ACLU

It’s one of life’s great unanswered questions: Is cheerleading a sport? Soon a federal judge in Connecticut will make a ruling in a Title IX case that may help solve this age-old mystery. From the New Haven Register:

It is unclear whether federal judge Stefan R. Underhill will offer an opinion on whether competitive cheerleading is a viable varsity sport or not. But, Underhill will have to decide whether Quinnipiac University can truly count it as one in his decision in the case of the women’s volleyball team against the school.

The two sides of the lawsuit brought before the U.S. District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union to determine if Quinnipiac violated Title IX parameters debated the merits of competitive cheerleading for much of Tuesday’s session, the second day of testimony.

Says the (male) tipster who sent this along:

I’d love to work on this trial… the exhibits could be great.

One of the cheerleading experts for the volleyball plaintiffs offered a spirited argument against cheerleading as a sport, comparing it to chess.

Please. Could Bobby Fischer do what those women above are doing for the Indians?

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As we mentioned in Morning Docket, the lawsuits are coming for Arizona’s new immigration law. First up, the ACLU. Bloomberg reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union is leading a court challenge to Arizona’s new law targeting illegal immigration, claiming the measure would allow unconstitutional racial profiling by police.

A group of civil rights organizations led by the ACLU also alleges that the law interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to a complaint filed today in federal court in Phoenix. The group claims in addition that the statute infringes the free-speech rights of day laborers in the state.

It’s not surprising that the ACLU is taking the first shot at this. The Department of Justice might not be far behind….

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Don’t be misled by the photo — this isn’t another post about Snooki. It’s about Constance McMillen (pictured), a lesbian high schooler who wanted to bring her girlfriend to the high school prom.

(Query from Elie: Is “lesbian high schooler” the politically correct way to say “girls’ hockey team”?)

The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Both sides are claiming victory from a federal judge’s ruling Tuesday on a Mississippi school board’s decision to cancel the prom rather than allow a lesbian student to attend with her girlfriend.

U.S. District Court Judge Glen Davidson denied 18-year-old senior Constance McMillen’s request to reinstate the prom, noting “the court cannot go into the business of planning and overseeing a prom.”

To paraphrase Justice Blackmun: From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of teenage sex.

So if Judge Davidson declined to “so order” a high school prom, how can McMillen claim victory?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “You Can Dance If You Want To (Unless You’re a Lesbian)
Judge declines to order school to hold prom.

Idaho college of law logo.JPGThe administration at the University of Idaho, College of Law, is dealing with a spate of hate inspired incidents. The news coming out from Idaho is all fairly grotesque; federal authorities have been alerted to the potentially dangerous problems on campus.
In an email to all Idaho law students, associate dean Elizabeth Brandt explains that the problems started in August:

Dear Students,
I am writing to give you the details of a series of events that have occurred in the law building since last August.
The first incident occurred shortly before school started in August. At that time, students discovered that someone had gouged out the eyes of a student in a photo posted on the ACLU bulletin board next to the elevator on the ground floor near the café. The person whose picture was defaced is an LGBT rights and ACLU activist. At the time, we believed that this might be a prank, but that it also might be malicious. Dean Albertson-Ploucha and I sent an email at the time letting you know that items on the ACLU bulletin board had been defaced, cautioning that such conduct was unprofessional, threatening and potentially illegal, and encouraging support for the diverse law school community.

As we understand it, there is no evidence that the tasteless acts were committed by Idaho law students.
But sadly, whoever is frightening the community didn’t stop in August …

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Jeez. Even we are sick of this story — and that’s saying a lot.
But apparently some folks think, despite the endless navel-gazing and handwringing over the (canceled) visit of Dr. Li-ann Thio to NYU Law School, that there is more to be said here.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Let’s Talk Even More About Dr. Li-ann Thio”

pirate ship.jpg* Kenya has emerged as the chosen venue to try piracy cases. This article is worth it just for the quotes from the Kenyan piracy lawyer. Just try to imagine how much cooler your life would be if you were a Kenyan Piracy lawyer instead of a Biglaw associate. [The New York Times]

* Florida Judge Thomas Stringer worked for years to establish himself as a trusted, competent man. “then last spring, the well-respected, married judge suddenly found his face splashed beside that of a troubled exotic dancer in a kimono,” including here at ATL, of course. Amazing. [The Associated Press]

* Attorney General Eric Holder dodged alternating attacks on Capitol Hill Thursday, with some Congressman telling him to release more documents on Bush-era torture, and some telling him to stop releasing them. [CNN]

Scarlet Pumpkin Sign.jpgWe previously discussed Maryland’s Halloween sex offender ordinance, which requires convicted sex offenders to turn off their lights and display the sign (shown to the right) warning children to stay away on Halloween.

Missouri has a similar law. They require sex offenders stay inside between 5 and 10:30 p.m., prohibits them from participating in Halloween related activities, and wants them to turn down the lights and post a “no candy here” sign.

According the WSJ Law blog, District Judge Carol Jackson struck down parts of the law yesterday. In particular, the judge was concerned with the vagueness of the law:

Apparently, Judge Jackson was concerned that in some cases, parents could be punished for Halloween activities with their own children, such as “carving a pumpkin in the privacy of your kitchen with your 5-year-old child.” She questioned whether such parents might have to send their kids away on Halloween to avoid prosecution. “It’s not too much to expect criminal laws to be clear,” she said.

The judge did not note what many of our commenters already have: telling sex offenders to turn down the lights is a terrible idea.

Seriously, the whole thought process behind trampling civil liberties requiring these extra regulations for convicted sex offenders is the fear about sex offender recidivism. If we are truly worried that sex offenders are ticking time bombs waiting to explode all over little children, shouldn’t their houses remain well-lit at all times?

Also, why should sex offenders be forced to stay home on Halloween? It seems like a great time for them to fulfill their Megan’s Law requirements, just like Will Forte suggested.

Halloween & the Law: Targeting Sexual Offenders [WSJ Law Blog]

Earlier: The Scarlet Pumpkin

susan herman aclu.jpgOn Saturday the American Civil Liberties Union elected a new president, Susan Herman.

She’s a constitutional law professor at Brooklyn Law School and had served as the ACLU’s general counsel prior to this promotion. It has been a long time since ACLU leadership changed hands:

Herman’s selection gives the organization a new public face for the first time in nearly two decades. Nadine Strossen, the ACLU’s longest-serving president and the first woman to hold the job, had led the group since 1991, overseeing a substantial rise in formal membership and national staff.

Herman intends to spearhead the organization’s outreach to the African-American community, and she believes that her professorial background will help encourage young people to become card-carrying members.

More on Susan Herman’s background after the jump.

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Scarlet Pumpkin Sign.jpgTrue story: when I was 8-years-old living on Long Island I went trick-or-treating with my friends without adult supervision. On the way home, my bag full of goodies, I got jumped by a group of older kids. My “friends” were busy running away while I tried to “reason” with the bullies. Sensing the these boys were not going to listen to rational arguments I took my faux briefcase (I was going as Ted Kennedy) and knocked one of the bullies right on the temple. Unfortunately, they were many and I was 8. No candy for me that Halloween.

Since then, I’ve always considered it amazingly stupid for parents to let their kids gambol through the night unattended. It’s a pagan holiday and bad stuff can happen.

If more parents followed this basic safety tip, the sign to the right would not be necessary. Our friend at f/k/a explains:

[It's] the sign that sex offenders must display at their homes in Maryland this Halloween. According to the Times, the bright orange pumpkin is the symbol sex offenders “are required to post on their doors with a warning, in capital letters, to trick-or-treaters: ‘No candy at this residence’.” In addition to posting the sign, the offenders must stay at home, turn off outside lights and not answer the door. Some states prohibit sex offenders from decorating the outside of their homes. But, Maryland is mandating this colorful and “attractive” Halloween decoration.

I’m sure many people can appreciate the practicality of not having your kids sidle up to a convicted sex offender’s house on All Hallows Eve. But should people who have ostensibly “paid their debt” to society be forced to decorate their house because some idiot child might come around begging for food?

More analysis after the jump.

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champagne glasses small.jpgThe theme of yesterday’s LEWW was the hotness disparity between three glowing brides and their very lucky grooms. Today we’re delighted to report that the wedding gods stepped it up with our most recent batch of newlyweds. They’ve brought us four grooms who are at least as attractive as their brides or co-grooms. (And needless to say, all six of our newlyweds have the shiny credentials that you’ve come to expect from the Legal Eagle Wedding Watch.)
On to the finalists! Here they are:

1. Joanna Schwab and Nathan Pusey

2. Joseph Loy and Michael Kavey

3. Zoe Palitz and Brian Goldman

Click on the link below to find out more about these couples.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 8.17: Gynomite!”

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