Category Archives: law

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 […]

Maajid Nawaz wins defamation lawsuit against Reuters Worldcheck for calling him a “terrorist”

You may know that Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz has sued the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for putting him on its “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists” along with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. That suit is still in progress, but his (and Hirsi Ali’s) inclusion is palpable nonsense. Nawaz is a Muslim heads a reformist organization, and […]

Trump’s unwise pardon

Well, Trump has given his first Presidential pardon, and it couldn’t have gone to a worse person than Joe Arpaio, a former sheriff (1993-2016) of Maricopa County, Arizona—a county that includes the state capital of Phoenix. Arpaio was not only a punitive hard-ass towards prisoners, but widely recognized as an anti-Hispanic bigot, which he displayed […]

Agatha Christie on determinism and criminal justice

Reader John found a passage in a nearly 90 year old Agatha Christie novel that presages the views of Sam Harris, Robert Sapolsky, and many other determinists on the application of determinism to our justice system. This is what John sent: I  just read an Agatha Christie novel called “The Murder at the Vicarage” (published […]

Cultural relativism goes down in flames in Canada

Reader Steve called my attention to an article in the online Toronto Star about an overly lenient legal judgment that was based on cultural relativism, but a judgment that was rectified when the Canadian courts came to their senses. The story: an Iranian immigrant who moved to Canada was convicted of long-standing and violent physical abuse […]