How Appealing

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

“Going Nuclear in the Senate”: Today’s broadcast of the public radio program “The Connection” included this very interesting segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Gail Chaddock, congressional reporter for The Christian Science Monitor; Law Professor Jonathan Turley; and former U.S. Senators John Breaux (D-LA) and Alan Simpson (R-WY).

Wednesday’s edition of USA Today will contain an editorial entitled “Founders’ intentions may be casualty in fight over judges” and an op-ed by C. Boyden Gray entitled “End abuse of filibuster.”

The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina today contains an editorial entitled “Judicious deal: North Carolina’s Terrence Boyle is one of several judicial picks who should be approved by senators in a compromise.”

The Charlotte Observer contains an editorial entitled “Independent judges: Sunday’s rally a reminder of Founding Fathers’ wisdom.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch contains an editorial entitled “Judicial appointments: Faithless filibuster?

The Duluth News Tribune contains an editorial entitled “Bid to ditch filibuster about a century too late; Senate ‘supermajority’ has place in forging bipartisan OK of presidential power.”

The Bangor Daily News contains an editorial entitled “The Filibuster Box.”

The Daily Free Press of Boston University contains an editorial entitled “Dismantling the U.S. Senate.”

Today’s broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show contained judicial filibuster-related segments entitled “Democrats on the Run, Fear Backlash” and “Washington Post ‘Push Up’ Poll.”

The Chicago Tribune yesterday contained an editorial entitled “Democracy and the filibuster.”

The Oregonian yesterday contained an editorial entitled “Preventing one-party rule: The filibuster is a quaint and sometimes-abused tactic, but it plays a valuable role, even on judicial nominations.”

And The Herald News of Northern New Jersey yesterday contained an editorial entitled “Dr. Frist: Or how I learned to love the filibuster.”

Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman

“Ex-Priest’s Sex Conviction Overturned”: The Associated Press reports here that “The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the sexual misconduct conviction of a former priest and elementary school counselor accused of exposing himself in front of three boys in a school bathroom. In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled Missouri’s sexual misconduct statute was unconstitutional and too broad.” You can access today’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Missouri at this link.

Posted at 11:24 PM by Howard Bashman

“Republicans Reject Offer On Judges; Democratic Plan Sought Withdrawal of Some”: This article will appear Wednesday in The Washington Post.

Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman

In Wednesday’s issue of The New York Times: Linda Greenhouse will report that “Justices Limit Gun Law That Bars Possession by Felons.”

An article will report that “Rove and Frist Reject Democrats’ Compromise Over Bush’s Judicial Nominees.”

In other news, “Muslim Cleric Found Guilty In the ‘Virginia Jihad’ Case.”

An article will report that “Florida Expands Right to Use Deadly Force in Self-Defense.”

And in news from Illinois, “Student Is Charged With a Hate Crime.”

Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman

“Americans United Criticizes Judicial Nominee’s Claim That America Is Engaged In A Religious War; Watchdog Group Calls On Senate To Oppose Confirmation Of Janice Rogers Brown”: The organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State issued this press release today.

Posted at 4:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“Security Levels and Manpower Faulted by Federal Judiciary”: The Administrative Office of the United States Courts issued this press release today. Also today, Third Circuit Judge Jane R. Roth, chair of the the Security and Facilities Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, testified before the House Judiciary Committee‘s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. You can access online the text of Judge Roth’s prepared remarks at this link.

Posted at 4:15 PM by Howard Bashman

A clash between the First Amendment and a Pennsylvania statute prohibiting the disclosure of juvenile law enforcement records: Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an opinion that begins:

This case arises from Appellant James L. Bowley’s arrest for allegedly raping a minor while a minor himself, and the subsequent truthful publication of the fact of that arrest by Appellee Uniontown Herald Standard. As a result of the publication, Bowley sued the Herald Standard for a violation of the Pennsylvania statute prohibiting the disclosure of juvenile law enforcement records and for the tort of invasion of privacy. We must now decide whether imposition of civil liability upon the Herald Standard for its actions with regard to Bowley would be consistent with the First Amendment. The District Court held that it would not and granted the Herald Standard’s motion to dismiss. Because we agree that under these facts, the First Amendment provides the Herald Standard with a shield from liability, we will affirm.

You can access the complete ruling at this link.

Posted at 2:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Suspended Lawyer Wins Right To Open Federal-Only Office”: Today in The Legal Intelligencer, Shannon P. Duffy has an article (subscription required) that begins:

If you want to find attorney Robert B. Surrick’s new law office, you’d better be sure of the address because he’s not allowed to hang any signs outside.

That’s the twist in a ruling handed down last week by a federal judge in a lawsuit Surrick filed to challenge a recent ruling by the state Supreme Court that effectively prohibits lawyers from opening an office if they are under suspension – even if they have been readmitted to practice by a federal court.

Surrick is one of three Pennsylvania lawyers in the unusual position of being readmitted to practice in federal court while his Pennsylvania law license is still suspended. The others are Frank Marcone and Robert Simone.

Last year, Surrick grew concerned about his right to a federal practice when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Marcone had violated his suspension by opening a Pennsylvania office to support his practice.

Surrick responded by filing a lawsuit that asked for an injunction barring the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from imposing any discipline on him for doing the same thing.

Now Chief U.S. District Judge James T. Giles has ruled that Surrick is correct and that he must be allowed to open an office to support a federal practice.

You can access the recent ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at this link.

Some may recall that not too long ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit appointed me to argue in support of affirmance of the en banc ruling of a sharply divided U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania imposing a reciprocal disciplinary suspension on Surrick, the brother of a currently-serving E.D. Pa. federal district judge, based on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s earlier suspension of Surrick from the practice of law. My Third Circuit brief and that court’s ruling in favor of the position I was asked to advocate are both available online.

Posted at 2:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Frist chills talk of judges deal; Senate Leader says he’ll insist on up-or-down votes on Bush nominees to the bench”: Tom Curry, national affairs writer for MSNBC, provides this report.

Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“How to Get a Job at the Justice Department: A narrow path leads to the DOJ, as the department seeks only a certain kind of applicant at the highest levels.” provides this report.

Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“Frist Says He’s Not Interested in Deals”: Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press has a report that begins, “Reacting to a Democratic offer in the fight over filibusters, Republican leader Bill Frist said Tuesday he isn’t interested in any deal that fails to ensure Senate confirmation for all of President Bush’s judicial nominees.”

Posted at 11:06 AM by Howard Bashman

“Lott, Nelson Try for Judges Deal”: Roll Call today contains an article (subscription required) that begins, “Sens. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) are racing to round up support for an emerging bipartisan compromise that could avoid a meltdown over judicial filibusters. The plan would pave the way for votes on four nominees in exchange for Republicans’ withdrawing their threat to eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominations, sources said. Republicans would also agree not to pursue votes on the three remaining nominees being filibustered by Democrats — though it is unclear which nominees would be affected.”

Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court opinions in argued cases: The Court issued two opinions in argued cases today.

1. Justice Stephen G. Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court in Small v. United States, No. 03-750. You can access the syllabus here; Justice Breyer’s majority opinion here; Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent here; and the oral argument transcript here. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist did not participate in this 5-3 ruling in a case argued during the Court’s November oral argument session.

2. Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court in Pasquantino v. United States, No. 03-725. You can access the syllabus here; Justice Thomas’s majority opinion here; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion here; and the oral argument transcript here. Chief Justice Rehnquist did take part in this 5-4 ruling in a case argued during the Court’s November oral argument session. The Justices’ division in this case was a bit unusual. Joining Justice Thomas’s majority opinion were Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Anthony M. Kennedy. Joining Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in full was Justice Breyer and joining Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in part were Justices Antonin Scalia and David H. Souter.

In early news coverage, Hope Yen of The Associated Press has reports headlined “Court Rules on Convict Gun Ownership” and “Court: Foreign Tax Cheaters Can Be Tried.” James Vicini of Reuters has reports headlined “US Court: Gun Law Doesn’t Count Foreign Convictions” and “US Top Court: Fraud Law Covers Smuggling Scheme.” And Lyle Denniston at “SCOTUSblog” has a post titled “Two criminal law rulings.”

Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Now, More than Ever: What someone in the GOP Senate caucus needs to tell Republicans about the filibuster vote.” Hugh Hewitt has this essay today online at The Weekly Standard.

Posted at 9:54 AM by Howard Bashman

“Filibuster on the Cross: Why the Christian right would be nuts to eliminate the filibuster.” Timothy Noah has this chatterbox essay online at Slate.

Posted at 9:50 AM by Howard Bashman