Politics

Pakistan Flag.jpgSeveral of you have requested a post about recent events in Pakistan. So here you go.
Truth be told, what’s going on over there — namely, a wholesale assault on civil society and the rule of law — isn’t typical ATL fodder. It’s deadly serious stuff, so it doesn’t fall under the entertainment prong of ATL’s mission. And it has nothing to do with “NY to 190,” so it doesn’t qualify under this site’s greed promotion function.
But the Pakistani protests are not completely devoid of more lighthearted aspects. Jezebel offers this take:

Is it too obvious that our initial reaction to all those shots of lawyers in protest of military rule in Pakistan was, “Umm that’s sort of hot!” a thought that led immediately to the query, “But are they as hot as those monks protesting military rule in Burma a month back?” Of course it is! And would it be kind of TMZ of us to run a thoroughly meaningless poll wondering what you think about this pressing issue? Very much so!

You can vote in the poll over here.
And there’s more. From a reader:

The Pakistan Supreme Court has an official “50th Anniversary Theme Song” from last year, entitled “And Justice For All.” It even has a bonus video! It’s dreadfully earnest, and is rather ironic given the circumstances.

The new version will be called “And Justice For All — Unless the President Says Otherwise.”

You can check out the video here (wmv file). Even though the Pakistani Supreme Court’s website has already been updated — to show Abdul Hameed Dogar as the “new” chief justice, and to scrub all references to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the other ousted jurists — the video is still available. So enjoy it now, before it gets taken down.
Finally, in a gesture towards real journalism, we present the house arrest order against prominent Pakistani lawyer Asma Jahangir, as well as an email from her.
Check out these items, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Disrespected and Dissolved
(Despite Having a Theme Song)”

Michael Mukasey small Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgThe Senate Judiciary Committee just voted in favor of the nomination of Michael Mukasey to serve as attorney general. The tally was 11-8, with two Democrats — Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein — joining all the Republicans in supporting him.
What had been looking like a nailbiter of a nomination should sail through the full Senate fairly easily. The floor vote on the nomination should take place by next week.
Congratulations, Judge Mukasey!
Nomination of Mukasey Sent to Full Senate [New York Times]
Panel Sends Mukasey Nomination to Senate [Washington Post]

Jan Crawford Greenburg 3.jpgOne of our favorite Supreme Court reporters, the fabulous Jan Crawford Greenburg, gave a speech at Harvard Law School today. But she didn’t tarry in Cambridge:

Not sure what is going on, but JCG just finished giving a speech at HLS and said that:

a) She was turning around to go back to Washington immediately (this was not her original plan) and that the folks in DC had actually wanted her to turn around and catch the next shuttle back right away this morning after she landed.

b) We should be sure to watch the news tonight.

Not sure if there is anything to this, but checking Drudge and everything else there don’t seem to be any legal headlines going on. So the whole thing just seemed sort of weird.

Sure, I guess a few hundred bucks is nothing to ABC News, but the whole thing just seemed sort of odd. So I thought I’d throw it your way in case there were any other rumors flying about.

Correction / Update: We’ve been advised that the foregoing information actually came from the remarks introducing Jan Crawford Greenburg, not from the speech of JCG herself, and was mentioned only by way of explaining why the event was being cut somewhat short (with a planned lunch cancelled).
Has anyone heard anything? Nothing over at JCG’s blog, Legalities, hints at the reason for her rapid return to Washington.
Might Jan Crawford Greenburg’s hasty retreat back to DC be related to the embattled nomination of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General? Maybe Mukasey will give her an exclusive interview, in which he will declare waterboarding “not cool”?
Your speculation, informed or otherwise, is welcome in the comments.
P.S. On the subject of Mukasey and waterboarding, see this editorial cartoon.
Mukasey Mulls Waterboarding [The Illustrated Daily Scribble]
Bush Moves to Save Mukasey Nomination [New York Times]
Open Thread — The Nomination of Michael Mukasey [WSJ Law Blog]
Mukasey Confirmation Unlikely as Sen. Kennedy Joins Opposition to President’s AG Nominee [Blogonaut]

D Kyle Sampson Kyle Sampson Kyle D Sampson Kyle Samson Above the Law blog.jpgOf all the characters in the U.S. Attorney firings drama, Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, was not our favorite. When he testified on Capitol Hill, he was earnest, sweaty, and decidedly non-fabulous — unlike Monica Goodling, who took the Senate Judiciary Committee by storm with a dazzling performance.
But even though his government service ended inauspiciously, Sampson has done just fine for himself. From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Three Washington lawyers with Utah ties – including the chief of staff to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales – are joining the food and drug practice at the firm Hunton & Williams.

D. Kyle Sampson, a Cedar City native, was Gonzales’ chief of staff at the Justice Department until he resigned amid a controversy over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys, a move that spawned congressional investigations. Sampson, who compiled the list of attorneys who were fired, testified for hours before House and Senate committees in public hearings and private interviews.

Before joining the Justice Department he was an Associate Counsel to the President at the White House, was director of personnel for the Bush administration, and was an aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch on the Judiciary Committee. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Chicago University law school.

We wonder if the Mormon Mafia had a hand in his hiring. They are to the legal world what the Gay Mafia is to fashion!
Sampson, ex-aide to Gonzales, joins law firm [Salt Lake Tribune]

D Kyle Sampson Kyle Sampson Kyle D Sampson Kyle Samson Above the Law blog.jpgOf all the characters in the U.S. Attorney firings drama, Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, was not our favorite. When he testified on Capitol Hill, he was earnest, sweaty, and decidedly non-fabulous — unlike Monica Goodling, who took the Senate Judiciary Committee by storm with a dazzling performance.
But even though his government service ended inauspiciously, Sampson has done just fine for himself. From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Three Washington lawyers with Utah ties – including the chief of staff to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales – are joining the food and drug practice at the firm Hunton & Williams.

D. Kyle Sampson, a Cedar City native, was Gonzales’ chief of staff at the Justice Department until he resigned amid a controversy over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys, a move that spawned congressional investigations. Sampson, who compiled the list of attorneys who were fired, testified for hours before House and Senate committees in public hearings and private interviews.

Before joining the Justice Department he was an Associate Counsel to the President at the White House, was director of personnel for the Bush administration, and was an aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch on the Judiciary Committee. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Chicago University law school.

We wonder if the Mormon Mafia had a hand in his hiring. They are to the legal world what the Gay Mafia is to fashion!
Sampson, ex-aide to Gonzales, joins law firm [Salt Lake Tribune]

staph infection staphylococcus Above the Law blog.jpg* Family to sue NYC over staph death. [CNN]
* Nader sues DNC for trying to win 2004 Presidential election conspiring against him in 2004. [AP via Breitbart]
* Should law school be more like business school? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Georgia to $336,000 in child support! [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Yep, de facto moratorium. [New York Times]

Charles Rangel Rep Charles B Rangel Charlie Rangel tax Above the Law blog.jpgNor does he want to raise your taxes, at least if you’re a member of the middle class (which many Biglaw lawyers are, at least if “middle class” is broadly defined). He actually wants to bring the middle class tax relief.
Since you all felt so strongly about it, judging from the hundreds of comments, we thought we’d bring you this quick follow-up to last week’s post about Rep. Charles Rangel’s new tax plan. In our write-up, we highlighted the 4 percent surtax for single earners with incomes over $150,000, or married couples with incomes over $200,000.
But Rep. Rangel argues that the bill is really all about abolishing the alternative minimum tax (AMT). He makes this argument today in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal (not the natural habitat of a Charlie Rangel byline).
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Rep. Charlie Rangel Doesn’t Want To Eat Your Babies”

Hillary Clinton witch Hillary Rodham Clinton Above the Law blog.jpg* Happy Birthday, Mrs. President! Scott Shrake conducts an astrological analysis of Hillary Clinton. [Huffington Post]
* Speaking of witch, is Stephen Colbert “the best-scripted candidate this side of Hillary Clinton”? [Radar Online]
* “‘Terrorism,’ Censored Legal Briefs & The Blogosphere: Awesome Together.” [Fishbowl NY]
* Lawsuit of the Day: Mom of “Let’s Go Crazy” Baby fights back. [ABC News]
* Benchslap of the Day: federal judge tells SEC lawyer, to “sit down” and “shut up.” [WSJ Law Blog]

The headlines say it all, over at the Drudge Report:
dont tase me bro Drudge Report Above the Law blog.jpg
We previously wrote about the incident here. The report exonerating the officers is not flattering to the tased bro, Andrew Meyer:

In the 17-page summary of the report, FDLE said it spoke with several witnesses who said that days before the event Meyer vowed to put on ”a show” at the Kerry event.

According to the report, during a Sept. 11 Gators for Rudy [Giuliani] rally, Meyer got into an argument with another student and told a friend that “if he liked what he had seen that he should go to the Kerry speech and he would really see a show.”

In addition, the report said that after his arrest, when Meyer was out of view of the cameras, he told officers that they did not do anything wrong and then asked “if cameras will be at the jail.”

UF police cleared in ‘Don’t Tase me, Bro’ case [Miami Herald]
President Machen comments on FDLE review of student arrest [University of Florida]
Andrew Meyer [official website]
Earlier: Sadly, John Kerry Wasn’t Tasered (But He Could Have Used the Electricity)

Charles Rangel Rep Charles B Rangel Charlie Rangel tax Above the Law blog.jpgMaybe associates clamoring for yet another pay raise have a point. Maybe $160,000 is not enough.
Because, if certain Democrats get their way, a new surtax will be imposed that will hit even first-year associates at most large law firms. Under a tax plan proposed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY), a 4 percent surtax will hit single earners with incomes over $150,000, or married couples with incomes over $200,000. For incomes above $500,000, which are increasingly common in Biglaw, the surtax would rise to 4.6 percent.
So, readers, what do you think? Many lawyers harbor progressive political views. Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is, and support politicians who will raise taxes on people like you?
Update: As noted by several commenters, the full plan has several other provisions. For example, it would lower the top corporate tax rate to 30.5% from 35%, and it would scrap the alternative minimum tax (AMT). For more details, see here.
Feel free to vote in our reader poll, after the jump.

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