News Briefs


Supreme Court upholds Solomon Amendment On Monday the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to uphold the Solomon Amendment and require universities accepting federal funds to allow military recruiting on campus, regardless of the schools’ anti-discrimination policies that conflicted with the military’s ban on allowing open gays and lesbians to serve. Writing his first major opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “Accommodating the military’s message does not affect the law schools’ speech, because the schools are not speaking when they host interviews and recruiting receptions.” Justice Samuel Alito did not participate.

Public knows “The Simpsons” better than 1st Amendment A recent study by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that while more than half of Americans can name two or more members of the cartoon Simpsons family, only one in four can name more than one of the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment. 22% of Americans can name all five Simpsons, but only 1 in 1,000 knew all five freedoms. More people named the three American Idol judges than named three freedoms. Additionally, 1 in 5 people thought the right to own a pet was a First Amendment right, and 38% of people thought the right against self-incrimination was in the First, not the Fifth. (Test yourself: the five freedoms are at the bottom of the column.)

Charity Poker Tournament approaches The Public Interest Auction’s Charity Poker Tournament is expected to draw over 150 students and professors for a night of Texas Hold ‘Em. This year’s top prize is a pair of front row Celtics tickets donated by Professor Alan Dershowitz. The tournament will be held March 14 at 7 pm in the Ropes-Gray Room. All proceeds will go to support Summer Public Interest Funding.

California lawyer diversity extremely low According to the San Jose Mercury News, the State Bar of California remains overwhelmingly white, despite the majority of the population being made up of racial and ethnic minorities. While over 30 percent of California is Latino, Latinos comprise only 5 percent of the state’s attorneys. Similar under-representation exists for Asian-Americans, who comprise12 percent of the population and 5 percent of the bar, and African-Americans, at 8 percent of the population and 3.5 percent of the bar. In comparison, whites make up roughly 48 percent of the state’s population but almost 85 percent of the lawyers. White representation in the judiciary is even higher. The bar estimates that at current law school enrollment and bar passage rates, projections over the next 15 years for ethnic minority groups are unlikely to show significant, or even moderate, increases.

HLS adds to con law juggernaut, scores Tushnet from GULC Mark Tushnet, a leading scholar in constitutional law, legal history, and Critical Legal Studies, has accepted a senior offer from Harvard Law School, and will be leaving Georgetown University Law Center, where he was the most-cited member of the faculty. This year HLS also hired Adrian Vermeule from the University of Chicago, where he taught constitutional law and legislation. With the current faculty, plus last year’s hire of Daryl Levinson from NYU, Harvard may be “poised to give Yale a run-for-the-money for the best constitutional law faculty in the U.S.,” writes law blogger and faculty ranker Brian Leiter of the University of Texas.

Answer: The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition for redress of grievances.

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