Raskin rips Romney, Ryan and Robert (Bork)

Maryland state Sen. Jamin B. “Jamie” Raskin, D-Montgomery, wants voters heading to the polls to remember that the president has the authority to make appointments to the Supreme Court and lower federal courts — and that Robert Bork is among the legal advisers to the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Raskin, an ardent supporter of President Barack Obama, warned in Wednesday’s Huffington Post that a “Romney-Ryan-Bork court would lead to the uncorking of bottles of champagne throughout the boardrooms of America’s largest and most right-wing corporations.”

Romney appointees to the federal courts would lead to “an acceleration of all of the worst trends already ravaging the prospects of justice for ‘natural persons’ in America, including the destruction of what is left of campaign finance and disclosure laws as corporations assume all the political free speech rights of the people, a dramatic change ushered in by Citizens United in 2010,” Raskin added on the post’s Politics blog.

Raskin has been quite prolific recently, having written an op-ed piece in the New York Times last week calling for a constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Supreme Court ruled that “the government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether” under the First Amendment.

But Raskin, a widely respected constitutional law professor at American University, might need to brush up on his history.

In the Huffington Post piece he referred to Bork as as “the right-wing polemicist and former Bush Supreme Court nominee so extreme that he was rejected by a bipartisan coalition of Senators in 1987.”

“I think somebody must have changed that,” Raskin said of the error. “I very well know that Ronald Reagan is the one who made that mistake.”

‘Warrior Lawyer’ launches Facebook attack

Baltimore’s “Warrior Lawyer” is waging battle a little farther south down I-95.

J. Wyndal Gordon, the “Warrior Lawyer,” unleashed an attack on Washington, D.C., Councilman Michael Brown in a post on Facebook this week.

“I never was much into D.C. politics, but I do know a Rat when I smell one,” the post begins.

Gordon is representing Brown’s former campaign manager, Hakim Sutton. Brown fired Sutton after discovering campaign funds were missing. Gordon wrote the post after Brown held a news conference announcing the $114,000 in missing campaign money.

Gordon went on to accuse Brown of “skulduggery and debauchery,” saying Brown failed to properly pay employees and hinted that Brown himself had taken the missing money.

“It is due to his own laziness, arrogance, narcissism and greed that Brown finds himself in the position he’s in today [with little money], — not some false claim of theft as he would have the public to wholesale believe,” Gordon wrote in the post.

D.C. lawyer (chicken) dances around political debate

When it comes to defending same-sex marriage, one Washington, D.C., lawyer is no chicken.

Attorney Ted Frank, who also blogs, has come up with a way to support same-sex marriage and consume controversial Chick-fil-A chicken.

The country has been abuzz about the Georgia-based fast-food chain in the past few weeks after its president, Dan Cathy, told a Baptist newspaper in an interview that he only supports marriage between a man and a woman.

Since then, each side of the political spectrum has jumped into the issue. Opponents of same-sex marriage declared a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” and encouraged those supporting Cathy’s views to head to their nearest Chick-fil-A and order a chicken sandwich and waffle fries. Those in favor of same-sex marriage responded with Chick-fil-A “Kiss-Off” day, where same-sex couples smooched outside chicken chains across the country.

Frank has found himself, like many Americans, facing a conundrum: he loves Chick-fil-A food, but dislikes the company’s stance against same-sex marriage. So Frank decided to take a stand — all for the love of chicken and same-sex marriage.

Frank started the website, Chicken Offsets, where people can donate every time they eat at Chick-fil-A. The money will then go to a number of LGBT nonprofits. Every $1 donated equals an offset of one chicken sandwich, and $6 is worth 10 chicken sandwich offsets, according to the website.

As Frank explains on the website:

Chick-fil-A sells $4,100,000,000 of chicken a year and donates about 0.04% of that to Christian organizations that are only anti-gay in a collateral sense. Buying a chicken offset does far more for gay rights than boycotting the chain because someone asked a business executive so religiously Christian that he insists that the stores be closed on Sunday what he thought about gay marriage and people are pretending to be surprised by the answer.

At least 90 percent of the money donated goes to the It Gets Better Project, which focuses on helping LGBT teens, and The Williams Institute, a think tank at the UCLA School of Law that researches gender identity and sexual orientation law. Only a small amount of money is kept by the website for operating expenses.

Frank launched the website Saturday night and reportedly had raised $100 by late Monday.

So now, thanks to Frank,  gay rights supporters hankering for a spicy chicken sandwich bathed in signature Chick-fil-A Sauce can consume the 630-calorie meal guilt-free. Well, morally, anyways.

Lawyer puts a cork in legal career

A Washington, D.C, lawyer has chosen vino over verdicts.

The Washington Post reports Elizabeth Banker, part-owner of law firm ZwillGen PLLC in the District, has decided to quit the law and go into the wine business. Banker is opening a wine bar on Wisconsin Avenue in mid-August.

Banker has put about $600,000 into Slate Wine Bar, $450,000 of which was her own. Much of the rest of the money came from other lawyers.

The restaurant will serve some food but will concentrate on wine, a menu Banker prepared for by traveling to wineries around the world for two years.

Law blog roundup

April showers are about to bring May flowers, but a Monday always brings you the blog roundup. Here are some tidbits as you prepare to celebrate Law Day:

-A Georgia lawyer traded pills for a peep show with female prison inmates.

-American Lawyer released its list of highest-grossing firms.

-A Washington, D.C., lawyer reached his goal of swimming in 50 states before he turned 50.

-A Duke University School of Law student tried to get an answer to a question on his Constitutional Law exam by posting it on the Internet.

Law blog roundup

Still upset about last night’s game? Just getting to work now because of last night’s game? Here are some links to take your mind off it.

Law blog round-up

Uh oh, sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays!!! Hopefully our law links provide the antidote. (Note: Loyal readers recall Caryn Tamber writing last week that Danielle Ulman would take over the blog round-up. Danielle will, but today she is getting situated in her new business-of-law chair, so you’re stuck with me.)

“Is there a legal angle to the WikiLeaks story?” The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog asks — and answers that it’s unlikely the government can successfully prosecute anyone connected to the leak.

  • Who knew pomegranate juice had so much bite? A D.C. judge prevents the National Law Journal from publishing details from documents it legally obtained in a lawsuit involving Hogan Lovells and POM Wonderful.  (HT: ABA Law Journal)
  • Above the Law wishes good luck to everyone taking the Bar Exam this week. (As do we. But really, shouldn’t you be studying?)
  • Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways to recruit clients, and here’s a study that proves it. (HT: LawMarketing Blog)
  • First Mel Gibson. Now Oliver Stone? Oy!

How a justice is like a fine wine

There’s research, and then there’s what Montgomery Kosma did. Kosma, co-founder of The Green Bag, reviewed more than 24,000 opinions written by the first 99 U.S. Supreme Court justices and the 1.2 million citations of the opinions that appeared in later Supreme Court and appeals court cases. His findings, according to his interesting guest column in Sunday’s Washington Post:

I found that Supreme Court decisions are highly durable — half the instances in which an opinion is cited occur more than 14 years after the opinion was written. Since the average justice’s tenure is well over a decade, a president should expect that his nominee will probably influence the law for more than 25 years.

Kosma’s point is that the net influence of a justice is no different whether he or she is nominated at 50 or 60. It’s just more concentrated coming from an older justice.  Which is why Kosma argues President Obama should nominate an older candidate as opposed to a younger one.

“The question isn’t if Garland and Wood are too old,” Kosma concludes. “Rather, is Kagan old enough?”

Happy Holidays! (one final time)

It’s generally accepted that the “holiday season” ends with New Year’s Day. But the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas tomorrow, and the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas tomorrow. So, technically, we are still in the holiday season.

This means I am not late at all in sharing with you a clever holiday eCard I was forwarded. It comes from the powerhouse D.C. law firm Akin Gump.

Merry Christmas to those now observing it.

Judge Davis could get a Senate date soon

A vote on U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis’ nomination to the 4th Circuit could be scheduled as soon as next week, according to The Baltimore Sun’s Maryland Politics blog.

Since taking office, President Obama has made 17 Article III appointments to the federal judiciary. So far the full Senate has approved just one: Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who heard her first case on Wednesday.

Sorry, still no word on when DLLR Secretary Tom Perez might be able to follow his staff to the Justice Department.