How Appealing

Friday, February 20, 2009

“Attack of the Libel Tourists: Weak laws abroad threaten First Amendment freedoms here; Congress could step in to help.” This editorial appears today in The Washington Post.

Posted at 8:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Obama’s legal changes may be fewer than expected”: Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers has this report.

Today in The Christian Science Monitor, Warren Richey has an article headlined “Guantanamo detention: How harsh is it? President Obama must decide whether to embrace or change Bush’s detention policies.”

In related news, at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times,” Joe Palazzolo has a post titled “Obama Stays the Course on Bagram.”

And at “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “U.S.: No habeas rights at Bagram.”

Posted at 7:38 PM by Howard Bashman

“Feds Propose Storing Internet User Data for 2 Years”: David Kravets has this post at’s “Threat Level” blog.

Posted at 4:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“SG Won’t Disavow Bush Position in Controversial DNA Case”: Tony Mauro has this post at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.”

Posted at 4:15 PM by Howard Bashman

Three-judge Ninth Circuit panel affirms federal district court’s entry of summary judgment striking down a California law that imposed restrictions and a labeling requirement on the sale or rental of “violent video games” to minors: You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

In early news coverage, Reuters reports that “Court finds Calif. video game law unconstitutional.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Court strikes down California video game law.”

Posted at 2:23 PM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court Considers Hearing ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’ Case; The supposedly obscene flash of R&B singer Janet Jackson’s right breast during her half time performance led to what the Federal Communications Commission called an ‘unprecedented number’ of complaints about the broadcast”: provides this report.

Posted at 2:14 PM by Howard Bashman

The en banc Sixth Circuit delivers bad news “to all adults who desire in any fashion to create, share, or disseminate non-obscene, sexually-explicit depictions of themselves, or other adults, without relinquishing their anonymity”: So warns one of the opinions dissenting from today’s 11-6 en banc ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Connection Distributing Co. v. Holder. Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton delivered the majority opinion for the en banc court.

In early coverage, the Adult Video News web site has a report headlined “Appeals Court Rules 2257 Constitutional in 6th Circuit” (images accompanying the article may not be safe for work).

Back on October 23, 2007, a divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel issued a decision striking down the federal statute in question. My earliest coverage of that ruling appeared in a post titled “Majority on partially divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel strikes down as facially unconstitutional the recordkeeping requirements federal criminal law places on producers of images of ‘actual sexually explicit conduct’ to verify the ages of those depicted in the images.”

Posted at 2:11 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Southwest [Airlines] representative responded with alarm and declared ‘you said the “b” word, you said the “b” word.'” When an airline’s employee whose job it is to book travel reservations over the telephone concludes the call by asking whether the customer has any “comments, questions, or suggestions,” it’s probably best if the customer does not offer security-related advice on how airlines can reduce the risk of in-flight bombings. At least that seems to be the lesson of a ruling that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued today.

The majority in today’s ruling reinstates a pro se litigant’s lawsuit claiming that, as a result of the call, he became the subject of unlawful government monitoring. Cassandra Sturkie Bernstein of Latham and Watkins argued the case as court-appointed amicus curiae in support of the plaintiff-appellant. We mention her because she has a cool name, she has apparently spent some time pursuing her education in Australia, and, in an obvious homage to “Boston Legal,” she has worked on litigation involving “mad cow” disease.

Posted at 10:36 AM by Howard Bashman

“Judge rules key Bonds evidence inadmissible”: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Lance Williams has an article that begins, “A federal judge has thrown out much of the ‘mountain of evidence’ that prosecutors say they accumulated to prove that former Giants star Barry Bonds lied when he denied knowingly using steroids.”

The New York Times reports today that “Judge Tosses Key Evidence Against Bonds.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Judge bars use of drug tests in Bonds’ trial.”

I have posted online at this link yesterday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California.

Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“Bury My Chance At Supreme Court: Study Shows Indian Tribes Face Long Odds In “Cert Pool” Process At High Court.” CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this new installment of his “CourtWatch” column today.

On February 3, 2009, I had this post noting the existence of the study.

Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. Justices Take Up Issue of ID Theft by Immigrants; Courts Disagree Over Whether It Matters if a Suspect Knows An ID Belongs to Someone Else”: Lawrence Hurley has this front page article today in The Daily Journal of California.

Posted at 8:11 AM by Howard Bashman

“Texas judge faces public hearing for conduct over 2007 death-penalty appeal”: Today’s edition of The Dallas Morning News contains an article that begins, “The top judge of Texas’ highest criminal court was told Thursday that she’ll have to publicly defend her 2007 decision to close the court at 5 p.m. rather than allow a last-minute appeal in the case of a man executed later that night. Sharon Keller, the presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, will have to justify her conduct — and possibly fight for her job — in a rare public hearing ordered by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that “Texas’ top criminal judge’s job on the line for death penalty case.”

The Houston Chronicle reports that “State panel opens case over last-minute appeal.” In addition, columnist Rick Casey has an essay entitled “A judge who should hope for mercy.”

The New York Times reports that “Texas Judge May Lose Job Over Appeal in Death Case.”

And Chuck Lindell of The Austin American-Statesman reports that “Judge faces ethics trial; Trial to consider Keller’s role in after-hours death row appeal.”

Posted at 8:00 AM by Howard Bashman