Legal Commentary: John Dean Archive

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ARE THE BUSH TWINS PUBLIC FIGURES UNDER THE LAW, WITH ALL THE DIRE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF THAT STATUS?
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean dissects the recent publicity about the Bush daughters, and considers how the twins would fare if they sued. Dean analyzes public figure law to resolve whether, for legal purposes, the twins would likely be considered all purpose, limited purpose, or involuntary public figures -- or simply private figures.
Friday, Aug. 03, 2001

WHEN SUPREME COURT JUSTICES REFUSE TO RETIRE: WHY WE NEED MORE MEDIA COVERAGE, AND A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses the problem of Supreme Court Justices' staying on the court despite flagging mental acuity. Dean urges more aggressive media coverage of Justices' health, as well as a mandatory retirement constitutional amendment.
Friday, Jul. 20, 2001

SHOULD IDEOLOGY BE CONSIDERED BY THE SENATE DURING THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS FOR JUDICIAL NOMINEES?
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses the testimony given at a recent hearing before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a crucial question: Should ideology matter when the President selects, and the Senate confirms, nominees for federal lower court judgeships and Supreme Court spots? Dean reflects on both historical and contemporary evidence to provide an answer.
Friday, Jul. 06, 2001

EXECUTION AMERICAN STYLE: THE COURT IGNORES THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT STATUS OF GAS CHAMBER EXECUTIONS
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses how the Supreme Court has managed to dodge the question of the constitutionality of execution by the gas chamber, despite strong evidence of the horrors of the method.
Friday, Jun. 22, 2001

SELECTING FEDERAL JUDGES: THE NEW, LESS PARTISAN CALIFORNIA PLAN
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean discusses the increasing politicization of federal judgeship nominations, and explains why a new plan adopted by California Senators Boxer and Feinstein will provide a partial solution -- and why highly-qualified conservative Ninth Circuit nominee Christopher Cox should have gotten a fairer shake.
Friday, Jun. 08, 2001

THE OLSON VOTE: HAVE REPUBLICANS POLITICIZED THE SOLICITOR GENERAL'S OFFICE?
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the president John Dean discusses what we can expect from newly-confirmed Solicitor General Theodore Olson: Will Olson be a great Solicitor General, or a partisan hack? Dean also reviews the history of Solicitor Generals, partisan and nonpartisan, through the years.
Friday, May. 25, 2001

RANKING PRESIDENTS - UTTER NONSENSE OR USEFUL ANALYSIS?
Everyone agrees Washington, Lincoln and FDR were great presidents, but beyond that, does ranking the presidents make sense? FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the president John Dean dissects the game of ranking, defends the much-attacked Warren G. Harding, and reflects on our passion for rating the Prez.
Friday, May. 11, 2001

SHOULD SENATE DEMOCRATS REFUSE TO CONFIRM ALL BUSH SUPREME COURT NOMINEES? REFLECTIONS ON PROFESSOR ACKERMAN'S PROPOSAL
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean reacts to Yale Law professor Bruce Ackerman's recent contention that because the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore improperly paved the way for the appointment of conservative Justices, the Senate should block the confirmation of any and all Bush Supreme Court nominees. Dean explains why adopting Ackerman's hardball strategy won't work.
Friday, Apr. 27, 2001

WHY SENATOR SPECTER'S NEW BILL, JOINED BY SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON, WON'T PREVENT ANOTHER SITUATION LIKE THE MARC RICH PARDON
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the president John Dean discusses the recent bill proposed by Senator Arlen Specter, and joined by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, that would impose disclosure requirements for presidential library contributions and for pardon lobbyists. The bill, Dean argues, will not serve its intended goal of avoiding another Rich pardon-type scandal -- and may actually be counterproductive. Dean notes, for example, that the bill does not provide for immediate disclosure of lobbying contacts, but delays that disclosure for 45 days. Thus, even if the bill had been law when Jack Quinn was lobbying for the Rich pardon, Dean contends, it still would only have required disclosure of Quinn's lobbying to the public (and the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney's Office) after the pardon had been granted, and after President Clinton had left office.
Friday, Apr. 13, 2001

THE WOEFULLY INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE BEHIND THE WHITE HOUSE'S CLAIM THAT THE ABA'S SCREENING OF JUDGES IS POLITICAL
FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President John Dean goes in search of the evidence behind the Bush White House's claim that the ABA screening process for judicial nominees is politically biased -- and finds little basis for the Administration's decision to cut the ABA out of the nomination loop. The issues over the committee's rating of Judge Robert Bork in the 1980's are irrelevant to the question of whether the current committee is politically biased, Dean argues. Moreover, the comparison done by the conservative Federalist Society of the ABA's treatment of conservative and liberal judges is, Dean concludes, deeply and procedurally flawed.
Friday, Mar. 30, 2001

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