How Appealing

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

“Although I have been on the short end of en banc votes before, this is the first time in sixteen years on the bench that I have written, or even joined, a dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc.” So begins a dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc that Eleventh Circuit Judge Ed Carnes issued today.

The balance of that dissent is expressly devoted to explaining why the case presents a strong candidate for U.S. Supreme Court review on the question whether “Under the federal fee-shifting statutes can a reasonable attorney’s fee be enhanced based on extraordinary effort or results where some evidence and findings support the enhancement, or are all of the factors that lead to the quality of the performance and the results obtained already covered in the lodestar calculation, as the opinions in Delaware Valley and Dague imply?”

My earlier coverage of the three-judge panel’s ruling in this case can be accessed here.

Posted at 11:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Nichols prosecutor’s closing words: ‘He is vicious’; Defendant was not delusional, district attorney says.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a news update that begins, “Prosecutors ended the Brian Nichols case like they started — by playing a blood-curdling recording Wednesday of two loud gunshots and the shrieks of a woman who saw Nichols kill a judge and a stenographer in a Fulton County courtroom.”

And Greg Land of the Fulton County Daily Report has an article headlined “Lawyers Make Closing Arguments in Courthouse Shooting Case.”

Posted at 11:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“Defense starts in Joyce case; Ex-law clerk, secretary say 2001 accident affected boss”: This article appears today in The Erie (Pa.) Times-News.

Posted at 11:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justices question doctrines at heart of union-fees case”: Tony Mauro has this news analysis online at the First Amendment Center.

You can access Monday’s transcript of the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral argument in Ysursa v. Pocatello Ed. Assn., No. 07-869, at this link.

Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Same-sex marriage issue heading back to state Supreme Court”: Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, “A day after California voters approved a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the incendiary issue returned to the state Supreme Court, where gay and lesbian couples and the city of San Francisco filed lawsuits Wednesday seeking to overturn Proposition 8.”

And in The Los Angeles Times, Maura Dolan and Tami Abdollah have a news update headlined “Gay rights backers file 3 lawsuits challenging Prop. 8; Lawyers for same-sex couples argue that the anti-gay marriage measure is an illegal constitutional revision; Backers of the measure attack the suits.”

Posted at 10:22 PM by Howard Bashman

“Dewey Lawyer, Ex-AG Optimistic After His Day Before U.S. Supreme Court”: At “The Am Law Daily” blog, Zach Lowe has a post that begins, “John Van De Kamp, a former Los Angeles district attorney and state Attorney General of California, walked into the U.S. Supreme Court today hoping the justices would grant him absolute immunity from a lawsuit brought by a man wrongly convicted of murder under his watch.”

You can access today’s transcript of oral argument in Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, No. 07-854, at this link.

Yesterday, I linked here to Lawrence Hurley’s preview of the oral argument published on Monday of this week in The Daily Journal of California.

Posted at 8:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Hathaway unseats Chief Justice Taylor”: The Detroit Free Press today contains an article that begins, “Diane Hathaway sprung a stunning upset Tuesday of Clifford Taylor, the conservative chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court who was the target of a scathing advertising campaign from Democrats.”

And The Detroit News reports today that “Chief justice concedes defeat.”

Posted at 3:05 PM by Howard Bashman

Ninth Circuit holds that California’s maintenance of a database of known or suspected child abusers violates due process because identified individuals are not given a fair opportunity to challenge the allegations against them: You can access today’s ruling, by a unanimous three-judge panel, at this link.

Posted at 2:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Obama Wins Mandate on the Courts”: Kathryn Kolbert, president of the organization People For the American Way, issued this statement today.

Posted at 1:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“Same-sex marriage ban wins”: The San Francisco Chronicle provides a news update that begins, “After a heated, divisive campaign, fueled by a record $73 million of spending, California voters backed Proposition 8, which would change the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. With 96 percent of the vote counted, the measure was winning by a decisive 400,000-vote margin, 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent.”

The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined “California voters approve Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages; The measure was the most divisive on the state ballot; Its passage throws into doubt the unions of thousands of recently wed couples.”

The San Jose Mercury News has an update headlined “California voters approve constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, opponents refuse to concede defeat.”

And The Associated Press reports that “California voters approve gay-marriage ban.”

Posted at 1:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“Abortion ban rejection might leave supporters with nowhere to go”: The Argus-Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota today contains an article that begins, “For the second election in a row, South Dakota voters rejected by a double-digit margin an attempt to ban abortion in the state. The margin for Initiated Measure 11 — a proposed law to criminalize abortion unless done in cases of rape or pregnancy or to safe the life or health of a woman — was 55-45 with 736 of 799 precincts reported early Wednesday.”

The Denver Post reports today that “‘Personhood’ push rejected; The amendment called for full legal rights from the point of conception; Foes saw a Pandora’s box

The Rocky Mountain News reports that “Voters reject Amendment 48 ‘personhood’ issue.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “Prop. 4, abortion notification, losing.”

And The Los Angeles Times reports that “Ballot initiatives to curtail abortions defeated; South Dakota’s Measure 11, aimed at triggering a Supreme Court showdown on Roe vs. Wade, is losing soundly; Bans on gay marriage appear headed for passage.”

Posted at 9:07 AM by Howard Bashman

“Gay marriage ban leading; Possible passage of Prop.8 throws thousands of same-sex unions into doubt”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that “Voters backing same-sex marriage ban.”

The Miami Herald reports that “Amendment banning same-sex marriage in Florida passes.”

The Arizona Republic reports that “Voters approve proposal to ban gay marriage.”

And USA Today reports that “Bans on gay marriage gain ground.”

Posted at 8:48 AM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court Takes Up Case of Use of Profanity on TV”: Jerry Markon has this article today in The Washington Post.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, David G. Savage reports that “High court conservatives favor indecency rule; U.S. Solicitor General says the strict regulation of broadcast TV preserves a ‘safety zone’ for families with children.”

In USA Today, Joan Biskupic reports that “Justices hear FCC obscenity case; Offer few clues to how they’ll rule.”

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that “Justices Appear Split Over Impact of TV Vulgarity.”

And’s Tony Mauro reports that “Supreme Court Justices Debate the ‘F-Bomb.’

Posted at 8:38 AM by Howard Bashman

After yesterday’s voting, the balance of power in the U.S. Senate stands at 56 Democrats and 40 Republicans, with four seats undecided: The States with undecided seats are Alaska, Georgia, Minnesota, and Oregon. The Republican candidate currently has a narrow lead in all four states, with the narrowest lead in Minnesota, where Al Franken is trailing by only 662 votes with 99% of the precincts reporting, according to CNN. You can view more datails from at this link.

The composition of the U.S. Senate is, of course, relevant to the question of federal judicial confirmations, and sixty votes are needed to have a filibuster-proof majority.

In related news coverage, The New York Times reports today that “Democrats Widen Senate Edge to Solid Majority.”

Posted at 8:14 AM by Howard Bashman