* The Supreme Court may undo President Obama’s legacy… of executive actions. [Talking Points Memo]
* Speaking of United States v. Texas, it just may be Chief Justice John Roberts’s worst nightmare. [Slate]
* Today is a special anniversary: six years, the Supreme Court issued its Citizens United decision, and democracy hasn’t looked the same since. [Huffington Post]
* Interesting data analysis from Professor Derek T. Muller: as full-time law faculty numbers shrink, law school administrator numbers grow. [Excess of Democracy]
* Benghazi is getting a Michael Bay movie — and the congressional hearing is still raging on. [Rolling Stone]
* Attorneys for Daniel Holtzclaw, the Oklahoma City police officer convicted of raping eight women while on duty, have filed a motion seeking a new trial; they suspect discovery shenanigans on the part of the prosecution. [Gawker]
* Nope. Hillary Clinton may not be a radical, but she also isn’t a moderate Republican. [Lawyers, Guns and Money]
* Seven legal tech considerations for 2016, from lawyer and legal-tech enthusiast Steven J. Best. [Legal Tech Blog]
* If you’re searching for a city where women lawyers elbow out men when it comes to leadership positions, then Chicago may be the place for you. Eight women serve as office managing partners there, more than any other city. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Conservative advocacy group Citizens United is back in the news, but this time it’s in search of correspondence between Chelsea Clinton and State Department officials during her mother Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Sometimes all it takes is a Tweet: After being referred to as a “slave” by a law firm partner, this African-American woman took to Twitter to vent about needing to start her own law firm, and she ended up meeting her new law firm partners as a result. [ELLE]
* A widow of an American who was killed during a terror attack in Jordan is suing Twitter because she claims the social networking site has given ISIS “unfettered” means to spread its hateful messages in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Retweet? [Reuters]
* “18 year olds have nearly every burden and privilege of adults… except the right to drink alcohol.” That’s why three states — New Hampshire, California, and Minnesota — may soon lower their legal drinking ages, through legislation or ballot initiatives. [MTV]
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Ed. note: Happy Holidays! Above the Law will be dark tomorrow, Christmas Day. We’ll be back on Monday, December 28.
* Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin may be newly elected, but that hasn’t stopped him from reneging on campaign promises. [Wonkette]
* Here’s a fun hot take — Citizens United is to blame for Donald Trump’s rise, because he refuses to use Super PACs. Yeah, it’s pretty convoluted, but maybe this will convince… anyone on the right to do anything about campaign finance reform. [Huffington Post]
* Krampus violates the 8th Amendment and other constitutional ruminations on Saint Nicholas’s evil twin. [The Legal Geeks]
* This markup is what happens when lawyers get ahold of a Christmas carol. We should all be ashamed. [Legal Cheek]
* A bill that would prevent people from buying a gun while going through a divorce… yeah, that could be useful. [Slate]
* A New Zealand court ruled Kim Dotcom can be extradited back to the United States. [Wall Street Journal]
* If you have to send a work email on Christmas Day and you sign off this way, you are probably an asshole. [Daily Lawyer Tips]
* There are a bunch of theories to explain why crime rates have dropped over the last 25 years. [Vox]
* The ultimate California bar exam breakdown. [Bar Exam Stats]
* Today’s the first Monday in October, and we all know what that means. The Supreme Court starts its Term as disapproval of its work reaches a new high for recent years. [Gallup via How Appealing]
* And here’s Adam Liptak’s excellent overview of the new Supreme Court Term, so you can sound smart at cocktail parties this month. [New York Times]
* In other SCOTUS news, Senator Bob Menendez is fighting the bribery charges against him by relying upon a high court decision he once condemned — can you guess which one? [The Record How Appealing]
* Which presidential candidates get the most in campaign contributions from Silicon Valley lawyers? The second-place finisher might surprise you. [The Recorder]
* Elsewhere in presidential politics, Hillary Clinton will announce new gun-control proposals later today. [New York Times]
* Dewey have any idea of when this jury will reach a verdict? [Law360]
* Super-mediator Kenneth Feinberg’s latest challenge: pension reform. [National Law Journal]
* With the Dewey trial wrapping up, a look back at the history of firm honchos earning jail time. [Law360]
* Slick video explaining the everything wrong the way law schools market themselves to students. [Business Insider]
* Remember when Sony got hacked? It unveiled some fun stuff, like how the new movie Concussion changed its plot around to avoid offending the NFL. [ABA Journal]
* As college football prepares to kick off tonight, Baylor has hired Pepper Hamilton to look into how the school handles sexual violence allegations in light of the rape conviction of former player Sam Ukwuachu. [Dallas Morning News]
* Here’s one of the dumbest arguments ever: Larry Lessig is liberal. About 47 years ago, unchecked campaign spending marginally helped a liberal (he did ultimately lose the nomination… and Nixon became president). Therefore, Larry Lessig shouldn’t be against money in politics. Signed, the former Executive Director of the Club for Growth. [The Daily Caller]
* Meanwhile, the GOP runs into the downside of Citizens United: arming a terrible candidate with so much money he won’t drop out. [Slate]
* Does ideology play a role in conferring honorary degrees? One conservative law professor says yes. [National Law Journal]
* Ever wonder why there are so many iconic movie roles that are lawyers? [ABA Journal]
* Need more evidence that campaign finance laws are a joke? [Huffington Post]
* China’s first lawsuit over pollution is a go. [Jurist]
* What will the long term impact be of legally classifying Uber drivers as employees? [Law.com]
Justice Alito just hasn’t changed on Citizens United.
