November 24, 2008
Judicial Review and the Law of the Land
Philip Hamburger's Law and Judicial Duty (Harvard UP, Nov. 1, 2008) presents a very different history and a very different conception of the power of the judges. Drawing upon previously unexplored evidence, Philip Hamburger reveals the familiar notion of judicial review to be largely an illusion produced by modern assumptions, and he shows that what today is called “judicial review” was once understood more simply as part of the duty of judges to decide in accord with the law of the land. His book challenges many modern assumptions about the extent of judicial power, and by exploring judicial duty in its social context, the book raises sobering questions about the nature of law and the possibility of government under law. [JH]
A Quick Look at Intercountry Adoption
In recognition of National Adoption Month, the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has launched Adoption.state.gov, a new Web site devoted exclusively to intercountry adoption. Adoption.state.gov provides a central resource for adopting parents, adoption agencies, and others involved in the intercountry adoption process. Prospective parents will find country specific information and background about the Hague Adoption Convention on the website.
Adoption.state.gov also includes information such as who is eligible to adopt, from which countries Americans adopt children, what protections the Hague Adoption Convention provides families, when an organization needs to renew its accreditation, and advice to prospective parents about selecting an accredited adoption agency. The site also provides information for foreign citizens who are interested in adopting American children.
Hat tip to Resource Shelf. [JH]
November 23, 2008
Georgia Supreme Court Sponsors Billboards Pushing Marriage to Fight Crime
A dozen billboards costing $50,000 urge Georgians to "Get Married, Stay Married." The billboards are intended to fight crime and are sponsored by the Supreme Court of Georgia. Don't worry taxpayers. The Georgia Bar Foundation picked up the tab. Details here. [JH]
Pelosi and Reid Spell Out Auto Industry Bailout Requirements
In a letter to auto industry executives [text], Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spell out exactly what they think needs to be in the plan submitted to Congress in order to gain support for the bailout of the auto industry. The plan must:
- Provide a forthright, documented assessment of the auto companies’ current operating cash position, short-term liquidity needs to continue operations as a going-concern, and how they will meet the financing needs associated with the plan to ensure the companies’ long-term viability as they retool for the future;
- Provide varying estimates of the terms of the loan requested with varying assumptions including that of automobile sales at current rates, at slightly improved rates, and at worse rates;
- Provide for specific measures designed to ensure transparency and accountability, including regular reporting to, and information-sharing with, any federal government oversight mechanisms established to safeguard taxpayer investments;
- Protect taxpayers by granting the most senior status for any government loans provided, ensuring that taxpayers get paid back first;
- Assure that taxpayers benefit as corporate conditions improve and shareholder value increases through the provision of warrants or other mechanisms;
- Bar the payment of dividends and excessive executive compensation, including bonuses and golden parachutes by companies receiving taxpayer assistance;
- Include proposals to address the payment of health care and pension obligations;
- Demonstrate the auto companies’ ability to achieve the fuel efficiency requirements set forth in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and become a long-term global leader in the production of energy-efficient advanced technology vehicles; and
- Require that government loans be immediately callable if long-term plan benchmarks are not met.
A Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis or How to Wire a Time Bomb
Check it out on mint.edu. [JH]