Various thoughts on current events with an emphasis on politics, legal issues, books, movies and whatever is on my mind. Emails can be sent to email@example.com; please put "blog comments" in the subject line.
Update: A discussion at SCOTUSBlog flags one interesting case that the federal govenrment was asked to comment on.
SCOTUS is back though nothing too exciting is going on. An employee rights cases being heard today might be important to various workers (the timing of wrongdoing / relief reminds me a bit of Ledbetter) while the other has a description that puts me to sleep. The orders also aren't that excited though they rarely on. A dissent adds some flavor.
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) prohibits federal courts from granting habeas relief unless the state court’s decision “involved an unreasonable application of clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Three justices thought the 6CA has yet again ignored this limitation, the law as one conservative blog noted while examining Judge Sotomayor's actions under it "is bitterly resented by many federal judges precisely because it was enacted to curtail their ability to lord it over state courts and because it rejected the notion that their judgments are inherently superior." Well, that's one way of discussing the role of federal courts to provide federal constitutional oversight per their more independent position as those with life tenure without political and other restraints that state judges have. Ironically, given KS there thought Sotomayor applied it fairly, turns out she is not a great fan of the law.
Meanwhile, we have another troll (don't like the term but at some point it might fit) litigant back again, one who has target so many justices that there isn't a quorum. This by statute lets the lower court opinion hold. The abuse of the courts is a serious matter but can result is some amusing claims and/or motions such as this one targeting Thomas. Kevin L. Smith has been at this for some time, as seen by this decision by the 10CA back in 2007. In fact, a bit more searching lead me to this, suggesting he has been at this in some fashion for over fifteen years.
Appellant, Kenneth Smith, was awarded a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1995. He applied for admission to the Colorado Bar in January of 1996. Pursuant to C.R.C.P. 201.7 and 201.9, the executive director of the Board of Law Examiners recommended that an inquiry panel be convened to determine questions of Mr. Smith’s mental, moral and ethical qualifications for admission to the Bar. The inquiry panel conducted proceedings and ultimately concluded that probable cause existed to believe that Mr. Smith lacked mental stability, and hence recommended that his admission to the Bar be denied.
One gets an idea after a while that the panel was on to something.