HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

7/15/2002

Law and Politics


School has been out long enough for me to begin to think about the law again. I wouldn't have done the law school thing if it didn't really interest me, and no matter the effect of a little law school burnout, all I really needed was a couple of months without it to start really missing it again (agreed, I am masochistic).

This year's Supreme Court decisions ranged from the good (the court struck down a law that required a permit for door-to-door solicitation; a Jehovah's Witness group sued.) to the bad (two decisions that simultaneously gut the Americans with Disabilities Act and fail to provide bright line rules for when the act applies) and the ugly (a bad Clarence Thomas decision that damn near inexplicably extends 11th amendment state immunity from lawsuits to non-judicial proceedings; in this case, a Federal Maritime panel seeking to abate pollution. Ugh.). Mostly bad and ugly, from what I have seen.

I said this at the time, and I'll say it again. The Supreme Court and other judicial appointees are the most important, most lasting legacy of any president. Foreign policy comes in second, but a president can only affect the actions taken by the administration currently in power in that realm. We are now witnessing what happens when the Republicans control the executive for so long (all but three terms since Lyndon Johnson left): they have appointed much of the judiciary that serves on lifetime appointments. The only solution to bad decisions by bad judges is to start electing some Democrats. It is difficult to not hate Ralph Nader. The Nader apologist uber-liberals fail to come to grips with the implications of torpedoing Al Gore to make a short lived, fruitless point. When the next Supreme Court justice goes and some far-right yahoo gets on the court, remember 2000. That will be the most visible reminder of that folly. Less visible will be the hundreds of lower appointments who will make the decisions that actually affect most litigants.

For next year's cases, some of which will be big ones, check out the docket preview.

Personal bits and pieces

My longtime best friend Marta is getting married in October. Congratulations, Marta!! I am going to her wedding back in Norman, the old hometown, and I am already looking forward to it.

In other news, my sister is preparing for college after her high school graduation, and my dad is going to Mexico City in September to sing Brahm's Requiem.

I have begun an aggressive pleasure reading campaign recently, which has included stuff that I didn't ever read that I was supposed to in high school (Pride & Prejudice) to stuff I did read in high school (To Kill a Mockingbird) to a little science fiction (The Sparrow) and the blogger cliche stuff (AHWOSG). It's been really fun. I used to be on the internet seven days a week and maybe read on one day. I really like it better reversing that ratio.

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