How Appealing

Thursday, May 12, 2005

“GOP Senators Back Pryor, Reject a Democratic Deal”: This article will appear Friday in The Washington Post.

Friday’s edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will report that “Judge’s nomination forwarded to Senate; Filibuster on judicial picks a bitter issue.”

The New York Times on Friday will contain articles headlined “Senators Wrangle as Panel Approves Judicial Nominee” and “Republican Moderates in Senate Sense Intensifying Pressures.”

In commentary, The Contra Costa Times today contains an editorial entitled “Filibuster compromise.”

And today in The Oregonian, columnist David Reinhard has an op-ed entitled “Anatomy of a legal smear: Justice Owen.”

Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Appeal planned in same-sex marriage ruling”: The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star provides this news update.

The Associated Press reports that “U.S. Judge Rejects Neb. Gay-Marriage Ban.”

Reuters reports that “Judge strikes down state anti-gay union amendment.”

Opponents of the ruling have issued press releases entitled “Dobson Decries Nebraska Marriage Ruling; Marriage Protection Amendment More Necessary Now Than Ever“; “Judge’s Ruling Reveals the Sham, Says Bauer; Marriage Is in the Crosshairs“; and “Nebraska Judge Nullifies Marriage Protection Amendment.”

Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“Karen Wolfgang and Jason Vagliano, Organizers of Filibuster for Democracy, discuss the possible use of the ‘nuclear option’ in the Senate”: This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this morning’s broadcast of C-SPAN‘s “Washington Journal.”

Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. interrogators accused of trying to divide detainees, attorneys”: Frank Davies of Knight Ridder Newspapers has an article that begins, “American interrogators at the Guantanamo prison camp in Cuba told two Kuwaiti prisoners not to trust their lawyers because they are Jewish and would ‘betray Muslims,’ one of their lawyers charged in an affidavit filed in federal court.”

Posted at 9:12 PM by Howard Bashman

BREAKING NEWS — “Federal judge rules gay marriage ban unconstitutional”: The Omaha World-Herald provides a news update that begins, “U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon struck down Thursday Nebraska’s constitutional provision prohibiting gay marriage or civil unions.” You can access today’s ruling at this link.

Posted at 4:33 PM by Howard Bashman

“On Split Vote, Senate Panel Endorses Appeals Court Nominee”: Neil A. Lewis of The New York Times provides a news update that begins, “The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines today to approve William H. Pryor Jr.’s nomination to a lifetime seat on the federal appeals court after a debate filled with references to a looming showdown over President Bush’s judicial nominees.”

The article concludes with information you can file under the heading “Maybe if you were a tad bit older” — “Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said people from outside the South could not appreciate the significance of some of the actions Mr. Pryor had taken. Senator Graham, who is 50, said he would be proud to have Mr. Pryor as a son. Mr. Pryor is 43.”

Posted at 4:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Partisan Push for Pryor on Judiciary Committee Signals GOP Intention to Muscle Extremists onto Bench”: People For the American Way has issued this press release today.

Posted at 3:20 PM by Howard Bashman

Today’s rulings of note from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit: The First Circuit today has issued three rulings of note.

1. The en banc court issued an order resolving whether it was lawful for a senior First Circuit judge to participate in an en banc decision under the following circumstances. The senior judge sat on a three-judge First Circuit panel that decided the case. The three-judge panel then granted panel rehearing, vacating its earlier decision. Very soon thereafter, before the three-judge panel had reached a new decision, a majority of the active judges voted to hear the case en banc. Under these circumstances, is the senior judge entitled to participate in the en banc proceeding? The en banc court divided 5-1 over the answer to that question in a decision you can access here. [Update: This order comes in the case in which Puerto Rico residents seek the right to vote in U.S. Presidential elections. The original three-judge panel ruling, vacated on the grant of panel rehearing, is available here.]

2. A separate decision examines whether, in a criminal prosecution governed by the Federal Death Penalty Act, a federal district judge at the outset of a trial may empanel two separate juries: one to determine guilt and the other, totally different in composition, to determine whether to impose the death penalty. Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya wrote the opinion on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.

3. Finally, the First Circuit today issued an opinion that begins, “On July 14, 2003, Rhode Island State Police executed a search warrant and confiscated inventory at a smoke shop (‘the Smoke Shop’) located on Narragansett tribal land. An altercation ensued between members of the Narragansett Indian Tribe (‘the Tribe’ or ‘the Narragansetts’) and several State police officers, resulting in the arrest of eight tribal members, including the Chief Sachem of the Tribe.” And the opinion concludes, “For these reasons, we hold that the State violated the Tribe’s sovereign rights when it enforced the criminal provisions of its cigarette tax laws by executing a search warrant against the Tribal government’s Smoke Shop, forcibly entering the Shop and seizing the Tribe’s stock of unstamped cigarettes, and arresting tribal officials who were acting in their official capacity.”

Posted at 3:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Do GOP centrists have clout — or just notoriety? Bolton, filibusters put Voinovich and other GOP moderates in spotlight.” Tom Curry, national affairs writer for MSNBC, provides this report.

Posted at 2:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“Panel Approves Nomination On Party-Line Vote; Leahy Opposes Pryor Nomination”: U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), ranking Democratic member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has issued this statement today.

The article reports that “Reid, in his offer, promised that Democrats would not filibuster the nominations of Michigan nominees Richard Griffin, David McKeague and Susan Neilson to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals if Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., calls for a vote on them instead of pushing his plan to ban judicial filibusters.”

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), in his statement delivered early this afternoon on the floor of the U.S. Senate, also said that Democrats planned to continue to filibuster Sixth Circuit nominee Henry W. Saad, due to reasons disclosed in Judge Saad’s confidential FBI report.

Posted at 2:04 PM by Howard Bashman

National Review Online launches the “Bench Memos” blog devoted to the subject of judicial confirmations: You can access this new blog at this link.

Posted at 2:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Federal judge nixes S.C. Internet law”: The Associated Press reports here that “A federal judge has tossed South Carolina’s law barring distribution of sexually explicit pictures to minors over the Internet, ruling it violates the First Amendment and Congress’ authority over interstate commerce.”

Posted at 1:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“A Flurry Of Last-Minute Appeals; Courts Work Overtime On Legal Maneuvers”: Lynne Tuohy of The Hartford Courant today has an article that begins, “With Connecticut less than 24 hours away from its first execution in nearly 45 years, legal challenges that could derail the execution of serial killer Michael Ross remained undecided this morning and are certain to be appealed.”

And The Day of New London, Connecticut today contains an article headlined “Many Questions, Few Simple Answers In Michael Ross Case; Killer’s Legal Battleground 20 Years In The Making.”

The Associated Press, meanwhile, provides an update headlined “Federal Court Rejects Last-Minute Bid To Stop Execution.”

Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman

Will the Ninth Circuit hold that the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 is unconstitutional? You can access the audio of yesterday’s oral argument before a three-judge panel in Irons v. Carey via this link (Windows Media). I first noted the case here.

Posted at 12:21 PM by Howard Bashman

“Showdown Expected Over Pryor Nomination”: The Associated Press reports here that “Republican senators sent acting U.S. Appeals Judge William Pryor’s nomination for a permanent judgeship to the Senate Thursday, setting up a showdown with Democrats over President Bush’s four most controversial judicial nominees. The GOP-controlled panel approved Pryor on a 10-8 vote, with all Republicans supporting him and all Democrats opposing him.” The article also reports that “Votes on North Carolina judge Terrence Boyle and White House staff secretary Brett Kavanaugh, who also want lifetime seats on the U.S. Appeals Court, were delayed by the committee.”

And in other coverage, Bloomberg News reports that “U.S. Senate Panel Backs Pryor; Filibuster Test Is Due.”

Posted at 12:12 PM by Howard Bashman

Access online the petition for writ of certiorari that attorney Floyd Abrams filed Monday on behalf of New York Times reporter Judith Miller: I have uploaded a copy of the cert. petition at this link. This post of mine from last night provides a link to the cert. petition filed on behalf of Matthew Cooper and Time Inc.

Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“GOP Seeks More Curbs On Courts; Sensenbrenner Proposes An Inspector General”: The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, “With conservative anger at the judiciary peaking, House Republican leaders plan to use budgetary, oversight and disciplinary authority to assert greater control over the federal courts before next year’s elections.”

Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman

Don’t miss the inaugural issue of the Seton Hall Circuit Review: You can access the table of contents here, and all of the articles appear to be available online.

Third Circuit Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr.‘s “Foreword” to the inaugural issue begins, “I congratulate the Seton Hall Circuit Review on its inaugural issue. It will come as no surprise that a court of appeals judge welcomes the arrival of a new journal devoted to the study of the courts of appeals, but there are sound reasons to applaud this new publication.”

Among other things, the inaugural issue has an article arguing that the Ninth Circuit‘s reversal rate in the U.S. Supreme Court isn’t so bad (using a methodology that I’ve been known to apply to assess the Third Circuit’s performance, see here, here, here, and here). The issue also contains an interesting article about citing non-precedential decisions.

Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“Italy court makes impotent ex-husband pay damages”: Reuters reports here that “An impotent Italian man who kept his problem a secret from his wife until after their wedding must pay her damages for ‘eroding’ her right to have a family, Italy’s Supreme Court has ruled.”

Posted at 10:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“Woman wants to keep her conviction; She fears more serious charges if her sentence is vacated”: The Daily Herald of Everett, Washington today contains an article that begins, “Marygrace Fajarillo stood in front of a judge Tuesday and said she wanted to be convicted of a nonexistent crime.”

Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman