- John Lott Jr. argues in new book that judicial-nominations system is broken; responses from Michael Teter, Clint Bolick, John McGinnis [Cato Unbound]
- “Weaponized IRS” meets Administration’s political needs at cost of future public trust [Glenn Reynolds, USA Today]
- “For some time, however, cause lawyers have moved in and out of government, thus complicating the traditional picture of lawyer-state opposition.” [Douglas Nejaime, “Cause Lawyers Inside the State,” SSRN via Legal Ethics Forum]
- Gun rights: public opinion has changed over the decades in a big way [Bryan Caplan, Steven Greenhut]
- “Mostyn Law Firm donates $1 million to help Wendy Davis in Texas governor’s race” [Washington Examiner, New Republic] Plaintiff’s bar supporting GOP primary challenges to Texas Supreme Court incumbents Phil Johnson, Jeff Brown, and Chief Justice Nathan Hecht [TLR] More: Legal NewsLine (Mark Lanier Law Firm largely funding challengers)
- Nassau’s Kathleen Rice: “Anti-Corruption Panel Co-Chair Receives Big Donations From Sheldon Silver’s Law Firm” [Ken Lovett, NYDN]
- Rule of thumb: a political party leans libertarian in proportion to the number of years since it last held the White House [Orin Kerr]
- Dept. of Justice indicts a prominent Obama critic on campaign finance charge [Ira Stoll; more above]
Comments from my Cato Institute colleagues Roger Pilon and Ilya Shapiro, as well as CEI’s Hans Bader. A “totally risk-free strategy for Democrats, as long as they are never again in the minority.” [Lowering the Bar] Patterico on the elegant consistency of the New York Times editorial page over the years (it is consistent, once you know to look for the pattern) and an unheeded 2005 prayer (YouTube, auto-plays) from then-Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.). And some further observations from Jonathan Adler.
P.S. Further thoughts from Roger Pilon regarding the immediate focal point of the struggle, the three nominations to the D.C. Circuit:
…a second point, too little noted, concerns the implications from there being numerous “judicial emergencies” in the other circuits — vacancies in seriously overworked circuits for which the president hasn’t even named anyone. Judicial emergencies have increased 90 percent since 2006, and the vacancies with nominees have declined from 60 percent to 47 percent. Yet rather than attend to filling those vacancies, Obama and Reid are focused on adding three more judges to the already seriously underworked and overstaffed DC Circuit. That speaks volumes, of course, about what their agenda is. As I wrote yesterday, the DC Circuit’s docket is mostly about challenges to administrative decisions. Judges in such cases have considerable discretion about whether or not to defer to the judgment of those agencies. If you want to rule by executive diktat, as Obama plainly does, you’ll want “your people” on that court, deferring to “your people” at EPA, HHS, OSHA, the FEC, the IRS, and so on down the line. Let the folks out in the country wait a little longer to get justice.
P.P.S. And relatedly from Mickey Kaus:
Regulation is D.C.’s economic substructure, its mode of production, as Marx might say – even more so than legislation. Those big gleaming office buildings aren’t filled with Congressional lobbyists! They’re filled with administrative lawyers. Now, with a full 11 member court stacked to favor Democrats, there will be even more rules to litigate, more counsel to hire, more mansions to house them and restaurants to feed them. Whatever happens in the rest of America, the capital’s economic future is secure.
They should erect a statue of Harry Reid outside the Mazza Gallerie.
It’s precisely the outstanding candidates that opponents gun for, writes Conn Carroll, recalling the case of U. Va.’s Lillian BeVier. [Washington Examiner]
- Lacey Act madness: might Feds be empowered to disrupt summer concerts by seizing musicians’ Gibsons? [Bedard, DC Examiner; earlier; recent Heritage Foundation work; reworded to reflect comment from “Density Duck,” below]
- Contributors to new “Privatization Blog” include friend of this blog Coyote, e.g. here and here;
- “Big Government Causes Hyper-Partisanship in the Judicial Appointment Process” [Ilya Shapiro] Fuels Culture War, too: “The faster the state expands, the more likely it is to violate your values” [Matt Welch]
- Demagogy on expatriates: Schumer proposal for stiff tax on emigrants may have read better in original German [Ira Stoll, Roger Pilon/Cato, Paul Caron/TaxProf]
- Georgia high court considers $459 million fax-spam verdict [AJC, AP, my take] “Hot fuel” class actions enrich the usual suspects [PoL]
- New rebuttal to trial lawyer/HBO movie “Hot Coffee” [Victor Schwartz et al, auto-plays video] Ted Frank crossed swords with Litigation Lobby on the movie in January, particularly on the question of coffee temperature and the Liebeck case [PoL]
- Overlawyered “will become the first [law] blog teenager this summer” [Bruce Carton, Legal Blog Watch] “I’ve been a fan of Walter Olson’s Overlawyered blog for years.” [Amy Alkon, Advice Goddess] Thanks!
- “Hawaii may keep track of all web sites visited” [Declan McCullagh]
- NEA (and now Obama) answer to public education woes: lock the exits by hiking school-leaving age [Steve Chapman, earlier]
- On nomination filibusters, New York Times editorial policy has pulled a 360, not just a 180 [Whelan, 2003, 2005, earlier]
- English copyright ruling “creates ownership in the idea of a photo’s composition” [Doctorow, BB]
- New Maryland push for same-sex marriage will include stronger religious exemptions, a course I urged last year [Sun, my view] Detailed inquiry into the law of interstate marriage recognition and DOMA [Will Baude, Volokh]
- When lawyers face prison for the advice they give [Jack Fernandez, Zuckerman Spaeder via Legal Ethics Forum]
- FDA regulation of pharmaceuticals: “More reasons to discount adverse event reports” [Yeary, Drug & Device Law, the CPSC database analogy]
- Liability suits bankrupt manufacturer of gasoline cans [Tulsa World]
- Faces life imprisonment: “Greece’s statistics chief faces criminal probe” for “not cooking the books” [FT via @OlafStorbeck]
- Man injured by runaway car can sue county on grounds bus shelter was built too close to street [Seattle Times]
- Title IX trips up track teams [Saving Sports: Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland]
- “‘Not gay enough’ softball players settle suit” [SF Chron]
- Now it’s the Obama administration that’s upset with ABA over ratings of judicial nominees [Whelan]
- Lawyer kiosks in UK newsstands [Knake, LEF] Lawyers open kiosk at Florida mall [ABA Journal]
By a mostly partisan vote of 50 to 44, the U.S. Senate confirmed Rhode Island plaintiff’s lawyer and political kingmaker Jack McConnell to a federal district judgeship. McConnell made his Motley Rice law firm, based in South Carolina, into Rhode Island’s biggest political donor during the same period that state officials were hiring him to run, on contingency fee, what it was hoped would be a hugely lucrative suit against former makers of lead paint. The Motley firm, with associated law firms, is credited with having made billions from tobacco and asbestos litigation and has recycled large sums into the campaign coffers of state attorneys general and other friendly politicians. [Daily Caller, Plains Daily (North Dakota contributions), Politico, ShopFloor] Earlier here, here, here, etc.
- “Teacher threatens student with defamation suit for complaining about her grades” [Bassett, Calif.; San Gabriel Valley Tribune via TortsProf]
- Rolls-Royce case: “Judge Posner Provides Preview of Wal-Mart v. Dukes Ruling?” [Trask]
- But note Davidoff comments: “Plaintiffs Lawyers Eyeing Marcellus Shale Work” [Legal Intelligencer]
- Massachusetts: for its 85-year-old administrator, is an anti-poverty empire forever? [Lawrence Eagle-Tribune via Zincavage]
- Senate Judiciary advances Rhode Island nominee Jack McConnell by 11-7 vote [PoL, earlier]
- Bonuses for arrests? Way to disgrace a law enforcement system [Greenfield, related]
- “Insulting Your Boss Online Is Now Protected Speech” [AtL, earlier]
- Treasury’s Do Not Shop list [five years ago on Overlawyered]