How Appealing

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

“Fight over judges heats up in Senate; Specter ‘hopeful’ of deal as debate starts on disputed nominee”: provides this report. reports that “Moderate Senators Seek Filibuster Deal.”

Newsday offers an update headlined “Senate opens talks on judicial nominees.”

Thursday’s edition of The Dallas Morning News will contain an article headlined “Will filibuster feud open a lasting fissure? As parties battle over judicial nominations, some feel tremors in the political landscape.”

Thursday’s edition of The Baltimore Sun will report that “White House holds back in the battle over judicial nominees; Senate showdown could affect domestic policy, success of second term.”

Thursday’s edition of The New York Times will report that “Pressure by White House Is Being Applied With Care.”

The McClatchy Newspapers report that “Senate begins debate on judges, filibuster.”

Thursday’s edition of The Guardian (UK) reports that “Senate showdown on judicial posts begins.”

And reports that “Senate One Step Closer to Going Nuclear.”

Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court Split Over Death Penalty Method”: Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “The Supreme Court’s latest clash over the death penalty involves the lethal chemical cocktail used by many states and whether it is an unnecessarily cruel way to die.”

Posted at 8:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“Senate battle begins on judicial nomination; Democrat leader throws first monkey wrench to delay business”: Tom Curry, national affairs writer for MSNBC, provides this report.

James Kuhnhenn of Knight Ridder Newspapers reports that “Senate prepares for possible demise of filibuster.”

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined “Senate Leaders Spar Over Judicial Nominees.”

And Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press reports that “Talks to Head Off Filibuster Showdown Fail.”

Posted at 8:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Senate Showdown: The Senate began debate Wednesday over controversial judicial nominee Priscilla Owen, bringing closer the potential showdown over the use of the filibuster.” This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on this evening’s broadcast of the PBS program “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”

Posted at 8:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“Nuclear option”-related video available online from C-SPAN: From today’s broadcast of “Washington Journal,” you can access segments featuring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT); Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Kathy Kiely, Washington Correspondent, USA Today; Michael Carvin, Fmr. Dpty. Asst. Atty. Gen., Reagan Administration; and Sarah Binder, Co-Author, “Politics or Principle?”

And from yesterday, you can view press briefings delivered by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

RealPlayer is required to launch these video segments.

Posted at 4:24 PM by Howard Bashman

Perhaps this Vermonter should title his car in Washington State: Over the past several weeks, I have linked to articles published in The Rutland Herald reporting on a Vermont resident’s efforts to obtain a vanity license plate bearing the text “JOHN316.” The articles are headlined “State: Plate no place for religion” and “Ownership at issue in plate flap.”

Today, The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington contains an article headlined “State says ‘JOHN3:16’ plate’s OK.”

Posted at 2:28 PM by Howard Bashman

“Are four Justices ready to grant cert. on the constitutionality of lethal injection protocols?” Law Professor Douglas A. Berman has this post online at his “Sentencing Law and Policy” blog.

Posted at 2:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Senate row provokes historic vote; A historic confrontation billed as the most important political fight of US President George W Bush’s second term is ready to come to a head”: BBC News provides this report. reports that “Debate Starts on Owen Nomination.”

Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press reports that “Senate Takes Up Debate on Bush Judge.”

Bloomberg News reports that “U.S. Senate Begins Countdown on Bush Judicial Choices.”

And National Review Online has posted an editorial entitled “Voting for Democracy.”

Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judges Plead for Improved Judicial Security”: The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has issued this news release today.

The news release provides links to the prepared testimony delivered at today’s hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee by U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow of the Northern District of Illinois (here); Third Circuit Judge Jane R. Roth (here); and Chief Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba of the District of Utah (here).

As I noted here earlier this morning, Judge Lefkow’s testimony included the following request:

I urge your support for legislation that prohibits the posting of personal information about judges and other public officials on the Internet without written consent.

To make this proposal more concrete, assume the enactment of a federal law that prohibited the posting online, without a federal judge’s consent, the home address of a federal judge. Would such a law run afoul of the First Amendment?

Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Activists Pressure Both Sides in Judge Debate; Conservative and liberal groups frown on efforts to make a deal to avert a filibuster showdown”: This news analysis appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Hill today contains articles headlined “Bush, Frist split on judges” and “Texas judge will take precedence.”

And Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has an article headlined “2 women at the heart of debate.”

In commentary, The Denver Post today contains an editorial entitled “Let the cooler heads prevail.”

The Portland (Me.) Press Herald contains an editorial entitled “Judicial nominee standoff a symptom of the problem.”

The Mobile Register contains an editorial entitled “Onus is on Senate Dems.”

The Huntsville Times contains an editorial entitled “Power & moderation” and an op-ed by J. Elbert Peters entitled “An up-or-down vote.”

The Forum of Fargo, North Dakota contains an editorial entitled “Judicial filibuster is an abuse.”

The Decatur (Ala.) Daily contains an editorial entitled “Filibuster rule testing U.S. Senate’s leadership.”

Investor’s Business Daily contains an editorial entitled “Don’t Mess With Texas: The Filibuster Fight.”

The Gainesville Sun contains an editorial entitled “On the abyss.”

The Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News contains an editorial entitled “Gander complains about sauce.”

Yesterday, The Times Argus of Barre, Vermont contains an editorial entitled “Minority musings.”

In The Baltimore Sun today, Law Professor Herman Schwartz has an op-ed entitled “Keep hurdles for judges high.”

In The Washington Times, Steffen N. Johnson has an op-ed entitled “How filibusters drain quality.”

On Monday, The Village Voice posted online an essay by Nat Hentoff entitled “New York Times v. Janice Rogers Brown: Black woman nominated to a high federal appellate court is still scandalized.”

In The Houston Chronicle today, columnist Cragg Hines has an essay entitled “When White House allure outshines everything else.”

Online at Mother Jones, Ira Chernus has an essay entitled “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Nuke ‘Em; The public knows how much is at stake in the filibuster fight, which is one reason the nuclear metaphor won’t go away.”

Finally for now, in The Stanford Daily, columnist Nick Fram has an essay entitled “The Democrats and the filibuster.”

Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman

“State Supreme Court debates sperm donor’s support obligation”: The Associated Press provides a report from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that begins, “A sperm donor who has been paying court-ordered child support for twin boys asked the state Supreme Court on Tuesday to enforce a promise the mother made that he would not have to be involved in their lives.”

Posted at 9:50 AM by Howard Bashman

Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press is reporting: Now available online are articles headlined “Senate Debates Bush’s Judicial Nominee” and “Senate Asked to Condemn Jurist Disrespect.”

At today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Protecting the Judiciary at Home and in the Courthouse,” U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow spoke powerfully about the tragedy her family suffered and improvements needed to better protect the security of federal judges. As The AP’s report notes, in her testimony Judge Lefkow stated that she “also wants legislation to ban putting personal information about judges and other government officials on the Internet without their permission.” I wonder whether such legislation could withstand challenge under the First Amendment.

Posted at 9:40 AM by Howard Bashman

On the agenda: At 8:30 a.m. eastern time today, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing titled “Protecting the Judiciary at Home and in the Courthouse.” Last night, I previewed this hearing in a post you can access here. C-SPAN2 is expected to carry the hearing live, and the committee plans to stream the hearing live over the web at this link (RealPlayer required).

Meanwhile, at 9:30 a.m. today, the full U.S. Senate is scheduled to proceed to Executive Session to begin consideration of the nomination of Priscilla R. Owen to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit. C-SPAN2 will provide live coverage. An actual vote on the so-called “nuclear option” is not expected for several days, but the debate surely will focus not only on Justice Owen but also on the effort to eliminate judicial filibusters.

Posted at 8:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“Moderates Fail to Avert Senate Fight; A deal uniting six senators from each side appears to make no progress as GOP leaders plan to open debate today on Priscilla Owen”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times. The newspaper today also contains an article headlined “ promotes filibusters with ‘Force’; Political action group compares fight over judge confirmations to ‘Star Wars’ battles in TV ad campaign.”

The Houston Chronicle reports that “Owen nomination heads to Senate floor today; Republicans look to take first step toward ending the Dems’ filibusters.”

The Chicago Tribune contains articles headlined “Fuse lit on Senate’s judicial fight; Clash on changing filibuster rules seen as having wider implications” and “And let me say this about that….

The St. Petersburg Times reports that “Judicial showdown finally begins today; Much is at stake as formal debate starts on two nominees to federal appeals courts.”

The San Francisco Chronicle contains an article headlined “Showdown in Senate on judicial filibusters; Republicans want to change the rules, ban tactic used to stall vote on nominees.”

The Baltimore Sun reports that “Frist driving toward Senate rules showdown; Centrists might hold key to compromise in judicial fight.”

The Washington Times contains articles headlined “Nominees head to Senate” and “Memos reveal strategy behind judge filibusters.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains articles headlined “Senate moderates seek deal on filibuster conflict“; “Fallout unclear over Senate move to curb debate on judges“; and “Judges whom Democrats could support, oppose.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that “Some senators seek peace, others a fight on judges; Debate expected to start today on nominee blocked by filibuster.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that “Senators press to find judicial compromise.”

The Boston Globe reports that “Filibuster compromise talks appear to fail; Proposal would allow use under ‘extreme circumstances’ only.”

The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star reports that “Nelson not giving up on Senate proposal.”

The Anchorage Daily News reports that “Murkowski keeps mum; Filibuster: She still hopes for compromise, won’t reveal vote.”

The Oregonian reports that “Political groups seek to sway Smith vote; Despite protests, Oregon’s junior senator says he’ll vote with the GOP to prevent filibusters over judicial appointments.”

The Indianapolis Star reports that “Bayh, Lugar no strangers to filibusters; Indiana’s senators likely will disagree in vote on whether to ban method for judicial nominations.”

In The Philadelphia Inquirer, political analyst Dick Polman has an article headlined “Filibuster fight goes to core of the Senate.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Church Teacher at Center of Senate Fight.”

In commentary, The New York Times contains an editorial entitled “Senator Frist Approaches the Brink.”

The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled “Nuclear Disarmament.”

The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled “Nuke It, Already,” while columnist Patt Morrison has an op-ed entitled “A Mushroom Cloud Hovers Over a Bush Judicial Nominee.”

And finally for now, The Washington Times contains an editorial entitled “Confirm Justice Brown.”

Posted at 6:55 AM by Howard Bashman