jurisprudence

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, »

Judge Posner and the abdication of intellectual responsibility

Featured image I wrote here about Judge Richard Posner’s book review of Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts by Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner. In that post, I linked to Ed Whelan’s five part take down of Posner’s review, which revealed it to be a rather crude hatchet job. Posner himself was, if anything, even more revealing during an interview earlier this summer conducted by NPR’s Nina Totenberg. According to »

Judge Posner’s hatchet job on Justice Scalia’s book

Featured image I have long admired Richard Posner, both as a jurist and a thinker. With the possible exception of Bill James, I can’t think of a writer of non-fiction whose work I have read more of. Posner’s latest published work is a review of »