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Bill Clinton

Richard Epstein on an overreaching ballot measure that would insert labor union prerogatives into the Michigan constitution (earlier here, here). The measure is flagging in polls, despite a robo-call in favor by Bill Clinton, and has drawn opposition even from the stoutly liberal Detroit Free Press [Shikha Dalmia]

P.S. The WSJ is reminding us again about the not-wholly-unrelated battle for the Michigan Supreme Court (earlier).

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My Cato colleague Gene Healy points out that President Obama is the fourth chief executive who also taught constitutional law, joining William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson and Bill Clinton. “Taft did comparatively little damage, but the rest hardly inspire confidence that familiarity with constitutional scholarship encourages fidelity to the national charter.” [Washington Examiner] He lets me have a parting shot:

My Cato Institute colleague Walter Olson, author of “Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America”, explains that “legal academia rewards cleverness in coming up with strained arguments for ideologically favored (or just expedient) positions; marginalizes as eccentric thinkers who favor original understanding as a guide” to the Constitution and often reduces law to “politics by other means.”

Unfortunately, that training has served Obama well.

Andrew Baron at DemBot, writing on his father, Fred Baron, the late Texas tort lawyer and John Edwards benefactor who was a frequent mentionee on this site (e.g.):

With the strong support of my dad, after Bill Clinton out-raised and then defeated incumbent George Bush Sr., Clinton offered to nominate my dad to become a Supreme Court Judge. My dad actually considered it and even spent a couple of days shadowing one to see what the day-to-day activity was like. He just wasn’t interested. Plus, he would be required to sell his law firm. He told me that it was actually a pretty boring job.

The younger Baron’s piece is worth reading in its entirety for insights into the role and results of political fund-raising.

March 19 roundup

by Walter Olson on March 19, 2010

  • Plaintiff in case alleging defective clown shoes “does not want any additional publicity” [N.Y. Post via Lowering the Bar]
  • Santa Fe’s anti-wireless activists [The New Mexican, earlier]
  • Law vs. vaccines, cont’d: “Judge Declines to Upset $22.5 Million Jury Award in Polio Case” [NYLJ]
  • Arizona high court launches probe of Maricopa County prosecutor Andrew Thomas [Coyote, earlier]
  • “Innumerable histronics” but no conspiracy: litigation over 1996 Filegate scandal fizzles out [Althouse]
  • More boosts in regulators’ budgets [Roger Clegg, NRO, OFCCP employment regulation at federal contractors; Koehler, FCPA Professor] Obama’s putting in regulatory hardliners at many agencies; a clue to his politics? [Bainbridge, Judis/TNR]
  • If only they’d confine themselves to suing the actual bad actors in FACTA (credit-card-slip) and junk-fax litigation [Bart T. Murphy, Chicago Business Ledger; my '06 take]
  • So may bullies ever fare: sanctions set against company that sued BoingBoing for libel ["MagicJack" case and more]


A new book on the Paula Jones/Bill Clinton legal mess [Janet Maslin, New York Times; my views back when]