Saturday, August 30, 2008
"Republicans in California Assembly fail to block plan to upgrade courthouses; GOP lawmakers criticize state Chief Justice Ronald George for his rulings on gay marriage and parole for murderers": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman
"UCLA accused of illegal admissions practices; A professor resigns as an admissions committee member, saying the university is factoring race into acceptance decisions, a violation of state law": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman
"November Ballots Include Abortion Issues; South Dakota's Initiative Would Ban the Procedure, Except in Certain Cases": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 05:18 PM by Howard Bashman
"Affirmative-action foes give up on 2008 ballot": Today in The Arizona Daily Star, Howard Fischer has an article that begins, "Backers of a plan to constitutionally ban government affirmative action programs in the state gave up Friday in their legal efforts to get on the ballot."
"Figure in Clinton Impeachment Is Named to Florida Supreme Court": This article appeared yesterday in The New York Times.
The Ledger of Lakeland, Florida reported yesterday that "Lakeland's Canady Rises To High Court; Judge is one of Florida's most conservative voices."
The Miami Herald reported yesterday that "Canady chosen for high court; Gov. Charlie Crist selected ex-congressman Charles Canady for Florida's Supreme Court, the first of four appointments Crist will make to the court in the coming months."
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported yesterday that "Gov. Charlie Crist picks his first Supreme Court justice."
The Palm Beach Post reported yesterday that "Lakeland judge fills Supreme Court seat."
"Buckley Satire Throws the Book at the High Court; Christopher Buckley's new book presents an unlikely justice": law.com's Tony Mauro has this report.
"Family of Bonds's Trainer Feeling More Pressure": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Federal authorities are considering criminal charges against both the wife and the mother-in-law of Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds's former personal trainer, in an effort to pressure Anderson to testify against Bonds, according to a lawyer for Anderson's wife and other people with knowledge of the case."
In commentary available online from FindLaw: Vikram David Amar has an essay entitled "An Important Upcoming Supreme Court Case Raises Questions About Both the Fourth Amendment and the Weight of Precedent."
And Edward Lazarus has an essay entitled "A New York Times Study of the Effect of Partisan Selection of Immigration Judges Illustrates Why Vetting Works, and Why Ideology Matters."
"Despite legal troubles, Kent has no plans to leave bench; Federal judge will hear cases while he's facing sex abuse charges": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.
"Veep Nominee Palin and the Exxon Valdez Case": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bush Seeks to Affirm a Continuing War on Terror": Eric Lichtblau has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman
Friday, August 29, 2008
"Real Trouble: A federal judge's behavior could move the line between judicial freedom and misconduct." Terry Carter will have this profile of U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real of the Central District of California in the September 2008 Issue of ABA Journal magazine.
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"Opinion of 'Bible bill' is up for interpretation; Both sides of the Scripture-in-school dispute say Abbott backed them up": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was supposed to settle a dispute over whether public schools must offer a course in Biblical study, but his opinion Thursday created more confusion."
Mad cow in the D.C. Circuit: A divided three-judge panel issued this decision today.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman
"U.S. Court Upholds Dismissal of KPMG Tax Indictments": Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "A U.S. appeals court upheld a judge's decision to throw out the indictment of 13 former KPMG LLP executives for tax-fraud after finding federal prosecutors violated their constitutional right to legal counsel."
Reuters reports that "Court upholds dismissal of charges in KPMG case."
The Associated Press reports that "Dismissal upheld in KPMG case."
law.com reports that "2nd Circuit Upholds End of Cases Against Former KPMG Employees."
And today's edition of The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "White-Collar Justice."
Meanwhile, in related coverage, The New York Times reports today that "U.S. Lifts a Policy in Corporate Crime Cases."
And USA Today reports that "Justice can't ask firms to waive legal privilege; Guidelines rein in Enron era practices."
"U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent indicted in sex case": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle, along with articles headlined "Accusations bring Kent a different kind of notoriety" and "Prosecutors face task of offsetting aura of authority." In addition, columnist Rick Casey has an op-ed entitled "Judging the judges who judged Kent." The newspaper has posted the indictment online at this link.
The Galveston County Daily News reports today that "Indicted Judge Kent 'ready' to fight, lawyer says."
The Associated Press reports that "Federal judge indicted on sex abuse charges."
And Texas Lawyer has an article headlined "Kent Indicted: Lawyer Says Judge 'Angry and Ready for the Fight.'"
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a news release titled "U.S. District Court Judge Charged With Attempted Aggravated Sexual Abuse and Abusive Sexual Contact."
"Obama's Job No. 1 Is Halt Court's Rightward Swing": Bloomberg News columnist Ann Woolner has this essay today.
Posted at 09:52 AM by Howard Bashman
Thursday, August 28, 2008
"U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent indicted in sex case": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent was indicted Thursday on charges of abusive sexual contact and aggravated sexual abuse, making him the first federal judge to be charged with federal sex crimes and the first in Texas to be indicted in recent history."
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"Federal court in Ohio OKs 1912 'gold' lease clause": The Associated Press provides this report. My earlier coverage of yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
And, as The Vancouver Sun noted earlier this week in an article headlined "A case of conflicting principles that's as good as gold; Judge decides how to split up the booty when the protection of property and protection of commercial transactions collide," gold coins were also recently the subject of a court ruling in Canada.
"Roberts to judge UF court contest": Yesterday's edition of The Gainesville Sun contained an article that begins, "The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court will judge a competition of University of Florida law students on Sept. 5." According to the article, "Chief Justice John Roberts will judge moot court at the Phillips Center. Four law students will write briefs and make oral arguments in a fictional case on the Constitutionality of anti-abortion license plates."
And The National Law Journal provides a news update headlined "Chief justice to judge Florida Law moot court competition."
"Mexican Supreme Court upholds legal abortion": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Mexico's Supreme Court voted 8-3 Thursday to uphold legal abortion in the capital, opening the possibility that similar measures could be adopted elsewhere in Mexico - and perhaps beyond."
Reuters reports that "Mexico's top court upholds abortion law."
Agence France-Presse reports that "Mexico's Supreme Court upholds capital's abortion law."
And The Guardian (UK) provides a news update headlined "Court backs Mexico City's free abortion law; Absolute right to terminate pregnancy up to 12 weeks has sparked national debate on longstanding taboo."
"2nd Circuit Appears Skeptical of Validity of Patriot Act's National Security Letters": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"Ohio Judge, 82, Sees History's 'Spark' in Obama's Nomination": Bloomberg News provides this report about retired Sixth Circuit Judge Nathaniel R. Jones.
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
"Al-Arian Files Habeas for Release": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun has this news update.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman
Recently on C-SPAN's "America and the Courts": This past Saturday's broadcast was titled "Panel on the American Press in Times of War." C-SPAN has also made the entire panel presentation available for viewing at this link.
And the broadcast from two Saturdays ago was titled "Linda Greenhouse, Former New York Times Supreme Court Reporter."
Reviews of Christopher Buckley's forthcoming novel "Supreme Courtship": The Associated Press has a review headlined "Judge Judy on the Supreme Court? Buckley's latest political satire is breezy and delightful."
Monday in The New York Times, Janet Maslin had a review of the book headlined "A Texas Babe to Join the Brethren (Any Dissenting Opinions?)"
"Dissent upsets high court; Majority stifled fellow justice's opinion, only to OK it after media calls, Diaz says": This article appeared last Saturday in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman
"Wyoming loses gun case in federal court": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court in Denver has ruled that a Wyoming state law that seeks to allow people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to regain their gun rights fails to meet federal requirements. A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that the procedure spelled out in Wyoming law actually fails to expunge the criminal record of people convicted of domestic violence."
In response to the ruling, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has today issued a news release headlined "Brady Center Hails Court Ruling Blocking Domestic Abusers From Getting Guns."
"Judge fears secret hearings over Guantanamo Bay": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:21 PM by Howard Bashman
"Exxon Valdez settlement checks could be distributed in October; Partial agreement reached in long case": The Anchorage Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers in the epic Exxon Valdez court case have negotiated a settlement to pay out most of the $507.5 million the U.S. Supreme Court awarded in June, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs confirmed Tuesday."
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman
"Top Mexico court shows support for abortion law": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court indicated Wednesday it will uphold a Mexico City law allowing abortion that has divided the country. Four of the 11 Supreme Court justices said during deliberations that they would vote against declaring the law unconstitutional. Eight votes would be needed to strike it down."
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman
Not an erotic dancing opinion, but nevertheless worth a look: An opinion in a case captioned 216 Jamaica Avenue v. S & R Playhouse has perhaps a better than average chance at involving erotic entertainment, but alas that proved not to be the case with regard to this decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued today.
Yet the opinion remains of interest because the decision considers the enforceability of a contractual provision, contained in a lease executed in 1911, stating that "[a]ll of said rents shall be paid in gold coin of the United States of the present standard of weight and fineness." The trial court had held that the provision was unenforceable. But today, in an opinion by Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, the Sixth Circuit reaches the opposite conclusion.
"Bush steps up fight over congressional authority": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Bush administration is raising the stakes in a court fight that could change the balance of power between the White House and Congress. Justice Department lawyers said Wednesday that they will soon ask a federal appeals court not to force the president's top advisers to comply with congressional subpoenas next month. President Bush argues Congress doesn't have the authority to demand information from his aides."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman
Retrospective programming note: No posts appeared here after 4 p.m. yesterday because my son and I last night were at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to watch the Phillies host the New York Mets. You can access the box score at this link, while wraps are available here and here.
With the Phillies on the road this weekend in Chicago, the next baseball game that my son and I will be attending will be this Sunday's game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., where the Nationals will host the Atlanta Braves. Some readers may recall that we made our first trek down to that new ballpark earlier this year, on Memorial Day weekend.
"Judge Allows No Delay of Miers's Testimony About Fired Prosecutors": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.
Nudists in court battle in California: According to an article headlined "Nudists Want State to Look the Other Way" published today in The New York Times, the dispute concerns "a remote patch of San Onofre State Beach, where birthday suits far outnumber bathing ones."
In the very unlikely event that the dispute reaches the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the nudists are reminded that they must wear at least a necktie if arguing the case pro se.
"The Myth of Biden v. Bork": In today's issue of The New York Times, Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen has an op-ed that begins, "When Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands on the podium in Denver tonight as Barack Obama's vice presidential nominee, conservatives of a certain age will see a bogeyman who, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, presided over the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman
"Federal obscenity case, filed 5 years ago, has stalled": Today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Paula Reed Ward has an article that begins, "In August 2003, the U.S. attorney's office in Pittsburgh made national headlines by filing obscenity charges against a California company that makes graphic pornography. At the time, many saw the case against Extreme Associates as a prelude of things to come under then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. But in the five years since, the case has languished. There had been no entries in the case docket since Aug. 17, 2007, until a reporter called the judge's chambers last week to inquire about the case." (Via "LawBeat").
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman
"Review shows Biden's 'intersection of interests' on bill; Opposed measure to cut down on asbestos lawsuits": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"FBI Accused Of Violating 1st Amendment": Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein has an article that begins, "The American Civil Liberties Union today will ask an appeals court in Manhattan to rule that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's use of so-called national security letters violates the First Amendment."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
"Ohio man sentenced for writing racial hate letters": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A man who wrote hundreds of hateful letters to black and mixed race men -- including Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter -- was sentenced Tuesday to three years and 10 months in prison."
And The Cleveland Plain Dealer provides a news update headlined "Writer of racist threats sentenced to nearly four years."
"Mexico City abortion law in supreme court battle": Agence France-Presse provides this report.
"Feds push child-porn cases; penalty can be years in prison": Howard Mintz had this article in Sunday's edition of The San Jose Mercury News (via "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog).
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman
"U.S. seeks clarity on Rapanos ruling": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 12:07 PM by Howard Bashman
"Vetted Judges More Likely to Reject Asylum Bids": In Sunday's edition of The New York Times, Charlie Savage had an article that begins, "Immigrants seeking asylum in the United States have been disproportionately rejected by judges whom the Bush administration chose using a conservative political litmus test, according to an analysis of Justice Department data."
"Calif. High Court Surprises by Expanding Arbitration Review": law.com provides a report that begins, "Reversing three state appellate rulings and possibly running afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court, California's high court on Monday expanded trial court judges' power to review arbitration decisions."
"Bonds' lawyers move to dismiss 10 charges": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Lance Williams has an article that begins, "Barry Bonds' legal team took a second run Monday at paring back the indictment facing the former Giants' slugger, who is accused of lying to a federal grand jury about whether he used steroids."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman
"Law School Rankings Reviewed to Deter 'Gaming'": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Amir Efrati has a front page article that begins, "The most widely watched ranking of U.S. law schools may move to stop an increasingly popular practice: schools gaming the system by channeling lower-scoring applicants into part-time programs that don't count in the rankings."
"Typo vigilantes answer to letter of the law; Crusaders whited-out, corrected historic Canyon sign": Last Friday's edition of The Arizona Republic contained an article that begins, "Two self-anointed 'grammar vigilantes' who toured the nation removing typos from public signs have been banned from national parks after vandalizing a historic marker at the Grand Canyon. Jeff Michael Deck, 28, of Somerville, Mass., and Benjamin Douglas Herson, 28, of Virginia Beach, Va., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Flagstaff after damaging a rare, hand-painted sign in Grand Canyon National Park. They were sentenced to a year's probation, during which they cannot enter any national park, and were ordered to pay restitution. According to court records, Deck and Herson toured the United States from March to May, wiping out errors on government and private signs. On March 28, while at Desert View Watchtower on the South Rim, they used a white-out product and a permanent marker to deface a sign painted more than 60 years ago by artist Mary Colter. The sign, a National Historic Landmark, was considered unique and irreplaceable, according to Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix."
And in other coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Men banned from national parks after vandalism."
Back on March 28, 2008, The Boston Globe profiled the men and their mission in an article headlined "On the road looking for typos; Grammar-conscious pals set signs straight."
Monday, August 25, 2008
"Paw prints in judge's office spell end for masked bandit": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "The judge took it in with a swift look -- the papers in disarray; the remainders of what the thief had left; footprints leading away from the scene. Analysts came. They photographed the scene, took an inventory of missing goods, and agreed: a bandit had breached security at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building. No longer. Authorities trapped the bandit Monday morning as he prowled in the ceiling above offices where judges dispense justice. Now, extradition awaits the masked intruder, a young raccoon."
And The Associated Press reports that "Raccoon's courthouse crime spree ends with capture."
The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Bonds seeks dismissal of most of criminal case"; "Leaking battery forces D.C. courthouse evacuation"; "Gay marriage foes mobilize for ban in California"; and "Ban on unmarried adoptions cleared for Ark. ballot."
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman
"Union members have right to picket malls, court rules": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "California shopping malls can't prohibit union members from carrying picket signs, standing on sidewalks or picketing during the peak holiday season, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned restrictions on picketing imposed by a company that manages shopping centers in Santa Cruz and Sacramento."
Welcome back, readers! I'm pleased to report that my family and I had a wonderful time visiting the Galapagos Islands last week. Thanks to Lindblad Expeditions for a tremendously exciting and informative vacation. Among those on the boat with us were a former employee of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts who had worked on court rule revision issues. Also on the trip was a school teacher in the Louisville public school system who had an interesting perspective on the U.S. Supreme Court's recent race-based school assignment ruling. Coincidentally, the teacher resides close to the home of Sixth Circuit Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs.
Although we were supposed to arrive home early this morning, so-called "crew legalities" -- namely, the rule that pilots must have ten hours' rest after a day of work -- prevented our flight from Guayaquil, Ecuador from departing on time to Miami on Sunday morning, meaning that we missed our connection last night to Philadelphia. Instead, we arrived home this evening.
After flying from the Galapagos Islands to mainland Ecuador midday this past Saturday, my family and I that evening toured the must-see riverfront development in Guayaquil known as the Malecon followed by a very tasty dinner at El Caracol Azul. Taxi service in Guayaquil is very inexpensive, and gasoline prices are under two dollars per gallon. (Although Ecuador has adopted the metric system for most purposes, gasoline is still measured in gallons at the pump.)
My wife (the best photographer in our family) took hundreds of photos during our trip, and once she has had a chance to select some of the best, I will post a few images from our Galapagos journey here at "How Appealing." My principal reading material on vacation was Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner's book "How Judges Think," allowing Judge Posner to visit the Galapagos in thought if not in body. In any event, now that I have read nearly all of the book, I can confidently recommend it highly to others who are interested in appellate theory.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Programming note: Tomorrow morning, my wife, son, and I will embark on a ten-day vacation to the fabled birthplace of the Phillie Phanatic.
While I am away, "How Appealing" will not be updated. You may wish, during my absence, to visit one or more of these links in the hope of finding similar content:
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"Supreme Court justice defends self at hearing": In news from Texas, The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, appearing before the Texas Ethics Commission, defended himself Thursday against allegations he broke campaign finance laws by accepting discounted legal fees to fight an abuse of office complaint."
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman
Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Cybersex Patent Case Leads to Bad Vibes Between Firm, Client."
In other news, "Steinbeck Descendants Lose Bid to Renegotiate Publishing Rights." My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
And an article reports that "2nd Circuit Sets Standard for Anonymous Suit Filings." My earlier coverage of Tuesday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
"Cozen O'Connor dealt blow in 9/11 lawsuit": The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a news update that begins, "An ambitious lawsuit by the Philadelphia firm of Cozen O'Connor blaming the government of Saudi Arabia for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was dealt a sharp setback today when a federal appeals court ruled that the desert kingdom could not be sued for acts of terrorism."
