- Judge Posner cites a Cato amicus brief: Cook County sheriff can’t browbeat Visa and MasterCard into dropping business with sex ad site [Ilya Shapiro, Eugene Volokh] And Daniel Fisher speculates that Posner’s thoughts on how far law enforcers can push around private actors on First Amendment-related subject matter (but without filing charges against them) might carry over to Eric Schneiderman’s ExxonMobil climate-advocacy inquisition [Forbes]
- “How To Blog: A Primer (And Not A Boring Primer, Either)” [Jim Dedman, Abnormal Use]
- What the campus protests are about: power [Jonathan Last, Weekly Standard]
- Eric Turkewitz draws a connection between the debate on guns and my recent work on redistricting, and Ken White at Popehat has more on the debate on guns;
- Vibrations from “ridge-like” BMW motorcycle seat said to have had unwanted stimulative effect on male user [Marin Independent Journal]
- Why are Republicans not moving to block Department of Justice settlement slush funds “funneling more than half-a-billion dollars to liberal activist groups” that in some cases route dollars “back to programs that congressional Republicans deliberately stripped of funds”? [Kim Strassel, WSJ]
- What happens at CLE stays at CLE: doings get wild at a famous mass torts seminar in Las Vegas [Above the Law]
James DeLong, lawyer, author, astute analyst of regulation and longtime friend of Overlawyered, has begun writing for Forbes and this is his inaugural post. It’s short — go read it now. His second post is on “ObamaCare, Chevron, and Congressional Delegation.”
Way back in 1997 I reviewed Jim’s book Property Matters for the Wall Street Journal.
- “Brady Campaign loses lawsuit against Armslist (a gun classified ad site)” [Volokh]
- Train for your bright future in federal employment as a FOIA Denial Officer [Katherine Mangu-Ward]
- Chamber of Commerce alarmed at rise of class actions in Latin America [Kevin LaCroix/D & O Diary, Chamber report and Brazil sidebar]
- Dear CBS Los Angeles: it’s okay to show a little skepticism regarding creationist’s claims in employment lawsuit [Skeptical Libertarian]
- Historic role of guns in black civil rights struggle departs from polite conventional account [Charles E. Cobb, Jr., guestblogging on new book at Volokh: samples one, two, three, four]
- Ranking law blogs based on their number of Feedly subscribers [Derek Muller; only a few single-author blogs score higher]
- At the height of county fair season, it’s depressing to read about 4-H suits [Legal Geeks]
Having grown up in families that experienced firsthand the oppressive potential of untrammeled state power, these individuals naturally gravitated toward libertarianism, with its deep-rooted suspicion of government overreach. “Those of us who share that story share the same reason for why we became libertarian,” explained Sasha Volokh, now an associate professor at Emory Law School.
- The law blog that almost brought down ObamaCare [Trevor Burrus, Cato] “In Government, Nothing Succeeds Like Failure,” public policies being hard to adjust when they go astray [Peter Schuck, HuffPo]
- Sexual harassment claim: “Attorneys awarded more than 600 times damages in Calif. case” [Legal NewsLine]
- KlearGear, of non-disparagement fame, reaps the online whirlwind [Popehat, Public Citizen, Volokh, earlier]
- “What if American Exceptionalism, properly understood, really boils down to associational liberty?” [Richard Reinsch, Liberty Law] Do religious-liberty carve-outs in same-sex marriage laws go too far, not far enough, or neither? [Dale Carpenter et al. vs. Richard Garnett et al.]
- What jury didn’t hear in qui tam award against pipemaker JM Eagle [Daniel Fisher, more]
- Majority of appointed commissioners on Consumer Product Safety Commission is is no hurry to reduce inordinate CPSIA testing burdens, per retiring commissioner Nancy Nord (more);
- Woman who claims to own sun says she prevailed in lawsuit brought by man who claims to own universe [Lowering the Bar]
Details here. The “Hall of Fame” began last year with 10 inductees and this year the ABA Blawg 100 competition is inducting 10 more, with us in the batch. Its description:
Whether or not you’re sympathetic to tort reform and the idea that the government overregulates, Overlawyered is a little hair-raising and eye-opening. Its stated mission is to bring to light abuses of the legal system that raise costs and inhibit justice. Acquired this year by the Cato Institute, the blog is the project of Walter Olson, a senior Cato fellow. Having celebrated its 15th anniversary in July, Overlawyered says it may be the oldest legal blog: “At least, no one seems to be able to name one that’s older.”
So far as anyone we know has been able to tell us, Overlawyered, launched in July 1999, is the longest running blog about law. From time to time the question arises whether it was the very first law blog, a question discussed at Bob Ambrogi’s LawSites (and in turn noted in an Editor’s Note at the above ABA link). It was certainly not the first regularly updated law site; there were plenty of those in 1999, such as Mark Astarita’s seclaw.com which dates back to 1995 (!). In a 2003 post Greg Siskind writes that his visalaw.com was first to adopt a blog format, citing a 1998 post (visible at Wayback Machine here) that provided regular updates on H-1B legislation over the course of a month, with older updates scrolling down the page, and which drew wide traffic. For reasons I advance at LawSites, I think a lot depends on one’s definition of what a blog is, and that’s probably not a subject we’ll all agree on soon.
- Dropping a legal cinderblock on his head: I’m quoted on CPSC’s aggressive legal action against former Buckyballs CEO Craig Zucker [Barbara Hollingsworth, CNS; NYT covers story; earlier here, etc.] Related, CPSC finally holds public hearing on magnet sets standard [WLF Legal Pulse].
- SCOTUS sleeper Bond v. U.S., on treaty power + toxic love triangle, no longer a sleeper as George Will devotes column to it [syndicated/WaPo, earlier]
- “The Ideological Migration of the Economics Laureates” [Daniel Klein et al, Econ Journal Watch via Tyler Cowen and Arnold Kling]
- Steven Teles’s diagnosis: “Kludgeocracy in America” [National Affairs; reactions from Brink Lindsey (“libertarianism serves as America’s superego while progressivism supplies the ego and id”), Ilya Somin, Nicholas Geiser/CEI “Open Market”]
- Farewell to Blawg Review’s “Ed.,” whose identity I never learned [Ron Coleman/Likelihood of Confusion, ABA Journal, Mark Bennett/Defending People; Overlawyered hosted Blawg Review #33 in 2005 and #220 in 2009; see also mentions and #56 at Point of Law]
- “Emotional linkbait”: police, press rush far ahead of evidence in many claims of bullying-induced suicide [Kelly McBride, Poynter]
- Wow: Columbia, S.C. interim police chief says he’ll come after advocates of pot law reform [Popehat]
Chilling effects of the surveillance state [Glyn Moody, ComputerWorld UK]:
Groklaw is shutting down, as a direct result of the revelations that the world’s communications – including our emails – are being spied upon by the NSA and GCHQ. That’s a huge loss for the open source world: Groklaw played an immensely important part in fighting off the absurd but dangerous SCO attack on free software. Alongside that main work it has conducted countless legal analyses of various other attempts to use patents and copyright to undermine open source. And it has done it applying the open source method of collaboration, a significant achievement in itself.
But the guiding force behind Groklaw, PJ, feels she can’t go on when something so fundamental as the privacy of her communications can no longer be taken for granted. In her final post, she compares the feeling to an earlier one when her flat was broken into, and someone went through all her belongings.
Not unrelated: “What Should, and Should Not, Be in NSA Surveillance Reform Legislation” [Electronic Frontier Foundation]