- “Wyoming: Efforts to strip state courts of jurisdiction to hear K-12 funding lawsuits reintroduced; courts could declare funding system unconstitutional but could not order more funding” [Gavel To Gavel, more on school finance litigation]
- Coalition of accusers’-rights groups sue Education Department demanding restoration of earlier Obama versions Title IX guidance [KC Johnson Twitter thread pointing out weaknesses in suit]
- “A High School Student Faces Expulsion for Noticing the Square Root Symbol Looks Like a Gun” [Scott Shackford]
- How a political machine based on the schools lobby ran one affluent suburban county (Montgomery County, Maryland) before fumbling its grip [Adam Pagnucco, The Seventh State]
- Costs approach $1M in Southern California special ed dispute over one student’s education [Ashly McGlone, San Diego Union-Tribune]
- Japan: “Of course, this ignores the absurdity that students are being required, or feel required, to dye their hair because of a policy that was supposedly meant to prohibit students from dying their hair.” [Lowering the Bar]
“Wyoming has the most freedom from paternalism, while New York is the most paternalistic state.” 50-state survey [Russell Sobel and Joshua Hall, Mercatus Center] From: “For Your Own Good: Taxes, Paternalism, and Fiscal Discrimination in the Twenty-First Century,” new Mercatus book on sin taxes edited by Adam Hoffer and Todd Nesbit.
“Prosecutors in Suffolk County, New York gave themselves $3.25 million in bonuses — from the asset forfeiture fund, of course.” [David Schwartz, Newsday]
P.S. Wyoming highway cops seized $91,800 from motorist Phil Parhamovich, claiming he gave it to them voluntarily; shortly after the Institute for Justice launched a national publicity campaign on the musician’s behalf, a judge reversed the seizure and ordered the money returned [Jacob Sullum/Reason, AP/Chicago Tribune] And a curious defense of the practice from a high Justice Department official [Tim Cushing, TechDirt (“DOJ: Civil Asset Forfeiture Is A Good Thing That Only Harms All Those Criminals We Never Arrest”)]
From John Ross’s Short Circuit newsletter for the Institute for Justice, Mar. 10: “Allegation: EPA agents lead armed raid of Casper, Wyo. laboratory based on false accusation from former employee, an 18 year old, that the lab falsified water-quality records. Five years later, case dismissed against former lab owners without charges. They sue the EPA. District court: It’s too late to sue; the two-year statute of limitations started running when you lost the lab. Tenth Circuit: Actually, you couldn’t have even sued then because sovereign immunity.” [Garling v. EPA]
“The decision was reversed on appeal, but it spooked the Park Service into trying to lawyer-proof Yellowstone. Walker’s folks insisted that there was no way their son could have known about the danger of bears, or hiking off trails, or pitching camp in the middle of nowhere, or leaving food and trash next to his tent. So officials in Yellowstone set out to make sure that you’d have to be dumb as a rock not to understand the risks of the park. And they got the job done.” [Jonathan Last, Weekly Standard]
- No flavored milk for 5-year-olds: feds prescribe what day care centers may serve to 3 million kids [final rule via Elizabeth Harrington, Free Beacon]
- Andrew Jackson and alcohol access: “…whereas Whigs insisted that regulating morality was a proper function of government, Democrats warned that government intrusion into areas of private choice would violate republican liberties.” [John M. Murrin et al, Liberty, Equality, Power on Massachusetts “Fifteen-Gallon Law” of 1838, via historian Richard Samuelson on Twitter, and more]
- Eric Schneiderman takes his toll of fun: “Daily Fantasy Sports Stop Operations in New York” [Scott Shackford]
- Wyoming happy with results of food freedom legislation [Baylen Linnekin]
- Priors didn’t help, but yes, New Jersey’s gun control laws are such that the state will prosecute an actor over a prop gun used in filming a movie [AP/San Jose Mercury News; Carlo Goias]
- Hadn’t remembered the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, one of America’s strangest industrial disasters, had a Prohibition angle [Dylan Thuras, Atlas Obscura]
- “After drunken driver kills son, mother billed for cleanup” [Greenville News, S.C.]
- Cities, states and school districts in California will be among losers if Sacramento lawmakers pass bill authorizing phantom damages [Capitol Weekly; more on phantom damages]
- New from Treasury Dept.: steep exit fees for many corporations departing U.S. domicile [Future of Capitalism, TaxProf]
- Jonathan Lee Riches is back filing his hallucinatory lawsuits again, and courts don’t care to stop him [Above the Law] More: Lowering the Bar.
- Funny 1988 letter from Wyoming lawyer to California lawyer about fees [Letters of Note via Abnormal Use]
- L.A. family is considering adding another valedictorian lawsuit to our annals [L.A. Times, earlier]
- Effort to compensate Japanese nuclear accident victims is proceeding without much litigation [WaPo]
[cross-posted from Cato at Liberty]
The first copies of my new book Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America are here from the printer, and I’ll be touring the country to promote it in coming weeks. Some highlights:
- February 21. Bloomington, Ind. Indiana University Law School, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
- February 22. Urbana-Champaign, Ill. University of Illinois School of Law, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter. Commenting will be Prof. Larry Ribstein.
- March 3. Washington, D.C. Cato Institute Policy Forum. Commenting on the book will be the Hon. Douglas Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals, and moderating will be Cato legal director Roger Pilon.
- March 10. University of Minnesota, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter. Commenting will be Profs. Brad Clary and Oren Gross, and moderating will be Prof. Dale Carpenter.
- March 16. New York, N.Y. Manhattan Institute luncheon (invitation). Commenting will be James Copland, Manhattan Institute.
- March 22. Washington, D.C. Heritage Foundation forum. Commenting/moderating: Todd Gaziano, Heritage Foundation.
- March 28. Boulder, Colo. University of Colorado School of Law, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
- March 29. Laramie, Wyo. University of Wyoming School of Law, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
- March 30. Sacramento, Calif. McGeorge School of Law, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
- April 6. New York, N.Y. Manhattan Institute Young Leaders evening event (private).
- April 7. Washington, D.C. American University Law School, sponsored by Federalist Society chapter.
- April 13. Washington, D.C. Book club appearance (private).
- April 27-29. Dallas, Tex. Heritage Foundation Resource Bank meeting (private).
Always check in advance with the hosting group for venues and exact times; some events open to the public require advance registration. The book’s official publication date is March 1, and copies should be arriving in the bookstores soon.
The Wyoming-based legal gunslinger spoke at the annual conference of the Consumer Attorneys of California, and (U.S. Chamber-backed) Legal NewsLine took down some audience-rousing quotes that went pretty far even by grandiose Spence standards: “We are the most important people in America… I want to ask you which would be more important: If all of the doctors in the country somehow disappeared or all the trial lawyers in America somehow disappeared?” he asked. “We can live without medical care, but we cannot live without justice.” (Chris Rizo, “Spence: Trial lawyers more important than doctors”, Nov. 12).
More from Dan Pero: “Was it just bad timing or some sort of cosmic justice that Mr. Spence made this preposterous claim on Veterans Day?”
- Oregon Supreme Court plays chicken with SCOTUS over $79.5 million punitive damages award in Williams v. Philip Morris case. [Sebok @ Findlaw; Krauss @ IBD; POL Feb. 1]
- Speaking of punitive damages, I did a podcast on Exxon Shipping v. Baker. I can’t bear to listen to it, so let me know how I did. [Frank @ Fed Soc]
- Arkansas case alleged legal sale of pseudoephedrine was “nuisance” because meth-makers would buy it; case dismissed. [Beck/Herrmann]. This is why I’ve stockpiled Sudafed.
- Lawyers advertise for refinery explosion victims before fire goes out. [Hou Chron/TLR]
- Connecticut Supreme Court: cat-attack victim can sue without showing past history of violence by animal. [On Point] Looking forward to comments from all the anti-reformers who claim to oppose reform because they’re against the abrogation of the common law.
- Op-ed on the Great White fire deep pockets phenomenon. [SE Texas Record; earlier: Feb. 2]
- “FISA lawsuits come from Twilight Zone.” [Hillyer @ Examiner]
- Legislative action on various medical malpractice tweaking in Colorado, Hawaii, and Wyoming. [TortsProf]
- Request for unemployment benefits: why fire me just because I asked staffers for a prostitute? [Des Moines Register]
- “So much for seduction and romance; bring in the MBAs and lawyers.” [Mac Donald @ City Journal; contra Belle Lettre; contra contra Dank]
- Where is the Canadian Brandeis standing up for free speech? [Kay @ National Post]
- In defense of lobbying. [Krauthammer @ WaPo]