- Investigate the federal judge’s wife? Pretty much the sort of stunt you’d expect from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio [Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times, ABA Journal, Coyote, our coverage of Arpaio over the years]
- “State ‘Competitor Veto’ Laws and the Right to Earn a Living” [Tim Sandefur, Mercatus]
- Mississippi lawyer Dickie Scruggs gives first post-prison interview [Jackson Clarion-Ledger]
- New book by Judge and former Senator James Buckley makes case for eliminating federal grants to states [George Leef, Jonathan Adler; podcast interview, Liberty and Law]
- Neo-prohibitionists having conniptions over prospect of beer/Ben-&-Jerry’s combo [Baylen Linnekin]
- Priceless comment thread on value-of-law-school debate with Orin Kerr trying to talk patient off ledge [PrawfsBlawg]
- Big D.C. plaintiff’s injury firm can’t collect on insurance after not disclosing potential claim [Judy Greenwald, Business Insurance]
“98% Of Harvard Law Faculty Political Donations Go To Democrats” [Paul Caron, TaxProf]
If I say so myself, my book Schools for Misrule makes a good place to start in understanding how American legal academia came by its distinctive ideological leanings. There’s a Kindle version you can download right now.
- “On what planet is it remotely constitutional to *raid someone’s home* and forbid them from speaking about it?” [Julian Sanchez on new at-length National Review account of Wisconsin John Doe raids; my earlier writing on the raids at Cato and here; Scott Shackford, Reason; Walker opponents still defending John Doe proceeding, to praise from (updated) left-leaning national Alliance for Justice and Center for American Progress]
- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoes bill to provide more transparency in state’s hiring of outside counsel [Legal NewsLine]
- BuckyBalls gone, Zen Magnets still standing: “Two Cheers for 10th Circuit’s Temporary Stay of CPSC’s New Magnet Safety Standard” [Mark Chenoweth, WLF]
- Arkansas governor vetoes “right of publicity” bill [Volokh]
- NY Times profiles prolific privacy lawsuit filer Jay Edelson, whose class action firm we’ve met before;
- Recusal motion gamesmanship from trial lawyers at Illinois Supreme Court [Richard Samp, WLF]
- Law faculty diversity: Republican women “were — and are — almost missing from law teaching.” [James Lindgren, SSRN via TaxProf; more from Lindgren]
From a Harvard lawprof: were today’s abundance of law schools to give way in part to a revived clerkship/apprentice model, American law would develop more slowly and organically than it does now, besides which where’d we train our philosopher-monarchs? [Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View] You can buy my recent book Schools for Misrule (including a Kindle download version) here.
A new study out of Harvard finds that lawyers in the United States lean left politically — though not nearly as far left as do law professors — while judges’ political views by contrast tend more toward the middle of the spectrum. An author of the study concludes something’s wrong with the judges. Oh, Harvard, don’t ever change [Adam Liptak, New York Times]
P.S. And in case you hadn’t guessed, lawyers are phenomenally active in the political process:
The study is based on an analysis of the campaign contributions of American lawyers, a group that turns out to be exceptionally active in the financial side of elections.
Of the 975,000 lawyers listed in 2012 in the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory, 43 percent had made contributions to state or federal candidates — including state judicial candidates — since 1979. That is about 10 times the rate of the voting-age population.
One difficulty with the study’s approach, as Liptak notes, is that contributions may reflect factors distinct from ideological leanings, such as economic self-interest. Certainly some lawyers have no terribly strong political views of their own but regard Democratic policies as more conducive to the prosperity of the legal sector or their own particular firm.
Adding to our list of lists, a few more: John Steele’s top ten legal ethics stories of 2014, National Law Journal via TaxProf’s list of ten legal education stories, and James Beck’s ten best pharmaceutical-law cases from a defense perspective, to go with the earlier list of ten worst. Daniel Schwartz has three predictions about labor and employment law (intensifying battles over NLRB; alarm at wave of regulation coming out of the administration; Supreme Court continues to meander and zigzag)
We’ll always need lawyers, but maybe not quite so many of them as we expected: “The 37,924 full- and part-time students who started classes this fall represent a 30 percent decline from just four years ago, when enrollment peaked at 52,488.” [Elizabeth Olson, New York Times “DealBook”, related, the view from D.C. schools]
…the Federal Bureau of Investigation approached Santa Claus to enlist his cooperation in a new surveillance program. FBI agents advised Santa that his extensive knowledge regarding “bad” children, and failure to disclose this information to the government, likely made him guilty of millions of counts of misprision of a felony. But, the agents added, perhaps a deal could be arranged.