Election Day

“[O]ne familiar with the profound debates that ushered our Federal Constitution into existence is bound to respect those who remain loyal to the ideals and dreams of ‘Our Federalism.’ The concept does not mean blind deference to ‘States’ Rights’ any more than it means centralization of control over every important issue in our National Government and its courts. The Framers rejected both these courses. What the concept does represent is a system in which there is sensitivity to the legitimate interests of both State and National Governments, and in which the National Government, anxious though it may be to vindicate and protect federal rights and federal interests, always endeavors to do so in ways that will not unduly interfere with the legitimate activities of the States. It should never be forgotten that this slogan, ‘Our Federalism,’ born in the early struggling days of our Union of States, occupies a highly important place in our Nation’s history and its future.”

– Justice Hugo Black, Younger v. Harris

Our Federalism. Our dear Federalism. Justice Black described this vaunted principle when deciding in 1971 that federal courts must show some restraint when interfering with state criminal prosecutions.

“Our Federalism,” though, only works when you work it. The many conservatives (myself included) who trumpet these principles in briefs, articles, and opinions ought to view this not simply as an academic matter but as a personal political responsibility as citizens.

For all the caterwauling on all sides about national politics and for all the petticoat-clutching over Our Federalism, it is shameful when those same folks can’t name a single member of their city council or school board or state supreme court. . . .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When ‘Our Federalism’ Turns Into ‘Somebody Else’s Federalism': Why Local Elections Matter”

* Shashank Tripathi appears to be behind the fake tweets about the flooding of the New York Stock Exchange. Is that protected speech or (wait for it) DID HE JUST SAY “FIRE” IN A CROWDED THEATER??????? [Gigaom]

* But to be clear, Romney is free to lie as much as he wants. Political speech, even misleading speech, is clearly protected. [ABA Journal]

* Court is back in session. Kinda. [National Law Journal]

* Will Election Day get washed away? [CNN]

* Just to be clear, because I know “low information” voters are easily confused, “Government” are the people going around trying to help you out in the storm. “PRIVATE BUSINESS,” in this case insurance companies, are the ones looking to screw you over and profit from the disaster. [New York Times]

* If you want to help the victims of Sandy (instead of just staring at pictures of their suffering like I do), you can. [Red Cross; NY Cares; Humane Society]

* Only now, at the end, do you understand the true power of Disney. Skadden helps Disney buy Star Wars. Now Lucas’s failure is complete. [Am Law Daily]

Mmm... gridlock.

If you like gridlock (and as lawyers, you should love gridlock) last night was a big night for you. Thanks to a divided Congress and a weakened President, we shouldn’t be seeing any national legislation for some time. And even as Republicans enjoyed gains in state legislatures around the country, in many cases the State Attorney General office landed in the hands of Democrats. So even if something does managed to get passed, expected it to be gummed up in the courts for a good long while.

Looking at the contested races for Attorney General around the country, we’re seeing that the Tea Party message will still hasn’t been developed into a coherent strategy as to how government lawyers should approach their jobs.

One of the biggest State AG races was in New York, where Democrat Eric Schneiderman scored a victory over well funded city Republican, Dan Donovan. The weakness of Tea Party darling Carl Paladino at the top of the New York Republican ticket didn’t help Donovan’s chances.

In California, a very close A.G. race is showing a slight lead for Democrat Kamala Harris, over Republican Steve Cooley. They’re still counting absentee ballots out there, it’s that close.

But whatever, it’s easy to discount Democrat resilience in New York and California. But outside NYC and L.A., where the ostensibly real Americans live, the top lawyer races were split and didn’t support the “tsunami theory” of Republican domination being pushed by the mainstream media folks…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Republican Momentum Stalls at State Attorneys General Offices”

And now there’s this election day tidbit from the Philadelphia Daily News:

We’re told that the polling place at the Mummer’s Museum at 2nd Street and Washington Ave. has been shut down and that police are on the scene. “It’s Our Money” blogger Ben Waxman is down there and tells us that the shut down came after a screaming match between competing judges of elections. The District Attorney is reportedly on his way to the scene.

I think by “judge of elections,” they’re talking about election monitors (who are often lawyers) hired by major political parties to make sure there’s no funny business at the polls.

The polls reopened later in the day, by the “minority judge” (the Daily News doesn’t tell us which party) was complaining that he was being kept out of the polling place, despite having a court order.

There’s a pretty interesting Senate race in Pennsylvania, and you know what they say about Pennsylvania: “it’s Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.” So far, no reports of shenanigans in Alabama…

Earlier: Election Day Shenanigans Watch: So Long As You Can Avoid the Pigs, You Should Be Golden

We’ve collected a couple of tips on reports of election day problems around the country. And I have to say, so far, so good. It’s nothing like 2008.

Even in New York, things seem calm, despite the fact that the city is rolling out new voting machines which were a total joke during the primaries. They seemed to have worked out the kinks in time for today’s general election. From City Room:

New Yorkers using the new computerized voting system on Tuesday seemed to encounter fewer problems than they did during the September primary, when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg complained of “a royal screw-up.”…

Mr. Bloomberg cast his ballot just after 7 a.m. at a school on East 81st Street. “The process, in all fairness,” he said, “was different, smooth,” compared with what happened on primary day.

And things seem to be doing well in Connecticut. Shockingly Vince McMahon decided not to be a jackass. But in Indiana voters will have to make their way past pedestrian pigs to get to the polls…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Election Day Shenanigans Watch: So Long As You Can Avoid the Pigs, You Should Be Golden”