Immigration

Thursday the Supreme Court will sit for its final session of October Term 2011. The Court will issue opinions in all the cases pending before it. For example, the Court will let the American people know whether they ever have a right to lie.

The Court will also rule on the case that, according to a sign I saw earlier, presents the question of whether we need to “Get The Feds Out of Medicare.” I’m not sure about the details of that case though, because it hasn’t gotten much press attention (I only read the Bicycle Times).

Today, however, the Court issued two opinions in argued cases. The fun in the courtroom was not in the opinions, but in the dissents….

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This morning saw significant activity at the U.S. Supreme Court. Although we did not get a ruling in the health care reform case (aka Obamacare), SCOTUS did hand down a number of important opinions. Check back later today, when we expect to have color commentary from our Supreme Court correspondent, Matt Kaiser, who attended the proceedings in person.

In the meantime, here’s a quick and dirty summary of what transpired at One First Street this morning, including links to the underlying opinions. The most high-profile case was the Court’s decision on the controversial Arizona immigration law, but there were other major cases that were resolved today as well….

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Sergio C. Garcia

While a license to practice law is necessary to obtain employment as an attorney, having a law license does not mean that the holder may be employed.

– attorneys for the State Bar of California in a written brief to the California Supreme Court, commenting on the case of Sergio C. Garcia, an undocumented immigrant who passed the state bar examination, but has since been denied a license to practice law.

A Biglaw firm gets screwed...

* Dewey have some novel issues for our bankruptcy lawyers, or what? As we noted last night, now that D&L has filed for Chapter 11, they’ll have to deal with bank debt, and bondholders, and possible criminal proceedings, oh my! [New York Law Journal]

* And did we mention that Dewey’s defectors and their new firms might get screwed out of millions thanks to the recent Coudert decision? You really should’ve tried to finish up your business before the firm flopped. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Our SCOTUS justices’ summer plans don’t include debating the results of their landmark health care and immigration cases. They’ll be off to fabulous destinations to teach by the first week of July. [Associated Press]

* A federal judge in Brooklyn doesn’t like what seems to be happening in the “game of grams” when it comes to mandatory minimum drug sentencing. Perhaps the DOJ will heed his call for reform. [New York Times]

* Facebook’s IPO was an epic fail, but it’s been great business for plaintiffs lawyers. Twelve securities class action firms are gathering leads and getting ready to sue, and two have already sued. [National Law Journal]

* This wasn’t exactly well planned: if you’re involved in state politics, it’s probably not a good idea to fake a legal internship with a state representative so that you can graduate from law school. [Concord Monitor]

* In happier news, a New York Law School graduate walked across the stage to receive her diploma with the help of her seeing-eye dog. The pooch hasn’t lifted a leg on her law degree… yet. [New York Daily News]

... and so do folks down under.

* “Brothels are never going to be a vote winner.” But even so, if you’re looking to get it in down under, a plan to build Australia’s largest cathouse may soon gain approval if lawyers are able to do their work quick and dirty. [Bloomberg]

* Thanks to this case, stupid teenagers in New Jersey who send texts to others that they know are driving can now revel in the fact that they can’t be held liable for injuries that may occur thanks to careless driving. [New Jersey Law Journal]

The Supreme Court session starts at 10:00 a.m. At 9:55, a tall man with broad shoulders and little neck — a man with an ear piece running out of the back of his suit coat — tells everyone in the Courtroom to be quiet and stay in their seats until the session is over. The room quiets.

This is the calm before the storm. No one expects any of this term’s true blockbusters to be announced today – there will be no health care decision, no ruling on the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act, no ruling on whether Arizona gets to codify its very strong dislike of immigrants.

During this time, those who watch the Court are scanning for signs of either discord or harmony. Even a concert at the Court invites scrutiny of which Justice is chummier with which other Justice. The Supreme Court watching world is like a group of eight-year-olds in the week before Christmas, sniffing the presents under the tree and trying to hunt through their parents’ closets. It’s dignified.

The Courtroom is silent after the broad man quiets us. And then, growing louder, we hear voices. Male voices. And laughter, booming male laughter, as the Chief and Justice Scalia emerge through the parted curtains, and Court is called to order.

What does the laughter mean? Is Obamacare all but destroyed? Is a secret deal finally sealed? Or did the Chief Justice share a bit of ribald humor from his native Indiana?

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John Edwards

* What information Dewey know about the ongoing criminal investigation that’s being conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office? From the sound of it, ex-chairman Steven Davis’s LeBoeuf may be cooked. [Am Law Daily (reg. req.)]

* Dewey know when to admit defeat? A spokesman for the failing firm has insisted that it’s “not formally closed.” Great, because that’ll certainly make it easier to prepare for the involuntary bankruptcy filing that’s in the works. [Reuters]

* Meanwhile, D&L amended its WARN notice with the New York State Department of Labor to raise its total employee count by 100, for a grand total of 533 — 433 of whom have been laid off thus far. [Bloomberg]

* “The defense wasn’t sexy, but the defense doesn’t want sexy. It wants an acquittal.” John Edwards’s legal team rested its case yesterday without calling any of the major players involved to testify. [Associated Press]

* Show me your papers: the California Supreme Court will be deciding whether a law license should be granted to an illegal immigrant who’s already been certified by the State Bar of California. [Los Angeles Times]

* Thank you, Jesus! Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law now has an additional $4M in its collection plate to put toward a new building thanks to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [National Law Journal]

The deadline for entering the 2012 bar review diaries contest passed on Friday. We received close to 200 submissions and will announce the winners early next week. To hold you over until then, we checked in with last year’s student columnists. And we have some updates!

Where are Mariah, Mike, and Christopher now? Did they pass the bar? Let’s see…

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I lift my lamp beside the golden door. Except in Arizona, where I slam your head into the golden door till you beg for mercy.

If you either listened to or read a good recap of yesterday’s SCOTUS arguments about the Arizona immigration law, and saw a mainstream media report about it, you are probably pulling your hair out. What seems to me as the most likely and reasonable compromise to the issue is being treated like a victory for the state’s radical immigration approach.

It seems there was consensus on the Court to allow Arizona officials to check the immigration status of people they’ve already arrested as a matter of state enforcement of already established federal law. I can live with that.

But here’s what’s not happening: the Court doesn’t seem to be endorsing the aggressive “show me your papers” approach that would lead to somebody writing the diary of Anita Franco. And the Court isn’t even taking up the racial profiling question, leaving that argument open for future debate. That’s a big, huge “technicality” that means we likely haven’t seen the last of the Arizona immigration debate.

I guess “SCOTUS Stakes Out Reasonable Compromise While Dodging Racial Issue” doesn’t make for a good mainstream headline. Instead, we’ve got: “Arizona Beats Obama While Verrilli Gets Punched In The Crotch By A Latina.”

Which begs the question: Does Don Verrilli still want this job?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Immigration Arguments: A Compromise, A Technicality, And A Guy Who Probably Doesn’t Need This Junk Anymore”

* With the Supreme Court talking about immigration today, let’s take a look at how all the SCOTUS justices got to America. [Reuters]

* In any event, except for Scalia, the Court looks like it’s going to find a reasonable way through the Arizona immigration mess. If you’re detained for something, cops can check your status, but they can’t just go out and ask people to show them their papers on the street. Scalia thinks, I don’t know, he sounds like he thinks we’re still living under the Articles of Confederation or something. [SCOTUSblog]

* You know, I think that in the end I don’t have a problem with LSAC raising fees to take the LSAT. I mean, the cost of law school is completely out of control, prospective law students have proven that they’ll pay any price for any thing. Remember I said this when I start charging $500,000 for “Elie’s Pre-Law Seminars,” which is just a DVD of me screaming at a ten-year-old for 30 minutes. [Balkinization]

* I don’t ever want to piss Alec Baldwin off. I’m serious. [Dealbreaker]

* I’m not sure these ways to stay sane in a “toxic” office would work in a toxic law office. Unless you add liquor. Alcohol lets you go toxic on them! [Forbes]

* I love that Rob Portman, the man who inspired a walk-out at Michigan Law’s Commencement, is thought to be a “safe” pick for Romney. But hey, this is the same party that thinks nominating a wealthier Bob Dole against a charismatic president who can keep it in his pants is going to work out for them. [Recess Appointments]

Today, if you use the names Sonia Sotomayor, they would probably figure out I was a citizen.

– Justice Sonia Sotomayor, speaking during today’s oral arguments in Arizona v. United States, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

(Justices on both sides of the political spectrum appeared unsympathetic to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. More harsh words that the justices had for him, after the jump.)

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