Tuesday, February 6, 2007
"Deputy Attorney General Defends Prosecutor Firings": This article will appear Wednesday in The Washington Post.
And Wednesday's issue of The New York Times will report that "A U.S. Attorney Was Removed Without Cause, Official Says."
Available online from law.com: Justin Scheck reports that "Wal-Mart Fails to Kill Wage Class Action."
And in other news, "Judicial Watchdog Resigns Over ABA Panel's Change to Ethics Rules."
"Breakfast of Controversy": At WSJ.com's "Law Blog," Ben Winograd has a post that begins, "Students packed lecture halls last week to hear Chief Justice John Roberts during a two-day visit to the Northwestern University School of Law."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"Wal-Mart faces sex bias lawsuit": Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times provides this report.
And Reuters provides an updated report headlined "Wal-Mart faces biggest sex bias case in US history."
"In re Nuijten: Patentable Subject Matter, Textualism and the Supreme Court." Law Professor John F. Duffy had this post yesterday at "Patently-O: Patent Law Blog" previewing a case argued yesterday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The post has been updated to provide a link to the oral argument audio available online from that court.
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman
"Official denies prosecutors were ousted for political reasons": McClatchy Newspapers provides a report that begins, "The No. 2 Justice Department official acknowledged Tuesday that at least seven U.S. attorneys were asked to resign, but he denied that the administration ousted them for political reasons."
"Lawyers May Keep Libby Off Witness Stand": Neil A. Lewis of The New York Times provides this news update.
The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Libby Says Cheney 'Disturbed' by Wilson's Claims; Ex-Aide Testifies Cheney Repeatedly Discussed How to Rebut War Critic."
The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Jury hears audio of Libby denying leak."
And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Jury in Libby Case Hears His Original Testimony" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.
"Ineffectual legal representation may not impede convict's execution": Stephen Henderson of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 07:48 PM by Howard Bashman
Available online from SSRN: Law Professor Ronald D. Rotunda has an article entitled "The Detainee Cases of 2004 and 2006 and Their Aftermath" (abstract with link for download).
And Scott Atkinson, Alan C. Marco, and John L. Turner have an article entitled "The Economics of a Centralized Judiciary: Uniformity, Forum Shopping and the Federal Circuit" (abstract with link for download).
"Court rules Wal-Mart must face class-action bias suit": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides this news update.
"With the five confirmations last week we have confirmed more of President Bush's nominations in the 18 months I have served as Judiciary Committee Chairman than in the more than two years when Senator Hatch chaired the Committee with a Republican Senate majority or during the last Congress with a Republican Senate majority." So said Senate Judiciary Committee chair Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) in prepared remarks delivered at today's confirmation hearing for three federal district court nominees. You can access the text of Senator Leahy's remarks at this link.
In another portion of the prepared remarks, Senator Leahy said, "I was pleased when the White House changed course and nominated Randy Smith for the Idaho seat on the Ninth Circuit. I had urged President Bush to take this action last year when he insisted on resubmitting Judge Smith's nomination for a California seat on the Ninth Circuit. I thank the President for finally doing the right thing. I will urge the Senate to confirm the nomination of Randy Smith to the vacant seat on the Ninth Circuit from Idaho. At long last Senator Craig and Senator Crapo will then have a judge on that important court from their home state."
On Saturday morning, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the keynote speaker at the dedication of the Rafael Diaz Balart Hall, home of the FIU College of Law: Additional details are available here and here.
Posted at 04:47 PM by Howard Bashman
"O'Connor to Mediate WWII Land Dispute": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has agreed to mediate a long-running dispute over government reimbursement for land that was taken during World War II."
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman
"Utah abortion-restriction bill called a losing judicial bet": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "With two new President Bush-appointed justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, Utah is preparing to spend up to $4 million to defend a proposed law banning abortions that it hopes will lead to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. It's a gamble that some constitutional law scholars say is a losing bet because the prevailing court case on abortion isn't the 1973 decision on Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legalized nationwide. It's the 1992 opinion in a case called Casey v. Planned Parenthood."
In earlier coverage, The Salt Lake Tribune last week published articles headlined "Legislation: Top leaders back abortion proposal; Republicans are pushing ahead despite likely costs" and "Utah House panel OKs abortion ban." The newspaper also published an editorial entitled "Abortion again: Raising anti-abortion banner would be a mistake."
And The Deseret Morning News reported last week that "House committee votes to criminalize abortion; Shurtleff, others agree the bill likely is unconstitutional."
"Do union rights trump rights of individuals?" Today in The Baltimore Sun, Michael Reitz has an op-ed that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the consolidated cases of Washington vs. Washington Education Association and Davenport vs. WEA, which could have major implications for organized labor and the free-speech rights of workers nationwide."
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"Exxon Mobil asks court to reverse record Alabama verdict": The Associated Press provides this report.
And ExxonMobil today has issued a news release titled "ExxonMobil Urges Alabama Supreme Court to Reverse Largest Punitive Damages Award in State's History."
"How the death penalty really works": Terry Moran recently had this interesting post at his blog hosted by ABC News.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"Justice Lawyer Defends Attorney Firings": The AP provides a report that begins, "A top Justice Department lawyer acknowledged Tuesday that more than a half-dozen U.S. attorneys were fired in the last year, in some cases without cause, but denied Democrats' charges that they were dismissed and replaced for political reasons."
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"Court Says Wal-Mart Must Face Bias Trial": David Kravets of The Associated Press provides this report.
Bloomberg News reports that "Wal-Mart Loses Bid to Block Group Suit in Bias Case."
Divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel affirms certification of class action suit against Wal-Mart alleging sexual discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act: You can access today's ruling in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc. at this link.
The district court calls this class certification "historic," a euphemism for "unprecedented." In the law, the absence of precedent is no recommendation. This class certification violates the requirements of Rule 23. It threatens the rights of women injured by sex discrimination. And it threatens Wal-Mart's rights. The district court's formula approach to dividing up punitive damages and back pay means that women injured by sex discrimination will have to share any recovery with women who were not. Women who were fired or not promoted for good reasons will take money from Wal-Mart they do not deserve, and get reinstated or promoted as well. This is "rough justice" indeed. "Rough," anyway. Since when were the district courts converted into administrative agencies and empowered to ignore individual justice?Some readers may recall that when this appeal was argued in August 2005, Judge Pregerson criticized Wal-Mart's appellate brief as being "arrogant" and "offensive" toward the trial judge. I collected press coverage of the oral argument here and here.
Posted at 01:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"Alito Recaps First Year on High Court": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman
"Grand Jury Testimony Played at Libby Trial": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"Federal judge appointment stalled for Flanders '71": This article appears today in The Brown Daily Herald.
Posted at 10:48 AM by Howard Bashman
"Unbearable": How does the performance of the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl remind one of the U.S. Supreme Court? ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg takes a shot at answering that question in this post at her "Legalities" blog.
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman
"Appeals ruling fails to free exec; Judge sends ex-Westar chief back to prison": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
The Kansas City Star reports today that "Ex-Westar CEO resentenced; Former executive's attorneys pledge an appeal, saying judge disregarded a ruling."
And The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that "Judge cuts Wittig sentence; Former Westar president receives two years in bank fraud case."
"A narrow view of the law": Law Professor Geoffrey R. Stone today has an op-ed in The Chicago Tribune that begins, "In a recent speech in Chicago, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the Supreme Court functions best 'when it can deliver one clear and focused opinion of the court.'"
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman
"Remote Polish airstrip holds clues to secret CIA flights": The Chicago Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman
"Congress listens in on wiretapping: The Bush administration finally shares information on its domestic spying program, but not to the public." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court hears grand jury testimony; I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's words three years ago contradict what officials have said at his perjury trial": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
The Washington Post reports today that "Jurors Listen to Libby's Grand Jury Tapes; Former Aide Testified He Learned CIA Agent's Identity From Vice President."
And in The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis reports that "Libby's Grand Jury Tapes Are Heard in Court." In addition, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has an op-ed entitled "Mr. Cheney, Tear Down This Wall" (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link).
"Watada lawyer frustrated as judge narrows defense; Five men, two women to sit on court-martial jury": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The Seattle Times reports today that "Watada lawyer rebukes judge."
The New York Times reports that "Trial Starts for Officer Who Refused to Go to Iraq."
"A gag order on parents? Judges may be going too far when they force divorced adults to watch what they say around their children." Law Professor Eugene Volokh has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman
Take that, mainstream media! Today in The San Francisco Chronicle. Bob Egelko reports that "Blogger jailed for defying grand jury sets record; He's U.S. journalist imprisoned longest in contempt of court." Now that bloggers hold the individual record, they are aiming next for the collective record.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman
Justice Cheesefries, concurring: The Los Angeles Times today has published a correction that states, "'The Supreme Court': A review in Wednesday's Calendar section of a PBS documentary about the Supreme Court said there was a justice named Hamburger. There was a chief justice named Warren Burger."
I guess, in newspaper correction-speak, that the foregoing is meant to communicate that there was no Justice Hamburger. This blog's previous coverage of this error appears here, here, and here.
"First Hispanic To Lead Harvard Law Review": The Harvard Crimson contains this article today.
"Vein expert: Needles inserted wrong in execution." This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Supreme Court of Connecticut upholds law banning smoking in restaurants and cafes: Yesterday's ruling consisted of a majority opinion and a dissent.
Today's edition of The Hartford Courant contains this article reporting on the ruling.
The Connecticut Post reports today that "State high court approves smoking ban."
"Chief Justice Counsels Humility; Roberts Says Lawyers Must Put Themselves in Judges' Shoes": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman
"Firms request Enron class status be voided": Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"Death Row Inmate Has Outburst": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "A federal judge is considering whether to place Ronell Wilson under more restrictive conditions after he threw a violent tantrum in a prison in Brooklyn, just days after being sentenced to death for the murder of two detectives."
The New York Times reports today that "Detectives' Killer Breaks Windows in Jail."
The New York Daily News reports that "Cop-killer tantrum rocks Death Row."
In commentary online today at FindLaw: Sherry F. Colb has an essay entitled "Texas Man Receives A Life Sentence for the Murder of his Unborn Twins: When Feticide is a Capital Crime."
And Ethan J. Leib has an essay entitled "PBS's 'The Supreme Court': A Conventional View of the Cathedral."
"McConnell focuses on judges as GOP defines top priorities": This article appears today in The Hill.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman