How Appealing

Friday, July 29, 2005

“Court foes target Breyer’s property; Tactic mirrors bid to take Souter’s home”: The Concord (N.H.) Monitor today contains an article that begins, “If the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire and its allies have their way, someday two stone monuments will stand on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s Plainfield property.”

Posted at 4:20 PM by Howard Bashman

Why? Why not? A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today issued a decision ordering the Board of Immigration Appeals to provide the reasons for the BIA’s ruling issued in 1997 that “the forced sterilization or abortion of one spouse is an act of persecution against the other spouse and that, as a result, the spouses of those directly victimized by coercive family planning policies are per se as eligible for asylum as those directly victimized themselves.”

Posted at 3:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Federal criminal defendant’s earlier civil lawsuit against U.S. District Judge did not require the judge to recuse himself from presiding over the federal government’s prosecution of the former plaintiff: A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today issued this decision, addressing a question of first impression in the circuit.

Posted at 2:40 PM by Howard Bashman

Long hair in prison: A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued an opinion that begins:

California prisoner Billy Soza Warsoldier appeals from the district court’s denial of his request for a preliminary injunction in his suit challenging a California Department of Corrections (“CDC”) hair grooming policy, which requires that all male inmates maintain their hair no longer than three inches. Warsoldier refuses to adhere to the grooming policy because of his sincere religious belief that he may cut his hair only upon the death of a loved one. He argues that the policy, and CDC’s refusal to permit a religious exception, violates his right to religious freedom. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1), and for the reasons set forth below, we reverse the district court’s denial of Warsoldier’s request for a preliminary injunction.

You can access the complete decision at this link.

Posted at 12:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“Your Handy Guide to Right-Wing Lawyers Who Hate Brian Leiter…or the Company that Eugene Volokh Keeps”: Professor Brian Leiter has this post today at his blog, “Leiter Reports.”

Posted at 12:38 PM by Howard Bashman

“Gross Distortions: The media on John Roberts’s civil-rights record.” Edward Whelan has this essay today at National Review Online.

Posted at 12:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“Roberts’ US Senate hearing to start Sept 6-sources”: Reuters provides this report. And thanks to all who have thus far submitted entries for the related contest I launched this morning. Many of the submissions are quite good, which will make the task of judging them all the more difficult.

Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman

In news from Connecticut: The Hartford Courant today contains an article headlined “Eminent Domain Revisited; Legislators Told State’s Laws Already Offer Protection For Homeowners In Many Cases.”

And The Day of New London today contains articles headlined “Two Sides Of Eminent Domain: Fort Trumbull plaintiffs, NLDC make their cases in Hartford” and “Activists Carry Fight To The Capitol; Eminent domain foes join forces to press for changes in state law.”

Posted at 11:35 AM by Howard Bashman

Dumb-ass questions contest: Why should seven Democratic U.S. Senators and their staff have all the fun? Why indeed!

Accordingly, I am hereby launching a “How Appealing” contest to identify the most dumb-ass question that could possibly be asked of U.S. Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts, Jr. at his upcoming confirmation hearings. Unlike last time, when U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) put himself in charge of deciding whether or not questions for Roberts were appropriately characterized as “dumb-ass,” this time I’m the sole referee of this admittedly entirely subjective contest.

Entries should be submitted to me via email, along with your name and a statement whether I can identify you by name if your entry is the winner or a runner-up in the “Most dumb-ass question for Judge Roberts” contest. The winner and runners-up receive the psychic reward of knowing that their questions were, in my subjective view, among the most dumb-ass questions that this blog’s audience submitted in response to this contest, along with the admittedly fleeting pleasure of seeing their names mentioned here at “How Appealing” if they give permission for me to do so. Please enter early and often, because this contest could (and indeed at some point will) end at any time.

Posted at 7:45 AM by Howard Bashman

“Democrats Request Files Involving Court Pick”: This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined “In Records, a Privately Blunt Roberts Showed Public Tact.”

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage has an article headlined “Privilege Claim May Not Apply to Roberts Papers; His ex-boss, Kenneth Starr, won a ruling against the protection during Whitewater.” And in related news, “Democrats Pinpoint the Files They Want; They call their request for Roberts’ documents ‘limited’; Republicans say it’s a delay tactic.”

The Washington Times reports that “Senators demand Roe be upheld.” Today’s newspaper also contains an op-ed by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. entitled “Right focus on the law” and an op-ed by Robert Stacy McCain (who apparently believes the nominee’s name is “James G. Roberts”) entitled “Vexations.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “7 Dem women want to know Roberts’ stand on privacy; Senators say his view is key to keeping gay, abortion rights.”

In The Oakland Tribune, Josh Richman reports that “Senators invite public to question nominee; Web site collects queries for Roberts’ Supreme Court confirmation hearing.”

The Times-Picayune reports that “Landrieu ‘very impressed’ with Roberts; Senator meets court nominee, debuts Web site.”

The Pawtucket Times reports that “Almond advocates Roberts.”

In commentary, today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal contains an op-ed by Law Professor Douglas W. Kmiec entitled “Roberts and Rome: Does Catholic belief interfere with judicial reasoning? What kind of question is that?

In The Naples Daily News, Dan K. Thomasson has an op-ed entitled “Search for opinions in John Roberts’ past has gone too far: The search through legal papers and opinions in Supreme Court nominee John Roberts’ past has reached the point of ridiculousness; It’s time to vote.”

In The San Diego Union-Tribune, columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. recently had an op-ed entitled “Minorities and women also are ‘qualified.’

And in The Rocky Mountain News, columnist Mike Rosen has an op-ed entitled “Here comes the judge.”

Posted at 7:20 AM by Howard Bashman

The Chicago Tribune is reporting: Today’s newspaper contains an article headlined “Probe of Sensenbrenner sought; Group writes letter to House ethics panel” that begins, “An advocacy group has asked the House ethics committee to open an investigation of Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, alleging that the Wisconsin Republican violated ethics rules by attempting to influence a decision in an appeals court case in Chicago.”

And yesterday’s newspaper contained an article headlined “Slaying suspect’s letters to reporter OKd for trial” that begins, “Interview transcripts and letters sent to a Chicago Tribune reporter can be used at trial against a man accused of killing six hunters in northern Wisconsin, including a statement that some of the victims deserved their fate because they threatened him and called him racist names, a judge ruled Wednesday.”

Posted at 7:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“Divided Front: How Media Split Under Pressure In the Leak Probe; Ms. Miller of the Times Had A Separate Dispute With Special Prosecutor; Mr. Abrams Loses a Client.” The Wall Street Journal contains this front page article (free access provided) today.

Posted at 6:58 AM by Howard Bashman

“This court holds that the statue’s placement on Washburn’s campus under these circumstances does not constitute an unconstitutional endorsement of an anti-Catholic message”: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Thursday issued that court’s ruling on a lawsuit involving a statue titled “Holier Than Thou” — installed on Washburn University’s campus in September 2003 — depicting a clergyman with a bishop’s miter that some said was offensive to the Roman Catholic church because of its phallic appearance. You can view photographs of the statue here and here.

The federal trial court’s ruling that was the subject of the appeal decided on Thursday can be accessed at this link, while plaintiffs’ complaint initiating suit can be accessed here. Law Professor Eugene Volokh blogged about this dispute in a post from February 2004.

The lawsuit has garnered extensive press coverage. The Topeka Capital-Journal in early- to mid-2004 published articles headlined:

Meanwhile, in other coverage, WorldNetDaily reported that “University’s sculpture mocks Catholics; Judge OKs ‘Holier than Thou,’ depicting bishop with ‘phallus’ miter,” while reported that “Federal Judge Upholds Display of ‘Anti-Catholic’ Statue.”

The above-linked news reports focused on the case while it was pending before a federal trial court. I’ll be on the lookout for news coverage of Thursday’s Tenth Circuit ruling on the case.

Posted at 12:30 AM by Howard Bashman