jurisprudence

Gorsuch and Finnis, the Sequel

Featured image As you may recall, I predicted here a couple weeks ago that Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Ph.D study with Oxford’s renowned John Finnis would arouse the left, and I was not disappointed! Enter The Guardian: Oxford scholar who was mentor to Neil Gorsuch compared gay sex to bestiality Now, before going into the copy, may I observe that from the headline alone, it isn’t certain whether The Guardian means this as »

The Gorsuch Confirmation and the Finnis Connection

Featured image I haven’t had time to weigh in yet on the Gorsuch nomination to the Supreme Court, so it is time to catch up. In addition to having a law degree from Harvard, it is notable that Gorsuch also took a leave from his lucrative law practice to attend Oxford University to earn a Ph.D under the direction of John Finnis. Never heard of John Finnis? I predict you will in »

Why the 9th Circuit Order Was Wrong, and What Trump Should Do About It

Featured image At Defining Ideas, Michael McConnell, a former federal appellate judge and now a distinguished professor at Stanford Law School, addresses the 9th Circuit panel’s decision denying the Trump administration’s motion for an emergency stay, and finds it wanting. Michael makes the same point I made here, but he makes it better: The Ninth Circuit did not hold that aliens abroad who do not presently hold visas or green cards have »

9th Circuit’s Opinion Is Wrong, But Its Impact Is Limited

Featured image As Paul has already noted, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the government’s motion for an emergency stay of the order entered by Judge James Robart blocking implementation of President Trump’s temporary travel ban. The decision is a bad one, I think, but it also has only limited import and won’t stand in the way of more carefully crafted orders to be issued in »

Supreme Court Showdown: Keep Your Eye on Ed

Featured image With President Trump’s first Supreme Court nomination coming in a few hours, you can expect all hell to break loose from the left. Whoever it is will be portrayed as the worst person since . . . the last person Trump named to something yesterday. (Which is why I don’t think any nominee can be successfully “Borked.”) But in any case as this unfolds everyone should make a regular daily »

Preview: Varieties of Constitutional Originalism

Featured image Anyone who would like to get a head start on a certain book that is being published next month (and which you can pre-order now, right here!—hint, hint) can find an excerpt in the new issue of National Affairs under the title “Two Kinds of Originalism.”  This is adapted from Chapter 7 of the book, which is sure to sell out (so order early). The complete book chapter is longer »

After big losses, Marilyn Mosby looks at trying to change the rules

Featured image Have you noticed that when sensible, neutral, and longstanding rules and policies don’t produce the racial outcomes desired by the left, it calls for changing those rules and policies? Plagued by a lack of solid family structure and constructive role models, young Black students as a class behave more poorly than White students and thus are disciplined more often. The solution? Change the disciplinary rules and tolerate disciplinary breakdowns — »

Court Case of the Week

Featured image Normally the DC Circuit Court of Appeals hears important cases involving the reach and scope of the powers of the administrative state, and last week’s decision in Wallaesa v. FAA is no exception, except that the facts of the case are laughable while reminding us how much we love flying: On November 6, 2009, Wallaesa, a passenger on Southwest Airlines flight 3049 from Baltimore to Las Vegas, struck up a »

What a Hillary-Shaped Supreme Court Would Look Like

Featured image Mark Tushnet of Harvard Law School is one of the leading leftists in legal academia today. Yesterday on Jack Balkin’s website Balkinization, Tushnet lets it all hang out how he thinks a reliably liberal Supreme Court should think and act. I’ve interspersed a couple of my comments in [bolded brackets]. Pay special attention to his Point #6: 1      A jurisprudence of “wrong the day it was decided.” Liberals should be compiling lists »

El Nino Comes to George Mason

Featured image News out just this afternoon that George Mason University’s fine law school will be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University. I know that the law school’s dynamic dean, Henry Butler, has been working on this idea for a while, and secured $30 million in new contributions to the school (which will go mostly to student scholarships).* So congrats to Henry and GMU. And expect lefty »

Confirmation Bias, NY Times Style

Featured image I haven’t read the New York Times editorials on the Scalia succession, and I’m not going to unless they pop up on my screen by accident. But I did happen to stumble across their 1987 editorial on why the Senate was correct to reject Robert Bork, and one of the reasons was that. . . well, take in this paragraph for yourself, but not with a mouthful of milk or »

Confirmation Bias

Featured image A lot of people think Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a mistake in saying that any Obama Supreme Court nominee wouldn’t even get a hearing, let alone a vote, but I think he was perhaps very canny. Knowing Obama’s ideology, he might have been deliberately provoking Obama, as Paul suggested over the weekend, to send a deeply ideological—and preferably minority nominee—for political purposes, but which would make McConnell’s job »

Jeb to Conservatives: Drop Dead

Featured image Back in September in “Bush League De-Regulation,” I took note of Jeb Bush’s Wall Street Journal op-ed about his views on regulation. I wondered whether he really understands the problem sufficiently, and concluded: This is another sign that Bush, as good as he is in many ways, is not good enough. He doesn’t get the full depths of the problem. Like his dad and older brother. Today, as reported by »

Clint Bolick for SCOTUS!

Featured image Terrific news out of Arizona today, where Governor Doug Ducey has announced his appointment of Clint Bolick to the state’s Supreme Court. How great an appointment is this? Well, the folks at the Center for American Progress are having a cow: The Most Chilling Political Appointment That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Unless you’re unusually familiar with libertarian legal activists (or you are a Republican presidential candidate) you probably have »

A personal look back

Featured image This past December brought to mind some of the happiest parts of my life. John Hinderaker’s retirement party accounted for a good share. Working with John turned into a friendship that has changed my life for the better. The party took me back to our professional relationship. We started writing columns and articles together on the side of our law practice at the end of 1991. In his usual style, »

Freddie Gray judge prosecuted police misconduct cases for DOJ

Featured image The trial of the first of the first of six Baltimore officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray began today in Baltimore with jury selection. Officer William G. Porter, 26, faces charges of manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment because he allegedly did not get medical help for Gray when he complained of injuries after his arrest. None of the 75 potential jurors in »

The Best Law Journal in America?

Featured image The Harvard Law Review? The Yale Law Review? The Journal of Law and Economics perhaps? No: let me suggest it is The Green Bag, which I wouldn’t exactly call a law review, but somehow law journal doesn’t seem to quite fit it either. There’s nothing else like it. Call it, for lack of a better term, a compendium of legal things of interest, not always serious or even timely. You »