Recently in Around the Web Category
"If you want to send a message, use Western Union." As with the recently dismissed Common Cause suit against the filibuster, however, we often see activists trying to craft legislative policy with the courts. Thankfully, courts are more reluctant to play philosopher-king than fifty years ago, and in some cases, defendants are fighting back.
- ASPCA and several other organizations brought a trumped-up suit in 2000 against Ringling Brothers in an attempt to bar its use of elephants. The lead-witness plaintiff's sole source of income, however, was $190,000 paid by the animal-rights organizations for bringing the suit; the federal court found his after-the-fact allegations of emotional distress from witnessing elephant mistreatment were not credible. The parent company, Feld Entertainment countersued for the malicious litigation, and ASPCA recently settled—for a jaw-dropping $9.3 million. The RICO countersuit remains pending against several other defendants; CNN quotes the Humane Society as denying the allegations against it. [Ringling Bros. litigation website; ASPCA press release; Daily Caller; WSJ via Adler @ Volokh; Overlawyered on the case for years; Steele]
- CEI files an anti-SLAPP motion against Michael Mann after he sues them for libel for criticizing him. [CEI; earlier on POL (see which for disclaimers)]
- Per @andrewgrossman, "Lawsuits seek to generate 'awareness' of global warming, cost states a bundle." [Greenwire]
- Speaking of a waste of taxpayer dollars, Walter Olson has the tale of the taxpayer-funded University of Maryland law clinic trying to destroy state jobs with an expensive meritless environmental suit against a local family farm. The clinic lost and is hoping to appeal. [Olson @ Balt. Sun; Overlawyered link roundup]
Compare and contrast: the case of Ed Blum, who has been bringing successful cases to the Supreme Court to enforce the Constitution's requirement of race-neutrality. [Biskupic @ Reuters]
As I've previously said, there's a lot of opportunity for the motivated conservative legal entrepreneur.
- Michael Carvin testimony defends Citizens United and criticizes DOJ's attacks on Texas over redistricting; meanwhile, no one in the media is covering the fact that DOJ's litigation against South Carolina was politically motivated, brought over the objections of liberal career staff. [Senate Judiciary Committee; Adams]
- SCOTUSblog symposium on the Fisher case.
- Our vulnerable embassies. [City Journal; Steyn]
- Did the NCAA exceed its powers to shake down Penn State for tens of millions of dollars? [Little]
- Is the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States an agency beyond judicial review? [Elwood @ Volokh]
- "If At First You Don't Succeed As A Patent Troll, Just Sue Again" [TechDirt]
- "Ambassador's murder fuels calls for hate-speech bans" [OL link round-up]
- Calls for a new Glass-Steagall are political posturing and misguided. [Wallach]
- A small number of studies report positive results for childhood early intervention programs; most do not. [Murray]
- "Obama skirts rule of law to reward pals, punish foes" [Barone]
- Epstein on the Obama DNC speech. [Epstein]
- Overlawyered round-up of CCAF victories, plus two more on July 31.
- Delaware Supreme Court upholds $300 million fee award we criticized; a $35,000/hour payday is nice if you can get it. [ABA Journal link roundup]
- Complaint to Illinois Department of Human Rights that corporate executive's speech creates "hostile environment" in chain's restaurants. [Volokh]
- A side-effect of the Obama administration's politicization of the Department of Justice is skepticism when they start investigations of corporations associated with owners critical of the administration. [Naked DC] Separately, Walter Olson looks at Sheldon Adelson's libel litigation record. [OL; Frankel]
- Kimberly Craven appeals the error-ridden DC Circuit Cobell decision to the Supreme Court. I am no longer Ms. Craven's attorney, and can't comment, so please don't contact me looking for insight or explanations of why she appealed or requesting that she drop her appeal. [ICTMN; Native Sun News; cert petition @ Turtle Talk]
- China provides the perfect example of ideal Keynesianism in action—and not working. [Cowen]
- A new North Korean economic policy provides 0% marginal tax rates on farmers' surplus production, but people are skeptical of the reforms because of the lack of rule of law and the government's previous confiscations of reform-generated wealth. But you can ever so briefly complain that your marginal tax rate is higher than that of top North Korean farmers. [Daily NK]
- Inspiring story of paralyzed Skadden M&A partner and Chicago Law grad. Also, never ski. [WSJ]
- First lawsuit in the Colorado theater shooting wants to blame Warner Brothers for an event planned months before the movie came out. Somehow ten million other people saw the movie this weekend without shooting anyone. [Overlawyered]
- I'm surprised a product-liability attorney hasn't independently heard of the overwarning phenomenon, but she deduces the hypothesis very well without using the technical term. And, yes, it's a real problem, recognized in the literature and by courts. [Abnormal Use; also earlier on PoL]
- I am shocked, shocked, to learn that Media Matters is misrepresenting conservative writers instead of addressing their arguments honestly. [Bader; earlier on PoL]
- Oral argument in Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case set for October 10. [Clegg via @FedSoc]
- Shall we abandon "shall"? [Garner @ ABAJ via @andrewmgrossman, and don't miss Garner & Scalia & David Foster Wallace in the WSJ Speakeasy blog]
- Political posturing against Chick-Fil-A could have bad long-term consequences for liberals; not that conservatives who demanded a shutdown of the Ground Zero mosque have the moral high ground. [OL roundup; Mandel @ Commentary; Serwer @ MoJo; Greenwald; see also Merritt]
- In the cure-is-worse-than-the-disease category, see Holman Jenkins's proposal to have government preemptively prevent mass murders by monitoring everyone's communications. No concern for privacy, much less, say, false positives or the abuse from a government that has previously been more prone to classify right-wing movements as potentially violent than it has (more violent) left-wing movements. [WSJ]
As Popehat demonstrates, there are better ways to protect your legal rights without resorting to intimidation or risking backlash.
- EPA fines oil refiners for failing to use nonexistent biofuel that doesn't even reduce carbon emissions. [Hot Air]
- Plaintiffs' firms jockey for lucrative roles on executive committee in gigantic privacy MDL in Northern District of California, but don't jockey so hard that they offer to compete with lower fees to their putative class clients. Defendant Carrier IQ complains that setting up an executive committee adds delay and fees to litigation. [Recorder/law.com]
- Oklahoma trial lawyers back stalking-horse candidates in Republican primaries. Unclear whether they expect bipartisan support for bogus "Seventh Amendment" arguments against civil justice reform, or are hoping to sabotage Republican races to improve chances of Democrats being elected. [Tulsa World]
- No surprise to POL readers: the well-publicized $10k small-claims court win against Honda was overturned on appeal. [ABAJ]
- Expand the Supreme Court to 19 justices to reduce influence of individual "swing" justices, stakes of individual nominations? Another side benefit would be more labor to write more opinions. [Turley @ WaPo]
- Questionable claim of executive privilege by Obama administration. [Hinderaker]
- Warren smears Cherokee women who protest her lies. [Jacobson]
- Corporate welfare for GM and GE at the expense of taxpayers and productive economic activity. [Kibbe @ Forbes]
Cartoonist Matthew Inman of the profane site "The Oatmeal" snarked at a for-profit site, "Funnyjunk," where users regularly plagiarized his work without credit. In response, Funnyjunk hired an attorney, Charles Carreon, who claimed Internet savviness; Carreon sent Inman a threatening letter demanding $20,000 in payment not to be sued for bad-mouthing Funnyjunk.
Inman responded by publicizing the letter and hosting a fundraiser to raise $20,000 for charity. It has already generated over $100,000. [Popehat; MSNBC; Randazza; more links at OL]