Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Courts - "Courtroom sketching is starting to disappear"
"As cameras begin to proliferate at trials, courtroom artists see themselves getting the brush: 'We've been becoming extinct for a decade,' one says," is the headline to this long story today in the Chicago Tribune by Barbara Brotman. A few quotes:
Cameras are making their way into Illinois courtrooms. Twenty-four counties are participating in a pilot that the Illinois Supreme Court authorized last year permitting cameras in trial courtrooms. In December, the Illinois Supreme Court announced that McLean County has become the latest. In Cook County, Chief Judge Timothy Evans has strongly endorsed cameras in courtrooms.
The first use of cameras in a Chicago-area courtroom came Nov. 21 in DuPage County, where a photographer and a TV cameraman provided pool coverage of the arraignment of a Naperville woman accused of killing two children.
Though federal courts still prohibit cameras, and Chicago's small band of sketch artists is still working, they consider their courtroom drawing days numbered.
"We've been becoming extinct for a decade, and I would like it to slow down just a little," said Lou Chukman, a courtroom artist for 37 years. "We'll become the same curiosity as the Civil War battle artists." * * *
Courtroom sketching is "starting to disappear," said Craig Orr, associate curator in the Archives Center of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
Orr recently acquired for the center 38 sketches that New York courtroom artist Marilyn Church completed at trials, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Karen Ann Quinlan right-to-die case and the racketeering and securities fraud trial of Michael Milken.
"Courtroom art captures a moment of time that is not capturable in any other way because cameras are not allowed," Orr said.
Courts - SCOTUS's building is undergoing restoration and is wrapped in fabric from a Carmel IND company
According to the Architect of the Capitol:
Scaffolding was installed during the summer of 2012 across the entire west elevation of the building. The scaffold is wrapped in a scrim enclosure printed with a full-size photograph of the building’s façade – a practice that is used extensively in Europe. As work is completed on the north and south portions of the façade, the scaffold will be partially removed.And that mesh wrapper, printed with a full-scale image of the building, was produced in Carmel, Indiana, according to this news release:
Carmel, Ind. -- Top Value Fabrics' mesh banner media has been selected for use in a prominent project for the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.
The media has been installed as a building wrap for the Supreme Court Building while a comprehensive restoration is completed to the facade. The media was printed with a full-scale image of the building's exterior and the installation was completed over scaffolding to provide the restoration crew with the needed functionality and ease of access for the duration of the project.
"The United States Supreme Court mesh installation allows this iconic building to remain recognizable throughout the restoration for tourists and local residents alike," explained Chris Fredericks, President of Top Value Fabrics. "As a company, Top Value Fabrics and our partners are proud to play a small part in the renovation of this National Historic Landmark."
Renovations to the 77-year-old building include a detailed cleaning of the facade, replacement of mortar and sealants, and a conservation treatment. The work is ongoing and as restoration is completed, the scaffolding will be removed.
The Top Value Fabrics media was chosen for this project after an extensive selection process. In addition to building wraps, the company's printable banner media is used for stadium wraps, event banners and murals.
Ind. Decisions - More on: District Court issues decision following bench trial in 8th Amendment case
Ind. Law - Indianapolis attorney J.B. King, 82, dies
J.B. King, long-time Baker & Daniels attorney, advisor to Governor Otis R. Bowen, and Vice President and General Counsel of Eli Lilly and Company, has died. Here is the Indianapolis Star obituary.
A teaching moment - More on: "Is it usual to use 'big poster/charts' in oral arguments?"
Recall this lengthy and informative January 18, 2011 ILB entry on the use of big posters and charts in oral arguments before our Supreme Court?
Well, what about bringing exhibits including a "double man utility bucket," a bucket liner, and an exemplar bucket liner to the oral argument?
That is the issue addressed in this Supreme Court Order filed Dec. 31, 2012, in the case of Wade v. Terex-Telelect:
Oral argument is set in this appeal for January 3,2013. On December 27,2012, the appellee, Terex-Telelect, Inc. ("Terex"), filed "Appellee's Motion To Prevent Use of Oversized Exhibits at Oral Argument."ILB: The oral argument is tomorrow at 9:45 AM.
Apparently, the appellant, Anthony Wade, intends to bring certain exhibits to the oral argument. These exhibits include a "double man utility bucket," a bucket liner, and an exemplar bucket liner. Each of these items is approximately four feet wide by four feet tall by two feet deep. Terex objects to these items being brought to the oral argument on grounds the size of the exhibits will improperly emphasize them and will be distracting. In addition, Terex notes that photos of the exhibits are already in the appendix. Wade has not filed a written response to this motion, but a paralegal has confirmed in a telephone conversation with the Administration Office that Wade does intend to bring the exhibits to the oral argument.
Appellate Rule 53(F) contemplates that physical exhibits might be used at oral argument, but in this instance, we are persuaded that the size of these items will be disruptive to the proceedings and, because photographs of the items are in the appendix, the presence of the items themselves is not necessary for Wade to present an effective appellate argument. Being duly advised, the motion is GRANTED. Both parties are directed not to bring any physical exhibits to the oral argument.
Ind. Decisions - Transfer list for week ending Dec. 30, 2012
[Search all the Transfer Lists: The ILB feature, "Search the ILB Transfer Lists," allows you to do just that, back to Feb. 2004. Check it out. Read the instructions. Note that the search is now current through the May 20, 2012 list.]
There was no transfer list for the week ending Friday, Dec. 30, 2012.
Ind. Decisions - More on: District Court issues decision following bench trial in 8th Amendment case
Star reporter Evans writes on Twitter this morning: "I have a new gig at The Star covering courts & the law." ILB: That is good news for readers!
Ind. Decisions - More on "Justices weigh walkout fines levied on Democrats"
The FWJG's statement is wrong that "For example, a debtor cannot simply tell an employer to withhold money from a check; the debtor must go to court and obtain an order to garnishee wages."
Of course a debtor can assign wages, but a creditor cannot. But does an employer have to go to court for a wage setoff? Is the State an employer of the legislators?
There are good questions, but the one quoted does not fit in the "good question" catagory.
Ind. Decisions - District Court issues decision following bench trial in 8th Amendment case
The ACLU has issued this notice this morning:
ACLU of Indiana to Address U.S. District Court Decision Regarding Inhumane Treatment of PrisonersHere is a copy of Judge Tanya Walton Pratt's 37-page, Dec. 31st ruling in Ind. Protection and Advocacy Services Commission v. Commission, IDOC. A quote:
Who: American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services
What: Media availability to discuss U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana decision, case No. 1:08-cv-01317-TWP-MJD
When: 2:30 p.m. TODAY, Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Why: The U.S. District Court ruled that "The treatment of mentally ill prisoners housed in [Indiana Department of Correction] IDOC segregation units and the New Castle Psychiatric Unit, and the failure to provide adequate treatment for such prisoners, violates the Eighth Amendment's proscription against the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment."
The relief to which the Plaintiffs are entitled is the delivery of mental health care which is within the bounds of the Eighth Amendment. The remedy may be as complex as the evidence of the violation, and Plata is again instructive, just as it was in addressing the merits of the Eighth Amendment claim.
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Ind. Decisions - More on "Contraception Mandate Faces Justice Sotomayor and Seventh Circuit"
Updating this ILB entry from Dec. 29, 2012, re the Dec. 27th decision in Grote Industries v. Sebelius by Indiana district court Judge Sarah Evans Barker, and the Dec. 28th 2-1 ruling by a 7th Circuit panel in the case of Korte v. Sebelius, both involving the issue of whether "the new federal health care law’s requirement that companies with more than 50 employees provide free health insurance coverage for birth control drugs and methods for their female workers" -- In Grote, Judge Barker denied an injunction; in Korte, the 7th Circuit granted an injunction. And in Hobby Lobby, where the Tenth Circuit denied Hobby Lobby’s motion for an injunction pending appeal, Justice Sotomeyer on Dec. 26th denied an emergency application for a stay. Here is some additional commentary.
