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Commentary

I Bought the Law

The recent settlement reached in a lawsuit over a rule requiring disclosure of campaign spending sources is the latest chapter in ongoing efforts to revamp election laws in the state. http://gab.wi.gov/node/1264 But who says justice isn’t for sale? While browsing online for a novelty birthday present for a friend, I came across a website that was selling several bobbleheads of ...

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Program Operations Manual System

The Social Security Administration’s Program Operations Manual is a “primary source of information used by Social Security employees to process claims for Social Security benefits.” The public online version varies slightly from the SSA’s version. The public version lacks instructions for the data entry of information and any “sensitive content.” The manual has a very detailed table of contents to ...

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Mosquito Activity – Moderate

I was on Weather.com checking the weather in Madison, when I stumbled upon their “Mosquito Activity Forecast.” So, of course I had to check it out. You enter in a city or zip code and it will provide a breakdown (by 2 hour segments) of how bad the mosquito population will be in the area. Hint: Unbearable if you live ...

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Commentary: Judicial nominations – then and now

President Obama has appointed UW law professor Victoria Nourse to replace retiring Judge Terence Evans on the Seventh Circuit. Needless to say, it’s not a choice I would make. For me, the simple fact that she wrote an article in the California Law Review last year entitled “A Tale of Two Lochners,” in which she asserts that Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905), was incorrectly decided, is sufficient reason for me not to like the nomination.

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Commentary: Is Supreme Court search decision applicable to drunken driving cases?

In Arizona v. Gant, 129 S.Ct. 1710 (2009), the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a police policy of searching the vehicle of every person arrested, without consideration of whether there is any danger to police or whether evidence is likely be found in the vehicle. In other words, vehicle searches incident to arrest are no longer automatically valid in Wisconsin once ...

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On liberty of contract and stray kittens

Whenever progressives interfere with the constitutional right to liberty of contract, there are invariably consequences that they intend, and consequences they did not intend. Thus, when they raise the minimum wage, they intend to jack up the unemployment rate. What they don’t intend is that people will switch from the legal job market to working for cash instead, don’t pay ...

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Free SEC Filing Alerts via Email

A nice option for receiving free email updates when items are filed with the SEC is SECFilings.com. The site is offered by Accelerize New Media. It is a clean, easy to use, interface that provides a wealth of information. Researchers need to register to receive alerts, but it is a quick process. Once registered, users can set up alerts based ...

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Data on Demand

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will occasionally include some very interesting and searchable information in conjunction with a news story. Most recently, in support of a story on water consumption, they offer a database “of more than 158,000 Milwaukee Water Works customers from June 2008 to June 2010.” Researchers can search by street name, city, account holder and account type (e.g. ...

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EPA and the BP Oil Spill

It appears that BP has capped the well. However, there is still much to do in the Gulf. Researchers will be looking at environmental information pertaining to the spill for quite a while. The Environmental Protection Agency has a dedicated website responding to the BP Spill. The site links to discussion on specific topics including air, sediment, water, and waste ...

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Commentary: Intern laws can be tough to navigate

In these difficult economic times, when many employers have had to cut their workforce and make do with less, it may be tempting for businesses to engage the services of unpaid interns – students or recent graduates who are willing to work for nothing in order to gain some work experience. With young adults being especially hard hit by unemployment, ...

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Commentary: Ruling sets bar for full payment

Last year in this column, I raised the question of whether the costs for violating a court order, including attorney fees, would constitute “continuing contempt” in order to assure that a victim would be made whole. (“When is Contempt Continuing?” Wisconsin Law Journal, Aug. 24, 2009.) While not directly addressing the issue of continuing contempt, a recent decision by the ...

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