Thursday, June 25, 2009
"Environmental Issues Lose in Supreme Court; Mining Decision is Fifth to Disappoint Activists This Term": Lawrence Hurley has this article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman
"Hustler could appeal ruling on nude photos of Benoit's wife": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a news update that begins, "Hustler Magazine had no right to publish nude photographs of Chris Benoit's deceased wife, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The family of the late Nancy Benoit filed a federal suit against Larry Flynt Publishing Group last year after Hustler published nude photographs of the professional wrestler's wife."
And The Associated Press has a report headlined "Court: Hustler wrong to print dead woman's photos."
"Judge Kent resigns amid impeachment proceedings": The Houston Chronicle has a news update that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent resigned via an unusual no-frills letter that he hand-delivered in prison to two Senate officials who had come to serve a summons on him as part of ongoing impeachment proceedings in the Congress of the United States."
The Galveston County Daily News has an update headlined "From behind bars Kent resigns from bench."
"Law need not bow to chemistry": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "Expressing a heavy dose of skepticism that crime lab reports are so reliable as to be beyond question, the Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for chemists and other scientists who prepare such reports to be summoned to the witness stand in criminal trials to defend their analyses."
"No bail for blogger accused of threatening judges": The Associated Press has this report.
Posted at 05:03 PM by Howard Bashman
"We must decide whether a distributor of Internet security software is entitled to immunity under the safe harbor provision of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 from a suit claiming that its software interfered with the use of downloadable programs by customers of an online media company." A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit answers "yes" in this opinion issued today.
Posted at 02:11 PM by Howard Bashman
En banc Seventh Circuit rejects federal death row inmate's constitutional challenge to a policy that prohibits federal death row inmates from giving face-to-face interviews with the media and from talking with the media about other inmates: Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook wrote the en banc majority opinion. The en banc court's vote in favor of this outcome was 5-3, with three other judges not participating in the decision.
The three dissenters from today's en banc ruling were the same three judges who joined in a unanimous three-judge panel opinion issued in January 2008 that had reinstated (until vacated by the order granting rehearing en banc) the prisoner's lawsuit challenging the policy. My earlier coverage of that ruling appears at this link.
"Strip search of teen was unconstitutional, Supreme Court rules; The high court says the search of a 13-year-old girl at an Arizona middle school was unjustified; But justices reject the suit against school employees, saying the law had not been clear": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.
Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Supreme Court Rules School's Strip Search of Girl Was Illegal."
Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has an article headlined "Supreme Court: Strip search of 13-year-old unconstitutional."
Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "Teen strip-searched in school wins partial victory."
At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Some expansion of student privacy."
And at "The School Law Blog" of Education Week, Mark Walsh has a post titled "Strip-Search Decision Adds Clarity for Students and Schools."
"Top court requires lab analyst testimony": James Vicini of Reuters has this report.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"Strip Search of Student Was Illegal, Top Court Says": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News has this report.
"Court eases rules on English learner program": The Arizona Republic has a news update that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court took a major step toward ending a 17-year legal battle today, deciding Arizona has done enough to help students who haven't learned to speak, read or write English."
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman
"We are called upon to review a matter involving a doctor's application for discharge from the Army as a conscientious objector." So begins an interesting opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman
Access today's opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court in argued cases: The first opinion issued today came in Horne v. Flores, No. 08-289. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. wrote the majority opinion in this 5-4 ruling. Joining in the majority opinion were the Chief Justice and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas. Justice Stephen G. Breyer issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.
Today's second opinion issued in Atlantic Sounding Co. v. Townsend, No. 08-214. The unusual line-up of Justices in this 5-4 ruling is as follows. Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer joined. Justice Alito issued a dissenting opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justices Scalia and Kennedy joined. You can access the opinion at this link. and the oral argument transcript at this link.
Today's third opinion issued in Safford United School Dist. #1 v. Redding, No. 08-479. Justice Souter delivered the opinion of the Court, in which the Chief Justice and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Breyer, and Alito joined in full, and in which Justices Stevens and Ginsburg joined in large part. Justice Stevens filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Justice Ginsburg joined. Justice Ginsburg also filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. And Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.
The fourth and final decision issued today came in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, No. 07-591. The unusual line-up of Justices in this 5-4 ruling is as follows. Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Stevens, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg joined. Justice Thomas also issued a concurring opinion. And Justice Kennedy issued a dissenting opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justices Breyer and Alito joined. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.
The remaining three decisions in cases argued this Term will be announced on Monday. Those cases are: Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n, No. 08-205 (access the oral argument transcript here); Ricci v. DeStefano, No. 07-1428 (access the oral argument transcript here); and Cuomo v. Clearing House Assn., L.L.C., No. 08-453 (access the oral argument transcript here).
As an aside, the seniority of the Justice who wrote the majority opinion (or the opinion announcing the judgment of the Court) determines the order in which opinions are announced. The most junior Justice's opinions are announced first, The Chief Justice's opinions are announced last.
In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court says strip search of child illegal"; "Court rules for defendants on crime lab reports"; "Court eases oversight of Ariz. English program"; and "Court rules for seaman in dispute with ship owner."
And then there were seven: The remaining seven argued cases from this Term in which the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to issue decisions are:
1. Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, No. 07-591 (access the oral argument transcript here);
2. Atlantic Sounding Co. v. Townsend, No. 08-214 (access the oral argument transcript here);
3. Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n, No. 08-205 (access the oral argument transcript here);
4. Horne v. Flores, No. 08-289 (access the oral argument transcript here);
5. Safford United School Dist. #1 v. Redding, No. 08-479 (access the oral argument transcript here);
6. Ricci v. DeStefano, No. 07-1428 (access the oral argument transcript here); and
7. Cuomo v. Clearing House Assn., L.L.C., No. 08-453 (access the oral argument transcript here).
"Delay Damages Bump Up Lackawanna Verdict by Nearly $7 Mil." Gina Passarella today has this article, in which I am mentioned, in The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia's daily newspaper for lawyers.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"Sotomayor Ruling Exposes Racial Split in Firehouses Across U.S." Bloomberg News has this report.
And online at Slate, Nicole Allan and Emily Bazelon have a five-part series about Ricci v. DeStefano titled "The Ladder: How a Supreme Court case about promotions at a local fire department will decide who gets the good jobs in cities across America.." Part one is subtitled "A Connecticut City's Race Problem Sparks a National Debate"; part two "Do White, Black, and Hispanic Firefighters in New Haven Get Along?"; part three "Why Did New Haven's White Firefighters Test Better Than Blacks and Hispanics?"; part four "Is There a Better Way to Decide Who Gets Promoted?"; and part five "Is There Any Fair Solution to the New Haven Case?"
"Virginia Abortion Restriction Is Upheld; U.S. Appeals Court Votes 6-5 to Back 'Partial Birth' Ban": The Washington Post contains this article today.
And The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "Va. 'partial-birth' abortion ban upheld."
"White supremacist Hal Turner arrested, charged; FBI says blogger threatened to kill 3 U.S. appellate judges in Chicago": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
The New York Times reports today that "Radio Host Is Arrested in Threats on 3 Judges."
The Hartford Courant reports that "Blogger Hal Turner Charged With Threatening Chicago-Area Judges."
And The Jersey Journal contains an article headlined "Held on Threat to Judges; On Turner blog: Photos, 'deserve to be killed.'"