Thursday, August 9, 2007
"Eavesdropping Law Illegal, Lawyers Say": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees asked a federal judge Thursday to invalidate a days-old law that lets government agents eavesdrop on suspected terrorists without first getting court-approved warrants."
Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"2nd Circuit Sorts Out 'Truth' From 'Puffery' in Advertising Dispute; Decision provides 'clarifications' to federal appeals court's 'false advertising doctrine'": law.com provides this report.
"Court lifts lid on secret Arar details": The Toronto Globe and Mail provides a news update that begins, "Newly declassified information shows that that Canadian agencies worked directly with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and also received information known to be likely derived from Syrian torture during a post-9/11 investigation that culminated in the Maher Arar scandal."
"Pentagon Calls Suspects Enemy Combatants": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The 14 so-called 'high-value' detainees who were transferred from secret CIA prisons to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, last year have all been declared enemy combatants and are subject to trial. The Pentagon announced the declarations Thursday."
And CNN.com reports that "Alleged 9/11 mastermind, 13 others closer to U.S. military trial."
"This case presents a question of first impression in this circuit: is it a violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures to require an individual on supervised release to provide a blood sample for purposes of creating a DNA profile and entering it into a centralized database?" The majority on a divided three-judge First Circuit panel today joins with eleven other circuits in rejecting a Fourth Amendment challenge to the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000. You can access today's ruling, and the dissent therefrom, at this link.
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman
"We write in the hope of heading off what is assuming the proportions of an avalanche of utterly groundless sentencing appeals." So writes Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner today in this opinion issued on behalf of a unanimous three-judge Seventh Circuit panel.
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman
"Petition for Rehearing En Banc in Warshak v. United States": Orin Kerr has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy" linking to the federal government's petition for rehearing en banc.
Second Circuit decides appeal in Lanham Act false advertising lawsuit initiated by Time Warner Cable against DIRECTV challenging DIRECTV's suggestion that its high-definition television transmissions were superior in quality to HDTV transmitted by a cable provider: The second paragraph of today's ruling states:
This appeal requires us to clarify certain aspects of our false advertising doctrine. We make three clarifications in particular. First, we hold that an advertisement can be literally false even though it does not explicitly make a false assertion, if the words or images, considered in context, necessarily and unambiguously imply a false message. Second, we decide that the category of non-actionable "puffery" encompasses visual depictions that, while factually inaccurate, are so grossly exaggerated that no reasonable consumer would rely on them in navigating the marketplace. Third, we conclude that the likelihood of irreparable harm may be presumed where the plaintiff demonstrates a likelihood of success in showing that the defendant's comparative advertisement is literally false and that given the nature of the market, it would be obvious to the viewing audience that the advertisement is targeted at the plaintiff, even though the plaintiff is not identified by name. Reviewing the District Court’s decision under these principles, we affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.Among the advertisements challenged as false are two television spots, one featuring Jessica Simpson, and the other featuring William Shatner.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman
May a defendant's prior conviction for possession of a sawed-off shotgun serve as a predicate "violent felony" for purposes of a sentencing enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act? Today, the majority on a divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel answers "no" in a decision that you can access here.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"'Absurd' case? Prosecutors think not; A retrial is planned despite a scathing appeals court ruling." This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
And in related coverage, the newspaper has previously published articles headlined "Man with prescription may get new drug trial; Judge calls the prosecution's stance absurd"; "Freed man still in limbo; He awaits the state attorney's decision on whether he'll be tried again on drug charges"; and "After 2 years in prison, a man is free - maybe; Prosecutors may retry him for having 58 pills," along with an editorial entitled "The nonsensical trial over 58 Vicodin pills."
"Going past domestic partnership: The same-sex unions law I wrote was never supposed to be an excuse not to legalize marriage for all." Today in The Los Angeles Times, Jackie Goldberg has an op-ed that begins, "Several weeks ago, the California Supreme Court set keyboards a-clacking in the offices of attorneys representing gay and lesbian couples seeking the right to marry. The court, which is considering their challenge to laws barring same-sex couples from marrying, asked for briefs addressing essentially this issue: Why are domestic-partner laws not enough?"
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"Congress and the courts": Darin R. Bartram has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"Terror Case Takes Winding Path in 2 Nations' Courts": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman
"Hurdles Frustrate Effort to Shrink Guantanamo": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bill Jefferson's Constitution: The separation of powers protects Congress too." This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
And The Los Angeles Times today contains an editorial entitled "Congressional privilege has its limits: A ruling protects members of Congress from unreasonable searches, but it's not a 'get out of jail free' card."
"Red Cross Is Sued by J&J Over Signature Emblem": The Wall Street Journal today contains an article that begins, "Johnson & Johnson filed suit against the American Red Cross and some of its licensing partners claiming the charity misused the cross design that is its signature emblem, which also appears on J&J's first-aid kits and bandages."
"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Rightly Holds that Existing Customers Must be Notified When a Company Changes Their Contract Terms": Anita Ramasastry has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman