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#BUTHISEMAILS: Dispatches From Mud Lick, Volume 2

Prefatory note: I received another batch of emails from my source “StickWeeks” on a private Discord server. Since I’ve had a strong suspicion Sheriff Roy or someone in his office has been tailing me this week, I’m releasing these emails to the SJ readership.

SHG: If you don’t hear from me this week, release the copy of the restraining order I sent you.—CLS

August 31, 2019
FROM: Templeton, Roy ([email protected])
RE: Opening Day in Knoxville

Good evening, everyone: Continue reading

Judge Lucido Made Vanderhagen Take The Ride

It took the jury all of 26 minutes to return its verdict. Not guilty.

A six-person jury found Jonathan Vanderhagen not guilty Thursday following a three-day trial in 41B District Court on a charge of malicious use of a telecommunications device for several Facebook posts last July regarding family Judge Rachel Rancilio of Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens.

Vanderhagen was held on half a million dollars bail for one count of the misdemeanor charge of malicious use of telecommunication services stemming from his Facebook posts about the death of his son. Continue reading

Wilkinson’s Constitutional Tyranny

The Niskanen Center used to be a libertarian think tank, until it decided manifest destiny applied. With that, the very smart Will Wilkinson took to the papers to argue against “assault weapons.” Fair enough, and there is no doubt that the matter of gun control is a huge issue in the country. Wilkinson is hardly the only smart guy who has taken the position that semiautomatic guns are a blight on America, a weapon that can no longer be tolerated and, all other issues aside, must be stopped.

But how his argument is framed is a problem.

Why an Assault Weapons Ban Hits Such a Nerve With Many Conservatives

The premise of Trumpist populism is that the political preferences of a shrinking minority of citizens matter more than democracy.

Continue reading

Gaming Sarah Braasch

Cathy Young took a deep dive into the Yale story of “napping while black,” seized upon as a battle in the war against racism at Yale. It revealed a few things of social significance about the outrage industry’s use of whatever fodder it could get its hands on, facts and nuance be damned. What it also revealed was how it manufactured villains, even though they may well be the victim of the story if the facts were known. Sarah Braasch may be such a victim.

Braasch sought the body cam video from the Yale Police Department to prove her case, to vindicate her actions, to end the concerted effort to destroy her for the sake of the social justice narrative.

I had spoken with the Ombudsman at the CT FOIA Commission assigned to my docket, and she had expressed her belief that she would be able to get Yale to release the YPD body camera footage to the public, which would have precluded the need for me to attend a hearing in Hartford on October 3rd. Continue reading

What Justice Ginsburg Gets

It wasn’t remotely surprising that right out of the box, someone like Michelle Dauber would find some way to spin it.

The legal profession does not care about sexual assault and lawyers will protect each other and the profession pretty much no matter what.

The problem was that she was constrained to attack an unattackable voice, the Notorious RBG. Obviously, it couldn’t be that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a rape apologist or misogynist, as her feminist bona fides, not to mention intelligence and legal acumen, soared so far above the puny Dauber’s that it was untouchable. So she aimed her arrows at lawyers, generally. And as one might expect of a non-lawyer Stanford lawprof, she missed the target completely. Continue reading

Offending Maeve

The Pantheon of female comedians runs from the indomitable Carol Burnett and Phyllis Diller  to the banal but foul Samantha Bee. It used to include Sarah Silverman, but her name can no longer be mentioned. And then there’s Maeve Higgins. “Who,” you ask? You don’t know her name because she’s been canceled, but she would have to matter before anyone would bother to cancel her. And she doesn’t matter, except to the New York Times.

I’ve been doing standup comedy for 14 years, and at some point, I came to despise it. It made me feel bad about myself, mostly. The thing I find hardest is the bullying nature, the punching down. I’ve heard comics onstage mock women and gay people and black people in a variety of ways that still manage to say nothing new. I’ve sat in grimy green rooms and witnessed the ego bloat that comes with applause and money, the rewards that come from maintaining the status quo. It’s gross. But I stay for the rare and magic flashes of connection.

Continue reading

Fear of the Flies

A comment by Skink the other day reminded me of a guest post that never happened. Out of the blue, I heard from a lawprof friend who sought to push me to write more about what was happening internally within the New York Legal Aid Society. I was sent a bunch of internal emails which were graphic and appalling.*

I replied that I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it. If there were problems at LAS, then someone from LAS should come forward to say so, to tell the story of what the problems are. Not only wasn’t it my place to “explain” their view of internal problems, but enough already. Was there not a person in all of the Legal Aid Society with the balls to come forward to speak out?

At that point, there was no one willing to come forward to tell what was really happening at LAS other than my dear friend, Appellate Squawk, whose travails at the storming of her blog by the townsfolk carrying their pitchforks and torches were well documented. Later, another brave soul who showed the fortitude to speak publicly was Cynthia Taylor, but she was suing LAS which allowed public defenders to claim her words were tainted by self-interest. Continue reading

The Chief Justice’s Hubby

Few entrenched machines ran better than Chicago’s, or lasted as long. One of the dinosaurs of the Democratic cash machine was Alderman Ed Burke, who owned the 14th Ward. Somebody had to run it, so why not Burke?

Until this year, Burke’s 14th Ward organization was one of the only pure political machines in the country. The other is Madigan’s 13th Ward.

But the king of the 14th now faces 14 federal counts of corruption. Federal prosecutors earlier this year accused Burke of extorting the owners of a Burger King, allegedly withholding a remodeling permit in order to pressure them to hire his private law firm to handle their property tax appeals.

He’s under indictment, which is what he should be if there is evidence to support the allegations that he’s corrupt. Problem solved? Not for his wife. Continue reading

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

The Los Angeles Times

It “got” it. Regardless of the hysteria, the lies, the emotions and the mindless outrage over the lenient Brock Turner sentence, the LA Times recognized that the legacy of Stanford non-lawyer lawprof Michelle Dauber’s war against Judge Aaron Persky would be to strike fear in the hearts of judges should they show more mercy than the mob would allow.

The problem is not what happened to Persky. The problem is how his recall will affect all the other California trial judges, some 1,500 of them, who now may be more likely to craft their sentencing decisions to take into account the degree to which an angry public wants the defendant punished.

Being California-centric, it focused only on its own judges. And indeed, the message was heard, loud and clear, throughout California. The idea of recall because a lawful sentence that fell short of the angry women’s demand for retribution would have seemed ridiculous before. That was no longer the case. #ThemToo. Continue reading

Fist Shaking And The Post Unseen

I wrote a long post this morning about the New York Times “news analysis” of Deborah Ramirez’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. I wrote it, but you won’t read it because after I was done, I decided not to publish it. I’ll explain.

The post was comprised of two parts, the first of which was about what’s wrong with trying decades-old accusations against the now-confirmed Kavanaugh, particularly using the weaselly language and guilt by innuendo reflected in the Times’ article, the worst sort of play to confirmation bias around.

But the more important part was where the young lawyers, the ones who inform me regularly that they’re far smarter and more aware than old lawyers who just don’t get it, would rather put their effort into rationalizing their woke outcomes than defending the core principles of criminal defense, public defense, against the conflation of “credible” allegations and guilt. Continue reading