Laurence Tribe

No, Professor Jacobson, you won’t be getting her scalp.

Yesterday we mentioned the latest issue to arise in the contentious Massachusetts Senate race between incumbent Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor turned political candidate and national celebrity. On his blog, Legal Insurrection, Professor William Jacobson of Cornell Law School effectively accused Warren of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law in Massachusetts.

Are the accusations valid? Let’s hear from some experts — and from you, through a pair of reader polls….

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You know you're getting old when this is the Spock you're referring to.

* Canadian comes to America, goes into $100,000 worth of law school debt, and has no job. Mwahahaha, Canada, let’s see your superior health care system find a cure for that! [Globe and Mail]

* Wait, you’re not supposed to take your baby along when you go to see a prostitute? Okay. Got it. See, that’s the kind of tip that isn’t in any of the Dr. Spock books. [Wave3]

* Ben Bernanke can time travel… [Dealbreaker]

* … While John Mara, owner of the WORLD CHAMPION New York Giants, simply revises history. [Forbes]

* Alan Dershowitz received a “D” on his first legal writing assignment. Apparently, his Yale Law School professor, the great Guido Calebresi, told him, “You write like you’re having a conversation with your friends in Brooklyn,” and then helped him work on his technique. Little did Calebresi or Dershowitz know that writing like you’re having a conversation with friends could lead to a successful life as a legal blogger. Boy, did they miss out! [Yale Alumni Magazine]

* Kenny Heitz, an Irell & Manella partner and former UCLA basketball champion, passed away. [Daily News]

Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe foresaw the Obamacare Tax Holding, and we’ve got video evidence to prove it….

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The former military intelligence analyst accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks has spent the last four days in a Maryland military court, undergoing a hearing to determine whether or not his case will proceed to court-martial.

For those new to the party, 24-year-old Bradley Manning is accused of committing the biggest security breach in American history. He has been in detainment for the last 19 months, and he faces a multitude of military charges.

The Article 32 hearings, which began on Friday, are something akin to grand jury proceedings in civilian court. At the end, Investigating Officer Colonel Paul Almanza, an Army Reserve officer and Justice Department prosecutor, will decide recommend whether Manning’s case will proceed to court-martial.

So far, the hearings have been interesting to say the least. Let’s see what’s going on….

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The president looks good in a doctor's coat, no?

In a development that should surprise no one, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning agreed to review the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s signature policy achievement, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare. This means that, before the end of the current SCOTUS Term in summer 2012, Anthony Kennedy the justices will rule on the validity of this sweeping legislation (unless they avoid the question on jurisdictional grounds, as Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit recently did — a path that might appeal to Justice Kennedy, as suggested by Professor Noah Feldman, and a path that the Court itself highlighted by mentioning the jurisdictional issue in its certiorari grant.)

In the meantime, there will be a lot of cocktail party chatter about the health care reform law and its constitutionality. If you’d like some quick talking points, for use when you get the inevitable “What do you think about this as a lawyer?” questions from friends and family at Thanksgiving, keep reading….

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Can gay marriage be stopped? Professor Tribe thinks not.

* Professor Laurence Tribe on “the constitutional inevitability of same-sex marriage.” [SCOTUSblog]

* You can sleep when you’re dead — and you can prevail against the IRS in litigation, too (as the late Ken Lay just did). [TaxProf Blog]

* Speaking of the dead, just because someone is burglarizing your business doesn’t mean you can kill them. [Jonathan Turley via WSJ Law Blog]

* Professor Daniel Hamermesh asks: “Why not offer legal protections to the ugly, as we do with racial, ethnic and religious minorities, women and handicapped individuals?” [New York Times via ABA Journal]

* Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann wonders if the recent earthquake and hurricane constitute messages from God. [Dealbreaker]

Michele Bachmann

* Professor Larry Ribstein: “Law is waiting for its Steve Jobs (or Bill Gates). When he or she arrives it could be a lot more important than the iPhone.” [Truth on the Market]

* This juror should at least have put the defendant on “Limited Profile.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

* Is the Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional? Let’s talk Turkey. [The Atlantic]

* Additional discussion of the recent New Jersey Supreme Court ruling on eyewitness testimony (which we mentioned last week). [Mother Jones]

She’s an enormously affable, accessible person. I don’t think she would come with the baggage that someone from an elite university might sometimes have.

– Professor Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School, discussing the possibility that his colleague, Professor Elizabeth Warren, might run to represent Massachusetts in the United States Senate.

As Republicans continue to play chicken with the nation’s solvency, the idea that the president doesn’t need congressional approval to raise the debt ceiling is gaining traction. The thought bubble suggests that President Obama can raise the debt ceiling because of language in the Fourteenth Amendment stating that the nation’s debt “shall not be questioned.”

The idea has been trumpeted by none other than former president Bill Clinton. Clinton said that he would unilaterally raise the debt ceiling and “force the courts to stop me.”

Of course, President Clinton had what the scientists call “balls.” He knew how to handle a group of intractable Republicans more concerned with scoring political points than governing.

President Obama? The New York Times has his response: “I have talked to my lawyers. They are not persuaded that that is a winning argument.”

Can Aaron Sorkin please write a “Let Obama Be Obama” episode? Because sometimes Barack Obama really likes to dangle his feet in the water of whatever the hell it is he dangles his feet in, when he wants to make it look like he’s trying without pissing too many people off.

In any event, is invoking Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment a “winning” argument that could solve this debt crisis?

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Harvard Law School professor and liberal intellectual icon Laurence Tribe is leaving the Department of Justice early because of symptoms related to his brain tumor.

(Oh, stop your gasping, it’s a benign brain tumor. I can make jokes about benign brain tumors in headlines.)

Tribe, a person who is most definitely as smart as he thinks he is, specifically highlighted his medical condition as the reason for his departure. Apparently he does not want anybody to think that he’s leaving because of his leaked letter to President Obama about Justice Sotomayor’s abilities. I’d imagine he also didn’t want to give the impression that he’s abandoning a president who is not nearly as liberal as many hoped he would be. (Or that he’s still mad over the elevator incident at the Georgetown Safeway.)

According to the HLS press release the tumor that will cut short his public service still allows him to teach at the second-best law school in the country….

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Prof. Tribe is almost 70; please don't stick him in elevators for long periods of time.

Last Sunday, the eminent constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Westling, got stuck in an elevator at the Safeway supermarket in Georgetown. (Professor Tribe is currently in D.C. to serve in the administration of his former student from Harvard Law School, Barack Obama.)

Read the (rather humorous) write-up of Tribe’s elevator incident in the Washington Post’s Reliable Source column. According to a Safeway spokesman, the company “is trying to figure out what kind of resolution is appropriate.” Options on the table include “some steaks or a gift card.”

For those of you preparing for the bar exam this week, tackle these study questions….

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