How Appealing


Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Personal Trials Fuel A Fight For Equality": Monday's edition of The Tampa Tribune will contain an article that begins, "After all these years, the Hooters case still bothers Gilbert Casellas." Gil served as hiring partner at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads when I joined that law firm after my judicial clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


In Monday's early edition of The New York Times: Articles that will surely be updated once the House of Representatives votes after midnight are currently headlined "House Members Hold Sunday Night Session on Schiavo Bill" and "Supporters Praise Bush's Swift Return to Washington."
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Congress May Fight Court on Global Front; Some Conservatives Worry That Jurists Too Often Cite International Precedents": Jess Bravin will have this article (free access provided) in Monday's edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Relatedly, in Monday's edition of USA Today, Gary Bauer will have an op-ed entitled "Disorder in our high court." And yesterday in The Ventura County Star, columnist George Sjostrom had an essay entitled "Supreme Court's life tenure should be abolished."
Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"U.S. Catholic bishops to launch campaign denouncing death penalty": This article will appear Monday in The Chicago Tribune.

Monday's edition of The Washington Post will report that "Catholic Bishops Plan Drive Against Death Penalty; Leaders Shift Priorities, Sensing Public Opinion Has Changed on Capital Punishment."

And The Boston Globe today reports that "Campaign set against executions; Bishops widen effort to end death penalty."
Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Court Tackles Town's Role in Child Safety; 3 Daughters Died When Colorado Police Refused to Arrest Banned Father": Charles Lane will have this article Monday in The Washington Post.
Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


An opposite view regarding Article III standing of parents: A law professor emails:
Regardless of what one thinks about the constitutionality or wisdom of this law or the merits of the underlying case, Theresa Schiavo's parents clearly satisfy the Article III minimum for standing. You mean to tell me I suffer no injury in fact if my kid dies? I hope I never find out, but I can bet that if one of my kids did die -- even after they grew up and I was no longer their guardian -- I'd "in fact" suffer lots of injury. Whether or not the death of my kid violates my constitutional rights, I'd certainly suffer injury. That the proposed statute wouldn't authorize the parents to sue to vindicate their own constitutional rights, so it's irrelevant that they have no such rights here. The statute eliminates the prudential doctrine forbidding third-party standing and allows the parents to vindicate Theresa Schiavo's rights (if those rights were in fact violated). Nothing in Lujan prohibits that.
Thanks much for the email.
Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


Tonight's debate in the U.S. House of Representatives on the proposed Terri Schiavo legislation can be viewed online via C-SPAN: A real debate is underway, and you can view it online by clicking here (RealPlayer required).
Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"To Cut Online Chatter, Apple Goes to Court": John Markoff will have this article in Monday's edition of The New York Times.
Posted at 09:05 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


The Knight Ridder Newspapers are reporting: Newly available online this evening are articles headlined "Legal questions abound about legislation to keep Schiavo alive"; "Congress set to pass measure to keep brain-damaged woman alive"; and "Social conservatives flex political muscle in Schiavo case."
Posted at 08:55 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"MAJOR constitutional flaw in Schiavo Act!!!!" Thanks to all the readers who have responded thus far to my earlier post discussing whether the proposed federal legislation in the Terri Schiavo matter is constitutional. One email raises a particularly interesting point:
Here's a concern that I haven't seen raised re the Schiavo bill passed by the Senate, S. 653.

Section 1 reads as follows:

"The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida shall have jurisdiction to hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life."

Section 2 purports to give Schiavo's parents standing "to bring suit under this Act," to review "de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo within the scope of this Act."

Of course, Congress cannot "award" standing to someone who lacks Article III standing. Article III standing is only present where, per Lujan, the plaintiff has suffered injury in fact, caused by the challenged action, redressible by the court.

Schiavo's parents do not have any such standing. They are not the legal guardians of Schiavo -- her husband is. (Or the Court is, ad litem; I can't recall which right now.) As nonguardian parents to an adult child, I fail to see how the parents enjoy standing to enforce Terri's constitutional/statutory rights. Congress certainly can't circumvent this constitutional problem.

I don't know whether this next observation is directly on point, but as I noted here back in December 2003, various U.S. Courts of Appeals have divided over whether the U.S. Constitution's due process clause protects a parent's right to the companionship of his or her adult child.
Posted at 08:50 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Case examines cops' liability; Court considers mom's effort to sue after killings": This article, reporting on a case to be argued tomorrow in the U.S. Supreme Court, appears today in The Denver Post. And "SCOTUSblog" offers this oral argument preview.
Posted at 07:55 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Senate Passes Legislation on Schiavo Case": The Associated Press provides this updated report. According to the article, a vote is scheduled in the House of Representatives for 12:01 a.m. Monday. The House was unable to act on the legislation today due to the lack of unanimous consent to pass the law in the absence of a roll call vote.
Posted at 07:00 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Religion in prison tested; Supreme Court asked to limit law": The San Bernardino County Sun today contains an article that begins, "Rarely do Christians and Satanists play on the same team. But politics make for unlikely alliances."

And online at the First Amendment Center, Charles C. Haynes today has an essay entitled "The Supreme Court and the incredible shrinking free-exercise clause."
Posted at 06:54 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


In Monday's issue of The Christian Science Monitor: Warren Richey will have an article headlined "Before high court: law that allows for religious rights; The justices will consider to what extent certain prisoners can practice religion."

And in other news, "Why Schiavo is a cause celebre: Leaders of Congress intervened over the weekend in a highly charged case."
Posted at 06:45 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"A well-planned jumble: Dr. Albert Barnes saw art not as a discipline of facts and figures, but as a vehicle connecting mortal history; To experience his genius unaltered, move quickly." This appreciation of The Barnes Foundation appears today in The St. Petersburg Times. The article overlooks that an appeal remains underway challenging the order authorizing The Foundation's move from its current suburban location to central Philadelphia.
Posted at 06:15 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"If You Were a Democrat": This judicial filibuster-related editorial will appear in the March 28, 2005 issue of The Weekly Standard.

And today in The Day of New London, Connecticut, Marianne Means has an essay entitled "The Judicial Blame Game" that begins, "President Bush has heaped new coals on the partisan bonfire that threatens to consume the Senate over his crusade to stack the federal bench with extreme right-wing judges."
Posted at 06:00 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Bid to Restore Schiavo Feeding Tube Stalls": The Associated Press provides this report.

Reuters, meanwhile, reports that "Senate Intervenes in Right-To-Die Case" and, earlier, that "Congress puts off action in right-to-die case."
Posted at 05:22 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


Is the federal legislation in the Terri Schiavo matter constitutional? News reports indicate that the U.S. Congress is likely today to pass legislation similar to that approved late last week in the U.S. Senate, and President Bush will then sign the provision into law. The bill that the Senate approved late last week can be accessed here.

For purposes of this discussion, I employ the term "constitutional" in its traditional sense, and thus the answer to this question depends on the text of the U.S. Constitution and the precedent established by court rulings definitively construing that document. I do not employ the term "constitutional" to encompass whether the arguments in favor of or in opposition to the law are more convincing as a matter of policy or whether I would vote in favor of or against the law if I were a legislator.

Section 1 of the legislation provides:

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida shall have jurisdiction to hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.
Section 2 then begins by specifying that Terri's parents will have standing to bring suit under the new law.

As a structural matter, it appears to be within the power of the U.S. Congress to create a cause of action to redress a violation of the U.S. Constitution and/or federal law "relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain" a person's life, assuming that such laws or constitutional rights in fact exist. A more difficult question is whether such preexisting substantive federal rights can be enforced against a private person (namely, Terri Schiavo's husband) or whether such rights are only enforceable against someone acting under color of state law. In any event, I anticipate that the parents will sue a variety of defendants, with an eye toward ensuring that the federal rights in question are enforceable against at least one or more of the defendants.

Section 2 of the legislation goes on to provide:

In such a suit, the District Court shall determine de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo within the scope of this Act, notwithstanding any prior State court determination and regardless of whether such a claim has previously been raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings.
In my view, Congress does not act unconstitutionally in denying full faith and credit to a state court judgment in a federal court proceeding, because the obligation for a federal court to afford full faith and credit to a state court judgment arises by means of federal statutory law, and not under the U.S. Constitution. Article IV of the U.S. Constitution requires that the courts of one State afford full faith and credit to the rulings of courts of another State, but that provision of the U.S. Constitution does not apply to federal courts. A federal statute -- 28 U.S.C. sec. 1738 -- requires federal courts to give full faith and credit to state court rulings. What Congress requires in an earlier federal statute Congress is free to take away in a later enacted statute. (Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that Congress has the power to repeal partially the full faith and credit act.) Thus, the denial of full faith and credit in federal court to a state court decision does not give rise to a federal constitutional issue in my view.

Those who find the soon-to-be-enacted federal law objectionable have two main arguments. The first is that a law of this kind is heretofore unheard of. Yet that does not necessarily make the law unconstitutional. And the second main objection is that all that is guaranteed to result from the legislation is much additional delay; a different result in federal court is far from assured. From the perspective of the legislation's proponents, however, if a different result cannot be achieved, then the second-best outcome is accomplishing significant delay in the implementation of the current outcome.

There assuredly are many persuasive reasons to be opposed to this new law as a matter of policy. But that, standing alone, does not make the new law unconstitutional. If I have overlooked any constitutional arguments (and be assured that what I have already written does not overlook "federalism"), please let me know what they are, how they are relevant, and how you think those arguments ought to be resolved.

On this morning's broadcast of NPR's "Weekend Edition - Sunday," two well-respected law professors offered additional commentary on this subject in a segment titled "Schiavo Case Sets New Tone in Congress."
Posted at 02:33 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


In today's edition of The Los Angeles Times: In news relating to Terri Schiavo, the newspaper contains articles headlined "Congress Gives Parents a Voice in Schiavo Case; An unusual measure that applies only to the Florida woman would allow appeal to a federal court; Bush will return from Texas to sign it" and "How the Private Became Political."

A news analysis is headlined "Off to a Running Start, How Far Can GOP Go?"

And Law Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon has an op-ed entitled "Smut's Insidious Threat" that, among other things, discusses "Amaani Lyle's suit against Warner Bros., soon to be argued before the California Supreme Court."
Posted at 01:44 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Trial By Legislation": CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this Terri Schiavo-related essay today.
Posted at 12:45 PM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Congress Ready to Approve Bill in Schiavo Case": This article appears today in The New York Times. Looking at the proposed legislation, Yale Law Professor Jack M. Balkin writes at his blog, "The Senate bill looks like a final exam in a Federal Courts course."
Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Nuclear Options": That's the title of William Safire's "On Language" column today in The New York Times Magazine.

The Cincinnati Enquirer today contains an editorial entitled "Nix the 'nukes' on Senate nominations."

The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky contains an editorial entitled "Flipping over filibuster."

The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts contains an editorial entitled "Peace in the Senate a must, not an option."

In The Baltimore Sun, Gail Gibson has an essay entitled "Senate heads for showdown over filibuster; A dispute over judicial confirmation votes could lead to a radical rule change once considered unthinkable."

And in the March 28, 2005 issue of Time magazine, Joe Klein will have an essay entitled "The Creative Stubbornness of Harry Reid: The Senate Democratic leader keeps the GOP in check."
Posted at 08:40 AM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Conservative's Book on Supreme Court Is a Bestseller": Charles Lane has this article today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman




Sunday, March 20, 2005


"Securing the courts: Without a state standard for courthouse security, precautions vary from case to case, courtroom to courtroom, county to county." This article appears today in The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Posted at 08:20 AM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"Huge roof payout put back in play": The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, "The state Supreme Court on Friday overturned a lower court ruling that threw out a $94 million award to the families of three ironworkers killed in the 1999 Big Blue crane collapse at Miller Park, but significant legal issues remain before the case can be settled."
Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"Lefkow shouldn't let killer take family's home, community": Today in The Chicago Sun-Times, columnist Sue Ontiveros has this essay.
Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"Detectives' Lawyers Know the Spotlight": Sunday's issue of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, "A criminal trial without good lawyers is not unlike a pennant game without good pitchers."
Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"Congress Steps In on Schiavo Case; Lawmakers to Pass Bill to Resume Feeding, Allow Court Review": This front page article will appear Sunday in The Washington Post.

The New York Times on Sunday will contain articles headlined "Schiavo Battle Brings Life's End Into Discussion" and "Protesters at Hospice Push for Showdown Over Schiavo."

And from National Public Radio, this evening's broadcast of "All Things Considered" contained a segment entitled "Congress Resumes Bid to Intervene in Schiavo Case." And this morning's broadcast of "Weekend Edition - Saturday" contained a segment entitled "High Court Stays Away from Schiavo Case." RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.
Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"A Matter of Restraint: In a tragic case, the Supreme Court will have to decide how to strike a delicate balance between the rights of victims and those entrusted with protecting them." Newsweek has posted this article online today.
Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"Fair Trial For Terrorist?" CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen today has an essay that begins, "The Supreme Court conferred Friday morning about one of the most important terror law issues to arise in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America."
Posted at 09:14 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


Newsweek releases poll results on the "nuclear option": An article that Newsweek posted online today contains the following two paragraphs toward its end:
Then there's the filibuster issue. The Republicans, in control of both legislative and executive branches, may push to change Senate rules to make it impossible to filibuster judicial nominees, the so-called "the nuclear option" because Democrats have threatened to respond by using procedural rules to shut the Senate down. (Under current Senate rules, 60 of the 100 senators are needed to cut off debate, and the Democrats have 45. That has been enough to sustain a filibuster, but not to win votes.) Neutering the filibuster would be unpopular with Americans, nearly six in ten (57 percent) of whom would disapprove. Even one-third (33 percent) of Republicans say they would object to such a move.

Still, as unfavorably as they view taking away the filibuster option, Americans may not have the stomach for an obstructionist Democratic response. Nearly half (46 percent) say they would disapprove of retaliatory slowing down or stopping of Senate business; 40 percent say they would approve of such a move. Political independents disapprove by a 47 percent-36 percent margin; just 26 percent of self-identified Democrats would disapprove.

The poll questions and raw data that the poll produced are available here.
Posted at 08:33 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"Judicial interpretation poses major problem for the U.S.": The Macon Telegraph yesterday contained an op-ed by Bill Ferguson that begins, "Antonin Scalia is not a happy man."
Posted at 08:30 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"Politics gains greater role in nominations": Sunday's edition of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch will contain an article that begins, "In an unusual public address last week that many viewed as an audition for his possible nomination to head the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia remarked on the radically altered judicial climate since his confirmation to the court by the Senate in 1986."
Posted at 08:24 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"Congress OKs Deal to Keep Schiavo on Tube": The Associated Press reports here that "Congress leaders announced agreement Saturday on legislation they said would allow a severely brain-damaged woman to resume being fed while a federal court decides the right-to-die battle between her parents and her husband."

Reuters, meanwhile, reports that "Senate, House Reach Compromise on Fla. Woman."
Posted at 04:04 PM by Howard Bashman




Saturday, March 19, 2005


"Inside Courts, Threats Become an Alarming Part of the Fabric": This article will appear Sunday in The New York Times.
Posted at 04:02 PM by Howard Bashman



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