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Category Archives: Courts

Goodbye to Special Counsel Investigations of Incumbent Presidents

LawFare: “The Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. United States will remain the subject of intense debate and disagreement for decades to come. The arguments will understandably focus on the precise issue that was before the Court: the immunity that a former president may enjoy from criminal indictment or prosecution. However, with considerable consequence, and little notice in the commentary today, the Court slipped into a single footnote one additional conclusion, relating to the protections of presidents while in office. It effectively shut the door on any further questions about the controversial Department of Justice legal opinions finding that presidents were immune during their terms from any such prosecution. In doing so, the justices put that immunity on a firmer constitutional case law footing, rather than on mere executive branch say-so. This move prepares the grounds for an even more aggressive Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) immunity opinion in a future administration that is inclined, or highly motivated, to go in this direction: extending in-office immunity to investigations and not only prosecutions. And this decision has ramifications beyond the terms of office during which this immunity attaches…”

FDA Pulls Food Additive in Citrus Sodas Over Health Risks

Gizmodo: “A problematic ingredient in some soft drinks is now officially being taken off the market. The Food and Drug Administration has revoked its authorization that allows brominated vegetable oil (BVO) to be used in food, following recent research suggesting that it could potentially harm people’s thyroid health. BVO is vegetable oil that’s been modified… Continue Reading

Law Clerk vs. AI? Courthouse Test Highlights Judicial Curiosity

Bloomberg Law- Law Clerk vs. AI? Courthouse Test Highlights Judicial Curiosity [paywalled] [unpaywalled] “Law clerks and interns for federal Judge Xavier Rodriguez recently spent weeks poring over evidence from a high-profile trial on challenges to Texas’ voting and election laws, and then summarized key testimony for the court’s official findings of fact and conclusions of… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Puts Trump Above the Law

The Atlantic via MSN: “Near the top of their sweeping, lawless opinion in Trump v. United States, Donald Trump’s defenders on the Supreme Court repeat one of the most basic principles of American constitutional government: “The president is not above the law.” They then proceed to obliterate it. Although the pro-Trump justices attempt to nest… Continue Reading

National Information Standards Controlled Digital Lending Working Group Stalls

Library Futures: “…I am stepping down because I believe that publishers and their affiliated trade associations are more interested in undermining that mission and the NISO process than they are in finding a solution for CDL that respects the rights of libraries, authors, publishers, and readers. The Working Group’s proposed standard, which offers best practice… Continue Reading

The Legal Tech Bro Blues: Generative AI, Legal Indeterminacy, and the Future of Legal Research and Writing

Georgetown Law Technology Review – Essays – The Legal Tech Bro Blues: Generative AI, Legal Indeterminacy, and the Future of Legal Research and Writing, Nicholas Mignanelli, May 2024. “In recent years, a new figure, the tech bro, has arrived in the legal field. He can be found opining on podcasts and social media platforms, selling… Continue Reading

AI, Lawyers, and the Courts

Boyd, Megan, AI, Lawyers, and the Courts (June 18, 2024). Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or “AI is ubiquitous, but many lawyers and judges are rightly uncertain about its utility in law. This article explores generative AI (GenAI) and demonstrates how various GenAI programs,… Continue Reading

“Historical Fanfiction.” The Deceptive, Dangerous Simplicity of Originalism in American Politics

LitHub – Madiba K. Dennie on the Antiquated Conservatism Underpinning the United States’ Highest Courts of Law. “Lawyers don’t often admit this in mixed company, but I’ll let you in on a secret about interpreting the Constitution: there is no one objective way to interpret the Constitution. If there were, what would be the point… Continue Reading

Something’s Rotten About the Justices Taking So Long on Trump’s Immunity Case

The New York Times Opinion – Law Professor Leah Lipman [unpaywalled]: “…As of Tuesday, 110 days had passed since the court agreed to hear the Trump immunity case. And still no decision. This court has lost the benefit of the doubt for myriad reasons, including its willingness to act quickly in cases that benefit Republican… Continue Reading

Clarence Thomas, the Gordon Gekko of the Supreme Court

Prevail: “There’s a scene in Wall Street where Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko is explaining to Charlie Sheen’s Bud Fox the difference between being rich and being rich. “I’m talking about liquid,” he says in the back of his limousine. “Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred… Continue Reading

ProPublica Updates “Supreme Connections” Database With New Justice Disclosures

“We updated our “Supreme Connections” database on Wednesday with new entries from recently released financial disclosures from Supreme Court justices, as well as five filings from 2003 to 2007 we had previously been missing. “Supreme Connections” is our database that makes it easy for anyone to browse justices’ financial disclosures and to search for connections… Continue Reading

Durbin Reveals Omissions of Gifted Private Travel to Justice Clarence Thomas from Harlan Crow

“In exclusively obtained information from Harlan Crow as a result of Durbin and the Senate Judiciary Committee Majority’s Supreme Court ethics investigation and subpoena authorization, Durbin releases details of gifted private travel to Justice Thomas that Thomas has failed to disclose. WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary… Continue Reading