Warren Zevon – Lawyers, Guns and Money…seemed like that kind of day today.

A bit of a legal round-up for the weekend:

– Hey, I know.  How about a substantive question (H/T Jamo at Media Matters) about constitutional and rule of law issues in the Presidential debates instead of idiotic, insulting dreck about diamonds and pearls?   These people are going to run our country, not be fashion editors at Vogue.  More substance, less stupid fluff — fer the love of liberty.  (H/T to readers tw3k and Ima Patriot II.)

– The latest in Rachel Paulose excuses for bad management idiocy via Eric Black (H/T to Phoenix Woman).  Yes, it is the fault of people who are soft on trafficked prostitutes now…go figure. 

– Marty at Balkinization has a great discussion going on the OPR’s investigation of the Office of Legal Counsel at the DOJ.  And a response from David Leban that is also worth a read on the ethics questions involved.  Good stuff.

60 Minutes has a troubling piece scheduled this evening on the FBI’s discrediting of lead/bullet analysis — and the fact that they failed to notify defense counsel that it might have led to wrongful convictions in cases where that evidence was used to secure guilty verdicts.  What a mess.  The WaPo has more.  The fact that scientific evidence was discredited by later scientific discovery is nothing new — the fact that people at the FBI tried to hide that from defense counsel, whose clients have a statutorily restricted window for appeal under certain circumstances is unconscionable. 

Glenn dissects the Bush speech to the Federalist Society.  It’s not pretty.

– Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has a piece in OpinionJournal on election of judges, and how special interest pushing of particular issues can skew the process.  This is worth a read and some thought.  It’s an odd dichotomy that judges run for election on a partisan basis but then are expected to put that aside while they sit on the bench, only to ramp it up again for the next election cycle.  Some are very careful about that — some not so much — in my experience.  But, living in a state where judges are elected, I can tell you that special interest money has poured into the election ads the last few years on all sides.  And in a state as small as ours, where you often know all the folks running very well, the outside interest money almost always gets it wrong — but it doesn’t prevent their ads from influencing all those non-lawyer folks who don’t know the people involved.   Definitely something that needs much more discussion nationwide.  (And, speaking of Justice O’Connor,  Andrew Cohen at Bench Blog had a poignant piece on her earlier this week as well.)

Elizabeth de la Vega has some thoughts on torture.