Monthly Archives: October 2011

Failure To Communicate

Jake Laperruque As I discussed before, the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen United v FEC has opened the door to excessive corporate involvement in elections; in the 2010 midterms tens of millions of dollars were taken from corporate general treasuries for election activities, and given the lack of disclosure requirements, these known expenditures are likely only the tip…

Economic Diversity in the Federal Judiciary

 David Yin Diversity, in its many facets, remains a ongoing issue for the federal judiciary. The National Women’s Law Center recently published a report highlighting the current status of female judges at the federal level. Only 30% of Circuit Court, and District Court, judges are women, and some jurisdictions are (even) less equal than others. The Eighth…

DOJ’s Aulaqi Memo Under Fire

 Billy Corriher A law professor recently compared the Department of Justice’s legal memo justifying the Anwar al-Aulaqi killing to the Bush administration’s notorious torture memos.  Professor Noah Feldman suggested that the OLC again twisted the law to achieve certain ends.  Feldman says that critics of the torture memos believed “there was something wrong with the president acting…

Freedom of Information Act Requests and the War on Terror

Huaou Yan It looks like October will be a bad month for those of us hoping for a little more government transparency in the War on Terror. As Billy Corriher of this blog has already noted, in the context of the secret OLC memo justifying the assassination of Anwar al-Aulaqi, that it would be unfair to criticize…

Justice Scalia Is Speaking for Just About Everybody on This One

Frank Housh It was a great mistake to put routine drug offenses into the federal courts. United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia testifying before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on October 2, 2011. As I was finishing law school in 1993 and making the job interview rounds, I found myself sitting across from a pleasant…

Unknowable Consequences: Israel’s Prisoner Swap

Catherine Moore  Today’s 1:1,027 prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas represents a number of important shifts in the Middle East dialogue.  Gilad Shalit was taken prisoner in 2006 after terrorists tunneled from Gaza into Israel to murder two IDF soldiers and take 19 year-old Shalit captive.  Although Shalit was literally a few miles from Israel,…

Terrorist Suspect Tried in Civilian Court; Head for the Hills!

 Mark Wilson  Last week, the “underwear bomber,” also known not nearly so well by the name Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, pleaded guilty to eight charges in a Detroit courtroom. Then, without warning, terrorists burst into the courtroom and blew up the entire building. Congress banded together, speaking in one voice, and passed a bill that required terrorism suspects to…

The Learned Helplessness of the Rational Voter

Anthony Kammer  By applying rational choice theory to voting, one unavoidably concludes that voting to affect electoral outcomes is almost never worth the time and effort. As Steven Levitt of Freakonomics observed, “Nobody in their right mind votes because they think they’re going to affect the outcome of an election. If you look over the last…

Canadian Insight on Drug Injection Clinics

David Yin  Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered the Canadian Government to allow Insite, a narcotics injection clinic, to remain open. Insite was an experimental clinic created in 2003 by the provincial government of British Columbia and the city of Vancouver, and was granted an exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act by the then-Liberal government…

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