How Appealing

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

“U.S. Court of Appeals upholds Fruitland man’s hate crime conviction”: The Farmington (N.M.) Daily Times has a news update that begins, “A U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the hate crime conviction of a Fruitland man who participated in a branding of a mentally disabled Native American in Farmington in 2010.”

You can access today’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.

At issue in the case was whether the U.S. Congress had the power to enact the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which among other things makes it a felony to physically attack a person because of that person’s race. The unanimous three-judge panel rejected the defendant’s constitutional challenge, holding that “Congress rationally determined that racially motivated violence is a badge or incident of slavery against which it may legislate through its power to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment.”

Posted at 11:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Using Algorithmic Attribution Techniques to Determine Authorship in Unsigned Judicial Opinions”: Last Sunday, the Stanford Technology Law Review posted online this article.

The article’s syllabus begins, “This Article proposes a novel and provocative analysis of judicial opinions that are published without indicating individual authorship. Our approach provides an unbiased, quantitative, and computer scientific answer to a problem that has long plagued legal commentators.”

Posted at 6:07 PM by Howard Bashman

“Housing discrimination case could settle before top court rules”: Lawrence Hurley of Reuters has a report that begins, “For the second time in two years, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could limit housing discrimination claims might be resolved before the justices have a chance to rule on it.”

Posted at 6:03 PM by Howard Bashman

“Why Courts Matter: The Supreme Court in 2013.” Yesterday, the Center for American Progress hosted this event, at which Tom Goldstein of “SCOTUSblog” fame served as moderator. You can now access the video of the event online at this link.

Posted at 5:26 PM by Howard Bashman

“Fourth Circuit overturns ruling on abortion signs; Decision sends case on unusual city law back to lower court”: The Baltimore Sun has a news update that begins, “The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday overturned a lower court ruling striking down a Baltimore ordinance that required pregnancy clinics to post signs if they do not provide abortions.”

My earlier coverage of today’s en banc rulings of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in two related cases can be accessed here.

Posted at 5:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Execution date set for Warren Hill”: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a news update that begins, “A Lee County judge has signed a warrant setting July 13 as a new execution date for Warren Hill, a mentally retarded man whose appeal is still pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Posted at 5:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“9th Circuit issues new order in Cebull complaint; Order becomes public in 63 days barring appeal”: The Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune has a news update that begins, “Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski announced late Tuesday that a new final order has been issued in the misconduct complaints against former Montana Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull.”

You can access yesterday’s “Statement by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit” at this link.

Posted at 4:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“Appeals court sends 1 Md pregnancy center case back to trial court, affirms ruling in 2nd case”: The Associated Press has a report that begins, “A divided federal appeals court in Virginia is breathing new life into a Baltimore ordinance requiring anti-abortion counseling centers to post certain disclaimers.”

Today, the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued separate rulings in two related cases, and you can access those rulings here and here. It is interesting to note that Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III dissented from the first ruling but concurred in the second.

Posted at 3:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Women to lead state’s highest court; Barbera named chief judge, Watts appointed to top court”: The Baltimore Sun has an article that begins, “Maryland achieved several milestones Tuesday as Gov. Martin O’Malley named the first woman to lead what will be the first female majority on the state’s top court.” The newspaper also has a related blog post titled “New top female judges offer first thoughts; Barbera, Watts acknowledge historic nature of appointments to top court.” [Update: The newspaper has also posted online a related editorial titled “Women of the court: With latest appointments, women rise to majority on the Maryland Court of Appeals, so when will the rest of the legal profession catch up?“]

And in other coverage, The Washington Post has a news update headlined “O’Malley picks more conservative chief judge for Maryland.”

Posted at 3:11 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Supreme Court’s LGBT Catch-22: For advocates, the DOMA decision was a huge win — but the Voting Rights Act decision could be a major setback for gay rights.” Aisha C. Moodie-Mills has this essay online at The Atlantic.

Posted at 2:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“A Marquee Supreme Court Property Rights’ Decision Nearly Goes Unnoticed”: Robert Bridges has this essay online at

Posted at 1:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“Brett Gibbs flips, backs sanctions against former Prenda Law colleagues; Porn trolling saga gets — if possible — even weirder”: Joe Mullin of of Ars Technica has this report today.

Posted at 1:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement”: This article will appear in Thursday’s edition of The New York Times.

Posted at 1:54 PM by Howard Bashman

“Attorney for Pennsbury bus accident victim Ashley Zauflik asks Commonwealth Court to remove cap on government liability”: On March 21, 2013, of Bucks County, Pennsylvania had a report that begins, “A case before the state’s Commonwealth Court involving a Pennsbury student injured in a bus accident in 2007 could have implications on municipal and school district entities throughout the state.”

Today, the majority on a divided three-judge panel of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued a ruling affirming the trial court’s reduction of the jury’s verdict from $14,036,263.39 to $500,000 pursuant to the damages cap.

Posted at 1:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“FISA Court Judge Reflects: After Sept. 11, ‘Bloodcurdling Meetings And Briefings.'” Carrie Johnson of NPR has this report today.

Posted at 11:34 AM by Howard Bashman

“Courts Can’t Agree on Whether Cops Can Track Your Cell Without a Warrant”: David Kravets has this post today at’s “Threat Level” blog.

And on Monday, Bennett Stein of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project had a post at that organization’s “Free Future” blog titled “Fighting a Striking Case of Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking” that begins, “The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is currently considering a case that could be pivotal in determining whether the government needs a warrant to track your cell phone.”

Posted at 11:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Scholar Joins Scrum on Claims Construction Standard”: Scott Graham of The Recorder has an article that begins, “When Berkeley attorney Andrew Dhuey sought to drum up amicus curiae support for overturning a key Federal Circuit ruling on claim construction, his opponent accused him of making a frivolous argument.”

Posted at 10:57 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court upholds parents’ convictions in prayer death”: The Associated Press has a report that begins, “A mother and father who prayed instead of seeking medical help as their daughter died in front of them were properly convicted of homicide, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.”

And Reuters reports that “Wisconsin court upholds parents’ convictions in prayer death.”

You can access today’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin at this link.

Posted at 10:52 AM by Howard Bashman

“Washington Post-ABC poll shows support for Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage”: Robert Barnes and Scott Clement of The Washington Post have this report today.

Posted at 10:46 AM by Howard Bashman