What is POFP?

Why do lawyers refer to long documents as briefs and
18-year olds as infants? Why do they use so much Latin when so few of their
clients are Ancient Romans? Is it a conspiracy?

Party of the First Part has the answers! Check out the Website for the
Legalese Hall of Shame; a glossary of legal words linked to Adam Freedman's
columns; tips on writing legal documents in plain English; and more!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eleventh Circuit agrees to an expedited briefing of the ObamaCare challenge

The briefing will begin April 4 and will be completed on May 25. That schedule could still allow for an en banc oral argument on June 6, as the challengers requested.
In a move to speed the constitutional dispute over health care on to the Supreme Court sooner, challengers to the new federal law on Thursday night asked the Eleventh Circuit Court to put the case promptly before ten-judge, en banc Circuit Court, and to do so at a hearing in June. If the Circuit Court agrees, that could make this case — involving 26 states and leading to a judge’s decision to nullify the entire new law — the first one likely to be heard by the Supreme Court. (ht Scotusblog)

On this day in 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix, but gets off on a penumbral emanation

On this day in 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix, but gets off on a penumbral emanation. As Ed Whelan notes at NRO, the initial Miranda decision was 5-4, over a vigorous dissent by Justice Harlan, who pointed out that the warnings are not mandated by the Constitution's text. When the Court came to re-examine Miranda in the Dickerson case, the majority conceded that the use at trial of a voluntary confession, in the absence of Miranda warnings, does not violate the Constitution, but supported the warnings as a "prophylactic" device. Scalia rightly blasted the majority for assuming an "immense and frightening anti-democratic power" -- not merely to enforce the Constitution, but to impose prophylactic policies that can void the laws of elected state and federal legislators.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Death Penalty

Illinois just got rid of it. Maybe the right policy choice, but is the DP unconstitutional? The 5th amdt seems to assume govt can take your "life" if due process is observed.