Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How to Reform Your Life Enough to Be a Lawyer

For the legally-inclined, I offer the following:

1. The Arizona Supreme Court just ruled against a guy who petitioned to be admitted to the bar. In 1974 he murdered two people in cold blood in order to steal drug money from them. The Supremes said he did not carry his burden of proving that he had reformed his life enough. The first part of the opinion is reasonably free of legal jargon, and discusses at length the steps the guy took to get his life back in order, so I recommend it even to the non-lawyers.

2. Meanwhile, the Oregon Supreme Court just ruled in favor of a guy who petitioned to be admitted to the bar. He was a heavy cocaine user and seller, convicted of both, who later sobered up, got a few good jobs, became a CPA, went to law school, got married and is raising three kids.

Both cases are interesting reads in terms of seeing two people who screwed up and tried to make things right.

Also today, brand-spankin' new Chief Justice John Roberts wrote his first opinion for the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue in the case is so inside-baseball that this MSN piece doesn't even mention it until the second-to-last paragraph (in summary, the Court holds that a district court has discretion to award attorney's fees when a case, removed from state court to federal court, is remanded under 28 U.S.C. 1447, with no legal presumption in either direction). Of far greater significance is Roberts' approach, which is highly reassuring. The man writes like a textualist. Conservatives may breathe a sigh of relief to know that.