Thursday, March 22, 2007
"ALM on the block": At the "LawBeat" blog, Mark Obbie has a post that begins, "The largest legal journalism company is for sale. Wasserstein & Co. - investment banker Bruce Wasserstein's publishing sideline (his day job is as chairman and CEO of Lazard) - announced in this release that it's shopping ALM after 10 years of highly leveraged ownership."
In Friday's edition of The New York Times: An article will report that "New to Pentagon, Gates Argued for Closing Guantanamo Prison." According to the article, "Mr. Gates's arguments were rejected after Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and some other government lawyers expressed strong objections to moving detainees to the United States, a stance that was backed by the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, administration officials said."
And tomorrow's newspaper will also contain articles headlined "U.S. Attorney in Michigan Disputes Reason for Removal" and "Prosecutors in a Past Life, Sleuths of the Senate Now."
"Judge Rejects Law Aimed at Internet Porn": This article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.
"Bongwater Into Whine: Drug warriors push broad censorship of student speech." Jacob Sullum has this essay online at Reason.
Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman
"Justice Weaver slams majority; 'Misleading' minutes creating a 'power block?'" This article appears today in The Traverse City (Mich.) Record-Eagle.
And yesterday's edition of The Detroit Free Press contained an article headlined "Michigan Supreme Court judge assails colleagues" that begins, "Dissident Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver issued another broadside against four of her colleagues on the court late Tuesday, accusing them of abusing the process by which the court publishes minutes of its administrative proceedings. Weaver issued a 24-page memorandum she described as a dissent to minutes approved by the court on March 14, and attached a letter to Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the Legislature renewing her request for a review of what she calls abuse of power by the court majority."
At her personal web site, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth A. Weaver has posted both her "Statement to Governor and State Legislature March 20, 2007" and "Justice Weaver’s Dissent to the March 14, 2007 Approval of Minutes Concerning Rules for Disqualification of Justices."
"Padilla trial CIA witness may testify in disguise": The Miami Herald provides this news update.
"Does the prospect of arranged marriage and abuse warrant asylum in the US? An immigration judge said no, but an appeals court panel found a valid fear of persecution." Warren Richey will have this article Friday in The Christian Science Monitor about a case that the federal government is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review.
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman
"The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times" is reporting: Tony Mauro has posts titled "Latest from judiciary office on junket rules: Oops!" and "Stump a Justice."
And a post titled "On the Block" notes that ALM (you might know it better as American Lawyer Media) -- the owner of law.com, which of course happens to be this blog's host -- may be up for sale.
On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Senate Panel Gives Leahy Subpoena Power" and "U.S. Attorneys Story Lived on at Political Blog" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 06:14 PM by Howard Bashman
The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Risks Await if Subpoena Dispute Balloons"; "Detainees: We're Not Enemy Combatants"; and "Complaint Targets Abortion Case Judge."
Posted at 05:35 PM by Howard Bashman
On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Gonzales: A Bush Confidant, in the Hot Seat"; "U.S. Attorney Claims Pressure on Tobacco Case"; and "U.S. Blogger Remains Jailed over Videotapes" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 04:48 PM by Howard Bashman
"Child Online Protection Act Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Judge": Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer provides this news update (free access).
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman
"We agree with the reasoning used by the majority of courts and subscribe to their conclusion that a sentencing court may not deviate from the 100:1 crack-powder ratio based solely upon its belief that the policies underpinning that sentencing regime are misguided or unfair." So concludes a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a per curiam opinion issued today.
Today's decision notes that the District of Columbia and Third Circuits have disagreed with the result that the Fifth Circuit reaches today. I linked to those circuits' decisions to the contrary in this earlier post.
"Congress May Examine Guam Prosecutor Case; U.S. Attorney Was Demoted After Abramoff Probe": Lawrence Hurley has this article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman
"Showdown with Congress": The first hour of today's broadcast of the public radio program "On Point" consisted of a segment (listen online using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player) featuring Gail Russell Chaddock of The Christian Science Monitor and Law Professors Laurence H. Tribe and Douglas W. Kmiec.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman
"Breyer Discovers e-Discovery": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman
"Senate Panel OKs Subpoenas for Key Aides": The AP offers this updated report.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit holds that claims 1 through 3 of Pfizer's patent for the drug Norvasc are invalid for obviousness: You can access today's ruling in Pfizer, Inc. v. Apotex, Inc. at this link.
"Judge rules COPA unconstitutional": c|net News.com provides this report.
"Senate Panel Moves Toward Aide Subpoenas": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman
Available from Salon.com: Sidney Blumenthal has an essay entitled "What Bush is hiding: In the U.S. attorney scandal, Alberto Gonzales gave orders, but he also took them -- from Karl Rove, who plotted to turn the federal criminal justice system into the Republican Holy Office of the Inquisition."
And Mark Follman, Alex Koppelman, and Jonathan Vanian have an essay entitled "How U.S. attorneys were used to spread voter-fraud fears: Long before it fired eight U.S. attorneys for political reasons, the Bush administration had politicized their jobs by making them push a favorite GOP talking point."
On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Congress Moves Toward Fight with White House"; "Former House Counsel on Congressional Subpoenas": and "Democrats Lay Groundwork for Subpoenas" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"Lawsuit: Clinic Used Wrong Sperm." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A couple can proceed with a lawsuit against a fertility clinic they filed after the wife gave birth to a daughter whose skin they thought was too dark to be their child, a judge has ruled."
The New York Daily News today contains an article headlined "What a mess, baby: Parents say fertility clinic botched in-vitro & girl's got the wrong dad."
