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Memorial Day

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 30, 2011

Today we thank our ancestors, relatives, friends, and fellow citizens for the sacrifices they have made to extend to us the gift of freedom.

Lincoln's greatest work - the Gettysburg Address - is a psalm expressing both our gratitude towards our soldiers and our obligation to them - an obligation to foster the ideals that America stands for.

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Sectarian Prayer at Memorial Day Ceremony Upheld

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 29, 2011

A federal district court judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the Department of Veteran's Affairs allowing a Christian minister to deliver a sectarian invocation at a Memorial Day ceremony.

KHOU of Houston reports:

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CLE Opportunity: "Starting and Growing a Successful Law Firm on Purpose"

By Diana Published: May 26, 2011

Need CLE credit? Earn 3 credits at "Starting and Growing a Successful Law Firm on Purpose" on June 24 at the Akron Bar Association. Program and registration details available here .

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Rethinking Attitudes Towards Sexual Harrassment in France in the Wake of the DSK Case

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 24, 2011

The French are continuing to react to the scandal surrounding Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of raping a hotel maid in New York.  Following an initial period of denial, including outrage directed at the United States, we are beginning to see the French reassess their society's attitudes towards sexual exploitation.  Two articles in French newspapers today explore this theme.

From the right, Eugène Zagrebnov of Le Figaro writes La France pourrait-elle dire «adieu» au sexisme ? (Will France be able to bid adieu to sexism?).  He concludes:

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Constitutionality of Tennessee "Equal Access to Intrastate Business Act"

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 22, 2011

The Tennessee Legislature has approved legislation that is intended to make it impossible for Nashville or other cities to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  The legislature is attempting to frame the bill as "pro-business" rather than "anti-gay."  Will this tactic insulate the bill from constitutional attack?

The City of Nashville, Tennessee, adopted an ordinance that prohibited city contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. 

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Paris Match Names Victim and Her Daughter in DSK Rape Case, Repeats Sexist and Disparaging Remarks About Her Appearance

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 20, 2011

If we needed any more evidence of the cultural divide between France and the United States on this matter, Paris Match has decided to provide it.

Paris Match has run a headline naming the woman allegedly raped by Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York.  In the body of the story the French weekly names her teen-age daughter as well.

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"A Moment of Opportunity": President Barack Obama Redirects American Foreign Policy in the Middle East

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 19, 2011

The President announced a new direction for American foreign policy in the Middle East today in his speech A Moment of Opportunity.

Here are some of the key passages from the speech.

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Reflections on the DSK Case: Ben Stein's Occupational Theory of Credibility, Thorny Evidentiary Issues, and the Likely Impact on the Muslim World

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 19, 2011

There are a number of issues bubbling up in the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of raping a hotel maid in New York: class theories of credibility, challenging questions regarding the admissibility of evidence, and, perhaps above all, religious and political overtones that may have a profound effect on international affairs.


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Too Many Books, Too Little Time

By Stefan Published: May 19, 2011

Go here to check out one I just added to my list.

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Ted Olson and Eric Schneiderman on Marriage Equality

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 18, 2011

Theodore Olson (former Soliciter General under President George W. Bush) and Eric Schneiderman (Attorney General of New York) have authored an editorial in the New York Daily News calling upon the State of New York to extend marriage equality to gay and lesbian couples.

In their op-ed The civil union bait-and-switch: Compromise is far from true marriage equality they reject civil unions - now being offered as a compromise by those opposing same-sex marriage in New York - as unworkable and unfair.  They note that many employers, hospitals, schools and other institutions refuse to treat couples in civil unions the same as married couples, and that laws creating civil unions for gay and lesbian couples has led to confusion as to their status:

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Robert J. Samuelson in Support of Means-Testing for Medicare and Social Security

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 17, 2011

Robert J. Samuelson, economist and columnist for the Washington Post, contends The elderly are better off than advertised, and that wealthy persons should receive lower Social Security benefits and pay higher premiums for Medicare.

This will be a short post.  Samuelson relies extensively upon a report from Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being, a 176-page study issued by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging.  Far from the myth that older people are mired in poverty, the study shows that we older folks comprise the wealthiest segment of society.  Because of this Samuelson says:

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Health Care Financing Reform (129): Conference Board of Canada Suggests More Reliance on Private Health Care Providers

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 16, 2011

The Conference Board of Canada has released a report criticizing its country's overreliance on government health care.

According to an editorial in the National Post entitled Canada must abandon its health-care monopoly, the nonpartisan Conference Board of Canada is proposing that to improve quality and reduce costs Canada should increase the involvement of the private sector in providing health care.  The Post states:

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Congratulating the Graduates

By Stefan Published: May 15, 2011

Really Bad Editorial Timing - Melissa Bounoua's article on Dominique Strauss-Kahn

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 15, 2011

On Friday afternoon French journalist Melissa Bounoua posted an opinion piece with The Guardian, French voters can separate scandal from politics: Dominique Strauss-Kahn's sex life has moved into folklore ' but it won't stop women voting for him in any presidential campaign, defending Strauss-Kahn against allegations of sexual misconduct, or at least saying these allegations don't matter to French voters.  This article was posted one day before Strauss-Kahn allegedly sexually assaulted a maid at a Manhattan hotel.

At 4:00 a.m. this morning Allison Gendar, Rocco Parascandola and Rick Schapiro of the New York Daily News posted their story, Top French pol Dominique Strauss-Kahn hauled off plane at JFK, accused of assaulting Manhattan maid.  According to their report, the alleged attack commenced at 1:00 p.m. New York time on Saturday.  Strauss-Kahn, currently head of the International Monetary Fund and frontrunner for the French presidency, later boarded an Air France plane at Kennedy Airport and was removed from the plane and taken into custody a few minutes before its scheduled departure at 4:40 p.m.  Zachary A. Goldfarb of the Washington Post reports further details in IMF chief arrested in alleged sex assault, police tell AP

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Ron Paul's Position: Against Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Against Segregation Laws

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 14, 2011

Ron Paul announced yesterday that he would have voted against the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that he would voted against state laws requiring segregation of the races.  Consistent with his libertarian principles, Paul elevates property rights to a preferred position under the Constitution.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul stirred a controversy yesterday.  According to Michael O'Brien of The Hill, Paul says he would have opposed 1964 Civil Rights Act.  In an interview with Chris Mathews of MSNBC, Paul disclosed that he would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which ended racial discrimination in private businesses.  Under that law businesses that are open to the public may not discriminate against their customers on the basis of race, and businesses whatever their nature may not engage in employment discrimination.

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Health Care Financing Reform (128): Reaction Across the Political Spectrum to Mitt Romney's Speech

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 13, 2011

Mitt Romney, a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, delivered a major address on health care yesterday.  This post contains links to reactions to his speech from both left and right.

Everybody seems to agree that the health care reform law requiring universal coverage adopted in Massachusetts under former Governor Romney's leadership is essentially similar - practically identical - to the federal statute signed into law by President Obama in March, 2010.  Left-wing critics accuse Romney of "running away" from the individual mandate that is the heart of both laws; right-wing critics attack him for failing to repudiate that idea.  Here are the links:

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Health Care Financing Reform (127): Oral Argument in Fourth Circuit in Virginia Health Care Cases

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 11, 2011

Oral argument was held yesterday before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in two cases involving the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  You may listen to a recording of the oral argument here.

In late 2010 two federal district courts in Virginia ruled on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The law is  popularly known as "ObamaCare," although the central structure of the law grew out of proposals originally made by Bob Dole and the Heritage Foundation and adopted in Massachusetts under the leadership of Governor Mitt Romney.  Instead of adopting a "single payer" model of funding health care similar to Medicare, Congress opted for a "play or pay" model relying on private health insurance companies to act as gatekeepers to health care.  Insurers will negotiate rates with providers and control access by overseeing utilization.  The law requires individuals and employers to maintain health insurance, with the government subsidizing its purchase through refundable tax credits to small employers and low and moderate income families.

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Life in Prison for Fourth Marijuana Conviction

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 9, 2011

Louisiana sentences a small-time marijuana dealer to life in prison.

Ramon Antonio Vargas of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports Fourth marijuana conviction gets Slidell man life in prison.  The offender, Cornell Hood II, was caught with about two pounds of pot in his house while on probation for third offense.  Judge Raymond S. Childress sentenced him to life in prison.

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It Could Always Be Worse

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 8, 2011

OK, as a political society we have our moments - witness Donald Trump and the birther controversy - but I don't think we've ever had one of our leaders accuse another of being in league with the devil - and mean that literally!

Saeed Kamali Dehghan of The Guardian reports Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery.  The Supreme Ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has arrested several key aides of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, including his Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, and accused them of being sorcerers!  Dehghan states:

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Richard Haass Warns Pakistan / Legality of Killing of Bin Laden

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 7, 2011

Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, has some tough advice for Pakistan.

At the conclusion of an article published by Al Jazeera entitled Beyond Osama Bin Laden Haass says:

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"Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two"

By Stefan Published: May 5, 2011

Someday I'll figure out how to get the video to go here--in the meantime, click on the title and then look to the right.

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Mitch Daniels on Education Reform

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 5, 2011

Mitch Daniels' speech yesterday to the American Enterprise Institute is available here.

Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana, has a gentle, self-effacing manner, and is extremely gracious.  In this speech he praises President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and acknowledges that many of the reforms he champions are supported by the Obama administration. 

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Akron Law to Honor Outstanding Alumni and Faculty on May 13

By Diana Published: May 5, 2011

The Akron Law Alumni Association will hold its annual Alumni Awards Dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13 in the Student Union Ballroom. The honorees were chosen for their achievements in the legal profession and their communities.

The 2011 Outstanding Alumni Award honorees are Karen Bozzelli Campbell ('87), president, Akron General Development Foundation; Dale A. Normington ('69) retired associate general counsel, Sherwin-Williams Company; Steven P. Okey ('87) president, The Okey Law Firm, LPA; and Judge Brenda Burnham Unruh ('84), deceased, Summit County Court of Common Pleas. Wilson R. Huhn, C. Blake McDowell, Jr. Professor of Law and constitutional law fellow, UA School of Law, will receive an Honorary Alumni Award.

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Debate over Lawfulness of Bin Laden's Killing

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 5, 2011

CNN has posted an article by Alan Silverleib today entitled The killing of bin Laden: Was it legal?  The article contains recordings and quotations from Attorney General Eric Holder, CIA Director Leon Panetta, and former Soliciter General Walter Dillenger all stating that the killing was lawful.  Other experts disagree.

As I discussed in a post three days ago, there is no doubt that this action was authorized by Congress - that the President did not overstep his authority under the Constitution.  The question being debated now is whether this action, even though in accord with our Constitution, was valid under international law.  As I mentioned in the previous post, Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations permits countries to defend themselves from armed attack.  But the dissenting view was articulated by Cherif Bassiouni of DePaul University.  Silverleib reports:

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Ocean Levels May Rise Five Feet in This Century

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 4, 2011

Karl Ritter and Charles Hanley of the Associated Press report on a study issued by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program.

In their news article, Report sees sharper sea rise from Arctic melt, they state:

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The Arab World Rejects Bin Laden - and Embraces Democracy

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 3, 2011

The Pew Reseach Center reports that public support for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda has dropped sharply in recent years.  The emergence of the Arab democracy movement reflects the failure of Osama bin Laden's drive for an Islamist dictatorship.

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Osama Bin Laden's Hideout Compound, Abbottabad, Pakistan

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 2, 2011

Go to Google Maps, search for "Osama Bin Laden's Hideout Compound, Abbottabad, Pakistan" - zoom in - and there it is!

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Dr. Francis Gurry to Speak at Akron Law Commencement on May 15

By Diana Published: May 2, 2011

The University of Akron School of Law will hold its 87th Commencement Ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 16 at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall. The 2011 Akron Law commencement speaker will be Dr. Francis Gurry, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

'During my years of government service and since, I have had frequent contact with Dr. Gurry and know him to be a most capable steward of the world's major IP treaties and a leader in promoting the relationship between IP and economic development,' says Professor Jeff Samuels, director of the Akron Law Intellectual Property Center.

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"Justice Has Been Done"

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 2, 2011

The President announces that Osama Bin Laden has been killed.

The President's address last night is entitled Osama Bin Laden Dead.  The White House has also posted this Press Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on the Killing of Osama bin Laden offering more details of the successful military operation.

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The Mystery Solved - Obama Birth Video! And More!

By Wilson Huhn Published: May 1, 2011

Here is a link to the "Official Obama Birth Video" that the Associated Press posted on Youtube early this morning.  This will surely put the doubts of the "birthers" to rest and allow us to get back to addressing the real problems America is facing!

Or maybe not!  Josh Marshall at TPM reports With Drudge Report's Help, Birthers Latch Onto Phony Forgery Theory - and Donald Trump's reaction in this video ("I want to look at it and I hope it's true ... Is it real?  Is it proper?") makes it clear that he won't be easily fooled!  Who could have foreseen that the controversy over Obama's citizenship would not die with the release of the official long-form birth certificate - after the previous release of the Certificate of Live Birth, the copies of birth announcements that were published in two Hawaiian newspapers, the family and school pictures, and the interviews with his kindergarten teachers?  There must be something ... different ... about Barack Obama that makes people wonder whether he is eligible to be President, but I can't put my finger on what that might be!

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What's on your summer reading list?

By Stefan Published: May 1, 2011

You can find part of mine here.

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