Posts tagged ‘law review’

08/28/2013

About this pro-gun “Harvard” “study” that is making the internet rounds today

by wfgodbold

There are a few things that need to be said:

1. It isn’t new; it’s from 2007.

2. It was published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, which is the official journal of the Federalist Society (and so, despite the Harvard name, has a more right-libertarian bent than one might expect; in fact, the top of the Journal’s homepage bears the legend “The nation’s leading forum for conservative and libertarian legal scholarship.”).

3. The authors do not appear to be affiliated with Harvard. This is due to the nature of law review publications (which the Harvard J.L. & Pub. Pol’y most assuredly is). Law professors and attorneys write articles and then submit them to reviews for consideration for publication. The staff of the review will check the articles and their sources, making sure that cited authority actually says what the author claims it says.*

Now, I haven’t read the article itself or looked at the sources or methodology. I am in favor of its conclusion (as should be obvious from this blog). Its truth or falsity should be determined irrespective of its source.

Breitbart.com‘s calling it a Harvard study is bending the truth nearly to the breaking point, and Hot Air‘s assertion that because this article is from HARVARD!!11!1 it settles everything is flat out wrong.

I was originally going to submit this as a comment over at Alphecca, but decided instead to get in my one post for August (I have no idea why this has become my new schedule, but I will try to post more frequently).

*If you remember, gentle reader, I am currently a member of the law review at my law school. Reviews are predominantly student-run, and we spend most of our time running down sources and editing submitted pieces.

03/21/2013

Intermediate scrutiny is the new rational basis

by wfgodbold

At least in the Fourth Circuit.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision reversed the district court’s decision in Woollard v. Sheridan (which had invalidated the Maryland concealed carry statute’s requirement that an applicant show good cause for issuance of a concealed carry license).

The court quoted legislative “findings” supporting the law as written:

(1) the number of violent crimes committed in the State has increased alarmingly in recent years;

(2) a high percentage of violent crimes committed in the State involves the use of handguns;

(3) the result is a substantial increase in the number of deaths and injuries largely traceable to the carrying of handguns in public places by criminals;

(4) current law has not been effective in curbing the more frequent use of handguns in committing crime; and

(5) additional regulations on the wearing, carrying, and transporting of handguns are necessary to preserve the peace and tranquility of the State and to protect the rights and liberties of the public.

The court even notes that these findings (adopted in 2002), have not been substantially changed since the Maryland legislature first adopted them in 1972.

Somehow, despite the passage of 30 years from the legislature’s initial adoption to its re-adoption of these findings, the situation in Maryland has not changed (after all, if it had worked, and crime had gone down in response to any laws based on these findings, surely the present findings would differ by at least crediting the current harsh laws for the drop in crime). This is in fact strikingly similar to the Supreme Court’s current case on the Voting Rights Act, in which Congress had adopted the same “findings” today as it did at the VRA’s inception–in 1965.

The Fourth Circuit went on to list several other “findings” (I won’t reproduce them here; if you click through to the Volokh Conspiracy and then to the opinion itself, you can read them on pp. 26-28). This reads like a litany of standard gun control fears–essentially that liberalized carry will take us back to the wild west. It hasn’t (for example, despite similar claims by opponents of Virginia’s bar and restaurant carry bill, crime didn’t increase–it dropped).

Maryland essentially argued that they should be able to deny carry licenses to the vast majority of applicants because of public safety, and the Fourth Circuit went along with it (citing heavily to the Second Circuit’s opinion in Kachalsky, but doing its best to minimize the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Moore).

Professor Volokh appears to take a dim view of the court’s deference to the legislature’s findings (especially coupled with this standard of review) and notes that “a constitutional right that can be trumped in nearly all its applications, under whatever level of scrutiny, is not really a right.”

I agree.

I would go further, though. The various circuits, in KachalskyPeterson, and now in Woollard are focusing too much on Heller and McDonald‘s language regarding the “core” Second Amendment right. The right of armed self-defense may be strongest in the home, but as the Seventh Circuit noted in Moore, that does not mean that it is nonexistent elsewhere. 

I only have one other thing to say about this case–I’m very glad it came out today and not last Thursday, or I would have had to stay up all night reworking certain parts of my law review note so I could turn it in on Friday.

03/13/2013

Crunch time.

by wfgodbold

The final draft of my law review note is due Friday at noon. Between that and my part time jobs and classes (and the damn time change), I’m exhausted.

Spring break is next week, though, so I’ll be able to recover and catch up before the last month of the semester. In the mean time, here’s the first video from Gloryhammer‘s upcoming debut album:

I can’t decide if I like it or not, but since one of the tracks is titled “The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee,” I may have to get the album regardless.

01/05/2013

Oh, right. Happy New Year.

by wfgodbold

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, あけましておめでとう、etc.img

I hope everyone had a good holiday season, and that if you lost power (like I did), it wasn’t out for too long.

I have a few posts percolating (including a review of the hilarious Wreck-It Ralph), but I’ve been “busy” (those video games I got for Christmas and during last semester aren’t going to play themselves (if you import gamers were curious, Tales of Xillia 2 is pretty good), nor are the case surveys I’m doing for the law review going to write themselves!).

Also, I have finally read Cold Days. Jim Butcher is my master now. Ghost Story, while good, was a bit sedate for the series, and Cold Days returns to the nonstop action and wham lines. Hopefully Butcher will be back to his ~1 year per book schedule, instead of the almost 1.5 year per book he’s taken for the last two.

Next on the pile is Iain M. Banks’s Consider Phlebas, the first in his SF series on The Culture.

I may have to start sleeping even less.

12/13/2012

I’m of mixed feelings about the 7th Cir.’s holding in Moore v. Madigan

by wfgodbold

One the one hand, anti-gun wailing and gnashing of teeth is like music to my ears (the decision is here). Though gun control’s not quite dead, it’s definitely on life support.

On the other hand, this has thrown a wrench into a certain project I’ve left undescribed (see fn 1). Between this case, the 2d Cir.’s holding in Kachalsky, and whatever the 9th Cir. holds in Richards v. Prieto (assuming it’s decided next semester-ish), I’m going to have to rework substantial sections.

On the gripping hand, my project not only turned out to be timely, but by the time it’s done, it may even be on a circuit split!

And with that said, those astute readers of mine will likely have deduced the general subject of my law review article.

Now, back to studying. One more exam to go, and then this semester will be officially over.

12/01/2012

You know, aside from the initial suspension of disbelief activation energy…

by wfgodbold

The Red Dawn remake was actually pretty good (and by “suspension of disbelief activation energy,” I mean getting past the idea that the North Koreans could actually take over the Pacific Northwest*).

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but after getting eliminated in the intramural moot court competition this morning, I finally had an afternoon where I didn’t have the specter of a brief/oral argument/note hanging over my head.**

Despite my initial misgivings, the change of the conquerors from the Chinese to the Norks wasn’t completely terrible. I know that sounds like I’m damning the movie with faint praise, but the movie was actually good.

*It’s kind of a spoiler, but the suspension of disbelief was helped along by a revelation later in the film (*cough* HEMP *cough*). No, not that kind.

**Sure, finals are the week after next, but who cares!

11/16/2012

Can’t post. Too busy writing.

by wfgodbold

The first draft of the law review paper is due Monday. Two and a half substantive sections to go, and then it’s just recommendations and conclusions.

The final draft of the moot cour appellate brief is due Wednesday. Fortunately, our previous draft was in pretty good shape.

And the first of two graded moot court oral arguments is Monday.

I am sorely tempted to use one of the two law review extensions we get, but I’ll have to see where I am Sunday afternoon (we have to give 24 hours notice).

11/09/2012

I’m still here.

by wfgodbold

Well, mostly. The election was but a blip in the ever-busier life of a second-year law student,* so I haven’t had much time to wail or gnash my teeth about America’s failure to stave off entitlementageddon for more years rather than fewer.

Today, though, it struck me.

Fewer than 200 years ago, Emerson wrote:**

It is only as a man puts off all foreign support, and stands alone, that I see him to be strong and to prevail. He is weaker by every recruit to his banner. Is not a man better than a town?

I doubt many today would agree.

*The first draft of my law review note is due on the 19th.

**I was going to make it my latest QotITI, but it’s already been one.

08/05/2012

In no particular order:

by wfgodbold

Growlanser IV is out for the PSP in the US (if you’ve a PS3, you can download it there and transfer it to the PS Vita without issue; if you’re PS3-less, you’ll have to wait until it’s up in the PS Vita PSN store). It’s pretty good so far; the sprites are nice, and the gameplay is classic Growlanser (JRPG-like with a heavy dose of strategy).

As far as the Chick-fil-a brouhaha goes, I didn’t eat there on Wednesday. Not because I disagree with their position (which I do (disagree, I mean)), and not out of support for the attempt to crack down on speech Boston/Chicago politicians disagree with, but because the local CFA had cops out directing traffic, a drive-thru line that looked to be at least 50 cars long, and an in-store line that stretched around the building at least once. Their chicken is good, and I support their rights to hold positions I don’t agree with and be free from government harassment because of that speech, but it’s not stand-in-line-for-more-than-an-hour good. Linoge disagreed, and went on – in his characteristic way – to say in ~400 words what a normal man would say in 50 (I would have posted on this on the 1st, but when I got home, Linoge had already said basically everything I was going to. Even if he did say it in 4x the space).

Want to eat sushi at the Olympics? Hope you don’t like soy sauce, cause mini packets are banned on account of not sponsoring the Olympics (beware; Sankaku Complex is about as unsafe for work as it gets). Between that and the lack of business the Olympics was supposed to bring in, I don’t know why anyone would voluntarily pay for the games. Other than as an opportunity to fleece the taxpayer and enrich politicians and their cronies, I mean.

The latest live-action Rurouni Kenshin trailer is out, and it’s got English subtitles. My only complaint is that they translate Kenshin’s reference to his reverse-bladed-sword as merely “sword;” in Japanese, it’s literally written 逆刃刀; the first character means “backwards,” the second “blade,” and the third “sword.” Instead of being sharpened along the front edge and dull along the back, Kenshin’s is dull along the front and sharp along the back (reverse-bladed). It’s kind of a big part of the character, and just calling it a sword doesn’t really cut it (heh).

In my less copious than normal free time (when not playing Growlanser (and sometimes while playing Growlanser), I’ve been rewatching The Good Guys on Netflix streaming. It takes me back to a more innocent time, when I hadn’t had a class on pre-trial criminal procedure, and was ignorant of how much of a free hand the courts have given police. I’ve mentioned it before; every episode is essentially an 80s/90s style buddy cop movie (in 45 min.).

I’m also working my way through Simon R. Green‘s books. Again. Sure, they’re pulp, but they’re entertaining. And isn’t that what really matters?

The law review has handed down the first cite check for this year; it’s due a week from Wednesday. Between that and the Legal Editing & Scholarship class I’m taking before fall classes start up, I’m being kept off the streets pretty efficiently.

07/10/2012

And on the law school front…

by wfgodbold

The summer semester is winding down (just this week and next before the reading period and finals). Patent and Trade Secret Law is interesting, and Pre-Trial Criminal Procedure is interesting, depressing, and infuriating (and, at times, hilarious; why on earth would you consent to a search of anything if you were carrying any kind of contraband?).

We got our grades from last semester a couple weeks ago. I improved in Legal Research, Reasoning/Writing/Advocacy, Contracts, and Civil Procedure, did a bit worse in Property, and did slightly worse in Criminal Law than I did in Torts. Net change to my overall GPA: +0.01 (at least I’m consistent!).

Remember at the end of May/beginning of June when I wasn’t updating (okay, that went on for most of June, but who’s keeping track?)? In addition to summer classes starting, I was working on the law review write-on competition.

Well, all that work wasn’t in vain, since yesterday I learned that I had been selected for one of the law review apprenticeships. I’ll spend the fall checking cites and learning more about legal scholarship than I ever wanted to know, and then in the spring, I’ll actually have to write a note or comment.

Between this and the moot court class I’m taking in the fall, I think I’m going to be very busy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 181 other followers

%d bloggers like this: