How long until Robert Bork’s lawsuit against the Yale Club gets borked? Ted Frank, a colleague of Bork’s at the American Enterprise Institute, calls the suit “embarrassingly silly” at Overlawyered. New York personal injury attorney Eric Turkewitz dissects some of the complaint’s flaws on his blog. “The Complaint asked for attorneys fees. Why? You can’t get them in New York for a standard personal injury claim,” Turkewitz writes. He continues:
The Complaint asks for pre-judgment interest. Why? You can’t get that here either. Sad, but true. Interest runs from the date of the judgment not from the date of the accident, thereby giving insurance companies a reason to delay litigation as long as possible. Perhaps Judge Bork wants to come with me the next time I lobby the legislature to amend the law to include pre-judgment interest?
Harvard economist George Borjas, writing on his personal blog, suggests that people should celebrate President Bush’s apparent desire to pass the buck to his successor. Borjas is discussing immigration, but the comment seems more generally applicable. He writes:
The Bush presidency, shall we say, has not distinguished itself through high levels of administrative competence. Combine this with Bush’s obvious aversion to taking serious actions to limit the flow of illegals from Mexico throughout much of his term. It seems that all the hard decisions are being passed on to the next administration–and this is probably for the better.
Has the religious right created a more secular America? Ross Douthat thinks so. He writes in the July/August issue of The Atlantic:
America’s secular turn actually began in the 1990s, though it wasn’t until 2002 that two Berkeley sociologists first noticed it. In a paper in the American Sociological Review, Michael Hout and Claude S. Fischer announced the startling fact that the percentage of Americans who said they had “no religious preference” had doubled in less than 10 years, rising from 7 percent to 14 percent of the population. This unexpected spike wasn’t the result of growing atheism, Hout and Fischer argued; rather, more Americans were distancing themselves from organized religion as “a symbolic statement” against the religious right. If the association of religiosity with political conservatism continued to gain strength, the sociologists suggested, “then liberals’ alienation from organized religion [might] become, as it has in many other nations, institutionalized.”
Five years later, that institutionalization seems to be proceeding. It’s showing up in an increasingly secularized younger generation: A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 20 percent of 18-to-25-year-olds reported no religious affiliation, up from just 11 percent in the late 1980s.
By Tobin Harshaw
Paris and Scooter on the Scales of Justice
The case against Paris was terribly unfair: she was jailed on a mere technicality, namely violating the terms of her probation. Shockingly, the prosecutors never came forward with a single iota of evidence that Hilton actually harmed anyone. None. Nada. And yet the prosecutors ran amok, piling charges upon charges against her. Our commitment to the rule of law — not to mention homage to Alexander Hamilton and Federalist No. 74 — demands that Paris must be set free from her cruel home confinement immediately.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson is stunned to discover that he, too, supports the liberation of Paris. “I don’t go out of my way to follow the latest twists and turns in Paris Hilton’s life,” Robinson writes. “I don’t feel as if I know her or even want to know her. I can’t work up much outrage about the favoritism officials showed in releasing her from jail because I think it was a kind of anti-favoritism that got her locked up in the first place. But why do I even have an opinion?”
A couple of conservatives, meanwhile, have acknowledged that they believe Libby has been treated fairly by the judicial system. “Federal judges do not have a lot of leeway on sentencing,” notes conservative blogger “Captain Ed” Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters. “That’s because conservatives insisted on these sentencing guidelines more than twenty years ago, frustrated with a judiciary that gave too many slaps on the wrist.”
By pushing for a presidential pardon, Libby’s supporters are hurting the conservative movement “in very fundamental ways,” writes National Review’s Andy McCarthy at The Corner. “Lying to the F.B.I. and a grand jury is a very bad thing, even if we all think it was an unworthy investigation,” McCarthy writes. He continues:
The blather about the foibles of memory is just an excuse for people who don’t want to confront that inconvenient fact. Foibles of memory come up in every trial — they were particularly highlighted in the Libby trial because the defense hoped to score points with them given the nature of the charges, but they were not materially different from what happens in every trial. That’s why we have juries.
Witnesses have varying recollections, and juries sort it out. The evidence that Libby lied, rather than that he was confused, was compelling.
McCarthy concludes, “I dread the next time — and you know there will be a next time — when a high-ranking liberal Democrat lies to investigators and obstructs justice. When the outraged grumbling starts around here, like it (rightly) did with Clinton’s lying and obstruction, the media is going to have an awful lot of material to quote from, and they are going to say, with considerable force, that it’s not lying that matters to us but who is doing the lying.”
By Chris Suellentrop