Wednesday, August 23, 2006
"Tax Prof Commentary on Murphy": "TaxProf Blog" has compiled lots of interesting comments from tax law professors on yesterday's "bombshell" ruling of the D.C. Circuit, which I initially noted here.
Posted at 09:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"Unmarried couple want benefits, too; Straight woman files complaint over gay rights": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "One of the first tests for Washington state's new gay civil rights law has an intriguing twist: The complaint was filed by a heterosexual woman. The state's discrimination watchdogs are investigating the case, which claims unmarried straight people should get the same domestic partner benefits as their gay and lesbian co-workers."
Posted at 09:25 PM by Howard Bashman
"Indian voters now in two districts; ACLU says judge's redrawing before election 'represents democracy'": This article appears today in The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Associated Press reports that "Panel OKs redrawing districts for reservations."
And Law Professor Rick Hasen provides these thoughts at his "Election Law" blog.
"Judge Denies He Had Financial Interest in Two Cases' Litigants": Today in The Daily Journal of California, Amelia Hansen has an article that begins, "Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson defended himself Tuesday against allegations that he had a financial conflict in two trademark cases he ruled in last year."
"Court upholds signature rules for Pa. candidates": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld Pennsylvania's signature requirements for minor-party and independent candidates seeking to get on the statewide ballot."
"Appeal on Lilly trusts is heard; 'Common sense' needed in charities' suit, judge says": This article appears today in The Indianapolis Star.
"Justices Uphold Grandparents’ Visitation Act": Asher Hawkins of The Legal Intelligencer provides this news update (free access).
Should the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit afford a presumption of reasonableness to within-Guidelines criminal sentences? Today, the Ninth Circuit has entered an order granting rehearing en banc in two cases presenting that question. The earlier three-judge panel opinions in those two cases can be accessed here and here.
"Rocks and Powder: Will Congress listen to the courts and fix drug sentencing?" Larry Schwartztol has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 04:52 PM by Howard Bashman
It's the cat's meow: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports today that "Neighbors' catfight ends up in Jeannette court."
The problem with a poorly-phrased Question Presented when the U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari: In Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, the first question presented on which the U.S. Supreme Court has granted review states:
Should Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) and Regents of University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 268 (1978) and Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003) be overturned and/or misapplied by the Respondent, the Jefferson County Board of Education to use race as the sole factor to assign students to the regular (nontraditional) schools in the Jefferson County Public Schools?The puzzling way that the question is phrased has led to some disagreement over whether the Court itself has agreed to consider if Grutter should be overturned or whether the question is merely suggesting that it is the Jefferson County Board of Education that has improperly "overturned" Grutter (and does it necessarily make a difference?).
In any event, not only the amicus brief that I linked earlier here, but also the amicus brief filed by the Governor of Florida and Florida's State Board of Education, understand that the Court has granted review to consider whether to overturn Grutter.
Update: I have posted at this link the amicus brief filed on behalf of school children from the City of Lynn, Massachusetts who were the plaintiffs/petitioners in Comfort v. Lynn School Committee.
"Court uncertain of inmate's plea to be executed; Hubert Michael wants an end to a string of appeals; A court wants another competency hearing": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer. My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman
Yesterday's rulings of note from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Nader Must Pay for Election Suit." The ruling that Pennsylvania's highest court issued yesterday consists of a majority opinion; an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part; and a dissenting opinion.
Pennsylvania's highest court yesterday also issued decisions in two cases on which I worked. In one ruling, the court by a vote of 5-1 rejected a constitutional challenge to Pennsylvania's grandparent visitation statute. The ruling consists of a majority opinion; a concurring opinion arguing that the "best interests of the child" should be recognized as a fundamental right; and a dissenting opinion by the Chief Justice agreeing with my client's position in the case.
Finally, yesterday Pennsylvania's highest court entered an order dismissing, over the dissent of two Justices, review as improvidently granted in the insurance bad faith case of Hollock v. Erie Insurance Exchange. I assisted counsel for the plaintiff in drafting their Brief for Appellee on the merits and in preparing for oral argument in that case. You can access the decision in plaintiff's favor of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, which now survives undisturbed, at this link.
Ninth Circuit holds that attorney-parents are not entitled to attorneys' fees for representing their own children in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act proceedings: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 01:37 PM by Howard Bashman
"Racial Engineering in Seattle: Grutter politics." Peter Kirsanow has this essay today at National Review Online.
On Monday, a reader emailed to say that he has been "surprised by the lack of attention being paid to the fact that the Court expressly granted certiorari on the question of whether Grutter should be overruled." I have received via email an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court last week, on behalf of the Project on Fair Representation at the American Enterprise Institute, the National Association of Scholars, and various law professors, arguing that Grutter v. Bollinger should be overturned, and I have posted the brief online at this link.
"Judge Hardiman considered for federal appeals post": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article that begins, "A judge who has been on the bench in federal court in Pittsburgh for less than three years is now under consideration for a spot on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
"Texas Supreme Court justice defends support of Miers; Hecht said ethics rules being misapplied": This article appears today in The Austin American-Statesman.
And The Dallas Morning News reports today that "Justice fights censure over backing of Miers; Hecht accused of going too far in endorsing high court nominee."
One formerly anonymous lawyer reviews another: In the August 28, 2006 issue of The New York Observer, David Lat (the formerly anonymous author of the blog "Underneath Their Robes") reviews Jeremy Blachman's book "Anonymous Lawyer." As posted online, the review is headlined "Way Better Than Briefs: Legal Minds Turn to Blogs."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"The Success of My Secrets: For a president inclined to ignore Congress and the courts, the best defense is no defense." Jacob Sullum has this essay online today at Reason.
And today at National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg has an essay entitled "The Living Constitution's Double Standard: Oh, the irony …."
"Sting case prosecutors ask to shield witnesses; Anonymity for translators will prejudice jury, argue attorneys for mosque leader, pizza shop owner": The Times Union of Albany, New York today contains this article, in which I am quoted.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman
"Texas Justice Defends Support of Miers": The Associated Press provides this report.
In local coverage, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram today contains an article headlined "'I would do exactly what I did.'" Yesterday, the newspaper reported that "Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht will defend his support for Harriet Miers." And one week ago today, the newspaper reported that "Hecht to defend support for Miers."
"Tax Code on Emotional Damages Tossed": The Associated Press provides this report. My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman
"Conviction Of McLean Pain Doctor Overturned; Appeals Court Says Judge Erred in Jury Instructions": The Washington Post contains this article today.
And The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "Federal appeals court orders new trial for pain specialist."
"Leak Investigation Ordered; How Media Learned About Probe of Pro-Israel Lobbyists Sought": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
And today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Judge Okays Wiretaps and Searches in Aipac Lobbyist Case."
"A Law Unto Herself: Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's opinion on the president's warrantless surveillance program helps those who have been arguing against results-oriented, activist judges." Law Professor Ann Althouse (whose blog you can access here) has this op-ed today in The New York Times.
And today in The New York Sun, Paul Greenberg has an op-ed entitled "Judge Taylor confuses the constitution," while Thomas Bray has an op-ed entitled "Judge's Strange Ruling."
"Judge may have had conflict of interest, group says; She ruled for ACLU in warrantless wiretapping case": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
The New York Times reports today that "Conflict of Interest Is Raised in N.S.A. Ruling."
The Detroit Free Press reports that "Judge in wiretap case under fire; Watchdog claims conflict of interest."
"Examining Two Recent Rulings Allowing Suits Against the NSA's Warrantless Wiretapping To Proceed, Despite the State Secrets Privilege": Julie Hilden has this essay today online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:55 AM by Howard Bashman
Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Chief Justices Sound Alarm on Judicial Elections; Conference of state justices fears issue-based political campaigns sap public confidence in the judiciary."
And in other news, "'Super Lawyers' Edict Stayed by N.J. Supreme Court; Advertising and Web posting can go on; so can selection process."