How Appealing


Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Democrats Criticize Appointment at Immigration Agency": Sunday's edition of The New York Times will contain this article.

And yesterday, "Wonkette" had a related post titled "Children at Recess."
Posted at 09:04 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Judging Samuel Alito": This editorial will appear Sunday in The New York Times.

And The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sunday will contain an editorial entitled "Nation demands honest answers."
Posted at 09:00 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Sam He Was": Caren Deane Thomas has an op-ed today in The New York Times that begins, "When I recently received an invitation to a reunion of my Yale Law School class, it stirred memories of the astounding group of students I found when I arrived there in 1972. Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton are the most famous, of course, but my classmates also include someone else who has made news lately: Sam Alito."
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Black Students Lose Again": Today in The New York Times, columnist John Tierney has an op-ed (TimesSelect subscription required) that begins, "Democrats once went to court to desegregate schools. But in Florida they've been fighting to kick black students out of integrated schools, and they've succeeded, thanks to the Democratic majority on the State Supreme Court."
Posted at 03:33 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Alito's Challenge": In Sunday's edition of The Washington Post, columnist David S. Broder will have this op-ed.
Posted at 03:28 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"A beacon on the bench": This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 03:24 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


A look at the seven current and former judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit scheduled to testify in favor of the confirmation of Circuit Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court: According to press reports (appearing today, among other places, in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer), five current and two former Third Circuit judges are scheduled to testify on Judge Alito's behalf during next week's confirmation hearing.

The seven are: Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica, Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry; Senior Circuit Judges Ruggero J. Aldisert, Leonard I. Garth, and Edward R. Becker, and former judges John J. Gibbons and Timothy K. Lewis.

I know about all of these judges as a result of having handled numerous appeals in front of the Third Circuit over nearly the past sixteen years and having clerked for a judge serving on the Third Circuit for two years before that. Here are my quick insights into these witnesses, beginning with the judges I know most well and ending with the judges I know least well.

Senior Judge Becker joined the Third Circuit in 1981 and served as the court's chief judge from 1998 to 2003, at which point he turned 70 years old and took senior status. Judge Becker is justifiably regarded as one of the Third Circuit's all-time greatest judges. He is a very active questioner at oral arguments, and he is famous for his very lengthy opinions (often sporting their own table of contents) that can rival law review articles for their detailed treatment of legal issues. Judge Becker discussed Judge Alito's nomination at length on last Sunday's broadcast (RealPlayer required) of C-SPAN's "America & the Courts." Judge Becker has a long, very close friendship with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA), and like Senator Specter, Judge Becker has been undergoing cancer treatment.

Senior Judge Aldisert joined the Third Circuit in 1968 and served as the court's chief judge in the mid-1980s. He too is rightfully regarded as one of the Third Circuit's all-time greatest judges, and Judge Aldisert is also famous as the author of several books, including "Winning on Appeal" and books about the use of logic by judges and lawyers. During the time that Judge Alito has served on the Third Circuit, Judge Aldisert's chambers have been based in California. Judge Aldisert participated in this blog's "20 questions for the appellate judge" feature, and his interview can be accessed at this link.

Chief Judge Scirica is simply one of the nicest and kindest people you could ever hope to meet. Before becoming the Third Circuit's chief judge, he headed the U.S. Courts Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, which oversees the development and amendments to all rules of procedure and evidence in the federal judicial system. He is a moderate and respected judge, who was formerly a Republican state legislator and a trial judge on both the state and then federal benches.

Senior Judge Garth, like Judge Alito, has his chambers in Newark, New Jersey, and Alito served as Judge Garth's law clerk after Alito graduated from law school. Judge Garth is an active questioner at oral arguments, and if a lawyer (especially a government lawyer) is not answering those questions to Judge Garth's satisfaction, he can become a brutal interrogator. There are also times when Judge Garth's temper is evident in his dissenting opinions. I doubt it will be at all evident during his testimony at the confirmation hearings, where I'm sure that he will come across as the very nice person he ordinarily is.

Tim Lewis joined the Third Circuit in 1992, before he had reached the age of 40, and resigned from the Third Circuit in 1999, when he was 45 years of age. Although Lewis, like Alito, was nominated to the Third Circuit by the first President Bush, Lewis turned out to be one of the court's more liberal judges. Two reasons are given for why Lewis resigned from the Third Circuit at such a young age. One is that he did not enjoy being an appellate judge as much as he had enjoyed serving as a U.S. District Judge. And the second reason, which I have heard from many reliable sources but have never independently confirmed, is said to be health-related. He now practices law at Schnader Harrison's Washington, DC office. Lewis has always struck me as low-key and well-spoken, and, as his official U.S. Courts biography notes, he is African-American.

