How Appealing

Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Candidates -- at least 7 so far -- line up for job of R.I. chief justice": The Providence (R.I.) Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 11:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama preserves renditions as counter-terrorism tool; The role of the CIA's controversial prisoner-transfer program may expand, intelligence experts say": This article will appear Sunday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court sides with Missouri school in rebel flag dispute": The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Suits Saying Pfizer Experimented on Nigerian Children Are Revived": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

BBC News reports that "Nigerians can sue US drugs firm; Nigerian families can sue the Pfizer drugs giant in the US over its alleged role in the deaths of children, a US appeals court has ruled."

And law.com reports that "Split 2nd Circuit Revives Nigerian Families' Claims Against Pfizer Over Drug Tests; Majority calls dissent's approach to 'customary' international law 'unselfconsciously reactionary and static.'"

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court Steps Closer to Repeal of Evidence Ruling": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has this front page article about the exclusionary rule.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama's half brother arrested on charge of marijuana possession": CNN.com provides this report.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, January 30, 2009

"Florida Democratic Primary Lawsuit Hits Appeals Court": On January 8, 2009, Tampa Bay Online published an article that begins, "A Tampa political consultant continued his challenge today to the way the national Democratic Party penalized Florida for holding its primary earlier than the party wanted."

Today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision that dismissed the case as moot.
Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"I do not read Griffin and Kyllo as categorically holding that the probable cause required to obtain a warrant for criminal investigative purposes can never be 'context dependent,' that is, affected by the nature of the property to be searched, the manner of search, and the intrusiveness the search will entail." The concurrence to an en banc ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued today in a thermal imaging search warrant case addresses the interesting question "whether the probable cause required to obtain a warrant may ever vary based on the nature of the property being searched, the purpose of the search, and the extent of the physical intrusion into the home that the search will entail."

This afternoon at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr has this post about the en banc ruling and the concurring opinion that I have noted above.
Posted at 02:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justice appeals hefty fine from Ethics Commission": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht is appealing the $29,000 fine imposed last month by the Texas Ethics Commission for accepting and failing to report discounted legal fees."
Posted at 01:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"New test of fair trial rights": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, "A high-profile U.S. criminal prosecution of intelligence agents of the Cuban government, at a trial in the midst of the large community of Cuban-Americans in Miami, reached the Supreme Court on Friday as the center of a broad new test of the right to a fair trial."
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. court reinstates Nigerian lawsuits vs Pfizer": Reuters provides this report.

The Associated Press reports that "Federal appeals court restores case against Pfizer."

And in December 2008, Forbes magazine published an article headlined "Pfizer's Nigerian Nightmare: After years of legal maneuvering, Pfizer may soon face its Nigerian guinea pigs in court."

My earlier coverage of today's Second Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Cancel Water-Boarding 101: The military should close its torture school; I know because I graduated from it." David J. Morris has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 01:33 PM by Howard Bashman


Eighth Circuit holds that a school district in Missouri did not violate the First Amendment rights of students who were sent home for refusing to remove items of clothing depicting the Confederate flag: According to today's ruling:
Schools may act proactively to prohibit race-related violence or even excessive racial tension that forces unnecessary departures of minority students from the school. Based on the evidence in the record, the school's ban on the flag was reasonably related to a substantial disruption, did not amount to viewpoint discrimination, and did not violate the First Amendment. Therefore, we affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment.
You can access the complete ruling at this link.
Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman


Second Circuit reinstates lawsuit brought by Nigerian children alleging that Pfizer violated an international law norm prohibiting involuntary medical experimentation on humans when it tested an experimental antibiotic on children in Nigeria without their consent or knowledge: You can access today's ruling by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.

Plaintiffs brought suit under the Alien Tort Statute. According to the majority opinion, "the district court incorrectly determined that the prohibition in customary international law against nonconsensual human medical experimentation cannot be enforced through the ATS."

In is dissenting opinion, Circuit Judge Richard C. Wesley writes, "I conclude that non-consensual medical experimentation by private actors, though deplorable, is not actionable under international law and would therefore affirm the district court's dismissal of Plaintiffs' complaints."

In related news, earlier this week, Dow Jones Newswires reported that "Pfizer Drug Trial Case In Nigeria To Restart Feb 25."

And previously, BBC News reported that "Nigeria sues drugs giant Pfizer; Nigeria has filed charges against the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, accusing it of carrying out improper trials for an anti-meningitis drug" and "Nigerians sue Pfizer over test deaths."
Posted at 12:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"We therefore hold that the class action waiver in the Card Acceptance Agreement cannot be enforced in this case because to do so would grant Amex de facto immunity from antitrust liability by removing the plaintiffs' only reasonably feasible means of recovery." So holds a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a ruling issued today in a case captioned In re: American Express Merchants' Litigation.
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Solicitor general flimflam: Elena Kagan is anti-military zealot." Flagg K. Youngblood has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama's choice for Justice post is Bush critic; Dawn Johnsen, an IU law professor, is awaiting Senate approval": This article appears today in The Indianapolis Star.
Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Nesson-RIAA Legal Standoff Continues": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "A legal battle pitting a Harvard Law School professor against a major music industry organization came to yet another standstill last week as the two sides disagreed over the parameters of a hearing originally scheduled to take place last week."

And The Associated Press reports that "AP, news groups urge court webcast in music case."

You can access the amicus brief at this link (via "Copyrights & Campaigns," whose author has joined in a separate amicus brief filed in the case).
Posted at 09:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"State's top court backs governments on injury lawsuits; Actions must be 'palpably unreasonable'": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "In an opinion affirming the principle of government immunity, the state Supreme Court yesterday ruled that people injured on public property are entitled to damages only if the government entity acted in a 'palpably unreasonable' way to create a dangerous condition."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Restoring order at the Justice Department": Donald K. Stern has this op-ed today in The Boston Globe.

And today in The Christian Science Monitor, Nick Robinson has an op-ed entitled "Elect, don't appoint, the US attorney general; It's the AG's job to enforce the law, so it's a conflict of interest to have him appointed by the president."
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Wecht case back in court but with new judge": Paula Reed Ward has this article today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato reports that "Wecht's lawyers push dismissal."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo judge defies Obama's order for freeze; An Army judge at Guantanamo has ignored a White House request for a 120-day war court freeze and ordered a Feb. 9 arraignment of an al Qaeda suspect": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald. The newspaper has posted the judge's ruling online at this link.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Guantanamo judge defies Obama; Army Col. James L. Pohl rejects the president's request to stop proceedings at the military tribunal; He says the proposal is 'not reasonable.'"

The New York Times reports that "Judge Refuses to Delay a Case at Guantanamo."

And The Washington Post reports that "Guantanamo Judge Denies Obama's Request for Delay."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Prop. 8 campaign can't hide donors' names": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

And The Sacramento Bee reports today that "Judge rejects bid to keep names of anti-gay marriage initiative backers secret."
Posted at 09:08 AM by Howard Bashman



"HLS Receives $10M Donation": Today's edition of The Harvard Crimson contains an article that begins, "Harvard Law School announced Wednesday that it has received an anonymous donation of $10 million in honor of Professor Laurence H. Tribe '62, to fund research and a faculty chair in his name."
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Signs Equal-Pay Legislation": The New York Times contains this article today.

USA Today reports that "President touts equal-pay bill at first signing."

And The Washington Post contains an article headlined "A Signature With the First Lady's Hand in It."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Stocks White House With Prominent Lawyers": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Workers Who Speak Out": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "The Supreme Court issued a strong ruling this week in favor of employees who are retaliated against for complaining about being harassed."

And The Washington Post today contains an editorial entitled "A Blow for Common Sense: Protecting those who speak out against sexual harassment in the workplace."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Steppingstone for Law's Best and Brightest": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "When a longtime federal prosecutor, Cathy Seibel, was sworn in as a federal judge last month, the onlookers included many former colleagues from the office of the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, in Manhattan, some of whom had gone on to become law professors, defense lawyers and judges themselves."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge rules R.I. law restricting billboards unconstitutional": Today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal, Katie Mulvaney has an article that begins, "In a decision sprinkled with music references, and including links to YouTube, a federal judge has ruled unconstitutional a state law that restricts the content of billboards near highways."

I have posted online at this link Wednesday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Economy Pinches the Billable Hour at Law Firms": Jonathan D. Glater has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Finnegan Henderson Attorney Pitches Key Patent Case to High Court": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Medical marijuana raid raises question: What's Obama policy?" Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"How President Obama's Agenda Parallels That of Chief Justice Roberts: Both Seek to Change the Nature and Tone of Decisionmaking, But Will Each Succeed?" Edward Lazarus has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts, Obama, and the myth of the 'split verb'; An errant adverb on the Capitol steps makes news": Ruth Walker has this op-ed today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Senate set to confirm Holder as AG on Monday": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 04:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Signs First Piece of Legislation Into Law; Lilly Ledbetter Act Makes It Easier for Workers to Sue for Pay Discrimination": The Washington Post has this news update.

The New York Times has a news update headlined "Obama Signs Equal-Pay Legislation."

And The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined "Michelle Obama salutes Lilly Ledbetter at White House; The first lady, making her first public appearance since the inaugural, hosts a White House reception in honor of Ledbetter, who inspired a new law aimed at ensuring equal pay for women."
Posted at 02:20 PM by Howard Bashman



In today's mail: Jeff Benedict's new book, "Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage; One Woman's Historic Battle Against Eminent Domain."

As I noted in this earlier post, on Monday of this week, The Wall Street Journal published Melanie Kirkpatrick's review of the book headlined "Evicted, But Not Without a Fight: The government took her home; The Supreme Court approved."
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court's Hecht appeals ethics fine": Chuck Lindell has this post at the "Austin Legal" blog of The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 01:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Learned in the Law": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


No judicial review is available for the People of Bikini, Federal Circuit rules: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in The People of Bikini v. United States at this link.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama touts equal-pay bill at signing ceremony": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:31 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama To Sign Fair Pay Legislation": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fired worker's suit tests Florida's concealed-gun law; A Boca Raton man claims he was fired in violation of Florida law for keeping a gun in his car while at work": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Benjamin should stay on case, Massey argues": Today's edition of The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette contains an article that begins, "Forcing a justice to step aside from a case because there is a 'probability of bias' because of a possible 'debt of gratitude' would create an unworkable recusal standard, Massey Energy Co. argued in a brief filed Wednesday with the U.S. Supreme Court." Last night, I linked to that brief in this post.

And the web site Knowledge@W.P. Carey has posted online an item headlined "Sandra Day O'Connor: Where Judges Can Be Bought and Sold."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Former cheerleader leaving college after high court decision": The La Crosse Tribune contains this article today.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Can Continue Yemeni's Detention": This article appears today in The Washington Post. You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at this link.

Today in The Wall Street Journal, John Yoo has an op-ed entitled "Obama Made a Rash Decision on Gitmo: The president will soon realize that governing involves hard choices."

In The New York Times, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has an op-ed entitled "Putting Torture Behind Us."

And in The Boston Globe, Richard Clarke has an op-ed entitled "The confusion over renditions."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Firefighters' case deemed 'quite unusual'": The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Stereotypically, lawyers rarely agree. But, according to four law school professors, the Supreme Court case Ricci v. DeStefano is quite unusual."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama set to sign equal-pay bill": The Associated Press provides this report.

And today in The New York Times, columnist Gail Collins has an op-ed entitled "Lilly's Big Day."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Panel Backs Justice Dept. Nominee": Neil A. Lewis has this article today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times today contains an editorial entitled "Holder passes the test: Atty. Gen.-nominee Eric Holder deserved a Senate panel's grilling; his record shows he deserves to be attorney."

And at Politico.com, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has an essay entitled "Why Holder is right for Justice."
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"First of 8,000 antitobacco suits to go to trial in Florida; Once part of a huge class action lawsuit, plaintiffs are now waging fights one at a time": This article appears today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Legal System Struggles With How to React When Police Officers Lie": Amir Efrati has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Will Padilla's case be heard? The Justice Department says a victory by the convicted terrorist would harm national security." Warren Richey will have this article Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. high court asked to take up Bilski patent case": Reuters provides a report that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to review a decision in a patent case which put a question mark over the ability to patent such things as software and financial strategies."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Major new case on patent rights."

You can access the petition for writ of certiorari at this link.
Posted at 10:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"High Court Justices Protect Workers From Retaliation in Job Bias Investigations": Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal has this report.
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"Eroding the Exclusionary Rule: Why the Supreme Court got it wrong in Herring v. United States." Radley Balko has this essay online today at Reason.
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman


"Scalia speaks on digital privacy at NYC conference": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


The Brief for Respondent was filed today in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal, No. 08-22: You can access the Brief for Respondent at this link.

In addition, yesterday I linked here to an article forthcoming in the February 2009 issue of ABA Journal magazine headlined "Caperton's Coal: The battle over an Appalachian mine exposes a nasty vein in bench politics." Today, attorney Andrew L. Frey, counsel of record in the Supreme Court for the Massey parties, sent this letter to the editor and publisher of the ABA Journal to seek the correction of what Frey described as "certain striking errors in the story."

Finally, The Associated Press on Monday had a report headlined "Benjamin expected to hear Massey appeal" that begins, "West Virginia Chief Justice Brent Benjamin is participating in another appeal involving Massey Energy even as the U.S. Supreme Court reviews his participation in a case involving the coal company."
Posted at 08:48 PM by Howard Bashman



On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Gitmo's 'Dangerous Detainees' Pose Vexing Problem" and "Can Gitmo's Jihadists Be Rehabilitated?" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 06:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Congress overturns Court on job bias": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 06:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"DOJ wants delay on detainee question": At Politico.com, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "President Obama's Justice Department is asking a federal judge for at least two more weeks to answer the thorny question of who is and who isn't an 'enemy combatant.'"
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"Ninth Circuit Denies En Banc Review in Text Message Privacy Case": Steven M. Ellis of Metropolitan News-Enterprise has an article that begins, "The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, over the dissent of seven of its judges, yesterday declined to review en banc a ruling that the Ontario Police Department violated an employee's right to privacy when supervisors examined the contents of text messages sent on department pagers. A panel of the court ruled in June that the department violated the Fourth Amendment rights of Sgt. Jeff Quon and three others to whom he sent text messages when the department obtained transcripts from the service provider and examined the messages' contents to determine whether a monthly overage charge resulted from personal use."

In addition to yesterday's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denying rehearnig en banc, you can also access online Circuit Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw's opinion concurring in the denial of rehearing en banc, and Circuit Judge Sandra S. Ikuta's opinion dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc. A total of seven judges noted their dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc.

Judge Wardlaw's concurring opinion begins, "No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as Judge Ikuta interprets the record on this appeal. The dissent is not bound by the facts, even those found by the jury; nor is it confined to the actual fact-driven Fourth Amendment holding."
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senate committee OKs Holder for attorney general": The Associated Press provides this report.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," David Ingram has a post titled "Judiciary Committee Sends Holder's Nomination to the Senate."
Posted at 01:45 PM by Howard Bashman



And the award for being the first U.S. Court of Appeals to recognize in a precedential opinion that Mark R. Filip is now the Acting U.S. Attorney General goes to: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, in this opinion issued on Monday.
Posted at 11:23 AM by Howard Bashman


New York State's statutory ban on the possession of nunchucks does not violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, the Second Circuit holds: According to today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the plaintiff argued that "New York's statutory ban on the possession of nunchakus violates (1) the Second Amendment because it infringes on his right to keep and bear arms, and (2) the Fourteenth Amendment because it lacks a rational basis." The Second Circuit finds merit in neither argument.

With regard to the Second Amendment, today's ruling notes that "It is settled law, however, that the Second Amendment applies only to limitations the federal government seeks to impose" on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Eight Former SGs Endorse Kagan": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 10:36 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court: Nurses on strike deserve benefits; Employees in Willingboro were entitled to collect unemployment." This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Holder confirmation won't end torture questions": The Associated Press provides this report.

At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," David Ingram has a post titled "Specter Says He Will Vote for Holder."

The Los Angeles Times today contains an editorial entitled "Cornyn's outrageous confirmation demand: The GOP senator defies legal ethics by demanding that the attorney general nominee vow to not pursue any torture prosecutions."

And The New York Times today contains an editorial entitled "Alberto Gonzales, the Sequel." You can access my recent related coverage at this link.
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Mother's violent porn ban now law; A law banning violent online porn has come into force following a campaign by a mother whose daughter was murdered": BBC News provided this report on Monday.

And Monday's edition of The Guardian (UK) contained an article headlined "Police will not target offenders against law on violent porn; New ban expected to bring just 30 prosecutions a year; Women's groups worried by lack of active approach."
Posted at 10:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"Democrats Overturn Barrier to Unequal-Pay Suits": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Today's edition of The New York Times reports that "Congress Relaxes Rules on Suits Over Pay Inequity." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Progress on Fair Pay."
Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hang Him Up? The Bad Judge and His Image." The New York Times today contains this front page article about the portrait of Martin T. Manton, a Second Circuit judge who was found guilty of corruption and resigned from the bench in 1939.

You can learn more about Manton from The New York Times via this link and from Time magazine here and here.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ban on jobs for those who don't register for draft invalidated; Judge backs 4 who were fired": Today in The Boston Globe, Jonathan Saltzman has an article that begins, "A federal judge in Boston has declared unconstitutional a 1985 law that bars people from most federal employment if they knowingly fail to register for the draft. US District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, siding with four men fired by the federal government for failing to register years earlier, said the law violates a constitutional provision that bars the legislative branch from punishing people without a trial."

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



"School can expel lesbian students, court rules; An appeals panel finds California Lutheran High School in Riverside County is not a business and therefore doesn't have to comply with a state law barring discrimination based on sexual orientation": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Court says private school can expel lesbians."

And The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California reports that "Appeal over expulsions from Lutheran school in Wildomar denied."

You can access Monday's ruling of the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division Two, at this link.

According to the court's opinion, the school learned of these students' sexual orientation via their MySpace pages.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bilski Heads to the Supreme Court": This morning at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "The long-anticipated petition appealing the landmark Bilski decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is being filed at the Supreme Court today, setting the stage for a showdown over whether so-called 'business methods' -- processes and procedures, not widgets -- are patentable."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama lawyers set to defend Yoo": At Politico.com, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, "In Democratic legal circles, no attorney has been more pilloried than former Bush Justice Department official John Yoo, chief author of the so-called torture memos that Barack Obama last week sought to nullify. But now President Obama's incoming crew of lawyers has a new and somewhat awkward job: defending Yoo in federal court."
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"ACLU tests Obama with request for secret Bush-era memos": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers has an article that begins, "Dozens of secret documents justifying the Bush administration's spying and interrogation programs could see the light of day because of a new presidential directive. The American Civil Liberties Union asked the Obama administration on Wednesday to release Justice Department memos that provided the legal underpinning for harsh interrogations, eavesdropping and secret prisons."

Today, the ACLU has issued a news release headlined "ACLU Calls On Justice Department To Release Bush Administration Torture And Surveillance Memos; Releasing Secret Legal Opinions Will Help Turn Page On Lawless Era, Group Says." And you can access at this link today's letter from the ACLU to the head of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel.
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Biden apologizes to Roberts": Pete Williams and Antoine Sanfuentes have this report at MSNBC.com.

NBCWashington.com provides a report headlined "No Oath Flub for Roberts This Week."

In related news, The Associated Press provides a report headlined "New Smithsonian chief formally takes job" that begins, "Chief Justice John Roberts didn't have to worry about stumbling over an oath of office for the new Smithsonian chief Monday -- all he had to do this time was hand over a key."

Yesterday, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. celebrated his 54th birthday. David Letterman, on his monologue during last night's broadcast of the CBS program "Late Show with David Letterman," noted the Chief Justice's birthday by remarking that, at his office's birthday party yesterday, Roberts "screwed up the words to Happy Birthday."
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Ruling redefines police pat-downs; U.S. Supreme Court reverses '07 decision in Arizona case": This article appears today in The Arizona Republic.

And today in The Arizona Daily Star, Howard Fischer reports that "Passenger pat-down ruled legal; US justices back '02 search that led to gun arrest here."
Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman



If you are charged with this crime, you shall be guilty of a misdemeanor: A law phrased in those terms does not violate due process because it will not be enforced as written, the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled yesterday in an opinion that you can access here.

In news coverage of the ruling, Bill Rankin of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today that "Court upholds marijuana law."
Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court argument to be first for state's AG; Justices agree to hear case on police interrogation": The Maryland Daily Record provides this report.
Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to hear Mohawk employee case; Firing, papers led to appeal": This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman


Robert Barnes of The Washington Post chats about the U.S. Supreme Court, politics, and "two of the smartest guys who watch the court closely." The transcript of his chat, which occurred earlier today at washingtonpost.com, can be accessed here.
Posted at 09:07 PM by Howard Bashman


In the February 2009 issue of ABA Journal magazine: David G. Savage will have an article headlined "A Torturous Process: Tort suits prove inadequate to challenge anti-terror policies."

And John Gibeaut will have an article headlined "Caperton's Coal: The battle over an Appalachian mine exposes a nasty vein in bench politics."
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Scalia judges moot court competition": This article appeared yesterday in The GW Hatchet.

As Orin Kerr noted yesterday evening at "The Volokh Conspiracy," C-SPAN has posted online the video of the moot court competition.

Serving as judges for the competition's final round were Justice Antonin Scalia, Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon, and Sixth Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"4th Amendment ruling could influence First Amendment law": David L. Hudson Jr. has this essay online at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"'Skank' update: hearing on discovery motion 'adjourned' until Feb. 23." Ben Sheffner has this post at his "Copyrights & Campaigns" blog.
Posted at 02:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"[T]his case presents the novel issue of the extent to which a business employee may have standing to challenge a search of business premises generally." An opinion that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today begins, "We must decide whether corporate executives may challenge a police search of company premises not reserved for the executives' exclusive use."
Posted at 02:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Cheerleading is a contact sport, Wis. court rules": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "High school cheerleading is a contact sport and therefore its participants cannot be sued for accidentally causing injuries, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a case being closely watched in the cheerleading world."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin at this link.
Posted at 02:00 PM by Howard Bashman



Arkansas inmate of the Wiccan faith loses appeal seeking freer access to tarot cards: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued this ruling today.

The Eighth Circuit thus begins 2009 as a hotbed of Wiccan-related RLUIPA appellate litigation.
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Congress ready to send fair pay bill to Obama": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pa. Justices: OK to Execute 'Mentally Deficient' People." Today's edition of The Legal Intelligencer contains an article that begins, "In a decision that may prove to be a lightning rod in the debate over Pennsylvania's use of the death penalty, the state Supreme Court has ruled that any criminal defendant with mental impairments, short of being legally defined as 'mentally retarded,' can be executed for capital offenses."

Last Friday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consists of a majority opinion and a concurring and dissenting opinion.
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Administration Poised To Pick U.S. Attorneys": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Moussaoui's Attorneys Call Guilty Plea Invalid": Jerry Markon has this article today in The Washington Post.

And today in The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Frank Green reports that "Lawyers say plea was invalid."
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to rule on lawyer requests; U.S. Supreme Court to rule how long counsel requests lasts": The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to consider how long a criminal suspect's request for counsel during questioning can stand after a Maryland court ruled that years could pass."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"11th Circuit Rejects Flag Pledge Case": Today in the Fulton County Daily Report, Jonathan Ringel has an article that begins, "The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday said it would not revisit last year's ruling that upheld a Florida school policy requiring students to get a parent's permission to avoid having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eleventh Circuit order appears at this link.
Posted at 08:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court rejects suit in Long Beach case; The decision, in a case where a man was wrongfully convicted of murder, broadens protections for district attorneys and other chief prosecutors": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Reclaiming Justice: Barack Obama's key legal picks signal a return to balance between security and the rule of law." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Law school clinic wins case": The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed the Yale Law School's Supreme Court Clinic its first victory."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Afghan Prison Poses Problem in Overhaul of Detainee Policy": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "E.U. Willing to Help U.S. on Guantanamo; But Many Nations Are Wary About Taking Inmates." In addition, columnist Richard Cohen has an op-ed entitled "Torture? Prosecute Us, Too."

Yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "Talk of the Nation" contained an audio segment entitled "Where Will The Detainees Go After Guantanamo?"

Today in The Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens has an op-ed entitled "Guantanamo Is No Blot on U.S. Honor: The president still hasn't said where to hold the worst of the worst."

And in The Boston Globe, Eric Fehrnstrom has an op-ed entitled "Guantanamo: A symbol of US resolve."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman



The Hartford Courant is reporting: Today's newspaper contains articles headlined "Starvation: Do Inmates Have The Right?"; "Judge Uses Vulgar Language As She Is Charged"; and "Teen Withdraws Motion Tied To Expulsion In Suit Vs. Miss Porter's School."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court Expands Ability to Sue in Sexual Harassment Investigations": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Justices Back Worker In Retaliation Case; Narrow View of Bias Law Rejected."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court rules for worker in retaliation lawsuit; A schools employee was fired after answering questions in an internal sexual harassment investigation of supervisor; Justices said a lower court's ruling that only those filing complaints were protect."

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that "Justices Strengthen Position of Workers Who Oppose Bias."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor reports that "In boost for workers, high court affirms shield from employer retaliation; The justices rule that civil rights law protects a woman who was fired after answering questions in a harassment probe."

law.com's Tony Mauro reports that "Supreme Court Justices Unanimous in Five Opinions."

And yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Court Rules For Worker In Retaliation Case" (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Win for Free Speech Online": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "A 10-year campaign to censor the Internet ended last week when the Supreme Court refused to step in and save the Child Online Protection Act. Everyone can agree on the need to protect children from sexually explicit online material, but this misguided law tried to do it in ways that infringed on too much constitutionally protected free speech."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"SJC to hear appeal by ex-priest in abuse case; Lawyers challenge accuser's memory": The Boston Globe contains this article today.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge chastises federal attorney; Says prosecutor failed to disclose crucial evidence": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "The chief judge of the US District Court in Massachusetts is threatening to sanction a federal prosecutor for what he characterized as the latest 'egregious failure' of the US attorney's office to disclose evidence that could have helped clear a defendant."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"When Did Barack Obama Officially Become Eligible to Act as President? What the Oath 'Do-Over' Reveals About Legal Interpretation." Michael C. Dorf has this essay online at FindLaw.

And on last night's broadcast of the CBS program "Late Show with David Letterman," the host began his opening monologue by joking that "It's so cold outside that Justice Roberts screwed up while ordering chowder." Letterman also discussed the oath gaffe with his first guest, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, January 26, 2009

"Appeals court will not rehear pledge case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court says it will not rehear a case in which it let stand most of a Florida law requiring public school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance."

Only one judge noted her dissent from today's order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denying rehearing en banc.
Posted at 08:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Texas death row inmate Larry Swearingen gets 11th-hour reprieve": The Dallas Morning News provides this update.

The Houston Chronicle has a news update headlined "Man in Montgomery County killing gets stay of execution."

The Associated Press reports that "College student killer get reprieve."

At the "Austin Legal" blog of The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell has a post titled "Federal court halts Swearingen execution." Tuesday's edition of that newspaper will contain an editorial entitled "U.S. Court stops execution that Texas courts wouldn't; Experts believe condemned man Swearingen could not have committed the murder."

And Texas Monthly has posted an online exclusive article by Michael Hall headlined "The Science of Murder: Someone killed Melissa Trotter and dumped her body in the Sam Houston National Forest; But according to six forensic experts, that someone was not Larry Swearingen."

You can access today's per curiam ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link. In his specially concurring opinion, Circuit Judge Jacques L. Wiener, Jr. writes that this very case could determine whether the U.S. Supreme Court will add "capital defendants who are actually innocent to the list of persons who -- like the insane, the mentally retarded, and the very young -- are constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty."
Posted at 08:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-AG Gonzales: 'I Should Have Been More Engaged.'" This lengthy interview (RealPlayer required) with former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Tell Me More" with Michel Martin.

"The Swamp" blog of The Chicago Tribune has posted a transcript of the NPR interview at this link.
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Liberty City Six terror trial is back for third time; The third -- and likely last -- trial of a Liberty City group charged with conspiring with al Qaeda to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower and FBI buildings will get under way with jury selection Tuesday": Jay Weaver has this front page article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 03:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. Supreme Court says district attorneys are immune from wrongful-conviction suits; In a unanimous ruling, the nation's high court throws out a lawsuit from a Los Angeles man who spent 24 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

And Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Supreme Court Issues Five Unanimous Decisions."
Posted at 03:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Guantanamo inmates return to militancy in Yemen; Militants in Yemen threatened Monday to strike the US Embassy for a second time": Tuesday's edition of The Christian Science Monitor will contain an article that begins, "Two Saudis formerly jailed at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have joined Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch, and authorities here worry that two other ex-Guantanamo inmates may have strayed back to militancy because they have recently disappeared from their homes."
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court hears 9/11 conspirator's appeal in Va." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Zacarias Moussaoui's guilty plea in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was invalid because the government failed to turn over evidence that could have helped his defense, his attorney told a federal appeals court Monday."

Jerry Markon of The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Moussaoui's Attorneys Ask Court to Invalidate Guilty Plea."

And Frank Green of The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a news update headlined "Moussaoui's lawyers call his guilty plea invalid."
Posted at 02:52 PM by Howard Bashman



James Vicini of Reuters is reporting: He has articles headlined "Supreme Court: law bars sex harassment retaliation" and "U.S. top court rules for USEC on uranium imports."
Posted at 12:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Rap brief hits right note with judges; Musician wins appeal with rhyme": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Justice might be blind, but apparently it has good rhythm. A jazz musician who filed a legal brief in a child custody dispute with rap lyrics won his appeal and will get out of paying nearly $4,000 in fees."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has posted the pro se appellate brief at this link.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's U.S. Supreme Court opinions in argued cases: The Court today issued opinions in five argued cases, together with one summary reversal.

The summary reversal issued in Nelson v. United States, No. 08-5657. You can access the Court's per curiam ruling at this link. In addition, Justice Stephen G. Breyer issued a short opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined.

1. Justice Breyer delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, No. 07-854. You can access the Court's ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

2. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Arizona v. Johnson, No. 07-1122. You can access the Court's ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

3. Justice David H. Souter delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in United States v. Eurodif S.A., No. 07-1059. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

4. Justice Souter also delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Kennedy v. Plan Administrator for DuPont Sav. and Investment Plan, No. 07-636. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

5. And Justice Souter delivered the opinion of the Court in Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson Cty., No. 06-1595. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Clarence Thomas joined. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "New worker shield against retaliation."

And in early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court rules for worker over retaliation"; "US Supreme Court says passenger can be frisked"; "Wrongfully convicted, man can't sue prosecutor"; "Court allows tariffs on cheap imported uranium"; and "High court turns down daughter in pension dispute."
Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court: The Court has posted it at this link. The Court today granted review in three cases.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court to rule on police questioning."

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Court to consider how long lawyer request lasts."
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman



Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting: In today's newspaper, he has an article headlined "Arguments in place as Prop. 8 hearing nears."

And in yesterday's newspaper, he had an article headlined "Obama nominates S.F. lawyer for Justice post."
Posted at 10:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama's nominee for regulatory czar faces scrutiny; Cass Sunstein, selected to be Obama's regulatory czar, has labor activists and environmentalists digging into his record": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman


"Evicted, But Not Without a Fight: The government took her home; The Supreme Court approved." Today in The Wall Street Journal, Melanie Kirkpatrick has this review of Jeff Benedict's new book about the Kelo case, "Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court to hear 9/11 conspirator's appeal in Va." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court in Virginia is set to hear arguments for a new trial by Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui." According to the article, only part of the oral argument will be held in public.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Cuban spies in middle of swap talk; An effort to free five Cuban agents convicted in Miami may hinge on the offer of a prisoner swap by Cuban leader Raul Castro": This article appears today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Colo. site tailored for terror suspects; The federal prison already houses convicted terrorists, but some lawmakers don't favor adding detainees": Yesterday in The Denver Post, Felisa Cardona had this article.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Detainees won't remain in U.S.; Uncertainty remains as to disposition": Monday's edition of The Washington Times will contain an article that begins, "Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Sunday that prisoners being held at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will not be set free in the U.S. unless they are American citizens, but could not explicitly say where they might be sent."

And The Associated Press reports that "Issue of terrorists' rights to test Obama's pledge."
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. plan for Guantanamo prison camp detainees: Divide and conquer; The president wants U.S. trials for some and transfer abroad for others as part of his plan to close the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay." Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

And Time magazine has posted online an article headlined "If Not Gitmo, Then Where Should Detainees Be Held?"

Meanwhile, in commentary, the February 2, 2009 issue of The Weekly Standard will contain an essay by Stephanie Hessler entitled "What to Do About the Gitmo Detainees: The ball is in Congress's court."

Yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey had an op-ed entitled "The Laws of War Have Served Us Well: Our armed forces shouldn't have to play catch and release."

And online at The American Prospect, Aziz Huq has an essay entitled "Obama's Minimalist Approach to Guantanamo: Obama's executive order on closing Guantanamo is a step in the right direction; But it still doesn't go far enough toward addressing the worst of the Bush administration's moral and legal quagmires."
Posted at 05:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obscenity case begs question: Whose standard? Extreme Associates trial may be catalyst for change." Today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Paula Reed Ward has an interesting article that begins, "The company under indictment for selling obscenity is in California. The undercover agent who ordered the product is in Pittsburgh. The material was carried on a computer network across the country and possibly around the world. So what community standards should be used to determine if a crime was committed?"

According to the article, the case is scheduled to begin trial on March 16, 2009 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Posted at 05:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Bush's legal foes now Obama's legal team": Ben Smith has this article at Politico.com.
Posted at 10:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"N.J. ruling backs club in fatal car crash; The state Supreme Court said servers of alcohol can't be held liable if a patron is not visibly intoxicated": The Philadelphia Inquirer contained this article yesterday.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Court: NJ group not liable in drunk-driving deaths."

You can access last Thursday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Another Wisconsin Supreme Court race heats up": This article appears today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Could Obama tap Sioux City judge?" The Sioux City (Iowa) Journal today contains an article that begins, "U.S. District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett has been involved in several high-profile Siouxland court decisions, including ruling for an adult entertainment business against the city of Sioux City. Now, he's getting national attention as someone legal experts believe President Barack Obama should consider for a top national court position, potentially even the U.S. Supreme Court. That's a place Bennett once argued, in 1979 as a private practice attorney."
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Uphold the Voting Rights Act": This editorial appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, January 24, 2009

"If there is a Supreme Court appointment this summer": Tom Goldstein has this post today at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo Case Files in Disarray; Situation Complicates Prison's Closure": This article will appear Sunday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court sides with Barnstable family; Civil case against Barnstable schools can proceed": Yesterday's edition of The Barnstable Patriot contained an article that begins, "The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of a Barnstable family's attempt to bring a sex discrimination suit against Barnstable Public Schools."

And Cape Cod Today provides a report headlined "Complaint leading to Supreme Court appeal tells of harassment, indifference; Parents say boy abused daughter on Barnstable school bus for months; Lawsuit seeks $3.75 million in compensatory, punitive damages."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: This evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Admiral Applauds Guantanamo Closure Order."

And today's broadcast of "Weekend Edition Saturday" contained an audio segment entitled "Senate OKs Bill To Bolster Equal Pay."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Q and A: Baylor professor happy to win Supreme Court case on crack cocaine sentences." This article appears today in The Waco Tribune-Herald.
Posted at 10:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court may weigh corruption law; A former Chicago politician is appealing his conviction for defrauding the public of 'honest services,' a statute that some say is too vague": David G. Savage will have this article Sunday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Brother campaigns for 'enemy combatant'": BBC News provides this report.
Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Reverses Rules on U.S. Abortion Aid": The New York Times contains this article today.

The Washington Post reports today that "Funding Restored to Groups That Perform Abortions, Other Care."

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Obama repeals abortion aid rule; The move lifts the ban on U.S. funding to international groups that provide abortion services; Antiabortion groups and GOP lawmakers condemn the action."
Posted at 07:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Kagan to leave deanship for D.C.; Howell Jackson to be Acting Dean if Kagan confirmed as Solicitor General; Alums dominate Justice Department": This article appears in the current issue of Harvard Law Record, along with articles headlined "Sunstein named regulation czar; Hailed as world's third greatest public intellectual as book earns accolades" and "Lessig rejoining faculty; Changing focus from IP to political corruption."
Posted at 07:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"UMW chief blasts Alabama attorney general; State's top prosecutor wants Harman Mining v. Massey energy appeal opposed": The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette contains this article today.
Posted at 07:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Joyce claims insufficient evidence; Former Superior Court judge wants new trial": This article appears today in The Erie (Pa.) Times-News.
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Mother-in-law of Justice Clarence Thomas dies in Lincoln": The Omaha World-Herald has published this obituary.

And The Associated Press reports that "Mother-in-law of Justice Thomas dies in Nebraska."
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Where Will Detainees From Guantanamo Go?" This article appears today in The New York Times.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Obama's Guantanamo decision has repercussions in Afghanistan, Pakistan; The president's move to close the detention facility is raising questions for governments that supported the Bush administration's treatment of terrorism suspects."
Posted at 02:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Administration: Wiretapping Legal Challenge Must Die." David Kravets has this post at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog.
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court ruling favors creators of the Taco Bell Chihuahua; The fast-food chain is solely liable for $42 million in breach-of-contract awards to two Michigan men who developed the mascot idea, which was the basis of the company's hit ad campaign in the '90s": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Grand Rapids Press reports today that "Years later, Taco Bell bitten by dog ads."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 02:32 PM by Howard Bashman



Friday, January 23, 2009

"Pro-life activists march on court; Call on Obama to 'save lives' by opposing pro-choice bills": This article appears today in The Washington Times. The newspaper also provides an update headlined "Obama changes policy on abortion."

McClatchy Newspapers provide reports headlined "Obama ends funding restrictions for family planning groups" and "On Roe v. Wade anniversary, GOP lawmakers press Obama."

The Washington Post reports today that "Abortion Foes Recall Lincoln's Slavery Stand; Crowd Asks Obama to Honor 'Humanity.'"

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Anti-abortion marchers hope Obama's listening; Thousands in Washington commemorate Roe vs. Wade and speak up against the president's position on abortion rights."

USA Today reports that "Abortion foes find new climate; Obama repeats commitment to right to choose."

And The Associated Press reports that "Obama reverses Bush abortion-funds policy."
Posted at 09:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Marion White, widow of Supreme Court justice, dies": The Associated Press provides this report.

And The Denver Post today contains an obituary headlined "Justice's wife was a community servant."
Posted at 06:08 PM by Howard Bashman



The Taco Bell chihuahua, on appeal: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued this ruling today.

Some information on the other lawsuit that gives rise to the lawsuit at issue in today's Ninth Circuit ruling can be accessed in an article headlined "Taco Bell's Dog Tale" from Forbes.com.
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"In gray area involving fees, justices back union": Tony Mauro has this news analysis online at the First Amendment Center.
Posted at 12:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court turns away suit over Confederate flag shirts": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A full federal appeals court won't hear a lawsuit by three Tennessee students threatened with suspension if they wore Confederate flag T-shirts."

Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs was the only member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to note his dissent from today's order denying rehearing en banc.

The original three-judge panel's ruling -- which issued in August 2008 while I was away -- can be viewed at this link.
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit revisits the fictional syndrome of sexual dysfunction known as "picquerism": My coverage from January 2003 of the Second Circuit's ruling on habeas petitioner Robie J. Drake's earlier appeal has caused this blog to be a top Google result for those searching for the term "picquerism."

Today, nearly six years later, the Second Circuit has issued a new opinion focusing heavily on the "picquerism" issue. Today's ruling conditionally grants Drake's habeas petition and orders Drake's release unless New York State provides him a new trial within 90 days.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Officials: Obama to reverse abortion policy." The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bush's 'War' On Terror Comes to a Sudden End": The Washington Post today contains this front page news analysis, along with articles headlined "Obama Reverses Bush Policies On Detention and Interrogation" and "Intelligence Pick Calls Torture Immoral, Ineffective."

The New York Times reports today that "Obama Reverses Key Bush Security Policies."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Obama overturns Bush tactics in war on terrorism; He issues executive orders to prohibit torture and to close Guantanamo and secret CIA prisons overseas; Human rights advocates hail the moves, though tough decisions await." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Unraveling Bush's excesses: Obama's three orders on detainees and interrogation show how tough it will be to undo what Bush did."

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin and Siobhan Gorman report that "Obama Closes Detention Network; President Orders Guantanamo Shut, Sets Up Prisoner Reviews, Bans Secret CIA Prisons." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "The Jack Bauer Exception: Obama's executive order wants it both ways on interrogation."

USA Today contains a front page article headlined "Obama revamps rules on detainees; Orders prison closed at Guantanamo Bay."

McClatchy Newspapers provide reports headlined "Obama orders Guantanamo closed, end to CIA prisons, harsh interrogations"; "Obama's orders only the start of a detainee policy overhaul"; and "Obama sends a message: the United States will not torture."

The Kansas City Star reports that "Fort Leavenworth is on list of possible new homes for Gauntanamo captives."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor reports that "Obama moves to overhaul 'war on terror' practices; In three executive orders signed Thursday, he departs sharply from Bush's policies on Guantanamo, CIA prisons, and harsh interrogation tactics." The newspaper also contains articles headlined "Obama's first big moves: His first acts -- including an order to close Guantanamo Bay -- seek to signal change" and "Closing Guantanamo: Will Europeans take detainees? Europeans, who have long pushed to close the controversial facility, are hesitant to take some of its inmates."

At Politico.com, Josh Gerstein has a report headlined "Why the Gitmo policies may not change."

And law.com reports that "Gitmo Attorneys Express Impatience Over Closure Timetable; President Obama's decision to close detainee facility in a year may be too long to wait, lawyers say."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush right on Ramos and Compean: Two agents who shot a suspect did not deserve a pardon, but they also didn't belong in prison for more than 10 years." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama's Judicial Choices: Storming the 4th Circuit? A 4th Circuit judge asks Democrats to resist an ideological takeover of the court." Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"Fair-Wage Bill Clears The Senate; High Court Decision Would Be Overturned": The Washington Post contains this article today.

And McClatchy Newspapers report that "Senate approves landmark equal pay legislation."
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Isn't the First President to Retake Oath -- or Forgo Bible": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman


"Freed by U.S., Saudi Becomes a Qaeda Chief": The New York Times today contains a front page article that begins, "The emergence of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Autopsy reports are public, high court declares; Two newspapers had sued for results in slaying of Easton police officer": This article appears today in The Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The Express-Times of Easton, Pennsylvania reports today that "Pa. Supreme Court rules Express-Times should have access to 2005 police shooting autopsy report."

And The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that "Autopsy reports public, Pa. court rules."

Yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania consists of a majority opinion and a concurring and dissenting opinion.
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman



"State off hook for foster kids' car insurance": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state's obligation to help foster parents raise their children does not extend to paying for teenagers' car insurance, the California Supreme Court said Thursday."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Area attorney appears before Supreme Court": Yesterday's edition of The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser contained an article that begins, "A Montgomery-based prosecutor had a hand in a recent Supreme Court ruling that will affect criminal cases across the country. Assistant U.S. Attorney Verne Speirs handled a case out of Coffee County that ended up before U.S. Supreme Court justices."
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"2nd Circuit Skeptical Over Restoration of Rules Curbing Content of Ads": law.com provides a report that begins, "Questioning from a panel of federal appeals judges Thursday swamped New York state's primary argument for reinstating a series of restrictions on lawyer advertising that were enjoined in July."
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case": This evening at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog, David Kravets has a post that begins, "The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants."

You can access at this link the court filing the federal government made in the case earlier today.
Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman



In jurisprudence essays available online at Slate: Dahlia Lithwick has an essay entitled "Bad Men: How many terrorists are really left at Guantanamo, anyway?"

And Emily Bazelon has an essay entitled "Project Open Closet: When do the legal skeletons come tumbling out of the Justice Department?"

As an added bonus, today's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day" included an audio segment entitled "Obama To Shutter CIA Prisons Immediately" (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick.
Posted at 10:17 PM by Howard Bashman



Fifth Circuit upholds Zainey ruling on federal government liability for post-Katrina deaths: The Associated Press provides this report.

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link. The same three-judge panel also issued a separate, related ruling that you can access here.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama orders review in al-Qaida sleeper case": The Associated Press provides this report.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Government to reconsider Al-Marri case."
Posted at 08:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Senators Shuffle Membership on Judiciary Committee": David Ingram has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 04:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama signs order to close Guantanamo in a year": The Associated Press provides this report.

And Reuters reports that "Obama orders Guantanamo's closure within a year."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



At least the U.S. Supreme Court has noticed who's now in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice: The "Day Call" list for yesterday's argued cases reflects that the caption of the third argued case is now Nken v. Filip, as does the transcript of that oral argument.

My earlier post on this topic appeared yesterday.

Meanwhile, as this ruling issued today indicates, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit isn't yet ready to let former Attorney General Mukasey off the hook.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Civil Rights Law at Issue in High Court Rulings": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "Online-Porn Law Is Allowed to Die; High Court Won't Hear Bush Appeal."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court lets Internet porn law die; The measure, which never went into effect, was aimed at protecting children. In striking down the law on free-speech grounds, the justices cite the use of software filters."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Ruling revives student's bias lawsuit."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor has articles headlined "US Supreme Court says parents can sue school officials under discrimination laws; In a Massachusetts case, a kindergarten girl allegedly was sexually harassed by a third-grade boy on a school bus" and "It's now easier for judges to determine immunity for public officials; The US Supreme Court rules in the case of an alleged drug dealer in Utah."

The Boston Globe reports that "Supreme Court backs bid by family to sue Cape school district; Girl had reported abuse on bus."

The Cape Cod Times reports that "Supreme Court backs Cape family's lawsuit against school."

The Deseret News contains an article headlined "U.S. Supreme Court: Police are protected from lawsuits."

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Justices reinstate murder conviction in Ballard drive-by; Lower court decision overturned in the death of a 16-year-old girl who was shot from car."
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman



"Federal judge delays the public webcast of illegal download case": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 09:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Way clear for damage suit against drugmaker": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for a San Francisco woman to sue a drugmaker for allegedly failing to warn her doctor that anti-heartburn medicine he prescribed for her could cause a muscular disorder. The court declined to review an appellate court ruling reinstating Elizabeth Conte's damage suit against Wyeth Inc."

My earlier coverage of the intermediate appellate court's ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 09:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judges merit a raise: Even in these difficult times, federal jurists deserve a cost-of-living wage increase." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Oath Is Administered Once Again": The New York Times contains this article today. The newspaper also contains an op-ed by Steven Pinker entitled "Oaf of Office."

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Obama retakes oath to err on side of law."

The Associated Press reports that "Obama takes presidential oath again after stumble."

Bloomberg News reports that "Obama Sworn in Again After Error in the Oath at Inauguration."

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Take Two: The Presidential Oath, Done Right."
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama to Shut Guantanamo Site and C.I.A. Prisons": This front page article appears today in The New York Times. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "First Steps at Guantanamo."

Today's edition of The Washington Post contains a front page article headlined "Obama Starts Reversing Bush Policies; Guantanamo Order Readied; Lobbying Rules Tightened." The newspaper also reports that "Plan to Eliminate Prison Faces Hurdles; Practical, Political Challenges Await as Obama Outlines Goals in Draft Order" and "Public Supports Closing Guantanamo; In Poll, Most Agree With President's Plan to Shutter the Facility Within a Year." And the newspaper contains an editorial entitled "Justice and Security: Mr. Obama is right to move cautiously in closing Guantanamo."

In The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Obama expected to order closure of Guantanamo prison; A draft order calling for the facility's shutdown within a year and a review of prisoners' cases is likely to be issued today; A presidential request prompts suspension of prosecutions."

Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald reports that "Obama moves to close Guantanamo camps within a year; President Obama launched plans for a phased one-year closure of the Guantanamo prison camps that could bring detainees to U.S. soil."

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin and Laura Meckler report that "Obama Set to Undo Bush's Gitmo Policies." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Obama and Guantanamo: Fighting terrorism is simpler when you're a candidate."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor has an article headlined "Sorting out Guantanamo detainees: President Obama orders a thorough review of pending terror cases."

At Politico.com, Josh Gerstein reports that "Legal issues complicate Gitmo closing."

The Associated Press provides reports headlined "Sources: Obama to order Guantanamo closed" and "Ex-US attorney to prosecute suspects at Guantanamo."

Reuters provides reports headlined "Obama to order Guantanamo closed" and "Guantanamo closure too little too late: ex-inmate."

Bloomberg News reports that "Obama's Order to Close Guantanamo Detainee Camp May Come Today."

And today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition" contained an audio segment entitled "Obama To Order Guantanamo Closed Within A Year" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



The second attempt at administering the presidential oath involved no Bible and no transposition of words: You can view a photograph from last night's private ceremony at this link.
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"2nd Circuit to Hear Arguments on Lawyer Ad Restrictions": law.com provides this report.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Westar gets partial victory in Lake fees case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court's ruling that forced Kansas utility Westar Energy Inc. to pay more than $3 million in overdue legal fees for a former executive facing criminal charges."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"On Roe v. Wade anniversary, GOP lawmakers press Obama": James Rosen of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"Guantanamo order foresees some detainees coming to U.S." Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has this report, along with a news update headlined "9/11 families upset at Obama's war court freeze."

And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Obama Takes Steps Toward Shutting Guantanamo" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama Sworn In Again, Using the Right Words": This article will appear Thursday in The Washington Post.

Margaret Talev of McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Obama retakes the oath of office after a busy first day."

Reuters reports that "Obama takes oath again after inauguration mistake."

Bloomberg News reports that "Obama Sworn in Again After Error in Yesterday's Inauguration."

And this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Obama Retakes Oath Of Office" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama takes presidential oath -- again": The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Chief Justice John Roberts has administered the presidential oath of office to Barack Obama for a second time just to be on the safe side." According to The AP's report, "The chief justice and the president handled the matter privately in the Map Room on Wednesday night."
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"US abortion debate altered by Obama presidency": The Associated Press provides this report.

Thirty-six years ago tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Posted at 05:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"What Happened With Obama's Oath Of Office?" This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring, among others, law professor Jonathan Turley appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Talk of the Nation." The discussion about the oath begins at approximately thirteen minutes into the audio clip.
Posted at 05:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Holder confirmation hearing delayed a week": CNN.com provides a report that begins, "The initial confirmation vote for Eric Holder, President Barack Obama's pick for attorney general, was postponed for a week Wednesday after a rancorous meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee."

David Lightman and Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers report that "Senate Republicans seek delay on Holder confirmation vote."

And The Associated Press reports that "Holder vote delayed a week."

Earlier today, I had a related post titled "Attorney General Mukasey may be gone, but he's not forgotten."
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"No Problems With Today's Oath at the Supreme Court": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 02:16 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama draft order calls for closing Guantanamo Bay": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court lets Internet porn law die; The measure, which never went into effect, was aimed at shielding children from sexually explicit websites; Judges had repeatedly blocked it on free-speech grounds": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Skilling fires back": Tom Kirkendall has this post today at his "Houston's Clear Thinkers" blog.
Posted at 11:32 AM by Howard Bashman


Attorney General Mukasey may be gone, but he's not forgotten: As the web site of the U.S. Department of Justice confirms, former U.S. District Judge Mark Filip is today serving as the Acting Attorney General pending the U.S. Senate's confirmation of Attorney General-designate Eric H. Holder.

Today, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued two rulings (here and here) in cases where the caption was titled "v. Mukasey." And a footnote in the first of those two cases even goes so far as to say that the caption has been updated pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 43(c)(2) to reflect that Michael B. Mukasey is the current Attorney General. (It is also interesting to note, as that same opinion discloses, that an active judge serving on the Tenth Circuit recently sat by designation with the Second Circuit.)

Thus, the race continues to see which federal appellate court will be the first to issue a precedential ruling identifying as a party a successor to former Attorney General Mukasey.
Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Judge grants Obama request to suspend Gitmo trial": The Associated Press provides this report.

The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Judge Suspends Guantanamo Case at Obama's Request."

The New York Times has a news update headlined "Obama Orders Halt to Prosecutions at Guantanamo."

Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has a news update headlined "9/11 accused due in war court on Obama's freeze order."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Obama starts acting on detainee cases."
Posted at 10:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court won't save porn law, alters immunity rule": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And in early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "Supreme Court won't revive online content law"; "Court rules for young girl in sex harassment case"; "Court sides with union in legal fees case"; "Court sides with police officers in search case"; and "Court reinstates Wash. murder conviction."

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "U.S. Supreme Court Won't Revive Internet Pornography Measure" and "U.S. Supreme Court rejects Hamilton Bancorp ex-chairman's appeal."

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued four opinions in argued cases and one summary reversal.

The summary reversal issued in Spears v. United States, No. 08-5721. You can access the Court's per curiam ruling at this link. The Chief Justice issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined. Justice Clarence Thomas noted his dissent without opinion. And Justice Anthony M. Kennedy also did not join in the summary reversal, noting that he "would grant the petition for a writ of certiorari and set the case for oral argument."

Justice Alito delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Comm., No. 07-1125. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

Justice Alito also delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Pearson v. Callahan, No. 07-751. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Locke v. Karass, No. 07-610. In addition, Justice Alito issued a concurring opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justice Antonin Scalia joined. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

And Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court in Waddington v. Sarausad, No. 07-772. Justice David H. Souter issued a dissenting opinion, in which Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

Finally, today the Court also issued an Order List, which you can access at this link. Following more than eight pages of GVRs, the Court called for the views of the Solicitor General in one case.
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Fieger's appeal of Michigan code rejected; Case not for federal court, judges rule": This article appears today in The Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit News today contains an article headlined "Fieger's suit dealt setback; Court: Challenge of Mich. attorney courtesy rules 'lacked standing.'"

And The National Law Journal reports that "High-profile Michigan attorney loses his 'right to criticize judges' lawsuit."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Dept. snubs federal judge's ruling": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "In a parting shot, the Bush administration's Justice Department shrugged off a San Francisco federal judge's order to make a classified document available to lawyers for an Islamic group challenging the legality of the outgoing president's secret wiretapping program. National security officials, not judges, must decide whether private citizens - even those with security clearances - are entitled to see classified material, Justice Department lawyers said in a filing Monday night."

And last night at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog, David Kravets had a post titled "In Final Legal Act, Bush Appeals Spy Ruling." You can view Monday night's Justice Department filing at this link.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Skilling seeks wider review": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Former Enron Chief Executive Jeff Skilling's lawyers have asked the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear his appeal arguments in light of a three-judge panel's decision earlier this month to uphold all 19 of his convictions."

Via WSJ.com's "Law Blog," you can access online both the petition for rehearing en banc and the petition for panel rehearing. The local rules of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allow a party to separately file each type of rehearing petition instead of requiring that they both be combined in a single pleading.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Portraits of the Supremes (not Diana Ross et al.) hanging in Landmark Center": Last Friday, MinnPost.com featured a post that begins, "Portraits of two famous Minnesota members of the U.S. Supreme Court -- Chief Justice Warren Burger and Associate Justice Harry Blackmun -- were unveiled today in downtown St. Paul. In addition to being colleagues on the high court, both grew up on St. Paul's East Side."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"He writes the rules that make their eardrums ring; In Colorado, Municipal Judge Paul Sacco has a special punishment for people who blast their stereos: a night listening to Barry Manilow." The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Courting Common Sense: Will the White House and Congress find a better way to nominate and confirm judges?" This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.

You can view a list of current federal judicial vacancies at this link and scheduled future federal judicial vacancies at this link.
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Few Rough Patches for a Presidential Oath": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "For a couple of smooth-talking constitutional experts, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and President Obama had a hard time getting through the constitutional oath of office."

Today's edition of The Washington Post contains an article headlined "After Flub, Experts Say, A Do-Over Couldn't Hurt."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Obama, Chief Justice Roberts trip over oath; Both get the constitutional pledge slightly wrong, misplacing the word 'faithfully'; And trivia buffs may have a gripe with Obama's inauguration address."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Oath of office gave Roberts some pauses."

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Experts say Obama should retake the oath."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Was Obama's oath valid?"
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Rhode Island high court to hear Ethics Commission appeal": The Providence Journal contains this article today.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


"Trials for Parents Who Chose Faith Over Medicine": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"What the Audacity of Hope Looks Like From Behind Bars": The Wall Street Journal today contains an article that begins, "The horses were grazing, and the rifles were stored in their armory racks. The inmates who normally tend crops weren't working, so the officers who watch over them in the fields didn't need horses or guns. Change, at least for a day, had come to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, the state's maximum-security prison. On Tuesday, Warden Burl Cain gave the inmates the day off to watch Barack Obama take the oath of office. It was the first time in the prison's history that inmates were free to watch a president being sworn in."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama seeks freeze in Guantanamo war court trial": Today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg has an article that begins, "Just hours in office, President Barack Obama late Tuesday sought a 120-day freeze in the war crimes trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed to give the new administration time to study ongoing war-on-terror prosecutions." You can access the government's motion at this link.

The Washington Post reports today that "Obama Seeks Halt to Legal Proceedings at Guantanamo."

And The Associated Press reports that "Obama administration moves to suspend Gitmo trials."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Obama, Chief Justice Roberts trip over oath; Both get the constitutional pledge slightly wrong, misplacing the word 'faithfully'; And trivia buffs may have a gripe with Obama's inauguration address": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.
Posted at 07:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal court overturns ruling in Fieger lawsuit against state Supreme Court": The Detroit News provides an update that begins, "A federal appeals court dealt a setback to flamboyant Southfield attorney Geoffrey Fieger Tuesday when it overturned a federal judge in Detroit who found that state rules requiring lawyers to use 'civility' when they talk about judges were unconstitutional."

And The Associated Press reports that "Fieger loses case tied to criticism about judges."

My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 03:22 PM by Howard Bashman



"Enron's Skilling asks full court to review convictions": The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, "Former Enron Chief Executive Jeff Skilling's lawyers today asked all 16 judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear his appeal arguments in light of a three-judge panel's decision earlier this month to uphold all 19 of his convictions."

And The Associated Press reports that "Skilling's attorneys file new appeals."
Posted at 03:18 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Presidential Oath, More or Less": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

NBC News correspondent Pete Williams has a blog post titled "About that oath flub."

TMZ.com has a post titled "Chief Justice Screws Up Oath -- Obama Blanks" featuring a link to video of the Chief Justice's administering the oath.

And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report headlined "First inauguration for Roberts as chief justice" that begins, "Chief Justice John Roberts stumbled slightly over the 35-word constitutionally prescribed oath of office as he swore in Barack Obama as the 44th president on Tuesday, sending the new chief executive into a verbal detour of his own."
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman



Photographs of U.S. Supreme Court Justices at today's inauguration ceremony: You can view the photos by clicking here, here, here, and here.

Updates: Some oath of office photos can be viewed here, here, and here.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gitmo court back in session -- at least for now": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "An FBI agent defended the questioning of a 15-year-old Canadian detainee Tuesday in what many believe could be the final session of the special Guantanamo war crimes court."
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Marty Lederman joins the Office of Legal Counsel": Jack Balkin has this post today at "Balkinization."
Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"What's The Future Of Affirmative Action?" This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring, among others, Dahlia Lithwick appeared on yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "Talk of the Nation."
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has today issued its ruling in Geoffrey Fieger v. Michigan Supreme Court: Today's ruling begins:
After a panel of judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a $15 million judgment initially entered in favor of his client, and while the case was pending before the court, attorney Geoffrey Nels Fieger made vulgar comments about the judges on a radio show he hosted.
The majority on a divided three-judge panel reached the following holding:
We vacate the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. We hold that Fieger and Steinberg lack standing because they have failed to demonstrate actual present harm or a significant possibility of future harm based on a single, stipulated reprimand; they have not articulated, with any degree of specificity, their intended speech and conduct; and they have not sufficiently established a threat of future sanction under the narrow construction of the challenged provisions applied by the Michigan Supreme Court. For these same reasons, we also hold that the district court abused its discretion in entering declaratory relief.
In the decision under review, the district court had ruled that the courtesy and civility provisions of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution because the rules are overly broad and vague and enjoined their enforcement. Back on September 5, 2007, I had this post about the district court's ruling that the Sixth Circuit has set aside today.

Senior Circuit Judge Gilbert S. Merritt dissented from today's ruling and would have held that Fieger had standing.
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"First inauguration for Roberts as chief justice": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Chief Justice John Roberts is giving the oath of office to President-elect Barack Obama, the first of what could be many inaugurations presided over by the affable, conservative jurist."
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Has Chance to Shape U.S. Courts; Vacancies of Appellate Judges, Makeup in Congress Should Give New President Sway Over How Laws Will Be Interpreted": Ashby Jones has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ala. attorney general seeks support for judge in Massey case": Yesterday's edition of The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette contained an article that begins, "Alabama Attorney General Troy King wants attorneys general around the country to join him in supporting West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin and Massey Energy in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. King believes the U.S. Supreme Court should not create any federal rules about when or why state court justices should remove themselves from hearing cases before them."
Posted at 07:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"Move to let Gary gun-violence lawsuit proceed stirs debate; Some see landmark case; others call Gary suit unfounded": The Indianapolis Star yesterday contained an article that begins, "One by one, local governments have filed lawsuits that try to hold firearms manufacturers responsible for gun violence on city streets. And, one by one, the lawsuits have either been dismissed by courts or dropped. Until last week. In what gun control advocates quickly hailed as a landmark decision, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last week that a lawsuit filed by the city of Gary can proceed toward trial. That leaves Gary as the last plaintiff standing among more than 30 cities and states that have sued the gun industry over the past decade -- and at the epicenter of a contentious debate."

Two Mondays ago at "The Indiana Law Blog," Marcia Oddi had this post reproducing the text of the Indiana Supreme Court's ruling
Posted at 07:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"A First for Nation and Chief Justice": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 06:10 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, January 19, 2009

"World Court: U.S. execution broke global law." Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Will Europe help close Guantanamo?" McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.
Posted at 10:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush Commutes Sentences of Ex-Agents; When in U.S. Border Patrol, Two Shot Mexican Who Admitted Smuggling Drugs": This article will appear Tuesday in The Washington Post.

Tuesday's edition of The New York Times will report that "Bush Commutes 2 Border Agents' Sentences."

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Bush commutes former Border Patrol agents' prison terms; The two ex-lawmen had been convicted of shooting an unarmed Mexican drug smuggler; The case has been a cause celebre among illegal-immigration foes."

McClatchy Newspapers report that "Bush commutes sentences of 2 Border Patrol agents."

The Houston Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Bush commutes sentences of 2 ex-Border Patrol agents."

And The Dallas Morning News provides an update headlined "Bush frees 2 Border Patrol agents imprisoned for shooting smuggler."
Posted at 10:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"How Much Should Judges Make?" Adam Liptak will have this installment of his "Sidebar" column Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"9/11 terror suspects defiant at Guantanamo hearing": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has this news update.

And The Associated Press reports that "9/11 suspects declare guilt at Gitmo war court."
Posted at 06:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"No Pardon For Libby; Bush uses clemency powers sparingly to the end": Michael Isikoff of Newsweek provides this online report.
Posted at 06:10 PM by Howard Bashman


"Bush commutes sentences of former US border agents": The Associated Press provides this report.

My earlier coverage of the Fifth Circuit's decision affirming the agents' criminal convictions can be accessed here.
Posted at 01:35 PM by Howard Bashman



Imagine having only yourself to blame if you're disgruntled about the due date for filing your client's principal brief on appeal: Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit announced a new policy for determining when appellate briefs will be due in criminal appeals.

Whether this new policy will speed-up or slow-down the processing of criminal appeals remains to be seen.
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"It's too late to save face for judiciary": Yesterday in The Galveston County Daily News, Heber Taylor had an op-ed that begins, "You can say one thing about the Judicial Council of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' order saying it would reopen its investigation into U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent: It's a year too late to be credible."
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"World Court says US defied order in death row case": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The International Court of Justice has ruled that the United States defied its order when authorities in Texas last year executed a Mexican convicted of rape and murder."

You can access at this link the press release that the International Court of Justice issued today. And you can access today's ruling at this link.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Illegal wire-tapping suit now in Obama's court": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has a front page article that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama dismayed civil liberties groups last summer when he voted to authorize President Bush's clandestine wiretapping program after publicly denouncing it. Now, thanks to a ruling by a San Francisco federal judge, Obama must take a stand on whether the Bush administration violated Americans' rights when it intercepted their phone calls and e-mails without seeking a court's permission."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Harlington Wood Jr., 88, Siege Negotiator, Is Dead": This obituary appears today in The New York Times.

Earlier, obituaries for Senior Seventh Circuit Judge Harlington Wood, Jr. appeared in The State Journal-Register of Springfield, Illinois and in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gitmo war court back for what may be last session": The Associated Press provides this report.

And Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald reports that "At Guantanamo, it's business as usual."
Posted at 09:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Interest Rate Drop Has Dire Results for Legal Aid": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Scores of legal aid societies that help poor people with noncriminal cases -- like disputes over foreclosures, evictions and eligibility for unemployment benefits -- are being forced to cut their staffs and services, even as requests for help have soared."
Posted at 09:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Rulings of Wrongful Detentions at Guantanamo": This article will appear Monday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:17 PM by Howard Bashman


"Katyal Tapped as Principal Deputy in SG's Office": Joe Palazzolo has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 07:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"Claiming juror misconduct, Ford seeks to overturn settlement it agreed to pay": Chuck Lindell and Corrie MacLaggan have this article today in The Austin American-Statesman. According to the article, the case is now pending before the Supreme Court of Texas.
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Hawaiian rights activists take land case public in Waikiki march; Demonstration held in conjunction with overthrow observance": This article appears today in The Honolulu Advertiser.
Posted at 11:34 AM by Howard Bashman


"High court's Gunter censured over fight with sister": The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette yesterday contained an article that begins, "An Arkansas Supreme Court justice was reprimanded Friday by a state judicial panel, apparently the first censure ever of a member of Arkansas' highest court."

And The Associated Press reports that "Arkansas panel reprimands Supreme Court justice."

You can view the reprimand at this link.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Hoping That Left Is Right: Gavin Newsom, a vocal supporter of gay marriage, is betting his future on the fact that social attitudes are growing more liberal." The January 26, 2009 issue of Newsweek will contain this article.
Posted at 11:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Top court to decide fate of a killer; End of death penalty put sentence in limbo": This article appears today in The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

And in somewhat related news, The Progress of Caldwell, New Jersey reported on Friday that "Chief Justice Rabner returns to his hometown; Enjoys lunch with Kiwanian friends and 80 guests at Hanover Manor."
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman



"Record labels ask First Circuit to block webcast of federal court hearing; I dissent!" Ben Sheffner has this post at his "Copyrights & Campaigns" blog.
Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"Alabama woman takes historic ride with Obama; defeat in court case brings Ledbetter to the attention of soon-to-be first family": This article appears today in The Birmingham News.
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"Voting Rights Anachronism": Columnist George F. Will has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Two Stars, Meeting Across a Bible": Today in the Week in Review section of The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse has an article that begins, "A few pairings stand out in the history of chief justices swearing in presidents."
Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"All the Presidents' Justices: Barack Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts have more in common than their rhetoric might suggest." Dahlia Lithwick will have this essay in the January 26, 2009 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 10:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"1st time for everyone: Roberts will swear in Obama." Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Two Harvard-educated lawyers who made rapid ascents to power will briefly share the stage Tuesday at the presidential inauguration."
Posted at 09:57 AM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Prosecutor seeks, loses bid to delay terror hearings; Both the chief prosecutor and his defense counterpart sought delays in next week's war court sessions straddling the inauguration but two Army colonels denied the request": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald provides this report.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that "Guantanamo defense calls for charges to be dropped; The convening authority said this week that some of the men facing trial were tortured; Dropping all charges 'is the legally and morally correct course,' the defense writes in a letter." You can view the letter at this link.

Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy Newspapers has an article headlined "Appointee: Guantanamo suspects likely to face civilian courts."

And The New York Times reports today that "Pentagon Studies Bases as Alternative to Guantanamo; G.O.P. Lawmakers Object."
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"At confirmation, two views of Holder emerge; On the second day of hearings for the attorney general nominee, ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh hails Holder's professionalism, while a bombing victim's son lambastes nationalist clemencies": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post today contains an article headlined "Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder Gains Support From GOP, Law Enforcement." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Confirm Mr. Holder: The Senate hearing showed his grasp of the issues -- and the lessons he learned about a pardon."

The New York Times contains an article headlined "Support for Justice Dept. Nominee From Ex-F.B.I. Chief" and a news analysis headlined "Torture Remarks May Force Hand of New Administration."

And law.com reports that "On National Security, DOJ May Stay the Course."
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"For a Power Lawyer, a New High-Wire Act": The New York Times today contains a profile that begins, "During 40 years in politics, Gregory B. Craig has learned the art of the balancing act."
Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Texas challenge to the Voting Rights Act: The United States has made progress in fighting discrimination at the polls, but we still need the protections of the Voting Rights Act." This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Contempt Charges Will Stand In Terrorism-Related Case": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "A federal judge in Alexandria ruled yesterday that she would not throw out contempt-of-court charges against former professor Sami al-Arian, who has refused to cooperate with a terrorism investigation, and set his case for trial on March 9."
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Justices to Hear 2 Cases Brought Against Schools": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined "High Court to Rule on State Inquiries on Banks."

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that "High Court to Hear Case on Banks, Lending Practices; Justices Also Accept Two Cases On Education."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court to hear school strip-search case; The justices will also determine whether a child with a disability must try public education before being reimbursed with taxpayer funds for private school tuition."

In The Arizona Daily Star, Howard Fischer reports that "Strip-search ruling due; US high court takes on case of Safford girl, 13."

James Vicini of Reuters has articles headlined "Supreme court to decide case on school strip search" and "US court to hear NY appeal on bank lending probe."

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Bank Probes by States Draw U.S. Supreme Court Review."
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman



"Under Obama, feds may still snoop library files": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general has endorsed an extension of the law that allows federal agents to demand Americans' library and bookstore records as part of terrorism probes, dismaying a national group of independent booksellers."
Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, January 16, 2009

"Kneedler Named Acting SG As Garre Leaves to Teach at George Washington Law": Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 06:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to Review Special Education, Strip Search Cases": Mark Walsh has this post at Education Week's "The School Law Blog."
Posted at 04:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court to rule on state power over bank bias, 5 other cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

You can access today's Order List at this link.

And The Associated Press reports that "Court will review school strip search for drugs"; "High court takes special ed case"; and "Court to review power to probe national banks."
Posted at 02:12 PM by Howard Bashman



Available online from National Public Radio: Today's broadcast of "Morning Edition" contained audio segments entitled "Hearings Continue For Obama's AG Pick" (featuring Nina Totenberg) and "Obama Faces Calls To Tighten Interrogation Rules."

And yesterday evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Expert Urges U.S. Trials For Guantanamo Suspects."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Jackson Named Acting Law School Dean; Jackson will replace Kagan upon her confirmation as U.S. Solicitor General": This article appears today in The Harvard Crimson.
Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Pay-to-play law garners court's seal of approval": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court yesterday gave its approval to New Jersey's tough pay-to-play law, which is designed to prevent companies that make political contributions from getting favored treatment in state contracts."

And The Associated Press reports that "Law banning pay-to-play survives its first challenge; The state Supreme Court unanimously upheld a limit on awarding contracts to contributors."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush sees dangers closing Gitmo": This article appears today in The Washington Times.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman


"O'Connor adds a light touch to economic event": Today's edition of The Arizona Republic contains an article that begins, "The first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court took to the stage at an economic event in Scottsdale on Thursday and proclaimed, 'We're back to Keynesian economics.'"
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court calls warrantless wiretapping legal; The ruling upholds the power of the government to tap international phone calls and intercept e-mails, even when Americans' private communications may be involved": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Intelligence Court Releases Ruling in Favor of Warrantless Wiretapping."

The New York Times reports that "Court Affirms Wiretapping Without Warrants."

And The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled "The Wiretap Vindication: FISA sets the record straight."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Departing CIA chief Hayden defends interrogations; 'These techniques worked,' says outgoing Director Michael Hayden; He lists Iran's nuclear ambitions and Mexico's drug violence as top challenges to be faced by his designated successor, Leon Panetta": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

The Washington Post reports today that "Inquiry Into Interrogations Unlikely; Hayden: Obama Does Not Wish to Investigate Waterboarding."

And The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that "CIA director defends interrogations."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Holder calls waterboarding torture; Obama's nominee for attorney general tells senators in his confirmation hearing that he plans major changes in the Justice Department to fix problems he says were created by the Bush administration": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. In addition, Joseph F. Connor has an op-ed entitled "Terrorists killed my dad: Atty. Gen.-nominee Eric Holder helped pardon terrorists linked to my father's murder in 1975."

The Wall Street Journal today contains an article headlined "Technique Called 'Torture' by Holder."

Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Attorney general-designate backs shield law."

The Associated Press reports that "Obama's AG pick on track for confirmation."

And Bloomberg News reports that "Holder Urges Fairness for Terror Suspects as Nomination Gains."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bonds' lawyers seek to restrict evidence": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Lance Williams has an article that begins, "Prosecutors cannot conclusively link Barry Bonds to positive steroid tests seized in a raid on the BALCO laboratory, lawyers for the former Giants slugger say."

And The New York Times reports today that "Bonds's Lawyers File Motion Seeking Exclusion of Evidence."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman



"O'Malley vows to work to end death penalty; He raises idea of putting issue before voters": This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun.

And The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined "O'Malley Begins Quest To Repeal Death Penalty."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Connecticut, Other States Sue To Block 'Conscience Rule'": Today's edition of The Hartford Courant contains an article that begins, "Connecticut and six other states filed a lawsuit Thursday to block an impending federal rule that critics say will allow health care providers to deny care, including emergency contraception to rape victims, with no recourse for patients."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Lawsuits Filed Over Rule That Lets Health Workers Deny Care; Regulation to Protect 'Conscience Rights' Called Too Broad."
Posted at 08:11 AM by Howard Bashman



"The Fourth Amendment Diluted": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "With a lamentable 5-to-4 ruling on Wednesday, the Supreme Court carved a new exception to the nearly century-old exclusionary rule, which forbids prosecutors from using evidence obtained by the police as the result of an improper search."
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Some Ask if Bailout Is Unconstitutional": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Private hearings of civil cases likely to be allowed in Rhode Island": The Providence Journal today contains an article that begins, "The justices of the Rhode Island Supreme Court appear ready to implement rules to effectuate a law that would allow people to hire retired judges to preside over private trials in civil cases."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"What Does It Mean, in 2009, to Be a Political or Judicial Conservative? In the Midst of a National Paradigm Shift, Defining the Term Is Increasingly Challenging." Marci Hamilton has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Waterboarding Is Torture, Holder Tells Senators; Justice Dept. Nominee Rejects Bush-Era Policies but Stresses Bipartisanship": This article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.

Friday's edition of The New York Times will report that "Nominee Wants Some Detainees Tried in the U.S."

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined "Holder calls waterboarding torture, vows Justice reforms; Obama's nominee for attorney general tells confirmation hearing he will counter political interference; Holder says he is trying to figure out what to do with Guantanamo detainees."

McClatchy Newspapers report that "Obama's attorney general pick calls waterboarding torture."

The Christian Science Monitor reports that "Holder denounces waterboarding, other forms of 'torture'; Says an assessment of past political interference with the Justice Department 'has to be done.'"

law.com reports that "Holder Sets Tone as Confirmation Hearings Begin."

From National Public Radio, this evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Holder Calls Waterboarding Torture." Today's broadcast of "Day to Day" contained an audio segment entitled "What's Holding Up Eric Holder?" (featuring Dahlia Lithwick). And yesterday's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Holder May Face Grilling At Confirmation." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

Finally, online at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick has an essay entitled "Holder Steady: The Senate confirmation hearings prove bruising chiefly for Al Gonzales."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman



"Outgoing CIA director defends detainee interrogation program": Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.

And in related news, The Associated Press reports that "Gitmo detainee lawyers raise torture allegations."
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Modesty and Power: The Problem With Judicial Review." In the current issue of The New Republic, Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner has this review of Philip Hamburger's new book, Law and Judicial Duty.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge dismisses spring break smut suit": Bill Rankin of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a news update that begins, "When Julie Amanda Tilton went to Daytona Beach during spring break, she competed in a number of risque contests at a local motel before hundreds of observers, some taking photos. The Florida woman eventually filed a federal lawsuit after learning that footage of the contests had been posted on the Internet. But on Thursday, the federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled against Tilton, effectively ending her suit seeking damages from the hotel, the owner of a video company and others."

Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. wrote today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.

The appellate court's opinion begins, "This appeal concerns whether videos and photographs of Julie Amanda Tilton participating in activities during spring break in Daytona Beach, Florida, when she was seventeen years and ten months old, involve 'sexually explicit conduct.'"
Posted at 09:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jackson To Serve as Acting Dean of Harvard Law School": The Harvard Crimson provides a news update that begins, "Howell E. Jackson, the former vice dean for budget at Harvard Law School, will serve as the acting dean of the Law School upon the United States Senate's confirmation of Dean Elena Kagan as U.S. Solicitor General, University President Drew G. Faust announced today."

Harvard's official announcement can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:11 PM by Howard Bashman



One interesting tidbit from the Kozinski-Lat podcast that I linked to last night: At twenty-three minutes and forty seconds into the recording (56.1MB mp3 audio file), Chief Judge Alex Kozinski observes that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is not only the westernmost, northernmost, and southernmost circuit, but it's also the easternmost circuit.

So take that, U.S. Supreme Court -- you may get to have the last word on legal issues, but the Ninth Circuit's got you surrounded!
Posted at 03:25 PM by Howard Bashman



"More Charges Sought in Wone Murder Investigation": This post appears this afternoon at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 02:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court sides with J&J in stent dispute": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued today.
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman


"You got it wrong," the Seventh Circuit tells the First, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits: Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit refuses to become the eighth circuit to hold that a federal district court may sentence someone to serve time in a "residential reentry center" as a discretionary condition of his supervised release in disregard of the plain language of 18 U.S.C. sec. 3583(d), which, at the relevant time, specifically omitted this condition from a list of permissible discretionary conditions.

Because the federal government is on the losing side of today's ruling, this case appears to be quite cert.-worthy should U.S. Supreme Court review be sought.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"Smiling Photos from Inside the Supreme Court": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."

Update: The web site of the Office of the President-Elect has posted high-resolution photos from yesterday's visit here, here, and here.
Posted at 02:13 PM by Howard Bashman



"One of Minnesota's largest law firms is before us, requesting that we overturn judgments that it committed legal malpractice and breached fiduciary duties owed to a client." So begins a lengthy opinion that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Intelligence Court Rules Wiretapping Power Legal": Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times has a news update that begins, "A federal intelligence court, in a rare public opinion, is expected to issue a major ruling validating the power of the president and Congress to wiretap international phone calls and intercept e-mail messages without a court order, even when Americans' private communications may be involved, according to a person with knowledge of the opinion."

Update: You can now access online the redacted opinion (for alternate download source click here) and the order (for alternate download source click here) making the opinion public. Senior First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya, in his capacity as Chief Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, is the author of the opinion.
Posted at 11:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush allies take aim at Guantanamo Bay detainee policies; Guantanamo Bay detainee policy suffered several setbacks from Bush appointees and allies as the administration winds down": Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court weighs Manuel Noriega's challenge of extradition order; The fate of Panama's jailed general, Manuel Antonio Noriega, is now in the hands of a federal appeals court": Jay Weaver has this article today in The Miami Herald.
Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Tribes want more American Indians on federal bench": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Leaders of California's politically powerful Indian tribes are pressing the incoming Obama administration to appoint more American Indians to the federal judiciary. Nearly 900 judges sit on the federal bench throughout the country, but government records show only one claims American Indian ancestry: Frank Howell Seay, a senior district judge in Oklahoma."
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman


"Evidence Is Valid, Despite Police Error; Rights Were Not Violated, Justices Rule": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Supreme Court loosens law on illegal searches; The high court rules in a 5-4 opinion that evidence from an illegal search can be used if an officer makes an innocent mistake."

And in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Court OKs using evidence from search arising from error."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Let some Guantanamo Bay detainees live in U.S., advocates say; For countries to feel comfortable taking prisoners off American hands, the U.S. has to show it is OK by taking some itself, human rights advocates say; The Obama team is considering the move": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

The Washington Post reports today that "Citing Weak Evidence, Judge Orders Guantanamo Detainee Freed."

And The New York Times contains a news analysis headlined "Torture Acknowledgment Highlights Detainee Issue."
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Anaheim ends legal battle over renaming of Angels; The city had sued after owner Arte Moreno changed that name to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim but lost rounds in Superior Court and state appellate court; The fight cost the city $4 million": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The Orange County Register reported yesterday that "Anaheim decides to end fight over Angels name; Council member says vote was unanimous to stop pursuing legal case."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Of Judges, By Judges, For Judges": Today in The Washington Post, columnist George F. Will has an op-ed that begins, "In November, 13,402,566 California voters expressed themselves for or against Proposition 8, which said that their state's Constitution should be amended to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama and Biden Visit Supreme Court": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

And today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Obama, Biden make pre-inaugural visit to the Supreme Court; Not all justices appear at the get-acquainted session: Absent is Samuel A. Alito Jr., who has voiced lingering anger over Senate Democrats who opposed his confirmation in 2006."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Webcam to cover music suit; High-interest case gets first court OK": Today in The Boston Globe, Jonathan Saltzman has an article that begins, "In the first such ruling in the federal judiciary in Massachusetts, a judge in Boston agreed yesterday to allow video cameras in the courtroom to provide live Internet coverage of a high-interest lawsuit against a Boston University graduate student accused of downloading music illegally."
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Parties Brace for a Fight on Justice Dept. Choice": Eric Lichtblau has this article today in The New York Times. The newspaper also contains an op-ed from various notable contributors entitled "Questions of Justice."

USA Today reports that "Holder is likely to face tough questions today; Republicans focus on pardon role." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Can Holder restore Justice?"

The Boston Globe reports that "Grilling expected at AG nominee hearing; Fight over Holder illustrates division on Senate panel."

The Associated Press reports that "Holder to face Senate, admit past mistakes."

The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "Mr. Holder and Pardons: The attorney general nominee must explain his role."

And today in The Wall Street Journal, Arlen Specter and Edwin Meese III have an op-ed entitled "Even Businessmen Deserve a Lawyer: How Eric Holder enabled federal prosecutors to bully defendants."

Today's U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Eric Holder is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. eastern time and will be shown on C-SPAN3 (click here to view live using RealPlayer; click here to view live using Windows Media Player).
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"3 Victims' Families Ask Judge to Release Trove of Documents on 9/11 Attack": The New York Times contains this article today.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman


"Religious Groups Seek Swift Ban From Obama on Torture": This article appears today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Minnesota Recount Was Unconstitutional: There's still plenty of time for the state to get it right." Law professor Michael Stokes Paulsen has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


Too clever by half? After winning a noteworthy victory in the Eleventh Circuit against federal prosecutors, crime victims now seek to twist the knife. Law professor Paul Cassell posted this motion to strike the prosecution's rehearing petition yesterday here at "The Volokh Conspiracy."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"US court nixes state sex offender's registration": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A man who sent obscene material to minors over the Internet is not required to register as a sex offender because his particular crime was not on the list in the federal statute mandating registration, a three-judge federal panel ruled Wednesday. In a 2-1 decision, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel overturned an order by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade of Mobile, Ala."

At issue in the case is whether, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), a man who transmitted obscene material to persons he believed to be minors thereby engaged in conduct that constitutes a "sex offense against a minor."

Given the composition of yesterday's divided three-judge panel, and the fact that a federal district judge sitting by designation cast the deciding vote, I would not be surprised if the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit granted rehearing en banc in the case.

You can access yesterday's Eleventh Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Georgia's voter ID law upheld in federal appeals court ruling; Lawsuit dismissed: Panel says state needn't prove fraud exists, citing U.S. Supreme Court decision on Indiana voter ID law." Bill Rankin has this article today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. wrote yesterday's opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman



"The California Supreme Court Holds that Good Samaritans Providing Nonmedical Aid Can Be Held Liable If They Act Negligently": Anthony J. Sebok has this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "High Court Says Evidence Valid Despite Error" (featuring Nina Totenberg); "Trying Guantanamo Detainees May Pose Challenge"; and "Eric Holder Set For Easy Confirmation."

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Critics of AG nominee say politics influenced him, too": Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers provides this report.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Eases Limits on Evidence": Adam Liptak will have this article Thursday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Turning Point: How the Susan Crawford interview changes everything we know about torture." Dahlia Lithwick and Phillipe Sands have this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama, Biden pay visit to Supreme Court": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama paid a relaxed, pre-inaugural visit to the Supreme Court Wednesday at the invitation of the man whose confirmation he opposed."

At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "A Chat Around the Fireplace for Obama, Biden, and the Supreme Court."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "A conversation at the fireplace."
Posted at 08:09 PM by Howard Bashman



The Federalist Society's Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter presents David Lat and Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, the podcast: You can download the podcast of yesterday afternoon's event via this link (56.1MB mp3 audio file) (via "Above the Law").

Are blog's still "hateful things" in Chief Judge Kozinski's view, or does he now have a newfound appreciation for them? Perhaps the podcast will reveal the answer to that question.
Posted at 08:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"US judge orders release of young Gitmo detainee": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the military to release one of its first Guantanamo Bay detainees, a 21-year-old man who has been detained and accused of being a terrorist since he was 14."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia at this link.
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman



"NC appeals court hears Duke lacrosse slander suit": The Associated Press provides this report.

And The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina provides an update headlined "Arguments today in lacrosse coach's suit."
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court limits 'exclusionary rule'; The 5-4 decision allows police to use evidence seized under a search warrant that is later found to be faulty because of a computer or bookkeeping error": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Illegally Seized Evidence Can Be Used, Top Court Says."

At "SCOTUSblog," Tom Goldstein has a post titled "The Surpassing Significance of Herring."

And at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Orin Kerr has this post about the ruling.
Posted at 03:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"In Invitation, CJ Roberts Promised A 'Warm Welcome' for Obama": At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "Today's courtesy call at the Supreme Court by President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden was the result of a friendly written invitation to Obama from Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. dated Dec. 5."
Posted at 03:38 PM by Howard Bashman


In recent Guantanamo-related coverage from National Public Radio: Yesterday's broadcast of "Talk of the Nation" contained an audio segment entitled "What Will It Take To Close Guantanamo?"

And yesterday evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Where Do Detainees Go When Guantanamo Closes?"

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 03:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"Guantanamo war court reopens with new charges": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has this news update.
Posted at 12:02 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judical panel seems to back Manuel Noriega's extradition to France": Jay Weaver of The Miami Herald has a news update that begins, "Lawyers for Manuel Antonio Noriega, the jailed Panamanian general whose country was invaded by the United States almost two decades ago, faced tough questions Wednesday from an appeals court that seemed to support his extradition to France rather than his repatriation to Panama."

The Associated Press reports that "Noriega fights extradition before appeals court."

And CNN.com reports that "Courts try to decide what to do with Manuel Noriega."

Update: Reuters reports that "Panama's Noriega fights U.S. extradition to France."
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Teacher-student sex ban doesn't always apply, appeals court rules; State law does not ban teachers from having sex with 18-year-old students, according to a ruling by a unanimous panel of appellate judges": The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, "State law does not ban teachers from having sex with 18-year-old students, according to a unanimous ruling by a panel of appellate judges."

The Tri-City Herald of Kennewick, Washington reports today that "Appeals court rules case of teacher, student having sex should be dismissed."

And The Associated Press reports that "Teacher sex with 18-year-olds not illegal, court rules."

An all-female three-judge panel of the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II, issued yesterday's ruling.

Elsewhere, an article published today in The Des Moines Register reminds us that teacher-student sex apparently remains illegal in Iowa even though the student is 18 years old.
Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Remembering the Clinton-Gore Visit to the Supreme Court": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's two U.S. Supreme Court opinions in argued cases: The Court today issued two opinions in argued cases.

1. In Oregon v. Ice, No. 07-901, the Court ruled 5-4 that "[i]n light of historical practice and the States' authority over administration of their criminal justice systems, the Sixth Amendment does not inhibit States from assigning to judges, rather than to juries, the finding of facts necessary to the imposition of consecutive, rather than concurrent, sentences for multiple offenses." You can access the opinion at this link. Because this case involves the allocation of sentencing powers between the judge and the jury, the outcome produced an unusual voting alignment typical of such cases. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion, in which Justices John Paul Stevens, Anthony M. Kennedy, Stephen G. Breyer, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissenting opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justices David H. Souter and Clarence Thomas joined. You can access the oral argument transcript at this link.

2. And in Herring v. United States, No. 07-513, the Court ruled 5-4 that "[w]hen police mistakes leading to an unlawful search are the result of isolated negligence attenuated from the search, rather than systemic error or reckless disregard of constitutional requirements,the exclusionary rule does not apply." You can access the opinion at this link. This case produced the more typical "conservative" versus "liberal" 5-4 split. The Chief Justice wrote the majority opinion, in which Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito joined. Justice Ginsburg wrote the lead dissent, in which Justices Stevens, Souter, and Breyer joined. Justice Breyer also wrote a separate dissent, in which Justice Souter also joined. You can access the oral argument transcript at this link.

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Court expands judges' sentencing powers."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court says evidence valid despite police error" and "Court affirms judges' discretion in sentencing."
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama will end 'don't ask' policy, aide says": This article appears today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 09:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"2nd Circuit Questions Prosecutor's Obesity Explanation for Striking Juror": law.com provides this report.

My earlier coverage of last Friday's Second Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"There's no evidence Jessica's Law works, California officials say; A state board says tight residency limits on sex offenders have driven many to homelessness, which could propel them back into crime; The state spends $25 million housing some of the offenders": The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.
Posted at 09:38 AM by Howard Bashman


"Bills seek stronger liability shield for good Samaritans in California": This front page article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.

And law.com reports that "Calif. Lawmakers Rush to Rescue Good Samaritans in Wake of Court Ruling."
Posted at 09:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"A Test of The Power To Unpardon: The courts should uphold Bush's revocation of clemency to a sordid developer." George Lardner Jr. has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"A Foot-Dragger Walks: A perverse legal incentive goes before the Supreme Court." The Washington Post contains this editorial today.
Posted at 09:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Report Cites Political and Racial Bias At Justice; Watchdogs Say Ex-Official Broke Civil Service Laws": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that "Probe Faults Hiring at Justice Division."

law.com provides an article headlined "Report: Politics, Ideology Drove Hiring Decisions in Justice Department's Civil Rights Division; Last of four reports on DOJ hiring includes complaints that lawyers were pulled off cases for being 'treacherous' to agenda."

And yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered" contained an audio segment entitled "Report: Justice Official Made Politically Biased Hires" (RealPlayer required).

I linked to additional coverage and to the report itself in this post from last night.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Detainee Tortured, Says U.S. Official; Trial Overseer Cites 'Abusive' Methods Against 9/11 Suspect": Bob Woodward has this front page article today in The Washington Post.

And The New York Times reports today that "Detainee Was Tortured, a Bush Official Confirms."
Posted at 09:03 AM by Howard Bashman



"JQC accuses Tampa judge of fiscal shenanigans with stripper": The St. Petersburg Times today contains an article that begins, "An appeals judge who made history as Stetson University's first black law school graduate is in trouble with the state Judicial Qualifications Commission, accused of taking gifts from a stripper and helping hide her assets from creditors."

And The Tampa Tribune reports today that "Judge Charged In Stripper Inquiry."

You can access at this link the formal charges filed yesterday by the Investigative Panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission.
Posted at 08:57 AM by Howard Bashman



"Holder may reverse Bush secrecy": Pete Yost of The Associated Press provides this report.

Today's edition of The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled "Eric Holder's challenge: Atty. Gen.-nominee Eric Holder was a key Obama advisor; Now he must put politics aside."

And CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has a "CourtWatch" column headlined "A Nation Looks For Candor At Justice; The Only Suspense In AG Nominee Eric Holder's Confirmation Hearing Is Whether He Answers The Tough Questions."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Paterson Picks Chief Judge Nominee": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "Gov. David A. Paterson nominated Justice Jonathan Lippman on Tuesday to be the next chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court."

And law.com provides a report headlined "Sources: Lippman Chosen for N.Y. Chief Judge Slot."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices Turn to Rights of Defendants": Adam Liptak has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gableman loses request to bar commission from continuing case": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "A three-judge panel considering an ethics complaint against state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman on Tuesday dismissed a request by Gableman that the state Judicial Commission be barred from continuing its case. The Judicial Commission filed allegations against Gableman in October claiming he knowingly lied in a campaign ad last spring. A three-judge panel is now reviewing the allegations; the panel will forward its findings to the Supreme Court to decide what punishment, if any, Gableman should face."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Report Finds Online Threats to Children Overblown": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all. A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem."

And today's edition of The Wall Street Journal contains an article headlined "No Easy Answer for Protecting Kids Online; Study Finds Risks Children Face on the Web Aren't Too Different From Real-World Problems."

The task force's report can be accessed via the web site of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Bush pushed the limits of presidential power: With Cheney's urging, he insisted that he had that right under the US Constitution, especially during wartime." Warren Richey has this article today in The Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman


Perhaps that's why they're U.S. Supreme Court Justices drafters of U.S. Supreme Court syllabi rather than mathematicians: A reader who is currently based at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan emails to point out that the syllabus of yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Jimenez v. Quarterman, No. 07-6984, contains a rather obvious math error. that's repeated three times (once in the unanimous majority opinion, at page 4, and twice in first paragraph of the syllabus).

My correspondent emails:

In the opening syllabus paragraph of Jimenez vs. Quarterman, the line,

"Petitioner filed a second state habeas application on December 6, 2004, which was denied 355 days later, on June 29, 2005."

Whoops. In the military we frequently use "Julian Dates" which are quite helpful in counting spans of days.

December 6 in 2004 (a leap year) was 341 out of 366, and June 29, 2005 was 180.

So the actual span of days was 180 + (366-341) = "205 days later." So, it seems unlikely to be a mere typo.

"355 days later" would have been November 26, 2005.

Thanks much to my Bagram-based reader for sending this along.

Update: Contrary to a mistake that I interjected into my original post, the Court's opinion is not in error, as another reader has kindly emailed to note:

With regard to your Jimenez v. Quarterman post at 8:04a today, I note that the majority opinion, at page 4, does not contain the math error in the syllabus, contrary to the post's statement. The opinion states that "less than one year of included time" (emphasis added) passed between January 6, 2004, and July 19, 2005. "Included" there means "counted against the limitations period," and that's correct: there were 560 actual calendar days between January 6, 2004 and July 19, 2005. The post-conviction petition was pending from December 6, 2004 through June 29, 2005, which is 205 days, and the habeas petitioner argued that those days were not counted against the limitations period. 560 - 205 = 355 "included" days.
Thanks much to this reader pointing out that I, in my original post, overstated the extent of the error.
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge panel will reopen Kent misconduct case; Lastest sex abuse allegations prompt more investigation": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

And law.com reports that "5th Circuit Reopens Federal District Judge Probe."

My earlier coverage of this development appeared in this post from Monday night.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama, Biden, to visit Supreme Court Wednesday": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Bush appointee saw Justice lawyers as 'commies,' 'crazy libs,' report says; Bradley Schlozman, who supervised civil rights and voting rights lawyers, broke the law by considering political affiliations in deciding who can serve, an inspector general's report says": David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

Wednesday in The New York Times, Eric Lichtblau will have an article headlined "Criticism of Ex-Official in Hiring at Justice Dept."

And McClatchy Newspapers reports that "Internal probe slams Bush Justice official for illegal hiring."

You can access at this link the report that the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General made public today.
Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Evidence in Terror Cases Said to Be in Chaos; Military Officials Reject Ex-Prosecutor's Charges": Wednesday's edition of The Washington Post will contain an article that begins, "A former military prosecutor said in a declaration filed in federal court yesterday that the system of handling evidence against detainees at Guantanamo Bay was so chaotic that it was impossible to prepare a fair and successful prosecution."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Just In: Obama and Biden Will Visit Supreme Court Wednesday." Tony Mauro has this post at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court restores restrictions on W.Va. gambling advertising": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal appeals court reinstated West Virginia's video lottery advertising restrictions Tuesday, ruling that the state has a legitimate interest in raising money without contributing to compulsive gambling."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Paterson nominates Lippman NY chief judge": The AP provides this report.
Posted at 08:23 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judicial council to reopen probe of federal judge": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A judicial panel that once suspended a federal judge accused of sexually abusing court workers said it will reopen its investigation now that new counts have been added to the criminal case."

My earlier coverage of this development appeared in this post from last night.
Posted at 08:14 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press forgets that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rarely grants rehearing en banc even in cases that actually deserve it: The AP reports that "AP appeals ruling that Lindh petition is private."

My earlier coverage of the Second Circuit's three-judge panel ruling in this matter can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman



Technically speaking, a Guantanamo case was indeed argued today at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: A law librarian emails:
I thought you'd want to know that the Guantanamo Bay-related case that took place today in the Federal Circuit's courtroom was actually a case heard by the U. S. Court of Military Commission Review. Here is a link to the announcement from that tribunal.

The Federal Circuit simply provided a venue for the hearing.

Providing further evidence (as though any were needed) that law librarians are the best!

In coverage of today's hearing, Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press reports that "Court hears arguments over detainee's confession." My related post from earlier today can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Impeach Jay Bybee: Why should a suspected war criminal serve as a federal judge?" Law professor Bruce Ackerman has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court reviews speedy trial issue": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court limits 'violent felony' definition": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And The Associated Press reports that "Court limits use of law aimed at career criminals."
Posted at 12:11 PM by Howard Bashman



Access online today's two opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court in argued cases: You can access today's ruling in Chambers v. United States, No. 06-11206, at this link. In addition, the oral argument transcript can be accessed here.

And you can access today's ruling in Jimenez v. Quarterman, No. 07-6984, at this link. In addition, the oral argument transcript can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"Democratic Lawmakers May Investigate Bush Years": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 09:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama to sign order next week to close Guantanamo prison": McClatchy Newspapers provide this report.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that "Obama Will Issue Executive Order Within First Week to Shut Guantanamo."

Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald reports that "Rights groups alarmed by Obama's pace on Gitmo."

And The Associated Press reports that "Closing Gitmo requires tough judgments on inmates."
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court deals setback to cable TV firms on video recording; Companies want to offer customers a service that doesn't require a set-top box; The court asks the Justice Department to determine whether it would violate the Copyright Act": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court keeps the lid on governor's Katz e-mail; Reversal on appeal upholds claim of executive privilege": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains this article today.

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, at this link.
Posted at 08:07 AM by Howard Bashman



"Weighing Reach of Law in Appeals for Clemency": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "In an unusually testy argument, the Supreme Court on Monday tried to make sense of a federal law that provides lawyers to poor inmates on state death rows when their cases move to federal court. The question for the justices was whether the law also requires the federal government to pay those lawyers to present clemency petitions to governors and other state officials."

You can access the transcript of yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Harbison v. Bell, No. 07-8521, at this link.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court to hear arguments over detainee's confession": Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Pentagon prosecutors want a federal appeals court to reinstate a young Guantanamo detainee's confession after a military judge, who ruled the man had been tortured, threw it out. Military prosecutors on Tuesday were to ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to allow them to use Mohammed Jawad's confession against him during his trial by military commission."

Chances are that the appeal is being heard by the D.C. Circuit, and not the Federal Circuit.
Posted at 07:54 AM by Howard Bashman



Monday, January 12, 2009

"Solicitor General Pick Has One Glaring Gap on Resume": Tony Mauro has this article in today's issue of Legal Times.
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Plans to Order Closing of Guantanamo on 1st Full Day": This article will appear Tuesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:07 PM by Howard Bashman


"Tests on TV downloads, farmers' debts": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "Only Seven Justices Will Tune In To Major Cable TV Case."
Posted at 10:03 PM by Howard Bashman



"Accused judge still judges others": Houston's ABC 13 Eyewitness News provides a report that begins, "He's accused of sexually abusing two of his employees, but federal district judge Samuel Kent is still on the bench, hearing cases. He's the first federal judge ever charged with sex crimes."

Also today, the Judicial Council of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit posted online this order issued last Friday regarding the pending Complaint of Judicial Misconduct against United States District Judge Samuel B. Kent under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980. Attached to the Judicial Council's order is a copy of the superseding indictment issued against Judge Kent earlier this month.

And yesterday in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Rick Casey had an essay that begins, "Next month's trial of U.S. District Judge Sam Kent is likely to be a sad and sordid affair."
Posted at 09:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"New chief to take over La. high court; She's first woman to hold the position": This article appears today in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Process Server on Chief Justice Roberts: 'Definitely a Gentleman.'" Mike Scarcella has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama to close Guantanamo Bay prison quickly": Ed Henry, CNN senior White House correspondent, has a report that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama plans to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay as early as his first week in office to show a break from the Bush administration's approach to the war on terror, according to two officials close to the transition."
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman


Programming note: This afternoon I'll be out of the office visiting a niece born this morning. Additional posts will appear here later today. In the interim, you can vote for "How Appealing" in the "Best Law Blog" category of the 2008 Weblog Awards. Tomorrow is the final day of the competition.
Posted at 01:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gold mine wants court to OK dumping waste in lake": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A lawyer for a proposed Alaska gold mine told the Supreme Court on Monday that the mine should be allowed to dump metal waste into a nearby lake."
Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman


View the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's online slideshow: By clicking here. I wonder if those Federal Circuit mousepads are available for purchase.
Posted at 11:47 AM by Howard Bashman


Access online today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court: At this link. The Court has called for the views of the Solicitor General in two cases. And in one of those two cases, two Justices are recused.
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"A dilemma in Guantanamo's waning days: Obama acknowledges that closing the prison will be no easy task and may take years." Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg reports that "Obama says early closing of prison camp unlikely; Protesters acted on the seventh anniversary of the Guantanamo camp, and Barack Obama said he would probably not empty it in his first 100 days."
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Elm City firefighter case goes to Supreme Court": Today's edition of The Yale Daily News contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday it would hear the reverse discrimination case appealed from lower courts by 20 New Haven firefighters who claimed they were denied the opportunity for a promotion because of their race."
Posted at 09:50 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Signals His Reluctance to Look Into Bush Policies": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama signaled in an interview broadcast Sunday that he was unlikely to authorize a broad inquiry into Bush administration programs like domestic eavesdropping or the treatment of terrorism suspects."
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Court rules Gov. Jon Corzine won't have to release e-mails with ex-girlfriend, union boss Carla Katz": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger provides a news update that begins, "E-mails Gov. Jon Corzine exchanged with his ex-girlfriend and former state workers union leader Carla Katz should not be released to the public, a state appeals court ruled today."

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court says NJ gov's e-mails private."

Today's ruling of the Superior Court of New Jersey's Appellate Division is not yet available from that court's web site.

Update: The opinion can now be viewed by clicking here.
Posted at 09:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Nominee Holder to Face Critics on Hill": Evan Perez has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 09:27 AM by Howard Bashman


In the January 12, 2009 issue of The National Law Journal: Marcia Coyle reports that "Justices to review speedy trial quagmire; Clear line sought between defenders and prosecutors."

And Pamela A. MacLean has an article headlined "A circuit ripe for a remake: Vacancies loom in Federal Circuit, a vital IP law venue."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court to hear dispute over Alaska gold mine": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Defending the Poor: The Supreme Court should overturn a ruling that undermines an indigent defendant's right to counsel." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama's Cheney Dilemma: Cheney pushed for expanded presidential powers; Now that he's leaving, what will come of his efforts? The new president won't have to wait long to tip his hand." Stuart Taylor Jr. and Evan Thomas will have this cover story in the January 19, 2009 issue of Newsweek.
Posted at 10:34 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama: Gitmo Likely Won't Close in First 100 Days; Closing Guantanamo Bay More Difficult Than People Realize, President-Elect Tells George Stephanopoulos in Exclusive Interview on 'This Week.'" ABC News provides this report.

You can access the complete interview transcript at this link.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman



"Speedy trial issue lands before US Supreme Court": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, January 10, 2009

"'Libel Tourism' Threatens Free Speech: How to stop lawsuits against Americans in British courts." David B. Rivkin Jr. and Bruce D. Brown have this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court ruling gives Burris the Senate seat, attorney says; Durbin disputes assertion that he is now a lock": This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that "Still no seat for Burris despite state high court ruling that White's signature not needed."

And The Wall Street Journal reports today that "Burris's Appointment Backed by Illinois Court; Sen. Durbin Cites Impasse Over Seating Burris."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Illinois Supreme Court ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman



"A Public Servant's Private Stint Is at Issue": In Sunday's edition of The New York Times, Eric Lichtblau will have an article that begins, "Chiquita was facing the prospect of federal charges for paying protection money to Colombian terrorists to safeguard its banana crops, and the company needed help. It turned to Eric H. Holder Jr., an elite Washington lawyer well versed in the ways of the Justice Department."
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Yemen releases Osama bin Laden's former driver": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The lawyer for Osama bin Laden's former driver says his client has been released from a Yemeni prison after serving out his sentence. Lawyer Khaled Al-Anas says Salim Hamdan was released Friday."
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman


"President Gulliver's Lawyer: A nominee who wants to tie down the executive branch." The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial that begins, "Barack Obama's cabinet choices are understandably getting most media attention, but everyone knows policy is also made by the sub-cabinet. So we think more public scrutiny should be drawn to Mr. Obama's choice of Dawn Johnsen to lead one of the executive branch's most important legal offices. Her appointment makes sense for a President Gulliver, but not for a Commander in Chief fighting terrorists."
Posted at 10:24 PM by Howard Bashman


"English learning case hits high court": Today's edition of The Arizona Republic contains an article that begins, "The U.S. Supreme Court decided Friday to step into Arizona's divisive legal battle about how much money public schools should spend teaching English to children who enter school unable to speak the language."

And today in The Arizona Daily Star, Howard Fischer has an article headlined "Court: State can argue it's met English requirement."
Posted at 10:48 AM by Howard Bashman



"High court takes Austin case; Local utility challenges key portion of landmark Voting Rights Act": Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.

Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that "Supreme Court Takes Voting Rights Case."

And Robert Barnes of The Washington Post reports that "Justices Will Hear Challenge to Voting Rights Act."
Posted at 10:42 AM by Howard Bashman



"Supreme Court to hear firefighters' bias case": This article appears today in The New Haven Register.

And The Yale Daily News reports that "Supreme Court takes up city firefighters' case."
Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court approves Internet sale of Unabomber papers": Denny Walsh has this article today in The Sacramento Bee.

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "Unabomber's stuff will be sold to help his victims."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama's Attorney General Pick Faces Growing Criticism": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Senate panel wants testimony about Eric Holder; A former pardons attorney has said the attorney general nominee pushed subordinates to acquiesce in a controversial clemency case when he worked for President Clinton."

And law.com provides a report headlined "What to Watch for at Attorney General Nominee's Hearing: Holder enjoys much support, but it's not all friendly faces in the Senate."
Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"New charges delay case against Kent; Trial to include allegations from second employee": Today in The Houston Chronicle, Mary Flood has an article that begins, "The trial of U.S. District Judge Sam Kent will start a month later because of the three new criminal charges added to his case this week."
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Under Pressure On Interrogation Policy; Some See Harsh Methods as Essential": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Obama's intelligence team entering new era in counter-terrorism; It promises a break from Bush policies; But questions remain on what will come next."
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman



Friday, January 9, 2009

"Supreme Court could change civil rights law; The justices agree to hear two cases, filed in Connecticut and Texas, that could end rules giving special protection to minorities in the voting booth and the workplace": David G. Savage will have this article Saturday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court to Weigh Ariz. Case on English-Language Learners": Mark Walsh has this post today at "The School Law Blog" of Education Week.
Posted at 10:47 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzales writing book on years in Bush administration; Former attorney general says he wants to set record straight, head home to Texas": This article appeared yesterday in The Austin American-Statesman.
Posted at 10:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"Federal judge's trial delayed because of new charges": Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle has a news update that begins, "The trial of U.S. District Judge Sam Kent will be postponed several weeks, now that he faces the three new criminal charges added to his case this week. Kent was scheduled to go on trial before a federal jury on Jan. 26. U.S. Senior Judge Roger Vinson, based in Pensacola, Fla., is presiding over the case. The trial is now set to start on Feb. 23."

And The Associated Press reports that "Sex crimes trial of federal judge delayed a month."
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: An article reports that "Court asked to set aside Black's fraud conviction." My coverage from earlier today, which includes a link to the cert. petition, can be accessed here.

And in other news, "Court revives lawsuit against former Somali PM." My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fourth Circuit ruling can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:55 PM by Howard Bashman



"Lilly Ledbetter Is No Victim": Karen Lee Torre will have this essay in the January 12, 2009 issue of the Connecticut Law Tribune.

And in related news, The Associated Press reports that "House approves bill to fight wage discrimination."
Posted at 05:54 PM by Howard Bashman



Media tycoon Conrad Black and his co-defendants seek U.S. Supreme Court review of the Seventh Circuit's affirmance of their federal criminal convictions: Miguel A. Estrada appears as counsel of record on the petition for writ of certiorari filed today.

My initial coverage of Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner's opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit appeared at this link.
Posted at 04:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules unabomber writings to be sold online": The Associated Press provides this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today.
Posted at 03:03 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Court Takes Voting Rights Case": Adam Liptak of The New York Times has this news update.

Robert Barnes of The Washington Post has a news update headlined "Supreme Court to Rule on Voting Rights Act."

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Voting Rights Act Draws U.S. Supreme Court Scrutiny."
Posted at 02:45 PM by Howard Bashman



Did Illinois U.S. Senate appointee Roland Burris win or lose in today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Illinois? News organizations appear somewhat divided in their early coverage.

The Chicago Tribune has a news update headlined "State court rebuffs Burris on Senate signature."

By contrast, The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Ill. court: Official can't block gov's Senate pick." And Reuters reports that "Court opens way for Burris to take Obama's seat."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of Illinois at this link.
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court to rule on voting rights law, 3 other cases": Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."

And The Associated Press provides reports headlined "High court to look at Voting Rights Act provision"; "Court will hear reverse discrimination case"; "Court enters funding fight for English learning": and "Court steps into case involving Iraq."

You can access today's Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman



"As a recent October 23, 2008, Wall Street Journal article by Amir Efrati points out, our federal legal system has lost its bearings on the subject of computer-based child pornography." So begins a dissenting opinion that Senior Sixth Circuit Judge Gilbert S. Merritt issued today.

In complete first paragraph of Judge Merritt's dissent reads:

As a recent October 23, 2008, Wall Street Journal article by Amir Efrati points out, our federal legal system has lost its bearings on the subject of computer-based child pornography. Our "social revulsion" against these "misfits" downloading these images is perhaps somewhat more rational than the thousands of witchcraft trials and burnings conducted in Europe and here from the Thirteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries, but it borders on the same thing. In 2008 alone the Department of Justice has brought 2,200 cases like this one in the federal courts. Some trial and appellate judges are sending these mentally ill defendants like Paull to federal prison for very long sentences. But the 17-1/2 year sentence for Paull may be the longest yet. He is a 65-year-old, psychologically disabled, former minister with Type 1 diabetes with many complications. How could this sentence be "not greater than necessary" to punish this crime?
The Wall Street Journal article published October 23, 2008 was headlined "Making Punishments Fit the Most Offensive Crimes: Societal Revulsion at Child-Pornography Consumers Has Led to Stiff Prison Sentences -- and Caused Some Judges to Rebel."
Posted at 11:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Ala. grandmother at center of fight for equal pay": Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, "Lilly Ledbetter is an Alabama grandmother who became a crusader for equal rights relatively late in life."
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"I do not select overweight people on the jury panel for reasons that, based on my reading and past experience, that heavy-set people tend to be very sympathetic toward any defendant." Whether that explanation from a prosecutor -- concerning why the only African-American juror was stricken from a state court jury pool -- was sufficiently race-neutral is the issue that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit confronts in an opinion issued today.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman


D.C. Circuit rules that it lacks jurisdiction under the Detainee Treatment Act to review the determination by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal that Guantanamo detainees are "enemy combatants": The court holds that this outcome is compelled by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last year in Boumediene v. Bush, which declared unconstitutional the Detainee Treatment Act's provision eliminating habeas corpus jurisdiction.

The final paragraph of today's ruling, issued by a unanimous three-judge panel, states:

In sum, we are confident the Congress would not have enacted DTA sec. 1005(e)(2) in the absence of the statutory provision banning the courts from exercising jurisdiction over a detainee's habeas petition. Because the latter provision has been held unconstitutional, the former must also fall. Accordingly, we hold this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the detainees' petitions for review of their status determinations by a CSRT. The petitions are, therefore, Dismissed.
Interestingly, in this appeal it was the federal government that was arguing for dismissal of the cases, while it was the detainees who were hoping to obtain D.C. Circuit review in accordance with a system that the detainees had already successfully invalidated before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Update: At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "One challenge route closed to detainees."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Patients off hook in emergency room fee dispute": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Emergency room doctors who think a patient's HMO has underpaid them can't bill the patient for the difference and must seek whatever redress they can from the health plan, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a big-money dispute in the medical industry."

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Ruling removes billing headache from emergency room visits; Patients can't be billed when their HMOs fail to pay, the California Supreme Court says; Doctors say they're being squeezed."

And The Sacramento Bee reports that "State Supreme Court backs ER patients over billing."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 09:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"SJC rules for Mass. in pair of tax cases; Companies argued against levy on out-of-state profits": The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, "Massachusetts has won a pair of closely watched tax cases against two companies that had argued the state could not tax profits from their out-of-state operations, even if those units had done millions of dollars in business here."

You can access here and here yesterday's rulings of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
Posted at 09:02 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ruling Says Deportation Cases May Not Be Appealed Over Lawyer Errors": The New York Times contains this article today.

At "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Joe Palazzolo has a post titled "Mukasey: Aliens Have No Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel." The blog has posted the ruling at this link.

And in somewhat related news, The Los Angeles Times reports today that "U.S. to collect DNA samples of arrested immigrants; The Justice Department defends the new policy as an important crime-fighting tool; Activists see it as a violation of privacy."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Eric Holder pushed for controversial clemency; As deputy attorney general in 1999, Holder -- now attorney general nominee -- pressed subordinates to drop objections to clemency for 16 members of violent Puerto Rican nationalist organizations": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"New video-on-demand service may hinge on Supreme Court ruling; Networks and studios oppose Cablevision's plan to offer rebroadcasts of programs without commercials and without a fee paid to producers": David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"Suit Seeks Early Counsel for Defendants; Md. High Court to Weigh Representation at Initial Hearings": This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:36 AM by Howard Bashman


"Hunger strikers surge to 10 percent at Guantanamo": Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald provides this report.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Chief Justice on the Spot": Today in The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse has an op-ed that begins, "A case sitting quietly in the Supreme Court's in-basket promises to tell us more than almost any other about John G. Roberts Jr. and his evolution from spear carrier in the Reagan revolution to chief justice of the United States -- and in the process set the direction of the debate over race and politics for years to come."
Posted at 08:14 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Damaged Institution of the Presidency, How the Obama Administration Intends to Restore It, And What We Can Expect from New OLC Head Dawn Johnsen": John W. Dean has this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Trial Lawyer Bonanza: Off and suing with the 111th Congress." This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:03 AM by Howard Bashman


"Skakel Lawyers Say They've Uncovered Secret Evidence": The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, "Convicted celebrity murderer Michael C. Skakel says he has uncovered secret evidence suggesting his innocence and is using it to support an unusual effort in federal court to obtain release from prison while his appeals proceed through a variety of courts."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Harvard's Sunstein to oversee regulation; Law professor, prolific writer to join Obama team": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.

And The Harvard Crimson reports today that "Sunstein To Join Obama In D.C.; Law School professor will be new regulation czar."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Newly Democratic Michigan Supreme Court elects Kelly as chief justice": Dawson Bell of The Detroit Free Press has an interesting news update that begins, "A sharply divided Michigan Supreme Court voted to elect Marilyn Kelly, a 12-year veteran of the court, chief justice today, ending ten years of Republican leadership on the court."
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Challengers say U.S. no longer needs Voting Rights Act; High court considers whether to hear case": In Friday's edition of USA Today, Joan Biskupic will have an article that begins, "The question of whether America needs the Voting Rights Act now that a black man has won the presidency looms over a major appeal the Supreme Court is scheduled to consider in its private conference today."
Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Courthouse Security Still Found Lacking; Security is fragmented and uneven three years after court-related murders": Pamela A. MacLean of The National Law Journal provides this report.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Law Suit: Time to do away with morning wedding attire at the high court." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:27 PM by Howard Bashman


Disagreeing with the majority view, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit holds that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act does not apply to individuals: You can access today's ruling, by a unanimous three-judge panel, at this link.

Today's ruling reinstates a lawsuit brought by natives of Somalia "seeking to impose liability against and recover damages from Defendant Mohamed Ali Samantar for alleged acts of torture and human rights violations committed against them by government agents commanded by Samantar during the regime of Mohamed Siad Barre."
Posted at 10:21 PM by Howard Bashman



"Solicitor-general nominee: impressive First Amendment resume." Today at the First Amendment Center, David L. Hudson Jr. has an essay that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for U.S. solicitor general -- Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan -- has an impressive pro-First Amendment record of scholarship."
Posted at 04:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"Fed. Circuit: prisoners get no copyright love." Ben Sheffner has this post today at his "Copyrights & Campaigns" blog.

My earlier coverage of today's Federal Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 04:33 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Constitution does not empower the federal government to confine a person solely because of asserted 'sexual dangerousness' when the Government need not allege (let alone prove) that this 'dangerousness' violates any federal law." A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has today declared unconstitutional 18 U.S.C. sec. 4248, a federal statute intended to allow the federal government to place in indefinite civil commitment "sexually dangerous" persons who have completed serving their federal prison sentences. You can access today's ruling at this link.

In support of its ruling that the statute is unconstitutional, today's opinion states:

At its core, the Government's argument attempts to "pile inference upon inference" so as to "convert congressional authority under the Commerce Clause to a general police power of the sort retained by the States." Lopez, 514 U.S. at 567. Were we to accept the Government's logic, Congress could authorize the civil commitment of a person on a showing that he posed a general risk of any sexually violent conduct, even though not all, or even most, of this potential conduct violated federal law. This argument would convert the federal government's limited power to criminalize narrow forms of sexual violence into the general power to regulate all sexual violence, including acts which violate no criminal statute. Congressional power does not reach so far.

The Fourth Circuit's opinion states that the court is the first federal appellate court to address the constitutionality of this statute, a question that has "divided trial courts across the nation."

Update: The Associated Press reports that "Court strikes down federal sex offender law."
Posted at 04:17 PM by Howard Bashman



"LA judge hears bid to dismiss MySpace conviction": The Associated Press provides this report.

And The St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides a news update headlined "LA judge hears bid to dismiss Lori Drew MySpace conviction."
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"Larry Craig dropping further appeals": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A lawyer for former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig says they won't ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to void Craig's conviction in an airport bathroom sex sting."
Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman


Allowing Wiccan Iowa state prison inmates a mere three hours to celebrate the observance of Samhain does not violate federal law, the Eighth Circuit rules: Isn't it spooky that the main holiday of the Wiccan religion begins on the night of October 31st? In any event, you can access today's Eighth Circuit ruling at this link.
Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"A federal prisoner seeks to recover from the United States for copyright infringement involving the government's use of calendars he created as part of his assigned duties in prison." So begins an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued today.

Before writing-off the case as some crackpot pro se prisoner litigation, you may be interested to know that attorneys from Covington & Burling represented the prisoner both on appeal and before the trial court. Moreover, it took a 34-page, single-spaced opinion from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to reject the prisoner's claims. Today, the Federal Circuit was able to affirm in a mere six double-spaced pages.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman



"Billion-Dollar U.S. Verdicts Vanish After Appeals, New Rulings": Margaret Cronin Fisk of Bloomberg News has an article that begins, "The billion-dollar jury verdict has disappeared from U.S. courtrooms. For the second time in the past three years, juries in 2008 issued no awards above that amount, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News."
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Grave-digging case goes through motions; Judge hears arguments police had no 'probable cause' to stop the suspect": Yesterday's edition of The Telegraph Herald of Dubuque, Iowa contained an article that begins, "Late on the night of Sept. 2, 2006, Cassville Police Chief Brent McDonald investigated a report of an unoccupied, suspicious vehicle parked on a side street near St. Charles Cemetery. He found Alexander Grunke, of Mount Horeb, dressed in black, sweating. The discovery sparked an involved legal battle over grave-digging, spawning national attention and eventually reaching the Wisconsin Supreme Court."

This blog's recent earlier coverage of the case appears here, here, and here.
Posted at 09:12 AM by Howard Bashman



"Calif. Attorney General Pushes To Overturn Prop 8": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on yesterday's broadcast of NPR's "Day to Day."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"Detainees in Afghanistan want to sue for release": Lara Jakes of The Associated Press provides this report.

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Some overseas extension of habeas?"
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman



"Lori Drew cyber-bullying decision expected today": This article appears today in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Associated Press reports that "Defense wants conviction dismissed in Web hoax."

And at Wired.com's "Threat Level" blog, Kim Zetter has a post titled "Lori Drew Hearing Thursday to Decide Verdict's Standing."
Posted at 08:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"S.F. Yelp user faces lawsuit over review": The San Francisco Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "In a case that could chill free speech online, a San Francisco chiropractor has sued a local artist over negative reviews published on Yelp, the popular Web site that rates businesses."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"Burris Unbanished: Democrats receive a lesson in Constitutional law." This editorial appears today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Are Florida's six-member juries constitutional?" Columnist Howard Troxler has this op-ed today in The St. Petersburg Times.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Pick to Analyze Broad Powers of President": In today's edition of The New York Times, Eric Lichtblau has an article that begins, "When Dawn Johnsen read a newly disclosed Justice Department legal opinion last April that blessed the president's broad power to authorize rough interrogation tactics, she was outraged."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obama's Regulatory Czar Likely to Set a New Tone": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Weisman and Jess Bravin have an article that begins, "Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law School professor who pioneered efforts to design regulation around the ways people behave, will be named the Obama administration's regulatory czar, a transition official said Wednesday."

And The Washington Post reports today that "Obama to Name Lawyer Friend To Regulatory Affairs Position."
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Another shot at pay equity": The Boston Globe today contains an editorial that begins, "Lilly Ledbetter, today an Alabama grandmother, was given star billing when she spoke to the Democratic National Convention last August."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman


"No Charge: In Civil-Contempt Cases, Jail Time Can Stretch On for Years." Today in The Wall Street Journal, Ashby Jones has an article that begins, "One can spend a long time in jail in the U.S. without ever being charged with a crime. It happened to H. Beatty Chadwick, a former Philadelphia-area lawyer, who has been behind bars for nearly 14 years without being charged."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Obstruction of justice charge 'upped the ante' against Kent; Experts say it carries 20-year sentence and may be easier to prove than sex abuse": Mary Flood has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.

And Texas Lawyer reports that "Federal Judge Pleads Not Guilty to New Criminal Charges."
Posted at 07:48 AM by Howard Bashman



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A writer for another popular law blog emails:
As part of the 9th Circuit's web design, it appears all previous links to its opinions no longer work. Are you finding the same thing? If so, do you know of any way around it?
Sadly, my correspondent is correct. All links to Ninth Circuit opinions originally posted at the "How Appealing" blog between May 6, 2002 and yesterday are no longer functioning. But, on the bright side, the Ninth Circuit's web site today looks much nicer than it did yesterday.
Posted at 07:38 PM by Howard Bashman


"His US sentence served, Noriega fights extradition": The Associated Press provides a lengthy article reporting that "On Jan. 14, a federal appeals court will hear arguments on Noriega's claim that as a POW he should immediately be repatriated, 19 years after the U.S. invaded Panama to remove him from power."
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Kagan File": Today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post that begins, "The praise coming from Harvard Law School colleagues of Elena Kagan, who was named this week to be the next solicitor general, is effusive -- and, it turns out, longstanding. In a folder in Box 571 of the Thurgood Marshall papers at the Library of Congress, one can find Kagan's 1986 application to be Marshall's law clerk, along with recommendations from five Harvard Law professors -- no one else -- as well as her resume and even her law school transcript."
Posted at 02:18 PM by Howard Bashman


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unveils a redesigned web site: You can access the web site by clicking here. The site also features "A Word About Our New Web Site" from Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who has learned much about operating web sites in recent months.
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge in Texas pleads innocent to new sex charges": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A federal judge in Texas, indicted last year for allegedly making unwanted sexual advances toward his court case manager, has pleaded innocent to new charges brought by another former employee."

Update: In addition, The Houston Chronicle provides a news update headlined "Judge pleads not guilty to new sex abuse charges; Already set for trial in an earlier case, he's accused of attacking another female employee."
Posted at 12:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Rights Case Could Alter Handling Of Terror Suspects": This audio segment (RealPlayer required), about the prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Kagan Picked for D.C. Post": This article appears today in The Harvard Crimson, along with an article headlined "Students, Faculty Lament Departure Of Popular Dean."
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge indicted on more sex abuse charges; Already set for trial in an earlier case, he's accused of attacking another female employee": Today in The Houston Chronicle, Lise Olsen and Mary Flood have an article that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on new charges of sexually abusing another court employee and lying about it to prominent federal judges who investigated a misconduct complaint against him."
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman


"'Paying no heed to what's right or wrong': Attorneys see echoes of Burris' actions on '92 appeal by condemned man." This article appears today in The Chicago Sun-Times.

Today's edition of The Christian Science Monitor contains an article headlined "Senate rejects Burris, but law may be on his side; The would-be senator from Illinois, named by a tainted governor, vows to fight on."

Mark Sherman of The Associated Press reports that "Burris' best bet could be federal court."

The Philadelphia Inquirer contains an article headlined "Decades before Burris, a Phila. showdown."

And in The New York Times, Walter Dellinger has an op-ed entitled "City of Cold Shoulders."
Posted at 09:14 AM by Howard Bashman



"Calif. High Court Pat-Down Case May Get Punted": Today in The Recorder, Mike McKee has an article that begins, "Confronted with whether pat-down searches at professional football games violate individual privacy rights, the California Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed ready to punt the issue back to the trial courts."
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court ruling a 'big setback' for Skilling": This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

And The New York Times reports today that "Ruling Could Open Door to New Trial in Enron Case."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman



"Companies criticize Massey ruling; Wal-Mart, Pepsi join brief urging Benjamin recusal": The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette contains this article today.

And The Associated Press reports that "W.Va. judicial ethics case draws array of allies."
Posted at 08:47 AM by Howard Bashman



"Overreach at Bagram: In its last days, the administration is still making counterproductive arguments about detainees." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman


"Judge's Order Could Keep Public From Hearing Details of 9/11 Trials": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals Court justice receives public scolding; Judge Allen reprimanded after misconduct ruling": This article appears today in The Pensacola News Journal.

And The Associated Press reports that "Florida High Court Scolds Judge for His Opinion's 'Personal Attack' on Colleague."
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Reversing Discrimination": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress are already signaling a welcome new seriousness in Washington about protecting civil rights after eight years of erosion. They are planning swift action on legislation to overturn an unjust 2007 Supreme Court decision that has made it much harder for people to challenge illegal discrimination in employment, education, housing and other fields."
Posted at 08:15 AM by Howard Bashman


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Specter Attacks Choice for Attorney General": This article will appear Wednesday in The New York Times.

And earlier this evening at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," David Ingram had a post titled "Three Decisions Raise Questions About Holder's Independence, Specter Says."
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman



"U.S. court upholds L.A. ban on billboards; The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a lower-court ruling, saying the city's 2002 prohibition of outdoor advertising does not violate a sign company's 1st Amendment right to free speech": The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

My earlier coverage of today's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:52 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama's Choice for Solicitor General Has Left a Breach in a Long Paper Trail": Adam Liptak will have this article Wednesday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman


"Porn mogul Larry Flynt sues nephews over use of family name; Flynt says his good name in adult entertainment is being cheapened by his relatives' porn movies; They respond that Flynt is their name too": This article will appear Wednesday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman


"The Fifth Circuit rules in the Skilling appeal": Tom Kirkendall has this interesting post at his "Houston's Clear Thinkers" blog.

My earlier coverage of today's Fifth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"Niners defend right to pat down fans at Candlestick": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, "The San Francisco 49ers defended their pat-down searches of fans before an apparently divided California Supreme Court today, saying ticket-buyers know they'll be searched when they walk into Candlestick Park and give up their right to argue that their privacy is being invaded."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Yoo and Bybee war memos revealed": Michael Doyle of McClatchy's Washington Bureau has this post this evening at his "Suits and Sentences" blog. The memos at issue, which Doyle's blog post links to, appear to have been made publicly available earlier today.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman


"Judge indicted on more sex abuse charges; Already set for trial in an earlier case, he's accused of attacking another female employee": Lise Olsen and Mary Flood of The Houston Chronicle have a news update that begins, "U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent was indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday on new charges of sexually abusing another court employee and lying about it to a judicial disciplinary panel. Kent already is facing a trial in January on criminal charges of sexually abusing a different female employee, making him the first federal judge to be charged with federal sex crimes. He has repeatedly denied the charges. The same grand jury that indicted the jurist in August added on three additional charges on Tuesday: aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact and obstruction of justice."

The Associated Press reports that "Judge indicted on additional sex charges in Texas."

And the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a news release headlined "U.S. District Court Judge Charged in Superseding Indictment with Aggravated Sexual Abuse and Abusive Sexual Contact."
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman



"The First Amendment and the Law of 'Skank'": Ben Sheffner has this post today at his interesting and new "Copyrights & Campaigns" blog.

My earlier post collecting related news coverage can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"Revival of Justice: What Obama's DoJ appointees should do first." Judith Resnik has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 05:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Kill the Billable Hour": Evan R. Chesler, a trial lawyer who serves as presiding partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, has this essay in the January 12, 2009 issue of Forbes magazine (via Aric Press at "The Am Law Daily").
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"Model Liskula Cohen sues Google over blogger's 'skank' comment": This article appears today in The New York Daily News.

The New York Post reports today that "Ex-Vogue Model Snared in Ugly Web; Fighting Google over 'Skank' Blog."

And The Associated Press reports that "Model wants Google to identify anonymous commenter."

Meanwhile, in blog-based coverage, "Gothamist" has a post titled "Vogue Model Sues Google Over Blog's Skankusations." And "Gawker" has a post titled "Model Sues Google Over 'Skank' Blog Post."
Posted at 03:47 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court rules judge correct to dismiss cold-medicine suit": This article appears today in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The Arkansas News Bureau provides a report headlined "Court: Makers of cold medicines not responsible for meth epidemic."

And The Associated Press reports that "Lawsuit over cold pills dismissed."

My earlier coverage of yesterday's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Former Judge Seeks Another Hearing in Case of Missing Pants": The Washington Post provides this news update.
Posted at 02:58 PM by Howard Bashman


"SCOTUS Review Sought in Public Accounting Board Case": Mike Scarcella has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times." You can view the petition for writ of certiorari by clicking here.
Posted at 02:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama taps Harvard Law School dean as solicitor general; Kagan's views on use of power could be crucial": This article appears today in The Boston Globe, along with an article headlined "Harvard braces for Kagan departure; Law School chief could join Obama."
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman


"We must determine whether a city violates the First Amendment by prohibiting most offsite commercial advertising while simultaneously contracting with a private party to permit sale of such advertising at city-owned transit stops." So begins the opinion that Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Metro Lights, LLC v. City of Los Angeles.

Law professor Laurence H. Tribe argued on behalf of the plaintiff on appeal. The plaintiff won in the trial court but lost today before the Ninth Circuit. LA Weekly's blog covered the oral argument in a post that begins, "The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's Courtroom 3 - a miniature auditorium with comfortable, smoked salmon-colored seats - was mostly filled with law students who seemed to be interested in just one thing: listening to Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe argue constitutional law. It was a rare treat for law students, and they weren't disappointed. Tribe, nationally recognized as one of the foremost liberal constitutional law scholars and Supreme Court practitioners, was in town from his lucrative gig as a consultant to the international law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to give oral arguments in the billboard case Metro Lights v. City of Los Angeles." You can download the oral argument audio via this link (6.01MB Windows Media Audio file).

And in April 2007, Los Angeles CityBeat reported on the case in an article headlined "Battle of the Billboards: L.A.'s plan to spiff up sidewalks leads to more street-level ads than it bargained for."
Posted at 02:11 PM by Howard Bashman



"Court upholds Skilling conviction, orders resentencing": The Houston Chronicle has a news update that begins, "An appeals court today upheld former Enron Chief Executive Jeff Skilling's 19 federal felony convictions, but ordered a trial court to resentence him."

And The Associated Press reports that "Skilling convictions upheld, resentencing ordered."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 01:50 PM by Howard Bashman



"Justices consider issue of witness intimidation": Today's edition of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains an article that begins, "Addressing the issue of witness intimidation, the state Supreme Court yesterday heard arguments on whether a witness who claims to have been threatened can issue a statement rather than testify in open court."

And The Associated Press reports that "NJ high court hearing case on witness intimidation."
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney, small Placer businesses at odds over ADA compliance": The Sacramento Bee today contains an article that begins, "Scott Norris Johnson's letters are feared and loathed. The Carmichael lawyer admonishes small-business owners when their property is not accessible to the disabled. He recommends that the businesses make improvements within 90 days -- or else. Johnson's letters don't say specifically what the consequence will be. But Johnson, who is quadriplegic, is one of the busiest litigators in federal courts in California."
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman


"Gay-marriage opponents attack Jerry Brown's argument to void Proposition 8; Legal briefs filed Monday say the California attorney general's theory 'fails at every level' and contradicts the judiciary's role; The state Supreme Court could hear oral arguments as soon as March": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Prop. 8 proponents say Brown 'profoundly wrong.'"

And in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reports that "Another wave of legal arguments filed over California's Proposition 8."
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"The law is on Blagojevich's side: No matter what you think of him, the Illinois governor's appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate meets the constitutional test." Erwin Chemerinsky has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:18 AM by Howard Bashman


"California Supreme Court to Hear Arena Search Case": This article appears today in The New York Times.

And yesterday in The San Jose Mercury News, Howard Mintz reported that "State court considers challenge to 49ers' security searches of fans."
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman



"Should Animal Cruelty on Film Be Illegal?" Today's installment of Adam Liptak's "Sidebar" column begins, "A decade ago, Congress decided it was time to address what a House report called 'a very specific sexual fetish.' There are people, it turns out, who take pleasure from watching videos of small animals being crushed."

My earlier coverage of the Third Circuit's en banc ruling on this issue can be accessed here.
Posted at 08:05 AM by Howard Bashman



"Fierce Bush Critic Picked for Justice Post": Today in The Wall Street Journal, Evan Perez and Jess Bravin have an article that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama picked an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush over terrorist interrogations for a top Justice Department job, part of a liberal lineup at the department that is likely to overhaul national-security policy." The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "What Congress Knew About 'Torture.'"

Today in The Washington Post, Carrie Johnson and Robert Barnes report that "Obama Nominates Four To Senior Justice Posts."

In The Los Angeles Times, Josh Meyer and David G. Savage report that "Obama picks Clinton officials for four Justice Department posts; Harvard Law Dean Elena Kagan would become the first female solicitor general; Other key jobs go to Bush torture policy critic Dawn Johnsen and transition team members David Ogden and Tom Perrelli."

The New York Times reports that "Obama Names 4 for Justice Jobs in Break From Bush Path."

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that "Key Justice nominees rooted in academia."

And law.com reports that "Obama Names Choices for Key DOJ Posts."
Posted at 07:58 AM by Howard Bashman



"Ex-Detainee of U.S. Describes a 6-Year Ordeal": Today's edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, "When Muhammad Saad Iqbal arrived home here in August after more than six years in American custody, including five at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he had difficulty walking, his left ear was severely infected, and he was dependent on a cocktail of antibiotics and antidepressants."
Posted at 07:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. judge revives lawsuit over Bush wiretaps": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Henry K. Lee has an article that begins, "A defunct Islamic charity in Oregon that says it was illegally wiretapped by federal authorities can pursue its lawsuit challenging President Bush's clandestine eavesdropping program, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled Monday."

The Associated Press reports that "Judge reinstates Islamic group's wiretapping suit."

And Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Deeplinks" blog has a post titled "Al-Haramain Warrantless Spying Case Can Proceed."

You can access yesterday's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California at this link.
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice Requires 12 Angry Men: Small juries are less likely to get the verdict right." Steven Calabresi and Michael Saks have this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


Monday, January 5, 2009

"9-cent IRS dilemma leaves lawyer confused; He owes a nickel and is due 4-cent refund": Saturday's edition of The Detroit Free Press contained this article (via "TaxProf Blog").
Posted at 09:42 PM by Howard Bashman


"Griffin Bell, Ex-Attorney General, Dies at 90": This obituary will appear Tuesday in The New York Times.

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment entitled "Former Attorney General Griffin Bell Dies" (RealPlayer required).

And Stephen Louis A. Dillard of the "Southern Appeal" blog has this profile of Griffin Bell in the Encyclopedia of Great American Judges.
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Obama's Justice nominees signal end of Bush terror tactics": Greg Gordon of McClatchy Newspapers has an article that begins, "In filling four senior Justice Department positions Monday, President-elect Barack Obama signaled that he intends to roll back Bush administration counter-terrorism policies authorizing harsh interrogation techniques, warrantless spying and indefinite detentions of terrorism suspects. The most startling shift was Obama's pick of Indiana University law professor Dawn Johnsen to take charge of the Office of Legal Counsel, the unit that's churned out the legal opinions that provided a foundation for expanding President George W. Bush's national security powers."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama Names Law School Dean Solicitor General; Kagan met Obama, a fellow Law School graduate, when both taught at the University of Chicago Law School": The Harvard Crimson provides this news update.

And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "'Superstar' Elena Kagan Is Named SG."
Posted at 08:27 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jerry Brown wins praise, criticism for stance on Proposition 8": This front page article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 08:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"California Supreme Court says breakaway parish can't take national church's property; The ruling comes after a Newport Beach parish split from the U.S. Episcopal church over the ordination of a gay bishop; Other denominations could be affected": Maura Dolan and Duke Helfand of The Los Angeles Times have this news update.

The Orange County Register has a news update headlined "Ruling: Church that split off over gays can't keep property; California Supreme Court rules that St. James Anglican Church, 3 other parishes that broke with diocese don't control their houses of worship."

And The Associated Press reports that "Calif. court sides with Episcopals over property."

You can access today's ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.
Posted at 08:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Suing Cold Medication Manufacturers Because Drug Dealers Make Drugs out of the Medication": Law professor Eugene Volokh has this post today at "The Volokh Conspiracy."

And at "The Am Law Daily" blog, Zach Lowe has a post titled "Shook Associate Wins 'Meth' Case at 8th Circuit."

My earlier coverage of today's Eighth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman



On today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Obama Faces Conundrum In Closing Guantanamo" and "Murals Depict Power Of Law And Justice." The murals segment is about art found on the walls of the Justice Department's headquarters in Washington, DC. You can view some of the murals by clicking here.

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 02:22 PM by Howard Bashman



Unanimous three-judge Seventh Circuit panel rejects due process challenge to Chicago's system of enforcing traffic violations captured by red light cameras: Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook delivered the opinion of the court. The plaintiffs had claimed that Chicago's method of enforcement was unconstitutional because the owner of an automobile is fined even though someone else was driving the car at the time of the violation.

The Federal Highway Administration provides information about red light cameras here and here.
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Counties cite no case, federal or state, that recognizes a cause of action available to a government entity to recover against pharmaceutical manufacturers for the legal sale of products containing pseudoephedrine based on the subsequent use of the product in the manufacture of methamphetamine." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has today issued a decision that affirms the dismissal of a lawsuit that twenty counties in Arkansas brought against various pharmaceutical manufacturers of products containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to recoup the costs expended by the counties in dealing with the societal effects of the methamphetamine epidemic in Arkansas.
Posted at 12:18 PM by Howard Bashman


"Griffin Bell, Carter's attorney general, dies": The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "Carter Attorney General Griffin B. Bell dies at 90."

Bell also served from 1961 through 1976 as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He originally joined the court as a recess appointee but was then confirmed by the U.S. Senate four months later.
Posted at 12:11 PM by Howard Bashman



Another month, and another Freedom of Information Act loss for The Associated Press before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: On December 1, 2008, as I noted in this post from that morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that The AP has no right to access John Walker Lindh's petitions filed with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Pardon Attorney seeking a reduction in his twenty-year prison sentence. You can access that decision at this link.

And today, the Second Circuit has reversed the ruling of a New York City-based federal district court that had ordered the Department of Defense to disclose identifying information of Guantanamo Bay detainees contained in DOD records documenting allegations of abuse by military personnel and by other detainees, and identifying information of family members contained in personal letters sent to two detainees and submitted by those detainees to Administrative Review Boards. You can access today's ruling at this link.

In early news coverage of today's ruling, The AP has a report headlined "US appeals court: Detainee IDs can be secret."
Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman



"Fair Pay for Judges: Congress should give the federal judiciary the bump-up legislators are getting." This editorial appeared yesterday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman


President-elect Obama announces he will nominate Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan to serve as Solicitor General of the United States: The text of the announcement appears here at "Talking Points Memo."

And via this post at "SCOTUSblog," you can access the text of an email that Dean Kagan has circulated today to the Harvard Law community.

Additional coverage is available from The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Politico.com, and NBC News correspondent Pete Williams.
Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justices ready for Candlestick pat-down case": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The California Supreme Court could set new ground rules for the clash between privacy and security in a case from an unusual setting - Candlestick Park, where 49ers fans are subjected to pat-down searches before entering the stadium. The court hears arguments Tuesday in an appeal by a Danville couple whose lawsuit challenging the pat-downs was tossed out on the grounds that they consented to be searched when they bought season tickets. Their lawyers say any consent was coerced and that a company could give the same rationale for conducting body searches at work or wiretapping customers' phones, as long as it announced its intentions ahead of time."

I agree that the lower court's consent rationale is unpersuasive.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman



"Feinstein taps bipartisan panels to pick judges": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Disabled man's crusade a bane to business owners; If your counters are too high or parking spaces too narrow, beware of disabled activist Thomas Mundy; He and others like him say lawsuits are the only way to enforce ADA compliance": Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams has this front page article.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman


"What to Do About the Torturers?" David Cole has this review in the January 15, 2009 issue of The New York Review of Books.
Posted at 08:10 AM by Howard Bashman


"Restore the Senate's Treaty Power": Today in The New York Times, John R. Bolton and John Yoo have an op-ed that begins, "The Constitution's Treaty Clause has long been seen, rightly, as a bulwark against presidential inclinations to lock the United States into unwise foreign commitments."
Posted at 08:04 AM by Howard Bashman


"A new seating order on the bench": The Providence (R.I.) Journal today contains an article that begins, "The sunlight streams in, reflecting off the polished wood paneling where portraits of former Rhode Island Supreme Court justices hang. This is the room behind the bench where the justices hear appeals, behind the curtain that leads to the bench."
Posted at 07:47 AM by Howard Bashman


"The California Attorney General's Brief in the California Supreme Court Case Challenging Proposition 8: The Questions It Raised, and Why It Surprised Many Observers." Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein have this essay online at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:42 AM by Howard Bashman


"2008 decline in U.S. executions has states reflecting on capital punishment": The Kansas City Star contains this article today.
Posted at 07:40 AM by Howard Bashman


Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Balance Of Power Swings To Liberal Legal Group": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on the most recent broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday."
Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"California Supreme Court to take on state law granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants; The justices have accepted the case that began with a lawsuit filed by out-of-state students and their parents, who argue that such a benefit violates federal law": This article will appear Monday in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Justices' Ruling in Discrimination Case May Draw Quick Action by Obama": In Monday's edition of The New York Times, Robert Pear will have an article that begins, "President-elect Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress are planning swift action to overturn a Supreme Court decision that made it much harder for people to challenge discrimination in employment, education, housing and other fields."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"William R. Glendon, 89, Dies; Argued for Right to Publish Pentagon Papers": The New York Times contains this obituary today.

And The Washington Post today contains an obituary headlined "Barbara McDowell; Leader In Public Interest Advocacy."
Posted at 07:08 PM by Howard Bashman



"Cuban-American Jorge Labarga of Palm Beach County named to Florida Supreme Court by Gov. Charlie Crist; Jorge Labarga, 56, wins out in process full of controversy": This article appeared yesterday in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

And The St. Petersburg Times reported yesterday that "Cuban-American joins Florida's top court."
Posted at 07:04 PM by Howard Bashman



"New California law protects school journalism advisors; The act, said to be the nation's most stringent, prohibits school administrators from retaliating against advisors for trying to protect student press freedoms": The Los Angeles Times today contains an article headlined "When California public schools resume classes Monday, high school and college journalism advisors will be protected by a new state law designed to promote 1st Amendment freedoms."
Posted at 06:50 PM by Howard Bashman


"Griffin Bell's condition worsens; Legal icon from Georgia: Former attorney general cites desegregation plan as a most important achievement." This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Posted at 06:44 PM by Howard Bashman


"Obama must pick judges fast": Today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, law professor Carl Tobias has an op-ed that begins, "One of the most significant assignments that the Constitution delegates to the president is the appointment of federal judges. One of the initial tasks that President Barack Obama should undertake in discharging this crucial responsibility is to fill the two vacancies on the 14-member U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit with outstanding jurists."
Posted at 06:25 PM by Howard Bashman


"She's thawed Harvard Law; Kagan may be an Obama pick": This article appears today in The Boston Globe.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman


Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Court action sought on Massey-Benjamin; Brief asks justices be barred from voting on cases involving large campaign contributors": Wednesday's edition of The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette contained an article that begins, "In a brief filed this week, a coal company owner and his company asked the U.S. Supreme Court to make it illegal for a state Supreme Court justice to accept millions in campaign contributions from an individual and then vote on legal decisions involving that same individual."

You can view the Brief for Petitioners, filed on Monday of this week, by clicking here.
Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman



"I'll Have to Call My Lawyer": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "'Good Samaritan' laws give legal protection to bystanders who courageously come to the aid of people in emergencies. Last month, the California Supreme Court gave its state law a disturbingly narrow interpretation that could discourage future good Samaritans from providing help out of fear of being sued."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"US appeals court pulls ruling on mirror ornaments": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "In an unusual move, a federal appeals court has withdrawn a decision that struck down a Michigan law aimed at restricting what can hang on rearview mirrors."
Posted at 10:37 PM by Howard Bashman


"High court: Yelling at cops was protected speech." The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "A man who yelled the 'f' word and other profanities at passing police officers did not commit a crime because he was protected by the constitutional guarantee of free speech, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday."

And online at the First Amendment Center, David L. Hudson Jr. has an essay entitled "S.D. high court rules man's cursing at cops was free speech."

You can access Tuesday's ruling of the Supreme Court of South Dakota at this link.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman



"The Supreme Court's Basketball Games": Stuart Buck has this post at "The Buck Stops Here."
Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman


"Friends Mourn Death of Barbara McDowell of D.C. Legal Aid Society": Tony Mauro has this post today at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times."
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Scouts case sent to state high court; Leases with city are at center of dispute": Today in The San Diego Union-Tribune, Greg Moran has an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court, after a nearly two-year delay, will be asked to determine whether city of San Diego leases of Balboa Park land violate the state constitution's ban on government preference for religious groups. The move Wednesday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is hearing a lawsuit challenging the leases, is the latest turn in the long-running case. The appeals court action came with a scathing dissenting opinion warning that the court had made a serious and far-reaching error."

My earlier coverage of Wednesday's Ninth Circuit order appears at this link.
Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman



"Law Deans Are Said to Be Top U.S. Solicitor General Candidates": Greg Stohr and James Rowley of Bloomberg News have a report that begins, "The first female deans of the Harvard and Stanford law schools are the top candidates to serve as Barack Obama's voice at the U.S. Supreme Court, according to people familiar with the selection process. Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan, 48, and former Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan, 53, are the two leading contenders for the position of solicitor general, a position informally known as the 'tenth justice.' For either, the job ultimately might be a step toward a seat on the Supreme Court itself."
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"Lawmaker in Kentucky Mixes Piety and Politics": Sunday's edition of The New York Times will contain this article.
Posted at 10:04 PM by Howard Bashman


"Portrait Emerges of Anthrax Suspect's Troubled Life": This lengthy article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:03 PM by Howard Bashman


Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro has an article headlined "For the Supreme Court, Tradition Is on Tap at Inaugural."

And the January 2009 issue of American Lawyer magazine contains an article headlined "Beyond Appealing: Robbins Russell; The Washington, D.C., appellate powerhouse is also making a mark in high-stakes civil and criminal trials."
Posted at 07:52 AM by Howard Bashman



"Obama's View on Power Over Detainees Will Be Tested Early": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "Just a month after President-elect Barack Obama takes office, he must tell the Supreme Court where he stands on one of the most aggressive legal claims made by the Bush administration -- that the president may order the military to seize legal residents of the United States and hold them indefinitely without charging them with a crime."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman


"Khat -- is it more coffee or cocaine? The narcotic leaf is a time-honored tradition in Africa but illegal in the U.S., where demand is growing." This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 07:44 AM by Howard Bashman


Friday, January 2, 2009

"Obama Could Appoint 2 Supreme Court Justices": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 04:40 PM by Howard Bashman


"Supreme Success: Thanks to Bush, we have a chance for a Roberts Court." M. Edward Whelan III has this essay in the December 29, 2008 print edition of National Review magazine.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"Gonzo'll Never Work in This Town Again; Former Attorney General Cries Victim While Being In Denial About His Colossal Failures": CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this installment of his "CourtWatch" column today.
Posted at 01:55 PM by Howard Bashman


"Court case: Hide a hamster, go to the slammer?" Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "Own a goldfish, go to jail? Unlikely, perhaps, but it's possible under a ruling this week by the California Supreme Court, which upheld a judge's order requiring a man convicted of drunken driving to tell his probation officer if he had any pets in his home."

My earlier coverage of the ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman



"Long Held in Capital Case, Man Sues to Get a Lawyer": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "A man awaiting trial in a Georgia prison has spent the last eight months without a lawyer while prosecutors prepare a death penalty case against him, a lawsuit brought on his behalf says."

And yesterday in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bill Rankin had an article headlined "Death case defendant sues for lack of lawyers."
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"U.K. May Take More Gitmo Detainees": This article appears today in The Wall Street Journal.

And The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Nations Wary of Taking in Detainees."
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman



"Porn Star Sentenced on Tax Evasion Charges": Paul L. Caron has this post at "TaxProf Blog."
Posted at 07:50 AM by Howard Bashman


Thursday, January 1, 2009

"How Did They Get It So Wrong? Left and right differ on the decisions, but each side has its 'worst' list." David G. Savage has this article in the January 2009 issue of ABA Journal magazine.
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman


"In Several States, A Push to Stem Cyber-Bullying; Most of the Laws Focus on Schools": The Washington Post contains this article today.
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman


"New Sentencing Guidelines For Crack, New Challenges": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 07:14 PM by Howard Bashman


"Roland Burris battles roadblocks to U.S. Senate; stall tactics likely by others; Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pick to replace Barack Obama vows to avoid scene in Washington": Mike Dorning and James Oliphant have this article today in The Chicago Tribune.
Posted at 07:12 PM by Howard Bashman


"U.S. executions reach 14-year low; Death sentences also fell in 2008 to the lowest number since 1976, according to an anti-death-penalty research group": Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And today's edition of The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled "A Relic in Maryland: A state commission has given lawmakers more good reasons to end capital punishment."
Posted at 07:10 PM by Howard Bashman



"On Clemency Fast Track, via the Oval Office": Today in The New York Times, Charlie Savage has an article that begins, "In December 2007, the names of about 700 federal prisoners seeking commutations reached President Bush's desk."
Posted at 07:08 PM by Howard Bashman


"Appeals court overturns 3-strikes sentence": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "In a rare case of a court overturning a three-strikes sentence, a federal appeals panel has rejected a term of 28 years to life for a sex offender from Los Angeles who missed one of his annual deadlines for reporting his whereabouts to police."

My earlier coverage of Tuesday's Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman



Available online from law.com: An article reports that "Conservatives on 9th Circuit Can't Rescue Boy Scouts From Establishment Clause Claim." My earlier coverage of yesterday's Ninth Circuit order appears at this link.

In other news, "Attorney Caught in Internet Sex Sting Suspended From Practice for 3 Years; Rare split N.Y. appellate court suspends former Kirkland & Ellis associate who admitted attempting to meet purported 13-year-old for sex." This blog's earlier coverage of the ruling appears here.

Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer reports that "3rd Circuit Remands Price-Fixing Class Action." My earlier coverage of Tuesday's Third Circuit ruling appears at this link.

And Amaris Elliott-Engel of The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Judge Asks Pa. Appeals Court to Uphold Dismissal of Consolidated HRT Cases." I am mentioned in the article.
Posted at 10:45 AM by Howard Bashman



"Doe Vs. SexSearch Dismissal Affirmed; One attorney said the case is 'over'": Adult Video News provides this report [caution: linked article features advertising that is not safe for work].

My earlier coverage of Tuesday's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 10:38 AM by Howard Bashman



"Analysis: Must Senate seat Burris?" Lyle Denniston has this post at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman


"Roberts Tones Down Annual Salary Plea; Cost-of-Living Increase Sought for Judges": Robert Barnes has this article today in The Washington Post.

Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article headlined "The State of Courts, and a Plea for a Raise."

In The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Federal judges lose bid for pay raises; A quirk in federal law prevents them from getting automatic cost-of-living increases; A bill before Congress to boost their salaries showed promise -- but that was before the Wall Street meltdown."

Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report headlined "Chief justice: Inflation outpacing pay for judges."

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "U.S. Chief Justice Renews Push for Pay Raise for Federal Judges."

Bill Mears of CNN.com reports that "Chief justice pleads for higher judicial salaries."

At WSJ.com's "Washington Wire" blog, Jess Bravin has a post titled "Chief Justice Roberts's Annual Appeal."

And online at FindLaw, Carl Tobias has an essay entitled "The Federal Judiciary and Chief Justice Roberts's Year-End Report: What We Can Likely Expect, and the Role the Recession May Play."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman







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