I wish I hadn’t read that


"I reckon I'm as American as anyone from Tennessee"

Y’all may have noticed I haven’t posted in the past few weeks, and my absence has been due in part to vacation, and in part due to other considerations as well (read billable hours).

Accordingly, I am signing off for a while. Many thanks for your patronage over this last year and a half or so, and continued success to all of you.

-020033

Advertisements

Keep Austin Weird

Okay, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) thinks no antitrust concerns are rasised by allowing the planet to be served by only one satellite radio company, but allowing the merger of two niche, patchouli-oil-scented grocery store chains is just a groovy bridge too far.

A federal district court ruled last August that Austin’s own bohemian bazaar turned corporate giant, Whole Foods, could acquire rival hippie food purveyor, Wild Oats, without hurting competition.

Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit ruled it had had enough of all the free grocery love, reversed the district court, and held that the core customers of each store were “worthy of antitrust protection,” despite their appearance (oh ok, I added that last part).

Because the merger has already gone through in the interim, the likely outcome of the remand–if the court sids with the FTC as expected–is that stores in areas that raise antitrust concerns will likely be divested.

Thx to the Austin Business Journal and the WSJ Law Blog

S&W commemorative revolver

Within weeks of SCOTUS ruling Dick Heller had a II Am right to possess a pistol for self-defense, the District of Columbia informed him the right doesn’t extend to semi-auto pistols after it rejected his permit application for his 1911 .45, because the District considered such firearms to be too similar to machine guns.

Only someone who has shot neither would make such a foolish assumption.

After being denied a right to register his semi-auto handgun, Heller was successful in submitting a .22 revolver for registration. However, if Heller is successful in gaining a permit to keep his .22 revolver in his home, it will have to be disassembled and trigger-locked and/or kept in a safe. This requirement (although it does include an assembly exception while it is being used against an intruder in the home) seems to treat as dicta Justice Scalia’s admonition that the “District’s requirement … that firearms in the home be rendered and kept inoperable at all times … makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.” Dist. of Colum. v. Heller, No. 07-290, slip op. at 58 (June 26, 2008) (emphasis added).

Looks like it won’t be long before Heller II is foisted back upon the court system.

* * * UPDATE * * *

Looks like Dick Heller was equally displeased with the District’s new gun permit regulations, seeing as how he sued the District once again yesterday based, in part, on its disallowance of semi-auto handguns and its requirement that all firearms be kept disassembled and trigger-locked.

Thx to DC Dicta, the DCist, WaPo, and HotAir

Say it aint so

Success ruins everything.

David Lat, a former AUSA and federal circuit clerk who I first began to follow in mid-2004 when he anonymously ran the Article III gossip blog, Underneath Their Robes (one of the seminal progenitors of the modern legal blog) until he was outed as the proprietor by Jeff Toobin. He went on to serve a stint editing Wonkette, and then became the founder and editor in chief of Above the Law, which has grown into the lowly law firm associate’s blogospherical check on BigLaw shenanigans.

Well, due to his success at ATL, Lat has been promoted to oversee all of ATL‘s parent company’s sites; thus reducing his ATL blogging load substantially and forcing him to:

brush my teeth, put on clothes, and schlep into an office each morning.

We here at the SMSB wish him well and curse thank him for seeding our own little degenerative blogging afflication. It’s not often that a person can create and ride a sea change in a profession, but Mr. Lat certainly has and we thank him for his diligent, entertaining, and status-quo-shattering work over these last few years.

Thx to the
BLT

Farewell

Tony Snow, former speechwriter for President H.W. Bush and Press Secretary to President G.W. Bush, passed away today after his long bout with colon cancer.

Tony was the most articulate and effective press secretary I’ve seen, and by all accounts, one of the most decent men inside the Beltway. He not only was the founding host of Fox News Sunday and a syndicated columnist, but the winner of the inaugural “Crawlin’ Kingsnake Trophy” (for which he beat out Bob Schieffer).

One of the things I always respected and admired most about Tony was his ability and willingness to take on the Whitehouse press corps and expose the liberal bent of their questions. He was very good at it:

GREGORY: It’s kind of a totality question, though. How you can hear these things and not conclude that it’s rejection of the President’s policy?

SNOW: Well, number one, “stay the course” is not the policy.

But you need to understand that trying to frame it in a partisan way is actually at odds with what the Group, itself, says it wanted to do. And so you may try to do whatever you want in terms of rejection, that’s not the way they view it.

GREGORY: I just want to be clear. Are you suggesting that I’m trying to frame this in a partisan way?

SNOW: Yes.

And this podiumslapping of Jim Axlerod of CBS News was a classic as well. Axlerod asked Snow if the White House was “isolated and out of touch” in what they say about Iraq and the politics of the war on Capitol Hill, to which Snow dryly replied:

No, no more than I think people look at you and think you are focused on defeat.

He was articulate and quick on his feet–much more so than his pathetic predecessor–and enjoyed as much friendly banter with the press corps as he did heated exchanges. A great example of the latter was when he chided CBS’s Harry Smith that he couldn’t “have his own facts,” and an amusing example of the former was with Bill Plante of CBS News:

Plante: Are you going to say you’ve met those benchmarks? You’ve met almost none of them.

Snow: You’re going to find out exactly what people have said when the report becomes available — within the next week.

Plante: If it’s about the benchmarks that you’ve laid out, there are very few that have been met, or they have been met in the most vaporous way. We’ve seen progress in the alliance between most of the sheikhs opposed to Al Qaeda. Oh good.

Snow: Again I’m not going to rise to the bait —

Plante: It’s vaporware.

Snow: Vaporware? What is vaporware?

Plante: Vaporware is software that has been promised but hasn’t yet been delivered.

Snow: I see. I was afraid it had to do with bodily functions and —

Plante: Oh no.

Snow: I was a little worried about it.

We only wish that Tony–as he told Helen Thomas when he left the Whitehouse last September–had lived to make “life a living hell” for another Whitehouse Press Secretary when he was her age.

Thx to Tony Snow for his service to our country

Is that a shovel in your hand or are you just happy to see me?

Is that a shovel in your hand or are you just happy to see me?

Earlier this week, it took the Wisconsin Supreme Court 34 pages to explain that a corpse cannot consent to sexual intercourse. Even more amazing is that the High Court’s opinion reversed the decision of two lower Wisconsin courts … and was dissented from on the merits by two of the supreme court justices.

Incredibly, the grave-robbing defendants’ attorney commented that the majority opinion was–I’m not making this up–“dead wrong, as it makes the entire statute superfluous” (emphasis added). Indeed.

Thx to How Appealing and the Telegraph Herald

Thanks for the memories

Walter Huffman, Dean of Texas Tech’s law school since 2001, and former Judge Advocate General of the Army, announced today his intent to resign effective following this upcoming school year (Spring 2009). The one-year lead time is apparently to allow the school time to conduct a thorough search for his replacement. No word on where Dean Huffman is off to.

Everything I ever heard about Dean Huffman was beyond positive, and I know that he had been ambitious in his efforts to raise both the profile and the academic statute of TTU’s law school. They will no doubt miss his leadership, and owe him a debt of gratitude for his successful and dedicated efforts as well.

Thx to an anonymous aspiring lawyer

Next Page »