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Windsor vs. United States

Today, the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that "we conclude that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates equal protection and is therefore unconstitutional" [PDF of decision]. Plaintiff Edie Windsor has also petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear her case. [more inside]
posted by catlet on Oct 18, 2012 - 51 comments

A Third Verdict

Former Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter, who passed away this morning, is most recently known for his switch from the GOP to the Democratic Party in 2010. Specter is also distinguished for his vote in the Clinton impeachment trial: "not proven," a choice available to Scottish jurors when they believe insufficient evidence has been presented to prove the defendant's guilt. [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on Oct 14, 2012 - 58 comments

epistolary novel

Clay Shirky: How the Internet will (one day) transform government [1,2,3] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 26, 2012 - 46 comments

ABA Gives Wallace 'Not Qualified' Rating, Stiffs Spector

Looks like the battle over Bush's judicial nominations may be back on. In February, Bush nominated Michael B. Wallace to a seat on the Fifth Circuit. Not long after, the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, which evaluates the professional qualifications of all nominees for the federal bench, gave Wallace a 'not qualified' rating. With that rating, Wallace joins company with other similarly unqualified judicial nominees such Richard Posner, Frank Easterbrook, and J. Harvie Wilkinson III. [more inside]
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jul 26, 2006 - 70 comments

Luttig resigns Fourth Circuit post.

Luttig Resigns. Judge J. Michael Luttig, long considered a front-runner for a Supreme Court nomination, at least until he was passed over by President Bush, has resigned his position on the Fourth circuit. Luttig will take over as general counsel to Boeing. Read Boeing's press release and Luttig's resignation letter [pdf].
posted by monju_bosatsu on May 10, 2006 - 29 comments

The slow passing of an era in civil rights.

Constance Baker Motley, civil rights lawyer and federal judge, is dead at age 84. (NYT; bugmenot). She was a brilliant lawyer in the NAACP's Legal Defense and Educational Fund when it was led by Thurgood Marshall, winning anti-segregationist legal victories against Alabama Governor George Wallace and many others, and defending the civil rights movement. A New Yorker, she was a state senator and borough president of Manhattan. In 1966, Lyndon Johnson appointed her to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and she became the first black woman federal judge in the United States. Speeches, writings and clippings.
posted by By The Grace of God on Sep 29, 2005 - 10 comments

Filibustering The Frist Center

Princeton Students and Polticians Stage Filibuster -- Princeton students started a filibuster at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University to protest the impending unloading of the "nuclear option" in the United States Senate. Bill Frist is a Princeton alum and his family donated the building the filibuster is in front of. It's been going on for a whopping 78 hours already and looks to at least go through the weekend. Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) spoke earlier today, and NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora was there yesterday. They've even got physicists (one and two) and a Nobel Prize winner.
posted by nathanrudy on Apr 29, 2005 - 20 comments

Who is Too Important for Prison?

Former University of Pennsylvania professor and head of Penn's Head Injury Research Center Tracy McIntosh, a Fulbright scholar, and renowned researcher plead no contest in December to possession of a controlled substance and the sexual assault of a 25 year-old Penn student. Judge Rayford Means sentenced him to a year of house arrest and 12 years' probation, as the Judge had "factored in McIntosh's important work with stroke victims and brain injuries."

Tracy McIntosh is too important for prison.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Mar 5, 2005 - 68 comments

The music is here

Judgment Day: Roy Moore faces the music for defying federal law. Misconduct aside, will Roy Moore become a martyr? I think he should go, but is it wise? I believe it is; I mean someone needs to reign the "runaway" judiciary the Republicans are always talking about. (Who knew that their own straw-man would bite them it the ass?)
posted by Bag Man on Nov 11, 2003 - 23 comments

Judicial activism

Judicial activism rears it's ugly head. But it is disingenuous to claim that activism is the mantle of liberals. Can you say "strict constructionist?" I didn't think so.
posted by nofundy on Jul 8, 2002 - 11 comments

"I never had much confidence in the attention span of elected officials for any kind of deep thinking about important issues,"

"I never had much confidence in the attention span of elected officials for any kind of deep thinking about important issues," jabs Republican U.S. judge Alfred Goodwin in a feisty interview. He seems unfazed by the outraged reaction to his ban on government teachers leading a theistic "pledge of allegiance," ripping into the press "("Their attention span can't handle anything more than a haiku of about four lines"), the President ("I'm a little disappointed in our chief executive -- who nobody ever accused of being a deep thinker -- for popping off") and "this wrap-yourself-in-the-flag frenzy." I'm starting to see why he's "among the best-liked jurists on the 9th Circuit bench, always affable and gracious." [from cursor.org]
posted by mediareport on Jul 6, 2002 - 33 comments

For Comment: "Does personality override politics in the Rehnquist Supreme Court?"

For Comment: "Does personality override politics in the Rehnquist Supreme Court?"
File under: "What is the rhetorical and effective nature of constitutional interpretation and judicial review?" I have always been intrigued by the ways in which the justices of the Supreme Court selectively reveal tidbits about their personality and the nature of their interactions. "Scalia and Ginsburg are polar opposites, but are secretly best friends!" "O'Connor likes Georgia O'Keefe, and has several originals in her office!"

While much of this can be explained by the media creating a story where there is none, the above comments by Thomas lead me to wonder that, if 'opinion' is the form by which laws are reviewed, then perhaps 'individuality,' 'style,' or 'personality' have an impact on how the concept of justice and constitutionality are applied.
posted by rschram on Dec 14, 2000 - 8 comments

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