PLENTY OF APPELLATE GOINGS AND DOINGS
[Posted April 28, 2008] Theres plenty of news these days in the appellate courts that sit in the Commonwealth. Heres a sampling:
- The US Senate has placed Justice Agees Fourth Circuit nomination on a fast track, with a Judiciary Committee hearing set for this Thursday, May 1. Given his approval by both
- The General Assembly last week finally did what it should have done long ago, and reappointed Court of Appeals Judges Bob Humphreys and Jean Clements. In an embarrassment for the entire Commonwealth, Judge Humphreys was technically unemployed for eight days before being reappointed (his election was made retroactive to April 16, so he wont lose seniority or a paycheck). Judge Clementss term would have expired in June, but shes good for several years now.
- Combining the previous two stories, if Justice Agee does become Judge Agee some time this summer, then Governor Kaine will probably be the one to fill the slot, at least in the short run. Such an appointment would only extend until 30 days after the beginning of the next General Assembly session, as with last years gubernatorial appointments of Justice Goodwyn and Judge Millette. Those two jurists avoided Judge Humphreyss fate back in February with a last-day reappointment by both houses.
- Today, the Fourth Circuit hands down a ruling affirming the denial of summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds in an arrest situation. The case is
v. Rephann, and involves a 280-pound deputy sheriff who used a taser twice on a 100-pound arrestee who had been hobbled for transport to lockup, by a device placed around her ankles. The court finds that the deputys use of the stun gun on the woman was wanton, sadistic, and not a good faith effort to restore discipline. Judge Shedd writes a separate concurring opinion to emphasize the applicability of Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence, as contrasted with the Fourth, to this case. Orem
Last week, the CAV handed down four more published opinions. Ill write about those tomorrow, in conjunction with my analysis of the cases I expect will be decided then.