How Appealing

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Burris asks Illinois Supreme Court to confirm his nomination": CNN.com provides this report.

And The Associated Press reports that "Burris goes to court to push appointment through."
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice: Judges want equal treatment." Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog" about Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.'s 2008 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Annual Report on the Judiciary: Costs are Down, and Pay Needs to Go Up."

Unlike in previous years, when the annual report was embargoed until midnight on January 1st, this year the report was only embargoed until 6 p.m. on December 31st.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Today, our court promulgates an astonishing new rule of law for the nine Western States. Henceforth, a plaintiff who claims to feel offended by the mere thought of associating with people who hold different views has suffered a legally cognizable injury-in-fact." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued an order denying rehearing en banc in Barnes-Wallace v. San Diego.

Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain has issued an opinion dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc that begins:

Today, our court promulgates an astonishing new rule of law for the nine Western States. Henceforth, a plaintiff who claims to feel offended by the mere thought of associating with people who hold different views has suffered a legally cognizable injury-in-fact. No other circuit has embraced this remarkable innovation, which contradicts nearly three decades of the Supreme Court's standing jurisprudence. In practical effect, the three-judge panel majority's unprecedented theory creates a new legal landscape in which almost anyone who is almost offended by almost anything has standing to air his or her displeasure in court. I must respectfully, but vigorously, dissent from our failure to rehear this case en banc.
Including Judge O'Scannlain, a total of six judges joined in this dissent.

My first post about the Ninth Circuit's original ruling on this appeal appeared on December 18, 2006.
Posted at 04:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Louisiana to appeal 2 dads on birth certificate": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The state of Louisiana says it will appeal a federal court order to put the names of two adoptive fathers on their son's birth certificate. State Health Secretary Alan Levine said Wednesday the state is being forced to grant more legal recognition to the couple than required under the U.S. Constitution."

And in earlier coverage, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans last Saturday published an article headlined "Record must have both men's names; Couple sues in state over adopted boy."

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey issued last week's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Posted at 02:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules against man who taped nude girlfriend": Today's edition of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contains an article that begins, "Someone who agrees to get naked in front of another person still retains an expectation that the nudity won't be recorded, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. In a split decision, the court upheld the felony conviction of a man who secretly videotaped his girlfriend while she was nude."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Does Senate have authority to block Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris? Supreme Court has said in past that House and Senate cannot refuse to seat someone who meets qualifications." Mike Dorning and David G. Savage have this article today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judges rule three-strikes sentence unconstitutional; The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says a 28-years-to-life penalty for a sex offender who failed to register at the proper time is cruel and unusual punishment": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Atheists Sue to Get Prayer, God Out of Obama's Swearing-In": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Atheists Sue Chief Justice Over Inaugural Oath."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Agrees With Bush in Ruling on 2 Detainees": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Judge rules against two detainees."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pyrrhic Torture Trials": Today in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has an op-ed that begins, "Should Bush administration officials be put on trial for crimes such as authorizing torture?"
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"State judges' vacation reduced; Plan meant to save $685,000 lets them buy back time off": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "The Court of Appeals decided yesterday to reduce vacation days for judges and allow them to buy back leave time, a cost-saving plan that some judges grudgingly backed amid concerns that it would burden those in busier trial courts. The appellate court unanimously approved the measure, saying the judiciary wants to do its part to help fix Maryland's budget crisis."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fumo lawyer objects to blog trial coverage": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Daily News.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales Defends Role in Antiterror Policies": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Evan Perez has an article that begins, "Alberto Gonzales, who has kept a low profile since resigning as attorney general nearly 16 months ago, said he is writing a book to set the record straight about his controversial tenure as a senior official in the Bush administration."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"On busy last day, Williams works on health benefits case": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an article that begins, "On his last day as the head of the state judiciary, Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank J. Williams yesterday spent two hours in mediation with lawyers for the City of Providence and the municipal unions over whether the self-insured city can go ahead with switching its health-benefits administrators tomorrow."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court's Latest Decision on Federal Preemption of State Law: Why it Is Significant, and What it Hints About the Likely Outcome of the Upcoming Major Preemption Decision." Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Court: Religious objection won't stop DNA sampling." Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of today's D.C. Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court upholds conviction for videotaping nude girlfriend": The Wisconsin State Journal provides a news update that begins, "In a decision that will have an impact on a similar Dane County case, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday that it was illegal for a former Waunakee High School teacher to secretly videotape his then-girlfriend in the nude, even though she was willingly nude in front of him."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Wis. court: Nude people still have privacy rights."

You can access today's ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 09:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sex Offender Keeps Law License": At his "New York Personal Injury Law Blog" today, Eric Turkewitz has a post that begins, "In a decision released today, a sharply divided panel of the Appellate Division, First Department determined that an admitted sex offender will keep his New York law license." The court's ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Doe v. SexSearch Affirmed by 6th Circuit, But Not on 230 Grounds": Eric Goldman has this post at his "Technology & Marketing Law Blog."

My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"This case is finito." So ends an opinion that Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner issued today in typescript form on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of that court.
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman


A sentence of 28 years to life imprisonment under California's "Three Strikes" law for failing to update annual sex offender registration within five working days of one's birthday violates the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment: So holds a mostly conservative three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an opinion issued today.

Update: At his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, Doug Berman has this post about the ruling.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Group sues to reinstate firearms ban": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence sued the Bush administration Tuesday in hopes of stopping a new policy that would allow people to carry concealed, loaded guns in most national parks and wildlife refuges."

Via the Brady Campaign's web site, you can access a news release titled "Brady Campaign Sues Interior Department Over Rule Allowing Concealed Guns In Parks, Will Seek Injunction" and the complaint initiating suit.
Posted at 02:57 PM by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has today issued a decision making it much more difficult to grant class certification in antitrust cases: Because the decision is not yet available over that court's web site, I have uploaded a copy of today's ruling in In re: Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litigation at this link.

Update: The opinion is now also available via the Third Circuit's web site at this link.
Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman



D.C. Circuit rejects prisoner's challenge under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has today issued its ruling in John Doe v. SexSearch.com: The opinion begins:
Pseudonymous plaintiff John Doe appeals the dismissal of his complaint against defendant, SexSearch.com ("SexSearch"), an online adult dating service that facilitates sexual encounters between its members. Doe used SexSearch to meet Jane Roe, who described herself as an eighteen-year-old female. The two met and had sexual relations. Roe, it turned out, was actually fourteen years old, and Doe was consequently arrested and charged with three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. In an unusual case of first impression, Doe then filed suit against SexSearch, alleging an array of violations under Ohio law, most of which are variations on the claim that SexSearch is at fault for Doe's sexual relationship with a minor and the harm that resulted from his arrest.
In summarizing today's holding, the court explains, "Because we agree with the district court that Doe's complaint failed to state a claim, we do not reach the question of whether the Communications Decency Act provides SexSearch with immunity from suit. We do not adopt the district court's discussion of the Act, which would read section 230 more broadly than any previous Court of Appeals decision has read it, potentially abrogating all state- or common-law causes of action brought against interactive Internet services." The district court's opinion granting defendants' motion to dismiss can be accessed here.

You can access the plaintiff's complaint initiating this lawsuit at this link. You can access defendants' motion to dismiss at this link. Plaintiff's response to the motion to dismiss can be accessed here, while defendants' reply brief in support of the motion to dismiss can be viewed at this link.

Justin Bourne of Adult Video News covered the federal district court's decision dismissing the lawsuit in an article headlined "U.S. Judge rules in Favor of SexSearch; Federal court dismisses 'negligence' claim against networking and dating sites." [Caution -- article contains images that are not work-safe.] And more recently, in covering the appellate proceeding, Bourne had a blog post titled "Sex Search Files Appellate Brief in U.S. Court of Appeals; Company urges court to deny appeal against lawsuit's dismissal."
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawsuit begins with end of parrot; Inmates' rights questioned after man not allowed to make call": Yesterday's edition of The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware contained an article that begins, "The death of Freddy the parrot could be debated in federal courts. It also could raise questions about the right of the accused to get 'one phone call' after being arrested." (Via "Obscure Store.")
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fate of inmates unsettled if Gitmo closes; Terror experts assess options, risks to U.S." This article appears today in USA Today.

And online at FindLaw, Joanne Mariner has an essay entitled "Advice to Obama on Closing Guantanamo."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"State Supreme Court rules those on probation must tell officers about any pet they own": The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California today contains an article that begins, "Whether it's Fluffy or Fido, probationers must tell probation officers about any pet they own, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday. The decision kills a 2005 challenge from San Bernardino County Superior Court saying that the pets requirement was too general. In the opinion, the court cited the need to protect probation officers from dangerous animals when they check on probationers."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer reports that "3rd Circuit Slashes Punitives, Imposes 1-1 Ratio." You can access at this link last week's non-precedential ruling of a two-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

And in other news, an article is headlined "Will Famed Rocket Docket Fizzle Out in Wake of Federal Circuit Ruling? Texas court slapped down for holding onto case; ruling bolsters recent 5th Circuit order."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush has successfully defended anti-terrorism policies; Domestic surveillance, rounding up Muslim men after Sept. 11, harsh interrogations -- the administration has beat back nearly all legal challenges to its controversial programs": David G. Savage has this front page news analysis today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Civil rights pioneer leaving appellate bench": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"In N.C., death penalty gets rarer; In the 31 years since the punishment was reinstated, the numbers of death cases heard and sentences handed out have steeply declined": The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina today contains an article that begins, "North Carolina will finish this year with just one defendant sentenced to death, a record low since the penalty was reinstated 31 years ago."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, December 29, 2008

"The contributions of United States Supreme Court Associate Justices Joseph Story, Louis D. Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, and William J. Brennan, Jr. will be commemorated next September with the issuance of the United States Supreme Court Justices stamps." So announced the U.S. Postal Service in a news release issued today. You can view an image of the forthcoming postage stamps by clicking here.
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Liberal legal group comes to the fore": Politico.com today has an article that begins, "Sixteen appointees and advisers helping president-elect Barack Obama's Justice Department transition efforts all recently sat on the board of an organization little known outside legal circles: The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sixth Circuit Panel, Acting Sua Sponte, Strikes Down Statute Prohibiting Driving When Driver's Vision Is Obstructed by Dangling or Suspended Objects": Orin Kerr has this lengthy post today at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"State high court could be shorthanded till February": This article appears today in The Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Office Pool, 2009": Columnist William Safire has this op-ed today in The New York Times. Questions 8 and 10 involve the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judgeship screening panel sets to work": The Providence (R.I.) Journal contains this article today, along with an article headlined "Nominating process intended to keep out political influences."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Holder's hearing might be rocky; GOP could grill Cabinet nominee": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Naming names: Court weighs whether to identify authors of critical and anonymous postings on the Internet." Today's edition of The Baltimore Sun contains an article that begins, "You may not be as anonymous online as you think. Maryland's highest court will soon decide how easy it is to unmask those who use pseudonyms to post critical comments on the Internet. So far, the state has been operating without a set of rules for identifying those people, but the issue has surfaced over criticism of an Eastern Shore developer. The issue of Internet anonymity has cropped up in other courts around the country, but this is the first time that Maryland's Court of Appeals has confronted it."
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court is asked to look at Colleyville exorcism case ruling": This article appeared yesterday in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Posted at 11:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Split appeals court upholds bank robbery sentence": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court has upheld a 22-year prison sentence for a convicted bank robber, determining there was enough evidence for nearly tripling the original sentence based on two other charges he was acquitted of in connection with the 2003 crime."

My earlier coverage of Wednesday's en banc Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Reform judicial nominations": The Palm Beach Post today contains an editorial that begins, "As became evident this month, Florida gives the governor too much power over selecting judges."
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Navy, environmentalists settle sonar lawsuit": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Navy has settled a lawsuit filed by environmentalists challenging its use of sonar in hundreds of submarine-hunting exercises around the world."

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Lawsuit on whales and sonar is settled; Environmental groups concerned about the effect on whales claim victory, as does the military; The Navy says the deal does not expand protections; The Supreme Court recently decided a similar case."
Posted at 11:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Florida high court to rule on same-sex adoption ban; Florida has only ban in U.S." This article appeared yesterday in The News-Press of Fort Myers, Florida.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Six judges in running for vacancy on Alaska Supreme Court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Laws to Track Sex Offenders Encouraging Homelessness": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Judge Is Retiring, Leaving Trail of Successes for Women on the Bench": Sunday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "It was no secret that Gov. Mario M. Cuomo wanted a woman on the New York State Court of Appeals."

And earlier this week at the "Concurring Opinions" blog, Lawrence Cunningham had a post titled "Humble Tribute to Chief Judge Judith Kaye."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Kevin Rudd may take Guantanamo Bay inmates": Today's issue of The Australian contains an article that begins, "Kevin Rudd has left open the possibility of Australia taking former inmates from the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, but warned that any US request for an inmate to come would be subject to legal criteria and assessed on a case-by-case basis."
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"A child soldier or just a child? Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002; His Guantanamo trial raises ethical questions." Carol J. Williams has this front page article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, December 26, 2008

"Federal judges call for higher pay": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice O'Connor had more Ohio votes than Obama": This article appears today in The Dayton Daily News.

And in news regarding the other Justice O'Connor, The News-Gazette of Champaign, Illinois reports today that "UI honoring retired Justice O'Connor."
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Stripper Idol gets TV show all hot and bothered": Columnist John Kelso has this essay today in The Austin American-Statesman about a lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

And in earlier coverage, last Thursday TMZ.com had a post titled "'A.I.' Suing The Pants Off 'Stripper Idol.'"
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Parting Shot at Women's Rights": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an editorial that begins, "Undermining women's reproductive rights and access to health care has been a pervasive theme of the outgoing administration."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"R.I. state prison gears up for the switch to digital on 1,500 TVs": The Providence Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"SJC nominee doesn't play to crowd; Observers call Gants intelligent, impartial": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Calif. Supreme Court Won't Take Up Judge Perks; State high court's unanimous vote means that judges will lose the perks unless lawmakers decide to help": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, December 25, 2008

"The danger of DNA: It isn't perfect; By far the most reliable forensic science, it still has limits: Samples can be contaminated and may go untested for years; And collecting it may violate privacy laws." Maura Dolan and Jason Felch will have this lengthy article Friday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kentucky's limits on direct wine sales rejected, but confusion remains": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Uncertainty shrouds 17 unusual detainees; The question of what to do with 17 Uighur men held at Guantanamo is one of the challenges awaiting an Obama administration seeking to close the prison camps": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court rules Mother's Day giveaways are legal": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "'Ladies' night' discounts at the local pub are out. But a Mother's Day giveaway of tote bags to female baseball fans is OK, even under California's tough anti-discrimination law. That's because the Mother's Day giveaway is not based on sex stereotypes and doesn't cut ticket prices, said a state appeals court in Santa Ana, which published as a statewide precedent last week its November ruling."

And Monday's edition of The Orange County Register contained an article headlined "Court: Angels not anti-man for giving totes to women only; Appellate court finds men were not discriminated against in Mother's Day promotion at Angel Stadium." Back on February 2, 2007, The OCRegister covered the trial court's ruling in an article headlined "Suit plaintiff strikes out against Angels; Judge dismisses bias claim contending men were discriminated against in promotion for tote on Mother's Day at Angel Stadium."

You can access the recently published ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, at this link.
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Calif. Court Limits What Samaritans Can Safely Do; Woman Pulled From Wrecked Car Can Sue for Injuries": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And today in The Los Angeles Times, columnist Patt Morrison has an op-ed entitled "California has no room for good Samaritans; We had better do something to encourage do-gooders after the state Supreme Court's ruling that says people attempting to rescue others in emergencies can be held liable for damages."

My earlier coverage of last week's Supreme Court of California ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Court denies Coleman request on duplicate ballots; The justices said the Coleman claim that some ballots may have been double-counted would be better resolved in a separate court action than by the state Canvassing Board": The Minneapolis Star Tribune provides this news update.

And The St. Paul Pioneer Press provides a news update headlined "Court says alleged duplicate ballots can be counted."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Minnesota at this link.
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Is Bush Planning Pardons For His Administration?"; "Wal-Mart To Settle Class Action Lawsuits"; and "Successful Madoff Investors Worry About Lawsuits."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman



Sixth Circuit affirms federal district court ruling that held unconstitutional certain provisions of Kentucky's laws regulating shipments into Kentucky from small out-of-state farm wineries: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit at this link.

According to today's ruling, the objectionable aspect of the regulation in question required a customer who resides in Kentucky to appear in person at the out-of-state small farm winery to make a purchase before that winery could ship the purchase to the customer in Kentucky.

Update: The Associated Press reports that "Court upholds allowing wine shipments into Ky."
Posted at 11:32 AM by Howard Bashman



By a vote of 9 to 6, the en banc Sixth Circuit holds that a federal district court may enhance a convicted criminal defendant's offense level under the federal Sentencing Guidelines based on conduct underlying offenses for which the defendant was acquitted: You can access today's ruling at this link.

The central holding of the majority opinion is that "[s]o long as the defendant receives a sentence at or below the statutory ceiling set by the jury's verdict, the district court does not abridge the defendant's right to a jury trial by looking to other facts, including acquitted conduct, when selecting a sentence within that statutory range." The majority opinion explains that "[the defendant] thus is not being 'sentenced for acquitted conduct' when [the defendant's] sentencing judge takes that conduct into account in determining a sentence for the crime of which [the defendant] was convicted, as long as the sentence imposed falls within the range prescribed by law for that convicted conduct."
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wal-Mart settles dozens of worker class-action lawsuits; The retail giant will pay as much as $640 million to settle dozens of wage-and-hour class-action suits across the U.S.; The agreement excludes a California case under appeal": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

And The New York Times reports today that "Wal-Mart Settles 63 Lawsuits Over Wages."
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Is the Bush administration criminally liable for its lawlessness? The culpability for flouting national and international conventions against torture and spying is shared and is being addressed by the proper institutions." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Right to a Day in Court": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court has made it more likely that four former Guantanamo detainees will at last be given a fair hearing of their charges that they were tortured and denied their religious rights."
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Parents sue zoo, city in fatal tiger attack": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The parents of a San Jose teenager who was mauled to death by a Siberian tiger at the San Francisco Zoo last Christmas Day sued the city and the zoo Tuesday, saying zoo officials ignored warnings that the walls of the tiger's enclosure were dangerously low."
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Reversal, Court Allows a Bush Plan on Pollution": This article appears today in The New York Times.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's D.C. Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Brown's stand on Prop. 8 raises new questions; Despite his support for gay marriage, some believe his full 111-page opinion could aid its opponents": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article headlined "Brown first in decades to go against voters" that begins, "Attorney General Jerry Brown's legal challenge to California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage marks the first time that the state's top lawyer has refused to defend a newly enacted ballot measure since 1964 - another epic discrimination case that eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Untie the hands of good Samaritans: The Legislature should come to the rescue after a state Supreme Court ruling restricts what people can do to help in an emergency." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Air travelers' bill of rights still grounded; Advocates pin their hopes on the next Congress to pass airline rules that would give passengers guarantees against long waits on the tarmac": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"China's Capital Cases Still Secret, Arbitrary": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel recommends pay raises for state judges": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "At a time when state workers are being furloughed and face possible layoffs, Maryland judges would get a pay raise of nearly $40,000 over the next four years under a plan hatched by an influential commission that recommends salaries for those on the bench."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Give him back his right to bear arms, highest court rules": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hire-a-judge law may come to life": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an article that begins, "The ACLU is opposing a state Supreme Court proposal that would allow litigants in civil cases to hire retired judges to hear cases in secret, charging the process would create a 'two-tiered system of justice' that 'allows for swift resolution of cases only for those wealthy enough to afford it.'"
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Altria Ruling Ignites Legal Moves; Effort to Reopen Multibillion-Dollar Case Promises to Gain Fresh Life": Brent Kendall of Dow Jones Newswires has an article that begins, "The Supreme Court's ruling last week allowing smokers in Maine to sue Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris unit for allegedly deceptive advertising of 'light' cigarettes already is prompting new legal activity, including an effort to revive a multibillion-dollar case against the tobacco company that had been thrown out. The high court's decision came just in time for St. Louis trial lawyer Stephen Tillery, who filed a legal motion Thursday seeking to reopen a $10.1 billion judgment in Illinois he obtained against Philip Morris in 2003. The judgment was later tossed out by the Illinois Supreme Court, which said Mr. Tillery's plaintiffs couldn't sue the tobacco company for marketing cigarettes with 'light' and 'low tar' descriptions."
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court limits appeals; State's justices rule against free legal representation for cases between 1994 and 2005": The Detroit News today contains an article that begins, "Poor defendants who want to appeal a case after they pleaded guilty or no contest cannot get free legal representation if they were convicted between 1994 and 2005, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 struck down as unconstitutional a Michigan law that barred the right to an appellate attorney for defendants who pleaded guilty or no contest. On Monday, the state's High Court ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision three years ago applies only to defendants who were convicted after the federal ruling, or before the law barring automatic appeals went into effect in 1994."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Mich. court: Ruling on legal aid not retroactive."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Michigan at this link.
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Contempt order sought against Free Press reporter": The Detroit Free Press provides a news update that begins, "Former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino wants Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter held in contempt of court for refusing to reveal confidential sources in a U.S. Justice Department probe of Convertino's handling of a discredited Detroit terrorism case."

The Detroit News has an update headlined "Judge asked to find reporter in contempt for failing to reveal source."

And The Associated Press reports that "Atty seeks contempt order for Detroit reporter."
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court reinstates clean air rule during EPA fix": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "In a ruling hailed by environmentalists, a federal appeals court on Tuesday reinstated one of President George W. Bush's clean air regulations while the Environmental Protection Agency makes court-mandated changes."

Bloomberg News reports that "EPA Power-Plant Limits to Remain Pending Redraft."

And Dow Jones Newswires report that "US Court Temporarily Reinstates EPA Clean Air Interstate Rule."

You can access today's decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, on panel rehearing, at this link.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Dan Rather Hopes To Tell His Bush Story In Court": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court watchers eye Obama": United Press International provides this report.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Interrogation Wiggle Room? If it considers some leeway for the CIA, the Obama team shouldn't give ground on torture." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Budget woes are forcing courts to cut back on judges": The Salt Lake Tribune today contains an article that begins, "State court officials said Monday they plan to leave judicial vacancies unfilled indefinitely -- an unprecedented move tied to the state's budget woes. The first casualty is Judge Judith Billing's seat on the Utah Court of Appeals, which will remain open when she retires Dec. 31."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online from FindLaw: Sherry F. Colb has an essay entitled "The U.S. Supreme Grants Review in Rivera v. Illinois: Reconciling Peremptory Challenges, Racial Discrimination and Harmless Error."

And Marci Hamilton has an essay entitled "How the Bush Administration's Approach to Healthcare Providers' 'Conscience Rights' Illustrates Its Troublingly Unilateral Exercise of Power."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Allen gets Jan. 6 date for reprimand": Paul Flemming has this post at The Tallahassee Democrat's "UpdateCapitol" blog.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gov. Charlie Crist's calls for diverse judicial picks might lead to lawsuit": Today's edition of The Orlando Sentinel contains an article that begins, "A 'broad and diverse' group of Florida lawyers is weighing a lawsuit over Gov. Charlie Crist's efforts to force two judicial nominating panels to send him more-diverse judicial picks."

And today's edition of The Miami Herald contains an article headlined "Lawyers: Politics swayed Frank Jimenez's nomination to court."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"European Countries May Take Detainees; Under Bush, Nations Refused to Resettle Guantanamo Prisoners": The Washington Post contains this front page article today.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Families Who Sued Libya See Their Victory Voided; U.S. Pact Nullifies $6 Billion Award in '89 Bombing Over Africa": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Another jail Christmas for Chadwick": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "For the 14th Christmas morning in a row, H. Beatty Chadwick will wake up behind bars on Thursday. The former Main Line lawyer has spent nearly 14 years in the Delaware County jail for contempt of court - a U.S. record for time served on that charge. Neither the passage of time nor a battle with cancer has won sympathy for Chadwick from judges who believe he hid $2.5 million after his wife began divorce proceedings against him."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Debate Over Who Pays Fees When Litigants Mount Attacks": Dan Slater has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Top court stirs up rules for DUI stops; Upholds conviction where girl told on dad": Today's edition The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains an article that begins, "The teenager and her father argued and she called police to report the dispute. As officers were on their way to the pair's Clifton home, she called back, saying he had gotten in his car and driven off. He was drunk, she told them. The father was stopped and arrested for drunken driving. Yesterday the state Supreme Court upheld the man's conviction, concluding a person can be stopped on suspicion of drunken driving on the basis of a reliable report that the person was intoxicated. The high court ruled the stop was valid even though the officers who arrested the man had not observed any erratic driving."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Timing and luck crucial for seat on high court; Connections will matter as much as credentials if spots open up during Obama's presidency": Joan Biskupic has this front page article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"NFL asks appeals court to reconsider suspensions": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "The NFL wants an appeals court to reconsider a federal judge's order that blocked the suspensions of five players for violating the league's anti-doping policy, according to court documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota."
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, December 22, 2008

"Religious displays to be debated in court; California jurists next year will rule on the constitutionality of crosses on public land, teachers' speech rights and students' Bible clubs": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pentagon sets court date in Cole death penalty case; With clock ticking toward end of Bush administration, there is a flurry of activity planned for the Pentagon's special war crimes court at Guantanamo": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has this news update.
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush v. Gore Still Influencing Court Decisions": This installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column will appear Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"New appellate judge says he never forgets; A Palm Beach County judge who talked about getting even with lawyers who challenge him was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal by Gov. Charlie Crist": The Miami Herald today contains an article that begins, "Gov. Charlie Crist promoted Palm Beach Judge Jorge Labarga to a seat on a South Florida appellate court last week despite Labarga's comments from the bench last year that judges will get even with lawyers who cross them, even if it takes years."

And in related coverage, on Wednesday, December 10, 2008, The Palm Beach Post reported that "Crist appoints two Palm Beach County judges to appellate bench."
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"To those who question whether the results in constitutional and other cases depend on the membership of the panel, * * * the result in the case currently before our panel is merely a minor illustration of how the judicial system currently operates." So writes Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, in an opinion concurring in the judgment issued today.

Judge Reinhardt's separate opinion begins:

Six months ago, the original panel in this case filed a majority opinion holding that Washington state law creates a liberty interest in an inmate's early release into community custody. We held that the prisoner's liberty interest is protected under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and that, accordingly, when an inmate becomes eligible for a transfer to community custody, the prison authorities may deny his request for a transfer only for one of the reasons specified in the Washington statute -- and only if he is afforded a minimal opportunity to present his side of the story before they do so. In short, we held that Washington prison authorities must follow Washington law and abide by the United States Constitution. Joining me in that opinion was Judge Warren J. Ferguson, who died before we could deny the petition for rehearing; dissenting was Judge Milan Smith. As a result of Judge Ferguson's death, it was necessary to replace him on this case with another member of this court drawn at random. There were no intervening decisions that changed the law between the time Judge Ferguson and I issued our opinion holding that a liberty interest exists that protects the prisoners' rights at issue and the time that Judge Smith, joined by our colleague who replaced Judge Ferguson, issued a substitute opinion holding that no such liberty interest exists.
The unnamed colleague who replaced now-deceased Senior Circuit Judge Warren J. Ferguson on this particular three-judge panel is Circuit Judge Richard C. Tallman.

Apropos of my observation in a blog post published a little over one year ago that "[i]n the Ninth Circuit, to a degree not seen in any other federal appellate courts, published opinions often resemble works in progress," today's majority opinion, written by Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr., responds to Judge Reinhardt's separate opinion by noting, among other things, that "in the ninety days between July 11, 2008, and October 9, 2008, at least ten published opinions were withdrawn and at least ten opinions were amended in our circuit." (footnotes omitted).

Judge Reinhardt wrote the original panel's opinion in this case. That opinion was withdrawn on August 26, 2008 after Judge Tallman replaced Judge Ferguson on the panel.
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Will Obama Press To End 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'?" and "Abuse Victims Seek Court Date With Vatican."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 12:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Here's one change we need -- take politics out of Justice: Clean sweep of U.S. attorneys subverts confidence in legal system." This editorial appears today in USA Today.

In response, former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh has an op-ed entitled "Don't fix what ain't broke: New presidents are entitled to put their own picks in sensitive posts."
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hicks keen to clear name and be a boring person": The Sydney Morning Herald today contains an article that begins, "A free man seven years after his arrest in Afghanistan, David Hicks has signalled his wish to clear his name and remove his terrorism conviction from his record. Almost seven years to the day after he went into custody and one month before a new US president takes office and closes Guantanamo Bay, Mr Hicks regained his freedom yesterday with the expiry of the control order covering his actions."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Circumstantial Evidence May Prove Lack of Informed Consent, Says Pa. Supreme Court": Today in The Legal Intelligencer, Amaris Elliott-Engel has an article that begins, "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that circumstantial evidence provided by a plaintiff's spouse may be sufficient to prove a lack of informed consent claim."

You can access last week's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"We Don't Need Guantanamo Bay: Here's how to hold the detainees elsewhere, without damaging U.S. security." Thomas B. Wilner has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, December 21, 2008

"Court rules Coast loan holders were victims": Saturday's edition of The Sarasota Herald-Tribune contained an article that begins, "Federal appeals court judges ruled Friday that Coast Bank borrowers were indeed victims in the scheme that involved a former bank executive skimming money from their loans. Federal prosecutors had maintained that it was the bank that was the victim."

The Associated Press reports that "Court says Florida homeowners also victims."

And at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Law Professor Paul Cassell recently had a post titled "All Those Harmed by a Federal Financial Crime Are 'Victims' Protected by the Crime Victims' Rights Act."

You can access Friday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit at this link.

Update: At his "Simple Justice" blog, attorney Scott H. Greenfield has an interesting post titled "Everyone's a Victim, The Sequel."
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"DA must pay freed inmate, appeals court says; He is owed $14 million for 14 years on death row": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to toss out a $14 million judgment against the Orleans Parish district attorney's office that a federal jury awarded last year to former death row inmate John Thompson."

And The Associated Press reports that "$14 million award to exonerated inmate upheld."

You can access Friday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Nottingham silent on allegations; The ex-judge doesn't reply to a complaint that threatens his law license": Last Wednesday in The Denver Post, Felisa Cardona had an article that begins, "Former Chief U.S. District Judge Edward W. Nottingham Jr. did not file a response to misconduct allegations that could put his law license in jeopardy. Sean Harrington, a legal blogger who runs the website knowyourcourts.com, filed a misconduct complaint about the former judge with the Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel and with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Supreme Court says husband must pay for bedroom spying": Today's edition of The Des Moines Register contains an article that begins, "A Dubuque man who secretly videotaped his wife in their bedroom must pay her $22,500 for invasion of privacy, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday in the couple's divorce case. The decision upheld two lower-court rulings against Jeffrey Tigges. He contended that his wife, Cathy, had no reasonable expectation of privacy in their home."

And The Associated Press reports that "Award upheld in videotaping case; During divorce, Dubuque County woman had claimed that her husband invaded her privacy."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Iowa at this link.
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jerry Brown asks California Supreme Court to void gay-marriage ban; The state attorney general, who had earlier vowed to defend Prop. 8, offers a novel legal theory for why it should be overturned; The action surprises some legal experts": Jessica Garrison and Maura Dolan have this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Brown asks state high court to overturn Prop. 8."

