On this day, June 9th, in legal history Warren Burger succeeded Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
On May 21, 1969, President Richard M. Nixon put forth the nomination of Burger to become Chief Justice of the United States. This appointment received confirmation from the Senate on this day, June 9, in 1969, and Burger assumed office on June 23, 1969. The Burger court, in addition to being the court that convicted and sentenced the Hamburgler, was the last liberal court to date. It was the court under which Roe v. Wade and the New York Times v. United States, which permitted the Pentagon Papers to be published, were decided.
In July 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Burger to lead the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. Throughout his tenure as Chief Justice, Burger also held the positions of Chairman of the Judicial Conference of the United States and Chairman of the Federal Judicial Center from 1969 to 1986. After serving for seventeen years, Burger retired from the Court on September 26, 1986. Even after his retirement, he continued to direct the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution from 1986 to 1992. On June 25, 1995, at the age of eighty-seven, Burger passed away.
It’s like Groundhog Day but way lamer, Donald Trump is indicted again.
Former President Donald Trump has been indicted on seven counts in the special counsel's classified documents probe, marking the first time a former president has faced federal charges. The charges against Trump include obstruction of justice, destruction or falsification of records, conspiracy, false statements, and a charge under the Espionage Act. The investigation focuses on Trump's handling of classified documents brought to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after leaving the White House. The indictment came as a surprise to law enforcement officials, and preparations are underway for Trump's expected court appearance in Miami. This federal indictment adds to Trump's legal challenges, as he already faces criminal charges in New York. Trump's allies have rallied to his defense, while Democrats and some Republicans believe the indictment demonstrates that no one is above the rule of law. The investigation into Trump's actions regarding the classified documents began when the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago and seized thousands of documents, including some marked as classified. The probe has included the testimony of multiple witnesses before grand juries in Washington, DC, and Florida.
The US Supreme Court has revived a lawsuit brought by Jack Daniel's Properties Inc., the maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey, in a trademark dispute over a dog toy called "Bad Spaniels" that mimics the design of the whiskey bottle. The Supreme Court's unanimous ruling is a victory for Jack Daniel's and a setback for VIP Products LLC, the company behind the toy. The case explored the boundaries of trademark rights and First Amendment claims. A federal appeals court had previously ruled in favor of VIP Products, stating that the toy was an expressive work protected by free speech. However, Justice Elena Kagan, writing the opinion for the Supreme Court, overturned that ruling and stated that the so-called Rogers test, which allows trademark use in expressive works if it is artistically relevant, did not apply in this case. The case will now go back to the lower courts, where the focus will be on whether consumers are likely to be confused by the Bad Spaniels toy and mistake it for a product of Jack Daniel's. The decision could potentially make it easier for trademark holders to sue companies that create parodies of their marks on commercial goods.
OpenAI LLC, the organization behind the artificial intelligence program ChatGPT, is facing a defamation lawsuit filed by a Georgia radio host named Mark Walters. Walters claims that ChatGPT generated a false legal complaint through its chatbot feature, accusing him of embezzling money. The lawsuit alleges that ChatGPT provided this false information to Fred Riehl, the editor-in-chief of AmmoLand, a gun publication, who had requested a summary of a real-life legal case involving the Second Amendment Foundation.
Instead, ChatGPT allegedly provided a summary falsely stating that Walters was being sued for defrauding and embezzling funds from the foundation. Walters, who is not involved in the actual case, asserts that every statement pertaining to him in the summary is false. The lawsuit highlights the growing concern over the truthfulness and reliability of AI-generated outputs, as similar cases of misinformation and fabricated information have arisen recently. OpenAI has not yet commented on the lawsuit.
The American Bar Association (ABA) has approved a new law school entrance exam developed by the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. The JD-Next program, which includes an eight-week online course, aims to provide prospective law students with a taste of law school and assess their ability to learn the material. The approval currently applies only to applicants to the University of Arizona law school, but other schools can seek ABA permission to use the exam. The University of Arizona was the first to incorporate the GRE alongside the LSAT for law school admissions in 2016. JD-Next seeks to address racial score disparities often observed in standardized tests like the LSAT. The Law School Admission Council, which produces the LSAT, emphasized the LSAT's effectiveness as a predictor of law school success and its role in promoting diversity. JD-Next participants have shown improvement in their first-year law school performance, with a .2 increase in grade-point averages compared to non-participants. The program is currently free, and plans are underway to establish JD-Next as a separate testing entity.