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Happy Birthday, 14th Amendment

Did you know? This summer marks the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 14th Amendment. To commemorate the occasion, here is a look at the Ohio congressman who authored arguably the most important amendment after the first ten. If he’s forgotten today then it’s a shame because he’s responsible for these momentous words: “All persons born Read More

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You Can’t Rely on Prior Wages or Salary to Pay Women Less

One of the last cases of Judge Reinhardt’s life had to do with the Equal Pay Act of 1963. He wrote the decision, which was published last week, and it begins with these words: “The Equal Pay Act stands for a principle as simple as it is just: men and women should receive equal pay for equal work Read More

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Farewell to the Great Liberal Lion

Stephen Reinhardt, one of the most influential federal judges of the past half century, died suddenly yesterday. Here’s the news from the L.A. Times. We called him the liberal lion if we liked him and other names if we didn’t. He didn’t care. Like the late, great Harry Pregerson, he cared about which outcome was right Read More

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The Greatest Generation, Indeed

Harry Pregerson passed away on Saturday, and if you haven’t heard of him, he’s worth learning about and remembering. If you’re like me, you never met him, but you knew who he was because you practiced law in Los Angeles (or California, for that matter, and a lot of other states, too). And if you’re like me, you’ll miss him Read More

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Commemorating a Courtroom Legend

One of the great professional experiences of my life was the year I spent working for a federal trial judge in Los Angeles. Fresh out of law school in 2005, I served as a law clerk to the Honorable Manuel Real, who was appointed by President Johnson in 1966 and has presided there in the district court since. He’s Read More

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The Straight Scoop on Crime Rates

Want to know the truth? Here are five facts about crime in America. They don’t come from sound bites, talking heads, internet memes, or bloviating politicians. They come from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (or BJS). And they’re brought to you by the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. The Read More

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A Big Anniversary for the Bill of Rights

Thursday will mark 225 years to the day. On December 15, 1791, the Commonwealth of Virginia became the eleventh state to ratify the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. That meant that three-fourths of state legislatures had approved them, which meant the Bill of Rights was born. To commemorate the occasion, here’s a great Read More

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Our Great Living Poet

Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday, and it was nice to see the news. You may not know it depending on your walk of life, but Dylan is one of the great American poets of the past hundred years, and he’s had a lot to say about law and justice, too. He’s apparently the first songwriter Read More

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The Circle of Life

Earlier this month, the California Court of Appeal published an interesting DUI case that we may talk about next week. This week, I want to talk about something else. My wife and I welcomed a baby boy into the world on Saturday. He’s our first. He spent his first three days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where Read More

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The Future of FOIA and Open Government

Speaking of anniversaries, this July 4, we didn’t just celebrate the 240th birthday of the Declaration of Independence; we also celebrated the 50th birthday of the Freedom of Information Act, which President Lyndon Johnson signed into law on July 4, 1966. To honor the occasion, the Washington Post penned a pithy homage to this engine of open government that helps Read More

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