How Appealing

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Programming note: Due to my attendance at a book launch party this evening in Washington, DC, I'll be away from the computer for a bit. New posts will appear online here Thursday morning.

Update: ABC News knows how to host a book launch party. It was wonderful to visit with so many readers of this blog at the event. And Dahlia Lithwick is just as wonderful in person as she is in print, but far more huggable.
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: A teacher at a public elementary school in Monroe County, Indiana claimed that she was fired from that job because she advocated, during a current-events session in class, an end to the fighting in Iraq. The teacher filed suit under the federal civil rights act to challenge her firing as violative of her First Amendment rights. Today, a unanimous three-judge panel, in an opinion by Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, affirms the entry of summary judgment dismissing the teacher's complaint. Chief Judge Easterbrook's opinion concludes that "the first amendment does not entitle primary and secondary teachers, when conducting the education of captive audiences, to cover topics, or advocate viewpoints, that depart from the curriculum adopted by the school system."

And a second decision issued today, in which Chief Judge Easterbrook also wrote the opinion of the court, addresses whether the case under review represents an instance of "[c]rafty litigants [who] thought that they could evade the limits on interlocutory review by asking the district judge to dismiss the suit with leave to reinstate once an appeal had been resolved." As it turns out, the answer to that question is "no." Senior Circuit Judge Richard D. Cudahy adds a short concurring opinion that begins, "I agree completely with the majority, but write separately to comment in greater detail on what I think is an important aspect of the confusing issue of appellate jurisdiction."
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman

"Scooter's tragic innocence: Why my friend Scooter Libby is loyal to Bush, Cheney and an arrogant administration whose values are not his own." Nick Bromell has this essay today at
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman

"Fight for courthouse Bible goes on after it's removed": The Houston Chronicle today contains this article reporting on oral argument yesterday on rehearing en banc before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The September 5, 2006 installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column for was headlined "Monument at Houston Courthouse Tests the Limits of Ten Commandments Rulings."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman

From the "Readers say the nicest things" file: The author of the "Statute of Frogs" blog writes, "Apparently Howard Bashman really does read absolutely everything." If only that were true!

And a reader from Los Angeles emails:

Just a note of appreciation for all the effort you put into How Appealing. It's wonderful. I was going to write that it saves me so much time, but what it really does is allow me to read much more that is helpful and interesting to me in the time I have available.

I suppose you get a lot of letters thanking you, but your website is so valuable to me that I couldn't resist adding myself to the list.

I thank the author of that email for those very kind words.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth A. Weaver calls for the creation of an "Independent Commission to Investigate Supreme Court Controversy": A reader from the State of Michigan forwards this document that Justice Weaver sent today to Michigan's Governor and legislative leaders.

On Sunday, The Detroit Free Press published a related letter to the editor from Senior U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn (E.D. Mich.) under the heading "State Supreme Court charges need independent review."
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman

"Lawyer as Web Celeb": "Blawg Review" provides this post noting a special feature titled "The Web Celeb 25" that posted online last night.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman

In today's mail: ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg's new book, "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court and America's Future."

And at National Review Online's "Bench Memos" blog, Ed Whelan quotes a passage from the book that, according to Ed, "illustrates that Greenburg doesn’t suffer from the political correctness endemic among so many of her journalistic colleagues."

I look forward to reading the book on my train ride down to Washington, DC this afternoon to attend a book launch party there this evening.
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman

On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Poor Memory Will Be Libby's Perjury Defense" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Catholic Church in UK Fights Gay Adoption." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman

"She'll keep veil in new hearing": The Detroit Free Press today contains an article that begins, "Ginnnah Muhammad, the Muslim who lost her small-claims case in Hamtramck's 31st District Court in October because she refused a judge's order to remove her veil while testifying, has been granted a new hearing. The judge's decision triggered international reaction, particularly in Britain, where debate rages about whether wearing the veil is a statement of separation."

And The Associated Press reports that "Woman Given Veil Choice Gets New Hearing."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman

"Outside investigation would damage court; Unneeded probe could harm independence of state justices": This editorial appeared Monday in The Detroit News.

