Posts tagged as:

judicial elections

November 13 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 13, 2014

  • Italian appellate court overturns conviction of seismologists on manslaughter charges following 2009 L’Aquila earthquake [Lowering the Bar, earlier]
  • “The most ominous outcome in last week’s election: A band of big-bucks civil attorneys almost picked off an Illinois Supreme Court justice because they believe he’s a threat to their big paydays.” [Chicago Tribune on Karmeier retention] More: lawyers aren’t through with him yet [Madison County Record]
  • They were expecting any different? “Landlords Say de Blasio Ignores Their Plight” [New York Times]
  • “Liberties,” they said: New York Civil Liberties Union represented complainants who got couple fined $13,000 for not renting farm for a same-sex wedding [Ann Althouse]
  • Michael Greve on citizen suits, deadline-forcing consent decrees, and “sue and settle” [Liberty and Law] Why Germany rejects the citizen-suit device [same]
  • Harry Reid planning to push through large number of nominees in lame duck session, few more controversial than Sharon Block at NLRB [On Labor] (7 a.m. Thursday update: White House withdraws Block)
  • Maricopa County, Ariz. sheriff and perennial Overlawyered favorite Joe Arpaio sues building owners after sidewalk trip/fall “as he headed to a restaurant to get a bowl of soup” [AP/Yuma Sun]

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October 31 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 31, 2014

  • “Government Is the Biggest Threat to Innovation, Say Silicon Valley Insiders” [J.D. Tuccille, Reason]
  • Acrimonious split between Overlawyered favorite Geoffrey Fieger and long-time law partner Ven Johnson [L.L. Brasier, Detroit Free Press]
  • Case against deference: “Now More Than Ever, Courts Should Police Administrative Agencies” [Ilya Shapiro on Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association; boundary between "interpretive" and "legislative" agency rules]
  • “The Canary in the Law School Coal Mine?” [George Leef, Minding the Campus] Ideological diversity at law schools [Prof. Bainbridge and followup]
  • Familiar (to economists) but needed case against state auto dealership protection laws [Matt Yglesias, Vox; our tag]
  • Trial lawyers dump millions into attempt to defeat Illinois high court justice Lloyd Karmeier [Chamber-backed Madison County Record, Southern Illinoisan]
  • A genuinely liberal regime would leave accreditation room for small Massachusetts college that expects students to obey Biblical conduct standards [Andrew Sullivan, more]

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Really, the headline is as good an introduction to this tangled web as any: “Clifford firm contributes $150K to unseat Justice on the same day he’s in court saying campaign money corrupted Supreme Court.” [Madison County Record, related post ten years ago] Also, Illinois election officials say the state may need to have a slow Election Night [The Southern Illinoisan]

Paging the Brennan Center and Justice at Stake! “The law firm that profited the most from insurance suits in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike is sending hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign fund of the former judge who presided over the lion’s share of the litigation.” Houston plaintiff’s attorney Steve Mostyn and his wife Amber have vaulted into the ranks of some of the nation’s top political donors lately. [Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine; earlier on Mostyn]

For a second time, labor unions and their allies have failed to unseat a member of the majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which badly undercuts their chances of getting the court to invalidate Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10. I’ve got details at Cato at Liberty.

The retention campaign for liberal Florida Supreme Court Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente, and Peggy Quince is “outspending the opposition 20-to-1,” fueled by large donations from plaintiff’s injury law firms that practice before the court, such as the law firms of Wayne Hogan, Tom Edwards, and Fred Levin, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, Grossman Roth, and Pajcic & Pajcic — not to mention defense lawyers. [Orlando Sentinel]

P.S. And from which side do you think the left-leaning Justice at Stake detects a threat to judicial independence? Right. You guessed it. See also ABA Journal [proposals to cut state bar out of judicial nomination process classed among "legislative attacks" on independent judiciary. Meanwhile, no quantity of vitriolic and demagogic attacks on jurists over such decisions as Citizens United or Concepcion ever seem to get classed as menacing judicial independence].

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Politics roundup

by Walter Olson on October 27, 2012

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July 23 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 23, 2012

  • Oh, ABC: “America’s Wrongest Reporter” Brian Ross achieves another feat of wrongness [Hans Bader] “Don’t turn Aurora killer into celebrity” [David Kopel, USA Today] For the media: five tips on how not to misreport the gun angle [Robert VerBruggen, NRO]
  • Ed Brayton of Dispatches from the Culture Wars challenges me on the War For Roberts’ Vote, and I respond;
  • The “contains peanuts” warning on a peanut jar [Point of Law]
  • “California Stats Show Elected Judges Disciplined More Often than Appointed Judges” [ABA Journal] New Federalist Society guide on state judicial selection procedures;
  • “Science Quotas for Women–A White House Goal” [Charlotte Allen, Minding the Campus; Hans Bader] More: Heritage. “Title IX swings wildly at invisible enemy” [Neal McCluskey]
  • So that’s what his business card meant when it said he practiced at Loeb and Wachs [AP: "Hawaii attorney convicted in ear licking case"]
  • Rare occasion in which defendant is allowed to strike back: California appeals court says software executive can pursue malicious prosecution case against class action lawyers [NLJ]

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Judges roundup

by Walter Olson on July 12, 2012

The good, the bad, and the beyond belief:

“Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder was dropped Tuesday from hearing all asbestos cases less than a week after her campaign committee received $30,000 in contributions from three metro-east asbestos law firms.” [Belleville News-Democrat, followup (says she'll return money); Chamber-backed Madison/St. Clair Record, followup]

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November 1 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 1, 2010

Election edition:

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One of the most highly regarded right-of-center state court jurists is up for re-election this year in my native state, and drawing some of the slimiest attacks from Democratic strategists. A sample: they’re hyping still photos of Young with his eyes closed on the bench, supposedly “sleeping,” when videotape context from moments before and after reveals the Justice to be simply blinking or glancing down. Instance #87,231, I’d say, of why it’s dubious to go to the mat in principle for the notion of selecting judges by partisan contested election. More: Tim Skubick/Oakland Press, The Blog Prof.

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Imagine that: the court’s decision to strike down a duly enacted medical malpractice law was controversial enough that Justice Thomas Kilbride might actually have a retention fight on his hands. [Chicago Tribune]

August 19 roundup

by Walter Olson on August 19, 2010

  • Judge bans $1.35 billion sugar beet crop for lack of environmental impact statement [NY Times]
  • Brennan Center, Justice at Stake attracting attention with new report on money in state court judicial races [report in PDF, Kang/ConcurOp]
  • Obama signs “libel tourism” bill into law [Levy, CL&P]
  • “Zach Scruggs claims new evidence clears him” [Patsy Brumfield, NE Mississippi Daily Journal via YallPolitics]
  • Second Circuit panel blasts 1980s abuse-accusation panic in ruling on Friedman case [opinion via NYT and Bernstein/Volokh]
  • Famed Cincinnati lawyer Stanley Chesley may face disciplinary action before Kentucky bar over role in fen-phen scandal [Courier-Journal via Dan Fisher and PoL]
  • Sexual harassment verdict against California casino “amounts to 2/3 of the company’s net worth” [Fox, Jottings]
  • Every White House needs to hire some partisan brawlers. But with “ethics czar” duties? [Matt Welch, Reason]

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January 22 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 22, 2010

  • Early reactions to Supreme Court’s blockbuster Citizens United ruling striking down ban on independent election advocacy [Point of Law, more, yet more]
  • Vision Media Television Group continues its legal push against online critics, Section 230 or no [Consumer Law & Policy, earlier]
  • Big FBI sting operation could leave firearms business “wounded”, some say [Point of Law]
  • Runaway’s suit against McKeesport, Pa. school district dismissed on statute of limitations grounds [AP/Law.com]
  • “Sandra Day O’Connor Backs Campaign to End Judicial Elections” [Schwartz, NY Times, my two cents]
  • “Sheriff Joe’s Enabler” [Radley Balko on Maricopa County D.A. Andrew Peyton Thomas; earlier here, here, etc.]
  • Why some D.C. lawyers make so much money year in, year out [Hill & Lat, Washingtonian, quotes Ted; Ribstein and more]
  • “Hampshire woman jailed for false rape claim” [BBC]
  • P.S. At this point, politically, Dems almost have to pass something labeled health care reform whether or not the resulting legislation makes any sense [my comment in National Journal blogger's poll, more]

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November 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 4, 2009

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Microblog 2008-11-06

by Walter Olson on November 6, 2008

  • Expects to have to fight Obama on policy, wept anyway when he came to podium for victory speech [Jonathan Blanks] #
  • Every self-respecting insider-trading ring should include an exotic dancer and a Croatian underwear seamstress [Bainbridge] #
  • New panel discussion: why are schools so bureaucratized and what can we do about it? [NewTalk] # @sekimori “Bureaucracy is to protect the system from litigation.” Not cynical to think this is one big part of the problem. #
  • @bschuelke: “Why is it so difficult to get clients’ medical records? Should be easy but is often the hardest part of the case.” #
  • Primer on role of Delaware in corporate law [NY Times] #
  • Ways to find good, underrated people [Ben Casnocha h/t Tyler Cowen] #
  • Cluelessness alert: U.K. cabinet minister criticizes blogs for not “allowing new voices” [Massie] #
  • Dems swept races for judge in Houston — unless their names were too unusual [Houston Chronicle] #

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Alabama, Mississippi and Texas all host hotly fought races with a strong plaintiff-vs.-defendant dimension tomorrow: Democrat Deborah Bell Paseur vs. Republican Greg Shaw in Alabama, three challengers vs. three incumbents on the Mississippi Supreme Court, and Democratic challengers Jim Jordan, Linda Yanez and Sam Houston in races for the Texas Supreme Court. (Tom Baxter, Southern Political Report, Nov. 3).

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