How Appealing

Monday, May 23, 2005

In Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times: Linda Greenhouse will have articles headlined “Supreme Court to Tackle Abortion Again After 5 Years“; “Supreme Court Drops Case Ruled on by World Court“; and “In Free-Speech Ruling, Justices Say All Ranchers Must Help Pay for Federal Ads.”

In judicial filibuster-related news, “Bipartisan Group in Senate Averts Judge Showdown“; “Efforts of 2 Respected Elders Bring Senate Back From Brink“; and “A Modest Victory for Bush, but More Tests Lie Ahead.”

And in other news, “Trial Begins in Washington Over Election for Governor.”

Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judges Deal Landowners a Setback; High Court Makes It Harder To Obtain Payment if Laws Diminish Property’s Value”: Jess Bravin will have this article (pass-through link) in Tuesday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Senators Reach Deal to Avert Showdown on Judicial Nominees”: The New York Times provides this news update.

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined “Compromise on Judicial Nominees Is Reached.”

James Kuhnhenn of Knight Ridder Newspapers reports that “Senators strike deal to end showdown over judicial nominees.”

The Hill reports that “Deal heads off nuclear option.” Tomorrow’s edition of The Hill was also going to contain articles headlined “It’s apocalypse now — deal ‘very, very remote’“; “Specter signals ‘yes’ vote“; and “The filibuster saga in the news.”

And you can access online press releases entitled “Dobson Blasts Filibuster ‘Betrayal’“; “Gary Bauer Calls Senate Judicial Deal a ‘Sell Out’“; “Statement of People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas on Senate Compromise Rejecting Nuclear Option“; “Statement of Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron Regarding Deal on Filibusters“; and “Earthjustice: Senate Compromise Preserves Independent Courts, Protects Environment; Anti-environmentalist Myers Remains Blocked.”

Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman

The filibuster-“nuclear option” deal: what does it mean? The deal expressly guarantees up-or-down votes, and thus confirmation, for D.C. Circuit nominee Janice Rogers Brown, Fifth Circuit nominee Priscilla R. Owen, and Eleventh Circuit nominee William H. Pryor, Jr. The deal permits filibusters to continue against Sixth Circuit nominee Henry W. Saad and Ninth Circuit nominee William Gerry Myers III.

Implicit in the deal is that the three other current Sixth Circuit nominees from Michigan — Richard Allen Griffin; David W. McKeague; and Susan Bieke Neilson — will be confirmed. And the deal would even appear to be good news for D.C. Circuit nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh and Fourth Circuit nominee William James Haynes II.

Apparently Judge Saad’s nomination was unlikely to be confirmed in a straight up-or-down vote, making the continued filibuster of his nomination of less consequence. And if liberal Democrats were given their choice of one other nominee to block, I doubt they would have chosen Myers as opposed to Brown, Pryor, or Owen.

On the other hand, the deal is bad news for the White House with respect to U.S. Supreme Court vacancies. Had invocation of the “nuclear option” succeeded, Republicans would have been able to confirm Edith H. Jones or someone like her. Now it appears much more likely that the next Supreme Court nominee will be a nominee with broad, consensus support, such as Michael W. McConnell or John G. Roberts, Jr. Whether this makes any difference in the long run remains to be seen.

Posted at 8:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“Senators Reach Deal on Filibuster; Small Group Reports Compromise To Avoid Showdown Over Judicial Nominees”: The Washington Post provides this news update.

Posted at 8:40 PM by Howard Bashman

Access online the “Memorandum of Understanding on Judicial Nominations” that avoided the so-called “nuclear option” in the U.S. Senate: I have posted a copy online at this link.

Posted at 8:24 PM by Howard Bashman

BREAKING NEWS — “Senators Said to Reach Filibuster Deal”: The Associated Press reports here that “Centrists from both parties reached a compromise Monday night to avoid a showdown on President Bush’s stalled judicial nominees and the Senate’s own filibuster rules, officials from both parties said.”

Posted at 7:41 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court nominee scorned demise of sodomy laws; Says a judge must set personal beliefs aside”: This article appears today in The Lexington Herald-Leader.

Posted at 5:28 PM by Howard Bashman

“UK court bans buying porn videos online”: Reuters reports here that “Britain’s pornographers are breaking the law if they sell adult videos over the Internet or through the mail, the High Court ruled on Monday.”

Posted at 4:24 PM by Howard Bashman

“Frist schedules Senate ‘all-nighter’ on judges; At stake: Bush’s ability to steer the courts in conservative direction.” Tom Curry, national affairs writer for MSNBC, provides this report, along with an article headlined “How veto, filibuster allow
the minority to prevail; Gay rights veto, filibusters and judicial rulings illustrate the power of the outnumbered

And Thomas Ferraro of Reuters reports that “Senate readies for filibuster showdown.”

Posted at 3:15 PM by Howard Bashman

Ninth Circuit holds that the federal government was “substantially justified” in defending the Child Pornography Prevention Act against constitutional attack: As a result, the appellate court today overturned a federal district court’s award of attorneys’ fees to the Free Speech Coalition under the Equal Access to Justice Act for having prevailed in its challenge to the constitutionality of that federal law. You can access the Ninth Circuit‘s ruling at this link.

Although the plaintiffs as a result of today’s ruling cannot recover real attorneys’ fees, they remain able to pursue virtual attorneys’ fees.

Posted at 3:10 PM by Howard Bashman

The U.S. Senate is now back in session debating the nomination of Priscilla R. Owen to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit: You can view the proceedings live online via C-SPAN2 by clicking here.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN) just stated that the cloture vote on Owen’s nomination will occur mid-morning tomorrow. In the absence of cloture, Senator Frist could then proceed to invoke the so-called “nuclear option” preventing the use of filibusters to block up-or-down votes on judicial nominees.

Posted at 11:33 AM by Howard Bashman

“Senate moderates forming power center; Deal on nominees could spur change”: Rick Klein has this article today in The Boston Globe.

Today at National Review Online, Law Professor Jonathan H. Adler has an essay entitled “Not Activist Enough: The Left’s real problem with Priscilla Owen.”

And online at The American Prospect, Law Professor Bruce Ackerman has an essay entitled “Cheney’s Betrayal — Forgotten in the filibuster debate: the vice president’s unconstitutional decision not to follow Senate rules.”

Posted at 11:23 AM by Howard Bashman

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court opinions and Order List: The Court today disposed of five argued cases.

1. In Medellín v. Dretke, No. 04-5928, the Court dismissed the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted. You can access the per curiam opinion here and the oral argument transcript here.

2. Justice Stephen G. Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court in Deck v. Missouri, No. 04-5293, a case involving whether a it violated the rights of a criminal defendant to appear in shackles before a jury that was deciding whether to impose the sentence of death on the defendant. You can access the opinion here and the oral argument transcript here.

3. Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court in Clingman v. Beaver, No. 04-37, a case presenting the question whether Oklahoma’s semiclosed primary system violates the right to freedom of association. You can access the opinion here and the oral argument transcript here.

4. Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court in Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Assn., No. 03-1164, known in these parts as the beef check-off case. You can access the opinion here and the oral argument transcript here.

5. And Justice Sandra Day O’Connor delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court reversing the Ninth Circuit in Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., No. 04-163, a case involving the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause. You can access the opinion here and the oral argument transcript here.

Today’s Order List can be accessed at this link. The Court today granted review in only one case, but it is a noteworthy one, as the news reports linked below demonstrate.

At “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston reports that “Court to hear abortion case, decides 5 cases.”

Hope Yen of The Associated Press reports that “Court Taking Up Abortion Notification“; “Court Dismisses Death Row Rights Appeal“; and “Beef Makers Can Be Forced to Pay for Ads.” And The AP’s Gina Holland reports that “Court Rules Against Shackling Defendants.”

James Vicini of Reuters, meanwhile, reports that “Justices dismiss case of Mexican on death row.” Reuters also reports that “Top court allows beef promotion program” and “State can limit party primary election, court rules.”

Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman