Judge Posner’s weak and inappropriate mea culpa

Featured image Judge Richard Posner, in his latest book Reflections on Judging, has declared that he made a mistake in upholding Indiana’s voter-ID law. Posner wrote the majority opinion in the case. The decision was affirmed by the Supreme Court, by a vote of 6-3 with the lead opinion by Justice Stevens. Judge Posner blames the lawyers for his mistake — always a good ploy. In an interview, he claimed that the »

Dez Wells fights back

Featured image Dez Wells is the best basketball player on the University of Maryland’s men’s team. He came to Maryland after being kicked out of Xavier University due to allegations that he sexually assaulted a female student. My first reaction to Wells’ transfer was disappointment that the team I support would accept a player deemed morally unsuitable by his prior school. But it quickly became apparent to me that Xavier treated Wells »

Chad Ochoclinko

Featured image Former NFL star Chad Johnson (known as Chad Ochocinco for a time during his playing days) was sentenced to 30 days in jail for a probation violation in a domestic violence case (he head-butted his wife). Johnson was set to serve no jail time, thanks to a plea bargain. But the judge rejected the deal after Johnson slapped his attorney’s backside when the judge asked him if he was satisfied »

In Praise of Slow Learners

Featured image There’s this much to be said in praise of Jonathan Turley, professor of “public interest law” at George Washington University Law School, and frequent bobblehead on cable TV shows: at least he isn’t a supercilious smug-mugger like Jeffrey Toobin.  In addition, unlike Toobin, Turley often gets things right. But come on man, you’re only just discovering now that the federal administrative bureaucracy—the “fourth branch of government”—has become problematic?  From Turley’s »

Live from the Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute

Featured image At the moment I am listening to the ostentatiously liberal Judge Mark Bennett of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa summarize the Supreme Court’s employment law decisions of the past year. Judge Bennett wants us to know that he has got his mind right (i.e., left), and how. I understood that from his disparagement of the conservative Supreme Court justices as “the usual suspects.” That »

Five notes on five takes

Featured image Glenn Reynolds not only teaches law at the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he is the Beauchamp Brogan Professor of Law, he writes regular newspaper columns and books of general interest, conducts interviews for InstaVision, and scours the Web for material of interest to flag on InstaPundit, which looks like it would have to be a full-time job all by itself. And he also publishes readable law review »

The barbarism in Philadelphia

Featured image I first became aware of the Gosnell case through Joseph Bottum’s February 2011 Weekly Standard article “To live and die in Philadelphia” and Clarke Forsythe’s January 2011 Weekly Standard online column “The Supreme Court’s back alley runs through Philadelphia.” Bottum’s and Forsythe’s pieces were based on the grand jury report in the case, which has now gone to trial. The Standard takes another look at the Gosnell case today, not »

CRB: Gay rites

Featured image We conclude our preview of the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books this morning with a humdinger. Thanks to our friends at the CRB for the privilege of previewing the issue for Power Line readers. Please think about subscribing here for the ridiculously low price of $19.95 and getting access to the whole shooting match online immediately in addition to home delivery of the hard copy at some »

Affirmative action forever

Featured image In an excellent Wall Street Journal column James Taranto holds out hope that the Supreme Court is on the verge of ending the regime of racial discrimination that it has licensed in higher education. I hope Taranto is right, but I think pessimism is warranted. I’m taking the liberty of reiterating my own observations on the subject below. The principle of equal treatment without regard to race is one that »

Report: The Supreme Court will probably duck the merits of the Prop 8 case

Featured image Tom Goldstein, as shrewd an observer of the Supreme Court as anyone I’m aware of, believes that the Court “probably will not have the five votes necessary to get to any result at all, and almost certainly will not have five votes to decide the merits of whether Proposition 8 is constitutional.” The Court could avoid reaching the merits by deciding that the defenders of Prop 8 lack standing to »

The reductio ad absurdum of American constitutional jurisprudence

Featured image Jim Palmer once said of Earl Weaver, after the manager had offered the Hall of Fame pitcher a tip, “All Weaver knows about pitching is he couldn’t hit it.” As I write this, the Supreme Court of the United States is preparing to hear oral argument in a case where the core question is the rationality/utility of the age-old definition of marriage. I’m tempted to say of some of the »

Abu Ghaith’s day in court

Featured image The New York Times reports: Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who once served as a spokesman for Al Qaeda, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Friday morning in federal court in Manhattan, where he was charged with conspiring to kill Americans. Now you may be wondering what is going on here. “Mr. Abu Ghaith” as the Times refers to him, is charged with conspiracy to »

Tall tale for a short sale: The unraveling

Featured image In May 2010 we posted a report on (Democratic) Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway under the heading “Tall tale for a short sale.” With the assistance of reader and Philadelphia attorney Martin Karo, who provided an account better than any to be found in the press either now or then, we noted that Hathaway had “screwed her bank and the taxpayers who bailed it out.” We quoted Steve Fishman, »

A point of privilege

Featured image On February 16, 2002, a Palestinian terrorist blew himself up in a packed pizzeria in the Israeli town of Karnei Shomron, killing American citizens Keren Shatsky, 15, and Rachel Thaler, 16 and Israeli teenager Nehemia Amar, 15. The Israel Law Center does not want to forget what was revealed in the apparently privileged document inadvertently produced by the Palestinian Authority/PLO in the lawsuit brought against them in federal court by »

Settlement of the year

Featured image Legal observers seeking to declare a settlement of the year would have had to wait just about until the last minute to catch the resolution of the class action classic brought against Toyota. As the Wall Street Journal presents it, the class-action lawsuit alleges that a flaw in Toyota’s electronic throttle-control system—and not ill-fitting floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals—were causing Toyota drivers to accelerate out of control and crash. »

O’Sullivan’s First Law (Sadly) Vindicated Again

Featured image John O’Sullivan, former editor of National Review, senior aide to Margaret Thatcher, and former head of Radio Free Europe, is also the progenitor of what he calls “O’Sullivan’s First Law,” which holds: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.”  As John explains: I cite as supporting evidence the ACLU, the Ford Foundation, and the Episcopal Church. The reason is, of course, that people who staff »

Uncommon Knowledge with Antonin Scalia

Featured image Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia visits Uncommon Knowledge for a wide ranging interview including “the living Constitution,” Roe v. Wade, the constitutionality of the death penalty, the proper reading of the Second Amendment, and the true meaning of stare decisis. The occasion of Justice Scalia’s appearance is the publication of his new book, written with Bryan Garner: Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. At one point in the conversation, »