Author Archives: Noah Feldman

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Church Playground Case Is a Constitutional Seesaw

Church Playground Case Is a Constitutional Seesaw

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch waited until almost the end of Wednesday’s oral argument in the major church-state case of Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer to make his voice heard. But his comments seemed to foreshadow his vote, which he will likely cast in favor of the church that wants to use a state grant

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Justices Can Be Great Again After Filibuster’s End

After the nuclear option, what’s next? There really are only two choices to react to the Republican decision to eliminate the Senate filibuster permanently for Supreme Court nominations: mourning or celebration. So for the record, let me begin by saying that Judge Merrick Garland should’ve been confirmed after he was nominated to this seat by

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Supreme Court Never Imagined a Litigant Like President Trump

By Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View Only two presidents have had to deal with private lawsuits while in office. One was John Kennedy, who settled a suit involving a car crash that happened during his campaign. The other was Bill Clinton, sued by Paula Jones for making sexual advances toward her when he was governor of

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Election Day Is a Turning Point for Supreme Court

By Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View Lots of people who don’t otherwise care for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton say they’re going to vote Tuesday based on which presidential candidate will be best for the U.S. Supreme Court. With the hours ticking away, it’s worth running through the three most plausible scenarios to see what the election

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Lawyers’ Fear of Trump Proves Their Point About Bullies

By Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View As a lawyer, I’m embarrassed that the American Bar Association commissioned a report about Donald Trump’s use of libel threats, then refused to publish it out of fear that Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, would sue the organization for libel. The episode, however, dramatizes how effective libel threats are in

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Lawyers Can Write Shorter, But It’ll Cost Them

By Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View It may not seem that significant to a civilian. But a rule-change that will lower the maximum length of appellate briefs from 14,000 words to 13,000 words, effective Dec. 1, is getting plenty of pushback from the lawyers who specialize in federal appeals. To the readers, a 7 percent reduction

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Airbnb’s Anti-Discrimination Upgrade Gets It Right

By Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View We have the right to pick and choose our friends, romantic partners and guests. And there are laws  to ensure that hotels or restaurants can’t discriminate on the basis of race or sex or national origin. What’s less clear is which of these standards should apply to sharing-economy services such as

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Lawyers Can Be Zealous Without Being Nasty

By Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View The American Bar Association is considering adding a rule to its canon of ethics that would prohibit lawyers from discriminating in the course of their jobs. The proposal seems innocuous and probably overdue — but it has encountered a surprising degree of opposition. So it seems reasonable to ask: Why is

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It’s Hard to Pay a Lawyer Without Money

By Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View If you’re arrested and charged with a white-collar crime, can the government freeze the assets you need to pay for a lawyer to prove your innocence? Remarkably, there’s no definitive legal answer to this question, which the U.S. Supreme Court will take up Tuesday. It’s established that the government can

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