How Appealing

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"Uncertainty Now in a Golden Youth's Trajectory": In Wednesday's edition of The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse will have an article that begins, "No matter what his doctors eventually tell John G. Roberts Jr., or the world, about the diagnosis and outlook for his seizure disorder, it is clear that something changed irrevocably following the 52-year-old chief justice's momentary loss of consciousness on a vacation island dock on Monday afternoon. He lost his privacy, and with it the aura of invincibility that came with his youthful good looks and spectacular career path."

In addition, Denise Grady and Lawrence K. Altman will have an article headlined "After Seizure, Roberts Faces Hard Decision."
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman



Pawtucket Red Sox 5, Columbus Clippers 4 (10 innings): Doug Berman of the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog and I had the pleasure of watching Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox pitch seven scoreless innings tonight in what is expected to be Schilling's final minor league appearance before returning to the big leagues.

Although the home team managed four hits off of Schilling, it was not until the bullpen of the PawSox took over that the Clippers managed to tie the game, plating four runs in the bottom of the eighth. But Columbus, despite having chances, failed to score the go-ahead run in that half inning, and the PawSox took the lead and earned the victory in the 10th inning. Schilling, despite the strong outing, received a no-decision.

You can access the box score at this link, while a wrap is available here. And The Associated Press reports that "Schilling strong in 3rd rehab start."

Update: MLB.com reports that "Schilling says he's ready to go; After strong rehab start, veteran could rejoin Red Sox's rotation." The Boston Globe reports that "Schilling right on target; Final rehab start silences doubts." The Providence (R.I.) Journal reports that "Schilling shines in Columbus, makes his way back to Boston." And Wednesday in The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, an article reports that "Schilling shuts down Clippers," while Bob Hunter has an essay entitled "Seeing Schilling pitch creates lasting memory."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Released From Hospital; Roberts to Continue Vacation Following Seizure": Robert Barnes and Michael D. Shear of The Washington Post provide this news update.
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Giant Killer' Willie Gary is a titan in legal world": This lengthy article appeared yesterday in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 05:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"How a Patent Ruling Is Changing Court Cases": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Peter Lattman has an article that begins, "Three months after the Supreme Court handed down what many called a landmark patent decision, judges have begun to rule in favor of companies defending themselves against infringement lawsuits -- in one case dismissing a suit and in another ordering a review."
Posted at 05:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"11th Circuit asked to toss teen's suspension for 'disturbing' story": In May 2007, The Associated Press published a report that begins, "Less than two weeks after the deadliest shootings in modern U.S. history, members of a federal appeals court had skeptical questions in the case of a student who was suspended for a story she wrote about shooting and killing her math teacher." And in even earlier coverage from The AP, "Student disciplined over journal entry files lawsuit" and "Federal court dismisses lawsuit by student punished for story."

Today, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision affirming the federal district court's dismissal of the lawsuit.

Additional background about the case is available from CNN.com here, here, and here. The Smoking Gun has posted at this link the journal entry at issue.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Idaho to Celebrate Investiture of Ninth Circuit Judge N. Randy Smith": The Public Information Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued this news release.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"[W]e recognize that six courts of appeals have held that a waiver of appeal [by a criminal defendant as part of a plea agreement] does not relieve counsel of the duty to file a notice of appeal on his client's request": Today, however, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a very interesting opinion disagreeing with that proposition. Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook wrote the opinion.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: I'm traveling to Columbus, Ohio this afternoon, where tomorrow I'll be playing the role of the proverbial "law blogger to be named later" in a panel discussion at the 16th Annual Meeting of the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

This evening in Columbus, a certain sentencing law blogger and I will be attending a AAA minor league baseball game between the Columbus Clippers and the Pawtucket Red Sox. As luck would have it, I obtained fourth-row seats midway between home plate and first base before it was announced that Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling would be making his final rehab appearance in the minors this evening for the PawSox. As The Columbus Dispatch reports in an article published today, "Baseball will replace mystery meat as the main attraction tonight in Cooper Stadium with Curt Schilling pitching for Pawtucket." I'm bringing my camera and will post some photos from the game after I return home tomorrow night.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Roberts to Leave Hospital Tuesday": The Associated Press provides this updated report.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Shoe bomber Richard Reid: Jail's where Allah wants me." This article appeared yesterday in The Mirror (UK).
Posted at 11:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts Tells Bush He's OK After Seizure": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Chief Justice John Roberts told President Bush Tuesday he was doing well after sustaining a seizure at his Maine vacation home, the White House said."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Seizure Preceded Chief Justice's Fall": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court sustains Johnson death sentence": The Globe Gazette of Mason City, Iowa today contains an article that begins, "The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed the conviction and death penalty sentence of Angela Johnson, ruling on her first appeal."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Short of Perjury": Today in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has an op-ed that begins, "I find myself in an unaccustomed and unexpected position: defending Attorney General Alberto Gonzales."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Enron Plaintiffs Get More Support; Legislators Join Bid On Investors' Rights": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Two key Democratic lawmakers yesterday became the latest federal officials seeking to intervene in a Supreme Court case that could determine whether investors in Enron and other fraud-ridden companies can recover money from third parties."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice Roberts suffers seizure; Neurological testing reveals no cause for concern and he's 'fully recovered'; The cause remains unknown": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And USA Today reports today that "Chief justice OK after seizure; Similar incident occurred in 1993."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"House bill to lift limits on pay lawsuits; The legislation, expected to pass Tuesday, would override a high court ruling on a law requiring workers to file discrimination claims in 180 days": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, July 30, 2007

"Chief Justice Is Admitted to Hospital After Seizure": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.

And David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Chief Justice Roberts has seizure; Neurological tests found no reason for concern, the Supreme Court says, and he's 'fully recovered'; The cause is unknown; He had a similar event in 1993."
Posted at 11:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Complaints filed against Supreme Court justice; Judge accepted illegal discount on his legal bill, group says": The Austin American-Statesman last week published an article that begins, "An advocacy group has filed three complaints against Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, alleging that he broke the law when he accepted a $100,000 discount on legal bills. Texas Watch filed the complaints Tuesday with the Travis County district attorney's office, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Texas Ethics Commission. The nonprofit advocacy group for consumers said Hecht received a discount of up to 25 percent on legal expenses for his appeal of an ethics rebuke. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct reprimanded Hecht for his support of friend Harriet Miers' 2005 nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, alleging that he improperly used his official position to promote Miers. However, a special review court tossed out the sanction."

The Houston Chronicle reported last week that "Texas high court justice under review for attorney discount."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported last week that "Complaint filed against state court justice."

The Daily Texan reported last week that "Hecht faces complaints on legal fees."

And Texas Lawyer reports that "Complaints Filed Over Discounted Fees for Texas Justice Caught in Miers Nomination Flap."
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Suffers Seizure; Roberts Is Fine, Spokeswoman Says": Robert Barnes and Michael D. Shear will have this front page article Tuesday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice Roberts Is Hospitalized After Seizure": Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times provides this news update.
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Shortsighted on Judges": Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay in today's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 08:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice Roberts Suffers Seizure": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Chief Justice John Roberts suffered a seizure at his summer home in Maine on Monday, causing a fall that resulted in minor scrapes, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. He will remain in a hospital in Maine overnight."

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court Chief Suffers a Seizure."

The Courier-Gazette of Rockland, Maine provides a news update headlined "Chief Justice Roberts to spend night at hospital."

CNN.com reports that "Chief justice tumbles after seizure."

Bloomberg News reports that "Chief Justice Roberts Falls After Seizure, Court Says."

Reuters reports that "Chief Justice Roberts suffers seizure, fall."

And in this post at "SCOTUSblog," you can access the U.S. Supreme Court's official statement issued this evening.
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Roberts hospitalized; He was at his vacation home in Maine when he fell, court says": NBC News provides this breaking news.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., fell at his vacation home in Maine at mid-afternoon, and was taken to a hospital in the area 'as a precaution,' the Supreme Court disclosed Monday. There were no immediate details on whether he was injured, or how severely, or about the circumstances of his fall, according to Kathleen L. Arberg, the Court's public information officer."

The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court Chief Taken to Hospital."

Bill Mears and Jean Meserve of CNN report that "Chief Justice tumbles at Maine summer home." Additionally, Jeffrey Toobin, reporting on CNN television, stated at 3:50 p.m. eastern time that the fall occurred around 2 p.m. eastern time this afternoon.

Bloomberg News reports that "Chief Justice John Roberts Hospitalized After Fall ."

And Reuters reports that "Chief Justice Roberts taken to hospital."
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge Eighth Circuit panel rejects Angela Johnson's efforts to overturn the federal death sentence imposed against her: According to Wikipedia, Johnson is "the first woman sentenced to die by a federal court in over 50 years." Today's decision was not a total loss for Johnson, in that she appears to have achieved the vacation of four death sentences and one sentence of life imprisonment. Unfortunately for her, she began the appeal facing eight death sentences and two sentences of life imprisonment, meaning that she still faces four death sentences and one sentence of life imprisonment.

Extensive coverage of the underlying trial is available online via this link from The Globe Gazette of Mason City, Iowa.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Prison guards at the Federal Correctional Institution in Jesup, Georgia are not entitled to receive enhanced back pay for their exposure to inmates' smoking, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rules: A unanimous three-judge Federal Circuit panel issued this decision today.
Posted at 11:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice John Paul Stevens in Honolulu": You can view this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts" by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gun control goes to court? The Supreme Court may takes its first 2nd Amendment case in more than 60 years." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales's Truthfulness Long Disputed; Claims of Misstatements to Shield Bush Stretch Back a Decade": The Washington Post contains this front page article today.

USA Today reports today that "Dems skeptical over hint of 2 surveillance efforts; Discrepancies between Gonzales, FBI director raise more questions."

And The Washington Times reports that "Senators warn Gonzales he must clarify testimony."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals jurist takes senior status; Widener's departure brings 4th Circuit vacancies to five": This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The newspaper also contains a related editorial entitled "Vacancies."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Solicitor faced with crucial decision but few guidelines": Today's issue of USA Today contains an article that begins, "Any decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for allegedly lying to Congress rests with his subordinate, Solicitor General Paul Clement, who has few rules to guide him."

And at her "Legalities" blog, ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has a post titled "Clement and His Options."
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judging the Judges": The New York Sun today contains an editorial that begins, "It is no small thing that a federal judge had to tell the state's presiding administrative judges that they flubbed the First Amendment when drafting new rules about attorney advertising in the State of New York."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Solons Aim To Reverse Ruling Curbing Asylum for Chinese": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "Congress, led by members of New York's delegation, is considering whether to ease the granting of political asylum to those affected by China's forcible sterilization and abortion policies."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"After Flawed Executions, States Resort to Secrecy": You can access at this link (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) today's installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"An Unsolved Killing: What does the firing of a U.S. Attorney have to do with a murder case?" Jeffrey Toobin has this article about the murder of Seattle-based Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Wales in the August 6, 2007 issue of The New Yorker.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, July 29, 2007

"A Lawyer Who Turned a Judge Into a National Cause": Saturday's edition of The New York Times contained an article that begins, "In the hands of a lesser political bloodhound, the matter might have been simply a court case to decide the fate of the chief justice of Pakistan. In the hands of Aitzaz Ahsan, one of the country's best known lawyer-politicians, the case of the chief justice was rendered a case of justice under military rule."
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mr. Gonzales's Never-Ending Story": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sticking to His Story: Republicans don't believe him; The FBI director contradicted him; How does Gonzales hang on?" Michael Isikoff will have this article in the August 6, 2007 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mining of Data Prompted Fight Over U.S. Spying": The New York Times today contains a front page article that begins, "A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency's secret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program."
Posted at 07:10 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online at law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Both Sides Fear Firing Blanks if D.C. Gun Case Reaches High Court."

An article is headlined "2nd Circuit: No Time Bar for WorldCom Bondholders." My earlier coverage of the Second Circuit's ruling appears at this link.

In other news, "Private Communities Can Regulate Residents' Speech, N.J. High Court Rules." My earlier coverage of the ruling appears at this link.

An article reports that "Fla. Appeals Panel Finds in Error Judge Who Made Columbine Remarks."

And the latest installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column is headlined "In Intra-Circuit Splits, Which Decision Governs?"
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Long Shot": The Citizens Voice of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania today contains an article in which I am quoted that begins, "Speaking optimistically, city attorney Kris Kobach said the decision simply put Hazleton 'down at halftime.' Mayor Lou Barletta, meanwhile, termed it 'a slip, not a fall.' But if history is any indication, Hazleton's defeat in district court Thursday was a substantial setback. The city plans a vigorous appeal to the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. The odds of winning there, however, are statistically slim."
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Philadelphia Phillies 10, Pittsburgh Pirates 5: My son and I were back at Citizens Bank Park this evening to see another Phillies victory, which puts the team in sole possession of second place in the National League East, three and one-half games behind the New York Mets, and two and one-half games behind the Wild Card leaders, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After the broken finger that Phillies All Star second baseman Chase Utley sustained on Thursday, the Phillies chances for the playoffs appeared even more doubtful than usual. But after acquiring Tadahito Iguchi from the Chicago White Sox and the return of relief pitchers Brett Myers and Tom Gordon from the ranks of the injured, it now appears that the Phillies may remain in contention.

You can access the box score of tonight's game at this link, while wraps from MLB.com are available here and here.
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Democrat charges U.S. justices 'duped' Senate": Thomas Ferraro of Reuters provides this report.

The Politico reports that "Schumer to fight new Bush high court picks."

And at "ACSBlog" you can access a post titled "Text of Senator Schumer's Speech."
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fewer See Balance in High Court Decisions; Growing Numbers In Poll Say Bench Is 'Too Conservative'": Robert Barnes and Jon Cohen will have this front page article Sunday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 04:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Dept. Lawyers Join Chorus Criticizing Gonzales": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court upholds ruling against former Tribune owners": The Salt Lake Tribune today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that no separate oral contract exists to guarantee the right of the former owners of The Salt Lake Tribune to repurchase the newspaper from owner MediaNews Group. A trio of judges on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Friday threw out the McCarthey family's appeal of a lower court, saying their oral contract claims are superseded by written contracts that spelled out how they could regain the paper they sold 10 years ago."

And The Deseret Morning News reports today that "Ex-Trib owners must rely on written pacts; Judge rules that contracts supersede oral accords."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Tenth Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge tosses contempt request against JCPS; Court offers hearing on any 'valid' motions": The Louisville Courier-Journal today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge yesterday abruptly dismissed a Louisville lawyer's demand that Jefferson County Public Schools leaders be held in contempt and jailed unless they could prove students weren't still being denied a school choice because of race. In a sharply worded ruling, Chief U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II chastised attorney Teddy Gordon, who successfully challenged Jefferson County's student-assignment policy."

And The Associated Press reports that "Ky. Schools Contempt Request Denied."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky at this link.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Congress Moves to Rewrite Patent Laws": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, July 27, 2007

Tenth Circuit decides appeal relating to ownership battle over The Salt Lake Tribune: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman


In today's mail: Thanks to PG of the "De Novo" blog, volume three of "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law" on DVD.
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Felons can't vote until fines paid." The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that felons who haven't paid their fines and court costs aren't entitled to vote. But for 16 months they could, and now the state has no way of knowing how many might be on the rolls or how to keep them from casting ballots."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Court upholds state's felon voter rule; Fines must be paid first to regain right."

Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Washington State consists of an opinion announcing the judgment of the court; two concurring opinions (here and here); and two dissenting opinions (here and here).
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Oral surgeon gets last laugh over boar-tusk prank": This article appears today in The Seattle Times.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Washington State can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"White House Tackles AG's Contradictions": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:58 PM by Howard Bashman


By a vote of 2-2, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit denies rehearing en banc in federal death penalty appeal of Gary Lee Sampson: You can view today's order denying rehearing en banc, and the two dissents therefrom, at this link.

My earlier coverage of the First Circuit's three-judge panel ruling in this case can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Dismissed charges upheld in grave case; Appeals court agrees with Iowa County judge that state statute does not criminalize sex with a corpse": The Telegraph Herald of Dubuque, Iowa today contains an article that begins, "Three Iowa County men can't be prosecuted for attempted sexual assault of a deceased woman they tried to dig up in a Cassville cemetery in September, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. In upholding Grant County Circuit Judge George Curry's decision, the District 4 Court of Appeals concluded that the state's statute on third-degree sexual assault doesn't criminalize necrophilia."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District IV, at this link.
Posted at 02:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"This Judge Needs a Jury: Sen. Patrick Leahy has asked the attorney general to investigate whether a judge on the D.C. Circuit told a falsehood during his confirmation hearing; There's a better way to proceed." Dirk Olin has this essay online at Newsweek.
Posted at 12:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Qwest Boss Ordered to Pay $52M": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge ordered former Qwest Communications chief executive Joe Nacchio, convicted of insider trading, to forfeit $52 million in assets he gained in illegal stock sales. The order on Friday came at the start of a sentencing hearing for Nacchio, convicted in April of making $52 million in stock sales at a time when he knew Qwest faced financial risk but didn't tell investors."

On Monday, The Denver Post contained an article headlined "New Nacchio lawyer a master of the appeal; Maureen Mahoney has argued 18 cases before the Supreme Court - and has lost only two of them."

And on Tuesday, The Rocky Mountain News contained an article headlined "No jail during ex-CEO's appeal, motion asks."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Panel suspends Halverson; Judge will continue to draw pay": This article appeared Thursday in The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

And today's newspaper contains an article headlined "Judge's prospects evaluated; Conversation at courthouse focuses on Halverson's future" and an editorial entitled "Judge Halverson suspended with pay: Commission on Judicial Discipline reacts with relative urgency."

The Final Order of Interim Suspension can be accessed here, while the order of the Supreme Court of Nevada unsealing the interim suspension decision can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"The fight's not over: Appeals expected in Hazleton case after judge strikes down law regulating illegal immigrants." The Allentown Morning Call contains this article today, along with an article headlined "'Gracias a Dios! We won!'"

The Citizens Voice of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania today contains articles headlined "Polarizing law tossed"; "Barletta pledges to continue fight"; "Hazleton residents remain divided"; and "Judge's ruling means hectic times for Barletta."

The Philadelphia Inquirer contains articles headlined "Court voids Hazleton law" and "Chatter but no sense of closure."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "Hazleton loses bid to evict illegal workers."

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports that "Immigrant law ruling splits Hazleton."

The New York Times reports that "Judge Voids Ordinance on Illegal Immigrants."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage and Nicole Gaouette report that "Hazleton immigration law is rejected; A city cannot take such a national issue into its own hands, a judge rules in Pennsylvania."

And in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Judge Rules Against Pa. City on Immigrants."

You can access my earlier coverage of yesterday's lengthy ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"State high court limits seizure of cars of prostitution and drug suspects; Justices toss out a Stockton ordinance that allowed confiscation upon arrest in such cases; L.A.'s city attorney was among the parties supporting such police powers": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

In The Oakland Tribune, Josh Richman reports that "High court nixes car-seizure laws; Cities can't be tougher than state on crimes committed with vehicles, justices say."

And The Stockton Record reports that "Cities can't seize cars; State's high court says Stockton can't sell vehicles taken during drug, prostitution busts."

You can access yesterday's 4-3 ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Beneath Contempt: The U.S. attorneys controversy is about politics, not the law." Kimberley A. Strassel has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Critic and Ex-Boss Testify on Guantanamo Hearings": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"FBI Chief Disputes Gonzales On Spying; Mueller Describes Internal Debate": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post. In addition, columnist Eugene Robinson has an op-ed entitled "Bedtime for Gonzo."

The New York Times reports today that "F.B.I. Chief Gives Account at Odds With Gonzales's." A related article is headlined "Chatty Senator on Air Force One Pushes the Rules, and Buttons."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "FBI chief seems to contradict Gonzales; Robert Mueller tells a House panel that he had had reservations about a wiretapping program, undercutting the attorney general's testimony."

And USA Today contains a front page article headlined "Conflict builds as Gonzales targeted; Senate Dems subpoena Rove."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Pamela MacLean reports that "9th Circuit Judges Still Wary of Splitting Court; Judges remain concerned over Supreme Court's position and persistent claims about 'extreme' rulings."

In other news, "Former Judge Wins Partial First Amendment Victory at 5th Circuit." My earlier coverage of last Friday's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.

Marcia Coyle reports that "'Hamdan' Lawyer to Head International Humanitarian Law Clinic."

In news from Pennsylvania, "Retrial Ordered in Nine-Figure Fraud Case." You can access the July 18, 2007 ruling of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at this link.

And an article reports that "Upset of Few Attorney Advertising Rules Could Signal Return of 'Heavy Hitters.'"
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Modest Improvements Cannot Save an Inherently Flawed Process at Guantanamo": Jonathan Hafetz has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Court Upholds Curbs on Signs in New Jersey": The New York Times on Friday will contain an article that begins, "In a ruling that could have implications far beyond New Jersey, the State Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the right of homeowners' associations to restrict the posting of political signs and other forms of constitutionally protected speech, as long as the restrictions are not 'unreasonable or oppressive.'"

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices rule in favor of jokester dentist": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer provides a news update that begins, "There was a time when a good practical joke involved fake barf, and the state Supreme Court took on legal issues that could lull even the most eager of law students to sleep. So wait 'til you hear this one. An Auburn dentist waited until his assistant was sedated for oral surgery and then put fake boar tusks in her mouth. Her eyes were pried open. Pictures were taken. And oh, was it funny -- until the woman found out what happened. The legal question was almost as odd as the joke: Should the dentist's insurance company have defended him when his assistant sued?"

And The Seattle Times provides a news update headlined "Court awards oral surgeon $750,000 in boar-tusk case."

Today's 5-4 ruling of the Supreme Court of Washington State consists of a majority opinion and two dissenting opinions (here and here).
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jury convicts Broward inmate of indecent exposure in his cell": This article appears today in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

And The Miami Herald reports today that "Sex act costs inmate 60 more days; An armed robber got a 60-day jail sentence for doing something people do in private."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Noriega loses round in extradition fight": Jay Weaver of The Miami Herald provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Noriega Appears in Court on Extradition."
Posted at 10:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Closing the Doors The Family Opened; A.V.'s Regulars Return to Wait For a Last Meal": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Waiters were rolling out of the kitchen with steaming platters of rigatoni and mushroom-topped pizzas, the phone was jangling with more and more orders, and who was that coming through the timeworn front door? Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, leading an entourage for a last gastronomic adventure. For more than a half-century, the justice has been a regular patron at A.V. Ristorante Italiano, Washington's one-stop answer to Little Italy since the days when Harry S. Truman occupied the White House. Now, he'll have to find another joint."
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas Charts a Jurisprudence All His Own": Brent Kendall has this article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Throw Restraint to the Wind: And other ways for the legal left to rein in the Roberts Court." Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 09:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer seeks contempt order against JCPS for race policy": The Louisville Courier-Journal provides a news update that begins, "Jefferson County Public Schools officials should allow students assigned to schools this year because of their race to choose another school -- or be held in contempt and incarcerated, says the Louisville lawyer who successfully sued to end the district’s school-integration plan."

And The Associated Press reports that "Lawyer Asks for Changes in Schools Case."
Posted at 06:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge rules Hazleton's ordinance on illegal immigrants is unconstitutional": The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a news update that begins, "In a ruling with national implications, a federal judge this afternoon struck down a controversial year-old ordinance in Hazleton designed to crack down on illegal immigrants in the Northeastern Pennsylvania city. In a 206-page ruling, U.S. District Judge James Munley found that Hazleton's ordinance that would have penalized city businesses that hire illegal immigrants and landlords who rent to them was unconstitutional because the federal government alone crafts and enforces immigration policies."

The Allentown Morning Call provides news updates headlined "Appeals next in Hazleton case; Judge strikes ordinance regulating illegal aliens" and "Hazleton's Latinos pleased with judge's decision."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides a news update headlined "Judge strikes down Hazleton laws on illegal immigrants."

The Associated Press reports that "Pa. Immigrant Law Voided."

And The Legal Intelligencer provides a news update headlined "Hazleton Immigration Ordinances Fail Constitutional Test" (free access).

You can access today's lengthy ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 06:50 PM by Howard Bashman



Washington Nationals 7, Philadelphia Phillies 6: My son and I were back at Citizens Bank Park for this afternoon's game, but the Phillies were unable to deliver a bottom of the 9th comeback for the second day in a row, falling a run short today. You can view the box score at this link, while wraps from MLB.com are available here and here. Even worse news was awaiting us on our return home, as MLB.com is now reporting that "Utley breaks hand, lands on DL; Injury a result of being plunked with a pitch."
Posted at 06:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Congress has not stated its intent to reach discussions held in the United States in furtherance of a conspiracy to possess controlled substances outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, with intent to distribute those controlled substances outside of the territorial jurisdiction of the United States." Federal criminal statutes that make it a crime to conspire to possess with intent to distribute cocaine do not apply extraterritorially, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled today in a decision that you can access here.

David Oscar Markus has this post about the decision at the "Southern District of Florida Blog."
Posted at 11:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"[B]ecause Appellants were members of a class asserted in a class action complaint, their limitations period was tolled under the doctrine of American Pipe until such time as they ceased to be members of the asserted class, notwithstanding that they also filed individual actions prior to the class certification decision." So holds a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a decision issued today in In re: WorldCom Securities Litigation.

The plaintiffs-appellants that prevailed in today's ruling are are public and private pension funds that purchased bonds of WorldCom and then sued the underwriters of the bonds under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, alleging that the registration statements covering the bonds they purchased contained false and misleading information.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sixth Circuit reverses extreme upward variance in sex offender case": The "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog has this post about a decision that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 10:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Gang' Courted for Southwick": Roll Call today contains an article (subscription required) that begins, "GOP Senate leaders are looking to re-enlist members of the bipartisan 'Gang of 14' to help break the impasse over the stalled appellate court nomination of Leslie Southwick, a move that has temporarily delayed Republican plans to make the appointee ground zero for a major Senate rematch over the federal bench."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Stacking the Court": Jean Edward Smith has this op-ed today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senator May Seek Gonzales Perjury Probe; Leahy Sets Deadline For Revised Testimony": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court tosses out challenge to board prayers": The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana today contains an article that begins, "A sharply divided 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans threw out on Wednesday a 2-year-old lower court decision that had blocked prayers from being said at Tangipahoa Parish School Board meetings, court records show. The parties that brought the lawsuit against the board did not show they had standing to file suit against the School Board three and a half years ago, the appeals court majority said. The en banc court vacated the District Court ruling that held sectarian invocations delivered at the start of board meetings were unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit remanded the case to U.S. District Court at New Orleans with instructions to dismiss the suit, court records show."

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court vacates Tangipahoa prayer ruling."

You can access yesterday's 8-7 en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link. And my coverage of the original splintered three-judge panel ruling in the case can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



Philadelphia Phillies 7, Washington Nationals 5 (14 innings): My son and I had the pleasure of watching the first twelve innings of Wednesday night's baseball game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. We would have gladly stayed for the entire game, but having taken public transportation to the game, it made more sense to leave before Philadelphia's subway system shut down for the night.

On the night of the Cole Hamels Bobble Figurine give-away, starting pitcher Cole Hamels pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two runs and recording six strikeouts. When he left the game the Phillies were leading 4-2. Phillies closer for-the-moment Antonio Alfonseca had a rough outing in the ninth inning, charged with giving up three runs in just one-third of an inning. That meant, heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, that the Philies were trailing 5-4. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins hit a triple to the gap in left center and then came around to score the tying run on the play when the throw from the outfield to the Nationals shortstop trickled away and then the throw home could not be handled by the Nationals catcher.

Some five innings later, in the bottom of the fourteenth inning, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard hit a tremendous home run to the second deck in right field, with a runner on base, to end the game. You can access the box score at this link. Wraps from MLB.com are here and here. Thursday's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that "Phillies win in 14th on Howard's homer." And Thursday's edition of The Washington Post contains an article headlined "Nats Let One Slip Away; Howard's Homer in 14th Sinks Washington: Phillies 7, Nationals 5."
Posted at 01:02 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"You're NOT the Boss of Me: It's hard to shock them in Las Vegas, but a former law clerk is managing to do just that." The August 2007 issue of ABA Journal magazine contains an article that begins, "At first glance, the quo warranto matter of Halverson v. Hardcastle before the Nevada Supreme Court looks like a civics lesson on how much authority a state court's chief judge has over colleagues. But just a few flips into the hundreds of pages of pleadings, exhibits and affidavits--including formerly confidential documents circulated among judges, ad­ministrators and staff--there is a nasty battle involving a newly elected judge who figuratively turned the courthouse upside down, then literally got banned from it and locked out."
Posted at 02:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jury panel queried in masturbation trial": The Miami Herald provides a news update that begins, "A Broward prisoner on trial on charges that he masturbated in his jail cell will face a jury of his peers. During jury selection Wednesday in the case of inmate Terry Lee Alexander, all seven jurors admitted to attorneys that they have masturbated. The awkward questioning was posed by defense attorney Kathleen McHugh, who faced 17 prospective jurors and asked point-blank who among them had never masturbated. No hands went up. Then, she went one-by-one, asking each prospective juror if he or she had ever masturbated. All nine men said yes, two of the 10 women said no."

And The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Prisoner accused of indecent act alone in Broward jail cell."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Profits vs. Partners": David Lat has this article in the July 29, 2007 issue of The New York Observer.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Composite images can be child pornography, court rules": The Akron Beacon Journal provides a news update that begins, "Composite images of child pornography are still pornography, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today in a case stemming from the arrest of Portage County man."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio at this link. And the court's summary of its decision is headlined "Court Rules Child Pornography Laws Constitutional, Clarifies Burden of Proof that Real Child Is Depicted."
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Domestic violence prosecution not in conflict with state's 'gay marriage' amendment, state court rules": The Toledo Blade provides this news update.

The Cincinnati Enquirer provides a news update headlined "Court rejects challenge."

And The Associated Press reports that "Domestic Violence Law Upheld Under Ban."

My earlier coverage of today's Supreme Court of Ohio ruling appears in the post immediately below.
Posted at 02:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"High court upholds Ohio's domestic-violence law; Gay-marriage ban doesn't affect it, 6 justices say": The Columbus Dispatch provides a news update that begins, "Ohio's domestic-violence law applies to unmarried couples despite the state's 2004 constitutional ban of gay marriages, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today. Lower courts across Ohio had issued contradictory rulings on whether the 3-year-old amendment overturned domestic-violence statutes. By a large majority voters had agreed not only to define marriage as only between a man and woman, but also to mandate that the state and its political subdivisions could not 'create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.' In a 6-1 ruling, the court said the domestic-violence law is not trying to define a legal relationship, but merely identifies one class of people who are protected from violence."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio at this link. And the court's summary of its decision is headlined "Law Barring Domestic Violence Against Unmarried Person 'Living As a Spouse' Held Constitutional."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Origin Myth: How Liberals Can Take Back The Supreme Court." Douglas T. Kendall and Law Professor James E. Ryan will have this essay in the August 6, 2007 issue of The New Republic.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Specter to probe Supreme Court decisions": The Politico today provides a report that begins, "Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) plans to review the Senate testimony of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito to determine if their reversal of several long-standing opinions conflicts with promises they made to senators to win confirmation."
Posted at 11:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Timber fight pits judge vs. judges; Sen. Smith's brother blasts decisions, then faces blowback": The Oregonian today contains this article reporting on a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued on July 2, 2007.
Posted at 11:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"What Should a Three-Judge U.S. Court of Appeals Panel Do When Faced With Conflicting On-Point Authority Issued By Previous Panels?" That was the headline of the October 2003 installment of my monthly "Upon Further Review" column published in The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia's daily newspaper for lawyers.

To my knowledge, today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit is the only federal appellate court that allows a three-judge panel, when faced with conflicting precedent from earlier three-judge panels of its court, to choose to follow whichever of the two conflicting decisions the current panel deems more correct. In every other federal court of appeals, the earliest of the conflicting decisions governs until overruled by the court sitting en banc.

I view the Eighth Circuit's approach to intra-circuit conflicts as flawed for the reasons discussed in my column from October 2003. What makes this issue relevant now is that a three-judge Eighth Circuit panel in an opinion issued today once again relied on this quirk of Eighth Circuit law to ignore an earlier-issued on-point Eighth Circuit panel ruling in favor of following a conflicting more recently-issued three-judge panel ruling.

Here's hoping that the Eighth Circuit grants rehearing en banc in the case to eliminate the uncertainty in the important area of the law addressed in today's decision that the decision only serves to perpetuate.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman



By a vote of 8-6, en banc Sixth Circuit upholds death sentence that original divided three-judge panel had set aside as unconstitutionally disproportionate: You can access today's ruling, and the three dissenting opinions that accompany it, at this link.

The original three-judge panel's ruling, which set aside the death sentence, issued on August 2, 2006, and my coverage that day of the ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senators Attack Attorney General Gonzales' Credibility": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Holy Land case starts with focus on intent; Lawyers insist 5 strived to ease suffering; prosecutors say goal was to fund terror": The Dallas Morning News contains this article today.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Case Against Islamic Charity Opens; Now-Shuttered Organization Funneled Money to Militants, Prosecutors Say."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Trial begins for charity tied to Hamas; The Holy Land Foundation's mission was humanitarian aid to Palestinians, not funding violence, defense lawyers say."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Return to Abuse: President Bush authorizes secret -- and harsh -- interrogation methods for the CIA." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Voids Higher Limits on Truckers' Hours": The New York Times contains this article today.

You can access yesterday's D.C. Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gonzales, Senators Spar on Credibility; Account of Meeting In '04 Is Challenged": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post, along with an article headlined "Report Suggests Laws Broken in Attorney Firings." Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "With Senate and Gonzales, Familiarity Breeds Contempt." And an editorial is entitled "Credibility Collapse: Once again, Alberto Gonzales is unable to offer straight answers to simple questions."

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Gonzales loses ground on the Hill; His explanations leave senators questioning his candor and honesty."

The New York Times reports that "Gonzales Denies Improper Pressure on Ashcroft."

USA Today reports that "Gonzales denies coercing Ashcroft; His account conflicts with ex-deputy's."

And The Washington Times reports that "Senators hit Gonzales' credibility."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Students, schools fear end of racial diversity": Reuters provides a report that begins, "Seventeen-year-old Quantae Williams doesn't understand why the U.S. Supreme Court struck down his school district's racial diversity program. He now dreads the prospect of leaving his mixed-race high school in suburban Louisville and returning to the poor black downtown schools where he used to get in fights."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ban on Kangaroo Hides Puzzles Australians Here": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Although bald eagle on the menu would seem unthinkable in the United States, in Australia the formerly endangered kangaroo is commonly found as barbecued kebabs or stir fried with vegetables. When the California Supreme Court on Monday effectively banned the sale of kangaroo leather soccer shoes in deciding a lawsuit, Australians here asked why. 'Kangaroos are like rabbits in Australia,' said Kalee StClair, who is from Sydney and has lived here for more than four years. 'They're not protected at all, and it's actually encouraged to kill them."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"States ease laws that punish teens for sex with underage partners; Push on for prosecution of predators -- not young 'Romeos and Juliets'": This front page article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Should Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Approaches to Reproductive Rights Carry an 'Incest Exception'?" Sherry F. Colb has this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer at the Aspen Institute": C-SPAN describes this past Saturday's broadcast (RealPlayer required) of "America & the Courts" as follows, "Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer discusses Democracy and the Court with the New Republic's Jeffrey Rosen at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, CO. He talks about the recent Supreme Court term and his dissent in the school integration cases."

In addition, you can view the slightly longer entire event by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Stevens: 9th Circuit's Reversal Record at High Court 'Misleading.'" Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal provides this report.
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rosen's 'Restraint': A term review." Today at National Review Online, Matthew J. Franck has an essay that begins, "Jeffrey Rosen has registered some thoughts on the recently concluded term of the Supreme Court that are occasionally interesting and informative."
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Standing General -- Alberto Gonzales: petulant, embarrassing, triumphant." Eve Fairbanks has this essay online at The New Republic.
Posted at 09:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"This Guy's Still Here?: Gonzales cringes some more before the Senate." Emily Bazelon has this essay online at Slate.
Posted at 09:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales says he didn't pressure Ashcroft; He testifies that his controversial hospital visit came after a meeting with congressional leaders who wanted to continue the warrantless surveillance program": The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Gonzales Denies Pressuring Ashcroft."

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "GOP senator threatens legal action against White House."
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"$54M Pants Star in Fundraiser": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A now-famous pair of pants was the star attraction at a fundraiser Tuesday meant to help pay the bills of a dry-cleaner couple caught in a legal stitch."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Why Do Some Republican Supreme Court Justices 'Evolve' While Others Don't?" At "Dorf on Law," Law Professor Michael C. Dorf has this post pointing to his new article, "Does Federal Executive Branch Experience Explain Why Some Republican Supreme Court Justices 'Evolve' and Others Don't?"
Posted at 08:59 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Stops Longer Drives for Truckers": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.

Update: The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Court Strikes Down Longer Hours for Truckers."
Posted at 06:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"A call for education: Partisan elections for judges called a 'ghastly' practice." The Traverse City (Mich.) Record-Eagle today contains an article that begins, "Former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor called on state chiefs to rally around an eroding concept of judicial independence at a closing session of the National Governors Association."
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"African American voters in Glades County, Florida, challenge the at-large method of electing members of the County Commission and School Board, claiming that it depreciates their right to vote on account of their race": And today, the majority on a divided three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel reverses the entry of judgment against those voters on their vote dilution claims.

Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett wrote the majority opinion, in which Senior Circuit Judge Alfred T. Goodwin (sitting by designation from the Ninth Circuit) joined. Circuit Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat dissented from the ruling.

Update: Law Professor Rick Hasen -- whose new book "Remedies: Examples & Explanations" arrived in today's mail -- has a post titled "In Important Case that Could End up at the Supreme Court, 11th Circuit, on 2-1 Vote, Orders Trial on Section 2 Vote Dilution Claim from Glades County, Florida."
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers Say Guantanamo Trial a 'Charade'": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The first military trial of a terror suspect at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba was a 'charade' played out for the public and media to protect U.S. government interests, Australia's leading lawyers' association said Tuesday."

The Law Council of Australia today issued a news release titled "Hicks Report a Reminder of Government's Failure to Protect a Citizen's Rights." And via this link, you can download both the "Final Report of Independent Legal Observer, Lex Lasry QC - 24 July 2007 " and a summary of that report.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Torture Two-Step: Bush's new torture order and its loopholes." Phillip Carter has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 12:53 PM by Howard Bashman


"Fourth Amendment Rights in Files Stored on Password-Protected Websites": At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr has this post about a ruling that the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued last Friday.
Posted at 12:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"FBI feared Cotroni hit; Mob boss was investigated for alleged plot to assassinate chief justice of top U.S. court": Two Wednesdays ago, The Montreal Gazette published an article that begins, "Montreal mob boss Frank Cotroni and high-ranking U.S. mobsters were once investigated for an alleged plot to assassinate the top judge in the United States, according to newly released FBI documents. The investigation into the alleged plot to assassinate Chief Justice Warren Burger of the U.S. Supreme Court began in December 1981 after an informant came forward with details of a jailhouse plot. It ended 15 months later with no charges being laid."

And last week, Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press reported that "Mafia allegedly plotted hit on Justice Burger, FBI files show."
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decides patent dispute between two providers of online dispute resolution systems: You can access today's non-precedential ruling, which details how these systems work, at this link.
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"[W]e revisit an issue last addressed by us 15 years ago: what is the effect of a forum selection clause on a complaint that asserts claims arising under the Copyright Act?" The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued this decision today, in a lawsuit brought by the musician professionally known as Pete Rock.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Highlights of the Supreme Court Term: How Has the New Conservative Majority Affected the Court?" You can now access online the audio of this week's broadcast of the public radio program "Justice Talking." The program featured ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg and Law Professors Richard W. Garnett and Geoffrey R. Stone.

