How Appealing

Thursday, May 31, 2007

"The Supreme Court: Their majesties." This book-related article appears in the current issue of The Economist.
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman


Just how difficult is it to obtain rehearing en banc from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit? This order issued today denying rehearing en banc, accompanied by both a concurring and a dissenting opinion, sheds further light on the issue.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Libby Seeks Probation in CIA Leak Case": The Associated Press provides this report. The blog "TalkLeft" has posted the defendant's two sentencing memoranda here and here.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"In a case involving a variance of this magnitude, we hold that, whatever latitude a sentencing court may have to adjust a defendant's sentence in an exercise of Booker discretion, it may not discard the advisory Guideline range and impose sentence, instead, on the basis of evidence of the defendant's uncharged, unrelated misconduct, whether actually committed or contemplated for the future." On behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Judge Michael W. McConnell today issued a decision that begins:
Leroy Eric Allen pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. That crime carries a statutory minimum punishment of ten years imprisonment and a maximum of life. The district court sentenced Mr. Allen to 360 months imprisonment, which is more than two-and-a-half times the top end of the Sentencing Guidelines' recommended range. The district court based its sentencing decision on certain extreme facts that came to light during the investigation of Mr. Allen--namely, his professed desire to rape and murder young girls and the possible steps he took toward achieving those ends. Indeed, the district court gave Mr. Allen the sentence he would have received had he been convicted by a jury of solicitation of murder or attempted sexual abuse and abduction of a child. We hold that, although the sentencing court may consider Mr. Allen's unrelated, non-charged conduct in fashioning a sentence, the magnitude of the variance in this case and the way it was calculated were unreasonable. We therefore vacate the sentence and remand for resentencing.
You can access the complete ruling at this link.
Posted at 09:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Murder term again a possibility for woman in S.F. dog-mauling death": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Court to Reconsider Dog Mauling Verdict."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of California in People v. Knoller at this link.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



Lyle Denniston is reporting: At "SCOTUSblog," he has posts titled "Pfizer seeks swift patent protection" and "Circuit Court allows war crimes trials to begin."
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Claiborne death reported": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And Law Professor Doug Berman has this post at the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog.
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Rita lives; Claiborne, apparently not so much: As The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports here today, Mario Claiborne apparently will be unable to benefit from the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in his case challenging application of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. Thanks to Doug Berman of the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog for bringing this to my attention.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Upholds $2.8M Iran Terrorism Claim": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The brother of an Iranian terrorism victim can collect $2.8 million from a California company that owes Iran for a canceled weapons shipment, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Forum asks: Does money sway judges?" The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "With two seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court up for grabs in November, judicial campaigns are gearing up for an expensive fall race."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Sixth Circuit rejects Commerce Clause challenge that satellite TV providers asserted against Kentucky laws giving tax relief only to cable TV providers: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Jurists not swayed on police privacy rights; State high court suggests the law allows for the disclosure of an officer's name and salary, but seems divided over releasing hiring records": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Welles' daughter could get profit from 'Kane'; An appeals court rules that she may be entitled to home video rights for the filmmaker's classic": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link (first item).
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Matter of Time: The Supreme Court limits lawsuits on pay discrimination; Congress should respond." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times today contains an editorial entitled "Injustice 5, Justice 4."

And The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "Life vs. the law: By reading statutes too rigidly in rendering opinions, the Supreme Court can be in denial of reality."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"S.C. to Rule on Suit Alleging Price Discrimination Against Men; Justices Agree to Decide Whether Demand for Equal Treatment Is Prerequisite to Litigation": In the October 20, 2005 issue of Metropolitan News-Enterprise, Kenneth Ofgang had an article that begins, "The California Supreme Court yesterday agreed to decide whether a patron who claims that a business charged a discriminatory price or fee based on gender is barred from suing if the patron did not demand equal treatment at the time."

The Supreme Court of California's decision in Angelucci v. Century Supper Club is scheduled to issue at 1 p.m. eastern time today.

The web sites of Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Northern California, and Pacific Legal Foundation all provide some coverage of the case.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"The justice reaches civics": Today in The Washington Times, Suzanne Fields has an op-ed that begins, "Sandra Day O'Connor describes herself as a 'product of the last century,' but she's determined to be an up-to-date grandmother. She retired from the Supreme Court a little more than a year ago and often watches her grandchildren playing on their computers. Inspired, she wants to harness this revolutionary instrument to teach kids the nuts and bolts of democracy."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blogger unmasked, court case upended": This very interesting article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Plaintiff Lawyer to Quit His Firm; Lerach Represented Enron Shareholders": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Plaintiff lawyer William S. Lerach, who has brought scores of cases on behalf of defrauded shareholders, has told clients and others that he is leaving the California law firm he started three years ago, according to two people briefed on the issue."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. Expands Probe To Include Hiring Practices": The Washington Post contains this article today.

The Los Angeles Times today contains articles headlined "Minnesota case fits pattern in U.S. attorneys flap; A prosecutor apparently targeted for firing had supported Native American voters' rights" and "Probe of Justice Department hiring expands; The effort aims to see whether politics were injected into employment decisions at the civil rights unit."

In The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage reports that "Justice Dept. probes its hirings; Investigating for bias toward conservatives."

And USA Today reports that "Justice Dept. expands probe to hirings."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Death of Guantanamo Detainee Is Apparent Suicide, Military Says": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Detainee Found Dead in Guantanamo Cell."

And Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald reports that "Guantanamo captive commits suicide in cell; Almost a year after three captives at Guantanamo Bay hanged themselves, a Saudi man was found dead in his cell; U.S. authorities said it was suicide."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Big Disparities in Judging of Asylum Cases": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Asylum seekers in the United States face broad disparities in the nation's 54 immigration courts, with the outcome of cases influenced by things like the location of the court and the sex and professional background of judges, a new study has found."

The law review article that is the subject of this news report is titled "Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication," and you can access it online from SSRN (abstract with link for download).
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



In commentary available online from FindLaw: Marci Hamilton has an essay entitled "States Move to Enact Laws Allowing the Death Penalty for Pedophiles: A Good Sign with Respect to Public Dedication to Protecting Children, But Potentially Not the Most Effective Way to Do So."

And Joanna Grossman has an essay entitled "The Fortieth Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia: The Personal and Cultural Legacy of the Case that Ended Legal Prohibitions on Interracial Marriage."
Posted at 07:25 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Hundreds of inmate terms at stake in 2 cases in S.F.; Justices weigh judges' sentencing power after U.S. high court ruling": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Attack Ads Will Come to Order": Today in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has this judicial election-related op-ed.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"From Jail, a Panhandler Fights New York's Loitering Law as a Violation of Free Speech": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Interrogation Methods Are Criticized": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "As the Bush administration completes secret new rules governing interrogations, a group of experts advising the intelligence agencies are arguing that the harsh techniques used since the 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pakistan's Suspended Justice Tells of Facing Down Musharraf": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Ousted Pakistani Judge Describes Confrontation."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Oral Dissents Give Justice a New Voice": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"The High Court Lays an Anonymous Egg": Syndicated columnist James J. Kilpatrick has this essay today.
Posted at 09:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Drug Risks and Free Speech -- Can Congress Ban Consumer Drug Ads?" Miriam Shuchman, M.D. has this essay online at The New England Journal of Medicine.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Department investigators broaden their inquiry": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 09:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Dictum, Judicial Modesty, and Judicial Efficiency": Eugene Volokh has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Commentary: Cameras and inter-branch comity." Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 08:53 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bad Think: The Supreme Court mixes up intending to screw over your employee and actually doing it." Law Professor Richard Thompson Ford has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "Foster Parents in Custody Fight Appeal" begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to hear the case of an American couple trying to prevent an 8-year-old girl they raised since infancy from being returned to her Chinese parents."

And an article headlined "Accused Madam's Delay Request Is Denied" begins, "The Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a request to delay the criminal case against a woman accused of running a prostitution ring in the nation's capital."
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Breyer shares wit, wisdom; During Albany lecture, U.S. Supreme Court associate justice praises key role of Constitution": The Times Union of Albany, New York contains this article today.
Posted at 08:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"'De facto' parent's visitation on trial; High court to hear plea of ex-partner to see adopted girl": This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun.
Posted at 08:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Repeal likely for abortion law; Parental notification gets a terse hearing": The Concord (N.H.) Monitor today contains an article that begins, "Next week, the debate over the state's parental-notification law could draw to a close. Several months after the House voted to repeal the contested statute - which the U.S. Supreme Court rejected last year - the Democratic-controlled Senate appears likely to follow suit. Gov. John Lynch has said that he would sign the bill."
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Daughter of Supreme Court justice pleads guilty to DUI": The Chicago Tribune provides this news update.
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit holds that the State of New Hampshire cannot prevent national banks and national thrifts from selling giftcards that carry expiration dates or are subject to administrative fees: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. probe expanded on hiring practices": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Joint Effort: Sens. Webb, Warner Are Right To Work Together." Yesterday's issue of The Daily News Record of Harrisonburg, Virginia contained an editorial that begins, "Whether the Senate can agree to a bipartisan deal on immigration reform is up in the air but, hopefully, Virginia's two senators can agree to a bipartisan deal about circuit court judges."
Posted at 04:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Suit seeks $5,000 in damages from Wal-Mart over vomit incident": The Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa contains this article today.
Posted at 04:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Democrats Seek to Overturn Pay Ruling": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Congressional Democrats said Wednesday they would try to reverse a Supreme Court decision that limits the time that workers have to sue their employers for pay discrimination."
Posted at 04:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"The SEC, the Supreme Court, and Enron": This post appears today at "The Harvard Law School Corporate Governance Blog."
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Eighth Circuit Adds to Circuit Split on Reassignment": At his "Disability Law" blog, Law Professor Sam Bagenstos has a post that begins, "Today, in Huber v. Wal-Mart Stores, the Eighth Circuit ruled that the ADA requires that an employee with a disability be reassigned to a vacant position as an accommodation only if the employee is the most qualified applicant for that position. This decision adds to a longstanding circuit split on the question."
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: The court issued three rulings of note today.

1. The daughter of Orson Welles sued Turner Entertainment and others seeking a declaratory judgment that she owns the copyright and home video rights to the motion picture "Citizen Kane." The federal district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on all claims. Today, in a decision that you can access here, the Ninth Circuit has reinstated Beatrice Welles's claim for profit participation.

2. "The majority finds appellate jurisdiction in this case only by mistakenly assuming that if any issue decided by the district court is subject to interlocutory appeal, any other issue decided in the same order can also be reached on interlocutory appeal." So begins a dissenting opinion that Senior Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima issued today. You can access the Ninth Circuit's 2-1 ruling in the case at this link.

3. Finally, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts might wish to adjust its revenue projections to reflect that it won't be receiving a $25 processing fee to offset the costs of managing petty offense cases in the federal courts if the petty offense in question resulted from a traffic ticket at the Fort Lewis Army Base. You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senators Should Reject Bush's Latest Nominee to 5th Circuit": The organization People For the American Way issued this statement today.
Posted at 11:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices' Ruling Limits Suits on Pay Disparity": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times. And Steven Greenhouse reports that "Experts Say Decision on Pay Reorders Legal Landscape."

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has a front page article headlined "Over Ginsburg's Dissent, Court Limits Bias Suits." Barnes will host an online chat about the ruling online at washingtonpost.com at 1 p.m. eastern time today.

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Only fresh bias counts, court rules; A divided Supreme Court says years-old evidence of job discrimination cannot be the basis of a lawsuit."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic has articles headlined "Time limit put on pay-bias lawsuits; Divided court rules claims must be filed within 180 days" and "Alito, Ginsburg opinions highlight court's division; Business groups hail ruling that civil rights activists say is setback."

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Justices restrict pay bias lawsuits; Split Supreme Court rules for employers."

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that "Employee loses pay bias case; Supreme Court rules 5-4 that the worker waited too long to complain."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Limits Time Frame for Filing EEOC Claims."

And on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment entitled "Supreme Court Sets Limits on Sex Discrimination Suits."
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Maraman tapped for high court": Wednesday's edition of The Pacific Daily News of Guam contains an article that begins, "Superior Court of Guam Judge Katherine Maraman yesterday was nominated to the Supreme Court of Guam, to fill the seat vacated by former Associate Justice Frances Tydingco-Gatewood."
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Back to the States: The road ahead on partial-birth abortion." Edward Whelan has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Seventh Circuit posts online the audio file of last week's memorial service for Circuit Judge. Thomas E. Fairchild: You can access the audio file via this link (mp3 format). My earlier coverage appeared at this link.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


Sixth Circuit reinstates portion of lawsuit in which husband claims that credit card company was responsible for his wife's suicide: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Let federal judges use judgment in sentencing; Sioux City case highlights iron-fisted rules": This editorial appears today in The Des Moines Register.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejects argument that the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 is invalid because the bill that was presented to the President did not first pass both chambers of Congress in the exact same form: You can access today's ruling at this link.

Public Citizen's lawsuit had claimed that "the statute's enactment did not comport with the bicameral passage requirement of Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution, because the version of the legislation that was presented to the House contained a clerk's error with respect to one term, so the House and Senate voted on slightly different versions of the bill and the President signed the version passed by the Senate."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court decides equal pay issue, grants 4 cases": Lyle Denniston had this post earlier today at "SCOTUSblog."

You can access today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List at this link.
Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Limit Discrimination Suits Over Pay": Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times provides this news update.

Robert Barnes of The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court Limits Pay Discrimination Suits; Justices Back 180-Day Deadline for Claims."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "High court narrows rules for claims of unfair pay."

Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Supreme Court restricts time limits on filing discrimination complaints."

Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times reports that "US court backs limit on equal-pay suits."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Limits Time Frame for Filing EEOC Claims."

Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Court Limits Lawsuits for Pay Bias."

James Vicini of Reuters provides a report headlined "Pay bias cases face 6-month limits: Supreme Court."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Worker Job-Bias Claims Limited by U.S. Supreme Court."

MarketWatch reports that "Supreme Court rules 5-4 for Goodyear in pay lawsuit."

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment entitled "High Court Limits Discrimination Cases" (RealPlayer required).

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "High Court Rules on Discrimination Case" (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick.

In today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 05-1074, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. issued the majority opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas joined. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, and Stephen G. Breyer joined.
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: One week from today, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania will hear oral argument in the In re Mary and Emanuel Rosenfeld Foundation Trust appeal, a quite interesting case involving the imposition of a surcharge against trustees of a charitable trust for failure to diversify the trust's holdings from the assets used to create the trust. As co-counsel for appellants in that case, today I'm engaging in oral argument preparations away from my office.

You can access online both the Brief for Appellants and the decision that is the subject of the appeal.

Additional posts will appear online here later today. For timely coverage of today's U.S. Supreme Court opinions and orders, I recommend visiting "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Can What You're Reading Prove Intent to Commit a Crime?" Today's installment of my "On Appeal" essay for law.com can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Southwick: Delays smack of politics, posturing." This editorial appears today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.

Also in today's newspaper, columnist Eric Stringfellow has an op-ed entitled "Must the 'status quo' process continue on judicial nominees?"
Posted at 06:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Where's the beef?" Today in The Washington Times, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey have an op-ed that begins, "It is obvious by now that the U.S. Attorney 'scandal' is no scandal at all."
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Say no to home wreckers: Since a Supreme Court case ruled against homeowners in 2005, protections against eminent domain abuse are making their way to the ballot." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 06:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"SEC's Allegiances Are Put to Test: In Enron Case, Agency Is Under Pressure to Side With Investors and Allies." The Wall Street Journal today contains an article (free access) that begins, "When the Securities and Exchange Commission files a brief in legal disputes, it is usually a nonevent. But the cases usually don't involve Enron Corp."
Posted at 06:14 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, May 28, 2007

"How Is Justice Roberts Like Professor Plum?" Robert Barnes will have this article Tuesday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Leaked phone-call case could cost McDermott $1 million": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Posted at 10:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"The others on trial in Padilla case: The terror case against two of Jose Padilla's codefendants hinges on secretly recorded calls." Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Exonerated by DNA, guilty in official's eyes; High court hopeful's view troubles critics": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion decision could pave way for more restrictions": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 04:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge in Padilla Case Draw Praise": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Reaches Landmark 'It Depends' Ruling": The Onion today provides an article that begins, "In a landmark 8-1 decision, an uncharacteristically subdued Supreme Court ruled 'it depends' in the case of Panetti v. Quarterman, leaving the issue of executing the mentally ill completely open-ended."

Actual U.S. Supreme Court decisions in argued cases are due to issue once again tomorrow.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Young and the Restless: The conservative legal establishment's strange youth culture." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, May 27, 2007

"Shielding journalists: Reporters, and the country, would benefit from a proposed federal law to protect confidential sources." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"More testimony to condemn Gonzales": This editorial appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

And today in The Chicago Tribune, columnist Steve Chapman has an op-ed entitled "Justice by a much lower standard."
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Thomas remains a puzzle": Today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, columnist Gregory Stanford has an op-ed that begins, "What if Clarence Thomas had gotten some serious psychotherapy? Would he be less inclined than he is now to vent his pent-up rage on his own race?"
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cleaning Up the Clean Water Act": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "A series of murky Supreme Court decisions have left the agencies responsible for enforcing the Clean Water Act in a state of confused paralysis, exposing millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of miles of streams to illegal and destructive development."
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Court's Calculation, What Feeds Lawyers' Souls Need Not Fatten Their Wallets": Tomorrow's installment (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) of Adam Liptak's weekly "Sidebar" column begins, "Last month, the federal appeals court in New York gave the civil rights bar a collective heart attack." The decision in question can be accessed here, and the web page containing tomorrow's column contains links to other relevant documents.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Devil in the Details, but Not the Constitution": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Monday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Poor have no blanket right to counsel": Saturday's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contained an article that begins, "The Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not give impoverished litigants a blanket right to obtain legal counsel, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday. By unanimously upholding a B.C. tax on legal services, the court riled critics who had hoped that it would give an important symbolic boost to legal aid programs by removing a bar to those who cannot afford legal services."

The Toronto Star yesterday contained an article headlined "Mixed signals from courts on openness."

CBC News reports that "Top court overturns decision to scrap tax on legal fees."

CanWest News Service reports that "Top court upholds tax on legal services."

And Bloomberg News reports that "Canadians Don't Have Entitlement to Legal Services, Court Says."

You can access Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada at this link.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"John G. Roberts Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, Addresses Graduates": The College of the Holy Cross provides this news release, along with a news release entitled "Chief Justice Roberts Responds to Questions Posed by Holy Cross Seniors."

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette yesterday contained an article headlined "Roberts cites challenges; Chief justice avoids politics," while today the newspaper reports that "Chief justice's wife juggles law, 2 children; Jane Roberts visits for Holy Cross commencement."

And The Associated Press reports that "Chief Justice Roberts urges Holy Cross graduates to 'be brave.'" Related photos can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



The Supreme Court of Arkansas proposes to retroactively abolish non-precedential appellate court rulings: The rulings would remain, but now they'd have precedential value. And, in the course of proposing this rule change, the highest court of Arkansas gives voice to a criticism of Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1: "New Rule 32.1 ... creates a troublesome gap by forever depriving certain pre-2007 decisions of precedential value. That line may be convenient, but it is unprincipled."

The discussion of the proposed Arkansas rule amendment begins at page 11 of this PDF file. Thanks to John Wesley Hall, Jr. for drawing this development to my attention.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Using People’s Summer Reading List Against Them in a Criminal Trial: Not Always a Bad Idea." Patterico of "Patterico's Pontifications" has this post about my latest law.com column.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pakistani Judge: Courts Must Be Free." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The country's chief justice returned to the Supreme Court Saturday for the first time since being suspended by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, making his way through jubilant crowds before delivering veiled critiques of the military ruler."
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Some photos of Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. speaking at Friday's graduation ceremony for Seton Hall University School of Law: In addition to a bunch of photos that The Associated Press has posted online (see here, here, here, here, here, and here), the law school itself has posted online a bunch of photos (see here, here, here, here, here, and here).

Yesterday, I linked here to press coverage of Justice Alito's remarks.
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush's Monica Problem: Gonzales, the president's lawyer and Texas buddy, is twisting slowly in the wind, facing a vote of no confidence from the Senate." Michael Isikoff and Evan Thomas will have this article in the June 4, 2007 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, May 26, 2007

"Officials Say Justice Dept. Based Hires on Politics Before Goodling Tenure": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"SJC won't intervene in church closing; First Amendment cited in Wellesley parish case": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 04:53 PM by Howard Bashman



"Libby Prosecutor Asks for No Leniency in Sentence": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Special Prosecutor Seeks 30 to 37 Months in Prison for Libby."
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Alito urges grads to reject intolerance; U.S. top court justice is Seton law keynoter": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

And The Associated Press reports that "Alito Speaks to Seton Hall Grads."
Posted at 04:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fewer candidates apply for positions as U.S. attorneys": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Immigration judges lack apt backgrounds; A growing number of the jurists have little or no experience in that area of law; Some have strong Republican resumes."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, May 25, 2007

"Can What You're Reading Prove Intent to Commit a Crime?" The new installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman


D.C. Circuit grants stay of its mandate in case striking down gun ban under the Second Amendment pending the District of Columbia's filing of a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court: I have posted a copy of yesterday's order online at this link.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecutor Seeks Prison for Libby": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun provides this news update.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Prosecutors: Up to 3 Years for Libby."

The Washington Post has placed the federal government's sentencing memorandum online at this link.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Goodling Girl: How Monica Goodling played the gender card and won." Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


When Formula One racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it's better to opt for Bridgestone, instead of Michelin, tires: That's one lesson to be learned from this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today. Another lesson is that if you're a disappointed racing fan who expected to see 20 cars race instead of only six, resist the urge to make a federal case out of it.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Third Circuit holds that Pennsylvania Family Institute -- an organization that seeks to disseminate the views of Pa. judicial candidates on legal and political issues -- lacks standing to challenge restrictions on the free speech rights of candidates for state judicial office: You can access today's unanimous per curiam ruling at this link.
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit refuses to order U.S. Military Academy at West Point to allow a political demonstration inside its gates during a graduation ceremony at which the Vice President Cheney will deliver the commencement address: You can access today's ruling at this link.

In earlier coverage, The Associated Press reported on the trial court's ruling in an article headlined "Anti-war activists to appeal ban on West Point protest."
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman



Bayer Aktiengesellschaft continues to experience headache in trying to trademark "ASPIRINA": A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued this ruling yesterday. It is interesting to note the particular reliance placed on internet searches in upholding the denial of the trademark.

"The TTABlog" covers yesterday's ruling in a post you can access here.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senate Panel Plans Increase to Judiciary; Proposal Would Add Judges After Bush Leaves Office": Today in The Daily Journal of California, Lawrence Hurley has an article that begins, "For the first time in 17 years, Congress is moving to substantially boost the ranks of the federal judiciary, including up to a dozen new district judgeships for California's overworked courts, a leading senator said Thursday."
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Book Chronicles Career of Justice Clarence Thomas": This segment (transcript with links to audio and video) appeared on Wednesday's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"What Happened at the Justice Department?" This audio segment (available in both RealPlayer and Windows Media Player formats) featuring Dahlia Lithwick, David Iglesias, E.J. Dionne, and Mark Tushnet appeared on yesterday's broadcast of the public radio program "On Point."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Dems win delay of Southwick confirmation vote": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, "The Senate Judiciary Committee postponed a scheduled vote Thursday on the nomination of Leslie Southwick to a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."

And The Grand Rapids Press on Wednesday contained an editorial entitled "'Nuff said on Neff."
Posted at 08:53 AM by Howard Bashman



"Dead End for Anna Mae He? Supreme Court Justice Declines to Intervene in Bitter Tennessee Custody Battle." ABC News provides a written report that begins, "The family that raised 8-year-old Anna Mae He since infancy learned late yesterday that U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has turned down its bid for an emergency stay of the ruling that Anna Mae must be reunited with her biological parents."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Governor's signature bans horse slaughter; Measure to close facility in DeKalb may cost 55 jobs": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "With Gov. Rod Blagojevich signing a bill Thursday prohibiting the slaughter of horses in Illinois for human consumption, the last such slaughterhouse in the country -- in DeKalb -- effectively was shuttered."

And The Daily Chronicle of DeKalb, Illinois reports today that "Governor Signs Horse Slaughter Ban."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"The good, the bad and the prosecuted: The feds swarm in on a Navy lawyer who held them accountable by leaking the identities of Gitmo detainees." Columnist Rosa Brooks has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senate gives Gonzales a reprieve until after the break": The Washington Times contains this article today.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Inquiry widens into Justice Department hiring; The move follows testimony by a former Gonzales aide that she had considered politics in screening applicants." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Gonzales' shaky Justice: Monica Goodling admitted asking department applicants about their political views; The attorney general has his own boundary issues."

The Boston Globe contains an editorial entitled "At Justice, a whodunit."

In The Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson has an op-ed entitled "The Monica They See." In addition, Hanna Rosin has an op-ed entitled "The New Establishment: How Evangelicals Became Part of Washington's Fabric."

In The Wall Street Journal, Kimberley A. Strassel has an op-ed entitled "Mission: Possible; Sen. Schumer wants to sink what's left of the Bush presidency" (free access).

And Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson has an essay entitled "Goodling Is Clueless -- Except When She's Not."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge OKs Quran for oath; Decision reflects diversity, some say": This article appears today in The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Prison Likely for Adelphia Patriarch; Federal Appeals Court Upholds 2004 Fraud Conviction": The Washington Post contains this article today.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Openness Sought in British Terror Trials": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts Court Deals Lawyers Setbacks in Suits Against Companies": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Deadline Looms for Libby Sentence Recommendations": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Groups Ask Court To Rehear Decision by Visitor O'Connor": The New York Sun today contains an article that begins, "In October, dozens of lawyers flocked to the federal appellate court in Lower Manhattan where a former Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, spent a day of her retirement hearing cases. Many city lawyers don't have fond memories of the day."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Some Larger Constitutional Lessons from the United States Attorneys' Firings": Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein have this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Red-Handed: Monica Goodling's not-totally-botched testimony." Eve Fairbanks has this essay online today at The New Republic.

At National Review Online, Byron York has an essay entitled "Democrats Face the Monica Question: It was supposed to be a big, big day; It wasn't."

And online at The Nation, Robert Scheer has an essay entitled "Gonzales: The Dutiful Toady."
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Reaffirms His Support for Gonzales": This article will appear Friday in The New York Times.

The Washington Post on Friday will report that "Politics At Work In Inquiry, Bush Says; Senate Plans June Vote on Gonzales."

And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Justice broadens internal investigation."
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Tenth Circuit refuses to grant defendant qualified immunity on summary judgment where Orthodox Jewish inmate sued to challenge prison's failure to allow him to wear yarmulke and tallis while being transported for surgery at off-site hospital: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"New questions after testimony by Gonzales aide; Wednesday's appearance by former Justice official Monica Goodling has provided congressional Democrats with more subjects for possible investigation": This article will appear Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"N.C. Judge OKs Witness Oaths Using Quran": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Witnesses and jurors being sworn in at state courthouses can take their oath using any religious text, not just the Bible, a judge ruled Thursday."
Posted at 05:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ruling tosses Amico verdicts; Court: Brothers were denied fair trial in $58.5M fraud case." The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Brothers Robert J. Amico and Richard N. Amico didn't get a fair trial on charges of mortgage fraud because a federal judge improperly refused to take himself off the case, a federal appellate court said Wednesday. Ruling that U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa should have recused himself because of a past business dealing with a key prosecution witness, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the Amicos' convictions."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Reading Material as Evidence, and the First Amendment": At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has this post about today's en banc Ninth Circuit ruling, which I earlier noted here.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Unanimous en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit holds that federal civil rights action cannot be brought against school officials for violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: In so ruling, the en banc court overturned a Third Circuit ruling to the contrary from 1995. You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Mouse That Roared: Monica Goodling was at the center of the prosecutor purge and still has no clue." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Decider: Justice Anthony Kennedy has cast the deciding vote in all 12 of the Supreme Court's 5-to-4 rulings." This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Law Professor Garrett Epps appeared on today's broadcast of the public radio program "Here & Now."
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Report: Judicial Corruption Is Worldwide." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Widespread bribery of judges around the world and inappropriate political interference in legal systems are denying millions their right to a fair and impartial trial, a leading global anti-corruption group said Thursday."
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"The district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that the stories in Curtin's PDA in his possession at the time of his arrest contained relevant evidence pursuant to Rule 404(b) insofar as they related to sexual acts between adults and minors." So holds the majority opinion that a fifteen-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today. This case presents the fascinating question of when can lawful reading material be admitted in a criminal trial to prove that because the defendant possessed the reading material, he intended to commit the crime charged. The fifteen-judge panel divides 8.5-5.5 on that question, with one judge not expressing any opinion on the issue.

According to Circuit Judge Stephen S. Trott's majority opinion:

[O]ur holding here should not be interpreted as a holding (1) that the simple possession of any book or written materials generically similar to a charged crime is automatically admissible against the possessor defendant, or (2) that all pornography or obscenity in the possession of a defendant in these cases is admissible without undergoing the scrutiny required of Rules 401 and 403. In this respect, our holdings are properly limited to the facts of this case. For example, a book such as The Great Train Robbery would not necessarily be relevant and admissible in a run-of-the-mill theft case. On the other hand, if the crime charged happened to be theft of a money shipment from a train, then possession of the book might possibly be relevant -- depending upon the precise facts and circumstances of the case. All we hold today is (1) that the information in the stories in Curtin's possession in Las Vegas when he intended to contact Christy was relevant in this case, (2) that the First Amendment provides no bar to its use as evidence under these circumstances, and (3) that the district court properly exercised its discretion in so concluding. In this connection, we note that Curtin is not being prosecuted for possession of literature, but for crossing a state line with the intent to engage in sexual acts with a minor. We are confident in the ability of our trial judges to discern the difference between relevant and irrelevant written or graphic materials and that our holding will not inappropriately impinge upon or chill anyone's legitimate First Amendment rights to possess books or other written materials.
Circuit Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld issued what is labeled a concurring opinion, in which four other judges joined, in which he vociferously disagreed over whether the stories in question were relevant and admissible to show intent. Judge Kleinfeld writes in his separate opinion:
Rule 404(a) prohibits admitting evidence to prove "action in conformity" with a "trait of character." Perverse sexual desire is a trait of character. Using a person's perverse sexual fantasies to prove action in conformity therewith is exactly what subsection (a) of Rule 404 prohibits. The exceptions in subsection (b), "motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident," are not a meaningless litany that deletes subsection (a). The stories admitted against Curtin were not a guide, fictional or otherwise, to arranging a tryst for sex with a minor. They shed no light on his motives, intentions, or plans. Good prosecution proves that the defendant committed the crime. Bad prosecution proves that the defendant is so repulsive he ought to be convicted whether he committed it or not. Rule 404(a) prevents this sort of bad prosecution. We held in Shymanovitz that "possession of lawful reading material is simply not the type of conduct contemplated by Rule 404(b)," and we should follow our precedent. A jury is entitled to decide the truth, without having the window it looks through covered with slime.
The original three-judge panel in the case had ruled that the reading material was not admissible, and Judge Trott had dissented from that ruling. My coverage of the original three-judge panel's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 12:54 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit considers whether principles of sovereign immunity are violated when a state plaintiff voluntarily prosecutes a claim in state court and the action is removed from state to federal court pursuant to a statute that expressly authorizes removal: Perhaps even more interesting than that, however, is the question whether the state plaintiffs' interlocutory appeal challenging the denial of sovereign immunity confers appellate jurisdiction on the Second Circuit to consider whether the bases for removing the case from state court to federal court -- which the federal district court found proper in denying the States' motion to remand -- were in fact legally sound.

In today's ruling, a unanimous three-judge Second Circuit panel holds that the States had waived their sovereign immunity but that the grounds for removing the case to federal court were invalid. The opinion concludes, "We hold that, if the criteria of a valid removal statute are met, sovereign immunity does not bar the removal of a case commenced by a state in its own courts. Because the requirements of the applicable removal statutes have not been met, we vacate the order of the district court and remand with directions to return these cases to the forums from which they were removed." The caption of this case is In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether ("MTBE") Products Liability Litigation.
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Goodling Cites Politicized Decisions at Justice": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 12:13 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit affirms convictions of Timothy J. Rigas and John J. Rigas on seventeen out of eighteen counts charging federal criminal offenses: You can access today's ruling at this link. The Rigases are former high-ranking officials at Adelphia Communications Company.

In early press coverage, Bloomberg News reports that "Adelphia's John Rigas, Son Timothy Lose Their Appeal."

The Associated Press reports that "Rigas Conviction Upheld."

And Reuters reports that "US court upholds bulk of verdict in Adelphia case."
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman



By a vote of 8-7, en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit holds that criminal suspect in custody who invokes his right to a lawyer can re-initiate discussions with police through a family member even if a lawyer has not yet been provided: You can access today's en banc ruling at this link.

The majority opinion begins:

Following the arrest of a suspect, the police advise him of his rights outlined in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). The suspect asks for a lawyer. Under Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477, 484-85 (1981), all questioning must then stop (a) until a lawyer has been provided, or (b) unless the suspect "himself" initiates a discussion. Later, police talk to the suspect's mother (or a close friend, sibling, etc.), and, based on that conversation, they believe that the suspect now wants to talk with them without a lawyer. Are they permitted to approach the suspect and inquire whether he now wants to talk, based solely on the discussion with the mother? Or, rather, are they precluded from acting on that information because it was not communicated to them directly by the suspect? Today we join several of our sister circuits in holding that the police can make the limited inquiry without running afoul of Edwards.
And the lead dissenting opinion concludes:
In holding that custodial suspects may initiate communication with the police through a third party other than his attorney, the majority today repudiates the only interpretation of Edwards that is consistent with the Supreme Court's custodial-interrogation jurisprudence. Applying its new rule, the majority infers, based on evidence that is not in the record, that Van Hook initiated communication with the police through his mother. Because I believe that the majority’s endorsement of third-party initiations impermissibly heightens the risk of constitutional error, and that such an error has occurred in this case, I respectfully dissent.
The original three-judge panel's ruling was a unanimous decision in favor of the suspect.
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tax, fraud trial of combative litigator opens": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "When he was arraigned last July, civil rights attorney Stephen Yagman wore shoes adorned with the skull and crossbones and turned the traditional 'not guilty' plea upside down by pleading 'presumed innocent.' But Wednesday, a more subdued Yagman, in a gray suit and tie, showed deference to the federal justice system he so often criticized as his trial for tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud began."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Former Justice aide cites political agenda; She tried to block Democratic hires": Charlie Savage has this article today in The Boston Globe.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Ex-Gonzales aide says she may have 'crossed the line'; Her testimony confirms politics were a factor in Justice Dept. personnel decisions, but the extent remains unclear."

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Ex-Justice official admits she 'crossed a line'; Goodling testifies before House panel on firing of U.S. attorneys."

USA Today reports that "Ex-Gonzales aide details 'uncomfortable' discussion."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that "Gonzales reviewed story on firings, ex-aide says."

The Washington Times reports that "Gonzales aide admits using politics."

The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "'That Strikes at the Core': Monica Goodling concedes that a political line was crossed in hiring at the Justice Department." And Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "Monica's Own Monica Problem."

The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "Witness for the Prosecutors." The newspaper has also posted a complete transcript of yesterday's testimony at this link.

And C-SPAN has posted online the video of yesterday's hearing in two parts: morning session and afternoon session.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Insurers Agree to Pay Billions at Ground Zero": This article appears today in The New York Times.

Joseph Goldstein of The New York Sun today has an article headlined "Let the Healing of Ground Zero Begin: Payout Paves the Way for Rebuilding."

And The New York Post reports that "WTC Insure War is Over."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Is it a Crime to Prescribe Medication in Cyberspace? A California Court Says It May Be, If the Prescriber Is Not Licensed by the Relevant State, and Has Not Met His Patient." Anita Ramasastry has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Senators join on judgeship interviews": The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "Virginia's senators -- from opposing political parties -- are jointly interviewing candidates for two seats on the Richmond-based federal appeals court."
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Goodling Says She 'Crossed the Line'; Ex-Aide Criticizes Gonzales, Justice Officials While Admitting Bias in Hiring": This front page article will appear Thursday in The Washington Post.

And The New York Times on Thursday will report that "Ex-Aide Admits Political Slant in Justice Role."
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Big Law Firm Won't Face Criminal Charges in Tax Case": The New York Times on Thursday will contain an article that begins, "A ruling by a federal appeals court yesterday could jeopardize a criminal case against former employees of the accounting firm KPMG -- a case that has been cited by prosecutors as the showpiece of a broad investigation into the sale of questionable tax shelters that helped wealthy investors evade billions of dollars in taxes."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online at law.com: Marcia Coyle reports that "Federal Circuit Eyes Attorney-Client Privilege Waiver in Key Patent Case."

Pamela A. MacLean has an article headlined "7th Circuit: Lawyer Can't Appeal Judge's Critique."

And in other news, "N.J. Supreme Court: Dream-Refreshed Recall of Abuse Needs No Expert."
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman



Doe v. Kamehameha Schools may have settled, but Law Professor Michael Stokes Paulsen has more to say about the dispute giving rise to that case: You can access his very interesting post today at "Balkinization" by clicking here.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Goodling Says Politics Was an Issue in Hiring": The Washington Post provides this news update. The newspaper has also posted online this transcript of today's hearing.

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "In House testimony Goodling denies key role in U.S. attorney firings; She points to former Deputy Atty. Gen. Paul McNulty for possible wrongdoing."

McClatchy Newspapers report that "Aide testifies that Gonzales discussed firings of U.S. attorneys."

law.com reports that "Monica Goodling Admits to 'Crossing the Line'; Denies Major Role in Attorney Firings."

The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Goodling: Gonzales Tried to Review Story."

Bloomberg News reports that "Goodling Accuses Colleague of Misleading Congress."

Reuters reports that "Former Gonzales aide admits 'crossing the line.'"

This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Goodling Acknowledges Politicizing Staff Picks" (RealPlayer required).

And this evening's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" contained a segment entitled "Former Gonzales Aide Denies Major Role in Attorney Firings" (transcript with link to audio).
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"New Supreme Court Rule Would Force Advocacy Groups to Reveal Membership Rolls": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 05:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"National Guardsman's Discrimination Case Dismissed, With Some Regret": Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer provides this news update (free access) reporting on a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued yesterday.
Posted at 04:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion Foes Criticize One of Their Own": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Anti-abortion leaders are accusing one of their own, Focus on Family founder James Dobson, of misrepresenting a Supreme Court decision that upheld a ban on late-term abortions."
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Inquiry of Federal Prosecutor Firings Continues": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit denies rehearing en banc in Exxon Valdez punitive damages case: You can access today's order, and accompanying dissents, at this link.

My earlier coverage of the divided three-judge panel's original ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 01:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Texas Horse Slaughter Plants Stay Shut": The AP provides a report that begins, "Two of the nation's three horse slaughter plants appear likely to remain closed after they were apparently denied reprieve by the state Legislature, then turned away by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Earlier, The Houston Chronicle reported on Monday that "Texas lawmakers to weigh ban on horse slaughter; Legislature to weigh a repeal of 1949 state ban."
Posted at 11:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Goodling Denies Major Role in Firings": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Hill Panel to Question Justice Aide Goodling": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

The testimony of former Justice Department White House Liaison Monica Goodling before the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin momentarily. You can access the committee's live webcast by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"R.I. court to rule on same-sex marriage": The Providence Journal today contains an article that begins, "Faced with the question of how a lower court should proceed with a divorce case, the state Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments about whether a same-sex marriage performed in Massachusetts should be recognized in Rhode Island."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"An Online Symposium on Televising the Supreme Court": "First Impressions," an online companion to the Michigan Law Review, offers this interesting online symposium. You can download the complete symposium in PDF format by clicking here.
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lazar Incompetence Assertion Disavowed": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A psychologist who testified that a defendant was not competent to stand trial in a federal criminal case against a leading class action law firm now says that assertion was mistaken. Prosecutors have argued that a finding of incompetence on the part of the defendant, Seymour Lazar, 79, would mean that he would be automatically placed in the custody of the attorney general for hospital care, an outcome his lawyers seem eager to avoid."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Government shouldn't judge morality for us": Monday in The Miami Herald, columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. had an op-ed that begins, "Sherri Williams took sex toys to the Supreme Court last week. Again. The first time was in 2005, but justices declined to hear the case. Williams is hoping for better luck this time. Otherwise, a Valentine's Day ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will stand and a ban on the purchase of sex toys in Alabama -- enacted in 1998 but not enforced pending the outcome of litigation -- will go into effect."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"The American Liberal Liberties Union: The ACLU is becoming very selective about what it considers 'free' speech." Today in The Wall Street Journal, Wendy Kaminer has an op-ed (free access) in which she writes, "One of the clearest indications of a retreat from defending all speech regardless of content is the ACLU's virtual silence in Harper v. Poway, an important federal case involving a high-school student's right to wear a T-shirt condemning homosexuality."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Goodling: a Power player behind Justice's scenes; The former Justice insider, a mystery to many, is set to testify under immunity in Congress on the U.S. attorneys' firings." This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. In addition, David C. Iglesias has an op-ed entitled "'Cowboy up,' Alberto Gonzales; A fired U.S. attorney calls on the attorney general to serve the people, not politics."

The Washington Post reports today that "Officials Describe Interference by Former Gonzales Aide."

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an editorial headlined "When blind loyalty transcends duty: Evidence of partisan fervor likely to reveal Gonzales and others were expected to follow suit."

Former Justice Department White House Liaison Monica Goodling is scheduled to testify today before the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing will get underway at 10:15 a.m. eastern time, and the committee will provide a live webcast that you can access by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Guilty of Insufficient Overreaching": Today in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has an op-ed that begins, "Patrick Philbin is an unlikely victim of the war on terror. In fact, he's one of its chief legal architects. Philbin's conservative bona fides are unimpeachable. Law clerk for federal appeals judge Laurence Silberman, the ideological godfather of scores of conservative lawyers, then for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Murderer maintains defiant smile to end; Comer finally gets last wish in execution by lethal injection": This article appears today in The Arizona Republic, along with an article headlined "Reporter details killer's execution."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Murderer's last words: 'Go, Raiders.'"

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Louisiana Court Backs Death in Child Rape": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

And The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reports today that "Death penalty in rape case upheld; Stepdad convicted of assaulting girl, 8."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Louisiana appears at this link.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court hears prayer issue": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court in New Orleans is taking a second look at whether boards that run public school systems can open their meetings with a prayer, as Congress and state legislatures do -- and whether the prayer can mention Christ."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Google Wins the Right to Display Thumbnails and to 'Frame' Copyrighted Material Used Without Permission: A Mostly Sensible Ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals." Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Senators accuse Gonzales of 'stonewalling' about wiretap program": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Bush defends Gonzales, calling attacks 'pure political theater'; Senate Democrats press ahead on a vote of no-confidence in the attorney general over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys."

And The Washington Post today contains articles headlined "President Stands by Gonzales" and "The Next Best Path: Warming to Limelight, Dismissed U.S. Attorney David Iglesias Forges a New Future."
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Naked truth: Two Lancaster homeowners may have been embarrassed during a mistaken search by L.A. County sheriff's deputies, but their 4th Amendment rights weren't violated, the Supreme Court says." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times is reporting: In today's newspaper, he has articles headlined "High court rules in favor of special-ed parents; They may go to court without a lawyer to fight a school district's programs for their children, justices say" and "Rights not violated in home search, justices rule; A Southern California couple had been rousted from bed and held naked at gunpoint by deputies."
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ruling Favors Poor Convicts; Court Expands Right To Counsel": Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court has said that impoverished convicts have a right to counsel to determine whether they have a legitimate reason to claim their sentence was illegal and, if so, to represent them throughout any subsequent proceedings. In its unanimous ruling released Monday, the court further expanded its interpretation of a state law granting indigent defendants and convicts a court-appointed lawyer in 'any criminal action.'"

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Connecticut at this link.
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman



In reader mail: A reader emails, "The memorial service for Seventh Circuit Judge Thomas E. Fairchild was held today before the Seventh Circuit's en banc rehearing of Pruitt v. Mote. It was a beautiful memorial for a true titan of the legal world, especially in this area of the country where he touched so many people. The tributes by former clerks, including the Honorable Reena Raggi and the Honorable Joan Lefkow, were particularly touching."
Posted at 05:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"La. Supreme Court upholds death sentence for child rapist": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Louisiana may execute a man convicted of raping an 8-year-old girl, the state Supreme Court said Tuesday -- the first time it has upheld such a death sentence under a 1995 law allowing execution of child rapists." The article goes on to report that "The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a death sentence for a man convicted of raping an adult, but Tuesday's opinion said it is not clear whether that ruling would apply to a child's rape as well."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Louisiana at this link.
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former Gonzales Staffer Prepares to Testify": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 05:11 PM by Howard Bashman


In news from the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims: If you've been clamoring for more coverage of this Article I federal appellate court, The Associated Press has granted your wish. Hope Yen reports that "Judge Warns of Disability Appeal Backlog."

According to its web site, this court has "exclusive jurisdiction to provide judicial review of final decisions by the Board of Veterans' Appeals," an adjudicative body that proudly retains its apostrophe.
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Imagine, for example, www.harrassthem.com with the slogan 'Don't Get Mad, Get Even.'" So wrote Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski last week in his opinion for the court in Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com. Thanks to Joe Gratz, you no longer need to use your imagination. Now if only that domain name were worth millions.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Arizona death penalty volunteer Robert Charles Comer achieves his wish: The Associated Press reports that "Ariz. Executes Inmate Who Fought Appeals."

And today's edition of The Arizona Republic reports that "Execution 1st in Ariz. in years; 112 inmates linger on state's death row as cases wade through court system."

My earlier coverage of the Ninth Circuit's rulings in this case appeared in posts titled "Death penalty volunteer complains about the Ninth Circuit's delay in announcing its apparent refusal of the inmate's request to dismiss his appeal, as does a dissenting judge on the three-judge panel"; "Death penalty volunteers not wanted, divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel holds"; "U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ends 2006 by granting rehearing en banc in four separate cases"; and "En banc Ninth Circuit holds that death row inmate can indeed 'volunteer' for death."

And the September 18, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "When Can an Inmate 'Volunteer' for Death? 9th Circuit rejects a competent inmate's decision to abandon legal challenge to his capital sentence."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Seventh Circuit Judge Daniel A. Manion announces intention to take senior status on confirmation of successor: That's how I construe this listing of future vacancies from the U.S. Courts web site. The Seventh Circuit is, if I have my facts correct, one of only three U.S. Courts of Appeals that thus far has only one George W. Bush appointee. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit are the others.
Posted at 03:52 PM by Howard Bashman


Perhaps you, too, have lost your ability to smell meth labs: The Charleston (W. Va.) Daily Mail yesterday published an article headlined "Officer sues cold remedy maker, saying he can't smell meth labs anymore" that begins, "A deputy U.S. marshal based in Charleston is suing the makers of the popular cold remedy Zicam over his lost sense of smell, which he says has put him in danger of being unknowingly exposed to methamphetamine labs."

Of course, this raises the question "What exactly do meth labs smell like?" (Via "Obscure Store").
Posted at 01:54 PM by Howard Bashman



News you can use -- The plural of moose is moose: A trademark dispute over images of moose produced this ruling today from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Abercrombie & Fitch Co. v. Moose Creek, Inc.
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Federal Circuit's ruling that claims 1 through 3 of Pfizer's patent for the high blood pressure drug Norvasc are invalid for obviousness fails to raise the blood pressure of the requisite number of that court's judges needed to obtain rehearing en banc: Over the dissenting opinions of three judges, the Federal Circuit yesterday issued this order denying rehearing en banc in Pfizer, Inc. v. Apotex, Inc. The dissents contain an interesting discussion of whether the Federal Circuit should be more willing to grant rehearing en banc in patent-related appeals.

My earlier coverage of the three-judge panel's ruling in this case can be accessed here.
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: Today, I'll be arguing an appeal before a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania from a ruling reported on here.

Additional posts will appear this afternoon.

Update: This morning's oral argument seemed to go quite well.
Posted at 06:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to Address State Tax Breaks for Bonds": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports today that "High court will hear Ky. bond case; Implications reach beyond the state."

And The Wall Street Journal reports that "Justices to Hear Muni-Bond Case; Kentucky Tax Fight Over Exemptions Affects Many States."
Posted at 06:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Becker is remembered as 'a judge's judge'": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Daily News.
Posted at 06:08 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, May 21, 2007

"Legal Victory for Families of Disabled Students": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.

Tuesday in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will report that "Parents of Disabled Child Win Ruling; High Court Says They Don't Need Lawyer to Sue Over Special-Ed Needs."

Tuesday in USA Today, Joan Biskupic will report that "Parents of disabled kids can represent selves in court; Justices broaden right to challenge school plans."

And Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Supreme Court hands victory to parents of disabled children."
Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion Foes See Validation for New Tactic": This article will appear Tuesday in The New York Times.

And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Aspiring abortion doctors drawn to embattled field; Medical students cite defiance and conscience as a reason to choose the career; 'It doesn't matter what you believe if you don't back it up with action,' one says."
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices allow mistakes in search warrant execution": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 11:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Judicial Center Deputy Director John Cooke takes a look at the last 30 years in the federal appeals court system and talks about changes in the caseload, types of appeals & differences between the military and federal courts." This past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America & the Courts" consisted of a portion (RealPlayer required) of the recent judicial conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court: Parents Don't Need Lawyer to Sue School" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Bush: Vote on Gonzales Would Be 'Political Theater.'" RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court to hear prayer issue; School Board, ACLU at odds": The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana today contains an article that begins, "Attorneys for the Tangipahoa Parish School Board and the American Civil Liberties Union head to a federal appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday to argue whether board meetings can be opened with sectarian prayer. It's the second time the two sides in the more than 3-year-old legal dispute have appeared before the U.S. 5th Circuit, but this time they face all the court's judges."

And The Associated Press reports that "Full 5th Circuit to hear prayer dispute."

My earlier coverage of the Fifth Circuit's splintered three-judge panel ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sex toys never 'focus of bill'; As ban reaches high court, Butler says law aimed at nude dancing": The Huntsville Times today contains an article that begins, "Sen. Tom Butler, D-Madison, didn't set out to ban the sale of sex toys throughout the state, launching Alabama on a nine-year legal battle that last week reached the U.S. Supreme Court. "
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Reaffirms Support for Gonzales": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Tony Mauro is reporting: Online at law.com, he has news updates headlined "Supreme Court Makes It Harder for Private Plaintiffs to Sue Companies for Antitrust Violations" and "High Court Rules Parents Can Litigate on Behalf of Child's Educational Needs."
Posted at 03:58 PM by Howard Bashman


Justice John Paul Stevens chides divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel for deciding case by means of an unpublished opinion: See Justice Stevens' opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined, in the case captioned Los Angeles County v. Rettele, No. 06-605. Of course, the fact that the Ninth Circuit's decision was unpublished did not spare it from today's summary reversal at the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Ninth Circuit's ruling consisted of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.

And if that's not sufficient to get you interested in the case, The Associated Press's report on today's ruling is headlined "Naked Couple's Lawsuit Ended by Court."
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Antitrust Suits Limited by High Court in Verizon Win": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report. In addition, he has an article headlined "Municipal Bond Tax Breaks Draw High Court Scrutiny."

And Reuters reports that "Telecom antitrust suit can't proceed: top court" and "Court allows suits by disabled child's parents."
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman



Man who hires undercover police officer posing as assassin to kill the man's sister can be prosecuted for attempted murder, Supreme Court of California holds: You can access today's ruling of California's highest court at this link.
Posted at 02:03 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit finally rules against man who sought to assert a property right in his deceased friend's kidney: Today's decision represents the Second Circuit's second ruling in the case. The federal appellate court's earlier ruling in the case certified a question to the New York State Court of Appeals, which ruled on the certified question last December.

My prior coverage of the case appears here and here.
Posted at 11:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court issues five rulings": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

The five argued cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions today are:

Office of Sen. Mark Dayton v. Hanson, No. 06-618 (opinion here; oral argument transcript here);

Winkelman v. Parma City School Distr., No. 05-983 (opinion here; oral argument transcript here);

Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, No. 05-1126 (opinion here; oral argument transcript here);

Hinck v. United States, No. 06-376 (opinion here; oral argument transcript here); and

Roper v. Weaver, No. 06-313 (opinion here; oral argument transcript here).

The Court today also issued a per curiam reversal of a Ninth Circuit decision in Los Angeles County v. Rettele, No. 06-605.

In news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court Rules in Favor of Telecom Firms"; "Parents Don't Need Lawyer in Ed Cases"; and "Court Limits Certain Cases to Tax Court."
Posted at 10:13 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court to hear three new cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

You can access today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List at this link. In addition, the Court called for the views of the Solicitor General in two cases.
Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Another Gonzales Horror Story": In today's issue of National Journal, columnist Stuart Taylor Jr. has an essay that begins, "Every day that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is allowed to remain in office is corrosive to constitutional governance and an invitation to further politicization of the Justice Department."
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"When Should a Commercial Web Site Be Held Liable for User-Generated Content?" Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com appears at this link.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Will Speak At Becker Memorial": Today in The Legal Intelligencer, Shannon P. Duffy has an article (subscription required) that begins, "Three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will be in Philadelphia today to speak at a memorial service for Judge Edward R. Becker, the former chief judge of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who died in May 2006. Justice David H. Souter will preside over the service, which begins at 2 p.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom in the U.S. Courthouse, and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Stephen Breyer will be among the speakers."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales exit urged before Hill vote": This article appears today in The Washington Times.

Bloomberg News reports that "Specter Says Gonzales May Quit Before Lawmakers Vote."

And The New York Times today contains an editorial entitled "Why This Scandal Matters."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Falwell saw law school as tool to alter society": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Some may have found it curious when Rev. Jerry Falwell's new Liberty University School of Law recently unveiled a $1 million teaching courtroom featuring exact-to-the-inch replicas of the U.S. Supreme Court bench and the lectern and counsel tables facing it. But Liberty faculty and students understood perfectly: Falwell intended his students to be well prepared to argue before and, ultimately, to serve on the highest court in the land."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Protection for press": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial that begins, "From Watergate to Enron, significant events of vital public importance may not have come to light without confidential sources whose anonymity was protected by reporters."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo Detainee Returns to Australia; Hicks to Serve Out Sentence Near Home": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Sydney Morning Herald today contains an article headlined "Quite a trip, quips man in orange."

And The Associated Press reports that "Hicks Won't Test Australia Controls."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judges Rebuff Pakistani Gov't on Judge": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Supreme Court judges rebuffed government arguments Monday at a hearing on President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's suspension of Pakistan's chief justice, a move that has stoked the worst political crisis of the general's eight-year rule."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gay Britons Serve in Military With Little Fuss, as Predicted Discord Does Not Occur": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Positive He's a Killer; Less Sure He Should Die": The new installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column that will appear Monday in The New York Times begins, "The last part of a death penalty trial, the part where the jury decides whether the defendant will live or die, is a sort of referendum on capital punishment. A significant majority of Americans support the death penalty in the abstract, as an idea. But checking a box in a public opinion survey is not the same as voting to send a particular man to his death. In the polls that count, the ones that follow testimony and tears, jurors are increasingly rejecting the death penalty."

Update: In related coverage, The Chicago Tribune on Monday contains an article headlined "Panelist felt death for Luna too easy; In-law says juror favors life term."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Padilla gets day in court, but verdict on Bush is in": Columnist Robyn Blumner has this op-ed today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Comey's testimony evoked Nixon's 'Massacre'": This article appears today in The Washington Times. In addition, Dan K. Thomasson has an op-ed entitled "Lone Ranger rides at Justice."

And The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial entitled "Attorney general's exit is long overdue."
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Dems Seek No-Confidence Vote on Gonzales": Hope Yen of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The top Republican on the Senate committee investigating Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes Gonzales could resign before a no-confidence vote sought this week by Senate Democrats."
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-Prosecutor's Testimony Raises New Doubts About Embattled Attorney General ": This article will appear in the May 28, 2007 issue of U.S. News & World Report.

And at Time magazine's web site, you can access an article headlined "Was Gonzales' Emergency Visit Illegal?" In addition, Reynolds Holding has an essay entitled "Did Gonzales Violate Legal Ethics?"
Posted at 08:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"In 4th Decade On High Court, Stevens Stays True to Form; Justice Known for Dissents Enters Top 10 for Tenure": Robert Barnes will have this article Monday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer-Scientists Cash in on Patent Law": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connor: Court Should Follow Precedent." Hope Yen of The Associated Press provides this report.

You can access a transcript of retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's interview that appeared on today's broadcast of Fox News Sunday by clicking here. From the interview, it sounds like Justice O'Connor may be on the verge of becoming a law blogger.

Update: You can view video of the interview by clicking here.
Posted at 07:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Top court, abortion seen as 2008 campaign issue": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Philadelphia Phillies 5, Toronto Blue Jays 3: With this afternoon's victory, the Phillies managed to emerge victorious in each series against three different opponents during the ten-game homestand that has now ended. The seven wins and three losses during the homestand returned the Phillies to a .500 record through approximately the first quarter of the season.

This afternoon, Phillies starting pitcher Adam Eaton threw six-plus innings of scoreless ball, while the rookie starter for the Blue Jays, who proved untouchable in his only earlier start of the season against the Baltimore Orioles, lasted only four innings.

Phillies relief pitcher Geoff Geary surrendered three home runs in the top of the eighth inning, putting the Blue Jays within striking distance, but Phillies closer Brett Myers, after walking the leadoff batter in the top of the ninth, retired the next three batters in turn, including pinch hitter Frank Thomas, who struck out swinging.

The next game that my son and I are scheduled to attend is on the evening of Friday, June 1, 2007 against the San Francisco Giants. We'll also be at the game against the Giants two days later on Sunday afternoon.

You can access the box score of today's game at this link, while wraps are available here and here.
Posted at 07:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Terrorism trial puts al Qaeda at center stage; Prosecutors will strive to keep jurors' minds focused on al Qaeda as they try Jose Padilla and two others on terrorism conspiracy charges in Miami federal court": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.

And Monday in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have an article headlined "At Padilla terror trial, a witness's surprise effect: A witness for the US government has painted a less-than-menacing picture of a terrorist training camp."
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court justice offers advice to Saint Mary's graduates": The South Bend Tribune today contains an article that begins, "It was Rodney Dangerfield v. the U.S. Constitution, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. ruled in favor of the latter in offering advice Saturday to Saint Mary's College graduates."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Couple can sue in polygamy case; Defamation claim over being called polygamous is OK'd": The Salt Lake Tribune contains this article today, along with an article headlined "Ruling could have broad effect on court-case media coverage."

And The Deseret Morning News reported yesterday that "Defamation case sent back to district court; Couple claims Kingston suit hurt their reputations."

You can access Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Utah at this link.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice denies complaint charge": The Gloucester County (N.J.) Times yesterday contained an article that begins, "State Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto on Friday denied he acted improperly when he interceded last year in a dispute involving his son and another student at his high school."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday that "Judge denies abusing post to help son."

And The Courier Post of Cherry Hill, New Jersey reported yesterday that "Justice denies ethics violations."

A copy of the response to the judicial misconduct complaint can be accessed here. My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme court judge to retire; A former chief justice, Ronnie White was the first black man on Missouri’s highest court": This article appeared Friday in The Kansas City Star.

And The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported yesterday that "Judge White to resign from state high court."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Awaiting a decision: Justices may review pivotal Kentucky bond case." The Louisville Courier-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Public officials nationwide will be watching the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow for word on a Kentucky case that could decide the future of one of state governments' favorite fiscal tools."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"My friend, Jerry Falwell": Larry Flynt has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Gault Case Changed Juvenile Law": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Citing Terror Threat, Judges Criticize Plans for Ohio Garage": The New York Times on Sunday will contain an article that begins, "A proposal by the city to build a parking garage within one foot of the federal courthouse in this city's downtown has provoked a strong and uncommonly public reaction from some judges, who say it would allow potential terrorists to get dangerously close to their courtrooms."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ashcroft's Complex Tenure At Justice; On Some Issues, He Battled White House": This front page article will appear Sunday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Elizabeth Taylor to keep Van Gogh": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

You can access yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jihadist testifies in Padilla trial; A convicted terrorist with no connection to suspect Jose Padilla testified about his own training at an al Qaeda camp, over the protests of Padilla's lawyers": The Miami Herald contains this article today.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Al Qaeda training camp described in Padilla trial; A witness tells the court he learned war tactics to defend Muslims."

And The Washington Post reports that "Defense Cites Ambiguities in Evidence Against Padilla."
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"In Closed Meeting With Gonzales, Prosecutors Express Their Dismay; Many Remain Upset, Fear Damage to the Justice Department's Image": This article appears today in The Washington Post. In addition, columnist Eugene Robinson has an op-ed entitled "Gonzales's Signature Moment."

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Iglesias recounts a lunch with politics on the menu; The fired U.S. attorney says he was targeted for not pressing charges that could have helped the GOP."

The Washington Times reports that "White House derides 'vote' on Gonzales."

And The Associated Press reports that "Gonzales Rapped As President's 'Yes Man.'"
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Targeted U.S. attorneys defend their records": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"When Should a Commercial Web Site Be Held Liable for User-Generated Content?" The brand-new installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed here.

The three Ninth Circuit rulings that I discuss in the essay are Perfect 10 v. Amazon.com; Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com; and Carafano v. Metrosplash.com.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, May 18, 2007

"Witness Describes Training Padilla Reportedly Received": This article will appear Saturday in The New York Times.

The Miami Herald provides a news update headlined "Padilla trial witness describes al Qaeda camp."

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Witness says Padilla's al-Qaeda training was religious." Today's newspaper, meanwhile, contains an article headlined "Fingerprint expert takes stand in Padilla trial; The government's key evidence bears the defendant's prints, but where it was during his incarceration is unclear."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Padilla Trial Witness: al-Qaida Ran Camp."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court: Van Gogh Stays With Taylor." The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the Ninth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Analysis: The Court and the 2008 Election." Tom Goldstein has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Porn evidence must be shared; State Supreme Court rules on three Pierce County child-sex cases": This article appears today in The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington.

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Silent Justice Thomas: Not a Word Spoken." Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Repartee, Spectator Outburst Energize High-Court Justices": Brent Kendall had this interesting article yesterday in The Daily Journal of California recapping this year's oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Report: Spending on Judicial Elections Soaring." This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"SCOTUSblog" has posted online the transcript of Tuesday's Guantanamo detainee oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit: You can access the oral argument transcript at this link.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


The term "M4" -- when used in conjunction with the sale of certain firearms -- is generic and not entitled to trademark protection, First Circuit holds: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.
Posted at 03:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Descendants of Jewish art collector Margarete Mauthner (collectively, 'the Orkins') claim that their ancestor was wrongfully dispossessed of a painting during Hitler's Nazi regime, entitling them to ownership of the painting, which was later purchased by actress Elizabeth Taylor." So begins an opinion that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.

The opinion's opening paragraph goes on to say, "In this appeal, we conclude that the Holocaust Victims Redress Act does not create a private right of action and that the Orkins' state law claims are barred by the statute of limitations. We affirm the judgment of the district court, dismissing the complaint."
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Portland Visit Brings Justice Scalia to Ninth Circuit’s Pioneer Courthouse": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this news release Wednesday.

The visit occurred last month, and I previously linked to coverage of it here and here.
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman



Police dog bites man: And the en banc Eighth Circuit today issues a decision as a result.
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Upholds Pentagon Labor Policies": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court said Friday the Pentagon has the authority to pick and choose what labor issues it will negotiate with unions representing more than 600,000 civilian employees. The policy has been on hold since early last year when a federal judge said it eroded collective bargaining rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned that ruling Friday, saying in a 2-1 decision that Congress temporarily authorized the policy change until 2009."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link. Circuit Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion. in which Senior Circuit Judge Stephen F. Williams joined. Circuit Judge David S. Tatel dissented.
Posted at 01:42 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: In connection with an interesting appeal that I will be arguing next Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, I'll be meeting with co-counsel this morning at their offices in Center City Philadelphia. Additional posts will appear here this afternoon.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federal hearing may be pivotal for Abu-Jamal; An appellate court heard his arguments that blacks were excluded illegally from the jury that convicted him of killing a policeman in 1981": The Philadelphia Inquirer contains this article today.

And The Philadelphia Daily News reports today that "Abu-Jamal attorney requests new trial; He tells appeals panel that prosecutors deliberately kept blacks off '82 jury."
Posted at 07:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gonzales falls under renewed assault; Another GOP senator calls for the attorney's resignation, as two Democrats prepare a no-confidence resolution for the chamber's vote": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Gonzales' sick-bed appeal: His hospital visit to John Ashcroft shows why the administration shouldn't get the benefit of the doubt on wiretapping."

Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Comey Testimony May Spell Trouble for White House; Ex-Official Describes Appeal to Ailing Ashcroft on Wiretapping."

The Washington Times reports that "Gonzales faces Senate no-confidence vote."

Bloomberg News reports that "Democrats to Offer No-Confidence Vote on Gonzales."

And The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "Caller ID: It's not whether the president called; It's what he did," along with an op-ed by Law Professor Douglas W. Kmiec entitled "Testimony in a Teacup: What's Overlooked in Comey's Histrionics."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Navy lawyer guilty of spilling secrets; A Navy jury convicted a former Guantanamo lawyer of leaking a secret detainee list in 2005 in a verdict that could carry a 14-year prison sentence": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

And The Virginian-Pilot reports today that "Diaz found guilty of four of five charges over secret documents."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hollywood Ending: White House v. Justice Department: government smackdown." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online at The New Republic.

And at FindLaw, John W. Dean has an essay entitled "Recent Developments in the Scandal over the Attorney General's Performance: Alberto Gonzales Displays Contempt for Congress, And Perhaps the Department of Justice As Well."
Posted at 06:30 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, May 17, 2007

"No-Confidence Vote Sought on Gonzales": This article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.

The New York Times on Friday will report that "Senate Democrats Plan a Resolution on Gonzales."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Senate prepares for a no-confidence vote on Gonzales."
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online at Slate: Dahlia Lithwick has a jurisprudence essay entitled "Nixon Rides Again: It's only illegal when the president agrees it's illegal."

And Frank Bowman has a jurisprudence essay entitled "The Icing Is Iglesias: His firing is reason alone for Congress to impeach Gonzales."
Posted at 10:09 PM by Howard Bashman



Under what circumstances should a criminal defendant charged with possessing child pornography have access to that evidence? Today the Supreme Court of Washington State issued a decision addressing that question. The decision consists of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.

As I noted in this earlier post from January 2007, this question -- which arises in federal prosecutions due to the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act -- has also proved complicated for at least one federal court.

In news coverage of today's Washington State ruling, The Associated Press reports that "WA prosecutors must hand over child porn to defendant."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Navy Lawyer Guilty of Detainee Info Leak" and "White House Lawyer Criticize Plame Suit."
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman


A fickle parking ticket protest would have been far less objectionable: The Post-Bulletin of Rochester, Minnesota reports today that "Fecal parking ticket protest lands man in trouble."
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Arguments Heard in Death Penalty Appeal for Mumia Abu-Jamal": Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer provides this news update.

The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a news update headlined "Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case before federal court."

And The Associated Press reports that "Abu-Jamal Lawyers Argue Trial Was Biased."
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Milwaukee Brewers 3, Philadelphia Phillies 2: This afternoon I attended my second Brewers victory of the season, although unlike last time today's game was against my hometown Phillies.

Ben Sheets, opening day starter for the Brewers, was on the mound at the outset of both Brewers games that I attended, and today he recorded another tremendous outing.

Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell homered to give the Phillies the lead in the bottom of the second inning and then nearly tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with a double off the top of the left field fence that was only inches away from being his second home run of the game. Brewers closer Francisco Cordero, who entered the game sporting an incredibly low 0.54 earned run average to record the final out of the eighth inning, thereafter obtained the remaining two outs in the bottom of the ninth to notch the save and lower his ERA to 0.50. Although the Phillies did not sweep the four-game series against what had been the National League's hottest team, they did win their second series of the current homestand. The homestand concludes with the season's first interleague games, as the Phillies will play three against the Toronto Blue Jays. My son and I will be at Sunday's game.

You can access the box score of today's game at this link, while wraps are available here and here.

Update: Lest I be accused of omitting an unusual detail from my game recap, in the late innings -- I think it was between the bottom of the sixth and the top of the seventh, while the grounds crew was sweeping the infield dirt -- a totally naked male streaker ran to second base, where he was tackled and placed under arrest by the Philadelphia Police. I did not observe the streaker until moments before he was knocked to the ground, but others near where I was sitting opined that he had jumped onto the field from somewhere in the outfield. [Insert your Miller Park sausage race joke here.] In any event, here's hoping this will not become a regular feature at Citizens Bank Park.

Further update: As The Associated Press reports here: "[Pat Burrell's second inning home run] was about the only excitement for Phillies fans until a streaker hopped the outfield fence and dashed onto the field entering the top of the seventh. The man was eventually dragged down by security on the infield dirt while the crowd of 31,553 went wild like the Phillies were rallying for the winning runs. 'I was just real blushed,' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chuckled. 'I wasn't trying to look.'"
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: A colleague who kindly got me involved to brief and argue a Third Circuit appeal for one of his clients (thankfully, with a mostly favorable result) and I will be attending an event this afternoon in South Philly (previews here and here).

Additional posts will appear online this evening.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Looming Legal Fight Clouds Gay Marriage Milestone": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit rejects challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Partial–Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 pending before that court: Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued this Summary Order.

My earlier coverage of that panel's original 2-1 ruling in the case can be accessed here. And my coverage of that panel's request last month by a 2-1 vote for supplemental briefing can be accessed here.

I also discussed the Second Circuit's original ruling in this case in a bit more detail in the February 27, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "Congress Puts 'Partial-Birth' Abortion Back on the Supreme Court's Agenda."
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Google wins part of nude-photo suit": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Legislative support slim for same-sex marriage ban; Efforts heat up to keep issue off 2008 ballot": This article appears today in The Boston Globe, along with an article headlined "Same-sex nuptials validated for NY couples." In addition, Monique Doyle Spencer has an op-ed entitled "OK, let's vote on marriage."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Bob Egelko is reporting: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, he has articles headlined "Top state court clears way for stem cell bonds" and "Roommate search site back in federal court."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Al-Arian documentary stirs lingering emotions; Supporters of Sami Al-Arian say he wasn't treated fairly": The St. Petersburg Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"A move to expand buffers at clinics; Abortion opponents, ACLU blast bill": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Weighed Firing 1 in 4; 26 Prosecutors Were Listed As Candidates": The Washington Post today contains this front page article, along with articles headlined "No Dissent on Spying, Says Justice Dept." and "Justice Dept. Search for Rove E-Mails Yields Little." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The Gonzales Coverup: Congress must find out what the administration was doing that its own lawyers wouldn't approve."

The New York Times today contains an article headlined "Loyal to Bush but Big Thorn in Republicans' Side" that begins, "For a loyal George W. Bush Republican, James B. Comey has made a remarkable amount of trouble for the White House." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Mr. Gonzales's Incredible Adventure."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Testimony sheds light on ex-Justice official's departure; A former career prosecutor returns as a star witness in the Gonzales probe."

The Boston Globe contains an editorial entitled "Unfit for chief law enforcer."

USA Today contains an editorial entitled "In sickbed showdown, principle trumps power; Incident exposes Gonzales' failings and the strengths of others."

The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "Wiretap Tales: What you didn't read about Jim Comey's Senate testimony" (free access).

And Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson has an essay entitled "Loyal, Liberated Gonzales Avoids the Noose."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gun Ban Ruling Puts Fenty on the Spot; Going to High Court Would Be Risky": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"States Weigh Financing Judges' Elections": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pakistan Judicial Crisis Adds to Pressure on Media": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Legal and political wrangling over the suspension of the chief justice of Pakistan's Supreme Court by President Pervez Musharraf appears to be leading to new pressures on the media, news organizations and media advocacy groups say."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Plame Seeks Showdown With Cheney": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A lawsuit brought by a CIA agent whose cover was blown by Bush administration officials, Valerie Plame, is expected to face a withering attack this morning at a court hearing in Washington."
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Making Law Enforcement a Political Enterprise: Key Examples from the U.S. Attorney Scandal and the So-Called 'First Freedom Project.'" Marci Hamilton has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:37 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Google Wins Appeal on Copyright of Nude Images": This article will appear Thursday in The Washington Post.

The Associated Press reports that "9th Circuit says Google thumbnail images don't infringe copyright."

And law.com reports that "9th Circuit Hands Google a Copyright Victory in Dispute Over Nude Pictures."

My earlier coverage of today's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



McClatchy Newspapers are reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "2 additional prosecutors were considered for ouster" and "Justice Dept. produces little new evidence linking Rove to firings of U.S. attorneys."
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Transcripts give a glimpse into many justices' personalities": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 11:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Analysis: An Additional Week of October Argument?" Tom Goldstein has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 09:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Breaking News: Plaintiffs to File Cert Petition in Crawford, the Indiana Voter ID Case; Why the Supreme Court Should Take the Case." Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post today at his "Election Law" blog.

The Seventh Circuit's divided three judge panel's ruling in that case can be accessed here, while my coverage of that ruling appears at this link. And the Seventh Circuit's order denying rehearing en banc, over the dissent of four judges, can be accessed here, while my coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Fifth Circuit affirms the dismissal of lawsuit against the owner of The San Antonio Express-News seeking damages for invasion of privacy based on public disclosure of private facts: We haven't heard the last of the married Texas attorneys who engaged in a scheme whereby the wife had extra-marital affairs with other men, after which the husband extorted money from the men by threatening to tell their wives and employers of the affairs. According to today's Fifth Circuit opinion:
The San Antonio Express News, a Hearst subsidiary, published an article describing a blackmail scheme carried out by two married attorneys, Ted and Mary Roberts. The article alleged that Mary had engaged in a series of extramarital affairs and that Ted had then extorted thousands of dollars from Mary's lovers by sending them draft Rule 202 petitions naming them as defendants. The 202 documents proposed to seek information on whether Ted had legal grounds for a variety of claims, including divorce and obscenity. These documents also mentioned Ted's intent to contact the men's wives and employers as witnesses. Under threat of litigation, as many as five men entered into settlement agreements with Ted, who received between $75,000 and $155,000 in total as a result. The article also contained the perspectives of five legal scholars as to the merits of the causes of action raised by Ted against Mary and her lovers and the ethics of Ted's behavior. Additionally, the story revealed details of the Roberts' domestic life, including their purchase of a $655,000 house in a San Antonio suburb, the fact that they had an eight-year-old son, and the fact that Mary was the daughter of a Lutheran minister. Ted Roberts has since been tried and convicted on charges of theft related to the allegations in the article.
Today's appeal arises from a lawsuit in which the trustee for the bankruptcy estate of Ted and Mary Roberts sued the owner of the Express-News for damages on a claim of invasion of privacy based on public disclosure of private facts. Today's ruling affirms the dismissal on the pleadings of the bankruptcy trustee's claim.

The article in question was headlined "Sex, lawyers, secrets at heart of sealed legal case," and it appeared in the Sunday, June 13, 2004 issue of The Express-News. I linked here to the article that morning.

Update: In March 2007, columnist Rick Casey of The Houston Chronicle covered the criminal trial of attorney Ted Roberts in columns headlined "A sexy story of lawyers misbehaving"; "A big grin, a big cigar"; "A novel legal tool of terror"; "Giving back, or taking?"; "Sex, lies and lawyer jokes"; and "Lessons from a lurid trial."

And more recent coverage from The San Antonio Express-News appeared in articles headlined "New indictments shine more light on charges against lawyer pair"; "Extortion case a tale of money, adultery"; "Adultery blackmail trial starts"; "Roberts trial: Score: 60-15, defense?"; "E-mails take stage in blackmail trial"; "Blackmail trial a tale of two CFOs"; and "For better, for worse, but richer iffy in court." And public editor Bob Richter had an essay entitled "Is this newspaper correct to name alleged blackmail victims?"
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"The majority's decision is, in effect, a breathtaking revision of securities class action procedure that eviscerates Basic's fraud-on-the-market presumption, creates a split from other circuits by requiring mini-trials on the merits of cases at the class certification stage, and effectively overrules legitimately binding circuit precedents." So writes Circuit Judge James L. Dennis, dissenting from a decision that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 08:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Who fired the US attorneys? Attorney General Gonzales cites a 'consensus' of top Justice officials, but few have acknowledged listing any names." This article will appear Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman


Available at National Review Online: Robert Alt has an essay entitled "Would Rudy Be Good for the Courts? Well, Meese was good for the courts, and Giuliani didn't think much of him."

And Edward Whelan has a review of the book "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas," by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher.
Posted at 05:53 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court ends ruling halting Google sex thumbnails": Reuters provides this report.

And at his "Technology & Marketing Law Blog," Eric Goldman has this related post.

My earlier coverage of today's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 02:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"A pivotal hearing on case of Abu-Jamal": This article appeared Sunday in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

And The Associated Press reports that "25 years later, Abu-Jamal's case to be argued in appeals court."
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman



Another day, another important internet-related ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Today, a unanimous three-judge Ninth Circuit panel issued its ruling in Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com.

Circuit Judge Sandra S. Ikuta's opinion begins:

In this appeal, we consider a copyright owner's efforts to stop an Internet search engine from facilitating access to infringing images. Perfect 10, Inc. sued Google Inc., for infringing Perfect 10's copyrighted photographs of nude models, among other claims. Perfect 10 brought a similar action against Amazon.com and its subsidiary A9.com (collectively, "Amazon.com"). The district court preliminarily enjoined Google from creating and publicly displaying thumbnail versions of Perfect 10's images, Perfect 10 v. Google, Inc., 416 F. Supp. 2d 828 (C.D. Cal. 2006), but did not enjoin Google from linking to third-party websites that display infringing full-size versions of Perfect 10's images. Nor did the district court preliminarily enjoin Amazon.com from giving users access to information provided by Google. Perfect 10 and Google both appeal the district court's order.
And the lengthy opinion concludes with the following summary of the Ninth Circuit's rulings:
We conclude that Perfect 10 is unlikely to succeed in overcoming Google's fair use defense, and therefore we reverse the district court's determination that Google's thumbnail versions of Perfect 10's images likely constituted a direct infringement. The district court also erred in its secondary liability analysis because it failed to consider whether Google and Amazon.com knew of infringing activities yet failed to take reasonable and feasible steps to refrain from providing access to infringing images. Therefore we must also reverse the district court's holding that Perfect 10 was unlikely to succeed on the merits of its secondary liability claims. Due to this error, the district court did not consider whether Google and Amazon.com are entitled to the limitations on liability set forth in title II of the DMCA. The question whether Google and Amazon.com are secondarily liable, and whether they can limit that liability pursuant to title II of the DMCA, raise fact-intensive inquiries, potentially requiring further fact finding, and thus can best be resolved by the district court on remand. We therefore remand this matter to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this decision.
Thanks to the web site of Electronic Frontier Foundation, you can access many of the documents filed in the case via this link. And the federal district court's decision that the Ninth Circuit had under review can be accessed here. Finally, my coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling in another important internet-related appeal can be found at this link.
Posted at 12:42 PM by Howard Bashman


Wisconsin's highest court agrees that pornographic images on public school teacher's computer are public records and orders their release to a newspaper: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today that "Court clears release of teacher's porn images."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in both HTML and PDF formats.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senate can short-circuit assault on appeals bench": Today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Cragg Hines has an op-ed that begins, "If you liked Don Imus, you're going to love Leslie Southwick. Fortunately, Imus has not been nominated to a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But Southwick has been."

And yesterday in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi, columnist Eric Stringfellow had an op-ed entitled "It's time for diversity on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Raid on Rep. Jefferson's Office Yields Legal Mess"; "Ex-Justice Official: Spy Plan Sparked Threats to Quit"; and "Cyclist Landis Points to 'Broken' Testing System" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Fruit by the Foot and online oral argument audio by the minute and second: Now that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit posts online the audio of its oral arguments, it is possible for that court's decisions to cite to those online audio files, as demonstrated by this ruling issued today involving a patent infringement dispute between General Mills and Kraft Foods Global over the process for making that inscrutable food known as Fruit by the Foot.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor issues another opinion while sitting by designation with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales: Paul McNulty was major figure in firings." This article appears today in The Hill.

And today in The Washington Post, columnist Harold Meyerson has an op-ed entitled "The Cost of a GOP Myth" that begins, "If Attorney General Alberto Gonzales clings to his job much longer, he may end up as the only remaining employee of the Justice Department."
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"State to revise process for lethal injections; Staff training, new chamber may mean executions resume": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein reports that "State offers new lethal injection protocol; Seeking to end a judge's ban on executions, officials propose a 'pain-free' method."

In The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "Schwarzenegger offers plan to resume executions by injection."

The Sacramento Bee contains an article headlined "State's new death plan: Strict training of execution team, new chamber are among proposals for judge."

And The New York Times reports that "California Addresses Death Penalty Concerns."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Navy lawyer had promised nondisclosure; A Navy lawyer who mailed a list of Guantanamo detainees to a human rights group had signed a government form promising not to disclose information": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

And The Virginian-Pilot reports today that "Witness says Guantanamo detainee list was classified."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"C.I.A. Officer Testifies He Was Given Qaeda 'Pledge Form' Said to Be Padilla's": The New York Times contains this article today.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Evidence on terror suspect Padilla has murky origins; His defense questions the validity of his alleged application for Al Qaeda training and its chain of custody."

USA Today contains an article that begins, "Prosecutors: Form points to Padilla; Document links al-Qaeda, defendant, lawyers say."

The Miami Herald reports that "'Secret agent' testifies about Padilla document; A disguised CIA officer testified that he received a document that prosecutors say was Jose Padilla's application to join al Qaeda."

And The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that "CIA agent testifies in Padilla trial."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Cities hail court ruling on rerouting jets at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport": This article appears today in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

My earlier coverage of last week's D.C. Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"'Porn' auction shows sex sells; Domain name gets $9.5 million, but that's not a record": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "The free market has spoken: Sex is worth more than porn. That's one conclusion from the near record-breaking auction of an Internet domain name announced Tuesday. The rights to Porn.com brought in the second-highest payment for an address since the Web's creation, with closely held MXN Ltd. forking over $9.5 million. Not a bad return for a domain that sold for a reported $47,000 in 1997. But Porn.com couldn't command the payday of Sex.com, which Boston firm Escom bought last year for more than $11 million in cash and stock."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Terror Suspect Testifies of Torture in Custody": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Guantanamo terror detainee claims innocence, torture; Majid Khan, a Pakistani national accused of being a scout for Al Qaeda plots, details his allegations against the U.S. at a hearing."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Detainee says he was tortured at Guantanamo."

You can access the hearing transcript at this link.
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"Panel told of a sickbed face-off; A former Justice Dept. official testifies how Gonzales sought to 'take advantage' of an ailing Ashcroft in 2004": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

Today in The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage reports that "Senate hears of split over wiretaps in '04; Justice leaders nearly quit, ex-deputy says."

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Ashcroft ex-aide details wiretap infighting; Gonzales prodded hospitalized official."

USA Today contains a front page article headlined "Gonzalez accused of '04 end run while Ashcroft ill; Surveillance OK followed move."

The Washington Times reports that "Ashcroft, Mueller fought Gonzales plan."

The Hill contains an article headlined "James Comey: White House pressed."

law.com reports that "Former Deputy AG Details Justice Department Rebellion Over Surveillance Program; Comey, DOJ's former No. 2 official, describes White House visit to hospitalized AG as part of attempt to overrule him."

And The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "Mr. Comey's Tale: A standoff at a hospital bedside speaks volumes about Attorney General Gonzales."

You can access a written transcript of yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in five parts: one; two; three; four; and five.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Georgia justices hear DNA objections; Felon's lawyer says taking specimen violates rights; state contends due process observed": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Al-Arian film focuses on family, not terror trial": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "The film USA vs. Al-Arian makes its local debut at the Tampa Theatre tonight, offering an intimate view of the stress endured by the family of Sami Al-Arian during his 2005 terrorism trial."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Jefferson, prosecutors square off on search powers": The Hill today contains an article that begins, "After nearly a year of sweeping statements about constitutional separation-of-powers protections, the question of whether Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) can prevent prosecutors from viewing thousands of pages of documents obtained in an FBI raid of his office may come down to a simple question of logistics. Attorneys for the government and Jefferson argued before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit yesterday that the Constitution's 'speech and debate' clause protects members of Congress from government intrusion. They differed, however, on just how broadly those protections extend."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Distress over parody led to First Amendment case": In today's issue of USA Today, Joan Biskupic has an article that begins, "Jerry Falwell's round face and jocular manner, coupled with his inclination for moralistic rhetoric, made him a frequent figure of satire. One extreme example turned into a First Amendment milestone at the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pulling the Plug: Alberto Gonzales browbeats the critically ill." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online from FindLaw: Sherry F. Colb has an essay entitled "The U.S. Supreme Court Condones Paralysis of a Speeding Driver: Taking the 'Reasonable' Out Of 'Reasonable Seizures.'"

And Joanne Mariner has an essay entitled "Of Tribunals and Torture."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"Web Site Is Held Liable for Some User Postings": Adam Liptak will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times.

My earlier coverage of today's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Carter Phillips' Daughter Continues Family Tradition Among High Court Clerks": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"President Intervened in Dispute Over Eavesdropping": This article will appear Wednesday in The New York Times.

And Wednesday's edition of The Washington Post will contain a front page article headlined "Gonzales Hospital Episode Detailed; Ailing Ashcroft Pressured on Spy Program." In addition, Dana Milbank will have a "Washington Sketch" column headlined "Ashcroft and the Night Visitors."
Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Justin Scheck reports that "9th Circuit Panel Faults O'Melveny for 'Take It or Leave It' Hiring Clause." My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.

Pamela A. MacLean reports that "Courts Grapple With Computer Searches; Is it a password-protected 'locked box' or a simple container?"

Shannon P. Duffy reports that "Former Phillies Pitcher and Lawyer Strike Out on Fees Appeal." You can access last week's Third Circuit ruling at this link.

An article is headlined "Fla. Supreme Court: Hospital Privileges Must Be Revealed in Med-Mal Cases." You can access last week's ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida at this link.

Finally, Traci M. Braun and Thalia L. Myrianthopoulos have an essay entitled "'Philip Morris' Decision May Be Hazardous to Jurors' Comprehension."
Posted at 11:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Paterno-pay issue ends up in high court": The Harrisburg Patriot-News today contains an article that begins, "The revelation of one of the sports world's oldest and best-kept secrets -- Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's salary -- now lies with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court."

And The Legal Intelligencer reports today that "Debate Over Disclosure of Penn State Coach's Salary Goes Before Pa. High Court."
Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Slim Majority Approves of Supreme Court Following Partial-Birth Ruling; Americans overwhelmingly say partial-birth abortion should be illegal": The Gallup News Service provides this report (via "Sentencing Law and Policy").
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Former Justice Deputy Describes Political Clash"; "Gonzales: McNulty Played 'Central' Role in Firings"; and "Sentencing Panel Changes Crack Recommendation" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Money buys time for Kamehameha Schools": The Honolulu Advertiser today contains an article that begins, "Kamehameha Schools paid to settle the most serious legal threat yet to its Hawaiians-first admissions policy, legal experts believe, but the agreement won't prevent future challenges to the 120-year-old practice. However, any new case would take years before it reached the doorstep of the U.S. Supreme Court -- where the latest case was when it ended yesterday."

Today's newspaper also contains articles headlined "'It was in our best interest to settle'" and "Policy has varied since school's start"; an item headlined "Reaction from around the state to Kamehameha lawsuit settlement"; and an editorial entitled "Kamehameha accord signals need for more work."

In other coverage, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin today contains articles headlined "Disappointment, praise follow Kamehameha settlement; A lawsuit against Kamehameha Schools over their Hawaiians-only admission policy is dropped in a settlement" and "Kamehameha community relieved 'it's over'; Students and parents were surprised with the sudden end of the legal challenge," along with an editorial entitled "Kamehameha Schools gets reprieve but no victory."
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Roberts Court": ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has this post today at her "Legalities" blog.
Posted at 08:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice aide testifies Gonzales pressured ailing Atty. Gen. over surveillance program; As White House counsel, Gonzales visited bed-ridden Ashcroft for spying consent": The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Initial warrantless eavesdropping program deemed illegal by the Justice Department."
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"State proposes new lethal injection procedures": Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update that begins, "Aiming at ending a 16-month legal moratorium on capital punishment in California, state corrections officials today proposed new lethal injection execution procedures they say 'will result in the dignified end of life' for condemned inmates."
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman


On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court Weighs Arguments in Guantanamo Appeals"; "Former Justice Dep't Deputy Testifies Before Senate Committee"; and "Landis Fights Doping Charge" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 05:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"CIA Agent Testifies at Padilla Trial": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Comey Details Internal Rebellion at Justice Over Warrantless Surveillance Program": law.com provides this news update.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman


Tony Mauro is reporting: At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," he has posts titled "Rev. Falwell and the Supreme Court" and "In re Gault at 40."
Posted at 04:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Terror Suspect Claims CIA Tortured Him": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Pakistani terrorism suspect denied any connection to al-Qaida and said he was tortured and his family was hounded by U.S. authorities, according to a transcript released Tuesday by the Pentagon."

And BBC News provides a report headlined "US detainee 'mentally tortured.'"

You can access the transcript at this link.
Posted at 04:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ultrasound: latest tool in battle over abortion; Images of fetuses are at the center of a hot debate over states' 'witness to the womb' laws." This article appears today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court to review Internet straight or gay query": Reuters provides this report on the Ninth Circuit ruling issued today that I discuss in the post immediately below.
Posted at 03:55 PM by Howard Bashman


Splintered Ninth Circuit panel holds that the Communications Decency Act does not protect the online roommate matching service Roommates.com from liability under the Fair Housing Act: Could an animosity toward blogs have foreshadowed a decision screwing-up the protection from liability for online postings afforded to providers of interactive computer services by the Communications Decency Act?

Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski wrote the majority opinion for the three-judge panel. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, in an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, would have subjected the web site to even more liability under the Fair Housing Act. And former Kozinski law clerk Circuit Judge Sandra S. Ikuta issued an opinion concurring in part (and by implication dissenting in part) in which she makes clear that, in her view, the Communications Decency Act should protect the web site from all claims asserted under the Fair Housing Act that are based on information supplied by the web site's users.

At his "Technology & Marketing Law Blog," Law Professor Eric Goldman offers a devastating critique of the ruling. His lengthy blog post concludes, "All in all, this case is a very unfortunate Cyberlaw development. Let's hope the damage gets reversed pronto."

Judge Kozinski's opinion contains an interesting discussion that could be viewed as relevant to the pending lawsuit against the web site DontDateHimGirl.com:

Imagine, for example, www.harrassthem.com with the slogan "Don't Get Mad, Get Even." A visitor to this website would be encouraged to provide private, sensitive and/or defamatory information about others--all to be posted online for a fee. To post the information, the individual would be invited to answer questions about the target's name, addresses, phone numbers, social security number, credit cards, bank accounts, mother's maiden name, sexual orientation, drinking habits and the like. In addition, the website would encourage the poster to provide dirt on the victim, with instructions that the information need not be confirmed, but could be based on rumor, conjecture or fabrication.

It is not clear to us that the operator of this hypothetical website would be protected by the logic of Carafano. The date match website in Carafano had no involvement in the creation and development of the defamatory and private information; the hypothetical operator of harrassthem.com would. By providing a forum designed to publish sensitive and defamatory information, and suggesting the type of information that might be disclosed to best harass and endanger the targets, this website operator might well be held responsible for creating and developing the tortious information. Carafano did not consider whether the CDA protected such websites, and we do not read that opinion as granting CDA immunity to those who actively encourage, solicit and profit from the tortious and unlawful communications of others.

The Ninth Circuit's earlier ruling in the Carafano case can be accessed here.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


Removal of the cross from the County Seal of Los Angeles did not violate the Establishment Clause by conveying a state-sponsored message of hostility toward Christians, Ninth Circuit holds: You can access today's unanimous ruling of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link. A separate PDF file containing black-and-white images of the old and new seals is here.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"White House Pushed Ashcroft on Wiretappings; Former Deputy Says Program Implemented Despite Objections": The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawmaker Challenges Legality of FBI Raid": The AP provides this report on another case argued today in the D.C. Circuit.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Emma Schwartz has a post titled "Reviewing the Raid."
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fate of Detainees Now With Appeals Court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Bush administration lawyers underwent intense questioning Tuesday in a federal appeals court where attorneys for detainees at Guantanamo Bay pleaded on behalf of prisoners who have been held for years. Judges Judith Rogers and Douglas Ginsburg expressed skepticism about government assurances that the appeals court will receive all the evidence it needs to evaluate the detainees' status as enemy combatants." The third member of the D.C. Circuit panel that heard oral argument in the Guantanamo detainee case today is Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Emma Schwartz has a post titled "The Latest Guantanamo Debate."
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"School district must release porn": From Wisconsin, The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Pornographic material a Cedarburg teacher viewed on his school computer is public record, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The Cedarburg School District must hand over a collection of pornographic images a teacher allegedly viewed on his school computer to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper, the Supreme Court said in affirming a decision by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy."

In earlier coverage of the case, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in March 2007 published an article headlined "Justices hear adult-images case; Access would shed light on teacher's firing, newspaper says." Plenty of additional, related articles can be accessed via the right-hand column of that web page.

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in both HTML and PDF formats.
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"State challenges federal mileage standards for SUVs": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state of California and environmental groups challenged the Bush administration's gas mileage standards for light trucks and SUVs on Monday, telling a federal appeals court that the government ignored the effects of gas-guzzling vehicles on global warming and caved in to the auto industry."

You can access the audio of yesterday's Ninth Circuit oral argument via this link (Windows Media Player required; 9.35MB audio file).
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pakistan Chief Justice Challenges Ouster": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses for photographs before the University of Pennsylvania Commencement ceremony in Philadelphia": The Associated Press provides this photo.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"More Polarizing Than Rehnquist: Chief Justice John Roberts won Senate confirmation by vowing to shun ideological activism; Instead, by trashing judicial precedent and legislative statutes, he's reshaping law to fit conservative dogma." Simon Lazarus has this essay online at The American Prospect.
Posted at 11:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gone-zales? There may be a good reason Bush hangs on to his attorney general." Tod Lindberg has this essay in the May 21, 2007 issue of The Weekly Standard.
Posted at 11:13 AM by Howard Bashman


"Vision Problems: The Supreme Court's most innovative justice (it's not who you think)." Online today at The New Republic, Law Professor Cass R. Sunstein has this essay.
Posted at 11:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Two for the Price of One: The presidency and the judiciary." At National Review Online, Theodore B. Olson has an essay that begins, "A powerful case can be made that the most important and lasting decision a president can make is the selection of a Supreme Court justice."
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Deputy Attorney General McNulty Resigns": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:03 AM by Howard Bashman


In case involving First Union National Bank's violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Sixth Circuit holds that 1-to-1 ratio of punitive to compensatory damages is maximum federal due process will allow: And because the compensatory damages total $400,000, the district court's original award of $2,628,600 in punitive damages must likewise be reduced to $400,000. Today's ruling speaks of the result as involving a remittitur, but it is not clear that the plaintiff under today's ruling will have the ability, instead, to opt for a new trial, which is a central feature of an actual remittitur.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


He shot a DVD, literally: And, as a result, he was fired from his job as a unionized airline pilot. After the union grieved the termination, an arbitration panel ordered the pilot reinstated to his job. Today, in an opinion that you can access here, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholds the reinstatement and rejects the airline's argument that the reinstatement violates public policy.
Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman


"Landis Takes Doping Case to Court, Hoping to Keep Title": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Los Angeles Times today contains an article headlined "Landis' defense on attack; As hearing opens, the 2006 Tour winner's team spars with anti-doping officials over lab tests."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court orders review of award in Ford rollover case; At issue is a $55-million punitive verdict against the automaker": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "$55 million SUV rollover award sent to appeals court for review."

And The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that "Rollover Ford case sent back for review; High court orders further hearings."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court restores death sentence for two-time murderer; The man had told a judge in his Arizona case 'if you want to give me the death penalty, bring it right on'; He later appealed": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Arizona Republic reports today that "Killer's final appeal is denied; Supreme Court rejects hearing, paving the way for execution of inmate for stabbing, strangling."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"No. 2 at Justice Department resigns; Paul J. McNulty is the highest ranking person to quit in the scandal over the firing of U.S. attorneys; Democrats renew calls for Gonzales to leave": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Chicago Tribune reports today that "Resignation deals blow to Gonzales; No. 2 official in department to quit." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "More stonewalling at Justice."

USA Today reports that "Gonzales' deputy attorney general to step down; Had testified 7 of 8 prosecutors fired for performance."

And The Washington Times reports that "No. 2 Justice official McNulty quits over firings."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Navy lawyer admits revealing names of Gitmo detainees": The Virginian-Pilot contains this article today.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Al-Qaeda Cited Often As Padilla's Trial Opens; Prosecutors Say Suspect Formed 'Support Cell' With Ties to Group": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Padilla trial is shaded by the specter of Al Qaeda; Prosecutors name the terrorist group scores of times in opening arguments; They're fear-mongering, the defense says."

The Miami Herald today contains an article headlined "2 views of 'jihad' offered at Padilla trial; At Jose Padilla's terror trial, prosecutors portrayed a South Florida cell as a supporter of al Qaeda, while the defense said it was only backing freedom fighters for Muslims."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that "Long-awaited trial finally opens for Padilla, accused terror cell members."

The Washington Times reports that "Prosecutors paint Padilla backing 'violent jihad.'"

And USA Today contains an article headlined "Prosecution: Padilla helped terrorists overseas."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Terror inmates endure solitary routine; With most detainees living in windowless, steel and cement cells, life at the prison camps at Guantanamo has turned into a lockdown routine": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Arguing Over A Word: Supreme Court Justices Hear Arguments On Whether State Must Allow Marriage For Same-Sex Couples, Not Just Civil Unions." Lynne Tuohy has this article today in The Hartford Courant.

And The Boston Globe reports today that "Conn. high court hears same-sex marriage case."

The Courant has posted online the audio of yesterday's oral argument in three parts: part one; part two; and part three.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush calls for rules to reduce emissions; In reversal, orders EPA to target climate change": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Spurred by a Supreme Court ruling, President Bush yesterday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency and three other federal departments to write new regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and trucks, reversing his position that the federal government lacks the authority to mandate changes to curb one of the chief causes of global warming."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Fate of Detainees Now With Appeals Court"; "Lawmaker to Challenge FBI Raid"; and "Pakistan Court Mulls Justice's Fate."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bench battle resumes over new nominee": The Hill today contains an article that begins, "Senate partisans are preparing to battle over a nominee to the second-most powerful court in the country, threatening to end a year and a half of peace in the Senate judicial confirmation wars. President Bush nominated Peter Keisler to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in June, making him one of the longest pending circuit court nominees."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas memoir to get large first printing": Today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic has an article that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' autobiography, My Grandfather's Son, will be out on Oct. 16, according to publisher HarperCollins."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Milberg Weiss Case, Doctors Duel Over Lazar's Health": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "Doctors dueled in a California courtroom yesterday as a veteran entertainment lawyer, who stands accused of taking $2.4 million in illegal kickbacks for serving as a perennial plaintiff in securities lawsuits, attempted to escape trial on grounds of his ill health."
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, May 14, 2007

"Justices' Vote in Death Case Is Close Again, but Differing": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.

And Tuesday in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes will have an article headlined "Justices Deny New Hearing in Death Row Case."
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Prestigious Private Schools Settle Rights Suit by a Non-Hawaiian": Adam Liptak will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept.'s No. 2 to Resign; McNulty Is 4th to Quit Since Disputed Firings": This front page article will appear Tuesday in The Washington Post.

The New York Times on Tuesday will report that "Gonzales's Deputy Quits Justice Department."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Deputy attorney general resigns."
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Navy lawyer on trial for leaking names": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald provides this news update.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"After 5 Years, Padilla Goes on Trial in Terror Case": This article will appear Tuesday in The New York Times.

And The Miami Herald provides a news update headlined "Padilla jury hears vastly different sides."
Posted at 11:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo Detainees' Suit Challenges Fairness of Military's Repeat Hearings": Tuesday's edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "The military system of determining whether detainees are properly held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, includes an unusual practice: If Pentagon officials disagree with the result of a hearing, they order a second one, or even a third, until they approve of the finding."
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawsuit Tests Legal Status of Gay Unions": The New York Times on Tuesday will contain an article that begins, "Connecticut's highest court became the first in the nation on Monday to hear arguments over whether the establishment of civil unions created a fundamentally inferior status for gays and lesbians."
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Trial Opens for Former 'Enemy Combatant' Padilla"; "Navy Lawyer's Guantanamo Leak Trial Begins"; "Bush Announces Plan to Cut Gas Use, Emissions"; and "Deputy U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty Resigns" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "Shop Owner Appeals Sex Toys Case" begins, "The owner of adult stores in Alabama asked the Supreme Court on Monday to throw out a state ban on selling sex toys, calling it an unconstitutional intrusion into the bedroom."

I discussed this case in installments of my "On Appeal" column for law.com headlined "'Lawrence' Fails to Open Floodgates to Unfettered Sexual Freedom" and "11th Circuit's Abuzz With Sex Toy Litigation."

And in other news, "Student Settles With Hawaiian School" and "Arguments in Federal Gas Mileage Suit."
Posted at 09:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court restores Arizona man's death sentence": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

And Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Supreme Court rejects death row appeal."
Posted at 08:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Deputy A.G. McNulty Announces Resignation": The Washington Post provides this news update.

The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Deputy Attorney General Resigns His Post."

The Associated Press reports that "McNulty, Justice Dept. No. 2, Resigning."

Reuters reports that "Gonzales deputy resigns from Justice Department."

And Bloomberg News reports that "McNulty, No. 2 Justice Department Official, to Resign."

You can view the resignation letter at this link. Also available online is the "Statement of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on the Resignation of Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mcnulty."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Detainees' respond to new U.S. filings": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 04:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ford Gets New Review of $55 Million Rollover Award": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.

And James Vicini of Reuters reports that "U.S. top court rejects hearing for death row inmate." Reuters also reports that "US top court won't review Amgen patent dispute case."
Posted at 04:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Trial Begins for Accused Al-Qaida Operative": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 04:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Suit on Kamehameha admissions dropped": The Honolulu Advertiser provides this news update, along with related items headlined "Officials begin reacting to Kamehameha settlement" and "Timeline for challenge to schools' admissions policy."

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin provides a news update headlined "Student drops lawsuit against Kamehameha Schools; The school says a settlement preserves its admission policy for native Hawaiians."

Kamehameha Schools today issued a news release titled "Kamehameha Schools and 'John Doe' Settle Admissions Lawsuit; Confidential Agreement Preserves Policy Offering Admissions Preference to Native Hawaiians."
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Extremist Taunts His Victims From Prison": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Victims of Eric Rudolph, the anti-abortion extremist who pulled off a series of bombings across the South, say he is taunting them from deep within the nation's most secure federal prison, and authorities say there is little they can do to stop him."
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman


U.S. Supreme Court posts online proposed amendments to its procedural rules: You can view the proposed amendments at this link. Most notably, the Court proposes replacing many page limits with word limits, requiring electronic filing of briefs in addition to paper copies, and requiring that printed briefs use the font that the Court itself uses in its published opinions.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Electronic briefs probably will be required." And law.com's Tony Mauro previewed many of these proposed changes in his Courtside column last week (third item).
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jane Roberts' Pillsbury departure": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 03:17 PM by Howard Bashman


Like deja vu all over again, the First Circuit affirms federal death sentence against Gary Lee Sampson: Last Thursday, I linked here to an article published that day in The Boston Globe headlined "Sampson's death sentence is upheld; Appeals court takes rare step to seal ruling."

That article begins, "A federal appeals court has upheld the death sentence of Gary Lee Sampson, an Abington man who confessed to killing three New England men during a weeklong murder rampage in July 2001. In an unusual step, the three-judge panel, which rendered its opinion on Monday, sealed the judgment for seven days to give prosecutors and defense lawyers the opportunity to redact any language both sides agree should be kept confidential."

Today, like clockwork, the First Circuit posted online its ruling from last Monday affirming the death sentence. I haven't take the time to see whether any redactions are apparent.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "Bush Sets Deadline for Emissions Effort" begins, "President Bush responded Monday to a Supreme Court ruling by ordering federal agencies to find a way to begin regulating vehicle emissions by the time he leaves office."

And in other news from The AP, "Court Turns Down Amgen Patent Appeal"; "Jose Padilla Trial Opens in Miami"; and "Ex-Navy Lawyer on Trial in Gitmo Case."
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



Crime suspect who sought to terminate police questioning by exclaiming "I plead the fifth" wins opportunity to plead his case before fifteen Ninth Circuit judges: On November 8, 2006, I had a post titled "Of Beethoven, of vodka, or of the Bill of Rights containing the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution?" that begins:
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that if a criminal suspect indicates in any manner during custodial questioning that he wishes to remain silent, interrogation must cease. Today a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit resolves whether a criminal defendant's statement, during an interrogation, that "I plead the fifth" is sufficient to invoke the right to remain silent. Complicating this question, the appeal arises in the habeas context challenging a state court conviction and is governed by the federal law whose acronym is AEDPA. The majority, in a decision that you can access here, affirms the federal district court's denial of habeas relief.
Today, the Ninth Circuit issued an order granting rehearing en banc in the case.
Posted at 12:54 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit rejects law firm's Dispute Resolution Program, culminating in final and binding arbitration of most employment-related claims by and against its employees, as unconscionable under California law: A unanimous three-judge panel today delivered this loss to the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers.
Posted at 12:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judges who sought part-time status still carry big loads": The Providence Journal today contains an article that begins, "In back-to-back announcements in March 2006, the only Rhode Islander on the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and the chief federal judge in Rhode Island said they would step down from full-time service by the end of that year. Fourteen months later, those vacancies remain unfilled."
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Navy Lawyer on Trial for Leaking Info" and "Cyclist Landis Gets Hearing in Doping Case."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Hawaii schools case dismissed": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "A significant test case in the Supreme Court on racial preferences in admissions to private schools has now been dismissed by agreement of the two sides."

Last month, syndicated columnist James J. Kilpatrick had this essay about the case.

And recently, two bloggers at "Balkinization" offered competing views of the case (see here and here).

My earlier coverage of the Ninth Circuit's 110-page en banc ruling in this case can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gay Couples Ask Conn. Court for Marriage": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"As I am inclined to think the Court meant what it said, I believe that neither Blakely nor Booker created a new rule, but merely applied the rule already laid down in Apprendi. The rule from Booker should therefore apply retroactively to habeas petitioners, like the Valentines, whose convictions became final after the Court issued its decision in Apprendi." So writes Circuit Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr., dissenting in part from a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today.

Doug Berman notes the decision here at his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog.
Posted at 10:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Terrorism Suspects And The Law": Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay in today's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Explorer Rollover Award Must Be Reviewed": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court ordered a state appeals court Monday to review a decision giving $82.6 million to a woman who was paralyzed after her Ford Explorer rolled over. The justices want a California appeals court to determine if its ruling is in line with the Supreme Court decision overturning a $79.5 punitive damages award in a tobacco case earlier this year."

And in other coverage from the U.S. Supreme Court, The AP reports that "Death Row Inmate in Arizona Loses Appeal" and "Court Won't Take Enron Barge Case."
Posted at 10:19 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court: no grants, one decision." Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

The one argued case in which the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion today is Schriro v. Landrigan, No. 05-1575. You can access the 5-4 ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link. Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court, in which the Chief Justice and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined. Justice John Paul Stevens issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Breyer joined.

You can access today's Order List, which includes one call for the views of the Solicitor General, at this link.
Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"When Should a Judge Face Discipline for What an Opinion Says?" Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Jailing of reporters chills free flow of information; Proposed shield law would enable journalists to protect their sources": This editorial appears today in USA Today.

In response, Bruce Fein has an op-ed entitled "Privilege obstructs justice; Investigative reporting flourishes, despite lack of federal shield law."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Giuliani: Abortion wouldn't factor into picks for court." USA Today contains this article today.

And The Wall Street Journal recently published an editorial entitled "Rudy and the Right -- Just what Republicans don't need: an abortion brawl."
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gitmo, Justice--and justice": This editorial appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Honk for peace' case tests limits on free speech": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

The article focuses on a January 2007 ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that I first noted here.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Border case puts U.S. attorney on defensive; Johnny Sutton prosecuted a pair of agents who shot a fleeing Mexican smuggler; Conservatives are up in arms": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Execution rules still inhumane": This editorial appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Marriage Vs. Civil Unions: State Supreme Court Hears Testimony Today On Whether Same-Sex Couples May Wed." Lynne Tuohy has this article today in The Hartford Courant.

The Supreme Court of Connecticut provides this summary of the case.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"New York Plan for DNA Data in Most Crimes": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Padilla trial to begin, minus the 'dirty bomb' talk": This article appears today in USA Today.

And Reuters reports that "U.S. jury to get preview in Padilla terrorism case."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Cutting the Grass: Congressional Democrats prepare another assault on the First Amendment." John Fund has this essay online today at OpinionJournal.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Alito touts Constitution's lessons at Hampden-Sydney": The Associated Press provides this report.

And The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "Associate justice cites document's universal truths about mankind; Constitution offers life lessons, Alito says."
Posted at 07:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Feingold Versus the Law": The New York Sun today contains an editorial that begins, "So Senator Feingold of Wisconsin, a foe of the federal death penalty, is stalling the elevation of the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Roslynn Mauskopf, to the federal bench."
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from The New Republic: Benjamin Wittes has an essay entitled "No Comparison: Alberto Gonzales digs himself a deeper hole."

And Christine Stansell has an essay entitled "Partial Law: A lost history of abortion."
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman



Sunday, May 13, 2007

"The Nation's Borders, Now Guarded by the Net": In Monday's edition of The New York Times, Adam Liptak will have this "Sidebar" column (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link).
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Chicago Cubs 4, Philadelphia Phillies 1: A strong outing from Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly thwarted the Phillies' hope for a three-game sweep against their National League rival from Chicago. Lilly only gave up one run over eight innings, and his slow curve managed to buckle the knees of more than one opposing batter.

Phillies pitcher John Lieber was almost Lilly's equal, likewise giving up only one earned run over eight strong innings. Unfortunately, the unearned run that scored while Lieber was on the mound caused him to take the loss.

Next up for the Phillies is a four-game series against the central division-leading Milwaukee Brewers, who lost two out of three games in a weekend series against the New York Mets. I'm scheduled to attend this Thursday afternoon's business person's special.

Today's Phillies box score can be accessed at this link, while wraps are available here and here.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals": The Washington Post on Monday will contain an article that begins, "Nearly half the U.S. attorneys slated for removal by the administration last year were targets of Republican complaints that they were lax on voter fraud, including efforts by presidential adviser Karl Rove to encourage more prosecutions of election- law violations, according to new documents and interviews."
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Two Immigrants Say U.S. Agents Drugged Them": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of "Weekend Edition Sunday."
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Openings Set in Padilla Terror Trial": The Associated Press provides this report.

Monday in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey will have articles headlined "A first look at US case against Padilla; The trial begins Monday in US court for the American -- and alleged terror conspirator -- held for five years" and "Reporters face unusual limits at Padilla terror trial; Security officers might prevent reporters from asking questions of defense lawyers or federal prosecutors under certain circumstances."

And CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has an essay entitled "Padilla Trial Won't Be Worth The Wait; Don't Expect Much New Information From Terror Trial."
Posted at 08:53 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Kennedy: The Highly Influential Man in the Middle; Court's 5 to 4 Decisions Underscore His Power." Robert Barnes has this front page article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Primer on detainees' status now -- Part II": Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Padilla case has changed a lot in 5 years; The trial of the onetime 'dirty bomb' suspect is opening; An alleged jihad application may be key": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Judge in Padilla case comes under pressure."
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"A 42-year rush to justice: The indictment of an Alabama trooper for the 1965 fatal shooting of a black man may be more a case of current-day politics than upholding legal standards." David J. Garrow has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Accused of Ethics Violation": The New York Times contains this article today.

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Holding Accomplices Accountable": This editorial, arguing in favor of U.S. Supreme Court review in an Enron-related case, appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, May 12, 2007

"Couples Enter New Terrain in Push for Gay Marriage in Connecticut": The New York Times on Sunday will contain an article that begins, "When the Connecticut legislature approved civil unions three years ago, gay rights advocates viewed it as only a half-victory, a kind of pit stop in their quest for same-sex marriage. On Monday, lawyers representing eight same-sex couples will take up the second half of the fight in oral arguments before the Connecticut Supreme Court, where they will tell the judges that civil unions essentially create a 'separate and unequal' status for gay men and lesbians."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"A police review describes flaws in Duke rape case; Durham's city manager regrets that three exonerated lacrosse players had to travel a 'tortured path to justice'": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina today contains an article headlined "Chief's take on Duke case tanks; Durham Mayor Bill Bell and council members called the police department's self-review lacking; They want another opinion."

And The Durham Herald-Sun contains articles headlined "Mayor seeks probe of Duke investigation" and "Student official: University must review policy."

You can also access online the Durham Police report on the Duke lacrosse case and the Durham Police Department's eyewitness identification procedures.
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Biskupic is antithesis of a politician": Today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, columnist Mike Nichols has an op-ed that begins, "You know that kind of nerdy, strait-laced guy in your office, the one with plenty of experience and smarts who, everyone knows, will never, ever be smooth and political enough to get the chance to run the place? That's Steve Biskupic. Only the thing is, when the U.S. attorney's job opened up last time, everyone was wrong."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court puts murder case on hold; Push to move black man's trial from nearly all-white county": This article appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And The Lake County Record Bee reported yesterday that "Hughes case stalled in state's Supreme Court."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Trial set for Google ad trademark case": Reuters provides this report.

And earlier this month, The Chicago Tribune published an article headlined "Trademark battlefield: Some companies filing lawsuits against search engines argue ad sales generated from registered names are infringing on trademark rights."

Also available online is a press release issued yesterday titled "Google to Face First Jury Trial Over its 'Adwords' Keywords Search Program; Critical Trademark Case to Be Heard in November."
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-U.S. Attorney Questions Own Firing": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A former West Virginia federal prosecutor said Friday the White House fired him in 2005 in the middle of a corruption and vote-buying investigation but never told him why."
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reporters won't have to testify in death row case; Lawyers for Marion murderer wanted journalists to recall botched execution": This article appears today in The Ocala Star-Banner.

And The St. Petersburg Times reports today that "Judge stops effort to subpoena reporters."
Posted at 01:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Decision on District's gun laws just for city": The Washington Times today contains an article that begins, "Legal analysts and advocates from both sides of the gun debate say the court's decision to overturn the District's handgun ban will have little impact nationwide, regardless of the outcome of a possible Supreme Court battle. While other cities such as New York and Chicago have stringent gun-control measures, only Washington and San Francisco have passed laws completely banning gun ownership and sales."
Posted at 01:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Caricature and handwritten notes from the 7th Circuit conference": Ann Althouse has this post at her blog, "Althouse."
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Coakley to fight for gay marriage; Vows challenge if amendment OK'd": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Attorney General Martha Coakley said last night that if Massachusetts voters were to approve a ban on same-sex marriages, she would back any efforts to challenge the measure on constitutional grounds."

And The Associated Press reports that "Coakley warns anti-gay marriage law may be unconstitutional."
Posted at 01:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fighting for Free Speech in Schools": Reynolds Holding will have this article in the May 21, 2007 issue of Time magazine.
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Inside the Scandal at Justice": The May 21, 2007 issue of Time magazine will contain this lengthy article.
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Artificial Sweetener Makers Reach Settlement on Slogan": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"N.J. justice is accused of abusing his position; The Supreme Court's Roberto Rivera-Soto improperly intervened in his son's dispute with a Haddonfield football player, an ethics filing says": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Newark Star-Ledger reports today that "Conduct panel hits high-court justice with ethics charge; Alleges Rivera-Soto misused post to aid son."

The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, New Jersey reports that "Haddonfield's Justice Rivera-Soto faces ethics case."

And The Associated Press reports that "Conduct panel files complaint against NJ Supreme Court justice."

You can access the judicial misconduct complaint at this link.
Posted at 01:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Colleagues Cite Partisan Focus by Justice Official": The New York Times contains this article today, along with an editorial entitled "A Feeble Performance."

The Washington Post reports today that "Judge Gives Immunity to Gonzales Aide."

And law.com reports that "All Eyes on Monica Goodling; With Gonzales testimony complete, Capitol Hill probe to shift gears."
Posted at 12:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Florida decides to discipline an appellate judge for his reasoning in an opinion." This post appears today at "Have Opinion, Will Travel."
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Justices Breyer & Alito on Federal Judicial Compensation": If you missed last Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America & the Courts," you can view the program online, on-demand by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 12:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Public service isn't a sacrifice, says Fitzgerald, accepting Cox-Richardson-Coleman Award": Late last month, the Harvard Law School issued a news release that begins, "Patrick Fitzgerald '85, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and special prosecutor in the investigation of the leaking of the identity of former CIA officer Valerie Plame, received Harvard Law School's Cox-Richardson-Coleman Award for distinguished public service yesterday."

You can view a webcast of the event by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Final Stretch: Inside the Landis Doping Defense; This week, in an unusual public airing of a performance-enhancing-drug case, the cyclist will try to persuade a panel -- and the world -- the system is flawed." This article (free access) appears today in The Wall Street Journal. According to the article, the arbitration will take place in "a wood-paneled mock appellate courtroom at Pepperdine University's law school in Malibu."

Recently, Pepperdine Law students used that courtroom to reenact the U.S. Supreme Court's oral argument in Morse v. Frederick. Click here to view the video (Windows Media Player required) and see whether your favorite Justices look anything like their reenactors.
Posted at 12:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Crisis in Pakistan Over Judge Turns Violent": The New York Times provides a news update that begins, "At least 17 people were killed and scores injured in Karachi today in clashes set off by the arrival of the chief justice of Pakistan's Supreme Court, suspended by President Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani interior minister said. The death toll is expected to rise."
Posted at 12:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Won't Limit Detainees' Visits With Attorneys": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The Justice Department yesterday withdrew one of its proposals to tighten restrictions on lawyers representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but said it would continue to press a federal appeals court for other limitations on the lawyers."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Primer on detainees' status now -- Part I."
Posted at 07:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"When Should a Judge Face Discipline for What an Opinion Says?" The brand-new installment of my weekly "On Appeal" essay for law.com can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:12 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, May 11, 2007

"Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito '75 Judges YLS Moot Court Finals": Yale Law School issued this news release earlier this week.
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Precedent's proper role": In this post at "Balkinization," Jack M. Balkin writes that he agrees with Justice Clarence Thomas: "Precedents that are not reasonable implementations of the original meaning of the constitutional text and its underlying principles deserve no special respect and should be discarded."
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Should the Law Recognize Grandparents' Changing Roles?" Solangel Maldonado has this post at "Concurring Opinions."
Posted at 08:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"More on Jane Roberts' New Job": Tony Mauro has this follow-up post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 06:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices OK 1925(b) Changes": The Legal Intelligencer of Philadelphia provides this news update on a rule change of note to attorneys who handle appeals in Pennsylvania state courts.

You can access the rule as amended and advisory committee note at this link, while the order adopting the amended rule is here.

The pre-amendment Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925(b) was the subject of two "Upon Further Review" columns that I wrote for The Legal Intelligencer. They were headlined "Pa. Supreme Court Rejects Opportunity To Relax Its Harsh Appellate Waiver Jurisprudence" and "Waiving Goodbye To Your Best Issues On Appeal."
Posted at 05:57 PM by Howard Bashman



Talk about saccharine -- Equal settles with Splenda: The Associated Press reports that "Splenda Settles With Equal Over Claims."

And Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer provides a news update headlined "Makers of Splenda, Equal Settle Lawsuit."
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



In Las Vegas state court, one judge bans another from the courthouse: The Las Vegas Review Journal today contains an article headlined "Judge Halverson banned from courthouse" that begins, "The District Court chief judge on Thursday banned District Judge Elizabeth Halverson from the county courthouse. In an administrative order, Chief Judge Kathy Hardcastle said Halverson jeopardized security at the courthouse this week by bringing her own two bodyguards into the courthouse and allowing them to bypass security checks."

You can access the online bio of the banned judge at this link.

Thanks to "Harmful Error" for the pointer.
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fla. Judge Tosses Reporter Subpoenas": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A judge on Friday rejected a request from a death row inmate's attorneys to force testimony and get notes from four journalists who covered a botched execution late last year. Circuit Judge Carven Angel ruled that the attorneys for death row inmate Ian Deco Lightbourne must first seek information from some of the 19 other people who witnessed the execution of Angel Diaz, whose death took 34 minutes - twice as long as normal."
Posted at 03:04 PM by Howard Bashman


In actuality, the sentence of imprisonment was for one year and one day: The Charlotte Observer today contains an article headlined "Court upholds Shortt sentence; Doctor gave steroids to Panthers players."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fourth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Second Kates": At National Review Online, Fred Thompson has an essay that begins, "If you care about constitutional law, and everybody should, the big news is that it looks as if the Supreme Court is going to hear a Second Amendment case some time next year."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"More lawyer visits to detainees?" Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Available from Salon.com: Frances Kissling has an essay entitled "Why I won't stay silent anymore: By upholding the ban on 'partial-birth' abortion, the Supreme Court has injected rigid Catholic teaching into law; That's a crime against the Constitution and women."

Joe Conason has an essay entitled "Poor, poor Gonzales: Republicans, many of whom seem too dense to comprehend the damage he's inflicting on the Justice Department, express sympathy for the attorney general's ordeal."

Mark Benjamin and Walter Shapiro have an essay entitled "'All roads lead to the White House': As Alberto Gonzales returns to Capitol Hill to testify, the whodunit at the heart of the U.S. attorneys scandal remains."

And Garrett Epps has an essay entitled "Karl Rove's big election-fraud hoax: Republican manipulation of the polls long predates the U.S. attorneys plot -- and the U.S. voting system needs an overhaul."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Law Prof Calls for Gonzales' Impeachment": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of the public radio program "Here & Now."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"New Job for Mrs. Roberts": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "Lawyer Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. has a new job -- and it's not at a law firm."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cuba Accuses U.S. of Violating Treaties": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Cuba accused the U.S. government on Friday of violating international anti-terrorism treaties by allowing Luis Posada Carriles, a man Havana accuses of violent acts against the country, to walk free of all charges after an immigration indictment against him was dropped."
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Finally, we find no merit to Thibodeau's argument that because the presumption of death in civil statutes specify time periods, criminal statutes by implication must as well in order to satisfy due process." So says a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today, in rejecting a state prisoner's habeas corpus appeal challenging as unconstitutionally vague a New York State statute that allows a jury to presume a kidnapping victim dead if the victim hasn't been heard from since the time of abduction. You can access the ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman


Objectors to new flight paths at the Fort Lauderdale airport achieve victory in the D.C. Circuit: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link. And via Google Maps, you can see an aerial view of the runways.
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman


The General Counsel of FERC is Moot: Perhaps this news will allow federal appellate courts to avoid deciding FERC-related cases, which I have previously described as "exceptionally complicated and exceedingly boring."
Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales Gets Gentler Reception in House Visit": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ruse to get suspect's DNA upheld -- 'very scary,' privacy expert says": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

And The Seattle Times reports today that "Court backs ruse to get DNA."

My earlier coverage, linking to the opinions that the Supreme Court of Washington State issued yesterday, appears at this link.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Perhaps former Senator Santorum was right after all? The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington yesterday published an article headlined "Jurors reject dog-sex claim" that begins, "Michael Patrick McPhail might be the first person ever charged under a state law making bestiality a felony, but he won't be the first person convicted of it. A Pierce County jury acquitted McPhail on Wednesday of first-degree animal cruelty. Prosecutors had contended McPhail had sex with the family dog in October." Earlier, the newspaper reported that "Jury selection starts in case of man accused of bestiality."

And The Associated Press reports that "Jury acquits first man charged under bestiality law."

Earlier entries in this blog's recurring "man on dog" series can be accessed here, here, here, and here.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"The U.S. government vs. Posada Carriles: Federal judge had ample grounds to dismiss charges." This editorial appears today in The Miami Herald.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, columnist Rosa Brooks has an op-ed entitled "The terrorist we tolerate: The administration's botched handling of Luis Posada Carriles says a lot about Bush's so-called war on terror."

And in The Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson has an op-ed entitled "Free Ride for a Likely Killer."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"$2.75 million award for damages": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A San Francisco jury has awarded $2.75 million in damages to the family of a woman who died of lung cancer after smoking cigarettes for 26 years, an award less than one-seventh the amount of a previous verdict that was overturned on appeal."
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Exits of two U.S. attorneys didn't slow probes of GOP lawmakers, sources say; Carol Lam in San Diego and Debra Wong Yang in L.A. reportedly had no direct involvement in the investigations": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article headlined "McKay: Attorney General Gonzales must go; 2 fired prosecutors talk of 'dark cloud' over Justice Dept." In addition, columnist Joe Connelly has an op-ed entitled "Lapses in memory, sagging morale symptoms of what ails Justice."

And The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that "Biskupic was late add-on to firing list; U.S. attorney had low rating, Wisconsin representative says."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pentagon charges Bin Laden's former driver; Salim Ahmed Hamdan is to be tried before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg reports that "Driver for bin Laden to face charges; The Pentagon renewed a terrorism case against Osama bin Laden's driver, resurrecting the conspiracy charge that he challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."

And in The New York Times, Clyde Haberman's "NYC" column is headlined "In Defense of the Right to a Defense" (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link).
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney general frustrates Democrats; Gonzales deflects most questions about prosecutor resignations and firings in House testimony": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

The Washington Times reports today that "Gonzales hearing long on theatrics."

McClatchy Newspapers report that "White House sought investigations of voter fraud allegations before elections."

And today in The Washington Post, Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "Another Hearing, Another Chance to Say Nothing."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"4 reporters subpoenaed; A death row inmate wants their testimony about an execution they witnessed": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

And The Associated Press reports that "Journalists subpoenaed in inmate's lethal injection challenge."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Giuliani's bumbling on right-to-die issue": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Forget abortion rights. The opinions Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has now expressed on the right-to-die case of Terri Schiavo make him look both unprincipled and out of touch. That's a clumsy combination."

And today in The Washington Post, columnist Charles Krauthammer has an op-ed entitled "Giuliani's Abortion 'Gaffe'" that begins, "Legalizing abortion by judicial fiat (Roe v. Wade) instead of by democratic means has its price. One is that the issue remains socially unsettled. People take to the streets when they have been deprived of resort to legislative action. The other effect is to render the very debate hopelessly muddled. Instead of discussing what a decent society owes women and what it owes soon-to-be-born infants, and trying to balance the two by politically hammering out regulations that a broad national consensus can support, we debate the constitutional niceties of a 35-year-old, appallingly crafted Supreme Court decision."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gun laws carry on despite reversal": The Washington Times today contains an article that begins, "Significant gun laws dating back to the 1930s remain in the D.C. Code despite a recent federal court decision that overturned sections of the District's 30-year-old ban on handguns. For example, even if the gun ban is overturned, it will continue to be against the law to carry a gun outside the home in the District. Machine guns and sawed-off shotguns will remain illegal, gun sales by anyone other than a licensed dealer will still be prohibited, drug addicts and convicted felons will continue to be barred from buying or possessing guns, and it will still be against the law for unlicensed gun owners to possess ammunition."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Landmark Case Loses 2nd Judge; Sullivan Joins Chief Justice In Bowing Out Of Hearing Debate On Same-Sex Marriage": Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, "Senior Justice William J. Sullivan has removed himself from the panel of justices scheduled to hear arguments Monday in Connecticut's landmark same-sex marriage case."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court rules sex through use of fraud is not rape": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "A Hampden County man who allegedly tricked his brother's girlfriend into having sex with him by impersonating his sibling in the middle of the night cannot be convicted of rape, the state's highest court ruled yesterday in a controversial decision that affirms the court's long-held view that sex obtained through fraud is no crime."

And The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts reports today that "Impersonator avoids rape rap."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Panel acts to outlaw executions in Jersey; Fervent testimony precedes 8-2 vote": The Newark Star-Ledger contains this article today.

The New York Times reports today that "Panel Seeks End of New Jersey's Death Penalty."

And The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that "N.J. lawmakers act against death penalty."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Shots Fired at Residence of Aide to Pakistan's Ousted Chief Judge": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Kennedy takes significant spot in the center; He wields crucial tiebreaking vote in Supreme Court": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Angel Raich drops medical pot case": Today in The Oakland Tribune, Josh Richman has an article that begins, "Oakland medical marijuana patient and activist Angel Raich dropped her lawsuit against the federal government Thursday, ending a five-year legal odyssey which had taken her all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Medical pot advocates suffer court setbacks; One case dropped; ruling bars defense claim in second."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"The media panels": At the blog "Stubborn Facts," Simon Dodd has this incredibly detailed post about Monday morning's panels at this week's Seventh Circuit Judicial Conference. Update: Ann Althouse discusses Simon's post at this link.

"Baseball Crank" provides a post titled "Blog to the Chief."

And at law.com's "Legal Blog Watch" site, Robert J. Ambrogi has a post titled "Bashman: A Life Story."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Michigan judges move closer to the bench; Three appointments to the federal court in Grand Rapids may get Senate confirmation": This article appears today in The Detroit News.

The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Judge's nomination heads to U.S. Senate."

And Booth Newspapers report that "Michigan judge questioned."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush's latest pick for Appeals Court grilled by senators": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, "Leslie Southwick's nomination to a federal court seat ran into potential trouble Thursday from congressional Democrats disturbed by his record on civil rights and gay rights. Southwick, a retired Mississippi Court of Appeals judge, is President Bush's choice for a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Democrats Push Gonzales on Attorney Dismissals": This article will appear Friday in The New York Times.

The Washington Post on Friday will report that "House GOP Stands Behind Gonzales; New Details of White House Pressure to Fire U.S. Attorneys Do Not Sway Republicans." The newspaper has also posted online this transcript of the Attorney General's testimony.

And C-SPAN has posted at this link the afternoon session of the testimony.
Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "Splenda's Not Equal, But Is It Separate From Sugar? Deliberations start today in battle of sweeteners."

And in other news, "Some Fla. Criminal Defense Lawyers Take Aim at Beleaguered Judiciary Via Web Log."
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"House Panel Presses Gonzales on Attorney Firings": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online at "SCOTUSblog": Lyle Denniston has posts titled "An expansive interpretation of abortion ruling" and "New developments on detainees."

That blog today also offers a post titled "'Ask the Author': Supreme Discomfort, Part 2."
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pentagon re-charges bin Laden's driver": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald provides this news update. My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Alberto Gonzales, Zen Master: The attorney general jiujitsus Congress with a smile." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Police tricking man into giving up DNA is upheld": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer provides this news update.

And The Seattle Times provides a news update headlined "Court upholds murder conviction based on DNA from envelope."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"This morning at the CLE, Howard Bashman's name came up at least twice. The first speaker to mention him even said she started her morning with biscuits and Bashman." So writes "E. McPan" today in this post today at "The Dirty Life & Times of E. McPan."
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Democrats question Southwick's civil rights record": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi provides a news update that begins, "Leslie Southwick's nomination to a federal court seat ran into potential trouble today from congressional Democrats disturbed by his record on civil rights and gay rights. Southwick, a retired Mississippi Court of Appeals judge, is President Bush's choice for a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. At a confirmation hearing today, Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee focused on some of the decisions Southwick made during his dozen years on the state bench."
Posted at 06:08 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Democrats Grill Gonzales on Firings" and "Reporters Subpoenaed in Fla. Execution."
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales Goes Before Congress": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of the public radio program "Here & Now."
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pentagon charges Hamdan, prepares terror trial": Reuters provides a report that begins, "The Pentagon on Thursday charged Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the Guantanamo prisoner whose lawsuit derailed the Bush administration's original terror trial plan, with conspiracy and material support for terrorism. The Defense Department said Hamdan served as Osama bin Laden's bodyguard and driver and that he transported and delivered weapons and other supplies to al Qaeda members and associates."

And The Associated Press reports that "U.S. Charges Suspected Bin Laden Driver."

Today's news release from the U.S. Department of Defense can be accessed here, while the charge sheet is at this link.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"House Judiciary Committee Gets Its Turn With Gonzales Over Attorney Firings": law.com provides this news update.
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Labels 2003 Leaked Memo 'Sensitive'": The Associated Press provides this report about a case now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Posted at 04:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Paying the Judicial Piper": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales Appears Before House Committee": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Gonzales Testifies on U.S. Attorney Firings."

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Gonzales testifies before House Judiciary Committee."

And online today at National Journal, Murray Waas has an article headlined "Administration Withheld E-Mails About Rove."

C-SPAN has posted the video of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales' testimony from this morning before the House Judiciary Committee at this link (RealPlayer required). When his afternoon testimony becomes available online, I will link to that too.
Posted at 03:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Literary Battle Fatigue: The Army can regulate soldiers' blogs and letters--but it shouldn't." Phillip Carter has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"This appeal challenges a decision to apply Mexican law in a suit alleging tortious interference with a contract for the services of a Mexican soap opera star." So begins a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today. The three-judge panel unanimously concludes that the federal district court should have applied Florida law, rather than Mexican law, to decide the dispute.
Posted at 03:23 PM by Howard Bashman


Doctor who pleaded guilty to providing anabolic steroids and human growth hormone to NFL players has his sentencing challenge rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: You can access today's ruling at this link.

In earlier coverage, NFL.com reported that "Carolina steroids doctor sentenced to one year" and "Doctor enters guilty plea in steroids case." And The Associated Press reported that "Doctor Defends Prescriptions for Steroids."
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman



If you want to be able to vote to elect the President of the United States or be represented by voting members of the U.S. Congress, don't make your home in the U.S. Virgin Islands: A retired U.S. Marshal who worked in the continental United States before being transferred to work in the USVI thereafter became a permanent resident of that Territory. Today, in an opinion that you can access here, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirms the rejection of his various constitutional claims summarized in the title of this post.

The Third Circuit's ruling states that the court is adopting the attached ruling of the District Court of the Virgin Islands. However, in its current PDF format, the district court's ruling is not attached. Update: After this post originally appeared, the Third Circuit has re-posted the decision so that now the district court's ruling is in fact attached.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senator says he won't block Michigan judge from federal bench": The Detroit News provides an update that begins, "A Republican senator today questioned a nominee for an undermanned Michigan federal court over her attendance at a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple. But the senator, Republican Sam Brownback of Kansas, said he would allow the nomination of Janet Neff to go forward."

The Detroit Free Press provides a news update headlined "Mich. judge's federal judgeship nomination allowed to go forward."

And The Associated Press reports that "Brownback Won't Block Vote on Judge."
Posted at 02:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"New Questions for AG in Attorneys' Probe": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Despite Furor, Gonzales Likely to Stick Around": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman


U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) is now questioning U.S. District Court nominee Janet T. Neff about her attendance at a same-sex commitment ceremony: You can view the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing live, online by clicking here (RealPlayer required).

Update at 12:05 p.m. eastern time: The hearing has now concluded.
Posted at 11:49 AM by Howard Bashman



Divided Supreme Court of the State of Washington affirms murder conviction of defendant tricked into providing DNA sample by police investigators who were impersonating lawyers: Today's ruling in State of Washington v. John Nicholas Athan consists of a majority opinion, a concurring opinion, and two dissenting opinions (here and here).

In May 2003, The Associated Press published an article headlined "New Trick By Cops Closes Old Case" that begins, "Not long ago, John Nicholas Athan got an official-looking letter about a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of people who had been overcharged on parking tickets. If he wanted to take part in the case, he was told, he had to sign and return the enclosed form. He licked the self-addressed envelope, sent it back and waited to hear if he would get any money. In truth, there was no lawsuit - but there was DNA. The letter was part of ruse devised by detectives to get a sample of Athan's DNA and connect him to a slaying that had gone unsolved for nearly 21 years."

In earlier coverage, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published articles headlined "Police ruse case argued before state's highest court; Convicted murderer says officers broke law with DNA trick" and "Police ruse illegal, lawyer says; Murder suspect didn't know he was supplying a DNA sample." And in February 2004, John R. Muenster had an op-ed in The Seattle Times entitled "DNA-case ruses damage integrity of legal system."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"GOP Pushes Pace on Nominations": Roll Call today contains an article (subscription required) that begins, "Senators overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to confirm their third federal appellate court nominee of the 110th Congress, just days after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) privately told Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that he might trip up the Democrats' floor agenda over stalled judicial nominations."
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"McKay: White House had us fired." The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "Two former U.S. attorneys said Wednesday they believe the White House had them fired along with six other federal prosecutors, and that ongoing investigations into the dismissals could result in criminal charges against senior Justice Department officials."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Fired U.S. attorneys call for investigation; McKay, 2 others fear 'chilling effect.'"

Earlier this morning, I linked here to additional, related news coverage.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman



View live, online today's testimony of U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales before the House Judiciary Committee: You can access the live, online feed of the hearing, which is due to get underway at any moment now, by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush's 5th Circuit pick faces Senate scrutiny today": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, "Leslie Southwick, President Bush's latest choice to fill a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is likely to face tough questioning - and perhaps Democratic opposition - at his confirmation hearing today. That would be in line with the experience of two previous candidates for the seat, Judge Charles Pickering and Jackson lawyer Mike Wallace. Neither was confirmed, but Pickering got a one-year appointment to the job. That appointment expired in December 2004. Some of the same groups that opposed the nominations of Pickering and Wallace to the New Orleans-based appellate court are questioning Southwick's rulings on the Mississippi Court of Appeals, where he served nearly a dozen years before retiring last year."

Elsewhere, The Detroit Free Press today contains an article headlined "Gay marriage issue still clouds judge vote" that begins, "Her nomination blocked last year by a conservative senator, Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet Neff goes before a U.S. Senate committee today apparently facing the same issue that dogged her appointment to the federal bench a year ago. Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas told Congressional Quarterly for a story Wednesday that he still wants to know Neff's feelings regarding gay marriage when her confirmation for a western Michigan judgeship comes up before the Senate Judiciary Committee."

And The Grand Rapids Press reported yesterday that "Judicial nominee to face Senate committee."

Today's judicial confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee for these judicial nominees is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m., and once it begins you can view the hearing live, online by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"ACLU challenges courtroom-oath rules; Group's attorney says Bible shouldn't be only religious text allowed": The Associated Press provides this report from North Carolina.

And The Raleigh News & Observer reported yesterday that "Judge may rule on 'Holy Scriptures' law."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion ban case to reopen; Utah law has been on hold, but Supreme Court ruling likely to clear the way": Yesterday's edition of The Salt Lake Tribune contained an article that begins, "A federal judge agreed Tuesday to reopen a case that put Utah's ban on so-called partial birth abortions on hold. The move by Judge Paul Cassell comes just a few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision upholding a nationwide ban on the rarely used late-term procedures."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pressure grows to prosecute Cuban exile; Dismissal of charge against admitted terrorist stirs outrage": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Charges dropped for Cuban militant; Critics see double standard on terrorism as U.S. judge tosses charges for man tied to airline bombing that killed 73."

And The Miami Herald reports that "Feds will let Posada return to Miami as a free man; U.S. immigration authorities chose not to detain Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles, who is expected back in Miami by this weekend."
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Stetson University law student was arrested after she drove over a man lying in the street Tuesday night and then headed home instead of calling for help, police said." So begins this article published today in The St. Petersburg Times. Sadly, the man lying in the street is dead, although the article is unclear whether the man died as a result of being run over by a Lexus SUV or was already dead before being run over by that automobile.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Placating the anti-gun crowd": Today in The Washington Times, Bob Barr has an op-ed that begins, "The relationship between the Bush administration and the pro-Second Amendment community has been lukewarm, at best."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sides gear up for gay-marriage vote; Lawmakers stall ballot decision until next month": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.

The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts reports today that "Gay-marriage vote postponed."

And The Boston Herald contains an article headlined "Gov on gay-wed votes: Let's make a deal."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sampson's death sentence is upheld; Appeals court takes rare step to seal ruling": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court has upheld the death sentence of Gary Lee Sampson, an Abington man who confessed to killing three New England men during a weeklong murder rampage in July 2001. In an unusual step, the three-judge panel, which rendered its opinion on Monday, sealed the judgment for seven days to give prosecutors and defense lawyers the opportunity to redact any language both sides agree should be kept confidential."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge in $65 Million Suit Might Keep Seat on Bench": Metro columnist Marc Fisher has this essay today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Good Fight: The District should ask the Supreme Court to save its gun law." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Giuliani, Mr. 9/11, Agonizes Over Abortion": Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson has this essay online today.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Crist to restart death penalty; The state's prison system changes clear the way for lethal injections": The St. Petersburg Times contains this article today.

Today's edition of The Tallahassee Democrat contains articles headlined "Crist ready for executions to resume" and "Official: Trained teams to perform lethal injection."

The Miami Herald reports that "Florida ready to resume executions."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that "State sticks with execution procedures; New training helps process, official insists."

The Palm Beach Post reports that "Changes to execution protocol won't include different drugs."

And Reuters reports that "Florida keeps drug cocktail for executions."

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, The Newark Star-Ledger reports today that "Senators weigh bill to outlaw execution; Case could be affected by Va. Tech, Fort Dix."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Prominent city attorney, negotiator Alan Davis dies": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Parents and District Settle Dispute on Teacher's Religious Remarks": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The Kearny Board of Education in New Jersey and the parents of Matthew LaClair, a 17-year-old junior at Kearny High School, settled their dispute on Tuesday night about a teacher who proselytized in class."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales Is Said to Seem Confident He Will Stay": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined "Missouri Prosecutor Says He Was Pushed to Resign." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "U.S. Attorneys, Reloaded."

The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "Number of Fired Prosecutors Grows; Dismissals Began Earlier Than Justice Dept. Has Said."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Gonzales likely to face new questions on firings; Lawmakers are expected to press him for details about the replacement of two other attorneys from key election states."

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Justice probe has a new target; Official has shaped response to uproar."

Bloomberg News reports that "Gonzales Is a Survivor as Bush Seeks to Minimize Political Risk."

And The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contains an editorial entitled "Trust but verify: We believe Steven Biskupic's motives in prosecuting a state employee were aboveboard; But the Justice Department still should surrender pertinent documents."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Death Penalty Is Barrier to Bench for Mauskopf": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The frequency with which the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn seeks the death penalty is emerging as an obstacle to her confirmation to the federal bench."
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"An 'Independent Attorney General'? In the Wake of the Controversy over U.S. Attorney Firings, the Next President Will Need to Set Guidelines for White House/Justice Department Interactions." Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Legal Victory by Militant Cuban Exile Brings Both Glee and Rage": This article will appear Thursday in The New York Times.

The Miami Herald provides a news update headlined "Posada will return to Miami as free man."

And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Posada Charges Dropped, Venezuela Fumes" (RealPlayer required).

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas at this link. Additional, related documents from the federal district court's file can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Tobacco Suit Yields Small Punitives Award": law.com provides this report from California.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Key lawmaker urges move of detainee trials from Guantanamo": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Ask the Author': Supreme Discomfort, Part 1." This post -- an interview with the authors of "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas" -- appears today at "SCOTUSblog." The authors' own web site to promote that book can be accessed here.
Posted at 09:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Few Fractious Furlongs to Go": Syndicated columnist James J. Kilpatrick has an essay that begins, "As May began, the Supreme Court had decided only 36 of the 88 cases it has heard since its term began last October. In terms of the Kentucky Derby, the court has almost five full furlongs still to go."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Law Clerks and Book Proposals" -- the final chapter for now: I recently linked here to this post at "Concurring Opinions."

Today, in a post you can access here, Emma Schwartz at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times" reports that the book proposal in question has been withdrawn.
Posted at 07:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Panel: Detainee Trials Could Take Years." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "It will take several years to complete military commission trials for 60 to 80 Guantanamo Bay detainees if the Bush administration decides to conduct that many, a House subcommittee was told Wednesday."
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman


By a vote of 91-0, the U.S. Senate has confirmed Debra Ann Livingston to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: You can view the official roll call vote tally at this link.

Update: U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued this statement regarding the confirmation.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers Face Less Access to Detainees; Government Seeks Protective Order on Communications": Lawrence Hurley has this article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney reprimanded for 'monkey' brief; Free-speech rights violated, Abbott says": This article appears today in The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales: Time to Move Past Firings." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is challenging a House panel to move past the furor over the firings of U.S. attorneys and allow the Justice Department to focus on its mission: fighting crime. In testimony prepared for his appearance on Capitol Hill Thursday, Gonzales also acknowledged that he should have been more personally involved in the process. He apologized for the way Justice handled the firings."

The Kansas City Star reports today that "Senator Bond’s office faulted Todd Graves; Staff raised possibility of replacing U.S. attorney as patronage questions arose."

And The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware yesterday contained an article headlined "Freebery says she's victim of Republican witch hunt; Filing cites investigation of U.S. attorney firings." Today's newspaper, meanwhile, contains an editorial entitled "Freebery's conspiracy theory assumes awful lot of outside interest."
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court won't hear Ziegler's ethics request; Move allows complaint to proceed against justice-elect": This article appears today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

And The Associated Press reports that "State Supreme Court rejects Ziegler attempt to block complaint."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge rules in favor of abortion protesters": From Chicago, The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge issued a final judgment Tuesday reiterating what the U.S. Supreme Court said more than a year ago -- that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used against anti-abortion protesters. The judgment from U.S. District Judge David Coar cites the 8-0 decision by the high court in February 2006 that sides with defendants, including Chicago-based anti-abortion leader Joseph Scheidler."

I have posted online at this link yesterday's judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawmaker's Aide Targeted Prosecutor Before List Was Made": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Rules for Grasso in Pay Case": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "N.Y. Court Dismisses 4 Charges in Grasso Case."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "N.Y.'s case against Grasso trimmed by court."

In The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "Grasso Gains In Suit Filed By Spitzer."

And law.com reports that "N.Y. Court Narrows AG's Suit Against Grasso Over $187M Pay Package; In Tuesday decision affecting ex-NYSE chairman, court majority cites separation of powers."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's 3-2 ruling of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Immigration officials allegedly drugged deportees; An ACLU lawyer condemns the incidents in L.A. as 'horrifying'; Both men remain in the U.S. while appealing their cases": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Snubbed by mainstream, scrappy scientist sues; The Palm Harbor man wants the courts to force his detractors to take his ideas seriously": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Enron's Enablers: The Finance Firms That 'Drove the Getaway Car.'" Today in The Washington Post, columnist Harold Meyerson has an op-ed that begins, "'We recognize,' federal appellate Judge Jerry Smith wrote in a March opinion tossing out a lawsuit by Enron shareholders against the banks that helped the company cook its books, 'that our ruling on legal merit may not coincide, particularly in the minds of aggrieved former Enron shareholders who have lost billions of dollars in a fraud they allege was aided and abetted by the defendants at bar, with notions of justice and fair play.' Nothing like a judicial edict that acknowledges it violates common decency."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chance for Reform: House Democrats could move to restore habeas corpus rights to foreign prisoners." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appellate Judges Let Gun Ruling Stand; Fenty 'Deeply Disappointed'; District Might Defend Ban Before the Supreme Court": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that "District of Columbia Set Back in Fight Over Its Gun Law."

And The Washington Times reports that "Court denies D.C.'s gun appeal."

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge frees Posada, rips feds' tactics; A federal judge in El Paso dismissed a criminal indictment against Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles, who is now free -- unless immigration authorities detain him": The Miami Herald contains this article today.

The El Paso Times reports today that "Alleged Cuban terrorist free after case dropped."

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Charge Dropped Against Former CIA Op" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jurors Seated in Terror Trial of Padilla and 2 Others": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Jury selected for Padilla trial; An ethnically diverse panel will hear the case against the alleged Al Qaeda operative and two co-defendants."

The Miami Herald reports that "Angry lawyers finally pick Padilla jury; In a preview of next week's terror trial of Jose Padilla, lawyers bitterly bickered over the selection of jurors."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that "Jury finalized in Dade terror trial; Ex-Broward man, 2 others face charges."

The Associated Press reports that "Jury Seated for Padilla Terror Trial."

And Reuters reports that "Jury chosen in former 'enemy combatant' trial."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Tennessee Carries Out First Execution Since Lethal Injection Review": The New York Times provides this news update.

The Tennessean reports today that "Workman executed; Flurry of legal maneuvers fails to derail death sentence."

And The Associated Press reports that "Cop Killer Executed in Tennessee."

My most recent earlier coverage is at this link.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Congress Should Censure Gonzales": Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay in this week's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"The President's Disingenuous Arguments Against Expanding the Federal Hate Crime Law": Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tenth Circuit panel rejects pro se litigant's challenge to the use of non-precedential opinions to dispose of appeals in the both the Colorado state court system and the Tenth Circuit: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Death row's IQ divide: States differ on how mentally retarded an inmate has to be to avoid execution." Sara Catania has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Navy returned openly gay sailor to active duty; Advocates see shifting trend on 'don't ask' policy": The Boston Globe contains this article today.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. Allows Immunity Deal for Former Gonzales Aide's Testimony": This article appears today in The Washington Post, along with an article headlined "Hiring Process Was Bypassed for Prosecutor; D.C. District Attorney Says Justice Officials Recommended Candidate but the Decision Was His."

And The Washington Times reports today that "Justice won't oppose Gonzales ex-counsel's immunity."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



Some blog posts from participants and attendees at the Seventh Circuit's Judicial Conference in Milwaukee: Ann Althouse -- whom I enjoy spending time with whenever we are together for one of these law blog-related panels -- has a post titled "The 'new media' panel at the 7th Circuit conference."

At the "Conglomerate" blog, Christine Hurt has a post titled "'New Media' Panel Yesterday at 7th Circuit Bench-Bar Conference."

And at "Stubborn Facts," Simon Dodd has a vlog about the event.

Although yesterday morning's program could be seen as suggesting that, in the coverage of the law, it's the "mainstream media" versus the law blogs, from my perspective (and in the view of at least one audience member with whom I chatted) the relationship between these two forms of communication is complementary. I know that many members of the mainstream media desire to see their articles and essays mentioned here, and it is my pleasure to mention that work (and even to provide pass-through links to otherwise subscription required material, often using links supplied by the authors themselves) if I think that it will be of interest to me or my readership.

The only criticism that I heard repeatedly from audience members who observed the law bloggers panel was that there were too many law bloggers on the panel. I think that is a fair criticism, but unquestionably everyone on the panel was more than qualified to be there.

Given that the Judicial Conference program appeared to portray law blogs as rivals of the mainstream media, it is ironic that today The Associated Press published an article which prominently mentioned my blog post from last night stating that "Justice Stevens' remarks at dinner demonstrated to me that he has no plans to depart from the Court any time soon." It is further ironic that the quote may actually cause Justice Stevens to read a law blog. (Of course, he's already cited to one).
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"NY appeals court dismisses 4 claims against Grasso": Reuters provides a report that begins, "A New York appeals court handed Richard Grasso a victory on Tuesday, dismissing four of six claims against him in the state's effort to get the former New York Stock Exchange chairman to return more than $100 million in compensation. An appeals court in Manhattan, in a 3-to-2 decision, concluded that four of the claims against Grasso were 'not within the scope' of the New York attorney general's authority to bring."

The Associated Press reports that "Grasso Wins Round in NYSE Pay Fight."

Bloomberg News reports that "Grasso Wins Appeal of Lawsuit Over Stock Exchange Pay."

Joseph Goldstein of The New York Sun provides a news update headlined "Grasso Gains in Compensation Suit."

The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Court Rules for Grasso in Pay Case."

Financial Times reports that "New York court ruling boosts Grasso."

And MarketWatch reports that "Parts of Grasso case overturned; New York's highest court sets aside verdict."

You can access today's 3-2 ruling of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department -- an intermediate appellate court -- at this link.
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman



Santa Claus or high court judge? Once Peter Lattman of WSJ.com's "Law Blog" tires of poking fun at the formal attire worn by the Justices serving on Canada's highest court, he can turn his attention to the formal attire worn by the judges serving on Maryland's highest court.
Posted at 08:02 PM by Howard Bashman


The Statue of Liberty meets the Statue of Tyranny: Yesterday, The Salt Lake Tribune contained an article headlined "Two cities appeal rulings on religious monuments" that begins, "In the 121 years since the French gave the United States the Statue of Liberty, nobody has demanded a competing statue supporting tyranny. So nobody should be able to demand that competing structures be erected next to monuments of the Ten Commandments that were gifted to Pleasant Grove and Duchesne, the cities' attorneys say. That argument is outlined in appeals of two decisions issued April 17 by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that parks are public forums and that followers of the Summum faith have a right to display their Seven Aphorisms next to the Ten Commandments."

My earlier coverage of these rulings appears at this link.
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Patents at the Supreme Court": Arti Rai has this post at "Balkinization."
Posted at 07:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cincinnati Court Denies Stay": The Tennessean provides a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has declined to stop the execution of convicted cop killer Philip Workman, who is slated to be put to death early tomorrow morning."

And The Nashville City Paper reports that "U.S. Supreme Court denies Workman a stay of execution."

Earlier, the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog had a post titled "Split Sixth Circuit panel lifts Tennessee execution stay." You can access that Sixth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 07:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules against Mormon who objects to tax": Reuters provides this report.

My earlier post noting yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling was titled "The religion of not wanting to pay taxes sustains another judicial setback."
Posted at 07:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"It's not just about fired US attorneys anymore; Congress is asking pointed questions about the role of partisanship in prosecutions, hirings at Justice Department": This article will appear Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ban on videos of animal cruelty tested; Seller of dogfighting tapes on trial here in first case brought under 1999 law": On January 12, 2005, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an article that begins, "In the first trial of its kind in the United States, a Virginia man who sells dogfighting videos worldwide is being prosecuted here under a federal law banning videos showing cruelty to animals. The law was motivated by an effort in California to stop the proliferation of 'crush videos,' in which women in spike heels slowly crush small animals to death for the sexual gratification of a bizarre subculture of fetishists."

The defendant in that case, Robert J. Stevens, was convicted on of three counts of selling depictions of animal cruelty, as The Post-Gazette later reported here.

In October 2006, the defendant's appeal was argued before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Post-Gazette covered the appellate argument in an article headlined "Dog fight videos called free speech." The three-judge panel consisted of Circuit Judges D. Brooks Smith and D. Michael Fisher and Senior Circuit Judge Robert E. Cowen.

That three-judge panel has not announced any ruling, and today the Third Circuit issued an order granting rehearing en banc in the case.
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Confrontation Clause forfeiture by wrongdoing: A criminal defendant found to have procured the murder of someone who would have been a witness against him at trial cannot succeed in raising a Confrontation Clause objection to the admission of that dead witness's hearsay statements, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in a decision issued today.
Posted at 05:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Does the First Amendment's "right of the people ... to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" guarantee a citizen's right to receive a government response to or official consideration of such a petition? Today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit answers that question "no."

Circuit Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh delivered the opinion on behalf of a unanimous panel. Circuit Judge Judith W. Rogers also issued a concurring opinion in which she concludes that, although U.S. Supreme Court precedent forecloses plaintiffs' First Amendment claim, the claim appears to have merit if one considers the "historical evidence of how the right to petition was understood at the time the First Amendment was adopted."
Posted at 04:57 PM by Howard Bashman



By a vote of 6-4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denies rehearing en banc in Parker v. District of Columbia, in which a divided three-judge panel adopted the "individual rights" view of the Second Amendment to strike down Washington, DC's handgun ban: I have posted today's order denying rehearing en banc at this link. (A corrected version of the order denying rehearing en banc -- which omits the statement that a response was considered because the court did not request any response to the rehearing petition -- can be accessed here.)

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Circuit denies new review of Second Amendment." As noted in that post, the active D.C. Circuit judge who dissented from the three-judge panel's ruling did not vote in favor of rehearing en banc. Had she done so, rehearing en banc would still have been denied, but by an evenly divided 5-5 vote.

At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has a post titled "The Second Amendment in the Supreme Court."

My initial coverage of the D.C. Circuit's original divided three-judge panel ruling can be accessed here. And soon thereafter, an installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "State of the Second Amendment: Does It Apply in the District of Columbia?"

The Cato Institute today issued a press release titled "D.C. Petition for Rehearing of Gun Ban Case Denied; Supreme Court likely to be District's next step." And the Second Amendment Foundation has issued a press release titled "SAF Says D.C. Circuit Denial On Re-Hearing of Parker Case Was Right."

I agree with Lyle and Eugene that the Parker case has a very high likelihood of attaining U.S. Supreme Court review should the District of Columbia seek it.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Stevens: 31 Years and Counting." Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report, in which I am quoted. The blog post of mine that the article quotes from can be accessed here.
Posted at 03:57 PM by Howard Bashman


Last night's Seventh Circuit Judicial Conference dinner: Another attendee at last night's dinner emails to observe:
You and Ann Althouse have both blogged about the dinner without mentioning what I regard as the most newsworthy comment of the evening. As you no doubt recall, Justice Stevens mentioned near the end of his remarks that one hears a lot these days about Department of Justice officials appointed on bases other than merit, but that Paul Clement was unquestionably appointed on merit and that he is one of the best Solicitors General Justice Stevens has heard argue. Justice Stevens did not mention this fact, but the group to which he was favorably comparing Paul consists of Bob Bork, Wade McCree, Rex Lee, Charles Fried, Ken Starr, Drew Days, Seth Waxman, and Ted Olson. The first 6 of those SGs all were court of appeals judges or tenured law professors (at Yale, Harvard, or BYU) before becoming SG. All were much older and more experienced when they became SG than Paul Clement was when he became SG before reaching the age of 40.

For any Justice to compare Paul favorably to his distinguished predecessors is noteworthy, given Paul's youth. It is more noteworthy still for the praise to come from the Justice who wrote Hamdan, and who probably votes against the Bush Administration more than any other Justice.

Moreover, it was clear from where I was seated toward the very front of the room that Solicitor General Paul D. Clement was quite touched by the enormous praise he received from Justice John Paul Stevens.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: I'll be traveling back to Philadelphia this morning from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where yesterday I was one of the panelists at the Seventh Circuit's Judicial Conference. Additional posts will appear online this afternoon.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"50 Years Later, Little Rock Can't Escape Race": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"SJC upholds judge's libel victory over the Herald; Judgment of $2m stands for '02 articles": The Boston Globe contains this article today.

And The New York Times reports today that "Judge's Libel Victory Against Paper Is Upheld."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gay Rites Will Help Families, Spitzer Says; New Memo Discloses Governor's Case": This article appears today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Philip Morris's Argument to the Supreme Court in Watson v. Philip Morris, About Where a Case about Cigarettes Sold As 'Lights' Should Be Tried: Lots of Chutzpah, But Little Support." Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Stevens shares tales of Ford; Supreme Court's oldest member recounts naming": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contains this article today.

The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court Justice Stevens fondly remembers President Ford."

And WisPolitics.com reports that "Stevens reminisces on appointment to U.S. Supreme Court."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:12 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, May 07, 2007

"Hitting the Bottlers: A baffling Texas Supreme Court ruling could make juries irrelevant." This article appears in the current issue of The Texas Observer.

The 5-4 Supreme Court of Texas ruling at issue consists of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion. You can access the other documents filed in the case via this link.
Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit announces its proposed local rules governing petitions for writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands: The Supreme Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands officially came into being on January 29, 2007.

And now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has announced its proposed local rules governing cert. petitions seeking review of V.I. Supreme Court rulings.

Some may recall that recently, the U.S. Congress deprived the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of jurisdiction to consider cert. petitions from the Supreme Court of Guam. Now, cert. petitions from Guam's highest territorial court must be filed in the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court recounts this procedural change in its decision this Term in Limtiaco v. Camacho, No. 06-116. It will be interesting to see whether, eventually, Congress will do something similar with regard to the V.I. Supreme Court.
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Dever's ruling sparks concern; Judge in scandal seen as thorough": The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina today contains an article that begins, "U.S. District Court Judge James C. Dever III got his robes after working for more than a year as a lawyer in a Republican lawsuit designed to overturn a Democratic legislative redistricting plan."
Posted at 11:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senate panel wants to question Justice Department official": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


Tonight's dinner at the Seventh Circuit's Judicial Conference: It was a pleasure to meet Justice John Paul Stevens and his lovely wife at this evening's dinner. Justice Stevens admits that he is not among the U.S. Supreme Court's blog readers. I mentioned the Court's posting online of video in connection with its recent car chase ruling, and he explained that when I view the video I should listen for the police sirens, which he said were key to his view of the case.

Justice Stevens' remarks at dinner demonstrated to me that he has no plans to depart from the Court any time soon. Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook had the assignment of introducing Justice Stevens, and Easterbrook in a good-natured jest explained that Stevens had the good sense to attend undergraduate school at the University of Chicago but then made the mistake of attending law school at Northwestern. Stevens returned the favor by joking that Easterbrook's recent ruling in the Southwest Airlines imperfect landing case took three weeks from oral argument to issue, demonstrating that Easterbrook's other tasks as Chief Judge must be undermining his ability to get work done in Easterbrook's usual timely manner. In talking about the ruling, Stevens reminisced about his former days as a pilot. Stevens also described the events leading up to President Ford's announcement that Stevens would be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It was also nice visiting again with Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, who like me was at yesterday's Milwaukee Brewers game. His remarks at dinner focused on the subject of separation of powers within the Justice Department, emphasizing the role that the Solicitor General's Office plays in disputes over litigation and policy strategy within the executive branch.

I was fortunate to be seated at dinner between Judges Joel M. Flaum and Terence T. Evans, two of the Seventh Circuit's most avid baseball fans. Before dinner, I had the pleasure of visiting with U.S. Attorneys Steven M. Biskupic and Patrick J. Fitzgerald. And it was great to finally meet in person Chief Judge Easterbrook and Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, who are both fans of the site.

In all, I greatly enjoyed my visit to Milwaukee and the Seventh Circuit's Judicial Conference. Tomorrow morning, I'll be heading back to Philadelphia.

Update: At the "Althouse" blog, Ann Althouse has posts titled "Writing about the law -- traditional reporting and blogging" and "At the 7th Circuit dinner."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"On Wednesday, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Wal-Mart was not required to go as far as an employee pharmacist requested in accommodating his religious objections to filling birth-control prescriptions." The blog "Religion Clause" notes at this link a non-precedential ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued last week.
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bad Science and Abortion Rights": Julia Frank, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine, has this post today at the "Balkinization" blog.

And yesterday in The New York Daily News, Norma McCorvey had an op-ed entitled "She is 'Roe' no more."
Posted at 05:57 PM by Howard Bashman



The religion of not wanting to pay taxes sustains another judicial setback: Few people really enjoy paying a part of their hard-earned money over to the federal government in the form of taxes. Today the Ninth Circuit decides a case in which the appellants asserted that it violated their religion to have a social security number or to pay social security self-employment tax. In a decision issued today, the Ninth Circuit holds that a part of the lawsuit should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, while the federal district court's rejection of the balance of the case is affirmed. If the plaintiffs' claims had succeeded, surely this religion would become much more popular.
Posted at 03:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Oxymoronic and unfortunate as it may seem, Buckmaster appears to have been done in by a burning waterbed." So writes Circuit Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr. in an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today. The decision affirms a criminal defendant's federal conviction for possession of commercial fireworks. Those fireworks, however, did not cause the bed to catch fire. Apparently the idea of a steam bed is not always as soothing as it is portrayed (image possibly not safe for work). Or, as the lyrics from the group Midnight Oil ask, "How do we sleep while our beds are burning?"
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Death Penalty for Child Molesters?" This article appears at Time magazine's web site.
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Analysis: The State of the Court -- May 2007 -- Part II (Unanimity and Justice Kennedy's Vote)." Tom Goldstein has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: As I have previously noted, I'll be participating this morning on a law bloggers panel at the Seventh Circuit's Judicial Conference in Milwaukee. The complete conference agenda is here.

I'm told that wireless internet service is not available in the room where the event is taking place. If that's correct, additional posts will appear here only sporadically throughout the day. If that's incorrect, additional posts will appear here more frequently (and perhaps live-blogging will appear at "Althouse").

Today's event concludes this evening with a dinner at which Justice John Paul Stevens and Solicitor General Paul D. Clement will speak. I'll have a post detailing their remarks tonight.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



From today's issue of Legal Times: Tony Mauro's "Courtside" column is headlined "Ginsburg and Souter: Separated At Birth?" The oral argument in which an advocate addressed Justice David H. Souter as "Justice Ginsburg" was Office of Sen. Mark Dayton v. Hanson, No. 06-618. The mix-up appears at page 26 of the oral argument transcript. In addition, the column's very first item bears the subhead "Stevens ain't leavin'."

And Law Professor Herman Schwartz has an op-ed entitled "Gitmo Detainess Are Still Stuck Down There: Once again, lower courts have denied habeas rights to Gitmo detainees; When will Congress or the Supreme Court intervene?"
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ziegler doesn't need to be a schemer": Today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, columnist Mike Nichols has an op-ed that begins, "Annette Ziegler's attorney plans to seek dismissal of Ethics Board charges criticizing the Supreme Court justice-elect's participation in five cases involving a bank her husband helps run."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Counselor, Do You Have Any Authority for That Proposition?'" Today's installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Car chases make the Supreme Court: A high-court ruling favoring police did not clear the way entirely for high-speed pursuits, even though it OKd ramming cars that threaten bystanders." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 07:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fixing FISA: The rules for domestic electronic surveillance need a careful updating." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"An American's Kafkaesque Encounter With Nicaragua's Justice System": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 07:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Journalists Intend to Sue Hewlett-Packard Over Surveillance": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 06:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Throngs Attend Speech by Pakistan's Suspended Justice": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The chief justice of Pakistan's supreme court, suspended by the government after he investigated some of its practices, received an emotional welcome here on Sunday from thousands of supporters."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Halts Hearing Into Judge's Case."
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"How to Sink a Newspaper: Free news for online customers is a disastrous business plan." Walter E. Hussman, Jr., publisher of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Alters the Patent Landscape": Harold Furchtgott-Roth has this essay today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 06:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzalez v. Carhart: How the Supreme Court's Validation of the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act Affects Women's Constitutional Liberty and Equality." Joanna Grossman and Linda McClain have this essay online today at FindLaw. Their first essay in this two-part series appeared last Tuesday at this link.
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Bit of Thin Skin Peeks Out of the Robes": Today in The New York Times, this week's installment (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column begins, "When judges talk about threats to judicial independence, which is constantly, they sometimes make important points about the value of the rule of law in a democracy. Other times they are looking for a pay raise. But lately, more and more, they seem to be saying their work should be above criticism. They have been lashing out at lawyers and even other judges who say harsh things about their decisions."

In somewhat related coverage, the February 12, 2007 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com was headlined "Marsupial Alert: Don't Refer to Appellate Judges as a 'Kangaroo Court.'"
Posted at 06:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Missouri attorney a focus in firings; Senate bypassed in appointment of Schlozman": Today in The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage has an article that begins, "Todd Graves brought just four misdemeanor voter fraud indictments during his five years as the US attorney for western Missouri -- even though some of his fellow Republicans in the closely divided state wanted stricter oversight of Democratic efforts to sign up new voters."
Posted at 09:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Patently obvious: A Supreme Court ruling with far-reaching consequences for American innovation turns on the definition of a single word." Drake Bennett has this article today in the Ideas section of The Boston Globe.
Posted at 09:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice to Retire. Who’s Next?" The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "On June 17, Chief Justice James R. Zazzali of the New Jersey Supreme Court turns 70 and by state law must retire. That opens the way for Gov. Jon S. Corzine to begin putting his stamp on what is considered one of the most influential state courts in the country."

And a somewhat related editorial is entitled "Shortchanging Judges."
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Congress considers broadening Justice Department inquiry": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reheating the Cold War: The trial of a suspected terrorist is stoking old passions, from D.C. to Miami to Havana." This article will appear in the May 14, 2007 issue of U.S. News & World Report.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices gave abortion law extra push; Parental notification got high court prod": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Illinois Chief Justice Robert Thomas took an active role last year in trying to revive a long-dormant state law that prohibits minors from obtaining abortions without notifying a parent. Now new court filings show that Thomas and his fellow justices have given the controversial issue another nudge."
Posted at 06:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Border crackdown jams US federal courts; Fingerprinting of immigration detainees and prosecution of repeat border-crossers are driving the heavier caseloads": This article will appear Monday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 06:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Web can ruin reputation with stroke of a key": The San Francisco Chronicle contains this article today.
Posted at 06:43 PM by Howard Bashman


Milwaukee Brewers 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 4: Greeting from Milwaukee, where earlier today I saw the Brewers defeat the Pirates thanks to clutch hitting in the bottom of the eighth inning and an amazing game from first baseman Prince Fielder.

Fielder hit line drive home runs in both of his first two appearances at the plate. The first came in the bottom of the second inning with no one on base. The second came in the fourth inning with one man on base. Fielder also made a great defensive play later in the game, leaving his feet to make a diving catch of a sharply hit line drive to his right. He also scored what proved to be the game-winning go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a perfect slide at home plate to avoid the tag on a throw from the centerfielder for the Pirates on a line drive single by Bill Hall. As coincidence would have it, before the game began I purchased a Prince Fielder Brewers T-shirt for my son because, even before today's game, my son had told me that's the Brewers player he likes most.

Miller Park is a wonderful facility in which to watch a baseball game. My host for the afternoon and I were seated in section 121, row 14, giving us a great view of the action. A total of 37,761 were in attendance, and the vast majority of them went home happy. There were at least two vociferous Pirates fans in my section who definitely did not go home happy. You can access the box score at this link, while wraps are available here and here.
Posted at 06:27 PM by Howard Bashman



Five years ago today, this blog came into existence: On May 6. 2002, my very first post appeared at "How Appealing."

To celebrate this blog's fifth birthday, I am traveling this morning to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where this afternoon I'll see the Milwaukee Brewers -- the team that as of this moment has the best record in Major League Baseball -- host the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park.

On Monday morning, I'll be speaking on a law bloggers panel at the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. My co-panelists will be Professor Ann Althouse of the "Althouse" blog; Jason Czarnezki of the "Empirical Legal Studies" blog; Richard Garnett of "PrawfsBlog" and "Mirror of Justice"; Christine Hurt of the "Conglomerate" blog; and Eugene Volokh of “The Volokh Conspiracy” blog.

Additional posts will appear here once I reach the hotel following this afternoon's Brewers game.
Posted at 05:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, May 05, 2007

"A Scandal That Keeps Growing": The New York Times on Sunday will contain an editorial that begins, "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales declared recently, while batting down bipartisan calls for him to resign, that he had many things to do and 'can't just be focused on the U.S. attorneys situation.' It's not surprising that Mr. Gonzales wants to change the subject. At best, the firing of eight United States attorneys, most of them highly respected, is an example of such profound incompetence that it should cost Mr. Gonzales his job. At worst, it was a political purge followed by a cover-up. In either case, the scandal is only getting bigger and more disturbing."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"'We had to fight our way out,' Shirley Lute says; After 29-year ordeal, freedom tastes sweet; A change in how courts view battered spouses led her to a long-awaited reunion with daughters": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.

And The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that "Woman paroled after 29 years."
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court: Home-based knitters ruled employees." The Burlington Free Press today contains an article that begins, "Several home-based knitters who work for Fleece on Earth, a Chittenden apparel company, are employees -- not independent contractors, according to the state Supreme Court. The court ruled 3-2 Friday to uphold a ruling by the Department of Employment and Training's Employment Security Board that requires Fleece on Earth to pay unemployment taxes for people working from home for the company."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Vermont at this link.
Posted at 10:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court owes us truth with its abortion decisions": Law Professor Mark Kende has this op-ed today in The Des Moines Register.
Posted at 09:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"What In The Worlb? Cardinals fan sues St. Louis parlor over botched Series tattoo." Via "The Smoking Gun," you can access the complaint initiating suit at this link (via "Lowering the Bar").

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 05:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Green Scare: Rod Coronado gave a talk in San Diego and the feds called his words 'terrorism'; How new laws are equating environmentalists with Al Qaeda." This article appears in the current issue of Los Angeles CityBeat.
Posted at 04:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Law Clerks and Book Proposals": At "Concurring Opinions," Steve Vladeck has a post that begins, "There's a fairly disturbing (at least to me) book proposal making its way around the e-mail universe, disturbing not because of the subject (the current debate over habeas and the war on terrorism), but because of the occupation of the authors / editors -- two current D.C. Circuit law clerks."
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Liberal Case for Gun Rights Helps Sway Judiciary": Adam Liptak will have this article Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"University of California marks decade of race-blind admissions": The Associated Press provides this report.

And The Houston Chronicle reports today that "State Senate caps top 10-percent law; Top high school students no longer would be assured of admission to UT."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Paris dedication of Cornell's American law center is July 17": The Ithaca Journal today contains an article that begins, "A center on American law will be dedicated by Cornell Law School this summer in Paris."

The article goes on to report that "The July 17 dedication ceremony will take place during a first-ever conference attended by the chief justices of European Union countries and the United States. Expected to be in attendance are U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy and Stephen G. Breyer. The conference will be chaired by Lord Phillips, the Chief Justice of England and Wales."

A related news release from Cornell Law School can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Talking trash: Supreme Court rules on fate of local garbage." Wednesday's edition of The Bristol (Conn.) Press contained an article that begins, "A regional trash agency is hailing this week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that local governments can force trash haulers to follow ordinances that dictate where garbage will go."
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush veto threat stirs activists": The Washington Times today contains an article that begins, "President Bush's threat to veto any effort by the Democrat-led Congress to expand federal funding for abortion or stem-cell research drew strong responses yesterday from activists."
Posted at 01:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge blocks execution of Tennessee man; Lawyers say a new lethal injection procedure would likely cause their client 'unconstitutional pain and suffering'": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Tennessean today reports that "Judge delays Workman execution; Defense says method still has a constitutional flaw."
Posted at 01:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Giuliani flips on Schiavo case": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 12:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sealed Cases To Be Reviewed; Some 'Level 2s' Involve Prominent Corporate Leaders, Judges": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "The state's judicial branch will review about 500 sealed civil and family cases, some involving high-profile corporate leaders and Superior Court judges, to determine whether more information about the cases should be released to the public."
Posted at 12:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"New Story for Firing Emerges; Ex-U.S. Attorney Clashed With Bosses Over Murder Probe": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Rove prepped Justice Dept. official for testimony; The top aide and others advised a deputy attorney general before his House appearance on prosecutor firings."

And Bloomberg News reports that "Rove Helped Prepare Official's Testimony on Prosecutor Firings."
Posted at 12:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Friday, May 04, 2007

"Many Detainees at Guantanamo Rebuff Lawyers": The New York Times on Saturday will contain an article that begins, "Many of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are no longer cooperating with their lawyers, adding a largely invisible struggle between the lawyers and their own clients to the legal battle over the Bush administration's detention policies."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Somali detainee at Guantanamo denies fighting U.S. forces in Africa."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Texas' $117 Million Insurance Settlement Goes Back to Appellate Court."

In other news, "N.Y. Appeals Court Considers High-Low Deals as Settlements."

Robert J. Ambrogi has an essay entitled "Legal Wikis Are Bound to Wow You." As I noted in this post earlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has just launched its own wiki.

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "'Counselor, Do You Have Any Authority for That Proposition?'" Therein, I discuss the final paragraph of this recent Seventh Circuit ruling.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fear of Blogging: Why women shouldn't apologize for being afraid of threats on the Web." Dahlia Lithwick has this essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


If judicial modesty is an admirable trait, what about expert witness modesty? A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a decision today that resolves an issue that arises rather infrequently -- "What to do when an expert witness says he isn't really so expert?"

Today's opinion, written by Circuit Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, reasons: "While overly modest expert witnesses may not be exactly an everyday sort of problem in our legal system, neither can we ignore the prospect of mistakenly excluding a witness who really is expert but simply too demure to trumpet his or her qualities under cross-examination; it would hardly benefit the legal system to exclude from the stand self-deprecating individuals who rarely testify but have the expertise to do so in favor of those who are more extravagant and savvy to the legal system or who may make their living testifying in our courts."
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman



If only the St. Louis Cardinals had been the 2000 Worlb Series champions, this lawsuit would be entirely groundless: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides a news update headlined "Man files suit over misspelling in Cardinals tattoo."
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jan Crawford Greenburg to appear at Federalist Society event here": Given that this post appears at "The Indiana Law Blog," I would venture to guess that "here" means in Indianapolis. Since the event won't take place until May 18, 2007, you still have plenty of time to get "here" from "there."
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman


Hey Wiki, you're so fine: Just in time for its Judicial Conference early next week in Milwaukee, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has launched "7th Circuit Wiki."
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former No. 2 at Justice Was Not in on Firings; Former Official Testifies Only Ryan's Performance Was an Issue": Lawrence Hurley has this article today in The Daily Journal of California.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Former No. 2 at Justice has praise for McKay; He was effective prosecutor, Comey testifies."

And The Seattle Times reports today that "McKay targeted earlier than 2006."
Posted at 05:48 PM by Howard Bashman



From ABCNews.com's "Law and Justice" page: You can access reports headlined "Caught in the Middle: Bitter Custody Battle Tears at the Heart; Her Foster Parents Say Custody Battle Is Causing Nervous Breakdown in Child"; "'Taking Out' a Judge ... and His Family"; and "Pornography Downloads: Hazardous to Your Health; The Law is After Internet Surfers Who Download Potential Contraband."
Posted at 05:27 PM by Howard Bashman


Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. in Fairbanks, Alaska: Thanks to The Associated Press, you can access photos here, here, and here.

My earlier coverage of the Chief Justice's visit to Alaska can be accessed here. And at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr offers some related thoughts.
Posted at 05:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"More on the State of the Plenary Docket": David Stras has this post online at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 05:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Alito: Conservative As Advertised." Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "In his 15 months on the Supreme Court, Justice Samuel Alito has been everything his conservative supporters expected and his liberal detractors feared. The newest justice has been a reliable vote in favor of the death penalty, expanded police powers and restrictions on abortion."

The AP also provides a related item headlined "Cases Showing Court's Ideological Divide."
Posted at 02:27 PM by Howard Bashman



En banc Ninth Circuit reinstates RICO class action against Microsoft and Best Buy involving MSN online service: If anyone had been questioning whether RICO remains suave, all fifteen judges on a Ninth Circuit en banc panel today agreed that the answer was "yes." You can access today's en banc ruling in Odom v. Microsoft Corp. at this link.

After the case had been argued before a three-judge panel consisting of Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt, William A. Fletcher, and Jay S. Bybee, that panel sua sponte asked the parties to brief the question whether the case should be reheard en banc. The parties' responses can be accessed here. After receiving the responses, the Ninth Circuit granted rehearing en banc.

As luck would have it, all three judges on the original panel were also selected for the fifteen-judge en banc panel. Judge Fletcher wrote the majority opinion for the en banc court. In a development unlikely to repeat itself anytime soon, Judge Reinhardt was the only other judge to join in a concurring opinion by Judge Bybee, in which Judge Bybee remarks that all blame rests with the U.S. Supreme Court for allowing the "outlandish" result that a claim such as this can be pursued under RICO.

My earlier coverage of this case can be accessed here.
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pyrrhic Victory: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld wasn't the victory liberals thought." Law Professor David Fontana has this essay (pass-through link) online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 12:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Job Opening: Special Assistant to Tom Goldstein." This post appears today at "SCOTUSblog." And more details are available here.
Posted at 12:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Timeliness, Equity, and Federal Appellate Jurisdiction: Reclaiming the 'Unique Circumstances' Doctrine." Law Professor Philip A. Pucillo has posted this article (abstract with links for download) online at SSRN.
Posted at 11:57 AM by Howard Bashman


Eighth Circuit holds that "North Dakota's conditioning of sentence-reduction credits on participation in the sex offender treatment program did not contravene the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment": A man convicted in North Dakota state court of gross sexual imposition for sexual contact with his two daughters filed a civil rights lawsuit, after having served his sentence, challenging the constitutionality of a requirement that he attend a "Sex Offender Education Class" while in prison in order to have qualified for a shortened prison term.

According to today's decision, the civil rights plaintiff argued that "the program required that participants admit guilt to the offense of conviction. [The plaintiff] refused to participate in either phase, maintaining his innocence and arguing that because he had testified in his own defense at trial, an admission of guilt could subject him to a prosecution for perjury."

Today's decision, written by Circuit Judge Steven M. Colloton, rejects the plaintiff's claim that requiring him to admit guilt in order to obtain a shorter prison sentence violated the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appoint? Objection!" Law Professor Michael R. Dimino -- whom I once had lunch with at a Macaroni Grill -- has this op-ed today in The Philadelphia Inquirer opposing a switch away from electing judges in Pennsylvania.

Similarly, way back in the September 10, 2001 issue of The Legal Intelligencer, I had an essay entitled "Pennsylvania Should Keep, But Reform, Its System Of Electing Appellate Judges."
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Convicted killer fears his last moments": CNN.com provides this lethal injection-related report.
Posted at 11:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Meets YouTube: Camera-shy justices hyperlink a video to their car-crash opinion." Martha Neil has this article today at the ABA Journal eReport.
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fired U.S. attorneys are called some of the best; James B. Comey, a former deputy attorney general, testifies before Congress and contradicts the White House and Justice Department": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The New York Times reports today that "Ex-Justice Dept. Official Defends Ousted U.S. Attorneys." In addition, Adam Cohen has an Editorial Observer essay entitled "The U.S. Attorney, the G.O.P. Congressman and the Timely Job Offer."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Milberg figure wants charges dismissed": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "A former partner in a New York law firm accused by the government of paying illegal kickbacks to class-action clients has asked a federal court in Los Angeles to dismiss the fraud charges against him. The motion could undermine much of the government's case against Milberg Weiss & Bershad."

You can access the motions to dismiss that attorneys for defendant Steven G. Schulman filed in USA v. Milberg Weis, et al., via this link and this link.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Is it Futile to Cite Federal District Court Opinions?" Greg May has this post at "The California Blog of Appeal."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"For stating opinion, judge is charged; A judicial panel says Michael E. Allen was wrong to question a fellow judge's ethics": The St. Petersburg Times contains this article today.

The article reports:

Said Bruce Rogow, one of Allen's attorneys: "It is unprecedented, not just here, but anywhere in the country," for a judge to face disciplinary charges based on a written opinion. "This is all about judicial independence," Rogow said. "Can an appellate court judge write an opinion seen by all the members of the court before it goes out and still have to fear that the JQC will seek to punish him for that opinion?"

Historically, charges against judges are based on personal or professional misconduct or the alleged mistreatment of lawyers and litigants. "All Judge Allen did was be candid about his reasons for thinking Judge Kahn should have recused himself, and he had the integrity to share it," Rogow said.

Even Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, who represented Kahn before the JQC, said he questions the decision to pursue charges against Allen. "I really hope this thing disappears; it just isn't helpful to anybody," D'Alemberte said. "I think judges should be disciplined because they've caused some kind of corruption or embarrassment to the judicial system. I like it better when the JQC sticks to that task."

The charges likely will further disrupt relations among the 15 judges at Florida's largest district court of appeal, where virtually all litigation involving state government is reviewed.

The Pensacola News Journal today contains articles headlined "Judge faces formal ethics inquiry; Allen critical of fellow Judge Charles Kahn" and "Key players in judicial dispute."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge Is Facing Ethics Charges; Case stems from comments that were made in the Childers bribery case."

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Giuliani wary of repeal of Roe": This article appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Suspension for lawyer gets eased; Fineberg 'duped' Slavitt, SJC says": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Saying that Evan M. Slavitt was 'duped by an imposter' when he recommended for bar admission a man who turned out not to have a law license, the state's highest court yesterday explained why it reduced the time Slavitt -- a former federal prosecutor and 2002 Republican candidate for attorney general -- was suspended from practicing law from one year to two months."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Wants Phone Firms Immune to Privacy Suits": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The Bush administration is urging Congress to pass a law that would halt dozens of lawsuits charging phone companies with invading ordinary citizens' privacy through a post-Sept. 11 warrantless surveillance program."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"House Backs Expanded Hate-Crime Law; Bush Has Threatened Veto of Measure to Extend Federal Protection to Gays": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "House Votes to Expand Hate-Crime Protection."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Hate crime bill veto is vowed; The House votes to expand the law for sexuality and gender bias; The White House says that's unnecessary."

And The Washington Times reports that "House moves to add gays to federal hate crime laws."

You can view the text of the proposed new federal law at this link.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Speaks to Alaska Bar": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The number of cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court is declining in part because of the lack of significant legislation coming out of Congress, Chief Justice John Roberts said at the Alaska Bar Association's annual convention."

And The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports today that "Chief Justice Roberts discusses high court's quirks at ABA dinner."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, May 03, 2007

Available online from law.com: An article reports that "FDA's Pre-emption Rule Splits the Courts; Challenges focus on failure-to-warn ban."

And in other news, "Lensman's Estate Wins Battle Over Images of Marilyn Monroe; Photographer Sam Shaw took some of the most famous pictures of the Hollywood icon." WSJ.com's "Law Blog" has posted a the ruling online at this link.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former Supervisor Extols Fired Prosecutors; Praise Undermines Case for Dismissals": This front page article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Former deputy attorney general official defends fired U.S. attorneys."
Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rehearing sought in Summum case": The Deseret Morning News today contains an article that begins, "The cities of Duchesne and Pleasant Grove have asked that all 15 judges of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals re-hear the issue of a Utah religious group that wants to erect a monument next to the Ten Commandments displays in their city parks. The request comes after a ruling last month by a three-judge panel that the group had a right to put up the monument under the First Amendment."

My most recent earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Electric chair's fate in question": The Omaha World-Herald today contains an article that begins, "No one will be executed in Nebraska anytime soon and the issue of lethal injection will not be tackled until after the State Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the electric chair. That was the fallout from the high court's surprising decision Wednesday to withdraw the death warrant it had issued for Carey Dean Moore. The high court in effect said that the chair must first go on trial before Moore or any of the nine men on Nebraska's death row are executed. The court said that issue trumped Moore's desire to die."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Nebraska appears at this link.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Free speech and sports recruiting": Curt Masters, the Headmaster of Brentwood Academy, has this op-ed today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Lawrence Hurley is reporting: Today in The Daily Journal of California, he has articles headlined "Detainee Lawyers Head for Hill; Latest High Court Rebuff Shifts Focus to Guantanamo Legislation" and "Probe Targets Process for Replacing Lam; Lawmakers Pursue Possible Effort to Avoid Confirmation."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Ex-U.S. Official: Fired Prosecutors Were 'Smeared'" and "Attorneys Scandal May Be Tied to Missouri Voting" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"First woman named to the Supreme Court was a 'lawyer's lawyer'; Judge who had never practised law in the accepted manner wielded an eloquent pen, even if her reasons were not always in accord with those of her male colleagues": This obituary for Bertha Wilson, the first woman to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court of Canada, appeared Tuesday in The Toronto Globe and Mail.

Also on Tuesday, justice reporter Kirk Makin had an article headlined "'The great dissenter': The first female judge to ascend to the Supreme Court dies at 83."
Posted at 09:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rejects Vonage bid for patent case retrial": c|net News.com provides this report.

Reuters reports that "Court denies Vonage bid for patent case retrial."

Bloomberg News reports that "Vonage Bid for Retrial of Verizon Patent Case Denied."

And MarketWatch reports that "Vonage denied retrial bid in Verizon patent dispute."
Posted at 09:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"An Interview with Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens": This item appears in the April 2007 issue of The Third Branch.
Posted at 09:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Straight Arrow: James Comey takes aim at Alberto Gonzales." Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Web Site Endorses the 'Living Constitution'": Andrew Hyman has this post at the "Confirm Them" blog.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Justice Official Testifies About Firings": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."

