Monday, October 31, 2005
It's an interesting choice, especially when compared to Bush's other two nominations. Roberts was an unknown, but a very smart unknown. It was difficult for either side to really attack him because he was so qualified. Miers was viewed as a not-so-smart unknown. And it was easy for both sides to attack her because she was seen as unqualified. Now we get Alito, a known and smart commodity. He's been a judge for fifteen years and has a long track record, even on issues like abortion. See Planned Parenthood v. Casey (Alito supported abortion restrictions). His record will certainly make the hearings more exciting to watch.
For all the news, background, and gossip I would check out ScotusBlog, How Appealing, Professor Berman's site, and Underneath Their Robes.
Due to the ongoing community recovery efforts and supply shortages in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma, Chief United States District Judge William J. Zloch announced that the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida will be open on Monday, October 31, 2005 subject to the following restrictions: The Clerk's Office will be open in Miami only, and its hours of operation will be reduced to 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. The Clerk's Offices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce will remain closed.
All Southern District of Florida Courthouse facilities will remain generally closed to the public. The Miami Clerk's Office will be available during reduced hours to receive emergency filings. No jury trials or hearings will be held or commenced until further notice.
A further announcement about the status of the District Court’s operations will be made by 4:00 P.M. on Monday, October 31. Information concerning the status of the Court’s operations will be posted here on the Court’s web site.
Last Updated: Saturday, October 29, 2005, at 1:00 p.m.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I hope my fellow South Floridians are doing okay. Most of us are still without power, hot water, gas, etc. They say we may get these things by Easter...
The DBR reports the following on courts:
Hurricane Wilma shut down state and federal courts in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Most said they would remain closed through Friday. Officials at most of the courts said they would reopen for business on Monday though that is tentative. The lone exception is the 3rd District Court of Appeal, which covers Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, which will be open Thursday. Hearings Wednesday were canceled at state and federal courts and filings deadlines were expected to be extended. The Florida Supreme Court was expected to issue deadline-extension orders for state courts sometime Thursday. Wilma damaged several Miami-Dade County courthouses, forcing their closure for several days while authorities assess the damage. But the damage was not nearly as severe as that to the main Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. Most trials and court proceedings at the main Broward courthouse will be postponed until Nov. 7 as workers make massive repairs to the facility in downtown Fort Lauderdale. About 175 windows were shattered and blown inside the building, water pipes burst, and wind and rain inundated judges’ chambers, court administration offices and the jury room. In the north wing of the building, an inch of water covered the floor. Nevertheless, magistrates are holding first-appearance criminal proceedings at the Broward County Jail In Palm Beach, all Circuit Court business has been suspended through Friday, except for first appearances, shelter hearings, and domestic violence-related matters, according to the court’s Web site. Those proceedings are taking place at the Criminal Justice Complex in West Palm Beach. A court epresentative was not available for comment Wednesday about any damage at court buildings. The four federal courthouses in downtown Miami appeared to have suffered no exterior damage, but did have some interior damage. The court’s Internet site reported that federal courthouses would be closed until further notice. A recorded message at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court said the bankruptcy offices in Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach are also closed until further notice. The recording said bankruptcy hearings and creditors’ meetings would be rescheduled. Criminal court judges in Miami-Dade were handling first appearances at the county jail in downtown Miami Tuesday afternoon, and were working on emergency domestic violence intervention requests. Miami-Dade Circuit Court spokeswoman Jill Beach said it was too early to tell when the courts might reopen, although officials were hoping it would be next Monday. “We’re doing everything we can to get safely prepared for reopening for the public and the employees,” Beach said. “There’s no assurances what’s going to happen right now.” The 11th U.S. Circuit ourt of Appeals in Miami canceled oral arguments in Miami for the week. An 11th Circuit court clerk in Atlanta said attorneys should call their case manager to
arrange for deadline extensions, but extensions would be granted on a case-by-case basis. Officials at the 4th DCA in West Palm Beach, which includes Broward and Palm Beach counties, could not be reached Wednesday. The court’s Web site said it would be closed Wednesday and Thursday. No further information has been posted about when the court might reopen. No details of any damage were immediately available. Carl Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (305) 347-6648.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
I have no internet access at home or work, so I'll do the best I can to get updates to this site. Thanks to Stearns Weaver for lending me an office.
The state courthouses in Miami and Broward are closed the rest of the week.
The federal courthouses are going day by day. Their website has more info. Hopefully they will just close for the rest of the week. **UPDATE -- They listened -- all federal courts in this District are closed the rest of the week.
FDC-Miami is closed to visitors. **UPDATE -- You can call 305-982-1211 to find out when it is re-opening.
Many many offices on Brickell, including Greenberg Traurig, have been blown out.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
The court is aware that, for many of the same reasons
discussed above, the reversal of these convictions will
be unpopular and even offensive to many citizens.
However, the court is equally mindful that those same
citizens cherish and support the freedoms they enjoy
in this country that are unavailable to residents of
Cuba. One of our most sacred freedoms is the right to
be tried fairly in a noncoercive atmosphere. The court
is cognizant that its judgment today will be received
by those citizens with grave disappointment, but is
equally confident of our shared commitment to
scrupulously protect our freedoms. The Cuban-
American community is a bastion of the traditional
values that make America great. Included in those
values are the rights of the accused criminal that
insure a fair trial. Thus, in the final analysis, we trust
that any disappointment with our judgment in this
case will be tempered and balanced by the recognition
that we are a nation of laws in which every defendant,
no matter how unpopular, must be treated fairly. Our
Constitution requires no less.
The sentiment was that this language was offensive and that there was no reason to include it. Kathy defended the court's language (as I think she had to -- she is representing one of the defendants in the on-going litigation), arguing that each sentence in that paragraph was true and complimentary.
It does seem to me strange that it was included in the opinion. Query as to whether it would have been included if the defendants were African-American or Jewish. I doubt it. So why include it here? Thoughts?
Federal District Court Operations and Hurricane Wilma
Chief United States District Judge William J. Zloch announced that United States District Court operations in all divisions be closed Monday, October 24, 2005 due to wind and rain conditions anticipated to develop with the approach of Hurricane Wilma. These closures affect the District Court’s operations in Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce. The District Court in these locations will be closed to the public, and jurors have been or soon will be instructed to call in for further reporting instructions. The United States Bankruptcy Court will also be closed.
Federal court operations will resume at the regular time in all Divisions on Tuesday, October 25th. Please consult the Court’s website at www.flsd.uscourts.gov for changes to these instructions.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
A reminder -- tonight at Greenberg Traurig's office is the American Constitution Society event discussing the Cuban Spy opinion by the 11th Circuit. It should be a great and lively discussion. Will write about it tonight...
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
A bit of trivia: For whom did the Roberts' Court rule in its historic first published opinion? It ruled in favor of convicted murderer Paul Allen Dye, who sought a writ of habeas corpus based on prosecutorial misconduct. Check out Dye v. Hofbauer, 526 U.S. ___ (2005) (per curiam) here.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Hat tip to Brian Tannebaum:
BILL CALLS FOR MORE FEDERAL JUDGES FOR FLORIDA-- Ft. Myers News-Press,
http://www.news-press.com, October 6, 2005.
U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris today [Oct. 6] joined U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to announce legislation to authorize additional federal judgeships for Florida. Harris and Ros-Lehtinen introduced the Judgeships for Justice Act, H.R. 3953, to provide resources to address a growing need for additional judicial representation. Currently, weighted case filings per judgeship in Florida's Middle District are 47.7% above the standard set by The Judicial Conference of the United States; and in the Southern District, 19.3% above the standard. Prosecutions of fraud, drugs, firearms and immigration are putting a strain on the administration of justice in
Florida. Based on this workload data, in its most recent report the conference recommended the creation of seven permanent, and one temporary federal judgeships for Florida.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Ya’ll want me to stop?! Hurry up and wait!
Ya’ll want me shot?! Hurry up and wait!
Ya’ll hurry up and wait! Ya’ll hurry up and wait!
I’ve been brought up,
By street cats who didn’t get caught up
Like that New Jack Nino Brown at da Carter
I’m da new Tony Montana, only I’m just aLittle bit smarter!
-- Pitbull, Hurry up and Wait
Well, if you haven't gotten your fill of Pitbull, read this Herald article, which details:
Pitbull fans may have a new CD to put on their Dear Santa list this upcoming holiday season. A Miami judge has found that Slip-N-Slide Records can release an album of the Cuban-American rapper's old tracks that his current label, TVT Records, sought to block. In a 26-page opinion, U.S. District Court Magistrate Stephen Brown said Miami-based Slip-N-Slide has the right to issue the LP Welcome to the 305 as long as it affixes a sticker to it stating ``contains previously unreleased material.'' ''We couldn't be happier,'' said Slip-N-Slide attorney Richard C. Wolfe. "We think the
judge absolutely understood this case.''
In other news, the U.S. Attorney's Office is fighting internet fraud re Hurricane Katrina. Gary Kraser has been arrested for his website, www.AirKatrina.com.
And the office filed its petition asking for rehearing in the 11th on the Cuban Spy Case.
Monday, October 03, 2005
UPDATE -- Some, like Tom Goldstein, are already predicting that she will not be confirmed. I tend to agree, especially because she will be compared to the super-smart, well-qualified Roberts, who was a no-brainer.