Author Archives: SHG

Sokolow’s Astute Observations On The Failure of Title IX

As a guy who earns his living off advising colleges how to run their campus sex tribunals to assure the guy loses while creating plausible deniability to avoid liability, and as president of ATIXA, the Association of Title IX Administrators, an association dedicated to the cause of believing the woman no matter what, Brett Sokolow has long been a primary cheerleader for his tribe, defending the inane and dishonest with rigor.

After all, without the cottage industry of campus sex policing for the sake of saving women’s feelings at the expense of facts and innocence, Title IX administrators would be constrained to get productive jobs. Because of this, Sokolow’s views haven’t been well-appreciated by anyone beyond those who benefit from the grift. Yet, in an LA Times op-ed, it turns out that Sokolow has some observations worthy of note. Continue reading

Short Take: Breaking The Code

The gravamen of the op-ed is about discrimination in housing, a phenomenon that’s gone on officially and unofficially for a very long time. Much as it’s prohibited by law, it still exists in the hands of folks who assume black folks are going to either steal from them or just can’t afford to live in nice white neighborhoods. As Karyn Lacy says, “Black people expend daily energy to counteract racial stereotypes and get fair treatment.”

In support of this indisputable reality, however, Lacy proffers a curious point:

When I talked two decades ago with more than 50 middle-class blacks who lived in the suburbs of Washington, I learned that their awareness of racial stereotypes led them to take on what I call “public identities”  meaning they would strategically deploy cultural capital, including language, mannerisms, clothing and credentials in ways that brought their middle-class status firmly into focus. From their experiences attending integrated high schools, many of these people had come to believe this was key to managing racism in interactions with white people. They hoped it would tip the balance of their public interactions so that class would trump race and persuade white people to treat them fairly.

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The Dude Presides

I did nothing in particular and I did it very well,

–Chief Justice William Rehnquist

The Constitution, Article I, Section 3, provides that “[w]hen the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.” What is meant by “preside” is left unsaid, meaning that it leaves a void, a vacuum. Politics abhors a vacuum.

But wait a minute. While McConnell is not mentioned in the Constitution, Chief Justice John Roberts is. Indeed, it is the Chief Justice of the United States who shall “preside” over the trial, not the Majority Leader. So why isn’t it up to Roberts to decide whether witnesses shall appear?

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Martin Luther King Day 2020

For old school liberals*, Martin Luther King is remembered for his monumental contributions toward changing America. Not for womanizing. Not for hating. Not for demanding that white America concede their failings and give up their job to the nearest black woman. He had a dream, and that changed America.

If he had that dream today, would he be canceled for being too centrist?

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Who It Wants, Who It Will Take

The New York Times has “broken with convention” by endorsing two white women white womening for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, and hence for the presidency because Trump.

Curiously, the name given this image by the New York Times is “blackcupcakes.”

The convention of endorsing one individual isn’t merely a “convention,” but an acknowledgement of a fairly basic point, you can only vote for one person at a time. By indulging its dual personality disorder, the Times might seem to be defeating the point of an endorsement. But by understanding the curious division in the Times’ approach, it makes more sense even as it makes no sense at all. Continue reading

Can Section 230 Be Policed As A “Subsidy” To Platforms?

Among the alt-right, the distinction of “platform” and “publisher” has become the rallying cry for imposing liability on internet platforms who toss off the unwoke voices of their favs. How dare these platforms censor the voice opposing social justice and create the impression they don’t exist, that there is no one on the internet challenging progressivism or identity politics, that there is no one to speak for them?!?

If platforms want the benefit of the law, they must not favor one political agenda and be fair and balanced in their content. That’s what the law requires, they say with certainty and fervency. Except Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act says no such thing. It never did. The argument is absolutely baseless, no matter how passionately it’s believed. It’s a catchy argument, both because it serves their purpose and makes sense, in a self-serving sort of way, but it’s false.

And then there’s the other team. Continue reading

Even Hypocrites Deserve A Defense

It was true for Ron Sullivan. It was true for Hillary Clinton. And it’s true for Alan Dershowitz.

And then there’s Dershowitz, whose past clients have included such sterling fellows as Epstein, Claus von Bülow, O.J. Simpson and Harvey Weinstein. How did he miss Ted Bundy? Still, Dershowitz has put himself on the side of an impressive pantheon of villainy in the realm of violence against girls and women.

That’s from Maureen Dowd. No doubt she would spew the empty mantra that everyone deserves a defense, because saying otherwise would be too obviously wrong, but when put to the test of defense in action, she’s just as much of a flaming hypocrite as the rest. Her prosaic “impressive pantheon of villainy” is less the key to her flagrant hypocrisy than the “put himself on the side of,” Dersh’s offense being that he chose to defend “those people.” Continue reading

Can A National Cataclysm Be Enjoined?

A bunch of kids sued to prevent the end of the world as we know it. And did pretty well.

In the mid-1960s, a popular song warned that we were “on the eve of destruction.” The plaintiffs in this case have presented compelling evidence that climate change has brought that eve nearer. A substantial evidentiary record documents that the federal government has long promoted fossil fuel use despite knowing that it can cause catastrophic climate change, and that failure to change existing policy may hasten an environmental apocalypse.

Accepting the premise that climate change is real and will “hasten an environmental apocalypse” is a big deal for a circuit court, even if it is the Ninth. Indeed, the plaintiffs surmounted the many hurdles before them, save one. Continue reading

Will IJ’s Class Action Shut Down TSA’s Cash Machine?

The story of how the law as to civil in rem forfeiture came to be is apocryphal. It was formed largely in the 1980s, using the cute phrase, “take the profit out of crime,” and was directed at drug dealers. Everybody hated drug dealers, and so they not only had no qualms about it, but applauded it. After all, who didn’t support taking the profit out of crime?

Then the creep began. The presumption that money was dirty and there was no reason any “honest” person would carry any significant amount of cash, meaning it was entirely reasonable that possessing “too much” cash was obviously because it was criminal proceeds. What else could it be? Us normies kept our money in banks, used plastic to pay for things, didn’t need to walk around with bundles of cash. That was something criminals did, right? Continue reading

The “Predator Pipeline” Fallacy

Come up with a cute name and people will believe anything. It usually involves a phrase that either rhymes or is alliterative, and that’s more than sufficient to get the unduly passionate on board. This time, it was USA Today that came up with the phrase, and Congresswoman Donna Shalala who’s pushing the syllogism.

The NCAA will review its stance regarding athletes accused or convicted of sexual assault, the college sports organization said Wednesday, amid pressure from Congress calling for an independent study of the NCAA’s lack of accountability for such athletes.

Both the congressional call and the NCAA’s commitment to reviewing its policies come on the heels of a USA TODAY Network investigation that exposed how college athletes can keep playing sports even after being found responsible for sexual assault.

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