Friday, June 23, 2017
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Three somewhat notable criminal justice opinions today, one continuing the Roberts Court practice of softening harsh immigration criminal law. Gorsuch concurred there ("respectfully"!) saying Kagan decided too much. Gorsuch basically joined with Alito/Thomas when he voted separately. Breyer/Kagan dissented here (defendant lost). They split on another lurid murder case. Meanwhile, nice obit on a lower court judge many probably might not know about. Nine cases and some important decisions (travel ban etc.) to make left.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Summer begins and the year continues to be a bummer, including two special elections going the wrong way yesterday (Georgia/South Carolina) though them being close (usual very safe red) is of some value. Mets beaten 12-0. Older players, pitchers off injuries and second year slumps possibilities (Gsellman) made high expectations a bit overblown. But, especially with key injuries like to Thor, everything that can go wrong seems to be going wrong with little going right (Wheeler was very good for a time, but now had two horrible starts). Sigh.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Partisan gerrymandering does have First Amendment implications, particularly freedom of association, but two important opinions today. First, "disparaging" trademark prohibition (applied to "The Slant," who used it ironically) unanimously overruled (some dispute on details). Way to resist "Redskins" is private pressure. Also, split 5-3 on breadth of dicta (Alito probably right to be careful), broad online blockage of sex offenders overturned.
Busy day. First, good discussion -- with many reasons -- supporting cameras. Second, important partisan gerrymander case to be decided (though again, four justices dissent as to a stay and don't say why!), which some are saying means Kennedy will stick around. Sotomayor continues to go her own way to support liberal jurisdiction rules. First dissenting vote to written opinion by Gorsuch perfectly expected (criminal justice). (His first opinion challenged on style and substance here.) Another error correction per curiam. Pithy first paragraph makes me think Roberts wrote it. OTOH, not quite this good. 1A next. ETA: Also, a "Bivens" case involving post-9/11 treatment that was a destined to be a lost cause with Sotomayor and Kagan was not involved. Breyer dissented from bench in 4-2 (3-1-2) restriction of civil litigation. One claim left open for now. See here for analysis, including my comment on Breyer's oral dissent. Will foreclose citing them but other opinions will be discussed in depth various places too. More opinions on Thursday.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
We honor the police who stopped the attack at a congressional baseball game from being more lethal ("well regulated militia"?) and then protest later with the not guilty verdict in the Philando Castile case. Situations quite different but still up/down. Some statistics: mentally ill and black victims stand out. Reading: Chris Hayes and The Hate U Give. As to rhetoric per the political attack, my baseline is human empathy with even "deplorables" a matter of humanity. Non-humans don't have the wherewithal to be deplorable. ETA: Regarding the police killing, when the NY Daily News editorial staff says "simply madness" -- it's not some left leaning group -- it's a red flag. The case seems so gratutious. EVEN THIS? Come on. It's like waterboarding. Got to draw a line SOMEWHERE!
Friday, June 16, 2017
The formal ceremony to insert the replacement for the stolen seat occurred yesterday, the "golly" Trump representative and various other deplorables present. This asshole will be on the Court for decades most likely. And, as seen by the beginning of the audio here, Trump's court of appeals nominees are starting to take their places too. How do RBG et. al. (including Sotomayor who has to sit next to the guy!) feel? Can all of them really treat Gorsuch merely as a colleague? Maybe, they can. I have my doubts I could. Imagine if Kennedy retires!
Monday, June 12, 2017
Still waiting on decisions regarding taking certain cases, but had a per curiam regarding geriatric release (and parole for juvenile offenders). Not sure the point of such pinpoint error correction. Important gender rights opinion (cites SSM cases/Alito and Thomas concurred separately) though party loses out for now in the end. It's an immigration case so query if usage of constitutional principle there (six votes at that) helps the travel ban challenges? One other opinion of note basically because (Golly! how folksy!) it's Gorsuch's first. ETA: It's not exactly as exciting for many, but SCOTUS seems to be dealing with intellectual property issues in various cases of late and took a significant one for review. As to the immigration decision comment, the provision is differentiated from congressional “exceptionally broad power” to admit or exclude aliens. But, rational basis still must be met. OTOH, the litigant might still get relief though others might be hurt for time being.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
I remember her from two early roles and don't recall much else but this obit about "medium famous" (often the best kind) actress felt worth noting. Meanwhile, this is a powerful analysis of fired FBI director James Comey's written statement to Congress from a somewhat conservative source. Just would note not being personally investigated for "counter-intelligence investigation of his personal conduct" (and even there not let off the hook) doesn't amount to much. Sigh. This has been a crummy year.
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
First saw this in a tweet from Chris Geidner (Buzzfeed). It seems gratutious (at least explain yourselves! both sides!) to not let the 11CA stay for now as they examine the question; not sure why Kagan didn't publicly join the other three dissenting. Was told already I should not assume vote of those not publicly noted but unclear why the presumption of silence = consent should not apply. The person is due to be executed tomorrow. [And, he is.] ETA: The Hate U Give was very good, a sort of fiction companion to Chris Hayes' latest. It's about a teen straddlilng two worlds, a witness to a police shooting. Movie in works.
The first two thirds of this book was an interesting collection of basically snapshots through the ages (early 19th Century to 1970s). Then, it got (with a longish chapter) bogged down in recent disputes over teacher training and such. It didn't even really help me understand current disputes like "Common Core" and national standards that much. Not comprehensive, but a helpful look (supportive blurb by Chris Hayes suggests author's sentiments).