Election Law

God, I love living in New York. Other cities think they’re “diverse.” Other cities think they have “racial tolerance.” Other cities don’t have diddle squat on NYC. I once saw a Puerto Rican call a ginger a “dumb sounding mic” and a black woman fired back with, “Why don’t you shut up before we all start thinking of names for you!” (Note: that woman was a little crazy; she left the subway banging some dude with her purse because he “bumped” her.) I once saw a meek-looking woman in a skirt suit ask a guy to blow his cigar smoke somewhere else, and the smoker said, “F*** you,” and the woman wheeled around, motioned to her crotch, and said, “Oh, better men have tried,” in an accent that suddenly sounded like she just rolled off a dock in Brooklyn.

In New York City, the majority race is “New Yorkers.” Sure, black New Yorkers have a harder time getting a cab, white New Yorkers have a harder time going to the movies without audience participation, but in so many ways the experience of living in NYC defines us more than our races, colors, and creeds.

So, it makes perfect sense to me there is a move to allow New York City residents to vote together, regardless of what country they come from or whether they are U.S. citizens. We don’t care about U.S. citizenship, we care about New York citizenship. To quote The Paper (the most underrated movie of my lifetime: “I don’t f***ing live in the f***ing world! I live in f***ing New York City! So go f**k yourself!”

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A minor scandal is brewing in Las Vegas. In a city known for its impeccable ethics and strictly above-board dealings, the legal community is astir over suggestions that a nominee to the federal bench earned her nomination by engineering a windfall for her political sponsor, Senator Harry Reid, with conveniently-timed donations from her law partners.

At what point does sucking up to politicians cross into the appearance of impropriety for prospective federal judges, and how much should the rest of us care?

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* Eugene Volokh analyzes the free-speech issues raised by the prosecution of Anya Bargh, the UConn law student accused of sending anti-Semitic and racist emails. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Lawyerist thinks you suck, not the gunners. Discuss. [Lawyerist]

* Law and the Multiverse now has CLE courses about comic books. Maintaining this license just got that much easier. [Law and the Multiverse]

* Some new developments in the Ed O’Bannon case against the NCAA. Basically, discovery has not been kind to the NCAA. [Bloomberg]

* All the editors-in-chief at Michigan Law are women. Now, if another 90 or so journals follow suit, Staci’s article will seem outdated. [Michigan Law]

* Ruh-roh. Did David Boies blow the lid off campaign spending limits last cycle? [Huffington Post]

* No, Mike Bloomberg was not denied a slice of pizza yesterday. [Gawker]

* WARNING: If you understand math, the latest from NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly will annoy the hell out of you. [PrawfsBlawg]

* Man injured in a drunken fight sues the bar that he says should have cut him off. [Overlawyered]

Who is the Judy Garland of Biglaw?

What makes someone a gay icon? I’m tempted to fall back on Justice Potter Stewart’s famous quotation: “I know it when I see it.”

But such instinctive judgments still rest upon criteria. Regarding gay icons, Wikipedia advises: “Qualities of a gay icon often include glamour, flamboyance, strength through adversity, and androgyny in presentation. Such icons can be of any sexual orientation or gender; if LGBT, they can be out or not. Although most gay icons have given their support to LGBT social movements, some have expressed opposition, advocating against a perceived homosexual agenda.’”

So you don’t have to be gay or pro-gay-rights to be a gay icon — which brings me to a partner I hereby dub the Judy Garland of Biglaw. She has a most interesting skeleton in her closet, which might explain her staunch opposition to gay marriage….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cleta Mitchell of Foley & Lardner: An ‘Anti-Gay’ Gay Icon?”

* It’s amazing that sports betting is not legal in New Jersey. What possible moral wackadoodle says that it’s okay to have something like the Jersey Shore (the place, not just the TV show), but you can’t take Michigan to out-shoot the Syracuse zone and then break Louisville’s legs. [Legal Blitz]

* Cloud tools for lawyers. Or as partners understand them: “Newfangled virtual file cabinets.” [Smart File Blog]

* Pro se prisoner wins! He probably wouldn’t have had he consulted a lawyer. [Simple Justice]

* Actually, congratulations to Christopher J. Paolella, who argued before the Court on behalf of Kim Millbrook — and scored a 9-0 victory. [Reich & Paolella]

* Apparently “we gotta fix that” is Obama-speak for “Let’s form a commission to study how Republicans are disenfranchising voters instead of actually stopping them.” [NPR via Election Law Blog]

* Goodbye and good luck to Bruce Carton of Legal Blog Watch. [Legal Blog Watch]

* I thought this was a law already on the books in Mississippi. [The Onion]

* Instead of Angie’s List ranking law schools, I’d like to see U.S. News ranking plumbers. Undoubtedly, they’d use size of exposed butt crack as a key factor. [TaxProf Blog]

‘They tried to make me go to rehab, and I said… sure, it’s better than going to jail!’

* President Obama nominated Thomas Perez, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, to be the next secretary of labor. Republicans, of course, are all butthurtt, calling this a “needlessly divisive nomination.” [New York Times]

* Let’s get ready to RUMBLE! Be prepared to see some legal heavyweights next week when the Prop 8 and DOMA cases are argued before the Supreme Court, including Paul Clement and Ted Olson. [National Law Journal]

* How appropriate that Justice Scalia should break out the Spanglish for an Arizona voter registration law that requires proof of U.S. citizenship. Our beloved Wise Latina probably wasn’t too thrilled by this. [New York Times]

* To promote pay equity in law firms, the ABA is encouraging bar groups to hold conferences on the topic. The question on everyone’s minds, of course, is whether those conferences are billable. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Law schools aren’t the only places where transparency is lacking. Jeh Johnson, the DOD’s former general counsel, thinks the secrecy swirling around drone strikes is bad for the government. [At War / New York Times]

* The members of Debevoise’s displaced trusts and estates practice team have been picked up by Loeb & Loeb. Enjoy your new home, and your new — presumably lower — compensation package. [Am Law Daily]

* Lindsay Lohan took a plea deal yesterday, and instead of going to jail, she’ll be going to rehab to be kept under lock and key for 90 days. I’d say this is bad for her career, but who are we kidding? [Los Angeles Times]

* Casey Anthony’s trustee just answered my prayers. He wants the ex-MILF to sell her story to pay off her debts. I demand that LiLo be cast in the role! She’s the only one broken enough to pull it off. [Washington Post]

* Hey, they actually found one instance of voter fraud. By a nun. I can’t wait for the GOP to try to construct an entire argument for restrictions on voter access based on this case. [Talking Points Memo]

* Defense attorneys can go to jail for lying? In Detroit? Mind: blown. [Washington Post]

* The Senate grills would-be SEC chairman Mary Jo White. The hypocrisy of a bunch of Senators in the pocket of Wall Street asking about White’s potential conflict of interest would be stunning if this wasn’t the U.S. Senate. [National Law Journal]

* Former prosecutor and former FBI agent join forces to start a… private equity litigation finance group. I guess their years of investigation showed them where the money is. [Reuters]

* A law professor blames “no child left behind” for the poor quality of students these days. Yes, but what do we blame for the quality of law professors? [Chronicle of Higher Education]

* We’re going to have to do something about these sinkholes. [Daily Mail]

After the jump, a propaganda video purportedly made by North Korea “seems to mistake TTT grads for regular Americans,” according to a tipster….

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* The triple-dog dare: a technique employed to show off how just efficient American democracy is, or something that’s just so ridiculous it might work in the Senate when it comes to judicial filibusters for appeals court nominees. [New York Times]

* If the Supreme Court were to strike down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the Obama administration has a plan in the works from the last time they thought the Supreme Court was going to strike down the very same section. [Huffington Post]

* It takes more than one legal memo to justify the killing of an American overseas — just ask the guys from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel who rationalized the drone strike against Anwar al-Awlaki. [New York Times]

* Remember the Winston & Strawn stealth associate layoffs of 2012? Those weren’t layoffs, silly. They just left “because of reduced demand for junior lawyers.” Also, we have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. [Am Law Daily]

* If you’re not satisfied with your law degree after failing the bar exam, don’t worry, we’ve got a money-back guarantee. We’ll give you back 8.9% of your three-year tuition. It’s better than nothing! [National Law Journal]

* Meanwhile, if law school were only two years long instead of three, then perhaps a money-back guarantee would actually mean something. For now, it’s just one big public relations stunt. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

* Joseph Kelner, plaintiffs’ attorney in the Kent State suit and lawyer for Bernie Goetz, RIP. [New York Times]

Nate Silver

As much as it pleases me to see statistical data introduced in the Supreme Court, the act of citing statistical factoids is not the same thing as drawing sound inferences from them.

Nate Silver, statistician extraordinaire, rebuking Chief Justice John Roberts’s use of statistics during oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, and noting that the voting ratios cited weren’t “meaningful in either a statistical or a practical sense.”

* Darren Heitner writes about the new business of concussions in the NFL. Safety equipment manufacturers are working overtime to shield themselves from future litigation because, you know, there’s not much that can be done when you’re still intent on running the human head into another hard, moving object at full speed. [Forbes]

* Welcome to Salem 2.0. This time it’s Salem, Missouri that tried to protect us from witchcraft by blocking Internet access to information about Wicca. A federal judge struck this down. Then hopped on a broom and skyrocketed away. [KDSK]

* A Florida woman pulled a gun on Walmart employees who wouldn’t honor her $1 coupon. It’s Florida, so she had to stand her ground on that sh*t. [Lowering the Bar]

* A 12-year-old boy got stoned and led police on a car chase. Live fast and die young, my friend. [Legal Juice]

* More on Lindsay Lohan: After her lawyer, Mark Heller, got blasted as incompetent by the media (including us) and the judge in the case, Lindsay says she’s sticking with him. Because she’s shown a canny understanding of legal practice so far. [TMZ]

* #Filiblizzard! That’s the Twitter hashtag that Senator Rand Paul coined to describe the confluence of a major D.C. snowstorm and Paul’s unabashed filibustering of the nominee to head the CIA. At the same time, there is another filibuster of Caitlin Halligan’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit. Remember when Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell hammered out a deal that would end the excessive filibusters? No. You don’t. Because that was just your Absinthe-fueled hallucination. [PrawfsBlawg]

* Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was on the Daily Show. She didn’t seem to understand that Shelby County was about Section 5. [Election Law Blog]

Full video after the jump….

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