Eugene Volokh

Keith Olbermann

* Professor Eugene Volokh wonders if Justice Sonia Sotomayor is truly the first disabled justice. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Speaking of SCOTUS, should President Obama turn it into a campaign issue? First Amendment lawyer Marvin Ammori thinks so. [The Atlantic]

* We recently mentioned Keith Olbermann’s lawsuit against his former employer, Current TV. Now Current is turning the tables with a countersuit. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Threatening federal financial regulators: not a wise idea. Trader Vincent McCrudden learned that the hard way. [Dealbreaker]

* “Get High, Get Mauled By Bear, Get Workers’ Compensation?” [Legal Juice]

Yul Kwon: coming to a television near you.

* Adventures in trademark law — starring model, socialite, and reality TV star Olivia Palermo. [Fashionista]

* When is the best time to submit articles to law reviews? Professor Shima Baradaran is collecting data. [PrawfsBlawg]

* One of ATL’s favorite celebrities — Yale Law School grad Yul Kwon, the first Asian-American winner of Survivor (as well as a former Second Circuit clerk and McKinsey consultant) — is returning to television, hosting a new show.

What’s the show about? Find out, after the jump.

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Zombie Mohammed

What can we say? Around these parts, we enjoy talking about zombies. Zombies that usher in the apocalypse. Zombies that can do document review. Even zombie law firms.

So let’s discuss what everyone else is discussing: the “Zombie Mohammed” case. Earlier this month, Judge Mark W. Martin dismissed a harassment charge against Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim man who allegedly attacked Ernie Perce, an atheist who was dressed up as “Zombie Muhammad.” The incident took place during last year’s Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Since news of the ruling became public, things have gone crazy. Let’s discuss, and take an opinion poll….

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[T]his might be a helpful alert to lawyers who are hiring someone to try to promote their sites: It’s possible that the promotion might consist of behavior that is par for the course for purported penis enlargement products, but not really in keeping with the sort of reputation that lawyers generally seek to cultivate.

– Professor Eugene Volokh, issuing a warning to lawyers that hire outside companies to promote their law firm websites using spam blog comments.

In last week’s Grammer Pole, 60 percent of you supported forming the singular possessive of a noun ending in “s” by adding an apostrophe followed by an additional “s” — e.g., “Kansas’s statute” rather than “Kansas’ statute.” In this debate, you sided with Justice Souter over Justice Thomas (based on their dueling approaches in Kansas v. Marsh).

Today we call upon you to choose between nationalities instead of Supreme Court justices. When it comes to the placement of punctuation marks in relation to quotation marks, do you favor the British approach or the American approach?

Let’s review the differences….

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Today the Tenth Circuit told the state of Utah that it could no longer erect crosses by the side of the highway memorializing state troopers who have died. The WSJ Law Blog excerpts this part of the opinion in American Atheists, Inc. v. Duncan (PDF):

“This may lead the reasonable observer to fear that Christians are likely to receive preferential treatment from the [Utah Highway Patrol],” the judges wrote, adding elsewhere in the opinion that “unlike Christmas, which has been widely embraced as a secular holiday. . . . there is no evidence in this case that the cross has been widely embraced by non-Christians as a secular symbol of death.”

I’m sorry, are there Hindus driving through Utah who are unaware that “Christians are likely to receive preferential treatment” in Utah? If so, I’d call that person a most unreasonable observer.

All joking aside, are we really living in a world where a simple cross to mark the death of a government worker violates the Establishment Clause?

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Court clerks in Virginia may be shaking their fists at the Fourth Circuit today. In an interesting ruling on free speech, privacy, and public records, the court ruled that an angry blogger has the right to publish public officials’ and court clerks’ Social Security numbers in order to protest the fact that Virginia puts records online that publish citizens’ social security numbers. We skimmed the opinion, but didn’t see a citation to Hammurabi.

B.J. Ostergren has been writing TheVirginiaWatchdog.com since 2003 to bring attention to the fact that state governments play fast and loose with people’s Social Security numbers when putting land records online. Her advocacy got many of them to actually start attempting to redact SSNs from the documents before putting them online, but the system was still imperfect.

She started posting land records containing unredacted SSNs, which led the state to pass a law in 2008 to make what she was doing illegal. She sued and the courts supports her, though the Fourth Circuit eliminated some conditions imposed by the district court…

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Alex Kozinski David Lat.jpgWe now yield the floor to Laurie Lin. Who better to report on one of the year’s biggest social events than the writer of Legal Eagle Wedding Watch? Over to you, Laurie.
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Ambition and Old Spice wafted sweetly through the air last night at the Federalist Society’s 25th Anniversary Gala at Union Station — a kind of right-wing Golden Globes. Nearly two thousand G-ed up conservative lawyers packed the main hall to hear President George W. Bush blast the Senate on judicial confirmations:

“Today, good men and women nominated to the federal bench are finding that inside the Beltway, too many interpret ‘advise and consent’ to mean ‘search and destroy,’” Bush said.

Tickets to the black-tie affair were $250 — actually $249, because there was a new $1 Madison coin at every place setting — but that was a small price to pay to breathe the same oxygen as Ted Olson, Antonin Scalia, and Laura Ingraham.
More on the conservative legal fabulosity — including pictures of the people who didn’t hide when they saw us coming — after the jump.

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Weblog Awards Winner logo Best Law Blog Above the Law blog.jpgSigh. It’s Monday, and it’s also a quasi-holiday (Veterans Day). Government lawyers, a significant chunk of our readership, generally aren’t in the office today.
So maybe that’s one reason we’re feeling lazy and unmotivated today. Another possible reason: we’re resting on our laurels.
Late last week, Above the Law was named Best Law Blog, in the 2007 Weblog Awards. Very exciting! Thanks to everyone who voted, in response to our repeated pleas.
Was the contest “a pretty silly affair,” as our erstwhile evidence professor, Brian Leiter, opined? Sure. Which makes ATL’s victory eminently appropriate, since this is a pretty silly blog.
So congratulations to us! And thanks again to everyone who voted.
P.S. To Professors Kerr and Volokh and their fellow Volokh Conspirators: Sure, we’ll buy a round of beer! Just find us at the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention later this week.
Best Law Blog [The 2007 Weblog Awards]
Does David Lat Owe Us Beer? [Volokh Conspiracy]
Did you vote for the “Best Law Blog” yet? [Brian Leiter's Law School Reports]

Maximilia Cordero small Jeffrey Epstein Dealbreaker Above the Law blog.JPG* Our DealBreaker colleagues receive email from William Unroch, the lawyer / ex-boyfriend of Maximilia (née Maximilian) Cordero, the transsexual model suing high-flying financier Jeffrey Epstein. Did you get all that? [DealBreaker]
* Congratulations to (soon-to-be-Chief) Judge Kozinski, who just won the Witkin Medal! [Blogonaut]
* Speaking of Judge Kozinski, here’s a counter-plea from perhaps his most famous former clerk. We may have to issue another bleg in response. [Volokh Conspiracy; 2007 Weblog Awards]
* “Uh, there’s no pot here, Beavis — just monkeys.” [What About Clients?]

AutoAdmit xoxohth Anthony Ciolli Above the Law blog.JPGThe blogosphere is ablaze with discussion of the AutoAdmit lawsuit. We collect and summarize the commentary in this linkwrap.
(We read all the blogs, so you don’t have to! You can thank us later.)
1. Students File Suit Against Ex-AutoAdmit Director, Others [WSJ Law Blog]
If you haven’t done so already, read this post first. It contains the most detailed factual background about the case. You can also access the Complaint itself by clicking here (PDF).
2. Yale law students sue over “the scummiest kind of sexually offensive tripe” at AutoAdmit [Althouse]
Professor Ann Althouse has her doubts about this lawsuit:

So this is the 21st century? Where courts award punitive damages for offensive words and pictures? Isn’t “the scummiest kind of sexually offensive tripe” exactly what we always used to say people had to put up with in a free country? Man, that was so 20th century!

3. Suing Autodmit [Instapundit]
Professor Glenn Reynolds — who kindly links to our post, by the way — largely agrees with Professor Althouse. He sarcastically observes: “Stuff that offends dumb hicks in the heartland is constitutionally protected. Stuff that offends Yale Law Students must be stamped out!”
More links, after the jump.

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