And The New York Times reports that "Top Lawyer Urges Voiding California Proposition 8."
Posted at 11:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Did Bush officials commit war crimes? Maybe, but trials aren't likely." Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.
Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Light' cigarettes and lawsuits: A high court ruling allowing state lawsuits over 'light' cigarettes could lead to uneven regulation." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pollution Exemption Reversed; Court Strikes Rule That Let Plants Sometimes Exceed Limits": This article appears today in The Washington Post reporting on a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued yesterday.
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Three Men Freed From Monitoring in NW Slay Case; Defendants Charged With Obstruction in Dupont Death": Today's edition of The Washington Post contains an article that begins, "Three men charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the death of a prominent lawyer in a Dupont Circle house have been released from electronic monitoring, but prosecutors said they expect to file additional charges against the men as early as next month."

And "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times" yesterday had a post titled "Price, Zaborsky, and Ward Removed From Supervision Program."
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Child porn cartoon conviction upheld in Va." The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued on Thursday.

My earlier coverage of the ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Friday, December 19, 2008

"Brown asks state high court to overturn Prop. 8": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "State Attorney General Jerry Brown, in a surprise turnabout, asked the state Supreme Court late today to overturn Proposition 8, saying the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violates basic rights guaranteed in the state Constitution."

The Los Angeles Times provides news updates headlined "Jerry Brown: Gay-marriage ban should be invalidated" and "Kenneth Starr to defend gay marriage ban before state Supreme Court."

And The Associated Press reports that "Calif. AG urges court to void gay marriage ban."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sitting on Great Judges: Where Obama should look when he makes his first appointments to the bench." Emily Bazelon and Law Professor Judith Resnik have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman


The Green Bag announces the honorees and nominees for Exemplary Legal Writing 2008: The publication issued this press release today. Of the sixteen pieces of legal writing that will be honored by inclusion in the Green Bag Almanac & Reader 2009, I voted for ten of them on my heretofore secret ballot.
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Bad hair day but good O'Hare expansion day: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today issued an opinion that begins, "This case presents the question whether the Federal Labor Relations Authority reasonably concluded that customs officers endanger themselves by growing certain styles of hair, beards, and mustaches."

Meanwhile, a separate ruling that the D.C. Circuit issued today begins, "This is the latest installment in an ongoing battle between the City of Chicago and the Federal Aviation Administration on the one hand, and various religious and secular communities bordering O'Hare International Airport on the other."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Perry endorses anti-abortion license plates; Governor's efforts to back legislation highlight differences with possible foe Hutchison": This article appears today in The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Real 'Torture' Disgrace: The left gears up to prosecute Bush officials for protecting the country." The Wall Street Journal contains this editorial today.
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Minnesota Supreme Court: Count rejected absentee ballots ; The high court ordered Coleman and Franken to work with the Secretary of State and election officials to set up a process to identify ballots that were rejected in error." This article appears today in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports today that "Tossed absentees added to count; But the state Supreme Court gives both campaigns veto power over each ballot."

The New York Times reports that "Ruling Favors Democrat in Contest in Minnesota."

And The Washington Post reports that "Holidays, Court Ruling Will Further Extend Minn. Senate Recount."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Minnesota at this link.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nominee wrong for high court": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial that begins, "If Gov. Charlie Crist appoints Frank Jimenez to the Florida Supreme Court, he will be selecting the least qualified and most ideological nominee available."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Health providers' 'conscience' rule to take effect; The last-minute Bush administration declaration lets doctors, clinics, receptionists and others refuse to give care they find morally objectionable": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Rule Shields Health Workers Who Withhold Care Based on Beliefs."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Plans Being Drawn to Close Guantanamo Prison": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And Jonathan S. Landay and Margaret Talev of McClatchy Newspapers report that "Gates orders development of plans to close Guantanamo."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Next Release of Rehnquist Papers Delayed": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"State Supreme Court to discipline judge for written opinion": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "For the first time, the Florida Supreme Court will discipline a judge for something he wrote in a court opinion. The high court on Thursday ordered a public reprimand for Judge Michael E. Allen of the 1st District Court of Appeal, because he questioned the ethics of a fellow judge in a written opinion."

And The Tallahassee Democrat reports today that "Judge Allen to face reprimand by Supreme Court; Rebuke marks end of conflict involving Judge Michael E. Allen."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Florida Supreme Court ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appellate court inherits debate about alienation-of-affection suits": Today's edition of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains an article that begins, "Should parents be allowed to sue their former spouses for turning their children against them? A judge in Morris County said no in August. But last month, a Hudson County judge ruled the opposite way, saying state law does not bar a parent from making a parental alienation claim in civil court. The two cases are now headed to appeals court, where they will be closely monitored by family-law attorneys who are split over the issue."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Judicial Court reprimands ex-judge Ernest B. Murphy; Court cites 'misuse' of power in letters to Herald publisher": This article appears today in The Boston Herald.

And The Boston Globe reports today that "SJC reprimands judge for threat; Murphy insisted Herald pay him."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Strikes Down Ban on Advertising Super Lawyer or Best Lawyer Status": law.com has an article that begins, "Ending months of anticipation, New Jersey's highest court has struck down as unconstitutional a prohibition on attorneys advertising their selections in Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America and other comparative ratings guides."

My earlier coverage of Wednesday's New Jersey Supreme Court ruling appears here and here.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Citizenship in Israel At Center of Bail Fight": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin has an article that begins, "The Justice Department is contending that a Jewish defendant in Iowa should be denied bail in part because he, like all Jews, is entitled to Israeli citizenship if he seeks to immigrate to the Jewish state. The argument against the defendant, Sholom Rubashkin, could in theory apply to all Jewish criminal suspects."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Employee Free Choice Act Is Unconstitutional: Free speech and the takings clause are at stake." Law Professor Richard A. Epstein has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Feds rights to baseball drug tests back in court": The Associated Press provides this report about a case reargued today before an eleven-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Posted at 11:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court reverses initiative petition ruling": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court Thursday ruled that an Oklahoma law that bars nonresidents from circulating initiative petitions in the state is unconstitutional and reversed a lower court that had upheld the statute."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obscenity Conviction for Adult-to-Adult E-mail About Sex With Children": At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has this post about a ruling that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued today.

The October 9, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws."
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bumbling Good Samaritans can be sued, state court rules": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "A Good Samaritan whose well-meaning but careless rescue effort injures an accident victim can be sued for damages, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The court said California's shield against liability for emergency help applies only to people trying to provide medical help."

Carol J. Williams of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "California Supreme Court allows good Samaritans to be sued for nonmedical care; The ruling stems from a case in which a woman pulled a crash victim from a car 'like a rag doll,' allegedly aggravating a vertebrae injury."

law.com reports that "Calif. Supreme Court Ruling May Deter Good Samaritans."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Calif. Court: Would-be Good Samaritan can be sued."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court sends Plan B case back to county": The State Journal-Register of Springfield, Illinois has a news update that begins, "Illinois Supreme Court justices, in a 5-2 decision issued this morning, sidestepped the issue of whether pharmacy owners have a state-granted 'right of conscience' to turn away customers seeking so-called 'morning-after pills.'"

And The Associated Press reports that "'Morning-after' pill ruling allows debate to continue."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Illinois at this link.
Posted at 05:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court upholds Allen reprimand": Paul Flemming of The Pensacola News Journal has an update that begins, "Judge Michael E. Allen will be publicly reprimanded for his scathing published opinion that said a fellow 1st District Court of Appeal Judge cast a corrupt vote in a case. The Florida Supreme Court today accepted the recommendations of a Judicial Qualifications Commission hearing panel that Allen face reprimand for the ethics violations brought against him."

And The Associated Press reports that "Fla. appellate judge to get public reprimand."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida at this link.
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge who sued Herald reprimanded by SJC": The Boston Globe has a news update that begins, "Superior Court Judge Ernest B. Murphy was publicly reprimand today by the state's highest court for writing threatening letters to the publisher of the Boston Herald after winning a $2 million libel verdict against the newspaper."

And The Associated Press reports that "Mass. court reprimands judge libeled by newspaper."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 11:57 AM by Howard Bashman



An insurance company's notice of cancellation sent by certified mail isn't "mailed" under state law, the Washington State Supreme Court holds: You can access today's ruling, on certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, at this link.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court Rejects Request for New Trial in Pants Case": The Washington Post has a news update that begins, "The D.C. Court of Appeals this morning rejected Roy L. Pearson Jr.'s request for a new trial regarding his highly publicized $54 million lawsuit against a neighborhood dry cleaners over a pair of lost pants."

I'm told that today's ruling of the D.C. Court of Appeals is available at this link, although that court's web site isn't functioning for me at the moment. I've posted a back-up copy of the ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"The complexities of Canada's first war-crimes trial: Closed-door testimony, unnamed witnesses makes Rwandan genocide case hard to evaluate as it comes to a close." The Globe and Mail of Toronto contains this article today.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Torture Report": An editorial that appears today in The New York Times states that "a bipartisan report by the Senate Armed Services Committee has made what amounts to a strong case for bringing criminal charges against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; his legal counsel, William J. Haynes; and potentially other top officials, including the former White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff."

And The Boston Globe today contains an editorial entitled "Torture starts at the top."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



Another expletive aired on live TV proves not so fleeting: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that "FCC gets complaints on Utley's on-air F-bomb."

This blog's earlier coverage (with relevant YouTube clips) can be accessed here.
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pros and cons of Prop. 8: It falls to Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to present a thoughtful legal argument for, or against, the initiative." Today's edition of The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial that begins, "Among the many legal opinions on Proposition 8 that the California Supreme Court will consider, the most high-profile one will come from Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown. By Friday, Brown is supposed to deliver his legal brief on whether the initiative banning same-sex marriage is an amendment to the state Constitution or, as opponents claim, a fundamental revision of it, which would require far more than a simple majority vote to take effect."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices OK attorney ads noting they're ranked 'best'": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Affirmative action and government: We should end the use of race, ethnicity -- and gender -- in the awarding of federal contracts." The Los Angeles Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Will President-elect Barack Obama be a real agent of change, as he has promised, or will it be business as usual for racial and ethnic preferences in the Obama administration? A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington may give us an opportunity to find out."

I provided this coverage of the Federal Circuit's ruling on the day it issued last month.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Illinois Court Won't Hear Plea to Oust Blagojevich": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Chicago Tribune reports today that "Blagojevich strikes back: State high court rejects call to declare governor unfit; Defense attorney: House committee a 'witch hunt'; U.S. to try to freeze campaign account."

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that "Court rejects Madigan's case against governor."

USA Today reports that "Court denies request to oust Blagojevich; Amid political tiffs, governor 'can't wait' to tell his story."

And The Wall Street Journal reports that "Prospects Fade for Quick Ouster of Blagojevich."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"How the Illinois, Minnesota Senate Outcomes Could Affect the Judiciary Committee": David Ingram has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"9th Circuit Panel Reviews Judge's Role in Murder-for-Hire Trial": law.com has a report that begins, "Eleven members of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals met this week to review the work of fellow Judge Richard Tallman in a bizarre murder-for-hire trial. He may or may not take it personally, but some of them sure seemed to."
Posted at 11:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"State Supreme Court permits 'Super Lawyers' advertisements": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger has a news update that begins, "The N.J. Supreme Court ruled today lawyers who are named to lists such as 'Super Lawyers' or 'Best Lawyers in America' should be allowed to include that information in their advertising."

And The Associated Press reports that "NJ court rules 'Super Lawyer' ads are protected."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.

At his "LawMarketing Blog," Larry Bodine has a post titled "NJ Supreme Court Allows Advertising in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers."
Posted at 07:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Illinois Supreme Court rejects Madigan bid to declare Blagojevich 'unfit'": The Chicago Tribune has a news update that begins, "The Illinois Supreme Court today rejected Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan's attempt to have disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich declared unable to hold the office of Illinois chief executive, court officials said."

And The Associated Press reports that "Ill. high court rejects challenge to Blagojevich."

Today's orders of the Supreme Court of Illinois in this matter can be accessed here, here, and here.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Kennedy rejects 2 more challenges to Obama": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"This case presents an issue of first impression -- whether a party joined as a defendant to a counterclaim may remove the case to federal court solely because the counterclaim satisfies the jurisdictional requirements of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005": So begins the majority opinion that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued yesterday.

Chief Judge Karen J. Williams wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Robert B. King joined. The majority held that removal to federal court could not be accomplished under those circumstances. Circuit Judge Paul V. Niemeyer dissented, explaining that "I conclude that CAFA does indeed authorize AT&T to remove this interstate class action, even though AT&T was sued as a counterclaim defendant, not as an original defendant."
Posted at 11:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"N.Y. High Court Upholds Reversal of $20.5 Million Tobacco Verdict": The New York Law Journal today contains an article that begins, "The New York Court of Appeals, upholding the reversal of a $20.5 million verdict, Monday ruled that the estate of a smoker who died of lung cancer could not assert a negligent product design claim against two cigarette makers based on the availability of a safer 'light' cigarette."

The Associated Press reports that "NY court rejects claim over regular cigarettes."

And Reuters reports that "Top New York State court rejects cigarette claim."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the New York State Court of Appeals -- that State's highest court -- at this link.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Washington Council Enacts Tough Gun-Control Measure": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Nearly six months after the Supreme Court put an end to the District of Columbia's decades-old ban on handgun possession, the City Council here passed a sweeping new ordinance on Tuesday to regulate gun ownership."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"2 lawmakers team up to oppose new Death Row": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Muslim's scarf leads to arrest at courthouse": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "A Douglasville woman was jailed Tuesday after a judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to remove her hijab, the head covering worn by Muslim women. Lisa Valentine, also known by her Islamic name, Miedah, 40, was arrested at the Douglasville Municipal Court for violating a court policy of no headgear, said Chris Womack, deputy chief of operations for the Douglasville police. Judge Keith Rollins ordered her held in jail for 10 days, but she was released Tuesday evening. The reason for the early release wasn't immediately clear."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Georgia, Push to End Unanimity for Execution": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Is summer vacation the law? N.C. Supreme Court hears Wake suit over mandatory year-round schools." This article appears today in The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Animal cruelty case pushed to top court": Today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Paula Reed Ward has an article that begins, "The Department of Justice has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up an animal cruelty case, arguing that an appeals court erred in declaring unconstitutional a federal law that bans selling depictions of animals being tortured."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Holder's rise rooted in Pa. courts": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains a front page article that begins, "When Eric H. Holder Jr. first joined the U.S. Department of Justice in 1976, he was fresh out of Columbia Law School, assigned to a public-integrity unit and sent to earn his stripes battling corruption. So he came to Pennsylvania. Here, he racked up high-profile convictions - including a Scranton-area mob capo and a bribe-taking Philadelphia judge. Despite making one error that earned him a stern critique from a federal judge, he quickly impressed savvy observers of the state's legal scene."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Candidates queuing up for chief justice post": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an article that begins, "The process of selecting the next chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court officially kicked off yesterday with a letter from Governor Carcieri to the head of the commission that will select nominees for the high-powered position."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush-Era Abortion Rules Face Possible Reversal; Obama Team Looks at Regulation Set to Be Finalized This Week Letting Medical Staff Refuse to Take Part in Practices They Oppose": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court: No obligation for company to give teen drug." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A pharmaceutical company does not have to provide an experimental drug to a Minnesota teen who is terminally ill with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in reversing a lower court decision."

You can access at this link yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court won't disqualify judge in case": Today in The Boston Globe, Jonathan Saltzman has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court yesterday refused to disqualify a judge from the case of a man suing the Boston Police Department for a wrongful conviction in three rapes even though the city said remarks she made betrayed a 'deep-seated favoritism and antagonism.'"
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Unusual Story of Williams v. Philip Morris, and Its Third Trip to the Supreme Court -- Including Some Predictions About What the Court Will Do This Time": Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lawrence Hurley of The Daily Journal of California is reporting: In today's newspaper, he has front page articles headlined "Supreme Court Ruling Bucks Pre-emption Trend; Despite FTC, Makers of Light Cigarettes Can Face State Deceptive Practices Claims" and "High Court Lets 9th Circuit Sentencing Decision Stand."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"2nd Circuit Requires Judicial Review Before Security Letter Gag Order": law.com provides this report.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge lifts gag order in Sharp case": The Ventura County Star today contains an article that begins, "The judge who prohibited The Star from publishing the contents of sealed search warrant documents in a child murder case lifted the temporary gag order Monday. But with Superior Court Judge Ken Riley saying the ruling would not take effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday, editors of The Star decided to immediately publish the information on the newspaper's Web site Monday and in today's print edition." The article that was the subject of the gag order is headlined "Sharp said radio message led him to kill boy." Today's newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Why The Star is publishing: A free press overrides all."

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article headlined "Judge won't lift order he says is unenforceable."
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Nichols trial holdouts: 'Show me something'; Jurors for and against death had their minds made up, colleague says." This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Papua New Guinea Landowners Face New Hearing in Rio Tinto Case": Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "Papua New Guinea landowners who sued Rio Tinto Group over claims of human-rights abuses must show that they aren't required to exhaust legal options at home before pursuing the U.S. case, an appeals court said."

My earlier coverage of today's en banc Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 04:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers Aren't Special: Why it's legitimate to investigate the Bush lawyers who may have approved war crimes." Milan Markovic has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"DC Council sets more gun rules after court ruling": A report from The Associated Press begins, "The Washington, D.C., city council has passed more regulations on gun owners months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down its previous ban of handguns. The council voted Tuesday to require gun owners to register their weapons every three years and receive training by a certified firearms instructor."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Cipollone doctrine' revived": Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman


En banc Ninth Circuit addresses claims of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea residents who allege that they or their family members were victims of numerous violations of international law resulting from Rio Tinto, PLC's Bougainville mining operations: You can access today's ruling at this link.

Way back in August 2006, a divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel issued this ruling in the case. The Ninth Circuit granted rehearing en banc on August 20, 2007, and the case was reargued en banc on October 11, 2007.

Out of the eleven-judge en banc panel, only three judges join in the opinion announcing the judgment of the court. But three other judges -- at least one somewhat reluctantly -- join in the lead opinion's result, allowing the court to issue a judgment that speaks for a majority of the en banc panel. The order in which the opinions are organized is, as a result, unusual -- after the lead opinion comes a concurring opinion, then a dissenting opinion, then a concurring opinion, and finally a dissent written by Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt in which four judges have joined.

My earlier coverage of the three-judge panel's ruling in the case can be accessed here and here. And the "Opinio Juris" blog analyzed the three-judge panel's ruling in posts you can access here and here.
Posted at 02:07 PM by Howard Bashman



In Guantanamo-related news: Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has articles headlined "Army colonel named chief judge at Guantanamo" and "Guantanamo captive asks Obama to close war court."

And The New York Times reports today that "U.S. Is Set to Release 3 Detainees From Base."
Posted at 12:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"In Blagojevich Case, Is It a Crime, or Just Talk?" The New York Times contains this news analysis today.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cheney was key in clearing CIA interrogation tactics; The vice president says that the use of waterboarding was appropriate and that the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should stay open until 'the end of the war on terror'": This article -- based on an ABC News interview with Vice President Dick Cheney -- appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Detainees' Case Sent Back to Lower Court": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

And today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court revives lawsuit by former detainees; Four British Muslims who spent more than two years at Guantanamo want top Pentagon officials held responsible for their treatment."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Allows Suit Against 'Light' Cigarette Makers; Companies Face Huge Liabilities Over Marketing": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Clearing a Legal Haze: The Supreme Court stops Big Tobacco from blocking lawsuits over deceptive advertising."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court lets smokers sue over 'light' cigarettes; The justices rule that tobacco companies can be sued by smokers who claim they were deceived about health risks; The decision allows class-action suits to proceed in several states."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Court splits 5-4 on 'light' cigarettes; Case targets claims of deceptive marketing on labels, not health issues."

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that "Altria Case Deals Blow to Efforts Reining In Lawsuits."

And in commentary, The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "Big Loss for Big Tobacco."
Posted at 10:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gitmo Lawyers Are the Latest in Radical Chic: How about some pro bono work for the government?" Today in The Wall Street Journal, columnist William McGurn has an op-ed that begins, "Within the ranks of our leading law schools, law firms and legal centers, it would be hard to find a cause more popular than the detainees of Guantanamo Bay. Every lawyer wants his own detainee or detainee group. The result is that dozens of the world's most dangerous men now have their own legal Dream Teams."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why Barack Obama, as President, Should Nominate Leading Law Professors for Seats on the Federal Appeals Court": Law Professor Carl Tobias has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 09:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Despite Discipline Panel's Harsh Words, Federal Judge Beats the Rap": law.com provides a report that begins, "Judges on a federal discipline panel vindicated Judge Manuel Real on Friday, but they did it through clenched teeth. The Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit dismissed two misconduct complaints accusing Real of failing to state the reasons for his rulings."

Posted online at the Ninth Circuit's web site last Friday were a committee report dated September 23, 2008 and an order and memorandum dismissing the misconduct complaints.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, December 15, 2008

Law Professor Eugene Volokh takes a look "Deep Inside the Second Circuit's First Amendment 'National Security Letter' Opinion": In this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds decision to keep Columbine depositions sealed": Felisa Cardona of The Denver Post has a news update that begins, "The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a decision to keep the depositions of the parents of Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold under seal for 20 years. Circuit judges Paul J. Kelly, Carlos F. Lucero and Harris L. Hartz issued the decision Monday, with Lucero writing a dissenting opinion."

You can access today's ruling by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Detainees Gain in Plea to Justices": Adam Liptak will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.

Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Supreme Court reinstates detainee suit against Rumsfeld, others; The move sets the stage for an appeals court to review the rights of Guantanamo prisoners."

And David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "Supreme Court revives suit by 4 Guantanamo Bay ex-inmates; U.S. justices tell a federal appeals court to revisit the lawsuit; The British Muslim detainees say they seek to hold Pentagon officials responsible for their torture and abuse at the prison."
Posted at 08:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Light Cigarettes Makers May Be Sued, Court Rules": Adam Liptak will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.

In Tuesday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Supreme Court rules smokers can sue over 'light' cigarette claims; The decision will make it easier for local residents to recover damages from national firms, consumer groups say."

Robert Barnes and Jerry Markon of The Washington Post have a news update headlined "Court Rules in Favor of Smokers Who Seek to Sue Big Tobacco."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "U.S. Supreme Court allows suits over 'light' cigarettes; Smokers say they were deceived into thinking 'light' and 'low tar' brands were safer; The justices' action clears the way for class-action lawsuits, which could imperil tobacco companies."

Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Ruling hands big tobacco big setback on state suits."

And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "High Court OKs Cigarette Lawsuits" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Leahy Agrees to Postpone Holder Hearing by a Week": This post appears this afternoon at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

In addition, this week's print edition of Legal Times contains an article headlined "GOP Signals Rough Path to AG Position for Holder."
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman



Seventh Circuit reverses summary judgment in favor of Foley & Lardner in suit brought by former associate, a Muslim of Indian descent, who claims he was fired after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 because of his religion, race, national origin, and color: You can access today's ruling of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Hasan v. Foley & Lardner LLP at this link.
Posted at 02:12 PM by Howard Bashman


James Vicini of Reuters is reporting: He has articles headlined "Court rules against Altria on light cigarettes" and "Supreme Court orders review of Guantanamo torture case."
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"This appeal concerns challenges to the constitutionality of statutes regulating the issuance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of a type of administrative subpoena generally known as a National Security Letter to electronic communication service providers": So begins a lengthy opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today.
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Light' Cigarette Suits Allowed by U.S. Supreme Court": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News has this report.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


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

And in argued cases, the Court today issued its opinion in Altria Group, Inc. v. Good, No. 07-562. By a vote of 5-4, the Court has ruled that federal law does not preempt a lawsuit brought by smokers of "light" cigarettes alleging that defendants violated the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act by fraudulently advertising that the cigarettes delivered less tar and nicotine than regular brands. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the majority opinion, in which Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Breyer joined. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the dissenting opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined. This was the first case argued this Term -- on the first Monday in October 2008 -- and you can revisit the oral argument transcript by clicking here.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court orders new review on torture, allows tobacco lawsuits." The "new review on torture" occurred by means of a GVR appearing on today's Order List.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court allows lawsuits over 'light' cigarettes"; "Court revives case of former Gitmo detainees"; "Court sides with NY Times in anthrax libel case"; and "Court won't review Obama's eligibility to serve."
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nichols friend blames himself; 'He has scars that run deep,' childhood buddy says; 'I know he's remorseful'; Juror says 3 refused to agree to death penalty from start": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And as I noted in this post from last night, yesterday's newspaper contained numerous related articles.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutor, DNA at odds; In 3 cases, Lake County prosecutor Michael Mermel is willing to pit other evidence against genetic tests that exclude defendants": The Chicago Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"A year later, state assesses justice without death penalty": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Familiar faces revolve through Supreme Court; Elite lawyers with ties to justices make multiple arguments": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, December 14, 2008

In today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The newspaper contains articles headlined "The Nichols Case -- DA: Public denied 'fair trial'; Doomed from start: Howard says holdouts never 'entered into a meaningful discussion' about death sentence"; "Bid to execute now up to feds"; "Failure to win death penalty resonates"; "Holdout jurors face pressure"; "A widow's journey to justice"; "2 months of tests, then prison assignment"; and "Life in Supermax prison."
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Report: Justice lawyer leaked surveillance program." The Associated Press has a report that begins, "A former Justice Department lawyer says he tipped off the news media about the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program because it 'didn't smell right,' Newsweek magazine reported Sunday."

In the December 22, 2008 issue of Newsweek, Michael Isikoff has an article headlined "The Fed Who Blew the Whistle: Is he a hero or a criminal?" And Daniel Klaidman has an article headlined "Now We Know What the Battle Was About: Justice Department lawyers defied President Bush over secret surveillance--but not for the reasons you might think."
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Putting the power back: With the case of Ali al-Marri, there's renewed hope that the rule of law will be restored." Law Professor Gene Nichol has this op-ed today in The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Posted at 11:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court of the utmost import: As Judith Kaye must retire, a great jurist, regardless of gender, must be chosen as chief judge." Law Professor Vincent Martin Bonventre has this op-ed today in Newsday.
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to Review if Consent Defense to Lewd Conduct on Minor": Friday's edition of the Metropolitan News-Enterprise contained an article that begins, "The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether consent is a defense to a charge of lewd conduct on a child under 14 by means of force or duress. Justices attending Wednesday's conference in San Francisco voted unanimously to review the Sixth District Court of Appeal's Sept. 9 ruling overturning a Santa Clara County man's three convictions on the basis that the trial court deprived him of a valid defense when it instructed the jury that consent was not a defense."
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gov. Crist has chance to put stamp on state Supreme Court": This article appears today in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Posted at 10:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Maneuvering to succeed state Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank J. Williams begins": The Providence (R.I.) Journal contains this article today.

And Saturday's newspaper contained an article headlined "Justice's departure has many looking for the reason why."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Madigan launches legal attack to oust Blagojevich": This article appears today in The Chicago Sun-Times.

Today's edition of The Chicago Tribune contains an article headlined "Madigan: He's unfit; Court request enters uncharted territory amid the tangled web of state politics."

And The Wall Street Journal reports that "Official Aims to Strip Illinois Governor's Powers."
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Seattle's parade law is unconstitutional": The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "Seattle's parade law is unconstitutional because it gives the police chief broad power to bar protesters from marching in the street, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Friday."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Court throws out city parade permit rules."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rules will allow DNA samples from federal detainees; Currently, only those convicted of federal crimes can have DNA samples taken; Critics say the new rules, which take effect next month, would violate individual rights without solving more crimes": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Republicans seek to delay hearings on Holder as attorney general; Obama's Justice Department nominee was initially met with bipartisan praise; Now the GOP is raising concerns about pardons and more": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Howard wants U.S. to pursue Nichols death penalty": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a news update that begins, "Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Saturday that courthouse killer Brian Nichols may get the death penalty yet -- from a federal court jury. Howard, whose prosecution sought and failed to get death for Nichols, said he would talk this week about possible federal charges against Nichols for killing off-duty U.S. Customs agent David Wilhelm." Another news update is headlined "Question now is where will Nichols serve time?"

And The Associated Press reports that "Nichols sentence may lead to death penalty changes."
Posted at 07:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge bars Kent from using polygraph results in his trial": Yesterday in The Houston Chronicle, Mary Flood had an article that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent will not be able to show jurors the polygraph tests he has taken, but the judge in his case left the door open Thursday for Kent to take another lie detector exam. Kent faces federal charges of sexually abusing an employee. It would be unusual for the judge to allow lie detector evidence in this case."

And The Associated Press reports that "Lie detector tests not admitted at judge's trial."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nichols gets life without parole; Killer offers short apology before getting 'many lifetimes' in '05 courthouse spree": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update. Today's print edition of the newspaper contains an article headlined "The Brian Nichols case: No death penalty; Deadlocked jury will mean life for killer."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge sentences courthouse shooter to life."
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, December 12, 2008

"Jewish Parents Lose Again in 15-year Quest to Claim Deduction Granted to Scientology": Josh Gerstein, formerly of The New York Sun, today has a post at his blog that begins, "The 9th Circuit handed defeat today to a Jewish couple which has been trying for 15 years to claim tax deductions for a portion of the tuition they pay to Jewish schools attended by their children."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 10:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"No COLA For Federal Judges": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Brian Nichols avoids death penalty; On Saturday, judge will impose life sentence on courthouse killer": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a news update that begins, "Superior Court Judge James Bodiford declared the jury in the Brian Nichols death penalty trial deadlocked on the penalty Friday night -- which means Nichols will face a life sentence for the four murders of which it convicted him a month ago. The jury deadlocked 9-3 on whether Nichols should be sentenced to death or life in prison, splitting nine for death and three for life imprisonment without parole."

And The Associated Press reports that "Atlanta courthouse gunman avoids death sentence."
Posted at 10:21 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Overturns Bush v. Gore": The Onion provides this report.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bumper sticker flap draws national group's attention; A Wa-Hi junior was suspended over crude stickers": Wednesday's edition of The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin contained an article that begins, "The suspension of a Walla Walla High School junior over crude bumper stickers has drawn the attention of the National Coalition Against Censorship. In a letter to Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Richard Carter and Walla Walla High School Principal Darcy Weisner sent Dec. 3, the agency strongly disagrees with the school's decision to suspend the student after failing to remove a bumper sticker from her car."

You can view the letter from the National Coalition Against Censorship at this link, while the school district's response to the letter is contained in this post at the newspaper's "Schoolhouse Missives" blog.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court tosses out Seattle parade law": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a news update that begins, "Seattle's rules for granting permits for parades and demonstrators are unconstitutional, a federal appeals court has ruled."

You can access at this link today's ruling by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Posted at 02:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to Rule on Ship Tax": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

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

Update: In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Insurer's asbestos-related lawsuits at high court."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Gubernatorial Removal and the State High Courts: A National Center for State Courts Backgrounder." The National Center for State Courts has issued this news release today.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Illinois AG asks high court to declare gov. unfit": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "In an unprecedented move, the Illinois attorney general asked the state's highest court Friday to strip scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich of his powers."

