Violence

Benazir Bhutto Pakistan Above the Law blog.jpg* Rest in peace, Benazir Bhutto; God knows you weren’t able to live in it. [CNN]
* That seems like a pretty good starting point for liability against the zoo. [BBC]
* We don’t know if you know Tom Goldstein, but he’s a pretty big deal. [SCOTUSBlog]
* If he could only apply all of that genius to acquiring some money to actually make a mortgage payment… [WSJ Law Blog]

gun pistol firearm Second Amendment Harris Parker dc gun control case.JPGYesterday’s New York Times contains an interesting op-ed about how to read the Second Amendment. Adam Freedman — author of The Party of the First Part: The Curious World of Legalese, a potential stocking stuffer for the lawyer in your life — parses the use of commas in the amendment. He concludes:

[At the time of the Second Amendment's drafting,] lawmakers took a devil-may-care approach to punctuation. Often, the whole business of punctuation was left to the discretion of scriveners, who liked to show their chops by inserting as many varied marks as possible.

Another problem with trying to find meaning in the Second Amendment’s commas is that nobody is certain how many commas it is supposed to have. The version that ended up in the National Archives has three, but that may be a fluke. Legal historians note that some states ratified a two-comma version. At least one recent law journal article refers to a four-comma version.

The best way to make sense of the Second Amendment is to take away all the commas (which, I know, means that only outlaws will have commas). Without the distracting commas, one can focus on the grammar of the sentence.

… [W]hen the justices finish diagramming the Second Amendment, they should end up with something that expresses a causal link, like: “Because a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” In other words, the amendment is really about protecting militias, notwithstanding the originalist arguments to the contrary.

In fairness to the other side of the debate, that’s just one scholar’s opinion. Many others, including prominent liberal academics, disagree.
What do you think? Take our poll, after the jump.

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Ira Robinson Judge Ira Robinson fights off mugger Above the Law blog.jpgCompared to their colleagues in the trial court, appellate judges have a reputation for being delicate, academic creatures, with less in the way of “street smarts.” But don’t lump New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge Ira Robinson in that group.

From the Albuquerque Journal (subscription):

New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge Ira Robinson expected the worst Tuesday night when he fell to the ground as he tried to fight off a man lunging at him with a knife.

“I really thought the son of a gun was gonna stab me when I was down,” he said.

So how did it all unfold?

Robinson, 65, said in an interview Wednesday that the ski-mask-wearing assailant demanded valuables from him and two cousins visiting from San Diego as they walked to their car parked near La Fonda about 10 p.m.

But Robinson refused the robber’s demands:

“He said ‘Give me your money, (expletive)!’ I said, ‘I’m not gonna give you a damn thing!”’

Nice. But we do wish the judge had invoked his judicial office. Maybe he could have held his assailant in contempt?

A little more, after the jump.

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spanking Stephen Douglas Columbia Above the Law blog.jpgCall us old-fashioned, barbaric, or unenlightened — but this strikes us as a bit ridiculous. From ABC News:

Massachusetts lawmakers say a proposed measure that would ban parents from spanking their children, even in their own homes, is a way to protect kids from abuse. But many parents believe it’s an example of government run amok.

In all 50 states, parents are legally allowed to spank their children. But in 29 states it’s illegal for a teacher to practice corporal punishment, including spanking.

A Massachusetts nurse is hoping to change that and make the state the first in the nation to ban corporal punishment at home.

“I think it’s ironic that domestic violence applies to everyone except the most vulnerable — children,” said Kathleen Wolf, who wrote the bill.

Massachusetts lawmakers will consider the bill today.

Ah, the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. If Willie Horton had gotten spanked more as a kid, maybe he wouldn’t have turned to a life of crime.
More discussion, plus the obligatory reader poll — yes, we really do care what you think! — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child; Use the Rod, Break the Law?”

Ann Althouse Professor Ann Althouse diva divalicious Above the Law blog.jpgIt’s Friday, just shy of 5 PM Eastern time. Where are the bonus announcements? The silence is suspicious. If you’re sitting on bonus news that we haven’t reported, please reach out to us by email (subject line: “Associate Bonus Watch”). Thanks.
* Ann Althouse: We love it when she gets medieval — or should we say me-diva? — on a hapless blogger’s a**. [Althouse]
* Jesse Sneed: The Indiana University law student, who riddled his casebooks with bullets, is going home to grandma. [Blogonaut]
* Tim Wu: These ladies aren’t the only ones in love with the high-profile prof; Google thinks he’s pretty cool, too. [BusinessWeek]
* Barry Richard: S**tstirrer extraordinaire. [National Law Journal]

What’s going on with law schools these days? Strange and scary things are afoot. Last month, there was the Indiana University law student who shot up his casebooks. In September, St. John’s University Law School was placed under lockdown, after a gunman was spotted on campus. There was also the rumorunfounded, as it turned out — that Regent law student Adam Key brought a gun to school.
Now we learn this, from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

UW School of Law University of Washington School of Law Seattle Above the Law blog.jpgUniversity of Washington law students are on alert after graffiti appeared on campus last week that threatened their lives, but some are upset about how little information they’ve been given.

The threat, directed toward Law School students and the Law School, was found scrawled across the wall of a campus bathroom Oct. 30. UW officials declined to reveal the exact wording of the graffiti, but School of Law Dean Greg Hicks summarized the sentiment as being that the school is “training up little Nazis.”

Really? Isn’t that what Harvard Law School is for? Or maybe Regent?
More after the jump.

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* Lockdown of Pakistani legal system intensifies. [CNN]
* Reggie Bush investigated for receiving gifts while at USC. [Los Angeles Times]
* Keanu sued for Porschal assault. [MSNBC]
* Peter Lattman on the charms of the dormant Commerce Clause. [WSJ Law Blog]

Cleary Gottlieb Steen Hamilton office bomb threat Above the Law blog.jpgThis email was sent around Cleary Gottlieb earlier this afternoon:

There has been a bomb threat received by one of the tenants of OLP [One Liberty Plaza] that is not specific as to details of the threatened event. The police have been conducting an investigation of the premises, including with dog squads, and have turned up nothing. No recommendation has been made by the police or other authorities that we evacuate the building, although one or two tenants have taken it upon themselves to do so.

The police do not believe this is a credible threat, but we felt that our employees should have the benefit of this information nevertheless.

If you have any details about the incident, please add them in the comments, or email us. Thanks.

The headlines say it all, over at the Drudge Report:
dont tase me bro Drudge Report Above the Law blog.jpg
We previously wrote about the incident here. The report exonerating the officers is not flattering to the tased bro, Andrew Meyer:

In the 17-page summary of the report, FDLE said it spoke with several witnesses who said that days before the event Meyer vowed to put on ”a show” at the Kerry event.

According to the report, during a Sept. 11 Gators for Rudy [Giuliani] rally, Meyer got into an argument with another student and told a friend that “if he liked what he had seen that he should go to the Kerry speech and he would really see a show.”

In addition, the report said that after his arrest, when Meyer was out of view of the cameras, he told officers that they did not do anything wrong and then asked “if cameras will be at the jail.”

UF police cleared in ‘Don’t Tase me, Bro’ case [Miami Herald]
President Machen comments on FDLE review of student arrest [University of Florida]
Andrew Meyer [official website]
Earlier: Sadly, John Kerry Wasn’t Tasered (But He Could Have Used the Electricity)

Volkswagen Fahrvergnügen Porsche Above the Law blog.jpg* Some Fahrvergnügen for Porsche, courtesy of the European Court of Justice. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* Surprise surprise: a Yale law professor has issues with Michael Mukasey. Professor (and novelist) Jed Rubenfeld questions the nominee’s views of executive power. [New York Times via WSJ Law Blog]
* If confirmed, Mukasey has his work cut out for him. “Clearly the Justice Department has lost its mojo,” said WilmerHale partner Reginald Brown. [Legal Times]
* Obama criticizes Hillary in Iowa mailing. [Politico via Drudge Report]
* A (very close) vote is expected this week on Leslie Southwick’s Fifth Circuit nomination.
[Fox News via How Appealing]
Additional links, after the jump.

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