You can stream the audio in Windows Media format or download the audio in mp3 format (23.3MB).
Posted at 10:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney General Has a Second Date with Congress": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

The testimony of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales before the Senate Judiciary Committee began today at 9:30 a.m., and you can view the hearing live, online by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Saylor pleads his case to the public": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Thomas Saylor sounds nostalgic these days, as he recalls what the state's 40-year-old judicial retention system used to be - a nonpartisan, merit-based election that could be waged for the price of a postage stamp."

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports today that "Saylor touts record in pursuit of 2nd court term."

And The Associated Press reports that "Pay-raise dissenter says motivation was principle, not politics."

Earlier, on Sunday, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published an item headlined "Feds fine knife-carrying justice."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Novel does no honor to judge; Ex-clerk skewers Phila. jurist": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Adidas' use of kangaroo hide is illegal, California justices say": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Soccer shoes of kangaroo hide booted; State Supreme Court upholds sales ban on beloved footwear; retailers predict black market."

Josh Richman of The Oakland Tribune reports that "Court reaffirms California's ban in kangaroo case; 'We will continue to sell our products,' Adidas spokeswoman says."

Bloomberg News reports that "Adidas Kangaroo Shoes Can Be Outlawed in California."

And Reuters reports that "Adidas kangaroo shoes illegal in California."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Supreme Court of California ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Defense at Padilla Trial Raises a Dispute Over Translations": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Padilla defense disputes FBI transcripts; A language expert questions the meanings of purported code words and testifies that references to Allah are typically neutral 'fillers.'"
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Noriega case hinges on judge in Miami; The fate of convicted Panamanian former strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega -- including his status as a prisoner of war -- is in the hands of a federal judge in Miami": Jay Weaver has this article today in The Miami Herald.

And The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Manuel Noriega's attorneys want ex-dictator back in Panama."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"House Panel Nears A Legal Clash With Bush Over Firings; Gonzales to Tell Senators He Will Not Quit": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "House panel plans a vote on contempt; The White House chief of staff and ex-counsel refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas in the probe of U.S. attorney firings."

And The Washington Times reports that "Gonzales stays to fix 'problems' at Justice."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutors Challenge Dismissal; Judge Had Ruled That Search for Interpreter Took Too Long": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Prosecutors in Montgomery County said yesterday that they intend to ask an appellate court to overturn a judge's dismissal of a case against a Liberian immigrant charged with raping a young girl. The judge had ruled that repeated delays caused by the court's failure to find an interpreter fluent in the accused man's native dialect had violated his right to a speedy trial."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"No Objections Here: Supply-and-Demand Has Top Law Firms' 'Summer Associates' Hitting Pay Dirt Without Breaking Much of a Sweat." This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Superhero Lawyer Ads Are Ruled Fit for TV": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "Citing the First Amendment, an upstate federal judge is allowing lawyers to once again televise gimmicky ads, scrapping the efforts of top state judges who banned much attorney advertising in the name of the dignity of the legal profession."

The Post-Standard of Syracuse, New York reports today that "'Heavy Hitters' knock down rules on lawyers' ads."

And The New York Times reports that "Lawyers Get Court Approval for Pop-Up Ads on Internet."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"School Choice and Racial Balance": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Paul E. Peterson has an op-ed (paid subscription required) that begins, "Schools that admit students on the basis of race run afoul of the Constitution, wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the recent Supreme Court case, Parents v. Seattle."
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Milberg Defense: Ethics Breach Trumped Up." Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, July 23, 2007

"9th Circuit Axes Bigger Panels; Move to put 15 judges on en banc panels cut short": Pamela A. MacLean has this article (free access) in this week's issue of The National Law Journal.
Posted at 11:56 PM by Howard Bashman


"N.Y. Federal Judge Strikes Down Many New Attorney Ad Rules; Finds state failed to prove that ban on certain content advanced goal of protecting public from misleading ads": law.com provides this report.

And the blog "f/k/a" has a post titled "federal court decimates NY lawyer ad rules" that provides this link to the ruling filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



Apparently all lawyers aren't hacks: law.com reports that "Federal Judge Clears Law Firm Accused of Hacking Opponents' Web Archives."

You can access last Friday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney General Gonzales Refuses to Resign": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Adidas' use of kangaroo hide is illegal, state justices say": Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update that begins, "Soccer cleats and other athletic footwear made with prized kangaroo skin is illegal to sell in California under a decision today by the California Supreme Court."

And The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update headlined "State Supreme Court nixes sales of shoes made with kangaroo hide."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"House judiciary chairman seeks contempt charges against Bush aides": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.

And The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "House Committee to Vote on Contempt Charges; Conflict Comes as Gonzales Prepares for Senate Testimony."
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"POW status is key to future for Noriega": Today in The Miami Herald, Jay Weaver has an article that begins, "Lawyers for former Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, who is set to be released from prison, plan to challenge a new French extradition request in Miami today, arguing that it would violate his rights as a prisoner of war."
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. prison unlikely to be a 'Cupcake' walk for Black; Days of golf, take-out over as U.S. cracks down on corporate felons": This article appears today in The Toronto Star.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman


ABA Journal revamps its web site: You can access the revamped web site at this link. And the blog "LawBeat" has nice things to say about the ABA Journal's new online approach.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Republican (Not So) Short List": Tom Goldstein has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 04:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Girl, 8, Back With Chinese Parents": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Chinese couple regained legal custody of their 8-year-old daughter Monday after a seven-year fight to get her back from what was supposed to be temporary foster care."

And today's issue of The Commercial Appeal of Memphis contains an article headlined "Anna's reunion with parents is today; Father hopes for 'normal, carefree' life for 8-year-old."
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Antonin Scalia Supreme Court Justice Signed Baseball": The eBay auction for this item is scheduled to conclude later today.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Punt Return: Congress must decide the fate of enemy combatants at Guantanamo." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 12:38 PM by Howard Bashman


Four judges serving on the Ninth Circuit gain a bit more free time: The Ninth Circuit's experiment with fifteen-judge en banc panels does not appear to have been a rousing success, as effective July 1, 2007 that Court announced that it was returning to eleven-judge en banc panels.

Either the judges decided that the fifteen-judge en banc decisions simply weren't sufficiently wacky to be worth perpetuating; or they didn't like one another that much to be spending so much extra time together as a group; or the chief judge (the only member of the Ninth Circuit guaranteed a seat on every single en banc panel) recognized that having one vote out of fifteen simply wasn't as wonderful as having one vote out of eleven.

But, on a more serious note, I'd like to hear via email ( appellateblog@hotmail.com) from any readers who wish to address some or all of the following points: (1) has the Ninth Circuit given any official reason for why it has decided to eliminate fifteen-judge en banc panels and return to eleven-judge en banc panels; (2) what do you think brought about the change; and (3) what are your views on the change?
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"May a Trial Court Force the Parties to Waive Appellate Review?" You can access at this link this week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bill attempts to protect dead stars' images; A state Senate bill would give control of dead celebrities' likenesses to the heirs the stars had chosen; Opponents predict legal challenges": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Islamic charity's terror trial starts soon; Defendants will get their first chance to dispute charges that the group supported Hamas": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Dealing With Sins of the Forefathers: Md. Torn Over Statues of Justice in Dred Scott Case." The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "It is perhaps surprising that Dred Scott Madison II and J. Charles Taney should agree. After all, Madison's great-great-grandfather was a slave who went to court to sue for his freedom. And Taney's great-great-uncle was the U.S. Supreme Court chief justice who wrote the opinion refusing to release that slave and ruling that black men held no rights in the United States. Yet as activists urge Maryland officials to remove bronze images of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney from the State House in Annapolis and Frederick City Hall this year -- the 150th anniversary of the Dred Scott decision -- Taney and Madison have found a measure of agreement."

And last Tuesday, The Baltimore Sun published an article headlined "Taney's tainted legacy: Some in Frederick want to remove a bust from City Hall because of racist 'Dred Scott' decision." And in yesterday's newspaper, columnist C. Fraser Smith had an op-ed entitled "Words that will never die."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pistachios at Guantanamo": Columnist Jackson Diehl has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Right Urges Showdown With Democrats Over Judicial Nominees": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Giving Evil the Eye: Juries Don't Always Know Heinous Crimes When They See Them, But This Might Help." This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pakistan's Chief Justice Back at Work": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


Happy birthday to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy: According to the "Today in History" feature from The Associated Press, he turns 71 today.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Southwick Stonewall": The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial (paid subscription required) that begins, "It isn't easy to get Republican moderate Senator Arlen Specter into a fighting partisan mood. But Democrats are achieving this rare feat as they continue to block nearly every nomination by President Bush to the federal appeals courts."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Contempt and Congress: The Democrats' attack on executive privilege shows blatant disregard for the Constitution." Law Professor John Yoo has this op-ed (free access) today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reversals": In "The Talk of the Town" section of the July 30, 2007 issue of The New Yorker, Nicholas Lemann has an essay in which he writes, "Just before the end of the past term, the Court issued a decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, that signalled a complete departure from more than half a century of jurisprudence on race."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Access online Seventh Circuit nominee John D. Tinder's interview with "Article III Groupie": This past Tuesday, President Bush made four nominations to the U.S. Courts of Appeals, including the nomination of U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder for the Seventh Circuit.

In March 2005, the blog "Underneath Their Robes" posted a two-part interview with Judge Tinder. You can access the interview at the following links: part one; part two.
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Unlikely Adversary Arises to Criticize Detainee Hearings": This article will appear Monday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Democrats' abortion quandary; As '08 election nears, party weighs a more nuanced line on issue that divides U.S.": The Chicago Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Another U.S. attorney in a tight spot; As lawmakers move to hold administration figures in contempt, Jeffrey Taylor would be the prosecutor -- pitted against his bosses": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Pelosi promises congressional contempt charge for Harriet Miers; Speaker reiterates impeachment is not on her agenda."
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Subpoena Standoff: The battle over congressional testimony by White House aides drags on." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cockfighting on Web Enters Legal Arena; Broadcaster's Suit Challenges Anti-Cruelty Law": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Md. Judge Dismisses Sex-Abuse Charges; Clerk Is Unable To Find Suitable Translator In Time": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 07:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Power Without Limits": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Bush administration, which has been pushing presidential power to new extremes, is reportedly developing an even more dangerous new theory of executive privilege. It says that if Congress holds White House officials in contempt for withholding important evidence in the United States attorney scandal, the Justice Department simply will not pursue the charges. This stance tears at the fabric of the Constitution and upends the rule of law."

And a related article headlined "A White House Warning on Contempt Charges" appeared in yesterday's newspaper.
Posted at 06:42 PM by Howard Bashman



In Monday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor: Tomorrow's newspaper will contain articles headlined "Is democracy 'reborn' in Pakistan? The decision on Friday to reinstate Pakistan's Supreme Court Chief Justice is a victory for democracy, but the euphoria around the decision may be premature" and "In bayou, whose water is it? A legal battle brews over whether fishermen are trespassing when they fish in the flooded bottomlands."
Posted at 06:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Baggy Pants Target of Ban in Louisiana Parish": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 06:32 PM by Howard Bashman


On this date in 1937: Seventy years ago today, according to the popular "Today in History" feature from The Associated Press, "the Senate rejected President Franklin Roosevelt's proposal to add more justices to the Supreme Court." And Wikipedia has an entry titled "Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937."
Posted at 06:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court sides with Narragansetts in key ruling on land": The Providence Journal on Saturday contained an article that begins, "An appeals court ruled yesterday that the federal government could take 31 acres into trust for the Narragansett Indian Tribe in a case at the crux of a struggle between the state and the tribe over control of tribal lands."

And The Associated Press provides reports headlined "R.I. loses lawsuit casting doubt on Indian land trusts" and "R.I. to appeal suit over tribe's land; Says lot should be subject to state law."

You can access Friday's 4-2 ruling by an en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Alimony provides a same-sex union test; An Orange County man appeals an order to pay spousal support to his ex-wife, who is in a domestic partnership": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, July 21, 2007

"High Court Reinstates Pakistan's Chief Judge; Decision a Key Setback For Faltering Musharraf": The Washington Post contains this front page article today.

The New York Times reports today that "Musharraf Loses Fight Over Suspension of Judge."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Pakistani court reinstates top judge; The unanimous ruling is a blow to Musharraf, whose grip has faltered amid a pro-democracy movement."

And from National Public Radio, yesterday's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Pakistan High Court Rejects Judge's Suspension." Yesterday's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "Pakistan's High Court Reverses Judge's Suspension." And yesterday evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Pakistan's High Court Rules Against President." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 04:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutor Fitzgerald gets light grilling; He tapes a guest appearance on an NPR comic radio segment and gets his own scooter, a red two-wheeler": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times today contains an article headlined "A Prosecutor Out of Character on the Air."

Friday's edition of The Chicago Tribune reported that "U.S. attorney allows himself to be quizzed."

And yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Quiz Show Draws U.S. Attorney" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.
Posted at 04:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Georgia Supreme Court Hears 2 Appeals in Teenage Sex Case": The New York Times contains this article today.

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "Wilson case at high court; Ruling in teen's case expected in September."
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Highest Court in New Jersey Censures One of Its Justices": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Newark Star-Ledger reports today that "Jersey top court censures Justice Rivera-Soto."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that "N.J. court censures a justice; Roberto Rivera-Soto intervened over son."
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Scalia Will Have Orthodox Jewish Law Clerk In 2008": The "Religion Clause" blog has this post linking to an item from The Forward that begins, "What's a nice Jewish boy from Toronto doing working for an Italian Catholic, staunchly conservative, notoriously confrontational judge in Washington? That’s a question for Yaakov Roth, the Harvard Law School grad who was recently hired by Justice Antonin Scalia to work as a Supreme Court law clerk, beginning in July 2008."
Posted at 01:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Sky's Still Up There": ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg, at her blog "Legalities," has a post that begins, "Kathleen Sullivan, the former dean of Stanford Law School (who would be on any Democratic president's shortlist for the Supreme Court), said the other day that conservatives should be 'dancing in the streets' at the end of the first full term of the Roberts Court."
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman


Friday, July 20, 2007

Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Playing to a Full House, Ga. Justices Ponder Teen Sex Case; Genarlow Wilson's lawyer asked court to reverse course from a year ago."

In other news, "N.J. Supreme Court Censures Justice for Actions on Behalf of Bullied Son."

And the brand new installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column is headlined "May a Trial Court Force the Parties to Waive Appellate Review?"
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Tells U.S. to Reveal Data on Detainees at Guantanamo": This article will appear Saturday in The New York Times.

The Washington Post will report on Saturday that "Government Must Share All Evidence On Detainees."

The Associated Press reports that "Judges Seek All Gitmo Detainee Evidence."

And Reuters reports that "U.S. court grants evidence to Guantanamo lawyers."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"To leave judges speechless, throttled for publicly addressing abuse of the judicial process by practicing lawyers, ill serves the laudable goal of promoting judicial efficiency and impartiality." A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, ruling on a state trial court judge's federal civil rights claim against the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, has today held: "To the extent that the commission censured Judge Jenevein for the content of his speech, shutting down all communication between the Judge and his constituents, we reverse and remand with instructions to expunge that part of the order." You can access today's decision at this link.
Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"[W]hen a district court imposes a below-Guidelines sentence for a crime involving crack, the record must demonstrate that the court focused on individual, case-specific factors[, b]ecause courts may not replace the 100-to-1 ratio with one of their choosing": So holds a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in an opinion issued today.
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Turns Down Qualcomm Appeal": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal court on Friday dismissed a request by Qualcomm Inc. to delay an import ban on new cell phones containing the company's chips, which were were found to infringe patents held by Broadcom Corp. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said it did not have jurisdiction to consider Qualcomm's request, because the import limits are still under review by the Bush administration."

You can access today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at this link.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"N.J. Supreme Court justice censured in 'Do you know who I am' scandal": The Philadelphia Inquirer provides this news update.

The Newark Star-Ledger provides a news update headlined "Justice censured for judicial misconduct."

And The Associated Press reports that "NJ Supreme Court Censures One of Its Own."

You can access today's order of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Is Reinstated in Pakistan": The New York Times provides this news update.

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Pakistan court rebuffs Musharraf, reinstates chief justice."
Posted at 05:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Alters Rules for Interrogations": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "President Bush signed an executive order Friday prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment, including humiliation or denigration of religious beliefs, in the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects." You can view the executive order at this link, while a related White House news release is here.

The New York Times provides a news update headlined "C.I.A. Allowed to Resume Interrogations."

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Bush Order Governs CIA Interrogation Techniques."

McClatchy Newspapers report that "Bush bars CIA from using torture, but details remain cloudy."

And in related news, The AP reports that "Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Stay Defiant."
Posted at 05:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ga. top court finishes hearing Wilson's appeal": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "The Georgia Supreme Court heard arguments Friday morning on a pair of appeals in the closely watched Genarlow Wilson case, though no ruling was expected immediately. The courtroom was packed for the hearing, and arguments were broadcast live over the Internet. The hearing came after justices decided earlier this month to speed up the process in the case of Wilson, the Douglas County man imprisoned for receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. Wilson's attorneys argue his 10-year prison sentence is cruel and unusual punishment."

And The Associated Press reports that "Ga. Supreme Court Hears Teen Sex Case."

Via the web site of the Supreme Court of Georgia, you can access the video of today's oral argument in both RealPlayer and Windows Media Player formats.
Posted at 05:28 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: This afternoon, I am giving a lecture about the U.S. Supreme Court's recent punitive damages ruling in Philip Morris USA v. Williams to the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Additional posts will appear here later today.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Isle memories move justice; Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens talks of his years here and Rice v. Cayetano": This article appears today in The Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

And The Honolulu Advertiser reports today that "Justice Stevens recalls war years in Honolulu."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Vets with Agent Orange leukemia keep benefits; Judge orders U.S. to pay from date claimed was filed": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "An indignant federal appeals court ordered the government Thursday to keep paying benefits to hundreds of Vietnam veterans afflicted with a type of leukemia that has been linked to the defoliant Agent Orange."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein reports that "VA rebuked for balking on Agent Orange care; A court says the agency must provide benefits to Vietnam veterans with a type of leukemia."

In The Oakland Tribune, Josh Richman reports that "Appeals court orders Agent Orange vet benefits; Judges take VA officials to task on unpaid retroactive claims."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: VA Must Pay Agent Orange Victims."

Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt issued yesterday's ruling on behalf of a unanimous three-judge Ninth Circuit panel.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Cheney Wins Dismissal of Suit Brought by Valerie Wilson": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Plame's Suit Against Top Officials Dismissed."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Plame's civil suit dismissed; The former CIA operative sought to hold Cheney and others personally responsible for blowing her cover."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Ex-CIA Agent's Suit Against Top Officials Is Dismissed."

And The Washington Times reports that "Plame lawsuit against Cheney dismissed."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"N.H. couple evade death and taxes; The Browns have been holed up, refusing to pay the IRS or go to prison; It's a battle that might end in bloodshed": The Los Angeles Times contains this front page article today.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cochran's plea aims to shame Dems who oppose Southwick nomination": This article appears today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.

And The Washington Times reports today that "GOP fights for stalled judicial nominee."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Genarlow Wilson Case: Courting public opinion; Lawyer walks fine line as she stirs media blitz." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains this article today.

The Supreme Court of Georgia is schedule to hear oral argument in the Genarlow Wilson case at 10 a.m. eastern time today. As detailed in this post of mine from last night, you can view the oral argument live, online via that court's web site.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Trail of an 'Enemy Combatant': From Desert to U.S. Heartland; Details Emerge About Marri's Alleged Role in 'Second Wave' of Al-Qaeda Attacks." This lengthy front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Assault on Second Amendment": Terence P. Jeffrey has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Broader Privilege Claimed In Firings; White House Says Hill Can't Pursue Contempt Cases": The Washington Post today contains a front page article that begins, "Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege. The position presents serious legal and political obstacles for congressional Democrats, who have begun laying the groundwork for contempt proceedings against current and former White House officials in order to pry loose information about the dismissals."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pakistan Court Reinstates Top Judge": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court on Friday reinstated Pakistan's top judge, ruling that his suspension by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf was 'illegal' and dealing a major blow to Musharraf's standing."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


There once was a man from Nantucket: The Cap Cod Times reports today that "Nantucket loses eminent domain case."

And The Associated Press reports that "SJC gives house lot back to Nantucket man; Says town erred when taking land in 1968 case."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"City To Battle at High Court Over Special Education": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The federal government is siding against New York City in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that parents of children with disabilities are watching closely. The case is likely to set standards for when localities must reimburse parents for private school tuition for students with a range of disabilities."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Ruling Could Impede Seizure of Terror Funds": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A lawyer for victims of terrorism is decrying a new federal appeals court ruling that could delay or even prevent private litigants from seizing funds belonging to terrorist groups."

You can access Wednesday's en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court's Problematic Use of Precedent Over the Past Term: Why Overruling or Refashioning May, In Some Cases, Be Better than Selective Interpretation." Vikram David Amar has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, July 19, 2007

"State high court says trial judges can uphold tough sentences that had been cast in doubt": Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update that begins, "The California Supreme Court today salvaged thousands of tough criminal sentences that had been put in question by a U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that the state's sentencing laws were unconstitutional. While the state high court ruled that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of inmates may have their sentences reconsidered, justices said trial courts were free to reinstate them under a new, stopgap sentencing law passed in March to resolve the constitutional flaws. The state court's action, which came in two separate decisions, removed a pall over thousands of criminal sentences that had been in doubt since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in January that California's law gave judges too much power to add extra years to a prison sentence."

And Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update headlined "California Supreme Court upholds tough sentences."

You can access the Supreme Court of California's rulings issued today in these two cases here and here.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Teen Sex Case Reaches Ga. High Court; Justices who sidestepped Wilson case last year to hear oral arguments today": law.com provides this report on the oral argument that the Supreme Court of Georgia will hear tomorrow in the Genarlow Wilson case.

That court has issued two media advisories (see here and here) along with a news release explaining that court's order expediting review.

The oral argument is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. eastern time Friday, and it the Supreme Court of Georgia's web site will provide a link to a live webcast of the oral argument.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Anti-Indecency Measure Wins Approval": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Senate committee on Thursday acted to restore the government's authority to fine television and radio broadcasters for airing profanities, even if they are fleeting references. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved a bill that would undo an appeals court ruling that invalidated the Federal Communications Commission's new profanity policy."
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman


U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismisses the claims of Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph C. Wilson IV against four high-level Executive Branch officials, including the Vice President of the United States and his former Chief of Staff, based on the widely-publicized disclosure of the fact that Mrs. Wilson worked as a covert operative for the Central Intelligence Agency: You can access today's ruling at this link.

Update: In early coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Valerie Plame's Lawsuit Dismissed."

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Judge Dismisses Plame Lawsuit."

Bloomberg News reports that "Cheney, Rove, Libby Win Dismissal of Lawsuit by Valerie Plame."

Reuters reports that "Judge dismisses civil suit in CIA leak scandal."

And CNN.com reports that "Judge tosses out ex-spy's lawsuit against Cheney in CIA leak case."
Posted at 03:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"We consider whether a service provider may change the terms of its service contract by merely posting a revised contract on its website." So begins a per curiam opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued late yesterday in typescript form.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit joins the D.C. Circuit in rejecting argument that the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 was enacted in violation of the Bicameralism and Presentment Clause of the U.S. Constitution: You can access today's Second Circuit ruling at this link.

My earlier coverage of the D.C. Circuit's similar ruling, from May 2007, can be accessed here.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Widener won't wait: Longest-serving judge steps down; hoped for successor since 2001." This Fourth Circuit-related article appears today in The Daily Record of Baltimore.
Posted at 11:38 AM by Howard Bashman


Whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to possess firearms is so clearly cert.-worthy that the District of Columbia's application for additional time in which to file a petition for writ of certiorari should be denied: At "SCOTUSblog" last night, Lyle Denniston had a post pointing to this persuasive response from counsel for the parties that prevailed before the D.C. Circuit. Perhaps counsel for the District of Columbia now regrets not having raised the ground of conflicts with scheduled vacations in their recently-filed request for an extension of time.

Update: Lyle has updated his post this morning to note that the Chief Justice granted the requested extension yesterday, apparently before the plaintiffs' opposition reached him. In any event, these extensions are routinely granted by the Justices as a matter of course.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Because the escalation of a sentence based on undisclosed evidence raises serious due process concerns, we construe the rule to require a sentencing court either to disclose sufficient details about the evidence to give the defendant a reasonable opportunity to respond or, failing that, to refrain from relying on the evidence." On behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton today issued an opinion that begins, "What happens when a district court, applying the advisory sentencing guidelines, not only increases a sentence based on its own fact findings but also does so on the basis of evidence never fully disclosed to the criminal defendant?"

The opinion's listing of counsel discloses that even though both the criminal defendant and the federal prosecutor were represented by counsel, the Sixth Circuit had Law Professor Douglas A. Berman, author of the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, serve as court-appointed amicus on appeal.

Update: Doug's blog post about the ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Dress code goes up on appeal; Napa schools challenge ruling in Redwood case": The Napa Valley Register today contains an article that begins, "Redwood Middle School's controversial dress code is heading to the California Court of Appeal, even before there is a final ruling in the legal challenge to the code brought by several Redwood parents and students. The Napa Valley Unified School District has decided to appeal Napa County Superior Court Ray Guadagni's preliminary injunction, temporarily suspending the dress code at the north Napa middle school. Guadagni held earlier this month that the parents and students had a good chance of winning on their claim that the code violates free speech rights of students."

My most recent earlier coverage can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Padilla charges don't measure up to accusations; A conviction in his trial wouldn't be for alleged plot to set off 'dirty bomb'": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Dems grapple with appeals nominee, high court's future": The Hill today contains an article that begins, "Among the four appeals court nominees quietly announced by the White House late Tuesday is a candidate who could heighten Senate tensions over judicial nominees. Shalom Stone is the only nominee on this week's slate who faces the challenge of winning over two Democratic home-state senators. Judicial appointees not OK'd by their senators through the traditional 'blue slip' method rarely make it to a floor vote, and both New Jersey senators yesterday appeared to be on the fence about Stone."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"What Will the Outcome of the 2008 Election Mean for the Supreme Court? Why One Outcome Could Change the Court Profoundly; the Other, Not at All." Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"Michigan Supreme Court, on Party Line Vote, Upholds Michigan Voter ID Law Against Constitutional Challenge": Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his "Election Law" blog. Rick has posted the ruling online at this link.

In news coverage, The Detroit Free Press provides an update headlined "Voters must have photo ID, Michigan Supreme Court rules."

The Detroit News provides an update headlined "Michigan Supreme Court upholds photo ID requirement for voters."

And The Associated Press reports that "Mich. Court Upholds Voter Photo ID Law."
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Without a plot, is Padilla guilty? Prosecutors say they don't have to link the US citizen to a specific terror plan." Warren Richey will have this article Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"We hold that a license plate check does not constitute a Fourth Amendment search." So concludes an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 06:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Giuliani: Abortion Not a Test for Judges." The AP provides a report that begins, "Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, a proponent of abortion rights, said Wednesday he would not use a judicial nominee's stand on the issue or the landmark Supreme Court decision as a litmus test."
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"First lady Midge Rendell uninjured in Philly car accident": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A sport utility vehicle transporting Gov. Ed Rendell's wife was struck broadside by a car that ran a red light, but no one was seriously injured, state police said. Midge Rendell, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was riding in the SUV around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when it was hit by the luxury car, according to state police."
Posted at 04:42 PM by Howard Bashman


Trenton Thunder 5, Binghamton Mets 1: When I decided to spend the early part of this afternoon watching the Trenton Thunder, the AA minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees, host the Binghamton Mets, the AA minor league affiliate of the New York Mets, little did I know that I'd also be spending that time with Alberto Gonzalez. He was 3-4 at the plate, with a run scored and an RBI.

Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes, on a rehab assignment with the Thunder, pitched four strong innings to lead off the game. Unfortunately, actual thunder, lightning, and the heavy rain that accompanied them caused the game to be delayed after seven and one-half innings. After the rain had cleared and sunny skies returned, the home plate umpire walked out to survey the field and declared it unplayable, resulting in a rain-shortened victory for the Thunder. You can access the box score at this link, while wraps are available here and here.
Posted at 04:25 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: Because my appellate court filings for this week -- a Brief for Appellant, and an answer in opposition to an application for reargument in an appeal that one of my clients recently won -- are completed and out the door, my schedule allows for some out of the office fun this afternoon. Whether the weather will cooperate remains to be seen. In any event, additional posts will appear later this afternoon.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Insider sees business tilt on top court": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement said in Philadelphia yesterday that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had taken a pronounced pro-business approach, and suggested that it could carry over into the next term."
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman


Instead of continuing to await the confirmation of a successor, Fourth Circuit Judge H. Emory Widener, Jr. takes senior status, effective immediately: That court's own listing of judges confirms Judge Widener's change in status. (Via "South Carolina Appellate Law Blog").
Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds pat-down searches at 49er games": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A state appeals court swatted down a challenge by two San Francisco 49ers fans to pat-down searches at the team's stadium Tuesday, saying they tacitly agreed to be checked when they bought their season tickets."

You can access yesterday's ruling by a divided three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District at this link.

Last week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com criticized a similar recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

If ticket-holders to a sporting event are deemed to consent to an allegedly unconstitutional search by showing up to attend the game, would passengers who have no realistic choice but to use a municipality's public transportation system to travel to and from work be prohibited from challenging officially-enforced segregated public transit accommodations based on the supposed "consent" of those who ride public transit?
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"School district will appeal Tigger ruling; Superior court judge says dress code defies First Amendment": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Democrats pledge support for wide access to abortion": The Chicago Tribune contains this article today.

And The New York Times reports today that "Democrats Attack Bush on Women's Health Issues."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice at Guantanamo: Congress has another chance to repair the rules for handling detainees in the war on terrorism." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Case against UNC coach may reach Supreme Court": The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina today contains an article that begins, "A nine-year-old sexual harassment lawsuit against UNC women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance could be headed to the highest court in the land. Lawyers in the state Attorney General's Office filed a petition last week with the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case originally brought by former UNC-Chapel Hill soccer player Melissa Jennings. Jennings claims that Dorrance sexually harassed her and the university failed to take appropriate action."

Originally, in April 2006, a divided three-judge Fourth Circuit panel affirmed the dismissal of this lawsuit. My earlier coverage of that ruling appears at this link. After granting rehearing en banc, the full Fourth Circuit, almost one year to the day later, reinstated by a vote of 8-2 the plaintiff's Title IX claim and also overturned the grant of summary judgment on the plaintiff's civil rights claim against two defendants. My earlier coverage of the en banc ruling appears here.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush taps Conrad for appeals post; He could become 2nd N.C. judge on court": This article appears today in The Charlotte Observer.

And The Newark Star-Ledger reports today that "Bush sidesteps N.J. senators, nominates federal judge."

Meanwhile, allow me to congratulate fellow Emory Law grad Catharina Haynes on her nomination yesterday to the Fifth Circuit.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Available online from SSRN: Law Professor Ronald D. Rotunda has an article entitled "Holding Enemy Combatants in the Wake of Hamdan" (abstract with links for download).

And Law Professor Kurt T. Lash has an paper titled "The Puzzling Persistence of a Missing Word: The Tenth Amendment, Popular Sovereignty and 'Expressly' Delegated Power" (abstract with links for download).

Thanks to "Legal Theory Blog" for the pointers (here and here).
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pleading Standards After Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly": Law Professor Scott Dodson has this essay online at Virginia Law Review In Brief.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales' appalling disregard for liberties": The St. Petersburg Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"16 Detainees Transferred From Guantanamo; Bahraini Man Who Attempted Suicide Nearly 2 Dozen Times Is Among Those Sent to Saudi Arabia": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama, Clinton slam court on abortion ruling": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: An article reports that "Bush Nominates 4 to Federal Bench." My earlier coverage appears in the post immediately below.

In other news, an article is headlined "Court: NJ Man Can't Recoup Child Support." You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.

And an article reports that "Ex-Bush Aide Says Again She Won't Appear."
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman



The White House nominates four to the U.S. Courts of Appeals: You can view the announcement at this link.

The nominations are: "Robert J. Conrad, Jr., of North Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, vice James Dickson Phillips, Jr., retired. Catharina Haynes, of Texas, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit, vice Harold R. DeMoss, Jr., retired. Shalom D. Stone, of New Jersey, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit, vice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., elevated. John Daniel Tinder, of Indiana, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit, vice Daniel A. Manion, retiring."
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Target Practice: Justice Scalia sets his sights on New York Times Co. v. Sullivan." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 04:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"D.C. begins its gun law appeal": Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog." Yesterday's Court filing shows that the District of Columbia has secured the assistance of both Walter Dellinger and Tom Goldstein to argue against the "individual rights" view of the Second Amendment.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


Accordingly, a tax protester challenging his conviction and also a sentence enhancement based on earlier convictions would be doubly out-of-luck in the Fifth Circuit: So what if five Justices serving on the U.S. Supreme Court have stated when writing separately that they believe the Court's decision from 1998 in Almendarez-Torres v. United States, holding that a defendant's prior criminal convictions need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury before they can be used to enhance a defendant's sentence, reached an incorrect result?

Today, the majority on a partially divided three-judge Fifth Circuit panel issued a decision opining that arguments predicated on the assertion that Almendarez-Torres doesn't constitute good law no longer serve as a legitimate basis for appeal. Indeed, the majority characterizes the argument as on par with the claim that the federal tax code is unconstitutional.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Three noteworthy cases on 9th Circuit docket": Today in The Honolulu Advertiser, Horace Cooper has an op-ed that begins, "The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is proving itself once again to be a powerhouse among the circuits. And based on some of the cases that it will decide this year it might actually edge out the D.C. Circuit as the most influential circuit court in the nation."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Short Sex Offender's Probation Upheld": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A judge had valid reasons for sentencing a 5-foot-1 sex offender to probation, even though she cited the offender's height as part of her rationale, the Nebraska Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday."

You can access today's ruling of the Nebraska Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



En banc Eleventh Circuit decides whether a federal criminal defendant's failure in the trial court to raise the defense of double jeopardy constitutes waiver or forfeiture: As today's unanimous en banc ruling explains, a finding of waiver can be worse for the defendant than a finding of forfeiture. For this particular defendant, however, neither result is especially helpful.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Free Speech Suit Filed; Student's Blog Entry At Issue": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "A Lewis S. Mills High School student who was barred from running for class office after she called administrators a derogatory term on an Internet blog is accusing top school officials of violating her free speech rights."
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Divided D.C. Circuit panel rejects challenge to Federal Aviation Administration rule mandating that air carriers require drug and alcohol tests of all employees of contractors and subcontractors who perform safety-related functions such as aircraft maintenance: You can access today's ruling at this link.

Only Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle, in dissent, argued in favor of making air travel that much more interesting by allowing airline workers with safety-related jobs to forgo drug and alcohol testing.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



The former home of Susette Kelo on East Street in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London is dismantled: This item appears today on the web site of The Day of New London, Connecticut.
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"In Prison, Anti-Abortion Terrorist Taunts via Web": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"In this consolidated appeal, the plaintiffs appeal the dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) of their complaints alleging that the defendants' advertising is responsible for the underage, and therefore illegal, purchase of alcoholic beverages by the plaintiffs’ minor children." So begins a three-page opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today. Today's ruling holds that the parents lack standing to pursue the suit.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Specter walks tightrope on Southwick nomination": The Hill today contains an article that begins, "Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) is walking a tightrope above a crowd of angry conservatives and prickly Senate Democrats. To his right, conservative activists are spoiling for a fight over judicial nominations. To his left, Senate Democrats could bring judicial confirmations to a standstill."
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Injury waiver no protection from lawsuit; High court rules liability still exists": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court spurned pleas of hardship from operators of parks, racquetball clubs and stock car races and ruled Monday that recreation programs that require participants to sign liability waivers aren't protected from lawsuits for accidents caused by gross negligence."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Liberty's Lamp Is Dimmed by 2nd Circuit": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "Many recent Chinese immigrants will find it more difficult to get asylum after a federal appellate court in New York yesterday narrowed the definition of who qualifies as a political refugee. At issue is how America views policies in some localities of China requiring abortions or sterilization for those who have more than the government's allotment of one or two children."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's en banc Second Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court clarifies nations' influence on sentencing; 9th Circuit reverses itself in murder case involving Venezuela": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's amended opinion in this appeal, in which over the course of three separate recent decisions the Ninth Circuit appears to have reached every conceivable outcome, can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Billionaire Gets Calif. Justices' OK to Sue Judge, Lawyer; Court also dismissed arguments that the ruling would discourage settlements and disrupt attorney-client relationship." You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.

And an article is headlined "In Humorous Dissent, 2nd Circuit Chief Calls Students' Speech Suit a 'Silly Thing.'" My earlier coverage of last week's Second Circuit ruling appears here.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Double standard: Bush's leniency for Libby doesn't jibe with administration's push to enforce mandatory minimum sentences." Bob Egelko had this article yesterday in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"One of America's Top Plaintiffs' Lawyers Makes a Key Tactical Error During Oral Argument in a Case Against Big Tobacco: When Bad Things Happen to Smart Lawyers." Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Mootness versus dicta: If you'd think that the author of an editorial about the U.S. Supreme Court in the current issue of The New Republic would understand the difference in meaning between those two words, you'd be wrong.
Posted at 07:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Washington Mayor to Take Fight for Gun Law to Supreme Court": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

And The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "D.C. Wants High Court To Consider Gun Law."

Update: In addition, The Washington Times reports today that "City to appeal overturning of handgun ban."
Posted at 12:20 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, July 16, 2007

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has today posted online draft Rules Governing Judicial Conduct and Disability Proceedings: You can access the draft rules via this web page, which provides instructions on how to submit comments. You can also access the draft rules directly by clicking here.

Among other things, the draft rules were written with an eye toward addressing issues raised in the so-called Breyer Committee Report.
Posted at 08:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Picking judges in a time of turmoil: Despite increasingly being seen as under siege and in a state of turmoil, it can be argued that judicial appointments represent a success story for the administration in achieving its policy agenda." This article appeared in the May-June 2007 issue of Judicature magazine.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Defense of the 9th Circuit: Why the federal appeals court from the Left Coast doesn't deserve its bad rap." Cullen Seltzer has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 06:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"IRS Sued Over Sex-Change Deduction": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 06:11 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit "goes Rambo" on gun-related federal sentencing enhancement: Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski displays a bit of his vast cinematic knowledge in this decision issued today.

Update: A few readers have emailed to point out something that I too noted when I first saw this opinion -- Judge Kozinski's opinion includes a hypothetical about a wife who is cheating on her husband with another woman.
Posted at 03:57 PM by Howard Bashman



Dude, don't bogart the qui tam largesse! A man with the last name Bogart brings a qui tam lawsuit and makes lots of money for himself, the federal government, and ten States. But Bogart wants even more money for his efforts, which he says benefited forty other States without qui tam statutes to the tune of another $30 million in settlements. Notwithstanding Bogart's high-powered appellate team, today a unanimous Third Circuit panel holds that he will get nothing and like it.
Posted at 03:48 PM by Howard Bashman


The Ninth Circuit odyssey of Cristobal Rodriguez Benitez continues: Back on May 23, 2006, a three-judge panel held that his California state court sentence for murder could not exceed thirty years because of an extradition decree from the Supreme Court of Venezuela and the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs pursuant to the extradition treaty between the United States and Venezuela.

Thereafter, in January 2007, the same three-judge panel issued a revised decision holding that any sentence other than a life sentence would be permissible.

Today, the very same three-judge panel delivered even worse news for Benitez -- the Ninth Circuit has now ruled by means of an amended opinion that the original California state court indeterminate sentence of fifteen years to life is just fine. Thus, in contrast to the appellate court's two earlier rulings in the case reversing the federal district court's denial of federal habeas relief, today's decision affirms that denial.
Posted at 03:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"Second Amendment case headed to Court": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "Local government officials in Washington, D.C., announced Monday they will appeal to the Supreme Court in a major test case on the meaning of the Second Amendment. The key issue in the coming petition will be whether the Amendment protects an individual right to have guns in one's home -- an issue on which there is now a clear conflict among federal Circuit Courts."

And The Associated Press reports that "D.C. to Appeal in Handgun Ban Case."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Majority on en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturns Board of Immigration Appeals decision holding that an individual whose spouse has been forced to abort a pregnancy, undergo involuntary sterilization, or been persecuted under a coercive population control program automatically qualifies for asylum as a "refugee": You can access today's 86-page ruling at this link. The vote to invalidate that BIA holding as contrary to statute was 8-4. Even before today's ruling, a circuit split existed over how to construe the statute in question, and today's ruling greatly increases the chance that the U.S. Supreme Court will wish to review this issue.

Today's decision may strike some as an unlikely vehicle for the holding I mention in the title to this post, because the petitioners seeking asylum are the unmarried partners of individuals allegedly victimized by China's coercive family planning policies. However, if even husbands are not automatically entitled to asylum, it would seem to follow that neither are unmarried partners.

Update: In other coverage of this ruling, The Associated Press reports that "Asylum Ruling Leaves Out Chinese Spouses."
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Full Constitutional Protection for Some, but No Privacy for the Poor": You can access today's installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column at this link (TimesSelect pass-through link).
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Democrats Attack Gonzales, Supreme Court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, July 15, 2007

"Sex-tour trial set to begin in Phila.; Eight Moldovan teens were flown in to testify against a N.J. millionaire accused of child molestations there": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

And The Associated Press reports that "Trial Set in Overseas Child Sex Case."
Posted at 11:07 PM by Howard Bashman



St. Louis Cardinals 10, Philadelphia Phillies 2: The quixotic quest of the Phillies to avoid becoming the first North American team in professional sports history to reach 10,000 losses came to an end tonight in front of a sell-out home crowd (which included my son and me) at Citizens Bank Park as the team failed to achieve a sweep of a three-game series against the world champion Cardinals.

The Phillies thus managed to earn this mark of indistinction against a surprisingly appreciative home crowd, as the team now jets to southern California to face the top two teams in the National League West. The Phillies pitching staff gave up a total of six home runs tonight to the Cardinals, including two to Albert Pujols, giving him four in the three-game series. Phillies relief pitcher Brian Sanches, who entered the game in the top of the seventh inning with the Phillies trailing 6-0, gave up three solo home runs in that half inning, including two after having recorded two outs. Because the Phillies were so far out of contention in the game, Sanches was allowed to return to pitch the top of the eighth inning, where he performed comparatively better, yielding only one solo home run.

On the bright side, the Phillies did outscore the Cards in the ninth inning 2-0. But, regrettably, the preceding eight innings also counted toward the result. After the Cardinals had recorded the first two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the remaining crowd was surprisingly enthusiastic, applauding the Phillies as the team stood one out away from its 10,000th loss. After the final out was recorded, when slugger Ryan Howard struck out swinging, the crowd was quizzically quiet, unsure of how to respond.

You can access the box score of tonight's game at this link, while wraps from MLB.com are available here and here. The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a news update headlined "Phillies lose No. 10,000." The Associated Press reports that "Cardinals hand Phillies 10,000th loss." And Bloomberg News reports that "Phillies Fall to Cardinals for 10,000th Loss in Team History."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rally urges racial justice; Thousands call for Wilson's release": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "As thunder rumbled overhead, about 2,000 marchers chanted through the streets of Douglasville Saturday morning in a 'March For Justice' protest organized by the NAACP, calling for the release of convicted teen sex offender Genarlow Wilson."
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Terrorism and the Law: In Washington, a Need to Right Wrongs." The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Congress and President Bush are engaged in a profound debate over what the founding fathers intended when they divided the powers to declare and conduct war between two co-equal branches of government. But on one thing, the Constitution is clear: Congress makes the rules on prisoners."
Posted at 01:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Keeping Secrets: How to balance national security with people's rights to have their day in court." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Dred Scott v. Sandford: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer presides over a moot court to reconsider the Dred Scott case at Harvard University's Law School in Cambridge, MA." This broadcast (RealPlayer required) appeared two weeks ago on C-SPAN's "America & the Courts."
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Fight over Privileged Positions": In the July 23, 2007 issue of Time magazine, Reynolds Holding will have an article that begins, "You would think that after 218 years, 43 Presidents and countless partisan battles, the Federal Government would have worked out the rules for when Congress gets to question White House officials. But as President George W. Bush and the House and Senate Judiciary committees have made clear, you would be wrong."
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, July 14, 2007

"School Diversity Based on Income Segregates Some": This article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


Philadelphia Phillies 10, St. Louis Cardinals 4: For the second day in a row, the offense of the Phillies achieved double digits in runs to defeat the reigning world champion Cardinals. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Aaron Rowand homered, and even Pat Burrell contributed to the offensive production, going three-for-three with four RBIs. When Burrell was removed for a pinch runner in the bottom of the sixth inning after a two-RBI bloop single to the opposite field, he was greeted with sustained applause, in contrast to the usual round of boos that he regularly receives and often has deserved.

Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels did not have a strong outing, recording only two strikeouts in six innings and giving up four runs, including a home run to Albert Pujols, who has now hit one out of the park in each of the past two days. But the Phillies offense and the bullpen, which held the Cardinals scoreless over the final three innings, allowed Hamels to record the win.

For those who regret that an appellate angle is lacking from most of my baseball coverage, I have some good news. At Citizens Bank Park before the start of today's game I had the pleasure of eating cheesesteaks with an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. My son and I, and the aforesaid ASG and his lovely wife, also walked around the stadium a bit, taking in the sights.

Today's Phillies victory, before another sell-out crowd, postpones for at least another day the team's 10,000th loss. You can view the box score of today's game at this link, while wraps from MLB.com are available here and here. And The Associated Press reports that "Phillies Rout Cards, Avoid 10,000th Loss."

Update: Here are some photos that I took at last night's and this afternoon's Phillies games.

The view from last night, when our seats were in the very last section of the Hall of Fame Club along the third base side.

Batting in the top of the eighth inning on Friday night, former Phillie and current Cardinal Scott Rolen only needs to hit a nine-run home run to tie the score.

In the top of the first inning of this afternoon's game, Albert Pujols is at bat. He would pop out to second base.

In the bottom of the first inning, with leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins at the plate facing a 3-2 count, the scoreboard helpfully reminds Rollins that he is good at hitting home runs. Moments later, Rollins hits a home run to lead-off the bottom half of the first inning, and here he is seen trotting to home plate to record the run.

Ryan Howard also knows a thing or two about hitting home runs. Earlier this season he hit his 100th home run, reaching that distinction in fewer games than anyone else in Major League Baseball history. Here he is digging in at the plate in the bottom of the first inning. And here's the pitch. And there it goes, as Howard has just hit the Phillies second solo home run in the bottom of the first inning, this one on a line drive to the right field seats.

In the bottom of the second inning, with two runners on base and two outs, Chase Utley is at the plate. You can see Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels on second base. Here's the pitch to Utley. With the baserunners on second and first running on the 3-2 pitch to Utley, he hits a double, and both runners score.

A bit later in the game, here's the pitch to Ryan Howard. In this at bat, he reached base after being hit by the pitch.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Greg Dobbs entered the game as a pinch hitter. In this photo, you can see the baseball just before it reached the plate. Dobbs ended up striking out.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Federal Appellate Judge Dissents Without Reading Majority Opinion": At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has this interesting post about a Second Circuit decision issued yesterday that I previously noted at this link. Many of the comments to Eugene's post are also worth reading. And Eugene also offers additional thoughts about the merits of the ruling in this other post.
Posted at 12:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-mayor's conviction upheld on appeal": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously upheld former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell's conviction last year on tax fraud charges."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit at this link.
Posted at 12:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"[T]he weight of authority suggests that accurate news reporting -- even when it is likely to have an adverse impact on the subjects of the report -- usually does not give rise to an action for intentional infliction of emotional distress": Yesterday, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a decision affirming a federal district court's dismissal of claims for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress asserted by two former undercover police officers against a television station in Albuquerque that had revealed their identities and their undercover status in the context of a televised report about their suspected involvement in an alleged incident of sexual assault. Shortly after the broadcast, the police department announced publicly that it had concluded the officers were not involved in the alleged sexual assault.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Agents of Change": In the July 13, 2007 issue of CQ Weekly, columnist Kenneth Jost will have an essay that begins, "From the bench on the final day of this Supreme Court term, Stephen G. Breyer offered a stinging dissent in the case limiting local school board power to adopt racial mixing policies -- but the barb also summed up moderate and liberal frustration at the court's behavior during the preceding nine months."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"History, Principle and Affirmative Action": Today in The New York Times, Stanley Fish has an op-ed (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) that begins, "On its face, the affirmative action case decided on June 28 by the Supreme Court turns on whether two school districts in Washington and Kentucky violated the 14th Amendment's equal-protection guarantee when they assigned children to schools on the basis of race."
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecution rests in Padilla terror trial; After 22 witnesses and hundreds of exhibits, the prosecution rested in the Jose Padilla terror trial; The defense case begins next week": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Contempt for Congress": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Bush administration's disregard for the rule of law hit another low this week when Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, defied a Congressional subpoena."
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Happy Blogiversary: It's been 10 years since the blog was born." This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal. Earlier this year, "How Appealing" celebrated its five-year anniversary.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "High Court Loss Prompts Malpractice Claim Against McGuireWoods; Company claims partner raised rates without authorization and wasted time trying to prevent it from retaining RICO specialist."

Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "3rd Circuit: Federal Transfer Doesn't Reset SOL Clock." You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.

A profile of Sidley Austin attorney Virginia A. Seitz, described as the first woman from that law firm to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court, is headlined "How One Part-Time Lawyer Leads a Very Full Life."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Appeal Now or Later? A Look at Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b)."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



Philadelphia Phillies 13, St. Louis Cardinals 3: Friday the 13th began ominously for the Phillies, as the team stood just one loss away from 10,000 losses in the history of the franchise, facing an opponent that won the 2006 World Series.

Fortunately for Friday evening's sell-out crowd, which included me and my son, the Phillies did not suffer from triskaidekaphobia, as they trounced the Cardinals by a score of 13-3. The sell-out was also the 13th of the season at beautiful Citizens Bank Park. And the Phillies pounded out a whopping 23 hits in the winning effort. To say something nice about the Cardinals, I will not overlook that Albert Pujols hit a tape measure solo home run to Ashburn Alley in dead center field in the top of the 8th inning, with the Cardinals trailing 11-1.

My son and I also have tickets to the remaining two games in this series. Tomorrow afternoon we will have the good fortune to sit in the Diamond Club just eight rows behind home plate. And Sunday evening we will be in our regular Sunday partial season ticket seats.

You can access the box score at this link, while wraps from MLB.com are available here and here. And The Associated Press reports that "Phils Rout Cards to Stay at 9,999 Losses."
Posted at 01:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, July 13, 2007

"Prosecution Rests in Padilla Trial": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "For a star defendant whose name is known around the world, Jose Padilla has become almost a bit player in his terrorism support trial - and some observers say the federal government may not have proved its case against him."
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Closing the courthouse doors: With Roberts at helm, ordinary Americans lose at Supreme Court." Law Professor Joseph Thai has this op-ed today in The Charlotte Observer.
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Va. Pain Doctor Gets Nearly 5-Year Term": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Death resulting from a woman's unintentional consumption of peanuts resulted in a $1 million verdict against a paramedic service: And today, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has overturned that verdict in a decision that you can access here. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner wrote the opinion.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


In the July 23, 2007 issue of The New Republic: The magazine will contain an editorial entitled "Roberts Rules: John Roberts shows the yawning gap between modesty and obfuscation."

And Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen will have an essay entitled "Court Approval: Will John Roberts ever get better?"
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"UK court rules for press freedom over privacy rights": Roger Parloff has this post today at Fortune magazine's "Legal Pad" blog.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Mistrial in Rape Case With Banned Words": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Before a jury was even seated, a judge declared a mistrial in a sex-assault case where he had barred the words 'rape' and 'victim.'"

And The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star reports today that "Judge declares mistrial in Safi case."
Posted at 10:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"In this appeal, we consider whether a public college president's decision to cancel a student government election because of content published in a school newspaper violates the First Amendment rights of the student journalists who produce that publication." So begins the majority opinion that a partially divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today.

The very next sentence of Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi's majority opinion states, "We conclude that, in the circumstances presented in this case, the school administrator’s actions did violate the First Amendment."

Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs has issued an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part that begins:

I concur in the majority's result insofar as it affirms the dismissal of some claims, but I dissent insofar as it reverses the grant of qualified immunity.

I concede that this short opinion of mine does not consider or take into account the majority opinion. So I should disclose at the outset that I have not read it. I suppose this is unusual, so I explain why.

* * *

The majority has fulfilled its responsibility to explain at some length its vacatur of a part of the district court's judgment. But this is not a case that should occupy the mind of a person who has anything consequential to do. In a nutshell, the editors of the College Voice student newspaper used it as a campaign flyer to promote the self-styled radicals of the "Student Union" party in a long-ago student election, and the college president, finding that the partisan use of student-activity funds made a mockery of the election rules, directed that the election be re-run. The gist of the complaint is that the editors' speech was chilled, which is deemed to be a bad thing.

This is a case about nothing. Injunctive relief from the school's election rules is now moot (if it was ever viable); and plaintiffs' counsel conceded at oral argument that the only relief sought in this litigation is nominal damages. Now, after years of litigation over two dollars, the majority will impose on a busy judge to conduct a trial on this silly thing, and require a panel of jurors to set aside their more important duties of family and business in order to decide it.

And Chief Judge Jacobs's opinion concludes, "This prolonged litigation has already cost the school a lot of money that could better have been spent to enrich course offerings or expand student day-care. If this case ends with a verdict for plaintiffs (anything is possible with a jury), the district court will have the opportunity to consider whether the exercise merits an award of attorneys' fees in excess of one-third of two dollars."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Majority on divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel rejects the latest iteration of Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman's challenge to his Tennessee death sentence: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"House Panel Rejects Bush's Privilege Claim": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "N.J. Ethics Panel Finds Judge Abused Office by Interceding in Son's Dispute, Urges Censure."

In other news, "District Attorney in Ga. Teen Sex Case Under Fire; Video used against Genarlow Wilson is now subject of accusations against local prosecutor."

And an article reports that "2nd Circuit Attempts to Clarify Fee Rule in Civil Rights Cases." You can access yesterday's amended Second Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Harriet Miers's Contempt of Congress: Are Conservatives About To Neuter Congress, While Claiming Full Legal Justification for this Separation-of-Powers Violation?" John W. Dean has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, July 12, 2007

"Prosecutor Under Fire in Teen Sex Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "David McDade has handed out some 35 copies of a video of teenagers having sex at a party. McDade is no porno kingpin, but a district attorney."
Posted at 06:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Some British Judges to Lose Their Wigs": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:32 PM by Howard Bashman


The criminal suspect's last name was Askew, and as the result of a disputed police search so was his jacket: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today issued an order granting rehearing en banc in United States v. Askew.

In a decision issued in April 2007, the majority on a divided three-judge panel held that "the police during a Terry show-up may reasonably maneuver a suspect's outer clothing (such as unzipping an outer jacket so a witness can see the suspect's clothing) when taking that step could assist a witness's identification." Once police maneuvered his jacket, the askew nature of Askew's clothing revealed that he was a felon in possession of a handgun.

It appears from today's order that Senior Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards, the dissenter on the original three-judge panel, has elected to participate in the rehearing en banc. Senior circuit judges do not have a vote on whether to grant rehearing en banc, but if rehearing en banc is granted they can participate in the decision if they were on the original three-judge panel and the case is pending in their home circuit.

Assuming that neither of the two active D.C. Circuit judges in the original three-judge panel's majority voted in favor of rehearing en banc, at least six of the remaining eight active judges on the D.C. Circuit must have voted for rehearing en banc. That doesn't bode well for the panel's decision surviving en banc review unscathed.

My earlier coverage of the original three-judge panel's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 05:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Going South on Southwick? The disgraceful performance of Senate Democrats." Edward Whelan has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"House Panel: Miers Wrong to Miss Hearing." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 01:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Okays Libby Probation; Criticizes Bush's Clemency Order": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun provides this news update.
Posted at 01:37 PM by Howard Bashman


The Supreme Court of Washington State delivers some bad news for the new AT&T: In a decision issued today, Washington State's highest court has ruled 6-3 that an arbitration clause contained in Cingular's standard subscriber contracts prohibiting class action litigation or arbitration is invalid, thereby voiding the arbitration clause in its entirety. Today's ruling consists of both a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Democratic (Not So) Short List": Tom Goldstein has this interesting post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman


U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton holds that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence of supervised release remains in effect: You can access today's decision at this link.
Posted at 11:43 AM by Howard Bashman


"Showdown Looms Over Fired Prosecutors": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Specter leads revolt on stalled nomination": The Politico provides a report that begins, "Social conservatives are mobilizing for a new showdown with Democrats over judicial appointments, answering a call to action from an unlikely source: Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee whose moderate stances on abortion and other issues have made for an uneasy relationship with his party's right-leaning base."
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Harriet Miers Told to Shirk House Judiciary Hearing": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ping, Golf Club Maker, Scores Hole-in-One in High Court Ruling": James Rowley of Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "To golf club manufacturer Ping Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling relaxing antitrust standards looks like a hole-in-one."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"A rare sighting: Reason in the law." Paul Greenberg has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Georgia teen sex case video stirs uproar; A U.S. attorney says the tape handed out by a district attorney constitutes 'child pornography under federal law.'" This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article headlined "Feds: Douglas DA violated porn laws."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Feds: Teen Sex Tape Is Child Pornography."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Miers Rebuffs Senate Subpoena; Another Ex-Aide Says She Did Not Speak With Bush About Firings": The Washington Post contains this article today, along with an article headlined "A Bush Aide's Long Road From The White House." And Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "Against Claims of Executive Privilege, a Committee Comes Up Dry."

The New York Times reports today that "Ex-White House Aide Says Bush Wasn't Involved in Attorney Firings."

The Los Angeles Times contains an article headlined "Disregard subpoenas, Justice Dept. says; The opinion raises questions over whether Bush officials would be prosecuted for not cooperating in probe of U.S. attorneys firings."

McClatchy Newspapers report that "Bush halts Miers' testimony, provoking threat from Congress."

And in The Boston Globe, Law Professor Cass R. Sunstein has an op-ed entitled "Defining executive privilege."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Panel: Justice's behavior improper; N.J. Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto intervened in his son's dispute." This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

And The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reports today that "Ethics panel wants N.J. judge censured; Report: Justice Rivera-Soto broke rules."

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Lawsuit against a Lawyer Rating Service: Why the Suit Might Lead the Service to Improve, Becoming More Transparent." Anita Ramasastry has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Specter says Dems broke their promise": The Hill today contains an article that begins, "Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has fired an early volley in what Senate Republicans and conservative activists predict will escalate into another pitched battle with Democrats on judicial nominees."
Posted at 06:37 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"The Bush Court: President Bush has made good on his pledge to move the Supreme Court to the right; As a result, the Court could be more of an issue in the 2008 presidential race than it was in 2004." William Schneider has this essay in this week's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Crack in the System: For the fourth time in 20 years, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has asked lawmakers to reform mandatory cocaine sentencing policy; Might this be the year Congress listens?" Christopher Moraff has this essay online at The American Prospect.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"The President's Strained Mercy: If Bush wants to correct unjust sentences, why stop with Scooter Libby?" Jacob Sullum has this essay online today at Reason.
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia-Thomas Derangement Syndrome: A full-court press of illogic." Matthew J. Franck has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ethics panel: Rivera-Soto deserves censure." The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger provides a news update that begins, "State Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto engaged in judicial misconduct and should be censured, a state judicial ethics committee said today." You can access online both the committee's presentment and the justice's response.

