Tuesday, March 20, 2007
"Bush Clashes With Congress on Prosecutors": This article will appear Wednesday in The New York Times.
The Washington Post on Wednesday will contain articles headlined "President Says He Supports Gonzales; Hill Democrats May Subpoena Bush Aides" and "E-Mails Reveal Tumult In Firings and Aftermath."
And law.com provides reports headlined "E-Mails Detail Ousted Northern California U.S. Attorney Ryan Fighting His Fall" and "Former AG Bell: Politics Has No Place at the DOJ."
On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Congress, White House Clash on Hearing Rules"; "Gonzales Known for Loyalty, Handling Problems"; "Senate Votes to Resume Attorney Confirmation"; "Justice Dept. Had a 'Real Problem' with Lam": and "House Panel Threatens to Curb FBI Powers."
"What Would Jesus Smoke?: The Christian doctrine on bong hits." Online at Slate, Torie Bosch provides this Explainer.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"Thomas announces judgeship nomination for Rock Springs lawyer": The Casper Star-Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Richard Honaker, a Rock Springs attorney, has been nominated to be Wyoming's seventh U.S. district judge since statehood, U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas announced Monday. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Honaker will fill the seat vacated by the recent retirement of U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer."
And The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Nominee for federal court seat wrote failed Wyo. abortion bill"; "Honaker's nomination worries pro-abortion activists"; and "Thomas: Honaker's conservative past no secret."
"President Bush Addresses Resignations of U.S. Attorneys": The White House has posted online this transcript of President Bush's remarks this evening, along with the text of "White House Counsel's Letter Regarding U.S. Attorneys."
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"Bush warns Dems against 'partisan fishing expedition'": The Los Angeles Times provides a news update that begins, "President Bush, warning Congress against 'a partisan fishing expedition,' said today, 'There is no indication that anybody did anything improper' in handling the firings of eight U.S. attorneys."
The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Bush Warns Democrats to Accept Testimony Plan."
McClatchy Newspapers provide reports headlined "Bush fights back on behalf of his embattled attorney general" and "Inquiry revisits accusations that Justice Dept. protected lawmaker."
CNN.com reports that "Bush ready to fight lawmakers on U.S. attorney firings flap."
The Associated Press reports that "Bush Warns Dems to Take Offer in Firings."
And last Friday, The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina reported that "U.S. targeted Charlotte attorney; Gretchen C.F. Shappert prosecuted Sam Currin, a top North Carolina Republican, last year."
"Supreme Court Blocks Ohio Execution": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked the execution of a man who killed a woman and scattered her remains across two states, agreeing with other courts that said he can continue arguing that Ohio's method of lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment."
"Justices Weigh Free Speech for Students": This segment (transcripts with links to audio and video feeds) featuring Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal appeared on yesterday's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."
Posted at 04:53 PM by Howard Bashman
"Justice collects gifts to pay fees": The Fort Worth Star-Telegram today contains an article that begins, "Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht personally collected more than $300,000 in private donations from some of the state's top lawyers to pay his legal bills, prompting a state senator to say he is withdrawing his efforts to get the state to pick up the tab. Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, said he would not have introduced a bill to pay Hecht's legal expenses if he had known that Hecht had raised the money himself."
And The Associated Press reports that "Justice who supported Miers raised legal funds from lawyers."
"Bush renominates five Michiganians to federal judgeships": The Detroit News today contains an article that begins, "President Bush has renominated five Michiganians to federal judgeships, including a Troy lawyer and a woman whose nomination has been blocked by a Republican senator because of her attendance at a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony."
"Special Prosecutor on Lam's Firing Is Possible, Experts Say": Lawrence Hurley has this article (free access) today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman
"E-Mails Detail Aftermath of U.S. Attorney Firings": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
"Kennedy Recuses From Antitrust Case Involving Son's Company": law.com's Tony Mauro provides a news update that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's son Gregory is a managing director of Credit Suisse, the investment banking firm that is a party in a major antitrust case set for argument before his father's court March 27. It is apparently because of his son's employment that Kennedy on Monday suddenly recused in the case, Credit Suisse v. Billing, after having participated in the decision last December to grant review. Kennedy's late-stage recusal triggered an unusual sequence of events in the case, announced on an otherwise routine order list Monday."
"The Porn Plot Against Prosecutors": Max Blumenthal has this essay online at The Nation.
Meanwhile, at National Review Online, Byron York has an essay entitled "Will Top White House Officials Testify Before Congress? Yes. It's happened before; it will happen again." And Bruce Bartlett has an essay entitled "With Precedent: Attorney firings."
"Justices may take centrist view of 'Bong Hits' case": Tony Mauro has this news analysis online at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Court Debates Credibility in Murder Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "John Fry was convicted of shooting two people to death alongside a northern California highway even though a witness overheard another man confess to the crimes. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court debated whether the witness' testimony should have been excluded from the trial that resulted in a life prison term for Fry."
"Torture Is Counterproductive: The response to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's confession proves it." Anne Applebaum has this essay online today at Slate.
And at Salon.com, Matthias Gebauer has an essay entitled "Freed CIA prisoner renders his version of the truth; Despite orders to remain silent, radical imam Abu Omar tells of being abducted by the CIA, shuttled to Egypt and tortured for a year."
'"Conference Call' Petitions to Watch: 3/23." "SCOTUSblog" provides this post linking to a list of cert. petitions with a reasonable chance of being granted at the U.S. Supreme Court's conference of March 23, 2007.
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"Somewhat to our surprise, it turns out that there is a niche market for farting dolls, and it is quite lucrative." So writes Seventh Circuit Judge Diane P. Wood, in the course of deciding a copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and unfair competition action between Fartman and Pull My Finger Fred, two plush dolls apparently renowned for their flatulence. You can access today's ruling at this link.
"Spam Notes" blog analyzes an amicus brief filed in pending spam-related Seventh Circuit appeal: Venkat has a post titled "The Spamhaus Amicus Brief."
Posted at 11:47 AM by Howard Bashman
"Man who lost retirement money to Enron wins $182.7 million jackpot; PGE employee Dan Gannon has played the lottery since losing $400,000 from his 401(k)": This article appears today in The Oregonian (via "Obscure Store").
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman
"Silberman's Statement": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Emma Schwartz today has a post that begins, "Public statements are a dime a dozen from companies, government agencies and public officials. But they remain a rarity in one key branch of government: the judiciary. So it came as some surprise when Senior Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a public statement this morning to 'dispel' misstatements about his position and job prospects in other branches of government." You can access the public statement directly at this link.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court: Travelers Can Seek Attorney Fees." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:23 AM by Howard Bashman
Available online from National Public Radio: Today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained audio segments entitled "E-Mails Show Justice Dept. in Damage-Control Mode"; "Gonzales, Bush Go Back a Long Way"; and "Senate May Reclaim Veto on U.S. Attorneys."
Yesterday's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained audio segments entitled "Senate Bids for a Say in U.S. Attorney Process"; "Senate Subpoenas vs. Executive Privilege" (featuring Law Professor Michael C. Dorf); "White House Counsel Fielding Is Used to Scandal"; and "Detainee Attash Admits to Cole, Embassy Bombings."
And yesterday's broadcast of "Talk of the Nation" contained an audio segment entitled "Understanding the U.S. Attorney Firings" featuring Law Professors Jonathan Turley, Doug Kmiec, and Philip Heymann.
"Bong Hits 4 Jesus" illustrated: Mark Alan Stamaty has this illustration online at Slate.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman
"Jurisdictional Prerequisites, Nonjurisdictional Processing Rules, and Federal Appellate Practice: The Implications of Kontrick and Eberhart." Last week, I linked here to an article bearing that title (abstract with links for download) that Law Professor Philip Pucillo has posted to SSRN.
Today, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit wrestled with that issue in the context of an appeal from a federal district court's entry of summary judgment in a civil case. The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure provide that if one of various specified post-judgment motions is filed within ten days after the entry of a final judgment, the time for appealing from the final judgment does not begin to run until the federal district court decides the motion.
A motion for "Relief from Judgment or Order" under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) is timely if made either within a reasonable time or not more than one year from the entry of judgment depending on the grounds asserted for relief. In the case that the D.C. Circuit decided today, the party against whom summary judgment was entered filed a FRCP 60(b) motion eleven days after the entry of judgment. The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure provide that if a FRCP 60(b) motion is filed within ten days after the entry of final judgment, the time for appealing from the final judgment does not begin to run until the motion is decided. But if the FRCP 60(b) motion is not filed within ten days after the entry of final judgment, the time for appealing from the original final judgment remains unchanged from what the deadline would have been if no FRCP 60(b) motion was filed.
