Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Scalia's November University of Michigan Speech

Once again, sorry I'm late on this one. But, I have a lot of catching up to do with this blog. Last month, Nino paid a visit to wolverine country and gave the University of Michigan Law School's DeRoy Lecture, titled "Constitutional Interpretation." Apparently, Nino doesn't like his speeches to be recorded (because the Founding Father's didn't have cassette recorders?) But, a resourceful Mich law student, Heidi Bond, created a "live blog "of the event. Ms. Bond did a fine job capturing Nino's lecture. Her live blog is a little hard to follow - like reading another person's notes when you miss a class. But, it's still worth a look.

After reading Ms. Bond's blog, I think it's interesting that Nino believes oral arguments are so important. Anyone who took legal writing in law school learns that a well-written brief is more important than the oral argument. It's almost a cliche that appellate judges make up their minds about a case before oral arguments. Because the U.S. Supreme Court only grants certiorari for about 100 cases a year, maybe they can spend more time pondering oral arguments?

Anyway, I thought there'd be more discussion of the 2003 Equal Protection clause cases involving the U of M, Grutter v. Bollinger & Gratz v. Bollinger. Remember, the Court upheld the law school's race-conscious admissions policy in Grutter (based on a "critical mass" of minority students), but struck down the undergraduate policy in Gratz. Scalia's opinion (concurring in part, dissenting in part) in Grutter asserted that the "Grutter-Gratz split double header seems perversely designed" to prolong litigation on college admission policies that consider race as a criteria. Time will tell if the plaintiff's bar picks up on college admission policy chasing.


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8:38 PM  

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