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Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
'Alabama revisits issue of federal vs. state power'
Posted 5:22 PM by Luke
This AP article states that four GOP candidates for the Alabama Supreme Court believe that state supreme courts should not be bound by Supreme Court precedent on matters of federal law.

One of the candidates, Justice Tom Parker, is running for Chief Justice, while the other three are competing in the GOP primary. Currently the Alabama high court is completely Republican.

In a newspaper opinion piece Parker wrote, "State supreme courts may decline to follow bad U.S. Supreme Court precedents because those decisions bind only the parties to the particular case."

Parker's opponent, the incumbant Alabama Chief Justice, has called this position "bizarre."


Not only would this position, if it comes into dominance in the Alabama high court, revisit an issue settled since the 1800s, it would also accomplish very little besides perhaps increasing the U.S. Supreme Court's caseload.

Can/will anyone defend this?
Monday, May 29, 2006
Indy 500
Posted 2:35 PM by Luke
The Indianapolis 500, in its 90th running, proved once again that it is the greatest spectacle in racing.

Besides the thrill of the race itself, the event was attended with the customary pomp and tradition. Numerous celebrities were there (not that I care about that), the Archbishop gave the invocation, the Purdue marching band played the Indiana state song "On the Banks of the Wabash," Jim Neighbors sang "Back Home Again in Indiana," Florence Henderson sang "God Bless America," a military trumpeter played "Taps," the Marion County sheriffs stood on their motorcycles, the balloons were released, Mary George said "Lady and Gentlemen start your engines!," F-16's flew over, etc. etc. etc.

For anyone who has gone to the race as long as myself--16 years now--this routine is ingrained in our memories. Though really there is nothing routine about it as every year I get goosebumps at hearing the sounds of the engines coming to life before the start of the race.


The race itself was great as well. A handful of drivers were competitive for the top spots, and there were many great storylines. Would the race see its first female winner in Dana Patrick? Would Michael Andretti, coming out of retirement to race with his son Marco, make a run for victory lane? Would Marco, only 19 years old, be able to compete, or perhaps even become the youngest winner in the race's history?

With 5 laps remaining, the race saw Michael Andretti in the top spot, Marco in 2nd, and Penske driver Sam Hornish in 3rd. These storylines could hardly have been better served. And with Hornish pulling out the second closest victory ever in Indy, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing was over once again.

[check out the Indy Star's excellent coverage of the race...] by Kelly Wilkinson / The Star
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Separation of Powers and the FBI raid on Rep. Jefferson's office
Posted 5:29 PM by Luke
The latest Congressman to be investigated for taking a bribe, Rep. William Jefferson (D - Louisiana), had his congressional office raided by the FBI this weekend. Subsequently Congressional leaders--both Republican and Democratic--have come together criticizing the move as a violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine. The House Judiciary Committee has even started an official inquiry into the matter.

But is there any weight to their arguments? Most of the commentators suggest that there is not. The argument most likely would rest on the so-called 'Speech and Debate' clause:
The Senators and Representatives . . . shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place. (Art. I, s. 6, cl. 1)
My friend Chris, a prospective law student who wrote this must-read post on this matter, states the immediately apparent defect in using this clause, "Given that executing a search warrant involves neither an arrest nor questioning, it would seem to me that the Clause isn't applicable."

Chris also quotes pertinent case-law. Check it out.

If anyone would take a more liberal interpretation of the Speech & Debate clause, please share. Is Congress beginning a wild-goose chase?
Monday, May 15, 2006
'Advice for the incoming class of 2009'
Posted 1:13 PM by Luke
Along the lines of Josh's post, a student at the Ohio State University - Moritz law school sent me this list of advice for incoming 1L's, as submitted by graduating Moritz 3L's. Check it out...

Here are but a few examples from that list:

- "Do something you enjoy that’s not related to school for at least 20 minutes a day."

- "Ask upper classmen about professors before signing up for random classes."

- "If group studying doesn't work for you, DON'T join a study'll do just as well (if not better) by studying on your own, and asking your fellow students and/or professor if you don't understand things. If group studying doesn't work for you, and you join a study group anyway, your grades could suffer..."

- "DO NOT listen to anyone around you about what classes are easy, what study strategies work, etc. It totally depends on who you are and what your abilities are. I made the mistake of listening to others my first year and my grades suffered. Just do what you think is best for you." ...
Saturday, May 13, 2006

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