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March 25, 2008

Welcome back ... to a new focal point for statutory interpretation

I hope everyone had a restful break because we are going to have a hard charging last few weeks of class focused on issues of statutory interpretation. 

Helpfully, the Supreme Court today decided to bring attention to an interesting (and complicated) statutory issue by granting cert in U.S. v. Hayes (07-608), to clarify the federal law that makes it a crime to have a gun after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.  The Fourth Circuit decision under review in Hayes is available here.  The Fourth Circuit Hayes opinion covers a lot of issues we will be discussing in the weeks ahead, and anyone taking the time to read Hayes will have a running start on understanding the statutory interpretation concepts we will cover in the remainder of the semester.

March 25, 2008 in Interesting statutes and cases | Permalink

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Comments

Eliot Spitzer graduated from princeton undergrad, harvard law school, was editor of the harvard law review and worked for just under two years for the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He is a bald guy who loves power and guilty criminals...

He was client #9

Doug Berman graduated from princeton undergrad, harvard law school, was editor of the harvard law review and worked for just under two years for the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He is a bald guy who loves power and guilty criminals...

Is he client #??...

I dont know! but it's interesting...

Posted by: The masked law student | Mar 26, 2008 1:07:17 PM

I thought I might push back a bit on Prof. Berman's comments re: talking about the Obama children's summer camps.

First a quote from Bill Clinton today:

"If a politician doesn't wanna get beat up, he shouldn't run for office," he said. "If a politician doesn't wanna get beat up, he shouldn't run for office. If a football player doesn't want to get tackled or want the risk of an a occasional clip he shouldn't put the pads on."

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/26/813659.aspx

The point being, the Obamas made this an issue as much as the media did. Both Barack and Michelle harp a lot about paying off their student loans, the sacrifices they've made choosing careers in public service (and corporate boards???), etc. When a candidate (and/or spouse) makes those sorts of statements (Michelle Obama has recently complained about the cost of piano and dance lessons for her kids-$10K per year?!) then they open themselves up to this avenue of discussion. If they didn't gripe about it, I don't think it would be much of a story.

That being said, yes, the media sucks.

Posted by: Nathan | Mar 26, 2008 4:55:28 PM

Interesting dispatch editorial about sentencing:
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/editorials/stories/2008/03/29/Reinhart_SAT__ART_03-29-08_A9_BP9P1UC.html?sid=101

It's bickering about an statement about maximum sentences, so it pertains to the sentencing portion of our legislation class, the highlights are:

"On a proportional basis, 40,000 prisoners is a higher percentage than the Soviet Union imprisoned at the height of the Evil Empire."

". . .the Sentencing Commission, which was and to this day remains dominated by prosecutors and law-enforcement special-interest groups whose obvious prejudice is exactly opposite of a local-responsibility-in-sentencing law."

"Does anyone remember the criminal-defense bar warning that we cannot build our way out of the overcrowding problem?"

And best of all, the ending:

"But that is just the opinion of a criminal defense lawyer and, therefore, easily ignored."

My first thought was why isn't this on a blog instead?

Posted by: Amanda McNeil | Mar 29, 2008 9:33:46 PM

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