How Appealing

Thursday, May 10, 2007

“This morning at the CLE, Howard Bashman’s name came up at least twice. The first speaker to mention him even said she started her morning with biscuits and Bashman.” So writes “E. McPan” today in this post today at “The Dirty Life & Times of E. McPan.”

Posted at 8:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Democrats question Southwick’s civil rights record”: The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi provides a news update that begins, “Leslie Southwick’s nomination to a federal court seat ran into potential trouble today from congressional Democrats disturbed by his record on civil rights and gay rights. Southwick, a retired Mississippi Court of Appeals judge, is President Bush’s choice for a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. At a confirmation hearing today, Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee focused on some of the decisions Southwick made during his dozen years on the state bench.”

Posted at 6:08 PM by Howard Bashman

“Pentagon charges Hamdan, prepares terror trial”: Reuters provides a report that begins, “The Pentagon on Thursday charged Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the Guantanamo prisoner whose lawsuit derailed the Bush administration’s original terror trial plan, with conspiracy and material support for terrorism. The Defense Department said Hamdan served as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver and that he transported and delivered weapons and other supplies to al Qaeda members and associates.”

And The Associated Press reports that “U.S. Charges Suspected Bin Laden Driver.”

Today’s news release from the U.S. Department of Defense can be accessed here, while the charge sheet is at this link.

Posted at 5:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Gonzales Appears Before House Committee”: This audio segment (RealPlayer required) featuring Dahlia Lithwick appeared on today’s broadcast of NPR’s “Day to Day.”

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined “Gonzales Testifies on U.S. Attorney Firings.”

The Los Angeles Times provides a news update headlined “Gonzales testifies before House Judiciary Committee.”

And online today at National Journal, Murray Waas has an article headlined “Administration Withheld E-Mails About Rove.”

C-SPAN has posted the video of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales‘ testimony from this morning before the House Judiciary Committee at this link (RealPlayer required). When his afternoon testimony becomes available online, I will link to that too.

Posted at 3:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“This appeal challenges a decision to apply Mexican law in a suit alleging tortious interference with a contract for the services of a Mexican soap opera star.” So begins a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today. The three-judge panel unanimously concludes that the federal district court should have applied Florida law, rather than Mexican law, to decide the dispute.

Posted at 3:23 PM by Howard Bashman

Doctor who pleaded guilty to providing anabolic steroids and human growth hormone to NFL players has his sentencing challenge rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: You can access today’s ruling at this link.

In earlier coverage, reported that “Carolina steroids doctor sentenced to one year” and “Doctor enters guilty plea in steroids case.” And The Associated Press reported that “Doctor Defends Prescriptions for Steroids.”

Posted at 3:18 PM by Howard Bashman

If you want to be able to vote to elect the President of the United States or be represented by voting members of the U.S. Congress, don’t make your home in the U.S. Virgin Islands: A retired U.S. Marshal who worked in the continental United States before being transferred to work in the USVI thereafter became a permanent resident of that Territory. Today, in an opinion that you can access here, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirms the rejection of his various constitutional claims summarized in the title of this post.

The Third Circuit’s ruling states that the court is adopting the attached ruling of the District Court of the Virgin Islands. However, in its current PDF format, the district court’s ruling is not attached. Update: After this post originally appeared, the Third Circuit has re-posted the decision so that now the district court’s ruling is in fact attached.

Posted at 3:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Senator says he won’t block Michigan judge from federal bench”: The Detroit News provides an update that begins, “A Republican senator today questioned a nominee for an undermanned Michigan federal court over her attendance at a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple. But the senator, Republican Sam Brownback of Kansas, said he would allow the nomination of Janet Neff to go forward.”

The Detroit Free Press provides a news update headlined “Mich. judge’s federal judgeship nomination allowed to go forward.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Brownback Won’t Block Vote on Judge.”

Posted at 2:27 PM by Howard Bashman

Divided Supreme Court of the State of Washington affirms murder conviction of defendant tricked into providing DNA sample by police investigators who were impersonating lawyers: Today’s ruling in State of Washington v. John Nicholas Athan consists of a majority opinion, a concurring opinion, and two dissenting opinions (here and here).

In May 2003, The Associated Press published an article headlined “New Trick By Cops Closes Old Case” that begins, “Not long ago, John Nicholas Athan got an official-looking letter about a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of people who had been overcharged on parking tickets. If he wanted to take part in the case, he was told, he had to sign and return the enclosed form. He licked the self-addressed envelope, sent it back and waited to hear if he would get any money. In truth, there was no lawsuit – but there was DNA. The letter was part of ruse devised by detectives to get a sample of Athan’s DNA and connect him to a slaying that had gone unsolved for nearly 21 years.”

In earlier coverage, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published articles headlined “Police ruse case argued before state’s highest court; Convicted murderer says officers broke law with DNA trick” and “Police ruse illegal, lawyer says; Murder suspect didn’t know he was supplying a DNA sample.” And in February 2004, John R. Muenster had an op-ed in The Seattle Times entitled “DNA-case ruses damage integrity of legal system.”

Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“GOP Pushes Pace on Nominations”: Roll Call today contains an article (subscription required) that begins, “Senators overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to confirm their third federal appellate court nominee of the 110th Congress, just days after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) privately told Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that he might trip up the Democrats’ floor agenda over stalled judicial nominations.”

Posted at 11:18 AM by Howard Bashman

“McKay: White House had us fired.” The Seattle Times today contains an article that begins, “Two former U.S. attorneys said Wednesday they believe the White House had them fired along with six other federal prosecutors, and that ongoing investigations into the dismissals could result in criminal charges against senior Justice Department officials.”

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that “Fired U.S. attorneys call for investigation; McKay, 2 others fear ‘chilling effect.’

Earlier this morning, I linked here to additional, related news coverage.

Posted at 9:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“Bush’s 5th Circuit pick faces Senate scrutiny today”: The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, “Leslie Southwick, President Bush’s latest choice to fill a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is likely to face tough questioning – and perhaps Democratic opposition – at his confirmation hearing today. That would be in line with the experience of two previous candidates for the seat, Judge Charles Pickering and Jackson lawyer Mike Wallace. Neither was confirmed, but Pickering got a one-year appointment to the job. That appointment expired in December 2004. Some of the same groups that opposed the nominations of Pickering and Wallace to the New Orleans-based appellate court are questioning Southwick’s rulings on the Mississippi Court of Appeals, where he served nearly a dozen years before retiring last year.”

Elsewhere, The Detroit Free Press today contains an article headlined “Gay marriage issue still clouds judge vote” that begins, “Her nomination blocked last year by a conservative senator, Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet Neff goes before a U.S. Senate committee today apparently facing the same issue that dogged her appointment to the federal bench a year ago. Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas told Congressional Quarterly for a story Wednesday that he still wants to know Neff’s feelings regarding gay marriage when her confirmation for a western Michigan judgeship comes up before the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

And The Grand Rapids Press reported yesterday that “Judicial nominee to face Senate committee.”

Today’s judicial confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee for these judicial nominees is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m., and once it begins you can view the hearing live, online by clicking here (RealPlayer required).

Posted at 9:32 AM by Howard Bashman

“Abortion ban case to reopen; Utah law has been on hold, but Supreme Court ruling likely to clear the way”: Yesterday’s edition of The Salt Lake Tribune contained an article that begins, “A federal judge agreed Tuesday to reopen a case that put Utah’s ban on so-called partial birth abortions on hold. The move by Judge Paul Cassell comes just a few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision upholding a nationwide ban on the rarely used late-term procedures.”

Posted at 9:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Pressure grows to prosecute Cuban exile; Dismissal of charge against admitted terrorist stirs outrage”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that “Charges dropped for Cuban militant; Critics see double standard on terrorism as U.S. judge tosses charges for man tied to airline bombing that killed 73.”

And The Miami Herald reports that “Feds will let Posada return to Miami as a free man; U.S. immigration authorities chose not to detain Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles, who is expected back in Miami by this weekend.”

Posted at 9:02 AM by Howard Bashman

“A Stetson University law student was arrested after she drove over a man lying in the street Tuesday night and then headed home instead of calling for help, police said.” So begins this article published today in The St. Petersburg Times. Sadly, the man lying in the street is dead, although the article is unclear whether the man died as a result of being run over by a Lexus SUV or was already dead before being run over by that automobile.

Posted at 8:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“Placating the anti-gun crowd”: Today in The Washington Times, Bob Barr has an op-ed that begins, “The relationship between the Bush administration and the pro-Second Amendment community has been lukewarm, at best.”

Posted at 8:45 AM by Howard Bashman