How Appealing

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Judge Wu to Lori Drew: No speedy dismissal of federal criminal charges in MySpace hoax suicide case for you. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides a news update headlined “Judge undecided in cyber-bullying case.”

The St. Charles (Mo.) Journal provides a news update headlined “Judge needs more time in Dardenne Prairie MySpace case; Drew faces up to 20 years if case goes to trial.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Judge tentatively refuses to dismiss Internet case.”

Posted at 11:08 PM by Howard Bashman

“Instruction in Pole Dancing Tests the First Amendment”: Today’s edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, “It is safe to say that last week was the first time the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania had ever filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a pole dancing instructor.”

And in earlier coverage, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last week that “‘Sexy’ exercise salon has Adams officials in a cold sweat.”

The Associated Press reported that “Pa. town sued after rejecting pole-dancing studio.”

And in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, columnist Eric Heyl had an essay entitled “Dance instructor in pole position.”

You can visit the dance instructor’s web site by clicking here.

Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court: Start poring through 50 years of records or appeal.” The Deseret News today contains an article that begins, “A federal appellate court ruling may send Utah officials to the U.S. Supreme Court to dispute the mandate they must cull through decades worth of records to show how Navajo trust funds were spent. Or, accountants could just roll up their sleeves, dust off the hundreds of boxes and embrace the ‘major undertaking’ ordered Wednesday by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. At issue is expenditures from the estimated $150 million fund derived from gas and oil exploration on Navajo land in Utah dating back to the 1950s, when money first started funneling into the account.”

And Pamela Manson of The Salt Lake Tribune reports that “Appeals court says state must account for Navajo oil money.”

You can access yesterday’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit — which applies the U.S. Supreme Court‘s recent “virtual representation” ruling in Taylor v. Sturgell — at this link.

Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“Eminent domain holdout sells”: Today’s edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer contains an article that begins, “The owner of the lone house standing in the middle of the 11-acre site that was the focus of a landmark eminent-domain case has sold his property to Rookwood Partners for $1.25 million. Joe Horney’s sale of his vacant rental house ends a long legal battle that drew national attention, and clears the way for development of the site, located on prime real estate at Edwards and Edmondson roads.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Ohio man in eminent domain case ends holdout.”

Posted at 10:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Mexico’s Supreme Court slams Walmart’s labor practices”: Agence France-Presse provides a report that begins, “Mexico’s Supreme Court compared the practices of US retail giant Walmart in Mexico to employer-worker relations during the dictatorship of former president Porfirio Diaz.”

Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman

The Kingman Reef still belongs to the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds: According to today’s interesting ruling, “Kingman Reef’s only dry land consists of coral rubble and marine shells sitting less than two meters above sea level at its highest point, making it unfit for human habitation.”

And according to The World Factbook of the Central Intelligence Agency, “The US annexed the reef in 1922. Its sheltered lagoon served as a way station for flying boats on Hawaii-to-American Samoa flights during the late 1930s. There are no terrestrial plants on the reef, which is frequently awash, but it does support abundant and diverse marine fauna and flora. In 2001, the waters surrounding the reef out to 12 nm were designated a US National Wildlife Refuge.”

Additional information about the reef is available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Office of Insular Affairs of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Wikipedia.

Posted at 3:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judge: New money design should accommodate blind.” The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “When the next generations of $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills roll off the presses, there should be some way for blind people to tell them apart, a federal judge said Thursday. U.S. District Judge James Robertson said he would not allow the Treasury Department to go at its own pace as it complies with a May ruling that U.S. paper money discriminates against the blind.”

Posted at 12:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“We granted rehearing en banc to decide whether a policy or practice of strip searching all arrestees as part of the process of booking them into the general population of a detention facility, even without reasonable suspicion to believe that they may be concealing contraband, is constitutionally permissible.” So begins the majority opinion that the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today.

Circuit Judge Ed Carnes wrote the majority opinion, which upholds the constitutionality of such strip searches, “at least where the strip search is no more intrusive than the one the Supreme Court upheld in Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979).” Eleven of that court’s twelve active judges joined in the decision; Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett was the lone dissenter.

Chief Judge J.L. Edmondson issued a rather amusing two-paragraph concurring opinion in which he observed:

I do not write in a complaining spirit. I unhesitatingly concur in the Court’s judgment and in almost all of today’s Court opinion. I write separately because I think it is jurisprudentially unsound to look at a Justice’s dissenting opinion to determine what the Supreme Court has decided in a case.

To the degree that our Court today seems to make some verifying use–I think unnecessarily–of this approach, I cannot join it.

Perhaps in response to that observation, the majority opinion notes: “Granted, it can be risky to place too much reliance on dissenting opinions because they sometimes take a Chicken Little or doomsday approach, exaggerating aspects of the majority opinion in order to have a bigger target to attack.”

Posted at 12:27 PM by Howard Bashman

Now you can confirm whether it’s true that, at oral argument, Senior First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya only uses tiny, little, easy-to-understand words when he speaks from the bench: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has joined the ever-growing ranks of federal appellate courts that are posting online audio of their oral arguments. Access to the First Circuit’s oral argument feed is currently available only in RSS format, and the audio files themselves are in mp3 format. You can access the available oral argument audio files by clicking here.

Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Protecting the lawyer-client relationship: Congress should pass the Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act.” This editorial appears today in The New York Times.

Posted at 9:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“High court axes 3 key amendments; The Florida Supreme Court removed three high-profile constitutional amendments from the November ballot, including one calling for a tax-swap plan”: The Miami Herald today contains an article that begins, “The Florida Supreme Court dealt a blow to a tax revision plan and school vouchers Wednesday, removing from the November ballot three controversial amendments that could have dramatically altered the future of Florida. In unanimous rulings delivered less than five hours after the court heard oral arguments, the justices rejected Amendments 5, 7 and 9 on grounds they were improperly placed on the November ballot and are misleading to voters.”

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports today that “Florida Supreme Court takes property tax cut and vouchers off ballot.”

The St. Petersburg Times reports that “Tax swap, vouchers off Nov. ballot.”

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that “Amendments booted from Nov. 4 ballot.”

And The New York Times reports that “Court Blocks Florida Ballot Measures Intended to Help School Vouchers.”

You can access here and here yesterday’s rulings of the Supreme Court of Florida.

Posted at 9:28 AM by Howard Bashman

Available online from Mike Scarcella reports that “Federal Circuit Hears Argument in Patent Appeals Board Challenge.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has made the audio of yesterday’s oral argument available for download via this link (31.1MB mp3 audio file).

In other news, Shannon P. Duffy reports that “Federal Judge Green-Lights Paxil Suit Over Teen’s Suicide.” The article begins, “The family of a teenager who committed suicide in 2002 after taking the antidepressant drug Paxil is not barred from suing the manufacturer, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had not yet taken any position on whether there was a link between the use of such drugs by pediatric patients and an increased risk of suicidality, a federal judge has ruled.” You can access last week’s ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at this link.

And an article reports that “Judge Spooked by Sex Offender’s Donning of Sunglasses Is Dressed Down on Appeal; Use of black glasses in courtrooms is ‘universally considered’ to be a threatening gesture, says lower court judge.” You can access yesterday’s ruling of the Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division at this link.

Posted at 9:17 AM by Howard Bashman

“State parks agency to appeal ruling on nude sunbathing at San Onofre; Officials seek to overturn an Orange County judge’s decision that allowed swimming and sunning in the buff at Trail 6; The department denies that a policy change on the issue needs a public hearing”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Last week, The LATimes reported that “Judge upholds nude sunbathing along stretch of San Onofre State Beach; The court rules that state parks officials can cite nudists only if there is a complaint by a private citizen; The policy had been in place since 1979 but was revised earlier this year.”

And The Orange County Register reported last week that “Nudists can hit San Onofre beach this holiday weekend; Judge’s final ruling halts ban on bare bodies that was to take effect Labor Day.”

Posted at 9:08 AM by Howard Bashman

“Suspect pleads guilty in collar bombing; Pizza delivery man died after robbing PNC Bank in 2005”: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today contains an article that begins, “One of Pennsylvania’s strangest criminal cases, a bank robbery carried out by a pizza delivery man with a bomb locked around his neck, came into clearer focus yesterday when one of the four suspects pleaded guilty.”

The New York Times reports today that “Key Part of Bank Robbery Lore Is False, Prosecutors Say.”

And The Erie Times-News contains articles headlined “Witnesses seal fate; Barnes’ half brother, others provide corroboration in Wells case” and “Wells’ role still unclear.”

Posted at 8:52 AM by Howard Bashman

Five years ago today: According to today’s installment of the popular “Today in History” feature from The Associated Press, on September 4, 2003 “Miguel Estrada, whose nomination became a flash point for Democratic opposition to President Bush’s judicial choices, withdrew from consideration for an appeals court seat after Republicans failed in seven attempts to break a Senate filibuster.”

My coverage of that day’s developments began in a post that you can access here. After reaching that link’s destination, simply scroll up the page to view additional related posts.

Posted at 8:42 AM by Howard Bashman

“Former judges, prosecutors seek execution reprieve”: In today’s edition of The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell has an article that begins, “Twenty-two former federal and state judges and prosecutors have asked Gov. Rick Perry to grant death row inmate Charles Dean Hood a 30-day reprieve from his Sept. 10 execution.”

The Dallas Morning News reports today that “Judge recuses himself in civil proceedings involving retired judge.” reports that “Texas Gov. Asked to Stop Execution; Death Row Inmate Who Claims Judge, Prosecutor Had Affair Gets Hearing 2 Days Too Late.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Texas governor asked to stop execution next week.”

Posted at 8:21 AM by Howard Bashman

Garlic breath is incompatible with free speech claim, en banc Ninth Circuit rules: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that “Court backs Garlic Festival in bikers’ suit.”

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that “Gilroy’s garlic-fest organizers savor a sweet victory; On appeal, they again win in bikers’ case against event’s dress code.”

Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News reports that “Appeals court upholds Gilroy’s right to ban motorcycle club from garlic festival; Gilroy Garlic Fest had banned club’s insignia.”

And The Gilroy Dispatch reports that “Federal court rejects bikers’ free speech case against Gilroy Garlic Festival.”

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

Posted at 8:02 AM by Howard Bashman

“Kent: ‘Absolutely, unequivocally not guilty.'” This article appears today in The Galveston County Daily News.

Today in The Houston Chronicle, Mary Flood reports that “Federal Judge Samuel Kent promises ‘a horde of witnesses.’

And at Texas Lawyer’s “Tex Parte Blog,” a post titled “New judge appointed to oversee federal criminal case against Judge Sam Kent” reports that Senior U.S. District Judge C. Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida has been selected to preside over the case going forward.

Posted at 7:35 AM by Howard Bashman