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."
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).
"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.
"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).
"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."
"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.
"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.
"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.
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."
"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).
"Legislature 2007: Bill to let 9 jurors decide death verdict takes shape." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains this article today.
"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."
"A War Under Law: Congress Must Address U.S. Detainee Policies." Jeffrey H. Smith has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
"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."
"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."
"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."