Politics

Taser 2 lawyers taser client Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re suckers for taser gun stories. Like this one, from the AP:

A University of Florida student was Tasered and arrested after trying angrily and repeatedly to ask U.S. Senator John Kerry about the 2004 election and other subjects during a campus forum….

Videos of Monday’s incident posted on several Web sites show officers pulling Andrew Meyer, 21, away from the microphone after he asks Kerry about impeaching President Bush and whether he and Bush were both members of the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University.

“He apparently asked several questions he went on for quite awhile then he was asked to stop,” university spokesman Steve Orlando said. “He had used his allotted time. His microphone was cut off, then he became upset.”

More discussion, plus video, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sadly, John Kerry Wasn’t Tasered (But He Could Have Used the Electricity)”

Larry Craig airport mens room bathroom Above the Law blog.jpg* Don’t try doing #2 at the Larry Craig airport bathroom, unless you want tourists photographing your ankles in a “wide stance.” [BBC via Althouse; Idaho Statesman via Drudge]
* Did President Bush pick Michael Mukasey as his AG nominee to avoid a “bruising, potentially embarrassing fight” with the Democrats? Or is that analysis “way too facile”? [NYObserver.com; Marc Ambinder]
* Can New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick deduct his $500,000 fine? [TaxProf Blog via WSJ Law Blog]
* Blawg Review #126 is now available — with a heavy emphasis on business and the law (subjects of great interest to many of you). [Small Business Trends via Blawg Review]

Erwin Chemerinsky Duke Law School UC Irvine Above the Law blog.jpgThis email message, from Professor Erwin Chemerinsky to Duke law school faculty and students, went out ten minutes ago.
Also, here’s some coverage from the Los Angeles Times.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “Erwin Chemerinsky”
To: [redacted]
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 13:07:53 -0400
Subject: news
It is with excitement and sadness that I am writing to tell you that I have accepted the position to be the founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Law at the University of California, Irvine. After meeting with Chancellor Michael Drake at length this weekend, I accepted his renewed offer. He provided me the greatest possible assurance of academic freedom for the dean and all faculty.
It has been one of the strangest and most difficult weeks of my life. I cannot possibly express my thanks for all of the support that I received from the law school’s faculty, administrators, and students. I am sad to be leaving this wonderful supportive community, though excited about the new challenges ahead.
Chemerinsky to return as UC Irvine law dean [Los Angeles Times]

Michael Mukasey Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgNo official announcement has been made (despite the claim of Wikipedia that “[o]n September 16, 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Mukasey to serve as the 81st Attorney General of the United States”). But numerous news outlets are reporting that President Bush has selected Michael B. Mukasey — currently a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler in New Yorker, and former chief judge of the S.D.N.Y. — as his attorney general nominee, to replace Alberto Gonzales.
We’ll have more to say after an official announcement, which could come as early as tomorrow morning. In the meantime, read Judge Mukasey’s interesting, frequently cited Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, on the Jose Padilla case (which he handled in part).
If you have firsthand experience with Judge Mukasey — e.g., as a litigant who has appeared before him, or as one of his law clerks — please share your thoughts in the comments, or by email. Thanks.
Bush plans to pick Mukasey for A.G. [Politico.com]
Bush Settles on Mukasey to Replace Gonzales [Washington Post]
Bush Expected to Name Judge as Gonzales’s Successor [New York Times]
Judge Top Contender to Replace Gonzales: Aide [Reuters]
Bush Picks Mukasey as Attorney General [AP]
Sources: Retired judge may replace Gonzales [CNN]
Jose Padilla Makes Bad Law [Wall Street Journal]
Michael B. Mukasey [Wikipedia]

Charlie Savage Book Party 1A.JPG
“Dear Jim: Thanks for the great job you do pushing the mail cart around the office. You truly are a special person!”
[Charlie Savage signs a copy of his book for Aaron Zitner, politics editor for the Los Angeles Times.]
Earlier this week, we attended a delightful book party for Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, by Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe. Savage won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, based on his work on presidential signing statements.
Photos and discussion of the star-studded event — after you win a Pulitzer, everyone is your friend! — after the jump.

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Erwin Chemerinsky Duke Law School UC Irvine Above the Law blog.jpgWho knew that such a little man could generate such big controversy?
In a nutshell (see the links collected below for more):
Erwin Chemerinsky, the brilliant but controversial professor of constitutional law at Duke, accepted an offer to serve as inaugural dean of UC Irvine’s new law school. But then Professor Chemerinsky’s deanship was yanked as quickly as it was offered, based on the administration’s discomfort with Chemerinsky’s political views.
One tipster reminds us: “For those who took BarBri, Chemerinsky is the Con Law professor who can recite the entire lecture (2 days if I recall) from memory, without consulting his notes.”
Does anyone have a copy of, or know the contents of, Chemerinsky’s employment contract with U.C. Irvine? If so, please contact us by email. Thanks.
Also, you can take our reader poll about the controversy, which appears after the jump.
New UC Irvine Law School Hires Chemerinsky as Dean, Then Fires Him for Political Reasons
[Brian Leiter's Law School Reports]
The O.C. — Law School Edition [WSJ Law Blog]
Could This Be True??? [PrawfsBlawg]
Chemerinsky says UC Irvine rescinds offer to become law school dean [Los Angeles Times]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Chemerinskygate: Dean for a Day?”

hillary clinton is magnificent.jpgCheck out this interesting data about the campaign contributions of Yale faculty and staff, over at Instapundit. It prompted Glenn Reynolds to ask: “Why don’t the Yale Law faculty like Hillary?”
Good question. And here’s another: Even if the Yale Law faculty don’t like this distinguished YLS alumna, why don’t they at least send their (hopefully non-tainted) money her way? Don’t they want her to remember them when she’s President Clinton, looking to fill high-ranking Justice Department posts or spots on the federal bench? As the old saying goes, “Scratch a Yale law professor (or graduate) and you’ll find an aspiring federal judge.”
(The information originally appeared in this excellent Yale Daily News article by Andrew Mangino — who, by the way, helped us out with the reporting for this piece on law firm economics and culture.)
Yale’s Diversity Problem [Instapundit]
Profs donate heavily to Dems [Yale Daily News]

Deborah Jeane Palfrey 2 Debra Jean Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.jpgThe Hostess with the Mostest (Hos), alleged D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey, continues to make news. First, she’s advancing an interesting new defense. From Big Head DC:

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the accused “DC Madam,” filed a memo with DC’s U.S. District Court today, detailing her plans to move forward with a “Honey Pot” defense, under the representation of lawyer Montgomery Blair Sibley.

The memo alleges that “the United States Government has been directly or indirectly benefiting from the operation of her service by monitoring her customers and is thus equitably barred from prosecuting her,” according to Sibley.

And government officials were “benefiting from the operation of her service” in other ways, too.
Speaking of which, here’s more bad news for Sen. David Vitter. From the AP:

A former New Orleans prostitute who says she had an affair with Sen. David Vitter has passed a lie-detector test and will provide details of the four-month relationship at a press conference Tuesday, according to Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.

Wendy Cortez, whose real name is Wendy Ellis, says she had a sexual relationship with Vitter, R-La., in 1999, when he was a state legislator.

Sounds juicy. Stay tuned.
“DC Madam” Files “Honey Pot” Defense; Names New High-Ranking Govt. Official Who Used Escort Service [Big Head DC]
Flynt Unveiling More Vitter Claims [AP via WTOP]

George J Terwilliger III George Terwilliger Attorney General Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday we opined that Judge Laurence H. Silberman would get the Attorney General nomination. Now we take that back.
After our post, a knowledgeable source informed us that Laurence Silberman isn’t interested in the job. A second source, who confirmed Judge Silberman’s lack of interest, added that he might be tougher to confirm that one might expect for a longtime federal judge. See here.
Then we came across this great analysis of the AG situation, by the ever-fabulous Jan Crawford Greenburg. She writes, over at her blog, Legalities:

The White House could announce as early as Wednesday its nominee to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson has emerged as a leading candidate—despite initial concerns in the administration that he could face a tough confirmation hearing, according to sources close to the process.

Olson, a highly regarded Washington D.C. lawyer, has broad support inside the administration because of his deep experience in the Justice Department in two different presidential administrations. In addition to serving as solicitor general during President Bush’s first term, Olson headed the Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan Administration.

This is consistent with what just went up at the Drudge Report:

FLASH: Ted Olson becomes frontrunner for Attorney General, top sources tell DRUDGE REPORT; announcement could be imminent… Developing…

But we’re not so sure. Remember when Edith Brown Clement looked like the frontrunner for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice O’Connor? This White House likes surprises.
More discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Who Will Be the Next AG? We’re Betting On Terwilliger”

Laurence Silberman Judge Laurence H Silberman Laurence Hirsch Silberman Above the Law blog.jpgAs noted in the Washington Post, President Bush is expected to name Alberto Gonzales’s replacement as attorney general in the next few days, after returning from Australia tomorrow. The WaPo seems to be predicting Ted Olson:

[F]ormer solicitor general Theodore B. Olson has emerged as one of the leading contenders for the job, according to sources inside and outside the government who are familiar with White House deliberations.

Other candidates still in the running include former deputy attorney general George J. Terwilliger III and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Laurence H. Silberman, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

Even though we’re still rooting for our former boss, based on this short list, we’re predicting Judge Laurence Silberman (who previously served as Deputy Attorney General, the #2 job at the Justice Department).
More thoughts, including discussion of George Terwilliger and Larry Thompson, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Who Will Be the Next AG? We’re Saying Silberman”

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