Jon Guze

Director of Legal Studies

Posts by Jon Guze (page 63)

  • The New York Times Owes Clarence Thomas an Apology, but It’s Not Going to Give Him One

    Two weeks ago the New York Times published a disgraceful article in which Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak uses misdirection and innuentdo to suggest, not only that Clarence Thomas is too lazy or stupid to do his job properly, but that he is a plagarist as well! Liptak begins: Justice Clarence Thomas has not asked a question from the Supreme Court bench since 2006. His majority opinions tend to be brisk, efficient and dutiful. Now, studies using linguistic software have discovered another Thomas trait: Those opinions contain language from briefs submitted to the court at unusually high rates. Next to these opening paragraphs is a photo of Thomas with a caption that reads: A recent analysis found that his majority opinions had the highest rate of overlaps with language in legal briefs submitted to the court in the last decade. Back in the article Liptak goes on to say: Justice Thomas's seven majority opinions in the last term were on average just 12 pages long and contained little but a summary of the facts and terse summaries of the relevant statutes and precedents. Since opinions are signed by justices but often drafted by law clerks, it may be that any borrowed language was the work of Justice Thomas's clerks. And, just in case the reader misses the implication, he adds: When Justice Thomas announces his majority opinions from the bench, he sometimes seems to be reading from materials prepared by others. The pretext for this hatchet job is an obscure paper by a political science student named Adam Feldman, who, according to Liptak, used "anti-plagiarism software to detect similar wording in briefs and opinions from 1946 to 2014" and found that: Justice Thomas's majority opinions had the highest rate of overlaps with language in parties' briefs in the decade since Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court. Liptak bolsters this with two other statistical studies, one of which found that, "Thomas's majority opinions incorporated language from friend-of-the-court briefs ... more than any other justice," and another that "looked at overlaps with lower-court opinions [and found that] Justice Thomas's rate was the highest." By the time they've read all that, most readers are bound to conclude that, rather than doing his job, Thomas has been cribbing others' work, or, even worse, letting his unsupervised law clerks to do it for him. However, it's not the facts that lead readers to those conclusions; it's Liptak's deceitful use of language.
    Jon Guze, September 9, 2015
  • What’s in a Name?

    There’ve been some complaints about a recent executive action changing the name of Mount McKinley to Mount Denali. While I can sympathize with the citizens of Ohio on this matter, personally I think the latter name makes more sense for a mountain in Alaska (and sounds better too!). However, there’s more to…
    Jon Guze, September 4, 2015
  • Good News for Harry Potter Fans

    Eugene Volokh reports an important decision by the Kansas State Corporation Commission: Salazars Transportation Services, LP, d/b/a Salazar Slytherin of Gardner, Kansas is to be immediately suspended from all intrastate commercial motor carrier operations … until such time as Respondent presents to Staff verifiable evidence … documenting the correction of…
    Jon Guze, August 28, 2015
  • Speaking of Roy Cooper …

    Why isn’t North Carolina on the list of states challenging the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule? The Hill reports that, while the EPA will respect a District Court injunction as far as those states are concerned, all the rest, including North Carolina, will “lose their sovereignty over intrastate…
    Jon Guze, August 28, 2015
  • Sometimes Congress Gets Something Right

    In a recent Washington Post article, Cyberlaw expert David Post explains “how two members of Congress helped create a trillion or so dollars of value” by adding “a rather remarkable provision of the U.S. Code.” The members of Congress are Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) and Rep. (now Sen.) Ron Wyden…
    Jon Guze, August 27, 2015
  • The Expansion of the Regulatory State

    Earlier this month, the Mercatus Center published its analysis of regulatory exansion under the last six presidential administrations. Here’s a graphic summary: The Mercatus report supplements similar findings by the Comptetitive Enterprise Institute in its annual snapshot of the regulatory state entitled Ten Thousand Commandments. In response to the relentless expansion described…
    Jon Guze, August 26, 2015
  • There’s an App for That, cont.

    Writing from Serbia, New York Times reporter Matthew Brunwasser, describes the surprizing role that technology is playing in the current European refugee crisis: The tens of thousands of migrants who have flooded into the Balkans in recent weeks need food, water and shelter, just like the millions displaced…
    Jon Guze, August 26, 2015
  • Free Speech and Good Health

    Earlier this month, the US District Court of the Southern District of New York announced its decision in Amarin Pharma, Inc. v. FDA. As healthcare economist John Goodman reports in Forbes, this is “a victory for free speech and common sense” that could improve American’s access to life-saving…
    Jon Guze, August 24, 2015