How Appealing

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

“Gitmo: still a ‘legal black hole’; The White House should stop hampering lawyers working for Guantanamo Bay detainees, and Congress should provide habeas relief.” This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 11:57 PM by Howard Bashman

“Order In The Courts: Borden Shepherds Judiciary Through Tumultuous Year.” Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, “Supreme Court Justice David M. Borden never parked his car in the space reserved for the chief justice, didn’t take the chief’s chair at the head of the table during court conferences and didn’t refer to himself as the acting chief justice. But in his yearlong role as de facto chief, Borden led the judicial branch out of an unprecedented scandal and crisis in public confidence and into a new era of openness and accountability.”

Posted at 11:48 PM by Howard Bashman

“Some Ask if U.S. Attorney Dismissals Point to Pattern of Investigating Democrats”: This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that “Justice Dept. Official Says His Role in Firings Was Limited.”

And The Los Angeles Times reports that “Gonzales allowed aides some hiring power, records show; A 2006 order gave his chief of staff and White House liaison authority over 135 jobs designated for political appointees.” In addition, Elizabeth Holtzman has an op-ed entitled “Alberto Gonzales’ safety net: Confirmation hearings for his successor could spawn criminal investigations of the White House.”

Posted at 10:11 PM by Howard Bashman

“Vonage requests retrial in Verizon patent dispute”: c|net provides a report that begins, “A pivotal U.S. Supreme Court ruling designed to make it easier to challenge obvious patents prompted Vonage on Tuesday to ask for a new trial in an ongoing dispute with Verizon. One day after the high court released a unanimous opinion widely viewed as one of the most sweeping changes to patent law in years, the struggling Internet phone company asked the U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit to put its pending appeals process on hold and send the case back to the lower court for a new trial.”

And Reuters reports that “Vonage asks for retrial of key patent case.”

Update:’s “Law Blog” has posted the new trial request at this link.

Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Law Day”: The New York Times today contains an editorial that concludes, “The less committed a president is to the law, the more need there is for Law Day, which makes it a holiday whose time has come.”

Posted at 8:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Senators Wary of Bush’s Wiretap Proposal”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Citing FBI abuses and the attorney general’s troubles, senators peppered top Justice and intelligence officials Tuesday with skeptical questions about their proposal to revise the rules for spying on Americans.”

Posted at 8:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court Refuses to Block Detainee Transfer”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “The Supreme Court refused to stop the Bush administration Tuesday from transferring a Guantanamo Bay detainee to his home country of Libya. Lawyers for the man argued he faces torture at the hands of the Libyan government if sent there.”

And at “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “Court allows detainee transfer to Libya.”

Posted at 8:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“Missouri Supreme Court upholds parental lawsuits for abortions”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “The Missouri Supreme Court today upheld a law letting parents sue people who help their teenage daughters get abortions without their consent.”

My earlier coverage appears in the post immediately below.

Posted at 5:55 PM by Howard Bashman

Supreme Court of Missouri rejects challenge to the lawfulness of a Missouri law that creates a civil cause of action against any person who assists a minor in obtaining an abortion without parental consent or judicial bypass of the consent requirement: Although Planned Parenthood is the nominal loser of today’s ruling of Missouri’s highest court, to avoid striking down the law under the First Amendment the court construed the law to exclude from its coverage speech or expressive conduct. Thus, under today’s ruling, Planned Parenthood and similar groups will be able to provide information and counseling to minors about how to obtain an abortion without parental consent or judicial bypass and not run afoul of the law.

Posted at 2:42 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court Strikes Law Barring Sale of Drug Data”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “A federal judge ruled yesterday that the pharmaceutical industry could continue to use computerized data showing which doctors are prescribing what drugs. Judge Paul Barbadoro of United States District Court struck down a New Hampshire law that prohibited the purchase and resale of the data for use by the drug makers. Judge Barbadoro, ruling in Concord, N.H., said that the law violated the First Amendment by restricting commercial speech.”

The Associated Press reports that “N.H. Prescription Law Struck Down.”

And Reuters reports that “US court overturns New Hampshire prescription drug law.”

I have posted at this link yesterday’s ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire.

Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court to Patent Appeals Court: Drop Dead.” Roger Parloff of Fortune magazine has this post today at his “Legal Pad” blog.

Posted at 11:10 AM by Howard Bashman

En banc D.C. Circuit issues its ruling in Boehner v. McDermott: The ruling can be accessed online at this link.

The lead majority opinion begins, “Both parties to this case are members of the United States House of Representatives. John A. Boehner, the plaintiff, represents Ohio’s Eighth District. James A. McDermott, the defendant, represents Washington’s Seventh District. The complaint alleged that Representative McDermott violated 18 U.S.C. sec. 2511(1)(c) when he disclosed a tape recording of an illegally intercepted conversation in which Representative Boehner participated.”

The lead majority opinion concludes, “When Representative McDermott became a member of the Ethics Committee, he voluntarily accepted a duty of confidentiality that covered his receipt and handling of the Martins’ illegal recording. He therefore had no First Amendment right to disclose the tape to the media.”

The D.C. Circuit’s ruling was 5-4, with the dissent constituting the majority(!) on one of the issues presented, thanks to Circuit Judge Thomas B. Griffith, who had the pleasure of providing the dispositive fifth vote on the issues before the court.

Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman

“Donald Lay, chief Appeals Court judge and champion of individual civil rights”: The Minneapolis Star Tribune today contains an obituary that begins, “Donald P. Lay, former chief judge of the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and a champion of individual civil rights, died Sunday in North Oaks. Lay, who was appointed to the Eighth Circuit by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, was 80. When Lay was appointed at age 39, the White House said he was the second-youngest ever named to the court.”

And this death notice appears today in The St. Paul Pioneer Press.

See also this earlier post.

Posted at 8:12 AM by Howard Bashman

“Noise law enforced fairly, court rules; Street preachers claimed they were discriminated against”: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, “A federal appeals court upheld San Francisco’s enforcement of an anti-noise ordinance against street preachers Monday, saying they had been cited for the volume of their amplified messages, not their content.”

My earlier coverage of yesterday’s Ninth Circuit ruling can be accessed here.

Posted at 8:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justices to rule on world court’s reach; A ruling in the Hague pits Texas against President Bush, Mexico and a Houston murderer”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Houston Chronicle reports today that “Ertman-Pena killer will get case heard; Mexican citizen on death row for ’93 rape-murders.”

The Dallas Morning News reports that “High court to hear Texas case on presidential power; Bush ordered review of Mexican’s death sentence.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that “Supreme Court to hear Mexican’s case.”

And The Washington Times reports that “Court to hear challenge of Bush’s order to Texas.”

Posted at 8:03 AM by Howard Bashman

“High court tosses case of Texas death row fixture; Dallas man’s appeal sent back to lower court”: Today in The Houston Chronicle, Patty Reinert has an article that begins, “The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sent back to a lower court the appeal of the inmate who has been on Texas’ death row the longest, citing faulty jury instructions that led the court to reject the death sentences of three other Texas killers last week.”

Posted at 8:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Video verdict: Supreme Court OKs deadly force to end high-speed police chases; Justices ruled an officer was justified in ramming a Georgia teen’s car — after studying a tape of the incident.” David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that “Court limits police liability in car chases; Dashboard video of fleeing vehicle sways justices.”

And The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that “High court vindicates Georgia officer in chase.”

Posted at 7:48 AM by Howard Bashman

“Feinstein seeks to close Guantanamo; The senator’s proposal comes on the day the justices decline to hear detainees’ appeal on the legality of military trials there”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 7:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“New Justices, New Rules: The Supreme Court Upholds the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.” Joanna Grossman and Linda McClain have this essay online today at FindLaw.

Posted at 7:32 AM by Howard Bashman