I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


The Acid Test: Remember the guy Scalia dinged for reading his argument? He won his case

Folks may recall an argument where Scalia let a lawyer have it for reading his argument:

Lechner’s quite apparent nervousness might well have been explained because, after he had spoken only a few sentences, Justice Antonin Scalia brusquely asked: “You’re not reading this?”  Lechner didn’t answer, simply standing silent for a lengthy embarrassed moment.


Tom Toles has a suggestion for Justice Scalia

My idea was that the Catholics should make Justice Scalia pope. It would be a perfect fit. But I would be just as comfortable with him joining Benedict at the Castel Gandolfo.

Justice Scalia’s “looming specter of inutterable horror”– his dissent in Arizona v. United States

As a sovereign, Arizona has the inherent power to exclude persons from its territory

-Justice Scalia’s dissent in Arizona v. United States

Justice Scalia’s dissent in the Arizona illegal alien law case harkens back to a simpler time in America, when local governments were left alone to decide who could and could not come […]

“Conceivably, they will simply throw the opinions into the air in frustration”

Here’s a nice tirade.

Justice Scalia (by himself) dissented from denial of certiorari in Derby v United States, representing a group of sentencing guidelines cases that involve the question whether various state offenses would or would not count as violent for guidelines purposes.  The rules (both from the Supreme Court and among the lower courts) […]

Quote for the day

The Nevada Supreme Court thought a legislator’s vote to be protected speech because voting ‘is a core legislative function.’

We disagree, for the same reason.

From the Scalia opinion in Nevada Comm’n on Ethics v. Carrington.

h/t Mark Tushnet on Balkinization.

Justice Scalia: pleased the Supreme Court’s reputation survived Bush v. Gore, and reminds us he finds no constitutional prohibition against gender discrimination

Justice Scalia did an interview with the California Lemon:

How would you characterize the role of the Supreme Court in American society, now that you’ve been a part of it for 24 years? I think it’s a highly respected institution. It was when I came, and I don’t think I’ve destroyed it. I’ve […]

Supreme Twitters

The Twitter feed named Scalia, whoever it is, is both not family material and occasionally hilarious.  h/t Fallows.

Two quotes for the day– Justice Scalia and Elvis girlfriend Barbara Hearn

From a Commercial Appeal story about a Memphis Elvis dated:  “Hearn remained close to Elvis’ mother, Gladys, and grandmother, Minnie Mae, even when the relationship with Elvis began to cool. That was how she learned that Gladys Presley quickly took a dislike to Natalie Wood when she met her at the Presley home on […]

Adam Liptak on the “honest services” bribery cases before the US Supreme Court

As I posted a while ago, the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted cert in a case involving the “honest services” bribery statute.  There are actually two cases before the court, one involving an Alaska legislator and the other Canadian newspaperman Conrad Black.  The issue of the scope of federal statute criminalizing the denial of “honest services” of a state official to its citizens was going to be an issue in the DeLaughter case before the guilty plea; it was pretty clear that one of the reasons Chicago lawyer Tom Durkin got in the case was his experience in that area, particularly in a case in which the Supreme Court denied cert in March over a dissent by Justice Scalia.

Adam Liptak writes about this issue before the U.S. Supreme Court today in the New York Times:

In February, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that federal prosecutors had developed an unseemly crush on a particularly vague law, one that “has been invoked to impose criminal penalties upon a staggeringly broad swath of behavior.”

Justice Scalia was writing to protest the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear an appeal from three city officials in Chicago who had been convicted of violating the law, which makes it a crime “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”

If you can make sense of that phrase, you have achieved something that has so far eluded the nation’s appeals courts.

“How can the public be expected to know what the statute means when the judges and prosecutors themselves do not know, or must make it up as they go along?” Judge Dennis Jacobs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, asked in a 2003 dissent.

Continue reading Adam Liptak on the “honest services” bribery cases before the US Supreme Court

Praise from Justice Scalia for the Public Defenders of Podunk

But he doubts they (or we?) are doing the most productive work we could be doing for society.

Scalia’s observation was made in an interview with C-Span, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports. Scalia said he disagreed with former Chief Justice Warren Burger, who complained about the low quality of counsel.

“I used […]