Saturday, October 19, 2002

THE STATE OF ALABAMA FALLS INTO LEGAL DISREPAIR

A former real estate developer filed a lawsuit against the state of Alabama yesterday for allowing the governor's beach-house to fall into disrepair. The plaintiff believes the state should forfeit this property. However, an attorney for Governor Don Siegelmann claimed that the house was damaged by storms and should remain state property. While the governor's beach-house should, of course, be at the top of policy priorities, I fail to see what keeps this from being a frivolous lawsuit. If the developer wants to file suit against the state for negligence (in care of state property), then Alabama schools and parks might be a much surer shot.

Friday, October 18, 2002

WHEN EMPLOYMENT LAW PITS STATE GOVERNMENTS AGAINST THE FED

The debate over whether the USC will use the 11th Amendment to back a states' rights position in this term's Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs continues. While, technically, the case comes to the Court in the guise of an employment law dispute-- a challenge by the state of Nevada to the Family Medical Leave Act, which is the federal law guaranteeing an employee 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn, an adopted child, or a close relative with a serious health problem-- skeptics believe it is just another infamous states' rights case which prime Justice O'Connor to once again play the swing vote. Justice O'Connor could go one of two ways, either deciding in favor of her personal distaste for gender discrimination or in favor of her private federalist.