Tuesday, April 25, 2006
"Top court to sit in Clark on Wednesday; The judges move from Columbus for the day as part of a justice education program for high school students": The Dayton Daily News contains this article today.
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"The Bible Bench -- The message from fundamentalists to state jurists is clear: Judge conservatively, lest ye not be a judge." This article appears in the May/June 2006 issue of Mother Jones magazine.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"Bloggers-Meet-Readers on Thursday, April 27, 9 pm, in Cambridge": At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh provides the details of a gathering that I'm looking forward to being a part of this Thursday night.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman
"Conservative legislators raise new questions about Nuss case": In news from Kansas, The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Several senators who've criticized Supreme Court rulings on school finance raised new questions Tuesday about Justice Lawton Nuss' conversation with two other senators with an education funding lawsuit still before the court. They asked why Nuss waited until last week, six weeks after his March 1 conversation, to remove himself from the lawsuit that led to the court ordering legislators last year to increase aid to public schools."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman
"Cross-burner's high-court appeal rejected; 12-year stint stands: The cross was lit on SLC couple's lawn in 1996." The Salt Lake Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 09:54 PM by Howard Bashman
"Police err over warrant? U.S. Supreme Court listens to arguments in Brigham City case." This article appears today in The Deseret Morning News.
And The Salt Lake Tribune today contains an article headlined "Justices hear Brigham City case; Loud party, fight: The ruling could clarify when police are justified to enter a home without a warrant."
"Commandments display upheld; Mercer exhibit mirrors two high court rejected": The Louisville Courier-Journal today contains an article that begins, "A federal court yesterday upheld a Ten Commandments display at the Mercer County, Ky., courthouse -- even though the display is identical to one that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in two other Kentucky counties last year. The decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Cincinnati, upheld a December ruling by a three-judge panel on the court that validated the display." My earlier coverage is here.
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman
Federal District Court of Guam nomination news: Among the nominations that the White House announced today was "Frances Marie Tydingco-Gatewood, of Guam, to be Judge for the District Court of Guam for the term of ten years, vice John S. Unpingco, term expired." The nominee currently serves as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of Guam.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman
"Jury selected for Diaz trial; Opening arguments planned today": The Biloxi Sun Herald today contains an article that begins, "Opening arguments are set for today in the federal tax-evasion trial of state Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr., who was acquitted last summer on federal bribery charges."
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman
"State justices, in a first, rule ex-worker can sue for wife's death from asbestos": This article appears today in The Newark Star-Ledger. My earlier coverage is here.
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman
"No grilling for NJ nominees to federal court": The Newark Star-Ledger provides this news update.
Posted at 08:32 PM by Howard Bashman
"Corporate immigration violators face anti-mafia law": In Wednesday's edition of Financial Times, Patti Waldmeir will have this preview of a case being argued tomorrow before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman
"Death Math: The Supreme Court tinkers with the calculus of capital punishment." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
And in other coverage, CNN.com reports that "Justices spar in death penalty debate; Court's decision on weighing factors due in June."
"Commentary: Specter and TV in the Court." Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
At National Review Online's "Bench Memos" blog, Matthew Franck has a post titled "Specter Sputters." Ed Whelan, who will like me also be at Harvard Law this Friday (but at a separate event), comments on Franck's post here.
One week ago, my law.com "On Appeal" column addressed this same subject under the headline "Should Congress Mandate Supreme Court TV? Will original understanding go high-definition?"
In news from Kentucky: The Louisville Courier-Journal provides a news update headlined "Gay rights group sues Fletcher over Cumberlands funding."
And The Lexington Herald-Leader provides a news update headlined "Gay-rights leader sues to block money for pharmacy school."
"Judges reexamine lethal injections for convicts; In a twist, lawyers argue that the method of execution - not the death penalty itself - is cruel if administered improperly": Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman
"Boyle's time": The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina today contains an editorial that begins, "If Federal District Judge Terrence Boyle in fact is headed toward vote by the Senate on his nomination to serve on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that could mean Boyle finally is in line for a long-delayed and well-earned promotion."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman
Zacarias Moussaoui, on appeal: The AP reports that "Moussaoui Jurors End Deliberations, Day 2."
Here are some questions for readers to ponder: (1) if Moussaoui is sentenced to death, under federal law must an appeal proceed regardless of the defendant's wishes, or can the defendant accept the sentence and refuse to appeal; and (2) if Moussaoui is not sentenced to death, and then he appeals to challenge the trial court's decision to preclude him from conducting his own defense, if he prevails on that appeal and wins a retrial, would double jeopardy preclude the prosecution from seeking the death penalty on retrial, and would Moussaoui affirmatively have to raise the defense of double jeopardy in order to do so?
If any readers have particular insight into these questions and the workings of the federal death penalty law, I'd welcome responses via email.
Update: A helpful reader emails to point out that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Sattazahn v. Pennsylvania would deprive Moussaoui of any double jeopardy argument if the reason a life sentence was imposed was due to jury deadlock over whether to impose the death penalty. On the other hand, it appears (based on my initial read of the decision) that under Sattazahn a double jeopardy defense would arise if the first jury had unanimously decided to impose a sentence of life imprisonment.
The Associated Press is reporting: Gina Holland reports that "Justices Weigh Abuse in Woman's Defense."
Programming note: In connection with my day job, I'm meeting this afternoon in Philadelphia with co-counsel on a new appellate matter. Additional posts will appear after that meeting concludes.
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman
"According to Ms. Powell, Ms. Kreutz propositioned her for sex, sought to convert her to Ms. Kreutz's religion, and spiked her beverage with methamphetamine." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued this decision today.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman
"Justices Split on Fixing Appeal Deadlines": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:38 AM by Howard Bashman
"Protecting Constitutionally Entrenched Human Rights: What Role Should the Supreme Court Play? (With Special Reference to Capital Punishment, Abortion and Same-Sex Unions)." Law Professor Michael J. Perry has this essay (abstract with link for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Posted at 11:23 AM by Howard Bashman
"This case poses the question whether the word 'daily,' as used in the Clean Water Act, is sufficiently pliant to mean a measure of time other than daily." So begins an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today. The opinion proceeds to hold, "Daily means daily, nothing else."
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman
Today's U.S. Supreme Court opinions in argued cases: The Court today issued two opinions in argued cases, and these are the first decisions in argued cases in which Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. took part in the rulings.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court in Day v. McDonough, No. 04-1324. This is the first 5-4 decision of the newly constituted Court, and the line-up of the Justices is rather interesting. Joining in Justice Ginsburg's majority opinion were the Chief Justice, and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, and Alito. Justice John Paul Stevens issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Stephen G. Breyer joined. And Justice Antonin Scalia issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Clarence Thomas and Breyer joined.
Justice Thomas delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Northern Ins. Co. of N.Y. v. Chatham County, No. 04-1618. Miguel A. Estrada argued the case for the prevailing party. You can access the oral argument transcript here.
On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained segments entitled "Moussaoui's Fate Now in Jury's Hands"; "Former Chairman Blames Others for Collapse of Enron"; and "Court to Answer Questions on Lethal Injection Executions." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman
"High Court Nomination Troubled; Controversy Roils Capitol After Ex-Chief Justice Says He Tried To Help Successor's Chances": Lynne Tuohy has this article today in The Hartford Courant, along with an article headlined "Borden Letter Indicates Contentious Atmosphere On Court." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "'Helping' Justice Zarella."
And in related news, The Associated Press reports that "Zarella wants Rell to withdraw his nomination for chief justice."
"High court calls for inquiry; Judge who spoke to legislators could face removal from bench": The Topeka Capital-Journal today contains an article that begins, "In what may be an unprecedented move, the chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court on Monday asked a judicial watchdog group to investigate possible wrongdoing of a member of her own court."
The Wichita Eagle reports today that "Panel to review justice's conduct; The Kansas Supreme Court chief justice asks for an investigation into a meeting between a justice and two state senators."
"Judge refuses new trial in Fell case": The Rutland Herald today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge on Monday rejected Donald R. Fell's bid for a new trial, clearing the way for an expected death penalty sentence in the slaying of a North Clarendon woman. Judge William K. Sessions III has set a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Burlington for June 16, nearly one year after the opening arguments in his case, the first death penalty trial in Vermont in nearly 50 years."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"Lay proclaims his innocence; He blames Fastow, bad publicity and 'a classic run on the bank'": Mary Flood has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.
The New York Times reports today that "Folksy Lay Opens Up to the Jury."
The Washington Post reports that "On the Stand, Founder of Enron Doles Out Blame."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Lay Faults Fastow for Enron's Collapse; The former chairman blames the ex-CFO, who pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors."
USA Today contains an article headlined "Lay: No 'simple answer' on failure; 'American dream' became 'nightmare.'"
The Dallas Morning News reports that "Lay tells jury he doubts 'conspiracy of any kind'; Former Enron chief denies misleading investors, says he thought firm was sound."
And The Chicago Tribune reports that "Enron's Lay pins blame on Fastow; Firm's founder calls ex-CFO 'liar, thief.'"
"Moussaoui's Fate Is Handed Over to Jury; The federal panel begins debate on whether the Al Qaeda follower should die for his role in the 9/11 plot; Nearly 3,000 people were killed": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today. The newspaper also contains a related op-ed by Alan Hirsch entitled "Why the innocent confess."
And The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "Moussaoui case goes to jurors; Panel can choose life or death for role he played in Sept. 11 attacks."
"Microsoft Opens Appeal in Europe": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:18 AM by Howard Bashman
"Justices to consider if lethal-injection appeal can be heard; Execution process violates civil rights, inmate says": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:15 AM by Howard Bashman
"Justices Decline Church-State Case Involving a Kindergarten Poster of Jesus": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:14 AM by Howard Bashman
"Judicial conduct panel to face Mass. high court; Authority in harsh decision questioned": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "The state's highest court is embroiled in a power struggle with the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct, summoning panel members this week to defend their authority to suspend a Plymouth County judge for a year without pay and fine him $50,000 for sexually harassing two female court employees."
Posted at 07:10 AM by Howard Bashman
"U.S. to Free 141 Terror Suspects; The Guantanamo prison detainees pose no threat, an official says; Most of those still in custody have no charges pending against them": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:08 AM by Howard Bashman
"City lawyers are standby counsel for Muhammad; Sniper is representing himself, but they can offer advice at trial in Montgomery": The Baltimore Sun contains this article today.
And The Washington Post reports today that "Lawyers Assigned to Muhammad; Counsel to Be Tightly Restricted in Montgomery Sniper Trial."
"The Enigmatic Man: Claude Allen's Desire to Rise in the GOP Puzzled Some, but His Fall Confounds Them More." This lengthy article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:00 AM by Howard Bashman
A preview of today's Senate Judiciary Committee judicial confirmation hearing: Ninth Circuit nominee Milan D. Smith, Jr. is on the agenda. The hearing is scheduled to get underway at 2:15 p.m. Once confirmed, there will be U.S. Circuit Judges with the last name Smith serving on the Third, Fifth, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits.
Posted at 06:58 AM by Howard Bashman
"Hidden Justice(s)": U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"'Don't ask, don't tell' suit dismissed; Judge says military can exclude gays": This article appears today in The Boston Globe. My earlier coverage is here.
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman