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BurtLaw's Law and Swimsuit Issue
-  LawAndEverythingElse.Com  - Copyright (c) 2006 Burton Randall Hanson

Editor's note: This is the issue you've been waiting for -- our limited collector's edition swimsuit issue!! We figure if The National Geographic can have a "swimsuit issue" -- see National Geographic Swimsuit Issue -- so can we. Therefore, it is with pleasure and not a little pride that we present BurtLaw's Law And Everything Else Collector's Edition Swimsuit Issue. We believe this is the first swimsuit issue in the history of weblogging or blogging, certainly the first in the history of law blogging or blawging, of which this blog/zine is one of the pioneers. Indeed, it may be the first such issue of any legal publication in the history of Anglo-American law, nay, in the history of law! Because we don't want to overburden our web server, we're only going to post this baby for just a few days -- i.e., for the benefit of our regular loyal readers, not the hoi polloi. It thus truly is not just a run-of-the-mill collector's edition but a limited one, a rare one that undoubtedly (particularly since we charge nothing for it) will increase in value as the years go by. (BRH 02.20.2003)
 Holmes, the Tarzan of the law. In my draft proposal for an American Museum of Law and Justice, I suggest that among the dioramas and tableaux, there be one of the great Holmes as Tarzan, wearing a loin cloth, his left hand holding the loyal Cheetah's right hand, his right hand on the shoulder of Jane, who is slightly to his right, and his gaze toward and beyond Boy, sitting alone, who is more to the right than Jane. Just as Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes was the model for one of the sculpted figures capping Cass Gilbert's Supreme Court building, Holmes in our tableaux is the Tarzan figure, the Law Lord of the Jungle, paradoxically both savage man and civilized man, the wizard of words who nonetheless counseled us to "think things, not words." Justice O'Connor as Jane represents the civilizing force of the Jungian Feminine, powerful enough to civilize the savage spirit buried deep in the law's masculine ape-like, atavistic collective unconscious. That she is positioned slightly to Tarzan's right is not without significance. More to the right than Jane is the rigid textualist, Antonin "Nino" Scalia, who, as Boy, represents Jung's archetypal Son, who unconsciously feels the need to separate himself from his Mother and figuratively destroy the Father while paying lip-service to the Father's creeds. Having thus "won" his masculinity by his excessive alliance with the Ego and with Intellect, he is ready, and needs, to let in the creative, softening Feminine, which will transform him, just as it transformed the Father. Cheetah? That, of course, is Mathilda in a chimp suit, representing Nature as friend and companion of Law. (BRH 02.20.2003)
 A judge can see everything when you wear a swimsuit in the courtroom. Maidenform, the bra company, used to run ads with an "I dreamed" theme in magazines -- e.g., "I dreamed I wore my Maidenform bra in the courtroom," accompanied by a photograph depicting the dreamer, an attractive model, as she might appear to an objective observer of the dream -- i.e., in our example, wearing but a bra while arguing a motion. If you are a female attorney and there's a chance you might dream of yourself wearing a swimsuit while arguing a motion, here are some helpful tips, from "a judge's perspective," on how to act in that dream:

...Keep shoulders back, [wear a] big smile and always make eye contact with each judge. You can be a little more relaxed with swimsuit [than when wearing an evening gown] but stay very poised. A judge can see everything in a swimsuit...[including] the way you stop and turn, the way you position your feet, and even your self esteem. I like to see taupe shoes with solid color swimsuits. I do take into consideration how the suit fits but I focus on how you carry yourself in the swimsuit. Does it show that you are comfortable?

Advice from judge's perspective by Stacey Whittington, cosmetologist & pageant coach. (More)

 Presidential beach fashions - the Nixon era. Dick Nixon was not only a great President and a great bowler, he also had a great sense of style and occasion. As President, he sensed that it might be unwise and impolitic to be photographed frolicking at the beach wearing a swimsuit -- particularly given that our nation was at war. Although the little boy in him would have loved to put on his old California surfer shorts and ride the waves with Frankie and Annette and other old castmates in the beach movies in which he starred in the early '60's, he knew that as President it would be, as he put it, "wrong to do so." And so we have in our memories the reassuring image of the President, walking alone on the beach in tasteful dress suit pants and cordovan dress shoes, artfully "dressed down" by means of a manly and Presidential windbreaker. Professional Nixon-haters, of course, made fun of him for dressing that way on the beach, suggesting that he was afraid to be seen in a bathing suit. But they were the ones who were wrong, as everyone knew who'd seen the Dickster in those old beach movies. In fact, using objective criteria, I can't think of any President, excepting Ronald Reagan and perhaps Abraham Lincoln, who was more at home and more manly-looking in a swimsuit. This was borne out after President Nixon left office, when it was once again appropriate for him not only to don a swimsuit at the beach but to pose in it. See, e.g., this news report from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of 04.22.1993:

Guess who spent a few days in relative anonymity at the Halekulani? None other than former President Richard Nixon, stopping over on his way back from a tour of Asia during which he visited five cities in China. Nixon enjoyed a swim in the ocean -- no more of this strolling along the beach in a suit -- and chatted with people on the beach. An aide told hotel security chief Sidney Kimhan, "This is the most relaxed he's been on this trip." Though the visit was supposed to be completely confidential, the relaxed Nixon happily posed for photos with guests and hotel staffers. Before departing, the former president thanked the staff by saying he's stayed at the finest hotels around the world and considered the Halekulani "a great, a special hotel because of its people."

 Presidential beach fashion - the Clinton era. "The photograph is of a couple dancing on a beach. They are wearing bathing suits....The two people are dancing so close, their bodies touch. The most compelling thing about the photograph, however, is how the woman's head is tilted up to look lovingly into the eyes of the man and how a small, affectionate smile plays upon the man's lips as he looks down at her...." From Caribbean cheesecake by Roger Simon (Jewish World Review 01.08.1998). The man is Bill Clinton and the woman is...Hillary Rodham Clinton. Interestingly, the Paula Jones trial was scheduled to begin in four months. More interestingly, we now know that President Clinton had reason to believe the Monica scandal might hit the fan any day. Did the photographer invade the Clintons' privacy by snapping and publishing the picture? Or was their little dance on the beach really performed with an eye to documentation and publication with the hope of inoculating the public and increase its resistance to the claims and trials to come? (BRH 02.20.2003)

 Should jail and prison inmates be allowed to read Playboy? How about the Victoria's Secret catalog or the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition? How about BurtLaw's Law And Everything Else Collector's Edition Swimsuit Issue? In Maricopa County, Arizona, as of 2000 at least, the answers to the above questions would have been no, yes, yes, and we presume so. More (WorldMag 04.01.2000).

 Wrongly arrested for shoplifting a swimsuit? It may be your lucky day. At least it may be your lucky day if the arrest occurred in Wisconsin. In Miller v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., a 1998 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recognized the tort of negligent supervision. In Miller,the plaintiff sued Wal-Mart, alleging its employees wrongly stopped and searched him, accusing him of having just stolen a swimsuit. The jury found that Wal-Mart was negligent in hiring, training, and supervising the employees and that this negligence caused $20,000 in actual compensatory damages and $30,000 in punitive damages. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a case of first impression, recognized the tort of negligent supervision of employees as a valid cause of action for damages by a wronged customer. (02.19.2003)

 When bare-chested men at the beach shocked the conscience. Once upon a time -- specifically, as late as 1936, the year my parents got married and drove to Yellowstone Park on their honeymoon -- men risked arrest by the beach police if they appeared topless:

Wading through miles of red tape, men finally won the right in 1937 to hang their swimsuit tops on a hanger and go down to the sea in trunks. In the summer of 1936, the no-shirt movement was a hot issue -- hotter, in fact, than the perennial fuss about female undress. The United Press reported that topless men were banned from the beaches of Atlantic City because the city fathers wanted "no gorillas on our beaches." Cleveland held out for men's trunks covering the navel. Galveston insisted on tops for men's suits, "but no special regulations concerning color or style of garment worn by women." The situation was so unstable that beach travelers found it prudent to consult updates on swimwear regulations across the country.

Lena Lencek, Gideon Bosker, The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth 213 (1998).

 Should women be allowed to wear topless swimsuits (unikinis) at public beaches? Members of the TERA, the Topfree Equal Rights Association, believe so. While we don't necessarily anticipate the day with any enthusiasm, since we have always thought even attractive women generally look best in 1950's-style one-piece suits, we believe the day is approaching when in most parts of the U.S. women will be allowed to "go topless" at public beaches. We hope if that day arrives that women will show some discretion. Just because one has a right to do something doesn't mean one is doing the right thing in exercising that right. Lawyers have the right to advertise, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, but that doesn't mean most of the lawyers who exercise that right are right in doing so -- or at least in the way they do so. (BRH 02.19.2003)

 Is it right that dogs can run naked on the beach but women can't? Some law schools, including Harvard Law School, have started to offer courses in animal rights law. Some so-called "animal-rights lawyers" (another new specialty) argue that, at a minimum, chimps and other primates are "persons" entitled to equal protection of the law, due process, etc. One question is: How make the courts recognize this right? One approach would be to amend the federal constitution. Animal-rights lawyers are more likely to try persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to interpret the federal constitution (perhaps by a 5-4 vote) to include chimps, etc., as "persons." Failing that, animal-rights lawyers presumably will try get individual state supreme courts interpret individual state constitutions to "cover" chimps, etc. It has been argued, at least rhetorically, by some folks that most citizens are "chimps." If they are, does it follow, as the night follows the day, that chimps therefore are entitled to citizenship? H.L. Mencken deflated this argument somewhat: he opined that while most citizens aren't chimps, many or most politicians are. If most politicians are chimps, then at least the law might recognize that chimps may run for public office, thereby legitimizing existing practice. Animal rights lawyers advocating chimp rights, many of whom are "pro-choice" on the abortion rights issue, are keeping their fingers crossed that abortion-rights advocates won't point out the irony of arguing that while a human fetus is not a "person," a chimp is one. I'm more concerned about dogs than chimps. I believe that if any animal gets rights, it should be the domesticated dog, especially the Australian shepherd. But let's not rush into this. I'm not sure I want Mathilda threatening me with a lawsuit if I faill to take her on her daily walk. And, speaking for her, I'm not sure she will want the responsibilities and expectations that go with citizenship. I doubt she'd want to be told to wear a bathing suit at the beach. Then again, if dogs can run around in public naked, as we know they can, is it fair that female homo sapiens can't?

 Should women be allowed to wear bikinis in their backyards in Utah? For awhile in West Point, Utah it appeared that one woman might be prosecuted under the state's lewdness statute for wearing what complaining neighbors described as a "thong bikini" in her backyard while gardening. One offended neighbor said, "We try to teach our children to be modest and cover their bodies and you just don't parade around like that." Sheriff's deputies were called three times. The county attorney, who declined to prosecute, explained, "It was represented as more of a string bikini. She was pretty scantily clad, but you can wear a bikini like the one she was wearing. It's not illegal." More (Sam Donaldson's Weird News).

 How does one draft a swimsuit ordinance? One example is one proposed for Daytona Beach in Florida in September, 2002. I haven't heard if it was adopted but local Libertarians objected by circulating a petition that garnered 2,000 signatures. I don't have the text but one opponent said that the proposed ordinance "would require that a woman's bathing suit cover at least one-third of her buttocks and at least one-quarter of her breasts." Opponents said that the ordinance would require women to wear 1950's-style swimsuits (i.e., the kind I like). Said one, "It brings up images of police with rulers measuring bathing suits." Those are interesting images, ones fraught with peril. More (Libertarian Party News Online Dec. 2002).

 Affirmative action for swimsuit and centerfold models? A modest proposal that we presume is as serious as it is sensible:

In the human rights tradition of laws passed to end the descrimination of African-Americans, women, the handicapped, etc., this law will now make it possible for those blessed with a natural beauty and attractiveness to no longer be passed over for positions in the workplace simply because of the vain jealousies and/or concentration-destroying fears of potential co-workers or superiors. All places of employment that employ at least 15 people will now be obligated to have on the payroll a percentage of swimsuit models and/or centerfolds that is comparable to the ratio demanded for other groups covered by current affirmative action policies. No longer will superficial physical standards take a backseat to other systems of rating employees.

 Judging swimsuit pageants and/or dog shows (they're pretty much the same). If I weren't busy on other writing projects, I might try writing a law review article on the subject of the traits and techniques shared by good dog show judges and good common law judges. I've known a few of the latter. Years ago one of the good ones I knew judged a few of the human equivalents of dog shows, the so-called beauty or swimsuit pageants, now sometimes referred to as "scholarship pageants." He found that the skills he employed as a common law judge came in quite handy in judging the young women. And I've discovered that the dog show world and swimsuit pageant world even have their equivalent of Cardozo's The Nature of the Judicial Process. The dog show world's equivalent is Tom Horner's Take Them Round Please -- The Art of Dog Judging. What Tom, a Brit, says of judging, Cardozo didn't say with more eloquence:

When judging you must not be swayed by any consideration, except by the relative merit of the dog in front of you. You have but one duty: to judge the dogs. Forget the handlers, and forget what [shows] the dogs have won previously. Place the dogs as you think they should stand, never mind if the winner belongs to your best friend or your worst enemy. Disregard the fact that you won under one of the exhibitors last week, and that another is judging at the next show. Be completely selfish - please yourself and simply judge the dogs and safeguard your reputation. That is the only way to gain respect from your peers.

But there are differences in recommended techniques between dog show judging, on the one hand, and swimsuit pageant judging and common law judging, on the other hand. Horner says, "Use a 'hands on' approach to properly evaluate a dog's structure." I believe he is speaking literally. Common-law judges, whether judging swimsuit pageants or contested cases, may use only a figurative, not a literal, "hands on" approach. (BRH 02.19.2003)

 When artists judged the Miss America Pageant.  The original Miss America pageant truly was a physical beauty pageant. But, perhaps to counter any assertion that the pageant was just a parade of semi-clothed women, the organizers added "a layer of respectability and legitimacy" to the pageant by hiring as judges popular artists and illustrators "such as Norman Rockwell, James Montgomery Flagg, and Howard Chandler Christy." Moreover, the organizers devised a pseudo-scientific approach to judging the contestants' relative physical beauty. The approach adopted was akin to the law's well-known "totality-of-the-circumstances test." The individual circumstances or factors or attributes considered, and the weight given to them, were as follows: Construction of Head: 15 points; Eyes: 10; Hair: 5; Nose: 5; Mouth: 5; Facial Expression: 10; Torso: 10; Legs: 10; Arms: 10; Hands: 10; Grace of Bearing: 10. As we all know, the Miss America Pageant has evolved into what is now known as a "scholarship pageant" in which the swimsuit component of the competition is downplayed. This resulted in large part from feminists' criticism of the pageant's swimsuit competition as degrading. But, even though recent winners arguably have been more brainy than beautiful (the winner in the fall of 2002 was a student at my alma mater, Harvard Law School), it is doubtful that the organizers will ever drop the swimsuit component: "During the 1994 pageant, the pageant commission asked viewers to call and vote on whether or not to keep the swimsuit segment. Seventy-three percent of the callers voted to keep it. Later, according to an online poll during the 2001broadcast, fifty-one percent of viewers said they would not watch the pageant if the swimsuit competition was eliminated." Miss America (American Experience PBS).

 On "swimsuit issues" and the development of a sense of the beautiful. My mom gave me my first camera for my birthday in 1956, a twin-lens reflex box camera. Photography was a great way for me to develop my interest in things visual -- including "pretty women." In those days, when everyone was more modest about everything, particularly in small town America, some guys like me who were "interested" in women found that amateur photography was an acceptable way of getting access to artistic photographs of "the female form." Fawcett Publications, e.g., had a line of publications for serious amateur photographers. These publications, which sold for 75 cents, were filled with professional photographs of all sorts of subjects and objects, including of "the female form." For each picture the camera model, film type, lens, shutter speed and f/stop were given, helping maintain the pretense that the readers' interests were entirely professional and artistic. Let's say, in the interest of truth, that my interests were only partly professional and artistic. But the Law of Unintended Consequences was at work and I think I benefited from the fact that that was then the only way -- at least, the only way I could figure out -- to see and own pictures of that sort. Well, I should add, parenthetically, that one could also "read" The National Geographic, motion picture magazines, and the bra, slip and corset section of the Montgomery Ward catalog. In any event, as a result of my "reading" the Fawcett publications, I became a pretty good photographer and I developed my sense of the beautiful. Who are we to deprive boys of access to the current day's equivalent of those Fawcett publications, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and BurtLaw's Law And Everything Else Collector's Edition Swimsuit Issue. (BRH 02.19.2003)

 On judicial swimsuits and the Rules of Judicial Conduct -- part I. Canons or standards of judicial conduct -- e.g., Minnesota's -- typically include admonitions such as "A Judge Shall Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All of the Judge's Activities" and "A Judge Shall Conduct All Extra-Judicial Activities so as to Minimize the Risk of Conflict With Judicial Obligations." Undoubtedly, a judge's wearing nothing but a swimsuit in the courtroom would be deemed to not only demean the judiciary but cause disrespect for the judiciary and interfere with the administration of justice. This is so despite the fact that some of the greatest artistic representations depict Justice as a scantily-clad (and blind) woman and Law as a scantily-clad (and all-seeing?) man. For example, there are two huge statues in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., one titled "Spirit of Justice," a woman whose flimsy toga-like garment reveals a bare breast slightly larger than 34B, the other titled "Majesty of Law," of a man whose main reproductive organ, presumably of large size (this being America), is covered by a cloth not much larger than a towel typically worn by an old retired judge sitting with his poker buddies in a communal Turkish bath. That Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Clarence Thomas could not get by wearing this sort of garb in the courtroom of the Supreme Court without being said by some to have demeaned the judiciary is made manifest by the fact that last year our fundamentalist Attorney General, John Ashcroft, ordered the statues draped in blue cloth, at a cost of $8,000? Why cover them? To prevent the taking and publication of more embarrassing photos of him like the one at right. More (USA Today 01.29.2002)
 On judicial swimsuits and the Rules of Judicial Conduct -- part II. But I digress. The judicial aficionados of BurtLaw's Law and Everything Else don't need to be told not to wear swimsuits in the courtroom. They want to know, e.g., if they can wear swimsuits at a picnic hosted by their law clerks and, if so, what kind of swimsuits are appropriate. Herewith, an interview with the #1 expert, BurtLaw himself:
Q - May a judge wear a swimsuit at a law clerks-hosted picnic?
A - No and yes. A judge may wear a swimsuit if swimming is a scheduled part of the event but only while in the pool (or lake or other body of water). Upon emerging from the pool, said judge must don a cover-up if he or she wished to loll around the pool (or beach) area. Before leaving the pool (or beach) area, said judge must change, in a same-gender changing room, into regular street clothes (no shorts).
Q - May a judge wear a swimsuit extrajudicially -- i.e., on occasions other than, e.g., a law clerks-hosted or bar-association sponsored picnic?
A - It depends. Obviously, a judge may wear a swimsuit a) to sun bathe on the curtilage of his or her own family residence or to swim in his or her private family pool and b) to swim at a private or public pool or beach. However, a judge may not wear a swimsuit in any other setting if to be seen or photographed wearing a suit in that other setting might demean or cause disrespect for the judiciary.
Q - What sort of swimwear is appropriate?
A - It depends. Under no circumstances may a female judge wear a bikini, string bikini or thong-type swimsuit or a male judge wear a skimpy European-style swimsuit in any public setting anywhere within the judge's jurisdiction. Since a judge's wearing in public of an inappropriate swimsuit may form the basis for discipline, it is recommended that, to be safe rather than sorry, a female judge wear either a Lands End 1950's-style tunic suit (depicted upper left) or one of the new Sharia swimsuits (depicted lower right), i.e., the sort of suit an observant Muslim woman, or perhaps the wife of Attorney General Ashcroft, might be safe in wearing.  In conservative Muslim societies, "many women have until now either had to sit on one side or go into the water in their clothes," much as Roman Catholic nuns were once said to be required to shower in their habits. Now, thanks to this recent trend-setting design ("a high-necked, swimming costume with sleeves and a small skirt, to be worn over long trousers"), Muslim women can swim in style and relative freedom. More (BBC). Just as a Muslim woman ought to be properly covered when swimming in public, we like to think that many female judges will turn to the appropriately-black Sharia swimsuit, which is judicially tasteful and flowing, indeed respect-inducing, much like a judge's robe. What may a male judge wear? As I said, on the negative side, no skimpy European-style swimsuits. On the positive side, why not a solid black pair of surfer shorts?
Q - That's within the judge's jurisdiction. How about outside the jurisdiction, e.g., at an out-of-state judicial conference?
A - I sometimes wonder if some (oh, just a few) judges look upon judicial conferences as "moral holidays," a kind of "Judicial Mardi Gras." My main objection to these conferences is as a taxpayer, not as finger-wagging moralist. I don't think taxpayers should be paying for legitimate judicial conferences or the other kind, vacations illegitimately disguised as conferences, whether at conference centers, luxury resorts, low-budget resorts, hot-sheet motels or elsewhere. Given the necessary restrictions on judges' wearing of swimsuits within their jurisdictions, Judging is a passive activity that requires a great deal of what Freud and Jung referred to as "repression" of normal human nature. Judges aren't supposed to say what they really think. They're not only not supposed to do bad things, they're not supposed to do anything that might conceivably even just look bad, like wearing arguably inappropriate swimwear within their jurisdictions. In other words, they're not supposed to have fun. Norwegians, either genetically or through long practice, are good at not having fun and therefore make good judges. But most people aren't. The average person can repress his or her true self for only so long before that which is repressed seeks alternative forms of expression -- sometimes as "symptoms," sometimes, I suppose, even as wild behavior at judicial conferences.
Q - What are you saying?
A - A modest proposal: not only should we perhaps be a tad more understanding and forgiving of judges caught behaving badly -- perhaps we should actually declare an official once-a-year Judicial Mardi Gras, when all judges everywhere, at their own expense, can leave their jurisdictions and fly to Rio for a few days and "let it all hang out," metaphorically and literally speaking. If they violate the law there in Rio & get caught, they pay the consequences there. But if they make it back to the states in time for Monday morning court, they're "home free," at least as far as the matter of official judicial discipline goes. If they get caught with their tops or bottoms down in a Judges Gone Wild video sold on late-night TV, well, the thing itself (and any consequences on election day) should be deemed punishment enough.
Q - Any other ideas?
A - Yes, a variant on the idea of a Judicial Mardi Gras. The various judges' associations, perhaps with the cooperation of bar associations, big law firms, would arrange with the travel and vacation bureau of a Carribbean island to designate the island as a "safe haven" for judges. The program would be modeled after that adopted by St. Paul, Minnesota, in the 1920's, when it was "notorious as a safe haven for gangsters." Burt Wolf (Salon, 07.12.2000) described the St. Paul program as follows:
At the time, the chief of the St. Paul Police Department was John "the Big Guy" O'Connor. His brother, Richard "the Cardinal" O'Connor, was an alderman and the head of the St. Paul Democratic Party. They decided that it was not fiscally responsible to spend city money on catching gangsters. So they came up with what they called "The O'Connor Layover System." Crooks who came to St. Paul and abided by three simple rules would not be arrested; extradition papers from other police departments would mysteriously get lost and the FBI would not be informed. The three rules were: 1) Do not commit any crimes within the city limits of St. Paul. Go over to Minneapolis all you want; we do not care. 2) Give a little kickback to the policeman's fund. 3) Check in and tell us where you're staying so we can call and warn you of any trouble. The system was very effective. In fact, the good citizens of St. Paul were so safe that if a purse snatcher stole from someone, the gangsters would take care of him.
I like to think a similar program would work for the judiciary. Judges, of course, would pay their own way there. Once there they would be free to wear any kind of swimsuit they wanted without risk of violating "the Code." Moreover, in keeping with the notion of gender fairness and equality, female judges would be allowed to frolic in the sand or by the pool topless, a right male judges in America have enjoyed since 1937.
 Does anyone make a polka dot 1950's-style one-piece tunic swimsuit for women? Dear reader, I've always wanted to see a gal I used to know wearing a polka dot 1950's-style one-piece tunic swimsuit. Let me know if you know anyone who makes one -- preferably black with large white polka dots. Sincerely, BurtLaw (a 1950's sort of guy, who still likes Ike and doesn't particularly like Dubya).

Announcement. We've finally gotten around to launching our new webzine/blawg: BurtLaw's The Daily Judge:

It is not an online newspaper and is not affiliated with or intended to be mistaken for any existing or previously-existing newspaper or journal. Rather, it is a so-called "blawg," a law-related personal "web log" or "blog," one with a subjective, idiosyncratic, and eccentric sociological and social-psychological slant that focuses not on the latest judicial decisions of supposed great importance but on a) the institution of judge in the United States and in other countries throughout the world, b) the judicial office and role, c) judicial personalities, d) the great common law tradition of judging as practiced here and throughout the world, e) judges as judges, f) judges as ordinary people with the usual mix of virtues and flaws, etc. We link to newspapers and other sources in order to alert the reader to ideas, articles, stories, speeches, law books, literary works and other things about "judges" that have interested us and that may interest the reader.

We don't promote our blawgs, but readers of this blog and of our affiliated political opinion blog, BurtonHanson.Com, may be interested in it. We don't think there is another blawg quite like it.