How Appealing

Friday, December 31, 2004
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and rewarding 2005: Thanks so much to the thousands upon thousands of readers who visited "How Appealing" in 2004, and extra special thanks to those of you who took the time to email information, ideas, links, or attachments that led to postings here.

The year that concludes at midnight was a memorable one for this web log. In April 2004, Legal Affairs magazine began hosting "How Appealing." That hosting arrangement provides much more reliable access to the site, and in exchange I am paid for pursuing this hobby of mine. In addition, in June 2004 the Ninth Circuit issued its second opinion that cites this web log. A few thousand more mentions of "How Appealing" in published Ninth Circuit opinions and we'll be even.

In 2004, blog-related speaking engagements took me first to Harvard Law School, then to Washington, DC, then to Pittsburgh, then to St. Louis to visit with the judges of the Eighth Circuit, and then to New York City. Already in 2005, I'm scheduled to visit with the law clerks of the D.C. Circuit.

On a personal level, 2004 will be a year to remember. My wife took seriously ill earlier this year and then required major surgery. Since then, I am so very happy to report, she has returned fully to good health and all is back to normal. In October, I turned 40. And in February, I left big law firm life to open my own solo appellate boutique. My first eleven months as a solo practitioner, I'm pleased to report, have been a smashing success. I have proved, as I hoped I would, that it is possible to work fewer hours, earn more money, and be far happier as a solo appellate practitioner than as an appellate lawyer at a big firm.

I owe a sincere debt of gratitude to all the many readers of "How Appealing" who have sent appellate work to me since I opened my own law firm in February. In 2004, I have had multiple appellate arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, achieved victory in an important case before that court, and have also argued multiple times in the state appellate courts of Pennsylvania. Earlier this month, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a front page article about a case that I will argue before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in the early part of 2005.

Speaking of mentions in the media, I was fortunate in 2004 to be quoted in The New York Times, mentioned online at The Washington Post, quoted in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and The Harvard Crimson, and quoted by Bloomberg News. I also had a very enjoyable appearance among the talking heads on the MSNBC program "The Abrams Report."

2004 did not provide only happy memories. Among those who lost their lives this year were two readers and friends of "How Appealing" who died far too young -- Laury Estrada, the wife of former D.C. Circuit nominee Miguel Estrada; and Eighth Circuit Judge Richard S. Arnold, whose "20 questions for the appellate judge" interview remains a favorite of mine. Just as the prayers from so many readers of this blog gave me and my wife strength when she was ill earlier this year, the family and friends of these two individuals continue to receive my prayers for strength and healing in the days ahead.

In May 2005, "How Appealing" will celebrate its third anniversary. When I began this blog on May 6, 2002, I had no idea I was on the verge of creating a site that would turn out to be the one place on the internet where information is transmitted instantaneously to this Nation's entire community of appellate judges and practitioners, not to mention federal judicial nominees. It is both an honor and a responsibility to be the author of this site, and I can only hope that in the future I will perform that function at least as well as I have in the past.

Based on what we already know, the year ahead promises to be as fascinating as any since "How Appealing" came into existence. The U.S. Supreme Court's docket is chock full of important and interesting cases. A vacancy on that Court now seems more likely than ever. In the U.S. Senate, the battle over judicial filibusters promises to remain intense and could finally reach a resolution. And the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the state appellate courts will continue to produce a steady stream of noteworthy and sometimes unexpected rulings.

In conclusion, I wish all the best for 2005 to all of this web log's many readers. Thank you for encouraging me in this endeavor and for making it worthwhile.
Posted at 23:45 by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Rehnquist defends job security for judges": The Associated Press provides this article reporting on Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's "2004 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary," news coverage of which was supposed to be embargoed until 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.
Posted at 21:25 by Howard Bashman



"Justice Dept. Toughens Rule on Torture": Neil A. Lewis will have this article in Saturday's issue of The New York Times. The Justice Department's new memo, issued yesterday, can be accessed here.
Posted at 21:10 by Howard Bashman



"Clarence Thomas Is Dirk Diggler": The blog "Wonkette" offers this post today.
Posted at 20:55 by Howard Bashman



"Justice Revises Torture Policy": This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" included this segment (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 20:45 by Howard Bashman



"Prosecutors slapped in truck death case; Judge's order to explain pursuit of death penalty was ignored": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "The judge in an upcoming trial involving the deaths of 19 illegal immigrants will tell jurors that prosecutors ignored her order to provide information on whether they are seeking the death penalty because of the defendant's race. In a ruling made public Thursday, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore said she also will allow attorneys defending truck driver Tyrone Williams to use the government's refusal as evidence during the penalty phase if he is convicted on a death-penalty charge." The ruling does not yet appear to be freely available online.
Posted at 17:30 by Howard Bashman



"A party tinged with sadness": Australia welcomes the arrival of 2005.
Posted at 15:15 by Howard Bashman



Perhaps if the strip club had involved some nude dancers in its presentation, Los Angeles City Council members would have paid attention? The Los Angeles Times today contains an article headlined "Listen Up, Politicians: It's Ears Before Ayes" reporting on this ruling that California's Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, Division Eight, issued yesterday. (Thanks to Law Professor Rick Hasen for the pointer.)
Posted at 13:50 by Howard Bashman



"Pa. Seeks to Revise 'Cyberschool' Law": The Associated Press offers an article that begins, "State lawmakers want to revise Pennsylvania's 'cyberschool' law following a dispute over taxpayer money spent on the children of U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum."

Earlier this month, The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported that "Penn Hills residency controversy dogs Santorum; Cases back legality of status, senator contends while fighting criticism about paying back fees."
Posted at 13:44 by Howard Bashman



"Don't weaken Senate rules on judges": The Kennebec Journal of Augusta, Maine contains this editorial today.

And The Albuquerque Tribune yesterday published an editorial entitled "Bush's plan for judges declares war on rights."
Posted at 12:32 by Howard Bashman



"Court opens files on Pritzker family's billions": This article appears today in The Chicago Sun-Times. And The Chicago Tribune, which pursued the appeal decided yesterday, reports that "Pritzker case files may soon be open; Appeals court says judge erred."
Posted at 12:30 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains articles headlined "Gregoire certified as next governor; Rossi won't quit; he cites 3,500 'mystery voters'" and "Contesting the election: How it would likely work." A related editorial is entitled "One word: Preposterous," while columnist Robert L. Jamieson Jr. has an essay entitled "Grace now would create 'Dino-zilla' in the future."

The Seattle Times contains articles headlined "Doubts linger as Gregoire win certified"; "Full plate to greet Gregoire"; and "It's 'Madder than a hatter' vs. 'Mandy in Magnolia.'"

The Olympian reports that "2 months after election, Gregoire governor-elect; Election win certified for Democrat" and "Rossi continues campaign for new election."

And The New York Times reports today that "Governor-Elect Declared in Washington Recounts."
Posted at 12:15 by Howard Bashman



The Sacramento Bee is reporting: In today's newspaper, legal affairs writer Claire Cooper reports that "Court targets abuses by immigration lawyers."

In other news, "Death-row inmate asks governor for clemency."

And an article is headlined "New year, new laws: Gay couples to acquire new rights; Domestic partnerships will soon gain marriage-like protections and obligations, but not everyone is celebrating."
Posted at 11:44 by Howard Bashman



"Death sentences, executions decline; Still, public backs capital punishment": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune. (Via "Sentencing Law and Policy.")
Posted at 11:32 by Howard Bashman



"Chief Justice Thomas: President Bush gets a free pass on replacing Rehnquist; Here's how he can make the most of it." James Taranto has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 11:22 by Howard Bashman



"Their own worst enemy: Judges v. Judicial Independence." Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, had this op-ed in that newspaper on Wednesday of this week.
Posted at 10:54 by Howard Bashman



In news from Montana: The Missoulian reports today that "Court rules for same-sex benefits." And The Helena Independent Record reports today that "Court backs gay benefits." Plus, as I first noted here last night, in The New York Times today Adam Liptak has an article headlined "Montana Universities Must Offer Health Insurance to Gay Employees' Partners."

Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Montana can be accessed here, and via this link you can access all the documents filed in the appeal.
Posted at 10:40 by Howard Bashman



"A battle over sale of violent video games; Illinois governor's push to prevent sales to minors pits civil liberties against desire to protect children": This article appears today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:32 by Howard Bashman



"People of the Year: Bloggers." So says the ABC News program "World News Tonight."
Posted at 10:30 by Howard Bashman



"Study: Family, Friends Reduce Quality Internet Time." "ScrappleFace" today provides this report on a study that The New York Times reported on yesterday in an article headlined "Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing." The results of the study, conducted by Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, are scheduled to be posted online at this link on Monday, thereby further depleting the time available for TV viewing and socializing.
Posted at 10:23 by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast included segments entitled "Justice Dept. Memo Redefines 'Torture'" (access the memo here) and "Reid Prepares to Lead Senate Democrats." RealPlayer is needed to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:15 by Howard Bashman



"Justice Thomas Reports Wealth of Gifts; In the last six years he has accepted free items valued at $42,200, the most on the high court": As I first noted here last night, Richard A. Serrano and David G. Savage have this article in today's edition of The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:10 by Howard Bashman



"Mandate to renominate: The president's decision to resubmit 20 people who were not confirmed for federal judgeships could kick off the new Congress with another ugly fight." This editorial appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 07:50 by Howard Bashman



"Court Strips Anna Nicole Smith of Millions": Reuters provides this report.

The Houston Chronicle reports today that "Anna Nicole's fortune fizzles; Federal panel rules she won't get $88 million."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Smith Loses Her Claim to Millions."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link, and my earlier coverage of that ruling is here.
Posted at 07:44 by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers ask governor to give killer clemency; Brain defects caused him to follow orders, attack pair, they say": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "Killer in new bid for clemency; Peninsula convict turns to Governor."
Posted at 07:32 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, December 30, 2004
"Justice Dept. Memo Redefines 'Torture'; Broader View Covers Variety of Abuse": This article will appear in Friday's issue of The Washington Post.

The article reports on this 17-page memo that the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel issued today.
Posted at 23:54 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Justice Issues Rewritten Memo on Torture"; "Ex-Playmate Anna Nicole's Fortune Reversed"; and "Court Upholds Cisco Embezzlement Repayment."
Posted at 23:50 by Howard Bashman



"Court Denies Anna Nicole Smith a Share of Husband's Estate": Friday's edition of The Los Angeles Times will also contain this article. The article notes that Howard Stern is serving as Anna Nicole Smith's attorney.
Posted at 23:44 by Howard Bashman



"Thomas' Acceptance of Gifts Tops Justices": In Friday's edition of The Los Angeles Times, Richard A. Serrano and David G. Savage will have a lengthy article that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts since joining the Supreme Court, from $1,200 worth of tires to valuable historical items and a $5,000 personal check to help pay a relative's education expenses."
Posted at 23:40 by Howard Bashman



"Montana Universities Must Offer Health Insurance to Gay Employees' Partners": Adam Liptak will have an article in Friday's edition of The New York Times reporting on this ruling that the Supreme Court of Montana issued today. Via this link, you can access all the documents filed in the appeal.
Posted at 23:33 by Howard Bashman



Two new posts from Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner have appeared at Brian Leiter's blog: They bear the titles "The Religion of Civil Liberties" and "A Note on Free Will."
Posted at 23:30 by Howard Bashman



"Jim Haynes As a Stalking Horse In Torturegate: Why President Bush Renominated Him for A Federal Appellate Judgeship." John Dean has this essay, bearing tomorrow's date, online at FindLaw.
Posted at 23:10 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro has an article headlined "Coming to Terms With Supreme Court Tenure."

Jeff Chorney reports that "$27M Restitution Upheld in Cisco Case; 9th Circuit OKs formula used in embezzlement case against former exec."

An article is headlined "Fla. Supreme Court: Everyone Into the Pool; State's high court wants to know why residents are no-shows when summoned for possible jury duty."

And in other news, "Taxing of Telecommuters to Go Before New York State's High Court."
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



In Friday's issue of The New York Times: An article will report that "Trial of Ex-Chief of HealthSouth Is Set to Open."

And in news from the New York region, "Terror Trial's Summation Draws Defense's Objections" and "State Loses Bid to Withhold Documents."
Posted at 22:44 by Howard Bashman



Netflix news: The DVD of "Blind Shaft" that arrived in today's mail contained a crack clean through from the top to the middle, so we ended up watching the first part of "The Door in the Floor" instead.
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



"The Year In Preview": California Court of Appeal Justice William W. Bedsworth's brand new column can be accessed here. It contains his quite funny predictions for 2005.

And for those who find writing a monthly column challenging enough (I know I do), did you know that Justice Paul E. Pfeifer of the Supreme Court of Ohio has since September 1999 written a weekly column?
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



"Law firm claims McCartheys owe bill; Tribune dispute: A family spokesman says he is "baffled" by the claim against former owners." The Salt Lake Tribune contains an article that begins, "A Chicago law firm, citing an alleged unfulfilled 'oral contract,' has asked a federal judge to order the former owners of The Salt Lake Tribune to pay nearly $340,000 in disputed fees and expenses. In its complaint before U.S. District Court Judge Paul G. Cassell, Winston & Strawn said the money is owed for its work on the Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Co.'s (SLTP) ongoing, four-year battle to regain ownership of Utah's leading daily newspaper from Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc."
Posted at 17:44 by Howard Bashman



"Get a life": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "The effort to purge any mention of God from the public square has become nothing short of ludicrous: Witness the removal of an 8-foot-high monument bearing the Ten Commandments from Providence's Roger Williams Park."
Posted at 17:40 by Howard Bashman



"Court Allows Barnes Foundation To Move Collection to Philadelphia; Staying in Merion would not generate excitement or attract 'alpha donors' to provide necessary resources": Don Kramer, a former law partner of mine, is the author of a publication named "Nonprofit Issues." This article appears in the current edition of that publication. The article reports on this ruling that the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania issued earlier this month.

The article states, toward the end:
Although this opinion is actual legal precedent in only one county in Pennsylvania, it helps determine the general climate for challenges to restrictions placed on charitable gifts for donors throughout the country. It may also suggest to "alpha donors" that they can sway court opinions by withholding funding unless the court agrees to the alpha donors' conditions.

Because the Attorney General was the only party granted standing to intervene in the case and supported the trustees' petition, the trial court's decision may never be reviewed. A group of students was denied standing by the Court but was subsequently granted amicus status, without rights to full discovery, when it appeared that there would be no one to raise any counter arguments. The grant of amicus status specifically denied them the right of appeal, however.

Although the students could conceivably appeal the denial of standing, they would have a steep uphill fight to get another shot at their substantive opposition.
Stay tuned!
Posted at 17:30 by Howard Bashman



"Court Rules Against Billionaire Pritzkers on Secrecy": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 17:10 by Howard Bashman



"Brain-Damaged Baby to Stay on Life Support": The Associated Press provides this report on today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio in the unfortunate case involving Baby Aiden.
Posted at 16:10 by Howard Bashman



"A Conversation with Hon. Antonin Scalia and Hon. Stephen Breyer": American University Washington College of Law in the District of Columbia will be hosting this fascinating program on Thursday, January 13, 2005. In a nutshell, Justices Scalia and Breyer will be debating (once again, but in person this time!) the topic "Relevance of Foreign Law for American Constitutional Adjudication."

By the way, Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner's recent blog posts on that topic can be accessed here and here.

Law Professor Ken Anderson (author of "Kenneth Anderson's Law of War and Just War Theory Blog") advises that the law school intends to stream the program live over the internet, with details available via the law school's main web page beginning January 10, 2004.
Posted at 15:15 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirms dismissal of CalPERS securities class action against Chubb Corporation: You can access today's ruling at this link. The CalPERS web site offers this background about the lawsuit.
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



Also known as Anna Nicole Smith? The third and final published opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today begins:
This appeal involves disputed claims made by Vickie Lynn Marshall, the surviving spouse of J. Howard Marshall II, against E. Pierce Marshall, the decedent's surviving son, the trustee of decedent's trust property and the executor of the estate of J. Howard Marshall II, deceased.
Oddly, the opinion fails to mention that Ms. Marshall is better known as Anna Nicole Smith. At least the case wasn't captioned United States v. Bad Marriage.
Posted at 14:10 by Howard Bashman



"This case presents the disappointing story of a promising federal appellate law clerk gone bad." A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued a decision in which the majority opinion begins:
This case presents the disappointing story of a promising federal appellate law clerk gone bad. Robert Gordon, a graduate of Stanford Law School and a former law clerk for one of our colleagues, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, embezzled millions of dollars in cash and stock from his employer, Cisco Systems.
The opinion does not appear, at first glance, to identify for which judge on the Seventh Circuit the defendant clerked.
Posted at 14:00 by Howard Bashman



Access online today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in United States v. Bad Marriage: By a 2-1 vote, Bad Marriage has prevailed on appeal. Notwithstanding its name, the case involves alcohol abuse, Indian reservations, and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
Posted at 13:50 by Howard Bashman



"Ohio Justice to Remain on Vote Challenge": The Associated Press reports here that "The chief justice of the state Supreme Court refused Wednesday to remove himself from a case challenging the results of the presidential election."

And The Toledo Blade reports today that "Chief Justice Moyer won't step down from vote challenge; Request to speed up hearing also rejected."
Posted at 12:22 by Howard Bashman



Developments in the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case: Several developments to report in this case, involving a legal challenge to the Guantanamo military tribunals. As Marty Lederman reports here at "SCOTUSblog," earlier this week the federal government filed in the U.S. Supreme Court its brief in opposition to certiorari before judgment.

Meanwhile, the federal government's appeal in that case remains pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Yesterday, counsel for Hamdan filed their Brief for Appellee and a motion for initial hearing en banc. Numerous amicus briefs have also been filed in the D.C. Circuit in that case, and they can be accessed online via this link.
Posted at 12:15 by Howard Bashman



"High Court Will Hear Appeal In Ross Case; Public defender's office still seeking to represent killer": The Day of New London, Connecticut contains this article today.
Posted at 10:55 by Howard Bashman



"Filibusters frustrating, but necessary": This editorial appears today in The Spectrum of St. George, Utah.

And in The Palm Beach Post, Tom Teepen has an essay entitled "Bush's juris mis-prudence."
Posted at 10:45 by Howard Bashman



Point, counterpoint: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an editorial entitled "Presidential power play: Bush's decision on judicial nominations ensures an even more partisan, bitter Congress in 2005."

And, in response thereto, that newspaper today also contains an op-ed by C. Boyden Gray entitled "Judicial filibusters go against Constitution."
Posted at 10:40 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The Los Angeles Times: The newspaper reports that "Plaintiffs in Suit Claim Wal-Mart Fudged on Study; A brief filed in a huge class-action case alleging sex discrimination accuses the retailer of making 'false assertions.'"

And in other news, "U.S. Attorney Assails Lawyer in Terror Trial; Lynne F. Stewart and two colleagues are accused of conspiring to ferry illegal messages for imprisoned cleric Omar Abdel Rahman."
Posted at 10:33 by Howard Bashman



"NRO's 2005 Crystal Ball": Staffers from National Review Online offer predictions here, including several that are court-related.
Posted at 10:11 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Kansas AG Asks Court to Reconsider on Death Penalty Law" and "Fla. Court Won't Reopen Schiavo Case."
Posted at 10:02 by Howard Bashman



"Ban on foster children in residences with gays unlawful, judge finds": The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette contains this article today.
Posted at 09:55 by Howard Bashman



"Bush's payback? President Bush invites conflict by renominating for judgeships several people who didn't get over the bar the first time." This editorial appeared yesterday in The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The New York Times: Law Professor Eric A. Posner has an op-ed entitled "All Justice, Too, Is Local."

And Andrew Rosenthal has an Editorial Observer essay entitled "Legal Breach: The Government's Attorneys and Abu Ghraib."
Posted at 09:44 by Howard Bashman



"Response to Comments on Citing Foreign Courts": Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner has a new post online at Brian Leiter's blog.

Judge Posner's post begins:
Lawrence v. Texas, invalidating state sodomy laws, was one of the decisions in which the U.S. Supreme Court cited a foreign case, and a comment asks whether I think the decision was wrong. I think it would be possible to write a respectable, narrow opinion invalidating those laws, which have come to seem ridiculous, though so inconsequential are they that it hardly seems worth the bother. The trouble is that Justice Kennedy wrote a very broad opinion, with language that armed the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to create a constitutional right of gay marriage, setting off a firestorm. Many liberals now recognize that the Massachusetts court made a serious political mistake. The judges of that court (the judges in the majority, that is) might say that law must not bend to politics, but that would be a ridiculous statement when the issue is gay marriage. Neither the U.S. nor the Massachusetts constitution speaks to gay marriage. The decision that there shall be a right to such marriage is a political decision, in the sense that it rests--it has to rest, there is no other foundation for it--on the ideology, values, temperament, and so forth of the judge, rather than on some "observer independent" source of guidance. When such a decision is contrary to strong public opinion, its undemocratic character is unmistakable, and the decision arouses indignation and strengthens the opponents of (a certain kind of) judicial activism.
You can access all of Judge Posner's other guest posts at that blog via this link.
Posted at 07:40 by Howard Bashman



"Who's More Funny: Jay Leno or David Letterman? A Post About Two Webloggers Who Criticize Anonymous Lawyer." Evan Schaeffer has this post today at "Notes from the (Legal) Underground."
Posted at 07:32 by Howard Bashman



"Move to change Senate rules would only betray voters' trust; Threat of filibuster helps president get moderate conservative judicial nominees and avoid the ideological warfare that could ruin his legacy": Dick Morris has this op-ed today in The News-Press of Fort Myers, Florida.
Posted at 07:25 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Seattle Times reports today that "Rossi urges revote to fix 'mess.'"

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Rossi calls for another election; No, says Gregoire, who is to be declared governor-elect today."

The Olympian reports that "Rossi calls for a revote; Gregoire camp shuns request as certification is set for today."

And The New York Times reports "In Washington, Call for a Second Election."
Posted at 07:20 by Howard Bashman



"Death penalty upheld for '81 murder of 2 young women; Redwood City killer's execution date set for Jan. 19": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has this article today concerning a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued late yesterday in the case of Donald Beardslee.

In other news coverage, Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Peninsula man's bid to overturn execution fails."

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court denies appeal from death row inmate."

The Ninth Circuit heard oral argument in the case on Tuesday, as yesterday's edition of The San Francisco Examiner reported in an article headlined "Judges' ruling could postpone execution; Attorneys argue over penalty fate of convicted murderer."

Update: In other coverage of the Ninth Circuit's ruling, Claire Cooper of The Sacramento Bee reports that "U.S. court refuses to block execution; 9th Circuit panel discounts errors in the penalty trial."
Posted at 07:02 by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, December 29, 2004
"Prosecutor Tries to Use Threads of Terror Case to Ensnare Lawyer": This article will appear in Thursday's edition of The New York Times.
Posted at 23:12 by Howard Bashman



In news from Montana: The Helena Independent Record reports today that "Democrats win House on court decision." And The Billings Gazette reports that "Supreme Court ruling gives Democrat seat in state House."

In other news, The Independent Record today contains an article headlined "Smoking ban revived" that begins, "A state law aimed at exempting casinos from local smoking ordinances has no teeth, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 decision Tuesday that left both sides claiming victory." You can access yesterday's ruling at this link.
Posted at 23:02 by Howard Bashman



"Judicial Wars Redux: Despite Bush's controversial appeals court nominations, most Jewish groups expected to stay on sidelines." This article appears in the December 31, 2004 issue of The Jewish Week.
Posted at 22:55 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "2nd Circuit to Rehear Felon's Bid to Upset Election Law; En banc review will decide if state, federal laws clash."

And an article is headlined "9th Circuit: Employer Can Force Women to Wear Makeup."
Posted at 22:00 by Howard Bashman



Does a convicted felon who possesses dynamite that's incapable of exploding commit the federal criminal offense of being a felon in possession of explosives? Today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit answered that question in the affirmative. You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 20:55 by Howard Bashman



Impregnating your girlfriend doesn't constitute "resistance" to China's population control program: Circuit Judge Edith H. Jones issued this opinion today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Posted at 19:25 by Howard Bashman



"Courts: Uncertainty, controversy in 2005." Michael Kirkland, legal affairs correspondent for United Press International, provides this report.
Posted at 19:11 by Howard Bashman



"States' rulings conflict regarding parentage of girl with two mothers": Yesterday's issue of The Loudoun (Va.) Times-Mirror contained this article. And The Winchester Star yesterday published this article about the case, which ranked as one of that newspaper's top ten stories of 2004.
Posted at 18:00 by Howard Bashman



"How five newcomers could change Senate; Staunch GOP conservatives shift from the tightly organized House to the prestigious club of 100": This article, which mentions judicial filibusters, will appear in Thursday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 17:40 by Howard Bashman



"So Help Me God: The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny and the Battle for Religious Freedom." That's the title of former Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore's forthcoming book, which The Associated Press writes about today in an article headlined "Ex-Justice Describes Commandments Fight."

According to that article, the book's publisher -- Broadman & Holman Publishers -- provided The AP with an unedited draft of the book.

The web page that the book's publisher has set up for the book also looks to be somewhat unedited, referring at one point to the book's author as "Alabama Chief Justice Ray Moore." At least the book's web page contains no mention of Justice "Clearance Thomas."
Posted at 17:24 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Ex-Justice Describes Commandments Fight"; "Details of Guantanamo Detentions Emerge"; and "Court: Minn. Can't Regulate Internet Calls."
Posted at 17:14 by Howard Bashman



Jose Padilla habeas corpus briefs are available online: The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina is providing access to the court filings in the Jose Padilla habeas corpus action via this link.

Padilla's motion for summary judgment, which has been briefed in opposition by two lawyers from the Solicitor General's Office, is scheduled to be argued next week, according to the news coverage I previously collected here.
Posted at 15:50 by Howard Bashman



"US rebel joins Saddam legal team; Former US attorney general Ramsey Clark has joined the team of Jordan-based lawyers defending Saddam Hussein": BBC News provides this report. And Agence France-Presse reports that "US attorney-general joins Saddam." Clark becomes the second American on Saddam's defense team. Earlier this month, The St. Petersburg Times published this profile of the first American to join in that defense.

Update: Reuters has an interview with Clark headlined "U.S. lawyer says access to Saddam key to justice." And the November|December 2003 issue of Legal Affairs magazine contained an article headlined "Ramsey Clark's Prosecution Complex: How did Lyndon Johnson's attorney general come to defend dictators, war criminals, and terrorists?"
Posted at 15:40 by Howard Bashman



"Tsunami-quake relief: Where to send help." The human tragedy that is continuing to unfold as a result of the Indian Ocean tsunamis saddens me and everyone I know beyond belief. The press coverage that I have seen emphasizes that one of the best ways that we in the United States can be of help is by donating money toward the relief effort. The Associated Press has compiled this list of charitable organizations that are raising funds to be applied in the relief effort.
Posted at 15:20 by Howard Bashman



Urine and attorneys' fees don't mix, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has determined: You can access today's ruling, in a case involving a patent "directed to a method for removing unwanted substances from human urine samples," at this link. Go figure -- urine contains unwanted substances?
Posted at 15:10 by Howard Bashman



Make up your own mind: The "Althouse" blog links here to a profile headlined "Rouge Rogue: When Harrah's casino told Darlene Jespersen to wear makeup or lose her job, the soft-spoken bartender turned into an unlikely hellraiser" that Mother Jones magazine published in its March/April 2001 Issue about the plaintiff in yesterday's Title VII ruling from the Ninth Circuit.

I first mentioned that ruling yesterday in a post you can access here, and this morning I collected news coverage of the ruling at this link.
Posted at 12:20 by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained segments entitled "Unmarried Mass. Gay Couples Losing Health Benefits" and "Wisconsin Attorney General Will Prosecute Hunter Trial" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:15 by Howard Bashman



Today's news relating to Connecticut's death penalty volunteer: In The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has articles headlined "Ross Ruled Competent To Choose Execution" and "State's Lethal Injection Process Challenged; CCLU Sues, Contending Killer Might Feel Severe Pain."
Posted at 10:40 by Howard Bashman



"Attack With Dirty Bomb More Likely, Officials Say": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, in news relating to Jose Padilla, The New Haven Register on Sunday published an article headlined "City lawyer challenging terror policy."

And one week ago today, The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported that "Padilla hearing to be held in Spartanburg Jan. 5."
Posted at 10:32 by Howard Bashman



No relation: The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina today contains an article headlined "Paper won't probe call in Basham trial; Information sought on juror's contact." The article begins, "A federal judge on Tuesday set another hearing on Branden Basham's request for a new trial after a newspaper declined to question its staff about who talked with a juror during the penalty phase of Basham's trial."

In earlier coverage, The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported on December 14, 2004 that "Attorney for convicted killer demands new trial" and on November 30, 2004 that "Juror's misconduct could force retrial." And The Associated Press reported in late November 2004 that "Basham's attorney to challenge sentence."

This matter is pending in federal court because the defendant, Branden Basham, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in federal court.
Posted at 10:20 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: The following articles are now available online:
Posted at 10:00 by Howard Bashman



"Republican Judge Takes Aim at Bush Terror Policies": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 09:40 by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit can't save face: Today in The Los Angeles Times, Henry Weinstein reports that "Court Rules Bartender Was Justly Fired for Refusing to Wear Makeup; An appeals panel decides the grooming policy of Harrah's casino asking servers to be 'appealing to the eye' is not gender bias."

And in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Casino's makeup rule upheld; Court says fired woman didn't prove sex discrimination."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 07:20 by Howard Bashman



"Citing Foreign Courts": Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner has this new post up at Brian Leiter's blog.
Posted at 07:18 by Howard Bashman



In Ten Commandments-related news from Alabama: The Eufaula Tribune yesterday contained a lengthy article headlined "The Monument in the Judicial Building."
Posted at 07:11 by Howard Bashman



"The Democrats' filibuster": This editorial appears today in The Washington Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an editorial entitled "Bush's activist bench."

The Miami Herald today contains an editorial entitled "Advice and consent on judicial nominees; Renomination of judges could cause needless partisanship."

The Kalamazoo Gazette yesterday contained this editorial on the subject of federal judicial nominations and confirmations.

At Townhall.com, Terence Jeffrey has an essay entitled "The undemocratic party."

At Tech Central Station, W. James Antle III has an essay entitled "The Filibuster-Proof Majority?"

And at the "Notes from the (Legal) Underground" blog, Matt Schuh has a guest-post titled "Bush's 'Nuclear Option' for Judicial Appointments: A Conservative Dissent."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Alberto R. Gonzales is scheduled to begin on January 6, 2005 at 10 a.m.: You can access the Senate Judiciary Committee's notice of hearing at this link.
Posted at 23:55 by Howard Bashman



In Wednesday's edition of The New York Times: An article headlined "Ruling Gives Democrats a Grip on Montana" reports on this order that the Supreme Court of Montana issued today.

And columnist William Safire has his "Office Pool, 2005" that, of course, contains some predictions relating to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 23:44 by Howard Bashman



"The Rise of Religion in Politics in 2004": Today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" included this report (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 23:30 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Seattle Times reports today that "GOP weighs next step after recount."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "GOP wants vote data from King County; Party is likely arming itself to challenge Gregoire victory."

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained a segment entitled "Battle for Wash. Governor's Race Locks Locke in Office" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 23:00 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of USA Today: Richard Willing has an article headlined "Rosa Parks center of legal storm."

An article reports that "Some CEOs surf Web to see how they're being portrayed."

And Tony Mauro has this review of Law Professor Geoffrey R. Stone's new book, "Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism."
Posted at 22:45 by Howard Bashman



"Preparing for death": The San Mateo Daily Journal today contains an article that begins, "If Donald Beardslee’s lawyers are successful at either of two upcoming court hearings, the condemned man won’t receive a lethal injection in three weeks."

And in death penalty-related news from Missouri, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that "Man faces death again in Mo. case."
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



"Was commission biased against judge? Virginia high court is asked to review disciplinary case involving Albemarle jurist." This article appears today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



"N.J. piles demolition trash on Michigan; Rockwood vows court fight after 1,000 tons of debris begin to arrive daily": The Detroit News contains this article today.
Posted at 22:28 by Howard Bashman



"Robinson Helicopter gets $6 million ruling reinstated; California Supreme Court sides with earlier court decision favoring the Torrance company for damages from an Ohio company that supplied faulty engine parts": This article appears today in The Daily Breeze of Torrance, California.
Posted at 22:24 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle has an article headlined "Water Suits Flow Like H20: U.S. Supreme Court to hear key water rights case."

And Jeff Chorney reports that "9th Circuit Rules Sex Predator Can Sue Over Jail Treatment."
Posted at 22:04 by Howard Bashman



"Certain Things Have Come to My Attention": Sean Carman has this amusing essay online at McSweeney's Internet Tendency. The essay may be of interest to all sorts of nominees who require U.S. Senate approval.
Posted at 17:10 by Howard Bashman



"Court Backs Firing of Waitress Without Makeup": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 16:40 by Howard Bashman



"Juries may have more to weigh in 2005": The Daily News of Jacksonville, North Carolina today contains an article that begins, "Juries in North Carolina could soon be given a few extra chores, thanks to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year."
Posted at 15:35 by Howard Bashman



"Utah Supreme Court will hear appeal of decision granting parental rights to lesbian non-parent": Alliance Defense Fund has issued this press release.
Posted at 15:22 by Howard Bashman



"Just Another Brother on the SCT?: What Justice Clarence Thomas Teaches Us About the Influence of Racial Identity." You can access via this link an article bearing that title which Law Professor Angela I. Onwuachi-Willig has posted to SSRN. (Via "Legal Theory Blog.")
Posted at 15:10 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit grants rehearing en banc in felon disenfranchisement case: The court's order granting rehearing en banc, dated December 23, 2004 and posted online today, can be accessed here.

I previously reported on this case in October 2004 in a post titled "You're out of order." Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court entered an order denying certiorari in the case.
Posted at 15:00 by Howard Bashman



"Dennis Kennedy's 2004 Legal Blogging Awards": You can access them here. Notably, Dennis Kennedy has given only one of those awards to himself.
Posted at 14:45 by Howard Bashman



"Rapist's suit against county gets go-ahead": The Sacramento Bee today contains this article reporting on a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued yesterday. In other coverage of the ruling, The Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports today that "Court Revives Challenge to Detention of Sexually Violent Predators."
Posted at 14:35 by Howard Bashman



"Lautenschlager aims to seek re-election; Conviction for drunken driving, misuse of state car loom as issues in '06": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager said Monday that she plans to run for a second term in 2006, hoping to rebound from a year in which she was treated for breast cancer, convicted of drunken driving and paid a $250 forfeiture for misusing a state vehicle."
Posted at 14:20 by Howard Bashman



Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: The requirement imposed by Harrah's Casino in Reno, Nevada that its female beverage servers wear make-up does not discriminate on the basis of sex in violation of Title VII, a divided three-judge panel ruled today. You can access the court's opinion at this link.

And Circuit Judge Jay S. Bybee, on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel consisting of judges regarded as part of the Ninth Circuit's conservative wing, today reversed the grant of habeas corpus that a federal district court had issued in favor of a fifteen-year-old who had pleaded guilty in state court to aggravated first-degree murder, an offense that carried a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. You can access today's lengthy opinion in this case at this link.

Update: With regard to the Title VII decision, a reader emails to ask whether the case involved a facial or an as-applied challenge.
Posted at 13:20 by Howard Bashman



Controversial U.S. District Court nominee J. Leon Holmes sits by designation with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit: The Eighth Circuit issued this opinion today.

Back on July 6, 2004, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Holmes to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas by a vote of 51-46. I collected press coverage of that vote in posts that you can access here and here.
Posted at 12:10 by Howard Bashman



"Governor-elect's unity skills to be tested; Anibal Acevedo's Vila's election as Puerto Rico's next governor is expected to be certified today; The governor-elect is viewed as a consensus builder": The Miami Herald contains this article today.
Posted at 11:50 by Howard Bashman



"Campus club seeks right to exclude gays; ASU, Christian group battle in court": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.

Update at 4:12 p.m.: The Center for Law and Religious Freedom has issued to The Chicago Tribune this demand for a retraction pertaining to the article linked in this post.
Posted at 10:55 by Howard Bashman



In news from Ohio: The Toledo Blade reports today that "High court disallows appeal for television ad privacy." Also, The AP offers a report headlined "Court: Campaign group must reveal donors; Ads targeted Justice Resnick."

In other news, The Toledo Blade reports that "Lanzinger to take high court oath today." On Sunday, a profile of the Justice she is replacing appeared in The Cleveland Plain Dealer under the headline "Justice Sweeney to retire; wrote key court decisions."
Posted at 10:40 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Mississippi tries everything to curb abortions; With numerous restrictions and just one clinic, state is Exhibit A in national debate"; "Legal battle over Terri Schiavo survives another year"; and "Team focuses on benefits of marijuana."
Posted at 10:32 by Howard Bashman



"Web will take justices everywhere; Live from Trenton, all proceedings of highest court on Internet": This article appears today in The Newark Star-Ledger.
Posted at 10:30 by Howard Bashman



In same-sex marriage-related news from California: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article headlined "S.F. can't challenge 'mental disorder' argument; Judge won't allow city to submit opposing evidence."
Posted at 10:25 by Howard Bashman



"Sheep ranchers to vote on board; But because of a pending U.S. Supreme Court case, the timing is awkward": The Sacramento Bee contains this article today.
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



"2004's Legal Hits & Misses": CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this essay online today.
Posted at 09:25 by Howard Bashman



"Poor judicial pick: Gov. Perry should back away from his effort to put Bush's former faith-based initiatives adviser on the Texas Supreme Court." The Houston Chronicle contains this editorial today.
Posted at 07:25 by Howard Bashman



"Reject recycled judges": This editorial appears today in The Palm Beach Post.

The Salt Lake Tribune today contains an editorial entitled "Once bitten."

The Wichita Eagle contains an editorial entitled "Nomination wars harm government, public."

Investor's Business Daily today offers this editorial on the subject of judicial confirmations.

The Amarillo Globe contains an editorial entitled "Bush lays down court marker."

And today in The Los Angeles Times, letters to the editor appear under the heading "The Battle of the Bench Continues."
Posted at 07:22 by Howard Bashman



The "nuclear option" is neither nuclear nor an option -- discuss: Online at Townhall.com today, David Limbaugh has an essay entitled "Nuclear option is not nuclear."
Posted at 07:20 by Howard Bashman



"Expected Legislation from the President": In the January 3, 2005 issue of The New Yorker, Dan Greenburg has this "Shouts and Murmurs" essay.
Posted at 07:12 by Howard Bashman



"In short, it should be possible to explain everything in law in perfectly simple, everyday, common sense terms. That should be the law student's, the lawyer's, and the judge's creed." In his second substantive post at Brian Leiter's blog, Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner responds to reader comments that his first substantive post from yesterday generated.
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



In Tuesday's issue of The Washington Post: An article is headlined "Gonzales's Journey: From the Stands to the Heights; Migrant Workers' Son Worked Way to Air Force Academy, Harvard, a Top Law Firm -- and Government."

And in other news, "President Cautious In Issuing Pardons; Bush Wasting Opportunity, Critics Say."
Posted at 00:15 by Howard Bashman



Monday, December 27, 2004
Kentucky's meth mess: Yesterday, The Louisville Courier-Journal began a three-day series entitled "Meth: a rising blight." Yesterday's lead article was headlined "Meth's surge leaves a trail of misery in Kentucky and Indiana; Children, states and environment pay a severe price."

Two of today's articles focus on the consequences of a meth-related ruling that the Supreme Court of Kentucky issued in June 2003. Those articles are headlined "Court ruling constricts fight; All ingredients needed to convict" and "Case prompts number of reversed convictions."
Posted at 23:02 by Howard Bashman



"Unfair eminent domain?" The Providence (R.I.) Journal contains this editorial today.
Posted at 23:00 by Howard Bashman



"Calif. Justices Allow Punitives in Contract Case": This article is available online from law.com.
Posted at 22:54 by Howard Bashman



"In China, Turning the Law Into the People's Protector": Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post will contain this front page article.
Posted at 22:48 by Howard Bashman



"Ross' father, public defenders file appeals": The Associated Press reports here that "The father of serial killer Michael Ross and his former public defenders filed motions Monday in Rockville Superior Court seeking an emergency stay of his planned execution on Jan. 26, Ross' lawyer said."
Posted at 22:45 by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: This evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained a segment entitled "Judge's Robe Featuring Ten Commandments Draws Objections." I wonder if my NASCAR-inspired idea is mentioned.

And today's broadcast of "Day to Day" included a segment entitled "Slate's Politics: Holiday Displays, Court Picks and Recounts."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 19:20 by Howard Bashman



"2004 is turning point in freedom to marry": Columnist Deb Price has this essay today in The Detroit News.
Posted at 17:58 by Howard Bashman



"Court decision on mental illness may free some patients": The Salem Statesman Journal today contains this article previewing a case to be argued on January 5, 2005 before the Supreme Court of Oregon.
Posted at 17:30 by Howard Bashman



AT&T succeeds in overturning $1 million punitive damages award where the consumer's actual damages were $115.05: Today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision that reduces the punitive damages award to $250,000. That's still a bit more than a ten-to-one ratio, but the court concluded that it would be difficult to deter AT&T's conduct were the punitive award any smaller.
Posted at 16:45 by Howard Bashman



"Death penalty ruling makes Supreme Court look less predictable": The Associated Press offers a report from Kansas that begins, "By striking down the state's capital punishment law, the Kansas Supreme Court has drawn the attention of Republican legislators worried that changes in the court's membership have saddled the state with an activist court."
Posted at 16:00 by Howard Bashman



Philadelphia native becomes Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: On December 25, 2004, Paul R. Michel became the Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit. You can access Chief Judge Michel's official Federal Judicial Center biography at this link.
Posted at 14:45 by Howard Bashman



"Group to appeal Arizona restrictions on illegals": This article appears today in The Washington Times.

Update: A reader has emailed this copy of last Wednesday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

The order at the conclusion of the decision gives rise to my question for the other self-proclaimed appellate geeks who may be reading this: For what conceivable reason would a U.S. District Judge add to an order denying a preliminary injunction, immediately appealable as of right under 28 U.S.C. sec. 1292(a), that he will refuse to certify the order for interlocutory appeal by permission under 28 U.S.C. sec. 1292(b)?
Posted at 14:35 by Howard Bashman



Bad-mouth your boss, win $700,000: The Providence Journal today contains an article headlined "High court trebles damages to man fired for bad-mouthing his boss" that begins, "The Rhode Island Supreme Court last week tripled -- to nearly $700,000 -- a jury's damages award to a man who lost his job in 1998 after making derogatory remarks about his boss, unaware that his boss was equipped to listen in on employees' private telephone calls." The decision doesn't yet appear to be available online from the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.
Posted at 14:15 by Howard Bashman



"Shaw inquiry exceeds brief, judge told": The Sydney Morning Herald today contains an article that begins, "A last-minute attempt to prevent the Police Integrity Commission from ruling on the former judge Jeff Shaw and his missing blood samples could force the appointment of a special bench of interstate judges to the NSW Court of Appeal to hear the matter."
Posted at 14:14 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Gay Marriage Amendment Not Coming Soon"; "'Friends' Harassment Suit Tests Tradition"; and "Washington Governor's Race May Not Be Over."
Posted at 14:12 by Howard Bashman



California sex offenders commit an additional crime if they visit California's sex offender web site: Jonathan Soglin provides details here at his "Criminal Appeal" blog.
Posted at 14:10 by Howard Bashman



"Federal judges help themselves": The Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News today contains an editorial that begins, "Federal judges can take more corporate-paid vacations and report fewer of them, thanks to new 'ethics' rules written by a committee headed by a North Carolina judge."
Posted at 12:10 by Howard Bashman



"Bush should opt for new nominees": The Nashua Telegraph contains this editorial today.
Posted at 11:02 by Howard Bashman



"Case Is High Profile, Prosecutor Isn't; Rowland Guilty Plea One Of Many Big Cases Nora Dannehy Won't Talk About": This article appeared yesterday in The Hartford Courant.
Posted at 11:00 by Howard Bashman



"Election, Iraq War Named Top Legal Stories of Year": Thomson West has issued this press release today.
Posted at 10:58 by Howard Bashman



The Los Angeles Times is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Citing Prop. 64, Firms Seek to Kill Lawsuits; At least a dozen unfair-competition cases that existed before the measure's passage have come under challenge" and "New Query Follows Gun Lawsuit; Lawyers for a paralyzed teen hint at fraud in the sale of a Costa Mesa arms maker that had lost in court; The company lives on."

And yesterday's newspaper contained articles headlined "Explanation for Death Penalty Sought in Fatal Smuggling Case; Judge asks prosecutors whether racism played a role in requesting capital punishment only for the truck driver, who is black" and "Fire, Brimstone Over Faith; A teacher's civil rights suit alleging antireligious bias immerses a Silicon Valley school in an angry debate that leaves both sides feeling devastated."
Posted at 10:20 by Howard Bashman



The Washington Post is reporting: In news from Virginia, today's newspaper contains an article headlined "Death Penalty A Key Strategy For Kilgore; Rival Kaine's Opposition Stressed in Bid for Governor."

And yesterday's newspaper contained a front page article headlined "Evolution Shares a Desk With 'Intelligent Design.'"
Posted at 10:15 by Howard Bashman



"Saying No to 'I Do': The voters reject gay marriage; Now we need a cooling off period." Jonathan Rauch has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 10:04 by Howard Bashman



"Faith-Based Morality and Public Policy": Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner's first substantive guest post at Brian Leiter's blog is well worth a look.
Posted at 07:44 by Howard Bashman



"The Mismatch Game: How law school race preferences harm black students." Terry Eastland has this article in the January 3, 2005 issue of The Weekly Standard (via "Power Line").
Posted at 07:42 by Howard Bashman



"They Won't Stand on Common Ground: Concerned Women for America even takes on allies on the right when they're seen as soft." This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:33 by Howard Bashman



"Stop Doubting Thomas": Today in The Los Angeles Times, Law Professor Jonathan Turley has an op-ed that concludes, "I disagree with many of his opinions, but Thomas is neither an embarrassment nor a dolt -- at least no more so than most of the other justices on the court. He is, however, a patient man -- and time is on his side."
Posted at 07:30 by Howard Bashman



"New GOP Senators May Back Filibuster Limits; Others say a rule change to prevent Democrats from blocking judicial nominees would be at odds with renewed efforts at bipartisanship": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

USA Today reports that "GOP sets up collision over judge nominees; Senate rule change could ensure approval."

The Denver Post reports that "Salazar predicts fight over filibuster rules."

And The Washington Times contains an article headlined "Thune aims to be 'reform-minded' doer in Senate."
Posted at 07:22 by Howard Bashman



Beginning today, Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner is guest-blogging at Brian Leiter's blog: Professor Leiter's introduction can be accessed here, and Judge Posner's posts can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 00:33 by Howard Bashman



Sunday, December 26, 2004
"Death in Texas": Sister Helen Prejean has this essay in the January 13, 2005 issue of The New York Review of Books.
Posted at 23:00 by Howard Bashman



"Cameras in court would rein in judge": The Orlando Sentinel today contains this essay by Ray Quintanilla that is harshly critical of U.S. District Judge Daniel R. Dominguez of the District of Puerto Rico.
Posted at 20:44 by Howard Bashman



"Suit: LCCC infringed on religious freedom; Coaldale woman says she was denied job because of nature-based faith." This article appears today in The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Posted at 20:40 by Howard Bashman



"Battle over recess appointments: High court may rule on the legality of President Bush's use of the controversial tactic to fill judicial vacancies." Warren Richey will have this article in Monday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 20:30 by Howard Bashman



"The Rehnquist Revolution -- The Rehnquist Court's two kinds of conservatives: incrementalists and legal fundamentalists." In the December 27, 2004 issue of The New Republic, Law Professor Cass R. Sunstein has this review of Law Professor Mark Tushnet's book, "A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and the Future of Constitutional Law." (Pass-through link to TNR review via "ProfessorBainbridge.com.")
Posted at 11:05 by Howard Bashman



"Antiabortion Groups Hope for Senate Support; Republican gains boost chances for judicial appointments and legislation in their favor": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:02 by Howard Bashman



"Storm front moves over Congress": Today in The Portland (Me.) Press Herald, Bart Jansen has an essay that begins, "One of the most ferocious fights possible for Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins next year is in a realm they haven't entered yet: a confirmation battle over a Supreme Court nominee."
Posted at 11:00 by Howard Bashman



In Ten Commandments-related news: From Rhode Island, The Providence Journal today contains an article headlined "Thou shalt not... The story of how the Ten Commandments from Roger Williams Park ended up in West Warwick."

And from Alabama, The Decatur Daily contains an article headlined "Roy Moore is one chapter in fascinating era on court."
Posted at 10:55 by Howard Bashman



"Seeking justice for a neglected hero; Civil rights activist Harry T. Moore was slain in 1951; No killer was found; Now the state is reopening the case": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 10:50 by Howard Bashman



Saturday, December 25, 2004
Not an urban legend: Snopes proclaims that the Grinch Brief (which I previously reported on here) isn't fake. Too bad Snopes isn't offering the brief in its original, full-color splendor.
Posted at 22:20 by Howard Bashman



And the author of the "Anonymous Lawyer" blog is.... Gosh, it's Harvard Law School's own Jeremy Blachman, of course. Sunday's issue of The New York Times contains an article headlined "Revealing the Soul of a Soulless Lawyer" that provides the details. Notwithstanding this shocking revelation, I continue to maintain that I'm not the author of the blog "Underneath Their Robes."

I have been a huge fan of Jeremy's work for quite some time, as my posts here, here, and here confirm.

Update: Both Chris Geidner and PG have collected links to reaction.
Posted at 20:50 by Howard Bashman



"Judge's robe may spur new argument; McKathan could face legal battle with a different twist than the one that resulted in the ouster of former Chief Justice Roy Moore": This article appears today in The Mobile Register.
Posted at 20:14 by Howard Bashman



"Justices forbid excluding religious jurors; High court rules no one may be barred based on appearance": Thursday's edition of The Newark Star-Ledger contained this article reporting on a ruling that the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued on Wednesday.
Posted at 20:08 by Howard Bashman



"Public religious displays have become a test of faith in U.S.; Thomas More Law Center is challenging municipalities over restrictions": The Ann Arbor News contains this article today.
Posted at 20:07 by Howard Bashman



"Voice of dignity of state's high court to rest": This article appears today in The Palm Beach Post.
Posted at 20:04 by Howard Bashman



Friday, December 24, 2004
"On List of Court Nominees, Many Names Look Familiar": This graphic accompanied this article published today in The New York Times.
Posted at 22:24 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Seattle Times today contains articles headlined "It's Gregoire by 130; is it over? Rossi says this wasn't a clean election" and "98 ballots end up where?" In addition, columnist Danny Westneat has an essay entitled "How do we get out of this?"

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "GOP to fight Gregoire victory; Democrat wins second recount by 130 votes" and "Emotions run high over state vote recount; Faith in the system seems to be taking a hit." In addition, an editorial is entitled "GOP faces crucial choice."

The Olympian contains an article headlined "Gregoire, for now; GOP vows to 'protect' Rossi's election."

The New York Times reports that "Democrat Wins by 130 in Latest Washington Count."

And The Washington Post reports that "In Washington State, Democrat Wins Race."
Posted at 22:15 by Howard Bashman



"Guilty: Former Governor Enters Plea, Ends Long Struggle." This article appears today in The Hartford Courant, along with articles headlined "Waterbury Wrestles With Fall Of City's Boy Wonder" and "Paunch At Risk In Prison." That newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "John G. Rowland, Felon"; an op-ed by Laurence Cohen entitled "Arrogance Got The Better Of Him"; and an op-ed by Michael P. Lawlor entitled "Lessons From A Political Tragedy."

The News-Times of Danbury, Connecticut contains articles headlined "Guilty: Rowland accepts plea deal from federal prosecutors"; "Rowland's plea wins points with prosecutors"; and "Prison won't be a picnic for Rowland."

The New Haven Register reports that "Rowland takes plea, faces 15-21 months in prison."

The New York Times contains articles headlined "An Ex-Governor Says He's Guilty"; "Pressure to Concede Wrongs Was Enormous, Friends Say"; and "Rowland Measures Words, Stops Short of an Apology." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Mr. Rowland Pleads Guilty."

The Boston Globe reports that "Rowland pleads guilty to fraud charge."

The Washington Post reports that "Former Connecticut Governor Pleads Guilty; Rowland Accepted Thousands of Dollars in Trips and Home Improvements While in Office."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Freebie Scandal Ends in Guilty Plea; Six months after being chased from office by an impeachment probe, Connecticut's governor admits accepting gifts of goods and services."
Posted at 15:14 by Howard Bashman



"Deferred Sentence: Why the Rehnquist Court has done so little damage, so far." Stephen Pomper has this essay in the December 2004 issue of Washington Monthly.
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



"Fighting For Ross' Life: Public Defenders Ask To Be Heard At Hearing Tuesday." Lynne Tuohy has this article today in The Hartford Courant.
Posted at 13:02 by Howard Bashman



"Court reopens inmate mail policy case": The Topeka Capital-Journal today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court has reopened a case that challenged restrictions on the ability of Kansas prison inmates to obtain books, newspapers and other periodicals."
Posted at 12:45 by Howard Bashman



"Justice Department To America: Lock and Load! But the shooting will continue in the political war over guns." Brian Doherty has this essay online at Reason.
Posted at 12:30 by Howard Bashman



"Taking State's DNA Law to Rest of Nation; A developer who funded a measure allowing police agencies to take samples from certain people says a national database is needed": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 12:28 by Howard Bashman



"No decision yet on same-sex marriage ban; The constitutionality of the measure is at issue; a judge wants more input": Claire Cooper has this article today in The Sacramento Bee.

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article headlined "Same-sex marriage: Lawyer says gays are 'unfit.'"

The Contra Costa Times reports that "Same-sex marriage debate focuses on children."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Judge Hears Debate on Gay Unions; Lawyers conclude their arguments for and against the state's ban of same-sex weddings; Jurist is expected to rule by spring."
Posted at 12:24 by Howard Bashman



"A real change in venue: Lawyer Gibbons takes to stage." This article appears today in The Newark Star-Ledger.
Posted at 12:20 by Howard Bashman



"Acevedo Vila declared winner in Puerto Rico; Pedro Rossello does not concede defeat and could appeal to the U.S. high court": The Orlando Sentinel contains this article today.

And The Miami Herald reports that "Acevedo leads after recount; Puerto Rico's gubernatorial race in flux; Anibal Acevedo Vila had the most votes in Puerto Rico's gubernatorial election, a recount showed, but the legal fight may not be over."
Posted at 12:11 by Howard Bashman



"Democrats Weigh De-emphasizing Abortion as an Issue": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:45 by Howard Bashman



"GIs Can Be Ordered To Wear U.N. Beret": Josh Gerstein has an article today in The New York Sun reporting on this opinion and order that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued on Wednesday. The article notes that you can access at this link a web site devoted to the underlying dispute.
Posted at 11:40 by Howard Bashman



"Groups on Right Say Christmas Is Under Attack; Others Call Outcry A Ploy for Funds": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:32 by Howard Bashman



"Lawmakers push Ten Commandments bills; Two legislators want document displayed in public": The Associated Press provides this report from South Carolina.
Posted at 11:30 by Howard Bashman



"'Beerman' loses appeal in Coors case; Robert Donchez strikes out in federal court with his claim that the brewer stole the persona he pitched to Colorado Rockies fans": This article appears today in The Denver Post.
Posted at 10:24 by Howard Bashman



"Madison County court will seek to move Maag suit": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "Madison County Circuit Court officials say they will ask that a defamation suit filed Monday by recently-defeated 5th District Appellate Court Judge Gordon Maag be moved to another jurisdiction."

The blog "Point of Law" has this lengthy post about the lawsuit.
Posted at 10:20 by Howard Bashman



"Satan Worshipper, Witch Testing Religious Liberty": The New York Sun contains this article today.
Posted at 10:01 by Howard Bashman



"Bush's court picks to test GOP election gains; Previously blocked names such as Texas' Priscilla Owen on list": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Bush plans to renominate 20 as judges; California justice, other conservatives had been blocked by Senate Democrats."

And United Press International reports that "Specter criticizes Bush judiciary plans."
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



"The California Teacher Whose Superiors Worry His Teaching Is Too Religious: Does He Have a Strong First Amendment Case?" Vikram David Amar today has this commentary online at FindLaw.
Posted at 09:40 by Howard Bashman



"Bush to Revive Failed Judicial Nominations; The 20 candidates didn't win Senate approval the first time; Democrats inclined to block them with filibusters are now facing a stronger GOP": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Boston Globe reports that "Bush set to try again on blocked judicial nominees; Senate Democrats see move as divisive; new struggle looms."

The Washington Times reports that "Bush resends 20 court nominees."

Newsday contains an article headlined "A battle for the bench: Bush's announcement that he will renominate 20 candidates may bring heightened tensions between Senate Republicans and Democrats."

From Alabama, The Birmingham News reports that "Bush to nominate Pryor again." And The Montgomery Advertiser reports that "Pryor choice for court."

And from Utah, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "BYU counsel to be re-tapped by Bush; Thomas Griffith was rejected in the president's first term because of a lapsed law license."
Posted at 07:30 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, December 23, 2004
Company sued for damages under federal law for having sent unsolicited advertisements by fax is not entitled to defense or insurance coverage under insurance policy covering "advertising injury": Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook issued this opinion today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The opinion contains an interesting discussion of how the law defines "privacy."
Posted at 23:00 by Howard Bashman



"Carolyn Kuhl Withdraws as 9th Circuit Nominee": law.com's Jeff Chorney provides this report.
Posted at 22:45 by Howard Bashman



"EU court tells Microsoft to change Windows now": This article appears today in The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Microsoft loses crucial EU ruling; It must split off media player while appealing."

A front page article in The Washington Post reports that "E.U. Orders Microsoft To Modify Windows; One Version Must Omit Media Player."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Microsoft Loses Fight Against EU Sanctions; The software giant is ordered to sell a version of Windows in Europe without its media player."

And USA Today reports that "European judge says no to Microsoft; Company must offer Windows with no media player installed."
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



"Court fight begins over gay marriage; Judge hears arguments in consolidated cases on state law constitutionality": Josh Richman has this article today in The Oakland Tribune.

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Tradition vs. equality argued in S.F. court; Advocates, foes lay out their cases before judge."

In The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "Arguments fly as gay marriage goes to S.F. court; Judge's ruling is headed for state Justices."

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Cases on Gay Unions Laid Out; A Superior Court judge hears arguments on combined challenges to state laws that limit civil marriage rights to heterosexuals."

And law.com reports that "Calif. Marriage Laws Face Constitutional Test; Judge wonders if new domestic partner statute solves legal problem."
Posted at 22:20 by Howard Bashman



"Condit foe can't avoid spotlight; TV pundit fought to keep deposition out of the public eye": The Modesto Bee contains this article today.
Posted at 22:15 by Howard Bashman



"Bush Will Renominate 20 Judges; Fights in Senate Likely Over Blocked Choices": This front page article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 22:10 by Howard Bashman



"Bush Tries Again on Court Choices Stalled in Senate": Neil A. Lewis will have this article in Friday's edition of The New York Times.
Posted at 22:05 by Howard Bashman



"Final Washington state recount results: Gregoire by 130." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 20:50 by Howard Bashman



"Bush to Renominate 20 Judicial Candidates; The number and resumes of the nominees that were not approved by the Senate in the first term signal more partisan wrangling over the composition of the federal bench": The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 17:48 by Howard Bashman



"Bush Nominates Limbaugh, Coulter as Judges": "ScrappleFace" offers a post that begins, "In an effort to reach out to Democrats and heal partisan wounds, President George Bush today announced he would nominate radio host Rush Limbaugh and author Ann Coulter as judges on the federal circuit courts of appeal."
Posted at 17:42 by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel holds that Congress's attempt in 11 U.S.C. sec. 106(a) to abrogate the Eleventh Amendment immunity of the States is invalid: You can access today's ruling at this link. A circuit split already existed on this issue, and the Eleventh Circuit's ruling sides with the majority of circuits to have confronted the question.
Posted at 17:05 by Howard Bashman



"Bush Resubmits 20 Nominations for Federal Judgeships": Bloomberg News offers this report, in which I am quoted.
Posted at 16:55 by Howard Bashman



"Tobacco Farmers' Group to Appeal Decision": The AP reports here that "A group overseeing payments to tobacco farmers and quota holders from a 1999 settlement said Thursday that it will appeal a judge's decision that cigarette companies don't have to make the last of those payments." Yesterday's ruling of the North Carolina Business Court can be accessed here.
Posted at 16:40 by Howard Bashman



"Bush to Renominate 20 for Judgeships": The Associated Press provides this report, which contains reaction from Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), who will be Democratic Leader in the next U.S. Senate.
Posted at 16:26 by Howard Bashman



The Supreme Court of California wasn't the only state court of last resort to issue a decision today involving the economic loss rule: In response to certified questions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, today the Supreme Court of Florida issued this ruling. In a nutshell, Florida's highest court ruled: "We conclude that the 'economic loss doctrine' or 'economic loss rule' bars a negligence action to recover solely economic damages only in circumstances where the parties are either in contractual privity or the defendant is a manufacturer or distributor of a product, and no established exception to the application of the rule applies."
Posted at 16:20 by Howard Bashman



Judge Carolyn B. Kuhl has issued the following statement today:
I am grateful to the President for the professional honor of my nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. I nevertheless have declined to accept renomination and have decided instead to focus my energies on continued service to the State of California. It is time for me and my family to move on, professionally and personally.

For the past two years I have had the privilege of serving as the Supervising Judge for the Civil Departments of the Los Angeles Superior Court, the largest trial court in the country. Now I am looking forward to returning to my former duties supervising the Complex Litigation Program of our Court, a Program that is widely recognized for its innovative techniques for resolving complex cases with reduced litigation costs.

I thank with all my heart the many colleagues and lawyers, Democrat and Republican, who supported my nomination. I am especially grateful for the help of Majority Leader Frist and Senator Hatch and their staffs.

I believe that those who opposed me in the confirmation process did so to achieve political goals rather than because of personal animus, and I bear no personal grudge.

The judicial confirmation process for the federal courts is broken, to the detriment of the judicial branch. I urge political leaders and the legal community to seek a solution.
I thank Judge Kuhl's chambers for sending this along to me.
Posted at 15:50 by Howard Bashman



"Demos have long list of resolutions for '05; Top goal is restoring political primacy": This article appears today in The Times-Picayune. In a section of the article that bears the heading "Filibuster at stake," the following passage appears: "Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way, says preserving the filibuster may be all that prevents a conservative makeover of the Supreme Court."
Posted at 15:45 by Howard Bashman



What's up with the two current U.S. Court of Appeals nominees not listed in the White House's statement as being renominated? Both Fourth Circuit nominee Claude A. Allen and Ninth Circuit nominee Carolyn B. Kuhl are missing from the White House's announcement of planned judicial renominations for early 2005.

Allen's nomination had been blocked by Maryland's U.S. Senators, who were claiming that the Fourth Circuit seat for which he had been nominated should have gone to someone from Maryland. And Kuhl's nomination was being filibustered on the floor of the U.S. Senate. If anyone has insight into why these two nominees aren't being renominated, I'm all ears.

Update: I am advised that the White House asked each current judicial nominee whether he or she wished to be renominated. Nominees who answered "no" were not renominated.
Posted at 15:10 by Howard Bashman



Christmas is near, and appellate courts issue decisions about beer: Yesterday, as I previously noted here, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued this decision in a dispute between Coors Brewing Company and "Bob the Beerman."

Now, with the "Patently Obvious" blog on vacation, it falls to me to report that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has today issued this decision involving beer can-related patents and Anheuser-Busch.

Hey, at least I'm not stuck writing about bird poop, as I was two years ago tomorrow (see here and here) thanks to this Christmas Eve 2002 decision from the Ninth Circuit.
Posted at 15:00 by Howard Bashman



"Judge Maag's Defamation Lawsuit Explained--More Than in the Newspapers, Anyway": The blog "Notes from the (Legal) Underground" offers this post today.
Posted at 14:33 by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Governor of Connecticut Pleads Guilty to Corruption": The New York Times provides this news update.
Posted at 14:05 by Howard Bashman



"Bush to Renominate Judges Blocked by Democrats": Reuters provides this report. And the White House has posted online today this "Statement by the Press Secretary."
Posted at 14:00 by Howard Bashman



"Rowland Pleads Guilty": The Hartford Courant provides this news update. And The Associated Press reports that "Former Conn. Governor Pleads Guilty."
Posted at 11:50 by Howard Bashman



Supreme Court of California to issue decision today addressing scope of the economic loss rule: According to the court's description of questions presented in the opinions to be announced today, the question presented in this case is:
Does the economic loss rule, which in some circumstances bars a tort action in the absence of personal injury or physical property damage, apply to claims for intentional misrepresentation or fraud in the performance of a contract?
The court's ruling in the case should be available online at 1 p.m. via this link.

Update: In a 6-1 ruling in which the majority opinion was written by D.C. Circuit nominee Janice Rogers Brown, the court has ruled that because the plaintiff's fraud and intentional misrepresentation claims are independent actions based in tort, the economic loss rule does not bar tort recovery.
Posted at 11:45 by Howard Bashman



"'Festivus' Shares Space With Fla. Nativity": The Associated Press provides this report.

In local coverage, The Ledger of Lakeland, Florida reports today that "Nativity Display Can Stay." And The Orlando Sentinel reports that "Nativity in Polk allowed to stay; Commission says baby Jesus can rest longer."

This past Sunday's issue of The New York Times contained an article headlined "Fooey to the World: Festivus Is Come." The article recounts the very first Festivus and mentions that the holiday is now celebrated on December 23d, which just happens to be today.
Posted at 10:10 by Howard Bashman



"Rowland Plea Deal Expected": The Hartford Courant provides this news update.
Posted at 10:04 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Third time may be a charm for Gregoire; She leads by 10 as court allows 735 county ballots" and "Voters glad their ballots finally will count." And an editorial is entitled "Gregoire this time."

The Seattle Times today contains articles headlined "Gregoire leads by 10"; "Ruling unanimous -- and quick"; and "Focus turns to canvassing board." And in commentary, columnist Joni Balter has an op-ed entitled "Deep divisions that go beyond mishandled ballots," while Secretary of State Sam Reed has an essay entitled "Standards in place for a fair recount."

The Olympian reports that "Gregoire up by 10; Court ruling adds hundreds of votes to hand recount."

The Washington Post reports that "Democrat Takes Lead in Washington State; Supreme Court Allows Disqualified Absentee Ballots From King County."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Lead Shifts in Washington Gubernatorial Vote; The Democrat gains a slight edge; Meanwhile, state justices rule 735 newfound ballots must be counted; The legal fight may mean a revote."

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained a segment entitled "Democrat Leads Recount for Washington Governor" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:45 by Howard Bashman



The Los Angeles Times is reporting: Today's newspaper reports that "Democratic Leadership Rethinking Abortion."

In other news, "Divorce Case Raises Questions on Records Law; Ronald Burkle cites measure that permits sealing of documents; Media lawyers call it unconstitutional."

In news pertaining to San Diego, "Media's Role in Mayoral Recount Prompts Claims of Partisanship."

An article reports that "Mexico's High Court to Hear Appeal From Fox; The president has argued that Congress overstepped its bounds with budget revisions."

And a front page article reports that "Ho! Ho! Is More Like Uh-Oh; Being a Santa today can be a drain: children wanting parents home from war or gadgets beyond Claus' ken; Then there are the (law)suits."
Posted at 09:40 by Howard Bashman



"In Red States, Many See Courts Eroding Their Values": This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:30 by Howard Bashman



In today's issue of The New York Sun: Josh Gerstein reports that "'Ten Commandments' Judges Confer in Deep South as Atheists Protest."

And a newsbrief reports that "Guantanamo Freedom of Information Claim Denied."
Posted at 09:20 by Howard Bashman



"Nevada high court says 'Son of Sam' law is unconstitutional": The Reno Gazette-Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 08:12 by Howard Bashman



"Fix for death penalty could get Sebelius' OK": This article appears today in The Wichita Eagle.
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"The Most Important Legal Developments of 2004: Gerrymandering, Torture, Guantanamo, and Equality for Gays." FindLaw commentator Edward Lazarus has this essay today.
Posted at 07:04 by Howard Bashman



Will The GOP Nuke The Constitution? You can access here Arianna Huffington's latest column.
Posted at 07:02 by Howard Bashman



"Marshals approve new policy": This article appeared yesterday in The Hattiesburg American.
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"Searching for the Next Chief Justice": Pejman Yousefzadeh, whose blog you can access here, has this essay today online at Tech Central Station. He also constitutes a very valuable Scrabble answer.
Posted at 06:54 by Howard Bashman



In Ten Commandments-related news from Alabama: The Andalusia Star News reports today that "Roy Moore pays visit to Opp."

And The Mobile Register today offers an article that begins, "In a fiery speech to some 160 people gathered at a civic club meeting Wednesday, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore attacked the judicial system as hypocritical and called for Christians to stand up and 'acknowledge God.'"
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



"At least 5 in running to replace Pickering; Southwick, Cobb already interviewed by White House about 5th Circuit Court seat": The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, "Bush administration officials have interviewed at least two Mississippians to fill retired Judge Charles Pickering's seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick and Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Kay Cobb were interviewed by members of the White House counsel's office this week as part of the search to replace Pickering."

Justice Kay B. Cobb of the Supreme Court of Mississippi was the April 2003 interviewee in this blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" series. You can access her interview at this link.

Of course, this isn't the first time a newspaper has reported that someone involved in the "20 questions" feature was under consideration for a U.S. Court of Appeals judgeship.
Posted at 06:35 by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, December 22, 2004
"When Harry Met Roe: The new Senate minority leader is no pro-lifer." Fred Barnes has this essay in the December 27, 2004 issue of The Weekly Standard.

And online at Slate, Chris Suellentrop has an essay entitled "Harry Reid Is Not Boring: Has Scorsese fictionalized your U.S. senator?"
Posted at 23:10 by Howard Bashman



"Innovation vs. copyright; Supreme Court must find a balance in a world of easily shared content": This editorial appears today in The San Jose Mercury News.
Posted at 23:08 by Howard Bashman



"Who really needs an amendment?" Don Erler has this op-ed today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Posted at 23:05 by Howard Bashman



"Judge sues over tactics used in election; Maag says critics lied in ads, fliers on his decisions": The Chicago Tribune contains this article today. And The Southern Illinoisan today contains an article headlined "Maag lawyer says defamation lawsuit goes beyond court race."
Posted at 23:04 by Howard Bashman



"Gay marriage approved in Nfld.; Efford meets with church leaders, will tell PM his decision after Christmas": This article appears today in The Toronto Globe and Mail.
Posted at 23:02 by Howard Bashman



In Thursday's edition of The New York Times: An article will report that "Lead Tips to Democrat for Washington Governor."

In other news, "Court in California Hears Gay Marriage Arguments."

And in technology-related news, "Europe Rejects Microsoft's Bid to Preserve Bundling Plan."
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Associated Press reports here that "After losing the first two counts in the extraordinarily close Washington governor's race, Democrat Christine pulled ahead by 10 votes after King County reported its hand recount results today."

The Seattle Times provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court: count disputed ballots."

Finally, from National Public Radio, this evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained a segment entitled "Court Considers Disputed Ballots in Washington Gubernatorial Race." And today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained a segment entitled "Recount in Washington Governor's Race." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 21:04 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of Coors Brewing Company on all claims asserted by the "Bob the Beerman": You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 21:00 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "'Friends' Lawsuit Takes on Tradition"; "Court Upholds Secondhand Smoke Case" (access here today's ruling of Florida's Third District Court of Appeals); and "Same-Sex Marriage Debate Returns to Calif."
Posted at 18:04 by Howard Bashman



Additional documents filed today in the U.S. Supreme Court in connection with yesterday's petition for writ of certiorari challenging the recess appointment of William H. Pryor, Jr. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit: With regard to the motion to expedite filed yesterday, the federal government has filed this response, to which petitioners have filed this reply. (Via "SCOTUSblog.")
Posted at 17:30 by Howard Bashman



"All the President's Lawyers: Should the attorney general be the president's yes man?" Slate has recently posted online this jurisprudence essay by Dahlia Lithwick.
Posted at 16:50 by Howard Bashman



"Wash. Court: New Ballots Can Be Counted." The Associated Press provides this report on this afternoon's decision from the Supreme Court of Washington State.
Posted at 16:44 by Howard Bashman



"The Already Famous Grinch Brief": Thanks much to the reader who forwarded this gem of a pleading filed on Monday of this week in a Texas trial court.

Update: Other blog mentions of the brief can be found here and here. And a copy of the document bearing the court's "filed" stamp can be accessed here.
Posted at 15:45 by Howard Bashman



"'Son of Sam' law struck down; Court rules it violates First Amendment": The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains this article reporting on a decision that the Supreme Court of Nevada issued yesterday.
Posted at 15:32 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court hears arguments in governor recount dispute": The Associated Press provides this report from Olympia, Washington.

You have to admit that it's pretty cool to have a Supreme Court that's based in the Temple of Justice.
Posted at 14:45 by Howard Bashman



"Former OLC Lawyers Offer Principles To Guide That Office": "ACSBlog" offers this post, which links to this memo dated yesterday.
Posted at 14:28 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejects effort by the State of Illinois to confiscate $125 million from Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation: Today's quite interesting decision, written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, can be accessed here.
Posted at 14:10 by Howard Bashman



"Martha: prison food is lousy; Martha Stewart tells fans she's 'fine'; busy cleaning, raking leaves, exercising": CNN.com provides this report. Martha Stewart's holiday message in its entirety can be accessed here.
Posted at 14:00 by Howard Bashman



"Dad waits out death penalty fight; Court proceedings and an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court keep Douglas Belt's father guessing": The Wichita Eagle contains this article today.
Posted at 12:22 by Howard Bashman



"New attack on prison policy; Racial segregation: union official joins voice to current court case." This article appears today in The San Jose Mercury News.
Posted at 12:10 by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court rejects request to rehear Puerto Rico election case": The Associated Press provides this report. Today's order denying rehearing en banc of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit can be viewed at this link.

In coverage that preceded this morning's order, today's issue of The Orlando Sentinel contains an article headlined "Rossello asks court to rethink decision; At stake are 28,000 mixed-vote ballots in Puerto Rico's disputed race for governor."
Posted at 11:50 by Howard Bashman



C-SPAN will broadcast live today's oral argument before the Supreme Court of Washington State in the litigation involving that State's too-close-to-call Governor's race: The oral argument is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. eastern time. You can access the live C-SPAN feed here (RealPlayer) and here (Windows Media).
Posted at 11:44 by Howard Bashman



"European Court Rules Against Microsoft on Windows": The New York Times provides this news update. The Washington Post offers a news update headlined "EU Court Rules Against Microsoft." And c|net News.Com reports that "EU upholds penalties against Microsoft."
Posted at 11:40 by Howard Bashman



"Congress Needs to Step Up on Judicial Ethics": This letter to the editor appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:33 by Howard Bashman



"Same-Sex Union Cases to Be Heard; Consolidated lawsuits on marriage rights for gays and lesbians are to be presented today before a judge in San Francisco": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Sacramento Bee today contains an article headlined "Same-sex marriage -- little room to agree."

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Parties backing state's marriage law have little in common." That newspaper also offers an article headlined "Representing S.F.: Straight family-man Herrera an improbable gay rights defender."

In The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "Judge takes up legality of ban on gay marriages."

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained a segment entitled "Suits Challenge Calif. Gay Marriage Ban" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 11:10 by Howard Bashman



"Ban on terror-group training upheld; Appeals court alters earlier ruling after Congress revises law": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 10:45 by Howard Bashman



"Medical pot advocate sees act of 'retaliation'; She questions DMV move for new driving test; agency puts hearing on hold pending probe": This article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.

And across the country, The Newton TAB today contains a profile of Law Professor Randy E. Barnett headlined "An unlikely general in the pot wars."
Posted at 10:30 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Seattle Times today contains articles headlined "Gregoire catches Rossi, Democrats say" and "Brief likens recount to Nixon's 1960 race." And columnist Danny Westneat has an essay entitled "Let's hope court's on voters' side."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer contains articles headlined "Democrats: Gregoire wins by 8 votes; Election officials dismiss claim as premature" and "The clear winner? Most likely, it'll be election reform." And columnist Joel Connelly has an essay entitled "A governor's race full of partisan sound and fury."

The Olympian contains articles headlined "Democrat: Gregoire by 8 votes" and "Protesters see fraud in recount."

Finally, The Associated Press reports that "Dems Claim Win in Wash. Governor's Race."
Posted at 08:54 by Howard Bashman



"EU Judge Upholds Penalties Against Microsoft": Reuters provides this report. And The Associated Press reports that "EU Court Rules Against Microsoft."

Update: The ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Communities can be accessed here, and the court has also issued this press release. In response to the ruling, Microsoft has issued this press release.
Posted at 08:50 by Howard Bashman



"In favor of property rights: High court next year has opportunity to rein in eminent domain abuse." This editorial appears today in The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Posted at 07:04 by Howard Bashman



Another failed cover-up: The Los Angeles Daily News reports today that "Supervisors fret over extra cost of replacing seal; Cover-up proved ineffective." And a related editorial is entitled "Telltale seal: County supervisors can't escape the emblem they despise."
Posted at 07:02 by Howard Bashman



"Why It's Unconstitutional to Teach 'Intelligent Design' in the Public Schools, as an Alternative to Evolution": FindLaw columnist Michael C. Dorf has this essay today.
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"The old LSU Law School, dedicated in 1938, was designed as a smaller version of the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C." The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana today contains an article headlined "Old LSU Law School houses flaws, fond memories." You can view a photograph of the building at this link.
Posted at 06:58 by Howard Bashman



In Ten Commandments news and commentary from Alabama: The Andalusia Star News reports today that "Atheists to rally against judge." And The Demopolis Times today contains an editorial entitled "Expression is our given right."
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



"Brownback key to anti-abortion strategy": This article appears today in The Wichita Eagle. Update: And today in The New York Times, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has an op-ed entitled "When the Right Is Right."
Posted at 06:40 by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, December 21, 2004
"Newfoundland legalizes same-sex marriage": CBC News reports here that "The Newfoundland Supreme Court has cleared the way for two lesbian couples to marry legally, making Newfoundland and Labrador the seventh province to sanction same-sex marriage."
Posted at 22:55 by Howard Bashman



"Giving new meaning to 'every vote counts'; The interminable race for Washington governor may hinge on whether 723 originally untallied votes count": This article will appear in Wednesday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor.

In today's coverage, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer contains articles headlined "Other counties added votes in recount; Whether or not they'll be tallied depends on ruling" and "Gregoire urges Rossi: Let's accept result of hand recount."

The Seattle Times reports that "Panel to announce hand-recount tally" and "Reed says county has right to fix error, tally 735 ballots." In addition, John Gastil has an op-ed entitled "How you play the recount game."

The Olympian contains articles headlined "Justices to hear case for blocking votes Wed." and "Ballots head to high court; Tight race inspires ideas for better ballot tracking."

Finally, USA Today reports that "Wash. election drama plays on."
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro has an article headlined "Republican Court in Name Only? Despite having seven GOP appointees, high court may deviate from party's conservative line."

And Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "Big Plot Twist in 'Sopranos' Lawsuit; The HBO series' founder faces fight in federal court over credit for show." I first mentioned today's Third Circuit ruling in a post that you can access here.
Posted at 22:22 by Howard Bashman



"Washington Post Company Buys Slate Magazine": This article will appear Wednesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 22:20 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reinstates Kansas prison inmates' First Amendment challenge to prison regulations governing access to periodicals and gift subscriptions: You can access today's ruling at this link. This was one of the cases argued at the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas on October 6, 2004. A pre-decision summary of the case prepared at Washburn Law can be accessed here.
Posted at 22:01 by Howard Bashman



Does the operator of a motor vehicle who fails to stop at a stop sign thereby operate the vehicle "in excess of the legal speed limit"? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit today resolved that interesting question of statutory interpretation, which arises under a federal criminal law governing behavior at an immigration checkpoint. You can access the Tenth Circuit's opinion, written by Circuit Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich, at this link.
Posted at 21:50 by Howard Bashman



"The Right Thing: It's not an easy time to be a liberal judge, but criticisms from the right and reversals from the Supreme Court only strengthen the resolve of Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt '51 to do what he believes to be the right thing for America." This profile of Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt appears in the Winter 2004 issue of Pomona College Magazine.

The profile at one point refers to Judge Reinhardt's "20 questions for the appellate judge" interview, which I published here in February 2004.
Posted at 18:30 by Howard Bashman



"What Do You Think?" The newest installment of this recurring feature of The Onion has for its subject "Jury: Peterson Deserves Death."
Posted at 17:32 by Howard Bashman



Former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia is now the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "New U.S. attorney steps into familiar territory."
Posted at 17:14 by Howard Bashman



In same-sex marriage- and kissing-related news: The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey reports today that "Thousands of gay couples register as partners; 2,640 pairs sign up under new law; others hold out for marriage."

And The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports today that "GLBT files complaint against newspaper; Star Tribune refused to run ad of men kissing."
Posted at 17:10 by Howard Bashman



"Topside RLUIPA Briefs in Cutter v. Wilkinson": At "SCOTUSblog," Marty Lederman has this post providing links to a plethora of briefs arguing that section 3 of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 is constitutional.
Posted at 16:11 by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day": The broadcast contained segments entitled "Nativity Scenes Spark Not-So-Jolly Suits" (featuring Dahlia Lithwick); "Gay Rights Activists Assess Losses of 2004"; and "Washington Post Co. to Buy 'Slate.'" RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 15:45 by Howard Bashman



CEOs who lie about having graduated from college and the investors who sue over it: Today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued this decision, which holds that "the actual fact misrepresented was immaterial under the securities laws." Sanford Svetcov, with whom I had the pleasure of having dinner in New York City not too long ago, argued the appeal on the investors' behalf.
Posted at 15:00 by Howard Bashman



"Indefensible Internment: There was no good reason for the mass internment of Japanese Americans during WWII." Online at Reason today, Law Professor Eric L. Muller (whose blog you can access here) has this review of Michelle Malkin's book "In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror."
Posted at 14:44 by Howard Bashman



"Parents file suit in teen's death; Providers targeted in 'abortion pill' case": This article appears today in The San Jose Mercury News.
Posted at 14:20 by Howard Bashman



"In Va. Bills, Death Penalty Would Cover Accomplices": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Virginia Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore (R) on Monday proposed state legislation that would make it easier for prosecutors to seek the death penalty in cases like the Washington area sniper killings." And The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "Kilgore wants to expand penalty; He says people who don't pull the trigger in capital murders should still be put to death."
Posted at 14:02 by Howard Bashman



"Mexico budget battle goes to Supreme Court": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 14:00 by Howard Bashman



Exactly one week after oral argument, eleven-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announces its decision in Humanitarian Law Project v. USDOJ: If brevity is in fact the soul of wit, then today's en banc decision in this terrorism-related case is quite clever indeed. The original three-judge panel's ruling in the case, which was vacated when rehearing en banc was granted, can be accessed here.
Posted at 13:15 by Howard Bashman



Is Robert V. Baer entitled to compensation for what he perceives was his role in the creation and development of the popular and financially successful television series, "The Sopranos"? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today issued this opinion addressing that question. And yes, the opinion mentions both Big Pussy and Little Pussy.
Posted at 13:01 by Howard Bashman



The Washington Post purchases Slate; Charles Lane and Dahlia Lithwick to alternate coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court: The Washington Post provides a news update by Howard Kurtz headlined "Washington Post Co. Buying Web Magazine Slate." And at Slate, Jacob Weisberg has a readme essay entitled "Sold! Goodbye, Bill G. Hello, Don G."
Posted at 11:40 by Howard Bashman



"Web site by Peterson's lawyer seeks 'real killer'": This article appears today in The San Jose Mercury News. The web site in question can be accessed here.

In other coverage, The San Francisco Chronicle contains an article headlined "Attorney's cash plea to keep probing; Geragos Web site says money needed to find real killer." And The Modesto Bee reports that "Peterson Web sites seek help, say thanks."

Meanwhile, FindLaw columnist Julie Hilden today has an essay entitled "Could Scott Peterson Have Avoided The Death Penalty? Why Mark Geragos Should Have Put Peterson on the Witness Stand."
Posted at 11:33 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Guardian (UK): An article reports that "About-turn by Woolf saves supreme court."

And Martin Kettle has an essay entitled "The radical who is leading a new English revolution; The Belmarsh ruling was not simply a judicial rush of blood to the head."
Posted at 11:20 by Howard Bashman



"UW law school applicants lose suit over admission": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer contains this article today.
Posted at 10:33 by Howard Bashman



"Man can't be made to take treatment; Court overrules order on forced drug medication": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.
Posted at 10:28 by Howard Bashman



"Feds file appeal brief in partial-birth abortion case; Government says 9th Circuit judge made three errors in original ruling": Josh Richman has this article today in The Oakland Tribune.
Posted at 10:14 by Howard Bashman



Contentious battle for seat on Illinois high court gives rise to defamation claim by losing candidate: The Southern Illinoisan reports today that "Maag files defamation lawsuit; Former Supreme Court candidate asks for $110 million." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that "Gordon Maag sues over election flier." And The Madison County Record reports that "Maag files $110 million defamation suit."
Posted at 10:01 by Howard Bashman



"Suit over disabled child is defeated; S.C. Supreme Court does not accept 'wrongful life' claim by mother": The State today contains this article reporting on a ruling that the Supreme Court of South Carolina issued yesterday.
Posted at 09:54 by Howard Bashman



"Ex-judge seeks sentence reduction": This article appears today in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



"Terror Suspects' Charges Reinstated": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 09:44 by Howard Bashman



"Cheerleading Coach Finds Prayer Not a Team Sport; Judge says the University of Georgia doesn't have to reinstate a woman fired for requiring girls to participate in religious activities": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And in local coverage, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that "Ex-coach fails to get job back; Judge cool to her claims against UGA." And The Athens Banner-Herald reports that "Judge denies coach's plea for job back."
Posted at 09:40 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The New York Times: An article headlined "Judge Strikes Down Limit on Poverty Lawyers' Cases" begins, "A federal judge in Brooklyn yesterday struck down a controversial restriction on federally financed lawyers for the poor in the latest chapter of a decade-long battle over curbs on them."

In other news, "U.S. Settles Suit in 1945 Looting of Jews by G.I.'s."

And U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood has a letter to the editor that appears under the heading "A Legal Employment."
Posted at 09:27 by Howard Bashman



"S.F. gay marriages head to court; Judge will begin hearing arguments Wednesday on constitutionality of California's ban on same-sex unions": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle. And a related article is headlined "Those who filed suit."
Posted at 09:22 by Howard Bashman



"Juror who lied to avoid service returns to Ohio for sentencing": This article appears today in The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Posted at 09:20 by Howard Bashman



"Legal challenges mount to Guantanamo tactics; The most prominent case centers on Osama bin Laden's former driver and the military commission that would try him": Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 09:15 by Howard Bashman



"Saudi Account Caused a Row At Patton, Boggs": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



In news from Boston: The Boston Globe today contains an article headlined "Price tag $150m for top court makeover."
Posted at 06:54 by Howard Bashman



"State rethinks sentencing rules for aggravated crimes; Courts have ruled that judges can't increase sentences": The Salem (Ore.) Statesman Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 06:52 by Howard Bashman



"Death penalty to stand for now; Court stays ruling while Kline plans high court appeal": This article appears today in The Topeka Capital-Journal. And The Kansas City Star reports today that "Kansas death penalty to remain in effect while appeal is pursued."
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



"Politics, courts inseparable": Columnist Paul Campos has this op-ed today in The Rocky Mountain News.
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



"Senate minority leader's quips an embarrassment": The Pantagraph of Bloomington, Illinois contains this editorial today.
Posted at 06:44 by Howard Bashman



"Moore visit will laude local judge": Today's edition of The Andalusia Star News contains an article that begins, "Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore will visit Covington County tomorrow to voice his support of local Circuit Court Judge M. Ashley McKathan, and the justice's donning of a robe that bears the Ten Commandments."
Posted at 06:40 by Howard Bashman



"A sign of the cross miraculously reappears": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Daily News, along with an article headlined "Symbolic win for county; Now-discarded seal becomes hot collectors' item."
Posted at 06:30 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Washington Times: The newspaper contains articles headlined "Brownback, Coburn set for Judiciary Committee"; "Gonzales backed widely by Hispanics"; and "Pledge protester faces recall vote."

In addition, Clint Bolick has an op-ed entitled "Threshold of a misstep."
Posted at 06:20 by Howard Bashman



Monday, December 20, 2004
"Teenager barred from prom for Confederate-inspired dress sues": Tuesday's edition of The Lexington Herald-Leader will contain this article.
Posted at 23:40 by Howard Bashman



"Punishing the Press": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 23:34 by Howard Bashman



"Two Opponents of Abortion Are Tapped for Senate Judiciary Panel; Democrats Question Effect on Supreme Court Nominations": This article will appear in Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post.
Posted at 23:24 by Howard Bashman



"Isle ballot measures shake up legal arena; Civil rights advocates voice concern at the Hawaii amendments": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



"House of Cards for Black Law Students": Law Professor Richard H. Sander has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times. I earlier linked here to the op-ed published today in response to this one.
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



In disagreement with the Eleventh Circuit, a divided en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit holds that a debt collector's initiation of a lawsuit constitutes an "initial communication" for purposes of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: Today's Seventh Circuit ruling was by a margin of 6-4. The earlier, contrary ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit was issued by a unanimous three-judge panel. Thus, the overall tally on the issue is 7-6 in favor of the Eleventh Circuit's view.
Posted at 22:20 by Howard Bashman



A change in membership on the Senate Judiciary Committee: According to a post at "The Corner" (where links to individual posts aren't currently working), Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Larry Craig (R-ID) will no longer be serving on the Judiciary Committee in 2005. They will be replaced by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Senator-elect Tom Coburn (R-OK). No word yet on whether there will be any changes on the Democratic side other than the departure of Senator John Edwards (D-NC).
Posted at 22:05 by Howard Bashman



In Kansas, the death penalty is still showing signs of life: The Associated Press reports here that "The Kansas Supreme Court agreed Monday to put on hold its ruling throwing out the state's death penalty law. The delay will allow the state attorney general to pursue an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 20:58 by Howard Bashman



"State of the Supreme Court's docket": Tom Goldstein has this interesting post up at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 18:05 by Howard Bashman



A rusted tin roof is now the least of its worries: The Athens Banner-Herald reported last week that "Fire destroys alleged B-52's 'Love Shack'; Fabled home burned." Today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" included a segment entitled "'Love Shack' That Inspired B-52's Hit Burns Down" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



"Stetson law prof's hard ascent: In Colombia, she lost faith in the law after attempts on her life; In America, she regained it." The St. Petersburg Times today contains this profile of another law professor who may favor the individual rights view of the Second Amendment.
Posted at 17:45 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Supreme Court Justices and law clerks please avert your eyes: The Honolulu Advertiser today contains an article headlined "Doctors express concern over marijuana use" that begins, "The number of people in Hawai'i who have registered to use marijuana for medical purposes continues to grow, reaching almost 2,000 since the state Legislature created the program four years ago."
Posted at 17:40 by Howard Bashman



Friends of Ray Luipa: The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty today filed this amicus brief, on behalf of over 50 religious and civil liberties organizations, in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Cutter v. Wilkinson. The brief argues that the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) -- a federal law that among other things requires state prisons receiving federal funds to reasonably accommodate inmates' religious practices -- is constitutional.

In conjunction with filing the amicus brief, the organization also issued this press release today.
Posted at 17:30 by Howard Bashman



"One Angry Man: The lament of the peremptorily challenged." Slate has just posted online this jurisprudence essay by Dirk Olin.
Posted at 15:55 by Howard Bashman



Third petition for writ of certiorari filed in U.S. Supreme Court challenging recess appointment of William H. Pryor, Jr. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit: You can access the cert. petition here, the motion to expedite here, and the appendix here. "SCOTUSblog" offers additional details at this link.
Posted at 15:15 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reverses certification of an opt-in class action for liability purposes only involving the claims of heirs, beneficiaries and personal representatives of individuals who died in the Ski Train Fire at Kaprun, Austria on November 11, 2000: Today's decision considers at length whether Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 allows opt-in class actions. You can learn more about the disaster giving rise to this lawsuit here, here, here, here, and here.
Posted at 14:50 by Howard Bashman



"Rehnquist's Health Still Top Court News": Hope Yen of The Associated Press provides this report. In response to several questions received via email from readers, word is that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist was not present at the U.S. Supreme Court's Christmas party last Friday.
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



Ice hockey pants are ice hockey equipment, not sports clothing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rules: A Customs Service classification is the subject of this opinion issued today. The frigid temperatures up and down the east coast at this moment make this a fitting day on which to issue an ice hockey pants-related ruling.
Posted at 14:24 by Howard Bashman



Today's rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: In an opinion issued today, a unanimous three-judge panel has reversed a federal district court's ruling that had declared unconstitutional a federal statute governing the determination of whether a group is a "foreign terrorist organization."

And in a second appeal decided today, a unanimous three judge panel has ruled that the University of Washington Law School considered race and ethnicity as factors in its admissions program in a manner that was narrowly tailored to meet the compelling interest of educational diversity during the three years in which the plaintiffs applied for but failed to achieve admission to that school. You can access today's opinion at this link.
Posted at 13:10 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Settles Nazi 'Gold Train' Lawsuit": Reuters provides this report. The Associated Press reports that "U.S. Settles 'Gold Train' Holocaust Claims." And The Miami Herald provides a news update headlined "U.S., Holocaust survivors agree to 'Gold Train' settlement."
Posted at 13:00 by Howard Bashman



"Some unfit for trial punished; Student lawyers win case for mentally ill": The Times-Picayune today contains this article reporting on a decision that the Supreme Court of Louisiana issued earlier this month.
Posted at 12:50 by Howard Bashman



"Hooters halted in bid to sell beer": This article appears today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Posted at 12:48 by Howard Bashman



"Legal minds gear up for gay marriage fight": The Contra Costa Times contains this article today.
Posted at 12:45 by Howard Bashman



"California legislators want suicide law like Oregon's": This article appears today in The San Jose Mercury News.
Posted at 12:44 by Howard Bashman



"A Misguided Challenge to Affirmative Action; Sander is wrong: It helps blacks in law school." Law Professor Goodwin Liu has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 12:40 by Howard Bashman



"Woman expelled from military finds legal hope; Jennifer McGinn, discharged over her sexual orientation, wants to get back into the U.S. Army; New case law may help": Yesterday's edition of The Sun of Bremerton, Washington contained this article.
Posted at 12:30 by Howard Bashman



"Displays get in the way of a merry whatever; The not-so-joyful discussion of separation of church and state has become a holiday tradition": This article appears today in The Orlando Sentinel.
Posted at 12:20 by Howard Bashman



"An associate rocks criminal procedure": Jeffrey L. Fisher has been chosen by The National Law Journal as runner-up for "Lawyer of the Year" according to an article that you can access here.
Posted at 12:00 by Howard Bashman



Eighth Circuit reverses order requiring that a criminal defendant be involuntarily medicated in order to restore him to competency to stand trial: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:55 by Howard Bashman



Large judgment against comic book creator spawns bankruptcy: Saturday's edition of The Arizona Republic reported that "Bankruptcy latest twist for Valley's McFarlane."
Posted at 11:30 by Howard Bashman



"Nevada's Rising Star Changes Course: Attorney General Brian Sandoval had a prime spot at the Republican National Convention; Now he's hoping to leave politics for a federal judgeship; But some Northern Nevada attorneys wonder if he has the experience for the job." This article appeared yesterday in The Reno Gazette-Journal.
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



"The plaintiff argues that the Kentucky paternity and child support laws are inconsistent with sexual and procreative 'privacy' rights recognized by the Supreme Court." Do Kentucky statutes requiring a natural father to pay child support for his son born out of wedlock violate the substantive due process protections of the Fourteenth Amendment? Today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected the arguments of the father, a lawyer proceeding pro se, that the right to procreative privacy "includes the right to decide not to become a parent even after conception" and "must extend to both biological parents" so that Kentucky's statutory scheme must be invalidated because it "imposes parenthood on biological fathers while denying them any right or opportunity to decide not to become a parent after conception." You can access today's ruling at this link.

Today's opinion begins by stating that "Plaintiff-appellant, a lawyer, brings his own pro se action and appeal against the mother of his child born out of wedlock and her husband, the stepfather of the child." While the plaintiff was permitted to initiate the action using only his initials, and thus the official name of the case is N.E. v. Hedges, the listing of counsel in today's opinion includes the full name of counsel for the appellant.
Posted at 09:30 by Howard Bashman



"P.R. Effort By Saudis Sparks Justice Probe": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into whether Saudi Arabia's efforts to buff its image in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks ran afoul of laws designed to limit the influence of foreign countries on American politics and public opinion."
Posted at 09:22 by Howard Bashman



"Heterosexuals Caught in Gay Marriage Issue": The Associated Press reports here that "The Social Security Administration is rejecting marriage documents issued for heterosexual couples in four communities that performed weddings for gay couples earlier this year."
Posted at 09:20 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme battle looms for Rehnquist successor": The Boston Herald contains this article today.
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"Republican lawmakers look to alter high court": This article appears today in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Posted at 07:04 by Howard Bashman



"Sentencing guideline ruling delayed": Michael McGough of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has this article today. And The Minneapolis Star Tribune today contains an article headlined "An 'on- the-fly' answer in court."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Ethics debate surrounds doctors' roles in execution" and "Student's objections over pledge sparks change."
Posted at 06:55 by Howard Bashman



"Frist draws the line on filibusters": Robert Novak has this essay today in The Chicago Sun-Times.
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



"Evolution or design? Religious conservatives are again challenging Darwin's theory of evolution, and a small town in Pennsylvania is on the front lines of this fresh struggle between values of the scientific establishment and those with a faith-based vision of 'intelligent design.'" Yesterday's edition of The Baltimore Sun contained this article.
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



"Local site a top dog in Web logs": This article appears today in The Minneapolis Star Tribune. Congratulations to the good folks at the blog "Power Line" on having been named Time magazine's blog of the year.
Posted at 06:40 by Howard Bashman



Sunday, December 19, 2004
"Debate on Malpractice Looms for Senate": Monday's issue of The New York Times will contain this article.
Posted at 23:54 by Howard Bashman



"Evangelicals Are Taking Bans On Christmas Tidings to Court": This article will appear on the front page of Monday's edition of The Washington Post.
Posted at 23:51 by Howard Bashman



"Builder Sues Forest Service Workers Under RICO Act": Henry Weinstein will have this article in Monday's edition of The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 23:50 by Howard Bashman



"Ballot checks vary widely across state": This article appears today in The Seattle Times.
Posted at 22:33 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Los Angeles Times: An article is headlined "Governor's Race So Close, Yet So Divisive; Washington Republican Dino Rossi is up by 42 votes; But disputes persist over the recount and votes never counted."

In other news, "In S.F., Weighing Strippers' Rights; Hundreds object to steep fees clubs charge them; some say private lap dances encourage prostitution; State plans an industry audit."

The personal finance column is headlined "Same-Sex Couples to Gain New Rights, Liabilities in California; As of Jan. 1, registered domestic partners will quality for some of the benefits enjoyed by married people."

And Michael Kinsley has an op-ed entitled "Let's Face It, Blogs Are Better; Better than I thought, and maybe even better than what I do for a living."
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



"Jurors strive to reclaim their lives; Death cases cause stress, health woes": This article appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 22:20 by Howard Bashman



"On the Open Internet, a Web of Dark Alleys": Monday's edition of The New York Times will contain this article.
Posted at 22:15 by Howard Bashman



"A thirst for wine is bad for the Constitution": This article appears today in The Telegraph (UK). And Friday's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer contained an article headlined "Court case on direct sales invigorates wine-lovers."
Posted at 22:11 by Howard Bashman



"Thomas' trials and triumph": Today in The New York Post, Walter Olson has this review of the book "Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas," by Ken Foskett.
Posted at 22:05 by Howard Bashman



The countdown for The Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year is underway: At number eight among the top-ten finalists was "Wallace Jefferson: Black justice blazing trail on Texas court." And at number five, "Alberto Gonzales: Pride of Humble is making national history."
Posted at 22:02 by Howard Bashman



"Same-Sex Marriage Debate Returns to Calif." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 20:15 by Howard Bashman



"Saddam bids to challenge case in US": The Sunday Times of London today contains an article that begins, "Saddam Hussein is preparing a legal challenge in America to his trial for war crimes, according to leaked papers prepared by his defence team. Advice to take the case to the US courts is contained in a 50-page brief prepared by Clive Stafford Smith, the leading British human rights lawyer, which has been seen by The Sunday Times."
Posted at 16:50 by Howard Bashman



"This appeal arises out of a dispute concerning the popular rap song Back That Azz Up." So begins a 48-page opinion that Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King issued on Friday on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. One of the issues in the case is whether the lyrics to the song "Back That Azz Up" are substantially similar to the lyrics of the song "Back That Ass Up." Regrettably, I am unable to express a reasoned opinion on that issue because neither song is a part of my vast musical repertoire.

For better or worse, the Fifth Circuit found it unnecessary to reach the question whether the phrase "back that ass up" is incapable of receiving copyright protection because "the phrase is not original and because the merger doctrine precludes extending protection to a phrase that is necessary to describe a particular thing--in this case, a dance move."

Update: A longtime reader emails the link to this earlier coverage of the dispute published in The Village Voice. For those who wish to view the video of Juvenile's "Back That Thang Up" (the edited for TV version, apparently), the video can be accessed via this link. And you can launch a 30-second clip from the explicit original version by clicking here (RealPlayer required). I bet this case must have produced an unusually interesting appellate oral argument.
Posted at 13:50 by Howard Bashman



"Seeing Dollar Signs in San Quentin Site": Today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition - Sunday" included this segment (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 13:33 by Howard Bashman



"Internal Splits Emerge in Canadian Parties Over Gay Marriage": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And in The Oregonian today, columnist David Reinhard has a related essay entitled "Judicial activism? Perish the thought."
Posted at 13:30 by Howard Bashman



Newsweek is reporting: The December 27, 2004 issue will contain an article headlined "Torture's Path: The paper trail is long, and it isn't pretty; But it's sure to produce some tough Senate questions for Alberto Gonzales."

And yesterday, the magazine posted online a web exclusive by Michael Isikoff headlined "Push for Broader Presidential Powers: A Justice Department lawyer may have been laying the groundwork for the Iraq invasion long before it was discussed publicly by the White House." Update: The Memorandum Opinion for the Deputy Counsel to the President, signed by John C. Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, can be viewed at this link (update via "The Volokh Conspiracy").
Posted at 10:00 by Howard Bashman



"Reid Vows to Stand Up to GOP; A Moderate, Party's New Senate Leader Says He Won't Yield": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Tom Curry, national affairs writer for MSNBC, on Friday had an article headlined "Which way ahead for Democrats? Iraq, Supreme Court filibuster and Social Security will define what it means to be a Democrat."

And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article headlined "Specter all over: Left, right, independent."
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



"Transcripts reveal Supreme Court justices vary from taciturn to chatty": Michael Doyle has this article today in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Posted at 09:44 by Howard Bashman



"Legal snare imperils bias case; Doubt arises over woman's credentials in $650 million deal": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "A $650 million deal to compensate thousands of African American farmers, who alleged bias in U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, could unravel because a Santa Cruz woman worked as a federal attorney on the settlement without ever passing the bar, officials said Saturday."
Posted at 09:40 by Howard Bashman



"Seal quietly changed in county hall; Residents to stage protest": Yesterday's issue of The Los Angeles Daily News contained an article that begins, "Without fanfare, Los Angeles County's 47-year-old official seals on the front wall of the Board of Supervisors' hearing room were covered Friday with decals of a new seal devoid of the tiny Christian cross or any other religious symbolism."
Posted at 09:35 by Howard Bashman



"What does a conservative look like? When it comes to choosing Supreme Court justices, credentials go beyond the legal." David Jackson and Allen Pusey have this article today in The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 09:30 by Howard Bashman



"Abortion debate vaults to federal stage; Antiabortion groups abandon their state-level strategy for bipartisan efforts of national scope": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 09:20 by Howard Bashman



Saturday, December 18, 2004
"The Art of the Filibuster": This morning's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition - Saturday" included this segment (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 16:00 by Howard Bashman



"How Dubious Evidence Spurred Relentless Guantanamo Spy Hunt": This article will appear in Sunday's edition of The New York Times.
Posted at 15:55 by Howard Bashman



"The Once and Future Supreme Court: The last four decades have witnessed a fundamental transformation in the types of men, and now women, who exercise the broad and untrammeled judicial power of the U.S. Supreme Court." David J. Garrow will have this article in the February 2005 issue of American History Magazine.
Posted at 10:50 by Howard Bashman



"Your Blog or Mine? Sex is the favorite topic for online journals -- and the very private has never been more public." Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen will have an essay bearing this title in tomorrow's edition of The New York Times Magazine. The piece -- which won't be available online until this evening -- mentions by name two blogs ("Life, Law, Libido" and "ambivalent imbroglio") written by law students who attend or attended the law school at which Rosen teaches. Once the essay does become available online, you'll be able to access it via this link.

Update: You can access the article directly by clicking here.
Posted at 10:40 by Howard Bashman



In Ten Commandments-related news from Alabama: Yesterday's edition of The Andalusia Star News contained articles headlined "Groups claim robe a religious statement" and "Community supports McKathan's decision." And that newspaper yesterday also contained an editorial entitled "Fanning the flames of debate."

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports that "Ex-justice Moore may run for governor."
Posted at 10:12 by Howard Bashman



"San Quentin Debate: Death Row vs. Bay Views." This article appears today on the front page of The New York Times.

In other news relating to California's death row, The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article headlined "Bay Area juries show no mercy; Verdicts of death returned 3 times in one week." And yesterday the newspaper reported that "Murderer scheduled to die Jan. 19; Federal appeals court grants one last hearing."
Posted at 10:04 by Howard Bashman



"Kansas' Death Penalty Law Is Declared Unconstitutional": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

In local coverage, The Wichita Eagle reports that "High court dumps death penalty law." The Lawrence Journal-World reports that "Supreme Court overturns death penalty in Kansas; Ruling clears six from death row." The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that "Kansas death penalty nixed; State's highest court rules 4-3 that law is unconstitutional." And The Kansas City Star reports that "Kansas death penalty invalid."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Kansas at this link.
Posted at 09:45 by Howard Bashman



Friday, December 17, 2004
Recently on C-SPAN's "America & The Courts": The broadcast from December 4, 2004 was titled "Medical Marijuana & Title IX Retaliation Lawsuit" (RealPlayer required). The program includes video of a press conference that Randy Barnett held on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court following his recent oral argument in the medical marijuana case.

And the broadcast from December 11, 2004 was titled "Reporters' Confidentiality & ABA Jury Reform."
Posted at 22:45 by Howard Bashman



"Making A Federal Case Out of Almost Everything: It's time to rediscover constitutional limits." Gene Healy has this essay online at Reason.
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



"Nation's highest court rejects court-appointed attorney case": This article appears today in The Saginaw News.
Posted at 22:35 by Howard Bashman



"Peterson Case Has Lingering Question": Columnist Steve Lopez has this thoughtful essay today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 20:30 by Howard Bashman



"British Court Deals Blow to Terror Law; Foreigners Can't Be Held Indefinitely, It Says": This article appears today in The Washington Post. And The Los Angeles Times reports that "High Court Delivers Blow to British Anti-Terror Law."
Posted at 20:22 by Howard Bashman



"Federal Judges Revise Advisory Memo on Junkets": This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained this segment (RealPlayer required).

The September 2002 installment of my monthly appellate column was entitled "Privately-Sponsored Educational Junkets For Federal Judges -- Should They Be A Cause For Concern?"
Posted at 20:15 by Howard Bashman



There's no need to fear the prospect of a court dominated by George W. Bush nominees -- one already exists: When commentators speak of courts that are supposedly "outside of the judicial mainstream," one seldom hears mention of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Yet that's the one court in the United States whose active judges include a majority nominated by President George W. Bush. In the current issue of Bench & Bar of Minnesota, attorney Matthew E. Johnson has an article headlined "New Faces on the 8th Circuit: Do Recent Appointments Portend a Change?"
Posted at 17:20 by Howard Bashman



"Whom Will Bush Name to the Supreme Court?" Human Events Online today posted this list of contenders.
Posted at 17:05 by Howard Bashman



In news from Kansas: The Topeka Capital-Journal provides a news update headlined "Court rules death penalty unconstitutional."
Posted at 16:38 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "Senator to Revisit Judicial Travel Ethics" begins, "Sen. Patrick Leahy, contending a judicial panel has weakened ethics rules for judges who accept corporate-sponsored trips, said Friday he plans to reintroduce legislation to define standards."

And in other news, "Kansas Court Throws Out Death Penalty Law."
Posted at 16:30 by Howard Bashman



"Kansas Court Overturns State's Death Penalty": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 15:23 by Howard Bashman



OLC says "[t]he Second Amendment secures a right of individuals generally, not a right of States or a right restricted to persons serving in militias." The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel has posted online this opinion. Law Professor Eugene Volokh writes, "Certainly this sort of reasoned opinion by the Justice Department office charged with opining on such questions ought to be pretty newsworthy."
Posted at 15:10 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Asserts Authority Over American in Saudi Jail": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times. The article incorrectly identifies which President Bush appointed the federal district judge who issued yesterday's ruling.

In other coverage, The Washington Post reports that "Judge to Review U.S. Role in Saudi Jailing of Va. Man." And The Associated Press reports that "Saudi Detainee's Family Urges U.S. Action."
Posted at 14:45 by Howard Bashman



"Good gift for any first-year law student": Law Professor Eugene Volokh offers this holiday gift-giving recommendation.
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



"We're not worthy!" PG from the "De Novo" blog -- still in the midst of law school exams -- provides via email this very encouraging Harvey Birdman-related update:
We now know that How Appealing gets results in the entertainment world as well as the legal one -- the creator/writer/executive producer of the show left a comment saying, "It's coming out in April. 2 disc set. Lots of great extras."

[does the Snoopy dance before going back to Torts]
My post from the other day was titled "Release Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law!"
Posted at 14:15 by Howard Bashman



The error was de minimis: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today issued this Order Correcting Published Opinion. The original opinion, which issued yesterday, can be accessed here.

Earlier entries in this blog's de minimis series bear the titles "Small bus"; "To not split infinitives"; and "On grammar and pronunciation."
Posted at 13:40 by Howard Bashman



"Execution date confirmed for convicted killer": This article appears today in The San Mateo Daily Journal. The article notes that "Beardslee has exhausted nearly all other avenues to escape execution. In January, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco declined to reconsider his sentence. On Oct. 4, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Beardslee's appeal but a delay was given after his attorney resigned."

What the article fails to note, however, is that late yesterday a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this order granting to the condemned man a certificate of appealability so that he may argue that his death sentence should be set aside based on a decision that another three-judge Ninth Circuit panel issued while his petition for a writ of certiorari was pending.
Posted at 13:20 by Howard Bashman



"S.A. City Council says strippers must wear ID badges": KENS 5 Eyewitness News provides this news update. And The Associated Press reports that "San Antonio Strippers to Wear Permits."
Posted at 13:15 by Howard Bashman



"Kansas high court rules death penalty unconstitutional": The Wichita Eagle provides this news update reporting on today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Kansas.
Posted at 13:10 by Howard Bashman



"The mayoral election: Off to court we likely go." Law Professor Rick Hasen, author of the "Election Law" blog, has this op-ed today in The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Posted at 11:44 by Howard Bashman



View online Wednesday's oral argument in the Supreme Court of Oregon in the same-sex marriage case: Via C-SPAN, you can access the oral argument video by clicking here (RealPlayer required). Yesterday, I collected news coverage of the oral argument at this link.
Posted at 11:28 by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: Yesterday evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained segments entitled "American Detainee in Saudi Arabia Seeks Justice in U.S." (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Illinois Governor Seeks Restrictions on Video Game Sales"; "Saddam Has First Meeting with Defense Lawyer"; "Barlow Challenges Search of Checked Baggage"; and "A Convict's Remorse Can Affect His Fate."

And yesterday's broadcast of "Talk of the Nation" contained a segment entitled "Taking Corporations to Task for Human Rights."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:01 by Howard Bashman



"Calif. Supremes to Decide When Settlement Demands Equal Extortion": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 09:40 by Howard Bashman



"EU Asks State To Halt Ross' Execution": This article appears today in The Hartford Courant.
Posted at 08:40 by Howard Bashman



"Nation doesn't need an AG who cleared path for torture": Jamie Mayerfeld and Darius Rejali have this op-ed today in The Seattle Times.
Posted at 07:07 by Howard Bashman



Today in The Rocky Mountain News: An editorial is entitled "It's time for Rehnquist to retire." And columnist Mike Rosen has an essay entitled "Disdain for Constitution."
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



In yesterday's edition of The Andalusia Star News: An article reported that "Judge's religious robe on trial." And a related editorial was entitled "From Montgomery to Andalusia."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"Sorting through the extremism": Today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Linda Campbell has an op-ed that begins, "For a glimpse of the conflagration to come, check out the dueling reactions to Judge Charles Pickering's retirement from his short-lived tenure on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Posted at 06:58 by Howard Bashman



"Democrats may filibuster their way out of Congress": Columnist Collin Levey has this op-ed today in The Seattle Times.

In The Orlando Sentinel, columnist Peter A. Brown today has an essay entitled "Battle royale ahead for Bush Supremes."

And at Tech Central Station, James D. Miller has an essay entitled "Republicans Shouldn't Fear Eliminating Judicial Filibusters."
Posted at 06:44 by Howard Bashman



"New Rules For Judges Are Weaker, Critics Say; Guidelines Address Sponsored Trips": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 06:42 by Howard Bashman



Will he or won't he? Today the Supreme Court of the United States holds its annual Christmas party, and Court-watchers will be waiting to see whether Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is well enough to attend. My prediction is that the Chief will not attend but, of course, will send a message that one of the other Justices will read aloud to all the attendees. This prediction is in accord with the prediction of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as reported here. Stay tuned for updates.
Posted at 06:35 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, December 16, 2004
"British Court Says Detentions Violate Rights": Friday's edition of The New York Times will contain this article.

The Times of London in Friday's edition contains articles headlined "Judges rule that terror suspects are being imprisoned illegally; Anti-terror strategy in chaos as law lords rule that detention without trial breaks human rights law"; "Terror laws in tatters"; "Government must free them or charge them, say lawyers"; "Belmarsh detainees are locked in limbo"; and "Four options for beating the deadlock."

And Financial Times reports that "Court forces UK to reconsider anti-terror strategy."
Posted at 23:20 by Howard Bashman



"At Guantanamo, a Prison Within a Prison; CIA Has Run a Secret Facility for Some Al Qaeda Detainees, Officials Say": This front page article will appear in Friday's edition of The Washington Post.
Posted at 23:14 by Howard Bashman



"Court Tosses Appeal After Finding Lawyers Filed 'Preposterous' Number of Issues": law.com has posted online this article from The Legal Intelligencer. You can access last Friday's ruling of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at this link.

Even if one is willing to accept on the facts of this case that the lawyers for the losing party in the trial court sought to preserve a "preposterous" number of issues for appeal, certain Pennsylvania state court requirements to preserve an issue for appeal themselves border on the preposterous. Supposedly the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is now in the process of reconsidering its case law in that area. I believe such reconsideration is merited for, among other things, the reasons mentioned in my monthly appellate column from June 2004 entitled "Waiving Goodbye To Your Best Issues On Appeal."
Posted at 22:22 by Howard Bashman



"The Real Issues of Judicial Ethics": Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski's essay entitled "The Appearance of Propriety: The judicial canons have got it wrong; The real ethical issues facing judges are hidden from view" in the current issue of Legal Affairs magazine is indeed quite good, so good that I had to find online his recent Hofstra Law Review article from which the magazine essay has been distilled.

The first part of Judge Kozinski's thesis is rather provocative but unquestionably correct -- that the most troublesome ethical issues judges face are ones that lawyers and the public have no choice but to trust that the judges will resolve in a proper manner. The second part of his thesis, however, may be met with more skepticism. In it, he argues that if we are willing (because we don't have any other choice) to trust that judges will behave ethically with respect to those most troublesome issues that are resolved outside of the public's view, wouldn't it make more sense to leave it up to individual judges to decide how to deal with the less important disqualification issues as to which statutes and case law now often provide inflexible bright-line tests?

This form of argument is one that Judge Kozinski has advanced before -- e.g., you trust us judges to decide cases correctly, so why won't you trust us to decide for ourselves whether the Ninth Circuit deserves splitting. I didn't view the argument to be sound or logically compelling then, and I'm not sure many will find it to be logically compelling in its current iteration. Nevertheless, Judge Kozinski provides a great service by explaining for those many lawyers and others who haven't observed the inner workings of a court the ethical temptations that judges must confront on a regular basis far from the glare of the public eye.
Posted at 22:11 by Howard Bashman



"State's chief justice praises long appeals process; 'We don't turn them out like Texas,' he says": Bob Egelko had this death penalty-related article yesterday in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 21:20 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Los Angeles Times: An article reports that "Teacher Gets Prison in Hate Crime Hoax."

And an editorial is entitled "Military Ins and Outs."
Posted at 21:18 by Howard Bashman



"At Ivy League Schools, ROTC, Long Banned, Plots a Comeback; Push May Stir Up Old Passions On These Elite Campuses; A Beachhead at Harvard": The Wall Street Journal provides free access to this article, which appears on the front page of today's newspaper.
Posted at 19:55 by Howard Bashman



The Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law appears to be angry (to put it mildly) with Harvard Law School: The blog "Velvel on National Affairs" offers a post titled "There Is No Room For Morality At Harvard" (via "JD2B.com").
Posted at 18:02 by Howard Bashman



"Illinois Gov. Seeks Violent Video Game Ban": Slashdot is host to this discussion thread.
Posted at 18:00 by Howard Bashman



Also in the January | February 2005 issue of Legal Affairs magazine: In addition to the essay about Justice Clarence Thomas that I noted here the other day, now available online is an essay by Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski entitled "The Appearance of Propriety: The judicial canons have got it wrong; The real ethical issues facing judges are hidden from view."

Nicholas Thompson has an essay entitled "Common Denominator: Using sophisticated mathematical models, a group of four economists has proven that a country's legal history greatly affects its economy; At least they think they've proven it; How their sweeping theory has roiled the legal academy."

And Benjamin Soskis has an essay entitled "Man and the Machines: It's time to start thinking about how we might grant legal rights to computers."
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



"Write-in mayoral bid has fresh hope; Disputed ballots, if counted, would be enough to elect long-shot Donna Frye to be San Diego mayor": This article will appear in Friday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 17:45 by Howard Bashman



"Court Throws Out Punishment in Worst Colorado Fire": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 16:33 by Howard Bashman



In news from Oregon: Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Oregon heard a case involving same-sex marriage.

Today, The Salem Statesman Journal contains articles headlined "Future of gay couples' licenses rests with outcome; Experts say ruling concerning Li v. Oregon is hard to predict"; "Court rule could help Legislature with issue; Some want the state to set up options for civil unions for same-sex couples"; and "Each side hopes ruling reflects its perspective; Court proceeding draws about 150 people to rally at steps of state Capitol."

In other coverage, The Oregonian reports today that "Fight shifts to civil unions."
Posted at 15:40 by Howard Bashman



"Burning of Wahoo effigy legal, but fire was unsafe, court rules": This article appears today in The Cleveland Plain Dealer. I first noted yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio in a post that you can access here.

According to The Plain Dealer article, this case is now heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, although perhaps not in time for tomorrow's Christmas party.
Posted at 15:10 by Howard Bashman



"A Pro-Life Mistake: Strategize wisely; It's a life or death decision." Clarke D. Forsythe today has this essay at National Review Online.
Posted at 15:00 by Howard Bashman



"Connecticut Supreme Court to hear Skakel's appeal next month": The AP reports here that "The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Jan. 5 in the appeal by Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel of his murder conviction."
Posted at 14:55 by Howard Bashman



"Judge Rules U.S. Detainee May Have Rights": The Associated Press provides this report on today's ruling, first noted here, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Posted at 14:14 by Howard Bashman



Reuters is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "ABB asks court to review parts of asbestos ruling"; "British Ruling Seen as Landmark in War on Terror"; and "UK Keeps Terror Suspects in Jail, Despite Judgment."
Posted at 12:32 by Howard Bashman



Blakely becomes a burning issue in Colorado: The Denver Post provides a news update headlined "Barton's state sentence for starting Hayman fire vacated" that begins, "The Colorado Court of Appeals today threw out a 12-year state prison sentence handed down to Terry Lynn Barton for starting the 2002 Hayman fire, the largest wildfire in Colorado history, saying the judge gave her too long a term."

You can access today's ruling of the Colorado Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 12:28 by Howard Bashman



"Governor targeting violent video games; Blagojevich seeks a law that would bar retailers from allowing anyone younger than 18 to leave their stores with brutal or sexually explicit games": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune, along with related items titled "Topping the governor's list" and "The governor's list."

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that "Gov targets violent video games." And The State Journal-Register of Springfield, Illinois reports that "Video game campaign begins; Governor wants to keep some out of children's hands."

Elsewhere, The Los Angeles Times reports that "Illinois Seeks to Curb Explicit Video Games; Gov. Rod Blagojevich proposes bills to make it illegal to sell or rent graphic titles to minors." And The Washington Post today contains an article headlined "A Push to Restrict Sales of Video Games; Illinois Governor Seeks to Prevent Minors From Purchasing 'Adult Material.'"
Posted at 12:15 by Howard Bashman



The New York Times is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Morgenthau and Others Speak Out Against Death Penalty" and "Judge Dismisses One Crucial Claim Made in Suit Against Google."

Also today, the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Puerto Rico's Disputed Election."
Posted at 12:04 by Howard Bashman



"Petitioner Ahmed Abu Ali is a citizen of the United States who, through his parents, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus against several officials of the United States challenging his ongoing detention since June 2003 in a prison of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia allegedly at the behest and ongoing supervision of the United States." So begins a 68-page ruling that District Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued today.

Today's ruling rejects, at least for the time being, the U.S. government's assertion that a federal district court has no jurisdiction to consider the habeas petition of a United States citizen if he is in the hands of a foreign state.
Posted at 11:18 by Howard Bashman



"Judge Denies Public Defenders' Move to Halt Killer's Execution": Today's edition of The New York Times contains this article. And in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy reports that "Defenders Ordered Out Of Ross Case."
Posted at 11:10 by Howard Bashman



"Frye's Unofficial Margin Widens; San Diego's disputed mayoral election appears likely to be settled in the courts as the sides weigh their legal options": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports today that "Lawyer pursues mayor's race recount; Ballot review ends in Frye's favor; lawsuit appears likely." And The New York Times reports today that "In San Diego, Recount Roils Mayoral Race."
Posted at 11:04 by Howard Bashman



"British Anti-Terror Law Reined In; Highest Court of Appeals Rules Foreign Terror Suspects Cannot Be Held Indefinitely": The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 11:00 by Howard Bashman



"Saddam Hussein Meets with Lawyer for First Time": Reuters provides this report. And The Associated Press reports that "Saddam, Defense Lawyer Meet for 1st Time."

Earlier this month, I linked here to an article The St. Petersburg Times published reporting on the lone American on a team of twenty-three defense lawyers selected by Saddam Hussein's family.
Posted at 10:57 by Howard Bashman



"Senator reportedly holds up nominee; Perry is said to want Willett for Texas' high court": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 10:35 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Jeff Chorney reports that "9th Circuit Backs Vexatious Challenge."

And Shannon P. Duffy reports that "Tolling OK When Class Action Stopped due to Inadequate Representatives."
Posted at 10:01 by Howard Bashman



"University of Georgia Reconsidering Race-Based Admissions": This segment (RealPlayer required) reporting that "proposed changes at the University of Georgia would allow the use of race in freshman admissions" appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:54 by Howard Bashman



"UK court rejects terror detentions": CNN.com provides this report. Earlier this morning, I collected additional coverage of this matter at this link.
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



"Outside In: Why Rehnquist's successor should come from outside the Court." Will Baude, who blogs at "Crescat Sententia," has this essay today online at The New Republic.
Posted at 09:45 by Howard Bashman



"Abortion position key in Supreme Court justice choice": This article reporting on a newly-released Quinnipiac University poll appears today in The New Haven Register.
Posted at 07:50 by Howard Bashman



"Draft Scalia?" Ryan Sager has this essay online at Tech Central Station.
Posted at 07:47 by Howard Bashman



"Holding court on history: Justice to speak at Forefathers dinner." The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will speak at Tuesday's Forefathers Day dinner, held by the Pilgrim Society and Pilgrim Hall Museum."
Posted at 07:45 by Howard Bashman



"A grubby little witch hunt: The battle over revisionist Christian history in Cupertino bodes ill for the nation." LA CityBEAT contains this essay today.
Posted at 07:42 by Howard Bashman



"Life After Death: Andre Lewis was eight hours from being executed, until the courts realized they had made a big mistake." This article appears today in The Dallas Observer.
Posted at 07:33 by Howard Bashman



Not to be outdone: A day after Charles Barkley visited with Justice Clarence Thomas at the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor appeared courtside last night in Arizona as "the Phoenix Suns beat the Utah Jazz 108-86 to improve to a league-best 19-3." The Associated Press provides this report, which contains no mention of Justice O'Connor's involvement in any basketbrawls.
Posted at 07:30 by Howard Bashman



"Has Rehnquist outstayed his time? For the chief justice to keep voting despite the drain of his disease abuses public trust." Columnist Steve Chapman has this op-ed today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 07:20 by Howard Bashman



"Judge's robe gets national attention; McKathan's office is getting supportive phone calls from all over the country": This article appears today in The Mobile Register. You can view an image of the embroidered garment here and of its owner here.

In commentary, The Macon Telegraph today contains an editorial entitled "May we address the court, your honor?" My thoughts on this topic can be accessed here.
Posted at 07:10 by Howard Bashman



"Public Servants and the First Amendment: The Cases of the Porn-Selling Police Officer, and the Ten-Commandments-Wearing Judge." FindLaw commentator Marci Hamilton has this essay today.
Posted at 07:08 by Howard Bashman



"Seek common ground on top court nominees": This editorial appears today in The Pantagraph of Bloomington, Illinois.
Posted at 07:07 by Howard Bashman



"Voters may be asked to remove Florida's church-state ban": The Palm Beach Post contains this article today.
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"Praise for Judge Pickering": This article appears today in The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi.
Posted at 07:04 by Howard Bashman



"Ready, Willing, Disqualified": Nathaniel Frank has this op-ed today in The New York Times.
Posted at 07:02 by Howard Bashman



"Judicial Filibusters": The Los Angeles Times today contains this letter to the editor from U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT). Relatedly, Stuart Buck has a post titled "Senator Cornyn vs. the Times."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Military Lawyers Object to Bush Cabinet Nominee": In today's issue of The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis has an article that begins, "Several former high-ranking military lawyers say they are discussing ways to oppose President Bush's nomination of Alberto R. Gonzales to be attorney general, asserting that Mr. Gonzales's supervision of legal memorandums that appeared to sanction harsh treatment of detainees, even torture, showed unsound legal judgment."
Posted at 06:54 by Howard Bashman



"Terror detainees win Lords appeal; Detaining foreign terrorist suspects without trial breaks human rights laws, the UK's highest court has ruled": BBC News provides this report, along with an article headlined "'Delight' over law lords ruling; Civil rights groups have expressed 'delight' at the ruling that detaining foreign terrorism suspects without trial breaks human rights laws." In earlier coverage, BBC News offered an article headlined "Belmarsh -- Britain's Guantanamo Bay?"

The Guardian (UK) provides a news update headlined "Law lords back terror detainees." Reuters reports that "Top Court Finds for 'UK's Guantanamo' Suspects." And The Associated Press offers an article headlined "UK Can't Hold Terror Suspects Indefinitely."

Today's ruling by the House of Lords can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 06:40 by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, December 15, 2004
"Court says mom can give her son her last name": Thursday's edition of The Newark Star-Ledger will contain this article reporting on a decision that the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued today.
Posted at 23:44 by Howard Bashman



"Lawsuit Reform a Bush Priority; President Seeks to Limit Class-Action, Malpractice Cases": This article will appear Thursday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 23:42 by Howard Bashman



Most Kentucky cattle farmers have no beef with fee that's being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court: The Courier-Journal of Louisville will report in Thursday's edition that "Ky. cattle farmers back $1 fee; Court case won't end payments."
Posted at 23:40 by Howard Bashman



"Pentagon Tells Detainees About Their Right to Go to Court": Thursday's edition of The Washington Post will contain an article that begins, "Six months after a landmark Supreme Court ruling, the military has begun to formally notify some detainees held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that they have the right to challenge their imprisonment in an American court."
Posted at 23:33 by Howard Bashman



"Ballot Review Favors Frye; Counting San Diego's disputed votes shows write-in candidate would have beaten the incumbent mayor, already sworn in": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. And The San Diego Union-Tribune reports today that "Frye's unbubbled ballots exceed Murphy's margin; Disqualified write-ins at 4,854 and counting."
Posted at 23:25 by Howard Bashman



"Trial lawyers come under fire at White House economic conference": Knight Ridder Newspapers provide this report. And coincidentally, today The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that "Group ranks Madison, St. Clair counties as judicial nightmares."
Posted at 22:22 by Howard Bashman



View online the Marc Chagall painting whose imagery Ninth Circuit Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld discusses in an opinion issued today: As I first noted here earlier today, in the opinion Judge Kleinfeld writes:
Evaluation of credibility necessarily relies on experience. Even perfectly plausible allegations can be disbelieved if they occur during the course of a generally implausible account. If the statement, "I saw a woman milking a cow" (a plausible allegation) comes as part of the account, "I saw a woman milking a cow and the woman and the cow were inside a horse's head, and there was another woman who was walking upside down on the roof of an upside down house," the jury is not required to parse the account and believe the cow-milking statement just because it is plausible. When a witness's account is as unlikely as the events portrayed in a Marc Chagall painting, the jury is entitled to reject the testimony in its entirety, disbelieving both the reasonable and the unreasonable aspects. This, too, is an exercise in comparing testimony with known truth (gravity) and rejecting it for inconsistency with that known truth.
Of course, the witness's unlikely account wouldn't be inaccurate in the least if the witness were, as Judge Kleinfeld was, merely describing what appears in this Marc Chagall painting.
Posted at 22:12 by Howard Bashman



"Same-sex marriage debate goes to Oregon Supreme Court": The Salem Statesman Journal provides this news update.
Posted at 22:04 by Howard Bashman



The wire services are reporting: The Associated Press reports that "Puerto Rico High Court to Decide Election."

And Reuters reports that "U.S. Court Rules on Puerto Rico Election Dispute"; "Oregon Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Gay Marriage"; and "Key Ruling Due on Inmates of 'Britain's Guantanamo.'"
Posted at 22:00 by Howard Bashman



"Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Does William Rehnquist have a right to keep his medical condition a secret?" Slate has just posted online this jurisprudence essay by Dahlia Lithwick.
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit announces its ruling in the Puerto Rico Election Cases: You can access today's ruling at this link. Law Professor Rick Hasen, at his "Election Law" blog, offers these early observations.
Posted at 17:44 by Howard Bashman



Happy birthday, Bill of Rights: Today is the 213th anniversary of the date on which the Bill of Rights took effect. In recognition of the anniversary, Reuters reports that "U.S. Free Press Faces Toughest Challenge in Years."
Posted at 17:40 by Howard Bashman



Grilled wahoo may be a protected culinary activity, but grilling Chief Wahoo isn't entirely a protected First Amendment activity: The Associated Press reports that "Arrest of Chief Wahoo protesters not a free speech violation, Ohio Supreme Court rules." And Native American Times reports that "American Indian Movement loses court case; Justices say rights not violated during arrest."

You can access at this link today's 5-2 ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio. Justice Paul E. Pfeifer concluded his dissenting opinion as follows: "If we allow flag burning in this country, we should certainly allow Chief Wahoo effigy burning. Our flag stands for over 200 years of freedom and unity; Chief Wahoo stands for 56 years (and counting) of baseball futility." The Ohio Supreme Court's Office of Public Information provides this summary of the ruling. And those with RealPlayer can watch the archived video of oral argument by clicking here.
Posted at 17:20 by Howard Bashman



"No Deal Near in Holocaust Survivors' Suit; Hungarian Jews, in a case against the U.S., are seeking compensation for property seized by the Nazis and recovered by the U.S. Army": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 17:04 by Howard Bashman



Death penalty volunteer in Connecticut one step closer to goal: The blog "Kirby Reports" (finally a blog exists covering Connecticut law) offers this post.
Posted at 16:05 by Howard Bashman



Ten Commandments cases to be argued at the U.S. Supreme Court on March 2, 2005: That leaves plenty of time to have the Decalogue embroidered onto clothing. You can access the calendar for the argument session starting February 22, 2005 at this link. Numerologists are already buzzing over the fact that 03/02/05 adds up to the number 10.
Posted at 15:40 by Howard Bashman



"Bush Wants New Congress to Curb Lawsuits": Reuters reports here that "President Bush said on Wednesday he expects the new Congress to limit economy-damaging lawsuits by passing curbs on class action, asbestos injury and medical malpractice cases." A transcript of President Bush's remarks today at the White House Conference on the Economy is not yet available online at the White House web site. You can access here a fact sheet about the conference.

Update: A transcript of President Bush's remarks can now be accessed here. And The Associated Press reports that "Bush Says U.S. Firms Hurt by Lawsuits."
Posted at 15:33 by Howard Bashman



"The facts in this case are peculiar, at least to our eyes, to the point of being seriously bizarre." Ninth Circuit Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld today issued an opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel in a habeas corpus appeal brought by a state court prisoner convicted of rape. The facts as recounted in the opinion involve not only the victim but also two other individuals, referred to in the opinion as the music-hater and the door-nailer.

The strange facts pertaining to the crime turn out to be relevant to the issues of jury misconduct that are central to the appeal. In the course of addressing those issues, Judge Kleinfeld writes:
Evaluation of credibility necessarily relies on experience. Even perfectly plausible allegations can be disbelieved if they occur during the course of a generally implausible account. If the statement, "I saw a woman milking a cow" (a plausible allegation) comes as part of the account, "I saw a woman milking a cow and the woman and the cow were inside a horse's head, and there was another woman who was walking upside down on the roof of an upside down house," the jury is not required to parse the account and believe the cow-milking statement just because it is plausible. When a witness's account is as unlikely as the events portrayed in a Marc Chagall painting, the jury is entitled to reject the testimony in its entirety, disbelieving both the reasonable and the unreasonable aspects. This, too, is an exercise in comparing testimony with known truth (gravity) and rejecting it for inconsistency with that known truth.

One great advantage of jurors over judges is their diversity of experiences. We judges tend to be ignorant about much that was testified to in this case. It would be hard to find a judge who nails his own apartment doors shut, has any personal experience with crack or transvestite prostitutes, or visits strangers by coming up the fire escape and tapping on their window. Judges are drawn from a particularly well behaved group of people of limited experience. Fortunately, jurors are more diverse in their experiences than we are.
The complete opinion can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 15:10 by Howard Bashman



Law Professor Geoffrey R. Stone, guest blogging at "Lessig Blog": Geof's got a new book to promote, and you can access his first post at this link.
Posted at 14:40 by Howard Bashman



"Felon may have right to 'just compensation' for guns police seized; Court rules Balto. County cannot keep the firearms": The Baltimore Sun today contains this article reporting on a decision which the Court of Appeals of Maryland, that State's highest court, issued yesterday.
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



"Google Scores Court Victory Over GEICO": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 14:28 by Howard Bashman



"Rehnquist Receives Support Over Cancer": Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 14:14 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirms district court decision that rejected objections to partial settlement of securities class actions stemming from the downfall of Enron Corporation: Today's opinion, which you can access here, notes that Arthur Andersen LLP is not a party to the partial settlement that today's ruling upholds. But the settlement does involve Andersen Worldwide Societe Cooperative and most of its other member firms.
Posted at 12:12 by Howard Bashman



To fund federal and state courts, perhaps ad space can be sold on judicial robes: The news from Alabama that "Judge wears Ten Commandments on his robe" suggests a perhaps previously unexamined way for courts to respond to the funding crises so many of them are now facing -- sell advertising space on judicial robes.

A report from The Associated Press headlined "Judge embroiders Ten Commandments on judicial robe" states that "The commandments were described as being big enough to read on the robe by anyone near the judge."

Now some are sure to exclaim that selling ad space on judicial robes is beneath the judiciary. But the same objection was once raised with respect to NASCAR, and yet few today are heard to complain about the colorful vehicles hawking a little blue pill, sugared cereal, candy-covered chocolates, a laundry detergent, or an online service provider. And those courts that televise their proceedings are likely to raise some serious money.

Of course, there may be instances when the subject matter of the litigation precludes certain advertisements. For example, UPS shouldn't be allowed to rent ad space on the robes of judges who are determining whether that shipper may lawfully refuse to hire deaf drivers. And maybe DuPont's legal woes would make an across-the-board preclusion seem prudent. But the details can certainly be worked out later.

For starters, let's find online a photograph of this controversial judicial robe, and let's determine who did the embroidering.
Posted at 11:42 by Howard Bashman



"Legal Superstar Stung by Peterson Defeat": The Associated Press provides this report. And The AP's David Kravets reports that "Scott Peterson Still May Never Be Executed."
Posted at 11:35 by Howard Bashman



"In Court Outburst, Sheik Assails Prosecutors and His Lawyer": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:28 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Washington Post: Charles Lane reports that "Less Support for Death Sentence Cited for Decline in Executions."

And a front page article is headlined "Several Factors Contributed to 'Lost' Voters in Ohio."
Posted at 10:22 by Howard Bashman



"Pentagon Puts Lawyers on Battlefield in Iraq": This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:10 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Seattle Times today contains articles headlined "Will Legislature pick governor? It could happen" and "Rossi gains a few more votes."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Court rules against Gregoire; Counties won't be forced to reinspect invalid ballots; but saga's not over."

The Olympian today contains articles headlined "High court rejects Democrats' lawsuit" and "All eyes on King County; Democrat's discovery could tip balance."

And The Washington Post reports that "Wash. Governor's Race Tightens; Mostly Democratic King County Finds 561 Uncounted Votes."
Posted at 10:01 by Howard Bashman



"Let Them Filibuster: A Senate rules change may not be wise." National Review Online offers this editorial today.
Posted at 09:55 by Howard Bashman



"Touting Thomas: The truth about America's most maligned justice." Stephen B. Presser has this essay in the January | February 2005 issue of Legal Affairs magazine.
Posted at 09:00 by Howard Bashman



"Site chosen for new supreme court; The Middlesex Guildhall in London's Parliament Square has been named as the 'preferred option' for housing the new Supreme Court": BBC News provides this report. The Guardian (UK) reports today that "Site of new supreme court named." And Financial Times contains an article headlined "Historic choice for supreme court."
Posted at 07:35 by Howard Bashman



"The wheat from the grass": Yesterday's edition of The Toledo Blade contained this editorial.
Posted at 07:33 by Howard Bashman



"Area Hog Farmers Hit Supreme Court": This article appeared yesterday in The Nobles County Review.
Posted at 07:30 by Howard Bashman



"Change in the wind for Pledge of Allegiance; Spotsylvania School Board moves toward revoking policy that forces students to stand during Pledge of Allegiance": The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia contains this article today.
Posted at 07:11 by Howard Bashman



"Two groups sue over 'intelligent design'; A school district's plan to teach the theory violates separation of church and state, the lawsuit says": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The New York Times reports that "School Board Sued on Mandate for Alternative to Evolution." The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania reports that "ACLU, 11 residents file suit to block 'intelligent' theory." The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "School board in York County faces suit over required teaching of 'intelligent design'; Evolutionary challenge." And The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Parents sue schools over 'intelligent design'; Teaching about 'gaps' in evolution theory violates church-state separation, they claim."

Meanwhile, from Kansas, The Lawrence Journal-World reports that "Evolution creates new round of tension; State Board of Ed preparing to revise science standards." The Wichita Eagle reports that "Evolution argument begins at State BOE." And The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that "Debate is evolving; First draft of new science standards offered."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



Only in Alabama? The Mobile Register today contains an article headlined "Judge wears Ten Commandments on his robe" that begins, "A rural Alabama judge began wearing a robe embroidered with the Ten Commandments to his Andalusia courtroom this week, echoing the statement made by the state Supreme Court chief justice ousted over a Ten Commandments display." And The Andalusia Star News reported yesterday that "Judge wears 'the truth' on the bench."
Posted at 06:40 by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Available online from National Public Radio: This evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained a segment entitled "ACLU Fights Plan to Teach Alternative to Evolution."

Today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained segments entitled "Slate's Jurisprudence: Death Sentence for Peterson" (featuring Dahlia Lithwick); "Anti-Abortion Rule Hidden in Fed Spending Bill"; and "Slate's Human Nature: Conservative Abortion Attack."

Today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained segments entitled "Unocal Settles Myanmar Suit" and "Washington Officials Say Ballots Wrongly Rejected."

Yesterday's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained segments entitled "Jury Recommends Death Sentence for Scott Peterson"; "Lawsuit Challenges Abortion Rule in Spending Bill"; and "New Twist in Washington Gubernatorial Race."

Finally, you can access at this link a lengthy interview that appeared last month on "Fresh Air" with actor Paul Reubens, creator of "Pee-Wee Herman," on the occasion of the release on DVD of the complete 45-episode series of the TV show "Pee-Wee's Playhouse."

To access these audio segments, RealPlayer is required.
Posted at 23:20 by Howard Bashman



"San Diego Ballot Review Puts a Black Mark on Mayor's Win": The Los Angeles Times provides this news update. And The San Diego Union-Tribune provides a news update headlined "First review of ballots turns up 4,180 with Frye's name; Total would elect her mayor if judge ordered them officially counted."
Posted at 23:12 by Howard Bashman



"Jury Says Scott Peterson Should Die for Murder": This article appears today in The New York Times. The Washington Post reports that "Jury Calls for Peterson's Execution; Judge Could Opt To Alter Sentence To Life in Prison." The Los Angeles Times reports that "Jurors Say Scott Peterson Should Die for 2 Murders; The defense has several options for appeals, but experts say the chance of success is remote." And USA Today contains an article headlined "Decision on 'monster' cheered outside court; Jurors: Scott Peterson wanted bachelor lifestyle."

The San Francisco Chronicle today contains articles headlined "The jurors: How they decided he should die"; "The decision: Autopsy photos a reminder of brutal murders"; "High-profile killer faces bleak existence with few amenities"; "Trial fans subdued after jury backs death sentence"; and "Laci Peterson's family takes grim satisfaction." In addition, Bob Egelko reports on "Possible routes appellate lawyers may pursue." And columnist Joan Ryan has an essay entitled "Values should preclude legal killing as an act of revenge."

The San Mateo County Times today contains articles headlined "Jury: Blank stare sealed Scott's fate"; "Scott's consequence: death; Laci's family pleased with ultimate verdict, but their grief continues"; "Crowd gathers for one last show of the 'circus'"; and "Peterson's death sentence reverberates in Modesto." In addition, Josh Richman reports that "Years of appeals ahead for Peterson; Trial finalization will probably take months before process can begin."

The Modesto Bee today contains articles headlined "Death: Mother's anguish helped indecision, juror says"; "For jurors, trial was life-altering experience"; "Sound of death will remain with family"; "Scene: Usually boisterous courthouse crowd more subdued at jury's recommendation of death than when guilty verdicts reached last month"; "Neighborhood: Media blare keeps away some who would pay respects"; and "Reaction: In Modesto bars and restaurants, many people pause to take in the news, then express quiet approval."

And finally, The San Jose Mercury News today contains articles headlined "Callous behavior a key factor, jurors say"; "Muted satisfaction"; and "Circle closing for family of victim; 'Still a nightmare,' says stepfather." In addition, Jessie Seyfer and Howard Mintz report that "Road to death is long and filled with appeals."
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



Do the risks inherent to alpine skiing include the risk of falling into the side of a snowboard half-pipe when exiting a specially designated ski and snowboard terrain park? Just in time for winter, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit -- home to many popular skiing and snowboarding destinations -- answered that question by ruling in favor of a severely injured skier today in an opinion that you can access here.
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "BlackBerry Maker Loses Once Again."

Shannon P. Duffy reports that "'Chippie' Comment Can't Save Discrimination Suit; 3rd Circuit: Boss's alleged quote doesn't outweigh plaintiff's 'overwhelming' misconduct."

And an article is headlined "Down to the Last Detail: Bush's pick for White House counsel sports an exacting style."
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



This Alabama judge finds the Ten Commandments to be in fashion: The Associated Press reports that "Judge embroiders Ten Commandments on judicial robe." The article begins, "A south Alabama judge refused to delay a trial Tuesday when an attorney objected to the judge wearing a judicial robe with the Ten Commandments embroidered in gold on the front of the garment."
Posted at 20:40 by Howard Bashman



"Mass. Court Can Make Kids Testify Vs. Dad": The Associated Press reports here that "Children can be forced to testify against a parent in criminal proceedings if they do not live with the parent, the state's highest court ruled Tuesday in the case of a man charged with raping two of his daughter's teenage friends." You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 19:10 by Howard Bashman



In Wednesday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor: An article will report that "Parties gird for epic judicial battle; With abortion, gay marriage, and other core issues at stake, Democrats and Republicans angle for any possible advantage."

And an article will report on the "Growing role of emotion in jury verdicts; Peterson case shows how jurors can make decisions, even about death penalty, based on personal demeanor."
Posted at 18:55 by Howard Bashman



"City's 'legal' holiday display goes up": This article appears today in The Providence Journal.
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



"Pennsylvania Schools Sued Over Creationism Plan": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 17:02 by Howard Bashman



Round mound of jurisprudence: Gina Holland of The Associated Press reports that "Barkley Visits With Justice Thomas."
Posted at 16:35 by Howard Bashman



Release Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law! On DVD, that is. PG of the blog "De Novo" has this plea and could use your help to realize her dream of avian justice for all in digital video disc format.

But for Harvey Birdman, we never would have learned that Justice Antonin Scalia is a fan of funky rap music (details here; video clip in RealPlayer format here).
Posted at 16:22 by Howard Bashman



"Monroe religious display OK for now": The Knoxville News Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "The Ten Commandments will continue to grace the halls of the Monroe County Courthouse - for now, at least."

In somewhat related news, the Anti-Defamation League joined in this Ten Commandments-related amicus brief filed yesterday in the Supreme Court of the United States.
Posted at 16:10 by Howard Bashman



In same-sex marriage-related news from Oregon: The Salem Statesman Journal reports today that "Marriage fight goes to court; State justices will hear arguments Wednesday."
Posted at 15:50 by Howard Bashman



Access online a copy of the ACLU's complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to enjoin the teaching of "intelligent design" in a York County, Pennsylvania public school district: The complaint can be accessed online at this link. In response to the court action, the school district has issued this press release.
Posted at 15:44 by Howard Bashman



"RIM suffers setback": The Toronto Globe and Mail provides this news update.

Research In Motion, which manufactures BlackBerry devices, is based in Waterloo, Ontario. The company today has issued a press release entitled "RIM Provides Update On NTP Inc. Vs. RIM Litigation; Judgment and Injunction Vacated; Case Remanded To District Court."
Posted at 15:30 by Howard Bashman



Read about this ruling on your BlackBerry while you still can: Reuters reports that "RIM Patent Suit Partly Upheld, Sent Back to Court." You can access today's much-anticipated ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at this link.

In an article whose headline is probably overly optimistic, c|net News.Com reports that "Court reverses injunction against RIM." And the blog "Patently Obvious" provides coverage in a post titled "BlackBerry Maker RIM wins Partial Victory in Patent Appeal"; the post observes that "RIM's win is marginal at best."
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



"Washington State Supreme Court Declines to Order Uniform Manual Recount Standards in Gubernatorial Recount Case": At his "Election Law" blog, Law Professor Rick Hasen provides this report concerning an order that the Supreme Court of Washington State issued today.

According to a summary available here at the court's own web site, "The Washington Supreme Court has issued an order rejecting the petition of the Washington State Democratic Party to order a reexamination of previously disqualified absentee and provisional ballots in the recount for the gubernatorial election." And The Seattle Times provides a news update headlined "Democrats' lawsuit unanimously rejected by the state Supreme Court."
Posted at 14:15 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit offers a glimmer of hope to vexatious litigants in California: Today a unanimous three-judge Ninth Circuit panel reinstated a lawsuit that challenges as unconstitutional California's Vexatious Litigant Statute. You can access today's decision, written by Circuit Judge William A. Fletcher, at this link.
Posted at 14:10 by Howard Bashman



"Main Informer May Skip Stand in Terror Case": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:44 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Los Angeles Times: Henry Weinstein reports that "Death Sentences on Decline as Public's Skepticism Grows."

And in other news, "Unocal to Settle Rights Claims; The El Segundo firm agrees to pay to end a landmark case brought by villagers claiming abuses by troops along a Myanmar pipeline."
Posted at 11:22 by Howard Bashman



"Bethesda Wife's Conviction Voided; Friend Imprisoned in 2002 Shooting": The Washington Post today contains this article reporting on a ruling which the Court of Appeals of Maryland, that State's highest court, issued yesterday.
Posted at 11:15 by Howard Bashman



"Gonzales hearings could become ugly": The Washington Times contains this article today.
Posted at 10:40 by Howard Bashman



"Creationism evolves into court fight; Dover parents to sue over 'intelligent-design' mandate": This article appears today in The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. And The York Daily Record reports today that "Intelligent design lawsuit coming; The ACLU, representing 11 parents, will announce its suit against the Dover school district at 1 p.m. today."
Posted at 10:35 by Howard Bashman



"Boxer says 'no nukes' for upcoming high court battle; Senator decries GOP's anti-filibuster threats": Josh Richman has this article today in The Oakland Tribune. And today in The Washington Post, editorial cartoonist Tom Toles has this filibuster-related drawing.
Posted at 10:32 by Howard Bashman



"What's New in the Legal World? A Growing Campaign to Undo the New Deal." Adam Cohen has this Editorial Observer essay today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:04 by Howard Bashman



"Judicial nominee takes parting, partisan shot": Columnist DeWayne Wickham has this op-ed today in USA Today.
Posted at 07:32 by Howard Bashman



"Parents assert right to listen in on kids": This article appears today in The Seattle Times. And that newspaper today also contains an essay by columnist Nicole Brodeur entitled "Parents have right to snoop."
Posted at 07:30 by Howard Bashman



"The Canadian Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision: An Interesting Contrast to the United States's Law." FindLaw columnist Joanna Grossman has this essay today.
Posted at 07:27 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "In Final Sitting, No 'Blakely'-Related Decision From High Court."

In other news, "'Winding Road' of S.F. Hotel Battle Leads to Supreme Court; High court to review 9th Circuit opinion on city hotel fees."

And Shannon P. Duffy has an article headlined "Rebel Without a Cause of Action; 'Confederate Southern-American' fails to revive Title VII suit."
Posted at 07:24 by Howard Bashman



"Federal circuit court reopens death-row inmate's appeals; Abdur'Rahman can seek hearing to allege misconduct be prosecutor": The Tennessean contains this article today.
Posted at 07:22 by Howard Bashman



"Puerto Rico election case roils; Protesters face off near Boston court": This article appears today in The Boston Globe. The Boston Herald reports that "Puerto Rico gov race dispute in hands of Hub federal court." The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts reports that "Puerto Ricans protest court oversight."

The New York Times reports that "Puerto Rico Governor's Race Moves to Higher Court." And The Orlando Sentinel reports that "Puerto Rican candidates take case to Boston; A federal hearing could help settle the still undecided, hard-fought gubernatorial race."
Posted at 07:20 by Howard Bashman



"Judge who wore blackface is suspended; Court also recommends that he take racial sensitivity course": The Times-Picayune contains this article today. You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Louisiana at this link.
Posted at 07:14 by Howard Bashman



"Error discovery could give Gregoire election": This article appears today in The Seattle Times, along with an article headlined "How councilman's finding led to detection of goofs." And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "561 valid King County ballots still uncounted; Rossi still leads, but erroneously rejected votes may aid Gregoire."
Posted at 07:10 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Makes It Tougher to Sue Police; In a wrongful arrest and a questionable shooting, the justices say officers should be given the benefit of the doubt": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:02 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court sends mixed signals on Rehnquist's health": Michael McGough of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has this article today. And USA Today reports that "Rehnquist further reduces workload; May skip as many as 12 votes on cases."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



Monday, December 13, 2004
In Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post: An article will report that "Immigration Backlog Forces Justice to Shift Staffing; Hundreds of Lawyers Being Reassigned to Deal With More Than 4,000 Appeals in New York City."

And in other news, a front page article will report that "Libel Suit Takes Aim at Print Reporter's Words on TV."
Posted at 23:12 by Howard Bashman



"Judges as Plumbers": Columnist William Safire has this op-ed today in The New York Times.
Posted at 23:10 by Howard Bashman



"Rehnquist Won't Vote in Every Case Heard This Term": Charles Lane will have this article in Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post.

In Tuesday's edition of The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse will have an article headlined "Lawyer Backed in Conceding Client's Guilt."

And David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "Supreme Court Sides With Police."
Posted at 22:45 by Howard Bashman



"La. Judge Suspended for Wearing Blackface": The Associated Press reports here that "A judge who wore blackface makeup, handcuffs and a jail jumpsuit at a Halloween party will be suspended for six months, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Monday." You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Louisiana at this link.
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denies rehearing en banc in Tulsa race riots case: Four judges voted to grant rehearing en banc, and you can access at this link an opinion issued today dissenting from the denial rehearing en banc. The original three-judge panel's decision, which affirmed the dismissed the lawsuit as time-barred, can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 21:08 by Howard Bashman



"Ghost of Abe Fortas Hangs over Discussion of Judicial Filibusters": Roll Call today published this essay by Norman J. Ornstein.
Posted at 19:11 by Howard Bashman



"You Say Napster, I Say Grokster: What do you do when technology outpaces the law?" Rod Smolla has this essay online at Slate.
Posted at 18:44 by Howard Bashman



"Is Belief in Natural Law An 'Embarrassment?'" Yale Law Professor Jack M. Balkin offers these interesting thoughts at his blog "Balkinization."
Posted at 17:55 by Howard Bashman



Smoking the transcript is unlikely to alleviate any pain: The official transcript in Ashcroft v. Raich -- the medical marijuana case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court -- is now available online at this link.
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



Today I filed in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania the opening Brief for Appellant in a challenge to the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's grandparent visitation statute: You can access at this link the Brief for Appellant filed today. And the Coalition for the Restoration of Parental Rights today filed this amicus brief in support of my client's position in the case. Last Tuesday, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a front page article about the case headlined "Pa. top court reviews grandparents' rights; Father, grandmother clash over visitation."
Posted at 17:30 by Howard Bashman



BREAKING NEWS -- Jury in the Scott Peterson case unanimously recommends the sentence of death: Formal sentencing will occur in February 2005.

Update: The Associated Press reports that "Jury Recommends Execution for Peterson."

I recall recently having heard a legal commentator remark on television that a death sentence might be good news for Peterson because it would increase the likelihood of reversal on appeal. Of course, on the other hand, it would also be bad news, in the sense that it increases the chance Peterson would be put to death by the State of California for having committed the crime of murder.
Posted at 16:50 by Howard Bashman



She probably didn't become a federal judge for the opportunity to handle Hooters trade dress infringement cases: U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway of the Middle District of Florida today issued this written ruling in the Hooters v. WingHouse lawsuit. Earlier posts of mine on the subject of this litigation can be accessed here, here, here, and here.
Posted at 15:45 by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: Today's broadcast of "Day to Day" included a segment entitled "Xeni Tech: High Court Takes on File Sharing."

Today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" included a segment entitled "'Baltimore Sun' Suing Maryland Governor."

And yesterday's broadcast of "All Things Considered" included a segment entitled "Debate over Religion in California School."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 15:04 by Howard Bashman



Sentencing verdict reached in the Scott Peterson case: The verdict is scheduled to be read in open court at 4:30 p.m. eastern time.
Posted at 14:52 by Howard Bashman



Zip your election law-related lip: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has posted online the oral argument audiotape from this morning's arguments in the Puerto Rico Election Cases. The file is compressed in zip format. You can download it directly by clicking here; those desiring more instructions should visit here first.
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



Available online today from The New Republic: Dana Mulhauser has an essay entitled "State Side: Rehnquist may retire just when liberals need him most." And Gregg Easterbrook has an essay entitled "Science Fiction: Cobb County's biology-textbook stickers are scientifically illiterate."
Posted at 14:10 by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit delivers even more bad news for the World Church of the Creator: The Seventh Circuit's ruling today in TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation v. World Church of the Creator can be accessed at this link. The Seventh Circuit's earlier ruling in this case, from July 2002, can be accessed here, and I reported on that ruling in a post titled "Church vs. World Church."
Posted at 14:00 by Howard Bashman



"Court Sides With Police Over Deadly Force": The AP's Gina Holland provides this report.
Posted at 13:50 by Howard Bashman



The wire services are reporting: From The Associated Press, Gina Holland reports that "Rehnquist Sits Out Some High Court Cases." Hope Yen reports that "Court OKs Arrest on 'Reasonable' Grounds." And in other news, "New England Nears 1st Execution Since 1960."

Meanwhile, James Vicini of Reuters has a report headlined "Court: Consent Not Needed in Conceding Guilt."
Posted at 12:22 by Howard Bashman



With a total of four cases remaining to be decided from the U.S. Supreme Court's October 2004 argument session, only three Justices have yet to author an opinion of the Court from that argument session: Justices John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony M. Kennedy are the only three Justices who have yet to author a majority opinion from the Supreme Court's October 2004 argument session. This may suggest that Justice Stevens or Justice Scalia has been assigned to write the majority opinions in the cases challenging the constitutionality of the federal sentencing guidelines. Or, if the Court has voted to uphold the constitutionality of the guidelines, Justice Kennedy would be the likely author. Of course, next month is likely to put an end to this speculation. The Court's next issuance date for opinions in argued cases will likely be Tuesday, January 11, 2005.

Update: I have changed the heading of this post to note that five cases remain to be decided. The "Status of Cases Argued" update on which I based this post treats the two closely-related sentencing guidelines challenges as a single case.

Second update: A reader emails, "Afraid you'll have to choose between four (# of arguments) and six (# of separately docketed 'cases' -- Clark and Benitez consolidated, as in Booker/Fanfan). For your purposes -- counting opinions -- I'd think 'four' makes much more sense." I agree and have thus restored this post's original title.
Posted at 11:58 by Howard Bashman



"Groups File Election Challenge in Ohio": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:40 by Howard Bashman



An update of sorts on the health of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist: Those with no option other than to read tea leaves can now begin to speculate over the U.S. Supreme Court's announcement today that "Chief Justice Rehnquist will not participate in decisions argued during the November sitting, unless his vote is necessary to break a 4-4 tie." Lyle Denniston provides this report at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 11:10 by Howard Bashman



"A Rule 60(b) motion should be treated as a second or successive habeas petition only if the factual predicate in support of the motion constitutes a direct challenge to the constitutionality of the underlying conviction": By a vote of 7-6, that's the conclusion which the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reached today in a decision that you can access here. The decision issued in the case of Tennessee death row inmate Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman.
Posted at 11:00 by Howard Bashman



"Puerto Rico Election Case Sparks Protest": The Associated Press provides this report from Boston.
Posted at 10:50 by Howard Bashman



Today's U.S. Supreme Court opinions and Order List: The Court issued four opinions in argued cases today and one per curiam reversal of the Ninth Circuit in a case decided without oral argument.

1. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the unanimous opinion of the Court (with Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist not participating) in Florida v. Nixon, No. 03-931, and the judgment under review was reversed and remanded. You can access the syllabus here, the opinion of the Court here, and the oral argument transcript here.

2. Justice Clarence Thomas issued the opinion of the Court in Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Aviall Services, Inc., No. 02-1192, and the judgment under review was reversed and remanded. You can access the syllabus here, Justice Thomas's majority opinion here, Justice Ginsburg's dissenting opinion here, and the oral argument transcript here.

3. Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the unanimous opinion of the Court (with Chief Justice Rehnquist not participating) in Devenpeck v. Alford, No. 03-710, and the judgment under review was reversed and remanded. You can access the syllabus here, the opinion of the Court here, and the oral argument transcript here.

4. As if to answer the doubts of those who have noticed that Chief Justice Rehnquist failed to participate in two unanimous rulings from the Court's November argument session, the Chief Justice delivered the opinion of the Court in Kowalski v. Tesmer, No. 03-407, and the judgment under review was reversed and remanded. You can access the syllabus here, the Chief Justice's majority opinion here, Justice Thomas's concurring opinion here, Justice Ginsburg's dissenting opinion here, and the oral argument transcript here.

Today's per curiam reversal of the Ninth Circuit came in the case of Brosseau v. Haugen, No. 03-1261. You can access the Court's opinion here, Justice Stephen G. Breyer's concurring opinion here, and Justice John Paul Stevens' dissenting opinion here. I most recently wrote about this case earlier this month in a post you can access here.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston provides a summary of the rulings announced this morning.

Today's Order List can be accessed at this link. Review was granted in no new cases today. Finally, Justice Stevens issued this concurrence in the denial of certiorari in a death penalty case from Texas.

In early press coverage of today's developments at the Court, Hope Yen of The Associated Press reports that "High Court Upholds Inmate's Death Penalty." And Gina Holland of The AP reports that "Court Limits Pollution Cleanup Lawsuits."
Posted at 10:00 by Howard Bashman



Not exactly a bobblehead doll: The New York Times today reports that "A Judge for Sale on EBay, Shipping Included, Isn't Laughing."
Posted at 09:58 by Howard Bashman



"Color-Blind Progress: Why Harvard, Yale, Princeton and others are dropping race-based policies." The Wall Street Journal contains this editorial today.
Posted at 08:50 by Howard Bashman



"Votes for Puerto Rico": This editorial appears today in The Boston Globe. And The Washington Times today contains an op-ed by Roger Wicker entitled "Taking Puerto Rico."

After this morning's oral arguments in the Puerto Rico Election Cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit will be providing online access to the audiotape recording of the oral arguments.
Posted at 06:58 by Howard Bashman



"A Beef Tax That Doesn't Cut It": The Christian Science Monitor contains this editorial today.
Posted at 06:54 by Howard Bashman



"State wine lovers look for sweet court ruling; Justices could allow sales to, from other states": This article appears today in The Lansing State Journal.
Posted at 06:54 by Howard Bashman



"Abortion foes plan 40-day vigil at clinic; Dallas center seeks to qualify to perform later-term procedure": This article appears today in The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 06:52 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Houston Chronicle: An article reports that "Not enough Latinos on juries, firm says; Law practice uses death-penalty appeal and research to push for reform." And an editorial is entitled "Supreme Court accepts a case on consular rights of foreign nationals."
Posted at 06:51 by Howard Bashman



"It's time to end bias against gay soldiers": Columnist Deb Price has this op-ed today in The Detroit News.
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



"Limit on prayer stirs the South; Supreme Court could end debate on mixing religion, government": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 06:48 by Howard Bashman



"Senator Reid only betrays his ignorance": Armstrong Williams today has this essay online at Townhall.com.
Posted at 06:46 by Howard Bashman



"Two women, two states, one child": The Virginian-Pilot today contains an article that begins, "Janet Miller-Jenkins lives alone in an 1864 Victorian house in western Vermont she bought because it was big enough to hold the five children she wanted to have with her former partner."
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



"Unocal Reaches Deal in Human Rights Case": The Associated Press provides this report. And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Unocal in Burma Lawsuit Talks; The El Segundo oil company is discussing a settlement over alleged rights abuse on pipeline."
Posted at 06:44 by Howard Bashman



"Father's fears for Guantanamo son; The father of a man held by the US at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has spoken of his fears for his son's deteriorating mental and physical health": BBC News provides this report.
Posted at 06:42 by Howard Bashman



"Electoral College today more than ritual": The Cincinnati Enquirer contains this article today. And yesterday, The Los Angeles Times published an article headlined "For Some, the Race Remains Far From Over; Most have moved on since Nov. 2; But thousands continue to contest the presidential election results, with efforts focused on Ohio."
Posted at 06:40 by Howard Bashman



"Redoing the 9th": This editorial appears today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Posted at 06:35 by Howard Bashman



"Military Appeals Court Reverses Heterosexual Sodomy Conviction": This article appears today in The New York Times. Last week, after The Washington Post published this article about the ruling, I posted a copy of the ruling online at this link.
Posted at 06:30 by Howard Bashman



"It really does matter who's on the Supreme Court": Norman Spector has this essay today in The Toronto Globe and Mail.
Posted at 06:24 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Retirement Coming on Monday?" CNSNews.com provides this report.
Posted at 06:18 by Howard Bashman



"High Tea": Jeffrey Toobin has this essay about hallucinogenic tea in the December 20, 2004 issue of The New Yorker.
Posted at 06:12 by Howard Bashman



Sunday, December 12, 2004
Almost as good as appearing in the centerfold of Legal Affairs magazine: Slate's Jack Shafer -- in an essay entitled "After Safire: More names for the shortlist to replace William Safire" -- proposes among others Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski as The New York Times' newest columnist.
Posted at 23:40 by Howard Bashman



"Wine country: Wine lovers raise their glass to the possibility of the Supreme Court lifting restrictions on out-of-state shipments from wineries." This article appears today in The Times-Picayune. The Tennessean reports today that "State's winemakers, sippers keep eyes on interstate debate." And The Southern Illinoisan reports today that "Local wineries keep eye on Supreme Court case."
Posted at 23:35 by Howard Bashman



"We used to let parents be parents": Mitch Albom today has an essay in The Detroit Free Press in which he discusses the Supreme Court of Washington State's recent parental telephonic eavesdropping decision. And a related op-ed, by Rochelle Riley, is entitled "For children, privacy must be a privilege."
Posted at 23:32 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The San Francisco Chronicle: The newspaper contains articles headlined "Teaching evolution as theory not fact; Intelligent design booster speaks out" and "Overturning a wartime act decades later." And an editorial is entitled "Questions about Gonzales."
Posted at 23:30 by Howard Bashman



"Use of waivers feeds press debate; Advocates say authorities coerce journalists' sources, such as Joseph A. Bevilacqua, to sign away their confidentiality": This article appears today in The Providence Journal.
Posted at 23:25 by Howard Bashman



"Missouri's executions come to standstill; Philosophical switch linked to change in makeup of high court, growing skepticism": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 23:24 by Howard Bashman



At least no one calls him an octogenarian: The State today contains an article headlined "At 94, renowned, respected lawyer still going strong; State's oldest practicing attorney who tried famous cases has no plans to retire." An earlier post concerning a lawyer who was too old to be accurately called an octogenarian can be accessed here.
Posted at 23:20 by Howard Bashman



"GOP Is Ready for Filibuster Battle; Senate Democrats Want Right to Block Judicial Nominees": Monday's issue of The Washington Post will contain this front page article.
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



Justice Antonin Scalia "lacks judicial temperament": That's what Howard Dean said today on "Meet the Press." Law Professor Ann Althouse provides the details in a post you can access here.
Posted at 22:24 by Howard Bashman



"Justice Triumphs -- Finally; His faith sustained Tom Goldstein as he served 24 years for a murder he didn't commit; His own legal study helped free him": Henry Weinstein has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 22:01 by Howard Bashman



"Anxiety Over Abortion: Pro-choice Democrats eye a more restrictive approach to abortion as one way to gain ground at the polls." This article appears in the December 20, 2004 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 21:00 by Howard Bashman



"Sentencing guidelines on trial": The Philadelphia Inquirer contains this article today.
Posted at 20:54 by Howard Bashman



"Endless race has Washington down for the count; As a third vote tally starts, the big question is not just who will win the governor's office, but when": This article appears today in The Oregonian.
Posted at 12:45 by Howard Bashman



"Arkansas River legal battle costly for Kansas; Much of Colorado's $29M payout already spent on litigation": The Lawrence Journal-World contains this article today. And today in The Denver Post, Ed Quillen has an essay entitled "Who should pay Kansas?"
Posted at 12:40 by Howard Bashman



"Is the holiday creche worth the fight? Decades of debate haven't ended the church-and-state controversy over public holiday displays": This article appears today in The Providence Journal. And The Miami Herald reports today that "Nativity scene ruling awaited; A Bay Harbor Islands resident who wants the town to include a Nativity scene in its holiday decorations is awaiting a decision from a U.S. District Court judge, which may come early this week."
Posted at 12:38 by Howard Bashman



"Peterson execution unlikely; Death Row convicts' lives usually end in suicide, murder or old age": David Kravets of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:37 by Howard Bashman



"Beef suit splits farmers; Checkoff viewed as federal speech": The Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 12:35 by Howard Bashman



"Abortion foes to push restrictions; Three bills expected in Legislature": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 12:34 by Howard Bashman



"Puerto Rico vote lands in Hub court": The Boston Herald today contains this article.
Posted at 12:32 by Howard Bashman



"9 years, still no answers; Family insists federal prisoner didn't commit suicide": The Dallas Morning News contains this article today.
Posted at 12:30 by Howard Bashman



"High court ruling will affect Stearns County": This article appears today in The St. Cloud (Minn.) Times.
Posted at 12:03 by Howard Bashman



Regarding medical marijuana: Today in The San Jose Mercury News, Jim Puzzanghera has an essay entitled "Switching sides on states' rights." And today in The Santa Cruz Sentinel, Ben Rice has an essay entitled "Fear and loathing at Supreme Court."
Posted at 12:01 by Howard Bashman



In today's edition of The Washington Times: An article is headlined "Race and jury selection back in courts." And an editorial is entitled "Liberal bigotry, NYT-style."
Posted at 11:58 by Howard Bashman



"Ten Commandments motion pending; Federal judge yet to rule on Barrow case postponement": This article appears today in The Athens Banner-Herald.
Posted at 11:57 by Howard Bashman



"Teacher's suit puts uneasy spotlight on Cupertino": The San Jose Mercury News today contains an article that begins, "Stephen J. Williams wasn't looking for celebrity when he sued to bring Jesus Christ into his Cupertino classroom."
Posted at 11:56 by Howard Bashman



"Testing freedom: A year in the life of the First Amendment." Paul K. McMasters has this essay online at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 11:54 by Howard Bashman



"High Court Agrees to Hear File-Sharing Dispute": This discussion thread appears online at Slashdot.
Posted at 09:20 by Howard Bashman



"Justice Thomas' Line to the Deepest Bedrock; His philosophy on God-given rights is the last hope for the Constitution": Thomas L. Krannawitter has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:15 by Howard Bashman



Saturday, December 11, 2004
"Cloud Over the Constitution: The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee lack the grit to stop Alberto Gonzales." Nat Hentoff has this essay in the current issue of The Village Voice.
Posted at 23:25 by Howard Bashman



"Buying Web wine not likely in Utah; U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a landmark case": The Deseret Morning News contains this article today.
Posted at 23:24 by Howard Bashman



"'Don't ask' policy impairs military recruiting": This article appeared yesterday in The Michigan Daily. The Washington Blade reported yesterday that "Court upholds military recruitment ban in ironic twist; Harvard first to turn away recruiters after decision." And Sunday's edition of The Providence Journal will contain an editorial entitled "Harvard's hypocrisy."
Posted at 23:22 by Howard Bashman



"Suit seeks refund of U-M application fees; Motion filed on behalf of whites, Asians who were rejected while race policy was in effect": Yesterday's edition of The Ann Arbor News contained an article that begins, "The law firm that persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the University of Michigan's race-conscious undergraduate admissions policy wants U-M to refund application fees to thousands of people who were rejected by the school." And The Detroit Free Press reported yesterday that "Students in U-M case seek damages."
Posted at 23:14 by Howard Bashman



If it's ideas you want: Tomorrow's edition of The New York Times Magazine consists of the annual "The Year in Ideas" issue. Among the entries readers may find of interest are "Criminalizing Reckless Sex"; "Foolproof Death Penalty, The" (by Emily Bazelon); and "Popular Constitutionalism" (by Jeffrey Rosen).
Posted at 22:24 by Howard Bashman



"Judge's Plan Faulted in Indian Trust Case": The Associated Press reports here that "In a victory for the government in a long-running dispute with American Indians, a federal appeals court threw out on Friday most of a judge's plan for making the Interior Department account for billions of dollars the Indians say they are owed." You can access at this link yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Posted at 20:40 by Howard Bashman



"World opinion allowed into Texas case; Court to study whether Mexican national's rights were violated": Allen Pusey has this article today in The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 20:00 by Howard Bashman



"State inmate looks to do in death penalty; An appeal on the Oregon law's critical weakness could force the resentencing of 29 on Death Row": This article appears today in The Oregonian.

And the blog "Sentencing Law and Policy" today offers a post titled "Death is definitely different this month."
Posted at 19:22 by Howard Bashman



In good company not to be nominated: Critiques of the Legal Affairs poll to determine the "Top 20 Legal Thinkers in America" abound. Stuart Buck comments here, and Brian Leiter here. And Orin Kerr at "The Volokh Conspiracy" invites reader comments here. My earlier thoughts on the subject can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 19:12 by Howard Bashman



"Puerto Rico Is Caught In Throes of Recount; Two Courts in Combat Over Island's X Factor": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:35 by Howard Bashman



In news from the U.S. Supreme Court: Linda Greenhouse reports in today's edition of The New York Times that "Rehnquist to Swear in Bush" and "Justices to Hear Case on Sharing of Music Files."

In The Washington Post, Charles Lane reports that "High Court To Weigh File Sharing; Industry Likens Practice to Theft."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Court to Hear International Death Penalty Case" and "Supreme Court to Hear File-Sharing Dispute." And an article reports that "Ailing Rehnquist Plans to Swear In President."

In The Chicago Tribune, Jan Crawford Greenburg reports that "Rehnquist plans to give Bush oath."

In The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Michael McGough reports that "Supreme Court takes up prison security, music swapping, death penalty."

The Houston Chronicle reports that "High court considers rights of convicted foreigners; Killer on Texas death row says his case violated international agreements."

And The Youngstown Vindicator reports that "U.S. high court to review 'supermax' procedure; Corrections officials are watching the Youngstown case closely."
Posted at 08:15 by Howard Bashman



Friday, December 10, 2004
Supreme Court of Alaska rejects challenge to state law that prohibits a landlord from refusing to rent property based on the marital status of prospective tenants: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 23:23 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court: White House Calculus." National Journal has today posted online this article. (Via "Southern Appeal.")
Posted at 23:04 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to hear P2P case": c|net News.Com provides this report.
Posted at 23:00 by Howard Bashman



"Detainee Hearings Yield New Details, Disputes": Saturday's edition of The Washington Post will contain this lengthy front page article reporting on "the Pentagon's justifications for detaining some of the 550 captives at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
Posted at 22:55 by Howard Bashman



"BU law professor presents case before Supreme Court": Today's issue of The Allston-Brighton TAB contains an article that begins, "Boston University School of Law professor Randy Barnett, an expert in Constitutional law, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Nov. 29 on behalf of two California residents whose use and possession of marijuana for medical purposes, which is legal under limited circumstances by California state law, put them at odds with federal authorities enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act."
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



"Mexicans on Death Row Win Review; Justices to Take Up Texas Case Ruled a Treaty Violation by International Court": In Saturday's issue of The Washington Post, Charles Lane will have this article. And in Saturday's issue of The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse will report that "Justices to Hear Case of Mexican on Death Row."
Posted at 22:45 by Howard Bashman



"Rehnquist to Administer Oath; Ailing Chief Justice Accepts Bush's Inauguration Invitation": Charles Lane and Michael Fletcher will have this article in Saturday's issue of The Washington Post. And CNN.com reports that "Rehnquist to swear in President Bush."
Posted at 22:35 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Takes On Emerging Issues in Copyright, International Law; Justices to hear Grokster copyright case, as well as death penalty case that raises international treaty questions." Jeff Chorney has an article headlined "Who'll Be the Next Supreme Court Justice? For Big Money, Bet on Kozinski; Gambling site Betcom.com weighs contenders' odds of winning a high court seat." And Shannon P. Duffy reports that "3rd Circuit OKs $44.5M Settlement in Antitrust Suit Against DuPont."
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



"Rehnquist Plans to Swear in Bush": Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides this report. And Reuters reports that "Rehnquist Plans to Attend Bush Inauguration."
Posted at 17:28 by Howard Bashman



"Condit can't shield his private life; Judge says author's lawyers have right to hear sex, financial details": The Modesto Bee contains this article today. And The New York Post yesterday reported that "Condit Dunne In."
Posted at 17:24 by Howard Bashman



"Jury Begins Deliberating Scott Peterson's Punishment": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Jurors Deliberate Peterson's Fate; In closing arguments, prosecutors call the man convicted of killing his wife and unborn son the 'worst kind of monster.'"

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Jurors now to decide life or death; Deliberations begin after lawyers make their final arguments."

The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Jury weighs killer's fate."

The Modesto Bee contains an article headlined "It's in the jury's hands; Life or death for Peterson; deliberations renew today."

The San Mateo County Times provides a news update headlined "Jury deliberating Scott's fate; Panel resumed its discussion this morning."

And USA Today reports that "Jury begins deliberating Peterson's fate; Instructed to disregard how execution would affect family."
Posted at 17:12 by Howard Bashman



In Providence, Rhode Island, a reporter is sentenced in federal court for refusing to disclose the identity of a source: Today's edition of The Providence Journal contains articles headlined "Taricani sentenced to home confinement; Reporter gets probation"; "'Media hype' distorted issues, judge says"; "Conditions of confinement intended to mirror prison; 'If you violate any of these conditions, you could -- and I assure you, you will -- be incarcerated,' the judge tells Jim Taricani"; and "Trial notes: From Paris trip to Cianci trial, the memories flowed freely." And ProJo also offers a news update headlined "U.S. attorney's office pursuing possible charges against Bevilacqua."

The New York Times today reports that "Reporter Who Shielded Source Will Serve Sentence at Home." The Washington Post reports that "R.I. Reporter Sentenced To Home Confinement; Health History Kept Him From Prison." The Los Angeles Times contains an article headlined "Home Confinement for Journalist; A judge in Rhode Island gives a TV reporter six months for not giving the source of a video." And USA Today reports that "Reporter confined to home for refusal to identify source."
Posted at 16:50 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Supreme Court to Hear File-Sharing Case": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 16:45 by Howard Bashman



Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to administer presidential oath of office to George W. Bush in January 2005: Marty Lederman of "SCOTUSblog" provides this report.
Posted at 16:35 by Howard Bashman



"Court Backs N.M. Church on Hoasca Tea": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 16:30 by Howard Bashman



"Defeat So Sweet: The Bush administration's strange insistence that it won the detainee cases." Slate has just posted online this jurisprudence essay by Lyle Denniston.
Posted at 15:15 by Howard Bashman



Creating a circuit split, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds that a debtor in bankruptcy may recover damages for emotional distress under 11 U.S.C. sec. 362(h) when a creditor violates the automatic stay that follows from the filing of a bankruptcy petition: You can access today's ruling at this link. As today's opinion explains, the very same three-judge Ninth Circuit panel originally reached the exact opposite result in this very same case. Today's ruling gives rise to a conflict with the ruling that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued in February 2001 in an opinion by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner.

Coincidentally, a disagreement between the Ninth Circuit and the Seventh Circuit speaking through Judge Posner is probably what led the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review today in the Grokster peer-to-peer file sharing case. The Ninth Circuit's ruling in Grokster can be accessed here; Judge Posner's decision in a case presenting a quite similar issue can be accessed here.
Posted at 14:25 by Howard Bashman



Today's grants of review by the Supreme Court of the United States: Today's Order List can be accessed at this link.

In coverage from The Associated Press, Hope Yen reports that "High Court to Hear File-Sharing Dispute." And Gina Holland reports that "Court to Join Int'l Death Penalty Debate"; "Supreme Court to Review 'Supermax' Prisons"; and "Supreme Court to Hear Property Limits Case."

In other coverage, Reuters reports that "U.S. Supreme Court to decide Grokster case." Much more information about this peer-to-peer file swapping case can be accessed at this link.

law.com's Tony Mauro, in an article headlined "The World According to the Supreme Court," recently previewed the international death penalty case that the Court today agreed to hear.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston provides this summary of today's grants of review and offers good news for lovers of hallucinogenic tea.
Posted at 13:10 by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained segments entitled "Australian Prisoner Alleges Guantanamo Prisoner Abuse" and "Conn. Judge Orders Evaluation of Death Row Prisoner" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 12:23 by Howard Bashman



Stick with what you know best: My monthly appellate column, to be published Monday in The Legal Intelligencer, will focus on law-related web logs that may be of interest to appellate practitioners. I've been remiss in not posting online my columns from the past few months. I hope that sometime next week I'll have enough free time to get those online.
Posted at 10:34 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Congress cracks down on up-skirt photography: Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press reports that "Illicit Cameraphone Clicks Could Mean Jail."
Posted at 10:15 by Howard Bashman



Maryland's highest court holds that the legality of a police dog's sniff for contraband does not depend on where the sniff occurs: You can access at this link today's ruling of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. The majority opinion explains that "This is a case of first impression in Maryland in the sense that we have never discussed the applicability of dog sniffs to the outside of an apartment."
Posted at 10:07 by Howard Bashman



"Landlord must pay in sex-for-rent case": The Omaha World-Herald today contains an article that begins, "Ten women were awarded money Thursday in a civil trial in which an Omaha landlord was accused of sexual harassment, but the amount fell far short of the government's request. The Department of Justice had asked the jury for awards totaling $1.9 million in the civil trial involving John R. Koch. The federal jury awarded a total of $66,152 to 10 women and nothing to nine others."
Posted at 10:00 by Howard Bashman



"The New Leader's Injudicious Start": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Since they have only 45 seats in the Senate, one of the most important tasks for the Democrats is to draw the line on unacceptable judicial appointments. And to do that, they need canny leadership. But the first outing by the new Senate minority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, was not terribly encouraging."
Posted at 08:40 by Howard Bashman



If you think your blog is confrontational, you ain't seen nothin' yet: Law Professor Richard D. Friedman has launched "The Confrontation Blog," a blog that is devoted to the Confrontation Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Posted at 07:10 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: In news from New York, "ABA 'Bucks Tradition' in Proposed Revamp of Jury System" and "Palsgraf Railroad Injury Proximate Cause of Family Curse?"
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"How Federalism Doctrine Can Acquire Bipartisan Appeal: The Constitutional Values That Transcend Political Change." Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein have this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:04 by Howard Bashman



"Ohio sets new lawsuit limits; Legislators put caps on damages, punitive awards": This article appears today in The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"Ross Makes His Case To Die; But Judge Says Competency Exam Needed Before Killer Can Waive Execution Appeal": Lynne Tuohy of The Hartford Courant has this article today.
Posted at 06:58 by Howard Bashman



"Bush Administration Enters Fray Over Ten Commandments Displays": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun has this article today. And The Montgomery Advertiser reports today that "King, Moore file for Commandments."
Posted at 06:55 by Howard Bashman



In news from Seattle: The Seattle Times today contains articles headlined "Eavesdropping against law even for parent, court says" and "New votes emerge in recount."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains articles headlined "State justices set to hear appeal on gay marriage"; "Sanders testifies he's confident he didn't violate ethical rules"; and "Recount, Day 2: Rossi still leads; With 10 of 39 counties reporting, he gains 1 vote."
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



"Controversial federal judge will retire; Pickering cites 'lack of civility' over nomination": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Clarion-Ledger reports that "Pickering plans to be advocate." And The Washington Times reports that "Pickering to leave appeals court seat."
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



"Icy Welcome for New Law Prof": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "In the first month since he arrived in Cambridge to assume a tenured post at the Law School, Professor Jack L. Goldsmith has received a frosty welcome from a small faction of faculty who have questioned his scholarship and called for an investigation into his work as a Bush administration official."
Posted at 06:40 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, December 09, 2004
In today's edition of The Washington Times: An article reports that "Groups question Gonzales' role." An editorial is entitled "Sen. Reid's remarks." And Joseph Evans has an op-ed entitled "A threat to liberal dominance" that begins, "Winning the general election and adding Republican seats in the House and Senate, President Bush earned his mandate, clearing the way for his agenda which includes appointing conservatives to the bench."
Posted at 23:32 by Howard Bashman



Heh. Indeed. So yeah, the Legal Affairs poll to determine the "Top 20 Legal Thinkers in America" is rather humorous. I didn't play any direct roll in creating the list of nominees, although many of them have been mentioned online here from time to time. But the list is so exhaustive it's difficult to figure out whom to write-in as "a favorite who's not on the list."

I appreciate those who have suggested me as a write-in vote (either seriously or mockingly), but perhaps this is one of those contests where those even marginally on the sponsor's payroll are ineligible to claim the prize. In any event, poll-takers who don't want to write-in my name can choose from among many much more qualified possibilities, including Senior Third Circuit Judge Edward R. Becker, whose omission from the original list is indeed quite inexplicable.

And those who think they are prevented from voting more than once per computer/internet hook-up really need to learn how to override essentially feeble attempts at preventing ballot box-stuffing. For starters, if you have both Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator on your system, that's two votes right there. Then some creative cookie tossing might be required, but I'm sure some of you will figure out how (and maybe post the instructions online for the rest of us).

Update: "Farnsworth" has come out of retirement at "How Appalling" to offer these ballot-box-stuffing instructions.
Posted at 23:14 by Howard Bashman



"Medical marijuana: the real stakes." Jeff Jacoby has this op-ed today in The Boston Globe. LA CityBEAT offers an essay entitled "Feds vs. Meds." And at Tech Central Station, Pejman Yousefzadeh today has an essay entitled "Fumbling Federalism (Part Deux)."
Posted at 23:04 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court hears Simi woman's case; Decision likely to affect police searches": This article appears today in The Ventura County Star. And in other coverage, The Washington Times reports that "Court weighs questions of detainment."
Posted at 23:00 by Howard Bashman



"A Judge Appointed by Bush After Impasse in Senate Retires": Adam Liptak will have this article in Friday's edition of The New York Times.
Posted at 22:55 by Howard Bashman



"Ousted Alabama justice files brief in Ten Commandments case": The AP provides this report. And in related news from Texas, "10 Commandments monument comes to Waco."
Posted at 22:28 by Howard Bashman



"Lott praises retired judge, condemns blocking of judicial nominees": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 22:25 by Howard Bashman



"Senator is a force, a target": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains a front page article that begins, "During the recent controversy over Sen. Arlen Specter's remarks on judicial nominations, the second-most-afflicted person in the Senate was Rick Santorum."
Posted at 22:18 by Howard Bashman



"Pickering's Foul Farewell: Controversial Judge Revives False and Unfair Accusations, Signals More GOP Efforts to Misuse Religion for Political Gain." The organization People For the American Way issued this press release today in response to Fifth Circuit Judge Charles W. Pickering, Sr.'s statement this morning announcing his resignation from the judiciary.
Posted at 21:55 by Howard Bashman



"Harvard hire's detainee memo stirs debate": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "A new Harvard Law School professor who wrote a controversial memo for the Bush administration on the handling of prisoners in Iraq has triggered angry debate among his colleagues, some of whom charge that the school faculty did not check his record thoroughly enough before hiring him last spring. Jack L. Goldsmith III, a specialist on international law who worked in the Pentagon and the Department of Justice, was approved by the faculty at a meeting in May."
Posted at 21:50 by Howard Bashman



"Lawmakers Urge Abortion Ban Reinstatement": The Associated Press reports here that "Twenty-six Republican members of Congress asked an appeals court Thursday to reinstate the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, struck down by a federal judge in September." The brief does not yet appear available online via the web site of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Posted at 18:05 by Howard Bashman



"Taricani gets 6 months' home confinement": The Providence Journal offers a news update that begins, "Channel 10 reporter Jim Taricani was sentenced today to six months' home confinement for refusing to tell a special prosecutor who gave him a secret FBI videotape from the Operation Plunder Dome investigation into corruption at Providence City Hall."

In earlier coverage, today's issue of that newspaper contained articles headlined "Stakes high as Taricani is due to be sentenced; The Channel 10 reporter faces up to six months in prison on a charge of criminal contempt for refusing to reveal a source" and "Taricani's health could weigh heavily in sentencing; Jim Taricani's cardiologist says that prison could imperil the health of the reporter, who has a transplanted heart and a pacemaker." And columnist M. Charles Bakst today has an essay entitled "Waiting to see if Judge Torres finally gets it."
Posted at 17:54 by Howard Bashman



"Appeal filed in custody case; Woman's lawyers say Va. should not have jurisdiction in dispute": The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for a Vermont woman yesterday appealed the decision of a Frederick County judge to strip her of all parental rights over a toddler conceived while she was in a lesbian civil union."
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court ponders Microsoft patent case": Declan McCullagh of c|net News.Com offers a report that begins, "A federal appeals court on Thursday wrestled with whether to overturn or uphold a lower court's $565 million judgment against Microsoft in the biggest patent dispute in Web history."
Posted at 17:42 by Howard Bashman



Becker and Posner succumb to the addiction that is blogging: In one of my very first postings on this blog, I wrote that "I try to make postings to this site twice-daily every weekday, once in the morning and again at night." In the same vein, "The Becker-Posner Blog" launched with the assertion: "Initially we will be posting just once a week, on Mondays." Here it is Thursday of week one, and today both Becker and Posner have posted for the second time this week, now in response to the comments that their initial posts have generated. At this point, all that separates them from a full-fledged blogging addiction is for someone to teach the Nobel prize-winning Becker how to add a hyperlink.
Posted at 17:20 by Howard Bashman



But does he leave behind a lot of unfinished work? As anticipated in two posts that I published last month (see here and here), recess appointee Fifth Circuit Judge Charles W. Pickering, Sr.'s service in the federal judiciary has come to an end. Judge Pickering's rather intense remarks (some have even characterized them as intemperate) on his departure from service are certainly worth a gander.

But while Judge Pickering is understandably upset with the consequences that flow from the unending filibuster of his appellate court nomination, sometimes when a judge departs from a federal appellate court his colleagues can be a little upset too, especially if the judge leaves behind a bunch of unfinished work. In reviewing the Fifth Circuit's published opinions in recent weeks, I haven't noticed an unusual number of decisions from panels on which Judge Pickering has served. Perhaps, just like deceased U.S. Court of Appeals judges sometimes issue judicial opinions "from the grave," Judge Pickering will keep issuing opinions in the days ahead. But, probably not. If I recall correctly, federal appellate judges who retire completely from the federal courts aren't given the same privileges to keep on issuing opinions that judges who die in service sometimes receive. We shall see in the days, weeks, and months ahead whether a bunch of opinions from cases submitted to panels on which Judge Pickering served are forthcoming. A Westlaw search performed moments ago indicates that Judge Pickering, during his recess appointment on the Fifth Circuit, wrote eight published opinions of the court.
Posted at 16:45 by Howard Bashman



"Blogs become hot thing on campus": This article appears today in The Wisconsin State Journal. (Via "Althouse.")
Posted at 16:44 by Howard Bashman



The role bloggers will play in the battle over the next U.S. Supreme Court nomination: See this post at the "Power Line" blog.
Posted at 16:42 by Howard Bashman



"High Court Questions Tax Court Special Trial Judge Review Procedures": Tax Notes Today offers this blurb on yesterday's non-beef-related U.S. Supreme Court oral argument.
Posted at 16:40 by Howard Bashman



"No Jurors Need To Report!" This message confirms that my obligation to appear for jury duty tomorrow no longer exists. That's happy news for so many reasons, not the least of which is that my opening Brief for Appellant in the grandparents visitation case that I'm handling is due to be filed in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania next Monday. Of course, that brief is already written and pretty much ready to go, but an extra day to work on an important appellate brief before the filing deadline never hurts. On Tuesday of this week, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the case in this front page article. Also, not much blogging about appellate court matters likely would have occurred during the day tomorrow if I was on jury duty.
Posted at 16:24 by Howard Bashman



It was a dark and stormy, and slippery and greasy, night: A plaintiff who alleges injury sustained as a result of slipping and falling on a grease-covered sidewalk near a dumpster adjoining a KFC restaurant is the protagonist of a quite interesting opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today.

The opinion of the court explains that "The evening was dark, it was raining heavily, and she fell on a section of sidewalk abutting a locked gate that separates the sidewalk from a dumpster storage area located behind a KFC restaurant."

Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi adds a lengthy concurring opinion that begins, "This case presents a simple fact pattern -- a slip-and-fall on a sidewalk outside a restaurant -- but implicates complex, and longstanding, issues concerning circumstantial evidence. With that in mind, while I readily concur in the opinion of the Court, I write separately to provide some analysis on the key substantive question underlying this appeal: What does the law of torts tell us about the amount and type of circumstantial evidence that plaintiffs must adduce, in different circumstances, in order to reach a jury?"
Posted at 16:10 by Howard Bashman



One fewer "How Appealing" reader in Iraq: Brett H. McGurk, a long-time reader and former law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist (OT '01), recently returned from Iraq where he served as a legal advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. A talk he gave at the University of Virginia School of Law (reported on here) touched on some of the interesting legal issues arising from the conflict and rebuilding of Iraq. In the Autumn 2004 issue of The Green Bag, he will have an article addressing these issues in more detail. And, as we all know, a copy of The Green Bag plus a U.S. Supreme Court Justice bobblehead doll can fetch you around $300.00 on eBay.
Posted at 16:00 by Howard Bashman



"Court: Mom's Eavesdropping Violated Law." The Associated Press reports here that "Striking a blow for rebellious teenagers, the Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday that state law prohibits parents from eavesdropping on a child's phone conversations." You can access today's unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court of Washington State at this link.
Posted at 15:45 by Howard Bashman



In newz from New Zealand: Friday's issue of The New Zealand Herald contains an article headlined "Mayor stuns gays with abuse claim" that begins, "The gay community has won a historic victory in achieving legal recognition for same-sex partnerships, but has been stung by a last-minute push against civil unions by Auckland City's mayor. The same day that Parliament voted 65-55 to pass the legislation, Mayor Dick Hubbard sparked outrage as details were revealed of a letter he had signed urging MPs to oppose the bill on the basis that the children of gay couples were more likely to be victims of abuse and murder." And in other coverage, that newspaper also reports that "Passions run high before Civil Union debate ends."
Posted at 15:40 by Howard Bashman



Is "Confederate Southern-American" a protected national origin classification? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today issued this decision in a case in which the appellant sought to have that issue resolved.
Posted at 15:00 by Howard Bashman



Statement of Fifth Circuit Judge Charles W. Pickering, Sr. on his retirement from judicial service: As previously explained here, in order to retain the pay for life that he has earned by being an Article III judge whose age plus years of service (district and circuit) exceed 80, Judge Pickering, a recess appointee to the Fifth Circuit, had no choice but to retire completely from federal judicial service before the U.S. Senate adjourned for business this month.

At "The Corner," Byron York has posted online at this link the statement Judge Pickering issued today. And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update headlined "Pickering announces retirement from bench."
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



Guantanamo Bay enemy combatant tribunals appeal goes forward in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit: On Monday of this week, the Supreme Court of the United States denied a request to expedite its own review of the issues presented in this case before they are presented to the D.C. Circuit for decision. Yesterday evening, the federal government filed its brief for appellants in the D.C. Circuit. Also filed yesterday in the D.C. Circuit was an amicus brief in support of the federal government submitted by Washington Legal Foundation.
Posted at 14:10 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit offers web page providing access to appellate filings in the Puerto Rico election cases: You can access the page at this link. The cases will be argued next Monday before a three-judge panel consisting of Circuit Judge Juan R. Torruella, Senior Circuit Judge Norman H. Stahl, and Circuit Judge Jeffrey R. Howard.
Posted at 12:40 by Howard Bashman



"Nibbling at the Constitution": This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 12:30 by Howard Bashman



Ten Commandments news: From Alabama, The Associated Press reports that "Alabama attorney general enters Ten Commandments cases."

Elsewhere, The Idaho Statesman reports today that "Eight monument protesters sentenced." And The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that "Protesters given community service; Group gathered in Julia Davis Park while marker was being removed in March."
Posted at 12:25 by Howard Bashman



"Who Are the Top 20 Legal Thinkers in America?" Even those who don't want to gamble real money on the identity of the next Chief Justice of the United States may still enjoy this entirely cost-free poll that legalaffairs.org is in the midst of conducting.
Posted at 12:20 by Howard Bashman



"Canadian Court Approves Same-Sex Marriage": The Associated Press reports here that "Canada's highest court said Thursday the government can redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, but it added that religious officials cannot be forced to perform unions against their beliefs." The Toronto Globe and Mail offers a news update headlined "Top court gives Parliament authority to allow gay marriage." And Reuters reports that "Canada Court Says Ottawa May Allow Gay Marriage." Today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 10:15 by Howard Bashman



"Changes Proposed to Ensure Juror Privacy": Hope Yen of The Associated Press provides this report. Coincidentally, I am scheduled to report for jury service in state court tomorrow.
Posted at 09:30 by Howard Bashman



"The Supremes Take a Hit: The federalist smoke from medical marijuana reaches the Supreme Court; Can they clear the air on states' rights, pot, and the Constitution?" The December 10, 2004 issue of The Austin Chronicle contains this article.
Posted at 07:15 by Howard Bashman



"Life Tenure for Federal Judges: Should It Be Abolished?" FindLaw columnist Edward Lazarus has this essay today.
Posted at 07:14 by Howard Bashman



"Judges Weigh Press Freedoms; Reporters Not Exempt From Testifying, Appeals Panel Suggests": This article appears today in The Washington Post. And The Los Angeles Times today contains an article headlined "A Sign of Hope for Reporters in CIA Leak Case; One judge questions whether the government has unchecked power to make journalists reveal their sources in issues before grand juries."
Posted at 07:10 by Howard Bashman



"Federal Appeals Judge Pickering to Retire": The Associated Press provides this report, which confirms predictions I discussed here and here. With this news, the judicial filibuster by a minority of Democratic U.S. Senators has officially claimed another victim.
Posted at 07:07 by Howard Bashman



The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting: Bob Egelko reports today that "Lockyer to sue for abortion rights; Bush has signed bill penalizing states that protect choice." And an article published yesterday was headlined "Battle over God in U.S. history class; Cupertino teacher sues to tell role of Christianity."
Posted at 07:02 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to decide if beef ad program is constitutional": Michael McGough of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has this article today. The Chicago Tribune reports today that "Ranchers have beef with meat ads; Supreme Court weighs U.S. campaign's constitutionality." And The Des Moines Register reports today that "Supreme Court hears arguments on checkoffs."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"Texas man executed on disproved forensics; Fire that killed his 3 children could have been accidental": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, December 08, 2004
"Supreme Court to Rule on Race Bias in Jury Selection": This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "The Tavis Smiley Show."
Posted at 23:45 by Howard Bashman



"The Solomon Amendment is dumb, but constitutional": The blog "The Conservative Contrarian" offers these thoughts today.
Posted at 23:44 by Howard Bashman



"Advocates hail Pa. court's ruling on same-sex benefits as significant": L. Stuart Ditzen has this article today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 23:42 by Howard Bashman



Available online from the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer": This evening's broadcast contained a segment entitled "Reporters Appeal Jail Terms in CIA Leak Case."

And yesterday evening's broadcast contained a segment entitled "Supreme Court Weighs Wine Import Laws" (be sure not to miss the on-demand video of the interview with a leather-clad Jan Crawford Greenburg, who I still maintain is a hottie).
Posted at 23:15 by Howard Bashman



"Blogs: New Medium, Old Politics." CBSNews.com provides this report, which has already generated cries of inaccuracies. For me, blogs won't have entered the mainstream until Blogger's spell-check software actually recognizes the word "blog" as legit.
Posted at 23:10 by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "In Beef-Promotion Dispute, Justices Hang Up on Question of Government Speech" and "Both Sides Take Comfort From High Court's Ruling in Closely Watched Trademark Case."

And Shannon P. Duffy has articles headlined "3rd Circuit Rejects Defendant's 'Pre-Packaged' Bankruptcy; Appeals court: Attempt to resolve asbestos cases favored privileged group of claimants" and "Catch-22 for Suspended Lawyer?"
Posted at 23:00 by Howard Bashman



Anti-abortion protesters ask U.S. Supreme Court to accept their case for review: From Kansas City, Missouri, The Associated Press reports that "Protester seeks Supreme Court review of case involving signs at abortion protest." And the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed the petition for writ of certiorari today, issued a press release entitled "ACLJ asks Supreme Court to Take Case Where Pro-Life Demonstrators Were Punished for Free Speech Activity in Missouri." My earlier coverage of the Eighth Circuit's ruling in this case can be accessed here.
Posted at 22:44 by Howard Bashman



"Slap at Thomas stinks of racism": Zev Chafets had this op-ed yesterday in The New York Daily News. And today in The Denver Post, columnist Al Knight had an op-ed entitled "Reid comments far afield."
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to Hear Simi Valley Search Case; A woman handcuffed for at least two hours says police violated her constitutional rights": The Los Angeles Times today contains this preview of a case argued today before the U.S. Supreme Court. And The Ventura County Star yesterday contained an article headlined "Simi Valley detention case goes before high court Wednesday; Civil rights question arose after 1998 police raid on suspected gang house."
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



"Bush 'disappointing' some pro-lifers": This article appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 22:28 by Howard Bashman



"Judges curb protection from law on trademarks": Thursday's edition of Financial Times contains this article.
Posted at 22:20 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court hears case on constitutionality of beef ad program": This article will appear in Thursday's edition of The Chicago Tribune. Tomorrow's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will report that "Court weighs ranchers' beef with ads; Cattlemen say funding bars free speech." And The McClatchy Newspapers report that "Farmers, feds tangle over industry ads."
Posted at 22:15 by Howard Bashman



In Thursday's edition of The New York Times: Linda Greenhouse will have an article headlined "An Ad Campaign for Beef Rises to the Supreme Court." And Adam Liptak will have an article headlined "Judges Skeptical of First Amendment Protection for Reporters in C.I.A. Leak Inquiry."
Posted at 22:10 by Howard Bashman



Small town news: The Paris (Ill.) Beacon News reports today that "Pearmans meet Justice Sandra Day O'Connor."
Posted at 21:10 by Howard Bashman



"Scalia Would Be Disastrous Chief Justice Pick": The organization People For the American Way today issued this press release, along with a related item entitled "Future Supreme Court Vacancies, the Senate, and 'Nuclear' Fallout."
Posted at 21:05 by Howard Bashman



"White House Plugs 10 Commandments Displays": Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides this report. And the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed this amicus brief today, issued a press release entitled "ACLJ asks Supreme Court to Uphold Constitutionality of Ten Commandments in Kentucky Case."
Posted at 20:58 by Howard Bashman



"Appeals Panel Hears Arguments in Leak Inquiry": Adam Liptak of The New York Times provides this news update.
Posted at 20:28 by Howard Bashman



"Va. Lesbian Files Appeal in Custody Battle": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 19:44 by Howard Bashman



"DOJ supports Ten Commandments displays": Lyle Denniston provides this report at "SCOTUSblog," which has posted the Solicitor General's brief at this link.

Also today, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty issued a press release entitled "Ten Commandments displays do not violate Establishment Clause." You can access at this link the amicus brief that organization has filed in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 19:25 by Howard Bashman



"Reporters Try to Avoid Jail in Leak Case": The Associated Press provides this report. Editor & Publisher reports that "Miller and Cooper Have Their Day in Court, Again." And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained a segment entitled "Reporters Face Contempt Charges in CIA Leak" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 19:10 by Howard Bashman



"High Court Weighs Constitutionality of Beef Ads": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 18:08 by Howard Bashman



But does she lack writhing? In today's nude dancing decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, a unanimous three-judge panel holds that a nude dancer lacks standing to challenge the revocation of the adult entertainment license governing the club where she worked.
Posted at 17:30 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issues press release about oral argument in the Puerto Rico Election Cases: You can access the press release at this link. Conveniently for some involved, the oral argument will take place next Monday in Boston, Massachusetts. As Reuters reports today, "A Month Later, Puerto Rico Election Still Undecided."
Posted at 17:20 by Howard Bashman



"Law School Looks For New Blood": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "Wanted: Bright, youthful legal scholars who will rejuvenate a star-studded but graying faculty."
Posted at 15:25 by Howard Bashman



"Slew of journalists under legal siege for not revealing sources": This article appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 15:15 by Howard Bashman



"Top Court Considers Beef Ad Campaign Case": Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 15:12 by Howard Bashman



Law professor loses Seventh Circuit appeal in which he sought to access documents possessed by the Central Intelligence Agency that mention him: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, written by Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, at this link. While the law professor has lost this battle, perhaps he has won the war, because what law student wouldn't want to take a class from a law professor about whom the CIA possesses confidential records.
Posted at 15:00 by Howard Bashman



Forty-two-page opinion includes twenty-nine-page case caption: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this opinion today. As my friends down south might say, that's a mighty long style of the case.
Posted at 14:55 by Howard Bashman



"Some Believe Ruling Undercuts 'Don't Ask'; Military Appeals Court Overturned Conviction of Soldier on Sodomy Charge": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A military appeals court has overturned the conviction of a soldier for consensual sodomy in a decision that gay rights activists are hailing as an important legal victory removing some of the barriers to homosexual activity in the armed forces. The previously unreported decision, handed down last week by the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, builds on a landmark Supreme Court ruling last year that struck down a Texas sodomy statute. It is believed to be the first time that a military court has upheld the right of consenting adults to engage in oral sex in private."

You can access online at this link last week's ruling of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals.
Posted at 14:44 by Howard Bashman



"Top Court Reverses Cosmetics Case Ruling": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 14:40 by Howard Bashman



"Case to Determine Whether Reporters Will Serve Jail Time": This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

This topic is also the subject of this week's "Debate Club" feature at legalaffairs.org. The debate is between Paul McMasters and Geoffrey R. Stone.
Posted at 10:44 by Howard Bashman



"Dude, you've got to read this." The Associated Press is reporting that "Linguist Deciphers Uses of Word 'Dude.'"
Posted at 10:22 by Howard Bashman



Today's U.S. Supreme Court opinion: The Court today announced its ruling in KP Permanent Make-Up, Inc. v. Lasting Impression, Inc., No. 03-409. Justice David H. Souter delivered the opinion of the Court, and the judgment under review was vacated and remanded. You can access the oral argument transcript at this link. The Court's final opinion issuance date of 2004 will be Monday, December 13, 2004.
Posted at 10:00 by Howard Bashman



"Fourth Estate of Privilege: Journalists want special rights." Jonah Goldberg today has this essay at National Review Online. Last night, I collected at this link additional news coverage and commentary about this matter, which is being argued today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Posted at 09:55 by Howard Bashman



"Prepping for the Next Big Battle: The Supreme Court." This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:00 by Howard Bashman



What we are watching on DVD: "Deadline" the movie -- a film that happens to have its own blog.
Posted at 08:54 by Howard Bashman



"'Twas the Night Before Booker": "Milbarge" has this most excellent post up at the "Begging the Question" blog.
Posted at 08:50 by Howard Bashman



"Protesters testify they didn't intend to be arrested; Monument case closing remarks begin today": The Idaho Statesman today contains an article that begins, "Some of the 11 protesters cited for resisting and obstructing officers during the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from Julia Davis Park in March told a jury Tuesday they never intended to be arrested."
Posted at 08:44 by Howard Bashman



"A Federal Appeals Court Rules That Universities Can Bar Military Recruiters Without Losing Federal Grant Money: A Welcome Result Based on Flawed Reasoning." FindLaw columnist Michael C. Dorf has this essay today. And The Wheeling News Register today contains an editorial entitled "Colleges Shouldn't Hamper Recruiters."
Posted at 07:44 by Howard Bashman



"Grassley sees court ruling against pork, beef checkoffs; But he believes farmers will voluntarily keep the programs going": This article appears today in The Des Moines Register. Financial Times reported yesterday that "US 'grassroots cattlemen' take their beef to Supreme Court." The Lincoln Journal Star reported yesterday that "Cattlemen brace for beef checkoff fight." And yesterday in The New York Times, Helene Cooper had an editorial observer column entitled "Getting the Government Out of the Madison Avenue Ad Business."
Posted at 07:22 by Howard Bashman



"Justices May Favor Direct Wine Sales; U.S. Supreme Court hints it is leaning toward overturning state laws that bar residents from buying straight from out-of-state producers": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. In The Chicago Tribune, Jan Crawford Greenburg has an article headlined "A spirited debate over wine case: Vintner takes fight to Supreme Court." Michael McGough of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "Court asked to lift bar on interstate wine sales." And Allen Pusey of The Dallas Morning News reports today that "High court reviews wine shipping laws; At stake is way alcohol is marketed, distributed and purchased."

In other coverage, USA Today reports that "Justices hear cases on shipping wine." The Baltimore Sun contains an article headlined "And a case of Md. wine for the Supreme Court: Vintners prefer a product that has interstate legs." The Washington Times reports that "Justices hear debate on wine sale limits." The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Supreme Court hears case on wine shipments; California would gain from wider access to customers." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "State wineries are hoping to toast a major windfall; Supreme Court could allow direct sales to out-of-staters." Newsday reports that "Court gets taste of wine sales debate." The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that "Wineries look to high court for change in shipping rules." And The Lawrence Journal-World reports that "Winemakers can almost taste Internet sales; Court ruling could open up market for Kansas vineyards."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"State must pay Kan. $29 million; The U.S. Supreme Court rules in a case Kansas filed in 1985, charging Colorado had improperly diverted Arkansas River water": This article appears today in The Denver Post. And The Rocky Mountain News reports today that "Colorado wins water ruling over Kansas; State won't have to pay $24 million interest in 20-year dispute."
Posted at 06:50 by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, December 07, 2004
The Metropolitan News-Enterprise is reporting: Today you can access online articles headlined "Police Officer's Pornographic Videotapes Do Not Merit Free Speech Protection, U.S. High Court Rules" and "California Supreme Court Rules Truthful Report From Public Record Is Not Invasion of Privacy."
Posted at 23:40 by Howard Bashman



"The elite left vs. the military": John Leo has this op-ed today in The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 23:35 by Howard Bashman



"GOP would be wise to vet nominees": This editorial appears today in Newsday. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today contains an op-ed by Marc A. Levin entitled "A conservative judiciary is Bush's moral mandate." Online at Townhall.com, Thomas Sowell today has an essay entitled "Once in a lifetime."

Finally, during yesterday's White House press briefing, the following exchange took place:
Q. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday that he wanted the President to submit a list of potential Supreme Court nominees to be considered when a vacancy occurs. This seems to suggest the Democrats feel they have a mandate to continue obstruction of judges, since they only lost four Senate seats instead of the nine that would constitute a filibuster-proof minority -- majority, I'm sorry. Is the President likely to pre-approve Court nominees with the minority Democrats in the Senate?

MR. McCLELLAN: We look forward to working with the Democratic leadership in the Senate to move forward on the President's judicial nominees. The President has put forward a number of well qualified people. There are some that are -- have still not been voted on and we want to see action on. It is something that is a priority for this President. There are some vacancies that need to be filled that have not been filled. In terms of the Supreme Court, there are no vacancies at this point, so it's not appropriate for me to even get into discussing it.

But we hope that as we move forward on a second term, that everybody will work in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation to get things done. The President was elected with a very strong vote, and certainly judicial nominees was one of the issues that was brought up during the campaign.

Q. Reid also said that Clarence Thomas was an embarrassment to the Court. Would you comment on that?

MR. McCLELLAN: I totally disagree. I think he's been a good member of the Court, as the President has spoken about, someone who does not believe in making the law up from the bench, but believes in upholding the Constitution and interpreting law.
You can access the complete transcript at this link.
Posted at 23:23 by Howard Bashman



Richard Willing is reporting: Today in USA Today, he had articles headlined "Court: Cop's firing lawful; 1st Amendment doesn't cover stripping uniform on videos" and "Justices to debate mail-order wine."
Posted at 23:15 by Howard Bashman



"Mandatory Madness": Barry C. Scheck has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 23:01 by Howard Bashman



"Radical Justice: Clarence Thomas is no conventional conservative; If he becomes the next chief of the U.S. Supreme Court, his willingness to overturn entire areas of law must be carefully scrutinized." Newsweek this evening has posted online this essay by Cliff Sloan.
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



"'Plame affair' reporters appeal against jail terms": Wednesday's edition of Financial Times contains this article. Wednesday's edition of The Chicago Tribune will report that "Leak probe mired in battle with journalists." Editor & Publisher reported yesterday that "'N.Y. Times' Attorney Expects No Decision This Week on Plame Appeal."

Columnist Richard Cohen today has an op-ed in The Washington Post entitled "Plame and Fortune." And Stephen Bates today has an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times entitled "The Loud Fight Over Reporters' Silence; Clashing over sources, media and government both claim high motives." The Bates op-ed incorrectly states that the D.C. Circuit oral argument in this case is Thursday; in fact, it will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) before a panel consisting of Circuit Judges David B. Sentelle, Karen LeCraft Henderson, and David S. Tatel.
Posted at 22:42 by Howard Bashman



"Farmers challenge ag checkoffs": This article will appear Wednesday in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Posted at 22:35 by Howard Bashman



"Justices Question Ban on Wine Sales From Out of State": Linda Greenhouse will have this article in Wednesday's issue of The New York Times. Wednesday's edition of Financial Times reports that "US judges left in two minds by internet wine sales." And The Loudoun Times-Mirror today provides a report headlined "Supreme Court hears Swedenburg case."
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court appointments usually don't get much attention in the betting world." Until now, that is. You can access online a press release issued today, containing odds, entitled "Betcom Takes the Law Into Its Own Hands."
Posted at 22:15 by Howard Bashman



"Justices Hear Dispute Over Interstate Wine Sales": Charles Lane will have this article in Wednesday's issue of The Washington Post. The McClatchy Newspapers report that "Justices hear arguments about Internet wine sales." And MSNBC reports that "Supreme Court weighs direct wine shipments; Wineries target laws barring out-of-state sales."
Posted at 22:10 by Howard Bashman



"Son, We Need To Talk About This Supreme Court Obsession Of Yours": This essay by Chuck Lager appears in tomorrow's edition of The Onion.
Posted at 21:05 by Howard Bashman



"Protesters: We didn't break law; Trial begins for 11 who refused to allow Commandments to be moved." This article appears today in The Idaho Statesman.
Posted at 21:03 by Howard Bashman



"Justices hear arguments on shipping wine": Jan Crawford Greenburg will have this article tomorrow in The Chicago Tribune. And The San Jose Mercury News offers an update headlined "Wine industry takes battle to Supreme Court."
Posted at 20:55 by Howard Bashman



"Next on Supreme Court menu: beef and free speech." Warren Richey will have this article in Wednesday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 18:08 by Howard Bashman



"Justice Richard Sanders' ethics hearing starts": The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "For the second time in nine years on the bench, Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders, in a hearing before the Commission on Judicial Conduct, is fighting charges that he violated judicial-ethics rules." And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Justice may face discipline on McNeil visit."
Posted at 18:00 by Howard Bashman



"Gay-rights activists press their case for marriage in New Jersey": Stephen Henderson of Knight Ridder Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 17:45 by Howard Bashman



"In Vino Gravitas: The Supreme Court has a sobering look at interstate wines." Slate has just posted online this Supreme Court dispatch by Dahlia Lithwick. This evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" included a segment entitled "Supreme Court Weighs Restrictions on Wine Sales" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg. The Los Angeles Times offers a news update by David G. Savage headlined "Court Takes on Laws Against Out-of-State Wine Buys." And online at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "The states' long-shot chance in the wine cases."
Posted at 17:41 by Howard Bashman



"Bring Out Your Feedback": Over at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr has a post that seeks reader feedback, with the capability for readers to leave comments enabled. Comment away, people!
Posted at 17:40 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Considers Tax Dispute Case": Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 17:08 by Howard Bashman



"Breaking News: Court of Appeal Rejects Request for Revote in San Diego Write-in Case." Law Professor Rick Hasen provides this report at his "Election Law" blog.
Posted at 17:00 by Howard Bashman



"Second New York Court Upholds State's Marriage Laws": Liberty Counsel has issued this press release regarding a ruling that a New York State trial court in Albany issued today. The ACLU, meanwhile, has issued a press release entitled "New York Trial Court Decision Denying Marriage for Same-Sex Couples Advances ACLU Lawsuit to Appeals Court."

From New Jersey, The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court hears arguments on legalizing gay marriage."

And The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article headlined "The battle over same-sex marriage: Leno's measure divides Democrats; Legalization bill draws opposition among moderates."
Posted at 16:45 by Howard Bashman



"Man Admits to Vaseline Vandalism in N.Y.": The Associated Press provides this report. And in local coverage, The Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reports today that "Va. man ordered to pay damages for motel mess; Room was coated with petroleum jelly." Not implicated in the vandalism is the protagonist of this song (Windows Media Player required) by The Flaming Lips.

Update: A reader emails, "Regarding this post, one can only assume that the man had the hotel radio on playing the song 'Vaseline' by Stone Temple Pilots."
Posted at 16:40 by Howard Bashman



"Slate's Jurisprudence: Court Mulls Wine by Mail." Today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" included this report (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick.
Posted at 15:55 by Howard Bashman



"On Second Thought, Court Finds, a Law 'Makes No Sense'": The New York Times today contains this article reporting on the quite interesting ruling, in a child pornography case, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that I highlighted here the other day.
Posted at 15:30 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Questions Direct Wine Shipment Ban": James Vicini of Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit perceives no difference between animals and humans: Today the Ninth Circuit has ruled, in a decision you can access here, that veterinarians are exempted from the overtime wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The court's opinion explains that "Nothing in the language of the statute or regulations indicates a distinction between those who practice medicine on humans and those who practice on animals."
Posted at 12:55 by Howard Bashman



"Court Hears Interstate Wine Sales Case": Hope Yen of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 12:21 by Howard Bashman



Divided three-judge panel of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirms dismissal on statute of limitations grounds of Clayton Act antitrust class action against Northwest Airlines: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:50 by Howard Bashman



"We're Not in G-Rated Kansas Anymore; Porn 'superstores' are thriving near rural offramps, causing the locals to debate obscenity and privacy, sometimes in court": Yesterday's issue of The Los Angeles Times contained this article.
Posted at 11:14 by Howard Bashman



"Cornyn to lend his clout to attorney general nominee; Senator to guide his fellow Texan through the difficulties of Senate hearing, confirmation": This article appears today in The Austin American-Statesman. And The San Antonio Express-News reports today that "Cornyn expecting tough questioning."
Posted at 10:25 by Howard Bashman



Today's U.S. Supreme Court opinion: Today the Court announced its decision in the original jurisdiction case of Kansas v. Colorado, No. 105 Orig. Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote the opinion of the Court.

You can access the syllabus here; Justice Breyer's majority opinion here; the opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas concurring in part and concurring in the judgment here; the opinion of Justice John Paul Stevens concurring in part and dissenting in part here; and the oral argument transcript here.
Posted at 10:00 by Howard Bashman



Good morning, Professor Dershowitz: In connection with the appeal that I am handling before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania challenging Pennsylvania's grandparents visitation law, I was interviewed this morning on the Michael Smerconish show on WPHT 1210 AM in Philadelphia. The matter came to the show's attention via an article published today on the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The other guest for the segment was Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz.
Posted at 09:55 by Howard Bashman



"High Court Reviews Out-of-State Wine Sales": Today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" included this report (RealPlayer required) from Nina Totenberg. And Hope Yen of The Associated Press reports that "High Court to Hear Dispute Over Wine Sales."
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



"High Court Revisits Case of Racial Bias in Jury Selection; Most of the justices appear prepared to rule that a Texas man's trial was unconstitutional": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. In The Houston Chronicle, Patty Reinert reports that "Court majority finds discrimination; Justices say prosecutors left blacks off jury deliberately in death penalty case." The Austin American-Statesman today reports that "High court mulls possible racial bias in Texas death penalty case; Question of how jury pool was formed is before justices for a second time in the case of Thomas Miller-El." And The Washington Post today contains an editorial entitled "Judicial Defiance."
Posted at 09:42 by Howard Bashman



"No Reprieve: Rell Cites Horrors Of Ross' Victims As She Rejects Execution Delay." This article appears today in The Hartford Courant, along with related items headlined "The Governor's Statement" and "A Father's Letter."
Posted at 08:55 by Howard Bashman



"Same-sex benefits for city workers OKd; The state Supreme Court ruled that Phila. did not overstep its power by giving 'life partners' rights": The Philadelphia Inquirer contains this article today.
Posted at 08:45 by Howard Bashman



"12 gays who left sue over military's policy": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 07:20 by Howard Bashman



"Judge orders vet to remove Marine flag; Macomb Township man is told to comply with the rules of his condo association": The Detroit News contains this article today.
Posted at 07:15 by Howard Bashman



"Wine shipments face their day in high court; Litigation tests Michigan's control on sales": This article appeared today in The Detroit Free Press. And The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Wine shipping laws under review; Justices to look at 2 cases involving bans on intrastate trade."
Posted at 07:10 by Howard Bashman



In other news pertaining to the Supreme Court of California: Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "State court to decide standard for retarded; Ruling could affect 20 to 30 prisoners on Death Row." And in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "War of words moves to state high court."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"Justices Overturn Privacy Decision; State high court rules that the media's use of information taken from public records does not violate 1st Amendment protections": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has an article headlined "No limits on reporting old crimes; Plaintiff will appeal, says TV show ruined marriage, business." The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that "High court rejects ex-convict's privacy suit." And The Oakland Tribune reports that "Court upholds public records law; Top state judges say media did not invade San Diego man's privacy."
Posted at 06:55 by Howard Bashman



"High court backs firing of officer in San Diego; Ruling: Man's sex videos are not protected speech." This article appears today in The San Diego Union-Tribune. In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "High Court Upholds Firing of San Diego Police Officer; The justices overturn a ruling that said the sale of sexually explicit videos was protected." In The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "'Code3Stud' Loses Supreme Court Decision; Firing of San Diego Police Officer Who Made Porn Is Upheld." And in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Michael McGough reports that "U.S. Supreme Court upholds dismissal of cop who sold porn videos."
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



"Pa. top court reviews grandparents' rights; Father, grandmother clash over visitation": L. Stuart Ditzen has this front page article today in The Philadelphia Inquirer. And The Associated Press reports that "Pennsylvania Supreme Court to consider grandparents' rights law." In this case, which the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently agreed to review on the merits, I am serving as the appellate lawyer for the father. Our opening brief is due to be filed next Monday.
Posted at 06:30 by Howard Bashman



Monday, December 06, 2004
"Court may see major change": The Jacksonville Financial News & Daily Record contains this article today.
Posted at 23:35 by Howard Bashman



"On or off, judges don't lose on holiday time": This article appears in Tuesday's edition of The Australian.
Posted at 23:32 by Howard Bashman



In re local man: The Herald of Rock Hill, South Carolina reports today that "Local man's case carries statewide legal significance; Decision alters how juries view circumstantial evidence." You can access the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of South Carolina in this matter at this link.
Posted at 23:25 by Howard Bashman



In Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post: Charles Lane reports that "Court Hears Argument on Race Bias in Capital Case." And in other news, "Reid Says He Could Back Scalia for Chief Justice; Comments Anger Liberals And Thomas Supporters."
Posted at 23:22 by Howard Bashman



"Psychiatrist says death row altered killer's mental state": The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains this article about George Banks, whose case has twice (see here and here) been considered on the merits by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 23:12 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Supreme Court to hear S.D. lawyer argue against beef checkoff": This article appears today in The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Via "South Dakota Politics.")
Posted at 22:54 by Howard Bashman



"Diversity criteria debated at UGA": Tuesday's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will contain an article that begins, "A University of Georgia task force on Monday began discussing ways to reintroduce race as a criterion for freshman admissions without getting sued."
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



"High court to review interstate wine shipping laws; Remnant of Prohibition focuses on states' commerce laws": CNN.com provides this report.
Posted at 22:34 by Howard Bashman



"Court refuses early ruling on appeal by bin Laden's driver": This article appears in Tuesday's issue of Financial Times.
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



"Justices restudy death case; Supreme Court again weighs racial bias in jury selection at Dallas man's 1986 capital trial": Allen Pusey will have this article in tomorrow's issue of The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 22:24 by Howard Bashman



"Court OKs benefits for same-sex life partners of city employees": The Associated Press reports here that "In a victory for gay couples, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruled Monday that Philadelphia has a right to give city employees in same-sex 'life partnerships' the same type of worker benefits now enjoyed only by married couples." Today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 22:20 by Howard Bashman



In Tuesday's issue of The New York Times: Linda Greenhouse reports that "Justices Give Second Hearing in a Texas Death Row Case." In other news, "Gays Ousted From Military Challenge Policy in Lawsuit." And in regional news, "Towers' Insurers Must Pay Double."
Posted at 22:15 by Howard Bashman



Available from National Review Online: Jennifer C. Braceras has an essay entitled "Thinking Outside the Judge Box: Non-judges can make fine Supreme Court nominees."

Roger Clegg has an essay entitled "Affirmative Opportunity: The president has a second chance to finally stop discrimination."

And Peter Kirsanow has an essay entitled "Rule of Lawlessness: Mary Frances Berry won't go."
Posted at 21:00 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court declines to directly hear detainee's case": The Knight Ridder Newspapers provide this news update.
Posted at 19:14 by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained segments entitled "Supreme Court Again Weighs Racial Bias in Death Penalty Case" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Veterans Challenge 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy"; "Suit Challenges U.S. Military's 'Stop-Loss' Policy"; and "Judge Does Not See Tainted Jury Pool in Abu Ghraib Case." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 19:05 by Howard Bashman



"Rell Won't Interfere In Ross Execution": The web site of The Hartford Courant provides a news update that begins, "Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today she would not issue a reprieve for serial killer Michael Ross, who faces execution in January, and would veto any legislation that repeals the state's death penalty." Today's statement from the Governor of Connecticut can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 17:58 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Hope Yen reports that "High Court Hears Texas Inmate's Case."

And in other news, "Conn. Governor Won't Delay Execution"; "Jury Considers WTC Destruction 2 Events"; and "Judge Orders Lawyer Removed From Court."
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



In tomorrow's edition of The Christian Science Monitor: Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Can states ban certain wine parcels? Tuesday the Supreme Court considers how New York and Michigan have regulated out-of-state shipments." And an editorial is entitled "An Unconstitutional Mandate."
Posted at 17:45 by Howard Bashman



The answer is "no": One week ago today, The Los Angeles Times published an article by Maura Dolan headlined "Once a Felon, Is Man Now a Victim? Steven Gates' new life was shattered by a TV show years after he left prison; His case pits his right to privacy against the 1st Amendment."

Today the Supreme Court of California issued its decision in the case. The court unanimously concluded that the producers and presenters of a television documentary program cannot be held liable in tort for publishing information they gathered from public official court records concerning a person who many years previously served a prison term for a felony conviction but who has since lived an obscure, lawful life and become a respected member of the community.
Posted at 17:15 by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: Today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained segments entitled "High Court to Hear Landmark Wine Case" and "Advocates Say Gay Rights in Peril."

And today's broadcast of "Talk of the Nation" contained a segment entitled "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Runs Into Troop Level Concerns."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 17:05 by Howard Bashman



"High Court Upholds Officer's Firing": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 16:20 by Howard Bashman



"Police hope their case is heard; U.S. Supreme Court might hear case of wrongful shooting in Puyallup": This article appears today in The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court's docket entries in the case can be accessed here. The Ninth Circuit's ruling in the case can be viewed at this link. I have previously covered the Ninth Circuit's ruling in posts you can access here and here.
Posted at 15:52 by Howard Bashman



"Anonymous Law Professor": Via "JD2B.com," I have learned of this new blog, which describes itself as "Stories from my classroom and the law school, by a fictional tenured law professor at a first tier law school."
Posted at 15:33 by Howard Bashman



In the current issue of The Harvard Law Record: The newspaper contains articles headlined "HLS bans military recruiting; Third Circuit case prompts change" and "Justice Ginsburg Presides over Ames Final." Also, David Katz has an essay entitled "Law and policy don't really mix."
Posted at 15:30 by Howard Bashman



Section 804 of the Sarbanes-Oxley law--which extended the statute of limitations for private securities fraud cases from the longer of one year from the date of occurrence or three years from the date of discovery to the longer of two years from the date of occurrence or five years from the date of discovery--does not revive previously expired securities fraud claims: So the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled today in an important decision that you can access here.
Posted at 14:45 by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today follows the Eleventh Circuit in holding that, under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, each prisoner who joins as co-plaintiff in a single federal court suit must pay the full, undivided federal court filing fee: Today's ruling, by Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, can be viewed at this link. The Eleventh Circuit's decision reaching the same result in 2001 can be accessed here.
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



"The Blogger's Privilege in Delaware": Fritz Schranck offers these thoughts. It would appear that Delaware law isn't just corporate-friendly; it's blogger-friendly too.
Posted at 12:42 by Howard Bashman



"Bloggers Blur the Definition of Reporters' Privilege": Josh Gerstein has this very interesting article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 12:12 by Howard Bashman



"Hussein's defender: All deserve due process; A human rights lawyer says every war criminal should be prosecuted -- in a fair trial." The St. Petersburg Times today contains this article reporting on the lone American on a team of twenty-three defense lawyers selected by Saddam Hussein's family.
Posted at 11:45 by Howard Bashman



"Tale of trashman detailed by wife in manuscript; Battle with county ended with Supreme Court ruling": This article published today in The Topeka Capital-Journal profiles Keen Umbehr of Board of County Commissioners, Wabaunsee County, Kansas v. Umbehr fame. Articles of this nature tend to remind me of a certain New Yorker cartoon which appeared in that magazine back when I was attending law school.
Posted at 10:45 by Howard Bashman



"Couples seek reversal of gay marriage ruling": The Trenton Times today contains an article that begins, "New Jersey would become the second state in the country to permit gays and lesbians to marry if a lawyer representing seven homosexual couples persuades a panel of appeals court judges to overturn a lower court ruling tomorrow morning."
Posted at 10:42 by Howard Bashman



Today's U.S. Supreme Court Order List and unanimous per curiam opinion: The Order List can be accessed at this link. The Court granted review in no new cases and denied the request to expedite consideration of the petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment in a case challenging the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba terrorism tribunals.

The Court today also issued a unanimous per curiam opinion in City of San Diego v. Roe, No. 03-1669. In the decision under review, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had reinstated a lawsuit brought by a San Diego police officer who was fired for having offered for sale on the adults-only section of eBay homemade videotapes of himself stripping off a generic police officer's uniform and engaging in acts of masturbation. The lawsuit claimed that the firing infringed the former police officer's First Amendment rights. Today the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the Ninth Circuit's reinstatement of that lawsuit. My original report on the Ninth Circuit's ruling, which issued in January 2004, can be accessed here.

In early coverage, Hope Yen of The Associated Press reports that "Court Reverses Police Sex Video Ruling." The AP also reports that "High Court Won't Speed Up Terrorism Case" and "High Court Declines to Hear Benefits Case." The AP's Gina Holland reports that "Supreme Court Rejects KKK Mask Case." And James Vicini of Reuters has reports headlined "Supreme Court: Policeman Can Be Fired for Sex Videos" and "Supreme Court Denies Klan Appeal to Anti-Mask Law."
Posted at 10:00 by Howard Bashman



"Landlord offers free rent to Rosa Parks; She has faced fiscal woes in recent years": This article appears today in The Detroit Free Press.
Posted at 09:52 by Howard Bashman



"Homosexuals to Challenge Military Policy": The Associated Press provides this report.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network today issued this press release in connection with the lawsuit that it is filing today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. You can access information about the plaintiffs here, and additional information about the lawsuit can be accessed via this link.
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained segments entitled "High Court Reviews Texas Death Penalty Case" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Study Disputes Benefits of Affirmative Action." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 09:42 by Howard Bashman



To make a donation in memory of Laury Estrada: Information is available here.
Posted at 09:35 by Howard Bashman



"Posner and Becker Comedy Gold": Kieran Healy at the "Crooked Timber" blog, on review of the first two substantive posts at "The Becker-Posner Blog," writes in a post you can access here that "Right now, my working theory is that the blog is an elaborate hoax."
Posted at 08:22 by Howard Bashman



"Do Racial Preferences Limit Black Lawyers?" Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay in today's issue of National Journal.
Posted at 08:05 by Howard Bashman



"Booted off campus: 'Don't ask, don't tell'; Appeals court decision a blow to military bias": This editorial appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 07:50 by Howard Bashman



"Small wineries hope Supreme Court will overturn commerce restrictions; Many vintners are barred from direct shipment to customers out of state unless they go through distributors who often are not interested in their business": This article appears today in The Providence Journal. Newsday reports today that "Top court to hear pleas on interstate wine sales." The Dayton Daily News reports today that "Ohio regulators study alcohol case in U.S. Supreme Court; Top court being asked to allow direct sales across state lines." And in The Detroit Free Press, Law Professors Adam Mossoff and Daniel D. Barnhizer today have an op-ed entitled "Trade between states dates to the Founders," while Betty Mercer has an op-ed entitled "States need authority to control alcohol by mail."
Posted at 07:12 by Howard Bashman



"Battle looms over Supreme Court justices": Bob Keefe has this essay today in The Japan Times.
Posted at 07:10 by Howard Bashman



Kannon K. Shanmugam, in the news: The Lawrence Journal-World today contains an article headlined "LHS grad gets legal notice in D.C.; Son of KU professor to argue this week before Supreme Court."
Posted at 07:05 by Howard Bashman



"GOP pushes laws to limit abortion after new gains": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains this article today, along with an article headlined "Federal spending bill may limit abortion access; Law to allow health agencies to opt out of providing service." And The Washington Times reports today that "Pro-lifers set sights on new Congress."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"In Calif., Cross Site Stirs Discord; Church-State Separation Is Issue at Mount Soledad Memorial": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 06:45 by Howard Bashman



Sunday, December 05, 2004
"Judge's Decisions Draw Notice, for Being Conspicuously Late": U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels of the Southern District of New York is the subject of this article that will appear in Monday's issue of The New York Times.
Posted at 23:40 by Howard Bashman



Somewhere on earth it's Monday already: The inaugural post at "The Becker-Posner Blog" promised that posts of substance would appear on Monday. But, jumping the gun a little bit, they are already there (here and here) in the form of a discussion about preventive war.
Posted at 23:05 by Howard Bashman



"Tish, I love it when you speak French!" Those words from Gomez Addams may echo through your head as you watch the first several minutes of C-SPAN's "America & the Courts" program from November 27, 2004. The first segment consists of Justice Stephen G. Breyer speaking in Washington, DC at a Paris Bar Association conference on the French and American legal systems. Justice Breyer delivers the first several minutes of his speech in French. To view the program, click here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 22:54 by Howard Bashman



It's difficult to locate the confrontation clause in an unwritten constitution: BBC News offers a report headlined "Bid to cut court witness stress: New targets to reduce the stress to victims and witnesses giving evidence in courts in England and Wales are to be announced by the lord chancellor."
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



In Monday's edition of The Washington Post: Charles Lane reports that "Justices to Hear Cattle Producers' Beef on Ads." An article is headlined "Reid: Democrats Will Fight on Key Issues." And The Associated Press reports that "Pentagon Policy on Gays Is Challenged."
Posted at 22:45 by Howard Bashman



"Woof, Woof, Your Honor; It's no joke: Animal lawsuits are gaining respect as pet owners seek justice for the ones they love." This article appears in the December 13, 2004 issue of Time magazine.
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



"Senate's 'Nuclear Option'": Law Professors Michael Gerhardt and Erwin Chemerinsky have this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 22:30 by Howard Bashman



"Dems' new Senate leader criticizes Justice Thomas; Frist vows GOP to pursue options to overcome filibusters": CNN.com provides this report. And The Associated Press reports that "Democrat Wants High Court Nominee List." You can access at this link a transcript of the interview with incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that appeared on today's broadcast of the NBC News program "Meet the Press."
Posted at 17:30 by Howard Bashman



"Introduction to the Becker-Posner Blog": This post, offering both an introduction and a promise of substantive posts to follow tomorrow, appeared online early today.
Posted at 15:24 by Howard Bashman



"Peterson's fate ultimately set by appeals; Any sentence sure to face legal challenges, including review of Geragos defense": David Kravets of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 15:15 by Howard Bashman



In news from Australia: Monday's issue of The Australian contains articles headlined "Slowest court in the land revealed" and "Drink judge finds room at the inn."
Posted at 15:14 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: In news from New Jersey, "Appeals court to hear same-sex marriage case Tuesday." And a profile of Rosa Parks is headlined "No rest at age 91."
Posted at 15:11 by Howard Bashman



"We can count on Harriet Miers to excel as Bush's counsel": Rena Pederson has this op-ed today in The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 15:10 by Howard Bashman



"Wine, beef fill justices' plate; Cases examine alcohol shipments and ad campaign": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that "High court to hear wine case; Out-of-state wineries seek the right to sell via telephone, Internet." The Hartford Courant reports today that "High Court Eyes Reach Of Small Wineries." And The Los Angeles Daily News reports today that "Cases could put more wines online."
Posted at 15:05 by Howard Bashman



"High court to weigh Alaska marine lands case": The Juneau Empire contains this article today.
Posted at 15:04 by Howard Bashman



"Piper Rudnick to merge with British law firm; Resulting legal group will be the 3rd-largest in the world": This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun.
Posted at 15:02 by Howard Bashman



"High court, 5th Circuit battling over death row; Cases can bounce back and forth as judges butt heads": Patty Reinert has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.
Posted at 08:55 by Howard Bashman



"High-court cousin: Justice O'Connor part of family for local man." In today's issue of The Gleaner of Henderson, Kentucky, columnist Judy Jenkins has this essay.
Posted at 08:52 by Howard Bashman



"Torture and Death: Alberto Gonzales's record as assistant chief executioner under George Bush in Texas." Nat Hentoff has this essay in the current issue of The Village Voice.
Posted at 08:50 by Howard Bashman



"2 cases key for growers in state; High court to weigh mandatory promotion fees, direct wine sales": This article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 08:48 by Howard Bashman



"Abortion battle rages on in US": BBC News provides this report.
Posted at 08:45 by Howard Bashman



"Still no motive, no suspect 1 year later; Jonathan P. Luna, a prosecutor, had been stabbed 36 times; Not even suicide is being ruled out": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 07:44 by Howard Bashman



Saturday, December 04, 2004
In Sunday's issue of The New York Times: An article from Tacoma, Washington is headlined "Chief's Retrial, 146 Years in the Making."

Dean E. Murphy has a report from San Francisco headlined "God, American History and a Fifth-Grade Class."

An editorial is entitled "Showdown for Press Freedom." And Steve Martin has an op-ed entitled "The King and I."
Posted at 23:20 by Howard Bashman



"Small Wineries Find Ally on Interstate Shipping; States and Wholesalers Challenge Direct Selling": Charles Lane will have this article in Sunday's edition of The Washington Post. In related coverage, the December 13, 2004 issue of U.S. News & World Report will contain an article headlined "A full-bodied vintage trial."
Posted at 23:10 by Howard Bashman



"Courting Disaster": In tomorrow's issue of The New York Times Magazine, Jeffrey Rosen has an essay that begins, "The next Supreme Court nomination could provoke a partisan eruption unlike anything America has seen since the battle over Robert Bork in 1987."
Posted at 23:00 by Howard Bashman



"Ruling may hinder military recruiting": The Associated Press offers a report that begins, "Maj. Rachel VanLandingham's job sounds like one of the toughest in the military - persuading law school graduates to pass on high-paying private sector jobs and become Air Force judge advocates for about $40,000 a year."
Posted at 14:40 by Howard Bashman



"A free-trade fight over wine: Supreme Court to consider states' bans on shipments." MSNBC provides this report. The San Jose Mercury News today contains an article headlined "Spirited battle over wine; High Court to hear case on direct shipments, which involves many adversaries" and an essay by technology columnist Dan Gillmor entitled "Message to Supreme Court: It's time for selling wine online." The Record of Stockton, California today contains an article headlined "Supreme wine case: Vintners ask court to ax shipping ban." And The Associated Press reports that "Interstate Wine Sale Fight Goes to Court."
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



"Fox Calls For Court Review of Standards; FCC Rules Archaic, It Says In Appeal": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 14:28 by Howard Bashman



In news from Washington State: The Seattle Times reports today that "Statewide recount next week; Dems sue over rejected ballots." And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that "Democrats call for statewide recount; Election drama continues; hand tally set to start next week."
Posted at 14:22 by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Alabama becomes California's ally on medical marijuana"; "Gay Marriage Proponents Decry Claims"; "The Sun Escalates Feud With Md. Governor"; and "Columbine Parents Want Lawyers Disbarred."
Posted at 14:20 by Howard Bashman



"Symbols of the season causing a spirited stir; A community near Miami displays Jewish symbols, as well as secular; Now a lawsuit seeks to add Christian scenes": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 14:15 by Howard Bashman



"Ross To Rell: Keep Out Of It; Continuing Quest For Execution, Killer Asks Governor Not To Use Power Of Reprieve." Lynne Tuohy has this article today in The Hartford Courant.
Posted at 14:14 by Howard Bashman



"Atheists target school-board prayer; Stop or open forum to everyone, group insists": This article appears today in The Deseret Morning News.
Posted at 14:11 by Howard Bashman



"Adoption case could go to state high court": The Galveston County Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Attorneys for a woman seeking to void her former lesbian partner's adoption of her daughter have submitted the case to the Texas Supreme Court."
Posted at 14:10 by Howard Bashman



"High-stakes lawsuits highlight water costs; Federal government's liability for not delivering to farmers at issue": This article appeared yesterday in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 14:08 by Howard Bashman



"Civil Rights Panel Changes May Cause Clash; President Bush plans to replace the longtime and combative chairwoman, who says she'll go quietly; But many note that's not her style": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 14:05 by Howard Bashman



"State court to consider who gets jury trials": This article appears today in The Arizona Republic.
Posted at 14:00 by Howard Bashman



"Federal court OKs suit over Nazi salute": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle. Yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit can be accessed here (majority opinion) and here (dissenting opinion of Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain).
Posted at 13:55 by Howard Bashman



"Rulings in Texas Capital Cases Try Supreme Court's Patience": Adam Liptak and Ralph Blumenthal will have this article in Sunday's edition of The New York Times.
Posted at 13:50 by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Beginner: Most attorneys work their entire careers without appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court; Jeffrey Fisher won two cases before the high court this year at the unheard-of age of 33." Tomorrow's edition of The Los Angeles Times Magazine will contain this article by David Feige.
Posted at 09:42 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. Attorney DiBiagio resigns; Move follows Justice representative's visit to discuss review of DiBiagio's performance": This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun, along with a related article headlined "High-profile victories and public stumbles."
Posted at 09:30 by Howard Bashman



"High-Speed Internet Service Now High Court Case; The justices' ruling will 'determine the future of the Internet as we know it,' one observer says": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. In The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Michael McGough has an article headlined "Must cable share Internet lines? High court to decide access case, with differing opinions on effect on consumers." And The Washington Post reports that "High Court To Decide Cable Case; At Issue Is Sharing Lines With Competitors."
Posted at 09:25 by Howard Bashman



"Amendment Two loses recount": The Montgomery Advertiser today contains an article that begins, "Segregationist language in the state's constitution apparently will remain on the books for now, as an unofficial statewide recount of controversial Amendment Two left the hotly debated amendment less than 2,000 votes short of passage."
Posted at 09:22 by Howard Bashman



Friday, December 03, 2004
Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court to Hear Key Case on Cable Internet Regulation." An article reports that "Ashcroft's Legacy on Federal Death Penalty in Doubt; Will Gonzales loosen office's grip on capital punishment decisions?" In other news, "Attorney Alleges Bush, Rumsfeld Statements Taint First U.S. Abu Ghraib Trial."

And last but not least, if you enjoyed the letter to the editor that Ninth Circuit Judges Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain and Richard C. Tallman had in The Wall Street Journal recently, you can now access online the full text of their op-ed entitled "Why Not Split the 9th Circuit?" from which that letter to the editor was distilled.
Posted at 23:20 by Howard Bashman



"Court rules for inmate on religion": This article will appear Saturday in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 22:44 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to Hear Case on Cable as Internet Carrier": Linda Greenhouse will have this article in Saturday's edition of The New York Times. And in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage has a news update headlined "Supreme Court Takes Up Cable Internet Case."
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



"A year later, federal, local officials at odds in Luna case; The main question: Was it homicide or suicide." This article appears today in The Lancaster (Pa.) Intelligencer Journal. Jonathan Luna is also mentioned this evening in an Associated Press report headlined "Federal Prosecutor in Md. Is Resigning."
Posted at 21:45 by Howard Bashman



Nate Forrester reenters the blogosphere: Congrats to "Feddie" and the gang at "Southern Appeal" for bringing on board Nathan A. Forrester as a co-blogger. His first post at that blog can be accessed at this link.

To date, Nate's most noteworthy entry into the blogosphere occurred right here at "How Appealing" back in September 2003 in connection with an appellate oral argument involving a constitutional challenge to an Alabama law banning the distribution of sex toys. Nate's online commentary at that time likewise didn't go unnoticed elsewhere.
Posted at 19:40 by Howard Bashman



The loser of the Governor's race in Washington State's recount by hand has the option of paying for a recount by foot: The Seattle Times provides a news update headlined "Democrats will finance a statewide hand recount."
Posted at 19:34 by Howard Bashman



A fine mess of statutory language: In deciding an appeal from a harsh mandatory minimum sentence imposed on a defendant convicted in federal court of advertising to distribute child pornography, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued an opinion in which the court had to confront a statute, 18 U.S.C. sec. 2251(d), that states: "[a]ny individual who violates...this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not less than 10 years nor more than 20 years, and both...."

The trial judge, who originally wanted to inform the jury of the harsh mandatory minimum sentence to afford the possibility of jury nullification, later called the case "the worst case of my judicial career" after the Second Circuit issued a writ of mandamus prohibiting disclosure of the sentence to the jury and the trial judge concluded that a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence could not be struck down as cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment.

Today, however, the Second Circuit may have found a way around the result that so vexed the trial judge -- perhaps the sentencing provision does not mandate a ten year minimum sentence but offers the sentencing court the option of imposing only a fine.

In today's opinion, the Second Circuit writes:
We begin with the observation that the "and both" language in the Statutes at Large makes no sense. As a grammatical matter, one cannot choose between "A, or B, and both." Rather, it seems obvious that Congress intended the provision to mean either "A, or B, or both," or "A and B." Both parties are in agreement on this point. The Government acknowledges that the "and both" language is "simply illogical" and "essentially [a] scrivener's error[]." We thus join the Fourth Circuit, the only other Court of Appeals to have considered the question, in finding the statutory language ambiguous, and recognizing the need to consult the legislative history as an aid to its interpretation.
Today's ruling proceeds to reject the federal government's argument that the statute mandates a ten-year minimum sentence. As the Second Circuit explains, "There is no doubt that allowing the District Court to choose between a fine and a ten-year term of imprisonment is unusual, but we conclude that the Government's approach is considerably more eccentric."

The end result that the Second Circuit reaches today is in accord with the result that the Fourth Circuit reached in its ruling from June 2002 construing this same statutory provision. Back in June 2002, I had a post about the Fourth Circuit's ruling that I titled "Another fine moment in the annals of statutory drafting."
Posted at 16:54 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to Decide Cable Internet Case": Reuters now offers this more detailed report about the case the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review today.
Posted at 16:44 by Howard Bashman



"Essentially, the dissent's rule would be that a new Supreme Court decision applies retroactively per se -- even if the defendant has never raised or preserved the constitutional issue and this Court has already affirmed the defendant's conviction and sentence -- as long as the defendant is still in some phase of the direct appeal process." An interesting debate over this issue, involving applicability of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last Term in Blakely v. Washington, is found in the lengthy concurrence in and dissents from a denial of rehearing en banc that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today.
Posted at 15:11 by Howard Bashman



Access online today's en banc copyright ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit: Are serial numbers that a manufacturer assigned to various parts it produces subject to copyright protection? In an interesting decision that you can access here, a divided en banc Third Circuit answered that question in the negative.

Although several judges joined only a part of the majority's opinion, written by Circuit Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., only two judges dissented in full, Circuit Judges Jane R. Roth and Michael Chertoff. You can access Judge Roth's dissenting opinion, in which Judge Chertoff joined, at this link.
Posted at 15:00 by Howard Bashman



"Judge had 2 roles in Finneran case; Jurist's comments prompted probe": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 14:35 by Howard Bashman



"Interior Dept. Internet Ruling Reversed": The Associated Press provides this report. And Reuters reports that "Court Says Interior Dept. Can Stay Online."
Posted at 14:04 by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to Hear ISP, Cable Dispute": Hope Yen of The Associated Press provides this report. Reuters reports that "High Court to Hear Cable Internet Case." And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston reports that "Court will hear broadband case."

Update: Today's order of the Supreme Court of the United States granting review is available at this link.
Posted at 13:15 by Howard Bashman



"Fight for Public Domain Goes On": Wired News provides this report.
Posted at 13:08 by Howard Bashman



In the current issue of The Onion: An article reports that "Iraq Adopts Terror Alert System." And a commentary is entitled "$25,000 Is Its Own Reward."
Posted at 12:00 by Howard Bashman



In news from Eureka, California: The Times-Standard today contains an article that begins, "A Eureka man was booked into the Humboldt County Jail on warrants Thursday after he was tracked down by police in a case of a stolen cell phone that would have been given to him for free had he waited for the results of his credit report." (Via "Obscure Store.")
Posted at 11:50 by Howard Bashman



"Federal appeals court finds RLUIPA constitutional": The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has issued this press release today concerning yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Posted at 11:23 by Howard Bashman



"Ukraine High Court Calls for New Election": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:22 by Howard Bashman



In news from West Virginia: Wednesday's issue of The Charleston Gazette contained an article headlined "Coal case creates recusal issue; Massey CEO at center of another controversy." And in other coverage, The Charleston Daily Mail reported that "Massey lawyers seek to have justice removed from case."
Posted at 11:15 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. widens probe of prosecutor; 2 drug cases added to the investigation of the assistant U.S. Attorney who ran the terrorism case": This article appears today in The Detroit News.
Posted at 10:15 by Howard Bashman



Welcome back to the internet, U.S. Department of the Interior! The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit this morning vacated an injunction, which ordered the Interior Department to disconnect from the internet, that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had issued in the Indian Trust litigation known as Cobell v. Norton. You can access today's D.C. Circuit ruling at this link. Much more information about the Indian Trust litigation can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 10:02 by Howard Bashman



Women behind bars: A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today issued a decision in which the majority opinion begins:
Following separate lawsuits by female prisoners in Michigan and by the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, both of which alleged rampant sexual abuse of female prisoners in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Corrections (the "MDOC") barred males from working in certain positions at its female prisons. Specifically, the MDOC designated approximately 250 Correctional Officer ("CO") and Residential Unit Officer ("RUO") positions in housing units at female prisons as "female only." A group of MDOC employees, both males and females, sued the MDOC, alleging that the MDOC's plan violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000e-2(a), and Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Mich. Comp. Laws §37.2202. Following a bench trial, the district court ruled in the plaintiffs' favor, concluding, among other things, that gender was not a bona fide occupational qualification (a "BFOQ") for the positions in question. The district court entered a permanent injunction enjoining the MDOC from making gender-specific assignments at female prisons. Because gender is a BFOQ for the positions in question, we reverse the judgment of the district court.
You can access the complete decision, which includes a dissenting opinion, at this link.
Posted at 09:45 by Howard Bashman



"Clash over symbols: Tree, menorah at courthouse spur debate over holiday displays." This article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 08:14 by Howard Bashman



"Justices Uphold Lawyer Fees in Advocacy Suits; Defendants should pay if a public benefit results, even if there are no damages, panel says": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times. And in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Court rules firms may have to pay lawyers in dropped suits."
Posted at 08:11 by Howard Bashman



"A Most Uneven Playing Field": This editorial about a case argued this week before the U.S. Supreme Court appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:10 by Howard Bashman



"High court's the wrong joint for medical-marijuana fight": Columnist Collin Levey has this op-ed today in The Seattle Times.
Posted at 07:07 by Howard Bashman



"Harvard Law bans military recruiters": This article appears today in The Daily Pennsylvanian.

The St. Petersburg Times today contains an editorial entitled "Campus ban on military: It is hypocritical for law schools to deny military recruiters access to their students because of the Pentagon's exclusion of gays." The Washington Times today contains an editorial entitled "Skirting the issue" that begins, "In a poorly reasoned decision, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the government cannot withhold federal funds from colleges and universities that ban military recruiters from their campuses."

And in The Washington Post today, columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. has an op-ed entitled "Let the Military on Campus." The op-ed begins, "When a circuit court ruled this week that universities could bar military recruiters from campuses without the risk of losing federal money, many liberals cheered. They should hold the cheering and reconsider the implications of their actions."
Posted at 07:00 by Howard Bashman



"U.S. concludes Luna's death still a puzzle; A year later, leads sought in case of U.S. prosecutor; Neither murder, suicide ruled out; Reconstruction of travels has perplexing 2-hour gap": The Baltimore Sun contains this article today.
Posted at 06:54 by Howard Bashman



"Hooters loses its battle in court; A judge throws out its copycat case against WingHouse, and a jury awards its rival damages": This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times. The Tampa Tribune reports today that "Hooters' Look Isn't Exclusive, Judge Rules." And The Orlando Sentinel reports today that "Restaurant fends off Hooters' lawsuit." Thanks to the assistance of a Florida-based reader, "How Appealing" was the very first news outlet to report these developments yesterday in posts that you can access here and here.
Posted at 06:48 by Howard Bashman



"Senate GOP Wants to Change Filibusters": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 06:44 by Howard Bashman



Thursday, December 02, 2004
Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Klan Offshoot Fights NYC Anti-Mask Law; Group wants Supreme Court to overturn ordinance preventing masked people from congregating in public." In other news, "Calif. Justices Spurn Federal Lead, Keep Catalyst Fees; State court's holding marks a significant departure from the U.S. Supreme Court's 'Buckhannon' ruling." And Jonathan Ringel reports that "Split Court OKs Malpractice Suit Against Lawyer; Ga. justices divided on what duty lawyer has to client in business sale."
Posted at 23:30 by Howard Bashman



"Throw Grutter in the gutter": Columnist Jonathan Cirpriani has this essay today in Washington Square News.
Posted at 23:25 by Howard Bashman



"Judge refuses to set trial date for Moussaoui": This article will appear in tomorrow's edition of The Minneapolis Star Tribune. Today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia can be accessed at this link.
Posted at 23:23 by Howard Bashman



In challenge to the Guantanamo proceedings, "The European Community weighs in": Lyle Denniston has this post online tonight at "SCOTUSblog." I have posted at this link the amicus brief filed by 271 Members of the British and European Parliaments urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari before judgment in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

And in somewhat related news, The Associated Press is reporting that "Torture Can Be Used to Detain U.S. Enemies."
Posted at 23:15 by Howard Bashman



"Investigation Continues Into The Death of Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Luna": The Baltimore, Maryland division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued this press release today. Among other things, the press release states: "While this task force remains committed to obtaining all the facts surrounding that evening and subsequent morning, investigators have found no evidence to date, to indicate Mr. Luna met with someone the night of his disappearance or the morning of his death."

Friday's edition of The Baltimore Sun will contain an article headlined "A year later, Luna's death still a puzzle; Investigators seek leads in case of U.S. prosecutor; Neither murder, suicide ruled out; Reconstruction of travels has perplexing 2-hour gap." And Friday's edition of The Washington Post will report that "Prosecutor's Death Still Puzzling; A Year Later, FBI Probe Suggests Luna Was Alone."
Posted at 22:45 by Howard Bashman



$1.2 million will buy lots of chicken wings and many skimpy outfits for the waitresses: A Florida reader emails to report the result of a lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida:
Jury verdict is in ... $1.2 million dollars in favor of Winghouse against Hooters. The jury found that Winghouse owner Crawford Ker (former Florida and Dallas Cowboys football player) and Hooters had an oral contract such that Hooters was not entitled to a remedy for alleged infringement of its trade dress, and awarded Ker and Winghouse its full damages for breach, a figure of $1.2 million dollars.
My earlier coverage of this matter can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 18:10 by Howard Bashman



"Judge OKs monument sale; But the county-level ruling might not avert a lawsuit over the Ten Commandments in Hanover": This article appears today in The York Daily Record.
Posted at 17:55 by Howard Bashman



"Temporary Stay of Injunction in 'Hoasca Tea' Case": At "SCOTUSblog," Marty Lederman has this post about the hallucinogenic tea case out of the Tenth Circuit. My earlier post about the case contains links to the lower courts' rulings.
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



271 Members of the British and European Parliaments file an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari before judgment in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, a case challenging the constitutionality and legality of the tribunals at Guantanamo Bay: You can access a copy of the brief, just filed moments ago with the Supreme Court, at this link.

The brief argues that noncompliance by the United States with the Geneva Conventions at Guantanamo is threatening foreign relations and the international rule of law, and that there is a need for a consistent and final judgment from the U.S. courts that only the U.S. Supreme Court can provide. I am advised that the brief is signed by the leaders of all the major political parties in Britain.

At its conference tomorrow, the Supreme Court will consider whether to expedite consideration of the petition for writ of certiorari in Hamdan.
Posted at 17:34 by Howard Bashman



"Combustion Engineering Plan Overturned": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 17:28 by Howard Bashman



"Slate's Jurisprudence: High Court Dodges Gay Marriage." Today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" included this segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Lyle Denniston. "SCOTUSblog" receives a nice mention at the close of the audio segment.
Posted at 17:25 by Howard Bashman



"The Crying Game: Should we decide capital punishment with our hearts or our heads?" Slate has just posted online this jurisprudence essay by Dahlia Lithwick.
Posted at 17:19 by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit holds that Congress did not exceed its authority under the Spending Clause of the Constitution or violate either the Establishment Clause or the Tenth Amendment in enacting section 3 of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act: Section 3 of RLUIPA requires state prisons that receive federal funds to refrain from burdening the religious exercise of prisoners. Today, in an opinion by Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr., the Eleventh Circuit ruled that "this section of RLUIPA was validly enacted under the Spending Clause and does not violate either the Establishment Clause or the Tenth Amendment." You can access the complete opinion at this link.
Posted at 17:00 by Howard Bashman



"Widows Face U.S. Deportation; Foreign-Born Spouses Fail to Meet Residency Rule": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 15:34 by Howard Bashman



"Michigan pulls same-sex benefits from contracts": This article appears today in The Detroit Free Press. And The Lansing State Journal offers a news update headlined "Union going to court over domestic partner benefits."
Posted at 15:28 by Howard Bashman



In news from Louisiana: The Times-Picayune reports today that "La. high court hears gay-union showdown; Both parties warn of dire consequences." And The Advocate of Baton Rouge reports today that "State asks justices to uphold ban on gay marriages in constitution."
Posted at 15:20 by Howard Bashman



"Testing the Limits of Big Government: How the Supreme Court's ruling on medical marijuana will impact not just the drug war, but the judicial concept of federalism." Terry Eastland has this essay today online at The Weekly Standard.
Posted at 15:00 by Howard Bashman



"from the read-the-record-BEFORE-you-argue-the-case department": Law Professor Lawrence Lessig today has a post at "Lessig Blog" that begins:
As some of you know (because a bunch have written to ask about the matter), I argued this case in the New Jersey Supreme Court Monday. The reporting on the case has been fair and accurate, so I have not discussed it here. But yesterday the story spun into the bizarre. Reluctantly, I discuss it below.
You can access his complete post at this link.

Update: Upon reflection, Professor Lessig has decided to remove from his blog the post to which I originally linked. Because my link to his post no longer works, I've removed the link from what I've written, above.
Posted at 14:20 by Howard Bashman



When something on the internet looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true: Tyler Cowen, from whom I learned of "The Tribe Blog" earlier today, now reports that the site is a fraud. I've heard the same thing from two extraordinarily reliable sources. Meanwhile, the "Tribe-Watch" blog remains shrouded in the same mystery that existed when I first linked to it in early April 2004.
Posted at 14:00 by Howard Bashman



Sharply divided Supreme Court of California refuses to abandon "catalyst" theory for awarding attorneys' fees: Today's rulings on that issue can be viewed here and here.
Posted at 13:00 by Howard Bashman



"Does Dale Forbid the Solomon Amendment?" Orin Kerr has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 12:58 by Howard Bashman



"Mass. defender gets a baptism of fire before Supreme Court": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 12:55 by Howard Bashman



Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe now appears to have a blog: You can view it at this link. Too soon to say whether this development will suffice to trigger new posts at Tribe-Watch.com.

Update: Good thing that I only wrote that Professor Tribe "now appears to have a blog," because subsequent developments have revealed that the blog is fraudulent. See this post for more information.
Posted at 12:50 by Howard Bashman



Will the "catalyst" theory for recovering attorneys' fees, now largely unavailable in suits brought under federal statutes, continue to be viable under California law? In about thirty minutes from now, the Supreme Court of California will announce two decisions that are likely to answer this question. One of the two cases, Graham v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., presents the following issue:
Should California reconsider the propriety of awarding attorney fees under the California private attorney general statute (Code Civ. Proc., §1021.5) to a party who did not receive a favorable judgment but whose lawsuit was the "catalyst" inducing the other party to modify its behavior, in light of the disapproval of that theory in Buckhannon Board & Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Dept. of Health and Human Resources (2001) 532 U.S. 598 as to certain federal attorney fee statutes?
You can access a description of the other case at this link.
Posted at 12:30 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decides Combustion Engineering bankruptcy appeal: The court's holding is summarized in the following passage from early in the opinion:
For some time now, mounting asbestos liabilities have pushed otherwise viable companies into bankruptcy. The current appeal represents a major effort to extricate a debtor and two non-debtor affiliates from asbestos liability through a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization that includes 11 U.S.C. §§524(g) and 105(a) "channeling injunctions" and a post-confirmation trust fund for asbestos claimants. The Plan has been presented as a pre-packaged Chapter 11 reorganization plan, but it more closely resembles, in form and in substance, a liquidation of the debtor with a post-confirmation trust funded in part by non-debtors. Although pre-packaged bankruptcy may yet provide debtors and claimants with a vehicle for the general resolution of asbestos liability, we find the Combustion Engineering Plan defective for the reasons set forth.
You can access today's opinion in its entirety at this link.
Posted at 12:20 by Howard Bashman



"Newspapers Cleared in Libel Case; Judge: Lawsuit Filed by Islamic Charity has no Merit, as Group was under Investigation for Supporting Terror": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun. And The Associated Press reports that "Islamic Charity Lawsuit Stays Dismissed."
Posted at 11:20 by Howard Bashman



"Hooters wings clipped; Winghouse win secures 'breastraunt' businesses": A fan of the blog who practices law in Florida has just emailed:
I am writing to report that Winghouse has been granted judgment as a matter of law on all counts in its trial against Hooters. Moments ago Judge Conway ruled from the bench on Winghouse's motion for directed verdict, which she had taken under advisement, that Hooters had failed to meet its burden, that the Hooters girls were functional and therefore not protectable trade dress, and that any copying was fair entrepreneurial competition. Trial is proceeding on Winghouse's counterclaim for damages.

No written ruling yet -- just wanted to get the word out that the "breastraunt" business is alive and well.
My previous coverage of this litigation, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:45 by Howard Bashman



"Law schools get permission to take courageous stand": At the blog "The Right Coast," Law Professor Tom Smith has a post that begins:
The Third Circuit has apparently ruled that the Solomon Amendment is unconstitutional. That was the law that told law schools that if they would not allow military recruiters on campus, as a protest against the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay soldiers, they could do without federal money as well. Just to review, soldiers are the ones that do things like get their legs blown off by grenades so the rest of us can decide what the best kind of wine is with turkey, and law schools are the places where idealistic solons take brave stands right up until the moment they are threatened with losing some money if they do so.
You can access the complete post at this link.
Posted at 10:15 by Howard Bashman



"Government Defends Detention of 'Enemy Combatants'": This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

And today in The New York Times, letters to the editor appear under the heading "Cries of Outrage Over Guantanamo."
Posted at 10:02 by Howard Bashman



"You Can Blog, but You Can't Hide": Law Professor Eugene Volokh has this op-ed today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:55 by Howard Bashman



"Recruiter ban not likely to affect UC; Court allows universities to bar military recruiting on campuses": This article appears today in The Daily Bruin of UCLA. The Harvard Crimson today contains an editorial entitled "Defeating the Solomon Amendment; Harvard failed its students and its principles by choosing to abstain from the legal fight." And from Florida, The Stuart News today contains an editorial entitled "War on military: Federal court lets college boot recruiters off campus."
Posted at 09:50 by Howard Bashman



"Painfully weak": A law professor who clerked for one of the Justices President Clinton placed on the U.S. Supreme Court and who now teaches at one of the Nation's preeminent law schools emails: "I am sorry you lost the FAIR case. As much as I hate the policy, I think the argument for its unconstitutionality is painfully weak."

Much credit for the result reached in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the Solomon Amendment case belongs to the highly talented lawyers for the plaintiffs. If this case is heard on the merits in the U.S. Supreme Court, as I expect it will be, I wouldn't be surprised to see Paul M. Smith argue for the plaintiffs (he argued in the Third Circuit on behalf of amici for the plaintiffs) and the Solicitor General of the United States himself or herself argue the case for the federal government.
Posted at 09:35 by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on a Possible California 'Medical Marijuana' Exception to the Federal Controlled Substances Act": FindLaw columnist Marci Hamilton has this essay today.
Posted at 09:10 by Howard Bashman



"Do I.R.A.'s Have Protection in Bankruptcy Proceeding?" Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times. And Michael McGough of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an article today headlined "Are IRAs safe from creditors in bankruptcies? Justices also reviewing double jeopardy case."
Posted at 09:00 by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, December 01, 2004
"Justices Debate Keeping IRAs Away From Creditors; The Supreme Court is considering whether the accounts can be seized during a bankruptcy": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.
Posted at 23:30 by Howard Bashman



"Changing Senate Looks Better to Abortion Foes": This article will appear in Thursday's issue of The New York Times.
Posted at 23:25 by Howard Bashman



"Judge Questions Sweep of Bush's War on Terrorism; Pentagon Says 550 'Enemy Combatants' Are Confined Properly, Seeks Benefit of Doubt on Detentions": Thursday's edition of The Washington Post will contain this article.
Posted at 23:22 by Howard Bashman



"Anti-choice litmus test?" This editorial appears today in The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin.
Posted at 23:20 by Howard Bashman



"Don't revert to the days of Dred Scott; Bush should pick judges who interpret the Constitution as a living document, subject to change": Sol Wachtler has this op-ed today in Newsday.
Posted at 23:11 by Howard Bashman



In news from Iowa: Yesterday's issue of The Hawk Eye of Burlington, Iowa contained an article headlined "Eagles to move monument" that begins, "To avoid the possibility of a future controversy, the Eagles club plans to move granite tablets that have the Ten Commandments engraved on them from the Burlington Depot grounds."

And The Des Moines Register today contains an article headlined "Prosecutor, judge trade fire over sentencing" that begins, "A national debate over federal sentencing has taken a confrontational turn in Iowa, where Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett recently tried to hold in contempt a prosecutor who had repeatedly challenged Bennett's efforts to reduce prison terms."
Posted at 22:50 by Howard Bashman



The stay does not affect the hallucinogenic crumpets: Gina Holland of The Associated Press reports that "High Court Agrees to Block Religious Tea." I have previously covered this matter in posts you can access here and here.
Posted at 22:40 by Howard Bashman



Welcome to the blogosphere: Law Professor Samuel R. Bagenstos, who ended up in Washington, DC during my last visit to Cambridge, Massachusetts but with whom I was pleased to visit when I was in St. Louis, Missouri recently, has started the "Disability Law" blog. In a post you can access here, Sam links to the proposed text for an "ADA Restoration Act" that would overturn a whole bunch of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Posted at 18:05 by Howard Bashman



The wire services are reporting: From The Associated Press, Hope Yen reports that "Supreme Court Ponders IRA-Bankruptcy Case." And in other news, "Supreme Court Urged to Block Religious Tea"; "Supreme Court Asked to Take Schiavo Case"; and "Lawyer Admits He's Source of Leaked Video."

Reuters, meanwhile, reports that "U.S. Says Guantanamo Prisoners Cannot Contest Cases."
Posted at 17:50 by Howard Bashman



More Solomon Amendment-related commentary from here and there: The transcript from yesterday's broadcast of the MSNBC program "The Abrams Report," in which I participated in a discussion about the Third Circuit's recent ruling, can be accessed here. The segment on the Solomon Amendment started halfway into the program, so scroll halfway down the page to find it. Also, today the Chronicle of Higher Education asked me to write an op-ed about the ruling, and I agreed to do so. It will be published sometime in the next few weeks.

The author of the blog "NathanNewman.org" has two posts criticizing the ruling from a liberal perspective. The posts are titled "Military Kicked Off Campuses; Bad Day for Human Rights" and "More on Military Recruiting Case." And the blog "Discriminations" offers a post titled "Expressive Disassociation."
Posted at 17:40 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit avoids determining whether the Church of Body Modification is an actual religion: Did Costco Wholesale Corporation fail to offer an employee a reasonable accommodation after she alerted it to a conflict between the "no facial jewelry" provision of Costco's dress code and the employee's religious practice as a member of the Church of Body Modification? Today the First Circuit answered that question in the negative, affirming the trial court's ruling in Costco's favor, albeit on different grounds. You can access today's First Circuit ruling at this link.

In earlier media coverage, The Springfield Union-News reported in October 2002 that "Eyebrow ring, firing spark $2 million suit." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer in April 2003 published articles headlined "Body modification: Devotees of this underground style speak out" and "On the fringe of the fringe: Risks and legal issues." And Martha W. Kleder in October 2002 had an essay entitled "Civil Rights Protection for Body Piercing?" at the web site of Concerned Women for America.
Posted at 17:05 by Howard Bashman



"No Big Whoop: 'Big' news and pressroom snickers over the gay-marriage case." Slate has just posted online this jurisprudence essay by Lyle Denniston.
Posted at 16:00 by Howard Bashman



"Death penalty uneven across USA": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 15:35 by Howard Bashman



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rules in favor of major media outlets in defamation case brought by entity reported to have been a target of government investigations into sources of funding for terrorism: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 15:10 by Howard Bashman



"Court nixes lawsuit fighting copyright law": This report appeared online at c|net News.Com last Wednesday. Law Professor Lawrence Lessig has made available online the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California via a post at "Lessig Blog" that you can access here.
Posted at 14:45 by Howard Bashman



"A Thought Experiment about Raich v. Ashcroft": Yale Law Professor Jack M. Balkin has this post today at his blog "Balkinization."
Posted at 14:30 by Howard Bashman



"Judges Ambush Military Recruiters": JAG attorney Jeremie Arthur has this essay today online at The American Spectator.
Posted at 14:20 by Howard Bashman



"Establishing Jurisprudence: The high court should stop its disingenuous sidestep of the church-state debate." Dahlia Lithwick has this essay in the December 2004 issue of The American Lawyer.
Posted at 13:02 by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Bin Laden Guard to Testify Against Moussaoui": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 12:20 by Howard Bashman



"Teacher will use insanity defense; With it, Debra Lafave will try to fend off charges that she had sex with one of her 14-year-old students": The St. Petersburg Times today contains this article. And The Tampa Tribune today reports that "Teacher Facing Sex Charges Plans Insanity Defense, Attorney Says."
Posted at 12:10 by Howard Bashman



"Justices to hear Seattle newspapers' dispute": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. And The Seattle Times reports that "State Supreme Court takes newspaper fight."
Posted at 11:40 by Howard Bashman



"Questions Presented: Judge Robert W. Gettleman!!!" Those saddened by my decision to discontinue the "20 questions for the appellate judge" feature here at "How Appealing" will be sure to enjoy the latest installment of the always entertaining new "Questions Presented" interview feature just posted online at the blog "Underneath Their Robes."
Posted at 10:30 by Howard Bashman



"Solomon Again": PG from the "de novo" blog offers these thoughts.
Posted at 10:20 by Howard Bashman



Solomon Amendment news and commentary from here and there: The Daily Princetonian today contains an interesting article headlined "Solomon Amendment ruling will not affect University." The Red and Black reports that "Universities can refuse military recruiting visits." The Cornell Daily Sun contains an article headlined "Solomon Ruling Raises Recruitment Questions" and an editorial entitled "Solomon's Revenge." The Cavalier Daily contains an article headlined "Court recognizes colleges' right to bar military recruiters; Colleges cannot be penalized for barring military recruitment due to discrimination against homosexuals" and an editorial entitled "Discrimination in the ranks." And The Yale Daily News contains an editorial entitled "Ruling on JAG recruiters is a victory for Yale."

In off-campus coverage, The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania today contains an article headlined "Military recruitment ruling unlikely to affect area colleges; Officials say armed forces' representatives can visit the campus." And The News-Press of Fort Myers, Florida today contains an editorial entitled "Ruling hurts U.S. military in wartime."
Posted at 10:00 by Howard Bashman



"Pot and Federal Power": This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:55 by Howard Bashman



"8-1 ruling: All loan disputes not created equally." Today's edition of USA Today contains this article. And Newsday reports today that "Auto loan penalties capped."
Posted at 09:54 by Howard Bashman



"Justices debate coach's case; At issue is how gender bias laws are enforced": This article appears today in The Birmingham News. David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that "Justices Weigh Gender Equity Law; The question is whether coaches and teachers who think girls aren't getting equal treatment can sue to enforce antidiscrimination laws." Michael McGough of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "Justices hear challenge from coach on Title IX."

In other coverage, USA Today reports that "Court weighs whether law covers fired coach; Ala. high school employee seeks damages under Title IX." The Hartford Courant reports that "High Court Hears Title IX Case; Coach's Complaint Of Retaliatory Firing Appears To Create Split." And The Orlando Sentinel contains an article headlined "Fair play for girls? Supreme Court case spotlights equality in school sports."
Posted at 09:40 by Howard Bashman



"Truth And Lending Act": Today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained this segment (RealPlayer required) in which Nina Totenberg reports on yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 09:30 by Howard Bashman



"Getting ready for Court fight: Right and left prepare for knock-down drag-out over next Supreme nominee." The Hill contains this article today.
Posted at 09:28 by Howard Bashman



"Gay book ban goal of state lawmaker": This article appears today in The Birmingham News.
Posted at 09:21 by Howard Bashman



In news from Utah: In coverage of this ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued yesterday, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "Court sends Tribune case back to Utah; Decision reversed: The 10th Circuit rules that a disputed final appraisal of the paper doesn't amount to arbitration," while The Deseret Morning News reports that "Appeals court ruling to gain ex-Trib managers new hearings; Former owners get 2nd chance to fight appraisal."

In other news, The Deseret Morning News reports that "Utah top court disbars Harding for drug use; State's first judge ousted for that transgression," while The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "Utah Supreme Court strips disgraced judge of law license."

Finally, a federal courtroom in Salt Lake City provided a bit too much excitement yesterday, The Deseret Morning News reports in an article headlined "Brawl erupts in courtroom; Defendants start scuffle after strictures imposed." And The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "Suspects, marshals scuffle in court; Melee: The alleged white supremacists got physical after a judge cut off visits and calls."
Posted at 09:10 by Howard Bashman



"High Court High Anxiety: The Supreme Court's medical-marijuana case could send federalism up in smoke." Jonathan H. Adler has this essay today at National Review Online.
Posted at 09:04 by Howard Bashman



"Military recruiters banned; Harvard reinstates policy in response to court decision": This article appears today in The Boston Globe. And The Harvard Crimson reports today that "HLS Bans Military." I discussed this development last night in a post that can be accessed here.
Posted at 06:15 by Howard Bashman



"Retaliation at Issue in Discrimination Case": Linda Greenhouse has this report today in The New York Times.
Posted at 06:11 by Howard Bashman







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