And The Chicago Sun-Times has a news update headlined "Madigan launches legal attack to oust Blagojevich."
Posted at 01:20 PM by Howard Bashman



Federal Circuit rejects challenge to the validity of the patent for the drug Plavix: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"William S. Stevens, 60, Dies; Wrote Infield Fly Note": The New York Times today contains an obituary that begins, "William S. Stevens, whose slyly humorous law-review note on the relationship between baseball's infield fly rule and Anglo-American common law became one of the most celebrated and imitated analyses in American legal history, died Monday in Anchorage, where he was working. He was 60 and lived in Narberth, Pa. The cause was a heart attack, said T. Dennis Sullivan, his brother-in-law."

Earlier this year, the blog "Above the Law" had this post about the note.

And in 2006, the Northwestern University Law Review published Law Professor Anthony D'Amato's related essay entitled "The Contribution of the Infield Fly Rule to Western Civilization (and vice versa)."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pentagon touts progress at Gitmo facility; Prison base officials back conditions": USA Today contains this article today.

And today's edition of The New York Times contains an article headlined "Move May Help Shut Guantanamo Camp."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Rumsfeld blamed in detainee abuse scandals; A bipartisan Senate report calls decisions made by the former Defense secretary a 'direct cause' of inhumane treatment of prisoners of war; Other Bush officials also are faulted": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times reports today that "Report Blames Rumsfeld for Detainee Abuses."

The Washington Post contains a front page article headlined "Report on Detainee Abuse Blames Top Bush Officials."

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Top Officials Cited in Abuse of Detainees."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Senate probe blames top Bush officials for abuses."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"When It Comes to Holder, Specter Has Reservations": That's the headline of today's installment of Al Kamen's "In the Loop" column in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge will reconsider gag order": The Ventura County Star today contains an article that begins, "The Superior Court judge who issued a gag order forbidding the Ventura County Star from publishing sealed contents of search warrant documents in a child murder case is scheduled to reconsider the matter Monday."

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Ventura County Star's bid to publish blocked story stalls; The paper wanted a judge to swiftly overturn his ruling barring the article about the slashing death of a 6-year-old boy; The jurist sets a hearing for Monday."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jury Deadlocks on Punishment for Courthouse Killings": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "Nichols' fate may hang on tape; Deadlocked jury wants to again hear jailhouse call between killer, brother; defense calls it 'prejudicial.'"
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"McDonnell works to block spam": The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell yesterday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate Virginia's anti-spam e-mail law. In September the Virginia Supreme Court held that the Anti-Spam Act of 2003 was unconstitutional for barring all anonymous, unsolicited bulk e-mails -- even those with political, religious or other protected content, not just commercial speech which can be restricted."

This blog's earlier coverage of the Supreme Court of Virginia's ruling appears here and here.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate's authority to reject potential Blagojevich appointee unclear; The Supreme Court has ruled similar rejections unconstitutional in the past; But experts say senators may consider whether an appointment was valid and lawful": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"N.J. High Court Frees Judges to Participate in U.S. News Survey": law.com provides a report that begins, "In a reversal of policy, the New Jersey Supreme Court has given its blessing to judges' participation in U.S. News & World Report 's annual survey of American law schools, out of concern that its gag order was giving local schools a bum rap."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"The President's Prisoner: An alleged al-Qaeda conspirator becomes a test case for another Bush administration overreach." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"$7 million Vioxx case sent back to Starr County court": Today's edition of The Monitor of McAllen, Texas contains an article that begins, "A state appeals court has reversed its earlier decision and sent a landmark case against the makers of the painkiller Vioxx back to a Starr County court."

And The Associated Press has a report headlined "Appellate court orders new Vioxx trial in Texas" that begins, "Drugmaker Merck & Co. is considering an appeal after a Texas state appeals court reversed its own prior dismissal of a $7.75 million judgment in a Vioxx personal injury lawsuit against the drugmaker."

You can access Wednesday's ruling of the Fourth Court of Appeals of Texas at this link.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Schwartz gets NYT legal beat": Mark Obbie has this post at the "LawBeat" blog. You can access an archive of John Schwartz's recently published writings in The New York Times by clicking here.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice Williams resigns": The Providence Journal today contains an article that begins, "Frank J. Williams, the chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, stunned the legal community and his fellow justices yesterday when he announced that he will step down from the high court at the end of the month."

The newspaper also contains articles headlined "A strong voice for the courts" and "Talk of successor for Chief Justice Williams has already begun."

You can view the letter of resignation by clicking here.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Va. seeks reinstatement of anti-spam law": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Virginia's attorney general asked the nation's highest court Thursday to revive a state anti-spam law struck down by a lower court as unconstitutionally overbroad."

The Attorney General of Virginia has today issued a news release headlined "McDonnell Appeals Spam Case to U.S. Supreme Court; Spammer made millions of dollars with fraudulent e-mails."
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bipartisan Report: Rumsfeld Responsible for Detainee Abuse; Senate Committee Finds Officials Made Decisions That Led to Offenses Against Prisoners." The Washington Post has a news update that begins, "A bipartisan Senate report released today says that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top Bush administration officials are directly responsible for abuses of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and charges that decisions by those officials led to serious offenses against prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere."

You can view the report by clicking here.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Not coming soon to the Supreme Court: TV cameras." Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nichols jury tells judge it can't decide penalty; Judge says he will send them back to continue deliberating": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a news update that begins, "A Fulton County jury announced today that it is 'hung' on whether to sentence convicted murderer Brian Nichols to death. Superior Court Judge James Bodiford said the jury was asking for advice on how to proceed in its deliberations. Bodiford prepared to call the jury into the courtroom for a conference Thursday morning. The jury is split 9-3. Bodiford did not inquire whether the majority favored a death sentence or life imprisonment. He said he would have the jury continue deliberating after lunch."

And The Associated Press reports that "Atlanta courthouse shooting jury says no verdict."
Posted at 11:59 AM by Howard Bashman



"Kent wants lie detector tests to be admissible in his trial; Federal judge accused of abusive sexual conduct": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge's lawyers want lie detector tests admitted."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"A family feud over the fate of Guantanamo: The Pentagon gives a platform to family members of Sept. 11 victims who support the prison and tribunal; Relatives who oppose them make their own statement." Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald reports that "9/11 kin denounce the Guantanamo war court; In a tug of war over the legitimacy of military commissions, a few dozen family members of 9/11 dead counter the endorsements of the war court by others."
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Princeton settles battle over millions; Heirs said school ignored parents' wishes for fund": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains this article today.

The Daily Princetonian reports today that "University gains control over Robertson endowment in settlement; Princeton will pay $100 million to cover legal fees, establish new foundation."

The New York Times reports that "Princeton Settles Money Battle Over Gift."

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Princeton Settles Suit Over Big Donation, Agrees to Pay Family About $100 Million."

And in the New Jersey Law Journal, Henry Gottlieb reports that "Princeton Agrees to $90 Million Settlement of Suit Alleging Misuse of Endowment; $40 million in defense costs made the case the most expensive litigation in Princeton's 262-year history."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Criminal-libel laws' overreach: Laws that permit criminal-libel prosecution for online trash talk fly in the face of the 1st Amendment." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Hear a Case Weighted by 9/11": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has this article.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Court Weighs Post-9/11 Liability; Justice, FBI Chiefs Named in Suit Alleging Anti-Arab Bias."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court is asked to dismiss top officials from 9/11 lawsuit; An administration lawyer says plaintiffs haven't shown that ex-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft and FBI chief Robert Mueller were involved in discrimination; The Muslim detainees' lawyers see a Catch-22."

Joan Biskupic of USA TODAY reports that "Case against Ashcroft, Mueller considered; Justices seem wary of allowing abuse lawsuit."

And law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Top Bush Officials Unlikely to Face Personal Liability for 9/11 Detentions."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Hear Bias Case on Maternity, Pensions and Timing": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Eight and on Trial: Young Defendants Throw Criminal Justice Into Confusion." Dionne Searcey has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Full 6th Circuit Weighs NEA Suit Against NCLB": At "The School Law Blog" of Education Week, Mark Walsh has a post about a case argued yesterday before the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that begins, "The educational and fiscal ramifications of the federal No Child Left Behind Act came under legal review today in an ornate federal appeals courtroom here in Cincinnati."

My earlier coverage of the divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel's ruling in the case can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals judges hear Internet freedom of speech case": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "Saying the freedom-of-speech case against the Hermitage School District in Western Pennsylvania would have an 'incredibly far-reaching effect,' a federal appeals court judge yesterday questioned whether the district could discipline a student for comments made on the Internet."
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Death sentences, executions drop in 2008": Bill Mears of CNN.com has this report.

Today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Executions drop to 14-year low in 2008."

The New York Times reports today that "Executions and Death Sentences in United States Dropped in 2008, Report Finds."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Report: US executions, death sentences on decline."
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"3rd Circuit Mulls School Discipline for Hoax Web Pages": Shannon P. Duffy will have this article Thursday in The Legal Intelligencer.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Liberal Legal Group Is Following New Administration's Path to Power": Charlie Savage will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Offer to tape sex nullifies conviction; It's not prostitution but speech, court says": Last Friday's edition of The Concord (N.H.) Monitor contained an article that begins, "A former district court bailiff who offered a couple $50 an hour to videotape them having sex is not guilty of prostitution, because there was no evidence he was satisfying his own sexual pleasure, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday. To find otherwise, the court ruled, would illegally criminalize the production of a sexually explicit but not obscene movie, a venture that is protected as free speech under the state constitution."

The Associated Press reports that "Court overturns former Franklin court bailiff's prostitution conviction."

And today at Adult Video News, Mark Kernes has an article headlined "New Hampshire Upholds Citizens' Right To Make Sexual Content; It's not prostitution, says New Hampshire Supreme Court" (caution, linked article contains nudity).

You can access last Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire at this link.

At "The Volokh Conspiracy" today, Eugene Volokh has this post about the ruling.
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Attorney General Is a Very Busy Man: The Supreme Court seems to think that also makes him immune from litigation." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.

In addition, Dahlia was featured on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" in a segment entitled "Supreme Court Hears Detainee Case" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman



Learned Foote to clerk for Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski: Foote, who first came to this blog's attention via this post from Monday, is today the subject of a post by Peter Lattman at WSJ.com's "Law Blog."
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman


In today's mail: A copy of the new book "Courtroom Cowboy: The Life of Legal Trailblazer Jim Beasley," by Ralph Cipriano. You can read the book's introduction at this link.

Thanks much to Maxwell S. Kennerly of the "Litigation & Trial" blog for sending this along.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court weighs how maternity leaves affect pensions": The AP has a report that begins, "Several Supreme Court justices questioned on Wednesday whether AT&T Corp. is discriminating against former employees by paying smaller retirement checks to women who took pregnancy leaves in the 1960s and 1970s."

You can access the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen, No. 07-543, at this link.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Federal judges hear Fla. Christian fraternity case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Christian fraternity asked federal judges Wednesday to recognize the group as part of student life at the University of Florida, despite a school rule that bars Gator groups from discriminating based on religion. Beta Upsilon Chi lawyers told a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the university's policy threatens their core beliefs and that inviting non-Christians would undermine their mission."

The case was argued today before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Romanette, Revisited": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


A bailout for Detroit, and the federal judiciary: The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Pay raise for judges tucked into bailout plan" that begins, "If the $14 billion bailout plan for U.S. automakers passes, it will help more than just Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. Federal judges would get a pay raise, as well. The raise - labeled a cost of living adjustment - would bring U.S. District court judges up to par with members of Congress, who will receive an almost $5,000 boost on Jan. 1."
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Robertson case settled; University retains full control of endowment": The Daily Princetonian has a news update that begins, "The University will maintain complete control of the Robertson Foundation's $600 million endowment that funds the Wilson School's graduate program under a settlement agreement ending the lawsuit brought by members of the Robertson family in July 2002, both parties announced this morning."

The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger has a news update headlined "Princeton U., Robertson family settle $900M lawsuit."

And The Associated Press reports that "Princeton settles suit, keeps control of donation."
Posted at 01:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court weighs lawsuit against FBI head, ex-AG": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Supreme Court justices voiced concern Wednesday about including former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller in a lawsuit that claims prisoners detained after the Sept. 11 attacks were abused because of their religion and ethnicity."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Special legal immunity for handling crises?"

Update: The U.S. Supreme Court has posted the transcript of today's oral argument in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, No. 07-1015, at this link.
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judges differ as Davis seeks new trial; Death penalty awaits: Two jurists question viability of condemned man's claim; a third takes issue with state." Today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bill Rankin has this article reporting on an oral argument that occurred yesterday before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Posted at 10:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel of judges hears appeal by Scrushy and Siegelman": This article appears today in The Mobile Press-Register.

The Birmingham News reports today that "Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy appeal convictions before 3-judge panel."

And The New York Times contains an article headlined "Appeal Hearing in Ex-Governor's Conviction."
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama May Have to Decide on Execution for Accused Terrorists": James Rowley of Bloomberg News has a report that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama may soon have to choose between executing five confessed plotters of the Sept. 11 attacks or trying them in courts that do more to protect their rights."

The New York Times today contains a news analysis headlined "Relatives of 9/11 Victims Add a Passionate Layer to Guantanamo Debate."

The Washington Post today contains an editorial entitled "Trial by Absurdity: The alleged authors of Sept. 11 seek death -- and a propaganda coup -- in a flawed legal system."

And The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "How to try terrorists: A chaotic hearing for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other defendants at Guantanamo Bay puts the spotlight back on the value of military commissions," while columnist Tim Rutten has an op-ed entitled "Obama's Gitmo problem: The Bush administration's abuse of the judicial system will haunt Obama."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gay Marriage Ban Inspires New Wave of Activists": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gay marriage: History, emotion collide in court." Today's edition of The Des Moines Register contains an article that begins, "Both sides of the gay marriage debate clashed Tuesday in a historic Iowa Supreme Court battle over the meaning of marriage and the long-term effect of allowing same-sex couples to wed. The decision now falls to the high court, which must choose between the wishes of committed gay couples and the concerns raised by supporters of Iowa's decade-old marriage law. A ruling is expected next year."

And The New York Times reports today that "Iowa Justices Hear Same-Sex Marriage Case."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Weigh Misconduct in Tennessee Murder Case": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Justices Question Withholding Of Evidence in Capital Case; Tenn. Prosecutors Didn't Turn Over Proof of Killer's Drug Use."

And yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "High Court Hears Appeal From Tennessee Killer" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals Court Hears Case of Canadian Citizen Sent by U.S. to Syria": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Even if the government agreed with a Canadian citizen's claims that American officials sent him to Syria in 2002 to be tortured, he should not be allowed to sue for damages because there was no Constitutional violation and Congress has not authorized such lawsuits, a Justice Department lawyer argued on Tuesday before a federal appeals court in Manhattan."

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports today that "Conspiracy against Arar reached to highest levels, U.S. court told."

The Toronto Star contains an article headlined "U.S. appeals court reconsiders Arar suit against Bush officials; Latest chapter in bid by Canadian to hold those who sent him to Syria for torture accountable."

Canwest News Service reports that "Appeals court questions U.S. claims about Arar."

From National Public Radio, yesterday's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Court Weighs 'Extraordinary Rendition' Case" (RealPlayer required).

And "The AmLaw Daily" blog has a post titled "Second Circuit Hears Argument in Extraordinary Rendition Case."

Last night, I had this post linking to C-SPAN's video coverage (RealPlayer required) of yesterday's Second Circuit en banc oral argument.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Peru Sues Yale For Return Of Artifacts": This article appears today in The Hartford Courant.

The New Haven Register reports today that "Artifacts deal dissolves; Peru takes Yale to court."

And The Yale Daily News reports that "Peru sues for artifacts."

You can view a copy of the complaint initiating suit by clicking here.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Accountability and the Court": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an editorial that begins, "In this country, no one is supposed to be above the law. Even the highest officials must be held accountable when they do wrong. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has spent the last eight years undermining that fundamental American ideal. The Supreme Court has a chance to redress that imbalance."

Yesterday at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston had this preview of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, No. 07-1015.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion Foes Open a New Front": The Wall Street Journal today contains an article that begins, "Abortion opponents are pressing state and local governments to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, arguing that the nonprofit group has plenty of cash and shouldn't be granted scarce public funds at a time of economic crisis."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online at Slate: John Fabian Witt has an essay entitled "Ye Olde Gitmo: When Americans were unlawful combatants."

And David Weigel has an essay entitled "Case Not Closed: After losing at the Supreme Court, Obama conspiracy theorists meet the press."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Adoption Rights for Gays and Lesbians in Florida: A Trial Court Rules That the State's Longstanding Ban Must End." Joanna Grossman has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Modern Departures from the Supreme Court: Party, Pensions, or Power." Alan Rozzi and Terri L. Peretti have posted this paper at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Layshock case becomes free-speech issue; Appeals court to decide whether school exceeded authority in punishing student": Sunday's edition of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contained an article that begins, "What began as a lowbrow parody of a high school principal goes before a federal appeals court this week. The case of Justin Layshock, who lanced his principal with an unflattering Internet 'profile' created on a home computer, has become a battleground pitting Pennsylvania school administrators against groups that defend free-speech rights. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia will hear arguments from each side Wednesday."

In earlier coverage, The Herald of Sharon, Pennsylvania contained articles headlined "Trosch drops defamation suit against 3 of 4 former students"; "Appeals court might hear Layshock case in December"; "Groups support Layshock lawsuit; Say students have right to free speech" and "Principal sues 4 ex-students over profiles on Myspace."

And at the First Amendment Center, Douglas Lee had an essay about the trial court's ruling headlined "Lower court takes narrow view of 'Bong Hits' ruling."

The ACLU of Pennsylvania provides access to the appellate briefs via this link.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit assigned to hear oral argument in this appeal tomorrow will consist of Circuit Judges Theodore A. McKee and D. Brooks Smith and Senior Circuit Judge Jane R. Roth.
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Hecht's fine, like ethics, will disappear: Texas Supreme Court Justice fined for illegal contributions through legal discount got off easy with $29,000 fine that he'll pay with donations." This editorial appears today in The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reporter names no sources at deposition; Contempt hearing may be sought in leaks lawsuit": Today's edition of The Detroit Free Press contains an article that begins, "For 50 minutes through scores of questions, Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter declined under oath Monday afternoon to reveal confidential sources in a legal standoff that pits journalistic principles against the obligation to testify under court order. Time and again, the lawyer for ex-federal prosecutor Richard Convertino peppered Ashenfelter with questions trying to discover who leaked word of a confidential Justice Department probe of Convertino's handling of a discredited Detroit terrorism case."

The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Reporter 'takes the Fifth' on behalf of people's right to know."

And The Detroit News reports that "Reporter won't reveal sources in deposition."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online, on-demand C-SPAN's broadcast of today's en banc oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Maher Arar v. John Ashcroft: You can access the oral argument video by clicking here (RealPlayer required). The audio apparently does not begins working properly until 13 minutes and 25 seconds into the broadcast.
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal judges hear arguments in Don Siegelman, Richard Scrushy corruption conviction appeal": The Birmingham News provides this update.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Attorneys: Reverse Siegelman, Scrushy verdicts."
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Feds want Ressam's cooperation credit rescinded": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a news update that begins, "Federal prosecutors -- who proclaimed last week that they would seek yet another sentencing for would-be millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam -- moved Tuesday to withdraw credit given Ressam for helping to convict a fellow terrorist."

And The Associated Press reports that "Prosecutors seek yet another sentencing for Ressam."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices weigh concealed evidence in death case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A convicted killer on death row in Tennessee since 1984 could be spared execution following arguments Tuesday at the Supreme Court. The justices showed rare bursts of anger in discussing a local prosecutor's failure to turn over key evidence to lawyers defending Gary Bradford Cone."

You can access the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Cone v. Bell, No. 07-1114, at this link.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit decides copyright dispute involving eleven sculptures created between 1913 and 1917 by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir and one of his assistants, Richard Guino: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

Back in 1968, Time magazine published this article about the sculptures.
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Attorneys conclude Supreme Court arguments in gay marriage case": The Des Moines Register provides this news update. The newspaper also offers online access to a video replay of the oral argument at this link.
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"In August 2003 a security guard with General Security Services Corporation stood on the roof of the Minton-Capehart Federal Building in Indianapolis, Indiana--inexplicably naked, alone, and locked out of the building." So begins an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tennessee moves closer to executing first woman; Sixth Circuit denies appeal to woman convicted in murder for hire of husband": The Nashville Post provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Court denies appeal by Tenn. woman on death row."

You can access at this link today's ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court: Craig's guilty plea to bathroom sex solicitation stands; The Court of Appeals rejected an appeal from Sen. Larry Craig who was nabbed in a sex sting in a restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport." The Minneapolis Star Tribune provides this news update.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press has a news update headlined "Appeals court: Craig 'admitted' guilt in airport sting case."

And The Associated Press reports that "Sen. Craig loses appeal in airport sex sting case."

You can access today's unpublished ruling of the Court of Appeals of Minnesota at this link.
Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Iowa Supreme Court readies for today's gay marriage case": The Des Moines Register provides a news update that begins, "Oral arguments in the Iowa Supreme Court's landmark gay marriage case will begin at 10 a.m. as scheduled, starting with 30-minute arguments from Polk County. Lawyers for six same-sex Iowa couples will then present their case and answer questions from the seven justices."

You can view the oral argument -- scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. eastern time, just moments from now -- live, online by clicking here (direct feed from the Supreme Court of Iowa; Windows Media Player required) or here (embedded video from The Des Moines Register).
Posted at 10:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Former Governor Don Siegelman and Richard Scrushy's appeal nears; Defense says trial riddled with errors": Yesterday's issue of The Birmingham News contained an article that begins, "Gov. Don Siegelman and HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy will ask three federal judges Tuesday to overturn their bribery convictions, arguing their 2006 trial was riddled with errors."

The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Siegelman appeal hearing scheduled for Tuesday" and "Siegelman optimistic about court hearing."

And AmLaw's "Litigation Daily" blog has a post titled "Eleventh Circuit to Hear Scrushy/Siegelman Bribery Appeal."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Former Pembroke Pines student sues principal over Facebook suspension": Today's edition of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contains an article that begins, "A former Pembroke Pines Charter High School student filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the school's principal, alleging that he violated her first-amendment rights by suspending her for creating a Facebook page that criticized one of her teachers. Katherine Evans called her Advanced Placement English teacher 'the worst teacher I've ever met!' on a page she created on the popular social networking site in November 2007 when she was a senior in high school, said the suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union."

The ACLU of Florida has issued a news release titled "ACLU Sues to Protect Broward Student's Free Speech in Web 2.0 World ; Off-Campus Facebook Posting Covered by First Amendment." You can access the complaint filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida at this link.
Posted at 09:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Naked Justice statue is unveiled in San Antonio": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court turns down Obama citizenship appeal; The plaintiff has argued that the president-elect is ineligible for the office because his father was born in Kenya": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times reports today that "Justices Turn Back a Challenge on Obama."

And The St. Petersburg Times reports that "Supreme Court can't shake faithful skeptics on Obama citizenship."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court's punitive damage clarity: Lower courts may have tried a legal end run around the high court in a tobacco case, but the justices have indicated that may be coming to an end." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Md. Court Weighs Internet Anonymity; Case Pits Free Speech Against Redress for Defamation": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "In a First Amendment case with implications for everything from neighborhood e-mail lists to national newspapers, an Eastern Shore businessman argued to Maryland's highest court yesterday that the host of an online forum should be forced to reveal the identities of people who posted allegedly defamatory comments. It is the first time the Maryland Court of Appeals has confronted the question of online anonymity, an issue that has surfaced in state and federal courts over the past few years as blogs and other online forums have increasingly become part of the national discourse."

And The Maryland Daily Record reports that "Top court grapples with online anonymity."

You can access some of the appellate briefs filed in the case here and here.

You can view yesterday's oral argument before the Court of Appeals of Maryland -- that State's highest court -- by clicking here (Windows Media Player required).
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Five offer guilty pleas in 9/11 plot; A chaotic day at the Guantanamo war court featured an effort by five 9/11 attack suspects to enter guilty pleas in the death-penalty case": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

The New York Times reports today that "Alleged 9/11 Plotters Offer to Confess at Guantanamo."

The Washington Post contains articles headlined "Five 9/11 Suspects Offer to Confess; But Proposal Is Pulled Over Death Penalty Issue" and "Offer of Plea Serves Mohammed and Bush; Both Sides Seem to Want Quick Conclusion."

In The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams has an article headlined "Chaos at Guantanamo tribunal; Five alleged Sept. 11 plotters offer to plead guilty, then three decline; One pledges loyalty to Bin Laden."

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that "Key Sept. 11 Defendants Want to File Guilty Pleas." In addition, William McGurn has an op-ed entitled "Now for an Honest Debate on Gitmo."

The Boston Globe reports that "Five try to plead guilty in 9/11 attacks."

USA Today reports that "Five accused in 9/11 ask to plead guilty; Defendants seek to end tribunal at Guantanamo."

Newsday contains articles headlined "9/11 families have mixed emotions on confessions" and "9/11 confessions wouldn't mean swift executions."

And The Associated Press reports that "Accused 9/11 plotters say they want to confess."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Influence on the Supreme Court Bench Could Be an Inside Job": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column focuses on a new study published in the DePaul Law Review that claims to show that the political leanings of law clerks do influence the votes of U.S. Supreme Court Justices.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Nichols' sentencing trial ends on a somber note": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And The Associated Press reports that "Prosecutors urge death for Atlanta court gunman."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court to hear Davis' plea for new trial; Familiar place: Man condemned to die for the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer has received 3 stays of execution in 17 months." Today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rhonda Cook and Bill Rankin have an article that begins, "Those who love convicted killer Troy Anthony Davis and those who loved slain Savannah police Officer Mark MacPhail find themselves in a familiar, painful place again: preparing for a court hearing on the 19-year-old murder case. Is Davis innocent? Should recanting or backtracking witnesses be heard? Or has too much time passed? Have there been too many unnecessary legal contortions in a death penalty case that has come close to finality with executions scheduled three times in the past 17 months? Today the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear Davis' request for a new trial on the basis that he didn't do it, an appeal called a 'stand-alone innocence' claim."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court weighs jury-selection survey lawsuit": The Providence Journal today contains an article that begins, "The Providence Journal yesterday told the Rhode Island Supreme Court that the public should be able to see written questions during jury selection just as if the same questions had been asked out loud in open court."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Some en banc developments from here and there: This afternoon at 3 p.m. eastern time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is scheduled to hear en banc oral argument in the case captioned Maher Arar v. John Ashcroft. C-SPAN is planning to broadcast the oral argument live. The Center for Constitutional Rights provides background on the case and access to court filings via this link.

And this morning at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr has a post titled "An Analysis of United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing" that begins, "On December 18th, the en banc 9th Circuit will hear oral argument on an important case involving how the Fourth Amendment applies to the search and seizure of computers."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, December 8, 2008

"The Friendless 9th Circuit": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

You can access today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. linkLine Communications, Inc., No. 07-512, at this link.
Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Wilkinson and Posner, Dissenting: Two conservative judges challenge Justice Scalia." Adam J. White has this essay in the December 15, 2008 issue of The Weekly Standard.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nuts and Deadbolts: A blueprint for the closure of Guantanamo Bay." Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"L.A. Times Publishes Article About Kozinski's Joke E-Mail List": Patterico has this post today at "Patterico's Pontifications."

And Ann Althouse has a post titled "The L.A. Times goes after 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski again."

You can access the article in question (originally published by The Los Angeles Times before its owner declared bankruptcy this afternoon) at this link.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"September 11 defendants ask to plead guilty": Reuters provides this report.

And The Associated Press reports that "9/11 suspects ask to make 'confessions' at Gitmo."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court won't review Obama's eligibility to serve": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court has turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who says President-elect Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he was a British subject at birth."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "U.S. views sought on misspent federal funds."

You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Finding Fault: The standard must be high for holding federal officials personally culpable for how detainees are treated." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court likely to dismiss lawsuits over Obama's citizenship; Lower courts have rejected claims that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen and thus cannot hold the office of president": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Laptop searches at border might get restricted": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Politics of the Federal Bench: GOP-Appointed Majorities Winning Ideological Battles at Appellate Level." R. Jeffrey Smith has this front page article today in The Washington Post. Accompanying this article is a sidebar headlined "A Bench More White, Male and Conservative" and a graphic headlined "Courts of Last Resort."

And Jerry Markon has a front page article headlined "Obama's Appointments Are Expected To Reshape the U.S. Legal Landscape."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Tortured Justice": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The nation's courts continue to grapple with the abuses committed by President Bush's administration in the name of fighting terrorism. The extent of the damage to American liberties, and how lasting it will be, will be told in part by the outcome of two cases that are to be heard by the federal courts."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Our Mutual Joy: Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture; But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side." This cover story appears in the December 15, 2008 issue of Newsweek.

The magazine also contains an article headlined "Mrs. Kramer Vs. Mrs. Kramer: It's an old story--parents split and fight for custody; But when both are women, and one says she is no longer gay, it gets complicated" about the Miller v. Jenkins custody battle.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Special Kaye: Judge Judith Kaye steps down from New York's Supreme Court." Jeffrey Toobin has this "Talk of the Town" article in the December 15, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.

Of course, New York State's "supreme" court is known as the Court of Appeals.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo Proceedings Subject System to More Scrutiny": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin has an article that begins, "Military-commission proceedings resume Monday against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other accused al Qaeda conspirators, but the spotlight, once again, is likely to shine more on the offshore justice system the Bush administration has struggled to erect for their trials."

Today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has an article headlined "Closing detainee camp a minefield of critical steps; To find a formula to close the Guantanamo prison camps, the incoming Obama administration will have to work through a thicket of questions."

And The Associated Press reports that "9/11 suspects face Gitmo court, victims' families."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Why Columbia Should Welcome ROTC: Bad policy on gays is not a good reason for a ban." Learned Foote -- yes, that's apparently his real name -- has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Abortion Wars Get Technical: Women have few rights at all when doctors can legally misinform them or deny service entirely." Dahlia Lithwick has this essay in the December 15, 2008 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federal judge e-mailed jokes to 'gag list'; The 9th Circuit's Alex Kozinski, already under fire for keeping sexually explicit material on a publicly accessible website, says he sent them to stay in touch with friends": Scott Glover has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Supreme Court next battleground in Obama birth certificate battle": This article will appear Monday in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court inferior to Lords, some judges say; In an unprecedented joint interview, two senior judges who will be joining the UK Supreme Court next year reveal that one or two of their fellow justices think we would be better off without it; Might it be something to do with the post code?" Monday's edition of The Telegraph (UK) contains this article.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lakeland's Canady Sworn In To Florida's Supreme Court; He's the second justice ever from Polk, and first of four appointments Crist is making": This article appeared last Thursday in The Ledger of Lakeland, Florida.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Harry Blackmun is a touchy subject for metro-east town": The Belleville (Ill.) News Democrat provides this report.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. courts due for left turn with Obama; Changes likely in conservative 4th Circuit, which includes Md." This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun.
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court ruling favors movie theater operator AMC; A Department of Justice lawsuit over changes required at the company's stadium-style movie theaters to accommodate wheelchair users is sent back to a lower court": The Associated Press has this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued on Friday.
Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Posner and the Internet perverts": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers' Washington, DC bureau has this post at his "Suits and Sentences" blog about a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued on Friday.
Posted at 08:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Phila. court blocks deporting Egyptian": An article published Saturday in The Philadelphia Inquirer begins, "In a closely watched case with implications for U.S. diplomacy, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia yesterday blocked Bush administration efforts to deport an Egyptian Christian seeking asylum, who fears torture in prison if returned to Egypt where he was convicted in absentia for a murder he denies."

