Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
Legal News for Thurs 5/30 - Alito Won't Recuse, Jurors Deliberate in Trump Trial, QB Sues Florida Over NIL Deal and Jenna Ellis Law License Suspended

Legal News for Thurs 5/30 - Alito Won't Recuse, Jurors Deliberate in Trump Trial, QB Sues Florida Over NIL Deal and Jenna Ellis Law License Suspended

Justice Alito declines to recuse from Trump-related cases, jurors deliberate in Trump's hush money trial, QB Jaden Rashada sues Florida over an NIL deal and Jenna Ellis Bar License Suspension.

This Day in Legal History: Kansas-Nebraska Act Passed

On May 30, 1854, the U.S. Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a significant piece of legislation that allowed the territories of Kansas and Nebraska to decide for themselves whether to allow slavery through popular sovereignty. This act, introduced by Senator Stephen A. Douglas, effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had prohibited slavery north of the 36°30′ parallel except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act led to a violent struggle between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers in Kansas, a period known as "Bleeding Kansas." This conflict highlighted the deep divisions within the United States over the issue of slavery and pushed the nation closer to civil war. The act's passage demonstrated the growing power of the pro-slavery faction in American politics and underscored the weaknesses of legislative compromises in addressing the moral and political challenges posed by slavery.

By allowing the possibility of slavery's expansion into new territories, the Kansas-Nebraska Act intensified the sectional conflict and contributed to the rise of the Republican Party, which was founded on an anti-slavery platform. The law's implications continued to reverberate throughout the nation, setting the stage for the eventual secession of the Southern states and the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has declined to recuse himself from cases involving Donald Trump and the January 6 Capitol riot, despite calls from Democratic lawmakers. These calls followed reports that far-right-associated flags were flown over Alito's homes in Virginia and New Jersey. Alito attributed the flag displays to his wife, Martha-Ann Alito, emphasizing her independent decision-making.

In his letters to lawmakers, including Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Hank Johnson, Alito explained that his wife flies various flags and was responsible for the flagpoles at their residences. He mentioned that the upside-down American flag was flown during a neighborhood dispute and that he requested its removal, which his wife initially resisted. He also noted that the "Appeal to Heaven" flag flown at their beach house was meant to express a patriotic and religious message.

Alito's response has intensified discussions about the need for an enforceable code of conduct for the Supreme Court. Johnson criticized Alito's explanation, calling for congressional action to ensure accountability. This controversy comes as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on significant cases related to Trump's alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the January 6 Capitol riot.

Alito, a key figure in the court's conservative wing, previously authored the opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion.

Alito Rejects Democrats’ Calls to Step Away From Trump Cases (3)

Jurors in Donald Trump's hush money trial have begun their second day of deliberations, focusing on testimony from key witnesses, including Michael Cohen and David Pecker. Trump, charged with falsifying business records to cover up a payment to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election, has pleaded not guilty. Cohen, who facilitated the $130,000 payment, testified that Trump reimbursed him through disguised legal fees. The jurors requested transcripts of Cohen's testimony and Pecker's account of working with Trump to suppress damaging stories.

The outcome of this trial could impact Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign, though a conviction would not bar him from running or serving if elected. Jurors must reach a unanimous verdict, and a mistrial could be declared if they fail to agree. Manhattan prosecutors must prove Trump's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Polls indicate a tight race between Trump and President Biden, with a potential conviction possibly affecting Trump’s support​

Jurors to begin second day of deliberations in Trump hush money trial | Reuters

Quarterback Jaden Rashada's lawsuit against the University of Florida highlights significant risks in the evolving landscape of name-image-likeness (NIL) deals in college athletics. Rashada alleges that Florida boosters and football coach Billy Napier reneged on a $13.8 million contract promised to him to play for the Florida Gators instead of the University of Miami. According to the complaint filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the payment never materialized, leaving Rashada without the promised compensation.

This lawsuit is the first of its kind, addressing fraudulent recruiting tactics involving NIL agreements and third-party collectives. These collectives pool alumni donor money for NIL deals, often resulting in unregulated and problematic agreements for young athletes. Attorney Janet Moreira highlighted the dangers of such unregulated collectives, calling for greater oversight to protect student-athletes.

The case also comes at a time when the NCAA has agreed to a nearly $2.8 billion settlement to end antitrust lawsuits, including provisions for direct revenue sharing with athletes. This settlement marks a significant shift in the financial landscape of college sports, which has historically prohibited athlete compensation until recent legal changes.

Rashada's suit claims that he was lured away from Miami by false promises, with payments from Florida boosters never materializing. The complaint points to long-time Gators booster Hugh Hathcock and Florida's NIL director, who allegedly made misleading assurances about the financial rewards Rashada would receive. This case underscores the ongoing challenges and complexities in the NIL era, where student-athletes must navigate a new and often treacherous financial landscape.

Ex-Recruit’s Fraud Suit Against Florida Coach Exposes NIL Risks

Jenna Ellis, former legal adviser to Donald Trump's 2020 campaign, has had her Colorado law license suspended for three years following an agreement with state legal regulators. This decision, approved by a Colorado Supreme Court disciplinary judge, stems from Ellis' indictment in Georgia for her involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Ellis pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting false statements and received five years probation. Her suspension begins on July 2.

Ellis admitted to spreading baseless claims about election fraud and expressed remorse for her actions, acknowledging that she had been misled by senior Trump campaign lawyers. She emphasized the importance of election integrity and accepted her suspension, recognizing the harm caused by her actions.

Jenna Ellis, ex-Trump campaign legal adviser, has Colorado law license suspended for 3 years - CBS News

Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
The idea is that this podcast can accompany you on your commute home and will render you minimally competent on the major legal news stories of the day. The transcript is available in the form of a newsletter at