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Citations and Dismissals

Interesting legal developments reported in today's Times:

¶ Citations from law reviews are down. Law Reviews, as you may know, are the scholarly apparatus of the legal academy. Professors write learnedly on fine points of law, while diligent students compile useful overviews of such things as the laws of inheritance in all fifty states. Traditionally, law reviews have provided the American legal system with its intellectual ventilation.

Lately, however, it seems that critical theory has infected the law-school professoriat. Reviews have multiplied, and the Internet has put an end to their indispensability. "Law reviews, by contrast, feel as ancient as telegrams, but slower," writes Adam Liptak.

¶ It is a commonplace to say that US District Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, who can dismiss them at will. What the president cannot do, however, is obstruct justice. Adam Cohen, on the editorial page, outlines four possible violations of 18 USC 1505 and 1512. Noting that the Attorney General's chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, is in the hot seat, Mr Cohen writes,

Let's take the case of Carol Lam, United States attorney in San Diego. The day the news broke that Ms Lam, who had already put one Republican congressman in jail, was investigating a second one, Mr Sampson wrote an e-mail message referring to the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam." He said it made him think that it was time to start looking for a replacement.

As they say in human resources, you can fire somebody for no reason, but you can't fire somebody for the wrong reason. I thought everyone knew that.


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