How Appealing

Sunday, April 10, 2005

On this date in “How Appealing” history: As noted here, I spent most of April 10, 2003 visiting an appellate client in prison. On my return to the keyboard later that day, in a post titled “Victory for the free speech rights of college journalists,” I noted a ruling that a three-judge Seventh Circuit panel issued that day. As noted here, on January 8, 2004, the case was reargued en banc before the Seventh Circuit. Uncharacteristically, that court has yet to issue its en banc ruling.

One year ago today, I had a Justice Antonin Scalia-related post titled “Duck-gate, meet tape recording-gate.” And those who prefer their federal legislation laced with obscenities were in luck that day, as I linked to this bill. Speaking of which, that day I also linked to “a picture of John Ashcroft’s face, made entirely of little porn people.”

Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“No Issue Is Too Obscure For a Political TV Ad Campaign”: Monday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal will contain an article (free access) that begins, “Senate filibusters? United Nations ambassador-nominees? Ad campaigns on topics that are typically fodder only for political junkies glued to C-SPAN are making the leap to mainstream television.”

Posted at 11:35 PM by Howard Bashman

Available online at — are six Justice Antonin Scalias better than one? “How Appealing” reader Farhad Manjoo has an essay, bearing tomorrow’s date, entitled “Here comes the Scalias: The religious right may have lost its battle over Terri Schiavo, but its war against ‘liberal judges’ has just begun.”

Michelle Goldberg has an article entitled “In theocracy they trust: Christian right leaders denounced separation of church and state and prayed for a judge’s deliverance to Satan; And their Capitol Hill allies were right there with them.” The link to the second page of this article asks “Does Anthony Kennedy need bodyguards?”

Finally, here’s Tom Tomorrow’s take on the situation.

Posted at 11:32 PM by Howard Bashman

“A Political Tornado in Kansas” Phill Kline, the state’s attorney general, often preaches from pulpits as he pushes a conservative agenda; Critics say he’s overstepped his bounds.” Monday’s edition of The Los Angeles Times will contain this front page article.

Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Dismiss DeLay threats”: This editorial will appear Monday in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Times Herald-Record of Middletown, New York today contains an editorial entitled “Attacking judges: Religious extremists have hijacked the Republican Party.”

Today in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Linda P. Campbell has an essay entitled “Cornyn’s remarks about courts? Objection!

In The Roanoke Times, an unidentified columnist has an essay entitled “Alarming and ugly intimidation against judges.”

And in The Nashua Telegraph, John Hall has an essay entitled “Schiavo case emboldened first-term senators.”

Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Filibuster Fight a Crucial Test of Frist’s Leadership”: On Friday, Richard Lessner had this essay at Human Events Online.

Posted at 10:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“Moving On, Looking Back”: The April 18, 2005 issue of U.S. News & World Report will contain this article noting the forthcoming tenth anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman

Bobblehead Scalia and the never-ending search for marital bliss: A judicial law clerk on a U.S. Court of Appeals emails, in response to my recent link to Tony Mauro’s article on The Green Bag‘s forthcoming distribution of Justice Antonin Scalia bobblehead dolls:

Characters: “Young, Debt-Laden Clerk” (YDLC) and “Mrs. Young, Debt-Laden Clerk” (MYDLC).

YDLC: So I ask my wife, “Now that we’re getting the Scalia bobblehead doll, we’ve got to ask: Do we keep it or sell it?”

MYDLC: “Sell it? Who would buy it?”

YDLC: “People. On eBay. Maybe even for a couple hundred bucks.”

MYDLC: “What??? A couple hundred bucks? What’s it made of?

YDLC: “Mostly bobble.”

MYDLC: “Yes, we’re selling it. If you kept it, I wouldn’t even be able to LOOK at it knowing it cost us hundreds of dollars.”

YDLC: “So what you’re saying is, I shouldn’t have told you about it?”

MYDLC: “No, I’m telling you that if you hadn’t told me, I would have found out someday and absolutely killed you.”

All I can hope is that a link to the eBay auction will be forwarded to me when the item is posted for sale. I can’t help but think that the passion so many feel toward Justice Scalia will make his bobblehead doll the most expensive yet on the open market.

Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman

Sorry, but many “How Appealing” readers don’t want more links to “The Volokh Conspiracy” and fewer links to Linda Greenhouse and Hope Yen: Many readers have responded to an email that I posted here the other day suggesting changes to this blog. Here are some of the more notable responses.

An appellate attorney based in Washington, DC emails:

I thought you were gracious in posting the law student’s comment. I thought it would be helpful for you to hear a somewhat contrasting view. I share the sense that your commentary and analysis of decisions is balanced and insightful — to my mind, the more of that the merrier. But I don’t think it’s accurate to suggest that other things on your blog — in particular, the news story links — are less than extremely valuable. The blog is a singular resource in many ways, including that one. I know that it takes a phenomenal amount of time, and How Appealing is the one-stop place for those materials. (I’m sure I look at it at least a half-dozen times in a day.) I can’t imagine how much more time it would take for you to read each article in detail and make evaluative choices about to what to link. In my view, if a reader is interested in a subject, s/he will read the relevant article — if not, s/he will pass it by.

A journalist emails:

As a member of the popular press, I enjoyed the posting from “a law student at top 20 law school.” Was it really unsigned? You can narrow your search by concentrating on people who cannot spell…

As for the person’s complaints, for my part, I think it’s more useful to have an excess of viewpoints rather than depend on someone else to do the sifting. As i told you the other day, my instincts pegged you as leaning to the right, but I think you do a fabulous job of giving voice to both sides. The person who wrote this note obviously would be happier to get only the perspective that fits his/her political viewpoint. I do get tired of people slamming the press when there is so much media available. If you dont like the Associated Press or The Washington Post, then don’t read them. People forget the role they play as consumers. Nothing is shoved down people’s throats anymore and everyone has an agenda. Would these critics prefer to have less choice? I doubt it.

A reader who presumably isn’t from Akron, Ohio emails:

I come to the site to for an overview of what is happening in the legal world – good, bad, and ugly. While I may not necessarily agree with what one side is putting out (or even read it), I like having a centralized place where I can find it. While I sympathize with your reader’s time constraints having graduated not too recently, I question how much time he would actually save if you adopted his suggestions. The titles of the entries make it fairly clear what is being linked to and where, so in effect we are talking about the time it takes him to read the title. After a quick experiment, I find it takes around 2 seconds to skim an entry and determine if I want to proceed. If you had 100 entries in a day, and cut them in half, he would save roughly two minutes. I suspect his actual grievance is not the amount of time he spends reading superfluous entry titles, but is instead the marginal benefit he gets from the time he invests, which takes into account other non-time based factors.

Recently I too had some concerns about content, except they were related to overkill, i.e., I have very little interest in what Akron thinks about….well, anything, especially when I can read what eight other newspapers are reporting, but then I became too worried about what would be omitted. Then I became too worried about getting my work done and stopped worrying about it.

I sincerely thank everyone who took the time to email on this subject.

Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“He blew Title IX whistle; Basketball coach says he wanted better for his daughters”: Yesterday’s issue of The Decatur (Ala.) Daily contained this article.

Posted at 9:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“History Makes a Case for State Court of Appeal; Brought into existence 100 years ago to help reduce a Supreme Court backlog, the system has expanded along with California itself”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 8:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“Body of Man in Judge Family Slay Unclaimed”: The Associated Press reports here that “No family members could be found to claim the body of a man who confessed to killing the husband and mother of a federal judge in Chicago in a suicide note, authorities said Saturday.”

Posted at 8:32 PM by Howard Bashman

“Grazin’ Hell: Bush put former industry lobbyists in charge of public lands; Now a deal with a Wyoming rancher has the stewards running for cover.” The current issue of Denver’s Westword periodical contains a lengthy article that begins, “Taking the oath of office can be a solemn moment in the life of a public servant. For William G. Myers III, a longtime lobbyist for grazing and mining interests, the occasion was an excuse for a corporate bash.”

Posted at 7:50 PM by Howard Bashman

In today’s edition of The San Francisco Chronicle: The newspaper contains an article headlined “Pendulum begins swing away from death penalty; ‘Culture of life’ agenda pushes advocates of capital punishment to rethink positions.”

And in other news, “An odd twist for an ex-dominatrix; S&M specialist-turned-bureaucrat says she endured harassment from her superior — a former client.” According to the article, the two worked together at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Posted at 7:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Law students enjoy supreme opportunity; Clinic lets them work on arguments for cases heard by U.S. High Court”: This article appears today in The San Jose Mercury News.

Posted at 7:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justice for Life? The case for Supreme Court term limits.” OpinionJournal has today posted online this op-ed by Steven G. Calabresi and James Lindgren, originally published Friday in The Wall Street Journal.

Posted at 4:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Transcript: Sens. Cornyn, Schumer Talk Judiciary.” provides this transcript excerpt from today’s broadcast of “FOX News Sunday.”

The complete transcript from today’s broadcast of the CBS News program “Face The Nation” — on which Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and John McCain (R-AZ) discussed the subject of judicial filibusters and the so-called “nuclear option” — can be accessed here.

And The New York Times provides a news update headlined “Democrats Criticize Republican Moves to Ban Filibuster.”

Posted at 3:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“Bills would shield schools from church-state disputes”: This article appeared yesterday in The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Posted at 9:38 AM by Howard Bashman

“The War on Judges”: The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.

The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an editorial entitled “Attacks on Judges: Fomenting mob rule.”

And in Newsday, Law Professor Charles Gardner Geyh has an op-ed entitled “Judges, not pawns: The Schiavo case is the latest in a series where Congress has overstepped and tried to turn the courts into political chess pieces; it’s time for moderates to say enough is enough.”

Posted at 9:24 AM by Howard Bashman

“Lobbyists dig in for fight over filibusters; GOP-backed proposal would clear the way for judicial nominees; High court vacancy is prize”: This article appears today in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, along with an article headlined “Durbin is expected to play key role in looming Senate filibuster battle.”

The Los Angeles Times reports today that “Key Democrat Assails GOP’s Threats to Filibuster; The Senate minority leader says in a radio address that changing rules for judicial picks is ‘about the arrogance of those in power.’

The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi reports that “Cochran, Lott at center of filibuster fight; groups seek to change rules; Ad campaign launched to stop tactics used to block votes.

In The Dallas Morning News, Todd J. Gillman reports that “Hutchison ready to go nuclear on bench nomination.”

In the April 18, 2005 issue of Newsweek, Howard Fineman will have an article headlined “Playing Rope-a-Dope: Harry Reid’s strategy: let the GOP punch itself out.”

The April 18, 2005 issue of Time magazine will contain a newsbrief headlined “Filibuster Face-off: Senate Democrat Harry Reid stands firm against rising G.O.P. pressure.”

The Winston-Salem Journal reported yesterday that “Some question move to change filibuster; GOP frustrated about judicial appointments.”

Newsday today contains an editorial entitled “Robe rage: There’s no good reason for Republicans to go nuclear over the filibuster; Most of Bush’s judicial nominees have won.”

The Oregonian contains an editorial entitled “Nuking the filibuster: The talking-head debate du jour buries serious issues beneath the usual partisanship of Washington, D.C.

Monday’s issue of Investor’s Business Daily will contain an editorial entitled “Obstructing Justice.”

Judicial filibusters are the subject of “The Burning Question” feature today in The Los Angeles Times. Drex Heikes has an essay entitled “Is the Filibuster Doomed?” Swati Pandey has an item headlined “Talked to Death: Some highlights — and lowlights — of the filibuster.” And The LATimes also offers this glossary.

In The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Gerard Shields has an essay entitled “Filibuster issue needs debate.”

In The Kansas City Star, columnist Steve Kraske has an essay entitled “Conservatives may go ballistic over judiciary.”

Yesterday in The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Brian J. Willette had an essay entitled “To serve good of all, judges must win under current rules.”

Posted at 9:00 AM by Howard Bashman