Anger At A Dead Teen In Utica, But Why?

Nobody wants to hear about a young person, a 13-year-old, dying. This is especially true when his death was caused by a cop. But heartbreaking though it may be, it fails to answer the question of whether it was a good shoot, no matter how angry an immigrant community may be about the death of one of its children.

The police stopped him and a friend who was straddling a bike on a quiet, working-class street around 10 p.m., officials said. The officers were investigating robberies and suspects described as Asian males with a black firearm. One suspect had been on a bike and the other had been walking, the police said. Continue reading

Seaton: The Doctor Is Out . . . Way Out

Today’s story isn’t one I would necessarily consider “funny” by any stretch of the word, dear readers. It is true, it’s wild, and one I’d be remiss if I didn’t try to do some justice. Today we’re going to look at the life of “Dr.” Jerry Graham.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Graham started wrestling at the tender age of fourteen. Lauded for his skills on the microphone, he would get teamed up early in his career with a kid from Chattanooga named Eddie Gossett who would become Graham’s storyline brother, Eddie Graham. Continue reading

Who’s Gaslighting Whom?

It’s not the least bit surprising that New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman hates, and I mean really hates, the presidential immunity decision of Trump v. US. Consequently, it’s not the least bit surprising that Jesse takes Chief Justice John Roberts to task for the line in the opinion dismissing the fears of the dissenters.

In his majority opinion in the case about presidential immunity, Chief Justice John Roberts mocked the three liberal dissenters for striking “a tone of chilling doom that is wholly disproportionate to what the court actually does today.” (Reality check: The immunity ruling — which gave presidents carte blanche to break most criminal laws when carrying out their official duties — is not grounded in any clause of the Constitution. It went far beyond what even the most pessimistic court observers expected; the dissenters, if anything, responded with restraint.)

Continue reading

Why Impeach Thomas And Alito Now?

Having just been stripped of her endorsement by the national Democratic Socialists for not hating Israel enough, AOC has introduced Articles of Impeachment against Justice Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito.

Justice Thomas and Alito’s repeated failure over decades to disclose that they received millions of dollars in gifts from individuals with business before the court is explicitly against the law. And their refusal to recuse from the specific matters and cases before the court in which their benefactors and spouses are implicated represents nothing less than a constitutional crisis. These failures alone would amount to a deep transgression worthy of standard removal in any lower court, and would disqualify any nominee to the highest court from confirmation in the first place.

Continue reading

Did Grants Pass Make Homelessness A Crime?

In the mix of decisions of arguably greater consequence, the Supreme Court decided another matter, Grants Pass v. Johnson, that deserved greater attention. The decision has been characterized as criminalizing the status of being homeless, which the Court, by 6-3 split, held did not violate the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. But was that the holding?

The case in question is City of Grants Pass v. Johnson, a case about the small town of Grants Pass, Oregon, that enacted a “camping ban” that prohibited sleeping on public property with “bedding”—i.e., sleeping bags, blankets, or even rolled up clothing—“for the purpose of maintaining a temporary place to live.” It also prohibited sleeping overnight in a vehicle. The extensive record showed that the town’s lawmakers enacted these ordinances for the express purpose of targeting the homeless population and attempting to drive them out. Gloria Johnson, a homeless woman living in Grants Pass, sued, arguing the ban was a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishments clause. The Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority ruled in favor of Grants Pass, declaring that its “camping ban” was not unconstitutional.

Continue reading

Tuesday Talk*: Is It Time To Push?

President Biden has insisted that he’s running. He’s insisted that he will not withdraw. He’s insisted that he can beat Trump. And he’s daring his own party, anyone who would want his job, to do something about it.

“I am not going anywhere,” Mr. Biden told the donors.

The moves amounted to a show of defiance that the Biden operation hoped would earn him some deference, as uneasy Democratic lawmakers trickled back to Capitol Hill after a holiday break. At the same time, the Biden team was trying to reframe the pressure campaign to get him to step aside as one hatched by the elite party establishment rather than a genuine reflection of grass-roots voter fears about the 81-year-old commander in chief’s age and acuity.

Continue reading

Teaching In A Time Of Turmoil

Basic law courses like Con Law and Admin Law are still being taught in law school, alongside courses like Equity Law and Law and Nietzsche, making the job of law professor even more interesting than usual this summer. You see, with the Supreme Court decisions in Loper Bright and Trump v. United States, they’ve got some decisions to make. This comes on the heels of Bruen and Dobbs, where the ink on their updated syllabi is barely dry. Won’t anyone think of the law profs?

After overturning the 40-year-old Chevron deference last week, the justices threw law curricula for another major loop on Monday with their earth-shaking ruling on presidential immunity — all this just two years after Roe v. Wade was struck down after 50 years on the books. Continue reading

Great, If Imperfect

My first thought was to write about a shocking paragraph written by an old friend who at one time was a stalwart libertarian, and who (like the ACLU) continues to cruise on a legacy that’s largely dead.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Trump v. United States is its worst decision of my lifetime. John Roberts’s sloppy, arrogant, contradictory majority opinion provides license for any future president to lie, cheat, steal, suppress dissent, and — if they have the stomach for it — assassinate. It obliterates a guardrail for executive power that’s fundamental to a functioning democracy. So fundamental, in fact, that until the country elected an aspiring autocrat brazen enough to engage in open-air corruption, it was a guardrail few thought necessary to actually define. Of course the president can be prosecuted for actual crimes.

Continue reading

The Interview That Never Stood A Chance

I couldn’t help but remember Chris Wallace interviewing Trump in July 2020, about his state of dementia.

“I’ll bet you couldn’t even answer the last five questions.” Now he has revealed the most difficult of these questions.

“The last questions are much more difficult,” he said. “Like a memory question. It’s, uh, like you’ll go, ‘Person, woman, man, camera, TV.’ So they say, ‘Could you repeat that?’ So I said, ‘Yeah.’ So it’s ‘person, woman, man, camera, TV.’ ‘Okay, that’s very good.’” Continue reading

Seaton: Brain Farts (Summer Vacation)

It’s summer in Tennessee. That means the weather goes from barely tolerable at 7 AM to “Satan’s Front Porch” by 10. When the air outside is so muggy it feels like you’re breathing in chicken soup, you really appreciate what makes this weather bearable: central air and iced tea.

Summer means the kids go from crazy busy schedules involving school to crazy busy schedules involving summer camps. My son has two field trips a week, for example. This means his special camp shirts need to be clean for those days. It also means he needs to actually locate those shirts as needed, which is apparently a Herculean task for a nine year old. Continue reading