Tuesday, January 16, 2007
"Court Vacates Term of Algerian in Bomb Plot": The New York Times on Wednesday will contain an article that begins, "A federal appeals court on Tuesday vacated the 2005 sentence of an Algerian man convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport."
"Justices Decline to Take Up New Eminent Domain Case": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times. Wednesday's newspaper will also contain an article headlined "Issues Left Unresolved on Pensions."
And The Washington Post on Wednesday will report that "Appeal of Pollution Limits Rejected; Supreme Court's Action Allows Daily Cap on Contaminants."
The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Bush Shifts Nominee for Appeals Court" and "Gonzales Discusses Attorney Vacancies."
Posted at 08:24 PM by Howard Bashman
"Lewis Libby Trial Moves Ahead with Jury Process": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman
Say hello to the next Ninth Circuit Judge from Idaho: The White House today withdrew its nomination of N. Randy Smith for the vacancy created when Stephen S. Trott took senior status, sent to the U.S. Senate just one week ago today, and then immediately nominated N. Randy Smith for the vacancy created when Thomas G. Nelson took senior status. This circumvents, at least for now, the question whether Judge Trott's vacancy should go to a nominee from Idaho or California.
Once confirmed, this nominee would become the second Circuit Judge Smith currently serving on the Ninth Circuit and the fifth Circuit Judge Smith currently serving on the U.S. Courts of Appeals. The official biographies of the other four, in order of their arrivals on the federal appellate bench, can be accessed here, here, here, and here.
"Court will not hear nuclear plant threat case": Reuters provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court refused on Tuesday to decide whether a potential terrorist attack must be considered as part of a U.S. government agency's environmental review of a nuclear power plant's expansion plans."
Posted at 05:42 PM by Howard Bashman
"Writing About the Law: From Bluebook to Blogs and Beyond." This event (featuring an interesting group of speakers) is scheduled to take place at New York Law School on Friday, February 16, 2007. Registration is required, but the event is being offered free of charge.
Posted at 05:18 PM by Howard Bashman
"Free-speech dispute settled; High schooler told to stop passing out anti-abortion fliers during classes": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
And The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown, Pennsylvania reports today that "Student wins right to hand out pro-life fliers at school."
"Terror suspect was terrorized in a Navy brig": Columnist Fred Grimm has this op-ed today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman
"High court needs more trust, not more rules; Good manners, not official rule, should govern private discussions": The Detroit News today contains an editorial that begins, "The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a hearing tomorrow on whether it should adopt a rule that could carry a punishment for justices who reveal confidential internal court discussions and material. The proposed rule stems from a spectacularly bitter feud between one of the justices and some of her colleagues."
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman
North Carolina state appellate court reinstates ACLU's lawsuit seeking declaration that the requirement to use the "Holy Scriptures" for oaths also includes the Quran, the Old Testament, and the Bhagavad-Gita: You can access today's ruling of the Court of Appeals of North Carolina at this link.
"Libel lawsuit appeal in works": The Kane County (Ill.) Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for the Kane County Chronicle have taken the first step toward an appeal of a $7 million libel judgment against the newspaper for columns about Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Thomas."
And The Beacon News of Aurora, Illinois reports today that "Newspaper files appeal of $7 million libel verdict; Award to Supreme Court justice could be largest ever in state."
"Hershey alumni hope to reargue case": The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania today contains an article that begins, "The Milton Hershey School Alumni Association has applied to the state Supreme Court for the right to reargue for the power to challenge the school's operations, claiming a recent court decision ignored a 'special interest' test."
"Insurance Firms Targeted in Credit Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Several Supreme Court justices seemed taken aback Tuesday at the idea that insurance companies might be required to notify tens of millions of customers they aren't getting the best rates because of their credit reports."
You can also now access online at this link today's oral argument transcript in Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America v. Pacific Gas & Elec. Co., No. 05-1429.
Ninth Circuit issues precedential opinion written by Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: You can access today's decision, on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel, at this link.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman
The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court Won't Hear Eminent Domain Case"; "Supreme Court Won't Hear Police Dog Case"; and "Gonzales: Challenges Slowing Gitmo Cases."
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman
"Capital cases 1/17/06: Broad or narrow review?" Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"Sniping Dominates Mich. High Court": David Eggert of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The notion of black-robed judges as symbols of decorum and civility seems almost laughable these days in Michigan. Justices on the Michigan Supreme Court have been fallen into sniping and name-calling and traded accusations of unprofessional conduct. One justice referred to another as a 'very angry, sad woman' and suggested she go on a hunger strike for everyone else's benefit."
"Court Nixes Sentence of Man in Bomb Plot": David Kravets of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out the sentence of a man who was convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport at the turn of the millennium."
Avoiding United States income tax is no reason to live in Antarctica: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today issued a decision holding that "Antarctica is not a 'foreign country'" for purposes of a tax law excluding income earned in a foreign country.
Posted at 01:54 PM by Howard Bashman
"Mahoney Calls 'Heads,' Wins An Argument": This post appears today at WSJ.com's "Law Blog."
Posted at 01:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"Court Orders Review of Vioxx Class Suit": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A New Jersey appellate court panel on Tuesday opened the door to a potential class action lawsuit against Merck & Co. on behalf of people who took its now-withdrawn painkiller Vioxx and want the company to pay for tests to detect possible heart ailments."
"Wages for judges decried; Chief justice says the judiciary is facing a quality crisis over pay": This article appears today in The Deseret Morning News.
And The Salt Lake Tribune reports today that "Chief justice says pay raise needed to recruit new judges."
"Crossbow attack shocks judiciary": The Korea Herald provides a report that begins, "A former professor's attack on a judge with a crossbow Monday sent shock waves through judicial circles and prompted calls for measures to safeguard the safety of judges."
Posted at 12:40 PM by Howard Bashman
"An op-ed by Professor Charles Fried discusses legal representation in America": Harvard Law School's web site provides free access at this link to Law Professor Charles Fried's op-ed "Mr. Stimson and the American Way" published today in The Wall Street Journal. The op-ed begins, "Defense Department official Charles Stimson showed ignorance and malice in deploring the pro bono representation of Guantanamo detainees by lawyers in some of the nation's leading law firms, and in calling on their corporate clients to punish them for this work."
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"Break-In at Pa. Supreme Court Office in City Hall": Philadelphia's KYW Newsradio 1060 provides this written report.
Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman
"UT law professors to argue before U.S. Supreme Court Wed.; Capital Punishment Clinic offers students real-life court experience": This article appears today in The Daily Texan.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman
"CJ Roberts and sentencing law: the virtues (and vices?) of consensus." Doug Berman has this post at "Sentencing Law and Policy."
And at "Balkinization," Sandy Levinson has a post titled "John Roberts and an 'Institutionalist' Court."
Both posts focus on Jeffrey Rosen's article headlined "Roberts' Rules: In an exclusive interview, Chief Justice John Roberts says that if the Supreme Court is to maintain legitimacy, its justices must start acting more like colleagues and less like prima donnas" in the January/February 2007 issue of The Atlantic Monthly.
"Court Blocks Widow From Collecting $5M": The Associated Press provides this report.
Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "IBM Fights Off Pension Plan Appeal, Avoids $1 Billion Payment."
Access online today's statements from U.S. Supreme Court Justices regarding the granting or denying of certiorari: Justice John Paul Stevens issued a statement respecting the denial of the petition for writ of certiorari in Joseph v. United States, No. 06-5590.
Justice Antonin Scalia issued a statement respecting the denial of the petition for writ of certiorari in United States v. Omer, No. 05-1101.
"Brennan Biography Moving Forward Again": Legal Times is now providing free access to this week's installment of Tony Mauro's "Courtside" column.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman
Available online from SSRN: John O. McGinnis and Michael B. Rappaport have an essay entitled "A Pragmatic Defense of Originalism" (abstract with links for download).
In judicial nomination-related editorials: The Sacramento Bee today contains an editorial entitled "More judicial mischief: Idaho gets a judicial seat it doesn't need."
And The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina today contains an editorial entitled "Unfair to Boyle: Federal Judge Terrence Boyle was qualified to serve on a higher court; He was a victim of political expedience."
Today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List: You can access it online at this link.
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman
"Insurers, Consumers Clash at U.S. Supreme Court on Credit Data": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman
Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: Fernando Tatis, who returned to Major League Baseball in 2006 after a two-year absence, strikes out in his effort to hold US Bancorp liable on claims of breach of contract, negligence, and violation of Ohio law arising from the bank's payment of forged checks drawn on Tatis's account. You can access today's ruling at this link.
And a divided three-judge panel today has ruled that a Michigan state court's consolidation hearing -- during which the state court consolidated the trial of one criminal defendant with that of his co-defendants -- did not constitute "a critical stage of the criminal proceeding" requiring the defendant's counsel to be present. You can access today's ruling at this link.
"Law Deans Release Statement on Remarks of Cully Stimson Regarding Lawyers for Detainees": Yale Law School issued this news release today. You can access the law deans' letter by clicking here.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court orders new review of ADA case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog." According to Lyle's post, the U.S. Supreme Court today issued no opinions in argued cases.
Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman
"Jury Selection to Begin in Libby Trial": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:57 AM by Howard Bashman
"Judicial Pay: Too Much, Too Little or Just Right?" This week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court's use of video is facing review; The 9th Circuit's chief judge says curbs could be imposed after panel members last week took up a death penalty appeal via a remote link": Henry Weinstein has this very interesting article today in The Los Angeles Times.
The article begins, "So many people came to listen to lawyers argue the death penalty appeal of convicted Chino Hills murderer Kevin Cooper that dozens of overflow spectators had to watch from the courthouse cafeteria on a closed-circuit television. But three seats remained empty during the hearing last week in the large ceremonial courtroom of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. They were the chairs reserved for the judges, who were hundreds of miles away, listening to the arguments via video hookup, and occasionally asking questions." The article goes on to report that "the Cooper hearing marked the first time that an argument was held with none of the judges present, according to Mary M. Schroeder, the 9th Circuit's chief judge."
According to the article, one of the judges on the panel -- Circuit Judge Ronald M. Gould -- "has serious health problems that make it dangerous for him to fly, according to Cathy Catterson, the 9th Circuit's chief clerk." The article says that The LATimes attempted to discuss the issue of oral argument via video hook-up with the three judges on the panel, but that none was willing to discuss the issue while the Cooper appeal remains pending.
Weinstein reports that "in recent months, an increasing number of 9th Circuit judges have invoked their privilege of appearing via video, even when they did not have a compelling reason, according to judges on the court who spoke on a not-for-attribution basis. Two judges on the court took particular umbrage at a colleague who they said had recently informed the court that it would be inconvenient to attend arguments because they would conflict with a child's basketball games."
You can download the audio of last week's Ninth Circuit oral argument in Cooper v. Brown, No. 05-99004, via this link (Windows Media format). The other two judges on the panel were Circuit Judges Pamela Ann Rymer of Pasadena and M. Margaret McKeown of San Diego. The oral argument was held in San Francisco.
In the July 5, 2006 installment of my weekly "On Appeal" essay for law.com, headlined "Predicting Technology's Impact on Appellate Oral Argument," I wrote: "To be sure, technology occasionally allows attorneys or judges to participate in oral argument from a remote location. I've argued one appeal in which a judge on the panel participated via videoconference, and another appeal in which a judge participated by phone, but I felt that the technology wasn't an adequate substitute for more direct interaction. In my opinion, being unable to observe the judge's expressions and nonverbal cues in person deprives the advocates of valuable information. For that reason, I'm not a fan of teleconferencing for appellate oral arguments."
"Political theater awaited at Libby trial; The CIA leak case promises a rare glimpse into the White House": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "'All Star Game' Taking Shape in Libby's Trial."
"Suit calls sacrifice a religious right": The Washington Times today contains an article that begins, "Jose Merced said he is tired of Euless police knocking at his door and interrupting his church services. Police have told Mr. Merced that his Santeria religious rites are against the law in this rapidly growing community because some of its ordination rituals involve the sacrifice of animals."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman
"Law school deans sign letter condemning boycott; Pentagon official provoked outcry": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "The deans of Massachusetts' major law schools joined about 100 law deans in signing a letter condemning a senior Pentagon official's suggestion that US companies should boycott law firms representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
And The Los Angeles Times today contains an editorial entitled "Sliming the defense: A Pentagon official's overboard criticism of Gitmo lawyers is consistent with one bad strain of White House thought."
"Enjoying Technology's Conveniences But Not Escaping Its Watchful Eyes": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post, along with an article headlined "The Legal Tangles Of Data Collection."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman
"Some at Guantanamo Mark 5 Years in Limbo; Big Questions About Low-Profile Inmates": The Washington Post today contains this front page article, along with an article headlined "Interrogation Research Is Lacking, Report Says; Few Studies Have Examined U.S. Methods."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"Alleged Voting Rights Violation With Twist Goes to Trial": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman
"High Court to Hear Consumer Credit Case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman
"Is Baseball Drugs Ruling A Fourth-Amendment Foul?" This article (free access) appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
"The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Suggests A Boycott of Law Firms that Represent Guantanamo Detainees: Why This Kind of Blacklisting Is Always Wrong, and McCarthyite." Anthony J. Sebok and Spencer Weber Waller have this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman