Late last week, Bill Mears of CNN wrote a helpful round-up of the best benchslaps from the Supreme Court’s most recent Term. It starts off:
One Supreme Court justice says his fellow conservatives are “too dismissive” of government efforts to ensure racial diversity in schools. Another more liberal member says those on the right did “serious violence” to a high school student’s free speech rights. And one conservative slams another for “faux judicial restraint.”
The Supreme Court hasn’t yet finished up for October Term 2006 (which should end tomorrow). The law clerks for October Term 2007 will start arriving next month. But many of them have already started hiring clerks for October Term 2008.
We reported on some of those hires back in this post. And now we have more to add:
1. Conservatives hoping for his retirement will be disappointed. Rumor has it Justice John Paul Stevens has hired all of his clerks for OT 2008. The only one whose name we have, however, is Lindsey Powell (Stanford 2007 / Garland).
2. Justice Antonin Scalia has hired Jameson Jones (Stanford 2007 / Sutton). Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a judicial superhottie, is turning into quite the feeder to his former boss.
3. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has hired at least one clerk for October Term 2008 — Miriam Seifter (Harvard 2007 / Garland) — and perhaps more.
So in terms of OT 2008, Stanford Law School and Judge Merrick B. Garland are off to a good start.
If you have more SCOTUS clerk hiring news to add, please email us (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”).
A list of OT 2008 law clerks thus far appears after the jump.
At issue in the SCOTUS’s decision today in Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd.[SCOTUSblogvia How Appealing] was the definition of the term “strong inference”, and therefore what the standard is for determining whether a plaintiff has met the pleading requirements as to scienter in a securities fraud case. Some mildly saucy benchslaps insued.
Justice Scalia expressed his disdain for the majority’s resolution to this issue (authored by Justice Ginsburg) this way in his concurring opinion:
If a jade falcon were stolen from a room to which only A and B had access, could it possibly be said there was a “strong inference” that B was the thief? I think not, and I therefore think that the Court’s test must fail. In my view, the test should be whether the inference of scienter (if any) is more plausible than the inference of innocence.
Well, I don’t know. If a Supreme Court justice uses a really bad analogy from an old movie, could it possibly be said that he had made a “strong argument?”
But Ginsburg wasn’t taking this lying down. Her benchslap back from n.5 of the majority opinion is after the jump.
Also, the SCOTUS issued two other opinions today:
Rita v. United States [SCOTUSblog via How Appealing]
Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Assn. v. Brentwood Academy [SCOTUSblog via How Appealing]
We’ve received some news about Supreme Court law clerk hiring for October Term 2008 (not the upcoming Term, but the one after that):
1. We had heard, through the grapevine, that Justice Antonin Scalia had started his OT 2008 interviewing earlier than usual. And it appears to have yielded at least one hire: Yaakov Roth (Harvard 2007 / Boudin).
Rumor has it that Roth has one of the highest GPAs in the history of Harvard Law School. So presumably he’s graduating summa cum laude — which happens once in a blue moon at HLS.
2. Justice Samuel Alito continues his trend of hiring from the ranks of his former Third Circuit clerks. Jack L. White (Pepperdine 2003 / Alito) will be reunited with his former boss for 2008-2009.
If you have more SCOTUS clerk hiring news to add, please email us (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”).
A list of OT 2008 law clerks thus far, combining what we’ve just learned with information currently reflected on Wikipedia, appears after the jump.
Time for some celebrity DWI news. It’s like your morning coffee: you can’t get your day started without it.
First, troubled underage starlet Lindsay Lohan (near right) — who is back in rehab, after a drunk driving arrest over the Memorial Day weekend — allegedly suffers from OxyContin addiction, according to her estranged dad, Michael Lohan.
On the one hand, Lohan’s felonious father may not be the most reliable source. But on the other hand, we’re talking about Lindsay Lohan.
Second, an update on someone whose misadventures we have followed quiteclosely in these pages: Ann Banaszewski (far right), daughter of Justice Antonin Scalia (far right). From the Chicago Tribune:
A daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia pleaded guilty Wednesday to drunken driving in Wheaton in February….
Banaszewski accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced by DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin to 18 months of court supervision. She also was ordered to perform 140 hours of public service (of which 40 hours must be beneficial to children), attend counseling and treatment sessions, attend a victim-impact panel and pay $1,500 in fines and fees.
Okay, make that yesterday. A reader email drew our attention to the saucy conclusion of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Roper v. Weaver:
The greatest harm is that done to AEDPA, since dismissing the writ of certiorari leaves the Eighth Circuit’s grossly erroneous precedent on the books. (That precedent, by the way, cannot be explained away—as perhaps the Court’s own opinion can—as the product of law-distorting compassion for a defendant wronged by a District Court’s erroneous action. As noted earlier, the Eighth Circuit was not informed of that erroneous action. It presumably really believes that this is the way AEDPA should be applied.)
Other courts should be warned that this Court’s failure to reverse the Eighth Circuit’s decision is a rare manifestation of judicial clemency unrestrained by law. They would be well advised to do unto the Eighth Circuit’s decision just what it did unto AEDPA: ignore it.
WHACK! As our correspondent notes: “Scalia manages to benchslap both the majority opinion and the 8th Circuit all in the same paragraph.”
Some of Justice Scalia’s colleagues get cheeky on occasion. Another tipster drew our attention to Part IV of Justice Stevens’s Bell Atlantic v. Twombly dissent — which Justice Ginsburg expressly declined to join, perhaps due to its ‘tude.
But at the end of the day, there’s no disputing this truth: When it comes to benchslaps, nobody does it like Nino. Roper v. Weaver [FindLaw] Bell Atlantic v. Twombly [FindLaw]
Here’s a first — A U.S. Supreme Court decision issued today has its own accompanying video: Talk about multimedia rulings! The Court’s opinion today in Scott v. Harris, No. 05-1631 — a dispute about the lawfulness of a high-speed police chase captured on video — appears online at the Supreme Court’s web site with this 91.7 MB RealPlayer video file. No word yet from the Court on whether the volume of U.S. Reports in which this decision will appear will include its own embedded video player.
The dueling opinions — Justice Scalia’s majority opinion, and Justice Stevens’s dissent — discuss the video extensively.
Some brief discussion, of the video and of the opinions, after the jump.
Anyone who has seen Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg knows that, although she’s big on law, she’s short on physical stature. Some of the employees who work around her in the Supreme Court Building find her diminutive size rather endearing and have taken to calling her Little Tweety Bird, a moniker they use only within their small circle.
But, lest you think that Ginsburg might rule such a nickname as “out of order,” that same circle insists that it’s a kind nickname, and one meant to reflect the notion that they feel very protective of Ginsburg.
Does that make Justice Scalia into Sylvester the Cat? Probably not. Justices Scalia and Ginsburg are close personal friends. They share a love of opera, and their families sometimes spend New Year’s Eve together.
We nominate Justice Thomas for the role of Sylvester the Cat. In the 1947 cartoon Tweetie Pie, the Sylvester the Cat character went by the name “Thomas.” MEOW! A nickname for Ginsburg [Washington Examiner / Yeas and Nays]
Oh no he didn’t… Oh yes he did! Check out this account of yesterday’s Supreme Court argument, by the AP:
Longtime Harvard law professor Arthur Miller (at right)… was arguing on behalf of shareholders who want to sue companies for fraud. Miller is a frequent television commentator, prolific writer and possibly the inspiration for an abrasive professor in a popular account of life at Harvard.
Justice Antonin Scalia and Miller were contemporaries at Harvard Law School in the late 1950s. Miller graduated in 1958, two years ahead of Scalia.
Scalia clearly was on the side of the companies, chiming in from time to time to make Miller’s difficult task a bit harder.
After one remark, Miller let loose: “Is that because you never met a plaintiff you really liked?”
OUCH. And it must have been ten times better in person:
There was laughter and an “ooh” from spectators. Justices Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas laughed for several seconds, even after arguments resumed.
Miller, perhaps sensing he crossed a line, quickly added, “I took a liberty there with the justice.”
Hey, have you read Above the Law for like one single minute in the past month? If so, you probably know that we’re having this big blogger conference on March 14th at the Yale Club. Yeah, the Yale Club. You’ll be able to recognize me: I’ll be the only big… blogger guy surreptitiously holding a can of crimson spray-paint.
Speaking of coming, you should come. We’ve got CLE and all that. Click here to buy tickets to get CLE credit for listening to bloggers scream about stuff on the internet.
To refresh your memory, details on the panel that I’m moderating — almost entirely sober, mind you — follow.
My panel is called Blogs as Agents of Change, and we’re going to talk about whether all of these spilled pixels are actually making a difference. You know my view… just ask Lawrence Mitchell, but here are the panelists:
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
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