How Appealing

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Viewing child pornography versus knowingly possessing it — a divided three-judge Tenth Circuit panel holds that the two are equivalent when a web browser is used to access the images over the internet: Today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit can be accessed here. Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. dissented on the issue, explaining that “The court’s decision effectively rewrites the statute to criminalize viewing child pornography via computer.” In a nutshell, the court has ruled that ignorance of how a web browser works — namely, that images viewed online are automatically saved to the computer’s hard drive — is no defense to the crime of knowingly possessing the images.

Posted at 9:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“Press splits on how to protect confidential sources; Court’s move has some journalists seeking legislative solutions, while others shun government involvement”: This article will appear Thursday in The Christian Science Monitor.

Posted at 8:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justices uphold California domestic partner law”: David Kravets of The Associated Press reports here that “Gays and lesbians won a major legal victory Wednesday when the California Supreme Court let stand a new law granting registered domestic partners many of the same rights and protections of heterosexual marriage. Without comment, the unanimous justices upheld appellate and trial court rulings that the sweeping measure does not conflict with a voter-approved initiative defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Justice Janice Rogers Brown, who leaves Thursday to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, did not vote.”

Posted at 5:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Conservative chameleons”: Today in The Detroit Free Press, columnist Brian Dickerson has an essay that begins, “Poor William Rehnquist! In the twilight of a Supreme Court career that has spanned seven presidencies, the chief justice ought to evoke admiration and sympathy as he battles thyroid cancer. Instead, it seems the nation he has served faithfully for 33 years can’t wait to be rid of him. It’s not that we’re rooting against Rehnquist’s recovery, exactly. We just wish he’d continue it somewhere else so we could get on with the fun of beating each other senseless over the choice of his successor.”

Posted at 3:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“Is it Unlawful To Threaten Justice Souter’s Home (Suggested Answer: Yes)” Dave Hoffman has this post at “PrawfsBlawg.”

Posted at 3:32 PM by Howard Bashman

“Ten Commandments Rulings Split Religious Conservatives”: This segment (RealPlayer required) appeared on today’s broadcast of NPR‘s “Morning Edition.”

The Indianapolis Star today contains an article headlined “Commandments at Statehouse? Daniels hopes so; Governor, others see support for idea in Supreme Court action on Monday.”

FindLaw commentator Marci Hamilton today has an essay entitled “The Supreme Court Draws the Correct Ten Commandments Line: Why the Texas Display Was Constitutional, and the Kentucky Display Was Not.”

And in The Seattle Times, columnist Danny Westneat has an essay entitled “The judge speaketh, sort of.”

Yesterday, newspapers across the Nation contained a massive amount of coverage of Monday’s Ten Commandments rulings, and I remain in the midst of collecting that coverage (organized by State) in a post you can access here.

Posted at 3:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“‘Hotel’ targets Souter’s home; Property rights advocates make protest personal”: The Concord (N.H.) Monitor today contains an article that begins:

A letter that emerged yesterday from the fax machine in the Weare Town Hall has thrust Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s beloved farmhouse into a national debate over property rights.

Souter, a longtime Weare resident, joined in a court decision last week that allows governments to seize private property from one owner and turn it over to another if doing so would benefit a community. Now, an outraged Californian wants to test the ruling – by asking Weare’s selectmen to let him replace Souter’s farm with a posh hotel.

The article also featurs this photo of Justice Souter’s mailbox.

In other coverage, The Associated Press reports that “Proposal Made to Seize Souter’s Property.”

My earlier mention of this matter can be accessed here.

Posted at 2:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Top court term a difficult one for Rehnquist”: Reuters provides a report that begins, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s newly ended term was a difficult one for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, with his health problems and a number of major rulings rejecting the conservative legal views he has long espoused.”

Posted at 2:32 PM by Howard Bashman

Woman who sued basketball legend Michael Jordan for allegedly having sex with her and then welshing on promise to pay $5 million to keep it “their secret” cannot prevail in defamation suit against Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Seventh Circuit rules: Today’s decision, written by Circuit Judge Terence T. Evans on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel, concludes that Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper wasn’t necessarily calling the woman a prostitute. More likely, Roeper was merely calling her a gold-digger. According to early reviews, Roeper has given today’s ruling two thumbs-up.

Posted at 2:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“Treaty Interpretation Equals a Political Question? DC Circuit Dismisses ‘Comfort Women’ Suit Against Japan.” Law Professor Julian Ku has this post at the “Opinio Juris” blog.

Posted at 1:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“High court to hear abortion-clinic protest case – for 3rd time”: Tony Mauro has this report online at the First Amendment Center.

Posted at 12:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court to revisit a second abortion issue; Justices agree to consider use of racketeering law against clinic blockades”: Gail Gibson has this article today in The Baltimore Sun.

Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“The Mark of Zorach: A critical exegesis of Rehnquist’s and Scalia’s commandments.” Leon Wieseltier today has this essay online at The New Republic.

Posted at 9:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Bush aides ready to act on top court; Outside advisers join strategy session”: Jan Crawford Greenburg has this article today in The Chicago Tribune.

Posted at 8:58 AM by Howard Bashman

“High Court to Again Hear Case on Abortion Clinic Protesters”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

In The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Michael McGough reports that “Supreme Court re-enters fray over violence at abortion clinics.”

In The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse reports that “Justices to Review Rules for Death Case Appeals.”

And in The Washington Post, Charles Lane reports that “Court May Revise Death Row Appeal Rules.”

Posted at 6:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“Pro-, Anti- Sides Poised For Future Court Pick; Quick Response Considered Vital to Taking the Offensive”: This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Posted at 12:30 AM by Howard Bashman