Commentary

Op-Ed: Hasty Changes to Mandatory Sentencing Could Prove Unwise

By George J. Terwilliger III |

We shouldn't forget that the public needs protection from some very bad actors.

<b>JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO:</b> The author of ‘Wynne’ was joined for a change by Justices Sotomayor and Breyer.

Op-Ed: A Tax Case (Yes, Tax) Was Last Term's Blockbuster

By Gary Thompson |

Amid high court's epic docket was a seemingly mundane suit — at the heart of the Constitution.

Legal Aid Society volunteer pro bono attorneys help clients with applications.

Firms Should Support Graduates' Goal to Provide Pro Bono Service

By Michael Scudder |

During job interviews, students fear revealing that they would like to volunteer.

Op-Ed: Law Schools' Shell Game of Minority Enrollment

By Jay Sterling Silver |

Admitting diverse students as transfers in their second year does not improve overall numbers.

<b>LAWMAKERS:</b> Sen. John McCain and former Sen. Russ Feingold, sponsors of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, in 2006.

Op-Ed: The McCain-Feingold Act May Doom Itself

By Richard L. Hasen |

A provision in the campaign-reform law could spur the Supreme Court to hear a challenge.

Gustave Courbet,

Op-Ed: Recovering Nazi-Looted Art Became Pinnacle of Lawyer's Career

By Lawrence M. Kaye and Howard N. Spiegler |

Charles Goldstein helped reclaim $160 million in stolen paintings and other works.

<b>VEEP:</b> Julia Louis-Dreyfus pokes fun at politics in Washington.

Op-Ed: Imagine If Presidential Elections Were Like a TV Comedy

By Jerry H. Goldfeder |

An absurd — but possible — outcome when the electoral college vote is tied.

Op-Ed: Bite-Mark Evidence Proving Unreliable

By Gabriel A. Fuentes |

Despite a robust industry of experts in the field, criticism of the forensic technique is growing.

<b>SCOTT FREE:</b> The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ended an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's campaign financing, a ruling that critics say undermines the integrity of the election process.

Op-Ed: Wisconsin Decision to Shut Down Walker Probe Reflects Roberts Court

By Daniel I. Weiner and Brent Ferguson |

State justices misinterpreted precedent, but ruling follows trend set in Washington.

Op-Ed: Telemarketing Rule Hinders Legitimate Businesses

By Robert M. McDowell and Megan L. Brown |

The Federal Communications Commission leaves door wide open for more costly class actions.

Op-Ed: Executive Branch Needs a Lesson in Civics When it Comes to Supplements

By Lisa A. Rickard |

FTC is exceeding its bounds in suing over clinical trials that legally are not required.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Op-Ed: A Foolhardy Proposal: Electing Our Justices

By Bert Brandenburg |

Ted Cruz's idea to put the high court's jurists on a retention ballot is fraught with problems.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Op-Ed: Fair Decision in Same-Sex Marriage, But Based Mostly on Faulty Logic

By Roger Pilon |

Justice Kennedy touches on the correct rationale for permitting such unions.

<b>MOURNING:</b> Pallbearers carry the casket of one of the nine people killed at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. An alleged white supremacist has been charged with the murders.

Op-Ed: Charleston Massacre is Pivotal Point for Profession

By William C. Hubbard and Sherrilyn Ifill |

Those who have vowed to uphold the Constitution must take action to improve the justice system.

Op-Ed: A Positive Sign for Free Speech in 'Town of Gilbert' Decision

By Robert Frommer and Erica Smith |

"Noncensorial" motives for limiting expression less likely to pass muster.

piggy bank

Op-Ed: Law School Scholarships Foist Surtax On Neediest

By Aaron N. Taylor |

Students with less-educated parents and lower LSAT scores accrue the most debt.

Op-Ed: 'Neutrality' Argument Is a Ruse in European Commission's Google Case

By Marvin Ammori |

Antitrust claims aimed at search engine's shopping site are based on flawed logic.

The Texas Legislature uses the state’s vast distances to impede people’s rights.

Op-Ed: Courts Must Confront the Burden of Distance

By Lisa R. Pruitt |

How far is too far to force a citizen to travel to exercise a fundamental right?

Op-Ed: Consistent Reform Needed to Block Credit Checks in Job Applications

By Vivian Berger |

The practice unfairly disadvantages minorities and perpetuates poverty.

Op-Ed: Heeding Vaccine Court's Failures

By Nora Freeman Engstrom |

Shortcomings of the compensation program do not bode well for other alternative tribunals.

<b>FORTHCOMING:</b> Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, seen here in June 2013, took the unusual step last week of making public a correction to a dissenting opinion in the Texas voter case.

Op-Ed: A Call to Expose the Unnecessary Secrets of the Supreme Court

By Richard L. Hasen |

One justice publicly announced an error in her dissent, but such candor is rare. The Supreme Court has no excuse for being so opaque about its practices. There is a whole set of ways that it could improve on its transparency.

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former chairman of AIG

Op-Ed: Judge Lacks Authority to Preside Over the Hank Greenberg Case

By Michael P. Goodman |

A Federal Claims appointee is not constitutionally empowered to hear the AIG suit.

Rachel Dolezal

Op-Ed: Biology Versus Choice When Changing Identities

By Camille Gear Rich |

The public's very different reactions to Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal's transformations.

<b>ANTECEDENTS:</b> A group of officers stand near a railway carriage during the Pullman strike in Chicago in July 1894. The government has pursued conspiracy charges against unions, socialists and Muslims.

Op-Ed: The Dubious Charms of Criminal Conspiracy

By Steven R. Morrison |

It's time to rein in a tactic prosecutors have used against dissidents and to entrap suspects.

Participants in the same-sex marriage debate gathered at the Supreme Court.

Op-Ed: Straw-Man Argument on Marriage Equality Shouldn't Fool High Court

By Susannah W. Pollvogt |

Intent doesn't matter — the test is whether a law's effects defeat equal protection.

<b>SAMANTHA ELAUF:</b> The court found that the job seeker had a valid claim for bias even though she didn't explicitly declare that she wore the hijab for religious—rather than, say, fashion—purposes.

Op-Ed: Religion's 'Favored Status' in Workplace

By Ruthann Robson |

The Supreme Court sends clear message that Muslim practices deserve equal protection.

<b>DENNIS HASTERT:</b> It is hard to believe Congress intended the anti-structuring law to apply in circumstances like these, involving personal embarrassment over alleged misconduct committed long ago.

Op-Ed: The Irony and Flaws in the Federal Case Against Hastert

By Andrew D. Herman |

Former House speaker should have learned something from other D.C. scandals.

<b>ANDREW CERESNEY:</b> SEC enforcement director supports disclosure about forum choice.

Op-Ed: Welcome News from the SEC on Forum Selection

By Joel M. Cohen and Bennett Rawicki |

Details on choice of administrative versus court proceedings could help eliminate unfairness.

Op-Ed: Legal Aid Jobs Await Law School Graduates

By Ray Brescia |

New lawyers need employment. People need services. How do we bring them together?

<b>RESTRICTIONS SET:</b> Chief Justice John Roberts upheld Florida's ban prohibiting judges from personally soliciting campaign funds.

Op-Ed: Right Result on Judicial Campaign Solicitations

By Daniel Weiner and Matthew Menendez |

Limit to obtaining election funds is valid against judges — and should be against other candidates.

<b>CHALLENGERS:</b> Attorney John Burris, center, represented Teresa Sheehan. He is accompanied by attorneys Ben Nisenbaum, right, and Leonard Feldman at the Supreme Court in March. The attorneys argued against qualified immunity for police officers who shot Sheehan.

Op-Ed: Once Again, Supreme Court Lets Police Officers Off the Hook

By Karen M. Blum and Erwin Chemerinsky |

Justices' finding of qualified immunity violates rights of mentally ill woman.

<b>TIGHT-LIPPED:</b> The New York Police Department is the latest—and the first nonfederal—governmental entity to use the so-called “Glomar” response to avoid disclosing requested information.

Op-Ed: Tactic to Preserve Government Secrets Gains Wider, Worrisome Use

By Michael Richter |

NYPD is invoking the 'neither confirm nor deny' response to requests for information.

Op-Ed: NFL Players Concussion Settlement Is a Fair Deal

By Arthur Miller |

Despite criticism of the court-approved agreement, an appeal is unlikely to succeed.

Op-Ed: Like Father Like Son, Bar-Exam Ritual Is a Necessity of the Profession

By Peter Kalis and Michael Kalis |

Law school taught them how to think like lawyers; exam prep taught them the law.

<b>OUSTED:</b> Justice Shirley Abrahamson served as chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court until she was replaced last month following a change in how the state’s top judge is selected.   (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King, Pool)

Op-Ed: Wisconsin Judiciary Awash in Politics

By Bert Brandenburg |

Referendum, promoted by special-interest group, fuels infighting among justices over top spot.

Martha

Op-Ed: A Career of Advancing Women in The Law

By Miriam Frank and Jon Lindsey |

Martha "Marty" Fay Africa opened doors for women in top in-house, law firm and nonprofit jobs.

<b>CAMERA READY:</b> Incidents of deadly encounters with law enforcement have prompted calls for body ­cameras, like one worn here by Sgt. Chris Wicklund of the Burnsville, Minn., police department.

Op-Ed: Like DNA, Cameras on Cops Would Reveal Truth

By Nancy Gertner and John Reinstein |

Spate of civilian deaths by police officers underscores shortcomings of fact-finding process.

<b>CRUEL AND UNUSUAL?:</b> Midazolam was used in Oklahoma’s execution of Clayton Lockett, ­prompting a lawsuit that the state inadequately anesthetizes prisoners before inducing cardiac arrest.

Op-Ed: Rationale for Lethal Injection as 'Humane' Form of Death is Illogical

By Megan McCracken and Jennifer Moreno |

States' convenience in obtaining drugs has prevailed over constitutional protections.

Opinion: How High Is Too Low: NLRB’s Revised Ambush Election Rule

By Scott J. Witlin |

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reissued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking rewriting the rules for holding union representation elections late last year. The NLRB designed these new rules—commonly referred to as “quickie election” or “ambush election” rules—to make the chances of union victory in an NLRB election easier by dramatically reducing the amount of time employers have to campaign against a union organizing attempt.

Op-Ed: Sperm Donor Industry Needs More Regulation

By Alan C. Milstein |

Medical advances can prevent the U.S. from being the 'Wild West' of reproductive technology.

<b>EXECUTIVE ACTION:</b> President Barack Obama speaking at Del Sol High School in Law Vegas a day after announcing immigration policy reform.

Op-Ed: DOJ's Argument in Immigration Case At Odds with the Law — and Obama

By Louis Fisher |

Brief before the Fifth Circuit contains an array of errors and inconsistencies.

<b>CRASH SITE:</b> A recovery crew works among the debris of Germanwings Flight 9525 near Seyne, France.

Op-Ed: Rights of the Mentally Ill Versus Public Safety

By Carolyn Reinach Wolf |

Recent tragedies highlight need for changes in confidentiality laws and court-ordered treatment.

<b>CREATIVE THINKING:</b> President Barack Obama in 2011 signed into law the America Invents Act, which was intended to curb litigation.

Op-Ed: Despite the Negativity, Revised Patent Laws Improve the System

By Peter C. Pappas |

Procedures for challenging patents after they're granted have cut bogus claims.

hackers

Op-Ed: Firms Must Not Shirk Hacking Precautions

By Joshua Gold |

Client information is particularly sensitive to breaches. Attorneys should face the duty to protect it.

<b>WAITING:</b> Members of the media outside the Boston courthouse on the first day of trial for bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Op-Ed: Legislation Allowing Cameras in the Courtroom More Important Than Ever

By Chuck Grassley |

Technology and tragedies underscore need to open federal proceedings to the public.

<b>VENICE HIGH SCHOOL:</b> Twelve students were arrested earlier this month in California on charges of sexually assaulting their schoolmates. Authorities said male teenagers coerced female students into sex acts.

Op-Ed: We Must Deal With K-12 Sexual Assault

By Fatima Goss Graves |

The attention to crimes at the college level is laudable, but more should be done earlier.

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Opinion: Legislation to Foil Data Breaches Would Further Invade Privacy

By Mark Jaycox |

'Information-sharing' bills are not the solution to stop the harm from hackers.

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Opinion: A Win for Attorney-Client Privilege

By William C. Hubbard |

American lawyers can be heartened by a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada that protects the integrity of the attorney-client privilege and the confidential lawyer-client relationship in connection with Canada’s federal anti-money laundering, anti-terror law.

Ellen Pao.

Opinion: Gender Bias Unchecked in Venture Capital Firms

By Deborah Rhode |

Ellen Pao's lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers provides a view into an ugly truth.

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

Opinion: FCC Doing Its Job — And Well — By Preserving Broadband Competition

By Robert M. Cooper |

Preventing ISP giants from squeezing out the likes of Netflix isn't a 'power grab.'

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, D.C., on the day of arguments in the case King v. Burwell, regarding the government's Affordable Care Act subsidies.  March 4, 2015.

Opinion: Views Sharply Divided on 'King v. Burwell' Arguments

Brianne J. Gorod and Carrie Severino provide two opposing takes on the ACA case at the high court.

<b>JED RAKOFF:</b> The federal judge has criticized SEC administrative proceedings. In a speech in November, he said that the SEC won 67 percent of its cases at trial, compared with 100 percent of cases decided in administrative proceedings.

Opinion: SEC's Home-Turf Venue Gives Undue Advantage

By By Mark Mermelstein, Guy Singer and Kevin Askew |

Commission handles more matters as administrative proceedings, and businesses are in peril.