Monthly Archives: April 2011

Fewer Elections, More Accountability

Yevgeny Shrago The Economist ran a special report last week about the dysfunctional mess that is California’s finances. Along with providing their outsider’s perspective on the out of whack initiative process and legislative supermajority rules that make the Senate filibuster look sane, the Economist considered, with gentle British mockery, the multitude of elected state officials. Californians vote for nine statewide…

Sovereign Immunity Case Raises Question of Courts Lawyering for Parties

Michael Stephan Last Thursday, the Ninth Circuit decided Tobar v. United States, a case dealing with sovereign immunity in the admiralty law context.  At first glance, Tobar appears to be a relatively straightforward decision about whether the United States has waived sovereign immunity from a suit brought by Ecuadorian fishermen who had their boat temporarily seized by the…

Chris Christie Lambasts the State’s Judiciary

Smita Ghosh  “If that’s the kind of New Jersey you want to live in, that’s find by me,” Chris Christie noted threateningly at a Town Hall meeting in Hamilton Township.  Chris Christie wasn’t talking about Snooki’s Jersey Shore, or reported bed bug sightings in Hackensack and Paramus.  In fact, Christie was referring to the state-wide effects of Judge Barry Albin, who…

The Backwards Prosecution of Bradley Manning

Jake Laperruque Our criminal system has a straightforward structure:  First, the defendant is tried.  Next, a verdict is rendered.  Finally, if found guilty, a sentence is carried out.  However, for Pfc. Bradley Manning, this process has gone in reverse.  For his alleged role as a key Wikileaks source, Manning is being subjected to the Bizarro…

The Trouble with DOMA

Marshall Thompson The high-priced firm that Rep. John Boehner hired to defend the Defense of Marriage Act dropped out yesterday amid pressure from its clients. This comes after the Obama Administration decided that the law was constitutionally indefensible and passed the onus on to the House of Representatives to defend it in February. Former Solicitor General Paul Clement,…

The Wired Law School Classroom: How Much is Too Much?

Jay Willis Yesterday, the Boston Globe profiled the expanded use of technology in colleges and law schools, writing that institutional eagerness to make the Internet available in classrooms has been replaced with trepidation at what many professors and administrators now feel is a counterproductive distraction; for example, Jonathan Zittrain, a professor at Harvard Law School and co-founder of the Berkman…

Opening the Guantánamo Files

 Anthony Kammer On April 24, the Guantánamo files, a cache of leaked documents containing dossiers on 759 detainees were made available to the public via a number of major news outlets and through the Wikileaks website. The Obama Administration’s early response is available here. Both the revelations of the documents themselves and way the leak was published are proving to be fascinating…

Federal Government Versus Boeing

 Daniel Rosenthal In a dramatic and potentially groundbreaking move, the federal government has taken on Boeing, one of the largest and most important companies in the United States, for labor law violations.   The government has charged Boeing with violations in connection with its decision to build a new plant in South Carolina and thereby reduce production…

Will the new CFPB Director be our First Real Czar?

Zach Luck  Wikipedia has a great list of all the “[fill-in-the-broad-policy-concern] Czars” here.  Obama has already handed out at least 37 Czar titles.  With all these Czars running around, is it possible that the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) might be the first real federal Czar of anything? By “real Czar” I…

Wild Wild Websites

Jake Laperruque  Last month, I discussed how the presidential campaign is moving slowly, with no Republican candidates formally entering the fray.  Since then, more potential candidates have formed exploratory committees, but with just nine months remaining before the Iowa Caucuses, there is still not a single official candidate for the nomination.  However, the website of one…

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