Legalization, Temperance, and the Art of Persuasion

As a Republican “in the wilderness,” I listened with new ears to the most recent Intelligence Squared debate considering the motion to legalize drugs.  My views having transitioned from Against to Undecided, I expected the proponents’ arguments on this occasion might hit their mark.  To my surprise, they did not.  To the combatants in this…

Mortimer Adler on Plato, Legal Positivism, and Natural Law

Via George Anastaplo’s “In Re Antonin Scalia”, wherein we see Scalia as a legal positivist and no natural lawyer, more a “modern” than a Catholic conservative. But first, the great Mortimer Adler on Plato: [In Plato’s Republic, we] find the sophist, Thrasymachus, arguing against Socrates, saying that “justice is nothing but the interest of the…

California’s not-so-stringent legal ethics education

Every three years, members of the California State Bar have to complete a minimum of 25 hours of continuing legal education (“CLE”).  These include four hours of specifically approved “legal ethics” training.  CLE hours typically run from about $35 to $50 or so per hour, of $875 to $1,250 per reporting period.  Not going to…

California Governor Jerry Brown vetoes ski helmet mandate, language bill, and higher cell phone fines: “Not every human problem deserves a law”

In the comments to my recent piece on the new babysitter legislation on its way to becoming law in California, co-blogger Tom Van Dyke mentioned that Gov. Jerry Brown “has a righteous spark.”  The very next day, Gov. Brown proved him right by vetoing a ridiculous bill (yes, it made it through both houses of…

California’s Nanny State Nanny Law

The California Assembly, faced with such difficult tasks as prison overcrowding, the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation, one of the worst business climates in the nation, and a broken education financing policy (article forthcoming), apparently has prioritized the issue of overworked babysitters, courtesy of a bill introduced by Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco).  From the…

“Discrimination” and “Equality”: When Words Take on Lives of Their Own

I was amused to find that Marc Angelucci—the attorney who sued a small business owner for thousands of dollars for minor and unintentional ADA violations while his restaurant was under construction—posted a response to my recent post about California Senator Leland Yee’s new language discrimination bill.  Mr. Angelucci purported to correct me by pointing out…