Blog Archives

Today’s Sketches

No single big story at the Supreme Court today. That will come tomorrow when the Court hears the first abortion argument it has considered in several years regarding the buffer zone around clinics in Boston. So tune in tomorrow.

In the meantime here a today’s sketches of one opinion, delivered by Justice Ginsburg, and the two morning arguments (there was a third argument in the afternoon – unusual these days – but I didn’t attend).Justice Ginsburg announced the opinion of the Court that Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, could not be sued in California under the Alien Tort Act for crimes committed by its Argentinian subsidiary during that country’s “Dirty War”. I covered the arguments here.

The first argument, Executive Benefits v. Arkinson, about whether the power granted bankruptcy judges violates Article III of the constitution went in one ear and out the other, so you’ll have to read about it here. Same thing with the next argument, Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S., although I did catch that it might have something to do with “Rails to Trails” and the possibility that someone might ride a bicycle through your house. SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston recaps the argument here.

Posted in Arguments, Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with: , , ,

Recess Appointments Draws A Crowd (and so do I)

The Supreme Court chamber was packed today as lawyers argued, in NLRB v. Canning, the Constitution’s Article II clause on recess appointments. White House spokesman, Jay Carney, lately sporting a beard, sat on the same bench , though at different ends,as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

At the conclusion of the arguments, as spectators and lawyers exited and the lawyer for the next case to be argued took his place at the lectern Chief Justice Roberts said, “We’re still here”.

Below are a few more sketches from the argument.

You can read about it here.

Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court Tagged with: ,

Chubby Jihad Jane

Colleen LaRose, aka Jihad Jane, appeared in a Philadelphia courtroom this morning to be sentenced for her part in a plot to murder Dutch artist Lars Vilks for his cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad as a dog. She appears to have put on a few pounds during her four years of incarceration; she was considerably slighter when she plead guilty back in March 2010.

LaRose, who became involved with the muslim community over the internet and later converted to Islam apologized to Chief Judge Petrese B. Tucker.She told the judge, “I was in a trance and I couldn’t see anything else,” she said. “I don’t want to be in jihad no more.”

Reuters story here.

 

 

 

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with:

No SCOTUS Sketches This Week

A family emergency has me out of town. I hope to be back at the Court next week. In the meantime here’s a doodle from the 2011 Term.SCOTUS sketch, 4/18/12

Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court Tagged with:

” What A Maroon ! “

Hip-Hop tweeting Tea-Party Republican congressman Trey Radel (third from right) pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in DC Superior Court this morning and was given a suspended sentence and one year probation. He is on the record, having voted in the House, in support of drug testing food stamp recipients.

You can read about it here.

 

Posted in Congress, Courtroom Tagged with: , ,

Life, Plus Life, Plus Five Years

“The scope, the callousness, the depravity of your crimes, are almost unfathomable,” Judge Denise Casper told Whitey Bulger before passing sentence. “The testimony of human suffering that you and your associates inflicted on others was at times agonizing to hear and painful to watch,” she said as the families of his victims sat on the right side of the courtroom.She then ordered Bulger, who throughout the two-day sentencing has sat facing forward making no eye contact with the public seated behind him, to stand for sentencing. “You are hereby committed to the Bureau of Prisons for the term of life,” said the judge.And this is probably the last we’ll see of Whitey Bulger.

Boston Globe story here.

 

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: ,

Victims Speak at Bulger Sentencing

At the beginning of the two day sentencing for Boston mobster Whitey Bulger the government asked for life, plus life for machine guns, plus five years for other guns. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly said, “he is going to spend the rest of his miserable life in jail.”Then it was time for the relatives of Bulger’s victims to speak up.

Sean McGonagle, “My father was no Boy Scout, but he was a better man than you’ll ever be.

Whitey Bulger sentencingTom Angeli, “We feel robbed every day”.

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Marie Mahoney, “We got you, you rat.”

Whitey Bulger sentencingBulger was not convicted in the murder of Bill O’Brien’s father four days before the birth of the junior O’Brien. “I really got nothing out of this trial. I got more questions than answers.”

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Patricia Donahue said that Whitey killed her husband “while a corrupt FBI agent watched.”

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Meredith Rakes, “The healing can begin. The nightmare is over, the pain stops here.”

 

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Tim Connors, “Your legacy is already cemented as a rat.”

Whitey Bulger sentencing

Pat Callahan, “You won’t even turn around and look at us?”

Whitey Bulger sentencingKathleen Nichols, “I believe he is evil.”

Whitey Bulger sentencingTheresa Bond, “Mr. Bulger, can you look at me?” ( Whitey Bulger kept his head down throughout ) “I can’t judge you.”

Whitey Bulger sentencingSteve Davis, “You piece of shit, look at me”

Whitey Bulger sentencingDavid Wheeler, “Shame on you Mr. Bulger, for all your notoriety you are a punk.” Referring to his father’s murder, Wheeler  said that the FBI was “as responsible  . . . as the defendant here sitting before you.”

Sentencing proper will take place tomorrow.

NYT story here.

 

 

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: ,

Tsarnaev Hearing On Motions

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not in the courtroom today as his defense team, pictured above, argued before Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. on a motion lift the “Special Administrative Measures”, or SAMS, that interfere with this defendant communicating with his lawyers. Other issues discussed today concerned change of venue and whether the death penalty will be sought for the accused Boston marathon bomber. The government asked to set a trial date sometime next fall, but the judge opted to wait until those other issues are decided.

Andrew Cohen’s story on SAMs is here.

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , ,

A Visit to the Fourth Circuit

Last week I travelled down to Richmond to hear some arguments before the Fourth Circuit. The highlight was a cock-fighting case from South Carolina – unfortunately not the one I sketched.

In a tradition that reeks of southern gentility the judges, at the conclusion of each argument, come down from the bench to shake hands with the lawyers in the case.

I also had a chance to do a little sketching on the streets of Richmond.

Posted in Appellate Courts Tagged with: ,

Gambling on Nevada Venue Not a Sure Thing

When professional gamblers Gina Fiore and Keith Gipson passed through the Atlanta airport on their way home to Nevada after a gambling trip to Puerto Rico a search of their bags turned up $97,000 in cash. The DEA was contacted and Fiore and Gipson were detained for questioning. They told Anthony Walden, a local police officer deputized as DEA agent, that they learned the cash legitimately at the gambling tables. Nevertheless the cash was seized and Walden told them that they would get it back once they provided proper documentation.

Upon their return to Las Vegas they sent the necessary documentation, but the DEA continued to hold on to the cash based on a questionable affidavit drafted by Walden. Eventually the money was returned and the gamblers filed a lawsuit against officer Walden in Nevada federal court.

The question before the Supreme Court at Monday’s argument in Walden v. Fiore is whether the court in Nevada has jurisdiction over an officer doing his job in Georgia and where should the case be tried. The above sketch shows Walden’s lawyer, Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, arguing that the case belongs in Georgia.

Tom Goldstein, on the other hand, argued that the injury occurred in Nevada and, as the Ninth Circuit concluded, should be tried there. He concluded by warning, “. . . if that’s not enough, you are closing the door absolutely to all internet cases . . . where someone sits at the computer and targets someone in another State.

 

Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court Tagged with: , ,
2013_Blawg100Honoree_300x300
TWITTER @courtartist

Blog Updates

Enter your name and email below to receive blog updates via email.