After a “liberal” term, progressives continue to lament the ideological bent of the Roberts Court, but have fewer answers when it comes to changing course.
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* “What Law Firms Can Learn From the Business Decisions of ‘Mad Men.'” I’m hoping the answer is “more drinking on the job.” [Legal Times]
* Hillary Clinton pledges to nominate SCOTUS justices who will overturn Citizens United. And if you agree with her, she’ll gladly accept your unlimited donations to her *wink* unaffiliated SuperPAC. [Jezebel]
* A great detailed piece on California’s recent decision to grant a law license to Hong Yen Chang, the Columbia Law grad denied his license over 100 years ago on the grounds of his “Mongolian nativity.” [Bloomberg BNA / Big Law Business]
* Bad: Being wrongfully convicted. Worse: The system strong-arming the wronged into signing away their right to compensation. [LFC 360]
* Should graduate students and adjuncts unionize? Depends. Do they want to be exploited by an unappreciative institution until their souls are sucked dry? Yes? Then no. [New York Times]
* Sen. Toomey wants Judge L. Felipe Restrepo on the Third Circuit. Maybe he should start talking to his obstructionist colleagues instead of whining to the paper. [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* Thomson Reuters has a new social network for small law firms. For every post, users can push a little “thumbs up” icon to express, “I [and my successors, assigns, and heirs of my body, indicate my generally warm feelings, reserving all rights to reverse or withdraw this endorsement at any time for any reason whatsoever notwithstanding any prior representations] This!” [Legal Research & Writing Pro]
* The 2015 World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest in Memphis is this weekend. How does that relate to ATL? Bob Cornish, a D.C.-based attorney at Phillips Lytle LLP and a trained and certified expert in BBQ is a judge. [Memphis In May]
* Protesters disrupt the Supreme Court to complain about Citizens United. Just two or three more of these and Alito is sure to break! [SCOTUSBlog]
* In completely unrelated news, TV spending in the Supreme Court race in Wisconsin has now topped $600,000. No risk of corruption there. [Brennan Center For Justice]
* Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has, at the last minute, refused to sign a new RFRA after watching Indiana blow up its own economy over the same law. In other news, Indiana Governor Mike Pence received a delightful gift basket today this morning with the message, “Thanks for taking the hit on this one — Asa XOXOXO.” [New York Times]
* Speaking of the RFRA kerfuffle, defending champion UConn is boycotting the Final Four in Indiana this weekend. Not qualifying for the tournament certainly helps. How about we hold off praising this “bold stance” until a team actually playing this weekend makes a symbolic show of support. [NBC Connecticut]
* After a season of reading about cops brutalizing unarmed kids for no reason, there’s a project in Baltimore trying to get the police to better connect with teens. Anything would help. [Washington Post]
* There’s a new .sucks domain name, more or less designed for the sole purpose of extorting money from companies and celebrities. I don’t see the problem, they extort money out of us all the time. [LXBN]
* Cool new tech. It’s like Google Glass for transactional lawyers, designed to instantly identify and highlight key provisions. OK this is an April Fools gag, but their real product actually operates on the same principle. [Kira Specs]
* Just because married couples can file jointly doesn’t mean they should. For that matter, just because couples can marry doesn’t mean they should. Think about it. [California Lawyer]
* Richard Hsu talks with Guy Kawasaki, the Chief Evangelist of Canva, and former Chief Evangelist of Apple. Evangelists just in time for the holiday! [Hsu Untied]
* What have we done? We wrote about a candidate for SBA President at the University of Miami School of Law with a cheesy campaign video and he won. And now he’s drunk with power. He’s instituting a mandatory dress code! His email is on the next page…
Miami Law Family,
First and foremost, congratulations to all of the newly elected Student Leaders. Today’s Passing of the Gavel ceremony was a huge success, and I look forward to working with you all during the upcoming school year.
It is now time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. I recently surveyed a group of students about immediate issues they want the SBA to address. Without question, they felt that the biggest issue with the law school was that too many students wear flip flops and T-shirts to class. Thus, starting next Monday, April 6th, the SBA will be implementing a mandatory business casual/professional dress code for all full-time students. I know it may come as a shock, but my cabinet felt that this is a priority that needed to be addressed. We chose to make this our first order of business to demonstrate that we are here to work. This is clearly the first step to improve our bar passage rate, and I thank you for your understanding.
I will be following up with you all later this week about upcoming SBA matters. I know you all had a nice break from me spamming your inbox, but I’m back and better than ever.
Please see below for a detailed outline of what attire will be included/excluded from the mandatory dress code.
President, Student Bar Association
Oh, before I forget… THANK YOU to Outgoing SBA President Sara Solano. Miss Solano did a phenomenal job as President, and she left big shoes to fill, despite being much shorter than me. As for that mandatory dress code I mentioned….. April Fools!!!
In all seriousness- I cannot wait to work with all of the SBA E-board members, SBA Senators, administrators, and the student organization leaders. There is an SBA meeting tomorrow, 4/2/15, at 12:30PM in F309, where we will be appointing our Speaker of the Senate and discussing next year’s SBA Budget. As always, time will be allotted for general student body comments. We encourage you all to attend.
Your Student Leaders are going to be working hard to ensure that the 2015-16 school year will be one of the most successful year’s in Miami Law’s history. You’ve elected a great group of students.
If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas– or simply want to grab Icees & appetizers with me– please do not hesitate to call/text me. It’s my job is to serve you, but at the end of the day, I’m equally your colleague and friend.
Here’s to a good year,
Matthew Ryan David Deblinger
President, Student Bar Association
University of Miami School of Law
* Did two little kids get slapped with a lifetime gag order barring them from talking about fracking. But how will they explain their third eye? [The Guardian]
* Private equity firm TPG is suing its former PR man — former Bush spokesperson Adam Levine — for allegedly stealing confidential documents and threatening to leak them to the press. They probably showed where the Iraq WMDs were. [O’Dwyer’s]
* So maybe the blizzard of 2015 fizzled for New Yorkers. But winter’s not over yet — how do you interview in a snowstorm? [Corporette]
* “The Supreme Court’s Billion-Dollar Mistake”? Well, they’re still half a billion ahead of Simpson Thacher. [New York Review of Books]
* Suge Knight accused of murder. Not an archival story. [Los Angeles Times]
* An online CLE on the ethical issues of laterals and collapsing firms. Dewey know any firms who could have used this information? [Bloomberg BNA]
* Senate Republicans are contemplating abolishing filibusters for SCOTUS nominees. This could go one of two ways: it could work out nicely for them, or explode in their faces. It’s like a choose your own adventure game. [POLITICO]
* When it comes to the upcoming gay marriage cases before SCOTUS, “[e]very lawyer involved will want to argue.” Remember, when you’re given the chance to make history, you better hope that you’re on the right side of it. [National Law Journal]
* “[I]f there is one decision I would overrule, it is Citizens United.” Even RBG thinks this campaign finance decision is one of the Supreme Court’s “darkest hour[s].” [Salon]
* SCOTUS refused to stay Charles Warner’s execution, but it agreed to grant cert on his lethal injection case days after his death. Better late than never? [New York Times]
* The NFL has drafted Ted Wells of Paul Weiss to blow up the absurd controversy that is “Deflategate.” Come on, who cares if the Patriots cheated again? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Do you know any chronic Biglaw firm-hoppers? How many firms are too many to lateral to? Three? Five? Seven? Jesus Christ, for this guy, try 10 firms. [Am Law Daily]
Professor Tribe spoke at the UJA-Federation last night and provided an awesome evening of reflection upon his career, his take on the Supreme Court, and his plea to Biglaw.