How Appealing

Monday, March 9, 2009

“Lawyers in Wone Case Call Indictment Vague”: “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times” this evening has a post that begins, “Lawyers for three men accused of crimes related to the 2006 murder of lawyer Robert Wone are demanding more information about a three-count indictment that the attorneys say is vague and factually deficient.”

Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“The California Supreme Court Hearing on the Validity of Proposition 8, the Initiative Banning Gay Marriage: How the Case Implicates the Very Purpose of a Constitution, the Rule of Law, and Human Liberty Itself.” Douglas W. Kmiec has this essay online at FindLaw.

Posted at 10:17 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judges weigh whether Utah crosses are secular”: The Associated Press has a report that begins, “A federal appeals court in Denver is weighing a lawsuit over Utah’s use of crosses for roadside memorials honoring fallen highway patrol troopers, with some judges questioning Utah’s declaration that the crosses are nonreligious, secular symbols of death.”

Posted at 8:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court: Killer’s crime more cruel than punishment.” Bill Mears of has a report that begins, “Two Supreme Court justices on opposite sides of the ideological aisle exchanged tough words Monday over the fate of a Florida murderer who has been on death row for 32 years.”

And this evening’s broadcast of NPR’s “All Things Considered” contained an audio segment entitled “High Court Rejects Death Penalty Case” (RealPlayer required) featuring Nina Totenberg.

Today’s order of the U.S. Supreme Court denying certiorari and the statement of Justice John Paul Stevens respecting the denial of the petition for writ of certiorari can be accessed here. Justice Clarence Thomas issued this concurrence in the denial of certiorari. And Justice Stephen G. Breyer issued this dissent from the denial of certiorari.

Posted at 8:24 PM by Howard Bashman

“Do the Supreme Court’s Current Justices Hold Sincere Views About States’ Rights? A Failure-to-Warn Case Reveals an Apparent Inconsistency.” Michael C. Dorf has this essay online at FindLaw.

Posted at 7:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court limits reach of Voting Rights Act; The justices, in a 5-4 ruling in a North Carolina case, say ‘cross-over’ voting districts do not have to be drawn in order to give black candidates a realistic chance of winning”: David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

And at “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “Settling an issue of race and politics.”

Posted at 5:07 PM by Howard Bashman

Books received in today’s mail:Frankfurter Dilemma: A Novel,” by Ruth Kelly. The author is the wife of Tenth Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly, who kindly served as the July 2004 interviewee in this blog’s former “20 questions for the appellate judge” feature. Peter Krumholz of the “Rocky Mountain Appellate Blog” recently gave the book a very favorable review.

And today’s mail also contained a copy of “Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age,” by David I.C. Thomson.

Posted at 2:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“Initial Thoughts on Bartlett v. Strickland: Narrowing the Voting Rights Act to Save It?” Law professor Rick Hasen has this post at his “Election Law Blog.”

Posted at 2:00 PM by Howard Bashman

In additional coverage of today’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings and Order List: The Associated Press has reports headlined “Court to look at mutual fund fees“; “Court rules for consumer in dispute with Discover“; and “Court turns down appeal from Infospace founder.”

James Vicini of Reuters reports that “Supreme Court rejects expanded voting rights protections“; “U.S. top court to decide case on mutual fund fees“; and “Supreme Court says defendant can’t blame lawyer for delays.”

And Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that “U.S. Supreme Court Limits Federal Voting Rights Act” and “New York, Shooting Victims Rebuffed by Court on Gunmaker Suits.”

Posted at 1:57 PM by Howard Bashman

“Don’t Rely on Bush’s Signing Statements, Obama Orders”: Charlie Savage of The New York Times has a news update that begins, “Calling into question the legitimacy of all the signing statements that former President George W. Bush used to challenge new laws, President Obama on Monday ordered executive officials to consult with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. before relying on any of them to bypass a statute.”

Posted at 1:48 PM by Howard Bashman

Over the dissent of eight judges, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denies rehearing en banc of decision allowing San Francisco to require employers to pay part of the cost of providing health care to uninsured residents: You can access today’s order denying rehearing en banc, and opinions concurring in and dissenting from that order, at this link.

A unanimous three-judge Ninth Circuit panel issued its ruling in the case on September 30, 2008. My earlier coverage of that ruling appears at this link.

Posted at 1:42 PM by Howard Bashman

Access today’s U.S. Supreme Court opinions in argued cases: The Court today issued four decisions in argued cases.

1. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court in Kansas v. Colorado, No. 105, Orig. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. also filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice David H. Souter joined. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

2. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court in Vaden v. Discover Bank, No. 07-773. Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Souter, and Clarence Thomas joined in the Court’s ruling. Chief Justice Roberts filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Justices John Paul Stevens, Stephen G. Breyer, and Alito joined. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

3. Justice Ginsburg also delivered the opinion of the Court in Vermont v. Brillon, No. 08-88. The Chief Justice and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, and Alito joined in the Court’s ruling. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Stevens joined. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

4. And Justice Kennedy announced the judgment of the Court in Bartlett v. Strickland, No. 07-689, and delivered an opinion in which the Chief Justice and Justice Alito joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Scalia joined. Justice Souter filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer joined. In addition, Justices Ginsburg and Breyer also each filed a dissenting opinion. You can access the decision at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

At “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “Court rules against minority districts.”

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that “Court refuses to expand minority voting rights“; “Court rules for prosecutors in speedy trial case“; and “Court sides with Colorado in fee dispute.”

Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“Bringing Newly Issued Rulings to an Appellate Court’s Attention”: That’s the title of this month’s installment of my “Upon Further Review” column, which appears today in The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia’s daily newspaper for lawyers.

Posted at 9:58 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court vacates Shell Alaska drilling decision; Confusion: Both sides left wondering whether oil company can drill or not.” The Associated Press has a report that begins, “A federal appeals court has vacated an opinion issued last year that halted Shell Oil Co. drilling plans for the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s northern coast, leaving both sides in the case wondering what the action means.”

You can view Friday’s order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.

Posted at 8:35 AM by Howard Bashman

“Under Obama, no mass firings of U.S. attorneys; Well-regarded Rosenstein could stay in Maryland”: This article appears today in The Baltimore Sun.

Posted at 8:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“A change of venue for Jersey justices: Rutgers Law School.” The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger today contains an article that begins, “Anchored for decades in their chambers in Trenton, New Jersey’s Supreme Court justices will take their show on the road today. The seven justices’ journey to Camden, where they will hear cases at Rutgers-Camden Law School, will set a precedent for the state’s highest court.”

Posted at 8:17 AM by Howard Bashman

“Who’s Filibustering Now? President Obama should not let the Republicans interfere with how he chooses federal court judges.” This editorial appears today in The New York Times.

Posted at 8:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“The Supreme Court and the Tyranny of Lawyers: Last week’s drug ruling will cost lives.” Columnist L. Gordon Crovitz has this op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal.

Today’s edition of The Philadelphia Daily News contains an editorial entitled “FDA needs poison pill.”

In The Austin American-Statesman, law professor Thomas O. McGarity has an op-ed entitled “Wyeth v. Levine is a rare win for consumers.”

And in The Washington Times, Jim Copland and Paul Howard have an op-ed entitled “A ‘cure’ worse than gangrene; Supreme Court’s gift to trial lawyers hurts us all.”

Posted at 7:54 AM by Howard Bashman