How Appealing

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"Justices Weigh Limits on Punitive Damages": Linda Greenhouse will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Woman Can't Say No After Start Of Sex." The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that Maryland's intermediate appellate court, the Court of Special Appeals, issued yesterday.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman


In Wednesday's issue of The New York Times: Tomorrow's newspaper will contain articles headlined "Battle Over Abortion Focuses on South Dakota Vote" and "China Acts to Reduce High Rate of Executions."
Posted at 11:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Blocks Ruling on Tobacco Industry": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court blocked a landmark judgment against the tobacco industry Tuesday, allowing the companies to continue selling 'light' and 'low tar' cigarettes until their appeals can be reviewed."
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Editor and justice take the stand; Witnesses defend judge, newspaper": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "An Illinois Supreme Court justice and a managing editor took the stand Monday in a rare defamation case pitting the bench's chief justice against a Kane County newspaper."

In earlier coverage, on Saturday the newspaper reported that "Judge unbiased, court told; Gorecki's testimony downplayed by paper." And on Friday, the newspaper reported that "Defamation suit testimony begins; State's chief justice clashes with newspaper."

In other coverage, The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Illinois reports today that "Newspaper's practices criticized during libel trial; Attorneys for chief justice say paper did not ensure columnist's information was true."

The Kane County Chronicle reports today that "Journalism ethics considered during trial."

And The Associated Press reports that "Ill. Supreme Court Justices Testify."
Posted at 10:07 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Justices May Return Punitive Damages Case to Oregon High Court."

In other news, Shannon P. Duffy reports that "3rd Circuit Revives Case Against Asbestos Class Action Lawyers." You can access at this link today's ruling by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

And Philip L. Gordon and Katherine Cooper Franklin have an essay entitled "Can Law Firms Keep the Blogosphere at Bay?"
Posted at 09:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Philip Morris Asks Court for Relief; Cigarette Maker Challenges $79.5 Million Damage Award": Charles Lane will have this article Wednesday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"[I]t seems a basic principle of fairness and good judgment that no party should lose a case solely because his lawyer listed the name and address of a law firm above, rather than below, the lawyer's signature." So writes Circuit Judge Jerry E. Smith in an opinion issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Yu Kikumura is on the verge of being released from the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: A 262-month sentence may have sounded like a long time in prison when it was imposed in 1988, but according to this opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued today, Kikumura's release is scheduled to occur on April 18, 2007.

You can access this blog's recent earlier Yu Kikumura coverage at this link.
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Up in Smoke: The Supreme Court makes one of the year's biggest cases disappear." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Reviews High-Dollar Cigarette Judgment": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 06:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sixth Circuit Issues Three Opinions on Ohio Voter ID Appeal": Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post linking to the opinions at his "Election Law" blog.
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Is a trial unfair if accused can't confront accuser? The Supreme Court looks at the conviction in a 1988 child-abuse trial. One possible outcome is a flood of appeals." Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Major test on Crawford, habeas."
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Considers Florida Death Row Case": The Associated Press provides this report. You can access the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Lawrence v. Florida at this link.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court hears argument in Oregon Case": The Oregonian provides this news update.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Reviews Big Award in Tobacco Case": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Punitive Damages Case Could Return to Oregon Supreme Court; Justices more troubled over technical matters than debating the constitutionality of high punitive damages": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Punitive damages -- punishing the defendant for its conduct toward the plaintiff or punishing the defendant for conduct that injured not only the plaintiff but also many others? One of the interesting issues lurking in Philip Morris USA v. Williams -- the tobacco liability punitive damages case argued today (access the oral argument transcript here) in the U.S. Supreme Court -- is the extent to which a jury may properly consider the harm the defendant caused to others in deciding how great of a punitive damages award to impose.

In BMW v. Gore, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Alabama could not punish the automaker for having engaged in a fraudulent car repainting scheme throughout the entire United States because in some States BMW's actions did not constitute fraud. In the Williams case argued today, the Oregon jury was allowed to consider how Philip Morris's conduct harmed other Oregon smokers in deciding how much punitive damages to award to the plaintiff. A key question before the U.S. Supreme Court in today's case is the extent to which, if any, a jury may rely on the fact that the defendant's conduct harmed other Oregonians in addition to the plaintiff in deciding the amount of punitive damages to award.

From my read of today's oral argument transcript, it appears that Philip Morris is arguing that if its course of conduct injured 100 different Oregonians and if the maximum amount of punitive damages that Philip Morris could be required to pay as a result of that course of conduct was $100 million, then the most in punitive damages that any single plaintiff could receive was $1 million. Not surprisingly, that argument in practice would greatly benefit Philip Morris, because some of the 100 plaintiffs may never file suit, or may file suit too late and thus lose due to expiration of the statute of limitations, or may settle instead of going to trial and thus fail to receive the greatest possible value on their claims. Thus, under the approach that Philip Morris advocates, the likelihood that the company will ever be required to pay the full amount of punitive damages that due process would allow is remote at best.

On the other hand, assume a system in which the first plaintiff to get to court receives a judgment awarding compensatory damages plus all $100 million in punitive damages that due process would allow. Assume further that the remaining 99 plaintiffs would not be entitled to recover any punitive damages on their claim, given that the punitive award in favor of the first plaintiff was the most that due process would allow as punishment for the conduct of the defendant. Under this scenario, what legitimate objection does Philip Morris have to being punished to the greatest extent that due process would allow? In my view, Philip Morris would have no valid due process objection whatsoever.
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"$79M tobacco award stumps Supreme Court; Justices split on issue of imposing large fines in product liability cases": Bill Mears of CNN.com provides this report.
Posted at 03:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Not cool" is not a legal argument, Wisconsin appellate court holds: See footnote four of this not-for-publication ruling that the Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued today. Yet to be decided are whether "Cool!" and "Cool [appropriate dramatic pause] NOT!" qualify as legal arguments.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman


What is the holding of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Rapanos v. United States? Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit becomes the most recent federal appellate court to try to decipher the holding of Rapanos, and what results is a majority opinion and an opinion dissenting in part. You can access today's First Circuit ruling at this link. Today's majority opinion notes that "we do not share the reservations of the D.C. Circuit about combining a dissent with a concurrence to find the ground of decision embraced by a majority of the Justices."

Today's ruling comes on panel rehearing. My coverage of the original ruling by this same three-judge panel, a pre-Rapanos decision in which each of the three judges issued a separate opinion, can be accessed here.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Did a Supreme Court judge throw away the briefs?" The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, "Some Supreme Court judges seek relief from work stress in the comfort of their families. Others love nothing more than to curl up with a good book. And could it be, for at least one of them, a nude romp on the high seas was just the ticket? The anonymous judge's alleged unconventional vacation choice -- a nude cruise -- came to light in a San Francisco Chronicle travel article in the spring."

The travel article, which appeared in the April 2, 2006 issue of The San Francisco Chronicle, appeared under the headline "Finally, the naked truth about nude cruises" (using that link, the article's reference to "Canadian Supreme Court justice" appears in bold type).

If Jon Stewart's "America (The Book)" had instead depicted naked Canadian Supreme Court Justices, he would have been to some extent prescient.

Thanks to "Althouse" for the pointer.
Posted at 02:34 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcript from today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Philip Morris USA v. Williams, the tobacco liability punitive damages case: The transcript is available at this link.
Posted at 02:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Philip Morris challenges smoker award in top court": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Hears Cigarette Co. Penalty Case": The Associated Press provides this updated report.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Analysis: Tobacco case going back?" Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connor speaks to women in Salt Lake City": This article appears today in The Deseret Morning News.

And The Salt Lake Tribune reports today that "Retired justice shares memories in SLC."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices urged to review Salt Lake case": The Deseret Morning News today contains an article that begins, "Four former U.S. attorneys general and 141 other top former justice officials from across the United States are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case of a Salt Lake man sentenced to 55 years for selling marijuana. The case of Weldon Angelos has become a rallying point by legal experts who say the high court is overdue in reviewing the constitutionality of minimum mandatory sentences in the federal system."

If anyone sends me an electronic copy of the amicus brief that is the subject of this newspaper article, I'll be sure to post the brief online.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Padilla: Dismiss charges because I was tortured; The suspect in a terror case said charges against him should be dropped because, he said, he was tortured in U.S. custody while being detained as an 'enemy combatant.'" This article appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Considers Punitive Damage Limits": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court's Gatekeepers: The Role of Law Clerks in the Certiorari Process." Law Professor David R. Stras has this essay (abstract with link for download) online at SSRN. According to the essay's abstract, the essay "reports the results from the first empirical examination of every pool memo from four Terms of the Supreme Court: October Terms 1984, 1985, 1991 and 1992."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"Money trails lead to Bush judges: A four-month investigation reveals that dozens of federal judges gave contributions to President Bush and top Republicans who helped place them on the bench." Will Evans has this article today at Salon.com.

The complete 66-page report from the Center for Investigative Reporting can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-air marshal fired over leak sues TSA": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Is Asked To Block Libby Defense From Discussing Lack of Stronger Charges": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.

And The Associated Press reports that "Prosecutor Argues Issues for Leak Trial."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion in Latin America illegal, risky--but not rare; Brazil, other nations fiercely debate laws": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Free speech test for judicial reform; Nevada fundraising ban constitutional, advocate says": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Banning judges from personally soliciting or accepting campaign contributions would not represent an improper restriction on their constitutional rights and would help restore the integrity of Nevada's troubled judiciary, an advocate for reform has argued. The Nevada Supreme Court is expected to decide in coming months whether to implement the ban. The measure would put Nevada in line with much of the rest of the nation, and advocates believe it would mark a significant step in judicial reform."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Civil unions on track for legalization; Trenton sees consensus opposing gay marriage": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ban on abortions trails in new poll": The Washington Times today contains an article that begins, "A South Dakota ballot measure to ban almost all abortions in the state is likely to fail by a wide margin, a new poll says."

And The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota reports today that "Tribes might sway abortion vote; Traditional views would tend to support ban."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Campaign to End Race Preferences Splits Michigan": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court Blocks South Dakota Law on Doctors' Statement to Seekers of Abortion": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports today that "Changes won last year in South Dakota abortion law put on hold."

And The Associated Press reports that "Abortion law still not to be enforced; Court upholds ban on enforcement of warning statute in South Dakota."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"China Changes Death Penalty Law": The Associated Press provides this report.

And Xinhua reports that "China changes law to limit death sentence."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"Assessing the Damages": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court has been struggling to address the thorny question of when, if ever, punitive damages become so large that they violate the Constitution."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Attention, Voters: Have Your ID Ready; In Many States, New Rules On Identification at the Polls Spark Confusion, Controversy." The Wall Street Journal contains this article (free access) today.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Evidence in Williams case draws high court's attention; Prosecutor calls post-shooting acts fair game for retrial": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

And The New York Times today contains an article headlined "Debate Over What Evidence to Allow in Ex-Net's Retrial."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Tobacco Comes To The Supreme Court: Philip Morris seeks to torpedo punitive damage awards in lung cancer case." Jessica Holzer provides this report at Forbes.com.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


On this date in 2005: One year ago today, President Bush announced that he was nominating Third Circuit Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. You can access a transcript and video of the announcement via this link. And my coverage from one year ago today can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"The New Jersey Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision: Couples Get the Benefits of Marriage, but Will They Also Get the Name?" Joanna Grossman and Linda McClain have this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, October 30, 2006

"Opponent of racial preferences takes quest to Michigan; Public colleges less diverse, but initiative backers tout fairness": The San Francisco Chronicle contains this article today.

And Time.com provides a report headlined "Campaign '06: A Fight Over Affirmative Action in Michigan; The man behind the California racial preference ban is back at it again, this time in Michigan, where his ballot initiative could prevail over a strong, organized opposition."
Posted at 09:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Perdue's pick for court to rattle ranks": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court candidates duke it out in bitter debate."
Posted at 09:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pitcairn islanders lose appeal; Six men found guilty of child rape and indecent assault on the remote Pacific island of Pitcairn have failed in their appeals against conviction": BBC News provides this report.

The New Zealand Herald provides a news update headlined "Pitcairn Islanders lose final appeal."

Reuters reports that "Her Majesty's tiniest jail set for island rapists."

And The Associated Press reports that "British court rejects Pitcairn appeal."

Update: You can access the ruling of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council at this link.
Posted at 09:40 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: An article is headlined "Colombian Supreme Court: grabbing a woman's behind is a crime."

And from North Carolina, "Judge declines to block public financing of appellate court races."
Posted at 09:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sandra Day O'Connor shares memories at Utah women's conference": The Salt Lake Tribune provides this news update.
Posted at 09:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court hears arguments on legal immunity for feds": GovExec.com provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday about the extent of federal employees' immunity from on-the-job lawsuits."
Posted at 09:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ninth Circuit Split Inevitable, Tashima Tells Gathering": This article appears in today's issue of Metropolitan News-Enterprise.
Posted at 09:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"High stakes in high court tobacco hearing; Ruling could have big impact on many punitive damages awards": MarketWatch provides this report.
Posted at 09:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Terror suspect alleges torture, seeks dismissal of charges": Tuesday's edition of The Miami Herald will contain an article that begins, "Jose Padilla, the former enemy combatant now accused of joining a suspected South Florida terror cell, says a federal judge should throw out an indictment against him because he was 'tortured by the United States government without cause or justification.'"
Posted at 09:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"GOP seeks to benefit from gay marriage ruling": McClatchy Newspapers provide this article.
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court considers cases from Michigan inmates": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court case: Are jury awards too high? The High Court hears Tuesday a case where the widow of an Oregon smoker got $79.5 million." Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Whimsical Punishment: The Vice of Federal Intervention, Constitutionalization, and Substantive Due Process in Punitive Damages Law." Jenny Miao Jiang has this fortuitously-timed article (abstract with link for download) online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lost in the fog": Last week in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, columnist Linda P. Campbell had an op-ed that begins, "The ruling exonerating Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht of ethical violations gives new definition to the word tortuous."
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman


Where are the writers from The Late Show with David Letterman when you need them? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued documents titled "Top 10 Reasons Why Formal Briefs Are Rejected" and "Top 10 Reasons Why Motions Are Rejected." Predictably, the answers the court has provided fall far short of achieving their comedic potential.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman


Corresponding with the end of daylight savings time, the time for releasing same-day SCOTUS transcripts falls back: On the first day of the October 2006 oral argument session, same-day transcripts were posted online at 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. It's now 4:40 p.m. on the first day of the November 2006 oral argument session, and no same-day transcripts have yet been posted online for today's argued cases.

Update: At 5:18 p.m., "SCOTUSblog" had this post noting that the transcripts of today's oral arguments are now available online. Here's hoping that the transcript of tomorrow's punitive damages oral argument appears online a bit earlier in the day.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Panel wants lawyers disbarred; 2 accused of extortion in Demoulas battle": On Saturday, I linked here to an article published that day in The Boston Globe.

You can access the recent ruling of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers at this link. The "Legal Profession Blog" covers the ruling in posts titled "The Massachusetts Decision"; "More on the Massachusetts Discipline Matter Alleging Extortion Plot"; and "Massachusetts Update."
Posted at 04:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Let’s have order in court coverage: It can start with clarity from bench." Today in The Boston Herald, Paul J. Martinek has an op-ed that begins, "In recent remarks to the National Italian American Foundation, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia expressed disenchantment over the way courts are covered by the news media."
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Latham is the 'in' spot for high court clerks; Firm's higher profile lures six clerks; academia, government lure others": Marcia Coyle has this article in the latest issue of The National Law Journal (via the currently all-italics "Above the Law").
Posted at 03:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gobs of judicial (and law-firm) time have been squandered by the combination of sloppy drafting, repeated violations of Rule 65(d), and inattention to all sources of subject-matter jurisdiction. If these lawyers were physicians, their patients would be dead." So writes Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in an opinion issued today in Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association v. American Express Company. This trademark litigation arose when Blue Cross sued American Express after AmEx decided to issue its own Blue Card.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Argument Tuesday 10/31/06: Punishing Big Tobacco": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Divided three-judge Eighth Circuit panel affirms preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of measures enacted in 2005 revising South Dakota's law on informed consent to abortion: You can access today's ruling at this link.

The majority opinion's discussion of likelihood of success on the merits concludes, "Because the challenged disclosures could be found to violate both the First Amendment rights of physicians and the due process rights of women seeking abortion, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in holding at this preliminary stage that Planned Parenthood demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits."

Earlier, the majority opinion noted: "The district court found that the challenged disclosures express the state's ideology on an 'unsettled medical, philosophical, theological, and scientific issue.' Planned Parenthood of South Dakota v. Rounds, 375 F. Supp. 2d 881, 887 (D.S.D. 2005) (citing Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)). The court concluded that the requirement that physicians give these messages likely violates their First Amendment rights against compelled speech and that Planned Parenthood had shown that it was likely to succeed on the merits."

The statute that is the subject of today's decision can be viewed at this link. A front page article headlined "S.D. Makes Abortion Rare Through Laws And Stigma; Out-of-State Doctors Come Weekly to 1 Clinic" that The Washington Post published in December 2005 mentioned the statute.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"ABA: Wallace is not qualified; Appellate judge seat is at stake." This interesting article appears today in The Biloxi Sun Herald.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court denies antitrust immunity case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

You can access today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List at this link. The Court issued no grants of review today.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court Denies Appeal of Rape Sentence."
Posted at 10:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jayson Williams on Supreme Court docket": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger's news blog provides this post. Via this link, you can view live the oral argument, scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. eastern time before the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Duke case could bring changes; Key question is how EPA should measure pollution": The Charlotte Observer today contains an article that begins, "Duke Energy Corp. and environmental groups are scheduled to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday about how to interpret the federal Clean Air Act, a case that could force utilities to add modern pollution controls to older power plants."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court revives voter-ID measure; Attorney for plaintiffs might take their case to U.S. Supreme Court": This article appears today in The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch.
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


In the November 13, 2006 issue of The Nation: Jeremy Scahill and Garrett Ordower have an essay entitled "From Whitewater to Blackwater."

Jennifer Baumgardner has an essay entitled "Driving Planned Parenthood."

And Jonathan Schell has an essay entitled "The Torture Election."
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman



In the November 6, 2006 issue of The Weekly Standard: William Kristol has an essay entitled "Of Senators and Judges: There is still time to remind voters of what is at stake as they cast their Senate votes."

And Law Professor David M. Wagner, author of the "Ninomania" blog, has an essay entitled "Gay Marriage Lite: New Jersey's high court doesn't quite go all the way."
Posted at 09:34 AM by Howard Bashman



Available today from National Review Online: Matthew J. Franck has an essay entitled "Adam Cohen, Editorial Pretzel: Taking on nonexistent right-wing judicial activism on the Supreme Court."

And Michael O'Brien has an essay entitled "Race-Colored Classes: The University of Michigan badly needs MCRI."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Making the Most of Appellate Oral Argument": That's the title of this week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts, Alito Will Decide Punitive Damage Caps at High Court": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"New gay rights leave Catholics with questions; Church struggles for answers": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

The Washington Times today contains articles headlined "Gay ruling may boost N.J. values vote" and "Colorado faces gay split decision."

And in The Boston Globe, Cathy Young has an op-ed entitled "Marriage and unions."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"When $25,000 is the limit on a life: State funding cap restricts efforts to ensure justice, experts say." The Austin American-Statesman contains this article today, part two of a two-part series titled "Writs gone wrong."

Today's newspaper also contains related articles headlined "Older cases can be frustrating for new attorneys; It's an uphill battle for new lawyers who believe old writs were poorly done"; "Attorney rolls out new appeals, old arguments; He was rebuked for using issues 'nearly verbatim' from one filing to another"; and "Lawyer's writs come up short; Peers say he violated key doctrine by omitting crucial information from filings."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"American's journey to extremism: How Adam Gadahn became tied to terror." This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 07:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Stopping the government's property grab: Proposition 90 would make the state think twice before seizing land or curbing property owners' rights." Roger Pilon has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sex crime residency laws exile offenders; California voters weigh restrictions similar to those passed in Iowa": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Case for Strengthening Marriage": Leah Ward Sears, formerly Georgia's Chief Justice, has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 06:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Damage Limits at Stake in Tobacco Appeal": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 06:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Lawsuits Against Google: Why Outdated Concepts of Copyright Law Don't Click With the Internet": Julie Hilden has this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blawg Review #81": Available here, at "Bag and Baggage."
Posted at 06:24 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Top court to review Microsoft patent case": Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times provides this report.
Posted at 11:59 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Partial-birth' cases test abortion rights' limits; Central question facing justices: Is procedure medically necessary?" Joan Biskupic will have this article Monday in USA Today.
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court broadcasts: Do it on a trial basis." David Drachsler will have this essay in tomorrow's issue of The National Law Journal.
Posted at 11:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Wades Into Fracas Over Punitives; Tobacco Penalty Case Tests Constitutional Limits for Awards": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.

In addition, Roy T. Englert Jr. and Daniel R. Walfish have an essay about the case entitled "Too Much? Yes," while Deborah Zuckerman and Elizabeth J. Cabraser argue the opposing proposition in an essay entitled "Too Much? No."

Earlier today, I read the merits briefs available online here from the American Bar Association. The brief arguing for affirmance of the large punitive damages award struck me as surprisingly persuasive.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"This Land Is My Land: How an eye-popping Supreme Court decision set off one of this year's most passionate election fights." This article will appear in the November 6, 2006 issue of Time magazine.
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained segments entitled "Muslim Woman's Court Case Tossed over Veil" and "Understanding the Veil in Islam, Western Societies."
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman


In the November 6, 2006 issue of U.S. News & World Report: The magazine will contain articles headlined "A Bitter War's Latest Front: South Dakota voters will pass judgment on the nation's toughest abortion law" and "A Host of Questions: Voters will take on eminent domain and a lot more."
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Army reserve doctor fights call-up; Waterford anesthesiologist claims conscientious objector status, takes case to Army and federal court": This article appeared Friday in The Detroit News (via "Religion Clause").
Posted at 01:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sharing a colorful past with old Hall of Justice; As renovation begins, a judge whose career coincided with much of the building's history takes a stroll down a storied memory lane": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Judge Arthur L. Alarcon identifies with Los Angeles' old downtown Hall of Justice: It was built in 1925, the same year the federal appeals court judge was born, and is where he started his legal career more than 50 years ago."
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ready to be dads, but they're going to need help; For a baby of their own, David and Chad will have to draw on science, the law, their families -- and most of all, each other": This lengthy article appears today in The Los Angeles Times, along with a related article headlined "Parents-to-be face legal maze."
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Sloppy lawyers failing clients on death row; For 11 years, top Texas court largely ignored shoddy work as 273 people were executed": The Austin American-Statesman contains this article today, the first in a series titled "Writs gone wrong."

The newspaper today also contains related articles headlined "Supreme Court may be headed toward raising standards"; "Complaint attempts to force State Bar to levy punishment; Group that disciplines lawyers has been slow to respond to lackadaisical legal work, critics charge"; and "Attorney cuts, pastes convicted client's letter."
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Death penalty debate hits home; As referendum approaches, families of victims divided as much as any other group": This article appears today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Firm lead for 'No'; Rape or incest exception would switch many votes": The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota today contains an article that begins, "A new poll finds most South Dakotans would vote against the state's ban on almost all abortions. But, as a previous poll found, the ban would have broader support if it allowed women to receive abortions for cases of rape and incest."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Affirmative action: A lot at stake if ban is passed; Critics see proposition as threat to progress." This article appears today in The Detroit Free Press.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gay Marriage Through a Black-White Prism": Adam Liptak has this article today in the Week in Review section of The New York Times.

And The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article headlined "The cradle of civil unions: What Vermont can teach New Jersey on same-sex ceremonies."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, October 28, 2006

"Canada seeks to expel U.S. sex offender": This article appeared yesterday in The Toronto Globe and Mail. Today's newspaper, meanwhile, reports that "PM unhappy after U.S. sex offender freed."

And The Buffalo News reported yesterday that "Ex-teacher in sex abuse held in Ontario."
Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Treason: Who Decides? The Military Commissions Act of 2006 subverts who we are as Americans. Beware." Nat Hentoff has this essay in the current issue of The Village Voice.
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice honors Brennan's legacy": This article appeared yesterday in Washington Square News.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Martinsburg attorney meets U.S. Chief Justice": Wednesday's issue of The West Virginia Record contained this article.
Posted at 09:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts holds court at Mead": This article appears in this week's issue of The Middlebury Campus, along with an editorial entitled "About our evening with the Chief Justice."
Posted at 09:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"America's abortion battlefield: Things may not be perfect in Britain, but they are far worse in the US; Suzanne Goldenberg reports from the front line in South Dakota." Yesterday's edition of The Guardian (UK) contained this article.
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"T-shirt case taken to Supreme Court": This article appears today in The San Diego Union-Tribune. My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court rules Confederate letters not public documents": The Associated Press provides this report. My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court visits NCCU; Students get to see judges in action": A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard oral arguments yesterday at North Carolina Central University School of Law, The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina reports today in an article that you can access here.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


On this date in "How Appealing" history: One year ago today, the major media was busy covering the news from one year and one day ago that President Bush had withdrawn his nomination of Harriet E. Miers to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In addition, posts from this date in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 all have something in common.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Businesses Seek New Protection From Litigation": This article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 01:18 PM by Howard Bashman


c|net News.com is reporting: An article reports that "Supreme Court to review Microsoft patent appeal."

And Declan McCullagh has an article headlined "Police blotter: Web cookies become defendant's alibi." You can access the recent not-for-publication ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Second District of Texas at this link.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Furor Over Cheney Remark on Tactics for Terror Suspects": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Cheney Defends 'Dunk in the Water' Remark; Addressing Alarm Over the Comment, Vice President Says He Was Not Referring to Waterboarding."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Cheney calls dunking of terror suspects a 'no-brainer'; Vice president later says: 'I didn't say anything about water-boarding.'"
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court race gets political; Supporters of Owens and Johnson fall along party lines": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer contains this article today.
Posted at 10:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"With Rolling's execution, vindication seemed out of grasp; A lawyer spent 16 years living under a shadow of suspicion": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Banner in honor of Picagli hung near home": The New Haven Register today contains an article that begins, "Daniel P. Picagli grew up in Fair Haven, not far from where police erected a banner Friday to remember the fallen officer, struck and killed by an SUV earlier this month."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel wants lawyers disbarred; 2 accused of extortion in Demoulas battle": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "The state Board of Bar Overseers has recommended that the Supreme Judicial Court disbar two lawyers accused of using extortion and intimidation in an attempt to discredit a judge, who had ruled against their client in a family feud over assets of the Demoulas Supermarkets chain. The board recommended the suspension of a third lawyer."

My earlier coverage of this matter, from May 2005, appears at this link.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"High Court to Rule on Deadly Force in Police Chases": Charles Lane has this article today in The Washington Post.

And David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Justices to rule on police ramming car to end chase."

Earlier, syndicated columnist James J. Kilpatrick had this essay previewing the case.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Civil Union or Marriage? A Long Wait in New Jersey." This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined "For Gay Couples, Ruling Has a Cash Value."

And The Los Angeles Times today contains an article headlined "Marriage ruling resonates."
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Poll: Americans don't want politicians constraining judges." CNN.com provides this report. In addition, Bill Mears provides a report headlined "O'Connor: Don't call us 'activist judges.'"

And by clicking here, you can launch a CNN.com video segment in which "CNN's Jeffrey Toobin talks with one former and one sitting Supreme Court Justice about 'activist judges.'"
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, October 27, 2006

"White House denies Cheney endorsed water boarding": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle reports that "Supreme Court Revisits Punitive Damages; With justices divided 4-3 over constitutional limits, views of Roberts and Alito may shape jurisprudence."

In other news, "9th Circuit Rejects Overtime for Adjusters in Farmer's Insurance Class Action."

An article reports that "11th Circuit Asked to Clarify Corporate Liability."

And the new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Making the Most of Appellate Oral Argument."
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"ACLU Drops Patriot Act Challenge": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Agree to Hear 1925(b) Case": The Legal Intelligencer provides this news update. I discussed the case in question in my recent "On Appeal" column for law.com headlined "How Many Issues Should You Raise on Appeal?"
Posted at 05:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Maryland judge: Topless photo didn't violate privacy." The Associated Press provides this report. And you can access last week's opinion of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland at this link. The Daily Record of Baltimore provided earlier coverage when the lawsuit was filed. (Via "Above the Law.")
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"That possession is nine-tenths of the law is a truism hardly bearing repetition. Statements to this effect have existed almost as long as the common law itself." A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today issued an opinion that begins, "This case concerns the ownership of papers from the administrations of two governors of South Carolina during the Civil War."

In that opinion, written by Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, the Fourth Circuit affirms a federal district court's ruling that the State of South Carolina "failed to establish that the papers constituted public property under South Carolina law of the Civil War era." As a result, a man who, according to today's opinion, "found the papers in 1999 or 2000 in a shopping bag in a closet at his late stepmother's home" retains ownership of the documents.

In October 2004, Civil War News published a report headlined "South Carolina Claims Documents General's Family Wants To Sell." And in August 2005, The Associated Press reported that "Judge rules Confederate letters belong to state." That bankruptcy court ruling was later reversed by the federal district court ruling that the Fourth Circuit affirmed today.
Posted at 04:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Big Night for Judge Wallace in San Diego": The Public Information Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a news release that begins, "Senior Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit received the American Judicature Society's 2005 Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award at an Oct. 19 ceremony in San Diego." A list of past recipients of the award can be accessed here.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"ADF attorneys appeal Poway 'T-shirt' case to U.S. Supreme Court; Nation's highest court asked to reverse the 9th Circuit's approval of censorship of Christian students": Alliance Defense Fund issued this press release today. You can access the cert. petition at this link.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"White House Denies Cheney OK'd Torture": The Associated Press provides this report. My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court to hear four new cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog." You can access today's Order List at this link.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Supreme Court Intervenes in Patent Fight"; "High Court to Hear Autism Lawsuit Case"; and "Supreme Court to Hear Police Chase Case."
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Crack Cocaine Sentencing Rules Hit 20": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

I previously published here some additional views on the issue.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



In jurisprudence essays available online from Slate: Law Professor Judith Resnik has an essay entitled "When the Justice Department Played Defense: Congress gives the 2002 torture memos a weird upside."

And Law Professor Tim Wu has an essay entitled "Does YouTube Really Have Legal Problems?: How the Bell Lobby helped midwife YouTube."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"To 'respect and protect': Bishop ordained, speaks in favor of state abortion ban." The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota contains this article today.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"G.O.P. Moves Fast to Reignite Issue of Gay Marriage": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with articles headlined "Corzine Tells Legislators He Backs Civil Unions Over Same-Sex Marriage" and "Clinton Wouldn't Block Law if Albany Backs Gay Marriage."

The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains articles headlined "Lawmakers cool to gay marriage; State legislators showing more support for civil union law"; "Fight to add amendment is still uphill"; "Kean insists he supports civil unions; Senate candidate says he hasn't switched positions on gay rights"; and "A prudent move but hardly a timid one, court experts say."

The Trenton Times reports that "Gay marriage lacks political support; After court ruling, legislators lean to civil unions."

The Washington Post contains articles headlined "Religious Conservatives Cheer Ruling on Gays as Wake-Up Call" and "N.J. Ruling Could Yield Backlash at Nov. Polls."

The Los Angeles Times contains articles headlined "A state with gay-friendly laws faces a fight over partnerships; New Jersey's Legislature has 180 days to legalize same-sex marriage or civil unions" and "A letdown for state's same-sex couples; This week's ruling in New Jersey is likely to make California justices more 'restrained' on the question of gay marriage, experts say." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Right approach on gay marriage: As California prepares to review the issue, a New Jersey court upholds the rights of all committed couples."

The Boston Globe reports that "GOP seizes on N.J. ruling to rally religious conservatives; Presses voters to back bans on same-sex nuptials." In addition, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "New Jersey's opportunity."

The Chicago Tribune contains an editorial entitled "Marriage by any other name."

And USA Today contains an editorial entitled "This time, judges find sensible compromise on gay unions; N.J. court protects rights, leaves ‘marriage' up to lawmakers," while Peter Sprigg has an op-ed entitled "Where's judicial restraint? N.J. court just can't go around ordering Legislature to make laws."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice's TV ad a hard hitter; Wiggins rebuts Hunstein attack": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "One of the most personal attack ads of Georgia's election season is up and running on television, and it doesn't involve any candidates for governor. It's from an incumbent Georgia Supreme Court justice."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"3,000 to be called for jury selection in Padilla trial": This article appears today in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


No rest for the Wiccans: From Florida, The Associated Press reports that "Court rejects Wiccans' tax challenge."

You can access yesterday's order of the Supreme Court of Florida at this link.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Alito protege sworn in as U.S. attorney in Miami; R. Alexander Acosta was officially sworn in as the U.S. attorney in Miami by his former boss, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito": Yesterday's edition of The Miami Herald contained this article.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Jury says paralegal guilty in stabbing; The jury rejects the 'stand your ground' defense in the manslaughter case": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


The Harvard Crimson is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "More Similarities in Law Prof's Book; For second time, passages found in Ogletree's work nearly identical to other text" and "Crimson Cuts Columnist for Lifting Material; Online magazine Slate says it won't pursue action against paper."

The second of these two items also receives coverage today in The Boston Globe, in an article headlined "Harvard Crimson says writer lifted material; Student paper expresses regret."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



What is the numerical value of "not guilty"? The Washington Post reports today that "Murder Trial Juror Booted for Invoking Numerology."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Malvo Questioned In Arizona Shooting": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cheney's Remarks Fuel Torture Debate; Critics Say He Backed Waterboarding": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Cheney confirms that detainees were subjected to water-boarding."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Law Firms Are Starting to Adopt Outsourcing": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reprimand for a Justice Who Met With Inmates": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "A special panel of the Washington Supreme Court made up of nine substitute judges reprimanded one of the court’s justices yesterday for visiting a facility that holds sexually violent predators."

And The Seattle Times reports today that "Justice admonished for visiting inmates."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sen. Arlen Specter on how Democrats' control of Senate could affect future Supreme Court": The Wall Street Journal Online is today providing free access to this video segment.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"$79.5M in punitive damages at core of Supreme Court case; Philip Morris says judgment violates guarantee of due process of law": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"How Will the Roberts Court Interpret the Establishment Clause? The Consequences of a Shift Away from Justice O'Connor's 'Endorsement' Test for Government-Sponsored Displays of Religious Messages and Symbols." Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein have this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Justice Thomas Opens Up on 'Aggressive' Appellate Judges": law.com provides this interesting report.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Big Tobacco and the Supreme Court: Double Jeopardy, Civil-Style?" Ted Frank has this essay today at American Enterprise Institute.
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"N.J. boost for gay couples buoys GOP; Wednesday's ruling in favor of full legal rights for gay couples may galvanize certain voters": This article will appear Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Artist Jeff Koons did not commit copyright infringement when he used in one of his collage paintings a copyrighted photograph, Second Circuit holds: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link (large PDF file).

Earlier this year, artnet Magazine provided coverage of the federal district court's ruling that the Second Circuit affirmed today.
Posted at 05:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Roberts addresses challenge of emerging technologies in Middlebury address": This article appeared yesterday in The Burlington Free Press.

And additional coverage is available from Vermont Public Radio.

Middlebury College's press release, which I originally linked to here, now contains a link to online video of the Chief Justice's remarks and the question-and-answer session that followed. To access the video, click here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman



We're number one! On Monday of this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit became the federal appellate court with the most current vacancies among its active judgeship ranks -- four. The Philadelphia-based court is authorized to have fourteen active judges but now has only ten. The latest vacancy occurred Monday when Circuit Judge Franklin S. Van Antwerpen took senior status, two years and five months after having been confirmed to that seat.

Two of the four vacancies have nominees who are likely to be confirmed, while the other two vacancies have no nominees. Judge Van Antwerpen has his chambers in Easton, Pennsylvania, and he filled the vacancy created when the late, great Edward R. Becker took senior status. Judge Becker's chambers had been in Philadelphia, which is probably the region that the next nominee for this seat calls home.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Second hearing on Neff's nomination refused": The Grand Rapids Press today contains an article that begins, "The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee has refused to grant a second hearing on the nomination of Michigan Court of Appeals Justice Janet Neff to the federal bench. The move removes one route for resolving the objections to her nomination from a conservative senator following a same-sex commitment ceremony at which Neff spoke. Neff's nomination remains on hold. Meanwhile, a letter from Neff gives her version of the controversial September 2002 event that stalled her nomination. The letter marks the first time her version of the event has been aired."

Yesterday, the newspaper contained an article headlined "Senator hits back on judges." The article begins, "All or nothing. That's U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow's position on three federal judge nominations made in a compromise with President George W. Bush. One of three nominations, that of Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet Neff of East Grand Rapids, is on hold. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, halted her nomination after he learned Neff spoke four years ago at the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple."

The Associated Press reports that "Same-Sex Marriage Questions Stall Judge."

And Tuesday's issue of The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts contained an editorial entitled "Love in the Berkshires not a federal offense."
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Padilla Jury to Come From Pool of 3,000"; "Bush Defines Marriage As Man and Woman"; "Ballot Measure Targets Judges' Immunity"; and "Ballot Measures Seek Limited Government."
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"After N.J. Ruling, What to Call Same-Sex Unions?" This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Michigan seeks reinstatement of abortion law" and "Mich. Weighs Ban on Affirmative Action."
Posted at 02:11 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices signal dismay at Texas; Decision to hear capital cases may suggest high court questions handling": The Dallas Morning News today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear three Texas death penalty cases in its new term, a move that veteran court watchers called the latest signal of the court's increasing frustration with how condemned inmates' appeals are handled by Texas' highest criminal judges and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Supreme Court of Washington State -- consisting of nine substitute justices -- upholds sanction of admonishment imposed on Justice Richard B. Sanders arising from his visit to a special facility where sexually violent predators are confined: You can access today's unanimous ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Third Way in New Jersey": Dale Carpenter has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"They Have Only Just Begun To Fight: N.J. Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Doesn't Settle Anything." CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this essay today.

National Review Online today has an editorial entitled "And Now New Jersey."

And at Salon.com, Glenn Greenwald has an essay entitled "State of the unions: Religious conservatives seize on New Jersey's ruling for same-sex couples -- but it won't save Republicans at the polls."
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"N.J. Court Clears the Way for Same-Sex Marriage": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Sixth Circuit holds that Apprendi v. New Jersey does not make the the Fifth Amendment's grand jury right applicable to state criminal prosecutions: You can access today's ruling, by a unanimous three-judge panel, at this link.
Posted at 10:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bathroom visit at Qwest Field gets prosecutor arrested": The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "A Thurston County senior deputy prosecutor who was ejected from Qwest Field Sunday after employees said he was having sex in a women's bathroom told his boss he was just using the facilities."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article headlined "Man allegedly having sex in women's restroom arrested" that begins, "A Thurston County deputy prosecutor found himself on the wrong side of the law Sunday after police said he was caught in a women's restroom at Qwest Field having sex."

For those scoring at home -- where the risk of arrest is greatly reduced -- the Seahawks lost to the Vikings 31-13.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge, newspaper set for court fight; Jury selection starts in defamation suit": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "In the eyes of state Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert R. Thomas, the Kane County Chronicle smeared him in a series of columns, and he wants vindication. As the newspaper sees things, it is waging a free-speech struggle against a top state official. Either way, a rare defamation suit by the state's ranking jurist who also is a former kicker for the Chicago Bears opened in a historic Geneva courtroom Wednesday with jury selection."

And The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Illinois on Sunday published a lengthy article headlined "War of words: The chief justice of Illinois' Supreme Court says he's been defamed; A reporter wants to keep his sources secret; Other high court justices want to keep their conversations secret; It's a libel trial that may shape how the media and the judiciary behave."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"State high court stands by gay marriage ban; Justices' decision is the final word in the case": The Associated Press provides a report from Washington State that begins, "The state Supreme Court will stand by its endorsement of Washington's gay marriage ban, justices said Wednesday. Gay and lesbian couples had asked the justices to reconsider their 5-4 ruling upholding the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1998 law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. The court's denial, signed by Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, is the final word in the case. Further appeal is not possible because no federal legal issues were raised."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Paramedic still haunted by what he saw in trailer; He tells the jury in driver's trial of efforts to cool off, save an immigrant in major distress": Harvey Rice has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Chronicle reporters' hearing in March": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court said Wednesday it will hold a hearing in March on whether two Chronicle reporters can be jailed for refusing to identify their sources of grand jury testimony by Giants outfielder Barry Bonds and other athletes about steroid use."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court expands gay rights": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains this article today, along with articles headlined "Next step depends on reaction of lawmakers"; "With a wish unfulfilled, lives full of love go on"; "Responses have one thing in common: Passion"; "McGreevey, eyeing civil union, calls court ruling courageous"; and "Legislature is given six months to handle a hot potato." Also, columnist Bob Braun has an op-ed entitled "Timid justices lacked courage to say, 'I do.'"

The Trenton Times reports today that "Reactions mixed to ruling; Gay community sees gains."

The New York Times, in addition to containing the articles I linked to here last night, contains articles headlined "Gay Marriage Backers Hope to Sway N.J. Lawmakers"; "Court Outlines Rights It Says Gay Couples Are Due"; "Party Lines Are No Guide to Opinions by Justices"; and "An 'I Do' From McGreevey? He Would." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "A Ruling for Equality in New Jersey."

The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains articles headlined "Gay Vows Up to Trenton"; "To some, a victory, to others, a battle"; and "N.J. court often at the forefront on social issues." And columnist Monica Yant Kinney has an essay entitled "Happy day also a sad one; Ruling on gay marriage came too late for them."

The New York Sun reports that "Gay Rites Ruling In Jersey Could Impact New York." And an editorial is entitled "A Hash in New Jersey."

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Justices rule for gays in N.J. case; Same-sex couples are due marriage benefits."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "N.J. justices clear the way for gay unions."

The San Francisco Chronicle contains an article headlined "Mixed decision for gay couples in New Jersey; State's top court says they deserve same rights as heterosexuals -- but splits on including marriage."

The Boston Globe reports that "N.J. court orders equal rights for same-sex couples; Label is up to lawmakers; gay marriage a possibility."

The Washington Times reports that "Jersey court orders OK of gay unions."

USA Today reports that "Ruling on gays may echo at polls; N.J. court backs rights for couples."

And The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "New Jersey's Step Forward: A court's order on same-sex partnerships leaves plenty of room for democratic decisions."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sept. 11 Plotter Asks Court for Lawyer, Trial; Case Embodies Debate Over Habeas Rights": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And Reuters reports that "Pentagon eyes major spending for Guantanamo trials."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ohio Hints at Legal Tangle That Could Befall Va." The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Last year, an Ohio man accused of abusing his girlfriend tried a unique defense: He argued that the domestic violence law under which he was charged conflicted with a new constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and other relationships that sought to 'approximate' marriage. Michael Carswell's case wound its way through the legal system and is now before the Ohio Supreme Court. It has touched off similar challenges to domestic violence statutes in the state. Two appellate courts found that the constitutional amendment exempts unmarried couples from prosecution under domestic violence laws, but eight courts have ruled otherwise."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court's Crusade: Fairness for the Powerful." Today in The New York Times, Adam Cohen has an Editorial Observer essay that begins, "When Jesse Williams died of lung cancer, his widow sued Philip Morris, claiming it misled him about the danger of smoking. A jury agreed, awarding her $79.5 million in punitive damages. The Oregon Supreme Court affirmed the award, calling Philip Morris's decades of deception 'extraordinarily reprehensible.' The United States Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the case next week, and the broader business community has joined Philip Morris in asking the court to sharply reduce the damages. They are relying on a controversial line of recent cases in which the court struck down punitive damages awards that it deemed 'excessive.'"
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Young Woman Fears Deportation, and Mutilation": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


USA Today is reporting: The newspaper today contains articles headlined "Abortion ban looms large on S.D. ballot; Referendum muddies issue for some" and "National Federation of the Blind files Target lawsuit; Man says website isn't accessible."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"New Jersey Court Backs Full Rights for Gay Couples": Thursday's edition of The New York Times will contain this article.

In addition, Adam Liptak will have a news update headlined "New Jersey’s Justices Agree on All but the 'M' Word."

Tomorrow's newspaper will also contain a related article headlined "As News Sinks In, Plaintiffs Who Call Themselves 'Second-Class Citizens' Are Optimistic."
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"N.J. Ruling Mandates Rights for Gay Unions; State Court Does Not Specify 'Marriage'": This front page article will appear Thursday in The Washington Post.

And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "NJ court grants rights, not marriage, to gays."
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "N.J. Supreme Court Punts Same-Sex Marriage to Legislature."

In other news, "'Bong Hits' Banner Gives Supreme Court Chance to Clear the Air on Student Speech." The cert. petition can be accessed here.

An article reports that "Calif. Court Rejects Chaplain's SLAPP Action Against Pledge Challenger Newdow." My earlier coverage appears here and here.

And in other news, "N.Y. Bar Groups Seek Changes in Advertising Restrictions."
Posted at 10:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Comma That Costs 1 Million Dollars (Canadian)": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "If there is a moral to the story about a contract dispute between Canadian companies, this is it: Pay attention in grammar class."

And The Toronto Globe and Mail last week published an article headlined "A $2-million comma? Au contraire, Rogers tells Aliant."

My earlier coverage appeared at this link.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "New Jersey Court Rules for Same-Sex Rights" and "Million-Dollar Comma May Aid Canadian Company" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Private Affair: The New Jersey gay marriage decision ain't activism." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Will 'Borat' Dupes be Able to Sue Filmmakers?" This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."

Daniel Engber writing for Slate's Explainer has an essay entitled "Borat Tricked Me!: Can't I sue him or something?"

The October 16, 2006 issue of Newsweek contained an article headlined "Behind the Schemes: In 'Borat,' Sacha Baron Cohen plays unsuspecting folks for big laughs; Meet the real people who became punch lines."

And in December 2005, The International Herald-Tribune reported that "Kazakh officials don't see spoof's humor."

The movie's official web site is at this link (contains loud music, so you may wish to adjust your computer's speakers accordingly before visiting the site).
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Squash the Bug: Europe is killing off hospital infections; Why isn't the United States following suit?" Arthur Allen has this essay online at Slate about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA.

On December 11, 2006, I'm scheduled to argue on behalf of defendants-appellants in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit a deliberate indifference to serious medical needs-prison conditions case from Bucks County, Pennsylvania that resulted in a $1.2 million jury award in favor of two pretrial detainees who contracted MRSA during their confinements. You can access online both the Brief for Appellants and the Reply Brief for Appellants.
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Sits with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals": The Public Information Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued this news release, replete with photos.

And "Above the Law" today has a related post titled "The Eyes of the Law: A Visit to the Ninth Circuit."
Posted at 03:32 PM by Howard Bashman



"[T]he Legislature must either amend the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples or create a parallel statutory structure, which will provide for, on equal terms, the rights and benefits enjoyed and burdens and obligations borne by married couples." So decrees the majority opinion that the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued moments ago. You can access the complete ruling at this link.

The court's three other Justices would have avoided the "separate-but-equal" possibility that the majority endorses by allowing same-sex couples to have "access to the 'status' of marriage and all that the status of marriage entails."

Because the New Jersey Supreme Court's web site is a bit overloaded at the moment, I have posted a copy of the court's ruling at this link.

An early news update from The Newark Star-Ledger begins, "The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled today that the state Constitution entitles same-sex couples to all the legal benefits of marriage, but by another name."

The New York Times provides a news update headlined "New Jersey Court Backs Rights for Same-Sex Unions."

And The Associated Press reports that "NJ Court Stops Short of Gay Marriage OK."
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Roberts Speaks in Middlebury": Vermont's WCAX-TV 3 provides this video report (or access the video report indirectly via this link). (Via "Althouse.")
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Rehearing en banc -- "the granddaddy of all appeals hearings": So says an article headlined "Knox man's case could influence federal decisions" from today's issue of The Knoxville News Sentinel (via "Sentencing Law and Policy").
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ohio Supreme Court upholds charter school system": The Columbus Dispatch provides this news update.

The Toledo Blade provides a news update headlined "Ohio Supreme Court rules that charter schools constitutional."

And The Associated Press reports that "Ohio Court OKs Charter Schools."

You can access today's 4-3 ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio at this link. In addition, the court's Office of Public Information offers this summary of the ruling.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz Retires; Departs from a Strong and More Efficient Judiciary ": The New Jersey Judiciary issued this press release today. And in about fifty minutes, perhaps an opinion on the issue of same-sex marriage in the State of New Jersey will be due to be added to the list of Chief Justice Poritz's selected opinions contained at the end of the press release.
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Bankruptcy Litigation Blog" was correct: On September 27th, that blog published a post titled "Seventh Circuit Appears Ready to Ground Retired Pilots' Challenge to United Airline's Confirmation Order." Today, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued this decision, written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner.

Also today, by means of a separate opinion issued by the same three-judge panel, the Seventh Circuit upheld the termination of the active pilots' pension plan as of December 30, 2004. Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook wrote this opinion.
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jurors hear about 'piles' of bodies in driver's trial; The paramedic describes arriving at the scene where immigrants died": Harvey Rice has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blogger Jailed for Refusing to Turn Over Video": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Hummer Bummer for toy company in trademark and trade dress infringement suit brought by General Motors Corporation: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today issued its ruling in GMC v. Lanard Toys, Inc.

In earlier coverage, The Detroit News reported in May 2005 that "GM wins trademark fight over toy Hummer 'knock-off'; Lanard Toys Inc. ordered to stop selling its vehicle, pay $3.1 million after four-year battle." And "Truckblog" reported that "GM Wins Trademark Fight Over Hummer Toy."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Protest marks Roberts' visit to Middlebury": The Associated Press provides this report.

In related news, Middlebury College yesterday issued a press release entitled "Middlebury College announces establishment of the Justice William H. Rehnquist Professorship."

Commenting on a photograph of protesters at the event, the blog "Eminent Domain" notes that "Nothing shows the seriousness of your convictions about an issue like a pizza box."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Righting a wrong on property rights": The Christian Science Monitor today contains an editorial that begins, "Threaten hearth and home, as a Supreme Court ruling on property rights did last year, and Americans will run to bar the door. Since the 'Kelo' ruling, 30 states have passed laws to better protect property owners. Now the issue is on a dozen state ballots, making it the No. 1 initiative topic in the US."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Again Rejects Part of Canada's Antiterror Laws": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports today that "Portion of law on terror struck down; Convictions will be easier, experts say."

And The Toronto Star contains articles headlined "Key part of terror law struck down; Motive doesn't matter, judge rules; Clause called unconstitutional" and "Rulings question obsession with terror; Crime is crime, courts are saying."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Newdow can pursue libel suit": Today in The Sacramento Bee, legal affairs writer Claire Cooper has an article that begins, "Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow won a round in court Tuesday in a libel suit against a chaplain who had publicly accused him of perjury."

Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Court backs atheist who fought pledge."

In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "California Atheist Wins Victory in Libel Suit."

And David Kravets of The Associated Press reports that "Court allows atheist's lawsuit."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Philip Morris Wins Temporary Delay in Class Action": Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA and other cigarette makers won a temporary delay of a class-action suit claiming $200 billion in damages on behalf of light cigarette smokers across the U.S. Circuit Judge Barrington Parker today ordered a temporary stay of all proceedings while a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in New York considers whether to hear an appeal in the case and to grant a longer delay."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Making Sabbath a day at the beach; Venice-area Jews seek an eruv to ease limits on activities": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "An Orthodox synagogue with the ambitious desire to enclose much of Santa Monica, Venice and Marina del Rey within a religious boundary known as an eruv has come up against a barrier some say is as immutable as the Torah itself: the California Coastal Commission."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Rolling will die, then what? He’ll be the third inmate to die in 35 days, but that pace likely won’t continue." The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "Florida’s death chamber likely will claim its most infamous killer since Ted Bundy this evening with the execution of Danny Rolling, who murdered five Gainesville students 16 years ago."

The Gainesville Sun today contains an article headlined "Lawyer: Rolling accepts fate."

And The Sarasota Herald-Tribune contains an article headlined "Sarasota victim: Rolling was 'pure evil.'"
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Curb sought on counsel to detainees; US asks court to restrict talks with lawyers": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "The US government is seeking to sharply restrict communication between defense lawyers and inmates at Guantanamo Bay prison, asserting that some lawyers have given inmates 'inflammatory' material such as reports of abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and news articles about terrorist attacks."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Will Skilling get prison of choice? Federal officials have final say on whether he'll do time in system's 'crown jewel.'" The Houston Chronicle contains this article today.

And The Washington Post reports today that "End of Enron's Saga Brings Era to a Close; Corporate-Crime Enforcement Shifts Focus."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court bans forcing boy's circumcision; Non-custodial dad wins right to block mother, stepfather": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.

And The Chicago Sun-Times today contains an article headlined "No circumcision for 9-year-old boy; Judge sides with dad, rules surgery not necessary to end infections."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"No Mob Bosses in This Legal Strategy": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, often conjures up images of mob bosses or corrupt union chiefs conspiring to bilk people out of millions of dollars. But some corporations are using the RICO statutes to attack other companies, including many that have headquarters overseas. And in many cases, the strategy amounts to a legal long shot, experts say. On Monday, Vivendi, the French media and telecommunications company, became the latest company willing to take that leap when it sued Deutsche Telekom for $7.5 billion in United States District Court in Seattle."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tense wait for a ruling on N.J. gay marriage; Couples anxious over today's word": This article appears today in The Newark Star-Ledger.

And The New York Times reports today that "New Jersey Ruling on Gay Marriage Is Due."
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Upcoming Supreme Court Argument Involving Punitive Damages Awards and Big Tobacco: Can These Awards Be Based on Injury to Persons Other than the Plaintiff?" Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"The Supreme Press Critics: Scalia, Alito, and Kennedy take on the Fourth Estate." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"The terror of Tehran: How can Canada bring Saeed Mortazavi to trial for the Kazemi murder?" Luiza Ch. Savage has this article in the current issue of Maclean's magazine.

NPR's "Morning Edition" in June 2006 aired a related audio segment entitled "Canada Calls for Arrest of Iranian Official" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman



California state appellate court affirms ruling that denied motion to dismiss libel lawsuit filed by Michael A. Newdow challenging statement in an article published on the internet: You can access today's not-for-publication ruling by California's Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District at this link.
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"NJ Gay Marriage Ruling Coming Wednesday": The AP provides a report that begins, "Gay couples will learn Wednesday whether they will have the right to marry in New Jersey. Winnie Comfort, a spokeswoman for the state judiciary, said the New Jersey Supreme Court will release its highly anticipated decision in a case brought by seven gay couples who claim the state constitution entitles them to marry."

The notice from the Supreme Court of New Jersey that its same-sex marriage ruling will issue tomorrow can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 04:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Blind Web Surfers Sue for Accessibility": The Associated Press provides this report. As noted in this earlier post, Target is a target of those pursuing court action to achieve web access for the blind.
Posted at 04:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Skilling's possible new home; FCI Butner, a medium security prison located in N.C., is also home to convicted spy, congressman": CNNMoney.com provides this report. The Federal Bureau of Prisons' web page for FCI Butner is here. The different levels of security at federal correctional facilities are explained at this link.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ottawa must redefine 'terror'; Ruling comes during case of programmer accused of aiding British cell": The Toronto Star provides a news update that begins, "Canada’s new Anti-Terrorism Act failed its first judicial test today when an Ontario judge declared unconstitutional a key part of the definition of what constitutes a terrorist act."

And Canadian Press reports that "Judge strikes down part of anti-terror law."

It takes a few days for the rulings of Ontario's Superior Court of Justice to become available online. Last Friday, I had a post titled "Court Overturns Parts of Secrecy Law in Canada." The ruling that was the subject of that post can now be accessed here.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ontario no 'dumping ground' for U.S. offenders: McGuinty." The Toronto Globe and Mail provides this news update. My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 03:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Election Deform: The Supreme Court messes up election law. Again." Law Professor Richard L. Hasen (author of the "Election Law" blog) has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Atkins left to the states the procedures to be followed by the courts when a capital defendant raises a claim of mental retardation. This case requires that we establish such procedures in New Jersey." The Supreme Court of New Jersey issued this decision today.

In early coverage, The Associated Press reports that "NJ Court Axes New Death Penalty Rules."
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Constitution, Schmonstitution": CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen today has an essay that begins, "Suddenly, the most sacred text in America is under attack from all sides."
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nuns may land back in prison as judge insists on restitution": The Denver Post today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge has rejected the community-service plans he requested 10 months ago from three nuns convicted of hurting national defense when they protested U.S. nuclear policies at a missile silo. That means Dominican Sisters Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert and Jackie Hudson could face more time in jail if they refuse to pay $3,082 in restitution to the Air Force. 'We are surprised. I'm trying to make sense of it,' Platte, 70, said Monday after learning of the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn. 'There's no way we could pay the military. It would be impossible for us to give money to the military because of what they would do with it. And the judge knows that. He knows our conscience,' Platte said from a mission in Baltimore."
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman


Does "Everything that is stupid is not unconstitutional" equal "Every stupid thing is constitutional"? Or is Ann Althouse, in her discussion of Justice Antonin Scalia's remarks this past weekend as reported by The Associated Press, merely proving the point made by Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. that judges are being subjected to untoward nitpicking on the internet.

I discussed Justice Scalia's intended point in my Slate essay headlined "Poll-Tergeist: Why the Supreme Court shouldn't care what you think."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sentence for sexual abuse: three years' exile in Canada." Yesterday's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contained an article that begins, "After a judge convicted him of sexually abusing a 15-year-old student, teacher Malcolm Watson was offered two punishment options: an American jail cell or exile to Canada. Mr. Watson chose Canada. The unusual sentence, which has immigration lawyers questioning its legality, means that Mr. Watson, 35, must stay out of the United States for the next three years. A U.S. citizen who taught at the elite Buffalo Seminary girls' school, he has a Canadian wife and family."

The Buffalo News reports today that "Teacher, admitting charge, sent to Canada; Watson apologizes for sex abuse." And on Sunday, the newspaper reported that "Ex-teacher to begin exile in Canada; Plea deal allowed him to avoid time in jail; lawyers question whether ban is legally enforceable."

The Toronto Star today contains an article headlined "Why send predator here, Canada asks U.S.; Report sought on U.S. judge's ruling; Offender could be barred at border." Yesterday's newspaper reported that "U.S. teacher exiled to Canada."

And The Toronto Sun today contains articles headlined "Perv isn't welcome; St. Catharines neighbours shocked that predator was told by U.S. judge to live in Canada" and "'Canada is not a safe haven.'"

Additional blogospheric discussion can be found at "PrawfsBlawg"; "Sentencing Law and Policy"; and WSJ.com's "Law Blog."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Q&A: Skilling's Lawyer on the Appeal; Daniel Petrocelli, who won the civil case against O.J. Simpson, discusses how he will likely appeal the former Enron CEO's guilty verdict." BusinessWeek.com provides this report.
Posted at 10:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge: Rapper can be seen but not heard; Interviews out, photos OK under house arrest." This article appears today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas Goldstein: The Personal Marketer of The Year." The Professional Business Development Institute will be presenting this online program on Thursday. The registration fee is $300.
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman


On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Skilling Plans Appeal After Lengthy Prison Sentence" and "Convicted Smuggler Proves Links to the CIA" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion ban campaigns investing in TV ads": The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota today contains an article that begins, "As the Nov. 7 election nears, the campaigns for and against South Dakota's ban on almost all abortions are ramping up spending on television advertising."
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Enron's Skilling Is Sentenced to 24 Years": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "Skilling Gets 24 Years for Fraud at Enron; Former Workers Tell of Hard Times Over Lost Jobs, Retirement Savings."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Former Enron CEO gets 24-year sentence; Jeffrey Skilling is ordered to pay $45 million; He talks of remorse but says, 'I am innocent.'"

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Enron's Skilling gets 24-year prison term; Judge rejects his plea for leniency."

USA Today contains articles headlined "24 years for Skilling in Enron case; Several fraud victims speak at sentencing of former CEO" and "Pride at root of Skilling's downfall; Couldn't admit that some Enron initiatives failed." And an editorial is entitled "By claiming he's guiltless, Skilling proves he's clueless."

The Houston Chronicle contains articles headlined "Skilling maintains innocence, vows appeal; Judge orders him to pay $45 million in restitution"; "Legal experts weigh Skilling's chances; No probable points are thought of as clear winners"; "Government sues Ken Lay's estate; $12.7 million in assets sought, including family's River Oaks condo"; "Sentence not final chapter for some; Ex-employees still face a fight to gain restitution"; and "Other trials likely; shareholder suit on tap." In addition, columnist Loren Steffy has an essay entitled "Market rebounds, but Skilling won't."

And Texas Lawyer reports that "Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison; Skilling's defense firm may get $15.5 million under restitution agreement."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ballot measures propose limits on judicial authority": The Washington Times today contains an article that begins, "Western conservatives are gunning for the judiciary this election year with a half-dozen ballot measures that would rope in the authority of what they describe as activist judges."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"First, Rename All the Lawyers": Today in The New York Times, Law Professor John Fabian Witt has an op-ed that begins, "If a rose would smell as sweet by any other name, will trial lawyers smell better with a new one?"
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Don't Show Me State: The liberal assault on voter ID laws." The Wall Street Journal today contains this editorial (free access).
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"What's in a Name? For James Bell, It's A Baseball Lawsuit." This article appears today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Judge Orders New York Times To Identify Confidential Sources": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.

Today in The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis reports that "Times Is Ordered to Reveal Columnist's Sources."

And The Washington Post reports that "New York Times Columnist Must Reveal Sources, Judge Rules."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, October 23, 2006

"Defense in truck deaths to blame prosecution witness": Harvey Rice of The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "The truck driver who faces a possible death sentence for his role in a fatal immigrant-smuggling attempt assured a judge this morning that he agrees with his attorney's strategy of admitting the driver is guilty of transporting illegal immigrants."
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-Chief Executive of Enron Is Sentenced to 24 Years": The New York Times provides this news update.

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Enron's Skilling Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison."

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Skilling gets 24 years, 4 months in prison."

And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Skilling Sentenced to At Least 24 Years for Fraud" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge: Times Must Reveal Anthrax Sources." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge ordered The New York Times to disclose a columnist's confidential sources as part of a libel lawsuit filed over the newspaper's coverage of the 2001 anthrax attacks."
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Is There a Case for Legalizing Polygamy?" That's the subject for discussion this week at "The Becker-Posner Blog." Becker offers these thoughts, to which Posner responds.

One week ago today, I linked here to an article published in The Salt Lake Tribune headlined "Justices may see bigamy case."
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Size Matters: Thomas Cooley's Law School Rankings." "TaxProf Blog" provides this post.
Posted at 04:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Twenty-four years and change: Jeffrey Skilling has received a sentence of 292 months of imprisonment, according to this post at The Houston Chronicle's "Enron: TrialWatch" blog. That would appear to put the sentence at the low end of the advisory Sentencing Guidelines range.

And The Associated Press reports that "Skilling Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison."

Update: The Houston Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Skilling gets 24 years in prison for Enron fraud." And Andrew Cohen, at his "Bench Conference" blog at washingtonpost.com, has a post titled "Fair or Not, Skilling Got What He Deserved."
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Skilling Says He's Innocent, Remorseful": The Associated Press provides this report. Additional updates from the sentencing proceeding, underway now, can be accessed via The Houston Chronicle's "Enron: TrialWatch" blog.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Government Defends 1998 Anti-Porn Law": The Associated Press provides this report from Philadelphia.
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Redefining the meaning of a bad plane flight: A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a decision on Friday that rejected the appeal of a defendant convicted of having committed sexual abuse of another person "within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States." Those in search of more details will certainly find them in the court's ruling.

Earlier press coverage of this matter can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Why shouldn't all law schools regularly host real oral arguments?" Doug Berman has this post at his new blog, "Law School Innovation."
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"I want to share with you today my concerns about capital punishment." So begins the text of remarks that Fifth Circuit Judge Carolyn Dineen King delivered on October 4, 2006 at the Red Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral (via "StandDown Texas Project").
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice: 'Stand up'; High court's Thomas issues call at UGA." This article appeared Saturday in The Athens Banner-Herald.
Posted at 12:04 PM by Howard Bashman


There's one readily available way to decline to receive Pennsylvania's judicial pay raise -- resign from the judiciary: On Friday, I linked here to news coverage that "Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin is suing the state court system, saying court officials violated her rights by refusing to let her decline a 15 percent pay raise."

It occurs to me that if one is seeking to increase the amount of money that remains in the treasury of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, suing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania over the supposed right to refuse an approximately $17,000 annual pay raise is probably not the most cost-efficient way to go about things. The easiest way to decline the pay raise would be to resign from the judiciary altogether. That would save Pennsylvania $162,100 in salary per year until a replacement judge took the bench. Or, Judge Orie Melvin could anonymously refund the salary increase to Pennsylvania's Department of Revenue using money orders that could not be traced back to her.

A news update (free access) from The Legal Intelligencer on Friday began, "Some might believe that Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin’s highly public bid to keep her salary at its pre-pay-raise-decision level is a sure sign that she’s planning a second run for the state Supreme Court in 2007." But that doesn't make very much sense, as the Pa. Supreme Court's Justices presumably achieved pay increases in an even greater amount than Pennsylvania's intermediate appellate court judges. And if the current lawsuit fails to establish the right of Pa. Supreme Court Justices to decline their pay raises, perhaps a future Justice Orie Melvin will need to file a new lawsuit if she's elected to Pennsylvania's highest court.

As noted here, here, here, and here, Judge Orie Melvin is no stranger to high-profile lawsuits.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Forthcoming speaking appearances: On November 16th and 17th, I'll be at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square Hotel taking part in a two-day "Blog Law" continuing legal education program. My panel is scheduled for the morning of Friday, November 17th. Additional details and online registration can be accomplished via this link. Notice is hereby given to "Above the Law" that a law blogger lunch with PG from the "de novo" blog is in the works.

On Tuesday, December 5th, I'm scheduled to be in New Haven, Connecticut to participate in a law blogging panel hosted by the Yale Law Federalist Society.

Finally, for those who like to plan far, far in advance, I'm scheduled to be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to participate in a law blogging panel tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 7th, 2007.
Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Just Deserts or Just Harsh": CQ Weekly columnist Kenneth Jost provides this preview of Philip Morris USA v. Williams, the punitive damages-excessiveness case now pending on the merits for decision before the U.S. Supreme Court.

You can access the Supreme Court of Oregon's ruling in the case at this link.

Here's my preview of the case, originally written to appear as a part of the October 16, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com:

The corporate world will surely focus on the Supreme Court on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 31, given that the first case to be argued that day will see the Court returning to the issue of when a punitive damage award is unconstitutionally excessive. Once again, a ruling from the Supreme Court of Oregon will be the subject of the U.S. Supreme Court's punitive damages inquiry.

At issue in Philip Morris USA v. Williams is whether the Supreme Court's recent holding that the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages should seldom exceed the single digits ought to apply to certain corporate tortfeasors, such as tobacco product manufacturers, that engaged in especially egregious conduct.

In this case, plaintiff Mayola Williams, the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer, won a punitive damages award against Philip Morris totaling $79.5 million. The jury's compensatory damages award totaled $821,485.50, the vast bulk of which represented non-economic damages. Notwithstanding the greater than 96-to-1 ratio of punitive to compensatory damages, Oregon's highest court upheld the award, finding that Philip Morris's conduct was "extraordinarily reprehensible" and "put a significant number of victims at profound risk for an extended period of time."

In addition to deciding whether this particular award is too large, the Court has also agreed to resolve whether the jury was properly allowed to consider the harm Philip Morris caused to other Oregon residents in deciding how great of a punitive damages award to impose in a case involving one deceased smoker.

Although any punitive damages case that the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review is noteworthy, this case is especially so because it will be the first such case to be decided on the merits since Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined the Court -- and also because retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had been at the forefront of the Court's efforts to rein in excessive punitive damages awards, while Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia had criticized the Court's involvement in controlling the size of state court punitive damages awards. It will be interesting to see, on this issue, whether Roberts and Alito opt for the pattern set by O'Connor or will opt for the hands-off approach that Scalia continues to advocate.

If Roberts and Alito side with Scalia on the subject of punitive damages, a total of five votes will exist -- counting Justices Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- to end the Court's involvement in regulating the size of state court punitive damages awards. Corporate America surely fears that possible outcome, even though the more likely outcome is that Roberts and Alito will adhere to existing Supreme Court precedent for which O'Connor once provided the crucial fifth vote.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Skilling to Be Sentenced for Enron Conviction": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Former CIA spy branded a traitor wants to clear his name; Like a story in a spy novel, Edwin Wilson is out to prove he was set up": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Order in the court: U.S. Chief Justice Roberts, panel hear student moot case." The Daily Gamecock contains this article today.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"The horizon recedes again on Indians' vast royalty claims": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Confirmation Wars: Ben Wittes on How to Preserve Judicial Independence." The current issue of The Harvard Law Record contains this article.

Coincidentally, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. mentioned Wittes's book during his talk Friday at the University of South Carolina School of Law. You can view video of that talk via this earlier post.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Speculation on Gay Marriage Ruling Swirls in New Jersey": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


On this date in 1987: The U.S. Senate voted not to confirm Robert H. Bork to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In the next day's issue of The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse had an article headlined "Bork's Nomination Is Rejected, 58-42; Reagan 'Saddened.'" Ultimately, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was confirmed to fill the vacancy.

Coincidentally, the 58-42 vote against Judge Bork's confirmation was exactly the opposite of the 58-42 vote in January of this year to confirm Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to the Court.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"An era ends today as Skilling learns fate; Some counting on a long sentence for ex-Enron CEO": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle, along with an article headlined "Skilling seeks to remain free during appeal."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"The C.I.A.'s Travel Agent": Jane Mayer has this "Talk of the Town" item in the October 30, 2006 issue of The New Yorker.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blawg Review #80": Available here, at "Blawg Review."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Murder case renews debate on intoxication as a defense": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Skilling sentencing hearing": This post appears at Tom Kirkendall's blog "Houston's Clear Thinkers."
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


In Monday's edition of The New York Times: Tomorrow's newspaper will contain articles headlined "The Guidelines Now Tougher, Skilling to Face Sentence Today" and "We’re Google. So Sue Us."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"No Exit: Judicial activism is inevitable." Ann Althouse had this op-ed (republished at her blog) yesterday in The Wall Street Journal.

As longtime readers of "How Appealing" may recall, on this very blog site in November 2002, I too had lots to say on the topic of judicial activism.
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Injured Police Officer Dies In Hospital; New Haven Force's Picagli Was Struck By SUV While Directing Traffic At A Construction Site": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "The police officer who was struck at a construction site Tuesday by an SUV driven by a federal judge died Saturday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dan Picagli sustained head injuries when he was struck while directing traffic at a construction site near Wooster Square Park in New Haven. The SUV that hit him was driven by John M. Walker Jr., a federal judge who is a cousin of former President George H.W. Bush."

And The New Haven Register reports today that "Youth officer loses struggle after being struck by SUV."
Posted at 12:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"Napa Nuptials for Olson and His Lady": The "Reliable Source" column in today's issue of The Washington Post begins, "Top Washington lawyer Ted Olson and his fiancee, Lady Booth, tied the knot yesterday in Napa Valley, Calif., starting a happy new chapter in Olson's personal life."
Posted at 12:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Click Fraud' Threatens Foundation of Web Ads; Google Faces Another Lawsuit by Businesses Claiming Overcharges": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Slate Magazine Editor and Columnist to Discuss the Roberts Court for 2006 Tucker Lecture": The Washington and Lee University School of Law issued this news release about a lecture that Dahlia Lithwick delivered on Friday. The law school has posted online both video (Windows Media format) and audio (mp3 format) of Dahlia's lecture.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Skilling's case stands apart in corporate crime; Ex-Enron CEO, to be sentenced Monday, driven by business vision": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

And Reuters reports that "Ex-Enron CEO Jeff Skilling faces sentencing Monday."
Posted at 11:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Columbia Expert on Free Speech Is Accused of Speaking Too Softly": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Lee C. Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, is a natural in the classroom, guiding undergraduates through the intricacies of the First Amendment."
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Get me rewrite! George Washington didn't think the Constitution was sacrosanct -- why do we? It's time for a new constitutional convention." Law Professor Sanford Levinson has this essay today in the Ideas section of The Boston Globe.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Veil costs her claim in court; Judge: Face key in deciding truth." This article appears today in The Detroit Free Press.

Relatedly, the blog "Religion Clause" offers a post titled "Niqab Controversies In US, Britain, Egypt."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Scalia Rips Judges on Abortion, Suicide": The Associated Press provides this report.

The article reports on Justice Antonin Scalia's remarks yesterday at the National Italian American Foundation's 31st Anniversary Awards Gala. In advance of the event, the Foundation issued a news release titled "Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to be Honoted at Italian-American Gala in Washington, D.C."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, October 21, 2006

"Paper to be held in contempt, pending appeal; It could face fines of $1,000 a day for up to 18 months": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The Chronicle has agreed to be held in contempt of court and could face fines of more than half a million dollars if a federal appeals court decides the newspaper must disclose its reporters' sources of information about grand jury testimony by Giants outfielder Barry Bonds and other star athletes about steroids."
Posted at 04:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Says Indecent Exposure Law Applies to Men Only; Drops Charge Against Woman": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And at "the (new) legal writer" blog, Ray Ward addresses "What's a draftsman drafter of legislation to do?"

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 04:25 PM by Howard Bashman



Cause and effect: In August, after I wrote about the ruling from a Detroit federal judge holding unconstitutional President Bush's domestic wiretapping program, I was quoted on the front page of The New York Times.

More recently, after I wrote about how words alone are capable of violating federal obscenity laws, I was quoted at the web site of Adult Video News (ads not work safe).
Posted at 04:13 PM by Howard Bashman



"Free speech on Fremont OK'd; Ruling lifts city ordinances barring solicitation, setting up booths": This article appears today in The Las Vegas Review-Journal. My earlier coverage is at this link.
Posted at 03:45 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Justices Discuss Judges' Independence"; "Justice Kennedy Holds Key to High Court"; and "Justice's Memories of World Series Loss."
Posted at 03:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer Convicted in Terror Case Lied on the Stand, a Juror Says": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "He was known as Juror 8, for the jury box chair where he listened silently for more than six months as the convoluted evidence unfolded in the trial of Lynne F. Stewart, the radical defense lawyer accused of aiding Islamic terrorism."
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Witness: Sanctions 'Illegal.'" Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, "A former chairman of the Judicial Review Council and a noted expert on legal ethics both testified Friday that there is no precedent, nor authority vested in the council, to discipline former Chief Justice William J. Sullivan for secretly withholding release of a controversial Supreme Court ruling to benefit a colleague."

And The Connecticut Law Tribune yesterday published news updates headlined "Tensions Escalate At JRC Hearing; Keefe goes from witness to Sullivan attack dog" and "Hired Gun Professor Testifies For Sullivan."
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Allows Arizona to Use New Voter-ID Procedure": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Charles Lane reports that "Arizona May Use Voter-ID Law, High Court Says; Justices Overturn Ruling That Cited Pending Lawsuit."

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "High Court Allows Arizona to Enact New Voter ID Law; The ruling reverses one by the 9th Circuit; It is expected to benefit Republicans at the polls."

The Arizona Republic contains an article headlined "Voters, bring your ID to polls."

And The Arizona Daily Star reports that "High court clears state to enforce voter ID; Tosses lower court decision that blocked enforcement."
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Texas Supreme Court justice cleared of ethics violation; Reprimand of Hecht for backing Bush U.S. high court nominee Miers overturned on appeal": This article appears today in The Austin American-Statesman.

The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Panel absolves Texas judge of ethics breach; Ill-defined terms and rules cited in excusing Hecht's support for Mier's Supreme Court bid."

The Dallas Morning News reports that "Panel clears justice on ethics charges; Judges reverse censure of Hecht, who praised high court hopeful Miers."

And The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that "Justice cleared in Miers case."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer Punished for 'Lord!' Outburst": The Associated Press provides this report.

Meanwhile, in local coverage, The Winston-Salem Journal reported yesterday that "Judge orders lawyer to jail; Contempt charge comes after exchange of words." And today the newspaper provides a news brief captioned "Lawyer is out of jail while he appeals charge."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Chief justice presides over USC visit": The State of Columbia, South Carolina today contains an article that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presided over a mock trial at the USC School of Law on Friday and afterwards engaged in a candid conversation with students about judicial philosophy and life as the country's top lawyer."

My earlier coverage appears here and here.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, October 20, 2006

"Texas Justice Who Spoke for Bush Pick Is Cleared": This article will appear Saturday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. participating in moot court with University of South Carolina students": The University of South Carolina School of Law has issued this news release. You can view online today's moot court oral argument, with the Chief Justice of the United States presiding, by clicking here (Windows Media format).

As the video reveals, after the hour-long moot court session, Chief Justice Roberts takes the stage to answer questions from the audience.
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"David Lat Takes on the Legal World One Post at a Time; Blogger and ex-lawyer takes no prisoners": Nathan Carlile will have this article (free access) in Monday's issue of Legal Times.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Court Dismisses Admonition of Texas Supreme Court Justice Over Miers Comments; Justice Nathan Hecht spoke out about U.S. Supreme Court nomination in 120 interviews." My earlier coverage appears here.

And Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "Less Means More: 3rd Circuit Fixes Congressional Typo." My prior coverage is at this link.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Opinions vary on constitutionality of tribunal compromise law": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 09:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Want to vote? Get your photo ID ready; Appeals court isn't likely to rule on Indiana law until after Nov. 7." This article appeared yesterday in The Indianapolis Star.

Law Professor Rick Hasen has additional details in this post at the "Election Law" blog. You can download Wednesday's oral argument audio at this link (mp3 file).

Thomas M. Fisher, Solicitor General of Indiana, argued the case for the State of Indiana and was questioned by, among others, Seventh Circuit Judge Diane S. Sykes. Over two years ago, in a special installment of "23 questions for the appellate judge," the tables were turned, as it was Fisher who was questioning Judge Sykes.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senator wants Lay's conviction to stand": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called on the Justice Department today to appeal a Houston judge's decision to vacate the late Ken Lay's fraud and conspiracy convictions."

You can also access online a news release entitled "Senator Feinstein Calls on Attorney General Gonzales to Appeal Dismissal of Convictions of Enron's Former Chairman and CEO Ken Lay; Senator Feinstein also announces intention to introduce legislative fix to this issue."
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Limits U.S. Authority at Casinos": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court upholds Arizona's photo ID law for elections": The Arizona Republic provides this news update. My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 07:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Medical Ethics: Doctors join an effort to ban abortion." Jonathan Cohn has this essay online today at The New Republic.
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"No Contracts for America: Seven gay marriage bans strike at straights, too." Kerry Howley has this essay online today at Reason.
Posted at 05:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reproductive Rights on the Line in South Dakota": Kate Michelman has this essay online today at The Nation.
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Voters can't complain they're not getting their money's worth when public servants work for free: In news from Pennsylvania, The Legal Intelligencer provides a news update headlined "Superior Court Judge Files Suit To Reject Controversial Pay Raise."

The article begins, "Some might believe that Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin's highly public bid to keep her salary at its pre-pay-raise-decision level is a sure sign that she's planning a second run for the state Supreme Court in 2007."

In other coverage, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports today that "Judge sues to refuse pay raise." Earlier this month the newspaper also published an article headlined "Court system denies judge's payback offer" and an editorial entitled "Judicious payback."

It remains to be seen whether any Pennsylvania appellate judges who consider their current pay too low will seek to intervene to claim the benefit of the rejected pay raise.
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Breaking News: U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Ninth Circuit Order Barring Arizona Voter ID Law." Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his "Election Law" blog. You can access today's per curiam opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.

Update: The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Ariz. Can Seek Photo ID for Vote."
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Kennedy Holds Key to High Court's Direction": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"USC law students prep for visit by U.S. Chief Justice": This article appears today in The State of Columbia, South Carolina.

And Andrew Cohen, at his "Bench Conference" blog at washingtonpost.com, has an entry titled "Don't Cry for Him, John G. Roberts, Jr."
Posted at 04:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Law blind to sight of nude woman; Appeal vowed: The fate of a freed woman accused of showing all to a teen boy rests on gender wording." The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California today contains an article that begins, "A Corona woman accused of exposing herself to a 14-year-old boy will not be tried for indecent exposure because the law against such behavior applies only to men, a visiting judge in Riverside County has ruled."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Judge: Exposure Law Is Gender Specific."

The relevant provision of the California Penile Code defines the criminal offense as follows: "Every person who willfully and lewdly, either: 1. Exposes his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby."

Update: A reader emails, "I call your attention to what I think is either an inadvertent typo or a clever pun in your post from 4:20pm today." Indeed. Meanwhile, in earlier news coverage, yesterday's edition of The Californian reported that "Judge drops indecent exposure charge against woman."
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman



But will reading a description of the conditions at LaGrou's cold storage warehouse at 2101 Pershing Road in Chicago be enough to turn even the most enthusiastic meat-loving carnivore into a vegetarian? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today issued an opinion considering a corporation's appeal from its conviction on three federal felony counts for the knowing improper storage of poultry products; the knowing improper storage of meat products; and the knowing improper storage of food products.

According to the opinion, "The conditions at LaGrou's cold storage warehouse at 2101 Pershing Road in Chicago were enough to turn even the most enthusiastic meat-loving carnivore into a vegetarian." The opinion contains a detailed description of those conditions, so it remains to be seen whether reading the opinion will result in any converts to vegetarianism.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"We must decide whether city ordinances prohibiting solicitation and the erection of tables in a five-block tract of downtown Las Vegas unconstitutionally restrict free speech. We hold that they do." So begins an opinion that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 02:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"No Reprimand in Judge's Support of Miers": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A three-judge panel dismissed the reprimand of a Texas Supreme Court justice who publicly endorsed his friend Harriet Miers after her short-lived U.S. Supreme Court nomination."

The Austin American-Statesman provides a news update headlined "Panel clears Texas Supreme Court justice; Reprimand of Hecht for ethics violations overturned."

The Houston Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Panel orders Judge Hecht's admonishment be dismissed."

And The Fort Worth Star-Telegram provides a news update headlined "Hecht cleared in speaking out for Miers."

Thanks to a reader, I have obtained a copy of today's 43-page ruling of the Special Court of Review Appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas, and I have posted it online at this link. Update: One of the three judges on the review panel also issued a separate concurring opinion, and it is available at this link.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman



No Mt. Soledad cross to bear for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: Although Justice O'Connor, as I have previously noted, heard oral arguments with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday and will do so again today, she was not sitting with that court yesterday, when a three-judge panel heard oral argument in Paulson v. City of San Diego, a case involving the always controversial Mt. Soledad cross.

The Ninth Circuit has now provided online access to the audio from yesterday's oral argument in the case, and you can access the audio file via this link (Windows Media file). The three-judge panel that heard oral argument in the case yesterday (in Pasadena, and not in San Francisco, where Justice O'Connor is sitting) consisted of Circuit Judges Harry Pregerson, Ronald M. Gould, and Richard R. Clifton. The panel heard over one hour's worth of oral argument.

The case argued yesterday is the very same case in which Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in July 2006, ordered that the Mt. Soledad cross could remain in place until the Ninth Circuit's final disposition of the appeal. My earlier coverage of that development can be accessed here and here.

Update: At one point, Judge Pregerson reminds arguing counsel something along the lines of "When we the judges talk, the attorney who is arguing is supposed to shut up." That's never a pleasant thing to hear. Another attorney, on taking the podium, raises the question whether the case is moot under "Article 13" of the U.S. Constitution, causing Judge Pregerson to ask what Article the attorney is relying on. After the attorney recognizes that he has misspoken, one of the other judges on the panel jests that perhaps "Article 13" is a long lost codicil. Finally, at one point in the oral argument each judge on the panel reveals the day of the year on which his birthday occurs.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Overturns Parts of Secrecy Law in Canada": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "An Ontario court struck down three key provisions of Canada's secrecy law on Thursday and harshly rebuked the police for using them to intimidate a reporter whose home and office were raided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police."

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports today that "Secrecy law quashed, RCMP admonished; Judge sides with reporter on Arar leak."

And The Toronto Star reports that "Judge rips RCMP actions; Condemns raid on reporter, tosses 9/11 secrecy act sections; Campaign to find source of Arar leak 'intimidation of press.'"
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hearings Offer Insights Into Judiciary; Prominent State Justices Called To Testify In Sullivan Disciplinary Case": Lynne Tuohy has this article today in The Hartford Courant.
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion ads spur complaints; Both sides accuse other of lying": The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota today contains an article that begins, "An advertisement supporting the state's abortion ban called 'patently false' by opponents remains on the air across the state. The television ad, distributed by the Vote Yes For Life on Six campaign and South Dakota Physicians for Life, says the abortion ban provides an exception for the health of a pregnant woman. The state's ban on nearly all abortions says doctors can't perform the procedure unless it's done to keep a pregnant woman from dying."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Yoo don't say: A bit earlier this month, The Associated Press published an article headlined "Judge's e-mail denouncing U.S. policy could land him in trouble" that begins, "A judge who usually constrains his opinions to the technicalities of bankruptcy law broke from habit last week and denounced U.S. policy on the detention of 'enemy combatants' as 'the tactics of the old Soviet Union.' In an e-mail message to National Public Radio that was read aloud on NPR's 'Morning Edition' program Friday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Leif Clark of San Antonio attacked the views of a former Bush administration official who had framed the White House policy on the detention of suspected terrorists. The official, John Yoo, argued that such prisoners are ineligible for the protections of the Geneva Conventions."

You can listen to the segment that aired on the October 5, 2006 broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" by clicking here (RealPlayer required). You can also read the bankruptcy judge's email, which NPR has posted online at this link (fourth item).
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Woman sues Burbank over vehicle-sticker cross; Religious symbol's use is challenged": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "A Burbank woman is suing her hometown in federal court for requiring her to display what she believes is a Christian-themed vehicle sticker on her windshield."
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"State says newspaper (or is it?) breaks law; A woman's writings on local government stir voting officials, who stir the ACLU": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Skilling's Last Stand": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "When the former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling stands to face a judge and a possible decades-long prison sentence Monday, he will be -- as usual -- alone."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"State Court Rules Against Catholic Church on Insurance": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "New York State's highest court ruled yesterday that the Roman Catholic Church and other religious organizations must abide by a state law that requires most employee health insurance policies to cover the cost of contraception."

The New York Daily News reports today that "Ruling's a bitter pill for church."

And law.com reports that "Health Law Requiring Plans To Offer Birth Control Upheld."
Posted at 08:09 AM by Howard Bashman



"Terror Law Renders Detainee Cases Moot": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Hours after President Bush signed a tough anti-terrorism law, government lawyers began putting detainees on notice that the U.S. court system no longer was open to them. Now it is up to a federal appeals court, and ultimately the Supreme Court, to decide the fate of hundreds of people who have spent years arguing the government is holding them illegally."

The Washington Post today contains an article headlined "Court Told It Lacks Power in Detainee Cases."

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Red Cross Official Criticizes Secret Detentions in War on Terror; The international Red Cross committee chief cites progress in policy but says it isn't enough."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Rolling's latest appeal rejected": The Gainesville Sun today contains an article that begins, "An effort by convicted killer Danny Rolling to resurrect a legal argument over new information about Florida's lethal injection procedure failed in the state's Supreme Court on Thursday."

And The Independent Florida Alligator today contains articles headlined "State denies Rolling all further appeals" and "Collective memories of Rolling fade over time."

The Supreme Court of Florida has posted online both the petition filed yesterday on the death row inmate's behalf and that court's order dated yesterday denying the petition.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"You Can’t Use That Tax Idea. It’s Patented." Today in The New York Times, business columnist Floyd Norris has an essay (TimesSelect temporary free access) that begins, "As the American tax law gets more and more complicated, lawyers have come up with one more way to make life difficult for taxpayers: Now you may face a patent infringement suit if you use a tax strategy someone else thought of first."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Jury is chosen for new trial in truck deaths; Prosecutors look to get first death penalty in human smuggling case": Today in The Houston Chronicle, Harvey Rice has an article that begins, "A jury of six men and six women has been chosen for the retrial of truck driver Tyrone Williams, who will again face the possibility of a death sentence if convicted for his role in a smuggling attempt in which 19 illegal immigrants died."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Enron: The Tale of Two Sentencings; If Skilling Gets 20 Years in Prison, It'll Show It Hurts Not to Sing to Prosecutors." John R. Emshwiller had this article (temporary free access) yesterday in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Big money erodes judges' credibility": Today's edition of USA Today contains an editorial that begins, "Players would surely be reluctant to compete in the World Series if they knew that the umpires were beholden to the other team for their jobs, and fans would have little faith in the outcome. Yet people are going into courts across the nation these days in which the playing field looks just as tilted. That's because once-staid judicial elections have turned into big-money brawls among special interests, often with big business and trial lawyers vying for a friendly judge on the court."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Officer Is Struck by S.U.V. Driven by a Federal Judge, the Police Say": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A New Haven police officer who has devoted his career to working with local children remained in critical condition yesterday after being struck while directing traffic by a sport utility vehicle driven by a federal appeals court judge, the police said."

And The Hartford Courant today contains an article headlined "Vigil Over Injured Comrade; Community Police Officer Struck While Directing Traffic Is In Intensive Care."
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Ruling Is Due for Justice Who Lobbied for Bush Pick": The New York Times on Friday will contain an article that begins, "A year after the Bush administration enlisted a Texas Supreme Court justice in its unsuccessful bid to put Harriet E. Miers on the United States Supreme Court, a special state court is to announce Friday whether the judge was guilty of 'willful and persistent' violations of judicial ethics for his role in that effort."
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connor Sits on 9th Circuit Panel; Also in San Francisco this week, Justice Anthony Kennedy is honored at Lawyer's Club event": law.com's Justin Scheck provides this report.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge defends journalist over leaked Arar papers": The Toronto Globe and Mail provides a news update that begins, "An Ontario judge dealt a landmark blow for press freedom Thursday, striking down a secrecy law that was used to justify RCMP raids on a journalist they suspected of having received leaked material in the Maher Arar affair."

Canadian Press reports that "Secrets law 'unconstitutional.'"

And The Associated Press reports that "Parts of Canada Secrecy Law Struck Down."
Posted at 07:42 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Judge's SUV Hits Police Officer in Conn."; "Judge Orders Cheney Visitor Logs Opened"; "U.S. Anti-Terror Law Concerns Red Cross"; and "Texas Death Row Inmate Commits Suicide."
Posted at 07:33 PM by Howard Bashman


Did the government improperly entrap the defendant into "traveling across state lines for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity with a minor and attempting to entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity"? A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued a lengthy and interesting opinion that begins, "This case requires careful consideration of the affirmative defense of entrapment." Today's ruling affirms the rejection of the defendant's entrapment defense.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Maybe a key provision of the federal tax code isn't unconstitutional after all: "TaxProf Blog" today provides a post titled "Is D.C. Circuit Leaning Toward Granting Rehearing En Banc in Murphy?"

My initial coverage of the ruling in question appears at this link.
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"'But the judges have changed'": Columnist James J. Kilpatrick has an essay today that begins, "Seventeen years have passed since Jeffrey Landrigan murdered Chester Dean Dyer, but the story won't go away. Now the record is resting in the U.S. Supreme Court on Arizona's appeal from a regrettable decision in the 9th Circuit. It's time to mark this case closed."
Posted at 05:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Plaintiffs challenge the validity of legislation requiring health insurance policies that provide coverage for prescription drugs to include coverage for contraception." So begins an opinion that the Court of Appeals of New York, that State's highest court, issued today. The unanimous opinion for the court, with one judge not participating, goes on to state: "Plaintiffs assert that the provisions they challenge violate their rights under the religion clauses of the federal and state constitutions. We hold that the legislation, as applied to these plaintiffs, is valid."

In early news coverage, The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Religious social service groups must cover contraceptives."
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



To what extent does the Bankruptcy Code waive the federal government's sovereign immunity to claims that the debtor seeks to assert, by means of set-off, against the federal government? The en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today issued a decision that addresses this complicated statutory question. The original three-judge panel's ruling in this case, which reached a different result than today's en banc decision, can be accessed here.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 expanded the jurisdiction of federal district courts over class action lawsuits seeking in the aggregate a large amount of damages. One issue that has been frequently litigated in the aftermath of that law's enactment is whether, and if so under what circumstances, cases pending in state court before CAFA became law could be removed to federal court once the law took effect. The added wrinkle in the decision that the Seventh Circuit issued today is that the removal of a case from California state court to a California federal court was originally upheld by a federal district judge in California, and the plaintiffs failed to appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Thereafter, the federal Multidistrict Litigation Panel ordered the case transferred to a federal court in Chicago, where the plaintiffs renewed their challenge to the case's removal to federal court. The federal district judge assigned to hear the case in Chicago agreed that the case had been wrongfully removed and ordered it remanded. Today, the Seventh Circuit affirms, while simultaneously rejecting "the plaintiffs' argument that an erroneous refusal to remand a case under the Class Action Fairness Act is a jurisdictional error, which must therefore remain corrigible until the litigation becomes final by issuance of a final judgment and exhaustion of appellate remedies." Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner issued the decision on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.

In a second opinion, also written by Judge Posner for a unanimous three-judge panel, the Seventh Circuit instructs criminal defense counsel that appeals challenging a federal district judge's exercise of sentencing discretion in this post-Booker regime will often qualify as frivolous. According to today's opinion, "a defendant has no right to file a frivolous appeal, and his lawyer has a duty to file an Anders brief rather than to argue frivolous grounds for reversal."

Finally, by means of a per curiam ruling on an Order to Show Cause, the Seventh Circuit today requires counsel to pay a financial sanction for failing to comply with "Circuit Rule 28(a)(1)[, which] requires that the jurisdictional statement in a diversity suit name the states of which the parties are citizens." The conclusion of today's order states:

It is therefore ORDERED that counsel for the plaintiff--[names of the attorneys and their law firm omitted]--jointly, and counsel for the defendant--[names of the attorneys and their law firm likewise omitted]--also jointly, shall pay to the court as a sanction for violating Rule 28 the sum of $1,000.
Now the only question that remains is whether the Seventh Circuit is ordering that each side's lawyers pay the sum of $1,000, for a total of $2,000 into the Seventh Circuit's coffers, or whether each side's lawyers need only pay the sum of $500, for a total of $1,000 into the Seventh Circuit's coffers.
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman


So you'd like to hear and decide appeals on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit? After a period of approximately seven years (if my Westlaw skills in this respect can be trusted) during which the Federal Circuit did not utilize visiting judges sitting by designation to decide pending cases, a bit earlier this year the Federal Circuit has again started using visiting judges. Two U.S. District Judges who have recently sat by designation with the Federal Circuit are T.S. Ellis, III of the Eastern District of Virginia and Patti B. Saris of the District of Massachusetts.

If anyone has any insights into why the Federal Circuit has reopened its doors to visiting judges, I'd be happy to pass them along to "How Appealing" readers. This blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" feature included two interviews with judges who have frequently sat by designation on federal appellate courts, Third Circuit Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert and Senior District Judge Milton I. Shadur of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



The only thing missing from yesterday's three-judge Third Circuit oral argument panel was any judge from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit: The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article headlined "Panel weighs reviving lawsuit against Rendell." The article reports that "All three judges were specially named to hear the appeal after Mayfield asked the Third Circuit's own judges to recuse themselves because Rendell's wife, Marjorie O. Rendell, is a Third Circuit judge appointed by Clinton in 1997."

According to the court's PACER docket entries, the oral argument panel consisted of Senior Eighth Circuit Judge Myron H. Bright, Chief Judge Jane A. Restani of the U.S. Court of International Trade, and Senior Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Barred from voting: State laws prohibit millions of ex-felons from voting -- and favor Republicans at the polls; But activists say prisoners who served their time have every right to serve their country by casting a ballot." Katharine Mieszkowski has this essay today at Salon.com.
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"California, Too! Another judicial setback for same-sex marriage advocates." Law Professor David M. Wagner, author of the "Ninomania" blog, has this essay in the October 23, 2006 issue of The Weekly Standard.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Your Papers, Please! Fighting the Total Surveillance Society." Ronald Bailey has this essay online today at Reason.
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ad aims to instill fear of Yankton; Anti-crime strategy angers Sen. Johnson": The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota contains this article today.

Two weeks ago today, The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan published an article headlined "Trust Us, You Aren't Here; Beware Of Yankton? Ad Campaign Offers Distorted View To Criminals."

And South Dakota Magazine's web site offers a blog post titled "Hey, That's My Barren Farm!"

You can view the Project Safe Neighborhoods ad in question by clicking here, while the Federal Bureau of Prisons' web page for FPC Yankton is at this link.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Religious groups vie for abortion ban; At rally, former presidential candidate Keyes compares issue to civil rights": This article appears today in The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Retired justice is back in black to help S.F. court": Howard Mintz has this article today in The San Jose Mercury News.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"In S.F., justice talks of 'dialog of the deaf'": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking in the city where his legal career began, steered clear of his court and its work but had much to say about America's inability to convey democratic ideals to a mistrustful world."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"D.A. Won't Alienate Man Over Close Encounters; Witness who reports visits by otherworldly creatures will testify in environmental lawsuit": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "Some attorneys might shy away from using a witness who says he has been abducted by bizarre creatures that repeatedly return at night to poke tiny holes in his chest. But a Santa Barbara County prosecutor said Wednesday that he intends to present testimony from just such a witness next week in a civil case against the owner of the county's largest land-based oil and gas producer."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sullivan Denies Ethical Violation; Former Chief Justice Defends His Conduct": Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, "The two men at the epicenter of former Chief Justice William J. Sullivan's secret suppression of a Supreme Court ruling each brought his own anguish to the Judicial Review Council's disciplinary proceeding Wednesday, one as instigator, the other as unwitting victim."

The Courant has also posted online "Excerpts From Sullivan Hearing."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"N.H. revives death-penalty issue; Officer's killing spurs a debate": The Boston Globe contains this article today.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Derringer Separates Woman From Obtaining Citizenship": This article appears today in The New York Sun.

The New York Times reports today that "With Citizenship Minutes Away, Gun Is Found in Woman's Bag."

And The New York Daily News contains an article headlined "She's still gunning to be a citizen."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Dangerous New Order": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Once President Bush signed the new law on military tribunals, administration officials and Republican leaders in Congress wasted no time giving Americans a taste of the new order created by this unconstitutional act. Within hours, Justice Department lawyers notified the federal courts that they no longer had the authority to hear pending lawsuits filed by attorneys on behalf of inmates of the penal camp at Guantanamo Bay. They cited passages in the bill that suspend the fundamental principle of habeas corpus, making Mr. Bush the first president since the Civil War to take that undemocratic step."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sending a Message -- Congress to courts: Get out of the war on terror." Law Professor John Yoo has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Was Behind The Wheel; Colleagues Keep Vigil For Off-Duty Officer Who Was Seriously Injured When He Was Hit By An SUV While Directing Traffic": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court judge who teaches at Yale Law School was behind the wheel of an SUV that struck a popular New Haven police officer on a rainy Tuesday night as the off-duty officer was directing traffic around a construction site in Wooster Square."

And The New Haven Register today contains an article headlined "Cop fights for his life" that begins, "The motorist who struck and critically injured a city police officer working a traffic detail Tuesday is a senior federal judge in New Haven. John M. Walker Jr., who is in his mid-60s, had been chief judge for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for six years until Sept. 30, when he assumed senior status."
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Cases of Lynne Stewart, Clive Stafford Smith, and Navy JAG Lawyer Charles Swift: Government Retaliation Against Attorneys for Terrorism Suspects." Elaine Cassel has this essay today online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Libel suit against News is dismissed; Statute of limitations for Internet starts at posting, judge rules": The Dallas Morning News today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge dismissed a defamation case against The Dallas Morning News this week in a ruling that could have a significant impact on libel actions against online publications. U.S. District Judge David Godbey of Dallas ruled Monday that Texas' one-year statute of limitations on libel actions begins when an article is first posted on the Internet and ends a year later even if the article remains available on the Internet. The one-year statute on libel cases has long been standard in cases involving traditional print media. But Judge Godbey's decision marked one of the first times a judge in Texas has ruled on how the statute should be applied to online articles – an important legal question in an increasingly wired world."

I have posted online at this link Monday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle reports that "Critics Target Federal Circuit; Reversals cast patent court in harsh light."

And in other news, "2nd Circuit Upholds Verdicts in Multibillion-Dollar World Trade Center Insurance Dispute."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Torture of detainees? No. 'Coercion'? It depends. New detainee law gives the White House and the CIA most -- but not all -- of the authority they wanted for interrogations." Warren Richey will have this article Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales discussed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 on 'Ask the White House' Wednesday": You can access the written transcript at this link.
Posted at 07:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Not Your Usual Brown Bag Affair": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a news release that begins, "Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States visited the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco Monday for a 'brown bag' discussion with judges, law clerks and clerk's staff of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit."
Posted at 07:10 PM by Howard Bashman


Now that's a convincing dissenting opinion: Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit posted online an opinion by a unanimous three-judge panel bearing yesterday's date that begins:
The panel majority has sua sponte reconsidered arguments made by the dissenting opinion and has concluded that they are well taken. As a result, we now withdraw our original panel majority opinion and the dissenting opinion, replacing them with the following unanimous opinion, which affirms the Order of the district court denying suppression as well as its judgment of conviction by guilty plea and the sentence imposed.
The original three-judge panel opinion, in which the majority voted to reverse notwithstanding a subtly persuasive dissenting opinion, can be accessed here.
Posted at 06:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Former Supreme Court justice O'Connor hears appeals court cases in S.F." Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News provides this update.
Posted at 06:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"World Trade Center Insurers Get Mixed Appeal Ruling": Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "Larry Silverstein, leaseholder of the World Trade Center site, should be paid up to twice the limit of some of his insurance policies covering the property destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and only once the maximum on other contracts, a U.S. appeals court ruled."

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court upholds verdicts in mammoth WTC insurance cases."

Senior Circuit Judge John M. Walker, Jr. issued today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Motorist who struck police officer is a senior federal judge": The New Haven Register provides a news update that begins, "The motorist who struck and critically injured a city police officer working a traffic detail Tuesday is a senior federal judge in New Haven, sources said. John M. Walker, Jr., who is in his mid-60s, had been the chief judge for the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for six years until Sept. 30, when he assumed senior status with the federal judiciary."
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: I have a meeting out of the office this afternoon with co-counsel in a new appeal that I'm working on. Additional posts will appear later today.

Until then, we can await with anticipation the Ninth Circuit's posting online of oral argument audio from today's cases in which retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is sitting by designation in San Francisco. I'm sure she's destined to be the crucial swing vote on the three-judge panel in at least some of those cases. When the audio finally does appear online, you'll be able to access it via this link.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Seals and cross: The Los Angeles Daily News today contains an article headlined "L.A. County seal has its day in court; Suit challenges removal of religious icon" that begins, "Cast into the heart of a nationwide controversy over the constitutionality of religious symbols in public areas, three members of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Tuesday regarding a lawsuit challenging a decision to remove the cross from Los Angeles County's official seal."

Earlier this week, the newspaper published an article headlined "Fight over the cross revived; Backers of old seal say issue could reach high court."

You can access online the audio of yesterday's oral argument before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit via this link (Windows Media format).

In other cross-related news, The San Diego Union-Tribune today contains an article headlined "Appeals court revisits Mt. Soledad land transfer" that begins, "A San Diego appeals court panel appeared deeply troubled yesterday over a lower-court ruling that threw out a voter-approved 2005 initiative transferring the land under the Mount Soledad cross to the federal government."

Thanks to the "Religion Clause" blog for the pointer.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"This appeal asks whether members of the Arkansas State Police violated a criminal investigator's constitutional right to privacy by investigating an allegation that the investigator had sexual relations with a crime victim during the course of the underlying criminal investigation." A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, with one judge concurring only in the result, answers "no" in an opinion issued today.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"No Encroachments on the First Amendment: The ACLU discusses civil rights history, intelligent design and abortion." Ronald Bailey has this essay online today at Reason.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"South Dakota to Vote on Ending Judicial Protections": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Sixth Circuit disqualifies appellate counsel after an attorney who once represented a plaintiff-appellee in this very case went to work for the law firm representing the defendants-appellants: Today's order and opinion concludes:
As discussed above, MRPC 1.9(a) prohibits Egan from representing Alticor or the other defendants-appellants against his former client National Union in this same matter. Therefore, MRPC 1.10(a) states without qualification that no lawyer in Egan's new firm may represent Alticor or the other defendants-appellants against National Union in this matter. Under these circumstances, Wilson Young cannot avoid imputed disqualification by "screening" Egan from this matter, no matter how diligently.

Therefore, we GRANT plaintiffs-appellees' motion to disqualify the law firm of Wilson Young PLC from representing defendants-appellants in this matter. Alticor and the other defendants-appellants must secure new counsel if they wish to proceed with this appeal. The court orders that oral argument scheduled for November 1, 2006, is cancelled. New counsel shall be retained within 28 days. New counsel shall file an appearance with the Clerk of this court immediately upon being retained.

You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Taking Oral Argument to School": Dave Hoffman has this post at "Concurring Opinions." I very much enjoyed meeting Dave for lunch yesterday before my afternoon oral argument, notwithstanding that our lunch together didn't merit mention on "Above the Law" (cf.).

Yesterday was the first time that I presented a non-moot court appellate oral argument outside of an actual appellate courtroom. From my perspective as an advocate, I did not notice any difference in how I presented my argument or the type of questions that the judges asked. I do not think that holding the session at a law school caused the judges to be more prepared; indeed, a couple of questions from the bench caused me to conclude that at least two judges on the panel were less familiar than I had expected with the procedural background of the case that I was arguing. Opposing counsel did seem to be trying more to put on a show than offer an actual appellate argument, but I don't think that opposing counsel would have proceeded differently had the matter been argued in a traditional appellate courtroom. For the record, I was quite happy with how my oral argument went, but since I know two of the judges on this panel fairly well, the polite reception that I received did not come as any surprise.

The one lesson that I would hope that any law students in attendance at yesterday's Superior Court of Pennsylvania oral arguments at the Duane Morris LLP Moot Courtroom of the Temple University Beasley School of Law is the extent to which appellate courts are forced to ration justice due to the crushing burden of an overwhelming caseload. Yesterday's three-judge panel heard oral arguments in nearly thirty cases, and that very same panel will be hearing oral arguments in nearly sixty more cases today and tomorrow. So, by the end of this week, those three judges will have nearly ninety new cases to decide by means of written opinions. Anyone who thinks that all ninety of those cases will receive the sort of contemplative, individualized consideration by three appellate judges that we would hope for in a perfect world is deluding himself. I discussed this issue in more detail in my recent law.com essay headlined "Quality and Quantity on Appeal."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Corporate Leniency": The New York Sun today contains an editorial that begins, "Later this month, the Supreme Court will decide whether to hear arguments in Stolt-Nielsen, S.A., et al., v. United States, and the court's action could have a major impact on the Department of Justice's increasingly aggressive pursuit of corporate crime."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeal Court Backs Parole for Killer, 82; Schwarzenegger abused his authority when he opposed freeing the seriously ill prisoner, judges say; He could object to the ruling": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Court says governor wrong to deny parole to killer, 82."

You can access yesterday's ruling of California's Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District at this link.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Policy fight roils death row cases; Lawyers say they should have been told about a document that details how the state executes": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

And The Gainesville Sun reports today that "Court rejects challenge to death penalty."
Posted at 08:29 AM by Howard Bashman



"Case Against Justice Resuming": Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, "Former Chief Justice William J. Sullivan is scheduled to resume his testimony today before the Judicial Review Council, and is expected to discuss the incident that led to his being charged with five ethical violations. The hearing into Sullivan's conduct has been suspended for six weeks to allow him to recover from emergency heart surgery, but controversy over his case continued to simmer behind closed doors."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Yes on All Judges: All of the state Supreme Court and appellate jurists on the ballot deserve to keep their jobs." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Signs New Rules to Prosecute Terror Suspects": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Bush Signs Tough Rules on Detainees; As the controversial law on terror trials and interrogations takes effect, Justice Dept. asks that prisoners' hearing requests be dismissed." And David G. Savage has an article headlined "Law's Reach Extends to Jails in U.S.; The curbing of habeas corpus protections for 'enemy combatants' can now occur domestically; Many say the measure won't survive court tests."

The Washington Post reports that "Bush Signs Terrorism Measure; New Law Governs Interrogation, Prosecution of Detainees." And at washingtonpost.com, Andrew Cohen has an essay entitled "Terror and Cause and Effect."

The Boston Globe reports that "Battles brewing on torture, detainees; Bush signs, hails rules; foes vow legal challenge." In addition, Law Professors Gabriella Blum and Martha Minow have an op-ed entitled "The Israeli model for detainee rights."

And The Washington Times reports that "Bush signs rules for terror war."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hate Is Always in Style At a Gathering of the Klan": Columnist Courtland Milloy has this "Revisiting Washington" essay today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Many Ground Zero Workers Gain Chance at Lawsuits": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge has rejected the city's claim that it is protected by law from being sued over the way it handled rescue and recovery operations at ground zero. The ruling opens the way for lawsuits by thousands of workers who say they were made sick by exposure to toxic substances during the 10-month cleanup."

And The New York Sun reports today that "WTC Workers Can Press Forward With Lawsuits, Federal Judge Rules."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York at this link.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals Court Upholds Terrorist Label for a Jewish Group": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

And today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Court Upholds Jewish Group's Terrorist Designation."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Throws Out Kenneth Lay's Conviction": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Verdict Against Lay Is Erased; A judge cites the fact that the late Enron founder didn't have a chance to appeal his conviction."

The Houston Chronicle reports that "Judge voids convictions against Lay; Ruling prevents U.S. from taking late Enron chief's assets, but civil suit still an option."

And USA Today reports that "Trial judge vacates conviction of late Enron founder Lay; Justice Department still plans to pursue forfeiture."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Amid debate over rights, number of gay judges rising; Most report sexual identity not an issue, but conservative groups wary": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Study Shows Biased Policies at University of Michigan": The New York Sun today contains an article that begins, "Discrimination against white and Asian applicants to the University of Michigan's undergraduate, law, and medical schools is more severe than ever, a study released yesterday by the Center for Equal Opportunity says."

And The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Civil rights proposal has voters conflicted; Survey shows many remain split on issue," while yesterday's newspaper contained an article headlined "Affirmative action: Battle heats up as election nears; Sides hold events to sway voters."
Posted at 07:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Humble Start on the Path to Stardom: Renowned legal scholar uses art to illustrate constitutional law." The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "Laurence H. Tribe ’62 once wrote that constitutional law’s 'accumulated lines of thought and argument are indeed tantamount--however familiar the metaphor--to the threads of a complex tapestry.' The Harvard Law professor is now taking constitution-as-art one step further with a book that uses his own artwork to explain the nation’s founding charter."
Posted at 07:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales v. Carhart: The Supreme Court Once Again Considers 'Partial-Birth Abortion.'" Sherry F. Colb has this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"Pat Leahy, Judiciary Committee Chairman?" This editorial appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Feds' Power to Renege on Immunity May Be Tested in U.S. Supreme Court": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Revokes Lay's Conviction; Ruling Rankles Enron Workers, Investors": This article will appear Wednesday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush signs bill on detainee interrogation": McClatchy Newspapers provide a report that begins, "President Bush signed legislation Tuesday establishing new rules for interrogating and trying suspected terrorists, but the fight over how to deal with detainees is far from over. The new law is already under attack in court, and no one is likely to be brought to trial under the new rules anytime soon. Even some lawmakers who voted for the legislation questioned its constitutionality."
Posted at 08:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bali bombing suspect: I'm 'doing fine' in Guantanamo." The Miami Herald provides this news update.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.K.'s 'Sullivan' gives press more leeway to report": Lee Levine has this essay online at the First Amendment Center.

And online at The Weekly Standard, Stephen Schwartz has an essay entitled "Kicking the Libel Crutch: It's good news for journalists, bad news for Saudi terror financiers."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Stand Up For Freedom: The ACLU Goes to Washington." Online at Reason, Ronald Bailey has an essay in which he writes, "The mutual lovefest came to an end when Strossen noted that Scalia's devotion of the right of privacy did not extend to applying the protections of the First and Fourth Amendments to what mature consenting adults choose to read and with whom they choose to live and share private sexual intimacy."
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Available today from National Review Online: Roger Clegg has an essay entitled "Discrimination Continues: On the Michigan front."

William C. Duncan has an essay entitled "Friends With Benefits? State marriage amendments will not ban private contracts."

And Andrew C. McCarthy has an essay entitled "Lynne Stewart Gets 28 Months for Aiding Terrorists: Welcome back to September 10th."
Posted at 08:38 PM by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Bush Signs Terrorism Tribunal Bill" and "With Interrogation Rules Set, U.S. Moves Ahead" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


Still dead, but now not guilty: The Houston Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Judge vacates Ken Lay's Enron conviction."

WSJ.com's "Law Blog" provides access to today's ruling along with a post titled "Judge Vacates Lay’s Conviction."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Suspicion Permeates Guantanamo": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman


Eugene Volokh at Marquette Law School: He has a post at this link about his visit, while the blog "Eminent Domain" provides additional coverage.
Posted at 04:45 PM by Howard Bashman


Can a federal civil rights action be brought, in the first instance, to challenge a prison disciplinary proceeding whose results both increased the duration of the prisoner's confinement and also affected other conditions of confinement? As I explained in an appellate brief that I filed in 2001 after accepting a pro bono appointment from the Third Circuit in a prisoner's civil rights case:
In Edwards, the Supreme Court ruled that a prisoner cannot bring a § 1983 claim challenging the result of a prison disciplinary proceeding that deprived the prisoner of good-time credits, thus postponing the prisoner's release from prison, unless the prisoner had first succeeded in overturning the result of the disciplinary proceeding in a habeas corpus action. As a majority of federal appellate courts with decisions on point has recognized, the holding of Edwards applies only to discipline that is subject to challenge in a habeas corpus proceeding -- namely, discipline that causes the inmate to serve a longer sentence. Section 1983 actions that challenge only prison conditions, rather than the fact or duration of imprisonment, are not subject to Edwards's holding.
After the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed a brief confessing error in the case, the Third Circuit ruled in my client's favor. And, in 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Muhammad v. Close confirming the correctness of the foregoing understanding of the law.

Today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision that resolves another wrinkle on this issue: namely, what if the prison disciplinary proceeding both increased the length of the prisoner's time to be served and worsened his conditions of confinement? Can all or any part of the results of the disciplinary proceeding be challenged in the first instance by means of a federal civil rights action?

Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi's opinion on behalf of a unanimous panel states:

What is not clear, however, is whether a prisoner who was subject to a single disciplinary proceeding that gave rise to two types of sanctions -- one that affected the duration of his custody and the other that affected the conditions of his confinement -- can, without needing to satisfy the favorable termination rule, maintain a § 1983 action aimed solely at the second type of sanction. We now resolve this open question and hold that, in "mixed sanctions" cases, a prisoner can, without demonstrating that the challenged disciplinary proceedings or resulting punishments have been invalidated, proceed separately with a § 1983 action aimed at the sanctions or procedures that affected the conditions of his confinement. But we also hold that he may only bring such an action if he agrees to abandon forever any and all claims he has with respect to the sanctions that affected the length of his imprisonment.
I am interested to learn whether this issue has arisen in any other circuits and, if so, whether their rulings are consistent with the ruling that the Second Circuit issued today.
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman


Federal Circuit to Amend its mediation process: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today issued a news release entitled "Appointment of James M. Amend as Chief Circuit Mediator."
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Rules Against Israeli Extremists": The Associated Press provides this report. My earlier coverage is here.
Posted at 03:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"President Bush Signs Military Commissions Act of 2006": The White House issued this transcript of the President's remarks on signing the legislation. In addition, the White House has posted online a related Fact Sheet.

Meanwhile, at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Swift responses to new law on detainees."
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



Programming note: As I previously noted here, this afternoon I will be delivering an appellate oral argument to a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, holding court today at the Duane Morris LLP Moot Courtroom of the Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Because the case I'm arguing is 18th on today's oral argument list, the court has graciously spared me from having to attend this morning's oral argument session. In advance of the argument, I'll be grabbing a quick lunch with Law Professor Dave Hoffman, who blogs at "Concurring Opinions."

Additional posts will appear here later today.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Taking Land or Just Borrowing It With Interest? Why are environmentalists in favor of compensating voluntary land use restrictions but not involuntary ones?" Online at Reason, Ronald Bailey has an essay that begins, "In November, citizens in twelve states will be voting on a variety of property rights initiatives that would limit eminent domain."
Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman


D.C. Circuit rejects challenge to the designation of the web site Kahane.org as a Foreign Terrorist Organization: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeal in Cameron Diaz Case Rejected": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A photographer who took topless photos of Cameron Diaz when she was 19 and tried to coerce her into buying them back for $3.5 million after she became famous lost an appeal Monday challenging his conviction."

You can access at this link yesterday's ruling of California's Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District.
Posted at 10:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"President Bush to Sign Military Commissions Bill": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

And The Associated Press reports that "Bush Signs Law on Terror Suspects."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Religion on Welfare: How Founding Father James Madison would view tax breaks and government funding for faith-based charities." Brooke Allen has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Amendment No. 3 fails to safeguard public interest": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial that argues, "Voters are being asked to vote for an amendment that would require future amendments to the Florida Constitution receive at least 60 percent of the vote to be enacted. Yet Amendment 3 requires only a simple majority to pass. How intellectually consistent is that?"
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"'What is my crime?' Case of an elderly Afghan freed after 3 1/2 years at Guantanamo raises questions about U.S. detentions." This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion Initiative Puts Focus on Girls' Welfare; Backers and foes of Proposition 85 disagree on the ramifications of parental notification": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer Sentenced for Aiding Terrorist Client; 28 Months Is Far Less Than Prosecutors Sought": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Terrorist's Lawyer Gets Two-Year Term; Lynne Stewart's service and health are among the factors in a shorter sentence than sought."

The New York Daily News contains an article headlined "Terror lawyer off light; 28 mos. - not 30 yrs. - for Lynne Stewart."

The New York Post contains an article headlined "Wrist Slap for Smirk Jerk Terror Attorney."

And Newsday reports that "Stewart gets 28 months on terror charge."

In commentary, The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "The Sheik's Apprentice: A lawyer who passed messages to terrorists gets off light" (free access).

And The New York Sun contains an editorial entitled "Stewart's Sentence."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Warming Up to Torture? Bill Clinton's call for court-approved 'torture warrants' hasn't drawn the same outcry as a similar proposal from a few years back." Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Victims' Families Sentenced to Silence; Judge allows relatives of five who were killed to attend the trial only if they remain composed": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Turns Away Scouts Appeal; A lawsuit that failed in California courts had challenged Berkeley's policy denying free dock space to a group that bans gays and atheists": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Top court rejects Sea Scouts' appeal on rent subsidy."

And in The Oakland Tribune, Josh Richman reports that "Berkeley prevails in Sea Scout decision; Supreme Court won't review ruling upholding city's revocation of group's free berth for excluding gays, atheists."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Giordano Takes Appeal To U.S. Supreme Court": Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, "The lawyer for former Waterbury Mayor Philip A. Giordano has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review Giordano's conviction on civil rights and other violations in connection with repeated sexual assaults of two young girls while he was in office."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sen. Brownback's Litmus Test: May a federal judge have lesbian friends?" This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Five Years After Killing of Prosecutor, A Stumped FBI Asks the Public for Help": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "SEATTLE -- Alone in the basement of his house and sitting in front his computer monitor, Thomas C. Wales was shot to death here five years ago. An assistant U.S. attorney, he specialized in prosecuting white-collar crime and was an ardent advocate of gun control. The shooter stood in Wales's back yard at 10:40 p.m., fired several times through a window and disappeared. It may have been the first time in U.S. history that a federal prosecutor was killed in the line of duty."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer last week published articles headlined "FBI seeks help in Wales case; Author of letter, unidentified man are key elements" and "Pilot didn't kill Wales, lawyer says; FBI to reveal new details today on prosecutor's death 5 years ago."

And The Seattle Times last Thursday published an article headlined "Five years later, FBI still after Wales' killer."

The FBI has this web page devoted to the investigation.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"53% of Voters Say They Back Va. Same-Sex Marriage Ban; Only Area Against Measure Is N.Va., According to Poll": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains an article headlined "Opponents out-raise ban's backers" that begins, "The leading group fighting a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage brought in nearly nine times as much money last month as the best-known supporters."
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Sami's Shame, and Ours": Today in The New York Times, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has an op-ed (TimesSelect temporary pass-through link) that begins, "There is no public evidence that Sami al-Hajj committed any crime other than journalism for a television network the Bush administration doesn’t like. But the U.S. has been holding Mr. Hajj, a cameraman for Al Jazeera, for nearly five years without trial, mostly at Guantanamo Bay."
Posted at 07:37 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, October 16, 2006

"Lawyer, Facing 30 Years, Gets 28 Months, to Dismay of U.S.": Tuesday's edition of The New York Times will contain this article.
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Faces Obstacles To Freeing Detainees; Allies Block Returns From Guantanamo": This front page article will appear Tuesday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Criminal Records Erased by Courts Live to Tell Tales": Adam Liptak will have this article Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court denies appeal by Sea Scouts; Group lost rent break from Berkeley for excluding gays and atheists": Bob Egelko has this news update online at The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rahman Attorney Stewart Gets 28 Months in Prison": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer Gets Prison Term in Terrorism Case": The New York Times provides a news update that begins, "Lynne F. Stewart, the firebrand lawyer who was charged as a terrorist for helping a client in prison on terrorism charges to communicate with his followers, was sentenced today to 28 months in federal prison, far less than the 30 years the government had sought."
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman


In Tuesday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor: Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Will the Supreme Court shackle new tribunal law? President Bush's signature Tuesday is likely to set off legal tests."

And tomorrow's newspaper will also contain an article headlined "US court challenge: How to corral 12 not-so-angry jurors."
Posted at 05:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sealed Filings More Common At High Court": law.com's Tony Mauro provides this report.
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mo. High Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the Supreme Court of Missouri issued today.
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Fourth Circuit abates appellate review in abatement appeal: Recognizing that "Section 2105 [of Title 28, U.S. Code] may be '[o]ne of the most commonly ignored provisions of the Judicial Code,'" today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision refusing to ignore the statutory provision, which states that "There shall be no reversal in the Supreme Court or a court of appeals for error in ruling upon matters in abatement which do not involve jurisdiction."

Today's ruling arguably creates a circuit split and also criticizes other federal appellate courts for having construed the statutory provision in a manner that could cause federal appellate courts to give advisory opinions in violation of Article III's case or controversy requirement.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Less" means "more" in the Third Circuit, too: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today issued an opinion construing the meaning of the appellate timing provision found in the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.

My law.com essay on this subject, from February 2006, was headlined "Less Is More: When Courts Decide a Law Means the Opposite of What It Says."
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"The New York Times versus Religion: So much nonsense in a four-part series." In the October 23, 2006 issue of The Weekly Standard, John J. DiIulio Jr. has an essay that begins, "On Sunday, October 8, the 'public editor' of the New York Times, Byron Calame, criticized Times reporter Linda Greenhouse for a speech she delivered last June at Harvard."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Blind Sheik's Lawyer Gets 28 Months": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart was sentenced Monday to 28 months in prison on a terrorism charge for helping a client who plotted to blow up New York City landmarks communicate with his followers."
Posted at 02:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices may see bigamy case": The Salt Lake Tribune today contains an article that begins, "A Utah polygamist is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review his bigamy conviction, arguing the state's law is used to target a religious minority for relationships others enjoy without consequence. In his petition, Rodney H. Holm also asks the nation's highest court to reconsider whether the polygamy ban enshrined in its 1879 Reynolds decision is justified today, given modern customs and more recent rulings on liberty and privacy rights." (Via "Religion Clause.")
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Relatives Admitted to Top Court Practice": The Associated Press provides this report.

Unresolved thus far is whether the U.S. Supreme Court would consider children and their same-sex parents to constitute a family for swearing-in-to-the-Bar statistical purposes. If not, then I imagine that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie won't be joining the Supreme Court's Bar as a family any time soon.
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman



Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit: Notwithstanding protestations to the contrary, even Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner must sometimes accord precedential effect to foreign law. Today's occasion arises thanks to a plaintiff who filed suit in Illinois as a result of breaking his leg while jet skiing in the Bahamas.

Today's other ruling of note arises thanks to a Wisconsin state prison inmate who "stopped eating altogether because, he says, he was using the 'power of prayer and fasting' to implore God to move his former accusers to recant the testimony that led to his conviction and imprisonment for sexual assault." Not only did the inmate's fasting apparently fail to have the desired effect on God, but the prison's efforts to keep the inmate among the living also, as today's ruling reveals, failed to confer on the prisoner any valid claims under the Eighth Amendment or the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Trouble brews in cyberspace over Newburgh blog": The Times Herald-Record of Middletown, New York yesterday published an article that begins, "Michael Gabor asks a lot of questions, and after living here for 17 years, he also has a lot of opinions. He expresses himself on a Newburgh-oriented Internet chat board, putting him on the cutting edge of discourse in the 21st century. But these days, the bespectacled, reflective photographer goes online with an old-fashioned albatross hanging around his neck: He's waiting for his lawyer to convince a judge to toss out a $5 million defamation suit that hit him back in June, for opinions he expressed about a renovation project in Newburgh's historic district."
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List: You can access the Order List at this link. The Court did not grant review in any new cases today.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court denies new 'takings' case."

Lyle's post concludes:

The Court opened its proceedings on Monday by admitting new members to practice at its bar. Among the group was a family of nine -- the Donald Snyder family from upstate New York -- the largest family group admitted together since the Perla family joined the bar in 1994, according to Court data. A news story about the Snyder family, in the Utica Observer-Dispatch, can be found here. On admitting them, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wryly remarked: "No one wanted to be a doctor?"
The article from yesterday's issue of The Utica Observer-Dispatch is headlined "First family of the court: U.S. Supreme Court to admit Snyders." Meanwhile, the web site of the law firm Perla & Perla LLP provides access to an article that The Buffalo News published in 1994 under the headline "Buffalo clan sets a record for high court; Nine in Perla family sworn in at tribunal." Nine years later, a slightly smaller group from the Perla family competed against one another on "The Weakest Link" television program.

In other coverage of today's developments at the Court, The Associated Press reports that "High Court Won't Review Boy Scout Case."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Lawyer Faces Sentencing for Helping Client" and "Lawyer Discusses Implications of New Detainee Law" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:38 AM by Howard Bashman


Voters in South Dakota next month have the ability to outlaw both abortion and same-sex marriage: The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota today contains an article headlined "Morality, privacy at issue; Marriage measure foes fear unintended consequences."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blogger stays in prison, defying grand jury order": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Blogger and anarchist Josh Wolf, spending his 57th day in federal prison today for refusing to surrender video he shot of a violent San Francisco protest, is well on his way to becoming the longest-jailed journalist in U.S. history."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Our Broken Constitution: What many consider the greatest American document is in reality a blueprint for undemocratic governance." Law Professor Sanford Levinson has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


The Los Angeles Times is reporting: Today's newspaper contains an article headlined "Making a Family Without a Marriage; The son and daughter of lesbians think of their mothers as a wedded couple; Reminders that they aren't often arise."

And in other news, an article is headlined "Loyal to Country or Conscience? An Asian American soldier faces a court-martial for his refusal to serve in Iraq; His stand stirs anger and admiration among Japanese Americans who remember World War II."
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Broadcast condemns same-sex marriage; Romney urges evangelical fight": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.

And The Boston Herald today contains an article headlined "Attack on gay marriage - Gov blasts Bay State in his own backyard."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Protect the Constitution": Nat Hentoff has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Treason Puzzle: The administration tries a new legal tack against terrorism." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Specter's Role in Passage Of Detainee Bill Disputed": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyer Is Due for Sentencing in Terror Case": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Lynne F. Stewart, the firebrand lawyer known for defending unsavory criminals, now faces the possibility of living out her life like many of them, in maximum-security lockdown in a federal prison."

And The New York Sun reports today that "Stewart Plans Plea for Mercy In Court Today."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice for All: The Honorable Stephen G. Breyer interviewed by Jeffrey Toobin." The New Yorker magazine has posted online the video, in four parts. You can access the video by clicking here.

David Lat's earlier write-up of the interview, posted at "Above the Law," appears at this link.

Meanwhile, those who would rather view The New Yorker's video of comedian Steve Martin's interview of cartoonist Roz Chast can do so by clicking here.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Taking the Initiative: How judges threaten direct democracy." John Fund has this essay online today at OpinionJournal.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"ACLU Brings Scalia Out of the Judicial Cloister": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports today that "Scalia Debates Law, Liberties With ACLU Chief; In a televised session, the Supreme Court justice defends his views before a liberal crowd of 1,500."

And in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Conservative justice defends views at annual ACLU meeting."

My earlier coverage appears here and here.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Are Lawyers' Blogs Protected by the First Amendment? Why State Bar Regulation of Law Blogs As 'Advertising' Would Be Elitist and Reductive." Julie Hilden has this essay today online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Blawg Review #79": Available online here, at "Tech Law Advisor."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, October 15, 2006

"ACLU State of Civil Liberties: Scalia & Strossen." C-SPAN has posted online at this link (RealPlayer required) archived video of this evening's discussion.

