On the Court’s calendar this week:

  • Through Wednesday: The calendar shows the Texas Center for the Judiciary’s annual judicial conference. You can read more at this link.

  • Friday: Regular weekly orders list

The next internal conference of the Justices will be next week.

The Temple of Justice

That’s the name given to the Washington Supreme Court’s building, and it is also the name given to a new website devoted to that court. TempleOfJustice.org is a joint project of the political science department of Washington State University and the Oyez Project.

It may be too early to tell, but the focus appears to be on case summaries and packaging the courts’ public information in a more user-friendly form.

Spelling made-up words

“Frac, Frack, or Hydrofrack?” (Blawgletter)

No, this isn’t a Battlestar Galactica post. Instead, Barry Barnett takes a look at different ways of turning “hydraulic fractioning” into a verb.

In Railroad Commission Of Texas v. Texas Citizens For A Safe Future And Clean Water, No. 08-0497, the Court chose the form “fracing”:

Fracing a well entails pumping large volumes of water and sand into reservoir rock, which then mixes with saline formation water and must be flowed back out of the well before production can begin.

Barnett suggests that the hard “k” of “fracking” would make this process sound ominous, while omitting the “k” (“fracing”) makes it sound “almost benign.”

The insurance/reinsurance case draws more attention

Last Wednesday, the Court heard oral argument in Texas Department of Insurance v. American National Insurance Co. and American Life Insurance Co. of Texas, No. 10-0374, a case about the scope of the state insurance agency’s regulatory authority. An article in Business Law Daily talks about some of the amicus interest in this case: “National Trade Group Defends Texas Appellate Ruling On Reinsurance”.