The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
legal rhetoric


The Polanski Case

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 5, 2009 - 1:27pm

Not being much of one for celebrity culture, I've been trying not to think about Roman Polanski's arrest, but I keep getting drawn back to it (perhaps because it comes on the heels of the 40th anniversary of the Tate-LaBianca murders). Here's one of the more thoughtful pieces I've read. ThickCulture is a great blog, btw.


The 9 Greatest Supreme Court Justices

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 20, 2009 - 3:38pm

Jonathan Turley gives us his list. I think mine is the same, although I'd put in a word for Robert Jackson. Glad to see my all-time hero Hugo Black made the list. And that the egregious Frankfurter did not.


Legal Follies

Submitted by Jim Aune on July 17, 2009 - 2:19pm

Watching the Sotomayor hearings this week is painful.


Jack Balkin's Questions

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 8, 2009 - 1:14pm

After the last 8 years I didn't think I could be shocked by anything anymore, but the shooting of Dr. Tiller has upset me more than anything in recent memory. If you read the stories of the women who went to his clinic, Dr. Tiller looks more and more like a saint. Jack Balkin asks the following questions about how to deal with Christian terrorism (he uses the questions as an analogy for the right-wing defense of detention and torture, but I'm inclined to take them seriously--the full blog post is here):


What Happens When You Don't Take Free Speech Seriously

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 5, 2009 - 11:10pm

You get the stupid-ass British libel laws. (But Pringles ARE snacks.)


Your Comprehensive Exam Question: Free Speech

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 31, 2009 - 1:22pm

A Wichita doctor is murdered as he goes into church this morning. Bill O'Reilly has been targeting him for some time. Under the "imminent lawless conduct" standard of Brandenburg v. Ohio, should O'Reilly/Fox News be liable for damages? How do the mass media complicate the Brandenburg standard? If a Muslim cleric in the US had done the same, would he be in jail right now?


Night-Time Reading

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 28, 2009 - 12:07pm

516 pages of Sotomayor's opinions. You'll be quizzed on them tomorrow.


All Law, All the Time

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 26, 2009 - 2:12pm

The California Supreme Court ruling on Prop. 8 is here. I know my position will make no one happy, but I believe the Court did the right thing by upholding the legality of the existing marriages and then upholding the proposition itself. Rights for GLBT people will be stronger in the long run if established through the legislatures and ballot initiatives than through the courts.


First Amendment Trivia Questions

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 18, 2009 - 7:58pm

First Amendment Trivia Questions
by Stephen Filler, N.Y. Attorney

1. Name the Seven Dirty Words you can't say on television?

2. Who was the comedian who performed the "Seven Dirty Words"?

A. Lenny Bruce
B. George Carlin
C. Richard Pryor
D. Andrew Dice Clay
E. Phyllis Diller

3. Citizens in Seabrook New Hampshire recently sought to cut the public library's budget and then threatened to close down the public library if the library ran a previously scheduled event. The library canceled the event. What was the event?


O's Short List

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 11, 2009 - 12:20pm

Rumors are circulating that here's the short list to replace Souter: Diane Wood of the 7th Circuit, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd Circuit, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Merrick Garland of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Elena Kagan would be my first choice (assuming Kathleen Sullivan of Stanford is out).