We know lawyers like to drink, but they hate dealing with numbers. So, here's a handy guide to let you keep track of just how much alcohol you're pouring down your lie hole: Large Numbers of Law, Week of 5/2/11.
We think it's a little early to start counting electoral eggs, given they're not only unhatched, but unlaid, and the electoral hens are still in their adolescence.
But, if you're the type who gets off on this sort of political masturbation, Karl Rove has an article out about what it would take for the GOP to take the Presidency.
270 votes are needed to win, and Rove thinks that 14 states with a combined 172 votes are in play. He expects that Indiana, Virgina, and North Carolina, which are traditionally Republican but supported Obama will go back in the red in 2012. If the GOP also managed to take perennial swing states of Ohio and Florida, it would need to pick up only 1 more of the remaining 9 states in play to capture the White House.
But, Rove doesn't get too hung up over the numbers, noting what it actually takes to win:
This election is within the GOP's grasp. The quality of the Republican candidate's campaign and message will decide whether it becomes so.
Even the most mindlessly-straight-party-line-voting Republican has to admit that there is not yet an inspiring, viable GOP hat in the ring. But, equally-mindlessly-straight-party-line-voting Democrats recognize Rove's keen understanding of American politics.
With all the talk about the legality of Osama bin Laden's killing, we thought we'd throw out a question for you legal braniacs.
Jurisdiction in a criminal prosecution depends on the situs, that is, the location of the crime. If Johnnie shoots Jack in Georgia, Johnnie cannot be charged with murder in Tennessee, even if that is the state which Jack was a resident of. Some complications arise in weird situations, such as if Johnnie, standing in Georgia, shot across the border into Tennessee and killed Jack, but the easy solution is to just give the states concurrent jurisdiction.
Looking at the case of bin Laden, a criminal prosecution is not feasible. The US would never give over its Navy Seals to Pakistan for prosecution, and they would never be prosecuted back home. (The situs may be irrelevant for a domestic prosecution, as the military probably has jurisdiction over its active troops anywhere in the world. They just wouldn't be prosecuted for the other obvious reasons.)
So, here's the legal quandry: Assume that the killing of bin Laden was unlawful (this is what we like to call a "counter-factual"), could Barack Obama be prosecuted? Or, more specifically, what is the relevant situs in determining jurisdiction to prosecute a criminal conspiracy? Where the conspiracy itself occurred, or where the underlying criminal act took place?
Over on the Prawfs' Blawg, Eric Johnson has posted a link to his completed 2 volume torts case book, which can be downloaded for free.
Unlike most casebooks, Johnson's Torts Compendium does not contain notes and questions to accompany the cases. It's pure source material. So, it makes sense that his book would be free (to download, you still have to bear the cost of printing it), everything in it is part of the public domain.
The lack of commentary will make the book of limited use. The autodidact who realizes you don't actually have to go to law school to educate yourself about the law won't be provided with some necessary history and context. Students in most law school classes will still have to shell out money for a book with whatever numbers their prof wants written at the bottom of the page. The main beneficiaries will be his own students, and the students of professors who choose to use this book instead of the more expensive options.
But, his book highlights an interesting issue. The vast majority of material in other casebooks is also part of the public domain. The other things which may be copyrighted, such as essays or law review articles, are available to law students for free through their Lexis or Westlaw accounts.
The only things your traditional casebook provides are some notes, which are typically no more informative than the case's Wikipedia article, and questions without any answers or analysis.
Sure, there's also some editing done to cases to leave out the irrelevant parts, and Johnson's book does this as well, but what exactly are law professors charging their students for in case books, and why don't more follow Johnson's lead? You're already getting a salary paid by students' tuition, isn't one trip to the well enough?
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