Alex Kozinski

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski

Supreme Court precedent supports the appearance of federal judges in works of filmed or staged entertainment. For example, back in 1997, Justice Harry Blackmun played Justice Joseph Story in Amistad (as you can see in Justice Blackmun’s IMDb profile). More recently, in 2009, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had cameos in a performance at the Washington National Opera.

We all know how much the Ninth Circuit loves to follow the Supreme Court. So should it be surprising that the Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit, will be appearing in a feature film this fall?

And no, it’s not a documentary about the legal system. It’s a fiction-based, feature film….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Star Is Born: Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, Coming To A Movie Theater Near You”

No more misleading stats.

* The ABA adopted a rule that law school data must not be “misleading.” That rule of course means nothing unless the ABA has the will to enforce it. [American Bar Association]

* Posner, gay porn, and the future of the internet. Oh yeah, you’re clicking on this link. [Hollywood Reporter]

* Some Penn State trustees are filing an appeal over their NCAA sanctions. Yeah, because we really want a higher power to take a closer look at PSU. [ESPN]

* Alex Kozinski kind of apologizes for the 9th Circuit judicial conference in Maui. Kind of. [9th Cir. via How Appealing]

* I was in the opening segment of the new Planet Mancow show with Erich “Mancow” Muller. Apparently, I’m the only guy who thinks an Escape from New York scenario where everybody is armed is a bad thing. [Planet Mancow]

* Media bias isn’t necessarily what you think it is. [The Atlantic]

* Vietnam is now getting on the right side of history. A song, played on a same sex saxophone. A gay man sound, a lesbian sound, a cry that tells us love isn’t just for heteros. It’s telling me, to hold you tight, and dance like homophobia makes no sense in the world. [WSJ Law Blog]

* If corporations are people, that means they also get to have religion. We can’t be too far away from social conservatives trying to ban same-industry corporate mergers. [The Atlantic]

* Yeah, what I really want to hear is a 0L giving advice about how to choose which law school to go to. [Huffington Post]

* Once again, Romney really seems to support some kind of government-mandated health insurance so long as he’s not talking to Americans while he’s running for President. [Wonkblog / Washington Post]

* Whistling at whales could be a crime, because you don’t want to encourage them. No, I’m not making a BBW joke. I’m talking about actual whales. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* So if we ban illegal immigrants from getting government assistance for an abortion, then aren’t we kind of supporting anchor babies? [Associated Press]

* Lat and friend model t-shirts designed by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (for His Honor’s Romanian barbecue). [Twitter]

While we wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) — by the way, live audio or video coverage would be nice — let’s pick up where we left off yesterday, with coverage of the latest Supreme Court clerk hiring.

We’ll start with some analysis of the October Term 2012 law clerks, now that we know who they are, and then show you the updated law clerk lists for OT 2012 and OT 2013….

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Judge Paul Watford

Congratulations to the newest member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Honorable Paul J. Watford. On Monday, Watford, currently a 44-year-old partner at the super-elite Munger Tolles & Olson, was confirmed to the federal bench. The vote was 61-34, and it came after a bit of drama in the Senate.

It’s surprising that Watford’s nomination was so contentious, given that he has a number of backers from the right side of the aisle. As noted by the San Francisco Chronicle, “[h]is supporters included conservative UCLA law Professor Eugene Volokh, who has described Watford as brilliant and ideologically moderate, and attorney Jeremy Rosen, former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the conservative Federalist Society” (and a noted appellate lawyer, who has appeared before in these pages).

That’s not all. Watford clerked for Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, one of a handful of prominent conservative or libertarian judges on the (generally liberal) Ninth Circuit. If you look at the ranks of former Kozinski clerks, you’ll see many members in good standing of the vast right-wing conspiracy (and some who are not, like Paul Watford — who went on to clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and was nominated to the Ninth Circuit by a Democratic president).

Now that the handsome Watford has joined his superhottie boss on the bench, we have a trivia question: Who is the circuit judge with the most former law clerks to join him on the Court of Appeals during his lifetime?

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The federal judiciary recently lost two of its most distinguished members. One was a trial judge on the East Coast, and one was an appellate judge on the West Coast (as well as the nation’s longest-serving federal appellate judge).

Both were leading lights of the Article III judiciary. They will be deeply missed by their courts; their clerks, current and former; and their colleagues….

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Majority opinions are hardly sitting ducks for the criticism dissentals may heap on them. If a panel majority finds that a dissental scores some valid points, it can modify its opinion to eliminate the problem, something that happens regularly in the Ninth Circuit. Indeed, fear that internal criticisms will be taken public often causes judges to moderate outlier opinions so as to present a smaller target for public criticism and possible certiorari. One of us (yes, the hot one) is even aware of a case where the panel withdrew its opinion and reversed the result, after winning the en banc vote, in the teeth of a stinging dissental.

– Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.) and his former law clerk, James Burnham of Jones Day, in a Yale Law Journal online essay entitled I Say Dissental, You Say Concurral (defending the practice of filing a dissental, aka dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc).

(Additional discussion, after the jump.)

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The law is for muppets!

– Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, at a Fordham Law moot court competition. According to a tipster, Judge Kozinski was alluding to the very public resignation of Greg Smith from Goldman Sachs last week, in the course of dismissing a student’s point that the panel should rely solely on the law to decide the case.

Montana Chief Judge Richard Cebull

Montana Chief Judge Richard Cebull started the first day of the rest of his life today. The judge who sent around a racist and sexist email about Barack Obama and the president’s dead mother started the “damage control” process that will never really end.

Richard Cebull could emancipate slaves and everybody would still know he’s a racist. Obviously, his family and friends already knew he was racist, but now the general public gets to know. There’s nothing for it now. Whether or not he will still be allowed to have a job is pretty much all he can fight for.

And he is: he’s voluntarily asked the Ninth Circuit to review his conduct. And he’s written a letter of apology to President Obama — who is rapidly on his way to becoming the most poorly treated president in American history (even though the last one was openly thought to be mentally retarded, and the one before that was impeached for getting a BJ).

But we’ll get to all that. First, free of charge, I’m going to slow down long enough let everybody catch up to why the original letter was racist, and why sending the thing makes Cebull a racist, too….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Richard Cebull Day Two: Time for the Cebullsh** Apology”

* John Edwards’s heart condition has improved, so his campaign finance trial will begin in April. Your heart condition would be more manageable, too, if you knew your sex tapes were going to be destroyed. [Bloomberg]

* Despite his love of all things fabulous (like peep-toe shoes), Proposition 8 plaintiffs don’t want Chief Judge Alex Kozinski to hear their arguments on an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* Instead of filing a motion to dismiss like Cooley and NYLS, Florida Coastal School of Law has removed its law school lawsuit to federal court. Will this be the start of a new trend? [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* A witness claims that Dharun Ravi “appeared uncomfortable” because his roommate was gay — so uncomfortable that he allegedly set up a webcam to watch his intimate encounters. That makes sense. [CNN]

* Objection! Lindsay Lohan is hosting Saturday Night Live, but her lawyer had to approve all of her skits. What a shame. Bobby Moynihan would’ve been great as Judge Sautner. [Daily Dish / San Francisco Chronicle]

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