This Sunday, February 19, marked the 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. On that day in 1942, then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, setting the wheels in motion for one of the largest violations of civil liberties in the country's history. The forced exclusion of those of Japanese descent from the West Coast -- most of whom were American citizens -- and their mass incarceration in American concentration camps provides a lesson in human rights abuse that, unfortunately, the nation tends to forget too conveniently.
[t]he code is a major step forward for Cambodia. It is a cosmopolitan, internationalist document, exhibiting the influence of pre-existing Cambodian law as well as that of Japanese and French law. One knowledgeable Cambodian observer even sees common-law influence in the section of the code dealing with the basic rules of contract. . . . In short, the new code is a healthy hybrid which should serve Cambodia well. It promises far greater security under the rule of law than the Cambodian people have previously known.
USF Law has long enjoyed a close association with John Osborn, the author of The Paper Chase, the quintessential story of life as a first year law student at Harvard in the 1970's. As a professor of law and Distinguished Scholar in Residence he has taught on wills and estate planning as well as a very popular course on the law in literature. To mark the Fortieth Anniversary of publication, The Paper Chase is being republished in a new edition with a brand new preface by the author. While much has changed in law schools and legal education in the last four decades, this book should still resonate with anyone who has lived through the rigors of an American legal education.
The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision striking down California's Proposition 8 attempt to take away marital rights from same-sex couples sends a strong immigration-reform message to Congress: it's time to allow U.S. citizens lawfully married to same-sex partners the opportunity to apply for lawful immigrant status. Under current law, prospective immigrants who want to immigrate through marriage can only do so if they are parties to a heterosexual relationship.
Being bored and being boring is a defining feature of adulthood, of responsibility, of doing the things that need to be done in order to live and provide for others. Mastery of anything requires repetition; repetition by definition is boring. . . . More significantly, like most professions law is about repetitive tasks and arcane things. There are periods of great, sustained, enervating intellectual activity in many legal jobs, but also vast stretches of reading, research, and manipulating boiler plate that are defined by their dreariness. . . . this is why I think it's our obligation to make our material dry and difficult and, where appropriate, boring.
Fenster describes himself as the "Andy Kaufman of legal blogging," but I think his post does expose an important, seldom-discussed truth about practicing law -- some practice areas involve immersing yourself in a lot of boring, tedious, and complicated material day after day. Sure, most people don't want to closely study a 200-page Federal Register notice, but in certain practice areas, it's inevitable that you'll have to analyze these kinds of documents with alarming frequency. If sifting through dry, complex statutes and regulations makes you deeply unhappy, transactional lawyering (e.g., tax, health care, or benefits lawyer) is not for you! If, on the other hand, you find great satisfaction in untangling the intricacies of the Internal Revenue Code and its accompanying regulations, a transactional practice might be a good fit. It never hurts to reflect on your tolerance for tedium before you make a career choice.
The Ninth Circuit issued its substantive opinion in Perry v. Brown this morning, ruling that Proposition 8 violated the federal Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. Judge Reinhardt's majority opinion states:
Proposition 8 had one effect only. It stripped same-sex couples of the ability they previously possessed to obtain from the State, or any other authorized party, an important right--the right to obtain and use the designation of 'marriage' to describe their relationships. Nothing more, nothing less. Proposition 8 therefore could not have been enacted to advance California's interests in childrearing or responsible procreation.