Attorney in the Del.

Reporting on life in Wilmington, Delaware, a small city in a small state. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2006, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Water, Water Everywhere!

With all the rain the Atlantic seaboard has been getting the last couple of days, it's only a matter of time before we'll need an ark!

Everglades Mangrove. Everglades National Park, FL. January 2003.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

New Congress, same trivial waste of time and taxpayer money:

According to news reports, if the owners of the San Francisco 49ers go through with their plan to move the team to Santa Clara, Senator Feinstein (perhaps abetted by Speaker Pelosi) will introduce legislation preventing them from using "San Francisco" as part of their name.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Along Wacker Drive. Chicago, IL. October 16, 2006.

Doing Our Duty

Sometimes you have to wonder who is more challenged: the lawyer who took the case, or the client who proposed it:

A spicy sausage known as the Welsh Dragon will have to be renamed after trading standards’ officers warned the manufacturers that they could face prosecution because it does not contain dragon.

The sausages will now have to be labelled Welsh Dragon Pork Sausages to avoid any confusion among customers.

Jon Carthew, 45, who makes the sausages, said yesterday that he had not received any complaints about the absence of real dragon meat.

Lawyers: protecting the stupid from themselves since the days dragons roamed the earth. (h/t

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Leaders We're Stuck With

It couldn't be a more inappropriate time to use the following analogy, nor could it come from a more inappropriate mouth:

Wearing a dark suit and a blue tie spotted with white ducks, [Democrat Senator Charles] Schumer marched on Mr. Reid’s right side and made no effort to conceal his utter elation. “I felt like one of three generals who had liberated a country,” Mr. Schumer later said.

“Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!” the crowd chanted when Mr. Schumer was introduced by Mr. Durbin as “our hero.”

“If we can keep our focus on the average family, we will stay a majority for a generation,” Mr. Schumer said. “That is what we aim to do.”

These people have no shame.

The Next Two Years In A Nutshell

Dean Barnett nails it: "Is it just me, or is it becoming increasingly apparent that the Republicans and Democrats are determined to engage in a two year dumb-off?"

Monday, November 13, 2006

Results vs. Process

In the recent oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the challenge to the federal partial birth abortion ban, Justice Ginsberg allowed a brief glimpse into the workings of a liberal justice's mind in the exchange below. Justice Scalia, per usual, nails the issue on the head:

JUSTICE GINSBERG: Because your time is running out I did want to ask you about a feature of this legislation that hasn't come up so far, and that is perhaps stimulated by Stenberg. But up until now, all regulation on access to abortion has been state regulation and this measure is saying to the states, like it or not, the Federal Government is going to ban a particular practice and we are going to take away the choice from the states, in an area where up until now it's, it's been open to the states to make those decisions. How should that weigh in this case? And it is something new.

GENERAL CLEMENT: Well, I mean I don't think it should figure in this Court's decision. I mean principally because the other side in neither case makes a challenge based on the Commerce Clause, and I suppose there is two reasons for that. That legal reason that they don't bring the challenge is because there is a jurisdictional element that I think would address the challenges as a doctrinal matter. The practical reason I think is because this isn't the only instance in which the Federal Government has gotten involved to address issues related to the abortion context.

JUSTICE GINSBERG: Well I know, when it is a question of funding -

GENERAL CLEMENT: Well but also access to clinics, in the the face act, which is also -

JUSTICE SCALIA: The best example where government has gotten involved in overriding what the states want to do is Casey. It seems rather odd for this Court to be concerned about stepping on the toes of the states.

With a liberal judge, the outcome is what matters, not the process. Justice Ginsberg, a former ACLU lawyer and Clinton appointee, is a reliable pro-abortion vote on the Supreme Court. Roe vs. Wade, which she has consistently voiced support of, is a prime example of federal overreach into state matters. Here, however, when given the chance to strike down a law banning a particularly hideous type of abortion procedure, she suddenly sees the light and asks whether the federal government is overreaching. The sudden epiphany has nothing to with a change in judicial philosophy. It is only a cynical, and guaranteed brief, change in heart to protect one of her pet issues from losing some ground.

I wonder how she can rationalize that it is federal overreach to take one procedure away from the toolkit of abortion doctors, but not overreach to hand them the whole toolkit in the first place, in spite of the states' rights. Justice Scalia has taken out his own hammer from his rhetorical toolkit and bonked his fellow jurist right on the head with it.

ADDENDUM: Notice in the official transcript above, Solicitor General Paul Clement is referred to as "General Clement." Is the Solicitor General a "general" or a "solicitor"? This is one of my all-time pet peeves. See Orin Kerr's discussion of the phenomenon here. The man is just an attorney, not a commissioned military officer. The "general" in the title, as I understand it, refers to his status as lawyer who handles general legal issues on behalf of the government. He's a jack of all legal trades, not a master of strategic battle planning.

The one "general" position that has taken this "general" business a step too far is the Surgeon General. He/she actually wears a military uniform.

Victory! Pt. II

If you can believe it, it happened again! Twice in one season, we beat a storied program, giving the fans a reason to rush the field. Last weekend's victim: the Miami Hurricanes, national champs four years ago, perennial contenders. A 14-13 nail-biter on national television.

Some context: according to the ESPN sports ticker, Maryland is the first team to beat both Florida State and Miami in the same season since 1985...and we did it in a matter of three weekends. Our next opponent is Boston College. We lead Boston College in the ACC standings, but must beat Boston College, and likely the surprise division leader Wake Forest in the season finale for a berth in the ACC Championship game versus Georgia Tech. Dare we believe it's possible after cardiac wins in each of the last five weekends?

The photo on the left isn't a duplicate from my earlier post. It's another spontaneous outbreak of Terrapin fever! Catch it before you miss it! See you in College Park in a couple of weeks...

Maryland Beats Miami. College Park, MD. November 11, 2006.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Reverse Midas Touch

When it comes to voting, I have the reverse Midas touch. With the exception of President Bush and Maryland Governor Bob Erhlich, I can't remember the last time any of the major candidates for whom I voted actually won. With another poor showing tonight, looks like I'm doomed to several more years of not being represented (and engaging in spirited debates with my neighbors). Sigh.

Election Day

Get out and vote!

(Oh, and if you have the opportunity, Stop Shuler! We don't need him stinking up DC again.)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


With all the controversy surrounding waterboarding (the alleged torture technique), do you really know what it involves? A Fox News reporter willingly submitted himself to it. Look here for video.

It's A Bird! It's A Plane!

It's two workers putting up a new telephone pole.

Wilmington, DE. November 4, 2006.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Lest you thought I'd have nothing to say about Maryland's huge win over Florida State last weekend, I have plenty! Unfortunately, the baby is asleep and I'm typing in the dark so as not to wake him. I'll have to keep it brief.

Be assured, however, that I was shocked. Shocked that the team I watched for years fumble, stumble, and generally fall short of accomplishing anything of significance (sorry, I was in law school during coach Friedgen's amazing first three years as head coach) had finally beaten a team of significance when it mattered. By beating FSU, the Terps became bowl eligible (6-2).

Most importantly, I was on hand for the first and only game in any sport where my team won the big game and the fans rushed the field or court. Dozens and dozens of games attended where futility ruled, and mediocrity was the norm. Finally some real excitement!

I took the above photo with my camera phone after Maryland blocked the potential game-tying field goal with 40 seconds to go and held on for victory. I think the feeling of sheer pandemonium that followed is accurately portrayed above. Love it!

UPDATE: Those of you who have been around a couple years may remember when Maryland first beat FSU. I had just started my first blog, live from the unemployment line in Chicago. That year I had planned to go to one Maryland game: at home versus FSU. Unfortunately, having lost my job, I couldn't afford to fly back. Instead, I gave my ticket to my little brother. Naturally, the Terps won, the fans stormed the field, and my brother was in the thick of it. He was a freshman in high school at the time. That's kind of like when the young, bald-faced kid with the college degree takes a management position with diploma fresh in hand, while the long-time workers who toiled for years in the trenches get passed over for the position. It's just not fair.

Saturday's win, being the second against the Noles probably isn't nearly as sweet at the first. But for me, it was the first. I'll never forget it!


Took a stroll past Wrigley Field's updated "Bud Light Bleachers" while in Chicago a couple weeks ago.

It's going to take more than a beer sponsorship to keep the rest of the stadium from crumbling. Is a naming rights deal with "Band-Aid" too far off?

Wrigley Field Bleachers. October 16, 2006.

"Not Cool" Not A Legal Argument

So says Judge Hoover of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals Circuit III.