Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Okay. It finally happened. Our colleague Tamara Tabo finally wrote something that required a response from one of your faithful regular editors.

Tamara makes some excellent points about the incidence of rape not necessarily being higher in the military than in civilian institutions (at least as reported).

Fine.

But the problem is not so much what she says, but why? What’s to be gained by taking to the pulpit and saying that the incidence of military rape is on par with civilian rape and that the concern of policymakers is misplaced?

The only answer is to suggest that military rape is not a problem because it’s in line with the rest of society. And that’s not a good argument.

But not as bad as the argument that drunk women are the real problem in rape cases…

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On Tuesday, Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul joined Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in her push to pass new legislation that would remove the chain of command from military sexual assault cases. Senator Gillibrand argues that women in the military are afraid to report rapes, and when they do report them, the crimes are not always prosecuted.

People of conscience want sexual assault victims to report. We want sexual offenders to be duly processed and punished. We want individuals wrongly accused to suffer as little harm as possible as they clear their names. We share these broad goals, though we may differ about specific means of achieving them.

I respect Senator Gillibrand for formulating a proposal. I respect Senators Cruz and Paul for crossing the aisle to support legislation they believe in. I am unpersuaded, however, that this bill would adequately and fairly address the problem.

Legislation like Gillibrand’s treats as unique a problem that is not. Relevant statistics suggest that young women may be at no greater risk of being sexually assaulted in the military than being sexually assaulted on a college or university campus. Why propagate a message of fear that sending our daughters (or ourselves) into the service amounts to handing them over to an unpatrolled, unrepentant rape culture, but shipping off young women to college is relatively safe? Why send the message that our women are more likely to be raped by a fellow Marine than by a frat brother from Sigma Chi?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Marine Barracks or College Dorm: Senate Bill Raises False Alarm Over Where Women Are Most Likely to Be Raped”

For all the criticism the government takes for poor money management, they really do know how to bring in the revenue. They may not intend to bring it in, but they bring it in.

For example, the U.S. government has investments poised to make 55 cents on the dollar. And these investments are also almost impossible not to collect.

And these investments are you. Or at least those of you with government loans from law school.

Steven Harper, author of The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis (affiliate link), reviews the problem — and the less than stellar proposed solutions coming from Congress and the White House…

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

She is so in over her head, to me it’s unfortunate that she’s a U.S. Senator. It’s an example of why we are where we are as a country that we don’t have people of substance who really can step up. It’s a joke. She’s Chuck Schumer’s lap dog.

Daniel W. Isaacs, Chairman of the New York County Republican Party, commenting on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s reelection. Both Isaacs and Gillibrand together served as clerks for the late Judge Roger Miner of the Second Circuit.

Oh, I kid the grammar nazis because I’m really bad at it and making jokes is easier than contemplating my own shortcomings. But even I can acknowledge that some typos are distracting. Give me another sentence and I’ll show you — or maybe I have already (that’s an honest question: I’ve got no damn clue just at the moment).

Luckily, I write on the internet, and I have a legion of free copy editors who are happy to help me correct mistakes in real time. If I worked in a more permanent medium… well, let’s just say that I hope that never happens.

Let’s just pray that I’m never in charge of writing copy for people’s graduation ceremonies. Those memories are supposed to last a lifetime and you just wouldn’t want administrative carelessness to ruin anything. You simply don’t want mistakes like this invitation to a law school commencement…

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In today’s New York Times, there’s an interesting profile of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Senatrix Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. To be honest, despite my weakness for high-powered women with gold-plated credentials — Gillibrand’s résumé features Dartmouth, UCLA Law, a Second Circuit clerkship, Davis Polk, and Boies Schiller (where she was a partner) — I’m not a huge Gillibrand fan.

If you’ve ever heard Gillibrand speak, you can understand why her congressional peers nicknamed her Tracy Flick. She sounds like a super-perky high school president, not a United States Senator. She has no gravitas. She occupies the Senate seat once held by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but Kirsten Gillibrand is not fit to kneel down and remove Hillary’s kitten heels.

Anyway, enough ranting. The NYT profile of Gillibrand, despite its occasionally fawning tone, is worth reading, due to some fun tidbits about Gilliband’s stint as an associate at Davis Polk….

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Kirsten Gillibrand, junior Senator from NY and purported MILF

* This “Kirsten Gillibrand as MILF” thing makes me vaguely uncomfortable. She’s blond. Okay. And…? I’m not sure she is/was attractive enough to work at the hottie haven of Davis Polk, much less be in Vogue. [Law Shucks]

* As I tried to explain on Twitter, going shooting with Antonin Scalia sounds like a bad idea if you are a new, liberal justice. [Gawker]

* The Ninth Circuit panel reviewing Arizona’s immigration law doesn’t look very friendly to those who hate Mexicans. [Politico]

* Avoiding the “of counsel” no man’s land. [Technolawyer]

* Woman contemplates paying off $45K dental bill with a positive blog post, but then changes her mind and gets sued. If you ever see me writing a post glorifying Harvard Law School, now you know why. [ABA Journal]

* The So You Want to Go to Law School video, which we posted about ages ago (so no need to send it to us), continues to make the rounds. Now it’s the highlight of this week’s excellent Blawg Review. [An Associate's Mind via Blawg Review]

* Professor Eric Goldman has an update on the Lara Jade Coton case. Congrats to Lara Jade and her lawyer, Richard Harrison. [Technology & Marketing Law Blog]

Gillibrand Senator.jpg* Governor Patterson has chosen Kirsten Gillibrand, a 42-year-old New York congresswoman, to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate. [Reuters]

* On the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade protestors gather for the annual March for Life on the National Mall. [The Los Angeles Times]

* The Senate has confirmed six members of Obama’s cabinet but Attorney General-designate Eric Holder is still waiting. [The Associated Press]

* Blagojevich may file a lawsuit challenging “unfair” Senate trial rules to the state Supreme Court. [The Washington Post]

* Obama ordered the Justice Department to review the case of an accused al-Qaida agent, the only enemy combatant held on US soil. [The Associated Press]