Earlier. today's issue of The Star-Ledger contains an article headlined "Papers detail Rivera-Soto school dispute."

And The Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that "N.J. justice faces fallout after high school dispute; He is accused of ethical misconduct stemming from a school dispute."
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"DC Bar Panel on 'The Supreme Court: The View From The Press Gallery.'" On Monday, the DC Bar hosted an event featuring Joan Biskupic, Robert Barnes, Tony Mauro, Mark Sherman, and Stuart Taylor Jr.

C-SPAN has posted video of the event online, and you can access the video by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pants Suit Plaintiff Asks Judge to Reconsider": The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Orders Miers Not to Testify": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Asked to Review Judge's 'Rape' Ban": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A woman who says she was raped has asked the Nebraska Supreme Court to review a judge's ban on saying such words as 'rape' and 'victim' at the trial of the accused man."

And The Lincoln Journal-Star provides a news update headlined "Judge throws out motion in Safi trial" that begins, "Lancaster County District Judge Jeffre Cheuvront Wednesday said a Boston law professor was not licensed to practice law in Nebraska, and he dismissed her court motion on behalf of a woman at the center of a sexual assault trial."
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-White House Official Testifies on Attorney Firings": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"Victim of collar bomb a participant in robbery plot": CNN.com provides this report.

The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Indictment: Bomb Victim in on Bank Plot."

And The Erie Times-News provides an update headlined "Feds: Roden murdered to conceal Wells plot; Indictments say pizza deliveryman was in on scheme."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Porn actress just liked classmate's name; The real Syvette Wimberly isn't too happy about the kind of attention that comes her way": This article appeared yesterday in The Houston Chronicle. My earlier coverage of this lawsuit appeared at this link.

Update: As WSJ.com's "Law Blog" notes here, you can access a copy of the petition initiating suit at this link (link destination features somewhat revealing photo), from "The Smoking Gun."
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Preserving Prosecutorial Independence: Is the Department of Justice Politicizing the Hiring and Firing of U.S. Attorneys? -- Part VI." This morning's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing is now underway, and you can view it live, online by clicking here.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Senator Urges Ex-Bush Aide to Testify."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Disorder in the court: The 9th Circuit is overturned more than any other appeals court; Its size may be a factor." Law Professor Brian T. Fitzpatrick has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Court Skeptical of CIA Bid for Secrecy": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has this article about an oral argument that occurred yesterday before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The page providing access to oral argument audio at the Ninth Circuit's web site hasn't yet been updated to add yesterday's arguments, but when that page is updated I will update this post to add a link to the oral argument audio in this case.

Update: You can download the oral argument audio via this link (6.09MB Windows Media audio file).
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge who won libel lawsuit faces ethics charges; Commission says he tried to bully Herald": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.

And The Boston Herald today contains articles headlined "Murphy faces ethics charge: Conduct board accuses judge of behavior unbecoming after libel verdict" and "State hearings against jurists a rarity."

My most recent earlier coverage of this matter, including a link to the text of the charges and the judge's initial response thereto, appears at this link.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Woman convicted of perjury seeks a commutation": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "She has no friends in the White House. She describes herself as a regular, middle-class American who works, pays her taxes, and is devoted to her two young children. But Joanne 'Jody' Richardson, 41, of Tyngsborough, has plenty in common with I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales Knew About Violations, Officials Say": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Two senior Justice Department officials said yesterday that they kept Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales apprised of FBI violations of civil liberties and privacy safeguards in recent years." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Mr. Gonzales's Inattention: Once again, new information raises questions about statements by the attorney general."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Former doctor admits scheme with law firm; Indictments may be nearer for two Milberg Weiss heavyweights": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Former Bush Aide Will Answer Some Questions": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Sara Taylor, the former White House political director, has agreed to answer some questions as a 'willing and cooperative private citizen,' during testimony about the United States attorney firings last year when she appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee later today." In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Overprivileged Executive."

The Washington Post reports today that "Ex-Aide to Respect Confidentiality Of White House in Hill Testimony."

And The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "Privilege has its limits: It would behoove President Bush to compromise with Congress in its U.S. attorneys probe."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Terrorists' Court": Today in The New York Times, Law Professors Jack L. Goldsmith and Neal Katyal have an op-ed that begins, "Nearly six years after 9/11, the government's system for detaining terrorists without charge or trial has harmed the reputation of the United States, disrupted alliances, hurt us in the war of ideas with the Islamic world and been viewed skeptically by our own courts. The two of us have been on opposite sides of detention policy debates, but we believe that a bipartisan solution that reflects American values is possible."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"First Amendment Claim in Cockfight Suit": Adam Liptak has an article in today's edition of The New York Times that begins, "A company that broadcasts cockfights on the Internet filed suit in federal court in Miami on Tuesday to challenge a largely untested federal law that makes it a crime to sell depictions of animal cruelty." The article identifies the company's lawyer as David O. Markus, who also happens to be the author of the "Southern District of Florida Blog."

The article goes on to report that "[t]he constitutionality of the same law is at issue in a case before the federal appeals court in Philadelphia, in which a Virginia man was sentenced to three years in prison for selling videotapes of dog fights." My most recent coverage of that appeal can be accessed here.

And in other coverage, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Hollywood company sues for right to webcast cockfights from Puerto Rico."

Update: I have posted online at this link the complaint initiating suit filed yesterday in the Florida federal district court.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Transferring Up": Today in The New York Times, Jonathan Kozol has an op-ed that begins, "Last month's Supreme Court ruling on school integration came as a blow to those who have been watching the gradual dismantling of Brown v. Board of Education with despair. There is, however, some cause for hope."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Student journalists' right to expression expanded; 'Landmark' Oregon law shields from censorship": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"What Proponents of the 'Rape Exception' Teach Us About Abortion": Sherry F. Colb has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Membership of New Guantanamo Review Panel May Be Challenged": Jess Bravin had this article (pass-through link) yesterday in The Wall Street Journal.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Government defends war crimes case; Court rules issued."
Posted at 11:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Charges Near in Pa. Collar-Bomb Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A woman might be charged in the nearly four-year-old case of a pizza deliveryman who, after he robbed a bank, was killed by a bomb locked around his neck, her lawyer said Tuesday."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides a news update headlined "Charges may be announced in bomber case."

And The Erie Times-News provides an update headlined "Diehl-Armstrong, Barnes to face charges in Wells case; Feds to make 'significant announcement' on Wednesday."
Posted at 11:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"House votes to halt automatic raises for Pa. judges": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides this news update.
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"[T]he federal sentencing guidelines treat shoplifting hundreds of times from different outlets of one store as less serious than shoplifting once from a dozen different stores": The "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog has this post noting a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Under legal attack in Pa., Nader smells political payback": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Should the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit grant rehearing en banc to repudiate earlier three-judge panel decisions holding that a plaintiff must show reliance to maintain a civil RICO claim based on mail or wire fraud? A three-judge Sixth Circuit panel today issued this decision, in which each of the three judges wrote an opinion.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"When in Doubt, Look to Roberts for Outcome of Supreme Court Cases": law.com's Tony Mauro has an article reporting that "in 23 of the 25 5-4 decisions, Roberts asked more questions of the side he voted against than the side he favored."
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman


Adult bookstore's challenge to zoning ordinance of Dickinson County, Kansas to result in a trial over disputed secondary effects of adult businesses on surrounding communities: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued this interesting ruling today.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Is There A Middle Ground On Race?" Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay in this week's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ethics Charges Filed Against Mass. Judge": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A state commission filed ethics charges Tuesday against a judge who won a $2 million libel award from the Boston Herald, accusing him of misconduct for writing threatening and intimidating letters to the newspaper's publisher."

The charges and the judge's response thereto can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman



Do false statements made to a probation officer preparing a criminal defendant's presentence report constitute "false statements submitted to a judge by a party to a judicial proceeding" for purposes of an exception to criminal liability under 18 U.S.C. sec. 1001? A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this very interesting decision today.

Circuit Judge Susan P. Graber's majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson joined, concludes:

Defendant's false statement to a probation officer was submitted, as required by law, to the district court in the presentence report, in connection with a judicial proceeding to which he was a party. The statement falls within the exemption from criminal liability codified in 18 U.S.C. §1001(b). We therefore reverse the district court's denial of Defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment and remand with instructions to vacate Defendant's conviction and sentence.
Circuit Judge Pamela Ann Rymer issued a dissenting opinion in which she reasons, "Yet if the defendant submits to an interview, and makes a statement, he makes the statement to a probation officer; if he lies, he lies to the probation officer, not 'to the judge.'"
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"In 1996, David H. Dixon lost his job as a teacher at Cumberland High School in Harlan County, Kentucky after the revelation that he had taken topless photographs of S.C., one of his female students." So begins a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Dunkin Donuts may regret going whole hog on this particular franchisee: Might it constitute racial discrimination to require a Palestinian Arab of the Muslim faith to sell pork products at his Dunkin Donuts franchise? A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit answers "yes" in a ruling issued today.
Posted at 05:28 PM by Howard Bashman


Can a person's nephew functionally be that person's son? Who says immigration rulings never give rise to interesting questions? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued this ruling today.
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Conservatives Fear 4th Circuit Is Slipping Away; Inaction from the White House and gridlock on the Hill leave four slots sitting vacant": When I previously linked to this article, it was located behind the new, yet quite annoying, free registration wall now in existence at the web site of Legal Times. Today, law.com has reposted the article at this link in a manner that makes it freely accessible to all, no registration required.
Posted at 05:12 PM by Howard Bashman


Linguistic Help 4 Supreme Court: Is the message "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" reasonably understood to encourage illegal drug use -- as a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court held in a ruling issued last month and as I likewise agree -- or is the message meaningless gibberish -- as the student who displayed a banner containing the message has argued?

In a post titled "The Supreme Court Fails Semantics" at "Language Log," Bill Poser has a post concluding that "[t]he Court was therefore wrong in finding that the banner advocates the use of marijuana." The Supreme Court's majority and I, on the other hand, view the message as containing an implied imperative.

Thanks to "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times" for the pointer.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bad Heir Day: How Sandra Day O'Connor became the least powerful jurist in America." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Talking Supreme Court Review": This installment of the public radio program "Justice Talking" will be recorded this evening at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Although my schedule does not allow me to attend the event, I will be having lunch today with one of the panelists.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals judge to free couple in slave case": The New York Daily News today contains an article that begins, "The wealthy Long Island couple accused of torturing two housekeepers and holding them as virtual slaves in their Muttontown mansion will go free before their September trial. A Manhattan federal appeals court overruled Judge Thomas Platt's decision to keep Varsha Sabhnani, 35, and her husband, Mahender Sabhnani, 51, locked up despite their offer to post a multimillion-dollar bail package. The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals sent the case back to Platt after deciding the couple had agreed to 'extraordinary' physical conditions that will ensure they show up for trial. The Sabhnanis will pay for a private security force to keep an eye on them 24 hours a day. And their bail package, secured by cash and property, has been increased by $1 million to $4.5 million."

Newsday reports today that "Judges order bail plan for couple on slavery charges; But pair accused of enslaving workers still has difficult road to work out conditions."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Bail for Couple Accused of Slaves."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush won't cooperate in attorneys case; The president, asserting executive privilege, refuses to allow testimony and documents in a probe of the dismissals": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

The New York Times reports today that "Bush Won't Deliver Aides in Prosecutor Case."

The Washington Post reports that "New Privilege Claim by Bush Escalates Clash Over Firings."

USA Today reports that "Hearings on firings likely to get silent treatment; Ex-aides told not to respond."

And The Wall Street Journal reports that "Privilege Fight With Bush Poses Risk for Congress; To Discontented Voters, Lawmakers May Seem Too Focused on Probes" (temporary free access).
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Partner at Milberg Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Lawyer admits to kickbacks; Class-action attorney's plea could help the U.S. snag a bigger fish."

The Washington Post reports that "Guilty Plea Puts Pressure On Firm; Ex-Milberg Weiss Official to Pay Fine, Help Government."

Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun reports that "Big Tort Lawyer Turns State's Evidence."

USA Today reports that "Plea may aid case against law partners; Milberg Weiss famous for class action lawsuits."

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Former Milberg Partner May Help U.S. Build Case" (temporary free access).

And law.com reports that "Milberg Weiss' Bershad Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy in Kickback Plan; Name partner at securities plaintiffs law firm agrees to cooperate and to forfeit $7.75 million."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Porn-viewing curbs urged; Delco man faces perv counts": The Philadelphia Daily News today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge yesterday ordered the attorney for John Jackey Worman, of Delaware County, charged in January with multiple counts of manufacturing child porn, to file court papers by Monday on why his client should be permitted to view an unlimited number of child-porn images he allegedly made."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that "Child-porn defendant seeks freer access to his videos."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Feds: Defense Atty. Abused Porn Evidence."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court to hear arguments in 'light' smokes case": Reuters provides a report that begins, "Several major tobacco companies are set to go to a U.S. appellate court on Tuesday to argue about whether a $200 billion lawsuit against them by 'light' cigarette smokers should proceed as a class action."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales Was Told of FBI Violations; After Bureau Sent Reports, Attorney General Said He Knew of No Wrongdoing": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senate rejects Brownback's concerns about judge": Reuters provides a report that begins, "The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed as a federal judge a woman who attended a same-sex commitment ceremony, overwhelmingly rejecting the concerns of a Republican senator running for the White House. The vote was 83-4 in favor of elevating Michigan state judge Janet Neff to federal district court."
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reviving Title VII's Protection Against Pay Discrimination In the Wake of the Supreme Court's Harsh Decision: A Call for Congressional Action." Joanna Grossman and Deborah Brake today have this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, July 09, 2007

"Senate OKs Judge Who Attended Gay Union": The Associated Press provides this report. This evening, the U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Janet T. Neff to be a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Michigan by a vote of 83-4. You can access at this link The New York Times wedding announcement that gave rise to the controversy.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"State Supreme Court moves up Genarlow Wilson hearing": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "The Georgia Supreme Court has voted to hold a hearing more than two months earlier than originally planned in the case of a Douglas County man who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. A hearing is now set in Genarlow Wilson's case for July 20 at 10 a.m."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Expedites Appeal in Teen Sex Case."
Posted at 11:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"A controversy is brewing over Snapple labels; Suit disputes 'all natural' claim": This article appeared last Friday in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"He Says He Owns the Word 'Stealth' (Actually, He Claims 'Chutzpah,' Too)": A little over two years ago -- on July 4, 2005 -- The New York Times published an article that begins, "Can a man own a word? And can he sue to keep other people from using it? Over the last few years, Leo Stoller has written dozens of letters to companies and organizations and individuals stating that he owns the trademark to 'stealth.' He has threatened to sue people who have used the word without his permission. In some cases, he has offered to drop objections in exchange for thousands of dollars. And in a few of those instances, people or companies have paid up."

One such lawsuit today resulted in a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. And the lead defendant being sued for using the word "stealth" to market a product happens to be Hall of Fame baseball legend George Brett, whose company sells a wooden baseball bat that is called "Stealth" (sixth item).

Because the case involves George Brett and baseball bats -- and because today's decision was written by Circuit Judge Terence T. Evans, who is one of the Seventh Circuit's most avid sports fans -- it comes as no surprise that the opinion begins with a thoughtful remembrance of the pine tar incident. Judge Evans's opinion provides a link to this YouTube clip of the incident. Other coverage is available from MLB.com (here and here) and ESPN.com.

For TimesSelect subscribers, much additional coverage can be accessed via the web site of The New York Times: "Brett Homer Nullified, So Yankees Win"; "Fans Savor Game's Fine Print"; "A Piece of Wood is Much Coveted"; "Kansas City Wins Protest on Canceled Homer"; "Text of League President's Ruling in Brett Bat Case"; "Angry Yankees Defend the Rules and Umpires"; "How Baseball Became Unstuck by a Rules Dispute"; "Resumed Game Ends in 5-4 Yankee Loss to Royals"; "Anger Dies; Bat Lives On"; and "The Pine-Tar Incident: 10 Years Ago Brett Lost His Grip and a Home Run."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Denies Congress Access to Aides; Move Sets Up Showdown With Congress Over Executive Power": The Washington Post provides this news update.

The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Bush Denies Congress Access to Aides."

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "White House says it won't hand over documents on attorney firings."

Reuters reports that "W. House dares Congress to fight in court."

Bloomberg News reports that "Bush Directs Ex-Aides Not to Testify About Firings."

And The Associated Press provides this report.

You can access the "Communication to Congress on President's Assertion of Executive Privilege" at this link.
Posted at 03:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"When court's out, school's in for Supreme Court justices": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman


The White House offers its views on the permissibility of having I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby serve his sentence of supervised release even though his sentence of imprisonment has been commuted: You can view the letter from White House Counsel Fred F. Fielding -- dated Friday, July 6, 2007 but filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today -- at this link.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Texas Supreme Court Justice John Hill dies": The Houston Chronicle provides this news update.

And The Austin American-Statesman provides a news update headlined "John Hill, former Texas chief justice and attorney general, dies; A winner thrice, he became first Democratic nominee to lose for governor in 100 years."
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Woman Sues Porn Star Over Name": KPRC Local 2 of Houston provides this report.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Crater first raises a frontal attack on the constitutionality of AEDPA. He claims that ... a provision of AEDPA limiting the grounds for federal habeas relief for prisoners convicted in state court, violates the Suspension Clause and interferes with the independence of federal courts under Article III." A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued this decision rejecting those challenges.
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Obviousness and "the discovery that blood from a newborn infant's umbilical cord is a rich source of a type of stem cells useful for rebuilding an individual's blood and immune system after that system has been compromised": A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today issued this 76-page decision in a patent dispute.
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Did a Federal Appeals Court Avoid Tackling the Real Issues Behind Football Fan's Lawsuit? 11th Circuit rules that season ticket-holder can't object to being searched upon entering stadium." Today's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Epic Battle Shapes Up in Capital; A Test of Privilege for White House": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 08:59 AM by Howard Bashman


"Police stifle bill on discipline hearings access": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Legislation that would increase Californians' access to police disciplinary records by rolling back a 2006 state Supreme Court ruling appears to be dead for the year -- the victim of formidable law enforcement opposition."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sex, lies and audiotapes: Douglas prosecutor crossed a line when he tried to intimidate mother of teen in Wilson case." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an editorial that begins, "At a basic level, the Genarlow Wilson case and the ensuing controversy represent the consequences of crossing boundaries."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Quiet hero lets truth speak loudly": Columnist Robyn Blumner had this Guantanamo-related op-ed yesterday in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawmakers to work on shutting down Guantanamo facility; Senate amendment would grant legal rights to detainees": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fight over Thou Shalts won't wilt; Fargo council hands down its word, but foes vow to move biblical marker": Today's issue of USA Today contains an article that begins, "A Ten Commandments monument will remain on the lawn outside City Hall in Fargo, N.D., for now, but the City Commission's recent vote to keep it there won't end controversy over the marker."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clarence Thomas Is Right": At his "Think Again" blog, Stanley Fish has a post (TimesSelect subscription required) that begins, "On June 25th the Supreme Court held in Morse v. Frederick that it was alright to discipline a high school student because he and some of his friends had unfurled a banner reading 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' at a school-sponsored event."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Last Term's Winner at the Supreme Court: Judicial Activism." Adam Cohen has this "Editorial Observer" essay today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fitzgerald May Testify on Prosecution of Libby Case, Leahy Says": Bloomberg News provides this report.

And The Washington Times reports today that "Democrats call Libby 'silenced.'"
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"New View of Brown v. Board Unlikely To Sway One Judge": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "Before becoming one of the country's legendary trial judges, Jack B. Weinstein played a supporting role in one of the 20th century's defining court cases."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court's 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' First Amendment Decision: How Its Betrayal of Free Speech Principles May Have Influenced A Recent Federal Appellate Decision." Julie Hilden has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"State secrets privilege: Congress, make it qualified." Sharon Bradford Franklin has this essay in today's issue of The National Law Journal.
Posted at 07:41 AM by Howard Bashman


In today's issue of Legal Times: Tony Mauro has an article headlined "At the High Court, Sometimes It's Personal" that begins, "The timbre of Donald Verrilli Jr.’s voice changes when he argues a pro bono case to the U.S. Supreme Court."

And in other news, "Conservatives Fear 4th Circuit Slipping Away; Inaction from the White House and gridlock on the Hill leave four slots sitting vacant."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Third Strike: A Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo that the Bush administration can't sidestep?" Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, July 08, 2007

"A Deal for the Public: If You Win, You Lose." That's the headline of tomorrow's installment (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column in The New York Times. The article discusses the practice of some state attorneys general to hire outside lawyers on a contingent fee basis to pursue claims for damages.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Secures His Place as a Critic of Integration": In Monday's edition of The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis will have an article that begins, "When Justice Clarence Thomas provided a pivotal vote last month as the Supreme Court struck down school integration plans in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle, he suggested the concept of integration was inherently demeaning to black children because it implied they needed to mix with whites to achieve excellence."
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mysteries, Legal and Sartorial, at Padilla Trial": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Time to act on 4th Circuit slots": The Briston (Va.) Herald Courier contains this editorial today.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"UVa professor completes Supreme Court trifecta": The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Virginia today contains an article that begins, "Some lawyers think Ken Elzinga has managed the antitrust equivalent of a hat trick."
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"On the Wrong Side of 5 to 4, Liberals Talk Tactics": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in the Week in Review section of The New York Times.
Posted at 06:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Taking a New Course in Class: Income, rather than race, could be the new path to diversity." This article will appear in the July 16, 2007 issue of U.S. News & World Report.
Posted at 06:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Friends in High Places: Inside Bush's decision to give Scooter Libby a pass." Michael Isikoff will have this article in the July 16, 2007 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 06:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Power Broker: In an exclusive interview, Justice Kennedy discusses life, center stage." Stuart Taylor Jr. and Evan Thomas will have this article in the July 16, 2007 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 06:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo Hits the Courts Again": Reynolds Holding will have this article in the July 16, 2007 issue of Time magazine.
Posted at 06:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"White House Will Deny New Request In Attorneys Probe; Bush to Defy Congress, Sources Say": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice and Gitmo: The high court's decision to weigh habeas corpus for detainees is a step toward restoring trampled freedoms." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, July 07, 2007

"Judges OK warrantless monitoring of Web use; Privacy rules don't apply to Internet messages, court says": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"For Libby, Bush Seemed to Alter His Texas Policy": Adam Liptak will have this article Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 2, Ottawa Lynx 1 (11 innings): My son and I traveled to Moosic, Pennsylvania earlier today to see this afternoon's half of the day-night doubleheader between the AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees and the AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Lynx used three pitchers who had all previously appeared for the Phillies. Lynx starting pitcher Eude Brito threw six-plus innings of scoreless ball. Next, reliever Clay Condrey held the Yankees to just one run over four innings, although by giving up that run in the bottom of the eighth inning Condrey was charged with a blown save. Finally, reliever Yoel Hernandez foolishly tried to record an out at first on a well-placed bunt attempt for a base hit by the Yankees lead-off batter in the bottom of the 11th. Not only did the batter reach first base before the throw would have, but Hernandez made a wild throw that allowed the batter to go all the way to third base as the ball was retrieved from foul territory in right field. After intentionally walking the next two batter to load the bases with no outs, and with both the infield and the outfield playing in, the next batter for the Yankees dunked a single over the second baseman to secure the victory. You can access a wrap at this link.

Although the box score indicates that more than 8,000 attended the game, the actual attendance was closer to 800, as this afternoon's game was a make-up from a cancellation earlier this season, and the SWB Yankees have many, many season ticket holders, but only a handful of them turned out for this afternoon's game.

Thanks to Lynx center fielder Chris Roberson for kindly tossing my son the baseball as Roberson was heading to the dugout after having caught the final out in the bottom of the ninth inning on a fly ball to center field.

It may seem odd that the Phillies AAA affiliate is in Ottawa, so it's worth noting that in 2008 the AAA affiliate of the Philies will be located much closer, in Allentown, as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs debut.

Today was the first AAA baseball game that my son and I have ever attended. I'm scheduled to attend my second AAA game later this month with a certain sentencing law blogger as the Columbus Clippers host the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Makings of a major-league fuss; A parent turns up legal heat after being asked to leave a baseball game": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "The signs at the New Tampa Little League field are clear: Please practice good sportsmanship at all times. League officials say one parent has missed the message, and they've asked him to leave the park more than once. But that parent also happens to be a lawyer for one of the largest law firms in Florida. Now he's alleging that the New Tampa Little League defamed his character in front of parents, friends and clients, and he has hinted strongly at legal action."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court supports Bush in wiretap suit; Because plaintiffs can't prove they were targets of the secret program, they can't sue, according to the federal appellate ruling": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. In addition, the newspaper has an editorial entitled "Hush-hush, sweet liberty: The NSA's secret wiretap program, upheld by an appeals court, diminishes our democracy."

The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Secret wiretaps by U.S. are OK'd; Appeals court panel overturns a ruling by judge in Detroit."

And The Detroit News reports that "Court ruling stirs fear of secret spying; Detroit judge's decision on domestic surveillance overturned; critics say it gives feds too much clout."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Who's behind the integration decision? It's the Pacific Legal Foundation, champion of right-wing causes for 35 years." Law Professor Mark Tushnet has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices take potshots in opinions": Bill Mears of CNN.com provides this report.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, July 06, 2007

"Lawsuit Against Wiretaps Rejected; Case's Plaintiffs Have No Standing, Appeals Court Rules": This front page article will appear Saturday in The Washington Post.

And Saturday in The New York Times, Adam Liptak will report that "Challenge to Secret Wiretaps Is Dismissed."
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"No Fourth Amendment Protection in E-Mail Addresses, IP Addresses, Ninth Circuit Holds": At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr has this post about a ruling that a unanimous three-judge Ninth Circuit panel issued today.
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Calif. Supreme Court to Hear Contentious Gay Rights Case."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" essay is headlined "Did a Federal Appeals Court Avoid Tackling the Real Issues Behind Football Fan's Lawsuit? 11th Circuit rules that season ticket-holder can't object to being searched upon entering stadium."
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Mass. Bar Sued for Gay Marriage Question": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A man said he failed the Massachusetts bar exam because he refused to answer a question about gay marriage, and claims in a federal lawsuit the test violated his rights and targeted his religious beliefs."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Fieger fights back at legal woes; Lawyer sues federal government, Mich. Supreme Court judges": This article appeared Monday in The Detroit News.
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court's predictable 'rebel'": Columnist Ellen Goodman has this op-ed today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court Rejects Lawsuit on Surveillance": Adam Liptak of The New York Times provides this news update.

Meanwhile, from National Public Radio, this evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Court Limits Lawsuits Over Government Surveillance." And today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "Court Rejects Challenge to Domestic Surveillance." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 06:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Federal appeals court reverses Detroit judge's ruling on Bush spying program": The Detroit News provides this update.

Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Court rules in favor of domestic spying program; Federal judges say the ACLU and other plaintiffs had no standing to challenge Bush’s warrantless surveillance effort."

And Bloomberg News reports that "U.S. Appeals Court Orders Surveillance Case Dismissed."

My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 01:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"How to judge the Roberts Supreme Court: To ask how activist it was is useless; It's wiser to review why the court was either deferential or assertive." Law Professor Kermit Roosevelt has this op-ed today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman


BREAKING NEWS -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit holds that the American Civil Liberties Union and its co-plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the National Security Administration's interception without warrants of certain telephone and email communications: You can access today's ruling, by a divided three-judge panel, at this link.

Circuit Judge Alice M. Batchelder issued the lead opinion, and Circuit Judge Julia Smith Gibbons issued an opinion concurring in the judgment. Judge Gibbons's opinion begins, "The disposition of all of the plaintiffs' claims depends upon the single fact that the plaintiffs have failed to provide evidence that they are personally subject to the [Terrorist Surveillance Program]. Without this evidence, on a motion for summary judgment, the plaintiffs cannot establish standing for any of their claims, constitutional or statutory. For this reason, I do not reach the myriad other standing and merits issues, the complexity of which is ably demonstrated by Judge Batchelder's and Judge Gilman's very thoughtful opinions, and I therefore concur in the judgment only."

And Circuit Judge Ronald Lee Gilman dissented. He would hold that the plaintiffs possess standing and that "the [Terrorist Surveillance Program] as originally implemented violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978." Judge Gilman's dissenting opinion concludes: "The closest question in this case, in my opinion, is whether the plaintiffs have the standing to sue. Once past that hurdle, however, the rest gets progressively easier. Mootness is not a problem because of the government's position that it retains the right to opt out of the FISA regime whenever it chooses. Its AUMF and inherent-authority arguments are weak in light of existing precedent and the rules of statutory construction. Finally, when faced with the clear wording of FISA and Title III that these statutes provide the 'exclusive means' for the government to engage in electronic surveillance within the United States for foreign intelligence purposes, the conclusion becomes inescapable that the TSP was unlawful. I would therefore affirm the judgment of the district court."

I previously collected extensive news coverage of the opinion and injunctive order that U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the Eastern District of Michigan issued on August 17, 2006 in posts you can access here, here, and here. And this law blogger's first mention on the front page of The New York Times came in connection with this case, in Adam Liptak's article headlined "Experts Fault Reasoning in Surveillance Decision."

In early news coverage of today's ruling, The Associated Press reports that "Court Nixes Suit Against Spying Program."
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



Mark Sherman of The Associated Press discusses the U.S. Supreme Court's Term-ending decisions: He appeared on this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "Washington Journal." You can view the segment online, on demand, by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Libby Pays Fine; Judge Poses Probation Query": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And today in The Washington Post, columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. has an op-ed entitled "An Unpardonable Act," while columnist Eugene Robinson has an op-ed entitled "The Commuter in Chief."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Thad Cochran tries to rescue Bush nominee": Tuesday's edition of The Hill contained an article that begins, "Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is making a last-ditch effort to save the nomination of an appellate court nominee from his home state by appealing to Democratic colleagues on the Appropriations Committee."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Columbia man the likely nominee for U.S. 4th Circuit judge": This article appeared Tuesday in The State of Columbia, South Carolina.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial Vacancies Leave GOP With Empty Feeling": In The Washington Post, today's installment of Al Kamen's "In the Loop" column begins, "Some Republicans are upset that the White House has nominated only 25 people to fill the 47 vacancies now on the federal judiciary. Not to worry. If history is any guide, President Bush can nominate as many people as he wants, but most of them will not don the black robes anytime soon."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court Denies Plaintiffs Standing to Challenge Bush Administration Activities That They Allege Violated the Establishment Clause: What This Decision, and Others This Term, Reveal About the Court." Vikram David Amar has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, July 05, 2007

"After Lobbying, Wetlands Rules Are Narrowed": The New York Times on Friday will contain an article that begins, "After a concerted lobbying effort by property developers, mine owners and farm groups, the Bush administration scaled back proposed guidelines for enforcing a key Supreme Court ruling governing protected wetlands and streams."
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle has an article headlined "A Tough High Court Term for Antitrust Plaintiffs; Four rulings limit access to recourse under antitrust laws."

In other news, "2nd Circuit Upholds Student's Suspension for Instant-Messaging Violent Image." My earlier coverage of today's ruling appears at this link.

And an article reports that "ALM Sold to Incisive Media; Deal expected to close at the end of the third quarter."
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court's unsettling turn": This editorial appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman


Available today at National Review Online: Jonathan H. Adler has an essay entitled "How Conservative Is this Court? Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito make a difference, but for now it's the Kennedy Court."

Roger Clegg has an essay entitled "A Good -- If Mixed Bag ... with a puzzle inside" that begins, "For those of us who don't like racial preferences and classifications, the news last week from the Supreme Court in the two cases involving race-based student assignments was very good, with a little bad, and a puzzling question."

And Allison R. Hayward has an essay entitled "A Life of Its Own: Wisconsin and the law of unintended consequences" that begins, "Campaign-finance-reform advocates just lost one."
Posted at 05:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices to Teach, Travel in Europe": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Here's a proposition a majority of the Supreme Court can agree on, without rancor or regard for ideology: Europe is a good place to spend the summer. At least five of the nine justices will travel there this summer, mostly to take part in international programs sponsored by U.S. law schools."
Posted at 05:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sharpton: Wilson sentence 'wicked,' 'illegal.'" The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "Longtime civil rights activist Al Sharpton headlined an energetic rally at the Douglas County courthouse Thursday in support of Genarlow Wilson, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for engaging in oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17."

And The Associated Press reports that "Rally Held for Inmate in Teen Sex Case."
Posted at 05:10 PM by Howard Bashman



Seventh Circuit holds that U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in United States v. Gonzalez-Lopez that an erroneous failure to allow a defendant's chosen lawyer to represent him at trial violates the Constitution without regard to consequences does not apply retroactively on habeas review: Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook today issued this interesting opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wasserstein Sells American Lawyer Unit": The Associated Press provides this report.

Reuters reports that "Incisive Media to buy Wasserstein's ALM for $630 million."

And Bloomberg News reports that "Wasserstein to Sell American Lawyer for $630 Million."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ninth Circuit to Make Judicial History with First Panel of Hispanic Judges": The Public Information Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a news release that begins, "The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will make judicial history next week when an appellate panel consisting of three judges of Hispanic descent hears oral arguments in Seattle. It will be the first all-Hispanic panel to sit in any of the nation's federal courts of appeal since they were established in 1891."

According to the news release, "Appellate panels are drawn randomly and there has been the possibility of an all-Hispanic panel in the Ninth Circuit since 1998. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has had at least three judges of Hispanic descent since 1994, but has not drawn an all-Hispanic panel yet."
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Parents don't need lawyers to fight for special-ed help; Ruling levels the field in school lawsuits": This front page article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Polarizing Campaign Finance Law": Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay in this week's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


You can catch the Federal Circuit on tour this October in New York City: Don't yet know whether they'll be playing at Madison Square Garden or perhaps Yankee Stadium, but Federal Circuit roadies should be ready for this October's trip to the Big Apple. You can access a chart showing the dates and locations of the court's sessions outside of Washington, D.C. by clicking here.
Posted at 11:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"This case once again presents an issue concerning the scope of prosecution history estoppel under the doctrine of equivalents. The case has been pending for almost twenty years and has been before the Supreme Court twice and before us twice en banc." With a case name as enjoyable as Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co., who would ever wish to see the litigation come to an end? Apparently not Festo Corp. whose appeal has today produced this ruling from a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Posted at 11:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"This appeal concerns a First Amendment challenge to an eighth-grade student's suspension for sharing with friends via the Internet a small drawing crudely, but clearly, suggesting that a named teacher should be shot and killed." So begins an opinion that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Incisive Media to acquire ALM": Incisive Media issued this press release today.

And WSJ.com's "Law Blog" provides a post titled "American Lawyer Media Sold to U.K. Firm for $630 Million."
Posted at 10:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Chinese Judge: Death Sentencing Uneven." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Right to Spend": Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen will have this "The Way We Live Now" essay (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) about the future of the McCain-Feingold law in this upcoming Sunday's issue of The New York Times Magazine.

Update: The essay is now freely available at this link.
Posted at 10:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"A kick in the pants: Maybe the missing-trousers case was so compelling because it was more than just another frivolous lawsuit." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Frisking away our freedoms": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are asked to pay a lot of money and sit in the hot Florida sun to root for a team that has disappointed them in recent seasons. They shouldn't also have to give up their privacy and dignity as the price of admission."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Sky Isn't Falling: Experience may be trumping hysteria over gay marriage." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Challenge to Lynn's race policy is revived; High court buoys foes of school transfer rule": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Court Returns To Brown": Columnist George F. Will has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Worker sues over co-worker's perfume; City planner contends Detroit should prohibit people from wearing scents in the workplace": Yesterday's edition of The Detroit News contained an article that begins, "An employee in the Detroit planning department filed a federal lawsuit against the city Tuesday, alleging her co-worker's strong perfume has made it impossible for her to do her job."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Denied": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "In the 1960s, Chief Justice Earl Warren presided over a Supreme Court that interpreted the Constitution in ways that protected the powerless -- racial and religious minorities, consumers, students and criminal defendants. At the end of its first full term, Chief Justice John Roberts's court is emerging as the Warren court's mirror image. Time and again the court has ruled, almost always 5-4, in favor of corporations and powerful interests while slamming the courthouse door on individuals and ideals that truly need the court's shelter."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Thomas carries the day: The only African-American on the Supreme Court is often a quiet presence on the bench; Yet as evidenced in the court's ruling on desegregation last week, his conservative voice on civil rights issues is loud and unmistakable." Tony Mauro has this op-ed today in USA Today.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"President Bush's Decision to Commute Scooter Libby's Sentence: Why It's Indefensible, Even if One Agrees with Republican Critiques of the Sentence." Edward Lazarus has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"Bush Says He's Not Ruling Out Pardon for Libby; President Defends Commutation of Prison Sentence": Amy Goldstein and Robert Barnes have this article today in The Washington Post. In addition, columnist Robert D. Novak has an op-ed entitled "Arm's-Length Leniency." And Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" column is headlined "Through the Looking Glass, Darkly."

The New York Times reports today that "Bush Is Said to Have Held Long Debate on Decision."

The Boston Globe reports that "Bush not ruling out a pardon for Libby; Defends 'very difficult' commutation decision."

The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "Lucky Libby: Martha Stewart, even Paris Hilton, served time. But there's the rule of law -- and the rules of Bush."

The St. Petersburg Times contains an editorial entitled "Weakened president's defiant 'compromise.'"

And in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, columnist Cynthia Tucker has an op-ed entitled "If Libby were lowly, he'd be doing time."
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Which side is Brown vs. Board on? Its legal history can't provide absolutes in the search for racial justice." Law Professor Kenneth W. Mack has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Revised lethal injection plan assailed; Lawyers for death row inmate Michael Morales say a revised protocol for executing convicts is 'even more ill-conceived' than previous versions": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Wage Disputes Over Donning Gear Fuel Suits."

And in other news, "Former Milberg Weiss Partner Refutes 'Honest Services' Charges."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"ACLU files lawsuit to remove Jesus icon; First Amendment cited in Slidell dispute": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans today contains an article that begins, "A portrait of Jesus Christ that hangs in the lobby of Slidell City Court violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its mandate calling for the separation of church and state, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Louisiana ACLU."
Posted at 08:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Fed Up With War, Some Won't Pay Taxes": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Law's creator wants Wilson freed; Argue to high court: Ex-legislator to join fight for Douglas County man." Today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article that begins, "An author of the law that resulted in a teenager getting a 10-year prison sentence for a consensual sex act said Tuesday he is joining the legal fight to free the teen."

And a related news update is headlined "Sharpton joins efforts to free Genarlow Wilson."
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Another era of willful white ignorance": Today in The Boston Globe, columnist Derrick Z. Jackson has an op-ed that begins, "On this day of red, white, and blue, opportunity is black and blue. By throwing out the voluntary desegregation plans of Seattle and Louisville, the Reagan-Bush wing of the Supreme Court officially ended a second Reconstruction."
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Linda Greenhouse, Looking Closely at the Supreme Court": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on Monday's broadcast of the public radio program "Fresh Air from WHYY."
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge socks it to a Napa school's dress code; Tigger or other such decoration OK as student expression": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And The Napa Valley Register reports today that "Judge skeptical of Redwood dress code; Preliminary ruling in ‘Tigger’ case favors families seeking to topple Napa school’s clothing restrictions."
Posted at 05:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"Unfree Speech": Today in The Washington Post, columnist Robert J. Samuelson has an op-ed that begins, "The Fourth of July is an apt moment to reflect on one of the great underreported stories of our time: the rise of speech regulation."
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush's Supreme Moment": Columnist Ruth Marcus has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 05:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Scientist Presses Case For Reporters' Sources; Plaintiff Was Called 'Person of Interest'": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for former Army scientist Steven J. Hatfill urged a judge yesterday to order several journalists to disclose the names of law enforcement sources who leaked details of the investigation of Hatfill in the 2001 anthrax attacks."
Posted at 05:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"The 2008 Election and the Supreme Court": Columnist Robin Toner has this essay online today at the web site of The New York Times.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Libby's sentence not unusually long; Though Bush calls the 30-month prison term 'excessive,' records show defendants convicted of similar crimes served jail time": Richard B. Schmitt and David G. Savage have this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

In Wednesday's issue of The New York Times: Adam Liptak will have an article headlined "Bush Rationale on Libby Stirs Legal Debate" that begins, "In commuting I. Lewis Libby Jr.'s 30-month prison sentence on Monday, President Bush drew on the same array of arguments about the federal sentencing system often made by defense lawyers -- and routinely and strenuously opposed by his own Justice Department."

And Neil A. Lewis will have an article headlined "2 Senators Accuse Judge of Misleading Committee" that begins, "Senate Democrats have complained that a federal appeals court judge may have misled them at his confirmation hearings when he said he had no role in formulating detention policy when he was an official in the Bush White House."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Skeptical jury awards just $2 for parents' pain over son's improper removal by state; But 1999 incident helped change family-rights laws": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.

And The Deseret Morning News reports today that "Trauma suit against state yields an award of $2."
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pregnant and poor in Mississippi: Mississippi law limits abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy; But for poor women short on time and money, that can be an impossible deadline." Sharon Lerner has this essay online at Salon.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Quality of Mercy Is Strained: Bush commutes Libby's sentence, while his lawyers come down hard on everyone else." Harlan J. Protass has this essay online at Slate.

Meanwhile, at National Review Online, you can access an editorial entitled "Appropriate Presidential Mercy." And Byron York has an essay entitled "Why Bush Saved Libby: Sure it’s controversial; But it’s what presidents do."

And online at Salon, Sidney Blumenthal has an essay entitled "Bush and Cheney walk, too: Even as the president confesses that Scooter Libby engaged in a cover-up -- after all, that was the verdict -- he completes the ultimate obstruction of justice in the Plame affair."
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "Court: Mental Anguish Awards Are Taxable" reports on a ruling on panel rehearing that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today. My earlier coverage of that ruling appears here.

And in other news, "Legal Confusion Follows Libby Decision"; "ACLU Sues City Over Jesus Painting"; and "Padilla Expert Admonished for Interview."
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Race in Schools Court Ruling": This audio segment (available in both RealPlayer and Windows Media Player formats) appeared on yesterday's broadcast of the public radio program "On Point."

And today's broadcast of the public radio program "Here & Now" contained an audio segment entitled "School Assignments and Income" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: Today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "Bush's Action on Libby: Legal Implications" featuring Dahlia Lithwick.

And today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained audio segments entitled "President Bush Commutes Libby's Sentence" and "Wilson Lambastes White House on Libby Case."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush spares Libby from prison; Cheney's former aide won't have to serve his 30-month sentence, but he's not pardoned in the CIA leak case": David G. Savage and Richard B. Schmitt have this article today in The Los Angeles Times. The newspaper also contains a news analysis headlined "Bush's move cheers conservative base; The president's decision to spare Libby prison time stirs outrage but, perhaps more crucially, gratifies conservatives."

Today in The New York Times, Scott Shane and Neil A. Lewis report that "Bush Commutes Libby Sentence, Saying 30 Months 'Is Excessive.'" Adam Liptak reports that "Commutation Doesn't Equal a Full Pardon." And columnist David Brooks has an op-ed entitled "Ending the Farce" (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link).

The Washington Post contains articles headlined "Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Sentence"; "A Decision Made Largely Alone"; and "Scooter Libby's Pals, Trusting In Providence." In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Too Much Mercy: Scooter Libby's prison sentence was excessive, but so is President Bush's commutation."

The Boston Globe reports that "Bush spares Libby from prison sentence; GOP allies applaud; Democrats outraged."

The San Francisco Chronicle contains an article headlined "What the decision on Libby means for White House: Bush commutes sentence, but lets fine stand." And an editorial is entitled "Trumping the rule of law."

The Washington Times reports that "Bush commutes Libby's prison sentence."

USA Today contains articles headlined "Dems lash out on Libby decision; Bush voids jail term; political rift heats up" and "Dems, Republicans at odds over Libby's commutation; 'Even Paris Hilton had to go to jail,' Illinois senator says."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Bush Calls a Halt to Jailing of Libby; Commutes Sentence After Rebuff by Appeals Court." In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Bush's Clemency."

Finally, The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "Bush and Libby: The commutation is a profile in non-courage" (free access).
Posted at 03:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Cert. Petition Filed in Indiana Voter ID Case": Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his "Election Law" blog. Rick's post also provides a link to the cert. petition.
Posted at 02:23 PM by Howard Bashman


Divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel holds that defendants which continue to process credit card payments to websites that infringe Perfect 10's intellectual property rights after being notified of that infringement are not secondarily liable under federal copyright and trademark law: Another day, another nude photo-copyright and trademark ruling from the Ninth Circuit. You can access today's ruling at this link. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski has issued a spirited dissent from the ruling.
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Raiders denied retrial in NFL case; Team lawyer calls ruling 'incomprehensible'": The Oakland Tribune today contains an article that begins, "It appears the Raiders' recent struggles on the field have followed the team into the court room. The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that a 2001 verdict against the team in its lawsuit with the National Football League should stand, ending a case that began in 1999. The ruling also ends, for the first time in at least 20 years, any litigation the team has in the court system."

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Raiders denied new trial in suit accusing NFL of forcing them from L.A.; Unanimous ruling by state's high court ends long dispute."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Supreme Court of California ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 12:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Balancing' schools and race": This editorial appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"White House Won't Rule Out Libby Pardon": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Navy still probing 2006 Guantanamo deaths": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman


On panel rehearing, three-judge D.C. Circuit panel holds that the federal government has the power to tax "compensatory damages for emotional distress and loss of reputation": According to today's unanimous ruling, written by Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, the court holds that "Murphy's award, even if it is not income within the meaning of the Sixteenth Amendment, is within the reach of the congressional power to tax under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution."

Today's ruling may strike many as unremarkable, and indeed it would be if this same three-judge panel, in August 2006, had not issued a decision in this very case holding that "insofar as §104(a)(2) permits the taxation of compensation for a personal injury, which compensation is unrelated to lost wages or earnings, that provision is unconstitutional." My initial coverage of that ruling appeared at this link.

Additional coverage of the panel's decision from August 2006, reaching a result opposite from the result reached on panel rehearing today, can be accessed here, here, here, here, and here.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Roberts Court and the Role of Precedent": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Disappointing Term: President Bush's nominees give the Supreme Court an activist nudge to the right." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"In a Shift, Judge Demurs on Dismissing KPMG Case": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The federal judge overseeing a faltering criminal tax shelter case indicated yesterday that he might not dismiss charges after all against a dozen indicted defendants from the accounting firm KPMG."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Judge Files Complaint Against Prosecutor in Boston": In The New York Times today, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "Citing 'extraordinary misconduct by the Department of Justice,' the chief judge of the Federal District Court in Boston has filed an unusual disciplinary complaint against a federal prosecutor there, according to two letters from the judge dated Friday and placed in the court file yesterday."

The Boston Globe reports today that "Top judge wants US prosecutor disciplined; Says evidence was withheld at trial."

And The Boston Herald contains an editorial entitled "The 'secret' reprimand."
Posted at 08:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Juggling Figures, and Justice, in a Doctor's Trial": Today in The New York Times, John Tierney has an essay that begins, "On April 14, 2005, the day Dr. William E. Hurwitz was sentenced to 25 years in prison, Karen Tandy called a news conference to celebrate the sentence and reassure other doctors. Ms. Tandy, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, held up a plastic bag containing 1,600 opioid pills."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Panel Splits Three Ways on Church-State Suit": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The city's policy of barring churches from holding Sunday services in public schools could provide the U.S. Supreme Court with its next big 'establishment clause' case, given the fractured judgment rendered by a federal appellate court in Manhattan yesterday."
Posted at 08:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Legislation Could Be Path to Closing Guantanamo": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Seeking a legal path to shutting down the Guantanamo detention facility, senior advisers to President Bush are exploring whether the White House and Congress can agree to legislation that would permit the long-term detention of foreign terrorism suspects on American soil, Pentagon and administration officials say."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clues to the New Dynamic on the Supreme Court": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Hard right: Lawyers on local panel leery of where conservative majority on the Supreme Court may be taking us." This article appeared yesterday in The Chicago Sun-Times.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Secret trials for terrorists, says US judge": Last Friday's issue of The Australian contained an article that begins, "A top ranking US judge has stunned a conference of Australian judges and barristers in Chicago by advocating secret trials for terrorists, more surveillance of Muslim populations across North America and an end to counter-terrorism efforts being 'hog-tied' by the US constitution. Judge Richard Posner, a supposedly liberal-leaning jurist regarded by many as a future US Supreme Court candidate, said traditional concepts of criminal justice were inadequate to deal with the terrorist threat and the US had 'over-invested' in them." A related editorial published that day was headlined "Junket hit by terror: Australia's legal minds get a dose of US reality" (second item).

And yesterday, The Chicago Sun-Times published an article headlined "Judge says views distorted: Aussie paper said he supports secret trials."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Resolution of the Famous Multimillion-Dollar 'Pant Suit,' Filed by a Judge: Why the Drycleaner Defendants Defeated the Plaintiff." Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, July 02, 2007

Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Judge Loses One for the Team; By leaving too much to the imagination, a Los Angeles judge blew the Oakland Raiders' chance at a new trial against the NFL." My earlier coverage of today's Supreme Court of California ruling appears at this link.

And in other news, "2nd Circuit Re-Examines Standard for Probate Exception."
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court Denies Request to Delay Libby Sentence" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Libby Won't Go to Prison; Fine, Probation Remain" (also featuring Nina Totenberg); "President's Move on Libby Risks Fallout"; and "Plame's Husband Reacts to Libby Commutation."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Seattle Schools Take Stock After Justices Issue Ruling": This article appeared Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"President Bush has a friend in the Supreme Court": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 09:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush spares Libby from jail; President commutes the prison sentence of former Cheney aide, who will still have to pay a $250,000 fine": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Sentence." And Tuesday's newspaper will contain an editorial entitled "Soft on Crime."

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "President Bush Commutes Libby's Sentence."

McClatchy Newspapers report that "Bush voids prison sentence for former White House aide Libby."

Reuters reports that "Bush spares Libby from prison."

And Bloomberg News reports that "Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Term in CIA Leak Case."
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Conference Discussing the Contributions of Judge Robert H. Bork": A plethora of video clips from last week's Federalist Society conference can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 06:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Commutes Libby Prison Sentence": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "President Bush commuted the sentence of former aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby Monday, sparing him from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case. Bush left intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation for Libby, according to a senior White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced." The AP has also issued an item headlined "Bush Statement on Libby Order."
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Hamdan case returns to Supreme Court": Lyle Denniston has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."

And a separate post at "SCOTUSblog" today is titled "Measuring 'Divisiveness' in OT06."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Another Raiders loss -- this time before state's high court": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "The state Supreme Court denied a new trial to the Oakland Raiders today in the team's $1.2 billion lawsuit accusing the National Football league of forcing it out of Los Angeles in 1995 by sabotaging plans for a new stadium. The court ruled unanimously that the Raiders had failed to prove misconduct by members of a Los Angeles jury that returned a 9-3 verdict in favor of the NFL in 2001."

And The Associated Press reports that "California high court ends Raiders lawsuit against NFL."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"This petition presents an issue of first impression: whether a district court has the authority to circumvent the ten-day deadline for obtaining interlocutory review of an order denying class certification by vacating and reentering that order, after the aggrieved parties filed and this Court dismissed an untimely petition for an interlocutory appeal." Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. issued this decision today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Ends Term with Landmark Decisions": This lengthy audio segment (RealPlayer required) -- featuring Nina Totenberg, Michael Dorf, and Theodore Olson -- appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Talk of the Nation."
Posted at 04:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Battle Over Brown: How conservatives appropriated Brown v. Board of Education." Law Professor Risa Goluboff has this jurisprudence essay online today at Slate.
Posted at 04:13 PM by Howard Bashman


Lopez, Morrison, Raich and criminal RICO: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit today issued a lengthy decision that begins:
The pivotal issue in this case concerns the application of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. § 1962, to a street gang engaged in violent, but noneconomic, criminal activity. That issue possesses constitutional implications weighty enough to have led one of our sister circuits to fashion a special, more rigorous, version of RICO's statutory "affecting commerce" requirement for use in connection with defendants involved with enterprises that are engaged exclusively in noneconomic criminal activity. See Waucaush v. United States, 380 F.3d 251, 256 (6th Cir. 2004). Although we are reluctant to create a circuit split, we conclude, after grappling with this difficult question, that the normal requirements of the RICO statute apply to defendants involved with enterprises that are engaged only in noneconomic criminal activity.
Senior Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya wrote the opinion of the court.
Posted at 03:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Won't Delay Prison for Libby": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court refused on Monday to step in and delay former White House aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's prison sentence in the CIA leak case. The unanimous decision is a dramatic setback for Libby's legal case and puts pressure on President Bush, who has been sidestepping calls by Libby's allies to pardon the former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney."

Update: Today's D.C. Circuit order can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 12:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Our disparate views of this case leave us without a rationale to which a majority of the court agrees. While two judges who disagree on the merits believe the dispute is ripe for adjudication, the court cannot decide the merits of the case without the vote of the third judge, who disagrees as to ripeness." A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has today issued its ruling in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York. The decision consists of a per curiam opinion, followed by two concurring opinions and one dissenting opinion. Today's ruling vacates a permanent injunction against New York City's rule governing the use of school facilities by outside groups for "social, civic, [or] recreational meetings, . . . and other uses pertaining to the welfare of the community."

Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi's concurring opinion begins, "Is worship merely the religious analogue of ceremonies, rituals, and instruction, or is worship a unique category of protected expression? I believe the answer to that question determines the result in this case brought under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment."

Senior Circuit Judge Pierre N. Leval's concurring opinion explains today's outcome as follows:

"In ruling on the City defendants' appeal from the judgment, our court divides three ways. Judge Walker would affirm, finding that the district court was correct in enjoining enforcement of Proposed SOP § 5.11. Judge Calabresi would vacate the judgment, finding it to be in error. I would also vacate the judgment but for a different reason, expressing no opinion whether the judgment was based on a correct or incorrect perception of the substantive standards of the First Amendment. In my view, the judgment should be vacated because there was no ripe dispute between the parties involving the constitutionality of Proposed SOP § 5.11 which the court could appropriately adjudicate."
And Senior Circuit Judge John M. Walker, Jr.'s dissenting opinion concludes: "[T]here is no doubt that this particular dispute -- no stranger to the Supreme Court and now focused on worship -– would benefit from a more conclusive resolution by that Court."

You can access today's complete 99-page Second Circuit ruling at this link. My earlier coverage of this case appears here and here.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Rejects File on Pakistani Judge": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's attempt to remove Pakistan's chief justice received a setback Monday when a Supreme Court judge rejected government evidence and ordered a sweep of courts and judges' homes for spying devices."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bearing arms (again)": In today's issue of The National Law Journal, Joseph D. Becker has an essay that begins, "The pistols had hardly cooled after the murder of 32 innocents at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in April when the old debate broke out: Does the Second Amendment prohibit government interference with the right of individuals to keep weapons for hunting and self-defense?"
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Faux Judicial Restraint in Full View": Law Professor Richard L. Hasen of the "Election Law" blog has this essay (free access) online at The Recorder.
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"80% success rate at Supreme Court; Indiana lawyer tackles campaign-finance, election laws, winning 4 out of 5 challenges": This article appears today in The Indianapolis Star.
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


At 1 p.m. eastern time, the Supreme Court of California is scheduled to announce its decision in Oakland Raiders v. National Football League: The case presents the question "If the trial court fails to specify its reasons for granting a new trial, is the trial court's order granting a new trial reviewed on appeal under the abuse of discretion standard or is the order subject to independent review?"
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Roberts Court": This editorial appears today at National Review Online.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Barring the Door: Court Under Roberts Limits Judicial Power; Conservative Shift Sets Hurdles for Litigants; Businesses Get a Break." Jess Bravin has this front page article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Multiple Choice: Anthony Kennedy punts on the question of school diversity." Benjamin Wittes has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court's Split Over Public School Integration: Who Really Betrayed Brown's Legacy?" Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, July 01, 2007

"Judging Pay: A Senate bill addresses the 'constitutional crisis' of an underpaid federal judiciary." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Under John Roberts, Court Re-Rights Itself": Edward Lazarus has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice Roberts at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference": Via C-SPAN, you can view the Chief Justice's remarks, followed by a panel discussion focusing on the just completed Term, by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"On Second Thought, Let's Just Rate all the Lawyers": Adam Liptak will have this "Sidebar" essay (TimesSelect pass-through link) in Monday's edition of The New York Times.
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rulings Reveal Divided High Court": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday."
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush's church-state mess takes liberties with ours": Robyn Blumner has this op-ed today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "High Vacancy Rate on Conservative Court"; "Court to Hear Katrina Insurance Appeal"; "Court to Rule on Records in Bribery Case"; "Court: No Nudes in Daytona"; "Military Judge Stands by Gitmo Dismissal"; and "Patrick Leahy Ready to Fight White House."
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Why can't you buy a kidney to save your life? A growing legal movement to recognize a new fundamental right -- 'medical self-defense' -- could bring jarring social changes." Christopher Shea has this essay in the Ideas section of today's issue of The Boston Globe.
Posted at 10:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Income could be a new benchmark; District seeks ways to assign students": This article appears today in The Louisville Courier-Journal.

In addition, Law Professor Russell L. Weaver has an op-ed entitled "Ruling moves us closer to King's goal," while Professor Gary Orfield has an op-ed entitled "Supreme Court's majority failed to understand Louisville's situation."
Posted at 10:53 PM by Howard Bashman



Philadelphia Phillies 5, New York Mets 3: My son and I had the pleasure of attending this afternoon's game at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies salvaged the final game of the four-game series to avoid the sweep. Each team started a rookie pitcher, and Kyle Kendrick of the Phillies improved his record to 3-0. while Mike Pelfrey of the Mets slipped to 0-6. It is difficult to speak of a "must win" game at the midpoint of the season, but a loss today would have put the Phillies seven games behind the Mets. With the win, the Phillies now stand five games out of first place in the National League East.

With the Phillies on the road until after the All Star Game, we will travel next Sunday to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to see the AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees host the Ottawa Lynx, the Phillies AAA affiliate.

You can access the box score of today's game at this link, while wraps are available from MLB.com here and here.
Posted at 06:12 PM by Howard Bashman



In Monday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor: Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Supreme Court tilt to right had its limits; The 2006-2007 term was dominated by notable conservative rulings."

And in other news, "Schools grapple with how to integrate; After the Supreme Court's ruling against race-based policy Thursday, support grows for integrating schools on the basis of factors such as income level."
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Can a Law Change a Society?" In the Week in Review section of today's edition of The New York Times, Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen has an essay that begins, "Since 1954, liberal and conservative justices have disagreed about the central meaning of Brown v. Board of Education."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Death-row reversals of fortune; In 7 years, 50 Pa. inmates awaiting execution were spared by the courts": This front page article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"High court has entered a new era; The chief justice, with help from fellow Bush appointee Alito, carries big rulings to the right -- a generational shift": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The 5-4 court: Consensus and 'judicial modesty' lose out to muddled, half-reasoned decisions; Kennedy emerges as the swing vote."

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has a news analysis headlined "A Rightward Turn and Dissension Define Court This Term."

And in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Rulings seal high court's shift to right."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Ruling Ends Era of School Desegregation": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on Saturday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 12:05 AM by Howard Bashman






Related Blogs