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(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I hope that if there is anyone who thinks that I said (pdf) the word " nessatavite " to Justice Ginsburg and is wondering what it means, that he or she will google the word and land here. " Nessatavite " is not a word, at least so far as I know. It was "less satellite," which make sense in context but maybe I mumbled.

posted by sam 9:29 AM  0 comments

Friday, November 11, 2005

Hey, here's something new: Dischord records now available for download on emusic. At least I think it's new, and it's good. Emusic is a good deal for people with eclectic taste in music: $x per month for y number of downloads of mp3s, with a wide-ranging catalog of "indie" rock, jazz, Yazoo and Document records for those of us who love reissues of 78 rpm recordings, and all sorts of good stuff.

posted by sam 3:24 PM  1 comments

hello out there

Might even start blogging again. Just finishing up a very busy several months, busy because in addition to all the other normal sorts of things on my plate, I had briefing and oral argument in one case before the U.S. Supreme Court and another before the en banc Eleventh Circuit. Now I am catching my breath, with at least one big new project coming up soon.

If you, like me, have a little time to kill, then check out the Digital Library of Appalachia, which includes (inter alia) a huge number of field recordings of great fiddlers and banjo players.

posted by sam 12:46 PM  0 comments

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

If you are at all a fan of traditional southern American fiddle music, or are open to being one, you should check out the debut record of Brittany Haas, which my friend Bruce Molsky just sent me. It will blow your mind -- just the right mix of technique, adventure, tradition, and taste. And then there's the fact that apparently Ms. Haas is still a teenager, which is even more mind-blowing.

posted by sam 8:02 PM  9 comments

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Supreme Court and Justice O'Connor
With characteristic bluntness as compared to my characteristic whateveritisness, Nathan Newman compellingly discusses Justice O'Connor's voting record on labor and employment matters.

posted by sam 9:35 AM  2 comments

Monday, July 11, 2005

criminal law strategies
Interesting article in the Bham News about the Scrushy trial. It discusses a long pre-indictment memo that my old friend Donald Watkins, Scrushy's lead counsel, presented to the prosecutors laying out exactly how and why any trial would lead to an acquittal. His predictions turned out to be exactly right, and the prosecutors walked the unsuccessful path laid out before them. Of course, it's not always the best strategy to tell the other side exactly how you will beat them ...

posted by sam 7:33 AM  2 comments

Cooper, Time, Miller and Rove

This article about Matt Cooper's near-jail experience to protect his "source," Karl Rove, makes the whole thing seem extremely odd to me. If I'm reading correctly, Rove really had (as we were all led to believe) signed a document waiving any confidentiality privilege and giving his permission for any reporters to testify about conversations they had with him. And so first odd thing is that Cooper -- perhaps along with many others in journalism -- thinks that morality or professionalism or something requires a journalist to refuse to testify EVEN IF there is such a waiver, unless the source ALSO tells the particular journalist "yes, and that includes you"? I do understand the notion that some waivers, in some contexts, are coerced. But the only "coercion" that could have existed here was Rove's own mental calculus about what was better as a political matter and what was better for his own job prospects. But Cooper thought that morality required him to keep Rove's statements to him a secret, even though Rove had balanced his own interests and decided to the contrary? This really does sound to me as though journalists think that they are super-human, more wise than the rest of us and bound by their own non-legal moral code that trumps everything else.

The second odd thing is -- ok then, is Judith Miller even more so? Or is her source someone else, someone who either hasn't given a blanket waiver or wasn't willing to have his lawyer tell hers, "yes that means you too."?

posted by sam 7:14 AM  2 comments

Sunday, July 10, 2005

random prediction
A random and pessimistic prediction. If Chief Justice Rehnquist does retire soon, then President Bush will nominate two people whom his spinners can portray as a compromise of the sort I mentioned below (i.e., one Rehnquist-like, one O'Connor-like), but whom they actually think and hope will be further right than that. In other words, one truly far-out and extremely divisive (e.g., Brown or Owen) and then someone such as Luttig or Garza whom they will present as very workmanlike and middle-of-the-road (and who will seem m-o-t-r ONLY by comparison with the more extremely divisive nominee).

posted by sam 4:40 PM  0 comments

something entirely trivial

Have you seen the new version of the nickel, with a new picture of Jefferson and the word "liberty" in his handwriting on the front, and a buffalo on the back? Very cool.

posted by sam 8:15 AM  1 comments

Friday, July 08, 2005

On Monday, go see French Toast* at Fort Reno if you are in or near DC.

* link plays music.

posted by sam 11:59 AM  0 comments

Supreme Court

I am hereby on record as saying that, if the Chief Justice retires in the next few days as widely expected, it will be a good thing. This has nothing to do with the Chief Justice himself, but is instead about the process. Two vacancies right now would be better than one not only because (as many have pointed out) it creates at least the greater possibility of some compromise (with one nominee more in the Rehnquist mold and another more in the O'Connor mold). I am not especially hopeful that the President will move towards compromise in that way. But even then, two vacancies would be better than one because of the impact in case of meltdown or prolonged stalemate -- if the Term is to start with fewer than 9 on the bench (which wouldn't be good but is a possibility if the President avoids compromise), it would be better to have 7 instead of 8. Why? Because 4-4 ties are a total bummer and a waste of time in the Supreme Court.

posted by sam 9:33 AM  3 comments

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