Monday, October 15, 2007

A Farewell, a Thank You, and an Invitation

This is my last post here. This blog is one of the things I'm the most proud of when I look back on my time at UW. We've had good, civil (most of the time) discussions, and in my mind, raised the level and diversity of the discourse at our school overall.

The Federalist Society is unique (and frankly, superior) among most advocacy groups, I believe, because mere presentation of ideas that may be underrepresented and unfairly maligned at such a liberal institution is not enough. Instead, the Society insists that the ideas be actively debated at every opportunity. If our principles are to thrive and ascend in the American legal culture, as most of us hope they will, they must be subject to rigorous, continuous, and public scrutiny - and they must withstand the assault. Cloistered clubs of like minds only numb our ability to critically think about things, and only ensure snarky factionalism instead of shared solutions.

Everyone who participated in that process - by attending our events and questioning our speakers, reading and commenting on the blog, and even arguing with us at the bar - has done a tremendous service to my own academic growth at the very least, and I think to the quality of our shared education in general. For that, I thank you all most sincerely. And I look forward to being a frequent reader of this blog in the future.

But as a wannabe pundit, it's time to move on post-graduation (UPDATE - and post bar passage, too - woo hoo!). I've started a new blog project called First Principles at, where I seek to continue refining my ideas and political and legal philosophies in the forge of public scrutiny. I hope the people who have made this blog such a joy will join me there to further the conversation.

Thanks again, and good luck to you all.

Apparently 25 Feet Isn't Enough

In order to comply with I-901, the University has adopted a new smoking policy which is currently being implemented. The "designated smoking area" for the law school is located here, all the way over by the Burke museum. I am not an expert on smoker's rights laws, but under I-901, smoking is only prohibited 25 feet from entrances to public places such as the law school. Granted, the old smoker's congregation near the law school patio was less than 25 feet and thus violated I-901. However, the current location is several hundred feet from the main entrance to the law school. This policy does not sseem to be a reasonable interpretation of the new laws.

The law was passed to infringe on the liberty of smoker's in the name of protecting us non-smokers. But do I really need such protection? It makes me sad that my smoking classmates must hike through the rain today if they want to legally light up.

Overview of I-901 [Davis Wright Tremaine]

Friday, October 12, 2007

Affirmative Action and Conservatives

An interesting post by Harvard economist Greg Mankiw. Professor Mankiw had headlines earlier this year for his proposal to impose a tax on height. While I'm not a big fan of that plan, he does raise a good point in a post of his blog today. He notes that is the theory behind affirmative action is to promote diversity (this is an assumption that can be debated), then that principle would also support assisting underrepresented right-wing academics. Being a right-wing organization at a school with few right-wing students or professors, I thought this might be an interesting topic to discuss. Hat tip to Above the Law, a legal gossip site run by former Yale FedSoc Chapter President David Lat.

Affirmative Action for Federalist Society Members? [Above the Law]

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Second Amendment Update

A new lawsuit filed in Oregon will challenge a teacher's right to bring a concealed weapon to school. [MSNBC] This will be an interesting case that could test the limits of the second amendment. In the wake of school shootings, judges will likely be hesitant to allow weapons on school grounds, but we'll see how this turns out.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

FedSoc in History

CNN had an interesting article yesterday by their senior legal analyst Jeffrey Tobin. Tobin just published a book on the Supreme Court and the article is an excerpt from the book discussing the modern legal conservative movement. It also discusses the prominent role the Federalist Society has played in it. It is worth the read.

How conservatives won the court back [CNN]