December 31 roundup

Lists of lists, if not indeed lists of lists of lists:

  • Lenore Skenazy picks worst school safety overreaction cases of the year [Reason] and worst nanny state cases [Huffington Post]
  • Radley Balko, “Horrifying civil liberties predictions for 2015”, and you won’t need to read far to get the joke [Washington Post]
  • Feds probe NY Speaker Sheldon Silver over pay from law firm — not his big personal injury firm, but an obscure firm that handles tax certiorari cases [New York Times; our earlier Silver coverage over the years]
  • “Doonesbury” Sunday strip gets filed 5-6 weeks before pub date, so if its topicality compares unfavorably to that of Beetle Bailey and Garfield, now you know why [Washington Post and Slate, with Garry Trudeau’s embarrassing excuses for letting papers run a strip taking the Rolling Stone/U. Va. fraternity assault story as true, weeks after its collapse; Jesse Walker assessment of the strip twelve years ago]
  • Jim Beck’s picks for worst pharmaceutical law cases of the year [Drug & Device Law]
  • “The Ten Most Significant Class Action Cases of 2014” [Andrew Trask]
  • Washington Post calls for steep cigarette tax hike in Maryland, makes no mention of smuggling/black market issue so visible in New York [my Cato post]


  • In answer to your cigarette tax question, “Yes.”

    That requires access to things called “facts,” which do not always support the narrative. And it is narrative over all, even at the risk of cognitive dissonance.

  • To misquote Douglas McArthur on his farewell speech to the USMA Corps of Cadets,

    “The Narrative. The Narrative. The Narrative. Above all else, the Narrative.”

  • In the top list of Nanny State abuses, there’s the very disturbing case of the warrant to drug a 17-year-old so he gets an erection.

    But charging minors with possession of Child Pornography when they photograph their own bodies makes some sense. Because there’s no defense against possession of it, if minors couldn’t be charged than some 14 year old could take a photograph of his erect penis, email it to all his teachers, and then call the FBI. And the FBI will have to arrest all the adults while the kid has a good laugh.

  • […] to our list of lists, a few more: John Steele’s top ten legal ethics stories of 2014, National Law Journal via […]