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President George W. Bush remembered the Legal Services Corp. last week, even as his eyes were on Baghdad. Bush tapped David Hall, a professor and former dean at Northeastern University School of Law, for the LSC board on Thursday. A week earlier the president named his first two Democrats to the 11-member board, which by law can have no more than six members of either party. The minority party appointees: Herbert Garten of Baltimore’s Fedder and Garten and Thomas Meites of Chicago’s Meites, Mulder, Burger & Mollica. The president has three names to go, then the Senate will likely vote on all at once. The LSC, which is receiving nearly $338 million this year from Congress to dispense to legal aid groups nationwide, is one of the legal profession’s favorite political footballs. … A rough week for plaintiffs’ lawyers ended on a final sour note. After the U.S. Supreme Court limited punitive damages last week and two senators proposed forcing tobacco lawyers to give back billions in fees to the states, the Senate Judiciary Committee OK’d a measure pushing some claims from state to federal courts and limiting so-called coupon settlements. The measure is the least controversial of several tort reform efforts — including medical malpractice and asbestos proposals — moving through Congress. … Justice Antonin Scalia is not only an original, but he confirmed he is an originalist. Addressing the notion of a “living Constitution” at a University of Mississippi speech, he said, “It’s a lovely thought, a lovely phrase, but it will destroy us or destroy the Supreme Court as we’ve known it.” Scalia also said he uses an 18th century dictionary. … Six members of the Sioux Nation filed what they hope will become a class action seeking $25 billion for alleged sexual and physical abuse they endured while at Catholic boarding schools. They claim the government is liable even though it was not directly involved in the wrongdoing. Related link: Sioux lawsuit alleges abuse at government-run schools

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