Wake Up Call: Requiem for Rehnquist • Confirmation Fast Track • Suspicious Deals (Corrected)

This week, the United States Law Week First Move will be filling in for the Wake Up Call column. First Move is a morning email available as part of your Bloomberg Law or United States Law Week subscription. Hope you enjoy!

Kavanaugh’s ‘Hero’ No Friend to the Defense

Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court William Rehnquist (R) administers the oath of office to newly-appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (L) as U.S. President Bill Clinton looks on August 10, 1993. KORT DUCE/AFP/Getty Images

If you’re a criminal defendant—or defense attorney—following the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, you might want to consider whom he counts as his “first judicial hero.”

  • Odds are, you wouldn’t be thrilled that it’s William H. Rehnquist. The late chief justice sought, with some success, to cut back on the expansion of criminal defendants’ rights advanced by Rehnquist’s bete noire, the liberal Warren Court of the 1960s.

Hail to the Law-and-Order Chief: Kavanaugh praised Rehnquist in a 2017 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a D.C.-based conservative think tank.

The Trump nominee spoke approvingly of Rehnquist’s rulings against convicts in matters of search and seizure, the right to silence, and the death penalty.

  • And if he is so inclined, Kavanaugh could actually push some of those rulings further than Rehnquist himself, a death penalty expert tells Bloomberg Law.
U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill on July 17, 2018. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • His confirmation would give the government five relatively solid conservative votes on questions of crime and punishment.

Bloomberg Law’s Jordan Rubin has the story, later today.

Judicial Confirmations at Historic Pace

Finish Before Midterms: The Senate’s goal is to fill as many federal court vacancies as possible before congressional midterms.

  • Fifty-two committee-approved judicial nominees await floor votes: 48 for district courts and four for the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

24 and Counting: Ryan Bounds would have been the 24th appellate judge confirmed during the Trump administration before the nomination was withdrawn.

  • By comparison, 16 were confirmed during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency, 17 for George W. Bush, 19 for Bill Clinton and 22 for George H.W. Bush.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh meets Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) July 11, 2018 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • “We’re going to confirm all of them this year,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said.

Bloomberg’s Nancy Ognanovich has the story.

From Our Notebooks

Avoiding the Orange Jumpsuit: The New York City bar’s ethics committee said transactional lawyers asked to work on deals that raise suspicions may need to investigate further. A duty to inquire is implicit in the duties of competence and to avoid assisting a crime. Legal ethics reporter Mindy Rattan has the story.

Pest-Repeller Experts: Experts on both sides can testify in a class suit alleging ultrasonic pest repellent devices made by Bell + Howell don’t keep bugs and rodents away, a federal court in New York says. A jury will need to determine how much weight to give testing methods that compared the number of pests in spaces with and without the small electronic devices, the court says. Bloomberg Law’s Julie Steinberg has the story.

No LGBT Protection: Michigan law doesn’t protect LGBT workers from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender, Michigan’s attorney general says. Bloomberg Law’s Alex Ebert has the story.

Around the Web

Family Friendly: A new Delaware Supreme Court policy that moves the filing deadline in non-expedited cases from 11:59 p.m. to 5 p.m. is intended to ease the burden on staff and attorneys, Delaware Law Weekly reports.

Pepper Hamilton investigators were “so out of touch with the structure of college football it was comical,” the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports. The comments by former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett follow a rape scandal at the school.

Fighting Words: Which is better for clients—small-market or big-market law firms, Abovethelaw asks.

Law School Acquisition: The University of Illinois at Chicago is acquiring the nearby John Marshall Law School, Inside Higher Ed reports.

Watered-Down Law: A broken valve has caused extensive damage to books in the North Dakota Supreme Court Law Library, the Associated press reports.

Clare Locke: 60 Minutes Producer Jeff Fager hired law firm Clare Locke to represent him in response to a Washington Post investigation of what CBS managers knew about former anchor Charlie Rose’s alleged sexual misconduct, the Daily Beast reports. Clare Locke’s founding partners were both formally with from Kirkland & Ellis.


Steptoe & Johnson LLP announced the arrival of George Callas, who previously served as senior tax counsel to House Speaker Paul Ryan. Callas has joined the firm’s Government Affairs & Public Policy and Tax Groups, and will serve as a managing director in the Washington office.

Haynes and Boone, LLP has added Emilie B. Cooper as a partner in the firm’s New York Office. Cooper was previously a partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP in New York.

Ogletree Deakins has launched a Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group in response to growing client demand for legal assistance. The group will be led by shareholders Kevin Kinney (Milwaukee), Diana Nehro (International Practice Group), and Jonathan Wilson (Dallas).

Morris, Manning & Martin in Atlanta picked Simon Malko as its new managing partner. He currently serves as the chair of the firm’s Litigation Practice.

O’Melveny has announced the arrival of Geoffrey Kuziemko, who has joined the firm as a partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions practice. He will be based in the San Francisco office and spend significant time working out of the firm’s Silicon Valley office. Kuziemko joins O’Melveny from Latham & Watkins

Stroock announces two new partners; Akshay Belani joins the firm’s Commodities/Derivatives and Energy Group in New York, while Patrick Menasco arrives to the Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and ERISA practice in Washington. Belani was previously a partner at Morgan Lewis; Menasco formerly a partner at Steptoe.

King & Spalding announced that Timothy Fesenmyer has joined as a partner in the firm’s Corporate, Finance and Investments practice group in the New York office. Fesenmyer joins from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

(In the Workflows section, entry on Geoffrey Kuziemko corrected to reflect that he joined O’Melveny from Latham and Watkins.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens in Washington at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com