Law blog roundup

Good morning! Here are some law links for your pre-Solstice perusal:

Law blog roundup

If you didn’t pick up a newspaper or turn on the news over the weekend, you may have missed a little happening in Prince George’s County, involving the arrest of County Executive Jack Johnson. Now, some are pushing for a law to help remove elected officials from office prior to conviction. More arrests are apparently on the way.

Here are some other things you may have missed:

Terminal lawsuit flies away

I’ve never been to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, but it’s near Duke, so naturally I must root against it under any circumstances. (Go Terps!)

I was doubly delighted, then, upon learning that the airport had conceded defeat in a six-year battle with a local newspaper, The News & Observer, over a ban on vending boxes at the airport. The airport, known as RDU, had argued the news racks “would undermine airport security and aesthetics, impede passenger flow through the terminals, and reduce airport income.”

The case went up and down the federal court system until Thursday, when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied RDU’s request for a rehearing en banc. The airport says it will place news racks at baggage claim and ticket areas of terminals, although The News & Observer and other papers want them in the terminals’ concourses.

That dispute is for another day; what I want to highlight is the “withering rebuke” of RDU written by Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III. Wilkinson, a former newspaper editorial page editor, who attacked RDU’s arguments and offered a spirited defense of the First Amendment. You can read the entire concurring opinion here.

His underlying point is “it is blackletter law that free speech is not to be wholly subordinated to administrative convenience.” And he concludes with the following gem:

“An informed citizenry is at the heart of this democracy, and narrowing the arteries of information in the manner sought by the Authority will only serve to impair our country‚Äôs coronary health.”

A policy anything but lax

Upstate New York is the birthplace of many things – Wegmans, the Buffalo wing, and snowstorms, to name a few. The region’s most notable sports export is arguably lacrosse, which the Iroquois helped invent more than a 1,000 years ago.

You might know where I’m going with this: An Iroquois lacrosse team has been prevented from traveling to England for the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships due to passport issues. The British government will not allow the team’s members to enter the country using Iroquois-based passports. Team members say they will not obtain U.S. or Canadian passports because they do not consider themselves citizens of either country.

The team, known as the Nationals, has already been forced to forfeit its opening game Thursday against England and faces another forfeit for Saturday’s game against Japan.

I’m not a die-hard lacrosse fan, but it seems like something would be missing if you hold an international tournament without the sport’s founders. It would be like going to a Lionel Richie concert and not hearing “All Night Long.”

Incidentally, the team was initially prevented from traveling by the U.S. government because the passports lack modern security features. A lawyer for the team said the Iroquois nation is transitioning to the more secure passports. In the meantime, Hillary Clinton helped the team secure a one-time travel waiver.

Your move, United Kingdom.