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Saturday, October 30, 2004
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Dr. Sheila Kennedy, from the ICLU, spoke at the law school yesterday afternoon. Her talk, along with a short film, were part of a larger presentation called "Just One Vote"-- the point of which was that one must consider the probable Supreme Court nominations that the next president will make when one votes in the upcoming election.
I'll spare you the play-by-play of the presentation and instead focus on a central question that arose: in what manner must the Constitution be considered a "living document"?
Dr. Kennedy condemned the jurisprudence of Scalia and those like him as ignoring the changes of the day. To paraphrase her: 'The internet was not around at the time of James Madison.' However, I feel that she failed to draw a critical distinction here.
While the Constitution must be applied to new circumstances, technology, etc. that did not exist at the time of its drafting, must "new law" be found in the Constitution to so apply? I say no. What say you?
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Tomorrow, Wednesday, is the beginning of the sittings for the Class of 2005 graduation composite. Everyone who is having their photo taken please look sharp. Hard to believe it is the beginning of the end for many of us.
Enjoy The Outside
As much as we are inside this building for our classes, meetings, career fairs, salsa dancing, and other activities we do have a nice courtyard and grassy lawn nearby. GO OUT AND ENJOY IT! With the pressures of studying, moot court, editing law review articles, classes, and everything else never underestimate the value that a change in scenery will give you. At times all you need is a brief resprite to improve your mood. If anything take your highlighters with you and read your casebook out there. Your book is analog, requires no power outlets, and if the network is down or the wireless LAN doesn't reach the tables next to the water fall your book still works fine.
It will be very cold and gray soon. Enjoy the nice days while they are still here.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Today's Must Read
Richard Posner brutally mocks law review editors. "Welcome to a world where inexperienced editors make articles about the wrong topics worse."
Sunday, October 24, 2004
A look at what would happen to law students if we didn't have TV (if the strip were written in 2004, I think it would feature the internet instead). (Hat tip PMDC)
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Now judges are terrorism targets
According to this Chicago Sun-Times article:
MADRID -- A Muslim militant schemed to punish Spain with the "biggest blow of its history" -- a half-ton suicide truck bombing of the National Court aimed at killing judges investigating Islamic terror, including the Madrid train attacks, said a police intelligence report obtained Wednesday.
Recruiting law students to oversee the elections...
A couple weeks ago I got a call from some guy in Washington, D.C. from one of the party's national committees. He said that they wanted me to come out to Ohio for 5 days preceding the election-- all expenses paid-- to help out with the campaign there.
At the time I thought it kindof strange, though I realized that Indiana is not in play, so it makes sense to ask for Hoosier volunteers.
Since then I have heard that several of my law school friends have been asked to come to other states to help out. Further, they have been told that their primary responsibility will be to oversee the voting for irregularities and fraud.
Smart move by the politicos: take advantage of the young lawyers-to-be' litigious hunger.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
There's now an AntitrustProf Blog. Says Prof. Volokh, "Some day, there will be groups of law professor blogs covering every specialty area. If you want to see the latest ideas coming from the legal academy, you will start by reading blogs, not law reviews."
Thursday, October 14, 2004
The Perils Of Student Leadership
Many of your fellow classmates occupy a position of student leadership. If you are a 1L those are the positions you will be filling next year. Many good things come from being a student leader. You learn to organize time and material. You learn to delegate items so you do not have to do it all. You learn budget skills. You learn how to communicate with people that you want to be guest speakers. You make contacts. You learn to adapt. As a big fish in this pond you will learn what you are made of.
Being a student leader of any kind does involve sacrifices of time and energy. The higher level of position you have, the greater those sacrifices become. The pressure to be an active organization is high. The desire to get interesting speakers for the student body is also high. It is given that one purpose of student organizations is to provide new experiences and thoughts for you, the student body.
What is it like to be a student leader? Walk in my shoes for a day and find out.
7:55am Arrive at school and create one last email to the student body informing them of the lunch meeting and speaker we are having. Please note this is the last item in my prepared schedule that went according to plan.
8:01am Student Bar Association Secretary notices I am here and asks that I come to a breakfast starting NOW to meet and greet with a honored guest of the school who will be speaking the next day. As a general rule those in student leadership positions try to support each other. It is an unwritten rule. There goes for preparing for class.
8:02am Secure parking pass for my guest speaker.
8:05am Arrive at room where the breakfast is. Have an enjoyable conversation with someone who used to be on the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
8:45am to 10:06am Class. My speaker should arrive at 11:00am so I have less than an hour to review for other classes.
10:07am Try to get the free parking pass for the guest speaker and discover he has "just" arrived a few minutes ago. Unfortunately no one knows where he is right now. I now realize I have lost my guest speaker.
10:09am Wait by the elevators in the atrium. This was our prearranged meeting spot. After 5 minutes I still do not see him.
10:15am Go to the office of a professor who is a friend of my speaker. Perhaps he went upstairs to say hi?
10:22am Still no speaker in the faculty suite. Begin search of Inlow Hall. If I were a stranger in this building, where would I go?
10:27am Find an elderly gentleman sipping tea in the cafeteria. Apologize profusely for any mix-up in communication. Discover he is an easygoing person. As host I perform escort duties for our guest.
10:30am Escort guest to see his friend. I listen to two scholars discuss the interaction between international law and domestic politics for about a half-hour.
11:10am Go back to the cafeteria and purchase water bottle so my speaker does not dry out. I have a quick lunch as we discuss the topics to be covered during the lunch meeting.
11:40am Go upstairs and wait for class to get out so we can start the meeting. Wonder where the pizza is and where is the person I delegated that task to.
11:50am Start meeting, introduce guest, and tell the assembled crowd of 40 or so that I shall inquire about the location of our lunch.
11:52am Make phone call the person who was supposed to get pizza. Discover he has been very sick, is about to go to the doctor, sent me an email explaining that he could not get the pizza (which I had not read yet obviously). Nothing I can do about it now so I just roll with it. Explain that I am not mad and hope he gets well.
12:45pm Meeting has gone very well. Many seemed to like the topic. Escort guest down to the parking garage and make sure he can get to West Street.
Admittedly the above is an extreme example of how a day can go. Yet if you want to become a student leader you need to know that things like this can and do happen. At the time I felt like there was a hook just leading me around despite my best intentions. Many people in positions such as mine have natural tendencies to control things. That is the fun thing about being a student leader, you do have a limited amount of power, but you can not control everything. Just like in life. You can be a big fish in this small pond. You can learn many things that will help you in the real world. Yet the best lesson to learn for us as leaders is that the pond out there in the real world is far larger than Inlow pond. For those who will be replacing me and my other compatriots in the student leadership world soon: go for it, but do not take yourself too seriously. We will be small fish again once we graduate.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Spring Schedule Is Up
The rough draft of the spring semester class schedule is online now. Go take a look to see what classes are available. I'll let you discuss the potential quality.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Notes from this weekend's activities
Sunday, October 10, 2004
"It's in the Bible. It should be in the constitution."
- a self-described Christian in Ohio, explaining his support for a ban on gay marriage
[Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the link]
Friday, October 08, 2004
The Best Interest Of The Child
A coalition led by the Indiana Civil Rights Council is planning to sue all 50 states in an attempt to change child custody laws that are perceived as unfair.
The lawsuits use a wide range of constitutional grounds to argue that a child's natural parents both have an equal right to custody, but that right for one parent is too often trumped by a swell-sounding but ill-defined legal standard known as "the best interest of the child."
Some of us are children of a divorced marriage. Some of us are divorced parents. Many of us have lived under the Best Interest Of The Child standard in one way or another. While many would argue that the Best Interest standard is a good idea, I suspect fewer supporters would agree that it is always implemented the way it should be. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit content that the rights of 25 million non-custodial parents have been violated by a lack of a presumptive standard of 50-50 joint custody.
[A Pennsylvania] bill would set a "presumptive standard"
Why have the presumptive standard?
[A]dvocates say it's discriminatory not to equally protect both parents' full rights until and unless the facts show that one parent has forfeited them.
The relationship between parent and child is emotional and important to many. I don't know whether the Best Interest standard or Presumptive 50-50 standard is the best. If this much controversy exists though, perhaps experts in the fields of family and constitutional law, psychology, education, and legislators should have a long talk to figure out what is best for the child.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Smells Like School Spirit.
This weekend we have Jog For Justice, SBA Flag Football Tourney, and salsa dancing for extracurricular activities. It is a shame so few of you are going to participate in any of those events. I realize that we, as students, have limited funds and limited time. The fact that three interesting events got scheduled on the same weekend does not help either, and forces you to pick and choose what you can attend. However, I have noticed over the past few years that we as a student body tend not to participate in many events that have nothing to do with making contacts, getting jobs, or have alcohol at them. Why is that? No answer comes to me.
Jog For Justice had difficulty coming up with 150 or so runners the last I heard. In fact a fair number who are in it are not even students, but outside runners who want to participate in a worthy cause. Given the numerous student organizations you would think that the flag football tourney would have come up with more than six teams, but we did not. I have heard comments on how participating for salsa night depending on is there going to be alcohol there. At best we seem apathetic, at worst...I don't know.
You would think that between the work of classes, internships, LARC assignments, moot court, law review, jobs, and all the other things that we do as a part of school that that the student body woud relish being part of activities that allow you to see your friends and fellow classmates in a totally different and relaxing light. Yet we don't for whatever reason.
Many of the people in this building now will be your coworkers, industry mates, and friends for the rest of your life. Don't you want to know what the person on the other side of the room is like before you graduate and then file a motion for summary judgment against his future client? Why don't you take the time to do so now?
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
One of the most discussed criticisms/critiques in Moot Court, at least at IU-Indy, is deference to the bench. As any competitor, I strive to show the utmost respect and deference to the Court because it is, as everyone makes clear, a very important aspect of oral arguments. I listen to US Supreme Court oral arguments on a regular basis online, and I think it'd be ideal if all of the judges and competitors listened to a few so that we're all on the same page of what is expected and normal at a typical. From talking to competitors and fellow judges, the acceptable range in moot court is more irratic than it is in real life. But then again, that's the nature of moot court.
Speaking of the Supreme Court, there are several interesting issues facing the SCOTUS this term.