Come for the oral argument coverage, stay for the point where Justice Alito tries to hump Justice Kagan….
* The Supreme Court is allowing Texas to enforce its strict voter identification law during the upcoming election, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, hero to the masses, wrote a rather scathing dissent in opposition. [New York Times]
* Michael Millikin, GM’s beleaguered GC, will be stepping down from his position while the Justice Department continues its probe into the company’s fatal ignition switch failures. A replacement has not yet been named. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Baltimore Law and Maryland’s HBCUs hooked up to assist underrepresented minorities get into law school. Full scholarships come with GPAs of at least 3.5 and LSAT scores of at least 152. [USA Today]
* Kent Easter, the lawyer who was convicted for planting drugs in a school volunteer’s car, was sentenced to serve six months in jail. His law license will likely be suspended (just like his wife’s was). [OC Weekly]
* Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev isn’t doing well in court, and his trial hasn’t even started yet. Motions to dismiss his case and to suppress evidence were denied. [National Law Journal]
Bar exam results from around the country are beginning to trickle in and the results are far from encouraging. The results from July 2014 were the lowest in recent memory, but many had hoped that the drop would prove to be only an aberration. This does not appear to be the case.
So now the real question is: How much longer will law students continue to stick with the major bar review companies that can’t seem to get them to pass?
This week, the Supreme Court had a chance to fix it. It didn’t.
* A blistering dissent from that usual suspects: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. [The Atlantic]
* Same-sex marriage opponents in Nevada suggest liberal bias in the selection of the Ninth Circuit panels hearing gay rights cases. They demand en banc review after noting that “two of the Ninth Circuit’s more liberal judges wind up most often on panels deciding cases involving gay rights.” Let me peruse that roster of Ninth Circuit judges… yeah, good luck with that en banc review, guys. [SCOTUS Blog]
* A Toledo Law student was arrested on a child sex charge. [NBC24]
* Kesha is suing producer Dr. Luke for sexual assault and battery. [TMZ]
* Can you guess which states lead the way on transgender rights? The answer will… actually not surprise you much at all. [Vocativ]
* The travails of Albany Law School continue. President and Dean Penny Andrews announces that she is stepping down. [Albany Law School]
* As if police departments weren’t militarized enough, they’re using cash seizures to fuel even more ridiculous spending. [Washington Post]
* Staci profiled some legal cosplayers, and when I saw the Judge Dredd costumes, all I could think about is one of the greatest Onion videos about SCOTUS ever. “I am the law!” [The Onion]
* Katie Couric sits down with Susan Mellen, who was wrongfully imprisoned for 17 years. [Yahoo! News]
Which distinguished lower-court judge came extremely close to landing a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?
Ed. note: In honor of Columbus Day (and Canadian Thanksgiving), Above the Law will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will be back in full force tomorrow.
* The Supreme Court’s new Term is off to a great start: Thanks to a copy machine’s error, we almost missed the surprise cert denials in the gay marriage cases. What kind of screw-ups will this week bring us? [National Law Journal]
* On the other hand, in what’s considered an unsurprising move following its cert denials en masse, the Supreme Court allowed same-sex marriage to begin in Idaho. Congrats to the Gem State. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Jenner & Block’s data privacy practice is making waves in an “uncharted but lucrative field,” and its leader thinks that the “Internet of Things” will help heat up her work soon. [Capital Business / Washington Post]
* A future Law & Order: SVU episode? Sanford Rubenstein, a personal injury and civil rights lawyer who’s been described as “[f]lashy, brash and always camera-ready,” is now being accused of rape. [ABC News]
* Yale Law’s most interesting student goes to all of his classes, but never has to study or take any of his finals. It’s not because he’s lucky — it’s because he’s a 93-year-old course auditor. [New Haven Register]
We at Kinney are running the search for a fantastic in-house opening in Singapore, at the leading and largest tech company in Southeast Asia. The spot will be filled by a US associate with at least three years experience in M&A, from a top Wall Street or equivalent US firm. Compensation will be competitive with what the new hire is earning at their top tier law firm.
