Friday, March 14, 2008
Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle reports that "Supreme Court to Hear Arguments Over Reimbursement of Paralegal Costs; Issue is crucial to small firms litigating against U.S. government."
And in other news, "Eminent Domain Proceedings Run Up Against Religious Freedom Arguments in Fla. Case; Lawyers on both sides of the issue say using the state's religious rights law to fight eminent domain is a novel strategy."
"History's lessons and gun rights": Lyle Denniston has this lengthy post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman
"Jailed former Enron chief says prosecutors hid key evidence": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling says federal prosecutors should lose their biggest catch in the scandal that felled the company because they hid crucial evidence that would have helped him during his trial two years ago. In an appeals court filing made public today, Skilling's lead lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, alleged that the government shored up its case by hiding statements from former finance chief Andrew Fastow that would have bolstered Skilling's defense."
"Llano man has date with U.S. Supreme Court; Case could expand rights to court-appointed lawyers": Today in The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell has an article that begins, "Walt Rothgery, a modest man with a hard-luck life, is about to be immortalized by the U.S. Supreme Court. His case, resulting from a mistaken arrest six years ago, will be argued before the nation's highest court Monday. The ensuing opinion will be known as the Rothgery decision -- discussed by journalists, dissected by legal scholars and cited by lawyers in future legal briefs."
On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "High Court to Hear Challenge to D.C. Gun Ban"; "D.C. Gun Ban Critic: Court Must Clarify Constitution"; and "House Adds Concession for Telecoms in Spying Bill."
"Supreme Court to hear landmark gun-control case": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 07:57 PM by Howard Bashman
Available online from National Public Radio: Today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Court Fight Still Unfolding over Attorney Firings."
An alien who "may pose" a danger to national security is not necessarily the same as an alien who "is" a danger to national security, Third Circuit holds: Today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit holds that the Attorney General of the United States has been improperly applying, in an overbroad manner, the so-called "the national security exception" to an illegal alien's entitlement to the withholding of removal otherwise available when the alien's life or freedom would be threatened in the country of removal.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman
Tenth Circuit rejects, due to lack of standing and mootness, a challenge to the Pledge of Allegiance filed by a former Colorado town trustee who was recalled from office after refusing to stand and recite the Pledge at meetings of the town's Board of Trustees: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"Appeals court judge adds insult to injury": Today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, columnist James Gill has an op-ed that begins, "Luck doesn't come any worse than this. First you get severely injured by some negligent corporation, and then your jury award winds up before Priscilla Owen of the federal appeals court. That's when you know the Fates have it in for you."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman
"D.C. Gun Ban's Effectiveness Questioned": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:37 PM by Howard Bashman
"Two wrongs may not make a right, but do two crimes not involving moral turpitude when committed separately become morally turpitudinous when committed together?" That was the title of my post from September 12, 2007 reporting on the ruling a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued that day answering that question of immigration law in the affirmative.
"House Passes New Surveillance Bill": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The House on Friday narrowly approved a Democratic bill that would set rules for the government's eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails inside the United States. The bill, approved as lawmakers departed for a two-week break, faces a veto threat from President Bush. The margin of House approval was 213 to 197, largely along party lines."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman
In today's mail: The book "Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State," by Tara Ross and Joseph C. Smith Jr.
Posted at 12:40 PM by Howard Bashman
Seventh Circuit affirms entry of summary judgment against Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in lawsuit alleging that craigslist violates the Fair Housing Act's prohibition against discrimination on account of race, religion, sex, or family status when selling or renting housing: Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook issued today's ruling on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
The ruling is likely to be of interest in the Ninth Circuit, which on December 12, 2007 heard reargument en banc in Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com. My extensive earlier coverage of the Roommates.com case can be accessed via posts that appear here and here. In addition, you can download the audio of the Ninth Circuit's en banc reargument via this link (9.53MB Windows Media audio file).
Law Professor Eric Goldman, at his "Technology & Marketing Law Blog," had a post titled "Craigslist Wins 230 Defense in Fair Housing Case--Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under the Law v. Craigslist" reporting on the federal district court's ruling in the craigslist case, which the Seventh Circuit today affirmed. Via the Seventh Circuit's web site, you can download the oral argument audio (6.90MB mp3 audio file) and also access the appellate briefs filed in the case.
Divided three-judge D.C. Circuit panel allows district court to consider whether to issue a preliminary injunction precluding Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Belbacha from being transferred to his native country of Algeria: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Update: Pete Yost of The Associated Press reports that "Guantanamo Detainee Gets Reprieve."
Three-judge Sixth Circuit panel grapples over whether it's a federal crime to commit murder in a national forest: For the second time in 20 days, a federal appellate court has issued a ruling addressing whether the federal courts have jurisdiction over murders committed in a national forest.
Late last month, a three-judge Tenth Circuit panel issued a lengthy ruling addressing and rejecting a federal death row inmate's challenge to the exercise of federal jurisdiction over a double-murder committed at the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma. My earlier coverage of that ruling appears here.
Today, a three-judge Sixth Circuit panel splits 2-1 -- with each judge on the panel writing separately -- over whether a murder committed in the Manistee National Forest in Michigan can be prosecuted as a federal offense. The majority answers "yes" in a decision that you can access here. Senior Circuit Judge Gilbert S. Merritt's dissenting opinion begins:
Although it may seem at first glance somewhat counterintuitive to say that the federal courts do not have general or plenary subject matter jurisdiction over murder and other crimes in the national forests, that is, in fact, the situation. That is the situation because our system of federalism requires that Congress act by clear positive legislation to create such criminal jurisdiction, and Congress has not done so. There is no common-law, federal criminal, subject-matter jurisdiction in national forests or elsewhere, and this concept has been a part of our system of checks and balances limiting the power of the federal government from the beginning.I'll leave it up to others to speculate over whether the recent issuance of these two appellate court rulings indicate that national forests are especially dangerous places to visit.
Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman
Drug testing job applicants or student athletes, on appeal: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article headlined "Court ruling limits employment drug testing" that begins, "A city can't require all job applicants to be tested for narcotics and must instead show why drug use in a particular job would be dangerous, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday." You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Elsewhere, The Seattle Times reports today that "Random student drug tests banned." And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer contains an article headlined "No random drug tests of student athletes; State Supreme Court rules against practice." Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Washington State consists of a plurality opinion and three concurring opinions (here, here, and here).
"U.S. Army altered Khadr report; First version said attacker was slain, military court told": Today's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contains a front page article that begins, "A U.S. commander made an unexplained change to a key military report that made it support the government's case against Omar Khadr, the Guantanamo Bay tribunal heard yesterday. The report detailed what happened during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan that left U.S. Sergeant Christopher Speer dead and landed Mr. Khadr at the U.S. detention centre at Guantanamo Bay charged with murder."
The Toronto Star today contains an article headlined "Evidence doctored to implicate Khadr: Lawyer."
In The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Pentagon accused of doctoring Guantanamo tribunal evidence; A defense lawyer for an accused Canadian says the account of an attack was altered to support a 'myth' that his client was its sole survivor."
And in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has articles headlined "Detainee arraigned, says he was abused; Allegations of military abuse increasingly took center stage as the Guantanamo military commissions edged toward full-blown trials" and "Suit seeks complete Gitmo transparency."
"Democrats Dig In for Surveillance Battle": The Wall Street Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman
"Do away with loyalty oaths: Requiring state employees to swear loyalty to the Constitution is a relic." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman
"Freedom of Information: The leaks go on; A federal court judge says prior Wikileaks ruling was unconstitutional." The current issue of San Francisco Bay Guardian contains this article.
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman
In today's edition of The Miami Herald: The newspaper contains articles headlined "Censored Coconut Creek student paper tries again; Young journalists at Monarch High School find it hard to produce a student newspaper that school administrators consider acceptable" and "Senate: No ifs, ands or butts -- pull up those pants; Tired of seeing teens' underwear, legislators are trying to pass a ban."
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"President weakens espionage oversight; Board created by Ford loses most of its power": Charlie Savage has this article today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman
"Safety in Defenselessness: The District of Columbia tries to save its gun law by misreading it." Jacob Sullum has this essay online at Reason.
"A Lawyer's Trials: Tort King's Path to Bribery Charge; Scruggs Has History Of Spats Over Fees; $50 Million Adviser." The Wall Street Journal contains this lengthy front page article today.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"Cities dance around free-speech issue; Use zoning and licensing laws to curb adult entertainment": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman
"Newspapers censor Bono's 'fucking' gaffe; The FCC's 'broadcast indecency' rules: Still, well, bullshit." Harvey Silverglate has this essay in the current issue of The Boston Phoenix.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bush's conservatism to live long in the U.S. courts; Lifetime appointments to the bench carve out president's judicial legacy": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today. Accompanying the article are sidebars headlined "Judicial appointments by the numbers" and "Battles between Bush, Senate over the bench."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"Virginia Supreme Court Justice Agee picked for U.S. court; Va. Supreme Court jurist nominated by Bush for appeals post in Richmond": This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"Prosecutorial Effort To Humiliate Spitzer Is Seen": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
And today's edition of The New York Times contains articles headlined "U.S. Is Examining Spitzer's Funds" and "For Spitzer, Lawyers Both Formidable and Familiar Prepare to Do Battle."
"Ferraro at Bryant brings Clarence Thomas into the mix; Geraldine Ferraro made a Bryant University audience pause as she spoke about how Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas -- the second black judge to sit on the high court -- got into Yale University": This article appears today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman
"Paterson Could Derail Development; Opposes Use of Eminent Domain": The New York Sun contains this article today.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman
"Complaint vs. judge sustained; Whether Nottingham tarred office is taken under advisement": This article appears today in The Rocky Mountain News.
And The Denver Post reports today that "Misconduct complaint against federal judge under review."
"Why a California Court of Appeal Ruling Threatens to Make Home Schooling Illegal": Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein have this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman