Friday, February 26, 2010

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

It looks like the incumbents are doing a fantastic job of torpedoing America's confidence in the federal government. From CNN:
A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.
Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government's become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.
Of course, there is a bit of partisanship in these number:
The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.
Regardless of your political affiliation, however, one feeling is constant throughout the political spectrum:
. . . Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken . . .
Americans tend to get into a revolutionary spirit when they believe their liberty is under siege. Does this mean a drastic shakeup of the federal government is on the horizon? A power shift back to the states? Only time will tell, but times of crisis tend to yield the greatest changes in our system of government.

FOLLOW-UP: Rasmussen Reports polling data shows that only 21 percent of voters believe the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Digital GW Shorts

So, it's that time of year when Law Revue shows are live. A tipster sent us this video from GW's 2010 show, and we couldn't resist posting it. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Obama Will Nominate Berkeley Law Professor to 9th Circuit

From the L.A. Times:
President Obama will nominate UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday. . . .

Liu carries credentials that some conservatives love to hate -- including a leadership position in a progressive legal group and a record of opposing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

But he has conservative admirers too. Liu has supported school choice as a solution to problems in urban education, and has served as faculty advisor to the California College Preparatory Academy, a public charter school. He came to the White House's attention with the recommendation of some conservatives.
If confirmed, he could be the only full-time Asian American judge on a federal appellate court. A senior administration official revealed his nomination on condition of anonymity.
I'm sure Fed Courts professors everywhere are ecstatic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

NCAA Brings the "House" Down on Rodriguez, Michigan

The NCAA initiated a letter detailing five general allegations of violations against the Michigan football program. Adam Rittenberg at ESPN summarizes the allegations:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bad Year in Legal Employment

The National Law Journal issued its annual Go-To Law School List, and the results reek of the recession. Even the top schools placed little more than half of their respective graduating classes into NLJ 250 firms. The top 10 law schools this year in terms of total percentage of the class placed:
1. Northwestern -- 55.9%
2. Columbia -- 54.4%
3. Stanford -- 54.1%
4. Chicago -- 53.1%
5. Virginia -- 52.8%
6. Michigan -- 51%
7. Penn -- 50.8%
8. NYU -- 50.1%
9. Berkeley -- 50%
10. Duke -- 49.8%
Obviously, schools like Harvard (47.6%) and Yale (35.3%) had smaller numbers because graduates of those schools tend to pursue the clerkship and academia routes more heavily. Check out the full rankings.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Acquisition News

Walgreen is buying out Duane Reade for $618 million in an effort to gain a leading presence in the drugstore industry.

According to the New York Times, "The deal, announced Wednesday, will transform the retailer into one of New York City’s biggest sellers of cosmetics and toothpaste without having to resort to costly real estate purchases."

Read about it here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Iran and Privacy

Just when you think the Iranian government couldn't get any more benevolent, it seems like it thinks its citizens prefer government-run e-mail instead of g-mail. And it isn't affording a choice in the matter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cui Boneheads-- Illinois Machine Keeps Rollin' Crookedly Along.

The Romans were wise; when looking at issues, they stressed the need to discern "Cui Bono?" or "To Who's Benefit?" Whenever I read news about the Illinois political landscape, my brain literally screams "Cui Bono, bro?" (my inner mind has a touch of the Jerz, I guess). I mean, Illinois is the land of the criminal governor; the home of 28 convicted Chicago aldermen. The list of crookedness can go on...and on... and on.

So, I was not surprised when I read that Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan proposed doing away with the office of Lieutenant Governor in a Constitutional amendment. "Why weren't you surprised?" you ask. Well, because I knew (after a brief refresher) that the elimination of the Lieutenant Governor's office would result in the Attorney General becoming the first in line of Gubernatorial succession. No big deal, right? Wrong-- Lil Mikey's daughter just so happens to be the current Attorney General. And, she is running pretty much unopposed for another term (and will continue to run unopposed for the foreseeable future).

This leads me to wonder: what dirt do the Mad Madigans have on Patrick Quinn and/or his Republican competitors?

Illinois-- the Land of Political Creepin'.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A New Approach to Anti-Abortion Ads

In Atlanta, pro life supporters are putting a new spin on their ads by reaching out to minorities. Their billboards read, "Black children are an endangered species." The New York Times reports that these groups see abortion as a tool for racists who effectively want to exterminate the African American population. Yet, census data shows that the fertility rate among African American women remains higher than the national average. I would hope that pro choice proponents at least respect the fact that certain people believe life begins at conception. However, it seems that bringing racism into it is an extreme and unwarranted attempt by anti-abortion advocates to gain more support.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Life as a Lawyer...

For those considering law school, be careful to remember that e-mails like these pop into your inbox from time to time once you take the plunge! Of course, your mileage may vary...

Senator Kerry's Quest to Amend the Constitution

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission should be stale news to you by now. The new debate is how the disappointed executive and legislative branches will react to the judiciary's (alleged) overreaching.

Senator Kerry suggests starting at the source: amend the constitution. From the Huffington Post:
At a hearing on Tuesday, Kerry said that in the short term he wanted Congress to quickly pass countermeasures that would require corporations to get shareholder approval for political spending and prohibit spending by domestic subsidiaries of foreign corporations and government contractors.

'But we may also need to think bigger,' Kerry said. 'I think we need a constitutional amendment to make it clear once and for all that corporations do not have the same free speech rights as individuals.'
While, undoubtedly, Justice Scalia would be proud of Senator Kerry for actually changing the constitution's text to effect a change in its meaning, I can't imagine a bigger third-rail for the Senior Senator than running on a platform of "let's fix the first amendment."

More likely than not, Citizens United will be somewhat curtailed by a more mundane act of Congress. Proposals have ranged from requiring shareholder approval of any corporate campaign spending to preventing corporations from listing on exchanges if they fund campaign speech. Whether such an act will withstand the scrutiny of SCOTUS' all seeing eyes is another question (but commentators seem to say no).

So we may be in for a show. Hopefully the 28th Amendment will be a little more spicy than the underwhelming 27th Amendment.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Historic Redline - Early Draft of U.S. Constitution Found in Philadelphia

Historians in Philadelphia were perusing some of the more than 21 million documents in the Historical Society of Philadelphia's collection when they stumbled upon what appeared to be an original draft of the U.S. Constitution. From the Inquirer Journal:
Researcher Lorianne Updike Toler was intrigued by the centuries-old document at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. On the back of a treasured draft of the U.S. Constitution was a truncated version of the same document, starting with the familiar words: "We The People. . . ."