* Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh likes hanging out with the Supreme Court. Harbaugh characterizes Justice Thomas as very enthusiastic. Seriously. This guy thinks someone else is enthusiastic. [Wall Street Journal Law Blog]
* Darren Wilson isn’t racist, everybody. I mean, he thinks black people have bad upbringings and prefers to eat out “Where it’s not a mixing pot,” but he really wants you to know he’s not racist. [Gawker]
* Whatever happened to the SCOTUS clerks of ten years ago? [Excess of Democracy]
* How terrifying is Heien v. North Carolina? Cops are now stopping people for air fresheners and using it as a pretext to search the car… and courts are approving it. [The Marshall Project]
* A Shearman & Sterling partner arrested in a DWI sweep. [The East Hampton Star]
* Do you use LinkedIn Pulse to grow your brand? You probably should. [Law and More]
* The true story of a prosecutor who went undercover and strapped on a wire for over 3 years to root out corruption in the judicial system. His new book is titled Operation Greylord (affiliate link). [My Fox Chicago]
* Health care discrimination against the mentally ill is illegal. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. [Vox]
This is why you can’t have nice things. If you define “nice things” as “cops staying out of innocent peoples’ homes.”
Ms. JD’s Eighth Annual Conference on Women in Law, themed Superwomen JDs, will be held on Friday, February 19, 2016 at NYU School of Law. Ms. JD’s Annual Conference is a premiere event for women law students and young lawyers. An overview of the conference agenda and registration information is available here. Please join us!
Cops trophy hunt African-Americans all the time.
Eric Garner’s widow is probably making a mistake, but I understand.
Knowing how to properly deal with the police? There’s an app for that.
Court of Appeals upholds fundamental right to shout at the police.
* Oh, the Onion… what would I do without you? Their take on gay marriage is masterful, as always. [Onion]
* Conservatives, troubled with the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, vow to move to Canada. There’s only one teeny, tiny problem with their plan… about a decade in the making. [BuzzFeed]
* Of all the arrogant, jiggery-pokery, pure applesauce, Putsch! Find out exactly how Justice Scalia would mock you in this fun insult generator. [Slate]
* Some Alabama counties have come up with a crackerjack way to avoid marrying same sex couples. [Vox]
* The only way to get to today’s historical gay marriage case was to defeat the nomination of Judge Robert Bork, and Reagan aides always suspected this would happen. [Roll Call]
* For marriage equality fans with a sweet tooth. [Ben & Jerry’s]
* Surely you jest! Justice Scalia? Intellectually inconsistent to fit a political agenda? Pshaw. [BloombergView]
* A handy guide to today’s landmark SCOTUS decision. [Legal IO]
* News you can use: what is the legal status of cursing at cops? [The Marshall Project]
Most everyone knows what an elevator speech is: it’s a short, pithy, memorable description of a company’s services. Lawyers have always built their reputations on their expertise, such that the creation of an elevator pitch should be one of the easiest things for an attorney to do; however, many lawyers still stumble over the basic question: “What do you do?”
* You cannot make this stuff up. The curious case of Rachel Dolezal, the former leader of the NAACP Spokane, Washington branch who resigned in disgrace after her parents made the revelation that Dolezal was white, gets weirder. The Smoking Gun has unearthed a lawsuit Dolezal filed (then known as Rachel Moore) against Howard University for, inter alia, racial discrimination. Yup, Dolezal claimed she just couldn’t make it as a white women. [The Smoking Gun]
* Fresh off of the tragedy of Kalief Browder, the man who was held in Rikers for three years awaiting trial for stealing a backpack before the charges were dismissed, comes the case of Carlos Montero. Montero, arrested as a teenager, has been in Rikers for SEVEN YEARS waiting for his day in court. [New York Post]
* I mean, they’ve only worked together for 21 years and 10 months. Justice Antonin Scalia apologized from the bench yesterday after calling Justice Ginsburg Justice Goldberg. The apology seemed sincere, but Scalia played it cool with a quip about Justice Arthur Goldberg. [Supreme Court Brief]
* The Colorado Supreme Court ruled yesterday that an employer can fire an employee for medical marijuana use, legal under state law, since the use is still illegal under federal statutes. [Huffington Post]
* If your company finds themselves the victim of trade secret theft, is there an alternative to costly civil litigation? There just might be if you get the police involved. [Corporate Counsel]
* Lawyers who denigrate jury duty become inmates who denigrate jury duty. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
* After arresting a guy for crack possession and figuring out it was really “cracker crumbs,” the cops charged the guy with obstruction because admitting you’re wrong is so passé. Thankfully the cooler heads of the judicial system prevailed and the guy is getting a $35,000 settlement for his troubles. Did he have Wheat Thins? Because I’m pretty sure those are crack. [NJ.com]
* Oil heir Al Hill III, whom we’ve previously described as, “by most accounts, the epitome of the spoiled rich kid you desperately want to punch,” owes his lawyers some money. Like $40.9 million worth. [Texas Lawyer]
* Crowdsourcing: Is this racist? Personally, I think no if specifically intended as a parody, but we’ll see. [What About Clients?]
* On Tuesday, June 23, David and Seventh Circuit Judge John Tinder will be discussing “Judging, Clerking, Ethics, and Ambition” in the context of Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link) at the Conrad Indianapolis at 50 West Washington. So, you know, swipe right if you’re excited about seeing Judge Tinder. Full details at the link.
Ed. note: Above the Law will not be publishing on Monday, May 25, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
* The settlement deal between Target and Mastercard over the 2013 data breach is dead after failing to garner the requisite issuer support. Proposed settlement: $19 million. Years of protracted litigation: Priceless. [Credit Union Times]
* High school teacher who admitted she and another teacher had a threesome with a 16-year-old student got off — well, legally — with a slap on the wrist. Folks are starting to wonder if her dad being a sitting district judge had anything to do with that. [Times-Picayune]
* On a similar note, Mama June of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo… fame? Is she famous? Whatever. The point is Mama June is toying with suing the TLC Network because they canceled her show over a child molester, but haven’t nuked 19 Kids and Counting in the wake of its brewing molestation scandal. When you consider these hit shows starring inbred hillbillies with molestation issues, remember that TLC stands for “The Learning Channel.” [TMZ]
* Lawmakers pushing back against Governor Cuomo’s proposal to appoint an independent monitor to investigate police-related civilian killings. One skeptical State Senator proclaims, “What I do know is that it treats police officers different than other citizens.” Yes, because right now the police get the same kid gloves grand jury presentations the rest of us do. [Capital New York]
* Texas prosecuted 115,782 truancies in a year, levying hefty fines and doling out jail time to kids as young as 12. Well hello there prison-industrial complex! [Al Jazeera America]
* Are the Yankees and A-Rod gearing up for arbitration… or settlement? I don’t know, why wouldn’t you want to put a warm, likeable guy like him in front of a panel? [Concurring Opinions]
* Judges must be the loneliest people on social media… [The Daily Record]
* Merely complaining to your boss is enough to trigger anti-retaliation provisions according to the Second Circuit. So feel free to call up that partner you hate… [JD Supra]
* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich isn’t the only politician who will be joining Dentons. After Dentons completes a merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge, former DNC Chair Howard Dean will also be working for the largest law firm in the world. YEEEAAAH! [The Intercept]
* Now that New York has adopted the Uniform Bar Exam, other states are considering it. Hurry up, because the UBE will “break down the long persistent barriers that keep lawyers from moving” — which isn’t a bad thing. [National Law Journal]
* In half a century of reproductive and gay rights cases, it’s worth noting that “arguments based on a right to privacy have tended to weaken and crack; arguments based on equality have grown only stronger.” Let’s see what SCOTUS does in June. [The New Yorker]
* All six of the Baltimore police officers who were arrested following the death of Freddie Gray have been indicted on homicide and assault charges. Despite the fact there’s now an indictment, the officers’ lawyers are calling the prosecution’s case weak. [New York Times]
* “Can you #trademark a #hashtag?” It’s somewhat of a tricky issue for people who are trying to register their marks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but these attorneys from IP powerhouse Morrison & Foerster have a pretty good explanation. [Law.com]
I feel like this is the best series of lawyer ads on YouTube
* UMass School of Law has a burgeoning deficit of $3.8 million, so instead of attempting to increase enrollment, the school has decided to cut its class size to 72 students. Hmm, we have a feeling those “cuts” aren’t intentional. [Boston Globe]
* Reddit’s Ellen Pao may have lost her gender discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins, but she sure as hell doesn’t want to pay the nearly $1 million in “grossly excessive and unreasonable” court costs that the venture-capital firm has requested. [WSJ Law Blog]
* It’s no shocker that members of the T14 have the most competitive LSAT scores in the country, but you may be surprised by which two schools had the absolute lowest median LSAT scores. Hint: Cooley isn’t one of them. [Short List / U.S. News & World Report]
* Baltimoreans will surely be pleased by this news: Officers in the Freddie Gray case filed a motion to get their charges dismissed, and have asked that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby recuse herself for her “overzealous prosecution” and conflicts of interest. [Baltimore Sun]
* Jury selection is complete for the criminal trial of failed firm Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former top brass. “It’s a very diverse jury,” with jurors ranging from members of the unemployed to day traders. Best of luck to Joel and the Steves — they may need it. [Am Law Daily]
* MVP? No, MVD! A UNH Law prof will teach a college course called “Deflategate: The Intersection of Sports, Law and Journalism” because a dean thought it would be a great way to use pop culture to hook undergrads on the law. [Chronicle of Higher Education]