Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "High Court Advocate Gets a Little Help From Friends on Missed Deadline."
In other news, "Patent Litigator Aims to Be the Supreme Court IP Specialist."
And an article reports that "Picketers' Own Story Spoiled Their Suit Before 9th Circuit."
"Measures Seek to Restrict Detainees' Access to Courts": This article will appear Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman
"Government urges review of parents' IDEA role": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "The Justice Department on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to clarify when a non-lawyer parent of a disabled child may file a lawsuit, without a lawyer, to enforce the child's rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act."
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman
The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Sept. 11 Figure Faces Guantanamo Hearing" and "Fla. Inmate Who Had Won Stay Is Executed."
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman
"Appeals court says public libraries can bar religious services": David Kravets of The Associated Press provides this report.
"Hong Kong court upholds decision saying sodomy laws are discriminatory": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Hong Kong government lost an appeal Wednesday of a High Court ruling against a law that says men younger than 21 who engage in sodomy should be jailed for life."
According to the article, "The laws were first challenged by William Roy Leung, a then 20-year-old gay man who argued he should be able to have a loving relationship without the fear of imprisonment. In last August's ruling, High Court Judge Michael Hartmann sided with Leung, saying the laws against sodomy infringed on the rights of privacy and equality for gay men. While gay men caught engaging in sodomy when either is under 21 face life imprisonment, heterosexual couples can legally have sex at age 16. The government appealed the August ruling after it stirred an uproar among Christian groups, who have vigorously campaigned against gay sexual rights. On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal dismissed the government's appeal."
"The Roberts Court: What Can This Term Tell Us About the Future of the Court?" That's the subject of this week's broadcast of the public radio program "Justice Talking." The broadcast featured journalist Joan Biskupic and Law Professors Richard Epstein and Kathleen Sullivan. You can access the audio online in both Windows Media and mp3 formats. For those who prefer text over audio, a transcript of the broadcast can be accessed here.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"Justice weighs in on campaigning by judges": The St. Cloud (Minn.) Times today contains an article that begins, "New rules for how Minnesotans elect judges could affect the perception of their impartiality, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page told a St. Cloud audience Tuesday."
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman
"Remedying Judicial Inactivism: Opinions as Informational Regulation." Law Professor Chad M. Oldfather has this article (abstract with links for download) online at SSRN. Speaking of inactivism, it took three increasingly plaintive emails from Chad to motivate me to compose and publish this desultory post.
"Clues scattered in Lafave's denial, deflection of blame": Columnist Sue Carlton has this op-ed today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 04:48 PM by Howard Bashman
"Fla. Inmate Who Had Won Stay Set to Die": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The execution of a condemned man who had argued that Florida's use of lethal injections amounted to cruel and unusual punishment was set to go ahead Wednesday after the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly denied him a stay."
"Compensation Woes Threaten Recruitment and Retention in Federal Judiciary": The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts issued this news release today.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman
On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "McCain Battles Bush over Detainee Treatment Rules" and "What's Behind Bush's Push to Redefine Article 3?" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"2 Chronicle reporters at center of media, government standoff": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Two Chronicle reporters will appear in court Thursday to tell a federal judge why they shouldn't be jailed for refusing to reveal who leaked them confidential grand jury testimony they reported in exposing the use of performance-enhancing drugs by elite athletes." Earlier today, I linked here to a related article.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman
"Gray is Beautiful: Why Congress shouldn't write interrogation rules." Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman
"School Colors: This fall, the debate over racial preferences in education returns to the national stage; But this divisive issue just isn't what it used to be." Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen will have this essay in this upcoming Sunday's issue of The New York Times Magazine.
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman
If prayer in a public library is prohibited, what about prayer in a public middle school? Apropos of today's Ninth Circuit ruling (which I cover in more detail at this link), a reader emails to advise that next Thursday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will hear oral argument in a similar case involving the efforts of Bronx Household of Faith, a Christian church, to rent space in a New York City public middle school to conduct Sunday morning meetings that include worship.
In November 2005, U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska issued a decision ruling in favor of the church and requiring the school to rent space to the church. Toward the conclusion of her decision, Judge Preska wrote: "Accordingly, I find unconstitutional the enforcement of Present SOP § 5.11 to bar Plaintiffs from holding Sunday morning meetings that include worship in P.S. 15 or any other New York City public school." And in the final paragraph of her ruling, Judge Preska wrote: "Defendants are permanently enjoined from enforcing Present SOP § 5.11 so as to exclude Plaintiffs or any other similarly situated individual from otherwise permissible after-school and weekend use of a New York City public school."
Update: The Second Circuit's earlier ruling in ths case, at the preliminary injunction stage, issued in June 2003 and consisted of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion. My original coverage of that ruling can be accessed here.
View live, online this afternoon's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Examining the Proposal to Restructure the Ninth Circuit": The hearing has just begun, and you can view the proceedings by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel reverses federal district court's grant of a preliminary injunction in favor of an evangelical Christian church seeking access to a public library meeting room to conduct, among other activities, religious worship services: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton -- who in my view erroneously punted when deciding the latest round of Michael A. Newdow's ongoing Pledge of Allegiance challenge -- sat by designation on today's three-judge Ninth Circuit panel. Judge Karlton issued a concurring opinion in which he states:
In any event it is simply beyond cavil that the instant case does not present a close question. Appellees have been completely candid in acknowledging that the purpose of the meetings they proposed to hold on public property is "Prayer, Praise and Worship Open to [the] Public, Purpose to Teach and Encourage Salvation thru Jesus Christ and Build Up Commun[ity]." To assert an inability to conclude that purpose is religious in every sense, is to engage in the kind of sophistry that gives the law a bad name. It may be that the majority of the Supreme Court really has doubt about the ability to distinguish between religious practice and secular speech. If so, they need only leave their chambers, go out in the street and ask the first person they meet whether in the instant case the conduct is religious in character. It is simply untenable to insist that there is no difference between a prayer and e.g. political speech. To coin a phrase, one can only pray for the court’s enlightenment.Circuit Judge Richard C. Tallman dissents in an opinion that begins, "The 'Religious Use' exclusion is impermissible viewpoint discrimination because Contra Costa County opened its public meeting room at the Antioch Library to the community in order 'to encourage [its use] for educational, cultural and community related meetings, programs and activities.'"
In prior press coverage of this dispute, Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that "Feds back church's bid to meet at library; Bush lawyers argue that barring worship is unconstitutional." Even earlier, the newspaper published an article headlined "Injunction for church to meet at library."
A lawsuit over bread: Lots of lawsuits concern bread, if you define the term to mean money. Today, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion that states, "The patent in this case relates to breadmaking."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman
"Examining the Proposal to Restructure the Ninth Circuit": That's the title of a hearing the Senate Judiciary Committee will conduct at 2:00 p.m. eastern time today. You can access the witness list at this link. It appears that the Judiciary Committee plans to broadcast video of the hearing live over the internet. If that occurs, I'll post a link to the video stream once the hearing gets underway.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman
And the winner is: Back on September 1, 2006, The Lincoln Journal Star published an article headlined "Governor will choose top justice from two judges, federal prosecutor" that begins, "The next chief justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court will be a U.S. attorney, a district judge or a justice already on the court."
"U.S. Judiciary Agrees to Greater Transparency": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman
"Breyer Commission Finds Handling of Probe Involving L.A. Jurist 'Inconsistent' With Law": Today in The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein has an article that begins, "On the eve of a long-awaited congressional hearing into the possible impeachment of a Los Angeles judge, a commission headed by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said Tuesday that the federal appeals court in San Francisco had bungled an investigation of 82-year-old jurist Manuel L. Real."
And today in The Daily Journal of California, Lawrence Hurley has an article headlined "Breyer's Committee Criticizes Dismissal of Judge Real Ethics Problem," while Brent Kendall reports that "Panel Likes Handling of Most Misconduct Cases; But Federal Judiciary Doesn't Do Well With High-Profile Complaints, It Says."
The complete report of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act Study Committee, chaired by Associated Justice Stephen G. Breyer, can be accessed at this link. The report's discussion of the judicial misconduct complaint against U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real begins on page 85 of the PDF file, which is page 80 of the report.
Also available online is a press release entitled "Sensenbrenner Statement on Judicial Conference's Report on Implementation of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980." According to that press release, "Today's report finds the Judicial Branch bungled all of the matters in which the House Judiciary Committee conducted extensive oversight. Today's report finds the dismissal of the complaint filed by Rep. Howard Coble and I regarding Judge Cudahy was handled incorrectly. Today's report also finds a complaint filed about procedural shenanigans in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals involving the University of Michigan's affirmative action admissions program was handled incorrectly. Likewise, the Judicial Branch's investigation into Judge Real's actions was also handled 'inconsistent with our Standards.' Finally, today's report finds the issue related to the truthfulness of Judge Rosenbaum's testimony before the Judiciary Committee was handled improperly."
"Ruling Against Santa Ana's English-Only Recall Petitions Is Reversed; Requiring multiple-language forms would discourage citizens from launching such efforts, a federal appeals court says": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
And The Monterey County Herald reports today that "Court says Spanish not necessary for petitions; Ruling clears way for two land-use ballot measures."
"Dissidents' Detainee Bill May Face Filibuster; Frist Warns GOP Opponents of Bush's Proposal They Must Accept Two Key Provisions": The Washington Post contains this article today, along with an article headlined "Red Cross Workers to Meet With 14 Who Were Held in Secret Prisons." The newspaper also contains editorials entitled "Tortured by Mistake: The case of Maher Arar shows why the Bush administration's secret detention program is wrong" and "Wrong Turn on Eavesdropping: Congress should kill both major bills on NSA surveillance and start over." And columnist Harold Meyerson has an op-ed entitled "Into a Moral Desert."
The Los Angeles Times today contains articles headlined "Frist Bashes McCain Bill in GOP Rift on Detainees; The impasse threatens the party's preelection strategy of showing unity against terrorism" and "Deportation to Syria Backed; The attorney general defends a U.S. decision that a Canadian says led to his torture; Ottawa appears ready to lodge a formal protest."
The New York Times contains articles headlined "White House Drops a Condition on Interrogation Bill"; "Canadian Man Tortured in Syria Wants Explanation From U.S."; and "Red Cross Officials to Visit Prisoners at Guantanamo." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Rules for the Real World."
And McClatchy Newspapers provide reports headlined "White House may be willing to compromise on detainee legislation" and "Red Cross delegation will visit detainees at Guantanamo."
"3 Changes Ordered in Oversight of Nevada Judges; The state's chief justice announces immediate actions to curb conflicts of interest and other improprieties raised in reports by The Times": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
And The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains an article headlined "Chief Justice: Rose responds to criticism; L.A. Times articles highlighted problems in judiciary."
"Teen abortion law bashed; Democrats call act's revival political ploy": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Calling the Illinois Supreme Court's revival of an abortion law a political move, Democratic lawmakers vowed Tuesday to vigorously fight the resurrection of a parental-notification law passed 11 years ago but never enforced."
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that "Illinois court action may revive law on notification of abortions."
"A movement's right-hand man; In the first of many tributes, conservatives mark Henry Hyde's career in the House as he nears retirement": The Chicago Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bid to Settle Homeless Suit Causes No Celebration on Skid Row; Business owners and others say a city proposal to outlaw daytime tent cities will do little and may make matters worse": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times, along with an article headlined "Perry Troubled by Bid to Settle Homeless Lawsuit; The councilwoman who represents skid row says lawyers she hired to review the ACLU settlement found no benefit for the city."
Today's newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Unsettling Skid Row: City Council should approve the enforcement guidelines, but keep its legal options open." And Brady Westwater has an op-ed entitled "Handing Skid Row to Drug Pushers: The city's plan to legalize overnight sidewalk encampments protects the dealers who prey on skid row's homeless."
I previously wrote about the Ninth Circuit's ruling in the case in an installment of my law.com "On Appeal" column headlined "Arresting the Homeless Is Unconstitutional? Where the 9th Circuit Went Wrong."
"Maximum term, 18 months, sought to 'send a message'": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence two Chronicle reporters to 18 months in prison, the maximum allowed by law, to pressure them into revealing their sources of grand jury testimony about athletes using performance-enhancing drugs."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman
"'Nice, Sweet Lady,' 83, Deported for Nazi Past; The former SS guard kept her secret buried, even from her Jewish husband; Now exposed, the Bay Area widow, 83, is back in Germany": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
And The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article headlined "Her secret past as a Nazi guard: S.F. immigrant married Holocaust survivor, attended synagogue."
"Chaos in Sentencing": Andrew Cohen has this essay today at washingtonpost.com.
Posted at 08:13 AM by Howard Bashman
"Mob Figure Is Investigated in Plot to Kill Judge in Case": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman
"Federal Judges Take Steps to Improve Accountability": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.
Today in The Washington Post, Charles Lane reports that "Judges Alter Rules for Sponsored Trips."
And in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Federal judges get new disclosure rules; At issue: Attendance at sponsored events."
"Court backs inspection of welfare-applicant homes": Today's edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that San Diego County's program of using peace officers to inspect homes of welfare applicants without a warrant is constitutional."
"Charges dropped in O'Hare penis pump scare": This article appeared last Thursday in The Chicago Sun-Times.
The Associated Press reported that "Police Go Soft On Penis Pump Traveler."
"New Rules Mean Shift Toward Accountability for Judiciary; Chief justice holds rare press conference to applaud both of Tuesday's actions": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman
"Alexander leads hotly contested Supreme Court race over Groen": This article appears today in The Seattle Times.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Alexander holding ground against Groen; Chambers re-elected; Owens runoff likely."
"O'Connor's wisdom, wit dedicate new law school": The News-Record of Greensboro, North Carolina contains this article today. My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman
"Michigan vote to end preferential treatment could sway other states": Steven Thomma of McClatchy Newspapers provides commentary that begins, "Jennifer Gratz insists it's not about her. But her life serves as one inspiration for the campaign she's mounting this fall to ban race, gender and other preferences in state hiring, contracts and school admissions in Michigan."
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman