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Lawyers USA ends, but DC Dicta will live on in the Twitterverse

As Lawyers USA wraps up its 20-year run at the end of this month, its blogs — including DC Dicta — will also be coming to an end. But there is good news: DC Dicta will continue on Twitter!

Followers of @DCDicta will continue to receive Supreme Court news and other Washington-related scuttlebutt. Even the Funniest Justice tally will live on via posts on the social media network.

Thanks for reading this blog for the past 6 years, and looking forward to continuing the conversation on Twitter!

PS- Readers interested in accessing previous articles for research may purchase a 48 hour pass.

A conversation the NAACP chief will never forget

In Washington, folks generally know to talk softly – particularly if the talk is about someone else. Ears are everywhere, and the words may get back to the subject.  But it’s also a good idea to know who you are talking to – a lesson apparently learned by NAACP President Benjamin Jealous Saturday as he chatted with a fellow guest at the annual Gridiron Dinner this past weekend.

According to the Washington Post, the guest commented to Jealous about the good job NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyer, Debo P. Adegbile, did arguing the Voting Rights Case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Jealous agreed. But, Jealous noted, the U.S. solicitor general was awful.

That’s when Jealous’ conversation partner identified himself: Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.

Apparently mortified, Jealous apologized and excused himself.

Jealous denied the account, but the Post noted that two witnesses confirmed the conversation. Again, ears everywhere.

Again, Supremes schedule big cases at the end of March

In recent history, the last week in March has been one to watch at the U.S. Supreme Court.

During that week last year, the justices held marathon oral arguments in the challenge to the federal health care law. The year before, it was the closely watched case involving Wal-Mart employees who sought to form the nation’s largest employment bias class action.

This year, another set of high profile cases will have the justices’ attention that same week: the challenges to California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage and to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Those cases will be heard, respectively, on March 26 and 27, with each getting one hour of allotted arguments.

FNS has debates covered

Did you know that our Federal News Service, a sister company of Lawyers USA, will be using covering the presidential debates – in a truly unique way?

As John Stodder explains, it’s social media coverage “with a twist.”

John writes:

On the blog, which is being launched in conjunction with the debates, correspondents for FedNews will post past comments on debate topics by Obama and Romney so readers can see for themselves how much the candidates have altered their stances since the 2008 campaign and on other public occasions. The conversation will continue on Facebook and Twitter.

“Meanwhile, Tumblr, a blog platform with 69 million blogs that is popular among college-age users, will be “Live-Giffing the 2012 Debates,” which means the editors of Tumbling the Election will post short, endlessly repeating videos documenting “the best debate moments, from zingers to gaffes to awkward silences,” and are inviting users to do the same during the debates.”

As usual, FNS will offer its subscribers near real-time verbatim transcripts of the candidates’ words – exactly as they are spoken.

Learn more about FNS here.


Stevens never sent Scalia to the spanking machine

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens showed his sense of humor – and patience – during an interview last night with Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert.

After Colbert expressed disappointment with his team for not securing an active Supreme Court justice to interview, he chided Stevens for failing to take his lifetime appointment literally. “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but you sound like a quitter,” Colbert said.

“I am,” Stevens replied. “I am a quitter. After 37 years you’re entitled to quit.”

Speaking about Stevens’ book, “Five Chiefs,” Colbert asked: “Were you upset that you were never one of the chiefs?”

“Well, you know, I was acting chief for a while,” Stevens said.

“Did you go mad with power?” Colbert queried. “You know, ‘Scalia – through the spanking machine!’”

“No I never went that far,” Stevens chuckled.

On the Citizens United ruling, Colbert challenged Stevens’ assertion that, although corporations case considered persons in some contexts, they don’t enjoy all the rights that humans do.

“You don’t have the right to judge the way” corporations do things, Colbert said.

“I think I do,” Stevens replied.
“You do? Why, because you’re a Supreme Court justice?”

“That’s right,” Stevens said.

“Ok. fantastic,” Colbert snarks. “Ok. You’re a Supreme Court justice, I’m not. That gives you the right to judge things. That’s very convenient.”

Colbert’s last question for Stevens: “Are there any decisions you’ve made that you’ve regretted?”

“Other than this interview?” Stevens said. “I don’t think so.”

See the whole interview here.

Top DC Dicta posts of 2011

As another calendar year draws to a close, let’s take a look back at this blog’s most popular posts of the year – for auld lang syne.

5. The Funniest Justice, week 6. When Justice Antonin Scalia is not the funniest justice of the week, people take note.

4. Supreme mistakes. To err is human, but when experts consider the biggest blunders of the nation’s highest court, people like to know.

3. Five years of silence. There isn’t much to say about this post on Justice Clarence Thomas’ oral argument technique.

2. Scalia’s silver anniversary. When the chief justice humorously marks a major milestone for the Court’s most senior associate, it makes a splash.

1. Scalia’s hip-hop culture lesson. We must admit, Scalia’s inquiry about gold teeth was one of DC Dicta’s favorite moments of the year as well. It gives a whole new meaning to oral arguments.

Happy New Year!