How Appealing

Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Feds defy judge's order in Islamic group case": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court rejected the Obama administration's attempt Friday to stop a judge in San Francisco from reviewing a challenge to the wiretapping program ordered by former President George W. Bush. Hours later, President Obama's Justice Department filed papers that appeared to defy the judge's order to allow lawyers for an Islamic organization to see a classified surveillance document at the heart of the case. The department said the judge had no power to enforce such an order."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Wiretapping lawsuit may have its day in court; The Obama administration had tried to halt a case challenging Bush's program of spying on terrorism suspects without first getting court approval."

Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Court rules that warrantless surveillance suit can proceed."

And at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog, David Kravets has a post titled "Appeals Court Allows Classified Evidence in Spy Case."

You can view yesterday's Ninth Circuit order by clicking here.
Posted at 11:59 PM by Howard Bashman



"Indefinite delay in Bonds perjury trial": Lance Williams has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Maura Dolan reports that "Barry Bonds trial to be delayed; Federal prosecutors' appeal of judge's ruling to exclude evidence is expected to delay the start of the perjury trial by several weeks, perhaps months."

Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Barry Bonds trial postponed after prosecutors decide to appeal judge's ruling."

And The New York Times reports that "Prosecutors to Appeal Evidence Ruling; Bonds Trial Faces Delay."
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Virginian retains disputed copy of Declaration of Independence": Frank Green has this article today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Washington Post reports today that "Decision Signed, Sealed: Fairfax Man Owns Rare 1776 Copy of Declaration."

And The Portland (Me.) Press Herald reports that "Maine loses fight for rare piece of history; Virginia's high court allows a collector to keep a 1776 copy of the Declaration of Independence."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Virginia at this link.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Illinois' highest-security prison a study in isolation; The state's most dangerous inmates live with sparse human contact, no jobs and little chance for education at Tamms": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court rules to protect identities in online libel case; Decision Internet forum comments sets guidelines for future cases": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "Maryland's Court of Appeals issued a decision yesterday protecting the identity of three anonymous Internet posters and, for the first time, offering guidelines for state courts to follow in libel cases before unmasking online commenters."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Media Need Not Reveal Web Posters' Identities; Ruling Applies 1st Amendment to Internet."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Court of Appeals of Maryland -- that State's highest court -- at this link.
Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Health Workers' 'Conscience' Rule Set to Be Voided": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama facing tough decisions on Guantanamo; Defenders and detractors of the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay are bringing pressure to bear on the Obama administration to make some tough decisions": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 11:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Terrorism Test Case Obama May Not Want": John Schwartz has this news analysis today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Terrorism Suspect Headed to U.S. Court; Obama Orders Military to Transfer Case."

And The Peoria Journal Star contains articles headlined "Al-Marri indicted on terrorism-related charges; Justice Department seeks dismissal of complaint he filed" and "Attorney recalls time with al-Marri."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court looks at prisoners' right to DNA test": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:21 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lest Ye Be Judged: Does America need protection from its out-of-control judges?" Dahlia Lithwick will have this essay in the March 9, 2009 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, February 27, 2009

Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal reports that "Much-Watched Judicial Recusal Case Reaches Supreme Court; More than a dozen amicus briefs have been filed in case that asks the U.S. Supreme Court to decide what standard due process requires."

In other news, "Some Justice Department Lawyers Have Gitmo Conflicts."

And an article is headlined "What's Next for Samuel Kent in Wake of Guilty Plea?"
Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Enemy combatant' expected to be charged; The move in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah Marri may be timed to avoid a showdown in the Supreme Court": Josh Meyer and David G. Savage have this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today's edition of The Washington Post contains an article headlined "'Combatant' Case to Move From Tribunal To U.S. Court."

The New York Times reports that "U.S. Will Give Qaeda Suspect a Civilian Trial."

And The Peoria Journal Star provides a news update headlined "Al-Marri indicted on terrorism-related charges; Justice Department seeks dismissal of complaint he filed."
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bonds' perjury trial delayed indefinitely": Lance Williams of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "Federal prosecutors indefinitely postponed Barry Bonds' trial on perjury charges Friday while they appeal a judge's ruling that put alleged positive steroid tests and other key evidence off limits. The move, announced three days before the trial was to begin, could delay the case for months, legal experts said."
Posted at 09:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"No harm in Pa. pay raise, court rules": Today's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer contains an article that begins, "A panel of federal judges yesterday upheld a lower court decision dismissing claims that state lawmakers and top members of the judiciary conspired to enact the controversial 2005 pay raise."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama's Testing Test: Why is the Justice Department on the wrong side of a Supreme Court case about DNA evidence?" William S. Sessions has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. would leave detention power unsettled": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "The Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon to end the case of an individual captured and held in the U.S. as a terrorism suspect, but did not tell the Court that it is abandoning the claim that it has power to do so."
Posted at 06:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Why Are Court Docs Still Behind Paid Firewall, Joe Lieberman Wants To Know": This afternoon at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog, Ryan Singel has a post that begins, "The head of a powerful Senate committee wants the federal courts to explain why its online database still charges eight cents a page for court documents, and why many of those documents still contain social security numbers and other sensitive information."

The Senator's letter to the Chair of the U.S. Courts Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure can be accessed here.
Posted at 03:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rejects Obama bid to stop wiretapping suit": The Associated Press has a report that begins, " The Obama administration has lost its argument that the state secrets privilege is a good enough reason to stop a lawsuit over the government's warrantless wiretapping program. A federal appeals court in San Francisco has rejected the Justice Department's request for an emergency stay. The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, claimed that national security would be compromised if a lawsuit brought by the U.S. chapter of an Islamic charity was allowed to proceed."
Posted at 03:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Possible delay in Bonds' perjury trial": Lance Williams of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "The government may delay Barry Bonds' trial on perjury charges to appeal a judge's ruling that put key evidence off limits, a prosecutor said Friday."

Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News has an update headlined "Barry Bonds judge: Anderson will go to jail again if he refuses to testify."

The Associated Press reports that "Feds to decide on appeal of Bonds evidence ruling."

And earlier, law.com published an article headlined "Will Feds Swing at Bonds, or Run to Umpires?"
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rounds fills high court spot; Severson, veteran of second circuit, looks forward to new challenge": The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota contains this article today.

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge Severson appointed to Supreme Court."
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Stevens leads exploration of key Court case": Daniel O'Neil has this report online at the First Amendment Center.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Justice Stevens on Oath-Taking and Dolley Madison."
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Enemy combatant case moved into civilian courts": The Associated Press provides this report.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "U.S. charges Al-Marri, seeks end of Court case."

You can view the indictment, unsealed today, at this link.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court upholds firing of trooper in KKK case": The Omaha World-Herald has this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Neb. court upholds firing of trooper for Klan link."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Nebraska at this link.
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman



Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting: In today's newspaper, he has articles headlined "Obama administration backs telecom immunity" and "U.S. to yield marijuana jurisdiction to states."
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge in Bonds Case Has Reputation as Quick Study": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Susan Illston was an accomplished trial lawyer when the N.F.L. hired her in the 1980s to fight a referee's wrongful termination lawsuit. But she knew nothing about football."

Today's newspaper also reports that "News Organizations Seek to Unseal Bonds Juror Questionnaires."
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Va. Supreme Court says collector can keep Declaration of Independence copy": Frank Green of The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a news update that begins, "A wealthy Fairfax County collector can keep a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence claimed by the small Maine town where it was sent in 1776, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled this morning."

And The Associated Press has a report headlined "Court: Va. man owns 1776 copy of Declaration."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Virginia at this link.
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawsuit Cracks Open Online Anonymity; Shortcomings in the Law Allow Cyberdefamation Campaigns, Legal Expert Says": ABCNews.com provides this report.

Update: And at "The Legality" -- an online law journal published by students at the University of Oregon Knight School of Law -- you can access a related item titled "You Read What About Me on the Internet?!: Anonymous Online Libel."
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Palin says bill would protect children; Abortion: Parents would have to give consent for girls under 17." This article appears today in The Anchorage Daily News.

And in somewhat related coverage, The Associated Press provides a report headlined "AP Source: Obama to rescind Bush abortion rule."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pentagon report on Guantanamo detainees: incomplete? The Pentagon should have included more laws in its assessment of conditions, some experts argue." Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer says Kent deserves pension": Today in The Houston Chronicle, Mary Flood has an article that begins, "Judge Samuel Kent is a psychologically broken man who served well on the bench for 18 years and deserves mercy and his pension, his lawyer said Thursday."

And today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, columnist James Gill has an op-ed entitled "Most likely to be impeached?"
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court Decides an Important Case the Wrong Way: Why It Held that the Government Lacked the Power to Become a Trustee on Behalf of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians." Edward Lazarus has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Sources: Feds moving al-Marri to Illinois court." The Peoria Journal Star has a news update that begins, "Nearly six years after he was whisked away after being named an enemy combatant, it appears Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri will come back to the land of Lincoln."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court declines to revive pay raise lawsuit": The AP has a report that begins, "A federal appeals court Thursday declined to reinstate a lawsuit over how a state government pay raise law was rammed through the Pennsylvania Legislature nearly four years ago. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Harrisburg-based district court judge's decision in 2006 to throw out the lawsuit by Common Cause of Pennsylvania and others, saying the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to sue."

My earlier coverage of today's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge dissolves gag order in Kent case": Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle has this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Review requested of convicted judge's retirement."
Posted at 08:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Stevens: No White House oath needed for justices." Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Justice John Paul Stevens said Thursday Supreme Court justices shouldn't take their judicial oaths at the White House, calling it 'inappropriate symbolism' for an independent branch of government."
Posted at 08:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Media urge unsealing of juror data in Bonds trial": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecutors Prepare Charges Against Final 'Enemy Combatant' in U.S." The Washington Post has this news update.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court trial for Al-Marri?"
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Montana church may shield donations to gay marriage ban; The Baptist church in East Helena isn't obliged to make campaign finance disclosures because its support for the Montana Marriage Protection Amendment was 'extremely minimal,' an appeals court panel ruled": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Appeals court: State violated church's rights."

And law.com reports that "9th Circuit Backs Church on Disclosure of Donors to Campaign Against Gay Marriage."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Plaintiffs allege that, for the past ten years, members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court have traded judicial decisions favorable to the Pennsylvania General Assembly in return for the legislature's funding the state judiciary." Today, however, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision affirming the dismissal of the action due to plaintiffs' lack of standing.

Because Pennsylvania's Governor, Edward G. Rendell, is both a defendant in the lawsuit and the spouse of a judge currently serving on the Third Circuit, the three-judge panel that issued today's ruling consisted entirely of federal appellate judges sitting by designation from other U.S. Courts of Appeals.
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Media ask judge in Kent case to end gag order": Mary Flood has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.

And the newspaper also reports today that "U.S. House committee looks into Kent case."
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Free the Bush memos: The Obama administration should make public the rest of the memos drafted by his predecessor's Office of Legal Counsel." Jameel Jaffer has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Qwest ex-CEO Nacchio loses appeal; Ordered to begin 6-year jail sentence": This article appears today in The Denver Post, along with articles headlined "Nacchio case could spur others"; "Recovery of fees unlikely for Qwest; Nacchio's final legal tally could be $75 million, but an expert says it might be 'very tough' to get any of it back"; and "Jurors' Reaction: 'Refreshing' affirmation of judicial system."

The Rocky Mountain News today contains articles headlined "Joe Nacchio's conviction reinstated; Former Qwest CEO faces prison; Supreme Court his last chance" and "Getting on high court docket no easy task; Opinions mixed on case landing before justices." In addition, Scott Robinson has an op-ed entitled "Nacchio's number not up yet."

And Al Lewis of Dow Jones Newswires has an essay entitled "A saga not near its end."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's en banc Tenth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Denies a Religion Its Monument in a Park": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "City Can Reject Religious Display; Supreme Court Backs Utah Officials."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court rejects free-speech argument for 'Seven Aphorisms' display; Monuments and statutes in public parks speak for the government and are not equivalent to a speaker standing in a public park voicing his views, justices rule unanimously in a Utah case."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic has an article headlined "Justices: City can refuse monument; Utah park doesn't have to take marker from small religious sect."

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that "City Is Cleared to Reject a Religious Monument."

In The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey reports that "Supreme Court rules Utah city can reject religious sect's monument; Lawyers for the Summum religion had argued that its monument should be allowed in a public park where the Ten Commandments were already displayed."

And law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Unanimous in Speech, Antitrust Rulings."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court questions use of ID theft law against illegal workers; The justices appear sympathetic to an undocumented immigrant who claimed that he didn't know his fake identification had an actual person's Social Security number": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak and Julia Preston have an article headlined "Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Identity-Theft Law in Immigration Cases."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"N.J. high court divided on police car searches": Today's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer contains an article that begins, "A divided New Jersey Supreme Court yesterday defined parameters for when police can search a car without a warrant, but the dissenting justices said the ruling created a legal 'quagmire' that would hinder officers."

And The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reports today that "Warrantless car search rules stand; Decision forms task force to study telephonic, electronic procedures."

You can access yesterday's 4-3 ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling near on privacy issues in Seroquel case": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "Does the world have the right to know about negative studies on AstraZeneca's potent antipsychotic drug Seroquel? Or whether company representatives promoted the drug for unapproved uses? And what about details of sexual relationships between Wayne Macfadden, AstraZeneca's former U.S. medical director for Seroquel, and two women who researched and wrote papers supporting the drug's safety and efficacy? A federal judge in Orlando may answer those questions as soon as today in a case stemming from personal-injury claims by 15,000 people that Seroquel triggered weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems."
Posted at 08:21 AM by Howard Bashman


"For 20 at Guantanamo, Court Victories Fall Short": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. Nominee Avoids Confrontation at Hearing": Today in The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis has an article that begins, "Newly changed political realities were on vivid display on Wednesday as the Senate Judiciary Committee met to question Dawn Johnsen, President Obama's nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel."

And The Indianapolis Star reports today that "IU staffer's ideals questioned; Law professor gets bipartisan scrutiny at hearing to lead Justice Department unit."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas says tribes will fight court ruling": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an article that begins, "Narragansett Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas vowed yesterday that his tribe along with others nationwide will go to Congress, the White House and even the United Nations in seeking to undo a U.S. Supreme Court decision that blocks the federal government's ability to hold lands for certain tribes."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Justices sympathetic to immigrant in ID theft case": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has this report.

On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition," Nina Totenberg previewed the oral argument in an audio segment entitled "High Court Hears Illegal Worker's ID Theft Case" (RealPlayer required).

And yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "Targeting Illegal Immigrants Through ID Theft Laws" (RealPlayer required).

You can access the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Flores-Figueroa v. United States, No. 08-108, at this link.
Posted at 10:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge in sex crimes case could face impeachment": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Rules Against Religious Marker": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Thou Shalt Not Blog: Obama's OLC Nominee discovers the perils of 'blogging, advocating, and speeching.'" Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Experts: Nacchio appeal not a certainty." The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Legal analysts are divided over whether the Supreme Court would re-examine expert witness rules if former Qwest Communications chief Joe Nacchio appeals his conviction on $52 million worth of illegal stock sales."
Posted at 06:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senators Question OLC Nominee on National Security": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," David Ingram has a post that begins, "The nominee to lead the Office of Legal Counsel faced questions today about the same set of issues that occupied the office under the Bush administration: the legal limits of the executive branch in preventing terrorism."
Posted at 05:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Should Supreme Court Justices Have Term Limits?" This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Talk of the Nation."
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"AG Holder says closing Guantanamo won't be easy": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Posner writes faster than publishers can publish": At the "Brainiac" blog of The Boston Globe, Christopher Shea has a post that begins, "How fast does the prolific law professor and appellate judge Richard Posner write? Faster than the Harvard University Press can edit."
Posted at 04:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ysursa puts Roberts' stamp on union-fees debate": Tony Mauro has this news analysis online at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in ceded-lands dispute": The Honolulu Advertiser has this news update, along with an update headlined "Hawaiians plan protests nationwide." In addition, the print edition of today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Hawaii ceded-lands bills differ on which properties OHA would get" and "Decision probably months away."

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has a news update headlined "Hawaiian protests coincide with Supreme Court hearing."

And The Associated Press reports that "Hawaii argues over land dispute at Supreme Court."

You can access the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, No. 07-1372, at this link.
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bar Association Recommends Akin Gump's Millett for 4th Circuit": This post appears today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 03:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court sides with Pleasant Grove": The Deseret News has an update that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that Pleasant Grove cannot be forced to place a Salt Lake City-based religious sect's "Seven Aphorisms of Summum" in its park, even though the city already displays other religious monuments like the Ten Commandments. But an attorney for Summum told the Deseret News the fight was not over."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "Religious group's monument does not fall under free speech; Utah city is not required to allow 'Seven Aphorisms' in park beside Ten Commandments, court rules."

Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Court: Religious Group Does Not Have Right to Erect Monument in Utah Park."

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Justice Alito 'Imagines' John Lennon."
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Full court upholds Nacchio insider trading conviction": The Denver Post has a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court in Denver today upheld Joe Nacchio's criminal insider trading conviction, overturning an initial three-judge panel's decision to grant the former Qwest chief executive a new trial." An additional news update is headlined "Qwest unlikely to recapture Nacchio legal fees."

The Rocky Mountain News has an update headlined "Court reinstates Nacchio's insider trading conviction."

The Associated Press reports that "Court reinstates conviction of former Qwest CEO."

And Bloomberg News reports that "Nacchio's Conviction, Prison Term Reinstated by Court."

You can access at this link today's 5-4 ruling of the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Posted at 03:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules for Utah city in religious marker case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a small religious group cannot force a city in Utah to place a granite marker in a local park that already is home to a Ten Commandments display."

Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. delivered the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court today in Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, No. 07-665. Everyone other than Justice David H. Souter joined in Justice Alito's opinion. Justice Souter issued an opinion concurring in the judgment. Justice John Paul Stevens issued a concurring opinion, in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined. Justice Antonin Scalia issued a concurring opinion, in which Justice Clarence Thomas joined. And Justice Stephen G. Breyer issued a concurring opinion in which no one else joined. The oral argument transcript in the case can be accessed here.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court allows religious monument."

The Court today also issued its ruling in a second argued case, Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. linkLine Communications, Inc., No. 07-512. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. issued the majority opinion, in which Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito joined. Justice Breyer issued an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg joined. The oral argument transcript in the case can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"E.P.A. Is Told to Reconsider Its Standards on Pollutants": 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 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Classified Documents Allowed in Espionage Trial": Jerry Markon has this article today in The Washington Post.

Today in The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis reports that "Ex-Lobbyists in U.S. Case of Espionage Win a Round."

And The Washington Times reports that "Lobbyists win classified leaks ruling; Government bar set higher."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fourth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Horse-slaughtering plants endorsed by House": Today's edition of The Helena Independent Record contains an article that begins, "The Montana House Tuesday easily endorsed a bill to allow and encourage horse-slaughtering plants in the state, as supporters said it will address a national crisis of horse abandonment and bring jobs to Montana."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"And Unequal Justice for Some": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in the case of an illegal immigrant who provided an employer with phony identification numbers."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawsuit Over Leaking Law School Library Dismissed": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "A Superior Court judge in Waterbury has thrown out the state's lawsuit against the contractors and designers who built the leaking University of Connecticut law school library, saying the legal action was filed beyond the time limit set by the state's statute of limitations."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"In U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Narragansett Indian Tribe loses fight for sovereignty over 31-acre parcel in Charlestown": This article appears today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal, along with an article headlined "U.S. Supreme Court ruling deals blow to Massachusetts tribes' casino plans."

And The Boston Globe reports today that "Ruling puts tribe hope for casino in doubt; US justices bar land trust tactic."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



In commentary available online from FindLaw: Anthony J. Sebok has an essay entitled "The Recent, Eight-Million-Dollar Verdict Against Philip Morris and in Favor of A Smoker's Family: Why It Will Likely Be Reversed as Unconstitutional."

And Michael C. Dorf has an essay entitled "Can Anyone Protect Clients From Bad Lawyering? Some Lessons of a Recent Appeals Court Case."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Congressman wants Kent impeached; He also wants to deny retirement for judge who pleaded guilty in sex-crimes case": Today in The Houston Chronicle, Mary Flood has an article that begins, "A ranking congressional judiciary committee Republican said Tuesday he will call for the impeachment of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent, who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice this week. U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said Tuesday that once Kent has been sentenced he will introduce a resolution to impeach the 59-year-old jurist who is seeking to retire with full pay." In addition, columnist Rick Casey has an op-ed entitled "The Judge Sam soap opera continues."

Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal reports that "Kent's abrupt retirement shrouded in mystery."

And at the web site of the Houston Press, Richard Connelly has a blog post titled "What We Missed Because Of Judge Kent's Plea Deal."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Justices Hear Cases on Paying for Superfund Cleanups": Adam Liptak will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times.

And online at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick has a Supreme Court dispatch headlined "Superfun!!! Toxic sludge oozes at the Supreme Court."

You can access the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Burlington N. & S.F.R. Co. v. United States at this link.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Citing Cost, States Consider Halting Death Penalty": This article will appear Wednesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge questions law giving telecoms immunity": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal judge in San Francisco is raising questions about the constitutionality of a law designed to dismiss suits against telecommunications companies accused of cooperating with government wiretapping. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has asked President Obama's Justice Department to present its views by Wednesday on whether the law gives the attorney general too much power to decide whether a company is immune from lawsuits."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court: Classified info OK to use at trial." The AP has this report about a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued today.

And at his blog, Josh Gerstein has a post titled "Big Defense Win in Aipac Case, But Beware the Footnote."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Turmoil on legal team for Canadian at Gitmo": The Associated Press has this report.
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court orders EPA to reconsider soot threshold": The Associated Press has this report about a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Specter Tries to Explore Kagan's Constitutional Views": David Ingram has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times" about these answers that the nominee recently provided to the Senator's written questions.
Posted at 06:22 PM by Howard Bashman


Today's U.S. Supreme Court rulings in argued cases: The Supreme Court of the United States today issued three rulings in argued cases.

1. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. issued the opinion of the Court in Ysursa v. Pocatello Ed. Assn., No. 07-869. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. In news coverage, Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press has a report headlined "Court: State can stop union political deductions."

2. Justice Clarence Thomas issued the opinion of the Court in Carcieri v. Salazar, No. 07-526. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. In news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court rules for state in American Indian land case." And The Providence (R.I.) Journal has a news update headlined "Court rules for RI in Narragansett tribal case." I guess that Theodore B. Olson wasn't such a bad choice to argue for Rhode Island after all.

3. And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued the opinion of the Court in United States v. Hayes, No. 07-608. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. Mark Sherman of the Associated Press reports that "Court upholds conviction in guns case." David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "High court keeps guns away from domestic abusers; Justices uphold broader interpretation of law aimed at people convicted of felony and misdemeanor violence." At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Second Amendment Absent in Supreme Court Gun Ruling."

Finally, at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Some limits on political donations upheld" reporting on all three rulings.
Posted at 06:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court to weigh dispute over Mojave cross": Tony Mauro has this news analysis online at the First Amendment Center.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Intriguing issues about religion."
Posted at 05:52 PM by Howard Bashman



In yesterday's mail: "In the Name of Justice," edited by Timothy Lynch and published by the Cato Institute. The contributors include several notable appellate judges.

And The Green Bag's "2009 Almanac and Reader," featuring, among other things, the writings of several notable appellate judges.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Kent accepts plea deal, retires; Trial 'would have been long, embarrassing and difficult for all involved,' defense attorney says": The Houston Chronicle contains this article today. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Kent's guilty plea: Galveston federal judge betrayed a sacred trust with his despicable conduct." And columnist Lisa Falkenberg has an op-ed entitled "Is Kent getting off easy?"

The New York Times reports today that "Plea Deal Ends Sexual Abuse Case Against Federal Judge in Texas."

And The Galveston County Daily News reports today that "Women's group, law experts weigh in on Kent plea."
Posted at 04:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Solicitor General asked to weigh in on 9/11 suit; The request from the U.S. Supreme Court may indicate a close hearing": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: This morning, I'll be arguing on appeal for the plaintiff/appellant in a case in which The Legal Intelligencer of Philadelphia previously reported that "JNOV Wipes Out Verdict of $1.5 Million in Hormone Replacement Case."

The appeal is being heard by a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, sitting in Philadelphia.

My client's Brief for Appellant and Reply Brief for Appellant/Response Brief for Cross-Appellee are both available online.

Additional posts will appear here later today.

Update: The oral argument seemed to go quite well.
Posted at 06:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Federal district judges sitting by designation with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: In response to this post of mine from last night, Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook emails:
District judges have indeed begun to sit with the Seventh Circuit, after a gap of more than 15 years.

This is not because the circuit needs assistance; our caseload has not had a net increase over the past five years. Anyway, asking active district judges to sit with a court of appeals does not increase the judicial system's capacity, since time devoted to appeals is lost to the district court.

I have invited the more recent appointees to the district court (those who have served five years or less) to sit with the court of appeals, so that they may get better acquainted with how the appellate process works in the Seventh Circuit. I also have urged judges of the court of appeals to sit occasionally on the district court. The judicial system as a whole is stronger when its members have experience with the process from beginning to end. Judicial knowledge and insight yield benefits for litigants. All of the circuit's district judges with five years or less or service have accepted and will sit with the Seventh Circuit for two days each before the end of May. Judge Kendall, who sat on January 20 and 22, is the first.

There are collateral benefits when appellate judges and district judges get to know one another as colleagues, instead of just people who meet occasionally at conferences and receptions--or who engage in a back-and-forth in opinions in an attempt explain why the other made a legal error. Working cooperatively helps.

The program is beginning with the more recent appointments. If it proves successful, invitations will be extended to district judges who have served longer. But I do not plan to invite any judge (district or appellate) from outside the circuit; those invitations would not have the benefits I've mentioned.

I thank Chief Judge Easterbrook for offering this explanation.
Posted at 06:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 23, 2009

"On Return, Ginsburg Is Quick to Question": Adam Liptak will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Liberals Use Supreme Court Gun Case to Bolster Other Rights": law.com's Tony Mauro has this report.
Posted at 10:38 PM by Howard Bashman


Isn't that "special"? What differentiates a "special concurrence" from an ordinary, run-of-the-mill concurrence? A ruling that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today raises that question, as two of the three judges on the panel "specially concurred" in the lead opinion of the third judge.

The author of the first special concurrence states that he joins in the lead opinion in full, making the concurrence perhaps somewhat less special than if it had sought to accomplish something utterly bizarre. And the second of the two special concurrences offers no reasoning whatsoever, suggesting that it is little more than an ordinary (and therefore not particularly special) concurrence in the judgment.

In news coverage of the substance of the ruling, The Associated Press reports that "Amnesty International wins round in speech lawsuit."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Seventh Circuit again begins allowing U.S. District Judges to sit by designation on that federal appellate court's three-judge panels: See, for example, this ruling issued today.

If any reliable explanation for this change should reach me, I'll more than gladly pass it along to the readers of this blog.
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. District Court Judge Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice": The U.S. Department of Justice issued this news release today.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times is reporting: In Tuesday's newspaper, he will have articles headlined "Supreme Court to hear Mojave cross case Justices will decide whether the monument can stand in a national park to honor fallen soldiers; It will be the Roberts court's first chance to rule on separation of church and state"

and

"Supreme Court won't hear appeal in patronage fraud case; Aides to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley were convicted of 'honest services fraud' in awarding city jobs based on political connections; Justice Antonin Scalia dissents, calling the law too vague."
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Marriage ruling gave gay people legal protection": Greg Moran has this article today in The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Secret' deadly for Montana town saturated in asbestos, prosecutors say; Trial begins in the case of W.R. Grace company, accused of knowingly exposing Libby, Mont., residents to asbestos; About 1,200 have sickened or died; The defense says there was no conspiracy": The Los Angeles Times has this news update.
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Ginsburg Returns to Work; Less Than 3 Weeks After Cancer Surgery, She Is an Active Participant on the Bench": Robert Barnes will have this article Tuesday in The Washington Post.

And The Louisville Courier-Journal has a news update headlined "Bunning apologizes for Ginsburg comments."
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: I have a work-related meeting out of the office this afternoon. As a result, additional posts will appear here this evening.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Kent accepts plea deal and retires from bench; Trial 'would have been long, embarrassing and difficult for all involved,' defense attorney says": Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle has this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Federal judge pleads guilty before start of trial."
Posted at 11:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court grants religious symbol case, five others": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

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

In addition to granting review in six cases, the Court also called for the views of the Solicitor General in two cases.

And Justice Antonin Scalia issued this dissent from the denial of certiorari in a case seeking to challenge the constitutionality of, and clarify the meaning of, "honest services" fraud under the federal mail and wire fraud statutes.

In early news coverage from The Associated Press, "Ginsburg in court after surgery"; "Court will rule in dispute over 8-foot cross"; "Court to rule on death sentence for neo-Nazi"; "Court rejects appeal from convicted Daley aides"; "Court rules against al-Qaida member, a US citizen"; "Court turns down utilities over mercury emissions"; "Court won't revisit Holocaust insurance settlement"; "Court turns down FTC in Rambus case"; and "Court won't revive Kentucky teen's lawsuit."
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"W.R. Grace asbestos trial to open today; Md. firm, former managers charged in Mont. pollution and cover-up": This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun.

As I noted in this post from last week, The Missoulian is providing extensive local coverage of the trial.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to tackle judicial conflict of interest; At issue in a West Virginia case is whether big spending on a judge's election can create an unconstitutional 'appearance of bias'": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Roberts's Portfolio: Why stock investments and Supreme Court service don't mix." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"A 'Ticking Time Bomb' Goes Off: When Abdallah Al-Ajmi Returned to Kuwait After Nearly Four Years at Guantanamo, His Family Tried to Get Him to Move On; But He Didn't Want to Let Go." This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Kansas City Star reports today that "Future of Gitmo detainees raises many questions."

And The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "Free the Uighurs: It's time to untie the legal knot keeping 17 Chinese Muslim dissidents at Guantanamo."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice for American Indians": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The federal government has a long history of cheating American Indians, and not all of this dirty dealing is in the distant past. On Monday, the Supreme Court hears arguments in a suit by the Navajo, who lost millions of dollars' worth of coal royalties because the government helped a coal company underpay for their coal. A lower court ruled for the Navajo Nation. The Supreme Court should affirm that well-reasoned decision."
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


In the March 2, 2009 issue of The New Yorker: Jeffrey Toobin has a "Comment" headlined "Voter, Beware: The Supreme Court takes on a civil-rights landmark."

And Lauren Collins has a "Talk of the Town" essay headlined "Gitmo Get-Together: Defense lawyers celebrate the order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jury selection in Kent trial starts today; Federal judge's sex crimes case being watched nationwide": Mary Flood has this front page article today in The Houston Chronicle.

And today in The Wall Street Journal, Nathan Koppel reports that "Criminal Trial of U.S. Judge Set to Open."
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama And Terror Law: More Of The Same? Early Decisions By Obama Justice Dept. Seem To Follow Precedent Of Bush's Terror Policy." CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this new installment of his "CourtWatch" column.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"High Court returns after break; Ginsburg expected": The Associated Press has this report.
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Legal Experts Propose Limiting Justices' Powers, Terms": Robert Barnes will have this article Monday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bunning: Justice Ginsberg likely will be dead in 9 months." The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky has this news update.
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Big asbestos case in Libby, Mont., goes to trial" and "Hawaii is latest civil unions battleground."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


In the current issue of The Harvard Law Record: The publication contains articles headlined "Kagan sails through confirmation hearing; Senators praise Dean's public service, credentials; probe Obama administration policies on detainees, terror"; "HLS veterans defend Kagan from 'anti-military' charges; Praise Obama administration choices, but describe difficult road ahead on military justice questions"; and "Starr Struck: Clinton's old investigator speaks on SCOTUS, Prop 8."
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"WSJ cuts lead Law Blog reporter": Mark Obbie had this post yesterday at his "LawBeat" blog.
Posted at 10:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jury selection in Kent trial starts Monday; Federal judge's sex crimes case being watched nationwide": Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle has a news update that begins, "History will be made if a jury is selected as scheduled on Monday in the felony trial of U.S. District Judge Sam Kent, the first federal judge to be accused of federal sex crimes. The case is fascinating to area lawyers and those who practice the maritime law Kent has overseen for 17 years in Galveston. It will be watched by federal judges and legal scholars around the nation. If Kent is convicted, it could mean the U.S. Congress will have to take an interest, too."
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"From Captive To Suicide Bomber: Accused of Being Little More Than a Low-Level Taliban Fighter, Abdallah al-Ajmi Was Held by the U.S. for Nearly Four Years; After His Release, He Blew Up an Iraqi Army Outpost; Did Guantanamo Propel Him to Do It?" This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

And Monday in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "The case of the Guantanamo detainee who wanted to see the sun: Yasin Ismail's case highlights the difficulty of verifying conditions of confinement." The newspaper will also contain an article headlined "Canadian churches take up cause of five Guantanamo detainees; The churches have applied to help the men -- who cannot be safely returned home -- resettle as refugees in Canada."
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"High Court to Hear DNA Testing Case; Justices to Debate Whether Convicts Should Be Guaranteed Access to Latest Techniques": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Upholds Detainee Policy in Afghanistan": Charlie Savage has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge's ethics case may hinge on phone calls; Recollections differ about Keller's two exchanges on day of execution": Today in The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell has an article that begins, "Sharon Keller picked up the phone at her Austin home two times on the day death row inmate Michael Richard would be executed. What she said could determine whether Keller continues as presiding judge of the state's highest criminal court."

And today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Rick Casey has an op-ed entitled "A bizarre way to judge our judges."
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Federal judge's trial on sex charges to begin": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "When U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent enters a courtroom on Monday, he'll be making history, but not the good kind. Kent will join the handful of U.S. federal judges who have been a defendant, and he is the first charged with a sex crime. The judge, 59, is accused of fondling two female court employees as he tried to force them into sex acts. Jury selection in his trial is set to begin Monday. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000."
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Showdown could leave our courts in chaos; As Gov. Pawlenty looks to cut budgets, the chief justice he appointed is playing hardball over the justice system's future": The Minneapolis Star Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson bundled into his car on a recent bitter Sunday, set his satellite radio to a favorite old-time radio serial about a crusading insurance investigator, Johnny Dollar, and headed for Moorhead. There, he would embark on his own crusade to save Minnesota's justice system as he knows it. Just seven months into the job, Magnuson is facing off against the man who appointed him, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, over budget cuts. The clash could be titanic."
Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"3 years later, state executions still on hold": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And yesterday's issue of The Stockton Record contained an article headlined "3 years later, Morales waits; Stay of execution for convicted Stockton man has turned into a marathon experience unlikely to end anytime soon."
Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court ruling makes it easier to sue merchants; Consumers no longer required to ask retailer for a refund first": Today's edition of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains an article that begins, "Consumer advocates are hailing a Supreme Court ruling that allows individuals who believe they have been cheated by a merchant to file a lawsuit under the state Consumer Fraud Act without first requesting a refund or giving the merchant an opportunity to make amends."

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

Last week's ruling from New Jersey's highest court appears to provide good news for a pro se attorney whose New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim involving a product promising to enlarge penis size was rejected late last month by New Jersey's intermediate appellate court. My earlier coverage of that ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court to hear faith case; Ky. funding of Baptist kids' home challenged": The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court next month will hear arguments in a case involving a Kentucky Baptist children's program and the role of government funding for faith-based institutions. A district court judge in Louisville last year dismissed the case in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court case that narrowed taxpayers' rights to sue over allegations of state-sponsored religion."
Posted at 10:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why Marbury v. Madison Still Matters: More than 200 years after the high court ruled, the decision in that landmark case continues to resonate." Cliff Sloan and David McKean will have this article in the March 2, 2009 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 10:39 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court case focuses on issue of judges' bias": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this article today in The Baltimore Sun.

The Sunday Gazette-Mail of Charleston, West Virginia reports today that "Ala. AG requested to argue for Massey; U.S. Supreme Court denies motion; set to hear case in March."

And The Detroit Free Press reports that "Michigan parties weigh in on Caperton v. Massey." In addition, columnist Ron Dzwonkowski has an op-ed entitled "When cash, courts and politics mix: Supreme Court should order stricter rules on when judges should step out of cases."
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"A newspaper in Wonderland will culminate in Jabberwocky": Today in The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania, columnist Paul Carpenter has an op-ed that begins, "The bewildering Wonderland of symbiosis linking certain parts of our judicial system, as Alice might put it, gets interestinger and interestinger."
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court hears immigrant's ID theft case": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has this report.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Review Finds Detainees' Treatment Legal; Pentagon Report on Guantanamo Urges More Interaction for Some, Official Says": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Guantanamo Meets Geneva Rules, Pentagon Study Finds."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Guantanamo meets Geneva Convention standards, Pentagon study finds; The report to be presented to President Obama recommends some changes at the U.S. military prison but concludes that detainees are treated humanely; Rights groups criticize the findings."

And The Associated Press has an article headlined "Official: Pentagon report defends Guantanamo."
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling against age limit on game sales upheld": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to reconsider S.F. strip-search ruling": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court agreed today to reconsider its ruling that San Francisco violated the rights of thousands of jail inmates who were strip-searched without any evidence that they were carrying weapons or contraband."

You can access yesterday's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granting rehearing en banc at this link.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama administration tries to kill e-mail case": Pete Yost of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "The Obama administration, siding with former President George W. Bush, is trying to kill a lawsuit that seeks to recover what could be millions of missing White House e-mails."
Posted at 10:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Top court limits insurance for drive-by victim; Justices rule uninsured motorist coverage can't pay medical costs": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger yesterday contained an article that begins, "A woman injured in a drive-by shooting in 2005 cannot have her medical expenses paid for by the uninsured motorist coverage of her automobile insurance policy, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday. Though the court, in its 4-3 ruling written by Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto, said the woman's injuries qualified as an 'accident,' the majority concluded the shooting was not caused by 'the ownership, maintenance, operation or use of an uninsured motor vehicle.'"

You can access Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 05:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lingle urged to drop appeal": Today's edition of The Honolulu Advertiser contains an article that begins, "Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials yesterday made a last-ditch effort to persuade Gov. Linda Lingle to set aside a U.S. Supreme Court challenge over ceded lands, warning that it could have grave consequences to Hawaiians-only policies if the state is successful."
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Feds: Block lawyers from classified document." Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The Obama administration filed an emergency request with a federal appeals court Friday to stop a judge in San Francisco from allowing lawyers challenging the government's wiretapping program to see a classified surveillance document. The document is the central evidence in the last remaining lawsuit over the legality of former President George W. Bush's 2001 order for the National Security Administration to intercept phone calls and e-mails between Americans and suspected terrorists in other nations."

And at the "Legal Beat" blog of CQ Politics, Keith Perine has a post titled "Justice Department Again Defends Bush on State Secrets."
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Tough Cases Await U.S. Supreme Court Justices; Critical cases affect business, employees and environment, among other issues": Marcia Coyle will have this article Monday in The National Law Journal.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Publishers of sex photos need to keep records of age, federal court rules": The Cleveland Plain Dealer today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a ruling that publishers of sexually explicit photographs must keep age and identity records of those pictured and make the records available for inspection by the government. The ruling stems from a case originally filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland 14 years ago by a local company that publishes magazines aimed at 'swingers' - adults who seek multiple sex partners."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Sixth Circuit en banc ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, February 20, 2009

"Attack of the Libel Tourists: Weak laws abroad threaten First Amendment freedoms here; Congress could step in to help." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Will Obama back 'truth commission' to probe Bush practices?" Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers have this report.

And The Providence (R.I.) Journal reports today that "Whitehouse in favor of 'truth' panel."
Posted at 08:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawmakers Seek to Return Right to Sue Device Makers": This article appears today in The New York Times. And you can view a related graphic by clicking here.
Posted at 08:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama's legal changes may be fewer than expected": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.

Today in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey has an article headlined "Guantanamo detention: How harsh is it? President Obama must decide whether to embrace or change Bush's detention policies."

In related news, at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Joe Palazzolo has a post titled "Obama Stays the Course on Bagram."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "U.S.: No habeas rights at Bagram."
Posted at 07:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Feds Propose Storing Internet User Data for 2 Years": David Kravets has this post at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"SG Won't Disavow Bush Position in Controversial DNA Case": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ban on violent video games thrown out": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has this news update.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman


Three-judge Ninth Circuit panel affirms federal district court's entry of summary judgment striking down a California law that imposed restrictions and a labeling requirement on the sale or rental of "violent video games" to minors: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

In early news coverage, Reuters reports that "Court finds Calif. video game law unconstitutional."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court strikes down California video game law."
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Considers Hearing 'Wardrobe Malfunction' Case; The supposedly obscene flash of R&B singer Janet Jackson's right breast during her half time performance led to what the Federal Communications Commission called an 'unprecedented number' of complaints about the broadcast": FOXNews.com provides this report.
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman


The en banc Sixth Circuit delivers bad news "to all adults who desire in any fashion to create, share, or disseminate non-obscene, sexually-explicit depictions of themselves, or other adults, without relinquishing their anonymity": So warns one of the opinions dissenting from today's 11-6 en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Connection Distributing Co. v. Holder. Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton delivered the majority opinion for the en banc court.

In early coverage, the Adult Video News web site has a report headlined "Appeals Court Rules 2257 Constitutional in 6th Circuit" (images accompanying the article may not be safe for work).

Back on October 23, 2007, a divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel issued a decision striking down the federal statute in question. My earliest coverage of that ruling appeared in a post titled "Majority on partially divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel strikes down as facially unconstitutional the recordkeeping requirements federal criminal law places on producers of images of 'actual sexually explicit conduct' to verify the ages of those depicted in the images."
Posted at 02:11 PM by Howard Bashman



A little added excitement in court: Yesterday's edition of The Palm Beach Post contained an article headlined "Mice scamper, leap, fall from ceilings in the Palm Beach County Courthouse."
Posted at 12:32 PM by Howard Bashman


In posts of note this morning at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times." David Ingram has a post titled "What Role Will ABA Have in Judicial Nominations?"

And Tony Mauro has a post titled "Justice Stevens and Marbury v. Madison."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Southwest [Airlines] representative responded with alarm and declared 'you said the "b" word, you said the "b" word.'" When an airline's employee whose job it is to book travel reservations over the telephone concludes the call by asking whether the customer has any "comments, questions, or suggestions," it's probably best if the customer does not offer security-related advice on how airlines can reduce the risk of in-flight bombings. At least that seems to be the lesson of a ruling that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.

The majority in today's ruling reinstates a pro se litigant's lawsuit claiming that, as a result of the call, he became the subject of unlawful government monitoring. Cassandra Sturkie Bernstein of Latham and Watkins argued the case as court-appointed amicus curiae in support of the plaintiff-appellant. We mention her because she has a cool name, she has apparently spent some time pursuing her education in Australia, and, in an obvious homage to "Boston Legal," she has worked on litigation involving "mad cow" disease.
Posted at 10:36 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge rules key Bonds evidence inadmissible": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Lance Williams has an article that begins, "A federal judge has thrown out much of the 'mountain of evidence' that prosecutors say they accumulated to prove that former Giants star Barry Bonds lied when he denied knowingly using steroids."

The New York Times reports today that "Judge Tosses Key Evidence Against Bonds."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge bars use of drug tests in Bonds' trial."

I have posted online at this link yesterday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bury My Chance At Supreme Court: Study Shows Indian Tribes Face Long Odds In "Cert Pool" Process At High Court." CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this new installment of his "CourtWatch" column today.

On February 3, 2009, I had this post noting the existence of the study.
Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Justices Take Up Issue of ID Theft by Immigrants; Courts Disagree Over Whether It Matters if a Suspect Knows An ID Belongs to Someone Else": Lawrence Hurley has this front page article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Texas judge faces public hearing for conduct over 2007 death-penalty appeal": Today's edition of The Dallas Morning News contains an article that begins, "The top judge of Texas' highest criminal court was told Thursday that she'll have to publicly defend her 2007 decision to close the court at 5 p.m. rather than allow a last-minute appeal in the case of a man executed later that night. Sharon Keller, the presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, will have to justify her conduct -- and possibly fight for her job -- in a rare public hearing ordered by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that "Texas' top criminal judge's job on the line for death penalty case."

The Houston Chronicle reports that "State panel opens case over last-minute appeal." In addition, columnist Rick Casey has an essay entitled "A judge who should hope for mercy."

The New York Times reports that "Texas Judge May Lose Job Over Appeal in Death Case."

And Chuck Lindell of The Austin American-Statesman reports that "Judge faces ethics trial; Trial to consider Keller's role in after-hours death row appeal."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Recktenwald gets high court nod; Senate must approve governor's nomination of appeals court judge": Today's edition of The Honolulu Advertiser contains an article that begins, "Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday nominated Mark Recktenwald, chief judge on the state Intermediate Court of Appeals, to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court."

And The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports today that "Recktenwald likely headed to the state's highest court; Gov. Lingle praises her former Cabinet member's integrity."
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"When does the clock start? Supreme Court re-examines time limits on childhood sex abuse lawsuits." The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "In a case closely watched by advocates for child sex abuse victims, the state Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday over whether a man can pursue a lawsuit filed 14 years after alleged abuse by his stepfather."
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"State panel opens case over last-minute appeal": The Houston Chronicle has this news update.

And The New York Times today contains an editorial entitled "Investigating Judge Keller."
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Administration Mulling Constitutionality of Copyright Act": David Kravets has this post today at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog.
Posted at 06:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Texas judge charged with blocking execution appeal": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "A Texas judicial commission filed proceedings Thursday against the presiding judge of the state's highest criminal court, charging her with improperly cutting off appeals for a condemned inmate on the night of his execution. The action by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct against Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, could result in her removal from office."

And at the "Austin Legal" blog of The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell has a post titled "Keller violated judicial canons, state agency charges."

You can view the judicial misconduct charges at this link.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Job-Discrimination Cases Tend To Fare Poorly in Federal Court": Nathan Koppel has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Election Law Litigation Has Doubled Since 2000": Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal has this article.
Posted at 05:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Forces Obama to Move Quickly in Subpoena Case": Joe Palazzolo has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rove testimony hangs in balance": At Politico.com's "44" blog, Josh Gerstein has a post that begins, "A federal appeals court has agreed to give President Barack Obama a little more time--but only a little-- to decide whether to supportone of President Bush's most controversial uses of executive privilege."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama's past politics make bipartisan work difficult, attorney says": This past Sunday's issue of The Deseret News contained an article that begins, "If President Barack Obama is hoping for bipartisan support for his future Supreme Court nominees, he may have painted himself into a political corner, prominent conservative attorney Kenneth W. Starr told a crowd of LDS attorneys."

And yesterday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor contained an editorial entitled "Obama's next test on bipartisanship: His drive to curb the rancor of Washington must continue with his picks for judges."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"D.C. Circuit Sets New Briefing Schedule in House Lawsuit": At the "Legal Beat" blog of CQ Politics, Keith Perine has a post that begins, "The D.C. Circuit has ordered two former Bush White House aides to file their opening brief on Feb. 25 in their appeal of a House Judiciary Committee lawsuit seeking enforcement of committee subpoenas."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Blocks Release Of 17 Uighurs Into U.S." This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Appeals Court Stops Release of 17 Detainees in U.S."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Chinese Muslims may remain at Guantanamo, court rules; The U.S. is allowed to hold the 17 Uighurs even though they are no longer considered dangerous, a federal appeals court says, reversing an earlier decision."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's D.C. Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Grace Officials on Trial in Asbestos Poisoning": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A reckoning in one of American history's worst industrial disasters, which unfolded here over seven decades as an asbestos-tainted mineral was dug from the ground and processed, begins Thursday when five former mine executives go to trial on federal criminal charges." The "here" mentioned in the article is Libby, Montana.

Bloomberg News reports that "Grace Prosecution Over Montana Poisoning May Disrupt Bankruptcy."

On Monday, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published an article headlined "Judge: Asbestos sufferers aren't victims; Witnesses affected by related diseases barred from trial." The newspaper says it first exposed the problems with W.R. Grace & Co.'s asbestos mining in Libby, Mont., in a series published in 1999.

And The Missoulian is providing extensive local coverage of the case. Recent articles are headlined "W.R. Grace & Co. trial: Molloy rules witnesses must stay away from courtroom"; "Defense request to move Grace trial out of Missoula denied"; "W.R. Grace: The trial - Libby bar undergoes cleansing"; "Cleanup crews have big effect on Libby's economy"; and "Libby's tremolite asbestos a different kind of monster." The newspaper also has this web page devoted to the case.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Family awarded $8 million in Broward tobacco suit; Philip Morris USA vowed to appeal a Broward jury's decision to award $8 million to the widow and son of a Cooper City man who died from lung cancer": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.

And The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Tobacco jury orders $8 million in damages to Cooper City widow."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Guns-in-vehicle law ruled valid; The appeals court overturns a Tulsa judge's order on firearms at a job site": The Tulsa World today contains an article that begins, "Oklahoma's law requiring employers to allow workers to have guns in their locked vehicles at work is valid, an appeals court decided Wednesday. The decision by the Denver-based court overturns a court order by a judge in Tulsa who in 2007 barred enforcement of the law. A panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided 3-0 that U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern erred in concluding that the law is pre-empted by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Welcome Back Khadr? Obama's Canada trip is a perfect opportunity to repatriate Gitmo's youngest detainee." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Study Says Death Penalty Costs the State Big Bucks": Lawrence Hurley has this article in the Baltimore City Paper.
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kaye, Ex-Chief Judge in New York, Joins Skadden, Arps": Jonathan D. Glater has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Unfinished Case of Maher Arar": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Apache heirs sue Skull and Bones over remains": The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "The descendants of the Apache Geronimo, a warrior chieftain whose remains are rumored to be held inside Yale's oldest secret society, filed a lawsuit Tuesday demanding the return of their ancestor's skull. Twenty members of the legendary warrior's family are suing senior federal government officials, the University and the society Skull and Bones in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to seek the return of Geronimo's remains as well as punitive damages."

The Washington Post reports today that "Geronimo Descendant Pursues Spirited Fight."

And The Hartford Courant has a news update headlined "Geronimo's Heirs Sue Yale, Demand Return Of Skull." You can view a copy of the complaint initiating suit, filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, at this link.
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"California's Prop. 8 legal challenge harkens back to 1966 housing measure": Today's edition of The Sacramento Bee contains a front page article that begins, "As Derald Granberg follows the legal challenge to Proposition 8 now before the California Supreme Court, he thinks back to 1966. That year, in a case that divided Californians as much as same-sex marriage does today, the court overturned a voter-approved measure that had allowed housing discrimination based on race."
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Civil rights in court spotlight; Discrimination, voting cases awaiting justices in second half of term": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"White House lawyer visiting Guantanamo prison camps": The Miami Herald has this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Obama urged to create special detainee commission."
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jury awards Cooper City widow $8 million from Philip Morris": The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has this news update.

The Miami Herald has a news update headlined "Widow awarded $8 million in tobacco trial."

And The Associated Press reports that "Florida smoker's widow gets $8M in damages."
Posted at 07:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Constitution does not give anyone the right to be armed while committing a felony, or even to have guns in the next room for emergency use should suppliers, customers, or the police threaten a dealer's stash." So writes Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in an opinion issued today.

The opinion rejects a home-based drug dealer's argument that his Second Amendment right to self-defense should result in overturning his conviction on a charge of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense.
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Uighur detainees at Guantanamo pose a problem for Obama; The administration, already viewed with suspicion by Beijing, doesn't want to send the soon-to-be-freed ethnic separatists back to China -- which is demanding just that": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Reverses Ruling Bringing 17 Detainees to U.S." The Washington Post has a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court this morning blocked the transfer to the United States of a small band of Chinese Muslims held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Appeals court blocks release of Guantanamo detainees into U.S."

The Associated Press reports that "Court reverses ruling bringing 17 detainees to US."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Uighurs barred from U.S."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 12:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"House OKs anti-abortion legislation": The Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune today contains an article that begins, "A fertilized human egg has the same rights as a human being under a bill passed by House lawmakers on Tuesday, potentially setting the legal framework for a ban on abortion in North Dakota."

The Forum of Fargo, North Dakota reports today that "ND House passes bill challenging Roe ruling; Law could cost state $5 million to $8 million."

And The Associated Press reports that "ND measure says fertilized egg has human rights."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Upholds the City's Rule Requiring Some Restaurants to Post Calorie Counts": This article appears today in The New York Times.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Navajo Nation Case, Which the Supreme Court May Soon Review, and How It Reveals the Complex Balance Envisioned by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act": Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein have this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Judge denies Kent's request on obstruction charge": Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle has a news update that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent on Tuesday failed to get his obstruction of justice charge either dismissed or pulled out into a separate trial. Kent had asked Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida, who is presiding in the case, to drop the charge that Kent lied to a judicial panel investigating a complaint that Kent abused a female employee. Vinson refused. Kent is still scheduled to be tried starting Monday on six felony charges -- five felony charges of sexual abuse of female employees and one charge of obstructing justice."
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama's War on Terror May Resemble Bush's in Some Areas": Charlie Savage will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Judge Conflict Case Tests High Court Veteran."

And in other news, "2nd Circuit Upholds NYC Law Requiring Restaurant Chains to Display Calorie Counts; Federal appeals court in New York is thought to be the highest court yet to hear a challenge to a municipality's calorie-posting rules."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Md. Death Penalty No Easy Target; Public Opinion, Legislative History Against O'Malley": Wednesday's edition of The Washington Post will contain an article that begins, "As he asks lawmakers today to support his bill to repeal Maryland's death penalty, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will be heading down a road rife with political pitfalls with no clear path toward success."
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court upholds NYC's calories-on-menus rule": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit rejects arguments that New York City regulations requiring certain restaurants to post calorie content information on their menus are preempted by federal law or in violation of the restaurants' First Amendment rights: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.

Today's ruling thus affirms a federal district court's decision that had refused to issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the regulations at issue.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"9th Circuit orders rehearing on status of Wal-Mart sex-bias lawsuit": This article appears today in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

My earlier coverage of last Friday's Ninth Circuit order granting rehearing en banc appears here and here.
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"In 1800s, a rights icon on the bench": Today in The Boston Globe, Washington bureau chief Peter S. Canellos has this essay about U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan.
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Utah artist feels impact of high court decision": Online at the First Amendment Center, David L. Hudson Jr. has an essay that begins, "As predicted by some legal experts, last month's Supreme Court ruling in a search-and-seizure case is already having an impact on First Amendment law. The high court changed the equation for application of the qualified-immunity doctrine, which provides that government officials are not liable for constitutional violations unless they violate clearly established constitutional or statutory law."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law School hosts Internet speech conference": Yesterday's issue of The Yale Daily News contained an article that begins, "A case pitting Connecticut public school administrators against a high school student's personal blog took center stage at a Yale Law School conference on free speech over the weekend."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"A nasty privilege, reasserted": The Boston Globe today contains an editorial that begins, "The Obama administration parroted the Bush administration last week in asserting a state-secrets privilege in a civil suit involving so-called 'extraordinary rendition' and the torture of terrorist suspects. The move was a grave mistake."
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senators Seek Ethics Findings; Investigation Focuses on Opinions Issued in Bush Administration on Torture": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Texas lawmaker moves to impeach appeals judge": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "A Texas lawmaker is trying to impeach a high-court judge who refused to keep court offices open after regular business hours to allow the filing of a late appeal in a death penalty case. The inmate was executed later that night. Rep. Lon Burnam filed a resolution Monday seeking to start the process against Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Sharon Keller."

And The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that "Fort Worth lawmaker seeks impeachment of appeals court presiding judge."
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Huey Elected Head of Harvard Law Review": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "The Harvard Law Review, one of the nation's most prestigious legal journals, elected second-year law student Joanna N. Huey '06 as its 123rd president earlier this month."

And last Thursday, Harvard Law School issued a news release titled "Huey elected president of the Harvard Law Review."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Investigate Bush? U.S. has bigger woes to worry about; Wide-open probe would distract nation from more urgent matters." Today's edition of USA Today contains this editorial.

In response to that editorial, the newspaper also contains an op-ed by U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

And today in The Washington Post, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey have an op-ed entitled "A Truth Commission? The Danger in Democrats' Rush to Investigate."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bay State's top jurist says courts are in crisis; SJC's Marshall warns of 'painful choices'": The Boston Globe contains this article today.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kansan's discharge heightens debate on 'don't ask, don't tell' policy": This article appeared yesterday in The Kansas City Star.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"At the Supreme Court, a case with the feel of a best seller; Like a Grisham novel, W.Va. dispute examines conduct of elected judges": Joan Biskupic has this front page article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Valdez tax case winds up before US Supreme Court; Shipping company says tariff is unconstitutional": This article appears today in The Anchorage Daily News.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama seeks delay in deciding on Rove subpoena": Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev of McClatchy Newspapers have an article that begins, "The Obama administration is asking for two more weeks to weigh in on whether former Bush White House officials must testify before Congress about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 16, 2009

"Justice Dept. to Critique Interrogation Methods Backed by Bush Team": This article will appear Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts Sets Off Debate on Judicial Experience": Adam Liptak will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Despite Obama pledge, Justice defends Bush secrets": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Despite President Obama's vow to open government more than ever, the Justice Department is defending Bush administration decisions to keep secret many documents about domestic wiretapping, data collection on travelers and U.S. citizens, and interrogation of suspected terrorists."
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Is the Supreme Court About to Kill Off the Exclusionary Rule?" Adam Cohen has this Editorial Notebook essay in today's edition of The New York Times.
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Democrats May Be Headed to Showdown With Obama Over Bush Probes": James Rowley of Bloomberg News has this report.
Posted at 10:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"4 Cases Illustrate Guantanamo Quandaries; Administration Must Decide Fate of Often-Flawed Proceedings, Often-Dangerous Prisoners": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

And last week, CNN.com published an article headlined "Teenage terrorist or confused kid -- Gitmo's youngest prisoner."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Hard Cases: Will Obama institute a new kind of preventive detention for terrorist suspects?" Jane Mayer has this article in the February 23, 2009 issue of The New Yorker.

The article begins, "The last 'enemy combatant' being detained in America is incarcerated at the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina--a tan, low-slung building situated amid acres of grassy swampland. The prisoner, known internally as EC#2, is an alleged Al Qaeda sleeper agent named Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. He has been held in isolation in the brig for more than five years, although he has never stood trial or been convicted of any crime. Under rules established by the Bush Administration, suspected terrorists such as Marri were denied the legal protections traditionally afforded by the Constitution. Unless the Obama Administration overhauls the nation's terrorism policies, Marri--who claims that he is innocent--will likely spend the rest of his life in prison."
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Reports show Benjamin, Blankenship connections": This article appears today in The Sunday Gazette-Mail of Charleston, West Virginia.
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Group of Alabama voters challenges state Constitution; New vote or document wanted": Friday's edition of The Birmingham News contained an article that begins, "A group of Alabama voters who say the state's constitution was never legally ratified by the people are asking for a new vote on it or on a new constitution. The voters this month sued several state officials in Jefferson County Circuit Court's Bessemer division, claiming they violated voter rights by failing to ensure that Alabama's 108-year-old constitution is valid. State historians say the 1901 referendum on the document was plagued with voter fraud. The lawsuit is the latest approach at forcing reform of a lengthy state constitution that is riddled with racist language, offers little power to local governments and imposes a tax system that critics call immoral. Efforts to change it at the legislative level for years have been unsuccessful."

The newspaper has posted online both the complaint initiating suit and an affidavit in support of the lawsuit.

Friday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Effort To Scrap Alabama's Constitution" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Case May Alter Judge Elections Across Country": Adam Liptak will have this article Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cal Web site draws anti-evolution lawsuit": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "If you think dying can keep you out of court, look at Charles Darwin. The celebrations of his 200th birthday coincide with an anti-evolution lawsuit that has just landed him on the doorstep of the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Diabetic man wins Americans With Disabilities Act ruling; An Arizona utility worker's case shouldn't have been dismissed, a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules; His suit now goes to trial": Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams has an article that begins, "In a decision with potential implications for the nation's 24 million diabetics, a federal appeals court ruled Friday that a Type 2 diabetes patient may be entitled to the protections of the Americans With Disabilities Act."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Coal Industry Wins a Round on Mining": The New York Times contains this article today reporting on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued yesterday.

And in other coverage, Reuters reports that "U.S. court overturns ban on W. Va surface mining."
Posted at 01:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Feds: Estalella said Bonds admitted steroid use." Lance Williams has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

The New York Times reports today that "Witness to Say She Saw Bonds Being Injected."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Government set to make case against Barry Bonds; Witnesses will testify that they saw the former slugger being injected and heard him admit use of steroids."

And Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Bonds' mistress and Giambi scheduled to testify in Bonds' perjury trial."
Posted at 01:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"New Team, Old Position: Barack Obama needs a check on the state secrets privilege just as much as George Bush did." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. request denied in wiretapping case": In today's edition of The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal judge tersely denied the Obama administration's request Friday to suspend a challenge to former President George W. Bush's wiretapping program while the administration asks an appellate court to dismiss the case. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco said he would not allow the government to appeal his Jan. 5 ruling, which allowed the suit to proceed and required the Justice Department to arrange security clearances for the plaintiffs' lawyers. The clearances would enable the lawyers to examine a classified document and determine whether their client, Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, had been wiretapped."

And at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog, David Kravets has this related post. The court's order denying the stay can be accessed here.
Posted at 01:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ruth Bader Ginsburg home after cancer surgery; The 75-year-old Supreme Court justice had her spleen and part of her pancreas removed; A newly discovered tumor is small and hasn't spread; the tumor that prompted the operation is benign": David G. Savage and Karen Kaplan have this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Justice's Surgeons Find Malignant Tumor; Ginsburg Goes Home After Procedure To Remove Spleen, Growth in Pancreas."
Posted at 01:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Review of Guantanamo detainees begins; The Justice Department is compiling the evidence against each prisoner, a first step toward shuttering the facility and deciding whether Obama can close the book on Bush's detention policies": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Not even a little torture: Some Obama officials are sending disturbingly mixed messages about the treatment of terrorism suspects."
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wal-Mart wins chance to block class-action suit": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court gave Wal-Mart another chance Friday to derail the nation's largest-ever civil rights suit, a class action by 2 million past and present female employees who accuse the retail giant of discriminating in pay and promotions. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said a majority of its judges had voted to grant Wal-Mart a new hearing in its appeal of rulings that have allowed the case to proceed as a nationwide class action, rather than as separate lawsuits by each woman who chooses to file one. The case will be heard by an 11-judge panel on a date yet to be scheduled."

Bloomberg News reports that "Wal-Mart Wins Request in Bias Case; Company Challenged Class-Action Status."

And Reuters reports that "Wal-Mart hails court ruling on discrimination suit."

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



"In Defense of Secrecy: Even after the Bush years, there's still a place for government behind closed doors." Law professor Noah Feldman has this essay in tomorrow's issue of The New York Times Magazine.
Posted at 12:55 PM by Howard Bashman


Friday, February 13, 2009

"Slimed Online: Cyber-bullying has reached a new low--at the highest levels of the professional world; So when anonymous attackers went after two Yale law students, they struck back and filed suit; Their case may help change the rules." David Margolick will have this article in the March 2009 issue of Conde Nast Portfolio magazine (via "Copyrights & Campaigns").
Posted at 09:02 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit grants rehearing en banc in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc. You can access today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

Previously, a divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the order of a California federal district court certifying the largest sex discrimination class action in U.S. history. You can access online the three-judge panel's original ruling and its amended ruling issued some ten months later.

You can access some of this blog's earlier coverage of this case here, here, here, and here.

It appears that the Ninth Circuit has carefully considered whether to grant rehearing en banc in this case, as Wal-Mart's rehearing petition presumably had been pending for about a year or so.
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Washington Legal Community to Honor Senior Circuit Judge Betty Binns Fletcher": The Public Information Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit yesterday issued a news release that begins, "The Washington state legal community and invited guests from across the country will gather next month in Seattle to honor Senior Circuit Judge Betty Binns Fletcher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit."

It appears that Senior Judge Fletcher's son, Ninth Circuit Judge William A. Fletcher, won't be recused from participating in the event, as he's slated to deliver the keynote address.
Posted at 01:38 PM by Howard Bashman



D.C. Circuit holds that federal government need not pay the attorneys' fees of woman who spoke up to protect the mute swan: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued this ruling today.
Posted at 01:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returns home; The Supreme Court justice leaves the hospital with an encouraging report showing no sign her cancer had spread": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Ginsburg Returns Home; Spleen Removed in Cancer Surgery."

James Vicini of Reuters reports that "No spread of cancer for Supreme Court's Ginsburg."

The Associated Press reports that "Ginsburg's cancer has not spread, court says."

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Justice Ginsburg Home From Hospital."

The Public Information Office of the U.S. Supreme Court issued this press release today.
Posted at 01:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge in Medtronic case didn't disclose son's work": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Medtronic Inc. on Friday defended a judge who dismissed thousands of lawsuits against the company amid revelations that his son works for a law firm that represents the medical device maker. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kyle sided with the Minneapolis-based company in a case involving thousands of patients who received potentially faulty wires used with the company's heart-shocking Sprint Fidelis defibrillators."

And The Wall Street Journal reports today that "Judge's Son Had a Link To Medtronic" (subscription required; free access via Google News).
Posted at 12:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"An Effort to Upgrade a Court Archive System to Free and Easy": Today in The New York Times, John Schwartz has an article that begins, "Americans have grown accustomed to finding just about anything they want online fast, and free. But for those searching for federal court decisions, briefs and other legal papers, there is no Google. Instead, there is Pacer, the government-run Public Access to Court Electronic Records system designed in the bygone days of screechy telephone modems. Cumbersome, arcane and not free, it is everything that Google is not."
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama's Antiterror Progress: He embraces Bush policies on secrecy, rendition." This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Will Chief Justice Roberts Have to Recuse Himself in One of This Term's Blockbuster Cases, Wyeth v. Levine? Why Calls for His Recusal May Exemplify a Too-Costly Quest for Perfect Ethical Purity." Edward Lazarus has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Available online from law.com: An article is headlined "Former Solicitor General Warns: Don't Be Quick to Switch Course; Bush's solicitor general says the new administration must be cautious about how to change position on cases before U.S. Supreme Court."

And Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal reports that "Supreme Court Justices to Weigh Superfund Cleanup Liability."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bills would limit use of 'state secrets'; Obama backs privilege in torture case": The Boston Globe contains this article today.

And at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog, David Kravets has a post titled "Bill Would Limit Judges on State Secrets."
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Cooper City widow gets cancer verdict against Philip Morris; Decision could mean big trouble for Big Tobacco in new round of cases": This article will appear Friday in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Miami Herald has a news update headlined "Broward smoker's death due to addiction."

The Associated Press reports that "Jury finds against tobacco company in smoker death."

Bloomberg News reports that "Altria Loses First Phase of Trial in Smoker's Suit."

And Reuters has a report headlined "Loss for cigarette maker in Florida smoker trial."
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"State Supreme Court agrees woman was a victim, not accomplice, in fatal crash": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a news update that begins, "The state Supreme Court has found that a woman who was a passenger in a car that crashed when it's drunken driver plowed into a concrete support post cannot be convicted as an accomplice to DUI. That's because she was a victim of that crime, the court ruled."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "WA high court: victim of crash not DUI accomplice."

My earlier coverage of the ruling, and links to the opinions, can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Will Obama keep some Bush antiterror tactics? The new administration's stance in a rendition case raises questions about how much it will break from past policy." Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor has this report.
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama administration goes to bat for secrecy": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "For the second time this week, the Obama administration has gone to court in San Francisco to argue for secrecy in defending a terrorism policy crafted under George W. Bush - in this case, wiretapping that President Obama denounced as a candidate."
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Patricia A. Millett and law professor Cruz Reynoso discuss Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's recent cancer surgery, its impact on the U.S. Supreme Court, and how the Obama adminstration might fill a possible vacancy: You can hear the current broadcast of "Lawyer2Lawyer" at LegalTalkNetwork by clicking here (Windows Media Player required).
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Fifth Circuit denies former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling's petition for rehearing en banc: The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "Former Enron Chief Executive Jeff Skilling won't get a second chance to argue his appeal before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, so he's going to try for the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge delivers 'KO punch' in Roger Clemens' defamation suit against former trainer Brian McNamee": The New York Daily News provides this update.

Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle has a news update headlined "Judge tosses most of Clemens lawsuit against trainer."

MLB.com reports that "Most of Clemens' lawsuit dismissed; Judge rules Houston court lacks jurisdiction over events in New York."

And ESPN.com reports that "Judge dismisses most of Clemens' suit."

I have posted online at this link today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court: La. hotel chain doesn't owe foreign workers." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court has ruled a Louisiana hotel chain wasn't obligated to cover the relocation expenses incurred by immigrant workers recruited to work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Plessy and Ferguson unveil plaque marking their ancestors' actions": This article appears today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans. You can view a related photo at this link (via "Althouse").
Posted at 02:09 PM by Howard Bashman


The curious case of Musladin's victim's supporters' buttons: On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, today a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling addressing the balance of Mathew Musladin's appeal from the denial of his federal habeas corpus petition. Suffice it to say that, this time, it won't be the State of California that'll be seeking U.S. Supreme Court review.
Posted at 02:04 PM by Howard Bashman


Don't blame the victim in Washington State: So rules the Washington State Supreme Court, by a 5-4 margin, in a decision issued today. The majority opinion begins, "Under Washington statutes, a person is not an accomplice to a crime if she is a victim of that same crime."

The dissenting opinion, meanwhile, argues that "the majority's reading of the statute leads to absurd and untenable results."
Posted at 12:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Just In: Federal Court Reports on Autism-Vaccine Link." Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

The Associated Press reports that "Court says vaccine is not to blame for autism."

And an email from the Acting Clerk of Court of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims is titled "US Court of Federal Claims' Office of Special Masters Has Released Certain Autism Claim Decisions." You can access the decisions filed today via this link.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Why Some Constitutional Suits Don't Stand a Chance in Court": Jess Bravin has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 10:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Smarts and zingers: Lawyers laud Carnes' intelligence, but are wary of his tough questioning and sharp retorts in opinions." Today in The Fulton County (Ga.) Daily Report, Alyson M. Palmer has an article that begins, "After a heated confirmation battle to secure his seat on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1992, Edward E. Carnes might have tread lightly in his early days on the bench. But a story about Carnes' first sitting as a judge, recounted by 11th Circuit Judge Joel F. Dubina at a May 2007 seminar in Atlanta, suggests that Carnes began his judicial career firing on all cylinders."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Sixth Circuit upholds the constitutionality of a Knox County, Tennessee ordinance that establishes licensing requirements and regulations for sexually-oriented businesses: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 10:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chief justice seeks to abolish judicial elections; Jefferson says politics, money have destroyed Texans' confidence in justice": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Retooling Texas' judiciary: Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson of the Texas Supreme Court warned the legislature that the U.S. Supreme Court may soon force it to change how state judges are selected."

The Daily Texan reports today that "Chief justice advocates election changes; Jefferson proposes appointment of judges based on qualifications."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Jefferson: Change judicial selection system."

You can access the text of Texas Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson's remarks yesterday on the "State of the Judiciary" in Texas by clicking here.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Confirms Top Judge on State Court of Appeals": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The State Senate confirmed Jonathan Lippman as the new chief judge of New York State's highest court on Wednesday after a brief but occasionally noisy session during which several senators expressed dismay that the judicial-selection process did not produce a more diverse set of candidates."

The Times Union of Albany, New York reports today that "Chief judge set to tackle pay issue; A judicial salary raise is needed, says Jonathan Lippman, the new leader of the state's top court."

The Journal News of Westchester, New York reports that "Lippman confirmed as chief judge, pledges to reform selection process."

And law.com reports that "Senate Confirms Lippman as Chief Judge."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-death row inmate House to be tried again in June": In news from Tennessee, The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A new murder trial for former death row inmate Paul House is to start June 1, allowing his lawyers more time to mount his defense. House spent almost 22 years on death row after he was convicted of murder in the 1985 slaying of Carolyn Muncey in Union County. The U.S. Supreme Court concluded in 2006 that evidence which emerged years after his original trial cast doubt on that conviction."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Poll: Bush methods deserve inquiries; Focus on wiretaps, torture allegations." This front page article appears today in USA Today, which also contains a related article headlined "Reversed Bush policies still divide; Calls for investigations meet calls to move on."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Next flash point over terror detainees: Bagram prison; With Guantanamo set to close, more attention is falling on the US military facility in Afghanistan and those in custody there." Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Dismisses Defamation Action by 'Hot Chicks' Pictured With 'Douchebags'": law.com provides this report.

My earlier coverage of last week's New Jersey state trial court ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Law Profs, Former Judges, Attorneys Urge Major Reforms for Supreme Court": Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal has this report.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Convicts' Right to DNA Tests Is Questioned": Today in The New York Times, Jim Dwyer has this installment of his "About New York" column.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Prison Overcrowding Fix": Today's edition of The New York Times contains a news analysis that begins, "In San Francisco last week, a federal court was hearing final arguments in the prison overcrowding lawsuit that led Monday to an unprecedented decision to reduce the nation's largest prison system by one-third. Just a few blocks away, a state appellate court was affirming a life sentence for Ali Foroutan, convicted of possession of 0.03 gram of methamphetamine."

And today's edition of The Sacramento Bee contains an editorial that begins, "Prisons: Settle, don't appeal."
Posted at 08:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Continuity of the Wrong Kind": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Obama administration failed -- miserably -- the first test of its commitment to ditching the extravagant legal claims used by the Bush administration to try to impose blanket secrecy on anti-terrorism policies and avoid accountability for serial abuses of the law."
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court acquits man because he isn't an Indian; An assault conviction is called erroneous because the defendant wasn't recognized as a member of a tribe": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And Metropolitan News-Enterprise today contains an article headlined "Ninth Circuit: Man Not 'Indian' Enough for Assault-by-Indian Conviction."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:29 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush policymaker escapes Berkeley's wrath; UC Berkeley Professor John Yoo, who crafted the administration's policy on torture, is teaching at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, where the protests against him aren't as intense": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Facing ethics charges over dealings with a stripper, Thomas Stringer resigns as judge": The St. Petersburg Times today contains a front page article that begins, "Under fire for his financial dealings with a stripper, Judge Thomas E. Stringer Sr. resigned Tuesday from the 2nd District Court of Appeal." The newspaper also provides an update headlined "Judicial commission to discuss next step in Stringer case."

And The Tampa Tribune reports today that "Judge Under Investigation For Financial Dealings Resigns." The newspaper's web site also provides an update headlined "Judicial Commission Might Call Off Probe Of Judge Stringer."
Posted at 07:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chambers: 'All-knowing' God would know of lawsuit." This article appears today in The Omaha World-Herald (via WSJ.com's "Law Blog").
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"NJ court: First Amendment guarantees that 'douchebag'-filled state may be described accurately." Ben Sheffner has this post today at his "Copyrights & Campaigns" blog about a ruling that a New Jersey state trial court issued last week.

