Friday, November 16, 2007
"Court rejects challenge to wiretap program; The Bush administration's warrantless spy effort is protected by the 'state secrets' privilege, federal judges rule": Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"9th Circuit Deals Setback to NSA Surveillance Victim": Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog this afternoon has a post that begins, "Two Americans who claim to have been given proof they were spied on by the government's secret, post-9/11 surveillance program can not use the document the government accidentally turned over to prove that they were spied on because the government claims that it will endanger national security, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. A three-judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that required that the plaintiff's lawyers turn all copies of the document over to the court, but let them reconstruct - on secure computers - their recollections of the document in order to prove they had standing to sue the government."
"Bush judicial nominee sued, accused of defamation": The Virginian-Pilot today contains an article that begins, "E. Duncan Getchell Jr., a Richmond lawyer nominated to the federal appeals court, was accused this week of making a costly error in 2005, then spreading false statements about it and shifting the blame to another lawyer to save his judicial nomination."
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman
Federal Circuit affirms jury verdict holding that Microsoft infringed another company's patents relating to the prevention of software piracy: You can access today's ruling at this link. I guess the jury didn't buy the defense that sometimes you must improperly use someone else's intellectual property to ensure that others aren't improperly using your intellectual property.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman
"The dissent characterizes the wearing of the GPS monitoring system as 'a catalyst for public ridicule' akin to traditional forms of community shaming or humiliation." So writes the majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today in rejecting a sex offender's challenge to a requirement under the Tennessee Serious and Violent Sex Offender Monitoring Pilot Project Act that he wear a GPS tracking device. According to the majority opinion:
The device that Doe must wear is relatively unobtrusive, measuring only 6 inches by 3.25 inches by 1.75 inches and weighing less than a pound. In its size, shape, and placement (hooked to a belt), it appears very similar to a walkie-talkie or other nondescript electronic device. Furthermore, we have every reason to believe that the dimensions of the system, while not presently conspicuous, will only become smaller and less cumbersome as technology progresses. We similarly cannot agree that the device's appearance would suggest to the casual observer that the wearer is a criminal, let alone a sex offender. The monitoring system could easily be viewed as a two-way communication device, a personal organizer, a medical apparatus, or as a monitoring system for employees entrusted with company property, such as delivery drivers or couriers. However, even assuming the public would recognize the device as a criminal monitor, there is no evidence to suggest an observer would understand the wearer to be a sex offender. These devices can be utilized in a variety of contexts, such as pretrial monitoring and work release, and are, in fact, advertised for use in such situations. Indeed, the dissent can only point to a single incident wherein a member of the public recognized the device as a monitor, and, even then, there was no evidence to suggest that the observer knew the device to be one that monitored sex offenders, as opposed to criminals generally.You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman
"A bout of gas or indigestion does not justify a race to the courthouse." Circuit Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh today issued an opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that begins, "In this case, a group of lactose-intolerant individuals filed an unusual class-action lawsuit against nine sellers of milk. The plaintiffs allege that they consumed milk before they were aware of their lactose intolerance and, as a result, suffered temporary gas and stomach discomfort. According to plaintiffs, the milk sellers should have put warnings on the labels, informing consumers that some individuals might be intolerant of milk."
Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman
"Senate to Debate Telecom Firms' Immunity in Surveillance Role": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.
The New York Times reports today that "Panel Drops Immunity From Eavesdropping Bill."
"Calif. Court Rejects SUV Mileage Rules": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
The New York Times reports today that "Court Rejects Fuel Standards on Trucks."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Ruling may drive tighter fuel standards; The federal appeals court decision targets a loophole that lets top-selling sport utility vehicles get fewer miles per gallon than passenger cars."
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Truck, SUV mileage standards thrown out by U.S. appeals court."
And USA Today reports that "Court orders tougher fuel rules; Lawsuit challenged goals for pickups, minivans and SUVs."
"Judge stops enforcement of silence law": Today's edition of USA Today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge put a stop Thursday to enforcing a mandatory moment of silence in Illinois public schools that opponents say is an attempt to institute school prayer."
"Doctor barred by Missouri helps in federal executions; A judge cites the physician's dyslexia in banning him from participation in state lethal injections; His role has been cited in several death penalty challenges": Henry Weinstein had this article yesterday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:21 AM by Howard Bashman
"Supreme Court halts Florida execution": The Miami Herald contains this article today.
Today in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey reports that "U.S. Supreme Court stays Florida execution; The case is the latest showdown over whether lethal injections should be delayed until a key death penalty decision."
The Orlando Sentinel reports that "Top court halts execution -- killer's future uncertain."
The Palm Beach post reports that "Killer, slain boy's family wait as courts say yes, no to execution."
Florida Today contains an article headlined "Schwab met family, declined meal, before call" and an editorial entitled "Justice delayed: Rios-Martinez family deserves swift decision in Schwab death penalty debate."
"Red Cross Monitors Barred From Guantanamo": This article appears today in The New York Times.
"Federal Prosecutor Nominated To Appeals Court in Richmond": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The Bush administration nominated Maryland's top federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, late yesterday to fill a long-standing vacancy on the federal appeals court in Richmond."
"For Ashcroft, Something Old, Something Nude": Today in The Washington Post, Al Kamen's "In the Loop" column begins, "It was, let's face it, inevitable. And so, on Wednesday, at the swearing-in of Attorney General Michael Mukasey at the Justice Department, former attorney general John D. Ashcroft was reunited with 'The Spirit of Justice,' the 12-foot Art Deco-era sculpture his aides once famously covered with giant blue drapes at a cost of more than $8,000."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman
"Federalists Relish Well-Placed Friends; President, Several Justices Help Celebrate Legal Society's 25 Years of Conservatism": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post. Also in that newspaper today, Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch," headlined "Let's Do the Time Warp Again," begins, "The Earth has circled the sun 16 times since Clarence Thomas took his seat at the Supreme Court. But for Justice Thomas, it's forever 1991. Thomas may be a mute during oral arguments, but yesterday he opened his heart in the safe confines of the conservative Federalist Society's annual gathering. And it took him precisely 31 seconds to get to the subject most on his mind: his confirmation battle."
Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Bush, justices address Federalist Society; Most of the president's remarks to the conservative legal group attack the Senate confirmation process as harsh and partisan."
The Washington Times contains an article headlined "Bush: Politics sully nominees."
And Legal Times has an article headlined "Justice Thomas to Federalist Society: 'What Happened to My Life?'"
"Bonds Charged With Perjury in Steroids Case": This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined "Bonds's Trainer Is Released, but He Isn't in Clear Yet." Murray Chass has an "On Baseball" column headlined "Indictment Deepens Baseball's Shame." And sports columnist George Vecsey has an essay entitled "The Truth Could Have Set Bonds Free."
The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "Home Run King Bonds Charged With Perjury," along with articles headlined "An Asterisk Looms Over Baseball: Game's Most Hallowed Mark Is Again Called Into Question" and "Herein Lies A Lesson: Bonds Joins a Fraternity Of Those Charged With Deceiving, Not With Doing." And sports columnist Michael Wilbon has an essay entitled "Giant Catch for Feds."
In The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein reports that "Barry Bonds case could hinge on a single word: 'knowingly'; To make perjury charges stick, prosecutors must prove that baseball's home run king knew he was using performance enhancing substances." The newspaper also contains articles headlined "Bonds charged with perjury; The home run king also faces an obstruction of justice indictment over whether he lied under oath about steroid use" and "Bonds' legacy is safe at home; For the most part, San Franciscans say the indictment doesn't affect their admiration for the former Giant."
The San Francisco Chronicle contains articles headlined "Barry Bonds indicted on 4 perjury counts, obstruction of justice"; "The key evidence of steroid use in government's case against Bonds"; "As Bonds heads to court, MLB troubles mount"; and "Indictment of Bonds changes few minds among fans." In addition, columnist Gwen Knapp has an essay entitled "Barry Bonds won't be running the show in the courtroom."
USA Today contains a front page article headlined "Baseball's home run king faces possibility of prison; Bonds' career likely over after indictment alleges he lied about using steroids."
And The Recorder reports that "Barry Bonds Indicted for Perjury, Obstruction of Justice."
"Bush Announces 5 Nominees for Top Justice Posts": The New York Times contains this article today.
"Vioxx Plaintiffs' Choice: Settle or Lose Their Lawyer." This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman
"In Contempt": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, showed their utter disregard for Congress, the Constitution and the American people when they defied Congressional subpoenas in the United States attorneys scandal. The House Judiciary Committee rightly voted to hold them in contempt, and now the matter goes to the full House."
Posted at 08:01 AM by Howard Bashman
"Supreme Court to settle tug of war over the Delaware; Plan to build natural gas plant on riverbank strains two states' ties": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"Why was assault called harassment?" Today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Rick Casey has an op-ed that begins, "I may have been too harsh Sunday when I criticized the 19-member judicial council of the 5th U.S. Circuit for characterizing the alleged behavior of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent as 'sexual harassment.'"
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman
"Appeals court says Arizona attorneys must serve as arbitrators": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld an Arizona court rule requiring lawyers to serve as arbitrators on some civil cases with little pay, even if they object."