December 16 roundup

  • “The Boston Public Health Commission has just banned the sale of all tobacco products at colleges. Not high schools. Colleges.” [Saletan, Slate]
  • Sometimes the case caption seems to tell a little story all by itself [Lorraine Hodges v. Mt. Zion Temple d/b/a Zero Gravity Skatepark Oakland County, Mich., 12/1/2008 08-096435 NI Chabot (Pontiac), slip-fall on snow and ice]
  • Consumer complaint site Ripoff Report is magnet for lawsuits [Citizen Media Law, Eric Goldman and again]
  • EEOC hearing on English-in-the-workplace issues [Clegg, NRO “Corner”]
  • Wiretapper Anthony Pellicano, helpful gnome behind the scenes for many powerful Hollywood lawyers, sentenced to 15 years behind bars [CNN, Patterico]
  • “Hungary’s Constitutional Court says it has annulled a law giving rights to domestic partners because it would diminish the importance of marriage”; now just watch how many folks on both sides flip their opinion of judicial activism [AP/WHEC]
  • No teaser rates for you! Harvard’s Elizabeth Warren wants new law empowering federal government to order withdrawal of “too-risky” consumer credit products [Consumer Law & Policy]
  • Major new study of defensive medicine, conservatively estimated to waste $1.4 billion in Massachusetts alone [KevinMD, Boston Globe; Massachusetts Medical Society]


  • I’m doubtful as to the impact of the Boston ban on the sale of tobacco products at colleges. Such a ban might have a significant impact at colleges distant from regular retail outlets, but I can’t think of any college in Boston from a student would have more than a short walk to an off-campus store.

  • Why would there be a need to ban tobacco sales at high schools? In most places it’s illegal for anyone under 21 to buy. I don’t know of too many 21-year-old high school students.

  • MF: That’s cuz you went to the smart kids school. Not everyone is so lucky.

  • I think the legal age for tobacco is 18. I knew plenty of high school students that bought cigarettes and smoked.

  • MF: That’s cuz you went to the smart kids school. Not everyone is so lucky.

    True, if by “smart” you mean the only public school in the city, an average, middle class city at that. Oh, and I also rode a school bus every day.

    To get back to point, I highly doubt there are very many 21 YO high school students, even at the most disadvantaged schools. If they haven’t graduated before then, they have probably long since dropped out.

  • Any chance that Obama’s health care plan would set up medical courts? That 1.4 billion number is astounding (but confirms what we all know, namely, that defensive medicine is widespread and expensive).

  • Banning sales of tobacco at Colleges?
    A legal product, adults (in the legal sense), and a prohibition against a sale. This seems over the top in protectiveness, and general government busibodyness. I hope that the ACLU and Big Tobacco team up to fight this one. Infringing on the liberties of both sellers and buyers is absurd.