October 7, 2006
New lawsuits challenge Congress's detainee act
"President Bush has yet to sign into law Congress's new terror-detainee legislation, but defense lawyers are already asking federal judges to strike down key parts of the measure as unconstitutional. "
Also, see the Center for Constitutional Rights Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.
Plaintiffs in Alabama's College-Desegregation Case Reach Agreement With State to End Lawsuit
"Plaintiffs in Alabama's 25-year-old college desegregation lawsuit have reached an agreement with the state on how to resolve the major outstanding issues in the case. The five-year plan still must be approved by the federal judge overseeing the case." (for subscribers)
Colleges Fail to Teach Civic Literacy
From the Chronicle (for subscribers):
"American colleges and universities are failing to instill "civic literacy" in their students, according to a new report by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
Most students who responded to a survey fumbled, the report says, when asked to name the final battle of the American Revolution (Yorktown), incorrectly defined "federalism" (the distribution of power between a central authority and several constituent states), and failed to identify the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine (to block foreign expansion in the Western Hemisphere), to name just a few of the apparently little-known facts and concepts of American history mentioned in the survey questionnaire."
October 6, 2006
Chief Executive as Editor-in-Chief
|Text of Presidential Signing Statement|
|See also Jurist for coverage and additional resources: Bush adds signing statement on privacy review to security spending bill|
Promoted to top because additional information added to post.
The AP is reporting:
President Bush, again defying Congress, says he has the power to edit the Homeland Security Department's reports about whether it obeys privacy rules while handling background checks, ID cards and watchlists
In the law Bush signed Wednesday, Congress stated no one but the privacy officer could alter, delay or prohibit the mandatory annual report on Homeland Security department activities that affect privacy, including complaints.
But Bush, in a signing statement attached to the agency's 2007 spending bill, said he will interpret that section "in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch."
More press coverage (compiled by Ron Jones):
"President Bush, again defying Congress, says he has the power to edit the Homeland Security Department's reports about whether it obeys privacy rules while handling background checks, ID cards and watchlists."
"President Bush this week asserted that he has the executive authority to disobey a new law in which Congress has set minimum qualifications for future heads of the Federal Emergency Management Agency."
File under "Bush beefing up his resume for editorial gig with Rupert Murdoch's New York Post." [JH]
Law Professor Blogs Network Launches Several New Blogs
Cincinnati Law Prof Paul Caron and I are delighted to announce the launch of several new blogs as part of our Law Professor Blogs Network:
- Aviation Law Prof Blog (Brian Havel (DePaul), Michael Jacobs (DePaul) & Andrew Eastmond)
- Banking Law Prof Blog (Ann Graham (Texas Tech))
- Legal Profession Blog (Alan Childress (Tulane), Michael Frisch (Georgetown) & Jeffrey Lipshaw (Tulane))
- Mass Tort Litigation Blog (Byron Stier (Southwestern))
- Science & Law Blog (David Faigman (Hastings), David Kaye (Arizona State), Michael Saks (Arizona State), Joseph Sanders (Houston) & Edward Cheng (Brooklyn))
- Statutory Construction Blog (David Hricik (Mercer))
Like the other blogs in our network, these blogs combines both (1) permanent resources and links, and (2) daily news, resources and information. Our editors are leading scholars and teachers who are committed to providing the web destination for law professors and others interested in their fields.
These new blogs join our Network's growing catalog of law professor blogs:
- AntitrustProf Blog (Shubha Ghosh (SMU))
- Business Law Prof Blog (Dale Oesterle (Ohio State))
- Chinese Law Prof Blog (Donald Clarke (George Washington))
- ContractsProf Blog (Carol Chomsky (Minnesota) & Frank Snyder (Texas-Wesleyan))
- CrimProf Blog (Mark Godsey (Cincinnati))
- Elder Law Prof (Kim Dayton (William Mitchell))
- Environmental Law Prof Blog (Susan Smith (Willamette))
- Family Law Prof Blog (Barbara Glesner Fines (Missouri-Kansas City) & Nancy Ver Steegh (William Mitchell))
- Health Law Prof Blog (Betsy Malloy (Cincinnati))
- ImmigrationProf Blog (Jennifer Chacón (UC-Davis), Bill Hing (UC-Davis) & Kevin Johnson (UC-Davis))
- Land Use Prof Blog (Paul Boudreaux (Stetson))
- Law & Econ Prof Blog (Jagdeep Bhandari (Florida Coastal) & Tom Ulen (Illinois))
- Law Librarian Blog (Joe Hodnicki and Ron Jones (Cincinnati))
- Law School Academic Support Blog (Daniel Weddle (UMKC) & Elizabeth Stillman (Suffolk))
- Legal Writing Prof Blog (Nancy Soonpaa (Texas Tech) & Sue Liemer (Southern Illinois))
- Leiter's Law School Reports (Brian Leiter (Texas))
- Media Law Prof Blog (Cristina Corcos (LSU))
- Products Liability Prof Blog (J. David Prince, Michael Steenson & Kenneth Ross (all of William Mitchell))
- PropertyProf Blog (D. Benjamin Barros (Widener))
- Sentencing Law and Policy (Douglas Berman (Ohio State))
- State & Local Government Law Prof Blog (Judith Welch Wegner (North Carolina))
- TaxProf Blog (Paul Caron (Cincinnati))
- Tech Law Prof Blog (Mark Giangrande (DePaul))
- TortsProf Blog (Bill Childs (Western New England))
- Unincorporated Business Law Prof Blog (Greg Duhl (Southern Illinois))
- White Collar Crime Prof Blog (Peter Henning (Wayne State) & Ellen Podgor (Stetson))
- Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Gerry Beyer (Texas Tech))
- Workplace Prof Blog (Richard Bales (NKU) & Paul Secunda (Mississippi))
Abramoff Ties to White House More Extensive Than Previously Known
"Following Mr. Abramoff's guilty plea in January, President Bush and other top White House officials issued repeated statements that Mr. Abramoff was a virtual stranger to the White House. The documents reviewed by the Committee tell a different story. They show that between January 2001 and March 2004, there were 485 lobbying contacts between Mr. Abramoff and his associates and White House officials."
Small Seattle Firm Files First Tainted Spinach Lawsuit
"Before health officials warned the public about bad spinach, before grocers yanked fresh spinach off their shelves, before consumers cleaned out their refrigerators, the Seattle law firm Marler Clark had filed its first bad-spinach lawsuit."
EFF Needs Your Support in the Fight for Bloggers' Rights!
EFF is a donor-funded nonprofit group of passionate people—lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries — who depend on your support to continue successfully defending your digital rights. Litigation is particularly expensive; because two-thirds of our budget comes from individual donors, every contribution is critical to helping EFF fight —and win—more cases.
- You Have the Right to Blog Anonymously
- You Have the Right to Keep Sources Confidential
- You Have the Right to Make Fair Use of Intellectual Property
- You have the Right to Allow Readers' Comments Without Fear
- You Have the Right to Protect Your Server from Government Seizure
- You Have the Right to Freely Blog about Elections
- You Have the Right to Blog about Your Workplace
- You Have the Right to Access as Media
Special Interest Groups Drive Up Spending
From the Brennan Center for Justice:
"A new analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake reveals that special interest groups have spent $1,797,449 on television advertising to influence the outcomes of 2006 state Supreme Court campaigns through the end of September, a startling 69 percent jump over the same point in the 2004 election cycle. Two years ago, spending by special interest groups through September accounted for one quarter of television advertising expenditures in Supreme Court races. This year that figure has climbed to 39 percent."
Can State Universities Be Managed?
Can State Universities Be Managed?
A Primer for Presidents and Management Teams
by Duane Acker
List Price: $39.95 | ISBN: 0-275-99193-8 | 236 pages | Praeger Trade (9/30/2006)
Book Description: This book responds to questions the reader should ask, such as: How are 21st-century state universities perceived? How would I fit into a specific university and its leadership position? What should I expect in the selection process? What should I be sure to know - - about the university's programs, key people, money, priorities? There are many other issues the reader will need to deal with once appointed and these are addressed here too. Among the topics covered are critical first steps, and when, where, and how to take them; steps the appointing authority or one's predecessor can take that will help ease the transition; and other issues one will surely face. The book explores management concepts and practices specifically applicable to universities, offers examples that will help the reader prepare, and outlines the relationships that are most critical to success--and how one keeps them positive and helpful. Equally important, it explains where state university money comes from, and in what proportions, as well as ways to manage those sources to get needed funds. Finally, it covers ways in which one can handle a demanding management job and still enjoy good family relationships and good health.