John J. Gibbons served as the Third Circuit's chief judge from 1987 to 1990, at which point he resigned to return to the law firm he had helped found long before joining the bench. Since returning to private practice, Gibbons has handled many significant appeals before the Third Circuit. Judge Alito joined the Third Circuit in 1990 after Gibbons had retired, so it is impossible for Gibbons to testify about Judge Alito as a colleague on the bench. It is possible that they know each other well, however, because they are from the same area of northern New Jersey, and their backgrounds are similar in certain respects.

Judge Barry, aside from being Donald Trump's sister, is based out of the same Newark, New Jersey courthouse as Judge Alito. President Clinton nominated Judge Barry to the Third Circuit, where she has served since 1999. Notably, Judge Barry appears to have worked very closely with Judge Alito at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark in the late 1970s. Although I know Judge Barry least well of the seven current and former judges scheduled to testify in support of Judge Alito, on the social occasions on which I have spoken with her, I have found her to be plain-spoken and direct, and I imagine her testimony (as a Clinton nominee to the Third Circuit and as someone who worked closely with Judge Alito at the outset of his career as a lawyer) could be very interesting.

Update: A friend who has practiced extensively before the Third Circuit for many more years than I have has emailed with some suggested edits and additions to this post, and I have implemented many of them. The same correspondent cleverly refers to these seven judges as a "Becker's half-dozen."
Posted at 03:15 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Hearings a Test for Democrats and Alito": This article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Spy suspect's lawyer asks how calls were wiretapped": The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, "Lawyers for a Des Plaines man accused of being an Iraqi spy want to know if his phone calls were recorded under the Bush administration's controversial domestic surveillance program."

And in related news, The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Legal Support for Bush's Spy Actions Is Thin, Report Says; A court probably wouldn't back up his power claims, two authors tell Congress." The Congressional Research Service memorandum issued yesterday bears the title "Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance to Gather Foreign Intelligence Information."
Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Justices to Say When Police Can Enter Private Home": Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.
Posted at 09:05 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Hillary Clinton's own private grudge match": Brett M. Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is the subject of this editorial published today in The Mobile Register.
Posted at 09:04 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"Court Rejects Appeal by Martha Stewart": The New York Times contains this article today.

And The New York Daily News reports today that "Martha can't clean slate."
Posted at 09:00 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, January 7, 2006


"7 Federal Appeals Judges to Testify to Alito's Character": This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that "Sitting Judges to Speak on Alito's Behalf; No Conflict of Interest In Role, Specter Asserts."

The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains articles headlined "Court nominee will get backing from the bench; Specter says seven judges will testify for Alito" and "Plans for Christian rally are attacked; Critics say the North Phila. event, involving noted religious conservatives, aims only to tilt the Supreme Court rightward."

The Washington Times reports that "Democrats drop Alito witness."

The Jersey Journal reports that "Alito gets votes of confidence in Hudson."

And The Bergen (N.J.) Record contains an article headlined "Their verdict: Alito perfect for high court."

Meanwhile, in commentary, Bob Ewegen has an op-ed entitled "A case by which to judge Alito" in The Denver Post.

And in The Daily Press of Hampton Roads, Virginia, Benjamin Cuker has an op-ed entitled "Judge Alito and the French connection."
Posted at 08:45 AM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Judge Alito Dissenting": The Washington Post on Saturday will contain an editorial that concludes, "Judge Alito's dissents offer much with which we disagree. But they are the work of a serious and scholarly judge whose arguments deserve respect -- a respect evident among his colleagues even when their positions differ."

And also in tomorrow's newspaper, U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) will have an op-ed entitled "Alito's Credibility Problem."
Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Fla. Voucher System Struck Down; Court's Ruling Could Affect Programs in Other States": This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein reports that "Florida Decision Traps Students In Failed Schools."

The Los Angeles Times reports that "School Voucher Program Batted Down in Florida; The statewide system undermines public education, the high court in Tallahassee says."

USA Today reports that "Fla. school vouchers struck down; Court: Program violates state duty to public system."

The Miami Herald reports that "Court orders tuition vouchers halted; The Florida Supreme Court tossed out the state's tuition voucher program that allows public money to go to private schools."

The St. Petersburg Times reports that "Court throws out vouchers; The state high court says voucher schools are not subject to the same regulations that apply to public schools."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that "Gov. Bush vows to revive school vouchers after Fla. Supreme Court kills program."

The Orlando Sentinel reports that "Florida's top court bars vouchers for F schools."

The Tampa Tribune reports that "Court Rejects School Vouchers."

And The Tallahassee Democrat contains articles headlined "High court stamps out vouchers; Opportunity grants to end" and "Ruling elicits mixed reviews locally."
Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"High Court to Consider DNA Innocence Claim; Death Row Prisoner Wants New Trial": Charles Lane will have this front page article Saturday in The Washington Post.

And in somewhat relatedly, that newspaper tomorrow will also contain an article headlined "Chance for Answer Secured in a Fridge; Scientist Guarded DNA in Va. Case After '92 Execution."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


Available online from law.com: Tony Mauro provides "A Field Guide to the Alito Confirmation Hearings."

In other news, "$54.6M Award to Salvadoran Torture Victims Reinstated."

An article is headlined "2nd Circuit: Police Actions Against Beetle-Collecting Attorney Warranted."

And in other news, "Federal Judges in Florida Reject Call to End Secret Case Transfers."
Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Prosecutor, Al-Arian attorneys negotiate; Defense attorneys and supporters say the former USF professor and his co-defendant should not be tried again, but the prosecutor hasn't ruled it out": The St. Petersburg Times contains this article today.

The Orlando Sentinel reports today that "Al-Arian attorneys in discussions to avoid new trial."

And The Tampa Tribune reports that "Muslim Leaders Gather To Speak Out On Al-Arian."
Posted at 10:58 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Janklow to get license; Court rules lawyer may practice again": This article appears today in The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls. Wednesday's ruling of the Supreme Court of South Dakota can be accessed here.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Charities lose sex-lawsuit shield; Codey signs bill allowing legal action against pedophiles' employers": The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains this article today. Earlier, this related post appeared at "lessig blog."
Posted at 09:25 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Felony For Refreshing a Web Page?" That's the title of a discussion thread at Slashdot focusing on this article published yesterday in The Canton Repository.
Posted at 09:20 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Law student can add 'Legs of a Goddess' to her resume": This article (with photos) appeared yesterday in The Rockford (Ill.) Register Star.

My earlier coverage of this matter (in part featuring Justice Stephen G. Breyer, no less) can be accessed here and here.
Posted at 08:25 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Conservative Crackup: The awkward campaign to convince us Sam Alito is funny." Bruce Reed has this post at Slate's "The Has-Been."
Posted at 07:30 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Alito to face bipartisan grilling over executive power, civil liberties": James Kuhnhenn and Stephen Henderson of Knight Ridder Newspapers provide this report.

The Associated Press reports that "GOP List Includes Alito's Fellow Jurists."

And Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Alito's Opponents Stake Out Positions."
Posted at 07:00 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Report Blames FBI for Ore. Lawyer Arrest": The Associated Press has this article concerning a report titled "A Review of the FBI's Handling of the Brandon Mayfield Case," which the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice issued today.
Posted at 05:50 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Jose Padilla, part II": David Oscar Markus today observed Jose Padilla's second court appearance this week, and you can read this report at the "Southern District of Florida Blog."
Posted at 05:25 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"A church-state evaluation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito": The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty issued this statement today (via "Blog from the Capital").
Posted at 04:48 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"What to watch for in the Alito hearing next week": This post appears today at the National Women's Law Center's "Nomination Watch" blog.
Posted at 04:15 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Federalism R.I.P.? Did the Roberts Hearings Junk the Rehnquist Court's 'Federalism' Revolution?" The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy has posted online this white paper by Simon Lazarus.
Posted at 04:14 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"O'Connor, Alito Differ in Style, Views": The AP's Gina Holland provides this report.
Posted at 04:10 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Court to hear six new cases": At "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has this post. Notably, the U.S. Supreme Court today did not announce a grant of review in the case involving the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.

In other coverage, The Associated Press offers reports headlined "Supreme Court Will Hear Police Search Case" and "High Court Weighs Whether Law Covers Fees."
Posted at 04:05 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"No suspension for dental student; Dean overturns punishment, but offending blogger still will go on probation, do community service": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "The dean of Marquette University's School of Dentistry has overturned the suspension of a student who posted negative comments about classmates and professors on a blog, saying the discipline was 'not appropriate' for the circumstance, according to Scott Taylor, the student's lawyer."

Nearly one month ago, The Marquette Tribune published an article headlined "Bloggers: dental case 'chilling' to free speech; Decision may set up 'slippier slope.'"
Posted at 02:40 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


Jury convicts itself of crack cocaine possession: The Courier-Post of Camden, New Jersey reports here today that "Jury deliberations in an attempted murder case were suspended Thursday after a juror found what appeared to be crack cocaine with a street value of about $300 hidden in the bloodied, bullet-riddled jacket of the victim."
Posted at 02:32 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Wonkette" on "the new Wonkette": Ana Marie Cox offers this explanation.
Posted at 02:30 PM by Howard Bashman




Friday, January 6, 2006


"Democratic Members Of Senate Judiciary Committee Announce Witness List For Hearings On Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito": U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) has issued this news release.
Posted at 02:28 PM by Howard Bashman



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