How Appealing

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

“We’re on a Mission From God: Is the Ten Commandments case turning Scalia into a devotee of natural law?” Michael McGough of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.

Posted at 11:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Springfield lawyers won sentence limits”: The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts today contains an article that begins, “Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision restricting federal judges’ sentencing powers provides a safeguard for defendants, said Linda J. Thompson, a Springfield lawyer, who argued the case before the nation’s highest court.”

Posted at 11:42 PM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. Quits Agreement On Access To Diplomats”: In Thursday’s edition of The Washington Post, Charles Lane will have a front page article that begins, “The Bush administration has decided to pull out of an international agreement that opponents of the death penalty have used to fight the sentences of foreigners on death row in the United States, officials said yesterday.”

And online at “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “Are the states ‘puppets of a ventriloquist President’?

Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. Says It Has Withdrawn From World Judicial Body”: In Thursday’s edition of The New York Times, Adam Liptak will have an article that begins, “Prompted by an international tribunal’s decision last year ordering new hearings for 51 Mexicans on death rows in the United States, the State Department said yesterday that the United States had withdrawn from the protocol that gave the tribunal jurisdiction to hear such disputes.”

Posted at 9:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“The power and the glory: In the past 30 years, the United States Supreme Court has made and unmade presidents — and shaped the fabric of American society; Now, with two rare vacancies in its ranks, a battle for the nation’s soul is under way.” This article appears in Thursday’s edition of The Independent (UK).

Posted at 8:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“GOP ponders ‘nuclear option’ to fill judgeships; Limiting filibusters by Democrats could tie the Senate in knots, some contend”: The Sacramento Bee contains this article today.

Posted at 8:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Media giants join forces to fight Ontario ruling; Internet libel case threatens free speech, coalition says as appeal hearing opens”: This article appears today in The Toronto Globe and Mail.

The Toronto Star yesterday reported that “Libel case chills world’s papers; Ontario lawsuit cites access to website; Media group supports Washington Post.”

CBC News reports that “Global media giants fear chill from Toronto web libel suit.”

And Agence France-Presse reports that “Media firms fear impact of Internet libel claim.”

Posted at 7:15 PM by Howard Bashman

Ninth Circuit en banc trivia: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week has issued three en banc rulings (see here, here, and here) and has voted to take another case en banc (here).

In addition, as I previously noted here, last week legislation was introduced in the U.S. Congress that if approved would require the Ninth Circuit to cease using eleven-judge panels to decide en banc cases and instead involve all twenty-plus active judges in hearing and deciding cases en banc.

The combination of these developments causes my mind to ponder Ninth Circuit en banc-related trivia. For example, in the Ninth Circuit, can one eleven-judge en banc panel overrule another eleven-judge en banc panel? What if the first eleven-judge panel rules by a margin of 6-5, but the second panel wishes to reach the opposite result by a margin of 7-4? And is the answer to this question affected by the fact that all non-recused active judges participate in the vote on whether to take a case en banc?

If anyone wishes to share thoughts regarding or, better yet, answers to these questions, please feel free to send them along via email.

Posted at 6:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“No clemency for cross; Council rejects transfer of monument, property”: The San Diego Union-Tribune today contains an article that begins, “The Mount Soledad cross must go, the San Diego City Council said yesterday. The 16-year saga of whether the cross would stay on public land in La Jolla came to an emotional conclusion last night as the council voted 5-3 to reject a last-ditch effort to keep it in place.”

Posted at 5:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Paramedics describe ‘overwhelming’ scene in truck trailer; At driver’s trial, survivor testifies to immigrants screamed for help in hot trailer”: The Houston Chronicle provides this news update.

Posted at 5:20 PM by Howard Bashman

Better late than never? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that “Sen. Heinz’s will to be made public.” And The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports today that “Some Heinz records unsealed.”

The Post-Gazette article notes that a total of five newspapers had originally asked the court to unseal these records, yet all but The Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review “lost interest after Sen. John Kerry lost his bid to be president.”

Posted at 5:10 PM by Howard Bashman

Acceptance of federal funds as a waiver of a State’s Eleventh Amendment immunity: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today posted online its eagerly awaited en banc ruling in Pace vs. Bogalusa City School Board. The court, by a vote of 8-6, held that the State of Louisiana, by accepting federal education funds from 1996 to 1998, validly waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit for violations of § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act statute. As the closely divided nature of the court’s ruling indicates, the correct answer to the question presented is far from clear.

Back in March 2003, a three-judge Fifth Circuit panel issued a decision in the case reaching the opposite result, after which rehearing en banc was granted.

Posted at 2:24 PM by Howard Bashman

“Art Exhibit to Move to Philadelphia as Tempers Flare”: Reuters today offers a lengthy article that begins, “It’s either a last-ditch rescue of a remarkable art collection or an irreparable blow to one of the world’s most unique exhibits. Either way, scarcely anyone outside the art world may have heard of the Barnes Foundation, but a battle over its fate has provoked outrage and left bitterness in its wake.”

Posted at 2:04 PM by Howard Bashman

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth: Online at FindLaw today, Sherry F. Colb has an essay entitled “When Oral Sex Results in a Pregnancy: Can Men Ever Escape Paternity Obligations?

The ruling on which the essay is based issued late last month while I was away on vacation, and thus I’ve been biding my time for an opportunity to link to relevant news coverage.

The Chicago Tribune reported that “Deceptive conception alleged by dad’s suit; Plaintiff says woman saved his semen.”

The Daily Southtown of Tinley Park, Illinois reported that “Sperm theft civil lawsuit reinstated; Court: Woman can be held liable after she inseminated herself after a tryst.”

The New York Daily News reported that “Sperm was gift, sez court.”

And The Associated Press reported that “Court rules man can sue woman for distress over sperm theft.”

I have been unable to locate a copy of last month’s ruling online at the web site of the Appellate Court of Illinois. If anyone else has had better luck finding the decision online, or has access to an electronic copy of the ruling, I’d much appreciate receiving the link or the decision itself via email.

Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“Williams’ recruiter wanted a clear conscience; Testifying for the prosecution, smuggler says he couldn’t prevent 19 migrant deaths”: This article appears today in The Houston Chronicle.

The San Antonio Express-News reports today that “Truck driver called cruelest of cruel.”

And The Los Angeles Times reports that “Driver Said to Be ‘Most Cruel’ in Smuggling Attempt; Prosecution says Tyrone Williams let 19 die in his trailer; The defense says he’s being singled out.”

Posted at 11:34 AM by Howard Bashman

Development of note in appeal challenging decision authorizing the relocation of The Barnes Foundation to Philadelphia: Readers may recall that I am serving as counsel for appellant in an appeal pending before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in which my client is challenging a ruling of the Orphans’ Court of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania that authorizes The Barnes Foundation to relocate from Merion to Philadelphia. Some early press coverage of the appeal can be accessed here (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and here (The Associated Press).

In late January, The Foundation asked the Superior Court to quash or dismiss the appeal, before the appeal was briefed and argued on the merits, based on an asserted lack of appellate jurisdiction. The Foundation’s application to quash or dismiss can be accessed here, my client’s response in opposition here, and The Foundation’s reply here.

Yesterday, the Superior Court entered an order denying the application to quash or dismiss the appeal before briefing and oral argument on the merits. Apparently this development will now be reported on by The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW Newsradio 1060.

Posted at 11:04 AM by Howard Bashman

“Bush Orders Hearings for Mexicans on Death Row; The action, triggered by a World Court ruling, may pit the president against state officials”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Chicago Tribune reports today that “U.S. orders reviews for Mexican inmates; Death Row prisoners claim rights violated.”

The Houston Chronicle contains articles headlined “Bush orders hearings for Mexican nationals; The directive in death row cases sparks challenge from Texas officials” and “Mexico cheers U.S. decision on Texas inmates; Mexican citizens’ death sentences will be reviewed.”

In The Dallas Morning News, Allen Pusey reports that “Mexico welcomes death-row order; Perry aides say Bush administration brief being reviewed.”

And The Austin American-Statesman contains an article headlined “New hearings for 51 condemned Mexican nationals; Bush administration agrees to follow world court ruling on rights of foreign suspects.”

Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justice Kennedy’s Mind: Where the Constitution resides.” Jonah Goldberg has this essay today at National Review Online.

Posted at 9:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“Ex-GOP aide: Democrats derailed hiring; Staffer in spying case says political threats hurt prospects at firm.” The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, “A former top Republican Senate staff member who resigned under pressure last year for spying on his Democratic staff colleagues is now accusing them of threatening partners at a law firm that was considering hiring him — including the firm’s chairman, a prominent Boston attorney — in order to scuttle his job offer.”

Posted at 7:54 AM by Howard Bashman