Election Law

* Wait, are we really going to have to debate the legal merits of this platinum coin thing? Really? Can’t Congress just not hold the country hostage so we don’t have to start messing around with crazy coins and the Fourteenth Amendment? Like, you don’t have to start doing bats**t crazy Carrie Mathison things if you don’t let terrorists take Nicholas Brody in the first place. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* There was another school shooting today. It just makes you wonder if the terrible reign ushered in by Grand Theft Auto will ever end. At least, in this case, the teacher was armed to the teeth WITH WORDS to TALK DOWN the shooter. [Huffington Post]

* “Illegal” trades don’t mean the same thing to bankers as they do to everybody else. Well, that’s not true. Maybe the disconnect is more with the word “consequences.” [Dealbreaker]

* Yeah, I’m going to go on and say that I’m not going to believe anything coming out of the Trayvon Martin police report. Just like I wasn’t considering anything coming out of racist ass Mark Fuhrman. [Tampa Bay Times]

* There’s a lot to lose if Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act gets struck down. [Slate]

* I suppose it’s good that lawyers don’t have “I’m going to do a half-assed job here” fees. [Underdog]

* So now, officially, more people have lost their jobs over Benghazi than lost their jobs over 9/11. [New York Times]

* Could we sue the NRA out of existence? [Dissident Voice]

* Nate Silver makes it clear that gun ownership is a great indication of party affiliation. Guess the liberals would get their asses handed to them in a civil war. [Five Thirty Eight / New York Times]

* Should it be harder for a teenager to get his hands on a video game with lots of guns in it, or AN ACTUAL FREAKING GUN? [Huffington Post]

* “Fun” law bloggers interview each other, for fun. [Allison Leotta]

* Wait, McDonald’s restaurants in Europe have waitresses? [Telegraph]

* Former Governor of Florida slams current Governor of Florida while nation wonders why Florida is always such a train wreck. [Blog of the Legal Times]

* Bank robbers hail getaway cab. [Chicago Tribune]

* Look, the quote of the year is Megyn Kelly’s, “Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?” But here are some other fun ones from 2012. [The Careerist]

Trolls!

* If you swap out a menorah and put in a dreidel, does your Hanukkah display avoid violating the Establishment Clause? I know, I know, WAR ON HANUKKAH. [Huffington Post]

* I wonder why Martha Minow (law dean, HLS) or Robert Post (law dean, YLS) doesn’t write an op-ed defending the value proposition of going to law school? Wouldn’t you like to hear this argument from somebody who isn’t desperate to fill their class seats? [Constitutional Daily]

* Isn’t the concept of the “last meal” the best thing about death row? Granted, that’s a low bar, but still. Having a last meal sounds so civilized. No wonder Texas and Florida want to take it away. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Do patent trolls have a weakness to fire, just like videogame trolls? Because, I’d like for them to get burned. [Business Insider]

* The fact that voter suppression doesn’t work doesn’t make it right. [Election Law Blog]

* Ignoring losses until they go away sounds like the basis of any sound financial strategy. [Dealbreaker]

True story: looking for “kidnapping” stock photos revealed this and a bunch of softcore bondage stuff with pretty girls. That’s pretty sick, yo.

* Look, I’m only one man, I can’t refute it every time the New York Times advertises going to law school using terrible arguments. I mean, Dealbook just let a law professor tell people that this is a good time to apply to law school… because all the smart people aren’t taking the LSAT. I just don’t know what to tell people who are persuaded by that. [Dealbook / New York Times]

* Should kidnapping somebody and forcing them to repair your house after a dispute about the quality of their work be illegal? Or should we just call this “specific performance”? [Gawker]

* Florida legislators throw down with the governor over early voting. Will Florida governor Rick Scott relent? Or is he going to double down on suppressing the vote? [Think Progress]

* I’m really glad this didn’t happen at the Penn State Law School. I didn’t feel like being accused of baiting these sorority girls into having a racist party. [Yahoo!News via The Legal Satyricon]

* What constitutes a sham Senate session exactly? [Huffington Post]

* Are you a lawyer on a deferral or a fellowship looking for an interesting project to pick up? If so, check this out. [Idealist]

* Are you looking for something fun to do in New York City tomorrow night? If so, check this out. [Above the Law]

Wait, that’s the wrong answer.

It’s been great fun to watch archconservatives wake up and realize what country they’ve been living in this whole time. Minorities vote too. Single women don’t like being called sluts. Gays and lesbians are everywhere. And people can understand that sometimes, taxes are necessary.

The emerging American consciousness — from both Democrats and Republicans — that if we want government to do things we have to pay for them with taxes, has been particularly fun to watch. In Austin, Texas, there was a ballot initiative which contemplated raising property takes to in order to pay for “a medical school in Austin and other health care projects,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. And it passed!

But that didn’t sit well with some Texans. Don Zimmerman, treasurer of the Travis County Taxpayers Union political action committee, argued that the initiative — called Proposition 1 — was discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act. Zimmerman and his attorney argued that Prop 1 was confusing to minorities who “have lower reading comprehension than whites.”

Maybe so, but I sho’nuff can spy me a racist when I done read one….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Texas Lawyer Argues That Minorities Were Too Stupid To Understand Ballot Initiative They Just Passed”

* “We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.” Barack Obama was re-elected as president. Bring on the hope and change! No, seriously. [New York Times]

* In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise, regardless of who won the presidential race, there are still post-election voting issues that will likely be resolved in the courts. [Blog of Legal Times]

* But what we really want to know is who will be our country’s next attorney general. Because if anyone can fill Eric Holder’s shoes, it’s Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the S.D.N.Y. [WSJ Law Blog]

* In other important news, several states approved gay marriage ballot initiatives, and others legalized marijuana. But hopefully you don’t have a case of the munchies yet — federal law still says it’s illegal. [CNN]

* They helped American citizens “ba-rock” the vote: hundreds of law students from around the country rallied around the craziness of Election Day to volunteer their assistance to worthy causes. [National Law Journal]

* Biglaw firms in NYC are still reeling after Hurricane Sandy. While WilmerHale set up temporary offices last week, both SullCrom and Fried Frank could be out of commission for weeks. [Reuters; New York Times]

* At this point, in-house counsel are kind of like the McKayla Maroneys of the legal profession, because they are seriously unimpressed with outside counsel’s efforts to improve services and fees. [Corporate Counsel]

* Judge Theodore Jones, associate judge of the New York Court of Appeals, RIP. [New York Law Journal]

If there’s one thing Americans are concerned about today other than voting, it’s taking pictures of themselves voting, about to vote, or having just voted. Because what’s the point of participating in democracy if you can’t photograph the experience, put ca-RAZY effects on the pictures, and then put them online?

There isn’t one, obviously.

Except for a little detail that photographing completed ballots is illegal in some parts of the country.

CHECK YOU ELECTION PRIVACY LAWS….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Photographing Your Ballot: It Might Be Illegal, Y’Know”

I voted today. I hope you did too or will soon.

It wasn’t “easy.” I voted on the Upper East Side of New York, not exactly a contested district, but I still had to stand in line for an hour outside. Inside, there was more waiting and general confusion and misinformation. There was one non-partisan election lawyer at my location — I said, “It seems like a mad house in here.” He said, “You should see things downtown.”

It was the tenth or eleventh time I’ve voted at that polling place, and this was by far the hardest.

That said, if one looks at the scale of things that are difficult in life, getting into law school is a “1,” getting a job after law school is a “10,” and voting is, at most, a “4.” You can do it. It’s harder than it should be, but it’s not that hard. If you are reasonably intelligent and have a modicum of patience, you can figure it out.

Of course, if you are old or a dumb ass, things might not go so well….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Difference Between Voter Suppression And Voter Duress”

In the end, that hurts the Democrats, because we throw those votes out. I’ve begged them to stop.

Jane Platten, director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (and a Democrat herself), commenting to the New York Times about fraudulent voter registrations coming from groups associated with the Democrats.

* A Hurricane Sandy survival guide. Key components? Food, water, booze, and prophylactics. Who’s ready for a hurricane Halloween party? [FindLaw]

* California’s longest serving death-row inmate just got his sentence set aside by the Ninth Circuit. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A few days before Thanksgiving, SCOTUS will decide whether to hear the Prop. 8 and DOMA cases. Happy holidays? [American Foundation for Equal Rights]

* Sometimes the most effective self-defense weapon isn’t a gun, it’s a pot of soup. [Consumerist]

* Harold Koh, former Yale Law School dean and current legal adviser to the State Department, sits down for a Legally Speaking interview at UC Hastings. [California Lawyer]

* Additional thoughts, this time from Professor Eugene Volokh, on employers urging employees to vote a certain way. [Volokh Conspiracy]

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