Legal Commentary: Edward Lazarus Archive

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WHY CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS REGARDING ENRON MAY ACTUALLY HURT, NOT HELP, IN FINDING OUT THE TRUTH ABOUT THE COMPANY AND ITS AUDITORS
FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus explains why those who think Congressional hearings will help remedy the Enron scandal and bring those responsible to justice may be dead wrong. Lazarus describes how hearings, with their temptation of early, broad immunity grants to get witnesses to talk, can actually interfere with later prosecutions -- or even result in the more culpable players getting off scot free.
Tuesday, Feb. 05, 2002

SAME BLACK HILLS, MORE WHITE JUSTICE:
SENATOR DASCHLE'S PROVISION GRANTING BARRICK GOLD COMPANY IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY

FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus comments on the historical context of a recent provision, sponsored by Senator Daschle, that grants a gold company immunity from liability relating to its mining operations in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Lazarus contends that the bill is only the latest instance of the government's ignoring Sioux interests and claims in the Black Hills, and catering to industry there instead.
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2002

HOW A RECENT NINTH CIRCUIT MIRANDA RIGHTS DECISION ILLUMINATES CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST'S STRATEGIC VOTING AND OPINION-WRITING
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus argues that Chief Justice Rehnquist had adopted a strategy of gutting past liberal decisions while leaving them on the books. Lazarus illustrates his point by noting how Rehnquist's purportedly liberal result in his Dickerson opinion, which reaffirmed Miranda rights has also had the conservative effect of preempting other Miranda arguments -- as demonstrated by a recent case that divided the Ninth Circuit.
Tuesday, Jan. 08, 2002

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS DICK CHENEY, AND WHY DON'T WE KNOW THE ANSWER?
A SCROOGE'S VIEW OF CHRISTMAS POLITICS

FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus offers some intriguing theories for why Vice President Dick Cheney so often resides at a "secure location." Lazarus considers possible political and health explanations -- and explains why he finds the Administration's national security explanation unconvincing.
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2001

THE HISTORY AND PRECEDENTIAL VALUE OF THE SUPREME COURT CASE CITED IN SUPPORT OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S MILITARY TRIBUNALS
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus discusses the unusual history of Ex Parte Quirin -- the World War II Supreme Court opinion upon which proponents of President Bush's military tribunals order most heavily rely. In Quirin, Lazarus explains, the Supreme Court, under pressure, announced its result -- supporting the President's use of military tribunals to try Nazi saboteurs -- first; gave reasons later; and then regretted this backwards process. For this and other reasons, Lazarus argues, Quirin should not be invoked in defense of President Bush's order.
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2001

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND SECRECY:
LIMITING WHAT WE CAN KNOW ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT, WHILE EXPANDING WHAT IT CAN KNOW ABOUT US

FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus discusses the combined effect of two trends in Bush Administration policy. First, there is the trend towards limiting public access to government information, including about the September 11 investigation and war developments; second, there is the trend toward increasing government access to information about individuals, through monitoring and "voluntary" interviews. Lazarus explains why we should be especially concerned about the confluence of the two approaches.
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2001

BLACKMUN, BASEBALL, AND THE MEL OTT BAT:
A JUSTICE WITH A PASSION FOR THE GAME AND THE COUNTRY THAT INVENTED IT

FindLaw columnist, author, and former Supreme Court clerk Edward Lazarus remembers Justice Blackmun and his love for baseball -- in particular, for the now-in-jeopardy Minnesota Twins. Lazarus includes, among other reminiscences, an explanation of why Blackmun, after penning the Court's opinion recognizing an exception from the antitrust laws for baseball, acquired a Louisville Slugger "Mel Ott" model bat.
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2001

TELLING THE STORY OF JUSTICE REHNQUIST'S NOMINATION:
A REVIEW OF JOHN DEAN'S THE REHNQUIST CHOICE

FindLaw columnist and book reviewer Edward Lazarus discusses John Dean's recent book on President Richard Nixon's decision to nominate William Rehnquist to the Supreme Court. Lazarus weighs in on both how the book adds to the historical record, and what it tells us about Rehnquist's character.
Friday, Nov. 02, 2001

A NEW KIND OF ATTACK ON LEGAL SERVICES TO THE POOR:
WHY SEVERAL RECENT COURT DECISIONS MAY RESULT IN HUGE LOSSES OF LEGAL AID FUNDING

FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus explains why several recent appeals court decisions put legal aid funding in severe jeopardy. The decisions raise an issue very likely to be addressed by the Supreme Court in the next few years: whether legislation directing that legal services organizations receive interest from trust accounts held by attorneys for clients effects a "taking" of property in violation of the Fifth Amendment -- even though the lawyers and clients could not legally receive the interest themselves.
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2001

JUDICIAL PRIVACY VERSUS THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL:
THE CASE OF THE MARIJUANA-SMOKING JUDGE AND THE CAPITAL DEFENDANT

FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus discusses an interesting question: If a judge in a death penalty case is later discovered to have been a marijuana addict, should the defendant be entitled to proceedings to see if the addiction affected the trial or sentence? The Ninth Circuit, in a recent decision, said yes, but Judge Alex Kozinski strongly disagreed, arguing that judicial privacy should be paramount. Lazarus discusses other judicial privacy issues as well, including how we should address judges who in their later years get Alzheimer's Disease, and the merits of Judge Kozinski's crusade to keep judges' Internet activity private from the government.
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2001

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