How Appealing

Monday, February 23, 2009

Isn’t that “special”? What differentiates a “special concurrence” from an ordinary, run-of-the-mill concurrence? A ruling that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued today raises that question, as two of the three judges on the panel “specially concurred” in the lead opinion of the third judge.

The author of the first special concurrence states that he joins in the lead opinion in full, making the concurrence perhaps somewhat less special than if it had sought to accomplish something utterly bizarre. And the second of the two special concurrences offers no reasoning whatsoever, suggesting that it is little more than an ordinary (and therefore not particularly special) concurrence in the judgment.

In news coverage of the substance of the ruling, The Associated Press reports that “Amnesty International wins round in speech lawsuit.”

Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman

Seventh Circuit again begins allowing U.S. District Judges to sit by designation on that federal appellate court’s three-judge panels: See, for example, this ruling issued today.

If any reliable explanation for this change should reach me, I’ll more than gladly pass it along to the readers of this blog.

Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman

David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times is reporting: In Tuesday’s newspaper, he will have articles headlined “Supreme Court to hear Mojave cross case
Justices will decide whether the monument can stand in a national park to honor fallen soldiers; It will be the Roberts court’s first chance to rule on separation of church and state


Supreme Court won’t hear appeal in patronage fraud case; Aides to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley were convicted of ‘honest services fraud’ in awarding city jobs based on political connections; Justice Antonin Scalia dissents, calling the law too vague.”

Posted at 8:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“‘Secret’ deadly for Montana town saturated in asbestos, prosecutors say; Trial begins in the case of W.R. Grace company, accused of knowingly exposing Libby, Mont., residents to asbestos; About 1,200 have sickened or died; The defense says there was no conspiracy”: The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

Posted at 8:47 PM by Howard Bashman

Programming note: I have a work-related meeting out of the office this afternoon. As a result, additional posts will appear here this evening.

Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court grants religious symbol case, five others”: Lyle Denniston has this post at “SCOTUSblog.”

You can access today’s Order List of the Supreme Court of the United States at this link.

In addition to granting review in six cases, the Court also called for the views of the Solicitor General in two cases.

And Justice Antonin Scalia issued this dissent from the denial of certiorari in a case seeking to challenge the constitutionality of, and clarify the meaning of, “honest services” fraud under the federal mail and wire fraud statutes.

In early news coverage from The Associated Press, “Ginsburg in court after surgery“; “Court will rule in dispute over 8-foot cross“; “Court to rule on death sentence for neo-Nazi“; “Court rejects appeal from convicted Daley aides“; “Court rules against al-Qaida member, a US citizen“; “Court turns down utilities over mercury emissions“; “Court won’t revisit Holocaust insurance settlement“; “Court turns down FTC in Rambus case“; and “Court won’t revive Kentucky teen’s lawsuit.”

Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court to tackle judicial conflict of interest; At issue in a West Virginia case is whether big spending on a judge’s election can create an unconstitutional ‘appearance of bias'”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 8:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justice Roberts’s Portfolio: Why stock investments and Supreme Court service don’t mix.” The Washington Post contains this editorial today.

Posted at 8:07 AM by Howard Bashman

“A ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ Goes Off: When Abdallah Al-Ajmi Returned to Kuwait After Nearly Four Years at Guantanamo, His Family Tried to Get Him to Move On; But He Didn’t Want to Let Go.” This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Kansas City Star reports today that “Future of Gitmo detainees raises many questions.”

And The Los Angeles Times contains an editorial entitled “Free the Uighurs: It’s time to untie the legal knot keeping 17 Chinese Muslim dissidents at Guantanamo.”

Posted at 8:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justice for American Indians”: The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, “The federal government has a long history of cheating American Indians, and not all of this dirty dealing is in the distant past. On Monday, the Supreme Court hears arguments in a suit by the Navajo, who lost millions of dollars’ worth of coal royalties because the government helped a coal company underpay for their coal. A lower court ruled for the Navajo Nation. The Supreme Court should affirm that well-reasoned decision.”

Posted at 7:52 AM by Howard Bashman

“Obama And Terror Law: More Of The Same? Early Decisions By Obama Justice Dept. Seem To Follow Precedent Of Bush’s Terror Policy.” CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen has this new installment of his “CourtWatch” column.

Posted at 7:30 AM by Howard Bashman