How Appealing

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

“Requiring a judge to recuse himself because the defendant, in an attempt to change judges, has plotted or threatened to kill him would provide any defendant who wanted a new judge with an effective, if in some cases dreadful, method to achieve that end.” So reasons the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a ruling issued today.

Posted at 8:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Dissenting Judge Tells Lawyers to Take It to YouTube”: Carolyn Elefant has this post at’s “Legal Blog Watch” blog.

For the record, it was I, rather than the dissenting judge, who originally suggested posting the video of this police taser incident at YouTube, where it appeared overnight at this link, as I noted in this post from earlier today.

I’m not claiming that the video appeared on YouTube pursuant to my suggestion, although the person who posted the video did email me overnight to let me know that it would be appearing on YouTube imminently. In any event, the video, especially in combination with the accompanying audio, is quite disturbing and certainly demonstrates that the dissenting judge had legitimate grounds for the passionate nature of her dissent.

Posted at 7:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Jury selected for Nichols trial; Testimony to begin Monday in death penalty trial”: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a news update that begins, “The jury has been chosen for the Brian Nichols trial in Fulton County Superior Court. A majority female jury will decide whether Nichols is a murderer and whether he should die for the crime.”

Posted at 4:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judge Rules McCain’s U.S. Citizenship is ‘Highly Probable'”: At “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times,” Tony Mauro has a post that begins, “A San Francisco federal judge ruled late Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s claim of U.S. citizenship is strong enough that a lawsuit challenging his placement on the California ballot should be dismissed.”

Posted at 2:41 PM by Howard Bashman

Ninth Circuit rejects facial constitutional challenge to Legal Arizona Workers Act, a state law that targets employers who hire illegal aliens and sanctions such employers with the revocation of their licenses to do business in Arizona: You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

In early coverage, Howard Fischer of The Arizona Daily Star has a news update headlined “Appeals court rejects challenge to Ariz. employer sanctions law.”

Posted at 2:08 PM by Howard Bashman

“W.Va. court releases chief’s e-mails sought by AP”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Five e-mails sent by the chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court to the head of coal company Massey Energy show the justice was concerned with a Democratic primary challenger. The e-mails were released Wednesday after a county judge sided with The Associated Press, which sued the Supreme Court to have them released under the state’s freedom of information law.”

Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman

“Scalia says U. of C. has gone liberal”: Today in The Chicago Sun-Times, Abdon M. Pallasch has an article that begins, “On the eve of today’s 221st anniversary of the U.S. Constitution’s adoption, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told conservative lawyers in Chicago that the University of Chicago Law School — where he used to teach — has lost its edge and gone liberal.”

Posted at 9:54 AM by Howard Bashman

“L.A. Times employees sue parent firm Tribune, Zell; A group of current and former workers accuses the CEO and his predecessor of devising a plan to take the company private to enrich themselves to the detriment of employees”: The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

And The New York Times reports today that “Reporters From Paper Suing Chief of Tribune.”’s “Law Blog” has posted a copy of the complaint initiating suit at this link.

Posted at 9:44 AM by Howard Bashman

“Affirmative action and the bar exam: A California professor studying affirmative action should have access to law school performance statistics.” This editorial appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 9:35 AM by Howard Bashman

“Nichols trial: Jurors likely to find job difficult.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today contains this article previewing the death-penalty case against alleged courthouse killer Brian Nichols.

Posted at 9:33 AM by Howard Bashman

“Detainees’ Day in Court: A Senate proposal on the legal process for Guantanamo Bay prisoners has some serious flaws.” The Washington Post contains this editorial today.

Posted at 9:28 AM by Howard Bashman

“Happy Constitution Day! The Chief Justice Discusses Our Nation’s Signature Document — and How It Affects You.” In the “KidsPost” section of today’s edition of The Washington Post, this interview appears. Read the interview to learn how Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. answers the question “What do you think is the coolest part of the Constitution that people do not really know about?”

At the web site of the National Constitution Center, you can access this page devoted to “Constitution Day.”

Posted at 9:22 AM by Howard Bashman

“Father Was a Spy, Sons Conclude With Regret”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “They were the most famous orphans of the cold war, only 6 and 10 years old in 1953 when their parents were executed at Sing Sing for delivering atomic-bomb secrets to the Soviet Union.”

Posted at 9:02 AM by Howard Bashman

Happy birthday to Justice David H. Souter: According to the popular “Today in History” feature from The Associated Press, Justice Souter celebrates his 69th birthday today.

Posted at 8:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“Holding Mr. Rove in Contempt: Congress must not adjourn before voting to hold Karl Rove in contempt for defying a subpoena to testify about the United States attorneys scandal.” This editorial appears today in The New York Times.

Posted at 8:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“Legal experts slam Texas judge-prosecutor link”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Legal experts are harshly criticizing a former judge and an ex-Texas prosecutor, saying their alleged sexual affair while handling cases together represents a black eye to the system.”

Posted at 8:45 AM by Howard Bashman

“A video captured the events in question, and I suggest it be published together with this opinion.” So wrote U.S. District Judge Beverly B. Martin, sitting by designation from the Northern District of Georgia, dissenting from a non-precedential ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued last week.

Judge Martin began her dissent as follows: “I write to express my view that the Fourth Amendment forbids an officer from discharging repeated bursts of electricity into an already handcuffed misdemeanant–who is sitting still beside a rural road and unwilling to move–simply to goad him into standing up.”

In my first post about this ruling last week, I wrote, “It appears that [Judge Martin’s] suggestion has not convinced the Eleventh Circuit to make the video available over its web site. Perhaps the lawyers for the plaintiff will post the video to YouTube.” According to the “Appellate Law & Practice” blog, “a number of blogs are buzzing about” the decision.

The reason for this new post is to note that late yesterday, the video clip of the tasering incident was in fact posted to YouTube. You can watch the video for yourself by clicking here.

Posted at 8:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“Appeal in Defamation Case Against N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg Argued Before 11th Circuit; Effort to restrict guns in New York City led to defamation case in Georgia”: provides a report that begins, “One current presidential candidate and one would-be candidate had links to a gun case argued before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday.”

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined “Libertarian candidate: Bloomberg defamed gun store.”

Posted at 7:55 AM by Howard Bashman