How Appealing


Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Hartford Courant is reporting: In today's newspaper, Lynne Tuohy has an article headlined "Court Sidesteps Central Issue In Sullivan Case" that begins, "The state Supreme Court has declined to issue what would have been a nationally historic ruling on whether lawmakers can compel a judge to testify before a legislative inquiry, saying former Chief Justice William J. Sullivan's voluntary testimony last month rendered the issue moot."

And an article headlined "Super-Sealed No More: Judicial Branch Reveals Parties In Most 'Level 1' Cases" begins, "The divorce case of former Middletown Mayor Domenique S. Thornton and a paternity suit against saxophonist Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band are among cases that received the benefit of 'super-secret' status, which kept them from public view for years, documents released by the judicial branch Friday reveal."
Posted at 05:05 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

"The Right Way to Manage U.S. Attorneys": Abbe David Lowell has this op-ed today in The Washington Post.

Lowell is also mentioned today, along with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in an article published in The New York Times headlined "Was Dane's Madness Just Method? Jury to Decide."
Posted at 05:00 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Law School Deans Speak Out on Web Site Content; Yale, Penn Condemn Anonymous Attacks": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "The deans at two top law schools have admonished the operators of an Internet message board that hosts chats containing personal attacks against female students and racist and homophobic remarks. Letters written by the deans at Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania law schools, were issued after an article in The Washington Post aired the debate over AutoAdmit, a message board that was created as a forum to exchange advice on law schools and firms."
Posted at 04:54 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Gun Rights in D.C." Law Professor Michael C. Dorf has this post today at "Dorf on Law." Therein, he writes that "it is a bit vexing to have my views cited simply for the purpose of being dismissed, which is what Judge Silberman's opinion in Parker does."

Meanwhile, yesterday at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Law Professor Eugene Volokh in an update to this post wrote, "Several colleagues of mine at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, at which I'm a part-part-part-time academic affiliate, are representing the Violence Policy Center as amicus in support of the D.C. gun ban." You can view the Mayer, Brown amicus brief at this link.
Posted at 04:44 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sadly, they made Justice (and Philadelphia Phillies fan) Samuel A. Alito, Jr. wear a Tampa Bay Devil Rays jersey to throw out today's first pitch: You can see the images here and here. On a somewhat more pleasant note, the Phillies won that spring training game today.
Posted at 04:35 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

On today's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Court Cites Constitution in Rejecting Handgun Ban" and "Libby's Prosecutor Returns to Work in Chicago" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 03:05 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Bonus Round: What to make of those astronomical Supreme Court signing bonuses?" Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Students protest commencement speaker; Saint Mary's College Democrats create petition against conservative justice Alito": This article appeared yesterday in The Observer of South Bend, Indiana.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Do You Miss Our Constitution? No previous American law has been as subversive as the Military Commissions Act of 2006." Columnist Nat Hentoff has this essay in the current issue of The Village Voice.
Posted at 08:30 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

"D.C.'s Ban On Handguns In Homes Is Thrown Out; Fenty Promises to Fight Appellate Court's Ruling": David Nakamura and Robert Barnes have this front page article today in The Washington Post. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled "Dangerous Ruling: An appeals court ruling would put handguns back in D.C. homes."

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that "Washington D.C. gun ban bites the dust; The ruling sets up a Supreme Court showdown over the scope of the 2nd Amendment."

And The Washington Times reports that "Court strikes down D.C. ban on guns."
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Can Congress repeal birthright citizenship? Anti-immigration lawmakers are pushing the idea, but the 14th Amendment may get in their way." James C. Ho has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Too Many Secrets": The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, "It is a challenge to keep track of all the ways the Bush administration is eroding constitutional protections, but one that should get more attention is its abuse of the state secrets doctrine. A federal appeals court in Virginia this month accepted the administration's claim that the doctrine barred a lawsuit of a torture victim from going forward, and the government is using the defense in another torture case in New York. The Supreme Court needs to scale back the use of this dangerous legal defense."
Posted at 08:17 AM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

McClatchy Newspapers are reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Investigation into firings of U.S. attorneys hits the White House" and "Firing of U.S. attorneys may be 'enormously problematic' for Republicans."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Court Rejects Strict Gun Law as Unconstitutional": Adam Liptak will have this article Saturday in The New York Times.
Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

Available online at law.com: Tony Mauro reports that "D.C. Circuit Strikes Down Gun-Control Law, Priming Issue for High Court."

Marcia Coyle reports that "Power of the Internet Used in a Guantanamo Bay Case; Video of prisoner's case played on YouTube."

Jason McLure and T.R. Goldman report that "DOJ Goes Into Damage Control Over Firing of U.S. Attorneys."

In news from California, "DaimlerChrysler Hit With $50M Punitive Verdict; Lieff Cabraser tried to avoid appeal by making sure jury instructions took a recent Supreme Court opinion into consideration."

And the brand new installment of my "On Appeal" essay is headlined "9th Circuit Forgoes Opportunity to Wreak Havoc on Federal Habeas Law."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Dred-full Decision": This evening at WSJ.com's "Washington Wire" blog, Jess Bravin has a post that begins, "It's not often these days that courts approvingly cite Dred Scott v. Sandford, the Supreme Court's 1857 decision holding that blacks could not be U.S. citizens. But Dred Scott made a surprising cameo today in another divisive constitutional issue, providing ammunition for a federal circuit court conclusion that the Second Amendment overrides the District of Columbia's ban on handguns."
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "D.C. Court Overturns Strict Gun Ownership Rules" and "FBI Investigations Faulted in Scathing Report" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:20 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Government Files D.C. Circuit Brief in Murphy": "TaxProf Blog" has this post today and has posted the government's brief online at this link.

As noted in this earlier post, the case is now pending before the D.C. Circuit on panel rehearing. In its now-vacated original ruling, the three-judge appellate panel ruled that "insofar as §104(a)(2) permits the taxation of compensation for a personal injury, which compensation is unrelated to lost wages or earnings, that provision is unconstitutional."
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Two Justices Back Splitting 9th Circuit; Kennedy, Thomas Tell House Panel Court Is Too Big": Brent Kendall has this article today in The Daily Journal of California.

You can access archived video of the testimony via this post from yesterday.
Posted at 07:05 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Court overturns DC handgun ban": James Vicini and Jeremy Pelofsky of Reuters provide this report.
Posted at 07:00 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Appeals Court Guts D.C. Gun Ban": Bill Miller and Robert Barnes of The Washington Post provide this news update.

Adam Liptak of The New York Times provides a news update headlined "Appeals Court Says Gun Ban Violates 2nd Amendment."

At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "The Second Amendment: Is the Court interested?"

Eugene Volokh's series of posts about the ruling at "The Volokh Conspiracy" can be accessed via this link (scroll down to access the more recent posts).

And the appellate briefs and trial court pleadings can be accessed via the web site of the law firm that won today's appeal.
Posted at 05:15 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined "Kennedy Presides Over Hamlet Trial"; "Tape of Padilla Interrogation Is Missing"; and "Rape Case Spotlights Pentagon Policy."
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Justice wants appeal bill paid": The Fort Worth Star-Telegram today contains an article that begins, "Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht wants the state to pay $340,000 he spent in legal fees defending his right to speak out for his friend, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers."

And The Associated Press reports that "Justice Wants Texas to Pay Legal Bills."
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"The 2-1 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Parker v. District of Columbia striking down the District of Columbia's handgun law is judicial activism at its worst." So says Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in a news release that you can access here.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down D.C. Handgun Ban": Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, "A U.S. appeals court struck down a three-decade-old District of Columbia law that bans residents from keeping a handgun in their homes, saying the Constitution's Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms."

And The Associated Press reports that "Appeals Court Overturns D.C. Gun Ban."

My earlier coverage of today's D.C. Circuit ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 01:40 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

Ouch!!! -- "Because the Hawkinses' trial lawyers either do not read judicial opinions or do not understand them, or cannot distinguish a majority from a dissenting opinion, or are 'in denial,' or are 'Booker protesters,' they insist that a judge cannot be allowed to base a sentence on any facts other than those determined by the jury." So writes Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner today in an opinion issued on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.
Posted at 01:02 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

Over the dissent of seven judges, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denies rehearing en banc of divided three-judge panel's decision denying evangelical Christian church's request for access to a public library meeting room to conduct, among other activities, religious worship services: The dissent from denial of rehearing en banc begins on page 4 of this PDF file that the court posted online today.

My coverage of the original divided three-judge panel's ruling appears at this link.
Posted at 12:50 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Clerks Avoid Getting Their DIGs In; They just say no to cert petitions, as the court's docket shrinks": This article appears in the March 2007 issue of the ABA Journal.
Posted at 10:57 AM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Use of National Security Letters": The report that the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice issued today, mentioned in earlier posts here and here, is now available online at this link.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

BREAKING NEWS -- Divided three-judge D.C. Circuit panel holds that the District of Columbia's gun control laws violate individuals' Second Amendment rights: You can access today's lengthy D.C. Circuit ruling at this link.

According to the majority opinion, "[T]he phrase 'the right of the people,' when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual." The majority opinion sums up its holding on this point as follows:

To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment's civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia.
The majority opinion also rejects the argument that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a State. And the majority opinion concludes, "Section 7-2507.02, like the bar on carrying a pistol within the home, amounts to a complete prohibition on the lawful use of handguns for self-defense. As such, we hold it unconstitutional."

Senior Circuit Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Thomas B. Griffith joined. Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson dissented.

Judge Henderson's dissenting opinion makes clear that she would conclude that the Second Amendment does not bestow an individual right based on what she considers to be binding U.S. Supreme Court precedent requiring that result. But her other main point is that the majority's assertion to the contrary constitutes nothing more than dicta because the Second Amendment's protections, whatever they entail, do not extend to the District of Columbia, because it is not a State.

This is a fascinating and groundbreaking ruling that would appear to be a likely candidate for U.S. Supreme Court review if not overturned first by the en banc D.C. Circuit.

Update: "InstaPundit" notes the ruling in this post linking to additional background on the Second Amendment. At "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has posts titled "Timetable on Supreme Court Review of the Second Amendment Case, and the Presidential Election"; "D.C. Circuit Accepts Individual Rights View of the Second Amendment"; and "Dictum," while Orin Kerr has a post titled "DC Circuit Strikes Down DC Gun Law Under the 2nd Amendment." And at "The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times," Tony Mauro has a post titled "D.C. Circuit Strikes Down D.C. Gun Control Laws."

My coverage of the D.C. Circuit's oral argument appeared here on the afternoon of December 7, 2006.
Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"First Hearings Set for 14 Key Terrorism Suspects": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

Bob Egelko is reporting: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, he has articles headlined "Mediator fails to free imprisoned blogger" and "Court rips Congress but keeps killer in jail."
Posted at 08:54 AM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"Students, author, school board president discuss 'vagina' controversy on 'Today' show": This article appears today in The Journal News of Westchester, New York. My earlier coverage appears here.
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"The military's Gitmo script: A tour of the facility features strict boundaries and well-rehearsed lines." Karen J. Greenberg has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman




Friday, March 9, 2007

"U.S. Report to Fault F.B.I. on Subpoenas": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "The Justice Department’s inspector general has prepared a scathing report criticizing how the F.B.I. uses a form of administrative subpoena to obtain thousands of telephone, business and financial records without prior judicial approval."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman



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