The humorist speaks out on the now-famous amicus filing: “Cato did not ask me to write their brief for the same reason that you do not ask me to perform your appendectomy. … I was asked to read it and give it my endorsement because I am an expert on being run out of Ohio. Ask my mother.” He goes on to give Ilya Shapiro and Trevor Burrus kinder treatment than he does President William Howard Taft. [Daily Beast, earlier, the brief in Susan B. Anthony List v. Steven Driehaus, more on case from SCOTUSBlog]
It’s actually on a serious subject: can a state (Ohio) purport to ban false, exaggerated or “truthy” speech about candidates, or does that impermissibly chill speech protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment? My colleagues Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus and Gabriel Latner co-authored it on behalf of political humorist/Cato fellow P.J. O’Rourke in the pending SCOTUS case of Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus. Read it here, alongside Ilya Shapiro’s summary, and here’s David Lat of Above the Law calling it the “Best Amicus Brief Ever.“
We’ve mentioned Ian Frazier’s classic humor piece on the product liability suit filed by the hapless Wile E. Coyote against the Acme Corporation, purveyor of perennially disappointing bombs, anvils, rocket sleds, and other contraptions. Now “Pentagram’s Daniel Weil has reimagined designs for five of these gadgets, rendered as a series of highly detailed technical diagrams.” One reason the failure-to-warn element of the suit may be shaky: “The Coyote, like most males, never reads the instructions.” [Pentagram]
I have a nomination over at Cato at Liberty.
Whence Congress enacted and President Obama signed the NOEL law (Naughtiness Obliteration and Elimination Law of 2012):
…(1) Imposes a naughtiness “fee” of $50 upon each American child for every documented instance of their “naughtiness.” Revenues from this “fee” are to support the Federal Nice Fund (FNF), a newly created fund for public-works projects in NOEL-compliant states. (NOEL, § 3(a).)…
(4) To ensure full compliance, the NOEL bars any “person, group, or agency” that receives “funding, or any benefit from the federal government” from making a “material naughtiness determination” contrary to rules promulgated by the NRB, with the consequence of such a contrary determination being withdrawal of the federal funding and/or other benefit. (Id., § 22(z)(12)(F)(vii)(¥)(‰) (LOL)(¿)(?)(D).)…
Relax. It’s not real (yet). It’s just Prof. Kyle Graham’s constitutional law exam holiday card.
“South Dakota v. Fifteen Impounded Cats” is one of those fairly common in rem cases with an amusing caption. Would you really be surprised if the cats won? [Lowering the Bar, which has the best list I’ve seen of comical case names]
P.S. On a more serious note, many of these cases are attempted forfeitures with the associated due process problems [The Economist]
Shady lawyer character Saul Goodman, played by actor Bob Odenkirk, was so popular with viewers that he’s getting his own prequel [Deadline.com, Guardian, L.A. Times, BuzzFeed] AMC’s joke website is worth a click, but be warned that it auto-plays an audio (which touts, among other things, a two-for-one misdemeanor shoplifting defense).
“Bob Odenkirk, who portrays Breaking Bad’s resident shyster Saul Goodman with gleeful shamelessness…. [sits] down with Vulture’s own Julie Klausner to get his thoughts on some of the country’s best so-bad-they’re-good lawyer ads.” [Vulture]