Friday, January 4, 2008
"If Clinton wins, would Justice Clinton be far behind?" At CNN.com, Bill Mears has an article that begins, "It is a title that would be sure to bring either fear or cheer to many Americans, depending on your political leanings: Supreme Court Justice Bill Clinton."
Posted at 08:03 PM by Howard Bashman
"Padilla versus Yoo": Duncan Hollis has this post at "Opinio Juris." He has also posted online at this link an as-filed, time-stamped copy of the complaint.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman
The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Padilla Sues Ex-Bush Official Over Memos"; "Court Considers Prison Sentence Cases"; and "Death Penalty Remains Strong in Texas."
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman
If employees of a company who, unbeknownst to the company at the time, happen to be illegal aliens cast the decisive votes in favor of unionization, is the result of that election enforceable? A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today issued this quite interesting decision addressing that question.
Posted at 04:03 PM by Howard Bashman
Access online what I believe to be the complaint initiating suit in Padilla v. Yoo: A usually reliable source has forwarded to me in Microsoft Word format a document that appears to be the complaint initiating Jose Padilla's lawsuit against John Yoo, which was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. For ease of downloading, I have transformed the document into a PDF file, and you can access the document by clicking here.
"Court to rule on death penalty for child rape": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Court Mulls Death Penalty for Child Rape."
"Padilla sues ex-Justice official over torture": The Chicago Tribune provides a news update that begins, "In the latest legal contest over the treatment of detained terrorist suspects, attorneys for Jose Padilla filed a suit in a California federal district court this morning against John Yoo, the former deputy assistant Attorney General whose legal opinions formed the basis for Padilla's detention and the interrogation techniques used against him that the attorneys call torture."
The 2008 edition of The Green Bag Almanac and Reader announces its selections for "Exemplary Legal Writing 2007": You can access the announcement at this link. Congratulations to all!
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"John Yoo, Architect of the 'Torture Memos,' Sued by Jose Padilla": Jonathan Freiman, Clinical Visiting Lecturer in Law and Senior Schell Fellow at Yale Law School, has today issued a press release that begins, "John Yoo, the author of legal memos that gave the go-ahead for government agents to use torture against terrorism suspects, was sued this morning in federal court in San Francisco. The lawsuit was brought by Jose Padilla, an American citizen seized from a civilian setting and interrogated for years in a military prison, and his mother, Estela Lebron. The lawsuit claims that Yoo, then a senior lawyer in the Justice Department, purported to provide legal justifications for torture. This is the first lawsuit against Yoo seeking to hold him accountable for the suffering unleashed by his 'Torture Memos.' Yoo's memos justified and set in motion the use of harsh and illegal interrogation methods not only abroad -- in places like Guantanamo Bay and the secret CIA 'black sites,' -- but also here in the United States."
"Judicial Misconduct, Disability Orders Will Be Posted Online": The Public Information Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a news release that begins, "Orders pertaining to the disposition of judicial misconduct and disability complaints against federal judges sitting in the Ninth Circuit will be publicly available via the Internet, beginning January 2008."
I applaud the Ninth Circuit for joining the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in making these decisions available online (the Seventh Circuit's decisions can be accessed at this link), and I hope that all of the other federal appellate courts will soon join these two in providing easy online access to their adjudications of judicial misconduct complaints.
"Petitioners' Brief in DC Guns Case Now Available": The District of Columbia has today filed its opening brief on the merits in the closely-watched Second Amendment case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. "SCOTUSblog" has posted the Brief for Petitioners at this link and the Joint Appendix at this link.
The perils of waiting till the last day to file a timely notice of appeal -- only to have the trial court's electronic filing computer "eat" your notice of appeal: Because it takes the federal government a long time to decide whether to appeal from the judgment in civil cases, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure double the amount of time for filing a notice of appeal -- from thirty to sixty days -- in a civil case where the United States or its officer or agency is a party. And, to be fair, this extra time is available to any party, not just the federal government.
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided an appeal whose merits involve retaliatory tariffs imposed on toasted breads imported from Spain. The company doing the importing wanted to appeal from a ruling in favor of the United States, but its attorney waited until the sixtieth day to accomplish the filing of the company's notice of appeal using the electronic filing website maintained by the Court of International Trade. According to today's opinion:
After the trial court entered its order granting the government's motion to dismiss on October 10, 2006, Gilda had 60 days within which to file a notice of appeal. Gilda's counsel asserts that on December 11, 2006, the last day of that 60-day period, he logged on to the electronic filing website maintained by the Court of International Trade. He entered the information that Gilda was taking an appeal from the trial court's judgment and entered the required information to effect payment of the filing fee. However, he apparently logged off the website before reaching the final confirmation page. As a result, Gilda's notice of appeal was not recorded as having been filed on that day. The following day, when counsel realized he had not received the standard email notification that a filing had been received, counsel again logged on to the electronic filing website. Upon discovering that the notice of appeal had not been recorded as filed, counsel once again completed the electronic form to file the notice and made the required payment. This time, the filing was received and recorded as docketed by the Court of International Trade.Unfortunately, however, because the notice of appeal was filed on the day after the deadline had expired, the appeal was previously dismissed as untimely by the Federal Circuit. Today's decision involves whether the CIT had the ability to consider Gilda's motion to extend the filing deadline for the notice of appeal after an untimely notice of appeal had been filed, or whether at that point exclusive jurisdiction over the case was lodged with the Federal Circuit.
Today's ruling holds that the CIT had jurisdiction to consider that motion and remands for that purpose. Today's ruling even goes so far as to opine that "if the facts attested to by Gilda's counsel are accurate, Gilda has made a strong showing of excusable neglect." I know of a few other federal appellate courts that might not be as forgiving under the circumstances.
"A raise that's hard to justify: Federal judges exhibit no link between performance and pay." Law Professor Scott Baker has this provocative op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
The op-ed's final paragraph states, "In a time of strained budgets, both Democrats and Republicans need to make hard choices on spending priorities. Federal judges earn six figures. Why choose to pay judges more -- as opposed to equally deserving, lesser-paid federal employees such as park rangers, members of the military or FBI agents -- if it ultimately makes no difference to how well the judges perform their jobs?"
Via SSRN, you can access Baker's law review article titled "Should We Pay Federal Circuit Judges More?" (abstract with links for download). According to its abstract, "the article finds that judicial pay is largely irrelevant to the performance of the circuit courts."
"2003 letter told CIA: Trashing tapes would harm image; Rep. Harman discloses her warning against disposing of interrogation videos." This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times, along with an editorial entitled "Handling the CIA tapes case: With a criminal investigation underway, Congress members should tread carefully."
And today's edition of USA Today contains both an editorial entitled "Give 'Bull' Durham a chance: Career prosecutor, not a special counsel, is best bet for swift probe" and an op-ed by John Conyers entitled "Appoint a special counsel: The administration can't be trusted to keep politics out of prosecutions."
"City Picks Head of Team for Supreme Court Case": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Acting D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles has selected former acting U.S. solicitor general Walter E. Dellinger to defend the District's handgun ban in a high-stakes Supreme Court case."
The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Mr. Dellinger at Bat: The city gets a top lawyer to argue its gun control case, but the process wasn't pretty."
"U.S. District Chief Judge Calls a Career Recess; Hogan Was in Thick of Post-9/11 Debates": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman
"Prisoners' lethal injection case stirs debate; Kentucky appeal sparks unofficial moratorium on most common form of capital punishment": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman