Monthly Archives: October 2007

Not Unreasonable

Via Blenderlaw, this classic:

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In Law School We Present Every Point of View

Law school dialectics:


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Scary Linux Distro Eats Hard Drives Like Candy!!!

Ubuntu may be dramatically shortening the life of your laptop's hard drive. (But you can work around the bug.)

Speaking of Scary Linux Distributions….

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What’s Big, Wet, and Can Drown 500,000 People?

A nightmare: a dam built on a foundation of gypsum —which dissolves when it comes into contact with water.

Iraqi Dam Seen In Danger of Deadly Collapse: The largest dam in Iraq is in serious danger of an imminent collapse that could unleash a trillion-gallon wave of water, possibly killing thousands of people and flooding two of the largest cities in the country, according to new assessments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other U.S. officials.

Even in a country gripped by daily bloodshed, the possibility of a catastrophic failure of the Mosul Dam has alarmed American officials, who have concluded that it could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths by drowning Mosul under 65 feet of water and parts of Baghdad under 15 feet, said Abdulkhalik Thanoon Ayoub, the dam manager. “The Mosul dam is judged to have an unacceptable annual failure probability,” in the dry wording of an Army Corps of Engineers draft report.

At the same time, a U.S. reconstruction project to help shore up the dam in northern Iraq has been marred by incompetence and mismanagement, according to Iraqi officials and a report by a U.S. oversight agency to be released Tuesday.

Right, dictator's stupid decision followed up by US incompetence and mis-management in Iraq. If only it was only a nightmare.

See also The Carpetbagger for the usual good commentary.

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Spooky Cases

Contracts: Deptula v. Simpson and Stambovsky v. Ackley.

Civil Procedure: US ex rel. Mayo v. Satan and His Staff.

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eye-camera.jpgHappy Halloween.

Only scary posts today!

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Do My Students Know This?

In the warm-up to an excellent essay about styles of Supreme Court jurisprudence, U.Chicago Prof. Geoffrey R. Stone recites some basic truths that seem utterly lost on most of the US press. And I have to wonder how many law students today understand that the Supreme Court today is a reactionary court.

The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog: Constitutional Vision The current Supreme Court is not “balanced” in any meaningful sense of that term. It is, in fact, an extremely conservative Court – more conservative than any group of nine Justices who have sat together in living memory. Here are some ways of testing this proposition:

  • Seven of the current nine Justices were appointed by Republican presidents.
  • Twelve of the fourteen most recent Supreme Court appointments have been made by Republican presidents.
  • Four of the current Justices are more conservative than any other Justice who has served on the Court in living memory.
  • The so-called “swing vote” on the Court has moved to the right every single time it has shifted over the past forty years, from Stewart to Powell to O'Connor to Kennedy.
  • As Justice Stevens recently observed, every Justice who has been appointed in the past forty years was more conservative that the Justice he or she replaced.
  • If we regard Warren, Douglas, Brennan, and Marshall as the model of a “liberal” Justice, then there is no one within even hailing distance of a “liberal” Justice on the current Supreme Court.

In fact, the current Court consists of five conservative Justices, four of whom are very conservative, and four moderate Justices, one of whom, Ginsburg, is moderately liberal. As Justice Stevens recently observed, it is only the presence of so many very conservative Justices that makes the moderate Justices appear liberal. But this is merely an illusion.

My own views are probably somewhere between Justice Stevens's and Justice Brennan's, but whatever your views, this must surely be recognized as a factually accurate description of the current Supreme Court.

By the way, I do recommend the entire essay — that was just the warm-up.

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