13 May 2008

No, I'm not dead...

I know, I neglected my blog for almost a full month. I figured this was going to happen, and there wasn't really anything I could do to stop it. Here's a quick recap of what I've been up to:

First, finals consumed my soul for about two weeks, starting right after I posted my last entry. I felt OK about how they went...unfortunately, the school is very slow with posting grades, so I still don't actually know how I did.

After that, I had less than 24 hours in which I had absolutely nothing to do. It was glorious. Then write-on started. For those of you who don't know anything about law school, write-on is a competition of sorts for getting on a journal. It involves a week of fairly grueling writing, editing, and bluebooking (citations). It was a blast, let me tell you.

To top it all off, I started my summer job yesterday. I'm working at the Becket Fund, a public interest law firm that specializes in religious liberties work. It was a pretty laid back first day, with not much to do except research the use of "sectarian" as a synonym for Catholic in 19th century laws (pretty interesting stuff, at least to me). As a little background, in the 1870s, most states passed these laws now called the Blaine Amendments, which prohibit the use of public funds for "sectarian" schools. Most modern scholars agree that by "sectarian", the lawmakers meant "Catholic", thereby allowing funds for nondenominational (read: nonsectarian) Protestant schools while prohibiting their use for Catholic schools. These laws are still in effect today and have recently become relevant again with the rise of school vouchers. Taxpayers in several states have sued their state governments, claiming a misuse of their tax dollars. The Supreme Court has not declared these amendments unconstitutional, but they have ruled that school vouchers do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. This is a step in the right direction, but what the Court really needs to do is declare these amendments unconstitutional and take the decision out of the states' hands. For more information on the Blaine Amendments and what the Becket Fund is doing to try to have them declared unconstitutional, see this website.

That's about all I have for now, as there's not much else that's happened recently that is worth writing about (it's amazing how quickly things went downhill after the Pope left). Hopefully now that I have more free time (and time to kill at work, like right now), I'll be able to write more.


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