Circuit Judge Marjorie O. Rendell was the author of Friday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Posted at 06:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Child Abuse Central Index offers no way out, even for the innocent; An accusation is enough to land people on California's list of child abusers, but only long legal battles can clear their names": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. The article focuses on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued last month.

I covered that ruling on the day it issued in a post titled "Ninth Circuit holds that California's maintenance of a database of known or suspected child abusers violates due process because identified individuals are not given a fair opportunity to challenge the allegations against them."
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Gay marriage goes before Iowa high court this week": Today's edition of The Des Moines Register contains an article that begins, "The Iowa Supreme Court this week will hear a same-sex marriage case that could become a national victory for the gay rights movement or a chance to reinforce Iowa's decade-old gay marriage ban. Oral arguments on Tuesday will pit six same-sex Iowa couples against Polk County and supporters of the state law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman."

And The Associated Press reports that "Iowa Supreme court to hear gay marriage arguments."

The Supreme Court of Iowa has created this web page devoted to the case. The Court plans to provide online access to a live broadcast of the oral argument on Tuesday morning beginning at 10 a.m. central time.
Posted at 05:47 PM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Nevada child murderer's death sentence overturned; The prosecutor in the 1983 Reno case falsely told a jury that the sentence was the only way to keep Ricky David Sechrest from being released, a federal appeals court rules": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Associated Press reports that "Death sentence overturned in '83 killings of Reno girls."

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



"Despite harsh words, Kline gets to keep abortion records": The Kansas City Star contains this article today.

And The Topeka Capital-Journal reports today that "Kline abortion prosecution faulted; Justices order medical records turned over to state."

Does Kline get to keep the records or must he turn them over? You can decide for yourself by reading yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Kansas.
Posted at 11:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices to Decide Legality of Indefinite Detention; Case of Qatari National, Held Without Formal Charges, Is Test of Executive Power Asserted by Bush": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court to hear 'enemy combatant' case; It will hear the case of terror suspect Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who has been held without trial in a military brig since 2003, and rule on the validity of the administration's controversial policy."

Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal reports that "High Court to Take Up Enemy-Combatant Case."

And The Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star reports that "High court to hear al-Marri's case."
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Exxon Valdez victims receive first payments; More than 32,000 people affected by the 1989 oil spill will collect shares of $507.5 million in punitive damages; The Supreme Court slashed the amount from $5 billion": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Legal Organization May Become Influential Beyond Its Dreams": Sunday in The Washington Post, Michael A. Fletcher will have an article that begins, "The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy was founded seven years ago to counter a growing right-leaning legal philosophy that has reshaped the American legal landscape on issues from the reach of federal regulation to the separation of church and state. Now, as President-elect Barack Obama assembles his administration, the little-known legal organization stands on the brink of influence it once could only imagine."
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion Politics Didn't Doom the G.O.P." Ross Douthat will have this op-ed Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman


Friday, December 5, 2008

"Having a gun is a serious problem in New York City. Maybe in the 8th Circuit they worry about cow-tipping or something." So said the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently at an en banc oral argument, according to a law.com article headlined "2nd Circuit Approves Sentencing Bump for Urban Weapons Trafficking."

It's good to see that Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs's provocative comments aren't limited merely to the topic of lawyers' pro bono work. Some might say that he needs to spend a little bit more time in St. Louis to see first hand whether the Eighth Circuit should be more concerned about cow tipping than gun crimes, while others might say that he needs to visit those parts of Connecticut, New York State, and Vermont where cow tipping is a much greater concern than gun violence.

In any event, should the Eighth Circuit approve a "sentencing bump" for cow tipping (assuming somehow it could be turned into a federal offense), Chief Judge Jacobs will seem even more prescient than usual.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's en banc Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 06:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Kennedy steps down from Judiciary panel": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Sen. Edward Kennedy is stepping down from his Senate Judiciary Committee post."

And The Boston Globe has a news update headlined "Source: Kennedy stepping down from Senate panel."
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Take Case on President's Power to Detain": Adam Liptak of The New York Times has this news update.

Robert Barnes and Jerry Markon of The Washington Post have a news update headlined "Supreme Court to Hear Case of Accused Al-Qaeda Member; Verdict May Have an Impact on Future Policies on Terror Detainees."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "The justices will hear the appeal of Ali Saleh Kahlah Marri; The case could decide if the president can order the military to hold a civilian in the U.S. based on suspected ties to terrorists."

Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Supreme Court takes up another challenge to Bush terror strategy."

And in hometown coverage, The Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star reports that "U.S. Supreme Court to hear al-Marri's case."
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Taped Chat Between Richard Nixon and Warren Burger": Tony Mauro has this interesting post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 05:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court to hear enemy combatant case": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether the president may order that people picked up in the United States be detained indefinitely and without criminal charges."

James Vicini of Reuters reports that "US justices to rule on terror suspect's detention."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Al-Qaeda Suspect Held in U.S. Gets High Court Hearing."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court to rule on domestic detention."

The U.S. Supreme Court today granted review in two cases. You can access today's Order List at this link. It may also be newsworthy that today's Order List contains no mention of expanded review in Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Williams, No. 07-1216.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Early Brief Gets the Worm: Liberal groups are ceding a key way to influence the Supreme Court." Adam Chandler has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Adoption ban targets gay couples, critics say; A new Arkansas law that bars unmarried adults from adopting or fostering children puts the spotlight on same-sex parenting": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Colorado man faces criminal charge in libel case; J.P. Weichel is accused of writing defamatory comments about his former girlfriend on a Craigslist forum; Free-speech advocates are outraged": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"UC professor under fire for White House memo": The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "Berkeley's city council will delve into national policy again next week when it votes whether to demand the United States charge Berkeley resident and former Bush adviser John Yoo with war crimes. Yoo, a tenured professor at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, wrote the memos offering legal justification for torture while he worked for the White House from 2001 to 2003."
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Constitution, Designed to Change, Rarely Does; Repeal of Prohibition Demonstrates the Flexibility Founders Intended -- and the Infrequency With Which It Is Used": The Wall Street Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Catholic groups fear abortion rights bill; But it's unclear if the Freedom of Choice Act imperils a doctor's right not to perform the procedure": This article will appear Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Don't ask, don't tell' suffers a blow in S.F. federal court": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court refused Thursday to reconsider a ruling that raised doubts about the constitutionality of the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for gays in the military, a decision that could give President-elect Barack Obama a chance to act quickly on his promise to repeal the policy. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied the Air Force's request for a rehearing of a May 21 decision reviving a suit by a female officer in Washington state who was discharged because she had a relationship with another woman."

And The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington provides a news update headlined "Decision keeps 'don't ask, don't tell' challenge alive."

You can access today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denying rehearing en banc, from which six judges have noted their dissent, at this link.

My earlier coverage of the three-judge panel's ruling from May 2008 can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Hecht fined $29,000 for illegal contribution": The Houston Chronicle has a news update that begins, "The Texas Ethics Commission today fined Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht $29,000 for accepting and failing to report an illegal political contribution from a law firm. The case involves a discount Hecht received for personal legal services from Jackson Walker. Hecht said he is disappointed and will consider appealing the commission's decision to state district court."
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Tony Mauro is reporting: Today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," he has posts titled "The Supreme Court's Big Bang, Explained" and "Re-enactment to Mark the 100th Birthday of the 'Brandeis Brief.'"
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"NYC court: Big city guns can equal stiff sentence." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Federal judges can give harsher penalties to people who help bring illegal guns to big cities, a federal appeals court decided Thursday. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals approved the practice in its ruling for the case of an illegal gun dealer who got two years in prison, which was six months more than federal sentencing guidelines recommended."

You can access today's en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.

In news of significance to appellate geeks everywhere, it appears that the Second Circuit has finally abandoned "in banc" in favor of "en banc," as I recently advocated here.

In June 2007, a three-judge Second Circuit panel overturned the sentence as improper. You can access that ruling at this link, while my initial coverage of that ruling appears at this link. In October 2007, the same three-judge panel issued a revised decision reaching essentially the same result. You can access the revised ruling at this link, while my initial coverage of the revised ruling appears at this link. And the trial court's opinion explaining the basis for the increased sentence can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Alito jabs at Biden over long-ago plagiarism": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Just In: Justice Stevens Will Swear In Biden as Vice President."
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: I'll be participating in an appellate mediation this morning at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Additional posts will appear here later today.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Unraveling Judicial Restraint: Guns, Abortion, and the Faux Conservatism of J. Harvie Wilkinson, III": Nelson Lund and David B. Kopel have posted this paper online at SSRN (via "The Volokh Conspiracy").
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Paterson Criticizes Panel for Its Judicial Selections": Thursday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "Gov. David A. Paterson on Wednesday blasted the state commission that recommends candidates for chief judge, saying it was an outrage and an injustice that not one of the seven people presented to him was a woman."
Posted at 11:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mukasey Sees No Necessity for Pardons in Terror War": This article will appear Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Look Anew at Case in Which Oregon Court Has Twice Rebuffed Them": Adam Liptak will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.

Thursday in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will have an article headlined "Court May Decide What Size Award Violates Rights; At Issue: Punitive Damages, Due Process."

Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "US Supreme Court takes up tobacco case for third time; The case involves an ongoing tug of war between the high court and the highest court in Oregon."

And The Oregonian provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court hears Oregon tobacco case - again."
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices' irritation with lower court could save tobacco giant millions": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lori Drew Is a Meanie: The problem with prosecuting cyber-bullying." Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"7th Circuit's Boim decision": A "How Appealing" reader emails:
Thanks to your post, I spent two hours this afternoon reading the fascinating majority and dissenting opinions in the Boim case. There is always much to be learned from a Judge Posner opinion.

I'm writing because I know you occasionally enjoy tweaking courts for minor errors in their opinions. On Page 27 of his opinion, Judge Posner makes clear that in most instances a doctor could not be held liable merely for providing medical assistance to an injured member of a terrorist group. He states, "But the doctor is not himself a criminal unless, besides treating the criminal, he conceals him from the police (like Dr. Samuel Mudd, hanged for trying to help John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin, elude capture) . . ." As any amateur Civil War historian knows, Dr. Mudd was not hanged, but rather served several years imprisonment.

Of course, this reader is correct. As Wikipedia reports, "Mudd escaped the death penalty by one vote and was sentenced to life imprisonment." And fewer than four years later, "Mudd was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson." Wikipedia further reports that "Dr. Mudd was just 49 years old when he died of pneumonia on January 10, 1883," nearly fourteen years after the presidential pardon. Much more information about Dr. Samuel A. Mudd can be accessed via this link.

Thanks much to the author of this email for sending it along.

And in additional coverage of today's ruling, Bloomberg News reports that "Holy Land Foundation Terrorism Case Reinstated."
Posted at 10:21 PM by Howard Bashman



"Third and Long for Philip Morris?" ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has this post at her "Legalities" blog.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Williams, No. 07-1216: The Court has posted the transcript at this link.
Posted at 03:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ahmed Ressam sentenced to 22 years for LAX millennium bomb plot; Convicted millennium terrorist Ahmed Ressam was resentenced this morning to 22 years in federal prison despite telling a judge that he had recanted everything he has told the federal government": The Seattle Times provides this news update.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a news update headlined "Ressam gets same sentence after recanting terrorism information."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge gives millennium terrorist same 22-year term."
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman



En banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reinstates $156 million judgment awarded to parents of teenager randomly shot to death in Israel by gunmen believed to be acting on behalf of the terrorist organization Hamas: Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner wrote the majority opinion on behalf of the en banc court.

Back in December 2007, a divided three-judge Seventh Circuit panel set aside the judgment via an opinion you can access here. My coverage of that ruling appeared here, here, and here.

The Seventh Circuit has made the audio of the en banc reargument available for download via this link (13.2MB mp3 audio file).

In early coverage of today's en banc decision, The Associated Press reports that "Court upholds $156M Palestinian terror verdict."
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Smoker's widow seeks $79.5M award at high court": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "A cigarette maker and a smoker's widow squared off at the Supreme Court on Wednesday for the third time over a $79.5 million punitive damages award, but the real battle was between the justices and their counterparts on Oregon's high court."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "New briefing on tobacco case? Maybe."
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the video of yesterday's oral argument before the Supreme Court of Florida in a case presenting the question of when, if ever, should an appellate judge face discipline for what his or her written judicial opinion says? The oral argument video can be accessed in both RealPlayer and Windows Media Player formats.

Also available online is a somewhat confusing real-time transcript compiled from the closed-captioning of the oral argument proceeding.

My most recent earlier posts pertaining to yesterday's oral argument of this case can be accessed here, here, and here.
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rejects appeal by Trolley Square victim's parents; They sought to extend sentence of man who illegally sold gun to killer": Pamela Manson has this article today in The Salt Lake Tribune.

And The Deseret News reports today that "Court rejects appeal by parents in Trolley death."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Tenth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-congresswoman 'disgusted' by A.G. pick; The ex-wife of Joe Waldholtz says Holder investigated her excessively": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.
Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"D.C. Circuit Panel Bars Live Sketching, Then Fumes at Art": This morning at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Mike Scarcella has a post that begins, "There was neither a published nor unpublished opinion--no formal judgment at all--for this federal appeals court decision: A sketch artist was barred from capturing oral argument in a high-profile Guantanamo detainee case."
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court considers Title IX's relation to civil rights law": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.

And The Cape Cod Times reports today that "Supreme Court hears Cape harassment case."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Government as cyber-bully: The tactic that won a conviction in the tragic MySpace suicide case is a misuse of Internet regulations." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today's edition of USA Today contains an editorial entitled "MySpace case bends the law: Missouri mom deserves reproach, but prosecution raises concerns" and an op-ed in response by Nick Akerman entitled "The law fits the crime: Fraud and Abuse Act addresses harassment; concerns lack merit."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Another Obstacle for Affirmative Action, And Congress Is Prepared to Fight": In today's edition of The Washington Post, "Federal Diary" columnist Joe Davidson has an essay that begins, "On Nov. 4, amid all the excitement surrounding Barack Obama's election, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit struck down a Pentagon program that included a 5 percent set-aside for companies run by African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans."

The ruling, of course, didn't elude anyone's attention here at "How Appealing," as I had this post about the ruling just moments after it issued.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Scales of Justice: The Supreme Court ponders a case of power plants vs. fish." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Republican Chambliss Wins Georgia Runoff; Emphatic Victory Leaves Democrats Without Filibuster-Proof Majority in Senate": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "Chambliss wins one for the party; Win means no supermajority for Democrats."

In The Chicago Tribune, James Oliphant and Richard Fausset report that "Chambliss win in Georgia a blow to Democrats; Senate Republican 'firewall' holds seat in runoff triumph."

USA Today reports that "GOP's Chambliss easily wins Senate runoff; Ga. race thwarts Dems' hopes for a filibuster-proof majority."

And The Wall Street Journal reports that "Chambliss Secures Georgia Win; Republican's Senate Runoff Victory Dashes Democratic Hopes for a Super-Majority."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"D.C. Council Supports Gun Control Revisions": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The D.C. Council voted unanimously yesterday to give preliminary approval to legislation that would require gun owners to renew their registrations every three years and to notify police annually whether they still own guns. The Fire Arms Registration Amendment, which would also ban assault weapons, was described as building on legislation passed by the council in September to adhere to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the city's 32-year handgun ban."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Prosecutor Is Making Inquiries in the Investigation of the Dismissal of U.S. Attorneys": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel Rules Jail Stabbing Constituted Terrorism": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "A reputed former leader of Al Qaeda who is serving 32 years in prison for stabbing a jail guard in 2000 must be resentenced, a federal appeals panel in Manhattan ruled on Tuesday, because a judge wrongly concluded that the man's crime did not meet the legal standard for terrorism."

The New York Daily News reports today that "Bin Laden thug could get more jail."

And Reuters reports that "Accused Qaeda aide to be resentenced for stabbing."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Next Attorney General": The New York Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Dread Lock decision: SJC backs Rastafari." This article appears today in The Boston Herald.

The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts reports today that "Court rules grooming policy suit can proceed."

The Boston Globe reports that "SJC rules religious rights top company's."

And The Associated Press reports that "Rastafarian can sue over employer hair policy."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers grilled in judge's ethics case": Today's edition of The Pensacola News Journal contains an article that begins, "Five Florida Supreme Court justices Tuesday gave a lively grilling to lawyers arguing ethics charges against an appellate judge. In August, 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Michael E. Allen appealed the Judicial Qualification Commission's recommendation that he be publicly reprimanded for a 2006 opinion in which he questioned the actions of fellow Judge Charles Kahn."

Last night, I had this post linking to additional coverage of yesterday's oral argument.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama's Plan to Close Guantanamo Forces Decision About Inmates": James Rowley of Bloomberg News provides this report.

And The Wall Street Journal reports today that "Gates Seeks Congress's Help in Closing Guantanamo."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Former Pa. Justice Departs Cozen O'Connor": Online at law.com, Gina Passarella of The Legal Intelligencer has an article that begins, "After nearly two years at the firm, former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman will leave Cozen O'Connor over what she said were significant conflicts that made it difficult to grow her book of business. Newman denied rumors that her departure had anything to do with the size of her book or a recent public outcry over an inflammatory political e-mail she signed during the presidential campaign."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Courthouses unfit, U.S. 9th Circuit chief judge tells Inland attorneys": The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. 9th Circuit Court needs buildings and members of the federal bar associations can help support efforts to get them funded, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski told the Inland Empire Bar Association on Tuesday at the Mission Inn in Riverside."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tobacco case, 3rd round": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has this interesting preview of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Mayola Williams.

The February 11, 2008 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "Not Even U.S. Supreme Court Victory Can Vanquish $79.5 Million Punitive Award Against Philip Morris."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Panel Gives Paterson Seven Names for Top Judge": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A state panel on Monday recommended seven candidates to succeed Judith S. Kaye, the first woman to serve as New York's chief judge. The recommendations include two other judges on the Court of Appeals and the state's former chief administrative judge, but no women."
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chambliss wins second term in U.S. Senate; Defeats Jim Martin after arduous runoff campaign": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss defeated Democratic challenger Jim Martin on Tuesday to win re-election to a second term. Chambliss and Martin -- University of Georgia Sigma Chi frat brothers in the 1960s -- faced off in a U.S. Senate runoff that has become the focus of U.S. politics in the wake of the Nov. 4 general election. At stake was the balance of power in the Senate. Despite the gravity of the top race, turnout was light for most of the day."

And Wednesday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article headlined "Republican Wins Runoff for Senator in Georgia" that begins, "Saxby Chambliss, a first-term Republican senator, was re-elected by Georgia voters on Tuesday in a substantial victory, ending Democratic hopes for a 60-vote majority in the Senate that would make it difficult for Republicans to filibuster the Obama administration's legislative agenda."
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"High Court Hears Argument On Power Plants": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Parents' Suit Offers Test of Title IX for Justices": Adam Liptak will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Guantanamo case, a judge tightens the screws on the US; He is insisting that the government disclose any evidence that points to a detainee's innocence in a 'dirty bomb' plot": Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court sides with prosecutors in Redwood City murder case": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a lower court Tuesday to reconsider its ruling granting a new trial to a San Mateo man convicted of murdering a gas station attendant during a 1992 robbery that netted $150."
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Florida Supreme Court hears unique complaint against appeals judge": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Florida Supreme Court has heard a first-of-its-kind ethics complaint against an appellate judge for criticizing a colleague in a written opinion."

Once the video of today's oral argument before the Supreme Court of Florida becomes available online, I will link to it. You can access the documents filed in this proceeding via this link.
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeal by parents of Trolley Square victim rejected; They sought to extend sentence of man who illegally sold gun to killer": Pamela Manson of The Salt Lake Tribune has a news update that begins, "Even after Mackenzie Glade Hunter completed his 15-month prison term this fall for illegally selling a gun to the Trolley Square shooter, the parents of a woman who died in the rampage hoped to make him serve more time. On Tuesday, though, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a request that would have reopened the case and forced a resentencing. The Denver-based court dismissed an appeal by Sue and Ken Antrobus asking that they be declared victims of the unlawful gun sale under the federal Crime Victims' Rights Act."

And The Deseret News provides an update that begins, "Court says Trolley Square shooting victim not a victim in gun case."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.

Today's Tenth Circuit ruling holds that the only method for someone seeking an appellate court's review of a federal district court's decision refusing to designate the person as a victim under the Crime Victims' Rights Act of 2004 is by means of a petition for writ of mandamus.
Posted at 08:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Wheels on the Bus: The Supreme Court tries to imagine its way out of a sex discrimination case." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 07:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Little girl's claims at issue in high court case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Massachusetts girl's awful experience on a school bus is at the heart of a case argued in the Supreme Court Tuesday over limits on lawsuits about sex discrimination in education."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "The problem of claiming too little."

You can access the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Comm., No. 07-1125, at this link.
Posted at 06:13 PM by Howard Bashman



"Don't Delay Over Judges": In this week's issue of Legal Times, Doug Kendall, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, has an op-ed that begins, "No presidential administration in history has been better positioned to get top-flight judges onto the federal bench. With a president and vice president who are both experts in constitutional law, an already distinguished team of legal advisers, and a highly favorable environment on Capitol Hill, this should be, in the immortal words of George Tenet, a 'slam dunk' for the Obama administration. But potential pitfalls still abound on an issue as highly charged as the future of the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, suggesting this list of do's and don'ts."

This past Sunday in The Baltimore Sun, Law Professor Carl Tobias had an op-ed entitled "A judicial priority: Obama should act in an expeditious and bipartisan way to fill the long-vacant appellate seat of Md.'s Francis Murnaghan."

And yesterday's issue of Roll Call contained an article headlined "Jury Is Still Out on Obama Judges" (subscription required for full access).
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"High Court Case Tests Power Plants' Water Rules": On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition," Nina Totenberg had this preview (RealPlayer required) of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc., No. 07-588.

The Court has now posted the transcript of today's oral argument at this link.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"NY court orders resentencing of bin Laden aide": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing Tuesday for a former top aide to Osama bin Laden, who was convicted of stabbing a guard in the face with a sharpened comb."

My earlier coverage of today's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court urged to side with power plants against fish": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Bush administration asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to let the nation's older power plants draw in billions of gallons of water for cooling without installing technology that would best protect fish and aquatic organisms."
Posted at 02:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices chide California-based appeals court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court took aim at one of its favorite targets Tuesday, criticizing a California-based federal appeals court for its ruling in favor of a criminal defendant."

The decision of the Ninth Circuit that the U.S. Supreme Court reversed today can be accessed here.
Posted at 11:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"[T]he district court fell into legal error by holding that a Federal crime of terrorism must involve conduct transcending national boundaries": So holds the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in an opinion issued today.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"I am not sure whether hard cases really do make bad law. I am certain that bad law comes from easy cases made hard. The majority's opinion has turned this into such a case." So begins a dissenting opinion that senior D.C. Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph issued today.
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in an argued case: You can access today's per curiam ruling in Hedgpeth v. Pulido, No. 07-544, at this link.

The case was argued on October 15, 2008, and you can access the oral argument transcript at this link.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court rules on jury instructions."

On a related note, the U.S. Supreme Court deserves recognition and praise for having significantly decreased the delay between when the Court announces opinions and orders and when the Court makes those opinions and orders available for public access at the Court's own web site. In other words, this Term, orders and opinions are appearing at the Court's own web site just a few minutes after those orders and opinions are announced. Before this term, it would often take 30 to 45 minutes, and sometimes even longer, before opinions became available at the Court's web site after they had been announced.
Posted at 10:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"Atheists sue to take God out of state's terrorism law": Today's edition of The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader contains an article that begins, "An atheists-rights group is suing the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security because state law requires the agency to stress 'dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.'" Last Friday, the newspaper reported that "Anti-terror law requires God be acknowledged."

And The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky reports today that "Law's use of God challenged; Security bill subject of suit."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court denies appeal, won't halt retrial of Wecht": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato reports that "High court declines to halt retrial of Wecht."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court weighs power plant costs vs. protecting fish": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Environmentalists and electricity producers square off Tuesday at the Supreme Court over the use of billions of gallons of water to cool power plants and whether enough is being done to protect fish and aquatic organisms."
Posted at 08:29 AM by Howard Bashman


"Criminal libel case centers on Web post; DA charges man in alleged insults of ex-girlfriend": Sunday's edition of The Loveland (Colo.) Connection contained an article that begins, "Web chatters firing off insults about people on community Web sites might think twice next time they press the post button. Larimer County District Attorney Larry Abrahamson charged a 40-year-old Loveland man last month with two counts of criminal libel for posts he allegedly made about his former girlfriend and her attorney on Craigslist.com's 'Rants and Rave' section."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Two worlds collide as lawyer fights for inmate husband; Pamela Griffin battles to get her husband out of the isolation cell that grinds him down; He claims his gang days are over; The government says he's still calling the shots": This lengthy article -- the second in a three-part series -- appears on the front page of today's edition of The Los Angeles Times.

Part one, from Sunday's newspaper, can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Broader medical refusal rule may go far beyond abortion; The Bush administration plans a new 'right of conscience' rule that would allow more workers to refuse more procedures; Critics say it could apply to artificial insemination and birth control": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Most jurors favored felony conviction for Lori Drew in cyber-bullying": This article appears today in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"After Guilty Verdict, Defense Lawyers in HLF Case Focus on Appeal": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Qualcomm wins back a portion of rights; Revoking of patents reversed by court": This article appears today in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Recorder reports today that "Patent Ambush Costs Qualcomm; Underlying case produced one of the largest discovery fiascoes in recent history."

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals wants narrowed ruling against Qualcomm."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Federal Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, December 1, 2008

"Power Station Case Generating Heat In Monterey Bay": Today in The Daily Journal of California, Lawrence Hurley has a front page article that begins, "The delicate issue of how the government should weigh environmental interests against those of big business comes before the U.S. Supreme Court this week."
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gosh Darn Sons of Guns: We have an indecency problem. Really." Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen has this article in the December 3, 2008 issue of The New Republic. The article begins, "On Election Day, as the Supreme Court was debating the Bush administration's decision to fine TV networks for broadcasting 'fleeting utterances' of the words 'fuck' and 'shit,' an obscenity scandal in Britain cast light on the question before the justices: Can a single expletive actually be considered indecent?"
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney general nominee inherits damaged department": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers has this article.
Posted at 08:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Can Lori Drew Verdict Survive the 9th Circuit Court?" Kim Zetter has this post this evening at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog.
Posted at 07:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"AP loses appeal on FOIA request for US Taliban": The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of today's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former official accuses appellate judge of downloading porn": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has an article that begins, "A former federal courts chief is demanding the impeachment or resignation of a prominent California-based appellate judge who is already facing scrutiny over raunchy Internet imagery."

And at his "Suits and Sentences" blog today, Doyle has a post titled "The X-rated judge, continued."
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman



Just Manny being Manny: Although Los Angeles may lose one famous Manny to free agency this winter, another famous Manny continues to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Nearly every Major League Baseball team would love to have Manny Ramirez on its roster, because he is an amazing offensive threat. Whether Judge Real will continue to have meaningful work to do, by contrast, will depend on whether various federal appellate courts allow him to maintain his caseload. Today, in an opinion you can access here, the Ninth Circuit has reassigned to another judge one more of Judge Real's former cases.
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"No Supreme appeal for Wecht": Jason Cato of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a news update that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to consider an appeal by Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, who had hoped to avoid a second federal public corruption trial."
Posted at 07:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"State of the Docket": Tom Goldstein has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 04:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Flattery in a Faux Pas at the Supreme Court": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has this post about today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in which the Attorney General of Colorado referred to Justice David H. Souter as "Justice Ginsburg."

The gaffe appears on page 32 of the oral argument transcript in Kansas v. Colorado, No. 105 Orig.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"50 New Sites Make 2nd Annual ABA Journal Blawg 100": Molly McDonough has this post at the ABA Journal's "Law News Now" blog.

You can access the complete list, and even vote for your favorites in various categories, via this link.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama seeks Justice Dept change, taps Holder as AG": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:03 PM by Howard Bashman


In today's mail: A copy of Brian Doherty's new book, "Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle Over the Second Amendment."

As I noted in this post back on November 18, 2008, the December 2008 issue of Reason magazine contains a lengthy excerpt from the book.
Posted at 12:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"This patent infringement case involves the consequence of silence in the face of a duty to disclose patents in a standards-setting organization": So begins today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp.

The opening paragraph of the Federal Circuit's opinion summarizes today's ruling as follows: "For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the district court's determinations that Qualcomm had a duty to disclose the asserted patents to the JVT, that it breached this duty, and that the JVT misconduct and litigation misconduct were proper bases for the court's exceptional case determination. Because the scope of the remedy of unenforceability as applying to the world was too broad, however, we vacate the unenforceability judgment and remand with instructions to enter an unenforceability remedy limited in scope to H.264-compliant products."

Update: In early news coverage, Reuters provides a report headlined "Qualcomm ruling affirmed, vacated in part-U.S. court."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Eric Holder, a High Achiever Poised to Scale New Heights": This profile appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit holds that The Associated Press has no right to access John Walker Lindh's petitions filed with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Pardon Attorney seeking a reduction in his twenty-year prison sentence: The AP sought access under the Freedom of Information Act. John Walker Lindh, of course, is the so-called "American Taliban."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court refuses to return to Rapanos": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

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

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "High court declines pathologist Wecht's appeal" and "High court turns down pipeline company appeal."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Unhappiness After Stream in Montana Is Open to All": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A group of landowners, including several wealthy out-of-staters, are none too happy that their exclusive use of a scenic trout-rich stream in the Bitterroot Valley is coming to an end. The Montana Supreme Court ruled here recently that the 16-mile-long stream, Mitchell Slough, is open to the public and that the landowners are not entitled to fence it off as part of their private sanctuaries."

You can access last month's ruling of the Supreme Court of Montana at this link. And you can access the briefs filed on appeal via this link.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Smoker lawsuit goes to trial in Broward; A lawsuit by the widow of a Cooper City man who died of lung cancer is the first of some 8,000 tobacco cases in Florida to head to trial": The Miami Herald contains this article today.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Next Attorney General: What has been repaired and what needs improvement at the Justice Department." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Messing With Malpractice Reform: Tort lawyers in Illinois try an end run around the voters." The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "Much good has resulted since Illinois lawmakers joined 35 other states and placed limits on medical damage awards three years ago. Doctors no longer flee the state in droves, and health care is more accessible. But if the trial lawyers prevail in a case heard by the Illinois Supreme Court recently, those trends could be reversed."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Veteran judge in line for SJC; Superior Court's Gants ruled in many high-profile cases": Today's edition of The Boston Globe contains an article that begins, "Governor Deval Patrick today is expected to nominate Superior Court Judge Ralph Gants as an associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, according to an official briefed on the nomination."
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to hear school sex harassment case; Parents sue district under Title IX and civil rights law": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman


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