How Appealing

Monday, November 20, 2006

"Detainees appeal to judicial modesty": Lyle Denniston has this post online at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 09:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Monument at Houston Courthouse Tests the Limits of Ten Commandments Rulings": That was the headline of an installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column that law.com published two months ago. My essay began, "On Aug. 15, 2006, a divided three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision resolving an Establishment Clause challenge to a monument that a Christian charity erected on the grounds of a state civil courthouse in Houston to honor the memory of a prominent local businessman and philanthropist."

The majority on the divided three-judge panel ruled that the monument violated the Establishment Clause. The conclusion to my essay stated: "Whether a monument that did not originally violate the Establishment Clause winds up doing so when commandeered for religious purposes is an interesting and difficult question left unresolved by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Ten Commandments decisions. Harris County, Texas, on whose property the Mosher monument resides, has recently asked the entire 5th Circuit to rehear the case en banc, and U.S. Supreme Court review of this case is not entirely out of the question, so this interesting dispute may yet be far from over."

My statement that the case "may yet be far from over" has proved correct, as the Fifth Circuit on Friday issued an order (posted online today) granting rehearing en banc in the case.
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"STD suit could set precedent in state": The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, California today contains an article that begins, "A former San Luis Obispo County resident is suing her ex-husband, claiming he negligently infected her with a sexually transmitted disease in what experts say could be a precedent-setting case in California. Legal experts say the case between Janet Smith and Patrick Neiland Smith is significant because many people do not realize passing on an STD could pose a legal liability."
Posted at 07:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former judge disbarred for groping girl at pop concert": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has disbarred a former Monroe County judge who is serving 10 years' probation for groping a preteen girl at a pop music concert."

You can access Friday's order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court: Web sites not liable for libel committed by third parties." Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News provides this update.

Bloomberg News reports that "Court Says Web Publisher Isn't Liable for Defamation."

And c|net News.com reports that "Calif. court ruling seeks to protect bloggers, Web publishers."
Posted at 07:25 PM by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Lawyer: 'No-Hearing' Process Traps Detainees" and "The Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Brandeis" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge says Mack must go to trial for all charges": Friday's edition of The Reno Gazette-Journal contained an article that begins, "Looking at each piece of evidence individually would not be enough to charge Darren Mack with shooting the judge who was deciding his divorce, Clark County District Judge Douglas Herndon said Thursday as he considered a motion to throw out the attempted murder charge."
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia & Samuel Alito at the Federalist Society": You can access, online and on-demand, the video from this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and & Courts" by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Closings in Internet-porn trial": The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a news update that begins, "A never enforced federal law aimed at protecting children from Internet porn is vague, threatens free speech, and will not achieve its intended goal, opponents of the measure argued today."

And The Associated Press reports that "Lawyers Argue Validity of '98 Online Law."

The ACLU provides access to trial transcripts at this link, while additional information about the case can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Howard's huge year nets him NL MVP; Phils slugger led Majors in homers, RBIs in first full season": MLB.com provides this report.
Posted at 05:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"ISP not responsible for online libel, state's top court rules": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides this news update.

And Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Court ruling protects internet users and providers."

My earlier coverage is at this link.

Update: Bob Ambrogi, at his "Media Law" blog, has a post titled "Calif. Court Issues Broad Libel Protection."
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"O.J. Simpson Book, TV Special Canceled": The Associated Press provides this report. The former football star's next project will be titled "If I Did It and If I Had a Book and TV Special About It."
Posted at 04:03 PM by Howard Bashman


IRS seeks all, but receives nothing, in attempting to tax the consequences of Kohler Company's participation in the Mexican government's debt-equity swap program: In 1987, Kohler, the well-known manufacturer of plumbing products, purchased $22.4 million (USD) in Mexican debt from Bankers Trust for $11.1 million (USD). Then, in exchange for the $22.4 million (USD) in Mexican debt, Kohler received from the Mexican government $19.5 million (USD) worth of pesos that had to be spent in Mexico on projects approved by the government and could not be freely converted to dollars or other foreign currencies until 1998.

The Internal Revenue Service increased Kohler's taxable income in the year of the transaction by the difference of $8.4 million between the price that Kohler had paid Bankers Trust for the Mexican debt and $19.5 million. Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in an opinion for a unanimous three-judge panel written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of Kohler and against the IRS. Today's opinion concludes that the IRS "played all or nothing, lost all, so gets nothing."
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"We acknowledge that recognizing broad immunity for defamatory republications on the Internet has some troubling consequences. Until Congress chooses to revise the settled law in this area, however, plaintiffs who contend they were defamed in an Internet posting may only seek recovery from the original source of the statement." The Supreme Court of California has today issued its ruling in Barrett v. Rosenthal.

My earlier post previewing today's ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 01:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Seventh Circuit rejects on the merits the claim of anti-homosexuality protester who asserts his First Amendment rights were violated when the City of Madison, Wisconsin banned him from protesting on a pedestrian overpass above a busy highway: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at this link.

Back on July 19, 2005 -- a date that remains noteworthy in the law for other reasons (see here and here) -- the Seventh Circuit reversed the federal district court's grant of summary judgment against this very protester and remanded the case for trial. My coverage of that ruling can be accessed here.

After the trial occurred on remand from the Seventh Circuit's earlier ruling, Law Professor Ann Althouse predicted here that the Seventh Circuit was likely to affirm. And today her prediction proved correct.
Posted at 12:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Nicaragua Eliminates Last Exception to Strict Anti-Abortion Law": This article appears today in The New York Times. According to the article, "the new law strikes out a clause that made it possible for a woman to obtain an abortion legally when three doctors certified that unless she did, her own life would be in danger."
Posted at 12:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Top NY court cuts school-funding mandate": The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "In a 4-2 decision, the state's highest court today significantly reduced the amount the state must spend on New York City schools to guarantee students a 'sound basic' education. The Court of Appeals said the state must spend a minimum of $1.93 billion per year -- striking down a lower court order that mandated a range of $4.7 billion to $5.6 billion per year."

The New York Times provides a news update headlined "N.Y. Is Ordered to Pay $1.93 Billion for City Schools."

And The Associated Press reports that "N.Y. Must Pay Schools $1.93B More a Year."

You can access today's ruling of the Court of Appeals of New York, that State's highest court, at this link.
Posted at 12:18 PM by Howard Bashman



The 2006 Weblog Awards seek nominees for "Best Law Blog": Nominations are being accepted in the comments at this link.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fate of Flanders' judgeship uncertain; Republican Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee, now a lame duck, had recommended him for the appeals court": The Providence Journal today contains an article that begins, "Former state Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Flanders Jr. finds himself in an uncomfortable place these days: limbo. In March, U.S. Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee announced he was recommending Flanders for a seat on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Boston, because that court's only Rhode Islander, Judge Bruce M. Selya, is planning to curtail his caseload and assume senior status by year's end. But eight months later, the White House has yet to nominate Flanders, much less secure Senate confirmation, and now the Republican Chafee is a lame duck, having lost the Nov. 7 election to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse."

My earlier coverage of the phantom Flanders First Circuit nomination can be accessed here, here, and here.

Back on March 18, 2006, The Providence Journal published an article headlined "Flanders nominated for federal court; Sen. Lincoln Chafee puts the former state Supreme Court justice's name forward to replace Bruce Selya on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals." That article begins, "Robert G. Flanders, a former Rhode Island Supreme Court justice, respected Providence trial lawyer and onetime Brown University football star, was nominated yesterday by Sen. Lincoln Chafee to a seat on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the nation's most prestigious courts." Recent events confirm that while individual U.S. Senators may recommend who the White House should nominate for federal appellate judgeships, it is the White House that has the final word.
Posted at 11:13 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nager Looked to Abramoff for Judgeship; Glen Nager wanted to be a judge, and he turned to Jack Abramoff for help": This week's issue of Legal Times contains an article (free access) that begins, "Even without the help of Jack Abramoff, by most accounts Glen Nager was a strong candidate for a judgeship on what is widely seen as the nation's second most important court."
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"4th Circuit Beats Back Anti-Spam Plaintiff": This post appears at the blog "Spam Notes."
Posted at 09:57 AM by Howard Bashman


The Supreme Court of California is scheduled to issue its ruling today in the internet free speech case known as Barrett v. Rosenthal: One of the central questions presented in the case is whether "the [federal] Communications Decency Act confer[s] absolute immunity on an Internet 'provider' or 'user' who republishes statements made by third parties, or can liability still be imposed under traditional common law principles where the provider or user knows or has reason to know of the defamatory character of a statement it republished on the Internet?"

The petition for review filed in the California Supreme Court can be accessed here. Also available online are the ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division Two, and the trial court's ruling in the case.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a web page devoted to the case. And Poynter Online's "E-Media Tidbits" blog a few months ago took a detailed look at the case.

California's Supreme Court will post online its ruling in the case at 1 p.m. eastern time, 10 a.m. pacific time.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Electronic Filing on Appeal: What Does the Future Hold?" By clicking here, you can access the new installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


Blog not written by Tim Conway: Via this recent post from Orin Kerr at "The Volokh Consipracy," I have learned of the new blog "Dorf on Law."

Related earlier "How Appealing" posts can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"On Asian-American Admissions: Affirmative action, despite its shortcomings, is largely effective." The Harvard Crimson contains this editorial today.

And The Daily Princetonian today contains an editorial entitled "Racing for admission" and an op-ed by Jonathan T. M. Pitts-Wiley entitled "Falling off the tight rope."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Shirin Shakir Memorial Team Wins 95th Ames Moot Court Finals": This article appears in the current issue of The Harvard Law Record.

I previously linked here to the video of the moot court finals.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Desegration Case Argued at Law School; Scheduled moot court judge left for dog 'shaking like a leaf'": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "A few hundred Harvard Law School students converged on Ames Courtroom Thursday to watch law professors direct questions toward someone else, for a change. The event was a moot court of Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, a case challenging school desegregation policies that will be heard by the Supreme Court on Dec. 4."

As for who was shaking like a leaf -- a moot court judge or that moot court judge's dog -- you'll have to read the article to learn the answer.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Synagogue to get sacred boundary; Commission approves a plan to create an eruv, or symbolic line, through Westside beach areas after ensuring rare birds will be protected": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"9/11 prisoner abuse suit could be landmark; Rounded up, Muslim immigrants were beaten in jail; Such open-ended detentions and sweeps might be barred": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pass the eminent domain bill": The Washington Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Romney seeks to force gay marriage vote; Rips lawmakers, eyes bid in SJC": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.

The Boston Herald today contains an article headlined "Gov's wedding vow: Romney tries new tack to get gay marriage on ballot."

And The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts reports that "Romney wants to revisit gay marriage."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court chief justice speaks at UM; John Roberts discusses life, career, politics": The current issue of The Miami Hurricane contains this article.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"New Tactic In Fighting Marriage Initiatives; Opponents Cite Effects On Straight Couples": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"New Justices Take the Podium, Putting Personalities on Display": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clash of a Judge and a Small Paper Underlines the Tangled History of Defamation": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Preferences Forever? The University of Michigan's president does her best George Wallace impersonation." John Fund has this essay online today at OpinionJournal.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice Roberts Advocates the Passive Virtues, Even as the Supreme Court's Docket Reveals their Subtle Vices": Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blawg Review #84": Available here, at "Transcending Gender."
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


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