Short Take: Stunted Development (or wigging out)

Having absolutely no actual knowledge of what the world of being a stunt person is about, I always assumed that the criteria for getting a gig was the ability to perform the stunt plus some sufficiently close appearance to whomever the stunt was for. If you were replacing the female lead, you would be a female. If the lead was a black woman, the stunt double would be a black woman.

Apparently not.

But Deven MacNair said her most risky move has been speaking out against “wigging,” the age-old practice of stuntmen donning wigs and women’s clothes to double for actresses. And she’s done more than just complain – she alerted her union and filed an EEOC complaint. She was accompanied to the event by her attorney, Brenda Feigen, who’s trying to get more stuntwomen to come forward to file a class-action lawsuit.

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Cancel The Victim Show

In a deep dive, Chris Moraff explained who was behind the blatant appeal to emotion. And for anyone watching the downward spiral of thought into the cesspool of emotion, it came as no surprise.

But it’s worth acknowledging that many of the worst aspects of our criminal justice system are either directly or indirectly tied to an overzealous push to weigh the scales of justice in favor of crime victims over those accused of crimes, and the hijacking of this movement by powerful public sector unions that benefited politically from the rhetoric of fear that accompanied what began as a noble effort to give crime victims a voice.

The argument in favor of victims had surface appeal, particularly to those who lacked the strength of mind to realize that the criminal law system wasn’t about vindicating the interests of victims but about enforcing societal rules. And it was too easy for those with lesser appeal, cop unions and pandering politicians, to seize upon the rhetoric of fear and empathy for their own purposes. When you’re crying, anyone who wipes your tears is your bestest friend. Continue reading

The Trope Of The “Making Of A Nazi Trope”

Trump’s joke was that if he murdered someone on Fifth Avenue, his supporters wouldn’t care. And for some, that’s likely true. Can the same be said for Michael Avenatti, at least for the moment?

What made this curious is that Ken has been calling out people who threaten defamation suits for years, invariably to the applause of those who despise the blustering assholes who try to silence criticism. But this time was different. Continue reading

No Saint In The City

When the video first appeared, I was sure it had to be a tourist. By tourist, I meant either an actual tourist or some out-of-town businessman, someone who wasn’t a New Yorker. That’s because I couldn’t fathom any New Yorker noticing, lest being bothered, by the fact that Spanish was being spoken in restaurant.

And this guy wasn’t merely bothered, but lashed out.

A Midtown lawyer was caught on video yelling racist comments at Spanish-speaking restaurant workers — and threatening to call immigration officers to have them “kicked out of my country.”

The nearly minute-long viral clip picks up with the unhinged man (right) railing, ­“Every person I listen to — he spoke [Spanish], he spoke it, she’s speaking it — it’s America!”

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The Only Possible Inference

The ruling, per se, wasn’t at all unique. As K.C. Johnson has kept count, this is the 97th adverse decision against a college for its reliance on the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague Letter,” compelling schools upon pain of loss of federal funding to extend Title IX into realms neither the law nor Supreme Court directed.

What makes the decision of Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., of the District of Rhode Island, stand out was that it didn’t require months of deliberation or judicial gymnastics. He announced it from the bench.

TEXT ORDER For reasons state in today’s hearing, 26 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim is granted in part and denied in part as follows: The motion as to Count 3 is granted as to promissory estoppel, as to Count 4 is denied as to Title IX; as to Count 5 is granted as to intentional infliction of emotional distress; as to Count 6 is denied as to negligent inflection of emotion distress, and as to Count 7 is granted as to injunctive relief as a separate cause of action. – So Ordered by District Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. on 5/14/2018. (McGuire, Vickie) (Entered: 05/14/2018)

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The Meek Shall Inherit Twitter

A reader sent Eugene Volokh an email informing him that his blog, the Volokh Conspiracy, had been blocked in Nordstrom.

I’m at the Nordstom E-Bar coffee shop located at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, California. I am using the “Nordstom_Wi-Fi” public WIFI. I just tried to access the Volokh Conspiracy website. I got the message:

This website is blocked by your network operator.

It’s understandable, in a peculiar way, that Nordstrom would avoid controversy. They don’t need a mob attacking them for allowing offensive websites. No, if they just allowed unfettered access to the internet, it wouldn’t concern any rational person, but these aren’t rational people. They’re a mob and mobs have no mind. But Volokh? Continue reading

Who Wears Short Shorts?

A recent moot court judge drew the fury of the woke when she told an advocate to watch her “resting bitch face.” Maybe it was the word “bitch,” now that words are violence to the unduly sensitive. It’s hardly unusual to tell students that there is some aspect of their appearance that could use improvement, is distracting or problematic, when judging moot court. That’s one of the purposes of the exercise, to prepare them to succeed in the real world.

So what would happen if a student stood to argue their moot court cause in their underwear?

“This topic transcends all of our social identities and taps right into the heart of who we are,” Chai, a fourth-year student, said to a room of nearly 50 people while presenting her thesis paper on May 5, as seen in a livestream of the event.

Chai began undressing as she held back tears, first removing her shoes, then her pants and, lastly, her shirt. Continue reading

Confession of Error

There aren’t many, but there are some decisions that reside exclusively in the hands of the defendant.

The lawyer’s province is trial management, but some decisions are reserved for the client—including whether to plead guilty, waive the right to a jury trial, testify in one’s own behalf, and forgo an appeal.

Certainly we guide them. We inform them. We explain the tactical and strategic benefits and detriments of their choices, and the very real world consequences of their choices. And yet, hard as it may be to watch a defendant, a client, make a decision that you are certain will be suicidal, the choice remains the client’s. Ultimately, it’s his life, not yours.  Continue reading

The Weed Numbers, Explained

Whether the statistics are as good as one might hope is always in doubt, but if the NYPD was fudging the numbers for its own sake, they did a pretty lousy job of it.

There are many ways to be arrested on marijuana charges, but one pattern has remained true through years of piecemeal policy changes in New York: The primary targets are black and Hispanic people.

Across the city, black people were arrested on low-level marijuana charges at eight times the rate of white, non-Hispanic people over the past three years, The New York Times found. Hispanic people were arrested at five times the rate of white people. In Manhattan, the gap is even starker: Black people there were arrested at 15 times the rate of white people.

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Short Take: Is It A Principle?

In a discussion yesterday with a certain very tall Germanic-type fella, the question was raised whether “the end justifies the means” is a principle, such that social justice advocates are principled in their approach. I was of the view that this is not principled, but am I wrong?

I took the position that this was the antithesis of principle, where one chooses the outcome one prefers, then sets about rationalizing it. It may be a logical basis or just a matter of feelz, but it is not grounded in a consistent and overarching adherence to a position. For example, I support the First Amendment, which means that protected speech spans speech with which I agree as well as somebody calling me names. That’s the price of principle.

My figuratively little shit Bentham-licker replied by noting that this was the foundation of utilitarianism. Continue reading