New NBER Reports
New NBER report:
- Willingness to Pay for Drug Rehabilitation: Implications for Cost Recovery
- An Experimental Test of Criminal Behavior Among Juveniles and Young Adults
- Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks
Willingness to Pay for Drug Rehabilitation: Implications for Cost Recovery
by David Bishai, Jody Sindelar
Objectives: This study estimates the value that clients place on drug rehabilitation services at the time of intake and how this value varies with the probability of success and availability of social services.
Methods: We interviewed 241 heroin users who had been referred to, but had not yet entered, methadone maintenance treatment in Baltimore, Maryland. We asked each subject to state a preference among three hypothetical treatment programs that varied across 3domains: weekly fee paid by the client out of pocket ($5 to $100), presence/absence of case management, and time spent heroin-free (3 to 24 months). Each subject was asked to complete 18 orthogonal comparisons. Subsequently each subject was asked if they likely would enroll in their preferred choice among the set of three. We computed the expected willingness to pay (WTP) as the probability of enrollment times the fee considered in each choice considered from a multivariate logistic model that controlled for product attributes. We also estimated the price elasticity of demand.
Results: We found that 21% of clients preferred programs that were logically dominated by other options. The median expected fee subjects were willing to pay for a program that offered 3 months of heroin-free time was $7.30 per week, rising to $17.11 per week for programs that offered 24 months of heroin-free time. The availability of case management increased median WTP by $5.64 per week. The fee was the most important predictor of the self-reported probability of enrollment with a price elasticity of -0.39 (SE 0.042).
Conclusions: Clients' median willingness to pay for drug rehabilitation fell short of the average program costs of $82 per week, which reinforces the need for continued subsidization as drug treatment has high positive externalities. Clients will pay more for higher rates of treatment success and for the presence of case management.
An Experimental Test of Criminal Behavior Among Juveniles and Young Adults
by Michael S. Visser, William T. Harbaugh, Naci H. Mocan
Abstract: We report results from economic experiments that provide a direct test of the hypothesis that criminal behavior responds rationally to changes in the possible rewards and in the probability and severity of punishment. The experiments involve decisions that are best described as petty larceny, and are done using high school and college students who can anonymously take real money from each other. We find that decisions about whether and how much to steal are, in general, rational and responsive to the variations in tradeoffs, and sometimes, though not always, to the overall availability of criminal opportunities.
Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks
George J. Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger, Gordon H. Hanson
Abstract: The employment rate of black men, and particularly of low-skill black men, fell precipitously from 1960 to 2000. At the same time, the incarceration rate of black men rose markedly. This paper examines the relation between immigration and these trends in black employment and incarceration. Using data drawn from the 1960-2000 U.S. Censuses, we find a strong correlation between immigration, black wages, black employment rates, and black incarceration rates. As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, the wage of black workers in that group fell, the employment rate declined, and the incarceration rate rose. Our analysis suggests that a 10-percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced the black wage by 3.6 percent, lowered the employment rate of black men by 2.4 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by almost a full percentage point.
October 5, 2006
Professional Reading: What Do We Know about Lawyers' Lives?
Published in the June 2006 issue of the North Carolina Law Review: Empirical Studies of the Legal Profession: What Do We Know about Lawyers' Lives? [Westlaw]
From the Introduction by John M. Conley and Scott Baker:
A hallway conversation sparked the idea for this Symposium. As academics who study the profession, we found ourselves frustrated by the lack of reliable evidence about its state. It is not that law professors, judges, and lawyers don't talk about the profession. They do. One hears and reads the constant refrain that the profession is bad and getting worse. Lawyers are more likely to become alcoholics, suffer from depression, commit suicide, and so on. [FN1] Large firms are full of people who will gladly set aside ethical rules to make more money. Partners at large firms kow-tow to clients and facilitate corporate scandals, of which Enron is but one example. Large-firm associates have a miserable life. They have to bill an oppressive number of hours under the never-ending stress of the partnership tournament. Solo practitioners and small firm lawyers don't have it much better. The stress of maintaining a practice and serving clients requires a twenty-four-hour workday, leaving little time for leisure or family. Indeed, the negative refrain has carried over to law students, who are thought to be more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than other professional students.
But rumor and anecdote, not evidence, seem to support many of these claims. As empirically-minded scholars, we were curious about the actual state of the profession. Did it mirror this conventional wisdom? Or was that wisdom legal "urban legend" that had taken on a life of its own? To help resolve this dilemma, we asked several prominent legal scholars, two economists, two practitioners, and a federal judge to consider the state of the profession. The papers in this Symposium reflect their considerable talents and energy.
