July 10, 2012
The Cost of Voting in Pennsylvania
Over at the Faculty Lounge, I estimate that PA is imposing as much as a $48 effective poll tax on the roughly 700,000 registered Pennsylvania voters lacking sufficient ID. Why should they bear the cost of the state's "anti-fraud" efforts? Cut them each a check!
Cooter & Siegel: the Real Originators of the Tax Power Theory for Upholding the ACA
July 9, 2012
The tail is about to wag the dog again
U.S. News will revise its ranking formula (how we don't know yet) to reflect the more fine-grained data collected by the ABA. On the plus side, perhaps this means U.S. News will stop reporting, without audit, the self-reported data it has relied upon for so long.
July 6, 2012
"I've become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy"
Thus spake Judge Posner; no surprise to those who have followed his work (or followed the downward spiral of the Republican Party).
Where do elite litigation boutiques hire?
We looked at the top five Vault firms (based in Houston, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., but with additional offices in Dallas, Denver, New York and Seattle) to see where their post-2000 partners and associates earned the J.D. The results.
July 5, 2012
Waldron on the Regulation of Hate Speech
This review essay is now on SSRN; the abstract:
This essay reviews and evaluates the arguments in Jeremy Waldron's book "The Harm in Hate Speech" (Harvard University Press, 2012). We may summarize the argument for Waldron’s titular view as follows. First, the “harm in hate speech” results primarily from speech that is written rather than spoken. Second, the harm in question is damage to the “dignity” of vulnerable people based on defamation related to certain characteristics they share with a group, such that they are then deprived of the “assurance…that they can count on being treated justly” (85) in daily life because they are deemed to be “not worthy of equal citizenship” (39). Third, this harm to “the dignitary order of society” (92) is distinct from the individual offense hateful speech may cause, the latter not constituting a ground for regulation on Waldron’s view. Fourth, although regulating to prevent this harm may have some costs, the benefits justify the normal practice in democratic societies of regulating such speech (e.g., 151 ff.). I argue two main points: first, that Waldron's distinction between harm to dignity versus offense is neither stable nor clear; and second, that Waldron's failure to explain why harm to the dignitary order of society is the particular harm of speech that warrants legal redress raises a variety of questions about his view. If the moral urgency animating Waldron's case is the need to protect the vulnerable from harm, why limit that to the harm of losing assurance of "equal standing" or (as he sometimes says) the psychological harm of "distress"?
Consider, for example, what I call "the Ryan case: a powerful congressman, Paul Ryan, proposes to eviscerate and eventually eliminate Medicare, thus threatening to deprive millions of vulnerable, elderly people of essential healthcare. Surely assurance of access to healthcare when in need is at least as important as assurance of dignity in public. Why is this harm, then, not also a candidate for legal redress? I argue that Waldron's view does not have the resources to distinguish the Ryan case, but I do not offer that as a reductio of his position. To the contrary, it seems to me a virtue of Waldron's book is that by making an often vivid case for the harm that the content of speech can inflict on the vulnerable, Waldron forces us to take seriously Herbert Marcuse's old worry: namely, that while the toleration of harmful speech "in conversation, in academic discussion...in the scientific enterprise, in private religion" is justified, perhaps "society cannot be indiscriminate where the pacification of existence, where freedom and happiness themselves are at stake." Waldron does not explore that implication of his argument, but it is one that warrants renewed consideration if one shares Waldron's core intuition that harm to the vulnerable, even harm inflicted by speech, deserves legal notice.
When you fire the Dean, there is usually fall-out...
...and the latest is the loss of Matt Spitzer (administrative law, telecommunications, law & economics), who will leave Texas after just a couple of years to go to Northwestern, whose Dean, Dan Rodriguez, came from the Texas faculty (though prior to last year's implosion). Northwestern also has an offer out to legal historian Emily Kadens at Texas, who will visit Northwestern this coming year.
Congratulations to the Chicago Alumni on the Teaching Market
(I just realized I neglected to post this in the late Spring, when it usually appears.)
Congratulations to the following alumni of the University of Chicago Law School who have accepted tenure-track positions for 2012-13; they are:
Valeena E. Beety '06, who will join the faculty at West Virginia University. She clerked for Chief Judge Carr in the Nothern District of Ohio and for Judge Daughtry on the Sixth Circuit, and was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C., before teaching in the Innocence Project at the University of Mississippi. She specializes in criminal law and procedure, both doctrinal and clinical.
Sarah Burstein '07, who will join the faculty at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. She clerked for Chief Judge Pratt in the Southern District of Iowa, before practicing intellectual property law with Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago. She specializes in intellectual property.
Ashley S. Deeks '98, who will join the faculty at the University of Virginia. She clerked for Judge Becker on the Third Circuit, practiced in the U.S. State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser, and was, most recently, an Associate-in-Law at Columbia. She specializes in international law.
Kyle Langvardt '07, who will join the faculty at the University of Detroit-Mercy. He practiced law with Locke Lord in Chicago and taught business and ethics in the Business School at Indiana University, Bloomington. He specializes in constitutional law and election law.
Andres Sawicki '06, who will join the faculty at the University of Miami, in his hometown. He clerked for Judge Sack on the Second Circuit, served as an intellectual property litigator with Kirkland & Ellis in New York and, most recently, was a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School. He specializes in intellectual property, especially patents.
In addition, the following Chicago graduate accepted a VAP or Fellowship:
Goldburn P. Maynard, Jr. '05 will be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Washington University, St. Louis for 2012-14. He practiced tax law at Skadden, Arps in Chicago and earned an LL.M. in tax from Northwestern. He also worked for several years as an Estate Tax Attorney for the IRS. He specializes in tax law and trusts & estates.
Veronica Root '08 will be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame for 2012-2014. She clerked for Judge Stewart on the Fifth Circuit, and practiced with Gibson Dunn in Washington, D.C. She specializes in legal ethics and employment discrimination.
Again, congratulations to them all!
You can a list of last year's Chicago candidates and their jobs here.
July 3, 2012
Rutgers-Camden Dodges the Bullett
John Oberdiek (Rutgers-Camden) writes with the conclusion of the struggle over the proposal to give the Rutgers-Camden campus away to Rowan University:
Last Thursday, the New Jersey Legislature finally resolved the turmoil surrounding Rutgers-Camden, including its Law School, and Rutgers as a whole since a Governor Chris Christie-appointed commission recommended, among other things, that Rutgers-Camden be severed from Rutgers University and be merged into Rowan University. The legislative framework, which emerged after much intense negotiation and which awaits approval by the Governor as well as Rutgers's two governing boards, retains Rutgers-Camden as a fully engaged part of Rutgers and even puts the campus in a position to thrive. It also adds a long-sought medical school to the university.
In a message to the campus sent at the end of last week, Wendell Pritchett, Chancellor of Rutgers-Camden (as well as a member of the law faculty) approvingly summarized the key points of the legislation this way:
- Rutgers–Camden will remain an integral part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Faculty will continue to be hired and promoted according to the same University-wide standards; degree requirements will continue to be governed by Rutgers; and collective bargaining will remain with Rutgers. All employees will remain employees of Rutgers.
- The Rutgers Boards of Governors and Trustees will retain their oversight of the Rutgers–Camden campus. The legislation creates a Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors, which will be charged specifically with helping our campus to grow and evolve. At the same time, Rutgers–Camden shall continue to be subject to the authority, and crucial support, of Rutgers University.
- Rutgers–Camden will gaingreater administrative autonomy and an appreciable infusion of financial support. The campus will receive its own appropriation as a line item in the state budget, and will retain a greater share of tuition revenues here on our campus. Rutgers–Camden Law Dean Rayman Solomon notes that the opportunity for greater financial autonomy will help the law school with its efforts to attract top faculty and students.
The Rutgers University Board of Governors signaled its general agreement with this legislation in a resolution approved on June 28, noting that its approval, and any future action, is subject to the due diligence of Rutgers’ governing boards. If approved by the Rutgers boards, this legislation would take effect on July 1, 2013.
July 2, 2012
Law professors with tenure who are also law firm partners
The numbers seem to me to be increasing: there's not only Kathleen Sullivan, officially a tenured member of the Stanford law faculty while being a name partner in New York of one of the country's most successful firms; there's Mark Lemley at Stanford who is a partner at a law firm (that also includes David McGowan at San Diego as a partner); there's Neal Katyal at Georgetown, who is a partner at a major international law firm, and also Viet Dinh at Georgetown, also a partner at a different high-end litigation boutique. Who else am I missing? And how can these folks be tenured law professors and partners at high-end law firms? Something surely has to give...