Overlawyered » politics http://overlawyered.com Chronicling the high cost of our legal system Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:29:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 George Will: the Wisconsin John Doe raids and the system’s legitimacy http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/george-will-wisconsin-john-doe-raids-systems-legitimacy/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/george-will-wisconsin-john-doe-raids-systems-legitimacy/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 16:34:53 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=49092 George Will, hard-hitting but on target, on what happened to people who took the wrong side of the Wisconsin public-employee wars: The early-morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens’ homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized […]

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George Will, hard-hitting but on target, on what happened to people who took the wrong side of the Wisconsin public-employee wars:

The early-morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens’ homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas. Clothes drawers, including the children’s, were ransacked, cellphones were confiscated and the citizens were told that it would be a crime to tell anyone of the raids.

Earlier on the Wisconsin John Doe raids, including this Cato piece. More Will:

Chisholm’s aim — to have a chilling effect on conservative speech — has been achieved by bombarding Walker supporters with raids and subpoenas: Instead of raising money to disseminate their political speech, conservative individuals and groups, harassed and intimidated, have gone into a defensive crouch, raising little money and spending much money on defensive litigation. Liberal groups have not been targeted for their activities that are indistinguishable from those of their conservative counterparts.

Such misbehavior takes a toll on something that already is in short supply: belief in government’s legitimacy. The federal government’s most intrusive and potentially punitive institution, the IRS, unquestionably worked for Barack Obama’s reelection by suppressing activities by conservative groups. … Would the race between Walker and Democrat Mary Burke be as close as it is if a process susceptible to abuse had not been so flagrantly abused to silence groups on one side of Wisconsin’s debate? Surely not.

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George Will: the Wisconsin John Doe raids and the system’s legitimacy is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

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Politics roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/politics-roundup-13/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/politics-roundup-13/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:05:45 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=48701 Texas trial lawyer lobby has attacked Greg Abbott on theme of his accident for years without success, Wendy Davis would have been smarter to tell ‘em no [Politico] Wondering about ObamaCare rate hikes? You’ll get to find out right after the election [Washington Times] “Four more years of ‘pay-to-play’ if DeWine returns as Ohio AG, […]

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  • Texas trial lawyer lobby has attacked Greg Abbott on theme of his accident for years without success, Wendy Davis would have been smarter to tell ‘em no [Politico]
  • Wondering about ObamaCare rate hikes? You’ll get to find out right after the election [Washington Times]
  • “Four more years of ‘pay-to-play’ if DeWine returns as Ohio AG, says Dem challenger” [LNL]
  • Blades concealed? Environmental group’s Iowa, Colorado attack ads play bad cop to wind lobbyists’ good cop [Tim Carney]
  • “W.Va. trial lawyers’ campaign donations near $600K” [W.V. Record]
  • With all the serious issues in the Maryland governor’s race, what’s this guy doing writing a parody song about Anthony Brown’s “Frederickstown” gaffe? [Free State Notes]
  • “Dear Trial Lawyer Colleague, One of our own, Bruce Braley, is in the fight of his life” [Joel Gehrke, earlier]
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    Recalling Sen. Mark Pryor’s role in CPSIA http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/mark-pryor-cpsia-arkansas/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/mark-pryor-cpsia-arkansas/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:23:19 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47833 Readers who followed Overlawyered in 2009-10 will recall that the closest this site has ever come to a crusade was in covering the truly horrible Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, enacted after a media-fed tainted-toy panic, a law that needlessly drove out of business many small retailers and manufacturers of children’s goods posing […]

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    Readers who followed Overlawyered in 2009-10 will recall that the closest this site has ever come to a crusade was in covering the truly horrible Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, enacted after a media-fed tainted-toy panic, a law that needlessly drove out of business many small retailers and manufacturers of children’s goods posing no hazard whatsoever to consumers. Some will further recall that the chief Senate handler of the legislation was Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), who cut a poor figure throughout as both ill-informed and dismissive about the side effects his own legislation was having.

    Now Sen. Pryor is locked in a tight race for re-election with challenger Rep. Tom Cotton, and a group called the Arkansas Project has been reminding readers of Pryor’s record on CPSIA, digging up many new details in an August series written by Washington, D.C.-area policy analyst Marc Kilmer (who generously credits Overlawyered coverage as a source throughout). Most of the series can be found at this tag or via search. Here is a guide to individual installments in the series, supplemented by links to further coverage from our archives:

    Arkansas voters — and everyone who wants to learn how a Congress can fail spectacularly at its legislative responsibilities — should read this series in full.

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    October 3 roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/october-3-roundup-4/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/october-3-roundup-4/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 04:05:00 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=48286 Posner smacks lawyers, vindicates objectors in Radio Shack coupon settlement [CCAF, Fisher, more] “Germany To Consider Ban On Late-Night Work Emails” [Alexander Kaufman, Huffington Post] 7th Circuit overturns Wisconsin John Doe ruling, sends back to state judges [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, ruling; more, Vox] John Doe case prosecutor John Chisholm, via columnist Dan Bice, strikes back against […]

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  • Posner smacks lawyers, vindicates objectors in Radio Shack coupon settlement [CCAF, Fisher, more]
  • “Germany To Consider Ban On Late-Night Work Emails” [Alexander Kaufman, Huffington Post]
  • 7th Circuit overturns Wisconsin John Doe ruling, sends back to state judges [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, ruling; more, Vox] John Doe case prosecutor John Chisholm, via columnist Dan Bice, strikes back against source in office who talked to Stuart Taylor, Jr. [Taylor, Althouse]
  • Trial lawyer/massive Democratic donor Steve Mostyn also dabbles in Texas Republican primaries [Robert T. Garrett, Dallas Morning News; Mostyn's national spending from Florida and Arizona to New Hampshire and Minnesota]
  • Sad: immigration lawyer known for Iraqi Christian advocacy faces asylum fraud charges [Chicago Tribune]
  • Might have been entertaining had Bruce Braley opponent Joni Ernst in Iowa argued in favor of nullification, but that’s not what evidence shows [Ramesh Ponnuru]
  • California hobbles insurers with diverse-procurement regulations [Ian Adams, Insurance Journal]
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    Politics roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/09/politics-roundup-12/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/09/politics-roundup-12/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 04:05:03 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47870 California may lead in number of arrested lawmaker scandals but jealous New York vows to catch up [NYDN] Will voters in hotly contested Massachusetts primary remember Martha Coakley’s central role in the Amirault travesty of justice? “State of unions: Illinois’ big unionized workforce has become a big campaign issue” [Peoria Journal Star] Teachers’ union top […]

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  • California may lead in number of arrested lawmaker scandals but jealous New York vows to catch up [NYDN]
  • Will voters in hotly contested Massachusetts primary remember Martha Coakley’s central role in the Amirault travesty of justice?
  • “State of unions: Illinois’ big unionized workforce has become a big campaign issue” [Peoria Journal Star] Teachers’ union top priority: unseat GOP governors [Politico]
  • In which I’m quoted saying relatively favorable things about left-leaning New York gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout (though “enjoyed interacting with” is a long way from “would consider voting for”) [Capital New York]
  • Meet the trial-lawyer-driven group behind the Rick Perry indictment [Texas Tribune; more of what's up in Texas]
  • Senate incumbents Reid, Pryor, and Durbin and hopeful Bruce Braley among recipients of asbestos law firm money [MCR, Legal NewsLine] Key trial lawyer ally Durbin has slipped in polls [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • Montana Democrats’ candidate for U.S. Senate looking a little Wobbly [Lachlan Markay, Free Beacon; A. Barton Hinkle, Richmond Times-Dispatch; #wobblydem]
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    Politics roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/politics-roundup-11/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/07/politics-roundup-11/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 04:05:19 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=47071 Bruce Braley’s “farmer” gaffe might hurt long-term because it fits into a wider pattern about the would-be Iowa senator [John Tabin/Rare, earlier] Disbarred ex-D.A. and longtime Overlawyered favorite Andrew Thomas running for GOP Arizona governor nomination [Phoenix New Times] Did Wisconsin John Doe probe include email dragnet? Yahoo billed DA for “costs associated with subpoena […]

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  • Bruce Braley’s “farmer” gaffe might hurt long-term because it fits into a wider pattern about the would-be Iowa senator [John Tabin/Rare, earlier]
  • Disbarred ex-D.A. and longtime Overlawyered favorite Andrew Thomas running for GOP Arizona governor nomination [Phoenix New Times]
  • Did Wisconsin John Doe probe include email dragnet? Yahoo billed DA for “costs associated with subpoena compliance” [M.D. Kittle/Wisconsin Reporter, more]
  • “We need a Democratic sweep. Stay focused.” — work-hours tweet by former Federal Election Commission enforcement lawyer whose hard drive, like that of her former FEC boss Lois Lerner, now tragically missing [House Oversight report, Daily Caller]
  • Texas hurricane claims: megadonor Steve Mostyn “successfully drags state senator into TWIA lawsuit” [Legal NewsLine, TLR]
  • No more pay to play? Two Ohio lawmakers seek to curb campaign giving by law firms hired by state’s attorney general [Aurora Advocate]
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s research on medical bankruptcy may be shaky, but it’s hard to fault her taste in English sports cars [Ira Stoll, American Spectator]
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    Connecticut politicos to employers: please hold our coat for 8 years while we govern http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/politicos-connecticut-employers-hold-coat-8-years/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/politicos-connecticut-employers-hold-coat-8-years/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 04:15:49 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46609 “It is a truism that laws tend to be arranged for the benefit of the political class.” Even so, would you expect Connecticut law to provide that private employers must hold open the jobs of full-time elected officials for as much as eight years in case they decide to return? My new blog post at […]

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    “It is a truism that laws tend to be arranged for the benefit of the political class.” Even so, would you expect Connecticut law to provide that private employers must hold open the jobs of full-time elected officials for as much as eight years in case they decide to return? My new blog post at Cato has details.

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    IRS: computer crash ate two years’ worth of Lerner emails http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/irs-computer-crash-ate-two-years-worth-lerner-emails/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/06/irs-computer-crash-ate-two-years-worth-lerner-emails/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 04:15:39 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46557 Paul Caron at the justly admired TaxProf blog has been patiently documenting the IRS scandal since the start and his daily link roundups are now as relevant as they have ever been. More: CNN, John Hinderaker/PowerLine, A. Barton Hinkle (finger of responsibility points at Congress), Peter Suderman. Earlier here, etc. Update: IRS said on Tuesday […]

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    Paul Caron at the justly admired TaxProf blog has been patiently documenting the IRS scandal since the start and his daily link roundups are now as relevant as they have ever been. More: CNN, John Hinderaker/PowerLine, A. Barton Hinkle (finger of responsibility points at Congress), Peter Suderman. Earlier here, etc.

    Update: IRS said on Tuesday that computer crashes swallowed without a trace the emails of several other employees central to the nonprofit-targeting probe, and admitted it waited months to tell congressional investigators that it did not expect to produce Lois Lerner’s emails.

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    What the New Yorker finds to be “unlikely” http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/new-yorker/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/new-yorker/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 10:15:42 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=45611 From a September New Yorker profile by writer Ryan Lizza of Tom Steyer, the billionaire political donor promoting environmental causes: Steyer is, at first glance, an unlikely leader of the environmental movement. He is rangy and square-jawed, and he has exquisite establishmentarian credentials, to say nothing of a vast pile of money. He honed his […]

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    From a September New Yorker profile by writer Ryan Lizza of Tom Steyer, the billionaire political donor promoting environmental causes:

    Steyer is, at first glance, an unlikely leader of the environmental movement. He is rangy and square-jawed, and he has exquisite establishmentarian credentials, to say nothing of a vast pile of money. He honed his raffish sense of humor at Phillips Exeter Academy, and went on to get degrees from Yale and Stanford business school. Before starting his own fund, he worked at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley….

    This must represent the New Yorker editors’ special idiomatic use of the word “unlikely” to signify “clichéd, stereotypical, and exactly as you would expect.” William Tucker has written at more length about the subject.

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    Politics roundup http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/politics-roundup-10/ http://overlawyered.com/2014/05/politics-roundup-10/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 13:35:06 +0000 http://overlawyered.com/?p=46036 NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver hangs blame for a retrospectively unpopular position on the *other* Sheldon Silver. Credible? [NY Times via @jpodhoretz] Julian Castro, slated as next HUD chief, did well from fee-splitting arrangement with top Texas tort lawyer [Byron York; earlier on Mikal Watts] 10th Circuit: maybe Colorado allows too much plebiscitary democracy to […]

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  • NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver hangs blame for a retrospectively unpopular position on the *other* Sheldon Silver. Credible? [NY Times via @jpodhoretz]
  • Julian Castro, slated as next HUD chief, did well from fee-splitting arrangement with top Texas tort lawyer [Byron York; earlier on Mikal Watts]
  • 10th Circuit: maybe Colorado allows too much plebiscitary democracy to qualify as a state with a “republican form of government” [Garrett Epps on a case one suspects will rest on a "this day and trip only" theory pertaining to tax limitations, as opposed to other referendum topics]
  • “Mostyn, other trial lawyers spending big on Crist’s campaign in Florida” [Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine; background on Crist and Litigation Lobby] “Texas trial lawyers open checkbooks for Braley’s Senate run” [Legal NewsLine; on Braley's IRS intervention, Watchdog]
  • Contributions from plaintiff’s bar, especially Orange County’s Robinson Calcagnie, enable California AG Kamala Harris to crush rivals [Washington Examiner]
  • Trial lawyers suing State Farm for $7 billion aim subpoena at member of Illinois Supreme Court [Madison-St. Clair Record, more, yet more]
  • Plaintiff-friendly California voting rights bill could mulct municipalities [Steven Greenhut]
  • John Edwards: he’s baaaaack… [on the law side; Byron York]
  • Also, I’ve started a blog (representing just myself, no institutional affiliation) on Maryland local matters including policy and politics: Free State Notes.
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