Howard Bashman

sex toy cornucopia pornucopia Above the Law blog.jpgYou can find the weirdest s**t on Craigslist:

I’m creating a proposal for a downtown performance art show based on US sex laws – the quirkier the better. There are many lists online of these laws, but it’s really hard to find the actual statute or case number. In some cases, they either don’t exist or are changed to sound funny but the actual law is not so strange. Like, if its illegal to bring an animal into a public space, you could say that porcupines are not allowed at the opera but then neither is a dog. So much for your funny porcupine law.

The strength of the show is based on the truth – like the real Texas law where having 7 or more sex toys in your possession is “intent to distribute”. I’m looking to see if some defunct laws ever existed – like the supposed Florida law that banned unmarried women from parachuting on Sundays.

If you even understand what I’m going for and have access to a law library (online or brick&mortar), please contact me.


Our tipster writes: “I’d take it on myself, but I’m not sure how I’d bill it. I know Loyola 2L is pretty hard up; perhaps he could use the extra bucks. Plus, something tells me Gabrielle’s gotta be hot (Roissy would surely agree).”
Gabrielle: you might want to drop Howard Bashman a line. He is a recognized authority on sex toys (as a legal if not practical matter).
Update: A diligent associate at a bonus-bestowing firm recommends A Guide to America’s Sex Laws, by no less an authority than the eminent Judge Richard Posner.
But this sex law compendium might come with a big red flag over it, in the wake of Lawrence v. Texas. The diligent associate points out: “Note that it’s out of date, coming as it did in the Bowers era.”
RESEARCH – Strange Laws for Performance Piece (Lower East Side) [Craigslist]

* He likes ‘em young. [WNBC]
* WSJ Law Blog follows SCOTUS comedy. [WSJ Law Blog]
* More Jack Thompson chicanery. [GamePolitics]
* In keeping with the non-top-tier theme, here’s a Tier 4 that’s moving. [WRAL]
* Sorry, Howard Bashman. [Yahoo!]

dahlia lithwick headshot.jpgWe’re loving this little dustup over our item about Nina Totenberg getting territorial over seating in the Supreme Court press gallery. It got us a shout-out in the Washington Post. And it’s generating celebrity correspondence for us, too.
Over the weekend, we heard from SCOTUS bar superstar Tom Goldstein. And then, this morning, we received this email, from one of our favorite commentators on legal affairs:

From: Dahlia Lithwick
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 10:35 AM
To: David Lat
Subject: one bigger question raised in Divagate

The Wa Po article about Nina said she was “dean” of the Supreme Court press corps.

I have also heard that title applied to both Linda [Greenhouse] and Lyle [Denniston] at various times.

What the heck is that about?

Is it a real position? Is it tenured?

Good questions. It reminds us of “The Tenth Justice,” a title that has been bestowed on everyone from the Solicitor General to ex-judge J. Michael Luttig to Howard Bashman (by Howard Bashman).
Also, can you run for this post of “dean”? If the SCOTUS press corps is like high school, is this like being class president? Or prom queen?
If so, we nominate Dahlia Lithwick. She’s fabulous! How many Supreme Court correspondents have Facebook fan clubs?
(Linda Greenhouse, eat your (bleeding) heart out….)
Names & Faces: Totenberg’s Courtside Seat [Washington Post]
A3G to President Bush: Pick Alito, Not Luttig [Underneath Their Robes]
Earlier: Why Is Nina Totenberg Like Judy Miller?

Alex Kozinski.jpgThe brilliant and irascible Judge Alex Kozinski, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, has handed down his opinion on blogs, and it’s scathing. The audio link is down, but Orin Kerr helpfully gives us the juicy bits:

ERIC GOLDMAN: So but what about blogs? . . .

JUDGE ALEX KOZINSKI: I hate them, hateful things.

ERIC GOLDMAN: Why do you hate blogs? . . . .

JUDGE ALEX KOZINSKI: I just think it’s so self-indulgent, you know. “Oh, I’m so proud of what I’m saying, I think the world instantly wants to know what I’m thinking today.” People wake up thinking, . . . . “I wonder what great thoughts have come into his mind this morning that I can feel myself edified by. I can’t really have breakfast — really enjoy my day — until I hear the great thoughts of Howard Bashman!” I don’t think so. I go for months without ever knowing what Howard has to say. So I don’t know. I find it sort of self-indulgent. And I find it grandiloquent. And I find it annoying, particularly if I’m in an audience and people are sitting there typing in their computers.

Why is Kozinski picking on Bashman? How Appealing is the opposite of grandiloquent; it’s essentially a just-the-facts clearinghouse for the day’s news.
If the self-nominated judicial superhottie and recent ATL critic has a beef with grandiloquent blogs, a more fitting target might be the one run by his former clerks, Eugene and Sasha: the verbose Volokh Conspiracy!

All About Eve 2 Linda Greenhouse Jan Crawford Greenburg Jan Greenburg Jan Greenberg Jan Crawford Greenberg Above the Law.JPGOur favorite movie of all time is All About Eve (1950). It’s the story of a brilliant but aging stage diva, Margo Channing (Bette Davis), and an aspiring actress, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Margo befriends Eve, taking the star-struck youngster under her wing. But then the exceedingly ambitious Eve starts to threaten her mentor’s reign as queen of the theater.
The small Supreme Court press corps can be compared to the clubby world of the theater. It’s populated by distinguished veterans, like Tony Mauro, and emerging younger talents, like Dahlia Lithwick. (Expressed in Broadway terms, Mauro and Lithwick could be compared to, respectively, Christopher Plummer and Sutton Foster.)
The stage has its great divas — e.g., Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera — and so does the SCOTUS press corps. Nina Totenberg is certainly one of them. But the undoubted queen of Supreme Court correspondents is Linda Greenhouse, of the New York Times.
Greenhouse has been covering the Court for almost three decades, since 1978. She enjoys unmatched access to the justices, especially those in the middle and left wings of the Court. Supreme Court justices are notoriously media-shy. But Linda Greenhouse can magically reach them on their cell phones, at any hour, and get them to spill their deepest and darkest secrets. If you want to know whether there was blood in a justice’s stool this morning, ask Linda G.
So here’s our question:

If Linda Greenhouse is the Margo Channing of Supreme Court reporters, does that make Jan Crawford Greenburg into Eve Harrington?

Just like Eve Harrington, Jan Crawford Greenburg of ABC News is a talented and attractive young woman, whose star is on the rise. In the past three months, she has scored coveted in-person interviews with almost half of the Supreme Court:

(1) Chief Justice John Roberts, in Miami;

(2) Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer, here in Washington; and

(3) earlier this week, Justice John Paul Stevens (his first network television interview ever).

For all of you non-journalist types, please understand: these are MAJOR COUPS.
And there’s more. As Howard Bashman notes, later this month, Greenburg has a “top-secret” new book on the Court coming out. That book, Supreme Conflict, is being touted as drawing upon “unprecedented access to the Supreme Court justices and their inner circles.”
(Note to Greenburg’s book publicist: We’d love to get a reviewer’s copy, if you wouldn’t mind sending one our way.)
Call it Greenhouse v. Greenburg. Linda Greenhouse’s historic domination of Supreme Court coverage is under siege, as Jan Crawford Greenburg makes some serious inroads at One First Street. And we’re not the only ones who have taken notice. Check out Howard Bashman’s great interview with La Greenburg, posted just this morning, in which he accurately describes the trajectory of her career as “meteoric.”
We will surely piss off some people with this question, but we’ll ask it anyway:

Could Greenburg’s status as a hottie be contributing in any way, however small, to her journalistic success?

In All About Eve, you will recall, Eve Harrington uses her beauty and charm to seduce theatre critics, writers, and directors.*
Some of you might object: “This whole ‘All About Jan’ theory is ridiculous. Linda Greenhouse has been covering the Court since Jan Crawford Greenburg was in footsie pajamas. Do you really think LG is about to be supplanted as Empress by some upstart kid?”
We respond by quoting this exchange from All About Eve, between Margo Channing and her lover, Bill Sampson:

BILL: Darling, [to succeed in the theater,] you’ve got to keep your teeth sharp. All right. But you will not sharpen them on me — or on Eve…

MARGO: What about her teeth? What about her fangs?

BILL: She hasn’t cut them yet, and you know it!

But Jan Crawford Greenburg HAS sharpened her pearly whites (which we’ve admired up close). And she’s ready to sink them into Linda Greenhouse.
* Rumor has it that back in the day, as a young and attractive reporter, Nina Totenberg was not averse to “workin’ it.” If you can confirm this rumor or shed more light on it, please drop us a line.
N.B. We are NOT suggesting that Nina Totenberg pulled The Full Judith Miller. We’ve simply heard that Totenberg, back when she was a youthful beauty, was highly skilled at deploying feminine charm in getting her sources to talk.
Update: This comment is one of the best compliments we have ever received in our entire life. Addison DeWitt is our idol. Thanks, Michael Doyle!
Interview of Jan Crawford Greenburg by Howard Bashman [How Appealing]
Jan Crawford Greenburg [NewsHour Extra: The Road Taken]
Linda Greenhouse bio [Wikipedia]
All About Eve [IMDb]
All About Eve screenplay [Screenplays for You]
Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court [Amazon]

Christmas presents.jpgNot done with your holiday shopping yet? Stumped about what to get for all those special lawyers in your life?
Howard Bashman has some ideas. So does Paul Caron (scroll down).
And, of course, don’t forget to check out Illegal Briefs. Their motto? “Be a lawyer. Don’t dress like one.” (Thanks to commenter Peter for the tip.)
From an in-house lawyer, here’s one Christmas present that was not particularly appreciated:

While my office has been flooded with good and bad holiday gifts from law firms, the award for most pretentious goes to Pilsbury Winthrop. A block of chocolate with the firm’s name etched in it, with bad ad copy describing it as the finest Belgian chocolate…

An In-House Tipster

When we were at a law firm, we got all sorts of random gifts: a Tiffany money clip from an outside photocopying service, a coffee table book from a court reporting company, a case of wine from a client (that was our favorite).
Feel free to share your best and worst holiday gifts in the comments.
Gift Ideas for the Appellate Lawyer on Your Holiday Shopping List [ via How Appealing]
Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person [TaxProf Blog]

* The Volokh Conspiracy wins Best Law Blog. Congrats to the VC crew! [The Weblog Awards 2006 via 2nd Place Winner How Appealing]
* F&@% you, FCC!. []
* And in my-home-state-is-not-completely-backward news… [Jurist]
* If he sold it, Ron Goldman wants the money. [AP via FindLaw]
* Internet illiterate NY Mom, who doesn’t know “a kazaa from a kazoo,” is dropped from recording industry’s suit against her children. [AP via lexisONE]

Harry Pregerson Judge Harry Pregerson Above the Law.jpgOr at least a big benchslap upside the head, courtesy of the Supreme Court. Per Orin Kerr:

A lot of people have talked about the Supreme Court’s small docket; Judge Harry Pregerson of the Ninth Circuit is actually doing something about it. He handed down an opinion today in Carrington v. United States that has “Destination: One First Street” written all over it.

