Arnold’s green road back

Arnold Schwarzenegger, hot off a seven-year run as California governor, went underground in May after it was revealed he had fathered a child with a household employee.

The White House, which worked with him on events like Solyndra’s factory groundbreaking in 2009, cut off contact. A “world tour” to promote green policies was derailed. Polls showed that most of the support he had left among his former constituents was gone.

But in recent weeks, Schwarzenegger has begun to return to the spotlight, making public appearances at renewable energy and climate change events, advocating for green technology and touting his energy achievements in the Golden State.

“I promise you I will be your cheerleader and carry our message around the world. I will do everything in my power to make this happen,” Schwarzenegger told the American Council On Renewable Energy on Dec. 5 in Washington, D.C. “I feel as passionate about this as I did about bodybuilding, about fitness and weight training, all those things.” Continue reading “Arnold’s green road back”

Dissenting from the Bench: The Role of Oral Dissents at the Supreme Court in Inciting Action

There is no story more formally structured than a legal narrative; there is an audience, narrators, characters, a plot, rules about who can say what when — and, typically, wide room for interpretation. Jerome Bruner writes that, like all tales, a legal narrative reflects Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic Pentad: agent, action, goal, setting and means — but there is some disagreement between the five elements, creating trouble. In fiction, of course, that trouble creates the plot; in everyday life, trouble is grounds for a story recounted later, to friends or family, sometimes again and again. But trouble is a different thing altogether when it is created in a legal setting. “It is the conversion of private Trouble (in Burke’s sense) into public plight that makes well-wrought narrative so powerful, so comforting, so dangerous, so culturally essential” (Bruner 2002:35). Fortunately for lawyers, the trouble created for legal narratives is inherently adversarial; in almost every case, both sides make different claims, and it is up to the audience — sometimes a jury, other times one or more judges — to decide how the story ends.

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Student Assembly votes to fund additional counselor

The College of William and Mary Student Assembly passed its largest appropriation in seven years to provide funding for an additional staff member at the Counseling Center.

The SA passed the Student Mental Health Act, sponsored by Sen. Ryan Ruzic J.D. ’11 and Sen. Curt Mills ’13, Tuesday night, appropriating $57,000 from the consolidated reserve to fund the salary, benefits and search process to employ an extra psychologist at the Counseling Center for one year.

“We were able to do something that actually helps students in a real, substantive way,” Ruzic said. “I think student government does a lot of things that help a lot of students, but in very small ways. It’s great when we have a lot of our various missions — talking to the state government about more funding, talking to administrators about student life issues — but there’s very few things we do that so fundamentally help people.”

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City files legal action against 219A Harrison landlord

The City of Williamsburg is suing the landlord of 219A Harrison Ave. for violating the city’s three-person rule, which prohibits more than three unrelated people from living together.

The city brought the lawsuit against 219 Harrison Ventures, LLC, the owners of the property, before the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court earlier this month.

“The house was found to be in violation of the city’s zoning ordinance,” Williamsburg Zoning Administrator Rodney Rhodes said. “It had not been corrected within the time period given the property owner.”

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“Oh William and Mary, please let me in your school”

Transcript? Check. Recommendations? Check. Essay? Check. Video? Maybe.

Videos are becoming an increasingly popular part of college applications at the College of William and Mary and at many other schools across the nation. Including a supplementary video allows a potential student to show — not just tell — admissions officers about themselves.

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Exclusive interview with Linda Greenhouse

Former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse spoke with The Flat Hat about Sandra Day O’Connor, the allocation of federal power and her experience covering Bush v. Gore.

Tell me about your relationship with Sandra Day O’Connor.
I’ve had the chance to see her a number of times since she retired. I’ve been on a couple of panels in programs that she put together at Georgetown Law School and her project to clean up the system for selecting state court judges that she’s really devoted herself to. I feel privileged that I’ve known her because I think she’s really the genuine article. She’s a terrific servant of the public, really, and she’s using her premature retirement to really try to make a difference in American civic life, and that’s very commendable.

Do you think it’s likely that Justice John Paul Stevens will retire at the end of this term?
Yeah, I think it’s highly likely. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t.

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Former reporter: Supreme Court moving away from social issues

Future decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court will focus on topics such as corporations and wartime executive powers rather than on popular social issues, according to former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse.

Greenhouse, who covered the nation’s highest judiciary from 1978 to 2008, spoke at the College of William and Mary Tuesday during a three-day visit to campus as the 2010 Hunter B. Andrews Fellow in American Politics.

She has participated in most of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law’s annual Supreme Court Previews in the last two decades and currently teaches at Yale Law School.

Greenhouse began by discussing the recently decided case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a 5-4 decision in which the majority ruled that corporations have broad First Amendment rights, especially regarding political advertisements. The decision struck down part of the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002, which in part prevented corporations from running political advertisements prior to elections.

Continue reading “Former reporter: Supreme Court moving away from social issues”