How Appealing

Friday, November 4, 2005

“Court Nominee Has Paper Trail Businesses Like”: This article will appear Saturday in The New York Times. And tomorrow’s newspaper will also contain articles headlined “Hearing Date for Alito Leaves Bush Disappointed” and “In Capital and at the Court, Baseball Rules.”

Stephen Henderson of Knight Ridder Newspapers reports that “Alito shows a different side in his dissents.”

The Chicago Tribune on Saturday will report that “Alito supporters refute conflict of interest claims.”

And The Washington Post on Saturday will report that “Alito Is Called ‘Sensitive’ to Executive Power.”

Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Carter: Democrats Too Focused on Abortion.” The Associated Press provides a report that states, “Carter, in a C-SPAN2 interview scheduled for broadcast this weekend, also said he would have named the first woman to the Supreme Court if an opening had come up during his presidency. Shirley Hufstedler, then a federal appeals court judge in California, would have been his choice, he said.”

Posted at 8:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court Rules Against District Commuter Tax”: The Washington Post provides a news update that begins, “A federal appeals court ruled today that the District cannot impose a commuter tax without the permission of Congress.”

Posted at 6:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Circuit Justice Roberts’s Eleven-and-a-Half-Day Gap”: Michael Froomkin and Steve Vladeck have co-authored this blog post, enabling it to appear at both “PrawfsBlawg” and “”

For what it’s worth, I don’t view Chief Justice Roberts’s decision to sit with the D.C. Circuit on cases that were submitted for decision while he was still a member of that court as comparable to the situation presented in Nguyen v. United States, where a non-Article III territorial court judge from the Northern Mariana Islands impermissibly sat on a three-judge Article III Ninth Circuit panel. In other words, Nguyen wasn’t a gap-in-service case, and at no relevant time was Chief Justice Roberts anything other than an Article III judge.

Posted at 5:14 PM by Howard Bashman

That Judge Alito is a good-looking baseball prospect: You can see for yourself here (via “Early Word“).

And today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, columnist Frank Fitzpatrick imagines what would happen at the confirmation hearing if Judge Alito played the part of a rabid Philadelphia sports fan.

Sen. Cornyn: As a lifelong Texan…

Judge Alito: Dallas sucks! Dallas sucks!

Sen. Feinstein: To help us understand your judicial philosophy a little better, can you give us an example of a jurist whose rulings you’ve turned to for guidance?

Judge Alito: No problem. Ever been drunk at the Vet? Probably not. Weren’t many broads at Eagles games. Anyway, Judge Seamus McCaffrey was The Man! WHOOOOO! He ain’t much for the Court of Appeals, but if you had too many quarts of Piels, he was the guy you seen.

Sen. Grassley: I hope it wasn’t you who just tossed that D battery at the committee table.

Judge Alito: Innocent till proven guilty, Chuckie boy.

The column is headlined “His Honor Joe Sixpack presiding.”

Posted at 5:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Controversy over pay raises for Pennsylvania state legislators and judges rages on: The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article headlined “Rendell: Keep pay for judges; He said he would sign a measure repealing the legislative raises with this condition; The House and Senate passed competing versions of the bill.”

Much of Pennsylvania’s electorate reacted with outrage toward these pay raises. In next Tuesday’s elections, however, no legislators are on the ballot, but two Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices face retention votes. The reaction to the pay raises has spawned well-organized and spirited campaigns to convince Pennsylvania’s voters to vote both of these Pa. Supreme Court Justices off of the court.

For example, today The Harrisburg Patriot-News published an editorial entitled “‘No’ Retention” urging no votes on these Justices’ retention. The Clarion News yesterday published an editorial entitled “Vote ‘no’ on state Supreme Court retentions.” Today in The Philadelphia Daily News, columnist Stu Bykofsky has an op-ed entitled “Supremes suffer from ‘Robe-itis’” that concludes, “We can revolt Tuesday by voting NO on Nigro and Newman. We can send them back to the real world where they pay their own expenses and send a message to Harrisburg that we don’t forgive, and we don’t forget.” An op-ed published earlier this week in The Allentown Morning Call was entitled “Populist anger could make Supreme Court races tight.” And on Monday, The Tribune-Democrat published an op-ed by Greg Bayan entitled “For Supremes, Nov. 8 is judgment day.”

Meanwhile, in news coverage, The Herald-Standard reported earlier this week that “2 Supreme Court justices face opposition on re-election bids.” And The Associated Press reports that “Pay raise uproar puts focus on judicial ‘retention’ candidates.” According to news reports, no state appellate judge has ever lost a retention election in Pennsylvania. Stay tuned.

Posted at 2:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“African-American pioneer’s name to grace court annex; Bryant was first black person appointed U.S. attorney in D.C.”: This article appears today in The Examiner of Washington, DC.

Posted at 2:30 PM by Howard Bashman

The rental cars may be on a budget, but the legal fees apparently are not: Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an interesting opinion written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel.

The facts, in summary fashion, are as follows: At an earlier time, the Seventh Circuit dismissed a frivolous appeal and awarded attorneys’ fees and costs as a sanction against the appealing party and in favor of the appellee, Budget Rent-a-Car Systems, Inc. Thereafter, Budget’s lawyers sought nearly $9,000 in fees for having filed a four-page jurisdictional memo and the motion for sanctions. In addition, Budget’s lawyers sought to recover nearly $200 in costs, the large bulk of which consisted of the admission fee to the Seventh Circuit’s bar for one of Budget’s attorneys in the appeal.

Judge Posner’s opinion concludes:

When an award of fees is permissive, denial is an appropriate sanction for requesting an award that is not merely excessive, but so exorbitant as to constitute an abuse of the process of the court asked to make the award.

Our previous order granting the motion to award fees and costs is VACATED and the motion DISMISSED.

In other words, a pox on both their houses.

Posted at 2:22 PM by Howard Bashman

“Vt. Court Backs Dean Sealing Some Papers”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Howard Dean’s decision to seal some of his gubernatorial papers for a decade was legal, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.”

Today’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Vermont can be accessed here.

Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court widens parental status in lesbian case; Ruling a win for non-birth parents”: This article appears today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, along with an article headlined “Decision opens door, but not too wide” and an op-ed by Stephanie Reid-Simons entitled “Ruling affirms what I’ve known all along.”

The Seattle Times today contains an article headlined “Court redefines parenthood” and an editorial entitled “Pointing the way toward gay marriage.”

And The Olympian reports today that “Gay parent granted rights.”

Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman

As though being Chief Justice of the United States were not itself a full-time job: Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a per curiam opinion which suggests that Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. will continue to participate in the decision of matters that were submitted to D.C. Circuit panels on which he served.

If, post-confirmation, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. can wrest the U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit away from Justice David H. Souter, perhaps Justice Alito could continue to decide Third Circuit appeals submitted to panels on which he had served. Of course, it remains to be seen whether over the next two and a half months the Third Circuit will be issuing decisions in cases on which Judge Alito serves on the panel.

Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman

“Appeals Court Refuses to Block Journalists’ Testimony; Order Requires Reporters to Discuss Confidential Sources in Civil Suit of Ex-Nuclear Scientist Wen Ho Lee”: The Washington Post contains this article today.

The New York Times reports that “Full Court Declines to Hear Reporters’ Appeal.”

And The Los Angeles Times reports that “Court Won’t Hear Appeal on 4 Reporters’ Sources; The journalists have been ordered to identify those who said Wen Ho Lee was a spy suspect.”

The order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denying rehearing en banc by a vote of 4-4, accompanied by three dissenting statements, can be accessed here.

Posted at 6:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“Nominee Is Said to Question Church-State Rulings”: This article appears today in The New York Times, along with an article headlined “Ideology Serves as a Wild Card on Court Pick.”

The Washington Post reports today that “Specter Bucks White House on Alito; Judiciary Panel Hearing on Supreme Court Nominee Is Set for January.” Meanwhile, in commentary, columnist Charles Krauthammer has an op-ed entitled “Distorting Sam Alito.” And columnist Michael Kinsley has an op-ed entitled “What’s Too Conservative?

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Alito Hearings Set for the New Year; Senators say they can’t evaluate the Supreme Court nominee’s record before Christmas, as Bush had requested.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Alito defies easy label, judges say; Among colleagues, nothing but praise.”

The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains articles headlined “Trying to judge the mind of Alito; Questions to probe Supreme Court pick“; “Senate panel sets Jan. 19 for confirmation hearings“; and “A Catholic-majority court would be a moot issue.”

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that “Alito Opinion in 1996 Gun Case Hints at Views on Federalism” (free access).

In The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage reports that “With Alito, Kennedy would have pivotal role; On contentious issues, justice’s vote would be decisive, scholars say.” In related coverage, “Democrats won’t rule out filibuster; Several suggest Alito’s ideology could sway vote.” And in commentary, columnist Ellen Goodman has an op-ed entitled “How one justice can tilt a court.”

The Chicago Tribune contains an article headlined “‘We see steady momentum’; Bush’s people insist that everything is just fine, in part thanks to Alito.”

Newsday contains articles headlined “Alito’s judicial ethics questioned in cases” and “Bipartisan group: No rancor.”

The Denver Post reports that “Gang of 14 ‘still together,’ though shaky, after meeting.”

The Rocky Mountain News reports that “‘Gang of 14’ says it’s not falling apart; Alito nomination prompted reports of two defections.”

The Arizona Republic reports that “‘Gang of 14’ will wait and see on allowing Alito filibuster, McCain says.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that “DeWine warns against filibuster; ‘Gang’ deal off if no Alito vote, he says.”

The Hartford Courant reports that “Senate Moderates Meet On Alito; ‘Gang Of 14’ Tries To Bring Note Of Calm To Contentious Nomination.”

The Providence Journal reports that “Chafee opposes filibuster on Alito; Rhode Island’s Republican senator says he remains noncommittal on the Supreme Court nominee.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Alito hearings set later than Bush had wanted.”

The Washington Times reports that “Alito confirmation hearings planned for January.”

And The UCLA Daily Bruin reports that “Alito’s record favors free speech rights.”

Posted at 6:30 AM by Howard Bashman