How Appealing

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Available online from National Public Radio: Today’s broadcast of “Day to Day” contained audio segments entitled “Will Alberto Gonzales Withstand the Political Siege?” (featuring Dahlia Lithwick) and “Guantanamo Detainee to Face Sentencing.”

And this evening’s broadcast of “All Things Considered” contained audio segments entitled “A U.S. Attorney Is Fired, and Onlookers Wonder” and “Military Officials Discuss Sentence for Hicks.”

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“The issue in this case is whether lump-sum proceeds received from a sale of future interest in lottery payments should be characterized for income tax purposes as a capital gain or as ordinary income.” A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit answers “ordinary income” in a decision issued today.

Posted at 8:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Gonzales’ Support in Congress Slipping”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ allies on Capitol Hill grew scarce Tuesday as he left it largely to aides to carry out President Bush’s order to straighten out the story behind the firing of eight federal prosecutors.”

Posted at 7:35 PM by Howard Bashman

Can President Bush force the Texas judiciary to disregard its rules of procedural default to consider on the merits a Mexican death row inmate’s Article 36 Vienna Convention claim? In November 2006, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals — that State’s highest court in criminal cases — answered that question “no.” I provided detailed coverage of that ruling in this post.

Today, in a post you can access here, Lyle Denniston reports at “SCOTUSblog” that the Solicitor General has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals erred in failing to answer the question “yes.”

Posted at 6:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Supreme Court of Texas refuses to extend that State’s grandparent visitation law to step-grandparents: Last Friday, the highest court of Texas in civil cases issued a unanimous per curiam opinion that begins:

In 2005, the Legislature substantially amended the grandparent access statute, codified at Family Code sections 153.432-34. The statute now includes a presumption that a parent acts in his child’s best interest, and it permits biological or adoptive grandparents to obtain court-ordered access to a grandchild only if they show that denial of access will “significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional well-being.” Id. §153.433(2). We conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding access here because the step-grandfather is neither a biological nor an adoptive grandparent, and the grandmother did not overcome the statutory presumption favoring the children’s father.

You can access the opinion online in PDF and HTML formats.

Posted at 11:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“We emphasize that our holding is limited to the unique procedural circumstances presented here.” So writes Justice Clarence Thomas in holding that U.S. Supreme Court review was sought in a timely manner, rather than too late, in the case of Limtiaco v. Camacho, No. 06-116, decided today. Although the Justices divided on other issues, the Court’s ruling was unanimous on the timeliness issue.

The quoted text brought to mind this student comment published in the March 2007 issue of The Yale Law Journal.

Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court clarifies False Claims Act”: Lyle Denniston has this post at “SCOTUSblog.” According to Lyle’s post, Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court in Rockwell International Corp. v. United States, No. 05-1272. You can access the oral argument transcript at this link.

And in the only other ruling issued today in an argued case, Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court in Limtiaco v. Camacho, No. 06-116. You can access the oral argument transcript at this link.

Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“Roberts’s Supreme Court Falls Behind in Pace of Issuing Rulings”: Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, “As U.S. Supreme Court cases go, Global Crossing v. Metrophones, an administrative-law tussle over pay-phone fees, hardly looms as a landmark. That’s why lawyers in the dispute are so puzzled that almost six months after hearing arguments, the court hasn’t ruled. The case has become a symbol of John Roberts’s second year as chief justice, one in which the court has fallen well behind its typical schedule.”

Posted at 9:42 AM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court to review child pornography law; The provision would make it a crime to send computer messages that offer illicit images, even when no pornography exists”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 6:48 AM by Howard Bashman

“Australian’s Guilty Plea Is First at Guantanamo”: The Washington Post contains this front page article today.

The New York Times today contains an article headlined “Plea of Guilty From Detainee in Guantanamo.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Australian pleads guilty at Guantanamo; David Hicks admits to material support of terrorism. He says he did not commit a violent act.”

In The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg reports that “Guantanamo captive to plead guilty.”

And in The Wall Street Journal, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey have an op-ed entitled “The Gitmo Blues: Closing Guantanamo would hurt the war effort, and wouldn’t appease the critics anyway” (free access).

Posted at 6:38 AM by Howard Bashman

“Aide to Gonzales Won’t Testify About Dismissals”: This article appears today in The New York Times. An editorial is entitled “Time for Answers.” And Law Professor Neal Katyal has an op-ed entitled “Prosecution Complex.”

The Washington Post reports today that “Aide to Gonzales Won’t Testify; Counselor Cites Fifth Amendment Right in Refusal” and “GOP Groups Told to Keep Bush Officials’ E-Mails; Democrat Cites Investigation of Firings.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Gonzales clarifies role in firings; The attorney general says he had a part, but that he did not help decide which prosecutors to dismiss.”

USA Today contains articles headlined “Gonzales aide to take the 5th in hearing; Move abandons Justice pledges of cooperation” and “Poll backs subpoenas of Bush aides.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that “Fitzgerald questions await Gonzales.”

And The Washington Times reports that “Justice official to invoke 5th Amendment.”

Posted at 6:33 AM by Howard Bashman

“Retrial of Pain Doctor Begins in Va.” The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “A prominent pain-management doctor accused of prescribing high doses of drugs such as morphine and OxyContin to patients went on trial for a second time Monday. William E. Hurwitz, 61, was convicted in 2004 of drug trafficking, among other charges, and sentenced to 25 years in prison, but a federal appeals court last year tossed the conviction and ordered a new trial.”

Posted at 6:27 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justices Hear Arguments About Pacts on Pricing”: Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that “Justices Revisit Manufacturer’s Right to Set Retail Price of Goods.”

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times reports that “High court appears split on price fixing; Several justices say a repeal of a 1911 rule could mean consumers will pay more; Antonin Scalia and others say the law is outdated.”

And in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that “Court ponders cost of dropping price rule; Justices ask whether change would topple discount stores.”

Posted at 6:25 AM by Howard Bashman