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The Latest Weird News

Vivia Chen

September 16, 2018

Here are some news stories you might have missed:

Prince Donald's influence on the Supreme Court. With all the commotion over Brett Kavanaugh's hearings, you probably missed this little interesting back story. It turns out it's not just the The Federalist Society that's pulling the strings over the Supreme Court nomination process.

According to a new book by legal affairs writer David Kaplan, Donald Trump Jr. might have had a role in nudging Justice Kennedy to step down from the high court. Reports Tony Mauro of Law.com about Kaplan's book: "In considering whether to retire in 2018, Kennedy was  'pulled in different directions' by his children—son Justin, a conservative who was friendly with Donald Trump Jr., and daughter Kristin, politically left of her father."

What's more surprising—that the son of a brainy Supreme Court justice would be hanging out with Don Jr., or that Don Jr. might be the invisible hand shaping the high court? Any way you look at it, Junior is one busy guy— juggling meetings with Russian officials and divorcing his wife. To think we all thought Jared and Ivanka were the ones to watch!

 Is Ted Cruz anti-Asian? As an Asian-American, I must protest about what Texas senator Ted Cruz is saying about one of the staples of my culture.

Politics-2678995__480At a rally for his senate run (his opponent is the Kennedyesque Beto O'Rouke), Cruz told the crowd: "We are seeing tens of millions of dollars flooding into the state of Texas from liberals all over the country who desperately want to turn the state of Texas blue. They want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair."

Whoa. What's that slur he's making about tofu? Is he implying that if red-blooded, steak-eating Texans aren't careful, they'll be turning Asian? Is this some kind of code for the yellow peril?

Perhaps I'm oversensitive. After all, Cruz did put tofu in the same dreaded category as silicon and dyed hair—which, if you think about it, make little sense.

As for "silicon," why wouldn't Cruz want Texas to be a tech center? But maybe he meant "silicone" —alluding to surgically-enhanced breasts, made famous by Hollywood. In any case, if Cruz is talking about fake boobs and dyed hair, I can assure him they are already in abundance in Dallas and Houston. 

There she goes...Miss America. I don't mean to sound unAmerican, but isn't it time to shut down the Miss America franchise?

First, there was all that mess about the sexist emails exchanged between former CEO Sam Haskell and other top pageant officials (they used the "c" word to describe contestants). Then, former Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson (Miss America 1989) was appointed chair to clean up the organization and make it more feminist (she eliminated the swimsuit competition and said that physical appearance was no longer a factor). But this summer, Cara Mund, last year's Miss America, accused Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper of bullying. (By the way, Mund plans to go to law school in fall, 2019.)

Now for the topper: The Miss America Organization is stiffing its lawyers! The Legal Intelligencer reports that the organization owes Fox Rothschild almost $100,000 in legal fees. According to the complaint, Carlson acknowledged the debt, writing to the firm in March: "We are not disputing the total services billed … and I am hoping your firm will consider extending payment of these fees to the second quarter."
It's hard to say what is most disturbing: the female-on-female bullying that allegedly went on, the elimination of physical beauty as a consideration (yo, what's the point of a beauty contest if looks don't matter?) or not paying hardworking lawyers, who are the true unsung heroes behind any enterprise.

All things considered, it seems like the Miss America franchise has become a mess and should be put out of its misery.




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The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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