Wednesday, February 20, 2008
"Supreme Court snuffs Maine's Internet cigarette sales rule; The justices, citing need for unfettered interstate commerce, say delivery companies cannot be required to verify that tobacco recipients are over 18": Warren Richey will have this article Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
And Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "Court rubs out Maine law regulating Internet tobacco sales."
"Supreme Court Rules Employees Can Sue Over 401(k) Misconduct": The Washington Post will contain this front page article on Thursday.
Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Supreme Court rules that employees can sue 401(k) managers; The 7-to-2 decision gives workers and retirees recourse for the mishandling of individual retirement accounts."
And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court rules workers can sue over 401(k) losses."
"Appeal to stall Jefferson trial for months": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides a news update that begins, "New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson on Wednesday appealed a key ruling in his public corruption case, a move certain to delay the trial -- possibly until the fall election season."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Meet Bush's Prison Nominee: Tennessee's next trial court judge might be a prison company executive who has less courtroom experience than most inmates." This article appears online today at the web site of Mother Jones magazine.
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman
"Justices Rule on Retroactivity of Decisions": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman
"Justices Make It Tougher to Sue Medical Device Makers": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times. Tomorrow's paper will also contain a news analysis headlined "Justices Add Legal Complications to Debate on F.D.A.'s Competence."
"Why Protect Private Arms Possession?" Law Professor Michael Steven Green has posted this article (abstract with link for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Coincidentally, Professor Green clerked after law school for Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner. This week's topic at "The Becker-Posner Blog" is "Can Gun Control Laws be Effective?" Becker's post is here, while Posner's response is here.
Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio is reporting: On this evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered," she had an audio segment entitled "Federal Rules Beat State Laws in High Court Rulings."
Available online at "SCOTUSblog": Lyle Denniston has posts titled "'Creating' or 'declaring' rights" and "Another way to limit Sec. 1981."
And Tom Goldstein has a post titled "Practice Pointer: Navigating a Novel Cert. Problem."
Access online Zacarias Moussaoui's Brief for Appellant filed last month in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: A law librarian who works for a west coast-based law school and who is a fan of "How Appealing" yesterday kindly sent to me a PDF file consisting of Zacarias Moussaoui's opening brief in his current Fourth Circuit appeal. The file is quite large -- almost 18MB -- so I've posted it to eSnips. You can download the brief in PDF format via this link. The brief -- which is over 200 pages in length -- contains lots of redactions that were made before the Fourth Circuit was able to release it for public review.
Seven attorneys from Arnold & Porter's Washington, D.C. office, and one attorney from Richmond, Virginia, are listed on the cover of the brief as Moussaoui's attorneys on appeal.
Last Saturday's issue of The Washington Post reported on Moussaoui's opening brief in an article headlined "Moussaoui Deprived of Constitutional Rights, Attorneys Say; Appeal Seeks to Overturn Guilty Plea, Life Sentence Because of Evidence Kept Secret, Counsel Choice Denied." According to the article, the Fourth Circuit unsealed Moussaoui's appellate brief last Friday.
Examining the retroactive effect of a newly adopted statutory cap on non-economic damages for "any injury to a person in an action arising out of a motor vehicle accident": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued this ruling today. The statutory cap in question is one that now exists under the local law of the U.S. Virgin Islands, but the cap took effect after the plaintiff was injured and after the plaintiff had filed his lawsuit. The law imposing the cap is silent concerning its retroactive effect.
The plaintiff sustained his injuries when the motorcycle he was driving was hit by a jeep driven by United States Army recruiter. Thus, today's Third Circuit ruling, which holds that the damages cap cannot apply to this plaintiff's claim, is adverse to the United States government.
"Legality of Bush bugging policy shifts to S.F." Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal Tuesday to hear a lawsuit challenging President Bush's electronic surveillance program left a critical balance-of-powers question - whether judges can decide the legality of the secretive program - in the hands of two federal courts in San Francisco."
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman
Ninth Circuit examines the constitutionality of a warrantless search of a storage unit when the person who lived in the storage unit denied permission to search but the person who owned the storage unit granted permission to search: On behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt applies the U.S. Supreme Court's 2006 ruling in Georgia v. Randolph to hold that the search was unlawful.
Today's opinion states:
Next, the government argues that Randolph does not apply because the storage unit was not a residence. As an initial matter, Murphy's living situation was unconventional, but the record shows that the storage units were the closest thing that he had to a residence. He was sleeping in unit 14 and storing his belongings in unit 17. For the purposes of the Fourth Amendment, this is sufficient to create an expectation of privacy and thus the authority to refuse a search. Moreover, even if the storage units could not be considered a residence, there is no reason that the rule in Randolph should be limited to residences. Randolph is rooted in the idea of common authority and the Supreme Court has extended the principle of common authority well beyond residences.You can access today's Ninth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman
Videotaping middle school students dressing and undressing in a school locker room is "wholly disproportionate to the claimed policy goal of assuring increased school security, especially when there is no history of any threat to security in the locker rooms": Not to mention that the video was apparently capable of being accessed over the internet. More details can be found in this ruling that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman
Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in CBOCS West v. Humphries, No. 06-1431: At this link.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman
"Court upholds man's conviction for having sex with dead deer": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin issued yesterday.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"Supreme Court limits lawsuits in Medtronic case; The high court decision will curb the ability of aggrieved consumers to sue companies that make faulty medical devices": The Minneapolis Star Tribune provides this news update.
"U.S. Supreme Court rules against 'Judge Alex' star; Jurists say Alex Ferrer must resolve a fee dispute with a former manager in arbitration; High court also issues rulings on 401K accounts, medical devices, and alcohol and tobacco shipments": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman
Today's five U.S. Supreme Court decisions in argued cases: The Court today issued rulings in the following five cases:
1. Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transp. Assn., No. 06-457: opinion here and oral argument transcript here;At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has posts titled "State laws preempted in three areas" and "States allowed to expand criminal rights."
Mark Sherman and Pete Yost of The Associated Press report that "Court Gives Business 2 Wins, 1 Loss." Yost also has articles headlined "Court Limits Suits Over Medical Devices"; "Court Invalidates Maine Tobacco Law"; and "Court Rules Against Judge Alex." And in other coverage of today's rulings, The AP reports that "Court Extends Cross-Examination Rule" and "Court Says 401(k) Participants Can Sue."
Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Patient Medical-Device Suits Curbed by Top U.S. Court" and "Retirement-Fund Suits Allowed by U.S. Supreme Court."
Programming note: A bit later this morning, I'll be visiting an appellate client who is incarcerated in central Pennsylvania. Additional posts will appear here this afternoon.
"Supreme Court dismisses challenge to Bush's wiretapping policy; Though not a ruling on the legality of the president's action, it effectively precludes any successful legal attack on the policy before Bush is out of office": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Privacy case is rejected by court; U.S. wiretapping battle now over."
And The Detroit News reports that "Spy-law suit dealt blow; Supreme Court denies latest bid, which originated in Detroit, for hearing into federal wiretapping program."
"Justices Will Hear Case on Evidence Suppression": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.
And today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court to review 'exclusionary rule' on evidence; Conservative justices have their eyes on the controversial doctrine that requires judges to throw out anything improperly obtained by police."
"Public could fund high court candidates; Proposal aims to prevent possible conflicts of interest": The Detroit Free Press contains this article today.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman
"Tape Inquiry: Ex-Spymaster in the Middle." This profile of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., the central figure in a controversy over destroyed C.I.A. interrogation tapes, appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"Reporter Held in Contempt in Anthrax Case": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "A federal judge found a former reporter for USA Today in contempt of court on Tuesday for refusing to name her confidential sources who had discussed a former Army scientist's possible role in the 2001 anthrax attacks."
USA Today reports today that "Judge holds reporter in contempt in '01 anthrax case."
"'Superstar' to Join HLS Team in Fall": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "After more than 30 years away from his alma mater, Cass R. Sunstein ’75--the most cited law professor in the U.S.--will be returning to Harvard to join the Law School faculty this fall."
"Searching Laptops at the Border and In Airports: A Disturbing Practice That Imperils Fourth and First Amendment Rights." Anita Ramasastry has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman