How Appealing

Friday, December 12, 2008

“Jewish Parents Lose Again in 15-year Quest to Claim Deduction Granted to Scientology”: Josh Gerstein, formerly of The New York Sun, today has a post at his blog that begins, “The 9th Circuit handed defeat today to a Jewish couple which has been trying for 15 years to claim tax deductions for a portion of the tuition they pay to Jewish schools attended by their children.”

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

Posted at 10:34 PM by Howard Bashman

“Brian Nichols avoids death penalty; On Saturday, judge will impose life sentence on courthouse killer”: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a news update that begins, “Superior Court Judge James Bodiford declared the jury in the Brian Nichols death penalty trial deadlocked on the penalty Friday night — which means Nichols will face a life sentence for the four murders of which it convicted him a month ago. The jury deadlocked 9-3 on whether Nichols should be sentenced to death or life in prison, splitting nine for death and three for life imprisonment without parole.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Atlanta courthouse gunman avoids death sentence.”

Posted at 10:21 PM by Howard Bashman

“Bumper sticker flap draws national group’s attention; A Wa-Hi junior was suspended over crude stickers”: Wednesday’s edition of The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin contained an article that begins, “The suspension of a Walla Walla High School junior over crude bumper stickers has drawn the attention of the National Coalition Against Censorship. In a letter to Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Richard Carter and Walla Walla High School Principal Darcy Weisner sent Dec. 3, the agency strongly disagrees with the school’s decision to suspend the student after failing to remove a bumper sticker from her car.”

You can view the letter from the National Coalition Against Censorship at this link, while the school district’s response to the letter is contained in this post at the newspaper’s “Schoolhouse Missives” blog.

Posted at 3:14 PM by Howard Bashman

“Gubernatorial Removal and the State High Courts: A National Center for State Courts Backgrounder.” The National Center for State Courts has issued this news release today.

Posted at 2:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Illinois AG asks high court to declare gov. unfit”: The Associated Press has a report that begins, “In an unprecedented move, the Illinois attorney general asked the state’s highest court Friday to strip scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich of his powers.”

And The Chicago Sun-Times has a news update headlined “Madigan launches legal attack to oust Blagojevich.”

Posted at 1:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“William S. Stevens, 60, Dies; Wrote Infield Fly Note”: The New York Times today contains an obituary that begins, “William S. Stevens, whose slyly humorous law-review note on the relationship between baseball’s infield fly rule and Anglo-American common law became one of the most celebrated and imitated analyses in American legal history, died Monday in Anchorage, where he was working. He was 60 and lived in Narberth, Pa. The cause was a heart attack, said T. Dennis Sullivan, his brother-in-law.”

Earlier this year, the blog “Above the Law” had this post about the note.

And in 2006, the Northwestern University Law Review published Law Professor Anthony D’Amato‘s related essay entitled “The Contribution of the Infield Fly Rule to Western Civilization (and vice versa).”

Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Rumsfeld blamed in detainee abuse scandals; A bipartisan Senate report calls decisions made by the former Defense secretary a ‘direct cause’ of inhumane treatment of prisoners of war; Other Bush officials also are faulted”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times reports today that “Report Blames Rumsfeld for Detainee Abuses.”

The Washington Post contains a front page article headlined “Report on Detainee Abuse Blames Top Bush Officials.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that “Top Officials Cited in Abuse of Detainees.”

And McClatchy Newspapers report that “Senate probe blames top Bush officials for abuses.”

Posted at 9:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“Judge will reconsider gag order”: The Ventura County Star today contains an article that begins, “The Superior Court judge who issued a gag order forbidding the Ventura County Star from publishing sealed contents of search warrant documents in a child murder case is scheduled to reconsider the matter Monday.”

And The Los Angeles Times reports today that “Ventura County Star’s bid to publish blocked story stalls; The paper wanted a judge to swiftly overturn his ruling barring the article about the slashing death of a 6-year-old boy; The jurist sets a hearing for Monday.”

Posted at 9:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“McDonnell works to block spam”: The Richmond Times-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, “Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell yesterday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate Virginia’s anti-spam e-mail law. In September the Virginia Supreme Court held that the Anti-Spam Act of 2003 was unconstitutional for barring all anonymous, unsolicited bulk e-mails — even those with political, religious or other protected content, not just commercial speech which can be restricted.”

This blog’s earlier coverage of the Supreme Court of Virginia’s ruling appears here and here.

Posted at 9:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Senate’s authority to reject potential Blagojevich appointee unclear; The Supreme Court has ruled similar rejections unconstitutional in the past; But experts say senators may consider whether an appointment was valid and lawful”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 8:52 AM by Howard Bashman

“N.J. High Court Frees Judges to Participate in U.S. News Survey”: provides a report that begins, “In a reversal of policy, the New Jersey Supreme Court has given its blessing to judges’ participation in U.S. News & World Report ‘s annual survey of American law schools, out of concern that its gag order was giving local schools a bum rap.”

Posted at 8:47 AM by Howard Bashman

“The President’s Prisoner: An alleged al-Qaeda conspirator becomes a test case for another Bush administration overreach.” This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.

Posted at 8:45 AM by Howard Bashman

“$7 million Vioxx case sent back to Starr County court”: Today’s edition of The Monitor of McAllen, Texas contains an article that begins, “A state appeals court has reversed its earlier decision and sent a landmark case against the makers of the painkiller Vioxx back to a Starr County court.”

And The Associated Press has a report headlined “Appellate court orders new Vioxx trial in Texas” that begins, “Drugmaker Merck & Co. is considering an appeal after a Texas state appeals court reversed its own prior dismissal of a $7.75 million judgment in a Vioxx personal injury lawsuit against the drugmaker.”

You can access Wednesday’s ruling of the Fourth Court of Appeals of Texas at this link.

Posted at 8:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“Schwartz gets NYT legal beat”: Mark Obbie has this post at the “LawBeat” blog. You can access an archive of John Schwartz’s recently published writings in The New York Times by clicking here.

Posted at 8:11 AM by Howard Bashman

“Chief Justice Williams resigns”: The Providence Journal today contains an article that begins, “Frank J. Williams, the chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, stunned the legal community and his fellow justices yesterday when he announced that he will step down from the high court at the end of the month.”

The newspaper also contains articles headlined “A strong voice for the courts” and “Talk of successor for Chief Justice Williams has already begun.”

You can view the letter of resignation by clicking here.

Posted at 8:00 AM by Howard Bashman