How Appealing

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

“Republicans target red-state Dems on Judge Southwick”: Wednesday’s issue of The Hill will contain an article that begins, “Senate Republicans and their conservative allies on Tuesday were targeting red-state Democrats in a last-ditch bid to win a confirmation battle over the most contentious judicial nominee of the 110th Congress, Leslie Southwick.”

Posted at 11:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“Microsoft Is Yielding in European Antitrust Fight”: This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that “Microsoft Yields to European Regulators; Software Giant Ends Years-Long Antitrust Fight.”

Jim Puzzanghera of The Los Angeles Times reports that “Microsoft ends 9-year battle with European regulators; The software giant, running out of legal options, agrees to make highly guarded code available at low prices.”

And The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that “Microsoft drops EU battle; Company agrees to concessions, won’t pursue antitrust appeal.”

Posted at 11:33 PM by Howard Bashman

“Prosecutors: Qwest had a pact; Assertion shoots hole in Nacchio’s secret info stance.” The Rocky Mountain News contains this article today.

And The Washington Post reports today that “Papers Contradict Nacchio’s Defense; Qwest Was Considered for NSA Contract.”

In related coverage, Denver’s NBC news affiliate 9NEWS reported yesterday that “2nd investigation of federal judge launched after disabled parking violation.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Judge Nottingham accused of parking in handicapped spot.”

You can access online both the judicial misconduct complaint and the judge’s response thereto.

Posted at 11:23 PM by Howard Bashman

“Companies Seeking Immunity Donate to Senator”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “Executives at the two biggest phone companies contributed more than $42,000 in political donations to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV this year while seeking his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping.”

Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Death Penalty Is Thrown Out in Wendy’s Killings”: The New York Times provides a news update that begins, “Closing a chapter on one of the bloodiest crimes in recent New York City history, the state’s highest court today tossed out the death sentence imposed on a man for his role in the murders of five workers at a Wendy’s restaurant in Queens seven years ago. The man, John B. Taylor, was the last remaining inmate on New York State’s death row. The divided decision by the Court of Appeals not only ordered the trial court to resentence Mr. Taylor — almost certainly to life in prison without parole — but it also reaffirmed a landmark decision in 2004 that effectively invalidated the state’s death penalty law.”

My earlier coverage of today’s New York State Court of Appeals ruling appears at this link.

Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman

Latest crop of Higazy-related posts: The blog “Wash Park Prophet” has a post titled “FBI Coverup Thwarted.”

The blog “Donkey Punch” has a post titled “Your Tax Dollars at Work.”

Matthew Yglesias offers these thoughts.

The blog “Educated Guesswork” has a lengthy post titled “Information wants to make you look foolish” in which the post’s author concludes, “I’m not a lawyer, but I must admit to being a little puzzled as to why this is an appropriate matter to seal. If Templeton hadn’t worked for the FBI and threatened a confession out of someone would that be sealable? If not, doesn’t the public have a pretty significant interest in knowing what their law enforcement officials do? Whatever the reason, once you’ve made the mistake of posting this to a web site somewhere, trying to take it back just makes you look stupid.”

And the blog “Petunias” has a post titled “Higazy and Coerced Confessions.”

Posted at 8:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“An ancient wrong and the Constitution”: Lyle Denniston has this interesting post this evening at “SCOTUSblog” about a case involving the tort of alienation of affection.

Posted at 8:34 PM by Howard Bashman

“NY Court: Police Can Pose As Children.” The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Law enforcement officers investigating sexual predators can pose as children to catch their prey, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, saying the First Amendment provides no refuge for such criminals.”

You can access yesterday’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.

Posted at 2:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“We have consolidated for decision four intertwined cases that present nine questions under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, several of which have engendered considerable controversy at the circuit level and even some circuit splits.” So begins an opinion that Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner issued today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Several of the questions ask whether the Act should be applied in the same manner where the consumer is represented by, and being contacted through, a lawyer as where the consumer is being contacted directly by the debt collector.

Posted at 2:08 PM by Howard Bashman

“Highest court upholds change to death penalty law”: The Times Union of Albany, New York provides a news update that begins, “The state’s highest court today upheld a 2004 ruling that effectively overturned New York’s death penalty law.”

You can access today’s 4-3 ruling of the Court of Appeals of New York at this link.

Posted at 11:25 AM by Howard Bashman

Majority on partially divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel strikes down as facially unconstitutional the recordkeeping requirements federal criminal law places on producers of images of “actual sexually explicit conduct” to verify the ages of those depicted in the images: Describing the federal statute at issue, the majority opinion explains, “The plain text, the purpose, and the legislative history of the statute make clear that Congress was concerned with all child pornography and considered recordkeeping important in battling all of it, without respect to the creator’s motivation.” The majority proceeds to hold the statute facially overbroad and then strikes down the law as unconstitutional.

You can access today’s ruling at this link. Even the dissenting judge agrees that the statute is overbroad, but he believes that judicial narrowing of the statute can save it from being unconstitutional.

This decision is a significant First Amendment ruling that directly implicates the controversial subjects of legal adult pornography and illegal child pornography. I expect that the ruling will receive plenty of attention.

Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“Lawbreaker in Chief”: Today in The New York Times, Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld has an op-ed that begins, “At his confirmation hearings last week, Michael B. Mukasey, President Bush’s nominee for attorney general, was asked whether the president is required to obey federal statutes.”

Posted at 8:48 AM by Howard Bashman

“European Court Strikes Down ‘Volkswagen Law'”: The New York Times provides a news update that begins, “The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg today struck down a 47-year-old German law that was the only roadblock standing between Porsche and its long-sought goal of taking over Volkswagen.”

The Wall Street Journal provides a news update headlined “EU Court Overturns Law That Shields Volkswagen.”

BBC News provides reports headlined “‘Volkswagen law’ is ruled illegal; The European Union’s highest court has said a German law protecting carmaker Volkswagen from takeovers is illegal” and “Porsche expected to take control of VW.”

The Telegraph (UK) provides a news update headlined “EU ruling may trigger Porsche bid for Volkswagen.”

Reuters reports that “EU’s top court strikes down VW law.”

And The Associated Press reports that “EU Court Strikes Down VW Law.”

You can access today’s ruling of the European Court of Justice at this link. That court today also issued a press release summarizing the ruling.

Posted at 8:32 AM by Howard Bashman

“The War for the Constitution : The anniversary of Robert Bork’s failed nomination reminds us what’s at stake in the coming election.” Gary L. McDowell has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.

Posted at 8:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“Due Process for Exxon”: Today in The Wall Street Journal, Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. has an op-ed that begins, “It has been nearly two decades since the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska, spilling 258,000 barrels of crude oil. The company long ago paid dearly for the catastrophic accident: some $3.4 billion in clean-up costs, natural resource damages, claims payments, fines and penalties. Now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages, the largest such award affirmed by a federal court in history.”

Posted at 8:24 AM by Howard Bashman

“A Former Florida Professor, Al-Arian, Again Rebuffed Over Contempt Citation”: Today in The New York Sun, Josh Gerstein has an article that begins, “A federal judge has rebuffed another bid by a former Florida college professor, Sami Al-Arian, to end a contempt of court citation stemming from his refusal to testify before a grand jury investigating Islamic charities in Virginia, one of Al-Arian’s daughters said yesterday.”

Posted at 8:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“The Second Circuit’s Stunning Reversal, in Two Suits Involving the Alien Tort Claims Act”: Anthony J. Sebok has this essay, part one of a two-part series, today at FindLaw.

Posted at 8:03 AM by Howard Bashman