How Appealing

Thursday, December 1, 2005

The french fries, the hapless toad, the bald spot — now you can stop asking me when the Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. bobblehead doll will come into existence: Even better, it’s up for auction here at eBay. My crack “How Appealing” staff — which recently performed investigative journalism (start here and scroll down) into the A3G/David Lat matter — is hard at work determining the doll’s source and to whom, when, and why it was originally distributed.

Posted at 10:28 PM by Howard Bashman

“Newly Released Papers Energize Alito’s Critics; Credibility Questions Are Raised Anew”: Friday’s edition of The Washington Post will contain this article.

Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“University drops all charges against photographer; Despite backing down, school still condemns dissemination of nude photos”: The Daily Pennsylvanian provides this news update.

Posted at 9:54 PM by Howard Bashman

Review of cases shows Alito to be staunch conservative”: Stephen Henderson and Howard Mintz of Knight Ridder Newspapers provide this report.

Posted at 9:04 PM by Howard Bashman

“Sen. Specter to Question Judge Alito on One Person, One Vote and Shaw v. Reno; What Other Election Law Questions Should Be Asked?” Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his “Election Law” blog. The first comment to Rick’s post contains the question that Pennsylvania’s senior U.S. Senator is least likely to ask.

Posted at 5:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Federal agents raid Fieger office”: The Detroit Free Press provides a news update that begins, “Federal agents raided the law office of Geoffrey Fieger late Wednesday looking for evidence that he laundered $35,000 in campaign contributions to the John Edwards 2004 presidential campaign through his employees.”

Posted at 4:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“Coffee shop’s name gets bucked from business; Judge rules that Sambuck’s infringes on the Starbucks trademark; business must change name”: From Oregon, The Daily Astorian today contains an article that begins, “Astoria business owner Sam Buck must change the name of the downtown coffee shop she dubbed after herself, a federal district judge ruled Tuesday.”

Posted at 4:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“Appeals court upholds contempt order against court reporter”: The Rocky Mountain News provides an update that begins, “The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld a decision last year to hold a court reporter in contempt for refusing to complete trial transcripts in 10 criminal cases because she was sick from chemotherapy treatments. The court said Valeri Barnes, a former court reporter for Arapahoe District Court, ‘placed herself in the position of a witness whose services are essential to ensure fair judicial proceedings’ and upheld a judge’s earlier decision that Barnes must complete the transcripts or risk going to jail.” Today’s ruling of the Colorado Court of Appeals can be accessed here.

In slightly earlier coverage of this matter, today’s edition of The Denver Post contains an article headlined “Transcripts ruled enough to continue cases after 2 years.”

Posted at 3:30 PM by Howard Bashman

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure take effect today: The amendments are here, while the announcement is here. Thanks to one of these amendments, the Reply Brief for Appellants/Response Brief for Cross-Appellees that I will be filing in approximately 70 days from now will bear yellow covers, instead of red covers (which had been the Third Circuit‘s earlier practice).

I previewed many of these rule changes in my monthly appellate column from January 2004 (note that proposed FRAP 32.1 was temporarily derailed and thus doesn’t go into effect quite yet). And let me applaud the amendments effective today for resolving, in the correct way in my view, the issue that was the subject of my April 2001 monthly column, titled “Recused Federal Appellate Judges Should Not Be Counted As Voting Against Petitions For Rehearing En Banc.”

Posted at 3:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court to rule on jobs and medical pot; State Supreme Court accepts a case in which a man was fired for using marijuana OK’d by doctor”: Claire Cooper, legal affairs writer for The Sacramento Bee, today has this article in that newspaper.

And in other coverage, Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that “High court to rule on medical pot firing.”

Posted at 2:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justices begin wrestling with abortion case; Possible voting blocs emerge as court looks at parental notification law”: The Sacramento Bee contains this article today.

Posted at 2:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Solomon Amendment, Expressive Associations, and Public Employment”: My former colleague Paul Secunda (now a law professor) has this post today at the “Workplace Prof Blog.”

Posted at 2:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Libby, Montana — a community plagued with asbestos-related contamination: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today issued an opinion that begins:

Libby, Montana, sits sixty-five miles south of the Canadian border. The seemingly rustic and picturesque environment of this area masks a troubling history–the community has been plagued with asbestos-related contamination. In 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) was called in to address disturbing health reports due to asbestos-related contamination. We must decide whether, in responding to this threat, the EPA exceeded the bounds of its authority to conduct cleanup activities under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. We hold that it did not.

You can access the complete ruling in United States v. W.R. Grace & Co. at this link.

Posted at 1:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“South African Court Affirms Gay Marriage”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “South Africa’s highest court ruled Thursday it is unconstitutional to prevent gay people from marrying, paving the way for the country to become the first to legalize same-sex unions on a continent where homosexuality remains largely taboo.”

And Reuters reports that “Court sets S.Africa on course for gay marriage.”

Via the web site of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, you can access both a summary and the full text of today’s ruling. [Update: Because the court’s link to the ruling is taking forever to respond, I have posted a back-up copy of the decision at this link.]

Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman

In the December 2005 issue of The American Lawyer: The magazine contains an article headlined “Standing in the Shadow of Roe: Whether or not Samuel Alito joins the antiabortion bloc on the Supreme Court, activists are already rehearsing their strategies.”

Dahlia Lithwick has an essay entitled “Justice Showtime: Supreme Court justices have long worked behind a secret veil; But televising their arguments would serve democracy well.”

And Law Professor Peter H. Schuck has an essay entitled “Leftward Leaning — Two recent studies reveal what the insiders have known all along: Professors at top U.S. law schools are predominantly liberal.”

Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“Congress legitimately could have determined that certain major sports events and the Disney theme parks were quintessentially American and therefore presented especially attractive targets to terrorists.” So writes Sixth Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton in an opinion issued today adjudicating the Cleveland National Air Show’s challenge to the Federal Aviation Administration’s order denying the Air Show’s request for a waiver of the congressionally mandated no-fly zone surrounding Jacobs Field.

Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman

In news from Canada: The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains a front page article headlined “Judge strikes down restraints imposed on Homolka’s liberty” that begins, “Karla Homolka, whose cruel and savage crimes against two Ontario teenagers turned her into the most reviled female felon in Canada, can now enjoy the same freedoms as any ordinary citizen.” In other news, “Latest loss in patent war renews RIM’s fight with NTP; At stake is firm’s right to sell in U.S.

And The Toronto Star reports today that “Quebec judge removes restraints on Homolka; Like kick in the stomach, Mahaffy says; Killer can work with kids, go anywhere.”

Posted at 10:02 AM by Howard Bashman

“House prayers can’t invoke Jesus; Federal judge declares that invocations advancing a specific religion are unconstitutional”: The Indianapolis Star today contains this article reporting on a ruling that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana issued yesterday.

In other coverage, The Louisville Courier-Journal reports today that “Judge restricts prayer in Indiana House.”

The Evansville Courier & Press reports that “Sectarian prayers in House banned.”

The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reports that “‘Christ’ removed from Indiana House; Opening prayer called illegal; speaker incensed.”

And the “Indiana Law Blog” quotes from many of these newspaper articles in this post.

Posted at 9:18 AM by Howard Bashman

“Free speech at center of nude-photo controversy”: This article appears today in The Daily Pennsylvanian, along with an article headlined “Rights expert to represent photographer; Prof defended Penn students before; takes nude photograph case.” Yesterday, the newspaper reported that “Racy photo lands student in trouble; Junior faces sexual harassment charges after posting photo of students appearing to have sex.”

Today the photo makes the front page of The Philadelphia Daily News, which contains an article headlined “Sex-act pix shake Penn.”

Posted at 7:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“‘No recollection’ of CAP, Alito says; Nominee discusses views on judicial activism in statement”: The Daily Princetonian contains this article today.

Posted at 7:20 AM by Howard Bashman