Was the L.A. Times’s reporting manipulated in hopes of helping federal prosecutors win a case? If so, the effort sure backfired [Ken at Popehat, with commentary on the “too-cozy too-credulous relationship between law enforcement and the press”] And from the Fifth Circuit, also on prosecutorial misconduct: “The online anonymous postings, whether the product of lone wolf commenters or an informal propaganda campaign, gave the prosecution a tool for public castigation of the defendants that it could not have used against them otherwise, and in so doing deprived them of a fair trial.” [ABA Journal]
Tamara Tabo has some choice things to say following judges’ unanimous rebuff to a bogus ethics complaint against Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones: “Using professional misconduct proceedings to harm an ideological rival is worrisome. …It was weakly supported, politically motivated, self-serving, and opportunistic. It’s dirty pool.” Among jurists on the panel that recommended dismissal of the complaint was respected D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland, a Clinton appointee [Above the Law, opinion] We cast a dubious eye on the allegations earlier here, here, and here.
Petitioners in the case, to quote the opinion, “include the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); the NAACP (Austin Chapter); the National Bar Association (Dallas Affiliate – J.L. Turner Legal Association); the Texas Civil Rights Project; La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE); legal ethics experts, and law professors specializing in judicial ethics.” They should each reflect upon the costs to an independent judiciary of leveling unsubstantiated allegations for political motives. More: Jonathan Adler.
- Pending California bill would impose “affirmative consent” requirement on sex between students at colleges that receive state funding [Elizabeth Nolan Brown/Dish] “New Startup Connects Students With a Lawyer the Minute They Get In Trouble” [The College Fix] Yale vs. wrongly accused males [KC Johnson/Minding the Campus, related on due process] Provision in proposed “Campus Accountability and Safety Act” (CASA) would incentivize fining colleges by letting Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights keep the proceeds [Hans Bader; more on CASA] Idea that campuses are gripped by “rape culture” having wide-ranging effects, even off campus [Bader, Examiner]
- Not only that, but the body was missing: “HS student says he was arrested for killing dinosaur in class assignment” [Summerville, S.C.; WCSC]
- Is Mayor de Blasio really willing to sacrifice NYC select schools like Bronx Science and Stuyvesant in the name of equality? [Dennis Saffran, City Journal]
- Administration trying to hold for-profit colleges to standard few public colleges could meet [WaPo editorial]
- Progress of a sort: UC San Diego “has determined that most projects by historians and journalists need not be submitted to the IRB [institutional review board].” [Zachary Schrag; related speech]
- “At Appomattox County [Va.] High School, the staff spent the summer changing its block-letter ‘A’ logo on everything from sticky notes to uniforms after the licensing agency representing the University of Arizona sent the school a cease-and-desist letter claiming potential confusion among consumers.” [Washington Post Magazine]
- “Fifth Circuit Disobeyed Supreme Court in Allowing Racial Preferences at UT-Austin” [Ilya Shapiro, Cato]
- Note that the pile-up of parking signs at a Culver City school is still “towering and confusing” even in the “after” photo following response to complaints [L.A. Times via Virginia Postrel]
Judge Edith Brown Clement is waving her arms, jumping up and down —- heck, doing everything but setting her office furniture on fire —- to draw the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court to the zany goings on in New Orleans concerning BP (BP) and its oil spill liability. … She probably won’t succeed, but her exertions are both colorful and edifying. …
“The class of people who will recover from this settlement continues to include significant numbers of people whose losses, if any, were not caused by BP,” Clement wrote [in her dissent from an en banc Fifth Circuit rebuff of the oil company]. “Our courts’ decisions would allow payments to ‘victims’ such as a wireless phone company store that burned down and a RV park owner that was foreclosed on before the spill.” Those are real examples she’s pointing to, not law school exam hypotheticals.
“These are certainly absurd results,” Clement continued. “And despite our colleagues’ continued efforts to shift the blame for these absurdities to BP’s lawyers, it remains the fact that we are party to this fraud.” Clement is willing to acknowledge that in its desperation to avoid a trial, the company’s attorneys agreed to a loosey-goosey, uncapped settlement. Maybe those lawyers deserve to be fired. But having created an opportunity for a plaintiffs’ bar feeding frenzy, BP should not be punished by having its corporate treasury ransacked with the approval of the federal judiciary, she added.
Whole thing here.
EEOC v. Boh Brothers is a new Fifth Circuit en banc decision allowing liability on a theory of hostile workplace environment sex discrimination arising from crude and aggressive locker-room banter in an all-male workplace (on facts differing somewhat from those in Oncale v. Sundowner, the 1998 Supreme Court case countenancing such liability). The dissent by Judge Edith Jones, p. 46 at footnote 3, cites my “Sentence First, Verdict Afterward,” from the July issue of Commentary magazine, on the federal government’s unhealthy interest lately in developing legal doctrines that pressure private institutions into adopting speech codes aimed at protecting listeners’ sensitivities.
Don’t miss the “Etiquette for Ironworkers” parody legal memo on p. 58, either. How many dissents include a parody legal memo?
- Karma in Carmichael: serial Sacramento-area filer of ADA suits Scott Johnson, often chronicled in this space, hit by sex-harass suit by four former female employees, with avert-your-eyes details [Sac Bee; News10, autoplays] One of Johnson’s suits, over a counter that was too high, recently helped close Ford’s Real Hamburgers, a 50-year-old establishment. [KTXL/The Blaze]
- Fifth Circuit reverses decision holding Feds liable for Katrina flood damages [Reuters]
- “Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril”: SCOTUS takes up first-sale doctrine in copyright law [Jennifer Waters, MarketWatch on Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons]
- Rubber room redux: “New York Teacher Live-Streams $75,000 Do-Nothing Job” [Lachlan Markay, Heritage] Teacher charged with hiring hitman to kill colleague should have been fired decade ago [Mike Riggs]
- “George Zimmerman sues NBC for editing 911 audio to make him sound racist” [Jim Treacher, Daily Caller]
- Prof. Mark J. Perry has moved his indispensable Carpe Diem economics/policy blog in-house to AEI;
- New York will require newly licensed lawyers to do pro bono [WSJ, Scott Greenfield, Legal Ethics Forum]
The good, the bad, and the beyond belief:
- “Ten Commandments” judge no favorite with business defendants: “Trial lawyers putting their campaign cash behind Roy Moore for Alabama chief justice” [Birmingham News via Charlie Mahtesian, Politico; same thing twelve years ago]
- From James Taranto, a brief history of Supreme Court leaks [WSJ “Best of the Web,” mentions my Daily op-ed]
- Pennsylvania: Judge’s swearing-in ceremony “was filled with appreciation to those who helped him get elected, including some convicted felons” [Judges on Merit; Walter Phillips, Philadelphia Inquirer]
- Roberts just carrying forward the Frankfurter-Bickel-Bork tradition of judicial deference? [Steven Teles, Carrie Severino, further Teles] Ted Olson on just-finished Supreme Court term [FedSoc and video]
- Columnist-suing attorney doesn’t lack funding in race for appellate judgeship in Illinois’ Metro-East [Chamber-backed Madison County Record]
- Study: SCOTUS Justices time their resignations depending on political party of President [James Lindgren, Volokh]
- Alameda County judge charged with elder theft, perjury [The Recorder]
- Profile of 5th Circuit’s Edith Jones; law wasn’t her first career choice, and Cornell riots influenced her path [Susanna Dokupil, IWF]
- Although I’m known as a foe of everything John Edwards stands for, I hope he beats this campaign finance rap [Atlantic Wire]
- Michael Bloomberg launches demagogic new campaign against Stand Your Ground laws, calling to mind the recent critique of the NYC mayor’s paternalist dark side by Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic;
- Jerry Brown frees grandmother dubiously jailed in shaken-baby death [Slate, earlier]
- As Scruggs (Dickey not Earl) still pursues vindication, Alan Lange looks back on Mississippi scandals [YallPolitics]
- Deservedly favorable profile of Fifth Circuit judge Jerry Smith [NOLA]
- In which I tell off Bill Donohue’s Catholic League for its double insult last week to gays and to adoptive parents [IGF]
- “The Ninth Circuit was, believe it or not, correct” [Ilya Shapiro and Trevor Burrus, Cato, on administrative law case arising from NLRB rules change on drug rep overtime]
- Judge Edith Jones rules: 5th Circuit spanks judge who overturned result of anti-traffic-cam vote [The Newspaper, background]
- “UK Nanny State: Let’s Send Gamers To Rehab” [Nick Sibilla, Reason] “If Poker Is a Public Health Issue, What Isn’t?” [Jacob Sullum]
- Struggle Resolutely Against Misleaders of the People In Weather Broadcasts Everywhere! [TP; reactions from Tony Hake/Examiner, Geoff Fox, Andrew Revkin, Watts Up With That]
- Jury awards $178 million in bariatric-surgery case against Jacksonville hospital, sum greater than GDP of several small island nations [Florida Times-Union]
- Sikh sues Jay Leno over comparison of Romney vacation home to Golden Temple of Amritsar [Daily Mail]
- Redevelopment without prerequisite “blight” akin to Hittite sack of Babylon [Gideon Kanner]
- Convinced hospital broke naming promise, jury tells it to pay $1 million to country singer Garth Brooks [AP]
- “Dean of law bloggers” — why, thank you, sir [Hans Bader, CEI]