Thursday, May 15, 2008
"Inmate appeals on lethal injection; He asks court to allow his lawsuit on how Va. performs executions": The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "Death-row inmate Christopher Scott Emmett asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday to restore his lawsuit challenging the way Virginia conducts lethal injections."
And The Washington Post reports today that "Lethal Injection Methods Weighed; U.S. Appeals Court Ruling Could Have Nationwide Effect."
"Solicitor General Clement Says He Will Step Down": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.
And David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Solicitor general to step down; Paul Clement, who will leave in June, defended Guantanamo policies before the high court."
"West Virginia's Top Judge Loses His Re-election Bid": This article appears today in The New York Times.
"California Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage": Adam Liptak will have this article Friday in The New York Times.
Tomorrow's newspaper will also contain a news analysis headlined "Marriage Ruling Vaults Issue Back to Stage in Presidential Bids."
In jurisprudence essays available online at Slate: Dahlia Lithwick has an essay entitled "Who You Calling Activist? California's gay-marriage decision reflects the difference between judicial activism and, um, judging."
And Emily Bazelon has an essay entitled "Race to the Altar: California's gay couples should marry fast. Voters could overturn the Supreme Court ruling in November."
"Nacchio urges denial of full court review": The Rocky Mountain News provides this update.
And The Associated Press reports that "Nacchio asks court to deny full appellate review."
You can access at this link Appellant's Opposition to the Petition for Rehearing En Banc, which counsel for Joseph P. Nacchio filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
"Appeals court upholds pretrial ruling in Libby asbestos case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy didn’t abuse his discretion when he required the government to produce a pretrial list of witnesses and evidentiary documents in its asbestos case against W.R. Grace & Co., a federal appeals court has ruled."
"Court throws out suit to stop Barnes move": The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a news update that begins, "A Montgomery County judge has dismissed a suit by the Friends of the Barnes Foundation seeking to hold hearings on the famed museum's planned move to Philadelphia."
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"Senate Panel Approves Judgeships Bill": At his "Washington Briefs" blog, Lawrence Hurley of The Daily Journal of California has a post that begins, "This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 14-5 to approve a bill that would create dozens of new federal judgeships for the first time since 1990. The bill would add 38 district court judgeships and 12 circuit court judgeships."
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman
"Racial hate letter writer in Ohio pleads guilty": The Associated Press provides this report.
"California Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage": Adam Liptak of The New York Times has this news update.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman
"California ban on same-sex marriage struck down": Bill Mears of CNN.com provides this report.
Reuters reports that "Top California court backs gay marriage."
Bloomberg News reports that "California Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage."
Greg Moran of The San Diego Union-Tribune has a news update headlined "State ban on gay marriage overturned."
BREAKING NEWS -- Supreme Court of California holds in In re Marriage Cases that "to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional.": You can access today's 4-3 ruling by California's highest court at this link. I have posted a back-up copy of the 172-page decision on this blog's servers at this link.
Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter's concurring and dissenting opinion begins, "The majority opinion reflects considerable research, thought, and effort on a significant and sensitive case, and I actually agree with several of the majority's conclusions. However, I cannot join the majority's holding that the California Constitution gives same-sex couples a right to marry. In reaching this decision, I believe, the majority violates the separation of powers, and thereby commits profound error." Associate Justice Ming W. Chin joined in Justice Baxter's opinion. Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan also dissented from the majority's judgment, although she expressed her agreement with the majority's outcome as a matter of personal preference.
In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban."
Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "State Supreme Court says same-sex couples have right to marry."
Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times reports that "California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban."
Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News reports that "California Supreme Court overturns ban on gay marriage."
"Al-Marri's new challenge to detention": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "In a new phase of the continuing controversy over destruction of government recordings showing harsh interrogation tactics used on detainees, attorneys for a Qatari national argued in a federal appeals court filing Wednesday that new evidence shows he is being wrongly held."
Posted at 12:57 PM by Howard Bashman
At least no one is contending that Donald Trump's hairstyle infringes any copyrights: Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision affirming the grant of summary judgment against a plaintiff who alleged that the Trump Palace and the Trump Royale high-rise condominiums in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida infringed the plaintiff's copyrighted architectural designs. The final two pages of the PDF file containing the opinion consist of images of the plaintiff's design and the Trump Palace building.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman
Fourth Circuit affirms punitive damages award that is eighty times larger than compensatory damages award: When seeking to uphold a punitive damages award that bears an 80:1 ratio to the compensatory damages award, it never hurts that the total award of punitive damages is just $80,000 or that the defendant has a net worth of $3.2 billion. You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman
Sixth Circuit affirms $23 million award to plaintiffs in the antitrust class action known as In re: Scrap Metal Antitrust Litigation: Today's opinion contains an interesting discussion of the defendants' challenge to the admission of plaintiffs' expert witness on the subject of damages. In particular, in discussing and rejecting the defendants' challenge to the reliability of the damages expert's testimony, today's ruling distinguishes between a challenge to the reliability of the method the expert employed and a challenge to the credibility and accuracy of the expert's opinion. According to today's ruling, that latter sort of a challenge (to the credibility and accuracy of an expert's opinion) is much less likely to succeed as a basis for excluding an expert's opinion.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman
Federal Circuit rejects claim for damages against federal government asserted by private company that, before the September 11th terrorist attacks, provided passenger and baggage screening services at airports throughout the United States: You can access today's ruling at this link.
The company had argued, among other things, that the transfer of responsibility for passenger and baggage screening to a federal agency resulted in a taking of the company's property without just compensation, in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
"I've got good news! That gum you like is going to come back in style." An ode to chewing gum serves as the introduction to a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today in a case captioned Topps Co. v. Cadbury Stani S.A.I.C.:
This litigation concerns chewing gum, principally "Bazooka" bubble gum, known in this country by its small -- less than an inch -- paper-wrapped package and accompanying comic strip. Chewing gum is a pastime engaged in since ancient times when the substance chewed was a resin taken directly from certain trees. Nowadays people generally chew the industrially-produced version. They do so for a variety of reasons, including: to cleanse teeth and freshen breath; to focus the mind during athletic competitions; to calm the stomach; and to take the place of smoking. One's inability to chew gum while simultaneously carrying out other routine activities, such as walking, is sometimes used as an epithet. And, of course, because gum is today a sugary confection it is sweet and chewing gum is enjoyable and fun.The title of this post comes from the television show "Twin Peaks" (YouTube video clip at this link; screen caps here and here).
Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman
"FDA Pre-emption Under Scrutiny; Democrats Probe Uptick in Federal Clampdown on Liability Suits": Lawrence Hurley has this front page article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court blocks Bush's plan for logging in Sierra": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has this article reporting on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued yesterday.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman
"Blumenthal Appeals No Child Left Behind Suit Dismissal": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday appealed a federal judge's dismissal of the state's lawsuit challenging the No Child Left Behind Act, pledging to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary."
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman
"Lawyers to argue appeal in lead paint case this morning": The Providence (R.I.) Journal provides a news update that begins, "A battery of lawyers is scheduled to begin more than 3 ½ hours of arguments over the state's lead paint nuisance case before the Rhode Island Supreme Court at 9 a.m. today. And the public can view the battle because, for the first time, the court is allowing a live Webcast."
"Senate sinks judicial nominees slate, tells Rendell to reconsider picks": The Harrisburg Patriot-News today contains an article that begins, "Gov. Ed Rendell's slate of judicial nominees, including one for the state Supreme Court, was torpedoed by the state Senate on Wednesday. By a near party-line 24-26 vote, senators rejected the nominations of James Gardner Colins for Supreme Court, Kenneth Gormley for Commonwealth Court and James Fitzgerald and Robert Daniels for Superior Court. They were to serve through January 2010. A two-thirds majority is required for judicial confirmations."
And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "State Senate GOP rejects court nominees."
"Je Recuse": This editorial appears today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman
"Witness: Fieger called me an idiot; Gym owner told him about FBI talk." The Detroit Free Press today contains an article that begins, "The owner of the gym where embattled Southfield lawyer Geoffrey Fieger used to work out testified Wednesday that Fieger called him an idiot for talking to the FBI about contributions the businessman made to John Edwards' 2004 presidential bid."
"Paycheck Act tangled up in courts - again; High court tackles Idaho case; 10th Circuit Court of Appeals suspends action on Utah case": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court Tosses Charges Over Student's MySpace Criticism of Principal": At "The School Law Blog" of Education Week, Mark Walsh has a post that begins, "The Indiana Supreme Court has thrown out a finding of child delinquency for a middle school student who posted a vulgarity-laced tirade against her principal on MySpace."
And The Associated Press reports that "Justices overturn girl's MySpace conviction."
"Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage due": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "More than four years after San Francisco defied state marriage laws by allowing nearly 4,000 same-sex couples to wed at City Hall, the state Supreme Court is set to decide today whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry in California."