How Appealing

Saturday, July 31, 2004
"Tobacco case jury back in court; Defendants claim jurors were pressured": The Times-Picayune today contains an article that begins, "In an unusual hearing, 12 New Orleans jurors who decided that the nation's largest tobacco companies should pay $591 million to help Louisiana smokers kick their habits took the stand themselves Friday to answer questions about whether they felt pressured to reach a verdict by any deadline."
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



In news from the Scott Peterson trial: The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Defense asks county for financial help; Money could be used for expert witnesses, paralegals." On Thursday, The Modesto Bee contained an article headlined "Will Geragos seek public aid to help pay for Peterson trial?" And today The Bee reports that "Peterson money decision a secret."
Posted at 22:36 by Howard Bashman



"Key Evidence Against Gotti Includes Talks With Lawyer": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 22:34 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Los Angeles Times: An article reports that "9/11 Reforms Could Weaken Rights, Says White House." And an article is headlined "Leaving a Lasting Legacy: Though law professor Erwin Chemerinsky has taken a job on the other side of the country, he plans to continue helping Los Angeles as much as he can."
Posted at 22:15 by Howard Bashman



Meet the "Johnnie Cochran of the Iraqi insurgency": Sunday's issue of The New York Times will contain an article headlined "Making Wheels of Justice Turn in a Chaotic Iraq."
Posted at 21:36 by Howard Bashman



"Ala. Ten Commandments Monument Opens Tour": The Associated Press reports here from Dayton, Tennessee that "The Ten Commandments monument banished from Alabama's state judicial building began a national tour on the back of a flatbed truck on Saturday -- starting outside the courthouse where the teaching of evolution was put on trial almost 80 years ago."
Posted at 21:33 by Howard Bashman



"SCOTUSblog" is reporting: Lyle Denniston has a post titled "The incredible shrinking Rasul decision." The post links to the federal government's brief filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Late yesterday, a reader emailed to me the two exhibits to that brief (but not the brief itself), and I posted those exhibits here and here and provided readers with links to them in this post from last night.

And speaking of last night, after I posted about "The news media's continuing Kobe beef," Marty Lederman provided this entirely pun-free update on the continuing transcript redaction saga occurring in Colorado.
Posted at 17:09 by Howard Bashman



The New York Times is reporting: In today's newspaper, Adam Liptak has an article headlined "A.C.L.U. Board Is Split Over Terror Watch Lists." And Sunday's newspaper will contain an article headlined "Black Farmers' Refrain: Where's All Our Money?"
Posted at 17:00 by Howard Bashman



"Sentence-Guideline Ruling Stirs Confusion": Today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition - Saturday" contained this report (Real Player required). The segment features Law Professor Douglas A. Berman, whose blog "Sentencing Law and Policy" you can access here.
Posted at 11:38 by Howard Bashman



"Court rejects appeal to block killer's execution": The Las Vegas Review-Journal contains this article today. The Las Vegas Sun reports that "Appeal for death row inmate denied." And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court says Nevada inmate can drop appeals, be executed." You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 10:31 by Howard Bashman



"Bryant Judge Apologizes for Disclosure on Accuser": This article appears today in The New York Times. The Los Angeles Times reports that "Judge Apologizes for Court's Errors; With parents of Bryant's accuser in the courtroom, Ruckriegle says he will learn from mistakes." The Denver Post reports that "Bryant judge says he's sorry." And The Rocky Mountain News reports that "Ruckriegle apologizes; Judge says he's sorry for posting woman's name in Bryant case."
Posted at 09:29 by Howard Bashman



"We Don't Stand for No Vibrating Here in Alabama": "amazonchyck's blog" has this to say about a recent ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Posted at 08:52 by Howard Bashman



"Great Falls fights for Christian prayer": This article appeared yesterday in The Spartanburg Herald-Journal. And The Associated Press reports that "Great Falls council members will appeal 4th Circuit ruling."

Meanwhile, The St. Petersburg Times reports today that "Invocation invokes brimstone; Angry e-mails beset City Hall the day after an atheist opened a City Council meeting."
Posted at 08:49 by Howard Bashman



"New Fight on Guantanamo Rights": Neil A. Lewis has this article in today's edition of The New York Times. Last night, in the second paragraph of a post that you can access here, I linked to some of the materials discussed in Lewis's article. In other coverage, The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Legal Showdown Nears for Detainees; Judge gives the U.S. until Tuesday to explain why a man is being held at Guantanamo, or he'll order him freed. Pentagon plans hearings for 4 others."
Posted at 08:39 by Howard Bashman



At least they didn't call him "Margaret": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article headlined "Mead sues for new election." The article begins, "Georgia Court of Appeals candidate Howard Mead filed a lawsuit in Cobb County on Friday seeking another vote in the nonpartisan statewide race.... Mead said the law requires a new vote because 481 ballots in Laurens County incorrectly listed his first name as 'Thomas' instead of 'Howard.' After the July 20 election, Mead finished 348 votes behind Sheffield. After a recount this week, Mead was listed on the Georgia secretary of state's Web site as trailing Sheffield by 382 votes."
Posted at 08:36 by Howard Bashman



"Poletown seizures are ruled unlawful; State Supreme Court restricts government rights to take land": The Detroit Free Press contains this article today. The AP reports that "Michigan Supreme Court strikes down 1981 Poletown decision; Ruling defending property rights means Wayne County is barred from acquiring 1,300 acres for a project near Metro Airport." And The Detroit News offers an article headlined "Auto plant vs. neighborhood: The Poletown battle."

Update: Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Michigan can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:17 by Howard Bashman



"City parks ban upheld; Federal appeals court backs Lafayette's 'John Doe' argument": This article appears today in The Lafayette Journal and Courier. That newspaper today also reports that "Statehouse candidates back 'John Doe' ruling" and offers this "Timeline of the case." In other coverage, The Associated Press (in an article containing at least two rather obvious errors) reports that "Court upholds banning child molester from public park." And Bloomberg News reports that "Pedophile Can Be Punished for Thoughts, Court Says." You can access my report on yesterday's en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:06 by Howard Bashman



In news from Rhode Island: The Providence Journal reports today that "Lawmakers confirm new justice; Selected by Governor Carcieri two months ago, William P. Robinson finally wins the General Assembly's approval."
Posted at 07:57 by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court left the criminal justice system hanging with its uninstructive ruling on the constitutionality of punishment guidelines": This editorial appears today in The Houston Chronicle. And in big news from Tennessee, The Citizen Press reports that "Jack Named to State Panel on Sentencing Laws."
Posted at 07:44 by Howard Bashman



Friday, July 30, 2004
In today's edition of The Washington Post: An article reports that "Saudis Plan Terror Case Against Va. Man, Family Says." And in other news, "Muhammad Gives Waist Chain the Slip; Fairfax Judge Admonishes Sniper."
Posted at 23:15 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro has an article headlined "'Blakely' Revisited." And in other news, "Calif. Bad-Faith Ruling Ensures Further Fee Fracas; State's high court invites attorneys to collect fatter fees -- if they can show the math."
Posted at 22:29 by Howard Bashman



Access online the recess appointments that the White House made today: You can access the list at this link. Believe it or not, one of the recess appointments involves a federal judge. The Associated Press reports that "Bush Announces 20 Recess Appointments."
Posted at 22:23 by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo Prisoner Gets to Tell Story": Anne Gearan of The Associated Press reports here that "For the first time in the nearly three years since the Sept. 11 attacks, a prisoner picked up as a potential terrorist and held nearly incommunicado at a U.S. prison in Cuba got a chance Friday to convince his jailers that he should go free." The United States Department of Defense today issued a news release entitled "First Combatant Status Tribunal Conducted at Guantanamo Today" and a document providing Combatant Status Tribunal Implementation Guidance.

And speaking of Guantanamo, today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the federal government filed two exhibits (here and here) responding to motions filed by lawyers seeking access to Guantanamo detainees.
Posted at 20:19 by Howard Bashman



The news media's continuing Kobe beef: Marty Lederman of "SCOTUSblog" reports here that the news media remains disgruntled with the amount of the sealed transcript mistakenly emailed to the media that the trial judge in the Kobe Bryant prosecution will allow to be published. The news media's latest petition filed in the U.S. Supreme Court can be accessed here.

In related coverage, The Denver Post offers a news update headlined "Judge apologizes for leaks in Bryant case." You can access the text of the judge's apology at this link. And today's edition of that newspaper contained contains an article headlined "Bryant team: Cash is motive; Accuser got $19,300 in victim payouts." The Los Angeles Times offers a news update headlined "Judge in Bryant Case Apologizes to Accuser's Family," while today's issue of that newspaper contains an article headlined "Witness Twist in Bryant Case: Defense is set to call a government expert to rebut the prosecutors' theory on DNA details." The New York Times today reports that "Information Leaks Prompt Questions in Kobe Bryant Case." The Rocky Mountain News today contains an article headlined "Payouts criticized; Bryant lawyer: $20,000 given to alleged victim."

Finally, yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "Talk of the Nation" contained a segment entitled "Bryant Trial Evidence Mistakenly Released" (Real Player required).
Posted at 19:57 by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit affirms dismissal of "next friend" petition filed by lawyer seeking to stop execution of Nevada prisoner who's a "death penalty volunteer": You can access today's ruling of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link. The AP on Monday reported on the appellate oral argument in an article headlined "Appeals court hears death row inmate's case."
Posted at 19:26 by Howard Bashman



Ten Commandments news: Not sure whether this qualifies as news, because the decision being reported on issued more than two weeks ago, but The Washington Times reports today that "Panel upholds ruling on Commandments." And from Missouri, The Associated Press reports that "Woman Settles Lawsuit Over Ten Commandments Plaque."
Posted at 17:31 by Howard Bashman



"City of Lafayette wins in John Doe park ban case; Federal appellate court upholds city's decision against former child molester": The Journal and Courier provides this news update on today's en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which I previously reported on here.
Posted at 17:15 by Howard Bashman



Three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit explains why it summarily affirmed a federal district court's decision refusing to modify the designated demonstration zone at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston: You can access at this link the opinion issued today. Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya, on behalf of the panel, writes "Let us be perfectly clear: this is a close and difficult case."
Posted at 17:05 by Howard Bashman



One way to stem the tide of federal appellate judges visiting from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Start referring to them as "District Judge" in the listing of panel members at the outset of an opinion. See, e.g., this opinion issued today.
Posted at 16:59 by Howard Bashman



"Religious, and Right: Faith belongs in politics." Steven Waldman, my former editor-in-chief at The Columbia Spectator, has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 15:56 by Howard Bashman



"Slate's Jurisprudence: Kerry's Plans for Judicial Reform." Today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" included this report featuring Dahlia Lithwick. I think she reveals for whom she would be voting in November if she were a United States citizen.

Some really big news is revealed at the end of this NPR segment -- Dahlia will be filling in for columnist Thomas L. Friedman on the op-ed page of The New York Times in August 2004!!
Posted at 15:45 by Howard Bashman



To be posted online here at midnight on Monday, August 2, 2004 -- "20 questions for the appellate judge" featuring Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook: I just received and reviewed Judge Easterbrook's answers, and I am pleased to report that another fascinating installment of this blog's "20 questions" feature is just days away. In fact, for those readers who can't wait until midnight on Monday to read the interview, there is a good likelihood that it will be accessible online by Sunday evening because I'll be traveling on business Sunday night and all day Monday.
Posted at 15:35 by Howard Bashman



In news from Wisconsin: The Capital Times reports today that "Picks for high court seat down to 3; Doyle could make history with selection," while The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today that "Doyle names state high court finalists; Bartell, Butler, White to interview for justice spot." The appointee will fill the seat vacated when Diane S. Sykes joined the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The blog "Underneath Their Robes" recently nominated Circuit Judge Sykes as among the "Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary." According to The Journal Sentinel, Judge Bartell is a former Miss Wisconsin. Unfortunately, even if she were to become Justice Bartell, that would not ensure coverage from "Underneath Their Robes," which proclaimed earlier this week that "State Court Judges Are Icky."
Posted at 14:41 by Howard Bashman



En banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upholds decision by Lafayette, Indiana to bar convicted sex offender from all public park property: You can access today's ruling, by a vote of 8-3, at this link. Back in late June 2003, a divided three-judge Seventh Circuit panel, by a vote of 2-1, held that the city's action represented unconstitutional punishment for "pure thought." You can access the panel's now-vacated ruling at this link, and my coverage of that ruling can be accessed here. For what it's worth, in today's ruling all the male judges who participated voted to uphold the ban, while all the female judges who participated voted to strike it down.

Update: In other news from Lafayette, Indiana, The Journal and Courier reported yesterday that "Squirrel thought to be source of courthouse stench."
Posted at 14:14 by Howard Bashman



Law professor gains first-hand experience in criminal law and torts: The Dallas Morning News yesterday reported that "SMU prof indicted in cycling incident; Dolkart is accused of hitting man on bike at White Rock." And in earlier coverage from May 2004, that newspaper contained articles headlined "SMU professor in collision once drove into students; Her lawyer says crosswalk incident is coincidence, not pattern" and "Professor accused of assault; Lawyer says she ran him down as he cycled; she calls it an accident." The law professor's online bio reveals that she currently teaches neither criminal law nor torts.
Posted at 12:00 by Howard Bashman



Smokeless tobacco, cancer, and former major league baseball player Bill Tuttle: Today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims against smokeless tobacco manufacturers and their trade association filed by Tuttle's widow. You can access today's ruling at this link. You can learn more about Bill Tuttle here, here (AP obituary), here, and here (scroll down nearly two-thirds of the page).
Posted at 11:43 by Howard Bashman



Post updated: I have updated my post from earlier this morning on the prospect of having the Eleventh Circuit's sex toy ruling go en banc. As several readers have kindly pointed out, the Eleventh Circuit is one of the federal appellate courts that continues to treat recused active judges as voting against rehearing en banc. The amended post can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:58 by Howard Bashman



"Michigan assistant attorney general denied pay during call-up": The AP provides this report. And The Detroit News reports today that "State denies staffer military duty pay; Michigan says guard post wasn't compulsory, so attorney not eligible for extra money."
Posted at 10:23 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejects Libya's attempt to dismiss lawsuit arising out of the kidnapping and murder of an American citizen in Lebanon: You can access today's decision, which holds that the "terrorism exception" of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act requires denial of Libya's defense of sovereign immunity, at this link.
Posted at 10:10 by Howard Bashman



"Four Detainees At Guantanamo To Get Hearings": The Washington Post contains this article today. Reuters reports that "U.S. to Begin Pretrial Hearings at Guantanamo." Saturday's issue of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that "Hicks to appear in three weeks." Yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained a segment entitled "U.S. Detainee Tribunals to Begin in August" (Real Player required). And somewhat closer to home, Gina Holland of The Associated Press reports that "Judge Orders U.S. to Defend Detentions."
Posted at 09:57 by Howard Bashman



"Council splits on atheist's invocation; In Tampa, three members walk out rather than listen; The mayor says the invocation should be reserved for believers in God": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times. And The Tampa Tribune reports today that "3 On Council Snub Atheist's Invocation."
Posted at 09:45 by Howard Bashman



"It's only fiction, but is it legal? An author's dramatization of a fact-based argument about killing President Bush makes Michael Moore's diatribe in 'Fahrenheit 9/11' look tame by comparison - and may push the boundaries of free speech." An article published today in The Christian Science Monitor begins, "The last time a US president and Nicholson Baker appeared in the same sentence, the subject was sex: In 1998, Kenneth Starr discovered that the world's most famous intern had given Bill Clinton a copy of Mr. Baker's erotic novel 'Vox.'"
Posted at 09:37 by Howard Bashman



"ACLJ Urging Federal Appeals Court to Reject Senator Kennedy's Legal Challenge to Recess Appointment of Judge William Pryor to U.S. Court of Appeals for 11th Circuit": The American Center for Law and Justice issued this press release yesterday. You can access the organization's amicus brief at this link.
Posted at 08:44 by Howard Bashman



"Court Strikes Pa. Ban on Campus Booze Ads": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:37 by Howard Bashman



"Court OKs Alabama sex toy ban": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains this article today. And The Montgomery Advertiser reports today that "Sex toy merchants fight Alabama's ban" and will likely seek rehearing en banc of the divided three-judge panel's ruling before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

On the issue of rehearing en banc, readers may recall that the Eleventh Circuit divided evenly, 6-6, last week over whether to grant rehearing en banc in a case that rejected a constitutional challenge to a Florida law prohibiting practicing homosexuals from adopting children. As I noted in my write-up of that development, Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. cast what could be viewed as the decisive vote against rehearing en banc.

In the Alabama sex toys case, by contrast, Judge Pryor served as Alabama's Attorney General while that suit was underway, and he was named as a party to the case. Presumably, he was involved in defending the constitutionality of that law while he served as Alabama's chief legal officer. Thus, Judge Pryor would likely have to recuse himself from voting on whether to rehear the Alabama sex toys case en banc and would not be able to participate in the rehearing if it were to occur. Thus, while recognizing the distinctions between adoption by homosexuals and the sale of sex toys, if the other votes in both cases remained the same, the vote in favor of taking the sex toy case en banc would be 6-5.

The Eleventh Circuit is one of the federal appellate courts that continues to count recused active judges as voting against rehearing en banc. Thus, to quote Eleventh Circuit Internal Operating Procedure 35.3, "The recusal of a judge or judges does not affect the number of votes required for rehearing en banc to be granted. If, for example, there are 12 circuit judges in regular active service on this court, one or more of whom are recused in a case, rehearing en banc may only be granted by affirmative vote of seven or more active judges." Accordingly, a 6-5 vote in favor of taking this case en banc would not suffice; at least seven votes are necessary to take a case en banc no matter how many active Eleventh Circuit judges are recused. (An amendment to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure likely to take effect in December 2005 will prohibit any federal appellate court from counting recused judges as in effect voting against rehearing en banc. There is no reason to think that the Eleventh Circuit will modify its internal rules before that time.)

One last point of interest: one of the judges serving on the three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel that voted to uphold the Alabama law is a senior Eleventh Circuit judge. Senior Circuit Judge James C. Hill would be entitled to participate in the rehearing en banc, even though as a senior judge he cannot vote on whether to grant or deny rehearing en banc. If he participates and votes as he did on the panel, the outcome on rehearing en banc could be an evenly divided 6-6 vote. The effect of such an evenly divided vote on rehearing en banc is to affirm by an equally divided court the trial court's judgment. In this case, that would be a victory for those opposed to Alabama's ban on the sale of sex toys, because the trial judge struck down that ban as unconstitutional in the decision under review.
Posted at 06:59 by Howard Bashman



"Blakely Does Not Apply to Consecutive Sentencing Decision, C.A. Rules": This article appeared in yesterday's edition of The Metropolitan News-Enterprise. And from Washington State, The Associated Press reports that "Spokane jury to weigh fraud sentences."

The blog "Sentencing Law and Policy" provides access here, here, and here to recent U.S. Supreme Court filings in cases that may allow the Court to determine the effect of Blakely v. Washington on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. And Lyle Denniston, writing at "SCOTUSblog," offers three insightful reports (accessible here, here, and here) on what it all means.
Posted at 06:46 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, July 29, 2004
In today's issue of The New York Times: In local news, "City to Pay $650,000 in Settlement of Strip-Search Lawsuit." And an article is headlined "The Trial Outside the Court."
Posted at 23:47 by Howard Bashman



"Sniper Muhammad Slips Out of Waist Chains": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 22:27 by Howard Bashman



Extreme tracking, indeed: One year ago this week, I installed on this page a hit counter supplied by an outfit that goes by the name eXTReMe Tracking. One detail that the counter keeps track of is from where in the world "How Appealing" is being accessed. You can view the details yourself at this link.

I wish I could explain why this blog is so much more popular in Iran than Iraq, and why the blog received twice as many visits from Botswana, Benin, Vanuatu, the Faroe Islands, and Cuba as it received from Uganda, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Fiji, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. In any event, to my readers from Brunei Darussalam and across the globe, welcome!
Posted at 19:21 by Howard Bashman



"Court Web site easy pickings for ID thieves": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Posted at 19:13 by Howard Bashman



More bloggers react to yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejecting a constitutional challenge to an Alabama law prohibiting the sale of sex toys: "thus blogged anderson" offers this "analysis and invective." "Wonkette" has a post titled "Crimson Cry: Court OKs Alabama ban on Sex Toys." "ledge of liberty" has a post titled "Alabama: Dildo-free zone." "Rogue Slayer Law Student Movie Fan" provides a post titled "Sex Toys in Alabama: Own, Use, Give - But Don't Sell." "Random Mentality" offers what it describes as "Another long legal post." "Clayton Cramer's BLOG" offers a defense of the ruling in a post titled "Dumb Doesn't Mean Unconstitutional." Finally, two sites that are probably NOT work safe: "LaFesse," a blog for adults who are "into consensual spanking," offers a post titled "Come right on in"; and "Fleshbot" offers a post titled "Alabama Sex Toy Ban."

My earlier coverage of this ruling can be accessed via this post, in which I previously collected some other bloggers' reactions to the ruling.
Posted at 18:43 by Howard Bashman



"Court lets Goodyear documents stay secret; Papers on tire defect never filed in court": The Newark Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "Goodyear Co. documents concerning allegedly defective tires will remain secret even though a trial judge had said making the reports public might save lives, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday." You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 16:21 by Howard Bashman



Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: A patent dispute over pet food that's crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside is the subject of one of today's rulings of note. The court's ruling in Mars, Inc. v. H.J. Heinz Company, L.P., concludes:
For the reasons explained above, we conclude that: (1) "ingredients" as used in the phrase "a mixture of lipid and solid ingredients" refers to the components of the inner core at any time after they have been mixed together, and (2) the phrase "containing a mixture" is open-ended. Thus, the claim language, "containing a mixture of lipid and solid ingredients," does not exclude the presence of additional, unnamed ingredients in the inner core mixture that are neither lipids or solids. Since genuine issues remain as to infringement under this construction, we vacate the district court's grant of summary judgment of non-infringement and non-infringement under the doctrine of equivalents and remand for further consideration.
In today's other ruling of note, the Federal Circuit reverses a ruling by former U.S. District Judge Franklin S. Van Antwerpen, who very recently joined the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. For reasons that defy logic, the Federal Circuit's ruling in this matter (which contains a wonderful drawing of a large construction vehicle) is downloadable only as an "exe" file, via this link. The "exe" file, if you treat it properly, will unzip into a Microsoft Word file that you can save to your computer's hard drive.

And some people wonder why I don't report on Federal Circuit rulings more often....
Posted at 15:54 by Howard Bashman



"Major victory very sweet after 30 years as lawyer": This article, about a lawyer who achieved what is described as the Nation's third-largest consumer antitrust settlement with Microsoft, appears today in the Arizona Business Gazette.
Posted at 15:51 by Howard Bashman



"Clinic-protest ordinance targeted; Abortion foes call it unconstitutional; judge says it's at least flawed": The Sacramento Bee today contains an article that begins, "While stopping short of labeling as unconstitutional Sacramento's new ordinance protecting abortion clinic patrons, U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. described it Wednesday with phrases like 'nonsensical,' 'poorly drafted,' 'not well thought out' and 'lacks logic.'"
Posted at 14:45 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit holds unconstitutional a Pennsylvania law that prohibits college newspapers from publishing advertisements promoting the sale of alcoholic beverages: You can access today's ruling, written by Circuit Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel, at this link. Today's ruling overturns a federal trial court's decision that had upheld the law as constitutional.

It is interesting to note that earlier in the case, the student newspaper sought a preliminary injunction against the law, which the trial court denied. The student newspaper then appealed that denial to the Third Circuit, which affirmed based on the conclusion -- reached by an entirely different three-judge panel -- that the student newspaper had failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits of its claim. You can access that earlier Third Circuit ruling, from June 2000, at this link. Today's ruling discusses why the earlier panel's decision does not prohibit the second panel from holding that the newspaper does in fact deserve to prevail on the merits of its First Amendment challenge to the law.
Posted at 13:35 by Howard Bashman



State of the Ninth Circuit: Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder delivered this speech last week at the 2004 Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, held in Monterey, California.
Posted at 13:24 by Howard Bashman



Bloggers react to yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejecting a constitutional challenge to an Alabama law prohibiting the sale of sex toys: "Boing Boing" offers a post titled "Sex toys still banned in Alabama, guns okay." "InstaPundit" offers a post titled "Dumb Alabama sex toy law upheld." The "meta-roj blog" offers a post titled "no sex toy sales in alabama." "Abstract Appeal" has a post titled "Eleventh Circuit: No Constitutional Right To Sell Sexual Devices." And "Southern Appeal" notes the ruling in a post you can access here.

I first noted yesterday's ruling in this post, and since then I have linked to news coverage of the ruling here and here.
Posted at 12:00 by Howard Bashman



The Washington Post is reporting: Today's newspaper reports that "White House Considers Role in Wine Case; Supreme Court Dispute Over Internet Sales Ban Splits Bush's Political Allies." In other news, "Fairfax Rebuts Argument by Sniper Defense; Horan Can Try Muhammad, Deputy Prosecutor Contends." An article reports that "Florida Again Faces Disputes Over Elections; Recounts, Missing Records Debated." And in other news, "Sex Assault Victims Can Speak Out On Campus."
Posted at 10:50 by Howard Bashman



Enemy combatant news: The Charleston Post and Courier reports today that "Justice to let al-Marri meet with lawyers; 'Enemy combatant' held at Navy brig."

In other news, The New York Times reports today that "Parents of American Detained Without Charge by Saudis Sue U.S." The Washington Post reports that "Va. Couple File Lawsuit to Free Their Son Held in Saudi Arabia." The Baltimore Sun reports that "Va. man languishes in Saudi prison; Family sues U.S. officials seeking return of student held more than a year." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that "U.S. keeps silent on American's detention by Saudis" and reported yesterday that "Detainee's family hopes suit forces U.S. action." Anne Gearan of The Associated Press reports that "Parents Sue Over American Held by Saudis." And Reuters reports that "Parents Sue Over U.S. Citizen Held in Saudi Arabia."
Posted at 10:30 by Howard Bashman



"Name of Bryant Case Accuser Is Again Mistakenly Released": This article appears today in The New York Times. The Washington Post reports that "Court Staff Errs Again in Bryant Case." The Los Angeles Times reports that "Bryant Case Has New Error; Judge's order mistakenly posted on website refers to DNA evidence that experts say could benefit Laker star." The Rocky Mountain News today reports that "DNA may aid Bryant case; Finding, mistakenly posted on Web site, could bolster defense" and "County court goofs again by listing woman's name." The Denver Post reports that "Court errs again, posts evidence in Bryant case" and publishes items headlined "Court statement about mistake" and "Statement from accuser's attorney." The Associated Press reports that "Sealed Bryant Filing Mistakenly Posted." And Reuters reports that "Colorado Court Identifies Bryant Accuser -- Again."

Of course, as recently noted here, even federal appellate courts from time to time accidentally post the wrong file online.
Posted at 09:53 by Howard Bashman



"Retired judge to join law firm of adviser in asbestos cases": The Newark Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "The federal court judge who was removed from three major asbestos bankruptcy cases earlier this year will join the law firm of one of the controversial advisers he brought into the issue, officials said yesterday." And The Associated Press reports that "Ex-Judge to Join Asbestos Adviser Law Firm."
Posted at 09:42 by Howard Bashman



Available today from National Review Online: Timothy P. Carney has an essay entitled "Silence on the Bench: Activists are motivated by the Supreme Court; Why isn't it a podium priority?" And Father Robert Sirico has an essay entitled "Liability Matters: Trial lawyers undermine personal responsibility -- the basis of our liberty."
Posted at 09:31 by Howard Bashman



"While everyone's crossing swords over the county seal...": Ted Snyder has an op-ed today in The Pasadena Star News that begins, "If you think the battle over a small cross on the Los Angeles County seal ended with the most recent vote of the Board of Supervisors, you're underestimating the passions of the combatants in this flap."
Posted at 08:23 by Howard Bashman



"Court asked to reconsider ban on Commandments": The Associated Press reports here that "Activists asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to reconsider its ruling forbidding the display of the Ten Commandments in an Ohio judge's courtroom." It appears that The AP is using the term "activists" to refer to the American Center for Law and Justice, which yesterday issued a press release entitled "ACLJ Asks Appeals Court to Reconsider Decision Declaring Ten Commandments Poster in Courtroom of Ohio Judge Unconstitutional." You can access the petition for rehearing en banc filed yesterday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:16 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Jonathan Ringel reports that "11th Circuit Nixes Sex Toys, Sex Rights; Court again splits over extent of bedroom privacy." And in other news, "Convictions Upheld in Light of 'Crawford' Ruling."
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"Judge Pryor ends up in witness chair": The Associated Press reports here that "U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor ended up in an unusual position Wednesday -- in the witness chair in a federal courtroom."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"Judges split over sentencing guidelines; Supreme Court muddles rules": This article appears today in The Boston Globe. The Seattle Times reports today that "Court ruling's fallout may jar federal system." The Portland Press Herald reports today that "U.S. Supreme Court asked to hear Maine case." The Belleville News-Democrat reports today that "Judge won't use federal guidelines." The Pawtucket Times reports today that "Wire fraud trial date postponed." And The Los Angeles Times today contains an editorial entitled "Judges in Shackles."
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, July 28, 2004
In other news from The AP: From Michigan comes news that "Fieger says he will file complaint against four Supreme Court justices." And from Colorado, "Sealed Bryant Filing Mistakenly Posted."
Posted at 20:50 by Howard Bashman



"Defense lawyers say Supreme Court should not rush a ruling on federal sentencing rules": Anne Gearan of The Associated Press provides this report. You can access today's court filings via this link at the blog "Sentencing Law and Policy."
Posted at 20:46 by Howard Bashman



"11th Circuit upholds Alabama sex toy ban": The Associated Press provides this coverage of a ruling that I earlier reported on here.
Posted at 20:43 by Howard Bashman



"A terror ruling's impact on refugees; The Supreme Court's ruling on Guantanamo detainees may have implications for Haitian and Cuban refugees": Warren Richey will have this article in Thursday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 17:57 by Howard Bashman



"Administration picks disgraced judge for Homeland Security": The Associated Press reports here that "A key overseer of the Bush administration's unsuccessful efforts to create a more comprehensive screening process for airline passengers resigned in disgrace four years ago from the New Hampshire Supreme Court to avoid prosecution over his conduct on the bench. W. Stephen Thayer III, who left New Hampshire's high court in 2000 under a deal with prosecutors, is now serving as deputy chief of the Transportation Security Administration's Office of National Risk Assessment." The close of The AP's article contains a link to a Report of the Attorney General of New Hampshire entitled "In re: W. Stephen Thayer, III and Related Matters."

Back in 2000, The Portsmouth Herald provided intensive coverage of this matter, and you can read much of that newspaper's coverage from a list of articles accessible at this link.
Posted at 17:56 by Howard Bashman



"Dismissed in Boston: Why won't the Democrats talk about judges?" Slate has just posted online this essay by Dahlia Lithwick.
Posted at 16:17 by Howard Bashman



BREAKING NEWS -- Divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upholds constitutionality of Alabama law prohibiting the sale of sex toys: You can access today's ruling at this link.

The majority opinion, written by Circuit Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr., and in which Senior Circuit Judge James C. Hill has joined, begins:
In this case, the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") invites us to add a new right to the current catalogue of fundamental rights under the Constitution: a right to sexual privacy. It further asks us to declare Alabama's statute prohibiting the sale of "sex toys" to be an impermissible burden on this right. Alabama responds that the statute exercises a time-honored use of state police power--restricting the sale of sex. We are compelled to agree with Alabama and must decline the ACLU's invitation.
Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett dissents in an opinion that concludes:
For all the reasons explicated above, Alabama's statute should be invalidated because it violates a substantive due process right of adults to engage in private consensual sexual activity and because the state's reliance on public morality fails to provide even a rational basis for its law. Ignoring Lawrence, the majority turns a reluctance to expand substantive due process into a stubborn unwillingness to consider relevant Supreme Court authority. I dissent.
You can access the trial court's ruling, which had declared this Alabama law unconstitutional, at this link. Back in September 2003, I published two quite different accounts of the oral argument of this appeal, and you can access them here and here.

Judge Birch, the author of today's majority opinion, also wrote the majority opinion issued on behalf of a divided panel in January 2004 that upheld as constitutional a Florida law prohibiting practicing homosexuals from adopting children. The Eleventh Circuit denied rehearing en banc in that case one week ago by the evenly divided vote of 6-6, as I previously reported here.

Judge Birch was the October 2003 interviewee in this blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" feature; you can access his interview at this link.
Posted at 14:47 by Howard Bashman



"Detainee still denied meeting with lawyer": The Charleston Post and Courier yesterday contained an article that begins, "The Bush administration has refused to allow one of the lesser known 'enemy combatants' in the Navy's brig in Hanahan to meet with his lawyers, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that terrorism detainees 'unquestionably' have the right to see their attorneys."
Posted at 12:26 by Howard Bashman



"The Ninth Circuit Gets One Right": Blogger John Rosenberg has this to say about yesterday's ruling in the Seattle schools' racial tiebreaker case.
Posted at 12:02 by Howard Bashman



Blakely-related humor with Miranda overtones: Last night, in a post you can access here, I wrote:
State of Washington asks U.S. Supreme Court to rehear Blakely case: Details on the petition for rehearing are available here at the blog "Sentencing Law and Policy."

Meanwhile, from Missouri, The Rolla Daily News reports today that "Blakley finishes second at the Show-Me State Games."
This morning, in response to that post, a reader emails:
Love everything you do, even (or, especially) the family baseball accounts.

But, on topic, you know the central role that Rolla, MO police played in the Seibert case, 02-1371, right? See the Souter opinion.
You can find out exactly what this reader is referring to here and here in Justice David H. Souter's opinion announcing the judgment of the Court in Missouri v. Seibert.
Posted at 11:49 by Howard Bashman



"US abortion fight set to escalate": BBC News offers this report.
Posted at 10:37 by Howard Bashman



Even more Church vs. State news from here and there: The Charlotte Observer reports today that "Towns advised to keep Jesus out of prayers; Federal appeals court says they can't open meetings invoking Christ." The Georgetown Times of South Carolina today contains an article headlined "Let's pray: Local officials to continue practice." And The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "Council member offers no prayer; Fredericksburg preacher's decision forestalls suit threatened by ACLU."

Meanwhile, across the country, in news pertaining to the Mt. Soledad cross, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports today that "New Mt. Soledad sale up to voters; City Council orders Nov. vote on the sale of Mt. Soledad land."
Posted at 10:31 by Howard Bashman



"Upheld, but unjustified": The Palm Beach Post today contains an editorial that begins, "Florida's uniquely bigoted ban on homosexuals adopting hard-to-place children remains law only because the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deadlocked 6-6 last week in ruling on a challenge to the law that the Legislature passed 27 years ago during a period of homophobic frenzy."
Posted at 10:29 by Howard Bashman



"Judge to release edited transcript; Bryant case hearing to be made partially public; media reps say it's 'no victory'": The Rocky Mountain News contains this article today. The Denver Post reports that "Edited transcripts ordered in Kobe case; Justice says release may appease media; Judge Terry Ruckriegle wants transcripts of closed-door hearings made available with some information removed." And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Judge Seeks Edits of Transcripts; Both sides in Bryant case asked to help on version of hearing details in effort to resolve dispute."
Posted at 10:24 by Howard Bashman



"Marriage ban unfair, gays argue; Legal challenge to state law begins in Seattle courtroom": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. And The Seattle Times reports today that "Superior Court hears argument for gay couples' right to wed."
Posted at 10:21 by Howard Bashman



"Group Plans to Challenge Law on Blackout Period for Ads": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "In the first major challenge to the new campaign finance law's restrictions on political advertising around elections, a Milwaukee group opposed to abortion rights plans to seek an injunction on Wednesday that would let it run radio and television spots during a time the law prohibits." And The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today that "Group opposes campaign limits; Right to Life fights ad constraints set by McCain-Feingold."
Posted at 10:19 by Howard Bashman



"Woman set to keep fighting obscenity law": The Fort Worth Star-Telegram today contains an article that begins, "Misdemeanor charges against her have been dropped, but the woman who was accused of illegally selling sex toys said she plans to keep fighting to change the Texas law under which she was charged with obscenity."
Posted at 10:14 by Howard Bashman



"Both sides say court future up to voters": The Boston Globe contains this article today.
Posted at 09:51 by Howard Bashman



"Girls prep seasons unfair, court rules; State athletic group may appeal bias case; basketball, volleyball could change next year": This article appears today in The Detroit News, which also contains a related article headlined "Sports parents fear schedule shift will bring headaches; But others are happy their daughters can vie for scholarships." And The Detroit News reports that "Ruling targets girls sports; Mich. schools' schedules aren't fair, court says."
Posted at 07:09 by Howard Bashman



"MB leaders will keep praying at meetings; Officials bristle at Circuit Court ruling against some prayer": The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina contains this article today. An article published yesterday in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel was headlined "Got a bid for the 10 Commandments?" And columnist Joseph Perkins of The San Diego Union-Tribune last Friday had an op-ed entitled "Religion in the public square."
Posted at 07:02 by Howard Bashman



"Court rejects racial tiebreaker; Appeals panel rules out its use by Seattle schools for admissions": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. And The Seattle Times reports that "Seattle schools' racial tiebreaker ruled improper."
Posted at 06:56 by Howard Bashman



"I'll make the call: Judge says she'll ignore fed sentencing guidelines." This article appears today in The Boston Herald. From North Dakota, The Associated Press reports that "Ruling creating a 'muddied mess.'" The Providence Journal reports today that "Lincoln Park corruption trial delayed; A recent Supreme Court ruling in an unrelated case means a superseding indictment may be necessary in the racetrack case." And The Cincinnati Enquirer reports today that "Drug dealer to battle sentence."
Posted at 06:47 by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, July 27, 2004
The Los Angeles Times is reporting: An article headlined "Cheney Takes Western Jaunt; He talks up Bush's policies on stops in Oregon, Washington; He heads to California today, including visit to Camp Pendleton" mentions the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit several times. And in other news, "Ruling Doesn't Deter Prosecutors; D.A.'s office says it didn't waver after judge's order to allow accuser's sexual history in Bryant's trial."
Posted at 23:44 by Howard Bashman



"America's most interesting legal magazine for people who aren't lawyers": That's what The Washington Post has to say today about Legal Affairs in an article headlined "A Troubling Solution for Teens in Trouble."
Posted at 23:22 by Howard Bashman



State of Washington asks U.S. Supreme Court to rehear Blakely case: Details on the petition for rehearing are available here at the blog "Sentencing Law and Policy."

Meanwhile, from Missouri, The Rolla Daily News reports today that "Blakley finishes second at the Show-Me State Games."
Posted at 22:23 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "9th Circuit again bars racial tiebreaker in Seattle schools" and "Arrest of Mo. Abortion Protesters Upheld."
Posted at 22:19 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "9th Circuit Strikes Diversity Program." In other news, "Calif. Supremes Void Death Sentence Over Mitigation Issue." And an article reports that "Contractors Face New Suit Over Abu Ghraib Abuse Claims; Law firms bring suit on behalf of four prisoners, one widow who allege torture."
Posted at 22:09 by Howard Bashman



The Judicial Council for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds dismissal of law professor's assertions of judicial misconduct against federal district judge assigned to Indian Trust litigation: You can access the Judicial Council's decision via this link, and the 37-page response of U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth to the judicial misconduct complaint filed by Law Professor Richard J. Pierce, Jr. can be viewed at this link. Both of these documents were posted online last Friday at the Web site devoted to the Indian Trust litigation known as Cobell v. Norton. Relatedly, you can access online at this link via SSRN an abstract of Professor Pierce's article entitled "Judge Lamberth's Reign of Terror at the Department of Interior."
Posted at 17:58 by Howard Bashman



Access online the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas enjoining enforcement of a state law requiring that counselors and health care providers report any sexual activity between children under the age of sixteen: Yesterday's ruling by U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten is available at this link. Earlier today, I collected press coverage of the ruling at this link.
Posted at 17:03 by Howard Bashman



"Hustler store's defiance is rated X; Jimmy Flynt says he'll ignore anti-porn ordinance": The Lexington Herald-Leader today contains an article that begins, "After less than two weeks in business, Jimmy Flynt has decided to ignore a city ordinance and has restocked his Hustler Hollywood store with sex toys, X-rated videos, pornographic magazines and books. Flynt, who opened the store without pornography on July 16, has confronted the city on another front -- asking a federal court late Friday to block Lexington's ban on the display of adult materials near interstate interchanges."
Posted at 15:14 by Howard Bashman



"Navy chaplain boards keep secrecy": United Press International offers this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today. In earlier coverage of the case, Christianity Today Magazine reported in August 2002 that "Judge Allows Class Action Suit Against Navy; 'Non-liturgical' chaplains complain of bias in Naval promotion, hiring," while The AP previously reported that "Lawsuit Charges Navy Favored Catholic Chaplain." And in August 2002, I had a post titled "Federal trial court certifies chaplains' class action against the Navy."
Posted at 14:09 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Bryant Judge May Release Case Transcripts" and "U.S. Hands Over Four French Terror Suspects."
Posted at 14:02 by Howard Bashman



Divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel holds that the use of race in determining which students will be admitted to oversubscribed high schools in Seattle, Washington violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause: You can access today's ruling at this link. Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain wrote the majority opinion, in which visiting Senior Fifth Circuit Judge Thomas M. Reavley joined. Circuit Judge Susan P. Graber dissented, in an opinion you can access directly here. Today's majority and dissenting opinions appear to contain much discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings from June 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger.
Posted at 13:27 by Howard Bashman



Access online Justice Stephen G. Breyer's in chambers opinion in the Kobe Bryant-free press case from Colorado: The opinion, issued last night, is available at this link. And, in a post you can access here, I have collected press coverage of Justice Breyer's opinion.
Posted at 12:12 by Howard Bashman



"Removal of judge denied in Bridgestone-Firestone suit; Trial now cleared to resume with hearings scheduled in August": The Desert Sun today contains this article, which includes mention of Ninth Circuit nominee Carolyn B. Kuhl.
Posted at 12:07 by Howard Bashman



"Justices mull Internet wine sales": This article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 12:01 by Howard Bashman



Upcoming Eighth Circuit events: The Eighth Circuit's Web site provides acccess at this link to the program for the fifth annual Eighth Circuit Appellate Practice Institute sponsored by The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process and The Eighth Circuit Bar Association. The seminar, which looks quite interesting, will be held in St. Louis on September 13-14, 2004.

And some two weeks later, on September 28-29, 2004, I'll be in St. Louis at the invitation of the Judges of the Eighth Circuit to serve as keynote speaker at the Eighth Circuit/Federal Judicial Center Conference on the Future of Electronic Filing in the Federal Courts of Appeals.
Posted at 11:45 by Howard Bashman



"Making laws not a part of court's job": Jim Wooten, associate editorial page editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, today has this op-ed in that newspaper.
Posted at 10:52 by Howard Bashman



In domestic same-sex marriage-related news and commentary: The Oregonian reports today that "Measure banning same-sex marriage makes ballot; More than 240,000 signatures are garnered for an initiative that would jeopardize thousands of marriages." The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Marriage ban fight down to 3 couples." And The Naples Daily News today contains an article headlined "Denied marriage, local gay couple to file suit."

Meanwhile, in commentary, FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman today has an essay entitled "The Proposed Marriage Protection Act: Why It May Be Unconstitutional."
Posted at 10:46 by Howard Bashman



Another U.S. Court of Appeals holds that high school sports seasons have been scheduled in a manner that discriminates against female athletes on the basis of gender: Today's ruling of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, pertaining to the Michigan High School Athletic Association, can be accessed at this link. Back on June 4, 2004, I reported here on a somewhat similar ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had issued on that date.
Posted at 10:38 by Howard Bashman



"Ruling on prayers could end tradition; Some leaders vow to pray to Jesus": The Charleston Post and Courier today contains an article that begins, "A decision last week from a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could bring an end to public prayers invoking Jesus or any other specific religious figures at government meetings."

In related coverage, The Washington Post reports today that "Fredericksburg Prayer Up in the Air; After Court Ruling, Councilman May Sit Out Ceremony Instead." And The Washington Times reports today that "Council to stick with its prayers."
Posted at 08:08 by Howard Bashman



"Court Annuls France's First Same-Sex Marriage": Reuters reports here that "A French court annulled France's first gay marriage on Tuesday, setting a legal precedent for outlawing same-sex marriages that came down on the side of the conservative government."
Posted at 08:06 by Howard Bashman



"Abortion protest arrests upheld": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.
Posted at 08:04 by Howard Bashman



"Breyer rejects bid to allow publishing of transcript": The Denver Post contains this article today. The Rocky Mountain News reports that "Media denied in transcript fight." The Los Angeles Times contains an article headlined "Justice Stays Media Case." James Vicini of Reuters reports that "Justice Won't Lift Ban on Bryant Transcripts." And The Associated Press reports that "Court Gets Time to Rethink Bryant Decision."

In related commentary, The Rocky Mountain News today contains an editorial entitled "Justice Breyer and prior restraint; District court should drop the ban on publication." And Bruce Fein today has an op-ed entitled "Judicial bias rule" in The Washington Times.
Posted at 07:09 by Howard Bashman



"Kline opinion worries counselors of teens; Federal judge blocks law requiring those aware of sexually active children under 16 to report what they know": This article appears today in The Wichita Eagle. The Kansas City Star reports today that "Judge blocks teen sex opinion; Reporting a 'breach of confidentiality.'" And Reuters reports that "Kansas Judge Blocks Sex Reporting Law."
Posted at 07:04 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. judge criticizes sentence guidelines; While imposing life term in Balto. gang case, she calls for scrapping system": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "A Maryland federal judge yesterday joined a growing list of jurists who say the sentencing guidelines that have long determined federal defendants' prison terms are unconstitutional." In other coverage, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported yesterday that "Sentencing decision makes justice system wary; Judges, lawyers wait on Supreme Court guidance." And The New York Law Journal offers an article headlined "Sentencing Guidelines Not Doomed, N.Y. Judge Says."
Posted at 06:56 by Howard Bashman



"Cheney rips Democrats on judges": This article appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 06:44 by Howard Bashman



Monday, July 26, 2004
"PM, Carr attacked as judge pulls plug": Tuesday's issue of The Sydney Morning Herald contains an article that begins, "Justice John Dowd, the former attorney-general and state opposition leader, is quitting the Supreme Court bench, citing personal attacks made by the Premier and the Prime Minister 20 months ago."
Posted at 21:14 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court candidate was twice ruled incompetent to stand trial": The Associated Press reports here that "A candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court was ruled incompetent to stand trial twice on charges that she vandalized the Ramsey County Attorney's Office and violated a restraining order."
Posted at 21:10 by Howard Bashman



Practical jokers on the U.S. Supreme Court: Back in March 2004, The Concord Monitor published an article headlined "Hard work, new friends; Former Supreme Court justice Harry Blackmun's papers shed new light on David Souter's first years on the bench." Of particular note is the following passage from that article:
Souter cultivated a throwback sensibility that must have resonated with Blackmun, who was old enough to have known a Civil War veteran - his own grandfather. Souter usually wrote his letters to Blackmun with a black fountain pen in script that resembled calligraphy. His fondness for the elderly justice warmed his formal tone: "Yours affectionately, David," was a favorite closing.

One musty interest they shared was genealogy. In a 1991 letter, Souter thanked Blackmun for sending him an article about the Sanborn family. As a young lawyer, Blackmun had clerked for Judge John Sanborn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Souter was familiar with the Sanborns, who lent their name to two New Hampshire towns, Sanbornton and Sanbornville.

Souter went on: "I am fascinated to read that the first Sanborn came to America with his grandfather, Steven Bachiler." The defrocked British vicar, Souter marveled, was not only Nathaniel Hawthorne's model for the Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale (the minister of Scarlet Letter fame) but also an ancestor of Souter's onetime colleague on the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Justice William Batchelder.

In a March 1992 note to Souter, the elder justice mentioned he had a vague recollection of a long-dead uncle telling him about a New Hampshire relative who had been hanged for some misdeed. "I always suspected it was manufactured for my benefit and discomfort," Blackmun wrote. "But one never knows."

Souter immediately promised a "discreet inquiry" to see if there was any historical record to match the story. Blackmun was pleased.

Six weeks later, Souter delivered the news. State Attorney General John Arnold, he reported, had researched state records and discovered that not one but six Blackmuns had been hanged for various misdeeds in the last century. An enclosure documented the lives of the nefarious Granite State Blackmuns, including such villains as Esmerelda Blackmun, who killed a lover with a poisoned raspberry tart, and her son Jebediah "The Butcher" Blackmun, who decapitated several neighbors.

In the interview videotaped after he retired, Blackmun recalled that he "was impressed" with the attorney general's findings until he got to "a particularly vicious murderess" named Lydia Pinkam Blackmun. That gave it away - Lydia E. Pinkham's medicine company sold popular remedies for women's ailments in the 19th century.

"Obviously invented," Blackmun wrote in his microscopic handwriting, penciling a tiny check above Lydia Pinkham Blackmun's name.

"As a youngster," Blackmun wrote to Arnold, "I well remember the advertisement of her Vegetable Compound which, I suppose, is still being peddled."

Souter adored the joke and tortured Blackmun endlessly with it. "P.S.," he concluded one letter during the 1993 summer recess, "The sight of the N.H. State Prison the other day reminded me of you and your family."
You can read the relevant pages of the transcript of the Justice Blackmun oral history project here and here. And the correspondence in which the practical joke was committed can be viewed at this link.

Thanks so very much to the reader who brought this to my attention.
Posted at 16:27 by Howard Bashman



"Judge strikes down AG opinion requiring reporting of underage sex": The AP provides this report from Wichita, Kansas.
Posted at 15:55 by Howard Bashman



Don't do the crime if you can't do the hair length: The Associated Press offers a report headlined "Cherokee inmate loses bid to grow long hair" that begins, "A federal appeals court has ruled against a Cherokee inmate who asked to be allowed to grow long hair because of his religious beliefs. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 23 said Cornelius W. Hoevenaar's argument was based on a federal law that the court had ruled unconstitutional."
Posted at 15:46 by Howard Bashman



Now you see it, now you don't: This past Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit officially dismissed as moot the criminal case in which a three-judge panel had declared the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines unconstitutional in an opinion accessible here. Of course, as previously reported here, that three-judge panel's ruling had been vacated when the Sixth Circuit ordered the case reheard en banc. As a result of last Friday's dismissal, the case will no longer be reheard en banc, and the three-judge panel's ruling remains a nullity. Ironically, any another three-judge Sixth Circuit panel is now free to rule however it deems proper on the question whether Blakely v. Washington invalidates application of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
Posted at 15:09 by Howard Bashman



"Pitcairn mutiny over child sex case": Tuesday's issue of The Australian will contain this article reporting from New Zealand. And The New Zealand Herald today offers a news update headlined "Bounty mutineers ceased to be British subjects, court told." More information about the Pitcairn Islands is available at this link.
Posted at 15:00 by Howard Bashman



"Appellate Courts, Historical Facts, and the Civil-Criminal Distinction": Law Professor Chad M. Oldfather has this law review article online at SSRN. The article's abstract begins, "The standard justification for the general prohibition against the evaluation of facts by appellate courts centers on those courts' perceived incompetence, relative to trial-level fact finders, to engage in the task. This Article examines that justification and finds it wanting."
Posted at 14:35 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Lawyer: Stewart May Serve Sentence Early" and "Murderer Dad Agrees to 'Divorce' From Son."
Posted at 14:09 by Howard Bashman



Divided three-judge Eighth Circuit panel upholds what dissent describes as "heckler's veto" to the First Amendment rights of curbside anti-abortion protesters: You can access today's quite interesting ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 12:11 by Howard Bashman



"Bush's judge picks flare up again as hot election issue": This article appears today in The Hill. The article provides those who claim that President Gerald R. Ford doesn't receive the credit he's due with new evidence. The article's author writes: "If Sen. John Kerry wins, Democrat-appointed Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has battled health problems, are expected to retire."
Posted at 12:03 by Howard Bashman



"Judges use Fieger tactics to rebuke him": Brian Dickerson, columnist for The Detroit Free Press, today has this op-ed in that newspaper.
Posted at 07:08 by Howard Bashman



"Plan to ban low pants pulls up short": The Palm Beach Post today contains this article. And, of course, back in May 2004 I offered a post titled "Louisiana to butt out of trouser regulations; In the end, proposal to crack down on low-rider pants runs out of gas."
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"Same-sex marriage lawsuit long shot, legal experts say; Two women are relying on a clause in the Constitution that may prove a stretch": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. v. Stewart, Part II": Jeffrey Toobin has this "Talk of the Town" essay in the August 2, 2004 issue of The New Yorker.
Posted at 06:48 by Howard Bashman



"Fallout from ruling rattles criminal justice system; Supreme Court's rejection of U.S. sentencing guidelines muddles fates of thousands of defendants": This article appears today in The Newark Star-Ledger. From Richmond, Virginia, The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court to decide effect of ruling on sentences." And The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "Clean Up This Mess."
Posted at 06:36 by Howard Bashman



Sunday, July 25, 2004
"Huge tobacco verdict at issue again; Once negated, the $145 billion award is in the top state court": The Palm Beach Post contains this article today.
Posted at 23:59 by Howard Bashman



"Artifact of the Culture Wars En Route From Alabama": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 23:09 by Howard Bashman



"Before Gay Marriage, There Was Busing": John Kifner has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 22:20 by Howard Bashman



Just what we need in Philadelphia -- fans wielding baseball bats: Early this afternoon, my entire family, along with one of my son's friends, will have the pleasure of watching the Philadelphia Phillies battle the Chicago Cubs. It promises to be a memorable pitching match-up, as Phillies pitcher Eric Milton (11-2) faces Mark Prior, one of the National League's best young right-handers. Prior has been plagued this season by injuries and a filibuster. A preview of the game is available here. Today also happens to be IBEW Local 98 Jim Thome Louisville Slugger Bat day for children 14 years and under who are attending the game. That should make sitting in the stands a bit more interesting than usual, to say the least.

Update: It was an amazing game, as Milton held a no-hitter through eight innings, in which he faced the minimum twenty-four batters. But in the top of the ninth inning, the wheels came off, as the Cubs led off with a bloop single that may have been misplayed by center fielder Doug Glanville, who had been inserted for defensive purposes. Before the inning ended, the Cubs had tied the score at 2-2 and Milton had been sent to the showers having recorded only two outs, after receiving a heartfelt standing ovation from the sellout crowd. The Phillies refused to let Milton's masterful performance go to waste, however, as they turned a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an outfield hit in the bottom of the ninth inning into the game's winning run. The final score was Phillies 3, Cubs 2. Recap here; box score here.
Posted at 09:18 by Howard Bashman



"Courts hold marriage key": Terry Eastland has this op-ed today in The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 09:17 by Howard Bashman



"10 years later, Megan's legacy": This article appears today in The Newark Star-Ledger.
Posted at 09:15 by Howard Bashman



Mooning donnybrook decided by Supreme Court of North Dakota: The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court rejects Donnybrook man's appeal in mooning incident." You can access Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of North Dakota at this link.
Posted at 09:13 by Howard Bashman



"The Blakely effect: Supreme Court ruling 'could drastically change' how the justice system doles out punishment." This article appears today in The Knoxville News-Sentinel. The Birmingham News reports today that "Ruling shakes up federal sentencing; State's prosecutors update indictments." The Montgomery Advertiser today contains an article headlined "Mandatory rules for jail terms under fire." And columnist Robyn E. Blumner of The St. Petersburg Times today has an op-ed entitled "A welcome judicial mess."
Posted at 08:44 by Howard Bashman



Saturday, July 24, 2004
Let the chips fall where they may: The Chicago Tribune yesterday reported that "Judge finds Lay's Jays ads 'unsavory, tasteless.'" And The Chicago Sun-Times yesterday contained an article headlined "Lose billboard, Lay's ordered."
Posted at 23:55 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The Washington Post: In news relating to the Zacarias Moussaoui case, "Panel's Finding of Guilt Makes Fair Trial Harder." In other news, "Muhammad Team Wants Horan Kept From Trial." And an article reports that "Stewart Considers Starting Sentence Immediately; Lengthy Appeals Could Hurt Company."
Posted at 23:34 by Howard Bashman



"Court reinstates convictions in spiked drink case": This article appears today in The Detroit Free Press. And The Associated Press reports that "1999 Date-Rape Drug Convictions Reinstated."
Posted at 23:12 by Howard Bashman



"Councilman vows to keep Christ in prayer; Fredericksburg's Hashmel Turner says he won't change despite federal court ruling on prayers at public meetings": The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia today contains an article that begins, "Using Christian references during prayers at public meetings is unconstitutional, says the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Virginia. But that won't stop Fredericksburg City Councilman Hashmel Turner."
Posted at 21:23 by Howard Bashman



"Sentence Reinstated In 1966 Murder Case; Billy Kelley, 61, to return to death row; his appeals are nearly exhausted": This article appears today in The Ledger of Lakeland, Florida. The Tampa Tribune reports today that "Court Bars New Trial In Von Maxcy Slaying." And The Associated Press reports that "Death Sentence Reinstated for 1966 Murder." You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit at this link.
Posted at 21:15 by Howard Bashman



"A Radical Assault on the Constitution": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 20:01 by Howard Bashman



"Taking the Fifth to task": In Sunday's edition of The Dallas Morning News, Allen Pusey will have an essay that begins, "It's never fun being second-guessed, even when you're in the business of second-guessing. And the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being second-guessed in no uncertain terms these days by the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 19:59 by Howard Bashman



"Part of church-related harass suit reinstated; Ex-minister says she was blacklisted after accusing colleague": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 19:57 by Howard Bashman



"What is a man? Court has an answer: Michael Kantaras is not a man, judges say, despite a sex change that makes him seem to be; The ruling ultimately may cost him his children." The St. Petersburg Times today contains this article.
Posted at 19:54 by Howard Bashman



"In a Shift, Bush Moves to Block Medical Suits": This article will appear in Sunday's issue of The New York Times.
Posted at 17:22 by Howard Bashman



Kenneth W. Starr to sue former President Clinton under British libel law? Although that may sound farfetched, a fear that it could happen has caused the publisher of Clinton's new book to alter certain text in the version offered for sale in England, The New York Times reports today in an article headlined "Changing His 'Life' to Suit British Law."
Posted at 17:19 by Howard Bashman



"Judge blocks new, stricter abortion law; Clinic said law would end abortions after 13th week": This article appears today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.
Posted at 17:13 by Howard Bashman



"Two more feathers in Bush's cap": The Daily Camera of Boulder, Colorado today contains an op-ed by columnist Christopher Brauchli that begins, "It was just an unlucky selection. President Bush had more than 1 million lawyers from whom to choose and thanks to bad staff work he made a couple of really unfortunate choices."
Posted at 09:03 by Howard Bashman



A blow to sperm donors in Pennsylvania: Yesterday's issue of The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported that "Sperm donor loses appeal on child support." And The Associated Press reports that "Court Rules Sperm Donor Must Pay Support." You can access Thursday's ruling of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 08:48 by Howard Bashman



"Ruling a victory for Bryant; Evidence of woman's sexual activity with others to be admitted": The Denver Post today contains this article. The Rocky Mountain News reports that "Judge's decision 'devastating' to DA; Ruling on alleged victim's sex activity puts trial in doubt." The Los Angeles Times reports that "Some Details of Bryant Accuser's Sex Life Allowed." The New York Times reports that "Judge Limiting Sex-Life Shield at Bryant Trial." The Washington Post reports that "Some Sexual Details On Accuser Allowed; Judge's Ruling Marks Victory for Bryant." And CBS News legal commentator Andrew Cohen's latest Court Watch column is entitled "End Game For Kobe Case?" The column begins, "Kobe Bryant's rape case is as close as it has ever been to dissolving short of trial. Friday's rape-shield ruling by Eagle County Circuit Judge Terry Ruckriegle is a devastating blow to prosecutors and a huge victory for the defense." Finally, the text of yesterday's ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:38 by Howard Bashman



"Appeals panel knocks down sentencing guideline": This article appears today in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In related coverage, The Minneapolis Star Tribune offers a news brief headlined "Court orders resentencing for insider trader." And The Cincinnati Post contains an article headlined "Settlement ends challenge to guidelines" that begins, "A Tennessee woman's appeal of her prison sentence, which brought into question federal sentencing guidelines in four states, including Ohio and Kentucky, may vanish as suddenly as it appeared."
Posted at 08:29 by Howard Bashman



Friday, July 23, 2004
Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle reports that "High Court Steps Toward 'Blakely'; Justices to consider cert petitions from DOJ." An article is headlined "Who's Afraid of a Moody Poet? Calif. Supreme Court clears teen sent to juvenile hall for violent verse." Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "3rd Circuit: Lawyers Should Point Out Errors on the Spot." And in other news, "N.Y. Bill Would Cap Tobacco Suit Appeal Bonds."
Posted at 23:56 by Howard Bashman



Ten Commandments news: From Washington State, FOXNews.com reports today that "Ten Commandments Controversy Moves West." From Minnesota, The Duluth News Tribune reports today that "Monument moved out of town temporarily; A local church installs its own 850-pound marble monument." And from Duchesne, Utah, The Associated Press reports that "City Sells Ten Commandments Monument Back to Family."
Posted at 23:52 by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court upholds religious ruling; Town council meetings cannot open with mention of Jesus, judges say": The Herald of Rock Hill, South Carolina contains this article today.
Posted at 23:49 by Howard Bashman



"Region likely to keep top court presence; 7 Milwaukee-area applicants are among 9 interviewees": This article will appear Saturday in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Posted at 23:48 by Howard Bashman



Law and cinema: In news from Australia, an article headlined "Accused Pitcairners challenge UK law" begins, "Seven Pitcairn Islanders will try to use Fletcher Christian's 'Mutiny on the Bounty' in a bid to stop their upcoming sexual assault trials on the tiny and remote Pacific island." Relatedly, BBC News reported earlier this month that "Remote island gets prison guards." And infoplease offers an entry titled "The Bounty, Pitcairn Island, and Fletcher Christian's Descendants; April 28 marks the anniversary of the world's most famous mutiny."
Posted at 23:43 by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court reinstates sex harassment suit against church": The Associated Press offers this report concerning a very interesting ruling that a divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel issued today.
Posted at 23:35 by Howard Bashman



In newz from New Zealand: Those opposed to flag burning have found another nation's judiciary to add to their list of dislikes. Articles bearing tomorrow's date report that "It's okay to burn the NZ flag" and "Schoolteacher gets away with flag-burning; Wgtn schoolteacher Paul Hopkinson happy after conviction for burning New Zealand flag overturned, avoids $700-plus fine."
Posted at 23:16 by Howard Bashman



"Kerry's Scary": The Committee for Justice has unveiled this Web site focusing on the issues of judges and judicial confirmations. Perhaps turnabout is fair play, as just over a year ago it was reported that "DNC Launches E-Mail Cartoon Lampooning Bush" on the judicial selection issue. You can view the DNC cartoon at this link. Yet to be determined: Why the issue of judicial selection conjures images of the Frankenstein monster in the minds of both parties?
Posted at 22:52 by Howard Bashman



Who needs two gigabytes of email storage? Not me, apparently. As previously reported, today Hotmail increased the storage of its paying customers' email accounts to two gigabytes. Earlier today, the email account associated with this blog had been near 70% of capacity when the storage limit was 50 megabytes. Now my email account is at two percent of capacity.
Posted at 22:47 by Howard Bashman



"Judge Allows Evidence of Bryant Accuser's Sexual Conduct": The Los Angeles Times provides this news update. The Associated Press reports that "Judge Allows Sex Evidence in Bryant Case." And Reuters reports that "Colorado Judge Admits Bryant Accuser Sex Evidence." You can access a copy of the court's ruling, which issued earlier today, at this link.
Posted at 22:39 by Howard Bashman



"The Late, Great States: Where have all the federalists gone?" Steve Chapman had this jurisprudence essay online at Slate yesterday. And in somewhat related news, The New York Times today has a news update headlined "Microsoft Says It Is Exploring the Sale of Slate Magazine."
Posted at 17:51 by Howard Bashman



Attorney Geoffrey Fieger, in the news: The Detroit Free Press today reports that "Harassment verdict is overturned; Judges call Fieger's actions improper, order new trial." And The Detroit News reports today that "Overturned sex harassment verdict is partial DaimlerChrysler victory; $21 million award ruled 'excessive' but core of civil lawsuit remains intact." You can access the Supreme Court of Michigan's 4-3 ruling, issued yesterday, at this link.

Also today, The Denver Post reports that "Columbine settlement upheld; Judges rule that Shoels family legally accepted terms; A lawyer for the slain boy's parents had claimed a letter agreeing to end a suit against the shooters' kin was an error." You can access the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit's ruling in the case at this link, and my earlier coverage of that ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 17:34 by Howard Bashman



"Privacy Rights, Fair Trials, Celebrities and the Press": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times. In somewhat related coverage, The Rocky Mountain News today contains an article headlined "Scripps will join appeal in Bryant case" that begins, "Scripps Newspapers Inc., owner of the Rocky Mountain News, is one of 12 organizations that will add their support to an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking the reversal of an order not to publish a transcript in the Kobe Bryant case that was accidentally provided to seven media groups last month."

On the other hand, perhaps tired of serving as a member of the press, CBS News analyst Andrew Cohen today has an essay entitled "Not The Hill To Die For" that begins, "Given the hysterical media reaction to the Colorado Supreme Court's prior restraint ruling Monday in the Kobe Bryant case, you would think that the four Justices who made up the majority in the case had just ransacked the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. and ripped to shreds the last remaining copy of the Constitution."
Posted at 17:20 by Howard Bashman



Florida appellate court rejects marriage involving a transsexual: The Associated Press reports here that "A female-to-male transsexual is still legally female, making his marriage to a woman invalid in Florida, a state appeals court ruled Friday. The decision affects an untold number of marriages, since people are not required to prove gender when seeking a marriage license in Florida. Florida law bans same-sex marriage." Reuters, meanwhile, reports that "Florida Court Rules Transsexual Marriage Invalid."

