How Appealing

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Under what circumstances should a criminal defendant charged with possessing child pornography have access to that evidence? Today the Supreme Court of Washington State issued a decision addressing that question. The decision consists of a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.

As I noted in this earlier post from January 2007, this question — which arises in federal prosecutions due to the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act — has also proved complicated for at least one federal court.

In news coverage of today’s Washington State ruling, The Associated Press reports that “WA prosecutors must hand over child porn to defendant.”

Posted at 8:30 PM by Howard Bashman

Milwaukee Brewers 3, Philadelphia Phillies 2: This afternoon I attended my second Brewers victory of the season, although unlike last time today’s game was against my hometown Phillies.

Ben Sheets, opening day starter for the Brewers, was on the mound at the outset of both Brewers games that I attended, and today he recorded another tremendous outing.

Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell homered to give the Phillies the lead in the bottom of the second inning and then nearly tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with a double off the top of the left field fence that was only inches away from being his second home run of the game. Brewers closer Francisco Cordero, who entered the game sporting an incredibly low 0.54 earned run average to record the final out of the eighth inning, thereafter obtained the remaining two outs in the bottom of the ninth to notch the save and lower his ERA to 0.50. Although the Phillies did not sweep the four-game series against what had been the National League’s hottest team, they did win their second series of the current homestand. The homestand concludes with the season’s first interleague games, as the Phillies will play three against the Toronto Blue Jays. My son and I will be at Sunday’s game.

You can access the box score of today’s game at this link, while wraps are available here and here.

Update: Lest I be accused of omitting an unusual detail from my game recap, in the late innings — I think it was between the bottom of the sixth and the top of the seventh, while the grounds crew was sweeping the infield dirt — a totally naked male streaker ran to second base, where he was tackled and placed under arrest by the Philadelphia Police. I did not observe the streaker until moments before he was knocked to the ground, but others near where I was sitting opined that he had jumped onto the field from somewhere in the outfield. [Insert your Miller Park sausage race joke here.] In any event, here’s hoping this will not become a regular feature at Citizens Bank Park.

Further update: As The Associated Press reports here: “[Pat Burrell’s second inning home run] was about the only excitement for Phillies fans until a streaker hopped the outfield fence and dashed onto the field entering the top of the seventh. The man was eventually dragged down by security on the infield dirt while the crowd of 31,553 went wild like the Phillies were rallying for the winning runs. ‘I was just real blushed,’ Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chuckled. ‘I wasn’t trying to look.'”

Posted at 8:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Second Circuit rejects challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Partial–Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 pending before that court: Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued this Summary Order.

My earlier coverage of that panel’s original 2-1 ruling in the case can be accessed here. And my coverage of that panel’s request last month by a 2-1 vote for supplemental briefing can be accessed here.

I also discussed the Second Circuit’s original ruling in this case in a bit more detail in the February 27, 2006 installment of my “On Appeal” column for, headlined “Congress Puts ‘Partial-Birth’ Abortion Back on the Supreme Court’s Agenda.”

Posted at 10:34 AM by Howard Bashman

“Al-Arian documentary stirs lingering emotions; Supporters of Sami Al-Arian say he wasn’t treated fairly”: The St. Petersburg Times contains this article today.

Posted at 8:17 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justice Weighed Firing 1 in 4; 26 Prosecutors Were Listed As Candidates”: The Washington Post today contains this front page article, along with articles headlined “No Dissent on Spying, Says Justice Dept.” and “Justice Dept. Search for Rove E-Mails Yields Little.” The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled “The Gonzales Coverup: Congress must find out what the administration was doing that its own lawyers wouldn’t approve.”

The New York Times today contains an article headlined “Loyal to Bush but Big Thorn in Republicans’ Side” that begins, “For a loyal George W. Bush Republican, James B. Comey has made a remarkable amount of trouble for the White House.” The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled “Mr. Gonzales’s Incredible Adventure.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Testimony sheds light on ex-Justice official’s departure; A former career prosecutor returns as a star witness in the Gonzales probe.”

The Boston Globe contains an editorial entitled “Unfit for chief law enforcer.”

USA Today contains an editorial entitled “In sickbed showdown, principle trumps power; Incident exposes Gonzales’ failings and the strengths of others.”

The Wall Street Journal contains an editorial entitled “Wiretap Tales: What you didn’t read about Jim Comey’s Senate testimony” (free access).

And Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson has an essay entitled “Loyal, Liberated Gonzales Avoids the Noose.”

Posted at 8:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Pakistan Judicial Crisis Adds to Pressure on Media”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “Legal and political wrangling over the suspension of the chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court by President Pervez Musharraf appears to be leading to new pressures on the media, news organizations and media advocacy groups say.”

Posted at 7:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“Plame Seeks Showdown With Cheney”: Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, “A lawsuit brought by a CIA agent whose cover was blown by Bush administration officials, Valerie Plame, is expected to face a withering attack this morning at a court hearing in Washington.”

Posted at 6:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“Making Law Enforcement a Political Enterprise: Key Examples from the U.S. Attorney Scandal and the So-Called ‘First Freedom Project.'” Marci Hamilton has this essay online today at FindLaw.

Posted at 6:37 AM by Howard Bashman