Constitutional Law

  • Official Photograph of Justice Anthony Kennedy


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.30.15

    * Justice Kennedy’s writing style… maybe it’s a little over the top. [PrawfsBlawg]

    * If you’re looking for representation at the Supreme Court, go small. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    * Marriage equality is only one more step for activists. Next up, fair housing and overall equality. Perhaps on the housing case, we’ll get to hear Justice Thomas make some tone-deaf claim about how there’s no need for protection from housing discrimination because gays are overrepresented on Bravo. [RH Reality Check]

    * Don’t like the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell? Why propose a constitutional amendment when you can propose a new constitutional convention? Runaway Con-Con! [Ab Initio]

    * A linguistic analysis of jiggery-pokery and the prose of Antonin Scalia. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

    * A jury cleared the University of Iowa College of Law of “political discrimination” when it passed over conservative Teresa Manning’s application to join the faculty.[Associated Press via ABC News]

    * Everyone in New York received an Amber Alert over their phones earlier today. Did anyone crash their cars when their phone started screeching with sounds it had never blared before? [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

    12 Comments / / Jun 30, 2015 at 5:02 PM
  • Gerrymandering Wikipedia

    Constitutional Law, Politics, SCOTUS

    Supreme Court Kind Of Makes Up New Way To Stop Gerrymandering

    The Constitution says what it’s supposed to say.

    0 Comments / / Jun 29, 2015 at 4:02 PM
  • american flag

    Constitutional Law

    Amurica And The 14th Amendment

    An amazing glimpse inside the American soul.

    24 Comments / / Jun 22, 2015 at 6:14 PM
  • Give me a better degree! (Image via Shutterstock)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.22.15

    * Everyone’s a winner at Nixon Peabody, especially the millennials! The firm is doing away with the corner-office model in favor of office space reminiscent of that of tech companies, where everyone’s offices — from paralegals to partners — are the same size. [Washington Post]

    * A former North Dakota Law student is suing the school, as well as several administrators and professors, because he alleges they dismissed him via email in May due to problems with his application. Man, that’s almost as harsh as a break-up text. [WDAZ]

    * Justice Kennedy knows a lot of people who are gay, but that doesn’t mean he’ll recognize a constitutional right to same-sex marriage just because of his circle of friends and colleagues. He’ll likely do it because he knows “how meaningful this is.” [New York Times]

    * The Supreme Court is currently considering an emergency appeal out of Texas after the Fifth Circuit refused to stay a decision that would all but close the vast majority of abortion facilities in the state. Give this law the good old coat hanger, SCOTUS. [Associated Press]

    * Last week, Justice Kennedy basically invited litigants to challenge the constitutionality of solitary confinement because it “exacts a terrible price.” Step right up and become one of the first to test the power of the SCOTUS swing vote on this issue. [Los Angeles Times]

    * “Having a woman leader is no longer exceptional.” The number of women law school deans is on the rise. They make up 40 percent of incoming law school leadership, and currently comprise 30 percent of all law deans. Nice work! [National Law Journal]

    * After pleading guilty to a felony count of vehicular manslaughter back in March, California lawyer Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti was recently sentenced to four years in prison for killing a cyclist while driving high on prescription drugs Xanax and Suboxone. [Daily Mail]

    27 Comments / / Jun 22, 2015 at 8:49 AM
  • GoldBars

    Politics, Texas

    ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’ Does Not Supersede The ‘Supremacy Clause.’

    Everything’s bigger in Texas. Meaning a dumb lawyer is an even bigger dumb lawyer.

    94 Comments / / Jun 17, 2015 at 12:01 PM
  • 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