“It’s going to be much harder to get hardline conservatives through,” says Michael Seidman, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Bush’s “history isn’t to move to the center much, but, then again, he’s never been in this situation.”
[S]ome political analysts and others don’t see the new crop of senators, many with reasonably conservative bents, significantly changing Senate voting patterns. Columbia University law professor Michael Dorf points to the Senate race in Rhode Island where moderate Republican Lincoln Chafee was ousted, and to the Pennsylvania and Virginia races, in which relatively conservative Democrats were voted in.
“These are really marginal changes,” says Mr. Dorf. In his opinion, the power-shift will be most visible at the committee level. “The Democrats will now be able to steer the process,” he says.
We’re somewhere in the middle. Our thoughts on the process, after the jump.
You can always count on the Ninth Circuit for a good old-fashioned judicial smackfest. And this latest one is very, very good.
Stepping into the ring are two of the Ninth Circuit’s most high-profile judges. On the left: Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the court’s liberal lion, who has been trading benchslaps with conservatives for decades. On the right: Judge Jay Bybee, one of the court’s newer (and more conservative) members. Luckily for him, Judge Bybee was confirmed to his life-tenured post shortly before eruption of the controversy over the 2002 Bush administration “torture memo” (which he signed).
From an article by Justin Scheck of The Recorder:
In March of 2005, Reinhardt and Bybee found themselves on a three-judge panel — together with Senior Judge Procter Hug Jr. — that heard the case of Roger Smith. Smith claimed that his guilty plea in the murder of Emmet Konzelman was no good since his supposed accomplice Jacob Edmonds — who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and testified against Smith — later recanted his testimony.
In his majority opinion, Reinhardt wrote that even though Smith had not exhausted his state claims, a rarely used exception should allow his case to move forward in federal court.
Par for the Reinhardt course. How did Bybee respond?
“I disagree with nearly every word the majority has written, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’ My profound disagreement is not limited to the facts, but runs throughout the majority opinion.”
Gee, Judge Bybee, tell us how you really feel!
And there’s more. Check out the rest, after the jump.
The Ninth Circuit may be getting slapped around by the Supreme Court lately. (Yeah, what else is new.) But they continue to go about their business. Keep on truckin’, Your Honors!
One of you was kind enough to attend a recent Ninth Circuit sitting — not just any old sitting, but the one graced by that judicial celebrity, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — and send us a detailed report.
That account of the oral argument — plus a bonus judicial sight-ation, and some added commentary from us — appears after the jump.
We realize we’re late on this, since the news broke on Friday. But at the time, we thought Purcell v. Gonzalez was just a run-of-the-mill Supreme Court ruling. We didn’t realize it featured delicious benchslaps of the Ninth Circuit, the lower court whose decision was vacated.
The state of Arizona adopted a rule for next month’s elections requiring most voters to show photo identification before casting their ballots. Such rules, adopted by other states as well, are generally supported by Republicans — who view them as helping to cut down on voter fraud — and opposed by Democrats — who believe they may deter poor, elderly, disabled or minority voters from voting.
A legal challenge to the picture ID rule was mounted in Arizona. Some background about the case, from the L.A. Times:
In May, the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters and several other civil rights groups sued to block the voter identification rule from being enforced Nov. 7. They called the rule a “21st century poll tax” because it could force some poor voters to purchase photo ID cards….
A federal judge refused to block the law from taking effect, but on Oct. 5, a two-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued an order saying the law could not be enforced for the upcoming election. The appeals court did not explain its ruling.
Arizona’s attorney general asked the Supreme Court to intervene. And on Friday afternoon, the high court issued a six-page opinion that set aside the 9th Circuit’s order. It noted that the 9th Circuit’s “bare order” did not give a good reason for blocking the law from taking effect.
That’s a charitable description of the Supreme Court’s treatment of the Ninth Circuit. Here’s an excerpt from the opinion itself:
On October 5, after receiving lengthy written responses from the State and the county officials but without oral argument, the panel issued a four-sentence order enjoining Arizona from enforcing Proposition 200’s provisions…. The Court of Appeals offered no explanation or justification for its order. Four days later, the court denied a motion for reconsideration. The order denying the motion likewise gave no rationale for the court’s decision.
Translation: “Despite receiving oodles and oodles of briefing from state and county officials, the Ninth Circuit stopped Arizona from enforcing its rule — without even bothering to give the state its day in court. Then, when asked to rethink their decision, those Ninth Circuit morons just said ‘NO’ — again without bothering to explain themselves.”
The discussion continues, after the jump.
* “Surfing champion Sunny Garcia… looked gloomy as the sentence was handed down.” Nice. [CNN]
* Justice O’Connor sat by designation on the Ninth Circuit this week. She must have had so much fun the last time she flipped a coin in California , she’s back for more. [San Jose Mercury-News]
* Another swing justice in NoCal. Justice Kennedy: “[T]he verdict on democracy is still out.” Didn’t he give this speech somewhere before? [San Francisco Chronicle]
* “The only thing missing from [Wednesday's] three-judge Third Circuit oral argument panel was any judge from the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.” [How Appealing]
* Busy bees at the SEC: Civil securities-fraud suits against former execs of Delphi Corp. are expected soon. [Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]
* Poor Dick Grasso. The former New York Stock Exchange chairman must return about $100 million of his $139.5 million payout. [New York Times]
* A federal judge has ordered that Vice President Dick Cheney’s visitor logs be opened. There’s at least one name that won’t be on there. [Associated Press]
* The Ninth Circuit has issued an opinion and order upholding a conscience-shocking 159-year sentence it wishes it didn’t have to affirm. Our opinion is saying no, but our order is saying yes, yes, yes! [Los Angeles Times via How Appealing]
* The world of law school rankings used to be so innocent. With all the Big Ten schools in Group 1, it’s like this year’s football rankings. [TaxProf Blog]
* Apparently blogs contain “sexually explicit language, libelous or defamatory commentary, and outrageous language.” ATL apologizes to all affected employees of the Interior Department. [Federal Times via Volokh Conspiracy]
* Hey, just as long as they don’t crack down on fantasy football websites. [Baltimore Business Journal]
* Speaking of which, if there are two things lawyers and law students while away their non-billables doing, they’re reading ATL and managing fantasy football teams. So you might as well get some advice on the latter from the former. It’s the year of the WR, so start looking at picking up a sleeper such as Berrian, Jennings, Johnson, Cotchery, Brown, Furrey, Jurevicius, Clayton 1, Clayton 2 . . .
* Looks like Kelo v. New London is this year’s defense of marriage, paving the way for eminent domain’s debut on 12 state ballots. [Christian Science Monitor]
* From “[t]he state that gave the world butterfly ballots and the hanging chad,” get ready for another front in the battle of the ballot. How about this: “Dear voters, in order to cast your ballot for the Republican candidate, please mark the box beside ‘Pat Buchanan.’” [Reuters]
* Medical marijuana can prevent Alzheimer’s, apparently. “Those afflicted with Alzheimer’s suffer from memory loss, impaired decision-making,” and misinterpreting commerce clause jurisprudence. [CNN]
Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain’s current law clerks, a merry band: Vincent Kalafat, from Notre Dame; Rod Forter, from Columbia; Marah Stith, from Yale (blogged about supra); and Father Bill Dailey, from Columbia.
Well, Ninth Circuit and O’Scannlain groupies, we’ve come to the end of the road. This is our last batch of pictures from our delightful weekend in Portland, Oregon, attending DFOpalooza.
After the Friday night reception at the Pioneer Courthouse, and the Saturday night dinner at the Town Club, the weekend concluded with a farewell brunch at the O’Scannlain residence. The weather couldn’t have been better, and many guests sat out on the expansive judicial patio, where they enjoyed wonderful brunch fare (including an amazing artichoke-and-chicken dish that was nothing short of a revelation).
More pictures, after the jump.
Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, Mrs. Maura O’Scannlain, and two decades’ worth of law clerks and judicial assistants. (We apologize for the less-than-stellar quality of this pic. If you live in the D.C. area and would like to give us a tutorial in digital photography, email us.)
Our photo essay about the historic Pioneer Courthouse, in Portland, Oregon, is complete . But our coverage of “DFOpalooza” — the delightful weekend of events celebrating Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain’s20th judicial anniversary — isn’t quite done.
After the jump, more fun photographs. We traveled across the country to be there, so we intend to milk it for all it’s worth. And, of course, it’s good publicity for our awesome former boss.
If you’re a federal judge who’s wondering, “Why isn’t my law clerk reunion being covered this lavishly?”, there’s a solution: Invite us to your next one! (Hey Frank — we hear your house in Alaska is pretty sweet.)
No, we didn’t forget about our little caption contest. But we almost did, due to the paucity of entries. The runaway winner: Schopenhauerian, our “celebrity commenter” here at ATL.
Here is his — or her? — winning entry, to accompany the photo shown above:
Meet legal supergeniuses Emily and Mandy, the youngest clerks in the history of the Supreme Court.
After earning her JD from Harvard Law summa cum laude, Emily previously clerked for Judge Kozinski. Mandy, first in her class at Stanford Law, served in the office of Solicitor General Paul Clement and went on to clerk for Judge Luttig. Emily’s interests include comparative constitutional law, baton twirling, 18th century German literature, and roller skating. She has also written extensively on all aspects of international arbitration law. Mandy specializes in federal jurisdiction and statutory interpretation, and is the world’s leading authority on “My Little Pony” collectibles.
What clinched it for us: the “My Little Pony” shout-out. We have a weakness for all things MLP.*
And Schopenhauerian gets bonus points for the superior graphics skills demonstrated in this photoshop masterpiece:
Yes, ladies, he really is this handsome. Sorry, he’s taken. From left to right: Professor William Birdthistle; Mark Schneider, an AUSA in Chicago; Ninth Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain; Brian Murray (OT 2002/Scalia); Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Cohn (OT 2000/Thomas); Carol Murray (we think); Cindy Zmijewski Demers (in profile); Ryan W. Bounds, of the Office of Legal Policy (and the Office of Sartorial Counsel).
For those of you who don’t like eye candy (of the admittedly blurry kind), you’ll be happy to know that this is the last in our series of photo essay posts about the historic Pioneer Courthouse, in Portland, Oregon. The prior installments can be accessed here (scroll down).
The latest batch of pictures, showing former O’Scannlain law clerks on a judge-led tour of the renovated Pioneer Courthouse, appear after the jump.
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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