How Appealing

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Fertility clinic mix-up sparks legal tangle; A man sues to know if he's the father; a woman who mistakenly received his sperm fights for her privacy": This interesting article appears today in The Oregonian.
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman

Available online from An article reports that "Bizarre 'Strip-Search Hoax' Case Before 11th Circuit; In similar incidents around the country, restaurant employees have been charged criminally for their role in doing searches."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Pa. Supreme Court Guilty of Political, but Not Judicial, Ineptitude; Justices ruled correctly on judicial pay raises." In related news, The Associated Press reports that "Pa. Judges' Pay to Rise With Feds."
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman

"Detainee Deal Comes With Contradictions": Adam Liptak will have this news analysis Saturday in The New York Times. Tomorrow's newspaper will also contain an article headlined "Differences Settled in Deal Over Detainee Treatment."

The Washington Post on Saturday will contain articles headlined "GOP Upbeat on Terror-Trial Bill; House Leaders Satisfied With Bush-Senate Compromise" and "On Rough Treatment, a Rough Accord."

McClatchy Newspapers report that "Critics say bill on detainee interrogation will not prevent torture."

And The Associated Press reports that "Interrogations Deal Grants Bush Leeway."
Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman

Take a hike, but not on my land: The majority on a partially divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today issued an opinion that begins:
Shirley Presley, a long-time resident of Charlottesville, Virginia, brought this 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 action against the City of Charlottesville and the Rivanna Trails Foundation, a nonprofit private corporation. She alleges that, without her consent, the Defendants conspired to publish a map that showed a public trail crossing her yard. Presley further alleges that, even after the Defendants realized their error, they did not correct it but rather criminally prosecuted her when she herself took measures to prevent trespasses on her property.
The majority holds that the trial court erred when it dismissed the plaintiff's Fourth Amendment claim alleging that an unreasonable seizure of her property occurred when private individuals trespassed onto plaintiff's land as a result of the defendants' actions. The dissenting judge, by contrast, argues that plaintiff's claim must be analyzed as a taking under the Fifth Amendment rather than an unreasonable seizure of property under the Fourth Amendment.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman

"Mom properly jailed for letting baby smoke dope: court." Reuters provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman

"Court rules Graham can't serve as both senator and judge": This article appears today in The Charleston Post and Courier.

And The Associated Press reports that "Graham accepts ruling he can't be military judge."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman

"Bush is hoping to finally control judicial branch, too": Scripps Howard columnist Ann McFeatters will have this op-ed Sunday in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Posted at 10:38 PM by Howard Bashman

"High court nears flash point on several fronts": Liz Halloran and Bret Schulte have this "Inside Washington" essay online at, the web site of U.S. News & World Report magazine.
Posted at 09:47 PM by Howard Bashman

The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "High court justice gets street named after him in hometown" and "Alito predicts Phillies in playoffs, MVP for Howard." I hope Justice Alito is correct, as I've already purchased my Phillies tickets for the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Posted at 09:44 PM by Howard Bashman

"Ex-Dynegy accountant's sentence reduced to 6 years": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "Former Dynegy accountant Jamie Olis saw his 24-year prison sentence cut to six years by a judge this afternoon."

The Wall Street Journal on Saturday will contain an article headlined "Dynegy Ex-Lawyer Olis Gets Prison Term Cut to Six Years" (free access).

The Associated Press reports that "Former Dynegy exec resentenced to six years."

Reuters reports that "Judge shortens Dynegy accountant's long sentence."

At the blog "Sentencing Law and Policy," Doug Berman has a post titled "Jamie Olis gets 6 years at resentencing." And the blog "Houston's Clear Thinkers" has posted the trial court's sentencing opinion at this link.
Posted at 09:38 PM by Howard Bashman

"Judge apologizes, gets reprimand for viewing porn in chambers": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A judge who repeatedly viewed pornography on the computer in his chambers apologized Friday after receiving a public reprimand from the Florida Supreme Court for violating judicial ethics."

And The St. Petersburg Times provides a news update headlined "Downey gets rebuke from state Supreme Court; The chief justice told the Pinellas-Pasco circuit judge his actions were 'an embarrassment to the people of Florida.'"
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman

"'Choose Life' plates get legal green light; ACLU of Ohio drops lawsuit to end sales": This article appeared yesterday in The Columbus Dispatch.
Posted at 04:33 PM by Howard Bashman

"Feds Drop Count in Hamas Terrorism Trial": The Associated Press provides this report from Chicago.
Posted at 04:25 PM by Howard Bashman

On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Senate, White House Reach Detainee Compromise" and "FBI Hunts War Criminals Long After WW II's End" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman

"Educator sues teens over page on MySpace": Today's edition of The San Antonio Express-News contains an article that begins, "Accusations that two 16-year-old students cyber ambushed their assistant principal have landed their parents in legal trouble, highlighting what has become a new battleground for student-educator animosity."

And columnist Ken Rodriguez has an essay entitled "Lewd Web posting about principal leads to lawsuit, school options."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman

Seventh Circuit attempts to describe the holding of a splintered U.S. Supreme Court in Rapanos v. United States: Today's Seventh Circuit ruling, by a three-judge panel, was issued per curiam, so you'd have to be familiar with which of the three judges on the panel is the only one who regularly uses the Book Antiqua font to guess from whose chambers the ruling issued.

In any event, today's opinion provides the following summary of the Supreme Court's holding in Rapanos:

Thus, any conclusion that Justice Kennedy reaches in favor of federal authority over wetlands in a future case will command the support of five Justices (himself plus the four dissenters), and in most cases in which he concludes that there is no federal authority he will command five votes (himself plus the four Justices in the Rapanos plurality), the exception being a case in which he would vote against federal authority only to be outvoted 8-to-1 (the four dissenting Justices plus the members of the Rapanos plurality) because there was a slight surface hydrological connection. The plurality's insistence that the issue of federal authority be governed by strict rules will on occasion align the Justices in the plurality with the Rapanos dissenters when the balancing approach of Justice Kennedy favors the landowner. But that will be a rare case, so as a practical matter the Kennedy concurrence is the least common denominator (always, when his view favors federal authority).
After providing that helpful summary, today's ruling remands the case to the district court for additional factfinding.
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman

In a federal criminal case, does an an unconditional guilty plea waive the right to appeal all nonjurisdictional antecedent rulings and cure all antecedent constitutional defects? The majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit answers "yes" today in an opinion you can access here.
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman

In today's mail: Tenth Circuit Judge Neil M. Gorsuch's new book, "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia."

And an eagerly-awaited postcard from a fellow attendee at the recent Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference depicting the U.S. Post Office & Court House in Texarkana, which straddles the border dividing Arkansas and Texas. [Update: More information on the postcard is available at this link.]
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman

200-year prison sentence for possessing 20 photographs depicting child pornography? That's the subject of James J. Kilpatrick's "Covering the Courts" column this week. At the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, you can access a related post titled "Might Berger get SCOTUS attention?"
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman

"GOP Hopes to Parlay Deal on Detainees": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman

On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Senate, White House Reach Compromise on Detainee Rights"; "Detainee Deal First Impressions May Be Deceiving" (featuring Nina Totenberg); and "Reporters Sentenced to Prison for Withholding Sources." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman

"Is store sexually oriented? Owners, city disagree." The Dallas Morning News today contains an article that begins, "See-through negligees, spike heels and miniskirts were neatly arranged, and a mannequin donned a black corset and fishnet stockings this week to lure customers to a new Richardson store."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman

"Feinstein vows filibuster on 9th circuit nominee": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Senate Judiciary Committee approved an Idaho judge Thursday for a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., vowed to block full Senate action. The 10-8 party line vote came after Feinstein stormed out of the committee room to try to deny a quorum to approve the nomination of 6th District Judge Randy Smith. Feinstein wants the judgeship to go to a California judge."
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman

"U.S. Judge Denies Ethics Charges, Claims Vendetta; Jurist Manuel Real tells House panel that attorney Stephen Yagman's claims of misconduct stem from a 'personal vendetta'": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

And today in The Daily Journal of California, Lawrence Hurley reports that "Judge Tells Congress He Did Nothing Wrong; House Panel Will Wait for Findings By 9th Circuit Before Deciding Anything."
Posted at 09:24 AM by Howard Bashman

"2 Reporters Get Up to 1-1/2 Years for Refusing to Reveal Sources in Bonds Steroids Case": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Silence means prison, Judge tells reporters; He says sentence -- up to 18 months -- is only way to make them comply with subpoenas demanding names of confidential sources in BALCO case."
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman

"Appeals court restores law favorable to labor": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "An appeals court reinstated a labor-backed law Thursday that prohibits California employers from spending money they get from the state on anti-union activities. In a 12-3 ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the law does not violate employers' freedom of speech or interfere with federal regulation of labor-management relations."

You can access yesterday's en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman

"After all, it is the law": The Chicago Tribune today contains an editorial that begins, "Abortion-rights advocates have a lot to say about the Illinois Supreme Court's decision to revive a sandbagged parental-notification law just weeks before the November election."
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman

"Bush Bows to Senators on Detainees; The White House agrees to new rules banning the most controversial CIA tactics but allowing a secret interrogation program to continue": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. And columnist Rosa Brooks has an op-ed entitled "Our Torturer-in-Chief: Until Bush took office, the U.S. had no problem defining what is cruel and inhuman."

The Boston Globe today contains articles headlined "Deal made on detainee questioning; President says aggressive techniques will continue" and "Fate of some CIA detainees still unknown; Missing Boston woman among them, kin say."

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Deal resolves GOP battle on detainees; Senators, Bush agree on treatment standards."

USA Today reports that "Deal on suspects closes GOP rift; Agreement covers trials, interrogation."

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Accord Is Reached On Framework For Detainee Bill" (free access).

The Washington Times reports that "GOP compromises on terror detainees."

The Washington Post reports that "Gonzales Revisits Deportation Remarks; Department Aims to Clarify Comments on Case of Canadian Sent to Syria." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The Abuse Can Continue: Senators won't authorize torture, but they won't prevent it, either," while columnist David Ignatius has an op-ed entitled "Interrogators Left Out in the Cold: White House Legal and Political Missteps Led to an Unneeded Duel Over Detainees."

And The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "A Bad Bargain."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman

"Court Grants Reprieve to Death Row Inmate Convicted in USC Student's 1979 Death": In today's issue of The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday gave a reprieve to death row inmate Stevie Lamar Fields, who is scheduled to die for the 1979 murder of USC student librarian Rosemary Janet Cobb. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new hearing by the full court on Fields' request for a new sentence."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman

"Name of Nonviolent Sex Offender Is Added to Publicly Available Roll; 'John Doe' Fails in Legal Bid to Remain Off Virginia Web Site": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman

Fifth Circuit Judge Harold R. DeMoss, Jr. to assume senior status on July 1, 2007: Via "Confirm Them" comes word of a development that you can confirm at this link.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman

"Corzine taps two for top court; Wants to make Zazzali chief justice, promote appeals judge Hoens": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

And The New York Times reports today that "Corzine Elevates a Supreme Court Justice and Taps Another Judge to Succeed Him."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman

"Limits Used in Terror Cases Are Imposed on a Mob Figure": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Alberto R. Gonzales, the United States attorney general, has imposed a set of highly restrictive rules generally reserved for terror suspects on an imprisoned mob figure who is under investigation for plotting to kill a federal judge, a prosecutor and three Mafia turncoats, prosecutors disclosed yesterday."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman

"Taking passwords to the grave: Family members of deceased seek access to e-mail accounts as important information moves from paper to computers." c|net provides this report.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman

Alito to be a street-o: The Trenton Times reports today that "Hamilton to rename street for Justice Alito."

And The Trentonian reports today that "Hamilton honors Alito today with own street."
Posted at 07:53 AM by Howard Bashman

"View From Above: Hopes, realities sometimes clash, O'Connor says." The Winston-Salem Journal contains this article today.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "O'Connor: Schools must prepare students for college."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman

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