- 9th Circuit, Alex Kozinski, Antitrust, Biglaw, Blind Item, Department of Justice, Facebook, Federal Judges, Free Speech, Lindsay Lohan, Morning Docket, Munger Tolles & Olson, Music
Over the weekend, I realized that I needed some new white dress shirts. So I headed downtown to the Brooks Brothers at One Liberty Plaza here in Manhattan.
One Liberty Plaza — also the home of another white-shoe institution, the Cleary Gottlieb law firm — happens to be located across the street from Zuccotti Park, site of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Since I was going to be in the neighborhood, I decided to pay a visit to OWS, keeping an eye out for law-related angles to the event.
I brought my trusty camera and reporter’s notebook, so I could record my impressions and interview some of the protesters. What did I observe?
We think a $5 fee presents no greater burden on nude dancing. . . . The fee is not a tax on unpopular speech but a restriction on combining nude dancing, which unquestionably has secondary effects, with the aggravating influence of alcohol consumption.
– Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan L. Hecht, writing for the majority and upholding the state’s “pole tax” in Combs v. Texas Entertainment Association. The ruling overturns a prior decision that found the fee unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds because it singled out protected expression in nude dancing.
- ACLU, Constitutional Law, Education / Schools, Facebook, Free Speech, Kids, Pictures, Pornography, Sex
Back in 2009, some teen girls in Indiana had a sleepover that lived up to any teen boy’s fantasy version of one. After racy photos from the summer slumber party made their way to the principal’s office, two of the athletes in attendance were suspended from school sports for the year. That’s, like, totally unfair, said the ACLU, which helped the students sue the school, alleging violation of their First Amendment right to post slutty photos of themselves online.
The girls took photos of themselves “playing” with “phallic-shaped rainbow colored lollipops,” in the court’s words. It sounds like the oh-so-innocent unicorn horn lollipop to me. Though unicorns are usually associated with purity and virginity, these girls took the horn in a different direction, using it in photo shoots that simulated various sexual positions. I’ll leave the descriptions to the court, which wrote one of the racier opinions [pdf] I’ve ever come across (via Professor Eric Goldman’s Technology and Marketing Law Blog)….
I love to talk about truck nuts, probably for the same reason that racists love to talk about crime rates in the ghetto. Regardless of why, I just can’t get enough of the phenomenon of people affixing plastic testicles to their motor vehicles.
Obviously, I think people should be free to do pretty much whatever they want when it comes to decorating their vehicles. So I find the truck nuts story circulating around the blogosphere very disturbing. Apparently, a South Carolina woman was given a $445 ticket for her truck’s nuts. Her story is making news, because she’s secured a jury trial to protest the ticket.
So, for those playing along at home, South Carolina will defend to the death your right to display the Confederate Flag, the symbol of a regime committed to slavery and racial oppression, but plastic testicles is a bridge too far.
Yes, like most obscenity cases, this one is turgid with hypocrisy….
Most people would expect that a post discussing unconstitutional behavior from a town in Arkansas would have something to do with religion. And in fairness, new ordinances from the city council of Gould, Arkansas do raise First Amendment concerns.
But the Gould city council isn’t trying to impose its view of God upon the public sphere. Instead, Gould just decided to ignore the protections for freedom of association. Apparently things have gotten so contentious between the city council and the mayor that the council has prohibited the mayor from meeting with people without the council’s approval.
And then the council decided to make it illegal to form any kind of group, whatsoever, without city council approval.
So yeah, Gould, Arkansas: Now technically home to one of the most totalitarian regimes in the Western Hemisphere…
You see what happens, Cooley? You see what happens when you sue anonymous commenters on the internet?
We’re only on day two of Cooley’s reputation defense lawsuits, and it’s already obvious that the lawsuits have made it possible for more people to be more critical of the education offered by the school.
So far, the most damning statement about Cooley’s education has come from Cooley itself. Cooley president Don LeDuc said that the school filed these suits “to protect Cooley’s reputation and stand up for our students and more than 15,000 graduates.”
And yet, of those 15,000 graduates, when it came time to defend Cooley’s reputation, the school went with lawyers who were not educated at Cooley.
Not only did the school not use its own graduates for this work, one of the anonymous commenters the school is suing appears to be a
recent Cooley graduate former Cooley Law student. I mean, with friends like these, right?
CORRECTION (7/16/11): It appears that this commenter did not graduate from Cooley, but instead studied there for a time before transferring out.
In any event, that defendant has decided to respond to the Cooley lawsuit…
Earlier this month, we reported that somebody was looking to Craigslist for potential plaintiffs to sue Thomas M. Cooley Law School over the school’s published post-graduate employment statistics. As many of you know, Thomas Jefferson School of Law has already been hit with such a lawsuit.
Well, apparently Cooley isn’t going to sit around and wait for somebody to sue them. Instead, the school is going to sue first.
A message from Cooley president Don LeDuc informed students that Cooley is suing a New York law firm and four anonymous “John Doe” commentators on the internet. We haven’t seen the lawsuit, so we don’t know exactly who the school is suing. According to LeDuc, Cooley is not trying to “police the internet.” Instead he says the school is trying to defend its reputation and the value of a Cooley Law degree.
You can read his full letter to students below….
Three years ago, we bestowed Judge of the Day honors upon the Honorable Fred Biery, a federal judge in the Western District of Texas. Back in 2008, Judge Biery rejected a religious school’s attempt to join an influential statewide extracurricular organization. In the process of ruling against Cornerstone Christian Schools, Judge Biery took the Bible and turned it around on them, in a snarky opinion quoting religious texts to refute a religious school.
(His Honor apparently enjoys colorful writing. See also this amusing ruling, with shout-outs in the footnotes to such fabulous creatures as Barbra Streisand and Stephen Sondheim.)
Well, it seems that Judge Biery — make that Chief Judge Biery, as of last June — continues to antagonize organized religion. Let’s read about the latest controversy he’s incited, this time involving an imminent high school graduation ceremony….
UPDATE: Judge Biery’s ruling in the case discussed below was overturned on Friday afternoon by the Fifth Circuit. Details and links appear in the update at the end of this post.
As Walter Sobchak might say: Lady, I’ve got buddies who died face down in the muck so that I could enjoy the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, the police arrested people for dancing in the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Can you believe it? On the very weekend we are supposed to honor the sacrifices of our military, the police are going around and dishonoring the very ideals those men and women have fought and died for.
Unless you think we send our military all over the world so the nation’s capital can be a dance-free zone, like the town of Beaumont in freaking Footloose….