How Appealing

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Anti-incest law applies even to adult stepchildren": The Columbus Dispatch provides a news update that begins, "Ohio families suffer when a stepfather has sex with his adult stepdaughter, even if she gives consent, the state Supreme Court ruled today. In a 6-1 decision, justices said the state's anti-incest law applies even when there is no blood relationship and both parties are consenting adults. But the case could be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court based on a ruling four years ago that overturned a Texas ban on gay sex between consenting adults."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio at this link. And the court issued a related news release headlined "Law Barring Consensual Sex Between Stepfather and Adult Stepdaughter Upheld as Constitutional."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Hears Arguments Linking Right to Sue and Spending on Religion": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.

In Thursday's edition of The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will report that "Justices Weigh Right to Sue Over Church-State Separation."

In Thursday's edition of USA Today, Joan Biskupic will report that "Court leery of suits by taxpayers."

Thursday's edition of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will report that "High court takes on faith-based initiatives; Wisconsin woman leads charge against Bush programs."

Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times reports that "Supreme court to rule on aid for religious charities."

The Chicago Tribune provides a news update headlined "Faith-based plan challenge heard by Supreme Court."

And last Sunday, The Wisconsin State Journal previewed the oral argument in an article headlined "Atheists on the case."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court clears way for Bahama burial for Anna Nicole": The Los Angeles Times provides a news update that begins, "A three-judge Florida court today rejected an appeal from Anna Nicole Smith's mother and cleared the way for the former reality television star to be buried in the Bahamas, perhaps as soon as this week."
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Padilla Ruled Fit for Trial on Terror Charges": The New York Times provides this news update.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Best Selling Author Speculates on Justice Ginsburg Health, Possible Court Vacancy; Describes her As 'Not a Justice Ginsburg that I have seen before'": The organization Fidelis has today posted online this podcast interview [34MB mp3 file] with ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg.
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bagel Breakfast: The Supreme Court looks at the president's faith-based community programs." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Special Education, Police Rights": This segment (transcript with links to audio and video) featuring Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal appeared on yesterday's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Faith & frailty": Jan Crawford Greenburg has this interesting post today at her "Legalities" blog.
Posted at 07:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court: 2004 access-to-accuser ruling not applied retroactively; The decision not to apply the watershed ruling to past cases has the potential to shut out thousands": Warren Richey will have this article Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 06:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Questions Challenge to Bush Faith-Based Initiative": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Analysis: 'Flast' lives, but in what form?"
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Part II of Confirm Them's three-part Q&A session with Jan Crawford Greenburg": Available online at this link.
Posted at 05:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney Says He Was Pressured on Corruption Probe": The Washington Post provides a news update that begins, "The fired U.S. attorney in New Mexico says he was pressured by two members of Congress prior to the November elections about the pace of an ongoing public corruption probe that targets local Democrats."
Posted at 05:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Fla. Court Upholds Smith Burial Ruling": The AP provides a report that begins, "A Florida appeals court Wednesday upheld a judge's ruling that allowed Anna Nicole Smith to be buried in the Bahamas, agreeing evidence supports that's what the former Playboy Playmate wanted."
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge: Padilla Competent for Trial." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge ruled Wednesday that suspected al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla is competent to stand trial on terrorism support charges, rejecting arguments that he was severely damaged by 3 1/2 years of interrogation and isolation in a military brig."
Posted at 05:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Weighs Faith-Based Initiatives": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Debates Lawsuit Against White House's Faith-Based Initiative": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this news update.
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawsuit Raises Questions About Putdown": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "When a few classmates razzed Rebeka Rice about her Mormon upbringing with questions such as, 'Do you have 10 moms?' she shot back: 'That's so gay.' Those three words landed the high school freshman in the principal's office and resulted in a lawsuit that raises this question: When do playground insults used every day all over America cross the line into hate speech that must be stamped out?"
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court hears defense of faith-based initiative": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcript in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., No. 06-157: The transcript is available online at this link.
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Questions Padilla's Cooperation": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge who must decide whether alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla is mentally fit for trial said Wednesday that the former Chicago gang member hasn't behaved strangely but may not be cooperating with his attorneys."
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Political interference alleged in sacking of a U.S. attorney": McClatchy Newspapers provide a report that begins, "The U.S. attorney from New Mexico who was recently fired by the Bush administration said Wednesday that he believes he was forced out because he refused to rush an indictment in an ongoing probe of local Democrats a month before November's Congressional elections."
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Inside Bush's prosecutor purge: Why has the administration fired U.S. attorneys with sterling track records? To make room for its political loyalists, critics say, and exert its last shred of control." Mark Follman has this essay today at Salon.com.
Posted at 01:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Mulls Faith-Based Case's Merit": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:57 PM by Howard Bashman


Eighth Circuit's wacky "federal officer" removal holding in earlier case involving the marketing of light cigarettes won't benefit R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which waited too long to assert that ground for removal in a similar case filed in Minnesota state court: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit at this link.

This basis for removing to federal court cases involving the marketing of light cigarettes may prove to be fleeting, as the U.S. Supreme Court last month granted certiorari to review the correctness of the Eighth Circuit's initial ruling endorsing this basis for removal.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Won't Apply Rule to Molester Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court unanimously reinstated a Nevada child molester's conviction Wednesday in a decision that continued the justices' refusal to apply recent rulings on criminal procedure to older cases."
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Whorton v. Bockting, No. 05-595: The Court has posted at this link a copy of the ruling.

Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. delivered the opinion on behalf of a unanimous Court, holding that "Crawford announced a 'new rule' of criminal procedure and that this rule does not fall within the Teague exception for watershed rules."
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Suit demands details on secret court's wiretap ruling; Group seeks to learn if program requires individual warrants": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A privacy rights group sued the Justice Department on Tuesday to try to pry loose a ruling by a secret court that the Bush administration says approved its clandestine wiretapping program."

Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a press release entitled "EFF Lawsuit Seeks Release of Secret Court Orders on Electronic Surveillance; Justice Department Withholds Records About Purported Changes to Program." A copy of the complaint initiating suit can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Crawford ruling not retroactive": Lyle Denniston at "SCOTUSblog" has a post that begins, "The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that its major ruling on the Confrontation Clause in Crawford v. Washington is not to be applied retroactively, to cases that were final before that rulinig came down on March 8, 2004."
Posted at 10:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"She swears the Constitution is on her side; A Riverside woman, cited over foul language at John Wayne Airport, says the law is vague and stifles free speech": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo court complex rejected; The Defense secretary says the $102-million project proposed by the Pentagon is not needed for detainee trials": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Aspects of Padilla's treatment confirmed; A brig official confirms that the terrorism suspect had no timepiece or natural light -- and sometimes no light at all": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Canadian Parliament Decides to Let 2 Measures Passed After 9/11 Expire": The New York Times contains this article today.

The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article headlined "Terror vote fails as Dion reins in Liberals; Conservative bid to renew measures voted down 159-124" and a news analysis headlined "What's changed in five years? With the shock of 9/11 faded, anti-terrorism measures stir skepticism."

And The Toronto Star reports that "Opposition votes down 2 terror law provisions; In 159-124 vote, police powers expire, despite pleas of families of 9/11 victims."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nichols used friend to learn layout of jail; In telephone records that prosecutors plan to use at trial, suspect in courthouse slayings asks a female visitor for details of Fulton jail's exterior": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Once "not qualified," now she's "qualified": The Hartford Courant today contains an article headlined "Opinion Reversed: Judge Is Qualified; Bar Association Raises State Nominee's Rating" that begins, "The influential judicial screening committee of the American Bar Association has reversed itself on the nomination of Superior Court Judge Vanessa L. Bryant to the federal bench, concluding that the judge it found not qualified a year ago is now qualified."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"The politics of drug sentencing": Today in The Boston Globe, columnist Derrick Z. Jackson has an op-ed that begins, "There was a curious footnote to last week's Supreme Court oral arguments over criminal sentencing guidelines."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Church-state question before justices; Issue is when programs can be challenged": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.

And The Associated Press reports that "High Court to Tackle Faith-Based Issue."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"New Light Shed on CIA's 'Black Site' Prisons": The Washington Post contains this front page article today.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bill targets 'don't ask, don't tell'; Medical personnel among dismissed servicemembers": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"New battle over the Great Writ": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Federal Appeals Court Upholds the Jurisdiction-Stripping Provisions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, But Overlooks the Possibility of an Evolving Conception of Habeas Corpus": Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Government by Law, Not Faith": The New York Times on Wednesday will contain an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court hears arguments today in a case that could have a broad impact on whether the courthouse door remains open to ordinary Americans who believe that the government is undermining the separation of church and state."
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court to rule on Smith's remains Wednesday": The Palm Beach Post provides a news update that begins, "An appeals court has scheduled 40 minutes of oral arguments from attorneys for Anna Nicole Smith's mother, her companion and a guardian for her infant daughter for Wednesday morning, after which it is expected to rule on whether the remains of the blonde bombshell will be buried in the Bahamas or in Texas."
Posted at 11:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jailers Testify About Padilla's Confinement": This article will appear Wednesday in The New York Times.

The Washington Post on Wednesday will report that "Padilla Was Deprived, Not Abused, Court Told."

USA Today on Wednesday will report that "Brig officials offer look at Padilla's detention."

And BBC News provides a report headlined "Padilla has 'no mental problems'; Jose Padilla was arrested at Chicago airport in May 2002; Jail officials say that a US citizen suspected of being an al-Qaeda conspirator displays no serious symptoms of mental problems."
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Hear Arguments on Autism-Case Dispute": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Long Island grandmother sues for right to visit grandchild": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A wealthy woman, following a related and favorable state Court of Appeals ruling this month, asked a court Tuesday to order her daughter and son-in-law to let her visit her only grandchild."
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"PhD student sues over citation for swearing at airport": The Los Angeles Times provides a news update that begins, "If 'Snakes on a Plane' ever films a sequel at John Wayne Airport, actor Samuel L. Jackson better watch his tongue -- unless a potty-mouthed dance student wins a free speech lawsuit filed against Orange County this month."
Posted at 10:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Struck by lightning' 3 times over; Northwestern places 3 grads at one time in prestigious Supreme Court clerkships for only 2nd time ever": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge says local suspect will stand trial for sodomy": The Bay City Times on Saturday contained an article that begins, "Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran ruled Friday that even though Michigan law does not explicitly define sex with a dead dog as a crime, charges against a Saginaw man will stand."

And last Wednesday, that newspaper previewed the ruling in an article headlined "Judge plans to rule Friday on Bay County dead-dog sodomy case."
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Overruling Roe v. Wade: A Post in Three Parts. Part I: Who’s Afraid of John Roberts?" Jessie Hill has this post today at "PrawfsBlawg."
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Abuseless: The Padilla case proves the futility of mistreating prisoners." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court to revisit primary-election politics": Tony Mauro has this news analysis online today at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court takes up church-state case; A Wisconsin group says the president's faith-based initiative is illegal; But can taxpayers sue the government over funding?" Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Reality: High Court and low politics." Thomas Sowell has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge: U.S. Can Deny Funds to AIDS Group." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Bush administration can deny funding to nonprofit AIDS groups that don't publicly disavow prostitution and sex trafficking."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Today's Fourth Circuit rulings of note: 1. Apparently anyone who wishes to register a ".us" domain name must publicly disclose information that would not have to be publicly disclosed in registering a ".com" domain name. In a ruling issued today, the Fourth Circuit dismissed for lack of standing a First Amendment challenge to the disclosure requirement.

2. Today's second ruling of note reveals the sad truth that your post-auto accident new best friend who wants to take you water skiing, jet skiing, riding horses, and enjoying amusement park rides may in actuality be a private investigator hired by the insurance company that's contesting the severity of the injuries you claim to have sustained in the accident. Even worse, if you obtain a judgment against the private investigator for fraud, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and unfair and deceptive trade practices, causing the PI to file for bankruptcy, the judgment you recover on those claims remains dischargeable in bankruptcy notwithstanding the fraud exception.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Twist of Feet": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has this post explaining why Justice Stephen G. Breyer was seen "walking with a cane Tuesday as he left the bench."
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Winkelman v. Parma City School Distr., No. 05-983: You can access the transcript at this link.
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit affirms dismissal of lawsuit challenging Port Washington, New York public high school's policy to report student pregnancies to the principal, the superintendent, and the student's parents: Today's ruling agrees with the district court that the challengers to the policy lack standing.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Litigation is costly enough without judges' making it more so by throwing open the door to defamation suits against expert witnesses." A neurosurgeon victorious in defense of a malpractice lawsuit decided to turn the tables and sue for defamation the neurosurgeon who served as the plaintiff's expert witness in the earlier lawsuit. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today issued this decision affirming the dismissal of the second lawsuit. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner wrote the opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Lyle Denniston is reporting: At "SCOTUSblog," he has posts titled "Detainees seek quick Court ruling" and "Establishment Clause redux: Argument 2/28/07."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer Argues for Parents' Right to Sue": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Parents should not be forced to hire a lawyer to sue public school districts in federal court over the special education needs of their children, the lawyer for parents of an autistic child told the Supreme Court Tuesday."

And at WSJ.com's "Law Blog," Ben Winograd has a related post titled "Young Lawyer Jumps Off the Goldstein Track, For Now."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



In today's mail: The 2007 edition of The Green Bag Almanac & Reader. You can view excerpts from the 2006 edition by clicking here. And a press release announcing The Green Bag's exemplary legal writing honorees for 2006, whose work is featured in the 2007 edition, can be accessed here.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Case For A National Security Court": In this week's issue of National Journal, columnist Stuart Taylor Jr. has an essay that begins, "A front-page, February 20 federal appeals court decision moved another big 'enemy combatant' case down the road toward an eventual Supreme Court decision, probably in June 2008. But the outcome, like the current situation, will be unsatisfactory no matter how the justices rule."
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge sinks City bid to cap ferry payout; Liability may hit billions": The New York Post today contains an article that begins, "In a ruling that could potentially cost the city billions, a federal judge yesterday refused to limit liability claims in the 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash that killed 11 people."

The New York Times reports today that "Judge Rejects Cap on Awards in Ferry Crash."

The Staten Island Advance contains articles headlined "No limit on awards for victims in ferry crash; Judge rejects city attempt to cap liability in accident; millions in damages likely" and "For families, ruling soothes the pain, a little."

And The New York Daily News contains an article headlined "S.I. ferry victims in Mike plea."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York at this link.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Declares Bosnia Killings Were Genocide": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined "Bosnian Muslims View Ruling as Another Defeat."

And The Toronto Globe and Mail reports today that "Genocide ruling angers Bosnian Muslims; Serbia not directly responsible for slaughter but failed to prevent it, world court says."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the International Court of Justice at this link.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



Condition that recipients of aid from the U.S. government for HIV/AIDS relief efforts worldwide have a policy opposing prostitution and sex trafficking does not violate the First Amendment rights of those aid recipients: A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued this ruling today.
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ruling may constrain researchers; State high court says journalists and scholars can be held liable for privacy invasion if they misrepresent themselves to obtain information": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Top state court rules in key privacy case."

And David Kravets of The Associated Press reports that "Justices OK lawsuit against researcher accused of privacy breach."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Free speech: more important than eating your spinach; Free expression is under attack by vegetables and the California legislators who eat them." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Dismisses Juror in Libby Trial": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Juror Is Dismissed From Libby Trial; She Got Information Outside Court; Panel of 11 to Continue."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Libby juror dismissed; panel of 11 continues deliberations; The woman was exposed to information about the trial of Dick Cheney's former chief of staff."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Libby Juror Dismissed From Case."

And USA Today reports that "Deliberations in Libby trial proceed with only 11 jurors."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Psychologist: Padilla fit for trial." This article appears today in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Padilla prosecutors can't cite purported terror manual; It advises behavior shown by the terror suspect, they argued; But the judge in his competency hearing rejects it as evidence."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Testing the line between despotism and a free society": Today in The Boston Globe, columnist Scot Lehigh has an op-ed that begins, "Habeas corpus is now headed back to the US Supreme Court, in a case that will prove a fundamental test of US justice."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"High Court to Hear Case for Autistic Boy": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Director of 'Sex, Lies and Videotape' Is Cut From Real Role as Sex-Trial Juror": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Canada's Move to Restore Rights": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The United States was not the only country to respond to the horror of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with policies that went much too far in curtailing basic rights and civil liberties in the name of public safety."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices mull liability in police chase; The Supreme Court seems likely to shield officers if they ram a speeding car off a road to protect the public": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Justices Weigh Police Chase Video; Tape Is at Heart of '01 Crash That Left Fleeing Suspect Paralyzed."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic has an article headlined "High court case could change car-chase rules; Issue: What can police rightly do?"

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that "Police rules of pursuit scrutinized in 2 cases."
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"License to speak: 'Choose Life' plates promote adoptions, spur healthy debate." Tom Brejcha has this op-ed today in USA Today, which also contains a related editorial entitled "Put messages on bumper stickers, not license plates; Plates started as vehicle IDs; it's a good place to finish."
Posted at 06:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court's Decision to Overturn a $79.5 Punitive Damages Verdict Against Philip Morris: A Big Win, But One With Implications That May Trouble Corporate America." Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 26, 2007

"High Court Could Rescue Disabled Pupils; 9 Take N.Y. Tuition Reimbursement Case": Joseph Goldstein will have this article Tuesday in The New York Sun.
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Linda Greenhouse is reporting: Tuesday in The New York Times, she will have articles headlined "Justices Take Up Police Use of Lethal Force" and "Justices Decline Case on 200-Year Sentence for Man Who Possessed Child Pornography."
Posted at 11:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court upholds state's stem cell initiative": Bob Egelko has a news update that begins, "California's $3 billion stem cell initiative was upheld today by a state appeals court, a major step toward funding research that the voters approved in 2004. The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco rejected claims by opponents of embryonic stem cell research that the agency established to distribute the money suffers from built-in conflicts of interest and lacks meaningful control by the state."

Tuesday's edition of USA Today will report that "Court upholds Calif. stem cell agency."

David Kravets of The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court upholds California stem cell agency."

And Reuters reports that "Court backs $3 billion California stem cell plan."

You can access today's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division Three, at this link.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court weighs police action in 100 mph chase": CNN.com provides this report.
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Enter Church-State Fray; Challenge to President Bush's faith-based initiative raises standing issues": Marcia Coyle has this article (free access) in this week's issue of The National Law Journal.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Underwood/Aguon team hires D.C. attorney Paul Smith to push election petition": The Pacific Daily News of Guam provides a news update that begins, "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Robert Underwood and running mate Frank Aguon, Jr., this morning announced the name of the attorney and law firm that will be bringing their election petition to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Detention solution found wanting in Britain; Suggested fix blasted by lawyers who tried to make it work": The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, "The British fix proposed by the Supreme Court of Canada to deal with rights violations in immigration security detention orders has been branded inadequate and unworkable by British lawyers who tried to make the model work."
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Hatfill Settles Libel Suit": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun provides a news update that begins, "A former Army scientist named by investigators as a 'person of interest' in the 2001 anthrax attacks, Dr. Steven Hatfill, has settled his $10 million libel suit against Vanity Fair and Reader's Digest after the two magazines agreed to retract any implication that the bioweapons specialist was behind the deadly anthrax mailings."
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"N.Y. Can't Limit Ferry Crash Damages, Judge Says": The New York Times provides a news update that begins, "A federal judge today rejected New York City's attempt to use an obscure 19th-century maritime law to cap its liability in the 2003 crash of the Staten Island Ferry at $14 million."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York at this link.
Posted at 07:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Libby Juror Dismissed Over Media Exposure": The New York Times provides this news update.

And The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Juror Dismissed in CIA Leak Trial; Presiding Judge Says Jury Will Continue Deliberations in the Case."
Posted at 07:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court ponders police chase liability": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 07:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court declines polygamy case; The husband of three wives claimed the court's landmark ruling on gays applies to polygamists": Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Speaker's Senior Counsel Exudes Experience; Joseph Onek Brings Insider's Resume to Aide Pelosi in Possible 'Legal Arms Race'": Lawrence Hurley has this interesting article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prison Doc: Terror Suspect OK for Trial." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla has mild anxiety and personality disorders but is mentally able to stand trial, a prison psychologist said Monday in testimony that contradicted two defense experts."
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ideological Drift among Supreme Court Justices: Who, When, and How Important?" Professors Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin, Kevin M. Quinn, and Jeffrey A. Segal will have this article forthcoming in the Northwestern University Law Review.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices View Chase Video in Police Case": The AP provides this report.
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Allows Challenge From Smith's Mom" The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Florida appeals court issued a stay Monday in the dispute over Anna Nicole Smith's body, ruling that her remains cannot be moved to the Bahamas until the judges hear a challenge from the starlet's estranged mother."

Earlier today, The Miami Herald provided a news update headlined "Anna Nicole's mom files appeal." The newspaper also posted online this emergency motion, filed in the Florida state appellate court, to stay enforcement of the trial court's order.
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chase Video Steals Show as High Court Hears Case on Police Force": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this news update.
Posted at 04:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Part I of Confirm Them's three-part Q&A session with Jan Crawford Greenburg": The blog "Confirm Them" provides this post.
Posted at 04:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"We Read the ICJ's Genocide Judgment So You Don't Have To": Julian Ku has this post today at "Opinio Juris." You can access the ruling directly at this link.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Dash cam's 100-mph chase got justices' eyes": CNN provided this video preview of one of the cases argued today at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman


Today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcripts: The transcript in the first case argued today, EC Term of Years Trust v. United States, No. 05-1541, can be accessed here.

And the transcript in the second case argued today, the high-speed police chase case known as Scott v. Harris, No.05-1631, can be accessed here.
Posted at 03:17 PM by Howard Bashman



Quotes from your internet sex chats in a published federal appellate court's opinion: If you're an adult using the internet to "knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice or coerce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity" in violation of federal law, it could happen to you, especially if the minor is in fact a federal law enforcement officer pretending to be a minor. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued this decision today.
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Refuses Guard Slayings Case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 01:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"No consensus on high-speed chases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to Hear Washington's Appeal of Ninth Circuit Decision Striking Down Its Top Two Primary": Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his "Election Law" blog.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court won't review 200-year child porn sentence": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.

And The AP reports that "Court Refuses to Hear Child Porn Case."
Posted at 11:27 AM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Court to Review Wash. 'Top 2' Primaries"; "Court to Hear Special Ed Tuition Case"; and "Libby Jurors Questioned About Exposure."
Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman


Three-judge Sixth Circuit panel rejects "state-created danger" claim alleging that police should have removed a drunk driver from the road at an earler stop, before she later ran a red light, killing someone: You can access today's ruling at this link. Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton delivered the opinion of the court.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge voids Illinois law barring Sudan investment": Reuters provides a report that begins, "An Illinois law barring state-backed investments in non-U.S. companies doing business in Sudan to protest genocide in the Darfur region was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge on Friday."

I have posted online at this link Friday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Posted at 10:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Affirmative action bans may boost Yale's diversity": The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Yale’s efforts to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity in the student body may get a small boost from an unusual source: voters in California, Michigan and, in 2008, potentially a handful of other states."
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Camp 6 at Guantanamo: Cleared men, harsh facility." James A. Cohen has this essay in today's issue of The National Law Journal.
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Smith's Mother Files Appeal to Burial": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Anna Nicole Smith's estranged mother asked an appeals court Monday to overturn a judge's decision over who controls where the starlet should be buried. Lawyers for Virgie Arthur want the 4th District Court of Appeal to reconsider Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin's tearful ruling Thursday that gave the attorney for the centerfold's infant daughter the right to decide the burial plans."
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to rule on primary elections": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether states may constitutionally open up their primary elections to voters of all parties, voting on a common ballot, if the candidates are identified on the ballot by party."

You can access today's Order List at this link.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice John Roberts talks about the role of the Chief Justice at the Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, Illinois": By clicking here, you can access online, on-demand this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts."
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"My Gitmo Vacation: A luxury junket to the heart of Bush's war on terrorism." Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen has this article (pass-through link) in the March 5, 2007 issue of The New Republic.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Overly Punitive? The Supreme Court overturns a big tobacco verdict." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.

And the new installment of my "On Appeal" essay for law.com is headlined "'Philip Morris' Punitives Ruling May Contain Silver Lining for Plaintiffs."
Posted at 07:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Police Car Chase: Menace or Necessity? A review of police rights in high-speed chases goes to the Supreme Court." Jan Crawford Greenburg had this video segment on last night's broadcast of the ABC program World News Tonight. In addition, you can access a related written report at this link.
Posted at 07:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Deliberations to Resume in CIA Leak Case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Support for Hunger Strike Growing": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A former Florida professor has not eaten for more than a month to protest prosecutors' efforts to make him cooperate with their investigation into whether a network of Herndon-based Muslim charities financed terrorist organizations. Sami al-Arian, 49, who has twice refused to testify before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, has lost more than 30 pounds and collapsed in jail from the effects of his water-only diet."
Posted at 06:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Adding to Security but Multiplying the Fears": Adam Liptak has this "Sidebar" column (Times-Select temporary pass-through link) today in The New York Times.
Posted at 06:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why Have So Many U.S. Attorneys Been Fired? It Looks a Lot Like Politics." Adam Cohen has this Editorial Observer essay today in The New York Times.
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, February 25, 2007

"A teen speeds. Police ram car. Who's at fault? Opposing sides say the ruling on an upcoming Supreme Court case might encourage dangerous driving -- or increased use of force." Warren Richey will have this article Monday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 05:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"Logic vs. nitpicking": The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today contains an editorial that begins, "The Philip Morris case shows the allegedly best judges in the land shunning logic in favor of nitpicking."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com is headlined "'Philip Morris' Punitives Ruling May Contain Silver Lining for Plaintiffs."
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices uphold conviction for selling smut to a minor": This article appeared yesterday in The Salt Lake Tribune.

