How Appealing

Thursday, November 8, 2007

“Mukasey Wins Vote in Senate, Despite Doubts”: The New York Times on Friday will contain an article that begins, “The Senate confirmed Michael B. Mukasey as attorney general Thursday night, approving him despite Democratic criticism that he had failed to take an unequivocal stance against the torture of terrorism detainees. The 53-to-40 vote made Mr. Mukasey, a former federal judge, the third person to head the Justice Department during the tenure of President Bush, placing him in charge of an agency that members of both parties say suffered under the leadership of Alberto R. Gonzales.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Mukasey Confirmed As Attorney General.”

The official U.S. Senate roll call tally will eventually be available at this link.

Posted at 11:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justice O’Connor’s Wish: a Wand, Not a Gavel; Retired high court member says deficiencies in courts are nearly impossible to fix.” Emma Schwartz has this article online at the web site of U.S. News & World Report.

Posted at 8:50 PM by Howard Bashman

Did the U.S. Congress in 1991 validly abrogate the sovereign immunity of States when Congress made States subject to private damage claims under the Government Employee Rights Act: Today, by a vote of 2-1, the majority on a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit answered “no.” You can access today’s ruling at this link.

Posted at 2:14 PM by Howard Bashman

“Death penalty widow sues judge; Lawsuit claims appeals court’s Keller violated rights with 5 p.m. closing time”: Chuck Lindell has this article today in The Austin American-Statesman.

And The Houston Chronicle reports today that “Wife of executed killer sues judge who blocked appeal; Lawsuit claims order to close the court clerk’s office violated his rights.”

Meanwhile, in related news, Lindell reported in yesterday’s issue of The American-Statesman that “Texas court bows to outcry from public, prominent lawyers; Judges will accept after-hours pleadings in death penalty cases.”

The Houston Chronicle reported yesterday that “Court says it will take e-filings in death cases; Lawyers’ outcry over closed doors for killer’s appeal leads to decision.”

The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that “Emergency e-mail created for executions; New Texas system follows recent appeal that went unheard.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported yesterday that “Top criminal court to allow emergency filings by e-mail.”

And Reuters reports that “Texas court now taking death row appeals by e-mail.”

Posted at 11:58 AM by Howard Bashman

“A Medal for Miss Lee: What would Atticus Finch make of the ‘high-tech lynching’ of Clarence Thomas?” Daniel Henninger has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.

Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman

“Individuals’ Allegations of What Our Government Did to Them Are Not ‘Classified’ Information”: Marty Lederman has this post today at “Balkinization.”

And at “The Volokh Conspiracy,” Jonathan Adler has this related post.

Posted at 9:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court assesses role of arbitration”: Patti Waldmeir has this article today in Financial Times.

The Federal Arbitration Act prescribes deferential judicial review of arbitration awards, so that even an arbitration award that is the result of ordinary errors of law or ordinary errors in fact-finding is not subjected to being overturned by a judge. This case, in a nutshell, presents the question whether, under the FAA, the parties may agree in their arbitration contract to more intrusive judicial review of an arbitration award than the FAA would otherwise allow.

Although that subject may sound rather mundane, the case actually presents a very difficult issue on which the federal courts of appeals have divided. Yesterday’s transcript of oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court confirms what a difficult and interesting question this case presents.

Posted at 9:40 AM by Howard Bashman

Today is the last day that you can vote for “Best Law Blog” in The 2007 Weblog Awards: “How Appealing” could use your vote in this popularity contest in order to ensure a respectable showing. Right now, this blog is in fifth place in the voting among the ten finalists. To vote, simply click here and then click on the appropriate oval a couple of times until the current vote results are revealed. This blog is currently only 106 votes behind the fourth place blog and fewer than 500 votes behind the third place blog, so third place is definitely within reach. All you need to do is vote!

Posted at 9:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“CSU students not ready to make nice – and they don’t have to”: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, “The 417,000 students at California State University’s 28 campuses are expected to be civil to one another, the university says in its policy manual. It sounds innocuous – but a federal magistrate says it’s an unconstitutional restriction on speech when the policy is used to investigate or discipline students, such as the College Republicans whose members stomped on two flags bearing the name of Allah during an anti-terrorism rally at San Francisco State last year.”

Posted at 9:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“Ex-Gov. Ryan of Illinois Reports to Prison”: This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Chicago Tribune reports today that “Ryan reaches end of road: Prison; Fitzgerald takes issue with claim of innocence, ‘clear conscience.’” Yesterday’s newspaper, meanwhile, contained an article headlined “No fences, no violence, no privacy; Oxford camp lacks cellblocks and offers inmates a walking track, culinary classes.”

And The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that “For the next 6 years, this will be George Ryan’s identity: 16627-424; Former Gov. goes to prison; 73-year-old begins sentence at Wisconsin facility.”

Posted at 9:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“Two Democrats move to outlaw waterboarding”: McClatchy Newspapers provide this report. In addition, Joseph L. Galloway has an op-ed entitled “Is waterboarding torture? Yes.”

Today in The Los Angeles Times, columnist Rosa Brooks has an op-ed entitled “Torture: the new abortion; The legality of torture takes over as the political litmus test in campaigns and confirmation hearings.”

At FindLaw, Edward Lazarus has an op-ed entitled “Why Attorney General Nominee Michael Mukasey Should Be Confirmed, Even Despite His Refusal to Condemn Waterboarding as Illegal Torture.”

And today in The Harvard Crimson, Joanna Naples-Mitchell has an op-ed entitled “Cowardice on Display: Feinstein and Schumer set a dangerous precedent by endorsing Mukasey.”

Posted at 8:58 AM by Howard Bashman

“On the bench, it’s the year of the woman”: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contains this article today, along with articles headlined “Todd becomes second woman ever elected to state’s top court” and “Superior Court gets 3 from county.”

And The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article headlined “Turn-’em-out drive failed – or did it? One advocate of the effort to dump judges claimed victory, saying the ‘body count’ was not the real mark of success.”

Posted at 8:54 AM by Howard Bashman

“Canadian’s terrorism trial expected to be rocky; As in previous efforts to start the military commissions, problems are likely in the case of Omar Khadr”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

And yesterday in The Miami Herald, Carol Rosenberg had an article headlined “Some detainees turn in their Korans.”

Posted at 8:44 AM by Howard Bashman

“Judge targeted for advocacy on immigration”: The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, “A state Superior Court judge, who has been outspoken on the issue of illegal immigration, should be reprimanded and ordered to refrain from similar conduct in the future, according to a complaint filed with the state Judicial Conduct Board. The complaint alleges that Judge Correale Stevens – who on Tuesday won a retention election for a second 10-year term – violated the code of judicial conduct by advocating changes in immigration law at a statehouse rally and at other public events during the last year.”

Posted at 8:40 AM by Howard Bashman