* Oh baby (or the lack thereof): the Supreme Court has decided to take on two of the cases asserting religious challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate. [Blog of Legal Times]
* “[H]e has a Rolodex like a Ferris wheel.” Delaware’s Supreme Court Chief Justice is retiring from the bench to join Potter Anderson & Corroon, where that Rolodex will come in handy. [Wall Street Journal]
* Italian prosecutors think Amanda Knox should be convicted of murder (again) and given a 30-year sentence in a retrial she’s not even there for. This kind of sounds like it’d be a double-secret conviction. [CNN]
* With fall finals right around the corner, law students can take comfort in the fact that next week they’ll be soothed by therapy dogs — ones that’ll need therapy after dealing with law students. [WSJ Law Blog]
* If you’re considering applying to law school against all odds, you should determine when the right time to apply would be. Don’t listen to your parents, listen to your gut. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* If you haven’t heard, the Beastie Boys are having a copyright fight with toymaker GoldieBlox over a parody of the song “Girls” that’s been used in a commercial. Fair use? Decide after the jump. [NBC News]
* Justice Sonia Sotomayor thinks that the lack of diversity on the federal and state judiciaries poses a “huge danger,” one that might even be greater than her complete inability to dance. [Blog of Legal Times]
* Because “love [shouldn’t be] relegated to a second-class status for any citizen in our country,” Illinois is now the 16th state in the U.S. to have legalized same-sex marriage. Congratulations and welcome! [CNN]
* “His discrimination claim was not about discrimination.” After only 2.5 hours deliberating, the jury reached a verdict in John Ray III v. Ropes & Gray, and the Biglaw firm came out on top. [National Law Journal]
* One thing’s for sure: big city bankruptcies ain’t cheap. Detroit has paid about $11 million to Jones Day, emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s former firm, since this whole process kicked off. [Detroit Free Press]
* The entire judicial panel overseeing Judge Lori Douglas’s ethics inquiry just quit. Justice apparently wouldn’t be served by continuing to examine a middle-aged woman’s porn pictures. [Winnipeg Free Press]
* Baylor Law is being overrun by a colony of feral cats. Someone please tell the administration these kitties can’t be used as therapy animals before finals — students will have their faces clawed off. [Baylor Lariat]
* Guy Cellucci, managing partner of White & Williams who died unexpectedly, RIP. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
If the thought of opening a solo practice is both exciting and scary, we have a treat for you. New Solo, a podcast dedicated completely to solo practitioners, is here to help. Each month, host Adriana Linares interviews distinguished guests who share insights and information on how to successfully run your own law firm.
* Say what you will about Justice Scalia, but the man is hilarious — more funny than his four liberal colleagues combined, according to a statistical analysis of oral argument recordings. [New York Times]
* The government shutdown is slowing down the judicial confirmation process, already famous for its speed and efficiency. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]
* More about news for Steven Donziger in his long-running battle with Chevron. Maybe it’s time to surrender, Steve? I hear Ecuador is a great place to retire. [New York Law Journal]
* Law firm merger mania continues, as Carlton Fields combines with Jorden Burt. [Carlton Fields (press release)]
* Herbert Smith Freehills says “you’re hired” to Scott Balber, the lawyer for Donald Trump who got mocked by Bill Maher on national television. [The Lawyer]
* You might see your dog as harmless and cuddly, but the law might see your dog as a weapon (and rightfully so, in my opinion). [New York Times via ABA Journal]
* Congratulations to all the winners of the FT’s Innovative Lawyers awards. [Financial Times]
* And congratulations to Heidi Wendel and Deirdre McEvoy, high-ranking government lawyers headed to Jones Day and Patterson Belknap, respectively. [New York Law Journal]
* Today the Supreme Court will hear argument in McCutcheon v. FEC, a major campaign finance case that some are calling “the next Citizens United.” Check out an interview with one of the lawyers behind it, after the jump. [UCTV]
Marty Lasden of California Lawyer magazine interviewed the severely conservative James Bopp Jr. for the “Legally Speaking” series (in which I previously participated). It appears this interview with Bopp took place before Bopp got bumped from the podium in favor of Erin Murphy, a young superstar of the Supreme Court bar.
What is your law school doing to help you with stress relief during finals?
Federal judge is not impressed with legal defense of city that shot a dog.
* Thoughts go out to all those in Boston. [CNN]
* I hope you’ve all got your taxes finished. Here’s a fun fact: most tax cheats live in the South and the West. The two areas of the country filled with people who think taxes are evil cheat more? Go figure. [NBC News]
* Remember, it’s not polite to say “thank you.” [Las Vegas Law Blog]
* And now the rare, “self-benchslap.” [Associated Press]
* A detailed look at how the Federalist Society became so powerful in American law schools. Unfortunately, it neglects the “they tend to order better pizzas for their events” gambit. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
* Remember the new, depressing, public domain Happy Birthday song? The sponsor of that contest, WFMU, is at it again with a new contest to create modern, entertaining covers of public domain ditties. Despite my ragging on the birthday song, this is a pretty cool idea. [Free Music Archive]
* Are you a young lawyer complaining about your lot in life? You’re at this site, so statistically you are. Well, quit your bitchin’! [Associate’s Mind]
* The Texas Supreme Court does not value emotional attachments to dogs. This is surprising because I can think of at least 10 country songs on this very point. [Law and More]
* Mocking law school couples with a GIF from Veep? Get out of my head, UChiLawGo! [UChiLawGo]
* Boob-induced failure. [Legal Juice]
* For any Catholics hitting up PaddyPower to lay down money on the conclave, you’ve probably had some restless nights wondering if Pope Gregory XIV’s edict per the Ius Decretalium still applies. It doesn’t. That’s a load off. [Canon Law Blog]
* A number of strip clubs are challenging San Antonio’s new regulations. One key to their argument: “the presentation of expressive dance performances is a beneficial social activity which creates an improved self image for the dancer….” Yeah, good luck with that argument. [KEGL]
* If you’re looking for emotional distress damages, maybe lay off the “I’m just embarrassed to be seen with him now” arguments. [Lowering the Bar]
* To challenge the law letting the government tap your communications in secret, you need to have full knowledge that the secret recording is happening. Thanks Joseph Heller. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Lindsay Lohan can’t catch a break with her legal counsel. Hey, LiLo! Next time check Avvo to find a higher rated lawyer. [Perez Hilton]
* The new Copyright Alert System goes into effect, allowing copyright holders to make your service provider slow your Internet to a crawl if you’re identified as a repeat violator. I don’t see what the big deal is, but then again, I’m still using a Prodigy account. [Gawker]
* MC Hammer is softening, but still a tad miffed after police booked him for an expired registration after he told them, “U Can’t Touch This.” [Los Angeles Times]
* Are you kidding? University of North Carolina’s “Honor Court” is threatening to expel a student for “intimidating” her attacker by discussing that she was raped — without identifying her attacker. This is why North Carolina can’t have nice things. [Feministing]
Besides their good looks and fame, they’re also increasing their focus on data security. In the wake of “Celebgate,” the Sony Pictures hack, and nearly daily data breaches targeting massive corporations to individuals, law firms are finally recognizing the importance of bringing their cybersecurity policies up to speed.
This 30-year-old woman has $312,000 in student loans and earns just $60,000 — and no, she’s not a lawyer. What does she do for a living?
How did Florida’s Burmese Python hunt go? Uh, not so well.
* A Charleston School of Law student leader was arrested for stalking. I’m not sure how else Charleston Law students are supposed to get jobs. [Fitsnews]
* I think this is a very poor reading of the history of the Second Amendment that is making the rounds. Sure, having weapons really helped slaveholders, but that’s not “the reason” the Second Amendment was ratified. The founders had better reasons… reasons that have nothing at all to do with the time we live in, but that’s a different story. [Truthout]
* By the way, you saw that Obama nominated a black lawyer for something, right? Since the Republicans in Congress are so concerned about Obama’s record on diverse appointments, I’m sure Todd Jones will be confirmed super quickly. [Daily Beast]
* Should pet owners be allowed to recover for “sentimental value”? A Texas case might answer that question. I’m looking forward to the companion case in Arkansas where pet owners try to recover from loss of consortium. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]
* I’d be shocked if this Manti Te’o thing doesn’t end up with somebody suing someone for something. [New York Daily News]
* There’s going to be a law and robots conference at Stanford in April. Because we all know how much robots love law. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
Florida has a snake problem. And while Congressional Republicans are blocking legislative responses, Florida has an answer: Send in the Rednecks!
* Better late than never: congratulations to everyone who passed the New Jersey bar exam. You’re just in time to get in on some Sandy class-action litigation. [New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners]
* Congratulations to all the honorees from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association conference in D.C. last weekend — including, but not limited to, the Best Lawyers Under 40 awardees. [NAPABA]
* And congrats to Professor Sherrilyn Ifill, incoming president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. [Concurring Opinions]
* Does every bra made in America have Gloria Allred’s phone number sewn into it? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Who is “Portfolio Manager A” in the latest major insider-trading scandal? [Dealbreaker]
* You don’t need to be a dog lover to find these allegations abhorrent. [Alabama Live]
* Want to avoid dating Democrats (or Republicans)? There’s an app — okay, two websites — for that. [Jezebel]
* After the jump, Jeffrey Toobin and Alan Dershowitz discuss Obamacare….
Toobin is the author of The Oath (affiliate link). Dersowitz is the new owner of a $1.7 million Manhattan apartment. Their conversation took place last Friday, November 16, at the 92nd Street Y.