* Illinois is giving sex trafficking victims the chance to vacate their prostitution convictions. Even if Reema Bajaj gets convicted, she still couldn’t use this law to clear her name. [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Baseball, Libraries / Librarians, Mergers and Acquisitions, Money, Morning Docket, Pets, Prostitution, Sexual Harassment, Utah
* News Corp. has hired Paul Weiss attorney Mark Mendelsohn, a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act expert, to advise them. In related news, Chuck Norris has hired Wendi Deng Murdoch to advise him. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Utah’s goofy liquor laws are examined in this New York Times article. The restrictive laws clearly came out of Joseph Smith’s attempt to monopolize visions emanating from the bottom of hats. [New York Times]
* President Obama’s evolving views on gay marriage have led him to back an attempt to repeal DOMA. I’m no Frank Lutz, but I see a messaging problem on gay issues if he keeps up this whole “leading from behind” shtick. [Los Angeles Times]
* Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is suing Hanesbrands, parent company of the Champion sports apparel maker, for dropping him after some dumb tweets. Dude said some pretty stupid stuff about 9/11, but the true jewel of his collection was buried deep in this story. In a tweet aimed at women who don’t perform oral sex, Rashard said “It’s either gonna be you, OR some other chick.” Hahahaha. Oh, Rashard. [ESPN]
In my earlier story about Reema Bajaj, the 25-year-old Illinois solo practitioner who now faces prostitution charges, I noted that she seems “very sweet and wholesome,” as well as “a fundamentally decent person.” And I adhere to this position. When I reached out to her through her law firm website, to see if she had any comment on the charges, I received this auto-reply:
My confidence in you, dear lovely Reema, remains unshaken. I am impressed by your politeness. I suspect that there’s more to your story than meets the eye. I remind all of our readers that you have only been accused — and remain innocent until proven otherwise.
In response to our request for tips about Reema, we heard from one of her law school classmates, who provided additional info about Reema N. Bajaj….
- California, John Edwards, John Paul Stevens, Libraries / Librarians, Morning Docket, New Jersey, Prisons
* Opponents of “three strikes” hope that the SCOTUS decision requiring California to reduce its prison population by 33,000 inmates will help them to repeal three strikes. Four balls, standing eight count, and wicked googly are among sports terms vying to take its place. [San Diego Union Tribune]
* A law firm librarian in New Jersey is suing her old firm and police for being falsely arrested and accused of pulling a fire alarm in the law firm’s building. This lawsuit is long overdue. Dewey even need to check out the complaint? Folio microfiche rare books. [New Jersey Law Journal]
* Utah became the first state to recognize gold as legal tender, momentarily sending the price per ounce skyrocketing to 5.7 wives. [International Business Times]
* Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, at 91, remains as spry as ever. At an age when most men are dribbling pudding onto their shirt, he is dribbling it onto his bow tie. [New York Times]
* “Again?! Egypt bizman busted at Pierre hotel.” [New York Post]
* Hillary Clinton was too sexy to be pictured in this Jewish newspaper. I bet that’s the first and last time you’ll see “Hillary Clinton” and “sexy” so close in the same sentence. [Washington Post via ABA Journal]
* A new lawsuit claims that the LSAT is biased against the visually impaired. But when you can’t get into Cooley, it may be that the test is just biased against the intellectually impaired. [Daily Tribune]
* Elie, my friend, you may want to lay off the Chantix. No one wants an ATL murder-suicide. The site would be left in the hands of Juggs and me, and that would just not be pretty. [Beaver County Times]
- Copyright, Crime, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Law Schools, Lindsay Lohan, Morning Docket, Rankings, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, U.S. News, War on Terror
* Obama has created an indefinite detention system for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. Because he’s too soft on terrorism to make it definite. [Washington Post]
* Hiring partners have entered the U.S. News rankings fray. Number 1? Yep, Cooley. [U.S. News & World Report]
* Some New Yorkers are suing over a bike lane in Brooklyn. Four wheels good, two wheels bad! [New York Times]
* “Pow! Appeals court upholds comic con’s guilty plea.” [New York Post]
* Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether Congress may take works out of the public domain and slap a copyright on them. I’m never going to fill this Zune up if I can’t score some free Stravinsky. [Wired News]
Today the Tenth Circuit told the state of Utah that it could no longer erect crosses by the side of the highway memorializing state troopers who have died. The WSJ Law Blog excerpts this part of the opinion in American Atheists, Inc. v. Duncan (PDF):
“This may lead the reasonable observer to fear that Christians are likely to receive preferential treatment from the [Utah Highway Patrol],” the judges wrote, adding elsewhere in the opinion that “unlike Christmas, which has been widely embraced as a secular holiday. . . . there is no evidence in this case that the cross has been widely embraced by non-Christians as a secular symbol of death.”
I’m sorry, are there Hindus driving through Utah who are unaware that “Christians are likely to receive preferential treatment” in Utah? If so, I’d call that person a most unreasonable observer.
All joking aside, are we really living in a world where a simple cross to mark the death of a government worker violates the Establishment Clause?
A group calling itself “Concerned Citizens of the United States” has compiled and published a list of 1,300 allegedly illegal immigrants living in Utah. In addition to names and addresses, the list goes into shocking personal detail about the people the Concerned Citizens group is concerned about, The New York Times reports:
Each page of the list is headed with the words “Illegal Immigrants” and each entry contains details about the individuals listed — from their address and telephone number to their date of birth and, in the case of pregnant women, their due dates. The letter was received by law enforcement and media outlets on Monday and Tuesday.
Hey, nothing says “America” quite like menacing pregnant women, right?
But the medical data released by this organization could make somebody liable for a felony….
This is the kind of story that sounds unbelievable — until you realize that it’s dealing with the people who run Utah. The WSJ Law Blog reports:
Utah Governor Gary Herbert on Saturday authorized the use of eminent domain to take some of the U.S. government’s most valuable parcels.
A state is invoking the Takings Clause against the federal government? This reminds me of the time I came home and my dog told me to get off the couch. Sure, I was surprised that my dog was (a) talking and (b) ordering me off my own property. And so I resolved, right then and there, to never drop acid again.
Unfortunately, I don’t know what the hell Utah lawmakers are smoking …