Wednesday, April 26, 2006
"Court Weighs Procedural Issue in Death Row Lawsuit": Charles Lane will have this article Thursday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman
Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro has articles headlined "Supreme Court Looks at Humaneness of Lethal Injections" and "High Court Avoids Immigration, Focuses on RICO's Application to Business Relationships."
In the second of those two articles, Mauro writes: "[the] oral arguments devolved quickly into a dense debate over the ambiguous wording of the RICO statute and whether a corporation like Mohawk can be part of a separate 'enterprise' covered by the law. The tedium left at least two justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas, struggling to stay awake, with mixed success. That is not unusual for Thomas, but it is not as common for Ginsburg, 73, though in recent months she has often appeared fatigued on the bench. Responding to a Legal Times inquiry about the episode late Wednesday, Ginsburg said, through Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg, that she 'experienced an eye irritation during oral argument that was probably exacerbated by allergies.'"
And in other news, "Sports Fans, Take Heart, It's Still Legal to Heckle the Ref; Ga. justices overturn meeting disruption law for being too broad." You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Georgia at this link.
"High court blocks Dallas exec's suit; He sued Postal Service, saying failed bribery case was retaliation": Allen Pusey of The Dallas Morning News provides this news update.
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman
The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "McDermott Files Appeal in Taped Call Case" and "Judge Nixes Moussaoui Juror Interviews."
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman
"Oakland pot growing conviction overturned; But ruling means new trial for marijuana advocate": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides this news update. My earlier coverage is here.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman
"President taps Tydingco-Gatewood": Thursday's edition of The Pacific Daily News of Guam contains an article that begins, "Supreme Court of Guam Justice Frances Tydingco-Gatewood yesterday was nominated by President Bush as the next chief judge for the District Court of Guam, following a recommendation last year by Gov. Felix Camacho. If approved by Congress, Tydingco-Gatewood would take the place of former Judge John Unpingco, who stepped down two years ago after more than 10 years with the court." My earlier coverage of this federal judicial nomination appears here.
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman
On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained segments entitled "Supreme Court Weighs Pain of Deadly Injection" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Moussaoui Jury Deliberates Another Day." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"RICO-Mania: The Supreme Court contemplates whether illegal hiring is racketeering." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman
Tony Mauro is reporting: At law.com, he has news updates headlined "Supreme Court Debates Challenge to States' Method of Execution" and "Court Considers Use of RICO To Attack Hiring of Illegals."
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman
"Moussaoui Jury Ends 3rd Day, No Verdict": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman
"What's at stake: When judges become politicians." This editorial appears today in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Judge Hints at Code in 'Da Vinci' Ruling": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The judge who presided at the 'Da Vinci Code' copyright infringement trial has put a code of his own into his ruling, and he said Wednesday he would 'probably' confirm it to the person who breaks it."
"This case arises out of the City of New York's attempts to collect property taxes from certain foreign missions to the United Nations that have been using parts of their embassy buildings for purposes that, the City argues, render at least those portions of those buildings subject to property taxation." So begins an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today.
Today's decision, however, only resolves a preliminary issue: "whether, pursuant to the 'immovable property' exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act's general rule that a foreign country is immune from suit in our courts, a federal court has jurisdiction to settle this dispute. We agree with the district court that it does have such jurisdiction and that this suit may go forward."
"Slate's Jurisprudence: Immigrant Hiring and RICO." This segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman
The Associated Press is reporting: An article reports that "Justices Hear Undocumented Workers Debate."
And David Kravets has an article headlined "Court Overturns Pot Grower's Conviction" that begins, "A federal appeals court Wednesday overturned the pot-growing conviction of the self-proclaimed 'Guru of Ganja,' a marijuana advocate who has written books on how to grow pot and avoid getting caught." My earlier coverage is here.
"'Choose Life' License Plates": In this post at "PrawfsBlawg," Nelson Tebbe discusses my recent law.com column on the subject.
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman
"U.S. Supreme Court justices ask sharp questions in lethal injection case": The Miami Herald provides this news update.
"States Must Give Notice for Home Sales": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman
"Juror A believed that the district court's instruction not to discuss the case with anyone would not rule out a conversation 'about a point of law'; accordingly, she phoned up an attorney-friend to ask 'if [she] had to follow the Judge's instructions, or if [she] had any leeway at all for independent thought.'" The foregoing quotation comes from a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today. The court's opinion proceeds to state:
The attorney-friend responded that Juror A "definitely did have to following [sic] the Judge's instructions, and that there was absolutely nothing else [she] could do." When Juror A pressed the attorney, asking how there could ever be hung juries, she was told "that could only happen if the Judge gives the jury some leeway in his instructions." The attorney "then said [Juror A] could get into trouble if [she] tried to do something outside those instructions."Based on a holding of juror misconduct arising from those facts, the Ninth Circuit today grants a new trial in favor of a defendant convicted of violating the Controlled Substances Act. According to the court's factual recitation, the defendant was designated as an agent of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative to cultivate marijuana plants for distribution to authorized medical-cannabis users.
Posted at 01:38 PM by Howard Bashman
"Courts & the Law: Scalia v. Dignity." Columnist Kenneth Jost has this essay in this week's issue of CQ Weekly.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"Duane Morris to Shape Appellate Practice With Byer": My friend Rob Byer is the subject of this news update from The Legal Intelligencer.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman
"Judge: No ex-juror interviews." The Chicago Sun-Times provides a news update that begins, "Lawyers for former Gov. George Ryan cannot talk to two jurors who believe their willingness to consider acquitting Ryan on some charges played a role in their being ousted from the jury, the judge in the case ruled this morning."
And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Judge: Ryan Lawyers Can't Question Jurors."
In related coverage, The Chicago Tribune today contains an article headlined "Is Ryan's free legal defense taxable? Connections cloud issue of outright gift."
"Justice's act could affect school-finance future": The Wichita Eagle today contains an article that begins, "A Senate panel raised the question Tuesday of whether a Supreme Court justice's discussion with two senators about school funding has tainted other members of the court. One senator even asked whether the possible ethics violation could be grounds for dismissal of the seven-year-old school funding lawsuit."
And The Topeka Capital-Journal today contains an article headlined "Legislators' suspicions grow; Senator declares justices 'entered the political realm'" and an editorial entitled "Justice Lawton Nuss -- Stay focused; A judge's violation of the rules shouldn't be allowed to slow the Legislature's business."
"Justice had career of 'firsts'; Colleagues remember him as an important mentor, dedicated and conscientious": The Honolulu Star-Bulletin today contains an obituary that begins, "Retired Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Yoshimi Hayashi would point out that he was the only person who had served on the bench at all four levels of state courts."
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"High court adding its voice to fight over immigration; The issue: Can workers sue their company under RICO for using illegal employees?" Patty Reinert has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman
"Smooth sailing for judicial nominees; In sharp contrast to prior candidates, 4 N.J. lawyers faced no opposition": This article appears today in The Newark Star-Ledger.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman
"Group Gets Lesson On Jackson's Supreme Seat": The Post-Journal of Jamestown, New York today contains an article that begins, "This supple, black-skinned beauty supported Robert Jackson's back with every question he asked on the Supreme Court bench."
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman
"Red faces as court rejects silky-smooth lawyer": This article will appear Thursday in The Sydney Morning Herald.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman
"Mack execution more open than previous deaths": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article reporting that "for the first time in Nevada history, the entire process will be open to the public, from the viewing of the full lethal injection procedure to reviewing of the prison's execution protocol, after the Reno Gazette-Journal sued the state Department of Corrections to open the curtains and release the document." The newspaper has posted online the "confidential" State of Nevada death penalty manual at this link.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman
"Prosecutor: Diaz didn't report all funds to IRS; Supreme Court justice's attorney says he paid the right amount but may have been late." This article appears today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman
"Lambda Legal Asks California Supreme Court to Hear Case on Behalf of Lesbian Denied Infertility Treatment by Christian Fundamentalist Doctors": Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund issued this press release yesterday.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman
"Obscenity statute still dead; Federal appeals court affirms that the law is unconstitutional": Creative Loafing Atlanta provides a report that begins, "Consider it one small step for free-speech advocates -- and one giant step for sex-crazed Georgians: The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a February ruling that Georgia's obscenity statute is unconstitutional."
"Yet Another Apology from A3G": At "Underneath Their Robes," "Article III Groupie" is back.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman
Today's U.S. Supreme Court opinions in argued cases: At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court rules on tax sales, retaliatory prosecution."
The first ruling of the day issued in Hartman v. Moore, No. 04-1495. Justice David H. Souter delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas joined. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Stephen G. Breyer joined. The Chief Justice recused himself from the case, which originated from the D.C. Circuit. And the case was argued before Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined the Court, so he also did not participate. You can access a pre-decision summary of the case here, and the oral argument transcript is here.
The second and final ruling of the day issued in Jones v. Flowers, No. 04-1477, a case that notwithstanding its title has nothing to do with former President Clinton (although this case, coincidentally, happens to arise from Arkansas). The Chief Justice delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer joined. Justice Thomas issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Scalia and Kennedy joined. This case was likewise argued before Justice Alito joined the Court, so he again did not participate. You can access a pre-decision summary of the case here, and the oral argument transcript is here.
"Judge nixes U.S. bid for secrecy in Oregon suit; Wiretaps - The decision marks a rare challenge to government requests to keep legal filings from opponents": The Oregonian today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge Tuesday rebuffed the U.S. government's initial attempt to file a secret declaration in an Oregon lawsuit challenging the legality of the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman
On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained segments entitled "High Court Hears Lethal Injection Case" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Is Web Surfing a Job Hazard?" RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman
"Sunny Judicial Hearings May Mask Clouds": Roll Call today contains an article (subscription required) which reports that yesterday, "Specter emerged from a meeting in Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-Tenn.) office and declared that there would be a committee vote Thursday on a quintessentially controversial nominee, White House Secretary Bret Kavanaugh."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman
"Alito key in death penalty case; As the U.S. Supreme Court rehears arguments over Kansas' law, its newest member could tip the scales toward execution": This article appears today in The Wichita Eagle.
The Kansas City Star reports today that "High court rivals duel on Kansas death law; Scalia, Souter seek to win over Alito."
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that "Justices pose pointed death penalty queries; Kline, Kansas public defender offer interpretations of law."
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that "Court balances death penalty; High court hears Kansas case again with Alito on bench."
And in The Houston Chronicle, Patty Reinert reports that "Alito ready to break tie in death penalty case; Ruling on Kansas law is being closely watched to gauge court on execution."
In today's edition of The Hartford Courant: Lynne Tuohy has articles headlined "Judicial Backfire; Case That Triggered Widespread Outrage Had Modest Beginning" and "Expert Urges Examination Of Action."
The second of those two articles begins, "A prominent legal ethics expert said former Chief Justice William Sullivan's suppression of a controversial ruling, designed to enhance Justice Peter T. Zarella's chances of succeeding him as chief justice, appears to be a 'bull's-eye violation' of the Code of Judicial Conduct."
"Lay says he never saw collapse coming; He testifies he still believes that 'the balance sheet was strong'": Mary Flood has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.
The New York Times reports today that "Lay Blames Financial Officer and Newspaper Articles for Enron's Fall."
The Washington Post reports that "Enron Founder Blames Ex-CFO; Lay Says He Was Shocked by Deals."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Lay Says Articles Hurt Faith in Enron."
And USA Today reports that "Lay's day on stand doesn't go smoothly; Defense hits snags laying groundwork, sets off judge."
"Jurors in Moussaoui Case Pause to Ask for Dictionary": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
"Companies face RICO lawsuits on illegals": Today's issue of USA Today contains an article that begins, "In legal cases with potential repercussions for businesses and employees, current and former workers are accusing U.S. companies of violating immigration law and driving down wages. The federal lawsuits -- against carpet maker Mohawk Industries, Tyson Foods, retailer Wal-Mart, and others -- are winding their way through appeals courts. The Mohawk case will be argued today before the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman
"As Challenges to Lethal Injection Mount, Justices Set to Hear Case": Charles Lane has this article today in The Washington Post.
And The St. Petersburg Times reports today that "Top court looks at Fla. death row; A condemned Florida inmate renews the death penalty debate, as his argument against lethal injection will be heard today by the U.S. Supreme Court."
The Washington Post is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Va. Terror Case Sent Back to Lower Court; Appeals Panel Cites Eavesdropping Program" and "Anacostia Pollution Limits Tightened; EPA Ordered to Make Caps for River Daily, Not Annual."
Posted at 07:15 AM by Howard Bashman
In today's edition of The Los Angeles Times: The newspaper contains an article headlined "For the Justice Department, a Welcome Conviction; The government has experienced a series of missteps and false starts in some terrorism cases."
And an editorial entitled "Free-speech fashion" begins, "If students at a public school have a 1st Amendment right to wear black armbands as an antiwar protest -- and they do, according to the U.S. Supreme Court -- does a Christian student have a similar right to wear a T-shirt proclaiming 'Homosexuality Is Shameful'? He should, despite a recent federal appeals court ruling so sweeping and loosely reasoned that it virtually begs the Supreme Court to overrule it."
The Associated Press is reporting: Gina Holland reports that "Supreme Court to Debate Lethal Injection."
In today's edition of The New York Times: Linda Greenhouse reports that "Justices Reject Immunity Below State Level."
In other news, "Microsoft in European Court Says 2004 Ruling Is a Failure."
An editorial entitled "Lethal Cruelty" begins, "Lethal injection is considered by some to be a more humane alternative to the electric chair. But the Supreme Court hears arguments today in a case that shines a light on the reality: if lethal injection is poorly administered, it can in fact be particularly barbaric."
"Can the Government Limit Speech to Protect a Captive Audience? A Court Rejects a High School Student's Claimed Right to Anti-Gay Speech While Legislatures React to Offensive Protests at G.I. Funerals." Michael C. Dorf has this essay today online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman