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Messages - BoscoBreaux

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51
News Discussion / Re: Another Scalia...or another Kennedy?
« on: August 05, 2005, 03:16:46 PM »
she said Roberts was a horrible choice precisely because his jurisprudence is so murky.  she didn't trust that he would turn out in the veing of scalia or thomas.  rather, she predicted Roberts would be the next Souter.
Coulter lives and dies by making outrageous statements which are invariably proved to be either 1) wrong, 2) gross overstatements,  or 3) both wrong and are gross overstatements. She is entertaining in the way that watching monkeys at the zoo is entertaining, but on this issue, I think 3 applies. It is nice to see that she tempered her hatred to a palletable “mild” over the issue though.

52
News Discussion / Re: Another Scalia...or another Kennedy?
« on: August 05, 2005, 03:10:06 PM »
archaic “original intent” doctrine
::) ::) ::) ::)
Yeah. What a terrible idea! Allowing the Constitution to mean what its writers meant! I mean pretty soon, I'll go to McDonald's and order a Big Mac and they'll actually give me "two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles on a sesame seed bun" instead of what I meant by Big Mac, macaroni and cheese topped with chili.
 
I think you are confusing original intent with  literal interpretation. Hugo Black, for example, embraced the latter, but would vomit at merely the thought of the former faster than he could from an undercooked Big Mac.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that the “writers” intent could be known. Even among the framers of the Constitution, there was considerable disagreement as to the rationale for various principles which we now deem as being “fundamental.” (Washington and Madison in the end agreed about a much as Bush and Kerry did in the last election! Madison agreed with Jefferson perhaps as much as Bush did McCain in 2000 by contrast..) Moreover, even if it were the case that the “writers” agreed 100% with one another about both the content and purpose of each input, this ignores as well that the States ratified it, and so THEIR reasoning for doing so would be at least as important, if not more important, to the Constitutional interpretation of the “writers.”

Let us assume though that the writers ratified the document, and not the States. And let us further assume that all the “writers” agreed with each other. Then, Constitutional interpretations would be stuck in the late 1700s, and its importance to our lives today would be meaningless. To marginalize the US Constitution should never be a laudable goal, even in pursuit of furthering your own social agenda.

All of this begs the reality of the document’s inherent vagueness which by its nature demands interpretation that the founding fathers cannot provide. The document is vague in a way that a "Big Mac" is not, and it was deliberately vague to allow for interpretations made by people, not ghosts from the past. Modernists embrace the reality that viewing the Constitution merely from the eyes of a small group of wealthy white slaveowners who toiled in a thoroughly agrarian society does little good in addressing the needs of a post-industrial society. It strains credulity to suggest that Alexander Hamilton could comprehend the Big Mac, or the idea of a restaurant (restaurants didn’t exist back then in their current incarnation) that serves several billion people on multiple continents at a time when Philadelphia had a population roughly the size of a small town in suburban Memphis and it took weeks to get a message to London.

Some do argue for original intent. (Usually those who do so are selective in its application, and routinely and zealously abandon it when convenient [think Scalia].) Nevertheless, it is a thoroughly archaic doctrine, at least in the minds of the vast majority of legal scholars and practitioners.

53
News Discussion / Re: Another Scalia...or another Kennedy?
« on: August 04, 2005, 06:16:00 PM »
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-roberts4aug04,0,1823941.story?coll=la-home-headlines

It would appear that Judge Roberts donated his time and his racionative powers to the cause of gay rights in the case of Romer v. Evans (1996), when the SCOTUS struck down a Colorado state constitutional amendment exlcluding gays from protection against discrimination under state law.  He didn't argue the case or write any briefs, but it appears he helped the lawyers for the gay rights side by reviewing their court filings and helping them prep for oral argument, on a pro bono basis.

So, how do you all think this will affect his chances?  It doesn't look like there will be too much hammering from the left, even though a lot of people on the left are more than a little nervous about the prospect of him sitting on the Court.  There hasn't been a whole lot of noise, and neither Senate Democrats nor activists look at all like they're gearing up for a fight such as was seen for Bork or Thomas.  Their powder is looking more than a little damp.

But does anybody think Roberts might get hammered some from the right because of this?  If so, how much?

Please discuss.

The biggest concern to many  isn’t whether Roberts “sealth” candidacy shields beliefs consistent with  Scalia or Kennedy, but whether Roberts will be another Souter–someone who is billed to all–even the President–as being one thing, until he got on the SC bench. Ultimately, though, I think both sides are in the “Roberts doesn’t yet appear to be our worst nightmare, so we’ll let him slide for now” phase.

Roberts could be a far right-winger, yet appear as a reasonably mainstream and telegenic lawyer. This concerns liberals, but as a stealth candidate, there is scant evidence to definitively prove this, at least sufficient enough to warrant a filibuster.  Sure, some of his writings suggest argumentation consistent with that of the right wing. (The argument that his role as an advocate muddles the issue is a bit disingenuous; you don’t find too many right wingers working for the ACLU, or “liberals” working for the Reagan administration, and even if you did, you are not likely to see them becoming a strong advocate against their own positions.)  But, this alone is insufficient to derail a nominee.

Conservatives are sitting on their hands. Roberts has to be at least as conservative if not more conservative than O’Connor. So, anything is a plus. But, I have to think they are hoping for something a bit more “right of center” than even Roberts will provide even if his writings are taken at face value. But what is most surprising is the near universal praise from the Right. That is why the Democrats and liberals want to dig more–there has to be some reason every conservative group is praising him, despite little record. After all, this is an ideology that takes out its trash in public (think John McCain). But in the end, the whole issue of gay rights may temper what enthusiasm does exist for Roberts, but I don’t think it alone will do much.

What we know, if we can really know anything, is that Roberts is a conservative. Even if he were derailed, another conservative nominee, likely as just “to the right” or even moreso, would be nominated. So, I suspect liberals are saying “Roberts isn’t so bad, and anyone nominated in his place would likely be even worse, so we need to chill out on this one.” If, however, something extreme came out, like he believes in the archaic “original intent” doctrine, then there would be a fight, a la Bork.

54
I was recently discussing with a room of my friends the recent trends in the law school rankings. It was our belief that the prestigousness of a school increases with business growth in it's home state. With the economy booming, and trade with central america increasing, it's very likely that Texas's business friendly enviroment will reap massive benefits. Thus, it is likely that school's in the area will shoot up in the rankings.

If that were a valid argument, Cornell would be in the 4th Tier. Creative though!

55
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern or McGeorge
« on: August 04, 2005, 03:05:21 PM »

Southwestern could also be tied for 101, what's your point? If you look at McGeorge and Southwestern, there's not much difference. Your suspicions regarding how McGeorge would fare in LA are just a guess. For all you know it would be outclassed. Maybe it would do better than UCLA. The point is, if you want to work in LA, your best bet is Southwestern. If you want to work in Sacramento, or maybe NorCal in general, you might be better off going to McGeorge. Let's not be foolish!
Quote
What is my point? You argued that because Southwestern is in the Third Tier, and McGeorge is [incorrectly] ranked #94, this supports your position that McGeorge is not better than Southwestern. Actually, even if McGeorge were ranked 94 and under the best of circumstances Southwestern was ranked 101, McGeorge is still accurately deemed "better" than Southwestern by virtue of the statistics, albeit by a small amount. (Incidentally, I'd suggest Yale is "better" than Columbia by a small amount as well, but I wouldn't suggest there is "no difference.") When you factor in the possibility (or even probability) that Southwestern may be 149, the opposing argument is further supported.

Whether there is "not much difference" is debatable given a 3 point LSAT difference and Southwestern's underperformance in the second largest legal community in the country. It is a good school with much of which to be proud, but that doesn't mean it is as good as or better than McGeorge, USD, or any other school for that matter.

I agree with your statement that it makes better sense to attend Southwestern than McGeorge if you wish to practice in LA, which addressed the OP's query.

56
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern or McGeorge
« on: August 04, 2005, 02:48:38 PM »
Seriously, for the first time I find myself in agreement with Southwestern2L. It's pretty much a dead heat between Southwestern and McGeorge for those who want to work in SoCal. If your goal is BigLaw, your best bet in either case is to excel and transfer to a UC school, USC, or perhaps Loyola. Otherwise, if you're interested in making political connections, McGeorge. Los Angeles D.A. and entertainment, Southwestern.

Actually, I'd suggest it is not a dead heat but rather one should choose Southwestern if one plans to work in SoCal (in my opinion, despite not being as good a school). I'd concur that if BigLaw is a goal, one would need to go higher up on the food chain to be reasonably assured of a good shot.

57
Where should I go next fall? / Re: UT/UVA/DUKE???
« on: August 03, 2005, 06:52:56 PM »
Need to decide between these three immediately. Love Austin, but don't want to limit my future job prospects to Texas. Other two have "national" reputations, lack the cool town. Single woman, not willing to hide away in a library for the entirity of my next 3 years. Thoughts?

Would you turn down Yale because New Haven stinks?
UVA, no contest.

58
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern or McGeorge
« on: August 03, 2005, 06:49:02 PM »
Regarding "ranking", I've already shared my distrust for USNWR's rankings in other threads. If you do use the rankings, take a look at McGeorge's rank: 94 out of the "Top 100". Not exactly a huge leap over the "Third Tier". Also, check out the stats provided to USNWR. True, McGeorge reports average LSAT scores 3 points above Southwestern, but it also reports a lower overall GPA. I'm not trying to discourage you from going to McGeorge, but calling it the "better" school really doesn't hold much water if you look at the facts.

Oh, and don't pay any attention to Garkunkle. Garkunkle is a pre-law know-it-all who's been flaming me for fun ever since I started a thread to discuss Southwestern. He or she went so far as to create multiple threads bashing Southwestern, even though Garkunkle's arguments show that he or she knows next to nothing about law schools or life in general. I don't know what Garkunkle has against Southwestern (maybe Garkunkle got turned down for admission?), but it's getting really annoying having to deal with that person.
Some argue that Yale is not better than Duke, or Georgetown is not better than George Washington, but at some point, you have to let the stats speak for themselves and accept reality.

To be accurate, McGeorge is tied for 90th and has not been ranked 94. Further, Southwestern could be 149th, or the bottom of the Third Tier as well as it could be at 101, making the irrelevance of the rankings you suggest questionable.
 
As much as this may pain someone who goes to Southwestern, McGeorge is perceived by the legal community as being "better" than Southwestern. We can, of course, come up with reasons why this is unwarranted, just as we can come up with reasons why Pacific/McGeorge should be ranked even higher than it is. (After all, McGeorge's ranking would be much higher if it was in a huge city instead of a small city which rests in the middle of farmland and over 2 hours away from a "major" city with what you'd call an impressive law firm. If it was in LA, however, I suspect many more persons would apply and its numbers would be comparable to Loyola and not Southwestern. It's ranking, as well, would be equally high.)

59
I'm curious people how many people saw the article in this Sunday's NYTimes about the US News Rankings and the hoops that various law schools jump through to increase their rankings. 

Makes you feel sorry for folks who decided to go to school X over school Y because is was a whole 4 spots higher in the rankings!

My personal favorite is Washington & Lee knowingly sending out to hundreds of fee waivers to persons who had no conceivable chance of getting accepted. Result: tons of applications, low acceptance rate.

60
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern or McGeorge
« on: August 03, 2005, 02:27:12 PM »
Which is the better school?

Which one is better for practicing in Los Angeles or Orange County?


Pacific/McGeorge is a 2nd Tier law school, Southwestern is a 3rd Tier law school. So, that answers the vague question of which is “better,” at least according to most folks.

But which is better FOR YOU? If you are planning to practice in LA/Orange, it makes little sense to attend a school outside of that area UNLESS it is from a school with significant pull. Top 25 schools or UC Hastings or UC Davis would be worth attending over Southwestern, but Pacific/McGeorge is unlikely to be of greater assistance down south despite it being a “better” school. If, however, you planned on practicing in any area other than Southern CA, I'd go with McGeorge.

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