Friday, July 13, 2007


Two More Razor Heros!

Huzzahs to two new Razor heroes, Judge Reggie Walton, and BLS Prof Rory Ryan!

1) United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton

D.C.'s Judge Walton issued his opinion resentencing Lewis Libby today. You can access it (via Doug Berman's blog) here. It's a great opinion, and among other things it convinces me that my earlier post on the issue was wrong, as a matter of law if not policy. He relies on the Supreme Court's decision in Schick v. Reed (1974) to justify the ability of president to resentence a defendant as part of a commutation. Schick involved the commutation of a death penalty to life without parole-- the situation is far different, but the principle is probably the same. I still think as a matter of policy I agree with Justice Marshall's dissent in Schick, but Judge Walton got it dead right about the precedent. Thanks to Brian Portugal for sending me the opinion and highlighting the amazing footnote 1.

2) Baylor Law Prof. Rory Ryan

This summer, Prof. Ryan picked up Constitutional Law, one of the most important and difficult classes to teach in law school. It's a ton of work to take over a class like that short term, but he did it with gusto and a wonderful attitude. By what I see over at the blog de Swanburg, the students appreciated it, too. I'm glad we have the guy.

Let me preface by saying I don't have any reason to suck up BECAUSE I ALREADY HAVE MY BIG PIECE OF PAPER FROM BAYLOR. Plus I study for the bar at home in my baby pool in the backyard so I don't even have to see anyone at the school. I'm going to be REALLY tan when I fail the bar.

That said, I can't really tell what Prof. Ryan DOESN'T do enthusiastically. I never had him for a class, but he assented to be an expert witness for our Titanic case before we even finished the sentence asking him - and continued to become more of an expert on the ship than I was. He was an example to me of conquering the subject in a products case in the way I should have as a lawyer in that case. Prof. Simpson was the same way; I'm honestly a little relieved not to have had them for my 1st year core classes (they sound pretty tough!) but I remember being really grateful and impressed at how they just jumped in. It made us feel like the trial and what we were learning from it was really important to them, even though I had never met either of them before I strolled into their office to ask them for 10 or so hours of their time. So I concur in hero status.
I second Jen on everything (including poolside ipod Barbri bar failure-only I am just getting freckled and sunburned). I have been nothing but impressed by Professors Ryan and Simpson, they are wonderful additions to our faculty. Generous with their time, but more than that they are professors you know you can go to, at any time and with any problem.

They may be tough, but isn't that what BLS is all about?
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