Declining to hear an appeal by airlines: “Obese people have the right to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday.” (Reuters, Nov. 20; CBC). We’ve covered the issue for years, including, e.g., here, here, here (U.S.), here, and here. More thoughts: Scott Greenfield, Ann Althouse.
- Time for another aspirin: Harvard Law’s Charles Ogletree, key backer of lawsuits for slave reparations, mentioned as possible Attorney General [CBS News, BostonChannel WCVB, Newsweek; earlier speculation about post as civil rights chief]
- Calif. law requires supervisors to attend sexual harassment prevention training, a/k/a sensitivity training, but UC Irvine biologist Alexander McPherson says he’ll face suspension rather than submit [AP/FoxNews.com, On the Record (UCI), Morrissey, Inside Higher Ed, OC Register; ScienceBlogs’ Thus Spake Zuska flays him]
- Fan “not entitled to a permanent injunction requiring American Idol singer Clay Aiken to endorse her unauthorized biography” [Feral Child]
- Local authority in U.K. orders employees not to use Latin phrases such as bona fide, e.g., ad lib, et cetera, i.e., inter alia, per se, quid pro quo, vice versa “and even via” [via — uh-oh — Zincavage and Feral Child]
- Participants in 10th annual Boulder, Colo. Naked Pumpkin Run may have to register as sex offenders [Daily Camera, Obscure Store]
- Joins drunk in car as his passenger, then after crash collects $5 million from restaurant where he drank [AP/WBZ Boston, 99 Restaurant chain]
- Election may be over, but candidates’ defamation lawsuits against each other over linger on [Above the Law, NLJ]
- School nutrition regs endanger bake sales, but they’ll let you have “Healthy Hallowe’en Vegetable Platter” instead [NY Times]
- Saying fashion model broke his very fancy umbrella, N.Y. restaurant owner Nello Balan sues her for $1 million, but instead gets fined $500 for wasting court’s time [AP/FoxNews.com, NY Times]
- Spokesman for Chesapeake, Va. schools says its OK for high school marching band to perform at Disney World, so long as they don’t ride any rides [Virginian-Pilot]
- More on Chicago parking tickets: revenue-hungry Mayor Daley rebuffed in plan to boot cars after only two tickets [Sun-Times, Tribune]
- Too old, in their 50s, to be raising kids? [Houston Chronicle via ABA Journal].
- Britain’s stringent libel laws and welcome mat for “libel tourism” draw criticism from the U.N. (of all places) [Guardian]
- Beaumont, Tex.: “Parents sue other driver, bar for daughter’s DUI death” [SE Texas Record, more, more]
- “Three pony rule”: $600,000 a year is needlessly high for child support, even if mom has costly tastes [N.J.L.J., Unfiltered Minds]
- Advocacy groups push to require health insurers and taxpayers to pay for kids’ weight-loss camps [NY Times]
- Lester Brickman: those fraud-rife mass screening operations may account for 90 percent of mass tort claims [PoL]
At American.com, Sara Wexler casts a critical eye at the redlining of new fast-food restaurants out of certain Los Angeles neighborhoods. I hadn’t previously noticed that LA was justifying the ban in part on the claim that South LA’s obese residents are “plac[ing] enormous costs on the California state Medicare system”–as a good an example of the future dangers to freedom of government-run health-care as any.
Governor Schwarzenegger has signed into law the first statewide ban on the use of the maligned ingredient by restaurants and food service facilities. (Samantha Sondag, “Gov. signs nation’s first statewide ban on trans fats in restaurants”, San Francisco Chronicle, Jul. 25).
P.S. Speaking of the nanny state in California, Los Angeles is moving to ban new fast food restaurants from poorer sections of South Central L.A. on the explicitly paternalistic grounds that it knows better than local residents what they should be eating. Prof. Bainbridge has more.
I’m quoted in this morning’s New York Sun on that correlation. (E.B. Solomont, “Post-Smoking Ban, City Gains 10 Million Lbs.”, New York Sun, Mar. 27).
New Haven, Ct. honors student Michael Sheridan, suspended and removed from his elected class post after being caught buying a bag of Skittles candy from a fellow student in violation of his school’s policy against empty-calorie food, will be reinstated, the school says. (AP/Google). Ohio law blog The Briefcase (Mar. 13) has more, along with a link to this PTO Today article detailing how a federal law mandating school “wellness policies” has increased the pressure on states and local schools to adopt anti-snack measures.
House Bill 282, filed in the Mississippi legislature, is an “act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the state department of health”. It sounds as if it almost has to be a parody, but when Sandy Szwarc calls its sponsor he says he’s perfectly serious (Jan. 31).
- The Canadian Transportation Agency (as part of its regulation of airline ticket prices) has ruled that obese passengers are entitled to have two airline seats for the price of one, which will no doubt encourage further suits against the American practice. (h/t Rohan) One looks forward to the Canadian lawsuits complaining that an obese passenger wasn’t adjudged obese enough to get a free second seat. [Australian; Toronto Star; Gunter @ National Post; earlier on Overlawyered]
- Also in Canada, Ezra Levant defends his free speech rights against a misnamed Alberta “Human Rights Commission” over his republication of the Danish Muhammed cartoons. [Frum; National Post; Steyn @ Corner; Wise Law Blog; Youtube; related on Overlawyered]
- Alleged car-keying attorney “Grodner is now under investigation by the state’s Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, sources said. Commission officials declined to comment Thursday.” [Chicago Tribune; Jan. 4]
- “Life is short—get a divorce” attorney Corri Fetman parlays her tasteless billboard (May 10; May 8) into tasteless Playboy topless-modeling and advice-column gig. In the words of Alfred E. Neuman, “Blech.” On multiple and independent grounds. Surprisingly, Above the Law avoids the snark of noting that the lead paragraph of Fetman’s law firm web site bio includes a prestigious 23-year-old quote from a college professor’s recommendation for law school. [Above the Law; Chicago Sun-Times; Elefant]
- Wesley Snipes (Jun. 11; Nov. 2006) appears to be going for a Cheek defense in his tax-evasion trial—which is hard to do when you’re a multimillionaire whose well-paid accountants explicitly tell you you’re violating the law. (Remember what I said about magical incantations and taxes?) [Tampa Tribune; Quatloos]
- Accountant Mark Maughan loses his search-engines-make-me-look-bad lawsuit (Mar. 2004) against Google, which even got Rule 11 sanctions. (That happened in 2006. Sorry for the delay.) More on Google and privacy: Jan. 16. [Searchenginewatch]
- Bribed Mississippi judges in Paul Minor case (Sep. 8 and much more coverage) report to prison. [AP]
“Wearing signs reading: ‘They’re Carbs not Contraband,’ ‘Give Us our Just Desserts’ and ‘We’re Old Enough to Choose,’ a dozen senior citizens picketed outside [a Mahopac, N.Y. senior center] protesting a recently imposed ban on the sugared treats at Putnam County-operated nutritional sites.” For years supermarkets and bakeries have donated day-old pastries to senior centers, but last month the county called a halt to the program, saying that the treats violated federal nutritional standards for the elderly and might pose safety dangers. The AP story carried this classically sensitive and humanistic quote from Michael Jacobson of that group of untiring busybodies, the self-proclaimed Center for Science in the Public Interest: “Senior citizens can walk down to the store and buy doughnuts. Nobody’s stopping them”. [Putnam County Courier; Westchester Journal-News; Associated Press]