Thursday, February 8, 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."
"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."
"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."
"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.
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."
"'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."
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.
"Ex-U.S. Attorney McKay was forced to resign; Critics question political motivations": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
"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."
"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).
"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."
"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."
"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."