Thursday, June 30, 2005

I Love Government Shutdowns

One line from an online Star-Tribune page summing up what will be open/closed during the limited government shutdown here in Minnesota:
No enforcement of minimum wage, prevailing wage and overtime laws, along with routine workplace safety inspections.
I suspect that this might be the closest I'll ever come to living in a Lochnerian society during my lifetime. Oh well, might as well enjoy it while I can.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Volokh on the O'Reilly Factor on 6/29

OK, it's not much of an announcement since I'm watching it...further evidence that Prof. Volokh is a genius...if FoxNews links to a video clip of it, I'll surely link to it.

Anyway, the topic was Ward Churchill and another idiotic statement that he made. Prof. Volokh made a great point as to why the University of Colorado should not fire him for his speeches (on the pretense that he has hurt the school's fundraising, etc.) - it's that since most colleges are run by liberals, they would use the same pretense in order to fire conservatives.

Monday, June 27, 2005

"Lemon" Establishment Test

In regards to the test the Court has followed in Establishment cases since the 1973 case, Lemon v. Kurtzman, I wrote an email to a friend with this observation:

How is it that in a case where something passes constitutional muster, the Lemon Test gets no mention, save in the footnotes (See Cutter v. Wilkinson, opinion released May 31, 2005)? And every few terms when it involves school prayer, or a monument inside a courthouse, the L.T. comes back out? This Lemon thing seems to be a historical relic that the ghost of Warren keeps putting on the tongues of the Justices once every 5 years.

Ten Commandments

Supreme Court today narrowly divided on 10 Commandments displays in split rulings.

The basics:

Monuments that are part of historical significance or have acquired historical meaning in the community are ok.

Monuments that are conspicuous, stand alone, and get complained about lots are likely to fall. I printed off the cases and intend to review tonight. But I have yet to find the real "hook" that provided the difference. I have read elsewhere that it is Justice Breyer who changed his vote, finding that in the first instance, there had been no complaints in 40 years. I have yet to find the principled difference between the two.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Idiotic Nationalism

Two of my friends and I attended the Matt Vanda vs. Yory Boy Campas fight card last night at the Target Center. The undercard was quite uninspiring; Michael Grant, once a heavyweight title contender, refused to throw punches at a far inferior opponent, and received a unanimous decision, and a promising fight between a former world champion and a tough local fighter was ended early and went to the judges' scorecards after a large cut over the local fighter's eye was ruled to have been caused by a headbutt, although replays clearly showed that there was no clash of heads and that the cut was caused by a punch. Oh well - it was an undercard in Minnesota - I didn't expect much anyway. It was far from the most bothersome part of the night.

What really irked me was the smattering of boos when it was announced that the Mexican national anthem was about to be played before the Vanda/Campas fight. This was the most classless and disgusting of displays I have ever seen from a crowd. Campas, a former world champion, gave Minnesota boxing fans a big name, and that's what he received in return - lovely. Of course, that wasn't the end of it. The person sitting next to me started chanting "you suck" as the anthem was ending. Finally, someone in the next section of seating was thrown out of the arena for shouting racial slurs to a group of Mexican fans and telling them to "go home." Perhaps I should expect the lowest common denominator of society to be in attendance at a boxing card, but as a fight fan, all I can do is hope for something better than that.

As for the fight, Campas was the far superior fighter. He landed the harder shots, worked Vanda's body throughout the fight, and didn't tire as much as Vanda did. Though Vanda was able to get off two or three flurries per round, they decreased in number and effectiveness as the rounds wore on, with almost no power behind them in the middle and latter rounds, save for the last one or two. At best, Vanda earned four of the twelve rounds (I would have scored two for him). However, the Minnesota judges did to Campas what they did to Sam Garr when he fought Vanda in Minneapolis last year (and arguably also against Troy Lowry earlier this year) and handed Vanda a gift of a decision. One judge even had Vanda up eight rounds to four. With these types of decisions repeatedly being made in order to artificially prop up the few "prospects" Minnesota has, there is no chance that Minnesota will draw bigger names to the Twin Cities.

What a shame.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Christina Aguilera music--torturous?

Article III Groupie, at her amusing blog on Federal Court justices, ponders whether the current law on torture of detainees would hold that Aguilerra's music constituted torture? The analysis is found here. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Welcome to the U.S.S.A.

I, too, am back!

The Supreme Court today released its Kelo v. City of New London opinion, holding that the taking of private property for a city "revitalization" project, benefiting private companies who want to develop commercially, is legitimate under the Takings Clause. I have my knee jerk reaction, though I haven't been able to read more than the Court syllabus yet.

It was a 5-4 vote, with Kennedy joining the "liberal" justices. I feel that in light of Raich two weeks ago that this has been a somewhat tumultuous term for this Court. I was also surprised by their 9-0 opinion in the Religious Rights in Prison case, Cutter v. Wilkinson, of two weeks ago. I have felt like these justices are all over the place, to put it simply. Liberals disregarding their vigilant stance on Establishment Clause issues. Conservative crossovers pleading cumulative effects and disregarding their other readings of a narrow commerce clause.

What a joy to be a geek in the summertime hit parade of the High Court!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Quote of the Day

"If it ain't rough, it ain't right." - Chauncey Billups

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

More Progress by China

Here is a good sign that China is not out to stifle the prosperity of Hong Kong. All things considered, it's promising news.

Does the ACLU Have a Point?

The ACLU has charged that the Bush administration "has sought to impose growing restrictions on the free flow of scientific information, unreasonable barriers on the use of scientific materials and increased monitoring of and restrictions on foreign university students." One instance of this is the delay by the National Academy of Sciences of the publication of an article at the request of the Department of Health and Human Services because of a fear that the information contained in the article could aid terrorists.

Does the ACLU have a point? Perhaps. While I know next to nothing about the varying degrees of accessibility of scientific information from administration to administration, I guarantee that this kind of complaint would not be possible if all scientific research was privately funded.

Monday, June 20, 2005

RR Is Back

We're back. I am, at least. After finals, moving and settling into a new place, and starting a new job as a law clerk, one can now expect this page to be tended to much more frequently than in the recent past.

For now, I leave readers with one fact - it's "Big Shot Rob," not "Big Shot Bob."

Go Pistons.