And law.com provides a news update headlined "Comey Offers Praise to Fired U.S. Attorneys."
Posted at 04:14 PM by Howard Bashman



Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission initiates formal misconduct proceeding against intermediate state appellate court judge arising from his criticism, in a concurring opinion, of a colleague: You can access the misconduct charges, filed today, at this link. The concurring opinion giving rise to the charges can be accessed here.

The Tallahassee Democrat provides a news update headlined "Sex, conflict and ethics charges at First DCA."

I have previously covered this matter, but the blog "Abstract Appeal" today provides a thorough summary of the proceeding's history.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former Justice Dept. Official Praises Fired U.S. Attorneys": The Washington Post provides a news update that begins, "A former deputy attorney general today heaped praise on most of the eight U.S. attorneys who were fired after he left the job, testifying that he only considered one of them a weak prosecutor who had trouble managing his office. James B. Comey, the Justice Department's second-in-command from 2003 until August 2005, also told a House Judiciary subcommittee that he was never informed about an effort by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and his aides to remove a large group of prosecutors that began in early 2005."

And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Former Justice Dept. official praises fired attorneys."
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Appellants are home and business owners who were issued criminal citations by the City of Bradford, Pennsylvania for displaying commercial and noncommercial signs on their private property without first obtaining a permit." So begins an opinion that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued today. A federal district court had ruled that the city's sign ordinances are content-neutral and permissible under the First Amendment, and today the Third Circuit affirms.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Potential Terror Jurors Cite 9/11 Doubts": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Many potential jurors in the Jose Padilla terrorism-support case say they aren't sure who directed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because they don't trust reporters or the federal government."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"[T]he Constitution is not violated by a prison's forcing a prisoner who is assigned to work in an unhealthy environment to be inoculated against the microbes that make it unhealthy." Requiring a state prisoner to be inoculated against hepatitis is not cruel and unusual punishment, but exposing the prisoner to cigarette smoke may be, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled today in an opinion written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner.
Posted at 12:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"2007 High Court Candidates Responses To The Legal Intelligencer's Questions": The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia's daily newspaper for lawyers, asked the candidates running for election to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania a series of interesting questions. The candidates' answers can be accessed online via this link.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Eighth Circuit plans to implement Electronic Case Filing in all cases effective June 1, 2007. If you have any pending cases it is important that you register at this time." So advises a notice that the Clerk's Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued yesterday.

The Eighth Circuit remains at the forefront of the effort to expand electronic case filing, now used in most federal district courts, to the federal appellate court level. Eventually, ECF is expected to expand throughout the entire federal appellate court system, which is one of the reasons I find it interesting to keep tabs on how the Eighth Circuit's roll-out of appellate ECF is proceeding.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Hearing on The Continuing Investigation into the U.S. Attorneys Controversy": This morning's House Judiciary Committee hearing can be viewed live, online by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Mentally ill man's 3-strikes sentence upheld; Thief received term of 25 years to life for stealing liquor": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court upheld a mentally ill man's three-strikes sentence of 25 years to life Wednesday for shoplifting two bottles of liquor from a Southern California market, a sentence that a dissenting judge called 'barbarous.''"

Yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit consists of a three-page majority opinion and a sixteen-page dissenting opinion.
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Treaties apply to foreign prisoners, too: The Supreme Court should uphold a treaty granting consular visitation rights to foreigners on Death Row." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Department looking into prosecutor hirings; Accusations that an aide considered party politics raise more concerns of partisan practices at the agency": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times, along with an article headlined "Lam defends her performance as a U.S. attorney; Statements by her and several others show they are increasingly convinced politics were behind their firings."

Today's edition of USA Today contains an article headlined "Senate subpoenas Gonzales for Rove information; Query: Whether adviser was tied to firings."

And in The New York Times, Law Professor Frank Bowman has an op-ed entitled "He's Impeachable, You Know," while Arnold I. Burns has an op-ed entitled "Two Parties, One Law."
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman



The Boston Globe is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Marriage battle could broaden; Gay rights activists ask aid from DNC" and "Do pit bulls need a law of their own? Idea of breed-specific measure stirs fierce debate."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Plan To Redefine Teen Sex Offenders": This article appears today in The Hartford Courant.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kick in the Pants: Just deserts for a ludicrous lawsuit." The Washington Post today contains an editorial that begins, "Is there anything more absurd than someone pursuing a $65 million lawsuit over a lost pair of pants? Well, how about this same person being in a position to adjudicate the cases of other people? Or that there's a chance of his getting a new 10-year term as judge? A panel of four D.C. officials is considering the reappointment of administrative law judge Roy L. Pearson Jr. in light of devastating publicity about a court case he brought."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Edited Transcripts Authorized; Classified Material at Issue in Case of Former NSA Worker": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The attorney for a former National Security Agency employee convicted of unlawfully possessing classified material will be given redacted versions of court transcripts he has been seeking for more than seven months, a federal prosecutor said yesterday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"In House, New Effort to Protect Journalists From Forced Disclosure of Sources": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And The New York Times today contains an editorial entitled "Toward a Federal Shield Law."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Exonerations Change How Justice System Builds a Prosecution; DNA Tests Have Cleared 200 Convicts": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, in news from Ohio, The New York Times reports today that "Court Rejects Limit on Bids by Convicts for DNA Tests."

And The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that "Jail doors opened to more DNA tests; Court: Prosecutors won't have final say."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio appears at this link.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Akron parking project hits U.S. barriers; Judges cite security, threaten relocation of federal offices. City plans meeting today": The Akron Beacon Journal today contains an article that begins, "U.S. officials are threatening to relocate their downtown federal offices -- and 300 jobs -- if Akron moves forward on a plan to build a $20 million parking deck that would come within one foot of the federal building. In a strongly worded letter to Mayor Don Plusquellic, Judges James G. Carr and Randolph Baxter invoke the memory of the Oklahoma City bombing and say city officials have essentially ignored their security concerns over construction plans for South Main Street."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawsuit challenges Ohio law; Birth-control case tests limits on damages won": The Cincinnati Enquirer today contains an article that begins, "When she decided to use a birth control patch in 2005, Anderson Township's Melisa Arbino had no idea she would be thrust into a legal fight that aims to declare an Ohio law unconstitutional and is being watched nationally."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"An Exit Strategy for Guantanamo": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.

And The Boston Globe today contains an editorial entitled "Another Guantanamo outrage."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"FBI Frets in Spy Case Over China": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Recent Opinion Shows a Clear Split Between Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito On Federalism Issues - With Roberts Displaying Justice O'Connor's Respect for the States, and Alito Lacking that Respect": Marci Hamilton has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"Ex-Aide to Gonzales Accused Of Bias; Justice Scrutinizing Politics in Hiring": This front page article will appear Thursday in The Washington Post. Tomorrow's newspaper will also contain an article headlined "Tester Calls on Montana U.S. Attorney to Resign."

The New York Times on Thursday will report that "Justice Dept. Announces Inquiry Into Its Hiring."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Senate panel subpoenas Rove's e-mails about U.S. attorneys."
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman



Here's a newsflash, doctor -- fried chicken and french fries aren't good for the arteries: The Associated Press provides an article headlined "Trans Fat Lawsuit Against KFC Tossed Out" that begins, "A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a doctor who accused KFC of not telling customers that it used trans fats to fry its chicken. In an occasionally sarcastic opinion, U.S. District Judge James Robertson said Dr. Arthur Hoyte could not show that he was harmed by KFC's use of the artery-clogging fats."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at this link.
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court stays Moore execution": The Lincoln Journal Star provides a news update that begins, "Condemned murderer Carey Dean Moore's execution was stayed Wednesday by a divided Nebraska Supreme Court, whose majority said the court had acted prematurely when it issued a death warrant in the case. Supreme Court Judge John Gerrard, writing for the 4-3 majority, said the court should have withheld the death warrant until it resolved another death row inmate's constitutional challenge of the electric chair."

And The Associated Press reports that "Neb. High Court Stays Electrocution."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Nebraska at this link.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: This evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained audio segments entitled "Fired U.S. Prosecutors Slam Former Bosses" and "Washington State Sex-Offender Policy Criticized."

And today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "Texas Newspaper Accused of Tort-Reform Bias."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Don't bother us by arguing over what some federal district judge may have said in another case, Seventh Circuit tells lawyers: On behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook today issued a decision that concludes:
[D]ecisions of district judges have no authoritative effect. District judges' opinions often contain persuasive observations, but these can be incorporated into the parties' briefs. It is never helpful to have an [sic] lengthy exchange on what a particular district court's opinion "really means" and whether that case was correctly decided. The parties should learn what the opinion has to teach and weave its wisdom into their own presentations.
I guess the same could be said of non-precedential federal appellate court opinions, which Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1 now allows parties to cite to federal appellate courts. The reality is that advocates will always regard a legal proposition that a judge has accepted -- even if only a "lowly" federal district judge -- as potentially more worthy of another court's credence than a proposition of law for which no authority is cited.
Posted at 05:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Christian Postings' Removal Upheld": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "School officials did not violate a teacher's First Amendment rights when they removed Christian-themed postings from his classroom, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday."

You can access today's ruling of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 05:18 PM by Howard Bashman



When bots attack: The online host of this blog tells me that two bots have been attacking this afternoon, and, as a result of this DOS attack, online access to this web site has been sluggish to non-existent. As those attacks diminish, access to "How Appealing" should be improving.
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman


On Sunday, May 6, 2007, this blog will turn five years old: In a pleasant coincidence, on Sunday I'm planning to attend a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game at Miller Park with someone mentioned in the second post that I published on this blog's very first day.

Since coming into existence nearly five years ago, this blog resulted in the creation of at least one new word; reported on musings about Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner's undergarments during one of that court's oral arguments; and was foisted on a federal government attorney at an Eighth Circuit oral argument as required reading (perhaps adding insult to injury, that attorney's client later lost the appeal).

To mark this blog's rapidly forthcoming fifth anniversary, I am hereby soliciting from readers via email any interesting stories they may wish to share about "How Appealing," whether good, bad, or indifferent. Starting on May 6, 2007, I will reprint here the emails that I find likely to be of greatest interest to this blog's readership. If you email me in response to this request, please let me know whether I can include your name if I select your email for publication.
Posted at 12:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutors' Lose Power Over DNA Testing": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A law giving prosecutors the final say on whether an inmate can apply for DNA testing is unconstitutional because that authority is meant for judges, a unanimous Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The ruling overturned a portion of a state law that allows inmates who pleaded guilty to crimes to request DNA testing after their conviction."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio at this link. And the court's Office of Public Information provides this summary of the ruling.
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Black Hole: Inside Bagram, the other Guantanamo." Eliza Griswold has this essay in the May 7, 2007 issue of The New Republic.
Posted at 12:11 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from Reason: Jacob Sullum has an essay entitled "Good Cop, Bad Doctor: William Hurwitz's conviction tells physicians to put drug control above pain control."

And Bert Gall has an essay entitled "Post-Kelo America: An Optimist's View -- Reforms are making progress."
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"They Know Best: Melody Rose's book charts the rise of paternalism in Supreme Court doctrine on abortion." Scott Lemieux has this essay online at The American Prospect. More information about the book in question is available at this link.
Posted at 12:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Will Schwarzenegger's new death chamber actually help inmates? If building a new lethal-injection facility will improve quality of life for prisoners on California's death row, I'm for it." Sara Catania has this essay today at Salon.com.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Online today at "Balkinization": Jack M. Balkin has a post titled "Ronald Reagan on Sandra Day O'Connor."

And Marty Lederman has a post titled "Why Closing Guantanamo Might Not be Such a Good Idea."
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"A New Judicial Crisis: Judges Falling Asleep." Does a 26-page study about judges falling asleep on the bench make for riveting reading? Click here to find out. Thanks to Peter Lattman at WSJ.com's "Law Blog" for the pointer.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law firm sued over forgery by attorney": The Rocky Mountain News last Friday published an article that begins, "A prominent Denver law firm is being sued after one of its attorneys forged a federal judge's signature on a legal document."

The complaint initiating suit, filed last Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, can be accessed here. I have also posted online Exhibit B to the complaint.

Thanks to "Above the Law" for the pointer.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Analysis: The State of the Court -- May 2007 -- Part I." Tom Goldstein has this lengthy post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 11:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Interview with Judge Alex Kozinski" back online: Last Friday, I had a post titled "Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski's take-down of blogs is itself taken down" noting that the "Tech LawForum" web site hosted by the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara Law School had removed all traces -- audio segments and transcripts -- of an interview, which Law Professor Eric Goldman first drew attention to on his blog, after certain of Judge Kozinski's remarks had drawn criticism from within and outside of the blogosphere.

In a positive development, the "Tech LawForum" web site has once again begun to provide online access to all four audio segments of Judge Kozinski's cyberlaw talk. You can access the audio via this link. Judge Kozinski discusses blogging, David Lat, Judge Kozinski's quest to be crowned "Male Superhotty of the Federal Judiciary," me, and this blog in the first of the four audio segments available via that link. Just as the audio and transcripts disappeared without explanation late last week, they have now reappeared without explanation.

You can access my extensive earlier coverage via posts here and here.
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling chastises state on unclaimed property": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state of California, which is holding $5 billion worth of bank accounts, stocks and other property it classifies as abandoned, appears to be violating the owners' rights by seizing and selling their property without notifying them, a federal appeals court says."

You can access Monday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wis. case may help political workers here": The Chicago Sun-Times today contains an article that begins, "The federal appellate court's decision to free from prison an aide to Wisconsin's governor could help plenty of political operatives in Illinois. In addition to convicted Chicago patronage chief Robert Sorich, indicted ex-Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez and perhaps even convicted former Gov. George Ryan could be among those benefitting." And a related article is headlined "Mayor's office linked in Sorich appeal; Judge questions where power came from, may be nod to ruling that cleared aide."

Meanwhile, The Chicago Tribune reports today that "Decision in a 2nd case lifts Sorich; Ex-patronage chief will base appeal on U.S. judge's ruling."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Justice Breyer to Take on Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and the Art of Judging": This press release, issued yesterday, discusses an event scheduled to occur in Boston on June 12, 2007. According to the press release, ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg will also be there.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ruling could aid challenge to UW stem cell patents; Supreme Court affirms basis of patent objection": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "A Supreme Court ruling this week could make it more difficult for a Wisconsin foundation to defend key embryonic stem cell patents against challenges by two groups, some patent experts and representatives of those groups said Tuesday."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Trademark battlefield: Some companies filing lawsuits against search engines argue ad sales generated from registered names are infringing on trademark rights." This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"The year for a shield law": The Boston Globe today contains an editorial that begins, "Steadily, prosecutors and plaintiffs are showing an increasing desire to make their cases on the backs of reporters, poking into their confidential notes and information, often obtained with the promise of anonymity. And judges are increasingly turning the screws by threatening journalists with jail time unless they break that promise. Too often, judges are carrying out the threat."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"TB patient jailed after not following doctor's orders; A Phoenix man is under lockdown after going out in public without a mask and not taking prescribed medication": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawful incest may be on its way": Columnist Jeff Jacoby has this op-ed today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Rogers Won't Hear Gay Marriage Case; New Chief Justice Cites Involvement Of Husband's Firm": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court's new chief justice, Chase T. Rogers, will not preside over the most significant case to be heard by the court this year, in which eight couples are challenging the ban on same-sex marriage. The landmark constitutional case, Kerrigan et al v. the state Department of Public Health, will be argued before a full panel of the court May 14."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawsuit challenges limits on what judicial candidates may say": The Associated Press provides this report from Pennsylvania.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Both sides find victory in Mo. abortion decision": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "The Missouri Supreme Court upheld a law Tuesday that makes it more difficult for teens to obtain an abortion without parental consent, but it did so in a way that at least partly pleased abortion rights advocates. The author of the anti-abortion measure applauded the ruling, even as Planned Parenthood heralded the decision as a victory to those who provide advice to pregnant teens."

And The Kansas City Star reports today that "Missouri abortion law ruled legal."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Missouri appears at this link.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Many female lawyers dropping off path to partnership": The Boston Globe contains this article today, while a related graphic appears here.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Residency Clause Adds Fuel To Dispute Over U.S. Attorneys; One Prosecutor Gets an Exemption, Another Gets Fired": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Bloomberg News reports that "McNulty Asserts He Knew Little of Firings, Aides Say."

And in USA Today, Ronald Goldfarb has an op-ed entitled "Crossing a line at Justice -- How an attorney general handles outside political forces is critical to the mission of true justice; Alberto Gonzales could have learned a thing or two from one of his predecessors: RFK."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Administration Pulls Back on Surveillance Agreement": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Senior Bush administration officials told Congress on Tuesday that they could not pledge that the administration would continue to seek warrants from a secret court for a domestic wiretapping program, as it agreed to do in January." In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Spying on Americans."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Intelligence Chief Decries Constraints; Update of Surveillance Law Urged."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Penalty Stands in Congressmen's Battle Over Leaked Phone Call": The Washington Post contains this article today.

Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that "Court Says Congressman Must Pay Damages."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Appeals court rules against McDermott in phone call case."

The Hill reports that "Court sides with Boehner in ethics case."

And yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Court Settles Fight Between Boehner, McDermott" (RealPlayer required).

My earlier coverage of yesterday's en banc D.C. Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Giuliani's Tie to Texas Law Firm May Pose Risk": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Donald P. Lay, 80, Federal Judge Notable in Rights Cases, Dies": The New York Times today contains an obituary that begins, "Donald P. Lay, a former chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit who rigorously defended the rights of women, Native Americans and convicts during his 40 years on the bench, died Sunday at his home in North Oaks, Minn. He was 80."

Yesterday evening, a reader emailed to say:

I'm a recent Penn Law grad and regular reader of your blog. Judge Donald Lay spoke at a conference in the spring 2005 at Penn on drug policy, so I was very sad to read about his passing on your blog. Judge Lay's passion on the subject of drug policy reform was impressive, to say the least, and he had truly made it his crusade to convince the federal courts, Congress, DoJ and anyone else who would listen that the federal drug crime judicial process we have in this country was broken and in dire need of fixing. I don't know how much you're interested in commenting on Judge Lay's passing beyond mentioning it today, but in case you wanted to give a moment of attention to one of his most recent passions, here's one of the many pieces he wrote on the subject.
I thank that reader for her email.

And at "Power Line," Scott Johnson offers these reflections.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sex offenders may get special tags; Eye-catching license plates proposed by lawmakers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Alabama": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"Death penalty foe pleads guilty over filings; The investigator, accused of perjury, forgery and falsifying clemency documents on behalf of death row inmates, faces a five-year sentence": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

The Sacramento Bee reports today that "Death-penalty foe pleads guilty."

And The San Francisco Chronicle contains an article headlined "5-year term for investigator in forgery case."
Posted at 11:59 PM by Howard Bashman



"Gitmo: still a 'legal black hole'; The White House should stop hampering lawyers working for Guantanamo Bay detainees, and Congress should provide habeas relief." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Order In The Courts: Borden Shepherds Judiciary Through Tumultuous Year." Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, "Supreme Court Justice David M. Borden never parked his car in the space reserved for the chief justice, didn't take the chief's chair at the head of the table during court conferences and didn't refer to himself as the acting chief justice. But in his yearlong role as de facto chief, Borden led the judicial branch out of an unprecedented scandal and crisis in public confidence and into a new era of openness and accountability."
Posted at 11:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Portrait of a Lady Justice": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Raise for State Judges Gets Caught in Crossfire Between Spitzer and Bruno": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-Westar execs face third trial; Federal prosecutors did not say on what charges David Wittig and Douglas Lake would be retried": The Kansas City Star contains this article today.

And The Topeka Capital-Journal reports today that "Wittig, Lake face third trial; Prosecutors elect to try ex-Westar executives based on charges from 2003."
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Some Ask if U.S. Attorney Dismissals Point to Pattern of Investigating Democrats": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Justice Dept. Official Says His Role in Firings Was Limited."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Gonzales allowed aides some hiring power, records show; A 2006 order gave his chief of staff and White House liaison authority over 135 jobs designated for political appointees." In addition, Elizabeth Holtzman has an op-ed entitled "Alberto Gonzales' safety net: Confirmation hearings for his successor could spawn criminal investigations of the White House."
Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Vonage requests retrial in Verizon patent dispute": c|net News.com provides a report that begins, "A pivotal U.S. Supreme Court ruling designed to make it easier to challenge obvious patents prompted Vonage on Tuesday to ask for a new trial in an ongoing dispute with Verizon. One day after the high court released a unanimous opinion widely viewed as one of the most sweeping changes to patent law in years, the struggling Internet phone company asked the U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit to put its pending appeals process on hold and send the case back to the lower court for a new trial."

And Reuters reports that "Vonage asks for retrial of key patent case."

Update: WSJ.com's "Law Blog" has posted the new trial request at this link.
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Law Day": The New York Times today contains an editorial that concludes, "The less committed a president is to the law, the more need there is for Law Day, which makes it a holiday whose time has come."
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Senators Wary of Bush's Wiretap Proposal": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Citing FBI abuses and the attorney general's troubles, senators peppered top Justice and intelligence officials Tuesday with skeptical questions about their proposal to revise the rules for spying on Americans."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Right To Remain Silent: Silence is about the only right the Guantanamo prisoners have left." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Refuses to Block Detainee Transfer": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court refused to stop the Bush administration Tuesday from transferring a Guantanamo Bay detainee to his home country of Libya. Lawyers for the man argued he faces torture at the hands of the Libyan government if sent there."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court allows detainee transfer to Libya."
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court upholds Va. life insurance law; Affirms ruling against company specializing in viatical settlements": This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

And The Associated Press reports that "Law on sale of dying patients' insurance policies affirmed."

You can access yesterday's Fourth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Missouri Supreme Court upholds parental lawsuits for abortions": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Missouri Supreme Court today upheld a law letting parents sue people who help their teenage daughters get abortions without their consent."

My earlier coverage appears in the post immediately below.
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman



Supreme Court of Missouri rejects challenge to the lawfulness of a Missouri law that creates a civil cause of action against any person who assists a minor in obtaining an abortion without parental consent or judicial bypass of the consent requirement: Although Planned Parenthood is the nominal loser of today's ruling of Missouri's highest court, to avoid striking down the law under the First Amendment the court construed the law to exclude from its coverage speech or expressive conduct. Thus, under today's ruling, Planned Parenthood and similar groups will be able to provide information and counseling to minors about how to obtain an abortion without parental consent or judicial bypass and not run afoul of the law.
Posted at 02:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Rebuffs McDermott in Phone Case": The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of today's en banc D.C. Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Strikes Law Barring Sale of Drug Data": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge ruled yesterday that the pharmaceutical industry could continue to use computerized data showing which doctors are prescribing what drugs. Judge Paul Barbadoro of United States District Court struck down a New Hampshire law that prohibited the purchase and resale of the data for use by the drug makers. Judge Barbadoro, ruling in Concord, N.H., said that the law violated the First Amendment by restricting commercial speech."

The Associated Press reports that "N.H. Prescription Law Struck Down."

And Reuters reports that "US court overturns New Hampshire prescription drug law."

I have posted at this link yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Above It All: A deposition can be an ugly war; Sometimes judges have to get down in the trenches." Law Professor Steven Lubet has this essay in the May 2007 issue of The American Lawyer. My earlier coverage of the Seventh Circuit ruling discussed in the essay can be accessed here.

A somewhat related post appears here today at "Above the Law."
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to Patent Appeals Court: Drop Dead." Roger Parloff of Fortune magazine has this post today at his "Legal Pad" blog.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


En banc D.C. Circuit issues its ruling in Boehner v. McDermott: The ruling can be accessed online at this link.

The lead majority opinion begins, "Both parties to this case are members of the United States House of Representatives. John A. Boehner, the plaintiff, represents Ohio's Eighth District. James A. McDermott, the defendant, represents Washington's Seventh District. The complaint alleged that Representative McDermott violated 18 U.S.C. sec. 2511(1)(c) when he disclosed a tape recording of an illegally intercepted conversation in which Representative Boehner participated."

The lead majority opinion concludes, "When Representative McDermott became a member of the Ethics Committee, he voluntarily accepted a duty of confidentiality that covered his receipt and handling of the Martins' illegal recording. He therefore had no First Amendment right to disclose the tape to the media."

The D.C. Circuit's ruling was 5-4, with the dissent constituting the majority(!) on one of the issues presented, thanks to Circuit Judge Thomas B. Griffith, who had the pleasure of providing the dispositive fifth vote on the issues before the court.
Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman



"Donald Lay, chief Appeals Court judge and champion of individual civil rights": The Minneapolis Star Tribune today contains an obituary that begins, "Donald P. Lay, former chief judge of the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and a champion of individual civil rights, died Sunday in North Oaks. Lay, who was appointed to the Eighth Circuit by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, was 80. When Lay was appointed at age 39, the White House said he was the second-youngest ever named to the court."

And this death notice appears today in The St. Paul Pioneer Press.

See also this earlier post.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Noise law enforced fairly, court rules; Street preachers claimed they were discriminated against": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court upheld San Francisco's enforcement of an anti-noise ordinance against street preachers Monday, saying they had been cited for the volume of their amplified messages, not their content."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Garlic festival dress code upheld; Court rejects club's free-speech argument": Howard Mintz has this article today in The San Jose Mercury News.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Biker club's insignia ruled not free speech."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices to rule on world court's reach; A ruling in the Hague pits Texas against President Bush, Mexico and a Houston murderer": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Ertman-Pena killer will get case heard; Mexican citizen on death row for '93 rape-murders."

The Dallas Morning News reports that "High court to hear Texas case on presidential power; Bush ordered review of Mexican's death sentence."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that "Supreme Court to hear Mexican's case."

And The Washington Times reports that "Court to hear challenge of Bush's order to Texas."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court tosses case of Texas death row fixture; Dallas man's appeal sent back to lower court": Today in The Houston Chronicle, Patty Reinert has an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sent back to a lower court the appeal of the inmate who has been on Texas' death row the longest, citing faulty jury instructions that led the court to reject the death sentences of three other Texas killers last week."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Again Refuse Guantanamo Bay Cases": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court won't decide Va.-Vermont lesbian custody fight": This article appears today in The Virginian-Pilot.

The Rutland Herald reports today that "High court won't hear custody case."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "High court again declines to step in on gay custody battle."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Patent protections tempered by Supreme Court rulings": Jim Puzzanghera has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Ruling toughens patent process; Second decision gives software makers shelter."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Video verdict: Supreme Court OKs deadly force to end high-speed police chases; Justices ruled an officer was justified in ramming a Georgia teen's car -- after studying a tape of the incident." David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Court limits police liability in car chases; Dashboard video of fleeing vehicle sways justices."

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that "High court vindicates Georgia officer in chase."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Feinstein seeks to close Guantanamo; The senator's proposal comes on the day the justices decline to hear detainees' appeal on the legality of military trials there": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"New Justices, New Rules: The Supreme Court Upholds the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003." Joanna Grossman and Linda McClain have this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman






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