The first paragraph of today's ruling by Florida's Second District Court of Appeal states, in relevant part: "This appeal presents an issue of first impression in Florida: whether a postoperative female-to-male transsexual person can validly marry a female under the current law of this state. We hold that the law of this state does not provide for or allow such a marriage; therefore, we reverse the final judgment and remand for the trial court to declare the marriage of the parties void ab initio." You can access the complete ruling at this link. Thanks much to the blog "Abstract Appeal" for the pointer.
Posted at 16:57 by Howard Bashman



"Marriage Protection Act Passes; House Bill Strips Federal Courts of Power Over Same-Sex Cases": This article appears today in The Washington Post. The New York Times reports that "House Backs Bill to Limit Power of Judges." The Los Angeles Times reports that "House OKs Bill to Limit Federal Court Rulings on Gay Marriage; The legislation would protect states' right to decide whether to accept out-of-state unions." The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "House OKs limit on federal courts; Bill would prevent suits over Defense of Marriage Act." The Boston Globe reports that "House passes ban on gay marriage rulings; Would bar decisions by federal judges on states' recognition." And The Washington Times reports today that "House targets marriage validation."
Posted at 14:03 by Howard Bashman



The impact of Blakely v. Washington, in action: Compare the final paragraphs of this opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit posted online today with the final paragraphs of this opinion in the very same case, also posted online today. And do so quickly, because the first of these two opinions is unlikely to remain online for long. Update: Although, as expected, the Seventh Circuit's Web site has taken away access to the earlier version of the ruling, that earlier version can still be seen at this link via FindLaw.
Posted at 13:57 by Howard Bashman



Even more U.S. Sentencing Guidelines-related excitement, courtesy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: A splintered three-judge Ninth Circuit panel today issued a ruling in which the lead opinion begins:
In this case, the functions of our three branches of government intersect at a novel point. The United States District Court for the District of Montana issued Standing Order No. DWM-28 ("Standing Order"). The Standing Order directed the United States Attorney, within 20 days after sentencing occurs in each criminal case, to assemble and file with the court clerk a report of sentence. The court clerk was to send these reports to the United States Sentencing Commission, in order to satisfy a reporting requirement that Congress has imposed on the courts. We are asked to decide whether the district court exceeded its statutory or inherent authority, or the limits of the Constitution, by issuing the Standing Order.

Before reaching the merits of that question, however, we must consider our jurisdiction to answer it. The United States argues that we have jurisdiction to consider its direct appeal from the district court's order denying its motion to set aside the Standing Order in this criminal case, which was one of the first cases in which the Standing Order's requirements were triggered, even though neither party has appealed with respect to the underlying judgment of conviction. In the alternative, if appellate jurisdiction is lacking, the United States petitions for a writ of mandamus.

These questions have divided our panel. Judge Clifton joins in Sections I, II, and III of Judge Graber's opinion. Judge Brewster joins in Sections I, III, and IV of Judge Graber's opinion. Thus, we are unanimous as to Sections I and III, while two judges agree on Sections II and IV. As a result, a majority of our panel concludes that the district court acted within the scope of its statutory and inherent authority when issuing the Standing Order and that the Standing Order did not violate the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers. The Standing Order thus remains in effect.
You can access the complete ruling at this link.
Posted at 13:40 by Howard Bashman



BREAKING NEWS -- Divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issues ruling holding U.S. Sentencing Guidelines unconstitutional: The ruling can be accessed at this link.

It's rare for a three-judge panel to issue four separate opinions, but that has happened in this case. The decision begins with a 21-page per curiam opinion. That's followed by an opinion by two panel members -- Senior Eighth Circuit Judges Donald P. Lay and Myron H. Bright -- designated as an "additional opinion for the Court" in which those two judges declare the Sentencing Guidelines unconstitutional in the aftermath of Blakely v. Washington. Next, Circuit Judge Diana E. Murphy -- the only active judge on the panel and, until recently, the chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which is responsible for superintending the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines -- has an opinion "dissenting from the decision to declare the federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional." Finally, Senior Judge Bright dissents from the per curiam opinion's construction of a particular provision of the Sentencing Guidelines.
Posted at 13:20 by Howard Bashman



The 9/11 Commission Report: Just a note for future reference that the report can be downloaded here in PDF format (585-page document).
Posted at 12:35 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Military to Review Detainees' Cases": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:08 by Howard Bashman



"Senate Democrats Block 3 More Bush Judicial Nominees": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:18 by Howard Bashman



Friday song lyric: It's not every day that the D.C. Circuit issues an opinion that begins with a song lyric from Jimmy Buffett (especially since that court only issues opinions on Tuesdays and Fridays).
Posted at 10:30 by Howard Bashman



"Green Gridlock: Environmental activists join the Senate judge fights." Law Professor Jonathan H. Adler has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 10:19 by Howard Bashman



FindLaw's Julie Hilden speaks!! Yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" included a segment entitled "Can Jailhouse Scribes Profit from their Crimes?" (Real Player required) featuring Julie Hilden. (This post's title with apologies to the most wonderful "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog.)
Posted at 10:13 by Howard Bashman



"Tensions between courts, Congress; Justice O'Connor says strain is 'worst in my memory'": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle. And in related coverage, The Contra Costa Times reports today that "Justice reflects on colleague's legacy."
Posted at 10:06 by Howard Bashman



There once was a teenage author of violent poetry from San Jose: Sometimes merely writing about bad poetry isn't enough:
There once was a teenage author of violent poetry from San Jose; Who on receiving the California Supreme Court's ruling exclaimed "Hurray!"

George T.'s dream of being a screenplay writer nearly put him on the wrong side of the lex; Violence may be taboo, but at least he can still write about sex.
In more traditional coverage, Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Teen poet spared by high court; Unanimous ruling says verse wasn't clear-cut threat." Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Teen's Poem Not a Threat, Justices Rule; The state's high court overturns the conviction of a student who wove violence into his work." And The San Jose Mercury News reports today that "Conviction voided on troubling poem; State court says S.J. student's writing was not a threat."
Posted at 09:45 by Howard Bashman



"Can Juveniles Constitutionally Be Executed? The Supreme Court Will Consider the Question in a Pending Case." Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 08:02 by Howard Bashman



"O'Connor Likens Decision to Earthquake": David Kravets of The Associated Press provides this report. The Monterey County Herald reports today that "O'Connor criticizes court decision." The Detroit News reports today that "Sentencing guidelines defended; Michigan's top court says its review process is on firm ground despite high court ruling." Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle reports that "Court's decision makes re-indictments necessary; Grand jury adds charges that could make sentences longer." Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that "Court overturns federal sentencing rules; Appellate judges say juries must decide prison terms." Claire Cooper of The Sacramento Bee reported yesterday that "Prison sentence rule is voided; Federal court orders new terms for hundreds of crooks." The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports today that "Minnesota adjusting to sentencing rules." From Tennessee, The AP reports that "Bredesen tries to save sentencing guidelines; Task force comes after child abuser's term cut." The Orlando Sentinel today reports that "New indictment could add penalties for Maali; Supreme Court ruling forces review of `aggravating factors.'" And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "Convicted judge tries for lighter sentence."
Posted at 07:54 by Howard Bashman



"Democrats block 3 judicial nominees": This article appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 07:52 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, July 22, 2004
"Base Brawl: Dems block anti-enviro Bush judicial nominee, and the conservatives are lovin' it." This essay by Amanda Griscom appeared online today at the Web site of Grist Magazine.
Posted at 23:42 by Howard Bashman



Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook examines the fugitive-disentitlement doctrine and its application to immigration cases: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at this link.
Posted at 23:29 by Howard Bashman



Another federal appellate court's Blakely ruling bites the dust: This order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was rather unremarkable when it issued, but today's amendment is interesting nevertheless.
Posted at 23:26 by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirms injunction prohibiting the Town Council of Great Falls, South Carolina from engaging in prayers that specifically invoke Jesus Christ during monthly council meetings: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 23:22 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Jonathan Ringel reports that "Pryor Casts Key Vote in Gay Adoption Case; 6-6 vote blocks Florida gay rights suit from being reheard by 11th Circuit." Jeff Chorney has an article headlined "O'Connor to Judges: Explain Yourselves; In other remarks at 9th Circuit's annual conference, Supreme Court justice likens 'Blakely' decision to an earthquake." An article reports that "Calif. Justices Hit Rewind on 'Friends' Suit." In other news from California, "EBay Ruling Punctures Web Liability Shield." An article reports that "Federal Circuit Set to Enter Defining Conflict for Patent Bar." And in other news, "Lawyers in U.S. Microsoft Case Want Cut of Fees in Miami Suit."
Posted at 22:29 by Howard Bashman



"Court tosses suit over United Negro College Fund advertisement": The Associated Press recently provided this report on a non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that I earlier discussed here. And in today's issue of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a column headlined "At least they spelled it right" considers the ruling.
Posted at 21:10 by Howard Bashman



"House OKs Gay Marriage Jurisdiction Bill": The AP reports here that "Stung by a Senate setback on gay marriage, Republicans passed legislation in the House Thursday to prevent federal courts from ordering states to recognize same-sex unions sanctioned elsewhere." And Reuters reports that "House Votes to Curb Same-Sex Marriage." You can access the official roll call tally of today's vote at this link, while the text of the legislation can be accessed here.
Posted at 20:34 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. appeals court narrowly upholds only blanket gay adoption ban": The AP provides this report from Florida on news from yesterday that I previously wrote about here.
Posted at 19:11 by Howard Bashman



Bad poetry may sometimes be a crime, but not in this instance, the Supreme Court of California concludes: Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "Court Sides With Student Who Wrote Violent Poem." David Kravets of The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Calif. high court: San Jose boy's violent poetry wasn't criminal." The blog "Criminal Appeal" provides this summary of the ruling. Last but not least, you can access the ruling itself at this link.
Posted at 19:03 by Howard Bashman



In news pertaining to Michigan: Three items of note. First, The Associated Press reports that "Senate Democrats Block Votes on 3 Judges," while Reuters reports that "Three More Bush Appeals Court Nominees Blocked." You can access the cloture vote tallies of the following filibustered Sixth Circuit nominees from Michigan by clicking on each of their respective names: Henry W. Saad; Richard A. Griffin; and David W. McKeague.

Second, The AP offers a report headlined "DaimlerChrysler Sex Harassment Verdict Axed" that begins, "The Michigan Supreme Court threw out a $21 million verdict against DaimlerChrysler AG in a sexual harassment case brought by an autoworker, saying the amount was 'so excessive and so clearly the product of passion and prejudice.'" And Reuters reports that "DaimlerChrysler sex harassment verdict overturned."

Finally, Michigan's highest court today also issued a Blakely-related ruling, which you can learn more about via this post at the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog.
Posted at 18:22 by Howard Bashman



More later: I have an event to attend early this afternoon that will have me away from the office and computer access. I'll update the day's developments when I return. To ensure I don't miss anything of significance, readers are encouraged to send along news and links via email. Update: The final score was Florida Marlins 10, Philadelphia Phillies 8. A recap of the game is available here.
Posted at 11:04 by Howard Bashman



Rehearing en banc and recess appointees to the U.S. Courts of Appeals: An especially well-known reader emails to ask, presumably in connection with this news emanating yesterday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, "Is a recess appointee whose commission lapses in a year's time a judge 'in regular active service' in the Court to which he was recess-appointed?"

The term "regular active service" appears in both the statute authorizing "a hearing or rehearing before the court in banc" and the Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure governing "When Hearing or Rehearing En Banc May Be Ordered." I am not familiar with any court decisions that expressly consider this issue, although yesterday's Eleventh Circuit ruling demonstrates that that court would answer the question in the affirmative. The key, it seems to me, is what the term "regular" is intended to accomplish in the phrase "in regular active service." If any readers can offer additional insight, it would be most appreciated.
Posted at 10:20 by Howard Bashman



"Media appeal Bryant order; U.S. justice asked to lift ban on publication of transcript": This article appears today in The Denver Post.
Posted at 10:17 by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge Tenth Circuit panel rejects argument that a letter written in error by Michigan attorney Geoffrey Fieger's legal assistant shouldn't bind the parents of slain Columbine student Isaiah Shoels to a settlement they didn't authorize: Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued this decision written by Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell. Back on March 11, 2004, The Rocky Mountain News published an article headlined "Columbine parents dispute settlement; Lawyer for families of slain students says letter drafted in error" reporting on the oral argument of the appeal.
Posted at 10:12 by Howard Bashman



In news from California: Bob Egelko, in today's issue of The San Francisco Chronicle, has an article headlined "Top court to hear 'Friends' harassment case; Was foul language 'creative necessity'?" Reuters reports that "California Court to Review 'Friends' Lawsuit." My earlier coverage of this development, posted online last night, can be accessed here.

And in other news, The SFChronicle today also contains an article headlined "Judge not afraid of the governor; 'Frustrated' by prison system."
Posted at 09:48 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Media Take Bryant Ruling to Supreme Court"; "Philip Morris Fined for Deleting E-Mails"; and "Pa. Judge's Marijuana Decisions Reversed."
Posted at 09:41 by Howard Bashman



"Gay Pair Seeks Canada's First Same-Sex Divorce": This article appears today in The New York Times. The Chicago Tribune reports today that "House to vote on same-sex marriage." And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained a segment entitled "House Takes Up Role of Courts in Marriage Law" (Real Player required).
Posted at 09:24 by Howard Bashman



"What the Court Really Said": Ronald Dworkin has an essay in the August 12, 2004 issue of The New York Review of Books that begins, "The Supreme Court has finally and decisively rejected the Bush administration's outrageous claim that the President has the power to jail people he accuses of terrorist connections without access to lawyers or the outside world and without any possibility of significant review by courts or other judicial bodies."
Posted at 08:43 by Howard Bashman



"Pryor featured in ad critical of Bush nominees": The Birmingham News today contains an article that begins, "A new television commercial critical of President Bush's judicial nominees is on the air in Washington and includes a brief segment on former Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor." Meanwhile, it was just last night that I had a lengthy post titled "And you thought that liberals were already quite enraged about the recess appointment of William H. Pryor, Jr. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit" about a controversial ruling of the en banc Eleventh Circuit in which Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr.'s vote proved decisive.
Posted at 07:14 by Howard Bashman



"Ruling Causes Uncertainty in Sentencing; The Justice Department says a Supreme Court decision has muddled guidelines; It asks for a review of two cases": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. Michael McGough of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "High court rushed to judgment; Quick decision asked on constitutionality of sentencing rules." And The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports today that "Federal ruling applies to state; Child abuse case sentence first to take into account Supreme Court decision."
Posted at 07:11 by Howard Bashman



"GOP can't break filibuster on judicial nomination": This article appeared yesterday in The Casper Star-Tribune.
Posted at 07:08 by Howard Bashman



"Griffith to miss Demos' deadline": Yesterday's issue of The Deseret Morning News contained an article that begins, "Thomas Griffith, the Brigham Young University general counsel nominated to what is considered the nation's second-highest court, will miss a deadline that Senate Democrats say is essential for his confirmation."
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"Levin indicates Democrats will try to block votes on Michigan judges": The Associated Press offers a report that begins, "Michigan Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow indicated Wednesday that they and other Democrats will try to block votes on three Michigan judges if their nominations come to the Senate floor this week. But Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist went ahead with a motion to allow votes on two of the judges Wednesday evening, setting the stage for a vote as early as Thursday morning."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, July 21, 2004
At AOL, "You've Got Mail!" but not munitions: The Salt Lake Tribune today contains an article headlined "Justices uphold AOL's gun rules; Utah high court: In a battle of property rights vs. arms-bearing rights, the court rules employees were rightfully fired for having guns in the parking lot at work." And The Deseret Morning News reports today that "Justices uphold guns ruling; Fired workers who violated the ban had sued AOL." You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Utah at this link.
Posted at 23:59 by Howard Bashman



"V.I. official fired over dress code violation loses lawsuit; After 17 years, former assistant attorney general Donald Bouton's wrongful termination suit is dismissed": The Virgin Islands Daily News today contains this article. Even I had the pleasure of wearing a suit and tie on St. Croix when I argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit last December, and the experience wasn't any worse than wearing a suit in Washington, DC on a hot summer day.
Posted at 23:59 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Jeff Chorney reports that "9th Circuit Bars Sentence Enhancements; Without jury findings, 'Blakely' prevents departures -- for now." In related news, "N.Y. Judge Rules 'Blakely' Renders Federal Guidelines Unconstitutional." And Shannon P. Duffy reports that "FDA's Approval of Medical Device Bars Products Suit; 3rd Circuit joins two others on majority side of split."
Posted at 23:56 by Howard Bashman



The Los Angeles Times is reporting: In today's newspaper, an article reports that "Takeover of State Prisons Is Threatened; A federal judge assails the Schwarzenegger administration on lack of reform, its deal with guards; He may name a receiver to run system." And in other news, "Decision on Whether to Jail Gang-Rape Suspect Delayed."
Posted at 23:54 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The New York Times: An article reports that "City to Appeal Limits on Searches of Protesters." In other regional news, "A Corruption Fighter Roils Trenton Politics." And an article reports that "Black Farmers Accuse Agriculture Dept. of Failing to Live Up to Racial Bias Settlement."
Posted at 23:46 by Howard Bashman



"Court Asked to Decide Cases to Clarify Sentencing Ruling": Adam Liptak will have this article in Thursday's issue of The New York Times.

In earlier coverage, The Cincinnati Post reports today that "Sentencing ruling vacated; Fed guidelines face appellate scrutiny." The Tucson Citizen reports today that "High court's ruling may mean leniency for man who fired at cop; Plea deal in doubt after U.S. Supreme Court bars judges from imposing stiffer terms unless juries decide they are warranted. plea deal throws plea deal in doubt." And CNN.com offers a report headlined "At 33, he's a two-time Supreme Court winner; Seattle attorney establishes new legal ground with cases."

Finally, Chris Geidner has an interesting blog post entitled "Blakely, Blogging, And 'The System.'"
Posted at 23:44 by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court: State can pursue charges against Am. West pilots." The Associated Press provides this report on an interesting preemption ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today.
Posted at 23:38 by Howard Bashman



Supreme Court of California scheduled to rule tomorrow in "dark poetry" threat vs. free speech case: You can access that court's announcement of the rulings that will be issued tomorrow at 10 a.m. pacific time at this link. Press coverage of the case from around the time it was orally argued in California's highest court can be accessed here, here, and here.
Posted at 23:24 by Howard Bashman



And you thought that liberals were already quite enraged about the recess appointment of William H. Pryor, Jr. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit: Late today, the Eleventh Circuit issued an order denying rehearing en banc of a three-judge panel's decision that upheld the constitutionality of a Florida statute prohibiting adoption of a child by persons "who are known to engage in current, voluntary homosexual activity." In order for rehearing en banc to be granted, a majority of the judges in regular active service must vote in favor. There are twelve active judges serving on the Eleventh Circuit, and the vote on this petition for rehearing en banc was 6-6, with Judge Pryor among the judges who did not vote in favor of rehearing en banc. Accordingly, had Judge Pryor not been serving on the Eleventh Circuit, rehearing en banc would have been granted by a vote of 6-5.

Today's order denying rehearing en banc is accompanied both by a concurring opinion written by the author of the unanimous three-judge panel's opinion and by several different dissenting opinions. You can access today's order at this link. The three-judge panel's opinion can be accessed here. Back in late January 2004, when the panel's opinion issued, I collected press coverage of it in posts that you can access here, here, and here.

Today's opinion concurring in the denial of rehearing en banc, written by Circuit Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr., concludes with the following paragraph:
I will conclude on a purely personal note. If I were a legislator, rather than a judge, I would vote in favor of considering otherwise eligible homosexuals for adoptive parenthood. In reviewing the record in this case one can only be impressed by the courage, tenacity and devotion of Messrs. Lofton and Houghton for the children placed in their care. For these children, these men are the only parents they have ever known. Thus, I consider the policy decision of the Florida legislature to be misguided and trust that over time attitudes will change and it will see the best interest of these children in a different light. Nevertheless, as compelling as this perspective is to me, I will not allow my personal views to conflict with my judicial duty—conduct that apparently fewer and fewer citizens, commentators and Senators seem to understand or appreciate. And, I hasten to add, the vast majority of federal judges, including each and every judge of the Eleventh Circuit, are similarly sensitive to separate their personal preferences from their duty to follow precedent as they understand it.
As noted above, Judge Birch was the author of the unanimous three-judge panel's opinion in this case.

Update: Thursday's issue of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will contain an article headlined "Divided court upholds ban on gay adoptions." The article begins, "By the barest of margins, the federal appeals court in Atlanta on Wednesday let stand a decision upholding Florida's law banning adoption of children by gays and lesbians. At the same time, one of the judges, who wrote a previous opinion sustaining the law, said he was in favor of considering same-sex couples for adoptive parenthood."

Coincidentally, Thursday's issue of The Los Angeles Times will contain a front page article by Maura Dolan headlined "After Gay Parents Split Up: Custody can fall into a legal gray area when nontraditional families dissolve; Courts haven't kept up with social and technological changes."
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



"Democratic judicial filibusters likely to reach 10 by week's end": This article will appear in Thursday's issue of The Hill. The three anticipated new filibusterees are all Michigan-based nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Posted at 21:22 by Howard Bashman



With "Friends" like these: Today the Supreme Court of California granted review in a sexual harassment case against Warner Brothers Television Productions. The plaintiff, who worked on the hit show "Friends" as a writer's assistant, claimed that she was subjected to an array of racial and sexual harassment, including having to endure sexually explicit comments about the program's female stars. You can read the two issues on which review was granted today in the docket entries accessible at this link. You can access excerpts from the plaintiff's sworn declaration at this link. You can access the ruling of California's intermediate appellate court in the case at this link. And my earlier coverage of that ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 20:29 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Asked to Rule on Sentences": Anne Gearan of The Associated Press reports here that "The Bush administration appealed to the Supreme Court Wednesday to quickly rule on the constitutionality of federal sentencing rules, a two-decade-old system that the court placed in doubt with its ruling last month striking down a similar state sentencing program." And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "High Court Asked to Decide Sentencing Rules."

Via this post at the "Sentencing Law and Policy," you can access the cert. petitions and the Solicitor General's motion to expedite.
Posted at 20:24 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. judge fines Altria, unit for destroying docs": Reuters provides this report on a ruling (opinion here; order here) that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued today.

The Reuters article begins, "The federal judge overseeing the government's racketeering case against the tobacco industry on Wednesday scolded Altria Group Inc. and its Philip Morris USA unit for destroying potential evidence and fined them $2.75 million. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler called it 'astounding' that at least eleven high-ranking Philip Morris employees flouted a 1999 court order requiring the company to preserve all material that might be relevant to the case."
Posted at 16:50 by Howard Bashman



Now you see it, now you don't: The Ninth Circuit has changed the online address for its Blakely / Sentencing Guidelines decision issued today. The original link, which I initially used in this post below, no longer works, but this new link works just fine. To all of the bloggers who have linked to the decision at the original, now non-functioning link, the Ninth Circuit extends its apologies.
Posted at 16:41 by Howard Bashman



"Aisenberg prosecutors immune, judge says; Prosecutor protection overrides the Aisenberg claim that their rights were violated when their daughter disappeared": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times. And The Tampa Tribune today reports that "Aisenbergs' Prosecutors Immune, Judge Rules." In early February 2004, I noted here and here the Eleventh Circuit's ruling on a related appeal.
Posted at 16:06 by Howard Bashman



"Senate panel OKs Hatch amendment": The Deseret Morning News today contains an article that begins, "The stage is set for the final, deciding fight over Sen. Orrin Hatch's proposed constitutional amendment to ban desecration of the U.S. flag."
Posted at 16:04 by Howard Bashman



"Sniper Makes Appeal To High Court in Va.; Death Penalty Unjustified, Defense Argues": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 16:01 by Howard Bashman



"Conciliating Hatred": The current issue of First Things contains an essay by Law Professor Steven D. Smith that begins, "These days, if you announce that the Supreme Court is doing politics rather than law you will provoke more yawns than protests."
Posted at 15:55 by Howard Bashman



The mysterious case of the missing juror: First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya today issued this interesting opinion discussing whether a federal district court's declaration of a mistrial in a criminal case in which the twelfth juror had been absent for some time (and the lone alternate juror previously had been excused) required dismissal of the indictment on double jeopardy grounds.
Posted at 15:16 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Supreme Court posts online its October 2004 oral argument calendar: You can access the calendar at this link.
Posted at 14:54 by Howard Bashman



BREAKING NEWS -- Divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel holds that Blakely v. Washington invalidates application of U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: You can access today's ruling at this link. The ruling issued as an "immediate filing" just moments after the Ninth Circuit had posted a notice that no published opinions would be filed today. Or, as public image ltd. once intoned, "This is not a love song."

Circuit Judge Richard A. Paez wrote today's ruling, in which Circuit Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw joined. Circuit Judge Ronald M. Gould dissented in an opinion that ends, "I conclude that the Supreme Court itself is the proper Court to decide if the Guidelines are constitutionally infirm in any fundamental way."
Posted at 14:09 by Howard Bashman



"I am convinced that shuffling our current precedent merely continues a charade": So writes Chief Judge Haldane Robert Mayer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, dissenting today from the rather interesting grant of rehearing en banc in a patent case.
Posted at 13:52 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Justice agency won't appeal Kennewick Man case; A spokesman says it will not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision backing scientific study": This article appears today in The Oregonian. And BBC News today reports on a "New wrangle over Kennewick bones."
Posted at 10:44 by Howard Bashman



In same-sex marriage-related news and commentary: The Toronto Star today contains an article headlined "Now it's divorce, same-sex style: Split believed to be a Canada first; Separated 5 days after marriage." The St. Petersburg Times reports today that "Couple sues to recognize gay wedding; The Bradenton women want other states to treat their Massachusetts marriage as legal; The suit may make Florida a battleground." And The Washington Post today contains an editorial entitled "Muzzling the Courts?"
Posted at 10:41 by Howard Bashman



"Court delays trial on felon voting rights; The fate of a voting rights lawsuit filed by 613,000 former Florida felons now will be decided by an entire federal appellate court; The ruling means many ex-felons could miss the presidential vote": This article appears today in The Miami Herald. And The Palm Beach Post reports today that "Appeals court to rule on felon voting ban."
Posted at 10:37 by Howard Bashman



"Pro Circuit: The weeks of frenetic activity that have followed the Supreme Court's ruling in Blakely show why circuit court appointments matter more than most people think." Will Baude, of the "Crescat Sententia" blog, today has this essay online at The New Republic.
Posted at 10:11 by Howard Bashman



"Sosa Justice: The Supreme Court cuts off international-law suits -- this time." Law Professor Jonathan H. Adler has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 09:56 by Howard Bashman



Proving yet again that one person's "superhottie" is another person's "grottie": Overnight, the blog "Underneath Their Robes" announced the winners of its "Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary" competition. You can learn the identity of the winners via the following two links: female and male. If you didn't vote for either of the two winners, consider yourself in good company. Indeed, my choice for female superhottie didn't even make the top five. Next up, "Underneath Their Robes" will conduct a competition to determine the "supercoldies" of the federal judiciary -- those judges who cause your pulse to behave as though the temperature were zero degrees Kelvin.
Posted at 09:28 by Howard Bashman



"County rejects putting cross on seal up to vote": The Los Angeles Daily News contains this article today. And in somewhat related news, The San Diego Union-Tribune today contains an article headlined "Council's cross to bear: Common ground on La Jolla landmark eludes officials" that begins, "The Mount Soledad cross and its fate are still up in the air after the San Diego City Council Tuesday failed to find consensus on how to end 15 years of litigation over the 43-foot La Jolla landmark."
Posted at 07:08 by Howard Bashman



"Court backpedals on ignoring federal sentencing guides": This article appears today in The Knoxville News-Sentinel. The Billings Gazette today reports that "Court ruling raises questions about sentences." The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports today that "Prison term set by judge is tossed; Ruling is first to apply Supreme Court decision." The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle today reports that "Judge postpones fraud sentencing; Larimer says Supreme Court ruling muddles penalty decisions" and yesterday reported that "Jail terms facing scrutiny; Supreme Court ruling may alter judges' power to add time." The Advertiser of Lafayette, Louisiana reports today that "Local case could be first test of high court decision." The Daily Courier of Prescott, Arizona reports today that "High court rulings have impact on local case." The Boston Herald reports today that "Sentencing delayed for Whitey pal." And The Jersey Journal reports today that "Abreu feels impact of high court ruling; Issue: constitutionality of sentencing guidelines."
Posted at 06:55 by Howard Bashman



"Senate Democrats Block Nominee for 9th Circuit; GOP majority can't stop a bitter debate on Myers' merits and Bush's environmental policy": Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times today has this article. The Washington Times reports that "Democrats block 6th judge pick." And The Idaho Statesman today contains an editorial entitled "Rejection of Myers for court job shows system works."
Posted at 06:46 by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, July 20, 2004
In news from Guam: Wednesday's issue of The Pacific Daily News contains articles headlined "Gutierrez acquitted"; "'Verdict speaks for itself'"; and "Residents question AG's handling of case."
Posted at 23:52 by Howard Bashman



"Porn bests political speech": Bruce Fein has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 23:39 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The Los Angeles Times: In news from Colorado, "Court Bars Disclosure by Media; Colorado justices rule, 4-3, that documents accidentally released in the Bryant case cannot be published" and "Bryant's Accuser Wavered on Case; Her attorney says electronic transmission of court documents should end because mistakes have jeopardized her safety." An article reports that "Jackson Lawyers Scold Media for Seeking Records; Motion says the star's right to a fair trial would be jeopardized by the unsealing of documents." And in news from overseas, "Israeli Judge Assassinated in Tel Aviv; Palestinian militants claim responsibility for the first known slaying of a jurist in the nation's history; But authorities are skeptical."
Posted at 23:38 by Howard Bashman



The Washington Post is reporting: Today's newspaper reports that "Bryant Trial Should Not Be Televised, Prosecution and Defense Say." In other news, "Victory Slipping Away for Black Farmers; USDA, Justice Dept. Thwart Payouts to Most in Landmark Settlement, Report Say." An article reports that "Cole Bombing Victims' Families Sue Sudanese Government." And an editorial is entitled "Old Law, New Questions."

In addition to those articles from today's newspaper, The Post today hosted an online chat with David Greenberg, who had an op-ed Sunday entitled "Admit the Obvious -- It's a Political Process: Ideology Governs Judicial Confirmations. Let's Say So." You can access the transcript of the chat at this link.
Posted at 23:34 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The New York Times: An article reports that "Ban on Printing Information on Kobe Bryant Accuser Is Upheld." In other news, "An 8-Year Fight Ends Over a 9,200-Year-Old Man." And in regional news, "Searches of Convention Protesters Limited."
Posted at 23:21 by Howard Bashman



"7th Candidate for Judgeship Is Blocked by Democrats": Neil A. Lewis will have this article in Wednesday's issue of The New York Times. And Wednesday's issue of The Washington Post will report that "Democrats Block 7th Nominee To Bench; Senators Cite Myers's Approach To Environment."
Posted at 22:55 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: In news from New York, "States Petition for Death Ban." And an article reports that "Federal Judge in Miami Rules Sentencing Guidelines Unconstitutional."
Posted at 22:44 by Howard Bashman



"Frist backs rule change on judges": Tomorrow's edition of The Hill will contain an article that begins, "Conservatives and members of the Senate Republican leadership say that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is committed to using a controversial procedural tactic that would rewrite the chamber's filibuster rule. While Frist said he was actively considering changing the Senate rules several months ago, it now appears that the majority leader is on board with an effort by leading conservative senators to execute the tactic, which would prohibit lawmakers from filibustering judicial nominees."

Tomorrow's issue of The Hill will also contain an article headlined "Senators spar over 'Thurmond Rule.'" According to the article, the "Thurmond Rule" provides that "In election years, judges are not normally brought up after July first."
Posted at 21:23 by Howard Bashman



"Judiciary committee sends Michigan judicial nominees to full Senate": The Associated Press reports here that "The heated, partisan debate over whether to promote three Michigan judges to the federal appeals court could reach the Senate floor this week after a committee voted Tuesday to back two of the judges. On a 10-9 party-line vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee overrode Democrats' objections and approved the nominations of Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Richard Griffin and U.S. District Judge David McKeague. President Bush nominated both men to serve on the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."

In response to this development, People For the American Way today issued a press release entitled "Partisan Push Advances Appeals Court Nominees McKeague and Griffin."
Posted at 21:16 by Howard Bashman



"Democrats Block a Seventh Bush Judicial Nominee": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 17:44 by Howard Bashman



Today's news from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit: The Associated Press reports that "Court Rules for Government on Crash Tests" (access today's ruling here) and "Ex-Clinton Official Wins Some Legal Fees" (access today's ruling here).
Posted at 17:20 by Howard Bashman



Mean, yes; actionable, no: Via a non-precedential opinion that's especially light on the facts, today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of state-law claims for libel, false light, misappropriation of identity, and intentional infliction of emotional distress asserted against Young & Rubicam, Inc., the New York Times Company, and the United Negro College Fund. A quick bit of searching on the Internet reveals this interesting back-story:
Ex-Y&R employee sues over homeless guy ad

A former account coordinator at Young & Rubicam has filed a lawsuit accusing the agency of defaming and humiliating him by pairing his name with an image of a homeless alcoholic in a print ad for the United Negro College Fund. The ad, which ran in The New York Times on Feb. 8, 2002, depicts an unkempt black man sitting on a wooden crate and holding a liquor bottle. Superimposed over his face is a high school yearbook photo with the name "Larry Botts" under it. The plaintiff Larry Botts, who is white, left Young & Rubicam on Feb. 8, 2001 -- a year to the day before the ad appeared -- after what he claims was months of harassment from co-workers, including the spreading of damaging rumors about him to clients. He has been unemployed since, and says the ad has hurt his ability to find work, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. The suit points out that "Larry Botts" is not a common name.
The back-story originally appeared here (fourth item), in Media Life magazine.
Posted at 16:45 by Howard Bashman



"Edwards 'rarely present'; Demo has worst attendance record on judiciary panel": This article appears today in The Deseret News.
Posted at 16:27 by Howard Bashman



"Democrats Block Bush Judicial Pick": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press provides this report. Shortly before today's failed cloture vote, National Review Online posted an essay by Alan Simpson entitled "One for the Ninth: Confirm Meyers, already."
Posted at 16:24 by Howard Bashman



"Senate Panel OKs Flag-Burning Amendment": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press provides this report. And Reuters reports that "Measure to Outlaw Flag Burning Advances in Senate."
Posted at 15:10 by Howard Bashman



Soon to be married couple disagrees over consequences of too much light in the bedroom: Well, at least they aren't accusing each other of snoring too loudly. You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 14:58 by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Senate's cloture vote on Ninth Circuit nominee William Gerry Myers III has just begun: Stay tuned for results, or watch the vote yourself live online here via C-SPAN2. Sixty votes in the affirmative are needed to invoke cloture, and even the supporters of this nomination don't expect that to be achieved.

Update at 2:39 p.m.: The vote was 53 Senators in favor of cloture, and 44 opposed. Because sixty Senators failed to vote for cloture, the cloture motion has been defeated, and Myers is now officially the subject of a filibuster. The formal roll call tally is available at this link.
Posted at 14:17 by Howard Bashman



Divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decides whether federal law preempts state law defective design and failure to warn claims pertaining to FDA-approved medical device: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 13:51 by Howard Bashman



Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Two rulings merit mention. In the first decision, which you can access here, the Ninth Circuit ruled today that U.S. Magistrate Judges lack the power to enter binding orders authorizing the involuntary administration of medication to a criminal defendant for the purpose of making the defendant competent to stand trial.

Today's other noteworthy decision, which precipitated a dissent, begins:
A police officer comes to a mother's home to arrest her son. He isn't there. She later notifies the son that police want to arrest him. Should she be guilty of anything other than possibly loving a son who may not deserve it? What about a motorist who warns other motorists that they are entering a police "speed trap"? The price will prove extremely high if reasonable human conduct becomes criminal. However, the line between reasonable conduct and conduct that interferes with the performance of official conduct must be drawn.
You can access the complete ruling at this link.
Posted at 13:22 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit grants rehearing en banc in Florida felon disenfranchisement suit: You can access today's order at this link. Back on December 19, 2003, when the three-judge panel's opinion issued in the case, I offered this write-up:
Divided three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel reinstates lawsuit by ex-felons in Florida challenging the constitutionality of their voting disenfranchisement: Thanks to this ruling issued today, at some point in the future there could be even more votes that might or might not get counted in Florida.
And Law Professor Rick Hasen, at his "Election Law" blog, had this report on the panel's ruling last December.
Posted at 11:16 by Howard Bashman



Cloture vote on Ninth Circuit nominee William Gerry Myers III is scheduled to occur in the U.S. Senate at 2:15 p.m. today: You can watch continuing debate over the nomination, and the vote itself, live online via C-SPAN2 at this link. Myers today will officially become the latest filibustered U.S. Court of Appeals nominee of President George W. Bush.
Posted at 10:04 by Howard Bashman



In news from Connecticut: The Hartford Courant today contains three articles reporting on rulings that the Supreme Court of Connecticut issued yesterday. An article headlined "Malls Can Block Free Speech, Court Says; Ruling Affirms Private Owners Not Forced To Provide 1st Amendment Protections" reports on this ruling. An article headlined "Sex Assault Verdict Rejected; Top Court: Case Vs. Coach Unfair" reports on this ruling. Finally, an article headlined "Indigent Parents Win Key Appeal Right" reports on rulings that you can access here and here.
Posted at 09:55 by Howard Bashman



"Good assignment: Galloway school does not violate rights by assigning cafeteria seats, judge rules." This article appears today in The Atlantic City Press.
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Dismisses P&G Lawsuit Against Amway"; "Iowa Prepares for Death Penalty Case"; and "Muhammad Attorneys Say Rights Violated."
Posted at 09:46 by Howard Bashman



Bob Egelko is reporting: In today's issue of The San Francisco Chronicle, he has articles headlined "Suit alleges strip-search violations; 2 women claim they were left nude in county jail cells" and "Aspiring doctors with learning disabilities file bias suit; Students demand more time to take entrance exam."
Posted at 09:40 by Howard Bashman



"Wrong pick for 9th Circuit: Surely the White House can find a more qualified nominee for the appellate court than William Myers." This editorial appears today in The Oregonian.
Posted at 09:31 by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers' Standards in Free Fall; The amoral memo on torture is just one example": Lincoln Caplan, editor and president of Legal Affairs magazine, today has this op-ed in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:10 by Howard Bashman



"President shouldn't railroad judges": Newsday today contains an op-ed by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) that begins, "As of the All-Star break, the Yankees' record stood at 55-31, an impressive achievement at this point in the season. But when it comes to judicial confirmations, President George W. Bush has a record that puts the Yankees to shame. Given the hue and cry from the administration over claims of obstructionism by Senate Democrats, you would think we had blocked hundreds. In fact, the president's record currently stands at 198-6. Meanwhile, the vacancy rate on the federal bench is the lowest it has been in over a decade."
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"For some, Gitmo is home sweet home; Life on the U.S. base in Cuba is much like a slice of small-town America, but with more dangerous neighbors": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"High Court Asked to End Executions Of Minors": The Washington Post today contains this front page article. The Baltimore Sun reports today that "Coalition opposes execution of teens; Carter, Koop, Gorbachev among those urging court to spare 16-, 17-year-olds." Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Advocacy Groups Urge High Court to Ban Death Penalty for Juveniles; They say the practice violates rules of decency and harms U.S. human rights efforts." The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Court may reconsider under-18 executions; Nobel laureates, allies ask the U.S. to spare the lives of child offenders." And The Dallas Morning News today reports that "Stays of execution linked to new appeal strategies."
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



"Stewart considers serving jail time now; On 'Larry King Live,' Stewart says she'd like 'to be out of this mess'; could forgo appeals process": CNN/Money provides this report.
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



In news from Alabama: The Birmingham News today reports that "Alabama AG brief opposes juvenile death penalty ban" and "A Birmingham company on Monday took Roy Moore's Ten Commandments icon on the start of a cross-country tour." And The Montgomery Advertiser today reports that "Ten Commandments monument on tour."
Posted at 06:43 by Howard Bashman



"Judge vote on Senate's desk": The Rapid City Journal today contains this article.
Posted at 06:37 by Howard Bashman



"Legal experts struggle with sentencing rules": This article appeared yesterday in The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. The State Journal-Register of Springfield, Illinois reported yesterday that "Sentencing guidelines in limbo; Clarification sought from high court after ruling on Washington state case." The Palm Beach Post reports today that "High court ruling may cut sentence doctor faces." The Eastern Arizona Courier reported yesterday that "Impact of Supreme Court decision minimal in Graham County." And The Washington Post today contains a letter to the editor entitled "Supreme, and Preferable, Reticence."
Posted at 06:30 by Howard Bashman



"Appeals Court Questions Bush's Appointment": The Associated Press reports here that "A federal appeals court is asking the Bush administration to defend the president's appointment of a judge to its ranks while the U.S. Senate was out of session. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, asked the Justice Department on Monday to intervene in a case contesting the appointment of former Alabama attorney general William Pryor to that court." In other coverage, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "Judicial appointee will be defended in appeals court."
Posted at 06:16 by Howard Bashman



Monday, July 19, 2004
The Los Angeles Times is reporting: In news from Colorado, "Plea Deal Is Seen as Unlikely; Bryant case judge set deadline of Tuesday, but experts doubt move will occur given sentencing law." An article reports that "Junk Faxer Fights Back; Fined Aliso Viejo firm countersues to protect its perceived right to send unsolicited fliers; Foes call it intimidation." And in other news, "UC Settles Bias Case Filed by Ex-Intern."
Posted at 23:54 by Howard Bashman



"Ruling may have impact on corporate sentences; Opinion may affect Stewart": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 23:30 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: In news pertaining to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, "Attempt to Place 'Blakely' on a Fast-Track Is a Rarity; Supreme Court accepts few certifications." And in other news, "An Injury Most Foul: N.J. court widens protection for sports fans at concession stands."
Posted at 23:18 by Howard Bashman



"Paper Chaser: How a young, self-employed lawyer became the best Supreme Court litigator in Washington." Tony Mauro has this profile of Tom Goldstein of "SCOTUSblog" in the July/August 2004 issue of The Washington Monthly.
Posted at 22:41 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit grants rehearing en banc in case in which three-judge panel held that Blakely v. Washington invalidates U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: Today's docket entries in United States v. Montgomery, No. 03-5256 (6th Cir.) are as follows:
7/19/04 ORDER filed granting the request of a member of the Court for rehearing of this case en banc pursuant to Sixth Circuit Rule 35(a) [2992113-1]. The appeal is reinstated. The previous decision and judgment of this Court is vacated, the mandate is stayed. [03-5256] Danny J. Boggs, Chief Circuit Judge; Boyce F. Martin, Alice M. Batchelder, Martha C. Daughtrey, Karen N. Moore, R. G. Cole, Eric L. Clay, Ronald L. Gilman, Julia S. Gibbons, John M. Rogers, Jeffrey S. Sutton, Deborah L. Cook, Circuit Judges. (blh)

7/19/04 BRIEFING LETTER SENT resetting briefing schedule: supplemental appellant brief + 25 copies of initial brief due 7/28/04; supplemental appellee brief + 25 copies of initial brief due 7/28/04; 25 copies initial appendix due 7/28/04. (blh)
The three-judge panel's unanimous, but now vacated, ruling -- issued just five days ago -- can be accessed here. Accordingly, as of this moment only one federal appellate court -- the Seventh Circuit, by a divided three-judge panel, in a decision you can access here -- has held with binding effect that Blakely invalidates the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
Posted at 22:25 by Howard Bashman



In Tuesday's issue of The New York Times: Lyle Denniston, who had been writing for "SCOTUSblog," will have an article headlined "Justice Dept. Seeks Decision on Sentencing." (In related coverage, Tom Goldstein has a post entitled "Blakely - On to the Supreme Court.") Tomorrow's newspaper will also report that "Dozens of Nations Weigh in on Death Penalty Case."
Posted at 22:12 by Howard Bashman



"Admit the Obvious -- It's a Political Process: Ideology Governs Judicial Confirmations. Let's Say So." David Greenberg had this op-ed yesterday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 21:05 by Howard Bashman



"Judicial Nominee Gets Pre-Convention Push": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press reports here that "Just before the political conventions, Senate Republicans on Monday pushed forward one of President Bush's court nominees to remind voters that Democrats have blocked some of the White House's most-desired judicial nominees. The Senate will vote Tuesday on William Myers' nomination to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, but Republicans are not expected to get the 60 votes needed to get past Democrats' objections."
Posted at 18:40 by Howard Bashman



Party on! The Dallas Morning News today reports that "Burleson saleswoman aims to change obscenity laws; With county charges dropped, she's sticking with erotic toy parties." The Cleburne Times Review today reports that "County attorney breaks silence on Webb case" and yesterday reported that "County dismisses Webb sex-toy case." Reuters is reporting that "Texas Woman Who Sold Sex Toy Has Charges Dropped." And what dismissal of obscenity charges would be complete without a press release? Passion Parties has issued a press release entitled "Judge Dismisses Case against Passion Parties Consultant Joanne Webb for Selling Adult Toys; Texas Judge Drops Obscenity Charges."

For even more news coverage of these developments, see this post from last night.
Posted at 17:51 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Lobbied to Halt Juvenile Executions; Carter, Gorbachev, 48 Nations Join Friend of the Court Filing": The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 17:44 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court rules media can't publish mistakenly released transcripts": The Denver Post offers a news update that begins, "The Colorado Supreme Court today narrowly ruled that transcripts of a closed hearing in the Kobe Bryant sex-assault case that were mistakenly released to the media should not be published." The article concludes, "Media lawyers said they will probably appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 17:21 by Howard Bashman



Washington Legal Foundation files amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit arguing that recess appointment of Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. was lawful: You can access the amicus brief at this link.
Posted at 16:21 by Howard Bashman



The wire services are reporting: The Associated Press reports that "U.S. High Court Rejects Ga. Inmate's Stay"; "Bryant Accuser Fearful After ID Released"; and "Gunman Kills Israeli Judge Near Tel Aviv."

Reuters, meanwhile, reports that "Colorado Court Bars Bryant Transcripts Publication."
Posted at 15:49 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decides case involving Procter & Gamble, Amway, and the quite devilish looking NHL right-winger Miroslav Satan: You can access today's opinion, written by Circuit Judge Jerry E. Smith, at this link. On second thought, perhaps I've got the wrong Satan.
Posted at 14:38 by Howard Bashman



BREAKING NEWS -- Sharply divided Supreme Court of Colorado upholds prior restraint on the news media in Kobe Bryant case: You can access today's ruling at this link. Three of the court's seven justices dissented from the ruling and joined in a dissenting opinion that begins:
The question in this case is whether a court may prohibit publication of all or part of a transcript of an in camera rape shield hearing where the transcript was inadvertently released to the media by trial court personnel. In my view, two striking facts about this case make it obvious that the prior restraint issued by the district court is an unconstitutional violation of the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment. First, most of the private details of the alleged victim's sexual conduct around the time of the alleged rape, which is also the subject matter of the confidential hearings in this case, are already available through public court documents and other sources and have been widely reported by the media. Second, the media did nothing wrong in obtaining the transcripts. Under well-established prior restraint doctrine, these two factors alone require this Court to direct the district court to vacate its order immediately.
In early news coverage of the ruling, The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court Bars Publication of Kobe Transcript."
Posted at 12:17 by Howard Bashman



On the agenda: At 1 p.m. today, the U.S. Senate will begin debate on the nomination of William Gerry Myers III to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The debate can be viewed live online via C-SPAN2.

Tomorrow, the Senate is scheduled to hold a cloture vote on the Myers nomination. If the cloture vote fails, Myers will become the third Ninth Circuit resident (and second Ninth Circuit nominee) whose nomination to a U.S. Court of Appeals is currently being filibustered.

On Saturday, The Arizona Republic published an article headlined "Native Americans build political clout; Indians learning workings of power through alliances." The article reported that "If Indian country had a coming out of sorts, it occurred in February when NCAI joined 63 other groups to oppose the nomination of William Myers to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.... It was the first time that NCAI, which represents more than 500 tribes, had come out against any judicial nominee."
Posted at 12:00 by Howard Bashman



"Bush Campaign Focuses on Blocked Court Nominees": NPR's Nina Totenberg had this report (Real Player required) on today's broadcast of "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:36 by Howard Bashman



"Go Ahead, Call Us Cowboys: A visit to the Alaska-Canada border brings home the differences between the cultures." Ninth Circuit Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld and his wife, Judith Kleinfeld, have this essay today online at OpinionJournal. As mentioned in my "20 questions for the appellate judge" interview with Judge Kleinfeld, published in May 2003, geographically-speaking the location of his hometown chambers makes him the northernmost federal appellate judge in the United States.

It seems relatively easy to figure out which federal appellate judges qualify, based on the locations of their hometown chambers, as the westernmost and southernmost federal appellate judges in the United States. The question that I don't have the time to try and answer right now is "Which U.S. Court of Appeals judge, based on the location of his or her hometown chambers, qualifies as the easternmost federal appellate judge in the United States?" Readers who know the answer are invited to send it along via email.

Update: As several readers have already correctly emailed to observe, the southernmost federal appellate judge also qualifies as the easternmost, just barely surpassing his First Circuit-based colleague in Bangor, Maine. A couple of other readers have emailed to thank me for bringing to their attention that San Juan is south of Honolulu, as this chart confirms. That I was correct on that point is attributable to nothing other than pure luck.
Posted at 10:21 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "2nd Circuit Is Next Stop in Saga of Martha Stewart." In other news, "5th Circuit Says 'Blakely' Doesn't Apply to Sentencing Guidelines." And an article reports that "Army Reservist JAG Files Class Action; Suit claims Army rule barring civilian practice of law is too broad."
Posted at 10:12 by Howard Bashman



"Law Professor's Web Log Is Jurists' Must-Read": Congratulation to Law Professor Douglas A. Berman, whose relatively new blog "Sentencing Law and Policy" is the subject of this article published today in The Wall Street Journal. The article also mentions "Blakely Blog" and "SCOTUSblog."

Two passages from the article are worthy of special note. First:
Judge Cassell says judges and lawyers traditionally get information from paid legal Web sites, such as Westlaw and LexisNexis, which post published court rulings. By contrast, Mr. Berman's blog instantaneously posts unpublished opinions and, on occasion, even documents not intended for public consumption.

Mr. Berman caught flak this month for his posting of one such document -- a memo to federal prosecutors from Christopher Wray, the chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, that detailed how prosecutors ought to handle the Blakely ruling in the drafting of indictments and plea agreements. The memo carried a bold-faced warning: "The material in this document consists of attorney work product and should not be disseminated outside the Department of Justice."

While no one asked him to remove the Wray memo, Mr. Berman says, Justice Department officials made it clear to Mr. Berman that "they weren't ecstatic that it was up there." The Justice Department declined to comment.
While it's true that Westlaw and Lexis post published court rulings, the article is wrong to imply that Westlaw and Lexis do not post unpublished court rulings. Both Westlaw and Lexis are chock-full of unpublished court rulings. Indeed, some of the brand new unpublished district court rulings that Professor Berman has made available for free download via his blog appear to have come from Lexis (see here and here, for example). Astonishingly, free access to U.S. District Court rulings from those courts' own Web sites is lacking at this time in far too many districts.

And here's the second passage that's worthy of special note:
Mr. Berman may be forced to yield ground to competitors next month, when he is scheduled to take a long-planned vacation to Myrtle Beach, S.C. Like it or not, he will have to leave his work behind. The reason: "There's no Internet wiring in that beach house," says his wife, Christine Berman.
As someone who regularly abandons blogging for a week each month in August, I can admire Professor Berman's position. On the other hand, he could always bring along a laptop with wireless access and spend his entire vacation blogging from Starbucks.
Posted at 09:52 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Anne Gearan reports that "Court Asked to End Juvenile Executions." And in other news, "Lawyers Rally Around Death Row Inmate Case" and "Edwards Honed Campaign Skills in Courts."
Posted at 09:47 by Howard Bashman



"Our Imperial, Disingenuous, Indispensable Court": National Journal has posted online this essay by Stuart Taylor Jr.
Posted at 09:39 by Howard Bashman



"Quest for American justice on a South Pacific island; Everett man battles mining company on behalf of Bouganville residents": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Posted at 06:57 by Howard Bashman



"New Details Surface": The July 26, 2004 issue of The New Yorker contains this "Shouts and Murmurs" piece by Paul Simms elaborating on the exchange of words on the floor of the U.S. Senate between Vice President Cheney and Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT).
Posted at 06:40 by Howard Bashman



"Off the Court: New bill would block federal judges from hearing key gay-marriage cases." The Village Voice provides this report.
Posted at 06:39 by Howard Bashman



"No Manipulation in 'Memogate,' Says Civil Rights Commission Lawyer": CNSNews.com provides this report today.
Posted at 06:31 by Howard Bashman



"Doubt weighs on federal sentences; Supreme court ruling makes judges questions penalties": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle. The Arizona Republic reports today that "High court has Arizona scrambling; Sentencing statutes, guidelines are rendered unconstitutional." The Salt Lake Tribune reports today that "Sentencing rules face high scrutiny in wake of ruling; Who's to decide? The role of the jury vs. the judge in cases involving federal charges stirs debate in Utah." The Evansville Courier & Press reports today that "U.S. courts in 'chaos' over ruling." The Belleville News-Democrat reports today that "U.S. sentencing guidelines get mixed reviews; Final decision could clog court dockets." The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer reports today that "Ruling may affect some N.C. cases." The Daily Local News of West Chester, Pennsylvania reports today that "High court creates new guidelines on sentencing." And The Columbian of Vancouver, Washington reported on Saturday that "Burglar's sentence beyond max."
Posted at 06:14 by Howard Bashman



Sunday, July 18, 2004
The Los Angeles Times is reporting: In today's newspaper, Claire Luna has an article headlined "From Jury Box to Defense Table: Legal ethicists raise concerns about plan to use jurors in O.C. rape trial as consultants." The Magazine section contains an article headlined "A Final Resolution: An Oregon Man Suffering From an Untreatable Cancer Lives in the Only State Where He Can Legally Take His Own Life; He Makes the Decision." And Alex S. Jones has an op-ed entitled "Bloggers Are the Sizzle, Not the Steak; Convention seats do not turn Internet gossips into journalists."
Posted at 23:50 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The San Francisco Chronicle: An article is headlined "The chosen few: S.F.'s exclusive clubs carry on traditions of fellowship, culture -- and discrimination." And a news analysis is headlined "Bush's risky bet that gay marriage will inflame voters."
Posted at 23:46 by Howard Bashman



"Obscenity charges to be dropped in sex-toy case; Burleson woman's arrest for selling items brought national notice": This article appears today in The Dallas Morning News. And The Associated Press reports that "Obscenity Charge Vs. Texas Woman Dropped." The prosecution had drawn national attention and was even mentioned yesterday in an article headlined "Behind closed doors: 'Passion Parties,' catalogs, Web sites let women take control of their sexuality" published in The Louisville Courier-Journal.
Posted at 23:39 by Howard Bashman



Recent essays from columnist James J. Kilpatrick: You can access online op-eds entitled "Moses at the Bar" and "Term's End."
Posted at 22:51 by Howard Bashman



In Monday's issue of The New York Times: Tomorrow's newspaper will contain articles headlined "Kerry Building Legal Network for Vote Fights" and "In Georgia Case, the Reach of DNA Appeals Is Tested."
Posted at 22:49 by Howard Bashman



"Keep your laws off my sex jokes": Columnist Robyn E. Blumner today has this op-ed in The St. Petersburg Times about a case pending before the Supreme Court of California.
Posted at 22:42 by Howard Bashman



"Stewart's sentence leaves few satisfied; While some Martha fans say it doesn't fit the crime, others say it's another example of the rich getting off too easily": This article will appear in Monday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 22:31 by Howard Bashman



"Reading Between The Sentences: The Blakely ruling may have ushered in not just a period of chaos but a serious review of what a sane criminal-justice policy looks like." Ellis Cose will have this article in the July 26, 2004 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 19:30 by Howard Bashman



"Stick to the 'rule' over racial preference; UT would be wrong to drop it": Law Professor Lino A. Graglia has this op-ed today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 16:20 by Howard Bashman



"Her wilderness: Millie Read, the daughter of a U.S. Supreme Court justice who was an ardent environmentalist and author, built her home in the mountainous scenery she loved as a child." The Oregonian today contains this profile of the 74-year-old daughter of William O. Douglas.
Posted at 12:02 by Howard Bashman



"New justices start track record with tough decisions; First year: Ronald E. Nehring and Jill N. Parrish wrestle with hard issues including water law, religious use of peyote, fetal homicide statute and a State Farm case." This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.
Posted at 12:00 by Howard Bashman



"Martha Stewart's appellate attorney well known in legal circles": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:59 by Howard Bashman



"Group rallies in favor of 'In God We Trust' motto; U.S. Motto Action Committee backs effort to get Thomasville to put sign on City Hall": This article appears today in The Winston-Salem Journal.
Posted at 10:10 by Howard Bashman



"Our Cross to Bear?" Judy Gruen, a columnist for Religion News Service, recently had an op-ed that begins, "At first blush it seemed an odd thing for an observant Jew to do: Slogging my way through morning rush-hour traffic to get downtown to demonstrate against the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' decision to remove a small cross from the county seal."
Posted at 10:09 by Howard Bashman



"With honor and justice; For 20 years, Barker has left her personal, principled stamp on the federal bench": This article appears today in The Indianapolis Star.
Posted at 10:04 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court creates seismic shift in legal system; Justices upend rules on sentencing, hearsay testimony": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "Judge tests U.S. sentencing rules; Never a stranger to controversy, Hudson says court has discretion." The Lawrence Journal-World reports today that "Congress may look to Kansas for sentencing guidance." The Toledo Blade reports today that "Federal sentence guidelines are up in air after decisions; Some comparing impact to Miranda rights ruling." And The Providence Journal reports today that "Cianci appeals prison term, citing ruling; The former mayor and two of his co-defendants say their sentences are unconstitutional."
Posted at 09:51 by Howard Bashman



Saturday, July 17, 2004
Philadelphia -- "The place that loves you back" or "The place in which you can work as a summer associate and get stabbed in the back"? The Philadelphia Inquirer today reports that "Law student's stabbing an aberration, police say; Joshua Harman, an intern at the D.A.'s Office, was attacked just outside on Arch Street; He left the hospital yesterday." And yesterday's newspaper reported that "Stabbing victim happy to be alive." Harman is pictured on the cover of today's issue of The Philadelphia Daily News, which contains an article that credits him with heroism.
Posted at 23:54 by Howard Bashman



"Protecting us without tainting the Constitution": Geoffrey Forden has this op-ed today in The Boston Globe. And last Monday, Nat Hentoff had an op-ed entitled "When the Constitution trumps the president" in The Washington Times.
Posted at 23:52 by Howard Bashman



The Washington Times is reporting: Today's newspaper reports that "Obesity policy will benefit trial lawyers." In other news, "Tribunals set for Guantanamo detainees." And an article reports that "Montana adds referendum on marriage to its ballot."
Posted at 23:46 by Howard Bashman



The Los Angeles Times is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Stewart Gets 5 Months in Prison, Then Delivers a Plug for Her Firm" and "A Good Thing for Stewart's Company: Its stock soars amid the belief that the founder's stock-trading scandal is now largely behind it"
Posted at 23:39 by Howard Bashman



"Parents Must Be Present at Nudist Camp for Youths": Adam Liptak, never one to pass-up an interesting law-related story, traveled to Virginia to file this report for The New York Times on a nudist camp for teenagers. Some stories demand first-hand research, and Liptak's report does indeed contain many humorous passages that only an eyewitness account could provide.

In other "coverage," The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that "Judge refuses to block law on nudist camp." The Virginian-Pilot reports that "Teen nudists must now be accompanied, judge decides." And The Washington Times reports that "Judge upholds law on teen nudist camp."
Posted at 23:28 by Howard Bashman



In news from Orange County, California: The Los Angeles Times on Thursday reported that "Young Haidl Lands in New Snarl; Son of a sheriff's official is questioned about sex with a minor this week in San Clemente." Yesterday, the newspaper reported that "Gang-Rape Defendant Haidl Faces New Sex Allegation." And today, The LATimes reports that "Rackauckas Calls Haidl a Threat to Girls; The new rape allegation against the teen shows why he should be jailed while awaiting retrial on gang-rape charges, the district attorney says."

The Orange County Register, meanwhile, reported on Thursday that "New charges possible against Haidl; Defendant facing retrial in gang rape suspected of having sex with a minor" and "Underage-sex case possible without minor's complaint; County prosecutors reviewing evidence after latest accusation against Haidl." Yesterday, the newspaper reported that "Haidl's lawyer says DA rushed charges; 'He is not a threat to the public,' he says of rape suspect newly accused of sex with minor, a misdemeanor." And today, The OCRegister contains articles headlined "Jail Haidl until trial, D.A. says; Rackauckas wants bail revoked, saying latest arrest makes teen a risk to flee and threat to public; Hearing next week" and "Haidl met girl night of mistrial; D.A. might use statutory-rape arrest against Haidl in sexual-assault retrial."
Posted at 23:17 by Howard Bashman



"Court Shows Wariness of Weary Truckers": This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" included this report (Real Player required).
Posted at 20:19 by Howard Bashman



The New York Times is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "5 Months in Jail, and Stewart Vows, 'I'll Be Back'"; "Prison Blues: 12˘ an Hour, Loss of Control and No Tennis"; and "Stewart Likely to Influence Her Company, Even From Jail." In other news, "Justice Dept. Says Threat Is Not Issue for Election." And a related editorial is entitled "A Bad Idea, Rejected."
Posted at 20:12 by Howard Bashman



Really untimely nominees for the title of "Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary": Unlike Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, who was given relief from the nomination deadline because he nominated himself, these other untimely nominees apparently didn't nominate themselves, and therefore you aren't allowed to vote for them. You can still read about them, however, in this post at the blog "Underneath Their Robes." (Now if only someone can explain why the "Greedy Clerks Board" uses pacific coast time for the timestamps it attaches to postings.)

P.S. Hmmm, some people apparently don't know how to keep a secret (or perhaps I'd only link to something like this if it's false?).

Update: Someday academics will hold symposiums (or, for the benefit of my Greek readers, symposia) on the optimal length of blog posts. For now, a debate rages over whether especially lengthy blog posts, of the sort one finds at "Underneath Their Robes," are to be preferred over really pithy blog posts, of the sort one finds in other places. In any event, a pitfall common to really long blog posts is that one skims over their contents at his or her own risk. But, at least I'm in especially good company, as explained in this post at (where else!) the blog "Underneath Their Robes."
Posted at 19:48 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The Washington Post: An article reports that "Appeals Court Rejects Longer Trucker Shifts; Rule Change Allowed 11 Hours at a Stretch." In other news, "Martha Stewart Sentenced To Prison; Punishment Postponed As She Appeals Verdict" and "In the Court of Public Opinion, Martha Merits A Split Decision." And in regional news, "Justice Dept. Rebukes U.S. Attorney in Md.; DiBiagio, Who Sought Public Corruption Indictments, Must Receive Prior Approval."
Posted at 19:40 by Howard Bashman



"Medical malpractice war gives voters the ammo; Ballot initiatives from lawyers and physicians are headed for the November ballot": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 17:07 by Howard Bashman



"Gay-suit petition by GOP berated": The Seattle Times contains this article today.
Posted at 17:06 by Howard Bashman



"Hustler store passes official inspection, opens": This article appears today in The Lexington Herald-Leader.
Posted at 17:04 by Howard Bashman



"Kennewick Man appeal unlikely": The Tri-City Herald of Washington State contains this article today.
Posted at 17:03 by Howard Bashman



"Father slams Guantanamo tribunals": BBC News provides this report.
Posted at 17:02 by Howard Bashman



"Ruling may lead to shorter prison sentences; Decision could give judges less power, make trials longer": The Ventura County Star today contains an article that begins, "A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has created a maelstrom of confusion in state and federal courts that could result in drastically reduced prison sentences and pave the way for a litany of appeals."
Posted at 16:59 by Howard Bashman



"A death row all to herself; In Georgia, only one woman is awaiting execution": Sunday's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will contain this article.
Posted at 16:57 by Howard Bashman



"DiBiagio gets formal rebuke from his boss; Unusual public reprimand for prosecutor's directives; 'Protecting office's credibility'; Public corruption cases must get superior's OK": This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun. That newspaper today also contains an article headlined "Md. prosecutor's office has hit corruption hard; For three decades, Maryland's U.S. attorneys made names for themselves by sending corrupt officials to jail." And the text of yesterday's letter from Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey to Maryland's U.S. Attorney can be accessed here.
Posted at 13:27 by Howard Bashman



Congratulations to my friends at "OxBlog" for the mention that blog received today on the front page of The New York Times: It occurred in an article headlined "Young Right Tries to Define Post-Buckley Future."
Posted at 13:20 by Howard Bashman



"Tribes quit long fight over Kennewick Man's remains; The case appears to be over and the stage set for scientific study, barring a federal appeal to the Supreme Court": This article appeared yesterday in The Oregonian.
Posted at 08:21 by Howard Bashman



"Moving Quickly, U.S. Is Readying Review Panels for Cuba Base": Neil A. Lewis of The New York Times today provides this report. In other coverage, BBC News reports that "Guantanamo tribunals start soon." And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that "Pentagon to review detainees in Cuba."
Posted at 08:17 by Howard Bashman



"Court Voids Idaho Parental Consent Law": The Associated Press reports here that "A federal appeals court on Friday threw out an Idaho law requiring girls under age 18 to get parental consent for abortions, ruling that its provisions on emergency abortions were too strict."
Posted at 08:16 by Howard Bashman



"Philip Morris USA Urges Florida Supreme Court To Uphold Lower Appellate Court Decision To Decertify Engle Class And Vacate Judgment": Altria Group, Inc. issued this press release yesterday.
Posted at 08:14 by Howard Bashman



"Judges ponder court's ruling; Supreme Court says juries must look at facts that add to defendant's penalty": The Post-Standard of Syracuse, New York today contains this article. The Miami Herald reports here today that "A Fort Lauderdale lawyer on Friday asked all 24 federal judges in the Southern District of Florida to rule on the constitutionality of a far-reaching U.S. Supreme Court decision on sentencing guidelines." And The Kentucky Post reports today that "Judges left confused by demise of guidelines; Courts overruling sentencing rules."
Posted at 07:50 by Howard Bashman



Ten Commandments news: The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Veterans will take display on tour; Alabama justice lost his position over monument." The Montgomery Advertiser reports today that "Moore to move monument." And The Birmingham News reports today that "No fanfare planned for monument removal." Meanwhile, The Chillicothe Gazette today contains an article headlined "A debate of biblical proportions; Ten Commandments displays hotly debated in Ohio, nation."
Posted at 07:45 by Howard Bashman



"Senate to Vote on Appeals Court Nominee": The Associated Press reports here that "Senate Republicans on Friday scheduled a vote next week on an appeals court nominee strongly opposed by environmentalists, renewing a battle in which Democrats have prevailed in blocking some of President Bush's more controversial choices for the bench. On Tuesday the Senate will vote on whether to consider Bush's nomination of Idaho lawyer William G. Myers III to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 07:30 by Howard Bashman



Friday, July 16, 2004
"Stewart to Appeal Five-Month Sentence": This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" included this report (Real Player required).
Posted at 23:24 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Cleanup in Aisle 4: Blakely is too big and messy to ignore." Law Professor Douglas Berman has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate this evening.
Posted at 22:57 by Howard Bashman



"Court Ruling Cited in Stewart Reprieve": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 17:36 by Howard Bashman



"Partisanship Is Their Principle: Senate Dems on judges -- then and now." Edwin Meese III today has this essay at National Review Online.
Posted at 16:00 by Howard Bashman



"Marriage case moves closer to high court; An appeals court agrees not to hear a challenge to Oregon's marriage law, clearing the way for justices to take up the issue": This article appears today in The Oregonian.
Posted at 15:57 by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge Seventh Circuit panel, in an opinion by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, upholds class certification of RICO challenge in a case involving tax refund anticipation loans: You can access today's very interesting ruling, in a case in which the class consists of millions of people, at this link.
Posted at 15:47 by Howard Bashman



Filibuster cloture vote scheduled for next Tuesday on Ninth Circuit nominee William Gerry Myers III: Earthjustice, an organization opposed to the nomination, has issued this press release. Update: Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), ranking Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has issued this statement.
Posted at 15:41 by Howard Bashman



The wire services are reporting: The Associated Press reports that "Battle Over Kennewick Man Appears Over" and "Navy: Guantanamo Inmates Want Tribunals."

Reuters, meanwhile, reports that "Swede Freed from Guantanamo Wants to Sue U.S. Govt" and "Nevada First to Use Electronic Voting with Printers." You'd have to be homophonebic to oppose litigation brought by freed Swedes.
Posted at 15:16 by Howard Bashman



"Washington's Violent Videogame Law Held Unconstitutional": Ernest Miller -- writing at the Corante blog "The Importance Of ..." -- offers this thorough analysis of yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Of particular interest, the court ruled that graphic depictions of violence, lacking any sexual component, simply don't qualify as legally obscene.
Posted at 14:18 by Howard Bashman



"Court Throws Out New Trucker Driving Rules": Reuters provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today. And in other coverage, The AP reports that "New Trucker Rules Overturned by Court."
Posted at 14:15 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Banished Alabama Monument to Tour U.S." and "AP Seeks Release of Bush Military Records."
Posted at 13:21 by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge Ninth Circuit panel declares unconstitutional Idaho law governing minors' access to abortion services: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 13:09 by Howard Bashman



"Crash victim beats the odds in high court": When a pro se litigant wins, it can make news, as this article published today in The Seattle Times illustrates.
Posted at 13:03 by Howard Bashman



"Divide and Rule: The terrorism cases show that the Supreme Court's real division isn't left versus right--it's pragmatist versus legalist." Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 11:58 by Howard Bashman



"Martha Stewart Gets 5 Months in Prison": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:34 by Howard Bashman



"Democrat demands DiBiagio resign; Prosecutor could face political, credibility issues after remarks in e-mail; Ehrlich defends U.S. attorney": This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun, along with an editorial entitled "Head hunting" and an op-ed by columnist Michael Olesker entitled "Forgetting to use his head, DiBiagio puts foot in mouth." In other coverage, The Washington Post today reports that "Md. Prosecutor Accused Of Playing Politics."
Posted at 09:44 by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: Today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained segments entitled "Visiting Guantanamo Detainees" and "Sentencing Day for Martha Stewart."

Yesterday's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained segments entitled "CIA Headed for Court Showdown with Ex-Spy" and "Senator: More Hearings on Prison Torture Likely."

And yesterday's broadcast of "Talk of the Nation" contained segments entitled "Debating the Merits of Class Action Lawsuits" and "Sentencing Consultants."

To play these audio segments, Real Player is required.
Posted at 09:31 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Jeff Chorney reports that "Calif. Supreme Court to Weigh 'Blakely' Impact in State." And Shannon P. Duffy reports that "'Inflammatory' Closing Leads to New Arson Trial."
Posted at 09:19 by Howard Bashman



"War between law, medicine goes to voters; 'Bad' doctors and 'greedy' trial lawyers are at the center of four constitutional amendments that the state's high court cleared for the ballot": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 08:14 by Howard Bashman



"Court: School has right to expel student; The Rhode Island Supreme Court overturns a Superior Court ruling in 2002 that bars St. Raphael Academy from expelling a student for refusing to cut his hair." The Providence Journal today contains this article.
Posted at 08:10 by Howard Bashman



"NAACP honors federal judge who argued 'Brown' case": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 08:09 by Howard Bashman



"Dangerous Executive Power": Abner Mikva has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:07 by Howard Bashman



"Sentencing guidelines decision affects several S.C. cases; Appellate court in Richmond to decide how questionable new rules should be applied": This article appears today in The Charleston Post and Courier.
Posted at 07:54 by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer fees criticized in Wake; Defenders of poor paid well in Wake": The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina today contains an article that begins, "Raleigh lawyer Larkin Kirkman was paid more last year for representing poor people in court -- more than $137,000 -- than I. Beverly Lake earned as chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court."
Posted at 07:03 by Howard Bashman



"Stewart Loses in Attempt to Affect Sentencing": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge has refused to grant Martha Stewart's request to have the federal sentencing guidelines declared unconstitutional." In other coverage, The Washington Post reports that "Judge Turns Down Stewart Defense; Federal Guidelines Intact for Sentence." The Los Angeles Times reports that "Stewart Likely to Get Time in Prison Camp." And USA Today reports that "Stewart to learn today if she'll go to prison."
Posted at 06:47 by Howard Bashman



"Ban on violent videos struck down; State law aimed at minors violates free speech, judge rules": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Posted at 06:35 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, July 15, 2004
"No-Good Lazy Justices: After the Supreme Court's sentencing case, the sky is falling. Hooray!" Slate's Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online this evening.
Posted at 20:32 by Howard Bashman



"Grounds for Appeal? Clinton-Era Solicitor General to Make Case; ABC News Learns Details of Argument." abcNEWS.com offers this report.
Posted at 16:32 by Howard Bashman



"Civil Rights Panel Poised to Discuss Senate 'Memogate' Affair": CNSNews.com today offers this report.
Posted at 16:15 by Howard Bashman



"Ruling May Change Drug Dealer Sentencing": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 15:51 by Howard Bashman



F-word drama celebrates the end of its final scene in Utah: The Salt Lake Tribune reports today that "U. settles case over student's rights on stage; Script vs. scripture: The school also agrees to draft a policy on when religious beliefs merit exceptions." And The Deseret News reports today that "U., Axson-Flynn settle civil rights suit; Planned policy at U. will accommodate religious beliefs." Yesterday, in a post you can access here, I wondered whether the settlement agreement contained any profanity, given that the Tenth Circuit's ruling had. As it turns out, a copy of the settlement agreement is available at this link.
Posted at 13:52 by Howard Bashman



"Martha Stewart Loses Bid to Toss Sentence Rules": Reuters reports here that "Martha Stewart's lawyers on Thursday lost a bid to invalidate the federal guidelines to be used a day later to determine the trendsetter's sentence for lying about the reason behind a suspicious stock trade."
Posted at 13:33 by Howard Bashman



"Insurance claim disallowed; Mother of woman killed on job had hired Greta Van Susteren of Fox to represent her": The Indianapolis Star today contains an article that begins, "Just because your television commentator/lawyer doesn't show up in court doesn't mean you get a second chance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a case involving Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren." You can access the ruling at this link. Thanks to "The Indiana Law Blog" for the pointer.
Posted at 13:18 by Howard Bashman



Divided three-judge Eighth Circuit panel upholds award of $1 in damages, and $1.50 in attorneys' fees, to inmate who won a lawsuit against prison employees for violation of his First Amendment rights: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit at this link. The issue that divided the panel was one over which the federal courts of appeals are already in conflict -- whether the Prison Litigation Reform Act bars compensatory damages for violations of the First Amendment.
Posted at 12:47 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Hill: The publication contains articles headlined "New GOP gay-ban tactics; Court powers could be taken away, says majority leader" and "48-50 vote ends debate for a while."
Posted at 08:19 by Howard Bashman



"Mother seeks high court order to block circumcision": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.
Posted at 08:17 by Howard Bashman



"Bush's Judges: Right-Wing Ideologues." truthout offers this op-ed by Law Professor Marjorie Cohn.
Posted at 07:11 by Howard Bashman



Small-town news: The Daily Dispatch of Henderson, North Carolina reports today that "Local lawyer gets to argue before U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 07:09 by Howard Bashman



Ten Commandments news: From Ohio, The Mansfield News Journal reports today that "DeWeese loses battle."

Meanwhile, from Minnesota, The Duluth News Tribune reports today that "Monument to stay in Duluth; A Twin Cities-area church gives the monument to a local group, which will put the Commandments up in Canal Park." And The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that "Lakeville church's gift keeps monument in Duluth."
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"Moore's wife wants justices out; Kayla Moore asks justices not to hear appeal in injury case": The Birmingham News today contains an article that begins, "An attorney for Kayla Moore, wife of former Chief Justice Roy Moore, has asked all eight associate justices of the Alabama Supreme Court not to participate in her pending appeal in a personal-injury case."
Posted at 07:03 by Howard Bashman



"Guidelines on sentencing aren't binding, court rules; Court tosses U.S. guidelines in sentencing; Ruling could mean tougher sentence for 2; Lawyers say ruling creates 'anarchy'; Court upholds flexibility in sentencing": This article appears today in The Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports today that "Rulings put courts in turmoil; Federal crime sentencing system upended." The Tennessean reports today that "Sentencing latitude given to judges." The Hartford Courant reports today that "Ruling Jolts Court System; Sentencing Guidelines On Shaky Ground." And The Washington Post today contains an editorial entitled "A Supreme Mess."
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, July 14, 2004
"Detainees in Cuba Told of Right to Contest Charges": This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" included this report (Real Player required).
Posted at 23:56 by Howard Bashman



"Ban on Gay Marriage Fails; Senate Vote on Amendment Is a Defeat for Bush": Thursday's issue of The Washington Post will contain this report. Thursday's issue of The New York Times will contain articles headlined "Senators Block Initiative to Ban Same-Sex Unions" and "Bush Refines His Position on a Measure Banning Gay Marriage." The Los Angeles Times offers a news update headlined "Senate Stops Amendment on Same-Sex Marriage." This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained a segment entitled "Senate Won't Vote on Gay Marriage Ban" (Real Player required). And in somewhat related news, The Cincinnati Enquirer today contains an article headlined "Accept us as parents, pair ask in appeal."
Posted at 23:46 by Howard Bashman



"Blakely pleads not guilty to soliciting death of wife": This article appears today in The Columbia Basin Herald. And online at law.com, Jeff Chorney reports that "Calif. Law Professor Leads Effort to Rehear 'Blakely.'"
Posted at 23:36 by Howard Bashman



"Price Plaintiffs Ask Illinois Supreme Court To Ignore Law In Order To Uphold $10.1 Billion Class Action Verdict": Altria Group, Inc. issued this press release today.
Posted at 19:30 by Howard Bashman



"Student, University Settle F-Word Case": The AP reports here that "The University of Utah agreed Wednesday to let students opt out of activities that conflict with their religious beliefs, settling a lawsuit brought by a Mormon drama student who refused to recite lines that contained the f-word and took the Lord's name in vain." It remains unclear whether the settlement agreement actually contains profanity.

My report on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit's ruling in this case -- a ruling from early February 2004 that unquestionably does contain profanity -- can be accessed here. Earlier press coverage about this case can be accessed here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Posted at 16:32 by Howard Bashman



No longer crazy after all these years: The Associated Press reports, in an article headlined "Ex-Dentist at Center of Ruling to Be Tried," that "A former dentist at the center of a Supreme Court ruling concerning the involuntary medication of mentally ill defendants has been found competent to stand trial." And The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that "Judge rules dentist held for years is mentally fit for trial." The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling from June 2003 in Sell v. United States can be accessed here, and my summary of that ruling is available at this link (second item).
Posted at 16:22 by Howard Bashman



Supreme Court of California today grants review in a case that will allow the court to decide the effect of Blakely v. Washington on criminal sentencing in California: You can access the docket entries in the California case, revealing the issues on which review has been granted, at this link.
Posted at 15:56 by Howard Bashman



In news from Canada: CBC News reports here that "The Yukon has become the fourth jurisdiction in the country to legalize gay marriages. The Yukon Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that two gay men, Stephene Dunbar and Rob Edge, should be able to marry, and they will, this Saturday."
Posted at 15:51 by Howard Bashman



"First 'Blakely' Sighting at 9th Circuit; More Expected": Jeff Chorney has this article online today at law.com.
Posted at 14:36 by Howard Bashman



In this post-9/11 world, federal prosecutors in their closing arguments can no longer go around calling really bad people "terrorists" unless those really bad people have been charged with committing acts of terrorism: This rule will be enforced especially stringently when the closing argument occurs near the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. See this ruling that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued today.
Posted at 14:12 by Howard Bashman



"Senate Scuttles Gay Marriage Amendment": The Associated Press provides this report. Reuters reports that "Senate blocks Bush move to ban same-sex marriage." At MSNBC.com, Howard Fineman has a news analysis headlined "How Frist fumbled on gay marriage amendment; Procedural mistake lets Democrats avoid voting on hot-button issue." And you can access the U.S. Senate's roll call vote tally on the procedural maneuver in question at this link.
Posted at 14:07 by Howard Bashman



"Hatch exploring a 'fix' for sentencing turmoil": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune. I collected additional, related news coverage this morning in a post you can access here, and don't forget this morning's Sixth Circuit ruling, which I first noted here.
Posted at 12:14 by Howard Bashman



"Report Card from the U.S. Supreme Court: How the Third Circuit Fared in the October 2003 Term." The text of the brand new installment of my monthly appellate column, which appeared in The Legal Intelligencer on Monday, can now be accessed online at this link.
Posted at 12:04 by Howard Bashman



"Choosing Death": Today in The New York Times, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has this op-ed concerning the federal government's legal challenge to Oregon's Death With Dignity law. My coverage of the Ninth Circuit's recent ruling on the matter, in which the federal government has just filed for rehearing en banc, can be accessed here.
Posted at 11:36 by Howard Bashman



"Mass. Court Weighs Nonresident Gays' Right to Wed": Today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" included this report (Real Player required). And in related coverage, The Boston Globe today reports that "Gays seek an injunction on 1913 marriage law," while The Boston Herald reports that "Injunction sought vs. nonresident wed ban."
Posted at 10:36 by Howard Bashman



Divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel rules in favor of ACLU, and against ACLJ, in appeal over whether Ohio state court trial judge may display Ten Commandments poster in his courtroom: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit at this link (HTML) and at this link (PDF). In so ruling, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the decision of U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. O'Malley.

This dispute has generated some news coverage. The Associated Press previously has reported that "6th Circuit court hears argument for commandments" and "Ohio judge told to remove Ten Commandments poster." The Mansfield News Journal, earlier this year, reported that "AU packed for judge; Embattled former Alabama chief justice shares fight, podium with DeWeese."

The American Civil Liberties Union has previously issued press releases entitled "ACLU of Ohio Wins Ten Commandments Suit Against County Judge; Federal Court Orders Poster Removed From Mansfield Courtroom" and "Federal Appeals Court Denies Stay in Ten Commandments Case; Injunction Left Standing – Courtroom Poster Must Come Down." And the American Center for Law and Justice has issued press releases entitled "ACLJ Asks Federal Appeals Court to Declare Ten Commandments in Ohio Judge's Courtroom Constitutional" and "ACLJ Asks Federal Court to Dismiss ACLU Lawsuit Against Ohio Judge Over Display of Ten Commandments."
Posted at 10:01 by Howard Bashman



BREAKING NEWS -- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit becomes the second federal appellate court to hold that Blakely v. Washington invalidates U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: The key passage from the opinion of Senior Circuit Judge Gilbert S. Merritt, on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel, is:
Therefore, in order to comply with Blakely and the Sixth Amendment, the mandatory system of fixed rules calibrating sentences automatically to facts found by judges must be displaced by an indeterminate system in which the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in fact become "guidelines" in the dictionary-definition sense ("an indication or outline of future policy," Webster's International Dictionary (3d ed. 1963)). The "guidelines" will become simply recommendations that the judge should seriously consider but may disregard when she believes that a different sentence is called for. This solution to the immediate problem in federal sentencing is not inconsistent with the alternative position by the Deputy Attorney General in his memo to federal prosecutors, a memo forwarded to the federal judiciary on July 7, 2004. ("In that event [when the guidelines may not be applied as mandatory rules], the government should urge the court to impose sentence, exercising traditional judicial discretion, within the applicable statutory sentence range" with the "recommendation in all such cases ... that the court exercise its discretion to impose a sentence that conforms to a sentence under the Guidelines....")

The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, which gave rise to the present determinate sentencing system, does not by its terms require a mandatory, rule-bound system calibrating sentences to judicially-found facts. The statutory language would have allowed the creation of an indeterminate system in which the guidelines are simply considerations for Article III federal judges to access before passing sentence. The most important provision of the statute, section 3553(a) of Title 18, simply says that "the court, in determining the particular sentence to be imposed, shall consider" a large number of listed factors like the "seriousness of the offense" and the "characteristics of the defendant," only one of which is the "kind of sentence and the sentencing range established" by the Sentencing Commission. In addition to the various factors that a judge should "consider" as listed in Section 3553(a), the next sub-section counsels the judge to consider the "aggravating or mitigating circumstances" of the particular case. The Sentencing Commission itself interpreted the statutory language and converted this advisory language into the kind of mandatory rules of a determinate system of sentencing that the Supreme Court has now invalidated. In light of Blakely, and the language of the enabling act itself, a district judge should no longer view herself as operating a mandatory or determinate sentencing system, but rather should view the guidelines in general as recommendations to be considered and then applied only if the judge believes they are appropriate and in the interests of justice in the particular case.
The opinion can be accessed online here (HTML) and here (PDF).
Posted at 09:35 by Howard Bashman



"Reason 51, Prejudice 46": Paul Greenberg has this essay online today at Townhall.com. And on Monday, John Brummett of the Arkansas News Bureau had an essay entitled "Religion as a mere compartment of life."
Posted at 08:27 by Howard Bashman



Ten Commandments news: The Seattle Times today reports that "Moving monument a debate of 'shalt' vs. 'shalt not.'" And The Duluth News Tribune reports today that "Monument goes to Lakeville church; Duluth bidders lose the monument to Celebration Church near the Twin Cities."
Posted at 08:20 by Howard Bashman



"Voters May Get a Say on Cross in County Seal": The Los Angeles Times today contains this news brief.
Posted at 07:09 by Howard Bashman



"'Damned to hell'": The Birmingham News today contains an article that begins, "Alabama's ousted chief justice, Roy Moore, told Supreme Court Justice Gorman Houston that Houston was damned to hell for 'covering God' when he moved a Ten Commandments monument from the judicial building rotunda, Houston told a civic group Tuesday."
Posted at 07:07 by Howard Bashman



The Knight Ridder Newspapers are reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Gay marriage amendment expected to fall short in Senate" and "Ashcroft releases report saying Patriot Act has helped solve crimes."
Posted at 06:57 by Howard Bashman



"Kerry Has Pressed A Long Campaign To Rein in Judges; Opposes 'Judicial Junkets'": Josh Gerstein has this front page article in today's issue of The New York Sun. On a related note, the September 2002 installment of my monthly appellate column published in The Legal Intelligencer was titled "Privately-Sponsored Educational Junkets For Federal Judges -- Should They Be A Cause For Concern?"
Posted at 06:53 by Howard Bashman



"High Court Sentence Views Flummox Judges": Anne Gearan of The Associated Press provides this report. The Deseret Morning News reports that "Sentencing angst deepens." The Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that "Sentence guidelines are moot, judge says; The jurist, Stewart Dalzell, cited a Supreme Court ruling in sentencing a drug dealer to half the recommended term." The Virginian-Pilot reports that "Supreme Court decision shakes up sentencing process on local scene." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that "Federal sentences here are in limbo after ruling." The San Antonio Express-News reports today that "5th Circuit backs sentence guidelines." The Tennessean reports today that "Convict points to ruling as bar to stiffer sentence; Supreme Court case cut penalty power of judges." Finally for now, an article published today in The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on a sentencing yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in which the judge concluded that "the Blakely case does not affect federal law."
Posted at 06:37 by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, July 13, 2004
"Judge trims murderer's term": In news from Washington State, The Olympian today contains an article that begins, "A Thurston County judge reduced by 19 months the sentence of a convicted murderer Monday in the first local example of the effect of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision."
Posted at 17:19 by Howard Bashman



"Justice Breyer's academic supporter" weighs in on Blakely v. Washington: Justice Antonin Scalia, in footnote five of his majority opinion in Blakely, refers to Law Professor Stephanos Bibas as one of "Justice Breyer's academic supporters." Today, the blog "Sentencing Law and Policy" has posted online Professor Bibas's brand new draft article, "Blakely's Federal Aftermath."
Posted at 16:29 by Howard Bashman



"First Amendment plays second fiddle this term": Tony Mauro today has this essay online at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 15:51 by Howard Bashman



"Judge Not: The scramble to make sense of Blakely." Hanah Metchis today has this essay online at Reason. And today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" included a segment entitled "Slate's Jurisprudence: High Court's Sentencing Chaos" (Real Player required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick.
Posted at 15:45 by Howard Bashman



"Job Satisfaction in the Legal Industry": This article appears online at LawCrossing.com.
Posted at 15:05 by Howard Bashman



"Judges: Foul balls fair game in court; Fans get protection at concession areas." The Newark Star-Ledger today contains this report on a decision that the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division issued yesterday. And in other coverage, The Associated Press reports that "N.J. Baseball Fans Can Sue if Hit by Ball."
Posted at 14:04 by Howard Bashman



A must-read from Judge Posner -- "The People's Court": In the July 19, 2004 issue of The New Republic, Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner has this quite fascinating review of Law Professor Larry D. Kramer's book, "The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review."
Posted at 13:46 by Howard Bashman



"Martha Stewart to Be Sentenced on Friday": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:52 by Howard Bashman



"FDIC loses in Superior Bank suit; Pritzkers stood to receive share": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "A federal lawsuit against accounting firm Ernst & Young over its role in the failure of a bank co-owned by the Pritzker family is without merit, a three-judge panel in Chicago has ruled. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. sued over the failure of Superior Bank, seeking $2 billion from Ernst & Young--more than $500 million lost to the agency's insurance fund plus triple damages." And The Associated Press reports that "Suit Against E&Y Ruled Without Merit." You can access last Thursday's very interesting ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, written by Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, at this link.
Posted at 10:46 by Howard Bashman



"30 groups will support tobacco verdict": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "Thirty organizations representing consumer groups, medical organizations and law schools were set to file friend-of-the-court briefs Monday with the Illinois Supreme Court in support of a $10.1 billion class action verdict against Philip Morris."
Posted at 10:29 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Dems Nix Idea of 2 Gay Marriage Measures" and "Attorneys Fight for Philip Morris Judgment."
Posted at 10:15 by Howard Bashman



The Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on "Blakely v. Washington and the Future of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines" is now underway: You can view the hearing live online at this link (Real Player required).
Posted at 10:07 by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained segments entitled "International Law Leaves Mark on High Court Decisions" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Court Weighs Ohio Sentences Curbing Procreation"; "Senate Begins Debate on Gay Marriage Ban"; and "Annexes to Taguba Report Shed Light on Abu Ghraib Life" (Real Player required).
Posted at 09:54 by Howard Bashman



View online former Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson's Term-in-review speech to The Federalist Society: Via C-SPAN, you can view his speech at this link (Real Player required).

And the Term-in-review session that I participated in yesterday can be viewed online via this link (Real Player required).
Posted at 09:42 by Howard Bashman



The witness list for this morning's Senate Judiciary Hearing concerning "Blakely v. Washington and the Future of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines" is now available online: You can access it here.
Posted at 09:35 by Howard Bashman



"Superhotties Fallout: UTR Corrections and Clarifications." The blog "Underneath Their Robes" offers this update. And the ABA Journal eReport offers an article headlined "Bench Beauties: Web Site Turns Jurists Into Hot Gossip Items."

Update: An email I received from a friend this morning states: "Admit it, you are A3G." Sadly, I'm prohibited from commenting on the subject of the identity of that blog's author.
Posted at 08:44 by Howard Bashman



In news from Oregon: The Salem Statesman Journal reports today that "Court asked to overrule assisted suicide law; Bush administration wants Death with Dignity Act repealed."
Posted at 08:33 by Howard Bashman



"Tabloid spilled name in sex case; The British News of the World printed the boy's name and photo in its July 4 issue but later pulled them off its site": The St. Petersburg Times today contains this article.
Posted at 08:29 by Howard Bashman



"Senate's gay marriage debate veers into polygamy discussion": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune. And The Deseret Morning News reports today that "Hatch draws the line; He supports rights for gay couples -- but not marriage."
Posted at 08:26 by Howard Bashman



"Detainees told they are permitted to challenge their captivity": The Knight Ridder Newspapers offer an article that begins, "The Pentagon began informing detainees at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Monday that they could challenge their captivity before newly created military tribunals. But the one-page notice, which was translated into 17 languages, provided scant information about the detainees' right to petition a federal judge for release and made no mention of a recent Supreme Court decision affirming that right."
Posted at 07:14 by Howard Bashman



"Yucca project work to proceed; Ruling on health standards on hold as appeals play out": The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains this article.
Posted at 07:12 by Howard Bashman



"Judge pleads and gives up bench; Pazuhanich does not contest child molestation charges, is put on probation": This article appears today in The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania. In other coverage, The Times Leader reports that "Judge pleads no contest" and identifies the victim as the judge's own daughter. The Citizens' Voice reports that "Pazuhanich pleads no contest to groping charges" and "It's likely Pazuhanich will never practice law again." Finally, The AP reports that "Judge Pleads No Contest to Fondling Girl."
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"Clement Becomes Acting Solicitor General": The AP provides this report.
Posted at 07:03 by Howard Bashman



"ACLJ Asks Supreme Court to Take Ohio Ten Commandments Case": The American Center for Law and Justice yesterday issued this press release. You can access the petition for writ of certiorari at this link.

In previous news, The Associated Press reported on Sunday that "Indiana is 9th state to ask high court for Commandments ruling." And in news from Tennessee, The Monroe County Advocate reported yesterday that "County works toward Ten Commandments display compromise."
Posted at 06:58 by Howard Bashman



"Lea Fastow begins prison sentence; Ex-Enron CFO's wife arrives early to start 1-year term": Mary Flood has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 06:56 by Howard Bashman



"Bush makes blocked judges a key issue": Yesterday's issue of The Washington Times contained this article.
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court list includes 8 from area": This article appears today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Posted at 06:46 by Howard Bashman



On the agenda: At 10 a.m. today, the full Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing entitled "Blakely v. Washington and the Future of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines." You can access the official notice of the hearing at this link, and you can view the hearing live online, once it gets underway, by clicking here (Real Player required).
Posted at 06:43 by Howard Bashman



Yesterday's decisions of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: A three-judge panel of the court yesterday cited Blakely v. Washington, in an order you can access here, without either deepening the existing circuit split over Blakely's effect on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines or calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to solve the mess it has apparently caused.

Meanwhile, in a separate ruling, a three-judge panel reinstated a claim that the song "One of Those Love Songs" was sufficiently similar to another love song that the creators of the other love song may be liable for copyright infringement. You can get your dose of pop music litigation at this link.
Posted at 06:36 by Howard Bashman



"Court rejects busing appeal; Decision ends 4-year lawsuit": Today's issue of The Boston Globe contains this article reporting on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued yesterday.
Posted at 06:22 by Howard Bashman



"Judge: Sentencing guidelines to stay." This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune. The Advocate reports today that "Federal rules still law in La.; 5th Circuit won't be 'final arbiter.'" In related coverage, The Associated Press offers an article headlined "Appeal court: High Court ruling didn't affect sentence guidelines." And The Baltimore Sun yesterday contained an article headlined "Sentencing policy on trial; A Boston judge works to preserve the jury's role in American justice."
Posted at 06:00 by Howard Bashman



"High Court's Penchant for Familiar Voices": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 00:03 by Howard Bashman



Monday, July 12, 2004
Today's major Blakely v. Washington-related developments: Today's biggest news is that the in banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously called on the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve Blakely's effect on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. You can access today's Second Circuit's ruling at this link. Also today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit unanimously held, in a decision you can access here, that Blakely has no effect on the federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Both "The Volokh Conspiracy" and "SCOTUSblog" offer posts on today's news from the Second Circuit. And thanks to the blog "Sentencing Law and Policy" for the typically excellent coverage it provided today of Blakely developments while I was on the road.

Tuesday's issue of The Washington Post will contain a front page article headlined "High Court Decision Sows Confusion on Sentencing Rules." Adam Liptak will have an article headlined "Justices' Sentencing Ruling May Have Model in Kansas" in Tuesday's issue of The New York Times. In today's issue of USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "High court ruling sows confusion; Decision has cast doubt on state, federal sentencing guidelines." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article headlined "'Utter chaos' means less-severe sentences for serious crimes; Judges try to discern how badly the system has been upended." The Tampa Tribune reports today that "Confusion Rules In Federal Courts." The Seattle Times today contains an article headlined "At 33, Seattle attorney has won two Supreme Court cases." And online at Slate today, Gerald Shargel has a jurisprudence essay entitled "Run-on Sentencing: The barely noticed mayhem following the Supreme Court's Blakely decision."
Posted at 23:28 by Howard Bashman



Better late than never: My trip home from Washington, DC on Amtrak this evening was delayed due to flooding from heavy rain between Wilmington and Baltimore. In addition to spending some time with some wonderful co-panelists at The Heritage Foundation and meeting Anne Gearan and David Savage at another Term-in-review session, I also had the pleasure today of meeting two contributors to "The Volokh Conspiracy," taking a tour of the White House and seeing the President arrive there via helicopter, meeting a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, and spending some time with an acquaintance who began clerking at the U.S. Supreme Court today.
Posted at 23:12 by Howard Bashman



On the road again: Moments from now, I'll be heading to Washington, DC, where this morning I will be a panelist at an event titled "Scholars & Scribes Review the Rulings: The Supreme Court's 2003-2004 Term" hosted by The Heritage Foundation. C-SPAN may broadcast the event live, in which case you can view it online beginning at 10 a.m. via this link. In any event, a live online feed will be available through The Heritage Foundation's Web site using a link found on this page. Those viewing the event online are welcome to submit questions via email to speaker@Heritage.org. The panel that I will be participating in will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 11 a.m., and the program is scheduled to run until noon.

While I'm away, you can keep up with any and all new Blakely-related developments at the blog "Sentencing Law and Policy."

Finally, over the weekend I announced here that Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook will be the August 2004 interviewee in this blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" feature. Any readers wishing to suggest questions or topics to be covered in the interview are invited to send me an email, a process that can be initiated by clicking here.
Posted at 05:15 by Howard Bashman



Sunday, July 11, 2004
You've read the Seventh Circuit's opinion in United States v. Booker; now read the supplemental briefs filed in that appeal to discuss the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Blakely v. Washington: On Friday, while linking to additional resources relating to the appeal in which the Seventh Circuit ruled, I bemoaned the inability to access online the parties' supplemental appellate briefs.

Although sometimes I'm satisfied merely to complain, this time I've actually been able to solve the problem by obtaining electronic copies of the parties' supplemental briefs, which I have gone ahead and posted online. You can access the criminal defendant's winning supplemental brief at this link, and the federal government's supplemental brief can be accessed here.
Posted at 23:23 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The Los Angeles Times: An article reports that "White-Collar Prison Terms Under Debate; Determining the length of punishment is far from an exact science, and the standards may be changing." In other news, "Lots of Unrest Over Slip-Up on 'Day of Rest' Law; Removal of blue laws in Virginia left open a statute that allowed workers to take a weekend day off." And Law Professor M. Gregg Bloche has an op-ed entitled "HMO Shield Against Suits Can't Cure the Crisis; Health plans that break promises to their patients shouldn't be protected by the courts."
Posted at 23:16 by Howard Bashman



"Bush Nominates Satan": The Spoof offers an article that begins, "In a surprise press conference today, President George W. Bush announced the nomination of Satan as his judicial nominee for the 4th District in North Carolina."
Posted at 23:14 by Howard Bashman



"Hell On Earth: Life in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, newly available documents show, would have made Satan quake." This article appears in the July 19, 2004 issue of U.S. News & World Report.
Posted at 23:00 by Howard Bashman



"Judges: Who's Fairest?" Congratulations to the blog "Underneath Their Robes" for achieving this mention in the July 19, 2004 issue of Newsweek! The write-up notes that "At the Supreme Court last Thursday, it was all the buzz among the law clerks during lunch" -- perhaps because I linked to the "Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary" post that very morning. The Newsweek reporter has no luck determining the identity of the blog's author. And although I may know the identity of the blog's author's employer (never email me from a computer at work if you want to keep that secret), I'm not telling.
Posted at 22:52 by Howard Bashman



"N.J. same-sex couples register; Yesterday, hundreds of same-sex couples registered on the first day of the Domestic Partner Act, giving them and older unmarried heterosexual couples legal rights": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 22:45 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Boston Globe: An article reports that "Bush urges passage of gay marriage ban." And the cover story in The Boston Globe Magazine is headlined "Breaking Away: Patrick Holland was 8 when his father murdered his mother and was sent off to prison; Six years later, in a case scheduled to begin this month, Patrick will try to sever his ties with the man he once called Dad."
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



"Felons and the Right to Vote": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 22:31 by Howard Bashman



The Providence Journal's series on the Patriot Act continues: Today's article is headlined "The Act that nobody read: 'What they got was all of the powers and none of the safeguards,' says Rep. Barney Frank." And a related item is headlined "15 of Patriot Act's sections expected to fade into sunset."
Posted at 22:21 by Howard Bashman



"Snowe, Collins did us proud": J.P. Devine today has this op-ed in The Kennebec Journal regarding the U.S. Senate's confirmation vote on federal district court nominee J. Leon Holmes.
Posted at 21:29 by Howard Bashman



"Senate takes up fight on banning gay marriages; Critics say debate hides other issues": The Chicago Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 21:27 by Howard Bashman



"How two senators molded a court; Thurmond and Helms left a conservative mark on 4th Circuit": This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Posted at 11:27 by Howard Bashman



"Treatment for rapists, molesters under fire; Cost, legality and effectiveness at issue in extended program": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains this article, which is part one of a two-part series. A related article also published today is headlined "Therapy dissects sex crimes, strives to reduce urges; Most patients refuse to participate -- 'we have less privileges than in prison.'"
Posted at 11:24 by Howard Bashman



"A supreme legacy: The daughters of Harry Blackmun recall how their father shaped their lives while he shaped the fabric of America from his bench on this nation's highest court." This article appears today in The Orlando Sentinel.
Posted at 11:23 by Howard Bashman



"Tony Twist wins $15 million verdict; He sued over use of name": Yesterday's issue of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch contained this article. And The Associated Press reports that "Tony Twist wins battle over name; Judge orders comic artist pay $15 million."
Posted at 11:18 by Howard Bashman



"'Activist judges' difficult to define; As the debate on a gay-marriage ban heats up, legal experts say the term is, at best, imprecise and, at worst, used by people who simply disagree with a ruling": This article appears today in The Denver Post.
Posted at 08:41 by Howard Bashman



"Courting controversy: Judge out front on hot-button issues." The Deseret Morning News today contains an article that begins, "The confirmation process to the federal court bench was not an easy one for Judge Paul Cassell."
Posted at 08:34 by Howard Bashman



"Sentencing ruling splits court": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "In a lightning-fast reaction to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last month that left federal sentencing laws in upheaval, a split federal appeals court in Chicago agreed Friday on this much: More guidance is needed from the nation's highest court."

And in related news, The Salt Lake Tribune yesterday reported that "Utah judge reverses self on sentencing authority."
Posted at 08:30 by Howard Bashman



Saturday, July 10, 2004
"Senators back creation of V.I. supreme court; Questions of funding the court and selecting judges still remain": This article appeared in yesterday's issue of The Virgin Islands Daily News.
Posted at 23:56 by Howard Bashman



Elsewhere in Saturday's newspapers: The Washington Times reports that "Democrats ready to vote on marriage." In other news, "Court upholds Nevada nuclear storage." And Paul Greenberg has an op-ed entitled "Supreme non-decision."

The Boston Globe reports that "Senate opens gay marriage debate; Heated partisan battle expected." And an editorial is entitled "Cheated by Wal-Mart."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Guantanamo Tribunals to Work Fast." In news from the Kobe Bryant case, "Defense Seeks Camera Ban." And an article reports that "Disney Hall Awash in a Cacophony of Suits; Contractors and building managers are in litigation over $43 million in allegedly unpaid bills."
Posted at 23:44 by Howard Bashman



"Yucca Mountain Ruling Confuses Nuclear Waste Plans": Today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition - Saturday" included this report (Real Player required).

In news coverage from Nevada, The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains an article headlined "Yucca Mountain decision: State claims court win; EPA's standard for 10,000 years of safe storage ruled inadequate." The Reno Gazette-Journal reports today that "The dump's dead, say Yucca foes; Both sides claim victory after ruling: Nevada loses most of its arguments, but feds must review safety standard." And The Las Vegas Sun reports that "Yucca in for long delay; radiation standard too low; Federal appeals court says 10,000 years is insufficient" and contains an op-ed by Jeff German entitled "Yucca ruling exposes Bush lies."

The ruling in question, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued yesterday, can be accessed here.
Posted at 23:24 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. can seize assets, no conviction required": And on the seventh day, The Providence Journal's series about the Patriot Act consists of this article.
Posted at 23:06 by Howard Bashman



News and commentary pertaining to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: The Charlotte Observer today contains an op-ed by Tom Ashcraft entitled "Scalia dissents when high court expands its power; Cases involve the right to habeas corpus for enemy aliens, citizens." And The Associated Press reports that "Mississippi FOI group gives first 'duck' award to Supreme Court Justice Scalia."
Posted at 22:59 by Howard Bashman



"Who v. Saddam?" This article appears in tomorrow's issue of The New York Times Magazine.
Posted at 21:23 by Howard Bashman



In Sunday's issue of The New York Times: Tomorrow's newspaper will contain articles headlined "Behind the Breakup of the Kings of Tort" and "The Women of Wall Street Get Their Day in Court."
Posted at 19:50 by Howard Bashman



Atlanta Braves 4, Philadelphia Phillies 0: My son and I had the pleasure of attending this afternoon's game (wrap-up here; box score here). Today was the second time we saw the Braves defeat the Phillies in Philadelphia this season, which isn't cause for complaint as far as these two Braves fans are concerned.
Posted at 17:13 by Howard Bashman



In Saturday's newspapers: The New York Times today reports that "Court Sets Back Federal Project on Atom Waste Site's Safety." And in other news, "Senate Democrats Offer Early Vote on Gay Marriage."

The Washington Post reports that "New Plan Ordered For Yucca Mountain; Court Seeks Extended Radiation Guards." In other news, "Task Force Found Way to Top of Enron; Defense Doesn't Like Prosecution Model." And an editorial is entitled "Yucca Mountain."
Posted at 08:33 by Howard Bashman



"Justice's antebellum home reopening; E.D. White site is fully renovated": The Times-Picayune today contains an article that begins, "The E.D. White Historic Site near Thibodaux, the former home of the only person from Louisiana to serve as chief justice of the United States, and also home to a governor of the state, will reopen to the public today after extensive renovations." More information about this historic site is available here.
Posted at 08:22 by Howard Bashman



"D.C. court braces for detainee cases": The Washington Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:21 by Howard Bashman



"Hutchison vote on judge angers Texas abortion foes": This article appears today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. And The Dallas Morning News today reports that "GOP head criticizes Hutchison; She defends vote against anti-abortion judicial nominee."

In somewhat related news, The Biloxi Sun Herald today contains an article headlined "GOP: Trashing Pickering will cost Edwards."
Posted at 08:18 by Howard Bashman



"Judge overturns Missouri ban on 'partial-birth' abortion": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains this article.
Posted at 08:16 by Howard Bashman



"Heeding Supreme Court ruling, judges reverse drug sentence": The Chicago Sun-Times today contains an article that begins, "Ramifications of a U.S. Supreme Court decision began hitting local cases Friday as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Wisconsin man's 2003 sentence on drug possession charges."
Posted at 07:46 by Howard Bashman



"20 questions for the appellate judge" update: I am very pleased to announce that Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook will be this Web log's August 2004 "20 questions" interviewee. And if all goes as planned, next week I will be announcing the identity of the December 2004 "20 questions" interviewee. I am due to transmit the "20 questions" in writing to Judge Easterbrook next Thursday. Anyone who wishes to suggest topics or specific questions for Judge Easterbrook to address is invited to send them along to me via email, a process that can be initiated by clicking here.
Posted at 00:00 by Howard Bashman



Friday, July 09, 2004
In today's issue of The Los Angeles Times: In business news, "Suzuki, Consumer Reports Settle Case; The automaker had sued the publisher of the magazine over a critical Samurai SUV review"; "Judge Says No Retrial for Martha Stewart"; "Jury Convicts 2 in Adelphia Fraud Case; Founder John Rigas and his son Timothy are found guilty of looting the cable TV firm; Son Michael is acquitted of some charges in a partial verdict"; and "Lay Hears Federal Charges in Court." An article reports that "House GOP Leaders Kill Effort to Limit Patriot Act; Amendment to prevent searches of library and bookstore records fails on a tie vote." In news pertaining to the Kobe Bryant case, "Accuser Hires Libel Lawyer." In sports, "Court Rejects Appeal Over USADA Rules; It upholds the dismissal of a lawsuit by Jacobs over arbitrators in steroid case; Hearings likely to proceed." And Law Professor Peter H. Schuck has an op-ed entitled "Terrorism Cases Demand New Hybrid Courts."
Posted at 23:52 by Howard Bashman



"Foreigners can be imprisoned indefinitely": You can access online today the sixth installment of The Providence Journal's series on the Patriot Act.
Posted at 23:45 by Howard Bashman



The Boston Globe is reporting: In today's newspaper, an article reports that "Patriot Act amendment fails in House; GOP maneuver dooms measure." In other news, "Policy on gays seen hurting military; Others with same skills are recalled." And an editorial is entitled "Pentagon vs. prisoners."
Posted at 23:42 by Howard Bashman



"New license plates honor Boy Scouts": Today's issue of The Washington Times contains this controversial news from Virginia.
Posted at 23:34 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The Washington Post: In news pertaining to the U.S. Congress, "Congress to Take Up Proposals to Ban Gay Marriage; House, Senate to Discuss Constitutional Amendments Although GOP Lacks Votes to Pass Measures"; "Foes Block Class-Action Lawsuit Bill in Senate"; and "House GOP Defends Patriot Act Powers; Partisan Rancor High as Plan to Soften Anti-Terror Law Is Defeated." In business news, "Stewart's Motion for New Trial Denied; Judge Finds 'No Reasonable Likelihood' Alleged Perjury Affected Guilty Verdict"; "Adelphia Founder, Son Convicted of Fraud; Another Son Acquitted of Conspiracy in Partial Verdict"; "Founder of Enron Pleads Not Guilty; 11 Criminal Charges Against Lay Unsealed"; "No Safety at the Top For Corporate Leaders"; and "Lingering Anger Still Directed Against Enron's Once-Trusted Chief Executive." In sports, "Appellate Court Says Jacobs Must Follow USADA Rules." An article reports that "Special Session Called in Va. to Address 'Day of Rest.'" And an editorial is entitled "Belated Reform."
Posted at 23:25 by Howard Bashman



The New York Times is reporting: Today's newspaper reports that "Senate Braces Itself for Fight on Gay Marriage." In other news, "This May Be News to Hussein, but He's Got a Defense Team, and It's Hoping for Bail." An article reports that "Effort to Curb Scope of Antiterrorism Law Falls Short." In business news, "Suzuki Resolves a Dispute With a Consumer Magazine"; "Stewart Denied a New Trial; Sentencing Is Likely Next Week"; "Ex-Chief of Enron Pleads Not Guilty to 11 Felony Counts"; "At the Helm and Ignorant of Company Troubles"; "Satisfaction and Sadness at the Sight of Handcuffs"; and "Sorrow Mixed With Disbelief in Hometown of the Rigases." And an article is headlined "Caught Between the Law and the Written Word."
Posted at 23:13 by Howard Bashman



"White House Lawyer Laments Bush Court Loss": Gina Holland of The Associated Press reports here that "Solicitor General Theodore Olson used his final day as the Bush administration's top Supreme Court lawyer to lament the court's decision siding with foreign terrorism suspects over the president."
Posted at 23:04 by Howard Bashman



"Senators Delay Vote On Va. Bench Nominee; Sarbanes, Mikulski Want a Md. Appointee": Saturday's edition of The Washington Post will contains an article that begins, "For the second time in two months, the Senate Judiciary Committee postponed a vote Thursday night on President Bush's nomination of Claude A. Allen, a prominent Virginia conservative, for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond."
Posted at 22:58 by Howard Bashman



Congratulations to Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain: Today President Bush appointed Judge O'Scannlain to serve as a one of two members of the federal judiciary who are on the Board of Trustees of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. You can learn more about the Foundation at this link and see a slightly outdated list of trustees here.
Posted at 21:36 by Howard Bashman



Additional resources relating to today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in United States v. Booker: You can access the Seventh Circuit's docket entries in the case at this link, and the oral argument audio can be downloaded via this link. Unfortunately, because this is a criminal appeal, the Seventh Circuit's Web site does not make the parties briefs available for download. Winning counsel on appeal for the criminal defendant is T. Christopher Kelly, who blogs at "TalkLeft." I hope that he will make the briefs available online there or elsewhere.
Posted at 21:25 by Howard Bashman



Divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit holds that, under Blakely v. Washington, judicial application of the Sentencing Guidelines violates the defendant's right to trial by jury under the Sixth Amendment: This is big, big news. This afternoon's decision, issued in typescript in a case that was argued on Tuesday of this week, can be accessed here. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Michael S. Kanne joined, and Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook wrote a dissenting opinion.
Posted at 17:08 by Howard Bashman



"Pentagon Reportedly Aimed to Hold Detainees in Secret; Proposal to keep some prisoners 'off the books' went against promises for yearly case reviews": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 16:46 by Howard Bashman



In news from Oregon: The Associated Press is reporting that "Stay denied on same-sex marriage registration."
Posted at 16:44 by Howard Bashman



In three-strikes news from here and there (but mostly from California): Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times today report that "3-Strikes Sentence Upheld in Sex Case; State high court backs 25-year term for man who missed deadline to register as an offender." Claire Cooper, legal affairs writer for The Sacramento Bee, reports today that "Justices set narrow limit on '3-strikes' reversals; Court of Appeal can act if a trial judge's denial of leniency is altogether 'irrational or arbitrary.'" And Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Molester's 3-strikes sentence for failing to register is upheld; 2 justices suggest rule shouldn't apply to minor crimes." You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California, written by D.C. Circuit nominee Janice Rogers Brown, at this link.

In somewhat related coverage, The SFChronicle reported yesterday that "Governor against bid to change '3 strikes.'"

Finally, in news from Washington State, The Tri-City Herald reported yesterday that "Kennewick man faces life under Three Strikes law." Presumably the subject of that article isn't this recent Ninth Circuit litigant.
Posted at 16:24 by Howard Bashman



"The Incredible Shrinking Judiciary: The federal bench starts to throw off its shackles." Slate has just posted online this jurisprudence essay by Dana Mulhauser.
Posted at 16:08 by Howard Bashman



"Deconstructing Sentences: The Supreme Court opens a back door to judicial discretion." Jacob Sullum has this essay online today at Reason.
Posted at 15:46 by Howard Bashman



The wire services are reporting: The Associated Press reports that "Guantanamo Suspects to Be Told of Rights" and "Mexican Truck Traffic Worries Texas Town."

Reuters, meanwhile, reports that "Senate Opens Debate on Same-Sex Marriage."
Posted at 15:38 by Howard Bashman



Upcoming speaking engagements: On Monday, I will be in Washington, DC to participate at an event titled "Scholars & Scribes Review the Rulings: The Supreme Court's 2003-2004 Term" hosted by The Heritage Foundation. Those "How Appealing" readers who plan to attend in person should be sure to complete an RSVP using the link available online here, to guarantee a seat at the event. Regardless of whether C-SPAN broadcasts the event live, a live online feed will be available via The Heritage Foundation's Web site. Those viewing the event online can submit questions via email to speaker@Heritage.org.

After grabbing a quick lunch with some of the other panelists, I hope to see the end of the DC Bar Association's event titled "The Supreme Court: The View From The Press Gallery." And if that's not enough fun for one day, I'll conclude my trip to Washington by making my first-ever visit inside the White House.

In addition to speaking engagements in Pittsburgh in early August 2004 and in New York City in mid-November 2004, it now looks as though I'll be speaking at a conference of appellate judges in St. Louis in late September 2004.
Posted at 15:02 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit holds that Blakely v. Washington is not a new rule made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court for purposes of filing a second or successive federal habeas corpus motion: You can access today's ruling at this link. This, to my knowledge, is the first federal appellate ruling to directly address Blakely's applicability, although word is that more such decisions will be arriving quite soon.

Update: I have amended this post to better capture the essence of the Eleventh Circuit's ruling.
Posted at 14:55 by Howard Bashman



First Mr. Schempp, and now Mrs. Schempp: In November 2003, in a post you can access here, I linked to an obituary that begins, "Edward L. Schempp, 95, a social activist and churchgoer who won a U.S. Supreme Court case prohibiting required Bible-reading in the Abington schools, died of heart failure Saturday at Hayward Convalescent Hospital in Hayward, Calif."

Today's newspapers bring news that Edward L. Schempp's widow has passed away. Bob Egelko, in The San Francisco Chronicle, has an obituary headlined "Sidney Schempp -- her suit halted school Bible-reading." And The Philadelphia Inquirer today publishes an obituary that begins, "Sidney G. Schempp, 91, a freethinker who, with her Abington family, won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that made mandatory Bible readings in public schools unconstitutional across the land, died Monday of liver disease at home in Castro Valley, Calif."

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Abington School District v. Schempp can be accessed here.
Posted at 12:26 by Howard Bashman



"Nevada Loses Yucca Mt. Waste Site Appeal": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:09 by Howard Bashman



Eighth Circuit rejects First Amendment challenge to policy of the Missouri Department of Corrections banning cameras in the execution chamber: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 12:03 by Howard Bashman



How did the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit fare in the U.S. Supreme Court's just-completed Term? Traditionally, the July installment of my monthly appellate column published in The Legal Intelligencer seeks to answer that question, and this year is no exception.

As others have already noted, the Supreme Court directly reviewed four of the Third Circuit's rulings in the 2003 Term and affirmed in only one of those four cases. That's a respectable average in some circles. Interestingly, the Third Circuit's first reversal came in the Term's very first signed opinion, while the Third Circuit's only affirmance came on the final opinion issuance date of the Term.

In another eight cases, however, the Supreme Court resolved conflicts that, according to the Supreme Court's own rulings, directly involved the Third Circuit. In five of those eight cases, the Supreme Court sided with the Third Circuit's position. Accordingly, on an overall basis, the Supreme Court upheld the Third Circuit six times, and disagreed with the Third Circuit six times, in the 2003 Term.

I'm not able to post my July 2004 column online until Wednesday of next week. For a look at how the Third Circuit did before the U.S. Supreme Court in the past three years, click on the appropriate link: July 2003; July 2002; and July 2001.
Posted at 10:53 by Howard Bashman



D.C. Circuit issues lengthy decision resolving objections to the selection of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as the Nation's nuclear waste disposal site: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:51 by Howard Bashman



"20 questions for the appellate judge" update: With sincere apologies to those who were hoping to hear some good news before the deadline passes, at midnight I will post a statement concerning the future of this blog's "20 questions" feature and, with any luck, will announce the identity of August 2004's interviewee.
Posted at 10:41 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Gina Holland reports that "Saddam's Lawyer Seeks Supreme Court Action." David Kravets reports that "Guantanamo Prisoners Must Sue in D.C." And in other news, "Bush Wins; House Leaves Patriot Act As Is" and "Abu Ghraib Soldier Faces More Charges."
Posted at 10:28 by Howard Bashman



"A Proper Vote: Hutchison's independence from party line admirable." The Houston Chronicle today contains an editorial that begins, "Although her vote was not decisive, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, displayed proper independence and due diligence in voting against the confirmation of J. Leon Holmes to a U.S. district court judgeship in Arkansas."
Posted at 08:38 by Howard Bashman



How should seats on regional U.S. Courts of Appeals be allocated among the States that make up the circuit? The news report that is the subject of the post immediately below this one is based on a portion of a statement that the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Democratic member, Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), delivered at yesterday's executive business meeting.

In pertinent part, Senator Leahy stated with respect to the nomination of Virginia resident Claude A. Allen to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit:
This seat has traditionally been a Maryland seat and it should remain so. Maryland accounts for approximately 20 percent of the population of the Fourth Circuit. By this traditional measure for the allocation of judgeships, Maryland should have three seats on the Fourth Circuit. We use the yardstick of population because it accounts for the impact of the law on all of the people of the circuit, regardless of how many lawsuits happened to originate in their states. The idea of proportional representation on the circuit courts is only meaningful if counted this way. Otherwise it runs counter to our belief that each state has distinct interests and concerns that require a presence on each of the circuit courts.

The White House, as Senator Hatch's chief counsel showed us in his chart at our last business meeting, now contends that it is following some new kind of formula that, according to the caseload distribution of the Fourth Circuit, requires another Virginia seat. This formula was nowhere in evidence when they tried to force unacceptable Marylanders on the Maryland Senators, but it conveniently surfaced when they came up with the idea of going around them by nominating a Virginian. Unfortunately for the supporters of taking the Maryland seat away, their numbers, even based on faulty assumptions, do more to prove our point than theirs. According to these numbers, any inequity among the states in the Fourth Circuit should not be addressed by giving a Maryland seat to Virginia, but by adjusting the numbers of judges between South Carolina and North Carolina. That is where we see the most pronounced inequity. If you believe that the current slight under-representation of Virginia also needs correction, the numbers further show that the change should come at the expense of a West Virginia seat, not a Maryland seat. Based on the chart we were given at the last markup, Maryland is actually the least overrepresented state, and therefore the least deserving of having a seat taken away from it.

The formula Senator Hatch advocates would have an interesting affect on a number of other circuits as well as the Fourth. In the Second Circuit, it would take a seat from Connecticut and give it to New York; in the Third Circuit, Delaware would give a seat to Pennsylvania, and in the Fifth, Texas would gain two from Louisiana. In the Tenth Circuit, Senator Hatch's standard would have Utah, which is overrepresented, giving a seat to Oklahoma, which is far more underrepresented according to these caseload statistics than Virginia. And in the Eleventh Circuit, this method of judge distribution would benefit Florida, which would gain one seat from Alabama and another from Georgia.

All this is really to say that the numbers presented to us last week are an attempt at an after-the-fact justification for the nomination of a Virginian to a Maryland seat on the Fourth Circuit, and are really only a smokescreen for the real motivation, which is this Administration’s craven campaign to make the federal judiciary a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. If we allow this judgeship to move to Virginia, this Committee will have acquiesced in the White House ploy to move circuit vacancies around to avoid having to allow balance or to consult with home-state Senators. There will be nothing to stop them from rearranging any circuit at will. These are among the dangers that the power of advice and consent was designed to protect against.
You can access Senator Leahy's complete statement at this link.
Posted at 08:30 by Howard Bashman



"Court seat for state could be lost; 11th Circuit post may go to Florida instead": This article appears today in The Birmingham News.
Posted at 06:37 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, July 08, 2004
"6 men arrested in raid face new sex charges": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "One year after the U.S. Supreme Court nullified state bans on gay sex, six men who were charged under Missouri's now-void statute are facing new sexual misconduct charges."
Posted at 23:37 by Howard Bashman



"Miller blasts Murkowski over missed Senate vote": The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner today contains an article that begins, "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Miller criticized Sen. Lisa Murkowski Wednesday for missing a close vote on a controversial Bush administration judicial nominee."
Posted at 23:35 by Howard Bashman



The Washington Times is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Bill would end courts' purview on marriage law"; "Class members get little in suits"; and "Lawmakers seek session to fix glitch."
Posted at 23:32 by Howard Bashman



"Bloggers Suffer Burnout": Wired News offers this report.
Posted at 23:30 by Howard Bashman



"Pentagon Sets Review of Detainees; The move is in response to the Supreme Court ruling on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. In other coverage, The New York Times reports that "Pentagon Will Permit Captives at Cuba Base to Appeal Status." The Washington Post reports that "Pentagon Sets Hearings for 595 Detainees." The Boston Globe reports that "Tribunals to weigh detainees' status; Setup is response to Supreme Court ruling on rights." USA Today reports that "U.S. sets up tribunal system for Cuba detainees; Captives will get a 'representative' who is not a lawyer." And The Knight Ridder Newspapers report that "Legal challenges by Guantanamo detainees likely, experts say."
Posted at 23:20 by Howard Bashman



"Woman who made school Bible readings unconstitutional dies": The Knight Ridder Newspapers offer this report.
Posted at 22:10 by Howard Bashman



The wire services are reporting: The Associated Press reports that "Senate Abandons Class-Action Lawsuit Bill" and "Senate Stirs Debate on Gay Marriage Ban."

And Reuters reports that "Rights Activists Assail Pentagon Guantanamo Moves"; "Class Action Bill Loses Senate Battle"; and "Adelphia's Rigas Guilty of Fraud."
Posted at 21:11 by Howard Bashman



"The quiet ascent of Justice Stevens; A liberal on a conservative Court, the justice uses seniority to play key behind-the-scenes role": Warren Richey will have this article in Friday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 17:19 by Howard Bashman



"Consumers Union, Suzuki settle eight-year-old lawsuit": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 17:18 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The San Antonio Express-News: The newspaper contains articles headlined "Lone Star State executions may be under microscope" and "S.A. native is closer to federal court seat."
Posted at 16:24 by Howard Bashman



"Olson to Return to Gibson, Dunn": This item appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 16:01 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Judge Denies Martha Stewart New Trial"; "Richardson's Suit Against Ark. Dismissed"; and "Court Upholds Ex-Wife's Right to Complain." With respect to the final item, today's ruling of the Washington State Supreme Court can be accessed here.
Posted at 15:21 by Howard Bashman



Twelve* Ninth Circuit judges dissent from denial of rehearing en banc in case that, according to one dissent, "will all but eliminate habeas review in immigration cases": You can access the Ninth Circuit's order denying rehearing en banc, and two dissents therefrom, at this link. The three-judge panel's newly-revised decision can be accessed here.

* Ninth Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima took senior status effective June 30, 2004. Because the vote on whether to grant rehearing en banc presumably occurred before Judge Tashima took senior status, I am including him among the twelve who voted to grant rehearing en banc, even though if the vote had occurred after June 30, 2004, Judge Tashima would not have been included among those eligible to vote due to his senior status. The White House has not yet nominated anyone to fill this brand new Ninth Circuit vacancy.
Posted at 14:49 by Howard Bashman



Senate Judiciary Committee fails to vote on any federal appellate court nominees at today's executive business meeting: Three nominees to serve on U.S. Courts of Appeals were on today's agenda. The Associated Press reports that "Senate committee delays vote on Michigan judicial nominees." And this statement from ranking Democratic member Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) reports that the vote on Fourth Circuit nominee Claude A. Allen has also been postponed. Finally, yesterday the U.S. Senators from Michigan released this letter to President Bush regarding vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Posted at 14:42 by Howard Bashman



Reuters is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Judge Denies Martha Stewart Bid for New Trial" and "Sen. Frist: Lawsuit Bill Likely Dead for Year."
Posted at 14:32 by Howard Bashman



On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit panel doesn't dillydally in reconsidering its Guantanamo detainee case: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued this order and revised decision in the case known as Gherebi v. Bush.
Posted at 14:28 by Howard Bashman



"European Court Denies Fetus Rights Ruling": The Associated Press provides this report on a decision (available in both HTML and Microsoft Word formats) that the European Court of Human Rights issued today.
Posted at 11:48 by Howard Bashman



"Federal court kills challenge to Utah's anti-sodomy law": The Salt Lake Tribune today contains this article reporting on a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued yesterday. Last night, I noted the ruling in a post you can access here.
Posted at 11:39 by Howard Bashman



"Like It or Not... The marriage amendment is the democratic way." Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 10:37 by Howard Bashman



The death penalty and claims of mental retardation: Even conservative judges serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit can disagree about these issues, as this decision that a divided three-judge panel issued on Tuesday illustrates.
Posted at 10:26 by Howard Bashman



The Houston Chronicle is reporting: The newspaper offers news updates headlined "Enron's Ken Lay charged with fraud, lying to employees and analysts" and "'Perp walks' raise debate about the price of shame." Meanwhile, in other news, "Woman's execution scheduled for Dec. 1; Longtime inmate nearing end of years of appeals."
Posted at 10:22 by Howard Bashman



"Your financial information is available on demand": You can access here day five's installment of The Providence Journal's series on the Patriot Act.

In somewhat related news, The Associated Press reports that "Lawmakers Take Aim at Part of Patriot Act." And earlier this week, The Detroit News reported that "Libraries uphold privacy; Law student may sue for information on patrons."
Posted at 10:08 by Howard Bashman



"My Job: What Bill Clinton left out of his memoir." Kenneth W. Starr today has this op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper today also contains an editorial (that I don't have a pass-through link to) entitled "Abortion Double Standards: If John Kerry can be 'personally opposed,' why can't GOP judges?"
Posted at 09:59 by Howard Bashman



Access online the agenda for this morning's executive business meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee: You can view the agenda at this link.
Posted at 09:55 by Howard Bashman



Vote now for your favorite "Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary": Balloting is now underway here, at the blog "Underneath Their Robes." The polls are scheduled to close at "Wednesday, July 14, 2004, at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific standard time)" [what, they don't have daylight savings time on the west coast?] unless someone successfully obtains a court order extending the voting period. Full details are available at this link.
Posted at 09:43 by Howard Bashman



"Petition rewording to delay vote on cross on county seal": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Daily News. And The Los Angeles Times today contains an op-ed entitled "A Flash for the ACLU: Cities Are Rooted in Religion; Removing cross from county's seal is a slam to history" by Joel Kotkin.
Posted at 07:41 by Howard Bashman



"Starrett tapped for court; Bush's nomination for Pickering's empty seat irks NAACP, Thompson": The Clarion-Ledger contains this article today.
Posted at 07:37 by Howard Bashman



"Senate Republicans, Dems battle class-action bill": This article appears today in The Hill. The Los Angeles Times reports that "Senate Class-Action Lawsuit Bill Stalls; Republicans criticize attempts to add myriad amendments unrelated to the legislation." The Washington Times reports that "Lawsuit bill targets Edwards." And The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that "Class-action bill stalls in U.S. Senate."
Posted at 07:32 by Howard Bashman



"Lawsuit challenges state law barring same-sex marriage; Nine gay couples file suit that says statute violates Md. Constitution": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "Propelling Maryland into the national debate over the nature of marriage, nine same-sex couples filed suit yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to overturn a law prohibiting gay marriage, saying it violates the state constitution."

In other coverage, The Washington Post reports that "Suit Challenges Gay Marriage Ban; Nine Couples, Aided by ACLU, Contend Md. Law Is Unconstitutional." The Washington Times reports that "ACLU sues to allow gay 'marriage.'" And The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Maryland reports that "Court clerks sued over gay marriage."
Posted at 07:24 by Howard Bashman



"Bush: Michigan senators backlog federal bench; Levin, Stabenow oppose his 6 nominees." This article appears today in The Detroit News. In related coverage, The Detroit Free Press reports that "Bush visits Oakland for $25,000-a-plate benefit."

The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina reports today that "President Bush visits the Triangle." And Neil A. Lewis of The New York Times reports that "Bush, in Edwards's State, Declares His Confidence in Carrying It Once More."
Posted at 07:19 by Howard Bashman



"A Prison Beyond the Law": The Virginia Quarterly Review today has posted online this essay by Joseph Margulies, lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Rasul v. Bush.
Posted at 07:09 by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, July 07, 2004
The wire services are reporting: The Associated Press reports that "U.S. to Weigh Legality of Each Detainee"; "Action on Class-Action Suit Bill Halts"; "Media Seek Release of Bryant Transcripts"; and "Judge OKs Microsoft Settlement With Calif."

Reuters, meanwhile, reports that "Pentagon responds to Guantanamo Bay court action"; "Class Action Bill Bogs Down in U.S. Senate"; and "Calif.-Microsoft Settlement Gets Final Court OK."

In connection with the news from Guantanamo Bay, the United States Department of Defense has issued a press release entitled "Combatant Status Review Tribunal Order Issued." The order establishing the tribunal can be accessed here, and a fact sheet is available at this link.
Posted at 22:32 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is in no hurry to strike down Utah statute prohibiting sodomy between consenting heterosexual adults: Today a unanimous three-judge panel issued this opinion written by Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell.
Posted at 21:08 by Howard Bashman



"Bush meets with Michigan judicial nominees": The Associated Press provides this report. And the White House has issued a transcript consisting of "Remarks by the President After Meeting with Michigan Judicial Nominees."
Posted at 18:50 by Howard Bashman



"Bush meets judicial nominees": United Press International today has a report that begins, "President George W. Bush slammed Democratic sidelining of his judicial nominees Wednesday, saying Senate Democrats were ignoring a federal judicial crisis and using issue litmus tests on those selected to sit on a federal bench."
Posted at 18:04 by Howard Bashman



"Bush taps Starrett for Pickering seat": The Hattiesburg American provides a news update that begins, "The White House on Wednesday nominated 14th District Circuit Judge Keith Starrett of Pike County to replace Judge Charles Pickering on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District." And The Associated Press reports that "Bush nominates Starrett for federal judge post." Official news of the nomination can be accessed here.
Posted at 17:59 by Howard Bashman



Defendant convicted of possession of cocaine asks U.S. Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the recess appointment of William H. Pryor, Jr. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit: You can access at this link the petition for writ of certiorari filed last month. And today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed this amicus brief in support of the cert. petition. Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe appears as counsel of record for Senator Kennedy, and the other counsel shown on the brief are Tom Goldstein, Amy Howe, and Marty Lederman. Thanks to "SCOTUSblog" for the pointer.
Posted at 17:24 by Howard Bashman



"Judge rejects defense argument in tobacco case": Reuters provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued today.
Posted at 17:08 by Howard Bashman



"New Enron indictment believed to target man at top: Ken Lay." The Houston Chronicle provides this news update.
Posted at 16:56 by Howard Bashman



"Death Means Never Having to Say 'I'm Sorry': The complicated dance of apologies around the death penalty." Slate has just posted online this jurisprudence essay by Law Professor Robert Weisberg.
Posted at 16:25 by Howard Bashman



"Class Action Bill Stalls in Senate": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 16:20 by Howard Bashman



Access live the transcript of today's "Ask the White House" session with White House Counsel Judge Alberto R. Gonzales on the subject of judicial confirmations: Once the session gets underway (its start has been delayed because Judge Gonzales is traveling today with President Bush), you can access the transcript here.
Posted at 15:48 by Howard Bashman



"Remarks by the President After Meeting with North Carolina Judicial Nominees": The White House has made this transcript available online.
Posted at 15:42 by Howard Bashman



"Bush Plays Politics With Judges Today; Kerry-Edwards Admin Will Nominate Judges who Respect Rights and Freedoms": John Kerry for President has issued this press release today. And Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Democratic Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, has today issued a press release entitled "Setting The Record Straight On Judicial Nominations In North Carolina And Across The Country." Meanwhile, the "Ask the White House" online chat with Counsel to the President Judge Alberto R. Gonzales on the subject of judicial nominations will begin just moments from now, at 3:30 p.m.
Posted at 15:26 by Howard Bashman



"Tobacco Companies Seek Expedited Appeal in Case": Reuters reports here that "Tobacco companies in the U.S. Justice Department's $280 billion racketeering lawsuit have asked that their appeal on the key issue of disgorgement be expedited, according to court documents obtained on Wednesday."
Posted at 14:19 by Howard Bashman



"Presidential Military Order Applied to Nine more Combatants": The United States Department of Defense issued this press release today. The AP reports that "Nine More Detainees Subject to Tribunal." And Reuters reports that "Bush makes more terror suspects eligible for trial."
Posted at 14:11 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Bush Attacks Edwards' Role in Blocking Judicial Nominees"; "Supreme Court Blocks Texas Execution"; and "ACLU Files for Right of Gays to Marry."
Posted at 12:55 by Howard Bashman



The White House again focuses on the subject of judicial confirmations: See this fact sheet issued today, which discusses President Bush's meetings today with judicial nominees in North Carolina and Michigan. And Judge Alberto R. Gonzales will participate in an online chat on the subject of judicial nominations at 3:30 p.m. today on "Ask the White House." You can submit questions now via this link.
Posted at 12:09 by Howard Bashman



"Close vote on judge has message for Nov. 2; Most Democrats vote 'no' on Bush nominee, but Southerners rally to help confirm Holmes": Online at MSNBC, Tom Curry provides this news analysis.
Posted at 11:43 by Howard Bashman



"Hollister judge horrified at finding a mouse in his beer": This article appeared Sunday in The News-Leader of Springfield, Missouri (via "Obscure Store").
Posted at 11:24 by Howard Bashman



Available at National Review Online: C. Boyden Gray has an essay entitled "Claude Allen & His Enemies: Understanding the judge fights." And David Lewis Schaefer has an essay entitled "Judicial Hubris: Nothing new in the Bay State."
Posted at 10:19 by Howard Bashman



"Moussaoui's Mental Health May Be an Issue": The Associated Press provides this report on a supplemental motion that the federal government filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Posted at 09:57 by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutors' powerful tool can be shared with others": Part four of The Providence Journal's series on the Patriot Act can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:34 by Howard Bashman



"Brazill fires lawyer, now represents self; The teen still seeks a reduction of his 28-year sentence": This article appears today in The Palm Beach Post.
Posted at 07:33 by Howard Bashman



"Win may bring power to appoint 4 justices; Campaigns urged to focus on impact": Today's edition of The Boston Globe contains an article that begins, "Following a Supreme Court term that redefined national security laws with a scope not seen for half a century, activists on the left and the right are urging the presidential campaigns to focus on what could be the most far-reaching impact of the election: the power to appoint as many as four new justices."
Posted at 07:31 by Howard Bashman



"Wal-Mart Seeking Review of Class-Action Suit Status": This article appears today in The New York Times. Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Wal-Mart challenges size of class action suit; 1.6 million women accuse retail giant of discrimination." The Associated Press reports that "Wal-Mart Appeals Class-Action Ruling." And Reuters reports that "Wal-Mart Asks for Review of Ruling." I first linked to Wal-Mart's Petition for Permission to Appeal from Order Granting Class Certification yesterday in a post you can access here.
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



Ten Commandments news: The Daily Herald of Henry County, Georgia today reports that "County to display Commandments." In other coverage, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article headlined "Henry: County to post Ten Commandments." And The Associated Press reports that "Henry County commissioners vote for Ten Commandments."

From New Mexico, The Quay County Sun today contains an article headlined "Ten Commandments: Local monument similar to many challenged across country."

And from Montana, The Daily Inter Lake today reports that "Commandments park gets county OK."
Posted at 06:55 by Howard Bashman



"Experts question Edwards' impact on Miss.; Republican links Democrat to defeat of Pickering nomination to appeals court": The Clarion-Ledger contains this article today.
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



"After 18 months, Senate confirms Holmes as judge": This article appears today in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In other coverage, The Los Angeles Times reports that "Senate Confirms Bush Court Pick; Democrats opposed J. Leon Holmes over his views on women's rights and abortion." The Washington Times reports that "Senate narrowly OKs Arkansas judge nominee." The Knight Ridder Newspapers report that "Senate votes to confirm controversial judicial nominee." The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "Hatch backs nominee who backs St. Paul." The Associated Press reports that "Hoeffel lambasts Specter on controversial judicial vote." And in coverage pertaining to Maine, "Collins and Snowe Vote Against Bush Federal Court Nominee, Passes 51 to 46."
Posted at 06:30 by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, July 06, 2004
In today's edition of The Los Angeles Times: The newspaper reports that "Initiative Seeks Curbs on Consumer Lawsuits." In other news, "No Messing Around With Texas' Slogan; The state is going after illegal use of the phrase, a move one expert calls 'absurd'; Besides, a Western-wear firm got the trademark first." And an article is headlined "In Rape Cases, Who's on Trial? Accusers are targeted; But defense lawyers say they focus on credibility, not character."
Posted at 23:53 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Los Angeles Times: The newspaper reports that "Initiative Seeks Curbs on Consumer Lawsuits." In other news, "No Messing Around With Texas' Slogan; The state is going after illegal use of the phrase, a move one expert calls 'absurd'; Besides, a Western-wear firm got the trademark first." And an article is headlined "In Rape Cases, Who's on Trial? Accusers are targeted; But defense lawyers say they focus on credibility, not character."
Posted at 23:51 by Howard Bashman



"Senate Republicans Seek to Limit Class-Action Suits": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 23:40 by Howard Bashman



The New York Times is reporting: Today's newspaper contains an article headlined "You've Got Mail (and Court Says Others Can Read It)." And an editorial is entitled "Class-Action Unfairness."
Posted at 23:35 by Howard Bashman



Women wishing to dine with naked men now have additional options in Louisiana: The Associated Press, in an article headlined "La. Golf Club Must Let Women in Restaurant," reports that "The Louisiana Supreme Court Tuesday ordered a country club to open its men-only restaurant to women, rejecting claims that members sometimes dine there in the nude." You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Louisiana at this link.
Posted at 23:27 by Howard Bashman



"More Information Now Needed in Indictments": Gina Holland of The Associated Press reports here that "The Justice Department is adding significantly to the workload for federal prosecutors, telling them they must include far more information in criminal indictments and seek additional indictments in thousands of pending cases to comply with a Supreme Court decision."
Posted at 23:18 by Howard Bashman



"After Fight, Senate Agrees to Bush's Choice for Judge": Neil A. Lewis will have this article in Wednesday's edition of The New York Times. Wednesday's issue of The Washington Post will report that "Senate Confirms Controversial Nominee to Federal Court." And The Los Angeles Times offers a news update headlined "Senate Confirms District Court Judge."
Posted at 23:14 by Howard Bashman



"Planes, Trains and ... Cows": The latest installment of California Court of Appeal Justice William W. Bedsworth's always very funny monthly column can be accessed here. The focus of his column this month is an Ohio appellate court's ruling that I had the pleasure of noting in this post from December 2003.
Posted at 22:42 by Howard Bashman



EDDix selects its top 50 favorite blawgs: When I began "How Appealing" back in May 2002, you would have struggled to find a dozen law-related blogs. But now apparently some 500 exist, and you can access one organization's top 50 list here.
Posted at 22:37 by Howard Bashman



"When do news reports influence those in black robes? Despite predictions of a close vote in the Padilla case, only one justice sided with the administration's 'trust us' argument." Warren Richey will have this article in Wednesday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 22:33 by Howard Bashman



"Highlights of the Supreme Court Session": Today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" included this segment (Real Player required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick.
Posted at 21:09 by Howard Bashman



"Senate OKs Holmes for Arkansas Judgeship": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Arkansas lawyer Leon Holmes narrowly won Senate confirmation to be a federal judge Tuesday, overcoming concerns over his views on abortion and women. The vote was 51-46, with six Democrats joining most Republicans in supporting Holmes. Five Republicans opposed him." You can access the complete roll call vote tally at this link.
Posted at 20:26 by Howard Bashman



"SCOTUS reminds POTUS what America is fighting for; Bringing the Nation Back on Track": This article appears online today at The Village Voice.
Posted at 16:58 by Howard Bashman



Wal-Mart asks U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for permission to appeal from order certifying a class action in the largest workplace-bias lawsuit in United States history: You can access at this link Wal-Mart's Petition for Permission to Appeal from Order Granting Class Certification filed today in the Ninth Circuit. And the trial court's class certification decision can be accessed here.
Posted at 16:36 by Howard Bashman



Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) announces she is voting against the nomination of J. Leon Holmes to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas: In her remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate, which are continuing as I type this, she also condemned Second Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi for his recent remarks about President Bush. It will be her first vote against any of President Bush's judicial nominees.
Posted at 16:09 by Howard Bashman



With friends like these: According to this decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today, a man attempting to play a practical joke on his friend accidentally discharged a gun into his friend's buttocks. The friend later died in the hospital from surgery-related complications.
Posted at 16:04 by Howard Bashman



"Ruling could revamp sentencing system; In 5-4 vote, high court says judges should only consider factors reviewed by a jury or admitted in guilty plea in weighing prison time": This article appears in today's edition of Newsday. And in related coverage, The Tennessean today contains articles headlined "Supreme Court's sentencing ruling divides legal experts" and "Attorneys ponder ruling's impact on cases."
Posted at 14:34 by Howard Bashman



"'Dirty' Bomb Suspect Padilla Refiles Suit": The Associated Press provides this report from Charleston, South Carolina.
Posted at 14:16 by Howard Bashman



"Pryor's example bears on Holmes controversy": This editorial appeared yesterday in The Mobile Register.
Posted at 14:14 by Howard Bashman



"Legal Reserve": Today at The New Republic, Marisa Katz has an essay that begins, "Many commentators predicted--and liberals hoped--that the series of redistricting cases on the Supreme Court's docket this past term would put an end to the GOP's national effort to create safe seats for its House candidates."
Posted at 12:36 by Howard Bashman



Seeking an August 2004 interviewee to participate in "20 questions for the appellate judge": At midnight this morning, I posted online the July 2004 installment of "20 questions for the appellate judge," which features Tenth Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. as the interviewee. The monthly "20 questions" feature has turned into one of this Web log's most popular offerings. Regrettably, that feature is about to come to an end, unless with your help a state or federal appellate judge volunteers on or before this Friday, July 9, 2004 to be August 2004's interviewee.

From its outset in early 2003, the "20 questions" feature has been open to any federal or state appellate judge who was willing to volunteer via email to participate. The appellate judges who have agreed to participate have been tremendously impressive. The very first participant was Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry E. Smith. He was followed in chronological order by Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain; Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Kay B. Cobb; Ninth Circuit Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld; Ninth Circuit Judge Michael Daly Hawkins; Senior Third Circuit Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert; Eleventh Circuit Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat; Federal Circuit Judge William Curtis Bryson; Eleventh Circuit Judge Stanley F. Birch; Senior Eighth Circuit Judge Richard S. Arnold; Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner; Tenth Circuit Chief Judge Deanell Reece Tacha; Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt; First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya; U.S. District Judge Milton I. Shadur (N.D. Ill.); Missouri Supreme Court Judge Richard B. Teitelman; and California Court of Appeal Justice William W. Bedsworth.

Looking into the future, Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin will be the September 2004 interviewee, Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will be the October 2004 interviewee, and Justice Larry V. Starcher of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will be the November 2004 interviewee.

It has long been my pledge to continue the monthly "20 questions for the appellate judge" interview feature for as long as interviewees are willing to volunteer to participate. But, the questions do not write themselves; rather, they require a bit of preparation. I am committed to providing the August 2004 interviewee with his or her written questions on Thursday, July 15, 2004. The answers will be due back to me by Friday, July 30, 2004 for publication on Monday, August 2, 2004. Unless I receive a volunteer by this Friday, July 9, 2004, there will be no August 2004 installment, and the November 2004 interview with Justice Starcher of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will mark the end of the "20 questions for the appellate judge" feature.

To volunteer, a federal or state court appellate judge need merely send me an email by clicking here. Since this Web log was launched in May 2002, it has received millions of visits, and regular readers include state and federal appellate and trial court judges from throughout the United States, attorneys, law professors, law students, staffers who work in the White House and at the U.S. Senate, journalists, and plenty of others readers located in the United States and throughout the world. I don't believe there is any other outlet that will allow a federal or state appellate judge to communicate to this extent in his or her own words to such a sophisticated and diverse audience. Please help me keep "20 questions for the appellate judge" a recurring feature of "How Appealing."
Posted at 12:00 by Howard Bashman



Next week in Washington, DC -- three seminars look at the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 Term: At 10 a.m. on Monday, July 12, 2004, The Heritage Foundation hosts "Scholars & Scribes Review the Rulings: The Supreme Court's 2003-2004 Term." At 12:15 p.m. that same day, the D.C. Bar Association hosts "The Supreme Court: The View From The Press Gallery." And at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14, 2004, Legal Times will host "Sizing Up the 2003-2004 Supreme Court Term: A Practitioner's View." I had the pleasure of attending Tony Mauro's Legal Times event last year. This year, I'll be participating in the first of the events listed above.
Posted at 11:51 by Howard Bashman



"Justices Thomas & O'Connor Speak": By clicking here (Real Player required), you can view online the June 26, 2004 broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts." The program is described as follows: "This week on America and the Courts, Justice Clarence Thomas delivers a commencement address at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Justice O'Connor delivers a commencement speech at Stanford University in Stanford, California." Justice Thomas preceded his address with some quite humorous off-the-cuff remarks.
Posted at 11:40 by Howard Bashman



"Teacher gets front-row seat to Supreme Court history": The Roanoke Times contains this article today.
Posted at 11:23 by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer's logic, skills sway justices; Back-to-back victories before the Supreme Court that reshape U.S. case law catapult a Seattle attorney into a high profile": This article appears today in The Oregonian.
Posted at 11:10 by Howard Bashman



"Senate to take up Holmes; LR nominee for U.S. bench dogged by religious views": A front page article published today in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette begins, "Growing partisan warfare over the federal judiciary is expected to be in full view today when the Senate finally takes up the nomination of Little Rock lawyer Leon Holmes to be a federal district judge. The debate, which will come nearly 18 months after President Bush first sent Holmes' name to Capitol Hill, is expected to focus not only on Holmes' judicial qualifications but also on his well-publicized religious views. Holmes, 53, has been nominated to sit on the bench in the Eastern District of Arkansas. The vote is expected to be razor-close, and the outcome is uncertain, although both of Arkansas' senators, Democrats Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, have pledged to support Holmes."
Posted at 09:32 by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Senate's debate concerning whether J. Leon Holmes should be confirmed to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas will begin at 9:45 a.m.: Following the debate, the Senate will conduct an up-or-down vote on the nomination. The debate and the vote will be televised on C-SPAN2, which you can view online via this link.
Posted at 09:20 by Howard Bashman



"How Bush's Overreaching Hurts the War Against Terrorism": Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay in today's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 09:13 by Howard Bashman



"Web ad for lawyer linked to competitor spurs dispute": This article appears today in The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky.
Posted at 07:30 by Howard Bashman



The Providence Journal is reporting: Today's newspaper reports that "Clock ticking on Carcieri's choice for high court; If the Assembly does not confirm William P. Robinson III by the end of July, the governor will receive a new list of up to five finalists." And part three of a series on the Patriot Act is headlined "Snooping of e-mail, voicemail made easier for federal agents."
Posted at 07:27 by Howard Bashman



"His mountain of litigation vexes court clerks; They're dusting off a rarely used law that would prevent the homeless man from filing more lawsuits": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 07:26 by Howard Bashman



"A Crucial Look at Torture Law": Law Professor John C. Yoo today has this op-ed in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:24 by Howard Bashman



"It's a tough job, but getting there is a task all its own; Applicants for opening on state Supreme Court must reveal all": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains this article.
Posted at 07:23 by Howard Bashman



"Five decades ago, Nazi case set precedent for military tribunals": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:22 by Howard Bashman



"Will Mel Gibson's passion play out in county-seal fight?" The Los Angeles Daily News contained this article yesterday.
Posted at 07:20 by Howard Bashman



"'Dirty bomb' suspect Padilla odd man out in ruling; 'Enemy combatant' case still unresolved as Supreme Court cites procedural grounds for passing on judgment": This article appeared yesterday in Newsday.
Posted at 07:18 by Howard Bashman



"Senate showdown set for judge pick": This article appears today in The Washington Times. And in somewhat related news, The Associated Press is reporting that "Bush to meet with judicial nominees in North Carolina, Michigan."
Posted at 07:01 by Howard Bashman



20 Questions for Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit: "How Appealing" is delighted that Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has agreed to participate in this Web log's monthly feature, "20 Questions for the Appellate Judge."

Judge Kelly was born in Freeport, New York in 1940. He attended undergraduate school at the University of Notre Dame and law school at the Fordham University School of Law.

He began the practice of law in New York City but soon relocated to the Roswell, New Mexico area, where he practiced for many years. From 1977 through 1981, he served two terms as a state representative in the New Mexico legislature. Thereafter, he relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico to become the founding and managing partner of his firm's Santa Fe office.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Kelly to fill one of the two seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit that Congress added in 1990, when the number of active judges authorized to serve on that court increased to the current total of twelve.

Judge Kelly's chambers are located in Santa Fe, and the Tenth Circuit has its headquarters in Denver, Colorado.

Questions appear below in italics, and Judge Kelly's responses follow in plain text.

1. What are your most favorite and least favorite aspects of being a federal appellate judge?

My favorite aspect of being a federal appellate judge is the opportunity to work with some of the brightest judges and new lawyers (law clerks) in the country. We delve into the most interesting issues that anyone who really enjoys the law could ask for. No two days are alike; the variety of cases never ceases to amaze me, from review of federal agency action to federal criminal and civil law to diversity cases.

My least favorite aspect is the isolation from both the bench as well as colleagues located in other states. I enjoyed practicing law and participating in the bar immensely; although I still participate in bar activities and interact with members of the bar, my participation is necessarily more limited.

2. Identify the one federal or state court judge, living or dead, whom you admire the most and explain why.

The Honorable George L. Reese, Jr., District Judge of the Fifth Judicial District in New Mexico from 1961 to 1970, is the judge that I most admire. He was, in addition to being a very good judge and a humble person, an excellent teacher. Though he certainly didn't have to, he made sure a new lawyer wasn't blindsided; he took the time to educate recent members of the bar who appeared before him, either during the proceeding or in chambers. He demanded preparation and would not settle for less. I would suggest that if judges of today would take the time to be more than judges, our profession would be better for it. Our obligation to train new lawyers and share our skills goes beyond our law clerks, though that surely is a commendable tradition of the state and federal judiciaries. If judges begin to feel "above" those who appear before us, I think we will pay the price--a more contentious judicial system with less accountable lawyers.

3. How did you come to President George H.W. Bush's attention as a potential nominee to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit?

I had been active in the political arena in New Mexico and had worked on the campaigns of several seeking office, including President George H. W. Bush and Senator Domenici. In my own campaigns for the State Legislature, I developed relationships with many state and federal officeholders. The circuit judge position I now hold was newly created; I made inquiry and was fortunate to receive broad-based support. Senator Domenici communicated that support to President Bush.

4. Please explain what led you, shortly following after entry into the practice of law, to relocate to New Mexico, the impact on your career path that the move caused, and the advice you offer others concerning the merits of getting started in the practice of law in a smaller locale?

Having grown up in New York with a father who was a judge (and at one point the administrative judge of his court), I decided I would be better off out from under his shadow. New Mexico seemed like a place where a person could go as far as he or she wished. Not only was it a beautiful state, but also an ideal place to raise a family. I joined a small firm by New York standards. When I left that firm for the court in 1992, it was one of the largest firms in the area with six offices in two states.

There are exciting opportunities and challenges outside the large cities for both career as well as personal advancement. I was able to work nights at the office as needed, but still be home for dinner with my wife and five children. This enabled me to participate more fully in their lives than if I had been commuting to and from the City. I also was able to participate in state and community activities--the ability to contribute to the world around us is important to me and I think it should be to others. As you can tell, I have no regrets.

5. What is your view on whether the Ninth Circuit -- which now is authorized to have twenty-eight active judges and might soon be expanded to thirty-five active judges -- should be split into two or more smaller circuits, and is there a particular manner of dividing the Ninth Circuit that you view as best? Also, one proposal under consideration for dividing the Ninth Circuit would involve moving the State of Arizona into the Tenth Circuit. Please share your thoughts about whether, and why or why not, moving Arizona from the Ninth Circuit to the Tenth Circuit ought to occur.

Whether to create a new circuit is a matter of Congressional prerogative and my view is hardly of much moment. Because you asked, and also recognizing and respecting that there are a variety of views among Ninth and Tenth Circuit judges, I'll answer the question. The Ninth Circuit, with its intra-circuit conflicts and its large cadre of judges, is somewhat unwieldy and it seems to me that all would gain by creating two circuits. There is modern precedent for such a division--the Tenth Circuit was carved out of the Eighth Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit out of the Fifth Circuit. I have heard several proposals for dividing the Ninth Circuit and would not have objections to any of them. Arizona would, in my opinion, be a very logical addition to the Tenth Circuit. Many issues arising out of Arizona are similar to those arising in Tenth Circuit states. Of course, the additional golfing opportunities would be very attractive.

6. A proposed amendment to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure would allow citation to unpublished, non-precedential decisions in briefs filed in all federal appellate courts. That proposed rule appears to mirror in substance a local rule currently in effect in the Tenth Circuit. Where do you stand on the question of allowing citation to "unpublished" opinions? Do you believe that federal appellate court panels should be able to designate some of their rulings as "non-precedential" upon issuance, or should the precedential value of an opinion be left to later panels to determine; and why? Finally, has the Tenth Circuit's local rule caused you to spend more or less time preparing "unpublished" opinions than you previously spent, and has the rule caused your court to treat its unpublished opinions as precedent?

I am not averse to letting parties use whatever authority they can find. Judges are quite capable of deciding what authority may be relied upon comfortably. Although each case is important, some are better suited for developing rules and are thus published and "precedential." While I believe that parties ought to be able to cite any decision available, I also think that judges ought to be able to designate decisions as precedential or non-precedential. This has two advantages: first, it is useful to the practicing bar, which already has more than enough reading from us; second, it requires the court to consider carefully the precedential nature of its opinions.

Regardless of how designated, I try to ensure that every disposition, whether published or unpublished, is the best that we can do. We engage in the same analysis and review regardless of whether the appeal is pro se or counseled by one of the largest law firms, though the ultimate decision in unpublished cases has been condensed. Consequently, our rule has not caused me to spend any more or less time on any given case.

While our rule states that unpublished decisions are not "precedent," I look to the analysis and reasoning in those cases to assist me in whatever case I am working on.

7. What three suggestions would you offer to attorneys concerning how to improve the quality of their appellate briefs?

Let me preface this by saying that I have seen many great briefs as a circuit judge and I continue to be impressed by the quality of most submissions. I do have some suggestions though. First, carefully choose the issues you raise on appeal. Look critically at those issues and if they are marginal and have no real chance of success, either don't appeal or narrow the issues. Second, having chosen to appeal, develop each issue. Start at the beginning, get to the middle and reach a conclusion. Redundant materials with no apparent organization will lose most readers. Third, proofread your brief (more than once) before you file it. We review hundreds and hundreds of briefs every year; you don't want us distracted from the merits by missing verbs, misspelled names, incorrect citations, improper grammar or sentences that run for pages. Enough said.

8. Similarly, with respect to oral argument, what suggestions can you offer that might help a good appellate advocate become even better?

Once again, the quality of oral arguments and the commendable level of preparation continually impress me. I appreciate the assistance provided by counsel. My suggestions would be as follows. Consider developing a theme that compliments (but is distinct from) your brief. Time flies, so hit your strongest one or two points--you won't have time to speed through all the issues. Know the facts of your case and how those facts integrate with the law so you don't find yourself unable to recall whether a key fact was alleged or proven. You also need to know your case well enough so you can answer a question directly and then flow back into your argument. This can only happen if you have prepared, rehearsed and prepared some more.

9. In researching your court, one of the themes that I found regularly repeated was the court's very high level of collegiality, a trait that would be welcome, but is not currently always found, throughout the entire federal appellate court system. What to your mind distinguishes the Tenth Circuit from the rest of the federal judicial system, and do you think your court's relatively low profile in the minds of political operatives at the national level has helped in gaining the confirmation of four judges during George W. Bush's tenure as President?

While I have enjoyed sitting with other courts, naturally I think the atmosphere on the Tenth is exceptional! So far every judge who has come to our court, regardless of background or philosophy, has made a conscious effort to get to know colleagues and to socialize when we sit together and at other times during the year. Collegiality is a product of respect before disagreement (and we do disagree on some issues). It takes real effort on the part of each judge to maintain collegiality. But the rewards far exceed the gains. I think that all of our judges really look forward to going to court terms and functions.

The four new judges on our court are exceptional in their own right. Though some would like to politicize the process, it bears noting that the Senators from the Tenth Circuit states (from both sides of the aisle) lined up behind them.

10. Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner has described his own judicial philosophy as "pragmatic." How would you describe your judicial philosophy, and what sort of cases do you find the most difficult to decide?

I would like to think that it would be difficult to place me in any particular category. Let me explain why. As a lawyer, I had an extremely broad spectrum of clients, from indigents to Fortune 500 companies, and a general practice, from cases involving cattle rustling to public utility regulation. As a result, I simply try to decide each case that comes before me based on the applicable law applied to the particular facts of the case.

The most difficult cases for me are death penalty cases, both federal and state collateral attack. Regarding state death penalty sentences on collateral attack, we have a limited standard of review and must pay deference to most state court determinations. That said, it is quite traumatic to allow someone to be executed when it is evident that, while the person is probably guilty, the lawyering was not up to my standards, but it met the constitutional minimum.

11. What role should an appellate judge's personal and political ideology play in deciding cases, and when if ever is it appropriate for an appellate judge to decide how to rule based solely on his or her personal preference? Also, if some federal appellate judges are going to decide cases based largely on personal preference, can U.S. Senators be faulted for assuming that every appellate court nominee might adopt that approach if confirmed? Finally, does the current tenor of the confirmation process cause you any concern as a sitting federal appellate judge, and what if anything realistically can be done to improve the nomination and confirmation process?

Judges reach the court via different routes and from different backgrounds. We don't decide cases in a vacuum. But a judge's personal and political leanings should play no role in deciding a case. It is completely inappropriate to decide cases based solely on one's own personal preferences.

Having said that, I have yet to see a judge rule on a matter based largely on personal preference in my twelve plus years on this court. I am troubled that some involved in the confirmation process apparently do not recognize that good lawyers, by education and training, can become judges and fairly consider controversial cases and not be co-opted by one side or the other. The lower federal courts write against a rather prominent backdrop of statute and precedent. It is out of line (particularly for attorneys) to suggest publicly that, because a nominee argued on behalf of a particular client or position, he or she could not objectively decide a case in favor of an opposite position. It is equally specious to suggest that because a judge in a particular case came down on one side or another, he or she would favor that side forever more.

My concern with the current tenor of the confirmation process is that the process has become divorced from reality. The issue ought be whether the nominee is a first-rate and productive lawyer and a person of integrity, regardless of personal philosophy. If those were the criteria, a fair, competent and balanced judiciary would be assured. As the confirmation process becomes more contentious (and the ostensible concerns become more shallow), I fear that stellar potential nominees will not subject themselves to it and our federal judicial system will suffer.

Politicizing the confirmation process erodes respect for the judiciary by implying that what cannot be achieved legislatively may be achieved through judicial selection. The Constitution never intended that. Unfortunately, unless those on both sides of the aisle who "advise and consent" recognize the larger need for objectivity in the process, nothing realistically can be done to improve the process.

12. Is the salary now paid to federal appellate judges too low? What should federal appellate judges be paid or, perhaps less controversially, how would one determine what the proper salary should be?

Although the salary may seem generous to the person on the street, I think almost all who know the facts would be persuaded that the salary paid to Article III judges is too low. An important tradition of the federal judiciary is its wealth of experience. Most recruited to the federal bench have spent many years acquiring broad-based experience in the legal system; nominees are at the peak of their earning capacities. Unless independently wealthy, they may very well forgo public service in the form of a judgeship because of the salary reduction it entails. Ultimately, the federal judiciary will be the worse for it. It is in the best interest of the country to have a stable, productive and diverse federal judiciary.

As anyone who follows the trends realizes, our term law clerks that serve for about one year after law school often receive starting salaries in the private sector that equal or exceed our own. University presidents and deans of top law schools command far higher salaries. Given the tremendous responsibility entrusted to federal judges and their accomplishments, I would suggest that the salary should be commensurate.

Congress should recognize that the people who we want to be judges are at the top of their profession and will make a contribution for decades. No one suggests that the salaries can (or should) equal those paid to top lawyers in the private sector, but the salaries need to be in line with those at the top of the public and academic sector where the mission is public service. As has been suggested, a commission to recommend salaries to Congress ought to determine objectively what is fair and just in this area. Once salaries are set, periodic and automatic adjustments for inflation would go a long way toward preventing a recurrence of this problem.

13. In what ways, if any, does having served as a state legislator influence your work as a judge?

Being a state legislator taught me how to read a bill. It also reinforced my strongly held belief that legislators make the law codified into statute, not judges. Finally, it reinforced my reluctance to read much into legislative history, given the myriad reasons why legislators vote for a bill. No one guarantees that a bill passed and signed into law will not be what some consider ill-advised or even absurd, but it is not the place of the courts to "fix it." Along that line, my legislative experience has made me cautious about superimposing the court's will for that of the people expressed through their duly elected representatives and executive.

14. Your father served as a trial judge in the New York State court system, and I understand that it was similarly your ambition to be a trial judge. Please explain the extent to which you have been able to serve as a trial judge by designation on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico and how you have managed to fit that additional judicial service into your workload as an appellate judge?

It was my ambition to be a trial judge. As a practicing attorney I tried cases, all kinds of cases, all of the time. After joining the Court of Appeals and seeing how understaffed and overworked the district judges were, I began to offer my services as my schedule permitted and as needed. Though I have sat in several districts, my work now is confined mostly to New Mexico, having been "placed in the assignment wheel." I now carry a trial load equal to about 25% of what a senior district judge in New Mexico handles. How do I handle a dual caseload? As I tell my law clerks, "That's why God made nights." My clerks enjoy the opportunity to work on district court cases that culminate in a trial or hearing, and both my appellate docket and my district court docket are completely current.

15. I understand that you have long served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, and that you are now the oldest active volunteer firefighter in your town. Are there any interesting stories you can share concerning these activities, how did you become involved in these activities, and why do you continue to pursue them?

Everyone needs a second childhood. I am in the eighteenth year of mine as a firefighter/EMT. There are millions of stories in this city--in my other life (as a firefighter/EMT) I have seen life as few judges have. I have worked structure and wild land fires, fatal car accidents, shootings, overdoses, suicides, domestic violence and the like. As you probably know, EMTs interface with law enforcement. Sometimes when I preside as a trial judge, a police officer will keep looking at me and I know that he's thinking "I know him from somewhere," but he can't make the connection. Or sometimes, as an officer leaves the witness stand, it suddenly dawns on him where he has seen me and he will say, "see you later, Paul."

I've even had professional contact with my children in my capacity as a firefighter/EMT. One night, I responded to a call involving a patient whose injuries from a very severe car accident and fire necessitated that she be airlifted to the University of New Mexico Trauma Center, sixty miles away in Albuquerque. We arranged for the transport, and the treating physician on the other end was Dr. Paul Kelly (my son), then a resident surgeon. When I told my wife, she said the patient had to survive--she had a Paul Kelly on either end of her treatment. Yes, the patient survived.

I live outside the city limits of Santa Fe and all fire and emergency medical service is volunteer. Having always been interested in both types of service and not realizing the hundreds of hours of training required, I just volunteered. I have to put in more hours of continuing education to keep up my EMT license than I do for my law license, but I think it is worthwhile.

16. You served on the three-judge Tenth Circuit panel that considered Timothy McVeigh's appeal from his judgment of conviction and death sentence. Because that case involved a direct attack on the federal government and the federal judiciary, did it present unusual challenges on a personal level? And what do you recall your reaction was, assuming you had one, to news reports that issued shortly before the date on which McVeigh's death sentence was to be carried out that the federal government had uncovered a significant amount of additional evidence that it should have turned over to McVeigh's defense attorneys before trial?

The McVeigh case was a tragic case for all involved. I did not feel any particular challenges on a personal level other than the challenge to get it right. The panel took each motion as it was filed and I feel confident that each was handled correctly. I make it a point not to listen, view or read news reports of cases in which I am involved.

17. What qualities do you look for in deciding whom to hire as a law clerk, and are there any sorts of candidates you wish were applying but haven't been? Also, how if at all did the new "Law Clerk Hiring Plan" change for better or worse your experience in hiring law clerks who will be reporting to work in the fall of 2004?

Like all federal judges, I try to hire the best and the brightest. Apart from solid academic achievement, demonstrated writing ability and the ability to complete tasks on time, I also look for well-rounded individuals who are fun to have around. After all, my clerks are about my only professional associates in Santa Fe, so I really do not want sad sacks. I have had a good cross section of applicants and those selected have served with distinction, but I would like to see more applications from groups who are under-represented in the legal profession. Perhaps Santa Fe, New Mexico is too far out in the country, but I have always encouraged all who are interested to apply and do so now.

Some aspects of the new "Law Clerk Hiring Plan" I like. Waiting until the completion of two full years of law school has been good because it allows me to get a more representative view of academic performance. From the beginning I told all who would listen that, beyond that, I will not go. While an applicant can go to Los Angeles or New York, Chicago or Boston, without much difficulty, you just don't "run over" to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Consequently, I take applications after the completion of two years of law school and will interview anytime during the summer, as opposed to waiting until after Labor Day. This saves the applicant considerable expense and permits me to manage my workload and run my chambers efficiently.

18. Word is that you sometimes ski and go on hikes with your law clerks and that you throw a memorable St. Patrick's Day celebration. In what ways does a clerkship in your chambers differ from what law clerks might experience if they were working for a different boss or somewhere other than Santa Fe, New Mexico?

The question says it all. I enjoy my law clerks and my chambers are sixteen miles from a very good ski area, thus the occasional one-half day ski outing. I am also about 10 miles from several golf courses and thus the occasional golf outing. Santa Fe is a great place to live and although we all work hard, we try to have a little fun. I would hope that other judges, in their own way, enjoy having an occasional outing with their clerks, too.

As for our St. Paddy's day party, let me say that as you climb the hill to my home from the road below, the clear notes of the bagpiper echoing across the valley bring back memories of the Emerald Isle. 'Tis a fine occasion with a few hundred of our closest friends.

19. A law review article titled "Who Would Win a Tournament of Judges?" lists you as one of the most frequently cited judges now serving on this Nation's federal appellate courts. Does this information come as a surprise to you, and why or why not? Also, which of your own opinions do you find most memorable?

I was quite surprised to be told of the article. I have never thought much beyond the particular case I was working on, but I am pleased that others may have been helped by my opinions.

Since the day I joined the court, I have tried to craft concise opinions that will be useful to the practicing bar and the district courts--both need to keep current, and I do not want to add to that burden. In that regard, my most memorable opinion of late has been Dodge v. Cotter Corp., 328 F.3d 1212 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 124 S. Ct. 533 (2003), discussing the importance of an evidentiary hearing to resolve Daubert objections to expert testimony.

Law clerks tend to have a more expansive view of what needs to be said given their recent academic experience, and I have resisted that approach. In that regard, Senior Judge Robert H. McWilliams of the Tenth Circuit serves as a model--I was impressed with the brevity and clarity of his opinions when I practiced law--I have even more respect for those qualities now that I am performing the same task.

20. What do you do for enjoyment and/or relaxation in your spare time?

In my spare time, in addition to my volunteer efforts, I enjoy playing classical piano and a baroque recorder. I am always reading a good book. I like to hunt and fish. I ski, hike and play a little golf. My wife and I also enjoy camping and traveling to see our five children (two physicians, a college professor, an attorney and a professional dancer) and our ten (to date) grandchildren.
Posted at 00:00 by Howard Bashman



Monday, July 05, 2004
Beyond race-based affirmative action: Nat Hentoff today has this op-ed in The Washington Times.
Posted at 23:16 by Howard Bashman



"E-mails can haunt executives; Unguarded messages can show up in court": The San Francisco Chronicle contains this article today.
Posted at 23:12 by Howard Bashman



"State's 'Unfair Competition Law' Under Fire": This article will appear in Tuesday's issue of The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 23:05 by Howard Bashman



"High court's ruling boosts Internet filters": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 22:59 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The New York Times: An article reports that "Developers, Once Friends, Now Keep Lawyers Busy." And columnist William Safire has an op-ed entitled "Rights of Terror Suspects."
Posted at 22:41 by Howard Bashman



"Laws Evolve to Cope with Posthumous Conception": This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained this report (Real Player required) about a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued almost one month ago. I first reported on the ruling on the day it issued, in a post you can access here. The next day, I linked to press coverage of the ruling, including a report from The Associated Press headlined "Federal appeals court says frozen-sperm kids should get benefits." The news would have been even more amazing had the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer represented the frozen-sperm kids in their successful appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
Posted at 22:21 by Howard Bashman



"Leon Holmes Should Not be Confirmed to Federal Bench": The organization People For the American Way has today issued this press release. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to hold an up-or-down vote on this nomination tomorrow.
Posted at 21:09 by Howard Bashman



In Tuesday's edition of The Hill: Tomorrow's newspaper will contain an article headlined "Cliffhanger vote today on Holmes" and a news brief headlined "Kennedy brief challenges Pryor’s right to hear cases."
Posted at 20:55 by Howard Bashman



"AP Tours Guantanamo Bay Detention Center": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 20:54 by Howard Bashman



"Legal film targets minority students; Groups seeking more diversity in legal field; Film shows students door is open": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 14:31 by Howard Bashman



"Q&A: US Supreme Court Guantanamo ruling." BBC News Online today offers this report.
Posted at 14:13 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Actions Seen Curbing Bush Agenda": NPR's Nina Totenberg had this report (Real Player required) on today's broadcast of "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:48 by Howard Bashman



"High Court May Have to Revisit Sentencing": Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:27 by Howard Bashman



"FBI can access almost anything about anyone": Part two of the series on the Patriot Act appears today in The Providence Journal.
Posted at 08:14 by Howard Bashman



"James Marshall Sprouse dies at 80": The Charleston Gazette yesterday contained an obituary that begins, "James Marshall Sprouse, a retired federal appeals judge known as a reform-minded, liberal Democrat, died early Saturday at his home in Charleston after suffering from extended illness. He was 80." And The Associated Press reports that "Retired 4th Circuit judge Sprouse dies."
Posted at 08:10 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court term had landmark rulings; One of most important in recent years": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains this article today.
Posted at 07:55 by Howard Bashman



"Terror rulings highlight Supreme Court term; Liberals, conservatives can count victories, but justices leave many questions hanging": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 07:53 by Howard Bashman



Sunday, July 04, 2004
"Election-year term is cautious one for court": This article appeared yesterday in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 23:54 by Howard Bashman



"Investment in Home State Pays Off Handsomely for Souter": Charles Lane will have this article in Monday's issue of The Washington Post.
Posted at 22:52 by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition - Sunday": The broadcast contained segments entitled "Reviewing the Supreme Court's Rulings in 2004" and "Judge Alex Kozinski: Books and Tapes for Summer."
Posted at 14:55 by Howard Bashman



"Flag burning on the front burner; Opinions on amending the Constitution to protect Old Glory are heated -- and often surprising": This article appears today in The Oakland Tribune.
Posted at 14:48 by Howard Bashman



"ACLU loses preliminary bid to have Commandments removed": AccessNorthGa.com yesterday provided this report.
Posted at 14:46 by Howard Bashman



"Possible role for brig worries some; Neighbors say they don't want more terrorist suspects housed in the Navy Consolidated Brig in Hanahan": This article appeared Friday in The Charleston Post and Courier. Previously, that newspaper reported that "Prisoners of war worry Hanahan; Security concerns city officials."
Posted at 14:43 by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski competes for the most unconventional mention ever accorded an appellate judge at "How Appealing": As first reported here at the blog "Underneath Their Robes," Judge Kozinski "was quite a cutie, but his kissing technique, while certainly enthusiastic, may leave something to be desired." And be sure to see the evidence, in the form of a video clip (Real Player required), before Judge Kozinski's Web site runs out of bandwidth.

This may well top the achievements of those appellate judges who have caused the clearcutting of timber that didn't belong to them (see here, here, here, here, and here) or who have gone on a drunken sortie behind the wheel of an automobile (see here, here, and here).
Posted at 11:58 by Howard Bashman



From the "Week in Review" section of today's issue of The New York Times: Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen has an essay headlined "One Eye on Principle, the Other on the People's Will." And an article is headlined "Sex and the Supreme Court -- Internet Filters Are: [Good] [Bad] [Both]."
Posted at 11:51 by Howard Bashman



The Providence Journal launches series reporting on The Patriot Act: Part one, published today, is headlined "Act greatly expands powers of secret court."
Posted at 11:49 by Howard Bashman



"Slim Legal Grounds for Torture Memos; Most Scholars Reject Broad View of Executive's Power": This news analysis appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:47 by Howard Bashman



"Petition Seeks to Restore Cross to County Seal; The symbol was removed after the ACLU threatened to sue; Some officials want it back": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Daily News reports today that "Campaign seeks support for vote on seal's cross." And The Charlotte Observer today contains an op-ed entitled "Fight over L.A. seal trivializes 1st Amendment; Constitution doesn't bar every religious symbol from the public square."
Posted at 11:41 by Howard Bashman



Two more articles reporting on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 Term: Steve Lash of the Cox News Service reports that "Fundamental rights showcased in court term." And the Block News Alliance reports that "Supreme Court decisions reflect assertions on terrorism."
Posted at 11:34 by Howard Bashman



"High court narrowly avoids clean sweep against free speech": Paul K. McMasters of the First Amendment Center offers this analysis.
Posted at 11:33 by Howard Bashman



"The Rehnquist difference; Despite his low profile, chief justice from Shorewood has made big impact on high court": This article appeared last Sunday in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Posted at 11:29 by Howard Bashman



"Court Cases Checked a President's Powers; Scholars call justices' rulings landmarks in preserving basic rights; In criminal law, a pair of decisions could have far-reaching effects": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:27 by Howard Bashman



"Finality Seems to Elude High Court's Grasp; In Ruling on Constitutional Controversies, the Justices Are Leaving Them Unsettled": Charles Lane has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:23 by Howard Bashman



Saturday, July 03, 2004
"Judge judges not, lest ye be...." This essay by Reid Alan Cox, which begins "There was a time when recess appointments of judges to the federal bench were simply routine," is available online at the Web site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 23:48 by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo Defense Team Taking On System; Military lawyers for six prisoners in the war on terrorism are in the unusual position of having to attack their leaders over tribunals": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 23:46 by Howard Bashman



In Sunday's issue of The New York Times: Law Professor Cass R. Sunstein will have an op-ed entitled "The Smallest Court in the Land." And William Safire's "On Language" column, in The New York Times Magazine, reports on and takes issue with Justice Antonin Scalia's explanation for why he used "recuse" as an intransitive verb in his memorandum opinion issued this past March in Cheney v. United States Dist. Court for D.C.
Posted at 22:12 by Howard Bashman



In news from Florida: The Palm Beach Post reports today that "West Palm justice sworn in to lead state's supreme court." And The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that "Ex-W. Palm Beach lawyer becomes Florida's 2nd female chief justice."
Posted at 22:06 by Howard Bashman



"Justices reassert role of judicial oversight; Terrorism rulings highlighted busy term for Supreme Court": CNN.com today provides this report.
Posted at 19:41 by Howard Bashman



"Same Justices, New Court": Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times provides this wrap-up of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 Term.
Posted at 19:38 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Seattle Times reports today that "State to pay attorney over bungled appeal." And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Gregoire's office settles suit; Attorney was forced out of job after botched appeal."
Posted at 12:05 by Howard Bashman



"9th Circuit is no renegade in reviews by high court": Claire Cooper, legal affairs writer for The Sacramento Bee, today has this article in that newspaper.
Posted at 08:30 by Howard Bashman



"Just vote no: Senator's decision on nominee could be crucial." The Houston Chronicle today contains an editorial which notes that "After its Independence Day break, the Senate is scheduled to confront Bush's nomination of J. Leon Holmes to be a U.S. district judge in Arkansas."
Posted at 08:28 by Howard Bashman



"State must install air conditioning, court says; Federal court upholds 2003 ruling requiring safe temperatures": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "The state must come through on its promise to install air conditioning at Wisconsin's Supermax prison, a federal appeals court said Friday."
Posted at 08:26 by Howard Bashman



"Courting O'Connor: Why the chief justice isn't the Chief Justice." Charles Lane will have this lengthy cover story article in tomorrow's issue of The Washington Post Magazine.
Posted at 08:22 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro's Term-in-review article is headlined "No Resolution." Mauro also has a second article, which is headlined "The 'Sleeper' Cases With the Wide Ripple Effect; Seattle associate is 2-0 in high court debut." And in other coverage, "Criminal Cases Take the Lead for Court's Next Term"; "After 'Lane,' Barriers Remain"; "Life After a Landmark Case"; and "A Look Back at Key Cases of the Past Term."

I'm also quite pleased to see that the nationwide law.com newswire has published Shannon P. Duffy's article headlined "Lawyer Acting Pro Se Denied Award of Fees." That article reports on my pro bono victory this week before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (court's opinion here; my appellate brief here).
Posted at 00:01 by Howard Bashman



Friday, July 02, 2004
The Los Angeles Times is reporting: In news from Dallas, Texas, "Quiet End to Muslim Brothers' Trial; Once accused of being 'terrorist moneymen,' the five await a verdict in an export case; Critics call it an overzealous prosecution by the U.S." An article reports that "Bush Salutes Civil Rights Act at 40; He praises the courage of those who struggled to pass the law; Two key black leaders are absent." And in regional news, "Setback for Counties' E-Vote Effort; A judge tentatively rules against San Bernardino and Riverside counties' request for an order overturning the state's ban on the machines."
Posted at 23:50 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The Washington Post: An article reports that "Lawyers Seek Access To 53 at Guantanamo; Letter to Rumsfeld Faxed Yesterday." In other news, "Bush Hails Civil Rights Act of 1964; 40th Anniversary Of Law Celebrated." In regional news, "Mall Standoff Farmer Freed; Justice Department Loses Bid to Keep North Carolina Man Jailed" and "Va. Error Reinstates Blue Law; Workers Can Insist On Sundays Off." An editorial is entitled "Derail E-Mail Snooping." And an op-ed by David Ignatius is entitled "The Balance of Justice Amid a War."
Posted at 23:30 by Howard Bashman



The New York Times is reporting: Today's newspaper reports that "Bush Marks 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act." In other news, "New Law Gives Virginia's Workers a Break, by Accident." In regional news, "Lawyers Sue Over Tapes With Detainees." And an editorial is entitled "The Rush to Wedlock Politics."
Posted at 23:12 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court ruling on sentencing upsets federal judges": Stephen Henderson of Knight Ridder Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 22:56 by Howard Bashman



"Kennedy Wants Fed Appellate Judge Off Bench": The AP reports here that "Sen. Edward Kennedy is trying for the third time to persuade the colleagues of federal appellate Judge William Pryor to bump him from the bench. The Massachusetts Democrat is asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to rule that President Bush's appointment of Pryor in February during a congressional recess was unconstitutional." The article goes on to state that "He plans to mount a similar argument in another case that has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kennedy aide James Flug said."
Posted at 22:39 by Howard Bashman



"AP: FBI Interviews Terror Trial Judge." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 22:37 by Howard Bashman



Reuters is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Lawyers seek release of nine Guantanamo prisoners" and "Judge Wants Details of Bryant Hearing Kept Secret."
Posted at 22:07 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Gina Holland reports that "Court Asked to Hear First Guantanamo Cases." And in other news, "Judge Tries to Keep Bryant Hearing Closed."
Posted at 17:38 by Howard Bashman



Hypothetical conversation between inmates overheard at Wisconsin Supermax Prison -- Q. "So why are you in Supermax?" A. "For the air conditioning." Upon reading the final two pages of this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today, the title of this post might just make sense.
Posted at 17:34 by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit once again gives the University of Rochester no reason to Celebrex: The Federal Circuit today denied the university's petition for rehearing en banc in a case in which a three-judge panel of that court affirmed a trial court's decision invalidating a patent belonging to the University of Rochester. The university had sued Pfizer claiming that sale of Celebrex infringed the university's patent. Seven judges voted against granting rehearing en banc, while five judges voted in favor. Today's order, accompanied by many dissenting and concurring opinions, can be accessed here. The three-judge panel's opinion, which I first noted here, can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 17:24 by Howard Bashman



"Judge Blocks Virginia's Sundays-Off Law": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 15:33 by Howard Bashman



"Appellate Experts Review 2003 Supreme Court Term": Thanks to C-SPAN, by clicking here (Real Player required) you can view online a program described as follows: "The Washington Legal Foundation hosts a review of the 2003 Supreme Court term with appellate experts Kenneth W. Starr, Andrew J. Pincus, and Richard Klingler."
Posted at 14:39 by Howard Bashman



"FedEx loses legal challenge to Sept. 11 aid rules": Reuters provides this coverage of a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.
Posted at 14:01 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. government files tobacco case details": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 13:58 by Howard Bashman



"Swing Votes, Making Things Come Out Right, and the Virtue of Justice": Law Professor Lawrence Solum offers this very interesting post triggered by two news reports that he found this morning here at "How Appealing."
Posted at 13:40 by Howard Bashman



"Court: Amtrak Workers Can't Walk Off Job." The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.
Posted at 12:23 by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer Acting Pro Se Denied Award of Fees": The Legal Intelligencer today includes this front page article (subscription required) reporting on my recent pro bono victory (court's opinion here; my appellate brief here) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Posted at 11:08 by Howard Bashman



"Moderate Republicans May Sink Bush Nominee": According to this item posted today at Human Events Online, the U.S. Senate on July 6, 2004 will debate and vote on the nomination of J. Leon Holmes to serve as a federal district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. You can access here an article that summarizes some of the reasons why this nominee may have difficulty achieving Senate confirmation. Meanwhile, CNSNews.com today previews next week's vote in an article headlined "GOP Senators Targeted in Fight Over Judicial Nominee."
Posted at 10:52 by Howard Bashman



"Despite insanity, man gets jury call": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "A Houston man acquitted by reason of insanity after slicing his girlfriend's eyes has been summoned for jury duty in Harris County. And he might be legally able to serve, although his odds of being chosen are slim, lawyers said."
Posted at 10:10 by Howard Bashman



A reminder: At midnight on Tuesday, July 6, 2004, I will be posting online here the July 2004 installment of "20 questions for the appellate judge." This month's interviewee is Tenth Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. Having received his answers just the other day, I can assure you that this will be one of the best "20 questions" installments yet.

Two interview slots remain open and unclaimed for 2004 -- August and December. This monthly interview segment, which had its debut in February 2003, is hands-down the favorite feature of "How Appealing" readers. And the feature is not simply frequently fascinating; it is also unique. No other media outlet anywhere in the United States offers a monthly interview with a federal or state appellate judge.

I have stated from the outset that I will keep this feature alive indefinitely so long as an appellate judge volunteers to be interviewed each month. Unless a volunteer emerges for the August 2004 interview no later than Friday, July 9th, 2004, there will be no "20 questions" interview in August 2004, and the November 2004 interview will be the final installment in the "20 questions for the appellate judge" series. In order to volunteer, all that a willing interviewee needs to do is send me an email, a process that can be initiated by clicking here.
Posted at 09:24 by Howard Bashman



"A Flap Over 'The Lion Sleep Tonight'": Reuters reports here that "South African lawyers are suing U.S. entertainment giant Walt Disney Co for infringement of copyright on 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight,' the most popular song to emerge from Africa, the lawyers said on Friday."
Posted at 09:19 by Howard Bashman



"Cameras Didn't Catch This High Courtroom Drama": Bloomberg News columnist Ann Woolner has this essay today.
Posted at 07:32 by Howard Bashman



In news from Denver: The Rocky Mountain News today reports that "'Two moms' ruling upheld; Parenting to be split; homophobic-teaching issue still undecided." And The Denver Post reports that "'Psychological parent' prevails; Decision in custody case."
Posted at 07:29 by Howard Bashman



In news from Mississippi: The Clarion-Ledger reports today that "Clinic seeks to halt new abortion law; Act 'effectively bans' second trimester abortions, lawsuit says." And The Sun Herald reports that "Judge's comments on gays protected."
Posted at 07:26 by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer teaches rules of war; Parents in Holt keep a light on until son returns": This article appears today in The Lansing State Journal.
Posted at 07:24 by Howard Bashman



"10 couples launch lawsuit over state ban on gay marriage": The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contains this article today.
Posted at 07:24 by Howard Bashman



"Combatant rulings seen as confusing": Newsday today contains this article.
Posted at 07:23 by Howard Bashman



"Honoring a milestone on the road to equality; Civil Rights Act catapulted the nation into a new racial era 40 years ago today": This article appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 07:22 by Howard Bashman



"Juice bar ends challenge to age limit on strippers": The Kansas City Star today contains this article.
Posted at 07:20 by Howard Bashman



"O'Connor's power examined; Professor says add justices, end 'court of 1'": This article appears today in The Arizona Republic.
Posted at 07:19 by Howard Bashman



"High court protected liberties by limiting presidential power; Justices took ideals from history in deciding cases on defendants' rights, free speech and Pledge of Allegiance": Joan Biskupic has this article in today's issue of USA Today.
Posted at 07:14 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Term Bleak for Conservatives": Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 06:48 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, July 01, 2004
The Los Angeles Times is reporting: An article reports that "D.A. Won't Take Part in Bryant's Trial; Hurlbert, who filed the assault charges, says three underlings will handle prosecution duties as he shifts his focus to other cases." In regional news, "Haidl Defense Attorney Leaves Case; Upset by news coverage of the rape trial, Joseph Cavallo hands off to his co-counsel." And an editorial is entitled "Chipping Away at Web Porn."
Posted at 23:58 by Howard Bashman



"SJC hears sex offender data case; Plaintiffs voice vigilantism fears": The Boston Globe today contains this article.
Posted at 23:56 by Howard Bashman



"Ban on same-sex unions appears likely on Ore. ballot; Ark., Mich., Ohio may follow soon": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 23:54 by Howard Bashman



Additional news and commentary pertaining to the U.S. Supreme Court: Friday's edition of Financial Times will contain an article headlined "Party politics provides a poor guide to positions of the Supreme Court."

The organization People For the American Way today issued a press release entitled "Supreme Court's 2003-2004 Term Crucial to Constitution; PFAWF Publishes Analysis of Term's Impact on Rights, Liberties, and Legal Protections." You can access a copy of the analysis at this link.

The Cornell Chronicle today contains an article headlined "Ginsburg charts women's progress in the legal profession, in CU Law Review."

Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe today had an editorial entitled "Supreme Constraint" in The Wall Street Journal.

Finally, online at The American Prospect, Robert Kuttner today has an essay entitled "Freeing Liberty: The Supreme Court awarded a narrow victory to the U.S. Constitution over the objections of the Bush administration," while National Review Online today published an essay by Mark R. Levin entitled "Court Review: Hamdi & Rasul."
Posted at 23:41 by Howard Bashman



"Schwarzenegger ad lawsuit a case for Ohio, court rules; Auto dealer lacked OK to use image": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle today has this article.
Posted at 23:40 by Howard Bashman



"High court keeps verdict for LePage's; Tape maker won $70 million from 3M": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Posted at 23:32 by Howard Bashman



Thanks to Chuck Lane for the very kind mention: Today The Washington Post hosted an online chat with its U.S. Supreme Court correspondent, Charles Lane. Here's an excerpt from the middle of the chat:
Alexandria, Va.: Thank you for taking our questions.

In general I find that the importance of the Supreme Court is underplayed in the media and by society in general. That a handful of men and women with lifetime appointments can rule on the most pressing matters of the day and alter history in such a profound fashion I find extraordinary. Why do you think the day to day life of the Court is not as well documented or followed as say the House or Senate, let alone the White House? There are governors who get more press than the Court.

Follow up: Where should one look who is interested in keeping up with the Court year round? Are there online journals or newspapers that you would recommend?

Charles Lane: Quite simply, the day to day life of the court takes place almost entirely in secret, in the justices' chambers where everyone is bound by a kind of judicial vow of silence. I'm not sure how illuminating a wide-open opinion-writing process would be, however, since the written opinions are pretty much a "what you see is what you get" proposition. In short, there might be less there than meets the eye. Good places to follow the court? Well, there's always the Washington Post, but, to answer another question as well, some good blogs are at goldsteinhowe.com and "how appealing," Howard Bashman's appellate court blog.
Chuck's mention is most appreciated.
Posted at 23:13 by Howard Bashman



"If 'it looks like weed,' don't bring it to the courthouse": The Grand Rapids Press today contains this article (via "Obscure Store").
Posted at 22:19 by Howard Bashman



"Scholars & Scribes Review the Rulings: The Supreme Court's 2003-2004 Term." On the morning of Monday, July 12, 2004, The Heritage Foundation will host the fifth annual installment of this event in Washington, DC. The scholars panel will consist of Walter E. Dellinger, III, Miguel Estrada, and Douglas W. Kmiec, and will be moderated by Edwin Meese III. The scribes panel will consist of Tony Mauro, Stuart Taylor Jr., and me, and will be moderated by Todd Gaziano. The presentation is open to the public, and all "How Appealing" readers in the DC area are cordially invited to attend. For those not able to attend, the program will be streamed live over the Internet by The Heritage Foundation and likely will be shown live on C-SPAN.
Posted at 22:03 by Howard Bashman



"Terror-war involvement defines court's term; Decisions on sentencing guidelines and law-enforcement tactics could also have big impact": Warren Richey will have this article in Friday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 21:20 by Howard Bashman



"In the case before us, the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance asks us to sanction a judge for his extra-judicial public statements of his views on the rights of gays and lesbians." The Supreme Court of Mississippi today issued a decision in which the majority opinion begins:
In the case before us, the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance asks us to sanction a judge for his extra-judicial public statements of his views on the rights of gays and lesbians. We decline to do so and dismiss the Commission's complaint. This is a case of first impression.
Thanks to "thus blogged anderson" for the pointer.
Posted at 21:10 by Howard Bashman



"Colo. Court Tosses Part of Lesbian Case": The Associated Press reports here that "An appeals court threw out a judge's order Thursday that barred a woman who left a lesbian relationship from teaching her adopted daughter anything that might be considered 'homophobic.'" You can access today's ruling of the Colorado Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 21:04 by Howard Bashman



"Richardson decision delayed by clerk's illness": Who says no judicial law clerk is indispensable? The Associated Press reports here that "A federal judge says a law clerk's illness has delayed a ruling on former basketball coach Nolan Richardson's discrimination suit against the University of Arkansas."
Posted at 20:35 by Howard Bashman



"'Tractor Man' Released; Federal Appeals Court Refuses to Block Shortened Jail Term": The Washington Post provides this news update, which states that a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit voted 2-1 to allow the release from custody.
Posted at 20:33 by Howard Bashman



"Court Tackled Big Issues, Avoided Others": Anne Gearan of The Associated Press provides this report, which is accompanied by a "Supreme Court Wrap-Up Glance."
Posted at 17:14 by Howard Bashman



A more detailed report on yesterday's Solomon Amendment oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit: Blogger Phillip Carter, in the second update to this post, provides a more detailed account of the oral argument, which I previously summarized here.

Thanks to today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day," you can also hear Phil Carter on the radio, in a segment entitled "Slate's War Stories: New Battlefield Rules?" (Real Player required).
Posted at 16:48 by Howard Bashman



Reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 Term: Via C-SPAN, you can view online at this link (Real Player required) the "Discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court 2003-04 Term," sponsored by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, held today in Washington, DC. Yesterday evening's broadcast of the PBS program "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" contained a segment analyzing the 2003 Term, and you can access the transcript here. Finally, Lyle Denniston of "SCOTUSblog" offers a retrospective titled "A bold and self-confident Court."
Posted at 15:05 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: In news from Minnesota, "Microsoft to Pay Up to $241.4M Settlement." And an article headlined "Limp Bizkit Not Liable for Concert Injury" reports on this decision that the Michigan Court of Appeals issued on Tuesday.
Posted at 14:48 by Howard Bashman



"Felons' prison terms in jeopardy; U.S. Supreme Court decision may force Michigan to review jail terms for thousands": This article appears today in The Detroit News.
Posted at 14:42 by Howard Bashman



"Top Court Term Marked by Bush Terrorism Rebuke": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 12:26 by Howard Bashman



D.C. Circuit judge takes issue with "objectively incorrect statement of fact" contained in President Clinton's new book: On Monday, D.C. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle issued the following press release:
While normally I do not think it is appropriate for judges to reply to critical comments, or respond to printed criticism, I find an exception is in order with reference to one of former President Clinton's statements about me in his recently released book. Because his statement does not concern any matter that is case related, and is not simply a matter of opinion but is an objectively incorrect statement of fact, I feel both privileged and obligated to correct that misstatement. On pages 612-13 of his book, Clinton states that I "had decried the influence of 'leftist heretics' who wanted America to become a 'collectivist, egalitarian, materialistic, race-conscious, hyper-secular, and socially permissive state.'" In fact, I had decried no such thing.

The statement quoted by Clinton is not a statement of my views, but is a statement from a book review written by me for the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy describing the views of the author of the book on "left wing heretics." The next sentence described that author's views on "conservative heretics."

Lest I be guilty of taking statements out of context in the same way as the book to which I am responding, the relevant passage of my review reads as follows:
The heretics, Bork argues, are those theorists who find the written Constitution inadequate for their political purposes. Leftist heretics perceive our system of separated and federated powers as a stumbling block to their goal of remaking the Republic into a collectivist, egalitarian, materialist, race-conscious, hyper-secular, and socially permissive state that would never be approved by a democratically elected legislature. Conservative heretics, meanwhile, would look outside the Constitution in order to write into that document a wish-list of social or economic conservatism, and Bork spares them no criticism.
14 H.J.L.P.P 225, 228.

As the excerpt makes clear, I was not decrying anything nor expressing any view, but like any book reviewer, I was describing the views of the book I was reviewing.
Duly noted.
Posted at 11:47 by Howard Bashman



"Lawmakers seek probe of judge": Today's issue of The San Antonio Express-News contains an article that begins, "A group of Republican lawmakers urged a newly formed committee on judicial conduct to investigate a New York federal judge who compared President Bush's rise to power to that of dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini." Earlier this morning, I linked here to an article that reports on the committee's response.
Posted at 11:33 by Howard Bashman



"Court Tosses $6.1M Judgment for Egg Farm": The Associated Press provides this report on a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued yesterday.
Posted at 10:48 by Howard Bashman



In news from Virginia: The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains articles headlined "Law gives rest for the weary; State's employers alarmed by legal glitch that lets workers take Sundays off" and "Hundreds rally against the passage of a law that critics say could nullify contracts between same-sex couples."
Posted at 09:48 by Howard Bashman



"Harris execution carried out; 5th Circuit vacates reprieve for 1985 Beaumont murder": The inmate whose testimony put an innocent man, Randall Dale Adams, on death row for the 1976 slaying of a Dallas police officer as featured in the film "The Thin Blue Line" was executed yesterday in Texas, The Houston Chronicle reports here.
Posted at 09:29 by Howard Bashman



"Justice Breyer Rebuffs a Complaint; Congress Presses 'Mussolini' Judge": The New York Sun's Josh Gerstein, who has owned this story from its outset, today has this front page article. Yesterday, Law Professor Eugene Volokh posted online a copy of the complaint.
Posted at 08:15 by Howard Bashman



"Recent ruling cuts jail term": The Portland Press Herald today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge in Portland shaved more than 10 years off a convicted drug dealer's sentence Monday in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that threatens to change long-established federal sentencing practices." A copy of the transcript containing this ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:07 by Howard Bashman



"Decision supports theater lawsuit; The case of wheelchair access to stadium seating at six Regal Cinemas sites in Oregon will be returned to U.S. District Court": This article appears today in The Oregonian.
Posted at 08:05 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Roundup": At 11 a.m. eastern time today, The Washington Post is hosting a live online chat with Charles Lane, its U.S. Supreme Court correspondent. Perhaps someone will ask him for his views on Web logs that seek to cover developments at the Court. You can access the chat and submit questions via this link.
Posted at 08:01 by Howard Bashman



"Reconsider, U.S. Supreme Court says; State high court must revisit decision in Watertown murder case": The Associated Press provides this report from Wisconsin.
Posted at 08:00 by Howard Bashman



"Filtering Web Porn": This editorial appears today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:59 by Howard Bashman



The Washington Post is reporting: In today's edition, Charles Lane reports that "Justices Move to Define Detainees' Court Access; Order Seeks Opinion From 9th Circuit About Where a Case Should Be Heard." In other news, "Microsoft Settlement Upheld; Appeal for Tougher Sanctions Rejected." An article headlined "Court Limits Privacy Of E-Mail Messages; Providers Free to Monitor Communications" reports on this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued on Tuesday. In other news, "U.S. Judge Cuts Farmer's Sentence In Mall Standoff." And an editorial is entitled "Protecting Kids Online."
Posted at 07:50 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The New York Times: Adam Liptak reports that "U.S. Judge Overturns Guidelines for Sentences." In other news, "Administration Changing Review at Guantanamo Bay." An article reports that "Court Lets Settlement Stand in Microsoft Antitrust Case." And in other news, "Teenager Convicted in Boatyard Fire Will Stay in Maine."
Posted at 07:40 by Howard Bashman



"Ousted justice says U.S. is on road to chaos": This article appears today in The Seattle Times.
Posted at 07:30 by Howard Bashman



"Justices Allow Redistricting in Georgia": Thursday's issue of The New York Times contains this article.
Posted at 00:07 by Howard Bashman




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