Additional coverage is available from The Smoking Gun and "The Ampersand" blog of The National Post.
Posted at 05:17 PM by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decides the case of John R. Lott, Jr. versus the book Freakonomics: Circuit Judge Terence T. Evans wrote today's opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.

The opinion begins:

John Lott, an academic and economist, believes that his reputation was sullied by Freakonomics, the popular and off-beat book written by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Lott's name was mentioned in one paragraph of the 200-page book, and he understood this passage to be an accusation of scholarly dishonesty. Offended, he filed suit against Levitt and HarperCollins, the publisher of the book, claiming that he had been defamed. The district court dismissed this claim after concluding that the passage could reasonably be read as a refutation of Lott's controversial theories and not a swipe at his integrity. Lott now appeals.
In today's ruling, the Seventh Circuit affirms the district court's dismissal of Lott's claim that the book's refutation of Lott's "more-guns/less-crime hypothesis" was defamatory.

The case was orally argued in October 2008, and you can download the oral argument audio via this link (6.01MB mp3 audio file).
Posted at 02:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court To Overturn Key Part Of Voting Rights Act?" This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "News & Notes."
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman


Robert Barnes of The Washington Post chats with readers at washingtonpost.com: The online chat occurred yesterday, and you can access the transcript at this link.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Judge Nominee Draws on Administrative Skill": Today's edition of The New York Times contains this profile of the nominee to serve as Chief Judge of New York State's highest court, the Court of Appeals.

The article begins, "When Jonathan Lippman became the presiding justice of the Appellate Division in Manhattan in 2007, he inherited a court with its heels planted firmly in the mud. Judges were taking months -- more than a year sometimes -- to issue decisions, while cases piled up and litigants were left waiting. Justice Lippman moved aggressively. He made more lawyers available to assist the judges, gave them more definitive schedules and put in regular face time with them to encourage speedier dispositions. A year later, the caseload was down by nearly 75 percent and decisions were coming out much quicker."
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"America's Cup fight sails to court; Billionaires take their battle over world's premier yacht race to state's highest court": The Times Union of Albany, New York contains this front page article today.

The Associated Press reports that "Top court weighs America's Cup challenges."

And before yesterday afternoon's oral argument began in the New York Court of Appeals, Forbes,com posted a report headlined "Inside The Billionaire Boat Battle: The battle for the America's Cup continues in the courts rather than on the water."

You can view the archived video of yesterday's oral argument by clicking here (Windows Media Player required).
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Panel chooses six finalists to lead Rhode Island Supreme Court": This article appears today in The Providence Journal.
Posted at 11:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Banning Books in Miami": Today's edition of The New York Times contains this editorial calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued last week.

And yesterday in The Miami Herald, columnist Glenn Garvin had an essay entitled "Appeals court: No 'Vamos a Cuba,' no problem" in praise of the ruling.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush National Security Policies Under Review": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Dry Run For a Supreme Court Hopeful; Kagan Likey to Be Confirmed As Solicitor General": Lawrence Hurley has this front page article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Mass. court voids DYS custody based on 'dangerousness'; Justices' ruling to free 12 held": Today's edition of The Boston Globe contains an article that begins, "The highest court in Massachusetts struck down a law yesterday that allows the state to keep juvenile offenders who are slated to be released at 18 in custody for three more years if they are believed to be dangerous. The Supreme Judicial Court's ruling that the law is unconstitutional will result in the release of a dozen juvenile offenders whom state officials had kept incarcerated after their 18th birthday."

The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts reports today that "Juveniles' release after 18 backed."

And The Boston Herald reports that "State may fight Supreme Court ruling that would free juveniles."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sunstein Critics See Sheep in Wolf's Clothing": Bloomberg News columnist Cindy Skrzycki has this essay.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


On yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Calif. Judges Order Prisoners Released" and "Leavenworth, Kan., Eyes Guantanamo Warily" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kagan Hearings Proceed Smoothly": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "Law School Dean Elena Kagan came one step closer to confirmation as the nation's top representative to the Supreme Court yesterday, coasting through questions about her scant court experience and legal writings from senators who must approve her nomination."
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Solicitor general nominee says 'enemy combatants' can be held without trial; Elena Kagan tells a senator that she agrees with Atty. Gen. Holder that the U.S. is at war and therefore may hold suspected terrorists indefinitely": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

And law.com reports that "Solicitor General Nominee Kagan Faces the Senate."
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court will decide fate of 'the list'": The Associated Press has this report about a case that is pending before an eleven-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The list in question contains the names of 104 Major League Baseball players who have tested positive for steroids.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Florida Supreme Court has yet to address whether the posting of information on an out-of-state website about a company with its principal place of business in Florida would meet the statutory requirements for long-arm jurisdiction." So observes a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in an opinion issued today certifying a question for resolution by the Supreme Court of Florida.
Posted at 10:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court acquits man because he isn't Indian": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court Tuesday reversed the conviction of a Montana man imprisoned for assaulting a woman because the law under which he was charged required that he be an American Indian."

You can access today's ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Sidney R. Thomas joined. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote a blistering dissent.
Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge: Force-feeding fine for Gitmo." At Politico.com, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the U.S. government has the right to continue force-feeding hunger-striking prisoners at Guantanamo Bay -- leaving it up to President Barack Obama whether to press on with the practice." You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at this link.

And Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update headlined "Guantanamo camps chief gets a promotion."
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"See No Evil: Why is the Obama administration clinging to an indefensible state-secrets doctrine?" Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 04:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Appeals Court Hears Abu Ghraib Torture Suits": "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times" has this post about an appeal argued today before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Posted at 04:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kagan Confirmation Hearing Doubles as Vetting for Potential New Justice; Elena Kagan has been nominated to be solicitor general, but senators at her confirmation hearing sounded like they were questioning a possible replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg": FOXNews.com provides this report.

And at CQ Politics, Keith Perine reports that "Path Seems Clear for Solicitor General Nominee, Other Top Justice Pick."

Via C-SPAN, you can view archived video of today's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee by clicking here. And "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times" provides photos.
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman



New York State's highest court hears oral argument in Golden Gate Yacht Club v. Societe Nautique De Geneve: The oral argument is underway now, and you can view it live by clicking here (Windows Media Player required). [Update: The oral argument has concluded. Archived video should become available at the court's web site sometime tomorrow.] Barry R. Ostrager is arguing for the appellee, while Maureen E. Mahoney is arguing for the appellant.

The Associated Press reports that "America's Cup court case sails into final showdown."

The article begins, "This isn't quite what billionaire sailors and one-time pals Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli had in mind when they spoke in recent years about modernizing the stodgy old America's Cup to the point that even landlubbers would embrace it. More than a year and a half after the spinnakers were doused following one of the most riveting regattas in the 158-year history of the America's Cup, the future of the oldest trophy in international sports will be decided not by sailors splashed by sea spray, but by seven judges in a stately, columned courthouse in upstate New York."
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman



Listen online to yesterday's Ninth Circuit oral argument in Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., No. 08-15693: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument yesterday in this case, in which the Obama Administration is persisting in the Bush Administration's assertion of the "state secrets" doctrine in response to plaintiff's claims of illegal rendition and torture.

You can access the oral argument audio by clicking here (Windows Media Player required).

Today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "New Administration Backs Bush Secrecy Policy" (RealPlayer required).

Last night, I had this post collecting press coverage of yesterday's oral argument. Related recent earlier posts appear here, here, and here.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hawaii in Legal Spotlight: Ceded lands case headed to US Supreme Court at the end of the month." Yesterday's edition of The Molokai Dispatch contained this article.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Suit claims paper broke its promise; Involved are attorney Robert L. Wolf, his former client, and Willamette Week": This article appears today in The Oregonian.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"A story built on property rights and eminent domain": Today in The Boston Globe, Michael Kenney has this review of Jeff Benedict's new book, "Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Texas SC says Astros pitcher can't sue Detroit team over arm injury": The Southeast Texas Record published this article last week.
Posted at 07:59 AM by Howard Bashman


"Big money bad in Wisconsin Supreme Court race": This editorial appears today in The Wisconsin State Journal.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"In defense of Justice Benjamin": Al Emch had this op-ed yesterday in The Charleston (W. Va.) Daily Mail.
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman


Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. is heading to Moscow: Moscow, Idaho, that is.

The Idaho Business Review reports that "Chief Justice Roberts will visit University of Idaho in March."

And The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that "Supreme Court justice to speak at the UI."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Harvard Dean, Chosen as Solicitor General, Goes Before Senators": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

At Politico.com, John Bresnahan has an article headlined "Is solicitor hearing a trial balloon?"

And today in The Washington Times, Wendy E. Long has an op-ed entitled "Obama's legal extremists."

"SCOTUSblog" is planning to provide live coverage of today's confirmation hearing beginning at 10 a.m. eastern time. And the Senate Judiciary Committee is planning a live webcast of the hearing (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, February 9, 2009

"Miranda rule may hamper detainee trials; None of the men held at Guantanamo were advised of their rights against self-incrimination; That and other issues may cause problems for President Obama's goal of trying them in a civil legal system": Julian E. Barnes and David G. Savage will have this article Tuesday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Backs Off a Reversal on Secrets": Tuesday in The New York Times, John Schwartz will have an article that begins, "In a closely watched case involving rendition and torture, a lawyer for the Obama administration seemed to surprise a panel of federal appeals judges on Monday by pressing ahead with an argument for preserving state secrets originally developed by the Bush administration."

Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post will report that "Justice Dept. Uses 'State Secrets' Defense; Obama Backs Bush Decision on Rendition Lawsuit."

Maura Dolan and Carol J. Williams of The Los Angeles Times have a news update headlined "Appeals court urged to reject rendition case; The Obama administration cites the 'state secrets' privilege, echoing Bush's opposition to trial of the ACLU suit."

Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update headlined "Obama sticks to Bush stance on torture suit."

Tuesday's edition of The Guardian (UK) reports that "Obama administration maintains Bush's 'state secrets' policy."

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "Justice Department to review all state secrets claims."
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"AG Holder Demands Review of Bush-Era State Secrets": David Kravets has this post at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog.
Posted at 08:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judges tentatively order Calif. inmate release": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "A special panel of federal judges tentatively ruled Monday that California will have to release tens of thousands of inmates to relieve overcrowding over the next several years."

I have posted online at this link today's tentative ruling of a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Northern Districts of California.

Update: Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update headlined "Judges order state to free thousands of inmates."

The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "Judges indicate they may order prison population reduced by 58,000; Federal panel issues tentative ruling in lawsuit brought by inmates, who say overcrowding in state prisons violates their right to adequate healthcare; A massive inmate release is not likely."

And Tuesday's edition of The New York Times will report that "Court Orders California to Cut Prison Population."
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama lawyers maintain Bush position in suit": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "An Obama administration lawyer is urging a federal appeals court panel to throw out a lawsuit accusing a Boeing Co. subsidiary of illegally helping the CIA secretly fly terrorism suspects overseas to be tortured."
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Exhibitionists beware: Myrtle Beach is watching; Council to vote on stricter thong rule this week." This article appears today in The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Perhaps, given her experience on the subject, retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will be invited to sit by designation with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit should a constitutional challenge to the ordinance reach the federal appellate level.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Administration Maintains Bush Position on 'Extraordinary Rendition' Lawsuit": Jake Tapper and Ariane de Vogue have this post at the ABC News blog "Political Punch."

A related news release today from the ACLU is titled "Justice Department Stands Behind Bush Secrecy In Extraordinary Rendition Case."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"There's a New Lawyer in Town: The top 10 cases the Obama Justice Department should redo." Emily Bazelon and Judith Resnik have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"AG Holder reviewing all state secrets claims": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Should CJ Roberts Recuse in Landmark Wyeth Case?" Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski considers the question of implied preemption under the Federal Aviation Act: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Teenage terrorist or confused kid -- Gitmo's youngest prisoner": CNN.com provides this report.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rendition case in S.F. to test Obama policies": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The public is likely to get its first close look at the Obama administration's policies on torture, secrecy and prisoners' rights in a San Francisco courtroom today, when federal judges press a government lawyer for a position on the practice known as extraordinary rendition."

Last Friday, I had this post identifying the three judges serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit who will hear oral argument of the appeal today. Once that court posts the oral argument online, I will provide a link to it.

Update: In addition, yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Rendition Suit A Test Of Obama Transparency" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Blog ruling sets stage for high court battle": The New Haven Register today contains an article that begins, "A New Haven-based federal judge's ruling against a high school student for language used in her blog has led to a vow for court appeals. Meanwhile, a state legislator has introduced a bill to protect students' free speech rights. Although U.S. District Judge Mark R. Kravitz ruled Burlington school officials were within their rights when they disciplined Avery Doninger for calling school administrators 'douche bags' on her blog, defense attorney Jon Schoenhorn said this is a 'censorship' issue that could ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court." You can access the ruling at this link.

And in somewhat related news, The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Web 2.0 defamation lawsuits multiply."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"DAs may get death penalty alternative; Bill allowing option of a life without parole sentence would fix 'gaping hole in Georgia law'": Bill Rankin has this article today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"State cannot have clear title to former kingdom lands": Today in The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Kamanamaikalani Beamer has an op-ed that begins, "Gov. Linda Lingle used her recent 'State of the State' address to defend her position in appealing a state Supreme Court case that halted the sale of 'ceded lands,' or what is often referred to as the former crown and government lands of the Hawaiian kingdom. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next month on the administration's appeal of the Hawaii high court ruling that the state cannot sell or transfer ceded lands until native Hawaiian claims are settled."
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Could Chicago's Judge Wood fill Ginsburg's seat if she resigns from Supreme Court?": Today in The Chicago Sun-Times, Abdon M. Pallasch has an article that begins, "She seems to be at the top of many handicappers' lists -- just as she was 14 years ago when President Bill Clinton had a chance to fill an opening on the federal appellate court in Chicago. Judge Diane Pamela Wood, 58, has spent the last 14 years going toe-to-toe with the legendary conservative lions of Chicago's 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook, and her fans say she could ably fill the shoes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the moderate-liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"'(Ledbetter's) story inspires everyone'": Yesterday's edition of The Birmingham News contained an article that begins, "Jacksonville native Lilly Ledbetter has become a household name in the fight for equal pay. But not many folks know Jon Goldfarb, the Birmingham lawyer who represented her for free during the past decade in a case that culminated last month with President Barack Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act."
Posted at 08:09 AM by Howard Bashman


"Linked Retirements and the Summer of 2009": Tom Goldstein has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

In response, at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr has a post titled "The Timing of Supreme Court Retirements."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Ending the judge wars: It's time to move beyond partisan battles over nominations to federal courts." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 02:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Student fails to persuade Justice Scalia": Columnist Frank Cerabino had this op-ed yesterday in The Palm Beach Post.
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"ACLU taking Taser use to the Supreme Court": This article appeared yesterday in Santa Rosa's Press Gazette.

The News Herald of Panama City, Florida reports today that "Taser case could reach Supreme Court."

And The Cape Coral Daily Breeze reported yesterday that "Taser policies may get Supreme Court review."

Last Thursday, the ACLU of Florida issued a news release titled "ACLU of Florida Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear North Florida Taser Excessive Force Case." You can access the petition for writ of certiorari at this link.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rounds urged to pick more minority judges; State judicial system doesn't reflect S. Dakota population": This article appears today in The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Not interested, Granholm says again; Governor reaffirms she will not take Supreme Court or other appointment in Obama administration": Yesterday's edition of The Detroit News contained this article.
Posted at 02:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court to hear Alaska man's DNA appeal": This article appears today in The Anchorage Daily News.
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Seeking relief from medical device makers: Recent court rulings have made it difficult for patients injured by a medical device to sue the product's maker; But Congress has taken notice and could intervene." The Minneapolis Star Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 02:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Melvin receives GOP endorsement for state Supreme Court seat": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Posted at 02:02 PM by Howard Bashman


In the Winter 2009 issue of Harvard Political Review: The magazine contains articles headlined:
"Warming the Bench: Obama's nominations will be liberal, but not in the conventional sense";

"A Type of Justice: Judicial experience and Supreme Court nominations";

"The Kennedy Court: How Anthony Kennedy dominates the Roberts Court";

"Ideology and the Courts: Obama and the conservative legal movement";

"A Small Court in D.C.: How the D.C. Circuit Court shaped the war on terror";

"Civil Rights in the Courts: A changing legal landscape";

"Impartial Intentions: Methods of appointing State Supreme Court judges"; and

"Legislating from the Bench: Creating precedent for the law."

The magazine posted these articles online yesterday at its web site.
Posted at 01:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Kent asks for 2 separate trials; He's charged with both sexual abuse and obstruction of justice": Mary Flood had this article Thursday in The Houston Chronicle.

The article begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent has requested two criminal trials instead of one. Kent, who is scheduled to be tried this month on five felony charges of sexual abuse and one charge of obstructing justice, asked this week that the obstruction charge be dismissed or tried separately. Kent argued that he should have two trials because he must take the stand in a trial of the sexual abuse cases, but he must not testify on his own behalf in the other case. Dick DeGuerin, Kent's lawyer, argued in the filings that Kent would lose his constitutional right not to testify about one charge, or his constitutional right to testify in the other five charges, if all six are tried together."
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Justice's Battle: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's candor about her health is an important example for her peers." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, February 7, 2009

"If Ginsburg Retires, Obama Faces A Tough Choice": Stuart Taylor Jr. will have this article in the February 16, 2009 issue of Newsweek,
Posted at 09:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Torture on trial? A case coming before a federal appeals panel gives the judiciary another chance to examine the secrecy surrounding the government's 'extraordinary rendition' program." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Yesterday, I had this post linking to a related newspaper article.
Posted at 04:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Talks to Sept. 11, USS Cole Families About Guantanamo Prison": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And today's edition of The Los Angeles Times contains an article headlined "Panetta tells Senate panel he'll examine the effectiveness of coercive interrogation; Leon Panetta, Obama's nominee to head the CIA, says he'll look into claims that coercive methods can produce reliable information; That could open the door to reinstatement of some techniques."
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"SJC sees possible bias in rape case; Why charge only the boy? Judges bitterly divided on issue." The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "A sharply divided Supreme Judicial Court said yesterday that a 14-year-old boy accused of statutory rape may have been a victim of gender discrimination because authorities charged him and not the three underage girls with whom he allegedly had sex."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court questions whether Plymouth County prosecutors should have charged preteen girls in rape case; Teen boy claims discrimination."

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



"Ginsburg's Illness Puts Focus on Choices Ahead for Obama": Today in The Washington Post, Carrie Johnson has an article that begins, "The announcement this week that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer served as an early reminder of the weighty judicial choices ahead for President Obama, who must fill urgent vacancies on appeals courts and federal trial courts as well as potential seats on the nation's highest court."
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, February 6, 2009

"Uncertainty for High Court in Wake of Ginsburg Health News": law.com's Tony Mauro has this report.
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rulings on gay couples' benefits question Defense of Marriage Act; Two judges' decisions don't extend beyond the two couples in question because the rulings came in the federal court's administrative dispute process, rather than in lawsuit judgments": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

You can access the rulings in question here and here.
Posted at 11:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Claims of Torture Abroad Face Test Monday in Court": John Schwartz has this article today in The New York Times about a case that is to be argued next Monday before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

According to the session calendar, the three judges who will hear and decide the case are Circuit Judges Mary M. Schroeder and Michael Daly Hawkins and Senior Circuit Judge William C. Canby, Jr.
Posted at 10:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"9/11 families applaud Obama at meeting on Guantanamo": Margaret Talev and Carol Rosenberg of McClatchy Newspapers have this report.

Saturday's edition of The New York Times will report that "Suspects Will Face Justice, Obama Tells Families of Terrorism Victims."

Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal has a news update headlined "Obama Meets With Families of 9/11, USS Cole Victims."

And earlier, today's issue of The Washington Post contains an article headlined "Obama to Discuss Guantanamo With Victims of Terror Attacks, Their Relatives."
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman



A shout-out to your humble blogger in the majority opinion in the Eleventh Circuit's book removal case? The majority opinion, at page 26, cites to that court's earlier opinion in "Elend v. Bashman, 471 F.3d 1199 (11th Cir. 2006)." According to Westlaw, however, the actual name of the defendant-appellee in that case was W. Ralph Basham, in his official capacity as Director of the U.S. Secret Service.

Today at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has posts titled "What Do Supreme Court Precedents Tell Us About Removal of Books from School Libraries" and "What May a School Board Do When It Concludes an Elementary School Library Book Omits Important Information?" addressing the substance of the ruling.
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bid to Reclassify Guantanamo Data Marches On": Today at his blog, Josh Gerstein has a post that begins, "Despite President Obama's promises to bring a new wave of transparency to government, the Justice Department is still opposing a media-led effort to give the public access to certain court records pertaining to war-on-terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay."
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"SG Changes Stance in Clean Air Act Case": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

At "SCOTUSblog," Tom Goldstein has a post titled "EPA moves to dismiss Clean Air Act case, reversing Bush Administration policies."

The Associated Press reports that "Obama seeks tougher controls on mercury emissions."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "EPA Ends Supreme Court Appeal of Power Plant Rule."

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "EPA drops appeal over utility mercury ruling."
Posted at 07:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Ginsburg plans quick return to court": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg plans to be back at work for the court's next public session, less than three weeks after surgery for pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg intends to be in court when the justices hear arguments on Feb. 23, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Friday."
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Miami-Dade schools can yank book on Cuba; The Miami-Dade School Board did nothing unconstitutional when it removed 'Vamos a Cuba' from library shelves, a federal appeals court has ruled." This article appears today in The Miami Herald.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eleventh Circuit ruling appears here and here.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: Additional posts will appear here this afternoon.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Ginsburg Has Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer": Adam Liptak will have this article Friday in The New York Times.

Friday's edition of The Washington Post contain a front page article headlined "Ginsburg Undergoes Surgery For Cancer."

Online at The Los Angeles Times, James Oliphant and Thomas H. Maugh II have a news update headlined "Ginsburg has surgery for early-stage pancreatic cancer; The cancer is one of the most lethal of diseases, but the fact that the Supreme Court justice underwent surgery is encouraging, a doctor says."

Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has an article headlined "Ginsburg's cancer prompts talk of who's next on Supreme Court."

And law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Ginsburg Illness Stirs Speculation About Court Departures."
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama to Discuss Guantanamo With Victims of Terror Attacks, Their Relatives": This article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.

And Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update headlined "Standoff averted: Defense official dismisses charges."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court says banning Cuba book from Miami-Dade schools was legal": The Miami Herald has a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Miami-Dade School Board did not violate the Constitution in 2006 when it removed a controversial children's book about Cuba from the public schools' library system. In a 2-1 decision, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the board did not breach the First Amendment, and ordered a Miami federal judge to lift a preliminary injunction that had allowed Vamos a Cuba to be checked out from school libraries."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Judges: Miami school board can ban book about Cuba."

My earlier coverage of today's Eleventh Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge signals trouble for Bonds prosecution": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has this news update. In today's print edition of that newspaper, columnist Gwen Knapp has an essay entitled "MLB Bonds drug tests shouldn't be admissible." And columnist Ray Ratto has an essay entitled "Bonds judge faces lose-lose chore Thursday."

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Documents detail perjury case against Barry Bonds; The former Giants slugger tested positive for steroids three times in the months before the 2001 season, when he hit a record-breaking 73 home runs, according to the documents."

And The New York Times contains an article headlined "Positive Drug Tests in Bonds Case."
Posted at 07:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Ginsburg has surgery for cancer": Bill Mears of CNN.com provides this report.

WSJ.com's "Health Blog" has a post titled "Understanding Justice Ginsburg's Pancreatic Cancer."

And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Justice Ginsburg Has Cancer Surgery" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.
Posted at 07:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Few get surgery for grim pancreatic cancer": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"War court judge: Prison conditions my domain." Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update that begins, "An Army judge who is defying a White House request to freeze the Pentagon's war court ruled Thursday that he would decide at next week's hearing at Guantanamo whether the military's security measures impair a captive's ability to defend himself."
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Ginsburg Treated for Pancreatic Cancer": ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has this post at her "Legalities" blog.
Posted at 04:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Ginsburg Has Surgery For Pancreatic Cancer": This audio segment featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day.

Totenberg also appeared on a segment titled "Ginsburg Has Surgery For Pancreatic Cancer" on today's broadcast of NPR's "Talk of the Nation."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 04:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Call Off The RBG Retirement Watch, Before It Starts": Tom Goldstein has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And The Associated Press reports that "Obama wishes speedy recovery for Justice Ginsburg."
Posted at 03:48 PM by Howard Bashman



The Miami-Dade County Public School District's decision to ban a book written for elementary school students about life in Cuba spawns a nearly book-length decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit: A reader forwards the opinion with the message "Another Carnes classic from the Southern frontier."

Circuit Judge Ed Carnes wrote the majority opinion, in which Senior U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter of the Western District of Louisiana has joined. The majority holds that the school district's decision to ban the book "¡Vamos a Cuba!" after a parent who was formerly a political prisoner in Cuba complained about the book's accuracy did not violate the First Amendment.

Circuit Judge Charles R. Wilson issued a dissenting opinion, the conclusion of which begins: "For decades, residents of Communist Cuba have emigrated to the United States to escape the repressive totalitarian regime of its dictator, to seek freedom, and to enjoy the privileges of United States citizenship. Prominent among those privileges is the freedom of speech, protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The banning of children's books from a public school library under circumstances such as these offends the First Amendment."
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ginsburg Has Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer": Adam Liptak of The New York Times has this news update.

And The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized for Cancer."
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Tries to Appease Both Sides of Abortion Debate": The Washington Post has this news update.
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Ginsburg Undergoes Cancer Surgery": NPR's Nina Totenberg has this written report.
Posted at 01:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Ginsburg Has Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg undergoes cancer surgery."

And an updated report from The Associated Press is headlined "Ginsburg is hospitalized with pancreatic cancer."
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ginsburg is hospitalized with pancreatic cancer": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized for surgery for pancreatic cancer."
Posted at 01:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia's Temper Rises Again": You can access at this link today's installment of CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen's "CourtWatch" column.
Posted at 11:47 AM by Howard Bashman


Inflatable rat's rights recognized on appeal: In a unanimous ruling issued today, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has held that a township's sign ordinance violates the First Amendment right to free speech and is overbroad.

The ordinance had been used to prohibit a union from displaying as part of its labor protest a large inflatable rat as a symbol of labor unrest. As a Google image search reveals, the inflatable rat is quite a popular symbol these days.

Update: In early news coverage of the ruling, The Associated Press reports that "NJ township can't declare inflatable rat a pest."

And The Newark Star-Ledger has a news update headlined "Union rat is protected as free speech, N.J. top court rules."
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"Briefs filed on behalf of Massey": This article appears today in The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Defendants win the right to change their minds; Court decides it can be legitimate grounds for withdrawing a guilty plea": Today's edition of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains an article that begins, "Changing your mind can be a valid reason for seeking to retract a guilty plea if other facts in the case support the request, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday."

And The Daily Journal of Vineland, New Jersey reports today that "High court rules in M'ville man's favor."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"'Borking' Obama court appointees": Gina Parker Ford has this essay online at the web site of Wilson County (Tex.) News.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Cheat Sheet: It's not a blockbuster session like last fall, but five business cases are worth watching." Daniel Fisher has this article online at Forbes.com.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Heavy Hitters' Battle in the Nation's Supreme Court Over Rights to Hawaiian Ceded Lands; Obama Administration Backs the State in Recently Filed Brief": This article appeared online yesterday at the web site of the Hawaii Reporter.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"N.J. top court will rule on union's rat tactics": The Newark Star-Ledger has a news update that begins, "The state Supreme Court today will rule on the future of a 10-foot, pink-eyed inflatable rodent that has joined union picket lines across New Jersey and is now in the middle of a free speech debate. The state's top court is set to issue a decision on whether a Mercer County town can prohibit a rat used by a labor union to bring attention to its cause."

Today's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey should be available via this link once that court posts it online.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Iowa Supreme Court orders furlough for its employees": The Des Moines Register contains this article today.

And yesterday in The Altanta Journal-Constitution, Bill Rankin had an article headlined "Judge: Economy straining justice system" that begins, "Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears said Wednesday that the bad economy is straining the state's court system."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Defending an abortion ban would cost millions; Utah would solicit contributions effort before outlawing the controversial procedure": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.
Posted at 08:09 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer drops bid for chief justice post": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an article that begins, "Patrick T. Conley has withdrawn his candidacy for chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, claiming Governor Carcieri dislikes him so much that he wouldn't appoint him even if Conley were selected as a finalist by the Judicial Nominating Commission."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connor sits in on cases at Tulane; Retired justice does stint on 5th Circuit": Yesterday's edition of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans contained an article that begins, "Arguments on three cases pending before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals took place Tuesday at Tulane Law School before a panel of judges that included retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chief justice put solutions first; Public servant pushed mediation as a tool for civil disputes": The Honolulu Star-Bulletin today contains an obituary that begins, "Herman T.F. Lum, a foot soldier in the Democratic revolution here who dedicated his career to public service and became the state's third chief justice from 1983 to 1993, died last month after a long illness."

And today's edition of The Honolulu Advertiser contains an obituary headlined "Former Chief Justice Herman Tsui Fai Lum, 82."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Chief justice examines approach of predecessor": The Arizona Daily Star today contains an article that begins, "William Rehnquist was an unconventional man who directed a monumental shift in how constitutional matters are decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, current Chief Justice John Roberts said during a public lecture on Wednesday. Speaking at the University of Arizona's law school as part of an annual series honoring Rehnquist, Roberts said the man who once missed a State of the Union address to attend a YMCA watercolor class pushed the court away from policy-driven reasoning."

And The Associated Press reports that "Head of Supreme Court worries about 'partisanship.'"

As I noted in this post yesterday, you can view the Chief Justice's lecture by clicking here (Windows Media Player required).
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Obama's Prisoner Dilemma: Reject Torture, Defend Torturers": David Kravets has this post at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wide support for Al-Marri": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bonds used 'the clear' in '03 season, feds say": Lance Williams and Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle have a news update that begins, "Former Giants slugger Barry Bonds used the BALCO designer steroid 'the clear' during the 2003 baseball season and also was taking a female fertility drug that can mask drug use on steroid tests, federal prosecutors say. Also in 2003, Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, was secretly tape-recorded describing the regimen of undetectable banned drugs that baseball's all-time homerun leader was using, federal prosecutors say."

Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News has an update headlined "Documents: Bonds tested positive for steroids three times in 2001 and 2002."

And The New York Times has a news update headlined "Positive Drug Tests in Bonds Case."

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has posted online the documents unsealed today at this link.
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court chief justice praises Rehnquist at UA": The Associated Press provides this report.

Earlier today, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. delivered the 3rd Rehnquist Center Lecture at the Rehnquist Center at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law. You can view the lecture online, on-demand by clicking here (Windows Media Player required).
Posted at 05:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former Hawaii chief justice dies": The Honolulu Star-Bulletin provides this news update.
Posted at 05:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"How President Obama Can Set a Key Example, and Send an Important Message, By Filling the Nation's Most Protracted Judicial Vacancy": Carl Tobias has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 04:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Leahy Coy on New 'Blue Slip' Policy": Keith Perine has this post at CQ Politics "Legal Beat" blog.

According to the post, "There are 27 states with at least one Republican senator, and 14 of those states have two GOP senators. If Leahy decides not to observe the blue slip practice as scrupulously as he did for the last two years, there could be a dramatic impact, particularly on appellate courts."
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Florida Student Asks Scalia a Question -- and Gets Scolded": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Some sad news from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: According to an item on that court's home page, "Due to snowstorms, Chief Judge Paul Michel was prevented from traveling to Puerto Rico to deliver a scheduled speech to the Association of Corporate Patent Counsel on January 28, 2009."

In happier news, the court has posted the prepared text of the speech online at this link.

And in other tropics-related news, it appears that accepting a pro bono appointment from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit may, at least on rare occasion, result in a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands to argue the appeal.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"We hold that it is within a district court's inherent power to exercise broad discretion in imposing sanctions based on spoliated evidence." So declares the unanimous en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in a three-page decision issued today.

At issue in the case was whether state or federal law controls a federal court's imposition of sanctions as relief for spoliated evidence? Today's ruling holds that federal law controls, thereby overruling some earlier Sixth Circuit decisions.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"US Chief Justice Roberts to speak at UA Wednesday": This article appeared last Friday in The Arizona Daily Star.

Also last Friday, UA News reported that "U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will be at the UA for separate events on Feb. 3 and Feb. 4."

The Chief Justice's remarks will begin today at 11 a.m. local time in Tucson, Arizona. As noted at this link, today he will be delivering the 3rd Rehnquist Center Lecture. The remarks will be televised live online via this link (Windows Media Player required) beginning at 10:50 a.m. local time and ending at noon local time.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Google Trades Blame with HLS": This article appears today in The Harvard Crimson.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Revealed: Source of racial slur; Investigator used epithet in the Williams slay case." Today's edition of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains an article that begins, "A Supreme Court justice revealed yesterday that Bill Hunt, a former captain in the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office, was the investigator who used a racial epithet to describe Jayson Williams during a 2002 investigation of the fatal shooting at the former NBA star's home. It was the first time Hunt's name was publicly disclosed."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court justice shows confidence, combativeness at West Palm Beach forum": The South Florida Sun-Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "In a room filled with some of Palm Beach County's most powerful people, it took a 20-year-old political science student to throw off U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Tuesday afternoon."

And today's edition of The Palm Beach Post contains an article headlined "Scalia on 2000: 'Get over it.'"
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"The $100,000 punch in the nose": Today's edition of The Kennebec Journal contains an article that begins, "Publishing a notice about a lawsuit in the Lincoln County News met the letter of the law, but violated the due process rights of a former Colby College student who now lives in Massachusetts, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled on Tuesday. It means that the case in which a former Colby student won $100,000 in damages from a former classmate will start over again in Lincoln County."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court casts doubt on legal notices; Maine justices toss $100k verdict."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine at this link.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court Restores Title VII's Protection Against Retaliation, but Employees Still Face Gaps in Retaliation Law": Joanna L. Grossman and Deborah Brake have this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"State high court to hear Prop. 8 case March 5": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "The state Supreme Court will hear arguments March 5 on the validity of Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage that California voters approved in November. The court said today that it would hold a three-hour hearing, from 9 a.m. to noon, at its chambers in San Francisco. The proceedings will also be televised statewide on the California Channel, the court said. A ruling is due within 90 days of the hearing."

Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News has an update headlined "California Supreme Court to hear gay marriage cases on March 5."

And The Sacramento Bee has a news update headlined "Hearing set for Prop. 8 case."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Saudis Issue List of 85 Terrorism Suspects": Wednesday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "Eleven Saudis who were released from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and then passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists are now believed to have fled the country and joined terrorist groups abroad, Saudi officials said Tuesday."
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"The principal issue in this appeal is whether evidence of who the defendant is ('identity-related evidence'), obtained after an unconstitutional search and seizure, is suppressible in a criminal prosecution." A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit today answers "no" in an opinion that you can access here.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court dismisses fraud lawsuit over penis enlargement product," and -- exhibiting admirable restraint -- the "Drug and Device Law" blog reports on that appellate court decision without mentioning "penis enlargement": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger last week had this blog post and this article about the ruling. And the "Drug and Device Law" blog today features a post about the decision titled "Refunds and Ascertainable Loss."

As the Star-Ledger's coverage reports and the court's ruling confirms, the case was brought by a plaintiff who was an attorney proceeding pro se.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Will New SG Lead to Sharp Turn at the Supreme Court? High court experts say Elena Kagan is unlikely to roll back government positions in cases already under way." law.com's Tony Mauro has this report.
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"I Need a Hero: Seeking a bomb-throwing, passionate, visionary, liberal Scalia for a seat on the Supreme Court." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"How do U.S. Supreme Court justices time retirement? The answer may not be what you think." Marcia Coyle will have this article in next week's issue of The National Law Journal.

The article focuses on a paper by professors Alan Rozzi and Terri L. Peretti titled "Modern Departures from the Supreme Court: Party, Pensions, or Power?"
Posted at 01:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"MSU scholar says Indians face Supreme Court bias": The Michigan Messenger yesterday posted online this item about a paper titled "Factbound and Splitless: Certiorari and Indian Law" by law professor Matthew L.M. Fletcher.
Posted at 01:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Landmark Jamaica Plain gay couple calls it quits": The Boston Herald today contains an article that begins, "The Jamaica Plain lesbians whose passionate love led to the groundbreaking legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts have called it quits and filed for divorce, the Herald has learned. But one-time international gay icons Hillary and Julie Goodridge, who share custody of their 12-year-old daughter, Annie, are less eager to be poster partners for gay divorce. Their case, filed Thursday in Suffolk Probate and Family Court, is impounded."
Posted at 01:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Tide Shifts Against the Death Penalty": This article was posted online today at Time magazine's web site.

And Agence France-Presse reports that "Anti-death penalty lobby hopes for discreet Obama support."
Posted at 01:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Smith gets a hat tip from high court": Today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal, columnist Edward Fitzpatrick has an essay that begins, "It's not every day a local judge gets a shout-out from the Supreme Court of the United States."
Posted at 01:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney General Holder: Hold Bush administration accountable." Justice Richard B. Sanders of the Supreme Court of Washington State has this op-ed today in The Seattle Times.
Posted at 01:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Indecent exposure trial is ordered; A Tulsa County district judge faces a felony count": This article appears today in The Tulsa World.
Posted at 01:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Trial opens in Fla. widow's tobacco lawsuit": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Polanski must appear in L.A. court to seek dismissal of charge; Appellate panel rejects a bid by the filmmaker's lawyers to disqualify all 600 L.A. County Superior Court judges from hearing his request to dismiss a 1977 statutory rape charge": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Associated Press reports that "Court rejects Polanski bid to disqualify LA judges."
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling lets some felons seek reduced terms": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A state Supreme Court ruling Monday allows hundreds of California prisoners to seek reductions in sentences that judges imposed without jury findings, but recent legislation makes it unlikely that many of them will get a break. The court said inmates sentenced since March 2004 are covered by a later U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found California's sentencing law violated the constitutional right to a jury trial."

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



"Fla. Bar Joins Fight Against State's Ban on Adoptions by Gays": law.com provides a report that begins, "The Florida Bar is coming out in a big way -- for gay adoption. The Bar's board of governors voted unanimously to file an amicus brief before the 3rd District Court of Appeal supporting a Miami-Dade circuit judge's ruling that declared unconstitutional the state's ban on gay adoptions."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Holder Confirmed As the First Black Attorney General; Nominee Overcame Objections in GOP": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Washington Times reports today that "Holder confirmed; GOP refocuses on Daschle; Obama has 1st black attorney general."

Joe Palazzolo of Legal Times reports that "Eric Holder Confirmed as Attorney General."

James Rowley of Bloomberg News reports that "Holder to Take Over at Justice Department and Make 'History.'"

And The Associated Press reports that "Holder expected to review, change Bush policies."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Detainee-Informer Presents Quandary for Government": The Washington Post today contains a front page article that begins, "An admitted Taliban fighter being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, fingered a fellow detainee for meeting regularly with Osama bin Laden."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice steps aside in Massey; Benjamin will not participate until U.S. Supreme Court rules": The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette today contains an article that begins, "State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin will not participate in cases involving Massey Energy until the U.S. Supreme Court rules whether Benjamin should have recused himself from an earlier Massey-related case. Benjamin is also removing himself from any workers' compensation appeals filed by Massey employees, according to a written statement he filed with the court on Friday."

Update: In addition, The West Virginia Record reports that "Benjamin recuses himself from Massey cases." Justice Benjamin's recusal statement can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Widow of S.I. Ferry Victim Is Not Eligible for Residency, Court Rules": This article appears today in The New York Times.

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:21 AM by Howard Bashman



"Defining 'Cruel and Unusual' When Offender Is 13": Adam Liptak has this installment of his "Sidebar" column today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Irving Feiner, 84, Central Figure in Constitutional Free-Speech Case, Is Dead": This obituary appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Congress's Phony War on Torture: Why not ban waterboarding once and for all?" Columnist William McGurn has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Some call for Bush administration trials; Want ex-leader accountable on Iraq war": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Will the US adjust life at Guantanamo for detainees? More access by Red Cross workers is likely, but legal analysts are split on whether the prison camp will be less punitive after an Obama-ordered review." Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 2, 2009

"This appeal presents the question whether the crime of mail fraud * * * requires proof that the scheme be capable of deceiving a reasonably prudent person or whether schemes aimed at the gullible or improvident are also prohibited." So begins Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr.'s majority opinion, which the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today.

In news coverage of the ruling, The AP reports that "2 lose appeal in Florida insurance scam."
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senate confirms Holder as first black AG": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:12 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "WVa justice bows out of Massey cases amid scrutiny" and "Holder debate turns partisan."
Posted at 05:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kagan Joins Supreme Court Bar": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Holder set for Senate confirmation as AG": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"John Yoo, War Criminal? The chances that the notorious UC Berkeley law professor will be investigated for war crimes appear to have increased in recent weeks." The current issue of East Bay Express contains this article.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ruling did not vindicate Bush's wiretapping: A FISA court decision upheld an act of Congress that put limits on the former president's surveillance program." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Kent gets negative info sealed": Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle has this post at her "Legal Trade" blog (via "LawBeat").
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court rules that owners can shoot their dogs, cats; It's second time in a year that Carbon woman has received a favorable ruling": Yesterday's edition of The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania contained an article that begins, "A Pennsylvania law regulating animal cruelty is so confusing and ambiguous that owners cannot be prosecuted for shooting and killing their dogs or cats, a state appeals court ruled Friday. The Superior Court overturned the conviction of a Carbon County woman on conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals in the 2006 shooting of her 6-year-old pit bull-chow mix, Bouta."

You can access last Friday's ruling of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Dept. Under Obama Is Preparing for Doctrinal Shift in Policies of Bush Years": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Student's Free Speech Case May Lead To Legislation": Yesterday's edition of The Hartford Courant contained an article that begins, "In his ruling on a pioneering Internet free speech case last month, U.S. District Judge Mark R. Kravitz offered something of a plea to higher courts: Revisit the boundaries of free speech for students."

You can access the ruling at this link.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer is reporting: An article reports that "3rd Circuit Revives Fraud Suit Against Pfizer; Appeals court finds that district court judge imposed too strict a test in dismissing suit on statute-of-limitation grounds." You can access last Friday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.

And in other news, "O'Connor: Puerto Rico Conviction Basis for Gun Possession Charge." You can access last Thursday's ruling at this link.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court's Grant of Review in Redding v. Safford -- a Fourth Amendment Case Involving a Search of a Middle-School Student for Drugs: A Chance for the Court to Show Reasonableness Review Has Teeth." Vikram David Amar has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Does The Ledbetter Law Benefit Workers, Or Lawyers? Democrats and the media have distorted the facts underlying the new equal-pay law." Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay online at National Journal.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Forcing out judges at 70 'threatens supreme court'": Monday's edition of The Times of London will contain an article that begins, "Judges are pressing for a change in the law to allow the most senior members of their profession to remain in their posts beyond the age of 70."
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Alabama high court race again garners most expensive pricetag in U.S.; Ads help raise total to $5.3 million": This article appeared yesterday in The Birmingham News.
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court considers Williams case racial slur; Justices will decide if information should be released to defense": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court on Tuesday will consider whether information about a racial slur an officer used to describe former New Jersey Net Jayson Williams should be released to his lawyers as they prepare for his upcoming retrial on reckless manslaughter charges. In a case that has drawn the attention of criminal defense lawyers, the justices will try to sort out whether all evidence in the hands of prosecutors must be revealed to the defense."
Posted at 10:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to hear Minor appeal in March; Former lawyer's attorneys are trying to get him released": Yesterday in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi, Jerry Mitchell had an article that begins, "Attorneys for jailed former Mississippi trial lawyer Paul Minor say they hope to make a case for gaining his release on bond when they argue their points before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in two months."
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge's ban on reporter expected to reach top court": The Toronto Globe and Mail yesterday contained an article that begins, "The Quebec Court of Appeal has refused to remove a judicial gag on a Globe and Mail reporter who exposed the sponsorship scandal. The ruling sets the stage for a Supreme Court challenge that may test a judge's right to control the news and a reporter's right to protect a source."
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama, Chief Justice Roberts Prepare to Face Off on Judicial Cases; The ideological differences between the president and Chief Justice Roberts are certain to throw them on opposite sides of the courtroom this year on cases covering national security and affirmative action": Stephen Clark has this article online at FOXNews.com.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Alito urges public service by lawyers": The Charlottesville Daily Progress contains this article today.

CBS 19 News reports that "Justice Samuel Alito Speaks About Public Service at UVa."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Justice Alito: Students should do public service."

You can learn more about yesterday's event via this link. By the way, yesterday was the third anniversary of Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.'s confirmation to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Three years ago today, I had this post collecting news coverage of the confirmation and swearing-in.
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hawaiians hold their breath as high court takes up case": This article appears today in The Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Senate trial, Coleman turns to Bush v. Gore": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"To Nudge, Shift or Shove the Supreme Court Left": Adam Liptak has this article today in the Week in Review section of The New York Times.
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


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