Monday, November 30, 2020

A lawyer's responsibilities - Giuliani, et al. fail and fail again.

OTHERWISE: A lawyer's responsibilities - Giuliani, et al. fail and fail again.: Judge Matthew Brann, Harrisburg, PA A Lawyer’s Responsibilities We lawyers are responsible.  That is our stock in trade.  ..

In Harrisburg District Judge Matthew Brann, an Obama nominee, past Republican state official, sponsored by Senator Pat Toomey declared in his action denying leave to file a third version of the Trump campaign’s complaint:

...this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Sanction GOP election lawyers?

OTHERWISE: Sanction GOP election lawyers?: I am scarcely incognizant of the importance of protecting lawyers who represent the unpopular.  That provides no ground on which to stand ...

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Supreme Court 5-4 stays Cuomo exec order on Church and synagogue attendance

OTHERWISE: Supreme Court 5-4 stays Cuomo exec order on Church and synagogue attendance: Responding to "emergency" petitions the the Roman Catholic Brooklyn Archdiocese and an Orthodox Jewish group Agudath Israel of America the ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Professor Drew S. Days III dies at 79 - Yale Law School

Yale Law School Mourns the Death of Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law Drew S. Days III - Yale Law School

After law school Drew Days served in the Peace Corps in Honduras with his wife Ann from 1967-1969.  He then began work at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York City as its First Assistant Counsel, where he litigated cases in the areas of school desegregation, police misconduct, employment discrimination, and prisoners’ rights until 1977.

At the age of 30, Days won a lawsuit that desegregated his childhood Tampa schools as part of the trial team in Mannings v. Board of Public Instruction of Hillsborough County, Florida.

President Jimmy Carter nominated him to be the first African American Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice in 1977. In that capacity, he was responsible for nationwide enforcement of federal civil and criminal civil rights laws. In 1978, he led the successful effort to endorse affirmative action programs in the landmark case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.

Days joined the Yale Law faculty in 1981. At Yale, his teaching and writing was in the fields of civil procedure, federal jurisdiction, Supreme Court practice, antidiscrimination law, comparative constitutional law (Canada and the United States), and international human rights. In 1991, he was named Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law. From 1988 to 1993, he was also the founding director of the Orville H. Schell Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. From 1993–1996, Days served as the Solicitor General of the United States for the Clinton Administration.

“Drew was a gentle, courageous lawyer of principle, deeply committed to human and civil rights. He always spoke quietly and modestly, but with such moral authority,” said former Dean and Sterling Professor of International Law Harold Hongju Koh. “Along with his mentor Burke Marshall, another former head of the Civil Rights Division, he was one of the moral centers of the Yale Law School in the late-20th century. He cared nothing for titles or recognition, because his client was always the Constitution, not the political powers of the moment. His life will be remembered as a reminder of the moral urgency of putting principle first.”

Monday, November 16, 2020

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Against a Catholic backdrop, Biden vows increase in refugee admissions | National Catholic Reporter

Against a Catholic backdrop, Biden vows increase in refugee admissions | National Catholic Reporter

Joe Biden chose the setting of one of the Catholic Church's leading refugee support organizations' events to state for the first time as president-elect that he will dramatically increase the target for refugee admissions to the United States, offering a stark contrast to the historic lows under President Donald Trump that were long protested by Catholic leaders.

The Catholic president-elect who repeatedly invoked his faith on the campaign trail, said he would raise the annual admission target to 125,000, marking a sharp increase to the Trump administration's cap of 15,000 individuals.

"A Biden-Harris administration will restore America's historic role in protecting the vulnerable and defending the rights of refugees everywhere," he said.

Last June, on World Refugee Day, Biden had previously pledged to increase the refugee ceiling, but this is the first time he has committed to doing so as president-elect.

His remarks came on Nov. 12 during a virtual 40th anniversary celebration for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. Established in 1980 as an initiative of the Society of Jesus, the organization works around the globe to resettle refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.

"This is a great organization. This organization was founded to serve the needs of some of the most vulnerable among us," Biden said in a prerecorded message. "JRS believes that in the stranger, we actually meet our neighbor and that every society is ultimately judged by how we treat those most in need."


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Opinion | What Is Trump Playing At? - The New York Times

Donald Trump's refusal to concede that he lost th election is an unprecedented threat to democracy.
Opinion | What Is Trump Playing At? - The New York Times

By Thomas Edsall

Trump's Pennsylvania post-election challenge

 Trump's Pennsylvania post-election challenge - Trump v. Boockvar, Sec'y of Commonwealth   <<<VIDEO recording

Constitution of the United States of America

Article I 

  • Section 4

    • Clause 1
    • The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Trump Pennsylvania Complaint - too much counting?

Tribe & Mazie - Trump threatens a coup  Boston Globe 10/28/20

Update: Texas law profs support Democrats opposing GOP effort to void 100,000 Houston curbside ballots

Amar. Katyal and Amar Opinion | The Supreme Court Should Not Muck Around in State Election Laws - The New York Times

Republican Party of PA v. Boockvar, motion to expedite certiorari petition denied, over dissent by Alito, that PA Supreme Court "squarely alters" a "statutory provision... enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature"

Carson v. Simon, Minnesota Sec'y of State, October 29, 2020, 8th Circuit [2-1], enjoins Secretary of State's directive to count mail-in ballots postmarked by November 3 but received through November 10

Order and dissent: Merrill, Secretary of State v. People First of Alabama Federal Court Alabama reinstates  5-3  ban on curbside voting, October 21, 2020

 By Ian Millhiser

Merrill, AL Secretary of State v. People First, October 21, 2020

Democratic Party of Penn v. Boockvar, Penn Supreme Court, September 17, 2020
linked and discussed in Harvard Law Review Blog

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Andy Slavitt - things are looking up but the next three months will be the worst

 You can hear Andy Slavitt (Ex-Obama health care head) and Eric Topol (Scripps, former Cleveland Clinic provost) on Slavitt's podcast In the Bubble November 10, 2020

Supreme Court, put the needs of children in foster care first | TheHill

Based on the tenor or oral argument last seek the Supreme Court seems poised to require Philadelphia to offer a contract to Catholic Social Services for adoption and foster care - despite CSS refusal to place children with same-sex married couples - whose marriages it does not recognize. This despite Pope Francis's recent statement in support of civil union for gay couples. - gwc
OTHERWISE: Supreme Court, put the needs of children in foster care first | TheHill: Supreme Court, put the needs of children in foster care first | TheHill By Mary Boo  [Executive director of the North American Council on Adoptable Children]

Monday, November 9, 2020

The Trump Pennsylvania Complaint - too much counting?

OTHERWISE: The Trump Pennsylvania Complaint - too much counting?

David Nasaw Traces What Happened To WWII's 'Last Million' Displaced People : NPR

David Nasaw Traces What Happened To WWII's 'Last Million' Displaced People : NPR

By Dave Davies

When Allied troops entered Germany at the end of World War II, they were astounded to learn that more than 6 million people had been stranded in the fallen Reich after the war.

"The number of homeless, shelterless, starving civilians [in Germany] was overwhelming," historian David Nasaw says.

Among the displaced persons were Allied prisoners of war, Jewish survivors of concentration camps and forced laborers from conquered lands who had been brought in by the Nazis to fuel the German war effort. Within a few months, most of them were able to return to their homelands, but about a million people refused to go home — or had no home to return to.

Nasaw writes about the remaining group in his new book, The Last Million. He notes that the six-year effort to house displaced persons in camps and eventually find them new countries to settle in proved to be a torturous and politically charged journey at a time when most of the world wanted to forget about the war and people wanted to rebuild their own lives.

"From 1947 on, the nations of the world began to accept for resettlement displaced persons — Latvians, Estonians, Poles, Yugoslavs — but they would not welcome the Jews," he says. "Until America opened its doors to Jewish displaced persons, no nation on Earth was willing to do so."

But U.S. acceptance of displaced persons — especially Jews — was severely restricted. And Nasaw says that the postwar resettlement effort set a pattern for the 21st-century refugee crisis.

"What I discovered for the case of the last million refugees after World War II was that nationalist concerns and political concerns always overruled humanitarian concerns," he says. "In a funny way, the results for the last million were much more promising than the results for the refugees who came after them."


Friday, November 6, 2020

National Academy of Social Insurance Annual Report on Workers' Compensation Workers’ Compensation Law Prof Blog

National Academy of Social Insurance Annual Report on Workers' Compensation

NASI's annual "costs and benefits report" is just out and is updated to include 2018 data (the most recent available). Yours truly and Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Judge David B. Torrey--co-editors of this blog--are members of NASI's workers' compensation data panel, which advises NASI policy analysts tasked with creating the report. From the summary:

The 23rd annual report produced by the Academy on Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Costs, and Coverage (2018 Data) provides the only comprehensive data on workers' compensation benefits, coverage, and employer costs for the nation, the states, the District of Columbia, and federal programs. Drawing on a unique combination of data from state workers’ compensation agencies, A.M. Best, and the National Council on Compensation Insurance, the report is guided by a Study Panel of experts with diverse research, policy, and practice experience. While trends in this five-year study period (2014-2018) largely continue those presented in the past few reports, expanded discussions about who pays for workers’ compensation, which similar programs might belong in future analyses, and other social insurance and safety-net programs that complement workers’ compensation protections, offer new insights and timely information in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Report is here.

Michael C. Duff

Can Workers’ Compensation Covid Causation Presumptions Have Preclusive Effect in Tort Cases?Workers’ Compensation Law Prof Blog

by Michael Duff
One of the more interesting fact scenarios playing out in recent months centers on the scope of workers’ compensation exclusivity: an employee becomes exposed to coronavirus but does not herself become disabled by Covid-19. Instead, she carries the disease home and exposes certain others in her household to the virus, and one or more of those others develops Covid-19. The situation is analogous to the employee who becomes exposed to asbestos at work, does not herself develop the signature disease of mesothelioma, but someone else in the household does develop that disease. While I have no empirical data on the frequency of these kinds of Covid-19 cases, I am hearing and reading that they are being litigated.

The Larson’s treatise terms these “independent breach” claims (§101.03): a dependent spouse or parent brings an action against the employee’s employer suing not derivatively, in connection with the employer’s breach of a duty to the employee (a negligence breach clearly subsumed by exclusivity), but independently in connection with a wrong committed directly against the spouse or parent. This is not, for example, a meatpacking plant worker’s wrongful death suit filed by a surviving family member eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. That type of suit is preempted by workers’ compensation exclusivity (at least in the absence of intentional/willful/wanton/malicious conduct, where the action may theoretically be available depending on the state in question). In an independent breach claim the employee “bringing home” asbestos (or Covid 19) is simply a conduit for transmission of the disease agent. For this reason it should also not matter if a state bars workers’ compensation for infectious diseases since the claim does not arise under workers’ compensation. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

African American voters in the "black belt" - the rich soils tilled by slaves


This is a brilliant thread which ties the legacy of slavery to the present.