Jonathan Wilson is an
Atlanta attorney with more than 19 years of experience guiding growing private and public companies. He currently serves
as the outside general counsel of several companies and is the former general counsel of Web.com.com (NASDAQ: WWWW) and EasyLink
Services (NASDAQ: ESIC). He is also the founding chair of the Renewable Energy Committee of the American Bar Association's
Public Utility Section.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Blackberry Patent Litigation Reaches Breaking Point
1:51 pm est
And all the world's blackberry devices may soon break as well unless the manufacturer can reach an agreement with a patent-holder
who is seeking an injunction
The Myth of the Underprivileged Soldier
12:48 pm est
The U.S. military is more representative
of U.S. society than nearly any other occupational cross-section.
Why then do critics of the U.S. military seem to resort so often to the argument
that the U.S. all-volunteer force wouldn't have volunteered if it weren't so poor, so uneducated, and so otherwise without
Apart from being factually false, the argument suffers from the added defect of insulting those who volunteered.
Free Speech and Campaign Finance Laws
12:32 pm est George Will
connects campaign finance reform and free speech.
More Speculation on a McCain Candidacy
12:23 pm est
Sunday, November 27, 2005
2:03 pm est
Michelle Malkin has an extensive catalog
of links and background information on Stan "Tookie" Williams, the multiple murderer sentenced to die on December 13th.
To his defenders
, Williams is an example of a redeemed life. Convicted of several murders and the founder of the Crips gang, he has
authored a number of childrens' books (focused on avoiding gang involvement) and brokered a number of "gang truces" and similar
events aimed at limiting gang violence.
To others, Williams' redemption is staged. He has never admitted his responsibility for the four murders for which
he was convicted, he has never apologized to the family of his victims and has been involved in a number of prison altercations
that are inconsistent with his nomination for a nobel peace price
California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar will hold a clemency hearing
December 8th, so the story will remain in the news for the next several weeks.
The UAW and GM
7:28 am est Michael Barone
describes the impact of unions on the slow descent of GM:
Union-driven legacy costs have already forced many steel companies and airlines into bankruptcy, with pension obligations
fobbed off on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. The Big Three auto companies might as well do the same. At least there aren't
that many big unionized private industries left to fall. Besides, taxpayers and politicians angry at costs imposed by unions--particularly
in the public sector--can always change the rules and reduce unions' bargaining leverage. Just as the economic marketplace
eventually reduced the power of the old industrial unions, the political marketplace could, in time, reduce the power of the
The attempt to protect workers from all risk has turned out to be very risky indeed, since in a dynamic economy large
corporations are subject to competition from firms with lower costs. In the auto industry the result is significant pain for
those who relied on the Big Three and the UAW; but the result is also a vastly faster growing economy and many more opportunities
than provided by the European welfare states.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
2005 and 1939
7:53 am est
The President of Iran predicts the destruction of Israel. An Israeli draws parallels to 1939:
Now, Ahmadinejad is no Hitler, and 2005 is not 1939. The world has presumably learned the hard way that appeasing fanatic
tyrants can only backfire. And Jews, who now have a state of their own, are not helpless. That's why it is mind-boggling to
realize how easily such statements can still be made, and by no other than the president of a state that is a member of the
United Nations -- an organization created in 1945 to ''maintain international peace and security,'' according to its charter.
There was a wave of protest all over the free world. Muslims, however, mostly kept their mouths shut, except for some mavens
who rushed to assist the Iranian president, trying to soften his harsh message. ''He is just talking,'' they explained. ''He
doesn't really mean it.'' Yet a weak later, Ahmadinejad not only repeated his threat, but even launched a big rally under
the slogan: ``The world without Israel.''
The John McCain Charm Offensive
7:44 am est
From placating the minutemen in Arizona
, to canoodling with Stephen Moore
, the straight-talking Republican seems on a mission to make friends.
Even Moore seems won over:
While I disagree vehemently with him on many policy issues, it is thrilling to sit in his presence. He is
a genuine American hero and patriot in an age when heroism and patriotism have gone out of style.
7:37 am est
Given Spitzer's uncannily repetitive references to Teddy Roosevelt, national Democrats should be asking themselves the
Friday, November 25, 2005
Giving Thanks for Property Rights
4:34 pm est
Spielberg Takes on 1972 Olympics
7:40 am est
He's on dangerous ground, of course, as it will be impossible to avoid comparing the Palestinian/Israeli conflict as
it stood in 1972 with current events (whatever they may be in late December when the film is released). Moreover, it
seems that any reference to Israel in the movies inevitably draws criticism from someone.
Mel Gibson's Passion
, a story of the crucifixion of Christ that was intended by its producer to reflect as accurately as possible the Bible's
account, was criticized by many as depicting Jews too negatively.
Spielberg has approached this sensitive subject before, most notably in Schindler's List
and to a lesser extent in Saving Private Ryan
. But Munich
will force viewers to confront notions of violence and retribution in ways that modern sensibilities
may find unfamiliar.
American culture in 2005 is very quick to ascribe all conflict to misunderstanding and to credit all violence to poverty
The story of Israel's violent response to the kidnapping of its athletes cannot be told its this context.
The story will show violence born of anger, jealousy, ideology and revenge. How audiences react will say as much about
their culture as the film itself.
No Lawsuits at First Thanksgiving
7:17 am est
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Happy Birthday, William F. Buckley
7:38 am est
George Will gives thanks
for the conservative writer and icon.
That Most Distinctively American Holiday
7:32 am est
Christopher Hitchens reflects
Concerning Thanksgiving, that most distinctive and unique of all American holidays, there need be no resentment and no
recrimination. Likewise, there need be no wearisome present-giving, no order of divine service, and no obligation to the dead.
This holiday is like a free gift, or even (profane though the concept may be to some readers) a free lunch--and a very big
and handsome one at that. This is the festival on which one hears that distinct and generous American voice: the one that
says "why not?" Family values are certainly involved, but even those with no family will still be invited, or will invite.
The doors are not exactly left open as for a Passover Seder, yet who would not be ashamed to think of a neighbor who was excluded
or forgotten on such a national day?
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Stossel on Loser-Pays
1:53 pm est
ABC News' John Stossel endorses
loser-pays as a solution for excessive lawsuits.
DOJ Drops Arthur Andersen Prosecution
9:41 am est
Approximately six months after it was spanked by the U.S. Supreme Court, overturning the conviction of Arthur Andersen,
the Department of Justice is announcing
today that it will drop any further attempt to pursue criminal charges against the defunct accounting firm.
After the breathless accusations and hastily-concocted legislation, law makers and prosecutors can now see more clearly
the distinction between politically unpopular professional associations and real crime.
Unfortunately this comes as little solace to the thousands of partners and employees of Arthur Andersen who had nothing
to do with Enron or any of the other accounting scandals of several years ago. Their equity in the firm (in the case
of partners) and their jobs and resumes (in the case of employees) were destroyed by a government prosecution that proved
The Alito Smear is On
7:49 am est
From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
"[Alito's opinion in Doe v. Groody] is a narrow, technical, thoughtful opinion. Repulsively enough, however, the partisan
left is using Doe v. Groody not only to call Alito a fascist but to suggest he is a "pervert" and a "degenerate," to quote
some of the many slurs on DailyKos.com, the popular and influential political Web site. This is depraved.
In the war over Alito, truth was the first casualty. But common decency wasn't far behind.
* * *
The use of vile dishonesty to try to gin up support for a filibuster shouldn't just upset Alito supporters. It should appall
anyone with a conscience.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Employer Liable for Terrorism
7:38 am est
From the annals of expanding employer liability . . . this story
, from Rod Satterwhite
, of an employer who was sued by an employee who was allegedly abducted and almost killed by terrorists in the Philippines
(where the employer had sent the employee for job purposes).
The employee, upon returning to the U.S., promptly sued the employer, claiming that his injuries should be the employer's
responsibility but that his claim should not be barred by the Workers Comp bar.
Satterwhite writes that the employee's "plight evokes sympathy" and that's certainly true, but I'm somewhat more bullish
on the employer's defense than Rod. If the employer lacked the ability "to predict or control" the terrorists who abducted
and injured the employee, why should the employer have any liability for the employee's injuries?
The Workers Compensation laws reflect a careful balance between the employer's ability to spread risk across its employees
through insurance and the employer's need to minimize the cost of litigating employee claims. The legislatures have
provided employer's a "safe harbor" from liability for participating in the no-fault insurance regime that guarantees each
injured employee compensation for actual damages and loss of work.
Either the employee's injuries were suffered outside the workplace and outside the scope of employment (in which case
the employer should have no liability) or the injuries were suffered within the scope of employment, in which case the Workers
Compensation bar should apply.
(Updated 2:46 pm to add citation and link).
Monday, November 21, 2005
U.N. Internet Grab Silenced . . . For Now
10:25 am est
Pete DuPont gives us an update
on the World Summit on the Information Society and warns that this issue is not yet over.
Blawg Review #33
9:00 am est
Sunday, November 20, 2005
The Alito Memo
11:00 am est
The Washington Post
suggests that Judge Alito's 1985 memo, written as part of a job application for the Ed Meese Justice Department, should be
a proper subject of questioning at his confirmation hearings.
There's relevance and then there's materiality.
While it may be relevant to ask Judge Alito about what he wrote in 1985, it's hard to imagine that would be
material to an honest Senator's decision to confirm or refuse the nomination. With more than 15 years on the
bench, Judge Alito has written volumes of legal decisions that should give Senators more than enough context in which to examine
the nominee's judicial skills and temperament.
While a 20-year-old job application might have some technical relevance, it should be far less important that some newspaper
editorials have suggested.
More on Possible Milberg Weiss Indictment
10:51 am est
It seems that a key player in a 1995 lawsuit filed by Lerach's former firm has been given immunity, according to
. The article also provides illuminating insights into had decisions were made in the Milberg Weiss firm. (Via
Caps on Punitive Damages Deter Long-Shot Lawsuits
10:46 am est
PointofLaw has a great example
of this effect, taken from the annals of post-Katrina litigation.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Supreme Court Focus on Attorneys Fees
8:51 am est
on the ability to collect attorneys' fees in cases litigating partially in federal court but later remanded to state court
helps to highlight a key issue
in the debate over litigation reform.
Plaintiffs currently enjoy a substantial advantage in many cases where prevailing law allows plaintiffs to recover their
attorneys' fees if they win. California has over two hundred one-way fee-shifting statutes and there are dozens
of examples in the federal law.
There are very few situations, however, where a defendant can hope to recover its fees. The result is out of balance
, effectively giving plaintiffs an incentive to file suit in the hope that their potential recovery of attorneys' fees will
give the defendant an additional incentive to settle.
While this is not an issue that the Supreme Court can settle, one hopes that the debate draws enough attention to the
role of attorneys fees in generating and prolonging litigation so that Congress and the state legislatures can adopt reforms
Impeachment Trial Baloons
8:40 am est
John Kerry is floating a trial baloon
on preparing articles of impeachment against the President on the decision to go to war in Iraq.
8:38 am est
Have Democrats forgotten
that they first proposed regime-change in Iraq?
Thursday, November 17, 2005
ABA President Demands Rights for Enemy Combatants
7:52 am est
If you needed any more evidence that the American Bar Association was
a political lobby -- as opposed to a professional association of attorneys -- it came last week in a letter e-mailed by ABA
President Michael Greco to ABA members.
The bulk of the letter read:
The U.S. Senate last week adopted with no hearings and with little debate
Senator Lindsey Graham's proposal to eliminate habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees, denying them access to federal
courts. The American Bar Association urges the senators to reconsider and defeat that enormous change to our fundamental legal
Throughout our nation's history, starting with the defense by lawyer,
later president, John Adams of Massachusetts, of the British soldiers who fired on patriots in the Boston Massacre, it has
been our commitment to basic principles of justice, even for the most unpopular among us, that has allowed us to maintain
the high moral ground in the world, the most strategically important territory for us to occupy as we struggle with the enemies
Our influence in the world is directly affected by our actions with respect
to those we detain. The prisoners in Guantanamo have been held there, largely incommunicado, for four years. That fact alone
offends our heritage of due process and fairness. The writ of habeas corpus was developed precisely to prevent the prolonged
detention of individuals without charge, by allowing those held to petition the federal courts. To eliminate the right of
habeas corpus would be shocking to our nation.
A few thoughts spring to mind.
First, Congress adopted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act with little debate as well but I don't seem to remember the ABA
lobbying for its repeal.
Second, when John Adams defended the British soldiers who had fired on a crowd of rioting colonists in the years
preceding the Revolutionary War, he was defending uniformed soldiers who fought under the British flag in a territory that,
at the time, was a British colony. Our ancestors later fought to separate themselves from England but, at the time,
English colonial law was the law of the land.
The enemy combatants detained at Guantanamo, however, in most cases, fight under no flag, for no recognized state,
under no color of law and outside the protections of the international law of armed conflicts.
Prisoners at Guantanamo receive medical care, regular meals, Red Cross visits and access to counsel. The conditions
at Guantanamo are better than:
* the conditions afforded by the Union to Confederate soldiers during the U.S. Civil War (as well as those afforded Union
soldiers by the Confederacy) -- President Lincoln suspended writs of habeas corpus for much of the war;
* the conditions afforded by the British to American colonial combatants during the Revolutionary War (captured colonists
were often summarily executed); and
* the conditions prevailing in in the jails of many countries throughout the world today (which often lack medical care, refuse access to counsel or due
process and refuse access to the Red Cross).
Those opposed to the Bush administration might want to use the U.S. policy on enemy combatants as a political tool, but
there is nothing in the U.S.'s policy that is inconsistent with America's history in treating armed combatants.
Glimmers of Light Through the Big Lie
7:21 am est
The "BUSH LIED" argument is becoming tiresome. Debate whether going to war in Iraq was right or not, but don't
try to tell me that Bush snookered the public, the Democrats and Tony Blair into believing that Saddam had WMD when Bush knew
The Democrats who are peddling the Big Lie of "Bush lied" are doing so either (a) deliberately to injure the cause of
the United States and of freedom in the world or, as I think, (b) with reckless disregard of whether they injure the cause
of the United States and of freedom in the world. What they are doing may suit their political needs, but it hurts our country.
Even Mr. Straight Talk Himself, John McCain, says
But I want to say I think it's a lie to say that the president lied to the American people [boldface added].
I sat on the Robb-Silberman commission. I saw many, many analysts that came before that committee. I asked every one of them–I
said, `Did–were you ever pressured politically or any other way to change your analysis of the situation as you saw [it]?'
Every one of them said no. Now was there a colossal intelligence failure? Of course, there was. Is there still a lot that
needs to be done to improve that? Are we winning the war on terror? I think it depends on your parameters. But to assert that
the president intentionally lied to the American people is just wrong."
But you don't have to take my word for it. Check out the video clip available here
to hear Madelein Albright, Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, Nancy Pelosi aand other Democratic leaders tell us (between 1998
and 2002) that there was "no question" that Saddam possessed WMD and would use those weapons if he were not taken
out of power.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
South Dakota Judicial Accountability Movement
8:06 am est
Mainstream media outlets (ABC
, Seattle P.I
.) are reporting today on a group in South Dakota pushing for a ballot referendum that would strip South Dakota
judges of their immunity from suit for actions taken in their capacity as judges.
The group, South Dakota Judicial Accountability
, says little about itself on its website and does not disclose its backers apart from Bill Stegmeier, the small business
owner who founded the organization. The group's website decries "judicial activism" but does not specify the particular
harms they hope to remedy by means of their "Judicial Accountability Initiative Law
The J.A.I.L. Amendment, among other things, would create a "Special Grand Jury" to judge both "issues of law and fact"
in complaints against South Dakota judges. The Special Grand Jury would have the power to remove judges from office
and to refer judges for criminal prosection.
The J.A.I.L. Amendment purports to strip all South Dakota judges of any claim to immunity for civil suits brought against
them (see paragraph 2, "no immunity shall extend to any judge of this state") but a later provision (see paragraph 15) purports
to empwer the Special Grand Jury to determine, "whether or not immunity shall apply as a defense to any civil action that
may thereafter be pursued against the judge."
Importantly, the J.A.I.L. Amendment suggests that South Datkota judges would have both civil and criminal liability for
the "deliberate disregard of material facts" as well as "blocking a lawful conclusion of a case." Presumably, any judicial
decision (granting or denying a motion for summary judgment, for example) might qualify.
While the motives of this citizens' group may have the sympathies of many who read this column, the J.A.I.L. Amendment
is one of the worst reform ideas ever.
Setting aside the procedural problems with the J.A.I.L. Amendment (which are legion) the concept of judicial immunity
is fundamental to judicial independence which, in turn, is indispensible to an effective judiciary.
If any litigant could sue the judge presiding in his case for the "deliberate disregard of material facts" (J.A.I.L.
Amendment, paragraph 2) then every litigant in every case would sue the presiding judge as soon as the judge denied the litigant's
summary judgment motion.
If judges were personally liable for errors of law (note that the J.A.I.L. Amendment purports to prohibit the state treasury
for paying the attorneys' fees of judges who must defend themselves) then no individual could ever afford to be a judge.
The appellate courts, for better and worse, must be the sole recourse of litigants to hold judges accountable to the
law in routine matters. (I exclude those rare and notorious cases of judicial misconduct that bring into play judicial
misconduct comissions (on the state level) and impeachment for federal judges).
If the appellate courts are ineffective, the only remedy must be to improve them. If trial judges are ineffective,
reformers should look at ways to elevate better judges. If South Dakota determines to create an independent body to
judge the judges, the outcome will be endless litigation -- not the end of excessive litigation.
Welcoming ATRA To Atlanta
7:34 am est
The American Tort Reform Association is meeting this week in Atlanta and I'm looking forward to speaking to the group
this afternoon on the reform ideas in Out of Balance.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Bogus Ethics Charges Against Alito
7:35 am est
As this column
says it, Judge Alito must be sailing towards confirmation if his detractors are becoming this desparate.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
NARAL Smears Alito
4:13 pm est
It should come as no surprise, but Kate Michelman, the former Chair of NARAL, has smeared Judge Alito
on the pages of the L.A. Times, claiming that "this time, it's personal."
Her argument, is that Judge Alito, because of his opinion on behalf of the Third Circuit in Planned Parent v. Casey,
proves him to be the kind of judge who is "willing to give politicians such unthinking deference that they do not even attempt
to ascertain how real laws affect real people."
And by "real people," Michelman means herself, telling us all about her own experience with an unwanted pregnancy, an
estranged husband, and a decision to abort her pregnancy, leading up to an "invasive and humilitating interrogation" by her
doctors in a Pennsylvania hospital in which she was required to notify her husband of the abortion and obtain his consent.
He gave it.
Michelman's point that this was a "wrenching personal decision" is fair enough. One would expect that it would
be. But to what end does this personal story take us?
Michelman, of course, makes no attempt to explain how the connection between "real laws" and "real people" have anything
to do with constitutional jurisprudence. Her point is the kind that non-lawyers often make: believing that constitutional
judicial decision-making involves some kind of moralistic balancing or an attempt to "do the right thing."
Whatever one might think of the morality of abortion, it's constitutionality is an entirely separate matter. Morality
is not constitutionality (and neither is constitutionality moral).
The majority of Americans are deeply torn on the subject of abortion. A Gallup poll
in 2003 found that 42% of respondents said that abortion should remain legal in some circumstances, while 23% would have
banned the practice in all circumstances and 19% would permit abortion without any limitations at all. Despite these
conclusions on the legality of abortion, 53% said that abortion was "morally wrong" while only 37% said it was "morally acceptable."
These results suggest a public that favors maintain the legality of abortion in some circumstances but that remains skeptical
as to the morality of the practice.
If that is indeed the sentiments of a majority of Americans, why is Michelman and her compatriots at NARAL so shocked
and offended when state legislatures attempt to restrict the practice of abortion?
The constitutional question, of course, is a separate issue. If Roe v. Wade provided women with a constitutional
right to obtain an abortion in certain circumstances (the Roe decision, of course, created a sliding scale of restrictions,
permitting fewer restrictions in the first trimester of a pregnancy and more restrictions as the second and third trimesters)
it remains the province of the courts to draw distinctions between that constitutional right and the and the right of the
legislatures to restrict the practice.
As Charles Krauthammer explained well in a recent column
, Judge Alito's opinion in Casey
was an attempt to reconcile inconsistent precedent's established by the Supreme
Court. One of those opinions, authored by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor no less, held that a law that required minors
to obtain the consent of their parents was not a constitutionally "undue burden" on the legal exercise of the right to have
Judge Alito reasoned that if a minor, who was subject to the economic and other persuasive impacts of her parents, could
constitutionally be required to obtain her parents' consent, a law that required a woman to notify (but not
obtain the consent of) her husband must be less burdensome and, hence, constitutionally permissible.
For reasons that are not terribly clearto me, the Supreme Court disagreed with Judge Alito's reasoning, struck down the
spousal notification law, and added yet another lawyer of confusing jurisprudence to this already complex topic. Given
the complexity of appellate court reasoning on the subject it would not be surprising to see that decision revisted again
in the coming years.
Which brings us back to Michelman. The conclusion of her analysis of Alito's Casey decision was:
That is precisely the problem with government regulating private lives. Politicians do not know how laws will affect
each individualized case. Courtrooms are a citizen's last refuge from unjust laws. When judges do not see those in their courtrooms
as whole people and diverse individuals, that final constitutional safeguard is eviscerated.
What utter nonsense. It is a constitutional safegard, that judges must "see those in their court rooms as whole
people and diverse individuals"?
Alito's reasoning in Casey had nothing to do with the "wholeness" or the "diversity" of the parties to that case.
Alito's reasoning was solely concerned with the legal precedents and the way in which those precedents shaped the boundries
of the constitutional right to an abortion established in Roe.
Michelman's piece is objectionable because it was a conclusion in search of a rationale. Michelman wanted to oppose
Alito because, in her words, he is "conservative". Therefore, she concluded that his reasoning in Casey (which reached
a result she disapproved) was a constitutional "evisceration."
Michelman's writing does a disservice to the public, which struggles in the vapid sea of media coverage, to understand
the role of the judiciary and the nature of constitutional reasoning. Reaching a welcome conclusion is not a proper
aim of an appellate judge. The appellate judges, properly, should be unconcerned with the popularity of the outcomes
their decisions may force.
Rather, well-crafted constitutional decision-making respects precedent, the law, and the Constitution. It does
not create new rights but it jealously guards constitutional rights.
Alito's Casey decision, while it was struck down by the Supreme Court, was a proper exercise in judicial function.
Michelman's screed misunderstands what judges do and adds nothing to the public's understanding of why judges like Alito are
needed on the Supreme Court.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
President Bush Fights Back
7:22 am est
The President has finally taken the gloves off in responding to critics regarding the pre-war use of intelligence.
While it's perfectly legitimate to question the way in which the war was fought, and even to question whether going to war
was the right decision, the "BUSH LIED" argument is simply illegitimate.
Congress approved the war in Iraq with access to the same intelligence that the White House had. Not only was the
U.S. convinced, but our decision was joined by a number of friendly governments with their own intelligence assessments and
their own decision processes.
We were genuinely surprised not to have found the WMD that we all thought were there. But, news flash, war often
The decision to go to war is inherently risky, not only as a function of predicting the outcome, but as a function of
predicting the facts in play before war begins. Hitler bluffed his way into Poland in 1939 with weapons that, in many
instances, lacked ammunition. Clausewitz's "fog of war" obscures both men, machines and motives. An effective
leader makes decisions decisively, using the best information available, with a view towards minimizing risk.
If Bush had decided against confronting Saddam -- even acknowledging now that Saddam did not have WMD stockpiles -- Saddam
might still have developed those stockpiles over time. Bush and the U.S. allies correctly judged that Saddam had both
the motive and the means to acquire WMD, they were only wrong in judging that he had already done so. By confronting
Saddam when we did, we eliminated the greater risk that Saddam would have completed his quest to acquire WMD.
Bush spoke well on Friday and he should speak like this
While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite
the history of how that war began. (Applause.) Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence
and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation
found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs.
They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know
the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction.
And many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution
in the Congress this way: "When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary,
to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat,
and a grave threat, to our security." That's why more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate — who had access
to the same intelligence — voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power. (Applause.)
The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw
out false charges. (Applause.) These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning
America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their
elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. (Applause.) Our troops deserve to know that this
support will remain firm when the going gets tough. (Applause.)
More than One Internet?
7:10 am est Brian Carney
speculates on the future of the Internet with more that one root (the possible outcome of the U.N.'s attempt to take over
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Interpreting the 2006 Elections
1:26 pm est
While there were few bright spots
in yesterday's elections for Republicans, Michael Barone
and John McIntyre
both draw the correct conclusion: the 2005 elections do not necessarily portend ill for Republicans in 2006.
As they both noted, yesterday's results in Virginia, New Jersey and New York City are nearly mirrors of the results in
In 2001 a Democrat won the Virginia governor's seat 52-47%. In 2001 we saw the same result, 52-46%.
In 2001 a Democrat won the governor's seat in New Jersey 56-42%. Four years later, the same result, 53-44%.
In the New York mayoral race, Republican Michael Bloomberg increased his margin of victory from 50-47% in 2001 to 59-39%
Republicans have a lot of ground to make up with Bush's approval rating at an all-time low below 40%, but the results
in 2005 do not presage a realignment in the Democrats' favor. On the contrary, they show how little has changed in the
underlying preference of voters in the past four years.
California Proposition 79 Defeated
7:50 am est
In one of the few brights spots in yesterday's election, California voters defeated
Proposition 79, a measure that would have empowered private plaintiffs' lawyers to sue drug companies for charging "unconscionable"
The measure had been hounded by some of the legal blogs
and even the LA Times editorial board
had come out against it, noting that the concept of "private attorneys general" had been rejected by California voters through
their adoption of Proposition 64
just a few years earlier.
Criminal Prosecution of Fake Silicosis Claims?
7:43 am est Professor Lester Brickman
, as quoted at PointOfLaw
, raises the intriguing question of whether prosecuters may try to raise criminal charges against some of the plaintiffs'
lawyers who were involved in generating fake silicosis claims.
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Multiculturalism and the French Intifada
1:45 pm est
"Multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture - the subjugation of women - combine with the worst
attributes of Western culture - licence and self-gratification. Tattooed, pierced Pakistani skinhead gangs swaggering down
the streets of northern England areas are as much a product of multiculturalism as the turban-wearing Sikh Mountie in the
vice-regal escort." Islamofascism itself is what it says: a fusion of Islamic identity with old-school European totalitarianism.
But, whether in turbans or gangsta threads, just as Communism was in its day, so Islam is today's ideology of choice for the
Sunday, November 6, 2005
French Police Find Bomb-Making Factory in Paris
2:14 pm est
Police found a gasoline bomb-making factory in a southern suburb of the city, with more than 100 bottles, gallons of
fuel and hoods for hiding rioters' faces, a senior Justice Ministry official said Sunday.
Six youths, all aged under 18, were arrested in the raid Saturday night on a building in Evry south of Paris where the
gasoline bombs were being put together, Jean-Marie Huet, the ministry's director of criminal affairs and pardons, told The
The Second Battle of Poitiers
11:17 am est Mark Steyn
compares the last two weeks of rioting in France to the Battle of Poitiers in 732 AD. That battle, he notes, was
the high-water mark of of the Islamic conquest of Western Europe. After the Islamic armies were repulsed in
that battle, the Islamic empire in Europe began a pullback that last nearly one thousand years.
After several years of scoffing at the Bush doctrine and pooh-poohing the idea that Democracy in the Middle East might
be a good idea, the French have a civil war on their hands.
Unlike civil wars at other times and in other nations, however, decades of cultural relativism has sapped the French
leadership of their ability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad, and "youths" and the advancing armies of
As rioters in France set fire to cars and buildings, derail trains and generally try to destroy as much of the infrastructure
of civilization as they can find, the French leadership of Chirac and de Villepin claim the problem if social inequality and
the lack of economic opportunity in the suburbs. In other words, if only the rioters had jobs they wouldn't act is if
they were try to spark a revolution.
As news reports
have revealed in the past few days, this is more than a few disaffected "youths" upset over unemployment. The rioters
shout "Allahou Akbar!" when they set fire to cars and throw molotov cocktails. Police in France have report that they
have been fired upon
in clashes this week. The rioters aren't trying to sway public opinion and have issued no statements calling for
economic reforms. To the extent they have spoken at all, they have claimed they are out to overthrow civilization.
Even more troubling are some suggestions
that the conflict in France has spread throughout that country and even into other countries in Western Europe, like Denmark
The conflict in France and Denmark will be only the beginning if leaders in those countries are unable to identify their
enemies and call them what they are. The rioters are not "youths", in the fashion of some college sit-in, they
are the vanguards of Islamic fascism who are testing the reactions of Western governments. If they sense weakness or
a reluctance to engage, they will continue to exploit the chaos.
Bin Laden and his deputies have told us, in their own hand
, that their aim is to overthrow secular and non-Islamic governments and to establish a caliphate in the Middle East and,
where possible, in other regions as well.
When we see evidence of that plan unfolding, as we are seeing in France right now, why do some hesitate to attribute
those events to the broader movement of Islamic fascism?
Saturday, November 5, 2005
World Government is Here to Help
4:41 pm est
U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan, writing in today's Washington Post
, tries to reassure us that the U.N.'s plan to take over Internet governance is no cause for alarm.
His protests ring hollow, however. An organization that includes a human rights body chaired by Libya simply lacks
The Internet is just too important to the U.S. economy and the world economy to be handed over to an organization
like the United Nations, which can count precisely zero economic successes to its credit.
According to Forrester research
, online retail sales in 2004 amounted to $145 billion, or 7% of all U.S. retail sales. That number is predicted to
mushroom to $331 billion annually, or 13% of U.S. retail sales in just five years.
Would you be willing to trust 13% of the U.S. retail economy to the organization that brought us Kosovo, Darfur and the
Thursday, November 3, 2005
You'd Better Pay, I Know the Judge
6:51 am est Ted Frank
has some interesting insights into the case of Mikal Watts
, a plaintiffs' lawyer who specializes in suing Ford over vehicle rollovers. It seems that Mr. Watts has made a point
in several demand letters of publicizing his close relationship with the judges presiding over his cases.
One such letter reportedly reads
"I believe it is wise for the individuals ... who will evaluate this case to remember, 'Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore.'
Politely put, South Texas venue by itself makes this a very dangerous lawsuit. ...
"[The 13th Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi] is comprised of six justices, all of whom are good Democrats. The Chief
Justice, Hon. Rogelio Valdez, was recently elected with our firm's heavy support, and is a man who believes in the sanctity
of jury verdicts. ..."
So, in order to be a "good Democrat" you must believe in large jury verdicts? What does it really say about "the
sanctity of jury verdicts" that the presiding judge in Watts' case was "recently elected" with his "firm's heavy support?"
Roundtable Discussion on Michael Ovitz and Disney
6:24 am est
Thanks to Steve Korn and the folks at GC South
Magazine for hosting yesterday's roundtable discussion on the Disney
You'll find the transcript in next month's issue. I won't steal any thunder from the magazine, but I think you'll
find that the business judgment rule is alive and well.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
New Employment Law Blog
10:30 am est
My friend and former college roomate, Rod Satterwhite
, has launched his own blog at SuitsInTheWorkplace
, to find space for his creative rantings on labor and employment law issues. Good luck Rod!
A Pathetic Stunt
8:10 am est
Stymied by the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court and wishing to re-focus public attention on the Iraq war
the Democratic leadership yesterday hijacked the Senate for two hours, using a parliamentary procedure to close the Senate
to the public for a "closed session".
The stunt had no substantive value as the Senate conducted no business while in closed session.
Can you imagine the howls of indignation we would have heard in the mainstream media if Republican Senators had tried
the same manuever during the Clinton administration?
New Site Record
8:06 am est
Welcoming the world: Monday set a new record at JonathanBWilson.com with more than 20,000 hits generating more than 3,000
unique visitors in one day.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
8:55 am est
And the blogosphere is jumping at the news:
: "This is the debate the country has needed for decades."
: "this is going to be a phony war, waged up until the moment of real combat. Unless something really shocking happens,
Alito will be confirmed."
: "Years ago, when we were Department of Justice lawyers together, we reflected on what brought us to Washington. Judge
Alito and I were both drawn by President Ronald Reagan's pledge to work for family, work, neighborhood, peace and freedom.
These timeless elements are safeguarded by law. Alito embraces each with diligence, intelligence and fair-mindedness."
Phone: 404-353-4833 | email@example.com
Jonathan B. Wilson is an Atlanta attorney at the law firm of Taylor English Duma LLP. Jonathan B. Wilson
provides legal advice to investors, companies and business executives involving corporate law, securities law, SEC matters,
intellectual property, website and Internet legal issues, start-ups, limited liability companies, partnerships, 1934 Act matters,
outsourcing, strategic alliance agreements, contracts, and other matters of importance to growing private and publicly-traded