New Articles on LLRX.com
Identity Theft: A Bibliography of Federal, State, Consumer and News Resources - Revised and Updated by Sabrina I. Pacifici and Catherine Guthrie
Small Content, Long Tails, and Big Ideas in Law Libraries by Jason Eisenman
E-Discovery Update - by Fios Inc.: The Myth of Search by Conrad J. Jacoby
CongressLine, by GalleryWatch.com: Congressional Intent by Paul Jenks
Burney's Gadgets for Legal Pros: A Paperless ScanJet and A Device to MPEG Your Video from Any Source by Brett Burney
FOIA Facts - The Slow Road: FOIA Litigation by Scott A. Hodes
Constitution Day: For Many Americans, It’s Time for the Basics
"The American public is ignorant of basic facts about the Constitution. When asked if they knew any of the three branches of government, two-thirds (68%) of Americans said yes. One-third could correctly name all three; one-third could not name any.
Those findings, based on a new national survey of 1,002 people, are being released by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center to coincide with the national observance of Constitution Day."
Also, check out the Washington Post's article: What Supreme Court? Many Americans lack basic Supreme Court knowledge.
Campaign Cash Mirrors Ohio Supreme Court Rulings
From the article:
“An examination of the Ohio Supreme Court by The New York Times found that its justices routinely sat on cases after receiving campaign contributions from the parties involved or from groups that filed supporting briefs. On average, they voted in favor of contributors 70 percent of the time. Justice O’Donnell voted for his contributors 91 percent of the time, the highest rate of any justice on the court.“
In court, blogs can come back to dog the writers
From the Boston Globe:
Two months after being rear-ended by a Cambridge city councilor, Boston lawyer Edward A. Prisby infuriated that the politician might have used his connections to avoid a criminal investigation turned to his personal blog. ``What a hack," he wrote in an angry rant about councilor Anthony D. Galluccio, who witnesses said appeared drunk after the accident. ``I hope the weight of public opinion crushes his political career."
That posting on Prizblog came back to haunt him. Called later as a witness at a hearing to determine whether there was enough evidence to charge the city councilor with drunken driving, Prisby was confronted with his blog entry by Galluccio's lawyers, who tried to discredit his testimony by arguing that he had a political ax to grind.
``I don't regret anything I wrote, and nothing I wrote was inaccurate," Prisby said in an interview. ``But I'm willing to concede that, if read in a certain way and with a certain tone, it hurt my credibility in that room that day."
The Princeton Review Launches Podcasts for the College-Bound; Law School-Bound Students Next?
The series features glimpses of college admissions and campus life, as well as interviews with experts in admissions and financial aid. It is now available in MP3 format and downloadable for free at the company's website. Sounds like a good idea for law school-bound students too. [JH]
October 4, 2006
Washburn University Law Library's Virgie Smith Awarded Faculty Emeritus Status
Congratulations to Virgie Smith! Here's a excerpt from the official petition filed by Andrew Evans, Gov Docs Librarian/Legal Reference Coordinator:
Ms. Virgie Smith first joined Washburn in 1976 as a cataloger. In 1986, she switched to her present position of reference and collection maintenance librarian. For the past thirty years, she has been and continues to be an inspiration to other law librarians. She has worked diligently to maintain the law library’s archive and general stacks collection. In doing this, she has become a wealth of knowledge about and for the law school. She has helped hundreds of law students accomplish their educational/career goals. As a reference librarian, Ms. Smith spends almost half of her time at the reference desk teaching legal information literacy. However, when necessary, she goes above and beyond ordinary service by providing a personal touch and creating memorable relationships. Alumni who visit their alma mater often make a special effort to seek her out. She is that memorable! [Emphasis added]
In my mind there is no greater recognition of service when visiting alumni want to touch base with "their" law librarian. I have never had the pleasure to meet Virgie Smith but I know she is a very special law librarian. [JH]
Harvard Law’s Berkman Center and LexisNexis Partner to Study Law School Curriculum
From the press release:
"LexisNexis and Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society are partnering to ensure that the next generation of law school graduates is equipped with new technology and electronic litigation tools, skills that are rarely included in law school curricula, according to Andrew Prozes, CEO of LexisNexis Group, and John Palfrey, Executive Director of the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School."
ABA Sponsors Podcasting for Litigators
The ABA Section of Litigation has launced Litigation Podcast: Tips & Tactics for the Practicing Trial Lawyer. Check it out. [JH]