Thursday, September 11, 2008
"Court slams Porteous as impeachment move stalls": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides a news update that begins, "As the move to impeach U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous stalls in a congressional committee, a panel of fellow federal judges publicly slammed him Thursday with a thorough retelling of the case against him. The Judicial Council of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans released hundreds of pages of previously secret documents from the investigation of Porteous, issuing a scathing report that spotlights multiple schemes to hide money, some while he was languishing in bankruptcy."
"In issuing this Order and Public Reprimand and executing the actions contained herein, the Council is taking the maximum disciplinary steps allowed by law against Judge Porteous." The Judicial Council of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit yesterday issued this order and public reprimand, which the Fifth Circuit posted online today.
In addition to the public reprimand, the Council "orders that no new cases be assigned to Judge Porteous for two years from the date of this Order and Public Reprimand or until Congress takes final action on the impeachment proceedings, whichever occurs earlier."
The final two pages of the order and public reprimand consist of links to related documentation in the case, much of which was not previously available over the internet.
"Judges hear Craig's appeal; Attorneys focus on mail-in-plea aspect of restroom case": The St. Paul Pioneer Press contains this article today.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports today that "Craig asks Appeals Court to toss guilty plea; An attorney for the Idaho Republican senator sought to have the disorderly conduct conviction dismissed for lack of evidence; The three-judge panel will rule within 90 days."
The Idaho Statesman contains an article headlined "Minnesota Court of Appeals sent mixed signals on how it might rule, Idaho lawyer says."
And The New York Times reports that "Senator Seeks Withdrawal of Guilty Plea in Sex Sting."
"NRA suits push cities to drop gun bans; Some locales resist after federal ruling": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:38 PM by Howard Bashman
"Ladies' Man: The backslapping, bloviating hero of women's rights." In the September 24, 2008 issue of The New Republic, Fred Strebeigh has an article that begins, "In January 2000, when the Supreme Court assembled to hear oral arguments attacking a pivotal section of the Violence Against Women Act, Joseph Biden was front and center."
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"Good Judges Are More Important Than Ever: The imperial judiciary is sapping the president's power to protect America." David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey have this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman
Does a second federal criminal statute also permit the death penalty for child rape? Law Professor Orin Kerr tentatively answers "yes" in a post that you can access here at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
"Wis. court: Cops illegally taped nursing home sex." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Police who videotaped a man having sex with his comatose wife in her nursing home room violated his constitutional rights, an appeals court ruled Thursday."
Seventh Circuit refuses to reinstate claim made by former "Dateline NBC" investigative producer that her opposition the "To Catch a Predator" series resulted in her wrongfully termination by the network: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at this link.
The Smoking Gun web site, in May 2007, provided access to a copy of the former producer's complaint in a post titled "NBC's 'Perverted' Justice? Axed 'Dateline' producer slams popular 'Predator' series as unethical." Chatmag News, Radar, and Chicago Reader also covered the lawsuit soon after it was filed.
Get out of the zone: According to a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today, "Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to AutoZone, a reasonable trier of fact could find that consumers are likely to be confused between the AutoZone mark and the Oil Zone and Wash Zone marks."
Posted at 02:32 PM by Howard Bashman
"Wash. court: Smoking ban applies to private clubs." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A sharply divided state Supreme Court says Washington's smoking ban applies to private clubs that have employees."
"Undies are out of order in his court": Today's edition of The St. Petersburg Times contains an article that begins, "Circuit Judge Daniel Perry had seen one backside too many. Tired of seeing inmates' underwear sticking out above their low-slung orange pants, Perry delayed court for 1 1/2 hours Wednesday morning. He ordered all 61 inmates on his docket back to jail so that the few wearing loose bottoms could change into pants that fit. A day before, an inmate's exposed underpants had prompted the judge to cut court short." (Via "Obscure Store.")
Posted at 01:20 PM by Howard Bashman
The backbreaking burden of law school: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article headlined "Books a weighty issue for law schools; Could companies like Amazon offer an alternative to heavy tomes?"
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman
"Funding Terrorism Is Issue in Chicago Case": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court that includes some of America's most prominent jurists is wrestling with a case that could set an important precedent about when Americans can be held legally liable for funding groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, that carry out terrorist operations and humanitarian aid efforts at the same time. In Chicago, 10 judges who constitute nearly the entire active bench of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals spent more than an hour hearing lively arguments in a lawsuit brought by the family of an American yeshiva student, David Boim, 17, who was sprayed with gunfire and killed in an apparent terrorist attack at a West Bank bus stop in 1996."
And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Lawyer: Islamic groups should pay in teen's death."
Which U.S. Supreme Court Justice's first name is Sam? The correct answer to that question could have won you $16,000 on today's broadcast of the syndicated TV program "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"
"Judge orders Free Press reporter to testify; Former U.S. prosecutor is suing government": Today's edition of The Detroit Free Press contains an article that begins, "A federal judge has ruled that a Free Press reporter will have to give a deposition in the lawsuit of a former assistant U.S. attorney who claims the government violated his privacy rights by leaking word of an internal investigation of him. U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, in an opinion issued Aug. 28, said lawyers for Richard Convertino can question David Ashenfelter about unnamed officials in a 2004 article. Ashenfelter wrote that Convertino was under investigation for his conduct in the trial of a suspected terror cell."
And The Associated Press provides an article headlined "Judge: Ex-prosecutor can question Detroit reporter."
I have posted online at this link last month's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
By a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court of Washington State holds that a state-wide ban on smoking in "places of employment" prohibits smoking inside American Legion Posts: Today's ruling consists of a majority opinion, a concurring opinion, and three dissenting opinions (here, here, and here).
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"Christopher Buckley Talks 'Supreme Courtship'": The Washington Post's web site yesterday hosted this chat with author Christopher Buckley.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman
Second Circuit affirms entry of summary judgment against minor females who filed a federal civil rights action alleging they were sexually abused by the then-Mayor of Waterbury, Connecticut: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
The case involves former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano, who was previously convicted in federal court on seventeen of the eighteen criminal counts against him, including two counts charging him with acting under color of law to deprive these plaintiffs of their constitutional rights to be free from unwanted sexual abuse.
"Court upholds damage award in age-bias case": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has an article today that begins, "A federal appeals court has upheld $340,000 in damages for two laid-off scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park but rejected claims of age discrimination in the layoffs of 12 other longtime employees more than a decade ago."
Tuesday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit consisted of a majority opinion and an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.
"Hayward's living-wage law upheld by top court": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court rejected an employer's challenge to Hayward's living-wage ordinance Wednesday, bolstering California cities' authority to apply such laws to contractors based outside city limits."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"Fox Rothschild on Philly Cop's Muslim Discrimination Suit": Yesterday evening at "The Am Law Daily" blog, Zach Lowe had a post that begins, "Fox Rothschild partner Jeffrey Pollock knows he's not exactly abiding by the usual rules for appellate argument as he seeks to reverse a district court ruling that let the City of Philadelphia ban a Muslim female police officer from wearing a head scarf at work."
Available online from law.com: Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal reports that "5th Circuit Gives Prosecution of Texas Federal Judge to Fla. Judge."
And Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer reports that "$182 Million Judgment Upheld Against PricewaterhouseCoopers." My earlier coverage of Tuesday's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link.
"Constitutional Biden: Civil liberties' greatest salesman." Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen has this essay in the September 24, 2008 issue of The New Republic.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman