How Appealing

Monday, June 13, 2005

On the agenda: At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote up-or-down on the nomination of Thomas B. Griffith to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. C-SPAN2 will provide live coverage (RealPlayer required). After the vote occurs, the official roll call tally will be available via this link.

I will be away from the computer for much of the day on Tuesday, as I will be arguing an appeal before a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania sitting in Philadelphia. My client’s case is fifteenth on the argument list, but all counsel are expected to be present when court convenes at 9:30 a.m.

Posted at 11:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justices Overturn Verdict, Cite Race; Blacks Unjustly Kept off Texas Jury”: Charles Lane will have this front page article in Tuesday’s issue of The Washington Post.

David G. Savage will have an article headlined “Justices Target Race Bias in Juries” in Tuesday’s edition of The Los Angeles Times.

In Tuesday’s edition of The Chicago Tribune Jan Crawford Greenburg will report that “Supreme Court overturns Texas death sentence conviction.”

In Tuesday’s edition of The Dallas Morning News, Allen Pusey will have an article headlined “Dallas death verdict reversed; Supreme Court overturns case, citing racial exclusion in jury.”

In Tuesday’s edition of USA Today, Joan Biskupic will have articles headlined “Court says bias unacceptable in picking jury” and “High court upholds Ohio’s ‘supermax’ prison policy.”

In Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse will report that “States’ Case Challenging Species Act Is Rebuffed.”

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined “Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal on Media Ownership Curbs.”

And E! Online News reports that “Supremes Back Beasties’ License to Ill.”

Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman

Over at “Southern Appeal,” “Feddie” reminds us that he was right and I was wrong: Details here. And in answer to my question from last night, Eleventh Circuit Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. receives a new commission due to last week’s favorable up-or-down vote in the U.S. Senate, meaning that a new swearing-in ceremony is necessary.

My post from last night also asked, “if a new swearing-in is necessary, would a former recess appointee who was confirmed to a lifetime spot on the court before his or her recess appointment expired retain seniority over another judge who was confirmed to a lifetime spot on the same court after the recess appointment occurred but before the Senate got around to confirming the recess appointee’s nomination?” In response to that question, several readers have emailed to note that 28 U.S.C. sec. 45(b) suggests that a recess appointee who is later confirmed to a lifetime post on an Article III court would have his or her post-confirmation seniority measured by the date of the later, lifetime commission.

Posted at 10:02 PM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court clarifies unconstitutionality of race in jury selection”: Stephen Henderson of Knight Ridder Newspapers provides this report.

Posted at 7:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“Ohio faces distant fight for workers’ comp loss; Legal battle may stretch to Bermuda, Britain”: The Toledo Blade yesterday contained an article that begins, “If all goes wrong, Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro could end up in England before a panel of ‘silks’ in the House of Lords as he argues his case for Ohio’s injured workers. The Republican gubernatorial candidate’s case might get to London and to the legal world of barristers and wigs by way of the British commonwealth of Bermuda.”

Posted at 7:04 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court hits jury race bias; Rulings boost ability to challenge jury selection on racial grounds”: Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.

Posted at 5:58 PM by Howard Bashman

Announcement of the Michael Jackson verdicts should be underway momentarily: WTOP-AM Radio in Washington, DC is providing live coverage from CBS Radio News. You can listen live by clicking here (RealPlayer required).

Update: Not guilty on all ten criminal charges.

Posted at 5:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“Free to Be FREE”: The Wall Street Journal today contains an editorial (pass-through link) that begins, “Congratulations to federal appellate Judge Danny Boggs, who was vindicated this month on a question of judicial ethics. His victory is shared by all federal judges who attend privately funded judicial seminars with the honorable goal of learning something.” Additional details can be found in this post of mine from earlier today.

Posted at 4:25 PM by Howard Bashman

BREAKING NEWS — “Jurors in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial have informed the trial judge they have reached a verdict.” That’s what is reporting. The verdict will be read in open court at 4:30 p.m. eastern time.

Posted at 3:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justices Make It Easier for California Defendants to Claim Racial Bias; High Court also overturns Texas murder conviction handed down by mostly-white jury”: David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

Posted at 3:14 PM by Howard Bashman

A law student’s migraine headache during a ConLaw exam gives rise to a major Eleventh Amendment ruling from the Fourth Circuit: You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at this link. In particular, a unanimous three-judge panel has ruled, in an opinion by Circuit Judge Dennis W. Shedd, that “Title II of the ADA is valid Section 5 legislation, at least as it applies to public higher education” and that “[b]ecause Congress clearly expressed its intention to abrogate the States’ Eleventh Amendment immunity, and did so pursuant to a valid exercise of constitutional authority, the Eleventh Amendment poses no bar to [plaintiff’s] claims under Title II of the ADA.”

Thus, while today’s ruling may relieve the headache that Law Professor Nelson Lund‘s Constitutional Law exam inflicted on this particular student, it’s possible that the ruling may soon be inflicting headaches on many more law students come exam time next semester.

Posted at 2:45 PM by Howard Bashman

C-SPAN has posted online the video of the Ninth Circuit‘s recent oral argument in Harper v. Poway Unified School District: The oral argument was featured on this past Saturday’s broadcast of C-SPAN‘s “America & the Courts,” on whose web page the following description appears:

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral argument in the case of Harper v. Poway Unified School District in Pasadena, California Monday. The case involves a Christian high school student suspended for wearing a T-shirt that read “homosexuality is shameful” at an event hosted by the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance Club.

You can view the oral argument by clicking here (RealPlayer required). My earlier coverage of the case can be accessed here.

Posted at 2:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judge tosses complaint against FREE board member”: As I originally noted here this morning, last week The Bozeman Daily Chronicle pubished an article that begins:

A federal judge has thrown out an ethics complaint alleging another judge’s participation with a Bozeman libertarian think tank could sway his rulings on environmental cases.

James Loken, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, ruled that the complaint filed by the Washington, D.C.-based Community Rights Council against Judge Danny Boggs lacked merit.
Boggs is chief judge of the 6th Circuit Court in Kentucky and a board member of the Bozeman-based Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, a think tank funded by foundations and corporate interests.

Community Rights Counsel, which filed the ethics complaint against Sixth Circuit Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs, has posted a copy of the ruling dismissing its complaint. The organization, in response, has issued a news release accompanied by a copy of a letter the organization has sent to Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

The procedures permit CRC to seek further review of the dismissal of its complaint. Back on May 7, 2005, I had a lengthy post noting that several other federal judges had resigned from FREE’s board in response to ethics complaints from CRC. Only time will tell whether the disposition of CRC’s complaint against Chief Judge Boggs will lead these judges to rejoin FREE’s board.

Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Unforgiven: William Haynes doesn’t deserve to be filibustered for the Justice Department’s alleged sins, but deserves got nothing to do with it.” Paul Mirengoff has this essay online today at The Weekly Standard.

Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court Order List and opinions in argued cases: The Supreme Court of the United States has issued six opinions in argued cases today.

1. In Miller-El v. Dretke, No. 03-9659, Justice David H. Souter delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the syllabus here; Justice Souter’s opinion here; Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s concurring opinion here; Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissenting opinion here; and the oral argument transcript here.

2. In Grable & Sons Metal Products, Inc. v. Darue Engineering & Mfg., No. 04-603, Justice Souter delivered the opinion for a unanimous court. You can access the syllabus here; Justice Souter’s opinion here; Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion here; and the oral argument transcript here.

3. In Wilkinson v. Austin, No. 04-495, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. You can access the syllabus here; Justice Kennedy’s opinion here; and the oral argument transcript here.

4. In Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Ltd., No. 03-1237, Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. You can access the syllabus here; Justice Scalia’s opinion here; and the oral argument transcript here.

5. In Bradshaw v. Stumpf, No. 04-637, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. You can access the syllabus here; Justice O’Connor’s opinion here; Justice Souter’s concurring opinion here; Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion here; and the oral argument transcript here.

6. In Johnson v. California, No. 04-6964, Justice John Paul Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court. You can access the syllabus here; Justice Stevens’ opinion here; Justice Breyer’s concurring opinion here; Justice Thomas’s dissenting opinion here; and the oral argument transcript here.

Today’s Order List can be accessed here. The Court today granted review in one case, from which Justice Clarence Thomas appears to be recused.

At “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston provides this early coverage, including word that the Court denied review of the Fifth Circuit‘s ruling in the cave species case, which presented a very interesting Commerce Clause question. (The Fifth Circuit’s ruling is here, and Circuit Judge Edith H. Jones‘s dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc, in which a total of six judges joined, is here.)

In early news coverage, Hope Yen of The Associated Press reports that “Death Row Inmate’s Conviction Overturned“; “Drug Patents Don’t Bar Rival Research“; and “Court Won’t Rule on Media Ownership Rules.” The AP’s Gina Holland reports that “High Court Rejects Enemy Combatant Appeal.” And The AP also reports that “High Court Clarifies Racial Bias Standard.” Meanwhile, James Vicini of Reuters reports that “Court rejects terrorism suspect Padilla’s appeal“; “Justices rule for death row inmate on jury bias“; and “US court extends drug research patent protection.” And Reuters also reports that “US high court declines media ownership challenges.”

The Court will next issue opinions and orders on Monday, June 20, 2005.

Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman