How Appealing

Saturday, May 7, 2005

“Senate’s Partisan Showdown Has Legs”: Sunday’s edition of The Los Angeles Times will contain a news analysis that begins, “Welcome to May Madness, Washington style. The Senate is careening toward a showdown over federal judges that poses enormous political risks for both Republicans and Democrats. But neither side seems willing or able to stop it.”

Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman

“Ending the Senate Impasse”: Sunday’s edition of The Washington Post will contain an editorial that begins, “We believe that presidents are generally entitled to deference in judicial nominations and that their nominees are generally entitled to up-or-down votes. So we ought to support the Republicans’ detonation of the ‘nuclear option’ when the Senate returns from recess this week, right? Well, not exactly.” The editorial concludes with an interesting proposal — if the parties are unable to reach a compromise now, the U.S. Senate should consider a “nuclear option” rule change that would take effect in January 2009, after a new President is in office and two additional Senate election cycles have occurred.

Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman

Interesting developments regarding federal judges’ service on the board of Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment: On Friday, The Washington Post contained an article headlined “Judge Ends Ethics Case By Leaving Foundation; Appearance of Partiality Is at Issue” that begins, “A federal judge in Maryland has ended an ethics complaint against him by resigning from the board of a corporate-funded group that opposes environmental regulation and provides free seminars and trips to judges.”

The article predicted that the resignation by U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis would put pressure on three federal appellate judges on the organization’s board to resign. Those three appellate judges are D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, Sixth Circuit Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs, and Third Circuit Judge Jane R. Roth.

Today, The Washington Post contains an article headlined “Judges to Leave Environmental Group’s Board” that begins, “Two federal appeals court judges in Washington resigned yesterday from the board of an organization that opposes environmental regulations, ending an ethics controversy surrounding their roles. Chief Circuit Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington and Judge Jane R. Roth of the Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit announced their resignations yesterday, according to a news release posted on the organization’s Web site.”

And The Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle reports today that “Judges resign from FREE board.”

Community Rights Counsel has made available online copies of its ethics complaints against Chief Judge Ginsburg; Chief Judge Boggs; Judge Roth; and Judge Davis. The complaints against Chief Judges Ginsburg and Boggs had been transferred to Eighth Circuit Chief Judge James B. Loken, who will serve as acting Chief Judge of the transferror circuits in considering the ethics complaints.

Finally, the order that Fourth Circuit Chief Judge William W. Wilkins issued on Thursday dismissing the ethics complaint against Judge Davis, in light of Judge Davis’s resignation from FREE, can be viewed at this link.

Posted at 9:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Appeals Court Backs Dismissal of Suit on F.B.I.” The New York Times today contains this article reporting on yesteray’s not-for-publication ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

In reaction to the ruling, the ACLU yesterday issued a press release entitled “Appeals Court, Without Opinion, Affirms Dismissal of Sibel Edmonds’ Case; Court Allows Government to Use Secrecy to Avoid Accountability.”

The ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the reasoning of which the D.C. Circuit adopts in affirming, can be accessed here.

Posted at 8:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court Rejects Anti-Piracy Regulation; The FCC overstepped its authority in ordering a deterrent system in new video devices, judges say”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 4:24 PM by Howard Bashman

“Reid blasts Hatch, tries to reassure Utah Dems”: This article appears today in The Salt Lake Tribune.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains an article headlined “Reid calls Bush ‘a loser’; Comment draws sharp rebuke from GOP; senator admits afterward he crossed line, apologizes.”

The Mobile Register contains an article that begins, “U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions admits it now. In the late 1990s, he strove to keep federal appeals court nominee Richard Paez of California from getting a confirmation vote on the Senate floor. But rather than resort to a filibuster, the blocking tactic that more than 40 Democrats have publicly used to keep Mobile native Bill Pryor off the bench, Sessions turned to a secretive maneuver known as a ‘hold’ that allows just one senator to stall a nomination. Although Paez was eventually confirmed, the process took more than four years, one of the longest continuous waits in congressional history.”

The Cincinnati Post reports that “Chabot is joining the fight.”

The North Platte (Neb.) Telegraph contains an article headlined “Filibuster is an important tool.”

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner contains an article headlined “Murkowski dines with soldiers’ spouses” in which both judicial filibusters and the so-called “nuclear option” are mentioned.

The Naples Daily News contains an op-ed by Star Parker entitled “The Senate should go nuclear: Democratic use of filibuster is a distortion of good government.”

Finally for now, in tomorrow’s edition of The Washington Post, Lincoln Caplan will have an essay entitled “This Fight’s About More Than Judgeships” that mentions my “20 questions for the appellate judge” interview with Eleventh Circuit Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr.

Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman