April 28 roundup

  • “The makers of smokeless tobacco products like to claim that their products are safer than cigarettes.” Hey, New York Times, that’s ’cause it’s true! [Jacob Sullum]
  • New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman pursues high-profile case against Standard & Poor’s, accepts $50K contribution from CEO of another credit rating firm [Richard Pollock/Daily Caller, some background]
  • Megan McArdle on child support and the difficulty of replacing social norms with law [Bloomberg View, my recent Cato post and podcast]
  • “Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson should drop her lawsuit” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial, earlier; AP (federal judge declines to block law’s implementation while suit is pending)]
  • CVS opposes certification of securities class action, saying government pension managers filing it were influenced by political donations from plaintiff’s law firm [Law360, reg]
  • “Has Conley v. Gibson really been overruled? (And did the Fourth Circuit just tee up the next big SCOTUS case on pleading?)” [Adam Steinman, Civil Procedure Blog, arguing from premises different from mine, on Fourth Circuit’s decision in McCleary-Evans v. Maryland Department of Transportation]
  • The Maryland knife law angle in the Freddie Gray story [Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor; my post at Free State Notes]


  • RE: Freddie Gray Knife.

    I was arguing this same point with someone last night.

    I grew up in Baltimore, worked in the area that was burned last night, and never saw anyone that was selling a true “switchblade.” That doesn’t mean that they weren’t available, but rather they were not easily available.

    The pcurrent Baltimore with whom I was speaking said that if the police wrote on the arrest papers that Gray had a switchblade, he had a switchblade. “Why would they lie?” she asked.

    “Why did they lie and say that Gray was arrested without physical altercation when the video shows them picking him up off the street?”

    The Baltimore Police Department needs to be “blown up” (disbanded) and then reconstructed from the ground up. There is too much history there for anyone to trust them anymore.

    • “Why would they lie?”

      Because when you are a cop, that’s what you do.

  • Sorry MattS, but that is an over generalization that is not supported.

    There are a LOT of good cops in this country who each and every day go about their job protecting people and property in a responsible, professional, legal manner.

    It is the lousy cops that get the attention in the media.

    There is no profession that can say that all of its members are perfect little angels.

    • In my book and cop who isn’t actively opposing the bad cops, actively trying to get the bad cops off the force is one of the bad cops.

  • “All professions are conspiracies against the laity.”
    — George Bernard Shaw


  • […] surmised earlier, Maryland knife law has emerged as an issue in the Freddie Gray story; Gray’s death […]