Posts tagged as:

Barack Obama

On President Obama’s memo on targeted extrajudicial killing of Americans, a roundtable at NYT “Room for Debate“; Glenn Greenwald; Brad Wendel, Legal Ethics Forum; Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes/Susan Hennessey at Lawfare; Trevor Burrus, Cato, Lowering the Bar.

{ 3 comments }

Roger Parloff at Fortune on eye-popping new allegations in a case we’ve been following for a long time (e.g.):

In Manhattan federal district court this morning, Chevron filed the declaration of a former Ecuadorian judge, Alberto Guerra, who describes how he and a second former judge, Nicolás Zambrano, allegedly allowed the plaintiffs lawyers to ghostwrite their entire 188-page, $18.2 billion judgment against Chevron [in the Lago Agrio environmental litigation] in exchange for a promise of $500,000 from the anticipated recovery.

The bribery charge is completely new, and the ghostwriting charge is more sweeping and better substantiated than before.

Since some readers may be having a hard time keeping all the case’s scandals straight, here’s a précis. Chevron has now presented evidence of two distinct, large-scale, ghostwriting frauds which, among other problems, it maintains, taint the Ecuadorian judgment.

Complicating Chevron’s claims of vindication — and opening an avenue for the plaintiff’s camp to argue against giving any credence to the new allegations — the oil company acknowledges that it has made and intends to go on making payments of “living expenses” to the former Ecuadorian judge, now resident with his family in the United States. Read the whole thing here.

More from Kevin Williamson at National Review Online:

Curious fact: As a senator, Barack Obama did see fit to intervene in the Chevron case — on the side of the Ecuadoran government. After meeting with an old basketball buddy — the abovementioned Mr. Donziger, who stands to make billions of dollars as the plaintiffs’ attorney in the case — Barack Obama wrote a letter to the U.S. trade representative arguing that Ecuador’s actions should not be held against the regime when negotiating trade privileges. Donziger, with the help of a $10,000-a-month lobbyist, also got Andrew Cuomo to threaten to intervene in the case, even though the jurisdiction of the Empire State stops well north of Ecuador.

Yet more: Daniel Fisher, Forbes.

{ 6 comments }

A. “Buried in the middle of the penultimate paragraph.”

Q. “Where, amid a long rant against the D.C. Circuit’s decision striking down most recess appointments by the President (“A Court Upholds Republican Chicanery”), would you expect the Times to concede that the practice of holding pro forma sessions to stymie such appointments was pioneered under Democratic Senate rule as a way of restraining President George W. Bush?

No prizes, as distinct from amusement value, in demonstrating what the New York Times thought of the practice back then.

More on the Canning v. NLRB decision: Trevor Burrus/Cato, massive link roundup at How Appealing, John Elwood, Point of Law roundtable, Michael Fox/Employer’s Lawyer (implications for NLRB), @markcalabria (implications for Richard Cordray CFPB appointment), Michael Greve, Mike Rappaport.

{ 2 comments }

  • Labor/employment law: the last four years, and the next [Daniel Schwartz series: first, second, interview] “Some Thoughts on the Meaning of a Second Obama Term for Labor and Employment Law” [Paul Secunda]
  • “Alcoholic Tested Without Cause Can Proceed With Bias Claim” [Mary Pat Gallagher, NJLJ]
  • “The ‘I’s have it: NLRB says don’t shred those at-will disclaimers just yet” [Jon Hyman]
  • “Knox Supreme Court Decision Strengthens Worker Rights” [Mark Mix, Bench Memos]
  • “City Councils, EEOC Grapple with Employment Protections for Ex-Convicts” [Shannon Green, Corp Counsel]
  • Leftward efforts to constitutionalize labor and employment law [Workplace Prof]
  • Should this bother privacy advocates? “NLRB looks to give workers’ private contact info to unions” [Washington Examiner]
  • Drama unfolds as backers push right-to-work law in Michigan [Shikha Dalmia]

{ 2 comments }

Election roundup

by Walter Olson on November 6, 2012

The foreign policy debate

by Walter Olson on October 23, 2012

A few selected tweets:

And about the last debate:

While I’d rate the debate stylistically as a draw (this time Obama actually studied for the test) I’ve a feeling Romney may have made further voter inroads by continuing to emphasize his Massachusetts-moderate side. “Obama just talks the game on ‘assault weapons,’ but I actually got a bill passed” must be the unlikeliest Republican applause line of the evening. And was Romney really bidding to get to the left of Obama on education spending and government-guaranteed contraceptives, to name but two?

Highlights of my Tweets as part of the Cato debate-Tweet team, as usual in reverse chronological order:

{ 2 comments }

Will the Obama administration’s much-publicized restrictions on new coal burning electric plants really crimp the economy of the Midwest? Or, given that the market for new plants appears to have tipped decisively toward natural gas for the foreseeable future, do they amount to a “regulatory nothing-burger?” [Jerry Rogers and Peter Van Doren (Cato), Forbes, via David Henderson]

With prospects for the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) having fallen to zero in Congress, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been busy instead issuing rulings expanding the legal prerogatives of labor unions. One that has the business community up in arms concerns “micro-unions,” in which a union designates a bargaining unit smaller than would be considered natural under Board precedent, but within which it thinks it can muster a voting majority. We covered the issue last year, and a ruling this May confirms that the NLRB is headed down this controversial path. I summarize at Cato at Liberty.

{ 2 comments }

Details here on how you can follow along.

