Wednesday, April 25, 2007
"Prosecutor Leading Probe Into Lawyer's Murder Resigns": law.com provides a report that begins, "The federal prosecutor who was leading the investigation into the still-unsolved murder of Washington, D.C., lawyer Robert Wone abruptly left his post last month, has hired a personal lawyer and will resign on Friday."
Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman
"This case concerns the reasonable expectation of privacy associated with password-protected computers." A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued an interesting ruling today in an appeal in which a criminal defendant challenges the search that discovered the presence of child pornography on his computer.
The defendant is an adult who was residing with his elderly parents. The police knocked on the door of the residence one day when the suspect was not home and asked the defendant's elderly parent for permission to search the suspect's computer. The father gave consent, but according to the defendant the computer in question was password protected and the father did not know the password. The police used a program that creates a mirror image of the hard drive and allows the authorities to access the contents of that mirror image without any need for the password.
The majority rejects the defendant's challenge to the permission to search. The dissenting opinion of Senior Circuit Judge Monroe G. McKay begins, "This case concerns the reasonable expectation of privacy associated with password-protected computers. In examining the contours of a third party's apparent authority to consent to the search of a home computer, the majority correctly indicates that the extent to which law enforcement knows or should reasonably suspect that password protection is enabled is critical. We differ, however, over the extent to which the burden of inquiry should rest with law enforcement personnel. More specifically, I take issue with the majority's implicit holding that law enforcement may use software deliberately designed to automatically bypass computer password protection based on third-party consent without the need to make a reasonable inquiry regarding the presence of password protection and the third party's access to that password."
"Justices Reconsider Campaign Finance; Some Are Skeptical Of Earlier Ruling": Robert Barnes will have this article Thursday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:50 PM by Howard Bashman
"Justices Raise Doubts on Campaign Finance": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman
McClatchy Newspapers are reporting: Michael Doyle has an article headlined "Justices revisit campaign-finance reform, political speech."
And in other news, "Gonzales asked to answer more questions before Congress."
On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Group Argues Campaign Ad Case in High Court" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "House Judiciary Panel Gives Goodling Immunity." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman
"Dead Duck Walking: The Supreme Court takes on those nasty campaign commercials." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman
"Supreme Court's Support of McCain-Feingold Law Could Be Weakening": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this news update.
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman
"Supreme Court Debates Campaign Finance Act": Robert Barnes of The Washington Post provides this news update.
And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "U.S. court seems split over broadcast political ads."
Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor issues opinion for a unanimous three-judge Eighth Circuit panel: You can access today's ruling at this link. At issue in the case -- the reliability of sweat patch results to determine whether a probationer has used illegal drugs.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Judge Kozinski Talks About Cyberlaw": Eric Goldman has this post at his "Technology & Marketing Law Blog." You can access the interview audio via this link.
Posted at 04:22 PM by Howard Bashman
"Free Speech Gets Another Day in Court": U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had this op-ed (pass-through link via "Election Law") yesterday in The Wall Street Journal.
Yesterday at National Review Online, James Bopp Jr. had an essay entitled "Silencing Criticism: The history of sham arguments for McCain-Feingold." And today, Andrew C. McCarthy has an essay entitled "Gonzales and McCain-Feingold: The attorney general abandoned the Right before it abandoned him."
And in the April 30, 2007 issue of The Weekly Standard, Charlotte Allen has an essay entitled "The Right to Life Lobby vs. McCain: They're not fighting about abortion."
"High Court Weighs Campaign Ads": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Top court overturns three Texas death sentences": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 03:32 PM by Howard Bashman
"Campaign Ad Restrictions May Be Loosened by U.S. Supreme Court": Kristin Jensen and Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provide this report.
The Associated Press reports that "Court Skeptical of Law's Ad Limits."
At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Analysis: 'Blackout' on campaign ads in doubt."
Access online the transcripts of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: The oral argument transcript in Federal Election Comm'n v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., No. 06-969, can be accessed here.
Programming note: I'm one of the luncheon speakers today at The Heritage Foundation's Spring 2007 Legal Strategy Forum, which is taking place in Philadelphia. Additional posts will appear here this afternoon.
"High Court Throws Out 3 Death Sentences": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:52 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court rules for Texas death row inmates": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog." You can access the opinion in Smith v. Texas, No. 05-11304, here and the oral argument transcript here. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy issued the majority opinion in a case that divided the U.S. Supreme Court 5-4.
The Court today also issued decisions in two other death penalty cases that were orally argued together (access the transcript here): Abdul-Kabir v. Quarterman, No. 05-11284 (opinion here) and Brewer v. Quarterman, No. 05-11287 (opinion here).
On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "High Court Takes Up Campaign-Ad Issue" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "High Court Ruling Revives Abortion Debate." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman
"Federal Judge Withdraws Ruling Against Bush Terror Designations": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A federal judge has withdrawn a highly publicized ruling she issued last year declaring that President Bush acted unconstitutionally when he designated 27 groups and individuals as terrorists in 2001."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court Knows Best": Today in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has an op-ed that begins, "How nice of Justice Kennedy to look out for me. Goodness knows, if I didn't have the justice and his buddies hovering, I might make a terrible mistake. I mean, I'm so impulsive and muddle-headed, I sometimes don't know what's in my own best interest."
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman
"Passengers get the 4th Amendment, too; It's common sense, and safer for the police, for the Supreme Court to grant passengers in cars the same fourth amendment rights as drivers." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"Democrats want swifter EPA action on emissions standards; Senators criticize the agency's leader, saying he lacks a sense of urgency in confronting global warming": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "The chief of the Environmental Protection Agency came under fire Tuesday from congressional Democrats, who said he had failed to respond more aggressively to the Supreme Court ruling that greenhouse gas emissions could be federally regulated."
"Mexico City legalizes first-trimester abortions; The bill passes 46 to 19 despite fierce PAN opposition; Backers say thousands of women's lives may be saved": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman
"For Indian Victims of Sexual Assault, a Tangled Legal Path": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "As a Cherokee woman charging rape by a non-Indian, Jami Rozell could not go to the tribal court, which handles only crimes by Indians against Indians in Indian country. So after five months of agonizing, she went to the district attorney in Tahlequah, Okla., and testified at a preliminary hearing."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman
"More GOP Senators Critical of Gonzales": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Critics doubt official looking into Rove; Advocacy groups cite Bloch's ties to the administration."
Perhaps with God's help, this Express Mail package will reach its destination tomorrow: The Hartford Courant today contains an article headlined "Ruling: No Religious Displays In Post Office; Resident Wins Suit Against Postal Unit."
The article begins, "A federal judge has ruled that post offices across the country that are run by churches and other organizations cannot promote religion through displays or other promotional materials. In a decision involving a church-run post office in downtown Manchester, the judge sided with a town resident who said his First Amendment rights were violated by the Christian displays."
You can access last week's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut at this link.
"On Wet Road, 'Officer Down'; 2006 Work Zone Accident Detailed": This article appears today in The Hartford Courant, along with a related "911 Transcription."
According to the article, "U.S. Court of Appeals Judge John Walker, a cousin of President Bush's, would be cleared of wrongdoing in the collision that took Picagli's life."
"Gay-rights proposals gain in Congress; Measures would add protections": The Boston Globe contains this article today.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman
"Judges, Congress and the Salary Link": Today's installment of Stephen Barr's "Federal Diary" column begins, "For the past 20 years, members of Congress have linked their salaries to those of federal judges as a strategy to avoid the wrath of voters who think lawmakers are overpaid and do not deserve an annual raise."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman
"Justices Weigh Legislators' Right to Fire": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.
And The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports today that "High court to decide whether Dayton's dismissal of aide was 'legislative act'; The aide alleges his firing was discrimination and wants the case tried; The former senator says the Constitution protects members of Congress from lawsuits."
"Appeals Court Allows Net Phone Company to Continue Signing Up New Customers": This article appears today in The New York Times.
The Washington Post reports today that "Vonage Wins Stay in Verizon Dispute."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Vonage wins stay of patent ruling."
"In Seeking Taxes, New York Challenges India and Mongolia in U.S. Supreme Court": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.
"Colo. abortion rights got start 40 years ago today": This article appears today in The Denver Post.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman
"High court to revisit part of law that limits campaign ads; Provision before justices today bans certain ads by corporations, unions": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that "Court Weighs Campaign Ads; Curbs on Firms, Unions In Run-Up to Elections May Ride on Alito Vote" (free access).
In The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Matthew Mosk report that "Justices to Consider Finance Law Limits; Campaign Issue Hits Court for 3rd Time." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Judging Campaign Ads: A different Supreme Court revisits the McCain-Feingold law on election financing."
David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Campaign funding rule before Supreme Court; A McCain-Feingold ban on corporate and union-sponsored ads before elections could be overturned or weakened."
The Associated Press reports that "Federal Election Law Faces Challenge."
The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "A Test for the Roberts Court."
In The Washington Times, Bradley A. Smith and Stephen M. Hoersting have an op-ed entitled "McCain-Feingold and free speech."
The Houston Chronicle is reporting: Today's newspaper reports that "Bible battle ruled moot; Panel rejects the county's request to vacate trial verdict that courthouse display was illegal." My earlier coverage of yesterday's en banc Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
In other news, "A&M officials retain immunity from Bonfire lawsuits." My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
And an article reports that "Human smuggler could return to prison; 5th Circuit says judge misapplied sentencing rules in truck deaths case." You can access last week's Fifth Circuit ruling at this link.