Tom DeLay

* A Texas court overturned Tom DeLay’s conviction on money laundering charges. DeLay immediately thanked Jesus, who played an instrumental role in the three judge panel’s deliberations. [New York Times]

* Eric Holder has eliminated mandatory minimum sentences for those low-level nonviolent drug offenders whose cases are currently pending. In related news, here is a cow riding a razor scooter. [Washington Post]

* This says J.P. Morgan actually did just fine in their settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. I get the hugest boner from underdog stories like this one. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A woman has sued Getty Images after her photo was used in an HIV advertisement. She’s apparently holding out for the herp campaign. [New York Post]

* More from Clarence Thomas in Portland: “Why was a black kid in Georgia reading Ayn Rand?” I don’t know. Because he was dumb? [ABC News]

All hail Captain Hammer!

Flash back to 2005. Tom DeLay was the Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, living in a safe Republican district, and poised to chart the course of American politics forever. DeLay was nicknamed “The Hammer” for his brutal efficiency as Majority whip, crushing all dissent from backbenchers and building a solid GOP coalition — a nickname that the fundamentalist DeLay endorses because “the hammer is one of the carpenter’s favorite tools.” In other words, Tom DeLay was a tool.

So what happened?

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Tom DeLay

* Tom DeLay gets sentenced to three years. [WSJ Law Blog]

* If we want to ban threatening speech against Congresspeople, what will we really be banning? [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Apparently my final solution on guns could lead to the well-regulated militia rising up. [First One @ One First]

* Maybe it isn’t impossible to teach transactional practice in law school. [Concurring Opinions]

* Jared Lee Loughner entered might enter an insanity plea, and it looks like his mug shot will be the first exhibit. [Slate]

And you thought the burger at DB Bistro was expensive....

* If you’re a mere law firm partner — as opposed to a Wall Street managing director or, better yet, a hedge fund mogul — you probably can’t afford the $5,000 hamburger at this Las Vegas resort hotel. [Dealbreaker]

* Bush 43’s dog lent a helping paw in the judicial nomination process. Laugh all you want, but Barney is better than a Ouija board. [Tex Parte Blog]

* Electronic health records can be great — but they present some legal risks, notes Ben Kerschberg. [Huffington Post]

* Killing and death figure prominently in Blawg Review #293. [The Defense Rests via Blawg Review]

Think back to the long gone days of 2006. In the pleasing sepia-tones of your memories, you can see a booming job market, Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley, and a time when Barack Obama was a random black dude who made a good speech that one time.

This is the world of Tom “The Hammer” DeLay. A world where a “tea party” was a game for little girls. A world where corporations were not allowed to openly buy Congressional elections.

That was a long time ago: before allegations of campaign finance shenanigans brought DeLay down and turned him into an extra on Dancing with the Stars.

The days of DeLay’s political relevance might be over, but the slow pace of the justice system is now putting DeLay back in the spotlight. His long awaited trial starts today…

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