Election Law

  • Edward Snowden

    Barack Obama, Constitutional Law, Department of Justice, Election Law, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Health Care / Medicine, Law Schools, Morning Docket, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Shira Scheindlin, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 12.24.13

    * People have “greatly underestimated how powerful a jurist Justice Sotomayor would be,” and now that one of her concurrences flies directly in the face of Obama’s NSA tactics, we’ll get to see how powerful she really is. [MSNBC]

    * Here’s a fun end-of-the-year roundup: President Obama’s Top 10 Constitutional Violations of 2013. Fifty internet points shall be awarded to the first person who correctly guesses how many are related to Obamacare without looking. [Forbes]

    * Following Judge Shira Scheindlin’s stop-and-frisk spanking, the Southern District of New York changed its rules on case assignments in order to increase transparency. Related-case judge-shopping just got a whole lot harder. [New York Times]

    * Wiley Rein is defending its fee request in the Voting Rights Act case, and says the Department of Justice is “[tying] itself in knots” trying to find a way to get out of paying the piper. Harsh. [Blog of Legal Times]

    * These are four ways you can overcome a low GPA when applying to law school, but really, the best way to overcome a low GPA is to not apply at all. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    * “I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA.” Now that he’s unleashed all of America’s deep dark secrets, Edward Snowden just wants to Google like a regular guy. [Washington Post]

    2 Comments / / Dec 24, 2013 at 9:17 AM
  • 800px-20121123_SantaClaus-Chicago

    Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, Department of Justice, Election Law, Gay Marriage, Holidays and Seasons, Non-Sequiturs, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Technology

    Non-Sequiturs: 12.23.13

    * Hughes Hubbard & Reed is doing its part to help fulfill wishes made in children’s letters to Santa at a time when the Post Office’s Operation Santa program is in desperate need. So to all you other Biglaw firms, the ball’s in your court. [USA Today]

    * Judge Timothy Black cited Justice Scalia’s dissent to reject Ohio’s gay marriage ban. I’m sure this is a cite that warms the justice’s heart. [Associated Press]

    * Professor Pam Karlan is off to become Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Voting Rights. Here’s the last article of the preeminent voting rights expert in her old role as a commentator at the Boston Review describing strange SCOTUS bedfellows. Good luck in the new job! [Boston Review]

    * Good news for Florida lawyers! The Florida Bar has revoked its opinion banning LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations. Go back to patting each other on the digital back. [IT-Lex]

    * Realtors are getting sued for using a home as a sex pad. Strangely enough, this isn’t even the first time we’ve talked about this at Above the Law. [New York Magazine]

    * Do you have to work over vacation? Probably, but it’s worth researching. [TaxProf Blog via Corporate Counsel]

    * We shouldn’t have been so surprised by the affluenza defense because North Texas is basically one big monument to the concept. [New York Times]

    * Here’s an infographic showing the most popular TV show set in each state. What legal shows make the list? [Business Insider]

    * The top 10 most ridiculous lawsuits of the year. Apple porn guy clocks in at a mere number 10? Outrage! Bigger outrage: they ultimately link to the HuffPo write-up of… the original Above the Law piece. Why no direct link, hm? Video embedded after the jump… [Faces of Lawsuit Abuse]

    0 Comments / / Dec 23, 2013 at 4:01 PM
  • Three cheers for "cultural capital."

    Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, Canada, Department of Justice, Election Law, Gay, Jed Rakoff, Law Professors, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Native Americans, Partner Issues, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Wall Street

    Morning Docket: 12.17.13

    * Despite his hatred of 3L classes like “Law and Unicorns,” Justice Scalia believes that the third year of law school is necessary — perhaps a necessary evil, but still necessary. [Memphis Daily News]

    * “[T]his excuse — sometimes labeled the ‘too big to jail’ excuse — is disturbing, frankly….” The eminently quotable Judge Rakoff is at it again, this time with harsh words for the DOJ. [New York Times]

    * According to the latest survey from Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group, managing partners think that 2014 will be better than 2013. This means bonuses will be the same next year. [Am Law Daily]

    * Attorneys from Wiley Rein are fighting for $2 million in fees in the wake of their SCOTUS win in the Shelby County Voting Rights Act case. The firm’s quest has been called “absurd.” [National Law Journal]

    * “The record is utterly devoid of any evidence of criminal intent or intentional misconduct.” It turns out that Guy Lewis and Michael Tein, the attorneys accused of malpractice by the Miccosukee Indians, weren’t bad after all. [Daily Business Review]

    * Rather than pegging its value at $1 million, a professor from a fourth-tier law school is promoting the “non-economic value” of a law degree. Can “cultural capital” repay your loans? [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * “[N]o law school in Canada should be allowed to weed out gay students.” Too bad. Trinity Western University, the law school that bans gay “sexual intimacy,” received preliminary approval. [Globe and Mail]

    * Law school specialization and you: follow these three simple steps to help you decide which niche you’ll be unable to find a job in after you graduate. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    1 Comment / / Dec 17, 2013 at 9:13 AM
  • 225px-Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863

    Election Law, Guns / Firearms, Intellectual Property, Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 11.15.13

    * A Pennsylvania newspaper just retracted its 1863 editorial panning the Gettysburg Address. Civil War CYA is all the rage these days. First Mississippi outlaws slavery, now this. [NBC News]

    * “Man fired cannon during dispute.” That sums it up. [My FoxNY]

    * Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker indicted for the murder of an elderly lawyer. His defense should invoke his maxim “even if you make mistakes you’re lovable.” [Huffington Post]

    * The man who shot and killed Renisha McBride was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, and a felony firearm charge. [CBS Detroit]

    * Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman needs to give up this dumb quest to change New York law to keep his job. [Overlawyered]

    * Anti-religious jury tactics in intellectual property cases. Jesus! Or, not Jesus. Or, whatever. [Patently-O]

    * Law is complex and nuanced and that’s a good thing. [Popehat]

    * A follow-up on a previous item. Election fraud complaint dismissed in the case of Machiavellian Alabama Greeks. [Chronicle of Higher Education]

    * Speaking of the Gettysburg Address, here’s how it would go down with modern political consultants per the great Bob Newhart. Routine after the jump… [YouTube]

    2 Comments / / Nov 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM
  • The Duke Brothers

    Barack Obama, Election Law, Insider Trading, Mergers and Acquisitions, Morning Docket, Pepper Hamilton, Securities and Exchange Commission, Technology

    Morning Docket 11.12.13

    * Who are the real victims of insider trading? It’s the Duke brothers, duh. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Judge Ellen Huvelle has ordered the government to turn over to her an executive order that the feds claim is subject to executive privilege. Judge Huvelle rejected the administration’s argument that privilege exists because, “we don’t want to give it to you.” [Politico]

    * Pepper Hamilton has joined the greener pastures of Silicon Valley, opening an office with three partners poached from Goodwin Proctor. [Reuters Legal (sub. req.)]

    * Speaking of poaching, Martin Dunn, former deputy director of the SEC and O’Melveny partner is joining Morrison & Foerster. [The Blog of the Legal Times]

    * And while we’re at it, M&A partner Sean Rodgers has left Simpson Thacher to merge with Kirkland & Ellis. [The AmLaw Daily]

    * Publisher ALM (The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal) has a new technology partner and hopes to boost its readership. If they want to boost their readership, wouldn’t starting a new law school be a better investment? [Talking Biz News]

    * Conservative groups are miffed about video of this Democratic party lawyer “attacking” a Republican at the polls and trying to “steal” an election. It seems like he put his hand over the lens of a camera phone, but sure, this is exactly like telling minorities the wrong day to vote. [Bearing Drift]

    * The Amanda Knox case has a trade secret component as a battle rages over DNA testing technology. [Trade Secrets Watch / Orrick]

    1 Comment / / Nov 12, 2013 at 9:05 AM
  • CVHS_Arab_Mascot

    Basketball, Books, Death Penalty, Election Law, Non-Sequiturs, Sports, United Kingdom / Great Britain

    Non-Sequiturs: 11.08.13

    * If you thought the Redskins were offensive, I bring you the Coachella Valley High Arabs. Complete with video of their mascot! [Yahoo! Sports]

    * With states increasingly losing access to tried and true execution drugs, the wardens are now experimenting on their own. This sounds (a) incredibly cruel and unusual, and (b) likely to result in creating a supervillian. [Vocativ]

    * Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott fought hard for a voter ID law. And on Tuesday, he failed to meet the standards of the law he championed. Derp. [Opposing Views]

    * We frequently link to the fun poetic stylings of Poetic Justice. Now you can enter a contest to win a free copy of the book! [Poetic Justice]

    * In a horrific turn, a father called the cops to teach his son a lesson. Then the cops killed the son. [Gawker]

    * Fear Roatti the White Tiger, Esq. Fear him mightily. [Deadspin]

    * This is perhaps the weirdest law firm video ever. Video embedded after the jump… [Legal Cheek]

    2 Comments / / Nov 8, 2013 at 5:04 PM
  • Election primary RF

    California, Election Law, Politics

    When ‘Our Federalism’ Turns Into ‘Somebody Else’s Federalism': Why Local Elections Matter

    Can you name a single member of your city council or school board or state supreme court?

    25 Comments / / Nov 7, 2013 at 2:05 PM
  • sad-lawyer-e1373906686414

    Election Law, Guns / Firearms, Non-Sequiturs, Technology

    Non-Sequiturs: 11.05.13

    * Lawyers are too lonely. Well, it’s not easy to find friends when you’re the most despised profession in the world. [Law and More]

    * A prosecutor managed to shoot out the window of the D.A.’s office while playing with another prosecutor’s gun. The boss is mad, but really, what’s the point of having guns if you can’t treat them like toys? [Waco Tribune]

    * Typical traffic stop turns into anal cavity search because clenching your buttocks during a pat down is probable cause for a prostate exam. [KOB 4]

    * Lawyer informed by judges that “not everything on the internet is reliable.” [IT-Lex]

    * It’s release day for Keith Lee’s new book The Marble and the Sculptor: From Law School to Law Practice (affiliate link). [Associate’s Mind]

    * Texas has hired Texas Law grad Steve Patterson as its new athletic director, poaching him from the same position at Arizona State. I wonder if Todd Graham will slimily bail on another school and join his old boss at Texas when Mack Brown is unceremoniously fired. [CBS Sports]

    * Michelle Mumford, the former Milbank associate who went public with her negative experience of being pregnant working in the firm’s litigation department, is now the admissions dean at BYU Law. If any institution is sympathetic to pregnancy, it would be the Mormon Church. [The Careerist]

    * Professor Pamela Karlan explains how political gridlock is the result of the Framers’ failure. I refuse to believe a gathering of slaveholding farmers didn’t construct a perfect system. [Boston Review]

    * Judge tells lawyers they can’t withhold their fee structure as confidential when he can look it up in other cases. Was their theory that the judge was stupid? [South Florida Lawyers]

    8 Comments / / Nov 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM
  • 220px-Richard_posne

    Election Law, Quote of the Day, Richard Posner

    Posner Maybe Didn’t Disavow His Voter ID Decision?

    After kicking off a firestorm by suggesting he was wrong about Voter ID laws, Judge Posner is backtracking.

    14 Comments / / Oct 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM
  • Carnival_Triumph_Half_Moon_Cay

    Drinking, Election Law, Non-Sequiturs, Privacy, Sexual Harassment, Video games

    Non-Sequiturs: 10.24.13

    * A Houston couple is suing Carnival Cruises for stranding them on that infamous Poop Ship. Except they were never on that ship. [Houston Chronicle]

    * Herman Cain has figured out the culprit behind the sexual harassment allegations that plagued his campaign. It was the Devil! Maybe O.J. should look into where the Devil was when Ron and Nicole were killed. [Talking Points Memo]

    * In the running for the worst company name ever: “Dis Is We Thing, Inc.” As always, Above the Law is brought to you by They It Is, LLC. [Rapaport Law Firm]

    * The mixologists behind “The OxyContin” cocktail have renamed it “The Cease and Desist” after the pharmaceutical company that makes OxyContin shot off its cease and desist letter. Because this cocktail was more damaging to their reputation than being one of the most used and abused drugs on the market. [Forbes]

    * People unfairly zero in on the personalities behind information leaks rather than the substance of the leaks themselves. I don’t know about that… I mean, The Fifth Estate bombed. [Politix]

    * The new Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game is coming to America. I gather you can yell “Objection!” at your Nintendo DS and it responds. Anyway, here’s the review. [GameSpot]