Read the rest of Professor Kerr’s devastating critique here. Howard Bashman also doesn’t think highly of the opinion.
Professor Kerr concludes by quoting George Will: “[t]here should be two Supreme Courts, one to reverse the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the other to hear all other cases.” Will’s article was about a “Reinhardt special.” But as Carrington shows, Judge Stephen Reinhardt isn’t racking up reversals all by himself; he gets by with a little help from his friends.
One final note: Carrington gave Judge Consuelo Callahan, the luscious Latina sometimes mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee, the opportunity to write an impassioned, high-profile dissent. Judge Callahan should be grateful to Judge Pregerson for giving her the chance to develop conservative street cred. If she gets nominated to the SCOTUS someday, she should thank Judge Pregerson at her investiture.*
(We’d be curious to hear what Professor Doug Berman, sentencing guidelines guru, thinks of Carrington.)
Update: Professor Berman weighs in. Interesting! Are the conservatives now guilty of putting their policy preferences ahead of the letter of the law?
* Best correction ever, from Slate: “Our article originally identified Consuelo Callahan as Consuela Callahan.”
Because, you know, all Latinas in the state of California are named “Consuela.” They’re all maids. And they’re all played by Lupe Ontiveros in the movies.
Carrington v. United States [Volokh Conspiracy]
Carrington v. United States (PDF) [Ninth Circuit via How Appealing]

thoughtful man.gifAnn Althouse raises a potential quibble with the above quip, made by Justice Antonin Scalia in a public appearance this past weekend. She writes:

It would be better to say “not everything that is stupid is unconstitutional.” “Everything that is stupid is not unconstitutional” can be read to mean that every stupid thing is constitutional, when plenty of stupid things are unconstitutional. I know there’s some argument over whether this should actually be considered a usage error. The argument that it’s not usually brings up Shakespeare’s “All that glisters is not gold.” Why didn’t he write “Not all that glisters is gold”?

Howard Bashman criticizes Professor Althouse for engaging in “untoward nitpicking on the internet.” But it seems to us that Althouse, after raising this possible ambiguity, ultimately comes down on the same side as Bashman:

[F]orget about this particular language nicety, I’d say. I’m rather glad to myself, since I was personally needled for years by someone who was inordinately vigilant on this usage point.

To support her position that this is much ado about nothing, Althouse cites Fowler. And as we’ve pointed out in these pages, Justice Scalia is a devout follower of Fowler.
We say: Everything is illuminated that is not unilluminated. Including the dispute over this issue of usage.
“It so happens that everything that is stupid is not unconstitutional.” [Althouse]
Does “Everything that is stupid is not unconstitutional” equal “Every stupid thing is constitutional”? [How Appealing]
Earlier: The Eyes of the Law: A Legitimate Use of “Scalito”
The “S” Clash: Scalia’s Position Explained
Read This Only If You’re a Grammar Nerd

david hoffman professor david hoffman.jpgMr. Bashman, don’t despair. ATL did NOT overlook your lunch with Professor David Hoffman, of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law (as you apparently feared).
Come now. Do you really think we’d miss a sighting of two high-profile bloggers — Howard Bashman, of How Appealing, and Dave Hoffman, of Concurring Opinions (at right) — getting their lunch on?
It just took us a little while to find a tipster with the requisite information. Here’s an account of the lunch, courtesy of “A Temple Owl in the Know”:

Celebrity blawg writer Howard Bashman, and the menschily hot Professor Hoffman, dined at the glamorous Temple University Student Center. The even more glamorous Temple University food carts were rendered a bad option due to a pounding rain.

Hoffman appeared to be eating something greasy, but complemented by a lovely side of grapes. Bashman had a dry sandwich and a soda, which he seemed pleased with.

I couldn’t overhear their conversation. But I doubt it was as interesting as the freshmen at the next table talking about their surprisingly eventful weekend in Atlantic City….

Our spies are everywhere. Legal celebrities, misbehave at your peril!
(If you’re disappointed by the starpower of our sighted “celebrities,” you have only yourselves to blame. We rely upon you, our readers — people who actually leave their apartments — to tell us about the famous lawyers and judges you see out in public. Please send us your sightings by email. Thanks.)
Howard Bashman’s Trip to Temple [How Appealing]
Taking Oral Argument to School [Concurring Opinions]
Earlier: The Eyes of the Law: Leading Blawgers at Lunch