Monthly Archives: May 2010

Being a judge is not a pre-req

Scalia thinks it’s a good thing that Kagan is not a judge.

“When I first came to the Supreme Court [in 1986], three of my colleagues had never been a federal judge,” Scalia said. “William Rehnquist came to the bench from the Office of Legal Counsel. Byron White was deputy attorney general. And Lewis Powell … was a private lawyer in Richmond and had been president of the American Bar Association.”

“I am happy to see that this latest nominee is not a federal judge—and not a judge at all,” Scalia said.

(via ABAJournal)

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Kagan as a student

While at Harvard, as a student, Elena Kagan was no dunce.

(via Josh Blackman’s Blog)

Bluebooks: who needs them? (besides law students)

The newest Bluebook is out, edition number 19, if you are keeping track. The question is, do I really need it for my practice?  [cricket, cricket]

No.  As well put by Raymond Ward:

As a practicing lawyer, here’s what I need to know how to cite, in descending order of importance: statutes, cases, constitutions, treatises, law-review articles, and web pages. Everything I need to know to cite those sources should fit on the front and back of one page. And except for web pages, citation of every one of those sources was covered in the Bluebook I used in law school in the 1980s.

If someone can show me that the Bluebook’s 19th edition will help me cite stuff that (a) I might actually cite in real-world legal practice, and (b) isn’t covered by a citation guide I already own, I might consider buying it. Otherwise, I’ll pass.

(via: The (new) legal writer)

“Judge Who Lost Pants Forced to Rely on Briefs”

I can’t help it.  The headline is too funny to avoid stealing it from “Lowering the Bar.” I’ll give them the credit, though, and the whole story:

When we last saw Roy, in July 2009, he was losing his wrongful-termination case against the District of Columbia, his former boss, and others, a case he filed after he was not reappointed to another term as a D.C. administrative law judge.  See Judge Who Lost Pants Loses Another Suit,” Lowering the Bar (July 31, 2009).  The decision not to reappoint him may or may not have had something to do with Pearson’s valiant years-long battle with his dry cleaners over an allegedly lost pair of pants, which made national headlines largely due to Pearson’s demand for 65 million dollars in compensation.  He always insisted it was not about the pants, and later reduced his demand to $54 million, apparently in order to make that point.  See Judge Drops Pants; Suit Still On,” Lowering the Bar (June 6, 2007).  He lost anyway.

But a loss has never deterred Roy Pearson, Jr., and the more he loses the more not-deterred he seems to be.  Today’s report involves his appeal in the wrongful-termination case, which was dismissed by the lower court.  That is not going to change on appeal, an opinion that I think is reinforced by the D.C. Circuit’s cancellation of the scheduled oral argument, which was to have taken place tomorrow (May 11).  The court said it had decided that oral argument in the matter was unnecessary, and that it would decide the appeal based on the briefs.  This is generally a bad sign for the party with the weaker argument, which in this case, as in pretty much every case, is Roy Pearson.

C’mon, really?  This is too funny to be fiction.  You can’t make this stuff up!

(via Lowering the Bar)

President Obama responds to HCR challenges

I’ve written before about the constitutional challenges to the Obama healthcare reforms.  As reported over at Paper Chase

The Obama administration is also facing health care lawsuits in Virginia and Florida, filed by numerous state attorneys general. Last month, Georgia joined 18 other states [JURIST report] in a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] filed [JURIST report] in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida [official website]. The 18 other states involved in the suit are Florida, Texas, South Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Washington, Colorado, Michigan, Utah, Alabama, South Dakota, Idaho, Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada, and Arizona. Seven more states are set to join the lawsuit [WP report] Friday. Meanwhile, Virginia has filed a separate lawsuit after that state’s legislature passed a bill barring mandatory individual health coverage [JURIST report].

Well, the first response to any of the lawsuits has finally been filed.  In response to a suit iby the Thomas More Law Center, the Obama Administration filed a brief in the Eastern District of Michigan asserting that the law was well within the powers of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, an unsurprising argument.  Among other things:

Congress determined that the health care system in the United States is in crisis, spawning public expense and private tragedy. After decades of failed attempts, Congress enacted comprehensive health care reform to deal with this overwhelming national problem. The minimum coverage provision is vital to that comprehensive scheme. Enjoining it would thwart this reform and reignite the crisis that the elected branches of government acted to forestall.

This sounds like the argument to uphold the government’s argument is that regardless of constitutionality, upholding the law is crucial to holding off the crisis that the law is intended to solve.  OR, the ends justify the means, so don’t mess with the ends.

Do they?  Your take?

(via Paper Chase)