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"Cruel State Punishments"

The title of this post is the title of this new article authored by William Berry available via SSRN. Here is its abstract: The Supreme Court has almost systematically expanded the Eighth Amendment over the past decade and a half, proscribing categorical limitations to the death penalty and juvenile life without parole.  With Justice Kennedy’s recent retirement, this expansion seems like it might be ending.  As this door is closing, however, another door may be opening for restricting excessive...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Kennedy, Douglas A Berman, William Berry


"Harvard Betrays a Law Professor — and Itself/Misguided students believe that defending Harvey Weinstein makes Ronald Sullivan unfit to be their dean. Apparently the university agrees."

An op-ed by Harvard lawprof Randall Kennedy (in the NYT).In addition to his work as a professor and a lawyer, [Ronald] Sullivan, with his wife, Stephanie Robinson, has served for a decade as the faculty dean of Winthrop House, an undergraduate dormitory where some 400 students live.As a faculty dean, Mr. Sullivan is responsible for creating a safe, fun, supportive environment in which students can pursue their collegiate ambitions. Winthrop House is meant to be a home away from home; faculty dea...
Tags: Protest, Students, Law, Harvard, Yale, House, Harvey Weinstein, Sexual Harassment, Law School, Kennedy, Robinson, Sullivan, Weinstein, Winthrop, Harvard Gazette, Christakis


Ask the author: “So Long, Earl”

The following is a series of questions prompted by the forthcoming publication of Michael Bobelian’s “Battle for the Marble Palace: Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Forging of the Modern Supreme Court” (Schaffner Press, 2019). As Bobelian reports, soon after President Lyndon Johnson nominated Justice Abe Fortas to replace Chief Justice Earl Warren, Fortas’ clerks began taking over some of the chief justice’s administrative tasks. Their confidence proved misplaced...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Mexico, Senate, Book Reviews, Barack Obama, Chicago, Ronald Reagan, House, Warren, Mitch McConnell, Michigan, Vietnam, Republican


I Claim Executive Privilege Over This Column — See Also

THERE ARE A BUNCH OF INTERESTING LEGAL STORIES TODAY: Wait, wait hold up. Kardashian said something again. WE NEED ANOTHER LAW SCHOOL: Said no one worth listening to. KAVANAUGH AND KENNEDY, TOGETHER AGAIN: Sharing the stage, pretending it's not all their fault. THAT'S NOT HOW EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE WORKS: Trump makes another stupid legal argument. KAMALA HARRIS STANDING UP FOR PUBLIC DEFENDERS: This would be a welcome reform.
Tags: Law, Kardashian, Kennedy, Kamala Harris, Trump, Kavanaugh, See Also


SCOTUS Map: March and April 2019

Justice Clarence Thomas, who turns 71 this year, dismissed talk of his retirement from the Supreme Court during an appearance at Pepperdine University School of Law’s Annual Dinner on March 30. “I’m not retiring,” he declared in response to a question about his hypothetical retirement party years down the line. “You’re not going to argue with me,” the moderator, incoming Pepperdine University president James A. Gash, joked. “I know, but I’m not retiring,” Thomas reiterated. “Twenty years?” “No...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Abc, Washington, Cnn, University of Oxford, Kennedy, Pepperdine University, Thomas, Alito, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Duke Law School, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito


Supreme Court grants review in three cases to decide, once and for all, whether Title VII protects LGBTQ employees from discrimination

Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear appeals in three cases, to decide whether Title VII's prohibition against "sex discrimination" expressly includes prohibitions against LGBTQ discrimination. I cannot overstate enough the importance of these cases to the future of American civil rights. Currently, only 21 states have statutes that protect against both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment in the public and private sector. For the other 28 states (Ohio...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Washington, Court, Ohio, Kennedy, John Roberts, American Civil Liberties Union, EEOC, Roberts, Chris Johnson, Kavanaugh, Obergefell, James Esseks, Jon Hyman, Jon Davidson


Supreme Court to hear 3 cases on LGBT workplace discrimination

The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also applies to gay and transgender people.The court, which currently has a probable conservative majority, will likely decide on the cases in 2020. Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws effectively extending the Civil Rights of 1964 to gay and transgender people. None The Supreme Court announced on Monday plans to hear three cases that will help decide the future of workplace rights for gay and transgender...
Tags: Sixth Circuit, Supreme Court, Law, Government, Lgbt, Atlanta, Policy, Gay, Innovation, Michigan, District Of Columbia, Kennedy, Cincinnati, Anthony Kennedy, United States Court of Appeals, Trump Administration


Empirical SCOTUS: Advocates who drive the justices’ votes

Scholars of the Supreme Court often debate the role of lawyers in Supreme Court decision-making. For an attitudinalist, the justices’ preferences make all (or at least most of) the difference. According to this theory, justices will often vote based on their preferred policy direction, which minimizes the role of advocacy. More recent studies show that such a view, however, might obscure the impact lawyers have on Supreme Court output. Surprisingly, these two views are not necessarily mutually e...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Stanford, Michigan, Hogan Lovells, Kennedy, Jenner, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Bancroft, Scalia, Roberts, Gibson, Neal Katyal


New rules mean tighter deadlines, fewer words

The Supreme Court issued revisions to its rules today. The changes largely mirror the amendments proposed late last year, with one notable exception: Although the justices reduced the word limits for opening briefs on the merits, they left the existing word limits for reply briefs in place. Changes to two rules – Rules 14.1 and 15.2 – require the parties to a case before the Supreme Court to identify any lower-court cases that are directly related to the Supreme Court proceedings. This change, a...
Tags: Featured, Justice, Supreme Court, Law, Court, Kennedy, U S Court of Appeals, Anthony Kennedy, What's Happening Now


Abortion providers ask Supreme Court to take up appeal

In early February, the Supreme Court put a temporary hold on a Louisiana law that requires doctors who perform abortions in the state to have the authority to admit patients at a nearby hospital. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four more liberal justices in granting a request from abortion providers to bar the state from enforcing the law until the providers could file a petition for review of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upholding the law. That petit...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Louisiana, Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Scalia, Howe, Anthony Kennedy, U S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 5th Circuit, Cases in the Pipeline, What's Happening Now, Brett Kavanaugh


The Supreme Court as the Aristocratic Element of a Mixed Regime

For the symposium on Neal Devins and Lawrence Baum's new book, The Company They Keep: How Partisan Divisions Came to the Supreme Court (Oxford University Press, 2019).John O. McGinnisIn The Company They Keep: How Partisan Divisions Came to the Supreme Court, Neal Devins and Lawrence Baum provide a compelling, elegant, and permanent addition to the political science of the Court. In their view, the Court is substantially more influenced by elite than by popular opinion. The great strength of thei...
Tags: Supreme Court, Congress, Court, Society, Harvard, United States, Ronald Reagan, Kennedy, Nlrb, Branding, Guest Blogger, Thomas, Thomas Jefferson, George, John Roberts, Scalia


Tech-Savvy Firms More Profitable Now, More Prepared for the Future, Finds Survey of U.S. and EU Legal Professionals

A survey of 700 lawyers in U.S. and European law firms, legal departments and business-services firms finds that organizations that already leverage technology are better prepared to keep pace with an evolving legal market than those that are just beginning to use technology or that are not doing so at all. In addition, firms that were early adopters of technology were significantly more likely to report higher profitability in the last year than were firms that lagged in technology adoption. Th...
Tags: Europe, Law, Uncategorized, Czech Republic, Kennedy, Wolters Kluwer, Dla Piper, Baby Boomer, U S, Grady, Bob Ambrogi, Wolters Kluwer Legal Regulatory, Dean Sonderegger, EU Legal Professionals, Preparedness for Change Overall, ROI Transformational Technologies


Empirical SCOTUS: Is Kavanaugh as conservative as expected?

On Monday, April 1, 2019, the Supreme Court decided the case Bucklew v. Precythe, with the five conservative justices in the majority and the four liberals in dissent. To some, including legal scholar and CNN analyst Steve Vladeck, this ruling ushered in a new conservative court without the moderating anchor of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Going even further, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern referred to the decision as “beyond appalling,” while Think Progress’ Ian Millhiser described it as “the most bloodt...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Cnn, United States, Davis, Nielsen, Smith, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Delaware, Kennedy, Sanders, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts


Tech-Savvy Firms More Profitable Now, More Prepared for the Future, Finds Survey of U.S. and EU Legal Professionals

A survey of 700 lawyers in U.S. and European law firms, legal departments and business-services firms finds that organizations that already leverage technology are better prepared to keep pace with an evolving legal market than those that are just beginning to use technology or that are not doing so at all. In addition, firms that were early adopters of technology were significantly more likely to report higher profitability in the last year than were firms that lagged in technology adoption. Th...
Tags: Europe, Law, Uncategorized, Czech Republic, Kennedy, Wolters Kluwer, Dla Piper, Baby Boomer, U S, Grady, Wolters Kluwer Legal Regulatory, Dean Sonderegger, EU Legal Professionals, Preparedness for Change Overall, ROI Transformational Technologies, Markus Hartung


Syndication of Legal News

What if there was legal news service, ala UPI, that syndicated legal news, information and commentary so that such news and commentary could be published by third-parties? UPI (United Press International), founded in 1907, at its peak had more than 2,000 full-time employees, 200 news bureaus in 92 countries and more than 6,000 media subscribers, including newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations.  As a kid I thought it incredibly neat that our local daily small town newspaper...
Tags: Google, Publishing, Law, Ap, Kennedy, UPI, Reuters, Walter Cronkite, Cronkite, UPI United Press International


Opinion analysis: Divided court rejects lethal-injection challenge by inmate with rare medical condition

Today the Supreme Court rejected a claim by a death-row inmate that executing him by lethal injection would violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment because of the likelihood that he could wind up choking on his own blood. By a vote of 5-4, the court cleared the way for Russell Bucklew’s execution, in an opinion that at times revealed bitter divides among the justices. The case was not a broad challenge to the use of lethal injection as a method of execution for all prisone...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Alabama, Missouri, Muslim, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, Howe, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy


He Shot 4 Men, Killing 1, But Turned Down A Plea Deal: This Month A Philly Jury Found Him Not Guilty

Philly.com: If you Google the name Jabir Kennedy, you will read about a fugitive wanted for gunning down four men, one fatally, during Christmas week 2017 in the Elmwood section of Southwest Philadelphia. You will read that the “armed and dangerous” fugitive turned himself in a week later and was charged with first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. That’s all you’ll read about Kennedy, 23, because in a city that typically tallies more than 300 murders and more than 1,000 no...
Tags: Google, Politics, Military, Gun Control, Kennedy, Center City, Philly, Southwest Philadelphia, Elmwood, Criminal Justice Center, Ben Waxman, Philadelphia District Attorney 's Office, Jabir Kennedy, DA 's Office, David Nenner, Dorel Street


"You probably want to know how much weight you’re going to lose when we remove the cyst; women always want to know."

Said the surgeon to Pagan Kennedy, who had "an ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit that, doctors warned me, could at any time rupture and fill my abdomen with blood and pus." He also said — about the value of a complete hysterectomy — "You don’t have to get the procedure right away... You could wait. That would give you time to complete your family." She didn't like that either. The doctor quotes appear in "Why You Want to Eat This Baby Up: It’s Science/Researchers are beginning to ask why som...
Tags: Babies, Birth Control, Children, Evolution, Love, Pagan Kennedy, Population, Pregnancy, Psychology, Surgery


Monday round-up

This morning the Supreme Court begins its March sitting with two oral arguments. The first case is Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, an appeal by Republican legislators of a lower-court ruling that requires 11 state legislative districts to be redrawn to correct racial gerrymandering. Amy Howe had this blog’s preview, which was first published at Howe on the Court. Amanda Wong and Jared Ham preview the case at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, and Subscript Law has a g...
Tags: New York, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, America, Bloomberg, House, New York Times, Npr, Louisiana, North Carolina, Flowers, Smith, The Washington Post, Cornell


SCOTUS Map: February and March 2019

At a February 1 Hastings Law Journal symposium honoring retired Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 43 years as a federal judge, Kennedy bemoaned what he sees as the lack of “rational, enlightening dialogue” and the dissipation of the “social framework of decency.” Of the Supreme Court’s two newest justices (and former Kennedy clerks), Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, Kennedy had only ringing endorsements: “[Gorsuch is] going to be a wonderful judge, just like Brett.” The San Francisco Chronic...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, Brown, John Roberts, Board of Education, Brett, Roberts, San Francisco Chronicle, Ginsburg


Empirical SCOTUS: Who’s in the majority?

Although few people ever have the opportunity of sitting on the Supreme Court, some similarities exist between this upper echelon of judging and other jobs. One parallel has to do with job satisfaction. Judges who make it all the way to the Supreme Court should feel accomplished and contented because of their achievements, but there also must be at least a continuum of job satisfaction among the justices. That is not to say that any justice necessarily dislikes the job, just that they may not en...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Austin, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Douglas, Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Fisher, Roberts, William Rehnquist, Clarence Thomas, Burwell, Anthony Kennedy, William Douglas


Appellate Standing, Biosimilars, and the Federal Circuit

Guest post by Jonathan Stroud (Unified Patents) and Saurabh Vishnubhakat (Texas A&M Law).  After a long wait, the Federal Circuit last month decided Momenta Pharms. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (Fed. Cir. 2019), dismissing Momenta’s appeal of an adverse PTAB decision based on standing and mootness concerns.  (The PTAB had instituted Momenta’s petition for inter partes review of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s patent on certain formulations of an immunosuppressive agent, but ultimately sustained the paten...
Tags: Texas, Law, Congress, Uspto, Rpx, Fda, DuPont, Itc, AIA, Patent, Kennedy, Consumer Watchdog, Warf, Bms, Gkn, Mylan


Abortion could return to the Supreme Court: In Plain English

In 2016, Justice Anthony Kennedy provided the fifth vote to strike down a Texas law that required doctors who perform abortions to have “admitting privileges” – the right to admit patients – at a local hospital. But Kennedy retired last year. So when two doctors who perform abortions, along with an abortion clinic, came to the Supreme Court in January, asking the justices to bar Louisiana from enforcing a similar law, many court-watchers saw the case as a bellwether for the Supreme Court’s abort...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Louisiana, Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Roberts, Howe, Anthony Kennedy, Kavanaugh, Merits Cases, Supreme Court They, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas Samuel Alito Neil Gorsuch


Terrific new Yale Law Journal collection: "Critical Voices on Criminal Justice: Essays from Directly Affected Authors,"

The Yale Law Journal has this terrific new collection of papers under the banner "Critical Voices on Criminal Justice: Essays from Directly Affected Authors." Here is how the collection is introduced and titles with links: People who have experienced incarceration have unique insights into the criminal system—insights that are often missing from legal scholarship and criminal justice policy. This Collection begins to bridge that gap. Reginald Dwayne Betts, "What Break Do Children Deserve? Juven...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Kennedy, Shon Hopwood, Yale Law Journal, Douglas A Berman, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Andrea James, Tarra Simmons


After swift cert denial in Rivera-Ruperto, should I just give up hoping for an improved Eighth Amendment to check extreme non-capital sentences?

Intrepid readers may realize that I have paid close attention to a case out of the First Circuit, US v. Rivera–Ruperto, because I thought it involved extraordinarily facts that made for a compelling Cruel and Unusual Punishments argument if that clause was to function as even the most minimal check on the imposition of extreme prison sentences on adult offenders.  But, frustratingly, today's Supreme Court order list has under a long list of cert denials "18-5384  Rivera-Ruperto, Wendell v. Unite...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, United States, Kennedy, First Circuit, Rivera, Barron, Douglas A Berman, Harmelin, Entire First Circuit, Rivera Ruperto, Wendell Rivera Ruperto, Ruperto, First Circuit US, Rivera Ruperto Wendell


Why I am certainly hoping, but not really expecting, Timbs to end up being a big deal

As reported here, on Wednesday the US Supreme Court has handed down its opinion in Timbs v. Indiana.  I was not at all surprised that the Justices decided unanimously that the Excessive Fines Clause of Eighth Amendment applies to the states, but I have since been surprised that some press coverage suggests that this ruling in a very big deal.  For example, consider this piece from Slate by Mark Joseph Stern, headlined "The Supreme Court Just Struck a Huge, Unanimous Blow Against Policing for Pro...
Tags: Facebook, Supreme Court, Law, Court, US, Indiana, Michigan, Kennedy, US supreme court, First Circuit, Mark Joseph Stern, Rivera, Douglas A Berman, Harmelin, Timbs, Entire First Circuit


Malcolm X at Oxford: 'They're going to kill me soon'

Just before his assassination, the radical black activist took part in a debate at Oxford. Tariq Ali recalls their meeting, which left him in a state of shock – and is now the subject of a TV showMalcolm X became internationally famous the day after President John F Kennedy was assassinated. Asked to comment, Malcolm calmly informed US TV reporters that he was not at all surprised that “the chickens were coming home to roost”. It was November 1963 and he was by then a leading member of the Natio...
Tags: Television, Education, Documentary, Religion, Race, US, Society, World news, Bbc, Culture, Television & radio, Higher Education, Oxford, Identity politics, John F Kennedy, Factual TV


Travis judges reject public defender, DA discretion the solution to budget constraints, crime deterrent from traffic stops minimal, and other stories

Here are a few browser clearing odds and ends that merit Grits readers' attention: Travis County judges refuse state money for public defender office Travis County's bid to create a public-defender office isn't officially dead yet, but it may as well be after Presiding Judge Brenda Kennedy authored a letter saying local judges unanimously opposed the idea. Kennedy has urged judges not to speak for themselves and has thrown their support solidly behind the local criminal defense bar, which habitu...
Tags: Texas, Law, California, Virginia, Va, Nashville, Houston, Kennedy, Houston Chronicle, Harris County, Travis, George Powell, Texas Tribune, Texas Legislature, Acevedo, Travis County


"The Radziwill-Capote friendship ended... They fell out when she refused to testify for Mr. Capote in a libel suit brought by Gore Vidal..."

"... over a Capote assertion, citing her as his source, that Mr. Vidal had been ejected drunk from the Kennedy White House. Mr. Vidal said he had merely been escorted to his hotel by friends after antagonizing Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Mr. Vidal won the suit and an apology."From "Lee Radziwill, Ex-Princess and Sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Dies at 85" (NYT).I've never been interested in Princess Radziwill, but I'm thoroughly intrigued by the news that Vidal sued Truman Capote for ...
Tags: New York, Law, White House, Drinking, Homosexuality, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Jackie, Kennedy, Defamation, Gore, Lee, Buckley, Robert Kennedy, William F Buckley Jr, Truman


#Blogfirst

What a hashtag coming yesterday from law blog pioneer, legal tech veteran and now law professor, Dennis Kennedy. Kennedy used the hashtag in a blog post as his solution to a growing problem legal professionals face when writing for third party publishers – #blogfirst. I’ve been rethinking my approach to publishing articles in publications. To my horror, I’ve seen links to hundreds of my old articles take people to “file not found” or other 404 pages. Other articles are now behind subscrip...
Tags: Facebook, Law, Blogging, Aba, Kennedy, Bloomberg Law, Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial, Dennis Kennedy Kennedy, International CC BY NC



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