How Appealing

Friday, November 30, 2007

Available online from law.com: The brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "2nd Circuit Offers Glimpse of Federal Courts' Recusal Process."

And Brian Wommack has an essay entitled "Let the People See Justice: For the good of the nation, the Supreme Court's oral arguments belong on television."
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Stolt-Nielsen S.A. Wins Amnesty Agreement Case Against the DOJ Antitrust Division": Reuters provides this report.

And Dow Jones Newswires report that "Stolt-Nielsen Case Is Dismissed."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"[W]e hold that ... the prosecutor must inform the grand jury whenever the accused clearly and unconditionally indicates to the state that he or she desires to testify before the grand jury." So holds the Supreme Court of Alaska in a decision issued today. Thanks to a reader in Juneau for the pointer.
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sixth Circuit going en banc on acquitted conduct enhancements!" Doug Berman has this post at his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania enforces amnesty agreement in favor of Stolt-Nielsen S.A. and against the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice by dismissing the criminal indictment against that company and two of its executives: In response to the ruling, the company issued this press release.

I have posted online both the trial court's memorandum opinion and the trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"My colleagues should shut up!" The "Washington Whispers" blog of U.S. News & World Report attributes that quote to Justice Clarence Thomas, speaking Wednesday night at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

"The Lede" blog of The New York Times notes the quote today in a post titled "Clarence Thomas's Case for Shutting Up."

On November 8, 2007, the blog "DailyWrit" had this post purporting to chart how often each Justice starts speaking (although not the volume of what they are saying or its relative value). A PDF version of the chart can be accessed here.

Update and correction: Although Hillsdale College hosted the event at which Justice Thomas made these remarks, his talk took place at a hotel in Washington, DC. C-SPAN aired Justice Thomas's remarks on the December 22, 2007 broadcast of "America and the Courts," and you can view that broadcast by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals chief judge trivia contest -- an answer to question two:

Question two -- the most difficult of my four questions -- asked: "The U.S. Courts of Appeals came into existence in 1891 pursuant to the Evarts Act. When was the most recent earlier time, if ever, that the chief judges of the U.S. Courts of Appeals had all been appointed by Presidents from the same political party? For extra credit, identify each of the times this has happened between 1891 and today (assuming that this has ever happened before)."

Reader Jason McNamara emailed to correctly note that in 1981 -- between April 6th when Fourth Circuit Chief Judge Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr. took senior status, making Harrison L. Winter the chief judge of that court, and October 1st, when the creation of the Eleventh Circuit caused Charles Clark to become chief judge of the Fifth Circuit -- all of the chief judges of the U.S. Courts of Appeals had been appointed to those courts by Democratic presidents.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman



May a plaintiff obtain a jury trial of a lawsuit removed to federal court pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act if the foreign-government instrumentality becomes privatized before the case reaches trial? In an interesting ruling issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Richard A. Posner concludes that a lawsuit removed to federal court solely based on the FSIA should not be tried to a jury even if the foreign sovereign defendant ceases to be a foreign sovereign before the time of trial.

The case was argued earlier this month, and you can download the oral argument audio via this link (7.14MB mp3 audio file).
Posted at 02:17 PM by Howard Bashman



Just visiting: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today posted the following announcement to its web site: "Since September 2006, eighteen judges from circuit and district courts around the country have sat with the Federal Circuit. A list of the visiting judges who have sat with the court can be seen here." No word yet on whether this experiment has caused U.S. District Judges in general to feel better about the Federal Circuit.
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Thanks to everyone who emailed answers in response to this morning's "U.S. Court of Appeals chief judge trivia contest": The correct answers to questions one and three, and what I believe to be the correct answer to question four, appear in the two posts immediately below. Thus far, however, I've received only one attempt at guessing the correct answer to the most difficult of the four questions -- question two.

Noting that later today all thirteen chief judges of the U.S. Courts of Appeals will have been appointed to those courts by Republican presidents, question two asked: "The U.S. Courts of Appeals came into existence in 1891 pursuant to the Evarts Act. When was the most recent earlier time, if ever, that the chief judges of the U.S. Courts of Appeals had all been appointed by Presidents from the same political party? For extra credit, identify each of the times this has happened between 1891 and today (assuming that this has ever happened before)."

The only person thus far to hazard a guess at the answer to this question was the aforementioned reader based in New York City who asked not to be identified further. That reader emailed, "I think the answer to 2 might be never, given FDR's lack of appointments to the 4th and Eisenhower's lack of appointments to the 3rd."
Posted at 12:38 PM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals chief judge trivia contest -- the answer to question four:

Question four asked: "Using the same assumption provided for question 3, which of the U.S. Courts of Appeals would be the first to have a chief judge who was appointed to that court by President George W. Bush?"

Reader John Bledsoe was the first to correctly respond that George W. Bush appointee William J. Riley stands to become Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in 2010.
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals chief judge trivia contest -- answers to questions one and three:

Question one asked: "Assuming that Alex Kozinski serves a full seven-year term as chief judge of the Ninth Circuit, which Ninth Circuit judge would become the Ninth Circuit's chief judge seven years from today?"

In response, reader David K. Neidert writes, "I believe the answer to Question 1 is Sidney Thomas (and if the circuit was split with California, Hawaii, and Territorial Islands in the 9th and everyone else in the new 12th) then Kim McClain Wardlaw would be Chief Judge of the Ninth and Thomas Chief Judge of the 12th (assuming all judges went to the Circuit containing their respective states)."

Question three asked: "Assume that, after Alex Kozinski becomes the Ninth Circuit's chief judge later today, each chief judge of the U.S. Courts of Appeals remains in his or her post until statutorily required to vacate the chief judgeship. Which of the U.S. Courts of Appeals would then be the first to have a chief judge who was appointed to that court by President William J. Clinton?"

My "20 questions for the appellate judge" interview with Tenth Circuit Chief Judge Deanell Reece Tacha states that she became chief judge of that court on January 26, 2001. Assuming that First Circuit Chief Judge Michael Boudin's seven-year tenure does not expire earlier than that in 2008, then the first Clinton appointee to become a chief judge of a U.S. Court of Appeals will be Tenth Circuit Judge Robert H. Henry. In the unlikely event that Chief Judge Boudin's term ends before Chief Judge Tacha's, then First Circuit Judge Sandra L. Lynch would be the first Clinton appointee to become a chief judge of a U.S. Court of Appeals. A reader based in New York City who asked not to be identified further was the first to email Judge Henry as the correct answer to this question. Update: The July 2001 issue of The Third Branch newsletter states that Boudin became the First Circuit's chief judge in June 2001. Accordingly, the correct answer to this question is Judge Henry of the Tenth Circuit.
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals chief judge trivia contest: Later today, after Alex Kozinski becomes chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, each of the thirteen U.S. Courts of Appeals will have a chief judge who was appointed to his or her current court by a Republican President. President Ronald Reagan is responsible for nine of those appointments, while President George H.W. Bush appointed the people who currently serve as chief judges of the First, Second, Fourth, and Eighth Circuits.

The qualifications for becoming the chief judge of a U.S. Court of Appeals, and for determining how long someone can continue to serve as chief judge, are set forth in 28 U.S.C. sec. 45. As noted in this recent Ninth Circuit press release, "The chief judge is the judge in regular active service who is senior in commission of those judges who are (1) 64 years of age or under; (2) have served for one year or more as a circuit judge; and (3) have not served previously as chief judge." And, if another judge then meets the qualifications to assume the post of chief judge, the person serving as chief judge must step down from that post after having served as chief judge for seven years or on reaching the age of 70, whichever comes first.

Here are some chief judge trivia questions:

1. Assuming that Alex Kozinski serves a full seven-year term as chief judge of the Ninth Circuit, which Ninth Circuit judge would become the Ninth Circuit's chief judge seven years from today?

2. The U.S. Courts of Appeals came into existence in 1891 pursuant to the Evarts Act. When was the most recent earlier time, if ever, that the chief judges of the U.S. Courts of Appeals had all been appointed by Presidents from the same political party? For extra credit, identify each of the times this has happened between 1891 and today (assuming that this has ever happened before).

3. Assume that, after Alex Kozinski becomes the Ninth Circuit's chief judge later today, each chief judge of the U.S. Courts of Appeals remains in his or her post until statutorily required to vacate the chief judgeship. Which of the U.S. Courts of Appeals would then be the first to have a chief judge who was appointed to that court by President William J. Clinton?

4. Using the same assumption provided for question 3, which of the U.S. Courts of Appeals would be the first to have a chief judge who was appointed to that court by President George W. Bush?

Answers to these trivia questions can be sent to me via email. Each person who is the first to respond correctly to any question will be identified by name here at "How Appealing" unless the person asks not to be so identified, in which case some other more generalized description will be used.

Update: Since this post was published, I have received answers to each of these questions from various readers. Scroll up to access the posts in which I've published those answers.
Posted at 11:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"The 9th Circuit's new No. 1: Judge Alex Kozinski may have to temper some of his eccentricities to lead the such a complex court." Law Professor Carl Tobias has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.

"How Appealing" takes this pre-breakfast (at least on the west coast) opportunity to wish soon-to-be Chief Judge Alex Kozinski a fulfilling and successful tenure in that post. As someone once said, "Don't hate the player."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Whose right to bear arms?" Columnist Paul Greenberg has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Splenda maker getting legal vitriol from sugar firms; A court in L.A. will hear a false-advertising suit; Defendant says buyers know the sweetener is not truly natural": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel Rebuffs White House Privilege Claim": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The Senate Judiciary Committee inched forward Thursday in its struggle with the White House over subpoenas demanding information from current and former Bush administration officials about the firing of several United States attorneys last year."

And The Washington Times reports today that "Leahy rejects claim of privilege."
Posted at 09:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Case of Trial Lawyers v. Trial Lawyers; Largest Association Sues Upstart, Asserting Ownership of Discarded Acronym": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Mixed Blessing for Aspiring Lawyers; High Tuition and Debt Lure Graduates Toward High Pay, Away from Public Service Jobs": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Landscaper Is Mauled, and an Outpouring of Sympathy Goes to the Dog": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "It's man versus beast in Princeton, and the town is in an uproar over a dog on death row. The curious case of Congo, an 85-pound German shepherd sentenced to die for attacking a Honduran landscaper, is making its way through New Jersey's courts."

The Trenton Times has provided extensive coverage of this matter in articles headlined "Dog's fate devastates family; Judge orders shepherd destroyed after vicious attack"; "A different view of dog attack; Animal control officer says shepherd was unprovoked"; "Canine's plight stirs up emotions; Rally planned for today as lawsuits, threats ensue"; "No reprieve for Congo; Local judge upholds his decision to have 'vicious' dog destroyed"; "Police: Congo not provoked; Report does not mention owner pulled to ground"; "Congo goes home; Dog released to his family pending appeal of death sentence"; "Congo to get his day in State House"; and "Canine violence bill introduced."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals Court Voids Agreement to Pay Freelancers for Work Published on the Web": This article appears today in The New York Times.

Reuters reports that "Court throws out freelance writers' settlement."

And Dow Jones Newswires report that "US Appeals Court Vacates Freelancers-Database Operators Pact."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling and the accompanying recusal-related decision from two of the three judges on the panel appears at this link.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Chief Justice Declines to Provide Health Update."

And Marcia Coyle has an article headlined "High Stakes for Regulated Industry in Supreme Court Pre-emption Cases."
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"A New Push to Roll Back 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Marking the 14th anniversary of legislation that allowed gay men and lesbians to serve in the military but only if they kept their orientation secret, 28 retired generals and admirals plan to release a letter on Friday urging Congress to repeal the law."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court tells cops: Return medical marijuana if drug charges dropped." Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Police who confiscate medical marijuana must give it back when drug charges against the user are dismissed, a state appeals court has ruled in a case that could settle a hotly disputed issue of conflicting state and federal drug laws."

The New York Times reports today that "Court Orders Police to Return Marijuana."

Thursday's edition of The Orange County Register reported that "Court orders Garden Grove police to return pot; Ruling by state appeal judges is a win for medical marijuana patients, advocates say."

And The Recorder contains an article headlined "Court to City: Return Pot User's Stash."

Associate Justice William W. Bedsworth of California's Fourth District Court of Appeal wrote the decision on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.

Justice Bedsworth was the June 2004 interviewee in this blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" feature. He also writes a column called "A Criminal Waste of Space" for the Orange County Lawyer magazine.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"How Scruggs Case Came Together: Judge Helped Probe After He Says Bribe Was Offered to Him." Ashby Jones and Peter Lattman have this article today in The Wall Street Journal.

That newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The Trial Bar on Trial."

And in other coverage, The Los Angeles Times today contains an article headlined "Katrina lawyer at the eye of a storm; Richard Scruggs' clients wonder what his indictment may mean for the scores of pending cases against their insurance carriers."
Posted at 08:13 AM by Howard Bashman



"Van Hollen has ties to case; Business lobby spent millions on attorney general, Ziegler in elections": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen did not withdraw from a state Supreme Court case that was partially bankrolled by a group that spent $2.5 million to get him elected last year. The tax case has generated scrutiny because the same group, business lobbyist Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, spent more than $2 million to elect Annette Ziegler to the Supreme Court in April. Ziegler has remained on the case."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, November 29, 2007

New state high court justices on the way in Minnesota and Washington: The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported yesterday that "For high court, Pawlenty picks a friend; New Justice Christopher Dietzen helped defend his longtime acquaintance in a 2002 campaign controversy."

And The Associated Press reports that "Gov. Gregoire looking for a Supreme Court justice."
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to weigh disability pay for psychological harm": The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, New Jersey today contains an article that begins, "Racism, terror and abuse came before the state Supreme Court Wednesday in three compelling cases that are really about on-the-job calamity, though the court's decision will affect legions and could cost taxpayers a bundle."

And The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger on Monday previewed the oral argument in an article headlined "Disability benefits for mental ills asked; 3 law enforcement officers pursue suits."
Posted at 10:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"A fairer approach to teen sex sentencing; Judges need leeway in non-predator cases": This editorial appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 09:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"This case raises First Amendment questions about limiting the participation of non-voters at a New England town meeting." So begins an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued today. According to the opinion, "The New England town meeting is a special form of government dating back to the colonial era and often considered an exemplar of pure democracy."

At stake in the decision is whether property owners who pay taxes on their land but who are registered to vote elsewhere are entitled to the same right to speak as voters who live in the town of Egremont, Massachusetts. The First Circuit answers "no." That court's opinion explains: "The [plaintiffs] are not registered to vote in Egremont and therefore are not town meeting legislators. The First Amendment does not give non-legislators the right to speak at meetings of deliberating legislative bodies, regardless of whether they own property or pay taxes."
Posted at 05:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Capano's federal appeal assigned to judge in Philly": The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware provides an update that begins, "Tom Capano's federal appeal of his murder conviction has been assigned to the chief judge of the federal court in Philadelphia. According to the federal docket in Wilmington, Chief District Judge Harvey Bartle III accepted assignment to the case by e-mail on Nov. 26. Bartle took the case at the request of U.S. Third Circuit Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica after all three judges in the Delaware district recused themselves from hearing the matter."
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Paterno Earns More Than $500,000 a Year": According to this article from The Associated Press, "The State Employees' Retirement System released Paterno's salary Thursday, more than a week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that his salary and other top Penn State officials are public information."

This blog's earlier coverage of that ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 04:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Butler late to reveal tie to case; Attorney served on campaign panel, justice says, after reporters ask": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "State Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler did not immediately disclose that an attorney appearing before the court sat on his campaign finance committee and contributed $500 to his election effort, despite his policy of making such matters public."

Yesterday's newspaper contained a related article headlined "Ziegler to hear tax case funded by election supporter; State hasn't asked justice to step aside."

In addition, today's newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Step aside in this case: State Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler should recuse herself from a tax case that involves a major contributor, but Justice Louis Butler needs to do some soul-searching, too."
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Georgia ruling on sex offenders prompts other states, including Missouri, to re-examine laws": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman


Divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel holds that the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 remains constitutional even after Congress expanded that law in 2004 to include as qualifying offenses all felonies: You can access today's ruling at this link.

Senior Circuit Judge Betty B. Fletcher dissented in an opinion that begins, "The majority holds, with an air of shrugging inevitability, that without a warrant, without probable cause, indeed without any suspicion whatsoever, the federal government may seize and repeatedly search the DNA of all federal felons on supervised release, regardless of their offense or their likelihood to re-offend. They sanction the inclusion of that DNA in a massive and permanent computer database, the sole purpose of which is to aid generalized criminal investigation. This offends not only the Fourth Amendment but our precedents. I respectfully dissent."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"The precise issue on appeal is whether the District Court had jurisdiction to certify a class consisting of claims arising from the infringement of unregistered copyrights and to approve a settlement with respect to those claims. We hold that it did not." So holds the majority on a divded three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a ruling issued today. The case in which the decision issued is captioned In re: Literary Works in Elec. Databases Copyright Litig.

Also today, two of the three judges on that panel joined in a separate opinion explaining why they chose not to recuse from deciding that case even though they very likely were members of the putative class whose claims were subject to the settlement in question. One of the two judges joined in the majority opinion dismissing the case for lack of federal subject-matter jurisdiction, while the other dissented from that outcome. Before deciding what to do, these two judges sought the views of the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which apparently recommended that both judges recuse.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Trial Lawyers, Back on Offense, Take On Railroads, China": Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Death is human cost of misreading 2nd Amendment": Columnist Xan White has this op-ed today in The Yale Daily News.
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. judge orders Bush to release records of telecom firm contacts": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal judge in San Francisco ordered the Bush administration Wednesday to release records of any recent lobbying contacts with telecommunications companies by Dec. 10, in time for a congressional debate on the president's push to protect the firms from suits over electronic surveillance."

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Whose castle? Surprise visits to the homes of welfare applicants in San Diego County are proper and justified." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"NY Man Fights for Anti-Osama Plates": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A retired police officer is seeking a court order to force the state Department of Motor Vehicles to drop its demand that he return vanity license plates calling for the capture or death of Osama bin Laden."

And The New York Post reported yesterday that "'GETOSAMA' plate man sues DMV."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"5th Circuit Council Pressed to Pursue Sex Harassment Complaint Against Federal Judge": Texas Lawyer provides a report that begins, "The woman who alleges that U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent of Galveston, Texas, sexually harassed her wants the 5th Circuit Judicial Council to take further action."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Alleged Nazi Guard Appeals Deportation": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Three decades after the federal government began trying to deport a former autoworker accused of helping murder Jewish prisoners in Nazi death camps, his lawyer says his last fight may be at hand. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled oral arguments for Thursday on John Demjanjuk's challenge of a final removal order by an immigration judge."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Weighs Maine's Tobacco Law": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

And David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Supreme Court weighs Internet sales regulation; The Bush administration opposes restrictions favored by states to prevent minors from buying cigarettes and other products on the Web."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



Why is this page loading more slowly than usual this morning? If you are having to wait longer than usual for the blog posts on this page to appear on your computer monitor this morning, the law.com headline box in the upper right-hand corner of this page is to blame. It seems that the law.com site is having some problems today, and those problems are why it is taking this page significantly longer than usual to appear.

The good news, such as it is, is that those problems do not prevent me from updating this site at my usual rate, so new posts will continue to appear quite regularly for those willing to endure the extra time it is taking for this page to refresh.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"5th Circuit extends limits on student speech": Douglas Lee has this essay online at the First Amendment Center.

My earlier coverage of last week's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Massive apartheid case on way to the Court": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

Last month, I had this post reporting on the Second Circuit's ruling in the case. As Lyle notes in his post, yesterday the same three-judge Second Circuit panel issued an order explaining why the majority had denied a stay of its ruling. Yesterday's order also includes a dissent from the denial of a stay.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The newspaper contains articles headlined "Gory abortion banners stir passions" and "Prosecutor sides with sex offender."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Maine's Tobacco-Delivery Law Faces Test": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Government ordered to release documents in controversial death": Geoffrey Fattah of The Deseret Morning News has an update that begins, "On the same day that the federal government moved to block the release of a sensitive government report to a Salt Lake City attorney, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the motion to stay and ordered the government to release the documents. Judges with the 10th Circuit were swift in their action, filing an order denying the government's motion to stay pending an appeal of the court's decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, within hours of receiving the motion."

And Pamela Manson and Robert Boczkiewicz of The Salt Lake Tribune have a news update headlined "DOJ bid to delay Trentadue probe disclosure going nowhere fast."

My earlier coverage of this case appears here and here.
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge: Feds Must Release Telecom Records." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "An electronic privacy group challenging President Bush's domestic spying program scored a minor victory when a judge ordered the federal government to release information about lobbying efforts by telecommunications companies to protect them from prosecution."

In response to yesterday's order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the organization Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a news release entitled "EFF Wins Fast-Track Release of Telecom Lobbying Records; Judge Cancels Friday Hearing, Orders Government to Comply by December 10."
Posted at 04:08 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcript in Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transp. Assn., No. 06-457: The Court has posted the transcript at this link.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"An Enigmatic Court? Examining the Roberts Court As It Begins Year Three." This event was held at the Pepperdine University School of Law on the afternoon of October 19, 2007. The very serious wildfires in Malibu, California soon thereafter caused that law school's web site to go off-line for a while.

That law school's web site has since come back online, and now it provides access to video of the event. All of the video segments can be accessed via this link.

For those who wish to access the video segments directly, you can do so using the following links (Windows Media Player is required to launch these video segments):

Part One: "Overview of the Roberts Court" (1 hour and 41 minutes) featuring USA Today Supreme Court correspondent Joan Biskupic; Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen; Law Professor Douglas Kmiec; Law Professor Vikram Amar; Law Professor Kathleen Sullivan; and Dean Kenneth Starr.

Part Two: "Roundtable on the work of the Roberts Court in its first two terms" (17 minutes).

Part Three: "Supreme Court reasoning on trial" (1 hour and 21 minutes) featuring Ninth Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt and Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, in a mock trial of the reasoning of the Court's decision in Parents Involved v. Seattle School District Number 1.