And Hope Yen of The Associated Press reports that "Scalia Defends Positions in TV Debate."
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Brownback won't back down": The Grand Rapids Press today contains an article that begins, "U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback said he 'doesn't relish' stepping in the middle of a hard-fought compromise to fill three key federal judge positions in Michigan. But the Kansas Republican and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said his block on the nomination of Janet Neff to a seat on the U.S. District Court will continue until he gets more answers, and that communication from Neff on Friday did not answer his questions."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman


Fifteen years ago today: As The Associated Press notes here, on this date in 1991, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 52-48, confirmed the nomination of Clarence Thomas to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reforming The 9th": Investor's Business Daily on Friday published an editorial that begins, "How to bring a wayward court into the mainstream? Some say it should be broken up. But the ballot box offers a more lasting remedy. That's another reason elections matter."
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and America Civil Liberties Union president Nadine Strossen discuss civil liberties at the ACLU Convention; The discussion is moderated by NBC News correspondent Pete Williams": C-SPAN will broadcast the event live at 5 p.m. eastern time today. You can view the event live, online using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge doesn't object to video game 'Bully'; A judge said that although he wouldn't want his children to play the video game Bully, it shouldn't be banned": This article appeared yesterday in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 01:20 PM by Howard Bashman


The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Ban's limits worry some S.D. doctors; But abortion foes say questions about health care risks for women overstated" and "Women form differing views after perilous pregnancies."
Posted at 01:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Marine Corps Issues Gag Order in Detainee Abuse Case; The action has lawyers worrying they could be punished for defending Guantanamo clients": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Right Charge for the Crime: Adam Yahiye Gadahn's actions are treasonous, and the charge ensures he'll have the right to trial guaranteed him by the Constitution." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 09:53 AM by Howard Bashman


"Call of the West: Rein In the Judges; Conservative ballot measures in many states would check judicial power; South Dakotans seek a right to sue jurists, Montanans to recall." This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"The time for forced integration has passed": Today in The St. Petersburg Times, columnist Robyn E. Blumner has an op-ed that begins, "Race is back at center stage at the U.S. Supreme Court this term. The court has another opportunity to put the government out of the business of social engineering by race. I hope the new conservative majority on the court takes it."
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Who cares about civil liberties? If Democrats gain big in the midterm elections, it won’t be due to outrage over domestic spying or the treatment of terrorism suspects; Does defending civil liberties have to be a political nonstarter?" Drake Bennett has this essay today in the Ideas section of The Boston Globe.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Group to rally opposition to gay marriage; Romney to speak at event targeting evangelical voters": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 09:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Death by Good Intentions": Today in The Washington Post, Law Professor David R. Dow has an op-ed that begins, "In two weeks the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the nation's premier abolitionist organization, will meet to celebrate its success in reducing popular support for the death penalty and to discuss tactics for continuing the effort."
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Other Voices: Should Journalists Be Free to Speak Their Minds?" These letters to the Public Editor of The New York Times appear today in that newspaper.

My previous coverage of the controversy surrounding Linda Greenhouse's speech earlier this year at Radcliffe College can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Guilty Until Confirmed Guilty": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "When President Bush rammed the bill on military commissions through Congress, the Republicans crowed about creating a process that would be tough on terrorists but preserve essential principles of justice."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Court to hear a new death penalty case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog" reporting on the Order List that the U.S. Supreme Court issued yesterday.

And today in The Houston Chronicle, Patty Reinert reports that "High court to hear 2 more Texas capital cases; Panel will decide whether judges are complying with its rulings on faulty jury instructions."
Posted at 09:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Toe-to-Tow: John Grisham v. Piedmont Virginia Parking." Jonathan Coleman will have this "Letter From Charlottesville" Sunday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Expecting U.S. Help, Sent to Guantanamo": This article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Is It Treason? Getting American Adam Gadahn convicted for conspiring with Al Qaeda may be too tough a task for the feds." Law Professor Eugene Volokh has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"159-Year Sentence Upheld but Called Absurd; In the case of a mentally disturbed robber, a justice says courts are hamstrung by Congress": The Los Angeles Times today contains this article, in which the Ninth Circuit judge who issued the majority opinion has her last name misspelled. My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wiccans Want Their Star on Vets' Graves; The VA allows use of 38 other emblems of faith, but not the pentacle; After nearly 10 years of efforts, lawsuit takes the issue to federal court": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Opposition to Abortion Won't Affect Job, Steele Says": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Maryland Senate candidate Michael S. Steele said yesterday that his strong personal opposition to legalizing abortion would not factor into his work in Washington, or his evaluation of a nominee for U.S. Supreme Court justice, should he be elected next month."
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ads on marriage amendment to air; Supporters, opponents starting commercials on radio, television": The Richmond Times-Dispatch contains this article today.

And The Washington Post reports today that "Ban's Foes To Run Ad Across Va."
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Coerced Confession Traps Detainee, Lawyers Say; Former Prisoner of Taliban Held at Guantanamo": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Alleged Beatings to Be Investigated; The military will look into claims that guards bragged of hurting Guantanamo prisoners."
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. govt appeals court's NSA wiretapping decision": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court orders review to see if killer is mentally retarded": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court has ordered new legal proceedings to determine whether an Oakland man convicted of three drug-related murders in 1989 should be exempted from the death penalty because he is mentally retarded."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, October 13, 2006

"Gay Marriage Losing Punch as Ballot Issue": This article will appear Saturday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"The fact remains that this case presents a straightforward and unremarkable legal question: Did Robert Jordan state a Title VII claim against his employer for retaliation against him for complaining about a coworker's single isolated racist remark made not to Jordan himself, but to a television set?" By a vote of 5-5, today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit entered an order denying rehearing en banc in the case of Jordan v. Alternative Resources Corp. The quote that leads off this post comes from the opinion of Circuit Judge Paul V. Niemeyer concurring in the denial of rehearing en banc.

The original three-judge panel previously issued two opinions in the case. The first opinion issued on May 12, 2006, and my coverage of that ruling appeared here. On August 14, 2006, following the grant of panel rehearing, the panel issued a new set of opinions, and my coverage of the opinions issued on panel rehearing can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Northwest doesn't need its own federal court circuit": U.S. District Judges Robert S. Lasnik and Robert H. Whaley have this op-ed today in The Seattle Times.

Today in The Arizona Republic, columnist Richard Ruelas has an op-ed entitled "Splitting court may leave Latino judges out of mix."

And two weeks ago tomorrow, The San Diego Union-Tribune published an editorial entitled "Politics and justice: Plan to split court again tainted by politics."
Posted at 04:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Although precedent forecloses Marion Hungerford's Eighth Amendment challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), under which she received almost all of her 159-year term of imprisonment, it cannot be left unsaid how irrational, inhumane, and absurd the sentence in this case is, and moreover, how this particular sentence is a predictable by-product of the cruel and unjust mandatory minimum sentencing scheme adopted by Congress." So begins an opinion concurring in the judgment that Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt issued today.
Posted at 01:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"A raspberry for the court?" Columnist Linda P. Campbell had this op-ed yesterday in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The essay examines the LaRoyce Smith death penalty case, which the U.S. Supreme Court recently granted cert. to review for a second time.
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Which Law Prof Blogs Have the Juice?" This post appears today at "TaxProf Blog," which pledges to continue to report this information on a periodic basis so long as "TaxProf Blog" remains among the top five juiciest law professor blogs.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


A motion for relief from a judgment or order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
60(b)
cannot properly be directed toward the decisions of a federal district court that is exercising appellate review over a bankruptcy court's ruling:
A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued this opinion today.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Legal Legacy": In the October 30, 2006 issue of The Nation, Law Professor Herman Schwartz will have this review of four recent books about the U.S. Supreme Court.

The review begins, "This fall, the Supreme Court enters a new era. No more will William Rehnquist stare coldly down at lawyers from the center chair. Instead, John Roberts will amiably but firmly interrogate them. And no more will Sandra Day O'Connor, sitting next to the Chief Justice, crisply ask her probing questions. Instead, Samuel Alito will politely address his from the far right end of the bench."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Taking sides can be risky business; Stores might turn off potential customers": The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota today contains an article that begins, "Jim Fischer cares enough about the state's ban on nearly all abortions to stake the livelihood of his business on it."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Area law firms reach for a star; After the Enron courtroom victory, the U.S. lead prosecutor, Sean Berkowitz, finds himself again spotlighted--this time by recruiters": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Animal rights group loses lawsuit appeal; Free speech doesn't apply to illegal conduct, court says": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

You can access at this link yesterday's ruling of California's Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division Two.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



In the current issue of The Harvard Law Record: The publication contains articles headlined "Faculty Unanimously Overhauls First-Year Curriculum"; "Questions and Answers About the New 1L Curriculum"; "Kelo Attorney Fights for Life, Liberty, and Property"; and "Mock Funeral Protests 'Death of the Constitution.'"
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Md. court rules against cuts in health care benefits; Decision favors legal immigrants battling for state insurance money": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "Maryland's highest court sided with the families of 13 legal immigrant children yesterday in a long-running battle over their right to state health insurance that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. eliminated more than a year ago."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Ruling Faults Cuts in Immigrant Health Benefits; Injunction Upheld in Suit Over State Program for Children, Pregnant Women."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, that State's highest court, at this link.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Abstinence Shtick, Minus Jesus; Assembly Attended by 1,000 Students Watched Warily by ACLU": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Charge of Treason Difficult to Prove, Legal Experts Say; Al-Qaeda Videos Led to Indictment": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Red Cross Interviews 14 Qaeda Terrorism Suspects at Guantanamo": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Red Cross Meets With 14 Moved to Guantanamo Bay."

And in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg reports that "Red Cross met key detainees; The Red Cross met with Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah, registering them as U.S.-held captives after about four years at secret CIA sites."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Same-sex marriage back before voters, but mood different; Support for constitutional bans weaker than in 2004; activists seek reversals": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Web page may jeopardize cases": The Wichita Falls (Tex.) Times Record News today contains an article that begins, "Pending criminal cases might be jeopardized after city officials and the Wichita Falls Police Department learned of a graphic MySpace.com Web page operated by Officer Jeremiah Love. They placed him on suspension Tuesday."

The newspaper also contains a related article headlined "Bachman: Officer's posts show 'lack of good moral character.'"

And The Associated Press reports that "Officer Suspended Over Graphic Web Site."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"The California Court of Appeal's Same-Sex Marriage Decision: Not the Last Word on the Matter, But Still Revealing In Many Ways." Vikram David Amar has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, October 12, 2006

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Detainees' Military Lawyer Forced Out of Service" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Inmates Smuggle In Cell Phones with Ease." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Fla. Court Upholds Topless Protest": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A woman, who was arrested when she exposed her breasts to protest laws that bar women from publicly going bare breasted, can demonstrate topless as part of a legitimate political protest, an appeals court has ruled."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


Nude prosecutors take note -- the proposed amendment to Michigan's constitution to ban affirmative action will not affect pubic employment: The Grand Haven (Mich.) Tribune reported on Tuesday that "Error on November ballot costs county $40,000" (via "Obscure Store").

The actual text of ballot proposal 06-02 (sans typo) can be accessed here.

Update: "How Appealing" has previously gone public with two pubic typos contained in court opinions: the first sentence of this Second Circuit opinion (page 3 of the PDF file), originally covered here; and the very first line at the top of page three of this Third Circuit opinion, originally covered here.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutor's law license in peril; Nude forays said related to mental illness and medicine": This article appears today in The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Breyer at the New Yorker Festival: Some Highlights." The blog "Above the Law" provides this post.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"George Soros's Two Left Hands: The partisan squeeze on judicial seminars." Edward Whelan has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"2 high court justices on ballot defy labels": Claire Cooper, legal affairs writer for The Sacramento Bee, had this article last Saturday in that newspaper.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman


Recently issued news releases from the Public Information Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: A news release issued yesterday bears the heading "Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to Sit with Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals." My earlier coverage appears at this link.

And a news release issued today bears the heading "San Diego Event Honors Renowned Judge."
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman



In today's mail (if UPS qualifies as mail): The DVD set of volume two of "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law." And, once again, I have the most wonderful PG of the blog "de novo" to thank!
Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"John Yoo's War": That was the title of the first hour of today's broadcast of the public radio program "On Point." You can launch the audio online using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player software.

The program featured an interview with "the legal architect of the war on terror" -- Law Professor John Yoo.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Bedsworth Tells Lawyers to Enjoy Their Success": This article appeared Tuesday in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"State's Scheme for Sentencing Perplexes Court; Justices Try to See Regime in Context of Federal Guides": Brent Kendall has this article today in The Daily Journal of California.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"In summary, we hold that the First and Fourteenth Amendments do not prohibit the Ohio General Assembly from requiring independent candidates to claim on the day before the primary that they are not affiliated with any political party." A unanimous three-judge Sixth Circuit panel today issued an opinion providing a more detailed explanation for that panel's earlier decision rejecting a former Republican congressional candidate's challenge to Ohio's refusal to allow him to now appear on the ballot as an independent candidate.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


It's "like deja vu all over again" times two: Today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a published opinion affirming the dissolution of an injunction against the latest version of a Nashville ordinance governing sexually oriented businesses. The Sixth Circuit had previously resolved the current appeal, pursued by plaintiff Deja Vu of Nashville, Inc., by means of an unpublished opinion filed June 22, 2006. And perhaps that explains why today's published opinion is designated as an "Amended Opinion."
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law professor publishes first mystery novel": The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "While the rights to privacy and free speech are certainly titillating in their own right, sometimes a little murder, sex and Freudian psychoanalysis can come as a welcome break from the study of constitutional law. Or so it seemed for Jed Rubenfeld, a Yale law professor whose first novel, 'The Interpretation of Murder,' was released last month by Holt & Co."
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Police need warrant to search dorm room, appeals court rules": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Police have no authority to search a college dormitory without a warrant, even if they're invited in by a campus security officer who is legally entitled to be there, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday."

You can access yesterday's ruling of California's Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District at this link.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"3 senators slam Bush on FEMA provision; President says he can bypass law": Charlie Savage has this article today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


In today's issue of The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota: The newspaper contains articles headlined "Candidates debate abortion ban; Governor: Lives could be saved; Billion: proposed law too rigid" and "High court justices' fate up to voters; But issue attracts little attention."

In addition, competing op-eds debate the so-called "J.A.I.L. for Judges Amendment."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"High Court Considers System for Sentencing; How the Supreme Court rules may give inmates in California a chance for shorter prison terms": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Inmate's Bid for Freedom Can Proceed, Judge Rules; Jurist says appeal by man convicted of killing his mother may proceed despite missed deadline": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a San Fernando Valley man who claims he was falsely convicted of killing his mother has demonstrated he is probably innocent and should be allowed to seek freedom despite having missed a deadline to appeal."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Outsiders Bankroll Prop. 90 Campaign; Out-of-state groups push for measure that would bar government from seizing businesses and homes for private uses": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The newspaper today also contains an editorial entitled "No on Proposition 90: Instead of merely protecting property from eminent domain, initiative would hobble regulation such as zoning."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Enron's Skilling Asks to Remain Free on Bail During His Appeal": The Washington Post contains this article today.

At the "Houston's Clear Thinkers" blog, Tom Kirkendall has a post titled "Previewing the Skilling appeal" that provides access to Skilling's motion for bail pending appeal.
Posted at 08:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"Doctor Will Remain In Prison Until Retrial; Physician, Whose Drug Conviction Was Overturned, Deemed a Flight Risk": This article appears today in The Washington Post. My earlier coverage is here.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Buttons' Influence on Jury at Issue for Justices": Charles Lane has this article today in The Washington Post.

Today in The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse reports that "Justices Ponder Relationship of Federal and State Courts."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Justices Debate Photo Buttons Worn by Trial Spectators."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Court weighs effect of victim's image on trial."

And Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Justices disagree on buttons at S.J. trial."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"States Are Growing More Lenient in Allowing Felons to Vote": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Bully' boggles circuit judge; A judge will get to preview the controversial video game Bully and make recommendations about its 'Teen' rating prior to its Tuesday release": The Miami Herald today contains an article that begins, "Is a video game that glorifies bullying suitable for Florida teenagers? A circuit court judge in Miami-Dade County hopes to figure that out this afternoon."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Florida Judge Wants To See 'Bully' in Court."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judges Can Solicit Election Funds, Court Rules": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports today that "Candidates for judge can reveal party; U.S. court strikes down state rule."

And The Lexington Herald-Leader yesterday published an article headlined "Judge: Judicial candidates can identify their political parties."

At his "Election Law" blog, Rick Hasen has a post that provides access to the ruling.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"High Court in Britain Loosens Strict Libel Law": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Times of London today contains an article headlined "Libel ruling heralds new era for British journalism; Lords agree to allow journalists new freedom to make public interest allegations without fear of libel." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The public interest: The Lords upholds a vital principle of press freedom." And Alistair Brett has an essay entitled "A judgment that is refreshing and long overdue."

Yesterday, The Times of London published news updates headlined "Landmark ruling heralds US-style libel laws in Britain" and "Lawyers welcome landmark libel ruling." And Guy Vassall-Adams had an essay entitled "A resounding victory for newspapers: The law lords have ensured that responsible journalism is given legal protection."

Yesterday's ruling of the House of Lords can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Former Justice Descends Judicial Ladder, to Lower Court": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Sandra Day O'Connor, the retired Supreme Court justice, gave a star turn yesterday as a visiting judge on a federal appeals court in Manhattan. But no one can accuse court officials of giving her the juiciest cases."

The New York Sun reports today that "O'Connor Ends Retirement - for a Day."

And The Associated Press reports that "O'Connor Is Guest Judge on Appeals Panel."

Meanwhile, looking ahead to next week, Bob Egelko reports in The San Francisco Chronicle that "O'Connor temporarily back on bench, in S.F."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Won't Hear Ex-Nun's Bias Claims": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court is standing by its decision to refuse to hear a discrimination case involving a former nun who said she was forced to resign from her job at a Catholic university after helping expose a priest's alleged misconduct."

According to the article, "Petruska had wanted all judges on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear her case because a previous panel of appellate judges was about to render a decision in her favor last May until one of the judges died. On Tuesday, she was notified the court denied her request."

My extensive earlier coverage of this case can be accessed via posts here and here.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Key Issue of Judicial Independence: With Conservatives' Rhetoric Effective, and Supreme Court Justices Concerned, How Should Progressives Respond?" Edward Lazarus has this essay today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court Hears Arguments on 'Victim Buttons'" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Grisham Traces Exoneration of an 'Innocent Man.'"

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Button It: The Supreme Court learns to stay out of this messy business of deciding cases." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 09:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Skilling Asks Judge to Throw Out Verdict": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 09:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reflections on the Cunningham oral argument": Law Professor Doug Berman has this post at his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog.
Posted at 05:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"South Dakota's stark abortion choice; A proposed ban on the ballot would be the nation's strictest since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling upholding the practice": This article will appear Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 05:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"The principal issue in this appeal is whether Congress may constitutionally impose patent fees in an amount above what is used to fund the PTO." Are patent fees too high, thus giving rise to a profit center that the federal government improperly uses for other purposes, such as to fund homeland security? Today a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a ruling rejecting this constitutional challenge.

Circuit Judge Pauline Newman filed a separate opinion concurring in the judgment in which she wrote that the plaintiff's "constitutional arguments are not devoid of merit, and warrant deeper exploration than they have thus far received."
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Carey v. Musladin, No. 05-785: The transcript of today's AEDPA-victim button oral argument is available at this link.

At page 15 of the transcript, Justice Antonin Scalia remarks, "You don't allow people to come into most courtrooms in tank shirts, and we don't allow people to, you know, to wear beany hats." An exception to the prohibition exists, however, for propeller beanie hats.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "High Court Takes Up 'Victim Pin' Case" (featuring Dahlia Lithwick); "Brother of Murder Victim Defends Wearing Pin"; and "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in an Overstretched Army." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


There were cameras in this courtroom: Newsday provides an update headlined "For a day, O'Connor back on the bench." Accompanying the article is this photograph.

And WSJ.com's "Law Blog" provides a post titled "The Second Circuit, Starring Sandra Day O'Connor!" No word yet on whether Peter Lattman will be following Justice O'Connor to San Francisco or, after that, to the Eighth Circuit.
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Cunningham v. California: Sentencing gurus can begin rejoicing, because the Supreme Court has just posted online at this link the transcript of today's oral argument.
Posted at 02:07 PM by Howard Bashman


Three-judge Seventh Circuit panel rejects constitutional challenge to Gary, Indiana ordinance governing "sexually oriented businesses": You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Hears Murder Cases": The Associated Press provides this report on today's oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 02:01 PM by Howard Bashman


"Argument recap: Cunningham v. Calif. on 10/11." At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "A few minutes into the Supreme Court's hearing Wednesday on a California criminal sentencing case, it already had become clear that the case is not really about a specific state sentencing law but is all about what is constitutionally 'reasonable' in any system that gives a judge discretion to impose an enhanced prison term."
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jury Awards Woman $11.3M in Internet Defamation Suit": law.com posted this article online last Friday.

In related coverage, USA Today reports today that "Jury awards $11.3M over defamatory Internet posts."
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman



Holding no grudge for being bonked on the head: Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was nearly killed by a falling beam at the grand opening of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on July 4, 2003, has agreed to serve on the organization's board of trustees. Coverage appears today in both The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News. O'Connor's agreement allows her to remain a safe distance away from any potentially fatal construction accidents at the Center.

This blog's earlier coverage of the July 4, 2003 incident began at this link and continued on for a really long time thereafter. To see for yourself, go to this blog's July 2003 archive page and use your browser's "Find" function to search for the word "bonk."
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Admissions, abortion and arguments": Don Erler has this op-ed today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"New U.S. law OKs torture, professor argues": The Daily Princetonian contains this article today.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Migrant laws keeping same-sex pairs apart": This article appears today in The Arizona Republic.
Posted at 10:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"State will ask U.S. justice to let ID rule stay": Today's issue of The Arizona Daily Star contains an article that begins, "The state will ask a justice of the nation's high court to let Arizona election officials require voters to produce identification for next month's general election."
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Question: What Would Warren Do?" This audio commentary segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Hears Case on Photos of Victim": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman


The architect's drawings provide no office space for activist judges: WSJ.com's "Law Blog" offers a post titled "Debating the 'William H. Frist, M.D., Federal Courthouse.'"
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"NYTimes Suggests Religious Conspiracy on Third Circuit": This post appears at the blog "Constitutionally Correct."

My earlier, extensive coverage of the underlying case can be accessed via posts here and here.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"High Court to Hear Overturned Murder Cases": The Associated Press provides this report.

As explained in my essay for law.com summarizing the cases being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week:

Oct. 11 is the final day of oral arguments for the Court's October 2006 oral argument session, and the day begins with the argument of a case that is of interest to sentencing law gurus nationwide and also those who prosecute and defend criminal cases in the State of California. In Cunningham v. California, the question presented is whether California's Determinate Sentencing Law violates the 6th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by permitting California state court judges at sentencing to impose enhanced sentenced based on their determination of facts neither found by the jury nor admitted by the defendant.

The second and final case to be argued on Oct. 11 is another interesting criminal law case arising from the 9th Circuit. At issue in Carey v. Musladin is whether the 9th Circuit, exercising federal habeas corpus jurisdiction, properly overturned the murder conviction of a defendant who claimed he was denied a fair trial in California state court because the victim's relatives appeared in court wearing buttons with the deceased's picture on them. Once again, Judge Reinhardt is the author of the decision under review, and his majority opinion for a divided three-judge panel begins, "At a murder trial in which the central question is whether the defendant acted in self-defense, are a defendant's constitutional rights violated when spectators are permitted to wear buttons depicting the 'victim'?" Reinhardt's opinion answers that question in the affirmative.

The complete essay can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sexual abuse case could upend state's sentencing rules; Ex-Richmond officer says judge lacks right to add years based on facts jury didn't hear": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A former Richmond police officer's appeal of his 16-year prison term for sexually abusing his son goes before the U.S. Supreme Court today in a case that could rewrite the criminal sentencing rules that California has used since 1977."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Deaf drivers due a chance at UPS jobs, court says; Some may be as safe as rivals with normal hearing, ruling holds": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "UPS Ban on Deaf Drivers Is Rejected; An appeals court ruling could lead employers to consider disabled workers for more jobs."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Firm Must Pay Asbestos Costs; The high court upholds the EPA's claim that W.R. Grace must clean up a Montana mine site": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panel discusses military issues": The Yale Daily News today contains an article which reports that "Although the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment earlier this year, Yale Law School has a separate pending lawsuit, Burt v. Rumsfeld, that allows Yale to continue to deny equal access to military recruiters."

I will leave it to others to debate whether the lesson that open defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling is proper is what one of the Nation's top law schools ought to be teaching its students.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"New Twist In Case Of Intrigue: New Trial." Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for the Ledyard handyman convicted of kidnapping and assaulting Stonington teacher Leslie Buck in May 2002, the day before she mysteriously died in an apparent fall down a flight of stairs at her home."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Connecticut at this link.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pastors unite against ban; Group stands apart from other churches": The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota today contains an article that begins, "Pastors from five mainline denominations criticized South Dakota's abortion ban Tuesday, separating themselves from their Roman Catholic and evangelical counterparts and ramping up a politically charged debate that already is influenced by strong religious undercurrents."

And today in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has an op-ed entitled "Giving Up Too Much On Choice."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Case in Germany Puts An Old Taboo to the Test": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Malvo Pleads Guilty to Montgomery Slayings": The Washington Post contains this article today.

The Washington Times reports today that "Malvo pleads guilty to 6 sniper killings."

And The Baltimore Sun contains an article headlined "Malvo's lawyers seek plea deal; Young sniper reportedly seeks prison change for admitting to shootings."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge asked to rule fast to clear Lay's record; Lawyers say no reason to wait on their request": This article appeared last Thursday in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Cost of Doing Your Duty": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "During the recent debate over how to handle the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the Bush administration made a lot of noise about its commitment to fair treatment for the detainees and its respect for the uniformed lawyers of the armed forces. Anyone who believed those claims should consider the fate of the Navy lawyer whose integrity helped spark that debate in the first place."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"South Bay criminal case reaches high court; Buttons of victim at trial stir dispute": Howard Mintz had this article yesterday in The San Jose Mercury News.

And today, The New York Times contains an editorial entitled "Photos and a Fair Trial."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Religion-Based Tax Breaks: Housing to Paychecks to Books." This lengthy article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why The Military Commissions Act is No Moderate Compromise": Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Al Qaeda Suspect: U.S. Government Gave Me LSD." Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.

And last Saturday, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that "Motion demands Padilla's release, claims illegal U.S. conduct."

Via "Discourse.net," you can access a copy of the motion at this link.
Posted at 06:47 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Questionnaires Test Judge Candidates' Views": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court won't rethink 'Mary Doe' abortion case": Bill Mears provides this report at CNN.com.
Posted at 10:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyers: Possible Deal for Sniper Malvo." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Convicted Washington-area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo is seeking a broad plea agreement in which he would plead guilty to other 2002 shootings that authorities have linked him to, defense attorneys and Maryland prosecutors said Tuesday."
Posted at 10:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: UPS Discriminated Against Deaf." David Kravets of The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 09:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kaufman alleges that the procedure for assigning appeals among panels of judges in New York's Second Department of the Appellate Division violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment because it permits court staff to assign cases to panels of judges on a non-transparent, discretionary basis." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued a decision in which the "Discussion" section of the court's opinion begins, "Even the relief now sought by Kaufman would be so intrusive in the administration of the New York court system that we must, based on applicable precedent, abstain."

The National Legal Scholars Law Firm represented appellant Kaufman on appeal.
Posted at 04:32 PM by Howard Bashman



She's not just sitting by designation on the coasts: I am reliably advised that along with guest stints on the Second and Ninth Circuits, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will be sitting by designation soon with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. I'm particularly fond of the Eighth Circuit myself, because it has invited me to visit on two separate speaking appearances.
Posted at 04:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Eyes of the Law: Leading Blawgers at Lunch." This post appears today at "Above the Law."
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecutor naked at work; Security cameras see plenty of Hamilton official": The Cincinnati Enquirer contains this article today.
Posted at 04:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Update on Padilla motion to dismiss for outrageous government conduct": This post appears today at "Southern District of Florida Blog."
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court refuses to reopen 1973 abortion ruling": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And in today's other news from the Court, The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Supreme Court Considers Indictment Flaws"; "Court Rejects Roe V. Wade Companion Case"; "Court Turns Down Case of Ex-Nazi Guard"; "Supreme Court Won't Hear Tobacco Case"; and "High Court Won't Consider Asbestos Case."

You can access today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List at this link.
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judicial discretion at stake in high court; U.S. Supreme Court to hear case stemming from sentencing of former police officer": This article appears today in The Contra Costa Times.
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: This afternoon, as noted in this earlier post, I'll be a guest speaker at an appellate advocacy class at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg. Before the class, I plan to grab lunch with Law Professor Mike Dimino, whose currently a guest blogger at "PrawfsBlawg."

Additional posts may not appear here until this evening. At 10 a.m. eastern time today, the Supreme Court of the United States will issue an Order List. Once the Court posts it online, you can access the Order List via this link (or, perhaps, directly by clicking here). I anticipate that "SCOTUSblog" will provide timely coverage.

As noted in the post immediately below, the Supreme Court today is also hearing oral argument in three cases. Once the same-day transcripts of those arguments appear online, you will be able to access them via this link.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Previewing today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: The Justices have decided to spend a whopping three hours on the bench today hearing oral arguments instead of the usual two hours.

Here's what I wrote in my recent law.com essay summarizing the cases being argued in the October oral argument session:

The Court has scheduled three hours of oral argument for Oct 10. The first case scheduled for argument that day is United States v. Resendiz-Ponce, which presents the question whether the omission of an element from a federal indictment can constitute harmless error. The 9th Circuit answered "no." A dissent from the 9th Circuit's denial of rehearing en banc in a different case presenting the same issue argued persuasively that the omission should be allowed to constitute harmless error at least when "the defendant has actual notice of the missing element in advance of trial, evidence of the missing element is introduced, the jury is properly instructed about the element, and the finder of fact finds the element beyond a reasonable doubt."

The second case scheduled for oral argument on Oct. 10 is Global Crossing Telecommunications, Inc. v. Metrophones Telecommunications, Inc., and it too arises from the 9th Circuit. At issue in the case is whether a provider of pay phone services can sue a long distance carrier for alleged violations of the Federal Communications Commission's regulations concerning compensation for coinless pay phone calls. The 9th Circuit answered that question in the affirmative.

The third and final case scheduled for oral argument on Oct. 10 is Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Sorrell. The Supreme Court has agreed to review the ruling of an intermediate state appellate court in Missouri. The question presented is whether, in a lawsuit brought by an injured railroad employee under the Federal Employers Liability Act, the causation standard for employee contributory negligence differs from the causation standard for railroad negligence.

You can access the rest of my October oral argument preview essay at this link.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Glimmers of greater openness at secretive Court": Tony Mauro has this news analysis online at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to sit by designation with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit next Wednesday and Friday: You can access next week's Ninth Circuit oral argument calendar at this link.

Of course, tomorrow morning Justice O'Connor will be sitting by designation with the Second Circuit, as I previously noted here.

Because the Ninth Circuit rapidly posts online its oral argument audio files, we will be able to listen in next week on the festivities. Perhaps Justice O'Connor will advise her former colleagues on the U.S. Supreme Court that same-day oral argument releases are nothing to fear, although my concern is that the availability of same-day oral argument transcripts from the Supreme Court will cause same-day oral argument audio releases to occur less frequently than before.

When Justice O'Connor joins the Ninth Circuit to hear oral arguments next week, she will be at the Ninth Circuit's headquarters in San Francisco. It would be even more cool if, at some later point, she joined the Ninth Circuit to hear oral arguments in Phoenix at the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"What it means to be a liberal": Law Professor Geoffrey R. Stone has this op-ed today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Class-Action Suit Seeks Release of Detainees; ACLU says U.S. agency is ignoring a Supreme Court ruling against holding immigrants awaiting deportation for more than six months": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"More Calls for Death Penalty in Child Rapes; Measures in several states are meant to deter, but critics see execution making victims less likely to tell -- and more likely to be killed": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Forum debates lawsuits in judicial amendment" and "Ruling in tribe's favor stands; Lower Brule's land near I-90 now can be taken into trust."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"As Religious Programs Expand, Disputes Rise Over Tax Breaks": This lengthy article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Upcoming Supreme Court Tobacco Case That Will Test Punitive Damages Rules": Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, October 09, 2006

Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle reports that "Class Action Changes Bring Quick Impact; More contract, tort actions in federal court."

Law Professor Michael P. Ambrosio has an essay entitled "Disclaimer Would End Hubbub Over 'Super' and 'Best' Lawyers."

And Brent Gurney and Jessica Waters have an essay entitled "D.C. Circuit to Clarify Bribery Statute."
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Law chief wants new constitution": The Telegraph (UK) today contains an article that begins, "Britain should seriously consider introducing a written constitution, Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, said yesterday."

And The Guardian (UK) today contains an article headlined "Written constitution 'a serious idea.'"
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Abortion Issue Heats Up in South Dakota": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"It Could Be Worse: Does the Constitution need to be rewritten?" In the October 16, 2006 issue of The New Republic, Law Professor Cass R. Sunstein has this review (pass-through link) of Law Professor Sanford Levinson's new book, "Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It)."
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"How To Remove a Federal Judge": Saikrishna Prakash and Steven D. Smith have this article in the October 2006 issue of The Yale Law Journal.

The publication also contains a response by Martin H. Redish titled "Good Behavior, Judicial Independence, and the Foundations of American Constitutionalism" and a reply by Saikrishna Prakash and Steven D. Smith titled "(Mis)Understanding Good-Behavior Tenure."
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman



In commentary from today's issue of Legal Times: Thomas J. Moyer, Ohio's Chief Justice, and Bert Brandenburg have an essay entitled "No Way To Choose: Big Money and Special Interests Are Warping Judicial Elections" (free access).

And Jonathan M. Starble has an essay entitled "Gimme An S" (free access) that begins, "As one of its final acts last term, the U.S. Supreme Court issued Kansas v. Marsh, a case involving the constitutionality of a state death-penalty statute. The 5-4 decision exposed the deep divide that exists among the nation's intellectual elite regarding one of society's most troubling issues--namely, whether the possessive form of a singular noun ending with the letter s requires an additional s after the apostrophe."
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Government Responds [to Ninth Circuit petition for rehearing en banc] in United States v. Ziegler": Online today at "The Volokh Consipracy," Orin Kerr has a post in which he writes, "The government's brief reflects a basic misunderstanding of the Fourth Amendment, and in particular the meaning of the reasonable expectation of privacy test."

The unanimous three-judge Ninth Circuit opinion that is the subject of a petition for rehearing en banc can be accessed at this link, while my earlier coverage of that ruling is here. Orin has posted the petition for rehearing en banc here, while the federal government's response is here.

Orin's series of posts on this case provide further examples of the subject that I discussed in my law.com essay from July 2006 headlined "Viewing Law Blogs as a Vast Amicus Brief."
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pastor’s jury-pool dismissal is upheld": The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana last Thursday published an article that begins, "The Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a decision that an Allen County prosecutor did not violate a defendant’s rights by dismissing a potential juror because he was a pastor. The decision also affirmed the state Court of Appeals ruling last year that extended the protections against race and gender discrimination in jury selection to religion."

You can access last Wednesday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Indiana at this link.

Additional coverage appears online at "Indiana Law Blog" and "Religion Clause."
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"GOP Raises Religion in Court Race, Calling Democrat an Atheist": law.com today provides this report from Texas.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit conducted rehearings en banc in various cases: Last week's Ninth Circuit oral argument calendar can be accessed here, while details on the en banc cases and copies of the petition for rehearing en banc and any responses thereto can be accessed via this link.

Two of the cases reargued en banc last week are of particular interest. In United States v. Carty, No. 05-10200 (9th Cir.), the question presented is whether a criminal sentence within the range established by the proper application of the federal Sentencing Guidelines is entitled to a presumption of reasonableness. Via this post at the "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, you can access some of the briefs filed in connection with the rehearing. You can download the oral argument audio via this link (Windows Media format). Deputy Solicitor General Michael R. Dreeben argued on behalf of the United States.

A second case of interest reargued last week is United States v. Curtin, No. 04-10632 (9th Cir.). The question presented in that case was whether the Federal Rules of Evidence permit admission into evidence of the fact that a federal criminal defendant, charged with traveling across state lines to engage in a sex act with a minor, had in his possession a handheld computer containing textual stories involving sex between adults and minors. The original divided three-judge panel's ruling can be accessed here, while my earlier coverage of that ruling appears here. You can download last week's en banc oral argument in the case via this link (Windows Media format).
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Biography overstates its case: Earl Warren's path to the Supreme Court." Yesterday in The Chicago Tribune, Law Professor Dennis J. Hutchinson had this review of Jim Newton's book "Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made."
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws." That's the title of the newest installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com.
Posted at 08:19 AM by Howard Bashman


"Yes, a scandal, but no sex; only Constitution is at risk": Yesterday in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Cragg Hines had this op-ed.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Retired justice O'Connor speaks of independence": This article appeared yesterday in The Virginian-Pilot.

And today in The Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus Leader, columnist David Kranz has an op-ed entitled "Ex-Supreme Court justice zeroes in on S.D. ballot issue on judges."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Area judge appointed to top federal committee": The Topeka Capital-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Federal judge Deanell Reece Tacha, of Lawrence, has been appointed to a key spot on the top policy-making body for the federal court system, the Judicial Conference of the United States."

In January 2004, Chief Judge Tacha participated in this blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" interview feature.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman



"Patent spat goes to court; Maryland's largest biotech is before the Supreme Court seeking interpretation of patent licensing law": This article appeared last Thursday in The Baltimore Sun.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Antiabortion Campaign Waves Feminist Flag; The ballot box fight to preserve a tough South Dakota ban is framed as a women's rights issue": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Good New Rules for Judges; Measures will increase impartiality and stave off congressional intrusion": This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

You can access the new rules via this earlier post.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyer is denied promotion; Passed over for Navy promotion, a Guantanamo lawyer who has served with distinction says he will defend Osama bin Laden's driver in civilian life once he leaves military service": Carol Rosenberg had this article yesterday in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Crimping citizens initiative, or not? Amendment 3 makes it harder to change the state's Constitution and asks how direct our democracy will be." This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"A New Glimpse Into Night of D.C. Slaying": The Washington Post today contains a lengthy article that begins, "On the night of Aug. 2, Robert Wone called his wife, Kathy, at their home in Virginia, checking in as he walked to his downtown Washington office."
Posted at 07:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"An Inspector General? Rep. James Sensenbrenner's proposal to create a watchdog for the judiciary is a bad idea come too soon." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.

My earlier law.com essay on this subject was headlined "Exaggerations Plague Debate Over Need for Judicial Inspector General."
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Suing Over the CIA's Red Pen; Retired Operative Says Agency Unfairly Edited His Book": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"California Prosecutor's Novel Gets Her Bumped From a Case": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times. My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 06:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Where Faith Abides, Employees Have Few Rights": This lengthy article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, October 08, 2006

"Blawg Review #78": Available online here, at "Human Law."
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"South Dakota Nears Vote on Abortion Ban": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 06:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Richard Posner is probably the greatest living American jurist": So says "Project Posner," which via this link allows you to search freely through the opinions of Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner.

Back in December 2003, I published this blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" interview with Judge Posner.
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fielder's Choice": In today's Sunday Book Review section of The New York Times, David Margolick has this review of Brad Snyder's new book, "A Well-Paid Slave: Curt Flood’s Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports." I received an advance copy of the book last month, and I have greatly enjoyed reading it thus far.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Hazarding Personal Opinions in Public Can Be Hazardous for Journalists": Today in The New York Times, Public Editor Byron Calame has an essay that begins, "A four-month-old speech by Linda Greenhouse, The New York Times's much-honored Supreme Court reporter for 28 years, has suddenly raised anew two thorny questions related to the paper's ethics guideline covering the public expression of personal opinions by news staffers."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman


The New York Times is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Castro Foe With C.I.A. Ties Puts U.S. in an Awkward Spot"; "Rosa Parks Won a Fight, but Left a Licensing Rift"; and "One-Eyed Referee Flags the Big Ten Over Firing."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"How the Democrats Would Rule the Hill": Today in The New York Times, Robin Toner has an article reporting that "A Democratic majority in the Senate could also stymie, or at least slow, the conservative reconstruction of the Supreme Court, assuming another vacancy occurs in the next two years, and force President Bush to seek more bipartisanship on all judicial nominees."
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Anger Drives Property Rights Measures": The New York Times contains this article today. According to the article, "More than a year after Suzette Kelo and several of her neighbors in New London, Conn., lost their battle against eminent domain in the United States Supreme Court, the backlash against the ruling has made property rights one of the most closely watched ballot issues nationwide."
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Does George Mitchell have the juice? 'All conflicts are created and sustained by human beings,' says former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, who learned that while brokering peace in Northern Ireland. He's using those lessons to try to uncover baseball's secrets about steroids. Plenty of people say he's the wrong man for the job. But history says don't count him out so easily." This lengthy article is the cover story of the Magazine section of today's issue of The Boston Globe.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Same-sex ceremony stalls judicial nominee": Yesterday's edition of The Grand Rapids Press contained an article that begins, "The nomination of Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet Neff to the federal bench is on hold because she helped lead a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple four years ago."
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman


In Monday's issue of The National Law Journal: The publication will contain an article headlined "Law blogs raising prickly ethical issues; States debate if it's free speech or ad" (free access). Of course, those two categories are not mutually exclusive.

And Brad Risinger will have an essay entitled "Federal judicial selection: Make process bipartisan" (free access).
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Breyer's Near Miss and a Well-Attended Mass": Tony Mauro will have this article (free access) in Monday's issue of Legal Times.
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court backs newspaper on computer seizure": Yesterday's issue of The Lancaster (Pa.) Intelligencer Journal contained an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court Friday reversed a judge's order that Lancaster Newspapers Inc. turn over two reporters' computers to the state attorney general. In a 20-page opinion, the justices called the government's attempt to seize the newsroom computers 'unduly intrusive.'"

And The Associated Press reports that "Court Rules in Favor of Newspaper."

Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consisted of a majority opinion and an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"O'Connor defends division of church, state; The system has served the U.S. well, the retired justice tells a W&M audience": This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, October 07, 2006

In Sunday's edition of The New York Times: Tomorrow's newspaper will contain articles headlined "Secular Laws Cede to Religious Exemptions" and "In New York Immigration Court, Asylum Roulette."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"During her visit Oct. 7-9, Justice O’Connor will address two academic conferences hosted by the College, attend an undergraduate class, and participate in a special question-and-answer session with students." So reports a press release that entitled "Chancellor Sandra Day O'Connor to highlight several events during campus visit" that The College of William & Mary issued recently.

And earlier this week, UVA Today issued a news release entitled "Sandra Day O'Connor Expounds on Jefferson's Relevance, Then and Now, for Campaign Crowd."
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"What Would Lincoln Do? A test for the Roberts Court." Richard W. Garnett and Michael Stokes Paulsen will have this essay in the October 16, 2006 issue of The Weekly Standard.
Posted at 02:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"At Guantanamo: Hard Time and a View of What Could Have Been; Detainees at a new camp will see only a sliver of a common area; isolation has become the norm." This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Of Elections, Judges and Stupidity": Andrew Cohen has this essay today at washingtonpost.com.
Posted at 01:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Parent Gains Right to Dispute School Ban of Religious Music": The New York Times contains this article today.

And The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reports today that "Suit reinstated on religious song ban."

You can access Thursday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.
Posted at 01:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Harvard Law Decides to Steep Students in 21st-Century Issues": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Diner: Public has me all wrong; Some people have made him the butt of jokes or decided that he is rude, arrogant and egotistical." The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "Ralph Paul feels misunderstood. The New Port Richey man who went to trial over the number of shrimp and scallops in his seafood dish believes his case is not funny or amusing. He has turned down requests from radio and television comedy shows across the country trying to book him as a guest."

The newspaper has also posted online this statement from the restaurant.
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Army-financed doctor granted objector status": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "An anesthesiologist whose medical training was financed by the Army must be discharged from the Army Reserve as a conscientious objector, a federal judge ruled yesterday."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Judge: Doctor a Conscientious Objector."
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"O'Connor to Sit on Appeals Panel": The Associated Press provides this report.

And The New York Daily News reports today that "O'Connor on bench a Supreme honor."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.

As these articles note, Dennis Jacobs is now Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Posted at 01:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pass the Buck: When Congress passes unconstitutional laws." Dahlia Lithwick and Law Professor Richard Schragger have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 11:24 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Appeals Court Finds Prosecutor's Fiction Too Close to Facts of Case." My earlier coverage is at this link.

And the new installment of my "On Appeal" column is headlined "Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws."
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Kennedy Court? One man with caprice makes a majority." This editorial (free access) appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, October 06, 2006

"Diner's acquittal sparks debate: Is the customer always right? Yes. No. Maybe. It depends on who you ask, and how much food is left on the plate." This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times. My earlier post from yesterday on this subject was titled "Who says high-priced lawyers aren't worth it?"
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Post-Sept. 11 Death Benefits Disputed": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "As the World Trade Center burned, Glenn Winuk rushed to the scene from his law office to offer his skills as a veteran paramedic. He died with surgical gloves on and a medic's bag at his side. A card in his wallet identified him as a volunteer firefighter. 'He died a hero,' said his brother, Jay. Yet, in the eyes of the federal government, he did not die in the line of duty. In a decision sent to Winuk's parents days before the fifth anniversary of his death, the Justice Department rejected their application for a $250,000 benefit for public safety officers killed on the job."

Newsday reported last month that "Firefighter recognized locally but not by feds," while The Hill reported last month that "Family of fallen 9/11 rescuer fights DOJ." And in related coverage, The Journal News of Westchester, New York last month published an article headlined "P.R. exec mourns brother by creating 9/11 memorials."

Before he died trying to save the lives of others on September 11, 2001, Glenn Winuk was a partner at the law firm Holland & Knight LLP. Two recent relevant press releases from that law firm can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Sanctioning Lawlessness": Law Professor David Cole has this essay online at The Nation.
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judged Dred: What a new book on the Dred Scott case teaches us about scapegoating courts." Scott Lemieux has this essay online at The American Prospect.

The book in question is Mark A. Graber's "Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Constitution, Writ or Wrong: The habeas corpus debate illustrates a dangerous trend in legal ignorance." Adam J. White has this essay online at The Weekly Standard.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court grants two cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And The Associated Press reports that "Killer's Death Sentence Back in Court."

You can access today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List at this link.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



In today's mail: The book "Saddam on Trial: Understanding and Debating the Iraqi High Tribunal," by Michael P. Scharf and Gregory S. McNeal. A letter in the package describes the book as "the first ever 'Blog-to-Book' initiative in academia."
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"N.D. Officials Sue NCAA Over Nickname": The AP provides a report that begins, "State officials filed a lawsuit Friday against the NCAA to challenge its restrictions on the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname."
Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Same-Sex Rite Stalls Judge Nomination": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A Republican senator is holding up a Michigan judge's nomination to the federal bench because she reportedly helped lead a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple in Massachusetts four years ago."

You can access at this link the bio of Judge Janet T. Neff, who currently serves on the Michigan Court of Appeals, Third District.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman



Linda Greenhouse podcast: Available here, via "SCOTUSblog." I haven't yet listened to hear whether the latest kerfuffle is discussed.

Update: The podcast begins with discussion of Greenhouse's book, "Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey." I'm on the record as enjoying the book -- now available in paperback -- this past July while at the "beach" in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Second update: Tom Goldstein does ask Greenhouse about her Radcliffe College speech at about 12 minutes and 30 seconds into the podcast. My earlier coverage of that controversy can be found at this link. She adheres to her views expressed in that earlier speech and expresses surprise at the controversy that has arisen.
Posted at 11:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Exposure: TV cameras are coming to the Supreme Court." Conor Clarke has this essay online today at The New Republic.

My earlier essay for law.com on this topic was headlined "Should Congress Mandate Supreme Court TV? Will original understanding go high-definition?"
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "U.S. Refuses to Classify Alleged Bomber as Terrorist" and "NYSE Pay Trial Finally Going to Court" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Same-sex marriage ban upheld in ruling; Court says change can come only from voters or Legislature": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

The New York Times reports today that "California Court Upholds State's Ban on Same-Sex Marriage."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Appeals Court Upholds State's Ban on Same-Sex Marriage; Dissenting justice says the 2-1 ruling, which will go to the California Supreme Court, diminishes the 'humanity' of homosexuals."

Claire Cooper, legal affairs writer for The Sacramento Bee, reports that "Court upholds ban on gay marriage; State appellate ruling says the prohibition is not discriminatory."

In The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz has an article headlined "Another setback for gay unions; State appellate justices say legislature or voters should settle controversy."

And in The Oakland Tribune, Josh Richman reports that "Same-sex marriage handed a setback; Gay advocates vow to take case to state's top court after ban upheld."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Considering Constitutionality of Lethal Injection Posing Tough Questions; Prosecutors and defense attorneys are wary after being asked to suggest ways the manner of execution can be improved": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush cites authority to bypass FEMA law; Signing statement is employed again": Charlie Savage has this article today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Policy Irks Judges in West; Rulings Criticize Agencies for Not Protecting the Environment": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Preserving a Donor's Intent: The Daniels Fund is digitizing the late executive's business and personal correspondence to help make sure future board members understand his wishes." This article (free access) appears today in The Wall Street Journal. According to the article, "The fund's move reflects growing concern over 'donor intent' at charities -- whether later fund executives lose touch with the values and intentions of founders. In 2002, the Hershey Trust, under pressure from Pennsylvania authorities, scuttled the sale of Hershey Foods to William Wrigley after a storm of protest about whether the sale violated founding donor Milton S. Hershey's intent. Controversy also followed a court decision allowing the Barnes Foundation art collection to move to downtown Philadelphia from a suburb, which critics say violated the founder's will."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices make points by questioning lawyers; High court may hint at views in oral arguments": Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Panels debate laws on gays in military": This article appears today in The Yale Daily News.
Posted at 07:53 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law Profs Overhaul 1st Year Courses": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "The Harvard Law faculty unanimously approved sweeping revisions to the school’s first-year curriculum in a closed-door meeting yesterday afternoon, professors confirmed last night."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bonds' trainer freed from prison for now": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And The New York Times reports today that "Bonds's Trainer Is Released From Prison."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Voter-ID rules suspended; 9th Circuit blocks Arizona's Prop. 200": This article appears today in The Arizona Republic, along with articles headlined "Voter-ID action called victory for poor"; "What Valley residents have to say"; and "Proposition 200 at a glance."

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals Court Blocks Ariz. Voter ID Law."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, October 05, 2006

En banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit just says no to hospital worker's "Union Yes" button: Those interested in the so-called Pickering balancing test will undoubtedly find today's ruling to be of interest. The en banc ruling, by a vote of 13-4, replaces a divided three-judge panel ruling that had reached a contrary result.

This case involves a hospital worker's First Amendment challenge to the anti-adornment provision of his employer's dress code policy, which precludes the worker from wearing a "Union Yes" button or other items of flair.
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Tom Goldstein on Life and the New Supreme Court": This article appears in the current issue of The Harvard Law Record.
Posted at 08:04 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit enjoins enforcement of Arizona's Proposition 200 voter ID and voter registration proof of citizenship requirements: I have posted at this link a copy of today's Ninth Circuit order.

The Arizona Republic's web site provides background on the proposition.
Posted at 07:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"Government Petitions for Rehearing En Banc in Murphy": "TaxProf Blog" provides a post that begins, "The Government today petitioned for rehearing en banc in Murphy v. United States, No. 03cv02414 (D.C. Cir. 8/22/06), which held that § 104(a)(2) is unconstitutional under the 16th Amendment as applied to a recovery for a non-physical personal injury unrelated to lost wages or earnings. "
Posted at 07:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court upholds same-sex marriage ban": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides this news update.

You can access today's ruling of California's Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division Three, by clicking here.

Update: The Recorder provides a news update headlined "Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage" (free access).
Posted at 05:44 PM by Howard Bashman



California intermediate appellate court orders the disqualification of a deputy district attorney, finding that she "has a disabling conflict of interest in the instant case, where petitioner is being prosecuted for raping an intoxicated person while the prosecutor is promoting her novel involving the identical charge": You can access today's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, Division Six, at this link. The author's/prosecutor's web site can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"For God's Sake: How the courts have forsaken both God and the Constitution." Avi Schick and Shaifali Puri have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 04:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to sit by designation with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit next Wednesday morning: You can access at this link the notice that the Second Circuit issued today. A list of the cases that will be before Justice O'Connor's three-judge panel can be accessed here.
Posted at 04:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"New lawsuits challenge Congress's detainee act; Even before Bush has signed the legislation, defense lawyers are suing over its constitutionality": Warren Richey will have this article Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Who says high-priced lawyers aren't worth it? According to this article published today in The St. Petersburg Times, a man who was disappointed with the quantity of the seafood in his restaurant entree departed from the restaurant without paying the $46 bill for the meal he and his girlfriend had received. When faced with criminal charges, the man hired a $500-per-hour lawyer, and yesterday the jury found the man not guilty.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bias in Camouflage: The University has failed act on its opposition to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'" The Harvard Crimson today contains an editorial that begins, "Military recruiters returned to Harvard’s campus last week, enabled by a March Supreme Court decision that upheld the Solomon Amendment and forced universities to choose between granting military recruiters access or forfeiting hundreds of millions of dollars of federal research funds."
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Orders Barry Bonds' Trainer Freed": The Associated Press provides this updated report.
Posted at 01:42 PM by Howard Bashman


Copycat: Bloomberg News reports that "Sun Chief Schwartz Wants to Announce News on His Blog" (via WSJ.com's "Law Blog").
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appellate ruling may allow Bonds' trainer to be released": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Vin Scully is cool: Not appellate but nevertheless true, for many reasons including those that The New York Times notes in this article published today. Scully is one of the few broadcasters who would make the MLB.com Gameday Audio package worth having even if you weren't a baseball fanatic.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Eavesdropping will continue during appeal; Ruling against spying is on hold": The Detroit Free Press contains this article today.

The Detroit News reports today that "Appeals court lets wiretapping continue."

And The Washington Times reports that "Wiretap program allowed during appeal."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Legal Case Against Foley Could Be Tricky to Build; It's unclear if the former congressman will face charges; Different state laws on the Internet and the age of consent complicate matters": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"In 30-Year-Old Terror Case, a Test for the U.S.; Decision Due on Cuban Exile Suspected in Airliner Blast": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"MedImmune Asks For Right to Sue; Supreme Court Considers Patent Case": Charles Lane has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush signings called effort to expand power; Report sees broad strategy": Charlie Savage has this article today in The Boston Globe.

The Congressional Research Service report that is the subject of this article is titled "Presidential Signing Statements: Constitutional and Institutional Implications."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court fights hurt children: Despite recent rulings, fit parents should control who visits their kids." Today's edition of USA Today contains an editorial that begins, "Judges have been settling family disputes since King Solomon's proposed 'solution' of splitting a baby in half in a custody battle. That Bible story has some parallels to how courts today grapple with demands of grandparents to visit their grandchildren over parental objections." The editorial urges that "unless a parent is found to be unfit or irrational, he or she should make the choice, simply because he or she bears primary responsibility for raising a child."

In response, attorney Traci Truly has an op-ed entitled "Grandparents enrich kids: Courts should weigh value of that relationship against parents' rights."
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Waterboarding Historically Controversial; In 1947, the U.S. Called It a War Crime; in 1968, It Reportedly Caused an Investigation": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judges Zero In on Treatment of a Detainee": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "In sharp questioning, a three-judge panel yesterday challenged arguments by federal officials seeking dismissal of a Pakistani man's suit charging that because of his religion, race or national origin, he, like others, was held for months after 9/11 in abusive solitary confinement before being cleared of links to terrorism and deported."

Reuters reports that "Former 9/11 detainee accuses U.S. of abuse."

The Associated Press reports that "NY judge suggests Ashcroft, Mueller may remain in lawsuit."

And The New York Law Journal reports that "U.S. Seeks Immunity In 9/11 Detention Case; Panel Considers Liability Of Government Officials" (free access).
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Missing the Forest for a Tree: Unpublished Opinions and New Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1." Scott E. Gant has this article in the current issue of Boston College Law Review.

The article echoes a point that I too have advanced (see the second to last paragraph of my "Upon Further Review" essay published in The Legal Intelligencer in January 2002) : namely, that determining whether a given opinion creates precedent is a decision best made in hindsight, rather than when an appellate opinion is issued.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bonds' Trainer May Get Out of Prison": David Kravets of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court has ordered Barry Bonds' personal trainer to be released from prison Thursday unless a lower court again holds him in contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the Giants slugger for perjury."

You can access at this link today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman



Eleventh Circuit upholds federal criminal conviction based on spoken obscenities: The other day, at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh had a post titled "Text as Obscenity" in which he wrote, "Obscenity prosecutions based on text are very rare, but they are in theory permissible under the 'describes' aspect of the famous Miller v. California obscenity test."

Proving Eugene's point, today a unanimous three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel issued an opinion upholding a federal criminal conviction for obscene comments communicated over the telephone, finding that "[t]he average person today would view [defendant's] phone calls, taken as a whole, as appealing to the prurient interest and conclude that he described sexual activities in a patently offensive way." The opinion reproduces the offending language in exacting detail, so those who aren't interested in viewing textual obscenities shouldn't click here.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Topping 2006 ballots: eminent domain; In November, 12 states have initiatives on the ballot that seek to protect private property against seizure and regulation." Thursday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor will contain an article that begins, "A backlash among voters this November against an unpopular Supreme Court decision on eminent domain could dramatically curtail the ability of officials to manage growth and development in parts of the western United States."
Posted at 05:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Privacy Group Files Suit Against FBI": The AP provides a report that begins, "A privacy-advocacy group is suing the U.S. government for records concerning electronic-surveillance tools such as one that appears to be a successor to the FBI's abandoned Carnivore program."

You can access at this link the complaint for injunctive relief that Electronic Frontier Foundation filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. EFF yesterday also issued a news release entitled "EFF Sues for Information on Electronic Surveillance Systems."
Posted at 05:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Surveillance Program to Continue for Now": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Bush administration is allowed to continue its warrantless surveillance program while it appeals a judge's ruling that the program is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday."

You can access today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcript in MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., No. 05-608: It is available at this link.

Update: And now today's oral argument transcript in BP America Production Co. v. Burton, No. 05-669, can be accessed here.
Posted at 02:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"'Neither Force Nor Will, But Merely Judgment'": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Eleventh Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. has an op-ed (free access) that begins, "Recently some leaders of the bench and bar -- including, on this page last week, retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor -- have decried what they describe as unprecedented threats to the independence of the judiciary. I respectfully disagree."

Justice O'Connor's Wall Street Journal op-ed from last week is now freely available at this link.
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"'I don't believe I will ever see him executed'; 25 years after man sentenced to death for murdering Lodian, Supreme Court hears his case": The Lodi News-Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "The nation's highest court on Tuesday took up the murder case in which Lodi High School graduate Steacy McConnell was beaten to death in her Victor home during a botched burglary."

The transcript of yesterday's oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court can be accessed here.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman



Today's ruling in the case I argued last month before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: You can access the ruling at this link.

The blog "Decision of the Day" provides this summary of the ruling.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge permits lawsuit on Patriot Act to go on": This article appears today in The Detroit Free Press.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Judge: Patriot Act Challenge Can Proceed."

I have posted online at this link last Friday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Yoo Defends Detainee Measures as 'Rules of War'"; "Detainees Ready for Release Have no Place to Go"; "Prisons Failing in Oversight of Dangerous Inmates"; "Labor Board Decision May Slash Union Roles"; and "Legality of Foley Actions Not Clear Cut." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Today's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: Two cases are scheduled to be argued today before the Court. Here's my summary of those cases from my law.com essay headlined "A Look Ahead to First Oral Arguments of New Supreme Court Term":
On Oct. 4, the Supreme Court will begin its day by hearing oral argument in the patent law case of MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc. The case presents the interesting question of whether a patent licensee must refuse to pay royalties and commit a breach of the license agreement before suing to declare the patent invalid, unenforceable or not infringed. The Federal Circuit ruled that no "case of actual controversy" existed under the Declaratory Judgment Act for MedImmune to sue Genentech to challenge the patent or its infringement in the absence of a license so long as MedImmune complies with the terms of its license agreement with Genentech.

The second case scheduled for oral argument on Oct. 4 is BP America Production Co. v. Watson. The case involves a dispute between BP America and the federal government over whether the federal government's administrative order demanding payment under the federal Mineral Leasing Act was timely. The D.C. Circuit, in an opinion by then-Circuit Judge John G. Roberts Jr., ruled that the federal government's demand for payment was timely. Both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Stephen G. Breyer recused themselves from the order granting certiorari, so it appears that only seven justices will participate in the consideration and decision of this case.

Demand for same-day transcripts of these oral arguments will surely be be at an all-time high.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Screening of Mail at Federal Prisons Lags; Terrorists Were Able to Send Letters to Sympathizers Overseas, Report Says": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Washington Times reports today that "Terror inmates' mail unread."

And USA Today reports that "Justice review of prisons calls for closer look at inmate communications."

You can access the report of the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice by clicking here.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Law sought on explosive fertilizer; No federal limits on compound's sale": USA Today contains this article today.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Some Workers Change Collars; NLRB Rules Some Nurses Are Supervisors, a Potential Blow to Unions": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "U.S. Ruling Could Eliminate Union Eligibility for Millions."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"LAPD Arrests Skid Row Campers": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article which reports that "Catherine Lhamon, racial justice director of the ACLU of Southern California, questioned whether the arrests made Tuesday are allowed under an April federal appeals court ruling that struck down the city's ban on people sleeping on streets and sidewalks. The court, siding with the ACLU, ruled it was cruel and usual punishment to arrest homeless people for sleeping when the city could not provide enough shelter beds for them."

My earlier law.com essay on this subject was headlined "Arresting the Homeless Is Unconstitutional? Where the 9th Circuit Went Wrong."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Immigration views play role in jury selection; Almost half in the pool say status of truck driver would cause bias in federal retrial": Harvey Rice has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Man Sues Secret Service Agent Over Arrest After Approaching Cheney and Denouncing War": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Rocky Mountain News reports today that "Man files suit over Cheney encounter; Golden resident was cuffed, jailed after comment to VP in Beaver Creek encounter."

And The Denver Post reports that "Cheney critic sues agent over arrest."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices close Megan's Law loophole; State's top court rules an offender not sexually motivated must be included anyway": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "A Warren County teenager who, at age 12, was caught 'playing doctor' with his 6-year-old half-brother must register as a sex offender under Megan's Law, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday."

And The New York Times reports today that "Court Upholds Juvenile Registration as Sex Offender."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Ponder Conditions for Automatic Deportation": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court Considers Drug-Crime Deportations; Justices hear examples of legal immigrants ousted for state felonies deemed minor under federal law."

Charles Lane of The Washington Post reports that "Justices Hear Case on Immigrant Drug Offenders; Clarity Sought on Deportation Provision."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Justices open term, hear case about drugs, deportation."

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "High court gets immigrant drug cases; At issue: mandatory deportation of legal residents of U.S."

Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "Scalia's tequila remark launches new term."

And law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Scalia's 'Tequila' Remark Raises Eyebrows During Immigrants' Rights Argument."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"The New Detainee Law Does Not Deny Habeas Corpus; Fear not, New York Times, al Qaeda's lawfare rights are still intact": Andrew C. McCarthy has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tequila Mockingbird: Justice Scalia opens the 2006 term with a bang." Dahlia Lithwick has this Supreme Court dispatch online at Slate.
Posted at 07:38 PM by Howard Bashman


On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Justices Debate Legal Threshold for Deportation" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Supervisory Ruling on Nurses, Union"; and "Prosecutor: MLB Doping Story Inaccurate."
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia's Tequila Remark Raises Eyebrows": law.com's Tony Mauro provides a news update that begins, "During oral arguments Tuesday in an immigrants’ rights case, Justice Antonin Scalia made a reference to one of the parties, a Mexican who has been deported back to his country, as someone unlikely to keep from drinking tequila on the chance he could return to the United States."

The remark appears on page 16 of the oral argument transcript.
Posted at 07:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Getting His Due -- For forcing Swiss banks to repay their debts to Holocaust survivors, NYU law professor Burt Neuborne was hailed as a hero; Then he submitted his bill: $4,760,000." This article appears in the October 9, 2006 issue of New York Magazine.
Posted at 06:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Terror Inmates' Mail Still Goes Unread": The AP provides an article that begins, "Mail for convicted terrorists and other dangerous federal inmates isn't being fully read by prison authorities, and that is a risk to national security, a Justice Department review concluded Tuesday."

You can access the report of the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice by clicking here.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pentagon: No Terror Trials Imminent." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman


Same-day transcript indeed means same-day: As Lyle Denniston notes in this post at "SCOTUSblog," the first same-day transcript that the U.S. Supreme Court posted online today appeared online at "2:15 p.m., three hours and 15 minutes after the conclusion of the hearing."

Update: The transcript in the second and final case argued today can be accessed here. Not quite as fast as same-day audio release, but still quite timely nonetheless.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge Denies 'Light' Cigarettes Request": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, " A federal judge has denied a request by tobacco companies to let them keep marketing 'light' and 'low tar' cigarettes until an appeal is settled in their case."
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


In today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The newspaper contains articles headlined "Trial OK'd on one Jewell claim against AJC"; "Juries too white, Nichols lawyers say"; and "Nichols banned from making phone calls."
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices Hear Arguments on Deportation": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Why Lawyers Seek Kennedy Vote; When Ideologies Clash, Justice May Tip Supreme Court's Balance": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin has an article (pass-through link) that begins, "Ever since Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retired in January, the High Court has been dubbed the Kennedy Court. Between a bloc of four conservatives facing off against four liberal-leaning members, Justice Anthony Kennedy, with his own occasionally idiosyncratic jurisprudence, may tip the balance on hot-button cases."
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


How social is your group? Yesterday, Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, issued an opinion examining what it means to be entitled to asylum due to persecution or fear of persecution based on "membership in a social group."
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lights, (No) Camera, Action! Supreme Court's New Term Includes Many Likely Historic Cases." CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this essay.
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wrong-way court": Today in The Washington Times, Terence P. Jeffrey has an op-ed that begins, "The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has strangely shifting views on freedom of expression. It seems to depend on who expresses what."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Starr: Watch affirmative action." The Herald-Sun of Durham, North Carolina today contains an article that begins, "Ken Starr told Duke University law students the U.S. Supreme Court is facing two 'extraordinarily controversial' cases in its term that began Monday. One case is about affirmative action and the other is about partial-birth abortions, said Starr, 60, a 1973 Duke Law graduate."

Update: At some point in the near future, an archived webcast of the event should be available via this link.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Cantwell adviser's file briefly unsealed; The divorce papers were resealed, but not until after a blogger revealed the details": This article appears today in The Daily Herald of Everett, Washington.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Abortion case back in lower court; Law requires minors to notify parents beforehand": The Concord Monitor today contains an article that begins, "Nearly a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court found a portion of New Hampshire's controversial abortion law unconstitutional but left the remedy to a lower court. Now, a federal judge in Concord is being asked to decide whether the law's authors would want him to write the fix himself or scrap the law and let the Legislature write a new one."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeal on school's lesson in Muslim culture is rejected": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle, along with an article headlined "PG&E's appeal rebuffed."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Allred Loses Appeal to Supreme Court; The commentator and lawyer had challenged a 'gag order' imposed in a state murder trial."

The Detroit Free Press reports that "High court won't hear newspaper strike case."

The Detroit News reports that "High court sides with 3 workers fired during newspapers' strike."

The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reports that "High court refuses to hear state's appeal on truck rules; Back roads will remain open to tractor-trailers for now."

In The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato has articles headlined "High court won't hear doctor's appeal" and "High court ruling bodes ill for ex-Nazi guard."

And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "Doctor again challenges drugs-for-sex conviction."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers Protest in Low Key; Pink soldiers await Law first-years in protest of 'don't ask, don't tell'": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "Lambda, Harvard Law School’s main gay-rights organization, is taking a low-key approach in protesting the presence of military recruiters on its campus today."

And The Yale Daily News reports today that "Law School keeps up protests of JAG; Despite discouraging ruling, Univ. continues to bar military recruiters as it awaits its own court day."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Weblogs expose judge's vulgarity": This article appears today in The Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Doubt Cast on Report That Named Players": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Two days after it was reported that Roger Clemens was among the six major league players who investigators said had been identified as having used performance-enhancing substances, a federal prosecutor said the news media coverage contained 'significant inaccuracies.'"
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"FCC Is Set to Revisit Rules on Ownership; Two L.A.-area hearings will be held today, but major broadcasters' focus now is elsewhere": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bible-Reading Student Gets Lesson in Litigation": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Amber Mangum was a frequent reader during lunch breaks at her Prince George's County middle school, silently soaking up the adventures of Harry Potter and other tales in the spare minutes before afternoon classes. The habit was never viewed as a problem -- not, a lawsuit alleges, until the book she was reading was the Bible."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Work to Begin at Supreme Court a Day Late": The Associated Press provides this report.

Today also marks the beginning of "same day" oral argument transcripts from the U.S. Supreme Court. It remains to be seen just how early in the day those transcripts will appear online. Once they do appear online, they should be available via this link.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice for Immigrants": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court starts off its term today with arguments in a pair of immigration cases that turn on a technical issue but could have a considerable impact on the real world."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Courts are asked to crack down on bloggers, websites; Those attacked online are filing libel lawsuits": This front page article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman


In commentary available online from FindLaw: Joanna Grossman has an essay entitled "Rhode Island Same-Sex Couples Now Can Marry In Massachusetts -- But Will Rhode Island Recognize Their Unions?"

And Anita Ramasastry has an essay entitled "Does the Americans with Disabilities Act Require that Commercial Websites Be Accessible to the Blind? A Recent Court Ruling Suggests the Answer Is Yes, But Only for Certain Sites."
Posted at 07:33 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, October 02, 2006

"Abortion, Race and Business Law on Supreme Court's New Term Docket": This segment (transcript with link to audio) appeared on this evening's broadcast of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."
Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman


One year ago tomorrow: We awoke to news that President Bush was nominating White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. I provided extensive coverage one year ago tomorrow and on the following day.
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Warning: Gravity at Work! A sleepy college student cashed in, until justice woke up." William W. Bedsworth, an Associate Justice on California's 4th District Court of Appeal, has this essay online at law.com.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Texas case is one of two being used to define how far punishments of immigrants can go; Court to decide: Does deportation fit the crime?" Patty Reinert has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"A Newly Conservative Supreme Court?" Nina Totenberg had this audio segment (RealPlayer required) on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts Court May Be Defined in Second Term": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times. The newspaper also contains an article headlined "Archbishop's Call for Court Blessing Steers Clear of Issues" and an editorial entitled "Whose Court Is It Anyway?"

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Reconfigured Supreme Court Takes Up Cases; In their term starting today, justices will rule on issues that have split past sessions sharply." And Law Professor Kermit Roosevelt has an op-ed entitled "The Myth of Judicial Activism: Just because Americans have complained for centuries about legislation from the bench doesn't mean it actually happens."

Patti Waldmeir of Financial Times reports that "Court back in session with full docket."

Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Pivotal term for high court; Issues on docket include abortion, racial preferences."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor has an article headlined "For Supreme Court's new term: rise of a new centrist; Key abortion and racial cases could signal whether Justice Kennedy shifts court to the right or maintains precedents."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Stevens, Bush Nemesis on Court, Scoring Points at 86."

The Washington Post reports that "Archbishop Stresses Ties Between Morality, Faith At Mass With Justices."

The Washington Times reports that "Government needs faith, Wuerl says."

Manny Medrano of ABC News provides a news analysis headlined "New Members of Supreme Court to Face Controversial Issues; Moderate Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy Will Play Pivotal Role."

And this week's issue of Time magazine contains an item headlined "Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!"
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle reports that "High Court Patent Case May Have Profound Business Impact; Amici filings in case to be argued Wednesday suggest implications beyond patent field."

And in news from New York State, "Proposed Limits on Attorney Advertising Attract More Criticism; Proposal raises First Amendment issue -- and considerable disagreement on proper response to over-the-top solicitations."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Given a green light, same-sex R.I. couples plan Mass. weddings": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Refuses to Limit Gag Orders in U.S. Criminal Cases": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court dismisses election case": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Supreme Court Begins New Term"; "Yom Kippur Shortens High Court's 1st Day"; "Court Declines Challenge to Election Law"; "Supreme Court Denies Northwest Appeal"; "Supreme Court Rejects Nazi Guard Appeal"; "High Court Won't Hear Gloria Allred Case"; "High Court Sides With Detroit Strikers"; "High Court Turns Down Kiss Member Appeal"; and "Court Won't Hear Tupac Critic Libel Case."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"President Bush ignoring recommendations, past of judicial candidate": Yesterday in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi, columnist Eric Stringfellow had an op-ed that begins, "Michael Wallace went to Washington last week and did precisely what was expected."
Posted at 09:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Defending His Record: The Senate Judiciary Cmte. considers the nomination of Mississippi attorney Michael Wallace to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals." That was the subject of this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America & the Courts." You can view the broadcast online by clicking here (RealPlayer required).

Of course, Wallace is no longer technically a Fifth Circuit nominee, as last Friday the U.S. Senate returned his nomination and the pending nominations of five other federal appellate court nominees to the White House.
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court Ruling Fuels Dispute in West Over Eminent Domain; Initiatives Challenge Land-Use Regulations": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Laws Involving Contact With Minors Allow Prosecutors a Broad Range of Discretion": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


Two dildos in the Questions Presented fail to garner U.S. Supreme Court review: James Vicini of Reuters reports that "Supreme court opens term, rejects appeal on sex toy."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Sexual-Device Sale Ban in Texas Left Intact by Top U.S. Court."

And The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Sex-Toy Case."

My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pre-Emptive Lawsuit Challenges Bush Plan": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Attorneys for 25 men being held in Afghanistan launched a pre-emptive strike Monday against President Bush's plan to prosecute and interrogate terror suspects."
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court flacks: Don't quote me on that; Policy keeps talk 'on background.'" This article appears today in The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal.
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Chaos Behind California Executions; Trial testimony paints lethal injection methods as haphazard, with little medical oversight": Maura Dolan and Henry Weinstein have this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pa. justice Newman might quit": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, "Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman, who narrowly won another 10-year term on the state's highest court in November, is leaning toward stepping down, according to sources in the legal system."
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Madame Justice: Mike Wallace Interviews Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg." You can access online both the text and the video of a segment that aired yesterday on the CBS News program Sunday Morning.

And in related coverage, UPI provides a report headlined "Justices not best lawyers, Ginsburg says."
Posted at 08:24 PM by Howard Bashman



"New circuit with no Hispanics draws fire; A 9th Circuit judge protests current proposal for a new 12th Circuit": Pamela A. MacLean has this article (free access) in this week's issue of The National Law Journal.
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Alito Says Level of Attacks On Judges Hit Historic High": This article (free access) appears today in the New York Law Journal.
Posted at 08:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Once Is Enough: By limiting judicial clerkships to just one per lawyer, we could cut down on ideological activism, elitism, and judicial sloth." Dahlia Lithwick has this essay in the October 2006 issue of The American Lawyer.
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Programming note: This blog will next be updated on Monday night.

Although tomorrow is the first Monday in October, the Supreme Court of the United States will not begin its new Term by hearing oral arguments tomorrow in observance of the Yom Kippur holiday. Rather, the Term's first oral arguments will occur on Tuesday. My law.com essay previewing this week's and next week's Supreme Court oral arguments can be accessed here.

The Supreme Court tomorrow is expected to issue its first Order List of the Term, containing a very large number of certiorari denieds. You can access the Order List, once the Court posts it online at its web site sometime after 10 a.m. eastern time Monday, via this link (or, perhaps, directly by clicking here). Additional coverage may appear tomorrow at "SCOTUSblog."

The blog "Patent Baristas" is slated to host "Blawg Review #77," scheduled to appear early tomorrow.

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com is headlined "How Many Issues Should You Raise on Appeal? Beware the trap of raising too many issues."
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Business Sector Looks to Court for Help": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court is about to plunge into an agenda laden with issues affecting the business sector. Tobacco companies, the biotech industry and operators of coal-fired power plants have a stake in cases the court will hear in the next month."
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Group verdict: Judges' raises are fair; The controversy, subject of a court ruling, is a hot topic at a Phila. Bar Association conference." This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 02:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Filth or Free Speech? Feces porn brings the feds to Orlando -- welcome to Bush's war on obscenity." The current issue of Orlando Weekly contains this article.
Posted at 01:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Profiles in Cowardice: On prisoner abuse and detention, President Bush finds enablers in both parties." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.

And today in The Los Angeles Times, Moazzam Begg has an op-ed entitled "No 'Holiday' in Guantamo: I never saw Rumsfeld's volleyball courts during my two years in America's gulag," while U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) has an op-ed entitled "What My Father Saw at Nuremberg: Sixty years ago today, my father watched the U.S. win the battle of ideas; Have we lost our way?"
Posted at 01:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Profile in courage: Earl Warren was a staunch Republican who nonetheless forged a progressive social vision as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; How did this happen?" Today in the Sunday Book Review section of The Los Angeles Times, Karl Fleming has this review of Jim Newton's forthcoming book, "Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made."
Posted at 01:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Where the Rubber Meets Roe: The pro-life case for contraception." William Saletan has this essay online at Slate.
Posted at 01:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court Justices Attend Pre-Term Mass": The AP provides this updated report.
Posted at 12:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Retrial of truck driver in deadly smuggling case to begin": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "An invalid verdict has given federal prosecutors a second chance to try a truck driver on all the charges he faced for his role in the nation's deadliest human smuggling attempt, including those that carry the death penalty."
Posted at 12:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Revisits Race, Abortion this Session": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday."
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Why Torture Is Still An Option: The compromise terrorism detainee bill limits interrogation abuses-and lets Bush set the limits." This article will appear in the October 9, 2006 issue of Time magazine.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Red Mass Offers Guidance for Justice": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "With the nation's highest court set to open a new session, members of Washington's legal community gather Sunday to seek spiritual guidance for justice in the annual celebration of the Catholic Church's Red Mass."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman






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