Yesterday, while taking questions from redditors and dodging nuts from the Republican National Convention, Barack Obama got a student debt question. Not just a student debt question, but specifically a law school student debt question. He got the question about one of the most important economic issues plaguing the very young people Obama was on Reddit to impress.
And he answered it.
He answered it in an annoying, vapid way that was replete with platitudes, yet devoid of any deep engagement with the issue. He got the question. And he answered it. But he said nothing at all.
The President offered some remarks about general indebtedness and waxed poetic about his commitment to education, but even Obama’s in-the-trenches appeal to young voters was blind to one of the biggest issues facing them.
Maybe if somebody Tweeted @BarackObama “discharge ed debt thru bk pls thx,” Obama could find a way to give 140 characters worth of a crap….
* Threatening a judge, even in song, is still threatening. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Obama’s White House microbrew is now the subject of a FOIA request. Instead of a bus tour, I think Obama should just travel around the country holding beer summits. [Legal Blog Watch]
* I’m pretty sure the social contract will be unenforceable in a Romney administration. It’s unenforceable in an Obama administration too, but Obama tries to seem sad about that. [Salon]
* I do hope that the GOP has some kind of “Rape: Accepted Definitions” seminar at their convention this week. They clearly don’t seem to understand what the term means, legally, as evidence by the Pennsylvania Republican who seems to think that a consensual out-of-wedlock pregnancy is kind of like rape. [TPM]
* Here are the top eight reasons people are stressed at work. I wonder if anybody wants to see the top eight reasons people are who are unemployed are stressed out. [Huffington Post]
* Yeah, I think we need to make it easier for people to get guns. Sure. Why not. It’s not easy enough to get a gun to carry out a mass shooting/turn a mass shooting into a mass shootout. [Forbes]
* We drafted one of the Above the Law fantasy football leagues last night (I hate my team). Professor Marc Edelman has a fun paper on the regulation of fantasy sports. I’m still pissed at him for causing me to have to spend $2 on my freaking kicker. [SSRN]
It’s not like she was emailing the President of the United States or someone genuinely important or busy. These are professors, and not professors of astrophysics or bioengineering. They are law professors. We take long vacations, eat out a lot, and study the insides of our eyelids frequently.
* What happens if a Supreme Court clerk violates the Code of Conduct and leaks information to the press at the behest of a justice? At worst, he’d probably be forced to wash dirty socks from the SCOTUS morning exercise class. [National Law Journal]
* “[T]he great expectations when he was elected have not come to fruition.” Making judicial nominations wasn’t a high political priority, so President Barack Obama will be ending his term with just 125 lower-court appointments in the federal judiciary. [New York Times]
* If there’s anything that Paul Ryan’s good at, it’s soliciting money from lawyers and Biglaw firms. Alston & Bird tops the list of legal campaign contributors, with Patton Boggs in a close second. [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]
* Apparently the female reproduction system shuts down to prevent conception upon rape. This improbable tidbit from a man who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. [Wall Street Journal]
* But a great way to take some of the heat off of the “legitimate rape” dude is to break news about another Congressman’s nude swim in the Sea of Galilee while in Israel. Excellent work on this distraction. [POLITICO]
* What crisis? Despite a steep decline in applicants, the average law school’s tuition will climb by more than double the rate of inflation this fall. It’s really heartwarming how they put students first. [National Law Journal]
* Customs agents in Los Angeles seized 20,457 pairs of faux Christian Louboutins that would’ve been worth approximately $18M. For this heinous crime of fashion, the offending shoes will undergo a trial by fire. [CNN]
* Karma sure is a Blitsch. Matthew Couloute, the alleged lawyerly Lothario who got slammed by his exes on LiarsCheatersRUs.com, is now being slammed by someone else: his soon-to-be ex-wife. [New York Post]
* Beauty school dropout, no pube hair trimming days for you! Seventeen female plaintiffs have alleged that a cosmetology instructor subjected them to less-than-sanitary lessons in a federal suit. [New York Daily News]
Let the record show that a person running for President of the United States has spent a week willfully misrepresenting the statement of the incumbent president.
The “you didn’t build that” comment has been grossly taken out of context. Everybody agrees that it’s been grossly taken out of context. And yet some people keep taking it out of context to advance a point that the president believes something that he never said. I’m honestly stunned that in the so-called greatest democracy in the world, we can’t even debate things that people have actually said.