    * Down in Texas, Judge Sandra Watts got a taste of the new draconian totally fair voter ID requirements when election officials tried to block the 49-year veteran of the voting process from voting because her maiden name was on her ID. Thankfully for Judge Watts, she understood the law a little better than the poll workers. [ThinkProgress]

    * Mike Lickver, whose legally-inspired music videos have graced these pages a couple of times before, has a new video. It’s not legally-themed at all, but he’s a rapping lawyer, so we give him a pass for venturing out into other themes. Video after the jump…

    / Oct 24, 2013 at 5:12 PM
  • iStock_000007978714XSmall-RF

    Affirmative Action, Antonin Scalia, Election Law, Fashion, Non-Sequiturs, Richard Posner

    Non-Sequiturs: 10.16.13

    * Belgium has captured a real-life pirate king! But pirate kings just aren’t what they used to be. Something tells me Blackbeard wouldn’t have gone down because somebody said, “Hey, come back to England so we can make a movie about you.” [The Volokh Conspiracy]

    * After a roller coaster malfunction killed a passenger, Six Flags responds by pointing the finger at someone else. They didn’t design or build the ride… they just bought it, promoted it, operated it, and profited off it, but they did not design or build it. [Houston Chronicle]

    * At oral argument, Justice Scalia ripped a lawyer for thinking the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to protect minority rights against a white majority. As Scalia notes, “that was the argument in the early years…. But I thought we rejected that.” Leave it to Justice Scalia to point out that no one makes decisions based on the publicly known original intent of the drafters of constitutional provisions from 150 years ago. That would just be silly. Now, if we’re talking 200 years ago… [Josh Blackman’s Blog]

    * A Texas judge is reprimanded for trying to pull strings for a friend. Unfortunately, it seems like he’s also really bad at pulling strings. [Legal Juice]

    * Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp has started a fashion industry law blog. Ooh Law Law. Oh, I see what you did there. [Ooh Law Law]

    * Judge Posner, who authored the decision that framed the entire voter ID debate by casting doubt that the laws could be used to disenfranchise voters, tells HuffPo Live’s Mike Sacks that he was completely wrong. Judge Posner explains that events have confirmed that voter ID laws are really all about disenfranchising poor and minority voters. Ever the empiricist that Posner guy. Full video after the jump… [New York Times]

    / Oct 16, 2013 at 5:01 PM
  • John_McCain_official_portrait_2009

    Election Law, Football, Free Speech, Larry Lessig, Non-Sequiturs, Religion

    Non-Sequiturs: 10.10.13

    * Who says bipartisanship is dead? Senators McCain and Gillibrand hammer Obama’s nominee for Navy Undersecretary. Gillibrand went after her specifically over prosecuting sexual assaults. [Breaking Defense]

    * Lawyers per capita by state. For everyone who says lawyers make the world worse, note that Arkansas has the fewest lawyers per capita and do with that information what you will. [Law School Tuition Bubble]

    * A bunch of rabbis were arrested for plotting to kidnap and torture a guy into granting a Jewish divorce. This is a thing? [Wall Street Journal]

    * Professor Larry Lessig thinks the administration should have made originalist arguments in the McCutcheon case to salvage campaign finance limits. First, I don’t see why this would have worked. Second, someone in Washington has to be an adult and resist the urge to make stupid arguments just because someone might listen. [The Atlantic]

    * An agent is facing 14 felony counts for giving improper benefits to college athletes. For all the alleged cheating, you’d think UNC would be better at football. [Forbes]

    * A Texas judge ordered a teen to move back in with a sex offender. This was a poor decision. [USA Today]

    * Upon hearing former NYC Mayor David Dinkins saying, “You don’t need to be too smart to be a lawyer, so I went to law school,” the dean of New York Law School said, “So you went to Brooklyn Law School?” Which of course Dinkins did. What is wrong with NYU’s Tribeca campus? [NYLS (exchange begins at 23:00)]

    * Is this related to the law? Not really. Is it the cast of Archer doing the video of Danger Zone? Yes…

    3 Comments / / Oct 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM
  • vote voting ballot

    Election Law, Free Speech, Money, Politics, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Rumors Of Democracy’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated: Why McCutcheon Can Be A Good Thing

    Sadly, liberals are too busy class-baiting and wailing about Citizens United to have hard conversations about the First Amendment and the political process.

    55 Comments / / Oct 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM
  • Supreme_Court_US_2010-RF

  • Supreme Court SCOTUS photo by David Lat

    Animal Law, Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Judicial Nominations, Lateral Moves, Law Firm Mergers, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Pets, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Trials

    Morning Docket: 10.08.13

    * Say what you will about Justice Scalia, but the man is hilarious — more funny than his four liberal colleagues combined, according to a statistical analysis of oral argument recordings. [New York Times]

    * The government shutdown is slowing down the judicial confirmation process, already famous for its speed and efficiency. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

    * More about news for Steven Donziger in his long-running battle with Chevron. Maybe it’s time to surrender, Steve? I hear Ecuador is a great place to retire. [New York Law Journal]

    * Law firm merger mania continues, as Carlton Fields combines with Jorden Burt. [Carlton Fields (press release)]

    * Herbert Smith Freehills says “you’re hired” to Scott Balber, the lawyer for Donald Trump who got mocked by Bill Maher on national television. [The Lawyer]

    * You might see your dog as harmless and cuddly, but the law might see your dog as a weapon (and rightfully so, in my opinion). [New York Times via ABA Journal]

    * Congratulations to all the winners of the FT’s Innovative Lawyers awards. [Financial Times]

    * And congratulations to Heidi Wendel and Deirdre McEvoy, high-ranking government lawyers headed to Jones Day and Patterson Belknap, respectively. [New York Law Journal]

    * Today the Supreme Court will hear argument in McCutcheon v. FEC, a major campaign finance case that some are calling “the next Citizens United.” Check out an interview with one of the lawyers behind it, after the jump. [UCTV]

    Marty Lasden of California Lawyer magazine interviewed the severely conservative James Bopp Jr. for the “Legally Speaking” series (in which I previously participated). It appears this interview with Bopp took place before Bopp got bumped from the podium in favor of Erin Murphy, a young superstar of the Supreme Court bar.

    8 Comments / / Oct 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM
  • Supreme Court SCOTUS photo by David Lat

    Fabulosity, Paul Clement, Politics, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Clerks

    A Young Superstar Makes Her Supreme Court Debut

    Which legal eagle is making her first solo flight before SCOTUS?

    9 Comments / / Sep 27, 2013 at 11:43 AM
  • 220px-Zimmerman,_George_-_Seminole_County_Mug

    Clerkships, Election Law, Gay, Guns / Firearms, Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 09.11.13

    * Dr. Shiping Bao, the medical examiner in the Zimmerman trial, claims that Florida state prosecutors were biased against Trayvon Martin and purposely threw the case and now he’s suing. While it’s hard to believe a prosecution could be that bad absent purposeful mismanagement, Bao’s allegations conveniently surfaced right after he was fired. [News One]

    * An explanation of what happened in the Colorado recalls last night. Basically, David Kopel argues that it was a victory for the Second Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment. It was also a victory for the idea that “democracy” should be replaced by “scheduling off-elections to minimize the representative sample of the voting populace.” Yay! [The Volokh Conspiracy]

    * Maybe law clerks shouldn’t answer the phone. [Judicial Clerk Review]

    * Horn-honking is “small town terrorism,” says man who probably didn’t look at a calendar when filing his lawsuit. [ABA Journal]

    * “Every landlord’s worst nightmare” showing an epically trashed home is making the rounds. Is it a warrant for making it easier for landlords to bully all poor tenants? [Overlawyered]

    * Continuing from above, the answer is “no” because this Hamptons rental story demonstrates that the ability to trash an apartment has nothing to do with your account balance. [Jezebel]

    * Congrats to Jane Genova of Law and More on her personal blog being named one of the top online resources for public speaking. [Masters in Communication]

    * Tomorrow at 2 p.m., Towleroad will be webcasting the first-ever ENDA Situation Room at New York Law School, discussing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). [Towleroad]

    4 Comments / / Sep 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM
  • Election primary RF

    Election Law, Politics

    3 Things Lawyers Can Learn From Yesterday’s Primaries

    If you’re a lawyer with designs on political power, here’s what you should’ve learned from yesterday’s elections.

    9 Comments / / Sep 11, 2013 at 1:20 PM