You can access Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Utah at this link.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Legislature moves closer to abortion-ban agreement; 'This is as good as we will get this session,' committee chair says": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi on Friday contained an article that begins, "A bill that would ban most abortions in Mississippi could be finalized as early as next week since a key Senate chairman said he probably will agree to changes the House made Thursday."
Posted at 04:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court considers reporter privilege; Attorney general, local newspapers support less restrictive guidelines": The Salt Lake Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Utah is one of only three states without a formal rule or law protecting news reporters from revealing their confidential sources. A Utah Supreme Court advisory committee has been working to change that. It has drafted a proposal to create a reporter's privilege in judicial proceedings, allowing journalists to protect the identity of confidential sources. But attorneys for local news organizations say journalists are better off without a rule than they would under the committee's proposal."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Parma family's autism case goes before Supreme Court; Ruling will decide parental right to represent child": This article appears today in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Posted at 03:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"High-speed chase reaches Supreme Court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Blogging prosecutors raise some eyebrows": The San Francisco Chronicle contains this article today.
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Review of lethal injection complete; A panel says the state can do better and will submit suggestions to Gov. Crist this week": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

And The Gainesville Sun reports today that "Lethal injection changes proposed."
Posted at 03:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Decidedly unsexy Padilla no rival for Anna Nicole": Columnist Ana Menendez has this op-ed today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Facility Holding Terrorism Inmates Limits Communication": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The Justice Department has quietly opened a new prison unit in Indiana that houses a hodgepodge of second-tier terrorism inmates, most of them Arab Muslims, whose ability to communicate with the outside world has been tightly restricted."
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Dismissed U.S. Attorneys Received Strong Evaluations": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Urges Review of New York Judge's Immigration Cases That Are on Appeal": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "In a move that immigration lawyers say is highly unusual, a federal appeals court has recommended that a Justice Department appeals board review all immigration cases still on appeal involving a judge who has been criticized as being hostile to people seeking asylum. The request came in a ruling on Wednesday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan that struck down a decision by Judge Jeffrey S. Chase in the case of a Mauritania native who said he would be persecuted if he was returned to his home country."

You can access Wednesday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"High-speed chases and the Constitution: Argument 2/26/07": Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Alito’s speech gives hope that he seeks justice": Law Professor Susan Pace Hamill has this op-ed today in The Tuscaloosa News.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lights, camera, distraction?" Thursday in The Fort Worth Star Telegram, columnist Linda P. Campbell had an op-ed that begins, "Justice Anthony Kennedy didn't intend it, but in pleading with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, he made the strongest argument yet to televise Supreme Court arguments."

And Cox Newspapers columnist Tom Teepen has an essay entitled "Time may be ripe for TV coverage."
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ban on Prison Religious Program Challenged; U.S. Judge Ruled Evangelical Rehabilitation Effort in Iowa Is Unconstitutional": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"The court's continuing challenge": Today in The Roanoke Times, columnist Tommy Denton has an op-ed that begins, "Chief Justice John Marshall contributed to the aggravation of at least one layer in the stomach lining of his cousin President Thomas Jefferson as a result of some of his Supreme Court rulings."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Thomas gives talk at law networking event": This article appears today in The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, February 24, 2007

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's 'All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Federal Oversight of Little Rock Schools Ends" and "Mexican Truckers Gain More U.S. Access" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Roberts Court, Taxpayers, and Religion": Law Professor Douglas W. Kmiec has this post at the "Talking Justice" blog.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Retirement funds can be tapped for restitution; Court says criminal's accessible pension not protected by law": Yesterday in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko had this article reporting on Thursday's 10-5 ruling of an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Privacy not guaranteed in discussing execution method, U.S. judge rules": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Judge rejects secrecy for death penalty data."

The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Execution plan can be drafted; Lawyers agree to secret process."

And The Sacramento Bee contains an article headlined "Deal on execution review; Inmate's lawyer, media agree state can develop new protocol in secrecy."
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Federal Supervision of Race in Little Rock Schools Ends": This article appears today in The New York Times.

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo rights": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial that begins, "A ruling by a federal appellate court that shuts the courthouse door on the detainees imprisoned in Guantanamo only makes it more imperative that Congress act to restore the right of habeas corpus to this population."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"To Push Death Penalty Or Not; Prosecutors Asked In Court To Explain How They Decide": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "Five of the state's top prosecutors - who usually ask the questions in court - were forced to answer them on the witness stand Friday as defense lawyers for a convicted murderer mounted a challenge to the constitutionality of the state's death penalty."
Posted at 11:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Same-sex teaching upheld; Lexington parents say they'll appeal": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge yesterday dismissed a suit by two couples who contended that the Lexington public school system violated their constitutional rights by teaching their young children about same-sex couples, but the ruling is unlikely to end a controversy that has roiled the district for nearly two years." And a related editorial is entitled "Upholding diversity lessons."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 11:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Brave New Wikiworld": Today in The Washington Post, Law Professor Cass R. Sunstein has an op-ed that begins, "In the past year, Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that "anyone can edit," has been cited four times as often as the Encyclopedia Britannica in judicial opinions, and the number is rapidly growing."
Posted at 11:13 AM by Howard Bashman


"MP3 Patent Verdict Harmless To Music Fans -- For Now": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And The Los Angeles Times today contains an editorial entitled "Patent problems in patent law: A $1.52-billion ruling against Microsoft could hobble technological innovation."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Co-Defendants of Padilla Are Seeking to Split Cases": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Army refiles Watada charges": The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "Undaunted by an initial mistrial, the Army on Friday refiled charges against 1st. Lt. Ehren Watada, a Fort Lewis officer who faces up to six years in prison for failing to deploy to Iraq and alleged misconduct."

The Honolulu Advertiser today contans an article headlined "It's 'back to square one' for Watada."

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that "Army, Watada 'back at square 1'; The military charges the officer again after his first court-martial ended in a mistrial."

The Associated Press reports that "Army's Iraq War Objector Charged Again."

And Reuters reports that "U.S. Army refiles charges against war objector."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Better Pay for Judges": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court told the Senate this month that the salaries paid to federal judges are so low that they threaten both the quality and independence of the judiciary. The problem is real, and Congress should quickly pass a bill to fix it."
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge says his free speech is on trial; Faces possible removal from bench after City of Toronto alleged appearance of bias": The Toronto Star today contains an article that begins, "A Toronto judge who faces possible removal from the bench over allegations that his opposition to a development project in his neighbourhood affected his ability to sit in impartial judgment of the city says the case will test the boundaries of judicial free speech."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court puts security certificates in limbo; Ottawa forced to scramble after top court overturns key parts of controversial detention measures": This article appears today in The Toronto Globe and Mail, along with an article headlined "Charkaoui joins fray on political judiciary."

And The Toronto Star reports today that "Men denied fair hearing, court rules; In a unanimous decision on security certificates, judges call it unconstitutional to detain people based on secret evidence." In addition, columnist Thomas Walkom has a news analysis headlined "Canada turns crucial corner."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, February 23, 2007

"Canadian Court Limits Detention in Terror Cases": This article will appear Saturday in The New York Times.

And Saturday's edition of The Washington Post will report that "Jailing Without Trial Rejected in Canada; Court Leaves 6 Security Suspects in Limbo."

My earlier coverage of today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada appears at this link.
Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. attorney ousted, judge says": The Grand Rapids Press today contains an article that begins, "U.S. Attorney Margaret Chiara -- the top federal prosecutor in West Michigan and the post's first woman -- is being asked to resign as part of a controversial shake-up across the country, the region's chief federal judge said today."

Saturday's edition of The New York Times will report that "Eighth U.S. Attorney Dismissed From Post."

And The Washington Post on Saturday will report that "Justice Department Fires 8th U.S. Attorney; Dispute Over Death Penalty Cited."
Posted at 11:23 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro has an article headlined "Parents Fight for the Right to Represent Their Children in Case Before High Court; Local bar associations have investigated parent-advocates for unauthorized practice of law."

In other news, an article reports that "N.J. Suit Could Be Test Case for Anonymous Web Posts."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" essay is headlined "'Philip Morris' Punitives Ruling May Contain Silver Lining for Plaintiffs."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Little Rock Freed of Deseg Supervision": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A judge in one of the nation's longest-running school desegregation cases released the Little Rock district from federal supervision Friday, nearly 50 years after President Eisenhower sent in troops to escort nine black students into all-white Central High."

I have posted online at this link today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court ruling in Gloucester case defines bad faith in bankruptcy filings": The Salem News yesterday published an article that begins, "A Gloucester man who fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to convert his bankruptcy case to allow him to keep some assets lost his battle yesterday when the nation's highest court agreed with previous rulings that he acted in bad faith by not disclosing assets to creditors."
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"MP3 Ruling Could Haunt Music Tech Firms": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal jury's ruling that Microsoft infringed on two MP3 patents and must pay $1.52 billion in damages could turn into a major sour note for other technology companies in the digital music business."

Earlier today, I collected additional news coverage of yesterday's verdict at this link.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"In Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Congress has granted broad immunity to entities, such as Lycos, that facilitate the speech of others on the Internet." So holds a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in a ruling issued today.

The court's opinion begins:

Plaintiffs Universal Communication Systems, Inc. and its chief executive officer, Michael J. Zwebner, (collectively, "UCS") brought suit, objecting to a series of allegedly false and defamatory postings made under pseudonymous screen names on an Internet message board operated by Lycos, Inc. UCS identified two of the screen names as having been registered to Roberto Villasenor, Jr. UCS sued not only Villasenor and the other posters of messages, as John Does, but also Lycos and Terra Networks, S.A., Lycos's corporate parent at the time of the postings in question.
Today's ruling affirms the dismissal of all of the plaintiffs' claims.
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Is This America? Canada apologizes to its citizen kidnapped by CIA; U.S. keeps him on its terror list." Nat Hentoff has this essay online at The Village Voice.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mom can't fathom son's jailing; Wrightwood woman takes up cause of federal shield law for reporters": This article appears today in The San Bernardino County Sun.

And at c|net News.com, Charles Cooper has an essay entitled "Why we don't care about Josh Wolf."
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Philip Morris' Punitives Ruling May Contain Silver Lining for Plaintiffs": That's the tentative title for the next installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, scheduled to be posted online around 10 p.m. eastern time tonight.
Posted at 12:22 PM by Howard Bashman


Appellate judge decides to "Judge not, that ye be not judged": For the second time in three days, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued opinions containing a footnote that says, "Circuit Judge Moore heard oral argument in this appeal but subsequently determined not to participate, taking no position in the decision of the case." If anyone can figure out what's going on in these cases (see here and here), I'd love to hear your theory via email.
Posted at 11:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wait, Wait, Your Honor": At WSJ.com's "Washington Wire" blog today, Jess Bravin has a post that begins, "The tables will turn on Justice Stephen Breyer next month, when instead of posing obscure questions at Supreme Court arguments, he'll be answering them -- with no clerks to help on research. In an apparent first, Breyer will appear on a quiz show, as the celebrity guest on the March 17 installment of 'Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!,' a weekly National Public Radio program featuring a panel of wits wisecracking about the week’s news." You can access the radio program's web site at this link.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Hacker helps put judge in prison for child porn; Canadian whiz acted as 'vigilante' to find dozens of predators": The Ottawa Citizen today contains an article that begins, "Nearly a decade after he began his career as a teenage 'vigilante hacker,' a Canadian computer whiz says it was 'definitely satisfying' to learn this week that his most high-profile target -- a disgraced California judge -- has finally been sentenced in a landmark child-pornography case that sparked widespread legal debate over the actions of 'Citizen Tipster' Bradley Willman."

On Wednesday, I linked here to news reports of the judge's sentencing.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court strikes down security certificates": The Toronto Globe and Mail provides a news update that begins, "The Supreme Court of Canada has voted unanimously to strike down a controversial federal procedure used to deport suspected terrorists as being a violation of life, liberty and security of the person."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada at this link.

In other coverage, Canadian Press provides a report headlined "Court to Ottawa: Rewrite anti-terror law; Supreme Court overturns anti-terror security certificates."

CanWest News Service reports that "Canadian Supreme Court annuls anti-terror measure."

And The Associated Press reports that "Canada Rules Indefinite Detention Wrong."

Previewing the ruling, The Ottawa Citizen today contains an article headlined "Human rights, security meet in court; The Supreme Court will rule today on a central and controversial aspect of Canada's anti-terrorism measures, the security certificate."

Also, in June 2006, The Globe and Mail reported on oral argument in the appeal in an interesting article headlined "Case illuminates court's inner workings."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Relief Denied? Two new Supreme Court justices control the fate of Texas' condemned." This article appears in today's issue of The Texas Observer.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law, Politics, and Debate Merge in HLS Journal": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "Sitting in Harvard Law School’s Harkness Commons last fall, a group of students decided that the campus lacked a forum for progressive legal thought. Earlier this month, the students launched the Harvard Law & Policy Review in hopes of promoting discussion among liberal progressives, according to the journal’s editor-in-chief and co-founder, James H. Weingarten."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Funding problems stall Nichols trial; Judge orders a month's delay to allow Legislature to decide if it will provide extra money for defense" and "Abortion bill will be rewritten; Would make doctors 'offer' ultrasound."
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel finding answers elusive": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "A panel reviewing Florida's execution procedures over the last few weeks has heard testimony that is part spy novel and part horror film."

And a related article is headlined "'As if in pain': Notes from Diaz execution."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Nonpartisan Reputation at Stake; For Prosecutor, Libby Verdict May Mean Vindication or Political Taint": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And The Associated Press reports that "Leak Trial Reveals Flaws in Note-Taking."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Defense Calls Padilla Incompetent for Trial": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Padilla unfit for trial, defense experts say; 2 psychiatrists agree the terrorism suspect has post-traumatic stress disorder. His lawyers blame his treatment in custody."

USA Today contains an article headlined "Psychiatrist: Solitary confinement has made Padilla unfit for trial."

And The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that "Padilla mentally unfit for trial, 2 experts say."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Fake Private Parts Are No Joke, Myers Says; Delegate Wants to Ban Vehicle Displays of Plastic Genitals": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And The Associated Press reports that "Lawmaker Comes Down on Plastic Gonads."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Congressional Duty: Legislators should not expect courts to undo the lawmakers' error of depriving foreign detainees of a fundamental right." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"MP3 Patents in Upheaval After Verdict": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Microsoft was ordered by a federal jury yesterday to pay $1.52 billion in a patent dispute over the MP3 format, the technology at the heart of the digital music boom. If upheld on appeal, it would be the largest patent judgment on record."

The Washington Post reports today that "Microsoft Loses Big In MP3 Patent Suit; $1.52 Billion Penalty Could Be Harbinger."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Microsoft loses music patent case; The software giant used Alcatel's technology and must pay $1.52 billion, a jury finds; Many other firms also may be liable; An appeal is likely."

USA Today reports that "Microsoft ordered to pay $1.5B to Alcatel; Patent-infringement case over digital music files faces appeal."

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that "Microsoft told to pay $1.52 billion over MP3s; Jury in S.D. awards company for patents."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Microsoft takes $1.52 billion hit in MP3 patent case; Appeal vowed in jury verdict."

The Seattle Times reports that "Patent case hits Microsoft with $1.5 billion penalty."

The Associated Press reports that "Jury Orders Microsoft to Pay $1.52B."

Reuters reports that "Microsoft hit with $1.52 billion patent suit damages."

Bloomberg News reports that "Microsoft Told to Pay Alcatel-Lucent $1.52 Billion."

And c|net News.com reports that "Microsoft hit with $1.5 billion patent verdict."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Former N.Y. High Court Judge Clears Hurdle to Reinstatement as a Lawyer."

And in other news, "Nonprofit Litigates Largest Employment Discrimination Class Action Ever to Go to Trial; Small legal group founded by attorney Brad Seligman causes Wal-Mart some big problems."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Breaking into Journalism": This article appears in the current issue of The Harvard Law Record.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court Is At the Tipping Point: Should A Democratic Senate Prevent Bush From Creating A Solidly Conservative Court? An Historic Perspective, and Some Advice to the Senate." John W. Dean has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Available online at The Nation: The March 12, 2007 issue will contain an essay by Naomi Klein that begins, "Something remarkable is going on in a Miami courtroom. The cruel methods US interrogators have used since September 11 to 'break' prisoners are finally being put on trial."

And Jonathan Hafetz has an essay entitled "Justice Perverted" that begins, "A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Guantanamo detainees no longer have a right to be heard in court."
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online at SSRN: Law Professor Jack M. Balkin has an article titled "How New Genetic Technologies Will Transform Roe v. Wade" (abstract with link for download).

And Law Professor Michael J. Gerhardt has an essay entitled "Why the Catholic Majority on the Supreme Court May Be Unconstitutional" (abstract with links for download).
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Limits 'Absolute' Right to Convert to Chapter 13": Steve Sather has this post at "A Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer's Blog."
Posted at 08:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Top court poised to rule on terror tools": Canadian Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court of Canada steps into a political minefield Friday with a decision on whether Ottawa can keep using secret court hearings, indefinite imprisonment, and summary deportations as part of the fight against global terrorism."
Posted at 08:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"ADF attorneys file friend-of-the-court brief to defend parents' rights; U.S. Supreme Court asked to hear appeal of decision ordering non-parent visitation in violation of fundamental right of parents to bring up their children": Alliance Defense Fund issued this press release today.

I linked to the amicus brief yesterday evening in this post.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sly add to bill would end ban of sodomy; The Supreme Court already has ruled against such laws; McCoy seeks symbolic change": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.
Posted at 07:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Harper brushes off judicial critics on appointments": The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, "Prime Minister Stephen Harper dismissed the warning shot fired by Canada's judiciary over the Conservatives' changes to the way judges are appointed, insisting his government won't leave the vetting of judges' qualifications to 'a private club of judges and lawyers.'"
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"This appeal raises a single question: Does the evidence offered by the city of Kennedale sufficiently support its ordinance regulating sexually oriented businesses?" A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reverses the entry of summary judgment in favor of a sexually-oriented business in an opinion issued today. The order that the Fifth Circuit reversed today had permanently enjoined the ordinance.
Posted at 07:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Terror suspect hearing gets underway": The Miami Herald provides a news update that begins, "A psychiatrist hired by lawyers for terror defendant Jose Padilla testified today that the former Broward resident suffers from a mental illness rooted in his lengthy detention and that he is not competent to stand trial in Miami federal court."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel provides a news update headlined "Psychiatrist claims terror suspect Padilla has mental problems."

The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Expert: Padilla Unable to Stand Trial."

And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Padilla Is Unfit for Trial, Attorneys Say" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Man Found Guilty in Va. Sought by Peru in Killings": Back in October 2004, The Washington Post published an article that begins, "A 44-year-old construction worker found guilty of immigration fraud in Alexandria is wanted in Peru in connection with at least 26 killings as an alleged member of a paramilitary death squad in the early 1990s, U.S. and Peruvian officials said yesterday."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today issued a ruling that could mark the end of that man's efforts to avoid extradition to Peru. According to today's decision, "Ordinola filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and the district court granted the writ, determining that the political offense exception barred extradition in this case. The Government appealed. For the reasons identified below, we conclude that the magistrate judge did not err in finding Ordinola extraditable. We therefore vacate the district court's grant of the writ and remand for reentry of a Certification of Extraditability."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Hail to the Chief -- and farewell; After 8 decades, a controversial tradition concludes": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "As cameras flashed and students cried, the University of Illinois' controversial mascot, Chief Illiniwek, burst onto the basketball court Wednesday night for his final, three-minute dance."

The Chicago Sun-Times today contains an article headlined "Chief's last hurrah: U. of I. crowd mourns end of tradition." In addition, columnist Greg Couch has an essay entitled "Chief's finale leaves fans orange and blue."

The News-Gazette of Champaign, Illinois contains articles headlined "Fans send Chief Illiniwek out in style"; "Apparel items with logo flying off shelves"; and "Men continue fight to preserve UI tradition in some form."

And The Daily Illini contains articles headlined "The Last Dance" and "Champaign-Area Residents Flocking to Get Chief Apparel; The Chief's retirement is causing a rush on certain merchandise in campus stores."

The appellate connection to this coverage stems from a Seventh Circuit decision from June 2004 that I covered extensively in posts that you can access here, here, here, and here.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"In this appeal, relating broadly to the marketing of 'Lights' cigarettes, we consider the pre-emptive scope of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act." So begins an opinion dated February 14, 2007 that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit posted online today.

According to the ruling:

Plaintiffs seek to represent a worldwide class of persons who purchased at least a single pack of defendants' light cigarettes ("Lights") in Louisiana since 1971. They seek to recover "economic damages" as measured by "the difference between the value the product would have had at the time of sale if the representations about them had been true and the actual value to the consumer of the product in question, considering the true nature of the product." Plaintiffs do not claim that they have been injured by smoking and do not seek to recover for any illnesses allegedly caused by Lights.
The Fifth Circuit's ruling holds that the district court should have dismissed all of the plaintiffs' claims with prejudice.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"White House Brings in Nixon-Era Counsel": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"We are asked to determine whether -- and if so, under what circumstances -- a criminal defendant's retirement benefits are available as a source of funds to compensate crime victims." So begins the majority opinion that a 15-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.

Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon wrote that majority opinion, in which a total of ten judges joined. Circuit Judge William A. Fletcher wrote a dissenting opinion, in which a total of five judges joined.
Posted at 02:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Microsoft, AT&T Argue Software-Patent Case": Jess Bravin has this article (pass-through link) today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 02:03 PM by Howard Bashman


Is that cocaine in your pants or are you just happy to see me? From an opinion that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued today, "The police could not have removed the drugs that Williams stashed near his genitals without making some 'intimate contact,' and we reject Williams's claim that such contact is per se unreasonable." According to the factual background section of the opinion, "The officer, who was wearing a latex glove, opened Williams's pants, reached inside Williams's underwear, and retrieved a large amount of crack and powder cocaine near Williams's genitals."
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Marrama v. Citizens Bank of Massachusetts": Todd Zywicki has this post today at "The Volokh Conspiracy" arguing that the majority reached the right result yesterday and that the dissenters -- the Chief Justice and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, joining in the dissenting opinion of Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. -- did not deserve to prevail.

But whether the majority or the dissent had the better answer as a matter of bankruptcy policy, the issue that Zywicki addresses, is irrelevant to the question whether the majority or the dissent had the better answer as a matter of law. On that latter, much more relevant question, I side with the dissenters. You can access the complete ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman



Are the costs of a class-action settlement administrator taxable under Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1), and may the costs of the prevailing parties ordinarily be taxed against an attorney instead of against the non-prevailing party? Sixth Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton today issued a surprisingly interesting decision addressing those questions.
Posted at 10:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sound Judgment: Try as they might, the courts can't fix Guantanamo." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel kills abortion ban; But Senate still could resurrect issue": The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota contains this article today.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Investigator accused of lying in death cases; She allegedly fabricated statements by jurors, others to stop executions": This article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Fraud in death row cases is alleged; Prosecutors say a private eye forged statements by jurors and others to boost inmates' appeals in one of the biggest such cases in state history."

And in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Ex-investigator charged with forging papers."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Shield repealed: When everybody buys ink by the barrel, who's entitled to press privilege?" Michael McGough, senior editorial writer for The Los Angeles Times, today has an essay that begins, "Whatever its other consequences for the Republic, the investigation that resulted in the perjury trial of I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby produced a memorable manifesto for a troubling but hard-to-refute position: that the dawn of the blogosphere has fatally complicated the argument for legal privileges for journalists."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fighting faith-based spending in court: A Supreme Court case could set the standard for challenging grants that break down the wall between church and state." Andrew B. Coan has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reining in juries: The Supreme Court rightly puts some limits on the awarding of outlandish punitive damages." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Libby's Fate Now Rests In the Hands Of the Jury; Reliability of Memory Remains the Key Issue": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Libby perjury case goes to jury; Was it a coverup or a case of a busy man's poor recall in the Plame probe? Jurors are urged to use common sense."

And The Wall Street Journal contains an article headlined "Politics Meets Intelligence at Trial; Libby Case Feeds Calls for Study On Use of Findings" (free access). In addition, columnist Daniel Henninger has an op-ed entitled "Scooter Libby and Reputation: Prosecutions that wreak ruin on a lifetime" (free access).
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Legislature 2007: Bill to let 9 jurors decide death verdict takes shape." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains this article today.

And today in The St. Petersburg Times, columnist Howard Troxler has an op-ed entitled "Execution lessons: too secret, too loose."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jury duty or jail? Hmm ...; A man says he doesn't like the system anyway, so he walks off and gets 15 days." This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Genentech drug patent is rejected; U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision on technology for manufacturing opens way for other companies to use it": The Baltimore Sun contains this article today.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"O'Malley lobbies for repeal; Governor urges an end to death penalty in Md." This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun.

