Monday, December 18, 2006
In Tuesday's edition of The New York Times: Neil A. Lewis will have an article headlined "Senator Removes His Block on Federal Court Nominee" that begins, "Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, who blocked the confirmation of a woman to the federal bench because she attended a same-sex commitment ceremony for the daughter of her long-time neighbors, says he will now allow a vote on the nomination."
Adam Liptak will have an article headlined "Prosecutors Drop A.C.L.U. Subpoena in Document Fight."
And an article will report that "Inquiry Falters on Civilians Accused of Detainee Abuse."
"Gov. wants death penalty procedure corrected": Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News provides an update headlined "Schwarzenegger orders prison officials to fix execution problems."
"Mich. to Delay Affirmative Action Ban": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Michigan's three top-tier universities can continue using race and gender in admissions and financial aid awards through the current admission cycle, under an agreement proposed Monday."
Posted at 09:58 PM by Howard Bashman
"The Jury Snub: A conservative form of judicial activism." Seth Rosenthal has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman
"Court to Hear Broadcast Indecency Case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court in New York will hear arguments Wednesday over whether the government's decisions on what constitutes indecent speech violates the First Amendment rights of broadcasters."
Posted at 06:12 PM by Howard Bashman
Eligibility for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act depends in part on an employee's having been employed by the employer "for at least 12 months": Today a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit resolves a question of first impression under the FMLA -- "whether and under what circumstances an employee who has had a break in service may count previous periods of employment with the same employer toward satisfying this 12-month requirement."
In the case decided today, the employee worked as a car salesman for the employer for five years. Thereafter, for the next five years, the employee did not work for the employer. Next, the employee was rehired by the employer, and seven months later sought to take FMLA leave. The First Circuit holds, thanks in large measure to an amicus brief from the U.S. Department of Labor, that the employee on these facts has satisfied the FMLA's requirement of having been employed by the employer "for at least 12 months"
"Myers' winding road to 9th Circuit takes final turn": This editorial appeared last Thursday in The Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho. The editorial begins, "Call it Lesson One for the new U.S. Senate minority: Choose your battles wisely, and avoid battles that you've already lost. President Bush's dogged determination to put two conservative judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals from Idaho is all well and good from this side of the Continental Divide. But the president's nomination of Boise lawyer William G. Myers III to the San Francisco-based court appears to be on a road to nowhere."
Posted at 04:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Eminent Extortion Case for Review; Developer Demanded $800,000 or Village Would Take Property; Property Owners Refused, Village Condemned Land Next Day": The Institute for Justice issued this news release today. Additional information, including the cert. petition and some amicus briefs, can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman
"By what standard do we review a district court's determination that a defendant's sentence would not have been materially different, had it known that the Guidelines were advisory rather than mandatory?" That issue today divides a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Richard C. Tallman joined. Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon dissented, arguing that the standard of review that the majority adopted was too deferential.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Fenced In: At Guantanamo, Even 'Easy' Cases Have Lingered; Balky Intelligence Agencies, War-Torn Crime Scene Hinder Legal Process; Maj. Groharing's Village Hunt." Jess Bravin has this front page article (pass-through link) today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman
"The Supreme Court Smacks the Ninth: And the Los Angeles Times smacks them again." The pseudonymous "Jack Dunphy" has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 12:58 PM by Howard Bashman
Case challenging the Boy Scouts of America's leases of land from the City of San Diego causes the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to certify questions to the Supreme Court of California: You can access today's Ninth Circuit certification order at this link. Circuit Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld dissents from the majority's conclusion that the plaintiffs have standing under Article III, and would therefore dismiss the case, but otherwise concurs in the certification. The federal district court decision that is the subject of today's ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 12:54 PM by Howard Bashman
"Legal skeletons in your closet may go online; Pre-conviction information available Jan. 1": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article that begins, "Be advised, say employment attorneys and privacy advocates: With new rules allowing the public instant online access to your Pennsylvania court records, that youthful indiscretion or mistaken arrest may no longer be relegated to dusty file folders in your county courthouse, forgotten and, for all practical purposes, invisible."
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit holds that federal law enforcement officers are not entitled to compensation from the government for the time they spend commuting to and from work in government-owned police vehicles: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"A Georgia case calling for executive clemency?" At his "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog, Law Professor Doug Berman has this post discussing a case from Georgia involving consensual sodomy between two underage teens that I discussed here earlier today.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman
Posted at 10:24 AM by Howard Bashman
"The terrorist you've never heard of: Unlike alleged al-Qaida terrorist Jose Padilla, right-wing 'dirty bomber' Demetrius Crocker was investigated and prosecuted the old-fashioned constitutional way." Alex Koppelman has this article today at Salon.com.
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"Former U.S. Detainee in Iraq Recalls Torment": According to a lengthy article published today in The New York Times, "The detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor."
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman
"U.S. Military Rehearses Terror Hearings": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The U.S. military is rehearsing for hearings on whether 14 top terror suspects can be held indefinitely without charge as enemy combatants, but defense lawyers say the outcome is preordained."
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"Gift Ideas for the Appellate Lawyer on Your Holiday Shopping List": That's the headline of this week's installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com.
Meanwhile, subscribers to the Washington, DC-based Legal Times will be able to see in newsprint this week my "On Appeal" column from two weeks ago, under the headline "Your Computer, Your Porn: Courts Misapply Meaning of Possession."
"Demystifying the Implications of U.S. Supreme Court Appointments": The Stanford Graduate School of Business has issued this news release about a research paper by Professor Keith Krehbiel entitled "Supreme Court Appointments as a Move-the-Median Game."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman
"Justices weighing Portage case; Ohio court hears arguments on criminality of computer-generated child porn": The Associated Press provides this report.
And The Ravenna Record-Courier last week published an article headlined "A right to view kiddie porn? Portage case before Ohio Supreme Court."
The Ohio Supreme Court's summary of the case is titled "Are Provisions of Ohio Child Pornography Law Unconstitutionally Vague and Overbroad?" Once that court posts online the archived oral argument video in the case, you will be able to access it via this link.
"Supreme Court relaxes rules on hearsay evidence": Friday's issue of The Toronto Globe and Mail contained this article reporting on a decision that the Supreme Court of Canada issued on Thursday.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman
"Former playmate at SF court in dispute over late husband's estate": The Associated Press on Friday provided this report.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman
"I am very sympathetic to Wilson's argument regarding the injustice of sentencing this promising young man with good grades and no criminal history to ten years in prison without parole and a lifetime registration as a sexual offender because he engaged in consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old victim only two years his junior": So wrote Justice Carol W. Hunstein of the Supreme Court of Georgia Friday in an opinion concurring in that court's order denying reconsideration of a case in which a 17-year-old boy was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment without possibility of parole for aggravated child molestation based upon a consensual act of oral sodomy performed on him by his 15-year-old girlfriend.
The Associated Press reports that "Ga. Supreme Court rejects teen's appeal in sex case."
"Supreme Court: 45% Have Favorable Opinion; 20% Report No Opinion of Country’s Highest Court." Rasmussen Reports provides this summary of the results of one of its recent opinion polls.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman
"Army subpoenas journalists over officer's quotes": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Army prosecutors have sent subpoenas to journalists in Oakland and Honolulu demanding testimony about quotes they attributed to an officer who faces a court-martial after denouncing the war in Iraq and refusing to deploy with his unit."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"Give habeas a chance: Although it failed to pass the Senate in September, a measure letting enemy combatants challenge their detention is back in a new bill." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman
"Scalia Tells Group What It 'Ought to Hear'": In today's edition of The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has an article that begins, "The most obvious question about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's appearance before the Northern Virginia Technology Council last week was: What was he doing there?"
Posted at 06:48 AM by Howard Bashman
"Conservatives' Grip on Key Virginia Court Is at Risk": The Washington Post today contains a front page article that begins, "A growing list of vacancies on the federal appeals court in Richmond is heightening concern among Republicans that one of the nation's most conservative and influential courts could soon come under moderate or even liberal control, Republicans and legal scholars say."
Posted at 06:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"The Midas Touch": Today in The New York Times, Marc Maurer has an op-ed that begins, "In a ruling in a lawsuit last month, Judge James Robertson of Federal District Court said that United States currency discriminates against blind people because bills are all the same size and cannot be distinguished by touch."
Posted at 06:40 AM by Howard Bashman
"Executions drop as states debate lethal injection; Some see decline as temporary; others say death penalty is fading": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 06:35 AM by Howard Bashman
Available online from FindLaw: Michael C. Dorf has an essay entitled "The Bush Administration Wins a Round on Military Commissions, But the District Court Ruling May Have a Silver Lining for Detainees."
And Austin Sarat has an essay entitled "When Executions Go Wrong: A Horribly Botched Florida Killing Adds Strong Impetus to a National Reconsideration of Capital Punishment."
"Blawg Review #88": Available here, at "HealthBlawg."
Posted at 06:28 AM by Howard Bashman