A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of a law, passed by the Texas legislature in May, that requires a woman seeking an abortion to receive a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure so she can see the baby’s features and hear its heartbeat. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks (left) of Austin ruled that the law, set to go into effect on September 1st, “compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen.”

Citizens in the Aloha State of Hawaii are seeking to challenge the restrictive gun regulations on the books on the basis that they violate Second Amendment rights. In a lawsuit mounted by Chris Baker, President of Hawaii Defense Foundation, Baker contends that Hawaii’s firearms licensing statutes and its other gun regulations are unconstitutional.

Declaring a First Amendment right to videotape police making an arrest in public, the federal First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has denied a police claim of immunity and allowed a civil rights suit against three Boston police officers to go forward. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Boston on behalf of Simon Glik, a Boston attorney who was arrested on the evening of October 1, 2007 for using his cellphone to record police officers making an arrest on the Boston Common.

A recent article in the Washington Post posited that the obstruction by the Congress of presidential recess appointments is unconstitutional.

This debate emerged in light of the fact that currently, there is a backlog of presidential appointments. There are two explanations for this. First, President Obama has yet to nominate people to fill various executive and judicial branch openings. For example, a new chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers has yet to be named and there are two empty seats on the Federal Reserve board. The second reason behind the logjam is the Senate’s reluctance to confirm those nominees already submitted by the President for that body’s approval.

At 5:30 p.m. on a Wednesday in June, Thomas James Ball of Holden, Massachusetts (left), drenched himself with gasoline and struck a match. He burned to death at the door of the courthouse in Keene, New Hampshire.