Monday, March 31st, 2008

No we\'re not

No we're not

Last week, George Will–the Washington Post‘s longtime Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist as well as the lone conservative commentator on ABC’s This Week–published a column that began by citing to a recent law review article written by none other than SCOTX‘s newest Justice, Don Willett.

Will, whose columns Justice Willett says “helped sustain” him through many a “late and nerdy night” during law school, discussed the recent book, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism by Syracuse Professor Arthur C. Brooks, and Justice Willett’s review of same in the Texas Review of Law and Politics, entitled An Inconvenient Truth: Conservative Behaving Charitably.

I haven’t had a chance to peruse the book, but Justice Willett’s review is an excellent overview of Professor Brooks’s study examining how the “cult of charity” is oftentimes drastically different than the “culture of charity,” and firmly divided along political and religious lines that lie in stark contrast to the delineation affixed by popular rhetoric.

As SCOTX Blog notes, it also provides an excellent opportunity to familiarize oneself with several excellent examples of website citation (to some very funny bumper stickers one might see around Austin, as evidenced above) under the increasingly important edicts of Bluebook Rules 18.2.1-2.3, thanks to the outstanding efforts of Justice Willett’s law clerk, Christine McMillan.

Thx to SCOTX Blog, Tex Parte Blog, Justice Willett, Professor Brooks, George Will, and Christine McMillan


I can’t decide whether to be freaked out by the sheer Orwellian overtones of this, or to just appreciate it for the invaluable information it now puts at my fingertips.

For several months now, Google has been rolling out a street-view function for its maps of several cities throughout the country. This feature allows you not only to see a map to an address or a satellite view of same, but to see a street-level image of the address as well.

Well, it’s now active for Austin, for better or worse.

Thx to the Austinist

Crying foul

We here at the SMSB have noted that Justice Stevens‘s opinions can sometimes read more like op-eds than jurisprudential expositions on matters of constitutional import. Hence, his stupefying majority opinion in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 127 S. Ct. 1438 (2007), in which he judicially declared carbon dioxide to be the cause of global warming. Massachusetts, 127 S. Ct. at 1446.

Well, one of his concurrences handed down in February actually turned into a subsequent New York Times op-ed. In Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., Justice Stevens asserted that Justice Scalia‘s majority opinion put forward a “a policy argument advanced by the Court, not by Congress.” 128 S. Ct. 999, 1012 (2008 ) (Stevens, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment). Following Justice Stevens’ lead, the New York Times, in addition to the L.A. Times and others, were both quick to attribute policy motives to the Court.

Well, last week the majority author did not think it helpful the media’s cloaking of a textual, preemption decision like Medtronic with the seemingly policy-driven headline, “No Recourse for the Injured.”

In defending the media’s “echoing [of] the judgment of [Justice] Scalia’s colleague,” no less than famed jurist Richard Posner‘s son and Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, Eric Posner, noted the similarity of the press accounts to Justice Stevens’s concurrence.

Thx to the WSJ Law Blog and Slate’s Convictions

Not Russian

Why, ” Я с места на место пастуха с склонны блог из пастбищ,” of course.

The above excerpt–“I am an itinerant shepherd with a penchant for blogging from the pasture”–is from my revealing and in-depth “about” page translated into Russian (I think) by Google at the behest of a reader located somewhere decidedly east of Texarkana.

Thx (or “spasiba”) to whoever my loyal Russian reader is and regards from Austin, Texas