Wednesday, October 24, 2007
"Lawyers to begin arguing today": The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Opening statements will begin today in the trial of Darren Mack, who is accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife and shooting a Reno judge about 16 months ago."
"Mukasey's confirmation: a vote about torture; The attorney general nominee's evasive remarks on 'water-boarding' should disqualify him from the job." Law Professor Jonathan Turley has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"What the Senate Should Do": At "Balkinization," Chris Eisgruber yesterday had a post that begins, "This post is the last of three marking the 20th anniversary of the Senate vote rejecting Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court (the vote was twenty years ago today: October 23, 1987)."
Posted at 08:17 PM by Howard Bashman
"Justices to consider gun case Nov. 9": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
And at "PrawfsBlawg," Michael O'Shea has a lengthy but interesting post titled "What Happened in Heller, Chapter I: The Certiorari Briefing."
"Advocacy Matters Before and Within the Supreme Court: Transforming the Court By Transforming the Bar." On Monday, Tony Mauro had this article reporting on a new study by Law Professor Richard Lazarus.
"Court attempts to hide FBI threats to innocent man's family": Josh Wolf has this post today at his "Media Sphere" blog hosted by c|net.
Andrew Sullivan at "The Daily Dish" has a post titled "Bush's America: The Higazy Case."
The blog "Corrente" has a post titled "Court Decision Redacted to Obscure FBI Role In Coerced False Confession Is a Non-Story? What's With That?"
"The Group News Blog" has a post titled "FBI Tortures Innocent Civilians."
The blog "TFS Magnum" has a post titled "Welcome to the Police State."
Kevin Drum at "Political Animal' has a post titled "Higazy revisited."
And "ACSBlog" provides a post titled "Bloggers Reveal Redacted Second Circuit Opinion Contained Allegations of Coercion That Occurred During an FBI Interrogation Related to 9/11."
"Southwick confirmation to federal bench clears Senate": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi provides this news update.
Posted at 06:03 PM by Howard Bashman
Eleventh Circuit overturns a Florida federal district court's dismissal of a lawsuit stemming from a 2001 collision between two aircraft in Milan, Italy that was the deadliest aviation disaster in Italian history: Circuit Judge Ed Carnes wrote today's ruling on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"The Interrogation of Abdallah Higazy: So far, press accounts have missed the point." Clint Hendler has this interesting article, in which I am quoted, online today at Columbia Journalism Review.
Posted at 05:48 PM by Howard Bashman
The "Last, Best" trademark that federal law prohibits anyone from registering: The Last Best Beef, LLC between 2001 and 2004 sought to register eight trademarks of the phrase "The Last Best Place" in connection with a variety of different products and services. A federal appropriations act signed into law on November 22, 2005 prohibits the registration, issuance, transfer, or enforcement of any trademark of the phrase "The Last Best Place."
When the appropriations act became law, Best Beef's eight trademark applications were in various stages of consideration with the USPTO. As a result of the appropriations act's having become law, the USPTO suspended all proceedings and canceled two registrations that it had approved.
Last Best Beef filed suit, claiming that the appropriations act violated Section 1052 of the Lanham Act, which provides that "[n]o trademark ... shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature." A federal district court agreed, but today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision holding that the USPTO acted properly in suspending proceedings and canceling registration pursuant to the appropriations act.
The Missoulian previously covered this controversy in articles you can access here and here. And in October 2006, "The TTABlog" had this post reporting on the federal district court's ruling that the Fourth Circuit reversed today.
We are joining this program already in progress: Attorneys Tom Goldstein and Maureen Mahoney are discussing business cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, at an event hosted by the Institute for Legal Reform. You can view the discussion live by clicking here (RealPlayer required). I'll link to archived video of the event later, when it becomes available.
Posted at 04:22 PM by Howard Bashman
"Court Urged to Enter Spurned Spouse Case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"Southwick Wins Confirmation": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Judge Leslie Southwick to the federal appeals court in Mississippi despite complaints by some Democrats that decisions he supported were racially insensitive and inappropriate for a region still shadowed by civil rights struggles. The 59-38 vote on confirmation was sealed after the nomination survived its main obstacle, a test tally moments earlier. Majority Democrats pressured by labor unions and other constituencies did not have the votes to filibuster, or block, Southwick's confirmation."
The U.S. Senate's official vote tally on cloture, achieved by a margin of 62-35, can be accessed here. The vote tally on confirmation is not available yet but should be posted to this link.
"Court Ruling Removes Hurdle to a VW Takeover": This article appears today in The New York Times.
"Appeals court rules child-porn law invalid": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Tuesday backed a Cleveland sex magazine publisher's claim that a law intended to fight child pornography is unconstitutional because it restricts protected speech by setting reporting requirements that are overbroad."
"Anti-Terrorism on Trial: Why the Government Loses Funding Cases." Law Professor David Cole has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:02 AM by Howard Bashman
"Ex-Attorney General Says Politics Drove Federal Prosecution; House Panel Evaluating Justice Dept." The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Richard L. Thornburgh, who served as attorney general under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, accused the Justice Department yesterday of prosecuting a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat for political reasons, one of a series of cases singled out by House Democrats as examples of alleged GOP meddling at the Justice Department."
The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Ex-attorney general says Democrats were targets; Richard Thornburgh accuses the U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh of ignoring evidence of misconduct by Republican officials."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "Wecht arguments go to Washington; The question of whether the prosecution of former Coroner Cyril H. Wecht is politically motivated reverberates around Capitol Hill."
"Death Penalty Be Not Proud, Courts Reckon": The New York Sun today contains an article that begins, "By vacating the death sentence of New York's last death row inmate, the Court of Appeals yesterday sent Albany a clear message: The resurrection of capital punishment in this state won't be achieved by judicial intervention but only by the will of the Legislature."
The New York Times reports today that "State's Highest Court Tosses Out Death Sentence in Killings at a Queens Wendy's."
And The Times Union of Albany, New York reports that "Death penalty law dead; Queens killer avoids execution as high court affirms 2004 decision halting capital punishment in state."
"Limited gun ruling urged": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman
"Roberts Skirts Hot Topics at BYU Speech": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Students and community members lined up by the dozens at Brigham Young University to ask the U.S. Supreme Court's chief justice about subjects including race, Roe v. Wade, Guantanamo Bay prisoners, and gay marriage."
The Salt Lake Tribune today reports that "Chief justice speaks at BYU."
"Tilting the Scales of Justice": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Every time we take a look at the United States attorney scandal, more evidence emerges that Alberto Gonzales politicized the Justice Department to the point where it sometimes seems like a branch of the Republican National Committee."
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman
Programming note: A forthcoming issue of ABA Journal magazine will contain a feature article about law bloggers. The magazine has hired photographers to go out and take pictures of some of the handful of law bloggers on whom the article will focus.
"The Surveillance Law That Matters: The president is bound by the Constitution, not the whims of Congress." Robert F. Turner has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman
The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "Texas Judge Known for Toughness on Crime" begins, "The path to the nation's busiest death chamber winds through a court of last resort where the presiding judge recently refused to keep her office open past 5 p.m. to accept a last-minute appeal from an inmate about to be executed."
"Deal Struck on Southwick Vote": Roll Call today contains an article (subscription required) that begins, "A hands-off posture by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and promises from key Republicans to help smooth the way for deals on outstanding appropriations bills appear to be the right recipe for the Senate confirmation this week of controversial appellate court nominee Leslie Southwick."
The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi reports today that "Senate debate on Southwick may end today."
The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi contains an article headlined "Circuit judge vote today" that begins, "The Senate is scheduled to vote at 10 a.m. today on the nomination of former Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit."