How Appealing

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

“Broadened Customs Powers Could Fuel Congressional Bill”: Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun has a news update that begins, “Without public debate, the federal government recently revoked a two-decade-old policy that limited the ability of customs agents to read and copy documents travelers bring into and out of America, according to newly released memoranda from the Department of Homeland Security.”

Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“Wine Lovers See Red Over State Laws That Restrict Home Delivery of Bottles”: This article will appear Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal. The article explains that these laws persist despite “a landmark 2005 Supreme Court ruling that struck down as discriminatory state laws that permit in-state wineries to ship to local consumers while denying the same right to out-of-state wineries.”

Posted at 10:33 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Upcoming Supreme Court Case of Wyeth v. Levine and the Preemption Temptation”: Anthony J. Sebok and Benjamin C. Zipursky have this essay — the first in a two-part series — online at FindLaw.

Posted at 10:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Prosecutor in Nichols’ rape case takes stand; Abramson Csehy recounts her fear from defendants’ courthouse rampage”: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides this news update.

That newspaper’s print edition today contains an article headlined “Taped shooting played for Nichols jury; Two shots, screams heard; Prosecution, defense make opening statements; replaced juror required to show up.”

Today’s issue of the Fulton County Daily Report contains an article headlined “Courthouse Shooting Case Opens With Audiotape of Gunshots; Jurors hear slain court reporter’s taping of fatal attack; lead defense attorney focuses on accused shooter’s state of mind.”

The New York Times reports that “Trial Opens in Courthouse Killings.”

And The Los Angeles Times reports that “Atlanta courthouse rampage trial begins; Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Brian Nichols, an escapee who killed 4 before taking a woman hostage in her home; The 2005 case has been plagued with delays and high costs.”

Posted at 5:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person.” The Coalition for Secular Government has posted online this essay by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh.

Posted at 5:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Two Decades in Solitary”: Today’s edition of The New York Times contains an article that begins, “He is one of New York’s most isolated prisoners, spending 23 hours a day for the past two decades in a 9-by-6-foot cell.”

Posted at 5:24 PM by Howard Bashman

“For gay father, adoption ruling is ‘a defining moment’; After seven years, a Key West foster dad fulfilled a 12-year-old boy’s greatest dream: to have a real father; In doing so, he may help smash a controversial Florida law.” The Miami Herald provides this news update.

The newspaper has posted the ruling, which issued late last month, at this link.

Posted at 5:22 PM by Howard Bashman

“Bin Laden’s driver still a test case of sorts; Even as the Pentagon resumes pre-trial hearings in the 9/11 case, the military is still dogged by what to do with its lone war court convict”: Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

In addition, she has a news update headlined “KSM questions Marine judge at Guantanamo war court; At Guantanamo’s war court, an alleged arch-terrorist questioned his Marine Corps judge and learned he is a Christian, not a Jew.”

In other coverage, The Los Angeles Times reports today that “Guantanamo judge enlists help of Sept. 11 suspects; Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and three codefendants write letters that reportedly persuade Ramzi Binalshibh to leave his cell and appear in court so the terrorism trial of the five men can proceed.”

And The Washington Post reports that “Judge Lets 9/11 Defendants Urge Detainee to Appear.”

Posted at 5:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“The question posed by this appeal is whether, under a statute forbidding the carrying and use of guns in connection with a federal crime, the nature of the weapon is to be found by the judge as a sentencing matter or by the jury as an element of the crime.” So begins a decision that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued today.

The very next sentence of the opinion explains, “Most circuits have said the former; believing ourselves largely constrained by a Supreme Court decision interpreting a prior version of the statute, we reach the opposite result, albeit with some misgivings.”

Posted at 4:37 PM by Howard Bashman

“Interview with Bloomberg News Supreme Court Reporter Greg Stohr”: If you missed this past Saturday’s broadcast of C-SPAN’s “America and the Courts” program, you can view it online, on-demand by clicking here (RealPlayer required). According to C-SPAN’s online summary, “C-SPAN sits down with Bloomberg News Supreme Court Reporter Greg Stohr to discuss the impact the next president could have on the Supreme Court. He also examines the candidates’ judicial philosophies, their views on the Supreme Court & the federal judiciary and their views on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and executive power.”

Posted at 3:25 PM by Howard Bashman

Looking for a law review article that really speaks to you? “FlaLaw Online” yesterday posted a report headlined “Florida Law Review Breaks Ground With Multimedia Article.” The report begins, “For the first time in history, the Florida Law Review has published a multimedia article. The article, Constitutional Advocacy Explains Constitutional Outcomes, was written by Stephen. A. Higginson, an associate professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Higginson included 178 links to audio recordings of oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court.”

You can access the law review article in question, along with related audio, via this link.

Posted at 3:21 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judge won’t drop LA obscenity case after mistrial”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “A federal judge has refused to dismiss obscenity charges against an adult film producer after a scandal with the trial judge this summer forced a mistrial. As opening statements were under way at Ira Isaacs’ trial in June, the Los Angeles Times reported that Judge Alex Kozinski had posted sexually explicit materials on his personal Web site. He recused himself and declared a mistrial. U.S. District Court Judge George King ruled Friday that Kozinski properly recused himself and double jeopardy is not an issue if Isaacs is tried a second time. Isaacs’ lawyer, Roger Jon Diamond, said he will appeal King’s ruling.”

I have posted at this link a copy of last Friday’s ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denying a mistrial. One might presume that if the defendant takes an immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit, as he is allowed to do, that the case would be heard by appellate judges from outside of the Ninth Circuit sitting by designation.

Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman