Stephen Breyer

Christmas tree.jpg* The holiday season is here, and you know what that means: year-end bonuses for law firm associates. On Friday, Milbank Tweed made the first big bonus announcement. And this time it wasn’t fake.
* They talk a lot about “due process” over at Yale Law School. But questions have been raised concerning the process by which Linda Greenhouse, SCOTUS reporter for the New York Times, was selected over Justice Samuel Alito for the school’s prestigious Award of Merit.
* If Greenhouse benefited from preferential treatment from YLS Dean Harold Koh, it wouldn’t have been the first time.
* Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer: not just geniuses, but also an inspired comedic duo.
* Speaking of great legal minds, Professor Noah Feldman is leaving NYU for Harvard Law School.
* And speaking of NYU Law School, if you haven’t already voted in the 3L hotties contest, there’s still some time left. Polls close tomorrow at 3PM (Eastern time).
* Finally, we have a new little sibling. Please extend a warm welcome to Supermogul: The View From the Top.

Stephen Breyer and Charles Fried.JPGWe just got back from the very interesting discussion between Justice Stephen Breyer and Harvard Law School Professor Charles Fried, held at Georgetown Law School, and moderated by Professor Neal Katyal. We’ll post a full report — and photos — in the near future.
For now, though — we’re running out the door again — here’s our favorite part of the discussion.
Professor Katyal poses a hypothetical concerning whether, consistent with the First Amendment, a law could be passed forcing networks to replace entertainment shows like “Lost” with more civic-minded, educational fare, like vice-presidential debates. The example raises a tension between First Amendment freedom and Justice Breyer’s conception of the First Amendment’s purpose: promoting civic awareness and participation.
Professor Fried — who is a very dignified, elegant, and professorial older gentleman — starts to respond.
Professor Fried: “I watched Grey’s Anatomy for the first time last night, while flossing my teeth, in the other room. My wife doesn’t allow me to floss in the same room as her.”
[Laughter at this totally random domestic confession. The audience takes a moment to imagine Professor Fried in paisley pajamas, flossing his teeth, while his wife awaits his return in the bedroom.]
Professor Fried: “And I can assure you, the show is far more entertaining than any vice-presidential debate!”
Justice Breyer: “Gray’s Anatomy? I thought that was a medical text.”
Professor Fried: “You watch it, you’ll see that it ain’t!”
Unfortunately, the discussion quickly turns to campaign finance reform. We never learn whether Professor Fried favored “Dr. McDreamy” or “Dr. McVet” for Meredith Grey.

New York University Law School NYU Law School Above the Law.JPGThe polls remain open in our latest hotties contest: NYU Law School third-year students. You can vote on the men by clicking here, and the women by clicking here.
A quick administrative announcement: voting will end on Monday, December 11, at 3 PM (Eastern time). If you’d like to do some campaigning, for yourself or for a friend, make good use of the weekend.
What are the current standings? The men’s race is very close: Michael Okoye leads with 20.9 percent of the vote, but Marcos Arellano is right behind him, with 20.0 percent. Okoye may be benefitting from an internet campaign, as well as a testimonial from his college roommate.
The women’s race, in contrast, isn’t looking terribly exciting. Apparently gentlemen prefer blondes: Noa Clark currently leads, with a third of all ballots. Rachael McCracken is running second, but with only half as many votes (17.4 percent to 33.3 percent).
Over three full days of voting, however, a lot can change. Consider the words of Justice Stephen Breyer, from his recent debate with Justice Antonin Scalia:

We don’t need activist judges; we need activist citizens. The Constitution sets up a democratic system, and it expects you to participate. And if you don’t participate, it doesn’t work.

So please, perform your civic duty. Vote for your favorite NYU 3L hottie by clicking here and here. Justice Breyer is counting on you!
Earlier: Above the Law Hotties: NYU Law School Third-Years (Female)
Above the Law Hotties: NYU Law School Third-Years (Male)

Antonin Scalia Stephen Breyer Above the Law SCOTUS Supreme Court Justices.JPG

We agree with Andrew Sullivan: Dahlia Lithwick did a superb job in her write-up of the Scalia-Breyer debate, which took place Tuesday night at the Capital Hilton. We attended as guests of the ACS, whom we thank for their hospitality.
For our fourth and final post about the evening — prior posts here, here, and here — we’ll quote liberally from Lithwick’s great Slate piece, with commentary of our own appended and interspersed.
It all appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Nino-Breyer Smackdown (Part 4)”

Antonin Scalia Stephen Breyer Above the Law SCOTUS Supreme Court Justices.JPG

Question: Now that the Supreme Court is hearing hardly any cases these days, how are the justices spending all their free time?
Answer: On constitutional law road shows, in which they debate the proper way to go about interpreting that foundational document. What fun!
On Tuesday, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Stephen G. Breyer held forth on the subject before a packed ballroom at the Capital Hilton. The event was co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society. It ran for about an hour and a half; Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News, served as moderator.
Our prior coverage of the event appears here and here (photos). Our third installment appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Nino-Breyer Smackdown (Part 3)”

Scalia Breyer 1.JPG
The Scalia-Breyer debate was co-sponsored by the Federalist Society and the American Consitution Society, aka “The Lion and the Lamb.” But which is which?
As promised, we bring you some pictures from last night’s debate between Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Stephen G. Breyer, on the subject of constitutional interpretation.
Our really awful photography photo essay, plus links to MSM coverage of the event, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Nino-Breyer Smackdown (Part 2): A Photo Essay”

Supermogul Logo Dead Horse Media.gifHey, guess what? Above the Law is no longer the most junior member of the Conference Dead Horse Media family of websites. Today marks the launch of
It’s nice not being the most junior member. Just ask Justice Breyer, who was delighted when Justice Alito arrived at the Court. As the most junior justice, Justice Alito took over from Justice Breyer the duty of answering the door — and fetching the coffee — when the justices are meeting in private conference.
So now that Supermogul is around, maybe ATL won’t have to fetch the coffee? Uh, think again. We’re probably still on coffee duty — because we’re the lawyers, and they’re the clients. is a business site for C-level (CEO/CFO/COO/etc.) executives and senior-level managers. Check it out here.
Welcome to Supermogul [Supermogul]
Dead Horse Media Introduces [DealBreaker]

Antonin Scalia Stephen Breyer Above the Law SCOTUS Supreme Court Justices.JPGWe have not forgotten that we owe you a report on the very interesting debate we attended last night, between Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Stephen G. Breyer, on constitutional interpretation.
Our report, and a handful of photos (not as many as we hoped), will appear… shortly. Alas, it will take us a little time to upload the pictures and review our (copious) notes.
In the meantime, if you really can’t wait for our account, click here, for the AP wire story. It’s a fairly good summary, although not as detailed as our forthcoming report (in which we’ll tell you about how Justice Breyer’s cell phone went off in the middle of the event).
And if you have ninety minutes to spare, and want to experience the proceedings firsthand, then click here, for video of the event. Enjoy!
US Supreme Court justices debate their views of Constitution [Associated Press]
Justices Breyer and Scalia Converse on the Constitution [American Constitution Society]
Earlier: Programming Note: Nino-Breyer Smackdown

We’ll be stepping away shortly to attend what should be a fantastic event: A Conversation on the Constitution: Perspectives from Active Liberty and A Matter of Interpretation. It’s being sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society, and we’re attending as a guest of the ACS (whom we thank for the gracious invitation).
Two Supreme Court heavyweights will be stepping into the ring. In the liberal corner: Justice Stephen G. Breyer, author of Active Liberty. In the conservative corner: Justice Antonin Scalia, author of A Matter of Interpretation. The referee: Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News (who recently interviewed Chief Justice Roberts).
So if our posting is sporadic over the next few hours, it’s because we’re watching Justice Scalia and Justice Breyer trade benchslaps. Check back soon, either later today or tomorrow, for our full report on the jurisprudential battle to the death proceedings. Hasta luego!

supreme court hallway.jpgYesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases concerning the use of race as a factor in assigning students to public schools: Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District #1, out of the Ninth Circuit, and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, out of the Sixth Circuit.
It appears that SCOTUS virgin Teddy Gordon, representing the petitioners in Meredith, did just as badly as many members of the snooty SCOTUS bar expected. For a blow-by-blow account of his ill-fated argument, see this reader comment.
Our commentary on the arguments, plus links to audio-casts and written transcripts, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dispatch from One First Street: The Race in Public School Cases”

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