Newsday has a news update headlined "Court: Saudi princes can't be sued for 9/11 attacks."
And Reuters reports that "U.S. court rules Saudi Arabia immune in 9/11 case."
Fifth Circuit denies habeas relief to Texas death row inmate who claims that jurors improperly considered passages from the Bible during the sentencing phase of their deliberations: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 10:07 PM by Howard Bashman
The Associated Press is reporting: An article is headlined "Appeals court in NYC will rehear torture case." My earlier coverage of Tuesday's Second Circuit order can be accessed here.
And in other news, "Appeals court orders Cuban militant to stand trial." You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.
"Judge bans general from Guantanamo trial role": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has this news update.
"In Extremely Rare Occurence Court Moves to Rehear Case of Canadian Rendition Victim Maher Arar; Court Acted Sua Sponte, Deciding to Revisit June Decision Against Arar Before Being Asked": The Center for Constitutional Rights today has issued a press release that begins, "The Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an extremely rare order that the case of Canadian rendition victim Maher Arar would be heard en banc by all of the active judges on the Second Circuit on December 9, 2008. For the court to issue the order sua sponte, that is, of its own accord without either party submitting papers requesting a rehearing, is even more rare."
"Court: Saudi Arabia not liable in Sept. 11 attacks." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court has ruled that Saudi Arabia and four of its princes cannot be held liable in the Sept. 11 attacks. The appeals court issued the ruling Thursday, saying the Saudi defendants are protected by sovereign immunity. It also agreed with a lower court that a Saudi banker and a charitable organization cannot be held liable."
"State top court to review medical pot limit": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman
"Justice at Justice: Attorney General Mukasey has the only appropriate response to politicized hirings." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman
"Court backs Houston smog plan; Panel rejects claim EPA rules are too lenient": The Houston Chronicle contains this article today.
"Miami fights to shutter house where online porn is filmed; Miami's yearlong quest to close down a house used by an adult website has prompted a federal court battle -- while the site continues to operate": This article appeared yesterday in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman
Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald is reporting: In today's newspaper, she has articles headlined "It's general vs. general at Guantanamo war court; An Army general testified against an Air Force general in a military lawyer's bid to get charges dismissed against a Guantanamo captive" and "Clooney buys rights for bin Laden driver's story; The story of Osama bin Laden's driver Salim Hamdan was bought by actor George Clooney's production company."
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman
"The ABA Plots a Judicial Coup: The lawyers want to run their own 'merit selection.'" This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman
"Ruling Is a Victory for Supporters of Free Software": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A legal dispute involving model railroad hobbyists has resulted in a major courtroom victory for the free software movement also known as open-source software. In a ruling Wednesday, the federal appeals court in Washington said that just because a software programmer gave his work away did not mean it could not be protected."
"Fix to Patent Judge Appointment Procedure": Adam Liptak has this newsbrief today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman
"Georgia plea for water goes to Supreme Court; State seeks to reverse an appeals court decision in February that nullified the Army Corps' OK of increased withdrawals from Lake Lanier": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Georgia asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to overturn a February ruling that said the state needs congressional approval to use more water from Lake Lanier to supply the fast-growing Atlanta area. Lanier, which provides most of Atlanta's water, is at the heart of a nearly two-decade water feud between Georgia, Florida and Alabama."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman
"Jury deciding battle over school system's flag ban; Anderson teen sued after attire led to suspension": Today's issue of The Knoxville News Sentinel contains an article that begins, "'This case is about much more than Tom Defoe.' That statement by Defoe's attorney Wednesday was the one thing on which he and his courtroom opponent agree in the legal battle over the Anderson County school system's quarter-century-old ban on the display of the Confederate flag. It was 18-year-old Defoe who was suspended from Anderson County High School in 2006 after repeatedly refusing, albeit politely, to take off or cover a T-shirt and belt buckle bearing the Rebel battle flag."
"Court urged to ignore Manchin brief in DuPont smelter appeal": This article appears today in The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette.
The Associated Press reports that "Manchin, DuPont met over appeal of $196M verdict."
"Ex-inmate helps make Bush nominee 'controversial'": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Had this been like most nominations for federal judgeships, the chief lawyer with Corrections Corporation of America might have been packing up his office and heading for the courthouse by now. But a determined opponent - a former prisoner at a Corrections Corporation of America facility in Clifton, Tenn. - has worked tirelessly to see that would not happen. And he may have succeeded."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman
"Battle over gun rights -- Round 2: Handgun bans under fire after high court's ruling; Oak Park, Ill., fights back." Warren Richey has this front page article today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
"Adviser to Guantanamo trials faces more criticism": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"Advisor Says Obama Would Consider Changes To Judicial Nominations Process": Lawrence Hurley of The Daily Journal of California has this post today at his "Washington Briefs" blog.
Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"In Defense of Looseness: The Supreme Court and gun control." Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner has this essay in the August 27, 2008 issue of The New Republic.
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman
"Fincher asserts that the district court erred by not allowing the jury to determine whether his possession of firearms was reasonably related to a well regulated militia and therefore protected by the Second Amendment." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit today issued this opinion, in an appeal in which the defendant argued that the Second Amendment allowed him to possess, without a license, both a machine gun and a sawed-off shotgun.
Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman
"We consider here the ability of a copyright holder to dedicate certain work to free public use and yet enforce an 'open source' copyright license to control the future distribution and modification of that work." So begins an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued today.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"Plaintiffs' Lawyers Fight Restrictions On Product-Liability Suits": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman
"Appeals court reverses Steinbeck copyrights ruling": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court has reversed a ruling that awarded John Steinbeck's son and granddaughter publishing rights to 10 of the author's early works, including 'The Grapes of Wrath.'"
"Mukasey won't pursue charges in Justice Department hiring scandal; The abuses that took place under Alberto R. Gonzales violated civil service rules but were not crimes, the attorney general says": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Today in The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that "Mukasey Will Encourage Rejected Job Seekers To Reapply."
"Plame loses appeal of suit against Cheney over leak": The Washington Times contains this article today.
And Bloomberg News reports that "Cheney, Rove, Libby Win Plame Suit Dismissal Appeal."
"Search and Replace: Congress needs to set the rules for how border agents can delve into travelers' laptops." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman
"'Rogues' and Humpty Dumpty Judges": Thomas R. Eddlem, the so-called "rogue juror" featured in this Boston Globe article from Sunday, has this essay at LewRockwell.com.
"Files Show Governor Intervened With Court": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "When Gov. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia filed a friend-of-the-court brief in June arguing that the State Supreme Court should review a $382 million judgment against the DuPont Company, he said he was not taking sides, but acting in the interest of due process. Documents from the governor's office, however, show that Mr. Manchin had consulted with the company before filing the brief, and DuPont officials say the governor even asked them to provide him with a draft brief."
Posted at 09:23 AM by Howard Bashman
"War court resumes, readies Canadian's trial": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has this report.
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman
"Halverson ousted; Miley top vote-getter; Incumbents Walsh, Mosley advance": The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains an article that begins, "While the Judicial Discipline Commission weighs the fate of embattled District Judge Elizabeth Halverson, voters delivered their own verdict Tuesday, deciding Halverson must go. Halverson, who faces complaints of falling asleep on the bench and harassing her staff, received less than 10 percent of the vote, trailing opponents Stefany Miley and Jason Landess, who will move to the general election in November."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman
"Devices for Lawyers: Democrats versus Justices Breyer, Souter and Stevens." Today's edition of The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial that begins, "The tort bar's political work is never done, especially in Congress. Consider the Medical Safety Device Act, introduced this summer in both the House and Senate to overturn the Supreme Court's sensible 8-1 ruling earlier this year in Riegel v. Medtronic."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"Women Battling Infertility Find a Friend in the Court": Today in The Wall Street Journal, columnist Sue Shellenbarger has an essay that begins, "For women struggling with infertility, the unpredictable and time-consuming treatment process can wreak havoc with work schedules, causing conflicts with bosses and triggering reprisals or layoffs. Now, a federal appeals court has come down on the side of women, fortifying legal protections on the job."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman
"What Goes Around Comes Around for State Supreme Court Candidate": law.com provides a report that begins, "A Florida Supreme Court candidate will spend this afternoon being interviewed by the same state panel he attempted to circumvent while serving as a top aide to Gov. Jeb Bush."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman
"Should State Attorneys General Use Private Law Firms to Pursue Civil Suits? An Appeal to the California Supreme Court Raises This Hot-Button Issue." Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
"Judge says UC can deny class credit to Christian school students": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "A federal judge says the University of California can deny course credit to applicants from Christian high schools whose textbooks declare the Bible infallible and reject evolution."
The University of California issued this press release in response to the ruling.
You can access last Friday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California at this link.
"Justice at Gitmo: Releasing Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the former driver for Osama bin Laden, after he has served his time is the right thing; It's also smart policy." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman
"'Unabomber' Objects to Cabin's Use in Newseum Display": The Washington Post provides this news update.
The Associated Press reports that "Unabomber objects to cabin display at Newseum."
"The Smoking Gun" web site offers an item headlined "Kaczynski Angered By Predatory Home Loan; Unabomber raps feds for allowing cabin's display at D.C. museum."
And the Newseum today issued a press release headlined "Unabomber Ted Kaczynski Protests Newseum Exhibit." You can take an online tour of the Unabomber's cabin via this link.
"Juror's challenge raises legal issue": This article appeared Sunday in The Boston Globe.
According to the article, "To a casual observer, the question in the Boston courtroom might merely have been the musing of a juror with some knowledge of American history. But US District Court Judge William G. Young said the note and others that followed represented something he had never seen in 30 years as a judge: a rogue juror challenging the legitimacy of a criminal law used to prosecute a defendant. Young was so alarmed by the actions of Thomas R. Eddlem, a 42-year-old technology coordinator at a Catholic high school and former John Birch Society official, that he recently wrote a 43-page memorandum plumbing the history of 'jury nullification' and how it threatens democracy."
"To rule and rescue": This past Saturday's edition of The Santa Fe New Mexican contained an article that begins, "Two of federal appellate Judge Paul J. Kelly's favorite things to do are play golf and dash in and out of burning buildings."
In July 2004, Tenth Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly participated in this blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" feature. You can read his interview at this link.
"Attorney general sees systemic partisanship in Justice hiring": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.
The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Mukasey Won't Pursue Charges in Hiring Inquiry."
The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Illegally Rejected Justice Dept. Applicants May Get Another Look."
The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Mukasey: No prosecutions in Justice hiring scandal."
Reuters reports that "Mukasey rules out prosecutions from hiring scandal."
And Bloomberg News reports that "Aides in U.S. Hiring Scandal Won't Be Prosecuted, Mukasey Says."
"South Dakota Vote Draws Attention": The Wall Street Journal today contains an article that begins, "Two years after a strict abortion ban here was overturned by voters, backers have brought a similar measure -- but one laced with complexities that could bode well for its passage, and ultimately could bring about the challenge to Roe v. Wade desired by abortion foes nationwide."
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman
"No decision on Exxon Valdez interest payments": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court has declined to decide whether Exxon Mobil Corp. must pay interest to victims of the nation's worst oil spill that would roughly double the $507 million judgment the high court approved in June. In a brief order Tuesday, the court said the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, should decide the matter of interest arising from the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster."
Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Exxon Valdez Interest Issue Left Unresolved by Court."
And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court declines to rule on Exxon interest."
"This appeal presents questions of first impression for our Court: (1) Under what circumstances may a plaintiff file a complaint using a pseudonym? and (2) What standard governs our review of a district court's decision to permit or deny a request to file under a pseudonym?" A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued this decision addressing those questions in a case captioned Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant #1.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"US court won't resurrect lawsuit in CIA leak case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court has refused to resurrect a lawsuit that former CIA operative Valerie Plame brought against members of the Bush administration."
"F.B.I.'s Use of Phone Records Shows Need to Protect the Press, Senators Say": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman
"In Guantanamo, Locals Adapt to Life With an Unwelcome Neighbor": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman
"In U.S., Expert Witnesses Are Partisan": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has this article, the latest in his "American Exception" series.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman
"James takes a step to appeal conviction; But his filing says he'll represent himself": Today's edition of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains an article that begins, "Former Newark mayor Sharpe James has filed a notice that he intends to appeal his corruption conviction, but in an unusual twist, his court papers say he's now representing himself."
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"Gay marriage ruling secures chief justice's legacy": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "California Chief Justice Ronald George has spent more than half his life cultivating an image of a cautious jurist and earning a reputation as a politically skilled court administrator. But his unlikely legacy as gay rights pioneer was sealed May 15, when he heard the roar of a crowd gathered below his office as his majority decision legalizing same-sex marriage was announced."
"Federal Judge Wants Fewer Capital Cases": The New York Sun today contains an article that begins, "A sitting federal judge who is working on a book is calling on the Justice Department to ease off in pursuing the federal death penalty in New York City cases. Speaking at an American Bar Association event yesterday, the judge, Frederic Block of U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, criticized the government for spending millions of dollars in pursuit of death sentences and ignoring what he said were New Yorkers' views on capital punishment. Washington often seeks death sentences when it has virtually no chance of success, he said, sometimes even over the objections of the local U.S. attorneys tasked with prosecuting the cases."
As for the book, the article's final paragraph states, "At yesterday's panel, Judge Block distributed an excerpt from a book he is writing about the death penalty and other issues in the judicial system."
"If the Government Plans to Hold Salim Hamdan Indefinitely, Despite His Sixty-Six Month Sentence, What Was the Point of Putting Him on Trial?" Michael C. Dorf has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman
Monday, August 11, 2008
"The Economics of Gay Marriage": Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner has this post at "The Becker-Posner Blog."
"Tiffany appeals eBay counterfeiting decision": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:07 PM by Howard Bashman
"A profile in power: U.S. Judge Amy St. Eve; Rezko judge is a big punch in small package." This profile of U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve of the Northern District of Illinois appeared yesterday in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via WSJ.com's "Law Blog").
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"In this appeal, we are asked to determine the unusual question whether dogs are 'livestock.'" The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued this opinion addressing that question.
The opinion's opening paragraph concludes, "Despite a gut inclination that the answer might be 'no,' resolution of the issue is not so clear, thus precluding summary judgment at this stage of the proceeding. As it turns out, the term 'livestock' is ambiguous at best and much broader than the traditional categories of horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs."
"We are called on to decide whether attorney misconduct towards clients, involving violations of rules of professional conduct binding on the attorney, requires forfeiture of the attorneys' fees paid to them when, after all righteous furor is vented, the fees were eminently reasonable for the result produced." So begins the majority opinion that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman
On this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts": The broadcast featured Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's remarks at the recent Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. You can view last Saturday's broadcast by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman
"Juror: Hamdan Didn't Seem Like Al-Qaida Warrior." This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
"Supreme Court grabbed more power in recent term": Law Professor John Yoo had this op-ed yesterday in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman
"Driver's trial gave courtroom firsts; The first terrorist convicted at trial by military commission was also the first man acquitted of a war crime": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
And today's edition of USA Today contains an editorial entitled "Best face of a flawed system: Split verdict in Hamdan case shows trial neither model nor debacle." In addition, Kenneth Roth has an op-ed entitled "A failed 'experiment': Commissions' unfair rules deliver a shaky verdict rather than justice."
"Santeria priest won't let religious freedom be sacrificed; Ernesto Pichardo, co-founder of the first incorporated Santeria church in the nation, files a lawsuit stemming from a police raid during a worship ritual in 2007": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman
"Social Initiatives on State Ballots Could Draw Attention to Presidential Race": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "Divisive social issues will be on the ballot in several states in November, including constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage in Arizona, California and Florida, and limitations on abortion in California, Colorado and South Dakota."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman
In commentary available online from FindLaw: Marci Hamilton has an essay entitled "In Colorado Christian University v. Weaver, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Adopts the Incorrect Theory that Religious Individuals Are Entitled to Exemptions from Generally Applicable Laws."
And John W. Dean has an essay entitled "Judge Bates Slams the Bush White House's Claims of Congressional Immunity: Why There May Be No Consequences for the White House, Despite the Clear Ruling."
"Expert Panel Debates What Presidential Candidates Should be Saying About Judicial Selection": You can view video of the program, from the American Bar Association's 131st annual meeting in New York City, by clicking here.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman
"Hamdan Jury Felt Evidence Didn't Back U.S. Claim; Sentence Wasn't Verdict on Tribunals, Juror Explains": Jess Bravin has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 12:18 AM by Howard Bashman
Sunday, August 10, 2008
"War Crimes System Is Still on Trial": This news analysis appears today in The New York Times. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The United States v. the Driver."
Today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has an article headlined "Driver's sentence perplexed press room."
And The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "Trial by Tribunal: Osama bin Laden's driver should be freed."
"Reduce partisan fight over judges, lawyers urge": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has this report.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman
The ABA Journal's blog covers the ABA Annual Meeting: You can access posts titled "Scalia: Legal Writing Doesn't Exist" and "Ken Starr, Drew Days Discuss Revealing Supreme Court Term."
Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman
"Former Nichols judge critical of DA": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "The former judge in the Brian Nichols' murder trial, Hilton Fuller, said Saturday that prosecutors share the blame with defense attorneys for all the delays and millions of dollars spent in the case."
And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has an article headlined "Judge: Prosecutors drove costs of Ga. capital case."
Saturday, August 9, 2008
"Homeschooling OK, appeals court says": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A state appeals court lifted the cloud it had cast on the homeschooling of 166,000 California children and ruled Friday that parents have a right to educate their children at home even if they lack a teaching credential."
And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Parents may home-school children without teaching credential, California court says; Gov. Schwarzenegger praises the reversal by the 2nd District Court of Appeal as a victory for students and parental rights."
You can access Friday's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District at this link.
"Detainee May Not Go Free After Sentence; U.S. Still Might Hold Hamdan as 'Combatant'": Sunday's edition of The Washington Post will contain this front page article.
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman
"Birth Control Fears Addressed; HHS Chief Says Draft Rule Is Not Redefining Abortion": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:52 PM by Howard Bashman
"Prosecutors Clear Hatfill in Anthrax Case": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman
"With Fewer Terror Trials, Manhattan Court Quiets Down": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:48 PM by Howard Bashman
"The Supreme Court Can't Ignore the Facts: Their decision on child rape must be reconsidered." Stuart A. Smith has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 11:32 PM by Howard Bashman
"What the President Should Look for in a Judicial Nominee": This blog post appears online at the ABA Journal's web site.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Posner versus Easterbrook on litigation challenging the size of mutual fund advisory fees: On May 19, 2008, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued this opinion, written by Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook.
Today, the Seventh Circuit issued this order denying rehearing en banc in the case, accompanied by a dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, in which a total of five judges joined. Six votes were necessary to grant rehearing en banc.
"Ninth Court sides with Snowbowl in San Francisco Peaks dispute": Howard Fischer of The Arizona Daily Star has a news update that begins, "The operators of Snowbowl are entitled to use recycled sewage to make snow on the San Francisco Peaks despite objections of several Native American tribes, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday. In a split decision, the court acknowledged arguments by the tribes that the use of artificial snow will decrease the 'spiritual fulfillment' they get from practicing their religion on the mountain. And the land on which the ski resort is located is owned by the federal government. But Judge Carlos Bea, writing for the majority, said that does not run afoul of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act."
The Arizona Republic has a news update headlined "Snowmaking OK'd at Snowbowl resort."
And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court says snowmaking OK on Ariz. Snowbowl."
Circuit Judge William A. Fletcher's dissenting opinion concludes, "RFRA was passed to protect the exercise of all religions, including the religions of American Indians. If Indians' landbased exercise of religion is not protected by RFRA in this case, I cannot imagine a case in which it will be. I am truly sorry that the majority has effectively read American Indians out of RFRA."
Protecting the right of disabled NASCAR race attendees to see the most exciting parts of those races from their wheelchairs: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this ruling today in a case involving an issue that's already the subject of a circuit split.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman
"For 'Maverick' Federal Judges, Life Tenure Is Largely Unfettered License": Nathan Koppel has this article today in The Wall Street Journal. Non-subscribers to WSJ.com can access the full text of the article via Google News. In addition, the full text of the article also appears online at this link in PDF format.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman
"Reneging on a right: By banning same-sex marriages, Prop. 8 would create second-class citizens." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:52 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bin Laden driver sentenced to 66 months in prison; In a surprise decision, a U.S. military jury sentenced Osama bin Laden's driver to 5 ½ years in prison, knowing that with time served he could be free by New Year's Eve": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Yemeni gets 5 1/2 years in prison; With credit for time already served, Osama bin Laden's driver should complete his sentence by January."
The New York Times reports that "Bin Laden Driver Sentenced to a Short Term."
The Washington Post reports that "Bin Laden Driver Gets 5 1/2 Years; U.S. Sought 30."
In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that "Bin Laden Driver's Sentence Signals Doubts About Cases."
"Hamdan case sets stage for bigger trials at Guantanamo; The partial conviction may give the tribunal system a credibility boost and help the White House reach its goal: trial by year's end for accused Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Shaikh Mohammed." David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman
"Tactic Used After It Was Banned; Detainees at Guantanamo Were Moved Often, Documents Say": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"Texas's Disdain: In carrying out two executions, the state endangers Americans detained abroad." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman
"Bolten, Miers Ask Judge to Delay Order; Aides Continue to Contest Subpoenas": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers yesterday asked a federal judge to delay an order to cooperate with Congress while they appeal the ruling. The court filings indicate that Bolten and Miers will continue to resist subpoenas from the House Judiciary Committee as the Bush administration heads into its final months."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman
"Ford Told FBI of Skeptics on Warren Commission": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman
Pittsburgh-area woman receives no prison time following guilty plea to federal criminal charges of transmitting written obscenities in fictional stories posted to the internet: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "Writer's 'monsters' lead to obscenity sentence."
And today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Jason Cato reports that "Donora woman's child torture stories get her house arrest."
I discussed the case in the October 9, 2006 installment of my "On Appeal" column for law.com, headlined "Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws."
"Study Finds Settling Is Better Than Going to Trial": Today in The New York Times, Jonathan D. Glater has an article that begins, "Note to victims of accidents, medical malpractice, broken contracts and the like: When you sue, make a deal. That is the clear lesson of a soon-to-be-released study of civil lawsuits that has found that most of the plaintiffs who decided to pass up a settlement offer and went to trial ended up getting less money than if they had taken that offer."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman
"What Next for D.C.'s Gun Laws: Congress should intervene to protect the Second Amendment." David B. Kopel and Robert A. Levy have this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman
"Millions of Women Who Had Abortions Don't Know It": Columnist Ann Woolner has this essay online at Bloomberg News.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman
In commentary available online from FindLaw: Sherry F. Colb has an essay entitled "Is Sex a 'Major Life Activity'? Why a Claim of Disability Discrimination Turns on the Answer to this Question."
And Anthony J. Sebok has an essay entitled "Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court Embraces the 'Loss of a Chance' Doctrine: Why This Key Torts Decision May Convince Other State Supreme Courts to Follow Suit."
"Wife of slain judge to get $5.2 million; Fulton payment 'closes another chapter' for Barnes, who lost her husband in '05 courthouse killings": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
And the Fulton County Daily Report reports today that "Wife of Slain Ga. Judge Settles Claims for $5.2 Million."
"In Review of High Court Term, Justice Kennedy Still the Man in the Middle": Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal has this article today at law.com.
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman
Thursday, August 7, 2008
"Court says employers can't limit a departing worker's job future": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "California employers can't limit their employees' right to work for a competitor or solicit former clients after they leave the company, the state Supreme Court ruled today."
"Court clears way for another immigrant's execution": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "For the second time this week, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied an appeal from an illegal immigrant facing execution in Texas. Lawyers for killer Heliberto Chi went to the court Thursday claiming he should have been told he could get legal aid from the Honduran consulate."
"Gitmo jury gives bin Laden driver light sentence": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A military jury gave Osama bin Laden's driver a stunningly lenient sentence on Thursday, making him eligible for release in just five months despite the prosecutors' request for a sentence tough enough to frighten terrorists around the globe. Salim Hamdan's sentence of 5 1/2 years, including five years and a month already served at Guantanamo Bay, fell far short of the 30 years to life that prosecutors wanted. It now goes for mandatory review to a Pentagon official who can shorten the sentence but not extend it."
Reuters reports that "Bin Laden's driver gets 5 1/2 years in prison."
"Court Rejects Attempt to Amend Indictments After Plea Entry": This article appears today in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise.
The article reports on an interesting mandamus ruling that Chief Judge Alex Kozinski issued yesterday on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The Associated Press is reporting: An article reports that "Bin Laden driver to seek leniency from Gitmo jury."
"Kamehameha Schools again being sued over admissions bias; Meanwhile, school sues previous plaintiffs over disclosure of settlement": This article appears today in The Honolulu Advertiser.
Today's edition of The Honolulu Star-Bulletin contains articles headlined "4 challenge racial preference; An attorney for the plaintiffs believes this case could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court" and "Big Island lawsuit focuses on settlement's disclosure."
"Senate Standstill to Let Obama or McCain Tip Balance on Courts": James Rowley of Bloomberg News has a report that begins, "An election-year standstill in Senate confirmation of George W. Bush's judicial nominees will give the next president a chance to tip the ideological balance of U.S. appeals courts that decide such issues as job discrimination, national security and pollution-cleanup disputes. The Democratic-controlled Senate has stopped filling vacancies on appeals courts, which in many respects have greater impact than the Supreme Court. The high court decides about 70 cases each year, while the 13 appellate courts issue thousands of rulings."
The list of future vacancies reveals three additional federal appellate court vacancies that will be occurring in the months ahead. Seventh Circuit Judge Kenneth F. Ripple plans to take senior status on September 1, 2008. D.C. Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph plans to take senior status on November 1, 2008. And Eleventh Circuit Judge R. Lanier Anderson plans to take senior status on January 31, 2009.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
"Three charged in bombing of downtown federal court house": The San Diego Union-Tribune provides this news update. You can access the indictment at this link.
Under the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Georgia v. Randolph, when a wife consents to a police search of the marital home but the husband objects, can the police validly rely on the wife's consent to search after the husband is arrested and taken to jail? A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued this decision today.
Circuit Judge Diane S. Sykes wrote the majority opinion, in which Senior Circuit Judge Daniel A. Manion joined. According to the majority's holding, the husband's objection to the search no longer precluded a valid search based solely on the wife's consent once the husband had been arrested and taken from the scene.
Circuit Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner dissented. Her dissenting opinion begins:
There is one and only one reason that this case is not on all fours with Georgia v. Randolph: When Kevin Henderson told the police to "get the fuck out" out of his house, the officers arrested and removed him instead. Until that moment, Henderson was both a present and actual objector to the search of his home. Had he remained on the premises, his objection would have foreclosed the police from searching the house regardless of his wife's consent; only a warrant would have broken the tie and permitted the search. My colleagues conclude that Henderson's valid arrest and removal from the scene sapped his objection of its force and allowed the police to search the house with Patricia Henderson's consent. In my view, this interprets the admittedly limited Randolph decision too narrowly. I would hold that Henderson's objection survived his involuntary removal from the home, thus precluding the search in the absence of a warrant. See United States v. Murphy, 516 F.3d 1117, 1124-25 (9th Cir. 2008); see also United States v. Hudspeth, 518 F.3d 954, 963-64 (8th Cir. 2008) (en banc) (Melloy, J., dissenting).Here's hoping that the Seventh Circuit grants rehearing en banc to consider further this very interesting legal issue.
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman
"Ninth Circuit Court Retreats to Idaho: Legal insiders point everywhere but at themselves during a sun-filled non-examination." LA Weekly has posted online this article by Cyrus Sanai. Page two of the article mentions "How Appealing."
"3 states to consider affirmative action ban": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman
"Bin Laden driver convicted at Guantanamo of aiding terror; Salim Ahmed Hamdan is found guilty of providing material support for Al Qaeda; But he is acquitted of more serious conspiracy charges": Carol J. Williams of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.
The New York Times has a news update headlined "Detainee Convicted by Military Panel."
And The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Bin Laden's Former Driver Convicted by Military Tribunal; Trial Is First Test of System Set up to Try Guantanamo Detainees."
"Military jury convicts bin Laden's driver": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A jury of six military officers at Guantanamo Bay reached a split verdict Wednesday in the war crimes trial of a former driver for Osama bin Laden, clearing him of some charges but convicting him of others that could send him to prison for life."
Reuters reports that "U.S. convicts bin Laden's driver at Guantanamo."
And Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update headlined "Bin Laden's driver found guilty of war crimes" that begins, "A U.S. military jury convicted Osama bin Laden's driver of providing material support for terror on Wednesday -- but cleared him of the more serious charge of conspiracy at the first U.S. war crimes tribunal since World War II."
"Abu Ghraib contractor CACI loses defamation suit; Court affirms dismissal of Abu Ghraib contractor CACI's lawsuit against talk radio network": The Associated Press provides this report.
"Medellin executed for rape, murder of Houston teens": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle, along with an article headlined "Somber tribute held to the teen victims; Group gathers where 2 girls slain and neighborhood was shaken to core."
The New York Times reports today that "Texas Executes Mexican Despite Objections."
The Washington Post reports that "Mexican National Executed in Texas; Murder Conviction Drew Attention of International Court."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Texas executes Mexican killer amid international protests; The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to grant a reprieve urged by Mexico and an international court; Jose Ernesto Medellin was convicted of raping and killing two Texas teens in 1993."
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that "Texas executes Mexican national."
Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Divided U.S. Supreme Court Allows Mexican National's Execution."
"No verdict in Day 2 of Guantanamo deliberations": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
"E-Mail Hacking Case Could Redefine Online Privacy": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court in California is reviewing a lower court's definition of 'interception' in the digital age, in a case that some legal experts say could weaken consumer privacy protections online."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman
"Our Class-Action System Is Unconstitutional: Judges have no right to award money to nonplaintiffs." George Krueger and Judd Serotta have this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman
Available online from National Public Radio: Yesterday evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Professor Tries To Correct Century-Old Court Error." And Monday evening's broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Jury Deliberates In Hamdan Case" and "Book Examines Case Against Bin Laden's Driver."
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Fourth Circuit affirms entry of summary judgment in favor of Air America Radio on defamation case involving the notorious U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman
"Trial could bring US closer to closing Guantanamo": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The war crimes trial of a driver for Osama bin Laden could bring the United States closer to its goal of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay."
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman
"No reprieve for Mexican-born killer in Texas": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Mexican-born condemned prisoner Jose Medellin's request for a reprieve."
The Houston Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Court denies Medellin's request for stay of execution."
And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Medellin execution allowed."
"Jurors deliberating in 1st Gitmo trial": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The military avoided a possible mistrial Tuesday in the first Guantanamo war crimes trial as prosecutors sparred with defense lawyers over instructions provided to jurors weighing the fate of Osama bin Laden's former driver."
Freedom From Religion Foundation lacks taxpayer standing to challenge the Department of Veterans Affairs' integration of pastoral care into the medical care that it provides to veterans and its use of chaplains for that purpose: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued this ruling today. Freedom From Religion had lost on the merits before the district court, which had granted summary judgment in favor of the VA.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman
"Court Rejects Temple's Sexual Harassment Policy": Shannon P. Duffy has this article today in The Legal Intelligencer.
The Philadelphia Bulletin reports today that "Court Nixes Temple Speech Restrictions."
And at Inside Higher Ed, Doug Lederman reports that "Court Strikes Down 'Overbroad' Harassment Policy."
"Death-row inmate Medellin doesn't get a reprieve from Texas pardons board": This article appears today in The Dallas Morning News.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that "Parole board rejects Mexican inmate's last-minute reprieve request."
And The Houston Chronicle reports that "Medellin execution on after pleas fail; Mexican citizen is moved closer to death chamber despite objections."
"Prop. 8 not retroactive, Jerry Brown says": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "If voters approve a November ballot measure banning same-sex marriages in California, thousands of gay and lesbian weddings conducted since the state Supreme Court legalized the unions on May 15 will probably remain valid, Attorney General Jerry Brown said Monday."
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"Flunky or war criminal? Military jury to decide; A military jury has started deliberating in Osama bin Laden's driver's war crimes trial." Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald. She also has a news update headlined "Deliberations resume in driver's war trial."
Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Guantanamo case of Bin Laden driver Hamdan goes to military jury; In closing arguments at Guantanamo Bay, a defense attorney says secret testimony showed that Salim Ahmed Hamdan had offered to help U.S. forces, but that the opportunity had been 'squandered.'"
The New York Times reports that "Lawyer Suggests Detainee Aided U.S. in Afghanistan."
The Washington Post reports that "Case Against Bin Laden's Driver Goes to the Jury."
And USA Today reports that "First military commission doesn't end fairness debate."
"Enron setbacks could hurt other white-collar prosecutions": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers has this article.
Posted at 09:47 AM by Howard Bashman
"House Democrats Seek Less-Rigid D.C. Gun Laws; Proposal Set for Vote Would Allow Semiautomatics and Change Storage, Registration Rules": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman
Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Religious Slurs May Amount to Hostile Workplace, N.J. High Court Says." My earlier coverage of the ruling appears at this link.
Amaris Elliott-Engel of The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Justices OK Juror Challenges Involving Prosecutor From Controversial Training Tape." Last month's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consisted of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.
"U.S. May Have Taped Visits to Detainees; Foreign Countries Sent Interrogators": The Washington Post today contains a front page article that begins, "The Bush administration informed all foreign intelligence and law enforcement teams visiting their citizens held at Guantanamo Bay that video and sound from their interrogation sessions would be recorded, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. The policy suggests that the United States could possess hundreds or thousands of hours of secret taped conversations between detainees and representatives from nearly three dozen countries."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman
"Home Depot case revived by court; Two-edged ruling: Backdated stock options caused price to deflate, retirees' lawsuit claims." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains this article today.
"A Ruling May Pave the Way for Broader Use of DVR": This article appears today in The New York Times.
USA Today reports today that "Cablevision's remote-storage DVR clears hurdle; Court says server does same thing as hard drive."
The Wall Street Journal reports that "Cablevision Wins Appeal On RS-DVR" (subscription or direct access via Google News required).
And law.com reports that "2nd Circuit Backs Cablevision's Remote Recorder Against Programmers' Lawsuit."
State of Colorado announces it won't seek U.S. Supreme Court review of Tenth Circuit ruling that struck down that State's refusal to provide scholarships to students who attend Colorado colleges deemed "pervasively sectarian": You can access the announcement at this link.
"Panel criticizes Wecht judge": Today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato has an article that begins, "A federal appeals panel on Monday criticized a Pittsburgh judge for the way he ended Dr. Cyril H. Wecht's public corruption trial."
And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that "Judges hear Wecht oppose retrial; Defense argues trial judge erred; prosecutor disagrees."
"Philippines' peace accord blocked; The Supreme Court prevented the signing of a territorial accord between the state and MILF, a rebel group, Monday; Opponents had called the deal unconstitutional": This article appears today in The Christian Science Monitor.
And The Manila Times reports today that "SC stops signing of pact; Protests against MILF state to continue today."
"A Federal Appeals Court Invalidates the Federal Communications Commission's Massive Fine for the 'Nipplegate' Super Bowl Incident: The Decision and Its Implications." Julie Hilden has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman
Monday, August 4, 2008
"Both sides gear up for appeal of 'moment of silence' law; This fall, federal court will hear case from parents who sued district, alleging the measure is 'a cover' for bringing back organized school prayer": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "A legal appeal over a 2003 Texas law mandating a moment of silence for schoolchildren is heating up. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to hear the case this fall. Both sides have asked for oral arguments and advocacy groups are weighing in with friend-of-the-court briefs."
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman
"Appeals judges hear Wecht's argument against new trial": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has this news update.
"Lawyers get last word at driver's Gitmo trial": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has this news update.
And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Closing Arguments Begin In Bin Laden Driver's Trial" (RealPlayer required).
Unanimous three-judge Third Circuit panel holds that Temple University's former Policy on Sexual Harassment is facially unconstitutional: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.
You can access the complaint initiating suit at this link, while the federal district court's order holding Temple University's former sexual harassment policy unconstitutional, which today's Third Circuit ruling affirms, can be accessed here.
In earlier news coverage, The Associated Press reported in April 2007 that "Federal judge tosses former student's political-bias suit."
And Philadelphia Weekly, in December 2006, published an article headlined "School of Hard Knocks: A former grad student sues Temple over academic freedom."
Second Circuit vacates copyright infringement injunction that television content providers obtained to prevent Cablevision from marketing a "Remote Storage" Digital Video Recorder system: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Back in March 2007, law.com had a report headlined "Federal Judge Rules Cablevision's Remote Storage DVR System Violates Copyright Laws" about the federal district court's injunction that today's Second Circuit ruling overturns.
And in March 2006, USA Today reported that "Cablevision tests 'remote storage' DVR use."
In news coverage of today's ruling, Reuters reports that "Court rules in favor of new Cablevision recorder."
The Associated Press reports that "NY appeals court reverses cable TV DVR ruling."
And Dow Jones Newswires report that "Court Throws Out Ruling Blocking Cablevision's New DVR."
"Jury is out for Hamdan -- and the tribunal process; The first person to be tried in a military tribunal at Guantanamo will remain incarcerated no matter the verdict; Concerns remain about the procedure's fairness": Carol J. Williams has this news analysis today in The Los Angeles Times.
And in The Washington Post, today's installment of Shankar Vedantam's "Department of Human Behavior" column is entitled "How Terrorist Organizations Work Like Clubs."
"Medellin set to die Tuesday for Ertman-Pena killings; Texas defies global outcry from U.N., Bush, other leaders in the controversial case": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "'Texas. It's like a whole other country.' Coined to promote tourism, that wry verbal wink at the state's mythic image has assumed a literal meaning as Texas finds itself in defiance of the United Nations, the Organization of American States and national leaders in its planned Tuesday execution of Mexican citizen Jose Medellin."
And today in The Los Angeles Times, Jeffrey Davidow has an op-ed entitled "Protecting them protects us: Why you should care about what happens to 51 Mexican nationals on death row."
"N.J. justices add religion jokes to workplace ban": In last Friday's edition of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Kate Coscarelli had an article that begins, "Making jokes and comments about a person's religion can create a 'humiliating and painful environment' and be a form of on-the-job discrimination, the state's highest court ruled Thursday. The New Jersey Supreme Court said remarks about someone's faith -- even as a form of ribbing or 'breaking of chops' -- cannot be tolerated in the workplace."
"Supreme Court stops homeland deal with MILF": In news from the Philippines. Reuters provides a report that begins, "The Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on Monday halting a territorial deal between the government and Muslim separatists, the latest setback for peace in the nation's volatile south. The agreement between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country's largest Muslim rebel group, was set to be signed in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday after more than 10 years of stop-start talks."
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman
"Wecht's attorneys claim double jeopardy; Arguments set for today on whether retrial of former coroner should go ahead": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article that begins, "Nearly two years after appearing before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on a set of entirely different issues, the attorneys in the case against former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht will do it again. They will meet in the federal courthouse on Grant Street this afternoon instead of in Philadelphia, where they met in September 2006."
Sunday, August 3, 2008
"Possible movement in grand jury examining Kent": Yesterday's issue of The Galveston County Daily News contained an article that begins, "There may be movement in the grand jury review of allegations against U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent, but it wasn't clear Friday what exactly it might be. Dick DeGuerin, Kent's attorney, told The Daily News that the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the federal judge was still active and that the case was moving forward."
Posted at 11:47 PM by Howard Bashman
"Guantanamo dangles new incentive for detainees; Max-security Camp 6 will be modified to let compliant detainees interact by eating and exercising together": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
And today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg reports that "Convicts to be held separate from others; Prison officials have a plan to house war-on-terror convicts apart from the other Guantanamo detainees."
"Nichols jury pool passes midway point": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "The effort to get Brian Nichols to trial for the killing of a judge and three others more than three years ago crested the hill and picked up speed this week."
Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman
"Texas: Mexican-born murderer should be executed." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:08 PM by Howard Bashman
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Available online from law.com: Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal reports that "High Court Review Sought on Judicial Recusals; W.Va. case triggers key ethical query."
Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer reports that "3rd Circuit Rules Media Has Right to Juror Names." My earlier coverage of yesterday's majority and dissenting Third Circuit opinions appears at this link.
And an article reports that "5th Circuit Throws Out Malpractice Summary Judgment Win for Duane Morris." My earlier coverage of Wednesday's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
"'Sarah's Law' would not have applied to 'Sarah,' acknowledge backers of the abortion-notification measure; The teen whose death led to calls for parental notification in abortion cases was married and had a child; Critics of California's Prop. 4 file a suit asking to remove her story from the voter guide": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman
"9/11 architect: Bin Laden driver no terrorist; Alleged mass murderer Khalid Sheik Mohammed -- testifying as the star witness to close a terror trial -- called Osama bin Laden's driver a poorly educated, primitive pleasure-seeker." Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald. She also has a news update headlined "Convicts at Guantanamo will be jailed apart."
Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Guantanamo defendant Hamdan called too lowly for terror role; Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-declared Sept. 11 mastermind, says in written testimony that Osama bin Laden's driver 'was not fit to plan or execute' Al Qaeda attacks; The defense rests."
The New York Times reports that "Terror Trial Nears End as Defense Rests Case."
And The Washington Post reports that "Hamdan Seen as 'Not Fit' for Terror; Alleged 9/11 Architect Says bin Laden's Driver Was 'Not a Soldier.'"
"A Onetime 'Person of Interest' Moves a Step Closer to Public Exoneration": Today in The New York Times, Charlie Savage has an article that begins, "Having been named a 'person of interest' in the investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks, the former Army scientist Steven J. Hatfill has tried for six years to clear his name, both inside court and out. Now the disclosure that a former colleague died this week, apparently by suicide, just as investigators prepared to seek his indictment in the case has provided the clearest indication yet that Dr. Hatfill may finally achieve his goal."
Posted at 09:08 PM by Howard Bashman
"Court rejects appeal from teens' killer": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has dealt capital killer Jose Medellin a major setback in his bid to escape the executioner's needle, throwing out his bid for a post-conviction writ of habeas corpus and his motion for a stay."
"Judge Jerry E. Smith and the Origins of the Judge-Umpire Analogy": Ilya Somin has this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy." My own guess is that the analogy goes way, way, way, way back. In any event, it would be incorrect to say that no one goes to a baseball game to watch the umpiring.
Posted at 09:34 AM by Howard Bashman
Why Internet Explorer won't allow you to access many blogs: As explained in this post at "The Volokh Conspiracy," the problem is related to the use of the popular SiteMeter hit counter. I have removed that hit counter from this blog's front page pending resolution of the problem -- which is why you can now access this blog's home page using the IE browser -- but that hit counter likely still resides on nearly all of this blog's archived content, making that solution a limited one at best.
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman
Friday, August 1, 2008
"State loses attempt to argue anew for sex toy ban": The Associated Press provides a report from Texas that begins, "A federal appeals court turned down Attorney General Greg Abbott's attempt to reinstate a ban on the sale and marketing of sex toys Friday, upholding its previous ruling that the prohibition violated Texans' right to privacy."
A total of seven judges noted their dissent from the Fifth Circuit's order denying rehearing en banc. An eighth active judge, Circuit Judge Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale, had dissented in relevant part from the original three-judge panel's ruling, but he did not note his dissent from today's denial of rehearing en banc. In any event, because the Fifth Circuit has seventeen active judges, nine votes were necessary to grant rehearing en banc, assuming no recusals.
Divided three-judge Third Circuit panel issues opinion explaining the basis for its earlier order enabling the news media to obtain the names of prospective jurors in the criminal trial of celebrity coronor Cyril H. Wecht: You can access the Third Circuit's opinion, issued today, at this link.
Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge D. Michael Fisher joined. Senior Circuit Judge Franklin S. Van Antwerpen issued a dissenting opinion that concludes, "Because I cannot join in an opinion that will cause so many problems in our district courts, that establishes a new class of interlocutory orders, that effectively creates a new constitutional right, and that sets a precedent of permitting our Court to micro-manage trial procedures established by the district courts, I respectfully dissent."
"Lawyering and the Craft of Judicial Opinion Writing: The Second Conversation with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. on the Law of the Constitution." The Pepperdine University School of Law has now made the video of this event, held on Wednesday evening of this week, available online for on-demand viewing. Simply click here to access the video.
Participating in the program were Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.; Tenth Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell; Walter E. Dellinger III; and Kenneth W. Starr. Law Professor Douglas W. Kmiec served as the program's host and moderator.
"Members of the public with respect for the law, even if they have less learning than appellate judges on our standards for abuse of discretion review and on the principle of deference to trial court sentencing, will doubtless consider it almost inconceivable that a man who steals more than a half-million dollars in a calculated and prolonged course of deception and embezzlement over several years will suffer only a single day in prison." So writes Circuit Judge Ronald M. Gould, dissenting today from the ruling of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In his dissenting opinion, Judge Gould writes:
To provide for a mere slap on the wrist of those convicted of serious economic crimes, with no or virtually no time imprisoned as punishment, strikes a blow to the integrity of our criminal justice system. In the end, if not corrected, the majority's approach will be dangerous to respect for our legal system. Can it be seriously maintained that wilful offenders who commit white collar crime, who steal intentionally hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, should receive no forced incarceration, while those poor and powerless criminal defendants who commit common larceny or theft often serve extensive hard time? I respectfully dissent because I do not believe it prudent for us as an appellate court to hold as reasonable sentences that in their laxity to white collar crime are patently unreasonable, and that indeed will likely be considered offensively unreasonable to the vast majority of law abiding citizens who may become aware of these proceedings.The ruling from which Judge Gould dissented was written by Circuit Judge Raymond C. Fisher and joined in by Circuit Judge Sandra S. Ikuta.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman
Just Manny being Manny: The Manny expected to patrol left field tonight for the Los Angeles Dodgers (as reported here and here, among many other places) is not the only controversial Manny in the City of Angels.
Today, in a ruling that you can access here, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided to reassign a patent infringement case away from another controversial Los Angeles-based Manny (read law.com's lengthy bio at this link), who was serving as trial judge in the case even though it was being litigated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.
And wasn't it just last week that WSJ.com's "Law Blog" had a post titled "Another Case Pulled from Judge Manuel Real's Docket" about a different case from the one in which the Federal Circuit issued its ruling today?
Update: Brent Kendall, now of Dow Jones Newswires, reports on the merits of the Federal Circuit's ruling today in an article headlined "Appeals Court Revives Patent Suit Against Microsoft."
"Mexican citizen asks high court to block execution": The Associated Press provides this report.
At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Move to head off Medellin execution."
"A group of Protestant Navy chaplains sued the Navy, alleging that the Navy's operation of its retirement system discriminates in favor of Catholic chaplains in violation of the Establishment Clause." So begins the majority opinion that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today. The majority holds that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue because plaintiffs do not claim that the Navy actually discriminated against any of them.
Circuit Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh issued the majority opinion, in which Senior Circuit Judge Laurence H. Silberman joined. Circuit Judge Judith W. Rogers dissented, concluding that the plaintiffs do indeed have Article III standing to sue.
Available online from law.com: Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal reports that "Obscure 9th Circuit Rule May Get More Young Lawyers Into Court."
An article asks (and attempts to answer) the question "Are Reply Briefs Really Necessary?"
"Federal appeals court to seek five more judges in overwhelmed California district": The Saramento Bee today contains an article that begins, "Recognizing that the federal judicial district based in Sacramento is overwhelmed with prisoner cases, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has vowed to push Congress for five new judges for the district."
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman
"County loses pot ruling again; Court backs ID-card law on medical marijuana": This article appears today in The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "California's pot law upheld in appeals court."
The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California reports that "Court of Appeal ruling backs medical marijuana."
And The North County Times reports that "Court upholds medical marijuana law; Advocates say county should start issuing ID cards to users."
You can access at this link yesterday's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One.
"Whistle-blowers lose case against UC": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "University of California employees who claim they were fired for reporting wrongdoing or unsafe conditions can't sue for damages if the university rejects their claims, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday."
And law.com reports that "Calif. Justices Reject Whistleblowers' Damages Claims Against University System."
"Witness alleges bin Laden driver made loyalty pledge; A Navy investigator testified that Osama bin Laden's driver swore a loyalty oath to the al Qaeda founder in a day that featured the war court's first secret testimony": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "At Guantanamo, Army officers testify for Hamdan in secret; Court is cleared because their encounter with the terrorism suspect has been classified; The prosecution's last witness is allowed to testify about statements that the defense says were coerced."
The New York Times reports that "Prosecution Rests, Then Terror Trial Enters Secret Session to Hear Defense Testimony."
The Washington Post reports that "Hamdan Trial Closed for Testimony of Two Defense Witnesses."
And in The Wall Street Journal, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey have an op-ed entitled "Justice at Gitmo: Don't believe the hype; The Hamdan trial is going fine."
"Apparent suicide in anthrax case; Bruce E. Ivins, a scientist who helped the FBI investigate the 2001 mail attacks, was about to face charges": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times, along with an article headlined "Anthrax scare: Fear by mail in a season of terror; Soon after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a new wave of fear quickly spread across the nation as mail-borne anthrax killed five people; And almost as quickly, it had passed."
And The Washington Post provides a news update headlined "Report: Md. Anthrax Scientist Dies in Apparent Suicide."
"Judge Orders Miers to Testify; Claim of Executive Privilege Rejected": Today's edition of The Washington Post contains an article that begins, "A federal judge yesterday ordered a former White House counsel to testify before a House committee, rejecting the Bush administration's broad claims of executive privilege in its fight with Congress over the role politics played in the firing of nine federal prosecutors." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Defeated in Court -- Again: The Bush administration never seems to learn from its excessive assertions of presidential authority."
The New York Times reports today that "Judge Rules Bush Advisers Can't Ignore Subpoenas."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "Miers and Bolten ordered to answer congressional subpoenas; A federal judge makes the unusual move of siding with Congress in a lawsuit over the investigation of the Bush administration's U.S. attorney firings."
And The Washington Times reports that "Judge says Bush aides must answer subpoenas; Rejects claim of immunity in probe of U.S. attorney firings."
"Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border; No Suspicion Required Under DHS Policies": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:52 AM by Howard Bashman
"Malwebolence: 'Trolls' use the Internet to harass strangers." Mattathias Schwartz will have this article in Sunday's issue of The New York Times Magazine.
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman
"Federal Judge Says Cross Can Stay on San Diego Hill": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A Latin cross that looms over San Diego from a hilltop city park can stay put, a federal judge has ruled, turning aside complaints that its presence violates the United States Constitution."
"Same-sex couples applaud repeal; Mass. opens door for out-of-state gays to marry": The Boston Globe contains this article today.
The Boston Herald reports today that "Out-of-state gays on the way; Weddings expected to bring $111M to state."
"Conrad Black's Appeal": This editorial appears today in The New York Sun.
It concludes, "Conrad Black deserves a more reasoned and thorough review -- either by the full 7th Circuit or by a United States Supreme Court that can establish a consistent standard across the country."
"Gun Rights of New Yorkers May Rest on Case of Hot Dog Vendor; New Supreme Court Ruling Is Cited Repeatedly in City Gun Cases": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman
"What Will Happen To Justice Department Hires?" This audio segment appeared on yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman
"U.S. Appeals Court Gets New Judge; Approval Unanimous For Ex-Va. Justice": This article appeared yesterday in the local Virginia section of The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman
"Yale Students' Lawsuit Unmasks Anonymous Trolls, Opens Pandora's Box": Ryan Singel has this article at Wired.com.
"The History Boys: In the term's biggest cases, the justices offer lessons on English kings and courts." David G. Savage has this article in the August 2008 issue of ABA Journal magazine.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman
James Oliphant, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for The Chicago Tribune, is blogging: At "Writ Large."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman