How Appealing

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"No More Clubbing for Federal Judges": This evening at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "While the nation's attention was riveted on Congress and its response to the financial crisis in recent days, Congress found time to pass a bill that federal judges are really not going to like: a ban on gifts of honorary club memberships valued at more than $50 per year for all federal judges, from the Supreme Court on down. It passed the Senate on Sept. 25 and the House of Representatives on Sept. 29, and it is expected to be signed by President George W. Bush anytime."
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds legality of SanFran health care plan": The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of today's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Nichols trial: First witness to deaths testifies; 'The judge never saw him': Lawyer in courtroom on day in '05 says shooter looked like staff." Today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article that begins, "Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes never knew he was about to die. Nicole Waller, a young lawyer, was appearing before Barnes that morning to ask him to dismiss a business lawsuit, when she saw a well-dressed man enter the courtroom from the judge's chambers. Waller, who was in midsentence, assumed the man was a staffer as he strode up behind the judge with his right hand extended. 'It looked to me like he was handing something to the judge,' Waller testified Monday. 'The judge never saw him.' Barnes had just indulged in his trademark humor at the good-natured expense of one of the attorneys. The newcomer, later identified as Brian Nichols, stepped up on the judge's bench. Nichols then fired, and Barnes was fatally wounded, Waller said. Then Nichols aimed at the court reporter, Julie Ann Brandau, and fired again, hitting her in the head, Waller said. Waller, the 18th witness to testify in Nichols' murder trial in Superior Court, was the first one who witnessed the deaths of Barnes and Brandau on March 11, 2005, in the Fulton County Courthouse shootings."

And, later today, the newspaper posted online an update headlined "Nichols caused panic when he left courthouse; Deputy pursued defendant through complex, onto street where he died."
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bench, Bar Gather to Remember Senior Circuit Judge Joseph T. Sneed III": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this news release today.
Posted at 03:27 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court will decide whether feds can use steroid test results of 100 pro baseball players": Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News has an update that begins, "A federal appeals court today escalated the heated legal feud between the federal government and the Major League Baseball players' union, deciding to rehear a case involving the controversial seizure of the names and urine samples of about 100 players who failed a 2004 steroids test. In a brief order, the 9th U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to rehear the case with a special 11-judge panel. The order effectively wipes off the books a divided 119-page ruling issued in January that generally sided with the Justice Department in its effort to use the test results, initially obtained in an offshoot of the Balco steroids investigation."

You can access today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granting rehearing en banc at this link.

This blog's earlier coverage of the three-judge panel's ruling that today's grant of rehearing en banc sets aside can be accessed here and here. And that three-judge panel's first ruling in the case -- from way back in December 2006, featuring mention of the little-known U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Nevada -- appears at this link. My coverage of that first ruling appeared here, here, and here.
Posted at 03:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Federal appeals court upholds S.F. health coverage law": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "A federal appeals court upheld San Francisco's pioneering health coverage program today, saying the city has the legal authority to require employers to help pay for health care for uninsured workers and residents. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges by restaurant owners and the Bush administration to the ordinance, the first of its kind in the nation."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link. Circuit Judge William A. Fletcher wrote the decision, in which Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt and Senior Circuit Judge Alfred T. Goodwin joined.
Posted at 03:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules Register can report on trial; Appellate panel rules ban on coverage of newspaper carriers' suit is unconstitutional": This article appears today in The Orange County Register.

And The Associated Press reports that "Court rules Calif. newspaper can cover own trial."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, at this link.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



In praise of the now-defunct New York Sun: The New York Sun has announced that it will cease publication effective today. As someone who is a fan of newspapers, I am always saddened when a publication that I have enjoyed goes out of business.

Fans of high-quality law-related journalism should be especially glum, as the newspaper featured two top-notch reporters who regularly covered legal issues: Josh Gerstein and Joseph Goldstein. Both Josh and Joe reached out to me regularly -- and by extension reached out to you the readers of this blog regularly -- by making sure that I was aware of their latest articles, often only moments after they appeared online. And on other occasions, they would email just to let me know of a development that they knew I'd be interested in reporting on here, even if it was not something that they themselves had already written about.

At a time when the NYSun's online content often appeared behind a subscription wall, Josh Gerstein would regularly provide me with links to articles appearing in his newspaper that would allow the readers of this blog to access those articles free of charge. And it was Josh who first reported on the public remarks of a certain Second Circuit judge at a conference in June 2004 in an article that began, "A prominent federal judge has told a conference of liberal lawyers that President Bush's rise to power was similar to the accession of dictators such as Mussolini and Hitler." This blog's earliest links to that article (which is itself no longer available online) appeared here and here.

In any event, I wish Josh, Joe, and all of this blog's other friends at The New York Sun all the best going forward.

In today's final issue of that newspaper, Josh Gerstein reports that "Feingold Bill Would Limit Searches of Travelers' Laptops."

And the newspaper also contains an article headlined "Atlantic Yard Project Suffers a Setback."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Podcasts available for download: The New York Review of Books has posted online a podcast described as follows, "Ronald Dworkin explores the threats a McCain presidency would pose for the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the place of the United States in the community of nations" (12.1MB mp3 audio file).

And if you missed this month's meeting of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Appellate Courts Committee, you probably have yet to learn that Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. will be a featured speaker at the 2009 Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which will take place in Philadelphia and be open to the public. You can listen to the podcast of that committee's meeting, featuring three high-ranking Third Circuit administrators, via this link (21.3MB mp3 audio file).
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Attorneys Tom Goldstein, Eugene Scalia, and Bradford Berenson discuss upcoming cases on the Supreme Court docket including those on national security, labor and employment, and the case of FCC v. Fox on the broadcast indecency rules": You can view last Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts" online, on-demand by clicking here.

And if one hour of that discussion leaves you wanting more, you can view the entire discussion by clicking here.

RealPlayer is required to launch these video segments.
Posted at 08:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mortgage Lenders Fight Off Rescission Class Action in 7th Circuit": Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal provides this report.

And last Wednesday, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contained an article headlined "Chevy Chase Bank scores victory in predatory mortgage lending case; Appellate court dismisses Cedarburg couple's class action suit." According to the article:

The 15-page decision by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Diane Sykes brought an unusually sharp retort from Kevin Demet, the [plaintiffs'] lawyer.

"The opinion is a radical opinion written by a radical jurist," he said in an interview.

"This decision is a gift to certain members of the banking industry at the expense of the consumers who were misled," he said in a statement.

You can access last week's ruling by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, September 29, 2008

"Iowa AG seeks review of nude dancing ruling": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The state attorney general's office said Monday it asked the Iowa Supreme Court to review a judge's ruling that nude dancing is a legal art form. Assistant Attorney General Mary Tabor said the state is seeking a review of Judge Timothy O'Grady's August decision in which he ruled that a strip club was protected under a law allowing nudity in any 'theater, concert hall, art center, museum or similar establishments' devoted to the arts or theatrical performances."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"An Investigation into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006": That's the title of the report that the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility issued today.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Prosecutor named to probe US attorneys' firings"; "Gun groups to appeal decision to toss Ga. lawsuit"; and "Ohio Supreme Court upholds early voting window."
Posted at 02:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge chided for seeking job from lawyers in trial": Last Thursday in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Kate Coscarelli had an article that begins, "Judges must be diligent to make sure there is no appearance of impropriety when they are looking for a new job while still on the bench, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled yesterday in a unanimous decision."

And law.com reports that "N.J. Supreme Court Imposes Restrictions on Job-Seeking Judges."

You can access last week's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 09:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"Key evidence unveiled against former Richardson Muslim charity in Holy Land case": This article appears today in The Dallas Morning News.
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"'I wanted to disarm him'; Ex-deputy's testimony to continue today": Today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article that begins, "Retired Fulton County Deputy Grantley White sobbed as he recounted one of his greatest heartaches to his already damaged heart; the day his friend and the judge he protected was shot dead while sitting on the bench. White said he was testifying in the Brian Nichols case despite the risk of aggravating an existing heart condition because it was his duty. White is to continue testifying today, when the trial begins its second week."
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Jury duty? You may want to edit your online profile; Trial consultants increasingly use the Internet to learn about prospective jurors, including how they vote, how they spend money and if they've spoken out on controversial issues." Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Laptop searches go too far: Customs agents should not be allowed to arbitrarily scroll through citizens' laptop computers." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Davis case decision expected by Oct. 6; Execution stayed: 'This is the kind of case that has the [Supreme Court] on edge,' said one death penalty expert." Today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bill Rankin has an article that begins, "When the U.S. Supreme Court meets today to decide Troy Anthony Davis' fate, its nine justices face a fairly straightforward question: Is there sufficient doubt about Davis' guilt to warrant further scrutiny of his case? Davis needs four justices to vote 'yes.' Otherwise, his execution, halted by the high court less than two hours before it was to be carried out Tuesday evening, will be rescheduled. The court is expected to announce its decision Oct. 6. The high court's granting the stay at such a late hour, while not unprecedented, indicates the case has the justices' interest, court watchers said."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Chinese Muslim in Gitmo legal limbo; Though eligible for freedom, detainee labeled a foe of China is going nowhere": James Oliphant has this article today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices poised for full docket; Issues include FCC, religion": This article appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"33 Pastors Flout Tax Law With Political Sermons": The Washington Post contains this article today.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Orange County pastors test the IRS rule against politicking; Dozens nationwide use their pulpits to endorse presidential candidates."

And The Wall Street Journal reports that "Partisan Sunday Sermons Test Federal Tax Laws; Some Pastors Push the IRS to Allow Politics on Pulpit."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nearly 500 teens serving life terms in Pa. prisons": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Who Owns the Law? Arguments May Ensue." In today's edition of The New York Times, Noam Cohen has an essay that begins, "In a time when scientists are trying to patent the very genetic code that creates life, it may not be too surprising to learn that a variety of organizations -- from trade groups and legal publishers to the government itself -- claim copyright to the basic code that governs our society."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"No Charges Expected in Dismissal of Attorneys": Today in The New York Times, Eric Lichtblau has an article that begins, "A Justice Department investigation offers a blistering critique of the political motivations that led to the firings of a group of United States attorneys in late 2006 but stops short of recommending criminal charges against former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales or others in the affair, officials said."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Preserving California's Constitution: California voters should reject Proposition 8, which would overturn the State Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage." This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Sonar, F-Bombs and Public Parks: An eclectic blend of cases and three-a-day arguments are on tap this term." David G. Savage has this article in the October 2008 issue of ABA Journal magazine.

And, as noted two posts below, yesterday in The Los Angeles Times he had this preview of the U.S. Supreme Court's October 2008 Term.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"At Yale Law, a faculty exodus or just a cycle?" This article, part one of a three-part series, appears today in The Yale Daily News.
Posted at 07:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Supreme Court opens new term; The issues include the ability to sue over faulty but federally regulated drugs; dirty words on TV; and Navy sonar": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"No Grand Jury for Gonzales; Report to Call for Continued Probe of U.S. Attorneys' Firings": Monday's edition of The Washington Post will contain an article that begins, "Former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales will not be referred to a federal grand jury for his role in the 2006 firings of nine U.S. attorneys, but a long-awaited report to be released today will recommend that a prosecutor continue to probe the involvement of lawmakers and White House officials in the episode, according to two people familiar with the case."
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, September 27, 2008

"$38.5 million settles 6 OHSU cases; The decision, which follows talk of a new tort cap, may resolve financial and public-relations problems for OHSU": The Oregonian today contains an article that begins, "In Oregon Health & Science University's first malpractice settlement since a court removed its state protection from large damage awards, the university agreed Friday to pay $38.5 million to bring an end to six long-standing cases."

My earlier coverage of last December's Supreme Court of Oregon ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 03:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"West Virginia Supreme Court to hear DuPont's appeal in $400 million case; Jury ruled company recklessly exposed toxins to residents": This article appeared yesterday in The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware.

And The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette reported yesterday that "High court to hear appeal in DuPont case."
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"AP FOIA case has cost Supreme Court $30,000 so far": The West Virginia Record yesterday posted online an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court has been billed about $30,000 so far for its defense of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by The Associated Press. In addition, the Court has been billed about $428,000 for defense of a federal lawsuit brought against it by Massey Energy over the way justices recuse themselves from cases."
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge must accept pay raise, high court says": The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling forcing a Superior Court judge to take a pay raise she tried to decline last year. In a one-sentence ruling, the high court upheld the ruling of Commonwealth Court saying that Judge Joan Orie Melvin must take the 11 percent raise that was part of the 2005 legislative pay hike, which drew widespread criticism and was eventually repealed for legislators."

And The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports today that "Court orders Superior Court judge to accept pay raise."

You can access Thursday's order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 03:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court brings proceedings to town": Yesterday's edition of The Prescott (Ariz.) Daily Courier contained an article that begins, "The wheels of justice rolled through the Glassford Hill Middle School auditorium this week. Students from throughout Yavapai County watched the five justices of the Arizona Supreme Court hear oral arguments for one civil case and one criminal case on Thursday morning."
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"High Court to hear Post appeal; Fighting for right to protect sources": Yesterday's edition of The National Post contained an article that begins, "The balancing of state powers in a police investigation against the right of a reporter to protect the identity of a confidential source is going to be weighed for the first time by the Supreme Court of Canada. The High Court agreed yesterday to hear an appeal filed by the National Post in what is expected to be a landmark case in the area of such confidential sources as government whistle-blowers."

The Toronto Globe and Mail reported on Friday that "Supreme Court to hear test case on media freedom; Confidentiality of sources at issue."

And The Canadian Press reports that "SCOC to hear case of media's right to confidential sources."
Posted at 03:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pre-emption Looms Large in Supreme Court's Upcoming Business Cases; Four environmental cases are also on docket, plus key job bias issues": Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal provides this report.
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court again blocks Phila.'s try for gun-control law": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports today that "Council loses gun law skirmish in state court."

And Reuters provides a report headlined "Philadelphia cannot set its own gun laws: court."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"FDA label doesn't quash drug suit, court says": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A Californian who is harmed by prescription drugs can sue the manufacturer for failing to warn of potential dangers, even if the product had a federally approved label, a state appeals court has ruled. Tackling an issue that is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, the appellate judges reinstated a Modesto woman's suit Thursday against the maker of a generic version of the brand-name drug Reglan, which is used against heartburn caused by acid reflux."

You can access Thursday's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District at this link.

Somewhat relatedly, The Boston Globe today contains an editorial entitled "No haven for dangerous drugs" that begins, "In the past 11 years, drug companies have had to pull 23 unsafe drugs from the market, even though all had won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. In spite of this shoddy record of oversight, the companies want to be protected from lawsuits by victimized patients or their survivors on the grounds that FDA approval should protect them from liability. A Supreme Court that has proven only too willing to do the bidding of industry could give the companies what they are looking for. If it does, it will be doing just what conservatives often accuse judges of doing -- legislating from the bench."
Posted at 02:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Conservative judges fault Scalia opinion on guns": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.

The two examples of written criticism that are the subject of the article can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"In Defense of Judicial Activism: D.C. v. Heller and the failures of conservative judicial restraint." Damon W. Root has this essay online at Reason.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Downsides of Diversity: What Clarence Thomas might have to say about Sarah Palin." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


Friday, September 26, 2008

"Tom Goldstein previews Supreme Court docket": This article appears in the current issue of The Harvard Law Record.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"O.C. Register accused of writing misleading stories to influence lawsuit; The paper is appealing court order preventing it from reporting witness testimony in case on carriers": The Orange County Register provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge bars SoCal paper from covering its own trial."
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court says newspaper able to protect source": The Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pennsylvania today contains an article that begins, "The Times-Tribune cannot be forced to disclose the identity of a confidential source for stories about a statewide grand jury investigation of the Lackawanna County Prison, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a reaffirmation of the state's Shield Law."

And today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Emilie Lounsberry reports that "Pa. high court upholds reporters' 'shield law.'"

Wednesday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consists of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.
Posted at 09:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Alito Changes Mind, Gets Out of the Pool": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Philip P. Simon, of Indiana, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit, vice Kenneth F. Ripple, retired": The White House announced this nomination today.

In early news coverage, The Indianapolis Star provides a news update headlined "Indiana judge nominated for appeals court."
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"State Court Says City Can't Enact Local Gun Laws": The Philadelphia Daily News provides an update that begins, "The state Commonwealth Court today struck down one City Council effort to enact local gun laws."

You can access today's ruling of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 01:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Case of the Gonzales Notes: The Justice Department is investigating whether former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales created a set of fictitious notes so that President Bush would have a rationale for reauthorizing his warrantless eavesdropping program." Murray Waas has this article online today at the web site of The Atlantic magazine.
Posted at 12:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"County abortion regulations scrutinized in Indiana; Rules present new obstacle for providers": This front page article appears today in USA Today.

And elsewhere, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports today that "Third abortion initiative given chance of passing."
Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nacchio still in jeopardy; Experts say it's likely that the ex-Qwest CEO's conviction will be affirmed": The Denver Post contains this article today.

The Rocky Mountain News reports today that "Experts expect Nacchio guilty verdict to stand; Judges more hostile to ex-Qwest CEO's attorney." In addition, Scott Robinson has an essay entitled "Nacchio appeal likely to be decided by filings, not oral argument."

And The New York Times reports that "Court Considers New Trial for Former Chief of Qwest."
Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ministers to Defy I.R.S. by Endorsing Candidates": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Christian Science Monitor today contains an article headlined "Pulpit politics: Pastors to defy IRS; Some plan to endorse a candidate Sunday, challenging federal rules that limit partisan activity by tax-exempt groups."
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"State high court to hear red-light fines case": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Second Justice Opts Out of a Longtime Custom: The 'Cert. Pool.'" Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. is getting out of the pool."
Posted at 09:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"SJC upholds son's murder conviction": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "The Supreme Judicial Court yesterday upheld the first-degree murder conviction of George J. Nardi for killing his mother, Dianne Barchard, whose decomposed body was found in the apartment they shared in Bridgewater in December 2002. The unanimous court rejected Nardi's claim that he lost his constitutional right to confront his accusers because the medical examiner who autopsied his mother's body did not testify at his trial in Plymouth Superior Court."

And The Enterprise of Brockton, Massachusetts reports that "Conviction upheld for man who killed mom, lived with body for 15 days."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mother can pursue lawsuit over harvest of son's brain; County, medical company sued": This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Washington State Supreme Court at this link.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Pipe bomb defendant admits he took part; Man pleads guilty in courthouse blast": Today's edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune contains an article that begins, "One of the three people accused in the detonation of a bomb at the federal courthouse in San Diego earlier this year pleaded guilty yesterday in Federal Court in Imperial County."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ex-Gitmo prosecutor seeks immunity for testimony; A war court prosecutor who had resigned sought a grant of prosecutorial immunity to testify at Guantanamo for a foot soldier accused of terrorism": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

And in other news, The Associated Press reports that "Gitmo prosecutors seek resentencing for detainee."
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nichols trial: 'It was red with blood'; Witnesses recall scenes of March 11, 2005, courthouse rampage in which sheriff's deputy was beaten, judge and court reporter shot." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains this article today.

And yesterday's newspaper contained an article headlined "Deputy: Guard trusted suspect; 'There were just red flags all over the place,' former Fulton officer testifies about security breaches, defendant's behavior in the courtroom."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Clarence Thomas visits football team's practice": This newsbrief appears today in the University of Georgia's student newspaper, The Red and Black.

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update headlined "Justice Clarence Thomas visits Georgia practice."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grilled Nacchio's: The latest version of The Denver Post's news update is headlined "Appellate judges grill Nacchio's lawyer."

The article reports that "[b]ased on the judges' questions, a pair of legal experts who heard the arguments predicted that the court will rule against Nacchio."
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ninth Circuit Hosts Law Clerk Orientation": The Public Information Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this news release today.
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nacchio case goes to full court; Oral arguments take 40 minutes, decision to come in months ahead": The Rocky Mountain News provides this update.

And The Denver Post provides a news update headlined "Court hears Nacchio appeal of conviction."
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Pa. high court says newspaper can protect source": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a newspaper reporter does not need to reveal the identity of a confidential source used in a story about a grand jury investigation into alleged prison brutality. The 4-1 decision dated Wednesday and released Thursday upholds a lower court ruling that sided with Jennifer Henn and her former employer, the Times-Tribune of Scranton."

Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consists of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.
Posted at 04:23 PM by Howard Bashman



"When Judges Make Foreign Policy": Law Professor Noah Feldman will have this article in this upcoming Sunday's issue of The New York Times Magazine.

The article begins, "Every generation gets the Constitution that it deserves. As the central preoccupations of an era make their way into the legal system, the Supreme Court eventually weighs in, and nine lawyers in robes become oracles of our national identity."
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman



Federal Circuit affirms decision granting judgment as a matter of law in favor of Microsoft after jury awarded $1.5 billion to Lucent Technologies for alleged infringement of patents for compressing digital audio files: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at this link.

In early coverage of today's ruling, Bloomberg News reports that "Microsoft Doesn't Have to Pay $1.5 Billion Claim, Court Says."

And you can access an earlier industry publication report on the jury's verdict by clicking here.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"W.Va. court accepts appeals in $400m DuPont case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "West Virginia's Supreme Court has agreed to a full review of appeals arising from a nearly $400 million judgment against DuPont."
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Anthrax Suspect E-Mailed Himself About Solving the Case": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Anthrax-Case Affidavits Add to Bizarre Portrait."

And USA Today reports that "FBI investigation did not analyze anthrax from biodefense lab; Samples taken after Bruce Ivins covered 2001 contamination."
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court says Ivory Coast farmworkers in pesticide suit can't allege genocide; A federal appellate panel rules in a suit that claims nearly 700 people were made sterile by exposure to DBCP; The plaintiffs are Shell Oil, Dow Chemical, Dole and O.C.-based Amvac Chemical": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Ivory Coast workers can't sue firms in U.S."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Philip Morris sues S.F. over tobacco sales ban": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest tobacco company, filed suit in federal court Wednesday, arguing the city of San Francisco has unconstitutionally banned pharmacies from selling tobacco products. It is the second company to sue the city over the new ban, due to take effect Oct. 1; Walgreens filed suit earlier this month in Superior Court. Philip Morris is arguing that it has a First Amendment right of free expression to sell its products."
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"No on Prop. 4: Proposition 4 isn't really about parental notification; it's an attack on the right to an abortion." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pastors plan to defy IRS ban on political speech; Ministers will intentionally violate ban on campaigning by nonprofits in hopes of generating a test case": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 09:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Orange County expert on federal prisons spoke from experience; Howard O. Kieffer, founder of Federal Defense Associates in Santa Ana, was incarcerated from 1989 to 1993; Now he is accused of submitting a false document to practice law in North Dakota": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And this past Sunday, The Duluth News Tribune published an article headlined "The strange journey of Howard Kieffer" and an editorial entitled "Let's get authorities on the same page."
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"What you need to know about Nacchio appeal": The Rocky Mountain News provides this preview of today's en banc oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Edwin Kneedler will argue the case for the federal government, while Maureen Mahoney will argue the case for Nacchio.

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court reviews ruling on former Qwest CEO."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lawmaker Asks Court To Dismiss Charges": Today in The Washington Post, Jerry Markon has an article that begins, "Nearly all of the corruption charges against U.S. Rep. William J. Jefferson should be dismissed because prosecutors improperly presented evidence of his legislative activities to a grand jury, attorneys for the Louisiana Democrat told a federal appeals court Wednesday."

And today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, Bruce Alpert reports that "Jefferson appeal moves before panel of judges; 'Speech and Debate' cited by attorneys."
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court 2.0: From term limits to circuit riding to cameras in the courtroom, rethinking, reforming and re-engineering the top bench." Richard Brust will have this article in the October 2008 issue of ABA Journal magazine.
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge declines to recuse himself from a 9/11 trial; A Marine Corps judge declined to recuse himself from a 9/11 mass murder trial despite arguments from an alleged al Qaeda kingpin that Guantanamo military commissions are an 'inquisition.'" Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo Prosecutor Is Quitting in Dispute Over a Case": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Guantanamo Prosecutor Quits, Says Evidence Was Withheld."

Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald reports that "Army prosecutor quits Gitmo war court case; In the latest Guantanamo war court tempest, a reserve prosecutor leaves service early in a dispute over whether to settle a terror case."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Guantanamo prosecutor quits amid controversy; The Army reservist was concerned about a lack of due process for war crimes defendant, two defense attorneys say; A tribunal official denies their claims."

And The Associated Press reports that "Guantanamo prosecutor quits over detainee case."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling in Qualcomm-Broadcom Fight Brings Back Opinion Letters for Patent Cases": law.com provides this report.

The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court sides with Broadcom in patent case."

And at the "Patently-O" blog, Dennis Crouch has this related post.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Federal Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush Aides Linked to Talks on Interrogations": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Senior White House officials played a central role in deliberations in the spring of 2002 about whether the Central Intelligence Agency could legally use harsh interrogation techniques while questioning an operative of Al Qaeda, Abu Zubaydah, according to newly released documents."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Top Officials Knew in 2002 of Harsh Interrogations."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Judge Says: Don't Get Pregnant; A Lapsed Law Now Sees New Life." Dan Slater has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"2 Phila.-Based Law Firms Join Probe of 9th Circuit Chief Judge": This post appears at the ABA Journal's "Law News Now" blog.
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Man who sodomized sheep isn't sex offender." The Detroit Free Press provides a news update that begins, "A Calhoun County man convicted of having sex with a sheep will not have to register as a sex offender once he is released from prison, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled."

The Detroit News provides an update headlined "Man who had sex with sheep won't appear on sex offender registry, court rules."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: Man involved with sheep not a sex offender."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Court of Appeals of Michigan at this link.
Posted at 05:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Final brief on Kennedy v. Louisiana": Lyle Denniston has this post this afternoon at "SCOTUSblog." You can access the supplemental brief that the State of Louisiana filed today by clicking here.
Posted at 03:04 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "US court: Monitoring Muslims was constitutional" (access today's Second Circuit ruling at this link); "Court mulls if Jefferson indictment is tainted"; and "W. Va. Supreme Court hears DuPont's appeal pitch."
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Broadcom wins upheld injunction against Qualcomm": Reuters provides this early report about a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued today.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court Rules Bucs Can Resume Fan Pat-Downs": Today's edition of The Tampa Tribune contains an article that begins, "Fans attending a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium could have to undergo pat-down searches in less than three weeks. For almost three years, the stadium has been the only one in the NFL where fans aren't subjected to the searches. But on Monday, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overruled one of its judges who last week upheld an injunction delaying the searches."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Judge: Bucs can resume pat-downs at stadium."
Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Creek Co. judge loses law license over sex crimes": The Oklahoman today contains an article that begins, "The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday disbarred former Creek County District Judge Donald Thompson, saying Thompson's repeated use of a sex device in the courtroom brought shame on the judiciary and the legal profession."

And The Tulsa World reports today that "Former Creek County judge disbarred; The state Supreme Court calls Donald Thompson's behavior 'unacceptable.'"

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Supreme Court of Oklahoma ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nacchio's next battle begins Thursday": Today's edition of The Denver Post contains an article that begins, "Joe Nacchio's insider-trading case will take center stage again at a federal court in Denver, this time as the focus of a rare full-court appellate review. Nine of the 12 active judges on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (three have been recused) will hear oral arguments Thursday to decide whether the former Qwest chief executive's insider-trading conviction should be affirmed or overturned."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"With 2 Hours to Spare, Justices Stay Execution": The New York Times contains this article today.

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "Court stops Davis' death."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"California voters face another measure requiring consent for minors' abortions; After failing in 2006 and 2005, backers have adjusted this year's ballot item, Proposition 4, to address concerns; But foes say it still could endanger girls": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Family planning run amok: A federal push to let healthcare workers refuse services is really an assault on reproductive rights."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Feds give customs agents free hand to seize travelers' documents": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"A gay father finds victory in his family; After seven years, a foster dad has fulfilled a 12-year-old boy's dream to have a real father, as a judge rules against Florida's ban on gay adoptions": The Miami Herald contains this article today.

The newspaper has posted the ruling, which issued late last month, at this link.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nichols seemed sane to witness; Ex-prosecutor says defendant appeared far from delusional and was constantly alert and scheming": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:36 AM by Howard Bashman


"Terror suspect asks judge about his faith; At Guantanamo's war court, an alleged arch-terrorist questioned his Marine Corps judge and learned he is a Christian, not a Jew": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

The Washington Post reports today that "9/11 Defendant Queries Judge on Beliefs; Accused Mastermind Tries to Prove Bias."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Sept. 11 plotter turns tables on military judge; Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the suicide hijackings, spends more than an hour questioning the competency of the Marine colonel presiding over trial."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



Kate Coscarelli of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger is reporting: In today's newspaper, she has articles headlined "High court case centers on use of inflatable rat" and "Top court hears man's plea to get firearms ID card back; He forfeited it and guns due to restraining order that later was lifted."

And in yesterday's newspaper she had articles headlined "Court considers rule changes for police searches of autos" and "Court: No badmouthing rivals on the boardwalk; Shouted accusations aren't protected speech" (access Monday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link).
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"Critics of Anthrax Inquiry Seek an Independent Review": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reversal sought in ruling that could set Seale free": Today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi, Jerry Mitchell has an article that begins, "Justice Department prosecutors said Tuesday that a federal appeals court should reconsider a ruling that could free a reputed Klansman serving three life sentences in the 1964 abductions and killings of two African-American teenagers.."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


He will be buried with his shoes on: The New York Times today contains an obituary headlined "Barefoot Sanders Dies; Dallas Judge Was 83." According to the obituary, he was "crowned Freckle King at the Texas State Centennial Celebration at age 11 in 1936." The obituary also traces the origin of the "Barefoot" name.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"At the Stadium, Possession Is Some Tenths of the Law": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Yankees catcher Jose Molina hit the last home run at Yankee Stadium. That is not in dispute. Who should have pocketed the ball seems to be."

And in related coverage, The Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune today contains an article headlined "Dream catch."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"First-of-its-kind torture trial to start in Miami; The trial of Charles 'Chuckie' Taylor Jr. marks the first U.S. prosecution of torture committed in a foreign country": Jay Weaver has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"2nd Circuit Upholds Release of Photos in Army Probe of Detainee Abuse": law.com provides this report.

And The New York Sun reported yesterday that "ACLU Says Military Prison Photos Confirm Widespread Abuse."
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"In the New Term, High Stakes for the High Court": Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal provides this report.
Posted at 07:34 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Rosenberg Sons Say Father Was Guilty, Mother Was Framed": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Study Finds Major Shift in Abortion Demographics": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Abortion rate is down, but report cites racial disparity; The decline has been far more dramatic for whites than for blacks and Latinas."
Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Okla. judge who used sex device in court disbarred": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday disbarred a former judge who served prison time for using a sexual device while presiding over trials."

And The Oklahoman provides a news update headlined "Former judge Donald Thompson disbarred."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma at this link.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Broadened Customs Powers Could Fuel Congressional Bill": Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun has a news update that begins, "Without public debate, the federal government recently revoked a two-decade-old policy that limited the ability of customs agents to read and copy documents travelers bring into and out of America, according to newly released memoranda from the Department of Homeland Security."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wine Lovers See Red Over State Laws That Restrict Home Delivery of Bottles": This article will appear Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal. The article explains that these laws persist despite "a landmark 2005 Supreme Court ruling that struck down as discriminatory state laws that permit in-state wineries to ship to local consumers while denying the same right to out-of-state wineries."
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Upcoming Supreme Court Case of Wyeth v. Levine and the Preemption Temptation": Anthony J. Sebok and Benjamin C. Zipursky have this essay -- the first in a two-part series -- online at FindLaw.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecutor in Nichols' rape case takes stand; Abramson Csehy recounts her fear from defendants' courthouse rampage": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update.

That newspaper's print edition today contains an article headlined "Taped shooting played for Nichols jury; Two shots, screams heard; Prosecution, defense make opening statements; replaced juror required to show up."

Today's issue of the Fulton County Daily Report contains an article headlined "Courthouse Shooting Case Opens With Audiotape of Gunshots; Jurors hear slain court reporter's taping of fatal attack; lead defense attorney focuses on accused shooter's state of mind."

The New York Times reports that "Trial Opens in Courthouse Killings."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Atlanta courthouse rampage trial begins; Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Brian Nichols, an escapee who killed 4 before taking a woman hostage in her home; The 2005 case has been plagued with delays and high costs."
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person." The Coalition for Secular Government has posted online this essay by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh.
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Two Decades in Solitary": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "He is one of New York's most isolated prisoners, spending 23 hours a day for the past two decades in a 9-by-6-foot cell."
Posted at 05:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"For gay father, adoption ruling is 'a defining moment'; After seven years, a Key West foster dad fulfilled a 12-year-old boy's greatest dream: to have a real father; In doing so, he may help smash a controversial Florida law." The Miami Herald provides this news update.

The newspaper has posted the ruling, which issued late last month, at this link.
Posted at 05:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court rejects adoption by lesbian couple; Ky. ruling chides judge in 'stepparent-like' case": This article appeared one week ago today in The Louisville Courier-Journal.

The very next day, that newspaper contained an editorial entitled "Homophobia's victims."

You can access the recent ruling of the Kentucky Court of Appeals at this link.
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bin Laden's driver still a test case of sorts; Even as the Pentagon resumes pre-trial hearings in the 9/11 case, the military is still dogged by what to do with its lone war court convict": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

In addition, she has a news update headlined "KSM questions Marine judge at Guantanamo war court; At Guantanamo's war court, an alleged arch-terrorist questioned his Marine Corps judge and learned he is a Christian, not a Jew."

In other coverage, The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Guantanamo judge enlists help of Sept. 11 suspects; Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and three codefendants write letters that reportedly persuade Ramzi Binalshibh to leave his cell and appear in court so the terrorism trial of the five men can proceed."

And The Washington Post reports that "Judge Lets 9/11 Defendants Urge Detainee to Appear."
Posted at 05:12 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Feds ask rehearing of reputed Klansman's acquittal"; "Mass. court reinstates lawsuit against Wal-Mart" (access today's ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at this link); and "Federal court hears appeal on W.Va. valley fills."
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"The question posed by this appeal is whether, under a statute forbidding the carrying and use of guns in connection with a federal crime, the nature of the weapon is to be found by the judge as a sentencing matter or by the jury as an element of the crime." So begins a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued today.

The very next sentence of the opinion explains, "Most circuits have said the former; believing ourselves largely constrained by a Supreme Court decision interpreting a prior version of the statute, we reach the opposite result, albeit with some misgivings."
Posted at 04:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court enters debate over who owns Snowball the deer": The Oregonian provides this news update.
Posted at 04:33 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit rejects the State of Alaska's challenge to a moose-related decision of the Federal Subsistence Board: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

You can learn more about the Federal Subsistence Board and the Federal Subsistence Management Program by clicking on those links.
Posted at 03:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Interview with Bloomberg News Supreme Court Reporter Greg Stohr": If you missed this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts" program, you can view it online, on-demand by clicking here (RealPlayer required). According to C-SPAN's online summary, "C-SPAN sits down with Bloomberg News Supreme Court Reporter Greg Stohr to discuss the impact the next president could have on the Supreme Court. He also examines the candidates' judicial philosophies, their views on the Supreme Court & the federal judiciary and their views on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and executive power."
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Looking for a law review article that really speaks to you? "FlaLaw Online" yesterday posted a report headlined "Florida Law Review Breaks Ground With Multimedia Article." The report begins, "For the first time in history, the Florida Law Review has published a multimedia article. The article, Constitutional Advocacy Explains Constitutional Outcomes, was written by Stephen. A. Higginson, an associate professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Higginson included 178 links to audio recordings of oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court."

You can access the law review article in question, along with related audio, via this link.
Posted at 03:21 PM by Howard Bashman



"En Banc Federal Circuit Revives Design Patent Law": Dennis Crouch has this post at "Patently-O" reporting on yesterday's unanimous, en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Egyptian Goddess, Inc. v. Swisa, Inc.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Gitmo judge enlists help from 9/11 mastermind"; "Pa.'s record on juvenile lifers put under scrutiny"; and "Ex-Pa. lawmaker takes sex-offender fight to court."
Posted at 03:02 PM by Howard Bashman


Song that I heard on the radio yesterday and can't get out of my head today: "Hurt," performed by Johnny Cash. And don't overlook the original, performed by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. (Lest we be accused of having too narrow of an editorial focus.)

Update: Reznor discussed Cash's version of the song in this interview posted online at Rollingstone.com.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge won't drop LA obscenity case after mistrial": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge has refused to dismiss obscenity charges against an adult film producer after a scandal with the trial judge this summer forced a mistrial. As opening statements were under way at Ira Isaacs' trial in June, the Los Angeles Times reported that Judge Alex Kozinski had posted sexually explicit materials on his personal Web site. He recused himself and declared a mistrial. U.S. District Court Judge George King ruled Friday that Kozinski properly recused himself and double jeopardy is not an issue if Isaacs is tried a second time. Isaacs' lawyer, Roger Jon Diamond, said he will appeal King's ruling."

I have posted at this link a copy of last Friday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denying a mistrial. One might presume that if the defendant takes an immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit, as he is allowed to do, that the case would be heard by appellate judges from outside of the Ninth Circuit sitting by designation.
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, September 22, 2008

"Vote 'no' on Amendment 48": The Denver Post today contains an editorial that begins, "Colorado voters should reject a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would define a fertilized human egg as a human being. Such a change would usher in a host of legal problems, contradict U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the meaning of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and undoubtedly be rejected by the courts."
Posted at 08:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Law firm follows founder's path; William Lamb pursued his vision in Chester County, success on own scale": This article appeared yesterday in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Posted at 04:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Nichols trial loses juror on Day 1; Opening statements come 3 1/2 years after courthouse shootings": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Ga. courthouse shooting trial opens, security high."
Posted at 04:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court: US govt can't block detainee photos release." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "An appeals court says the federal government must release 20 photographs of U.S. soldiers and detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan that were demanded by a civil rights group seeking to expose abuse. The federal appeals court in New York on Monday rejected the government's claim that releasing the photos would endanger the lives or physical safety of U.S. troops and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"History on the side of accused judge; Only 7 have been removed from office": Richard Rainey had this article yesterday in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.

Also in yesterday's newspaper, Drew Broach had an essay entitled "A rank odor in the judge's chambers."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nichols case has system in bind; Twists, turns and lawsuits cause expenses to mount and give fuel to political fights over funding for indigent defendants": Today's edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains an article that begins, "The destruction caused by the Brian Nichols case has gone beyond the four people he killed and beyond the five he carjacked. It's also gone beyond the people he assaulted in the hours between his unprecedented escape from the Fulton County Courthouse on a windy Friday morning and his surrender 26 hours later at a Duluth apartment complex. Those 26 hours three-and-a-half years ago may have been the death-knell of Georgia's then-newly created system to eliminate inequities in a hodgepodge of indigent defense systems."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Dodd, Democrats Question Lack of Court Access in Rescue Plan": Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"State suit puts Abbott system in the balance": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "The names atop New Jersey Supreme Court Docket No. 42170 have become synonymous with the controversial debate over the funding of public education that has raged in New Jersey for 30 years."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fair trial at issue in Nacchio appeal; 9-judge panel to hear arguments over key witness": Saturday's issue of The Rocky Mountain News contained this article.

And The Wall Street Journal reports today that "Nacchio Conviction Gets Second Review" (access full text via Google News).
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ginsburg Speaks on Women in Law; Justice fields questions on fifty-fifth anniversary of female enrollment at HLS": This article appears today in The Harvard Crimson. You can learn more about the event by clicking here.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Victorious Senate Democrats Could Target Eminent Domain": Today's edition of The New York Sun contains an article that begins, "A Democratic takeover of the Senate in November could result in changes to the state's eminent domain law, possibly complicating several of the city's largest development projects."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senate Hearing on Judge Nominees Collapses in Disarray Over DOJ 'Torture' Memos": Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal provides this report.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Rich Bitch: Should pets be allowed to inherit millions?" Jeffrey Toobin has this "Annals of Law" essay in the September 29, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, September 21, 2008

"The Modesty Contest: Where Obama and McCain stand on executive power." Emily Bazelon has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Equal-rights gains have local roots": This front page article about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Oyama v. California (1948) appears today in The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"The judge zips her lip as court marches right": Today in The Oregonian, columnist Susan Nielsen has an essay that begins, "She had me at hello. She lost me at 'Canadian legal system.' Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, in a packed concert hall in Portland last week, rebuffed the audience's eager questions about Bush v. Gore and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. She stuck instead to her script about international law, dishing so few personal opinions that she violated my constitutional right to be entertained."
Posted at 10:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Top court to weigh roadside searches; Will consider when police need warrants": Kate Coscarelli has this article today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Candidates and the Court": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.

And last Thursday in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, columnist Linda P. Campbell had an op-ed entitled "Constitutional protection of individual and privacy issues is an ongoing and central issue before the Supreme Court."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Are campaign contributors buying justice?" Today's issue of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains an article that begins, "For 10 years, Hugh Caperton, a financially debilitated coal producer from southern West Virginia, and the Pittsburgh attorneys who represent him have waged a courtroom war against Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, one of West Virginia's most powerful businessmen. Their next battle could be fought in the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Caperton claims he was denied a fair hearing in West Virginia's highest court, which he says was under the influence of Mr. Blankenship."
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Terrorism Financing Case Back in Court; Government Again Will Try to Link Texas Charity to Militant Group Hamas": Sunday's edition of The Washington Post will contain this article.
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"S. Dakota Readies Again for Abortion Fight": This article will appear Sunday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Pentagon shifts brass at Guantanamo war court": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

The Washington Post reports today that "Guantanamo Trials' Overseer Reassigned; Many Angry That He Remains at All."

And The Los Angeles Times reports that "Guantanamo war-crime trials advisor is reassigned; Military judges in three separate cases had barred Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann from further participation in various aspects of the military commissions."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Tracking Marshall's Steps to the Supreme Court; Exhibit Reveals Justice's Diplomacy": This article about Justice Thurgood Marshall appears today in The Washington Post.

You can learn more about the exhibit via this link.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge orders Cheney to preserve records": Pete Yost of The Associated Press has an article that begins, "A federal judge on Saturday ordered Dick Cheney to preserve a wide range of the records from his time as vice president. The decision by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is a setback for the Bush administration in its effort to promote a narrow definition of materials that must be safeguarded under by the Presidential Records Act."

And Sunday's edition of The Washington Post will contain an article headlined "Cheney Is Told to Keep Official Records; Judge's Order Responds to Suit Filed by Open-Government Advocates, Historians."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at this link.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"No more Bush-league judges": Attorneys Leonard Feldman and Tom Burt had this op-ed yesterday in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court upholds 2,000-foot rule against sex offender": Today's edition of The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa contains an article that begins, "The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a sex offender was not discriminated against when he was charged with violating a residency rule that he claimed was not in effect when he bought his house."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Iowa at this link.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wittig attorneys seek delay; U.S. Supreme Court will review case's merit": The Capital-Journal of Topeka, Kansas today contains an article that begins, "Attorneys for David Wittig on Friday sought to block the possibility of him being sent back to prison before the U.S. Supreme Court decides if it will review his case. The attorneys asked an appeals court to delay implementation of a ruling it issued earlier this week that opened the door for the former Westar Energy executive's return to prison."
Posted at 10:52 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, September 19, 2008

"After Va.'s Losses In Court, a Flurry Of Finger-Pointing": Saturday's edition of The Washington Post will contain an article that begins, "The Virginia Supreme Court's rejection of an anti-spam law is the state's latest high-profile legal defeat, a string of losses that some lawyers see as coincidental but others say reflects the General Assembly's willingness to pass aggressive measures that are more likely to face a constitutional challenge."
Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "ACLU asks high court to hear enemy combatant case"; "Pentagon moves Gitmo legal official amid criticism"; and "Transsexual wins federal discrimination lawsuit" (access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at this link).
Posted at 05:32 PM by Howard Bashman


That's why they call it the "long conference": Late yesterday, "SCOTUSblog" posted this lengthy list of "Petitions to Watch" at the U.S. Supreme Court's conference of September 29, 2008. There are certainly some interesting cases on that list.
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"President's domestic detention power tested": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "Lawyers for the only detainee seized by the military inside the U.S. and still in captivity urged the Supreme Court on Friday to rule that no federal law and no part of the Constitution allows the President to order such detentions."

You can access the petition for writ of certiorari filed today in Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli by clicking here.
Posted at 02:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Cable, led by Cablevision, mulls network DVR": The Associated Press provides this appellate-related report.
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman


Krazy khat: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued this interesting opinion today addressing what the federal government must prove to subject a criminal defendant to a lengthy prison term on a conviction for possessing khat.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"You Tube taser video: The 11th Circuit should be ashamed." At her blog "Ride The Lightning," attorney Sharon Nelson today has a post that begins, "My brother is a cop. I am part of the extended family of cops who worry constantly about what might happen to the person in uniform that they love. But there's no free pass for being a cop -- no 'get out of jail' free card when you abuse the Constitution. And when an appellate court of the United States sanctions that conduct, I start to hear Nero fiddling while Rome burns."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Is a suspect's ostensibly admitting to having engaged in child molestation sufficient, without more, to establish probable cause to search that suspect's home for child pornography? In a ruling issued today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit answers "no."
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Agency and Bush Are Sued Over Domestic Surveillance": The New York Times contains this article today.

And yesterday, the organization Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a news release headlined "EFF Sues NSA, President Bush, and Vice President Cheney to Stop Illegal Surveillance; New Legal Challenge to Unconstitutional Domestic Spying." You can access the complaint initiating suit by clicking here.
Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman



"Anthrax Suspicions: Why an independent look at the FBI probe is essential." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Taser keeps attackers, liability lawsuits at bay": The St. Petersburg Times contains this article today.
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Stripper's private dancing lands DeKalb lawyer in hot water; State commission suspends him 15 months for accepting nude dances as partial payment for her legal fees, report says": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Nichols' team balks over forensic expert": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "Brian Nichols is accused of murdering four people after escaping from a Fulton County Courthouse holding cell during his rape trial in 2005. In one of those deaths, the only living witness to the killing is Nichols himself. And prosecutors have an expert who says that they don't buy Nichols' version of events in the shooting death of David Wilhelm, an off-duty U.S. Customs agent."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gun Lobby First": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an editorial that begins, "The House stampeded past serious public safety concerns and the democratic rights of residents of the District of Columbia on Wednesday to approve a bill that would gut sensible gun controls in the nation's capital."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wecht lawyers want to petition high court": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article that begins, "Attorneys for former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht have requested a stay from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals so they can petition the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their client's case."

And today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato reports that "Wecht seeks to appeal case to U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Task force named for judge inquiry; Jurist Porteous is facing impeachment": This article appears today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


Take that, Seventh Circuit! Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article headlined "A Nadler Bill Would Legalize Mezuzahs."

The article begins, "Under legislation just introduced in Congress, residents of condominiums and co-ops would be guaranteed the right to post religious displays, such as the mezuzahs installed by observant Jews, outside apartment doors. The bill, formally proposed on Wednesday by Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, would effectively overturn a federal appeals court's ruling in July that a condominium board in Chicago had the right to remove mezuzahs that a building resident repeatedly posted."

You can view the text of the proposed "Freedom of Religious Expression in the Home Act of 2008" by clicking here.

My earlier coverage of the Seventh Circuit's ruling, which issued on July 10, 2008, appears at this link.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mistaken Authority: Congress should say no to Bush's last-gasp bid for more executive power." Neal Katyal and Justin Florence have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"In the Founders' own words": Justice Don R. Willett of the Supreme Court of Texas had this op-ed last Friday in The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Irregular Panels": Law Professor Samuel P. Jordan has posted this article online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").

The article's syllabus begins, "This article explores a common but essentially unexplored feature of appellate decision-making: decisions by irregular panels. Decisions in the federal courts of appeals are usually reached by panels of three statutorily authorized judges."
Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"Drug Label, Maimed Patient and Test for Justices": Adam Liptak will have this article Friday in The New York Times.
Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Government seeks appeal of Indian trust case": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 05:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"11th Circuit Tosses Taser Case; YouTube Video of Incident Lets Viewers Judge": Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal's "Law News Now" blog has this post today.
Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Human Toll: How Individual Americans Have Fared at the Hands of Bush Judges." The organization People For the American Way Foundation has issued this report today. A related press release can be accessed here.
Posted at 11:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court to Consider State's Death Penalty Gridlock; Small step in battle over lethal injection": Howard Mintz has this article today in The San Jose Mercury News.
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court filings focus on military death penalty system": Marine Reservist Col. Dwight Sullivan has this post at "CAAFlog" focusing on the treatment of military law in the supplemental briefs filed yesterday in the U.S. Supreme Court in the death penalty for child rape case known as Kennedy v. Louisiana.
Posted at 11:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney for Gitmo inmate works to drum up support": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law dean writes of regret over errors; Author stands by article's conclusions": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans yesterday published an article that begins, "Tulane Law School's dean has apologized to the Louisiana Supreme Court for what he called 'numerous errors' underlying a recent Tulane Law Review article about a study that showed a high correlation between lawyer and litigant campaign contributions to justices and decisions favoring the donors."

The Supreme Court of Louisiana has posted the letter of apology at its web site, and you can access the letter directly by clicking here. The law review article in question can be accessed here. The Louisiana high court's web site also offers access to a rebuttal and a critique of that article.

At WSJ.com's "Law Blog," Dan Slater has this post providing additional background.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mob boss Vinny stuck with judge": The New York Post today contains an article that begins, "Former Bronx beauty-parlor owner and mob boss Vincent 'Vinny Gorgeous' Basciano can't get a new judge for his upcoming murder trial just because he allegedly put the name of his current judge on a hit list he wrote in jail, a federal appeals court ruled."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court reinstates murder convictions of disgraced Mafia cops": The New York Daily News contains this article today.

The New York Times reports today that "Convictions Reinstated in Mob Case."

And Newsday reports that "Appeals court reinstates conviction of 'Mafia Cops.'"

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Tribune's Zell outraged by Times workers' lawsuit; The company's chief executive calls allegations against him and the company frivolous and unfounded": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Shooting near Kirksville becomes a test of Missouri's new 'castle doctrine' law": Today's edition of The Kansas City Star contains an article that begins, "When Rogelio Johnson allegedly climbed through a window and confronted Jackie Gleason in her home near Kirksville, Mo., in May, she shot him dead. A crime? Yes, concluded an Adair County coroner's jury last month. Not so fast, said county Prosecutor Mark Williams, who says the shooting may be justified under a new Missouri law known as the 'castle doctrine' that allows a person to use lethal force against intruders."

And in earlier coverage, The Kirksville (Mo.) Daily Express has published articles headlined "Gleason to be charged with murder"; "A portrait of abuse: State advocate, Gleason's daughter provide insight into abuser, victim"; "Attorney continues verbal sparring with another letter"; and "'The Wild, Wild West': Local prosecutor, MU law professor offer similar views on castle doctrine."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"House Democrats push through pro-gun bill; Conservatives cite Second Amendment in 266-152 vote": The Washington Times today contains an article that begins, "Conservative House Democrats defied party leaders Wednesday and pushed through legislation that loosens gun laws in the District, saying that the Second Amendment trumps their party's long-standing advocacy of Home Rule in the nation's capital."

And today's edition of The Washington Post contains an article headlined "Limit on Gun Law Passes; Senate Vote Unlikely" and an editorial entitled "Open Season on the District: Only the Senate stands in the way of gutting gun regulations."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Senator, Target of Anthrax Letter, Challenges F.B.I. Finding": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Senators question FBI's handling of anthrax inquiry; Some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee challenge the bureau's director, signaling that they are not convinced the case has been solved."

And USA Today reports that "Senators doubt anthrax finding; Question FBI conclusion of lone culprit in attacks."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court upholds injunction against patdowns at Bucs games": Yesterday's issue of The St. Petersburg Times contained an article that begins, "A Hillsborough County civics teacher has won another round to block patdowns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers home games. A judge for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a motion by Gordon Johnston's attorneys to prevent the patdowns from starting, while they consider appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Brian Nichols trial: Jurors chosen, though many didn't want to be." This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to the article, the jury may begin hearing evidence in the death penalty case against against alleged courthouse killer Brian Nichols on Monday of next week.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"House launches probe of Porteous; Case could result in impeachment vote": Today's edition of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans contains an article that begins, "The House Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to launch an impeachment inquiry of U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous of Metairie, the first such effort in two decades. The investigation will be conducted by a task force of committee members, which have yet to be chosen. The task force is expected to report back to the judiciary committee in January, after a new Congress is sworn in."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"11th Circuit Taser Video Posted on YouTube": This article appears today in the Fulton County Daily Report.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"The fate of Roe v. Wade and choice": Law Professor Cass Sunstein had this op-ed Sunday in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Why the Senate Needs to Approve More Judges Before It Adjourns": Carl Tobias has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Anthrax Suspect Didn't Act Alone, Leahy Posits": This article will appear Thursday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Requiring a judge to recuse himself because the defendant, in an attempt to change judges, has plotted or threatened to kill him would provide any defendant who wanted a new judge with an effective, if in some cases dreadful, method to achieve that end." So reasons the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a ruling issued today.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Access online the written materials from the Rehnquist Center's recent symposium on "New Media and the Courts": You can access the written materials by clicking here. And you can view the agenda for the symposium, which took place on September 9, 2008, by clicking here.
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Dissenting Judge Tells Lawyers to Take It to YouTube": Carolyn Elefant has this post at law.com's "Legal Blog Watch" blog.

For the record, it was I, rather than the dissenting judge, who originally suggested posting the video of this police taser incident at YouTube, where it appeared overnight at this link, as I noted in this post from earlier today.

I'm not claiming that the video appeared on YouTube pursuant to my suggestion, although the person who posted the video did email me overnight to let me know that it would be appearing on YouTube imminently. In any event, the video, especially in combination with the accompanying audio, is quite disturbing and certainly demonstrates that the dissenting judge had legitimate grounds for the passionate nature of her dissent.
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Employer sanctions law upheld by federal appeals court": The Arizona Republic provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court upholds Arizona immigration law."

My earlier coverage of today's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court urged to hold fast against death for child rape": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court's Global Influence Is Waning": Adam Liptak will have this article, the latest in his "American Exception" series, tomorrow in The New York Times.
Posted at 05:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Jury selected for Nichols trial; Testimony to begin Monday in death penalty trial": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, "The jury has been chosen for the Brian Nichols trial in Fulton County Superior Court. A majority female jury will decide whether Nichols is a murderer and whether he should die for the crime."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Rules McCain's U.S. Citizenship is 'Highly Probable'": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "A San Francisco federal judge ruled late Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate John McCain's claim of U.S. citizenship is strong enough that a lawsuit challenging his placement on the California ballot should be dismissed."
Posted at 02:41 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. House Judiciary Committee forms task force to investigate Judge Porteous": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "House panel moves toward impeaching a judge."
Posted at 02:32 PM by Howard Bashman



Ninth Circuit rejects facial constitutional challenge to Legal Arizona Workers Act, a state law that targets employers who hire illegal aliens and sanctions such employers with the revocation of their licenses to do business in Arizona: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

In early coverage, Howard Fischer of The Arizona Daily Star has a news update headlined "Appeals court rejects challenge to Ariz. employer sanctions law."
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"W.Va. court releases chief's e-mails sought by AP": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Five e-mails sent by the chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court to the head of coal company Massey Energy show the justice was concerned with a Democratic primary challenger. The e-mails were released Wednesday after a county judge sided with The Associated Press, which sued the Supreme Court to have them released under the state's freedom of information law."
Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"When Acquitted Doesn't Mean Acquitted: Judges Can Sentence Criminals to Longer Prison Terms Even After a Jury Has Acquitted Them." ABCNews.com provides this report (via "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog).
Posted at 11:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia says U. of C. has gone liberal": Today in The Chicago Sun-Times, Abdon M. Pallasch has an article that begins, "On the eve of today's 221st anniversary of the U.S. Constitution's adoption, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told conservative lawyers in Chicago that the University of Chicago Law School -- where he used to teach -- has lost its edge and gone liberal."
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"L.A. Times employees sue parent firm Tribune, Zell; A group of current and former workers accuses the CEO and his predecessor of devising a plan to take the company private to enrich themselves to the detriment of employees": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

And The New York Times reports today that "Reporters From Paper Suing Chief of Tribune."

WSJ.com's "Law Blog" has posted a copy of the complaint initiating suit at this link.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Affirmative action and the bar exam: A California professor studying affirmative action should have access to law school performance statistics." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Nichols trial: Jurors likely to find job difficult." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains this article previewing the death-penalty case against alleged courthouse killer Brian Nichols.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Detainees' Day in Court: A Senate proposal on the legal process for Guantanamo Bay prisoners has some serious flaws." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. House, D.C. Council Wrestle Over Gun Control": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Washington Times reports today that "D.C. passes gun law, but House looms; Congress considers limiting city authority."
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Happy Constitution Day! The Chief Justice Discusses Our Nation's Signature Document -- and How It Affects You." In the "KidsPost" section of today's edition of The Washington Post, this interview appears. Read the interview to learn how Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. answers the question "What do you think is the coolest part of the Constitution that people do not really know about?"

At the web site of the National Constitution Center, you can access this page devoted to "Constitution Day."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"FBI to Get Expert Help In Anthrax Inquiry; Scientific Evidence Will Be Evaluated": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The New York Times reports today that "Independent Review Set on F.B.I. Anthrax Inquiry."

And USA Today reports that "FBI's Mueller tells Congress anthrax inquiry conclusive; Says 'clear identification' was made in investigation."
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Father Was a Spy, Sons Conclude With Regret": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "They were the most famous orphans of the cold war, only 6 and 10 years old in 1953 when their parents were executed at Sing Sing for delivering atomic-bomb secrets to the Soviet Union."
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


Happy birthday to Justice David H. Souter: According to the popular "Today in History" feature from The Associated Press, Justice Souter celebrates his 69th birthday today.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Holding Mr. Rove in Contempt: Congress must not adjourn before voting to hold Karl Rove in contempt for defying a subpoena to testify about the United States attorneys scandal." This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Legal experts slam Texas judge-prosecutor link": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Legal experts are harshly criticizing a former judge and an ex-Texas prosecutor, saying their alleged sexual affair while handling cases together represents a black eye to the system."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"A video captured the events in question, and I suggest it be published together with this opinion." So wrote U.S. District Judge Beverly B. Martin, sitting by designation from the Northern District of Georgia, dissenting from a non-precedential ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued last week.

Judge Martin began her dissent as follows: "I write to express my view that the Fourth Amendment forbids an officer from discharging repeated bursts of electricity into an already handcuffed misdemeanant--who is sitting still beside a rural road and unwilling to move--simply to goad him into standing up."

In my first post about this ruling last week, I wrote, "It appears that [Judge Martin's] suggestion has not convinced the Eleventh Circuit to make the video available over its web site. Perhaps the lawyers for the plaintiff will post the video to YouTube." According to the "Appellate Law & Practice" blog, "a number of blogs are buzzing about" the decision.

The reason for this new post is to note that late yesterday, the video clip of the tasering incident was in fact posted to YouTube. You can watch the video for yourself by clicking here.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Appeal in Defamation Case Against N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg Argued Before 11th Circuit; Effort to restrict guns in New York City led to defamation case in Georgia": law.com provides a report that begins, "One current presidential candidate and one would-be candidate had links to a gun case argued before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Libertarian candidate: Bloomberg defamed gun store."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Appeals court upholds Doctor John's decision": The Deseret News provides an update that begins, "A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld an earlier decision that First Amendment rights were not violated by an ordinance requiring a sexually oriented business license for a Roy boutique."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Couple fight gender-neutral language in wedding license": This front page article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Prosecutors say reputed Klansman is flight risk": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A reputed Ku Klux Klansman recently acquitted in the abductions of two black teenagers slain in 1964 is a flight risk and should remain in prison while the government considers appealing the ruling, federal prosecutors argued Tuesday."
Posted at 08:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Of Guns, Abortions, and the Unraveling Rule of Law": Fourth Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III has posted this essay online at SSRN (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judges question whether stay hurts Congress's case": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press provides this report.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Mike Scarcella has a post titled "Stay Tuned: D.C. Circuit Weighs Stay in Subpoena Case."
Posted at 08:07 PM by Howard Bashman



"D.C. Council Votes to Relax Firearm Restrictions": The Washington Post provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "House debates bill to kill D.C. gun restrictions."
Posted at 07:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. praises Constitution; Jurist speaks to 1,500 at Susquehanna": This article appears today in the Daily Item of Sunbury, Pennsylvania.
Posted at 06:35 PM by Howard Bashman


Ninth Circuit rejects argument that a federal district court may require that notices of appeal be filed electronically in order to be timely: The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California received the appellant's notice of appeal in the mail before the deadline for appeal had expired but rejected the notice because, among other reasons, that federal district court is an ECF jurisdiction requiring that notices of appeal be filed electronically. The appellant's electronic notice of appeal, however, was not filed until after the deadline for a timely appeal.

In a ruling issued today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds that the appeal was timely, because the appellant provided the notice of appeal (albeit on paper rather than electronically) for filing to the district court's clerk before the deadline for appeal had expired.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge: Riviera Beach 'saggy pants' ban unconstitutional." This article appeared yesterday in The Palm Beach Post.
Posted at 03:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Although economic rights are at stake, we are not basing our decision today on our personal approach to economics, but on the Equal Protection Clause's requirement that similarly situated persons must be treated equally." So explains the majority on a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in an opinion issued today striking down as unconstitutional a California pest controller license exemption to the extent the exemption does "not include mice, rats, or pigeons."

Update: Law Professor Orin Kerr criticizes the legal basis for this ruling in a post that you can access here at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman



Sharing is caring: The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts today issued a news release titled "Judicial Conference Adopts Courtroom Sharing Policy As Latest Cost-Saver."

Update: At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Judges Sharing Courtrooms."
Posted at 02:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"House panel moves toward Porteous impeachment": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides this news update.
Posted at 01:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Attorney who won landmark Guantanamo case to work here; Retired naval lawyer setting up practice in Seattle": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article that begins, "The retired Navy lawyer who beat the president of the United States in a pivotal Supreme Court battle over trying alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay plans to open a criminal defense practice in Seattle."
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cable Programmers Air FCC Challenge in D.C. Circuit": Mike Scarcella had this post late yesterday at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Standing Up to Angler: A group of administration officials took on the vice president to defend the rule of law on surveillance." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"No Longer in Sniper's Shadow; Muhammad's Ex-Wife Determined to Heal Her Children, Other Abuse Victims": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawmakers Are Seeking Answers in Anthrax Case; FBI's Mueller to Be Queried by House Panel About Evidence Against Researcher": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And yesterday at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro had a post titled "New Twist in Hatfill Case."
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Scalia says judges need to interpret, not rewrite Constitution": This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.

And The Herald Journal of Logan, Utah today contains an article headlined "'Supreme' opinion" featuring a very large photograph of Justice Antonin Scalia at yesterday's appearance.

Elsewhere, The Day of New London, Connecticut reported yesterday that "Scalia To Visit Mystic To Get Church Award; St. Edmundites honoring U.S. Supreme Court justice."
Posted at 08:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Partying by prosecutor kept out of Nichols trial": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains an article that begins, "A judge said Monday he believed a prosecutor partied with illegal drugs before trying Brian Nichols for rape, but spared her from having to testify about it during Nichols' upcoming murder trial. Superior Court Judge James Bodiford ruled that questions about Gayle Abramson Csehy's use of cocaine and Ecstasy are irrelevant to the murder case, in which testimony starts next Monday."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge Upholds Student's Suspension for Fake MySpace Page": Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer has an article that begins, "An eighth-grade student who was suspended for 10 days after she created a fake page on MySpace.com that depicted her principal as a pedophile and a sex addict has lost her civil rights suit now that a federal judge has ruled that the discipline was proper and didn't violate her free speech rights."

And The Pottsville (Pa.) Republican & Herald reported last Friday that "Court won't block suspension."

I have posted a copy of last week's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 08:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Tort Bar's Comeback": This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal, which has redesigned its web site.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"11th Circuit Limits New Rules on Crack Sentencing; Panel says five defendants can't seek resentencing because their prison time was based on career-offender status": law.com provides this report today.

You can access the recent ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, September 15, 2008

"Forest Grove asks U.S. Supreme Court to settle special education case": This article appears today in The Oregonian. The newspaper has posted the petition for writ of certiorari at this link.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reject notion of 'living constitution,' Scalia tells USU crowd": The Deseret News provides this update.

And The Herald Journal of Logan, Utah provides a news update headlined "Supreme Court Justice Scalia speaks to huge USU audience."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme opportunity: New England Law students get chance to study with Justice Antonin Scalia." This article will appear Tuesday in The Boston Herald.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kan. abortion provider seeks dismissal of charges": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 06:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"California's deceptive Proposition 4: It says it's about parental notification, but it's really about attacking legalized abortion." Francesca Ratner has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Brain test could be next polygraph; Seattle scientist making his pitch": The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article that begins, "A Seattle scientist who has developed an electronic brain test that he says could improve our ability to force criminals to reveal themselves, identify potential terrorists and free those wrongly convicted may have finally broken through the bureaucratic barriers that he believes have served to stifle adoption of the pioneering technique."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Was Shielded From Crisis: President was nowhere in the picture as Cheney fought to keep surveillance program on track." This book excerpt appears today on the front page of The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"No heir apparent for exiting chief judge; Judith S. Kaye held job longer than anyone else": This article appears today in The Times Union of Albany, New York.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Libel Tourism': When Freedom of Speech Takes a Holiday." Adam Cohen has this "Editorial Observer" essay today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Put Palin on the Supreme Court: Washington's old-boy problem hardly ends at the Oval Office." Columnist Dahlia Lithwick has this essay in the September 22, 2008 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"9/11 justice: War crimes tribunals don't engage public; On Sept. 11, the trials at Guantanamo designed to get justice seem remote, military-run affairs that don't capture the imagination of the American people." Carol Rosenberg had this article last Thursday in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"All pants rise for judge of dignity": Columnist Sue Carlton had this op-ed yesterday in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Animal rights drive dog lawsuit; Money 'not the object': Ellijay couple say the unnecessary loss of their pet has them left empty, angry." This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court visits Yale Law": The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "The Yale Law School auditorium was transformed Friday from a classroom into a courtroom. Students were privy to up-close Connecticut Supreme Court action when it set up shop at the Law School, part of a decades-old program that takes the court on the road to universities and high schools across the state."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Former Guantanamo chief takes helm at R.I. Veterans Home": This article appears today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman


"Senior Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya: 'I love my court.'" Edward Fitzpatrick had this article yesterday in The Providence (R.I.) Journal.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"High-Stakes Trial Is Set Against Alleged Hamas Arm": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "Prosecutors are set today to take a second run at convicting officers of a Texas-based charity that the government contends was a Hamas beachhead in America, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development."

And The Dallas Morning News reports today that "Holy Land prosecution begins again."
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"GIs Look to 9 for Justice on War Wounds; Several Cases on Supreme Court's Docket Are Already Generating Interest": Joseph Goldstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Court: Widow can't use husband's frozen sperm." Saturday in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko had an article that begins, "Iris and Joseph Kievernagel disagreed about having children during their 10-year marriage, and their argument moved into the courts - and the casebooks of legal precedent - after his death in a helicopter crash. In a ruling made public Friday, a state appeals court said the Sacramento County woman has no right to use her husband's frozen sperm to become pregnant because he had made it clear he did not want to father a child posthumously."

And The Sacramento Bee reports today that "Widow's suit to keep husband's frozen sperm denied."

You can access last week's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District at this link.
Posted at 11:37 PM by Howard Bashman



"Relentless Terrorism Prosecutor Faces Accusations of His Own": Jerry Markon has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"A White House Led to the Brink: Efforts by Cheney, his counsel to quash legal storm over eavesdropping put presidency to historic test." This book excerpt appears today on the front page of The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"2 Border Patrol agents lose appeal in shooting": The San Antonio Express-News on Friday contained an article that begins, "Two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a drug smuggler near El Paso and covering it up lost an appeal Thursday. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans refused to reconsider the ruling a three-judge panel had issued in late July that affirmed most of the charges against Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean."

The El Paso Times reported on Friday that "Ex-border agents denied hearing."

And Friday in The Washington Times, Jerry Seper reported that "Border Patrol agents lose last appeal over shot smuggler."
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Federal Judge Suspended On Misconduct Charges": Nathan Koppel has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.

Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal reports that "Federal Judge Slammed by 5th Circuit in Disciplinary Action."

And today's edition of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans contains an editorial entitled "Rid us of this unfit judge."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, September 12, 2008

"Va. Ban On Spam Is Ruled Unlawful; E-Mail Restriction Called Violation of First Amendment": The Washington Post on Saturday will contain an article that begins, "The Virginia Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the state's anti-spam law, designed to prevent the sending of masses of unwanted e-mail, violates the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) promptly said he would appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court."

My earlier coverage of today's Supreme Court of Virginia ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama, McCain make a joint appearance -- in frivolous lawsuits": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 05:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"$54 Million Pants Case Set for Appeal": Jeff Jeffrey has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court rules 'Crosses' can stay": The Las Cruces (N.M.) Sun-News provides an update that begins, "Appeals have been denied in two lawsuits that argued the city of Las Cruces and its school district violated the U.S. Constitution by using Christian crosses in city logos and buildings. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver this morning issued an opinion that affirmed a lower court ruling, dismissing a lawsuit by Las Crucens Paul Weinbaum and Martin Boyd against the city, and another lawsuit by Weinbaum against Las Cruces Public Schools."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 04:11 PM by Howard Bashman



Why not include a smiley face in your appellate court ruling? Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner includes a smiley face in an opinion he issued today, and that opinion happens to be a dissent.


Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Va. court strikes down anti-spam law": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Virginia Supreme Court declared the state's anti-spam law unconstitutional Friday and reversed the conviction of a man once considered one of the world's most prolific spammers. The court unanimously agreed with Jeremy Jaynes' argument that the law violates the free-speech protections of the First Amendment because it does not just restrict commercial e-mails."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Virginia at this link. The author of the opinion is former Justice G. Steven Agee, who now serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman



Second Circuit rejects antitrust challenge against the exclusive licensing agent for Major League Baseball clubs' intellectual property: You can access today's ruling by a three-judge, all female panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link. The case was argued on January 23, 2007.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court vetting process damaged by apparent leak, Newfoundland minister says; Hearn, who said some judges turned down invitations, says he didn't know names": Wednesday's edition of The Toronto Globe and Mail contained an article that begins, "The federal government has permanently damaged its Supreme Court of Canada nomination process by appearing to leak confidential information about judicial candidates to a cabinet minister, Newfoundland and Labrador Justice Minister Jerome Kennedy said yesterday."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawsuit Rx: If we can't sue drug companies, where's the accountability?" Thomas Kostigen has this commentary online at MarketWatch.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court justice attends Notre Dame practice": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts stopped by the University of Notre Dame on Thursday to watch the Fighting Irish football team practice. Coach Charlie Weis talked to the team about the attacks on September 11th seven years ago, then Roberts talked to them about those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The practice and talks were closed to the media."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Justice Scalia to speak at UM Sept. 24": Today's issue of The Montana Kaimin contains an article that begins, "The University of Montana will welcome Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as its fifth U.S. Supreme Court speaker on Sept. 24 in the University Theater."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"State Supreme Court: Porreco prenup OK." The Erie (Pa.) Times-News today contains an article that begins, "After circling through the legal system for nearly 10 years, a dispute over a fake diamond engagement ring and a prenuptial agreement has ended."
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Conn. Supreme Court to hear cases at Law School today": This article appears today in The Yale Daily News.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Secret sex tape can't be used, court says; Man accused of assault of wife in coma": Today's edition of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contains an article that begins, "Prosecutors can't use secret videotapes of a Watertown minister having sex with his comatose wife while she was in a nursing home, the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The man faces eight felonies -- four counts of second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious person and four counts of third-degree sexual assault -- as well as a misdemeanor. The case raises a number of issues, including a nursing home's obligation to protect the health and safety of a patient, an individual's right to privacy and questions of marital sexual abuse."

And The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin reports today that "Appeals court throws out video evidence in nursing home sex case."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's ruling of the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District IV, appears at this link.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Panel lays out case against judge; Pace of proceedings in U.S. House lags": This front page article appears today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.

My two earlier posts about the recently issued Order and Public Reprimand against U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr. of the Eastern District of Louisiana appear immediately below.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Court slams Porteous as impeachment move stalls": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans provides a news update that begins, "As the move to impeach U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous stalls in a congressional committee, a panel of fellow federal judges publicly slammed him Thursday with a thorough retelling of the case against him. The Judicial Council of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans released hundreds of pages of previously secret documents from the investigation of Porteous, issuing a scathing report that spotlights multiple schemes to hide money, some while he was languishing in bankruptcy."

My most recent earlier coverage appears in the post immediately below.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"In issuing this Order and Public Reprimand and executing the actions contained herein, the Council is taking the maximum disciplinary steps allowed by law against Judge Porteous." The Judicial Council of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit yesterday issued this order and public reprimand, which the Fifth Circuit posted online today.

In addition to the public reprimand, the Council "orders that no new cases be assigned to Judge Porteous for two years from the date of this Order and Public Reprimand or until Congress takes final action on the impeachment proceedings, whichever occurs earlier."

The final two pages of the order and public reprimand consist of links to related documentation in the case, much of which was not previously available over the internet.
Posted at 09:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judges hear Craig's appeal; Attorneys focus on mail-in-plea aspect of restroom case": The St. Paul Pioneer Press contains this article today.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports today that "Craig asks Appeals Court to toss guilty plea; An attorney for the Idaho Republican senator sought to have the disorderly conduct conviction dismissed for lack of evidence; The three-judge panel will rule within 90 days."

The Idaho Statesman contains an article headlined "Minnesota Court of Appeals sent mixed signals on how it might rule, Idaho lawyer says."

And The New York Times reports that "Senator Seeks Withdrawal of Guilty Plea in Sex Sting."
Posted at 09:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"NRA suits push cities to drop gun bans; Some locales resist after federal ruling": This article appears today in USA Today.
Posted at 08:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ladies' Man: The backslapping, bloviating hero of women's rights." In the September 24, 2008 issue of The New Republic, Fred Strebeigh has an article that begins, "In January 2000, when the Supreme Court assembled to hear oral arguments attacking a pivotal section of the Violence Against Women Act, Joseph Biden was front and center."
Posted at 08:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Good Judges Are More Important Than Ever: The imperial judiciary is sapping the president's power to protect America." David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey have this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Does a second federal criminal statute also permit the death penalty for child rape? Law Professor Orin Kerr tentatively answers "yes" in a post that you can access here at "The Volokh Conspiracy."

Update: Alas, as an update to Orin's post explains, it turns out that his tentative answer was incorrect.
Posted at 05:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Wis. court: Cops illegally taped nursing home sex." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Police who videotaped a man having sex with his comatose wife in her nursing home room violated his constitutional rights, an appeals court ruled Thursday."

You can access today's ruling of the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District IV, at this link.
Posted at 04:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Seventh Circuit refuses to reinstate claim made by former "Dateline NBC" investigative producer that her opposition the "To Catch a Predator" series resulted in her wrongfully termination by the network: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at this link.

The Smoking Gun web site, in May 2007, provided access to a copy of the former producer's complaint in a post titled "NBC's 'Perverted' Justice? Axed 'Dateline' producer slams popular 'Predator' series as unethical." Chatmag News, Radar, and Chicago Reader also covered the lawsuit soon after it was filed.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



Get out of the zone: According to a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued today, "Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to AutoZone, a reasonable trier of fact could find that consumers are likely to be confused between the AutoZone mark and the Oil Zone and Wash Zone marks."
Posted at 02:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Wash. court: Smoking ban applies to private clubs." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A sharply divided state Supreme Court says Washington's smoking ban applies to private clubs that have employees."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Undies are out of order in his court": Today's edition of The St. Petersburg Times contains an article that begins, "Circuit Judge Daniel Perry had seen one backside too many. Tired of seeing inmates' underwear sticking out above their low-slung orange pants, Perry delayed court for 1 1/2 hours Wednesday morning. He ordered all 61 inmates on his docket back to jail so that the few wearing loose bottoms could change into pants that fit. A day before, an inmate's exposed underpants had prompted the judge to cut court short." (Via "Obscure Store.")
Posted at 01:20 PM by Howard Bashman


The backbreaking burden of law school: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article headlined "Books a weighty issue for law schools; Could companies like Amazon offer an alternative to heavy tomes?"
Posted at 01:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Funding Terrorism Is Issue in Chicago Case": Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court that includes some of America's most prominent jurists is wrestling with a case that could set an important precedent about when Americans can be held legally liable for funding groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, that carry out terrorist operations and humanitarian aid efforts at the same time. In Chicago, 10 judges who constitute nearly the entire active bench of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals spent more than an hour hearing lively arguments in a lawsuit brought by the family of an American yeshiva student, David Boim, 17, who was sprayed with gunfire and killed in an apparent terrorist attack at a West Bank bus stop in 1996."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Lawyer: Islamic groups should pay in teen's death."

You can access the audio of yesterday's Seventh Circuit en banc oral argument via this link (13.2MB mp3 audio file).

My earlier coverage of the now-vacated decision of a partially-divided three judge Seventh Circuit panel in this case can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 01:12 PM by Howard Bashman



Which U.S. Supreme Court Justice's first name is Sam? The correct answer to that question could have won you $16,000 on today's broadcast of the syndicated TV program "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"

Fortunately, the contestant who received the question answered it correctly after using his phone-a-friend lifeline.
Posted at 01:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Judge orders Free Press reporter to testify; Former U.S. prosecutor is suing government": Today's edition of The Detroit Free Press contains an article that begins, "A federal judge has ruled that a Free Press reporter will have to give a deposition in the lawsuit of a former assistant U.S. attorney who claims the government violated his privacy rights by leaking word of an internal investigation of him. U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, in an opinion issued Aug. 28, said lawyers for Richard Convertino can question David Ashenfelter about unnamed officials in a 2004 article. Ashenfelter wrote that Convertino was under investigation for his conduct in the trial of a suspected terror cell."

And The Associated Press provides an article headlined "Judge: Ex-prosecutor can question Detroit reporter."

I have posted online at this link last month's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Posted at 12:32 PM by Howard Bashman



By a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court of Washington State holds that a state-wide ban on smoking in "places of employment" prohibits smoking inside American Legion Posts: Today's ruling consists of a majority opinion, a concurring opinion, and three dissenting opinions (here, here, and here).
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Christopher Buckley Talks 'Supreme Courtship'": The Washington Post's web site yesterday hosted this chat with author Christopher Buckley.
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit affirms entry of summary judgment against minor females who filed a federal civil rights action alleging they were sexually abused by the then-Mayor of Waterbury, Connecticut: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.

The case involves former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano, who was previously convicted in federal court on seventeen of the eighteen criminal counts against him, including two counts charging him with acting under color of law to deprive these plaintiffs of their constitutional rights to be free from unwanted sexual abuse.
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court upholds damage award in age-bias case": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has an article today that begins, "A federal appeals court has upheld $340,000 in damages for two laid-off scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park but rejected claims of age discrimination in the layoffs of 12 other longtime employees more than a decade ago."

Tuesday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit consisted of a majority opinion and an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hayward's living-wage law upheld by top court": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court rejected an employer's challenge to Hayward's living-wage ordinance Wednesday, bolstering California cities' authority to apply such laws to contractors based outside city limits."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fox Rothschild on Philly Cop's Muslim Discrimination Suit": Yesterday evening at "The Am Law Daily" blog, Zach Lowe had a post that begins, "Fox Rothschild partner Jeffrey Pollock knows he's not exactly abiding by the usual rules for appellate argument as he seeks to reverse a district court ruling that let the City of Philadelphia ban a Muslim female police officer from wearing a head scarf at work."

Yesterday, I had this post collecting additional news coverage of the oral argument.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal reports that "5th Circuit Gives Prosecution of Texas Federal Judge to Fla. Judge."

And Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer reports that "$182 Million Judgment Upheld Against PricewaterhouseCoopers." My earlier coverage of Tuesday's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Constitutional Biden: Civil liberties' greatest salesman." Law Professor Jeffrey Rosen has this essay in the September 24, 2008 issue of The New Republic.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"District mistaken in barring banners; Judge doesn't toss lawsuit by teacher": The San Diego Union-Tribune today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge has ruled that school officials shouldn't have made a Rancho Penasquitos math teacher take down classroom banners proclaiming 'In God We Trust,' 'God Bless America' and other sayings. The school district argued that the 7-foot-wide banners in Brad Johnson's classroom at Westview High School declared a 'Judeo-Christian' point of view at odds with the non-religious educational mission of the public school."

Today's edition of The North County Times contains an article headlined "Judge: Teacher's claim against Poway Unified over 'God' signs stands; District to decide between trial or settlement."

And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "San Diego teacher can sue to restore classroom banners; Brad Johnson, a high school teacher who was ordered to take down banners with slogans including 'God Bless America,' can proceed with a lawsuit against his school district, a federal judge rules."

You can access last Thursday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California at this link.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"I write to express my view that the Fourth Amendment forbids an officer from discharging repeated bursts of electricity into an already handcuffed misdemeanant--who is sitting still beside a rural road and unwilling to move--simply to goad him into standing up." So begins the dissent from a non-precedential ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued yesterday.

The dissent, written by U.S. District Judge Beverly B. Martin, sitting by designation from the Northern District of Georgia, also states, "A video captured the events in question, and I suggest it be published together with this opinion." It appears that her suggestion has not convinced the Eleventh Circuit to make the video available over its web site. Perhaps the lawyers for the plaintiff will post the video to YouTube.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Seale may go free within days": Jerry Mitchell of The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi has this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Reputed Miss. Klansman may soon walk out of prison."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Craig argues to reverse plea in bathroom sex case": The Minneapolis Star Tribune provides this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "Craig lawyers argue to overturn plea in sex sting."
Posted at 04:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Breyer sees two sides of coin in 'New Media, Courts'": The Arizona Daily Star contains this article today.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Courts and the New Media."
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Circuit Court rules against Florida's ban on gay adoptions; A foster father can adopt his teenage ward, a judge has ruled, because Florida's prohibition against gay adoption is contrary to the state and U.S. constitutions": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"What the Iowa Supreme Court's Recent Public Indecency Decision Reveals About Statutory Interpretation": Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.

My earlier coverage of last Friday's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 02:50 PM by Howard Bashman



President Bush nominates U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska of the Southern District of New York to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, but not before she receives "high-five" from Borat: You can view the formal announcement of yesterday's nomination at this link.

And, in related news, The Associated Press reports that "Glorious judge for make benefit 'Borat' filmmakers." The article begins, "A New York judge has tossed out lawsuits brought by a driving instructor and two etiquette school teachers who said the makers of the movie 'Borat' deceived them. Judge Loretta Preska says all three accepted money and signed agreements releasing the filmmakers from liability."

In other coverage, BBC News reports that "US judge dismisses Borat claims; A US judge has thrown out legal claims by a driving instructor and two etiquette teachers who claimed they were deceived by the makers of Borat."

I have posted at this link a copy of last week's ruling from Judge Preska dismissing these three Borat-related lawsuits.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman



Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer is reporting: In today's newspaper he has articles headlined "3rd Circuit Revives Investors' Claims Against Merck" and "NFL Held Liable in 'Voice of God' Case."

My earlier coverage of those rulings from yesterday can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court tosses Seale verdict; Judges rule federal statute of limitations on kidnapping had expired": Jerry Mitchell has this article today in The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi.

The Rocky Mountain News reports today that "Court action sets back Springs man's crusade."

The Associated Press reports that "Reputed Klansman's cold-case conviction overturned."

And BBC News reports that "Ex-KKK man freed over 1964 deaths."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Child rape revisited? An error may prompt the Supreme Court to rehear a death penalty case; But its ruling should stand." The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Anti-Bias Law Wins In Md.'s High Court; Transgender People Protected In Montgomery": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge issues gag order in Kent case": The Southeast Texas record provides this report.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


Kate Coscarelli of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger is reporting: In today's newspaper, she has articles headlined "Justices hear argument for suing county over deadly pothole" and "Battle over tree laws ascends to top court; Builders oppose Jackson's replacement rule."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman


"The officer fights for her scarf; Philly cop cites Newark case in her argument for Muslim dress": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "Just weeks after joining the Philadelphia Police Department in 1995, Kimberlie Webb converted to Islam and sought permission to wear a head scarf on the job. Her supervisors continually rejected her request over the years. Last year, a federal district court backed their decision. Webb appealed, and the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case yesterday."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that "Judges hear arguments on Muslim officer's scarf."

And The Philadelphia Daily News contains an article headlined "Has cop a right to Muslim headcover?"
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Law prof detained in Iran for last 3 weeks; Medhi Zakerian would have been a visiting scholar this year": This article appears today in The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Posted at 08:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"[T]here is no such title as chief justice of the [U.S.] Supreme Court." So notes this correction published today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Meaner Streets in Washington: A bill being considered in Congress that would eviscerate gun controls in the District of Columbia is a gross trampling on the right of the district to govern itself." This editorial appears today in The New York Times. The newspaper also contains a related article headlined "House Panel Hears Testimony on Bill to Ease Gun Laws in Capital."

And today's edition of The Washington Post contains an article headlined "Gun Bill Dangerous, D.C. Chief Tells House" and an editorial entitled "City in the Crossfire: A House panel considers gutting gun restraints, home rule and basic public safety in the District."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Ohio Legislature Wisely Enacts a Law to Supersede an Ohio Supreme Court Decision that Had Limited How Litigation Could Be Funded": Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Gun Bill Could Strip D.C. Of Control; Congress Weighs Repealing Ban On Semiautomatics": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Experts Evaluate the Intersection Between the 'New Media' and Courts; Judges and legal experts debated the influence that the new media is having on the public's understanding of the court system": The University of Arizona issued this news release today. Justice Stephen G. Breyer delivered the symposium's opening remarks.

The Tucson Citizen reports today that "Supreme Court justice talks to aspiring judges at UA law school; Breyer uses Dred Scott case as example."

And The Arizona Daily Wildcat reports today that "Supreme Court Justice visits UA; Breyer discusses Dred Scott."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Fifth Circuit overturns the 2007 federal criminal convictions of reputed Klansman James Ford Seale for kidnapping and conspiracy in the 1964 deaths of two black teenagers in southwest Mississippi: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.

The conclusion to today's opinion begins:

To summarize, we conclude that the five-year limitations period made applicable to the federal kidnaping statute by the 1972 amendment applies to this case, where the alleged offense occurred in 1964 and the indictment was issued in 2007. The more than forty-year delay clearly exceeded the limitations period. The district court erred by failing to recognize the presumption that changes affecting statutes of limitation apply retroactively, even without explicit direction from Congress.
Previously, The Associated Press provided this coverage of the jury's verdict, while The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi provided this coverage of the imposition of three life sentences for the crimes.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"US appeals court OKs Facenda suit against NFL": The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of today's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"Charles Dean Hood granted a stay of execution": The Dallas Morning News provides an update that begins, "The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted a stay of execution for Charles Dean Hood, who was set to die Wednesday for the killings of Tracie Wallace and Ronald Williamson in 1989 in Plano. The stay was based on an appeal filed last week that asked the court to reconsider an issue taken up over the summer. It is not related to revelations that the judge and prosecutor during Mr. Hood's trial have admitted in sworn affidavits taken Monday and Tuesday that they had a sexual relationship."

And The Associated Press reports that "Texas court stops execution set for Wednesday."
Posted at 08:01 PM by Howard Bashman



"Chron scrutinizes Kent case gag order": Mark Obbie has this post today at his "LawBeat" blog.
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman


The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Retired Texas judge questioned in death row case" and "Palin's nomination adds fuel to abortion debate."
Posted at 05:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court hears appeal by Phila. officer to wear religious head scarf": The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a news update that begins, "A three-judge appellate panel heard arguments today on whether to reopen a case concerning an Islamic Philadelphia police officer who wants to wear a religious head scarf while on duty."
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Thomas says Constitution forbids racial preference": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Tuesday that African-Americans are better served by colorblind programs than affirmative action."
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman


Divided three-judge Third Circuit panel reinstates class action securities fraud complaint against Merck & Co alleging that the company misrepresented the safety profile and commercial viability of Vioxx: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.
Posted at 02:12 PM by Howard Bashman


Third Circuit affirms $182.9 million judgment against Coopers & Lybrand: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 02:08 PM by Howard Bashman


Third Circuit decides National Football League "Voice of God" dispute: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in John Facenda, Jr. v. N.F.L. Films, Inc. at this link.

Previously, Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer has provided coverage of the case in articles headlined "NFL Not Entitled to 'Voice of God' in Promotional Film"; "'Voice of God' Case Kicks Off Against NFL; Legendary sports announcer's estate fights appeal before 3rd Circuit"; and "3rd Circuit Judges Pepper Counsel With Questions in 'Voice of God' Case."

And in other coverage, Philadelphia Magazine recently published an article "The Voice of God: The booming baritone of John Facenda, legendary Philadelphia newscaster and signature of NFL Films, has popped up selling everything from Campbell's chili to video games; Now his son Jack is fighting to reclaim it" (click here to access on a single page). You can listen to Facenda's famous voice covering the death of President John F. Kennedy at this link.
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Reform plan kept off ballot; Supreme Court upholds ruling that package would make too many changes to Michigan Constitution": This article appears today in The Detroit News.

The Detroit Free Press reports today that "Court upholds barring proposal to reform government."

And The Associated Press reports that "High court bars rewrite of constitution from ballot; Reform Michigan spokeswoman calls ruling 'judicial activism at its worst.'"
Posted at 12:32 PM by Howard Bashman



For purposes of equally apportioning congressional representation, must congressional districts have the same total population -- the number of residents within each district -- or some different population that produces the same number of votes cast in each district? After identifying an interesting choice between two conceptions of democratic equality, "electoral equality" and "equal representation," a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today finds it unnecessary to resolve that choice in the context of the case under review.
Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman


Divided three-judge Second Circuit panel rules that man is entitled to a third trial on charges that he used his computer to send messages on the internet to entice an individual he believed to be an underaged girl to engage in unlawful criminal sexual activity: Of course, according to today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the man was in fact chatting with "a 55-year-old woman who spends 20 to 50 hours a week surfing the Internet for those she believes to be sexual predators and reporting her finds to the FBI."
Posted at 11:47 AM by Howard Bashman


Telecommunications providers have a First Amendment right to alert their customers to the existence of a Kentucky gross revenues tax, even though Kentucky law prohibits those telecommunications providers from directly passing on the cost of that tax to their customers: So holds a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in an interesting decision issued today.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton issued the majority opinion, in which U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster, sitting by designation from the Northern District of Ohio, joined. Circuit Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey dissented from the ruling striking down the law, writing, "Because cherished First Amendment principles do not protect false or misleading commercial speech, I dissent from the majority's analysis of this issue and would reverse the district court's invalidation of the challenged ban that seeks to prevent just such deception."
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Husband was cleaning up blood, judge tells LV police": The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains an article that begins, "Metropolitan Police Department officers who first attended to beaten and bloodied District Judge Elizabeth Halverson on Thursday later discovered an empty bottle of bleach in a master bedroom trash can."
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. court revives cases against Enron executives": Reuters provides a report that begins, "A ruling in the federal appeals court in New Orleans on Monday revived Texas state court fraud cases targeting Enron Corp's former leaders and more than a dozen financial institutions accused of playing a role in the company's collapse, legal documents showed."

Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "Enron Corp. investors may sue the failed energy trader's banks and executives in Texas state court after reaching settlements for-billions of dollars in federal litigation, a U.S. appeals court ruled."

And Dow Jones Newswires report that "U.S. Court Revives Enron Cases in Texas."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. court rejects Salvadoran's asylum appeal": In The San Francisco Chronicle today, Bob Egelko has this article reporting on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued yesterday.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Buckley reigns 'Supreme'; Court caper blends humor, admiration": Today in USA Today, Deirdre Donahue has this review of Christopher Buckley's novel "Supreme Courtship."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


That'll teach me to take a vacation: Last month, while I was visiting the Galapagos Islands, Kate Coscarelli of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger had an article headlined "Court allows lawsuit against justice; Teammate of jurist's son alleges abuse of power in head-butt case." The article begins, "A civil rights lawsuit against New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto can proceed on the claim that he used the power of his office when he intervened in a dispute between his son and another high school student, a judge ruled * * *."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that "N.J. justice protected from suit, court rules."

Gannett's New Jersey bureau reported that "Judge allows, limits suit against N.J. Supreme Court justice."

Henry Gottlieb of the New Jersey Law Journal reported that "N.J. Supreme Court Judge Can Be Sued Personally for Alleged Civil Rights Breach; Judge allegedly used his authority to intervene in investigations into whether his son was bullied by a classmate."

And The Associated Press reported that "Judge nixes part of teen's suit against NJ justice."

You can access last month's ruling of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, for Mercer County at this link.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"This Week on America & the Courts, C-SPAN sat down with U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Chief Judge David Sentelle on August 20th. Judge Sentelle gave an overview of the circuit court and his job as chief judge." You can view this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts" program by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Justice Breyer Joins Arizona Illustrated for Its Return on Sept. 8": The University of Arizona has issued this news release. You can learn more about the program by clicking here.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Seeks Briefs on Rehearing Capital Case; La. and Justice Cite Change by Congress": Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has an article that begins, "The Supreme Court yesterday ordered briefs on the question of whether it should reconsider its June decision that it is unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on those who rape children."

And today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that "High Court May Revisit Death-Penalty Decision."
Posted at 08:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gag order issued in Judge Kent case; Visiting judge says publicity could undermine right to fair trial": Mary Flood has this article today in The Houston Chronicle. In addition, columnist Lisa Falkenberg has an op-ed entitled "Judge wants Kent's trial in shadows."

And The Galveston County Daily News reports today that "Lawyers in Kent case told to keep quiet."

I have posted a copy of last Friday's order at this link.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, September 8, 2008

"New Jersey marks state courts' 60th anniversary": Kate Coscarelli of The Newark Star-Ledger has this news update.

And late last month, she had a preview headlined "Court will decide host of hot topics in new term; Colleagues praise Justice Rabner's 'calm presence.'"
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Keeping the window into drug firms' practices open": Today in The Boston Globe, Alison Bass has an op-ed that begins, "In November, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could make it much more difficult for public officials to expose drug industry practices that put profits ahead of patients."
Posted at 11:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Libel lawsuit filed against Cape blogger": The Boston Globe today contains an article which reports that "More than 500 blogger lawsuits have arisen in US courts - often generating more publicity than the posts that spawned them."
Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Palestinians Seek to Overturn Judgment, but There's a $192.7 Million Catch": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Quicksand for Judges": The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "Congress returns from August vacation this week, but for Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee the summer winddown kicked off closer to April. By the time they left town for recess, they had chalked up one of the slowest rates for judicial confirmations in modern times."
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Chief Justice Roberts judges mock court case at UF": This article appears today in The Independent Florida Alligator. Last Friday, the newspaper previewed the Chief Justice's visit in an article headlined "Chief Justice visits UF."

The Jacksonville Daily Record reports today that "Chief Justice Roberts comes to UF."

Saturday's edition of The Gainesville Sun reported that "Chief justice puts UF students to test." And on Friday, the newspaper reported that "U.S. Chief Justice presides over UF moot court contest."

And last Friday's edition of The Ocala Star-Banner reported that "Law student from Ocala gets supreme opportunity; University of Florida's Rob Davis will argue mock case before chief justice."
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Appeals court upholds city zoning challenge": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Federal appeals judges say zoning restrictions by Islamorada, Fla., to block chains such as Starbuck's and Walgreen's run counter to laws protecting interstate commerce."

You can access here and here today's rulings of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Kansas Supreme Court hears arguments on whether judges should be allowed to express views on issues": This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Conservatives: McCain anxiety prompts Supreme Court warning?" Alexander Bolton of The Hill has this report.
Posted at 07:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"State Supreme Court upholds barring proposal to reform government": The Detroit Free Press has a news update that begins, "The Michigan Supreme Court today upheld a decision to bar the so-called Reform Michigan Government Now proposal from going before voters in November, agreeing with a lower court ruling that the sweeping and multifaceted proposal could not be considered as a constitutional amendment."

And The Associated Press reports that "Mich. high court upholds ruling to keep constitution rewrite off ballot."
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to explore rehearing in death case": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "The Supreme Court on Monday called for new legal briefs on possible rehearing -- and, maybe, revision -- of its ruling striking down the death penalty for the crime of child rape."

You can access today's order of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.
Posted at 07:34 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawyers admonished against discussing Kent case": Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "The Florida judge who will oversee the criminal trial of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent issued a gag order in the case to prevent public discussion by parties or court personnel that could interfere with the trial. Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Pensacola late Friday issued the order that also allows him to hold arguments and hearings in chambers and outside of the presence of the public and forbids courthouse personnel from relating information from those hearings to the public."

Perhaps it won't be long before news organizations are filing mandamus petitions asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to allow press access at those arguments and hearings.
Posted at 06:25 PM by Howard Bashman



Fifth Circuit holds unconstitutional a Texas statute that tolls the statute of limitations against defendants for as long as they are not present in Texas: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.

Interestingly, the State of Texas had intervened to defend the constitutionality of the law, but both the district court and now the Fifth Circuit disagreed.

For what it's worth, today's opinion also appears to use the phrase "Hobson's choice" improperly.
Posted at 06:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"GOP delegates eye Nov. 4 high court effect: Will Republicans be able to mobilize forces to block Obama nominees?" Tom Curry, national affairs writer for MSNBC, had this report last week.
Posted at 05:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Indian plaintiffs appeal trust case ruling": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A half-million American Indian plaintiffs are appealing a federal judge's recent decision to award them much less than they wanted in a long-running trust case."
Posted at 05:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justice Breyer Writing Another Book": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Plaintiffs, defendants find going slow in federal courts": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers and John Ellis of The Fresno Bee have this article.
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Equal Before Mammon: The politics of pay discrimination." James Surowiecki has this "The Financial Page" essay about Lilly Ledbetter in The Talk of the Town section of the September 15, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.
Posted at 06:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, September 7, 2008

"'No see, no indecent exposure,' court rules": Yesterday, The Des Moines Register contained an article that begins, "A Des Moines man should not have been found guilty of indecent exposure, even though Ankeny police caught him masturbating outside two bedroom windows of women who heard him moaning, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday. The court decided that because neither of the female victims saw Ronnie James Isaac's genitals, the crime wasn't committed."

And The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil yesterday contained an article headlined "County attorney: Legislature must address decency code."

You can access last Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Iowa at this link.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court officials unapologetic about gold leaf": Monday's edition of The Providence (R.I.) Journal contains an article that begins, "The state judiciary last week defended the use of 23-karat gold leaf in a renovation outside state Supreme Court offices in the Licht Judicial Complex."
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Vaccine maker asks Mo. Supreme Court to overturn $8.5M award for man who contracted polio": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Millette takes seat on Va. high court; Jurist who presided at sniper trial moves up from Court of Appeals": This article appeared yesterday in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Did a judge-prosecutor romance taint Texas murder trial? Sept. 8 hearing is set on allegations of a secret affair; Defendant faces execution Sept. 10." Warren Richey will have this article Monday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Harper blasted over hasty top-court nomination; While choice of N.S. judge hailed, outraged critics say PM bypassed vetting process by announcing name two days before election call": This article appeared yesterday in The Toronto Globe and Mail.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Drug makers seek shield from lawsuits; In a case that could have broad implications for consumers, the Supreme Court this fall will consider barring liability claims involving medications approved by the FDA": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Too Generous": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "Conflict-of-interest disputes often turn on arcane points of law, but that is hardly the case with the controversy over the West Virginia Supreme Court and Massey Energy."

The editorial concludes, "The United States Supreme Court should add the Massey case to its docket for the upcoming term and throw out the court's tainted ruling."
Posted at 09:55 PM by Howard Bashman



Perhaps they predicted this would happen: The Associated Press reports that "Future bright for fortunetelling in Vt. town."

According to the article, laws that ban for-profit soothsaying, fortunetelling, palm reading and/or crystal-ball gazing may fail to survive First Amendment scrutiny.
Posted at 09:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"North Pole man loses lawsuit appeal": The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner today contains an article that begins, "A 330-pound man who was hurt when his chair gave out in an attorney's office lost a four-year legal battle against the lawyer last week."

You can access the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Alaska at this link.
Posted at 09:38 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lawsuit to Ask That Cheney's Papers Be Made Public": This article will appear Monday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme rivalries: 3 vie to argue R.I. land case before nation's high court." Yesterday's edition of The Providence (R.I.) Journal contained an article that begins, "The fate of 31 acres in Charlestown owned by the Narragansett Indian tribe will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in November, but first a nasty local dispute must be resolved: Who should represent Rhode Island's interests before the nation's highest court?"
Posted at 03:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Halverson in 'terrible pain' at Sunrise Hospital; Husband accused of beating judge": This article appears today in The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Posted at 02:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Wecht can be retried, but different judge must hear the case." Paula Reed Ward had this article yesterday in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And yesterday in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato had an article headlined "Federal appeals court removes Wecht judge."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman



Saturday, September 6, 2008

"Holding Up Taxpayers: Lawyers in the D.C. gun case are demanding that the city pay them outsized fees." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Seeking Details, Lawmakers Cite Anthrax Doubts": The New York Times on Sunday will contain an article that begins, "A month after the F.B.I. declared that an Army scientist was the anthrax killer, leading members of Congress are demanding more information about the seven-year investigation, saying they do not think the bureau has proved its case."
Posted at 08:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court Gives White House More Time; Stay Delays House Panel's Probe Into Prosecutor Firings": Today's edition of The Washington Post contains an article that begins, "A federal appeals court granted the White House a temporary delay in turning over documents to a House committee investigating the firings of nine U.S. attorneys."
Posted at 08:37 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from Slate: Dahlia Lithwick has a jurisprudence essay titled "Bristol's Choice: Republicans and the illusion of reproductive choice."

And William Saletan has a human nature essay titled "Bristol's Body, Sarah's Choice: Abortion, teen motherhood, and parental authority."
Posted at 12:47 PM by Howard Bashman



Articles of note available online from SSRN: Law Professor Dan Markel has an article titled "How Should Punitive Damages Work?" (via "Legal Theory Blog").

Law Professor (and former U.S. District Judge) Paul G. Cassell has an article titled "Treating Crime Victims Fairly: Integrating Victims into the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure" (via "Legal Theory Blog").

And Law Professor Ian Ayres and Sydney Foster have an article titled "Don't Tell, Don't Ask: Narrow Tailoring after Grutter and Gratz" (via "Legal Theory Blog").
Posted at 12:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Citing the Transcript of Oral Argument: Which Justices Do It and Why." Frederick Liu has this article online at The Yale Law Journal's "Pocket Part" (via "Concurring Opinions").
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Domestic violence alleged: Halverson husband arrested; Suspended judge undergoes surgery for beating injuries." Today's edition of The Las Vegas Review-Journal contains an article that begins, "The husband of suspended District Judge Elizabeth Halverson is known as a devoted, patient spouse who would cook, shop and dote on his wife. But on Thursday night, Edward Halverson, 49, was arrested and accused of beating the judge with a frying pan."
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Friday, September 5, 2008

"Again, no action on death penalty ruling": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Supreme Court Denies SG Request for Face Time."

You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.
Posted at 01:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court allows Wecht retrial but with new judge": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides a news update that begins, "The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to dismiss charges against Dr. Cyril H. Wecht but it also ordered that a new judge must be assigned if prosecutors proceed with a retrial. Dr. Wecht had sought to have his case dismissed on double jeopardy grounds, and the appeals court said that although U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab did not follow proper procedure in declaring a mistrial April 8, that was not enough to require that the 41 felony counts be dismissed."

Jason Cato of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a news update headlined "Judge removed from Wecht case."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court refuses to dismiss pathologist's charges."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.
Posted at 01:02 PM by Howard Bashman



"Part of state's financial privacy law upheld": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court reinstated part of California's financial privacy law Thursday, allowing consumers to prevent banks from sharing information with affiliated companies about a customer's savings account or buying habits. Central provisions of the 2004 law, the broadest of its kind in the nation, have been tied up in court for more than three years."

You can access at this link yesterday's ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Finds Violation In Bankruptcy Law; Provision That Bans Advice to Add Debt Gets Struck Down": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Brent Kendall of Dow Jones Newswires has an article that begins, "A federal appeals court in St. Louis ruled Thursday that a provision of a sweeping 2005 federal bankruptcy-overhaul law violates the free-speech rights of lawyers."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, September 4, 2008

Judge Wu to Lori Drew: No speedy dismissal of federal criminal charges in MySpace hoax suicide case for you. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides a news update headlined "Judge undecided in cyber-bullying case."

The St. Charles (Mo.) Journal provides a news update headlined "Judge needs more time in Dardenne Prairie MySpace case; Drew faces up to 20 years if case goes to trial."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge tentatively refuses to dismiss Internet case."
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"As Texas Execution Nears, Hearing Is Set on a Claim That Judge and Prosecutor Had Affair": This article will appear Friday in The New York Times.

And Friday's edition of The Dallas Morning News will contain an article headlined "Texas attorney general: Inmate shouldn't die until romance allegations investigated."
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Instruction in Pole Dancing Tests the First Amendment": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "It is safe to say that last week was the first time the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania had ever filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a pole dancing instructor."

And in earlier coverage, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last week that "'Sexy' exercise salon has Adams officials in a cold sweat."

The Associated Press reported that "Pa. town sued after rejecting pole-dancing studio."

And in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, columnist Eric Heyl had an essay entitled "Dance instructor in pole position."

You can visit the dance instructor's web site by clicking here.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court: Start poring through 50 years of records or appeal." The Deseret News today contains an article that begins, "A federal appellate court ruling may send Utah officials to the U.S. Supreme Court to dispute the mandate they must cull through decades worth of records to show how Navajo trust funds were spent. Or, accountants could just roll up their sleeves, dust off the hundreds of boxes and embrace the 'major undertaking' ordered Wednesday by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. At issue is expenditures from the estimated $150 million fund derived from gas and oil exploration on Navajo land in Utah dating back to the 1950s, when money first started funneling into the account."

And Pamela Manson of The Salt Lake Tribune reports that "Appeals court says state must account for Navajo oil money."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit -- which applies the U.S. Supreme Court's recent "virtual representation" ruling in Taylor v. Sturgell -- at this link.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Eminent domain holdout sells": Today's edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer contains an article that begins, "The owner of the lone house standing in the middle of the 11-acre site that was the focus of a landmark eminent-domain case has sold his property to Rookwood Partners for $1.25 million. Joe Horney's sale of his vacant rental house ends a long legal battle that drew national attention, and clears the way for development of the site, located on prime real estate at Edwards and Edmondson roads."

And The Associated Press reports that "Ohio man in eminent domain case ends holdout."
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Microsoft Settled EU Antitrust Case Not Knowing Vote Was 7 to 6": Bloomberg News provides this report.
Posted at 10:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mexico's Supreme Court slams Walmart's labor practices": Agence France-Presse provides a report that begins, "Mexico's Supreme Court compared the practices of US retail giant Walmart in Mexico to employer-worker relations during the dictatorship of former president Porfirio Diaz."
Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cuba to appeal spy case to U.S. Supreme Court": Reuters provides this report.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit holds that the Fourth Amendment requires reasonable suspicion to justify a border search of a passenger cabin aboard a cruise liner arriving in the United States from a foreign port: You can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 03:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Legal Journalism At A Crossroads": Sarah Kellogg has this cover story in the September 2008 issue of Washington Lawyer (via "LawBeat").
Posted at 03:38 PM by Howard Bashman


All your prosthetic leg are belong to us: The Scottsbluff (Neb.) Star-Herald reports today that "Gunshot victim sues to get back prosthetic leg."

And The Associated Press reports that "Neb. man sues prosecutor to get his leg back."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



The Kingman Reef still belongs to the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds: According to today's interesting ruling, "Kingman Reef's only dry land consists of coral rubble and marine shells sitting less than two meters above sea level at its highest point, making it unfit for human habitation."

And according to The World Factbook of the Central Intelligence Agency, "The US annexed the reef in 1922. Its sheltered lagoon served as a way station for flying boats on Hawaii-to-American Samoa flights during the late 1930s. There are no terrestrial plants on the reef, which is frequently awash, but it does support abundant and diverse marine fauna and flora. In 2001, the waters surrounding the reef out to 12 nm were designated a US National Wildlife Refuge."

Additional information about the reef is available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Office of Insular Affairs of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Wikipedia.
Posted at 03:00 PM by Howard Bashman



The federal government has filed its Brief for Appellee in the United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui appeal now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: I have posted a copy of the unsealed Brief for Appellee at this link. Thanks to a law librarian reader of the blog for sending this along.
Posted at 02:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge: New money design should accommodate blind." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "When the next generations of $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills roll off the presses, there should be some way for blind people to tell them apart, a federal judge said Thursday. U.S. District Judge James Robertson said he would not allow the Treasury Department to go at its own pace as it complies with a May ruling that U.S. paper money discriminates against the blind."
Posted at 12:45 PM by Howard Bashman


A provision of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 is unconstitutional as applied to attorneys, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit holds: The majority's holding rested on the free speech rights of attorneys. You can access the decision at this link.
Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"We granted rehearing en banc to decide whether a policy or practice of strip searching all arrestees as part of the process of booking them into the general population of a detention facility, even without reasonable suspicion to believe that they may be concealing contraband, is constitutionally permissible." So begins the majority opinion that the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today.

Circuit Judge Ed Carnes wrote the majority opinion, which upholds the constitutionality of such strip searches, "at least where the strip search is no more intrusive than the one the Supreme Court upheld in Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979)." Eleven of that court's twelve active judges joined in the decision; Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett was the lone dissenter.

Chief Judge J.L. Edmondson issued a rather amusing two-paragraph concurring opinion in which he observed:

I do not write in a complaining spirit. I unhesitatingly concur in the Court's judgment and in almost all of today's Court opinion. I write separately because I think it is jurisprudentially unsound to look at a Justice's dissenting opinion to determine what the Supreme Court has decided in a case.

To the degree that our Court today seems to make some verifying use--I think unnecessarily--of this approach, I cannot join it.

Perhaps in response to that observation, the majority opinion notes: "Granted, it can be risky to place too much reliance on dissenting opinions because they sometimes take a Chicken Little or doomsday approach, exaggerating aspects of the majority opinion in order to have a bigger target to attack."
Posted at 12:27 PM by Howard Bashman


Now you can confirm whether it's true that, at oral argument, Senior First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya only uses tiny, little, easy-to-understand words when he speaks from the bench: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has joined the ever-growing ranks of federal appellate courts that are posting online audio of their oral arguments. Access to the First Circuit's oral argument feed is currently available only in RSS format, and the audio files themselves are in mp3 format. You can access the available oral argument audio files by clicking here.
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Protecting the lawyer-client relationship: Congress should pass the Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act." This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"High court axes 3 key amendments; The Florida Supreme Court removed three high-profile constitutional amendments from the November ballot, including one calling for a tax-swap plan": The Miami Herald today contains an article that begins, "The Florida Supreme Court dealt a blow to a tax revision plan and school vouchers Wednesday, removing from the November ballot three controversial amendments that could have dramatically altered the future of Florida. In unanimous rulings delivered less than five hours after the court heard oral arguments, the justices rejected Amendments 5, 7 and 9 on grounds they were improperly placed on the November ballot and are misleading to voters."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that "Florida Supreme Court takes property tax cut and vouchers off ballot."

The St. Petersburg Times reports that "Tax swap, vouchers off Nov. ballot."

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that "Amendments booted from Nov. 4 ballot."

And The New York Times reports that "Court Blocks Florida Ballot Measures Intended to Help School Vouchers."

You can access here and here yesterday's rulings of the Supreme Court of Florida.
Posted at 09:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"Al-Arian, ex-USF professor, released from prison": This article appeared yesterday in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Mike Scarcella reports that "Federal Circuit Hears Argument in Patent Appeals Board Challenge." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has made the audio of yesterday's oral argument available for download via this link (31.1MB mp3 audio file).

In other news, Shannon P. Duffy reports that "Federal Judge Green-Lights Paxil Suit Over Teen's Suicide." The article begins, "The family of a teenager who committed suicide in 2002 after taking the antidepressant drug Paxil is not barred from suing the manufacturer, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had not yet taken any position on whether there was a link between the use of such drugs by pediatric patients and an increased risk of suicidality, a federal judge has ruled." You can access last week's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at this link.

And an article reports that "Judge Spooked by Sex Offender's Donning of Sunglasses Is Dressed Down on Appeal; Use of black glasses in courtrooms is 'universally considered' to be a threatening gesture, says lower court judge." You can access yesterday's ruling of the Superior Court of New Jersey's Appellate Division at this link.
Posted at 09:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"State parks agency to appeal ruling on nude sunbathing at San Onofre; Officials seek to overturn an Orange County judge's decision that allowed swimming and sunning in the buff at Trail 6; The department denies that a policy change on the issue needs a public hearing": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Last week, The LATimes reported that "Judge upholds nude sunbathing along stretch of San Onofre State Beach; The court rules that state parks officials can cite nudists only if there is a complaint by a private citizen; The policy had been in place since 1979 but was revised earlier this year."

And The Orange County Register reported last week that "Nudists can hit San Onofre beach this holiday weekend; Judge's final ruling halts ban on bare bodies that was to take effect Labor Day."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Suspect pleads guilty in collar bombing; Pizza delivery man died after robbing PNC Bank in 2005": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article that begins, "One of Pennsylvania's strangest criminal cases, a bank robbery carried out by a pizza delivery man with a bomb locked around his neck, came into clearer focus yesterday when one of the four suspects pleaded guilty."

The New York Times reports today that "Key Part of Bank Robbery Lore Is False, Prosecutors Say."

And The Erie Times-News contains articles headlined "Witnesses seal fate; Barnes' half brother, others provide corroboration in Wells case" and "Wells' role still unclear."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman



Five years ago today: According to today's installment of the popular "Today in History" feature from The Associated Press, on September 4, 2003 "Miguel Estrada, whose nomination became a flash point for Democratic opposition to President Bush's judicial choices, withdrew from consideration for an appeals court seat after Republicans failed in seven attempts to break a Senate filibuster."

My coverage of that day's developments began in a post that you can access here. After reaching that link's destination, simply scroll up the page to view additional related posts.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Former judges, prosecutors seek execution reprieve": In today's edition of The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell has an article that begins, "Twenty-two former federal and state judges and prosecutors have asked Gov. Rick Perry to grant death row inmate Charles Dean Hood a 30-day reprieve from his Sept. 10 execution."

The Dallas Morning News reports today that "Judge recuses himself in civil proceedings involving retired judge."

ABCNews.com reports that "Texas Gov. Asked to Stop Execution; Death Row Inmate Who Claims Judge, Prosecutor Had Affair Gets Hearing 2 Days Too Late."

And The Associated Press reports that "Texas governor asked to stop execution next week."
Posted at 08:21 AM by Howard Bashman



Garlic breath is incompatible with free speech claim, en banc Ninth Circuit rules: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Court backs Garlic Festival in bikers' suit."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Gilroy's garlic-fest organizers savor a sweet victory; On appeal, they again win in bikers' case against event's dress code."

Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Appeals court upholds Gilroy's right to ban motorcycle club from garlic festival; Gilroy Garlic Fest had banned club's insignia."

And The Gilroy Dispatch reports that "Federal court rejects bikers' free speech case against Gilroy Garlic Festival."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit en banc ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Kent: 'Absolutely, unequivocally not guilty.'" This article appears today in The Galveston County Daily News.

Today in The Houston Chronicle, Mary Flood reports that "Federal Judge Samuel Kent promises 'a horde of witnesses.'"

And at Texas Lawyer's "Tex Parte Blog," a post titled "New judge appointed to oversee federal criminal case against Judge Sam Kent" reports that Senior U.S. District Judge C. Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida has been selected to preside over the case going forward.
Posted at 07:35 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Downloading the law, one document at a time": Today's edition of The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, California today contains an article that begins, "California's building codes, plumbing standards and criminal laws can be found online. But if you want to download and save those laws to your computer, forget it. The state claims copyright to those laws. It dictates how you can access and distribute them -- and therefore how much you'll have to pay for print or digital copies. It forbids people from storing or distributing its laws without consent."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tennessee's first female chief justice committed to law and 'moment'": This article appeared yesterday in The Memphis Commercial Appeal. According to the article, she's a former Pennsylvanian.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Reform initiative backers argue case before Michigan Supreme Court": The Detroit News provides this update.

And The Detroit Free Press provides a news update headlined "Ruling possible today on putting reform issue on ballot."
Posted at 09:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"UA law school plans talks by Supreme Court justices": Today's edition of The Arizona Daily Star contains an article that begins, "The University of Arizona law school's annual tradition of bringing in U.S. Supreme Court justices to campus appears set for another year. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor plan to visit the James E. Rogers College of Law this academic year, and Justice Stephen Breyer will make two appearances next week."

One of Justice Stephen G. Breyer's appearances will be at a symposium on the topic of "New Media and the Courts." You can view the agenda at this link.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Roe v. Wade makes campaign comeback; Democrats warn women that high court -- and abortion rights -- is at stake": Tom Curry, national affairs writer for MSNBC, has this report.
Posted at 08:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Suspect in Erie collar bomb case pleads guilty": The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides this news update.

The Erie Times-News provides an update headlined "Barnes pleads guilty in pizza bomber case; Sentencing set for Dec. 3."

And The Associated Press reports that "Defendant in Pa. collar-bomb case pleads guilty."
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Will Justice Alito Halt the Hemlock?" At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "Talk about moot. On Sept. 16, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. and four other judges will hear the appeal of a verdict that was first rendered oh, about 2,400 years ago -- at the Trial of Socrates."
Posted at 03:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court: School stifled student's protest." Today's edition of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette contains an article that begins, "An appeals court Tuesday upheld a federal judge's ruling last fall that the Watson Chapel School District violated the First Amendment rights of a group of students who wore black armbands to school to protest a new uniform policy."

The Arkansas News Bureau reports that "Appeals panel says suspensions violated Watson Chapel students' rights."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "8th Circuit: Students can wear armbands to protest dress code."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 01:57 PM by Howard Bashman



"Time extended for Big Dig prosecution; WWII fraud law applies, judge rules": Today in The Boston Globe, Jonathan Saltzman has an article that begins, "A federal judge has ruled that prosecutors can pursue scores of fraud charges against former employees of a Big Dig contractor - even though the statute of limitations had expired - because the United States was at war for much of this decade. In an unusual ruling that introduced questions of war and peace into a corruption case, US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns said prosecutors can extend the ordinary five-year window to pursue 85 fraud charges against six former managers of Aggregate Industries NE Inc. by applying a seldom-used World War II-era law."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge says WWII era law applies in Big Dig case."

My earlier coverage of last Friday's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 01:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"We must decide whether guests at the Gilroy Garlic Festival can hold the City of Gilroy in California and the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association liable in a civil rights action when they are escorted from the event by a City police officer for violating the Festival's dress code." Today, an eleven-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in a case brought by individuals who were required to leave the Gilroy Garlic Festival because their motorcycle club's insignia was deemed to have violated the Festival's dress code. By a vote of 7-4 in part, and 6-5 in part, the en banc court affirmed the rejection of the plaintiffs' claims.
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal Judge Samuel Kent promises 'a horde of witnesses'": Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle has a news update that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent stood before a fellow federal judge this morning and vehemently proclaimed his innocence of three federal sexual crimes in his indictment."

And The Associated Press reports that "Judge pleads not guilty to sex crime charges."
Posted at 01:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"Subpoena names AutoAdmit commenter": This article appears today in The Yale Daily News.
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Presidential Candidates & Judicial Nominees": You can access last Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and the Courts" program by clicking here. C-SPAN also has made available at this link the entire panel discussion from the American Bar Association's recent annual meeting in New York City. RealPlayer is required to launch these video clips.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: An article reports that "2nd Circuit Reinstates NYC's RICO Allegation of Tax Loss From Online Cigarette Sales." You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.

In other news, "9th Circuit Deals Blow to Altered Crops." You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

And an article is headlined "No 'Legitimate' Privacy Expectation in Data on Office Computer, Court Says." You can access last Friday's ruling of the Superior Court of New Jersey's Appellate Division at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



In commentary available online from FindLaw: Joanna Grossman has an essay entitled "The California Supreme Court Rules That Fertility Doctors Must Make Their Services Available to Lesbians, Despite Religious Objections."

And Anita Ramasastry has an essay entitled "A City Tries to Stop a Woman from Linking to Its Website: Why Most Challenges to Links Will Not Succeed, and What the Rare Exceptions May Be."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Indicted judge to make first court appearance": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent, usually in charge of dispensing justice, was set to find himself in an odd place: standing in front of the bench as a defendant. Kent was to make his first court appearance Wednesday after being indicted last week on federal sex crimes following a Department of Justice investigation."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Kent one of few US jurists indicted while on bench": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Patent Appeals Board Constitutionality Targeted in Federal Circuit": Mike Scarcella has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman


In today's mail: A copy of Christopher Buckley's forthcoming novel "Supreme Courtship" -- in large type, no less, making it all the more funny.
Posted at 06:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Granholm seeks quick go-ahead from Michigan Supreme Court": The Detroit Free Press provides a news update that begins, "Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has just asked the state Supreme Court to weigh in on the crisis over Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and rule as soon as possible on whether the governor can hold a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday that could result in the firing of Kilpatrick." The newspaper has posted a copy of the Governor's request at this link. And the newspaper also has a news update headlined "Appeal on removal hearings begins; mayor's lawyers arrive late."

In other coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Mich. high court asked to take Detroit mayor case."
Posted at 05:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Protocol For En Banc Oral Argument Hearing in United States v. Nacchio on September 25, 2008": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit posted this order online today.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"US releases 3 from Guantanamo; about 255 left": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"In this case, the court is asked to determine whether the United States is presently at war, and if so, with whom." So begins a quite interesting opinion that U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns of the District of Massachusetts issued last Friday.
Posted at 12:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Defendants argue that the district court erred in holding that discipline of plaintiffs for wearing armbands that protested the school's dress code was unconstitutional." Students disciplined for wearing black armbands to public school to protest their school's dress code policy have achieved a First Amendment victory in a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Forgotten, man sits in jail for two years": Sunday's edition of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch contained an article that begins, "Joseph A. Shepard Sr. sat in local jails for almost two years, assuming that his lawyer was making progress on his case and that drug-related charges against him would soon be resolved in federal court."
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Solving the U.S. atttorneys stalemate: Rather than stalling Congress' probe into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, the Bush administration should seek a compromise." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Lawyers: Gonzales mishandled classified data." Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales mishandled highly classified notes about a secret counterterror program, says a memo by his legal team, which touches on one of the most contentious episodes of high-level infighting in the Bush administration's war on terror."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Report Faults Handling of Wiretap Notes; No Evidence of Data Breach; Criminal Sanctions Unlikely Against Gonzales."
Posted at 07:28 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. fights to bar Nacchio witness": This past Saturday's edition of The Rocky Mountain News contained an article that begins, "Former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio's attorneys had 'ample opportunity' to establish the reliability of an expert witness but failed to do so, federal prosecutors argued Friday. The filing was made in advance of oral arguments Sept. 25 in front of the full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals."

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Prosecutors: New Nacchio trial would be 'drastic.'"
Posted at 06:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, September 1, 2008

"'Supreme Courtship' by Christopher Buckley: The author takes satirical aim at America's highest court." Columnist Patt Morrison has this essay today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 04:57 PM by Howard Bashman


"Law named for slain Laci Peterson, unborn son yet to be tested": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has this article.

According to the article, "So far, Bureau of Justice Statistics databases don't show any federal prosecutions under the law, also known as the Unborn Victims of Violence Act."
Posted at 04:48 PM by Howard Bashman



"Washington Gun Ownership to Go Through One Man": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Residents here who buy a gun to keep legally at home, now that the Supreme Court has overturned the city's ban on handguns, will find that a bureaucratic maze leads them to an unmarked door on Good Hope Road Southeast where Charles W. Sykes Jr. does business."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Courts and Mr. Arar": This editorial appeared yesterday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Death penalty upheld for Orange County white supremacist; The California Supreme Court upholds the ruling in the case of Gunner Lindberg, the first person in the state condemned to die for a racially motivated murder; The victim was a Vietnamese American": Saturday's edition of The Los Angeles Times contained this article.

The Orange County Register on Friday reported that "High court affirms death for O.C. hate crime killing; Gunner Lindberg was the first defendant to get death for the special circumstances of committing a murder out of racial hatred."

And Metropolitan News-Enterprise reported on Friday that "Death Sentence Upheld for White Supremacist in Hate Crime."

You can access last Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman







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