Monthly Archives: September 2007

Larry Craig’s Prosecutor Responds

By now everyone knows that Sen. Larry Craig (R-Hypocrite) is asking a Minnesota state court to let him withdraw his plea of guilty to a disorderly conduct charge arising from an incident in which he allegedly tried to solicit gay sex from some dude who turned out to be an undercover cop.

The prosecutor filed a memorandum in opposition to Craig’s motion yesterday, along with a supporting affidavit. The bad news for Craig: the prosecutor’s brief is pretty good.* The good news for Craig: well, there probably isn’t any.

The prosecutor’s recent filings and some good commentary on the case are available here courtesy of TalkLeft.  The prosecutor scores many a point over the course of forty-one pages, but the basic thrust is that Larry gambled on being able to keep the whole mess quiet and lost, which in no way makes the plea anything other than accurate, voluntary and intelligent.

But hey, it’s not all bad for the good senator. As Adam Cohen notes:

The best thing that Mr. Craig has going for him may be that his case is being heard by a Minnesota state court, not a federal one. The last kind of judge Mr. Craig would want to appear before is one with the harsh legal philosophy he and his Republican colleagues have been foisting on the rest of us.

*I’d have left out “pretty” but for the fact that the brief’s first sentence advises that the court MUST deny Craig’s motion. You never, ever tell a judge what s/he “must” do.

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SCOTUS Accepts 17 New Cases

The Supreme Court released a bunch of orders today, accepting seventeen new cases for review. Heading the list are two cases challenging the constitutionality of state laws requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls and a case challenging on Eighth Amendment grounds the constitutionality of execution by lethal injection.

SCOTUSblog’s coverage, complete with descriptions, links to dockets, cert petitions, etc., is available here and here.

MORE: Election Law Blog’s coverage of the Indiana photo ID cases is available here.

Latest Boston Bomb Hoax Not a Bomb, Not Even a Hoax

The January 2007 non-bomb non-hoax Mooninite publicity stunt was ludicrous enough, but the absurdity of this shit transcends all description. The Head Thug in Charge says the woman in question is “lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue.” It’s hard to say at this point what’s more appalling, the incident itself or shitstorm pouring forth from legions of ‘net denizens siding with the authorities.

Welcome to George W. Bush’s America, where kneejerk irrationality has become a way of life and we have nothing to fear but being insufficiently afraid.

Never forget.

How to find Subject to Complete Defeasance II

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ram it up my ass 1

Perhaps I should do a little less cussing on this here blog.

Nah.

Jimmy Dobson Doesn’t Like Anybody

The latest Republican presidential candidate to earn a spot on politically influential theocrat Dr. Jimmy Dobson’s shit list is Fred Thompson. In an email acquired by the Associated Press, Dobson wrote:

Isn’t Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won’t talk at all about what he believes, and can’t speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?

He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent ‘want to.’ And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!

Thompson joins Rudy Giuliani and John McCain as candidates Dobson won’t be supporting.

On a related note, there’s no cause for alarm here. All this political activity doesn’t mean that Focus on the Family, Dobson’s billion-dollar alter ego, will have to pay taxes or anything. The Internal Revenue Service recognizes that when Jimmy endorses candidates he’s speaking solely as a private citizen. Revoking FoF’s 501(c)(3) status would constitute anti-Christian persecution of Neronian proportions.

Fein on Mukasey

Old-school conservative and outspoken Bush administration critic Bruce Fein has these thoughts on Michael Mukasey, Shrub’s Attorney General nominee. Not surprisingly, Mr. Fein is more than a little displeased.

SCD’s prior entry on Mukasey is available here.

The Making of a “Liberal” SCOTUS Justice

George Washington University lawprof Jeffrey Rosen recently interviewed Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and the result of the interview is this superb cover story for New York Times Magazine. It’s a must-read for any SCOTUS junkie.

