May It Please The Court
Quote of the Day - Only for the phony is commercialism-the bending of creativity to common utility-a naughty word. To the truly creative, it is a bridge to the great audience, a means of sharing rather than debasing.
Crass Commercialism at its CrassiestFor all you lawyers and law-oriented non-lawyers, here's your chance to show the world just how much you love the law. You can emblazon your clothing, mugs, calendars, note cards, bags and other odds and ends with our new Judge. I don't have a name for him yet - maybe I'll have to sponsor a contest to name him. And of course the prize will be ....
Thanks to the cartoonist at Conservative Crust, MIPTC will soon sport a new logo. The logo should be up on the weblog within a few days, but you can see it (and buy it) right now at the MIPTC logo store. Yes, it's trademarked.
That's right - crass commercialism at is crassiest. So buy for your entire law firm, family, friends and even babies!
From now on when I send gifts, I know what I'm buying.
Covering the trialExpanding the horizons of blogging, the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot moved reporting into the Courtroom with real-time blogging. Reporter Kerry Sipe is providing up-to-the-minute coverage of the trial of one of the DC snipers, John Allen Muhammad.
Some purists would argue that it's not a true blog in the sense that it doesn't quite look like a blog (no links, calendar, comments, etc.) on the blog page. These features appear elsewhere on the site, and in fact work much better than most blogs I've seen. But then again, it's commercial, and we're paying for it with ads and subscriptions.
But it's more up to date than this daily blog.
The Virginan-Pilot's blog does have an archive of sorts that features articles written about the other Defendant Lee Boyd Malvo. There's an entire index dedicated to just about every aspect of the cases, including a timeline, video, series of photos, graphics and polls. You can even submit your local site.
Of course, as with all media circuses, someone has to write an article about the Boys on the Bus, the "story about the story."
Which makes this post a story about the story about the story.
Or something like that.
What Can We Pledge Allegiance To?The "One Nation under God" dispute will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this session.
Remember the national uproar when the Ninth Circuit ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional? Athiest Michael Newdow challenged his daughter's school district's requirement to recite the pledge? Newdow holds medical and law degrees and claims to be an ordained minister. He will argue the case himself.
His daughter's mother, Sandra Banning, has no objection to the Pledge, which confuses things even more.
A confluence of events may allow the ruling to stand. Justice Anton Scalia will recuse himself from the case due to his comments that criticized the ruling. That would likely lead to a 4-4 deadlock on the court.
Moreover, the Court has already gone on record with a series of rulings that would appear to uphold this ruling. The Supreme Court has already said that schoolchildren cannot be required to recite the oath that begins, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America." That case arose out of the Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs against the pledge.
The court has also repeatedly barred school-sponsored prayer from classrooms, playing fields and school ceremonies.
The First Amendment guarantees that government will not "establish" religion. That prohibition created a general ban on overt government sponsorship of religion in public schools and other forums.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court itself begins each of its sessions with the phrase "God Save the United States and this honorable court." The Declaration of Independence refers to God or to the creator four different times. Congress and many other legislatures around the country begin each session each day with a prayer. Our currency - inluding the new peach-colored 20-dollar bills - contains the phrase, "In God We Trust."
The phrase "under God," however, was not part of the original pledge adopted by Congress as a patriotic tribute in 1942, at the height of World War II. Congress inserted the phrase more than a decade later, in 1954, when the cold war was in full swing.
Supporters (a la' Senator Joe McCarthy) of the new wording said it would set the United States apart from godless communism.
Oh bother! What's another $500,000?Winnie the Pooh and the 100-acre wood bring back childhood memories of innocence and hunny. But today, I'm afraid we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
The revolving door of lawyers has swung around once again. Let me explain the connection.
As this article explains, in 1991, the original Pooh cartoonist's wife's (Shirley Slesinger) heirs sued Disney over its non-payment of royalties to the Slesingers. The litigation hasn't stopped since then.
During the pending litigation, the Slesingers have changed lawyers like they change underwear. According to the SoCalLaw Blog, the Slesingers have had seven teams of lawyers in the last twelve years. The latest set of lawyers, however, may have established a new record.
The Slesingers said Friday "During the last couple of months, Jones Day's fees for handling this matter were much higher than either we or the firm expected."
Admittedly, Alan E. Friedman, an attorney with Jones Day, said in a letter sent to the court "cost considerations have led (the family) to conclude it cannot afford to have Jones Day continue as its counsel."
According to an IMBD article, those fees were in excess of $500,000 per month.
A simple, fun-loving bear who was given by a father, A.A. Milne, to his son, Christopher Robin Milne on his first birthday in 1925 has transformed into a meglo-marketing effort generating millions and long-running court battles.
What would Pooh say? Oh bother!
Let's Kill Endangered Species to Save ThemHere's a bright idea: allow the importation of endangered species and their parts (as if that were not enough contradiction in itself) to promote conservation.
Our very own U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service came up with this wild revelation. So far, thankfully, it's only a proposal. No one in the USFWS seems to have hit upon the idea that it's illegal under the 30-year old Endangered Species Act - which is posted right there on the USFWS website.
The least you think they could have done was read it.
And now, we have another classic, bureaucratice epuhemism for the name of the plan: "proposed enhancement-of-survival policy."
I think Adam Roberts said it best when he called the proposed policy "a horribly dangerous precedent, a wrong-headed conservation policy propelled by the circus and zoo, trophy-hunting lobby in the United States and others who want to profit by the commercialization of live animals or dead ones."
"Eco-tourism" activities -- such as safaris and whale-watching trips -- generate more income than would trophy-hunting and whale killing, he said. Roberts is a senior research associate at the nonprofit Animal Welfare Institute, an advocacy group for endangered species.
Stopped at the Border, Dirty Air Not Allowed InWhere does air pollution come from and how can you tell? The Ninth Circuit tackled this thorny issue and decided it could tell.
The suit brought by the Sierra Club against the USEPA. The Clean Air Act required California's Imperial County to demonstrate that it had reached certain air quality standards for PM-10, or particle matter concentration, by the end of 1994 (the CAA's deadline to meet attainment for the PM-10 limits).
Six years after the attainment date expired and the County was not in complance, no one had taken any action. The Sierra Club filed suit in the D.C. federal court, and the USEPA promised to issue a decision by 2001.
The California Air Resources Board found that the Imperial Valley “would have attained the national ambient air quality standards. . . but for emissions emanating from outside the United States, i.e., Mexico,” and the EPA agreed. Imperial County shares 80 miles of border with Mexico.
The Sierra Club didn't agree, and filed suit again.
In the suit, the Sierra Club presented evidence that on the two dates when particulate emissions were in excess of the PM-10 standards, the wind direction was from the west, and not from the south, where Mexicali, the Mexican city alleged to be the principal source of transborder PM-10, is located.
The Ninth Circuit agreed, and agreed so much that it did not order further court proceedings. It ordered the EPA to designate Imperial Valley as a non-attainment area for PM-10.
Apparently, Imperial Valley's high childhood asthma rates and its death rate from respiratory diseases is more than double that of California, according to Dr. Timothy Krantz.
The designation as a non-attainment area will mean that more expensive controls have to be placed on agricultural operations. These controls could include increased use of water in an already water-starved area.
There's no easy answer to this question for Imperial County. Other than to place the same controls on Mexico, clean air is going to take water, money and time.
A Ripping Good TimeThe Hyatt Newporter's Summer Jazz Series ended with the Rippingtons' performance tonight.
18 weeks of great jazz and a good time. Saxophonist Eric Merienthal was fanstastic, as was the rest of the band.
When it comes to great music, what more is there to say?
A Sneaking Suspicion?Sneaking Suspicions posted a tip of the hat to MIPTC and ACWOS yesterday. I'm grateful, and happy as well to return the praise. SS has a great post up on higher learning, technology and the youth of today.
OK, so it's a rant about a kid at a cash register who can't figure out how to make change. But it's still funny.