In the case that the D.C. Circuit decided today, the losing party filed a notice of appeal from the final judgment within thirty days after the district court had denied the FRCP 60(b) motion. As of the date on which the notice of appeal was filed, however, more than thirty days had passed from the original entry of the final judgment. The question that divided the panel today was whether the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings in Kontrick and Eberhart permitted the D.C. Circuit to treat the FRCP 60(b) motion as having been filed within ten days of the entry of judgment so as to permit the notice of appeal to enable the appellate court to review the merits of the summary judgment ruling given that the appellee had not objected to the appeal's untimeliness, or whether the untimeliness was jurisdictional and prevented the court from deciding the appeal even in the absence of any objection from the appellee.
The majority held -- in a decision written by Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson and joined in by Circuit Judge Judith W. Rogers -- that the appeal could be decided (and, in this case, rejected) on the merits. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown dissented.
Further proof that "It's hard out here for a pimp": Today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision upholding concurrent life sentences imposed under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines on a pimp whose prostitutes included girls under the age of eighteen.
"Court allows attorney fees recovery in bankruptcy": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog" reporting on today's ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. Pacific Gas & Elec. Co., No. 05-1429.
Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. delivered the opinion on behalf of a unanimous Court, and it was the only ruling in an argued case issued today. You can access the oral argument transcript at this link.
"Bush Affirms Support for Gonzales": The Associated Press provides this report.
And Bloomberg News reports that "Bush Administration Mounts Counterattack on Prosecutor Firings."
"Handgun bans' logic got shot full of holes": Yesterday in The Chicago Tribune, Dennis Byrne had an op-ed that begins, "Our good and well-meaning friends in Chicago, Wilmette and other towns that have outlawed the possession of handguns, even in the sanctity and privacy of the home, might want to notice that the nation's second-highest court has tossed out a similar weapons ban."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"Detainee Says He Was Abused While in U.S. Custody": This article appears today in The New York Times.
And The Washington Post today contains an editorial entitled "Top-Secret Torture: What's stopping the Democrats in Congress from investigating?" along with an op-ed by columnist Anne Applebaum entitled "Tortured Credibility."
"Law Prof Takes Case to the Supreme Court; Professor Laurence H. Tribe ’62 defended a rancher's rights in front of former student": The Harvard Crimson contains this article today.
Posted at 08:13 AM by Howard Bashman
"New E-Mail Gives Details on Attorney Dismissals": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with articles headlined "Changes Sought in Naming of Prosecutors" and "G.O.P. Criticizes Schumer's Dual Roles in Investigation."
The Washington Post today contains articles headlined "Fitzgerald Ranked During Leak Case; Justice Dept. Fired 2 With Same Rating" and "Justice Job Considered For Ousted Prosecutor."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Justice Dept. worked to contain U.S. attorney fallout; Documents show that officials scrambled to curb bad publicity over the widening scandal."
The Chicago Tribune contains an article headlined "Pelosi: 'I believe we need a new attorney general'; 'Era of no oversight' for Republicans is over, speaker says." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Uncovering the truth."
And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an editorial entitled "Gonzales should quit: By misleading Congress on U.S. attorney firings, attorney general forfeits public trust in his leadership."
"Qaeda Operative Confesses Role in Cole Bombing": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.
The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "Al-Qaeda Suspect Says He Planned Cole Attack."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Detainee confesses to Cole bombing, U.S. says; The Al Qaeda operative also says he was involved in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa."
In The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg reports that "Captive confesses to attacks; A Guantanamo captive who admitted to key roles in the bombings of the USS Cole and a U.S. Embassy did not allege torture, according to a transcript."
"FBI Issues New Rules For Getting Phone Records": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman
"Justices Consider Rights Issues; Decisions on Speech, Property Limits Could Be Far-Reaching": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post. And Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "Up in Smoke at the High Court."
Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Free speech on campus is debated; The Supreme Court hears arguments in an Alaska case that pits student rights against a principal's authority." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "'Bong hits' is free speech: The Supreme Court should rule that writing 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' on a banner is free speech, even for a student."
In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Justices debate student's suspension for banner; Was off campus when 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' sign torn down."
"Court Rejects Suit Against Enron Banks": This article appears today in The New York Times.
The Washington Post reports today that "Investors Defeated In Enron Decision; Investment Banks Ruled Not Liable."
And The Houston Chronicle reports that "Enron shareholders stripped of status; Court tosses Enron class-action title and says banks aren't completely liable."
"Message to high court: 'Get out'; Judicial restraint has been a guiding conservative principle; 'Activist judges,' after all, are rooted in the liberal camp; But an upcoming Supreme Court decision on school desegregation might turn conservative jurisprudence on its head." Laura Vanderkam has this op-ed today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman