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The End of an Era for One Storm-Chasing Lawyer

By Texans for Lawsuit Reform | Jul 2, 2018

TLR spent the 2015 and 2017 legislative sessions working to fix the problems storm-chasing lawyers were creating for Texas property owners. Fortunately, the Texas Legislature passed a common-sense solution in 2017 to make it harder for these lawyers to file unnecessary lawsuits, while maintaining the strongest insurance consumer protections laws in the United States for Texas property owners.

Letter to the editor: Lawsuits aren't the solution to addressing climate change issues

By Jennifer Harris | Jun 29, 2018

There’s every reason to be alarmed by some personal injury lawyers’ efforts to abuse our courts and cash in on the climate change debate (“Climate Change: A Plea for Leadership and Legislation, Not Litigation,” June 22, 2018). It’s a long running effort dating back to the 1990s but seems to be picking up steam once again.

Law Schools Need a New Governance Model

By Mark Pulliam | Jun 25, 2018

A prior post (entitled “Who Runs the Legal Academy?”) attracted some much-needed attention from other sites, including Overlawyered.com, Instapundit, and the Tom Woods Show. The governance of law schools, although not a secret, is poorly-understood and seldom discussed. This lack of transparency empowers—or at least emboldens—some of the behind-the-scenes influencers to take unreasonable positions and to pursue self-interested goals that are contrary to the ostensible objective of training students to be effective and ethical lawyers. The result is a dysfunctional legal academy.

Climate Change: A Plea For Leadership and Legislation, Not Litigation

By By Melissa Landry, Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch | Jun 22, 2018

Americans are being sold a dangerous bill of goods by those who promise that lawsuits provide a viable solution to addressing coastal erosion, rising sea levels and other challenges associated with global climate change.

Harvey Insurance Claims Should Top $19 Billion

By Albert Betts | Jun 4, 2018

Albert Betts, executive director for the Insurance Council of Texas, says Texans are being harmed by misinformation and half-truths about their recovery.

The Delusion of Good Faith Judging

By Mark Pulliam | Jun 2, 2018

The concept of written legal rules—of the law itself—assumes that their content is fixed and ascertainable. The rule of law likewise depends on citizens having advance notice of what they can and cannot do, pursuant to clear, knowable directives. Legal scholars expend enormous energy pontificating about the appropriate techniques judges should apply in the course of constitutional interpretation: textualism, originalism, and so forth. Libertarian theorists argue strenuously that judges must be given greater authority—through “judicial engagement”—over the political branches. Each day, lawyers across the country trot off to court, briefs in hand, hoping to convince a black-robed judge–enthroned behind a raised, magisterial bench—that the relevant legal rules, properly construed, compel a ruling in favor of their client.

The insurance lobby has destroyed Texas property rights

By Ware V. Wendell | May 23, 2018

Eight months after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, many Texas families still face a long road home. Only 33 percent of home insurance claims have been paid and a staggering 51 percent have been closed with no payment.

Crime Plague in the Alamo City

By Mark Pulliam | May 18, 2018

San Antonio is ill-served by activists posing as law-enforcement officials.

The success of our judicial system begins with you

By Justice Jeff Brown | May 3, 2018

In mid-April, a 4-year-old boy was summoned to jury duty in Pennsylvania but was unable to go because “he has preschool that day.” The situation was a light-hearted reminder that 1) errors do happen and 2) some potential jurors do have legitimate reasons they can’t serve. On the whole, however, jury service is a critical component of our justice system and depends on everyday citizens—those us well beyond our preschool years—showing up and to do our duty.

Has Gorsuch ‘Gone Wobbly’ Already?

By Mark Pulliam | Apr 25, 2018

A Supreme Court decision on immigration that was not expected to be controversial instead attracted wide attention upon its release last week. The reason: Justice Neil Gorsuch, the much-heralded successor to the legendary Antonin Scalia, joined with the High Court’s four liberals to overturn an immigration statute on the grounds that it was “void for vagueness,” over the strenuous dissent of the court’s conservative bloc: Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Anthony Kennedy, and Chief Justice John Roberts.

A Triumph of Textual Analysis: The Texas Supreme Court Tackles the Issue of “Same-Sex” Sexual Harassment

By Mark Pulliam | Apr 10, 2018

Texas’s employment discrimination statute (the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, codified in the Texas Labor Code at section 21.001 et seq.), like its federal counterpart (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e et seq.), prohibits discrimination on the basis of enumerated characteristics, including “sex.” Accordingly, an employer is forbidden to treat an applicant or employee differently because of that person’s sex. Without a sex-based nexus, the employer’s conduct may be rude, unfair, obnoxious, boorish, or insensitive, but will not constitute illegal sex discrimination.

Subsidiarity, Federalism, and the Role of the State

By Mark Pulliam | Apr 10, 2018

The principle of subsidiarity—the belief that decision-making should occur at the lowest level appropriate to its purpose—is a staple of conservative thought. In fact, it is sometimes asserted that subsidiarity “is a bulwark of limited government and personal freedom.” In general, local control is usually preferable to a decision-making process based on larger political units, in which the responsible officials are far-removed from the affected population. Local government officials are typically more responsive to individual citizens than are federal officials; local decision-making enables regional preferences and variations in lieu of stultifying uniformity; and voters can more easily replace an unresponsive local elected official than his state or federal counterparts.

Round Two for Obamacare: Sebelius Redux

By Mark Pulliam | Mar 24, 2018

Rarely do challengers of landmark legislation get a second bite at the apple in constitutional litigation. Thanks to some enterprising state attorneys general, however, champions of limited government may have another chance to overturn the signature overreach of the Obama Administration. Six years after Obamacare was initially upheld, opponents of the law (technically “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” or “ACA”) are preparing a second test case, based—ironically enough—on the implausible rationale of the initial ruling.

Lino Graglia: The Happy Warrior Soldiers On

By Mark Pulliam | Mar 22, 2018

My law school years (1977-80) at the University of Texas were, in hindsight, close to idyllic. I loved my first-year professors, tuition at UT was dirt cheap, Austin was a wonderful place to live, and I reveled in the “college town” ambience, which was new to me. (Prior to arriving at UT, I had never attended a college football game. During my first year—when the Longhorns went undefeated in the regular season and Earl Campbell won the Heisman Trophy–I had season tickets on the 50-yard line at UT’s gigantic Memorial Stadium, for a pittance that even a broke law student could afford.) The post-game victory spectacle—honking horns on the Drag and the Tower lit up in orange—formed indelible memories.

An Open Letter to My Alumni Association

By Mark Pulliam | Mar 12, 2018

When I received the March-April issue of Alcalde in the mail recently, I had to scratch my head and wonder how Texas Exes felt that it was serving the interests of its members. I have two complaints. First, the article “Lives on Hold,” by associate editor Danielle Lopez, is a sympathetic profile of three illegal aliens (or “Longhorn Dreamers,” in SJW parlance) who fill coveted seats at UT—displacing Texas residents who are U.S. citizens—and, due to the generosity of Texas taxpayers, pay heavily-subsidized in-state tuition. Despite these benefits, along with perks such as spending a semester studying in Washington, D.C., internships, cushy part-time jobs at city hall, and participation in the UTeach program, the subjects of the profile exhibit little gratitude, but instead display a raging sense of entitlement: engaging in noisy protests, agitating through slick, well-funded activist groups (Jolt, ULI), and stridently demanding amnesty and citizenship.

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