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.
"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.
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.
"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."
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.
"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