Andrea Neal, of The Indiana Policy Institute, has this commentary in the Indianapolis Star, headed "Business' beliefs held hostage: To avoid huge fines, Grote Industries gives in." Some quotes:
When the officers of Grote Industries sat down to discuss a possible legal challenge to the contraceptive mandate in the national health-care law, the vote was immediate and unanimous.Lyle Denniston writes today in Constitution Daily in an article headed "Do profit-making corporations have religious rights?" Some quotes:
"We decided that it was definitely against our beliefs," says chairman and CEO William Grote III.
The company filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Southern Indiana seeking to block implementation of that provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. * * *
As of Jan. 1, the company had no choice in the matter. It either covers such services or faces steep daily fines imposed by the federal government.
"The penalty is absolutely onerous," Grote says. "It would easily destroy the company should we not do it."
The Affordable Care Act has generated many lawsuits since its passage, but few of its provisions have been as controversial as the one forcing employers to subsidize medical services to which they object on moral grounds.
The law guarantees most workers free access to preventive health care. Federal rules say this includes "contraceptive methods and sterilization methods" approved by the Food and Drug Administration, such as Plan B and "ella," known as the "morning after" and "week after" pills because they can prevent fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterus. Related counseling and education are also covered.
Employers who fail to finance these things can be fined $100 per employee per day. With 1,150 employees worldwide, Grote Industries could be looking at $4 million a year.
The Grote complaint is one of more than 40 lawsuits filed around the country by Catholic and evangelical plaintiffs including hospitals, universities and for-profit businesses.
Religious nonprofits are exempt from the mandate until Aug. 1 while the Obama administration considers changes to address their objections. For-profit businesses like Grote were required to comply by August 2012, or whenever their updated health plans took effect, in most cases Jan. 1.
The underlying issue -- whether the mandate violates religious freedom and free speech concerns of private employers -- has yet to be addressed by the Supreme Court. Efforts to block the law's enforcement pending resolution of the legal challenges have been mostly unsuccessful.
On Dec. 26, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor refused to stop the Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing the mandate against Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain with 13,000 employees. The next day, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker denied a similar motion from Grote Industries, finding that "the burden the mandate imposes on plaintiffs here is likely too remote and attenuated to be considered substantial." Hobby Lobby has announced it will defy the law while Grote intends to comply.
One of the big issues not settled by the 2012 presidential campaign is whether “corporations are people” and, like people, have constitutional rights. The issue continues in a new form: does the First Amendment’s right to the free exercise of religion protect profit-making corporations? The courts are just beginning to provide answers, and the answers so far are mixed.
Last week, using different legal analyses, a Supreme Court justice on one day made it clear that the question remained open and unsettled, while a federal appeals court panel’s majority two days later gave at least a temporary answer: Yes. Those were the most significant statements so far as federal courts work their work through more than 40 lawsuits challenging the new Affordable Care Act’s requirement for free birth-control services for millions of working women. * * *
The key dispute in this context thus appears to turn on whether the faith preferences of the owners of a profit-making corporation can be transferred to the business entity so that it is not an independent entity but rather, for constitutional purposes, is an alter ego. The Kortes argue that, since the couple owns 88 percent of the construction company, they do treat it as an alter ego to express their faith. And it appears that, at least for the time being, that claim has prevailed in the courts in their case.
However, other judges on other federal courts have disagreed, and have concluded flatly that a secular corporation cannot exercise religion, and have warned that the contrary conclusion could raise the prospect of scuttling many laws that protect employees’ workplace rights.
Justice Sotomayor herself noted the conflicting results that have been emerging in the contraceptives mandate cases. And she also commented that the challengers, once they have had their day in the lower courts, will be free to bring the issue back to the Supreme Court. Given the intensity of the courthouse controversy over the mandate, such an appeal is all but certain, thus posing at some point a profound new twist on whether “corporations are people.”