How Appealing

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Access online a rare dissent from a federal appellate court’s decision to grant rehearing en banc: Dissents from the denial of rehearing en banc issue from time to time, but Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry E. Smith‘s dissent from the grant of rehearing en banc in United States v. Seale is the first such dissent of that type I can ever recall having seen.

In addition to dissenting from the grant of rehearing en banc, Judge Smith also disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s decision not to hear en banc argument until May 2009.

My earlier coverage of the Fifth Circuit’s decision to grant rehearing en banc in this case can be accessed here and here. Judge Smith’s dissent apparently did not issue simultaneously with the order granting rehearing en banc.

Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“Sanders lays out his version of events”: Adam Wilson, a reporter with The Olympian newspaper of Olympia, Washington, has a blog post this evening reprinting a statement issued late today by Justice Richard B. Sanders of the Washington State Supreme Court.

Justice Sanders says in his written statement that during Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey’s address to the Federalist Society last Thursday night, “I felt compelled to speak out. I stood up, and said, ‘tyrant,’ and then left the meeting.”

It’s good to see that Wilson was able to correct in fairly short order the serious misimpression left by his article in today’s print edition of The Olympian headlined “State justice says he wasn’t at Mukasey’s speech.”

In other coverage, The Seattle Times provides a news update headlined “State justice confirms he yelled ‘Tyrant!’ at Mukasey before AG collapsed.”

Posted at 8:48 PM by Howard Bashman

“Retired U.S. Court Executive Files Kozinski Complaint”: Cynthia Cotts of Bloomberg News has an article that begins, “A retired federal court executive alleged Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco, broke into a judicial computer security system to restore access to pornographic Web sites, according to a filed complaint.”

The article continues, “Ralph Mecham, who headed the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Washington for 21 years until retiring in 2006, made the allegations in a complaint yesterday to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.” Cotts reports that “Mecham supplied a copy of his complaint to Bloomberg.”

Additional details on the apparently longstanding feud between Mecham and Kozinski can be accessed via a “How Appealing” post from June 16, 2008.

Posted at 8:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Ohio high court to decide congressional votes”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “The Ohio Supreme Court will have the final say on how thousands of outstanding provisional votes are counted for a tight congressional race. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the state high court rather than federal court is the proper forum to decide the question.”

And The Columbus Dispatch has a news update headlined “Provisional ballot case sent back to Ohio Supreme Court.”

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

Posted at 3:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Florida ban on gay adoptions ruled unconstitutional”: The Miami Herald provides a news update that begins, “A Miami-Dade circuit judge Tuesday declared Florida’s 30-year-old ban on gay adoption unconstitutional, allowing a North Miami man to adopt two foster kids he has raised since 2004.” The newspaper has posted online a copy of today’s ruling at this link.

And The Associated Press reports that “Miami judge rules against Florida gay adoption ban.”

Posted at 1:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Osama bin Laden’s driver headed home to Yemen; The Pentagon has sent Osama bin Laden’s driver from Guantanamo to his native Yemen to finish his prison sentence, three months after a military jury convicted him of war crimes”: Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald has this news update.

Posted at 12:57 PM by Howard Bashman

“‘Heckler’ Judge at Mukasey Dinner Speaks to the Law Blog”: Amir Efrati has this post today at’s “Law Blog.”

Since I linked earlier this morning to an article headlined “State justice says he wasn’t at Mukasey’s speech” published today in The Olympian, several “How Appealing” readers have emailed me to reiterate their belief, based on having attended the speech, that the heckler was indeed Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders.

The Olympian article contains, in quotations attributed to Justice Sanders, no direct refutation of the charge that he was the heckler. And contrary to the text and headline of The Olympian article, Justice Sanders in his interview with’s “Law Blog” admits to having attended Mukasey’s Federalist Society speech and to having departed in the midst of that speech. Witnesses to the event have described that the heckler left the speech after having made the “tyrant” remark to Mukasey.

Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Holy Land Foundation defendants guilty on all counts”: This article appears today in The Dallas Morning News, along with articles headlined “Holy Land investigation dates back to 1993” and “Holy Land supporters accuse government of preying on fear.”

The New York Times reports today that “Five Convicted in Terrorism Financing Trial.”

The Washington Post reports that “Muslim Charity’s Ex-Leaders Convicted; Justice Nets 2 Wins As Embassy Blast Verdicts Endure.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Holy Land charity and leaders found guilty on all 108 counts; After a mistrial last year, Texas jurors agree with government accusations that the foundation was funneling money to Hamas, designated a terrorist group.”

And USA Today reports that “Charity leaders convicted of aiding Hamas; Five guilty of tax fraud, money laundering, supporting terrorist group with $12 million.”

Posted at 9:45 AM by Howard Bashman

“State justice says he wasn’t at Mukasey’s speech”: The Olympian of Olympia, Washington today contains an article that begins, “Contrary to rumor, Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders said he was in town, but not in the room, when U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed last week.”

Posted at 9:34 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court Backs Warrantless Searches Abroad”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “The authorities may lawfully conduct searches and electronic surveillance against United States citizens in foreign countries without a warrant, a federal appeals court panel said on Monday, bolstering the government’s power to investigate terrorism by ruling that a key constitutional protection afforded to Americans does not apply overseas.”

My earlier coverage of yesterday’s Second Circuit rulings appears at this link.

Posted at 9:23 AM by Howard Bashman

“Seattle’s mayor is up in arms about guns; Mayor Greg Nickels wants to ban guns from city property; But a Washington state law, and other challenges, may shoot down his proposal”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 9:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“GPS technology doubles as crime-fighting tool; The units can place a suspect at a crime scene, undermine an alibi or prove fault in an accident; And though privacy rights advocates don’t like the intrusion, courts tend to side with authorities”: Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 9:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“Legal experts puzzled over California justice’s seeming reversal on Prop. 8; Justice Joyce L. Kennard has been a reliable supporter of gay rights in the past, but last week she was the only Supreme Court jurist to vote against hearing legal challenges to the gay-marriage ban”: Maura Dolan has this front page article today in The Los Angeles Times.

And The New York Times today contains an editorial entitled “California’s Legal Tangle.”

Posted at 9:02 AM by Howard Bashman

“Nesconset lawyer’s death a murder for hire, woman says”: Today’s edition of Newsday contains an article that begins, “The fatal shooting of a Nesconset lawyer wasn’t a botched robbery but a murder for hire, said a woman charged in the death of James DiMartino as she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder yesterday in Riverhead.”

Posted at 8:57 AM by Howard Bashman

“From One Footnote, a Debate Over the Tangles of Law, Science and Money”: Adam Liptak’s “Sidebar” column reemerges today, as a “column on the Supreme Court [that] will appear every other Tuesday.”

Today’s installment begins, “Two years after Exxon was hit with a $5 billion punitive damages award for the Exxon Valdez disaster, Prof. William R. Freudenburg’s phone rang.”

Posted at 8:34 AM by Howard Bashman

“Indefinite Detention”: Today’s edition of The New York Times contains an editorial that begins, “For more than five years, the Bush administration has been holding Ali al-Marri, a legal resident of the United States, in near isolation under President Bush’s reprehensible enemy combatant doctrine. The Supreme Court is to meet on Tuesday to decide whether to review the case, and it should. The justices need to make clear that a president cannot trample on individual rights by imprisoning people indefinitely simply by asserting that they are tied to terrorism.”

And today in The Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Hafetz has an op-ed entitled “2,000 days in detention: The case of an ‘enemy combatant’ who has been held in a Navy brig in South Carolina is about to go before the Supreme Court.”

Posted at 8:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“Bin Laden’s Driver to Be Returned to Yemen”: The New York Times provides this news update.

The Washington Post today contains a front page article headlined “Hamdan To Be Sent To Yemen; Bin Laden Driver Spent 7 Years at Guantanamo.”

And today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that “Salim Ahmed Hamdan to leave Guantanamo; After serving time for supporting terrorism, Osama bin Laden’s onetime driver is said to be in the midst of a transfer to Yemen.”

My earlier coverage appears at this link.

Posted at 8:27 AM by Howard Bashman

“Gay Marriage and the California Courts: Democracy loses if Prop. 8 is overruled.” Columnist William McGurn has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.

Posted at 8:23 AM by Howard Bashman

“Sweeping Pardons ‘Unnecessary’; White House Is Disinclined to Grant Clemency to Officials Involved in Terror Policies”: Today in The Wall Street Journal, Evan Perez has an article that begins, “The White House isn’t inclined to grant sweeping pardons for former administration officials involved in harsh interrogations and detentions of terror suspects, according to people familiar with the situation.”

Posted at 8:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“The Supreme Court Opts to Decide Whether McCain-Feingold’s Campaign Finance Regulations Were Properly Applied to a Film Attacking Hillary Clinton, and to Ads for the Film”: Julie Hilden has this essay online at FindLaw.

Posted at 8:07 AM by Howard Bashman