How Appealing

Friday, June 3, 2005

“Blogging: Getting Started.” Brian R. Harris has this article today in The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia’s daily newspaper for lawyers.

Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman

On Monday, Priscilla R. Owen is scheduled to be sworn-in to service on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Austin, Texas: So The Associated Press is reporting, here.

Because the Fifth Circuit allows its judges to choose which font to use in their published opinions, I’m hoping that Judge Owen chooses a good one, such as Book Antiqua, but certainly not Courier or Times New Roman. Plenty of other good suggestions are available here, via the Seventh Circuit.

Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“They undertake to ‘litigate by day and copulate by night'”: Senior Circuit Judge James C. Hill‘s opinion, dissenting from the Eleventh Circuit‘s resolution of an insurance coverage issue in a case involving live-in lovers, is somewhat amusing. You can access the complete ruling at this link.

Posted at 6:55 PM by Howard Bashman

First Circuit rejects defamation lawsuit filed by Madonna’s former lover: You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at this link.

The trial court, in rejecting the defamation claim, had ruled that imputing homosexuality can no longer be considered defamatory per se in Massachusetts. The First Circuit affirmed on other grounds and thus found it unnecessary to decide the correctness of that ruling.

Posted at 5:33 PM by Howard Bashman

The Supreme Court of Kansas‘ school funding decision is now available online: You can access the ruling at this link, and the court’s summary of its ruling is here.

The summary begins, “The Supreme Court today unanimously ordered school funding for the coming school year to be increased no later than July 1 from approximately $142 million appropriated by the 2005 Legislature to $285 million above the past school year’s level of funding.”

Posted at 4:10 PM by Howard Bashman

Divided Fourth Circuit panel affirms federal district court’s ruling that declared Virginia’s partial birth abortion ban unconstitutional: You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at this link.

The majority opinion, written by Circuit Judge M. Blane Michael, begins:

This case involves a facial challenge under the Fourteenth Amendment to a Virginia statute that attempts to criminalize “partial birth abortion,” which the statute terms “partial birth infanticide.” In a summary judgment order the district court declared the statute invalid for several reasons. We affirm because it lacks an exception to protect a woman’s health.

Circuit Judge Paul V. Niemeyer issued a passionate dissent. Here is just a sample:

The majority’s opinion is a bold, new law that, in essence, constitutionalizes infanticide of a most gruesome nature. The plaintiff Dr. William Fitzhugh, an abortionist, sought, through this lawsuit, to protect his ability to perform abortions by crushing infants’ skulls or dismembering their limbs when they are inches away from being fully delivered alive without injury to the infant or to the mother. In his words, “My job on any given patient is to terminate that pregnancy, which means that I don’t want a live birth.” By expanding abortion rights to this extent, the majority unnecessarily distances our jurisprudence from that of the Supreme Court and from general norms of morality. I profoundly dissent from today’s decision.

You can access the dissent directly at this link (starting on page 18 of the PDF file).

Last October, I linked here to press coverage of the Fourth Circuit’s oral argument in this appeal.

Posted at 3:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“School finance ruling coming today”: The Associated Press reports here that “The Kansas Supreme Court today plans to release its much-anticipated ruling on the legality of the state’s school finance formula.”

The opinion will be posted online at 3 p.m. central time at the web site of the Kansas Judicial Branch.

Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Austin lawmaker says chief justice threatened him; Jefferson denies Keel’s allegation”: The Austin American-Statesman today contains an article that begins, “Rep. Terry Keel, R-Austin, repeated Thursday that Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson threatened to punish him politically if judges did not get a pay raise.”

Posted at 9:35 AM by Howard Bashman

“‘Sunscreen’ speech rings familiar; Springstead High’s principal says she didn’t mean to plagiarize her graduation speech from a Chicago Tribune column”: This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

Posted at 8:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“Man ordered to pay for healing ritual”: Reuters reports here that “A California man who injured three Hmong men in a fight must pay their medical bills including more than $6,000 for animals and herbal medicines used in traditional healing ceremonies, a court has ruled.”

My earlier report on this matter, from one week ago today, can be found at this link.

Posted at 8:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Bush Poised to Nominate Dozens For Judgeships, GOP Insiders Say”: This article appears today in The Washington Post. You can access a list of current federal judicial vacancies here and future vacancies here.

Posted at 6:20 AM by Howard Bashman