Federalist Society

DNA is pretty, oh so pretty.

* The Supreme Court opens the door, but just a crack, to prisoners seeking access to DNA evidence. [SCOTUSblog]

* The legal job market is getting better, right? Right? [Vault]

* Hall, J., dissenting — from the grave. [How Appealing]

* Harvard Law School is always ready for its close-up: first The Paper Chase, then Legally Blonde, and now The Five Hundred. [Deadline.com]

* Are computers better than attorneys at document review? Maybe — but they’re definitely more attractive. [Constitutional Daily]

* Protip for litigators: “Pull Your Pants Up Before Going to Court.” [Gothamist]

* Elsewhere in fashion news, a Seventh Circuit panel (Posner, J.) holds that it’s constitutionally protected to wear a t-shirt that says “Be Happy Not Gay” to your high school. But it’s still really… gay. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Litigation to advance a worthy cause (although it seems odd, in a “cart before the horse” sort of way, to file the press releases before the actual lawsuit). [The Snitch / SF Weekly]

* Blawg Review #301: it’s all about communication. [Not Guilty via Blawg Review]

* Congratulations to Professor Brian Fitzpatrick of Vanderbilt Law on receiving the 2011 Paul M. Bator Award (won previously by a long list of blawg celebrities, including M. Todd Henderson, Orin Kerr, Jonathan Adler, Eugene Volokh, and Randy Barnett). [Federalist Society]

And what I think is important for you all, is that when you see people standing in defense of what’s right, that you make sure that your voice is not remembered as one of the silent. Because there’s gonna be a day when you’re gonna look around and you’re gonna look at your kids and your grandkids and they’re gonna ask you a question: What happened to the great country that was here when you grew up, and why isn’t it here now, and what did you do?

– Justice Clarence Thomas, in the powerful keynote address he delivered over the weekend at UVA Law, at the 30th annual student symposium of the Federalist Society (Politico via WSJ Law Blog).

Justice Antonin Scalia, being interviewed by Jan Crawford of CBS News at the Federalist Society's annual dinner in Washington, DC.

On Thursday evening, I had the great pleasure of attending the annual dinner at the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention, in Washington, D.C. The event — attended by an estimated 1,400 people, and held in the cavernous ballroom at the Omni Shoreham — featured, as always, conservative and libertarian legal luminaries galore.

(Did Judge Diane Sykes just air-kiss Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain? Isn’t that Ken Cuccinelli over at the bar? What might Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Jeff Sutton be discussing so intently — maybe the latest clerks they’ve placed at the Supreme Court? Whoa — Ted Olson chatting with Justice Samuel Alito! Be still my heart….)

The highlight of the evening was the interview of Justice Antonin Scalia by Jan Crawford, chief legal correspondent of CBS News (who was looking fabulous in a black dress with open sleeves). The justice was in fine form, hilarious and freewheeling in his remarks….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Justice Scalia at the Federalist Society Fête”

A liveblog of what should be a most interesting debate on Prop 8 and gay marriage — taking place at the 2010 National Lawyers Convention of the Federalist Society, and pitting Professor William Eskridge against Professor Richard Epstein — after the jump.

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A liveblog of an interesting panel at the 2010 National Lawyers Convention of the Federalist Society, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Anonymity and the First Amendment”

As we mentioned this morning, a report from researchers at Berkeley Law suggests that legal education is a field dominated by white, male, elite liberals. The National Law Journal reports:

Law schools hire more openly liberal professors than openly conservative ones, but the plum jobs at the most prestigious schools don’t appear to be going solely to the liberals.

That’s the conclusion reached by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law who analyzed the ideology of recently hired law professors. Their study, “Ideological Diversity and Law School Hiring,” is the first to focus specifically on the political leanings of law professors.

Previous research concluded that law professors skew white and male, and tend to have completed their legal studies at top law schools.

There might be a liberal bias among law school professors? Shocking! Why are we just being informed of this?

But is it really as bad as the study makes it out to be? While the researchers determined that 52 of 60 professors showed a liberal slant, the report goes on to explain that the researchers couldn’t get a clear read on 60% of the 149 entry-level professors sampled.

And even if we agree that there is some liberal bias among law school professors, does the distinction matter? Is there really a “liberal” or “conservative” way to educate people about the law?

This sounds like an appropriate moment for an Above the Law debate. Editors David Lat and Elie Mystal sound off about whether law schools need to be more welcoming to conservatives. As always, we welcome your opinions in the comments….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Liberal Bias in Legal Education: Does it Exist? Does it Matter? An ATL Debate”

You’d think those in the law would know by now not to send out embarrassing emails. But a Federalist Society officer at the University of Michigan Law School, whose name we’ve replaced with a pseudonym, seems oblivious. Apparently, Fed Soc served up some E-coli tainted lettuce at a recent lunch:

Subject: [lawopen] Fed Soc Lunch/ e. coli “episode”
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 19:39:35 -0400
To: [Unofficial Law Listserv]

Hi Law Open,

The Federalist Society would like to extend an apology to anyone who had to experience the wrath of uncooked Pancheros over the last few days. I am among the many victims, spending three days in agony in the bathroom…. (TMI?)

Hope you all feel better!

Best,
WOLVERINE WITH DIARRHEA (OF THE MOUTH)
Federalist Society Vice President

“TMI?” Yes. Yes, it is.

Another scatological tale from UT Law, after the jump. Someone truly thinks the place is a third tier “toilet”…

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And another scatological law school tale at UT.

John Yoo John C Yoo John Choon Yoo law professor.jpgThis afternoon, the Federalist Society at the University of Chicago Law School sponsored an interesting debate. It featured Berkeley law professor John Yoo, author of the so-called “torture memos,” and Bob Barr, the prominent libertarian and former congressman, debating the following subject: “Presidential Power v. Civil Liberties in Times of War.”
(Executive power is the subject of Professor Yoo’s new — and well-reviewed — book, Crisis and Command.)
Reports on the proceedings from attendees — plus comment from Professor Yoo, who apparently accused the Bush Administration of “incompetence and stupidity” — after the jump.
UPDATE: Photos added, after the jump.

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And: Did Yoo just accuse the Bush Administration of ‘incompetence and stupidity’?

No Federalists Need Apply.jpgThat was the question posed in yesterday’s popular Ethicist column, in the New York Times. Here’s the question that a reader posed to columnist Randy Cohen:

While interviewing law students for jobs as paid summer interns and full-time associates for my firm, I noticed several had résumés listing their activities in the Federalist Society. Some of my partners have conservative views similar to those of the society, but I do not. These students’ politics would not affect their professional function, but my review is meant to consider their judgment and personality (though I don’t need to give reasons for the assessments given). May I recommend not hiring someone solely because of his or her politics?

NAME WITHHELD, GREENWICH, CONN.

Ah, Greenwich — limousine liberalism, anyone? We are not surprised that this question came from the left side of the aisle. In our experience, liberals — despite their self-proclaimed commitment to “tolerance” — are far more intolerant of people with divergent views. To liberals, the political is so often personal; if you don’t agree with their entire orthodoxy, you are per se a bad person.

Okay, we’re stepping off our soapbox. How did the Ethicist respond?

Find out — and discover whether the partner took the Ethicist’s advice, plus take a reader poll — after the jump.

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Is It Wrong?”

Federalist Society high heels fabulous.jpgSensible shoes are for liberal chicks. Say hello to fabulous Federalist footwear!
As you may have noticed, from our two posts late on Monday night and one from Tuesday morning, we’re engaging in some after-the-fact blogging of last week’s Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention.
As in past years, the social highlight of the conference was the Thursday night banquet (black tie optional; and many availed themselves of the option, ’cause that’s how conservatives roll). The speaker at the dinner was none other than Justice Samuel A. Alito, who delivered an insightful and hilarious speech that was a delight to listen to. Just as one might say of, say, a newscast by Jon Stewart, much of the entertainment value was in the delivery — Justice Alito is so dry and deadpan, and yet his remarks make you bust out laughing.
Interestingly enough, we haven’t come across many news accounts of Justice Alito’s speech. There was also no video recording allowed at the address. So we feel we can add some value with this write-up, despite its belated nature.
There may have been some confusion over the ground rules governing reporting about the speech. From the BLT:

Justice Samuel Alito Jr. spoke to the Federalist Society [last Thursday] night, but photos of him doing so are hard to come by. That’s because photographers other than the Federalist Society’s own were barred from the event. Keith Appell, a spokesman for the Federalist Society, said cameras were prohibited by Alito’s security detail….

Kathy Arberg, the court spokeswoman, said “The justice’s policy was that the event was open to still cameras and pencil press,” and that the Federalist Society was informed of that policy before the event.

Well, photos from the event aren’t hard to come by on Above the Law. Nobody told us that we couldn’t take photographs — so we did. And, as members of the “pencil press,” we jotted down notes in our reporter’s notebook. (We left the laptop at the hotel that night.)
Check out a slideshow of our pictures, along with a discussion of Justice Alito’s highly engaging and entertaining address, after the jump.

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