H/T – How Appealing

Chuck Norris: Giving Terrorism a 360-Degree Spin Kick to the Nuts

In what promises to deliver a veritable treasure trove of underwear-soilingly hysterical unintentional comedy, Chuck Norris — honorary Marine, brave American hero and star of such cinematic masterpieces as Missing in Action, Missing in Action 2: The Beginning and the oft-imitated but ne’er-duplicated Braddock: Missing in Action 3 — is visiting The Troops in Iraq and reporting his experiences to WorldNetDaily.

Chuck has great news:

Norris said in an e-mail from Iraq two things have become very apparent as he has traveled from base to base: The “surge is working” and “morale is up – way up!”

Coming from a guy with such unquestionably impeccable credentials in the field of military operations assessment, that comes as quite a relief to this here concerned patriot. Thank the Blessed Baby Jesus that Chuck is sacrificing time he could be spending on production of new infomercials for overpriced, poor-performing exercise equipment or tending to his duties as a Director of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools to let us know what’s REALLY going on over there. That’s all important and shit because, as Chuck says, the liberal media isn’t telling the whole tale.

This sort of nonsense should probably piss me off, but hey, it’s Chuck Fucking Norris, a paid professional dumbass. And he’s partnered with WorldNetDaily! That’s a winning comedy combination if ever there was one.

Maryland Gay Marriage Ban Holds Up

Yesterday the Court of Appeals of Maryland, that state’s highest court, upheld a statutory ban on same sex marriages. There’s a news account here courtesy of the Baltimore Sun.

The plaintiffs, including nine same-sex couples denied marriage licenses because of the ban, asserted that the statute violated multiple provisions of the state constitution, including Maryland’s equal rights amendment, equal protection provision and due process guarantee. Four of the seven Court of Appeals judges voted to reject all the constitutional challenges and uphold the law.

Two judges agreed with the plaintiffs that the law was subject to “strict scrutiny” and thus could only stand if the government proved that the ban was the least restrictive means to achieve a compelling state interest. Those judges would have remanded the case to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing.

The seventh judge wanted to adopt the approach taken last year in the New Jersey Supreme Court case Lewis v. Harris, 908 A.2d 196 (N .J. 2006). There, the court gave the state legislature two options: (1) revise the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples; or (2) enact a separate statutory scheme under which same-sex couples can get all the legal rights and obligations of marriage without actually calling the arrangement “marriage.”

The whole shootin’ match, totaling a mind-numbing 244 pages, is available in pdf here.

Chambers v. God

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers filed a pro se lawsuit in a Nebraska state court last week seeking an injunction prohibiting God and his followers from making “terroristic threats” and engaging in “deleterious conduct.” The senator’s complaint (pdf, 5 pages) is verified, meaning that he affirms that the allegations therein are true to the best of his beliefs.

According to this article, Chambers filed the lawsuit in part as a protest against tort “reform” efforts on the part of his fellow state legislators:

Senator Chambers says, “This is a way to show that anyone can sue anyone including God. It’s an object lesson too. It demonstrates that the mere filing of a lawsuit doesn’t guarantee a win.”

. . .
Chambers says he decided to file the lawsuit in part as a response to other lawmakers who have tried to prevent lawsuits from being filed over the years and in part due to a high profile sexual assault case in Lancaster County.

That’ll learn ’em, all right. Protesting tort “reform” by filing a baseless lawsuit strikes me as akin to expressing displeasure over a proposal to tighten restrictions on public defecation by taking a gargantuan, steaming dump in a public park full of mothers and children.

On the bright side, the court might ultimately hold as a matter of law that the Defendant doesn’t exist. In any event, it’s a damn good thing Chambers isn’t seeking money damages. The judge assigned to this case is a career insurance defense guy.

UPDATE – 9/21/07: Teh intarwebs are all abuzz with news that God has filed not just one but two responses. The AP article indicates that The Almighty is both challenging the court’s jurisdiction and asserting the substantive affirmative defense of immunity. So far I haven’t been able to track down the actual filings online, but you’ll be the first to know when I do.