How Appealing


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

So you'd like to link to a ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit? As a public service to the legal blogosphere, I offer the following guidance.

When linking to the rulings of twelve of the thirteen U.S. Courts of Appeals, a law blogger need do nothing more than open the opinion on the web site of the issuing court, copy the complete "http://" address from your web browser's address bar, and then insert the copied address to create the desired link in your to-be-published blog post.

But, just as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is fortunate to have on its court some of the best writers and best legal minds in the entire federal judiciary, the Seventh Circuit is also the only federal appellate court that makes it nearly impossible to link to its own rulings. Here's why.

Take, for example, yesterday's interesting tax law ruling in Kohler Co. v. USA, No. 05-4472. If you click on the link I provided in the preceding sentence and then direct your computer mouse's cursor over the link to access the opinion, the following link destination appears:

http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?submit=showbr&shofile=05-4472_019.pdf
However, after I just clicked on that link, the opinion in PDF format appeared in a web browser window in which the address bar reads:
http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/Y70W8B81.pdf
Over the past several days, other bloggers have also posted about the ruling. At "Above the Law," David Lat referred to the ruling in a post you can access here. That post contains the following link to the opinion:
http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/Y60U2RYH.pdf
And "TaxProf Blog" discussed the opinion yesterday in a post you can access here, using the same link to the opinion as found at "Above the Law."

The problem is that the links created in your web browser's address bar by clicking on:

http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?submit=showbr&shofile=05-4472_019.pdf
are what are known as "temporary links," meaning that they will remain functional for only a matter of hours after they have been created. As a result, when I click on the links to the opinion found at "TaxProf Blog" and "Above the Law":
http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/Y60U2RYH.pdf
I receive "HTTP 404 - File not found." And you may receive the same result when you click on the temporary link that I created when I moments ago opened the opinion in my own web browser:
http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/Y70W8B81.pdf
The solution for avoiding this problem is for the blogger who wants to post an "evergreen" link to a Seventh Circuit ruling to right-click on the link to the opinion as it appears on the Seventh Circuit's web page (click here first to follow along using yesterday's tax decision example), select "copy shortcut," and then paste that copied shortcut as the link in the to-be-published blog post.

Instead of using:

http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/Y60U2RYH.pdf

http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/Y70W8B81.pdf

http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/Y70WZGGL.pdf

or any other link with the dreaded "tmp" in it, what you'd use as the permanent link is the admittedly lengthier but continuously functional:
http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?submit=showbr&shofile=05-4472_019.pdf

I previously posted about this issue in April 2005 (see my posts here and here).

The second of those two posts from April 2005 (access the post in question here) contained an explanation from a sitting Seventh Circuit judge for why that court decided to make it nearly impossible for the casual blogger to link directly to a Seventh Circuit decision on the court's own web site.

I must admit that, over a year and a half later, I find the Seventh Circuit's explanation -- security concerns -- to be singularly unpersuasive. The other twelve U.S. Courts of Appeals share the same security concerns as the Seventh Circuit, and yet they have not seen fit to make it next to impossible to link directly to their own rulings.
Posted at 04:20 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Prosecutors drop Lay appeal; Government withdraws notice to challenge ruling clearing record": The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, "Federal prosecutors on Monday had this to say about their intent to challenge a judge's decision to wipe out former Enron Chairman Ken Lay's convictions: Never mind. Last week the Justice Department filed notice it would appeal U.S. District Judge Sim Lake's October decision to clear Lay's name. That filing came the same day two senators introduced a bill to allow crime victims to seek restitution when a convicted defendant dies before exhausting appeals."

And The Associated Press reports that "Prosecutors Won't Challenge Lay Ruling."
Posted at 03:44 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tenth Circuit affirms dismissal of federal civil action naming "over sixty defendants, including among many others President Bush, God as U.S.-based divine benefactor, several government agencies, The New York Times, and Kentucky Fried Chicken": Circuit Judge Michael W. McConnell writes, in a non-precedential decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued last Friday, that "Jungle Democracy's appeal is as unintelligible as its complaint and also states no grounds for relief."
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"U.S. Appeals to Reinstate Terror Charge": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Federal prosecutors have asked an appeals court to reinstate a key terrorism charge against alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla, contending a judge erred in finding that it duplicated other counts in the same indictment."
Posted at 02:54 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Partial-Birth's Trojan Horse: Why the Supreme Court's looming decision on partial-birth abortion bans actually matters." Scott Lemieux has this essay online at The American Prospect.
Posted at 02:25 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Prosecute Rumsfeld? Not Ridiculous." Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith will have this essay in the December 4, 2006 issue of The Nation.
Posted at 02:24 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Too bad this new Oyez feature wasn't announced before Halloween: A newly announced feature on the web site Oyez allows you to utilize Google Maps to see "where your favorite Justice is buried," assuming that your favorite U.S. Supreme Court Justice is deceased. If I understand the two maps correctly, it appears that no Justice is buried west of the Denver area.

The Court's own official list of all who have served can be accessed here.
Posted at 02:05 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ninth Circuit wins the race to be the first federal appellate court to issue a precedential opinion from a panel on which Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor sat by designation: You can access today's ruling, which Justice O'Connor joined in but did not author, at this link.

Because Justice O'Connor joined the U.S. Supreme Court directly from a state appellate court, presumably this represents the first precedential U.S. Court of Appeals decision in which she has participated.
Posted at 01:55 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Whether indigent litigants must be ordered to pay statutory costs is a subject that has divided the circuits." Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook today has issued an interesting concurring opinion in which he remarks that "the parties' relative wealth is not a good reason to deny costs to the winner, any more than a losing litigant's indigence would be a good reason to withhold an award of damages for battery, theft, or breach of contract."
Posted at 12:34 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Ruling limits Internet liability; Granting immunity to all but the initial sources of defamatory statements protects freedom of expression, state high court says": Maura Dolan has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that "Internet providers win libel ruling in high court."

Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News reports that "Justices hand victory to free speech online; Web site can't be sued for postings by others."

Josh Richman of The Oakland Tribune has an article headlined "State court: Web reposts not libelous; Unanimous ruling states Congress has not made law to address distribution of others' defamatory statements over Internet."

And The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that "State court backs 'opinion' e-mail; S.D. woman published third party's piece."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Reno Files Challenge to Terror Law": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "Former Attorney General Janet Reno and seven other former Justice Department officials filed court papers Monday arguing that the Bush administration is setting a dangerous precedent by trying a suspected terrorist outside the court system."
Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Tapes Provide First Glimpse of Secret Gitmo Panels": This audio segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today's broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition."

Also, via this link, NPR is making available additional related audio clips of the Guantanamo proceedings.
Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Court: Pastor's civil rights not violated." The Wisconsin State Journal today contains an article that begins, "Madison police did not violate the civil rights of a Monroe pastor when they told him to take his anti-gay protest off of Beltline overpasses in 2003, a federal appeals court ruled Monday."

My earlier coverage appears at this link.
Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Top-Secret Torture: The Bush administration claims detainees can't disclose how they were treated." This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"A Pointed Reminder for Security Screeners; Disputes Over Sikhs' Required Daggers Prompt a Federal Poster on Respectful Procedures": The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, "Feel frustrated when a jangling bracelet or pocket full of coins sets off security screeners as you make your way into a government building? Consider the Sikhs, whose religion requires them to always wear a dagger. The centuries-old requirement has collided with beefed-up, post-Sept. 11 rules that no longer allow people to leave legal weapons and other banned items with security guards working in such buildings as courthouses and federal offices. In two dozen cases in the past two years, Sikhs have been arrested, threatened with arrest or harassed in disputes with guards over the ceremonial kirpan, according to the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund."
Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Israel Orders Gay Marriage Recognition": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "In a landmark ruling, Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government Tuesday to recognize same-sex marriages performed abroad."
Posted at 11:17 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Billion-dollar ruling against BofA tossed; Appeals court says deducting money to pay fees is OK": Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

law.com's Justin Scheck reports that "Billion-Dollar BofA Ruling Struck Down."

David Kravets of The Associated Press reports that "Court overturns $1.5 billion verdict against Bank of America."

And Reuters reports that "Bank of America wins reversal of $1.6 bln verdict."

You can access yesterday's ruling of California's Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District at this link.
Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Prof. Praises Guantanamo Case": The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, "The professor who litigated this summer’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court case ruling that military commissions for Guantanamo Bay detainees violate Geneva Convention prohibitions lauded that decision at the Harvard Law Review’s annual Supreme Court Forum yesterday."
Posted at 10:58 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The D.C. Circuit examines what is necessary to state a cause of action for hostage taking under the 1996 Terrorism Amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: Today's ruling affirms the denial of Libya's motion to dismiss the action.
Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Alliance members who are terminally ill and who lack government-approved treatment options have a due process interest in self-determination that protects their pursuit of promising new medications to save their lives." A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today issued a decision rejecting the Food and Drug Administration's petition for panel rehearing of that panel's earlier 2-1 ruling recognizing such a due process interest. My coverage of the earlier ruling appears at this link.

Today's decision appears only to reject the FDA's request for panel rehearing, in which the FDA for the first time challenged plaintiffs' assertion of Article III standing. Presumably the FDA's request for rehearing en banc now goes before the entire D.C. Circuit for consideration.
Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"As Victim Dies, a Mystery Grows in Westchester": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Carlos Perez-Olivo was a lawyer with an intimate appreciation for the dark side of the law."

And The Journal News of Westchester, New York today contains an article headlined "Chappaqua woman dies after shooting that also wounded her husband."
Posted at 08:50 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Fox rebuffs 'fatuous' Borat lawsuit": The Hollywood Reporter (via Reuters) provides this report.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "2 villagers in Borat sue Fox, filmmakers for $30 million."

And Reuters reports that "Romanian villagers sue in NY over role in 'Borat.'"
Posted at 08:44 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Internet porn trial ending; At issue during closing arguments was whether filtering offers effective ways to protect children": This article appears today in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

And at the First Amendment Center, Paul K. McMasters has an essay entitled "Too much sex or too much law?"
Posted at 08:24 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"When the Court Lost Its Conscience: The man behind Dred Scott, and his clash with Lincoln." Allen C. Guelzo has this essay online today at OpinionJournal.
Posted at 06:55 AM by Howard Bashman




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Newdow Retracts Comment About Minister": Josh Gerstein has this article today in The New York Sun.
Posted at 06:54 AM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

"Detainees appeal to judicial modesty": Lyle Denniston has this post online at "SCOTUSblog."
Posted at 09:57 PM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

"Monument at Houston Courthouse Tests the Limits of Ten Commandments Rulings": That was the headline of an installment of my weekly "On Appeal" column that law.com published two months ago. My essay began, "On Aug. 15, 2006, a divided three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision resolving an Establishment Clause challenge to a monument that a Christian charity erected on the grounds of a state civil courthouse in Houston to honor the memory of a prominent local businessman and philanthropist."

The majority on the divided three-judge panel ruled that the monument violated the Establishment Clause. The conclusion to my essay stated: "Whether a monument that did not originally violate the Establishment Clause winds up doing so when commandeered for religious purposes is an interesting and difficult question left unresolved by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Ten Commandments decisions. Harris County, Texas, on whose property the Mosher monument resides, has recently asked the entire 5th Circuit to rehear the case en banc, and U.S. Supreme Court review of this case is not entirely out of the question, so this interesting dispute may yet be far from over."

My statement that the case "may yet be far from over" has proved correct, as the Fifth Circuit on Friday issued an order (posted online today) granting rehearing en banc in the case.
Posted at 08:10 PM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

"STD suit could set precedent in state": The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, California today contains an article that begins, "A former San Luis Obispo County resident is suing her ex-husband, claiming he negligently infected her with a sexually transmitted disease in what experts say could be a precedent-setting case in California. Legal experts say the case between Janet Smith and Patrick Neiland Smith is significant because many people do not realize passing on an STD could pose a legal liability."
Posted at 07:38 PM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

"Former judge disbarred for groping girl at pop concert": The Associated Press provides a report that begins, "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has disbarred a former Monroe County judge who is serving 10 years' probation for groping a preteen girl at a pop music concert."

You can access Friday's order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at this link.
Posted at 07:35 PM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

"Court: Web sites not liable for libel committed by third parties." Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News provides this update.

Bloomberg News reports that "Court Says Web Publisher Isn't Liable for Defamation."

And c|net News.com reports that "Calif. court ruling seeks to protect bloggers, Web publishers."
Posted at 07:25 PM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

On this evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered": The broadcast contained audio segments entitled "Lawyer: 'No-Hearing' Process Traps Detainees" and "The Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Brandeis" (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 07:15 PM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

"Judge says Mack must go to trial for all charges": Friday's edition of The Reno Gazette-Journal contained an article that begins, "Looking at each piece of evidence individually would not be enough to charge Darren Mack with shooting the judge who was deciding his divorce, Clark County District Judge Douglas Herndon said Thursday as he considered a motion to throw out the attempted murder charge."
Posted at 05:58 PM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

"Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia & Samuel Alito at the Federalist Society": You can access, online and on-demand, the video from this past Saturday's broadcast of C-SPAN's "America and & Courts" by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

"Closings in Internet-porn trial": The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a news update that begins, "A never enforced federal law aimed at protecting children from Internet porn is vague, threatens free speech, and will not achieve its intended goal, opponents of the measure argued today."

And The Associated Press reports that "Lawyers Argue Validity of '98 Online Law."

The ACLU provides access to trial transcripts at this link, while additional information about the case can be accessed here.
Posted at 05:38 PM by Howard Bashman




Monday, November 20, 2006

"Howard's huge year nets him NL MVP; Phils slugger led Majors in homers, RBIs in first full season": MLB.com provides this report.
Posted at 05:32 PM by Howard Bashman



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Law News Now

Legal Theory

Patently-O

PrawfsBlawg

Professor Bainbridge.com

Religion Clause

Re's Judicata

SCOTUSblog

Sentencing Law and Policy

TaxProf Blog

Threat Level

tonypierce.com + busblog

Trial Insider

The Volokh Conspiracy

Workplace Prof Blog

WSJ.com's Law Blog