How Appealing

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 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, 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 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

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