Category Archives: law

Ken White deconstructs the “fire in a crowded theater” canard about free speech

In 2012 at the legal blog Popehat, Ken White, a criminal defense lawyer and free-speech maven, deconstructed the famous phrase uttered by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in an opinion about “free speech” in wartime. In 1919 there was a series of three Supreme Court decisions against men (socialists, foreigners, and anarchists) who […]

Count Dankula, who taught his dog to act like a Nazi, convicted of a hate crime in Scotland

You’re probably heard the story, or seen the video, of a Scottish man, Markus Meechan (aka “Count Dankula”) who taught his dog to raise his paw when Meechan said “Sieg Heil”, and to react when he said “Do you want to gas the Jews”? The video is below, though YouTube makes you click through the […]

Liz Cheney criticizes lawyers for defending accused al-Qaeda detainees

Grania called this tweet to my attention; it’s from Ken White who writes on the site Popehat, and he’s a civil rights and free speech attorney: Liz Cheney: It's slander to call waterboarding torture. Also the unutterably vile @Liz_Cheney : lawyers who represent detainees are jihadis and should not be trusted — SpaceForceHat (@Popehat) March 15, […]

Welcome to America: Execution of terminally ill patient fails miserably (as expected)

What’s the point of executing a terminally ill inmate, especially one who has no decent veins to receive the fatal injection? After all, the person is going to die soon anyway, so why the public murder? So the victims can actually see the guy die, and thereby achieve some degree of “closure”? That’s the type of […]

Richard Posner uses cat analogy in a legal decision

Richard Posner is not only a very distinguished federal judge, but also my colleague: he’s a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, author of many books, and the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century. He also loves cats.  I emailed him five years ago asking about his well known ailurophilia, and […]

Should we apologize to the Canadian girl who lied about hijab attack?

Canadians have a reputation for being super nice, and for apologizing for everything.  In most cases that’s great, but not this time. That’s because Danielle S. McLaughlin, Director of Education Emerita of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, is now asking all Canadians (I’m presuming this because her piece was on HuffPo Canada) to apologize to the eleven year old […]

A false report of hijab-cutting

I remember seeing this report four days ago on HuffPo (click screenshot to see the report). The gist of it was that a young Canadian hijabi reported being attacked by a man wielding scissors: An assailant, in two attempts within 10 minutes, cut the girl’s hijab using scissors while she was walking to school with […]

Was Jerry Sandusky, “the most hated man in America”, guilty of sexual child abuse?

Up to now, virtually everyone would have to answer the title question with a resounding “YES!”, but after reading a new article in Skeptic magazine by Fred Crews (former chair of English at Berkeley, a debunker of Freud and recovered-memory therapy and, for full disclosure, a friend), I’d have to answer “I’m not sure.” Jerry […]

HuffPo: White supremacists shouldn’t be allowed to practice law

I won’t impugn HuffPo too much today, as it’s busy, as always, impugning itself. Just have a look at this recent article and then guess what the answer is. (Click on the screenshot to go there after you’ve guessed.) Author Jessica Schulberg, who has a master’s degree in international politics from American University and reports […]

Should a Christian baker be able to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding?

In 2012, a Christian baker and self-proclaimed “cake artist” in Colorado, Jack Phillips, decided he wasn’t going to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, because the request violated his religious beliefs. The couple sued for violation of the state’s anti-discrimination lawsuit, and won. The case was appealed, and […]