Good Ideas: FantasySCOTUS: A Whole New Way to Procrastinate
Fantasy football season is over, but FantasySCOTUS is just heating up. Developed by the Harlan Institute, this U.S. Supreme Court Fantasy League is in its fourth season with more than 13,000 lawyers participating.
Participants are awarded points for choosing the correct outcome (affirm or reverse) of real cases. Additional points go to those who correctly identify the split, as well as the justices in the majority and dissent.
There are numerous leagues that lawyers can join, or groups of lawyers can create their own league. There’s also a law school league. As of this writing, the U.W. Law School team was in 12th place out of 196 schools.
By the Numbers: 33.3
The percentage of women in the legal profession nationwide, according to an ABA report titled, “A Current Glance at Women in the Law: February 2013.”
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s membership statistics reveal that approximately 34.1 percent of active members are women.
Quotable: “There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.”
– Susan B. Anthony, a pioneer in the woman’s suffrage movement. March is Women’s History Month.
Anthony’s passionate work helped lead to the passage, in 1920, of the 19th Amendment, which reads: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
In 1925, Mildred Barber, Hellen Brooks, and Helen Thompson, all teachers, became the first women legislators in Wisconsin. Currently, women comprise 25 percent of the Wisconsin Legislature.
On the Radar: Federal Appeals Court Says “Choose Life” Specialty Plates are Unconstitutional
As the Wisconsin Legislature mulls a proposal (AB 206) that would allow people to obtain license plates displaying the words “Choose Life,” a Fourth Circuit federal appeals court recently struck down a North Carolina law that authorizes “Choose Life” plates.
“Issuing a ‘Choose Life’ specialty license plate while refusing to issue a pro-choice specialty license plate constitutes blatant viewpoint discrimination squarely at odds with the First Amendment,” the court concluded.
From the Archives: Burr Jones: Politician, Professor, State Bar President, Justice
March marks the birthday of Burr Jones, who served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court after a long career as a distinguished lawyer, writer, and professor.
Jones was born in Evansville in 1846. After working his way through law school, he stayed in Madison and embarked on a brief political career, including a single term in Congress (1883-1885). Returning from Washington, he joined the U.W. Law School, where he taught for more than 30 years and wrote a leading national treatise, Jones on Evidence.
During the Progressive Era, Jones headed a commission that recommended sweeping reforms in the state’s tax system adopted by the legislature. He also served as the State Bar of Wisconsin’s president (1907-08).
Late in life (1920), Jones was appointed to the supreme court, where he served a single term. He died in 1935.
Source: Jay Ranney, Madison lawyer and legal historian
Out There: Beer Drones Grounded
You’re ice fishing and you run out of beer. In a perfect world, flying drones would deliver more to your shanty. At least that’s what one company envisioned.
Lakemaid Beer, a Minnesota-based company that brews beer in Stevens Point, was hoping to be the region’s first beer drone-delivery operation.
It developed and tested a drone concept for beer delivery to thousands of ice anglers from local bait and beer shops.
But it isn’t to be. In January, the Federal Aviation Administration told the company it could not proceed with more drone testing because FAA rules don’t currently allow the operation of commercial drones. However, the company is hoping that new regulations released in 2015 will allow beer drones to take flight once again.