How Appealing

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

“Surveillance Court Is Seeking Answers; Judges Were Unaware of Eavesdropping”: This article will appear Thursday in The Washington Post.

Posted at 9:57 PM by Howard Bashman

“Alito’s Mind Sharp, But Views ‘Radical,’ Liberal Groups Say”: Sean Higgins has this essay today in Investor’s Business Daily.

Posted at 8:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“9th Circuit ruling has broad impact”: Thursday’s edition of The Pacific Daily News of Guam contains an article that begins, “The man who murdered 11-year-old August Pangelinan ‘Hermie’ Santos in September 1999 cannot appeal his conviction to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court decided yesterday. That’s because Congress passed a law several months after the 9th Circuit accepted the killer’s appeal, which makes the Supreme Court of Guam the island’s highest court and restricts the process to appeal its decisions.”

Guam-based readers of “How Appealing” may recall that I wrote about the ruling yesterday in a post you can access here.

Posted at 7:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Retirement no reason to slow down for Canada’s top judges; Former members of the Supreme Court find plenty of demand for their services”: This article appears today in The Toronto Globe and Mail.

Posted at 7:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Civil rights panel sets briefing on Akaka bill”: The Honolulu Advertiser today contains an article that begins, “The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will delve into the Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill at a Washington briefing on Jan. 20. Few details were available yesterday, but the commission’s minutes indicate they were seeking experts to brief them on the constitutional, legal and civil rights policy aspects of the bill introduced by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawai’i.”

Posted at 7:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“Don’t Even Think About Lying: How brain scans are reinventing the science of lie detection.” Steve Silberman has this article in the January 2006 issue of Wired magazine. And a related sidebar is headlined “The Cortex Cop.”

Posted at 6:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“Keep Our Mouths Shut”: At’s “Law Blog,” Nathan Koppel has a post that begins, “It’s not often that a group asks the U.S. Supreme Court to limit its First Amendment rights. But earlier today, a group of former chief justices from fifteen states filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that states should have the right to limit judges’ ability to hit up lawyers and members of the public for campaign contributions.”

Update: I have posted online a copy of the amicus brief, filed today in the U.S. Supreme Court, at this link.

Posted at 6:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Re-Sentencing Delayed for Ex-Dynegy Exec”: The Associated Press reports here that “A judge who sentenced a former executive at energy company Dynegy Inc. to 24 years in prison only to have the sentence thrown out by an appeals panel said Wednesday he will allow experts to hash out how long the executive should remain behind bars.”

Posted at 5:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Origins by court order; Science, and not a Pennsylvania school board or a federal judge, should trace our beginnings”: Columnist Robert Robb had this op-ed today in The Arizona Republic.

Posted at 5:40 PM by Howard Bashman

Three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel before which the Cobb County, Georgia evolution sticker appeal is pending decides that attorney for plaintiffs did not mislead that court or attempt to do so: I linked to coverage of the appellate oral argument in this case last month in posts that you can access here, here, and here (second item). Today, the panel that heard oral argument in the appeal issued this order to remove any implication that may have been imparted at oral argument that counsel had in fact misled, or had sought to mislead, the court.

Posted at 5:04 PM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court Says U.S. Can Move Padilla” Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “The Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to let the military transfer accused ‘enemy combatant’ Jose Padilla to Miami to face criminal charges in at least a temporary victory for the Bush administration.” I have posted a copy of the U.S. Supreme Court‘s order (which I have converted into PDF from a Microsoft Word document) at this link.

Posted at 4:28 PM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court Jesters”: At, Lloyd Garver has an essay that begins, “The results regarding the individual members of the Supreme Court are in. Antonin Scalia got a 77, and Clarence Thomas got a woeful 0. This was not a ranking about how competent the Washington Nine was. It’s a ranking of how funny they are in court.” You can access Law Professor Jay D. Wexler‘s article titled “Laugh Track,” from the current issue of The Green Bag, at this link.

Posted at 3:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“Two men get wake-up call after playing prank on judge”: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, “If you’re going to make late-night prank calls, don’t dial a judge at 2:45 in the morning. That’s a lesson two area men learned, and it’s a lesson that might stick with them as they write court-ordered research papers on practical jokes gone awry.” (Via “Obscure Store“).

Posted at 3:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Bush Administration vs. Salim Hamdan”: That’s the title of a lengthy article that Jonathan Mahler will have in next Sunday’s issue of The New York Times Magazine. If you have TimesSelect, you can access the article online at this link.

Posted at 3:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“Did Jesus exist? Italian court to decide.” Reuters provides a report that begins, “Forget the U.S. debate over intelligent design versus evolution. An Italian court is tackling Jesus — and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago.”

Posted at 2:52 PM by Howard Bashman

A letter from a group of appellate advocates, law professors, and former Justice Department attorneys endorses the Alito nomination: Via National Review Online’s “Bench Memos,” you can access the letter at this link.

Posted at 2:48 PM by Howard Bashman

“Alliance for Justice Releases Comprehensive Report on Alito; Thorough Examination of Record Shows Alito’s Conservative Legal Agenda”: You can access the press release here and the complete report here.

Posted at 2:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Alito Gets High Marks From Bar Association” Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito received a unanimous well-qualified rating from the American Bar Association on Wednesday, giving his nomination momentum as the Senate prepares for confirmation hearings next week.” That is the ABA’s highest rating given to judicial nominees.

Update: The rating can be viewed online in this document available from the ABA’s web site. According to the document, the rating was unanimously well-qualified with one recusal.

Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“People For the American Way Releases 155-Page Pre-Hearing Alito Report”: So says an email I just received from that organization. The report’s executive summary is here, while the full report (in PDF format) can be accessed by clicking here.

Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman

Grandparent visitation gone loco: Last Friday, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided one of three cases pending on the merits before that court challenging different aspects of Pennsylvania’s grandparent visitation laws. The question presented in the case decided Friday was whether Pennsylvania’s grandparent visitation laws confer standing upon putative grandparents who are neither the adoptive nor the biological grandparents of the child in question. By a vote of 6-1, the court answered that question in the affirmative.

Justice J. Michael Eakin, in dissent (although not in poetry), observed that “No state defines ‘grandparent’ as a person standing in loco parentis to an individual who is a parent. An extensive review of case law from these states reveals, to my knowledge, no reported decision interpreting ‘grandparent’ to include a person standing in loco parentis to a parent. This apparently leaves the majority as the only court rendering a published decision interpreting ‘grandparent’ to include a person standing in loco parentis to a parent.” And earlier in his dissenting opinion, Justice Eakin wrote: “There is no evidence the genesis and evolution of the in loco parentis concept contemplated or intended granting a person who stands in loco parentis to an individual the corresponding status of ‘in loco grandparentis‘ over the individual’s children.”

You can access last Friday’s ruling online at the following links: majority opinion; concurring opinion; and dissenting opinion.

The constitutional challenge to a different aspect of Pennsylvania’s grandparent visitation laws, which I argued before the Pa. Supreme Court in May 2005, remains pending. The merits brief that I filed on my client’s behalf can be accessed here.

Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman

New Dover Area school board evolves to reject “intelligent design”: The York Daily Record today contains articles headlined “New school board votes ID out; Community, board and teachers discussed the future of the biology curriculum“; “Revote draws steady turnout“; and “Rehm takes Dover seat by 68 votes; Bryan Rehm, who received 373 votes, could be sworn in as early as Jan. 17.”

And in earlier coverage, last Friday the newspaper published an article headlined “Verdict on intelligent design judge: One ‘sexy geek.’

Posted at 10:48 AM by Howard Bashman