Thursday, January 4, 2007
"Miers Steps Down As White House Gears Up for Battle": This front page article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.
The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "U.S. Death Sentences Drop to 30-Year Low" and "'Girls Gone Wild' Faces Fewer Charges."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"Sedative Withdrawal Made Rehnquist Delusional in '81; Files Detail Drug Addiction And FBI's Role in Hearings": This front page article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman
"A Terror Detainee Longs for Court": In Friday's edition of The New York Times, Adam Liptak will have an article that begins, "Ali al-Marri, whom the government calls a sleeper agent for Al Qaeda and who is the only person on the American mainland still held as an enemy combatant, spends his days in a small cell in solitary confinement at the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. When he is in an ironic mood, his lawyers say, he calls the cell his villa."
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman
Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit: A short per curiam opinion issued today affirms a federal district court's decision denying a preliminary injunction against Oklahoma's lethal injection protocol. The prisoner who sought the injunction is scheduled to be executed on January 9, 2007.
Another unfortunate way to die is as the result of an automobile accident stemming from the occupants in one car attempting to flash their privates for the enjoyment of the occupants of another car. But although a flashing-related automobile accident causing death would provide plenty of fodder for an interesting appellate court ruling, today's ruling goes even farther, by affirming on double-jeopardy grounds a federal district court's ruling that enjoins Oklahoma from retrying the flashing driver of the vehicle on first-degree manslaughter charges.
Ninth Circuit temporarily thumbs its nose at FRAP 32.1: Under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1, federal appellate courts are prohibited from preventing or discouraging citation to unpublished or non-precedential opinions issued on or after January 1, 2007.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, perhaps the leading opponent of FRAP 32.1, issued a bunch of non-precedential opinions on January 3, 2007, all of which bore this legend in the first asterisk footnote: "This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by 9th Cir. R. 36-3." Of course, revised Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3 contains no limitation on the citation of any such opinion issued after January 1, 2007.
As of today, however, the footnote found at the front of Ninth Circuit non-precedential opinions has been revised to read: "This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by 9th Cir. R. 36-3." No reference to any restriction on citation remains.
I'm too sexy for my class action: Can you still call it a model class action after the appellate court affirms in part but vacates in part? Yes, indeed you can. Today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit can be accessed here. (This post's title inspired by the hit song from Right Said Fred.)
Posted at 05:13 PM by Howard Bashman
"First Amendment Limits on Regulating Judicial Campaigns": Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his "Election Law" blog.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman
"Rites and Wrongs: The Ford funeral and Justice Stevens." Edward Whelan has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman
A federal district court's use of an electronic case filing system does not broaden the grounds on which papers may be rejected, Seventh Circuit holds: Despite the many wonderful attributes of court electronic filing systems, there's always a concern that pleadings might be misfiled or not end up where they are supposed to be. Once such unfortunate scenario gave rise to an appeal that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided today.
Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook's opinion of the court explains:
Clerks thus must take in whatever is tendered to them; a document may be rejected later if a judicial officer finds a problem, but the initial filing ensures that the process of vetting papers for compliance with the rules does not prevent satisfaction of time limits. An e-filing system likewise must accept every document tendered for filing; it cannot reject any paper that the clerk must accept.You can access the complete decision at this link.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman
Divided three-judge Seventh Circuit panel rejects constitutional challenge to an Indiana law requiring voters to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote in a primary or general election: Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Diane S. Sykes joined. Circuit Judge Terence T. Evans dissented from the ruling. You can access the complete decision at this link.
Judge Sykes once was a law clerk for Judge Evans. At that time, her disagreement with one of his decisions was incapable of producing a majority holding for the opposite result.
Remembering October 2005: On the morning of Monday, October 3, 2005 -- the proverbial first Monday in October -- President Bush announced his intention to nominate Harriet E. Miers to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. This blog's earliest report on that day's events can be accessed via this link (scroll up to access posts appearing later that day).
Twenty-four days later, on the morning of October 27, 2005, Miers had President Bush withdraw the nomination. My coverage of that day's events began with this post (scroll up to access posts appearing later that day).
Finally, on October 31, 2005, President Bush announced his intention to nominate Third Circuit Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to the Court. My coverage of that day's events began with this post (scroll up to access posts appearing later that day).
In her capacity as White House Counsel, Miers oversaw the process of selecting judicial nominees for the White House. It is possible that the departure of Miers will provide cover for the White House to nominate individuals viewed as more moderate than those nominated when the Republicans had a majority in the U.S. Senate. In truth, however, it is difficult to believe that Miers was responsible for the most controversial of the Bush administration's judicial nominees. As always, what the future holds remains to be seen.
"Miers Resigns As White House Counsel": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Harriet Miers, President Bush's failed Supreme Court nominee, has submitted her resignation as White House counsel, the White House announced Thursday."
Posted at 12:27 PM by Howard Bashman
I'm on the radio: Shortly after 11 a.m. eastern time, I'm scheduled to be a guest on the John Gambling show on News Talk Radio 77 WABC-AM in New York City. You can listen live online via this link.
The segment I've been scheduled to appear on involves court disputes over grandparent visitation rights. I was quoted yesterday in a New York Sun article that previewed such a case now pending before the New York Court of Appeals, that State's highest court.
Thanks to the hard work of the University of Virginia School of Law's Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, one of my clients has a cert. petition presenting this issue pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. You can access the Pa. Supreme Court's opinions in that case via this link.
Earlier press coverage of the Pennsylvania case can be accessed here, here, and here. An interesting letter to the editor commenting on the Pa. Supreme Court's ruling can be viewed at this link.
On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Rehnquist FBI File Reveals Prescription Drug Trouble" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "U.S. Policy on Interrogations Remains Cloudy in 2007"; "Guantanamo Tribunals May Resume This Summer"; and "Storm Door Case Tests Property Rights for Millions."
"Justice Stevens Remembers Gerald Ford": ABCNews.com has posted online a much longer portion of Jan Crawford Greenburg's interview earlier this week with Justice John Paul Stevens, and you can access it by clicking here.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman
"Labor activism case goes to high court": This article appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman
The Los Angeles Times is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Bill calls for DNA in every arrest; The South Carolina measure, to involve all crimes, would be the nation's most aggressive" and "Damages lowered for copied mansion; Jury in a retrial says an architect is entitled to a fraction of the award for copyright infringement."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman
"Limits asked for Nichols' attorneys; Prosecution says defense uncooperative": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "With the start of jury selection just a week away, prosecutors are complaining accused killer Brian Nichols' lawyers have not shared evidence they will use in the death penalty trial. As a result, District Attorney Paul Howard wants the judge to bar Nichols' attorneys from mounting a possible mental health defense. The trial is expected to attract national media attention and take as long as six months to seat a jury and get a verdict."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman
"Judge Rules Poodle Can Stay, Stay; Plaintiff Receives Court's Approval To Have Dog With Her As Support During Trial In Civil Suit": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "A North Haven woman who relies on her dog for help with post traumatic stress will be allowed to take the pooch to court during the trial of her lawsuit seeking damages from the state and the driver of a car that crashed into her six years ago."
And The New Haven Register reported yesterday that "Woman’s service dog gives court workers a lesson in stress."
"Ashes Removed Under Law Disqualifying Felons": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "It took 17 months of lobbying and a new federal law, but the remains of a man convicted of killing an elderly Hagerstown couple have been quietly removed from Arlington National Cemetery."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman
The Houston Chronicle is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Attorneys try to put trucker in a different light at trial; Defense hopes testimony about good behavior will spare him from execution" and "Now lawyer's hours are set by the court; Accused of pocketing clients' settlement money, he still practices, but wears monitor."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court rules boy has dad and 2 moms; Case believed to be first in Canada to give a child three legal parents": Yesterday's edition of The Toronto Star contained this article.
The London Free Press yesterday contained an article headlined "Two moms, dad for five-year-old, appeal court says." Today, the newspaper reports that "3-parent family stirs debate; The court ruling recognizing a dad and two moms wins praise and prompts warnings."
The Toronto Globe and Mail yesterday provided a news update headlined "Ontario family law 'outdated' experts say."
The National Post reports today that "Critics decry 3 parents and a baby; Family group calls ruling 'naked judicial activism.'"
Canadian Press provides reports headlined "Ontario court says boy can have dad, mom -- and mom" and "'3 parents' court ruling raises concerns."
Reuters reports that "Canadian province allows child to have 3 parents."
And Bloomberg News reports that "Canadian Court Gives Lesbian Partner Parental Status."
"Sacramento federal judge to lead Duke's law school": This article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.
The Herald-Sun of Durham, North Carolina reports today that "Duke Law School names new dean."
"The Massachusetts Legislature Finally Allows an Anti-Same-Sex-Marriage Constitutional Amendment to Be Voted Upon: Why Opting to Fulfill Their Legal Duty Was the Right Thing to Do." Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:35 AM by Howard Bashman