In the weeks since the [Inspector General]’s flawed and narrow vision of our diplomatic mission, people of good will in the middle ranks of our Department have seen it as their calling to strictly enforce it. As a consequence, my voice has been prevented from speaking; my pen has been enjoined from writing; and my actions have been confined to the ministerial. You deserve better, but until these rigid, and rigidly narrow, perspectives are overcome, you and the President are being deprived of the intelligent insight of much of your Embassy’s work.
As we were planning Above the Law’s Elena Kagan confirmation coverage, we got to thinking (always a dangerous thing around these parts): What if Supreme Court nominees didn’t have to defend themselves to the American public? What if the U.S. Senate’s constitutional privilege of “advice and consent” was revoked? What would the Court look like if the nominees didn’t have to even pretend to be moderate?
It’s a thought experiment that we’re sure has been done countless times before. But we’ve never done it, so we’ll plunge ahead.
Here are the rules: (1) The nominee should be unconfirmable. (2) The nominees on the right should make Elie angry; the nominees on the left should make Lat uncomfortable. (3) Mealy-mouthed moderates need not apply.
We decided to keep the five-four ideological balance of the current Court. Sure, we know that some people think that without the Senate, Presidents would nominate apolitical justices who have no discernible political slant. Sadly, apolitical justices = yawn.
In this post, Elie picks four pinko commie scumbags. In a future post, Lat will select five right-wing fascist nutjobs. Should be fun…
So, who are the SCOTUS nominees in the administration of President Elie Mystal?
* Bank of America’s board votes to waive privilege and disclose the legal advice it received on the Merrill Lynch merger, which could spell trouble for B of A’s outside counsel at Wachtell (depending on the advice given). [New York Times]
* Meanwhile, B of A expands its team for the SEC litigation in the S.D.N.Y. by hiring Paul Weiss (which, along with Cleary Gottlieb, urged the bank to waive privilege with respect to the Merrill merger advice). [Dealbook / New York Times]
* Tort reform, in the form of limitations upon medical malpractice suits, could save up to $54 billion over the next 10 years. [CNN]
* Jon and Kate arbitrate… [People]
* Free speech goes head to head with campaign finance laws at the Supreme Court today. [Washington Independent]
* The 9th Circuit ruled that John Ashcroft can be sued by a Muslim man who suffered under the former AG’s anti-terrorism strategies. [Washington Post]
* An Ohio judge makes his scarlet letter neon yellow. [New York Daily News]
* Judges are the ones regulating Wall Street. [Bloomberg]
* An ex-partner in Florida has sued the chairman of his former firm for wrongfully firing him after a confrontation over firm funds being used to support Hillary Clinton, among other misdeeds. [Courthouse News Service]
* In Texas classrooms, Obama is shunned, but Bibles may be a requirement. [Houston Chronicle]
* More retired judges do it for free. Now in North Carolina. [Raleigh News & Observer]
While standing outside the U.S. Supreme Court building this morning, Georgetown Law student Sam Arora sent us this message (with photo):
I’m #2 in line for the SCOTUS 11 AM argument. A policewoman standing at front told me I wasn’t allowed to wear my Hillary button “on the plaza.” She said it was rules.
I asked if she was sure, because I’m just standing here in our single file line with my friends. She said wearing a button was “demonstrating,” and I had to take it off.
I asked again if she was sure, because that seems to run afoul of First Amendment protections, but hey… I want to see my professor (Mike Gottesman) argue in Chamber v. Brown at 11am, so I took it off.
I asked her who in their office I could talk to about their policy, because I just don’t understand its grounding. She barked at me, “JUST TAKE IT OFF!.”
Well, dang, she has a gun, so I’m just going to petition the government… at a later time when she can’t hurt me!
So, readers, what do you think? Does Sam have a legitimate grievance? Or will his petition be denied?
P.S. Sam Arora is identified here with his permission. Our default rule at ATL is anonymity for tipsters. But Mr. Arora is a quasi-celebrity here inside the Beltway, as one of The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill. Sadly, the Supreme Court policewoman proved immune to his charms.
We updated our original post from this morning about Samantha Power calling Hillary Clinton a “monster,” but it’s a big enough development to cover in a separate post. So here we go.
Professor Power, rumored love interest of Cass Sunstein, resigned from the Obama campaign because of her tawdry remarks about Hillary Clinton in an interview earlier this week. She also apologized publicly:
“With deep regret, I am resigning from my role as an adviser the Obama campaign effective today,” Ms. Power said in a statement released by the campaign. “Last Monday, I made inexcusable remarks that are at marked variance from my oft-stated admiration for Senator Clinton and from the spirit, tenor, and purpose of the Obama campaign. And I extend my deepest apologies to Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and the remarkable team I have worked with over these long 14 months.”
That statement was made by Samantha Power, a top foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama and new-ish love interest of Professor Cass Sunstein. Sunstein recently accepted a position at Harvard Law, leaving behind in Chicago his ex, philosopher Martha Nussbaum. Bossman David Lat posted all the gossip about the academic love triangle here.
Power, pictured, let her words slip during an interview in London with The Scotsman yesterday. Other tasty bits from that interview:
“We f**ked up in Ohio,” she admitted.
“You just look at her [Clinton] and think, ‘Ergh’.
Apparently Power was under the impression that her remarks were “off the record,” and therefore couldn’t be attributed to her. The interview was actually totally on the record, and The Scotsman gives an explanation at the bottom of the link.
UPDATE: Power has resigned from the Obama campaign, effective immediately. See here.
* Linda Greenhouse to $300K! [New York Observer via ABA Journal]
* Duties of a law school dean: attend parties, appear at conferences, talk to alums. And don’t forget the herding of cats — aka law professors. [TJ's Double Play]
* Even law review editors screw up sometimes. “Constructive acceptance”? [Concurring Opinions]
* Who’d have thunk it? Sometimes blogging can help people. And stuff. [Legal Blog Watch]
* Ethan Leib dresses up as a giant chicken to teach Contracts, thereby guaranteeing ABA accreditation. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Orin Kerr points out online interviews “with eight of the nine current Supreme Court Justices (all but Souter) about legal writing, advocacy, and the process of deciding cases and writing opinions.” [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Ann Althouse on John McCain and being a “natural-born citizen.” [Althouse]
* Hillary to Russert: You can’t handle the truth! About my tax returns. [TaxProf Blog]
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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