But since that’s what people are talking about, we might as well meme it up. Our Comment of the Week does just that….
In the wake of the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado, President Obama cut short his campaign schedule and issued a call for unity. At an abbreviated stop in Florida, the president said:
I am so moved by your support, but there are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.
Good luck with that.
Our media and political environment don’t allow for reflection on much of anything in the best of times. What do you think is going to happen during an election year?
The Wall Street Journal is already wondering if this shooting is going to cause increased focus on gun laws. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out and said that both President Obama (whose administration has done nothing to restrict guns) and Mitt Romney need to clarify their positions on gun regulations. Meanwhile conservatives are criticizing anybody who brings up gun control for trying to “politicize” the moment.
I believe that tragedies are a bad time to make policy, and I choose to believe that no law could have stopped the actions of a madman who wants to kill teenagers in a movie theater. As Alfred said: “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” The suspect, James Holmes, allegedly had his hair painted and claimed he was the Joker.
I don’t think gun restrictions would have stopped this man (which doesn’t mean we had to make it easy for him).
If we’re going to reflect on something today, I’m not sure it’s useful to reflect on our laws, instead maybe we should reflect on our culture…
* “I think this is destined to fail.” People are not happy with the proposed settlement plan for former Dewey partners, but who are they kidding? These people don’t exactly like to part with money — not even to hand out bonuses. [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]
* Andrew Levander, a partner at Dechert LLP, is representing ex-Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond. Diamond hasn’t been charged with anything, but this white-collar defense lawyer’s apparently been on his side since 2010. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Money talks: lawyers and law firms are the top donors by industry to presidential campaign funds, with Kirkland & Ellis leading for Romney, and DLA Piper for Obama. [Capital Business Blog / Washington Post]
* Escándalo! Louis Freeh’s report revealed that PSU’s “seriously deficient” counsel billed a whopping 2.9 hours on an incident involving Jerry Sandusky’s locker room shower with a young boy. [Centre Daily Times]
* But here’s where the football chatter comes in (not that I know a lot about football): legal experts say Freeh threw an “incomplete” with this report, because it didn’t go far back enough in time. [New York Daily News]
* Sorry, lady, but you didn’t need to attend a Justin Bieber concert for his music to allegedly cause permanent damage to your ears to the tune of $9M. All you really needed to do was turn on the radio. [Chicago Tribune]
* The Obama campaign is going to court to fight for their big ‘O’ trademark. I guess their claim that Romney’s centrist pragmatism was infringing on Obama’s reputation as a practical moderate fell through once Romney started pandering to his base. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Obama’s win for health care reform didn’t result in a polling bump for him, but it did result in an even higher disapproval rating for SCOTUS, at least as far as Republicans are concerned… [POLITCO; CBS News]
* … which may be why Chief Justice John Roberts escaped to “an impregnable island fortress” to avoid the Right’s fury, criticism, and scorn as soon as he could after the ACA opinion dropped. [New York Times]
* “[W]e have learned from the mistakes that were made.” That lesson only cost a few billion dollars. GlaxoSmithKline will pay $3B in the largest health-care fraud settlement in U.S. history. [Wall Street Journal]
* After losing a bid to quash a subpoena, Twitter has to turn over info about an #OWS protester’s tweets. OMG, please respond to that thing in 140 characters or less. [Bloomberg]
* Unlike most recent law school grads, Yale Law’s Vanessa Selbst hasn’t been hedging her bets in bar prep classes. Instead, she went all in, played her cards right, and won $244K at the World Series of Poker. [ESPN]
* Divorce really does bring out the best in people. Alec Baldwin says that if given the chance, he would murder his ex-wife Kim Basinger’s lawyer “with a baseball bat.” Gee, tell us how you really feel. [New York Post]
Only two things are certain in life: death and taxes.
The Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Chief Justice John Roberts has upheld the individual mandate. But not under the Commerce Clause. Instead, Roberts has said that the law can proceed under Congress’s ability to tax.
It’s a tax. That thing that Democrats were trying so hard not to do so Republicans couldn’t call Obama a “tax and spend” Democrat is now called a tax by the Supreme Court. And now it’s a victory. Until the GOP starts saying that Obama “raised your taxes.”
I LOVE AMERICA. It’s so funny sometimes.
Oh, we’re going to have more coverage after the jump, including the vote breakdown (and other updates)….
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.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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