Pic: smoking lounge at dulles airport

The smell of smoke is the smell of liberty. I wonder if this lounge will be eliminated in the near future in this great commonwealth.

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Ricci Returns: Black firefighters sue new haven

H/t atl

The 2003 New Haven fire lieutenant examination had two parts: a multiple-choice written test and an oral exam. Ranking on the eligibility list depended on how the City chose to weight the scores on the two components. The oral exam was a better way to assess candidates’ skills and abilities than the written test and had less disparate impact on African-Americans. Yet the City chose to weight the written test 60 percent and the oral exam 40 percent. This weighting reduced the validity of the overall selection process; it was arbitrarily chosen, without any pretense that it was job related; it was contrary to standard practice among similar public safety agencies, where the norm is to weight the oral component 70 percent; it had a disparate impact on African-American candidates; and it will prevent the plaintiff from being promoted to the rank of lieutenant, even though he is one of the most highly qualified candidates.

Justice Scalia’s concurring opinion, warning about the inevitable clash of the equal protection clause and disparate impact.

I am on a brief layover now, so more time to blog later. More here http://abovethelaw.com/2009/10/black_firefighter_sues_city_of_new_haven.php

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LivePic: No Security at Murtha Air

No line whatsoever at the Murtha Johnstown airport. And yes, I asked TSA for permission to take this picture. It took me 30 seconds from the terminal to the gate. Putting my belt back on was toughest part. 3 flights a day keeps the airport pretty bustling.

Fwiw, tsa agents kinda agreed with those wall street journal op-eds ripping the airport, though they are glad to have their jobs.

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SCOTUS Bar Countdown: Only 1094 days until CJ Roberts welcomes me to Supreme Court Bar!

I’ve already downloaded my application for admittance to the United States Supreme Court Bar. In 3 years, I will be eligible, right in time for the October 2012 term!

I am seriously considering skipping the swearing ceremony in Richmond, but I will not miss my debut at 1 First St. NE.

Supreme Court Rule 5 provides, in part:

1. To qualify for admission to the Bar of this Court, an applicant must have been admitted to practice
in the highest court of a State, Commonwealth, Territory or Possession, or the District of Columbia for a
period of at least three years immediately before the date of application; must not have been the subject
of any adverse disciplinary action pronounced or in effect during that 3-year period; and must appear to
the Court to be of good moral and professional character.

2. Each applicant shall file with the Clerk (1) a certificate from the presiding judge, clerk, or other
authorized official of that court evidencing the applicant’s admission to practice there and the applicant’s
current good standing, and (2) a completely executed copy of the form approved by this Court and
furnished by the Clerk containing (a) the applicant’s personal statement, and (b) the statement of two
sponsors endorsing the correctness of the applicant’s statement, stating that the applicant possesses all
the qualifications required for admission, and affirming that the applicant is of good moral and professional
character. Both sponsors must be members of the Bar of this Court who personally know, but are not
related to, the applicant.

3. If the documents submitted demonstrate that the applicant possesses the necessary qualifications,
and if the applicant has signed the oath or affirmation and paid the required fee, the Clerk will notify the
applicant of acceptance by the Court as a member of the Bar and issue a certificate of admission. An
applicant who so wishes may be admitted in open court on oral motion by a member of the Bar of this
Court, provided that all other requirements for admission have been satisfied.

4. Each applicant shall sign the following oath or affirmation: I, ……………………………………………….. ,
do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as an attorney and as a counselor of this Court, I will conduct myself
uprightly and according to law, and that I will support the Constitution of the United States.

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New Article- A Legal Regime for the Mining of Helium-3 on the Moon

SSRN-A Legal Regime for the Mining of Helium-3 on the Moon: U.S. Policy Options by Richard Bilder, University of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper Series (H/T Legal Theory Blog):

This article addresses questions of U.S. international legal and space policy arising from current proposals of the U.S., Russia, China and India to establish national bases on the Moon, in part with the purpose of mining and bringing to Earth Helium-3 (He-3). He-3 is an isotope of helium that is available in quantity only on the Moon and could, as an ideal fuel for nuclear fusion reactors, furnish humanity a virtually unlimited source of safe, non-polluting energy for centuries to come. For example, it is estimated that 40 tons of liquefied He-3 brought from the Moon to the Earth – about the amount that could comfortably fit in the cargo bays of two of the existing U.S. space shuttles – would provide sufficient fuel for He-3-based fusion reactors to meet the full electrical needs of the U.S. – or a quarter of the entire world’s electrical needs – for an entire year. However, there is as yet no international consensus on whether, or how, any nation or private enterprise can exploit or acquire title to He-3 or other lunar resources. The article calls attention to what may become a “race to the Moon” to obtain He-3 and discusses: (1) the technical and economic prospects for the development of He-3-based energy; (2) the present legal situation concerning the exploitation of lunar resources such as He-3; and (3) policy options for the U.S. regarding the establishment of an international legal regime capable of avoiding conflict in the exploitation of He-3 and other lunar resources and facilitating the broad scale development of He-3-based energy.

This article combines two of my passions: property rights and space! Property rights on the moon is such a fascinating concept. It is reminiscent of Pierson v. Post, a case where society had not yet assigned property rights, and capture was used to obtain dominion. See my article on the natural law background of Pierson.

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Pic: Ten Commandments Plaque at Johnstown Police Department

Don’t tell the ACLU!

I love how the plaque is labeled “The Commandments.” The summary at the bottom is also cool.

The Commandments

The Commandments

H/T To my co-clerk, A.L. whose iPhone camera is significantly better than my blackberry camera.

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I Will Be Attending the Aspiring Professors Conference at Arizona State University

I will be attending the Aspiring Law Professors Conference. Check out the brochure here.

This conference is designed for Visiting Assistant Professors and Fellows who plan to go on the
academic teaching market:
• Learn to succeed in the entry-level law teaching market
• Obtain an insider’s perspective on the appointments process
from faculty who’ve been there
• Conduct a mock interview or mock job talk and gain feedback from law professors

Professor Brian Leiter, and several other prominent professors will be speaking. Hopefully I can gain some insight on how to break into the academic market. I will post my thoughts about the conference later.

In order to travel to Phoenix, I will be using the famed Johnstown Jack Murtha Airport for No One (see also). Expect several blog posts, with pictures, about that experience.

In addition, the weather in Tempe, Arizona (approximately 100 degrees and sunny) beats the weekend weather in Johnstown (30 degrees and snowing). Any tips of what I can do in Phoenix? I am taking a red eye, and will have about 4 hours free on Saturday night.

Though I will be missing the Penn State Homecoming Game against Minnesota. Let’s Go State!

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