Constitutional Law

  • Hilary Bricken

    Free Speech, Marijuana, Social Media

    Marijuana And Social Media: The #PotPolice

    All of us (even those who oppose marijuana legalization) lose out when social media sites quash legitimate speech by unfairly and undeservedly pulling the plug on legitimate content. #SorryNotSorry.

    / Jun 15, 2015 at 4:20 PM
  • growing tax

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.10.15

    * The number of law school applicants and applications continues to plummet, with applicants down by 2.5 percent and the volume of applications down by 4.6 percent since last year. For the love of God, students are staying away for a reason. Do some research, people. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Lawyers may be thanking their lucky stars for loan repayment programs like IBR and PAYE, but when their cancellation of debt income comes back to bite them in the ass in the form of a “tax bomb” as early as 2032, they’re going to be crying for mercy. [TaxProf Blog]

    * If the Supreme Court rules against same-sex marriage, life could devolve into chaos for gay and lesbian couples. Sure, SCOTUS could do that, or “a giant meteor could fall on [your] head in the next five seconds,” but one is more likely to happen than the other. [AP]

    * You had one job, Dean Cercone… ONE JOB! After recommending against accreditation back in May, the ABA convened this week to officially deny provisional accreditation to Indiana Tech Law. Its handful of students will be so disappointed. [Indiana Lawyer]

    * Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded not guilty in his sex scandal cover-up case and was released on $4,500 bond. Interestingly enough, the judge has volunteered to remove himself due to some potential issues over his impartiality. [New York Times]

    7 Comments / / Jun 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Alcohol


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.08.15

    * There’s a lot of constitutional law about booze. [PrawfsBlawg]

    * Republicans try to play some word games on the Affordable Care Act and get straight-up lawyered. Or as The New Republic described the exchange: a “succinct, pithy demolition.” [MSNBC]

    * Oscar Pistorius could be headed home on parole in the next couple of months. Time to get back in that dating pool. [CNN]

    * Don’t bring your mom to court. [Lowering the Bar]

    * Here’s an interesting company at the juncture of law and technology — 3D printing demonstrative exhibits for trial. [3D Printed Evidence]

    * Randy Spencer interviews American Pharoah [Coverage Opinions]

    * An interesting question from a lawyer doing his part to help the homeless: if a person can’t get online, how do they even look for a job anyway? [What About Clients?]

    * A new novella from Jessica Pishko called A Trial for Grace (affiliate link) about a fallen, high-flying NYC attorney working a death penalty trial in North Carolina. [Amazon]

    * Consent explained with tea. [Vimeo]

    14 Comments / / Jun 8, 2015 at 4:57 PM
  • Professor John Yoo

    Law Professors, Politics, Videos

    6 Highlights From John Yoo’s Interview With Ginni Thomas

    The always quotable John Yoo had interesting and funny things to say during a recent interview he gave to Virginia Lamp Thomas (wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, for whom Professor Yoo once clerked).

    14 Comments / / Jun 8, 2015 at 3:47 PM
  • Ilya Somin LF

    Books, Constitutional Law, Supreme Court

    Kelo v. City of New London And The Limits of Eminent Domain: An Interview With Ilya Somin

    Just how bad was the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo? Very bad, as Professor Ilya Somin explains in his new book.

    17 Comments / / Jun 1, 2015 at 3:46 PM
  • Marbury-RF

    Politics, Supreme Court

    Ben Carson Versus Marbury v. Madison: The GOP Presidential Candidate Questions Judicial Review

    Dr. Carson is a neurosurgeon and a very good one at that. Ben Carson’s no lawyer or historian.

    51 Comments / / May 15, 2015 at 5:42 PM
  • Hilary Bricken

    Marijuana, SCOTUS

    Marijuana Melee: Nebraska And Oklahoma v. Colorado

    It is anyone’s guess as to how SCOTUS will handle this potentially critical case of first-impression, and most involved with the marijuana industry are rightfully nervous.

    / May 11, 2015 at 4:20 PM
  • Marilyn J. Mosby (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.04.15

    * This past Friday, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped the gavel on the police officers who were allegedly involved in the death of Freddie Gray. Here are seven interesting facts you need to know about this “certified badass.” [New York Magazine]

    * Which law school placed the most graduates from the class of 2014 into full-time, long-term jobs where bar passage was required that weren’t school-funded? Stop. Before you say Columbia Law, you’re wrong for the first time in years. [National Law Journal]

    * Indiana Tech, the little law school that couldn’t, received a recommendation against accreditation from the ABA on its first try. Not to worry, because law school officials say this is just a “minor setback” for all 59 of its students. ::sad trombone:: [News-Sentinel]

    * “You are not doing that here.” Tough titty: Kelly Noe, one of the Ohio women challenging the same-sex marriage ban in her state before the Supreme Court, was yelled at by a security guard for breastfeeding her baby outside the high court. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

    * If you’re hoping to register a “smutty” or “immoral” trademark, then you may be able to get what you want if this Federal Circuit opinion comes down your way. We’ll soon see if a ban on these offensive trademarks violates the First Amendment. [Corporate Counsel]

    29 Comments / / May 4, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • SCOTUS 2

    Death Penalty, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    The Latest Lethal-Injection Challenge May Depend On The Answer To One Question — And It’s Not What You Think

    Does a person sentenced to death have the right to be unconscious at the time of his death? No, argues columnist Tamara Tabo.

    26 Comments / / May 1, 2015 at 6:07 PM
  • Chimpanzee Phone USE

    Animal Law

    No, A Judge Didn’t Say Chimpanzees Are People

    No, a judge didn’t really say chimpanzees have personhood — check out the order.

    8 Comments / / Apr 21, 2015 at 12:22 PM
  • Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.17.15

    * “The top is eroding and the bottom is growing.” Even as class sizes get smaller and tuition gets lower, the law school brain drain continues. America’s best and brightest won’t be fooled into studying law when the job market is still so unstable, but others have been. [Bloomberg]

    * Attorneys for California’s sex workers have filed suit to overturn the state’s ban on prostitution, claiming that “[t]he rights of adults to engage in consensual, private sexual activity (even for compensation) is a fundamental liberty interest.” Yeah, okay. [AP]

    * “The simple story is that $160,000 as a starting salary at large law firms is less prevalent than it was immediately prior to the recession.” You can scream “NY TO 190K!” all you want, but starting salaries have remained flat. Sowwy. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York has involved himself in an “escalating war of words” with members of the federal judiciary that he may come to regret. Will this “petulant rooster” be able to kiss and make up? [New York Times]

    * Per a recently filed lawsuit, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees still hasn’t paid a single law firm for their representation in the Biogenesis case. He allegedly owes Gordon & Rees $380,059 in unpaid fees. Come on, A-Rod. You’ve got the cash. [New York Daily News]

    * Infamous plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger of the $9.5 billion Chevron / Ecuador kerfuffle decided that if he can’t win his case in a court of law, he might as well try to win it in the court of public opinion. Check out his side of the story. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    49 Comments / / Apr 17, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Laurence Tribe

    Environment / Environmental Law, Laurence Tribe, Law Professors

    Et Tu, Laurence Tribe?

    Why is a leading liberal legal scholar coming to the defense of Big Coal?

    23 Comments / / Apr 7, 2015 at 5:15 PM
  • Supreme Court pretty Small

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.24.15

    * Justice Anthony Kennedy says that while the Supreme Court is trying to attract more minority law clerks, lower court judges have it easier because they can recruit from local schools. Some justices have an Ivy League addiction, and thus, a diversity problem. [Legal Times]

    * The next step in the confirmation process for Loretta Lynch, the lawyer who will someday be the first black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, isn’t likely to occur until at least mid-April. Why the wait? SENATE SPRING BREAK, WOO! [Reuters]

    * Give me maple syrup, or give me death: According to legal experts from the National Constitution Center, even though Republican candidate Ted Cruz was born in Canada, he still counts as a “natural born citizen” who’s eligible to be president. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Foley & Lardner partner Howard Shipley avoided a supreme spanking from SCOTUS over his submission of a garbled cert petition last year, but the high court took the opportunity to remind all lawyers to write “in plain terms.” [National Law Journal]

    * How badly do you want to go to a top law school? Exactly how desperate you are to feel the warm and gentle embrace of prestige? How hard can you gun? Would you be willing to take the LSAT three times? [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    47 Comments / / Mar 24, 2015 at 9:11 AM
  • Amal Clooney

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.09.15

    * Amal Clooney, the attorney who tamed George Clooney’s heart and is now considered one of the most famous human rights lawyers in the world, will be teaching at a New York law school this spring. Which one? We’ll have more on this fun news later today. [USA Today]

    * Talk about a Hail Mary play: The ACLU has decided to come to the defense of a very unlikely cause. Per a recently filed federal brief, the organization thinks that the USPTO’s cancellation of the Redskins trademark was unconstitutional. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * According to a new BARBRI study, the vast majority of third-year law students think they’re ready to go when it comes to practicing law, but the lawyers who have had the (dis)pleasure to work with new graduates don’t seem to agree. [National Law Journal]

    * “Those kinds of jobs are never going to be enough to absorb the number of people graduating from law school over the next five or 10 years.” Northeastern’s dean laughs in Biglaw’s face — his grads measure their success in other ways. [Boston Business Journal]

    * Ellen Pao’s “racy” gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins serves as a harsh criticism of the sexist culture of Silicon Valley. Luckily, jury members will be able to busy themselves with the case’s more lurid details. [The Upshot / New York Times]

    * Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency is working on a new podcast that will help prospective law students to see what working in the legal profession is really like. “I Am The Law” debuted in January 2015, and it’s worth a listen. [U.S. News & World Report]

    5 Comments / / Mar 9, 2015 at 8:52 AM
  • lawyer snow angel

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.17.15

    * Following NBC’s announcement of his six-month suspension without pay, Brian Williams turned to Robert Barnett of Williams & Connolly to save his career. The pair met when they were Supreme Court clerks — oopsie, we guess that’s another misrepresentation. [Am Law Daily]

    * “We weren’t about to ask them to risk life and limb to get in.” As Boston braces for yet another snowstorm, Biglaw firms are trying to figure out how they can continue to operate. Punxsutawney Phil is keeping the wheels of justice from turning. [National Law Journal]

    * The Supreme Court has granted Colorado an extension to respond to a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma which claims that its decision to legalize marijuana was unconstitutional. Puff, puff, pass this cert vote, SCOTUS. [Cannabist / Denver Post]

    * Regulators! Mount up… and then run away to your new Biglaw firms. Preet Bharara’s S.D.N.Y. roster is constantly changing thanks to the golden handcuffs large law firms offer, but Bharara still “love[s] all [his] children equally.” [DealBook / New York Times]

    * David Messerschmitt, the DLA Piper associate who was found dead in a Washington, D.C., hotel room last week, is remembered by his colleagues as “someone so talented and so nice.” There have been no new breaks in his murder investigation. [Legal Times]

    14 Comments / / Feb 17, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Elsa Frozen

  • Deflate-Gate. NFL football deflated on the field

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.26.15

    * 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]

    27 Comments / / Jan 26, 2015 at 9:09 AM
  • Kent and Jill Easter

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.19.15

    * On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to evaluate the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and this is perhaps the definitive article on how the justices have been preparing the nation for marriage equality. Get ready for some big gay weddings this summer. [BuzzFeed]

    * Smile for the camera! Kent and Jill Easter, the infamous helicopter-parenting lawyers who went to jail for attempting to frame a volunteer at their son’s school on drug charges, found themselves at the center of a 20/20 story. [ABC News]

    * With it being highly likely that the Supreme Court will declare bans on same-sex marriage by the states unconstitutional, people are wondering which justice will be the one the vote hinges upon. Could it be Chief Justice Roberts? [New Republic]

    * Come on now, the swing vote in the same-sex marriage cases will obviously be Justice Kennedy. The legal tea leaves have been read, and with his majority opinions in Romer, Lawrence, and Windsor, the future has been foretold. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Steven Metro, the former managing clerk of Simpson Thacher’s New York office, was finally indicted after being charged with insider trading almost one year ago. If you’re interested, flip to the next page to see the juicy indictment. [Am Law Daily]

    * In a new report, the Texas attorney general’s office concluded the forgivable faculty loan program at UT Law not only violated school rules, but also “set into motion a lack of transparency that ultimately led to a lack of accountability.” [Texas Tribune]

    7 Comments / / Jan 19, 2015 at 9:00 AM