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 What if the U.S. Senate’s constitutional privilege of “advice and consent” was revoked?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]
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.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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