How Appealing

Friday, May 23, 2008

In today's mail: Today I received a copy of Steve Martini's forthcoming book, "Shadow of Power." The book is scheduled to go on sale next Tuesday.

The publisher's summary of the book's plot is somewhat amusing:

The Supreme Court is one of our most sacred--and secretive--public institutions. But sometimes secrets can lead to cover-ups with very deadly consequences.

Terry Scarborough is a legal scholar and provocateur who craves headline-making celebrity, but with his latest book he may have gone too far. In it he resurrects forgotten language in the U.S. Constitution--and hints at a missing letter of Thomas Jefferson's--that threatens to divide the nation.

Then, during a publicity tour, Scarborough is brutally murdered in a San Diego hotel room, and a young man with dark connections is charged. What looks like an open-and-shut case to most people doesn't to defense attorney Paul Madriani. He believes that there is much more to the case and that the defendant is a pawn caught in the middle, being scapegoated by circumstance.

As the trial spirals toward its conclusion, Madriani and his partner, Harry Hinds, race to find the missing Jefferson letter--and the secrets it holds about slavery and scandal at the time of our nation's founding and the very reason Scarborough was killed. Madriani's chase takes him from the tension-filled courtroom in California to the trail of a high court justice now suddenly in hiding and lays bare the soaring political stakes for a seat on the highest court, in a country divided, and under the shadow of power.

On a barely related note, earlier this week a contestant on the syndicated version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" failed to reach the big money rounds when she answered that John Paul Stevens is the Chief Justice of the United States. And that occurred after she used the fifty-fifty lifeline, which eliminated Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and another of his non-Chief colleagues from the running.
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman

Eighth Circuit rejects for lack of standing a constitutional challenge to a South Dakota public school district's refusal to provide busing for students of a private religious school located within the school district's boundaries: You can access today's ruling, in what the court describes as a "Blaine Amendment"-related challenge, at this link.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman

In blog-related and non-blog-related updates: "How Appealing" is on the verge of moving to a new web host. The address to reach this page will remain unchanged, so if all goes smoothly readers will not notice any disruption.

Many thanks go to rubystudio, which has done a fine job hosting "How Appealing" since this blog became affiliated with the now-defunct Legal Affairs magazine. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based pair Networks will officially become this blog's new web host sometime before the end of this month.

In the unlikely event that this page were to become temporarily inaccessible during the switchover, new posts will temporarily appear at the "How Appealing (Back-up Page)" blog. Readers may wish to make a note of that back-up page's address now, because you'll only need that page's address if this page is inaccessible, and if this page is inaccessible you won't be able to access that page's address from here.

In non-blog-related news, this Sunday my son and I will travel to Washington, D.C. to make our first visit to the brand new National Park, where we will watch the Washington Nationals host the Milwaukee Brewers. In honor of Seventh Circuit Judge Terence T. Evans, we plan to root for the Brewers, and my son may even wear his Prince Fielder T-shirt (while, thanks to another law blogger, I'll probably wear my Columbus Clippers T-shirt). In any event, if any Washington, D.C.-area fans of the blog plan to be at the game, I hope you'll say hello.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman

"Suit puts state Supreme Court under a cloud": This editorial appears today in The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman

"Rendell will nominate new candidates for Pennsylvania judicial posts": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Gov. Ed Rendell says he will not renominate the four candidates who were rejected by the Senate last week to fill temporary openings on the state appellate courts. Instead, he said Thursday he will send the names of new candidates to the Senate as early as next week. He would not say in advance who they are."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman

"Thong-Clad Protesters Stripped of Civil Rights Suit": Shannon P. Duffy has this article online today at

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman

"Religious Group Questions Fla. Judicial Ethics Code; Conservative advocacy group challenges rule requiring judges to recuse if they took position on an issue in campaign": provides a report that begins, "Today, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a case that tests how far states may go in telling judicial candidates how to deal with public interest group questionnaires they receive during campaigns."
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman

"Volkswagen Challenges Texas Judge Ruling the Most Patent Suits": Bloomberg News provides this report on a case argued yesterday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

And in other coverage, provides a report headlined "Will the 5th Circuit Ground an Eastern District of Texas Rocket Docket? Federal appeals court hears arguments in high-stakes case involving judge's discretion in weighing transfer motion."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman

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