Thursday, June 26, 2008

Moran Leaves the Village

Leiter is reporting that our very own Prof. Moran is leaving for the new law school at UCI. She's a great scholar and a ummm quirky teacher. Clearly, she has an above average sense of humor and a quick-wit. At the same time, she still has the old-school, completely Socratic, closed-book finals mind-set. Shug better pick up the slack for the incoming 1Ls.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Anthony

First, only a fool would call Justice Kennedy a liberal (frequently conservative blogs in fact do use that label). So let's not get carried away. But in both Boumediene and today in Kennedy v. Louisiana, Justice Kennedy authored a sweeping opinion enshrining the rights to habeas and the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. In that sense, he is upholding the traditional conservative (or classical liberal) view of true limited government that has articulated limits in its dealing with its subjects. This is of course to be distinguished from the modern GOP which supports limiting government when it helps those who vote for the other party and expanding government when it crushes those who stand in your way.

Reading Justice Kennedy's recitation of the history of The Great Writ and its importance, I remembered this NPR program where Prof. Volokh made an appearance following the Padilla and Hamdi decisions. There, he argues that the decision can be carried to far, to the point where during WWII Nazis could have filed habeas petitions and clogged our courts. (See also this post describing the hypo). Listen to it starting around the 25 minute mark. It's really fascinating (e.g., "If the actual war in Iraq continued, we may have taken thousands of prisoners"). I wasn't even a law student at the time, but I realized that the hypothetical only makes sense if you accept the administrations view that it can create a group of people who are not entitled to any rights, hold them indefinitely, deprive them of their right to counsel, to confront witnesses, to torture them, etc. If, however, common article III and other provisions of the GC apply to those who fight even out of uniform, then their status must be determined by an impartial tribunal. I do wonder where Prof. Volokh's views lie now. Four years have passed, half the prisoners in GTMO at the time have been released, mistreatment of prisoners ran rampant, there has not been any effective means of fairly determining the status of the prisoners, the GWOT is not anywhere near ending.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Ready, Set, Teach

I don't want to detract from the OCIP or grades discussions below, so I wanted to pass along some information for those interested in teaching below the fold.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

OCIP Warmup, '08

A commentator below notes (in more words) that it may be a bit early, but . . . what about OCIP?

He (or she) is right. It is early. And I have to say, I'm feeling substantially less than gleeful over the prospect of replacing a neurotic grade thread with a neurotic OCIP thread.

But I am also on Anonymous' page -- today I used the word "sale" to rationalize dropping way too much money on a new suit,* and combed the substantial stack of legal blah-blah-blah that I have alredy produced this summer for something that might be hammered into a passable writing sample. So maybe it's not all THAT early after all . . . anyway, consider this an OCIP kick-off.

Query: which parts of the CDO's recent email are gospel, and which parts are, um, extraneous?

(And if you have no interest in OCIP, feel free to speculate on other matters. Like: the over/under on waist room in that shiny new suit come August, after twelve continuous weeks of parking my ass in my office after devouring desert at firm lunches work? Or, if you are Armen, the meaningful distinction between "though" and "although.")

*It's a good sale. In case you are interested. Seriously.


Friday, June 20, 2008

UC Stadium Decision (+ related antics)

Here's a collection of links regarding the stadium expansion project and the hippie occupation of the trees.  

Please feel free to contribute your thoughts and future links you may find to an open thread in the comments.

UC gym's fate could rest on support beam [via SF Chron]Hope everyone is enjoying their summer.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I have to run to court this morning so I can't say anything. Rather I'm opening this up for discussions. Habeas for Gitmo detainees. At long last, the King may not make his subjects disappear.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Graduation Speaker Choice: A Retrospective

In hindsight, choosing Judge Schroeder as the graduation speaker seems like a genius move given the revelations about current Chief Judge Kozinski. According to the LA Times, Kozinski basically peddled his own porn on his personal website.

The money quote: "The sexually explicit material on Kozinski's site earlier this week was extensive, including images of masturbation, public sex and contortionist sex. There was a slide show striptease featuring a transsexual, and a folder that contained a series of photos of women's crotches as seen through snug fitting clothing or underwear. There were also themes of defecation and urination, though they are not presented in a sexual context."

Thank you Judge Kozinski, and may it please the court. Feel free to add your own pithy, wry, disgruntled that you can't get a seat at Bar/Bri remarks. See also ATL coverage here.

UPDATE 1: As early as 2004, this Legal Affairs article revealed some tell-tale signs: "He has written video game reviews for The Wall Street Journal and an account of a Malibu pajama and lingerie party for the online magazine Slate. Six pet chickens have the run of his property in the beachfront community of Palos Verdes, where he lives with his wife and three sons."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Stanford drops its formal grade system, pays $25k to study a potential change of name for the law school

Well, maybe just the first half of that title is true. But I still say they're just trying to be more like Boalt (err, Berkeley).

The money quote:
Stanford will switch to a system of honors, pass, restricted credit and no credit instead of A+ through F, said School of Law Dean Larry Kramer. He hopes the shift will cut the stressful jockeying for status among classmates and encourage students to take more challenging courses.
Your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I'd be negligent in not mentioning the historical primaries that just ended with the contests in South Dakota and Montana. I also can't hide my displeasure with Hillary. You want thoughts on what to do next? Here are mine: Exit. Stage left.

I hope her supporters watched Obama's speech last night. Like his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention, it articulated progressive positions clearly, succinctly, and with gusto. He didn't sound like a "deranged narcissist" (to quote Jeff Toobin last night). Oh and Karl Rove and the rest of the FNC talking heads started using policy arguments against Obama's speech ("How will we pay for all those teachers?"). When the Republican attack machine resorts to policy arguments, you know you have a winning candidate. Congratulations to Barack Obama, hopefully the 44th President of the United States.

SLIGHT UPDATE: When Hillary told her supporters to go to "" the whole crowd chanted the website with her. The whole thing reminded me of "Set it and forget it" from the Ron Popeil infomercials. See for yourself.

FURTHER UPDATE: This Roy Sekoff guy makes a great Simpsons reference comparing an Obama/Hillary ticket to Lobsters Stuffed with Tacos.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Three Articles

Although I am somewhat removed from the Bay Area these days, I enjoyed these recent Berkeley/Boalt articles:
  1. Esquire's full JY piece -- nuanced and interesting look at who JY is. Also has some rather charming transcriptions of professor/student dialogue, as perceived by a non-law-school-type. Worth the read, if not for those reasons, then for the context it helps give your answers to the increasingly tiresome "don't you go to school with that Bush torture guy?" questions
  2. New Yorker tree sitter piece (courtesy of anon, in the thread below) -- nice illustration of absurdities on both sides of the "fresh" tree sitting shenanigans
  3. Discussion of Obama strategy vis-à-vis Hillary -- based almost entirely on an interview with "top Obama advisor" -- DE
I hope everyone is having a nice summer. I am.

Update: No, Obama's advisor is NOT the person featured in Eqsuire. I have fixed the misplaced links.