How Appealing

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

“Obama, Chief Justice Roberts trip over oath; Both get the constitutional pledge slightly wrong, misplacing the word ‘faithfully’; And trivia buffs may have a gripe with Obama’s inauguration address”: David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

Posted at 7:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Federal court overturns ruling in Fieger lawsuit against state Supreme Court”: The Detroit News provides an update that begins, “A federal appeals court dealt a setback to flamboyant Southfield attorney Geoffrey Fieger Tuesday when it overturned a federal judge in Detroit who found that state rules requiring lawyers to use ‘civility’ when they talk about judges were unconstitutional.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Fieger loses case tied to criticism about judges.”

My earlier coverage of today’s Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.

Posted at 3:22 PM by Howard Bashman

“Enron’s Skilling asks full court to review convictions”: The Houston Chronicle provides a news update that begins, “Former Enron Chief Executive Jeff Skilling’s lawyers today asked all 16 judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear his appeal arguments in light of a three-judge panel’s decision earlier this month to uphold all 19 of his convictions.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Skilling’s attorneys file new appeals.”

Posted at 3:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Presidential Oath, More or Less”: Tony Mauro has this post at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.”

NBC News correspondent Pete Williams has a blog post titled “About that oath flub.” has a post titled “Chief Justice Screws Up Oath — Obama Blanks” featuring a link to video of the Chief Justice’s administering the oath.

And Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report headlined “First inauguration for Roberts as chief justice” that begins, “Chief Justice John Roberts stumbled slightly over the 35-word constitutionally prescribed oath of office as he swore in Barack Obama as the 44th president on Tuesday, sending the new chief executive into a verbal detour of his own.”

Posted at 2:33 PM by Howard Bashman

“Gitmo court back in session — at least for now”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “An FBI agent defended the questioning of a 15-year-old Canadian detainee Tuesday in what many believe could be the final session of the special Guantanamo war crimes court.”

Posted at 11:14 AM by Howard Bashman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has today issued its ruling in Geoffrey Fieger v. Michigan Supreme Court: Today’s ruling begins:

After a panel of judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a $15 million judgment initially entered in favor of his client, and while the case was pending before the court, attorney Geoffrey Nels Fieger made vulgar comments about the judges on a radio show he hosted.

The majority on a divided three-judge panel reached the following holding:

We vacate the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. We hold that Fieger and Steinberg lack standing because they have failed to demonstrate actual present harm or a significant possibility of future harm based on a single, stipulated reprimand; they have not articulated, with any degree of specificity, their intended speech and conduct; and they have not sufficiently established a threat of future sanction under the narrow construction of the challenged provisions applied by the Michigan Supreme Court. For these same reasons, we also hold that the district court abused its discretion in entering declaratory relief.

In the decision under review, the district court had ruled that the courtesy and civility provisions of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution because the rules are overly broad and vague and enjoined their enforcement. Back on September 5, 2007, I had this post about the district court’s ruling that the Sixth Circuit has set aside today.

Senior Circuit Judge Gilbert S. Merritt dissented from today’s ruling and would have held that Fieger had standing.

Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman

“First inauguration for Roberts as chief justice”: Mark Sherman of The Associated Press has a report that begins, “Chief Justice John Roberts is giving the oath of office to President-elect Barack Obama, the first of what could be many inaugurations presided over by the affable, conservative jurist.”

Posted at 10:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Obama Has Chance to Shape U.S. Courts; Vacancies of Appellate Judges, Makeup in Congress Should Give New President Sway Over How Laws Will Be Interpreted”: Ashby Jones has this article today in The Wall Street Journal.

Posted at 7:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Ala. attorney general seeks support for judge in Massey case”: Yesterday’s edition of The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette contained an article that begins, “Alabama Attorney General Troy King wants attorneys general around the country to join him in supporting West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin and Massey Energy in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. King believes the U.S. Supreme Court should not create any federal rules about when or why state court justices should remove themselves from hearing cases before them.”

Posted at 7:18 AM by Howard Bashman

“Move to let Gary gun-violence lawsuit proceed stirs debate; Some see landmark case; others call Gary suit unfounded”: The Indianapolis Star yesterday contained an article that begins, “One by one, local governments have filed lawsuits that try to hold firearms manufacturers responsible for gun violence on city streets. And, one by one, the lawsuits have either been dismissed by courts or dropped. Until last week. In what gun control advocates quickly hailed as a landmark decision, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last week that a lawsuit filed by the city of Gary can proceed toward trial. That leaves Gary as the last plaintiff standing among more than 30 cities and states that have sued the gun industry over the past decade — and at the epicenter of a contentious debate.”

Two Mondays ago at “The Indiana Law Blog,” Marcia Oddi had this post reproducing the text of the Indiana Supreme Court‘s ruling

Posted at 7:15 AM by Howard Bashman