How Appealing

Thursday, May 3, 2007

“Rehearing sought in Summum case”: The Deseret Morning News today contains an article that begins, “The cities of Duchesne and Pleasant Grove have asked that all 15 judges of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals re-hear the issue of a Utah religious group that wants to erect a monument next to the Ten Commandments displays in their city parks. The request comes after a ruling last month by a three-judge panel that the group had a right to put up the monument under the First Amendment.”

My most recent earlier coverage appears here.

Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“Electric chair’s fate in question”: The Omaha World-Herald today contains an article that begins, “No one will be executed in Nebraska anytime soon and the issue of lethal injection will not be tackled until after the State Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the electric chair. That was the fallout from the high court’s surprising decision Wednesday to withdraw the death warrant it had issued for Carey Dean Moore. The high court in effect said that the chair must first go on trial before Moore or any of the nine men on Nebraska’s death row are executed. The court said that issue trumped Moore’s desire to die.”

My earlier coverage of yesterday’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Nebraska appears at this link.

Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Free speech and sports recruiting”: Curt Masters, the Headmaster of Brentwood Academy, has this op-ed today in The Chicago Tribune.

Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“First woman named to the Supreme Court was a ‘lawyer’s lawyer’; Judge who had never practised law in the accepted manner wielded an eloquent pen, even if her reasons were not always in accord with those of her male colleagues”: This obituary for Bertha Wilson, the first woman to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court of Canada, appeared Tuesday in The Toronto Globe and Mail.

Also on Tuesday, justice reporter Kirk Makin had an article headlined “‘The great dissenter’: The first female judge to ascend to the Supreme Court dies at 83.”

Posted at 9:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“An Interview with Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens”: This item appears in the April 2007 issue of The Third Branch.

Posted at 9:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court Web Site Endorses the ‘Living Constitution'”: Andrew Hyman has this post at the “Confirm Them” blog.

Posted at 4:55 PM by Howard Bashman

Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission initiates formal misconduct proceeding against intermediate state appellate court judge arising from his criticism, in a concurring opinion, of a colleague: You can access the misconduct charges, filed today, at this link. The concurring opinion giving rise to the charges can be accessed here.

The Tallahassee Democrat provides a news update headlined “Sex, conflict and ethics charges at First DCA.”

I have previously covered this matter, but the blog “Abstract Appeal” today provides a thorough summary of the proceeding’s history.

Posted at 4:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Former Justice Dept. Official Praises Fired U.S. Attorneys”: The Washington Post provides a news update that begins, “A former deputy attorney general today heaped praise on most of the eight U.S. attorneys who were fired after he left the job, testifying that he only considered one of them a weak prosecutor who had trouble managing his office. James B. Comey, the Justice Department’s second-in-command from 2003 until August 2005, also told a House Judiciary subcommittee that he was never informed about an effort by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and his aides to remove a large group of prosecutors that began in early 2005.”

And The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined “Former Justice Dept. official praises fired attorneys.”

Posted at 3:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Appellants are home and business owners who were issued criminal citations by the City of Bradford, Pennsylvania for displaying commercial and noncommercial signs on their private property without first obtaining a permit.” So begins an opinion that a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued today. A federal district court had ruled that the city’s sign ordinances are content-neutral and permissible under the First Amendment, and today the Third Circuit affirms.

Posted at 3:14 PM by Howard Bashman

“Potential Terror Jurors Cite 9/11 Doubts”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Many potential jurors in the Jose Padilla terrorism-support case say they aren’t sure who directed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because they don’t trust reporters or the federal government.”

Posted at 3:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“[T]he Constitution is not violated by a prison’s forcing a prisoner who is assigned to work in an unhealthy environment to be inoculated against the microbes that make it unhealthy.” Requiring a state prisoner to be inoculated against hepatitis is not cruel and unusual punishment, but exposing the prisoner to cigarette smoke may be, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled today in an opinion written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner.

Posted at 12:37 PM by Howard Bashman

“2007 High Court Candidates Responses To The Legal Intelligencer‘s Questions”: The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia’s daily newspaper for lawyers, asked the candidates running for election to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania a series of interesting questions. The candidates’ answers can be accessed online via this link.

Posted at 12:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Eighth Circuit plans to implement Electronic Case Filing in all cases effective June 1, 2007. If you have any pending cases it is important that you register at this time.” So advises a notice that the Clerk’s Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued yesterday.

The Eighth Circuit remains at the forefront of the effort to expand electronic case filing, now used in most federal district courts, to the federal appellate court level. Eventually, ECF is expected to expand throughout the entire federal appellate court system, which is one of the reasons I find it interesting to keep tabs on how the Eighth Circuit’s roll-out of appellate ECF is proceeding.

Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Mentally ill man’s 3-strikes sentence upheld; Thief received term of 25 years to life for stealing liquor”: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, “A federal appeals court upheld a mentally ill man’s three-strikes sentence of 25 years to life Wednesday for shoplifting two bottles of liquor from a Southern California market, a sentence that a dissenting judge called ‘barbarous.””

Yesterday’s non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit consists of a three-page majority opinion and a sixteen-page dissenting opinion.

Posted at 9:18 AM by Howard Bashman

“Treaties apply to foreign prisoners, too: The Supreme Court should uphold a treaty granting consular visitation rights to foreigners on Death Row.” The Los Angeles Times contains this editorial today.

Posted at 9:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justice Department looking into prosecutor hirings; Accusations that an aide considered party politics raise more concerns of partisan practices at the agency”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times, along with an article headlined “Lam defends her performance as a U.S. attorney; Statements by her and several others show they are increasingly convinced politics were behind their firings.”

Today’s edition of USA Today contains an article headlined “Senate subpoenas Gonzales for Rove information; Query: Whether adviser was tied to firings.”

And in The New York Times, Law Professor Frank Bowman has an op-ed entitled “He’s Impeachable, You Know,” while Arnold I. Burns has an op-ed entitled “Two Parties, One Law.”

Posted at 9:04 AM by Howard Bashman

“Kick in the Pants: Just deserts for a ludicrous lawsuit.” The Washington Post today contains an editorial that begins, “Is there anything more absurd than someone pursuing a $65 million lawsuit over a lost pair of pants? Well, how about this same person being in a position to adjudicate the cases of other people? Or that there’s a chance of his getting a new 10-year term as judge? A panel of four D.C. officials is considering the reappointment of administrative law judge Roy L. Pearson Jr. in light of devastating publicity about a court case he brought.”

Posted at 8:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“Edited Transcripts Authorized; Classified Material at Issue in Case of Former NSA Worker”: The Washington Post today contains an article that begins, “The attorney for a former National Security Agency employee convicted of unlawfully possessing classified material will be given redacted versions of court transcripts he has been seeking for more than seven months, a federal prosecutor said yesterday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.”

Posted at 8:32 AM by Howard Bashman

“Exonerations Change How Justice System Builds a Prosecution; DNA Tests Have Cleared 200 Convicts”: This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, in news from Ohio, The New York Times reports today that “Court Rejects Limit on Bids by Convicts for DNA Tests.”

And The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that “Jail doors opened to more DNA tests; Court: Prosecutors won’t have final say.”

My earlier coverage of yesterday’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio appears at this link.

Posted at 8:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“Akron parking project hits U.S. barriers; Judges cite security, threaten relocation of federal offices. City plans meeting today”: The Akron Beacon Journal today contains an article that begins, “U.S. officials are threatening to relocate their downtown federal offices — and 300 jobs — if Akron moves forward on a plan to build a $20 million parking deck that would come within one foot of the federal building. In a strongly worded letter to Mayor Don Plusquellic, Judges James G. Carr and Randolph Baxter invoke the memory of the Oklahoma City bombing and say city officials have essentially ignored their security concerns over construction plans for South Main Street.”

Posted at 8:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Lawsuit challenges Ohio law; Birth-control case tests limits on damages won”: The Cincinnati Enquirer today contains an article that begins, “When she decided to use a birth control patch in 2005, Anderson Township’s Melisa Arbino had no idea she would be thrust into a legal fight that aims to declare an Ohio law unconstitutional and is being watched nationally.”

Posted at 8:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“A Recent Opinion Shows a Clear Split Between Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito On Federalism Issues – With Roberts Displaying Justice O’Connor’s Respect for the States, and Alito Lacking that Respect”: Marci Hamilton has this essay online today at FindLaw.

Posted at 7:40 AM by Howard Bashman