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Founding Principles

The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

Time, Place, and Manner

...Should have some links here or something.


Florida Extends Waiting Period for Minors' Abortions

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Florida minors will now have to wait an extra day before getting 97% 3% of the services provided by Planned Parenthood.

The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a bill that would give judges 3 business days to decide whether to issue a judicial bypass allowing a minor to get an abortion without parental consent, imposing a de facto waiting period for any judge who chooses to use the full time. The current law gives judges a 2 day time limit.

This actually amounts to more than a one day delay. It increases the odds of the decision going across a weekend by 50%.  Assuming judges take the full amount of time, and that minors apply for a judicial bypass equally on every day of the week, the wait time would be 2.8 days under the current law. Under the new law, that time would be 4.2 days. We didn't factor in federal holidays because that would be too much work, but you get the point.

The new law will also require the bypasses be obtained within the judicial circuit the minor lives in. At present they can travel to neighboring circuits.

[Miami Herald]

A Look at South Sudan's New Constitution

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The newly-formed nation of South Sudan has released its new Draft Transitional Constitution.

It's not quite the size India's 117,000 word Constitution, but with 92 pages, South Sudan's Constitution weighs in at a healthy 28,193 words comprising 201 sections and 5 schedules (the appendix type, not the calendar type).

In the document are the typical things you'll find in a Constitution, such as the structure of government, Presidential term limit, composition of courts, and a separation of church and state:

8. (1) Religion and State shall be separate.


Much of the length is the South Sudan Constitution is due to the inclusion of things like parliamentary procedural rules, a detailed structure of the police and wildlife services, 58 enumerated national government powers, 42 powers exclusive to state governments, and 34 concurrent federal-state powers.

There's also a few screwy provisions in there. Not that these things are bad, just not really what you expect in a nation's founding document:

6. (3) The State shall promote the development of a sign language for the benefit of people with special needs.

38. (1) All levels of government shall: (c) encourage and promote arts and craft and foster their patronization by government institutions and citizens;

38. (2) The National Government shall: (a) guarantee academic freedom in institutions of higher education and protect the freedom of scientific research within the ethical parameters of research and as shall be regulated by law;

40. All levels of government shall: (c) establish, protect and support popular sports institutions and guarantee their independence.

Just to make things a little more interesting, none of that is enforceable.

44. Unless this Constitution otherwise provides or a duly enacted law guarantees, the rights and liberties described and the provisions contained in this Chapter are not by themselves enforceable in a court of law; however, the principles expressed herein are basic to governance and the State shall be guided by them, especially in making policies and laws.

That's right, the South Sudanese have managed to create a Constitution that is not supreme law of the land.

The Constitution also has a bill of 25 rights.

10. Subject to Article 189 herein, no derogation from the rights and freedoms enshrined in this Bill shall be made. The Bill of Rights shall be upheld, protected and applied by the Supreme Court and other competent courts; the Human Rights Commission shall monitor its application in accordance with this Constitution and the law.

The bill of rights is in a different chapter than those unenforceable rights, so they are actually meant to be the law of the land. Except, that little Article 189 thing, which allows for the government to suspend those rights under emergency law. But, the emergency law at least has to be renewed by the legislature every 30 days.

Here are a few highlights:

15. Every person of marriageable age shall have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex and to found a family according to their respective family laws, and no marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the man and woman intending to marry.

16. (2) Women shall have the right to equal pay for equal work and other related benefits with men.

21. (2) No death penalty shall be imposed on a person under the age of eighteen or a person who has attained the age of seventy.

21. (3) No death penalty shall be executed upon a pregnant or lactating woman, save after two years of lactation.

24. (3) All media shall abide by professional ethics.

31. All levels of government shall promote public health, establish, rehabilitate and develop basic medical and diagnostic institutions and provide free primary health care and emergency services for all citizens.

34. (1) Every citizen has the right to have access to decent housing.

[Draft Constitution via Sudan Tribune]

Wikipedia for Dummy Lawyers

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Are you or someone you know too afraid to use Wikipedia because "anyone can edit it" and "anyone can say anything they want?"

Help them get over their technophobia with this article: Wikipedia for Dummy Lawyers.

LiLo Gets 120 Days in Jail

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Lindsay Lohan has been sentenced to 120 days in jail for violating her drunk driving probation. In addition to her 120 days in jail, Lohan was sentenced to 480 hours of community service, 360 of which must be spent at the Downtown Women's Center, and the remaining 120 hours at the LA County morgue.

Lohan's sentencing will be delayed while her lawyers appeal the decision, and she is expected to be released on a $75,000 bond.  She could use the opportunity to negotiate a more favorable settlement with prosecutors.

If you have the mad cash than Lohan does, can't you just have a full time driver take you around everywhere?  Maybe have your law firm put its junior associates on rotation. They'll probably find the gig fun, and you'll always have a lawyer handy in case there's trouble. Or, if $300/hr is too much to pay your driver, find some up-and-coming comedian you can hire for like $100 a day and who will provide endless entertainment. Or, just skip the club scene and throw house parties so you don't even have to worry about drunk in public charges.

Lohan is also set to stand trial for walking out of a jewelry store with a necklace on that she didn't pay for.  Lohan had maintained that she forgot she had tried it on and taking it was an accident, the store owner argued that Lohan used her friend to distract the clerk while she stole the necklace.  Surveillance video from the store showed a clerk walking her out and opening the door for her. The judge viewed the video and agreed with the store owner's take on the incident, but reduced the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.

The reduction was due to how the jewelry was valued. The threshold for felony theft is $950 and the necklace had a price of $2,500, but the judge decided to refer to what it cost the store, only $850.


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