How Appealing

Monday, December 12, 2005

“First, the selection of textbooks by the state for use in public school classrooms is government speech, and is not subject to the forum analysis of Hazelwood or the viewpoint neutrality requirement. Second, even assuming that public school students possess a cognizable right to receive information, that right does not extend to the selection of textbooks for use in the classroom.” A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit announced these holdings today in a ruling you can access here.

Posted at 8:10 PM by Howard Bashman

BREAKING NEWS — “Schwarzenegger Denies Clemency for Williams”: David Kravets of The Associated Press provides this report.

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined “Schwarzenegger Rejects Williams’ Bid for Clemency.”

And The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update headlined “Schwarzenegger denies clemency for Williams.”

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has issued a formal written decision denying clemency, and you can access it online at this link.

Posted at 3:37 PM by Howard Bashman

Where a plaintiff in an arbitration case is awarded no recovery, does his action to overturn the award involve an amount in controversy of $0? A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was once willing to accept this argument, but later abandoned that holding upon finding a different way to rule against the plaintiff on which all three judges on the panel could agree. Thereafter, a different three-judge Ninth Circuit panel reached the opposite (but correct) result. My earlier coverage of the Ninth Circuit’s rulings on this issue can be accessed here and here.

In a decision issued today, a three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel confronted the very same issue, and in agreement with the Ninth Circuit’s final word on the subject, the Eleventh Circuit held that “a federal court has subject matter jurisdiction where a party seeking to vacate an arbitration award [of $0] is also seeking a new arbitration hearing at which he will demand a sum which exceeds the amount in controversy for diversity jurisdiction purposes.”

Posted at 2:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Culture war pits UC vs. Christian way of teaching; Religious schools challenge admission standards in court”: The San Francisco Chronicle contains this article today.

Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Governor Schwarzenegger Appoints Justice Carol Corrigan to the Supreme Court of the State of California”: The Governor of the State of California issued this news release last Friday. I previously collected press coverage at this link.

Posted at 11:54 AM by Howard Bashman

Some exciting news, to be followed in due course by other exciting news: Today in The Legal Intelligencer, the December 2005 installment of my monthly appellate column appears. This month’s column is headlined “Opponents Of Rule Allowing Non–Precedential U.S. Court Of Appeals Decisions To Be Cited Manage To Insert A Fly In The Ointment.” The link is subscription-only, but I’ll be posting a freely-available copy of the column online here on Wednesday.

With today’s column, I have begun my sixth year as a columnist for The Legal Intelligencer. But the truly exciting news is that Monday, January 9, 2006 will mark the debut of my weekly column online at That column will be freely available for all to read each week from the moment it’s posted online late on the preceding Friday night until it mysteriously disappears under the cover of darkness at some unspecified date far in the future. I thank the good folks at for offering me a weekly online column at American Lawyer Media’s flagship web site, and I’m very much looking forward to having a more frequent column that will reach a much larger audience.

Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Attorneys for Great Falls, wiccan agree on payment”: The Herald of Rock Hill, South Carolina today contains an article that begins, “The town of Great Falls may be on the verge of paying about $53,000 it owes to a woman’s lawyer who successfully sued the town to remove mention of Jesus Christ from council prayers.”

On Saturday, the newspaper reported that “Council takes prayer out of ministers’ hands.” And last Tuesday, the newspaper reported that “Prayer taken off City Council agenda.”

Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“Alito’s supporters fight back”: Columnist Robert Novak has this op-ed today in The Chicago Sun-Times.

Today at National Review Online, Edward Whelan has an essay entitled “Deserving Derision: The Left’s ludicrous attack on Alito.”

Also today, Progress for America Voter Fund issued a news release titled “‘A Man of Honor, Principle, and Integrity’ – Progress for America Voter Fund Announces a New Alito TV Ad.” You can view the ad online via this link.

And this past Friday, Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice issued a news release titled “Pirolli v. World Flavors, Inc.: Unpublished Opinion Reveals Judge Alito’s Conservative Legal Agenda.”

Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“Mother hopes for plea deal; She says Lafave trial would further victimize her son”: This article appeared yesterday in The Ocala Star-Banner.

Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Prosecutor in Williams’ Case Faces Lawsuit”: The AP provides a report that begins, “As he presses for Stanley Tookie Williams’ execution for four murders, a top county prosecutor faces his own legal troubles for killing a man while on duty as a reserve sheriff’s deputy.”

Posted at 10:18 AM by Howard Bashman

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court Order List: You can view today’s Order List at this link.

Gina Holland of The Associated Press reports that “Supreme Court to Review Texas Redistricting.” And Reuters reports that “Top court to review Texas redistricting plan.”

In other news coverage, The AP reports that “Justices to Hear Workers’ Wage Case” and “Court Won’t Hear Suit Against Home Depot.” And Reuters reports that “Court won’t hear National Geographic CD-ROM case” and “Top court rejects appeal in Sandisk case.”

At “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “Court to hear Texas redistricting cases.”

And at his “Election Law” blog, Law Professor Rick Hasen has a post titled “Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Texas Redistricting Case; Will a Justice Alito Make a Difference?

Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Lobby Groups Following Bork Playbook; Reaching for a Familiar Foe To Derail Alito Nomination”: T.R. Goldman has this article (free access) in today’s issue of Legal Times.

Posted at 9:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“PATRIOT Unbound: Not even flubbed terror cases can dent law’s appeal.” Jeff A. Taylor has this essay online at Reason.

Posted at 8:44 AM by Howard Bashman

“Al-Arian judge enhances image; Many say James S. Moody Jr. holds court with patience, intelligence, calm and control – and a dry sense of humor”: This article appears today in The St. Petersburg Times.

Posted at 7:15 AM by Howard Bashman