Legal History

Senate Votes to Limit the Filibuster

In a move that there is absolutely no chance they will ever regret making, Senate Democrats today managed to push through a rule change that now makes it impossible to filibuster cabinet and judicial nominations (except for seats on the…


U.S. Pat. No. 35,600: The Plow Cannon

This might be where the term "Yankee ingenuity" came from, although if it was, somebody was being sarcastic: Two New Yorkers invented this and had it patented in 1862. At the time, the battles of First Bull Run and Shiloh…



And No Warrants Shall Issue, Unless the King Says So

In what is surely an incredible coincidence, the partner of the reporter (Glenn Greenwald) who has been embarrassing the NSA over the past few weeks was just detained at Heathrow airport under the Terrorism Act, held for nine hours, questioned…




More Fun With Jeremy Bentham

Present but not voting Of course, no reference to Jeremy Bentham would be complete without mentioning that his badly preserved corpse is still on display at University College, London. Bentham did not attend UCL but became affiliated with it in…


The Day Justice Douglas Threw a Book Out the Window

From the book In Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices, noted by Andrew Cohen in The Atlantic : Law clerks in this era all learned that none of [Justice William O.] Douglas' rules were ever to be ignored….



WWII Legal Ad Compared Clients to Nazis

Well, technically, just to the Wehrmacht: "If like Poland you're not ready for the onslaught, you too could be ruthlessly torn apart and partitioned between rival dictatorships! Let Bobbs-Merrill intervene on your behalf." This is from an interesting article by…