How Appealing

Monday, November 5, 2007

“Galveston judge’s reassignment will have costly effect”: The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, “It is unclear whether a reassignment to Houston’s federal courthouse for rebuked Galveston federal judge Samuel Kent is part of his punishment, but the move will mean a change in the way his colleagues on the bench in Houston do business.”

Posted at 10:42 PM by Howard Bashman

Access online today’s U.S. Supreme Court transcript of oral argument in CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Georgia State Bd. of Equalization, No. 06-1287: The transcript is available at this link.

Attorney Carter G. Phillips, who argued this case today on behalf of petitioner, can take tomorrow off, as his next U.S. Supreme Court oral argument isn’t until Wednesday of this week, when he will argue on behalf of the petitioner in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., No. 06–989.

Posted at 4:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Law Blog Lawyer of the Day: Miami’s Rick Diaz.” At’s “Law Blog,” Peter Lattman has a post that begins, “We spend lots of time gawking at the stars of the Supreme Court bar. But what about the lawyer who finds him or herself standing before the justices for the first time? What’s that like? Last week we spoke with Rick Diaz, an accidental Supreme Court advocate if there ever was one. Diaz represents Michael Williams, who is challenging the constitutionality of a federal child-pornography statute.”

The interview is quite interesting, although it fails to touch on criticism that has been directed toward the merits brief submitted on Williams’s behalf.

Posted at 3:42 PM by Howard Bashman

Today was a busy day in the courts for Alabama death row inmate Daniel Lee Siebert: As I noted earlier in this post, the U.S. Supreme Court today issued a per curiam ruling holding that Siebert was barred from receiving federal court review of his habeas corpus petition challenging his conviction because the habeas petition was filed too late.

Separately, Siebert is litigating before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to fend off Alabama’s imposition of the death penalty. Previously, a three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel issued a stay of execution. The very next day, on October 25, 2007, the Eleventh Circuit issued an order granting rehearing en banc, vacating the panel’s stay, and reimposing a stay from the en banc court. My earlier coverage of these developments can be accessed here and here.

Today, the en banc Eleventh Circuit issued an order sending the case back to the original three-judge panel to consider the issues raised in Alabama’s petition for rehearing en banc. And in response to that order, the original three-judge panel today issued a decision that rejected all but one aspect of Siebert’s challenge to Alabama’s imposition of the death penalty. The one aspect of Siebert’s challenge that remains is now returning to an Alabama federal district judge for consideration in the first instance, and in the interim the Eleventh Circuit is continuing to block Siebert’s execution.

Posted at 3:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Md. Court Rejects Sniper’s Appeal”: The AP provides a report that begins, “Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammad does not deserve a new trial in Maryland, a state appeals court ruled Monday in a sharply worded unanimous decision that compared Muhammad to Jack the Ripper.”

You can access today’s ruling of the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland at this link.

Posted at 2:33 PM by Howard Bashman

Vote early, vote often: You may think that election day is not until tomorrow, but you can vote right now for “Best Law Blog” in The 2007 Weblog Awards. “How Appealing” could use your vote in this popularity contest in order to have a respectable showing. To vote, simply click here and then click on the appropriate oval until the current vote results are revealed. You can vote once per computer every 24 hours until the contest wraps-up, so please be sure to keep voting as often as possible.

Posted at 8:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court Learns Best Way to Keep a Secret Is Not by Posting It on the Internet”: Today’s installment of my “On Appeal” column for can be accessed at this link.

Posted at 8:28 AM by Howard Bashman

“Drawing a Line Between Enduring Harm and Legitimate Fear”: Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an installment of his “Sidebar” column that begins, “When Alima Traore was a young girl in Mali, parts of her genitalia were cut off, which is the custom there.”

Posted at 8:27 AM by Howard Bashman

“Uncle Sam on the Line”: Today in The New York Times, John Ashcroft has an op-ed that begins, “For almost two years, the country has debated whether the Bush administration acted properly and lawfully in undertaking emergency surveillance operations of suspected foreign terrorists on presidential authorization in the wake of 9/11.”

Posted at 8:08 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court May Rule on States’ Bonds”: Today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin and Shefali Anand have an article that begins, “The Supreme Court will today hear arguments in a case that could upend how states finance capital projects and also reshuffle the $2.5 trillion municipal-bond market.”

Posted at 8:04 AM by Howard Bashman

“Does the First Amendment Protect Highly Offensive Speech at a Funeral and Directed at the Deceased?” Michael C. Dorf has this essay online today at FindLaw.

Posted at 7:42 AM by Howard Bashman