair Trial."
"Religion-Based Tax Breaks: Housing to Paychecks to Books." This lengthy article
appears today in The New York Times.
"Why The Military Commissions Act is No Moderate Compromise":
Michael C. Dorf has this essay
online today at FindLaw.
"Al Qaeda Suspect: U.S. Government Gave Me LSD."
Josh Gerstein has this article
today in The New York Sun.
And last Saturday, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that "Motion demands Padilla's release, claims illegal U.S. conduct."
Via "Discourse.net," you can access a copy of the motion at this link.