How Appealing

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

“Police Used GPS Illegally, Court Rules”: The New York Times today contains an article that begins, “In a 4-to-3 ruling, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that the State Police violated a criminal suspect’s rights under the State Constitution when it placed a GPS tracking device inside the bumper of his van without obtaining a warrant.”

The Albany Times-Union reports today that “Court tosses case over GPS tracking; Watervliet man will get a new trial in burglary case in which police tracked him without a warrant.”

The Troy Record contains an article headlined “Top court: Troopers crossed line tracking van of W’vliet man.”

And Newsday reports that “Court nixes GPS tracking of suspects without warrant.”

You can access yesterday’s ruling of the Court of Appeals of New York — that State’s highest court — by clicking here.

Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman

“US judge declines to give interrogation testimony”: The Associated Press has a report that begins, “U.S. Circuit Judge Jay Bybee has declined to give Senate testimony on the memos he approved while at the Justice Department that supported harsh interrogation methods for detainees.”

Posted at 11:04 PM by Howard Bashman

“Obama Plans A Weekend Review of Court Picks”: Thursday’s edition of The Washington Post will contain an article that begins, “President Obama told senators at a White House meeting yesterday that he would review names of potential Supreme Court nominees over the weekend, leading participants to believe an announcement could come within days, according to senior Senate aides who were briefed on the gathering.”

And this evening’s broadcast of NPR’s “All Things Considered” contained audio segments entitled “Women Dominate Supreme Court Short List” (featuring Nina Totenberg) and “How Would Job Ad For Supreme Court Justice Look?” RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman

“New Restrictions on Club Memberships for Federal Judges”: Tony Mauro has this post at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.”

Posted at 10:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judiciary Committee agrees to investigate judge”: The Associated Press has a report that begins, “A House committee has taken the first step toward impeaching a Texas federal judge and stripping him of his salary as he heads to prison for lying about sexually abusing two female employees.”

And today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Rick Casey has an op-ed entitled “Judge Kent film would write itself.”

Posted at 10:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Blackmun Had High Praise for Clerk Diane Wood”: Tony Mauro has this post at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.”

Posted at 4:38 PM by Howard Bashman

“AP source: Obama has more than 6 people for court.” The Associated Press has a report that begins, “A source tells The Associated Press that President Barack Obama is considering California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno and more than five other people as nominees for the Supreme Court. An official familiar with Obama’s decision-making said others include Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Appeals Court judges Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Pamela Wood – people who have been mentioned frequently as potential candidates.”

Posted at 3:52 PM by Howard Bashman

“Possible SupCo nominee shows no extra caution”: The Associated Press has a report that begins, “Possible Supreme Court nominee Diane P. Wood asked the most questions and showed no extra measure of caution Wednesday as judges on Chicago’s federal appeals court plunged into a dispute over alleged housing discrimination.”

You can download the audio of today’s en banc oral argument of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit via this link (11.1MB mp3 audio file).

Posted at 2:44 PM by Howard Bashman

In disagreement with the Fourth Circuit, the Eighth Circuit has ruled today that federal government may lawfully place in indefinite civil commitment “sexually dangerous” persons who have completed serving their federal prison sentences: You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit at this link.

The Fourth Circuit’s ruling to the contrary issued in January 2009. My earlier coverage of the Fourth Circuit’s ruling can be accessed here.

Posted at 12:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“Americans not concerned with diversity on Supreme Court, poll shows; A Gallup poll finds that 64% say it ‘doesn’t matter’ to them if the president appoints a woman and that 68% and 74% do not care whether a Hispanic or black person, respectively, is named”: The Los Angeles Times has this news update.

Additional results from the Gallup poll can be accessed in a news release headlined “No Clamor for High Court Appointee to Be Woman, Minority; As in 2005, majority of Americans say gender, race, and ethnicity of appointee don’t matter.”

Posted at 12:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Chief Justice Sears to join Chicago law firm; She will be partner in Schiff Hardin firm, teach class at UGA, work with think tank”: Bill Rankin of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a news update that begins, “Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears’ name has popped up on short lists of possible nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court. But her immediate plans are to join a law firm, teach a law school course and work for a think tank.”

Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“Law students help free three-strikes offenders; A Stanford clinic focuses on mostly nonviolent inmates whose third strike they see as relatively minor; Four have had sentences cut; three of them are out; The law’s author calls the effort misguided”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 11:52 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court orders could shut down Gitmo task force, gov’t says”: Josh Gerstein has this post at his “Under the Radar” blog at

Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“Judge Ruben Castillo makes top 10 list of Obama Supreme Court possibilities; President argued case before U.S. district judge in ’95”: Abdon M. Pallasch has this article today in The Chicago Sun-Times.

Posted at 9:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Cancer Patients Challenge the Patenting of a Gene”: John Schwartz has this article today in The New York Times.

And reports that “ACLU sues over patents on breast cancer genes.”

Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union issued a news release headlined “ACLU Challenges Patents On Breast Cancer Genes; Gene Patents Stifle Patient Access To Medical Care And Critical Research.” The organization has posted online both the complaint initiating suit and additional information about the case.

Posted at 8:47 AM by Howard Bashman

“Koh vote goes to Senate”: The “Cross Campus” blog of The Yale Daily News has a post that begins, “The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted Tuesday to send Harold Hongju Koh’s nomination as legal adviser to the Department of State to the full Senate. But in a reflection of the recent debate of Koh’s nomination, the vote was split 12-to-5, almost exactly along party lines.”

Posted at 8:35 AM by Howard Bashman

“Businesses Encouraged by Regulatory Nominee”: The Wall Street Journal today contains an article that begins, “Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein cruised through Tuesday’s Senate confirmation hearing on his nomination to be White House regulatory czar, heartening business interests who see him as a potential ally in an administration expected to step up rule making.”

Posted at 8:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court applies updated law to ’94 murder”: Today’s edition of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains an article that begins, “The state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a murderer whose case was proceeding as New Jersey abolished the death penalty can be sentenced to life without parole, even though the state had no such punishment when he was convicted.”

You can access yesterday’s 5-2 ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey at this link.

Posted at 8:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“Sessions Combative in First Confirmation Hearing”: David Ingram had this post yesterday evening at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.”

Posted at 8:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Conflict concerns arise for Rhode Island’s power couple”: This past Sunday’s edition of The Providence (R.I.) Journal contained an article that begins, “Summertime finds Robert and Maureen McKenna Goldberg relaxing on their powerboat like any other married couple, cruising off the Rhode Island shore or out to Block Island. But onshore, when he wears a suit and she dons a black robe, they become Rhode Island’s ultimate power couple, the influential State House lobbyist and the acting chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.”

Posted at 8:11 AM by Howard Bashman

“Religious freedom at court’s door; Dispute over right to hang mezuzah gets rare full hearing”: Yesterday’s edition of The Chicago Tribune contained an article that begins, “Perhaps because it originated in a conflict between the Book of Deuteronomy and the rules of the Shoreline Towers condominium, a federal appeals court will give a lawsuit over a mezuzah a rare full-court hearing, Wednesday.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Possible SupCo nominee in the spotlight at hearing.”

My earlier coverage of the Seventh Circuit‘s original three-judge panel ruling in this case can be accessed here.

Posted at 8:09 AM by Howard Bashman

“US prosecutor admits error, hopes for 2d chance”: Today in The Boston Globe, Jonathan Saltzman has an article that begins, “A federal prosecutor acknowledged yesterday that she withheld evidence that could have helped clear a defendant in a gun case but said it was an inadvertent mistake and implored the chief judge of the US District Court in Massachusetts not to impose sanctions that could derail her career.”

Posted at 8:02 AM by Howard Bashman