Today is Constitution Day. Today we celebrate a group of racist, white, male landowners finalizing a brilliant document that could be changed to overcome their parochial limitations.
I’m not the kind of guy to chestily proclaim that America is the greatest country on Earth, but I’ll put our organizing legal document up there with anyone’s. I’ve read a lot of constitutions (3L Comparative Constitutional Law finally paying off), and I’m always impressed by our document’s ability to allow for so many different and fractious opinions on how the country should operate. Whether or not you believe in a “living” constitution in the Brandies sense of the word, that our constitution is still alive is damn impressive. As written, our president and our presidential front-runner couldn’t even vote. Half the country went to WAR to get out of the constitution, and when they lost, we didn’t even say, “Okay, let’s start over so this never happens again.” We fixed the constitution after the Civil War, but we didn’t bother to fix the South. Amazingballs.
One of the main strengths of our constitution lies in its amendment process. The thing can be changed, quite easily actually, so long as everybody agrees. And it turns out that we don’t agree very much.
To honor this document, some of us at Above the Law wanted to look at the surprising instances since 1787 when we all agreed. The Bill of Rights doesn’t count. And the Civil War amendments don’t count because, well, we didn’t really all “agree” so much as half of us got their asses kicked and had to eat it. So let’s go with any amendment after the first 15. You could make a compelling case that American political thought can be explained by which of those first 15 Amendments are the most important to you or to your life (and if you read that and thought “the 8th,” I feel so goddamn sorry for you).
But while the latter amendments aren’t likely to show up on a 1L’s list of “amendments I know by number,” they define our modern polity almost as much as the first ten. Let’s talk about them. Let’s talk about our moddable constitution…
In the light of the evolving standards of decency, somehow we at the Supreme Court, we Harvard and Yale lawyers, we somehow can perceive these evolving standards of decency because we learned all this stuff at Harvard Law School.
* A photo of $211,223.04 that Matthew Inman of the Oatmeal raised for charity. Hopefully this means that the Oatmeal/Charles Carreon lawsuit circus is finally leaving town. [The Oatmeal]
* “Bada da da daaah… I’m loving it! Now give me my Big Mac or I’ll shoot you in the face.” [Legal Juice]
* A San Francisco restaurant finds an creative way around California’s new foie gras ban. Force-fed duck liver 4Lyfe! [Inside Scoop SF]
* The Supreme Court Term feels like a distant memory, but now’s a good time to look back on it with added perspective. Courtesy of MoloLamken, here’s a great guide to the big business cases of the Supreme Court Term just ended. Download or print it, then read it at your leisure. [MoloLamken (PDF)]
* Man, the economy is so bad, monks are having to go to court to fight for a new revenue stream. [WSJ Law Blog]
* We have peace between a Texas auction house and the President of Mongolia over the ownership of a Tyrannosaur skeleton. While we’re here, should anybody wish to invite me to a pre-screening of their inventive dinosaur park, I’d like to note that I’m not the type of bloodsucking lawyer who leaves children behind. [Heritage Foundation]
* Did you know Sullivan & Cromwell got involved in the birther controversy? The first one, the legitimate one with Mitt Romney’s father. Not the ridiculous one that Romney’s been embracing. [Reuters]
* Speaking of Mittens, did you know he supports for-profit colleges? That’s like supporting people jumping off the Empire State Building, so long as they pay to get in. [Salon]
Let's just say that my Google Image search for 'black prophet' was underwhelming.
* When the student debt bubble bursts and causes general economic ruin, I don’t want to be called a “prophet.” You may call me “messenger,” as in the sentence, “We’d like welcome the messenger, Elie Mystal, to the program. Tell us, seer, what it was like being so far ahead of the curve.” [Democrat and Chronicle]
* No one expects the Spanish Inquisition American Government. [The Atlantic]
* Here are some good apps for legal types, but I don’t see the one for models and bottles. [OnlineCollege]
* If you are writing a new Constitution would you really want to start by copying ours? Really? Really? Nothing of import has happened in the past 200 years that you wouldn’t at least want to reflect in your brand new governance document? [Recess Appointments]
* Who will be fined for MIA flipping the bird during halftime of the Super Bowl? I think the FCC should fine itself. It’s only by acting like shocked prudes every time a bare breast shows up that some no-name thinks she can make a big name for herself by giving the finger to nobody in particular. For the love of Christ, Adriana Lima offered me a goddamn blow job during the Super Bowl, but the FCC wants to react to the finger? [The Legal Blitz]
* Sonia Sotomayor couldn’t make time to attend the State of the Union, but you can find her on Sesame Street after the jump…
Arkansas town attempts to bring back totalitarianism.
Most people would expect that a post discussing unconstitutional behavior from a town in Arkansas would have something to do with religion. And in fairness, new ordinances from the city council of Gould, Arkansas do raise First Amendment concerns.
But the Gould city council isn’t trying to impose its view of God upon the public sphere. Instead, Gould just decided to ignore the protections for freedom of association. Apparently things have gotten so contentious between the city council and the mayor that the council has prohibited the mayor from meeting with people without the council’s approval.
And then the council decided to make it illegal to form any kind of group, whatsoever, without city council approval.
So yeah, Gould, Arkansas: Now technically home to one of the most totalitarian regimes in the Western Hemisphere…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Things have changed recently in Korea – a few of our US and UK client firms are looking, very selectively, for a lateral US associate hire. Until just recently, there was not much hiring like this going on in Korea, since US and UK firms started opening offices there. We have already placed two US associates in Korea in the past month at top firms. Most of the hiring partners we work with in Korea do not actively work with other recruiters.
If you are a Korean fluent US associate in London, New York or another major US market, 2nd to 6th year, at a top 20 firm, with cap markets or M&A focus (or mix), or project finance background, and you are interested in lateraling to Korea to a top US or UK firm, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Our head of Asia, Evan Jowers, was just in Korea recently, and Evan and Robert Kinney will be in Korea in a few weeks. We are in the process of helping several firms open new offices in Korea (a number of which are interviewing our partner level candidates) and also helping existing offices there fill openings.
Professor Joel P. Trachtman has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
Take this opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:
● The basics of accounting for lawyers.
● How legal accounting differs from regular accounting.
● Report and reconciliation issues surrounding trust accounts.
● How to pick and integrate the best accounting tools for your practice.
● Steps to prepare your tax return for your firm’s income.
Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing!