Election 2012

Judge Reinhardt and me, perfect together.

Such arrogance and assumption of power by one individual is not acceptable in our judicial system.

– Judge Stephen Reinhardt, concurring, in Townley v. Miller. A Ninth Circuit panel stayed a district court’s preliminary injunction order in a case involving Nevada’s “none of these candidates” ballot option.

(More about this interesting and politically charged case, after the jump.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Benchslap of the Day: Trust Judge Reinhardt, He’s An Expert”

‘This herpes thing is less embarrassing than my 72-day marriage to Kim Kardashian.’

* Want to know what they call the Supreme Court attorney who deals with requests for stays of execution? The death clerk. Paging John Grisham, because this guy’s nickname would make a great book title. [New York Times]

* “If you’re going to sue, it’s better to sue earlier rather than later.” Probably why battleground states like Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are in a tizzy over their election laws. [Washington Post]

* WikiLeaks or it didn’t happen: Bradley Manning’s lawyer has demanded that seven years be cut from his client’s prospective sentence due to allegations of improper treatment while in military custody. [The Guardian]

* Michigan Law’s Sarah Zearfoss, she of Wolverine Scholars fame, finds media coverage about the awful job market for recent law grads “really frustrating.” Try being unemployed. [Crain's Detroit Business (reg. req.)]

* Kris Humphries is being sued for allegedly giving a girl herpes. But alas, the plaintiff seems to have no idea who actually gave her the herp — four John Doe defendants are identified in the complaint, too. [Star Tribune]

* “Given the police idiocy, one wonders where the boobs really are.” A nude model who was arrested during a body-painting exhibition in Times Square won a $15K false-arrest settlement from the cops. [New York Post]

Yesterday, while taking questions from redditors and dodging nuts from the Republican National Convention, Barack Obama got a student debt question. Not just a student debt question, but specifically a law school student debt question. He got the question about one of the most important economic issues plaguing the very young people Obama was on Reddit to impress.

And he answered it.

He answered it in an annoying, vapid way that was replete with platitudes, yet devoid of any deep engagement with the issue. He got the question. And he answered it. But he said nothing at all.

The President offered some remarks about general indebtedness and waxed poetic about his commitment to education, but even Obama’s in-the-trenches appeal to young voters was blind to one of the biggest issues facing them.

Maybe if somebody Tweeted @BarackObama “discharge ed debt thru bk pls thx,” Obama could find a way to give 140 characters worth of a crap….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Barack Obama Takes To Reddit And Answers A Question About Law Student Debt… I Didn’t Say He Answered It Well.”

Vice president: it’s the perfect Gen X job, isn’t it? To have no responsibility, to have only the perks of what was left behind by the responsible people.

– Generation X icon Elizabeth Wurtzel — author of Prozac Nation (affiliate link), and, until recently, a litigatrix at Boies Schiller — commenting to the New York Times about a fellow Gen X member, Paul Ryan, being picked as the presumptive Republican nominee for vice president.

The only people dumber than this Lubbock, Texas judge are the people who believe state court judges are impartial.

The story that has gone viral this morning is about Texas Judge Tom Head. In a local news interview, Judge Head said that a property tax increase was needed, in part, so the sheriff’s department could defend the people against U.N. troops that Obama would send to invade Texas to quash the civil war that would naturally break out if he was re-elected.

Stupid freaking Texas. Up here in New York, we’ve been preparing for that eventuality for years. What, you think it really costs $2,200 to rent a one-bedroom shoebox in Chelsea? Of course not! I believe it was our own New York State Supreme Court Judge D. Bagger Dumas who said: “The MTA needs funds to extend the 7-line all the way to Hoboken so that we may have an avenue to escape from the mechanized Kenyan Power-bots Obama has been developing in secret with the French and General Zod.”

Sorry, even my jokey attempt to sound as crazy as a Texas judge falls woefully short of the real life lunacy of Texas judges (plus an UPDATE on this guy’s title)….

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* “Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, and Nietzsche (figuratively) walk into the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Hilarity ensues.” [FindLaw]

* The EPA gets benchslapped by the D.C. Circuit. [Instapundit]

* What can law firms learn from… the Cheesecake Factory? Besides how to make people fat; Biglaw’s already great at that. [Adam Smith, Esq.]

* If you enjoy gambling or legal hypotheticals, check this out. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Professor Eugene Volokh examines the tricky tension between constitutionally protected speech and laws against blackmail. [Volokh Conspiracy]

Professor Ann Althouse

* Professor Howard Wasserman grades Representative Todd Akin’s apology for his “legitimate rape” remarks — and gives the congressman partial credit for “owning” it. [PrawfsBlawg]

* Meanwhile, Professor Ann Althouse wonders: “Would the Democrats oust one of their own because he said one thing wrong?” [Althouse]

* Don’t forget: tonight is the nomination deadline for our Lawyerly Lairs contest for the best law firm offices in America. [Above the Law]

* Our commenting platform, Disqus, is having issues — which may explain why comments are mysteriously disappearing from the site. We apologize for the problem, which we are investigating. [Disqus]

I wonder if Todd Akin has some way of shutting this whole thing down, or is it that he secretly wants this?

It’s been a fun couple of days trying to figure out what Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin meant when he said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin claims he misspoke. In a new political ad (look, if the guy doesn’t understand how women get pregnant, it’s probably going to take him a while to figure out how voters decide elections), Akin says: “Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize… The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness.”

But what did Akin really mean when he tried to distinguish “legitimate” rape from the regular kind of “rape-rape” that seems to void a woman’s reproductive rights?

In these times when words are mean and hurtful, we tend to turn to Northwestern Law for guidance. The students at Northwestern Law have long taken their role as the PC Police very seriously. And so it shouldn’t surprise us that a Northwestern 2L is credited with main definition of “legitimate rape” on the incomparable resource of Urban Dictionary…

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* Don’t you wish there was some way to have a destructive Sharpie Party all over your student loan debt? [CNBC]

* Should Romney be on the ballot in Washington State? Some people say “no.” Other people say “Obama is a Kenyan Muslo-fascist who wants to turn America into a communist hunter-gatherer economy.” I say “The jury’s still out on Steve Sarkisian, that is why we’re talking about Washington, correct?” [The Stranger]

* I’m really at peace with the Pennsylvania voter ID decision. Bottom line, it shows that instead of focusing on outreach towards other groups, the GOP is committed to riding this white thing out a little bit more. [Recess Appointment]

* Meanwhile, early voting is still a go in Florida. I know it’s the kind of thing that turns Federalists white(r), but would it be so wrong if there was like, one set of voting laws instead of 50? It just feels, I think the technical phrase is f**king stupid, to have 50 different set of laws governing the most fundamental civic activity in a democracy. [Election Law Blog]

* The personal injury attorney picked to be the new dean of Saint Louis Law School, Tom Keefe, will “donate” his salary back to the university. In a similar show of good faith, SLU Law students have promised to donate their debts back to Keefe. [St. Louis Business Journal]

* I feel like I need a full Brian Tannebaum article explaining how this lawyer doesn’t deserve to live. [California Appellate Report]

* Man claims it’s against his “creed” to allow black people to bag his groceries. I sure hope this guy has kids because I want to find out how his religion feels about black people bagging his daughter. [Longview News-Journal]

This morning, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson declined to issue an injunction that would halt implementation of Pennsylvania’s new and controversial voter ID law. The law requires Pennsylvania voters to show a photo ID in order to vote. According to Pennsylvania House Republican Leader Mike Turazi, the new law will deliver the Pennsylvania election to Mitt Romney.

But that doesn’t mean it’s unconstitutional. Judge Simpson determined that an injunction would be inappropriate, and decided to give everybody a lesson on the difference between facial challenges versus “as applied” challenges to boot. He ruled that the plaintiffs, which included the ACLU, didn’t establish that “disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable.”

The ACLU says it plans to appeal….

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Former lobbyist Janna Ryan.

There are a lot of people trying to tell me that Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president, Paul Ryan, is attractive. Like pretty much everybody in my office. And Google is auto-filling with “Paul Ryan Shirtless.” Considering that many of Ryan’s supporters are serious fans of noted rape-novelist Ayn Rand, I’m mildly concerned by all this pent-up Republican sexual energy being thrown Ryan’s way.

But it’s not like Ryan is on the market. He was snapped up by Janna Christine Little Ryan, back in 2000. We’re just getting to know this potential second lady. She’s being pushed by the Romney campaign as a traditional housewife who loves her children and supports her man.

No doubt, she is.

But in another life, before marriage and children, Janna Little was a tax lawyer and big-time lobbyist. She was a Washington insider, like her husband. She worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and had a controversial client roster….

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