AG outlines philosophy for judicial picks, independence

U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in remarks today laid out the criteria the Bush administration uses to select judges, as well as his view of what makes for a strong and independent judiciary. In what some are calling an attack on federal judges, Gonzales warned against jurists who use their position to make policy judgments, especially in the area of national security. He did, however, characterize efforts to retaliate against unpopular rulings as misguided and called on Congress to increase the number of judges and the salaries they are paid. Read the text of his speech:

http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/speeches/2007/ag_speech_070117.html

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/certlist_011607.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTONIO D. ADAMS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

William E. Robilio, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee for Appellant, Antonio Adams.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee for Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: CRAWFORD

Appellant appeals the Criminal Court of Shelby County's dismissal of his appeal from the Juvenile Court of Shelby County. The Criminal Court found that Appellant's notice of appeal was not timely filed under T.C.A. Section 37-1-159. Finding that the Appellant's appeal was timely, we reverse and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/adamsa_011707.pdf


Whether State Sick Leave Bank Constitutes a "Fringe Benefit Program" Under Federal Law

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-01-16

Opinion Number: 07-05

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-05.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

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Legislative News
Kurita explains lieutenant governor vote
In a Chattanoogan.com opinion piece, state Senator Rosalind Kurita, D-Clarksville, explains why she voted to elect Republican Ron Ramsey the new speaker of the Senate and state lieutenant governor.
Read her rationale
Politics
Governor Frist?
What's next for former Sen. Bill Frist? A Washington D.C. newspaper says he has his sights set on becoming Tennessee's next governor in 2010.
Read more in the Nashville Post
Legal News
Commission rules out special election, debates options
Some Knox County commissioners seemed ready to name replacements for 12 term-limited officeholders, while others meeting yesterday called for a special election. By the end of the day, however, a special election was ruled out based on word from the state coordinator of elections that the Tennessee constitution requires these replacements be appointed.
The News Sentinel has the story
Knox mayor proposes plan
In related news, Knoxville Mayor Mike Ragsdale today proposed an appointment process that would involve two special meetings of the commission as well as public hearings. Under his plan, new officials would take office Feb. 16.
The News Sentinel has the latest
Chattanooga Bar elects leaders, honors achievements
The Chattanooga Bar Association elected James M. Haley IV of Miller & Martin to be the association's president for the upcoming year during its 109th Annual Meeting today. The CBA also presented awards to a number of its members for service to the profession, the CBA and the community.
Learn more about officers and award winners
FISA court to govern wiretaps
The Bush administration has agreed to let a secret but independent panel of federal judges oversee the government's domestic spying program. Under the compromise, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court will have final say in approving wiretaps on communications involving people with suspected terror links, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced today.
Read more from the AP
Lawyers work to end Ford suit
Lawyers are working toward an agreement that could end state Sen. Ophelia Ford's lawsuit over her ouster from the legislature last year. Ford's lawyer informed presiding Judge Bernice Donald that he and the state attorney general's office are discussing an agreement that could end the suit.
The Tennessean has more
Morgan Co. clerk pleads guilty
Former Morgan County Clerk Tim Steelman pleaded guilty to felony theft and has been sentenced to four years in prison. However, the presiding judge granted a motion for judicial diversion, which means Steelman's record will be expunged if he successfully completes four years of probation.
The Roane County News has more
Ford, Peete denied council positions as Peete pleads 'not guilty'
Incoming Memphis city council chairman Tom Marshall has not assigned councilmen Edmund Ford or Rickey Peete, both of whom are accused of taking bribes, to chair committees this year. The Commercial Appeal reported that Ford railed against the decision saying the courts, not the council, should judge him. Meanwhile, Peete was in federal court today to plead not guilty to bribery and extortion charges.
Eyewitness News reports on the arraignment
Historic voting rights trial begins in Mississippi
The trial of white voters alleging discrimination by a majority black county executive committee began yesterday, marking the first time the U.S. Justice Department has used the 1965 Voting Rights Act to allege discrimination against whites.
Read more in the Clarion Ledger
Tenn. students, officials attend civics event
Daphne Greene from Doe Elementary School in Johnson County attended the Fourth Congressional Conference on Civics Education and presented her thoughts on authority, privacy, justice and responsibility. Other 5th and 6th grade students from the school, as well as state Senators Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and Janie Woodson, R-Knoxville, and Tennessee Legal Community Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Bill Haltom participated in the conference.
Visit the CCCE web site for conference details
Upcoming
Inaugural celebration set for Saturday
Governor Phil Bredesen will be sworn into office this Saturday at 11 a.m. CST at an outdoor ceremony on War Memorial Plaza. That evening, two inaugural balls will be held: the Pioneer Ball at the Wildhorse Saloon, a family-friendly venue, will begin at 7 p.m., while the Trailblazer Ball at B.B. King's Blues Club will begin at 8 p.m. Both balls are free, but tickets are required. Also on Saturday, three downtown Nashville attractions will open their doors to inauguration guests: the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the Adventure Science Center. Each will waive admission costs for those who show an inauguration ticket. For details on weekend activities visit the
governor's web site
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