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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: ,

Texas Goes to Court Over Voter ID Law

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After the Justice Department refused to clear Texas’ new voter ID law, SB 14, the State went to court. These sketches are from yesterday, the final day of testimony.  6a00d8341cd0df53ef016768784814970b-800wi

The three judge panel will hear closing arguments today. Next stop, the Supreme Court.

Read about it here.

Posted in Appellate Courts, Courtroom Tagged with: , , ,

Fourth Circuit Considers Health Care Law

A few sketches from today’s arguments ( which can be heard here ) in Liberty University v. Geithner and Virginia v. Sebelius, both cases concerning the individual mandate in the new Obama-sponsored health care law.

Pictured below : Mathew Staver, the attorney for Liberty University arguing before the Fourth Circuit three-judge panel.   ACA110510wide

Judge Andre Davis :  ACA110510_Davis

Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal and Judge Diana Gribbon Matz :  ACA110510_Motz

Judge James Wynn :  ACA110510_Wynn

Andrew Cohen’s intelligent analysis can be found here.

Posted in Appellate Courts Tagged with: , , ,

Arguments Heard on Stem Cell Funding Ban

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Deputy Assistant Attorney General Beth Brinkmann today urged a three judge panel of the DC Circuit, Court of Appeals to stay a District Court judge’s preliminary injunction banning funding of embryonic stem cell research, but two of the judges seemed unpersuaded.

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Judge Griffith interrupted Brinkmann to say, “If you can’t show irreparable harm, nothing else you show matters”.

Bloomberg story here.

Update :  The Appeals Court yesterday agreed with the DOJ and will allow embryonic stem-cell research to continue for now.

Posted in Appellate Courts Tagged with: ,

Voting Rights Act challenged

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An unusual panel of jurists at the U.S. District courthouse in DC, made up of Circuit Judge David S. Tatel and District Judges Paul L. Friedman and Emmet G. Sullivan, heard arguments in a Texas case that seeks to change a key provision of the recently reauthorized Voting Rights Act. As it stands, districts with a history of discrimination at the polls are required to obtain pre-clearance from Justice before making any changes to their voting procedures.

The sketch shows Chris Ward, a lawyer for plaintiff Northeast Austin Municipal Utility District Number One, arguing before the panel.

AP’s Pete Yost has the story here.

Posted in Appellate Courts, Courtroom Tagged with: ,

A new court for Gitmo

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The U.S. Court of Military Commission Review held its first hearing yesterday in a borrowed courtroom a half block from the White House.

Back in June two military judges at Guantanamo ruled that the detainees brought before them could not be tried by the new Military Commissions, created  by Congress and the White House after the Supreme Court rejected the previous Commissions, because they had not been properly declared unlawful enemy combatants. At the time the government filed an appeal there was no court, just a mailing address in Virginia.

Meanwhile all war crime cases at Gitmo are on hold  because none of the more than 550 status review hearings determined that the detainees were “unlawful”.

AP story is here.

Posted in Appellate Courts Tagged with:

Congressman challenges FBI raid

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A three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard arguments today in a separation of powers case stemming from the bribery investigation of congressman William Jefferson.

MSNBC’s  Joel Seidman has the story here.

Posted in Appellate Courts, Congress Tagged with: ,
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