Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Rush To Hate

Rush Limbaugh died. Many people twitted about it, as people do. I was no fan, so I said nothing. I usually do a “RIP” for a notable death, but this time I didn’t. Many had some very hateful things to say, like “thank got” and “I didn’t celebrate his life, but I’ll celebrate his death.” People hated Rush Limbaugh. and saw this as the opportunity to say so.

“Not proud of this,” a friend wrote to me in a text message mere minutes after the news broke on Wednesday, “but feeling really good about Rush Limbaugh dying.”

There is a difference between hating what Rush said and did, and “feeling really good” that someone died. This text message, shared by Frank Bruni, was relatively benign compared to much of what I saw, and it did, after all, begin with “not proud of this.” Continue reading

Seaton Hosts The Bachelorette!

Prefatory Note: I told my wife this week of my interest in taking Chris Harrison’s hosting duties for the “Bachelor” series of TV shows. “Fuck no,” she told me, “you’re the least sympathetic person to put on television. It’d never work.” I decided to write a bit of what “The Bachelorette” might look like if I had my way. She might be right. You be the judge–CLS

[We open on a scene of a man standing in front of a lavish manor-style hotel. Brown-haired and in his forties, the man wears a tweed jacket, a black T-shirt with the design of the back of a red playing card, and jeans. He holds a snifter of brandy.] Continue reading

Has PD Twitter Lost The Tune?

A nagging problem with navigating the gridiron of an unprincipled ideology is that no matter how hard you try to be on the right side of the goalposts of woke, they get moved on you and you find yourself being the baddie instead of the goodie, which you were until you weren’t. This isn’t a surprise, as it was the obvious and necessary outcome of an identity and victim-based view of life, since no one can ever know with certainty which identity trumps which at any moment, or who is the most victimy victim based on a what wrong is the most heartbreaking flavor of the day.

But for those who staked their claim of prominence in PD Twitter, their moment on the pedestal of social justice may be coming to an end. Unlike the old criminal law blawgosphere, where lawyers addressed most of the issues now raised by PD Twitter and its one-time dear friends, the reform activists, it was done with a focus on factual honesty, logical integrity and a level of detail and thought that was deeper than 240 characters. Continue reading

Seaton: I Want To Host “The Bachelorette”

Bachelor Nation:

I would like to take this opportunity to throw my name in the running for host of the next “Bachelorette” season. I don’t just want “The Bachelorette.” I want Chris Harrison’s job.

For the rest of you wondering, “why is Seaton trying to land a reality TV host job,” allow me to fill you in on the rumor and innuendo regarding one of ABC’s biggest cash cows. Currently the Bachelor is Matt James, a black man. He’s in this spot following the events of last summer and calls from Rachel Lindsay, a former “Bachelorette,” to make the casting on the shows more diverse. Continue reading

Short Take: The Bachelorette and The Safety Net

Ex-Voxer Ezra Klein takes on an extremely complicated and highly controversial issue at the New York Times addressing the tipping point between enabling sloth and the dignity of poverty labor. It’s a fascinating issue, and if it interests you, you should go there and let Ezra know what you think, because that’s not the focus of this post and I don’t want to hear it.

Rather, Ezra opens with the obligatory anecdote to set up his readers’ emotional reaction to what follows, and that’s the point here. Continue reading

5th Circuit Holds Torching By Taser Reasonable

The call was for a troubled person in a troubling situation. Gabriel Eduardo Olivas was suicidal, having doused himself with gasoline, so his son called 911. Two Arlington, Texas, police officers, Jeremias Guadarrama and Ebony Jefferson, responded to the call and found Olivas smelling of gasoline.

The police claim that Olivas threatened not only to torch himself, but to burn down the house, an allegation his family denied in their §1983 complaint, which should have been taken as true for the purpose of a motion to grant the cops qualified immunity. The court nonetheless factored it into its decision. Continue reading

Short Take: Nabbing Mencken For Speeding

Remember when red light cameras and speed radar first arose as a great idea, essentially free money for municipalities with no due process for the “convicted,” who might not have been the violators if there even was a violation, which couldn’t be clear because who knew if the machines were working right, properly calibrated, or just taking random pics and sending out tickets because there was money to be made?

Criminal law reformers hated them, challenged them, and they were ultimately held unlawful and in disrepute, banned and rejected as a foolish and dangerous idea. But that was then and this is now, and suddenly it’s not merely back as part of the neo-reformed simplistic solution to intransigent problems, but what was once roundly acknowledged as dumb and simplistic is now “such a smart idea.” Continue reading

Vaccination: Shot or Chaser

It was bound to happen, but who would have thought the first waitress fired would work in a corner tavern in newly-hipsterized Red Hook, Brooklyn, that scuzzy place on the wrong side of the BQE?

It looks more like the kind of place where Uncle Joe is behind the bar and momma runs the grill, but apparently it’s got enough of a staff to have “formal” rules about things, and getting vaccinated for COVID was one of them. Continue reading

The Color of Gideon

When people argue about putting more public defenders and civil rights lawyers, black or women, on the bench, I wonder whether they have any clue how courts work. Do people believe that the defendant is brought into court, looks up at the person in the black robe on the bench and gets to say, “Nope, you don’t look like me. Next!”? If you’re a man who gets a woman judge, tough luck. A black defendant with a white judge? Bummer. An ex-prosecutor judge? Sucks to be you. You don’t get to pick your judge.

There are judges we prefer and judges we don’t, and they don’t necessarily align with the simplistic assumption that color, gender or prior position means a judge will be more favorable. It’s the luck of the draw. Unless the prosecution has gamed the system to get a case moved to their judge of choice, a name is pulled from the wheel and that’s the judge you get. There are plenty of judges you believe would be better, more understanding, more accommodating, more similar in appearance, to you? So what? You get who you get. Nobody asks a defendant to approve.* Continue reading

Restoring Amy

Her lawyer, Robert Barnes, may have been a surprising, controversial and dubious choice under the circumstances, but to be fair, his handling of Amy Cooper’s case was smart.

The prosecutor, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, said Ms. Cooper had participated in five therapy sessions that focused in part on how racial identities shape people’s lives. Her therapist had reported that the sessions were “a moving experience” and that Ms. Cooper “learned a lot,” Ms. Illuzzi-Orbon said.

Continue reading