Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday News & Notes

1.  An interesting oral argument early this morning in the 11th Circuit (8am start!). I love pirate cases. U.S. v. Bellaizac-Hurtado, Case No. 11-14049: A consolidated appeal in which four defendants are challenging the constitutionality of applying U.S. jurisdiction, under the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, over a vessel transporting cocaine, seized in Panamanian territorial waters, pursuant to Congress's authority "[t]o define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations."  U.S. Const. art I, § 8, cl. 10. The question is whether drug trafficking in foreign territorial waters is a violation of the "Law of Nations" and thus within Congress's authority to criminalize. Appellate gurus were on the case-- Tracy Dreispul argued the case for the FPD and Jonathan Colan for the USAO.

2.  Judge Richard Posner wrote an cutting piece about Justice Scalia's book on interpretation.  This comes after Scalia made fun of Posner.  Cat fight!  Here's a snippet from Posner's article but the whole thing is really worth a read:

Those are more persuasive points than the dictionary’s definition, and as is often the case, the court got the definition wrong. (Scalia and Garner miss this, too.) A sandwich does not have to have two slices of bread; it can have more than two (a club sandwich) and it can have just one (an open-faced sandwich). The slices of bread do not have to be thin, and the layer between them does not have to be thin either. The slices do not have to be slices of bread: a hamburger is regarded as a sandwich, and also a hot dog—and some people regard tacos and burritos as sandwiches, and a quesadilla is even more sandwich-like. Dictionaries are mazes in which judges are soon lost. A dictionary-centered textualism is hopeless.

3.And while we're in the 11th Circuit, check out this opinion today dealing with Segways and Disney.  Disney didn't want them in the park and people freaked out, including DOJ, a bunch of Attorneys General and others.  The 11th affirmed, basically saying that the settlement was fair in which Disney agreed to "develop a four-wheeled, electric-stand up-vehicle (“the ESV”) for those for whom a stand-up mobility device is a necessity and who are unable to utilize a mobility device that requires sitting, such as an electronic wheelchair or motorized scooter."



Anonymous said...

No mention of crazy Clint Eastwood's "speech" last night?

"On the biggest night of the Republican National Convention, the Dirty Harry actor took a swipe at the profession during a "surprise" prime-time speech that was unscripted and often rambling.

"See, I never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to be president, anyway," Eastwood said in a dig at President Barack Obama's education at Harvard Law School. The line drew applause and whistles from the crowd inside the convention hall, and the actor continued.

"I think attorneys are so busy — you know they're always taught to argue everything, always weigh everything, weigh both sides," Eastwood said. "They are always devil's advocating this and bifurcating this and bifurcating that. You know all that stuff. But, I think it is maybe time — what do you think — for maybe a businessman. How about that?"

The timing of the comments — arguably the most high-profile mention of the legal profession at the week-long convention — could not have been more bizarre. The convention's next speaker was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a lawyer who earned a degree from the University of Miami School of Law.

And Eastwood forgot to note that like Obama, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also has a law degree from Harvard.


Rumpole said...

Any truth to the rumor that the appellant's lead counsel wore a puffy shirt?