Friday, February 20, 2009
"Attack of the Libel Tourists: Weak laws abroad threaten First Amendment freedoms here; Congress could step in to help." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"Will Obama back 'truth commission' to probe Bush practices?" Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers have this report.
"Lawmakers Seek to Return Right to Sue Device Makers": This article appears today in The New York Times. And you can view a related graphic by clicking here.
Posted at 08:03 PM by Howard Bashman
"Obama's legal changes may be fewer than expected": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.
Today in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey has an article headlined "Guantanamo detention: How harsh is it? President Obama must decide whether to embrace or change Bush's detention policies."
In related news, at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Joe Palazzolo has a post titled "Obama Stays the Course on Bagram."
"Feds Propose Storing Internet User Data for 2 Years": David Kravets has this post at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"SG Won't Disavow Bush Position in Controversial DNA Case": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman
"Ban on violent video games thrown out": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has this news update.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman
Three-judge Ninth Circuit panel affirms federal district court's entry of summary judgment striking down a California law that imposed restrictions and a labeling requirement on the sale or rental of "violent video games" to minors: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
In early news coverage, Reuters reports that "Court finds Calif. video game law unconstitutional."
"Supreme Court Considers Hearing 'Wardrobe Malfunction' Case; The supposedly obscene flash of R&B singer Janet Jackson's right breast during her half time performance led to what the Federal Communications Commission called an 'unprecedented number' of complaints about the broadcast": FOXNews.com provides this report.
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman
The en banc Sixth Circuit delivers bad news "to all adults who desire in any fashion to create, share, or disseminate non-obscene, sexually-explicit depictions of themselves, or other adults, without relinquishing their anonymity": So warns one of the opinions dissenting from today's 11-6 en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Connection Distributing Co. v. Holder. Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton delivered the majority opinion for the en banc court.
In early coverage, the Adult Video News web site has a report headlined "Appeals Court Rules 2257 Constitutional in 6th Circuit" (images accompanying the article may not be safe for work).
Back on October 23, 2007, a divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel issued a decision striking down the federal statute in question. My earliest coverage of that ruling appeared in a post titled "Majority on partially divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel strikes down as facially unconstitutional the recordkeeping requirements federal criminal law places on producers of images of 'actual sexually explicit conduct' to verify the ages of those depicted in the images."
A little added excitement in court: Yesterday's edition of The Palm Beach Post contained an article headlined "Mice scamper, leap, fall from ceilings in the Palm Beach County Courthouse."
Posted at 12:32 PM by Howard Bashman
In posts of note this morning at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times." David Ingram has a post titled "What Role Will ABA Have in Judicial Nominations?"
"The Southwest [Airlines] representative responded with alarm and declared 'you said the "b" word, you said the "b" word.'" When an airline's employee whose job it is to book travel reservations over the telephone concludes the call by asking whether the customer has any "comments, questions, or suggestions," it's probably best if the customer does not offer security-related advice on how airlines can reduce the risk of in-flight bombings. At least that seems to be the lesson of a ruling that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.
The majority in today's ruling reinstates a pro se litigant's lawsuit claiming that, as a result of the call, he became the subject of unlawful government monitoring. Cassandra Sturkie Bernstein of Latham and Watkins argued the case as court-appointed amicus curiae in support of the plaintiff-appellant. We mention her because she has a cool name, she has apparently spent some time pursuing her education in Australia, and, in an obvious homage to "Boston Legal," she has worked on litigation involving "mad cow" disease.
"Judge rules key Bonds evidence inadmissible": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Lance Williams has an article that begins, "A federal judge has thrown out much of the 'mountain of evidence' that prosecutors say they accumulated to prove that former Giants star Barry Bonds lied when he denied knowingly using steroids."
The New York Times reports today that "Judge Tosses Key Evidence Against Bonds."
And The Associated Press reports that "Judge bars use of drug tests in Bonds' trial."
"Bury My Chance At Supreme Court: Study Shows Indian Tribes Face Long Odds In "Cert Pool" Process At High Court." CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this new installment of his "CourtWatch" column today.
"U.S. Justices Take Up Issue of ID Theft by Immigrants; Courts Disagree Over Whether It Matters if a Suspect Knows An ID Belongs to Someone Else": Lawrence Hurley has this front page article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman
"Texas judge faces public hearing for conduct over 2007 death-penalty appeal": Today's edition of The Dallas Morning News contains an article that begins, "The top judge of Texas' highest criminal court was told Thursday that she'll have to publicly defend her 2007 decision to close the court at 5 p.m. rather than allow a last-minute appeal in the case of a man executed later that night. Sharon Keller, the presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, will have to justify her conduct -- and possibly fight for her job -- in a rare public hearing ordered by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct."
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that "Texas' top criminal judge's job on the line for death penalty case."
The New York Times reports that "Texas Judge May Lose Job Over Appeal in Death Case."
And Chuck Lindell of The Austin American-Statesman reports that "Judge faces ethics trial; Trial to consider Keller's role in after-hours death row appeal."