How Appealing

Friday, March 13, 2009

Today in New Orleans: On my second day here, I finally gave in to the temptation to visit the John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court of Appeals Building.

In addition to visiting the three courtrooms on the second floor — including the en banc courtroom containing seats for seventeen judges at the bench — I visited the court’s library, where the librarian in charge gave me a complimentary copy of “A History of the Fifth Circuit 1891-1981” by law professor Harvey C. Couch.

My wife took some interesting photos of the outside of the building, which I’ll try to post online after I return home.

This afternoon’s symposium event at Loyola Law School was much fun. It was great to finally meet both Jerry Goldman, founder of the amazing “Oyez” site, and Ernest Svenson of “Ernie the Attorney” fame.

It was also very interesting to hear professor Timothy R Johnson of the University of Minnesota speak about a project he is currently working on with two other professors to study how often each of the nine Justices serving on the U.S. Supreme Court interrupt, or get interrupted by, each other during oral argument. One of the study’s least surprising findings is that Justice Clarence Thomas isn’t doing much interrupting of his colleagues, nor is he being interrupted often by his colleagues, at oral argument.

Posted at 10:14 PM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. Abandons Detainee Label but Policy Is Largely Intact”: Saturday’s edition of The New York Times will contain an article that begins, “The Obama administration said Friday that it would abandon the Bush administration’s term ‘enemy combatant’ as it argues in court for the continued detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a move that seemed intended to symbolically separate the new administration from Bush detention policies.”

Saturday’s edition of The Washington Post will report that “U.S. Retires ‘Enemy Combatant,’ Keeps Broad Right to Detain.”

The Associated Press reports that “Obama admin. to end use of term ‘enemy combatant.’

James Rowley of Bloomberg News reports that “Obama Drops Enemy Combatant Term in Guantanamo Cases.”

Reuters reports that “U.S. drops ‘enemy combatant’ as basis for detention.”

At “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “U.S. defines its claim to detention power.”

Today, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a news release titled “Department of Justice Withdraws ‘Enemy Combatant’ Definition for Guantanamo Detainees.” The news release links to the “Declaration of Attorney General Eric Holder” and a brief that the federal government filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Posted at 9:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court stays out of Anna Nicole Smith case”: The AP has a report that begins, “Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has turned down a plea for help from the estate of Anna Nicole Smith in a fight over a Texas oil tycoon’s fortune.”

Posted at 9:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“Staples libel ruling concerns news media groups; Truth not failsafe as defense in case”: Jonathan Saltzman has this article today in The Boston Globe.

Posted at 7:28 PM by Howard Bashman

Programming note: This afternoon, I’ll be a speaker at a Loyola Law Review symposium titled “On the Brink: The Judiciary’s Tug of War with Technology.” Should you happen to be in or near New Orleans, the event is open to the public and begins at 1 p.m. My panel is due to start at 4 p.m.

This morning, after grabbing breakfast at Stanley, we plan to visit the National World War II Museum and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Additional posts will appear here at some point later today.

Posted at 9:07 AM by Howard Bashman

“New czar’s goal: Find nations for detainees; The Obama administration created a diplomatic post in an effort to convince countries to accept Guantanamo detainees.” Carol Rosenberg has this article today in The Miami Herald.

Posted at 8:50 AM by Howard Bashman