Category Archives: Uncategorized

Seaton: A Very Mud Lick Christmas

The holiday spirit lit up Mud Lick, Alabama like the warm glow of lights from a Christmas tree. This was Sheriff Roy’s favorite time of the year. Though snow wasn’t common that deep in the South, all the residents took great care in meticulously decorating their homes and storefronts. Holiday music rang through the speakers at the local Value-Lot.

A modest Christmas tree sat in the corner of the Sheriff’s Department bullpen. Sheriff Roy bought doughnuts with red and green icing that morning, and he nibbled on one as he wrapped his Secret Santa present: a copy of Scott Adams’ “Win Bigly.”

Sheriff Templeton’s festive mood was suddenly jolted by his phone ringing. It was Deputy Miranda. Continue reading

They Won’t Make It Home For Dinner

There will be more information coming, possibly between these words are written and the time it’s published. But there are two things that won’t change. A UPS driver, 27-year-old Frank Ordonez, and the as yet unidentified driver of a car stuck in traffic on Miramar Highway, won’t be coming home for dinner tonight.

(Taimy Alvarez / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Two armed men attempted to rob a Coral Gable jewelry store. Who they were is unknown. Why they decided that robbing a jewelry store was a good idea is similarly unknown. Contrary to the fantasy rationalizations of the unduly passionate, sometimes the reason is that there are bad dudes who do bad things for bad reasons. People are funny that way, and regardless of whom these two robbers turn out to be, what they did was tragically bad, for themselves and two other human beings who won’t make it home for dinner. Continue reading

McKinnon’s Transition and Goldman’s Gambit

In an op-ed, competitive cyclist and philosophy prof Rachel McKinnon stands her ground.

Soon after my win, Donald Trump Jr. threw a Twitter tantrum about me. I’ve seen a huge uptick in the volume of hate mail I’ve received in the weeks since. I have four people who monitor my Instagram to delete hateful messages; they’ve been overwhelmed by the volume. Twitter is far worse. I’ve received death threats, but I try not to dwell on them.

McKinnon is transgender and, having won a gold medal in a race, has been the target of hatred for “cheating” by being born a man and competing as a woman. But she didn’t cheat. Not at all.

Many want me to race against men. I have news for them: I’m not allowed. I’m legally female. My birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, U.S. permanent resident card, medical records and my racing license all have an “F” on them. The Union Cycliste Internationale, USACycling, Cycling Canada, the Canadian and United States governments and the state of South Carolina all agree that I’m female. Continue reading

Short Take: Barr Syndrome

It may well be that Attorney General Bill Barr always had impulse control issues, but they failed to make headlines. This time they did.

While speaking to a room full of law enforcement officers Tuesday night during a Justice Department award ceremony to honor distinguished service in policing, Barr made the remarks regarding those who don’t show “respect” to authority, according to The Washington Post.

“Today, the American people have to focus on something else, which is the sacrifice and the service that is given by our law enforcement officers. And they have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves,” Barr reportedly said.

Continue reading

Trashing Turley

Four academics appeared as witnesses before the House Judiciary Committee conducting its impeachment hearing, three called by Democrats and one by Republicans. The three prawfs, beyond offering their normative “man on the street” factual conclusion that Trump abused his office, agreed that his misconduct was exactly the sort for which impeachment was intended.

Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard, argued that Mr. Trump’s decision to withhold a White House meeting and military assistance from Ukraine while he demanded political favors from its president was a classic impeachable abuse of power.

“The essential definition of high crimes and misdemeanors is the abuse of office,” he said. “The framers considered the office of the presidency to be a public trust.”

Unlike a certain other Harvard prawf, Feldman wasn’t part of the choir singing impeachment from the day after the election, but came to it after revelation of the MEMCOM of the July 25 telephone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The other two, Standord’s Pam Karlan and UNC’s Michael Gerhardt agreed. Continue reading

Two Lessons of Kamala: It’s Not The Boxes

When Barack Obama was elected president, some said it was the end of racism. That was false, but it did put an end to one thing, the belief that a black man could not be elected president. The point wasn’t that he was elected because he was black, but that he wasn’t not elected because he was black. No longer was race a preclusive factor.

But what about gender? When Hillary Clinton lost to Trump, unquestionably the most unfit, unqualified, candidate for the presidency since Andrew Jackson (and likely ever), many feminists argued that it was because she was a woman. In fairness, Clinton played the gender card, from pantsuit nation to announcing during the debates that she was the candidate for women. Unfortunately, the job was for the presidency of the United States, not the presidency of the women of the United States. Continue reading

Two Lessons of Kamala: Harsh Is A Choice

Former “top cop” Kamala Harris is out. For her brief and shining moment as a Democratic candidate for the presidency, she was Senator Harris, snarky, hip and a champion of all things progressive, because she spent her life fighting for reform. Or so she claimed.

“Kamala Harris has spent her career fighting for reforms in the criminal justice system and pushing the envelope to keep everyone safer by bringing fairness and accountability,” Lily Adams, a spokesperson for Harris, told me.

Others, like Lara Bazelon, disagreed.

Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent. Most troubling, Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors.

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Short take: The One-Man Traffic Jam

To its enormous credit, the Fifth Circuit managed to dispose of the case in a three-page opinion, which is about 173 pages below the norm since computers replaced quills. But their brevity is blunted by the likelihood that had they tried to write anything longer, the secret author of the per curiam decision would have collapsed in a tearful paroxysm. Judges hate that.

The legality of a traffic stop is examined under the two-pronged analysis in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). United States v. Brigham, 382 F.3d 500, 506 (5th Cir. 2003) (en banc). This appeal focuses solely on the first Terry prong—whether the officer’s decision to conduct a stop was justified at its inception.

Every case has to start somewhere, so when it involves a motion to suppress based upon a warrantless stop, Terry would be the natural starting point. Continue reading

Evading Review

What if the New York City Council, finding a few moments in between enacting a regulation criminalizing the failure to use preferred pronouns and protecting black, but only black, employees’ hair style choices, enacted a regulation that prohibited abortion for any woman who couldn’t do 100 push-ups. And a non-uterus-challenged but physically-limited person sued for violation xir constitutional rights when denied an abortion.

An outrageous constitutional violation, most would cry, and with good cause. The case was granted certiorari and the City Council plotzed. In reaction, they repealed the offending regulation, and sent a letter off to the Court that they’d seen the error of their ways, fixed it, and there was nothing more to see here. As for the plaintiffs in the case, they offered free abortions, even though years had since passed and gestation, being what it is, made the gracious offer less than utilitarian. Continue reading

California: If It Doesn’t Work, It Doesn’t Work

Is it just one person, one monumentally stupid person, or is this the view of the California Bar Association?

Roseville attorney Joanna Mendoza may be winding down her law practice but she still finds herself at the heart of a legal debate.

Mendoza serves on a state bar committee charged with recommending ideas for increasing the availability of legal services to all Californians, not just those who can afford lawyers. Some of the group’s proposals so far—fee-sharing, allowing nonlawyers to own law firms, using artificial intelligence—have proven controversial. A recent public comment period on the options drew almost 2,900 responses, many of them critical.

Mendoza is passionately concerned about the lack of “access to justice” for people who are too poor to retain a lawyer, or just don’t want to spend their money on a lawyer. Continue reading