28 Sep 2014

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Erwin Chemerinsky, The Case Against The Supreme Court

So often in modern conversation you hear complaints about how out of touch and damaging the Supreme Court has become. Whether from Bush v. Gore, to Citizen’s United, to the more recently destructive Hobby Lobby decision, to name a bare few, the cries against SCOTUS are getting louder by the term. Yet far too often that hue and cry is by lay people and concerned activists, and the scholars and professors serve up a more nuanced take with pulled punches steeped in complicated case law and argument. Not Dean Chemerinsky. This is a full on broadside against what the court has become and, maybe, what it always has been once the romanticized veneer of reverence is stripped away.

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28 Sep 2014

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Erwin Chemerinsky, The Case Against The Supreme Court

Today’s Book Salon is going to be very special. Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California Irvine Law School, has authored an absolutely fantastic book, “The Case Against The Supreme Court.” Both of your hosts today know, and have very long admired Dean Chemerinsky. We both often get asked by friends and readers who, if we got to make the next appointment to the Supreme Court, would we choose. Erwin is at the top of both of our lists. He is truly a progressive and innovative legal mind.

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16 Nov 2013

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Trevor W. Coleman and Peter J. Hammer, Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith

Damon Keith is a legend. The kind of judge other judges speak about with hushed reverence and admiration, and for good reason. I first learned of Judge Keith in law school in the early ’80s when studying what is commonly known as “The Keith Case“. It was, and is, one of the most important Fourth amendment cases in history, and undergirds all significant Fourth Amendment law on domestic targeting and electronic surveillance of persons within the United States.

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16 Nov 2013

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Trevor W. Coleman and Peter J. Hammer, Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith

Damon Keith is a legend. The kind of judge other judges speak about with hushed reverence and admiration, and for good reason. I first learned of Judge Keith in law school in the early 80s when studying what is commonly known as “The Keith Case“. It was, and is, one of the most important Fourth amendment cases in history, and undergirds all significant Fourth Amendment law on domestic targeting and electronic surveillance of persons within the United States.

Nobody knows the real name of the case, which is United States v. United States District Court, and only the wonky few among us ever knew the actual criminal defendants’ names. Everybody knows “The Keith Case” by the name of the brilliant and gutsy young judge who tamed the US government in the early 1970s. That man is Damon Keith, and he is STILL an active judge on the Sixth Circuit, albeit on senior status.

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25 Aug 2013

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Thomas J. Healy, The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

No right seems more fundamental to American public life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century, that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one’s political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States.

Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero.

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25 Aug 2013

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Thomas J. Healy, The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

The greatest works on history have lessons for their readers today, and we have such a volume for this Salon. It is a tale of both men and justice; of both a man and a Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes. Today we are here to discuss “The Great Dissent: How US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes changed his mind – and a nation – on the question of freedom of speech”. It is the tale of arguably America’s greatest Supreme Court Justice and his most enduring work, the gestation of modern First Amendment law – work performed on the losing side of the case no less.

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26 Jan 2013

Obama Recess Appointments Slapped Down by DC Circuit, CFPB at Risk

What can only be described as a blockbuster opinion was just handed down by the DC Circuit in the case of Canning v NLRB, the validity of President Obama’s recess appointments has been slapped down. Here is the full opinion. The three judge panel was Chief Judge David Sentelle, Karen Henderson and Thomas Griffith, all Republican appointees.

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29 Dec 2012

DOJ Colludes With Scott Bloch to Ratify Perjury and Obstruction of Congress

The event we have all long been waiting for came just in time to have been lost in the the Christmas/New Year’s holidays. Yes, it is the much anticipated news on the DOJ “prosecution” of the former Office of Special Counsel head, under the Bush/Cheney regime, Scott Bloch.

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14 Oct 2012

R.I.P. Senator Specter, You Will Be Missed

The Snarlin’ has ceased.

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05 May 2012

The Padilla v. Yoo Decision Will Not Put Chong’s Claim Up in Smoke

There has already been a lot of very good commentary across the internets and media on the notable decision in the 9th Circuit this week in the case of Jose Padilla v. John Yoo. Although many, if not most, commenters seem outraged, the decision is, sadly, both predictable and expected. I also think Marcy had about the right, and appropriately snarky, take on the decision embodied in her post title “Jay Bybee’s Colleagues Say OLC Lawyers Couldn’t Know that Torture Was Torture in 2001-2003“. Yep, that is just about right.

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