How Appealing

Friday, April 20, 2007

Available online from Tony Mauro reports that “Kennedy Reshapes Abortion Conflict as He Refines ‘Swing Vote’ Role; In a controversial 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court found no medical exception needed for some abortion restrictions.”

In other news, “Gonzales Hearing Showcases Policy Shift; Since 2002, more than 100 White House employees have had access to information on criminal investigations.”

In news from Texas, “A Lawyer and an Ass Walk Into a Courtroom …; Donkey is called as first witness in attorney’s suit against neighbor.”

And the brand new installment of my “On Appeal” column for is headlined “The Trial Judge as Adversary on Appeal.”

Posted at 11:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“S.F. program may trump Prop. 209”: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, “A state appeals court has given San Francisco a chance to reinstate its affirmative action program for minority and female contractors, saying a history of discrimination may justify preferential treatment despite California’s Proposition 209. A judge who struck down the program in 2004 failed to review San Francisco’s claims that long-standing and pervasive discrimination by both city employees and contractors caused firms owned by minorities and women to be excluded from winning city business, the First District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday. If San Francisco can prove those claims, it may be able to show that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection requires the city to grant preferences to minority and female contractors to eliminate the effects of discrimination. That would override Prop. 209, a 1996 initiative that banned race and sex preferences in public contracting, employment and education, the court said.”

You can access Wednesday’s ruling of California’s First District Court of Appeal at this link.

Posted at 11:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Arnold kills death chamber project at San Quentin”: Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update that begins, “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today halted construction of a new death chamber at San Quentin prison, the latest setback for authorities trying to resume executions after a 15-month hiatus triggered by a challenge to the state’s procedures for lethal injections. The order came after legislators complained vociferously that they had not been consulted about the project, which apparently was conducted in secret.”

Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman

Rehearing en banc sought in Fourth Circuit Waffle House racial epithet case: This week’s installment of my “On Appeal” column for is headlined “The N-Word and a Plaintiff’s Right to His Day in Court.”

Therein, I argue that the majority on a divided three-judge Fourth Circuit panel reached the wrong result when applying issue preclusion in this recent ruling involving the alleged use of a racial epithet by a Waffle House employee.

Today, plaintiffs’ counsel filed this petition for rehearing en banc in the case.

Posted at 4:20 PM by Howard Bashman

Former State of Wisconsin employee Georgia Thompson, still acquitted: Fifteen days ago, a three-judge Seventh Circuit panel took the extraordinary step of issuing a judgment of acquittal at the conclusion of oral argument, with the court’s opinion to follow. Later that day, the federal prisoner in question walked away a free woman. My initial coverage of that day’s developments appear in my post from that night.

One of the only potential downsides with “an opinion to follow” is what if the appellate court changes its mind? Georgia Thompson doesn’t have to worry about that happening any longer, because today the Seventh Circuit issued this opinion explaining the reasons why it issued a judgment of acquittal from the bench immediately following oral argument.

Posted at 4:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Commerce further found that the expectations of the ultimate users of etouffee differ from the expectations of the ultimate users of crawfish tail meat because etouffee is suitable only for heating and serving, whereas freshwater crawfish tail meat could be used in a variety of meals.” This decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued today may cause some readers to long for a Cajun feast.

Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman

“‘Survivor’ champ talks about his experiences”: The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, “Yul Kwon LAW ’00 has certainly stepped off the typical Yale Law School career path. ‘You may think Yale Law School is a place for nerds,’ Law School Dean Harold Koh said on Thursday. ‘But in fact, People Magazine voted Yul the sexiest man of 2006.'”

Posted at 8:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“Ginsburg’s dissent may yet prevail; The justice argues that equality, not privacy, is crucial in the abortion right”: Law Professor Cass R. Sunstein has this op-ed today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 8:11 AM by Howard Bashman

“Md. abortion change unlikely; Lawmakers see no immediate change despite Supreme Court ruling”: The Baltimore Sun contains this article today.

Posted at 8:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Senators Chastise Gonzales at Hearing; Members of His Own Party Pile On as Attorney General Defends Firings”: This front page article appears today in The Washington Post. A related article is headlined “Gonzales Says He Didn’t Know Why Two Were Fired.” An editorial is entitled “Roughed Up on the Hill: The attorney general makes a poor case for keeping his job.” And Dana Milbank’s “Washington Sketch” column is headlined “Maybe Gonzales Won’t Recall His Painful Day on the Hill.”

The Los Angeles Times reports today that “Senators aim stiff criticism at Gonzales; Unsparing lawmakers question the attorney general’s credibility as he minimizes his role in prosecutors’ firings.”

The New York Times contains a news analysis headlined “On a Very Hot Seat With Little Cover and Less Support.” And an editorial is entitled “Gonzales v. Gonzales.”

In The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage reports that “Gonzales gets grilling, vows to stay.” And an editorial is entitled “No support for either Gonzales.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that “Gonzales hit from both sides; Attorney general gets bipartisan lashing during Senate testimony.” And an editorial is entitled “Grilling Gonzales.”

USA Today contains articles headlined “Senators crank up heat on attorney general; Oklahoma Republican calls for him to step down” and “Rove’s name keeps popping up in Dems’ questions; Legislators push for his testimony and e-mails on RNC accounts.” And an editorial is entitled “Questions of judgment create a cloud at Justice.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contains an article headlined “Gonzales defends firings; Sen. Tom Coburn: ‘The best way to put this behind us is your resignation.’

The Christian Science Monitor reports that “Gonzales’s testimony leaves senators frustrated; Not recalling key dates and meetings, the US attorney general says he had a ‘limited’ role in the controversial firing of eight federal attorneys.”

Financial Times reports that “Gonzales faces tough questions on Hill.”

The Washington Times reports that “Gonzalez defends firings before tough GOP critics.”

The Associated Press reports that “Attorney General Doesn’t Satisfy Critics.”

And Bloomberg News reports that “Gonzales, Fighting for His Job, Fails to Convince Republicans.”

Posted at 7:44 AM by Howard Bashman

“More Polarizing Than Rehnquist: Chief Justice John Roberts won Senate confirmation by vowing to shun ideological activism; Instead, by trashing judicial precedent and legislative statutes, he’s reshaping law to fit conservative dogma.” Simon Lazarus has this article in the May 2007 issue of The American Prospect.

Posted at 12:30 AM by Howard Bashman