23 July 2009

Back in October

I will resume posting after the semester break. Until then.

22 July 2009

Can Non-Lawyers Judge a Judge?

Students in most of my classes have at some time or another become familiar with how the United States chooses its federal court judges. The short story: the President appoints and the Senate confirms. Students also know that there are no formal requirements needed to become a federal judge, other than being nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. In theory, the qualifications of the judicial nominee are to be tested via the Senate confirmation process. However, many of the members of the committee who question the nominee are not trained lawyers. This begs the question: How can non-lawyers judge whether a nominee is qualified to be a federal judge? David Ingram at Law.com has more on this.

10 July 2009

Sex Offender Registration Laws

Students in my debate and discussion class are familiar with laws in the United States that force convicted sex offenders to register with the county in which they live. Normally, the county publishes a list of convicted sex offenders living in the county. But some states have been taking this even further recently. Case in point: Florida, where state law says that a convicted sex offender cannot live within 2500 feet of a place where children might congregate. The impact of this law has created a real problem in larger cities like Miami. The Miami Herald has more (including a very fascinating video).

09 July 2009

A Ritual Worth Watching

Tony Mauro of the National Law Journal has a short, interesting piece explaining why next week's Supreme Court nominee confirmation hearings will be something to watch, or at least pay attention. Mauro's take can be found here.