Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Suit Filed In An Attempt to Stop Inauguration Prayer

The same man who was unsuccessful in trying to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegience has filed a federal action attempting to stop a prayer from being said at George Bush's inauguration next week. Here's the complaint. Here is the Rev. Michael Newdow's page with links to more documents. This info came courtesy of the Jurist blawg.

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UPDATE: 4:05pm - Fox News reported that the above challenge was rejected

Federal Sentencing Guidelines Decision

Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court in part, in which Scalia, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court in part, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O’Connor, Kennedy, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed an opinion dissenting in part, in which Souter, J., joined, and in which Scalia, J., joined except for Part III and footnote 17. Scalia, J., and Thomas, J., filed opinions dissenting in part. Breyer, J., filed an opinion dissenting in part, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O’Connor and Kennedy, JJ., joined.

Once you get past the above, try getting through the massive opinion. Maybe just wait a few weeks for someone more knowledgable to pick it apart for you. (As for me, I'm looking for subtitles)

UNITED STATES V. BOOKER (04-104)

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Attorney General Enters Into Two Settlements

Attorney General Jim Petro announced that Ohio and 42 other states have entered into a settlement with the National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA) concerning its use of collected personal information from high school student surveys.

The other settlement requires Alyon Technologies Inc. and Telcollect Inc., who provide billing and collection services for some adult Web sites, to change the way they do business. Here was the scam: a May 2003 lawsuit alleged that the companies would start billing consumers after unsuspecting adults or minors, without permission, opened pop-up windows or spam that automatically downloaded modem dialer software onto their computers. That software was used to dial-up the Alyon billing gateway to access adult material. Alyon captured the phone number, matched it with a name and address and then billed the consumers $4.99 per minute, allegedly without the consumers’ knowledge or consent. The settlement requires the companies to make significant changes to their practices and to pay Ohio and 22 other states a total of $285,000 to settle the May 2003 lawsuit.

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It's Not About Ohio Law But...

...I can't wait for my new iPod Shuffle to be delivered. Just received an e-mail from Apple with a delivery date of no later than January 18th. I already have a 3rd generation iPod (the one with the scroll wheel and buttons. The newer ones have a click wheel). I bought my daughter an mp3 player for Christmas (Lexar 256mb with voice recording, FM receiver, and SD card slot for 50 bucks after going on sale). She loves it and I was impressed with its singular lack of heft. Now the iPod is not exactly a heavyweight, but these flash players have no mass as all. I really like the simplicity of Apple's new flash player. I ordered the 512mb for $99, shipped free. It has a USB adapter on one end, no screen, and holds about 120 songs. Battery life is 12 hours. The tag line for the product is "Life is Random." That is because you don't have a screen. Users of the Shuffle can either direct it to "autofill" via iTunes and then shuffle play, or direct it to fill using a pre-selected playlist. Random it is. Last thing: the Shuffle weighs .78 of an ounce. Sweet.

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Trial Date Set for Man Accused in Mall Bomb Plot

With about 70 members of the Somali community sitting in silent support, Nuradin Abdi, accused of plotting to blow up a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio, was arraigned and scheduled for a trial that will begin on September 12, 2005. Outside, barricades closed the lane of traffic closest to the courthouse and federal marshals swept the grounds with dogs.

The case will be tried in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio located in Columbus. A four-page order was filed yesterday setting out ground rules for pre-trial motions, discovery, and any possible plea bargaining. The document is available on PACER. Search for the last name "Abdi" or the docket number 2:04-CR-00088-ALM. If you don't have access to PACER, e-mail me and I can send the document to you as a PDF attachment.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ohio's Best Rx Open for Business

Ohio's "Best Rx" is a prescription drug discount card program designed to lower the cost of prescriptions for Ohio residents without prescription drug insurance coverage who are either aged 60 and over or any age with incomes less than 250% of the federal poverty level. The program is the result of legislation passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by the Governor in December 2003. According to the FAQ, the program will be funded by state dollars at first. Over time, however, it is expected to be self-funded by obtaining rebates from drug manufacturers and collecting a small administrative fee (no more than one dollar for each prescription) from Ohio's Best Rx participants. Almost all the amount of each rebate will be passed onto participants in the form of lower prescription costs.

I think we'll have to see about that. These "self-funded" programs almost always have a way putting thier hands deeper into the taxpayers pockets than was originally intended.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Ohio Election Challenge Cases Voluntarily Dismissed

The contestors of the Ohio election results for president (04-2088), and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio (04-2106) have moved to voluntarily dismiss the suits today. The motions must still be ruled upon, but it is likely they will be looked upon favorably.

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UPDATE: Here is a story link.

Library Book Returned...78 Years Late

The due date was April 14, 1927. The fine was up to $549 when a Huntsville, Ala. man found a book within some materials belonging to his late parents. The Akron-Summit County Public Library now has its copy of The Book of the National Parks back within its collection. I bet some things have changed since the book was first published. Click here for the story from the Akron Beacon Journal.

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Google and Usenet

An announcement from Google states that the ubiquitous search mechanism has fully integrated the past 20 years of Usenet archives into Google Groups, which now offers access to more than 800 million messages dating back to 1981. That, as they say, is impressive. The page referenced above also offers a historical timeline with links to Usenet messages such as the first mention of Apple's Lisa, early references to "emoticons," and even a link to the first "Me Too" post.

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Microsoft Introduces New Anti-Spyware Tool

In its never-ending battle to show the world that it really, really cares about the security of machines running Windows operating systems, Microsoft is now offering its own anti-spyware product called Microsoft AntiSpyware. Now, anything that Microsoft does to help out our beleaguered spyware-ridden machines is a good thing, unless it causes more problems by installing it (read: Service Pack 2 and some of the seucrity patches for Windows XP). However, in this instance, Microsoft AntiSpyware may be the real deal. I saw a positive review that compared it with current free anti-spyware giants Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy. The beta version of the product can be found here. This version is free, and I'm not sure what the cost will eventually be, but they should give it away for free in perpetuity.

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Monday, January 10, 2005

Thumbs Down on Traficant Appeal

Described as being known for his "flamboyant speeches" and "unkempt hair", former U.S. Representive James Traficant's appeal to the United States Supreme Court is not going to be heard. Traficant was appealing his 2002 conviction on bribery and racketeering charges that also ousted him from the House of Representatives. See Traficant v. United States, No. 04-685. Mr. Traficant's fate is listed on page 6 of the January 10, 2005 orders issued by the United States Supreme Court. One line and you're gone. Unkempt hair, indeed.

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CBS News Fires Four Over "Memogate"

CBS News fired four employees concurrent with the release of the 234-page independent report chronicling the fiasco with purportedly forged memos dealing with President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service. Yow, that was a mouthful. Here is the report.

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