[Hanah Metchis Volokh, guest-blogging, October 22, 2007 at 6:32pm] Trackbacks
Hello World:

I'm very excited to be here guest-blogging on the Conspiracy. Thanks to Eugene for the warm welcome. I plan to get started tomorrow blogging about my new paper, The Two Appointments Clauses: Statutory Qualifications for Federal Officers, which is forthcoming in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. I hope to write later about some of my papers-in-progress as well, which are on various constitutional separation of powers topics.

The Conspiracy hasn't had a student blogger in a few years (since Sasha graduated, I think), so I might also touch on a few topics that professors might overlook. For instance, is it ever justifiable to shoot your casebook? (Answer: A classmate of mine familiar with the book says this was most likely self-defense.)

Once again, I'm thrilled to be in such excellent company, and I will be posting for real tomorrow.

William Spieler (mail) (www):
You can't shoot what doesn't exist, which is why I stopped buying casebooks my third year and turned solely to Lexis.

I think it was the best decision I ever made in law school.

PS: VC also doesn't have any recent grads on its staff or they'd write a post congratulating those people who are just hearing that they passed the bar exam.
10.22.2007 8:07pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
"Bubba hollered out, Reckless, hell, I hit right where I was aiming!" I had Whitman for Real Estate Transactions and 3 other courses at Mizzou - wonderful professor; don't remember the textbook. Didn't have Nelson but he was our federalist society adviser.
10.22.2007 8:22pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Always had one separation of powers question when I worked in the bureaucracy: at Interior, Congress often defined the specific person who was to make rules under a statute. E.g., the statue would provide that the director of Fish and Wildlife Service, or of Park Service, could make rules and rulings.

It was never really an issue, since logically the head of FWS was the fellow who knew most about the Endangered Species Act. But I wondered if defining precisely what official (at least sub-cabinet) might not have a separation of powers issue involved. If, say, the Prez judged that faithful execution of the laws would be expedited by having the Ass't Secretary of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (one higher level than head of FWS) be the approving official.
10.22.2007 9:04pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Dave, we had a similar problem arise several years ago in Louisiana. In order to get enough votes to pass a bill authorizing riverboat casinos, the proponents assured everybody that it would be heavily regulated, with all licensing decisions entrusted to the trusted State Police, not a bunch of politicians. And indeed, the statute vested all licensing and regulatory powers in the head of the State Police Riverboat Gaming Division (which was created by the statute), who was to be a commissioned state police trooper who had graduated from the state police academy. Notice how they added that last bit, to make sure the governor (well, actually, the anticipated next governor, who is now in a federal prison) couldn't give some crony a quick commission.

Well, that pulled the wool over everybody's eyes long enough to get the bill passed. What nobody thought of was that the state police is a quasi-military organization, with a fairly rigid hierarchy and well-defined lines of command. Troopers are pretty much required to obey the lawful orders of their superiors. So, the question became, what if the head of the state police gave the lowly lieutenant in charge of gaming an order to grant a license to somebody?
10.22.2007 10:08pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
This is really just a setup for an exam question. Notice that the book was on the ground outside while he was shooting at it from inside. Obviously, he had to throw the book out the window. The question is, then, was the book dead before he shot it or is he responsible for killing it. Something like that. :)
10.22.2007 10:14pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Bill, maybe his defense will be that he intended to shoot and kill his Advanced Tax Law casebook, missed, and instead shot the Real Estate Transfer Finance &Development book which happened to be falling past the open window just at that moment.
10.22.2007 10:39pm
Oooooo, I hope you'll touch on the Peterlin case at the PTO.
10.23.2007 12:25am
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Shooting a casebook is nothing. How about snuffing Barney the Dinosaur with a full auto?
10.23.2007 12:37am
Kovarsky (mail):
How about snuffing Barney the Dinosaur with a full auto?

Don't worry, it won't set off a terror alert:
10.23.2007 1:08am
Welcome, Hanah. Looking forward to your posts.
10.23.2007 1:55am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
The book did not have appendages and therefore did not approach the student, therefore it did not pose an imminent threat.

No imminence = No self-defense.
10.23.2007 2:51am
ak47pundit (www):
American Psikhushka:

Of course there was imminence, haven't you ever heard the phrase "throw the book at you"?, those suckers can hurt.

Besides witnesses distinctively heard him hell - "Its comin' right fore us" before he shot it.
10.23.2007 10:23am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):

Of course there was imminence, haven't you ever heard the phrase "throw the book at you"?, those suckers can hurt.

A metaphor does not a defense make. The "book" in the metaphor is a hypothetical one.

Besides witnesses distinctively heard him hell - "Its comin' right fore us" before he shot it.

You seem to be referring to facts not in evidence. Plus it has already been established the book did not possess the ability to move.
10.23.2007 11:16am
ak47pundit (www):
American Psikhushka:

Ah, but you weren't there way back when in Property II where a Prof did throw a book at someone, and apparently it did indeed cause harm.

Of course you have only postulated and not established scientifcially under Daubert that the book cannot move. Many a book has been known to wander from where it was last placed, leading me and many others to say "where did that %%$%^! book go now"?

10.23.2007 4:32pm