"Are Senior Justices and Judges Unconstitutional?" David Stras has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman
"U.S. Judge Blocks 1998 Online Porn Law": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge on Thursday dealt another blow to government efforts to control Internet pornography, striking down a 1998 U.S. law that makes it a crime for commercial Web site operators to let children access 'harmful' material. In the ruling, the judge said parents can protect their children through software filters and other less restrictive means that do not limit the rights of others to free speech."
You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at this link.
The court's opinion begins:
At issue in this case is the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. §231 ("COPA") and whether this court should issue a permanent injunction against its enforcement due to its alleged constitutional infirmities. COPA provides both criminal and civil penalties for transmitting sexually explicit materials and communications over the World Wide Web ("Web") which are available to minors and harmful to them. 47 U.S.C. §231(a). After a trial on the merits, for the reasons that follow, notwithstanding the compelling interest of Congress in protecting children from sexually explicit material on the Web, I conclude today that COPA facially violates the First and Fifth Amendment rights of the plaintiffs because: (1) at least some of the plaintiffs have standing; (2) COPA is not narrowly tailored to Congress' compelling interest; (3) defendant has failed to meet his burden of showing that COPA is the least restrictive, most effective alternative in achieving the compelling interest; and (3) COPA is impermissibly vague and overbroad. As a result, I will issue a permanent injunction against the enforcement of COPA.Senior U.S. District Judge Lowell A. Reed, Jr. is the author of the decision.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bush Uses Conciliator Fielding to Confront Congress on Firings": Bloomberg News provides this report.
"Perelman's $1.45 billion verdict tossed": This article appears today in The Palm Beach Post.
The New York Times reports today that "Morgan Stanley Net Jumps; Appeal on Lawsuit Is Won."
And The New York Post reports that "Ronny Loses Round; Perelman's $2B at Stake."
"Can commas shoot down gun control? A grammarian takes issue with a court decision that picks apart clauses of the 2nd Amendment." Dennis Baron has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman
"Naperville teen sues school over her anti-gay T-shirt": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that "Teen who wants to wear anti-gay T-shirt takes battle to court."
And The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Illinois contains an article headlined "Bias toward gays at Neuqua Valley, suit claims; Students claim school stifles anti-gay speech."
Bob Egelko is reporting: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, he has articles headlined "Top court to hear plea in BofA case" and "Lawyer slams prison wages; Tony Serra files suit on behalf of federal inmates for low rate of pay for labor by the incarcerated."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"Chinese wife goes after Yahoo to free her husband from prison": The Washington Times contains this article today.
Earlier this month, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "Dissident's wife may sue Yahoo; She alleges company 'betrayed' husband, sentenced to 10 years in Chinese prison."
Wired News provided a report headlined "'Yahoo Betrayed My Husband.'"
"Panel is asked to suggest names for SJC; Field 'wide open' to replace Sosman": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman
"House Panel Authorizes Subpoenas Of Officials; White House Again Says Aides Will Not Testify": The Washington Post today contains this front page article, along with a front page article headlined "Prosecutor Says Bush Appointees Interfered With Tobacco Case." And an editorial is entitled "Political Spectacle: President Bush and Congress should step back from a confrontation that makes them both look bad."
The Los Angeles Times reports today that "House panel ignores Bush's subpoena warning; The Judiciary Committee chairman is authorized to order testimony and documents but can keep negotiating with the White House" and "Bush loyalist among fired U.S. attorneys; Threatened controversy over a poor evaluation of federal prosecutor Kevin Ryan in San Francisco derailed plans to retain him." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Let Rove testify: Bush should compromise with congressional Democrats about testimony from his advisors."
The Chicago Tribune reports that "Legal experts see compromise; Bush faces battle over aides' testimony."
The Boston Globe reports that "Bush vows fight as subpoenas authorized; Showdown looms on firing of prosecutors." And an editorial is entitled "Let in the light."
The Washington Times reports that "Subpoenas OK'd, but not issued."
The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "Subpoena Assault: Congress's real goal is crippling the Bush Presidency" (free access).
"Nichols trial postponed to Sept. 10; More than two years after courthouse deaths, delay creates danger publicity may taint jury pool": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
And The New York Times reports today that "Georgia Murder Case's Cost Saps Public Defense System."
Don't Pooh-Pooh this school dress code: The New York Times reports today that "Pooh Character Leads to Suit on Dress Code."
"Lawyer's Hoax Spurs Legal Tactics Debate": The Associated Press provides a report from Wisconsin that begins, "When a prominent lawyer was defending a businessman on charges of sexually assaulting a boy and possessing child pornography, he used a ruse to obtain the boy's computer to aid his case. Now, state regulators want the state Supreme Court to scold the lawyer for the hoax."
Meanwhile, in local coverage, The Capital Times of Madison reported earlier this month that "Noted lawyer accused of hoax in case; Hurley faces misconduct charge."
"A Habeas Corpus Appeal Veers to Capital Issues": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.
"Bong Hits 4 Jesus--Explained: Will the justices overturn Tinker? Nah, they'll just tinker." Daniel Henninger has this op-ed (free access) today in The Wall Street Journal.
Today in The Washington Times, Debra J. Saunders has an op-ed entitled "Prankster at schoolhouse gate."
And in The Los Angeles Times, columnist Michael McGough has an essay entitled "The Supreme Court's Jesus jones: How you value the teaching of schools depends on what values the schools are teaching."
"Tobin's phone jam verdict reversed": The Bangor Daily News today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed the conviction and sentence of a long-time Republican strategist accused of taking part in a phone-jamming plot in New Hampshire on Election Day 2002."
"Subpoenas Issued in a Terror-Finance Probe Spark a Secret Battle Before a Federal Court": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"Government: Don't rush on detainee cases." Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman
"The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in the First Amendment Case in Which A High School Student Was Penalized for Unfurling a 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Banner": Marci Hamilton has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman