Some on the Board of Governors that oversees the University of North Carolina are unhappy with UNC law school’s Center for Civil Rights, a source of Left activism and litigation in the Tar Heel State. Now firebrand liberal UNC law professor Gene Nichol has warned the university of “serious accreditation problems in the months ahead” from the American Bar Association (ABA) and Association of American Law Schools (AALS) should it close the center. [News & Observer via Paul Caron, TaxProf]
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), key vote on tort reform in upper house, plans Texas visit to raise funds from trial lawyers [Palmetto Business Daily]
- “Indeed, most major law schools have fewer conservatives or libertarians on their faculty than can be found on the U.S. Supreme Court.” [Jonathan Adler, Martin Center]
- Anti-craft-beer bill, Marilyn Mosby followup, legislature rescinds earlier Article V calls, Baltimore minimum wage in my latest Maryland roundup;
- Man given $190 ticket for having pet snake in park off-leash. Off leash? [John Hult, Sioux Falls Argus-Leader]
- As victim’s wife looks on, identity thief and 20-time illegal border crosser testifies that he fathered two of victim’s children [Brad Heath on Twitter citing Judge Bea ‘s opinion in U.S. v. Plascencia-Orozco, Ninth Circuit]
- Central California: “State and federal legislation take new aim at predatory ADA lawsuits” [Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee]
The American Bar Association is proposing easing its mandate that law schools use full-time faculty for at least one-half of courseload; the new minimum would be one-third. The shift would be a step toward reviving the once-common and generally less expensive model of law school oriented more toward training-for-practice and less toward scholarship and research. I recommended similar reforms in Schools for Misrule. [Paul Horwitz; Paul Caron and links]
As I noted in my book Schools for Misrule a few years back, law faculties, especially at elite schools, tilt overwhelmingly leftward on the political spectrum. Last month the Association of American Law Schools turned down a request from conservative and libertarian legal scholars that a task force be set up to look into this issue and that data be released to help identify such patterns if indeed they exist. On Wednesday 28 dissident legal scholars went public with a letter urging a change of course. Here’s Josh Blackman’s post about the letter. Other signatories include Jonathan H. Adler, Randy Barnett, Gail Heriot, James Lindgren, John McGinnis, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Ilya Somin, Eugene Volokh, and Stephen Ware. More: Randy Barnett; Paul Caron/TaxProf with links.
More: AALS executive director Judith Areen responds.
- Group letters by law professors opposing nominees should be treated with the respect due, normally zero [John McGinnis, Michael Krauss, Paul Caron/TaxProf with links to columns by Stephen Presser, Scott Douglas Gerber, and James Huffman]
- USA, courthouse to the world for compensation claims, even 100+ years later [Guardian on suit in Manhattan federal court by descendants of atrocities committed by Germans in what is now Namibia in early 1900s]
- Marvels of NYC tenant law: “Couple renting Chelsea pad hasn’t paid rent since 2010” [New York Post]
- Election results could mean 11th-hour save for embattled cause of consumer arbitration [Liz Kramer/Stinson Leonard Street LLP]
- Baltimore policing, family leave in Montgomery County, Uber/Lyft fingerprinting, getting money out of Howard County politics, and more in my latest Maryland policy roundup at Free State Notes;
- Speaking of ridesharing and regulation: “Without Uber or Lyft, Austin Experiences Skyrocketing DUI Rates” [Brittany Hunter, FEE]
- Washington Supreme Court: psychiatrist can be sued for failure to act when patient expressed homicidal thoughts, even though signs did not point to particular victim [Seattle Times, opinion in Volk v. DeMeerleer; compare Tarasoff duty-to-warn line of cases]
- University of Oregon, which suspended a law professor over an off-campus Hallowe’en costume, could use a refresher on free speech [Josh Blackman, Jonathan Turley, Hans Bader, Susan Kruth/FIRE, Eugene Volokh]
- Prenda Law saga continues: “Feds charge porn-troll lawyers in major fraud, extortion case” [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Joe Mullin/ArsTechnica, indictment, our past coverage including this on attorney Hansmeier’s branching out into ADA web-accessibility complaints]
- Alas, incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a big defender of civil asset forfeiture [George Will, syndicated/San Angelo (Tex.) Standard-Times]
- Oklahoma law will force restaurants, hotels among others to post signs aimed at discouraging abortion [AP, Eugene Volokh]
- Time to repeal the Community Reinvestment Act [Howard Husock]
New ABA rules barring lawyers from displaying bias in selecting partners, experts, and even participants in practice-related social activities based on “socio-economic status” — such as the difference between high- and low-prestige schools? — could bring many of the operations of BigLaw to a grinding halt [Volokh]
Yesterday Harvard law professor Larry Tribe sent out a tweet brusquely dismissing the IRS targeting episode as a debunked non-scandal. I and others promptly took issue with him, and pointed him toward the August 5 D.C. Circuit opinion laying out the scandal’s genuineness. (I also referenced my Ricochet article summarizing the decision and citing the Inspector General report from Treasury.)
@walterolson I confess error wrt IRS ideological targeting. The IG report and the CADC panel decision seem right to me. Inexcusable abuse.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) August 18, 2016
I have on occasion had my differences with Prof. Tribe’s views, but what an honorable example he sets here. May all of us prove equally ready to re-examine our own views when challenged.
One incidental impact of a Trump presidency: mainstream law professors would develop a sudden, strange new respect for constitutional law concepts such as separation of powers and federalism, which tend to serve as checks on the power and ambition of the President and his backers. [Paul Horwitz, PrawfsBlawg]