Friday, June 6, 2008
"Adviser Says McCain Backs Bush Wiretaps": Charlie Savage has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman
"South Carolina to Offer Cross on Car Plates": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "South Carolina drivers will be the first in the nation to be offered license plates that carry the phrase 'I Believe' and a Christian cross over a stained-glass window under a law that took effect on Thursday. Critics have threatened to fight the law in court, saying the license plate represents an illegal state endorsement of religion."
And Wednesday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "S.C. Lawmakers Back 'I Believe' Plates" (RealPlayer required).
"Court orders new sentence for al-Qaida member": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth CIrcuit issued today.
All three judges on the three-judge panel are credited as authors of the opinion of the court, except to the extent that one of the judges has dissented in part. The dissenting opinion of Circuit Judge Diana Gribbon Motz begins, "With respect, I dissent from the majority's decision to reverse, as unreasonably lenient, Abu Ali's sentence of thirty years' imprisonment followed by thirty years' supervised release."
"A Servicewoman Prevails in Her Bid to Reinstate Her Constitutional Challenge to the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy: What Are the Implications of the Ninth Circuit's Ruling in Witt v. Secretary of the Air Force?" Vikram David Amar has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"State high court upholds dismissal of challenge to former R-MWC going coed": The Lynchburg News & Advance provides a news update that begins, "The Virginia Supreme Court today affirmed the previous dismissal of two cases challenging the former Randolph-Macon Woman's College's decision to adopt coeducation, according to opinions posted on the court's Web site."
And The Associated Press reports that "Va. court upholds women's college move to coed."
"High court upheld child custody rights of non-biological parent": The Virginian-Pilot provides a news update that begins, "The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a lower state court decision that grants some custody rights to the non-biological parent in a legal dispute between two women who jointly parented a child in a past lesbian relationship."
And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Vt. ruling stands in lesbian custody case" that begins, "Virginia's highest court ruled Friday that the state must enforce a Vermont court order awarding child-visitation rights to a mother's former lesbian partner. The Virginia Supreme Court rejected Lisa Miller's claim that a lower court improperly ignored a Virginia law and a state constitutional amendment that prohibit same-sex unions and the recognition of such arrangements from other states."
"Judges appear cool to Black appeal; Media baron didn't steal, attorney says": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Conrad Black's hopes of getting his criminal convictions overturned were dimmed Thursday as his attorney received a highly skeptical reception from a panel of three judges at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Today's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contains an article headlined "Appeal judges in Black case pepper lawyers with tough questions" that begins, "Under other circumstances Conrad Black would probably relish meeting Judge Richard Posner. Judge Posner, 69, has been on the Seventh Circuit Appeal Court in Chicago for nearly 30 years and he is considered one of the top legal minds in the United States. He's best known for his free-market approach to analyzing the law and he has written more than 30 books and 300 articles on topics ranging from sex and pornography to aging, health care, AIDS, politics, literature and medieval Iceland. He writes more legal opinions annually than any other appellate judge in the United States, teaches at the University of Chicago and has a blog with a Nobel-prize-winning economist (his latest post discussed the merits of paying children to go to school)."
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that "Conrad Black's attorneys face tough grilling."
The Toronto Star reports that "Court hears Black appeal; Hearing one of Conrad Black's last chances to topple fraud convictions."
And The Associated Press reports that "Black's attorneys tell court his trial wasn't fair."
If you'd like to hear Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner tangle with attorney Andrew L. Frey -- and frankly who wouldn't -- you can download the audio of yesterday's oral argument via this link (13.7MB mp3 audio file).
The Associated Press is reporting: Mark Sherman reports that "Supreme Court justices sell stocks in 2007."
"Bonds pleads not guilty to charges in rewritten BALCO indictment": Lance Williams of The San Francisco Chronicle has this news update.
And The Associated Press reports that "Bonds pleads not guilty to charges of lying to grand jury."
Greetings from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Now that the D.C. Circuit's Judicial Conference has ended, I have left Farmington, Pennsylvania and made the 70-mile journey to Pittsburgh.
Although my hotel room in Pittsburgh is far less palatial than at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, the view out of my hotel room window in Pittsburgh is one any baseball fan would love. I'm looking out onto the Roberto Clemente Bridge across the Allegheny River, and from my room I can see the left field stands inside PNC Park. The view is somewhat similar to that depicted in this photograph (although because tonight's baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Arizona Diamondbacks won't start until 7:05 p.m., the bridge currently remains open to motor vehicles).
The Chief Justice's remarks at the D.C. Circuit's Judicial Conference: The U.S. Supreme Court's number of argued cases will be increasing next Term. And the Court plans to hear oral argument in three cases per day in the fall, as a schedule to be issued on Monday of next week will indicate.
Chief Justice Roberts's prepared remarks apparently will focus on President Abraham Lincoln, whom the Chief Justice described as one of the best jury lawyers in Illinois. In 1849, Lincoln made his one and only U.S. Supreme Court oral argument. The case was Lewis v. Lewis, 48 U.S. 776.
The Chief next posed a series of six multiple choice questions. He began by asking what statement is inscribed on the East Pediment of the Supreme Court building. The second question asked the audience which Chief Justices are depicted on the West Pediment. The next multiple choice question -- and the first that a plurality of the audience answered correctly, was which two Justices are depicted on the Court's bronze doors. The next question was who was the last Supreme Court justice who didn't attend law school. The answer was Justice Byrnes. Next, the Chief Justice asked how many Justices were born outside of the United States. The answer given as correct was six. And the final question was which Justice appears on the $10,000 bill. Because the audience indicated its votes by applause, the Chief Justice's remarks were interrupted by applause eighteen times.
"Jurors convict adult film producer": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "Twelve federal jurors drew the line Thursday for Tampa Bay area residents, saying the graphic and violent films of a Hollywood pornographer are unacceptable in their community. They reached that decision after watching 8 1/2 hours of extreme pornography on a giant screen in court."
And today's edition of The Tampa Tribune contains articles headlined "Adult Movie Producer Found Guilty In Obscenity Trial" and "Standards Of Obscenity Are Murky."
Today is the final day of the D.C. Circuit's Judicial Conference in Farmington, Pennsylvania: Justice Antonin Scalia will be a panelist on this morning's first panel, discussing "The Relationship Among the Three Branches of Government." And Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. will be delivering remarks later this morning. Stay tuned for live blogging!
As I previously noted in this post, last Sunday Justice Scalia delivered a keynote address to members of Agudath Israel of America. You can access the audio of his complete remarks via this link. And you can view photographs of Justice Scalia's appearance at the event at this link (via "Religion Clause").
Update at 9:38 a.m.: One panelist -- not Justice Scalia -- makes a joke about declaring U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy an enemy combatant. Justice Scalia's introductory remarks were unremarkable. We shall see if he signs any books before departing.
Update at 9:48 a.m.: Did Justice Scalia just mistakenly say that Carter became President after Reagan? Perhaps. He then asked his co-panelists, "Who became President next?" Happily, no one answered "Ford."
Update at 9:53 a.m.: With seven minutes left in the program, I am confident in declaring Miguel Estrada the panelist with the best sense of humor.