How Appealing

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Judicial activism for me but not for thee? Does anyone find Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales‘ explanation of his opinion in In re Doe (at page 40 of the PDF file), as set forth in this letter that the Justice Department issued today, to be plausible?

If an appellate judge writes in an opinion that it would be an act of judicial activism to hold X, is not the appellate judge accusing dissenters who would have held X of seeking to engage in judicial activism? Or is the appellate judge merely saying that for him to have held X would have been judicial activism, but for his colleagues in dissent to have held X was perfectly reasonable and not an act of judicial activism? It seems that to ask these questions is to answer them.

Posted at 11:34 PM by Howard Bashman

“Senate continues debating judicial nominees, filibuster”: James Kuhnhenn of Knight Ridder Newspapers provides this report.

The San Jose Mercury News on Friday will report that “Race emerges in Senate judicial battle.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday will contain an article headlined “Despite buildup, debate in Senate seemed like business as usual.” reports that “Nominee Fight Deal Could Come Soon.”

BusinessWeek offers a news analysis headlined “The Senate Brawl May Hit Business; The protracted battle over judicial nominations could exact a heavy toll on Corporate America’s Capitol Hill wish lists.”

And this evening’s broadcast of PBS‘s “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” contained a segment entitled “Senate Battles Over Judges, Filibuster” (transcript with link to audio).

Posted at 11:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Senate’s ‘Gang of 12’ Steps in Where Party Leaders Couldn’t Go”: Friday’s edition of The Washington Post will contain an article that begins, “In a last-ditch effort to avert a collision over judicial nominees, a bipartisan group of senators distanced themselves from Democratic and Republican leaders yesterday to try to strike a compromise certain to anger many colleagues.”

Tomorrow’s newspaper will also contain a front page article headlined “Bipartisan Group Seeks Own Course On Nominees.” And columnist Dana Milbank will have an essay entitled “The Chamber Meets the Force.”

Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Frist resolute on moving to Senate vote”: This article appears in Friday’s edition of Financial Times.

The Omaha World-Herald today contains an article headlined “Nebraskan in midst of flap over filibusters.”

The Associated Press offers reports headlined “Another split between Vitter and Landrieu” and “Lingering political scuffle pulls Boyle into national debate.”

And at the web site of National Public Radio, David Greene has a written essay entitled “The Missing Man in the Filibuster Fight.”

Posted at 8:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“New dealmakers on Capitol Hill; A group of centrist senators are working to avert a showdown over filibustering”: This article will appear in Friday’s edition of The Christian Science Monitor.

This evening’s broadcast of NPR‘s “All Things Considered” contained segments entitled “Senate Showdown Draws Closer” and “Specter Stands at Center of Debate Over Judges” (featuring Nina Totenberg). RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage has an article headlined “Judge Seen as Conservative, Fair; Appeals court nominee Priscilla R. Owen is thorough and careful, colleagues say; Her legal opinions are viewed as favoring business.”

The Sacramento Bee contains an article headlined “Senate judicial battle begins; Filibuster of nominees at stake, and negotiators aim for solution.”

The Boston Herald today contains an editorial entitled “Dems risk it all in wrong battle.”

And today in The San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Debra J. Saunders has an essay entitled “Filibuster or bust.”

Posted at 5:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“Jury Seated In Al-Arian Trial”: The Tampa Tribune provides a news update that begins, “A 12-member jury panel and 10 possible alternates have been identified for the terror-support trial of fired University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian and three codefendents.”

Posted at 4:52 PM by Howard Bashman

“Lawsuit contests rules on turbans”: The Sacramento Bee today contains an article that begins, “The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Wednesday challenging restrictions placed on a Sikh detainee’s right to wear a religious head covering in the Yuba County jail. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, argues that immigration detainee Harpal Singh Cheema’s religious freedoms are being violated by limitations on when and where he can wear a turban.”

Posted at 4:24 PM by Howard Bashman

“The woman at center of the Senate’s fight; Priscilla Owen’s nomination to the federal bench has been scrutinized by Democrats who have balked at some of her rulings in Texas”: Warren Richey will have this article in Friday’s edition of The Christian Science Monitor.

Tom Curry, national affairs writer for MSNBC, provides reports headlined “Why the battle over filibusters? The courts are at stake as Democrats try to block confirmation votes on several nominees” and “Filibuster foes argue over ’68 Fortas precedent: Historians say delaying tactics killed chief justice nomination; differences abound between then and now.” reports that “Deal would allow vote on 5 Bush judicial picks; Proposal leaves filibuster for ‘extraordinary circumstances.’” And also offers an item headlined “Toobin: Senate scrap really about Supreme Court.”

Bloomberg News reports that “Bush May Risk Court Deadlock With Unpopular Choice.”

And The Economist magazine offers an article headlined “The battle over the judges; Armageddon for the Senate.”

Posted at 3:30 PM by Howard Bashman

Three-judge Ninth Circuit panel appears determined to resolve whether the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 is unconstitutional: Yesterday, the panel issued an order, which I have uploaded here, requesting supplemental briefing and notifying the Attorney General of the United States that the statute’s constitutionality has been called into question.

I first reported on this case in a post you can access here, and I linked to the audiotape of oral argument here. Yesterday’s order contemplates the possibility of panel reargument and also invites interested amici to request leave to file briefs.

Posted at 12:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“The nuclear option: Game on! Bill Frist fires the first shot as moderates scramble to avert ‘mutually assured destruction.'” Tim Grieve has this essay online today at

And at National Review Online today, Byron York has an essay entitled “‘Extreme’ Becomes ‘Extraordinary’: Semantics in the Senate filibuster talks.” Jeffrey Lord has an essay entitled “Rigging the Borking Game: The Left is ready for hardball.” And Edward Whelan has an essay entitled “An Unoriginal Argument: Opponents of originalism skirt the real debate.”

Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“When You Refuse to Consent to a Police Search, Can Your Spouse Override That Refusal? The U.S. Supreme Court Takes An Important Fourth Amendment Case.” Yesterday, FindLaw posted online this essay by commentator Sherry F. Colb.

Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman

Bork to be Shermaned: Today in Washington, DC, “Judge Robert H. Bork will receive the John Sherman Award from the Antitrust Division for his lifetime contributions to the teaching and enforcement of antitrust law and the development of antitrust policy.” The U.S. Department of Justice has issued this press release announcing this year’s recipient of the award.

Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“Top Court Vacancy Behind Filibuster Fight”: Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press provides this report.

The New York Times today contains an article headlined “On One Side, Women and Blacks; on the Other, the Same.”

In commentary, The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an editorial entitled “Filibuster: U.S. Senate acting like the House!

The Boston Globe contains an op-ed by Law Professor Charles Fried entitled “Demagoguing the filibuster debate.”

The Washington Post contains an op-ed by columnist David S. Broder entitled “Nuclear Cloud Over The Senate,” while columnist Dana Milbank has an essay entitled “The Killer Instinct.” Also, editorial cartoonist Tom Toles has this related cartoon today.

The New York Times contains an op-chart by Sarah Binder, Forrest Maltzman, and Alan Murphy entitled “History’s Verdict.”

In The Detroit News, columnist George Weeks has an op-ed entitled “Saad personifies troubled confirmation process.”

In The Chicago Tribune, columnist Steve Chapman has an op-ed entitled “Democracy and the temptations of power.”

In The Cincinnati Enquirer, Peter Bronson has an essay entitled “Filibuster fight reflects anti-Christian bigotry.”

In The Arizona Republic, columnist E.J. Montini has an op-ed entitled “Franks’ foolish filibuster bluster won’t pass muster.”

And in The Kennebec (Me.) Journal, Jim Brunelle has an op-ed entitled “Who needs filibusters? They are arcane, outdated and should be unneeded.”

Posted at 9:50 AM by Howard Bashman

On today’s broadcast of NPR‘s “Morning Edition” and other “nuclear option” coverage from public radio: Today’s broadcast of “Morning Edition” contained segments entitled “Senate Heads Toward Filibuster Showdown“; “Robert Bork’s Legacy on the Filibuster Debate” (featuring Nina Totenberg); “Los Alamos National Lab Blog Draws Ire on Hill“; and “I Blog, I Said: Writing Amid the Rabble.”

Yesterday’s broadcast of “Here and Now” contained a segment entitled “Filibuster Fight.”

And yesterday’s broadcast of “On Point” contained a segment entitled “Mainstream Legal Values.” Participating in this segment were Maura Reynolds, Congressional reporter for The Los Angeles Times; Jonathan Turley, law professor at George Washington University; Douglas Kmiec, law professor at Pepperdine University; and Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst, senior editor for The Atlantic Monthly.

Posted at 9:45 AM by Howard Bashman

“Filibuster Face-Off Begins; Start of Senate debate on a nominee has weighty implications for the federal judiciary”: The Los Angeles Times contains this article today, along with a news analysis headlined “Judicial Slugfest Likely to Bruise Lawmakers’ Image Further.”

The New York Times reports today that “Fight on Judges and Filibusters Opens in Senate.”

The Washington Post contains articles headlined “Gloves Off As Senators Start Debate On Judges; Fiery Words on Filibusters, But Also Talks on a Deal” and “From Senator’s 2003 Outburst, GOP Hatched ‘Nuclear Option.’

The Chicago Tribune reports that “Neither side blinks as Senate starts debate.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “Senate hearings halted in hint of battle to come; Debate over filibusters begins as GOP pushes contested judges, Democrats resist.”

The Baltimore Sun contains articles headlined “Senate starts move toward showdown over filibuster rules; Republicans seek ban on use for judicial votes; Work on compromise continues“; “White House holds back in the battle over judicial nominees; Senate showdown could affect domestic policy, success of second term“; and “Nominees caught in crossfire.”

The Boston Globe contains an article headlined “Face-off over filibuster; Vote urged on nominees as compromise sought.”

Newsday reports that “On Senate floor, the battle is on; GOP, Democrats trade accusations over Bush’s nominees for judgeships as the ‘nuclear option’ nears.”

The Houston Chronicle reports that “Senate duels over Owen’s record; Many still hope to avoid showdown on Dem filibusters.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Fight begins on Bush judges.”

USA Today reports that “Senators duke it out over judicial filibusters; ‘We’re making progress’ toward an agreement, says GOP’s McCain.”

The Washington Times contains an article headlined “‘Hour of decision’ on judicial picks.”

In The New York Sun, Luiza Ch. Savage reports that “Senate Begins a Showdown Over Judges.”

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that “Reid blasts ‘radical right’ in teleconference speech.”

The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina reports that “Senate digs in on judge fight; Frist threatens to jettison the filibuster option unless Senate agrees to an up-or-down vote on nominee Priscilla Owen.”

The St. Petersburg Times reports that “Specter is reason amid the rancor; Republican Arlen Specter tells both sides to put aside partisanship and work for a filibuster compromise.”

The New York Post reports that “Frist bids to bust filibuster.”

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that “U.S. Senate heads for showdown; Procedural debate over judicial nominees viewed as latest battle in ‘cultural war.’

The Billings Gazette reports that “Baucus, Burns split over filibuster issue.”

The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction, Colorado reports that “Colorado senators want votes on judges without losing filibuster.”

And The Daily Pennsylvanian contains articles headlined “Princetonians filibuster in D.C.” and “Princeton filibuster effort spurs copy at Penn.”

The Anchorage Daily News contains an editorial entitled “Sensible course: Sen. Murkowski feels the heat but should stick to compromise.”

The Austin American-Statesman contains an editorial entitled “Avoiding a political mushroom cloud over a Texas judge.”

The Washington Times contains an editorial entitled “No Republican compromise” and an op-ed by Bob Dole entitled “A unique case of obstruction.”

The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky contains an editorial entitled “Don’t go nuclear.”

The Philadelphia Daily News contains an editorial entitled “Round one in the nuclear war; Rule change will hurt Senate.”

And The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia contains an editorial entitled “Abuse and contempt; Here’s hoping Sen. Warner votes to stop Senate Democrats’ abuse of the filibuster.”

Posted at 7:04 AM by Howard Bashman

“Protect our judges, Lefkow implores; ‘I’m doing it for my fellow judges, so that no one else will have to suffer what we have suffered’; Deaths were family’s ‘9/11,’ senators told”: This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that “Lefkow blasts anti-judge rhetoric.”

The Peoria Journal Star contains an article headlined “Lefkow: Protect judges; Jurist whose family members were murdered urges an end to harsh words that can lead to violence.”

And Joan Biskupic of USA Today reports that “Judge whose family was slain urges Senate to boost security for courts.”

Posted at 6:45 AM by Howard Bashman