How Appealing

Monday, June 30, 2008

Reading Phillies 13, New Britain Rock Cats 8: My son and I traveled to nearby Reading, Pennsylvania this evening to see the Reading Phillies -- the AA Eastern League affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies -- host the New Britain (Conn.) Rock Cats -- the AA Eastern League Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

I originally chose this game because the R-Phils were giving away a Jimmy Rollins MVP Collector's Edition Retro Style Bobble Head.

The game began on a less than pleasant note for the home team as the Rock Cats jumped out to an 8-1 lead with nobody out in the top of the second inning and had a runner on third. The R-Phils placed the call to the bullpen, which miraculously held the Rock Cats scoreless for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the R-Phils continued to chip away at the lead, narrowing the gap to 8-5 by the end of the third inning and trailing by just one run at the end of the fourth. At the end of the sixth inning, the game was tied. From there, the R-Phils scored another unanswered five runs to win the game 13-8.

According to this wrap of the game, tonight was the biggest comeback win for the Reading Phillies in ten years. Relievers Travis Minix and Josh Outman both turned in impressive performances, allowing starting pitcher Kip Bouknight to avoid the loss despite having given up eight earned runs in one-plus innings.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies enter July with only a half-game lead in the National League East. We will next see them play on Sunday against the New York Mets.
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ga. court upholds partial banishment for offenders": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Faced with the question of whether banishment for criminals in Georgia should be banned, the state's top court answered Monday with its own caveat: It depends on how far the ban extends."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia at this link.
Posted at 04:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Antonin Scalia: Al Gore to blame for 2000 US election mess." This article appeared last Friday in The Telegraph (UK).
Posted at 04:12 PM by Howard Bashman


By a vote of 7-5, the en banc Eleventh Circuit holds that National Geographic did not infringe the copyrights of a freelance photographer when the publication reproduced within a thirty-disc CD-ROM the print magazine issues that included his photographs: You can access today's ruling of the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit at this link.

law.com has recently covered the case in articles headlined "Citing Supreme Court Precedent, 11th Circuit Reverses Major Copyright Ruling; 'Greenberg' and 'Tasini' cases pit publishers against freelance photographers and writers"; "National Geographic Copyright Case Reopens; Full 11th Circuit to consider freelance photographer's back-and-forth dispute with magazine": and "Major Publishers Back National Geographic in Copyright Fight."
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit reinstates insider trading claims brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against a former Fidelity National Financial director alleged to have traded on confidential information about the impending acquisition of LendingTree, Inc.: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"CCR Files Four New Abu Ghraib Torture Lawsuits Targeting Military Contractors in U.S. Courts": The Center for Constitutional Rights has issued this news release today, linking to the complaints filed today in federal court.

And The Associated Press reports that "Abu Ghraib inmates sue contractors, claim torture."
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman



Ostriches and their head: Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner posted this comment to the "Language Log" blog overnight. For those concerned that the comment may be from a Judge Posner imposter -- fear not, as Judge Posner himself sent me an email overnight proudly claiming responsibility for the comment.

Earlier "How Appealing" posts on this arguably now tedious subject can be accessed here, here, and here.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Court Upholds Dismissal of Canadian's Suit Over Rendition": Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by a Canadian man who sued the U.S. after he was stopped in a New York airport and forcibly removed to Syria where he was tortured over alleged ties to al-Qaeda."

My earlier coverage of today's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Davis: Leveling rich candidates' speech unjustified." Tony Mauro has this news analysis online at the First Amendment Center.

And The New York Sun today contains this editorial about the ruling.
Posted at 02:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Individual Rights Make Headway; High-Court Rulings Reject Arguments Tried by Government": Saturday in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin and Gary Fields had an article that begins, "Whether they work in the White House, the Louisiana State Capitol or the District of Columbia's municipal building, elected officials received a refresher course in the limits of their power from the Supreme Court. In the term that finished this week, the justices repeatedly championed individual rights over government arguments that public safety takes precedence, in such disparate areas as gun rights, detention and cruel-and-unusual punishment."

Those lacking a WSJ.com subscription may still access the full text of the article via this link at Google News.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



D.C. Circuit makes public a redacted version of its recent ruling that overturned the Pentagon's classification of a Guantanamo detainee as an enemy combatant: The redacted ruling, made public today, can be accessed here.

My earlier coverage of the ruling appears at this link.

And The Associated Press reports that "Judges cite nonsense poem in Guantanamo case."

Update: At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Circuit Court: No detention based on 'bare assertions.'"
Posted at 11:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Plaintiff, a dual citizen of Syria and Canada, * * * alleges that he was mistreated by U.S. officials in the United States and removed to Syria with the knowledge or intention that Syrian authorities would interrogate him under torture": So begins the syllabus to today's lengthy ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Maher Arar v. John Ashcroft, et al.

By a vote of 2-1, today's ruling affirms a federal district court decision that dismissed the lawsuit. In dissent, Circuit Judge Robert D. Sack explains that he would allow Arar's Bivens-like claims for monetary damages to survive defendants' motions to dismiss.

In early news coverage, Joseph Goldstein of The New York Sun reports that "Court Rules Against Canadian's Torture Suit."
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Can California's same-sex marriages be saved? A constitutional ban would also likely doom the unions already on the books." Law Professor Kenji Yoshino has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"High court's tilt hinges on election's outcome": Yesterday in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko had an article that begins, "The final flurry of rulings in the Supreme Court's just-completed term made it clear that the future of the court, and some of its most contentious rulings, rests with voters who will elect a new president in November."
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gun Shops Await New D.C. Rules; Stores Turn Away Buyers After Ruling": The Washington Post contains this article today. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Guns: The Next Step; Congress should let the D.C. Council decide what to do." And columnist Robert D. Novak has an op-ed entitled "Obama's Dodge on Handguns."

Today's edition of The Washington Times contains an article headlined "Gun ruling's impact on election unclear; Little 'political hay,' Norton says."

Joseph Goldstein of The New York Sun reports that "Supreme Court Decision May Permit Felons To Own Guns." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Why Not Here?" And David Kopel has an op-ed entitled "Heller's Kitchen."

And in The Wall Street Journal, Michael R. Bloomberg and Thomas M. Menino have an op-ed entitled "Some Gun Rules We Can All Agree On."
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ethics Expert Stephen Gillers: Judge Kozinski Should Not Be Disciplined." This post appears today at "Patterico's Pontifications."
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Beyond Guantanamo: Gaps in the candidates' stances on handling terror suspects." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Death Penalty Puzzle: The Murky Evidence for and Against Deterrence." Cass R. Sunstein and Justin Wolfers have this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Chief Justice, Dylan and the Disappearing Double Negative": Yesterday in the Week in Review section of The New York Times, Adam Liptak had an article that begins, "The last chief justice liked light opera. The new one cites Bob Dylan. Four pages into his dissent on Monday in an achingly boring dispute between pay phone companies and long distance carriers, John G. Roberts Jr., the chief justice of the United States, put a song lyric where the citation to precedent usually goes." Liptak's article proceeds to observe that the quote from Dylan that the Chief Justice used was inaccurate.

A graphic accompanying the article shows the "Most-Cited Rockers in Judicial Opinions."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Common Sense on Punitive Damages": Columnist L. Gordon Crovitz has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court's Blockbuster Second Amendment Ruling: What the Court Resolved and What it Left Open." Michael C. Dorf has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"By a nose: A Rockland County mom draws Khalid Sheikh Mohammed." Ben McGrath has this Talk of the Town item in the July 7, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Divided Rulings Thrust U.S. High Court Into Presidential Race": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News has this report.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, June 29, 2008

"A less deferential high court: Key decisions of this term show a willingness of some justices to reject political leaders' judgments." Warren Richey will have this article Monday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Exxon decision may re-emerge in court contest; Shaw-Paseur race again puts focus on contributors": The Huntsville (Ala.) Times today contains an article that begins, "The source of campaign money could turn out to be an issue in the only state Supreme Court race on the ballot this fall."
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court is ignoring juries: Victims losing 100 percent of appeals? Is the Mississippi Supreme Court a 'rubber stamp' for powerful corporate entities?" Alex A. Alston Jr. has this op-ed today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Florida prepares for 1st execution since foul up": The Associated Press provides this report.

And The Palm Beach Post reports that "Execution nears for man who murdered 11-year-old."
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Court's Gay Rights Legacy": Yesterday. Time magazine's web site posted online an article that begins, "Five years ago this week, the United State Supreme Court delivered its most sweeping gay rights decision ever, striking down laws in Texas and other states that had criminalized sex between gays. The court erected a shield of privacy around sexual behavior for all consenting adults, and in doing so paved the way for other milestones in the gay rights legal movement, including judicial victories for gay marriage in Nov. 2003 in Massachusetts and this year in California."
Posted at 04:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"9-0 ruling modernizes defence of fair comment; Controversial radio host Mair didn't defame Christian-values advocate on book-banning, court says, setting terms for 'honest belief'": On Saturday, The Toronto Globe and Mail contained an article that begins, "The media should not live in constant fear of facing a libel suit every time a provocative commentary is published or broadcast, the Supreme Court of Canada said yesterday in a major ruling won by controversial Vancouver radio broadcaster Rafe Mair. In a 9-0 decision that modernizes the defence of fair comment, the court found that Mr. Mair did not defame Christian-values advocate Kari Simpson when he denounced her stand on a book-banning controversy."

Saturday's edition of The Toronto Star reported that "Top court ditches libel case against B.C. 'shock jock'; Decision on boundaries of fair comment will make it easier to engage in freewheeling debate."

The Vancouver Sun reported on Saturday that "Rafe Mair wins libel appeal in Supreme Court; Vancouver radio host compared public figure to Ku Klux Klan."

And The Canadian Press reports that "Supreme Court of Canada raises bar on libel lawsuits, expands fair comment."

You can access Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada at this link.
Posted at 04:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"The evolving Supreme Court: Despite 5-4 rulings in some key cases, consensus made a comeback this term." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Targeting The Supreme Court: How A Libertarian Who's Never Owned A Gun Brought The Decisive Case On The Second Amendment." This segment (transcript with link to video) appeared on today's broadcast of the CBS News program "Sunday Morning."

Today in The Chicago Tribune, columnist Eric Zorn has an op-ed entitled "Court to 2nd Amendment: You clearly need some editing."

And in The Houston Chronicle, Ted Cruz has an op-ed entitled "Supreme Court ruling scored a bull's-eye; Court's finding is true to our founding fathers' original intent."
Posted at 04:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fairness of law to be judged; Mandatory sentences: Georgia's Supreme Court will consider proportion." Today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bill Rankin has an article that begins, "The judge had only one option when he sentenced Cedric Bradshaw: life in prison. Bradshaw had not committed murder, rape or armed robbery. His offense was failing to properly register as a convicted sex offender for a second time -- even though he had repeatedly tried to follow the law."
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ziegler won't recover what she lent campaign": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "State Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler quietly closed her campaign account last year, a move that that will prevent her from recovering nearly $823,000 she personally lent her campaign. That amount equals more than half the pay she will receive for her entire 10-year term on the court."
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Courts, Afghanistan Air Base May Become Next Guantanamo": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Associated Press reports that "Guantanamo's days numbered, tough choices ahead."
Posted at 04:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Why dirty is funny: Judge Kozinski's raunch collection raises questions about obscenity and humor." Jim Holt has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.

Based on the manner in which the op-ed is displayed online, apparently an absence of paragraph breaks is also quite humorous. [Update: Since the time this post first appeared, paragraph breaks have been added to the online version of this op-ed.]
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Win by McCain Could Push a Split Court to Right": Robert Barnes has this front page article today in The Washington Post.

And today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage has an article headlined "Supreme Court blocs rarely wavered; The ideological divide was so evident this term that outcomes in most major cases could be nearly predicted; Once again, Justice Kennedy often cast the deciding vote in 5-4 decisions."
Posted at 12:07 PM by Howard Bashman



Off with their head[s]: At the "Language Log" blog, Linguistics Professor Mark Liberman today has this lengthy, well-supported, and multi-colored post evaluating Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner's use of the word "head" instead of "heads" in the following passage from that court's recent ruling in United States v. Black:
The reference of course is to the legend that ostriches when frightened bury their head in the sand.
Noting my earlier comment (in an update to this post) that Judge Posner should have used the plural "heads" in the quoted sentence, Professor Liberman writes that "In this case, my own intuitions are on Mr. Bashman's side." Professor Liberman then proceeds to review an impressive amount of empirical data showing how other speakers and writers have used "head" or "heads" in this context. The vast preponderance of this evidence, it seems, confirms Professor Liberman (and my) intuitions.

I was planning to allow Judge Posner to have essentially the last word on this matter, but I cannot allow readers of this blog to overlook Professor Liberman's scholarly and lengthy (weighing in at more than 1,600 words) post on the topic.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Supreme Court Ends Term with Tough Decisions": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday."
Posted at 07:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"In a Complicated Term, Kennedy Left Boldest Mark": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts' record on high court defies '05 pledges of centrism": James Oliphant will have this article Sunday in The Chicago Tribune.

Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has an article headlined "Court, long quiet, ends term with a growl."

James Vicini of Reuters has an article headlined "US Supreme Court: Bush gun rights win, Guantanamo loss."

law.com's Tony Mauro has an article headlined "Despite June Fireworks, a Calmer Supreme Court Term." law.com also reports that "9th Circuit Racks Up Usual High Reversal Rate in Supreme Court Term; Even conservative Judge Pamela Rymer paid a price for hewing closely to precedent."

Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "Justices' term ends on a less-contentious note."

And Mark H. Anderson of Dow Jones Newswires reports that "Supreme Court Term Is Mixed For Business, But Wins Were Big."

Update: In a post you can access here, Law Professor Eugene Volokh takes issue with the premise of The Chicago Tribune article.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court refuses to hear insurance case; Widow denied $426,000 over switch in spouse's company policy": The Houston Chronicle contains this article today.
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"New Chief Justice Quince becomes first black woman to head branch of state in Florida; She vows to continue push for reform of criminal-justice system": This article appears today in The Tallahassee Democrat.

The Orlando Sentinel reports today that "New Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Peggy Quince makes history."

The Associated Press reports that "Florida gets 1st black woman chief justice."

And The St. Petersburg Times contains an editorial entitled "Chief Justice Quince makes history at tough time for Florida high court."
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court gun ruling leaves questions: How far does the constitutional right to gun ownership extend? Is the right fundamental -- generally not subject to government rules? Or can it be strictly regulated?" David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Council Considering Gun Law Changes; City Responds to High Court Ruling."

The New York Times reports that "Challenges to Bans on Handguns Begin."

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko and Cecilia M. Vega report that "NRA sues S.F. over guns in public housing."

In The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "NRA takes on San Francisco law; City vows fight to uphold gun ban in public housing."

The Chicago Tribune reports that "NRA sues Chicago, 3 suburbs to repeal their firearms bans."

And The Chicago Sun-Times reports that "Jackson slams gun ruling, vows new effort."
Posted at 10:18 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, June 27, 2008

"U.S. Supreme Court: Landmark Decisions of the 2007-08 Term." The Brookings Institution hosted this program today, featuring Benjamin Wittes, Stuart Taylor, Jr., Miguel A. Estrada, and Randolph D. Moss. C-SPAN has posted the video online at this link (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Police officers of the City of Grass Valley, California, arrested plaintiff-appellant Matthew Fogel and impounded his van because of messages painted on the back of the vehicle." So begins an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today. The opinion goes on to explain that before Fogel was allowed to retrieve the van, he was required to paint over the messages so that they could no longer be read.
Posted at 06:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Settles Scientist's Lawsuit in Anthrax Scare for $5.85 Million": The Washington Post has a news update that begins, "The Justice Department signed a $5.85 million settlement today with Steven J. Hatfill, the former Defense Department scientist who sued the government five years ago over the disclosure of his name in connection with a nationwide anthrax scare."

And The Associated Press has a report headlined "$5.8 million for scientist in anthrax lawsuit."
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bin Laden's driver keeps July 21 trial date": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update that begins, "A military judge has refused to delay the midsummer trial of Osama bin Laden's driver at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying lawyers had sufficient time to review a recent Supreme Court decision. Navy Capt. Keith Allred wrote in a decision released by the Pentagon Friday that the trial of Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni, would open at the remote base on July 21, as scheduled."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge sees no reason to delay Guantanamo trial."

You can access yesterday's ruling at this link.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman



Second Circuit affirms federal death sentence imposed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont on Donald Fell for murder in the course of a carjacking: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.

The Associated Press reports that "NY appeals court upholds death penalty verdict."
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction has no duty under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to make certain of its records publicly available, D.C. Circuit holds: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.

You can learn more about the Commission at this link, and you can access the unclassified version of the Commission's report, issued in 2005, via this link. It is interesting to note that Senior D.C. Circuit Judge Laurence H. Silberman served as co-chairman of the Commission.
Posted at 02:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court upholds FCC on cable rules": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 01:55 PM by Howard Bashman


En banc Eighth Circuit vacates preliminary injunction that prevented the 2005 version of South Dakota's statute regulating informed consent to abortion from becoming effective: You can access today's en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit at this link. Of the eleven judges who took part in the ruling, seven voted to overturn the preliminary injunction, while four voted to uphold it.

And in early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court overturns injunction on abortion law." The AP's article begins, "A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court order that had blocked enforcement of a South Dakota law that would require doctors to tell women seeking abortions that the procedure ends a human life."
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices add 2 cases to docket, break for summer": Pete Yost of The Associated Press has this report.
Posted at 01:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court grants 2 more cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.
Posted at 10:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"O.C. judge plans to appeal ouster; Judge Kelly MacEachern committed 'willful misconduct' by filing false and misleading expense claims, a state commission finds": The Orange County Register contains this article today.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Orange County judge is removed from bench; Kelly MacEachern is removed from her duties in Newport Beach after a judicial commission finds that she filed false expense claims for a legal conference; She plans to appeal."

You can access yesterday's decision of the California Commission on Judicial Performance at this link, while additional case related documents can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 10:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court deals blow to states on electricity; California had hoped to renegotiate some long-term contracts signed during the 2000-01 crisis": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The San Diego Union-Tribune reports today that "High court deflects reopening of power contracts."
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Landmark Ruling Enshrines Right to Own Guns": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times. In addition, Adam Liptak has a news analysis headlined "After Ruling, Expect Court Fights on Guns in Cities." An article reports that "Gun-Control Supporters Show Outrage." And an editorial is entitled "Lock and Load."

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has a front page article headlined "Justices Reject D.C. Ban On Handgun Ownership; 5-4 Ruling Finds 1976 Law Incompatible With Second Amendment." The newspaper also contains articles headlined "Historic Decision Renews Old Debate"; "D.C. Views Shaped by A History Of Violence"; and "D.C. Government Faces a New Reality." An editorial is entitled "Handguns Supreme: Despite the high court's misguided ruling, the District may still have some options." Columnist Eugene Robinson has an op-ed entitled "Deadly Consequences -- But the Right Call." Columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. has an op-ed entitled "The D.C. Handgun Ruling; Originalism Goes Out the Window." And Monica Hesse has an essay entitled "The Supremes Make a Mean 'To Duel' List."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court affirms gun rights; In a historic 5-4 ruling, the justices say the 2nd Amendment protects individuals' right to bear arms." Maura Dolan has an article headlined "Gun advocates' other weapon: lawsuits; On the heels of the Supreme Court ruling, the NRA and other groups prepare to challenge gun laws in California and other states." And an article reports that "Cheers, fears meet Supreme Court gun ruling; The taxidermist, the architect, the mother who lost two children to violence -- they all see the Supreme Court decision differently." An editorial is entitled "Guns, yes and no: Individuals have a right to own firearms, the Supreme Court rules; But there can still be limits." Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky has an op-ed entitled "Judicial activism by conservatives; The high court's 2nd Amendment opinion makes the majority's agenda clear." And Brian Doherty has an op-ed entitled "The gun-rights fight isn't over; Self-defense is upheld, but control advocates aren't done by a long shot."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic and Kevin Johnson have a front page article headlined "Landmark ruling ignites challenges to firearms laws; The Supreme Court says individuals have a right to guns, but many questions remain." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Ruling reflects America's ambivalence on guns; Court strikes a balance between ownership, reasonable restrictions."

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin and Susan Davis have a front page article headlined "In a First, High Court Affirms Gun Rights." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Silver Bullet." And Law Professor Randy E. Barnett has an op-ed entitled "News Flash: The Constitution Means What It Says."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Gun Ban."

The Washington Times contains articles headlined "D.C. gun ban struck down; Ruling lays out rights of individual"; "Justice Kennedy casts decisive vote"; "Officials upset by court decision; Vow to create strict new rules"; "Gun ruling galvanizes groups; NRA to target other city laws; foes vow to boost resistance"; "Neighbors doubtful violence will change"; "Candidates differ on overturned gun ban; McCain backs 'victory'; Obama stakes out middle ground"; and "Gun control in most countries more stringent than in U.S." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The gun ban ends." And Wesley Pruden has an op-ed entitled "The Court defers to plain language."

In The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant and Jeff Coen report that "Daley vows to fight for Chicago's gun ban; High court throws out D.C. law."

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article headlined "A right to own guns: Supreme Court defines 2nd Amendment -- gun lobby expected to challenge S.F. ban on handgun possession in public housing."

And in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "After Supreme Court Ruling, N.Y. Gun Laws Eyed." The newspaper also contains an article headlined "Bloomberg Sees Benefit in Guns Decision." And an editorial is entitled "1, 2, 14."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Strikes Down 'Millionaire's Amendment'": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Matthew Mosk and Robert Barnes have an article headlined "High Court Deals Blow To Campaign Finance Law; 'Millionaire's Amendment' Is Ruled Unconstitutional."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Supreme Court rejects 'millionaire's amendment' to campaign finance reform; It rules that allowing federal office-seekers to exceed normal contribution limits when their opponents are wealthy violates the 1st Amendment."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Court Shakes Up Campaign-Finance Law; Decision Likely To Undermine Political Viability of Public Financing." In addition, John Samples and Ilya Shapiro have an op-ed entitled "Let Millionaires Spend."

And USA Today reports that "High court strikes down law on self-financing of campaigns."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



Joan Biskupic of USA Today is reporting: In today's newspaper, she has articles headlined "Just-completed term marked by paradox; Although some decisions were unanimous, justices divided 5-4 on a number of the most prominent cases" and "Pen in hand, Scalia leaves his mark."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article headlined "Court Rejects Suit by Woman Who Said She Had Sex With Rabbi to Find Husband" begins, "New York's highest court on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of claims brought by a woman who had sued her Rockland County, N.Y., rabbi for abusing his position by allegedly persuading her to have sex with him to help her find a husband." You can access Wednesday's ruling of the New York State Court of Appeals at this link.

Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "3rd Circuit: Class Action No Cure for Uninsured Patient's Bill." You can access Tuesday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.

And an article is headlined "Want to Sue Coke Zero? Think Again; Diet drink, which urged mock suits in ad campaign, brings action against bottled water firm that threatened trademark litigation."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer": Yesterday's broadcast contained segments entitled "In Landmark Ruling, Divided High Court Strikes Down Gun Ban" (featuring Marcia Coyle) and "Attorneys Debate Effects of Gun Ban Override" (featuring R. Ted Cruz and Peter Nickles) (transcripts with links to audio).

And Wednesday's broadcast contained a segment entitled "High Court Cuts Damages in Exxon Valdez Oil Spill" (transcript with links to audio and video).
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



Access audio from the public radio program "Here and Now": Yesterday's broadcast contained an audio segment entitled "Supreme Court Rejects Gun Ban" featuring, among others, Lyle Denniston, Law Professor Jonathan Turley, and Robert Levy.

And Wednesday's broadcast contained an audio segment entitled "Supreme Court Decisions: Exxon-Valdez and Child Rape" featuring Lyle Denniston.

RealAudio is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: Today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained audio segments entitled "Gun Ruling Reverberates with Politicians, Police" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Handgun Owners Praise High Court's Ruling"; and "Presidential Candidates Weigh In on Gun Rights."

Yesterday evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained audio segments entitled "Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Handgun Ban" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "D.C. Mayor: Court Ruling May Mean More Violence": and "L.A. Police Chief: Gun Limits Help Keep Crime Down."

Yesterday's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained audio segments entitled "Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Handgun Ban" (featuring Dahlia Lithwick) and "What D.C. Ban Means for Other Cities."

And yesterday's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained audio segments entitled "Justices to Rule on Individuals' Right to Own a Gun" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Supreme Court: Gun Ownership an Individual Right" (also featuring Nina Totenberg); "Justices: Gun Right Guaranteed to Individuals"; and "Exxon Ruling Disappoints Villagers in Alaska."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from Bloomberg News: Greg Stohr has an article headlined "Kennedy Rules; Supreme Court Strikes Down Handgun Ban."

And columnist Ann Woolner has an essay entitled "Supreme Activists Toss Rape, Gun, Campaign Laws."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Justices Rule for Individual Gun Rights": Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times has this news update.
Posted at 09:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court denies Gatlin's appeal on Olympic trials": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal court has denied sprinter Justin Gatlin's appeal to run in the U.S. Olympic track trials this weekend. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that Gatlin has not shown he meets the 'applicable standard for such an injunction.'"
Posted at 06:14 PM by Howard Bashman


And speaking of singular versus plural: Late last night, in response to the update to this post of mine from yesterday, I received the following email from Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner:
Dear Prof. Bashman, to say "ostriches hide their heads in the sand" would imply that each ostrich had more than one head.

Richard Posner

P.S. And yes, canards fly--glad you caught the pun.

Of course, it could be said that Judge Posner's sentence, which states that "The reference of course is to the legend that ostriches when frightened bury their head in the sand," implies that multiple ostriches share a single head, just as some conjoined twins sometimes share a single bodily organ. One solution is to rewrite the sentence in the singular, although that might require assigning a gender to the ostrich in question or using the "his or her" construct.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman


There are two side to every story: Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has completely corrected the typos contained in the original version of District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290, that were noted in this earlier post, a different reader emails:
Here's another one for you to bring to the Court's attention: On page 49 of the majority writing, line 9, it quotes the Stevens dissent as "on both side of the issue"; page 4 of the dissent (line 2 of first full paragraph) actually says "sides".

Thanks for your great blog that keeps all of us so well informed!

The passage in question from Justice John Paul Stevens' dissent that is slightly misquoted in Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion actually states, "Even if the textual and historical arguments on both sides of the issue were evenly balanced, respect for the well-settled views of all of our predecessors on this Court, and for the rule of law itself, see Mitchell v. W. T. Grant Co., 416 U. S. 600, 636 (1974) (Stewart, J., dissenting), would prevent most jurists from endorsing such a dramatic upheaval in the law."
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman


Seventh Circuit reverses a federal district court's class certification in lawsuit challenging traveler watch lists maintained by the Department of Homeland Security: In today's unanimous opinion on behalf of a three-judge panel, Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook observes that "[t]he classes certified in this case are equivalent to a class of 'all persons in the United States who have been, or ever will be, stopped without probable cause' certified in an effort to take control of how the police investigate crime and make arrests."
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Once again, it all depends on what the meaning of "is" is: The majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued a decision that begins, "This appeal presents the single, seemingly straightforward question whether the word 'is' really means 'is,' at least as that word is employed in 25 U.S.C. sec. 81." An arguably related YouTube clip can be accessed here.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court of Appeals Mourns Passing of Senior Circuit Judge Warren J. Ferguson": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this news release today. As noted in his Federal Judicial Center biography, he joined the Ninth Circuit in 1979.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"This case requires us to consider whether Comcast may be taxed as a telephone business when providing Internet service." In a ruling issued today, a unanimous Washington State Supreme Court answers "no."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court asserts broad gun rights; The historic 5 to 4 ruling says the right to bear arms applies to individuals": Warren Richey will have this article Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court strikes down 'millionaires amendment'": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.

And at his "Election Law Blog," Law Professor Rick Hasen has a post titled "Initial Thoughts on FEC v. Davis: The Court Primes the Pump for Striking Down Corporate and Union Campaign Spending Limits and Blows a Hole in Effective Public Financing Plans."
Posted at 01:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court: Scalia and Stevens Duke It Out." At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "It was an extraordinary 23-minute-long scene at the Supreme Court this morning as Justice Antonin Scalia read from his majority opinion in D.C. v. Heller and then Justice John Paul Stevens read from his unusually pointed dissent."
Posted at 01:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court rules in favor of individuals' 2nd Amendment gun rights; Striking down part of a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., the 5-4 decision is the first in the court's history to void a gun law based on the 2nd Amendment; Dissenters predict an influx of lawsuits": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Supreme Court shoots down D.C. gun ban."

And Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "High court strikes down gun ban."
Posted at 01:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Ban on Handguns": Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has this news update.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Individual Gun Rights Protected, Top U.S. Court Says."

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "US top court finds individual right to own guns."
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Don't "dissemble" on guns: Today's Second Amendment ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290, was eagerly awaited and certainly will be closely scrutinized over the days, weeks, months, and years to come.

And the close scrutiny has already begun, as a reader emails to note a typo found on the very first page of Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion:

Not for attribution, but because you get results...

In the first paragraph of his opinion (after the intro), Justice Scalia quotes one of the relevant DC statutes as saying that long guns must be kept "unloaded and dissembled...." The correct word is "disassembled" (I checked the statute); "dissemble" means to mislead or put on a false appearance.

Thanks to this reader for drawing this to my attention. If there's a lesson here, it's that just because text appears in an opinion or brief between quotation marks doesn't mean that the text shouldn't be double-checked for accuracy. And kudos to the author of the opinion's syllabus for preserving the same typo there, in the very first sentence.

By contrast, on page 12 of his dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen G. Breyer correctly quotes the "unloaded and disassembled" language actually found in the statute. Finally, and in his defense, Justice Scalia correctly quotes that language from the D.C. statute on page 58 of the majority opinion.

Update: The Court has corrected the typo on page 1 of Justice Scalia's majority opinion, although the typo remains for the time being in the syllabus. The original version of Justice Scalia's majority opinion, containing the typo, can be accessed here.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Today's rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court in the final three undecided argued cases from this Term: "SCOTUSblog" is live-blogging this morning's developments in a post you can access here.

1. Today's first ruling issued in Davis v. Federal Election Comm'n, No. 07-320. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

2. Today's second ruling issued in Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Public Utility Distr. No. 1 of Snohomish Cty., No. 06-1457. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court. This means that either he, Justice John Paul Stevens, or the Chief Justice is the author of the Court's only remaining decision, involving the Second Amendment.

3. Today's third and final ruling issued in District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290. The Court has affirmed the D.C. Circuit's ruling, which invalidated the District of Columbia's gun ban under an individual rights view of the Second Amendment. Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court, which decided the case by a 5-4 margin. Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Breyer joined in lengthy dissents that both Justice Stevens and Justice Breyer wrote. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. Justice Scalia's majority opinion contains citations to three articles about the Second Amendment written by Law Professor Eugene Volokh, whose blog you can access here.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court rules in favor of Second Amendment gun right" and "Supreme Court strikes down 'millionaire's amendment'."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court: A constitutional right to a gun."
Posted at 10:01 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge rejects court order to improve VA's treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder; Despite 'significant' delays, inadequate care or benefits for veterans was not done systematically, he rules; An appeal is planned": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Wednesday that although the Department of Veterans Affairs might have provided inadequate care or benefits to some veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, the department had not done so systematically."

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Judge rules court won't step in to aid vets."

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued this decision and this judgment in the case.
Posted at 09:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court overturns L.A. murder conviction; Justices' 6-3 ruling in a domestic violence case makes it more difficult for prosecutors to use victims' previous statements to police": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Right to Face Accusers Is Affirmed in Unusual Case; Witness Was Murder Victim."

And The Mobile Press-Register reports that "Decision could affect local case; Defendant's right to confront accuser in court may have some bearing in sex abuse trial."
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"High Court To Announce Ruling on D.C. Gun Ban": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "With its term coming to an end, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning is expected to issue its ruling on the District's handgun-ownership ban in a case that could result in a landmark interpretation of the Second Amendment."

And The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court to issue decision on D.C. gun case."

Stay tuned for complete coverage of today's U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the final three undecided argued cases from this Term. The Court will begin announcing its rulings on these cases at 10 a.m. eastern time today.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Damages Cut Against Exxon in Valdez Case": Adam Liptak has this front page article today in The New York Times. The newspaper also contains an article headlined "In Alaska, Rage and Sorrow Over Decision."

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has a front page article headlined "Justices Slash Damages for Exxon Oil Spill."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court greatly reduces damages in Exxon Valdez spill; The oil giant must pay $507 million -- about one-tenth of the original jury award -- to punish it for recklessly putting a known alcoholic in charge of the supertanker in Alaska." The newspaper also contains an article headlined "Valdez ruling pains many in Cordova, Alaska; The reduction in punitive damages means fewer people in the fishing village will be able to retire or stave off bankruptcy."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "5-3 ruling slashes $2.5B penalty in Exxon Valdez case; Majority: Punitive fine shouldn't top actual damages."

In The Wall Street Journal, Russell Gold and Jess Bravin have a front page article headlined "Exxon Oil-Spill Damages Slashed by Supreme Court; Decision Could Shape How Punitive Awards Are Calculated."

The Anchorage Daily News contains articles headlined "Exxon Valdez: 'This is it; it's done'"; "Plaintiffs react to Exxon decision"; "Decision torments Cordova fishermen"; "Alaskans less than happy; At least, some say, the stress of waiting is over": and "Even Exxon gets chunk of money; A side deal lets the oil company benefit along with fishermen, communities, lawyers." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Exxon verdict: Supreme Court makes life easier for corporate wrong-doers."

The Seattle Times reports that "Supreme Court drastically cuts payouts for plaintiffs in Exxon Valdez oil spill."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Exxon damages slashed; West Coast fishermen devastated by high court's oil spill ruling."

The Oregonian reports that "Exxon Valdez ruling cuts payment to Oregon fishermen; Supreme Court slashes punitive damages tenfold, to $500 million."

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Ruling cuts Exxon spill victims' payout again."

And law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Reduces Damages Awarded in Exxon Case."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Bar Death Penalty for the Rape of a Child": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Anger and Restraint."

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has a front page article headlined "High Court Rejects Death For Child Rape; Penalty Reserved for Murder And Crimes Against State."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Justices reject death penalty for child rapists; Court limits use of capital punishment." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Child rapist escapes death but not tough justice."

In The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant reports that "Court curbs death penalty; Justices rule 5-4 that child rape is not capital crime."

The Washington Times reports that "Louisiana vows to nullify child-rape ruling; Justices deem death penalty too harsh for crime."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Justices Reject Death Penalty for Child Rapists."

The Times-Picayune of New Orleans contains an article headlined "No death for child rapists, court says; Sentence overturned for Harvey man."

The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana reports that "High court rules out death for child rape."

The Austin American-Statesman reports that "Court ruling weakens child-rape law in Texas; Death penalty provision in so-called Jessica's Law is erased."

The Dallas Morning News reports that "Supreme Court tosses out death penalty for child rapists."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that "States can't give death penaly for child rape."

The San Antonio Express-News reports that "High court rules child rapists can't be executed."

The Houston Chronicle reports that "Most aspects of Jessica's Law are untouched."

The Oklahoman reports that "Rape ruling may nullify state's law."

The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "No death penalty for child rape: The Supreme Court made the right decision by rejecting execution for nonlethal crimes."

And The New York Sun contains an editorial entitled "Kennedy v. Louisiana."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Misread War-Powers Cases": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin has an article that begins, "At the Supreme Court, it has become a biennial ritual: The Bush administration loses a major war-powers case. In 2004, 2006 and again this month, the justices rejected the president's claim that he can effectively do as he wishes with prisoners he designates as 'enemy combatants.' With the third and most-recent rebuke, it has become clear that the president's counterterrorism strategy rested on a critical legal miscalculation."

You can freely access this article, without a subscription to WSJ.com, by searching Google News for "Jess Bravin."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Exxon, Medtronic Win in Business-Friendly Supreme Court Term": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News has this report.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cleary Seeks Vindication in Appeal on Sanctions": Online at law.com, you can access an article that begins, "It was a matter of honor that brought Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday morning. Lawyers from the firm, led by managing partner Mark Walker, filled many of the gallery seats in the ceremonial courtroom of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Customs Agents Copy Travelers' Laptop, Phone Data; 'It Is Clear Most People Regard This as a Serious Privacy Invasion'": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "Americans coming home from business trips or vacations abroad are unwittingly offering the federal government a valuable souvenir: a copy of all the data on their laptops, digital cameras, and cell phones."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Jim Puzzanghera reports that "Laptop seizures at customs raise outcry; Complaints from travelers and privacy advocates have spurred lawmakers to challenge the policy of random inspections."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "U.S. border agents copying contents of travelers' laptops."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Virginia Supreme Court Enforces Vermont's Custody and Visitation Order Regarding a Same-Sex Couple's Child: Why an Anti-Same-Sex-Marriage State Recognized a Same-Sex Union For This Purpose." Joanna Grossman has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "High Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Supreme Court Cuts Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Damages." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 11:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Cut Valdez Damages, Rule on Child Rape": This segment (transcript with link to audio) featuring Marcia Coyle appeared on this evening's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Lyle Denniston of "SCOTUSblog" is reporting: He has posts titled "Death penalty options narrow"; "A new day on punitive damages law"; and "A way around the Giles rule."
Posted at 09:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Rule on Exxon Valdez, Rape Death Penalty": Earlier today, The Washington Post hosted this online chat with Tom Goldstein.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court reverses L.A. man's murder conviction; The 6-3 ruling in Giles vs. California makes it more difficult to use out-of-court statements and could be a blow to prosecutors in domestic violence cases": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

And Thursday's edition of The Washington Post will contain an article headlined "Right to Face Accusers Is Affirmed in Unusual Case; Witness Was Murder Victim."
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski is still getting the job done: Although he recently lost the opportunity to view alleged obscene videos as part of his day job, Chief Judge Kozinski remains hard at work.

On Monday of this week, he presided over an eleven-judge en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit, which was hearing a case about whether a certain state law criminal conviction constituted "a crime involving moral turpitude" for purposes of federal immigration law. You can download the oral argument audio via this link (10.9MB Windows Media audio file).

And yesterday, the Ninth Circuit issued this per curiam opinion, whose case citation style indicates that Chief Judge Kozinski was the opinion's author.
Posted at 08:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"We hold that the hanging paragraph does not operate to deprive such undersecured '910 creditors' of their deficiency claims because the parties are bound to their contractual rights and obligations under operative state law, and the Bankruptcy Code does not command otherwise." In a decision issued today, another federal appellate court -- the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit -- examines the effect of the so-called "hanging paragraph" found in 11 U.S.C. sec. 1325(a), added by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.
Posted at 08:11 PM by Howard Bashman


Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor is reporting: In Thursday's newspaper, he will have articles headlined "Supreme Court sharply limits use of death penalty; In a 5-to-4 ruling, the justices decide child rape isn't a capital offense"; "High court slashes Exxon Valdez oil spill damages; The ruling, a victory for Exxon, reduced the $2.5 billion punitive damages to about $500 million"; and "High court strengthens right to confront accusers; The case involved a California man who killed his ex-girlfriend after she complained to police."
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape": Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times has this news update.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Cut Damages Award in Exxon Valdez Spill": Adam Liptak of The New York Times has this news update.
Posted at 04:47 PM by Howard Bashman


On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape" (featuring Dahlia Lithwick) and "Supreme Court Slashes Exxon Damages." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman


Reuters is reporting: James Vicini has articles headlined "Supreme Court strikes down death penalty for child rape" and "Exxon Valdez $2.5 billion oil spill ruling overturned."

And an article reports that "Court won't allow statements by killer's victim."
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News is reporting: He has articles headlined "Death Penalty for Child Rape Barred by Top U.S. Court" and "Exxon Valdez Award Cut to $507.5 Million by Top Court."
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Conrad Black loses appeal of U.S. obstruction and fraud charges": The Canadian Press provides this report.

The Chicago Sun-Times has a news update headlined "Appeals court upholds Conrad Black's conviction."

And The Toronto Star has a news update headlined "Conrad Black loses appeal."

Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner wrote today's ruling on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

This result comes as no surprise to anyone who credited the press coverage earlier this month of the appellate oral argument in this case.

Update: At page 12, Judge Posner's opinion offers the following take on the so-called "ostrich" instruction:

Three more issues need to be discussed. The first is whether an "ostrich" instruction should have been given. The reference of course is to the legend that ostriches when frightened bury their head in the sand. It is pure legend and a canard on a very distinguished bird. Zoological Society of San Diego, Birds: Ostrich, www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t-ostrich.html (visited June 12, 2008) ("When an ostrich senses danger and cannot run away, it flops to the ground and remains still, with its head and neck flat on the ground in front of it. Because the head and neck are lightly colored, they blend in with the color of the soil. From a distance, it just looks like the ostrich has buried its head in the sand, because only the body is visible"). It is too late, however, to correct this injustice.
This misconception about ostriches appears at the start of question 1 of my "20 questions for the appellate judge" featuring (now senior status) First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya, where I wrote that "It would be struthian to contend that your command of obscure words is anything other than Babe Ruthian." Elsewhere, Law Professor Eugene Volokh advises against using the word "struthious."

And while we are debunking canards (which, by contrast, are birds that can fly), allow me to question the use of the singular "head" in the following sentence from Judge Posner's opinion: "The reference of course is to the legend that ostriches when frightened bury their head in the sand."
Posted at 01:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"New York's High Court Sides With Grasso": This article will appear Thursday in The New York Times.

And Bloomberg News reports that "Grasso Wins Appeal on 4 of 6 Claims at Top N.Y. Court."

My earlier coverage of today's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 01:27 PM by Howard Bashman



From the west coast feed of today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Key Rulings on Death Penalty, Damages, Witnesses" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Supreme Court Rules on Exxon Oil Spill, Child Rape." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 01:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty in Child Rape Cases": Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has this news update.

And Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "Child rapists can't be executed, Supreme Court rules."
Posted at 01:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court slashes penalty against Exxon for Valdez spill near Alaska; The justices reduce the punitive damages against Exxon to $507 million from $2.5 billion; The oil company has already spent $2.1 billion in cleanup costs after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.
Posted at 01:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court: Thursday's the Final Day." Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court rejects death penalty for child rape": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fired U.S. attorneys case hits judicial roadblock; A cautious judge may be good news for Bush officials in ongoing subpoena struggle": This article appears today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blind trusts will improve blind justice in the high court; They could help avoid judicial conflicts of interest": David A. Ridenour has this op-ed today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court strikes down La. rape penalty": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides this news update.
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court slashes Exxon Valdez damages to $507.5 million": The Anchorage Daily News provides this update.
Posted at 11:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"A conversation with Justice Antonin Scalia": If you missed last Friday's broadcast of "The Charlie Rose Show," you can view the video online via this link.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"NY's top court affirms dropping 4 claims against Grasso": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "New York's top court has affirmed dropping four claims against former chairman New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso, dealing a major setback to the legacy of former state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer."

You can access today's ruling of the New York State Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Today's U.S. Supreme Court rulings in argued cases: You can access the live blogging of today's rulings from "SCOTUSblog" at this link. The Court will not be issuing its much anticipated Second Amendment ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290, today. Rather, that decision will be issued at or soon after 10 a.m. eastern time tomorrow (Thursday).

1. The Court's first ruling issued in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, No. 07-219. Justice David H. Souter delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

By custom, the Court's Justices announce opinions in argued cases in reverse order of the Justices' seniority. Thus, Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Clarence Thomas will not be issuing any majority opinions today.

2. Today's second ruling issued in Kennedy v. Louisiana, No. 07-343. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy issued the decision, siding with his namesake, the petitioner. The case was decided by a 5-4 margin. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

3. Today's third ruling issued in Giles v. California, No. 07-6053. Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

4. Today's fourth and final ruling issued in Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land & Cattle Co., No. 07-411. The Court decided the case by a 5-4 margin. The Chief Justice delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

In early news coverage, Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Court rejects death penalty for raping children" and "Court cuts judgment in Exxon Valdez disaster." The AP also reports that "Court bars use of victim's prior statements at murder trial" and "Justices restrict Indian courts' jurisdiction."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Death penalty barred for child rape."

The three argued cases in which decisions remain to be issued are: (1) Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Public Utility Distr. No. 1 of Snohomish Cty., No. 06-1457 (access the questions presented here and here; access the oral argument transcript here); (2) District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290 (access the question presented here and the oral argument transcript here); and (3) Davis v. Federal Election Comm'n, No. 07-320 (access the questions presented here and the oral argument transcript here).

Decisions in these three cases will issue tomorrow at 10 a.m. eastern time.
Posted at 10:02 AM by Howard Bashman



Unusual first name alert: Footnote one of yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in United States v. Scott, No. 07-6111, states in full:
Law enforcement officials involved in the case were never able to identify this individual by her legal name. Although she is referred to as both "Orgasm" and "Obsession" in the record, we will refer to her as "Obsession" for consistency.
The opinion identifies the person in question as a prostitute. Given that the opinion mentions Obsession some twenty times, one presumes that had the Tenth Circuit chosen differently, the decision would have mentioned the word "Orgasm" more than any other reported federal appellate court ruling. A search of Westlaw's CTA database for the word "orgasm" returns only 50 federal appellate court rulings before yesterday's Tenth Circuit decision.
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court meets Wednesday morning": The Associated Press provides this report.

At 10 a.m. eastern time today, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin announcing decisions in some or all of the seven undecided cases argued earlier this Term. Stay tuned for complete coverage throughout the day.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court tosses killer's death sentence": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court overturned a Los Angeles man's death sentence Tuesday for the fatal stabbing of his supervisor during a 1984 robbery, saying the defense lawyer ignored blood evidence that might have shown that someone else was the killer."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Probe finds illegal hiring at Justice Department; Promising lawyers and law students were rejected because of their political and ideological views, internal investigators say": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Ideology-Based Hiring at Justice Broke Laws, Investigation Finds."

The New York Times reports that "Report Assails Political Hiring in Justice Dept."

And The Washington Times reports that "Lawyers tied to liberals rejected in hiring; Report finds political bias."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nichols says DA in on cover-up": Today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article that begins, "Brian Nichols is accusing Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard of covering up misconduct by a prosecutor and is asking the trial judge to throw out the death penalty and certain evidence. Nichols has entered a mental health defense to four killings in the Fulton County Courthouse shooting case, which happened when Nichols escaped from custody during his rape trial March 11, 2005."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Another Rebuke on Guantanamo": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.

And at National Review Online, Andrew C. McCarthy has an essay entitled "Welcome to Boumediene World: A federal court overrules the commander-in-chief on enemy combatants."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Facebook in legal fight for its future; CEO's classmates who say he stole their ideas want settlement revisited": Yesterday's edition of The San Jose Mercury News contained an article that begins, "A long-running legal battle over whether Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg ripped off Harvard classmates in launching his social-networking Web site shifted to a San Jose federal courtroom Monday as high-powered legal teams squared off in a fight that could have huge consequences for the company's future."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Four out of Nine Ain't Bad: Here's how the Supreme Court's left-leaning justices can fight back against the conservative majority." Nicholas Stephanopoulos has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Detainee fight gets bigger, costlier for long-battling Boston law firm; Six Algerian terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo Bay for more than six years without charges have won the right to petition for release, increasing the stakes for their pro bono defenders": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "The Wilmer Hale law firm, one of the largest and most respected in Boston, has a reputation for championing unpopular causes: President Nixon during impeachment. The US Army during the McCarthy hearings. Even defending serial killer Ted Bundy. But the firm's past efforts pale in comparison with the free legal assistance that it has given to six Algerian terrorist suspects held without charge at Guantanamo Bay. Since 2004, lawyers with the firm have provided 35,448 billable hours of legal help, worth an estimated $17 million, making this case the largest pro bono effort in the 90-year history of the firm."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kozinski's Spirit": This editorial appears today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Banning Loaded Words at Criminal Trials: A Well-Meaning But Foolish Approach to Protecting Defendants." Sherry F. Colb has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Michigan judge named to U.S. appeals court": The Detroit News today contains an article that begins, "Ending a bitter partisan feud that dates from 1997, the U.S. Senate took less than two hours Tuesday night to confirm a controversial Michigan judge to sit on the federal appeals court that handles cases for the Midwest. The final vote to give Helene White, a Michigan state appeals court judge, the lifetime appointment to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was 63-32."

And The Associated Press reports that "Senate approves Michigan judicial nominees."

In addition to confirming the nomination of Helene White (click here and scroll down for bio) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on a roll call vote, the U.S. Senate yesterday also confirmed Raymond Kethledge to the Sixth Circuit on a voice vote.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"IG report: Justice Dept. wrongly considered politics in hiring." Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.

The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "Left-leaning Justice Department applicants were denied interviews, report finds; Two officials illegally allowed political considerations to come into play when screening applicants for the department's honors program and summer internships, the Justice investigation finds."

And on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment entitled "Audit: Justice Dept. Kept Out Liberal Attorneys" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Report Sees Illegal Hiring Practices at Justice Department": The New York Times has a news update that begins, "Justice Department officials over the last six years illegally used 'political or ideological' factors to hire new lawyers into an elite recruitment program, tapping law school graduates with conservative credentials over those with liberal-sounding resumes, a new report found Tuesday."

You can access today's report of the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice at this link.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman



D.C. Circuit reverses dismissal of lawsuit filed by plaintiffs who sued Iraq, the Iraqi Intelligence Service, and Saddam Hussein, alleging that those defendants had tortured plaintiffs and taken them hostage during the 1990-91 Gulf War: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Taste-Testing Nutraloaf: The prison food that just might be unconstitutionally bad." Arin Greenwood has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 09:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Death Row Inmate's Case Gets 3rd Hearing": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Urged to Order Associates Of President to Honor Subpoena; House Panel Seeks Information About Prosecutors' Firings": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And today in The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis has an article headlined "Before Judge, Spirited Clash on Subpoenas for Bush Aides."
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals Court Invalidates Detainee's 'Enemy' Status; Challenge Is First of Its Kind to Succeed": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Court rules for Guantanamo inmate; Huzaifa Parhat, a Uighur Muslim, must be released, transferred or given a new hearing, a federal appeals court rules; It's another setback for the Bush administration."
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gitmo troopers get tattoos as off-duty diversion; Tattoos are all the rage at Guantanamo Bay as U.S. service members and contractors line up to get inked up": Carol Rosenberg had this article Saturday in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"In defense of home schooling: Supporters argue that parents shouldn't need teaching credentials; Lawyers suggest a more narrow ruling." The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Advocates urged a state appellate court Monday to overturn a decision that severely restricted the ability of California parents to educate their children at home, saying family-based schooling works for hundreds of thousands of children."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"High Court to Take Up Pregnancy Leave Case": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Court to hear case over mothers' retirement benefits; AT&T was found guilty of bias against pregnant women."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"High Court to Review Naval Sonar Dispute; Environmental Petition on Border Fence Declined": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage has articles headlined "Supreme Court to hear case involving Navy sonar and whales; The justices will examine a judge's ruling that limited military training when marine mammals are near" and "Border fence challenge rebuffed by Supreme Court; The justices decline to hear a petition from environmentalists, allowing the Department of Homeland Security to continue construction."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Justices to debate whether Navy sonar harms whales; Appeals court had eased restrictions on timing, location of military exercises."

In The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey reports that "Case of sonar's effects on whales heads to high court; At issue: Can a judge enforce environmental rules at the expense of national defense training?"

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Supreme Court to consider sonar versus whales."

The Dallas Morning News reports that "U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear border fence challenge."

The Arizona Republic reports that "Final miles of border fence get green light; Supreme Court ignores environmental concerns."

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that "Border fence case is rejected; Supreme Court allows construction to proceed."

And The San Antonio Express-News reports that "Environmentalists see bumps ahead for border fence efforts."
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Report Says Partisanship Reigned in Justice Department Hiring Program": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "High-ranking political appointees at the Justice Department labored to stock a prestigious hiring program with young conservatives in a five-year-long attempt to reshape the department's ranks, according to an inspector general's report to be released today."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge won't quit terror case; Defendant facing sentencing cites jurist's Jewish heritage": Today's edition of The Detroit News contains an article that begins, "A Lebanese-born man who pleaded guilty to providing support to the terrorist organization Hezbollah asked a federal judge on Monday to disqualify himself from passing sentence on him because the judge is Jewish and might have pro-Israel sympathies."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Batting Ninth: The Circuit Court sets itself up for another double play." The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has made a cottage industry of serving up wacky decisions for the Supreme Court to reverse. And yesterday, the High Court agreed to swing at two more hanging curves next year."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Top court won't hear appeal of Atlantic Yards eviction": This article appears today in Newsday.

The New York Times reports today that "U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Atlantic Yards Case."

And The New York Sun reports that "Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Atlantic Yards."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Palestinian Authority May Defend Itself in N.Y. Courts": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The battle in Gaza and the West Bank will soon come to a federal court on Pearl Street. In a surprising shift, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority says his government is willing to defend itself against lawsuits alleging that it is liable for acts of Palestinian Arab terrorism during the intifada, according to court papers."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Headed for Sun Valley, Idaho": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this news release yesterday.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Porn judge' has no 'judgment'; Researcher says it's 'ludicrous' for Christians to expect justice": WorldNetDaily provides this report.

Today in The Staten Island Advance, columnist Daniel Leddy has an op-ed entitled "Kozinski scandal merits no more than a shrug."

And KSBY 6 Action News provides a report headlined "Jordan Hasay defends national title" that begins, "Over the weekend, Central Coast track star Jordan Hasay won her second straight U.S. Junior National title. The Mission Prep star won the 1,500 meter race finishing at four minutes 18-point-four seconds. She beat her old rival Alex Kozinski by less than a second." Critics denounced the event, which pitted a well conditioned young female athlete against a middle aged, slightly overweight federal appellate judge.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court's Recent Child Pornography Decision: Why Justices Souter and Ginsburg Dissented." Julie Hilden has this essay online at FindLaw. She began discussing this case in this essay from earlier this month.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reid announces Senate votes on judges": The Hill provides a report that begins, "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday announced that the chamber would vote Tuesday on a handful of judgeships that have stymied legislative action in recent weeks. His office and Judiciary Committee aides later confirmed that two circuit court nominees and three district court nominees are scheduled for pending votes, although it is unclear how many of them will be voted on immediately Tuesday." According to the article, "The circuit court nominees are Helene White and Ray Kethledge, both nominated for Michigan seats on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, June 23, 2008

"Narrow Minded: John Roberts does Obama a favor." Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen has this essay in the July 9, 2008 issue of The New Republic.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Says Right to Counsel Begins With First Appearance Before Judge; Justices begin final week before adjourning for summer": law.com's Tony Mauro has this report.
Posted at 11:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Take Case on Navy Use of Sonar": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


Updates pertaining to two of my "On Appeal" columns from early 2007: My column from April 16, 2007 headlined "The N-Word and a Plaintiff's Right to His Day in Court" argued that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit had reached the wrong result in a case captioned Eddy v. Waffle House, Inc.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated the Fourth Circuit's judgment, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Taylor v. Sturgell. I previously posted online at this link the cert.-stage briefing in Eddy.

I am also overdue in updating the subject matter of my column from May 14, 2007, headlined "When Should a Judge Face Discipline for What an Opinion Says?" Two weeks ago, Florida's Judicial Qualifications Commission held a trial in the case. Paul Flemming, chief of the Tallahassee bureau of Gannett Florida newspapers, had articles headlined "Judge denies ethics charges over criticism" and "Fireworks erupt in Allen ethics case." And The St. Petersburg Times covered the trial earlier this month in articles headlined "Case reveals rift on appeals court" and "At JQC trial against appeal judge, one more accusation." Although the trial has concluded, a decision is not expected to issue for weeks or perhaps months.
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman



Justice Antonin Scalia criticizes two GVRs that the U.S. Supreme Court issued today: The Chief Justice and Justice Clarence Thomas joined in both of Justice Scalia's dissents, which you can access here and here.
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"What's Obscene? Google Could Have an Answer." The New York Times on Tuesday will have an article that begins, "Judges and jurors who must decide whether sexually explicit material is obscene are asked to use a local yardstick: does the material violate community standards? That is often a tricky question because there is no simple, concrete way to gauge a community's tastes and values. The Internet may be changing that. In a novel approach, the defense in an obscenity trial in Florida plans to use publicly accessible Google search data to try to persuade jurors that their neighbors have broader interests than they might have thought."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"In a first, court says military erred in a Guantanamo case": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers has this report. The web page containing the article furnishes links to the appellate briefs and the oral argument transcript.

Tuesday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article headlined "Court Voids Finding on Guantanamo Detainee."

And The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Court Orders Government to Act on Chinese Detainee; Ruling Invalidates Bush Administration's Finding That Huzaifa Parhat Is an 'Enemy Combatant.'"
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Navy v. dolphins: Supreme Court to hear battle over sonar." Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.
Posted at 09:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Material from Judge Kozinski's Website/Server -- Part Two: Including Videos." This post appears today at the blog "Patterico's Pontifications."
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"4th Circuit Backs School District on Political Speech": At "The School Law Blog" of Education Week, Mark Walsh has this post about a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds conviction in terrorism-related case": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"John Roberts and Bob Dylan": Doug Kendall has this post today at the "Text and History" blog of the Constitutional Accountability Center.
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Attorneys say Delaware execution went bad": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman


James Vicini of Reuters is reporting: He has articles headlined "Supreme Court to decide Navy sonar appeal" and "Court rejects challenge to Arizona border fence."
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to hear case involving whales and Navy sonar; The justices will take up the Navy's objections to environmental-based restrictions placed on the use of high-frequency sonar; The court also refuses to hear a challenge to the U.S.-Mexico border fence": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Justice Alito's apparently no fan of Kelo: At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "A new vote for property rights?"
Posted at 02:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Walter Dellinger's Big Week Ahead": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


If a federal district court views the 100:1 crack-powder cocaine ratio as too harsh under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, may the district court instead substitute a 20:1 ratio? Apparently not, the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled today by a 6-5 vote. You can access today's decision at this link.
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Kozinski Lawyers Up As Probe Heats Up; Defense Lawyer Mark Holscher Will Represent Judge": John Roemer has this front page article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 11:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court rules for Guantanamo detainee": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court, in the first case it reviewed, has overturned the Pentagon's classification of a Guantanamo detainee as an enemy combatant."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Victory for detainee in first case."

Pending the issuance of a redacted version of its opinion, the D.C. Circuit today issued this order announcing the outcome of its decision.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit asks Supreme Court of Ohio to provide definitive construction of the meaning of an Ohio statute prohibiting the off-label use of the abortion drug RU-486: You can access today's Sixth Circuit ruling, certifying questions to Ohio's highest court, at this link.

I covered the Sixth Circuit's earlier ruling in this case, from February 2006, in a post titled "U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit holds that an Ohio statute prohibiting the off-label use of the abortion drug RU-486 may be preliminarily enjoined."

And my earlier coverage of the federal district court's permanent injunction from September 2006 -- which is the ruling at issue in today's appeal -- can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's opinions and Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court: The Associated Press provides this preview. And "SCOTUSblog" is live-blogging today's developments at this link.

1. Today's first opinion in an argued case issued in Sprint Communications Co. v. APCC Services, Inc., No. 07-552. Justice Stephen G. Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court in this case, which was decided by a 5-4 vote. The Chief Justice issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. Update: A reader in Lawrence, Kansas emails to note that the Chief Justice, on page 4 of his dissenting opinion, quotes a lyric from Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone."

2. Today's second opinion issued in Greenlaw v. United States, No. 07-330. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. At issue in this case is whether the rule requiring a cross-appeal to increase the appellee's rights in the judgment under review is jurisdictional or merely a "rule of practice" subject to judicially created exceptions.

3. Today's third and final opinion issued in Rothgery v. Gillespie County, No. 07-440. Justice David H. Souter delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

The Court will next announce opinions in argued cases at 10 a.m. eastern time on Wednesday. Seven argued cases remain to be decided.

You can access today's Order List at this link. The Court granted review in seven cases.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court says right to lawyer begins soon after arrest"; "Court rules against long-distance companies"; "Court rejects case on fast track for border fence"; "Supreme Court to review decision on Navy sonar use"; "Court will hear appeal by Tenn. death row inmate"; "Court will review $2.8 million award to Iranian"; "Court to rule on pension credit for old maternity leaves"; "Court agrees to review suit against AT&T"; "Court won't review NBA Nets arena project"; and "Supreme Court rejects W.R. Grace asbestos appeal."
Posted at 10:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"As Khawaja gears up for day in court, police put Ottawa on high alert": The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, "In Ottawa today, all eyes - including those of police armed with assault rifles - will be on 29-year-old Mohammed Momin Khawaja. The first man ever charged under Canada's Anti-terrorism Act will be escorted from the confines of a secure jail cell to begin his trial downtown. The case in the third-floor Courtroom No. 37 will be the most secure ever held in the nation's capital, and the tensions are running so high the judge has been given a code to evacuate his courtroom. Even civil servants in the next building will be on high alert."

And The Canadian Press reports that "Terror trial to test use of new law; Crown faces challenge of implementing post-9/11 legislation in Momin Khawaja case."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judges angry at Ottawa for mining personal tax information in labour dispute": The Canadian Press provides a report that begins, "The Conservative government is facing criticism for using the personal income-tax information of more than 500 sitting federal judges during salary negotiations."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to revisit ruling on homeschooling": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Parents and religious groups favoring homeschooling will have Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California's schools chief on their side today when a state appeals court meets to reconsider its ruling that required in-home instructors to have teaching credentials."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"A compromise on surveillance: Though the House-approved bill on warrantless wiretaps has flaws, it's a move in the right direction." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeal From Abroad: The Supreme Court rules that a federal court cannot prevent two U.S. citizens from being prosecuted in Iraq." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Smearing Judge Kozinski": Today in The Wall Street Journal, "Information Age" columnist L. Gordon Crovitz has this op-ed.

Online at the web site of The Los Angeles Times, Lara A. Bazelon has an essay entitled "Disagreeing on judicial discipline: A back-and-forth on Judge Alex Kozinski's stash."

And online at the "New Statesman," Debra Saunders has a post entitled "Porn, privacy and the US judge."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court's Gay Marriage Ruling Will Test Paterson's Policy": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The issue of gay marriage in New York is returning to court today, with a panel of appellate judges in Brooklyn scheduled to hear arguments on whether the state must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court continues trend of protecting business free speech": Tony Mauro has this news analysis online at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Missouri conservatives are ready for battle over judge selection": Today in The Kansas City Star, columnist Steve Kraske has this essay.

And The Associated Press reports that "Limbaugh to resign from high court at end of July."
Posted at 07:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Cause Is Lost, But Symbol Lives": Today's issue of The Day of New London, Connecticut contains an article that begins, "Avner Gregory's new home on Franklin Street sticks out from the houses around it. His house has a stone stake in the front yard that says 'Not for sale.' Also, it's an eye-grabbing shade of pink. But 36 Franklin St., which was originally Susette Kelo's home in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood and became the focal point of a Supreme Court case that sought - and failed - to save her neighborhood, is just as much a symbol as it is a house."

And The Associated Press reports that "House in CT eminent domain dispute finds new home."
Posted at 06:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Washington's right-to-die battle is personal; A petition drive is wrapping up for a measure expected to be on the November ballot": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, June 21, 2008

"How to Complicate Habeas Corpus": Today in The New York Times, Law Professor Richard A. Epstein has an op-ed that begins, "Last week's Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush settled a key constitutional issue: all prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay are constitutionally entitled to bring habeas corpus in federal court to challenge the legality of their detention."

And today in The Wall Street Journal, Andrew McBride has an op-ed entitled "We'll Rue Having Judges on the Battlefield."
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Court and Workers": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts quickly carved out a reputation for being reflexively pro-business. On Thursday, however, it issued a good ruling in favor of workers suing for age discrimination, the latest of several pro-worker decisions. The ruling is an encouraging sign that the court may be evolving in its approach to cases brought by workers who have been treated unfairly."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Inside a 9/11 Mastermind's Interrogation": This article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online at Slate: Emily Bazelon has a jurisprudence essay entitled "Swing Your Partner: O'Connor vs. Kennedy as the justice in the middle."

And coinciding with this upcoming week's announcement of the U.S. Supreme Court's remaining decisions in cases argued this Term, Slate's "The Supreme Court Breakfast Table" feature gets underway today with a post from Dahlia Lithwick titled "Is the court beginning its togetherness phase?"
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Juveniles entitled to jury trials, Kansas court says": The Kansas City Star today contains an article that begins, "In a decision affecting every juvenile criminal case in Kansas, the state Supreme Court has guaranteed juvenile defendants the right to a trial before a jury. The court ruled Friday that young defendants should be afforded the protections of a jury because the distinctions between juvenile and adult justice have eroded over the past 20 years as lawmakers cracked down on juvenile crime. The decision sent a shock wave through the juvenile justice community. Prosecutors and judges said the likely result is more juries, longer trials and higher expenses."

And The Topeka Capital-Journal reports today that "Jury trials for youths may strain local court; Justices rule juveniles entitled to same right as adult defendants."

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



"Strip bar stripped of lease; High court ends 10-year fight over site owned by Intermountain Healthcare": The Deseret News contains this article today.

And The Salt Lake Tribune reports today that "Top court rules landlord can boot strip club; Intermountain plans to use Murray site to expand its center."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Utah at this link.
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Blindness doesn't deter law clerk from high court": At CNN.com, Bill Mears has a report that begins, "Isaac Lidsky arrives in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, stops suddenly and, upon hearing a voice, extends his hand in greeting almost instinctively."

This blog's earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"The High Court: A User's Guide: The next president could appoint up to three justices--the constitutional equivalent of a straight flush." Dahlia Lithwick will have this essay in the June 30, 2008 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Controversy Over Judge Alex Kozinski and His Website: Why the Facts, as We Now Know Them, Do Not Provide Reason for This Talented Jurist to Step Down." Edward Lazarus has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 02:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gay rights groups ask California Supreme Court to block initiative banning same-sex marriage; The supporters argue that an initiative on the November ballot would revise the state Constitution rather than just amend it and that requires the involvement of the Legislature": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Gay marriage backers want ban issue off ballot."

And in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "Groups seek to block gay-marriage initiative."
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"White House Dismissed Legal Advice On Detainees": The Washington Post today contains a front page article that begins, "Senior lawyers inside and outside the Bush administration repeatedly warned the White House that it was risking judicial scrutiny of its detention policies in Guantanamo Bay if it did not pursue a more pragmatic legal strategy that considered the likely reaction of the Supreme Court. But such advice, issued periodically over the past six years, was ignored or discounted, according to current and former administration officials familiar with the debates."
Posted at 10:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"BCE buyout gets go-ahead from Canada's high court": Reuters provides this report, along with a report headlined "Wall St relieved but concerns over BCE deal remain."

The Associated Press reports that "Canadian court allows largest ever leveraged buyout."

Bloomberg News reports that "BCE's Buyout Back on Track After Supreme Court Approves Deal."

Today's edition of The Toronto Star contains articles headlined "Court clears BCE sale; Shares jump as ruling clears track for largest leveraged buyout; shifts focus to turnaround plan" and "BCE saga's end may still be long way off."

Today's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contains an article headlined "The deal lives." In addition, Derek DeCloet has an essay entitled "A victory for sanity, capitalism and common sense."

The New York Times reports that "Canadian Court Allows Phone Buyout to Proceed."

And Financial Times reports that "Canada court clears $34bn BCE buy-out."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada at this link.
Posted at 10:02 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, June 20, 2008

"Case against federal judge OK'd; U.S. House to weigh Porteous allegations Porteous impeachment": This article appears today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.

And Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal reports that "Federal Judiciary Asks House to Impeach Louisiana Judge."
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"On the record of this case, the police officers violated appellant's Fourth Amendment rights by unzipping his jacket without his permission and without probable cause or a warrant." So holds the majority of the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a lengthy ruling issued today.

Back on April 6, 2007, a three-judge panel reached the opposite result by a 2-1 vote. My coverage of that decision appears at this link.

The dissenter on the three-judge panel is the author of today's en banc majority opinion, while the author of the three-judge panel's majority opinion is the author of today's en banc dissent.
Posted at 03:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court refuses to step into terrorism case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court Friday refused to intervene in the military commission case against a Canadian detainee."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Limit on review of war crimes issues."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Philadelphia judge among Rendell's Pa. court picks": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell on Friday nominated three veteran judges and a former top aide to Gov. Tom Ridge in a deal with Republican senators to finally fill temporary vacancies on Pennsylvania's appellate courts. Rendell's pick to fill an opening on the state Supreme Court is Jane Cutler Greenspan, a 20-year Philadelphia common pleas court judge."

And The Allentown Morning Call provides a news update headlined "Freedberg nominated for Superior Court seat."

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell today issued a news release headlined "Governor Rendell Announces Nominations for Pennsylvania Statewide Appellate Courts."
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Federal Judge Rejects 11th Circuit's Urging That Investment Company Be Punished; Senior U.S. District Court judge again dismisses securities case against Merchant Capital LLC": law.com provides a report that begins, "Judge Marvin Shoob has again dismissed a fraud case by Atlanta lawyers for the Securities and Exchange Commission against an investment company, despite a strong suggestion from a federal appeals court that the investment company did wrong and deserved to be punished."
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo prisoner opens new era of court challenges": Michael Doyle and Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers have this report.
Posted at 09:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Surveillance Bill Offers Protection To Telecom Firms; Deal Would Extend U.S. Wiretap Power, Shield Providers Facing Privacy Lawsuits": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Congress Strikes Deal to Overhaul Wiretap Law."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Compromise reached on government wiretaps; The new bill would give spy agencies greater powers and protect phone companies, but it would also require court approvals."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court voids California union law; The legislation would have blocked employers that received state money from tapping those funds to speak out against labor organizations": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Court rules bosses can speak against unions."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Self-Representation by the Mentally Ill Is Curbed": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Supreme Court Rules On Self-Representation; Competence to Stand Trial Is Not Enough."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Justices rule on mentally ill's right to self-representation."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Limits Self-Representation by Mentally Ill Defendants."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor has an article headlined "High court: limits to defend oneself in court; Justices rule 7 to 2 that some defendants aren't competent enough to represent themselves."

The Indianapolis Star contains an article headlined "Court: mentally ill man needed lawyer."

And yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Supreme Court Rules in Sanity Case" featuring Nina Totenberg.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court rejects copyright claims to Pink Panther story": The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, June 19, 2008

Programming note: My son and I will be leaving momentarily to travel to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to watch this evening's baseball game between the Houston Astros and the Baltimore Orioles. You can access previews of the game via this link. Tonight's give-away at the game is a Nick Markakis dobblehead doll.
Posted at 02:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"BCE decision due Friday": The Toronto Globe and Mail provides this news update.

And Reuters reports that "Canada court to issue BCE judgement on Friday."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman



Who owns the idea of Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the film "The Pink Panther"? A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued this ruling addressing that question.
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"An Unlikely Antagonist in the Detainees' Corner": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And Reuters provides a report headlined "October trial set for Canadian at Guantanamo."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"An Unlikely Antagonist in the Detainees' Corner": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And Reuters provides a report headlined "October trial set for Canadian at Guantanamo."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"US court rules against MetLife in benefits case": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report. Reuters also has articles headlined "Court: mentally ill defendant can't be own lawyer" and "Supreme Court strikes down California law on unions."
Posted at 01:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Supreme Court of Pennsylvania declines to review lawfulness of a preliminary injunction precluding the defendant from dissipating assets to become judgment-proof pending a trial on plaintiffs' claims: Simply looking at the percentages, a lawyer filing a brief in opposition to a request for discretionary review from the U.S. Supreme Court or a state court of last resort has a great likelihood of success, given the infrequency that such review is granted.

Nevertheless, there are some cases in which a request for review, on its face, has a good chance of being granted, and in that subset of cases the brief in opposition can play an important role.

Last October, I was asked to draft a Brief in Opposition to a Petition for Allowance of Appeal for filing in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in a case in which the petitioner was arguing that the intermediate appellate court's ruling was contrary to rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court and the courts of seven other States. Among the attorneys for petitioner in that case was someone who until recently had served for many years as a Justice of the Pa. Supreme Court.

As you might imagine, the Petition for Allowance of Appeal, on its face, raised many seemingly persuasive reasons for Pa. Supreme Court review. Fortunately for our side of the case, I thought that the Brief in Opposition that I wrote on behalf of the plaintiffs provided a number of sound reasons for the Pa. Supreme Court to deny review. I was thus pleased to learn that on Tuesday of this week, Pennsylvania's highest court issued an order denying review.
Posted at 12:47 PM by Howard Bashman



The Judicial Conference of the United States unanimously asks the U.S. House of Representatives to consider impeaching U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr. (E.D. La.): The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides a news update headlined "U.S. House to consider impeachment trial for Porteous." The newspaper has posted online yesterday's communication from the Judicial Conference to the Speaker of the House.

And FOXNews.com reports that "House Panel to Consider Rare Federal Judge Impeachment."

The Judicial Council of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had certified this matter to the Judicial Conference of the United States by means of an order issued December 20, 2007.
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman



Today's U.S. Supreme Court opinions in argued cases: The Court today has issued five decisions in argued cases, leaving ten cases yet to be decided.

1. Today's first opinion issued in Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn, No. 06-923. Justice Stephen G. Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

2. Today's second opinion issued in Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC, No. 06-1037. Justice Breyer also delivered the opinion of the Court in this case.This is a 5-4 ruling, with Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. in dissent. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

3. Today's third opinion issued in Indiana v. Edwards, No. 07-208. Completing the trifecta, Justice Breyer also delivered the opinion of the Court in this case. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

4. Today's fourth opinion issued in Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, No. 06-1505. Justice David H. Souter delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

5. Today's fifth and final opinion issued in Chamber of Commerce of United States v. Brown, No. 06-939. Justice John Paul Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court puts limits on mentally ill defendants"; "Court sides with employee in benefits case"; "Court rules for workers in age bias suit"; "Court rejects California union law"; and "Court finds no age bias in Ky. retirement system."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court rules on self-representation; 4 other rulings."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



Would you like to be the next Chief Judge of the State of New York? Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article headlined "Help Wanted: State Seeking Its Next Chief Judge."
Posted at 09:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"After Nine's Gun Ruling, N.Y.'s Gun Laws May Be Next; City's Restrictions Described as 'Good Target' for Suit": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to issue additional opinions in argued cases in about ten minutes from now.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Rendell's wife to investigate California judge": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "A panel of federal judges, including Gov. Rendell's wife, has been appointed to conduct a judicial-misconduct inquiry of a well-known California judge caught up in a flap about sexually explicit images on a Web site bearing his name. The investigation will focus on Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which handles federal appeals for Western states, Hawaii, and Alaska."

Online at The Los Angeles Times, John Wright has an essay entitled "What porn says about the man: Alex Kozinski isn't a hypocrite or a disgrace to the judicial bench; He's normal."

And Google News has posted online a comment written by Cyrus Sanai.
Posted at 07:24 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro has an article headlined "Justice Breyer and the Brits."

And in other news, "At Liberal Confab, Experts Discuss Detainee Issues, the DOJ; American Constitution Society kicks off annual convention with discussions, high-profile guests."
Posted at 07:18 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Guantanamo Bay detainees have rights. Now what?" The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 09:25 PM by Howard Bashman


One year later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit again holds that the Tampa Sports Authority should be allowed to conduct pat-down searches of all ticket holders seeking to attend Tampa Bay Buccaneers home games: The Eleventh Circuit today issued this ruling on panel rehearing.

Back on June 26, 2007, the same three-judge panel issued an opinion reaching the same result. My coverage of that ruling appears at this link.

I criticized the panel's original ruling in an installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com headlined "Did a Federal Appeals Court Avoid Tackling the Real Issues Behind Football Fan's Lawsuit? 11th Circuit rules that season ticket-holder can't object to being searched upon entering stadium." At first glance, it appears that my criticism of that ruling remains applicable to today's ruling on panel rehearing.
Posted at 09:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"This is a patent infringement case pertaining to wall-mounted telephones designed for use by prison inmates." So begins a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued today.
Posted at 09:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Your boss shouldn't read your text or e-mail messages without an OK, court says; The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of an Ontario police officer whose messages were obtained by the Police Department and reviewed without his permission": Maura Dolan will have this article Thursday in The Los Angeles Times.

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin provides a news update headlined "Court rules Ontario police violated officers' privacy."

And at Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Deeplinks Blog," Jennifer Granick has a post titled "New Ninth Circuit Case Protects Text Message Privacy From Police and Employers."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:02 PM by Howard Bashman



First Circuit can't duck this trademark infringement dispute: Boston Business Journal has a news update headlined "Super Duck Excursions gains in fight against Boston Duck Tours" that begins, "Super Duck Excursions can return to using 'duck tours' in its marketing material and its logo of a cartoon duck, after a preliminary injunction was overturned Wednesday."

You can access today's lengthy ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman



Slow news day: ABA Journal has a post titled "Legal Blogger Auditions for 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?'"
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: My son and I will be at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon to see the Philadelphia Phillies host the Boston Red Sox. A preview of the pitching match-up can be accessed here while previews of the game can be accessed via this link. Additional posts will appear later today.
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Campaigns in a Skirmish Over Terrorism and Law": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Candidates Clash on Terrorism; In Sharp Exchange, Each Side Calls Other's Position a Risk."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Court McCain Wants": Today in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has an op-ed that begins, "Conservatives, seizing on the Supreme Court's ruling last week on Guantanamo detainees, want to turn the court into election fodder. I hope they succeed."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-Bush Aide Gets New Trial on Appeal; Judges Toss Charges Against Safavian, Convicted in 2006 in Abramoff Scandal": The Washington Post contains this article today.

The New York Times reports today that "Appeals Court Overturns Conviction of a Former Official Linked to Abramoff."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Appellate court tosses out key conviction in Abramoff case."

You can access at this link yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"CIA Played Larger Role In Advising Pentagon; Harsh Interrogation Methods Defended": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

Also today in The Washington Post, Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "Abu Ghraib? Doesn't Ring a Bell." It begins, "If ever there was a case that cried out for enhanced interrogation techniques, it was yesterday's Senate appearance by the Pentagon's former top lawyer. William 'Jim' Haynes II, the man who blessed the use of dogs, hoods and nudity to pry information out of recalcitrant detainees, proved to be a model of evasion himself as he resisted all attempts at inquiry by the Armed Services Committee."

And The New York Times reports today that "Notes Show Confusion on Interrogation Methods."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Claim Over Red Cross Symbol Is Settled": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The American Red Cross and Johnson & Johnson, the health care conglomerate, announced Tuesday that they had settled a longstanding dispute over use of the Red Cross trademark. The two sides announced the settlement a month after Judge Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan threw out much of J.& J.'s trademark claim against the relief organization."

This blog's earlier coverage of that ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"BCE's fate in court's hands": Today's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contains an article that begins, "Guy Du Pont had 40 minutes to sell Canada's largest takeover to the country's highest court Tuesday, and it wasn't an easy ride. BCE Inc.'s battle to save its $35-billion takeover had taken it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, and for its last say the company gave the floor to the Montreal constitutional and corporate lawyer, a new recruit to its large legal team, to see whether he could get the deal back on track."

Today's newspaper also contains an article headlined "The country's hottest ticket -- BCE and the Supremes."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



Death and Texas: The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Austin judge finds inmate sane enough for execution; More appeals are likely in the landmark case."

And news from a case involving another death row inmate, The Austin American-Statesman reports today that "After legal wrangle, state halts execution; Death warrant suspended, reinstated, suspended again."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mr. Bush v. the Bill of Rights": The New York Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds 24-month prison term for ex-Westar executive": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.

And The Topeka Capital-Journal today contains an article headlined "Court to Wittig: Go back to prison; Wittig loses sentencing appeal, expected to serve 12 more months."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Tenth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey Oversees Role Reversal of Prosecutors, Defense": Joseph Goldstein has this interesting article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Palimony ruling sets precedent in Jersey; Justices: Cohabitation is not the only factor." Today's edition of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains an article that begins, "In a decision described as the first of its type in the nation, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a couple does not have to live together in order for one partner to sue the other for palimony after a breakup."

And law.com reports that "Cohabitation Not a Requirement for Palimony Claim, Says N.J. Supreme Court."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 07:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Has Judge Kozinski's View of Blogs Changed?" This post appears today at "Patterico's Pontifications."

The answer to that question is "yes," and the implication is that he thinks much more highly of the medium now.
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"3rd Circuit's Chief Judge to Head Inquiry Into Actions of 9th Circuit's Kozinski": law.com's Shannon P. Duffy has this report.

And Jaikumar Vijayan of Computerworld has an article headlined "Federal judge a victim of privacy breach or poor judgment? Depends (perhaps) on what you're calling a Web site."
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo war crimes court back in session": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Copyright ruling is blow to Utah company": Pamela Manson of The Salt Lake Tribune has a news update that begins, "Hired to create depictions of Toyota vehicles for the automotive giant's advertising campaign, a small Utah company used the relatively new technology of digital modeling. After 80 to 100 hours of effort per vehicle, Meshwerks produced two-dimensional wire-frame depictions that appear three-dimensional on screen. The idea was to create a product that resembled each car or truck model as closely as possible for use on the Toyota Web site and in other media. The resulting unadorned images, which had no color, shading or other details, were accurate. So accurate that a federal court has ruled these depictions have no right to copyright protection."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, written by Circuit Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, at this link.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



Today is day three of the McClatchy Newspapers series "Guantanamo: Beyond the Law." Today's lead article is headlined "Militants found recruits among Guantanamo's wrongly detained." And today's other articles are headlined "Ex-detainees allege that U.S. troops abused Quran" and "Documents confirm U.S. hid detainees from Red Cross."

You can access the articles from the first two days of this series via my earlier posts here and here.
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court upholds 24-month prison sentence for former Westar Energy CEO in bank fraud case": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued today.

And at his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, Doug Berman has a post titled "Third time's (almost) the charm in Tenth Circuit sentencing case."
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court Goes to War": Law Professor John Yoo has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Who Wants to Be an Appellate Law Blogger": This afternoon, at my wife's urging, I traveled to New York City to audition to be a contestant on season seven of the syndicated game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

For those who are concerned about whether the author of this blog has an adequate grasp of trivia, I'm pleased to report that I passed the written test portion of the audition and thus was interviewed by one of the show's producers to evaluate "personality." The process was a lot of fun, and I thank another person who passed the written test -- a woman who lives near Seattle -- who kindly volunteered to me that the first thing she thought upon seeing me was that I look like someone who should be on the show.

The results of the interviews are not immediately disclosed at the audition, but, if I also "passed" the interview, I will be receiving a postcard in a few weeks advising that I'm in the contestant pool for this season. And then I can begin to evaluate whether I might be fortunate enough to have a certain public intellectual and prolific author based in Chicago agree to serve as one of my "phone-a-friends."

If any readers of this post have any questions about the audition process, feel free to ask me about it via email. Finally, it would take a lot more than one million dollars to cause me to walk away from this blog, so fans of this blog have nothing to fear, while critics of this blog are urged to start raising extreme amounts of money immediately.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: A trip to New York City is on the agenda for this afternoon. Additional posts will appear here this evening.
Posted at 12:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"US court: New trial for official in Abramoff scandal." 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 11:22 AM by Howard Bashman


According to the Second Circuit's chief judge, that court's "occluded view of our discretion to sit in banc runs counter to the criteria set down for our guidance in Rule 35." It is notoriously difficult to obtain rehearing en banc before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as I noted recently in this post reporting on the concurrences in and dissents from that court's denial of rehearing en banc in Ricci v. DeStefano.

The Second Circuit's order from last Thursday noted that additional concurrences and dissents might be forthcoming, and indeed they have been, Yesterday, Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi issued this concurrence. And today, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs has issued this must-read dissent harshly criticizing the Second Circuit's notorious reluctance to grant rehearing en banc.
Posted at 11:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Kozinski's Dutch Uncles": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times." Tony's post links to: the Ninth Circuit's Judicial Council's order asking the Chief Justice to transfer the misconduct proceeding involving that circuit's Chief Judge, Alex Kozinski, to another circuit; the Chief Justice's letter assigning the proceeding to the Third Circuit; and a news release announcing the five judges whom the chair of the Judicial Council of the Third Circuit appointed as a special committee to investigate the matter.

And the blog "Patterico's Pontifications" today has a lengthy post titled "Cyrus Sanai Responds."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Covering The Court: Members of the Supreme Court press corps reviewed major decisions from the 2007-2008 Term, examined trends in Supreme Court jurisprudence, and looked towards the future." Via this link, you can access lots of interesting video of the programs that occurred at this past weekend's 2008 American Constitution Society National Convention in Washington, D.C.

The video of the program that is the title of this post, which David Lat covered yesterday in this post at "Above the Law," can be viewed by clicking here (Windows Media Player required).
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court to Hear Challenge From Muslims Held After 9/11": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Court to Rule In Suit Against Ashcroft, Others."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court to rule on whether Ashcroft can be sued; A Pakistani man who was arrested after the Sept. 11 attacks says he was illegally detained and beaten; The justices will examine whether high-ranking officials are immune from such lawsuits."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Court to decide whether top officials can be sued; Ex-detainee seeks to sue Ashcroft, FBI chief."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "High Court Will Hear Case Against Ashcroft Over Post-9/11 Detention."

And in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey has an article headlined "New legal fight over U.S. antiterror tactics; The Supreme Court agrees to examine if high-level officials can be sued for harsh policies."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules aliens who overstay can remain to appeal": This article appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pa. High Court Revives Abuse of Process Claim": Today in The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia's daily newspaper for lawyers, Amaris Elliott-Engel has an article (subscription required) that begins, "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision that found an insurance company and its law firm's guardianship petition regarding a child whose parents would not accept a $7 million settlement offer was not an abuse of process."

As I noted in this recent earlier post, I represented the plaintiffs in successfully seeking review and a reversal from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Grand Juries Become Latest Abortion Battlefield": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"East Coast panel to oversee misconduct probe of California Judge Alex Kozinski; The U.S. 3rd Circuit names a special panel to investigate possible misconduct of federal jurist Alex Kozinski": Scott Glover has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And also from that newspaper, Lara A. Bazelon has an online-only op-ed entitled "Kozinski disciplines himself; The misconduct standards the porn-collecting judge advocated might now be used against him."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, June 16, 2008

"Newspaper Criticized for Report On Judge's Web Site": Josh Gerstein will have this article Tuesday in The New York Sun.
Posted at 11:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"It Isn't Tilting in The Same Old Ways": Yesterday in The Washington Post, Dahlia Lithwick had an op-ed that begins, "With just two weeks left in the Supreme Court's term, everything we thought we knew about the Roberts court seems wrong."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"First of California's same-sex marriage licenses are issued": The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Same-sex weddings start with union of elderly San Francisco couple."

The Sacramento Bee provides a news update headlined "Gay marriages under way in Yolo County, San Francisco."

And The San Jose Mercury News has an update headlined "Same-sex weddings begin in California."
Posted at 09:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"East Coast panel to oversee misconduct probe of California Judge Alex Kozinski": Scott Glover of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

The Associated Press reports that "Judge's wife calls Web porn story 'outright lies'."

This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Judges and Conflicts of Interest" (RealPlayer required).

And Jaikumar Vijayan of Computerworld has an article headlined "Federal judge lands in hot water over explicit images on Web site; Judge in L.A. recuses himself from obscenity trial, asks court officials to investigate him" in which I am quoted.

Elsewhere, at Wired's "Threat Level" blog, Ryan Singel has a post titled "Wiretap Ruling Dies Slow Death As Congress Moves Towards Telecom Amnesty" that begins, "Somewhere on the hard drive of a judge from the 9th U.S. Circuit Appeals Court there likely lives a file that's way more interesting than the tasteless, porn videos found on the personal website of the circuit's chief judge Alex Kozinski. Somewhere there's an opinion from three judges that rules whether or not citizens can sue AT&T for violations of federal wiretapping law, or whether the government's invocation of national security trumps the right to seek redress."

At Townhall.com, Justin Hart has an essay entitled "Judging Pornography."

And at WorldNetDaily, Joseph Farah has an essay entitled "Prosecute the perv judge."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to conduct inquiry into Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski's online posting of pornographic images, mp3 files, and other materials: So advises a reporter for the Daily Journal of California. This assignment was made by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.

The Third Circuit's Chief Judge is Anthony J. Scirica, and he would be deciding in the first instance what if anything to do with the judicial misconduct proceeding that Judge Kozinski apparently initiated with regard to himself last week.

The Third Circuit is viewed as one of the federal appellate courts that are most protective of First Amendment rights, as evidenced by television broadcasters' having selected the Third Circuit as the forum to challenge the FCC's fines for Janet Jackson's indecent exposure during the Super Bowl halftime show several years back. Moreover, Chief Judge Scirica is correctly perceived as a personification of fairness, and he is particularly highly regarded throughout the entire federal judicial system for the amazing job he performed for many years heading up the revision process for the rules of procedure and evidence applicable to federal bankruptcy, district, and intermediate appellate courts.

Update: The Associated Press reports that "Judges named to head Kozinski inquiry." According to the article, "U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, acting under rules for federal judges, named five judges from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia, to do the investigation." The article does not name the five judges, and I in the original portion of this post I have assumed that the Third Circuit's Chief Judge is among those five judges.

Second update: The AP report, as revised, identifies the following five judges as assigned to the investigatory panel, "Named were the chief judge for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Anthony J. Scirica; two other 3rd Circuit Court judges, Marjorie O. Rendell and Walter K. Stapleton; and two chief U.S. District Court judges, Harvey Bartle III of Pennsylvania and Garrett Brown Jr. of New Jersey." Judge Rendell is the wife of Pennsylvania's governor, and Judge Stapleton, based in Wilmington, Delaware, is a senior status Third Circuit judge. Chief Judge Bartle serves on the Philadelphia-based U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Posted at 05:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Camus, Bob Dylan, and Naked Women Painted Like Cows": Rachel Sklar and Ann Althouse are the participants in this episode of Bloggingheads.tv, posted online today. The diavlog was recorded on June 12, 2008.

The final two segments of the diavlog are titled "If a public figure likes porn, is that news?" and "Would McCain appoint hard-right Supreme Court justices?"
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jurist's career of firsts hits a milestone; Lynch being sworn in as head of appeals court": The Boston Globe today contains this article about Sandra L. Lynch, who at 2 p.m. eastern time today was sworn in as the first female Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She also remains the only female judge to serve on the First Circuit.

And The Boston Herald reports today that "Judge Sandra L. Lynch breaks court's glass ceiling."

The First Circuit issued this related press release last month.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Top court won't review Exxon Indonesia lawsuit": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Wife says husband is "not into porn"; Husband is glad wife is willing to believe that: ABA Journal provides a post titled "Wife of 9th Circuit Chief Judge Says Her Husband Is 'Not Into Porn.'"

As I noted in this post from Saturday, ABA Journal magazine has posted online a lengthy article by Terry Carter headlined "Risque Images, Music Tied to 9th Circuit Chief's Site Raises Ethics Questions."

In connection with that lengthy article, the ABA Journal has posted online a remarkable letter (back-up copy posted here) dated October 12, 2007 from L. Ralph Mecham, former director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, which accuses Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski of having committed a criminal offense in 2001 against the federal judiciary's computer system that constituted a felony under federal law.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to rule on whether Ashcroft can be sued; A Pakistani man who was arrested in Long Island after the Sept. 11 attacks charges that he was illegally detained; Justices will examine whether high-ranking officials are immune from such lawsuits": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "U.S. top court to decide Sept. 11 abuse case."
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyering and the Craft of Judicial Opinion Writing: The Second Conversation with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. on the Law of the Constitution." On the evening of July 30, 2008 in Malibu, California, the Pepperdine University School of Law will host this event (you can also access a PDF file of the program's brochure by clicking here).

Participating in the event will be Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.; Tenth Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell; Walter E. Dellinger III; and Kenneth W. Starr. Law Professor Douglas W. Kmiec will serve as the program's host and moderator.

Based on this description of the program, it looks to be quite interesting. Online registration can be accomplished via a link featured on this web page.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Blawg Review #164": Access it here at the blog "cearta.ie," an Irish law blog.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Second thoughts on Kozinski": Mark Obbie today has this follow-up post at his "LawBeat" blog.
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Today is day two of the McClatchy Newspapers series "Guantanamo: Beyond the Law." Today's lead article is headlined "U.S. abuse of detainees was routine at Afghanistan bases." And today's other articles are headlined "Documents undercut Pentagon's denial of routine abuse" and "Soldiers blame lack of training, support for Bagram abuse."

Yesterday, I had this post linking to the articles from day one of the series.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Washington state mulls assisted suicide measure" and "Internet suicide case goes to federal court."
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to rule on right to sue Cabinet officers": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List and opinions in argued cases: The Court today issued opinions in two argued cases.

1. Today's first opinion issued in Florida Dept. of Revenue v. Piccadilly Cafeterias, Inc., No. 07-312. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

2. And today's second and final opinion issued in Dada v. Mukasey, No. 06-1181. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

The Court will next issue opinions in argued cases on Thursday, at 10 a.m. eastern time.

You can access today's Order List at this link. The Court granted review in three cases and requested the views of the Solicitor General in one case.
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Justices rule in favor of state tax collectors"; "Top court eases rules for foreigners to try to stay in US"; "Court to rule in lawsuit vs. FBI head, ex-AG": and "Court rejects appeal on Ill. horse slaughter ban."
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


At 10 a.m. eastern time, "SCOTUSblog" will be live-blogging today's U.S. Supreme Court opinions and orders: You can access the post by clicking here.
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Alex Kozinski's Wife Speaks Out": This post appears today at "Patterico's Pontifications."

And Law Professor Lawrence Lessig offers some additional thoughts in this post at "Lessig Blog."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Guantanamo: Beyond the Law." McClatchy Newspapers has today launched a series of articles lasting five days that the publisher describes as follows, "An eight-month McClatchy investigation of the detention system created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has found that the U.S. imprisoned innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a school for jihad." You can access the home page for the series at this link.

Today's lead article for the debut of the series is headlined "America's prison for terrorists often held the wrong men." And today's other articles are headlined "Pentagon declined to answer questions about detainees" and "Studies differ on threat from Guantanamo detainees."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Habeas Ruling Lays Bare the Divide Among Justices": Robert Barnes and Del Quentin Wilber have this article today in The Washington Post.

Today's newspaper also contains an article headlined "Detainees May Be Denied Evidence for Defense" that begins, "When Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other alleged co-conspirators in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks seek to represent themselves in military commissions trials in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, they may be barred from reviewing highly classified evidence and might not have access to the intelligence agents who interrogated them, according to the Pentagon's Office of Military Commissions."
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Nothing is private": The Seattle Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The roiling water in which Judge Alex Kozinski finds himself should be a lesson for every Internet user: Nothing is private." According to the editorial, "Regardless of what the ethics panel concludes, Kozinski might well find his career cut short or future opportunities diminished because of revelations about his online image cache."

And today in The Billings Gazette, columnist Ed Kemmick has an op-ed entitled "Judge's acts both odd and interesting" that begins, "Alex Kozinski will be remembered as the man who took the prudence out of jurisprudence and put the barnyard back in barnyard humor."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Judge sees equal rights for gays, lesbians": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "California Chief Justice Ronald George is prepared for the voters' verdict on his ruling legalizing same-sex marriages - but whatever comes this autumn, he says it won't be long before most Californians accept equal rights for gays and lesbians as a matter of course. In an interview about the court's May 15 decision overturning the state's marriage law, George drew comparisons to another historic 4-3 ruling 60 years earlier that struck down California's ban on interracial marriage."

That newspaper today also contains an article headlined "How gays' attitudes toward marriage evolved."
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Anthony Kennedy's international view; The Supreme Court justice's experience informed his high court opinion on the legal rights of Guantanamo detainees": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post today contains articles headlined "Critics Study Possible Limits to Habeas Corpus Ruling; Affirming Right to Challenge Detention Is Considered by Some a Taking of Federal Power" and "McCain Denounces Detainee Ruling; View Aligns Him With President."

And today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has an article headlined "Some war on terror detainees can't go home; Whatever orders civilian judges might issue under the latest U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the United States is struggling with how to send away some of the detainees at Guantanamo who the Defense Department has already decided to let go."
Posted at 11:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"NRA's political clout is waning; With 2nd Amendment rights expanded and Democrats reluctant to tackle the issue, gun control isn't the GOP weapon it used to be; The rifle group, in essence, is a victim of its own success": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:53 PM by Howard Bashman


"What We Owe Our Young": Today in The Washington Post, Sandra Day O'Connor and James R. Jones have an op-ed that begins, "Idealistic young voters have turned out in record numbers this year -- and not a moment too soon."
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Deems Campaign Finance Rules Too Weak": The Washington Post contains this article today.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's D.C. Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawmakers Near Deal On Surveillance Bill; Wiretap Orders Begin Expiring Soon": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Out of Bounds: The Bush administration's executive-privilege claims almost make Watergate look like a fond memory." David Iglesias has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Courting Conflict": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Judges must be impartial -- in both appearance and reality -- so federal law sensibly requires that they disqualify themselves from cases if they own stock in a company that is a party in the matter. It would be best if all judges ordered their investments to avoid conflicts. But the issue is most acute for Supreme Court justices, who cannot be replaced by another jurist."
Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kozinski A No-Show": Today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," a post begins, "Alex Kozinski, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was supposed to be on hand Saturday for an American Constitution Society panel Rights in Conflict: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Religious Liberty. Perhaps not surprisingly, Kozinski was a no-show."

If he were at the ACS National Convention today, perhaps Chief Judge Kozinski instead decided to attend a panel titled "The End of Anonymity? Threats to Privacy in a Brave New World," which was scheduled to occur at precisely the same time as the panel on which Chief Judge Kozinski had been slated to serve.
Posted at 11:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Alex Kozinski recuses himself from obscenity trial; The 9th Circuit chief judge makes the decision three days after admitting he had posted sexually explicit photos and videos on his personal website": Scott Glover has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The New York Daily News reports today that "Judge Alex Kozinski recuses himself from trial of porn maker Ira Isaacs."

The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington contains an editorial entitled "Online is forever, and it's usually not private."

And syndicated columnist Susan Estrich has an essay entitled "Good Humor."
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Risque Images, Music Tied to 9th Circuit Chief's Site Raises Ethics Questions": ABA Journal magazine has posted online this lengthy article by Terry Carter.

That publication has also posted online a remarkable letter (back-up copy posted here) dated October 12, 2007 from L. Ralph Mecham, former director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, which accuses Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski of having committed in 2001 a criminal offense against the federal judiciary's computer system that constituted a felony under federal law.
Posted at 12:05 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, June 13, 2008

"Over Guantanamo, Justices Come Under Election-Year Spotlight": Linda Greenhouse will have this news analysis Saturday in The New York Times.

Tomorrow's newspaper will also report that "Lawyers for Detainees Plan to Use Justices' Ruling to Mount New Attacks."
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "McCain slams Supreme Court on terrorist detainees" and "Michigan governor vetoes ban on abortion procedure."

Meanwhile, in other news, Pete Yost reports that "Court says campaign finance rules too weak." My earlier coverage of today's D.C. Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. judges can't pull Americans from Iraqi courts; Thursday's Supreme Court ruling involved men accused of kidnapping-for-ransom schemes": Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Ability to Challenge Transfer to Foreign Custody Is Limited."
Posted at 09:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"I've tried to avoid blogging about the Judge Kozinski story, because I'm so obviously biased on the subject." So begins an interesting and thoughtful post from Eugene Volokh at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 05:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court denies Texaco's tax refund request": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court has denied Texaco Inc.'s bid for a $101 million tax refund after paying $1.25 billion to settle an overcharging complaint."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 04:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"R. Kelly acquitted": The Chicago Tribune provides a news update that begins, "A Cook County jury on Friday acquitted R&B superstar R. Kelly of child pornography charges, marking the end of a high-profile trial rich in courtroom drama and celebrity intrigue."

And The Chicago Sun-Times provides a news update headlined "R. Kelly not guilty on all counts."
Posted at 04:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Alex Kozinski recuses himself from obscenity trial; The 9th Circuit chief judge makes the decision three days after admitting he had posted sexually explicit photos and videos on his personal website": The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge under scrutiny declares mistrial in LA obscenity case."

I have posted the recusal order online at this link.

In an earlier post here at "How Appealing," an experienced and highly regarded federal criminal defense appellate specialist opined that declaring a mistrial due to recusal could provide the defendant with a double jeopardy defense to any retrial.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman



D.C. Circuit allows lawsuit to proceed seeking to recover from the Russian government thousands of historic religious books, manuscripts, and documents claimed to belong to the Chabad-Lubavitch organization: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 12:27 PM by Howard Bashman


D.C. Circuit once again rejects certain revised regulations that the Federal Election Commission promulgated to implement the McCain-Feingold Act, formally known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: Circuit Judge David S. Tatel, with whom I had the pleasure of having lunch last Thursday (in a small group that also included Dahlia Lithwick), is the author of today's ruling of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Posted at 11:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo Ruling May Roil Obama, McCain With No Alternatives": James Rowley and Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News have this report.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Mark Sherman has an article headlined "Mukasey: Detainee ruling won't stop terror trials."

David Espo has a news analysis headlined "Court's course in next president's hands."

And an article is headlined "Lawyer: Gitmo ruling helps US-held terror suspect."
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Say Detainees Can Seek Release": Robert Barnes has this front page article today in The Washington Post. The newspaper also contains a front page news analysis headlined "Administration Strategy for Detention Now in Disarray" and an article headlined "Detainees Now Have Access to Federal Court."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Guantanamo detainees have constitutional rights, Supreme Court says; In their third rebuke of Bush administration policy, the justices rule 5 to 4 that the prisoners can petition a federal judge for their freedom -- the right of habeas corpus." The newspaper also contains a news analysis headlined "Basis for offshore prison is undercut"; an editorial entitled "Habeas for Guantanamo detainees: The Supreme Court confirms the prisoners' rights to challenge their detention under the Constitution"; and an op-ed by David Kaye entitled "Scalia's fear factor: His dissent in a key terror case makes it harder to solve the Gitmo problem."

The New York Times contains a news analysis headlined "Detention Camp Remains, but Not Its Legal Rationale"; an article headlined "McCain and Obama Split on Justices' Guantánamo Ruling"; and an editorial entitled "Justice 5, Brutality 4."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic and Alan Gomez have a front page article headlined "Ruling lays path from Guantanamo to U.S. courts; Justices' 5-4 vote bucks Bush's detainee policy." Biskupic also has a separate article headlined "Ruling maintains high court's streak on Gitmo cases; Slim split typical of post-9/11 cases." An editorial is entitled "Latest Guantanamo ruling reaffirms American values; Court sends powerful message, upholds rights for detainees." And Richard Samp has an op-ed entitled "An inexplicable power grab: Ruling puts lives at risk, usurps the role of Congress and the president."

In The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant reports that "Court backs Gitmo inmates; Detainees must get day in U.S. court, justices rule."

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin has a front page article headlined "High Court Rebuffs Bush Over Detainees." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "President Kennedy."

In The Miami Herald, Michael Doyle and Carol Rosenberg report that "Scores of Guantanamo prisoners could be ordered free after ruling; The Supreme Court's ruling Thursday in favor of prisoners could mean that scores of men could soon be released from Guantanamo Bay."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Says Guantanamo Detainees Have Right to Challenge Detention; Scalia in dissent: 'The nation will regret what the Court has done today.'"

And in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "Bush To Bow to the Nine on POWs; Habeas Corpus Is Extended to Guantanamo Prisoners." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Grandeur of Justice, II."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge, prosecutor secretly dated, appeal says; Death row inmate set for execution Tuesday says he didn't get impartial trial": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.

And The New York Times reports today that "Texas Inmate Says Judge and Prosecutor Had Affair."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Porn-posting judge asks to be probed: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Judge invites probe into his steamy Web site."

Today in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz has an article headlined "'Rebel' judge lands in flap over Web site" that begins, "In early December, Alex Kozinski, rumpled as always, leaned back in a leather chair in his San Francisco office, pausing to consider what he most wanted to accomplish as the new chief judge of the nation's largest federal appeals court. 'What I'm hoping for,' Kozinski quipped, 'is an entirely forgettable seven years where nothing happens.' Sorry, judge."

The New York Daily News contains an article headlined "It takes one to judge one: Jurist in porn trial caught with fetish pics." The article's sidebar is titled "This jurist goes by the kook."

At Wired's "Threat Level" blog, Kim Zetter has a post titled "Critic Says Judge's Web Site Was Distributing MP3 Files and Was Target of Previous Complaint."

"Lessig Blog" has a post titled "The Kozinski mess."

The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "Don't judge Kozinski by his porn: An apology from the 9th Circuit judge for his computer collection of porn isn't necessary; He just needs to say, 'So what?'" The editorial does, however, call on Judge Kozinski to recuse from continuing to preside as trial judge over a federal obscenity trial now underway in Los Angeles.

And Bloomberg News columnist Ann Woolner has an essay entitled "Porn Everywhere, Filmmaker and Judge Both Have It."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Divided 2nd Circuit Denies Hearing by Full Court in Bias Case." My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit order and accompanying opinions appears at this link.

And Shannon P. Duffy reports that "3rd Circuit Urged to Unseal Docket and Other Records in Abortion Case." His article begins, "Lawyers for The Legal Intelligencer filed court papers Thursday urging the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a recent opinion that approved a trial judge's decision to seal all documents -- including the court's docket -- in a precedent-setting case brought by a woman who claims she was fired because she had an abortion. In a separate motion, The Legal's lawyers, Robert C. Clothier and Brett A. Berman of Fox Rothschild, asked the 3rd Circuit to unseal the case at the appellate level where all documents and the court's docket are likewise under seal."
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Minority recruiting is paying off, U-M asserts; Diversity almost same in year since Prop 2 took effect": This article appears today in The Detroit Free Press.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Senate to vote on Mich. judge's nomination": The Detroit News today contains an article that begins, "The Senate Judiciary Committee voted largely along party lines Thursday to send to the Senate floor the controversial and long-languishing nomination of Helene White of Michigan to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The vote was 11-8, with all Democrats voting for her, and all but one Republican -- Orrin Hatch of Utah -- voting against her."

And The Associated Press reports that "U.S. Senate committee OKs 3 Michigan judicial nominees."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"What's Next for Kozinski?" law.com provides this report, along with a related article headlined "Experts Disagree Over Whether Kozinski Should Recuse From Obscenity Trial."
Posted at 12:02 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, June 12, 2008

If you think that what Judge Kozinski did was bad, I know of federal appellate judges who have publicly admitted to viewing child pornography: Of course, those other judges did that in the context of adjudicating appeals in which a criminal defendant was challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting a child pornography conviction.

Here are some random thoughts in the aftermath of the news story that The Los Angeles Times broke yesterday.

  • The attorney who drew the material on Judge Kozinski's web site to the media's attention first clashed with Judge Kozinski over whether non-precedential, unpublished opinions should be citeable. See here and here. Who knew that the spirited dispute over Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1 would lead to this?
  • Sure he apologized, just not to you -- Judge Kozinski's essay replying to the attorney's essay led the attorney to initiate a judicial misconduct proceeding that was terminated by means of an order signed by the Ninth Circuit's then-chief judge saying, among other things, that Judge Kozinski had apologized for his actions. Toward the conclusion of this lengthy article published in April 2008 in The California Lawyer, the complainant says that Judge Kozinski in fact had not apologized to him. Even if that's true, Judge Kozinski still may have apologized -- to the Ninth Circuit's then-chief judge.
  • How uninterested were The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and California's two leading legal newspapers in this story when it was first brought to their attention in January 2008 (see the source's explanation in my update to this post from very early this morning)? Despite Mark Obbie's views regarding the newsworthiness of this matter, those four publications -- which each apparently had been provided with a CD containing many of the images and other files copied from Judge Kozinski's web site -- took absolutely no action to contact Judge Kozinski to learn his side of the story. [Update: Attorney Sanai emails to advise that The LATimes did not possess the CD until the last week or so, and thus only the other three publications had their CDs for a significant amount of time.] Had even one of those publications contacted him, you can be certain that the material in question would have been removed from the web long before Tuesday night of this week.

In what some may view as an ironic coincidence, Judge Kozinski is scheduled to appear this Saturday on a breakout panel titled "Rights in Conflict: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Religious Liberty" at the American Constitution Society National Convention in Washington, D.C. (see page 4 of this PDF file). At precisely the same time, the ACS Convention will also feature another breakout panel titled "The End of Anonymity? Threats to Privacy in a Brave New World" featuring, among others, Law Professors Orin Kerr and Jeffrey Rosen.
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court: Guantanamo Detainees Have Rights in Court; In Stinging Defeat for Government, Detainees Have Right to Challenge Detentions." Jan Crawford Greenburg and Ariane De Vogue of ABC News have this report. Jan may soon be hitting the campaign trail.

And CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has a "CourtWatch" essay entitled "Four Strikes, You're Out; High Court Justifiably Checks Executive And Legislative Branch Power Over Terror Trials - Again."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge in Obscenity Trial Linked to Porn Web Page": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring an interview with Los Angeles Times reporter Scott Glover appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."

Friday's issue of The Independent (UK) contains an article headlined "Obscenity trial halted as judge admits putting porn on his website."

And the organization Concerned Women for America has issued a news release titled "Judge Alex Kozinski Must Resign; California judge overseeing obscenity trial admits his website contains explicit material."
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Friday in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Joyce's trial to move out of town; Former judge to be tried in Pittsburgh": Yesterday's edition of The Erie Times-News contained an article that begins, "Former state Superior Court Judge Michael T. Joyce, who made a name for himself with a long judicial career in Erie, will stand trial about 130 miles to the south, in Pittsburgh. Citing local media coverage of Joyce's federal indictment on fraud and money-laundering charges, a federal judge has made the rare decision to move Joyce's trial from the federal courthouse in Erie, where Joyce was indicted, to the federal courthouse in Pittsburgh."
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Enemy Within: Who are we more afraid of: enemy combatants or federal courts?" Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:24 PM by Howard Bashman


His life is an open book (albeit somewhat unwittingly): The Associated Press reports that "Judge wants panel to investigate his porn postings."

And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Alex Kozinski calls for investigation into his porn postings; The Calif. judge asked an ethics panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to initiate proceedings after the disclosure about his trove of sexually explicit material."
Posted at 08:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Gun Control Group Braces for Court Loss; 'We've Lost the Battle on What the 2nd Amendment Means,' Brady Campaign Head Says": ABC News provides this report.
Posted at 03:42 PM by Howard Bashman


The case may be cert.-worthy, but that doesn't make it worthy of en banc review from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: The Second Circuit -- which stubbornly clings to the now superseded "in banc" terminology -- today has issued yet another decision demonstrating just how difficult it is to obtain en banc review from that court. The vote on whether to grant en banc review in this particular case was 7-6. Today's order is accompanied by two opinions concurring in the denial of en banc review and one opinion dissenting from it. The order also notes that additional concurring or dissenting opinions may yet be filed.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Meet The Cow Porn Judge!" Sara K. Smith has this post at "Wonkette."
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman


Tony Mauro is reporting: At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," he has posts titled "Dramatic Day at the Supreme Court" and "A Goodbye for Greenhouse."
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Says Guantanamo Detainees Have Right to Challenge Detention": Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has this news update.

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "Supreme Court again says Guantanamo prisoners should have rights; For the third time in six years, the justices reject the Bush Administration's view that enemy combatants do not have a right to habeas corpus - a hearing before a judge; The practical effects of the ruling, though, are unclear."

In Friday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Guantanamo detainees win right to court review; The US Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 Thursday that those held in Guantanamo can challenge their detention."

And Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Supreme Court rules Guantanamo prisoners have right to sue in U.S. courts."
Posted at 02:52 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Detainee ruling triggers scramble among DC judges"; "Court ruling hinders Marcos victims seeking funds"; "Supreme Court rejects limits on FOIA lawsuits"; and "Court rules against defendant in sentencing case."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit refuses to recuse entire U.S. Department of Justice from representing the federal government in cases on appeal from rulings of then-U.S. District Judge Michael B. Mukasey: You can access today's ruling at this link.

The Second Circuit's opinion notes that "This is not the first time the country has had an Attorney General with prior experience as a judge."
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Top court allows Guantanamo prisoners' appeals": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Guantanamo Inmates May Seek Release, High Court Says."

And Bill Mears of CNN.com provides a report headlined "Justices: Gitmo detainees can challenge detention in U.S. courts."
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"News judgments about Kozinski's porn": Mark Obbie has this interesting post at his "LawBeat" blog.
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman


BREAKING NEWS -- U.S. Supreme Court issues ruling in cases challenging whether Military Commissions Act of 2006 violates the habeas corpus rights of foreign detainees held at Guantanamo Bay: According to this post at "SCOTUSblog," "[t]he ruling below, which found for the government, is reversed. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion. The Chief Justice, Justice Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissented."

You can access today's 134-page, 5-4 ruling in Boumediene v. Bush, No. 06-1195, at this link. For those wishing to view the oral argument transcript, it remains online here.

Both the Chief Justice and Justice Antonin Scalia issued dissenting opinions, and all four dissenters joined in both dissents. In his dissent, Justice Scalia writes, "The game of bait-and-switch that today's opinion plays upon the Nation's Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed." Justice Scalia's 25-page dissenting opinion concludes, "The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today. I dissent."

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court gives detainees habeas rights." Lyle's post describes the ruling as "a stunning blow to the Bush Administration in its war-on-terrorism policies."

And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report headlined "High Court: Gitmo detainees have rights in court."
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman



Today's U.S. Supreme Court opinions in argued cases: The Court today issued a total of five rulings in argued cases.

Today's first opinion in an argued case issued in Taylor v. Sturgell, No. 07-371. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

Today's second ruling issued in Boumediene v. Bush, No. 06-1195. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Breyer joined. Justice Souter also issued a concurring opinion, in which Justices Ginsburg and Breyer joined. The Chief Justice issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined. Justice Scalia also issued a dissenting opinion, in which the other three dissenters also joined. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

Today's third ruling issued in Republic of Philippines v. Pimentel, No. 06-1204. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

Today's fourth ruling issued in Irizarry v. United States, No. 06-7517. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

Today's fifth and final ruling issued in Munaf v. Geren, No. 06-1666. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. In early coverage of this ruling, The Associated Press reports that "Court rules against 2 US citizens in Iraq."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge in porn tempest has distinguished career": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Alex Kozinski is more accustomed to appearing on lists to fill U.S. Supreme Court vacancies than headlines involving pornographic scandals. But on Wednesday, the chief judge of the country's largest federal appeals court was forced to suspend an obscenity trial he was presiding over after sexually explicit images posted to his his family's Web site became public."

The person responsible for alerting the news media to this story was identified late yesterday as a Los Angeles-area attorney, and in this post from very early this morning I reproduce portions of two emails that I received from that attorney after midnight this morning.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Rejects Decisions of Immigration Board": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "In a scathing opinion, a federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday that immigration judges and the appellate system established as a check on their decisions committed 'obvious errors' by denying asylum to three Guinean women who claimed that they were victims of genital cutting back in Africa."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Justice Orders a Pay Raise for New York's Judges": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "N.Y. Judge Orders Himself a Raise; Could Cost Taxpayers $700 Million."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Child's Death And a Crisis for Faith": The Wall Street Journal today contains an article that begins, "The recent death from untreated diabetes of an 11-year-old Wisconsin girl has invigorated opposition to obscure laws in many states that let parents rely on prayer, rather than medicine, to heal sick children."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Child-abuse claims vs. parents' rights: Supreme Court mulls whether to take a suit accusing Illinois of forcing families to give up rights." Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 08:08 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online at FindLaw: Joanna Grossman has an essay entitled "The Supreme Court Holds that an Important Federal Civil Rights Law, Section 1981, Prohibits Retaliation as Well as Discrimination."

And Julie Hilden has an essay entitled "The Supreme Court's Recent Child Pornography Decision, and the Problem with Narrowly Construing Statutes with First Amendment Implications." Julie's essay is part one of a two-part series.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge suspends L.A. obscenity trial after conceding his website had sexual images; Alex Kozinski admits he posted some of the explicit content; He says he didn't think the public could see the site, which is now blocked": Scott Glover has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Judge in hot water over Web site sex photos."

And at "Concurring Opinions," Kaimipono D. Wenger has a post titled "Judges Gone Wild."

The person responsible for alerting the news media to this story was identified late yesterday as a Los Angeles-area attorney, and in this post from earlier this morning I reproduce portions of two very recent emails that he sent to me.
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Porn Stash Puts Obscenity Case Judge in Awkward Spot": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun has this article today.
Posted at 12:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"9th Circuit's Chief Judge Snared in Web of Kink": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 12:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"The L.A. Times's Tipster on Kozinski's Porn: Cyrus Sanai." This post appears at "Patterico's Pontifications."

At 12:05 a.m. this morning, I received an email from Mr. Sanai that begins, "I'm the person who tipped off the LA Times about Judge Kozinski. This is all part of the ongoing misconduct proceedings against Judge Kozinski that grew out of 'Kozinski Strikes Back,' which you have kindly kept available for public viewing."

The email goes on to advance a technology-based argument, whose validity I am incapable of evaluating, that only Judge Kozinski had control of the portion of the internet domain on which the material in question appeared.

Mr. Sanai and Judge Kozinski have previously crossed swords in essays that remain freely available online exclusively via "How Appealing Extra" here and here.

Update: In a follow-up email that I received from Mr. Sanai at 12:44 a.m. this morning, he writes:

I discovered this information on Xmas Eve, 2007. * * * * I immediately downloaded so much material that his internet provider cut him off. When the site went back up, Judge Kozinski had removed some of the biggest video files. * * * * I pitched it to the Daily Journal, the Recorder, the LA Times and the WSJ through end of January 2008. I was interested in his site because of my renewed misconduct complaint against Judge Kozinski, which focused on, among other things, his placement of the transcript of Judge Thibodeau on alex.kozinski.com. Interestingly enough, your capture of that link is the only evidence that remains of this on the internet. So thank you! Terry Carter of the ABA Journal contacted me last month, and was actually working on this story when the LA Times decided to break it.

John Roemer wrote an article for the Daily Journal, which his editors killed. You find a trace of it in his piece on Kozinski in the California Lawyer.

The LA Times reporter I contacted, Henry Weinstein (who extensively covered the Manuel Real stuff) said he would get to it, then he took the buyout. I contacted Scott Glover, the reporter on the obscenity trial, last Sunday, June 8, 2008. He knew nothing about my prior contact with the LA Times; but that institution is in disarray because of the well-covered restructuring. Therefore, it would not be fair to say that the LA Times "held it". The institutional knowledge of my prior contact disappeared * * * *

The Recorder's executive editor, Scott Graham, is still mad at me for getting the original piece published, and would not run anything. However, they have taken on the very important material I passed on to them from Meachem six months ago. Their current article accurately summarizes Kozinski's slapdown by Rehnquist.

* * * *

It is correct to say that the Daily Journal, the Recorder, and the WSJ deliberately held this information from the public. By mid February, 2008 all three had the same CD of material that I gave to the LA Times last Monday.

I point out, also, that the LA Times found items that were uploaded after December, 2007. The naked guy cavorting with the donkey is something I do not have and I don't think was on the web site on December 24, 2007.

Mr. Sanai's email states that he will be interviewed live about this matter on the Los Angeles NBC affiliate's 11 p.m. pacific time newscast.
Posted at 12:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Turning 'less' into 'more' would be a feat more closely associated with the mutating commandments on the barn's wall in Animal Farm than with sincere interpretation." Finally, a federal appellate court has refused to construe "less" to mean "more" in the appellate timing provision contained in the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook today issued this decision on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

I argued in favor of the result that Chief Judge Easterbrook reached today in the February 13, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "Less Is More: When Courts Decide a Law Means the Opposite of What It Says."
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Judge Contributed to Racy Web Site": Adam Liptak will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.

In response to the double jeopardy aspect of this earlier post of mine, a highly regarded criminal defense appellate specialist emails, "In my opinion, Fed.R.Crim.P. 25(a) permits another judge to take over the trial (after quickly reviewing daily copy, per Rule 25(a)(2)). Mandatory recusal under 455(a) should be understood to be a 'disability' within the meaning of Rule 25. For that reason, termination of the trial is not 'manifestly necessary' and restarting the trial after termination w/o the defendant's consent would constitute double jeopardy."
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in Speech": Adam Liptak will have this article, the latest installment in his "American Exception" series, Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"LA obscenity trial suspended over judge's Web site": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge has suspended the obscenity trial of a Los Angeles porn distributor following a newspaper report that the judge had sexually explicit material on his own Web site. Judge Alex Kozinski on Wednesday granted a joint motion to suspend the trial after the prosecution said it needed time to look into the issue of the judge's Web site."

Thursday's edition of The Washington Post wil contain an article headlined "Judge Assailed Over Sexually Explicit Images on Web Site."

And Agence France-Presse reports that "Bestiality trial overshadowed by judge's animal sex video."
Posted at 10:09 PM by Howard Bashman



Number one reason to -- or not to -- share a web server: The story that The Los Angeles Times broke today in a news update concerning Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski continues to evolve.

Both Judge Kozinski himself -- in this post at "Above the Law" -- and the Ninth Circuit's Circuit Executive -- in a statement reported on at WSJ.com's "Law Blog" -- have stated that at least some of the material that is the focus of The LATimes article was placed online by Judge Kozinski's son, Yale.

This explanation, which The LATimes article leads one to believe that Judge Kozinski did not initially offer when that newspaper's reporters interviewed him, points out the risks and benefits of sharing a web server with another person.

The risk is that the other person may post objectionable things online that third-parties may attribute to you instead. And the benefit is that if third-parties attribute to you objectionable things found on your web server, you can always claim that those things were put there by the other person having an ability to upload things to the web server.

Thanks to those readers who have already responded to the inquiries listed in my earlier, related post. I may post some reader comments later tonight.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Who Ruled Against Pledge of Allegiance Hospitalized": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun has this news update about Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt.

This blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" interview with Judge Reinhardt, from February 2004, can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 06:27 PM by Howard Bashman



Should The Los Angeles Times be praised or condemned for reporting that it discovered pornographic images posted online at Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski's personal web site, and what if anything makes that discovery newsworthy? As I understand The LATimes article, the images were freely accessible to anyone who knew where on Judge Kozinski's site to find them, but Judge Kozinski was not actively promoting the images for viewing by the general public.

Readers of this blog are invited to share their views via email [appellateblog@hotmail.com] on any or all of the following issues, and I will post to this blog any thoughtful responses:

  • Is this story newsworthy merely because a federal judge has posted pornographic images on the internet where the public can access them, even though the images are not readily available to anyone who does not know precisely where to look on the web site that the judge operates?
  • Is this story newsworthy only because the judge in question is currently presiding over an obscenity trial, even though none of the images on the judge's personal web site have been reported to be obscene?
  • Should The Los Angeles Times have published this article?
  • Forget about the purient aspects of this story, is the story newsworthy because a federal appellate judge may have engaged in copyright infringement by posting images presumably belonging to others on his personal web site?
  • Should publication of this article in The Los Angeles Times cause Judge Kozinski to recuse or to at least survey the jury to ensure that the jury can remain fair to both the prosecution and the defendant in the ongoing obscenity prosecution over which he is now presiding?
  • For any criminal procedure gurus in the audience, if Judge Kozinski decides to recuse from presiding over the criminal obscenity prosecution in which a jury has already been selected and perhaps seated, can a new judge be brought in to take over the trial from that point forward, or will it be necessary to declare a mistrial and start over?
  • Can the defendant in the obscenity prosecution successfully assert double jeopardy to avoid another trial if Judge Kozinski concludes that he has no other choice but to recuse and that the ground for recusal is not subject to waiver by the parties?
  • Should this type of news coverage disqualify one from consideration to fill a future U.S. Supreme Court vacancy?
Some may recall that Judge Kozinski was in the news in 2001 for opposing the central monitoring of internet usage in federal judges' chambers. Neil A. Lewis covered the matter in articles that you can access here and here (and see box 25 of the L. Ralph Mecham papers). And Judge Kozinski is credited with advising David Lat on how Lat could avoid having the source of Lat's internet access revealed when Lat was sending emails using the "Article III Groupie" persona.

In the most recent coverage of today's news, The Associated Press reports that "9th Circuit judge had sexual images on Web page." Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog has a post titled "Chief Judge in Obscenity Case Caught Posting Porn." And Slate has reposted Judge Kozinski's 1996 Slate Diary with the teaser "When the California Porn Judge Went to a Lingerie Party." Back in 1985, when Judge Kozinski was confirmed to the Ninth Circuit at the age of 35 by a vote of 54 to 43, Ben A. Franklin had this interesting report in The New York Times.
Posted at 05:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"9th Circuit's chief judge posted sexually explicit matter on his website; Alex Kozinski, who is presiding over an obscenity trial in L.A., acknowledges that he had posted sexually explicit photos and videos; He says he didn't think the public could access the site": The Los Angeles Times has posted a news update that begins, "One of the highest-ranking federal judges in the United States, who is currently presiding over an obscenity trial in Los Angeles, has maintained a publicly accessible website featuring sexually explicit photos and videos. Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, acknowledged in an interview with The Times that he had posted the materials, which included a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. Some of the material was inappropriate, he conceded, although he defended other sexually explicit content as 'funny.'"

Chief Judge Kozinski is currently presiding over the obscenity trial of Ira Isaacs, which is the case that is the subject of the post immediately below.

Update: The LATimes allows readers to comment on its articles, and reader comments on this article can be accessed here.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



Los Angeles tells Tampa, Florida, "Our obscenity is far more disgusting than yours": The Associated Press provides a report headlined "LA obscenity case nauseates some potential jurors" that begins, "What violates community obscenity standards in the nation's reputed pornography capital? Federal prosecutors think they have a case."

Monday's edition of The Los Angeles Times contained an article headlined "Upcoming trial will see hours of hard-core fetish pornography; Ira Isaacs says his films, which feature bestiality and defecation, have artistic value; Federal prosecutors say they are criminally obscene; Hours of footage will help jurors decide who's right."

Yesterday's edition of The Times of London contained an article headlined "The Isaacs pornography case: strong stomachs wanted; Yes, people can easily be shocked; But they often enjoy it."

And today in The St. Petersburg Times, columnist Sue Carlton has an essay entitled "Is porn really our biggest problem?"
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"NY court grants 3 women new chance to stay in US": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Manhattan appeals court has granted three women who suffered genital mutilation in their native Guinea a new chance to stay in the United States. The federal appeals court says the U.S. government should have presumed the women would face further harm once it was established that they had undergone genital mutilation."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Government Loses High Court Case on Paralegal Costs": Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal provides this report.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Turning Point: The Supreme Court; The court is political, and more than Roe v. Wade is at stake." Zachary Roth has this article online at Columbia Journalism Review.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


The appellate paparazzi can be ruthless: CNN.com reports that "Ken Starr helping lawmakers fight paparazzi."
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-steelworker, Nazi guard loses deportation appeal": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued today.
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman


Texarkana arcana: At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has a post titled "Article III, Congress, and the Texarkana Courthouse," quoting Brian Kalt.

Longtime readers of this blog may recall that after I attended the Eighth Circuit's Judicial Conference in Brainerd, Minnesota in July 2006, I received from another of the attendees this eagerly-awaited postcard depicting the U.S. Post Office & Court House in Texarkana.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Gay rights: Lesbos islanders go to court in bid to reclaim the word lesbian." This article appears today in The Guardian (UK).

The Telegraph (UK) reports today that "Lesbos islanders want to stop homosexual women calling themselves Lesbians; The inhabitants of the Aegean island of Lesbos have began a court action that will attempt to prevent homosexual women from calling themselves Lesbians."

And The Associated Press reports that "3 from Lesbos sue gay group over 'Lesbian' name." (This CNN.com version of The AP's report contains a photograph of a male lesbian.)

Earlier, columnist John Walsh of The Independent (UK) had an essay entitled "Who are the real lesbians?"

And Howard Richler had an op-ed in The Toronto Star entitled "People of Lesbos lay claim to name - but whose word is it? 'Lesbian' is entrenched in English to refer to homosexual women; How about Lesbonians?"
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman



Dahlia Lithwick and Benjamin Wittes on Bloggingheads.tv: You can launch the diavlog by clicking here.

Two Mondays from now, on June 23rd, Ben's new book will be the subject of this event in Washington, D.C.
Posted at 12:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"The game's up: jurors playing Sudoku abort trial." Wednesday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald contains an article that begins, "After 105 witnesses and three months of evidence, a drug trial costing $1 million was aborted yesterday when it emerged that jurors had been playing Sudoku since the trial's second week. In the District Court in Sydney, Judge Peter Zahra discharged the jury after hearing evidence from two accused men, one of their solicitors and the jury forewoman, who admitted that she and four other jurors had been diverting themselves in the jury box by playing the popular numbers game."
Posted at 11:57 AM by Howard Bashman


One more reason to feel blue: The company that manages and produces the Las Vegas production of the Blue Man Group today lost its legal challenge to an adverse NLRB decision. Adding insult to injury, today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied the petitioner's motion that the court "take judicial notice of several artistic reviews of the Blue Man Group show that aptly describe the unique and highly unusual experience of attending a Blue Man Group performance."

Update: At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Joe Palazzolo has a post titled "D.C. Circuit Gives Blue Man Group Two Thumbs Down."
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion foes take battle beyond Roe; Makeup of high court is political focal point, but activists cutting access with ruling intact": James Oliphant has this article today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"On the reshaped Supreme Court, O'Connor's legacy is fading away; Without her, it turns to the right on key issues": Joan Biskupic has this front page article today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"9th Circuit Taps Special Prosecutor for Toxic-Tort Case": law.com provides a report that begins, "A special master has already recommended that attorneys Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in sanctions, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals isn't done with them yet. On Monday, a three-judge panel appointed a special prosecutor to determine the proper discipline for the Los Angeles-based plaintiffs attorneys in connection with a string of errors in a toxic-tort case against Dow Chemical Co. and other companies."

You can access yesterday's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court will again hear Portland widow's case; The U.S. Supreme Court takes up a $79.5 million judgment against Philip Morris": Today in The Oregonian, Ashbel S. Green has this article, in which I am quoted.

James Vicini of Reuters reports that "Top court to hear Philip Morris damages appeal."

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Altria Gets High Court Hearing on $79.5 Million Award."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Reject 'Class of One' Argument": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

And today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Court Limits Public-Worker Claims; Unique Complaint of Bias Disallowed as Equal-Protection Case." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Personnel Decision: The Supreme Court gives government some needed leeway in employment matters."
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"US court rules in Quanta's favor in LG patent case": Reuters provides this report.

And law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Limits Companies' Ability to Collect Multiple Royalties on Their Patents."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court upholds 'don't ask, don't tell'; Case originated in Boston with 12 former GIs": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's First Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, June 9, 2008

"Supreme Court curtails rights of public employees; The justices reject an Oregon woman's discrimination lawsuit, saying it threatened to turn millions of ordinary job grievances into federal cases": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to See Philip Morris Case a Third Time": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.

And Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "$79 million smoker case not over; The U.S Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear -- again -- a case in which Philip Morris is disputing the size of a damage award."
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"US court again dismisses challenge to military ban on gays": Agence France-Presse provides this report on today's First Circuit ruling, which I first reported on in the post immediately below.

The AFP article seems to suggest that today's First Circuit ruling overrules last month's Ninth Circuit ruling to the contrary. Of course, if the First Circuit could overrule the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court might have a bit more free time on its hands.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



First Circuit panel rejects constitutional challenge to the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy: You can access today's ruling at this link. The majority opinion observes, "we are persuaded that Lawrence did indeed recognize a protected liberty interest for adults to engage in private, consensual sexual intimacy and applied a balancing of constitutional interests that defies either the strict scrutiny or rational basis label."

Today's ruling disagrees with a ruling that a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel issued last month. My earlier coverage of that Ninth Circuit ruling appears here and here.
Posted at 03:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Is Los Angeles International Airport a public forum under the Liberty of Speech Clause of the California Constitution?" A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued an order certifying that question for resolution by the Supreme Court of California. The certification order issued in a case captioned International Society for Krishna Consciousness v. City of Los Angeles. A related scene from the movie "Airplane!" can be accessed at this link via YouTube.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to Weigh School Sex-Discrimination Case": Mark Walsh has this post at "The School Law Blog" of Education Week.
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court reopens punitive damages case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 11:34 AM by Howard Bashman


Today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List and opinions in argued cases: The Court today has issued opinions in the following four argued cases:

1. Allison Engine Co. v. United States Ex Rel. Sanders, No. 07-214. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

2. Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., No. 06-937. Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

3. Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co. Long Family Land & Cattle Co., No. 07-210. Justice Thomas delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

4. Engquist v. Oregon Dept. of Agriculture, No. 07-474. The Chief Justice delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Thomas, Stephen G. Breyer, and Alito joined. Justice John Paul Stevens issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

The Court plans to issue additional opinions on Thursday of this week.

The Court today also granted review in two cases and called for the views of the Solicitor General in another case. You can access today's Order List at this link.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Justices rule against worker who lost job"; "Justices allow RICO lawsuit in Illinois case"; "Court sets limits in government fraud suits": "High court rules against multiple royalties"; and "Court will again review $79.5M award in tobacco case."
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice is served: A Harvard Law grad develops an odd obsession." Chris Colin has this interesting article today in The San Francisco Chronicle. The "odd obsession" is making plates -- which you can dine off of -- that commemorate important cases and U.S. Supreme Court Justices. You can view the plates via the web site "Learned Handmade Plates."
Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law Schools Visited by Supreme Court Justices, 2007": This post appears today at "TaxProf Blog."
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner speaks on immigration and the increasing number of immigration cases": You can view Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts" by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Putting the tribunals on trial: A test for the American military commissions that are supposed to try suspected terrorists." This article appears online at the web site of The Economist magazine.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"It's counties against state again in appeal of pot suit": Today's edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune contains an article that begins, "Nineteen months after a judge rejected San Diego County's lawsuit against the state of California seeking to overturn medical marijuana laws, government lawyers are returning to court to argue their appeals. In a case being watched closely by counties around the state, oral arguments are scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday in a 4th District Court of Appeal courtroom in downtown San Diego."
Posted at 07:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"W.Va. justices question need for additional court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Most of West Virginia's Supreme Court justices question the need for a midlevel appeals court, a proposal raised after they refused to hear two cases involving a combined $664 million in damages."
Posted at 07:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Va. high court revisits spam case; Convicted spammer is challenging law as being unconstitutionally broad": Thursday's edition of The Richmond Times-Dispatch contained this article.
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Top state court marks 200th anniversary": This article appeared last week in The Connecticut Post.
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Mo. governor candidate's legal work draws scrutiny" and "Judge seeks end to 12-year suit over Indian money."
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court could hear challenge to Voting Rights Act; Law that requires permission to change elections under fire": The Shreveport Times today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court could decide whether Louisiana must keep asking the Justice Department for permission to change how it conducts elections."
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Trial of Judge Allen likely to be intense; Ethics and perjury case going to trial Monday is 'unprecedented'": Today in The Pensacola News Journal, Paul Flemming has an article that begins, "Illicit sex. Profane outbursts. Lies. And that's just the judges. On Monday, Michael Allen, a 1st District Court of Appeal judge, goes on trial before a panel of the Judicial Qualification Commission. If the charges against him are found to have merit, he ultimately could be removed from the bench. His case -- that flamed into public when he called out a fellow judge in the usually staid pages of a court opinion -- has roiled the state's largest, most influential appeal court in Tallahassee for more than four years."

The newspaper also contains articles headlined "Roots of the case against Judge Michael Allen" and "W.D. Childers' role in the Judge Allen case."
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court's caseload slows; Analysis of state Supreme Court action finds a decline over eight years": The Tulsa World today contains an article that begins, "The number of appeals and court actions at the Oklahoma Supreme Court have declined significantly in eight years because of the chilling effect of legislative reforms and due to mediated lawsuits, court officials said."
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roanoke Valley judge up for Va. Supreme Court; Clifford Weckstein has been endorsed by one bar association, but a political snare may complicate the appointment process": This article appears today in The Roanoke Times.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court's Term So Far: An Unusual Degree of Agreement, With Liberals Joining 'Conservative' Rulings and Vice-Versa." Edward Lazarus has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, June 7, 2008

"The Guantanamo Court: The trials of Sept. 11 suspects are a discredit to U.S. justice." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.

And today in The Los Angeles Times, columnist Tim Rutten has an op-ed entitled "Martyrs in the making at Guantanamo: Just as Al Qaeda is falling apart, Bush's terrorist tribunals are reviving it."
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Conviction Upheld in Terror Plot; Judges Send Falls Church Man's Case Back for Resentencing": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court yesterday upheld the conviction of a Falls Church man for plotting to kill President Bush and sent the case back to a lower court for resentencing -- a victory for prosecutors, who had argued that Ahmed Omar Abu Ali's 30-year prison term was too lenient."

And The Washington Times reports today that "Al Qaeda plot conviction upheld; Ruling calls for resentencing."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fourth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices List Their Assets; Wide Range of Wealth": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "Justices are well-off, well-traveled."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"'I Am Guilty': In his own words, Lerach lashes out at federal prosecutors and defends the practice of client kickbacks that put him away." Bill Lerach will have this essay in the July 2008 issue of Conde Nast Portfolio magazine.

And today in The New York Times, business columnist Joe Nocera has a related essay entitled "Serving Time, but Lacking Remorse."
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman



Parts is parts: Yesterday, The Cleveland Plain Dealer contained an article headlined "Court rules coroners allowed to retain autopsied body parts."

Yesterday's issue of The Cincinnati Enquirer contained an article headlined "Court: Coroners not required to return parts."

And The Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that "Coroners free to keep organs; Top Ohio court halts autopsy suit in 6-1 decision."

You can access Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio at this link. In addition, the court issued a news release headlined "Ohio Law Does Not Establish a 'Protected Right' in Autopsy Specimens." And you can view the classic Wendy's "Parts is Parts" commercial by clicking here (via YouTube).
Posted at 04:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Dept. Urged to Examine Authorization of Harsh Interrogation Tactics": The Washington Post provides a news update that begins, "Nearly 60 House Democrats yesterday urged the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to examine whether top Bush administration officials may have committed crimes in authorizing the use of harsh interrogation tactics against suspected terrorists."

The newspaper has posted the letter online at this link.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"3rd Circuit Judges Pepper Counsel With Questions in 'Voice of God' Case": Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer provides this report.

And The Associated Press reports that "'Voice of God' heir battles NFL Films over Madden program."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Tech law school graduate wins Supreme Court case": Yesterday, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal contained an article that begins, "Jerry V. Beard picked up his telephone to hear the U.S. Supreme Court was on the line for him. A few seconds later he learned he had won his case in a unanimous decision by the highest court in the land."

And on Tuesday, The Indianapolis Star contained an article headlined "Indy attorney wins 5-4 before U.S. Supreme Court" that begins, "An Indianapolis attorney's first career victory at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday came with the narrowest of margins."
Posted at 03:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mother in Virginia Loses Bid to Void Same-Sex Ruling in Vermont on Child Custody": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "Ruling comes in same-sex custody case; Va. Supreme Court says state must enforce order from Vt. on women's child."

And The Northern Virginia Daily reports that "Va. high court ruling allows visitation rights; Commonwealth to honor Vt. decision."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Virginia Supreme Court ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"AG says injection question settled; Supreme Court in April upheld execution method killer is contesting": The Houston Chronicle contains this article today.
Posted at 02:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sandra Day O'Connor's Plan for Joystick Justice": This post appeared recently at the "Bits" blog of The New York Times.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"House's defense argues $500k bond unreasonable": Today's edition of The Knoxville News Sentinel contains an article that begins, "After nearly 23 years on death row and two years after the nation's highest court questioned his conviction, a wheelchair-bound Paul Gregory House is one step closer to a new trial but not freedom."
Posted at 02:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Antonin Scalia's 10 Rules of Persuasion: The Supreme Court Justice has co-authored a new book counseling lawyers; The advice will help business professionals, too." BusinessWeek posted this article online yesterday.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Doctors Request Increase in Freedom, Driver's License for Hinckley": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, June 6, 2008

"Adviser Says McCain Backs Bush Wiretaps": Charlie Savage has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"South Carolina to Offer Cross on Car Plates": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "South Carolina drivers will be the first in the nation to be offered license plates that carry the phrase 'I Believe' and a Christian cross over a stained-glass window under a law that took effect on Thursday. Critics have threatened to fight the law in court, saying the license plate represents an illegal state endorsement of religion."

And Wednesday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "S.C. Lawmakers Back 'I Believe' Plates" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court orders new sentence for al-Qaida member": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth CIrcuit issued today.

All three judges on the three-judge panel are credited as authors of the opinion of the court, except to the extent that one of the judges has dissented in part. The dissenting opinion of Circuit Judge Diana Gribbon Motz begins, "With respect, I dissent from the majority's decision to reverse, as unreasonably lenient, Abu Ali's sentence of thirty years' imprisonment followed by thirty years' supervised release."
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Servicewoman Prevails in Her Bid to Reinstate Her Constitutional Challenge to the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy: What Are the Implications of the Ninth Circuit's Ruling in Witt v. Secretary of the Air Force?" Vikram David Amar has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"State high court upholds dismissal of challenge to former R-MWC going coed": The Lynchburg News & Advance provides a news update that begins, "The Virginia Supreme Court today affirmed the previous dismissal of two cases challenging the former Randolph-Macon Woman's College's decision to adopt coeducation, according to opinions posted on the court's Web site."

And The Associated Press reports that "Va. court upholds women's college move to coed."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Virginia at this link.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court upheld child custody rights of non-biological parent": The Virginian-Pilot provides a news update that begins, "The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a lower state court decision that grants some custody rights to the non-biological parent in a legal dispute between two women who jointly parented a child in a past lesbian relationship."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Vt. ruling stands in lesbian custody case" that begins, "Virginia's highest court ruled Friday that the state must enforce a Vermont court order awarding child-visitation rights to a mother's former lesbian partner. The Virginia Supreme Court rejected Lisa Miller's claim that a lower court improperly ignored a Virginia law and a state constitutional amendment that prohibit same-sex unions and the recognition of such arrangements from other states."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Virginia in Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins at this link.
Posted at 03:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judges appear cool to Black appeal; Media baron didn't steal, attorney says": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Conrad Black's hopes of getting his criminal convictions overturned were dimmed Thursday as his attorney received a highly skeptical reception from a panel of three judges at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."

Today's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contains an article headlined "Appeal judges in Black case pepper lawyers with tough questions" that begins, "Under other circumstances Conrad Black would probably relish meeting Judge Richard Posner. Judge Posner, 69, has been on the Seventh Circuit Appeal Court in Chicago for nearly 30 years and he is considered one of the top legal minds in the United States. He's best known for his free-market approach to analyzing the law and he has written more than 30 books and 300 articles on topics ranging from sex and pornography to aging, health care, AIDS, politics, literature and medieval Iceland. He writes more legal opinions annually than any other appellate judge in the United States, teaches at the University of Chicago and has a blog with a Nobel-prize-winning economist (his latest post discussed the merits of paying children to go to school)."

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that "Conrad Black's attorneys face tough grilling."

The Toronto Star reports that "Court hears Black appeal; Hearing one of Conrad Black's last chances to topple fraud convictions."

And The Associated Press reports that "Black's attorneys tell court his trial wasn't fair."

If you'd like to hear Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner tangle with attorney Andrew L. Frey -- and frankly who wouldn't -- you can download the audio of yesterday's oral argument via this link (13.7MB mp3 audio file).
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Mark Sherman reports that "Supreme Court justices sell stocks in 2007."

And, in other news that I previously reported in this post, an article is headlined "Chief justice: High court's schedule to intensify."
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bonds pleads not guilty to charges in rewritten BALCO indictment": Lance Williams of The San Francisco Chronicle has this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Bonds pleads not guilty to charges of lying to grand jury."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman



Greetings from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Now that the D.C. Circuit's Judicial Conference has ended, I have left Farmington, Pennsylvania and made the 70-mile journey to Pittsburgh.

Although my hotel room in Pittsburgh is far less palatial than at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, the view out of my hotel room window in Pittsburgh is one any baseball fan would love. I'm looking out onto the Roberto Clemente Bridge across the Allegheny River, and from my room I can see the left field stands inside PNC Park. The view is somewhat similar to that depicted in this photograph (although because tonight's baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Arizona Diamondbacks won't start until 7:05 p.m., the bridge currently remains open to motor vehicles).

In any event, I'm looking forward to seeing tonight's game from inside PNC Park, and I should have an excellent view from section 116 behind home plate.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman



The Chief Justice's remarks at the D.C. Circuit's Judicial Conference: The U.S. Supreme Court's number of argued cases will be increasing next Term. And the Court plans to hear oral argument in three cases per day in the fall, as a schedule to be issued on Monday of next week will indicate.

Chief Justice Roberts's prepared remarks apparently will focus on President Abraham Lincoln, whom the Chief Justice described as one of the best jury lawyers in Illinois. In 1849, Lincoln made his one and only U.S. Supreme Court oral argument. The case was Lewis v. Lewis, 48 U.S. 776.

The Chief next posed a series of six multiple choice questions. He began by asking what statement is inscribed on the East Pediment of the Supreme Court building. The second question asked the audience which Chief Justices are depicted on the West Pediment. The next multiple choice question -- and the first that a plurality of the audience answered correctly, was which two Justices are depicted on the Court's bronze doors. The next question was who was the last Supreme Court justice who didn't attend law school. The answer was Justice Byrnes. Next, the Chief Justice asked how many Justices were born outside of the United States. The answer given as correct was six. And the final question was which Justice appears on the $10,000 bill. Because the audience indicated its votes by applause, the Chief Justice's remarks were interrupted by applause eighteen times.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jurors convict adult film producer": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "Twelve federal jurors drew the line Thursday for Tampa Bay area residents, saying the graphic and violent films of a Hollywood pornographer are unacceptable in their community. They reached that decision after watching 8 1/2 hours of extreme pornography on a giant screen in court."

And today's edition of The Tampa Tribune contains articles headlined "Adult Movie Producer Found Guilty In Obscenity Trial" and "Standards Of Obscenity Are Murky."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Today is the final day of the D.C. Circuit's Judicial Conference in Farmington, Pennsylvania: Justice Antonin Scalia will be a panelist on this morning's first panel, discussing "The Relationship Among the Three Branches of Government." And Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. will be delivering remarks later this morning. Stay tuned for live blogging!

As I previously noted in this post, last Sunday Justice Scalia delivered a keynote address to members of Agudath Israel of America. You can access the audio of his complete remarks via this link. And you can view photographs of Justice Scalia's appearance at the event at this link (via "Religion Clause").

Update at 9:38 a.m.: One panelist -- not Justice Scalia -- makes a joke about declaring U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy an enemy combatant. Justice Scalia's introductory remarks were unremarkable. We shall see if he signs any books before departing.

Update at 9:48 a.m.: Did Justice Scalia just mistakenly say that Carter became President after Reagan? Perhaps. He then asked his co-panelists, "Who became President next?" Happily, no one answered "Ford."

Update at 9:53 a.m.: With seven minutes left in the program, I am confident in declaring Miguel Estrada the panelist with the best sense of humor.

Update at 10:15 a.m.: A few books were signed (including mine).
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, June 5, 2008

"KSM in Gitmo: A view of the 'Mastermind.'" Jan Crawford Greenburg has this post at her "Legalities" blog.
Posted at 05:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tabloid Constitutionalism: How a Bill Doesn't Become a Law." Law Professor Brian C. Kalt has posted this article (abstract with links for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").

The article's abstract begins, "What does it take to get Congress to pass a law? To get a judge to declare a statute unconstitutional? To get your law-review article featured in the National Enquirer? Based on one data point, at least, I can say that two of those three things are difficult. This piece is a follow-up to my 2005 Georgetown Law Journal article, The Perfect Crime. Back then, I argued that there is a fifty-square-mile swath of Idaho - a so-called zone of death - where one can commit crimes with impunity."
Posted at 04:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court says apartment owner can sue Jupiter": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The federal appeals court in Atlanta says a landlord can sue the city of Jupiter, Fla., for alleged discrimination against Hispanic immigrant tenants through overly aggressive enforcement of the building code."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit at this link.
Posted at 04:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court upholds NY judge's removal for jailing 46": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "New York's top court has upheld the removal of a Niagara Falls city court judge who jailed 46 people after no one would own up to a cell phone that rang in court."

You can access today's ruling of the New York State Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Alleged 9/11 Mastermind Seeks Death Penalty, Martyrdom; Khalid Sheik Mohammed, 4 Others Arraigned in Military Courtroom at Guantanamo": The Washington Post provides this news update.

Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update headlined "9/11 mastermind suspect: I want death."

Carol J. Williams of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "Alleged 9/11 mastermind asks for death sentence; Khalid Shaikh Mohammed criticizes the proceedings at Guantanamo as 'an inquisition' and says he wants to be a martyr; He and four others are accused of murder in the 2001 terrorist attacks."

The New York Times has a news update headlined "Guantanamo Hearing Starting for 9/11 Suspects."

Jan Crawford Greenburg and Dennis Powell of ABC News have a report headlined "'I Wish to Be Martyred': KSM Arraigned; Accused Sept. 11 Plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Appears in Court."

James Rowley of Bloomberg News reports that "Sept. 11 'Architect' Will Defend Himself at Guantanamo Tribunal."

And The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Accused 9/11 mastermind wants death sentence" and "Alleged 9/11 plotter says artist made nose too big."
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Those scarred by 9/11 families hope trials bring justice -- and peace; Alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four others are set to be arraigned Thursday": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Take Me Out© to the Ballgame®: The biggest fantasy was Major League Baseball's claim that its fans should pay to talk about fantasy baseball." The New York Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Cuban 5' fail in appeal of spy case; An appellate court in Atlanta ruled that the 2001 espionage convictions of five Cuban men must stand, but three of their sentences must be reconsidered": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.

The Associated Press reports that "Court rules on sentences of 'Cuban 5.'"

And Reuters reports that "U.S. court upholds conviction of Cuban spies."

Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. issued a lengthy opinion for the majority on a partially-divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Circuit Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr. concurred in the majority opinion but issued a separate opinion restating his earlier view, in dissent from an earlier en banc ruling in the case, that the defendants' motion for change of venue should have been granted. According to Judge Birch, "Given the technological advances and 24-hour news cycle that have become prevalent in our nation since 1984, I respectfully suggest that this case provides a timely and appropriate opportunity for the Court to address the issue of change of venue in this internet and media permeated century."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jurors in Max Hardcore porn trial seek clarification": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "Jurors deliberating in the obscenity trial of a Hollywood pornographer sought Wednesday to clarify the meanings of words and phrases in their instructions, including 'morbid and degraded,' 'unhealthy interest in sex,' and 'candid interest in sex.'"

And The Tampa Tribune reports today that "Defense Attorney Calls Porn Videos 'Political Expression.'"
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Does the Constitution Permit Government to Favor Religion over Nonreligion? Justice Scalia Says Yes." Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:15 AM by Howard Bashman


Failure to impose any sentence of imprisonment on man convicted of possessing child pornography survives deferential appellate review, Fifth Circuit holds: The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines had indicated a sentence of imprisonment of 46 to 57 months. You can access yesterday's Fifth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 07:12 AM by Howard Bashman


Greetings from Farmington, Pa.: I arrived at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort -- where the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference is taking place this week -- very early this morning. I'm pleased to report that the palatial room in which I am staying appears to have very good wireless internet service. My panel is first on the agenda today, so I'll be offline between breakfast and lunch.

According to the conference schedule (linked above), Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. will be speaking tonight and before lunch tomorrow, while Justice Antonin Scalia will be one of tomorrow morning's panelists.
Posted at 07:04 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Retired justice developing online civics lessons"; "Va. high court hears arguments on law against spam"; and "Accused Sept. 11 plotters due in Guantanamo court."

And an article headlined "Feds: Militant's immigration case wrongly dropped" begins, "A U.S. judge improperly dismissed immigration fraud charges against an anti-Castro militant suspected of plotting the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner, a government lawyer told a federal appeals court Wednesday."
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court nixes suit by black would-be firefighters": The Chicago Sun-Times has a news update that begins, "Chicago taxpayers would be off the hook for as much as $100 million -- and 132 would-be black firefighters would not move to the head of the class -- thanks to a federal appeals court ruling today tied to a 1995 firefighters entrance exam."

Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner is the author of today's ruling of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutors drop appeal of Siegelman and Scrushy sentences": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"California Supreme Court Denies Rehearing and Stay in Marriage Cases": The Supreme Court of California issued this news release today. The order denying rehearing and denying a stay is attached as page two of the news release.

And in early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Calif. court refuses to stay gay marriage ruling."
Posted at 12:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mukasey defends military commissions for terror cases": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Attorney General Michael Mukasey, defending military commissions to prosecute suspected terrorists, told federal judges Wednesday the upcoming trials will be 'in the best traditions of the American legal system.' Mukasey's remarks came amid fresh criticism of the legal processes at Guantanamo Bay. Just this week, the Pentagon defended the abrupt removal of a judge from a case after rulings unfavorable to the government. Speaking to an annual conference of Washington federal judges, Mukasey said the decision to try terrorism cases outside of civilian courthouses is not made lightly."

The article shows that you won't have to rely on mere law bloggers to report on what's happening at the D.C. Circuit's Judicial Conference, which has begun this morning. In any event, I won't be arriving there until very late tonight.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decides patent dispute related to baby diaper changing stations that are able to resist vandalism when used in public restrooms: Among other things, today's ruling holds that "partially" does not mean "totally."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"NY court hears arguments in ex-NYSE head's pay case": Reuters provides this report.

The Associated Press reports that "NY seeks to renew Spitzer claim vs. NYSE's Grasso; Court asked to reinstate claim against Grasso's $187.5M NYSE pay package targeted by Spitzer."

And law.com reports that "N.Y. High Court Questions AG's Involvement in Suit Over Grasso's Pay."
Posted at 09:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Five Detainees Charged in Sept. 11 Attacks to Be Arraigned": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "More than 6 1/2 years after devastating suicide attacks against the United States launched the Bush administration's fight against global terrorism, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, plot is scheduled to appear in a Guantanamo Bay courtroom tomorrow morning." (Sadly, Guantanamo Bay is also where ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg will be tomorrow morning, instead of on a law blogging panel with me at the D.C. Circuit's Judicial Conference in Farmington, Pennsylvania.)

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Guantanamo detainee to be charged with war crimes; The Ethiopian man is alleged to have been part of an Al Qaeda plot to unleash a 'dirty bomb' and blow up apartment buildings in the U.S."

Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald reports that "Gitmo captive accused of 'dirty bomb' plot."

And in The Wall Street Journal, Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby has an op-ed entitled "Guantanamo Is a Model Prison (Really)."
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Let wedding bells ring: Other states may not be holding their peace, but California should proceed with same-sex weddings." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.

And columnist Tim Rutten has an op-ed entitled "Marriage amendment may backfire on GOP; California Republicans shouldn't be so sure they have a winning issue on the November ballot."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers Fear for Marri's Sanity; U.S. Defends Conditions of Detainee's Solitary Confinement": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


In news and commentary from Erie, Pennsylvania: This blog has fallen a bit behind in covering the forthcoming federal criminal trial of former Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Michael T. Joyce.

Last month, The Erie Times-News published articles headlined "Debate over venue; Prosecutor fights Joyce's change-of-venue bid" and "Linchpin in Joyce case; Defense wants evidence released to help clear former judge." The newspaper also published an editorial entitled "Joyce trial should stay in Erie."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Fieger wins, and campaign cash still rules": This editorial appears today in The Detroit Free Press.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Porn videomaker's trial goes to jury": Today's edition of The St. Petersburg Times contains an article that begins, "Jurors will begin deliberating today about whether the violent and graphic pornography produced by a California man violates local community standards and federal obscenity laws."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lose That Lawyer: Do defendants in Georgia have any right at all to competent representation?" Alan Berlow has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.

And in related news coverage, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "Killer requests no special meal for last day."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Killer's execution delayed; Texas lethal injection was to resume, but Harris County inmate gets new stay": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Opposing views on path to divorce": Today in The Providence Journal, Edward Fitzpatrick has an article that begins, "The two women who sought Rhode Island's first same-sex divorce agree that they want to end their marriage, but they disagree about how to do it. Margaret R. Chambers is seeking a divorce in Superior Court, while Cassandra B. Ormiston is now living in Massachusetts, waiting for a year to pass before she can get divorced there."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle reports that "High Court Hasn't Closed the Book on Retaliation."

And the new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Should an Appellate Judge Join in a Decision He Disagrees With to Diminish its Impact?" It begins, "I've recently begun reading 7th Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner's newest book, 'How Judges Think.' It's too soon to tell how many installments of my 'On Appeal' column the book will spawn, but the topic of this week's column arises from the book's introduction, in which Posner writes that 'A judge might join the majority opinion in a case not because he agreed with it but because he thought that dissenting publicly would magnify the effect of the majority opinion by drawing attention to it.'"
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"Ex-CEO Scrushy asks court to throw out conviction": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy has asked a federal appeals court to overturn his conviction in a government corruption case, saying in part that jurors violated court rules by communicating with each other by e-mail. Scrushy's attorneys filed a 118-page brief late Monday asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse Scrushy's June 2006 conviction or order a new trial."

And the "White Collar Crime Prof Blog" has a post titled "Scrushy Files Appellate Brief" providing online access to the appellate brief.
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has begun posting online the audio of its oral arguments: The court issued this announcement today. The oral argument audio files themselves can be accessed via this link.

In news coverage of one of yesterday's oral arguments, The Associated Press has an article headlined "Klan member Seale appeals to 5th Circuit Court" that begins, "The attorney for James Ford Seale, the reputed Ku Klux Klan member serving three life sentences for his role in the 1964 abduction and deaths of two black Mississippi teenagers, argued before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday that the statute of limitations had expired, negating Seale's conviction." You can access the audio of yesterday's oral argument in United States v. Seale via this link (19.2MB Windows Media audio file).
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Survivor' winner takes case to Supreme Court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "'Survivor' winner Richard Hatch has appealed his tax evasion conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court, his attorney said Tuesday."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Supreme Court of Pennsylvania summarily reverses lower court ruling which held that an insurer's attempt to appoint guardian for minor plaintiff whose parents are refusing to accept the insurer's settlement offer is not an abuse of process: On Thursday of last week, Pennsylvania's highest court issued a summary reversal in a case captioned Cruz v. Princeton Insurance Co.

Originally, the trial court dismissed the lawsuit on summary judgment. Next, a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania voted 2-1 to reverse and remand for trial by means of a non-precedential ruling. The Superior Court next granted reargument en banc -- which set aside the three-judge panel's reversal -- and the en banc ruling affirmed the trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of the defendants by a 7-2 vote.

I was then hired by counsel for plaintiffs to prepare a petition for allowance of appeal seeking Pa. Supreme Court review. The petition for allowance of appeal that I drafted presented the following question:

Whether a judgment debtor or its insurance company, which initiates a proceeding to appoint a guardian ad litem for an injured minor judgment creditor to pressure the minor's parents to settle the litigation for less money, can be sued for abuse of process for having used the guardian ad litem procedure "primarily to accomplish a purpose for which the process was not designed."
Both defendants filed briefs in opposition arguing against Pa. Supreme Court review. The Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure do not authorize reply briefs in support of a petition for allowance of appeal.

Most recently, on Thursday of last week, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued its order granting allowance of appeal and summarily reversing on the issue on which that court's review was sought. The Legal Intelligencer -- Philadelphia's daily newspaper for lawyers -- has previously covered the case, although registration is required to access those articles.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Porn producer's lawyers ask judge for acquittal in Tampa": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

And The Tampa Tribune today contains an article headlined "'I'm Kind Of An Extremist,' Ex-Actress Says In Web Porn Trial."
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Judiciary Fund: A Modest Proposal that the Bar Give to Judges What Congress Will Not Let Them Earn." Law Professor Ross E. Davies has posted this paper (abstract providing links for download) online at SSRN (via Ilya Somin at "The Volokh Conspiracy").
Posted at 10:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"In my judgment, the majority opinion illustrates the magnetic pull that the Guidelines still occasionally exert over appellate courts in cases involving sentences outside the Guidelines range." So writes Circuit Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, dissenting from a decision that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg joined.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


All the Michigan state court system is asking for is a little respect, just a little bit: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today affirmed the dismissal of the federal civil rights claims of a man who sued the State Bar of Michigan in connection with its denial of his application for a license to practice law.

According to today's ruling, during the man's interview with members of the state bar's Character and Fitness Committee, the man "stated that he had little respect for the Michigan state court system, and he expressed the view that the federal courts are the 'guardians of the constitution' and that the Michigan state court system fails adequately to protect individuals' constitutional rights."

As a result of that interview, the Character and Fitness Committee found that the applicant failed to display "the requisite good character and fitness to be recommended to the practice of law in this state." In particular, the committee's report stated, ""We are concerned about providing a law license to someone who, even before he has handled his first case as a member of the bar, has effectively written off such a huge component of the justice system."

Today's ruling also notes that "In 2003, [the applicant] also began operating a registered website called 'StateBarWatch' on which he actively criticized the SBM and BLE for alleged dishonesty within the Michigan attorney licensing system."

It is too early to tell whether today's ruling will cause the plaintiff to dislike the federal judicial system almost as much as he apparently dislikes Michigan's state court system.
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Fieger is cleared in campaign fund case; Lawyer was 'scared to death' of guilty verdict": This article appears today in The Detroit News.

And The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Fieger hugs jurors, says let's party."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "3rd Circuit: Woman Cannot Be Fired for Having Abortion."

And in other news, "Calif. Court Resets Trade Secrets Clock."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"9th Circuit Says Judge Botched Murder-for-Hire Trial": Dan Levine of The Recorder has an article that begins, "The judicial careers of Richard Tallman and William Fletcher are uniquely intertwined. But the next time they're in the same room, best not bring up the 'fed-a-pult' guy. The two judges ascended to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals together, part of a deal whereby President Bill Clinton got Fletcher, his relatively liberal buddy from his Oxford University days, seated on the court, in exchange for choosing a conservative. Fletcher landed on a panel reviewing a bizarre 2005 murder solicitation trial in Idaho, which Tallman had presided over by designation. And in a 72-page opinion released Friday, Fletcher found Tallman erred when he denied defendant David Hinkson a new trial despite evidence the government's key witness had committed perjury."

The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington reports today that "Court reverses businessman's conviction; New trial ordered on murder solicitation charges."

Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports that "Court Orders New Trial After Witness Lies About Combat Experience."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court overturns conviction of N. Idaho businessman."

My earlier coverage of Friday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Measure to bar gay marriage qualifies for California ballot; The initiative to amend the state Constitution will go before voters in November": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Initiative to ban gay marriage is on ballot."

The Sacramento Bee reports that "Marriage initiative will go to voters."

And The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Initiative to ban gay marriage qualifies for California ballot."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pacifist teacher to be allowed to change oath": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Cal State Fullerton lecturer allowed to add to oath; With the loyalty issue resolved, the pacifist will be hired to teach two courses next fall."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Melvyn Weiss sentenced in class-action kickback scheme; The securities lawyer made millions by paying off plaintiffs to sue major companies; He gets 30 months in prison and must forfeit $9.75 million in earnings": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

The New York Times reports today that "Class-Action Lawyer Gets 30 Months in Prison."

And law.com reports that "Mel Weiss Sentenced to 30 Months for Kickback Scheme."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling Against Type: As two decisions show, 'conservative' and 'liberal' don't mean everything at the Supreme Court." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge's dismissal blamed on Army; A Marine colonel defended the war-court dismissal of a Guantanamo judge who is considered a maverick": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

USA Today reports today that "9/11 suspect finally goes to trial in military system; Questions, criticism surround proceedings."

And yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "Talk of the Nation" contained an audio segment entitled "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to Face Military Tribunal" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"No Ruling Means No Change for Fantasy Baseball Leagues": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Fantasy baseball leagues can use real players' names, Supreme Court agrees; Justices deny the appeal by pro players who argued that no one had a right to exploit their identities for commercial gain."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Justices let stand fantasy use of stats."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor has an article headlined "High court rejects fantasy baseball challenge; The effect: Made-up leagues can keep using names and statistics of real players without paying licensing fees."

And The Wall Street Journal reports that "Fantasy Sports Score Victory; Supreme Court Strikes Out Major League Baseball, Confirming Firms' Control."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Repairing the Damage, Before Roe": Today in The New York Times, Waldo L. Fielding, M.D. has an essay that begins, "With the Supreme Court becoming more conservative, many people who support women's right to choose an abortion fear that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that gave them that right, is in danger of being swept aside."
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Narrow Money-Laundering Law": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has an article headlined "Victories for Money-Laundering Defendants."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Supreme Court limits money laundering law; In a blow to prosecutors who use the law in drug cases, the justices rule that hiding cash to take it out of the U.S. is not proof of a crime."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor has an article headlined "Harder task to nail money launderers; Two high court rulings on Monday will complicate US efforts to prove certain crimes."

And law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "High Court Deals Government Three Losses on Clement's Last Day as SG; Two pro-defendant decisions will make prosecuting money laundering more difficult."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge's conduct improper; High Court: Fulton's Schwall became an advocate for one side." Today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article that begins, "A Fulton County judge was harshly criticized by the state Supreme Court on Monday for becoming an advocate for one side in a civil case and jailing a man for 20 days without letting him defend himself. In the highly unusual ruling, the high court said Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall violated rules of judicial conduct, violated the rules of evidence and violated the rights of Scottie Cousins, a defendant in an internal squabble over the assets of a small, southwest Atlanta church."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia at this link.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Blog Panel at D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference": Ed Whelan has this post at National Review Online's "Bench Memos" blog.

I'll be sandwiching my appearance on that panel between two baseball-related bobblehead dolls. This Wednesday evening -- before I head to the conference -- I'll be picking up an American Red Cross Jimmy Rollins MVP Bobble Figurine as the Philadelphia Phillies host the Cincinnati Reds. And then on Friday evening -- before heading home -- I'll be picking up a Richie Hebner bobblehead doll as the Pittsburgh Pirates host the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Harry Reid's Handshake: On judges, he's giving the GOP the runaround." This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, June 2, 2008

"Alito on Baseball and Antitrust": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 05:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cass Sunstein and Eugene Volokh on Bloggingheads": This diavlog was recorded May 27, 2008 and posted online today (via "Althouse").

Update: "How Appealing" is mentioned, on the topic of "the architecture of serendipity."
Posted at 03:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Top court rules against government on money laundering": James Vicini of Reuters has this report.

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Money Laundering Law Narrowed by U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fantasy baseball leagues can use real players' names, Supreme Court agrees; Justices deny the appeal by pro players who argued that no one had a right to exploit their identities for commercial gain": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "MLB Rebuffed by U.S. Supreme Court on Fantasy Rights."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fieger, law partner acquitted of illegal political donations": The Detroit Free Press provides this news update.

And The Detroit News provides an update headlined "Federal jury acquits Fieger, partner on all charges."
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush nominating Garre for solicitor general": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court rules on paralegal fees, money laundering": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued three decisions in argued cases.

1. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. delivered the opinion of the Court in Richlin Security Service Co. v. Chertoff, No. 06-1717. Although no Justice filed any separate opinion, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas did not join in all of Justice Alito's opinion. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

2. Justice Thomas delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Regalado Cuellar v. United States, No. 06-1456. Justice Alito also filed a concurring opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joined. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

3. And Justice Scalia announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion in which Justices David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined in full and in which Justice Thomas joined in part in United States v. Santos, No. 06-1005. Justice John Paul Stevens filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Justice Stephen G. Breyer filed a dissenting opinion. And Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion, in which the Chief Justice, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Breyer joined. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

You can access today's Order List at this link.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Justices rule for defendants on money laundering" and "Court refuses to consider fantasy baseball dispute."
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman



Recently on C-SPAN's "America and the Courts": Two Saturday's ago, Solicitor General Paul D. Clement -- whose final day in office is today -- was the program's focus. You can view the broadcast by clicking here (also featuring remarks from Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.), while a bonus interview with Clement can be viewed by clicking here.

This past Saturday's broadcast focused on the commencement addresses that three U.S. Supreme Court Justices recently delivered. C-SPAN has also separately posted online the commencement addresses from Justice Clarence Thomas; Justice Stephen G. Breyer; and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.

RealPlayer is required to launch these video segments.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gay marriage may be a gift to California's economy; Business is up for hotels, bakers and photographers as same-sex couples prepare to wed": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Money Everyone Can Use: The Treasury should adapt bills for the blind." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Convicted killer and alleged KKK member to appeal": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "James Ford Seale, the reputed Ku Klux Klan member serving three life sentences for his role in the 1964 abduction and murder of two black Mississippi teenagers, is disputing his conviction." According to the article, "On Monday, Kathy Nester, Seale's attorney, was expected to argue to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that federal prosecutors failed to prove key elements needed for conviction."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Porn trial more than a simple smut case": Yesterday's edition of The St. Petersburg Times contained an article that begins, "Twelve local residents spent last week doing a dirty job for the rest of us. Jurors in the federal trial of Paul F. Little, a California man who known by the nom de porn Max Hardcore, watched hours of explicit, violent pornography to determine if, among other things, Little violated community standards. The case, which continues this week, has captured the attention of groups from New York City to California by raising larger questions about the legal standards for obscenity in an online world."

On Saturday, The St. Petersburg Times reported that "Defense wants new judge in porn trial." In addition, columnist Sue Carlton had an op-ed entitled "Tampa porn case is a trial for jurors, too."

And, in earlier coverage, The St. Petersburg Times previewed the trial last Wednesday in an article headlined "Jurors in Tampa to decide; What is obscene?" Additional trial coverage appeared in articles headlined "Juror asks to view less porn in court" and "Judge may spare jury from watching 8 hours of violent porn."

And The Tampa Tribune has covered the trial in articles headlined "Porn Producer's Lawyers Say He Didn't Mail DVDs To Tampa"; "Jurors View Sex Videos As Max Hardcore Obscenity Trial Begins"; and "Jury Selected For Obscenity Trial Over X-Rated Films."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Future uncertain for Florida's Bush-Gore ballots from 2000 race; All six million-plus ballots cast in the historic 2000 presidential election remain in storage, and the secretary of state is debating whether to move them out": This article appeared yesterday in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"At war crimes trials, is no defense a defense? Military defense lawyers face a dilemma at the war court: Is offering up no defense the way to defend an alleged terrorist at trial?" Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

And today's edition of USA Today contains an editorial entitled "Terror trials have flaws but need to be tested; Best way to find out whether system is fair is to see how it works," while Anthony D. Romero has an op-ed entitled "'Abandon this farce': Guantanamo trials are fatally flawed; it's time to start over."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"How Cozen took on a kingdom for 9/11 liability": Today's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer contains this article -- part two of a two-part series. Part one appeared in yesterday's newspaper, and you can access it at this link.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bryan Garner: The art of persuasion." This interview appeared Sunday in The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia Decries Drift of Court On Religion; U.S. Tradition Not Neutral, Justice Tells Torah Sages": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun. The newspaper also contains a related editorial entitled "Sage and Sages."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Advice of Consul: In two major treaty rulings, the Roberts court has drawn the line at the border." David G. Savage has this article in the June 2008 issue of ABA Journal magazine.
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Volokh Conspiracy" should be back online soon: It's proving to be a difficult weekend for certain law-related blogs, as "How Appealing" was inaccessible for a bit early in the weekend when this site moved to new web servers. And now "The Volokh Conspiracy" is off-line. Details on when "The Volokh Conspiracy" may be back online can be accessed in this post at "InstaPundit."
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pinning the blame for 9/11: A Phila. law firm wages an epic legal battle to win billions from Saudi Arabia." The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains this front page article -- part one of a two-part series.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court gets behind spanking, to a degree; In the case of a boy paddled 36 times, the state Supreme Court says the practice is legal unless punishment is excessive or cruel": This article appeared yesterday in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

And The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported yesterday that "Court lets spanking parents off hook; Ruling doesn't OK punishment but cites case's lack of evidence."

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



"Release of footage showing Khadr interrogation sought; Video documentation of Canadian agents' questioning has been kept secret for five years": Yesterday's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contained an article that begins, "Canadian intelligence agents were videotaped as they questioned a 16-year-old prisoner held in Guantanamo Bay, and a court battle is brewing to force disclosure of the footage. A videotaped interrogation of Omar Khadr over three days, conducted seven months after he was shot and captured in Afghanistan, has been kept secret for five years. Yet efforts are under way to force government officials to release four DVDs containing the recordings that may yield insights into the secrets of the U.S. prison camp and one of Canada's more ethically fraught investigations."

And The Toronto Star reported yesterday that "Judge's exit sparks fresh outcry; Ouster midway through Khadr's Guantanamo legal battle fuels push for his return to Canada."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Picking Judges": Syndicated columnist Linda Chavez has an essay that begins, "If you ask Americans what issues matter most to them in choosing a president, the candidate's judicial philosophy is not likely to make it into the top 10. But a president's power to nominate judges is, in fact, one of his most powerful tools -- and often leaves a legacy that lasts far longer than any policy initiative."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


Would you like Fries with that? The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Ore. Supreme Court rules moving marijuana illegal" that begins, "Helping a friend move a few plants to his new house can get you into trouble with the police, if they happen to be marijuana plants. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Friday that a man who helped his friend move things could be convicted on marijuana possession charges."

You can access Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Oregon in State v. Fries at this link.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



Don't microwave the cat: Yesterday's edition of The Vancouver Sun contained an article headlined "B.C. man guilty of cruelty for microwaving cat; John Ronald Hughes killed girlfriend's cat after it was injured by wobbly couch."

You can access Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of British Columbia at this link.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court highly rated in study": The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette yesterday contained an article that begins, "The Arkansas Supreme Court was rated highly in a study made public this month in a University of Chicago Law School working paper series based on opinions written by members of state high courts in 1998-2000."

I previously mentioned this study in a post you can access here.
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Top court beckons, who will be called? Speculation intense as spot opens on Supreme Court for judge from Atlantic region." Yesterday's edition of The Toronto Star contained an article that begins, "The job comes with eager young assistants, smart colleagues, a chauffeur-driven car, a private dining room, wood-panelled office, guards at the front door, an annual salary of $309,300 and a view of the Ottawa River. But a seat on the Supreme Court of Canada -- with the long hours, social isolation and political and public scrutiny that come with it -- isn't everybody's idea of a dream job."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Major League Baseball goes to the Supreme Court; The justices are to consider taking up a case involving whether Internet fantasy baseball games have a free-speech right to use the names and statistics of famous athletes": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


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