Category Archives: Bench & Bar

Orin Kerr: Legal scholarship in the lean years

    Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy: “In the last five years, legal education has witnessed a dramatic reduction in demand. Applications are down, forcing many schools to shrink class size and discount tuition to attract students through “merit” scholarships (and more recently, in rare cases, across-the-board tuition cuts). With income down, schools must cut expenses, the largest chunk of which are faculty salaries. Many schools have encouraged senior faculty to retire, and faculty hiring across the board has been sharply curtailed. As I see it, we’re seeing a return to the period before the boom decade of about 1999-2009. In that window, many law schools had lots of extra cash that they spent on new buildings, better amenities and more and better-salaried professors. The boom is over, and a lot of schools are trying to adjust.”


  • Posted: 04/15/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.washingtonpost.com

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Wild-card 10th Circuit judge is deciding vote in marriage cases

Obama now outpacing George W. Bush on judges

Is it Clarence Thomas’s court?

Brooklyn Law School to cut tuition by 15%

Justice Department will not prosecute retired Sixth Circuit judge

Senate confirms John B. Owens to seat on 9th Circuit

Texas Judge Costa moves to full Senate vote

N.J. chief justice could fall victim to political tides

Hawaii Senate confirms Wilson as state Supreme Court justice

Tennessee special court upholds judicial retention elections

Conservative Jim Johnson will retire from Washington Supreme Court

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “State Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson, the high court’s lone outspoken conservative, announced Monday that he will retire from the court on April 30. Johnson has been absent, due to illness, for much of the court’s current term. Once a top aide to then-Attorney General Slade Gorton, he is serving his second term on the high court and would have been up for reelection in 2016.”


  • Posted: 03/18/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: blog.seattlepi.com

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Matthew J. Franck: How Justice Clarence Thomas earned his enemies

Erwin Chemerinsky: Ginsburg should retire

    Los Angeles Times: “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire from the Supreme Court after the completion of the current term in June. She turned 81 on Saturday and by all accounts she is healthy and physically and mentally able to continue. But only by resigning this summer can she ensure that a Democratic president will be able to choose a successor who shares her views and values.”


  • Posted: 03/17/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.latimes.com

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No country for old SCOTUS justices

    James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal: “What would happen in the Senate if Ginsburg, Breyer or both retired this spring, as Bernstein advises? Unlike in 1968, the number of conservative Senate Democrats is somewhere between zero and very few, so an Obama nominee ought to be able to command a majority in a 55-45 Democratic Senate. But it could be an uncomfortable vote for those who represent heavily Republican states, especially the five of them who will face the voters in November. That’s especially true if Ginsburg and Breyer retire simultaneously, raising the appearance of concerted politicization of the court.”


  • Posted: 03/17/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: online.wsj.com

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Will Justices Ginsburg and Breyer head for the exit?

Senate panel delays Costa for 5th Circuit Court

Former Kansas AG Kline seeks U.S. Supreme Court review of license suspension

Senate confirms Carolyn McHugh to 10th Circuit bench

Alaska Supreme Court in crossfire over how judges are nominated

Senate set to elevate Utah judge to 10th Circuit

Same-sex “marriage” tests state Attorneys General

Heritage event on state AG’s failure to defend marriage laws

Hawaii: Senators recommend confirmation of Wilson to high court

Ex-U.S. magistrate who changed baby’s name from “Messiah” censured

Judge Posner, Judge Wilkinson, and Judicial Critique of Constitutional Theory

Eric Holder: Actually, somebody does have to defend marriage amendments

Hiring of law grads improves for some

NLJ: The go-to law schools

    National Law Journal: “We’ve ranked the top 50 law schools by the percentage of 2013 law school graduates who took jobs at NLJ 250 firms—the nation’s largest by headcount as identified in The National Law Journal’s annual survey. We’ve also identified the law schools that saw the most alumni promoted to partner during 2013, and compared how each law school’s cost compares to its large firm hiring record.”


  • Posted: 02/24/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.nationallawjournal.com

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27 liberal groups oppose Obama judicial nominee

NJ bar group backs chief justice, warns governor

Governor names Michael Wilson to Hawaii Supreme Court

American courts using foreign law that incorporates religious law

    Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy: “While American courts cannot and should not decide what sharia calls for (as I argued in the preceding post), and thus cannot enforce contracts that call for the application of sharia, American courts rightly do consider the law of foreign countries that apply sharia. In doing so, courts don’t purport to decide what Islamic law actually requires, or risk taking sides in intradenominational debates (or other debates) within a religion (which would potentially endorse one or another religious view, or discriminate among religious observers). They simply try to identify what law would be applied by the courts of the foreign country, whether that country is Saudi Arabia, Israel or Greece.”


  • Posted: 02/19/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.washingtonpost.com

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Cameras in the Supreme Court? Not so fast

Judicial nominations debate looms after recess

Ads push cameras in Supreme Court

Eugene Volokh on sharia law in American courts

    The Volokh Conspiracy: “In my experience, much of the criticism of the use of Sharia in American courts has come from the political Right. And I myself am generally a political conservative, and one who shares some of the concerns about the use of Islamic law in certain contexts. . . . Nonetheless, I think many other complaints about incidents of alleged ‘creeping Sharia’ in American law are misguided, partly because the complaints miss the way those incidents simply reflect well-settled (and sound) American law.”


  • Posted: 02/18/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.washingtonpost.com

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Scalia laments removal of religious ideals from public education

    Chicago Tribune: Scalia said that among his concerns is the removal of religious ideals from public education. ‘Let me make clear that I am not saying that every good American must believe in God,’ Scalia said in a speech at the Union League Club. ‘What I am saying, however, is that it is contrary to our founding principles to insist that government be hostile to religion. Or even to insist, as my court, alas, has done, that government cannot favor religion over nonreligion.’”


  • Posted: 02/17/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: articles.chicagotribune.com

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Gov. Jerry Brown puts deep imprint on California judiciary

Interest groups gear up for next Supreme Court vacancy

    NPR: “Republicans are growing increasingly confident that they can win control of the Senate this fall — and with it the power to block, or at least bedevil, Obama’s efforts to fill potential Supreme Court vacancies during his last two years in office. That prospect means that interest groups including the National Rifle Association, the conservative Committee for Justice, and the liberal People for the American Way are starting to fire up their message machines in what all view as a singular opportunity to shape the high court going forward, given its current makeup.”


  • Posted: 02/13/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.npr.org

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Supreme Court Rule 28.8 may be invalid

Brennan seeks Montana Supreme Court seat

Assessing the Chief Justice’s self-assignment of majority opinions

    Amanda Frost at SCOTUSblog: “One of the Supreme Court’s (many) unwritten rules is that the Chief Justice selects the author of any opinion in which he is in the majority. In a recent article in Judicature, Linda Greenhouse analyzes the use of this prerogative by Chief Justice John Roberts and finds that, like many Chief Justices before him, he assigns himself the opinion more often in high-salience cases, and in particular those in which the Court is closely divided.”


  • Posted: 02/07/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.scotusblog.com

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Toal wins historic duel for SC chief justice post

President Obama to nominate Cheryl Ann Krause to 3rd Circuit

Alabama Chief Justice pushes for marriage protection amendments

Proposal would bar California judges from Scout participation

Showdown time in S.C. Supreme Court chief justice race

Plan to shrink Washington Supreme Court size to be heard by Senate

Tennessee judge who ordered name change for baby Messiah fired

The Constitution outside the courts: President Obama

    Lyle Denniston at Constitution Daily: “Many Americans, not just the courts, help shape the meaning of the Constitution in the nation’s life. This series explains the actual or potential contributions of these other individuals, groups, or institutions. Today’s Constitution-maker is President Obama. In his State of the Union message last week, the President declared a measure of independence from Congress, saying that he would not wait for the legislative process to take action that he believed was necessary.”


  • Posted: 02/04/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: blog.constitutioncenter.org

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Colorado AG: A “veto” attorneys general shouldn’t wield

Justice Sotomayor describes navigating new worlds

Justice Alito: Court can’t worry about popularity

Judge O’Scannlain on Joseph Story, natural law, and modern confusion

A Conversation with Justice Scalia | UNC School of Government Blog

Strine confirmed as next chief justice of Delaware Supreme Court

Panel recommends judge’s suspension and fine for selling religious items in courthouse

Intellectual diversity in the legal academy

Court system hit with cyberattack

    Politico: “The incident affected uscourts.gov, the federal court’s public hub, as well as most if not all federal court sites — not to mention the federal court system’s electronic filing system and its access page, PACER, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said Friday.”


  • Posted: 01/24/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.politico.com

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Rob Schwarzwalder: Conservatives and the Constitution

Eugene Volokh: Could foreign law jeopardize American constitutional rights?

Kansans for Life seeks state Supreme Court changes

Lyle Denniston: Did Windsor already settle the fate of state marriage protection amendments?

Orange County lawyer disbarred for possessing child pornography

George Will: “Judicial activism isn’t a bad thing”

The origins of originalism | Ilya Somin

    Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy: “Jack is right that the emergence of originalism as a “self-conscious” theory of constitutional interpretation is relatively recent. The same can be said of living constitutionalism, which did not emerge as a distinct, self-conscious school of thought until the early 20th century or even later (depending on how you define the movement). But it is also important to recognize that the idea that judicial interpretations of the Constitution should be guided by the way the document was understood at the time of ratification is not of recent origin.”


  • Posted: 01/22/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.washingtonpost.com

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Why are Americans Originalist? | Jack M. Balkin

Washington Post picks up The Volokh Conspiracy legal blog

Utah and Oklahoma marriage cases put 10th Circuit in spotlight

Ave Maria School of Law named best Catholic law school

Some law schools cutting tuition amid dismal legal jobs market

William Hood sworn in as 103rd Colorado Supreme Court justice

Senate confirms Wilkins to D.C. Circuit