Erwin Chemerinsky

SCOTUS broke this Con Law nerd’s heart.

We should realize that this is an emperor that truly has no clothes. For too long, we have treated the Court [a]s if they are the high priests of the law, or at least as if they are the smartest and best lawyers in society.

Erwin Chemerinsky, preeminent constitutional law scholar and dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, writing in what Robert Barnes of the Washington Post refers to as the academic’s “break-up note” to the Supreme Court. In his new book, The Case Against the Supreme Court (affiliate link), Chemerinsky notes that “[t]he court has frequently failed, throughout American history, at its most important tasks, at its most important moments.”

* Dean Chemerinsky lays out how the Supreme Court is protecting local corruption. It’s what the Framers would have intended. [New York Times]

* In response to the latest article from Professor Michael Krauss, a former student suggests that maybe the so-called “justice gap” is a good thing. It kind of comes down to how much you believe in the efficiency value of the “American Rule.” [That's My Argument]

* The eternal question for female lawyers: do you dye your hair or embrace the gray? [Gray Hair]

* Boston’s drivers suck. [The Faculty Lounge]

* A well-written tribute to a Nashville civil rights lawyer. [Nashville Scene]

* This seems like a place to remind people that David’s going to Houston next month. [Above the Law]

* Here’s a new game to check out. It’s a twisted dirty word game called F**ktionary (affiliate link), so obviously it was made by a lawyer. It’s kind of like Cards Against Humanity meets Scattergories, which is just as fun as it sounds. The promo is after the jump….

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Burger King bounty for Biglaw.

* Judge Posner dished out a whole lot of benchslaps at yesterday’s Seventh Circuit arguments over Indiana and Wisconsin’s bans on same-sex marriage. [BuzzFeed]

* Major U.S. and Canadian law firms chow down on Burger King’s whopper of a deal with Tim Hortons. [Am Law Daily]

* A recent Delaware court ruling on attorney-client privilege might allow in-house lawyers to speak more freely about wrongdoing at their companies, according to Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon. [DealBook / New York Times]

* The corruption trial of former Virginia governor continues; yesterday Bob McDonnell’s sister took the stand. [Washington Post]

* A favorable evidentiary ruling for Aaron Hernandez. [Fox Sports]

* And good news for Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu, the two law professors running for governor and lieutenant governor of New York: the Times dissed their opponent, Andrew Cuomo, with a non-endorsement. [New York Times]

* I recently spoke with one of my cousins Joao Atienza of the Cebu Sun Star, about Above the Law and the world of legal blogging. [Cebu Sun Star]


Here’s a dog bites man story: a respected dean who just got a new law school off the ground thinks law school is super important. The presses have been appropriately stopped.

The New York Times is exploring the merits of expanding apprenticeship as an alternative to law school for prospective lawyers. Lat weighed in on the side of apprenticeships.

In a post entitled Going to Law School Is More Important Than Ever, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky countered those on Lat’s side by offering a full-throated defense of the law school model. It’s thoughtful, but ultimately succeeds only in exposing the problem with a legal system reliant on attending three-year institutions to produce attorneys….

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Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Conestoga and Hobby Lobby cases, the high-profile challenges to the Obamacare contraception mandate. Many ordinary citizens wish they could tune in to the arguments on TV, or at least catch clips on the Daily Show nightly news. After all, how else can Americans access this valuable information that could change their lives forever? I mean, without an Upworthy piece or a Buzzfeed listicle?

Of course, serious folks make serious arguments championing televised coverage of Supreme Court arguments. UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky wrote an opinion piece this week, arguing that “[t]here is no excuse for keeping cameras out of the Supreme Court.” (Apparently, Chemerinsky wants cameras in and Justice Ginsburg out, for those keeping track of Chemerinsky’s wish list.) Earlier this month, the Coalition for Court Transparency, a group of press organizations and pro-transparency NGOs, sent a letter to Chief Justice Roberts, urging the Court to permit the video recording and broadcast of its courtroom.

So, what are opponents of cameras at One First Street so scared of? Do they worry that Chief Justice Roberts will start mugging for the camera? That Justice Scalia will insist on an added laugh track? That Justice Kagan will embark on a dangerous juice fast to slim down like a Hollywood starlet? (Actually, it looks like she already has.)

Those are not my concerns, but here is why I still think video coverage of U.S. Supreme Court arguments is a terrible idea….

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire from the Supreme Court after the completion of the current term in June. She turned 81 on Saturday and by all accounts she is healthy and physically and mentally able to continue. But only by resigning this summer can she ensure that a Democratic president will be able to choose a successor who shares her views and values.

– Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, calling for Justice Ginsburg to hang up her robe, in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times. Chemerinsky also suggested that Justice Stephen Breyer “carefully consider” the possibility of stepping down.

* When thinking of the Penn State situation (the alleged cover-up, not Jerry Sandusky’s crimes), I am reminded of how critically important due process is to the proper administration of justice. You really notice due process when it’s gone. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* I haven’t eaten at Chick-fil-A since college. No homo. [Fox News]

* It’s funny to think of law professors getting their pieces rejected by law reviews. Funny insofar as there are people who actually care about what ends up in a law review. [lawprofblog]

* I’m not inclined to believe things coming out of Nigeria, but if this is true, it’s crazy. [Gawker]

* The bright side of losing your job because of the LIBOR scandal. [Dealbreaker]

* Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law, thinks that you can’t cut faculty salaries enough to achieve substantial reductions in tuition without losing your top faculty. But in this market, I bet a law school that said, “We hire only cheap professors and pass the savings on to you,” would have a lot of appeal. [National Law Journal]

When the UC Irvine School of Law first burst onto the scene, the school offered free tuition to everyone in its inaugural class. Then, in its second year, UC Irvine offered a 50% discount to all students admitted to the class of 2013.

And now, UC Irvine will knock 33% off its tuition, for members of its third entering class (the class of 2014).

Students considering UC Irvine will certainly appreciate the money. The National Law Journal reports that, not counting the discount, in-state tuition is $40,000 a year and out-of-state tuition is $50,000 a year. Welcome to public law school in the 21st century.

Despite being a public law school, UC Irvine will fund this tuition reduction through private donations. So you have to wonder: how long can they keep that up?

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Is that a Burberry check or are you just happy to see me?

* Burberry sues Body Glove over an iPhone cover that makes your phone look like the inside of a Burberry trench coat. If Body Glove ever makes a condom packet that looks like the inside of a Burberry trench coat, married men will be interested in the proceedings. [Fashionista]

* The new biography of Justice Brennan, by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel, sounds like it was worth the decade-long wait. [New York Times]

* UCI Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky has a new book out too. Progressives should have some nice reading material when they take their long international vacations after the November elections. [Los Angeles Times]

* If you’re at the point where you need a career counselor to remind you to shower, you probably need us to remind you to put your clothes back on, after your shower, before you go to your interview. [The Careerist]

* Unemployment can ruin a bunny’s birthday. [Tortbunnies]

* If you think about it, Jesus was actually a crap motivator. Seriously, he rallied what, a dozen out-of-work fishermen and a prostitute? Bill Belichick motivates more people to risk their lives for him every Sunday. Federal employees should think about that next time they organize a speaker series. [Out of the Storm News]

* This slideshow of terrible self-promoters includes a couple of lawyers. [Huffington Post]

* Congratulations to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who will be honored by the ABA next week for her work promoting the rule of law. [American Bar Association]

* Are you a current law student interested in juvenile justice policy and legal research? Help a sister out. [Dissertation Study Post]

Erwin Chemerinsky Duke Law School UC Irvine Above the Law blog.jpgThis email message, from Professor Erwin Chemerinsky to Duke law school faculty and students, went out ten minutes ago.
Also, here’s some coverage from the Los Angeles Times.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “Erwin Chemerinsky”
To: [redacted]
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 13:07:53 -0400
Subject: news
It is with excitement and sadness that I am writing to tell you that I have accepted the position to be the founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Law at the University of California, Irvine. After meeting with Chancellor Michael Drake at length this weekend, I accepted his renewed offer. He provided me the greatest possible assurance of academic freedom for the dean and all faculty.
It has been one of the strangest and most difficult weeks of my life. I cannot possibly express my thanks for all of the support that I received from the law school’s faculty, administrators, and students. I am sad to be leaving this wonderful supportive community, though excited about the new challenges ahead.
Chemerinsky to return as UC Irvine law dean [Los Angeles Times]

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