October 25, 2008
Pennsylvania Suit at Core Challenges Legislative Process
Here's an interesting case, Common Cause of Philadelphia v. Pennsylvania, and an article about it. The dispute arose out of a 2005 pay raise to Pennsylvania legislators and judges. Common Cause challenged it, claiming that the former CJ of Pennsylvania had conspired with the legislators to pass the bill "in secret" without hearings, etc.
Standing has been raised as the principal challenge by the defendants, as reported in the article, so we may never know "how much, if any, process is due" in the legislative process to citizens. interesting case.
October 23, 2008
The Statute of Frauds: What is a "writing"?
I teach property, and of course one topic we cover is the statute of frauds. Generally, a state will require contracts for the sale of land to be "in writing." What is interesting to me is the split on what "writing" means. Some courts interpret "writing," for example, to require that the writing must clearly describe the land, without reference to any extrinsic evidence; others hold that so long as there's some writing, extrinsic evidence is almost always admissible to firm up which land is in issue; finally, others adopt a middle interpretation, holding that the description has to be reasonably clear (an amorphous test), and if so it's a "key" that opens the door to extrinsic evidence.
It's interesting that even at this very basic, ancient level, we have splits. I wonder if anyone's ever traced them back to the sources -- policy, purpose, (can't be textual), or what...
Civ Pro: Last Served Defendant Split Continues
The Eleventh Circuit joined the "does time run from the first-served, or last-served" defendant for purposes of the removal statute, adopting the last served rule. The case, Bailey v. Janssen Pharma., __ F.3d __ (11th Cir. 2008), was decided by a unanimous panel.
October 20, 2008
Tidbits about Law & The Election
Texas: Contributions Flow, Candidates Divided. There's an article here about my old home state of Texas and how the Democrats are trying to unseat conservative Republicans who have taken control of the state, dramatically reducing (properly or not, I don't know) consumer protection by decreasing liability.
If Obama Wins, Stevens Resigns? There's an article here about the impact on the Court of the potential Obama presidency.
Speaking of Texas Judges.... I know some of the judges involved in this one.
Nebraska to Amend its "Leave Your Child Behind" Law
There's an article here about a Nebraska statute that allows parents to abandon their "children" at a hospital without fear of prosecution, and how it was interpreted to permit abandonment up to age 18. I love it. They're now amending it to limit it to 3 day old infants....
Thomas on Interpreting the Constitution
An interesting exerpt from a talk he gave is here.
Supremes Take Identity Theft Case
Flores-Figueroa v. United States, No. 08-108. In order to prove aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1), must the government show that the defendant knew that the means of identification he used belonged to another person?
I blogged a couple times about this issue below. The Supremes just granted cert.