News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: MoFo changes DEI fellowship; X reacts to BigLaw partner at Burning Man festival

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MoFo expands DEI fellowship after suit

Morrison & Foerster has changed the eligibility criteria for a diversity, equity and inclusion fellowship after being sued by a conservative activist who led the campaign against affirmative action in college admissions. The Keith Wetmore 1L Fellowship for Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion was initially available to law students who are members of “historically underrepresented groups in the legal industry.” Now, it’s available to exceptional law students “with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.” The fellowship consists of a paid summer associate position and a $50,000 stipend. (The Washington Free Beacon, Bloomberg Law, Reuters, Above the Law, the Washington Post)

X reacts to BigLaw partner at Burning Man festival

Hogan Lovells partner Neal K. Katyal—a former U.S. acting solicitor general—told his followers on X (formerly Twitter) that he was able to escape the rain-drenched Burning Man festival following “an incredibly harrowing 6 mile hike at midnight through heavy and slippery mud.” He advised others trying the hike to put plastic bags on their feet before donning socks and shoes. Commenters on X complained that the plastic bag advice could create a moist environment that allows trench foot to flourish. Katyal also had to contend with criticism by former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark, who is accused in the Georgia RICO indictment against former President Donald Trump and others. Clark said he wasn’t surprised that Katyal attended “a neopagan ritual,” and he prayed that attendees would “realize that the only path is through and to our Lord.” Katyal responded that he is a Hindu, and he wondered whether “Criminal Defendant Clark” was suggesting that Katyal didn’t belong in the country. Katyal suggested that Clerk study the text of the First Amendment, as well as the Criminal Code. (Above the Law here and here)

Senator files ethics complaint against Alito

Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island has filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito with Chief Justice John Roberts. Whitehouse, sponsor of legislation that would impose an ethics code on the Supreme Court, targeted Alito for commenting to the Wall Street Journal that Congress has no authority to regulate the Supreme Court on ethics issues. Whitehouse said Alito was commenting on a matter that could come before the high court. (Bloomberg Law, NBC News via How Appealing)

Second suspended prosecutor sues DeSantis over removal

A second Democratic state attorney who was removed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has filed a Florida Supreme Court petition challenging the action. Monique H. Worrell, who was the state attorney for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, said DeSantis’ allegations of “neglect of duty” and “incompetence” aren’t backed up with specifics. DeSantis’ order “does not allege a single instance in which Ms. Worrell’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion violated Florida law,” the petition said. (WFTV, the Associated Press, the Orlando Sentinel, Bloomberg Law, the petition)

Judge orders removal of floating barriers in Rio Grande

Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra of the Western District of Texas has ordered Texas to remove floating barriers in the Rio Grande River. Ezra ruled that federal law requires permission before installing obstructions in the nation’s navigable waters. (NPR, CNN)

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