A regularly updated guide to random legal news that I find interesting -- and hope you will too. And links! Always links!


Monday, December 23, 2002

The National Law Journal Names "Lawyer of the Year" (and apparently missed me again)

The Journal chose James Ellis, a New Mexico law professor who had never appeared in any court before, for convincing the Supreme Court that executing the mentally retarded is cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Congratulations, Professor Ellis! The article appears here.
"Smoking Emails" Admissible In $1 Billion Enron-Related Chase Case

A New York judge has ruled that potentially "explosive" emails from a J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. executive are admissible against it in Chase's suit against some 11 insurance companies. The emails refer to the transactions at issue as "disguised loans," which would make them uninsurable under NY law. Read about it here in an article from
Mormons in First Amendment Battle in Salt Lake City

In the beginning, the City sold the Mormons a block of Main Street near their Temple Square. The City retained an easement allowing the public access to the block, but only for those who obeyed church rules on dress, conduct and expression. That includes a ban on proselytizing for any other faith. Many non-Mormons were outraged. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in this opinion, published in October. The Washington Post has published an interesting article about the conflict here.
Bush Grants Seven Pardons

For the first time, President Bush has pardoned seven Americans -- a traditional Holiday activity for the President. The seven were mostly convicted of minor offenses years ago, and have lead exemplary lives ever since, according to this.
"Loaf Without Parole"

Teen sniper suspect John Lee Malvo complains about the "vegetarian loaf" he is being fed in prison. Among several problems with his complaint is the fact that he requested that this be his exclusive food. This article includes the recipe, in case you want to whip some up for your holiday guests.
Petition for Rehearing in 9th Circuit's Recent 2nd Amendment Case

Plaintiffs' attorney Gary Gorski filed a request for rehearing today in Silveira v. Lockyer, the recent case upholding California's ban on assault weapons which states that the 2nd Amendment does not confer the right to own guns to individuals. Mr. Gorski says that if rehearing is denied, or if he loses on the merits, he'll take his fight to the Supreme Court. The Supremes might take it up, because the Ninth Circuit is now in conflict with the Fifth. Read about the request for rehearing here, or a longer article about Mr. Gorski here.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

I'm Glad I'm Not Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

If he isn't dead already, I'd wager that he will be soon. Intelligence sources seem to think he's the "operational commander of Al Qaeda," and he is being hunted worldwide. But he's a clever fellow with a penchant for anonymity, aliases, and escapes. The LA Times has published a very lengthy and very interesting article about this dangerous asswipe and his compadres. I found it fascinating (and disturbing), but don't start reading it unless you have time on your hands.

I don't support capital punishment, and I'm certainly no fan of extra-judicial political assassination. That said, if half of what the LA Times says is true, I won't be losing any sleep when I find out someone has turned this murderer's head into a fine red mist. And it won't be long. Sleep tight, Khalid. Your virgins await you.


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