How Appealing

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

“Bin Laden’s driver to receive POW review”: Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald provides a news update that begins, “In an interim ruling made public Tuesday, a military judge said Osama bin Laden’s Yemeni driver, captured in Afghanistan, is entitled to consideration that he may be a prisoner of war — a status that would collapse his war crimes trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for a third time.”

Posted at 11:22 PM by Howard Bashman

“Lafave Hearing Postponed”: The Tampa Tribune provides a news update that begins, “Reporters and television cameras packed the courthouse this morning as Debra Lafave walked through the building, her attorney and parents at her side.”

Posted at 11:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justice Clarence Thomas reveals personal side at Chapman; Supreme Court jurist describes his upbringing and professional life during book signing”: This article appears today in The Orange County Register.

Posted at 9:27 PM by Howard Bashman

“Utah Supreme Court: Waivers offer no protection for ski resorts from lawsuits.” Pamela Manson of The Salt Lake Tribune has a news update that begins, “Ski resorts took a nasty fall today when the Utah Supreme Court ruled waivers can’t prevent injured skiers from suing them for negligence.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Lawsuit Against Utah Ski Resort Revived.”

You can access today’s 3-2 ruling of the Supreme Court of Utah at this link.

Posted at 9:18 PM by Howard Bashman

Access online the petition for writ of certiorari filed yesterday in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case captioned Pittman v. South Carolina: Earlier today, I had a post which linked to an article from The Associated Press that begins, “Attorneys have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of a teen sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing his grandparents when he was 12, arguing that the sentence is cruel.”

The cert. petition can be accessed at this link [link updated]. The ruling of the Supreme Court of South Carolina, from which review is sought, can be accessed here. contains a report from February 2005 headlined “Teen gets 30 years in Zoloft case; Boy found guilty of murder in grandparents’ deaths.” And opponents of the child’s sentence have created this web site.

Posted at 2:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Decision won’t be reconsidered; Court won’t rehear case regarding tuition break for illegal immigrants”: The Topeka Capital-Journal today contains an article that begins, “An appeals court Monday refused to reconsider its Aug. 30 decision against opponents of the controversial Kansas law that gives a financial break on college tuition to some illegal immigrants.”

The Associated Press reports that “Court won’t rehear challenge of in-state tuition for immigrants.”

And The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “News Blog” has a post titled “Federal Court Won’t Rehear Case Against In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants.”

Yesterday’s decision denying panel rehearing contained, as an attachment, the panel’s original decision issued August 30, 2007.

Posted at 2:24 PM by Howard Bashman

“Morrison’s mistress says she didn’t leak affair”: The Lawrence Journal-World today contains an article that begins, “The attorney representing the woman whose sexual harassment allegations toppled Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison said Monday he doesn’t know who leaked her statement to the media.”

The Kansas City Star reports today that “Morrison’s move puts pressure on Sebelius.”

The Wichita Eagle contains an article headlined “Foulston on AG job: No, thanks.”

And The Associated Press reports that “On list of potential A.G.s, Biggs ranks high; At least 11 people on political radar for Morrison’s position.”

Posted at 2:17 PM by Howard Bashman

“Psychologist’s files won’t be at trial”: Today’s edition of The San Antonio Express-News contains an article that begins, “A state judge on Monday tossed aside subpoenas issued last month by a prosecutor for a defense expert in a capital murder case that had provoked widespread complaints from defense lawyers. In their motion to quash, lawyers for forensic psychologist Mark Cunningham labeled the prosecution’s subpoenas ‘an unprecedented, unconstitutional and unlawful attempt to invade’ privileged areas for the expert witness and defense attorneys.”

Posted at 2:11 PM by Howard Bashman

“[T]here is nothing in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to prevent a party from filing successive pleadings that make inconsistent or even contradictory allegations.” Chief Judge Alex Kozinski issued this ruling today on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Chief Judge Kozinski’s opinion proceeds to observe, “Unless there is a showing that the party acted in bad faith–a showing that can only be made after the party is given an opportunity to respond under the procedures of Rule 11–inconsistent allegations are simply not a basis for striking the pleading.”

Posted at 1:15 PM by Howard Bashman

Ninth Circuit reinstates federal criminal defendant’s challenge under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to having to provide a blood sample for the federal DNA database: You can access today’s per curiam decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link. Unfortunately for the defendant, there are many ways to harvest his DNA, and it is unlikely that his religion proscribes them all.

Posted at 1:11 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judge Orders Hearing on CIA Videos”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “A federal judge has ordered a hearing on whether the Bush administration violated a court order by destroying CIA interrogation videos of terror suspects. U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy rejected calls from the Justice Department to stay out of the matter. He ordered lawyers to appear before him Friday morning.”

SCOTUSblog” has posted at this link a copy of the order announcing Friday’s hearing.

Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman

The U.S. Senate approved the pending judicial security legislation last night, and approval from the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to occur today: The version of the legislation as approved by the Senate can be accessed here. And legislative history generated in connection with yesterday’s Senate approval can be accessed here.

Effective January 21, 2009, the legislation will eliminate the twelfth seat on the D.C. Circuit and add a twenty-ninth seat to the Ninth Circuit.

Amendments to the legislation that occurred in the Senate have clarified that a provision intended to increase the powers of senior judges will only apply to senior federal district judges, thereby eliminating the possibility that senior federal appellate judges would receive an enhanced roll in en banc proceedings. The October 8, 2007 installment of my “On Appeal” column for had suggested that Congress should amend the legislation to clarify that it was not intended to alter the current law on federal appellate judges’ powers to decide whether to take a case en banc and to resolve en banc cases on their merits.

Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“Interrogation: Anti-Bush Overreaction.” In this week’s issue of National Journal, Stuart Taylor Jr. has an essay that begins, “Imagine that U.S. forces capture Osama bin Laden or a high-level lieutenant in Pakistan next month and hand him over to the CIA, amid intelligence reports that a massive new Qaeda attack on America may be imminent. Should it be illegal for CIA interrogators to try to scare the man into talking by yelling at him?”

Posted at 10:32 AM by Howard Bashman

“The Curious Kurnaz Case”: In the current issue of CQ Weekly, columnist Kenneth Jost has an essay that begins, “Murat Kurnaz is a free man today in his adopted home, Germany, after having spent nearly five years in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp as a wrongly suspected terrorist. He is free despite the procedures that the Bush administration has established for trying ‘enemy combatants’ held at that naval base in Cuba. And his hard-earned freedom represents what even the administration’s supporters concede is a strong argument against the legal policies now being challenged for the third time before the Supreme Court.”

Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court Asked to Hear Zoloft Case”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Attorneys have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of a teen sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing his grandparents when he was 12, arguing that the sentence is cruel.”

Posted at 10:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“N.J. first to abolish the death penalty; Cost of appeals, uncertainty over guilt were factors”: The Philadelphia Inquirer contains this article today.

The New York Times reports today that “Corzine Signs Bill Ending Executions, Then Commutes Sentences of Eight.”

The Newark Star-Ledger reports that “Death row disappears as Corzine signs bill; 8 condemned men to live rest of natural lives in jail.”

And reports that “N.J. Ends Capital Punishment, Commutes All Death Sentences; First state to legislatively repeal the death penalty since 1965, and since the Supreme Court reauthorized it in 1976.”

Posted at 8:47 AM by Howard Bashman

“FBI, CIA Debate Significance of Terror Suspect; Agencies Also Disagree On Interrogation Methods”: Today in The Washington Post, Dan Eggen and Walter Pincus have a front page article that begins, “Al-Qaeda captive Abu Zubaida, whose interrogation videotapes were destroyed by the CIA, remains the subject of a dispute between FBI and CIA officials over his significance as a terrorism suspect and whether his most important revelations came from traditional interrogations or from torture. While CIA officials have described him as an important insider whose disclosures under intense pressure saved lives, some FBI agents and analysts say he is largely a loudmouthed and mentally troubled hotelier whose credibility dropped as the CIA subjected him to a simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding and to other ‘enhanced interrogation’ measures.”

Posted at 8:32 AM by Howard Bashman

“State says strip club fee does not violate First Amendment; Officials say it’s about helping women, not hampering speech”: This article appears today in The Austin American-Statesman.

Posted at 8:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“When Suing Your Boss Is Not an Option: More Companies Are Requiring Employees to Settle Disputes By Going Into Arbitration.” Nathan Koppel has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.

Posted at 8:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“It’s second round for Nacchio; The defense team for the former Qwest chief executive is expected to zero in on jury instructions”: This article appears today in The Denver Post.

And The Rocky Mountain News today contains an item headlined “Nacchio appeal in court today,” along with articles headlined “Former Qwest CEO’s attorney has made winning a habit” and “Government’s lawyer, 32, but toughened by experience.”

Today’s oral argument before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. local time in Denver. Late last month, the court issued this oral argument protocol.

Posted at 7:53 AM by Howard Bashman