Kids

Rachel Brand Rachel L Brand Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, working at the U.S. Department of Justice may not be a party these days. But the recently announced, imminent departure of Assistant Attorney General Rachel L. Brand — her last day at the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy is July 9 — had nothing to do with recent controversies (contrary to some insinuations).
As tout le monde in D.C. legal circles knows, the fabulous Brand — known to some as the Prom Queen — was planning to step down for some time. The reason? She and her husband, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Cohn, are expecting a baby boy next month.
The lede of this Reuters report, while technically accurate, is therefore misleading. Thankfully, the Washington Post was more accurate:

[T]he Justice Department announced that Rachel Brand, assistant attorney general for legal policy, is resigning….

Justice officials said she plans to leave July 9 and stay at home with her first child, due this summer.

Brand, who worked on the renewal of the USA Patriot Act last year and the confirmation of two Supreme Court justices in 2005, is not known to have played a direct role in the U.S. attorneys’ removal.

“[N]ot known to have played a direct role” — maybe because she didn’t? If she had, rest assured that Chuck & Friends would have invited her over to Capitol Hill for a televised chat.

[D]epartment officials have said that Gonzales’s former chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, asked her whether she might want to replace a Michigan prosecutor who was forced out. Though interested at first, Brand did not apply for the job.

Yes, Brand shrewdly did not throw her hat into that ring. As we previously noted:

In declining to be considered, Rachel Brand showed the excellent judgment that has taken her so far, so fast. Had Rachel Brand replaced Margaret Chiara, she would have been the victim of a mainstream media pile-on. The New York Times editorial board would have derided her as a Bush Administration political hack with no prosecutorial experience (albeit a hack with impeccable academic credentials, including Harvard Law School and a Supreme Court clerkship with Justice Kennedy).

So what’s next for Rachel Brand (in addition to a bouncing baby boy)? She’s rumored to be meeting with various private law firms — and any of them would be lucky to snag this young legal superstar.
Brand has devoted the past six and a half years of her career to government service. She leaves the Bush Administration even more highly esteemed, on both sides of the aisle, than when she came in. This is no small feat, given the controversies that have shaken the DOJ, as well as the highly partisan atmosphere currently prevailing here in Washington.
We congratulate Rachel Brand on her successful leadership of the Office of Legal Policy, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors — including motherhood!
(Disclosure: We’d mention that we are friendly with Rachel Brand, but we know from past experience that many of you don’t like such disclaimers, which come across as shameless name-dropping. So we won’t.)
Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously identified Jonathan Cohn as Deputy Attorney General, rather than Deputy Assistant Attorney General (his correct title).
Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand Announces Departure [U.S. Dept. of Justice (press release)]
Bush Is Told to Justify Executive Privilege [Washington Post]
DOJ Loses Brand [The BLT: The Blog of the Legal Times]
Seventh official quits Justice Department [Reuters]
Justice Department Official Resigns [Associated Press]
Earlier: Rachel Brand: The Prom Queen Stays Out of Trouble

kids schoolkids black white schoolchildren Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgFrom the opinion of Chief Justice John “Sordid Business” Roberts:

“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

From Justice John Paul Stevens’s dissent:

“John, John, John, you don’t even — you’re glib. You don’t even know what Brown v. Board of Education is. If you start talking about school integration, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how schoolchildren are affected by racial segregation. That’s what I’ve done. Then you go and you say that no member of the Court at the time of Brown would have agreed with today’s decision.”

Enough quoting from the opinions. How should we react to this ruling?

1. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin!

2. Brown v. Board has been eviscerated!

3. American schoolchildren will soon be getting after-school milkshakes at lunch counters with Robert Bork!

(Note to diner owners: Keep those floors dry — or at least have a warning sign up while you’re mopping. If Judge Bork slips and falls, he WILL sue your ass.)
Court strikes down school integration plans [SCOTUSblog]
Schools Must Ignore Race in Placing Pupils, Justices Say [Associated Press]

rats rat mouse mice DOJ day care Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWorking as a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice offers many advantages over toiling as a law firm associate. Greater responsibility. Better hours. Nicer bosses (with some exceptions).
But working for the DOJ has disadvantages too. Lower pay. Less support staff. No Aeron chairs working pens.
And maybe rats snacking on your toddler. From a tipster:

Cadwalader may have bed bugs, but the Justice Department’s child care center has rats. The center is… managed by a board of directors, mainly middle aged DOJ lawyers.

Here’s an email making the rounds. My favorite line is “They will stay upstairs for play the rat of the day.”

Check out the email, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Even Worse Than the Cadwalader Bed Bugs”

* So what’s the solution here? Let another state’s appellate court hear the appeals? [AP via Kane County Chronicle via How Appealing]
* Come on, you can get the man a bond hearing earlier than three weeks from now. They’re killing me with this; let him go, damnit! [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Mississippi sues State Farm for bad faith. [Jurist]
* Texas is uncharacteristically deliberate about executing somebody. [CNN]
* What is it with lawyers and sports tickets? [WSJ Law Blog]

Teacher Sues Kids Over Teddy Bear Movie Above the Law abovethelaw blog.JPG
Teacher sues kids over teddy bear movie [CNN]

Miss Connecticut International Above the Law blog.jpg* It is my calling to keep people’s self-esteem in check when out of wack with reality. And to yet again point out the dangers of using MySpace if you’re over 21 or not a musician. I am also in a pissy mood today. [Gawker]
* The recent approval of a pill that stops menstruation has sparked much non-legal discussion on legal blogs, but I really just wanted to show you these funny stuffed tampons. [Law and Letters]
* Kids do the darndest things! A child-director, a lawsuit — and, of course, Kevin Bacon. [UPI]
* Claims of anorexia are just code for “Damn, she looks good!” and subsequent lawsuits code for “We need some free press” and “Don’t hate me because I’m hot.” But Keira, in life as in Star Wars, you remain the mere handmaiden to the Queen of Naboo. [Yahoo! News]
* If my boss asked me if he had a chance of eatin’ good in my neighborhood, I’d file a complaint as well. Unless he were hot, in which case I’d tell him to wait until after my wax. [Rockford Registrar Star]
* Old mothers, teen mothers, gay mothers… Just keep them out of high schools, please. End of PSA. [New York Times]

Madonna Frozen Above the Law blog.jpg* Duke, race, and why the honor code is harder to understand than “Fuqua” is to pronounce. [CNN; The News & Observer]
* When a woman rushes into the bathroom and emerges with no powder of any kind on her nose, it means she’s stealing your identity, fool. [Los Angeles Times]
* If models can insure their legs, surely this guy could have insured his nose. But I’m glad I now know that Zicam can make you oblivious to the smell of pee and chemical fires. [Charleston Daily Mail]
* Another travesty on an unsuspecting public? We seemed to have accepted the whole bottled water thing with little outcry. [Consumer Law & Policy Blog]
* I can really hear Madonna’s Frozen playing over a future Dateline segment on this troubled mother. [The Pittsburgh Channel]

Anne Heche Call Me Crazy Above the Law blog.jpg* A rabbi, a nun and Christopher Hitchens walk into a bar… [PrawfsBlawg]
* Unlike other 15-year-olds who appreciate toilet humor, this girl felt victimized by the inside joke. [Pensacola News Journal]
* Anne Heche continues to entertain/disturb, plus we haven’t had a cautionary divorce tale in some time. Stay tuned… [Nasty, Brutish & Short]
* Who knows? The junior associate who sent out that crazy email some time ago could end up the next Kafka. [Legal History Blog]
* Forget fashion mags, frenemies and Paris — this is the real harm perpetuated by women against other women. [Red Orbit]

* There’s an 80s French pop song that translates as “She made a baby herself,” and clearly this happens a lot (accidentally or by design). But for a man? It looks like the law has you covered too. [Baltimore Sun]
* Holiday tipping protocol is complicated. I thought the worst that could happen as the result of a less than generous trip was having to hail a cab yourself, but I’m obviously wrong. [UPI]
* Judge gets all game-theory on their ass. [The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)]
* Lawyers, nannies… They always screw things up, don’t they? But Mom always does know best. [Daily Mail]

Big Love Mormon polygamy Above the Law blog.jpgEarlier this week, a California judge tossed out a lawsuit brought by a high school student who was disciplined by her school, and teased by her classmates, for using the phrase “That’s so gay.” From the Associated Press:

Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Elaine Rushing said she sympathized with 18-year-old Rebekah Rice for the ridicule she experienced at Maria Carrillo High School. But, the judge said, Rice’s lawyers failed to prove that school administrators had violated any state laws or singled the girl out for punishment….

The case filed by Rice and her parents in 2003 brought widespread attention to a three-word phrase that some teenagers use to mean “stupid” or “uncool,” but has come under attack as an insensitive insult to gay people.

The Rices argued that a teacher violated Rebekah Rice’s First Amendment rights by sending her to the principal’s office and putting a note in her school file. During a trial in February, Rebekah Rice testified she said “That’s so gay” as a response to other students asking her rude questions about her Mormon upbringing.

Regardless of the legal merits, it seems that young Rebekah could learn a little sensitivity. How would she feel if a classmate derided an ugly outfit of hers by saying, “That’s so polygamous”?
Update / Clarification: We are NOT making fun of Mormonism. Please recall that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually REJECTS polgamy. Rather, we are making fun of the idiocy of playground insults (e.g., “That’s so polygamous” — which makes absolutely no sense).
Judge Rules in ‘That’s So Gay’ Case [Associated Press]

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