And The Washington Post reports today that "O'Malley Seeks End To Md. Executions; Death Penalty Repeal Splits Assembly." In addition, columnist Marc Fisher has an essay entitled "Listen to Kirk Bloodsworth; Stop Capital Punishment."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"A War Under Law: Congress Must Address U.S. Detainee Policies." Jeffrey H. Smith has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.

And today in The Boston Globe, Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky has an op-ed entitled "Prisoners of the rule of law."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Takes on Software Patents; Microsoft Case May Have Global Reach": Robert Barnes and Alan Sipress have this article today in The Washington Post.

In The Los Angeles Times, Jim Puzzanghera reports that "Microsoft, AT&T face off in patent case; The Supreme Court's ruling could determine whether companies shift software work overseas to avoid legal liability."

And The Seattle Times reports that "Microsoft hopeful of win in high court."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Decries Court Secrecy; Orders Disclosure Of Super-Sealed Cases": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "A Superior Court judge has ruled that the identities of parties involved in some court cases now completely hidden from the public must be released. The ruling by Superior Court Judge Robert E. Beach Jr. is a victory for The Courant and the Connecticut Law Tribune newspaper in their four-year legal battle to reveal the identities of individuals who took advantage of a judicial branch practice of 'super-sealing' cases."
Posted at 08:09 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Hartford, Rebuked Justice Apologizes for Delaying News of '06 Ruling": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Hartford Courant reports today that "Contrite Sullivan Admits Mistake; Tried To Help Friend Secure Chief Justice Job."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Atheist Group Takes on Bush Initiative": The Associated Press provides an article which reports that "Next week, the group started by Gaylor and her mother in the 1970s to take on the religious right will fight its most high-profile battle when the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on its lawsuit against President Bush's faith-based initiative. The court will decide whether taxpayers can sue over federal funding that the foundation believes promotes religion. It could be a major ruling for groups that fight to keep church and state separate."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Government may reveal detention tactics; The U.S. government fears evidence about Jose Padilla's military detention as an enemy combatant could come out at today's competency hearing in federal court in Miami": The Miami Herald contains this article today.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Schools held liable for bullying of students; State's top court decides Toms River gay-bias case": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

And The New York Times reports today that "New Jersey Schools Told to Protect Gay Students."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"A 2001 Genentech Patent Is Revoked": Thursday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "The Patent and Trademark Office has decided to revoke a fundamental patent held by Genentech, the biotechnology company, that was at the center of a recent Supreme Court decision."
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"American Liberty at the Precipice": The New York Times on Thursday will contain an editorial that begins, "In another low moment for American justice, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that detainees held at the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, do not have the right to be heard in court."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Government may reveal detention tactics": The Miami Herald provides a news update that begins, "Thursday's highly publicized hearing about the competency of terror defendant Jose Padilla may be focused on his mental fitness to stand trial in April."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


The Christian Science Monitor is reporting: In Thursday's newspaper, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Nativity scene is too religious for New York City schools; The Supreme Court this week let stand rules that keep menorahs and Christmas trees in holiday displays -- but not creches."

And the newspaper will also contain an article headlined "As earth warms, lawsuits mount; But problems arise when it comes time to pin down those responsible for climate change."
Posted at 08:12 PM by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Illinois Malpractice Case May Shape Tort Reform" and "FBI Investigates Possible Letter Bomber Case" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Up in Smoke: The Supreme Court loses its unanimity." Law Professor Douglas W. Kmiec has this very thoughtful jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Family Research Council files amicus brief in support of petition for writ of certiorari in Fausey v. Hiller grandparent visitation case: Attorneys for Alliance Defense Fund today filed this amicus brief in support of the petition for writ of certiorari now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in Fausey v. Hiller, No. 06-863.

Today is also the deadline for respondent's brief in opposition. When I receive an electronic copy of the brief in opposition, I will post it online. Update: The brief in opposition can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court wrestles with software patent questions": c|net News.com provides this report.

Reuters reports that "High court skeptical of Microsoft patent ruling."

The Associated Press reports that "AT&T, Microsoft argue patent case."

And Dow Jones Newswires report that "AT&T Faces High Court Skepticism In Microsoft Fight."
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion Ban Fails in S.D. Senate Panel": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A South Dakota bill to ban most abortions in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade appeared dead Wednesday after a state Senate committee rejected it."

And The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota provides a news update headlined "Committee rejects abortion ban; action may be overturned."
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Is Stevens-Scalia the new O'Connor-Ginsburg and Scalia-Alito? At the new blog "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post about today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in which he writes: "With Roberts out, Justice John Paul Stevens presided over the oral argument -- which led to a minor slip-up by former solicitor general Ted Olson, arguing for Microsoft. When Olson, a Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner, rose for his rebuttal, he addressed Stevens as 'Justice Scalia,' which got a hearty laugh from Stevens."

The exchange appears at page 51 of today's oral argument transcript in Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp., No. 05-1056:

JUSTICE STEVENS: Thank you, Mr. Waxman. Mr. Olson, you have, let's see, four minutes.

REBUTTAL ARGUMENT OF THEODORE B. OLSON ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONER

MR. OLSON: Thank you, Justice Scalia. I mean Justice Stevens.

(Laughter.)

Back in May 2006, law.com published an installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column headlined "Scalia-Alito Is the New O'Connor-Ginsburg."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"The BALCO Mess: Or travels in the gray areas of the confidential source arrangement." Jack Shafer has this "Press Box" essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Are Patents Property: Zoltek v. US." "Patently-O: Patent Law Blog" today has this post discussing the petition for writ of certiorari filed yesterday in the U.S. Supreme Court in Zoltek Corp. v. United States.

My coverage of the Federal Circuit's three-judge panel ruling, from March 2006, described the case as "the F-22 stealth fighter patent infringement case." And the "Patently-O" blog, in September 2006, provided this coverage of the Federal Circuit's denial of rehearing en banc.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times." Launched yesterday, and available online at this link. Among the interesting posts, here's one noting that Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.'s home in New Jersey is now up for sale.
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp., No. 05-1056: The Court has posted the transcript at this link.
Posted at 01:59 PM by Howard Bashman


"Microsoft patent case stirs software export fears": c|net News.com provides a report that begins, "It's not every day that both the U.S. government and advocates of free and open-source software align themselves in court with Microsoft."

And online at the web site of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Todd Bishop's "Microsoft Blog" offers a post titled "Microsoft making first Supreme Court appearance."

Earlier today, I linked here to additional press coverage of this case.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Rules Against Man Wrongly Imprisoned": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A deadline is a deadline is a deadline, the Supreme Court said Wednesday in refusing to allow a man wrongly imprisoned for more than eight years to sue the police officers who arrested him."
Posted at 11:38 AM by Howard Bashman


On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Guantanamo Ruling Thwarts Detainee Rights" and "Libby Perjury Trial Heads to Jury Room" (featuring Nina Totenberg). RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Rules in Bankruptcy Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a financially troubled small businessman gave up an important right under the federal bankruptcy code because he failed to disclose all of his assets as the law requires."
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Marrama v. Citizens Bank of Mass., No. 05-996: The Court has posted a copy of the ruling online at this link.

In this bankruptcy-related case decided by a 5-4 margin, Justice John Paul Stevens issued the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Breyer joined.

Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. issued a dissenting opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas joined.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman



The Wall Street Journal is reporting: In today's newspaper, Jess Bravin and Vanessa O'Connell have an article headlined "High Court Denies Altria Damages, Sets No Formula" (pass-through link).

And Jess Bravin has an article headlined "Court Rejects Detainees' Cases; New Law Is Cited In Again Denying Guantanamo Bids" (pass-through link).
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Wallace v. Kato, No. 05-1240: The Court has posted a copy of the ruling online at this link.
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court clarifies false arrest right to sue": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tobacco award overturned; The high court limits damages in a smoker's lawsuit, saying firms can't be punished for harm to outsiders": David G. Savage and Molly Selvin have this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Joan Biskupic of USA Today reports today that "Justices toss $79.5M award to smoker's widow."

Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "In 5-4 ruling, Supreme Court curbs punitive damages."

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Businesses hail court ruling on jury awards; Philip Morris dodges $79.5 million payout."

The Oregonian contains an article headlined "Change the amount or start over; The widow of a longtime smoker has yet to see any money for any kind of damages eight years after a favorable verdict." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Try again on punitive damages: The U.S. Supreme Court correctly assumes Oregon jurors punished Philip Morris for more than one smoker's death."

The Washington Times reports that "Reward to smoker's widow nixed by top court."

The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "Shielding the Powerful."

And The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "Class Actions in Drag: The Supreme Court splits more differences on punitive damages" (free access).
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Supreme Court: Overturned award; Weyerhaeuser prevails in alder sawlog monopoly case." This article appears today in The Oregonian.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Detainees lose bid for legal rights; An appeals court says habeas corpus doesn't apply to Guantanamo prisoners -- a decision that favors Bush administration tactics in the war on terrorism": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Restore habeas rights: Now that a federal appeals court has upheld the ban on habeas corpus at Guantanamo, Congress should act."

Today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has an article headlined "Panel: Guantanamo captives can't sue in U.S. courts; An appeals panel sided with President Bush and ruled that Guantanamo captives get a military review, not the right to sue in federal court to gain their freedom."

USA Today reports that "Administration backed on detainees; Judges say prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have no right to court."

And The Washington Times reports that "Court hands Bush win in Gitmo case."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge rejects delay of phone wiretap suits; U.S. seeks dismissal in appeals court over national security": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal judge rejected the Bush administration's request Tuesday to put wiretapping lawsuits against telephone companies on hold while the government asks an appeals court to dismiss the suits on national security grounds."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge keeps spying documents sealed; The jurist rules that it's premature to release materials sought by the media in lawsuits challenging Bush's domestic surveillance." I have posted online at this link yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on the news media's request for access.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-judge Kline gets prison; Six years of legal wrangling ends with former O.C. Superior Court judge sentenced to 27 months for child pornography": This article appears today in The Orange County Register.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Former judge collapses as he is sentenced for child porn possession; Ex-Orange County jurist Ronald C. Kline quickly recovers; He must serve 27 months in prison and register as a sex offender."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"In Closing Pleas, Clashing Views on Libby's Role": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post today contains articles headlined "Libby 'Told a Dumb Lie,' Prosecutor Says in Closing Argument" and "Ted Wells, Center Of the Defense; Scooter Libby's Attorney Makes His Case for the Powerful." In addition, Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "The Defense Rests, and Not a Minute Too Soon."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Libby's memory is at the heart of the case; In closing arguments, the prosecution says Cheney's former aide is lying; But the defense faults government witnesses."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Bush Is Chided by Prosecutor in Libby Case."

USA Today contains an article headlined "Jurors to begin deliberations today in Libby perjury trial; Defense: Disregard opinions of Iraq war."

And The Washington Times reports that "Scapegoat defense ridiculed."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Legislature 2007: Sex crime law applied unfairly, sponsor says; Two-party protest: Republican joins Democrat in criticizing Child Protection Act's 'Romeo-Juliet' provision." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "A move by a Democratic senator to re-examine hundreds of sex crime convictions involving teenagers got an endorsement Tuesday from an unlikely place: the Republican sponsor of a 1995 bill cracking down on sex crimes against children."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"When justice doesn't add up": Today in The Boston Globe, columnist Derrick Z. Jackson has this op-ed about yesterday at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 08:29 AM by Howard Bashman


"Privacy Ruled Out In Sex Case; Court: Laws Against Trysts With Students OK." The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "When a former New Haven teacher last fall challenged the constitutionality of state laws prohibiting school employees from having sexual relations with students, victim advocates kept a close eye on the state Supreme Court, hoping it would reject the argument that such laws infringe on the right to privacy."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Connecticut at this link. My earlier coverage of this case appears here.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Woman Picked As Chief Justice; News Comes On Eve Of Sullivan Hearing": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Tuesday selected Appellate Court Judge Chase T. Rogers to become chief justice of the state Supreme Court, the announcement coming 10 months after her initial nominee withdrew amid a bitter controversy that will continue playing out today at a legislative hearing."

The Stamford Advocate reports today that "New Canaan judge named to lead high court."

And The Connecticut Post reports that "Rogers picked for state Supreme Court."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Why I Oppose the Death Penalty": Martin O'Malley, the Governor of Maryland, has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.

That newspaper today also contains a related article headlined "Death Penalty Debate Has Legislators Looking Inward; Legislators Grapple With Death Penalty."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Suit Over Fees for Inmates' Phone Calls Is Revived": This article appears today in The New York Times.

Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "Ruling Favors Inmates In Collect Calls Case."

And The Journal News of Westchester, New York reports that "Court revives inmates' lawsuit over price of phone calls."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Court of Appeals of New York, that State's highest court, at this link.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Former chief judge wins step toward getting law license back": The Journal News of Westchester, New York today contains an article that begins, "The former chief judge of New York state's highest court who suffered a spectacular fall from grace after being arrested for stalking an ex-girlfriend has received preliminary approval to have his law license reinstated."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Teacher Defends Religious Comments in Class": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "The teacher who is the subject of a potential lawsuit regarding proselytizing in a public high school history class denied on Tuesday night that he had preached in class and said that the student who taped him had never expressed discomfort to him about his comments."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lower Voter Turnout Is Seen in States That Require ID": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "States that imposed identification requirements on voters reduced turnout at the polls in the 2004 presidential election by about 3 percent, and by two to three times as much for minorities, new research suggests."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Will Review the Way New York Selects Judicial Candidates": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article headlined "Supreme Court Showdown: Brooklyn Clubhouse Politics Land Before High Court." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Spitzer v. Lopez Torres."

And The New York Daily News reports that "Supremes to eye how N.Y. picks judges."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"High Court to Hear Microsoft Patent Case": The Associated Press provides this report.

The San Jose Mercury News reports today that "Microsoft vs. AT&T patent case begins in U.S. high court; Software companies could lose billions, push more jobs abroad."

The San Antonio Express-News reports that "AT&T patent case before high court."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Microsoft supported in AT&T patent fight."
Posted at 06:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Do Car Passengers Enjoy Fourth Amendment Rights? The Supreme Court Grants Review in Brendlin v. California." Sherry F. Colb has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"Court Endorses Law's Curbs on Detainees": The New York Times on Wednesday will contain an article that begins, "A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a new law stripping federal judges of authority to review foreign prisoners' challenges to their detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

The Washington Post on Wednesday will contain a front page article headlined "Guantanamo Detainees Lose Appeal; Habeas Corpus Case May Go to High Court."

Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald provides a news update headlined "Guantanamo captives can't sue in U.S. courts."

Wednesday's edition of The Guardian (UK) reports that "Guantanamo inmates refused day in court; Federal court denial 'not unconstitutional'; Dissenting judge says law contradicts habeas corpus."

And Financial Times provides a report headlined "Court blow for Guantanamo prisoners."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Overturn $79.5 Million Tobacco Ruling": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times.

Wednesday in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will have a front page article headlined "Justices Overturn Tobacco Award; $80 Million Penalty Is Called Excessive."

And Patti Waldmeir and Chris Bowe of Financial Times provide a news update headlined "US ruling puts new limits on punitive damages."
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Michael Moore Wins a New Court Round": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Michael Moore won a round Tuesday in a court battle with the brother of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, but the plaintiff's lawyer said she is considering whether to take the case to the Supreme Court."

My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"High Court Rejects $79.5 Million Tobacco Ruling": Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times provides this news update.

And Joan Biskupic of USA Today provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court tosses $79.5 million verdict against cigarette company."
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court Upholds Military Court for Detainees" and "Final Arguments Made in Libby Perjury Case" (featuring Nina Totenberg). RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court voids $79.5 million award in a tobacco suit": Stephen Henderson of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 07:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Human Like Me?: The New Jersey Supreme Court case that could define the fetus." Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Backs White House on Detainees": The New York Times provides this news update.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Preparations Slow Detainee Trials": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman


In Wednesday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor: Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Supreme Court puts new rules on damage awards; In a smoking suit, a jury wrongly punished Big Tobacco for injuries to nonlitigants, the justices ruled."

And Warren Richey and Linda Feldmann will have an article headlined "No federal court for Guantanamo detainees; In a major victory for Bush, an appeals court upheld a 2006 law restricting detainees' access to US courts."
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Claiborne v. United States, No. 06-5618: You can access the transcript in the second of two important U.S. Sentencing Guidelines cases argued today at this link.
Posted at 05:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appellate panel urged to give Ryan a new trial": The Chicago Tribune provides a news update that begins, "Following an hour of oral arguments this morning, a three-judge federal appeals panel took under advisement a defense motion for a new trial for former Gov. George Ryan and his convicted co-defendant, Larry Warner."

And The Associated Press reports that "Ryan lawyers say jury turmoil made fair verdict impossible."

The appeal was argued today before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit consisting of Circuit Judges Daniel A. Manion, Michael S. Kanne, and Diane P. Wood.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals Court Denies Detainee Challenges": law.com's T.R. Goldman provides this news update.
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman


Recent posts of note at the "LawBeat" blog: Finally a blog that seeks to critique legal journalism. A post bearing yesterday's date is titled "Late (but not last) word on 'Supreme Conflict.'"

And a post dated today begins, "Robert Barnes does something remarkable for a beat reporter: He steps outside the bubble in his story today."
Posted at 04:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"High Court Rejects Award in Philip Morris Case": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this news update.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Reverses Tobacco Liability Award": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Law Professor Rick Hasen (who knows a thing or two about remedies in addition to election law) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Leak Lawyers Close on Credibility Issue": The Associated Press provides this report.

And The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Libby's Claims 'Not Credible,' Prosecutors Say."
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo Detainees Can't Challenge Their Cases in U.S. Courts, Appellate Panel Rules": The Washington Post provides this news update.

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Guantanamo challenges rejected."

Today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Court: Detainees Can't Challenge Detentions" (RealPlayer required).

And at "Balkinization," Marty Lederman has a post titled "Initial Thoughts on Boumediene."
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices overturn award against tobacco company": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

And Robert Barnes and Howard Schneider of The Washington Post provide a news update headlined "Supreme Court Nixes Award Against Philip Morris."
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Rita v. United States, No. 06-5754: You can access the transcript in this important U.S. Sentencing Guidelines case at this link.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial Retirement Strategy": Columnist Kenneth Jost has this essay in the current issue of CQ Weekly.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Denies Cert. in Coltec & Dow Chemical Tax Shelter Cases": "TaxProf Blog" provides this report.
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Limits Antitrust Suits in Weyerhaeuser Win": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.

The Associated Press reports that "Court Tosses Award Against Weyerhaeuser."

And Reuters provides reports headlined "Court won't hear challenge to state cigarette fee" and "U.S. Supreme Court likely to hear muni tax case: panel."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: The "gifties" versus "tards" T-shirt dispute today produces an opinion written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel. Here's a passage from the ruling (citations omitted):
Of course there can be speech printed on clothing, political symbols such as a swastika or a campaign button affixed to clothing, and masks and costumes that convey a political or other message. Merely wearing clothes inappropriate to a particular occasion could be a political statement. For that matter, parading in public wearing no clothing at all can, depending on the circumstances, convey a political message. But the picture and the few words imprinted on the Brandt T-shirt are no more expressive of an idea or opinion that the First Amendment might be thought to protect than a young child's talentless infantile drawing which Brandt's design successfully mimics. Otherwise every T-shirt that was not all white with no design or words, with not even the manufacturer's logo or the owner’s name tag, would be protected by the First Amendment, and schools could not impose dress codes or require uniforms without violating the free speech of the students, a proposition sensibly rejected in the Blau case.
Today's ruling affirms the entry of summary judgment against the "gifties." My earlier coverage of this case can be accessed here.

And in another decision of note issued today, Judge Posner has written an opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel affirming the entry of summary judgment against a woman who sued the owner of the hotel in Washington, DC where she was raped. At the time of the crime, the woman was a guest at the hotel, as was the perpetrator of the crime. The opinion contains a very interesting discussion of an inkeeper's duties to keep the guests safe from crime.
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Rules Against Death Row Inmate": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Florida death row prisoner lost an opportunity to challenge his conviction in the federal court system because he missed a one-year filing deadline."
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court tosses punitive damages against Big Tobacco": Bill Mears provides this report at CNN.com.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Supreme Court Limits Punitive Awards, Backs Altria."

And Reuters reports that "Court sets aside award in Philip Morris case."
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court to Review N.Y. Judgeship Process": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to review whether New York state's method of picking trial judges violates the Constitution by giving too much power to political bosses."
Posted at 11:22 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Florida, No. 05-8820: The Court has posted online today's other 5-4 ruling at this link.

Justice Clarence Thomas issued the opinion of the Court, in which the Chief Justice and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, and Stephen G. Breyer joined.
Posted at 10:53 AM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List: If you make it past more than 35 pages of GVR's based on Cunningham v. California, you'll see that the Court today granted review in two new cases and called for the views of the Solicitor General in one case. The Order List can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Detainees Can't Challenge Cases." The Associated Press provides this report. My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Co., No. 05-381: The Court has posted the decision online at this link.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States in Philip Morris USA v. Williams, No. 05-1256: The Court has posted the decision online at this link.

Joining in Justice Stephen G. Breyer's majority opinion were the Chief Justice and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. Dissenting were Justices John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Nixes Award Against Philip Morris": The Associated Press provides this report.

According to The AP's report, "The 5-4 ruling was a victory for Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA, which contested an Oregon Supreme Court decision upholding the verdict. In the majority opinion written by Justice Stephen Breyer, the court said the verdict could not stand because the jury in the case was not instructed that it could punish Philip Morris only for the harm done to the plaintiff, not to other smokers whose cases were not before it."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Do federal courts have jurisdiction over petitions for writs of habeas corpus filed by aliens captured abroad and detained as enemy combatants at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba?" So begins today's ruling by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The majority, in an opinion written by Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph and joined in by Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle, holds that jurisdiction is lacking. Circuit Judge Judith W. Rogers has issued a lengthy dissenting opinion.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court limits punitive damages": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court has thrown out a $79.5 million punitive damages verdict against cigarette maker Philip Morris." The Associated Press provides this news alert.
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman


Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: In an opinion issued today, a unanimous three-judge panel has affirmed the entry of summary judgment against James Nichols, the brother of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols and acquaintance of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, in his lawsuit against filmmaker Michael Moore asserting defamation claims arising from the movie "Bowling for Columbine."

And in a separate ruling issued today, the operators of box trucks displaying on their exteriors "large, colorful pictures depicting graphic images of first-term aborted fetuses" have achieved the reinstatement of certain of their claims alleging a violation of their federal constitutional rights during a confrontation with police in an Ohio town.
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Chief Justice's Quest for Less Fractured Supreme Court Rulings": Because of yesterday's holiday, this week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com bears today's date.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Big tobacco asks Supreme Court to clarify ad restrictions, make it more like beer": Canadian Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judges to hear Ryan appeal": The Chicago Tribune provides a news update that begins, "Attorneys for former Gov. George Ryan will have a half hour before a federal appeals court today to try to persuade a three-judge panel to overturn the racketeering and fraud conviction of their client."

And The Chicago Sun-Times today contains an article headlined "Second chance for Ryan; Juror replacement rulings likely focus of appeals court today."

Once the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit posts online the oral argument audio, I will link to it.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Critics fear SEC chief is seeking to limit investors' ability to sue; Cox says he wants to prevent 'abusive litigation'; But recent events raise questions about his intentions": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Libby Trial Dodges The Truth": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.

Reuters reports that "Libby has one final chance to beat perjury charge."

And The New York Times reports today that "Trial Spotlights Cheney's Power as an Infighter."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting: Today's newspaper contains an article headlined "Lawmakers argue over penalty for teen sex crime; Senate leader opposes bill to give judges a year to review cases like one in Douglas" that begins, "A war of words has erupted over the highly publicized case of a Douglas County teenager sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual sex with a minor."

And in other news, "Fee fight could halt death penalty cases."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"Deliverance by DNA": This article, part three in a three-part series on the death penalty in the United States, appears today in The National Post of Canada. I earlier linked here to parts one and two.

And BBC News reports that "US wrestles with execution question; On a pitch black winter's night at the Lady of Mercy church in the small town of Potomac, Maryland, about 50 people have braved sub-freezing temperatures to hear a chilling tale of an early death."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Florida Executioner Says Procedures Were Followed": The New York Times contains this article today.

The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article headlined "Claims of faulty injection disputed; Expert: Needles tore inmate's veins after execution, not during."

And The Gainesville Sun contains an article headlined "Doctor: Execution not medical work."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Kearny student moves to sue district; He cites harassment after challenging teacher's preaching": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

The New York Times reports today that "Student, 16, Finds Allies in His Fight Over Religion."

And The Herald News of Passaic reports that "Classroom pulpit sparks legal action."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"'A Skull Full of Mush'": Today in The New York Times, Ann Althouse has an op-ed (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) that begins, "'The Paper Chase' is the book you're supposed to read before you go to law school. 'Paper Chase' or 'One L.'"
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 19, 2007

"Supreme Court's new tilt could put Scalia on a roll; The outspoken justice is poised to lead a new conservative majority": David G. Savage will have this article Tuesday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to Revisit Thorny Issue of Sentencing Guidelines in First Cases After Recess": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bill to Aid Georgian Convicted of Sex Crime Stalls in Assembly": The New York Times on Tuesday will contain an article that begins, "The second piece of legislation introduced with the intent of helping Genarlow Wilson, a former honor student and star athlete who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for having oral sex with a 15-year-old classmate, may be in trouble in the Georgia General Assembly."
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Hearing Without Being Heard; As Justices Take Case, Plaintiff Finds It Has Little to Do With Her Anymore": Robert Barnes will have this article Tuesday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Defendant Isn’t the Only Player With a Personal Stake in the Libby Verdict": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Microsoft's Rivals Root for It in Supreme Court Clash With AT&T": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to rule on US patent law": Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times provides this news update.
Posted at 07:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court revisits how much leeway judges can have in sentencing; At issue is whether a set of Congressional guidelines or a judge's reasoned judgment should prevail": Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"91% oppose sex-toy law in Daily poll": This article appears today in The Decatur (Ala.) Daily.

And The Tuscaloosa News today contains an editorial entitled "Appeals court upholds a trivial state law on sex toys."

My earlier coverage of the Eleventh Circuit's Valentine's Day ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Families can sue ex-coroner, employees; Appeals court: They are personally liable over morgue photos." Saturday's edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer contained this article. My earlier coverage of last Friday's Sixth Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 04:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court is sturdy enough to absorb modernizing eye of television camera": This editorial appears today in The Allentown Morning Call.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"When Lawyers and Juries Mete Out Punishment": As I noted in this post last night, today's installment (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column in The New York Times focuses on a punitive damages award against Ford Motor Company that is the subject of a cert. petition now pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

I have obtained an electronic copy of the cert. petition, and I have posted it at this link. Former Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson is counsel of record for Ford.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Travelers Casualty' Case Before U.S. Supreme Court Could Have Major Bankruptcy Ramifications": Craig M. Rankin and Anne E. Wells have this essay (free access) in the current issue of The National Law Journal.

Also in that publication, Jesselyn Radack has an essay entitled "A blacklist's real face" (free access).

And Carl Tobias has an essay entitled "Maryland reassesses lethal injection" (free access).
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mental state key to death sentence; Alleged killer of policeman couldn't be executed if a judge rules he is retarded": This article appears today in The San Jose Mercury News.
Posted at 01:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"That's History: Eats, shoots, and lawyers." Christopher Moore has this essay online today at the Law Times of Canada web site.
Posted at 01:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Framing the Presidency": Online today at The Nation, Aziz Huq has an essay that begins, "Here's a good question for President's Day: What kind of executive branch did America's constitutional framers have in mind? It's a question with which federal courts are now busy wrestling. And the quality of liberty American citizens enjoy very much depends on their answers."
Posted at 01:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former teacher loses Supreme Court appeal": Saturday's issue of The New Haven Register contained an article that begins, "Former New Haven school teacher Van McKenzie-Adams, who was convicted of sexually assaulting two of his students, has lost his appeal of the state law forbidding sexual relationships between high school teachers and their students."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Blumenthal: Supreme Court rejects teacher's claim on sex charges."

According to the articles, the Supreme Court of Connecticut's ruling in the case will not be available online until tomorrow.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Trial lawyers find nothing funny in cartoon; Joke was published in Ky. bar magazine": This article appears today in The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court to rule on patents; Decision could have implications for inventors, Big 3, which help rank state among top for inventions": The Detroit News contains this article today.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Both sides inspired by S.D. bans on abortion; Lawmakers from other states try similar bills": This article appears today in The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Playing God: The fight to kill the death penalty." The National Post of Canada is running a series of articles on the death penalty in the United States, and this article, the first in that series, appeared on Saturday.

Today's newspaper contains an article headlined "Still an eye for an eye in Texas."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Enron-case ruling may help convicted Daley aides": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Salvaging the Guidelines? The 2/20/07 Arguments." Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog" about the two U.S. Sentencing Guidelines cases to be argued tomorrow before the U.S. Supreme Court.

And at the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, Law Professor Doug Berman provides access via this link to his thorough previews of the cases.
Posted at 11:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"For Gods and Country: The Army Chaplain Who Wanted to Switch to Wicca? Transfer Denied." The Washington Post contains this lengthy article today.
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Romney Supports 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Marriage Lasted 10 Years. The Lawsuits? 13 Years, and Counting." The New York Times contains this article today. According to the article, "Legal experts say Mr. Melnitzky is hardly alone among people who become fixated with the legal system, filing lawsuits again and again without the aid of a lawyer to try to reverse an earlier loss."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Madrid Bombing Trial Opened to Streaming Video": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Making Martial Law Easier": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night. So it was with a provision quietly tucked into the enormous defense budget bill at the Bush administration's behest that makes it easier for a president to override local control of law enforcement and declare martial law."
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Chief Justice's Quest for Less Fractured Supreme Court Rulings": Today's installment of my "On Appeal" essay for law.com can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tobacco ad fight goes to Supreme Court": Canadian Press provides this report.

And The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article headlined "B.C. aims to choke tobacco industry; Ads lead to form of mass suicide, government court brief claims."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



Newz from New Zealand: The Dominion Post reports today that "Architects in uproar over Supreme Court building."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tax Planning for Judge Ordered to Accept Pay Raise": "TaxProf Blog" offers this post today.
Posted at 07:04 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online today at FindLaw: Douglas W. Kmiec has an essay entitled "Assessing Chief Justice John Roberts at Mid-Term: Why He Deserves Kudos for his Ability to Lead the Supreme Court to Speak In One Constitutional Voice."

And Julie Hilden has an essay entitled "Can the FBI Crack Down on Fictional Material About Law Enforcement Tactics? A Federal Appeals Court Finds First Amendment Issues, But Deems the Responsible FBI Agent and Attorney Immune From Damage Awards."
Posted at 06:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Righting the Ship: Conservatives still can't transform the Supreme Court." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 12:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, February 18, 2007

"When Lawyers and Juries Mete Out Punishment": Monday's edition of The New York Times will contain this new installment (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column focusing on a punitive damages award against Ford Motor Company.

The U.S. Supreme Court's docket entries in the case can be accessed here. And the ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One, can be viewed at this link (as later amended here).

Update: Previously, Ted Frank wrote about this case in an essay titled "Rollover Economics: Arbitrary and Capricious Product Liability Regimes."
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Australian Held at Guantanamo May Go Home": The New York Times on Monday will contain an article that begins, "The Australian foreign minister said Sunday that his government had reached a deal to allow David Hicks, who has been held at the American military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than five years without trial, to return to Australia by the end of the year."

Monday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that "Costello points the finger at Hicks."

BBC News reports that "Hicks to return home 'this year'; Australia's only remaining detainee at the US military jail in Guantanamo Bay could be home by the end of the year."

And Bloomberg News reports that "Australian Terror Suspect Hicks May Be Home This Year."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"McCain: Roe v. Wade Should Be Overturned." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lethal injection under increasing scrutiny across country; No executions in Florida while method reviewed": The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contains this article today.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tribes' sovereign status under fire; Top state court ruling opens door to suits": This front page article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"BALCO case has journalism in a quandary; Support uncertain for media protecting their sources": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Smith case is more than just theatrics; Beneath the spectacle of the model's death are vexing legal questions": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"6 of 7 Dismissed U.S. Attorneys Had Positive Job Evaluations": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Man of Mystery: Richard Hohlt is the heavy hitter you've never heard of." In the February 26, 2007 issue of Newsweek, Michael Isikoff will have an article that begins, "Robert Novak, as usual, had a scoop to unload--only this time, it was from the witness stand. Testifying last week in the trial of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the conservative columnist gruffly described how he first learned from two top Bush administration officials that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer."
Posted at 12:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judging the Justices: A scholar writes that success on the high court stems from temperament." Today in the "Book World" section of The Washington Post, Jeff Shesol has this review of Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen's new book, "The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America."

Earlier this month, Gina Barton of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had a review headlined "'Supreme Conflict' does justice to high court" of 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 in April 2007, Doubleday Books will publish "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas" by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, both of The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Time to open up High Court to TV": This editorial appears today in The Boston Herald.

And The Toledo Blade today contains an editorial entitled "Supreme Court photo op."
Posted at 11:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"'Retired' Justice O'Connor as Busy as Ever": U.S. News & World Report recently posted online this article.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman


On this date in 1988: The AP's "Today in History" feature reports that nineteen years ago today, "Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as the 104th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pulitzer winner talks about changes on land's highest court; Greenhouse says court has effect on justices just as they have an effect on the court": On Friday, The ASU Web Devil posted online an article that begins, "New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse spoke about the importance of Supreme Court Justices to approximately 300 people at a lecture Thursday."
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senior U.S., Canadian judges spar over judicial activism": Saturday's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contained an article that begins, "If the framers of the Charter of Rights did not want judges to rule on moral and ethical issues, they should have said so, Mr. Justice Ian Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada said yesterday during a freewheeling debate with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia."
Posted at 12:24 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, February 17, 2007

"U. of I. sets last dance for Illiniwek; Some mourn, some cheer; NCAA lifts sanctions; and memorabilia flies off the shelves": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune, along with an editorial entitled "Illiniwek's last dance."

The Grand Forks Herald today contains an article headlined "N.D. attorney general: Illinois decision doesn't affect UND."

The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota reports that "Illini retire mascot after tribe complains; Oglala Sioux praise university's decision."

And The Bloomington Pantagraph reports that "Illini may be dropping the Chief but Gibson City will not."

Yesterday, the University of Illinois issued a press release headlined "Chief Illiniwek Will No Longer Perform; NCAA to lift sanctions on Illini athletics." Additional background information is available via this link.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Melvin can't refuse raise, state's top court rules": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article that begins, "Whether she likes it or not, a state Superior Court judge must take an $11,000 pay raise foisted upon her nearly 18 months ago by the state Legislature."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 11:37 PM by Howard Bashman



In Monday's issue of Legal Times: Tony Mauro will have an article headlined "Parents Fight For the Right To Represent Their Children; Case Before Supreme Court Tests Ability to Be Special-Ed Advocates" (free access).

And Justice William W. Bedsworth of the California Court of Appeal will have an essay entitled "Suddenly People Are Eager to Threaten Suit Over Their Names" (free access).
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"What the CIA Leak Case Is About": Byron York has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Military Justice Goes AWOL": Today in The New York Times, Stephen Budiansky has an op-ed that begins, "This week President Bush issued a final executive order authorizing military commissions to begin trying suspected terrorists."
Posted at 01:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"House Dems back federal shield law; It would protect reporters from revealing their sources to government prosecutors": This article appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Orders Padilla Jail Personnel to Testify": The Washington Post contains this article today.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Padilla's captors ordered to testify; Issue is whether terror suspect is fit to stand trial."

And The Associated Press reports that "Padilla Brig Officials Must Testify."
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Utah top court rules against granting same-sex parental rights": This article appears today in The Deseret Morning News.

And The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "Former partner cut out of visitation; Justices say nonblood parent has no rights to child she helped raise."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Roberts to speak at Y.; Campus forum also lands filmmaker Burns": The Deseret Morning News today contains an article that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts often called future Brigham Young University President Rex Lee by a nickname 25 years ago when a young Roberts worked in the Department of Justice with Lee, who was solicitor general of the United States."
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman


How much does Ann Althouse loathe TimesSelect? This much. But not so much that she'd turn down a guest columnist gig for The New York Times where her op-eds appear online behind the TimesSelect subscription wall.

Her op-ed published today is headlined "An Awkward Plea" (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link), and it begins, "It's hard to ask for a raise, especially when you're a judge. Look at poor Justice Anthony Kennedy supplicating before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Valentine's Day."
Posted at 12:25 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, February 16, 2007

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court May Hand Over Convicted American to Iraq" and "Illinois Says Farewell to Chief Illiniwek Mascot" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge says 3 from Navy brig must testify at terror suspect's sanity hearing": The South Florida Sun-Sentinel provides a news update that begins, "Three officials from the South Carolina Navy brig where terror suspect Jose Padilla was imprisoned for more than three years must appear to testify at a Feb. 22 court hearing on whether the former Broward resident is mentally fit to stand trial, a Miami federal judge ruled on Friday."

And Reuters reports that "Judge orders Padilla's military jailers to testify."

In related coverage, Miami's CBS4 provides a report headlined "Exclusive: Jose Padilla's Mother Talks."
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Allows Lawsuit Over Morgue Photos": The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Tobacco Claims Will Start Smoking Again, Thanks to Calif. Ruling." My earlier coverage appears at this link.

Katherine A. Fallow and Scott B. Wilkens have an essay entitled "Government Gone Wild: Regulations for 'Explicit' Materials Move Into the Mainstream; Record-keeping requirements and associated penalties threaten to reach far beyond the arena of adult entertainment."

And the brand new installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column is headlined "The Chief Justice's Quest for Less Fractured Supreme Court Rulings."
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appointee for U.S. attorney vacancy won't seek a permanent post": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 09:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Defense of Dissents": Reynolds Holding has this essay online at Time magazine's web site.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court denies rights for non-blood partners": The Salt Lake Tribune provides a news update that begins, "The Utah Supreme Court dealt a blow Friday to unmarried parents - gay or straight - who are raising children related by blood to only one partner. In a split decision in the case of a 5-year-old girl conceived in a lesbian relationship, the justices said Keri Lynne Jones of Taylorsville does not have the right to seek visitation with the child - even though Jones and her former partner decided to have her together, once raised her together, and gave her both of their surnames."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the Law School Deans' Letter on Judicial Pay: This Valentine's Day missive was sent to the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. If you enjoy one-page letters with thirteen additional pages of signatories, you won't want to miss it.
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Orie Melvin Must Keep Pay Raise": The Legal Intelligencer of Philadelphia provides this news update (free access).

My most recent earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"MySpace isn't Mommy: If the Internet is to flourish, websites can only go so far in acting as online surrogate parents to protect children." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 05:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Libby defense skirted conspiracy theory; The former White House aide's fate in his perjury trial may rest on a lack of evidence -- and the fact that he did not testify": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "In Leak Case, Jurors Given Plethora of Reasons To Acquit Libby."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former Rove Aide Won't Seek Nomination in Ark." The Washington Post provides a news update that begins, "Tim Griffin, the former aide to presidential adviser Karl Rove who has been at the center of a political storm over U.S. attorney firings, says he will not seek the nomination to be chief prosecutor in Little Rock, Ark."
Posted at 05:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"State appeals court upholds ban on sale of sex toys; Adult-store owner says it is a violation of right to privacy": This article appears today in The Huntsville Times.

My earlier coverage of Wednesday's Eleventh Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 05:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Spouse Abuse: A gay marriage ban that hurts conservatives." Jonathan Cohn has this essay online at The New Republic.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reparations for GTMO?" Terry Moran has this post at his blog on ABCNews.com.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Utah Supreme Court today affirmed the parental rights of Cheryl Barlow, the mother of a 5-year-old child, granting Barlow's request to reverse a lower court decision that had granted parental standing to her former partner, a lesbian political activist." So begins a press release that Alliance Defense Fund issued today.

Today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Utah in Jones v. Barlow can be accessed here.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pa. Superior Court judge forced to take raise": The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today contains an article that begins, "Superior Court judge and pay raise rebel Joan Orie Melvin has to take the money, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. Orie Melvin's attempt to decline the 15 percent pay raise that lawmakers approved in June 2005 would 'violate the rule of law,' the state Commonwealth Court ruled."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides a news update headlined "Judge Melvin loses bid to avoid pay raise."

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court says Judge Melvin can't refuse pay raise."

According to yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, "Petitioner may proselytize ad infinitum against the level of judicial salaries during her retention campaign.... However as a judge she should not be filing specious complaints in judicial forums. Petitioner is free to donate all of her pay increase to charities of her choice. However as a judicial officer she is not free to ignore the Pennsylvania Constitution so as to create a two tiered system of judicial compensation."

In the January 16, 2007 installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column for law.com -- headlined "Judicial Pay: Too Much, Too Little or Just Right?" -- I discussed this lawsuit and likewise recommended that "Orie Melvin should dismiss her lawsuit against the state and instead donate whatever portion of her paycheck she does not feel entitled to keep to charitable organizations."
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"[W]here serious bodily injury or death does not occur, Congress did not intend that a conviction for sending an anthrax hoax letter could result in life imprisonment." A state prisoner who sent an anthrax hoax letter to the Clerk's Office of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Pensacola was motivated by a hope to serve his sentence in federal prison rather than in state prison.

He initially achieved his goal, having been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for that federal offense. Today, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated the life sentence and remanded the case for resentencing to what presumably will be a shorter term of years. You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman



D.C. Circuit affirms denial of writ of habeas corpus to a U.S. Army soldier who sought discharge as a conscientious objector shortly before his scheduled deployment to Iraq: You can access today's ruling at this link. The opinion notes that "For purposes of the federal habeas corpus statutes, members of the Armed Forces are in the custody of the United States government. After exhausting all procedures for administrative relief, service members may challenge their custody by petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court under 28 U.S.C. sec. 2241."

In news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court Refuses Medic's Discharge Claim."

And there's also a web site devoted to the soldier's side of the case.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Microsoft and Ma Bell in Supreme Court duel; The nation's top court will have to decide whether Microsoft is liable for violating one of AT&T's domestic patents overseas": CNNMoney.com provides this report.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Grassroots Abortion War: Crisis pregnancy centers are fielding an anti-abortion guerrilla army to win over one woman at a time; Are they playing fair?" Time.com yesterday posted online this lengthy article.
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"White House Is Reported to Be Linked to a Dismissal": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A United States attorney in Arkansas who was dismissed from his job last year by the Justice Department was ousted after Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, intervened on behalf of the man who replaced him, according to Congressional aides briefed on the matter."
Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"The substance of Chesher's claims arises from the heavily publicized discovery in January of 2001 of at least 317 allegedly improper photographs of dead bodies taken at the Hamilton County Morgue. Taken between August of 2000 and mid-January of 2001, the photographs depict the bodies in unnatural 'artistic' poses, often employing props for effect." So begins the "Factual Background" section of an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"U. of I. decides to end Chief Illiniwek's run": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Unless a judge stops them, University of Illinois officials will announce Friday that Chief Illiniwek, the controversial and storied mascot who has performed for 81 years, is to dance for the last time next week."

The Chicago Sun-Times today contains an article headlined "Chief complaint: Student chiefs sue University of Illinois to block school from dumping mascot."

And The Daily Illini contains articles headlined "Sources: University to retire the Chief Friday" and "Students sue to stop NCAA sanctions over Chief Illiniwek."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court ruling reignites tobacco suits; California justices unanimously reject a 2002 federal decision that had effectively blocked smokers from seeking damages": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Supreme Court clears the way for tobacco injury lawsuits."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Reporters in BALCO scandal criticized; Journalists' decision to grant anonymity to a source with an ax to grind is questioned": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Lawyer enters guilty plea as BALCO leaker; Government backs off reporters -- they avoid possible prison."

The New York Daily News reports that "Feds drop the paper chase; Lawyer pleads to BALCO leaks."

And The Guardian (UK) reports that "Journalists' prison threat lifted after lawyer admits Balco leak."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"In Fraud Case, 7 Years in Jail for Contempt": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"City man named federal judge": The Pocatello Idaho State Journal today contains an article that begins, "Sixth District Judge N. Randy Smith considers his unanimous confirmation Thursday to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by the U.S. Senate a bittersweet moment."

And The Associated Press reports that "Senate confirms judicial nominee."
Posted at 07:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Consternation Process: Dianne Feinstein gets busy undercutting the war on terror at home." Kimberley A. Strassel has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ruling Favors Grandparents Seeking Visitation": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has this article in which I am quoted.

And The Associated Press reports that "Top NY court upholds state's grandparents visitation law."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Alito's Dissent in Cunningham v. California: How Can Someone So Wrong, Be So Right?" Vikram David Amar and Aaron Rappaport have this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Appeals court upholds Alabama's ban on sale of sex toys": The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eleventh Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Was Jose Padilla tortured by US military? The accused terrorist's lawyers hope to use a competency hearing to show alleged mistreatment." Warren Richey will have this article Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Navy Lawyer Discusses Hamdan, Guantanamo": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Talk of the Nation."

Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift's article headlined "The American Way of Justice," published in the March 2007 issue of Esquire magazine, can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judicial Pay -- Are Judges Being Selective with the Evidence?" Ben Winograd has this post at WSJ.com's "Law Blog."
Posted at 04:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Thomas Is a Cogent Thinker": Today in The Los Angeles Daily Journal, Edward J. Loya Jr. has this review (scroll down) of Henry Mark Holzer's new book, “The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas, 1991-2006: A Conservative's Perspective.”
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"On the Causes of Unpredictability of Federal Circuit Decisions In Patent Cases": Law Professor Paul M. Janicke has posted this paper (abstract with links for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Posted at 03:58 PM by Howard Bashman


Oldest three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel to issue a decision? A professor from UC Hastings College of the Law passes along a message from a former student noting that yesterday a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Senior Circuit Judges Otto R. Skopil, Jerome Farris, and Warren J. Ferguson issued a non-precedential opinion. The combined age of this panel is somewhere in the range of 249 to 252 years.

Of course, had the baby in the group -- Judge Farris -- been replaced by Senior Ninth Circuit Judge James R. Browning, the combined age of the judges on the panel would have increased by more than a decade.

The U.S. Courts' biographical database lists a number of "Milestones of Judicial Service," but the greatest combined age of a three-judge federal appellate panel is nowhere to be found among them. Any readers who recollect a three-judge federal appellate panel whose combined ages exceeds 249 to 252 years are invited to send me an email with the details.

Update: A reader has emailed news of a Ninth Circuit three-judge panel's ruling from 2003 in which the combined age of the judges on the panel when the ruling issued was in the range of 252 to 254 years. Thereafter, that same reader emailed news of a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel from 2001 where the combined age of the judges when the ruling issued was in the range of 254 to 255 years. I'll provide the details in a subsequent post.
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Confirms Nomination of N. Randy Smith to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this news release today.

My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman



Second Circuit revives Starbucks versus Mr. Charbucks trademark dilution lawsuit: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Feds: Idea is patently ridiculous; A Miami Beach man's get-rich-quick idea stalled after the government said he couldn't trademark the name Obama bin Laden." This article appears today in The Miami Herald. The newspaper has posted online both the trademark application and the PTO's rejection.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tighten abortion waiver, Storms says": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "Sen. Ronda Storms wants to make it more difficult for minors to get abortions without getting their parents' permission."

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update headlined "Abortion bill clears Senate committee."

And The Associated Press reports from Tennessee that "Death Certificates on Abortions Proposed."
Posted at 02:41 PM by Howard Bashman



"Republicans Block Bill on U.S. Attorneys": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Senate Republicans blocked a bill Thursday that would curb the Justice Department's power to fire and replace federal prosecutors. Democrats had sought to give the courts a role in the appointments of U.S. attorneys, to GOP opposition."
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Restoring a Right: The detention and treatment of foreign prisoners still needs to be reformed." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Students Sue Over NCAA Indian Name Ban": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Students who portray University of Illinois mascot Chief Illinwek filed a lawsuit Thursday to end the NCAA's sanctions against the school. The complaint filed in Champaign County Circuit Court also seeks to stop the university's board of trustees from complying with NCAA sanctions."

And The Chicago Tribune provides a news update headlined "2 Chief Illiniweks sue school, NCAA."
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"When the Divorce Court Leads to a Jail Cell": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Canada Is Set to Allow Expiration of 2 Broad Antiterrorism Laws": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Settlement reached in Microsoft trial; Details to come in April; schools will get some unclaimed funds": The Des Moines Register today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers announced a settlement of the Iowa class-action case against Microsoft on Wednesday, sending home a Polk County trial jury that has spent nearly three months hearing the complicated civil lawsuit. Details of the settlement in the antitrust case won't be announced until a preliminary hearing on April 20."
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman


By a vote of 94-0, the U.S. Senate has confirmed N. Randy Smith to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: You can access the official roll call vote at this link.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


New York's highest court rejects challenge to the constitutionality of that State's grandparent visitation law: You can access today's ruling of the Court of Appeals of New York at this link.
Posted at 11:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Many license plate frames illegal; Court ruling gives police power to stop cars with partially obscured plates": The Austin American-Statesman today contains an article that begins, "Texans who unintentionally cover even a small portion of their car's license plate can be stopped by police, ticketed and perhaps arrested for the offense, the state's highest criminal court ruled Wednesday. The 8-1 decision left three Court of Criminal Appeals judges holding their noses -- proclaiming the statute 'uncommonly bad,' but acknowledging that the letter of the law prohibits drivers from encasing their license plate in a frame that obscures the state name, state nickname or even portions of the artwork."

Yesterday's ruling of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals -- that State's highest court in criminal cases -- consists of a majority opinion; two concurring opinions (see here and here); and a dissenting opinion.

Thanks to "Texas Law Blog" for the pointer.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Is Kansas wavering over death penalty? Poll suggests voters open to other punitive measures." This article appears today in The Wichita Eagle.
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senators Oppose Policy on U.S. Attorneys": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Congressional Democrats and some Republicans are trying to change part of the USA Patriot Act that allows the Bush administration to fire and replace federal prosecutors indefinitely without Senate confirmation."

And McClatchy Newspapers recently reported that "5 ousted U.S. attorneys received positive job evaluations."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Moodie changes mind on retirement; Suspended lawyer Rob Moodie, who yesterday resolved to leave the law for good, has decided to remain after all": The New Zealand Press Association provides an article reporting that "In a judgment released yesterday, the High Court suspended Dr Moodie for three months, effective immediately, fined him $5000, and ordered him to pay costs.... Dr Moodie, who officially changed his name to Miss Alice and donned women's clothing at court as part of his protest against the 'old boys network' he says runs the judiciary, today said he had no intention of paying the fine."

And The Dominion Post of Wellington, New Zealand reports today that "Moodie dumps Alice and the law."
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"PM says he'll pick judges who are tough on crime; Ignatieff warns Harper comments raise concerns over separation of powers": This front page article appears today in The Toronto Globe and Mail.
Posted at 10:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Students argue before Chief Justice Roberts": The Record of Washington University in St. Louis has posted this article online today.
Posted at 10:13 AM by Howard Bashman


"Government opposes quick relief for detainee": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Courts in fog on sentencing after overturning of law": The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned California's sentencing law has left judges and lawyers across the state waiting for legislators to fill the legal vacuum left by last month's ruling."
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas Fairchild, 94, Dies; Tried to Unseat McCarthy": The New York Times today contains an obituary that begins, "Thomas E. Fairchild, a federal appeals court judge for four decades who tried unsuccessfully to unseat Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1952, died on Monday in Madison, Wis. He was 94."
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Courting Cash: Anthony Kennedy weighs in on the crisis in judicial pay." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Saying He Was Misled by Defense, Judge in Libby Case Puts Some Evidence Off-Limits": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times. The newspaper also reports that "For Liberal Bloggers, Libby Trial Is Fun and Fodder."

The Washington Post reports today that "Defense Attorneys Rest Libby's Case; Faulty Memory, Not Deliberate Lies, Blamed for Disputed Statements in CIA Leak Probe."

The Los Angeles Times contains articles headlined "Judge deals Libby a setback; Once-classified defense evidence cannot be presented because the former White House aide won't be testifying, the jurist rules" and "Libby trial reveals the politics of reporting; The case highlights the codependency, even dysfunction, between government and the news media."

And in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Defense Rests Its Case in Trial of Former White House Aide Libby."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer admits leaking BALCO testimony; He agrees to plead guilty -- prosecutors say they'll end effort to jail reporters": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle. The newspaper has also posted online this news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The New York Times reports today that "Reporters Avoid Jail in Balco Case."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Defense in steroid case admits leak; Attorney's action will spare San Francisco Chronicle reporters from prison for contempt in refusing to reveal source."

The New York Daily News reports that "Bonds scribes take walk; Lawyer admits to grand jury leak."

And The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Balco case lawyer source of leak; New twist in steroids probe likely spares reporters jail."
Posted at 07:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice pleads with Senate: No cameras in high court." Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 06:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Assessing Chief Justice William Rehnquist's Tenure on the Supreme Court: Is Jeffrey Rosen's Assessment Unduly Rosy?" Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Justice Kennedy made an unusual appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, ostensibly to talk about 'Judicial Security and Independence.'" So begins this post from ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg at her "Legalities" blog today.
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Suit against Myspace.com dismissed by judge in Texas": The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "A Texas judge dismissed a lawsuit against MySpace on Wednesday that had blamed the popular Web site for not establishing enough safeguards to protect underage users."

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "MySpace cleared in sexual assault case."

The Associated Press reports that "Judge Tosses $30M Suit Against MySpace."

And Reuters reports that "MySpace teen suit dismissed by Texas court."

I have posted online at this link yesterday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of the Western District of Texas.
Posted at 11:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Law would aid journalists but not bloggers": The San Antonio Express-News contains this article today.
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Panel Hears of Ways to Protect Judges": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 07:22 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Tenor Ready for the Supremes"; "Cross-Dressing Lawyer Hangs Up His Dress"; and "Tenn. Custody Case Dragged on for Years."
Posted at 06:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"US Supreme Court Justice Urges Congress to Raise Judges' Pay": Voice of America News provides this report.
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kennedy Makes Plea for Higher Judicial Salaries and No Cameras at the Supreme Court": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Judiciary Cmte. Hearing on Judicial Security and Independence": C-SPAN has posted online the video of today's hearing, at which Justice Anthony M. Kennedy testified, at this link (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 03:58 PM by Howard Bashman


On Valentine's Day, the last gasp for Alabama sex toy litigation? A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit today ruled that public morality remains a sufficient rational basis, even in the aftermath of Lawrence v. Texas, for upholding the constitutionality of an Alabama statute prohibiting the commercial distribution of devices "primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." You can access today's decision at this link.

In March 2006, law.com published an installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column headlined "11th Circuit's Abuzz With Sex Toy Litigation."
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge: Defense Misled Court About Libby." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Microsoft settlement to close 'digital divide'": The Des Moines Register provides a news update that begins, "Lawyers announced a settlement of the Iowa class-action case against Microsoft this morning, sending home a Polk County trial jury that has spent nearly three months hearing the complicated civil lawsuit. Details of the settlement won't be announced until a preliminary hearing on April 20."

The Associated Press reports that "Microsoft Settles Iowa Antitrust Case."

Bloomberg News reports that "Microsoft Settles Iowa Consumer Antitrust Lawsuit."

Reuters reports that "Microsoft reaches settlement in Iowa lawsuit."

And c|net News.com reports that "Microsoft settles Iowa class action suit."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the prepared statements from today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the subject of "Judicial Security and Independence": The written statements available online are from Justice Anthony M. Kennedy; U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby; John F. Clark, Director, U.S. Marshals Service; and committee chair Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT).
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: The Seventh Circuit today issued two decisions of note.

1. A man inspired by David Lee Roth at a Van Halen concert to become a street preacher nearly wins his challenge to Vincennes University's "Sales and/or Solicitation Policy" governing uninvited public speakers. You can access today's opinion, written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, at this link.

2. And a ruling written by Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook observes that the opposing parties in that case "misunderstand the role of statistical inference" in proving something of consequence in a litigated matter. As a result, Chief Judge Easterbrook undertakes to explain how lawyers should and should not use statistics in court.
Posted at 01:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Kennedy Says Morale Low Over Pay": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:38 AM by Howard Bashman


Senior Seventh Circuit Judge Thomas E. Fairchild has died at the age of 94: This obituary appears today in The Wisconsin State Journal (via "Althouse").
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judges stand by Columbia group's terrorist label; Ruling affirms asset freeze on Islamic American Relief Agency": The Kansas City Star contains this article today.

And The Columbia Missourian reports today that "IARA asset freeze is upheld; Judge says Columbia agency is branch of a suspect group."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's D.C. Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Libby's Memory Famously Faulty, Colleague Says": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial Security and Independence": That's the title of this morning's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at which Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is scheduled to testify. The hearing is due to begin at 10 a.m. eastern time, and a live video feed (once the hearing gets underway) can be accessed here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Magistrate will mediate case of jailed blogger": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal judge assigned a magistrate as a mediator Tuesday to try to resolve the case of Josh Wolf, the blogger who has been in prison nearly six months for refusing to turn over a videotape of an anarchist protest to a federal grand jury."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Libby and Cheney Won't Testify, Says the Defense": The New York Times contains this article today.

The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "Libby Defense to Rest Without Testimony by Him or Cheney."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Libby, Cheney will stay off the stand; The surprise decision eliminates what was seen as a key element of the former White House aide's defense."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Libby Team Reverses Its Course; Defendant, Vice President Will Not Take the Stand."

Yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Libby and Cheney Won't Take Stand in Leak Case" featuring Nina Totenberg.

And today in The Boston Globe, columnist Alex Beam has an essay entitled "Libby trial -- when memory doesn't serve."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"With Kagan, Law School Celebrates; Dean tears up amid 'I (Heart) EK' shirts donned by law students": This article appears today in The Harvard Crimson.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lack of Black Bench Nominees Criticized; No African-Americans in 62 openings for U.S. trial judgeships": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Teacher Faces Jail Over Pornography on Class Computer": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Julie Amero, a substitute teacher at a middle school in Norwich, Conn., said she had simply wanted to e-mail her husband. The authorities contend that she was -- purposely or, perhaps, carelessly -- exposing 11- and 12-year-old students to pornography rather than teaching them English."

The Associated Press reports that "Norwich substitute is 'scared'; Teacher denies guilt in porn case."

Earlier, PC World columnist Steve Bass had an essay entitled "Teacher Faces Prison for Pop-Up Infested PC; Crazy, but true: Woman convicted of exposing minors to porn, could serve 40 years."

And The Register (UK) reported that "Security pros work to undo teacher's conviction; 'This machine should not have been on the Internet.'"
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bill Would Restore Detainees' Rights, Define 'Combatant'": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyers Defend Christian Prison Program in Iowa": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for Prison Fellowship Ministries and its affiliate, the InnerChange Freedom Initiative, appeared before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis yesterday to defend the constitutionality of an evangelical Christian rehabilitation program they operate in a state prison in Iowa."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that "Ex-justice O'Connor on panel hearing prison ministry case."

And The Des Moines Register today contains an editorial entitled "Redo prison ministry to uphold Constitution; Faith-based treatment can't discriminate." In addition, Rox Laird has an essay entitled "Signs point to compromise; Notes on Prison Ministries trial," while in yesterday's newspaper Laird had an essay entitled "Case from Iowa is new battle front in church-state war."

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that heard oral argument yesterday in Americans United For Separation of Church and State v. Prison Fellowship Ministries consisted of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Circuit Judges Roger L. Wollman and Duane Benton. You can download in mp3 format the audio of yesterday's appellate oral argument via this link.

I previously posted online at this link the federal district court ruling under review, and I linked to press coverage of that ruling here, here, and here.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Reprimands Reporter for Tactics in Obtaining Documents": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "A federal judge castigated a New York Times reporter yesterday for allegedly stealing sealed court documents that later became the basis for two front-page scoops about a pharmaceutical company."

The New York Times reports today that "Judge Rules Drug Documents Must Be Returned to Eli Lilly."

And law.com reports that "N.Y. Federal Judge Faults Leak of Sealed Zyprexa Documents."

You can access yesterday's ruling of Senior U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York at this link.
Posted at 07:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Terror suspect's claim: Too traumatized for trial; Lawyers for Jose Padilla say torture in custody left him mentally unfit to go to court; Federal prosecutors say allegations of abuse have 'no merit whatsoever.'" This article appears today in USA Today.

And The Associated Press reports that "Padilla Hearing Is Delayed."
Posted at 07:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Need for Continuing Congressional Scrutiny of Credible Claims that Bush Administration Hiring and Firing of U.S. Attorneys Has Been Improperly Politically-Based": Carl Tobias has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Alito traces court's history": This article appears today in The Tuscaloosa News.

And The Crimson White today contains an article headlined "Alito: Oral arguments important to Court."
Posted at 06:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Last night's event at the National Constitution Center: Last night's event featuring ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg and Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen discussing their new books (see here and here, respectively) was very interesting and featured a good-size turnout despite the inclement weather.

The audio from last night's event will eventually become available for download here as a podcast, and C-SPAN's "Book TV" was on hand to videotape the event for a future broadcast.

Following the event, I had the pleasure of a lovely dinner with the author who ended up staying overnight in Philadelphia. The other author, who was celebrating a birthday yesterday, had the foresight to return to the Washington, DC area last night, thereby avoiding Philadelphia's version of this morning's ice storm.
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Alito: Getting a word in not easy for new justices." The Associated Press provides this report from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Posted at 12:03 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Programming note: As noted in this earlier post, I'll be attending an event at the National Constitution Center this evening. Additional posts will appear here Wednesday morning.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Libby, Cheney Avoid Stand in Leak Trial": The Associated Press provides this report.

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Neither Cheney nor Libby Will Testify."

And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Libby, Cheney will not testify in leak case."
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Florida Mulls Lethal Injection Problems": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Decision on appeal to take months; UA team to file petition with high court by end of February": Wednesday's edition of The Pacific Daily News of Guam contains an article that begins, "Guam residents might know within the next few months whether the U.S. Supreme Court will agree to hear an election challenge by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Robert Underwood and running mate Frank Aguon Jr."
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jones sworn in as high court judge": The Times Union of Albany, New York provides a news update that begins, "Gov. Eliot Spitzer's first nominee to the state's highest court - an African-American Vietnam veteran - was sworn into office this morning in a moving ceremony in Court of Appeals Hall."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"House rejects abortion measure; Cost of state-led legal battle over Roe cited": The Deseret Morning News today contains an article that begins, "The Utah House on Monday voted against funding a multimillion-dollar fight against Roe v. Wade, reverting instead to a ban on abortions that would take effect if another state's legal challenge of the landmark ruling is successful."

And The Salt Lake Tribune today contains an article headlined "House: Utah should not lead abortion fight."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Navajo Nation holds court at College": Today's issue of The Dartmouth contains an article that begins, "The Navajo Nation Supreme Court heard the case of Navajo Transport Services, Inc. v. Schroeder in Cook Auditorium Monday afternoon."
Posted at 03:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Upholds Freeze on Islamic Charity": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the government's decision to freeze the assets of a Missouri-based Islamic charity with alleged links to a foreign group that supports terrorism."

My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"DC Circuit thoughtfully weighs in on crack sentencing after Booker": Law Professor Doug Berman has this post at his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog.

My earlier coverage of today's D.C. Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Muzak leaps to the foreground of this Seventh Circuit decision: A 23-page opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today begins, "When Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, more commonly known as '3M', decided to end its involvement in the background music business, 3M's dealers, including the Sound of Music company, were understandably concerned."
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Anchorage, Alaska, is substantially larger, at 1,961 square miles; relegating all adult businesses to areas where only moose and bears would be available as patrons could not satisfy the first amendment." So writes Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel in rejecting an adult book and video store's challenge to the zoning code applicable to such establishments in Marshall, Illinois. You can access the opinion at this link.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court asked to break detainee logjam": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Eighth Circuit reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of Wal-Mart on EEOC's lawsuit alleging that Wal-Mart violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it refused to hire a man as a greeter or cashier because of mobility limitations caused by cerebral palsy: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court Revealed with Jeffrey Rosen and Jan Crawford Greenburg": This event remains scheduled for this evening at the National Constitution Center at the height of the forthcoming winter storm. I am planning to attend.

At this very moment, and until noon eastern time, Jan and Jeff are discussing their books live on WHYY Radio's "Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane." You can listen live using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. [Update: The live broadcast has just concluded. You can access the audio online, on-demand in both RealPlayer and mp3 formats.]

I am reliably advised that on the afternoon of February 27, 2007, the Jan and Jeff book roadshow will take them to Georgetown Law, where Law Professor Neal K. Katyal (who yesterday spoke in Philadelphia and last week spoke at Dartmouth) will moderate a discussion on their new books.

And Jan will join law.com's Tony Mauro and Second Circuit Judge Rosemary S. Pooler in Syracuse, New York on September 17th. Some details can be accessed here.

Finally, Professor Rosen appeared on last night's broadcast of "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" in a segment described by that program as "Jeffery Rosen tells Jon that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a huge dick."
Posted at 11:24 AM by Howard Bashman



D.C. Circuit rejects Islamic American Relief Agency's challenge to having been designated as a branch office of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"It has taken many years, but the court finally has concluded that it is authorized to hold, and does hold, that a district court, in sentencing a defendant, may properly take into account the fact that the 100-to-1 ratio embedded in the Sentencing Guidelines for crack-to-powdered cocaine offenses bears no meaningful relationship to a defendant's culpability." So writes D.C. Circuit Judge Judith W. Rogers in a concurring opinion issued today. You can access the court's ruling, issued by a unanimous three-judge panel, at this link.

My post mentioning an earlier, similar Third Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit adjudicates copyright-infringement-and-ownership action between Sony and the widow of renowned country-music singer and songwriter Roger Miller: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Britain: Problems remain in Guantanamo war court; Britain's attorney general condemned the latest Pentagon version of the Guantanamo war court; a senior Democratic senator plans to offer a revision today." This article appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Zazzali asks raise for state judiciary; Chief justice sees danger of 'constitutional crisis'": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains this article today.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Libby Lawyers Open Case With Denials by Reporters": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Journalists Testify That Libby Never Mentioned CIA Officer; Some Say They Learned of Plame's Identity From Other Sources." And Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "Star Character Witnesses at Libby Trial."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Journalists take stand in Libby's defense; Bob Woodward and others say the Cheney aide wasn't the one who told them about CIA agent Valerie Plame."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Libby's Jury Hears Rant Of Diplomat."

USA Today reports that "Libby didn't spill name, reporters say; First witnesses for defense testify at former aide's trial."

Finally, yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Woodward, Novak: Armitage Was Leak Source" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg. And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Defense Lawyers Paint Libby as Scapegoat" (RealPlayer required) also featuring Ms. Totenberg.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Anniversary of same-sex weddings; 3 years after Newsom ordered city to marry gay, lesbian couples, backers honor the grateful, embattled mayor": The San Francisco Chronicle contains this article today.

And The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article headlined "Drive for marriage amendment launched; Plan bans gay nuptials but not civil unions."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Doctor: Execution flawed at start; It is not known if Angel Diaz suffered any pain during the botched execution." This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

And The Gainesville Sun reports today that "Experts testify on botched execution."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice defends death penalty": The Washington Times today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Justice Department is defending the practice of seeking the death penalty in jurisdictions such as the District where local law bars capital punishment, including in the ongoing trial of a D.C. man accused of being an enforcer for a violent drug gang."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bill Would Make ISPs Keep Data On Users; Questions Are Raised On Privacy, Practicality": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Report Questions Constitutionality of Giving D.C. a Vote": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The research arm of Congress says that legislation to give the District a vote in the House of Representatives is probably unconstitutional, a finding that could jeopardize its chances of passage, officials and analysts said yesterday."

Update: The title of the Congressional Research Service's recent report on this subject is "The Constitutionality of Awarding the Delegate for the District of Columbia a Vote in the House of Representatives or the Committee of the Whole."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Justice Alito speaks today at law school": The Tuscaloosa News today contains a newsbrief that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito will speak to students at the University of Alabama School of Law today at 2 p.m. in the McMillan Lecture Hall at the law school."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"S.E.C. Seeks to Curtail Investor Suits": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun to take steps on two fronts to protect corporations, executives and accounting firms from investor lawsuits that accuse them of fraud. Last Friday, the commission filed a little-noticed brief in the Supreme Court urging the adoption of a legal standard that would make it harder for shareholders to prevail in fraud lawsuits against publicly traded companies and their executives. At the same time, the agency’s chief accountant told a conference that it was considering ways to protect accounting firms from large damage awards in cases brought by investors and companies."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"NY Senate approves Spitzer's nominee to state's highest court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Patenting Life": Michael Crichton has this op-ed today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Some Judges Open to Cameras in Courtroom": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Reflecting on closely watched controversial cases, federal judges say the public would have benefited from televised trials. The judges' comments at an American Bar Association meeting came as lawmakers are considering bills that would open up federal courtrooms, including the Supreme Court, to cameras."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Federal Appellate Decision for the Plaintiffs in the Sex Discrimination Class Action Against Wal-Mart: What Will Wal-Mart Do Next?" Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 12, 2007

"Lawyers debate alleged ban on voting rights for mentally ill": The Associated Press provides this report from St. Louis.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Wake of Seven Firings, Branches Clash Over Interim U.S. Attorney Nominees": Marcia Coyle has this article online at law.com.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"MLB Players Petition Court Over Steroids": David Kravets of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Major League Baseball Players Association asked a federal appeals court late Monday to revisit its December decision to allow investigators probing steroids in sports to use the names and urine samples of more than 100 players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs."
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judgment Pay": Saturday in The Wall Street Journal, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul A. Volcker had this op-ed (pass-through link) arguing in favor of higher pay for federal judges.
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"House Names Courthouse After Rush Sr." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Democrats joined Republicans on Monday in voting to name a Missouri courthouse after Rush H. Limbaugh Sr." The courthouse will be a part of the newly announced "excellence in jurisprudence" network.

My earlier coverage appears at this link, while the proposed legislation can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rehnquist's Skeletons, Part 3: Was the former chief justice a racist?" That's the title of today's installment of Slate's "Hot Document."
Posted at 05:28 PM by Howard Bashman


The Ninth Circuit rulez! The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has posted online for comment proposed amendments to that court's local rules.

Here are some highlights of the proposed amendments for fellow appellate geeks in the audience.

The proposed amendments would provide guidance on when FRAP 28(j) letters should be filed. Hint: the correct answer is not "At very last possible moment."

The proposed amendments would mandate that the first volume of the record excerpts be limited to the orders, decisions, and opinions under review, so that the judges won't have to carry around a whole bunch of extra, um, stuff just to travel with the briefs and the trial court's explanation for its ruling. The court would also like input on whether the balance of the record excerpts should continue to be ordered chronologically or if those materials can be set forth in some other even more random sequence that's sure to perplex everyone other than counsel for appellant.

And the final proposed change that merits mention addresses the filing of amicus briefs both in connection with pending rehearing petitions and after rehearing has been granted. One interesting subpart of this proposed rule addresses the prospect of amicus briefs supporting or opposing rehearing that could precipitate recusals. Back in February 2005, I wrote about the Second Circuit's attempt to deal with this issue an installment of my "Upon Further Review" column published in The Legal Intelligencer headlined "A Federal Appellate Court Attempts To Thwart Strategic Recusals On Appeal".
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"When a Case Name (Miranda) Becomes Not Only a Household Word But a Chic Female Name, Something Went Wrong": Law Professor Jeremy M. Miller has posted this essay (abstract with links for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Posted at 04:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Utah Considers Abortion Ban": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Why Did the Bush Administration Pass Over Michael McConnell?" Marty Lederman had this post yesterday at the "Balkinization" blog.

Earlier, Will Baude had a related post at "Crescat Sententia."
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Is it a retirement "dream home" or a nightmarish breach of copyright that cannot be re-sold or leased? A man looking to build his retirement "dream home" near Charlotte, North Carolina was dissatisfied with the design proposed by an architect that he had hired. Seeking new ideas, he ventured to an expensive residential area some thirty miles away, where he saw under construction a French country-style house whose design he liked.

The owner of that house allowed the builder to give the man a copy of the architect's plans, and the man commenced building his own home using those plans on his plot of land thirty miles away. The architect whose plans the man was using had copyrighted those plans, and that architect sued claiming copyright infringement.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today issued this decision upholding the trial court's split decision in the case. The architect was entitled to payment for the plans and may, on remand, pursue return of the documentation. But the man who owns the house, after paying for the plans, will have the right to use or dispose of the house however he wishes once he is done using it himself.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Just another boring week in the life of a professor who left Harvard Law School to teach at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law: Last week, Samuel R. Bagenstos taught a class with Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. (see the photos here).

And today, Bagenstos argued an appeal in St. Louis before an Eighth Circuit panel that included retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (download the oral argument audiotape here in mp3 format).
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Hazmat Teams Called to Va. Supreme Court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman


A three-judge panel of Sixth Circuit judges, sitting by designation on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, affirms federal criminal defendant's conviction for attempting to destroy the federal courthouse in Chicago: You can access today's ruling at this link. The decision contains an interesting discussion of whether the location of the trial should have been moved from the very courthouse that the defendant was accused ot trying to destroy.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Taking on Guantanamo: Assigned to defend a Guantanamo detainee, jag lawyer Charles Swift joined up with legal scholar Neal Katyal and sued the president and secretary of defense over the new military-tribunal system. With their 2006 Supreme Court victory overridden by the Republican Congress, and Swift's navy career at an end, they are fighting on." Marie Brenner has this lengthy article in the March 2007 issue of Vanity Fair magazine.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Irrational Sentencing, Top To Bottom": Columnist Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay today in The National Journal.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyers contend R.I. should grant same-sex divorce": This article appears today in The Providence Journal.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cole victims' lawsuit will resume this week; Sudan, the defendant, bows out; new al-Qaida details possible": The Richmond Times-Dispatch contains this article today.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"House takes first look at new abortion ban": This article appears today in The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Marsupial Alert: Don't Refer to Appellate Judges as a 'Kangaroo Court.'" Today's installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column for law.com is at this link.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Can attorney keep his cool before 'hot bench'? Portland's Scott Shorr presents his argument in the case against national insurance companies." The Oregonian today contains this front page article. As I previously mentioned here, yesterday's newspaper contained a related article.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Historic Moment if Cheney Testifies Live, as Expected": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined "Cheney Testimony in Libby Trial Would Carry High Risk."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Media Figures May Be Reluctant Defense Witnesses in Libby Case."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"A compelling look at the Supreme Court": Columnist Nat Hentoff has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Germain Critiques Taxpayer's Brief in Murphy": This post appears today at "TaxProf Blog."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Litigation-Filled Life of Anna Nicole Smith, and the Legal Aftermath of Her Demise": Joanna Grossman has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, February 11, 2007

"A Renewed Call to Televise High Court": Robert Barnes will have this article Monday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Relying on the Notepad in the Electronic Age": Adam Liptak will have this "Sidebar" column (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) in Monday's edition of The New York Times.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Low Turnout Undercuts Portugal Vote on Abortion": This article will appear Monday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Portland attorney preps for his supreme moment; Scott Shorr hones the presentation he will make against national insurance companies": The Oregonian contains this lengthy article today. It appears that the case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on January 16. 2007. The oral argument transcript can be accessed here.

Part two of this article is slated to appear in tomorrow's newspaper.
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Waiting for a supreme ruling: The Alabama Supreme Court, without further delay, should reduce the excessive punitive damages verdict against Exxon Mobil." This editorial appears today in The Birmingham News.
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Online court access elusive; State justices hold firm, cite privacy": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "While the nation's federal courts and an increasing number of states' courts now put lawsuits, indictments, rulings and other public documents online, Illinois courts continue to resist the migration to cyberspace--a stance critics say costs the public money and access."
Posted at 07:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Libby's dilemma: testify or not? His memory defense would seem to require him to take the stand, but some say the risk is too great." This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Libby trial: Who said what to whom, and who remembers? The case has pulled back the curtain on elite Washington and the inner workings of a White House known for secrecy." Linda Feldmann will have this article Monday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"ABA May Adopt Conduct Rules for Judges": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"States fund antiabortion advice; Public grants surge for the crisis centers; Some ban contraception talk": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 04:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"At Libby's Defense Table, a Tough but Deft Lawyer": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Needle and the Damage Done: Lethal injections are often botched and sometimes painful; Doctors don't want to administer them; Is it time to kill this form of execution?" As I previewed here on Wednesday, Elizabeth Weil today has this article in The New York Times Magazine.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Why the GOP has failed to pack the Supreme Court": Today in The Chicago Tribune, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jack Rakove has this review of Jan Crawford Greenburg's new book, "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court."

Today's issue of The Washington Post's Book World shows Jan's book as ranked fifth among bestsellers in the Washington, DC area in the category of "Nonfiction/General."

And The Huntsville Times reports today that "Former Brewer student praised for Supreme book."
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Strict Abortion Bill Revisited in S.D."; "Padilla Asks for Delay in Hearing"; and "Libby Trial Sheds Light on White House."
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judges to rehear school prayer case; Arguments set before full court May 21": The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana today contains an article that begins, "Judges of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will rehear arguments on whether prayers that open School Board meetings in Tangipahoa Parish are constitutional, a court order said Friday."

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice lauds FIU diversity; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- speaking at the new FIU law school -- praised its global approach and diversity": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Ginsburg speaks at FIU": The Miami Herald provides a news update that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg touted the importance of a diverse student body during a visit to Florida International University on Saturday to cap off a three-day celebration over the law school's new state-of-the-art building."

And The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg addresses law students."
Posted at 12:15 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, February 10, 2007

"ABA should keep judges clean: The American Bar Assn. should stand firm against any judicial 'appearance of impropriety.'" This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:59 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bill would ease jury rules on death penalty": Sunday's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will contain an article reporting on a proposed Georgia law that would "allow a judge to impose the death sentence if at least nine jurors vote for execution. It would not change the rules for deciding guilt: That would still require unanimous agreement."
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Executioner's words disturb panel": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Death Penalty Bears Down on O'Malley, Kaine; Legislatures Are Preparing to Debate Bills on Repealing or Expanding Executions": The Washington Post contains this front page article today.

And The Washington Times reports today that "Catholic lawmakers oppose death-penalty repeal."
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Students excited to hear Alito speak next week; Alito eighth justice to give Albritton lecture at UA": This article appeared yesterday in The Crimson White.
Posted at 04:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Self-defense law change ruled not retroactive": The Arizona Daily Star today contains an article that begins, "A man accused of the 2004 murder of a woman at his Tucson apartment will have to prove to a jury he acted in self-defense if he hopes to escape prison. In a unanimous decision Friday, the Arizona Supreme Court said a change in self-defense laws approved last year affects only those charged with crimes committed after the change took effect."

And The Arizona Republic today contains a related article headlined "2 bills would benefit killer."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Arizona at this link.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Show takes on high court myths, mystery; Through three cases, TPT documentary explains justices' role in applying the law": The St. Paul Pioneer Press today contains a television review that begins, "They're the elected officials least likely to be caught in front of cameras. Much of their work -- reading, researching, debating and writing -- is done in private, but their decisions have sweeping ramifications for everything from how business operates in Minnesota to your rights during a police traffic stop. Now, the Minnesota Supreme Court has opened its doors -- at least partially -- to cameras. The state judicial branch has collaborated with Twin Cities Public Television's Minnesota Channel to make 'Justice Matters,' an hourlong documentary on the state's high court."
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Supreme Court justice to hear cases in St. Louis": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will be part of a three-judge appellate court panel in St. Louis hearing two high-profile cases next week."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court's shrinking Indian law caseload": Matthew L.M. Fletcher has this essay online at Indian Country Today.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tribal control dealt blow; An appeals court rejects the assertion that federal labor laws don't apply to Indian casinos": This article appears today in the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports today that "U.S. labor laws apply to tribes, court says; Broad implications seen for their casino workers."

The San Bernardino County Sun contains an article headlined "No free ride for Indian casinos; Judges say U.S. labor laws apply."

And The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California contains an article headlined "Court: Laws apply to tribes."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"To the highest court: UA team to appeal runoff ruling to U.S. Supreme Court." The Pacific Daily News of Guam today contains an article that begins, "The chances of a runoff election for the office of governor are 'nil,' said Republican Gov. Felix Camacho, hours after his Democratic opponent in last November's election announced plans to challenge the election results in the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 03:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Deadbeat ex-spouses can be jailed, court says; Long case of Ontario plastic surgeon who owes $700,000 sparks landmark decision": The Toronto Globe and Mail contains this article today.

And The London Free Press today contains an article headlined "'A huge moral victory'; A landmark ruling involving a former Sarnia doctor sends a message to deadbeat parents."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada at this link.
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Gag Order for Divorced Parents?" This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Law Professor Eugene Volokh appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Portugal's Vote on Abortion Ban Stirs Emotions": This article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Retrial for Watada unlikely to be soon": The Honolulu Advertiser today contains an article that begins, "The court-martial of Army Lt. Ehren Watada for refusing deployment to Iraq could be held up a year or more by constitutional challenges, several prominent criminal defense lawyers said."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"More breakthroughs lie ahead for women, O'Connor says": This article appears today in The Arizona Daily Star.
Posted at 12:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"TV Loves Smith Case Lawyer": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "As a partner in the blue-chip Hartford law firm of Bingham McCutchen and a lecturer in bankruptcy law at Yale Law School, G. Eric Brunstad Jr. is used to working killer hours. But after the death of former Playboy cover girl and weight-loss diva Anna Nicole Smith in a Florida casino hotel room, Brunstad really started working overtime."
Posted at 12:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice in the Balance: How President Bush got the high court he wanted." In tomorrow's issue of The Washington Post's Book World section, Emily Bazelon will have this review of Jan Crawford Greenburg's new book, "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court."
Posted at 12:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sex offenders released before Prop. 83 can live near schools, parks, judge rules; A federal jurist says the ban can't be applied to those who had already served their sentences": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Judge rules Prop. 83 isn't retroactive."

And The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Ruling excludes past sex offenders; Judge curbs restrictions on where offenders live."

I have posted online at this link yesterday's ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton of the Eastern District of California.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Courts wing it after ruling; Local judge breaks ground amid the turmoil over sentencing": The Sacramento Bee today contains an article that begins, "A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key aspect of California's sentencing law is causing widespread confusion in the state's criminal courts, and an extraordinary rape case in Sacramento may be the first case statewide to struggle with its effects."
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Maine lesbian 'adoptee' case tests legal bounds": Reuters provides a report that begins, "Olive Watson, daughter of a wealthy computer magnate, adopted her 44-year-old lesbian lover, Patricia Spado, in a Maine courtroom in 1991 to provide her partner with greater financial security. Fast-forward 16 years. The two have split up and the Watson family is seeking to annul the adoption in a complex legal case that provides a glimpse into efforts by same-sex couples to use adoption laws to establish legal rights including inheritance."
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sudden Death: American support for the death penalty is diminishing--except on the Supreme Court." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"OHA challenge set back; A court rules against taxpayers trying to stop state funding of pro-Hawaiian activities": This article appears today in The Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

And The Honolulu Advertiser reports today that "Court rules against bid to halt funding of OHA."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



But did the judge cite the "A House Divided" episode of "The Munsters" as precedent? The Los Angeles Times today contains a front page article headlined "Far apart and under the same roof; In a strange divorce battle, judge orders construction of a wall to keep couple apart inside their own home."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Our First Citation in Voir Dire?" At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh links to this post in which a blogger at the "Scooter" Libby trial reports on a potential juror who testified during voir about which blogs the potential juror reads. Fortunately, "How Appealing" was among those blogs mentioned.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, February 09, 2007

"Appeals Court Backs Detainee; American in Iraq Entitled to Review": This article will appear Saturday in The Washington Post. My earlier coverage appeared at this link.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "A Third of 4th Circuit Seats Could Be Vacant; A political tug-of-war over nominees takes toll."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Marsupial Alert: Don't Refer to Appellate Judges as a 'Kangaroo Court.'"
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Often times the only thing worse than losing a Sentencing Guidelines appeal as a federal criminal defendant is winning one: Tenth Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell today has issued an interesting concurring opinion addressing the phenomenon that many federal criminal defendants who win Sentencing Guidelines appeals end up receiving harsher sentences when resentenced. One possible solution that Judge McConnell identifies is applying the doctrine of "law of the case" at the resentencing.
Posted at 09:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Fifth Circuit grants rehearing en banc in case where splintered three-judge panel held that Tangipahoa Parish School Board could not open its meetings using any of four specified prayers: You can access today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.

The three-judge panel's ruling is at this link, while my initial coverage of that ruling can be accessed here. I wrote at the time that "[a]t first blush, this case appears to be a likely candidate for rehearing en banc."

My post collecting press coverage of the three-judge panel's ruling is here, while a post noting press coverage of the filing of the rehearing petitions in this case can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:58 PM by Howard Bashman



At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston reports on certain of today's D.C. Circuit rulings and non-rulings: Lyle has posts titled "Hirota decision's scope narrowed" and "Another decision day, no detainee decision."
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"The primary question in this appeal is whether petitioner, a student at the University of Georgia, alleged facts sufficient to withstand defendants' motion to dismiss her Title IX claim based on student-on-student sexual harassment." So began a 32-page decision that a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit issued in March 2006. The Eleventh Circuit's decision overturned in large measure the dismissal on the pleadings of a lawsuit brought by a female University of Georgia student who alleges that she was sexually assaulted and raped by two student athletes at the school.

Today, the same three-judge panel sua sponte grants panel rehearing in the case and issues an even lengthier ruling that reaches the same result while "address[ing] certain claims more fully." Today's decision on panel rehearing has also precipitated a specially concurring opinion that was not part of the panel's original ruling.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Legal Perspective on Anna Nicole Smith": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Panel OKs 9th Circuit Judge": Lawrence Hurley has this article (free access) today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Death May Not End Anna Nicole's Fight; Federal courts could determine fate of multimillion-dollar case": The ABA Journal eReport today provides this coverage.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Blocks Suspect's Transfer to Iraq": The Associated Press provides this report.

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "U.S. prisoner in Iraq can't be transferred, court rules."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



Oops, at this defendant's federal criminal trial, they forgot to swear-in one of the key witnesses for the prosecution: And no one seemed to notice until after the witness had been excused. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today has issued a ruling that confronts this very situation, one that thankfully doesn't arise all that often.
Posted at 01:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"In this case we are called on, yet again, to hear a challenge to state programs restricting benefits to 'native Hawaiians' or 'Hawaiians.'" So begins a ruling that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today in a case on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court following a GVR.
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman


If you've ever wondered how they make that "Dippin' Dots" ice cream, the answer is it's obvious: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today has issued this decision involving the patent for making "Dippin' Dots" ice cream. I must admit that I've never found that product so irresistible that I had to try it.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Ask the Author' with Jan Crawford Greenburg: Part 3." The third and final part of her interview at "SCOTUSblog" can be accessed here. I'm looking forward to seeing Jan and Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen speak about their new books on Tuesday evening, February 13th at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia (details here).
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


Free Bird: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "Man sues city after being cited for 'flip' gesture."

And The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports today that "Regent Square driver sues city, officer over finger-flip 'trauma.'"

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania yesterday issued a press release titled "ACLU Sues City of Pittsburgh for Violating Rights of Man Who Flipped Off Police Officer." You can access at this link a copy of the complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Pittsburgh.
Posted at 10:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Libby's Defense to Begin Monday": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "NBC's Russert: Witness Stand Unpleasant."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



Divided three-judge D.C. Circuit panel affirms preliminary injunction barring the transfer to Iraqi authorities for trial on terrorism charges of an American citizen captured and detained in Iraq by U.S. military forces: You can access today's ruling at this link.

Circuit Judge David S. Tatel delivered the opinion of the court, in which Senior Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards joined. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown dissented from most of the majority's ruling. Deputy Solicitor General Gregory G. Garre argued the case in the D.C. Circuit on the federal government's behalf.
Posted at 10:13 AM by Howard Bashman



En banc D.C. Circuit overturns D.C. Metropolitan Police Department detective's federal criminal conviction for receiving an illegal gratuity "for or because of an official act": You can access today's en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link. The en banc court divided 7-5 over the result.

When the divided three-judge panel in this case issued its ruling in February 2006, two of the judges on the panel were senior status D.C. Circuit judges. Both chose to participate in the en banc rehearing, as is their right, and today their votes enabled the en banc majority to reach the same result that the panel majority had reached. My earlier coverage of the three-judge panel's ruling appears here.
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Idaho's Judge Smith could move to 9th Circuit": This article appears today in The Idaho Statesman.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Solomon Amendment Amelioration": Michael C. Dorf has this post today at his blog, "Dorf on Law."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Army expects to retry Watada; But his lawyer plans to claim double jeopardy": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer contains this article today.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Officer to fight against retrial; Watada's attorney cites double jeopardy; legal expert disagrees."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Glitz, scandal, fame, loss -- and death at 39": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. And David G. Savage reports that "Estate battle goes on in courts; The dispute between Smith and her late husband's family is likely to continue in the name of her daughter."

USA Today reports today that "Death won't end legal battles; Baby's paternity, late husband's estate are still up in the air."

The New York Times reports that "Anna Nicole Smith Is Found Dead in Florida."

The Washington Post contains articles headlined "A Troubled Tabloid Life Ends in Fla.; Tawdry Fame, Controversy Shadowed Anna Nicole Smith" and "The Fantasy Of Happily Ever After; Anna Nicole Smith Stripped Marriage Of Its Illusions."

The Associated Press reports that "Smith Left Baby, Tangled Legal Web."

And The New York Sun contains a law-related editorial entitled "Vickie Lynn Marshall."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"DA rejects deal to spare Nichols death sentence": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "Accused Fulton County courthouse killer Brian Nichols is willing to plead guilty if prosecutors will drop their plans to seek the death penalty, but District Attorney Paul Howard has refused to negotiate, according to a court motion filed Thursday."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Herald asks SJC to reverse libel verdict; Panel questions writer's actions": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justices peppered lawyers for the Boston Herald yesterday with questions about a reporter's destruction of notes and about factual mistakes in the journalist's work as the justices began their review of a $2.09 million libel award against the newspaper."

And The Boston Herald reports today that "SJC hears Herald libel case: Questions focus on malice issue."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"NBC's Russert Wraps Up Prosecution Case in Libby Trial": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times. And in related coverage, "Media Censors for the Jury Let a Style Item Get Through."

The Washington Post reports today that "Prosecution Rests Case In Libby's Perjury Trial."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Prosecution rests case against Libby; A sometimes testy cross-examination of Tim Russert wraps up; The defense starts Monday."

And The New York Sun reports that "Libby Defense Plans To Call Top Journalists to the Stand."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Fired Prosecutor Disputes Justice Dept. Allegation; He Calls Testimony 'Unfair'; Meanwhile, Senate Panel Votes to Limit Attorney General's Power": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A recently fired U.S. attorney based in Seattle said yesterday that he was told of no performance problems when he was asked to resign, and he called critical remarks by a top Justice Department official 'unfair' and inaccurate."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"The A.B.A.'s Judicial Ethics Mess": The New York Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Top State Judges Move To Bolster Public's Confidence": This article appears today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Next week, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will sit by designation with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit: You can view the oral argument calendar for next week by clicking here.

In news coverage of a case to be argued before Justice O'Connor next week, The Associated Press reports that "Prison ministry case in appeals court."

And Washington University in St. Louis has issued a news release titled "Professor to challenge MO voting ban for all disabled adults under full guardianship before Justice O'Connor and the Eighth Circuit."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court tutoring: Ex-Justice O'Connor serves as reading coach at Navajo School." This article appears today in the Arizona Business Gazette.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Keynote participants will include Hon. Justice W. Ian C. Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada and U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who will discuss "Judging in a Constitutional Democracy": McGill Reporter of McGill University contains this report today.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Dad wasn't dad after all, but still owes child support; A Florida Supreme Court case raises fundamental questions about the nature of fatherhood and legal responsibilities": Warren Richey will have this article Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article is headlined "Fla. Supreme Court: No Second Chance for Bar Admission."

And in other news, "More Law Professors Consult at Firms; But moonlighting can raise red flags."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Alberto Gonzalez's coup d'etat: The Constitution be damned, the attorney general has seized control of U.S. attorney appointments for partisan purposes." Joe Conason has this essay bearing Friday's date at Salon.com.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


In the February 26, 2007 issue of The Nation: Sunil Dutta will have an essay entitled "Kill the Death Penalty."

And Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith will have an essay entitled "Will the Watada Mistrial Spark an End to the War?"
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer: Court Shooting Plea Deal Nixed." The Associated Press provides a report from Atlanta that begins, "A man accused of killing four people in a shooting rampage that began inside a courthouse offered to plead guilty to murder in order to be spared the death penalty, but a prosecutor rejected such a deal, his attorney said Thursday."
Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecution Rests in Libby Perjury Trial": The Washington Post provides this news update.

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Prosecution rests case against Libby."

And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Libby's Attorneys Pick at Russert's Account of Leak" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Mistrial Declared in War Objector Case"; "Al-Arian Refuses to Testify in Terror Case, Citing Safety"; and "Prosecutor Chronicles Kidnapping Ordeal." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecution Rests in CIA Leak Case": The AP provides this report.
Posted at 04:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer Says Anna Nicole Smith Has Died": The Associated Press provides this report. The photo accompanying the report shows Ms. Smith leaving the U.S. Supreme Court on February 28, 2006. My coverage of that day's events appears here.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit takes its show on the road: On February 14th, a three-judge panel will hear oral arguments at the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, which has dubbed the event "Ninth Circuit Day." And on February 15th, the very same three-judge panel will hear oral arguments at the Stanford Law School. The court's news releases announcing these road trips can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, February 14, 2006 about "Judicial Security and Independence": You can view the announcement for the hearing at this link. According to a statement that committee chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) delivered today, "Justice Kennedy's testimony will mark the first time a sitting Justice of the United States Supreme Court will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on legislative matters that I can remember."
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"[A]re the Alabama sturgeon and the shovelnose sturgeon separate species?" Eleventh Circuit Judge Ed Carnes, one of the more talented writers on the federal appellate bench, has issued this lengthy opinion today addressing, among other things, that issue.

The final section of the opinion rejects the argument that Congress has exceeded the power granted to it under the Commerce Clause by authorizing protection of the Alabama sturgeon, which can be viewed as an intrastate, noncommercial species. In response to that argument, Judge Carnes writes, "We agree with the three circuits that have concluded the Endangered Species Act is a general regulatory statute bearing a substantial relation to commerce." And toward its conclusion, today's opinion explains, "We are not convinced that the principle that Congress may regulate some intrastate activity as an essential part of a larger permissible regulation is limited to the facts of Raich and Wickard. The principle has a much richer history."
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Ask the Author' with Jan Crawford Greenburg: Part 2." This post appears today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Panel Reacts to Attorney Firings": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Senate panel advanced a bill Thursday to curb the Justice Department's power to replace federal prosecutors indefinitely, after seven forced resignations sparked accusations of political favoritism."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit panel rejects federal constitutional challenge to an Oregon statute requiring that 60 percent of any punitive damages award be paid to the State of Oregon: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link. The three-judge panel divided on the separate issue of whether the plaintiff had a valid class-of-one equal protection claim.
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Seventh Circuit affirms entry of summary judgment against little league baseball coach who claimed that the Paramount Pictures movie "Hardball" had defamed him: You can access today's ruling at this link.

Although a loss is a loss, the opinion's conclusion does express some sympathy toward the plaintiff:

[W]e wish to add that this result is largely driven by the strict approach Illinois takes to the innocent construction rule. It would have been far better if Paramount had not touted Hardball as something so closely based on reality, only later to turn around and disclaim any such connection with real people. From all that we can see, Muzikowski provided an important service to the children of Chicago; he did so because he cared about them; and he was understandably frustrated to see the movie portray a much less admirable character.
You can access reviews of the film, which critics do not appear to have enjoyed all that much, via this link.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court reduces tobacco case award; It limits funding of cessation program": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans today contains an article that begins, "Sharply amending a Civil District Court jury's landmark 2004 verdict ordering the nation's big tobacco firms to fork over $591 million to help Louisiana smokers kick the habit, a state appeals court based in New Orleans pared the award Wednesday by more than half, said the remaining money can pay only for traditional stop-smoking aids and limited the number of smokers eligible for assistance."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court More Than Halves Tobacco Verdict."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Eighth Circuit follows D.C. Circuit's test for determining whether a claim provides a basis for subject matter jurisdiction under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act of 1982: You can access today's Eighth Circuit ruling, in a case involving monosodium glutamate, at this link. Those who prefer that their FTAIA rulings contain no MSG are sadly out of luck in this instance.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit resolves whether the injury caused by an alienation of affections is an accidental loss covered or arguably covered by a liability insurance policy: A unanimous three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit today issued an opinion that begins, "Judson Pins engaged in a sexual affair with the wife of Gery Baar." The question presented in the appeal is whether Pins is entitled to defense and indemnification under a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy issued by State Farm in Baar's lawsuit against Pins alleging alienation of affections. Today's ruling holds today that State Farm owed no duty of defense or indemnification.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Hamdan seeks to appeal directly": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "Attorneys for Salim Ahmed Hamdan plan to ask the Supreme Court to hear his challenge to trial before a U.S. military commission, rather than pursue the case first through the D.C. Circuit Court."
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Taxpayer Files D.C. Circuit Brief in Murphy": "TaxProf Blog" today has this post containing a link to that brief filed in a controversial case now pending on panel rehearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

My earlier coverage of the grant of panel rehearing in the case can be accessed here.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-U.S. Attorney McKay was forced to resign; Critics question political motivations": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

And The Seattle Times reports today that "McKay got good review 7 months before ouster."
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mistrial could be end of Watada case; Double-jeopardy prohibition might thwart retrial": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer contains this article today.

The Seattle Times reports today that "Watada case mistrial declared." According to the article, "the trial ended Wednesday as a mistrial when a judge rejected statements in a crucial pretrial agreement as unintended admissions of Watada's guilt." You can access a copy of that pretrial agreement at this link.

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Mistrial declared for war objector; 1st Lt. Ehren Watada's court-martial for refusing to go to Iraq falls apart after the military judge questions the case's factual stipulations."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"At Libby Trial, Russert of NBC Gives and Gets": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Russert Says He Didn't Tell Libby About CIA Officer; Journalist Says He Learned Plame's Role After Leak." In addition, Howard Kurtz has an essay entitled "Tim Russert, on The Uncomfortable Side of a Question."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Russert hurts Libby's defense; He's the third journalist to testify against the ex-Cheney aide's story on Valerie Plame and who said what, when."

The New York Sun reports that "Journalist Russert Contradicts Libby's Testimony."

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Libby Grand Jury Tapes Released" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg. NPR has posted online some audio segments and transcripts of the grand jury testimony, and you can access them via this link (scroll down).

Finally, The Washington Post has posted online audio of "Libby's March 5, 2004 Grand Jury Testimony" and "Libby's March 24, 2004 Grand Jury Testimony."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"A witches' brew of religious discrimination": Today in The Chicago Tribune, columnist Steve Chapman has an op-ed that begins, "When he was alive, the U.S. government had no trouble finding a place for Patrick Stewart, never mind his unconventional beliefs. It inducted him into the Army National Guard, issued him dog tags giving his religion as 'Wiccan,' and deployed him to Afghanistan. He died there in 2005 when Taliban forces shot down his helicopter. It was only later that Uncle Sam had second thoughts."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senate abortion bill facing high hurdle in House": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, "An effort to ban most abortions in Mississippi passed the state Senate on Wednesday, leading abortion-rights advocates to protest 'a sad day in the state of Mississippi.'"
Posted at 08:59 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush renews call for tort reform; President's criticism of suits is rejected by lawyers association": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Thanks For Toughin'": Mark Fiore has this animated cartoon on the issue of prison overcrowding.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Secrecy's dangerous side effects: When legal settlements allow companies to hide their mistakes, what we don't know can hurt us." Richard Zitrin has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Moral debate on abortion has its limits": Jay Bookman has this op-ed today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blogger behind bars 171 days and counting; Josh Wolf, who refused to hand over footage of a protest, is the longest-incarcerated journalist in modern U.S. history": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"ACLU sues over Dixie monument": The Gainesville Sun today contains an article that begins, "The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida announced Wednesday that it has filed a federal lawsuit to force Dixie County to have a monument bearing the Ten Commandments removed from the courthouse steps in Cross City."

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mich. Ruling Alarms Gay Rights Advocates": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Dover Meets Darwin: The battle over biology class." Online at OpinionJournal, Pamela R. Winnick today has this review of Edward Humes's new book, "Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion and the Battle for America's Soul."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion debate gains volume in Europe; U.S. activists focus on Portuguese vote": USA Today contains this article today.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Top judge nominated for new term; Spitzer lauds service of Judith S. Kaye as leader of state's Court of Appeals": This article appears today in The Albany Times Union.

The Journal News of Westchester, New York reports today that "Chief Judge Judith Kaye nominated for another term."

And The Associated Press reports that "Spitzer moves to have top state judge stay on."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Former Donor To Clinton Sues Judicial Watch": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A donor who has dogged Senator Clinton over misreporting of contributions to her 2000 campaign, Peter Paul, filed a federal lawsuit yesterday accusing a conservative group that once backed his legal crusade of abandoning him and improperly seeking to raise funds off of his case."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court's Alito speaks with U.Va. class": This article appears today in The Virginian-Pilot.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains an article headlined "Alito: Court nomination resembles campaign trail; Supreme Court justice tells U.Va. students about path to bench."

The Daily Progress of Charlottesville reports today that "Justice likens confirmation fight to political campaign; Spoke to UVa students."

And The Cavalier Daily reports that "Justice Alito visits U.Va. politics class; Samuel Alito explains his role as Supreme Court justice."
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle has an article headlined "Gauging the Reach of Patent Law; Microsoft, AT&T in high court duel."

And in other news, "N.J. Court Turns Away Plaintiffs' Pitch to Revive $105M Dram Shop Award."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jury in Libby Case Hears New Tapes": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Alito: Future Court Will Have More Women." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Russert Testified He Never Told Libby About Plame": The Washington Post provides this news update.

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Russert tells jury he never told Libby of CIA agent."

And The Associated Press reports that "Russert Contradicts Libby's Testimony."
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ten Commandments decision will wait until next month": The Saginaw News today contains an article that begins, "Is Saginaw County headed for a holy war? Members of a Saginaw County Board of Commissioners panel have delayed until next month a decision on whether to recommend that the full board allow a Ten Commandments monument in the lobby of the Saginaw County Governmental Center, 111 S. Michigan."
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wal-Mart suit shows glass ceiling still an issue; Despite four decades of focus on equal workplace rights, gender discrimination concerns persist": This article will appear Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 05:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Soldier's Court-Martial Ends in Mistrial": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The judge overseeing the court martial of an Army lieutenant who refused to deploy to Iraq declared a mistrial Wednesday, saying the soldier did not fully understand a document he signed admitting to elements of the charges."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer provides a news update headlined "Mistrial in Watada court-martial; War objector will have to tried again."
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"ACLU sues over Ten Commandments; It took awhile to find a resident willing to go to court over the 6-ton religious monument on the Dixie County Courthouse steps": The St. Petersburg Times provides this news update.

The Gainesville Sun provides a news update headlined "Ten Commandments monument in Dixie County draws lawsuit."

The Associated Press reports that "ACLU sues for removal of Ten Commandments from courthouse steps."

And Reuters reports that "Ten Commandments monument spurs lawsuit in Florida."

The ACLU of Florida today has issued a news release titled "ACLU Challenges Divisive Religions Display at Dixie County Courthouse." The organization has also posted online its federal court complaint and photos of the monument.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



If an airline ticket is non-refundable, does that make the associated fees and taxes non-refundable too, even if the ticket goes unused? Just when you fear that no more clever legal arguments exist, along comes one more. Yet this latest clever argument meets the fate of so many of its predecessors in a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued today. Senior Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya issued the opinion for a unanimous three-judge panel, so have your unabridged dictionaries at the ready.
Posted at 04:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Needle and the Damage Done: Lethal injections are often botched and sometimes painful; Doctors don't want to administer them; Is it time to kill this form of execution?" Elizabeth Weil will have this article (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) in the February 11, 2007 issue of The New York Times Magazine.
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"R.I. Killer Wants OK to Preach in Prison": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A warden's decision to ban a convicted killer from preaching to fellow inmates violates the prisoner's right to practice religion, his attorney told a federal appeals court Wednesday."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Attorneys behaving badly: Three attorneys are censured and one is admonished for conduct unbecoming members of the bar in a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today.

In describing what transpired at a deposition that gives rise to the bulk of the sanctions, Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook's opinion of the court states, "What happened next must be set out in full to be believed." He goes on to reprint questions asking whether the witness has ever engaged in homosexual conduct, an issue that apparently had no relevance whatsoever to the proceeding pending in court. There aren't too many federal appellate court rulings discussing how attorneys and witnesses must behave during depositions, so this decision may be useful not only within the Seventh Circuit, but elsewhere as well.
Posted at 02:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Ask the Author' with Jan Crawford Greenburg: Part 1." This post appears today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 01:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Neiman Marcus Supreme Court: The best way to counter the perception that Alabama's justices are for sale is to do away with electing them." Yesterday's issue of The Birmingham News contained an editorial that begins, "If justice is for sale in Alabama, the folks who are buying act like they're shopping at Neiman Marcus. Alabama justices, like a Prada handbag from the exclusive, Dallas-based luxury store chain, don't come cheap."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Sex offender can go unnamed as he pursues suit; Marion County man is challenging Plainfield law that bans him from town facilities." This article appears today in The Indianapolis Star.

You can access at this link yesterday's ruling of the Court of Appeals of Indiana.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush replaces U.S. attorneys in power play": George W. Liebmann has this op-ed today in The Baltimore Sun.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wal-Mart ready for Supreme Court 'if necessary'": MarketWatch provides this report.

And The Wall Street Journal today contains an article headlined "Wal-Mart to Fight Ruling in Suit; Retailer Seeks Rehearing On Class-Action Status; Billions of Dollars in Claims" (pass-through link via "Point of Law").
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Rookie lawyers to get 'dry run' at top court; Panel will imitate stressful setting, offer novices valuable advice": The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, "The cream of the legal establishment is about to launch a project to prepare lawyers for the most demanding, stressful task they can face -- a date before the Supreme Court of Canada."
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Parental abortion notice has new snag": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge ruled Tuesday that state officials must put proper courthouse procedures in place before he will consider their request to revive a much-debated abortion law."

And The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that "Abortion notification law on hold again."
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Three Law Graduates Earn Clerkships At U.S. Supreme Court": The Daily Northwestern contains this article today.
Posted at 10:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"US Chief Justice presides over Moot Court finals": This article appears today in The Student Life of Washington University in St. Louis.

And today in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, columnist Deb Peterson has an op-ed entitled "Top justice hits U. City spot for different kind of bar exam."

The Washington University in St. Louis School of Law has posted online a news release titled "Chief Justice Roberts Lectures, Judges Student Competition." The news release provides access to related photo galleries.
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "NBC's Russert to Take Stand at Libby Trial" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Firings of U.S. Attorneys Draw Senate's Attention"; and "Wal-Mart Gender Bias Suit Moves Forward."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Dissenter derided at court-martial; At court-martial, he says Ehren Watada let down the soldiers who trained under him and expected his leadership in Iraq": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Commander says he felt 'bit betrayed' by Watada."

And The Seattle Times contains an article headlined "Army: Watada betrayed trust." In addition, columnist Danny Westneat has an op-ed entitled "Watada took talk too far."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Libby Speaks on Tape, but May Not in Court": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Court Hears Libby Describe Cheney as 'Upset' at Critic; Grand Jury Tapes Bolster Case Against Former Aide."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Libby testimony details plot to discredit critic; On tape, he says Bush and Cheney planned leaks to reporters."

And in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Libby Defense May Decline To Call Cheney to the Stand."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wal-Mart sex discrimination suit advances; Appeals court OKs class action status for 2 million women": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

The New York Times reports today that "Court Approves Class-Action Suit Against Wal-Mart."

The Washington Post reports that "Wal-Mart Loses Bid to Block Group Bias Suit; Appeals Court Allows 2 Million Women to Seek Compensation Over Discrimination in Pay, Promotions."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Wal-Mart loses job-bias appeal; The retailer must face a class-action suit on behalf of 1.5 million women, a panel rules."

And The New York Sun reports that "Wal-Mart Edges Toward Settlement Of Biggest Sex-Discrimination Case."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice official defends prosecutors' firings; Deputy Atty. Gen. McNulty tells a Senate panel that they were forced out over performance, not politics; Democrats are skeptical": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

USA Today reports today that "Prosecutor fired so ex-Rove aide could get his job; Justice official says others were let go over performance."

And The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "Playing Politics With Justice."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Students Help Prep For Supreme Court; New Law School clinic unites students with practicing lawyers in pro bono cases": The Harvard Crimson contains this article today.

And The Yale Daily News reports today that "Law School to aid in Supreme Court case."
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Declines to Join Accord on Secret Detentions; 58 Nations Sign Separate Pact On Child Soldiers": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Girls: The female justices begin to reflect on feminism." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fight Over Pay Causes Some Judges to Sit Out Cases Involving Legislator-Lawyers": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Now that some New York State judges have sued the Legislature for pay raises, a handful of them are refusing to hear cases in which clients are represented by lawyers who are legislators or their law firms."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Exxon says it didn't defraud state; Attorneys ask state high court to overturn $3.6 billion verdict": The Birmingham News contains this article today.

And The Mobile Press-Register today contains an editorial entitled "Court can prove state no longer is 'tort hell.'"
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wider death penalty sought; At least 6 states buck U.S. trend": This front page article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Paper Refuses Judge's Request That Its Reporter Appear": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The New York Times is declining a federal judge's request that one of its reporters appear in court today to explain how he got front-page scoops about the internal communications of a pharmaceutical company."
Posted at 06:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, February 06, 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."
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman



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."
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"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."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"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."

And The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Justice Department Attorney Defends Firings."
Posted at 08:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"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.
Posted at 08:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"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).

Thanks to "Legal Theory Blog" for the pointers (here and here).
Posted at 05:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules Wal-Mart must face class-action bias suit": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides this news update.

Additional discussion of the ruling can be found at Paul Mollica's "Daily Developments in EEO Law" and "Workplace Prof Blog."
Posted at 05:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"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."
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman



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."
Posted at 04:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"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."
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"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."

And Reuters reports that "Court OKs class action suit against Wal-Mart."
Posted at 01:54 PM by Howard Bashman



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.

Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Michael Daly Hawkins joined. Circuit Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld issued a passionate dissenting opinion that concludes:

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."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"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).
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"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."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Lawyer: War Objector Will Take Stand."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"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.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"First Hispanic To Lead Harvard Law Review": The Harvard Crimson contains this article today.

And the Harvard Law School has issued a news release titled "Harvard Law Review elects Crespo as new president."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Vein expert: Needles inserted wrong in execution." This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

And The Gainesville Sun reports today that "Expert says IV mistakes were made in execution."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



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."

And The Norwich Bulletin reports that "Connecticut's ban on smoking will stay."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"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."

And The New York Post reports that "Cop-Slay Fiend in Rampage."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



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."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"McConnell focuses on judges as GOP defines top priorities": This article appears today in The Hill.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, February 05, 2007

"A.B.A. Panel Would Weaken Code Governing Judges' Conduct": Adam Liptak will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jail Record Near for Videographer Who Resisted Grand Jury": Tuesday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "A freelance videographer who refused to cooperate with a grand jury investigation will become the longest incarcerated journalist in modern American history on Tuesday. The freelancer, Josh Wolf, will pass Vanessa Leggett, an investigator and a journalist who served 168 days in 2001 and 2002 for refusing to surrender information in a murder case."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Exxon, Alabama to face off in state supreme court": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wittig resentenced to 24 months for bank fraud": The Kansas City Star provides this news update.
Posted at 11:23 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "9th Circuit Steps Up En Banc Reviews; A move to head off circuit conflicts before Supreme Court notices."

And in news from Texas, "Married Lawyers Face Trial for Payment Demands After Wife's Affairs."
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Apparently holding a bake sale is out of the question: What's a federal appellate court in need of money to do? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit announced today on its web site that attorneys who have been admitted to that court for more than three years as of January 1, 2007 must pay a $25.00 Tenth Circuit attorney bar membership renewal fee. You can read the announcement at this link.

The announcement explains that "[t]he court does not at this time plan to make this renewal fee an annual requirement." Presumably, if those who are required to pay the fee fail to do so, they will lose their membership in the Tenth Circuit's bar. The fee for initially becoming a member of the Tenth Circuit's bar is now $200.00, so many current members of the Tenth Circuit's bar will likely find it cost-effective to pay the renewal fee.
Posted at 08:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Idea Would Require Couples to Have Kids": The AP provides a report from Washington State that begins, "Proponents of same-sex marriage have introduced a ballot measure that would require heterosexual couples to have a child within three years or have their marriages annulled."
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Audiotapes of Libby's Testimony to Be Released": The Washington Post provides this news update.

And The Associated Press provides reports headlined "News Media Cheer Ruling on Libby Tapes" and "Fitzgerald Targets Cheney in Libby Tapes."
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman



In Tuesday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor: Tomorrow's newspaper will contain an article headlined "The police lineup is becoming suspect practice; States are considering scrapping side-by-side lineups in favor of a one-at-a-time variety."

And Seth Stern will have a book review headlined "Spotlight on the nation's highest court: Two new books home in on Supreme Court justices, past and present, and how they shape the court they serve."
Posted at 06:04 PM by Howard Bashman



When bankruptcy law and rap music collide: Lil' Joe defeats JT Money in this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today.
Posted at 05:11 PM by Howard Bashman


Three-judge First Circuit panel divides over "whether the prosecution must, in the absence of direct evidence, produce expert opinion testimony that a particular pornographic image is of a real, non-virtual child, in order to meet its burden of proof by a preponderance of evidence at sentencing." You can access today's 69-page ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.

The second to last paragraph of Circuit Judge Juan R. Torruella's dissenting opinion states:

Although the views of other courts of appeal are usually heavily persuasive, I submit, with all due respect, that on the issue before us the other courts of appeal that have considered this matter have not reached the correct conclusion. Again with due respect to those who differ from me, arithmetic is not determinative of scientific truth. It made no difference how many cardinals said that the sun revolved around the earth, it did not make this asseveration a scientific truth. And it is scientific truth that trumps the day on the issue before this court. It is now beyond scientific dispute that it is possible to create virtual photographic images that can only be detected (with difficulty) by experts. Thus, experts are required before factfinders can make their findings on this issue. I do not recall any mention of this scientific knowledge, one way or another, in any of the appellate opinions cited in opposition to my views.
You can access the complete ruling at this link.
Posted at 04:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Fever: The baloney in two new books about the Supreme Court." Edward Lazarus has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"German Court Bars Stealth PC Searches": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Police cannot secretly search suspects' computer hard drives over the Internet, a German court ruled Monday. The decision of the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe bars police from using software to search through remote hard drives unless parliament passes a law explicitly allowing the technique."

You can access the ruling of the German Federal High Court at this link, while a related news release can be accessed here.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court-Martial Begins for War Objector": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sen. Specter (R-PA) & Tony Mauro on Cameras in the Supreme Court": You can view online this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts" by clicking here (RealPlayer required).

The proposed legislation can be accessed here.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



En banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit holds that facts relevant to the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines do not need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt: You can access today's 145-page ruling at this link.

My coverage of the Third Circuit's original divided three-judge panel ruling in this case from June 2006 can be accessed here.
Posted at 01:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Libby Judge: Even I Don't Know Plame's Status; The essential craziness of the CIA-leak trial." Byron York has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


More on 'and' versus 'or': The blog "AdamsDrafting" has this post about the recent Eighth Circuit ruling that I previously noted here. The author of that blog post is also the co-author of a new law review article on the subject.
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"April arguments, day by day": Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tapes of Libby Testimony to Be Released": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Audio recordings of former White House aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's secret grand jury testimony will be released publicly after they are presented at his trial, the judge at Libby's trial ruled Monday."
Posted at 11:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Who Is the Client? Two reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle face jail time. Should they have their own lawyers?" The February 2007 issue of The American Lawyer contains this article.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Convictions v. conviction: Watada's court-martial begins; Opponents, supporters of Army officer face off." This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The Seattle Times reported yesterday that "Fort Lewis officer's words, deeds focus of court-martial."

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Court Martial Due for War Critic Watada."
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hicks like a condemned man: lawyer." The Australian contains this article today.

And Australia's ABC Radio provides reports titled "Hicks' lawyer angry at timing of charges" and "Terrorism charge against Hicks has base in US law: Ruddock" (transcripts).
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Passage of abortion ban not assured; Some lawmakers prefer small steps": This article appears today in The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, along with an article headlined "Other states offer bills to restrict abortion."

And The Concord (N.H.) Monitor today contains an editorial entitled "Judge gives Legislature a graceful way out."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"New job, same Santorum": Columnist Ralph R. Reiland has this op-ed today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Canada's newest Justice to speak at Western Law": The University of Western Ontario has issued this news release today.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"State court to hear Exxon verdict appeal": The Birmingham News today contains an article that begins, "Attorneys for the state of Alabama and ExxonMobil Corp. plan to argue before the state Supreme Court on Tuesday in the appeal of a jury's verdict that Exxon owes the state $3.6 billion."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"For Federal Appellate Judicial Nominations, It's a Time for Pragmatism": This week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Leak case hangs on Libby's credibility; Amid a campaign against her husband, Valerie Plame came up too often to forget, the government argues": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post today contains an article headlined "The Big Uneasy: Insiders, Media Mingle Awkwardly at Libby Trial."

And The New York Times contains an article headlined "Skipping Merrily Along as Others Take the Heat."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Future of suit at stake? Attorney says stockholders need class action." Saturday's issue of The Houston Chronicle contained this article reporting on an Enron-related case to be argued today before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Instead of Iraq, a battle all his own: Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada was called an exemplary soldier; But then he decided to face court-martial rather than join a war he says is illegal." This front page article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wrong on habeas corpus": Columnist Nat Hentoff has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Known Unknowns: How not to decide whether warrantless wiretapping is legit." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Seventy years ago today: According to the popular "Today in history" feature from The Associated Press, "On Feb. 5, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed increasing the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court; critics accused Roosevelt of attempting to 'pack' the high court."

The Supreme Court Historical Society provides more information here and here.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Blawg Review #94": Available here, at "Online Guide to Mediation."
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, February 04, 2007

"Geography and the Machinery of Death": Monday's edition of The New York Times will contain a new installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) that begins, "The death penalty, Justice Potter Stewart wrote in 1972, can be cruel and unusual in the way that being struck by lightning is cruel and unusual. But the apt metaphor for the death row inmate named Patrick D. Murphy is not meteorological. It is geographical. And geological."
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Set to Begin a Vast Expansion of DNA Sampling": Monday's edition of The New York Times will contain this article.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Justice Alito presides in moot court event": This article will appear Monday in The GW Hatchet.
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo Bay detainees face charges": Monday's edition of The Telegraph (UK) contains this article.

Monday's edition of The Canberra Times contains an article headlined "Please help my boy: Father's emotional plea to have terror suspect David Hicks brought home."

Australia's ABC Radio reports that "Hicks trial still a way off, lawyer says" (transcript).

The Associated Press provides reports headlined "US prosecutor attacks defense claims over Australian held at Guantanamo Bay" and "Life Harsher in New Guantanamo Unit."

And Reuters reports that "Cubans oblivious to what goes on inside Guantanamo."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"When life without parole is worse than death; Analysis finds more than 100 murderers who might one day go free would face certainty of dying in prison": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger (via "Sentencing Law and Policy").
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Vice President's Shadow Hangs Over Trial; Testimony Points Out Cheney's Role in Trying to Dampen Joseph Wilson's Criticism": The Washington Post contains this article today, along with an article headlined "Libby Prosecutors Hope to Show Marked News Articles."

Tomorrow's issue of Legal Times will contain an article headlined "Libby Trial Makes for Strange Bedfellows; Prosecutor Fitzgerald ends up relying on former adversaries Cooper and Miller to make his perjury case" (free access).

And today in The Chicago Tribune, Alicia C. Shepard has a related op-ed entitled "An unbalanced portrayal of journalism."
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Prisons' legal strain: State's costs skyrocket as correctional system struggles to comply with court orders in eight inmate rights cases." This front page article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Truly tortured logic: Canada apologizes for aiding innocent man's torture, so why can't we?" Columnist Robyn E. Blumner has this op-ed today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Attorney Firings Set Stage for Congressional Battle": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 02:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"About Isabella: Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller got hitched and had a baby together; Vermont says that's a simple truth; Virginia said it was all null and void; The future of a little girl hangs in the balance." This article appears today in The Washington Post Magazine.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connor Says She Would've Stayed Longer": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor would have preferred to stay on the Supreme Court for several more years until she was ill and 'really in bad shape' but stepped down because of her ailing husband."

Yesterday evening, I linked here to the Newsweek article on which this AP report is based.
Posted at 01:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Did Conservatives Really Remake the Supreme Court? A Constitutional Conversation with ABC News National Supreme Court Correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg on the release of the highly acclaimed book Supreme Conflict." For the convenience of those of us who were not in beautiful Malibu, California on Thursday to see Jan discuss her new book at Pepperdine University School of Law with Jonathan Varat, Jesse Choper, Professor Doug Kmiec, and Dean Ken Starr, Pepperdine Law has posted online a two-part webcast of the event.

You can access the webcase by clicking here: part one; part two (Windows Media Player required) (via "Opinio Juris").
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



In the February 12, 2007 issue of Time magazine: An article headlined "A Time Limit on Rape" begins, "If a woman consents to having sex with a man but then during intercourse says no, and the man continues, is it rape? The answer depends on where you live. The highest courts of seven states, including Connecticut and Kansas, have ruled that a woman may withdraw her consent at any time, and if the man doesn't stop, he is committing rape. Illinois has become the first state to pass legislation giving a woman that right to change her mind. But in Maryland--as well as in North Carolina--when a woman says yes, she can't take it back once sex has begun--or, at least, she can't call the act rape." My earlier coverage of that Maryland ruling can be accessed here.

And Michael Kinsley has an essay entitled "Free Scooter Libby!" that begins, "There is no holier icon in the church of the First Amendment than the anonymous leak."
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"The view from Guantanamo Bay": The Toronto Star contains this article today.

And in related coverage from Australia, Monday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald will contain an article headlined "Retrospective law all right for Hicks: Howard."

Monday's edition of The Australian will report that "'Jihad' Jack comes to aid of Hicks."

Monday's edition of The Daily Telegraph will report that "Howard defends Hicks trial."

Monday's edition of The Herald Sun will report that "PM unmoved on Hicks."

And The Age on Monday will contain an article headlined "The image David Hicks' family hopes will set him free."
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Euless pushes judge to toss Santeria suit; Priest challenging city's ban on killing animals as affront to his faith": This article appears today in The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ruling halts courts' use of hypnosis in evidence": Friday's issue of The Toronto Globe and Mail contained an article that begins, "Evidence obtained from witnesses under hypnosis is dangerously unreliable and cannot be used in Canadian courtrooms, the Supreme Court of Canada said in a major ruling yesterday."

And The Toronto Star on Friday reported that "Canada bans post-hypnotic evidence."

You can access Thursday's 6-3 ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada at this link.
Posted at 10:02 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, February 03, 2007

"Paternity test: 'Father' may cite law to cry fraud; The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a man must pay child support for a kid who isn't his, but a new law could help him escape the payments." This article appeared yesterday in The Miami Herald.

You can access at this link Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



The first Smiley to interview Jan Crawford Greenburg on PBS was Tavis, not Guy: In connection with promoting her new book -- "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court and America's Future" -- ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg appeared on last night's broadcast of "The Tavis Smiley Show." You can access the transcript of the program at this link.
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion law repeal on table; Lawmakers weigh partial or full rollback": This article appears today in The Concord (N.H.) Monitor.

And The Associated Press reports that "N.H.'s abortion case put on hold."
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court delays parental ruling": The Topeka Capital-Journal today contains an article that begins, "The Kansas Supreme Court won't rule until at least March on whether a Topeka man who donated sperm to a friend to conceive twins has any parental rights. Court officials had said Friday was the earliest date the court might issue a ruling in the case of Daryl Hendrix, who contends he wants to be a father to two children conceived by artificial insemination using his sperm, and Samantha Harrington, the children's mother."
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bakers seek custody case rehearing; Foster parents of Anna Mae say court overlooked 'substantial harm' issue": Today's issue of The Commercial Appeal of Memphis contains an article that begins, "The longtime foster-care parents of Anna Mae He asked the Tennessee Supreme Court on Friday to reconsider its ruling last week that ordered them to turn the 8-year-old girl over to her natural Chinese parents."

My most recent earlier coverage can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rejected students can sue U-M; Proving damage from 1995-2003 affirmative action policy won't be easy": This article appeared yesterday in The Ann Arbor News.
Posted at 06:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice Roberts and the Role of the Supreme Court": Law Professor Geoffrey R. Stone has this post at "The Faculty Blog" of the University of Chicago Law School.
Posted at 06:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice: Bench Player; Sandra Day O'Connor left the high court a year ago; Now she's really busy; In a Newsweek exclusive, she talks about stepping down, Iraq and caring for her ill husband." Debra Rosenberg will have this article in the February 12, 2007 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 06:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"N.H. man banished from state for 3 years; Threat to judge prompts sentence": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 06:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court clinics let students take cases to highest forum": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 06:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Prosecutors Widen Pursuit Of Death Penalty as States Ease Off": This front page article (free access) appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 06:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tax Evasion Ruling Against Lawyer Is Upheld": The New York Times on Sunday will contain an article that begins, "The federal tax court has ruled in favor of the Internal Revenue Service in a 14-year-old evasion case involving a now-dead lawyer who was one of the nation's leading tax advisers, millions of dollars in reported real estate kickbacks and a Supreme Court ruling that ended a longstanding practice of secrecy in tax court."

My recent mention of the case appears here.
Posted at 06:12 PM by Howard Bashman



Jan Crawford Greenburg appeared on Thursday's broadcast of the "Jay Sekulow Live!" radio program: You can listen online, on-demand in both RealPlayer and Windows Media Player formats.

And Amazon.com has posted online under the heading "Questions for Jan Crawford Greenburg" (scroll down) its written interview with the author.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Libby Prosecutors Close to Resting Perjury Case": Today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" contained this audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"PBS special spotlights federal Judge Damon Keith": This article appears today in The Detroit News.
Posted at 12:21 PM by Howard Bashman


In press coverage of that "God damn" federal appellate court ruling from yesterday: The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court overturns arrest of man who swore."

My earlier coverage can be accessed here.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rejects same-sex benefits; Gays working for Mich. government, colleges lose health coverage for partners; appeal planned": This article appears today in The Detroit News. In addition, columnist Laura Berman has an op-ed entitled "Michigan gives gays the cold shoulder."

The Detroit Free Press today contains articles headlined "Benefits to gay partners denied; Ruling may put coverage out of reach" and "Appeal likely in gay case; Battle looms in ruling against same-sex benefits."

The Lansing State Journal reports that "Same-sex benefits struck down; Michigan court rules policies violate ban on gay marriage."

The Ann Arbor News reports that "ACLU will fight for same-sex benefits; It will appeal ruling against partners of public employees."

The Grand Rapids Press reports that "Court hands setback to same-sex benefits."

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that "Same-sex benefits for city workers may end."

The Oakland Press reports that "Court ruling may affect Oakland U. same-sex benefits."

The New York Times reports that "Court Bars Government Benefit for Same-Sex Domestic Partners."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Michigan same-sex benefits are rejected on appeal; A court rules that a 2004 constitutional amendment's language bans more than gay marriage."

My earlier coverage of Thursday's ruling of the Michigan Court of Appeals appeared at this link.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Stay of executions: After a generation of recklessly expanding the death penalty, the pendulum is swinging back." Andrew Cohen has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Even cranks deserve free speech: The state Supreme Court must tread carefully in a Newport Beach case that tests prior restraint." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"No sanctuary for Super Bowl flock; Churches scramble to cancel big-screen bashes after an NFL warning": According to an article published today in The Los Angeles Times, "Farmland Friends on Friday joined churches nationwide in abruptly canceling its Super Bowl party for fear of violating a federal copyright law that prohibits public venues from showing NFL games on big-screen TVs. Sports bars are specifically exempted. Churches are not."
Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"With Characteristic Wit, Justice Scalia Engages Students": This article appeared yesterday in The Student Life of Claremont, California.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, February 02, 2007

"Pentagon official quits over lawyer remarks": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald provides a news update that begins, "A senior Pentagon official has resigned, it was disclosed today, three weeks after he ignited a firestorm of controversy by casting fellow lawyers as dishonorable for offering free-of-charge legal service to U.S.-held captives at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Calif. Court Clarifies 'Kangaroo' Comment." My most recent earlier coverage appears here.

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "For Federal Appellate Judicial Nominations, It's a Time for Pragmatism."
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Roberts Supports Court's Shrinking Docket": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

Earlier today, I linked here to additional related coverage.
Posted at 10:04 PM by Howard Bashman



To convict someone of international money laundering, no actual washing, folding, and ironing of the money is required: The en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today has issued an opinion explaining what is required to convict a defendant of the crime of international money laundering.

Previously, a divided three-judge panel -- by means of a majority opinion written by Circuit Judge Jerry E. Smith, whom no one can legitimately accuse of being soft on crime -- held that the defendant's conviction for international money laundering had to be reversed.

Today, the en banc court, by a vote of 13-3, reinstates the conviction over a passionate dissent from Judge Smith. His dissenting opinion begins:

This is a case of a prosecution run amok. Mike Nifong, another prosecutor apparently familiar with the "win at any cost" mantra, most surely would approve. The government set out to "get" Humberto Cuellar for something, and why not? He is apparently a "bad dude," an accessory to what likely was a serious drug-running operation; moreover, this is, after all, the "war on drugs." But instead of charging under a statute of which Cuellar (by his attorney's admission) is guilty, the government used the wrong law, and the majority now has blessed the government's missteps with a holding that makes "money laundering" out of virtually any transfer of illicit proceeds across an international border.
And Judge Smith's dissenting opinion concludes:
The war on drugs is not an excuse to violate the norms of fair play and evenhandedness. I call upon the Attorney General to confess error in this case of prosecutorial excess, and I respectfully dissent from the majority's blessing of the government's failure to do justice in this case.
You can access the complete en banc ruling at this link.
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Behind the Federal Abortion Ban": This article appears in the current issued of The Harvard Law Record.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Interview on Blogging and Legal Scholarship with Yale Law Report": Law Professor Jack M. Balkin has this interesting post today at his blog, "Balkinization."
Posted at 06:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Roe v. Wade lawyer urges continued action at anniversary gathering": This article appears today in The Napa Valley Register.

And The Vallejo Times-Herald reports today that "Roe v. Wade lawyer speaks at luncheon; Summit was in honor of the anniversary of landmark case."
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Alito at GW Law": Orin Kerr has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."

And The Daily Colonial reports today that "Justice Alito judges Moot Court."

Additional information can be accessed here.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Defense Official Resigns Over Remarks": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A senior Pentagon official resigned Friday over controversial remarks in which he criticized lawyers who represent terrorism suspects, the Defense Department said." Thanks to Jonathan Adler for the pointer.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Don't call AARP the "American Association of Retired Persons": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit learned this lesson the hard way, as this order amending opinion issued today reveals.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Montana sues Wyoming over river use; Supreme Court asked to rule on 1950 water deal": This article appears today in The Billings Gazette.

Montana's motion for leave to file bill of complaint, bill of complaint, and brief in support can be accessed here.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "New water rights case in Court."
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Libby: Don't Release Grand Jury Tapes." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman


As the saying goes, it's not paranoia if they're really out to get you: Those who fear that the government may be monitoring their every move suffered a legal setback from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today. A unanimous three-judge panel, in an opinion by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, held that the police did not violate a drug suspect's Fourth Amendment rights when the police attached a GPS tracking device to the suspect's car without first having sought or obtained court approval.

Today's opinion suggests that the Fourth Amendment calculus might produce a different answer if the government were actually tracking everyone, a group that by definition includes appellate judges. But since, as far as we know, the government isn't yet tracking everyone, folks whom the government is in fact tracking are well advised not to drive their cars repeatedly to remote areas where their meth labs are located.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Greenburg: 'Bush Will Not Get Another Supreme Court Appointment.'" Roger Alford was at Jan Crawford Greenburg's book tour appearance yesterday at Pepperdine University School of Law, and he has this post about it today at the blog "Opinio Juris."
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman


When "or" means "and": In a dispute over language contained in an ERISA plan, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit today divides over whether "or" may properly be construed to mean "and." The majority answers "yes," while Circuit Judge Lavenski R. Smith, in dissent, would answer "no." You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Michigan Court: No Same-Sex Benefits." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Public universities and local governments can't provide health insurance to the partners of gay employees without violating the state constitution, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday. A three-judge panel said a 2004 voter-approved ban on gay marriage also applies to same-sex domestic partner benefits."

The ruling of Michigan's Court of Appeals, bearing yesterday's date, can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"This case presents the question of whether an arrest for obscenity, vulgarity, or disturbing the peace, when based upon speech and not conduct, is valid when it occurs during a democratic assembly where there is no evidence that the individual arrested was out of order and some evidence of improper motive by the arresting officer." A man's utterance of the words "God damn" at a township meeting in Michigan led to the man's arrest. And today, the majority on a three-judge Sixth Circuit panel reverses the dismissal of the man's lawsuit against a police officer who arrested him for, among other things, having said those words. Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs wrote the opinion of the court.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton issued a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. Therein, Judge Sutton writes, "To my knowledge, the Supreme Court has never rejected a claim of qualified immunity to a police officer who enforced a statute that had not been declared unconstitutional at the time of the citizen-police encounter."

You can access the entire decision at this link.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"So long as the Supreme Court deems the death penalty to be permissible under the Constitution, and so long as prosecutors and state court judges are subject to political pressure to be 'tough on crime' and pro-death penalty, the politicization of the death penalty will only accelerate." So writes Circuit Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr., dissenting from the Sixth Circuit's denial of rehearing en banc today in a death penalty case from Ohio. You can access the order denying rehearing en banc and today's opinions related to that order at this link.

The Sixth Circuit's earlier, divided three-judge panel decision in the case can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Acquittal just latest setback in courts": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "The acquittal of two Palestinian activists on the main terrorism-financing charge against them Thursday represented another setback on the legal front for the Bush administration's war on terror, legal experts say."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"F.B.I. Agent Says Libby Denied Being Leak Source": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Libby Left Out Some Facts In Interviews, FBI Agent Says."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Video undercuts Libby's defense; His assertion that he was a scapegoat clashes with the White House stance that he had no role in leaking a CIA operative's identity."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Scalia: Constitution not there for the tinkering." This article appears today in The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin of California.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Secret execution talks challenged; Lawyers for a death row inmate and some news outlets want California officials' discussions on revising lethal injection to be conducted in the open": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz has an article headlined "Death row lawyers: Debate on injections should be public."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Plaintiff strikes out in lawsuit over Angels bag giveaway; Judge dismisses bias claim contending men were discriminated against in promotion for tote on Mother's Day at Angel Stadium": This article appears today in The Orange County Register.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Lawsuit against Angels thrown out."

And The Associated Press reports that "Totebag Suit Against Angels Dismissed."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judges Pose Questions on Bush Detainee Policy": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Detainee Rights at Center Of Fight; U.S. Opposes Court Challenge."

And Financial Times reports that "Bush's war powers further scrutinised."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Legislature Reappoints Superior Court Judge": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "A state judge deemed not qualified for the federal bench by the state and national bar associations was unanimously confirmed Thursday for reappointment as a Superior Court judge. Vanessa L. Bryant of Avon was endorsed 148-0 in the House and 35-0 in the Senate for another eight-year term, a tenure she hopes will be cut short this year by her becoming the first black woman appointed as a U.S. District judge in New England."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"School Hears Calls to End Mascot's Act; Chief's Friends, Foes Rally At University of Illinois": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kaine Dubious on Death Penalty Expansion": The Washington Post today contains this report from Virginia.

And The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "Execution team's privacy is goal; Measure advances that would shield identity of members."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Explains His Dismissal of Scientist’s Suit Against Times": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Judge Explains Tossing Out Suit Against N.Y. Times; Columns on Anthrax Attacks Called Hatfill a 'Likely Culprit' but Also Said He Could Be Innocent."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Judge Gives Rationale for Tossing Hatfill Suit Against Times."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge Explains Dismissal of Anthrax Case."

I have posted online at this link Tuesday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Police blotter: Texas student guilty in SSN hack; Former UT computer science student appeals conviction for writing program to guess Social Security numbers." Declan McCullagh has this article today at c|net News.com.

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Better Security for Judges": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "One of the more refreshing changes in Congress's mind-set growing out of the November election is that the House is no longer led by Republicans who demonize judges for sport. This change to more judge-friendly leadership should, at long last, lead to the House's joining the Senate in passing a much-needed bill to protect federal judges from physical attack."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Late for Court: Connecticut Case Draws Scrutiny." This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts strives for consensus on court; Chief justice says more unified voice would strengthen institution": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. brought his increasingly public campaign for a more private and less divisive Supreme Court to Chicago on Thursday and laid out a vision that may shape his tenure."

And The Daily Northwestern reports today that "Chief Justice Holds Court; Roberts speaks on judicial history at Law School."
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court Invalidates California's 'Determinate Sentencing' Law: Part One in a Two-Part Series on Yet More Cases Involving Judicial Factfinding in Sentencing." Vikram David Amar has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, February 01, 2007

It turns out that the "kangaroo court" not only didn't have kangaroos, but it wasn't even a court: Back on December 27, 2006, I had a post titled "Imagine that -- appellate judges don't take kindly to trial judge's characterization of appellate court as 'kangaroo court'" about a ruling that California's Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District had issued that day.

One day later, I noted here a report from law.com in which the trial judge explained that his "kangaroo court" remark was not directed at any appellate court whatsoever.

The Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District finally received that message too, and from none other than the chief kangaroo himself, James P. Willett, the District Attorney of San Joaquin County. You can access at this link that appellate court's ruling on rehearing, issued today.
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman



Second Circuit affirms preliminary injunction preventing New York City from enforcing ban prohibiting people between the ages of 18 and 21 from purchasing or possessing aerosol spray paint containers and broad tipped indelible markers: What would New York City be without graffiti? Apparently we aren't about to find out the answer to that question. You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court Hears Al-Marri's Request for Access": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 07:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Third Man: The 4th Circuit does one more round on enemy combatants." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Native Americans on trial often go without counsel": This article (free access) appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from SSRN: Rebecca E. Zietlow has an article titled "The Judicial Restraint of the Warren Court (and Why it Matters)" (abstract with link for download).

And Youngjae Lee has an article titled "International Consensus as Persuasive Authority in the Eighth Amendment" (abstract with links for download).

Thanks to "Legal Theory Blog" for the pointers (here and here).
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"PBS: 'The Supreme Court'; Series Looks Behind the Scenes and History of Nation's Highest Court." washingtonpost.com today hosted an online chat with Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen. You can access the chat transcript by clicking here.
Posted at 05:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tax Court Issues Opinion in Ballard - Kanter - Lisle": "TaxProf Blog" provides this post today, noting that "In issuing the opinion today, the Tax Court complied (barely) with the Eleventh Circuit's extraordinary July 20, 2006 order directing that the Tax Court give the case 'high priority' and dispose of it by February 1, 2007."

You can access today's 457-page ruling at this link.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Justice addresses McKenna college": The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin of California today contains an article that begins, "In an address at Claremont McKenna Wednesday night, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia explained at length his 'originalist' view of the Constitution, disputing the concept that the Constitution is a 'living document' subject to change in interpretation as time passes."

More details on Justice Antonin Scalia's visit to Claremont McKenna College can be accessed in a news release headlined "Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia To Discuss Constitutional Interpretation."
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Reporter's View of Libby Case Testimony": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 04:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Arkansas's fieriest judge speaks out. Again. 'Judges have as much right to be involved with issues as anybody else.'" Arkansas Times today has posted online an article that begins, "Though he’s become known as a spirited defender of free speech, Judge Wendell Griffen says 'I didn't set out to be a First Amendment champion. But I certainly don't mind it. My particular interest is in open government. I want to demystify the way the judicial system works. Too few people understand it.' A black member of the Arkansas Court of Appeals, one step down from the Arkansas Supreme Court, Griffen is once again entangled with the state agency that disciplines errant judges, charged with judicial misconduct because of things he's said."
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, to judge Moot Court competition": Washington University in St. Louis has today issued a news release that begins, "John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, will head the prestigious panel of judges presiding over the finals of the School of Law's Wiley Rutledge Moot Court Competition on February 6 in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom of Anheuser-Busch Hall."
Posted at 03:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice John Roberts Speaking at Northwestern": Jim Lindgren live blogs the talk here at "The Volokh Conspiracy."

As for why the Chief Justice of the United States will be spending today and tomorrow at the Northwestern University School of Law, you can access a news release from that law school titled "Chief Justice Roberts to Visit Law School as Trienens Visiting Scholar."
Posted at 03:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Voda v. Cordis: Plaintiff May Not Assert Foreign Patents in US Courts." "Patently-O: Patent Law Blog" provides this post about today's Federal Circuit ruling, which I earlier noted here.

Back in June 2005, "Patently-O" had this post linking to the appellate briefs filed in the case.
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Accordingly, we join several sister circuits in holding that Congress acted within its Constitutional authority in abrogating sovereign immunity under Title II of the ADA." So holds a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today in its decision in Bowers v. NCAA, a case that the court describes as "an ongoing saga."
Posted at 03:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Detainee Challenges U.S. Policy": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Attorneys for an immigrant the Bush administration calls an al-Qaida sleeper agent argued Thursday that their client is being detained unconstitutionally and should be allowed to challenge his imprisonment in court. Ali al-Marri, the only person being held as an enemy combatant on U.S. soil - has indisputable rights as a legal resident of the United States, including the right to due process and the right to challenge his accusers in a court of law, his lawyer, Jonathan Hafetz, told a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman


It ain't over till it's over: Back on January 11, 2005, I reported here on the Ninth Circuit's ruling that day in an appeal presenting the question of "the extent to which a tribal court may exercise jurisdiction over a products liability action arising out of an accident occurring on tribal trust land." The majority on that divided three-judge panel affirmed a federal district court's decision that "the tribal court lacked jurisdiction over Ford Motor Company."

Today, more than two years later, that very same three-judge panel has entered an order withdrawing its original opinion. Today's order, in which all three judges have joined, states that "we cannot say that the tribal courts in this case plainly lack jurisdiction over the dispute among Ford Motor Company, the Todecheenes and the Navajo Nation." Today's order remands the case to the federal district court "with instructions that the district court stay proceedings in this matter pending exhaustion of available proceedings in the tribal courts, including appellate review."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Speaking of special masters: The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Montana Sues Wyoming Over Water Rights" that begins, "Montana sued Wyoming in the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday over water rights in two shared rivers, which Montana claims are running dry due to Wyoming's overuse."
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman


And to think, I had only 91 hours and 20 minutes left before I would have downloaded the entire, 670MB .wav audio file of the Sixth Circuit's oral argument yesterday in the ACLU v. NSA case: Kudos to the Sixth Circuit's web site, which has replaced the earlier, humongously large audio file of yesterday's oral argument (in .wav format) with a much smaller mp3 audio file of the same oral argument that should take less than an hour to download. To download the audio file, right click on the link and select "save target as."

One can look far and wide, without any success, to find a court web site that's more responsive to user complaints than the Sixth Circuit's site. It was wonderful that the Sixth Circuit saw fit to post this audio file so promptly in the first instance and then to replace the audio file with a much more easily downloadable version once blogs and others began to observe that the original file, because of its large size, was taking far too long to download.
Posted at 12:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Once upon a time in D.C." Today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, columnist Linda P. Campbell has this op-ed imagining a conversation among the U.S. Supreme Court's Justices over cameras in their courtroom.
Posted at 12:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"The question here is simply whether, in a dispute between United States entities of whom the district court has personal jurisdiction, does the court have discretion to resolve aspects that concern foreign patents. The panel majority's conclusion that the court cannot exercise its discretion to do so is contrary to principle, practice, and judicial obligation." So writes Circuit Judge Pauline Newman, dissenting today from the ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Soon you'll be able to see for yourself just how special those masters really are: At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Special Master reports now online." Now if only the U.S. Supreme Court would begin posting online at its web site its own opinions just minutes after they were announced in the courtroom instead of an hour or two later, all would be right with the world.

Update: You can access the special master reports via this link.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Dynegy figure in limbo; Four months later, it's not clear where accountant is going to end up": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "More than four months after his 24-year prison sentence was cut to six years, former Dynegy accountant Jamie Olis remains in the federal detention center in downtown Houston, a facility typically home to inmates with short sentences or awaiting court appearances."

And today at the "Houston's Clear Thinkers" blog, Tom Kirkendall has a post titled "Has the BOP forgotten about Jamie Olis?"
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawsuit challenging U-M undergraduate admissions policy dismissed after 10 years; Plaintiffs will receive $10K each to cover costs; no damages": The Detroit News today contains an article that begins, "The historic lawsuit that challenged the use of affirmative action in the University of Michigan's undergraduate admissions was dismissed today -- a decade after the class-action lawsuit was filed and nearly four years after the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case."

The Detroit Free Press reports today that "U-M admissions policy suit is settled."

And The Michigan Daily reports that "Suit that began it all ends: Suit against 'U' admissions policy settled after 10 years in court."
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": Today's broadcast contained audio segments entitled "'Enemy Combatant' Fights for Due Process"; "ACLU Won't Quit Fight over Eavesdropping"; "Cooper, Miller Contradict Libby on CIA Leak" (featuring Nina Totenberg); and "House Studies Impact of Bush 'Signing Statements.'"

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit provides online access to the audio recording of yesterday's oral argument in the ACLU v. NSA appeal: You can access the file via this link (670MB .wav file) (to download the file, right click on the link and select "save target as").

Earlier today, I collected press coverage of yesterday's oral argument at this link.

Update: This huge audio file will take a mere 63 hours and 20 minutes to download, thanks to the Sixth Circuit's narrow bandwidth. There's more discussion of that in this post at "Balkinization."
Posted at 09:52 AM by Howard Bashman



Congratulations to best-selling author Jan Crawford Greenburg: The ABC News correspondent's new book -- "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court and America's Future" -- will debut at number 15 on The New York Times Book Review's list of hardcover non-fiction best sellers on Sunday, February 11, 2007.

Jan's tour in support of her new book will have her at Pepperdine University School of Law in sunny Malibu, California this afternoon to discuss the book with Jonathan Varat, Jesse Choper, Professor Doug Kmiec, and Dean Ken Starr. Details here.

And on Saturday afternoon, Jan will be at the Book Passage bookstore in San Francisco. Details here.

I've nearly finished reading Jan's book, and I can join in the chorus of those who have highly recommended it.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Time Reporter Testifies in Libby Trial; Cooper Tells of Aide Unmasking Plame": This article appears today in The Washington Post, along with an article headlined "Jurors' Queries Yield Insights -- And Laughs; Judge in Libby Case Among Few Allowing Such Practice."

The Los Angeles Times today contains articles headlined "Rove revealed agent's name, reporter says; At Libby's trial, Bush's top political advisor is said to be the original source for the disclosure of a CIA operative" and "Libby trial shows an insular, backbiting Washington."

In The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis reports that "Former Times Reporter Testimony Is Challenged."

USA Today contains an article headlined "Reporter: Rove first to leak CIA info; Libby confirmed Plame's job day later, witness says."

And The New York Sun reports that "Time Reporter Cooper Says Libby Confirmed Plame's Identity."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bid for public discussion on executions; Newspapers file to prohibit secretive alteration of system": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Leeway urged for judges; A Senate panel calls for sentencing latitude after U.S. court faults state prison-terms law": This article appeared yesterday in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federal judge won't seek U.S. attorney post in Los Angeles; Dickran Tevrizian, a leading candidate for the L.A. post, is said to have withdrawn his name": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. to give Congress records on spying program; The attorney general's decision to hand over the material on domestic surveillance ends a two-week confrontation": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Washington Times reports today that "Gonzales to give Congress secret surveillance papers."

Last night, I collected additional related press coverage at this link.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Lots of interest in this appeal: The Montgomery Advertiser today contains an article headlined "State may get $1B in interest from Exxon" that begins, "The state of Alabama is earning $1.18 million a day in interest as its case against Exxon Mobil awaits a ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court. The state will get the interest, more than $1 billion and counting, only if the Alabama Supreme Court upholds the $3.6 billion verdict against the Texas oil company."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court says tax system doesn't segregate": This article appears today in The Birmingham News.

My coverage of yesterday's Eleventh Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



And you thought "Choose Life" was controversial: The St. Petersburg Times reports today that "Confederate group seeks flag on tag."

And last Friday's issue of The Chicago Tribune contained a related editorial entitled "License to offend."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Roe backers shouldn't focus on Constitution": Columnist Roger Low has this op-ed today in The Yale Daily News. Therein, he writes, "Ever since Justice Harry Blackmun wrote his landmark decision in Roe, the national women's equality movement has seized on the case as one of the century's most important benchmarks for social progress. There’s just one small problem: Blackmun's Roe v. Wade opinion is a constitutional disaster."
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Under Kagan, A Harmonious HLS; Past successes could launch future presidency for popular Law School dean." The Harvard Crimson contains this article today.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Rell To Offer Eminent Domain Reform; Governor's proposed bill puts restrictions on property seizures": This article appears today in The Day of New London, Connecticut.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Search of students was legal; Bishop Stang officials not covered by Fourth Amendment, court finds": The Standard-Times of New Bedford, Massachusetts today contains an article that begins, "The Supreme Judicial Court yesterday ruled against three former Bishop Stang High School students who argued that the state's constitutional protection against unreasonable searches applies to private schools."

You can access at this link yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"House panel probing Bush's record on signing statements": Charlie Savage has this article today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Governor Stands Up: And Maryland's death penalty gets a powerful foe." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Damage of Exxon Valdez endures; 'Far-ranging' toll from '89 oil spill": USA Today contains this front page article today.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"More Milberg charges possible; Prosecutors may target Lerach, experts say, after a doctor admits his role in class-action schemes": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times today contains an article headlined "New Blow to a Law Firm Under Inquiry."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Serial Plaintiff in Milberg Weiss Case to Plead Guilty."

Reuters reports that "Man pleads guilty in U.S. law firm case."

Bloomberg News reports that "Former Milberg Plaintiff to Plead Guilty in Probe."

And law.com reports that "Former Lead Plaintiff's Guilty Plea May Spell Trouble for Lawyer Lerach."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judges Weigh Arguments in U.S. Eavesdropping Case": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

Henry Weinstein reports today that "Appeals court hears wiretapping case; The ACLU says the program is illegal and has done harm; The Justice Department argues it's both legal and moot."

And The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that "Bush wiretaps scrutinized; Cincinnati court hearing ACLU's challenge."
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman







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