Part Four: "Roundtable on the Roberts effort at consensus, competing methods of constitutional interpretation, judicial personalities, and a quick look at the current docket" (51 minutes).
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



How much in attorneys' fees should it cost to handle an appeal? Obviously, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. But today, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit authorized the recovery of approximately $63,000 in attorneys' fees for defending on appeal a copyright and trademark infringement judgment relating to everyone's favorite farting plush doll, "Pull My Finger Fred." You can access today's ruling at this link.

Back on March 20, 2007, I had this post reporting on the Seventh Circuit's earlier merits-related ruling in this case. And the very next day, I had this post providing online access to the appellate briefs and oral argument audio.
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bonds' perjury case goes to BALCO judge": This article appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Today in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "Bonds case given to new judge; Illston in familiar territory: Handled BALCO prosecutions."

And The Associated Press reports that "Barry Bonds Perjury Case Is Transferred."
Posted at 01:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"US raid on factory criticized by court; Callous handling of workers cited": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Add a federal appeals court to those criticizing how the government handled the March arrest of 361 immigrant workers at a New Bedford leather-goods factory."

And The Providence (R.I.) Journal reports today that "Dismissal of raid lawsuit upheld."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Motormouth: Geoffrey Fieger's fiery tongue has earned him millions; Now it could cost the Detroit Lawyer his career." Terry Carter has this article in the December 2007 issue of ABA Journal magazine.
Posted at 01:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"The ABA Journal Blawg 100": ABA Journal magazine has issued its "Blawg 100" list. The complete list can be accessed here.

Via this link, you can vote for your favorite blawgs in various categories. Votes for "How Appealing" may be cast in the "Generally Speaking" category.

And a feature titled "ForeBlawggers: Seven lawyers who started the blawg revolution" includes photos of the bloggers. On a related note, Denise Howell's "Bag and Baggage" blog is today celebrating its sixth birthday. Happy blawgiversary, Denise!
Posted at 01:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Skeptical of Maine Tobacco Law": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides this report.

And Dow Jones Newswires report that "Maine Tobacco Shipping Law Gets Little Sympathy At High Court."
Posted at 01:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Cover-up case is appealed": Today in The Deseret Morning News, Geoffrey Fattah has an article that begins, "A Salt Lake City attorney will not be getting access to a sensitive government report regarding the mysterious death of his brother in a federal facility anytime soon. A week after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the U.S. government's request to reconsider its decision allowing attorney Jesse Trentadue access to the conclusions of an investigation into accusations of a cover-up, attorneys for the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency filed on Tuesday a motion to stay the court's order, pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court."

My earlier coverage of this case appears here and here.
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney Yagman sentenced to 3 years for tax evasion, fraud; Convicted of fraud and tax evasion, the lawyer known for taking on the LAPD says government wants to destroy him": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Associated Press reports that "High-Profile Lawyer Sentenced for Taxes."
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Former N.C. Chief Justice Takes Up Prisoner's Case; Retired Jurist May Argue Before Former Colleagues on Behalf of Man Convicted With Faulty Science": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A North Carolina man who was convicted of murder two decades ago with the help of now-discredited FBI scientific testimony took his quest for a new trial to the state's Supreme Court yesterday -- and enlisted the court's former chief justice to argue on his behalf."

The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina reports today that "New trial request hinges on confession; Bullet analysis also called invalid."

And The Fayetteville Observer reports that "Lawyers make push for Hunt's innocence."
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Removal ordered for judge to whom unclaimed cell phone = trip to prison cell: The New York Times reports today that "Panel Rebukes Judge, Citing 'Lunacy' in Court."

The Niagara Gazette reports today that "Restaino ordered removed; Commission cites abuse of judicial power in March 2005 incident."

The Buffalo News reports that "Restaino ordered removed as Niagara Falls judge; Commission says he abused power."

And The New York Law Journal reports that "Judge's Removal Recommended for Prolonged Tirade Over Courtroom Cell Phone."

You can access the decision of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct at this link.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Is Referee in Delaware River Fight": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that "Supreme Court hears riverfront arguments; Advocates for N.J. and Del. addressed issues over a planned LNG facility."

The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware reports that "Del., N.J. go to Supreme Court; Justices quiz lawyers over long-running boundary dispute."

The Newhouse News Service reports that "Court skeptical on LNG case."

And law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "States Spar Over River Rights at High Court."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Loss for Privacy Rights": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable searches, but for this protection to have practical meaning, the courts must enforce it. This week, the Supreme Court let stand a disturbing ruling out of California that allows law enforcement to barge into people's homes without a warrant. The case has not prompted much outrage, perhaps because the people whose privacy is being invaded are welfare recipients, but it is a serious setback for the privacy rights of all Americans."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to release same-day recordings of detainee cases": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Al-Arian Lawyers Brace for New Contempt Charge": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Right judge for sex case investigation?" Today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Rick Casey has an op-ed that begins, "Chief Judge Edith Jones of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held a key position in the controversial disciplining of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent."

And today's edition of The Galveston County Daily News reproduces a letter (fifth item) to the ranking Republican on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee from W. Chris Peden, a Republican candidate for U.S. Congress from Friendswood, Texas. The letter begins, "I am writing to ask you to support an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of Galveston’s former District Judge, Samuel B. Kent."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Choose Life plate for Illinois?" Columnist Phil Kadner has this op-ed today in The Southtown Star.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard oral argument in the case yesterday, and you can download the oral argument audio via this link (10.1MB mp3 file). The three-judge panel consisted of Circuit Judges Daniel A. Manion, Terence T, Evans, and Diane S. Sykes. During the oral argument, Judge Evans mentions his own sports-related specialty license plate.

In advance of the oral argument, the Thomas More Society issued a press release headlined "'Choose Life' Specialty License Plates Go Before U.S. Court of Appeals Today; Three-Judge Panel to Hear Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's Appeal of Lower Court Order to Begin Producing 'Choose Life' Plates." That organization has also posted online the parties' appellate briefs, and you can access them via this link.

In January 2007, I had this post reporting on the federal district court's ruling in this case.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"A test of Maine regulations on Internet tobacco sales to minors; The US Supreme Court on Wednesday weighs whether the state law impedes interstate shipping": Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.

Pete Yost of The Associated Press reports that "Court Considers Internet Tobacco Sales."

And Stateline.org reports that "Tobacco case could limit state powers."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Divorce, Religion, and Circumcision: What A Conflict Tells Us About Parental Rights." Sherry F. Colb has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Court Criticizes Mass. Immigration Raid": This article from The Associated Press reports on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued today.
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"No right to remain silent: Supreme Court gives cops the power to ignore your right to keep your mouth shut." Law Professor Alan Young has this article in the current issue of NOW Magazine of Toronto.

You can access the recent ruling in question of the Supreme Court of Canada by clicking here.
Posted at 10:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Department might fight Trentadue all the way to Supreme Court": Today in The Salt Lake Tribune, Pamela Manson has an article that begins, "The U.S. Department of Justice wants an appeals court to delay an order requiring it to disclose the details of an investigation into the death of a federal prison inmate. Government lawyers said they need time to decide whether to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the order."

And today in The Deseret Morning News, Geoffrey Fattah reports that "Feds lose round in cover-up case; Court backs Utahn in quest for records on brother's death."

My earlier coverage of the Tenth Circuit's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Filipino justice touts growth: High court chief speaks in law conference": Wednesday's edition of The Pacific Daily News of Guam contains an article that begins, "The Pacific Judicial Council's Judicial Conference and Legal Institute continued yesterday with a keynote address from Supreme Court of the Philippines Chief Justice Renato Puno."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Protocol For Oral Argument Hearing in United States v. Nacchio on December 18, 2007": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued this order today. The prosecution and the defense are each allowed one Nacchio cheese joke per side during the oral argument.
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


Making a mockery out of the use of John Doe: A reader based in New York City emails:
Here's one to appeal to your intrepid reporter streak.

A Ninth Circuit opinion posted today is captioned John Doe v. Jeanne S. Woodford, et al., No. 06-16154. It is, however, the substituted opinion for an earlier decision, Craig Clifford Busch v. Jeanne S. Woodford, et al., also bearing No. 06-16154, originally filed Aug. 29, 2007, and withdrawn on November 13, 2007, after crossing petitions for rehearing. If you check PACER, the docket still openly states Busch's identity; indeed, the lower court posted its opinion on Westlaw, with Busch's name, at 2005 WL 1926618. The revised opinion omits a citation to the Westlaw publication of the lower court opinion that was set forth in one of the original opinion's footnotes.

This is all very odd, since anonymous pleading is normally reserved for cases where a party's identity is not otherwise in the public domain associated with the case (not only missing here with the docket issues, but I'm confident a search of news databases would turn up Busch's identity if you punch in the name of his murder victim, which is revealed in the opinion). Why did the Ninth Circuit decide belatedly to mask Busch's identity?

If any of this blog's readers wish to weigh in on this matter, feel free to contact me via email.
Posted at 08:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge ordered removed from bench over cell phone flap": The Buffalo News provides an update that begins, "A state panel has ordered City Judge Robert M. Restaino removed from the bench for jailing 46 defendants after a cell phone rang in his courtroom and no one would admit to owning it. The Commission on Judicial Conduct, in a ruling released today, voted 9-1 to take Restaino off the job."

The Associated Press reports that "Judge Removed Over Cell Phone Jailing."

And the "City Room" blog of The New York Times has a post titled "A Judge's 'Inexplicable Madness' Over a Cellphone."

You can access the decision of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct at this link.
Posted at 07:08 PM by Howard Bashman



Eleventh Circuit grants rehearing en banc in case where a divided three-judge panel of that court had ordered a trial on a Section 2 vote dilution claim from Glades County, Florida: You can access today's order granting rehearing en banc at this link.

My post from July 2007 reporting on the three-judge panel's now vacated decision can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit attempts to prepare itself for Chief Judge Alex Kozinski: The Ninth Circuit's Public Information Office has issued a news release entitled "Gavel Passing to Mark Changing of the Guard for Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals."

At least Judge Kozinski was able to sneak some humor into the news release: "The chief judge of the circuit assumes the position based on seniority. The chief judge is the judge in regular active service who is senior in commission of those judges who are (1) 64 years of age or under; (2) have served for one year or more as a circuit judge; and (3) have not served previously as chief judge. Judge Kozinski also believes that looks count, though he can provide no support for that proposition."
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcript in New Jersey v. Delaware, No. 134 Orig. The Court has posted the transcript at this link.
Posted at 04:43 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pa. high court cancels final round of 2007 hearings": The Associated Press provides this report. The reason given for the cancellation is that only four of the court's seven Justices would have been available to participate in deciding those cases on the merits.

And The Philadelphia Bulletin today published this interesting interview with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's next Chief Justice.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"NY Court of Appeals Allows Defendants to Privately Question Plaintiff's Doctors": Eric Turkewitz has this post at the "New York Personal Injury Law Blog."

You can access today's ruling of the New York State Court of Appeals -- that State's highest court -- at this link.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Knight v. Commissioner, No. 06-1286: The Court has posted the transcript at this link.
Posted at 02:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court hears arguments in N.J.-Del. feud over LNG terminal": The Philadelphia Inquirer provides this news update.

The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court hears Del.-N.J. border dispute."

And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Delaware River Dispute at Supreme Court."
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman



May a municipality exclude religious assemblies or institutions from a particular zone, where some secular assemblies or institutions are allowed, without violating the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment or RLUIPA's Equal Terms Provision? A partially divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today issued a 96-page ruling addressing that question.
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Contractor owes $5 million to U.S. soldier's family." CNN.com provides a report that begins, "A federal court has ordered a Kuwait-based contractor to pay nearly $5 million in damages to the family of a U.S. military officer killed in Iraq -- a rare court decision holding a contracting company accountable for its actions in the war."

You can access this month's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia at this link.
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Woman Sues Ex-Fiance's Parents for Reportedly Hiding Their Son's HIV; Though a Jury Awarded Woman Millions, Appellate Court Tossed Verdict": ABCNews.com provides this report on a case now pending before the Supreme Court of Illinois.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


The Supreme Court of Nevada is so overworked that it has begun to emit smoke: The Associated Press reported yesterday that "Smoke shuts down Nevada high court."

That court's own news release can be accessed here.

Separately, Nevada's high court is lobbying for the creation of an intermediate appellate court for that State, as evidenced by the recommendations found in this 55-page report.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Aux Armes, Citoyens!:' Time for Law Schools to Lead the Movement for Free and Open Access to the Law." Law Professor Ian Gallacher has posted this article (abstract with link for download) online at SSRN. Pages 25-26 of the article discuss the Second Circuit's efforts last month to restrict access to the original version of that Court's ruling in the Higazy v. Templeton case.

Professor Gallacher writes:

The incident is disturbing not just because the Higazy case shows how the federal government was able to coerce a false confession from an innocent person, but because it shows that federal courts believe that not only can they release and then retrieve and edit opinions, they believe they have the power to make others restrict access to the information as well, even though it was obtained from the court's own website. This is not the behavior of a governmental body that is taking responsibility for providing accurate, free, and open access to its opinions.
The article recommends that "law schools band together in a consortium in order to publish and freely disseminate American common law on the internet."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to Release Audio in Guantanmo Case": The Associated Press provides this report.

The press release that the U.S. Supreme Court issued yesterday can be accessed here.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman



Major League Baseball's hope to obtain rehearing from Eighth Circuit in fantasy baseball dispute is reduced to fantasy: The Associated Press reports that "Federal appeals court denies rehearing in fantasy baseball suit."

And St. Louis Business Journal reports that "Court denies petitions from MLBAM, MLBPA in fantasy suit."

My earlier coverage of the Eighth Circuit's three-judge panel ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices uphold welfare home searches; The ACLU had challenged a San Diego County policy, saying its warrantless inspections violated privacy rights; The Supreme Court refuses to hear it": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports today that "Court clears welfare home inspections."

And The North County Times reports that "County's welfare inspections upheld by Supreme Court; Local officials say decision vindicates house calls."
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Viability of sex-offender law in doubt; The lifetime GPS monitoring ordered by Prop. 83 may be too costly and complex to ever fully implement": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Law enforcement leaders who pushed for a ballot initiative requiring sex offenders in California to be tracked by satellite for life are now saying that the sweeping surveillance program voters endorsed is not feasible and is unlikely to be fully implemented for years, if ever."
Posted at 09:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Would-be bodysurfer sues to establish a beachhead at Stinson": This front page article, about public access to beaches, appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sniper Judge Is Named to Appeals Court": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The judge who oversaw the first trial of Washington area sniper John Allen Muhammad was named yesterday to the Virginia Court of Appeals, and officials said his handling of the case played a key role in the appointment."
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"End the Use of Signing Statements: The loophole allowing the president to selectively ignore laws must be closed." The Harvard Crimson contains this editorial today.
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Harris County's fight over Bible display may be over; Supreme Court spurns the case, but monument could still find a home": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

And the organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State yesterday issued a news release entitled "High Court Refuses To Re-open Religious Symbol Case."

The September 5, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com -- headlined "Monument at Houston Courthouse Tests the Limits of Ten Commandments Rulings" -- discussed the Fifth Circuit's original three-judge panel ruling in the case. In April 2007, after having granted rehearing en banc in the case, the full Fifth Circuit dismissed the case as moot.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Consider a Loss in a 401(k) Plan": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

And David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports today that "High court hears case of lost 401(k) funds; James LaRue says his employer's plan administrator ignored his requests, costing him $150,000; The justices appear divided, and a decision is months away."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Another hearing for Kent's accuser": The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article that begins, "A woman who has accused U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent of unwanted sexual touching will have her case reheard by a disciplinary panel of the 5th Judicial Circuit, her attorney, Rusty Hardin, said late Monday. Late that afternoon, Hardin gave the panel summaries of interviews his team did of 20 people who have had contact with Kent. Hardin claims those interviews show that Kent has misbehaved toward women since shortly after he was named to the federal bench in Galveston in the early 1990s. Hardin said he and his client are asking that the panel refer the matter to the Judicial Council of the United States with a recommendation that Kent be impeached."

The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Kent may face worse hurdles in sex misconduct case; Accuser requests it be reheard by a higher authority."

And The Associated Press reports that "Woman seeks more punishment for judge accused of sex misconduct."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"New Jersey, Delaware dispute their border -- again; The Supreme Court case, set to be heard Tuesday, involves an energy plant whose pier would cross the line": Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.

The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware yesterday contained an article headlined "Supreme Court to hear more on LNG dispute; Tuesday's arguments are third round."

The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, New Jersey reports today that "High court will hear N.J. border dispute."

Kate Coscarelli of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reports that "NJ, Delaware to square off in court."

And the Newhouse News Service reports that "Del. holds N.J. cards in LNG game."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court to decide detainees' rights; Justices try to balance protection of nation, protection of individual": Today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic has an article that begins, "Supreme Court justices will hear a dispute next week over the rights of Guantanamo detainees that presents a fundamental question of prisoners' ability to be heard in court. The case arises as the justices increasingly exert their authority in terror-related clashes."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "9th Circuit Reverses Rare Verdict in Securities Class Action." You can access yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling at this link.

And in news from Georgia, "Judge, DA Agree to Deal in Teen Sex Case; Man whose case resembled Genarlow Wilson's allowed out after four years in prison; state high court had upheld 10-year sentence."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sex offender law in doubt; Residency restrictions may be invalid, but sheriffs want clarification": Bill Rankin has this article today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Common sense lives: State Supreme Court decision opens the door to more rational sex offender residency rules."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



In commentary available online at FindLaw: Joanna Grossman has an essay entitled "Why the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Rejected a Man's Claim for Relief from Involuntary Fatherhood." My earlier coverage of the Sixth Circuit's ruling appears at this link.

And Aviva Abramovsky has an essay entitled "Why a California Court of Appeal Held that Scott Peterson Won't Be Collecting on the Insurance Policy For His Wife and Murder Victim, Laci." My earlier coverage of that ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, November 26, 2007

In the December 6, 2007 issue of The New York Review of Books: Law Professor David Cole has a review titled "The Man Behind the Torture" of Law Professor Jack L. Goldsmith's book, "The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration."

In addition, the publication also contains a very interesting item headlined "'The Supreme Court Phalanx': An Exchange," consisting of two letters to the editor responding to Ronald Dworkin's essay "The Supreme Court Phalanx" and Dworkin's response to those letters.
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Supreme Court has authorized the release of same-day oral argument audio in the Guantanamo detainee cases to be argued December 5, 2007: Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times." The oral argument will feature a former Solicitor General against the current Solicitor General.
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman


You can now access online the contents of Cato Supreme Court Review, 2006–2007: Via this link (via "Instapundit").
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Race-Baiting on the Ballot: Immigration isn't the only explosive racial issue facing voters in the coming election year -- the anti-affirmative action movement is pushing 2008 ballot initiatives across the country; Is economic populism the antidote?" Dana Goldstein has this essay online today at The American Prospect.
Posted at 04:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"200 Reasons Why the Election Matters: The future of the federal judiciary is at stake on November 4, 2008." Terry Eastland has this essay in the December 3, 2007 issue of The Weekly Standard.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Most Mysterious Right": In the current issue of The New Republic, Law Professor Cass R. Sunstein has this review of Law Professor Mark V. Tushnet's new book, "Out of Range: Why the Constitution Can't End the Battle over Guns."
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument: The Court has posted today's argument transcript in LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Associates Inc., No. 06-856, at this link.
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reconsidering Judicial Supremacy: From the Countermajoritarian Difficulty to Constitutional Transformations." Professor Allison M. Martens has this article in the September 2007 issue of Perspectives on Politics.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from C-SPAN: This past Saturday evening's edition of "America & the Courts" was titled "Judge Janice Rogers Brown Discusses the First Amendment's Future" (RealPlayer required).

And, in case you missed it, you can now access online the video of the "Federalist Society 25th Anniversary Dinner" (RealPlayer required). The video segment begins with Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.'s delivery of the 2007 Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Scalia to Join Supreme Court Book Club; Don't expect a tell-all: Justice is working on guide for lawyers." Tony Mauro has this "Courtside" column in this week's issue of Legal Times.

According to the article, "Without fanfare or publicity, Scalia and Bryan Garner, the legal writing guru, have joined to co-author a book on the art of persuading judges, both orally and in written briefs." And yes, the article reports that the book will contain a section discussing the use of legislative history.
Posted at 02:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Retirement-Fund Suits May Be Permitted by U.S. Supreme Court": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled they will let participants in 401(k) retirement plans file lawsuits claiming their accounts were mishandled."

And The Associated Press reports that "Justices Deal With Retirement Plan Case."
Posted at 02:11 PM by Howard Bashman



In re your mother: Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, today issued a decision in an appeal that he characterizes as an "in rem" suit in which the thing being litigated over is the plaintiff's mother. The opinion contains discussion of the so-called probate and domestic relations exceptions to federal court subject-matter jurisdiction.
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Five U.S. citizens who were were subjected to border screening procedures normally reserved for suspected terrorists after attending the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference at the Toronto Skydome lose appeal seeking expungement of all data resulting from the searches: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued this ruling today.

In earlier news coverage, The Associated Press reported in December 2004 that "Islamic Group Protests Detention at Border."

And in April 2005, The New York Times reported that "Five Muslims to Sue U.S. Over Border Detentions." The Washington Post reported that "Muslims Detained at Border Sue U.S. Homeland Security." And BBC News reported that "Muslims sue US over border stop; Five American Muslims detained for more than six hours at the Canadian border have filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Homeland Security."
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mother can keep birth 'a secret'; A woman who became pregnant after a one-night stand has been given the right to keep the birth a secret from the father": BBC News provides this report.

Saturday's edition of The Guardian (UK) contained an article headlined "Court upholds woman's right not to tell father about baby; Mother kept pregnancy a secret from everybody; Girl born after one-night stand put up for adoption."

Saturday's edition of The Independent (UK) reported that "Judges rule birth can be kept secret."

Saturday's edition of The Mirror (UK) reported that "Mum wins right to keep tot secret."

And The Scotsman on Saturday reported that "Mother can keep birth of child secret from father."

You can access Friday's ruling of the Court of Appeal Civil Division for England and Wales at this link.

The appellate court's lead opinion, written by Lady Justice Arden, begins, "This appeal concerns a child of a young unmarried mother who was placed for adoption at birth and the question is whether the local authority should make inquiries to see if any of the child's birth family would be suitable carers. The mother is against it. She did not tell them about her pregnancy or the birth. The father was a one-night stand. The particular features of this case are (i) a young unmarried mother; (ii) a child born as a result of a sexual encounter on one occasion with someone with whom the mother had no other relationship; (iii) a clear view by the mother that she wishes the child to be placed for adoption and (iv) the mother has never cared for the child."
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Six non-Hawaiians intervene in OHA suit": The Honolulu Advertiser today contains an article that begins, "A group of non-Hawaiians want their say in a court case against the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that asks the state agency to spend its money helping only those with 50 percent or more Native Hawaiian blood."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Won't Review San Diego Home Hunts"; "Court Declines Mich. Faith-Based Case"; and "Court Rejects Ala. Death Row Challenge."
Posted at 10:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court will not review welfare searches": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court -- which includes a summary affirmance in Rabiee v. Dietz, No. 07-375 -- at this link.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Success of Washington parties often depends on how many Supreme Court Justices attend": The San Francisco Sentinel provides this report.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Unfit to execute: States know that their lethal injection procedure may cause excruciating pain, yet they defend it anyway." Law Professor Eric Berger has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Don't like your constitution? Then rewrite it; In Latin America, revisions can renew a nation's pride -- or exploit its people." The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Constitution has rarely been tinkered with in 220 years. But across Latin America, ripping up the Magna Carta and starting from scratch sometimes seems like the national sport."
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Penalties for Crack: The sensible reduction of jail time for drug offenders should be made retroactive." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Malpractice curbs hailed, faulted; Texas law draws doctors, frustrates some claimants": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Taking Marriage Private": Today in The New York Times, Stephanie Coontz has an op-ed that begins, "Why do people -- gay or straight -- need the state's permission to marry?"
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Retirement-Fund Case at Top U.S. Court May Bolster Right to Sue": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fighting over a moment of silence: much ado about nothing." Charles C. Haynes has this essay online at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Church's shock tactics another test to free speech; Members rally at funerals of U.S. war dead": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"A New Shot At History: The high court will soon examine D.C.'s handgun ban; In the meantime, life on the street carries on." Martha Brant and Stuart Taylor Jr. have this article in the December 3, 2007 issue of Newsweek.

And The New York Sun today contains an editorial entitled "Clue for the Court?" that begins, "As the Supreme Court gets down to work on the big question of the Second Amendment, let us pause to consider the constitution of Massachusetts."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Congress, Courts Examine 'State Secrets'": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "In federal courts and on Capitol Hill, challenges are brewing to a key legal strategy President Bush is using to protect a secret surveillance program that monitors phone calls and e-mails inside the United States."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Doling Out Other People's Money": Monday's edition of The New York Times will contain the latest installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column, which begins, "A couple of years ago, Judge Harold Baer Jr. found himself with $6 million of unclaimed money from the settlement of an antitrust class-action lawsuit. The case had involved fashion models, so he decided to give the extra money to charities likely to assist them."
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Death penalty policy hangs in uncertainty": CanWest News Service provides a report that begins, "The Conservative government is not saying if it has re-opened the door to seeking clemency for certain Canadians on death row in the U.S."
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Taking The Second Amendment To Court; The Supreme Court Prepares To Examine DC's Right To Ban Handguns In The Context Of The Constitution": This written report appears at the web site of the CBS Evening News.
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Critics: Texas Supreme Court favors big business; Court disagrees, pointing out opinions are often divided." Today's edition of The Dallas Morning News contains an article that begins, "Texas' Supreme Court justices aren't in the habit of defending their judicial records, much less from lawyers grilling them as they would an uncooperative witness. But that's just what happened in September at a continuing education event at Horseshoe Bay Resort hosted by the Dallas Bar Association, where lawyers peppered two justices with questions about their impartiality."
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer -- one of the longest-serving and most influential judges in Canadian history -- has died." So reports The Toronto Globe and Mail in a news update.

CBC News reports that "Former Supreme Court chief justice Antonio Lamer dies."

CanWest News Service reports that "Former top judge dead at 74."

And The Canadian Press reports that "Lamer remembered as man who kept common touch, despite trappings of office."
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Why so Little Tax Evasion?" That's the topic for discussion today at "The Becker-Posner Blog." Becker's comment is here, while Posner's is here.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Can you sue if your 401(k) nest egg is mishandled? The US Supreme Court on Monday hears a case that will determine if individuals have redress under federal law if their savings plan is mismanaged." Warren Richey will have this article Monday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"N.J. out to end death penalty; Gov. Corzine and top legislators see a chance in the lame-duck session; A study and other factors have added momentum": The Philadelphia Inquirer contains this article today.
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo's newest critic": This editorial appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clinton's years at Yale Law key to her development": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"A people’s right: Second Amendment speaks to individual freedoms." The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner today contains an editorial that begins, "As the Supreme Court prepares to take on the key Second Amendment question of the individual right to keep and bear arms, as opposed to bearing arms only as part of an organized state militia, Alaskans may be sorting out their own views on the issue."
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Foes of electronic spying may have a new way to challenge it": Yesterday in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko had an article that begins, "Despite their latest court setback, challengers of President Bush's electronic surveillance program have another arrow in their quiver - a section of the same law that Bush spurned when he first ordered wiretaps six years ago."
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Who would Giuliani nominate? While Democratic contenders are clear on how they view justices, the GOP's Giuliani is a bit of a puzzle." Friday's edition of The Los Angeles Times contained an editorial that begins, "What kind of justice a presidential candidate would name to the Supreme Court isn't just a legitimate issue; it's a vital one."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge's refusal to step down after 1935 bribery conviction led to change in state Constitution; Gavin Craig said he was innocent and refused to leave the bench": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Justice Gavin W. Craig, who sat on the state appellate court about 70 years ago in Los Angeles, made his mark on history not through his judicial opinions but through his own legal woes and a penchant for persistence. When Craig refused to leave the bench after his 1935 felony conviction on bribery charges, opponents launched a drive to remove him and fomented a change in the California Constitution."
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Monkey Meat at Center of NYC Court Case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chief justice bucks precedent in smoke-shop case": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an article that begins, "A state Supreme Court directive that the criminal charges stemming from the state police raid on a Narragansett Indian smoke shop be resolved, if possible, through mediation is not only unprecedented, it bucks the high court's own rules."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to Consider Investor's 401(k) Suit": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court may have violated its own policies": The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Cathy McBroom's mother and others say that her May complaint against U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent wasn’t the first time she told court officials about the judge's alleged sexual misconduct. But the court, often charged with judging sexual harassment by others, apparently failed to follow its own internal guidelines for correcting the problem, at least according to several people close to the case."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"For Thompson, federalism at heart of campaign; Draws mixed responses to the principle": The Boston Globe contains this article today.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, November 24, 2007

"A Worthy Nominee: Maryland senators threaten to block a qualified candidate from a federal appeals court." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Aharon Barak: Israel tops US at protecting human rights." Sunday's edition of The Jerusalem Post contains an article that begins, "Former Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak said on Saturday that thanks to the development and application of judicial tools such as 'proportionality' and 'reasonability' by the High Court of Justice, Israel has been far more successful in protecting human rights while fighting terrorism than the United States."
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former federal judge is striving for balance; He still questions laws as a teacher, advocate": Geoffrey Fattah had this article yesterday in The Deseret Morning News.

The article begins, "When Utah's youngest federal judge announced he was stepping down from the bench last September, many in the legal community wondered why someone would leave behind a lifetime appointment by the U.S. president. Paul G. Cassell was 42 when he was appointed to the bench, but 5 1/2 years later the former federal prosecutor and University of Utah law professor announced he would return to teaching and take up a new career in legal advocacy."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Legal Warrior: Can the lawyer who won Bush v. Gore win over social conservatives for Rudy Giuliani?" James Taranto has this interview op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Guns and the Constitution: Is the Second Amendment an individual, or collective, right?" This hot topic essay appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


Greetings from Washington, DC: Where, since early yesterday afternoon, my family and a family with whom we are friends have been seeing the sights. Yesterday, among other things, we made it to the International Spy Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum-National Portrait Gallery.

Among the things to do on today's agenda, giant pandas and the changing of the guard.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, November 23, 2007

"Lawyer's revelation of confession may ruin him; Staples Hughes' career is in jeopardy for having disclosed the confession of a client, now dead, that he alone killed a couple": This interesting article appears today in The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Posted at 09:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines visits Guam next week": Saturday's edition of The Pacific Daily News of Guam contains this article.
Posted at 09:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Whose Right To Bear Arms?" This editorial appears today in The Hartford Courant.

And today's edition of The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts contains an editorial entitled "High court can defend rights of an individual."
Posted at 09:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Idea of open government wins in lengthy suit with Penn State": The Harrisburg Patriot-News today contains this editorial congratulating itself on a lawsuit that the newspaper brought and recently prevailed in before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

My earlier coverage appears here and here.
Posted at 09:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"S.F. Chamber of Commerce backs same-sex marriage rights": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides this news update.
Posted at 09:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Head for Cover as High Court Aims at Gun Control": Bloomberg News columnist Ann Woolner today has an essay that begins, "The authors of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution could have used a lesson in clarity, not to mention punctuation."
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"A New Challenge to Ky. Executions Arises": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Kentucky death-row prisoner claims that giving a condemned inmate a sedative on the day of execution interferes with the drug cocktail used in lethal injections."
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bonds's Defense Team to Add Some Experience": The New York Times contains this article today.

And The Associated Press reports that "Bonds' Former Friends Set to Testify."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sandra Day O'Connor's loss, and ours; Her spouse's Alzheimer's has exacted a toll her, and the country feels it, too": This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Stevens and the tipping point: How the Supreme Court would look if its strongest liberal voice, now 87, were to exit may well depend on the presidential election." David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cellphone Tracking Powers on Request; Secret Warrants Granted Without Probable Cause": The Washington Post today contains a front page article that begins, "Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers, fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers. In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime. Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Second Amendment Showdown: The Supreme Court has a historic opportunity to affirm the individual right to keep and bear arms." Mike Cox, Michigan's attorney general, has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. 'Helps Iran' in Court Case": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "The Justice Department is urging a federal court to go easy on Iran in a legal dispute in which terrorism victims are attempting to seize valuable Iranian antiquities held by American research institutions."
Posted at 07:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Eleven-Million-Dollar Judgment Against the Westboro Baptist Church For Protesting At a Funeral: Did It Violate the First Amendment?" Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein have this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Friends in High Places": In the current issue of CQ Weekly, columnist Kenneth Jost has an essay that begins, "Equal Justice Under Law is carved in big letters over the Corinthian columns framing the main entrance to the Supreme Court. While the goal has always been more aspirational than actual, a leading expert says the gap between the hope and the reality is widening. The reason: the emergence of an elite corps of Supreme Court advocates, most of them with big corporate law firms in Washington, who appear to be having outsized influence in shaping the court's docket and its decisions to advance the interests of well-heeled business clients."
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, November 22, 2007

"School Board mulls offer for settlement in Bong Hits case; Attorney Mertz says he expects to file appeal to Ninth Circuit Court": This article appeared yesterday in The Juneau Empire.

And The Associated Press reports that "'Bong Hits' attorney suggests settlement to Juneau board; Rejection by School District would return case to court."
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Winfree soon to set up shop in courthouse": The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner today contains an article that begins, "The Alaska Supreme Court now has a Fairbanksan on its bench, but exactly where that bench will reside is still in the works."
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion foes' strategy advances; An attempt to undermine Roe vs. Wade by amending constitutions to grant human status to embryos gains ground in several states": Friday's edition of The Los Angeles Times will contain an article that begins, "Antiabortion activists in several states are promoting constitutional amendments that would define life as beginning at conception, which could effectively outlaw all abortions and some birth control methods."
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Georgia Court Rejects Law on Sex Offenders; State's Residency Restrictions Faulted": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "One of the nation's most aggressive attempts to limit the mobility of convicted sex offenders was struck down yesterday, as the Georgia Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the state's law restricting where they may live."

The New York Times reports today that "Georgia Justices Overturn a Curb on Sex Offenders."

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article headlined "No more eviction of sex offenders; State's high court says they can reside legally in areas near children."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia at this link.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lethal Injection to Get Supreme Test; Doubts of Humaneness Bring Case to High Court": Friday's edition of The Washington Post will contain this article.
Posted at 09:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nationality plays role in detainee release; More Saudis are freed from Guantanamo": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 09:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court sides with Steve Popovich against Sony": Today's edition of The Cleveland Plain Dealer contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a jury's decision to award Cleveland music guru Steve Popovich more than $5 million after a contract dispute with Sony Music. The 2-1 ruling also opens the door for Popovich, founder of Cleveland International Records, to seek more damages in court. 'I worked too hard for them and made them too much money to get robbed now, in the autumn of my life,' Popovich, 65, said Wednesday. Cleveland International Records introduced the music world to Meat Loaf, whose 'Bat Out of Hell' album went on to become one of the best-selling records of all time."

And The Associated Press reports that "Sony Ordered to Pay $5M in Logo Dispute."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"US Court Upholds $1 Billion Award In Motorola Case Vs Uzans": Dow Jones Newswires provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a $1 billion punitive-damage award against members of Turkey's Uzan family in a case where Motorola Inc. (MOT) has alleged massive fraud regarding loans to Telsim, a Turkish cellular-phone operator."

Bloomberg News reports that "Motorola's $1 Billion Award in Uzan Case Is Upheld."

And Reuters reports that "US court upholds $1 bln award against Uzan family."

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



"Friends' Clash Reflects Battle Over Israeli Court": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 02:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Urges Congress to Settle Hemp Suit": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The federal judge handling two farmers' lawsuit against the U.S. government over the right to grow industrial hemp says the matter might be better handled by Congress than the courts."
Posted at 02:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ms. Paulose Departs": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "While Alberto Gonzales's Justice Department was purging some of its most talented and upstanding prosecutors, it hired Rachel Paulose as United States attorney for Minnesota. Ms. Paulose was not qualified, but she did have the right political connections. The recent decision to remove her from the job is overdue and a hopeful sign that the new attorney general, Michael Mukasey, may be serious about fixing his department."
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"2007 National Lawyers Convention - 'Shining City Upon a Hill: American Exceptionalism'": At this web page, the Federalist Society continues to update its audio-video offerings from its recent National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC.

Among other things, you can now access video of speeches delivered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and by Justice Clarence Thomas, along with a panel discussion of "Federalism: Religion, Early America and the Fourteenth Amendment" for which Eleventh Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. served as moderator.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"For Lawyers, Perks to Fit a Lifestyle": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clemency bids backing up for Bush; More than 3,000 petitions by federal inmates are pending; The president acted on only 18 in fiscal 2007": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Number of Orthodox Court Clerks Jumps Thanks to Scalia": The Forward today posted online an article that begins, "While Jews in general have been well represented among the Supreme Court's clerks in recent decades, the same cannot be said of the Orthodox. Court watchers say you can count on one hand the number of Orthodox Jews who have served as clerks, but that figure will see a significant jump in 2008, when Harvard Law graduates Moshe Spinowitz, 28, and Yaakov Roth, 23, join the staff of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"US court to rule on right to possess guns": This article appears in Thursday's edition of The Guardian (UK).
Posted at 11:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judges OK prosecutions for fetal murder; Separate ruling limits Miranda rights of prisoners": Chuck Lindell will have this article Thursday in The Austin American-Statesman.

Today's ruling of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals -- that State's highest court in criminal cases -- consists of a majority opinion and two concurring opinions (here and here). And you can access the other documents filed on appeal via this link.
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court: Public defenders need not release records; Ruling orders 2 attorneys to jail, settles dispute between judges." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "The Georgia Supreme Court Wednesday said the statewide public defender system does not have to release records detailing its spending on death penalty cases to the lawyers in one of those capital cases."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia at this link.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Should Fertilized Eggs Have Rights?" Time magazine's web site today has posted online an article that begins, "If Colorado for Equal Rights for Human Life and other anti-abortion groups can wrangle 76,000 signatures in the next six months, theirs could be the first state in the nation to vote on whether a fertilized egg should legally be considered a person."
Posted at 10:53 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chastang case goes to the top; U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review appointment and removal of former Mobile County commissioner": This article appears today in The Mobile Press-Register.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Paterno's salary on public record, top Pa. court rules": Today's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer contains an article that begins, "In a decision reaffirming the public's right to know how state money is spent, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state retirement system must disclose the salary of legendary football coach Joe Paterno."

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports today that "Paterno's salary is public, Supreme Court rules."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "Ruling to unveil Paterno's paycheck."

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that "Retirement agency must reveal Paterno's salary."

And The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania contains an editorial entitled "Ruling on famous football coach's pay is about public's right to know."

Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consisted of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.
Posted at 09:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer approved as appellate court judge": The Honolulu Star-Bulletin contains this article today.

And The Honolulu Advertiser reports today that "Hawaii senate confirms Leonard as judge."
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Gun Control Case": This segment (transcript with links to audio and video) featuring Marcia Coyle appeared on yesterday's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ga. court overturns restrictions on where sex offenders live": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday declared unconstitutional a provision of a 2006 state law that prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of day care centers, schools, churches and other places where children congregate. In striking down the residency restrictions, the justices said they can amount to an 'illegal taking' because they force sex offenders who are homeowners to abandon their homes if a place where children congregate is suddenly built nearby."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Takes On 'Me, Too' Age Bias; One of four critical age bias cases set for high court review": Marcia Coyle has this article in the current issue of The National Law Journal.
Posted at 08:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court asked to hear Utah commandments case": This article appears today in The Deseret Morning News. In this post from yesterday evening, I linked to the cert. petition and the Tenth Circuit's rulings in the cases.
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge OKs crosses as trooper memorials; Federal judge rules they have a secular meaning": Geoffrey Fattah has this article today in The Deseret Morning News.

And The Salt Lake Tribune reports today that "Judge rebuffs atheists' protest, rules UHP memorial crosses can remain."

I have posted online at this link yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. An appeal from that ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is expected to follow.
Posted at 05:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"The government and gun rights": Lyle Denniston has this commentary at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"News Organizations Say Access Limited": Pete Yost of The Associated Press has an article that begins, "Five news organizations complained Wednesday that they are being denied access to much of the military commission proceeding against a Canadian terror suspect. Various arguments in the case of Omar Khadr at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are apparently made via e-mail - a communications channel to which the public has no access - and issues apparently are being raised in closed sessions for which no transcripts or summaries are available, the news organizations, including The Associated Press, wrote in a filing."
Posted at 11:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ga. Court Overturns Sex Offender Law": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Georgia's top court overturned a state law Wednesday that banned registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, churches and other areas where children congregate."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia at this link.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman



Second Circuit affirms $1 billion punitive damages award against the Uzan family of Turkey: You can access today's ruling, by a unanimous three-judge panel, at this link.

In August 2003, The New York Times reported that "Motorola Wins $4 Billion in Dispute Over Loans to Turkish Family." And in February 2004, the newspaper reported that "Turkish Family Loses Again in Phone Case." Additional background on the Uzan family of Turkey appears in this article that Time magazine published in July 2003.
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman



Perhaps you'd like some Meat Loaf on the day before Thanksgiving? If so, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is glad to oblige. Today a divided three-judge panel of that court issued this decision affirming a jury's award of over $5 million against Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., on a breach of contract claim arising from the distribution of four Meat Loaf albums.

But for those who would prefer to read an appellate court ruling about Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. over an appellate court ruling about Michael Lee Aday, a separate three-judge Sixth Circuit panel today issued this ruling, which involves not only Snoop Dogg (whose name the Sixth Circuit initially spells with only one "g") but also the P-Funk All Stars. Of course, any mention of Snoop Dogg cannot help but bring to mind my post from June 5, 2003 titled "Shizzle my nizzle: lyrics leave judge lost for words."
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers seek help in Britain for 'child soldier' at Guantanamo": This article appeared Monday in The Times of London.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to hear gun case; Supreme Court will decide on D.C. ban": James Oliphant and Michael J. Higgins have this article today in The Chicago Tribune.

The Telegraph (UK) reports today that "US Supreme Court to review right to own guns."

Thursday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that "US court to bite the bullet over gun law."

The Baltimore Sun contains an editorial entitled "Arms and the court." In addition, Law Professor Kenneth Lasson has an op-ed entitled "Pro-gun scholars twist Constitution."

And at National Review Online, Timothy Wheeler has an essay entitled "One for the Second: The American Academy of Pediatrics is using worn-out rhetoric," while the pseudonymous "David Kahane" has an essay entitled "Circuit Breaker: Democracy is the Supreme Court."

Earlier this morning, I collected much additional news coverage and related commentary at this link.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Conviction for Standing in Times Sq. Is Overturned": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "The Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court, threw out the conviction yesterday of a man who was arrested for standing and not moving on a Times Square corner in 2004. The man, Matthew Jones, was on the corner of 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue in the early morning of June 12, 2004, chatting with friends as other pedestrians tried to get by."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the New York State Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Government Secrecy May Lead to New Trial In Va. Terrorism Case": Today in The Washington Post, Jerry Markon has an article that begins, "A federal judge criticized the government's secrecy yesterday in the case of a prominent Muslim spiritual leader from Fairfax County who was convicted on terrorism charges, and she threatened to grant a new trial if the government doesn't share information about the Bush administration's terrorist surveillance program. U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Alexandria said her skepticism in the case of Ali al-Timimi stems from government misinformation in another major terrorism prosecution: that of convicted Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. Federal prosecutors recently revealed that the CIA had told Brinkema that the interrogations of enemy combatant witnesses in Moussaoui's trial had not been audiotaped or videotaped, when they had. The judge called the factual error 'a mess' yesterday but indicated it probably would not affect Moussaoui's guilty plea or life prison term."

And The New York Times reports today that "Wiretap Issue Leads Judge to Warn of Retrial in Terror Case."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling Will Cripple Probes Of Lawmakers, U.S. Says": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A little-noticed aspect of an appellate court decision could sharply limit investigations of members of Congress and hamper ongoing corruption probes, the Justice Department said this week in a motion seeking an emergency stay of the ruling. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was handed down in August in the case of Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.), but its effects complicate other investigations, including those stemming from the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal."

My earlier coverage of this D.C. Circuit ruling appears here and here.
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"New Jersey Senator Urges Delay on Repeal of Death Penalty": The New York Times contains this article today.

The Newark Star-Ledger today contains an article headlined "A last-ditch appeal to keep death penalty; Pair urge life in prison with no chance of parole."

And The Express-Times of Easton, Pennsylvania reports that "Lawmakers wrestle with death penalty; Vote set for Dec 13; Some want to refine law despite recommendations to abolish practice."

Meanwhile, in death penalty news pertaining to California, The Los Angeles Times reports that "Plan to speed death penalty reviews seen as just one step; The proposal to spread the state high court's burden draws praise; But cutting the shortage of lawyers who handle appeals is also viewed as vital."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wal-mart's lawsuit: legal, but wrong; The retail giant's pursuit of funds paid to a severely injured former employee puts hardship on a family." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times. The editorial's topic was the subject of a front page article that appeared in yesterday's issue of The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to hear challenge of union-backed California law; The law prohibits employers from using state funds in attempts to dissuade workers from joining unions": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "U.S. high court to review state law on anti-union spending."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Will Decide if Handgun Kept at Home Is Individual Right": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times. In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "The Court and the Second Amendment."

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has a front page article headlined "Justices To Rule On D.C. Gun Ban; 2nd Amendment Case Could Affect Laws Nationwide."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Supreme Court to rule on right to keep handguns at home; Justices will review an appeals court decision that struck down a 31-year-old Washington D.C., ban on pistols."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Justices take on 2nd Amendment; It would be first time high court directly interprets right to bear arms."

Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal reports that "Justices to Weigh Handgun Ban; Supreme Court Decision On a D.C. Ordinance Is Likely Amid Election Run."

In The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "Justices Take Up Issue of Gun Ownership Rights."

And The Washington Times reports that "Court agrees to consider D.C. gun ban." In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Tackling the gun debate head-on."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Democrats Move to Block Bush Appointments": This article, about a plan to prevent recess appointments, appears today in The New York Times.

And The Washington Times reports today that "Senate Democrats play recess hardball."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Law Firm Seeks Hefty Fee Payout For Enron Suit": The Wall Street Journal today contains an article that begins, "A San Diego law firm founded by trial lawyer William Lerach is seeking nearly $700 million in legal fees for itself and other plaintiff lawyers for work on the Enron Corp. securities litigation, according to a filing yesterday in federal court in Houston."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Thanksgiving and the Federal Courts: The Recent Choices by and Regarding the Courts For Which We Should Truly Be Grateful." Carl Tobias has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"The Most Dangerous Justice Rides into the Sunset": Law Professors Paul H. Edelman and Jim Chen have posted this article (abstract with link for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog"). The article seeks to determine which Justice was most powerful during the time that William H. Rehnquist served as Chief Justice.
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Agrees to Take D.C. Gun Case."

An article is headlined "What Does the Future Hold for the Federalists? How long will the conservative group's power and prosperity last?"

And in other news, "Fired U.S. Attorneys Measure the Fallout; Former AG Gonzales is blamed for firings, but not the White House."
Posted at 11:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court, 2006 Term": The contents of the November 2007 issue of The Harvard Law Review can be accessed via this link. The issue contains a comment from Fourth Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III titled "The Seattle and Louisville School Cases: There is no Other Way."

The "leading cases" discussion of last Term's punitive damages ruling in Philip Morris USA v. Williams seemed just a bit overblown in its condemnation of the decision.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"This appeal presents the question of whether student speech that threatens a Columbine-style attack on a school is protected by the First Amendment." So begins a decision that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued today.

The Fifth Circuit's opinion holds that "when a student threatens violence against a student body, his words are as much beyond the constitutional pale as yelling 'fire' in crowded theater, and such specific threatening speech to a school or its population is unprotected by the First Amendment. School administrators must be permitted to react quickly and decisively to address a threat of physical violence against their students, without worrying that they will have to face years of litigation second-guessing their judgment as to whether the threat posed a real risk of substantial disturbance."
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"They've Slept On It: Sixty-eight years after last taking on a gun case, the Supreme Court awakens to a violent debate." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Moussaoui Judge Questions Government": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge expressed frustration Tuesday that the government provided incorrect information about evidence in the prosecution of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and raised the possibility of ordering a new trial in another high-profile terrorism case. At a post-trial hearing Tuesday for Ali al-Timimi, a Muslim cleric from Virginia sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for soliciting treason, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she can no longer trust the CIA and other government agencies on how they represent classified evidence in terror cases."
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court takes up gun-rights case; It's the first time since 1939 that the justices will confront the Constitution's right to bear arms": Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.

And Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Supreme Court will hear historic gun rights case."
Posted at 07:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Gun Control Case": Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times provides this news update.
Posted at 07:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to Review D.C. Handgun Ban": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 07:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court's Wrong Turn -- And How to Fix It: After posing as moderates in their confirmation hearings, Justices Roberts and Alito have moved the Court radically to the right; Henceforth, we should compel nominees to state how they would have ruled on specific cases, and why." U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) will have this essay in the December 2007 issue of The American Prospect.
Posted at 07:01 PM by Howard Bashman


"Author: Reform court nomination process; Princeton provost discusses Supreme Court appointments." Today's issue of The Daily Pennsylvanian contains an article that begins, "The Supreme Court has the constitutional right to declare the 'supreme law of the land,' so the appointment of justices is a crucial aspect of the American judicial system. However, according to Princeton provost Christopher Eisgruber, the current system is subpar and in dire need of reform. Eisgruber visited the Penn Bookstore yesterday to promote his new book, The Next Justice, in which he prescribes criteria for change by outlining four major points in the 'broken' appointment process that he says ought to be repaired quickly."
Posted at 06:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court won't take Alamance County teen sex case": This article appeared yesterday in The Burlington (N.C.) Times-News.
Posted at 06:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Paterno's salary is public, Supreme Court rules": The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania provides a news update that begins, "The public has the right to know Joe Paterno's salary, the state Supreme Court ruled today. The court, in a 4-2 decision, ruled that the State Employees' Retirement System must release the salaries of Paterno and other Penn State University officials. This ruling stems from an open-records lawsuit filed by The Patriot-News that originated from a request for this information submitted in 2002 to the pension system."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court says pay of Paterno, other PSU figures public."

In response to the ruling, Penn State University has issued a press release entitled "Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules in favor of Patriot-News in state retirement system case."

Today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consists of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.
Posted at 06:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Group asks Supreme Court to hear Ten Commandments case": Geoffrey Fattah of The Deseret Morning News provides an update that begins, "A legal group based in Washington, D.C., announced Tuesday that it has filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision allowing a Utah religious group to erect its own monuments next to two displays of the Ten Commandments in Pleasant Grove and Duchesne cities."

The American Center for Law and Justice has issued this press release in connection with the petition for writ of certiorari that it filed today.

My coverage of the Tenth Circuit's rulings (available online here and here) appeared at this link. And I covered the Tenth Circuit's order denying rehearing en banc in a post you can access here.
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to Hear D.C. Gun Ban Case; Case Set to Be the First Second Amendment Issue Before the Court in 70 Years": Ariane de Vogue and Dennis Powell have this report at ABCNews.com.

And BBC News reports that "Supreme Court to consider gun law; The US Supreme Court is to consider an American's right to bear arms for the first time in nearly 70 years."
Posted at 05:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Kennedy and the Second Amendment": Orin Kerr, who recently clerked for Justice Kennedy, has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to rule on gun ownership rights": Bill Mears of CNN.com provides this report.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman


What is the preemptive effect of the federal safety standards governing automobile glass? The preemptive effect of federal safety standards governing passenger restraints and airbags has been litigated extensively, but apparently today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is the first to examine the preemptive effect of the federal safety standards governing automobile glass. It is unlikely that the automobile industry will view today's ruling as a favorable development.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"May a Trial Court Force the Parties to Waive Appellate Review?" That was the title of the July 23, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com.

I orally argued the case that was the subject of that week's column before a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania on October 2, 2007. Today, that panel issued a unanimous, precedential decision in my client's favor.

Because that installment of my column generated a large volume of email from readers, I thought it might interest some to learn how the matter was resolved on appeal.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Second Amendment's Day in Court": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to rule on gun rights; The Supreme Court will determine whether the 2nd Amendment allows individuals to have a gun at home for self-defense": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court agrees to rule on gun case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has a news update headlined "High Court to Hear D.C. Gun Ban Case."

The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Supreme Court Will Hear Guns Case"; "Court Takes Alabama Voting Rights Case"; and "Supreme Court to Rule on Union Law."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Rule on Constitutional Gun Rights."

And Reuters reports that "High court to rule on D.C. handgun ban."

You can access at this link today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The D.C. Circuit issued its Second Amendment ruling on March 9, 2007, and you can access the decision at this link. I wrote about the ruling in an installment of my "On Appeal" column headlined "State of the Second Amendment: Does It Apply in the District of Columbia?" You can access this blog's earlier coverage of the D.C. Circuit's ruling here, here, and here.
Posted at 01:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"California's high court seeks death penalty fix; Justices propose to deal with the massive backlog by allowing case review to be transferred to lower courts": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "State Supreme Court's proposal would speed up Death Row appeals."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Seeks Altered Death Penalty Appeal."

My earlier coverage appeared at this link.
Posted at 11:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ziegler allegations a 'blip'; Other judges who were disciplined engaged in more egregious acts, appeals judge says": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "The conflict-of-interest allegations against state Supreme Court Justice Annette K. Ziegler hardly register as 'a blip on the screen' compared with other judicial ethics cases, one of the three judges reviewing Ziegler's case said Monday."

Today's edition of The Wisconsin State Journal contains an article headlined "Attorney: Ziegler inadvertently violated ethics code."

The Badger Herald reports that "State justice's hearing commences."

And The Associated Press reports that "Panel hears arguments in case of sitting Supreme Court justice."
Posted at 11:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Minnesota's Embattled U.S. Attorney Steps Down": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Attorney for Minnesota to Leave Post; Paulose Was Facing Justice Dept. Probe": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Amid Turmoil, U.S. Attorney Will Shift to Headquarters."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Controversial U.S. attorney gets new post; The reassignment of Rachel Paulose, who clashed with career prosecutors in Minnesota, suggests the new attorney general seeks to quickly address Gonzales-era problems."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune contains articles headlined "Minnesota;s embattled U.S. attorney steps down; U.S. attorney was under fire from her staff and will take a post in D.C."; "Now, focus is on getting office back on track; Paulose's departure brought reactions from relief to silence from Minnesota's delegation in Washington"; and "Politics could slow nomination of new Minnesota U.S. attorney; Paulose successor could easily serve out Bush term without confirmation."

And The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that "Controversial U.S. prosecutor reassigned to D.C.; Tenure in Minnesota marred by complaints over management style, questions of cronyism."
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Fundraising poses a challenge for UCI's law school; Just as incoming Dean Erwin Chemerinsky finally gets his post locked in, a new obstacle awaits: raising millions of dollars to open the institution, without an alumni base." The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Hawaii panel approves appeals court nominee": This article appears today in The Honolulu Advertiser.

And The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports today that "Appellate court pick gets Senate panel OK."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme choice: Governor makes a great pick for high court." The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner today contains an editorial that begins, "Congratulations to Fairbanksan Daniel E. Winfree, the newest Alaska Supreme Court justice. Gov. Sarah Palin named her first appointment to the court on Friday. Mr. Winfree is the 19th justice appointed to the state's high court. For the first time in a decade, Fairbanks is home to a justice. The last Supreme Court justice from Fairbanks was Jay Rabinowitz, who retired 10 years ago due to the job's age limit, which is 70."
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Release Justice's Secrets": Today in The New York Times, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach and Frederick A. O. Schwarz Jr. have an op-ed that begins, "Michael Mukasey has been confirmed as attorney general. But the profound moral, legal and constitutional issues raised at his Senate Judiciary Committee hearings are unresolved. Mr. Mukasey should open the door to their resolution by releasing the Justice Department's long-secret legal opinions that have warped our fight against terrorism."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Accident Victims Face Grab for Legal Winnings; Wal-Mart Paid Bills For Mrs. Shank, Then Sued for Money Back": This front page article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, November 19, 2007

"Court refuses to bar high-profile lawyer from State Farm case": The Associated Press provides this report on a non-precedential ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"4th Circuit Nominee Named in Defamation Suit": Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal provides this report.

This blog's earlier related posts appear here and here.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Death Becomes Us? Tennessee tries to keep its machinery of death in motion as U.S. Supreme Court considers the legality of lethal injection." This article appears in the current issue of Nashville Scene.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Public Disclosure Needed in Kent Case": Steven Long has this post today at "In Cold Blog."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Letters from Prison": This feature in the current issue of The Texas Observer consists of two essays written by prisoners -- "Life and Death in a Cold, Lonely Cell" and "Give Me Shelter."
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman


There's something different about the look of this blog: Indeed there is. The ad unit that appeared vertically below the law.com headlines in this blog's right-hand column now appears horizontally across the top of the page. As a consequence, those who advertise here using Blogads will now have their ads appearing higher on the page.
Posted at 09:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"California's high court seeks death penalty fix; Justices propose to deal with a massive backlog by allowing case review to be transferred to lower courts": Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

You can access at this link the press release that the Supreme Court of California issued today.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Attorney in Minnesota Is Reassigned": The New York Times provides a news update that begins, "The embattled United States attorney in Minnesota announced today that she would be stepping down to go work at the Justice Department in Washington on legal policy issues."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Paulose steps down, takes D.C. job; U.S. Attorney quit today in wake of public comments last week": The Minneapolis Star Tribune provides this news update.
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Orlando prep school sues mother for criticizing it on blog; The New School of Orlando calls comments defamatory, libelous": This article appeared yesterday in The Orlando Sentinel.

And The Associated Press reports that "Orlando private school sues blogging parent; The mom says she wants to warn others about conditions her child faced in kindergarten."

(Links via "Obscure Store.")
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"D.C. Circuit Doesn't Swallow Lactose-Intolerance Class Action": Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's alcohol ban in strip club ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: The decision is available at this link. The decision involves the Village of Washington Park, Illinois, which, according to the opinion, "derives almost 100% of its income from the adult entertainment industry."
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"The State of the Term": Tom Goldstein has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 02:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Considers Changing Look of Money": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court seems troubled that blind people are unable to distinguish between a $50 bill and a $1 bill, but judges appeared reluctant Monday to force a redesign of U.S. currency."
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Geographically incorrect": The Baltimore Sun yesterday contained an editorial that begins, "Given their history, President Bush's nomination of U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein to the long-vacant Maryland seat on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seems primarily intended as a poke in the eye to Maryland's two senators."
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Mass. Gay Marriage Law Still Contested; On fourth anniversary, future of law still remains unclear": This article appears today in The Harvard Crimson.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Michigan Primary Goes to High Court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Death Penalty: Slowly Fading?" Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay in today's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fourth Circuit Nominee Getchell Sued For Defamation": Today at WSJ.com's "Law Blog," Peter Lattman has this post linking to the complaint filed in a Virginia state trial court.

My earlier post on this matter appeared Friday afternoon at this link.
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Constitution wins as appellate court strikes down 'bait-and-switch' legislation": The Allentown Morning Call today contains an editorial that begins, "Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court last week struck down a 2002 expansion of the state's hate-crimes law to cover victims who are gay or disabled. The loss of this needed protection is regrettable, of course, but the court's majority made the right call. Specifically, Commonwealth Court has called the Legislature on yet another attempt at stealth legislation."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court documents detail loans that led to KC judge's downfall": This article appeared Saturday in The Kansas City Star.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Feinstein often crosses party lines on Senate Judiciary Committee": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"California a leader in number of youths in prison for life; The state has 227 inmates serving such sentences for crimes committed before they were 18, a new study says": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Philadelphia Gives Boy Scouts Ultimatum; City Solicitor Tells Branch to Renounce Its Ban on Gays or Lose Rent Subsidy": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Rendition, Torture and Accountability": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian, was stopped at Kennedy Airport in 2002 while returning from a family vacation. After being held in solitary confinement in a Brooklyn detention center and interrogated without proper access to a lawyer, he was spirited off to Syria. He was tortured there for months before officials decided that their suspicions that he was a member of Al Qaeda were mistaken and let him go."
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Making sense of the Second Amendment": This editorial appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"'60 Minutes' airs video of Omar Khadr": The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, "CBS News has broadcast shocking new footage of a Canadian terrorism suspect allegedly building bomb timers and planting land mines while he was a 15-year-old militant hoping to take on American soldiers in Afghanistan."

And the web site of the CBS News program "60 Minutes" contains a report headlined "Omar Khadr: The Youngest Terrorist? Was Only 15 Years Old When He Was Captured In Afghanistan."
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Land-claims trial takes unusual turn": This article appears today in The Toronto Globe and Mail.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Spectacular Trial' Is Seen in Case of Liberty Dollar": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Some cleared Guantanamo inmates stay in custody; Lawyers call US system of hearings a sham": This front page article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Case of AIDS, secrets heads to Illinois supreme court; Suit before state's high court filled with complex legal, moral issues": The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Illinois contains this article today.
Posted at 08:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Former Supreme Court justice O'Connor visits Texas Tech": This article appears today in The Daily Toreador.

The Associated Press reported that "O'Connor speaks in Lubbock."

And today's edition of The Arizona Republic contains an editorial entitled "Again, she inspires."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Blaze that destroyed Supreme Court justice's home a mystery": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "It might sound like the kind of case fire investigators deal with routinely: A family with some financial problems loses their house in a blaze that's later ruled as arson. What makes this story so unusual is the homeowner, Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online at FindLaw: Michael C. Dorf has an essay entitled "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Dismisses a Challenge to Warrantless Wiretapping But Leaves Plaintiffs With a Sliver of Hope."

And Mark H. Allenbaugh and Paul J. Hofer have an essay entitled "The U. S. Sentencing Commission Considers Shortening Terms for Imprisoned Crack Offenders: Should the Reduction of the Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine Sentencing Be Retroactive?"
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"How to Tell Someone She's Being Sued, Without Really Telling Her": Adam Liptak has this "Sidebar" column today in The New York Times.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Move to End Death Penalty In New Jersey": This article will appear Monday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Inspirational Life of Clarence Thomas": Robert Bluey has this essay today at Townhall.com.

Update: And the October 2007 issue of Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College, contained an interview headlined "A Conversation with Justice Clarence Thomas."
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Federalist Society Visits Supreme Court": This article appeared in Friday's issue of Virginia Law Weekly.
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court unlikely to rule against lethal injections": Yesterday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald contained an article that begins, "For the first time in three years, more than a month has gone by in the US without a single execution."
Posted at 08:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Harvest of Trash and Turmoil for an Agent Fighting Steroids": The New York Times contains this article today.

In addition, Law Professor John C. Coffee Jr. has an essay entitled "Take Me Out to the Courtroom."
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senate isn't exactly out of town; The chamber will be briefly back in session to forestall any recess appointments by Bush": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"All the President's Powers": Emily Bazelon today has this review in the Sunday Book Review section of The New York Times.
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"What a judge may tell Kent: The reprimand may sound familiar." Today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Rick Casey has an op-ed that begins, "There seems a good chance that U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent will face a jury of his peers -- not the judges who already found him guilty, but of 12 good citizens and true."
Posted at 07:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Alzheimer's Disease Releases Couple to Love Again": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 07:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Huckabee: Abortion Not States' Call." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee rejects letting states decide whether to allow abortions, claiming the right to life is a moral issue not subject to multiple interpretations."
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Utahns exercise right to openly carry firearms; More citizens pack heat in plain view; legality remains a murky area": The Salt Lake Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Utah's Cross Controversy: The Utah Highway Patrol Association is faced with a lawsuit over placing by the side of the road crosses honoring state troopers killed in the line of duty." This article appears online at Newsweek's web site.

In Thursday's issue of The Salt Lake Tribune, Pamela Manson had an article headlined "Fallen trooper memorials: Crosses go from highways to courtroom; Are the markers illegal symbols of Christianity, or secular memorials?"

And The Deseret Morning News reported last week that "Attorneys argue Utah Highway Patrol cross case."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Love in the Time of Dementia": The Week in Review section of today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "So this, in the end, is what love is. Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's husband, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, has a romance with another woman, and the former justice is thrilled -- even visits with the new couple while they hold hands on the porch swing -- because it is a relief to see her husband of 55 years so content."

And at Poynter Online, Al Tompkins has an essay entitled "Behind the O'Connor Love Story: By telling an intimate story about a famous family, a Phoenix television station examines a side of Alzheimer's unknown to many; Here's how it happened" (via "LawBeat").
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Timing of Bonds's Indictment Feeds Speculation": The New York Times today contains this article, along with an article headlined "Prosecution's Best Pitch Is Precision, Experts Say."

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Concern delayed the case against Bonds; Federal prosecutors, unsure of the strength of their evidence, gave the slugger time to break Henry Aaron's home run record."

And The San Francisco Chronicle contains an article headlined "Bonds' defense: Lawyer may have talked his client into a corner."
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Stays In Session to Block Recess Appointments": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Taste of Baboon and Monkey Meat, and Maybe of Prison, Too": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 11:09 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court's Fuel-Economy Ruling May Prod Congress to Set Even Higher Requirements": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:03 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "New Attorney General Mukasey Shows Savvy"; "Courts Stall Inmate's Desire to Die"; and "Gitmo Day at the Beach Is Anything But."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Some noteworthy recent law review articles: In the November 2007 issue of Boston College Law Review, Law Professor Adam N. Steinman has an article entitled "Reinventing Appellate Jurisdiction" (via "Concurring Opinions").

In the Fall 2007 issue of Northwestern University Law Review, Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin, Kevin M. Quinn, and Jeffrey A. Segal have an article entitled "Ideological Drift among Supreme Court Justices: Who, When, and How Important?" In response to that article, Linda Greenhouse has an essay entitled "Justices Who Change: A Response to Epstein et al." And Law Professor Ward Farnsworth has an essay entitled "The Use and Limits of Martin-Quinn Scores to Assess Supreme Court Justices, with Special Attention to the Problem of Ideological Drift." (All via "Concurring Opinions.")

Forthcoming in Texas Law Review, Law Professor David R. Stras will have a review essay entitled "The New Politics of Judicial Appointments" (SSRN abstract with links for download) (via "Legal Theory Blog").

And Law Professor Joshua D. Wright has posted to SSRN an article entitled "The Roberts Court and the Chicago School of Antitrust: The 2006 Term and Beyond" (abstract with links for download) (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Child killer's delayed execution means agony for family": CNN.com provides this report.

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Giuliani says he'd pick conservative justices; Seeking support during an address to the Federalist Society, the Republican presidential candidate promises to nominate justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas; He also backs gun rights": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The New York Times reports today that "Giuliani Vexes Audiences With His Abortion Views."
Posted at 04:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Hawaii court nominee earns praise": This article appears today in The Honolulu Advertiser.
Posted at 04:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Does Death Penalty Save Lives? A New Debate." Adam Liptak will have this article Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court rejects challenge to wiretap program; The Bush administration's warrantless spy effort is protected by the 'state secrets' privilege, federal judges rule": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Oregonian reports today that "Islamic charity's suit blocked in use of U.S. secret document; The 9th Circuit Court ruling may allow the nationally watched case to proceed."

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Court of Appeals allows Islamic group to sue over eavesdropping."

The New York Times reports that "Court Bars Secret Papers in Eavesdropping Case."

In The Washington Post, Dan Eggen reports that "Both Government and Islamic Charity Claim Victory in Eavesdropping Case."

And Declan McCullagh of c|net News.com has a post at his blog "The Iconoclast" titled "Appeals court's ruling may aid spy suits against AT&T, Verizon."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 01:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fairbanks lawyer named to Alaska Supreme Court": This article appears today in The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Posted at 01:02 PM by Howard Bashman


The Houston Chronicle is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Attorneys take slap at barge case prosecution; 'No scheme to deprive anyone of any money,' judge hears" and "Temple's attorneys subpoena Chronicle for data on reader; They want to ID a Web site user whose comments suggested a juror discussed the case."
Posted at 12:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Courthouse shooting trial delayed again": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And Fulton County Daily Report reports that "Judge Halts Courthouse Murder Trial Until Funds Found for Defense; 'It is pointless to move the trial forward under present circumstances,' Ga. judge says."
Posted at 12:54 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Bush Tells Federalist Society Judicial Confirmation Process Is Broken; Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito also spoke at the conservative legal group's 25th anniversary gala." Additional extensive coverage of the Federalist Society event can be accessed at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

In other news, Shannon P. Duffy reports that "Bush Chooses District Judge for 3rd Circuit, With Reed Smith Attorney as Replacement."

An article reports that "Courtroom Cell Phone Camera Ruled Witness Intimidation Tool." You can access the ruling of the Appeals Court of Massachusetts at this link.

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "D.C. Circuit Doesn't Swallow Lactose-Intolerance Class Action."
Posted at 12:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"New guidelines could mean earlier release for 19,500 crack offenders": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Friday, November 16, 2007

"Court rejects challenge to wiretap program; The Bush administration's warrantless spy effort is protected by the 'state secrets' privilege, federal judges rule": Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"9th Circuit Deals Setback to NSA Surveillance Victim": Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog this afternoon has a post that begins, "Two Americans who claim to have been given proof they were spied on by the government's secret, post-9/11 surveillance program can not use the document the government accidentally turned over to prove that they were spied on because the government claims that it will endanger national security, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. A three-judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that required that the plaintiff's lawyers turn all copies of the document over to the court, but let them reconstruct - on secure computers - their recollections of the document in order to prove they had standing to sue the government."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Bush at this link. And the trial court's ruling can be accessed here.

Update: The Associated Press reports that "Court Deals Blow to Wiretapping Case."
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush judicial nominee sued, accused of defamation": The Virginian-Pilot today contains an article that begins, "E. Duncan Getchell Jr., a Richmond lawyer nominated to the federal appeals court, was accused this week of making a costly error in 2005, then spreading false statements about it and shifting the blame to another lawyer to save his judicial nomination."
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman


Federal Circuit affirms jury verdict holding that Microsoft infringed another company's patents relating to the prevention of software piracy: You can access today's ruling at this link. I guess the jury didn't buy the defense that sometimes you must improperly use someone else's intellectual property to ensure that others aren't improperly using your intellectual property.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"The dissent characterizes the wearing of the GPS monitoring system as 'a catalyst for public ridicule' akin to traditional forms of community shaming or humiliation." So writes the majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today in rejecting a sex offender's challenge to a requirement under the Tennessee Serious and Violent Sex Offender Monitoring Pilot Project Act that he wear a GPS tracking device. According to the majority opinion:
The device that Doe must wear is relatively unobtrusive, measuring only 6 inches by 3.25 inches by 1.75 inches and weighing less than a pound. In its size, shape, and placement (hooked to a belt), it appears very similar to a walkie-talkie or other nondescript electronic device. Furthermore, we have every reason to believe that the dimensions of the system, while not presently conspicuous, will only become smaller and less cumbersome as technology progresses. We similarly cannot agree that the device's appearance would suggest to the casual observer that the wearer is a criminal, let alone a sex offender. The monitoring system could easily be viewed as a two-way communication device, a personal organizer, a medical apparatus, or as a monitoring system for employees entrusted with company property, such as delivery drivers or couriers. However, even assuming the public would recognize the device as a criminal monitor, there is no evidence to suggest an observer would understand the wearer to be a sex offender. These devices can be utilized in a variety of contexts, such as pretrial monitoring and work release, and are, in fact, advertised for use in such situations. Indeed, the dissent can only point to a single incident wherein a member of the public recognized the device as a monitor, and, even then, there was no evidence to suggest that the observer knew the device to be one that monitored sex offenders, as opposed to criminals generally.
You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"A bout of gas or indigestion does not justify a race to the courthouse." Circuit Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh today issued an opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that begins, "In this case, a group of lactose-intolerant individuals filed an unusual class-action lawsuit against nine sellers of milk. The plaintiffs allege that they consumed milk before they were aware of their lactose intolerance and, as a result, suffered temporary gas and stomach discomfort. According to plaintiffs, the milk sellers should have put warnings on the labels, informing consumers that some individuals might be intolerant of milk."
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senate to Debate Telecom Firms' Immunity in Surveillance Role": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Panel Drops Immunity From Eavesdropping Bill."

And in The Washington Times, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) has an op-ed entitled "Fixing the surveillance law."
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Calif. Court Rejects SUV Mileage Rules": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Court Rejects Fuel Standards on Trucks."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Ruling may drive tighter fuel standards; The federal appeals court decision targets a loophole that lets top-selling sport utility vehicles get fewer miles per gallon than passenger cars."

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Truck, SUV mileage standards thrown out by U.S. appeals court."

And USA Today reports that "Court orders tougher fuel rules; Lawsuit challenged goals for pickups, minivans and SUVs."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge stops enforcement of silence law": Today's edition of USA Today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge put a stop Thursday to enforcing a mandatory moment of silence in Illinois public schools that opponents say is an attempt to institute school prayer."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 09:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Doctor barred by Missouri helps in federal executions; A judge cites the physician's dyslexia in banning him from participation in state lethal injections; His role has been cited in several death penalty challenges": Henry Weinstein had this article yesterday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:21 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court halts Florida execution": The Miami Herald contains this article today.

Today in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey reports that "U.S. Supreme Court stays Florida execution; The case is the latest showdown over whether lethal injections should be delayed until a key death penalty decision."

The Orlando Sentinel reports that "Top court halts execution -- killer's future uncertain."

The Palm Beach post reports that "Killer, slain boy's family wait as courts say yes, no to execution."

The Tallahassee Democrat contains articles headlined "Schwab stay marks nationwide halt to executions" and "Supreme Court halts Schwab execution."

Florida Today contains an article headlined "Schwab met family, declined meal, before call" and an editorial entitled "Justice delayed: Rios-Martinez family deserves swift decision in Schwab death penalty debate."

And The New York Times reports that "Justices Move Again to Postpone an Execution."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Red Cross Monitors Barred From Guantanamo": This article appears today in The New York Times.

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Federal Prosecutor Nominated To Appeals Court in Richmond": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The Bush administration nominated Maryland's top federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, late yesterday to fill a long-standing vacancy on the federal appeals court in Richmond."

And The Baltimore Sun reports today that "Bush picks U.S. attorney for Md. for 4th Circuit."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"For Ashcroft, Something Old, Something Nude": Today in The Washington Post, Al Kamen's "In the Loop" column begins, "It was, let's face it, inevitable. And so, on Wednesday, at the swearing-in of Attorney General Michael Mukasey at the Justice Department, former attorney general John D. Ashcroft was reunited with 'The Spirit of Justice,' the 12-foot Art Deco-era sculpture his aides once famously covered with giant blue drapes at a cost of more than $8,000."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federalists Relish Well-Placed Friends; President, Several Justices Help Celebrate Legal Society's 25 Years of Conservatism": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post. Also in that newspaper today, Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch," headlined "Let's Do the Time Warp Again," begins, "The Earth has circled the sun 16 times since Clarence Thomas took his seat at the Supreme Court. But for Justice Thomas, it's forever 1991. Thomas may be a mute during oral arguments, but yesterday he opened his heart in the safe confines of the conservative Federalist Society's annual gathering. And it took him precisely 31 seconds to get to the subject most on his mind: his confirmation battle."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Bush, justices address Federalist Society; Most of the president's remarks to the conservative legal group attack the Senate confirmation process as harsh and partisan."

The Washington Times contains an article headlined "Bush: Politics sully nominees."

And Legal Times has an article headlined "Justice Thomas to Federalist Society: 'What Happened to My Life?'"
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bonds Charged With Perjury in Steroids Case": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined "Bonds's Trainer Is Released, but He Isn't in Clear Yet." Murray Chass has an "On Baseball" column headlined "Indictment Deepens Baseball's Shame." And sports columnist George Vecsey has an essay entitled "The Truth Could Have Set Bonds Free."

The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "Home Run King Bonds Charged With Perjury," along with articles headlined "An Asterisk Looms Over Baseball: Game's Most Hallowed Mark Is Again Called Into Question" and "Herein Lies A Lesson: Bonds Joins a Fraternity Of Those Charged With Deceiving, Not With Doing." And sports columnist Michael Wilbon has an essay entitled "Giant Catch for Feds."

In The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein reports that "Barry Bonds case could hinge on a single word: 'knowingly'; To make perjury charges stick, prosecutors must prove that baseball's home run king knew he was using performance enhancing substances." The newspaper also contains articles headlined "Bonds charged with perjury; The home run king also faces an obstruction of justice indictment over whether he lied under oath about steroid use" and "Bonds' legacy is safe at home; For the most part, San Franciscans say the indictment doesn't affect their admiration for the former Giant."

The San Francisco Chronicle contains articles headlined "Barry Bonds indicted on 4 perjury counts, obstruction of justice"; "The key evidence of steroid use in government's case against Bonds"; "As Bonds heads to court, MLB troubles mount"; and "Indictment of Bonds changes few minds among fans." In addition, columnist Gwen Knapp has an essay entitled "Barry Bonds won't be running the show in the courtroom."

USA Today contains a front page article headlined "Baseball's home run king faces possibility of prison; Bonds' career likely over after indictment alleges he lied about using steroids."

And The Recorder reports that "Barry Bonds Indicted for Perjury, Obstruction of Justice."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Announces 5 Nominees for Top Justice Posts": The New York Times contains this article today.

And Legal Times reports that "Bush Fills Five DOJ Vacancies."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Vioxx Plaintiffs' Choice: Settle or Lose Their Lawyer." This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Contempt": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, showed their utter disregard for Congress, the Constitution and the American people when they defied Congressional subpoenas in the United States attorneys scandal. The House Judiciary Committee rightly voted to hold them in contempt, and now the matter goes to the full House."
Posted at 08:01 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to settle tug of war over the Delaware; Plan to build natural gas plant on riverbank strains two states' ties": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why was assault called harassment?" Today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Rick Casey has an op-ed that begins, "I may have been too harsh Sunday when I criticized the 19-member judicial council of the 5th U.S. Circuit for characterizing the alleged behavior of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent as 'sexual harassment.'"
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court says Arizona attorneys must serve as arbitrators": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld an Arizona court rule requiring lawyers to serve as arbitrators on some civil cases with little pay, even if they object."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, November 15, 2007

"The tax code is nowhere near the center of my intellectual life, and generally I find estate tax law about as exciting as Hegel's metaphysical theory of the identity of opposites." So begins an interesting dissenting opinion that Eleventh Circiut Judge Ed Carnes issued today.
Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"State defends death penalty for child rape": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush names 21 officials to fill Justice Dept. vacancies": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Derides Approval Process for Judicial Nominees": Holly Rosenkrantz and Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.

The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Bush: Review of Judges Is Mean-Spirited" and "Giuliani Woos Conservatives on Judges."

And earlier today, The Hill reported that "Bush to take aim at judicial confirmation process."

You can access the transcript, along with audio and video, of President Bush's remarks via this link.
Posted at 10:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court throws out expansion of Pa.'s hate-crimes law": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A state court Thursday threw out language that expanded Pennsylvania's hate-crimes law to include crimes committed on the basis of the victim's sexual orientation or physical disabilities, because the restrictions were inserted into a bill that originally dealt with agricultural crimes."

You can access today's ruling of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 08:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"School 'silence' rebuked; Judge bars moment in District 214 case": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "The state's new law mandating a moment of silence at the start of the school day may be derailed after a federal judge on Wednesday blocked its imposition in one suburban district. U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman issued a preliminary injunction barring the moment of silence in Arlington Heights-based Township High School District 214, calling it too vague and 'likely unconstitutional.' The judge made the decision after a hearing on a lawsuit brought by local atheist activist Rob Sherman over issues of separation of church and state. Sherman sued to block the moment of silence at Buffalo Grove High School, where his daughter is a freshman."

And The Chicago Sun-Times today contains an article headlined "Judge blocks moment of silence; 'It's nice to win one,' says atheist activist."

I have posted online at this link the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Posted at 08:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"ACLU seeking review of ruling on Statehouse prayer; Indiana branch wants entire appellate court to decide on challenge": The Indianapolis Star today contains an article that begins, "The ACLU of Indiana has asked the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a three-judge panel's dismissal of the group's challenge to sectarian prayers at the Statehouse."

My earlier coverage of last month's Seventh Circuit ruling appears here and here.
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Anti-gay church asks federal judge to stay judgment against it; $10.9 million awarded to Marine's family": This article appeared yesterday in The Baltimore Sun.
Posted at 08:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Rejects Fuel-Economy Standards": The New York Times provides a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court in San Francisco today rejected the Bush administration’s year-old fuel economy standards for light trucks and sport utility vehicles. It said the rules were not tough enough because regulators had not thoroughly assessed the economic impact of tailpipe emissions that contribute to climate change."

And The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Court tosses new fuel standards for SUVs, trucks, cites threat of global warming."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chicago Judge Tapped for Justice Post": Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The White House on Thursday tapped a Chicago federal judge to assist Attorney General Michael Mukasey in overhauling the Justice Department as a new report described lagging public confidence in the agency following months of upheaval. If U.S. District Judge Mark Filip is confirmed as deputy attorney general, two former federal jurists will hold the two top Justice Department jobs. Mukasey is a retired district judge from Manhattan."

You can access today's Justice Department nominations at this link.
Posted at 07:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bonds indicted on perjury, obstruction of justice charges": The San Francisco Chronicle provides this news update. The newspaper has posted the federal indictment online at this link.
Posted at 07:32 PM by Howard Bashman


The White House has today announced two federal appellate court nominations: They are "Gene E. K. Pratter, of Pennsylvania, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit, vice Franklin S. Van Antwerpen, retired" and "Rod J. Rosenstein, of Maryland, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, vice Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr., deceased." You can access the formal announcement at this link.
Posted at 07:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Halts Fla. Execution": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution of convicted child killer Mark Dean Schwab on Thursday, hours before he was scheduled to die."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has this related post.

Update: Earlier today, before the U.S. Supreme Court entered its stay of execution, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued this decision setting aside the federal district court's stay of execution.
Posted at 05:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice for Sale": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has an op-ed that begins, "Voters generally don't express much interest in the election of judges. This year, as in years past, voter turnout in elections for judges was very low. But judicial elections, which occur in some form in 39 states, are receiving growing attention from those who seek to influence them. In fact, motivated interest groups are pouring money into judicial elections in record amounts. Whether or not they succeed in their attempts to sway the voters, these efforts threaten the integrity of judicial selection and compromise public perception of judicial decisions."
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nursing home infidelity bittersweet but common": The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, "Sandra Day O'Connor retired from the U.S. Supreme Court last year to care for her husband, John, who has Alzheimer's disease. Now he's fallen in love with another woman - and his wife approves."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Grand Jury Indicts Barry Bonds": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Barry Bonds was indicted Thursday on perjury and obstruction of justice charges, culminating a four-year federal investigation into whether he lied under oath to a grand jury looking into steroid use by elite athletes. The indictment came three months after the 43-year-old Bonds passed Hank Aaron to become baseball's career home run leader. Bonds parted ways with the San Francisco Giants after the season."
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: My day job will have me in federal court in Philadelphia for much of the day. Additional posts will appear here later today.
Posted at 06:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"New law expands abortion buffer zone": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill yesterday establishing a 35-foot buffer zone between abortion clinic entrances and antiabortion protesters, the strictest state law of its kind in the nation, its supporters said. Operation Rescue: Boston, an antiabortion group that holds daily vigils outside the city's abortion clinics, said the law violates the right to free speech and promised to file a lawsuit challenging the law's constitutionality within weeks."
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo how-to manual hits the Web": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update that begins, "Guantanamo detainees were denied Red Cross visits and mail, had criticism of the U.S. government or leaders censored and dogs were allowed to patrol at the detention hospital, according to a once-secret prison camps manual that has suddenly appeared on the Internet."

The newspaper has posted the 238-page manual online at this link.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"O'Connor 'love story' gets cold shoulder": Mark Obbie has this thoughtful post today at his "LawBeat" blog. Mark's post also links to the original coverage of this news story that NBC's 12 News in Phoenix provided, headlined "O'Connor family deals with Alzheimer's" (written report with link to video of televised segment; access 12 News video report directly by clicking here).

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "The Complications of Falling in Love with Alzheimer's" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Law Professor Eugene Volokh argues a Seventh Circuit appeal: And, in a ruling issued today, one of his two clients has prevailed. You can download the oral argument audio via this link (5.86MB mp3 audio file). The appellate briefs, however, are not available for download over the Seventh Circuit's web site because the case is classified as a criminal appeal. Professor Volokh even gets a shout-out in the first footnote to the opinion, but the Seventh Circuit in its written opinion fails to thank him for accepting the court's pro bono appointment to represent these two state court prisoners on appeal (although the panel did thank Professor Volokh profusely at the conclusion of the oral argument, after asking him "Why are you handling this case?").
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"State Your Secrets: The smart way around telecom immunity." Justin Florence and Matthew Gerke have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Formal Swearing-In of Attorney General Michael Mukasey": C-SPAN provides the video at this link (RealPlayer required). Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. administered the oath of office.

And the White House web site provides this transcript of the event.
Posted at 12:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Singing Law Professor Rocks the Classroom": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition." For those who wish to torture themselves more, an extended version of the songs can be accessed via this link (scroll down to link below law professor's photo).
Posted at 11:22 AM by Howard Bashman


On appeal to the Fourth Circuit, Chewy Vuiton defeats Louis Vuitton: You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at this link.

At WSJ.com's "Law Blog," Patter Lattman had this post in November 2006 reporting on the trial court ruling that the Fourth Circuit affirmed yesterday. And the blog "Counterfeit Chic" covered the ruling in a post you can access here.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Bush Promises to Rebuild Justice Dept." and "Law Firm Converts Old Jail to Office."
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Telecom companies still seek immunity; AT&T, others fear lawsuits stemming from federal anti-terror eavesdropping moves": James Oliphant has this article today in The Chicago Tribune.

And today's edition of The Christian Science Monitor contains an article headlined "When cooperating with U.S. antiterror efforts is risky: Potential liability for past actions is central to the Bush administration's push to grant immunity to telecom firms that helped the US wiretap program, and it was a factor in Mukasey's hedged judgment about waterboarding."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mexican lawyers leave Cuban rafters adrift; When Cuban rafters reach Mexico, relatives sometimes send money to immigration lawyers -- not realizing that deportation often is inevitable": This article appears today in El Nuevo Herald.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pentagon still plans 80 trials at Guantanamo": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has an article that begins, "The Pentagon still plans to press war crimes charges against 80 men held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or about one in four of the detainees, a military spokesman said Tuesday."
Posted at 09:09 AM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connors' story sends message on Alzheimer's": The Arizona Republic today contains a front page article that begins, "A public family's private story is now the center of a discussion about Alzheimer's disease. Over the past week the world has begun to learn about the marriage of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and her husband of 54 years."

And yesterday evening's broadcast of "World News with Charles Gibson" contained a report headlined "Supreme Court Justice Knows It Is Best to Let Alzheimer's Patients Forget the Past; Doctors Say Families Must Allow Patients to Have New Lives."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Take the Gun Case: The District waits to find out whether its ban will become the nation's Second Amendment battleground." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.

And today in The Los Angeles Times, Robert A. Levy has an op-ed entitled "Unholster the 2nd Amendment: The Supreme Court, in weighing D.C.'s handgun ban, has a chance to reaffirm the right to own guns."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Dept. Reopens Surveillance Probe": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Bush Allows Clearances for N.S.A. Inquiry."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Justice wiretap probe restarted; The department reopens an inquiry into whether its lawyers acted properly in regard to an eavesdropping program."

USA Today reports that "Justice Department restarts inquiry into warrantless spying."

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Mukasey Reopens Internal Probe."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "A Justice Department inquiry into secret eavesdropping is on again."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutors oppose new trial for Skilling; Their reply to Enron figure's appeal calls his 24-year sentence 'reasonable'": Mary Flood has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.

And The Washington Post reports today that "A Year Later, Prosecutors Fight To Keep Enron's Skilling in Prison."

Update: Via WSJ.com's "Law Blog," you can access the federal government's appellate brief at this link.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. justices refuse Baraka's case over loss of post; Author claims poetry position was dropped after he read 9/11 work": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "The nation's highest court refused yesterday to hear former New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka's challenge of the state's decision to eliminate the position after he read a controversial poem about the 9/11 terror attacks."

My earlier coverage of the Third Circuit's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"3 House members call Kent case 'shocking'; Woman who made allegations is urged to file with courts' disciplinary panel": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

The Galveston County Daily News reports today that "Judiciary panel responds to Kent allegations." In addition, Heber Taylor has an op-ed entitled "Congress must step in on Kent."

And The Associated Press reports that "Congressional committee puts judge inquiry on hold; U.S. House members say they'll await criminal investigation into accusations that federal District Judge Samuel Kent groped former employee."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Giuliani Derides Idea of a Crack Amnesty": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun provides this news update.

The Washington Post reports today that "Plan to Cut Inmates' Sentences Raises Ire."

The Chicago Tribune today contains an editorial entitled "Retroactive justice."

And The Christian Science Monitor contains an editorial entitled "Next step to close the cocaine gap: New sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenders should also apply to those behind bars."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court has rare chance to guide gun-control debate; D.C. case offers opportunity to balance private rights, public safety": This editorial appears today in USA Today.

The newspaper also contains a related op-ed by Larry Pratt entitled "More arms, less crime; Supreme Court should reject D.C. ban, uphold ownership rights."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "High Court May Shift in Cases Over Bad Lawyering; Defense lawyers fear that justices are backing away from opinion that set standards for ineffective assistance claims."

And in other news, "D.C. Circuit May Lose Judge to 9th Circuit." I wrote about this pending legislation in a recent installment of my "On Appeal" column headlined "On the Horizon: More Powers for Some Federal Judges?"
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Judge Loses More Than Pants in Lawsuit": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Personhood' initiative wins Colo. court nod": The Denver Post provides a news update that begins, "The Colorado Supreme Court today released a decision giving proponents the go-ahead for a ballot initiative that would amend the state Constitution in 2008 to define personhood as a fertilized egg. Opponents of the measure, which would lay the constitutional foundation for making abortion illegal in the state, asked the court to reject the ballot title as misleading to voters."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Clears Way for Egg Rights Showdown."
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"CIA admits to recording interrogations of top al Qaida captives": Greg Gordon of McClatchy Newspapers has an article that begins, "The CIA has three video and audio recordings of interrogations of senior al Qaida captives but misled federal judges about the evidence during the case against terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, federal prosecutors revealed in a Nov. 9 court filing that was made public Tuesday."

James Vicini of Reuters reports that "CIA erred, had tapes in Sept. 11 conspirator case."

And ABCNews.com reports that "CIA Breakdown Kept Recordings From Terror Trial; Letter: CIA Declarations Had Errors About Taped Interviews With Enemy Combatants."
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Were White House E-Mail Actions Illegal?" This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 09:57 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Indiana Voter ID Law Unfair, Foes Press"; "Retroactive Cocaine Sentencing Debated"; and "Domestic Spying Inquiry Restarted at DoJ."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia Is Still the Funniest Justice (and Thomas, the Least)": Peter Lattman has this post today at WSJ.com's "Law Blog." The latest results of Law Professor Jay D. Wexler's ongoing study can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gun Case: We speak with the Cato Institute's Robert Levy, who funded the original lawsuit challenging the D.C. law and also recruited the plaintiffs." This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of the public radio program "Here & Now."
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connor's Son Discusses Ailing Father": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 01:53 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court: "SCOTUSblog" has posted the Order List at this link.
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Creating a circuit split, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit holds that 28 U.S.C. sec. 1447(d) precludes appellate review of a federal district court's remand of claims to state court based on a decision to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction: The second to last paragraph of today's ruling states:
In short, because every §1367(c) remand necessarily involves a predicate finding that the claims at issue lack an independent basis of subject matter jurisdiction, a remand based on declining supplemental jurisdiction can be colorably characterized as a remand based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, a remand based on declining supplemental jurisdiction must be considered within the class of remands described in §1447(c) and thus barred from appellate review by §1447(d).
Today's Federal Circuit ruling, by its own admission, reaches a result contrary to the rulings of the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits. Stay tuned for the inevitable U.S. Supreme Court review!
Posted at 11:53 AM by Howard Bashman


Footnote one of the dissenting opinion begins, "Homer Simpson talking to God:" The rest of this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today is pretty interesting as well. At issue is whether an employee's mere act of continuing to report for work after the effective date of her employer's arbitration program constituted acceptance of a valid and enforceable contract to arbitrate all employment-related disputes.
Posted at 10:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Sex offenders whose convictions have been set aside under a Michigan law intended to benefit those convicted of breaking the law only once still must register as sex offenders under Michigan law, Sixth Circuit holds: You can access today's Sixth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Government Sought Sealing of Material in Higazy Case": Patterico has this post today at "Patterico's Pontifications."
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Takes No Action in Guns Case"; "Court Rejects Request From Detainee"; and "Court Declines NCAA Appeal."
Posted at 10:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court takes no action on gun case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Presidential dynasties can add layer of secrecy; Executive privilege allows for keeping documents sealed": Charlie Savage has this article today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Crack sentencing needs another fix; Retroactively shortening sentences would make the system more equitable": This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo defense lawyers see stacked deck; They point to problems including evidence and witnesses that are brought to their attention late -- if at all -- in war-crimes trials": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"White House Ordered to Keep E-Mails; With Suits Pending Over Missing Messages, Judge Issues Directive on Backup Tapes": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article headlined "White House Ordered To Preserve E-Mail Tapes."

This post of mine from yesterday links to the pertinent court rulings.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Case Touches a 2nd Amendment Nerve": Today in The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse has an article that begins, "Both sides in a closely watched legal battle over the District of Columbia's strict gun-control law are urging the Supreme Court to hear the case. If the justices agree -- a step they may announce as early as Tuesday -- the Roberts court is likely to find itself back on the front lines of the culture wars with an intensity unmatched even by the cases on abortion and race that defined the court's last term."

And The Washington Post today contains an article headlined "Crime Data Underscore Limits Of D.C. Gun Ban's Effectiveness" that begins, "Three decades ago, at the dawn of municipal self-government in the District, the city's first elected mayor and council enacted one of the country's toughest gun-control measures, a ban on handgun ownership that opponents have long said violates the Second Amendment."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court matters in '08 vote: Today's justices illustrate how the balance of power can shift in ways that can affect everyday lives; That means you." Tony Mauro has this op-ed today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Critics Take Aim at California's Patent Shield": Peter Lattman has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"A new page in O'Connors' love story; Ex-justice happy after husband finds romance at Alzheimer's facility": Joan Biskupic has this front page article today in USA Today.

Not too long ago, I saw the cinematic version of this story.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Kent accusations not just harassment": The Galveston County Daily News contains this article today.

And The Associated Press reports that "Allegations against judge prompt talk of criminal case."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Above the Law wins Best Law Weblog": This article appears today in The Journal Record of Oklahoma City. The article mentions the five law blogs that received the most votes, including "How Appealing."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, November 12, 2007

"Judge Orders White House to Hold E-Mails": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides this report.

I have posted online at this link today's order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Magistrate Judge's earlier report and recommendation can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sentences For Crack Offenses Studied; Thousands Could Be Released Soon": This front page article will appear Tuesday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. Chief Faces a Test in Minnesota": The New York Times on Tuesday will contain an article that begins, "If Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey wants to know what he is up against in restoring stability to the Justice Department, he is being urged by the department's employees in Minnesota, as well as by prominent lawyers and law professors here, to consider an early visit to the United States Attorney's Office in Minneapolis. The 34-year-old lawyer who holds the job, Rachel K. Paulose, is routinely described by colleagues in Minneapolis and Washington as representative of much that went wrong at the department under Alberto R. Gonzales, the former attorney general."
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Die Hardest: Why the states are standing by their outdated, messy lethal-injection protocols." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:16 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices May Hear Second Amendment Case": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Piercing the 5th Circuit's veil of secrecy": At the blog "LawBeat," Mark Obbie has a post that begins, "Lise Olsen's incendiary report in [Sunday's] Houston Chronicle on the case of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent -- the Galveston, Texas, judge recently reprimanded by the 5th Circuit following sexual harassment allegations by a court employee -- uses numerous named sources to reveal a 10-year history of alleged workplace harassment and assaults."

My earlier post linking to yesterday's news coverage can be accessed here.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Apartheid Suit Puts Corporations on Notice": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "In giving the go-ahead to a historic class-action suit against businesses that sold to South Africa's apartheid regime, a federal appellate court here has put the world's largest companies on notice that they can be held liable for doing business with foreign regimes that commit human-rights abuses."
Posted at 11:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Balancing Act: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Remembers Her First Steps in the Law." Debra Bruno has this interesting article (free access) in today's issue of Legal Times.
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judging Thomas": Jon Wiener has this book review in the November 26, 2007 issue of The Nation.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"High court has shot at 'right to bear arms' case; Could trigger switch on nation's gun laws": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"NPR commentator kicks off lecture series": The Tulsa World today contains an article that begins, "Nina Totenberg is an engaging journalist who calls herself 'uppity,' openly states that she does not have 'a degree in anything,' and speaks with humor about what could be a very dry subject -- the United States Supreme Court."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Top state court unlikely to lean left; Election gives Democrats majority but liberals may be disappointed": This article appears today in The Allentown Morning Call.

And The Erie Times-News reports today that "Judicial candidates were impressive."
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wronged by the court's fine print": Sheila Suess Kennedy has this op-ed today in The Indianapolis Star.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"The right to hate: A Kansas church's message is ugly and despicable -- and it merits 1st Amendment protection." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel may cut thousands of prison terms; The early release of 19,500 inmates could result as officials try to address perceived unfairness in sentencing under federal cocaine laws": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Under pressure from federal judges, inmate advocacy groups and civil rights organizations, federal authorities are considering a sweeping cut in prison sentences that could bring early release for thousands of federal inmates."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Farmers Ask Federal Court To Dissociate Hemp and Pot": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Contemplating the Meaning of 'Life'": Adam Liptak has this "Sidebar" column today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Abdicate and Capitulate": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "It is extraordinary how President Bush has streamlined the Senate confirmation process. As we have seen most recently with the vote to confirm Michael Mukasey as attorney general, about all that is left of 'advice and consent' is the 'consent' part."
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gender gap closing for justices": The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today contains an article that begins, "Pennsylvania ranks near the bottom of the nation in female legislators, but take a look at its judges. On Tuesday Pennsylvania voters elected women to four of five openings on the statewide appeals courts, giving women a majority on the state Superior and Commonwealth courts come January."
Posted at 04:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court holds up executions while drugs used in injections are at issue": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Plaintiff drops lawsuit in Houston, intending shift to Austin court; Legal challenge is to Judge Keller's handling of death row appeal": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Attorney Nominated For Palau Supreme Court": Pacific Magazine provides a report that begins, "An attorney who is chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada has been nominated to serve as an associate justice on the Palau Supreme Court."

More information about the Republic of Palau can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 04:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. justices could decide constitutionality of gun ownership": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The International Herald Tribune.

And Agence France-Presse reports that "US right to bear arms may get its day in court."
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Tattoos and shaved heads out for China judges": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Mark Sherman reports that "Supreme Court Could Take Guns Case."

In other news, "Desegregation Rulings Cause Confusion."

And The AP's "Today in History" feature reminds us that on this date in 1987, President Reagan announced Anthony M. Kennedy's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.. Since then, not until Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her intention to retire has it again taken three nominations to fill a single vacancy on the Court.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"How far did this federal judge go? A judicial council reprimanded U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent for 'inappropriate behavior' and accused him of misconduct over sexual harassment charges; But that only begins to tell the story." This front page article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

Today's newspaper also contains an op-ed by columnist Rick Casey entitled "Your honors, it is called sexual assault."

And The Galveston County Daily News reports today that "DA, federal prosecutor discuss Kent."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Supreme Court: Mannequin sex doesn't equal indecent exposure." Yesterday's edition of The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota contained an article that begins, "A Sioux Falls man caught in the Washington Pavilion having simulated sex with a mannequin didn't commit a crime of indecent exposure, the state Supreme Court says."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Overturns Conviction For Indecent Exposure."

You can access Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of South Dakota at this link.
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Being Fair to Crack Dealers": The November 19, 2007 issue of Time magazine will contain an article that begins, "Drug dealers are bad guys, but even they should be treated fairly. That's why advocates of sentencing reform are cheering a recent federal move to narrow the jaw-dropping disparity in sentences for trafficking in two versions of the same drug, cocaine. But it's way too early for them to be declaring victory."
Posted at 09:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-U.S. Attorneys Continue to Scrutinize Gonzales": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 09:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gitmo Builds Temporary Legal Compound": The Associated Press provides this report.

And in today's edition of The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has articles headlined "Gitmo prison camps shrink again -- by 14" and "Base operating on french-fry power; The latest project at Guantanamo features buses and trucks fueled by used french fry oil recycled from the base McDonald's."
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"What If Roe Fell? 2007": The Center for Reproductive Rights issued this news release earlier this week. The organization's complete report can be accessed here.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court halts state's Plan B pill rule; Pharmacists with religious objections can withhold drug": Friday's edition of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer contained this article.

The Seattle Times on Friday contained an article headlined "Judge: Druggists may withhold 'morning-after' pill."

And today's edition of The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington contains an editorial entitled "Start looking for other ways to ensure Plan B access."

You can access Thursday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at this link.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"US says it's blowing whistle on lawyer's fee; Calls 33% share of award unfair": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Widow drops death penalty lawsuit; Had sued judge after she blocked husband Michael Richard's appeal": The Houston Chronicle contains this article today, along with an editorial entitled "Repudiating Keller: Presiding judge slapped by rules change."

And The Associated Press reports that "Texas Widow Drops Execution Lawsuit."

Update: As noted in this later report from The AP, the lawsuit has been refiled in the federal district court in Austin, Texas. And The Houston Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Widow's execution lawsuit moved to new court; Had sued judge after she blocked husband Michael Richard's appeal."
Posted at 01:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Feds rebut Nacchio defense; Prosecutors stick with arguments made at trial": This article appears today in The Rocky Mountain News.

That newspaper has posted online both Joseph P. Nacchio's Brief for Appellant and the federal government's Brief for Appellee.
Posted at 01:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judges question U.S. logic in Arar hearing": The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, "A panel of three federal appeals judges sharply questioned representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice yesterday during a hearing to re-examine the rendition of Maher Arar to Syria, at times ridiculing the lawyer for former attorney-general John Ashcroft. Fighting against Mr. Arar's attempts to revive his U.S. civil suit, Mr. Ashcroft's lawyer, Dennis Barghaan, provoked gasps among the standing-room-only audience when he referred to the plaintiff's alleged 'unequivocal membership in al-Qaeda.'"

The Toronto Star reports today that "Lawyer scolded for linking Arar to Al Qaeda; U.S. judge calls terror reference 'shocking' as court ponders whether to revive Canadian's civil lawsuit."

The New York Times reports that "Federal Judge Calls Rendition Process 'Outsourcing.'"

CanWest News Service reports that "Alleged link between Arar and al-Qaida 'shocks' U.S. court."

CBC News reports that "Maher Arar tries to revive U.S. lawsuit."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Feds: Constitution doesn't protect those who cannot legally enter U.S."

Supporters of Maher Arar have created this web site providing additional information about the case.
Posted at 12:58 PM by Howard Bashman



Friday, November 09, 2007

"Prosecutors Want Nacchio Verdict Upheld": The AP provides a report that begins, "Federal prosecutors in papers filed Friday asked an appellate court to uphold the $52 million insider-trading conviction of former Qwest chief Joe Nacchio, disputing his claim that the evidence was insufficient to find him guilty."
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Sworn in As Attorney General": Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion foe ordered to stop Web postings": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge yesterday ordered an antiabortion activist to cease posting material on the Internet deemed threatening to doctors who provide abortion services."

Today's edition of The Philadelphia Daily News provides a news update headlined "Ax threats, abortion foe told."

And The Associated Press reports that "Anti-Abortion Postings Ordered Removed."

I have uploaded to this link yesterday's injunctive order of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Posted at 05:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Feinstein backs legal immunity for telecom firms in wiretap cases": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 05:07 PM by Howard Bashman


The wheels on their motorized vehicle may "go round and round, round and round," but that doesn't make the vehicle a bus for purposes of the federal tax code: Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit today issued an opinion for a unanimous three-judge panel that begins, "This appeal presents a question that only a court of law and linguists would entertain: whether an 'automobile bus' is a 'bus.'"
Posted at 04:47 PM by Howard Bashman


In state prisoner's suit alleging infringement of a right to place ads, the Seventh Circuit observes, "An advertisement calling on the public to elect a Governor who will pardon or parole prisoners would be protected; an advertisement offering to rent a helicopter for an escape would not." Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook wrote this interesting decision issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Posted at 04:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: My day job will have me working on an appellate project with co-counsel located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Additional posts will appear here later today.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Waterboarding Is Torture, Says Ex-Navy Instructor": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A former Navy survival instructor subjected to waterboarding as part of his military training told Congress yesterday that the controversial tactic should plainly be considered torture and that such a method was never intended for use by U.S. interrogators because it is a relic of abusive totalitarian governments."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gitmo war court back in business": Today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has an article that begins, "Canadian captive Omar Khadr's war crimes trial sputtered to a new start Thursday -- with no plea, no evidence and the explosive disclosure that the defense had learned of a top secret U.S. eyewitness who could help their client's case."

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Terror case could turn on eyewitness; Defense lawyers say they just became aware of a potentially helpful onlooker in a Canadian suspect's alleged attack on U.S. troops; The development renews concerns over military commissions."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Confirms Mukasey By 53-40; Historically Low Tally for New Attorney General": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Senate confirms Mukasey as attorney general; Despite opposition from Democrats, the vote is 53-40 to approve the nomination; The retired federal judge is expected to be sworn in today as head of the embattled Justice Department."

And James Rowley of Bloomberg News has articles headlined "Mukasey Confirmed by Senate to Be Bush's Third Attorney General" and "Schumer, Leahy Jostle for Power as Mukasey Confirmed by Senate."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Department returns to enforcing voter laws": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"State's high court alters test results; 2 officials' children among 20 who benefit": The State of Columbia, South Carolina today contains an article that begins, "The state's top court has changed the grades for 20 people -- including the children of a prominent state lawmaker and a longtime circuit judge -- who earlier flunked the test required to practice law in South Carolina. The S.C. Supreme Court in last week's order said the wills, trusts and estates section of the July exam would 'not be considered' in determining a test-taker's overall score, though the justices gave no reasons for their decision."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Clash Between Federal Drug Law and California's 'Medical Marijuana' Law: How Two Interesting Recent Events Illustrate Their Interplay." Vikram David Amar has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, November 08, 2007

"Mukasey Wins Vote in Senate, Despite Doubts": The New York Times on Friday will contain an article that begins, "The Senate confirmed Michael B. Mukasey as attorney general Thursday night, approving him despite Democratic criticism that he had failed to take an unequivocal stance against the torture of terrorism detainees. The 53-to-40 vote made Mr. Mukasey, a former federal judge, the third person to head the Justice Department during the tenure of President Bush, placing him in charge of an agency that members of both parties say suffered under the leadership of Alberto R. Gonzales."

And The Associated Press reports that "Mukasey Confirmed As Attorney General."

The official U.S. Senate roll call tally will eventually be available at this link.
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court ponders whether to rule on DC's handgun ban": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice O'Connor's Wish: a Wand, Not a Gavel; Retired high court member says deficiencies in courts are nearly impossible to fix." Emma Schwartz has this article online at the web site of U.S. News & World Report.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Military Revises Tribunals at Guantanamo": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 02:37 PM by Howard Bashman


Did the U.S. Congress in 1991 validly abrogate the sovereign immunity of States when Congress made States subject to private damage claims under the Government Employee Rights Act: Today, by a vote of 2-1, the majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit answered "no." You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Panel Puts Off Surveillance Bill": The Associated Press provides this report.

Update: At the "Washington Briefs" blog, Lawrence Hurley of The Daily Journal of California has a post titled "Feinstein Pushing Hard For Telco Immunity."
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Death penalty widow sues judge; Lawsuit claims appeals court's Keller violated rights with 5 p.m. closing time": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.

And The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Wife of executed killer sues judge who blocked appeal; Lawsuit claims order to close the court clerk's office violated his rights."

Meanwhile, in related news, Lindell reported in yesterday's issue of The American-Statesman that "Texas court bows to outcry from public, prominent lawyers; Judges will accept after-hours pleadings in death penalty cases."

The Houston Chronicle reported yesterday that "Court says it will take e-filings in death cases; Lawyers' outcry over closed doors for killer's appeal leads to decision."

The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that "Emergency e-mail created for executions; New Texas system follows recent appeal that went unheard."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported yesterday that "Top criminal court to allow emergency filings by e-mail."

And Reuters reports that "Texas court now taking death row appeals by e-mail."
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Medal for Miss Lee: What would Atticus Finch make of the 'high-tech lynching' of Clarence Thomas?" Daniel Henninger has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Individuals' Allegations of What Our Government Did to Them Are Not 'Classified' Information": Marty Lederman has this post today at "Balkinization."

And at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Jonathan Adler has this related post.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court assesses role of arbitration": Patti Waldmeir has this article today in Financial Times.

The Federal Arbitration Act prescribes deferential judicial review of arbitration awards, so that even an arbitration award that is the result of ordinary errors of law or ordinary errors in fact-finding is not subjected to being overturned by a judge. This case, in a nutshell, presents the question whether, under the FAA, the parties may agree in their arbitration contract to more intrusive judicial review of an arbitration award than the FAA would otherwise allow.

Although that subject may sound rather mundane, the case actually presents a very difficult issue on which the federal courts of appeals have divided. Yesterday's transcript of oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court confirms what a difficult and interesting question this case presents.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Today is the last day that you can vote for "Best Law Blog" in The 2007 Weblog Awards: "How Appealing" could use your vote in this popularity contest in order to ensure a respectable showing. Right now, this blog is in fifth place in the voting among the ten finalists. To vote, simply click here and then click on the appropriate oval a couple of times until the current vote results are revealed. This blog is currently only 106 votes behind the fourth place blog and fewer than 500 votes behind the third place blog, so third place is definitely within reach. All you need to do is vote!
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"CSU students not ready to make nice - and they don't have to": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The 417,000 students at California State University's 28 campuses are expected to be civil to one another, the university says in its policy manual. It sounds innocuous - but a federal magistrate says it's an unconstitutional restriction on speech when the policy is used to investigate or discipline students, such as the College Republicans whose members stomped on two flags bearing the name of Allah during an anti-terrorism rally at San Francisco State last year."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-Gov. Ryan of Illinois Reports to Prison": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Chicago Tribune reports today that "Ryan reaches end of road: Prison; Fitzgerald takes issue with claim of innocence, 'clear conscience.'" Yesterday's newspaper, meanwhile, contained an article headlined "No fences, no violence, no privacy; Oxford camp lacks cellblocks and offers inmates a walking track, culinary classes."

And The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that "For the next 6 years, this will be George Ryan's identity: 16627-424; Former Gov. goes to prison; 73-year-old begins sentence at Wisconsin facility."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Two Democrats move to outlaw waterboarding": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report. In addition, Joseph L. Galloway has an op-ed entitled "Is waterboarding torture? Yes."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, columnist Rosa Brooks has an op-ed entitled "Torture: the new abortion; The legality of torture takes over as the political litmus test in campaigns and confirmation hearings."

At FindLaw, Edward Lazarus has an op-ed entitled "Why Attorney General Nominee Michael Mukasey Should Be Confirmed, Even Despite His Refusal to Condemn Waterboarding as Illegal Torture."

And today in The Harvard Crimson, Joanna Naples-Mitchell has an op-ed entitled "Cowardice on Display: Feinstein and Schumer set a dangerous precedent by endorsing Mukasey."
Posted at 08:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"On the bench, it's the year of the woman": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains this article today, along with articles headlined "Todd becomes second woman ever elected to state's top court" and "Superior Court gets 3 from county."

And The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article headlined "Turn-'em-out drive failed - or did it? One advocate of the effort to dump judges claimed victory, saying the 'body count' was not the real mark of success."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Canadian's terrorism trial expected to be rocky; As in previous efforts to start the military commissions, problems are likely in the case of Omar Khadr": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And yesterday in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg had an article headlined "Some detainees turn in their Korans."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge targeted for advocacy on immigration": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "A state Superior Court judge, who has been outspoken on the issue of illegal immigration, should be reprimanded and ordered to refrain from similar conduct in the future, according to a complaint filed with the state Judicial Conduct Board. The complaint alleges that Judge Correale Stevens - who on Tuesday won a retention election for a second 10-year term - violated the code of judicial conduct by advocating changes in immigration law at a statehouse rally and at other public events during the last year."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro has an article headlined "A Question of Commas in D.C. Gun Case. Period."

In other news, "Fla. Court Overturns $60 Million Verdict Against Ford in Explorer Rollover Cases." You can access yesterday's ruling of Florida's Third District Court of Appeal at this link.

And in news from Georgia, "New Expert Rule Poses Challenges; Lawyers say 'Daubert' rookies should brush up on rules of road."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tenth Circuit rejects the Libertarian Party's challenge to New Mexico's ballot access provisions: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo Trial Faces Another Hurdle": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connor on the Temporary Disabled List": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has an article headlined "O'Connor: Don't Elect Judges."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcript in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., No. 06-989: The Court has posted the transcript at this link.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Ill. Governor Arrives at Prison": The AP provides this report.

And The Chicago Tribune provides a news update headlined "Ryan reports to prison."
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Takes Up Arbitration Case": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman


On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Senate Panel Clears Mukasey for Confirmation Vote" and "FBI Decries Ruling Blocking Security Letters" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 12:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Convicted man won't serve time for '90 rape": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "The state's highest court ruled yesterday that a Lowell man will not have to serve a prison sentence imposed after a 1990 rape conviction because the government waited 16 years before trying to bring him in to serve his time."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"McCaffery, Todd elected to state high court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Democrats will soon control Pennsylvania's highest court, thanks to the victorious campaigns of a former Philadelphia judge who dispensed speedy justice to rowdy football fans in 'Eagles Court' and a steelworker's daughter from western Pennsylvania. Voters also rubber-stamped additional 10-year terms for seven appellate judges, signaling that public disenchantment with the 2005 government pay raises may have run its course."

Today's edition of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains articles headlined "Pennsylvania Supreme Court: McCaffery wins; Todd jumps to lead in top court races" and "Pennsylvania Superior Court: Pittsburgh attorney leads appellate race."

And The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports today that "Judges appear to keep seats."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court hearing on executions in California is postponed": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Shannon P. Duffy reports that "3rd Circuit Rejects RICO Claim Against Archdiocese." You can access yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.

And in other news, "11th Circuit Panel Sides With Teacher Who Choked Student; Federal appeals court: 'The justification for some corporal punishment was considerable,' given student's actions." You can access the recent ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Story of Surveillance: Former Technician 'Turning In' AT&T Over NSA Program." This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to rule: Can medical pot user be fired for failing drug test?" Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A divided California Supreme Court grappled Tuesday with the application of the state's medical marijuana law in the workplace, debating whether an employee who uses pot to cope with pain or illness can be fired for violating federal drug laws."

And Mike McKee of The Recorder reports that "Calif. Supreme Court May Need Tiebreaker for Pot Dispute; With one justice out with flu, court splits on question of whether employer can fire a medical pot user after a drug test."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Board puts faith in 'In God We Trust'; After months of debate, a Bakersfield school district votes to display posters explaining the motto in 2,300 classrooms and offices": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

And The Bakersfield Californian contains articles headlined "Controversial posters may cost $12,000" and "Poster vote prompts pastor to quit interfaith group presidency."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Committee Approves Mukasey Nomination": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined "A Firsthand Experience Before Decision on Torture."

The Washington Post reports today that "Mukasey Bid Survives Division on Senate Panel."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Committee sends Mukasey nomination to Senate floor; A judiciary panel approves Bush's selection for attorney general; The confirmation vote is expected within two weeks."

USA Today reports that "Judiciary panel votes to recommend Mukasey confirmation to full Senate."

law.com reports that "Mukasey Nomination Heads to Full Senate; Two Democrats help push nomination forward, in spite of protests."

And today in The Wall Street Journal, Law Professor Alan Dershowitz has an op-ed entitled "Democrats and Waterboarding: The party will lose the presidential race if it defines itself as soft on terror."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Allows Abu Ghraib Lawsuit Against Contractor": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge in Washington ruled yesterday that a civil lawsuit alleging abuse and torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq can go forward against a U.S. military contractor, setting the stage for what could be the first case in a U.S. civilian court to weigh accountability for the notorious abuses in 2003. U.S. District Judge James Robertson denied CACI International's motion to dismiss a civil lawsuit on behalf of more than 200 Iraqis who at one time were detained at the Abu Ghraib prison. The Iraqis allege that the contracted CACI interrogators took part in abuses and that the company should be held liable for the harm inflicted on the detainees."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at this link.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Job Bias Case Turns on Filing Right Form": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Justices Scold EEOC for Lapses In Age Discrimination Lawsuit."

And in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Supreme Court takes federal agency to task in age bias case; Justices review how complaints are dealt with."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Agent Orange disability fight revisited in court; Could affect 800,000 'blue water' Vietnam vets, who served offshore": USA Today contains this article today.
Posted at 08:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"State justices hear arguments about custody, circumcision; Dad, who is the custodial parent, wants his son, 12, to have surgery; mom disagrees": The Oregonian contains this article today.

And today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Ore. Court Mulls Circumcision Case."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"Teen Wins Fight for Antiabortion Club at School; Officials Reverse Decision After Lawsuit Is Filed": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The New York Times today contains an article headlined "Telling the Stories Behind the Abortions."
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Independence Day: How Michael Mukasey's squishiness on water-boarding became laudable intellectual independence." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Torture Still Hot Topic as Mukasey Advances": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Muhammad's Six Convictions Upheld in Md.; Judge Compares Blanket of Fear To That Cast by Jack the Ripper": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Baltimore Sun reports today that "Md. appeals court upholds six sniper murder convictions."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland at this link.
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Airing tonight on PBS, the Frontline documentary "Extraordinary Rendition": More details are available at the program's web site.

And today's broadcast of the public radio program "Here & Now" contained this audio segment (RealPlayer required) about the program.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Maneuver gave Bush a conservative rights panel": Today in The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage has an article that begins, "The US Commission on Civil Rights, the nation's 50-year-old watchdog for racism and discrimination, has become a critic of school desegregation efforts and affirmative action ever since the Bush administration used a controversial maneuver to put the agency under conservative control."
Posted at 05:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting on A.G. Nominee Mukasey": C-SPAN has posted the video online at this link (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 05:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Allows Abuse Lawsuit Against Firm": Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press has an article that begins, "A federal judge allowed a lawsuit to proceed Tuesday against private defense firm CACI International Inc., whose interrogators are accused of abusing detainees at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. A similar civil suit against a second contracting company, Titan Corp., was dismissed under the order by U.S. District Judge James Robertson of the District of Columbia."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at this link.
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Alito More Assertive at Court": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Oregon Court Hears Circumcision Arguments": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcripts: The Court has just posted today's oral argument transcripts in John R. Sand & Gravel Co. v. United States, No. 06-1164, and Federal Express Corp. v. Holowecki, No. 06-1322.
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman


I've already voted today; Have you? Here in Pennsylvania, lots of judges are on the ballot. Voters will elect two new Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and decide whether a third should be retained for another ten-year term. On Pennsylvania's busiest intermediate appellate court, the Superior Court, three new judges will be elected and the retention of another three currently-sitting judges will be decided. You can follow the results tonight via this link.

Without leaving your keyboard, you can vote in another contest of interest, for "Best Law Blog" in The 2007 Weblog Awards. "How Appealing" could use your vote in this popularity contest in order to have a respectable showing. To vote, simply click here and then click on the appropriate oval a couple of times until the current vote results are revealed. You can vote once per computer every 24 hours until the contest wraps-up, so please be sure to keep voting as often as possible. The voting on these awards will conclude on Thursday, November 8, 2007, so please go vote right now. "How Appealing" is currently entrenched in fifth place out of ten nominees, but if everyone who views this post clicks on this link and votes for "How Appealing," this blog will rapidly catapult up the rankings to first place.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pawnshop owner takes deal; Mack pleads to wife's killing, judge's shooting": This article appears today in The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

And The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains articles headlined "Surprise guilty pleas bring sudden end to trial" and "Jurors say defense's prospects in case didn't look good."

You can view the written plea agreement by clicking here.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge This: In the footsteps of Roberts and Alito." Kristi L. Remington and Jamie E. Brown have this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Mark Sherman reports that "Court Hears Age Discrimination Case."

An article headlined "Judges Won't Stop Military Commission" begins, "A federal appeals court on Tuesday refused to block military commission proceedings against a Canadian detainee held at Guantanamo Bay."

And in other news, "Court: Child Support Lawsuit Frivolous." My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jailing of ex-governor allowed": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

The Chicago Tribune provides a news update headlined "U.S. Supreme Court turns down Ryan request to remain free."

The Chicago Sun-Times provides a news update headlined "Ryan denied plea, must report to prison."

And The Associated Press reports that "Justices Turn Down Ill. Governor's Plea."
Posted at 01:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Calif. Court Considers Marijuana Use": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "When Gary Ross was ordered to take a drug test at his new job, the recently hired computer tech had no doubt the results would come back positive for marijuana. But along with his urine sample, Ross submitted a doctor's recommendation that he smoke pot to alleviate back pain - a document he figured would save him from being fired. It didn't: Ross was let go eight days into his tenure because his employer, Ragingwire Inc., said federal law makes marijuana illegal no matter the use. On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court is due to hear Ross' case, the latest example of the intensifying clash between federal and local authorities over marijuana use."
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Kavanaugh on the Relevance of the Legal Academy": Roger Alford has an interesting post today at the "Opinio Juris" blog that begins, "Two weeks ago I had the good fortune to moderate a panel at the International Law Weekend that included Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit. I thought his comments deserved wider dissemination." Among the points covered in Roger's post is "Judges Read Blogs."
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel Sends Mukasey Nomination to Senate": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination of Attorney General-designate Michael Mukasey to the Senate floor Tuesday, virtually ensuring his confirmation before Thanksgiving. The 11-8 vote came after two key Democrats accepted his vow to enforce any law Congress might enact against waterboarding."
Posted at 10:52 AM by Howard Bashman


Does Columbus, Ohio make it too difficult to engage in the expressive act of burning stuff to demonstrate your disagreement with what that stuff represents? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued this ruling today. Among the items whose destruction by fire is at issue in the case are the rainbow flag, the Koran, and copies of various U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Posted at 10:47 AM by Howard Bashman


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit joins Michigan federal district court in rejecting father's objections to child support in lawsuit some have referred to as "Roe v. Wade for men": You can access today's Sixth Circuit ruling in Dubay v. Wells at this link.

In earlier press coverage, The Detroit News in March 2006 published an article headlined "Dads: No cash for unwanted children; In lawsuit, activists argue if women have right to decide fate of fetus, fathers can decline financial role." BBC News reported that "US men fight child support laws; Men's rights activists in the US are to argue in court that fathers do not have an obligation to pay money towards raising a child they did not want." And ABC12-TV of Flint, Michigan reported that "Matt Dubay speaks about lawsuit; Suit dubbed 'Roe vs. Wade for men.'"

As you might expect, the case has also generated substantial commentary. In The Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby had an op-ed entitled "The obligation of unwanted fatherhood." And in the Ideas section of that newspaper, Drake Bennett had a report headlined "A man's right to choose: This is Joe's sperm. It contains his genetic material. When joined with an egg, it can produce offspring--as well as certain legal responsibilities. Does Joe have any say in all this?" In USA Today, DeWayne Wickham had an op-ed entitled "Mich. paternity law dispute: A weak man, weaker case." And in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rick Esenberg had an essay entitled "A 'male abortion' right?"
Posted at 10:21 AM by Howard Bashman



"Is bad counsel something to die for? The Supreme Court will decide whether a flawed prediction by defense lawyer should mean execution for an Idaho murderer." David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse has an article headlined "'Bad' Legal Advice and the Death Penalty."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Before the Court: Are Munis Like Milk, or Garbage?" Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court weighs status of tax-free bonds; It is unlikely to overturn states' policy of favoring their own debt over that of other states."

And in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "High Court May Protect States' Taxation of Bonds."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ten Commandments posted at state Capitol; Federal judge allowed display": This article appears today in The Louisville Courier-Journal.

And The Lexington Herald-Leader reports today that "Fletcher invokes 'values.'"
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"More on The Second Circuit's Recent, Significant Decision Regarding Two Suits Involving the Alien Tort Claims Act": Anthony J. Sebok has this essay, part two in a two-part series, online today at FindLaw. Part one can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Questions Senators Should Ask Themselves About Attorney General Nominee Michael Mukasey": Carl Tobias has this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, November 05, 2007

"Lockheed Case at Calif. High Court Ends Abruptly": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 11:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Galveston judge's reassignment will have costly effect": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "It is unclear whether a reassignment to Houston's federal courthouse for rebuked Galveston federal judge Samuel Kent is part of his punishment, but the move will mean a change in the way his colleagues on the bench in Houston do business."
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Ala. Inmate With Cancer Loses Appeal" and "Feds Fight Ruling on Security Letters."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court transcript of oral argument in CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Georgia State Bd. of Equalization, No. 06-1287: The transcript is available at this link.

Attorney Carter G. Phillips, who argued this case today on behalf of petitioner, can take tomorrow off, as his next U.S. Supreme Court oral argument isn't until Wednesday of this week, when he will argue on behalf of the petitioner in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., No. 06–989.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Top court to decide Idaho death penalty case": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Today's Kentucky Department of Revenue v. Davis Oral Argument": In this post, "TaxProf Blog" links to press coverage of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument, You can access the oral argument transcript at this link. And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Bonds and taxes, a choice of two theories."
Posted at 04:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Law Blog Lawyer of the Day: Miami’s Rick Diaz." At WSJ.com's "Law Blog," Peter Lattman has a post that begins, "We spend lots of time gawking at the stars of the Supreme Court bar. But what about the lawyer who finds him or herself standing before the justices for the first time? What’s that like? Last week we spoke with Rick Diaz, an accidental Supreme Court advocate if there ever was one. Diaz represents Michael Williams, who is challenging the constitutionality of a federal child-pornography statute."

The interview is quite interesting, although it fails to touch on criticism that has been directed toward the merits brief submitted on Williams's behalf.
Posted at 03:42 PM by Howard Bashman



Today was a busy day in the courts for Alabama death row inmate Daniel Lee Siebert: As I noted earlier in this post, the U.S. Supreme Court today issued a per curiam ruling holding that Siebert was barred from receiving federal court review of his habeas corpus petition challenging his conviction because the habeas petition was filed too late.

Separately, Siebert is litigating before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to fend off Alabama's imposition of the death penalty. Previously, a three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel issued a stay of execution. The very next day, on October 25, 2007, the Eleventh Circuit issued an order granting rehearing en banc, vacating the panel's stay, and reimposing a stay from the en banc court. My earlier coverage of these developments can be accessed here and here.

Today, the en banc Eleventh Circuit issued an order sending the case back to the original three-judge panel to consider the issues raised in Alabama's petition for rehearing en banc. And in response to that order, the original three-judge panel today issued a decision that rejected all but one aspect of Siebert's challenge to Alabama's imposition of the death penalty. The one aspect of Siebert's challenge that remains is now returning to an Alabama federal district judge for consideration in the first instance, and in the interim the Eleventh Circuit is continuing to block Siebert's execution.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



eBay raises a stink about Perfumebay: Today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit represents almost a complete victory for eBay.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Md. Court Rejects Sniper's Appeal": The AP provides a report that begins, "Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammad does not deserve a new trial in Maryland, a state appeals court ruled Monday in a sharply worded unanimous decision that compared Muhammad to Jack the Ripper."

You can access today's ruling of the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland at this link.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Man Pleads in Nev. Courthouse Shooting": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A man accused of killing his wife and shooting the judge who was handling their bitter divorce reached a plea deal Monday, bringing an abrupt end to his trial."

And The Reno Gazette-Journal provides news updates headlined "Darren Mack pleads guilty" and "Judge, victim's mother react to Mack pleas."
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to hear plea bargain issue": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court to Hear Idaho Death Case."

You can access today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List at this link.

And you can access today's per curiam opinion issued in Allen v. Siebert, No. 06-1680, by clicking here.
Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: I'll be away from the computer mid-morning when the U.S. Supreme Court issues today's Order List. "SCOTUSblog" will provide complete coverage.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Vote early, vote often: You may think that election day is not until tomorrow, but you can vote right now for "Best Law Blog" in The 2007 Weblog Awards. "How Appealing" could use your vote in this popularity contest in order to have a respectable showing. To vote, simply click here and then click on the appropriate oval until the current vote results are revealed. You can vote once per computer every 24 hours until the contest wraps-up, so please be sure to keep voting as often as possible.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Learns Best Way to Keep a Secret Is Not by Posting It on the Internet": Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Drawing a Line Between Enduring Harm and Legitimate Fear": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an installment of his "Sidebar" column that begins, "When Alima Traore was a young girl in Mali, parts of her genitalia were cut off, which is the custom there."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Frustration Builds for Democrats; Reversal of Fortune for Mukasey Highlights Struggles on Security Issues": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.

And The Los Angeles Times today contains an editorial entitled "Confirm Mukasey -- and stop torture: The two positions can be reconciled if Congress makes the CIA stick to military interrogation standards that prohibit waterboarding."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Uncle Sam on the Line": Today in The New York Times, John Ashcroft has an op-ed that begins, "For almost two years, the country has debated whether the Bush administration acted properly and lawfully in undertaking emergency surveillance operations of suspected foreign terrorists on presidential authorization in the wake of 9/11."
Posted at 08:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court May Rule on States' Bonds": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin and Shefali Anand have an article that begins, "The Supreme Court will today hear arguments in a case that could upend how states finance capital projects and also reshuffle the $2.5 trillion municipal-bond market."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wal-Mart, Roehm Drop Lawsuits; Jacobs Ends Legal Action; Moves Will Halt Litigation Tied to Executive's Firing": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.

Reuters reports that "Ex-Wal-Mart marketing exec will not refile lawsuit."

And a press release issued on Friday is headlined "Roehm Will Not Re-File Lawsuit Against Wal-Mart."

The February 12, 2007 issue of New York Magazine contained this lengthy article on the matter.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice for sale: Special interest money pours into judicial races; Better ways exist." Today's issue of USA Today contains this editorial.

In response, Tim Riley and Mark Tanner have an op-ed entitled "We can't sit silently: Big business pumps big bucks into judges' races; so must trial lawyers."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Military's porn ban questioned; Groups complain it's poorly enforced": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Does the First Amendment Protect Highly Offensive Speech at a Funeral and Directed at the Deceased?" Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Unforgiven: Why is Clarence Thomas so angry?" In the November 12, 2007 issue of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin has this review of Justice Clarence Thomas's book, "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir."

The magazine has also posted a related podcast featuring Toobin that you can download via this link (11.4MB mp3 file).
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



Sunday, November 04, 2007

"Weak case seen in failed trial of charity; Experts and jurors weigh in after a terror financing indictment against the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim relief group, ends in a mistrial": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judges' activism already coming home to roost": Columnist Jim Wooten has this op-ed today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Waterboarding Used to Be a Crime": Judge Evan Wallach of the U.S. Court of International Trade has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Two for Mr. Mukasey: Sens. Schumer and Feinstein buck the crowd." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"This Is Going to Hurt": Today in The New York Times, Mark Essig has an op-ed that begins, "When the Supreme Court last week granted a stay of execution for a murderer in Mississippi, it imposed a de facto moratorium on capital punishment in the United States."

And The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial entitled "Don't rush to resume lethal injections."
Posted at 10:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"No more standing mute: New rules will let judges address issues. Whether they want to or not." The current issue of Arkansas Times contains this article, along with a related article headlined "Removing the gag: Wendell Griffen wins but wants more."
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Municipal-bond tax breaks face court challenge; US Supreme Court weighs whether states can give residents who buy munis preferential tax treatment": This article will appear Monday in The Christian Science Monitor.

Dow Jones Newswires report that "High Court May Look Favorably On Municipal Bond Tax Breaks."

And The Los Angeles Times reported recently that "Muni bonds' home-state edge at risk; High court will weigh whether states' tax policy can favor their own bonds over those of other issuers."
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



It's time to vote: You may think that election day is not until Tuesday, but you can vote right now for "Best Law Blog" in The 2007 Weblog Awards. "How Appealing" could use your vote in this popularity contest in order to have a respectable showing. To vote, simply click here and then click on the appropriate oval. You can vote once every 24 hours until the contest wraps-up, so be sure to keep voting as often as possible.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Court Puts Death on Hold; At issue: the 'how' of the death penalty, not the penalty itself." This article will appear in the November 12, 2007 issue of U.S. News & World Report. And Emma Schwartz will have an article headlined "A Challenge to Lethal Injections: Is the level of pain inflicted 'cruel'?"

Thursday's issue of The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi contained an article headlined "Is inmate's stay a signal from justices? Halting Miss. execution could indicate nation's high court wants moratorium."

And Wednesday's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" contained a segment entitled "Supreme Court Stays Execution Ahead of Pivotal Case" (transcript with links to audio and video) featuring Marcia Coyle.
Posted at 03:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Kent order less detailed than others": The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article that begins, "A September reprimand of U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent was a rare act of discipline by the Judicial Council of the 5th Circuit, but it wasn't unprecedented. However, the order chastising the Galveston judge appears to be unique in that it's more vague about the judge's misdeeds than his predecessors' orders are about theirs." Today's newspaper also contains a related article headlined "Most judge complaints unwarranted."

Yesterday, meanwhile, The Houston Chronicle reported that "Jackson Lee wants judge investigated; Lawmaker asks for House inquiry of Galveston jurist." And yesterday's issue of The Galveston County Daily News contained an article headlined "Jackson-Lee formally requests Kent probe."
Posted at 12:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Solicitor General: Supreme Court's shrinking caseload due to fewer laws enacted by Congress, more harmony in circuit courts." Harvard Law School's web site contains a news release that begins, "The Supreme Court's diminishing caseload is likely a reflection of a preceding fall-off in new legislation by Congress, U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement '92 speculated in remarks delivered at Harvard Law School's fall reunion exercises. Fewer new laws mean fewer lawsuits challenging or seeking clarification of new legislation, he said."

You can view a webcast of the Solicitor General's remarks by clicking here (RealPlayer required). Those remarks begin at 16 minutes and 22 seconds into the webcast. The quality of the webcast's audio is quite poor at times.
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senator wants to name interchange after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas": Yesterday's edition of The Savannah Morning News contained an article that begins, "State Sen. Eric Johnson is pushing to get the interchange of Interstate 95 and Interstate 16 named after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Johnson, a Savannah Republican and Senate president pro tem, said he plans to introduce a bill soon after the General Assembly convenes Jan. 14. Thomas, the second black justice to serve on the high court, was born and raised in Pin Point, on the edge of Savannah."
Posted at 12:47 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, November 03, 2007

"UC owes millions in refunds to students, appeals court rules": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The University of California owes millions of dollars in refunds to about 40,000 students who were promised that their tuition fees would be held steady but were hit with increases in 2003 when the state ran short of money, a state appeals court ruled Friday."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District at this link.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"UCLA Law School joins others to pry into judicial secrecy; With the Rand Corp., an alliance is formed to study confidentiality in the civil justice system": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Administration Blocked Waterboarding Critic; Former DOJ Official Tested the Method Himself, in Effort to Form Torture Policy": Jan Crawford Greenburg and Ariane de Vogue have this report at ABCNews.com. You can watch a related video report by clicking here.

And today's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Waterboarding: An Issue Before Mukasey's Bid" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Exxon Valdez: a case of the undead; This now-historic case drags on and on solely because the 9th Circuit has let it happen." David Lebedoff has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Democratic Defections Clear Path For Mukasey; 2 Senators Say Nominee Is Best Bush Would Offer": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times today contains articles headlined "Justice Nominee Gets 2 Key Votes From Democrats" and "3 Top Republican Candidates Take a Hard Line on the Interrogation of Detainees."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Mukasey all but a shoo-in for approval; Two Democrats on the judiciary panel express concerns but say they will vote to confirm him as attorney general." In addition, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has an op-ed entitled "Judge Mukasey has my vote; The attorney general nominee's answers on torture are clear, and he will rise to the challenges of the job."

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Mukasey Gets Crucial Support; Schumer, Feinstein Back Attorney General Pick; Confirmation Is Likely."

Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Democrats support Mukasey despite waterboarding comments."

The Washington Times reports that "2 key Democrats OK Mukasey."

And Monday's edition of Legal Times will report that "Mukasey May Wind Up as an AG on a Short Leash; If confirmed as the next attorney general, Mukasey could head to the Justice Department with Congress on his back."
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"New Detainee Rights Weighed in Plans to Close Guantanamo": Sunday's edition of The New York Times will contain this article.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Capital Cases Stalling as Costs Grow Daunting": This article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.

In addition, the newspaper's Week in Review section on Sunday will contain an article headlined "It's Not Whether to Kill, but How."
Posted at 08:24 PM by Howard Bashman



C-SPAN has posted online the audio of last Wednesday's Fourth Circuit en banc oral argument in Al-Marri v. Wright: You can access the audio by clicking here (RealPlayer required).

On Wednesday, I had this post previewing the oral argument. And I collected news coverage of what happened at the en banc oral argument in posts that you can access here and here.
Posted at 07:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Brian Nichols case: DA sues to oust Nichols judge." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "Fulton County prosecutors are lobbying the Georgia Supreme Court to force the judge overseeing the trial of suspected courthouse gunman Brian Nichols off the beleaguered death penalty case."

And Fulton County Daily Report contains an article headlined "Prosecutor Asks Ga. Justices to Boot Judge From Courthouse Shooter Case."
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Shannon P. Duffy reports that "3rd Circuit Finds Retirement Packages for Tenured Professors Are Taxable." My earlier coverage of yesterday's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link. And "TaxProf Blog" has this post about the ruling.

In other news, "5th Circuit Restricts Trial Courts' Discretion in Venue Motions."

An article reports that "Calif. Supreme Court to Hear High-Stakes Hollywood Dispute."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Court Learns Best Way to Keep a Secret Is Not by Posting It on the Internet."
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman



Friday, November 02, 2007

"Lethal method okay in Florida; State Supreme Court allows the procedure despite a case before U.S. Supreme Court": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

And The Tallahassee Democrat reports today that "Court clears way for executions; Florida justices OK new lethal-injection methods."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida at this link.
Posted at 08:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Preview: The Second Amendment case." Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

One of the issues touched on in Lyle's post was the subject of the March 19, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "State of the Second Amendment: Does It Apply in the District of Columbia?"
Posted at 06:08 PM by Howard Bashman



Patent attorneys accused of writing sexually tinged poetry apparently still fall outside of the Federal Circuit's jurisdiction: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued this ruling today in an employment discrimination suit. The blog "Appellate Law & Practice" provides this summary of the decision.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "2 Key Dems Back Attorney General Pick" begins, "Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein say they will vote for Attorney General-nominee Michael Mukasey, which likely gives him enough support to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee."

And Lara Jakes Jordan has an article headlined "Torture Nuances Stall Mukasey Nomination."
Posted at 05:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"FCC Appeals Indecency Case to High Court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Comparing its dilemma to a Greek myth, lawyers for the Federal Communications Commission have formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court's rejection of the agency's policy on broadcast profanity."

My earlier coverage from yesterday appears at this link.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"The problem of defining 'wages' in this case presents a contrast between two possible concepts of faculty tenure at the University." The majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today issued an opinion that begins, "The issue in this case is whether early retirement payments made by the University of Pittsburgh to its tenured faculty are taxable as 'wages' under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA)?"

The majority holds that the payments constituted wages and thus were taxable. Third Circuit Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica dissented in an opinion that concludes: "Accordingly, I would hold payments for the relinquishment of the property right in tenure at the University were not remuneration for employment and were not subject to FICA taxation." In agreement with today's dissenter, the trial judge had also held that the payments are not taxable.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Brian Nichols case -- Despite critics, Fuller toils on; Going from retirement to complex case: Superior Court judge took job nobody wanted." Today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article that begins, "Despite ongoing criticism and being called 'a fool' by a peer, the trial judge in the Brian Nichols death penalty case has shown no signs that he's going to step aside. Nor is he cowering or maintaining a low profile."

And The Associated Press is reporting that "Prosecutor sues judge over delays in Nichols' trial."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman



Who will want to be a state trial court judge in Virginia now that you can't flip a coin to decide a case or order a litigant to drop her pants? The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Judge Booted for Flipping Coin to Decide" that begins, "A judge who ordered a woman to drop her pants and decided a custody dispute by flipping a coin was removed from the bench by the Virginia Supreme Court on Friday."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Virginia at this link.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Leahy to Oppose Mukasey for AG": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Friday he won't support Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey, further undercutting his chances for a quick confirmation, because he hasn't taken a firm enough stand against torture."
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Panel OKs Tinder for appeals post": The Indianapolis Star today contains an article that begins, "The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder's nomination to the federal appeals court. The full Senate must still vote on the Indianapolis native. It's not clear when that vote might come."
Posted at 01:52 PM by Howard Bashman


Vote for best (or should I say "most popular") law blog in The 2007 Weblog Awards: You can vote once every 24 hours. By clicking here, you'll be taken directly to the page where you can vote for one of the ten law blog finalists. All the other categories in which voting is also underway can be viewed via this link.
Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Undecided Schumer May Be Key to Mukasey's Chances; Judiciary Chairman Endorsed Justice Nominee but Says He, Like Other Democrats, Is Concerned About Torture Question": The Washington Post contains this article today. An editorial is entitled "Mr. Mukasey and Torture: The Senate should confirm the former and ban the latter." And today's installment of Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "Logic Tortured."

The New York Times today contains articles headlined "Bush, Defending Justice Nominee, Sees Unfairness" and "Taking All the Credit, and Then Counting the Cost."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Bush raises stakes on Mukasey; Democrats' insistence on a torture declaration is unfair and could leave the Justice Department without a leader, the president says."

USA Today contains an article headlined "Bush: Mukasey approval needed for U.S. security."

The Washington Times reports that "It's Mukasey or no one, Bush warns."

And The New York Sun reports that "Bush Scolds Congress For Its Treatment of Mukasey."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Princeton at risk of losing donor's gift; In light of dispute, universities may work to ensure donations are spent in accord with requests": This article appears today in The Yale Daily News.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Brutality, Disguised: The Supreme Court should end both lethal injection and capital punishment altogether." The Harvard Crimson contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Va. abortion law argued in court; 'Partial-birth' procedure is focus of 4th Circuit hearing in Richmond": This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

And today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Judges Appear Hesitant on Virginia 'Partial Birth' Abortion Ban; Supreme Court's Ruling Allowing Restrictions on Procedure May Not Open Door to Implementation of State's Statute."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Librarians Say Surveillance Bills Lack Adequate Oversight": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A little-remarked feature of pending legislation on domestic surveillance has provoked alarm among university and public librarians who say it could allow federal intelligence-gathering on library patrons without sufficient court oversight."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"$3.6 billion ruling rejected; State did not prove Exxon committed fraud, court rules": This article appears today in The Birmingham News.

As I noted in this post from last night, the blog "Alabama Appellate Watch" has posted yesterday's 125-page ruling of the Supreme Court of Alabama at this link.
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"To Marine's Father, Suit Is More Than Money": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "After a year and a half of anger, grief and legal maneuvering, the father of a marine killed in Iraq has said the success of his suit against a fundamentalist sect that picketed his son's funeral means more than the jury's $10.9 million damage award on Tuesday."

The Baltimore Sun today contains articles headlined "Reversal likely in protest verdict; First Amendment applies, experts say" and "Survivors of soldiers thankful for verdict; Families find justice in damage award against Kan. church." In addition, columnist Jean Marbella has an op-ed entitled "If church doesn't pay, father still wins."

And The Topeka Capital-Journal today contains articles headlined "Fallen Marine's dad wants Phelps property" and "Phelps church vandalized; small firecrackers found."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Rules Lower Prison Terms in Sentences for Crack": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And in The Los Angeles Times, Harlan Protass has an op-ed entitled "Revisit crack sentences: Congress nixed outrageous prison terms for crack offenders, but the decision should be applied retroactively."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Circuits Wary of Plan for Policing Federal Bench."

And in other news, "Pa. Court Applies Strict Time Bar in Legal Malpractice Case." You can access the recent ruling of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, November 01, 2007

"Counsel, Legal and Illegal": In the November 5, 2007 issue of The New Republic, Law Professor Neal Katyal has this lengthy review of Law Professor Jack L. Goldsmith's book, "The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration."
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"More equity in cocaine sentencing; Revised guidelines lessen disparity in prison terms for crack versus powder": This article will appear Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.

And The Associated Press reports that "Crack Cocaine Sentencing Go Into Effect."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Shrapnel from bullet exploded in judge's office, forensic expert says": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "A bullet traveled about 515 feet from a downtown Reno parking garage, flew over the Century Theatre building and across the Truckee River before bursting through a courthouse window on the morning of June 12, 2006, a detective testified Wednesday. The bullet shattered into small metal pieces that cut into the skin and clothing of Family Court Judge Chuck Weller and his secretary, Annie Allison, as they stood in his chambers, said Victor Ruvalcaba, a forensic investigator with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, during his testimony Wednesday."

And yesterday, that newspaper contained an article headlined "Targeted judge says he suspected Mack."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ala. Court Cuts $3.6B Verdict Vs. Exxon": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Alabama Supreme Court on Thursday threw out nearly all of a record $3.6 billion verdict that the state government won against Exxon Mobil Corp. in a dispute over natural gas royalties. In an 8-1 decision, the state's highest court awarded Alabama $51.9 million in compensatory damages. The court threw out all punitive damages, which made up most of the $3.6 billion verdict, the largest ever in Alabama."

The blog "Alabama Appellate Watch" has posted today's 125-page ruling of the Supreme Court of Alabama at this link.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Check out the ten finalists for "Best Law Blog" in The 2007 Weblog Awards: Click here and scroll down some. Voting is scheduled to begin tomorrow.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"States likely to delay executions until ruling; The US Supreme Court's stay of an execution Tuesday signals a moratorium on lethal injections until it decides a key case": Warren Richey will have this article Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush strongly defends embattled Mukasey": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jailed Gitmo Journalist Gains Support": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A campaign to free a journalist imprisoned at Guantanamo gained support Thursday from the first Muslim member of Congress, who urged authorities to prosecute or release him after more than five years without charges."
Posted at 04:38 PM by Howard Bashman


If you think that Carter G. Phillips had fun uttering profanities before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit last December, he may soon get to reprise his performance before the nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court asked to block expletives on the air" reporting on this petition for writ of certiorari that the federal government filed today.

My earlier coverage of the Second Circuit oral argument, which occurred on December 20, 2006, appears at this link. According to one press account of that oral argument, "the judges may have been reluctant to swear in court, but Fox attorney Carter Phillips said 'fuck' and 'fucking' and 'shit' almost immediately in outlining the case, as if to get the words out, on the table and unabashedly part of the conversation."

Thanks to C-SPAN, you can view and listen to the Second Circuit oral argument by clicking here (RealPlayer required).

A divided three-judge Second Circuit panel issued its ruling in this case in June 2007, and my posts covering that ruling can be accessed here, here, and here.
Posted at 04:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey nomination sparks debate at alma mater Yale": The Yale Daily News contains this article today.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"William K. Stevens: 1917-2007; Longtime attorney and estate specialist; He was a brother of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens." This obituary appeared yesterday in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 03:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush criticizes Democrats on Mukasey nomination; He defends his pick for attorney general for refusing to say whether he thought coercive interrogation techniques were torture": The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Bush Backs Attorney General Nominee."

And The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Bush Moves to Save Mukasey Nomination."

You can access a transcript of President Bush's remarks at this link.
Posted at 03:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Plea for bail in high-profile jury misconduct case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog" on the emergency application for continued bail that former Illinois Governor George H. Ryan, Sr. and co-defendant Lawrence E. Warner have filed.
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"State Court Upholds Fla. Executions": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Florida's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state's lethal injection procedures are not cruel and unusual, which could clear the way for an execution scheduled for this month."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida at this link.
Posted at 02:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"G'town students court the Supremes": The Georgetown Voice today contains an article that begins, "Though not wearing costumes, the 17 Georgetown students huddled around the GUTS bus stop in front of Leo's at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday had woken up early for a special Halloween treat: a private meeting with Associate Justice Stephen Breyer."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"As a matter of federal constitutional law, a criminal suspect does not have a right to keep her mug shot and the information contained in a police report outside of the public domain--and least of all from legitimate requests for the information from the press." A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today issued a decision that begins, "Dorothy Bailey claims that the Port Huron Police Department violated her constitutional right to privacy by disclosing her name, hometown, photograph, phone number and husband's occupation after prosecutors charged her in connection with a drunk-driving accident."

Information disclosed to the press included that Ms. Bailey's husband worked as an undercover law enforcement officer, and in fact he was employed as an undercover deputy sheriff in the drug task force unit of the St. Clair County, Michigan Sheriff's Department.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton was the author of today's ruling.
Posted at 11:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"The facts of this case read like a novel in that they involve the resurrection of an inventor thought to be deceased." This decision issued today demonstrates what passes for excitement these days in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court hears case of convicted Minnesota sex offender": This article appears today in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Posted at 11:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Protest hits home for Texas judge who refused to hear late appeal": Yesterday's issue of The Daily Texan contained an article that begins, "A group of activists opposing the death penalty rallied outside Judge Sharon Keller's home in North Austin Tuesday night. Keller presides over the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and refused to accept a late death penalty appeal on Sept. 25, which resulted in Michael Richard's execution."

And The Fort Worth Star-Telegram yesterday contained an editorial entitled "Hello? Hello?! Criminal justice."
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Scott Peterson can't collect on murdered wife's insurance, court rules": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And The Modesto Bee reports today that "Policy goes to Laci Peterson's mother; Appellate court panel sees no reason to delay payout."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District at this link.
Posted at 09:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Terror case prosecutor acquitted of rigging trial; Jury: Convertino and agent didn't hide evidence." The Detroit Free Press contains this article today.

The Detroit News reports today that "Federal jury acquits terror prosecutor; Jubilant Convertino calls trial 'politically motivated prosecution.'"

The New York Times reports that "Ex-Prosecutor Acquitted of Misconduct in 9/11 Case."

And The Washington Post reports that "Ex-Prosecutor, Security Officer Cleared in Terrorism Case."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Brian Nichols case: Fellow judge blasts Fuller; Seeking replacement: In an e-mail, Schwall calls fellow jurist a 'fool'; Court spokesman says other judges are frustrated." This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The newspaper also reports that "Nichols lawyers drop contempt of court motion." And Law Professor Anne Emanuel has an op-ed entitled "Judge easy, but wrong, scapegoat; State raised the bar, bringing on a costly defense for Nichols."

In other coverage, Fulton County Daily Report today contains an article headlined "Ga. Judge Blasts Judge in Courthouse Murder Case as a 'Fool' and 'Embarrassment'; Judge Craig Schwall blasts Fuller in an e-mail to Superior Court judges, saying Fuller should be replaced."
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Huge award in funeral lawsuit; $10.9 million damages for kin of Marine killed in Iraq": Today's edition of The Baltimore Sun contains an article that begins, "A federal jury in Baltimore awarded nearly $11 million yesterday to the father of a Marine killed in Iraq, deciding that the family's privacy had been invaded by a Kansas church whose members waved anti-gay signs at the funeral. It was the first-ever verdict against Westboro Baptist Church, a fundamentalist Christian group based in Topeka that has protested military funerals across the country with placards bearing shock-value messages such as 'Thank God for dead soldiers.' They contend that the deaths are punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality and of gays in the military."

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports today that "Phelpses found liable for $10.9 million; Spokeswoman says appeal likely to happen."

The Washington Post reports that "$11 Million Awarded in Funeral Protest Suit."

And USA Today reports that "Church liable for protest at funeral; Jury gives Marine's family nearly $11M in damages."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Media vote may be delayed; At a hearing, the FCC is urged to complete a long-running study before deciding on new ownership regulations": Jim Puzzanghera has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Critics Turn Out To Protest Media Consolidation."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Marin judge rules lethal injection procedures invalid": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein reports that "Judge bars new plan for executions; The jurist rules that state broke the law by not seeking public comment or independent review."

And The Marin Independent Journal reports that "Marin judge rejects new execution method."
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Two More Democrats To Oppose Mukasey; White House Says Justice Pick Will Still Be Confirmed": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Democrats' resistance to Mukasey grows; Two more Democratic senators say they will not support his nomination as attorney general when the committee votes on it Tuesday." In addition, columnist Rosa Brooks has an op-ed entitled "Mukasey's black magic on torture: Anyone with a conscience has an opinion on waterboarding; the would-be attorney general should come clean on his."

USA Today reports that "Mukasey draws more criticism for answers on 'waterboarding' issue."

The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "Torture and the Attorneys General." In addition, Senior U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour of the Western District of Washington has an op-ed entitled "How to Try a Terrorist."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Executions likely on hold until high court ruling; Reprieve in Miss. case signals more stays as justices review lethal injection": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "U.S. Cuts Back on Executions as It Debates Lethal Injections."

The Houston Chronicle reports today that "DA decides to hold off on some death penalty cases; County will wait until Supreme Court rules on punishment's constitutionality."

And in The Washington Post, Law Professor David R. Dow has an op-ed entitled "The Last Lethal Injection?"
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Alito puts rookie year behind, gets a few words in; The former U.S. attorney brings 'prosecutorial experience to bear'": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roadblock for Telecom Immunity; Senate Judiciary Leaders Resist Leniency for Surveillance": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And The New York Times reports today that "Key Senators Raise Doubts on Eavesdropping Immunity."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Enemy-combatant case returns to U.S. appeals court": This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Washington Post reports today that "Appeals Court in Va. to Hear Enemy Combatant Case."

And law.com reports that "4th Circuit Hears Enemy Combatant Case."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman




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