In the weeks since the [Inspector General]’s flawed and narrow vision of our diplomatic mission, people of good will in the middle ranks of our Department have seen it as their calling to strictly enforce it. As a consequence, my voice has been prevented from speaking; my pen has been enjoined from writing; and my actions have been confined to the ministerial. You deserve better, but until these rigid, and rigidly narrow, perspectives are overcome, you and the President are being deprived of the intelligent insight of much of your Embassy’s work.
- 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit, Animal Law, Barack Obama, Bernie Madoff, Crime, Free Speech, Insider Trading, Jeffrey Skilling, Morning Docket, Pets, Politics, Trials, Wall Street, White-Collar Crime
* Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s appeal was denied by the Fifth Circuit. While he remains the smartest guy in the room, the room consists of him and a half-wit cellmate whose only discernible talent is making Prune-o. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Bruce Fein, an attorney who worked on Clinton’s impeachment and called for Bush’s impeachment as well, has drafted articles of impeachment for Barack Obama. His high crime and misdemeanor? Time theft. [Politico]
* An Ohio man has been charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog. When asked why he was barking at the female dog, the man calmly replied, “Bitch owes me money.” [CBS News]
* The government rested its case in the Raj Rajaratnam trial yesterday. Of additional note is the fact that Rajabba sits ten feet behind his defense table, partially obstructed from the jury box. You can’t completely block Rajabba from view. You can only wish to contain him. [New York Times]
* The government has warned attorneys for former Madoff employees not to use money that might be associated with Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. That includes, for their own health, any ass pennies. [ABA Journal]
* The Fourth Circuit rules in favor of a pundit-professor, in a case about the free speech rights of faculty members at public universities. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
* Charlie Sheen is trying to trademark his catchphrases now. He’s overexposed like a frostbitten penis — is there anything funny left to say about him at this point? (We might try; check in later.) [Forbes]
- Barack Obama, Cass Sunstein, Fabulosity, Harvard Law School, Hotties, Law Professors, Quote of the Day, Samantha Power
[There wasn't] some dramatic meeting in the Oval Office where everybody tried to persuade the president not to do this, and Samantha rolled in with her flowing red hair and said, ‘Mr. President, I stand here alone in telling you that history calls upon you to perform this act.’ That’s not how it happened.
(As longtime ATL readers will recall, Samantha Power is the beautiful, brilliant, Harvard-trained lawyer who is currently a top foreign policy adviser to President Obama — and who famously called Hillary Clinton “a monster” during the 2008 presidential campaign (and then resigned from the campaign). Power is now married to prominent Harvard law professor and fellow Obama adviser Cass Sunstein. You can read about their wedding here, and see exclusive ATL photos of them here.)
President Obama has directed the Department of Justice to stop defending Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law prohibiting federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Attorney General Eric Holder’s letter explaining the decision to Speaker of the House John Boehner appears here.
In other marriage-equality-related news, the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) — the organization represented by Ted Olson and Davis Boies inthe Prop 8 litigation — has filed a motion in the Ninth Circuit, asking that court to lift its stay on same-sex marriage in California.
Read more at the links below.
BREAKING: DOJ Will No Longer Defend Section 3 of DOMA [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]
Obama Orders End to Defense of Federal Gay Marriage Law [New York Times]
AFER Asks U.S. Court of Appeals to Lift the Stay on Marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples [American Foundation for Equal Rights]
If President Obama thinks education is so important, then why is he hell bent on financially crippling those who seek education? Seriously, why can’t he understand that making education affordable for everybody is not achieved simply by giving everybody the opportunity to take out loans that they cannot pay back?
I’ve mentioned before that Obama himself did not pay off his student loans until he became a best selling author. Does he expect everybody to write a great American novel? Does he think loans are free? Does ensuring that members of the “educated elite” are financially hobbled for the rest of their lives part of some sick political philosophy experiment?
I want answers, goddamnit! I want somebody to explain to me why this president — one who has enjoyed overwhelming support from the young and college-educated — has a blind spot when it comes to the cost of student loans.
Do I have to become a rabid, Tea Party Republican to get this Democrat to pay attention to me? Just look at what he’s about to do to graduate students. With one hand he’s trying to funnel more money to lawyers who help low-income clients, but with the other he’s going to make it even harder for lawyers to pay off their loans without working for people who have the ability to pay high fees.
He doesn’t want people who have a commitment to public service, he wants saints willing to martyr their futures on a pyre stoked by Sallie Mae….
President Barack Obama just finished delivering his State of the Union address for 2011. Alas, it wasn’t as exciting as last year, which featured a confrontation between the president and the Supreme Court. This time around, six justices attended — Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan — but they were on their best behavior. There was no POTUS v. SCOTUS showdown.
Here’s an open thread for discussion of the address. We’ll get the party started with a few legally-oriented highlights, after the jump.
- Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Barack Obama, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Politics, Reader Polls, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito, SCOTUS, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court
Last year’s SOTU did not disappoint drama-seekers. As you may recall, an Article II vs. Article III smackdown took place: President Obama chided the Supreme Court for its Citizens United decision, with six members of the Court sitting a stone’s throw away from him, and Justice Samuel Alito responded by mouthing “not true” at the POTUS.
(Speaking of Citizens United, the decision celebrated its one-year anniversary last week, on January 21. And as Josh Blackman notes, the world has not come to an end, contrary to the dire predictions of distraught liberals. Of course, experts in this area — including some Obama-supporting liberals — told us that Citizens United wasn’t that big a deal.)
Let’s make some predictions, justice by justice….
Judge Henry E. Hudson (E.D. Va.) just struck down a key provision of President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law — namely, the requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance. Judge Hudson held that the insurance mandate exceeds Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause. Links to coverage are collected below; Judge Hudson’s 42-page opinion is available here (PDF, via Dahlia Lithwick).
Of course, we’re still near the beginning of a long road of litigation — which will likely end at One First Street, two (or more) years from now.
Health Care Law Ruled Unconstitutional [New York Times]
Judge Strikes Down Part of Health Care Law [ABA Journal]
Virginia Federal Judge Shoots Down Part of Health Care Law [WSJ Law Blog]
* Elizabeth Edwards has passed away, R.I.P. (Wait, John and Rielle — too soon, too soon.) [WRAL]
* During the New York Attorney General Debate, I predicted that Eric Dinallo would make a good partner at Debevoise & Plimpton. He just seemed so “nice.” Well, turns out I was spot on: Dinallo and Debevoise are a match made in nice people heaven. [Am Law Daily]
* Now that Charlie Rangel has been told he’s a naughty boy, can we get back to the whackjob known as Maxine Waters? [Dealbreaker]
* What it’s like to be addicted to M&A transactions, from the perspective of a retired Skadden partner. [Deal Journal]
* No Drama Obama gets a little bit feisty when defending his decision to extend the Bush tax cuts. In the words of Nice Guy Eddie: “You beat on this prick enough, he’ll tell you he started the Chicago fire. That don’t necessarily make it f**kin’ so.” [Business Insider]
* Back in the day, video could help the wrongly accused, just like DNA helps now. [DNAinfo]
If you’ve been following along with the trend towards outsourcing over the past few years, you know what American lawyers are up against. Indian lawyers can do American legal work… while American attorneys are shut out of India’s (large and growing) legal market.
As many of you know, President Obama recently
fled traveled to India, and ABA president Stephen N. Zack is begging Obama to use his international goodwill to convince India to stop acting like dicks in an exclusionary fashion with respect to American lawyers and law firms.
Zack’s arguments are simple ones, based on sound business practices, free trade, and fundamental fairness. Yet these arguments haven’t worked on Indian legal authorities, and apparently Obama isn’t any more receptive…