Wednesday Writs: Kavanaugh v. RoboCalls Edition


Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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32 Responses

  1. Avatar InMD says:

    The TCPA probably needs to be revisited by Congress but since they don’t actually legislate much anymore I doubt it will any time soon. Nevertheless it’s important to understand what the legislation and FCC implementing regs actually do. They regulate the use of technology (IVR and use of auto-dialers). It’s perfectly legal to cold call someone not using the technology for any legal purpose.

    Of course the next battle is going to be over the definition of ‘auto-dialer’. There have been some recent cases narrowing it but the FCC’s position has basically been ‘anything not a rotary phone.’ It’s a situation where there is a legitimate interest in not allowing automated processes to keep phones ringing off the hook all day but the technology is now totally removed from the legislation and Congressional findings underlying it.Report

  2. Avatar Pinky says:

    Hot dogs are not fit for human consumption.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Yay! Crime A Day!Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Virginia decided that in order to make people feel more safe and comfortable taking the bar exam during a pandemic, it would finally allow men to stop wearing ties:

    There is a serious amount of status quo bias going on with the fact that most state Bar Examiners just do not want to explore alternative methods for the bar exam or even delaying it despite the fact that there is a raging pandemic going on. Though I find it kind of astonishing that the Virginia bar still requires court attire.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The New York bar has the biggest reason to keep to tradition since it makes a bigger deal about the admission process and ceremony than other bar associations. All this sticking to tradition is because any change might lay lie to the entire system.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I had to wear a suit for our pre-swearing in ethics review in MD but not the test itself. I felt like a real idiot when I went to the same class for DC in suit and tie only to find everyone else in sweats and pajama pants.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

          New York doesn’t allow you to submit your moral character application until after you pass the bar exam. So if you pass in November, you submit the moral character application around December. A few months latter you will be called into an interview. If you pass that, you are sworn in at the Appellate Court house in the appellate district you took the bar exam in. A judge will give a speech and swear you in. Naturally, most people want to be sworn in the 1st Department, which covers Manhattan and The Bronx alone, especially if you went to a big name school like Harvard Law School. It’s a prestige thing.Report

          • Avatar Brent F in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Do you get an individual ceremony or do they do a bunch of you at a time? Also does the judge know anything about you as a person?Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to Brent F says:

              Also does the judge know anything about you as a person?

              If a judge has heard of you before chances are you’re going to have some real trouble in the character and fitness portion.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Brent F says:

              Bunch at a time.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Brent F says:

              Its a bunch of people at the same time. The judge who swore my group in knew something about me because I had her as a professor for mass torts in law school and was the star student in that class. Beyond that probably not. New York likes to make the swearing in ceremonies fancy and old school because it likes its’ traditions.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Even more special, the first department does not let you submit a moral character application until you passed thee bar. Though as far as I know, you can apply for jobs in NYC if you are sworn into another department. It is convenient to take the bar exam in the Javits Center though as opposed to Buffalo.Report

    • Avatar Brent F in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      We did away with the bar exam entirely in favour of a series of tests of professional competency, which worked out much better than another pointless exercise in memorizing thing for a test.Report

  5. Avatar North says:

    It was a pretty sensible ruling. Kind of a no-brainer too if John Roberts is concerned for the reputation of his court. Anyone who could be blamed for unleashing a deluge of spam that renders telephones unusable would be absolutely pilloried by the public.Report

  6. Gorsuch cites Citizens United in extended the First Amendment to robots.Report

  7. WW2: Originalists cannot figure out that the reason of the Electoral College was for electors to use their own judgment rather than blindly follow the will of the mob.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mike Schilling says:


      Remember that dude who said that even if Clinton won the nomination he’d put his electoral vote for Sanders?

      Everybody was pretty pissed off at him.

      Although everybody forgot about that after Trump won.Report

      • There’s a difference between what’s a bad idea and what’s unconstitutional.Report

        • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          The one thing the Electoral College was unambiguously for, according to its inventors, was to prevent the likes of a Donald Trump from ever becoming President.* Imagine what would have happened if it had done its job in 2016.

          * They also believed, erroneously, as it turned out, that most elections would end up with various regional nabobs splitting enough electoral votes that an electoral college winner (once Washington was out of the picture) would be rare, and the election would frequently be decided in the House, as it was in 1824.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

            I blame the Apportionment Act of 1929. We should have 1780ish levels of apportionment. (This would also fix a lot of the problems in Congress.)Report

            • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

              I favor a larger Congress myself, with its consequent enlargement of the Electoral College, but would the voters in 2016 have been more likely to accept a reapportioned EC’s decision to do the one thing it was designed to do?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Eh. That’s one heck of hypothetical. I don’t know at what point we’d be able to seamlessly switch from 435 Congresscritters to… well, the first congress was 1790 and they had 68 congressmen (almost nice) and Wikipedia says “3,929,214” people which strikes me as shockingly precise but that’s one congressperson every 57,700 people or so. Let’s round up to 60,000 because I am lazy.

                Divide 328.2 million by 60,000 and we get… 5470 congresspeople.

                So…add the Senate and give Warshington 3 electoral votes and we’ve got 2787 to win.

                At that point, I think that we’d be in a place where the candidate who got 2787 votes could reasonably be close enough to 50%+1 to get everybody on board, yeah.

                (And now that I think about it, we’d probably be able to have pockets of the country where there isn’t a 2 party system anymore.)Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

                As someone Twitter pointed out, if you told the Founding Fathers that one day their system would have to deal with there being thirty-nine million people in California, they’d say “wait, there’s how many people in where?”Report

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