Author Archives: SHG

Tuesday Talk*: Lawyer or Law Enforcement?

A deputy out of Crazy Joe’s old office got a bright idea.

A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputy is under investigation for allegedly posing as a defense attorney in a failed attempt to trick a woman and arrest her.

Andy Marcantel, a partner with the Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm, said that Deputy Jeff Miller pretended to be a lawyer at his firm on a phone call four months ago.

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Can DoJ Be Saved?

For those of us old enough to remember a world before Trump, the beatification of some former federal prosecutors, Preet Bharara and Sally Yates, by the left was about as goofy as it got. Sure, they were fired by Trump, but did these dopes have a clue who they were, what they did, before Trump? Apparently not, as they neither knew nor cared that there was a world preceding the apocalypse. But more importantly, Preet, Sally, et al., said the words the unduly passionate so desperately wanted to hear. Bad Trump. They swooned with adoration.

When Biden was elected and it was his time to give AG Bill Barr’s chair to someone new, Joe could have picked one of these former prosecutors who now made a living off telling Rachel Madow what her fans wanted to hear, but he did them one better. He chose the most maligned judge in America, Merrick Garland, from whom a Supreme Court seat had been stolen. Surely, he must be the most woke choice possible, since he was the victimiest victim in law. Continue reading

Tokyo Meets Disparate Outcomes

One of my favorite writers is David French, more so for his exceptional prose than his insight much of the time. Some people just write really well, and I, for one, envy their skill. So when French took on the burden of explaining why “structural racism” isn’t wokeness, or to be more direct, the religious right case against systemic racism, it seems that maybe, just maybe, I would finally find some answers to my question, “what the hell are they talking about.”

Enforcing the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and passing the Civil Rights Act was (and is) necessary to end overt, legal discrimination, but it was hardly sufficient to ameliorate the effects of slavery and Jim Crow. These effects are so embedded in our system that powerful people often perpetuate those structures even when they lack any racist intent at all.

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Should Defendants Shut Up or Talk Back?

Every once in a while, a defendant has something to say to a judge that has a positive impact. But that’s like betting on lightning striking. The vast majority of the time, when a defendant speaks out in court, whether he blurts something out in the midst of trial or even after he’s been fully prepped at sentence, it’s at best unavailing and at worst a disaster that ends up doing grave damage.

So naturally, a law review article suggests that defendants should be allowed, even encouraged, to share their voices with the court, unfiltered by their lawyers, and “talk back” to the judge. Continue reading

The Mental Health Alternative To Cops, And Its Limits

Cops don’t want to deal with people having a psychotic episode any more than the people  who call because someone is having a mental health crisis want cops to kill them. The problem was one of default. Who else can you get to respond? In New York City, there’s a standing army of NYPD to take the call, but no smaller army of mental health personnel on top of the cops to respond. So they tried an experiment and it turned out pretty well.

The B-HEARD program — it stands for Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division — launched in a portion of Harlem last month and has sent teams of three unarmed, behavioral health specialists to respond to more than 100 911 calls.
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Surprising Friends of The Second Amendment

A few things are relatively uncontroversial. New Yorkers do not like guns. Progressives do not like guns. New York’s public defenders are, politically, very progressive. New York’s public defenders support the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms.

Wait, what? You read that right.

The incorporated Second Amendment affords the people “the right to keep and bear arms.” U.S. Const. amends. II, XIV; McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010); District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). Despite the clear text and this Court’s precedent, New York’s licensing regime does the opposite. It deprives everyone of that right, only returning it to those select few who manage to first secure a firearm license from the police. For everyone else, possession of a firearm is effectively a “violent felony,” punishable by 3.5 to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.03; 70.02(1)(b). New York’s licensing requirements criminalize the exercise of the fundamental Second Amendment right, with rare exception.

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Lawfare and The “Disempowerment” of The Supreme Court

President Joe Biden called the voting laws being enacted by red states “Jim Crow on steroids,” as if being denied a gift of water from a party seeking a vote was worse, on steroids, from lynching. Granted, Biden’s absurd hyperbole has become the norm for deep political thought among the unduly passionate, but the fact that he invoked the post-Civil War Jim Crow era today raised the question David Brooks asks: What does America of 150 years ago have to do with America today?

Anybody with eyes to see and ears to hear knows about the oppression of the Native Americans, about slavery and Jim Crow. But does that mean that America is even now a white supremacist nation, that whiteness is a cancer that leads to oppression for other groups?

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Apology Excepted

There’s a routine now. Get called out, whether for good reason or not, whether for something new or ancient, whether for something true or false, and watch the insipid gnats swarm, fearful that they might miss the chance to prove their virtue and because they so adore a chance to part of the gang. Half the time, they aren’t quite sure why they’re swarming, condemning, shaming, but nobody wants to miss the chance to condemn. It’s the new national past time.

The next step in the routine is that the target of this condemnation, bows their head and apologizes. As Seth Moskowitz argues at Arc Digital, it’s one thing if the target of the mob agrees with the criticism and apologizes because he recognizes that he was wrong. It happens that people make mistakes. And when one does, an apology and recognition of a mistake is what a normal reasonable person does. Continue reading

Reject Catherine Lhamon

Make no mistake, she’s smart. She’s had years to hone her craft of constructing a narrative built on false statistical claims, pseudo-scientific claims and a huge mountain of sophistry. And as the chief of the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, she will have the bureaucratic ability to push her outcome to fruition, one way or another. She’s Catherine Lhamon, whom the Wall Street Journal calls “one of the worst excesses of the Obama years.”

She’s back. President Biden has nominated Catherine Lhamon to head OCR. It’s no surprise, but it is cynical and hypocritical. It is a shame that Biden happily sacrificed male students to placate the worst of his party’s left wing. Continue reading

Short Take: Accommodating Becca Meyers

You cannot help but be inspired by Becca Meyers. She didn’t ask for her challenges. She did nothing to deserve them. But she didn’t let them define or limit her, and instead won three gold medals at the Rio Paralympics in swimming. Big deal? It is when you’re blind and deaf.

The 26-year-old suffers from Usher syndrome, which caused her to be blind. She has also been deaf since birth.

Usher syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes deafness “due to an impaired ability of the inner ear and auditory nerves to transmit sensory (sound) input to the brain (sensorineual hearing loss) accompanied by retinitis pigmentosa, a disorder that affects the retina and causes progressive loss of vision,” according to the National Organization for Rare Diseases.

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