- Celebrity political defamation suits I: Stormy Daniels sues President Trump [Ken White and Marc Randazza at Popehat, strong language x2]
- Celebrity political defamation suits II: Roy Moore sues accusers [Paul Gattis/Al.com, Gabriel Malor on Twitter]
- Our knowledgeable readers have been having a discussion in comments about Wisconsin’s butter-grading rules and whether they have a rational basis, and Joshua Thompson of Pacific Legal Foundation, which represents Minerva Dairy, has written a post to explain more, which also has kind words we appreciate (“does a magnificent job pointing out and explaining the seen and unseen costs of our legal system”);
- USC lawprof Simkovic’s screed on campus-speech controversies ascribes sinister motives to Eugene Volokh and Prof. Josh Blackman, not to mention my own book Schools for Misrule [David Bernstein and more, Paul Horwitz, Popehat on Twitter, Rick Hills, William Jacobson/Legal Insurrection, Scott Greenfield]
- “Gabriel Over the White House,” Hollywood’s jarringly weird 1933 paean to one-man rule, aired on TCM April 27 [Jeff Greenfield, David Boaz, Gene Healy and Caleb Brown video]
- “Keep Facial Recognition Away From Body Cameras” [Matthew Feeney, Cato]
I’ve got a new piece at Ricochet on the Food and Drug Administration’s just-announced measures against vaping (e-cigarettes), which will drastically restrict and maybe even ban a popular option for smokers seeking to quit the cigarette habit. It’s not just an assault on individual choice and commercial freedom — it could wind up killing people. Read it here.
Relatedly, Andrew Stuttaford thinks I am too kind in describing CDC director Thomas Frieden as in denial about the prospective health benefits when smokers switch to vaping. And thank you to Andrew for describing Overlawyered as “must-read”.
P.S. Faced with two options on how to regulate premium cigars, FDA chose the harsher, of course [HalfWheel, Jacob Grier (“The market for cigars is about to become a lot less diverse and a lot more boring.”)]
More: I’ve got a piece up at Cato now on winners and losers from the FDA’s move. Plus, a new Jacob Sullum column: “The FDA’s deadly e-cigarette regulations.” And a Washington Post editorial defends the agency’s action on a for-the-children rationale, yet says not a word about the precipitous plunge in youth smoking rates and only refers in passing to the issue of harm reduction.
…except that every so often it makes us smile to see people we respect say nice things about us.
— Popehat (@Popehat) July 17, 2015
— Susan Ellingwood (@ellingwood) July 15, 2015
More nice things: the Foundation for Economic Education calls us “indispensable.” And Eric Turkewitz recalls a non-blocking exchange.
Honored that two of mine, The Litigation Explosion and The Rule of Lawyers, are among seven that author Charles Murray (most recently of By the People) has recommended if you’d like to understand the state of the U.S. legal system [Benjamin Weingarten, The Blaze] I can recommend all the other books on the list as well, including the four by well-known author Philip K. Howard, often mentioned in this space, and The American Illness: Essays on the Rule of Law, edited by George Mason lawprof F.H. Buckley, a recent and underappreciated gem. Its contributors include Stephen Bainbridge, Todd Zywicki, Richard Epstein, George Priest and many well-known legal academics.
Thanks to Theodore Kettle for naming Overlawyered as number 14 of his list of 50, and Cato at Liberty, where my work appears regularly, as number 25.
- Police have traced the crime wave to a single micro-neighborhood in the California capital [Sacramento Bee]
- “Adam Carolla Settles with the Patent Trolls” [Daniel Nazer/EFF, Reason, related eight days earlier and previously] eBay takes on Landmark in the E.D. of Texas [Popehat]
- Frank Furedi on law and the decline in childrens’ freedom to roam [U.K. Independent]
- On “ban the box” laws re: asking about job applicants’ criminal records, it’s sued if you do, sued if you don’t [Coyote]
- Fake law firm websites in U.K. sometimes parasitize the real ones [Martha Neil, ABA Journal]
- What C. Steven Bradford of the blog Business Law Prof reads to keep up (and thanks for including us on list);
- As applications to renounce U.S. citizenship mount, many related to FATCA, our government hikes fee for doing so by 422% [Robert Wood, Forbes]
Details here. The “Hall of Fame” began last year with 10 inductees and this year the ABA Blawg 100 competition is inducting 10 more, with us in the batch. Its description:
Whether or not you’re sympathetic to tort reform and the idea that the government overregulates, Overlawyered is a little hair-raising and eye-opening. Its stated mission is to bring to light abuses of the legal system that raise costs and inhibit justice. Acquired this year by the Cato Institute, the blog is the project of Walter Olson, a senior Cato fellow. Having celebrated its 15th anniversary in July, Overlawyered says it may be the oldest legal blog: “At least, no one seems to be able to name one that’s older.”
So far as anyone we know has been able to tell us, Overlawyered, launched in July 1999, is the longest running blog about law. From time to time the question arises whether it was the very first law blog, a question discussed at Bob Ambrogi’s LawSites (and in turn noted in an Editor’s Note at the above ABA link). It was certainly not the first regularly updated law site; there were plenty of those in 1999, such as Mark Astarita’s seclaw.com which dates back to 1995 (!). In a 2003 post Greg Siskind writes that his visalaw.com was first to adopt a blog format, citing a 1998 post (visible at Wayback Machine here) that provided regular updates on H-1B legislation over the course of a month, with older updates scrolling down the page, and which drew wide traffic. For reasons I advance at LawSites, I think a lot depends on one’s definition of what a blog is, and that’s probably not a subject we’ll all agree on soon.
I’m honored to announce that I’ll be giving a talk in the Frank G. Raichle Lecture Series, part of the pre-law program at Canisius College in western New York. Details here in a press release from the college. Previous speakers in this lecture series include an extraordinary list of legal notables including Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justices O’Connor, Scalia, Ginsburg, and White, among many others such as Alex Kozinski, Harry Edwards, John Langbein, and Randall Kennedy.
Earlier on the same day (October 30) I’ll be addressing the Buffalo Lawyers’ Chapter of the Federalist Society.
- 7th Circuit cites Rumpelstiltskin; quashes plaintiff’s bid to turn straw to gold [Legal Ethics Forum]
- “One of the most prolific writers and tweeters in the online legal world. A must read.” Thanks Jim D. [Abnormal Use, and his suggestion about ABA best-blawg nominations is worth heeding]
- “… as if compliance departments actually are associated with law-abiding behavior…” [Ira Stoll]
- Sex extortion lawyer Mary Roberts won’t have to pay restitution [MySanAntonio, background]
- Guess who’s the big new lobby fighting marijuana legalization? Medical-pot providers [Politico]
- “Woman awarded $775,000 after tripping on speed bump at a Vegas casino” [Calgary Herald]
- Some thoughts on “libertarian populism” [Jesse Walker, Josh Barro/Tim Carney]