Thursday, March 8, 2007
"Alito compares baseball to the law at keynote speech in Tampa": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "In a speech rich with baseball lore, the nation's newest Supreme Court Justice on Thursday compared the law to the sport and judges to umpires."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today published a newsbrief headlined "Justice Alito to be honored."
"Exclusive: Report Says FBI Violated Patriot Act Guidelines." ABC News provides a report that begins, "The FBI repeatedly failed to follow the strict guidelines of the Patriot Act when its agents took advantage of a new provision allowing the FBI to obtain phone and financial records without a court order, according to a report to be made public Friday by the Justice Department's Inspector General."
And The Washington Post on Friday will contain a front page article headlined "Frequent Errors In FBI's Secret Records Requests; Audit Finds Possible Rule Violations."
"Gonzales agrees to change in law on appointment of U.S. attorneys": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"Senators Spar Over Restoring Habeas Corpus": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 10:03 PM by Howard Bashman
"Ninth Circuit: Intentional Spitting on Another Is Simple Assault." Metropolitan News-Enterprise today provides this report.
"Tribal member wins on appeal": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court yesterday reinstated a $301,000 jury award to a Narragansett Indian injured when the state police raided a tribal smoke shop in July 2003. A three-judge panel from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Trooper Kenneth Jones violated Adam Jennings' constitutional rights when he twisted his ankle until it broke during the July 14, 2003, raid."
"Senate Republicans Deliver Sharp Criticism of Gonzales; Senators Say Attorney General Fired Prosecutors Without Explanation": The Washington Post provides a news update that begins, "Senior Senate Republicans today delivered scathing criticism of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales for his handling of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, joining Democrats in charging that the prosecutors were dismissed without adequate explanation. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggested that Gonzales's status as the nation's leading law enforcement officer might not last through the remainder of President Bush's term, pointedly disputing the attorney general's public rationale for the mass firings."
Posted at 05:47 PM by Howard Bashman
"Man with TV show alibi wins settlement from L.A.; He was cleared of murder because outtakes from 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' put him at a Dodgers game at the time of the crime": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $320,000 to settle a lawsuit by a man who was cleared of murder when footage shot for the HBO comedy 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' showed him at a Dodgers game when the crime occurred. Juan Catalan had filed a police misconduct suit against the city after spending nearly five months in jail for a crime he did not commit -- a point his lawyer proved after producing outtakes from the television show."
Posted at 05:27 PM by Howard Bashman
"Of Minority Clerks and Trapezoidal Windows": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "It's a not-to-be-missed annual ritual that brings the Supreme Court in rare direct contact with the legislative branch: the Court's budget hearing today before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee."
"N.C. Execution Policy Creates Debate": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" (RealPlayer required).
"Interesting 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' argument in the US Court of Appeals": David Kravitz has this post at the "Blue Mass Group" blog on yesterday's First Circuit oral argument.
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman
"Hardiman & Bryant Out": The blog "Confirm Them" notes here that "Third Circuit nominee Thomas Hardiman was reported out of the Judiciary Committee this morning, as was district court (D. Conn.) nominee Vanessa Bryant."
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman
"'Survivor' Case Heard in Appeals Court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Richard Hatch deserves a new trial on charges he failed to pay taxes on his $1 million 'Survivor' prize because a judge improperly kept him from testifying about claims of cheating on the CBS reality series, his lawyer told an appeals court Thursday."
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman
Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas testified today before the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the House Appropriations Committee: Via C-SPAN, you can view the hearing online, on-demand by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 03:04 PM by Howard Bashman
"High Court Renovations Lag": The Associated Press provides a round-up of U.S. Supreme Court-related news that begins, "The $122 million renovation of the Supreme Court has fallen far behind schedule and will not be finished until at least July 2009."
On a separate subject, the article notes that "Justice Clarence Thomas' autobiography, which got him a $1 million-plus deal, now looks like it will be published in mid-October, said his agent, Lynn Chu of New York."
"Before Going Live at Supreme Court, Lawyers Refine on Moot Court Circuit": Today in The Daily Journal of California, Brent Kendall has a very interesting article (free access) that begins, "When Los Angeles attorney Jean-Claude Andre learned last year that the U.S. Supreme Court had agreed to hear one of his cases, the lawyer was eager to call his wife and share the good news: He would be making his first high court appearance."
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman
"The sole issue in this case is whether the Feres doctrine, which prohibits suit against the government for injuries that are incident to military service, bars appellants' civil suit against the United States for the tragic death of their son, Lieutenant McConnell, in a waterskiing accident." So begins a ruling that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today. The court holds that the Feres doctrine does bar the suit, even though the soldier's death resulted from purely recreational activities.
In a concurring opinion, Circuit Judge Ronald M. Gould writes:
I am left with the concern that our precedent interpreting the scope of the Feres doctrine creates an injustice. The justifications for the doctrine as applied to the death of Lieutenant McConnell seem slim to me, for it is unrealistic for our precedent to suggest that dismissal of the claim here is needed to foster military discipline. In my view, and respectfully, it would be appropriate for our court en banc to reassess the scope of the Feres doctrine. Also, many might welcome the Supreme Court's clarification of the doctrine's application in the case of military-sponsored recreational programs.You can access the complete ruling at this link.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Mich. top judges go wild; 'They've acted like children,' critic says": The Detroit News today contains an article that begins, "With the reputation of Michigan's highest court sinking fast, a simmering dispute among its justices boiled over Wednesday in ugly insinuations, sarcasm and even lyrics from a Broadway tune. With any pretense of collegiality having vanished, alarmed law professors, prominent attorneys and others say they wonder where the childish dispute between Justice Betty Weaver and her fellow Republicans on the bench will end. Weaver and Justices Maura Corrigan and Robert Young exchanged sharp comments in the court's opinion in a routine court action released Wednesday." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Michigan's high court hijinks should end; Justices must quit their sniping and restore decorum to court."
The Detroit News reports today that "Feuding justices spar as they work."
And The Associated Press reports that "Michigan Supreme Court continues sparring."
"Australian to Appear at Military Panel": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Australian terrorist suspect David Hicks will make his first appearance before a U.S. military commission on March 20 - more than five years after he was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Prime Minister John Howard said Thursday."
Posted at 11:48 AM by Howard Bashman
"Gates says closed Guantanamo hearings needed; The Defense secretary says classified information is key in 14 detainees' cases; Others say secrecy will hurt U.S. credibility": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bush Deflects Pressure To Give Libby a Pardon; Clemency Before 2008 Election Could Be Politically Risky": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post, along with articles headlined "Prison May Be Long Way Off for Libby; Appeals Could Keep Former Cheney Aide Free Until After 2008 Election" and "Libby Trial Offered Glimpses of Way White House Worked; Testimony Depicted Lack of Openness, Rivalries Among Aides of Bush, Cheney." In addition, columnist Robert D. Novak has an op-ed entitled "A Verdict on the Wilson Affair."
The New York Times today contains articles headlined "Debate Over a Pardon Follows the Libby Verdict" and "Next for the C.I.A.'s Least Secret Officer: A Quieter Life." In addition, columnist Maureen Dowd has an op-ed entitled "My Very Own Juror" (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link).
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Conservatives see a scapegoat in Libby; He's been sacrificed to a politicized prosecution, they say; A former Clinton aide recalls the impeachment and sees hypocrisy."
USA Today reports that "Conservatives press Bush for Libby pardon; Presidents' clemency decisions sometimes subject to criticism."
"Graduation ceremony spurs lawsuit; Ex-high school student who's a Muslim charges bias over event at Newark church": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains this article today.
"Suspension postponed for students who said 'vagina'": This article appears today in The Journal News of Westchester, New York.
"Ex-Teacher, Suing L.I. School District, Says She Was Accused of Witchcraft": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Taking the stand in United States District Court here on Wednesday, Lauren Berrios -- with a stylish white blouse, black slacks, coiffed hair, no pointy black hat -- hardly looked like a witch."
The New York Daily News reports that "'Witchy' teacher trial casts spell on court; $2M lawsuit after firing in '01."
And The New York Post contains an article headlined "I'm a victim of 'witch' burning; Fired L.I. teacher testifies of smear."
"Grass Experts Battle Over Great Lawn": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "A First Amendment lawsuit over the rights of protesters to rally at Central Park could turn, in part, on the lawn care strategies of dueling turf management experts. In a ruling on Tuesday, a federal judge paved the way for a trial on whether the city uses concerns over the grass at the Great Lawn as a pretext to discriminate against political organizations. Both the city and the plaintiffs have turned for help to professors who specialize in grass growing."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman
"Inquiry Into Ouster of U.S. Attorneys Moves Toward Subpoenas at Justice Department": This article appears today in The New York Times, which also contains an editorial entitled "The Gonzales Eight."
And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Fired U.S. attorney's testimony raises broader concerns; New Mexico Republicans Wilson and Domenici deny that they called David Iglesias before the 2006 election for political reasons." In addition, Michael McGough has an "Opinion Daily" essay entitled "The myth of nonpartisan U.S. attorneys: If senators really want to depoliticize the position of U.S. attorney, they should stop treating the post as a patronage plum."
"N.J. court: Public can videotape meetings; Town erred in arrest of gadfly, justices say." The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "Video cameras today are like the quill pens used hundreds of years ago to chronicle the actions of government, and New Jersey residents have a common-law right to use them to record public meetings, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday."
"Witness Protection: The fired prosecutors develop an esprit de corps." Barron YoungSmith has this essay online at The New Republic.
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman
"The 'Lawfare' Scare: The latest conservative attack on legal challenges to the Bush administration's detention and interrogation policies doesn't hold water." Deborah Pearlstein has this essay online at The American Prospect.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman
"Gitmo's Guerrilla Lawyers: How an unscrupulous legal and PR campaign changed the way the world looks at Guantanamo." Debra Burlingame has this op-ed (free access) today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 06:38 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court Takes Unusually Close Look at Asylum Policy": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The federal appellate court in Manhattan is taking an unusually close look at American immigration policy toward asylum seekers from China who claim they were persecuted under the country's family planning practices. The entire 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals met together yesterday to hear oral arguments in several asylum cases involving men whose spouses or girlfriends were forcibly sterilized or made to have an abortion. The cases raised the question of whether husbands and boyfriends were eligible to receive asylum from Chinese family planning laws, though no operations were forced on them."
Posted at 06:33 AM by Howard Bashman