WB Starts to Beg | Main | Foot Mystery
February 20, 2008

Legal Roundup

Commenter genghis points me to some interesting legal action this week.

First, the Court has declined to review the Sixth Circuit's ruling that the ACLU and others have no standing to sue the NSA over the Terrorist Surveillance Program. This is the case where District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, a Carter appointee, substituted the words "undisputedly" and "clearly" for legal reasoning while making smug pronunciation that "there are no hereditary Kings in America." I and many others took her to pieces for it while the Lefty blogosphere and the media called her "courageous" and us "racist" (it turned out she was black).

This is yet another case where the government claimed state secrets privilege and prevailed. The ACLU can't prove that it has standing without access to materials involving national security. Taylor sidestepped the issue by claiming that the plaintiffs had standing without access, but the Sixth Circuit didn't agree. The ACLU probably couldn't get the justices to agree to hear the case because there simply isn't a split among the courts when it comes to state secrets doctrine.

Second, the Court also rejected an appeal by Xavier University and 68 others involved in a contract parsing dispute with insurers who refuse to pay for flood damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The case is noteworthy only because it should impress upon plaintiffs to chose their venue wisely; we've got a dual judicial system and choices at the very beginning of litigation may determine the outcome: The federal courts ruled that the insurance policies did not cover damage from floods. However, in similar cases, the Louisiana courts held that the language of the policies is "ambiguous" and therefore ruled against the insurers based on a state rule which requires that exceptions to coverage be "unambiguous."

Third, a federal district judge has decided to hold a reporter in contempt of court for not complying with an order to identify her sources for articles she wrote about the 2001 anthrax attacks. This is the usual story: reporter decides she can ignore court orders; judge gets pissed off; reporter loses $1,000 a day, upped by $1,000 with every passing week, until she complies.

The issue here is so-called journalistic privilege, the idea that reporters would be unable to exercise their First Amendment right to speech if courts could make them divulge their confidential sources like the rest of us. Most federal circuits have a qualified form of this privilege, but it has notably not availed reporters in several high-profile cases in the D.C. circuit, including that of Valerie Plame. Congress is considering a federal shield law right now (it's stalled in the Senate).


digg this
posted by Gabriel Malor at 03:49 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
mustbequantum: "Garp is the most insufferable book of all time. Po ..."

Ignoramus: ""The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most insuffe ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: "You talking about me?[i]Posted by: Weasel at Octob ..."

runner: "Strategic vs. Humanitarian, don't know what to say ..."

votermom pimping great books!: "There's a book called Left of Boom that is tge mem ..."

Weasel: " Absolutely. He is an ass. Posted by: CharlieBr ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: "Garp is the most insufferable book of all time.[i] ..."

Skandia Recluse: "RE: Herbert 'passing off' his Dune as an original ..."

San Franpsycho: "I didn't say they were good, only that they were h ..."

Boulder terlit hobo: "dude. dude. that Dune was an allegory and a warnin ..."

Bertram Cabot, Jr.: " [i]L Ron Hubbard's Dianetics[/i] ...makes you ..."

All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes: "I pulled up the Tucker Carlson/Max Boot pimp slap ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64