How Appealing

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

“AG Nominee Unsure About Waterboarding”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “President Bush’s nominee for attorney general told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that an interrogation technique called waterboarding is repugnant but that he did not know if it is legal.”

And Dan Eggen of The Washington Post has a news update headlined “Attorney General Nominee Sends Letter to Dems.”

You can view the four-page letter at this link.

Posted at 8:02 PM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court Halts Halt Miss. Execution”: Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides this report.

Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times has a news update headlined “Supreme Court Stays Execution in a Sign of a Broader Halt.”

Jan Crawford Greenburg of ABC News has a written report headlined “‘De Facto Moratorium’ on Lethal Injections? With Lethal Injection Case Pending, Supreme Court Blocks Miss. Execution.”

And at “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “Court delays Mississippi execution.”

Posted at 7:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Convicted killer hoping Supreme Court will grant appeal in 6 o’clock execution”: The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi provides this news update.

Posted at 6:07 PM by Howard Bashman

“[T]he fact that a litigant is psychotic does not mean that he cannot assist in his case”: Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner issued this interesting decision today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge Seventh Circuit panel discussing what level of mental competency a state death row prisoner must possess in order for his federal habeas challenge to proceed.

Posted at 2:50 PM by Howard Bashman

Divided three-judge Seventh Circuit panel rejects for lack of standing a taxpayer challenge to the practice of the Indiana House of Representatives’ opening each session with a prayer: You can access today’s ruling at this link. The effect of today’s ruling is to overturn a permanent injunction that a federal district court had issued to prohibit the prayers in question.

Both the majority opinion and the dissenting opinion engage in a lengthy discussion of the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court‘s recent ruling in Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation, Inc. on the issue of taxpayer standing in an Establishment Clause challenge such as this.

In her dissenting opinion, Circuit Judge Diane P. Wood writes:

I do not rule out the possibility that some or all of the prayers offered before the Indiana House might similarly pass muster under Marsh. Unfortunately, however, we are never to find out. Under the majority’s approach, even if the Speaker decides to start working his way through the Anglican Book of Common Prayer day by day, notwithstanding the presence of Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and other legislators, staff, and constituents, nothing can be done to enforce the command of the Establishment Clause. As long as a majority of the House is Christian, it is also reasonable to predict that the House itself will never take action to curb such a practice.

I previously had this post linking to the briefs filed in the case and the online audio of the appellate oral argument.

Posted at 2:23 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court Reviews Child Pornography Law”: Mark Sherman of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “The Bush administration urged the Supreme Court Tuesday to uphold a law against the promotion of child pornography, rejecting First Amendment claims that it limits legitimate creative expression.”

Posted at 12:24 PM by Howard Bashman

Federal Circuit denies en banc rehearing to reconsider its decision declaring the District of Columbia’s Prescription Drug Excessive Pricing Act of 2005 preempted by federal patent law: You can access today’s order, which is accompanied by both a concurring opinion and a dissenting opinion, at this link.

My earlier coverage of the three-judge panel’s original ruling appears at this link. A few days later, The Washington Post published this article about the decision.

Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Executive Power & the War: A panel of Supreme Court experts talk about the Boumediene v. Bush case in a session titled, ‘Executive Power and the War on Terror.'” If you missed this past Saturday’s broadcast of C-SPAN’s “America & the Courts” or, more likely, you can’t wait to watch it again, you can access the broadcast online, on-demand by clicking here (RealPlayer required). On this occasion, Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times allowed C-SPAN to record her remarks. Among her co-panelists were Lyle Denniston, Walter Dellinger, and John Yoo.

Posted at 10:27 AM by Howard Bashman

“When Punitive Damages Make No Sense”: Stuart Taylor Jr. has this essay about the Exxon Valdez case in this week’s issue of National Journal.

Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman

“Wilson on ‘Today’ show, says his release was unexpected”: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contains this article today. In addition, Law Professor Donald E. Wilkes Jr. has an op-ed entitled “Justice gets new lease on life; Wilson didn’t deserve cruel punishment.”

USA Today reports today that “Man in teen sex case considers his future.”

The Associated Press reports that “Many Teens Don’t Know the Law About Sex.”

And The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled “Judgment call: The ruling that freed a Georgia man in a sex case wasn’t judicial activism, it was righting a wrong.”

Posted at 9:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Opening Halls of Justice”: The Dallas Morning News today contains an editorial that begins, “It may be impossible to remove the stain that Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, has placed on the state’s judiciary. But two lawyer-driven actions might keep it from spreading. More than 300 members of the Texas bar joined a petition last week asking Judge Keller’s court to adopt modern procedures and allow e-mailed filings in death penalty cases. Of course it should. Electronic filing in life-or-death cases might have avoided Judge Keller’s disgraceful decision Sept. 25 in which she refused a condemned man’s plea for a 20-minute extension beyond the court’s usual 5 p.m. closing.”

Posted at 8:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“On Torture, 2 Messages and a High Political Cost”: This news analysis appears today in The New York Times. And Adam Cohen has an Editorial Observer essay entitled “Honey, They Shrunk the Congress.”

Today’s edition of USA Today contains an editorial entitled “Is Mukasey willing to be a ‘no’ man in the White House? Bush’s pick for attorney general must clarify views on executive authority.” And Bradford A. Berenson has an op-ed entitled “President has inherent powers; Mukasey, a fine nominee, is simply pointing out constitutional reality.”

And The Washington Post contains an editorial entitled “The Waterboarding Dodge: Who’s really to blame for Mr. Mukasey’s evasions on torture?

Posted at 8:37 AM by Howard Bashman

“Killer down to final appeal; Justices have one last chance to halt execution”: The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi today contains an article that begins, “Convicted killer Earl Wesley Berry’s final request to halt his execution remained unanswered by the nation’s high court Monday as Mississippi continued preparations to put him to death tonight. Attorneys for Berry and the state expected a ruling on his appeal before his 6 p.m. execution at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.”

Posted at 8:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“Exxon Valdez on radar of high court; Justices agree to reconsider whether Exxon can be forced to pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages for allowing a heavy drinker to take the helm of the ship”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Today in USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that “Court to weigh $2.5B award in Valdez spill.”

And The Anchorage Daily News contains articles headlined “Exxon appeal granted; high court to hear case” and “Exxon case may turn on 1818 court ruling; Shipowner was not liable for a captain’s recklessness.”

Posted at 8:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Va. group’s $ behind high court candidate; Maureen Lally-Green is beneficiary”: The Philadelphia Daily News today contains an article that begins, “A mysterious non-profit group based in Virginia is throwing tens of thousands of dollars into Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court campaign, without disclosing the sources of the money.”

And The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article headlined “Plugging tirelessly toward high court” that begins, “He’s been a biker, a Philly police officer, a lawyer, the Eagles Court judge, a Marine, an Air Force colonel, and an appellate judge. And now, Seamus P. McCaffery wants more than anything to be a justice on Pennsylvania’s highest court.”

Posted at 7:54 AM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. Supreme Court rejects ex-convict’s legal argument; Austin company argued most inmates must be freed on technicality”: Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.

Posted at 7:52 AM by Howard Bashman

“The Supreme Court Considers a Procedural Roadblock to Recovery Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act”: Joanna Grossman has this essay online today at FindLaw.

Posted at 7:40 AM by Howard Bashman