How Appealing

Monday, March 2, 2009

“Scholars, Writers Debate John Paul Stevens’ Legacy”: UC Davis today issued a news release that begins, “Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse will join former judges and U.S. Supreme Court law clerks in a daylong symposium exploring the legacy of Justice John Paul Stevens at the UC Davis School of Law on Friday, March 6.”

Posted at 10:32 PM by Howard Bashman

“Summary of Chief Justice Benjamin’s Dispositive Voting Record Regarding Massey Energy Cases from 01/01/2005 to 12/31/2008”: The Public Information Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued this news release today.

According to the summary, “Overall, Chief Justice Benjamin voted against the interests of Massey Energy or its subsidiary 81.6% of the time.” The summary also describes the approximate amount of money at stake to Massey Energy in those cases.

Posted at 8:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Should judges step aside when campaign cash is involved? A West Virginia case before the US Supreme Court could clarify when judges must recuse themselves.” Warren Richey will have this article Tuesday in The Christian Science Monitor.

Posted at 8:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“L.A. judge shares her unusual story; Audrey B. Collins, 63, the new chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, is the granddaughter of a slave”: Scott Glover has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 8:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court Enters the YouTube Era”: Adam Liptak will have this installment of his “Sidebar” column in Tuesday’s issue of The New York Times.

Posted at 5:07 PM by Howard Bashman

“Barry Bonds trial may be postponed until late summer or early fall”: Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News has this update.

Posted at 5:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Suit over Niners’ pat-downs of fans is revived”: Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has a news update that begins, “The California Supreme Court reinstated a lawsuit challenging pat-downs of fans entering San Francisco 49ers games today, but suggested it would give the team leeway in justifying the searches as a safety measure. The court said unanimously that lower courts should not have concluded two season ticket-holders had agreed to be searched, and thus had given up their right to sue for invasion of privacy, when they bought their tickets after learning of the policy.”

And Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News has an update headlined “Pat down lawsuit against 49ers can proceed.”

My earlier coverage of today’s California Supreme Court ruling appears here and here.

Posted at 4:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“Surveillance Court Quietly Moving; Some Say Previous Location, in Justice Dept., Gave an Impression of Bias”: Today’s edition of The Washington Post contains an article that begins, “First, the workers encased the room in reinforced concrete. Then came the thick wood-and-metal doors that seal into the walls. Behind those walls they labored in secret for two years, building a courtroom, judge’s chambers and clerk’s offices. The only sign that they were done came recently, when biometric hand scanners and green ‘Restricted Access’ placards were placed at the entrances. What workers have finally completed — or perhaps not; few really know, and none would say — is the nation’s most secure courtroom for its most secretive court. In coming days, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will move from its current base at the Justice Department and settle into a new $2 million home just off a public hallway in the District’s federal courthouse.”

Posted at 4:17 PM by Howard Bashman

“When Judges Go Bad: Nothing Good Comes From Requiring State Judges To Campaign For The Bench.” CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen today has this installment of his “CourtWatch” column.

Posted at 4:11 PM by Howard Bashman

“Why Does Justice Stevens Recuse in Agent Orange Cases?” Tony Mauro has this post at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.”

Update: Link fixed!

Posted at 4:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court to decide on convict’s right to test DNA”: The Associated Press has a report that begins, “The Supreme Court expressed skepticism Monday about giving a convict the broad constitutional right to test DNA evidence, which for 232 people has meant exoneration years after they were found guilty.”

Update: The U.S. Supreme Court has posted online the transcript of today’s oral argument in District Attorney’s Office for Third Judicial Dist. v. Osborne, No. 08-6, at this link.

Posted at 1:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Deja new: Prop. 8 challenge reaches Calif. court.” The Associated Press has a report that begins, “A year after the state Supreme Court entertained arguments on extending marriage to gay couples, many of the same lawyers will be back before the same justices this week arguing why California’s voter-appproved ban on same-sex marriage should stand or fall.”

The challenge to Proposition 8 will be argued this Thursday before the Supreme Court of California.

Posted at 12:10 PM by Howard Bashman

Supreme Court of California to rule today on case challenging the legality of pat-down searches at San Francisco 49ers home games: According to the court’s notice of forthcoming decision, the case presents the following issues:

(1) Did ticket holders of the San Francisco 49ers football team impliedly consent to the team’s policy of conditioning admission to its stadium on submission to a patdown search when they purchased season tickets with knowledge of that policy? (2) If so, did that consent extinguish any reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to the searches as matter of law, such that the trial court was not required to consider the justifications in support of the policy or balance plaintiffs’ privacy interests against the team’s countervailing interests?

The decision should be available online at 1 p.m. eastern time via this link.

I considered these very same issues in the July 9, 2007 installment of my “On Appeal” column for, headlined “Did a Federal Appeals Court Avoid Tackling the Real Issues Behind Football Fan’s Lawsuit? 11th Circuit rules that season ticket-holder can’t object to being searched upon entering stadium.”

Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court to rule on copyrights”: Lyle Denniston has this post at “SCOTUSblog.”

You can access today’s Order List of the U.S. Supreme Court at this link. In addition to granting review in one case, the Court also requested the views of the Solicitor General in two cases.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that “Court hears appeal in freelancers case“; “Court turns down Agent Orange cases“; and “Court refuses to take case on coach’s team prayer.”

Posted at 10:28 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court to review justice’s decision”: Today’s edition of The Charleston (W. Va.) Daily Mail contains an article that begins, “In his four years on the bench of the West Virginia Supreme Court, Chief Justice Brent Benjamin has voted against Massey Energy and its subsidiaries 82 percent of the time, according to documents released by the court. It paints a different picture of Benjamin, who has been heavily scrutinized for having an assumed relationship with Massey chief Don Blankenship.”

And today in The Seattle Times, Robert Utter and Charlie Wiggins have an op-ed entitled “Judges should recuse themselves from cases involving campaign benefactors.”

Posted at 7:40 AM by Howard Bashman