How Appealing

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

“Reporter Says Judges Change Their Minds; New York Times Correspondent Addresses Audience Of About 250 About Covering The Supreme Court”: Yesterday’s issue of The Daily Northwestern contained an article that begins, “Despite the efforts of presidents to pick Supreme Court justices who will stand firm, it is to be expected that judges’ opinions on issues will change, according to veteran Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times. This idea, presented during her speech Friday evening at a League of Women Voters of Evanston event, struck some audience members as slightly ironic. One audience member asked Greenhouse about what some have called the ‘Greenhouse Effect,’ a theory that some judges base decisions on what they believe will help them to gain favorable press coverage.”

Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Pat-Downs at Tampa Stadium Appealed”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “The Tampa Sports Authority called pat-down searches at Tampa Bay Buccaneers football games an essential layer of security in an age of terrorism and urged a federal appeals court Tuesday to reinstate them.”

Posted at 11:17 PM by Howard Bashman

The Summum faith wins twice today in the Tenth Circuit: Summum — a religion that supports both mummification and masturbation — had the brilliant idea to approach towns in Utah that displayed Ten Commandments monuments to ask for “equal time” to display monuments to the Seven Aphorisms of Summum.

Pleasant Grove, Utah simply said “no” in response to the request, and today a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit directs the entry of a preliminary injunction requiring the municipality to allow the display of the Summum monument. You can access the ruling at this link.

Duchesne City, Utah was equally unenthusiastic about the prospect of a Summum monument, but instead of merely saying “no” the municipality thought it would be beneficial to transfer its Ten Commandments monument and the patch of public parkland on which it resides to private ownership. Duchesne’s actions make this case a bit more complicated, but the Tenth Circuit today holds that Duchesne is not necessarily absolved of liability on Summum’s claim for injunctive relief. You can access the ruling at this link.

In press coverage of today’s rulings, The Salt Lake Tribune provides a news update headlined “‘Seven Aphorisms’ equal to 10 Commandments, appeals court rules.”

And two Saturdays ago, The Deseret Morning News published articles headlined “Thou shalt not … underestimate impact of the Ten Commandments” and “Displays a source of friction.”

Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court: Gov’t Can’t Hold Cuban Militant.” The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “An appeals court on Tuesday denied the U.S. government’s latest bid to keep anti-Castro Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles jailed until his May trial on immigration fraud charges.”

Posted at 8:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“BA recruiting case lands in high court Wednesday; School at odds with TSSAA in decade-old dispute”: This article appears today in The Tennessean.

And at “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston previews tomorrow’s oral argument in a post titled “Schools, sports and rules.”

Posted at 7:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“That Night at Duke: They spent a year accused of kidnapping, assault and rape; Now, though, the three Duke lacrosse players were told they were ‘innocent’; The inside story of the infamous evening.” This article appears in the April 23, 2007 issue of Newsweek.

Posted at 7:28 PM by Howard Bashman

“Does death penalty ever apply to those found insane? The US Supreme Court hears Wednesday the case of a killer who may not grasp the tie between his crime and his punishment.” Warren Richey will have this article Wednesday in The Christian Science Monitor.

The Daily Texan today contains an article headlined “Victims await final verdict; Supreme Court will hear convicted killer’s last appeal tomorrow.”

The Houston Chronicle yesterday contained an article headlined “What if killer can’t grasp meaning of execution? U.S. high court asked to define insanity in case of Texas man.”

The San Antonio Express-News reported yesterday that “Justices to eye Texas death case.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sunday contained an article headlined “Is Wisconsin native too mentally ill to execute? Supreme Court decision could be groundbreaking.”

And at “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston previews tomorrow’s oral argument in a post titled “Eighth Amendment and insanity.”

Posted at 7:18 PM by Howard Bashman

When covering the U.S. Supreme Court, one Greenhouse is simply not enough: Today in The New York Times, Steven Greenhouse has an article headlined “Day in Court for Queens Home-Care Aide” that begins, “It was Evelyn Coke’s first trip to the United States Supreme Court, and for the 73-year-old home-care aide from Corona, Queens, it was certainly eventful, the last step in a five-year battle. In a case in which Ms. Coke is the sole plaintiff, her lawyers sought to persuade the nine justices that she — and the nation’s 1.4 million other home-care aides — should not be exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime protections.”

Posted at 5:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“Tomorrow the Sixth Circuit will be holding argument in Warshak v. United States, a rather odd case involving e-mail privacy.” So begins a post from Orin Kerr today at “The Volokh Conspiracy.”

Posted at 4:47 PM by Howard Bashman

“State Supreme Court ruling favors prisoners”: The Columbia Missourian provides a news update that begins, “Two women who were given commutations of their life sentences two years ago by then-Gov. Bob Holden are finally on their way out of prison. The Missouri Supreme Court handed down a 6-1 decision Tuesday that said that the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole was wrong to reconsider the crimes of Lynda Branch and Shirley Lute and keep them in prison.”

You can access today’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Missouri at this link.

Posted at 4:44 PM by Howard Bashman

Access online the transcripts of today’s U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments: You can access at this link the transcript of today’s oral argument in National Assn. of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife, No. 06-340.

You can access at this link the transcript of today’s oral argument in Sole v. Wyner, No. 06-531.

And you can access at this link the transcript of today’s oral argument in Uttecht v. Brown, No. 06-413.

Posted at 4:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“House Prods Gonzales Aide to Testify”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “The House Judiciary Committee plans to vote Wednesday on whether to grant Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ former counsel immunity from prosecution and force her to testify about the firings of federal prosecutors.”

Posted at 4:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“Maryland will drop Wal-Mart law fight; Move ends battle over health care”: The Baltimore Sun today contains an article that begins, “Maryland won’t challenge a federal court decision striking down the state’s ‘Fair Share’ health care act, ending a two-year effort to force Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to pay more for employee health care, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said yesterday.”

The Baltimore Examiner reports today that “Gansler won’t appeal death of ‘Wal-Mart bill.’

And MarketWatch reports that “Maryland drops effort to charge Wal-Mart for health costs.”

My earlier coverage of the January 2007 ruling of a divided three-judge Fourth Circuit panel in this case appears here and here.

Posted at 3:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“The exception to the warrant requirement under the Fourth Amendment for a search of the passenger compartment of a car incident to a lawful custodial arrest applies only if the search follows the arrest, a divided three-judge D.C. Circuit panel holds”: On June 23, 2006, I had this post bearing that title describing a decision that a divided three-judge D.C. Circuit panel had issued that day.

The D.C. Circuit thereafter took the case en banc, and today the en banc court by a vote of 9-1 disagreed with the three-judge panel’s holding and ruled that the search in question was lawful. Senior Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards originally joined today’s lone dissenter in creating a majority in support of the original three-judge panel’s ruling. Although senior circuit judges can elect to participate in a rehearing en banc within their own circuit if they served on the original three-judge panel that decided the case, Judge Edwards apparently did not elect to participate in the rehearing en banc in this case, perhaps realizing that whether the result was 9-1 or 9-2 would not make much of a difference to anyone.

Posted at 3:35 PM by Howard Bashman

Majority on divided three-judge Fourth Circuit panel creates circuit split over what constitutes a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” for purposes of federal law prohibiting the possession of firearms by anyone convicted of such a misdemeanor offense: You can access yesterday’s ruling at this link. This case would appear to be a good candidate for either en banc or U.S. Supreme Court review.

Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court rules on three cases”: Lyle Denniston provides this report at “SCOTUSblog.”

According to Lyle’s post, the three argued cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court announced rulings today are:

Global Crossing Telecommunications, Inc. v. Metrophones Telecommunications, Inc., No. 05-705 (opinion here; oral argument transcript here). Justice Stephen G. Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court, in which all Justices joined except for Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justices Scalia and Thomas each issued a dissenting opinion;

Watters v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., No. 05-1342 (opinion here; oral argument transcript here). Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, Breyer, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. joined. Justice John Paul Stevens filed a dissenting opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justice Scalia joined. Justice Thomas did not participate in the decision; and

Zuni Public School Dist. v. Department of Education, No. 05-1508 (opinion here; oral argument transcript here). In this 5-4 ruling, Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Stevens, Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Alito joined. Justice Stevens also filed a separate concurring opinion, as did Justice Kennedy. Justice Alito also joined in Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion, in which the Chief Justice and Justice Thomas joined in full and in which Justice Souter joined in part. Justice Souter also filed a separate dissenting opinion. This case provides another fascinating glimpse into the battle between the Court’s “plain language of the statute” and “clear intent of the Legislature” factions. As noted, Justices Kennedy and Alito provide the crucial fourth and fifth votes for the majority, while the Chief Justice and Justices Scalia and Thomas find themselves among the dissenters.

In early news coverage of the Global Crossing decision, The Associated Press reports that “FCC Authority Reinforced by Court.”

And in early news coverage of the Watters decision, The AP provides a report headlined “Court: States Must Step Aside on Banks.”

Posted at 10:04 AM by Howard Bashman

“Workers who missed lunch breaks entitled to back pay, court says”: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, “California employees who are forced to work through their lunch breaks scored a major legal victory Monday when the state Supreme Court ruled that they are entitled to back wages of an hour a day for as long as three years. The unanimous ruling in the case of a San Francisco clothing store employee applies to thousands of workers in pending class-action suits against their employers. It may also help 116,000 present and past Wal-Mart employees in California preserve a $172 million damages award against the retail giant.”

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that “Employees win major ruling on pay regulations.”

You can access yesterday’s ruling of the Supreme Court of California at this link.

Posted at 8:54 AM by Howard Bashman

“Ex-aide contradicts Gonzales; The former chief of staff reportedly tells Senate investigators the attorney general did recall discussing with Bush a U.S. attorney who was later fired”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Hartford Courant reports today that “O’Connor Steps Up As Gonzales Faces Grilling; New Chief Of Staff Is Trusted Adviser.”

The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled “Beyond Mr. Gonzales: Who really needs to ‘lay out on the record’ what led to the firings of U.S. attorneys.” John Podesta has an op-ed entitled “The Truth Congress Is Owed.” And columnist Richard Cohen has an op-ed entitled “The Face of Opportunism.”

In USA Today, Ross K. Baker has an op-ed entitled “Friends in high places: One might ask why President Bush doesn’t simply ask Alberto Gonzales to walk the plank; Yet Bush is the latest in a line of presidents who let loyal staffers hang on longer than is good for the administration — or the country.”

In The Chicago Tribune, Patrick M. Collins has an op-ed entitled “Prosecutors owe loyalty to the public.”

And in The Boston Globe, columnist Peter S. Canellos has an essay entitled “Government workers’ private e-mails need some safeguards.”

Posted at 8:47 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justices reject case of firing after slur complaint; High court turns down a black computer technician’s appeal; He had objected to a co-worker’s comment”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 8:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“Potential jurors quizzed in Padilla terrorism trial; Jury selection began in the Jose Padilla terrorism trial, a process that could plod along for at least three weeks before opening arguments”: This article appears today in The Miami Herald.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that “Padilla jury selection starts; Potential jurors grilled about Islam.”

The New York Times reports that “Trial Opens in Florida for Padilla and 2 Others.”

And The Washington Times reports that “Judge allows mention of 9/11 in terror trial.”

Posted at 8:37 AM by Howard Bashman

“Government Loses on Aipac Secrecy Bid”: The New York Sun today contains an article that begins, “Dealing a blow to the government, a federal judge yesterday rejected an unprecedented prosecution proposal that would have kept secret large portions of a trial against two pro-Israel lobbyists.”

Posted at 8:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“Globe writer wins Pulitzer for national reporting; Signing statements series gets honor”: The Boston Globe today contains an article that begins, “Charlie Savage of The Boston Globe yesterday won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, for a series of stories about President Bush’s greatly expanded use of ‘signing statements,’ which he attached to laws passed by Congress to assert his authority to disregard them.”

Posted at 8:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Hinckley Seeking Longer Furloughs; With Parents Aging, Siblings Say They’d Take Larger Role”: The Washington Post contains this article today.

Posted at 8:15 AM by Howard Bashman