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November 30, 2020

"The Roles of Judges in Democracies: A Realistic View": the podcast...

...with Professor Brian Frye (Kentucky), regarding this article.  My thanks to Professor Frye for inviting me to discuss it!

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 30, 2020 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

November 26, 2020

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, newest member of the super-legislature...

...delivers for her constituents, i.e., religious conservatives.   This is why she was chosen, it had nothing to do with intelligence or legal competence:  it was so she would exercise her power as a super-legislator on behalf of issues dear to religious conservatives, public health or the general welfare be damned.   Governor Cuomo should declare the Court mistaken, and ignore the ruling. After all, if Justice Ginsburg had not died, this case would have come out the other way, as everyone knows.  Her appointment in Samarra should not change constitutional law, a proposition even conservatives who profess commitment to the rule of law might agree upon.

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 26, 2020 in Jurisprudence, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 23, 2020

The Constitutional Court of South Africa: the building

A lovely tour from former Justice Albie Sachs, a brilliant judge and a deeply humane and courageous man, a kind of jurist utterly foreign in the highest reaches of the U.S. legal profession in recent years.


Posted by Brian Leiter on November 23, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 19, 2020

Clearing away some jurisprudential myths

The myth that H.L.A. Hart had a "practice theory" of rules.

The myth that the so-called "normativity" of law presents a problem for legal positivism, let alone a special or interesting one.

The more recent myth that Hart made any kind of "category mistake" in his account of social rules or the rule of recognition.


Posted by Brian Leiter on November 19, 2020 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

November 18, 2020

In Memoriam: Drew S. Days III (1941-2020)

A former Solicitor General of the United States, Professor Days was also a longtime member of the Yale faculty.  The Yale memorial notice is here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 18, 2020 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

November 16, 2020

The dumbest law teacher in America?

Quite possibly.   He's a lecturer, teaching skills courses, but not a member of the clinical or academic faculties at the University of Miami.  Assuming he enjoys contractual protection for academic freedom (I don't know if he does), then he is protected from sanction by Miami for his extramural speech.  There is no evidence that he has been sanctioned, only criticized.  But in addition to being stupid and a provocateur, he seems to be a bit of a drama queen as well, claiming, without evidence, that he "will" be fired.  There's now a mock twitter account that captures this aspect of the melodrama well.

UPDATE:  Michael Froomkin (Miami) reports that lecturers are covered by Miami's academic freedom policy, which the university has not violated.  Professor Froomkin makes some other interesting observations about this melodrama.

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 16, 2020 in Faculty News, Law Professors Saying Dumb Things, Legal Profession | Permalink

November 12, 2020

Law professors who are part of the Biden transition teams

Law professor Jonathan Adler (Case Western) compiles the names.

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 12, 2020 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 11, 2020

AALS announces winners of this year's Scholarly Paper Competition

The winner is "Distributing Civil Justice" by Matthew A. Shapiro (Rutgers).

Honorable mention went to:  "The Case for Abolition of Criminal Confessions" by Guha Krishnamurthi (South Texas), "Bankruptcy Grifters" by Lindsey Simon (Georgia), and "Foreign Dictators in U.S. Court" by Diego Zambrano (Stanford).

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 11, 2020 in Faculty News | Permalink

November 10, 2020

Jones Day seems rather too tightly linked to Trump...

...and some lawyers there are worried.  Law students may not be formally boycotting Jones Day (as some are boycotting Paul, Weiss), but one suspects that the choices of many will be influenced by this high-profile association.

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 10, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 6, 2020

Western Michigan University ends "affiliation" with Cooley Law School

Not good for Cooley, but perhaps not fatal:  Cooley has already changed enormously in the wake of the 2010 downturn in law school applicants.  From the article:

Once a large law school with four campuses, Cooley downsized in the past decade. Enrollment fell from more than 3,900 students in 2010-11 to 1,156 in 2019-20. The law school announced in August that it would close its campus in Grand Rapids, Mich., in August 2021 and move all classes and operations to its campus in Lansing, the state capital. It also closed its campus in Auburn Hills, Mich., last year and reduced the footprint of the Lansing campus. Cooley still maintains one other campus in Tampa Bay, Fla.

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 6, 2020 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink