How Appealing

Thursday, November 29, 2007

“Court to weigh disability pay for psychological harm”: The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, New Jersey today contains an article that begins, “Racism, terror and abuse came before the state Supreme Court Wednesday in three compelling cases that are really about on-the-job calamity, though the court’s decision will affect legions and could cost taxpayers a bundle.”

And The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger on Monday previewed the oral argument in an article headlined “Disability benefits for mental ills asked; 3 law enforcement officers pursue suits.”

Posted at 10:03 PM by Howard Bashman

“A fairer approach to teen sex sentencing; Judges need leeway in non-predator cases”: This editorial appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Posted at 9:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“This case raises First Amendment questions about limiting the participation of non-voters at a New England town meeting.” So begins an opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued today. According to the opinion, “The New England town meeting is a special form of government dating back to the colonial era and often considered an exemplar of pure democracy.”

At stake in the decision is whether property owners who pay taxes on their land but who are registered to vote elsewhere are entitled to the same right to speak as voters who live in the town of Egremont, Massachusetts. The First Circuit answers “no.” That court’s opinion explains: “The [plaintiffs] are not registered to vote in Egremont and therefore are not town meeting legislators. The First Amendment does not give non-legislators the right to speak at meetings of deliberating legislative bodies, regardless of whether they own property or pay taxes.”

Posted at 5:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“Capano’s federal appeal assigned to judge in Philly”: The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware provides an update that begins, “Tom Capano’s federal appeal of his murder conviction has been assigned to the chief judge of the federal court in Philadelphia. According to the federal docket in Wilmington, Chief District Judge Harvey Bartle III accepted assignment to the case by e-mail on Nov. 26. Bartle took the case at the request of U.S. Third Circuit Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica after all three judges in the Delaware district recused themselves from hearing the matter.”

Posted at 4:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Paterno Earns More Than $500,000 a Year”: According to this article from The Associated Press, “The State Employees’ Retirement System released Paterno’s salary Thursday, more than a week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that his salary and other top Penn State officials are public information.”

This blog’s earlier coverage of that ruling appears at this link.

Posted at 4:47 PM by Howard Bashman

“Butler late to reveal tie to case; Attorney served on campaign panel, justice says, after reporters ask”: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today contains an article that begins, “State Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler did not immediately disclose that an attorney appearing before the court sat on his campaign finance committee and contributed $500 to his election effort, despite his policy of making such matters public.”

Yesterday’s newspaper contained a related article headlined “Ziegler to hear tax case funded by election supporter; State hasn’t asked justice to step aside.”

In addition, today’s newspaper contains an editorial entitled “Step aside in this case: State Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler should recuse herself from a tax case that involves a major contributor, but Justice Louis Butler needs to do some soul-searching, too.”

Posted at 3:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Georgia ruling on sex offenders prompts other states, including Missouri, to re-examine laws”: This article appears today in The Kansas City Star.

Posted at 3:22 PM by Howard Bashman

Divided three-judge Ninth Circuit panel holds that the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 remains constitutional even after Congress expanded that law in 2004 to include as qualifying offenses all felonies: You can access today’s ruling at this link.

Senior Circuit Judge Betty B. Fletcher dissented in an opinion that begins, “The majority holds, with an air of shrugging inevitability, that without a warrant, without probable cause, indeed without any suspicion whatsoever, the federal government may seize and repeatedly search the DNA of all federal felons on supervised release, regardless of their offense or their likelihood to re-offend. They sanction the inclusion of that DNA in a massive and permanent computer database, the sole purpose of which is to aid generalized criminal investigation. This offends not only the Fourth Amendment but our precedents. I respectfully dissent.”

Posted at 2:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“The precise issue on appeal is whether the District Court had jurisdiction to certify a class consisting of claims arising from the infringement of unregistered copyrights and to approve a settlement with respect to those claims. We hold that it did not.” So holds the majority on a divded three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a ruling issued today. The case in which the decision issued is captioned In re: Literary Works in Elec. Databases Copyright Litig.

Also today, two of the three judges on that panel joined in a separate opinion explaining why they chose not to recuse from deciding that case even though they very likely were members of the putative class whose claims were subject to the settlement in question. One of the two judges joined in the majority opinion dismissing the case for lack of federal subject-matter jurisdiction, while the other dissented from that outcome. Before deciding what to do, these two judges sought the views of the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which apparently recommended that both judges recuse.

Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. judge orders Bush to release records of telecom firm contacts”: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, “A federal judge in San Francisco ordered the Bush administration Wednesday to release records of any recent lobbying contacts with telecommunications companies by Dec. 10, in time for a congressional debate on the president’s push to protect the firms from suits over electronic surveillance.”

My most recent earlier coverage appears at this link.

Posted at 9:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“Whose castle? Surprise visits to the homes of welfare applicants in San Diego County are proper and justified.” This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 9:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“NY Man Fights for Anti-Osama Plates”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “A retired police officer is seeking a court order to force the state Department of Motor Vehicles to drop its demand that he return vanity license plates calling for the capture or death of Osama bin Laden.”

And The New York Post reported yesterday that “‘GETOSAMA’ plate man sues DMV.”

Posted at 8:37 AM by Howard Bashman

“5th Circuit Council Pressed to Pursue Sex Harassment Complaint Against Federal Judge”: Texas Lawyer provides a report that begins, “The woman who alleges that U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent of Galveston, Texas, sexually harassed her wants the 5th Circuit Judicial Council to take further action.”

Posted at 8:33 AM by Howard Bashman

“Alleged Nazi Guard Appeals Deportation”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Three decades after the federal government began trying to deport a former autoworker accused of helping murder Jewish prisoners in Nazi death camps, his lawyer says his last fight may be at hand. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled oral arguments for Thursday on John Demjanjuk’s challenge of a final removal order by an immigration judge.”

Posted at 8:30 AM by Howard Bashman

Why is this page loading more slowly than usual this morning? If you are having to wait longer than usual for the blog posts on this page to appear on your computer monitor this morning, the headline box in the upper right-hand corner of this page is to blame. It seems that the site is having some problems today, and those problems are why it is taking this page significantly longer than usual to appear.

The good news, such as it is, is that those problems do not prevent me from updating this site at my usual rate, so new posts will continue to appear quite regularly for those willing to endure the extra time it is taking for this page to refresh.

Posted at 8:15 AM by Howard Bashman