How Appealing

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

“Utah Supreme Court considers strengthening shield for journalists; Law would protect identities of sources”: The Salt Lake Tribune provides this news update.

Posted at 11:14 PM by Howard Bashman

“Ex-judge has mixed feelings on new sentencing ruling”: The Deseret Morning News today contains an article that begins, “Former U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell says he has ‘mixed feelings’ about Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that vastly expanded the discretion federal judges can exercise when sentencing people to prison.”

Posted at 11:11 PM by Howard Bashman

Available online from National Public Radio: This evening’s broadcast of “All Things Considered” contained audio segments entitled “Ex-CIA Officer Speaks Out Against Waterboarding“; “Panel Makes Reduced Drug Sentencing Retroactive“; “Police Use DNA to Track Suspects Through Family“; “Doping Report a Key Test of Mitchell’s Fixer Skills“; and “Doping Has Long-Term Health Consequences.”

Today’s broadcast of “Talk of the Nation” contained an audio segment entitled “Sentencing Relaxed for Crack Cocaine Offenders” (featuring Law Professor Douglas A. Berman).

Today’s broadcast of “Day to Day” contained an audio segment entitled “Former Gitmo Prosecutor: System Too Politicized.”

Today’s broadcast of “Morning Edition” contained audio segments entitled “Legal Limits Murky for Use of ‘Discarded’ DNA.”

Yesterday’s broadcast of “All Things Considered” contained audio segments entitled “Senators Grill CIA Director Behind Closed Doors“; “Rep. Boehner Explains GOP Strategy on CIA Tapes“; “Senate Panel Presses Officials on Waterboarding“: and “Guantanamo Translator Wins Rhodes Scholarship” (she’s also a Yale law student).

And yesterday’s broadcast of “Tell Me More” contained an audio segment entitled “High Court Rules on Drug Sentencing Disparities” (featuring Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree).

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“State Supreme Court to hear challenge to sex-offender residency law”: Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update that begins, “The state Supreme Court took up the incendiary issue of sex criminals’ residency requirements today, agreeing to decide the constitutionality of a voter-approved law prohibiting paroled rapists and other sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park.”

Posted at 10:04 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Man That Got Away: Judges dreamed of having Barack Obama as their clerk; Why did he turn them all down?” Tony Mauro has this article in the current issue of Legal Times.

Posted at 8:22 PM by Howard Bashman

Conducting “plain error” review, the majority on a divided three-judge Seventh Circuit panel holds that a federal district judge’s failure to explain a plea agreement’s appellate waiver provision entitles the defendant to set aside his guilty plea: You can access the ruling, issued late today in typescript form, by clicking here. The defendant, a nearly 70-year-old man, was indicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm because he owned and kept at home as a souvenir a World War II Beretta, for which he owned no ammunition.

Circuit Judge Diane P. Wood issued the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner joined. Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook issued a quite persuasive dissenting opinion.

The case was argued in November 2006, and you can download the oral argument audio via this link (4.74MB mp3 audio file).

Posted at 5:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“Federal Judiciary Salary Bill Progresses – With Caveats”: Lawrence Hurley of The Daily Journal of California has this post at his “Washington Briefs” blog.

Posted at 4:02 PM by Howard Bashman

Sixth Circuit rejects double jeopardy challenge to retrial involving the first defendant brought to trial as a terrorism suspect after September 11, 2001: Today’s decision begins:

Karim Koubriti was the first defendant brought to trial as a terrorism suspect after September 11, 2001. His trial was a highly charged affair, and resulted in his conviction on two of four counts. Afterwards, it was discovered that the United States Attorney’s office in Detroit had committed numerous acts of misconduct in the prosecution of his case. The district court accordingly dismissed one count of his conviction without prejudice, and ordered a retrial on the second count for which he was convicted. Prior to the second trial, the government filed a superseding indictment replacing the count that had been ordered to be retried by the district court, albeit the new count involved some of the same conduct alleged in the first trial. Koubriti moved to dismiss, claiming that double jeopardy barred the new superseding indictment. The district court denied his motion, and this appeal followed. Because we find no double jeopardy is implicated by Koubriti’s retrial, we AFFIRM the district court’s decision.

You can access the complete ruling at this link.

Posted at 10:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“AT&T case lobbying yields just one document, federal spy chief says”: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, “The Bush administration’s top intelligence official, responding to a court order, reported Tuesday that his office had located only one document showing lobbying contacts with telecommunications companies about a pending surveillance bill – notes of a phone conversation that were too sensitive to release.”

Posted at 9:03 AM by Howard Bashman

“Wal-Mart sex-bias suit order adjusted”: Today’s edition of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette contains an article that begins, “A federal three-judge panel on Tuesday modified its earlier decision that allowed the largest class-action sex discrimination lawsuit to proceed against Wal-Mart.”

And reports that “9th Circuit Limits Wal-Mart Class; It’s the February ruling redux, with a tweak on the issue of class standing.”

My earlier coverage of yesterday’s Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.

Posted at 9:01 AM by Howard Bashman

“In Special Education Cases, City Is Fighting Harder Before Paying for Private School”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “New York City, at the suggestion of private consultants, is significantly ramping up its effort to challenge cases in which it pays for private school tuition of children with disabilities whose parents say they are ill-served by the public schools.”

The article later notes that “In October, the United States Supreme Court split evenly in a case about whether the city should reimburse the private school tuition that Tom Freston, the former chief executive of Viacom, paid for his learning-disabled son.”

Posted at 8:54 AM by Howard Bashman

“A FISA fix”: Today in The Los Angeles Times, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey has an op-ed that begins, “One of the most critical matters facing Congress is the need to enact long-term legislation updating our nation’s foreign intelligence surveillance laws.”

Posted at 8:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“Hayden Tells Panel He Can’t Answer Every Question About Tapes”: This article appears today in The Washington Post, along with an article headlined “Evidence From Waterboarding Could Be Used in Military Trials.”

The Los Angeles Times reports today that “Senate widens probe of destroyed tapes; CIA director’s testimony leaves questions about interrogation recordings unanswered, lawmakers say; More witnesses will be called.”

The New York Times reports that “C.I.A. Director Speaks to Senate Committee.”

And The New York Sun reports that “Hoekstra Sets His Sights on CIA Chief.”

Posted at 8:47 AM by Howard Bashman

“The Value of a Judge: It’s more than Congress has been willing to pay.” A pay raise for federal judges is the subject of this editorial published today in The Washington Post.

Posted at 8:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“For Crack Offenders, Earlier Shot At Release”: The Washington Post contains this front page article today.

The New York Times reports today that “Retroactively, Panel Reduces Drug Sentences.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Ruling could free 2,500 drug inmates; A federal sentencing panel reduces penalties in crack cocaine cases; One member says it’s a matter of fairness.”

And USA Today reports that “New cocaine sentencing guidelines mean 20,000 could go free sooner.”

Posted at 8:32 AM by Howard Bashman

“Solo Convicted in Sex Scam”: provides a report that begins, “A San Antonio, Texas, jury has convicted solo Mary S. Roberts on five counts of theft stemming from allegations that she helped her lawyer-husband appropriate $155,000 from four men with whom she had affairs in 2001.”

Posted at 8:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justice in Sentencing”: The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, “With a pair of 7-2 rulings this week, the Supreme Court struck a blow for basic fairness and judicial independence.”

Posted at 8:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“Why A Conservative Federal Appeals Court Ruled in Favor of Users of Swingers’ Magazines Dating Services: The Sixth Circuit’s Recent First Amendment Ruling Limiting the Scope of Federal Recordkeeping Requirements.” Julie Hilden has this essay online today at FindLaw.

Posted at 7:52 AM by Howard Bashman