I was on a fast-moving segment on HuffPost Live this afternoon called “Legalese It,” where host Mike Sacks runs through a bunch of overlooked legal items from the past week. Since I was on vacation for half of the week, I learned a lot! For instance, did you know that Michigan had an anti-begging statute on the books from the 1920s that was just struck down so they can put a big “Spare Some Change” sign in Detroit?
Okay, that’s not why it was struck down, but still. Also it seems that North Carolina is trying to restrict voting to five white guys chosen at random by Reince Priebus and Obama is now in favor of legislative prayer, as if nobody told him he can’t run for a third term.
Looks like I missed a lot, but that didn’t stop me from talking about it on the web. Specifically, I got to talk about how Eric Holder and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott are now friends when it comes to stopping USAIR and American Airlines from combining to own all the railroads on the Monopoly board…
* Missouri tried to “save Christmas” from heathens, but had its efforts stymied when the governor realized it could literally set the state on fire. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Cardinal Dolan, America’s most prominent Catholic bishop, apparently shifted Church assets to keep them from falling into the hands of abuse victims. Perhaps he could have exerted the same effort keeping abuse victims out of the hands of abusers? [New York Times]
* It looks like a Paul Weiss associate, Molissa Farber, is still alive in the $1,000 No-Limit event at the World Series of Poker. Maybe she’ll be able to pay off her loans sooner rather than later. [Poker News]
* Did you enjoy Milli Vanilli? Perhaps you’d like watching air guitar? The national semifinals are in New York tonight. [Bowery Ballroom]
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.
– Charles Dickens
In addition to opening A Tale of Two Cities (affiliate link), this extended quotation kicked off Professor Pam Karlan’s comments when asked to provide some measure of sense to the Supreme Court’s rights jurisprudence this Term. And by that I mean she read the entire quote to an audience of people whose body language screamed out, “yeah, we got it” after the word “foolishness.”
The passage (at least the gist of the passage), however, is apropos. This Term saw a voter registration law struck down in Arizona, even though Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is likely to follow it out the door. As Elie is quick to point out, the black community is likely to get hammered by the Court, yet Professor Karlan thinks that the gay community is going to win, either this year or next.
Karlan, and her fellow panelists at Netroots Nation, outlined a theory that ties these competing decisions together — at least until Monday, when the Court might shoot the whole logic down…
God, I love living in New York. Other cities think they’re “diverse.” Other cities think they have “racial tolerance.” Other cities don’t have diddle squat on NYC. I once saw a Puerto Rican call a ginger a “dumb sounding mic” and a black woman fired back with, “Why don’t you shut up before we all start thinking of names for you!” (Note: that woman was a little crazy; she left the subway banging some dude with her purse because he “bumped” her.) I once saw a meek-looking woman in a skirt suit ask a guy to blow his cigar smoke somewhere else, and the smoker said, “F*** you,” and the woman wheeled around, motioned to her crotch, and said, “Oh, better men have tried,” in an accent that suddenly sounded like she just rolled off a dock in Brooklyn.
In New York City, the majority race is “New Yorkers.” Sure, black New Yorkers have a harder time getting a cab, white New Yorkers have a harder time going to the movies without audience participation, but in so many ways the experience of living in NYC defines us more than our races, colors, and creeds.
So, it makes perfect sense to me there is a move to allow New York City residents to vote together, regardless of what country they come from or whether they are U.S. citizens. We don’t care about U.S. citizenship, we care about New York citizenship. To quote The Paper (the most underrated movie of my lifetime: “I don’t f***ing live in the f***ing world! I live in f***ing New York City! So go f**k yourself!”
* Hey, they actually found one instance of voter fraud. By a nun. I can’t wait for the GOP to try to construct an entire argument for restrictions on voter access based on this case. [Talking Points Memo]
* Defense attorneys can go to jail for lying? In Detroit? Mind: blown. [Washington Post]
* The Senate grills would-be SEC chairman Mary Jo White. The hypocrisy of a bunch of Senators in the pocket of Wall Street asking about White’s potential conflict of interest would be stunning if this wasn’t the U.S. Senate. [National Law Journal]
* Former prosecutor and former FBI agent join forces to start a… private equity litigation finance group. I guess their years of investigation showed them where the money is. [Reuters]
* A law professor blames “no child left behind” for the poor quality of students these days. Yes, but what do we blame for the quality of law professors? [Chronicle of Higher Education]
* We’re going to have to do something about these sinkholes. [Daily Mail]
After the jump, a propaganda video purportedly made by North Korea “seems to mistake TTT grads for regular Americans,” according to a tipster….
As much as it pleases me to see statistical data introduced in the Supreme Court, the act of citing statistical factoids is not the same thing as drawing sound inferences from them.
– Nate Silver, statistician extraordinaire, rebuking Chief Justice John Roberts’s use of statistics during oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, and noting that the voting ratios cited weren’t “meaningful in either a statistical or a practical sense.”
* Rick Pildes writes a guest post at the Election Law Blog asking if Congress abdicated its responsibility when it failed to update the Voting Rights Act. That’s crazy talk. When does Congress abdicate its responsibility? [Election Law Blog]
Maybe people in Mississippi should watch this to figure out why the Voting Rights Act is still important.
My mother was born in 1950 in Mississippi. I’ve been to Mississippi. There are still brothers trying to escape to freedom from Mississippi.
Today the big story (at least in liberal circles) is that Mississippi finally officially ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, after two Ole Miss employees saw the movie Lincoln and decided to look into why their state hadn’t officially ratified the amendment. You can’t make that up: Mississippi needed a Spielberg movie to remind them to ratify the amendment banning slavery. I can’t wait till Mississippi sends an expedition to Isla Nublar to check into this whole “dinosaur situation”“Jesus Horse situation.”
You can see why liberals love this story. It’s the perfect deep south story: a tradition of holding people in bondage, slow response times, and incompetence.
And I’d leave it at that.
Except that as the Supreme Court gears up to eviscerate the pre-clearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act, it’s important to remember that not all states are created equal….
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The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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