A SURPRISE FROM SCALIA:
THE JUSTICE VOTES FOR THE SIXTH AMENDMENT,
AND FOR THE DEATH ROW PRISONER, IN RING V. ARIZONA
FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus comments on Justice
Scalia's surprising vote in the case of Ring v. Arizona. Because it held
that a jury, not a judge, must decide facts essential to the imposition of a
death sentence, Ring will void numerous death sentences -- yet Scalia,
despite his opposition to judicial micromanagement of the death penalty
system, voted with the majority. Lazarus considers parallels between Ring
and earlier death penalty cases of the 70's and 80's, and discusses Scalia's
seemingly last-minute change of heart.
Thursday, Jun. 27, 2002
THE NOT-SO-SAD STORY OF SAN FRANCISCO'S BROBECK, PHLEGER, AND
HARRISON, AND WHAT IT MAY MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF THE
PRACTICE OF LAW
FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus discusses the downfall
of a famed San Francisco firm that profited hugely from the dotcom boom, and
then declined -- laying off associates and suffering over 20 partners'
defections to another firm. Lazarus notes the potential symbolism of the
firm's fate, and contends that the economic downturn may have at least a
partial upside for lawyers -- who spent the 90s burned out, subject to high
billable hours requirements, and too busy to do pro bono work.
Thursday, Jun. 13, 2002
CAN WE TRUST TERRORISM WARNINGS? SHOULD WE INVESTIGATE WHAT
BUSH KNEW? WILL THE FBI RESTRUCTURING WORK?
NOT UNTIL THE SYSTEM IS REFORMED
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus suggests ways to end
what he describes as the current "partisan chess game." This game, he
argues, makes it difficult to trust important government statements --
ranging from suspiciously-timed terror warnings, to party-aligned positions
on whether an investigation of what the Bush Administration and the FBI knew
pre-9/11 is desirable. These statements, Lazarus notes, often seem to smack
of party politics, as much or more than terror prevention. Lazarus traces
the problems of disillusionment with government itself and especially nasty
partisan fights back to the Vietnam era, and suggests solutions.
Thursday, May. 30, 2002
THE DEBATE OVER THE SOLICITOR GENERAL'S
SECOND AMENDMENT SWITCH:
HOW IT ILLUSTRATES COMMON
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HIS CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus discusses the
controversial recent change of position by the Solicitor General's Office on
the scope of the Constitution's Second Amendment right to bear arms. Lazarus
contends that the SG was within his rights to switch the Department of
Justice's stance from a militia-based to an individual-rights-based view of
the Amendment. Indeed, he suggests, those who contend otherwise have
misunderstood the SG's constitutional role.
Thursday, May. 16, 2002
THE MYTH OF JUSTICE SCALIA?:
HOW A RECENTLY-ARGUED DEATH PENALTY CASE WILL TEST THE CLAIM THAT HE IS A JURIST OF PRINCIPLE
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus explains how a
recently-argued death penalty case, Ring v. Arizona, will test the claim that
Justice Antonin Scalia is a principled jurist -- one with integrity who
applies his principles consistently over a range of different cases. Scalia,
Lazarus explains, has previously taken a position on the interpretation of
the Sixth Amendment jury trial right that ought logically to lead to a
victory for the death row defendant in Ring. Yet as a strong death-penalty
supporter, Scalia is likely to dislike this result, and try to avoid reaching
Thursday, May. 02, 2002
JUSTICE BYRON WHITE AND HIS CAREER ON THE COURT:
INDIVIDUAL DRIVE AND ACCOMPLISHMENT, BUT THE LACK
OF A LEGACY
FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus paints a portrait of
the late Supreme Court Justice Byron White, both as a man and as a jurist.
Lazarus identifies two major principles that explain much of White's
jurisprudence and traces their roots. He also discusses White's origins and
his opinion-writing style.
Thursday, Apr. 18, 2002
A DEFENSIBLE EXECUTION?
WHY THE CASE OF ALLEGED SEPTEMBER 11 CONSPIRATOR ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI PRESENTS A CONUNDRUM FOR DEATH PENALTY ABOLITIONISTS
FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus discusses the government's decision to seek the death penalty in the case of alleged September 11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. Lazarus carefully analyzing the leading Supreme Court precedent that has been cited in favor of imposing the death penalty on Moussaoui. He also explains why the penalty might well have been appropriate for the hijackers themselves, had they somehow survived, but may not (depending on the government's evidence) be appropriate in the case of Moussaoui -- who is charged with conspiracy alone.
Thursday, Apr. 04, 2002
IN DEFEATING THE NOMINATION OF JUDGE CHARLES PICKERING, DEMOCRATS HELP DISPEL THE MYTH OF AMERICAN LAW'S MAINSTREAM
FindLaw columnist, attorney, and author Edward Lazarus discusses the significance of the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote against the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Eleventh Circuit. Lazarus contends that Pickering's failed nomination underlines an ideological rift in American law that is superficially concealed by two prevailing myths about the nomination process -- both of which Lazarus attempts to debunk.
Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2002
NINE JUSTICES, TEN COMMANDMENTS, AND TWO FAILED MONUMENTS:
AN ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE DISPUTE PROVIDES INSIGHT INTO SUPREME COURT DIVISIONS
FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus discusses the Supreme Court's denials of review in two cases in which a state or town government sought to erect a monument bearing the text of the Ten Commandments, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that such a monument would violate the Establishment Clause. Lazarus explains how the first monument case led to a sharp exchange between Justices Rehnquist and Stevens, and why it probably also foreshadowed the Court's recent denial of review in the second monument case.
Tuesday, Mar. 05, 2002
RACE-BASED JURY SELECTION AND THE SUPREME COURT:
A NEW GRANT OF REVIEW RECALLS THE LESSONS OF A DIVISIVE EARLIER RULING
FindLaw columnist, attorney and author Edward Lazarus offers an unusual take on the Miller-El case, which the Supreme Court announced late last week that it will review. Lazarus connects Miller-El to a much earlier case that divided the Court's Justices 4-4 (with one recusal) -- a case in which deliberations were tense, but no opinion was written. Both cases involve the interpretation of a third decision -- the Court's landmark ruling in Batson v. Kentucky outlawing race-based use of peremptory challenges in jury selection.
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2002
| Most Recent | Page 5 | Page 4 | Page 3 | Page 2 | Page 1