<i>De Minimis</i> Establishment Clause Violations?

I just saw this ad on telly:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzCe80RYxD8

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the Ad Council (both organizations about which I have nothing positive to say), has funded and produced an advertisement featuring religious figures endorsing and promoting government programs. No mention of the featured anthropomorphic vegetables' religious affiliation is mentioned. Something about using explicitly religious characters to encourage children to follow

read more

PA Town Cancels Halloween

A town in PA has decided that trick-or-treating, something children look forward to all year, is too unsafe for children. KDKA, via Popehat, via Overlawyered. The Popehat article title sums up my thoughts precisely: "To Save Childhood, It Is Necessary To Destroy It."

read more

Testing Twitter Integration

Once more trying to get Wordpress to tweet my blog posts with URL-shortening by bit.ly. I think it will work this time.

Update: It works!

read more

Sort of Back

I am sort of back from hiatus. Kind of.

I got the site updated to latest Wordpress, something I've been meaning to do for . . . um . . . a year now? Also added Twitter to the right hand sidebar and fixed the Wishlist page, which broke on August 17th, 2009, when Amazon started requiring all Web Service requests to be signed.

I'll be making changes to the Blogroll over the next few

read more

Scalia on the Meaning of the Latin Cross

The ongoing controversy over a Latin cross erected in 1934 on Federal land in Mojave National Preserve to honor WWI dead reached the Supreme Court today on the question of whether Congress' sale of the land where the cross sits to a private entity in an effort to remove the constitutional violation itself violated the injunction ordering the government to remove the constitutional violation.

cross-salazar-v-buono
Photo by Eric Nystrom, courtesy National Park Service

The case is

read more

Bar Exam

There. That's over.

It'll be three months before I know if I passed.

read more

Facebook Ads

Check your Facebook privacy settings, if you use it. Apparently by default Facebook allows your profile photo to be used by 3rd party advertisers to promote services to your friends.

Facebook sez, "Don't mind us, we're just whoring out your photos"

You can turn this off by logging into Facebook using Internet Explorer (Firefox will not work) and clicking "Privacy Settings" under the "Settings" dropdown in the top right corner, selecting "News Feed & Wall

read more

<em>Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince</em>

Spoilers.

I did take time out of my absurd schedule to go see Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince at midnight on Wednesday. Which reminds me how irritating it is when I go buy a ticket for "12:00am Tuesday" for a 12:00am Wednesday showing. That people and movie theatres cannot figure out the midnight thing confuses and infuriates me. I know movie theatres count midnight showings as part of the business day preceding

read more

Still gone, but with a request

I've been so very busy. Graduating from law school, then preparing for the bar. The bar is in a week and a half (last Tues-Thurs in July) and I'm starting to feel the stress. I'm also just now in the middle of a house move which must be completed by the day after the last day of the bar exam, so that's a bit stress-inducing there, too. So I'm still going to be gone for

read more

And Maine Makes Five

Maine legalizes same-sex marriage

By legislative action, no less. Without a court telling them they had to do it. That makes Maine the second state to enact same-sex marriage without a judicial order to do so, and the first state to enact same-sex marriage without a judicial order to at least create a parallel licensing system (as the Vermont Supreme Court did back before that state created its civil union system). Also, the first state

read more

An excerpt from a footnote in my <em>Law Review</em> article

Here is a hopefully useful excerpt from a footnote in my Law Review article. It's not the whole footnote, and I'm not going to share the entire article for at least some time, as I have other plans for it. But this one footnote, the result of many, many hours of research, could be useful to others and I thought I would share it.

(For those who are interested, the article is not really about

read more

"Knock, Knock!"

"Who's there?"

"Orange."

"Orange who?"

"Orange you glad you didn't vote for McCain!"

I still say Stevens is due - he'll be 89 this year. And Ginsburg has health issues. Luckily all three are part of the liberal bloc and will be replaced with liberals - not likely to upset court balance.

I'm in the middle of finals week in my last semester in law school. Assuming I pass everything, I'll graduate on May 17th

read more

<em>Gill v. Office of Personnel Management</em>

Complaint here. [pdf]

Various plaintiffs married to or formerly married to and now widowed by persons of the same sex under Massachusetts law after Goodridge filed suit in the United States District Court for District of Massachusetts yesterday (case no. 1:2009cv10309) directly challenging the constitutionality of § 3 of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, Pub L. No. 105-199, 110 Stat. 2419 (1996) (codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7) under implied equal protection afforded

read more

Twilight of the West: Part 1

Things are . . . happening.

Bad things.

September 11

I thought about blogging on September 11, but I couldn't think of anything new to say. That's sad. Seven years, and nothing has gotten better. Nothing tall and shining has risen from Lower Manhattan except the same phantom lights that are dragged out every year to stand in for real honor. Politicians putting on a show, so they look like they're doing something meaningful. The

read more

LHC Advisory Note

Dear The Internets,

Please be advised that, although the Large Hadron Collider will be powered up on Wednesday, no high-energy collisions are scheduled until November.

It really upsets me to see people, including the news media reporting tomorrow's initial power-up as "the most complex scientific experiment ever undertaken" (from the first link) when in fact it is not.

The claims that the LHC will destroy the world are pure lunacy. But please, all you crazies

read more

Eee! And also Reader!

I have jumped on the weensy netbook bandwagon and purchased an ASUS Eee PC 901. It is teensy and black and is running a spare XP license I had left over from when I upgraded my now massive by comparison laptop to Vista. It is wonderful! It is quick, small, and lasts upwards of 8 hours on a charge. With the wireless on, even! I'm using it primarily for class - taking notes and pulling

read more

Where Have I Been?

I have been busy. Very busy indeed. First, I spent much of the summer working for a local judge. I can't tell you which one. It was a wonderful experience and I got to work on a variety of cases. Classes started two weeks ago and I am getting back into the swing of things. I recently applied for a job with the Federal government: as a judicial clerk. It's highly competitive. I do hope

read more

Rosebush Watch Ends

Rosebush Watch officially ended July 1, when I received an apology for the vandalism of my rosebush. I forgot to tell everyone. Sorry.

The camera is gone, as is the Rosebush Watch page.

The bush is now in its second bloom cycle and is covered with new flowers.

read more

Aggregation Aggravation

I got a letter today from the City:

aggregation-letter

Click to read it. At the bottom of the page is a tear-off form that I'm supposed to fill out and sign in order to opt out of the program, but my scanner won't scan legal-size paper, so you don't get to see it. It's not all that exciting; you aren't missing much.

Apparently, before I moved to Lesser Northeast Key Midwestern Swing State City (just 20

read more