Loose Ends, 10-6-08

Quick headlines from the Bitter Newsroom:

The Supreme Court is back in session today, which is raising a political debate.  How many open seats on the Court will the next president have to fill?  Potentially three.  And that leaves the court hanging in the legal balance.  “‘What you really want to do in reshaping the court is change the median justice,’ said John McGinnis, a constitutional law expert and professor at Northwestern University. ‘That changes a lot more votes in the long run than just exchanging one liberal for another or one conservative for another.’” Out with the old….  [Washington Post]

A new biography talks about Michelle Obama’s Big Firm experience.  And it seems that she was bigger than the firm.  [Chicago Sun-Times]

“J.L. Chestnut Jr., the first black lawyer in Selma, Ala., and an attorney for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the city’s landmark protest marches of the early 1960s, died Sept. 30 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. He was 77.” [Los Angeles Times]

The issue of sexism in the workplace might always be just that: An issue.  Can a mother be an effective lawyer, or is it not considered enough of a “pink collar” career?  “Jenny McCann, a teacher and lawyer, previously worked at a law firm where four lawyers were hired at about the same time, two men and two women. All four had had a child within six months of each other.  Within a year, the two women had been let go, in part because they weren’t able to bill enough hours.” [The Buffalo News]

You know that partner in your firm who has the big neck tattoo?  No?  Maybe you don’t today, but as the culture of body evolves, it may not be too far off.  “Defining what the courts in the Cloutier case called a ‘neat, clean and professional’ workplace image becomes more challenging when you consider that in 2006, a Pew Research Center survey found that 36 percent of people age 18 to 25, and 40 percent of those age 26 to 40, have at least one tattoo.” [The Ledger]