- Pennsylvania has passed that grotesque new law seeking to muzzle convicts from discussing crimes when “mental anguish” to victims could result. Time for courts to strike it down [Radley Balko, earlier]
- “First Amendment challenge to broad gag order on family court litigants” [Eugene Volokh]
- Federally funded Indiana U. program to monitor political opinion on Twitter didn’t much like being monitored itself by critics [Free Beacon, earlier (project “intensely if covertly political”)]
- Holocaust denial laws abridge the freedom of speech. Do they even accomplish their own aims? [Sam Schulman, Weekly Standard]
- Is it defamatory to call someone a “censorious a**hat”? [Adam Steinbaugh, Eric Turkewitz, earlier on Roca Labs case]
- We should take up a collection to translate Voltaire into French [Reason, Huffington Post on Dieudonne case, yesterday on talk of “Fox maligned Paris” suit]
- Some would-be speech suppressers upset over Citizens United ruling also quite happy to drown out Justices’ speech [Mark Walsh, SCOTUSBlog] “Campaign finance censors lose debate to Reddit” [Trevor Burrus] Citizens United “probably the most misunderstood case in modern legal history.” [Ilya Shapiro]
Tracy Oppenheimer at Reason profiles a new reformist book and documentary on the costly business of divorce. “It’s the fourth most common cause of bankruptcy in the United States,” says filmmaker Joseph Sorge. Coverage: Paul Raeburn/Huffington Post, IMDb, Hollie McKay/Fox News, Nicolas Rapold/New York Times.
A New Jersey judge has ruled that a mother-to-be doesn’t have to notify the estranged unwed father that she is going into labor or let him into the delivery room [ABA Journal] Meanwhile, a suit filed on behalf of unwed fathers is challenging Utah’s adoption laws, which they say improperly enable mothers from out of state to visit Utah for purposes of depriving unwed fathers of rights of notification or objection they would otherwise enjoy under their home state’s law [Salt Lake Tribune]
P.S. More thoughts from Eli Lehrer at Huffington Post (“Gay marriage is increasingly accepted precisely because its results, to date, have been good for society. Polyamory on a large scale would have negative short-term results and that’s a good reason to think it’s just not going to happen.”).
Okay, “get the government out of marriage” makes a nice slogan, with a libertarian-sounding ring to it. But what happens on contact with legal reality, where countless existing legal relations are predicated on marriage’s functional role as an on/off switch as opposed to a sliding continuum of statuses customized by private contract? [Scott Shackford, Reason]
Also on the marriage question, I have a new blog post at Cato recapitulating why social conservatives are deluding themselves if they imagine the GOP can use the issue to harvest many new black votes.
Yet more: video of a Friday Cato panel in which I join Mary Bonauto of GLAD, Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, and Kathryn Lehman of Holland & Knight; I talk about how public opinion on same-sex marriage is increasingly boxing in the national Republican Party, and how it might bid to get out of the box.
William Marotta and the recipient of his donation signed an agreement that he would have neither rights nor obligations with respect to any offspring that resulted. But the state of Kansas says that shouldn’t insulate him from paying child support for the three-year-old daughter on whose behalf the state picked up $6,000 in medical bills unpaid by the mother, who had fallen on hard times. [Topeka Capital-Journal, Huffington Post]
- Adventures in causation: Per $19 million Mississippi verdict, fumes from leftover gasoline caused birth defects, asthma [Insurance Journal]
- Legal academia watch: lawprof proposes massive expansion of liability for parents [TortsProf]
- University of Virginia’s torts giant: “A Tribute To Jeffrey O’Connell” [U.Va. Dean Paul Mahoney, Virginia Law Review (PDF) via TortsProf]
- “Proposed civil justice reform in Canada” [Ted Frank]
- “Town Owes $10M To Pupil Paralyzed In School Beating” [New Jersey Law Journal; Irvington, N.J.]
- Businesses steer clear of Philadelphia litigation climate [Jim Copland, Inquirer; Trial Lawyers Inc. update]
- Longtime West Virginia attorney general Darrell McGraw, disliked by business, toppled in re-election bid [Charleston Gazette-Mail]
- “A 4-Page Playdate Waiver? Is This the New Normal?” [Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids; our 2000 post on “Rise of the High-School Sleepover Disclaimer”]
- Spirit Airlines sets what it calls DOTUC fee, for “Dept. of Transportation Unintended Consequences” [Stoll]
- How fairly are fathers treated in family court? [Nina Shapiro, Seattle Weekly via Alkon]
- “‘Insider’ Trading by the Representative Plaintiff in Shareholder Litigation” [Bainbridge]
- “Donation controversy focuses attention on Madison County asbestos litigation” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chamber-backed LNL]
- Update: Appeals court reinstates Duluth doc’s defamation claims [DNT, earlier here, here, here; “bedside manner” criticism]
- U.K.: “‘Psychic’ Sally Morgan Sues Critics for £150,000 After Refusing $1 Million to Prove Her Powers” [D.J. Grothe, HuffPo] “She’ll be calling witnesses such as ‘an uncle, or father, or a man… with a b in his first name’.” [@thegagthief]