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Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Over the break I had a chance to catch up on some reading. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, a University of Chicago Professor and repected young economist, was one of the books I chose. Levitt takes a unique approach by examining everyday life situations and breaking down the statistics. He explains, among a list of interesting topics, why a gun in the home is less dangerous than a pool in the backyard, how real estate agents might not always get you the best deal, why most drug dealers still live at home, and most interestingly, how crime rates in major cities actually shrunk throughout the '90s.
Concerning the crime rates in the '90s (please forgive me for my mediocre summarizing skills), the Roe v. Wade decision was responsible for shrinking the population in the inner cities, which in turn, resulted in a lower amount of children being exposed to the adverse conditions which tend to lead to a life of crime. He explores the numbers in depth and ends up making a convincing argument that the Roe v. Wade decision did eventually lead to a drop in the crime rate of major cities. Trust me, he does a much better job at making this argument.
As a law student, I found it amazing to think of the possibility of the unintended long term effects of judicial decisions. I know we focus on policy concerns in class, but almost 100% of the time we are only thinking in the box of the issue with which we are concerned. I would recommend this book for the simple reason that it demands it's readers to look at the bigger picture. I think some of us forget this from time to time.
Friday, January 26, 2007
The forum will be in the Moot Court Room on February 1 from 4:30 5:20.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
While the following links are utterly hilarious to me and probably the others that will read them, I have a hard time believing the Texas Bar Association will find this quite as funny after enough lawyers in Texas forward complaints to them. Make sure you explore his entire site to fully understand the mockery he is presenting. Please see below for some comedy relief:
Texas Bar Association
Monday, January 22, 2007
Congratulations to the Super Bowl-bound Indianapolis Colts!
Friday, January 19, 2007
Apologies for being sluggish on this news. For some reason I did not receive the e-mail announcement. But as many of you already know, IU Law has selected its new dean: Gary R. Roberts, the current Deputy Dean of Tulane University Law School.
According to the memo sent to the student body by Dean Klein, Dean Roberts will take over the helm on July 1 pending approval by the IU Board of Trustees. He will visit campus in February to meet with students.
Professor Roberts teaches sports law, antitrust, labor law, and business enterprises and was awarded a teaching award in 2001, as voted on by Tulane law students. He has numerous credentials in the area of sports law such as having served as the chairman of the Sports Lawyers Association and as chairman of the Association of American Law Schools' Sports Law Section.
Read his full biography here...
At an early glance, this seems to be an excellent selection for the new Dean. Professor Roberts' sports law connections make sense for Indianapolis (in fact, he is friends with the Bill Polian and the Mannings), and the IU-Indy law school was reportedly his top choice.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Next week when President Bush announces changes to the U.S.'s course in Iraq, he is expected to call for a surge in the number of troops there. Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have called for phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq beginning in the next 4 to 6 weeks. The two sides appear to be set on a collision course.
But what power do Congressional Democrats have to pull troops out? One option is to halt funding, but this will most likely be viewed as politically untenable. Another option may be to employ the War Powers Resolution (P.L. 93-148, 1973). Under the WPR, in the absence of a Congressional declaration of war or statutory grant of authority for war, the President has 90 days (60 plus a 30 day extension) to conduct military operations before having to withdraw troops.
In the case of Iraq, Congress has already authorized the use of force. But if the WPR requires Congressional authorization for the use of military force, the implication is that Congress may later remove that authorization. However, this is a relatively untested legal issue.
If the Democrats do try to de-authorize the war in Iraq, President Bush would likely ignore them, claiming the WPR to be unconstitutional. This pits the President's Constitutional role as commander-in-chief against Congress' power to declare war. The Supreme Court has never heard a challenge to the WPR. One indication, however, of how the high court would act may be found in the 2000 D.C. Court of Appeals case Campbell v. Clinton.
In that case, the court refused to grant Tom Campbell, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives standing against President Bill Clinton, when Campbell claimed that Clinton violated the WPR in directing troops beyond 60 days in Yugoslavia. The court argued that Congress has ample outside of judicial remedy to halt hostilities--namely, stopping funding.
The conditions are ripe for this issue to come before the courts. I would appreciate any perspectives, disagreements, and/or corrections, any of you may have in regards to my brief analysis in this post.