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Mitt Romney

More election notes

by Walter Olson on November 8, 2012

  • Virginia voters overwhelmingly voted to curtail state’s eminent domain powers [Ilya Somin]
  • “The most misunderstood Supreme Court decision of the last thirty years, Citizens United, made absolutely no difference in this election. Which is no surprise to anyone who read the case. Let’s hope we stop seeing attacks on free speech based on faulty premises.” [Ted Frank; Alison Frankel, Reuters; John Samples, Cato]
  • “A Quick Round-Up on Education Policy and the 2012 Elections” [Andrew Coulson, Cato]
  • By 58-42 margin, voters in liberal Montgomery County, Md. curtail county’s obligation to bargain with police union over policy changes with effects on working conditions [Gazette, earlier here, etc.]
  • “Double down on social issues” advice wouldn’t have put Romney over the top, to put it mildly [Hans Bader] Medieval obstetrics expert Akin pulled less than 40 percent against Missouri’s unpopular McCaskill [Andrew Stuttaford, Secular Right]
  • Entrenchment of union rights in state constitution wasn’t the only bad idea that Michigan voters rejected: they also turned thumbs down on unionization of home health aides and mandates for utility use of renewables [Conn Carroll]
  • Louisiana voters strengthened protection for individual gun rights in their state constitution [Volokh]

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Election roundup

by Walter Olson on November 6, 2012

Interviewed on Wagner case

by Walter Olson on November 1, 2012


Mary Reichard interviewed me about Teresa Wagner’s suit against the University of Iowa law school for the broadcast show “The World and Everything In It.” More on the Wagner case and its recent mistrial here, here, etc. Also on the politics of law faculties: is it believable that roughly 19 percent of law professors are going to vote for Romney, or is that number implausibly high? [Prof. Bainbridge; Tom Smith, Right Coast]

The foreign policy debate

by Walter Olson on October 23, 2012

A few selected tweets:

And about the last debate:

While I’d rate the debate stylistically as a draw (this time Obama actually studied for the test) I’ve a feeling Romney may have made further voter inroads by continuing to emphasize his Massachusetts-moderate side. “Obama just talks the game on ‘assault weapons,’ but I actually got a bill passed” must be the unlikeliest Republican applause line of the evening. And was Romney really bidding to get to the left of Obama on education spending and government-guaranteed contraceptives, to name but two?

Highlights of my Tweets as part of the Cato debate-Tweet team, as usual in reverse chronological order:

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Details here on how you can follow along.

Politics roundup

by Walter Olson on October 6, 2012

  • Visual representation of debate result (courtesy Chris Fountain) “Obama should have spent more time in court” [David Frum] “Can you imagine the rewards points we earned by paying for wars with the national credit card?” [@BCAppelbaum via @TPCarney]
  • Correcting the tax side of the debate: factory relocation, oil deductions, corporate jets [Daniel Mitchell, Cato-at-Liberty]
  • Race heats up for three Florida justices [Insurance Journal, earlier] Unions campaign for incumbent justices even as court deliberates on pension lawsuit [Sunshine State News]
  • Maybe Rep. Todd Akin isn’t the most unscientific member of the House Science Committee after all [TPM]
  • Yes, the HHS welfare work waiver is a real issue [WSJ editorial]
  • “Whistle-Blower Lawyers Throw Support Behind Obama” [NYT via FedSoc]
  • Michael Greve doesn’t hold back, tells us what he really thinks of Mme. Warren [Law and Liberty]

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Belated debate commentary

by Walter Olson on October 5, 2012

My Twitter comments as the Presidential debate was in progress can be read here.

Various bloggers have prepared questions for Romney and Obama on topics that include the so-called gender pay gap, the mislabeled Employee Free Choice Act, and Rep. Paul Ryan’s view of unions. [ABA Journal]

Politics roundup

by Walter Olson on September 21, 2012

  • Romney’s view of government benefits as politically hypnotic mirrors a “gratitude” fallacy advanced by many progressives [Julian Sanchez, Cato]
  • Ascendancy of “constituent services” on Hill is a bad sign on many levels [Fred Bernstein, NYT]
  • Dems vs. ACLU: platform vows to obliterate Citizens United [Damon Root]
  • Union-backed “Protect our Jobs Amendment” (POJA) ballot proposal, constitutionalizing “collective bargaining” concept, would take Michigan down path of Italian labor law [Emilio Rocca, CEI "Open Market"]
  • Isn’t it sad there’s a major political party contemptuous of science? Actually there are two [Alex Berezow/Hank Campbell, RCP]
  • Yale unions defeat uniformed-worker unions in battle to take over New Haven government [NH Independent] SEIU almost had Connecticut-5 House seat in pocket, till FBI arrested candidate’s finance manager [PSI]
  • Checking up on the outcome of a 1995 class action co-repped by attorney Barack Obama [Hans Bader]

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Good Tim Carney column on the Dems’ absurd posturing in Charlotte on the auto rescue. “Here’s the truth: what Romney proposed for Detroit was more or less what Obama did.” (For extra credit, observe the parallel with some GOPers’ insistence that RomneyCare was utterly dissimilar to ObamaCare in every respect.) More: National Review; Reuters on the Chevy Volt.

Related: Romney’s ridiculous “jobs I’ll create” commercials [Ira Stoll]

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At Cato at Liberty, I write about how the Hollywood great’s experiences as a small businessman in California — in particular his encounters with abusive litigation and with the lawyers and politicians who decline to do anything about it — might shed some light on his much-talked-about speech last night before the Republican National Convention.

P.S. My 2008 post on lawyers who become presidents. Reason on Eastwood’s libertarian politics, and not to forget his views on gay marriage (“Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”)

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July 25 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 25, 2012

  • Town of Gold Bar, Wash. (pop. 2,100) brought to brink of bankruptcy by multiple lawsuits following political feuds; “We are going broke winning lawsuits,” says mayor [Monroe Monitor via ABA Journal]
  • “No one in Youngstown Ohio has a Swiss bank account…except maybe that big new Swiss employer in town?” [Matt Welch, earlier] William McGurn: FATCA and the IRS’s reach abroad [WSJ via TaxProf, earlier here, here] Politicians and lawyers demand “improvements” to IRS bounty-paid-informant program, but what if anything they improve may depend on your point of view [TaxProf, earlier]
  • A human rights professor endorses a new model of residential facility that comes with names like “Freedom Place.” But what’s that on the door — could it be a lock to prevent escape? [Maggie McNeill] Romney spokesman says he’ll smite smut, Gov. Gary Johnson takes a more libertarian view [Daily Caller]
  • New Mark Herrmann book on in-house lawyering [Victoria Pynchon, Scott Greenfield, Paul Karlsgodt]
  • Mortgage eminent-domain seizure plan raises serious constitutional concerns [Andrew Grossman, earlier here, here]
  • Central casting? Send over one “business basher,” please: Sidney Wolfe says $3 billion Glaxo settlement too lenient [CL&P, earlier]
  • Ted Frank pre-vets the possibilities for Romney VP [PoL] Romney’s law and legal policy team [Brian Baxter, AmLaw Daily]

July 17 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 17, 2012

  • Prediction: Homeland Security to emerge as major regulatory agency prescribing security rules to private sector [Stewart Baker] Regulators fret: air travel’s gotten so safe it’s hard for us to justify new authority [Taranto via Instapundit] “Romney’s regulatory plan” [Penn RegBlog]
  • Claim: frequent expert witness in Dallas court proceedings is “imposter” [PoliceMisconduct.net]
  • “‘Temporary’ Takings That Cause Permanent Damage Still Require Just Compensation” [Ilya Shapiro, Cato]
  • On the ObamaCare decision’s wild card, the ruling on “coercive” conditions on Medicaid grants under the Spending Clause [Mike McConnell, Ilya Somin] Ramesh Ponnuru argues that ruling is no victory for supporters of limited government [Bloomberg]
  • D.C.’s historic Shaw neighborhood near Cato Institute narrowly escaped planners’ bulldozer [Greater Greater Washington, WaPo]
  • Michelle Obama on the right track with an idea on occupational licensure but should take it farther [Mark Perry]
  • Everyone’s a judicial critic: Auto-Correct proposes replacing “Posner” with “Poisoner.”

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Mitt Romney, following a long tradition of GOP candidates unable or unwilling to resist the continued expansion of employment discrimination law, has pre-emptively blessed Congress’s 2009 enactment of the ill-advised Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act gutting statutes of limitation. Hans Bader offers reasons why he should consider drawing the line. [Examiner] More: Ted Frank.

Related: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs bill repealing duplicative damages law passed by his Democratic predecessors, thus contradicting the accepted narrative in which the scope of available damages in job-bias suits is supposed to be revisable only in an upward direction.

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  • “Off-clock work: Flintstone laws in a Buck Rogers world” [Robin Shea] “NY Times offers unpaid internships after reporting on their questionable legality” [Poynter]
  • Walker labor reforms in Wisconsin get results [Christian Schneider: City Journal, NY Post] “Watch the Walker recall election” [John Steele Gordon, Commentary]
  • No prize for spotting fallacy: complaints that too many Europeans are collecting state disability payments construed as “demonizing disabled people” [Debbie Jolly, ENIL]
  • “What could be worse than a self-righteous TSA agent? Answer: A TSA agents’ union advocate.” [Ken, Popehat]
  • “Why Mitt Romney likes firing people” [Suzanne Lucas]
  • Free speech and union dues: Tim Sandefur on the oral argument in Knox v. SEIU [PLF Liberty Blog] More: Jack Mann, CEI.
  • My book on employment and labor law, The Excuse Factory, is alas still not available in online formats but you might find a bargain on a hardcover [Free Press/Simon & Schuster]

December 7 roundup

by Ted Frank on December 7, 2007

  • Speaking of privacy, consider what happens when lawyers get a hold of your email. (When will we see law professors eager to create new causes of action consider the privacy-destroying implications of ediscovery?) [Fulton County Daily Report/law.com; Toronto Globe & Mail; Point of Law] Earlier: Jan. 9 and links therein.
  • Speaking of privacy and reputation, Mary Roberts goes to trial, but Above the Law doesn’t mention our coverage (June 2004; Sep. 2005; Feb. 6; Mar. 19; May 17), and misses the juicy details.
  • Oy: “Woman who ‘lost count after drinking 14 vodkas’ awarded £7,000 over New Year fall from bridge.” News from the compensation culture not entirely bad: damages were reasonable, and the court did hold the woman 80% responsible, the exact opposite of the McDonald’s coffee case. [Scotsman.com]
  • No good deed goes unpunished: Sperm donor liable for child support, judge rules. [Newsday/Seattle Times]
  • Bad attorney gets fired, sues DLA Piper for discrimination, represents herself pro se, demonstrates firsthand why she got fired: law firm wins on summary judgment. [ABA Journal; update: also New York Law Journal]
  • Romney on tort reform; McCain on medmal. [Torts Prof Blog; Torts Prof Blog]
  • Another day, another Borat lawsuit. I’m still waiting for the consumer fraud lawsuit from moviegoers upset that it was not actually a Kazakh documentary. [Reuters; earlier]

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