- You mean Philadelphia traffic court wasn’t on the up-and-up? [ABA Journal] DUI prosecution in Lafayette Parish, La. had become quite the tidy business [Scott Greenfield]
- Match.com sued after date assault [FindLaw]
- Sweden is at cutting edge of free-market policy innovation [Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist]
- Big victory for Institute for Justice as federal court strikes down new IRS tax preparer rules [Katherine Mangu-Ward] 97% of Chicago tax preparers out of compliance with local licensing regs? [TaxProf]
- A sentiment open to doubt: Heritage claims “there is no ban on same-sex marriage” in any state [Ryan Anderson] Support from PM Cameron, other senior Conservatives instrumental in British passage of same-sex marriage [Peter Jukes, Daily Beast] New beyond-the-culture-wars initiative on marriage from David Blankenhorn and colleagues at Institute for American Values [Mark Oppenheimer, NYT]
- “Why not a waiting period for laws?” [Glenn Reynolds, NY Post]
- As he steps aside, recalling some of the accomplishments of longtime Cato Institute chairman Ed Crane [Cato Policy Report, PDF]
- R.I.P. Maureen Martin, legal affairs fellow at Heartland Institute whose work touched many [Jim Lakely]
“Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway filed retirement papers last month, but she didn’t announce her plans until Monday when the state Judicial Tenure Commission accused her of ‘blatant and brazen’ misconduct.” Hathaway had allegedly hidden assets from creditors during a real estate short sale and responded untruthfully during a judicial disciplinary investigation of the matter. [Debra Cassens Weiss/ABA Journal, Volokh]
It is worth noting that Justice Hathaway won an upset victory over an admirable incumbent, Chief Justice Cliff Taylor, following 2008’s most unfair attack ad, in which Democrats broadcast a photo of Taylor with his eyes closed on the bench — the sort of picture that, given human physiology and the right kind of camera work, could be obtained of any jurist — and accused him of sleeping. Taylor told the Detroit News that the piece “wasn’t true, but it was a very compelling piece of political theater”. I noted the story four years ago. In hindsight, we can see that the attack ad not only took down an outstanding judge, but elevated a challenger who proved little credit to the bench.
I’m in today’s New York Post with an op-ed about how, agree or disagree with Bork’s views, you can’t defend many of the tactics used against him in 1987. Earlier here (& welcome Nick Gillespie/Reason, Andrew Sullivan, Stephen Bainbridge, Reihan Salam, Tom Smith, Pejman Yousefzadeh, Jonathan Adler/Volokh, Memeorandum readers).
More: David Frum recalls a very funny Bork law exam. Ramesh Ponnuru defends Bork’s famous “inkblot” comment as reasonable in its context. Much more on that question from Randy Barnett. Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen casts a vote against. At Secular Right, I add another observation or two about Bork’s religious views. Via Andrew Grossman, a clip on the beard issue.
Yet more: Richard Epstein at Ricochet. Meanwhile, some commentators have taken the line that uncivil or not, the actual charges by Kennedy and others against Bork were accurate enough. Mickey Kaus, who is sympathetic to judicial restraint but less so to Bork, links to a 1989 New Republic review in which he shed light on that:
True, paranoia on Bork’s part is amply justified. There is a liberal legal culture, and it was out to get him. … And it got him, in part, by sleazily misrepresenting some of his views. Most famously, a narrow Bork ruling was falsely characterized as favoring “sterilizing workers.” But there were other nasty distortions, not all by fringe interest groups. Senator Edward Kennedy charged that in “Bork’s America… schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution,” when Bork had never opposed teaching evolution. Senator Paul Simon implied Bork might approve the pro-slavery decision in Dred Scott.
Ilya Shapiro salutes the distinguished judge for his revival of originalism, his resistance to Warren Court lunacies, and his single-handed transformation for the better of the field of antitrust. “The injustice and character assassination done against him in 1987 was a watershed moment that changed American history and government for the worse,” notes Ted Frank.
More: NYTimes obit; Roger Pilon; John Podhoretz, Commentary; Timothy Sandefur; Adam White, Commentary, on the 1987 Supreme Court confirmation fight a quarter-century later; my extremely critical review of Bork’s 1997 Slouching Toward Gomorrah; Jay Nordlinger with an anecdote of Patrick Leahy and Judge Bork; more on Bork’s religious beliefs from Eric Olson (no relation) at Catholic World Report; Michael McConnell; Jeff Rosen. Andrew Grossman reminds us that even if we may take it for granted now, Bork’s work on antitrust was a big, big deal in the revitalization of economic dynamism.
New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, has a particular niche among state courts: it’s liberal on many matters, as suits the state’s politics, but over the years has tended to take care that its commercial law is relatively predictable and efficient from a business perspective, since it would rather not risk tempting the state’s huge business sector to flee to other jurisdictions. With two vacancies on the court, Gov. Andrew Cuomo now has a chance to confirm the court’s historic path, or set it on a different one. [Lawrence Cunningham]
“Behold the power of incumbency,” including Judge Cynthia Brim’s successful campaign to retain her $182,000/year job; her “18-year tenure,” as the Chicago Tribune puts it with wry understatement, “has been marked by controversy.” [Above the Law]
I had the honor of moderating a debate at Cato on Thursday between Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, author most recently of Cosmic Constitutional Theory: Why Americans Are Losing Their Inalienable Right to Self-Governance, and the Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon on the proper role of restraint and energy in judicial protection of constitutional liberty. It was a scintillating discussion and you can watch it above, or at this Cato link.
The good, the bad, and the beyond belief:
- “Ten Commandments” judge no favorite with business defendants: “Trial lawyers putting their campaign cash behind Roy Moore for Alabama chief justice” [Birmingham News via Charlie Mahtesian, Politico; same thing twelve years ago]
- From James Taranto, a brief history of Supreme Court leaks [WSJ “Best of the Web,” mentions my Daily op-ed]
- Pennsylvania: Judge’s swearing-in ceremony “was filled with appreciation to those who helped him get elected, including some convicted felons” [Judges on Merit; Walter Phillips, Philadelphia Inquirer]
- Roberts just carrying forward the Frankfurter-Bickel-Bork tradition of judicial deference? [Steven Teles, Carrie Severino, further Teles] Ted Olson on just-finished Supreme Court term [FedSoc and video]
- Columnist-suing attorney doesn’t lack funding in race for appellate judgeship in Illinois’ Metro-East [Chamber-backed Madison County Record]
- Study: SCOTUS Justices time their resignations depending on political party of President [James Lindgren, Volokh]
- Alameda County judge charged with elder theft, perjury [The Recorder]
- Profile of 5th Circuit’s Edith Jones; law wasn’t her first career choice, and Cornell riots influenced her path [Susanna Dokupil, IWF]