Josh Blackman

[M]asturbation is a form of “sexual activity” in the ordinary-language sense of the term, which judges use on occasion just as laypersons do. Masturbation is also a “sexual act” in that sense, but not in the statutory sense.

– Judge Richard Posner, doing his best to take all the fun out of jerking off (via Josh Blackman).

On what basis can one be confident that law schools acquaint students with prosecutors’ unique obligation under Brady? Whittaker told the jury he did not recall covering Brady in his criminal procedure class in law school. Dubelier’s alma mater, like most other law faculties, does not make criminal procedure a required course. [FN21]

[FN21] See Tulane University Law School, Curriculum, (select “Academics”; select “Curriculum”) (as visited Mar. 21, 2011, and in Clerk of Court’s case file).

– Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dissenting, in Connick v. Thompson (via Josh Blackman, who provides additional context and excerpts from the opinions; there’s also discussion of the case at Gawker).

That decision is as inexplicable as it is unexplained. It is reversed.

– opinion of the Supreme Court in Felkner v. Jackson, benchslapping the Ninth Circuit through a unanimous, per curiam reversal of an unpublished memorandum disposition. (For more context, see Josh Blackman or read the SCOTUS opinion.)

The Supreme Court has yet to decide 56 cases for the October 2009 term. In this installment, we provide predictions for Bilski v. Kappos, American Needle Inc. v. NFL, Free Enterprise Fund and Beckstead and Watts, LLP v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Black v. United States, and Graham v. Florida.

American Needle considers whether the National Football League, its teams, and their licensing agent’s function as a single entity for purposes of the Sherman Act. A majority, 60% of the members of the league are predicting an affirmance of the lower court, at a 95% confidence. The SMRs show a tendency for the liberal justices to join with the conservatives in this decision, with Sotomayor most likely to join in the majority.

Stop the Beach considers the limits on state authority to restore storm-eroded beaches or lakefronts. Eighty-four percent of the members of the league are predicting that the Supreme Court affirms the Florida Supreme Court. In this case, the SMRs show that there is a strong potential for a conservative objection to the majority position, with Thomas possibly being the most vocal objection. This is not a big surprise in light of Justice Thomas’ staunch defense of property rights. The liberal justices are really strong for this case. Though Stevens’ low SMR is due to the fact he has already recused himself from this decision. Though, not everyone has followed this news, and some have cast votes for Stevens.

Predictions for PCAOB, Black, Graham, and Bilski, at

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