How Appealing

Friday, January 30, 2009

“Florida Democratic Primary Lawsuit Hits Appeals Court”: On January 8, 2009, Tampa Bay Online published an article that begins, “A Tampa political consultant continued his challenge today to the way the national Democratic Party penalized Florida for holding its primary earlier than the party wanted.”

Today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision that dismissed the case as moot.

Posted at 11:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“I do not read Griffin and Kyllo as categorically holding that the probable cause required to obtain a warrant for criminal investigative purposes can never be ‘context dependent,’ that is, affected by the nature of the property to be searched, the manner of search, and the intrusiveness the search will entail.” The concurrence to an en banc ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued today in a thermal imaging search warrant case addresses the interesting question “whether the probable cause required to obtain a warrant may ever vary based on the nature of the property being searched, the purpose of the search, and the extent of the physical intrusion into the home that the search will entail.”

This afternoon at “The Volokh Conspiracy,” Orin Kerr has this post about the en banc ruling and the concurring opinion that I have noted above.

Posted at 2:52 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justice appeals hefty fine from Ethics Commission”: The Houston Chronicle today contains an article that begins, “Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht is appealing the $29,000 fine imposed last month by the Texas Ethics Commission for accepting and failing to report discounted legal fees.”

Posted at 1:52 PM by Howard Bashman

“New test of fair trial rights”: At “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post that begins, “A high-profile U.S. criminal prosecution of intelligence agents of the Cuban government, at a trial in the midst of the large community of Cuban-Americans in Miami, reached the Supreme Court on Friday as the center of a broad new test of the right to a fair trial.”

Posted at 1:45 PM by Howard Bashman

Eighth Circuit holds that a school district in Missouri did not violate the First Amendment rights of students who were sent home for refusing to remove items of clothing depicting the Confederate flag: According to today’s ruling:

Schools may act proactively to prohibit race-related violence or even excessive racial tension that forces unnecessary departures of minority students from the school. Based on the evidence in the record, the school’s ban on the flag was reasonably related to a substantial disruption, did not amount to viewpoint discrimination, and did not violate the First Amendment. Therefore, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment.

You can access the complete ruling at this link.

Posted at 12:25 PM by Howard Bashman

Second Circuit reinstates lawsuit brought by Nigerian children alleging that Pfizer violated an international law norm prohibiting involuntary medical experimentation on humans when it tested an experimental antibiotic on children in Nigeria without their consent or knowledge: You can access today’s ruling by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.

Plaintiffs brought suit under the Alien Tort Statute. According to the majority opinion, “the district court incorrectly determined that the prohibition in customary international law against nonconsensual human medical experimentation cannot be enforced through the ATS.”

In is dissenting opinion, Circuit Judge Richard C. Wesley writes, “I conclude that non-consensual medical experimentation by private actors, though deplorable, is not actionable under international law and would therefore affirm the district court’s dismissal of Plaintiffs’ complaints.”

In related news, earlier this week, Dow Jones Newswires reported that “Pfizer Drug Trial Case In Nigeria To Restart Feb 25.”

And previously, BBC News reported that “Nigeria sues drugs giant Pfizer; Nigeria has filed charges against the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, accusing it of carrying out improper trials for an anti-meningitis drug” and “Nigerians sue Pfizer over test deaths.”

Posted at 12:11 PM by Howard Bashman

“We therefore hold that the class action waiver in the Card Acceptance Agreement cannot be enforced in this case because to do so would grant Amex de facto immunity from antitrust liability by removing the plaintiffs’ only reasonably feasible means of recovery.” So holds a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a ruling issued today in a case captioned In re: American Express Merchants’ Litigation.

Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Solicitor general flimflam: Elena Kagan is anti-military zealot.” Flagg K. Youngblood has this op-ed today in The Washington Times.

Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman

“Obama’s choice for Justice post is Bush critic; Dawn Johnsen, an IU law professor, is awaiting Senate approval”: This article appears today in The Indianapolis Star.

Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman

“Nesson-RIAA Legal Standoff Continues”: The Harvard Crimson today contains an article that begins, “A legal battle pitting a Harvard Law School professor against a major music industry organization came to yet another standstill last week as the two sides disagreed over the parameters of a hearing originally scheduled to take place last week.”

And The Associated Press reports that “AP, news groups urge court webcast in music case.”

You can access the amicus brief at this link (via “Copyrights & Campaigns,” whose author has joined in a separate amicus brief filed in the case).

Posted at 9:34 AM by Howard Bashman

“State’s top court backs governments on injury lawsuits; Actions must be ‘palpably unreasonable'”: The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, “In an opinion affirming the principle of government immunity, the state Supreme Court yesterday ruled that people injured on public property are entitled to damages only if the government entity acted in a ‘palpably unreasonable’ way to create a dangerous condition.”

You can access yesterday’s ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.

Posted at 9:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“Guantanamo judge defies Obama’s order for freeze; An Army judge at Guantanamo has ignored a White House request for a 120-day war court freeze and ordered a Feb. 9 arraignment of an al Qaeda suspect”: Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald. The newspaper has posted the judge’s ruling online at this link.

Today in The Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams reports that “Guantanamo judge defies Obama; Army Col. James L. Pohl rejects the president’s request to stop proceedings at the military tribunal; He says the proposal is ‘not reasonable.’

The New York Times reports that “Judge Refuses to Delay a Case at Guantanamo.”

And The Washington Post reports that “Guantanamo Judge Denies Obama’s Request for Delay.”

Posted at 9:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“HLS Receives $10M Donation”: Today’s edition of The Harvard Crimson contains an article that begins, “Harvard Law School announced Wednesday that it has received an anonymous donation of $10 million in honor of Professor Laurence H. Tribe ’62, to fund research and a faculty chair in his name.”

Posted at 9:02 AM by Howard Bashman

“A Steppingstone for Law’s Best and Brightest”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “When a longtime federal prosecutor, Cathy Seibel, was sworn in as a federal judge last month, the onlookers included many former colleagues from the office of the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, in Manhattan, some of whom had gone on to become law professors, defense lawyers and judges themselves.”

Posted at 8:33 AM by Howard Bashman

“Judge rules R.I. law restricting billboards unconstitutional”: Today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal, Katie Mulvaney has an article that begins, “In a decision sprinkled with music references, and including links to YouTube, a federal judge has ruled unconstitutional a state law that restricts the content of billboards near highways.”

I have posted online at this link Wednesday’s ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.

Posted at 8:27 AM by Howard Bashman

“How President Obama’s Agenda Parallels That of Chief Justice Roberts: Both Seek to Change the Nature and Tone of Decisionmaking, But Will Each Succeed?” Edward Lazarus has this essay online at FindLaw.

Posted at 7:54 AM by Howard Bashman

“Roberts, Obama, and the myth of the ‘split verb’; An errant adverb on the Capitol steps makes news”: Ruth Walker has this op-ed today in The Christian Science Monitor.

Posted at 7:50 AM by Howard Bashman