* This just in: Now that the Fifth Circuit has refused to hear the Texas abortion case en banc, it looks like we may see a viable case about a major social issue being brought to Term before SCOTUS after all. [National Law Journal]
* Skadden came out on top of the Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and Mergermarket league tables for the highest transactional value of its mergers and acquisitions deals in 2014. Congrats on kicking the competition’s ass. [Am Law Daily]
* Per HBR Consulting, clients are winning the war when it comes to getting legal services on the cheap. Consider this a “call to action for law firms to reconsider the way they do business.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* The Elon University School of Law is completely revamping its academic offerings in order to offer a law degree that can be earned in 2.5 years, and for about $14,000 less. Nice work! [Triad Business Journal]
* Lindsay Lohan’s attorneys filed an amended complaint in her case against Grand Theft Auto’s publisher, this time going to far as to spell their client’s name correctly. [Hollywood, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]
* Some marriage equality enthusiasts applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to stay out of the way and let the circuits do their thing. But the history of miscegenation in America suggests the Supreme Court had a moral obligation to interject. [USA Today]
* On this subject, Professor Dorf presents a fascinating hypothetical: is it in the strategic interest of an anti-gay marriage conservative lower court judge to strike down same-sex marriage bans in light of the Supreme Court’s cert denials? [Dorf on Law]
* One more story while we’re at it, after the Ninth Circuit struck down bans on same-sex marriages, District Judge Robert C. Jones of Nevada, who upheld the ban in the first place, recused himself rather that be forced to issue an opinion in accordance with Ninth Circuit precedent. [BuzzFeed]
* If you’ve ever wondered how Islamic State manages to recruit Western youth to the cause, the answer is a “Disney-like” social media campaign. It’s like a Biglaw summer program, but for murder. [Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy]
* “Better Hold Off Sexting With High School Students” in Indiana. The Indiana Supreme Court finally weighed in last week after the lower court had okayed a teacher texting a 16-year-old to sneak out of the house for sex. Wait, this required the Supreme Court to weigh in? What is wrong with you Indiana? [Valpo Law Blog]
* Looking professional with a pixie cut. [Corporette]
* Enter for a chance to win a Chief Judge Randall Rader bobblehead! Yes, these exist. [Santa Clara Law]
* The Zephyr Teachout book tour for Corruption in America (affiliate link) begins. Is your town on the list? [Teachout-Wu]
* New Orleans taxpayers spent around $75K traveling judges to conferences and resorts last year. Quoth the tipster: “I could make a joke about New Orleans judges going to the third world to learn how to run their courtrooms, but I think I already did.” [The Times-Picayune]
* Since SCOTUS punted on same-sex marriage, people in states where gay marriage bans still exist are wondering when it will be their turn. It’s just a waiting game from here on out. [USA Today]
* Babies wait for no one: a pregnant lesbian couple fighting the Texas ban on gay marriage filed an usual request asking that the Fifth Circuit hurry up and schedule arguments. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The “puff, puff, pass” defense? Robel Phillipos, friend of accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, claims he was so high during the aftermath he can’t remember a thing. [Bloomberg]
* When should you apply to law school? When you can get into a top school, have clear career objectives, and won’t have to take out loans. You’re preaching to the choir. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* A Burger King customer is suing because he claims the restaurant’s manager attacked him with a knife and a Taser. This all allegedly happened over some cold onion rings, of course. [New York Daily News]
* New Supreme Court term kicks off with some bizarre argumentation. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* Professor Tribe doesn’t think Obama’s getting another justice confirmed. Vegas is setting the over/under off his remarks. [Coverage Opinions]
* More on The Law Hawk (insert screeching eagle sound effect). [Legal Cheek]
* Picking the right legal recruiter is important. It’s like having an agent, which is awesome because it makes you feel like Peyton Manning for a bit. [Major, Lindsay & Africa]
* What. The. Hell? You can survive being sucked into a jet engine? Without wearing Iron Man Mark V armor. [Lowering the Bar]
* You know what’s lame? Civil forfeiture. John Oliver rants after the jump… [Last Week Tonight]
Gay wedding season will be in full force.
* The Supreme Court’s new term kicks off today, and lawyers are pumped — especially since “the Roberts court [may] be to the rights of gays and lesbians what the Warren court was to the rights of African Americans.” [New York Times]
* But come on, the Supreme Court hasn’t even decided to take up a same-sex marriage case for October Term 2014, you say. Not to worry, because “[h]owever slow the term is starting, it could obviously explode.” [USA Today]
* This year’s law firm merger pace is slightly more robust than last year’s record-breaking rate. Lawyers should probably get ready for some real merger mania before the new year comes. [Am Law Daily]
* The legal services sector just lost the largest number of jobs in a one-month period in almost five years. Our condolences to recent law school graduates who are still searching for employment. [WSJ Law Blog]
* On the other side of the spectrum, this recent law school graduate has it made. This former bank robber turned D.C. Circuit clerk just found out he’ll be allowed to take the bar exam. Yay! [National Law Journal]