Posts tagged as:

Federalist Society

  • SCOTUS to hear case of Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, First Amendment challenge to state laws regulating truth of political speech [IJ/Cato amicus cert brief]
  • Groups of law professors file amicus briefs in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. arguing that retreat from “fraud on the market” theory is consistent with modern scholarship on capital market efficiency [John Elwood] and sound statutory construction [Elwood, Bainbridge]
  • Behind the Michigan affirmative action plan in Schuette, including colorful background of litigant BAMN (“By Any Means Necessary”) [Gail Heriot, Federalist Society "Engage"]
  • Court dismisses Mulhall v. UNITE HERE (challenge to employer cooperation agreement with union as “thing of value”) as improvidently granted [Jack Goldsmith, On Labor, earlier]
  • Affordable Care Act saga has taken toll on rule of law [Timothy and Christina Sandefur, Regulation]
  • Lol-worthy new Twitter account, @clickbaitSCOTUS, with content like “The nine words no appellate advocate wants to read” [re: Madigan v. Levin]
  • Drug War vs. Constitution at Supreme Court, 1928: Drug War won by only one vote and you might not predict who wrote the most impassioned dissent [my Cato post]

Surveillance roundup

by Walter Olson on December 12, 2013

  • “That Thing They Said They’re Not Doing? They’re Totally Doing.” [Daily Show with Jon Stewart] “Exactly What the State Says to Deceive You About Surveillance” [Conor Friedersdorf]
  • “Warrantless Cellphone ‘Tower Dumps’ Becoming Go-To Tool For Law Enforcement” [Tim Cushing, TechDirt; Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post; David Kravets, Wired; USA Today (local law enforcement using, not just federal)]
  • Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, AOL, LinkedIn, but telecoms absent: “U.S. Tech Industry Calls for Surveillance Reform” [Corporate Counsel, EFF, Marvin Ammori/USA Today]
  • New Federalist Society symposium on NSA/FISA surveillance and bulk data collection includes names like Randy Barnett, Jim Harper, Jeremy Rabkin, Stewart Baker, Grover Joseph Rees [Engage, Randy Barnett]
  • Nowadays “law enforcement can feel free to admit their traffic stops are pretextual” Thanks, Drug War! [Popehat] “Sobriety Checkpoints Paved Path to NSA Email Spying” [Wired]
  • FATCA, the intrusive overseas tax enforcement law, isn’t couched in public controversy as a federal data-snooping issue, but it should be [Radley Balko, McClatchy]

Josh Blackman has a summary, including the Justice’s memories of Charles Reich’s constitutional law class at Yale, his commentaries on cases from the last Supreme Court term, and a proposal to carve the faces of Federalist Society founders Lee Liberman, David McIntosh, Peter Keisler, and Steve Calabresi on Mount Rushmore.

P.S. And on the Citizens United decision [BLT]:

Alito said arguments can be made for overturning Citizens United, but not the popular one that boils down to one line: Corporations shouldn’t get free speech rights like a person.

“It is pithy, it fits on a bumper sticker, and in fact a variety of bumper stickers are available,” Alito told a crowd of about 1,400 at The Federalist Society’s annual dinner. He cited two: “End Corporate Personhood,” and “Life does not begin at incorporation.”

Then Alito pointed out the same people do not question the First Amendment rights of media corporations in cases like The New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the Pentagon papers case. If corporations did not have free speech rights, newspapers would lose such cases, he said.

I much enjoyed my trip there last week, sponsored by the Federalist Society chapter and with Prof. Jacqueline Fox providing a spirited counterpoint to my remarks on Schools for Misrule. The school has posted a Facebook photo album of the event.

I’ll be discussing Schools for Misrule today at Syracuse University College of Law, tomorrow in Cleveland at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at 4 p.m., and Thursday in Pittsburgh at noon at Pitt Law with critical commentary from Prof. Peter Oh. Federalist Society student chapters are sponsoring the events, which are open to the public. Come out and introduce yourself!

Thanks to my hosts over the past two weeks at Fordham (where I debated Prof. Zephyr Teachout), Brooklyn Law School, and Yale (where Prof. John Fabian Witt contributed generous comments).

Why not book me to speak at your own city or campus? You can contact me directly at editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com, call the Cato Institute at 202-789-5269, or, if you’re a Federalist Society chapter, through the Society’s home office.

Medical roundup

by Walter Olson on December 4, 2011

  • Talking back to the “malpractice litigation is no big deal, docs should grin and bear it” theorists [David Sack, ACP via White Coat] “Worst states for medical malpractice risk” [White Coat]
  • Jury awards $25 million against hospital that didn’t file abuse report after boy came in with broken wrist [Fayetteville, N.C. Observer]
  • “Doctors Question Disability Decisions as Agency Moves to Speed Up Process” [WSJ via Walter Russell Mead]
  • New “Federalist Society equivalents” in medicine (Benjamin Rush Society), business, foreign affairs [John J. Miller, Philanthropy]
  • Fieger wins $144 million verdict blaming hospital for newborn’s cerebral palsy [suburban Detroit Tribune]
  • Feds force birth control coverage on Catholic organizations, and free association suffers [Roger Pilon, Cato]
  • Phone call from doc to patient’s home did not establish subsequent jurisdiction to sue there [Madison County Record] NY steps up program to streamline courts’ handling of med-mal claims [WSJ]

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I’ll be there today, so feel free to step up and say hello if you’re a reader.

Just out: one of the most serious and wide-ranging podcasts yet on my new book, Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America. I’m interviewed by James Haynes of the Society’s Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group Executive Committee and Baltimore Federalist Society Lawyers Chapter. It’s 53:25 minutes in length and you can listen here. Thanks also to the 100+ Facebook users so far who’ve “liked” the podcast.

The Federalist Society has posted numerous videos from its recent National Lawyers’ Convention, including sessions on the aggressive regulatory stance of today’s Environmental Protection Agency, the constitutionality of Obamacare, anonymity and the First Amendment in media and campaign-regulation law, NYU’s Richard Epstein debating Yale’s Bill Eskridge on the court battle over California’s Prop 8, recusal and campaign rules for judges, Dodd-Frank, and the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez case on accreditation of student groups, among other topics. And civil procedure/Iqbal-Twombly buffs may be interested in a luncheon panel held just yesterday in D.C. (I was in the audience) in which four law professors (Don Elliott of Yale, Martin Redish and Ronald Allen of Northwestern, and Rick Esenberg of Marquette) outlined ideas for reforming the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to reduce discovery costs and improve screening of cases in the earliest stages of filing.

The video above is of the Society’s 10th annual Barbara Olson Memorial Lecture, in which Second Circuit Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs provocatively criticizes legal academia and other precincts of influential legal thinking for misunderstanding the role of the military and its relation to the law.

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November 21 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 21, 2010

  • Federalist Society annual convention (which I attended) included panels on anonymity and the First Amendment, judicial recusals, many other topics;
  • Nomination of R.I.’s McConnell to federal bench could soon reach Senate floor [ProJo]
  • “Why U.S. Taxpayers Are Paying Brazilian Cotton Growers $147 Million” [NPR via Popehat]
  • “Litigation Governance: Taking Adequacy Seriously” [Trask, Class Action Countermeasures]
  • “Family” groups vs. a family, cont’d: Vermont Supreme Court upholds Miller-Jenkins custody ruling [Volokh, BTB]
  • OSHA allows more comment on what could be an extremely expensive mandate against noise in the workplace [ShopFloor]
  • Cops who inform on cops are often left to twist in wind [Balko]
  • Interview with Mark Zaid, collector of comic book art with law/legal themes [Abnormal Use]

October 25 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 25, 2010

  • And she’s a psychology professor too: “Pro se litigant of the day” [ATL]
  • “Access to justice” makes handy slogan, but has its limits re: appeal bonds [Ted at PoL]
  • New Federalist Society white papers on Michigan, Illinois, California and Alabama supreme courts;
  • Per her opponent this year, CPSIA proponent and perennial Overlawyered bete noire Jan Schakowsky ranks as most left-wing member of Congress [ExtremeJan.com]
  • Naming opportunity at Faulkner U.’s Jones School of Law falls to Greg Jones of Beasley Allen [BA press release]
  • Lockyer pushes divestment of firms for taking wrong stance on ballot controversy [Coyote]
  • “Patent marking” suits continue to proliferate as Reps. Latta, Issa propose measures to curb opportunistic filings [Gray on Claims]
  • “South Carolina tobacco fees: how to farm money” [ten years ago on Overlawyered]

It’s the 2010 Ted Frank law-school-speaking tour!

September 9: Louisiana State
September 15: New York University
September 16: Columbia
October 6: Texas Wesleyan
October 7: St. Mary’s (San Antonio)
November 9: Ohio State
November 10: Toledo

It’s not too late to get on the calendar if your school’s Federalist Society is interested.

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July 6 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 6, 2010

  • “Kagan refused to identify anything the government couldn’t do under its Commerce Clause power” and “consciously left herself plenty of breathing room to cite foreign law inappropriately” [Ilya Shapiro, more]
  • Multiple civil/criminal hats? “The odd responses of the attorney general to the oil spill” [WaPo editorial]
  • Phillies Phanatic, “‘Most-Sued Mascot in the Majors’ Is Back in Court” [Lowering the Bar, which also hosts Blawg Review #271 this week]
  • Federalist Society has a new blog;
  • California will pay $20 million to woman abducted for nearly two decades [AP]
  • Charges dropped against teen who tried to help lost kid in shopping mall [Lenore Skenazy, earlier]
  • Two libertarians arrested after videotaping police in Greenfield, Mass. [Balko, earlier here and here]
  • “‘Ambulance Chaser’ Lawsuits Hound Apple Over iPhone 4″ [Atlantic Wire]

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Chicago-area readers may be interested in attending a 12:15 pm lunchtime debate sponsored by the University of Chicago Law School Federalist Society between me and Tom Geoghegan about tort reform and the role (or non-role) of Republican deregulation in the litigation explosion—a debate I’ve previously engaged in in print.

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I’ll be speaking at Duke Law Monday about the Grand Theft Auto and other class action settlements. Come say hi.

It’s a little-heralded gem, as I can confirm from personal experience [Somin, Volokh]

November 16 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 16, 2009

  • German law firm demands that Wikipedia remove true information about now-paroled murderers [EFF] More: Eugene Volokh.
  • “Class Actions: Some Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Fed Up, Too?” [California Civil Justice]
  • Drop that Irish coffee and back away: “F.D.A. Says It May Ban Alcoholic Drinks With Caffeine” [NYT]
  • Profile of L.A. tort lawyers Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi, now in hot water following Nicaraguan banana-pesticide scandal [The Recorder; my earlier outing on "Erin Brockovich" case]
  • Federalist Society panel on federalism and preemption [BLT]
  • Confidence in the courts? PriceWaterhouseCoopers would rather face Satyam securities fraud lawsuits in India than in U.S. [Hartley]
  • Allegation: Scruggs continuing to wheel and deal behind bars [Freeland]
  • Not much that will be new to longtime readers here: “Ten ridiculous lawsuits against Big Business” [Biz Insider] P.S.: Legal Blog Watch had more lists back in June.

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The Federalist Society chapter at Columbia Law School is having me in for a lunchtime talk there tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 29) on problems with the changing (and seemingly ever-more-aggressive) role of state attorneys general. James Tierney, former attorney general of the state of Maine and director of Columbia’s program on state AGs, will be on hand to offer a contrasting point of view. Hope to see a few readers there.

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