Wednesday, August 2, 2006
"11th Circuit Remands $400,000 in Sanctions Against Employment Lawyers": law.com provides this report. My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"Evolution issue tips board's balance; Election a moderate success": The Lawrence Journal-World contains this article today.
And The Kansas City Star reports today that "Board of Education's balance is shifting; State panel's conservative majority unlikely to retain sway as moderates make gains in the Kansas primary."
"Judge's ruling favors school board; Christian band not allowed to play": This article appears today in The Toledo Blade. I have posted online at this link Monday's opinion of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The "Religion Clause" blog has a post that provides links to the parties' summary judgment briefs.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman
Available online from National Public Radio: This evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Gay-Marriage Advocates Regroup After Latest Defeat."
And today's broadcast of "Talk of the Nation" contained audio segments entitled "Creationism Proponents Lose Ground in Kansas Primary" and "An Inside Look at Solitary Confinement."
"Justice Frees Records in Library Search": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Wednesday ordered full disclosure of records in a court battle between FBI terrorism investigators and Connecticut librarians."
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit holds that the City of Arlington’s recently enacted Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance is not an unconstitutional restriction on the expressive liberties of businesses that feature topless dancing: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman
No word yet on whether "Location Unrecognized" will be part of the Ninth or Twelfth Circuit following a circuit split: A gimlet-eyed reader emails to note that today's Ninth Circuit ruling in PUC v. FERC states, in the portion of the decision that usually gives the location where the case had been orally argued, "Argued and Submitted April 13, 2005--Panel Location Unrecognized."
Update: Another reader emails to note that in today's Ninth Circuit deep vein thrombosis/Warsaw Convention ruling, written by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. of the Eastern District of California sitting by designation, the authorship of the opinion is attributed to "ENGLAND, Circuit Judge:"
"No Way, ABA? American Bar Association's rating of judicial nominee under attack." FoxNews provides this interesting video report featuring Megyn Kendall.
Relatedly, the blog "Confirm Them" offers a post titled "Specter Urges Senate to Reject ABA Report on Wallace."
"Holocaust Survivor Loses Bid To Sue Two German Companies": Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer provides a news update (free access) that begins, "A Holocaust survivor who was left sterile after being subjected to medical experiments at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps has lost his bid to revive a lawsuit against two German companies that he claims cooperated with the Nazi regime."
You can access today's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link. The unanimous two-judge panel (then-Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. was the third judge who heard oral argument in the case) holds that the plaintiff's claims against Schering AG and Bayer AG are nonjusticiable under the political question doctrine.
"The primary issue in this appeal is whether one who barters drugs for firearms has 'used' the firearms within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. sec. 924(c)(1)(A), which provides for a mandatory five-year sentence for using a firearm 'during and in relation to any . . . drug trafficking crime.'" So begins an opinion that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued today.
The opinion proceeds to explain: "The circuit courts have split rather closely on this question. We hold that bartering drugs for firearms constitutes 'use' of the firearms under sec. 924(c)(1)(A)."
"Pfizer could lose billions in Lipitor patent ruling; Patent on world's top-selling drug cut short by 15 months in judge ruling": Reuters provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court dealt Pfizer Inc. a legal setback Wednesday when it issued a ruling that threatens to cut 15 months from the patent life of its popular cholesterol drug Lipitor, the world's biggest-selling medicine." My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman
The Associated Press is reporting: David Kravets reports that "Appeals Court Slams Energy Regulators." Today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is available at this link, while the court's related press release is here.
In other news, "Gonzales Holds Line on Terror Detainees."
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejects two state-created danger claims: One opinion issued today involved a suit against a school district in Pennsylvania and one of the school district's guidance counselors alleging that they could have done more to prevent the death of a sixteen-year-old boy who committed suicide at his home.
A second opinion issued today involved a lawsuit brought by a prison guard and his wife who claimed to have contracted antibiotic-resistant MRSA infections as a result of conditions at the Bucks County, Pennsylvania jail where the guard worked. I represent Bucks County in its pending, yet-to-be argued Third Circuit appeal from a $1.2 million jury award in favor of two pretrial detainees, both of whom contracted antibiotic-resistant staph infections during their confinements at the jail, on their deliberate indifference to serious medical needs-unconstitutional conditions of confinement claims.
Supreme Court of Ohio rules that a trial judge committed reversible error when he sought and accepted the assistance of the prosecutor's office in preparing the sentencing opinion that affirmed the jury's recommendation that the defendant receive the death penalty: You can access today's ruling at this link, while a court-issued summary of the decision is here.
In news press coverage, The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Ohio Court Tosses Woman's Death Sentence" that begins, "The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out the death sentence of the first woman condemned since the state reinstated capital punishment in 1981."
Ninth Circuit holds that an airline's failure to warn a passenger of the possibility of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis during the course of an international flight does not constitute an “accident” under the Warsaw Convention: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman
Federal Circuit issues its ruling in Pfizer, Inc. v. Ranbaxy Laboratories, Ltd.: A patent case concerning the prescription drug Lipitor gives rise to today's ruling.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"If W means what he says, he'll pull plug on Wallace": Today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Cragg Hines has an op-ed that begins, "President Bush has spoken compellingly of late -- in his NAACP speech and as he signed the Voting Rights Act extension -- of his deep belief in equality. For those who greeted this with skepticism, Bush can vividly demonstrate such a commitment by withdrawing the nomination of Michael B. Wallace to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman
"This is a contract murder case with irreconcilable jury verdicts leading one defendant to be sentenced to death and another -- the defendant who initiated, contracted for, and paid for the murder -- to be sentenced to life imprisonment." Based on those facts, the majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today issued an opinion that begins, "We hold that the death sentence in this case violates the Eighth Amendment 'arbitrariness' standard outlined in Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), which prohibits random, disproportionate capital sentences, as well as the proportionality requirement of Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782 (1982), and the due process, inconsistent verdict prohibition of Morrison v. California, 291 U.S. 82 (1934)."
Senior Circuit Judge Gilbert S. Merritt, whose views toward the death penalty have recently been discussed elsewhere (see here and here), wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore joined.
Circuit Judge Ronald Lee Gilman issued a dissenting opinion in which he wrote, "Perhaps some day the Supreme Court will hold that a comparison between the culpability of a murderer and that of his codefendant is constitutionally required, and that inconsistent verdicts arising from separate trials are unconstitutional. But this is not the law of the land today, and was obviously not the 'clearly established law' at the time that the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed Getsy's conviction and sentence in 1999."
"Senate approves transfer of cross; Passage unanimous; Bush expected to sign": The San Diego Union-Tribune today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Senate approved a plan yesterday to transfer land beneath the Mount Soledad cross to the federal government, bolstering supporters who have been fending off efforts to remove the monument for nearly two decades."
"White House Proposal Would Expand Authority of Military Courts": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 07:24 AM by Howard Bashman
"Evolution Foes Lose Their Edge on Kansas Board; The state education panel appears to be split 6-4 between supporters of Darwin's theory and advocates of teaching intelligent design": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman
"N.Y. Times Must Surrender Reporters' Phone Data; Appellate Panel Rejects First Amendment Claim in Federal Grand Jury Probe": Charles Lane has this article today in The Washington Post.
And The New York Sun reports today that "Court Hands New York Times a Setback in Miller Case."
"Blogger Jailed After Defying Court Orders": The New York Times contains this article today.
In The Oakland Tribune, Josh Richman reports that "Freelance journalist jailed for refusal to give up video."
In The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has articles headlined "Cameraman jailed for not yielding tape; 'Every person ... has to give information to the grand jury if the grand jury wants it,' judge tells S.F. freelancer" and "Freelancer doesn't want mainstream job."
David Kravets of The Associated Press reports that "Journalist jailed in anarchy probe."
And Bloomberg News reports that "Judge Jails San Francisco Man Who Filmed G-8 Street Protest."
"Threats to judges -- and their independence -- mount; Court bashing endangers justice, undermines national stability": This editorial appears today in USA Today, which also contains an op-ed by Tom McClusky entitled "Rein in activist judges: An independent judiciary, yes; An unrestrained judiciary, no."
Posted at 07:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"4 ex-Merrill Lynch execs' convictions overturned; 5th Circuit says charges in Enron scheme 'flawed'": The Houston Chronicle today contains this article reporting on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued late yesterday.
Posted at 06:55 AM by Howard Bashman