Politics roundup

by Walter Olson on October 6, 2012

  • Visual representation of debate result (courtesy Chris Fountain) “Obama should have spent more time in court” [David Frum] “Can you imagine the rewards points we earned by paying for wars with the national credit card?” [@BCAppelbaum via @TPCarney]
  • Correcting the tax side of the debate: factory relocation, oil deductions, corporate jets [Daniel Mitchell, Cato-at-Liberty]
  • Race heats up for three Florida justices [Insurance Journal, earlier] Unions campaign for incumbent justices even as court deliberates on pension lawsuit [Sunshine State News]
  • Maybe Rep. Todd Akin isn’t the most unscientific member of the House Science Committee after all [TPM]
  • Yes, the HHS welfare work waiver is a real issue [WSJ editorial]
  • “Whistle-Blower Lawyers Throw Support Behind Obama” [NYT via FedSoc]
  • Michael Greve doesn’t hold back, tells us what he really thinks of Mme. Warren [Law and Liberty]

{ 1 comment }

Belated debate commentary

by Walter Olson on October 5, 2012

My Twitter comments as the Presidential debate was in progress can be read here.

Various bloggers have prepared questions for Romney and Obama on topics that include the so-called gender pay gap, the mislabeled Employee Free Choice Act, and Rep. Paul Ryan’s view of unions. [ABA Journal]

Politics roundup

by Walter Olson on September 21, 2012

  • Romney’s view of government benefits as politically hypnotic mirrors a “gratitude” fallacy advanced by many progressives [Julian Sanchez, Cato]
  • Ascendancy of “constituent services” on Hill is a bad sign on many levels [Fred Bernstein, NYT]
  • Dems vs. ACLU: platform vows to obliterate Citizens United [Damon Root]
  • Union-backed “Protect our Jobs Amendment” (POJA) ballot proposal, constitutionalizing “collective bargaining” concept, would take Michigan down path of Italian labor law [Emilio Rocca, CEI "Open Market"]
  • Isn’t it sad there’s a major political party contemptuous of science? Actually there are two [Alex Berezow/Hank Campbell, RCP]
  • Yale unions defeat uniformed-worker unions in battle to take over New Haven government [NH Independent] SEIU almost had Connecticut-5 House seat in pocket, till FBI arrested candidate’s finance manager [PSI]
  • Checking up on the outcome of a 1995 class action co-repped by attorney Barack Obama [Hans Bader]

{ 4 comments }

Good Tim Carney column on the Dems’ absurd posturing in Charlotte on the auto rescue. “Here’s the truth: what Romney proposed for Detroit was more or less what Obama did.” (For extra credit, observe the parallel with some GOPers’ insistence that RomneyCare was utterly dissimilar to ObamaCare in every respect.) More: National Review; Reuters on the Chevy Volt.

Related: Romney’s ridiculous “jobs I’ll create” commercials [Ira Stoll]

{ 5 comments }

September 10 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 10, 2012

  • Employee “moons” corporate brass, court upholds his loss of $2 million in commissions [NYDN]
  • Just what you always wanted to win in a class action: a 15%-off Bed Bath & Beyond coupon [PoL, compare]
  • Seven Camden, N.J. students made to eat lunch on cafeteria floor will get $500,000 [Courier Post Online]
  • “Lawyer Submits A Five-Page Brief — In Comic Book Form” [Tucson Weekly]
  • “Sunlight Before Signing: Measuring a Campaign Promise” [Jim Harper, Cato]
  • Judge Alex Kozinski cast as an extra in “Atlas Shrugged II” [Above the Law]
  • “Recusal Motion Cites Girl-Scout-Cookie Purchase” [Lowering the Bar]

{ 1 comment }

Politics roundup

by Walter Olson on September 7, 2012

  • “Someone tell Gov O’Malley that Swiss bank UBS is helping build a Maryland bridge.” [background; State of Maryland, PDF, via Dan Alban] Dems’ trade xenophobia escapes ire aimed at GOP’s purported immigration xenophobia [Barro] “Buried in the 2012 Democratic platform: Official declaration of war on Switzerland.” [@daveweigel]
  • Are you better off than you were four years ago? Kyle Graham traces that question back to 1900, and no doubt it’s older [ConcurOp]
  • Fact-checkers snooze during Dems’ Lilly Ledbetter show [Ted Frank/PoL, Hans Bader/Examiner] Read in full context, Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remarks “would inspire largely the same reaction.” [Larimore, Slate]
  • Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is least surprising Dem endorser of the year, as Overlawyered readers have reason to know [Betsy Woodruff, NRO, on Morgan & Morgan connection]
  • Great Society legacy: tax-funded nonprofits play key role in NYC corruption [Steven Malanga, WSJ]
  • “Details of the Auto Bailout You Won’t Hear in Charlotte” [Dan Ikenson, Randal O'Toole, Cato; Tim Carney, Washington Examiner ("Here’s the truth: what Romney proposed for Detroit was more or less what Obama did"); Shikha Dalmia on Gov. Jennifer Granholm]
  • HHS welfare waivers: fact-checkers, check thyselves [Kaus, more, Steve Chapman]

{ 3 comments }

No mercy to errant vehicles, bank accounts, pharmacy shelves or medical marijuana dispensaries: “The Justice Department’s asset forfeiture fund under President Obama is the largest it’s ever been, having grown from $500 million in 2003, to $1.8 billion in 2011, according to a new report from the GAO.” [Mike Riggs, Reason]

P.S.: Scott Greenfield on rational forfeiture in Chicago.