How Appealing

Thursday, September 18, 2014

“Congress’s Inaction Could Be Legal Basis for Stronger Executive War Powers”: Charlie Savage will have this article in Friday’s edition of The New York Times.

Posted at 11:11 PM by Howard Bashman

“Barry Bonds’ conviction seems to trouble appeals court”: Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has this news update.

Maura Dolan of The Los Angeles Times has a news update headlined “Barry Bonds’ conviction draws dubious reaction from appeals court.”

Howard Mintz of The San Jose Mercury News has an update headlined “Barry Bonds case: Conviction reversal seems likely.”

And at her “Trial Insider” blog, Pamela A. MacLean has a post titled “Government Slammed at Bonds Obstruction Hearing.”

You can view the video of today’s en banc Ninth Circuit oral argument in United States v. Barry Bonds via this link.

Posted at 9:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Scalia’s Liberal Streak: The conservative justice’s most brilliant — and surprisingly progressive — moments on the bench.” Mark Joseph Stern has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate.

Posted at 8:55 PM by Howard Bashman

“A Conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer”: Yale University has posted the video of today’s event online at YouTube, and you can access it via this link.

Posted at 5:47 PM by Howard Bashman

Hey Fifth Circuit — Don’t ever change: Last night I had this post in which I had a little fun with the Fifth Circuit’s newly announced “no change” policy for cash payments.

Today, I received an email from Lyle W. Cayce, the Clerk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit regarding that new policy. He has given me permission to republish his email here:

I noted your comment regarding our change in policy on your blog yesterday. I don’t think our posted announcement explained adequately why we made the change, so I have updated that announcement. As your blog entry prompted me to update the announcement, I wanted to personally provide you some additional information regarding the change.

To begin, we are one of the few appellate courts that actually still makes change for cash customers. Making change requires us to maintain a special Imprest Fund, and to designate cashiers and back up cashiers for the fund. We have to make monthly audits and reports regarding this fund, and internal controls intended to reduce the risk of loss or theft require me to designate different employees to receive, receipt, store, issue, and account for the funds. At one time, the fund was quite large and useful, as most of our transactions were cash transactions. But in recent years, we have ever fewer cash customers. Today we rarely get cash over the counter, and even more rarely are asked to provide change. In fact, my cashiers recall only two occasions in the past year when our office had to make change for over the counter cash customers. All of this is likely due to our changing economy and the proliferation of other methods of payment, especially credit and debit card transactions.

As to timing and impetus for the change, however, I approved this change as a result of a recommendation from the Administrative Office of the Courts made in August. The Administrative Office recommended the Fifth Circuit Clerk’s Office end our change making service because the US Treasury Office seeks to eliminate the remaining change making funds that still exist in executive agencies and the courts. After I verified that only two customers requested change last year, I determined this would not significantly burden the public or bar. Conversely, eliminating the fund would eliminate significant administrative burdens occasioned by the existence of the fund. This is important for our office, given our recent reductions in personnel, including the loss of two financial and budget positions in my office.

I hope that this information is helpful to you. Thank you for visiting our web page and keeping current with Fifth Circuit matters.

Thank you for sharing that more detailed explanation of the thinking behind the Fifth Circuit’s forthcoming “no change” policy.

Lest anyone fear that “How Appealing” garners a great deal of behind-the-scenes comments from appellate court systems, I am pleased to report that the only appellate courts that have seen fit to comment on or offer corrections to “How Appealing” posts this week are the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court (see the update to this earlier post).

Posted at 5:40 PM by Howard Bashman

Second Circuit affirms dismissal of the Republic of Iraq’s suit against numerous defendants alleged to have conspired with Saddam Hussein to corrupt and plunder the UN-administered Oil-for-Food Programme: You can access today’s ruling of a partially divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at this link.

Update: In early news coverage, Jonathan Stempel of Reuters reports that “Iraq loses U.S. appeal over U.N. oil-for-food program suit.”

And Courthouse News Service reports that “Iraq Oil-for-Food Case Kept Down on Appeal.”

Posted at 12:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Ninth Circuit to stream live today’s en banc oral argument in United States v. Barry Bonds: The oral argument is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. eastern time, 2 p.m. pacific, and once underway you can view it online via this link (click play to begin).

The Ninth Circuit’s web site also helpfully provides this page linking to many of the most important filings in the appeal.

Posted at 11:48 AM by Howard Bashman

“New York Times reporter provides Constitutional analysis”: The Michigan Daily has an article that begins, “To honor the 227th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution’s signing, Adam Liptak, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, spoke Wednesday afternoon about the Roberts court and the Constitution’s role in public policy today.”

Posted at 8:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“A profile in political cowardice: Republicans railroad the nomination of Debo Adegbile, and Democrats let it happen.” Columnist Errol Louis has this op-ed in today’s edition of The New York Daily News.

Posted at 8:53 AM by Howard Bashman

“Oklahoma asks court to dismiss lawsuit brought in wake of botched execution; Plaintiffs in lawsuit, including ACLU and The Guardian, claim bearing witness to executions is first amendment right”: The Guardian (UK) has this report.

Posted at 8:44 AM by Howard Bashman