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Inside Legal Blogs
[By Jeff] With the summer season imminent, law blogs are getting hot. This week, we will take a gander at the happenings across the Internet’s law blogosphere and report to you the most noteworthy events. So tuck your pants into your boots, and hitch a ride on the blog wagon!

What started out as small judicial order in a small case has become a widely traveled news item in the media and across the Internet. The story concerns a federal judge in Orlando who was having a hard time resolving a discovery dispute. He ordered the attorneys to go out and settle it themselves over a game of rock, paper, scissors. Websites and newspapers across America and in Europe reported the incident as one of those cutesy innocuous stories you see sometimes. The Volokh Conspiracy put the story in perspective, analyzing the arbitrary nature of many judicial decisions. Volokh mentioned the case of a Michigan judge who was censured for being unable to render a verdict without the aid of a coin toss. This all begs the grammatical question of what is the correct way to punctuate rock, paper, scissors. Volokh skirts the issue by using the more cosmopolitan name roshambo (Fr. reauchambeaux); but other sources call it rock/paper/scissors, rock-paper-scissors, and even the unrefined rock paper scissors. The jury, it seems, is still out on that one. The best news controversy of the week, for my money, is the alleged falling out between Scalia and Alito. During Alito’s Senate confirmation hearing, it was predicted that Alito would be Baby Scalia, following in the arch conservative jurist’s footsteps. But it seems a rift has emerged. The media has made a bigger deal out of it than need be, most likely. But in an age when Jessica Simpson vs. Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie vs. Paris Hilton pass as celebrity feuds, it’s nice to see one of substance. Earlier this week, Alito wrote the court’s unanimous opinion in Zedner v. United States, which involved a dispute regarding the Speedy Trial

Act. Alito cited legislative history, much to Scalia’s chagrin. Scalia had spoken out against interpreting Congressional acts in decisions previously, and he rebuked Alito for it in his concurrence. Underneath Their Robes is calling it a judicial bitch slap. “Because the use of legislative history is illegitimate and ill advised in the interpretation of any statute—and especially a statute that is clear on its face—I do not join this portion of the Court’s opinion.” - Scalia Alito had the chance to appease Scalia by removing the offending paragraph, but opted not to do so. Orrin Kerr stated that this is evidence that Alito will not wind up being the conservative extremist many predicted him to be. At the very least, don’t call him Scalito.

take particular umbrage at the notion that it requires an act of Congress. They do concede, however, that the Justices, not their clerks, should be writing their own decisions. Marty Schwimmer of the Trademark Blog was tapped by Blawg Review to write this week’s summary of notable law blog activity. While the weekly Blawg Review is usually a list of links, he chose to instead author a scathing indictment of the illegality of American domestic and international activities. Schwimmer touches on everything: Guantanamo Bay, Bush’s State of the Union announcement that Saddam had attempted to buy yellow cake enriched uranium from Niger, the NSA wiretaps, the Valerie Plame leak, torture in Iraq, etc. In the end, we’re not left with any answers, just more questions. Finally, on Evan Schaeffer’s Legal

An article in the current issue of The Atlantic

Underground, Schaeffer recently authored a
blog post about his new career as an Internet sensation. He reports to be enjoying the spoils of being a famous blogger. Over the past year or so, the Legal Underground blog has become one of the more frequently crosslinked blogs. As a celebrity Internet attorney, Schaeffer enjoys rock star status, including being recognized at the DMV, earning frequent compliments from judges and opposing attorneys, and receiving scorn from his rival bloggers. He is the latest attorney with a blog to make it as a cult celeb, but probably not the last. So think of Inside Law Blogs as Access

Monthly proposes that Congress should do away with the U.S. Supreme Court’s law clerks. Supreme Court Justices have it too good, what with their extensive world travels and summer vacations. The Atlantic Monthly suggests that eliminating clerks for the U.S. Supreme Court would force the Justices to really work for their money, as well as remove much of the political context from the Justices’ decisions. The authors of the piece presuppose that the Justices themselves are above the sway of politics, but the kids who work for them stay up late sneaking political agendas into each Justice’s decisions. The gang at SCOTUSblog questions the sincerity of the authors and doubts that getting rid of Supreme Court clerks would be much of a benefit. They

Hollywood without Arthel Neville. We’ll be right
back in two minutes and two seconds.