Monthly Archives: December 2008

Fellowship Opportunity for Graduating Law Student

ACS Offers Paid, One-Year Law Fellowship

The American Constitution Society (ACS), one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations, seeks a talented, versatile and energetic recent law school graduate to serve as a Law Fellow. The Fellowship will begin in September 2009. The Fellow will serve as part of ACS's Programs staff, which is led by a group of experienced attorneys who coordinate and facilitate ACS's rapidly expanding output of innovative, highly relevant legal and public policy work. The Fellow will work with existing Programs staff to assist in coordinating the work of ACS's Constitution in the 21st Century project, an ambitious multi-year effort to engage scholars, practitioners, public officials and law students in the articulation and dissemination of a progressive vision of the Constitution, law and public policy. In close coordination with the Programs staff attorneys, the Fellow will:

  • Assist in developing and planning ACS speaking programs on cutting-edge legal and policy issues, such as briefings at the National Press Club and on Capitol Hill, conferences and symposia around the country and the ACS National Convention;
  • Manage the listservs of the ACS Issue Groups (ACS's national network of legal practitioners, scholars, and activists), selecting and posting relevant materials and leading substantive discussions among Issue Group members;
  • Help draft program guides for ACS chapters and materials for the public such as short papers based on ACS Issue Briefs;
  • Maintain relations with public interest advocates, academics and private practitioners;
  • Perform legal research and writing projects as assigned, to further the work of the ACS Issue Groups;
  • Attend conferences, hearings or other events as assigned; and
  • Assist the Program team in other ways as the need arises.

The Fellowship is a one-year position, with salary and excellent benefits provided by ACS. A law degree from a U.S. law school is required. The ideal candidate will be a recent law school graduate who has a strong academic record; excellent research, writing and oral communication skills; and strong interpersonal skills. He or she also will have demonstrated initiative, organization and attention to detail.

Salary commensurate with other public service legal fellowships; the same benefits that are offered to full-time ACS staff. ACS is an equal opportunity employer; women, people of color, people with disabilities, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are encouraged to apply. To apply, send a cover letter; resume; 5-10 page, self-edited writing sample; and three references to ACS via U.S. mail (ACS, 1333 H Street NW, 11th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005); email (; or fax (202-393-6189; Attn: Shannon Hiller). No phone calls please.

Posted in Law School | Leave a comment

Taddeo to SBA?

Washington Post columnist Al Kamen writes in The Cabinet: Who's Next?, that local candidate Annette Taddeo may be in line for a good job under Obama:

Monica C. Lozano — Los Angeles businesswoman, major political player and publisher of La Opinion, the largest Spanish-language paper in the country — had been seen as a possibility for the Small Business Administration, not quite a Cabinet job but kind of. That doesn't appear to be happening, either. There's talk that Annette Taddeo, a Colombian-born business executive who lost last month to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), may be in the mix for the SBA.

Taddeo ran a very disciplined campaign. I was impressed by her office and her ability to show up on time. I'm sure she'd be a first-class choice.

Update: An out-of-towner writes to ask “is that the nicest thing you can say about Taddeo?” What this question fails to grasp is that by Miami standards, showing up on time is not just a @#$# miracle, but a sign of serious, praise-worthy organization that surmounts the major obstacles that nobody is ever ever on time for anything around here… Let there be no doubt: I think she'd be great.

Posted in Politics: FL-18 | 1 Comment

On Shoe-Throwing

kast_sko is a Norwegian website dedicated to letting you throw a flash shoe at George W. Bush.

I gather some folks are thinking of organizing a real-life event to throw shoes onto the White House lawn. Arguably in bad taste, like the website, if it seems to somehow endorse the act of throwing shoes at people. I'm fine with shoes on lawns, but not for hard objects thrown at people.

But here's my question: If that shoes-on-the-White-House-lawn idea takes off, would that be the first major cultural import from Iraq since the war began?

Posted in Completely Different | 4 Comments

I Got Polled Last Night

A pollster called last night, wanting to speak to the “youngest male in the household who is over 18.” Which turns out to be me.

All the questions were about relations with Cuba — should we allow relatives to travel, everyone to travel, relatives to send remittances, foster cultural exchanges etc. The only two somewhat surprising questions were at the end: Would support for relaxing the embargo make me more likely to vote for a Congressional candidate? And, which is more important, the Cuba issue or health care, education and the economy?

They never tell you who sponsored the poll, so I don't know if this was for a news organization, or — it seems much less likely it being so early — for someone thinking of running for Congress in 2010.

Posted in Miami | Leave a comment

Wouldn’t It Be Nice if Obama Pardoned Thomas M. Tamm?

Newsweek, The Whistleblower Who Exposed Warrantless Wiretaps:

In the spring of 2004, Tamm had just finished a yearlong stint at a Justice Department unit handling wiretaps of suspected terrorists and spies—a unit so sensitive that employees are required to put their hands through a biometric scanner to check their fingerprints upon entering. While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. The unit had special rules that appeared to be hiding the NSA activities from a panel of federal judges who are required to approve such surveillance. When Tamm started asking questions, his supervisors told him to drop the subject. He says one volunteered that “the program” (as it was commonly called within the office) was “probably illegal.”

Tamm agonized over what to do. He tried to raise the issue with a former colleague working for the Senate Judiciary Committee. But the friend, wary of discussing what sounded like government secrets, shut down their conversation. For weeks, Tamm couldn't sleep. The idea of lawlessness at the Justice Department angered him. Finally, one day during his lunch hour, Tamm ducked into a subway station near the U.S. District Courthouse on Pennsylvania Avenue. He headed for a pair of adjoining pay phones partially concealed by large, illuminated Metro maps. Tamm had been eyeing the phone booths on his way to work in the morning. Now, as he slipped through the parade of midday subway riders, his heart was pounding, his body trembling. Tamm felt like a spy. After looking around to make sure nobody was watching, he picked up a phone and called The New York Times.

That one call began a series of events that would engulf Washington—and upend Tamm's life. Eighteen months after he first disclosed what he knew, the Times reported that President George W. Bush had secretly authorized the NSA to intercept phone calls and e-mails of individuals inside the United States without judicial warrants. The drama followed a quiet, separate rebellion within the highest ranks of the Justice Department concerning the same program. (James Comey, then the deputy attorney general, together with FBI head Robert Mueller and several other senior Justice officials, threatened to resign.) President Bush condemned the leak to the Times as a “shameful act.” Federal agents launched a criminal investigation to determine the identity of the culprit.

The story of Tamm's phone call is an untold chapter in the history of the secret wars inside the Bush administration. The New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for its story. The two reporters who worked on it each published books. Congress, after extensive debate, last summer passed a major new law to govern the way such surveillance is conducted. But Tamm—who was not the Times's only source, but played the key role in tipping off the paper—has not fared so well. The FBI has pursued him relentlessly for the past two and a half years. Agents have raided his house, hauled away personal possessions and grilled his wife, a teenage daughter and a grown son. More recently, they've been questioning Tamm's friends and associates about nearly every aspect of his life. Tamm has resisted pressure to plead to a felony for divulging classified information. But he is living under a pall, never sure if or when federal agents might arrest him.

Wouldn't it be great if President Obama were to pardon Mr. Tamm on his first day in office?

Dream on.

But at least it is possible that the Holder Justice Dept. will drop the investigation.

PS. Why is the GOP making its first attack on Obama via Holder? Partly it's because he has a vulnerability on the Rich pardon — opportunity. But the motive — from the people who waved through Gonzales without a demur — is that the Justice Dept is the office that is most likely to hurt them by turning over some rocks…

Posted in Civil Liberties | 17 Comments

2.5 Million Page Views recently broke the 2.5 million page views mark via Sitemeter. I don't happen to think Sitemeter is a very reliable index (it both over and under counts actual readership, and doesn't count RSS readers, increasingly the majority, at all). Still, it counts something, and whatever that is, 2.5 million seems an awfully big number.

Thank you, whoever you are. (And please feel free to tell me who you are, if you've got a moment.)

Posted in | 1 Comment