US Circuit Court of Appeals

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Court Dumps Virginia's Gay Marriage Ban

US circuit court says state ban is unconstitutional

(Newser) - A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban. A three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled today that state constitutional and statutory provisions barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the US Constitution.... More »

Secret Drone Strike Memo to Be Released

Move comes as fight over Barron nomination looms

(Newser) - The Obama administration has decided to release a secret memo explaining its justification for killing American citizens in drone strikes overseas, sources tell the AP . The decision comes as the Senate prepares to vote on the nomination of the memo's author, David Barron, to the 1st US Circuit Court... More »

Quietly, O'Connor Fills In on Appellate Courts

(Newser) - Three years after retiring from the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor is still on the bench—in federal appellate courts across the country, where the high court's first woman justice has quietly been filling in as a substitute judge. O'Connor has heard nearly 80 cases and written more than a... More »

Sotomayor Aced 2 Previous Senate Hearings

Tough questioning from GOP didn't faze court nominee

(Newser) - Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are still debating how tough they'll be at Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing, but as the Washington Post reports, the Supreme Court nominee doesn't buckle under pressure. In the long-delayed 1997 hearing that elevated her to the Second Circuit, Sotomayor survived a GOP grilling on... More »

Bell, Carter's AG, Dead at 90

Bell defanged Jim Crow as appellate court judge

(Newser) - Griffin Bell, a Southerner who opposed racial segregation and led the Justice Department under President Carter, died today at age 90, the New York Times reports. Bell handled damage control as a post-Nixon attorney general, de-politicizing the Justice Department and the FBI. His earlier rulings as an appeals court judge,... More »

Conrad Black Appeals Prison Sentence

Jailed newspaper tycoon says evidence too flimsy to convict

(Newser) - Lawyers for former newspaper mogul Conrad Black appealed his 6½-year prison term for fraud today, arguing that the jury received bad instructions and that the evidence failed to prove he had knowledge of shady dealings, reports Canada's National Post. Black was convicted of bilking about $6 million from Hollinger... More »

Court Sides With Bush on Wiretapping

Judges cite national security in rejecting challenge to program

(Newser) - The Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program cleared a big legal hurdle today when a federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit challenging the program on the grounds of national security. The court, considered one of the most liberal in the country,  cited the "state secrets" privilege in its ruling... More »

Court Orders Stricter Fuel Economy Rules

It throws out US standards for SUVs and minivans

(Newser) - Environmentalist groups rejoiced today after a federal appeals court struck down upcoming fuel-economy standards for some SUVs, minivans, and small trucks, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The court ruled that regulators refused to treat carbon dioxide emissions as a serious threat to global warming and ordered the government to review... More »

Federal Court Gives Porn Biz a Break

Judge says law intended to thwart child porn is too broad, violates free speech

(Newser) - A federal appeals court threw a wrench today into the government’s efforts to stop child porn. The Cincinnati-based court struck down a 1998 law requiring porn producers to keep records of people depicted in their materials. The Justice Department argued the law helped authorities clamp down on kiddie porn,... More »

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