The Lansing State Journal on Monday contained an editorial entitled "Mistrial: Court should get off secrecy bent; voters should look at basics."

And The Dowagiac (Mich.) Daily News on Monday published an editorial entitled "The Donald and Rosie got nothing on feudin' Supremes."
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman

"Judge weighs defamation lawsuit against Web site": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article that begins, "What began in June as a reaction to lowbrow Internet postings evolved yesterday in an Allegheny County courtroom into a highbrow, point-counterpoint oral argument -- a debate, still unresolved by Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr., about Pennsylvania's jurisdiction over a Miami-based Web site. In May, that site,, allowed anonymous subscribers to post statements about Todd J. Hollis, a Pittsburgh lawyer."

My extensive earlier coverage of this lawsuit can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman

"[I]t's a must-read"; "If you're a Supreme Court geek, you need this book." Orin Kerr offers these thoughts at "The Volokh Conspiracy" on Jan Crawford Greenburg's new book, "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court and America's Future." The book went on sale nationwide yesterday.

A lengthy excerpt from the book can be accessed here, while another glowing review, published yesterday in The Los Angeles Times, can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman

"Defense says Libby was 'sacrificed'": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Libby Defense Points Finger At Karl Rove."

And The Washington Times reports that "Libby portrayed as 'sacrificial lamb' at trial."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman

"Gonzales says the Constitution doesn't guarantee habeas corpus; Attorney general's remarks on citizens' right astound the chair of Senate judiciary panel": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman

"Panama's Noriega set to be released; This year, Panama's ex-leader Manuel Noriega may leave a South Miami-Dade prison where he's been since 1990": Today's edition of The Miami Herald contains an article that begins, "Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, imprisoned in South Miami-Dade on drug-trafficking and racketeering convictions since 1990, will be released on Sept. 9 -- due in part to good behavior and other credits. Noriega, the military ruler toppled by a massive U.S. invasion of his country in late 1989, was automatically eligible for parole after serving close to two-thirds of his 30-year federal sentence."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman

"Judge Weighs Contested Rail Law; CSX Challenging Suspended D.C. Ban on Hazardous Cargo": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman

"Broader Scope for Execution Approved; Some Accomplices In Slayings Could Get Death Penalty": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The Virginia Senate voted to expand capital punishment Tuesday by making accomplices eligible for the death penalty even if they didn't do the killing."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman

"Media outlets battle it out over free-speech rights; Boycott over rhetoric pits bloggers against KSFO-AM": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman

Non-attorney's use of Quicken software to help another person create a will equates to the unauthorized practice of law, Supreme Court of South Carolina rules: c|net's Declan McCullagh provides this report today.

You can access Monday's ruling of the Supreme Court of South Carolina at this link.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman

"Tennessee Court Orders Return of Girl, 7, to Biological Parents": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Almost eight years after a Chinese couple living in Memphis placed their daughter into what they thought was temporary foster care, the Tennessee Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that she be returned to her biological parents."

The Washington Post reports today that "Court Rules Against Foster Parents; Chinese Couple To Get Child."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Chinese parents win custody of girl; Tennessee's high court overturns a ruling that favored their child's U.S. foster family and stirred charges of bias."

And The Commercial Appeal of Memphis reports that "After court ruling, Chinese girl must face news she doesn't want to hear."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman

"State avoided sentencing problem facing California": This article appears today in The Tennessean.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman

"No court consensus on voter ID laws; Certain rules burden poor, opponents say": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman

More DeLay delay? The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Attorneys Set to Argue DeLay Charge" that begins, "The prosecution of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay could be stalled for weeks or even months while Texas' highest criminal court decides whether a dismissed conspiracy charge against him should be reinstated. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is set to hear arguments Wednesday on the conspiracy charge - part of the criminal case that helped drive DeLay from office."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman

On this date in "How Appealing" history: One year ago today, as The Associated Press notes here, "Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito won a 10-8 party-line approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee."

My coverage from one year ago today can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman

"Consent Searches and the Fourth Amendment: What's Wrong With 'Apparent' Consent?" Sherry F. Colb has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman

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