On this day, June 8, in legal history James Madison first proposed the Bill of Rights.
On June 8, 1789, James Madison presented the proposed Bill of Rights to the House of Representatives. Initially, Madison included more amendments than what eventually made it into the final version. The House agreed on a Bill of Rights with 17 amendments, but later the Senate consolidated them to 12. Ultimately, in December 1791, 10 out of the 12 amendments were approved by the states, becoming the Bill of Rights. One of the rejected amendments, regarding congressional pay, was later ratified as the 27th Amendment in 1992. Madison also suggested a two-part Preamble for the Constitution, incorporating part of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. However, this proposal was not adopted.
Madison emphasized the need to assert the equal rights of conscience, freedom of the press, and trial by jury in criminal cases for all states. Madison also wanted to clarify the distinct roles of each branch of government, ensuring they did not encroach upon one another's powers. However, these provisions did not pass the congressional review process.
Madison's proposed Article VII, highlighting the separation of powers, did not make it into the Constitution. However, the second part of that article survived as the Tenth Amendment, which reserves powers not delegated to the federal government to the states. Additionally, Madison's version of the Second Amendment recognized the right to bear arms in the context of a well-regulated militia.
Madison desired to interweave the Bill of Rights within the Constitution, but this idea faced resistance due to concerns of appearing to rewrite the Constitution. Consequently, the Bill of Rights was appended at the end of the document. Despite these alterations, many of Madison's core ideas were incorporated into the ratified version of the Bill of Rights. Madison aimed to bolster the rights of the people and earn their confidence by protecting them against government encroachments.
Cooley LLP, a Silicon Valley-based law firm, has asked some incoming first-year associates to delay their start dates for another year, offering them a $100,000 stipend in return. The firm reached out to incoming corporate associates, providing them with three options. They can defer their start dates and receive a stipend, stick to their original January start dates in the corporate group, or switch to another practice area with more available work. These measures are being taken to reduce the size of Cooley's incoming corporate class due to a slowdown in demand. The firm had already postponed the start date for its first-year class from November to January 2024. Cooley laid off 150 attorneys and staff in late 2022 as a necessary response to decreased workload. Despite being a top recruiter during the pandemic, the firm is now facing reduced demand for corporate and deals work, leading to the need for workforce adjustments. Fenwick & West, another law firm, has also decided to postpone the start date for its first-year corporate and technology transactions associates to January 16, 2024.
Back-to-back legal industry news.
Law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell is implementing a four-day office work-week for its lawyers, joining a trend of firms adopting more in-person work policies as the pandemic recedes. Starting after Labor Day, the firm will require its U.S. lawyers and business services professionals to work in the office from Monday through Thursday. As always, the claim is the move is aimed at facilitating mentorship, training, and relationship-building opportunities that are believed to be more effective in an in-person environment – none of these announcements ever admit it's just to bring associates to heel.
Davis Polk will also introduce a new remote day "bank" that allows employees to choose 16 days per year to work from home. Other law firms, such as Skadden and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, have also made adjustments to their work policies, with some offering more flexibility for remote work.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a new privacy law, S.B. 262, aimed at giving consumers more control over their data and addressing concerns about tech giants' alleged censorship of conservative views. The law, known as the "Digital Bill of Rights," includes provisions common to other state privacy laws, granting consumers rights over their data collection, storage, and sharing.
However, it also requires search engines to disclose whether political ideology influences search results and prohibits government-mandated content moderation on social media platforms. The law provides additional protections for children under 18 years old. Florida is the ninth state to enact comprehensive privacy legislation, and it targets only the largest tech companies, subjecting them to significant fines.
The law will take effect in stages, with the social media moderation section starting this July and the bulk of provisions going into effect on July 1, 2024. Consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports has called for stronger measures in the law, citing limited applicability and potential loopholes that could leave personal information unprotected. The law applies to companies with more than $1 billion in gross annual revenue and over half of their revenue coming from online ads. It also covers companies operating smart speakers and those running app stores with at least 250,000 available applications.
Violations of the law could result in penalties exceeding the maximum fines imposed by other state privacy laws. The attorney general will have sole enforcement power and can seek civil penalties of up to $50,000 per violation, which may be tripled under certain circumstances. Consumers will have the right to access, correct, and delete their data, as well as opt out of processing for targeted advertising or profiling purposes. Businesses will be required to reasonably secure consumer data and conduct assessments to evaluate data collection risks and benefits. The law also prohibits state and local government entities from requesting the removal of content or accounts on social media platforms based on "unfair censorship" concerns.
Federal prosecutors have informed former U.S. President Donald Trump's attorneys that he is the target of an investigation into his handling of classified materials, according to a person familiar with the matter. The notification from the Justice Department does not necessarily mean Trump will be charged but gives him an opportunity to present his own evidence before a grand jury.
The news comes just days after Trump's attorneys met with Justice Department officials to discuss the case. Trump's legal team was notified on Monday, although the timing of such notifications does not indicate when charges might be brought. Trump, who is currently campaigning for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated.
One federal grand jury is investigating Trump's retention of classified materials after leaving the White House, while another criminal investigation is focused on alleged efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss. In August 2022, investigators seized around 13,000 documents from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, some of which were marked as classified. Trump's legal troubles have expanded, including a civil lawsuit in which he was ordered to pay damages for sexual abuse and defamation, as well as a criminal investigation in Georgia related to his efforts to reverse the 2020 election results.
A Hollywood actor is the latest January 6th rioter arrested – I guess you can tell by the way I’m introducing this you’re not going to have heard of them.
Jay Johnston, an actor known for his roles in TV shows like "Arrested Development" and "Bob's Burgers," has been arrested for his involvement in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Johnston is the latest individual to be charged in connection with the incident, which aimed to keep Donald Trump in the White House. He was charged with various offenses, including interfering with law enforcement officers, entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct, and impeding passage through Capitol grounds. Johnston surrendered to the FBI in Los Angeles, where he resides. An FBI affidavit stated that he was seen wielding a stolen U.S. Capitol Police riot shield and participating in the mob that clashed with officers near a tunnel leading into the Capitol building. Online amateur investigators reportedly identified Johnston from FBI-released images seeking public assistance in identifying participants in the riot. Trump had encouraged his supporters to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden's electoral victory. Johnston has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, often playing law enforcement roles, and he voiced a character in the animated series "Bob's Burgers" until he was reportedly banned from the show following his association with the Capitol mob.