How Appealing

Thursday, April 26, 2007

“Chief Justice Denies Detainees’ Request”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday denied a request to step in and prevent cases of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay from being thrown out of court.”

And at “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “Chief Justice denies detainees’ pleas.”

You can access at this link today’s Opinion in Chambers of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. in his capacity as Circuit Justice for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“I can’t really have breakfast, really enjoy my day, until I hear the great thoughts of Howard Bashman”: Thanks to Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski for the kind — at least when taken entirely out-of-context — words.

At “The Volokh Conspiracy,” Orin Kerr has a post titled “Judge Kozinski and the Blogosphere.”

At’s “Legal Blog Watch,” Carolyn Elefant has a post titled “Justice Kozinski Gives a ‘Shout-Out’ to Howard Bashman.”

And at “Begging The Question,” Milbarge has a post that begins, “Unlike Judge Kozinski, I do check Howard Bashman’s site before I eat breakfast every day.” And so does Law Professor Rick Hasen.

A law clerk who works at a California-based federal district court emails, “If that’s all that Judge Kozinski said about your blog, I think he missed the point of what you do. Although I enjoy your light introductions to a topic or event, I read your blog to be timely introduced to events just occurring in the legal world, especially judicial decisions. Your links to just-issued decisions are invaluable, including those authored by Judge Kozinski. More than once, you have identified a case or other legal happening directly relevant to something on which I am working. Don’t be discouraged.”

And a well-known criminal defense attorney based in Atlanta emails, “That quote is hilarious. Why don’t you provide more insight into your view of his lack of pre-occupation with your thoughts? I want to know how long at a time can you go without thinking of him?”

Posted at 9:03 PM by Howard Bashman

“Roberts Pans Texas Death Penalty Opinion”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “When Chief Justice John Roberts took his center seat for the first time in October 2005, John Paul Stevens, the court’s senior justice, wished him ‘a long and happy career in our common calling.’ This week, Roberts had some words for Stevens, who turned 87 last week. And they were not nearly so kind. In a pointed dissent from decisions overturning death sentences for two Texas inmates, Roberts accused Stevens of engaging in revisionist history.”

Later, the article notes that “Justice Anthony Kennedy, by contrast, is having the kind of year most judges only dream about…. Kennedy is a robust 31-1 in signed opinions issued since the court began its current term in October. He is 12-0 in 5-4 cases, the only justice in that narrow majority each time in cases concerning abortion, the death penalty and global warming.”

Posted at 4:00 PM by Howard Bashman

In free speech-related rulings from the Supreme Court of Washington State: The Seattle Times provides a news update headlined “State high court rules Westlake Center had a right to limit war protesters” that begins, “In a 7-2 vote on free speech, the state Supreme Court ruled that Westlake Center officials were within their right to ask Iraq war protesters to lower their picket signs walking between the mall and the monorail station.”

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer provides a news update headlined “Court: Rights of anti-war protesters in Westlake were not violated.”

Today’s ruling in Sanders v. City of Seattle consists of a majority opinion, a concurring opinion, and two dissenting opinions (here and here).

In coverage of a separate ruling that Washington State’s highest court issued today, The Associated Press provides a report headlined “WA court: Radio talk show hosts exempt from campaign finance laws.” Back in June 2006, just after the case had been argued, The Seattle Times published an article headlined “Talk-radio case heard by state high court.”

Today’s ruling in San Juan County v. No New Gas Tax consists of a majority opinion and a concurring opinion.

At “The Volokh Conspiracy,” Eugene Volokh has written several posts about this decision, including one titled “What About Bloggers Arguing for Ballot Measures in Washington State?

In the interest of full disclosure, yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders, who was in attendance at the Heritage Foundation event in which I participated yesterday.

Posted at 2:57 PM by Howard Bashman

“Defendant in the present case objects to the imposition of an injunction prohibiting her from repeating statements the trial court determined were slanderous, asserting the injunction constitutes an impermissible prior restraint. We disagree.” So states the majority opinion of the Supreme Court of California today in a ruling that issued in the case captioned Balboa Island Village v. Lemen.

The paragraph of the majority opinion from which the title of this post is excerpted states, in full:

Defendant in the present case objects to the imposition of an injunction prohibiting her from repeating statements the trial court determined were slanderous, asserting the injunction constitutes an impermissible prior restraint. We disagree. As explained below, an injunction issued following a trial that determined that the defendant defamed the plaintiff that does no more than prohibit the defendant from repeating the defamation, is not a prior restraint and does not offend the First Amendment.

Later, the majority opinion explains, “The United States Supreme Court has never addressed the precise question before us — whether an injunction prohibiting the repetition of statements found at trial to be defamatory violates the First Amendment. But several high court decisions have addressed related questions, and each is consistent with our holding that a court may enjoin the repetition of a statement that was determined at trial to be defamatory.”

Two justices dissented, and they reasoned that the injunction constituted an impermissible prior restraint on speech and that the plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that damages were insufficient to compensate the plaintiff for any harm that resulted from further repetition of the defamation.

This appears to be a very interesting decision. My preview of today’s ruling, which I posted this morning, can be accessed here.

Posted at 2:27 PM by Howard Bashman

Tort claims arising from the less than perfect landing of Southwest Airlines flight 1248 in a snowstorm at Chicago Midway International Airport on December 8, 2005 belong in state court, Seventh Circuit holds: Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook issued this decision today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge Seventh Circuit panel.

Posted at 12:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justice Alito, Path Dependency, and Stare Decisis: A Bit More on the WRTL Argument.” Law Professor Rick Hasen has this post at his “Election Law” blog.

Posted at 12:45 PM by Howard Bashman

Don’t hate the player: While speaking to a law school class on the subject of cyberlaw, Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski opines about blogs:

I just think it’s so self-indulgent, you know. Oh, I’m so proud of what I’m saying, I think the world instantly wants to know what I’m thinking today. People wake up thinking, hmm, what does this person, whoever the blog, the question is — I wonder what great thoughts have come into his mind this morning that I can feel myself edified by. I can’t really have breakfast, really enjoy my day until I hear the great thoughts of Howard Bashman — I don’t think so. I go for months without ever knowing what Howard has to say. So I don’t know. I find it sort of self-indulgent. And I find it so grandiloquent.

Transcript here (edited to conform to audio); audio available via direct link (access segment labeled “Introduction”) or mp3 download. Thanks to Law Professor Eric Goldman for making this available.

Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“The Catholic Connection, Rosie and the Supreme Court”: Tony Mauro has this post today at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.”

Posted at 11:12 AM by Howard Bashman

Supreme Court of California to decide First Amendment implications of injunction prohibiting defendant from continuing to repeat defamatory statements to third-parties: California’s highest court has announced that it plans to issue a ruling today in a case captioned Balboa Island Village v. Lemen. The case presents the following question:

When a trial court has found that a defendant in a defamation action has made repeated untruthful defamatory statements against the plaintiff and that pecuniary compensation would not afford adequate relief in the event of repeated statements in the future, may the trial court issue an injunction prohibiting defendant from continuing to make the same defamatory statements to third parties or does such an injunction constitute an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech?

The ruling is scheduled to appear online at 1 p.m. eastern time today, and you can access it via this link.

Back on January 29, 2007, Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times reported on the case in an article headlined “Woman’s crusade against bar spawns free speech case; Anne Lemen just wants to say what she pleases about a Balboa Island restaurant and bar; A court has forbidden her to, and that sets up a dispute over prior restraint.”

The ruling under review from California’s Court of Appeal for the Fourth District can be accessed here.

Finally, Peter Blumberg of the Daily Journal of California discussed the case in an essay entitled “Citation Rules Mean Equal Treatment Isn’t Guaranteed.”

Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“How feds got bomb suspect: Iowa man accused of threatening companies to inflate stock prices.” This article appears today in The Chicago Tribune. The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled “The sleuths and The Bishop.” And the newspaper has posted online at this link a copy of the federal criminal complaint filed in the case.

USA Today reports today that “Man accused of threatening companies with bombs.”

The Des Moines Register reports that “Feds arrest Iowan for mail bombs; John Tompkins of Dubuque allegedly sent threats as the ‘Bishop.’

And The Telegraph Herald of Dubuque reports that “Dubuque man arrested in pipe-bomb case.”

Posted at 9:45 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justices may ease limits on ‘issue ads’; Some groups may be permitted to mention candidates in preelection spots, exempting them from a broadcast ban”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

In today’s issue of USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that “Justices look set to allow ‘issue ads’ naming candidates.”

In The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage reports that “Campaign finance law challenged; Justices review McCain-Feingold.”

In The New York Sun, Joseph Goldstein reports that “Some Justices Appear Ready To Rule Against McCain-Feingold.”

And The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that “Campaign finance law returns to court; Abortion foes tell U.S. justices that speech was curbed.”

Posted at 9:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Officer’s widow notifies city that she may sue”: Today’s edition of The New Haven Register contains an article that begins, “The widow of a city police officer who was fatally struck while directing traffic at a road-construction site last October has put the city on notice that she may sue. The notice, filed on behalf of Deanna Picagli and her children, was received April 16 by the city clerk, but it does not mean a lawsuit is imminent.”

And today in The Hartford Courant, a letter to the editor appears under the heading “Judge Should Be Prosecuted.”

Posted at 9:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“Fewer apply to Yale Law; Officials cite normal trends as reason behind 10% drop in Law School applications”: The Yale Daily News contains this article today.

Posted at 8:54 AM by Howard Bashman

“Renzi Aide Called U.S. Attorney to Ask About Probe; Chief of Staff Inquired About Land Deal Investigation; Prosecutor Among Eight Who Were Fired”: This article appears today in The Washington Post, along with an article headlined “Hill Subpoenas Approved for Rice, Other Bush Officials; As Democrats Seek Administration Testimony on Various Issues, Ex-Justice Aide Receives Limited Immunity.” Dana Milbank’s “Washington Sketch” column is headlined “‘Subpoenafest’: Democratic Tigers and Republican Guerrillas.” And columnist Robert D. Novak has an op-ed entitled “Bush’s Barricade.”

The New York Times today contains an article headlined “Flexing Muscles, Democrats Issue 3 Subpoenas.” And an editorial is entitled “Another Dubious Firing.”

The Washington Times reports that “Congressional panels subpoena Rice, Rove aide.”

And in The Chicago Tribune, columnist Steve Chapman has an op-ed entitled “Man of principle (Peter’s).”

Posted at 8:47 AM by Howard Bashman

“Lawyer’s Price For Missing Pants: $65 Million.” Today in The Washington Post, Metro columnist Marc Fisher has an essay that begins, “When the neighborhood dry cleaner misplaced Roy Pearson’s pants, he took action. He complained. He demanded compensation. And then he sued. Man, did he sue. Two years, thousands of pages of legal documents and many hundreds of hours of investigative work later, Pearson is seeking to make Custom Cleaners pay — would you believe more than the payroll of the entire Washington Nationals roster?”

Posted at 8:37 AM by Howard Bashman

“Spitzer Pushing Bill to Shore Up Abortion Rights”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Wednesday that he planned to introduce legislation to overhaul the state’s pioneering but antiquated abortion law, shoring up abortion rights in New York. The proposal follows the United States Supreme Court’s decision last week to uphold the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, at a time when several other states are moving to tighten restrictions on abortion.”

And Newsday reports today that “Spitzer to push abortion bill.”

Posted at 8:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court Asked to Limit Lawyers at Guantanamo”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to impose tighter restrictions on the hundreds of lawyers who represent detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the request has become a central issue in a new legal battle over the administration’s detention policies. Saying that visits by civilian lawyers and attorney-client mail have caused ‘intractable problems and threats to security at Guantanamo,’ a Justice Department filing proposes new limits on the lawyers’ contact with their clients and access to evidence in their cases that would replace more expansive rules that have governed them since they began visiting Guantanamo detainees in large numbers in 2004.”

Posted at 8:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justices, 5 to 4, Overturn 3 Texas Death Sentences”: Linda Greenhouse has this article today in The New York Times.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that “High court overturns 3 death sentences in Texas; The rulings, all decided on 5-4 votes, cite flaws in the state’s old system of capital sentencing.”

In The Houston Chronicle, Patty Reinert reports that “High court tosses 3 Texas death sentences; Ruling could affect dozens of state’s inmates facing execution.”

The Dallas Morning News reports that “Three Texas death sentences tossed; Dallas County case included as high court faults jury instruction.”

The Austin American-Statesman reports that “U.S. court tosses 3 Texas death sentences; Three Texas death sentences overturned over jury rules, putting 44 more in question.”

The San Antonio Express-News reports that “Ruling for 3 Texas inmates offers hope for 47 on death row.”

And The Amarillo Globe-News reports that “Death ruling tossed; Decision could be far-reaching.”

Posted at 7:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“The Supreme Court’s Split Decision to Uphold the Federal ‘Partial-Birth Abortion’ Ban: Why, Despite the Court’s Disclaimers, It Will Be Hugely Influential.” Edward Lazarus has this essay today at FindLaw.

Posted at 6:47 AM by Howard Bashman