How Appealing

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

“Gun Bill Could Strip D.C. Of Control; Congress Weighs Repealing Ban On Semiautomatics”: This article appears today in The Washington Post.

Posted at 10:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Experts Evaluate the Intersection Between the ‘New Media’ and Courts; Judges and legal experts debated the influence that the new media is having on the public’s understanding of the court system”: The University of Arizona issued this news release today. Justice Stephen G. Breyer delivered the symposium’s opening remarks.

The Tucson Citizen reports today that “Supreme Court justice talks to aspiring judges at UA law school; Breyer uses Dred Scott case as example.”

And The Arizona Daily Wildcat reports today that “Supreme Court Justice visits UA; Breyer discusses Dred Scott.”

Posted at 9:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Fifth Circuit overturns the 2007 federal criminal convictions of reputed Klansman James Ford Seale for kidnapping and conspiracy in the 1964 deaths of two black teenagers in southwest Mississippi: You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.

The conclusion to today’s opinion begins:

To summarize, we conclude that the five-year limitations period made applicable to the federal kidnaping statute by the 1972 amendment applies to this case, where the alleged offense occurred in 1964 and the indictment was issued in 2007. The more than forty-year delay clearly exceeded the limitations period. The district court erred by failing to recognize the presumption that changes affecting statutes of limitation apply retroactively, even without explicit direction from Congress.

Previously, The Associated Press provided this coverage of the jury’s verdict, while The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi provided this coverage of the imposition of three life sentences for the crimes.

Posted at 8:42 PM by Howard Bashman

“Charles Dean Hood granted a stay of execution”: The Dallas Morning News provides an update that begins, “The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted a stay of execution for Charles Dean Hood, who was set to die Wednesday for the killings of Tracie Wallace and Ronald Williamson in 1989 in Plano. The stay was based on an appeal filed last week that asked the court to reconsider an issue taken up over the summer. It is not related to revelations that the judge and prosecutor during Mr. Hood’s trial have admitted in sworn affidavits taken Monday and Tuesday that they had a sexual relationship.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Texas court stops execution set for Wednesday.”

Posted at 8:01 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court hears appeal by Phila. officer to wear religious head scarf”: The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a news update that begins, “A three-judge appellate panel heard arguments today on whether to reopen a case concerning an Islamic Philadelphia police officer who wants to wear a religious head scarf while on duty.”

Posted at 5:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Thomas says Constitution forbids racial preference”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Tuesday that African-Americans are better served by colorblind programs than affirmative action.”

Posted at 5:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Third Circuit decides National Football League “Voice of God” dispute: You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in John Facenda, Jr. v. N.F.L. Films, Inc. at this link.

Previously, Shannon P. Duffy of The Legal Intelligencer has provided coverage of the case in articles headlined “NFL Not Entitled to ‘Voice of God’ in Promotional Film“; “‘Voice of God’ Case Kicks Off Against NFL; Legendary sports announcer’s estate fights appeal before 3rd Circuit“; and “3rd Circuit Judges Pepper Counsel With Questions in ‘Voice of God’ Case.”

And in other coverage, Philadelphia Magazine recently published an article “The Voice of God: The booming baritone of John Facenda, legendary Philadelphia newscaster and signature of NFL Films, has popped up selling everything from Campbell’s chili to video games; Now his son Jack is fighting to reclaim it” (click here to access on a single page). You can listen to Facenda’s famous voice covering the death of President John F. Kennedy at this link.

Posted at 1:50 PM by Howard Bashman

For purposes of equally apportioning congressional representation, must congressional districts have the same total population — the number of residents within each district — or some different population that produces the same number of votes cast in each district? After identifying an interesting choice between two conceptions of democratic equality, “electoral equality” and “equal representation,” a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued today finds it unnecessary to resolve that choice in the context of the case under review.

Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman

Divided three-judge Second Circuit panel rules that man is entitled to a third trial on charges that he used his computer to send messages on the internet to entice an individual he believed to be an underaged girl to engage in unlawful criminal sexual activity: Of course, according to today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the man was in fact chatting with “a 55-year-old woman who spends 20 to 50 hours a week surfing the Internet for those she believes to be sexual predators and reporting her finds to the FBI.”

Posted at 11:47 AM by Howard Bashman

Telecommunications providers have a First Amendment right to alert their customers to the existence of a Kentucky gross revenues tax, even though Kentucky law prohibits those telecommunications providers from directly passing on the cost of that tax to their customers: So holds a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in an interesting decision issued today.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton issued the majority opinion, in which U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster, sitting by designation from the Northern District of Ohio, joined. Circuit Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey dissented from the ruling striking down the law, writing, “Because cherished First Amendment principles do not protect false or misleading commercial speech, I dissent from the majority’s analysis of this issue and would reverse the district court’s invalidation of the challenged ban that seeks to prevent just such deception.”

Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“Husband was cleaning up blood, judge tells LV police”: The Las Vegas Review-Journal today contains an article that begins, “Metropolitan Police Department officers who first attended to beaten and bloodied District Judge Elizabeth Halverson on Thursday later discovered an empty bottle of bleach in a master bedroom trash can.”

Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. court revives cases against Enron executives”: Reuters provides a report that begins, “A ruling in the federal appeals court in New Orleans on Monday revived Texas state court fraud cases targeting Enron Corp’s former leaders and more than a dozen financial institutions accused of playing a role in the company’s collapse, legal documents showed.”

Bloomberg News provides a report that begins, “Enron Corp. investors may sue the failed energy trader’s banks and executives in Texas state court after reaching settlements for-billions of dollars in federal litigation, a U.S. appeals court ruled.”

And Dow Jones Newswires report that “U.S. Court Revives Enron Cases in Texas.”

You can access yesterday’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit at this link.

Posted at 8:54 AM by Howard Bashman

That’ll teach me to take a vacation: Last month, while I was visiting the Galapagos Islands, Kate Coscarelli of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger had an article headlined “Court allows lawsuit against justice; Teammate of jurist’s son alleges abuse of power in head-butt case.” The article begins, “A civil rights lawsuit against New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto can proceed on the claim that he used the power of his office when he intervened in a dispute between his son and another high school student, a judge ruled * * *.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “N.J. justice protected from suit, court rules.”

Gannett’s New Jersey bureau reported that “Judge allows, limits suit against N.J. Supreme Court justice.”

Henry Gottlieb of the New Jersey Law Journal reported that “N.J. Supreme Court Judge Can Be Sued Personally for Alleged Civil Rights Breach; Judge allegedly used his authority to intervene in investigations into whether his son was bullied by a classmate.”

And The Associated Press reported that “Judge nixes part of teen’s suit against NJ justice.”

You can access last month’s ruling of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, for Mercer County at this link.

Posted at 8:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“This Week on America & the Courts, C-SPAN sat down with U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Chief Judge David Sentelle on August 20th. Judge Sentelle gave an overview of the circuit court and his job as chief judge.” You can view this past Saturday’s broadcast of C-SPAN’s “America and the Courts” program by clicking here (RealPlayer required).

Posted at 8:23 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court Seeks Briefs on Rehearing Capital Case; La. and Justice Cite Change by Congress”: Today in The Washington Post, Robert Barnes has an article that begins, “The Supreme Court yesterday ordered briefs on the question of whether it should reconsider its June decision that it is unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on those who rape children.”

And today in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that “High Court May Revisit
Death-Penalty Decision

Posted at 8:12 AM by Howard Bashman