Category Archives: law

We’re screwed good and proper: Anthony Kennedy to retire

Yes, this just happened: as of July 31, we’ll have a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Kennedy was a swing vote, and now Trump gets to appoint his replacement, which will be someone like Scalia or Thomas. And that, of course, means we’re screwed for decades to come. What we’re going to get now is […]

By a narrow 5-4 vote, Supreme Court upholds Trump’s travel ban

I suppose this was predictable, and I don’t have the capability to judge whether Trump’s travel ban, however heinous, was legal or not, for that’s the basis on which Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the ruling, upheld the restriction on immigration. It was, he said, legally within Trump’s powers. The vote was 5-4, strictly along […]

Supreme Court rules in favor of baker who refused to make a wedding cake for gays

UPDATE: The Freedom from Religion Foundation, whose take I wanted on this case, has issued a bulletin on this decision, “Missed opportunity; Supreme Court punts on important case, manufactures hostility toward religion where none exists.” The FFRF had written an amicus brief to the Court supporting the gay couple, and think that this decision was […]

News of the day: Kim Kardashian gets special treatment from Trump; preacher who wanted a new jet takes down his importuning video

Grania sent me this tweet with the note, “Reality is officially worse than satire now.” Great meeting with @KimKardashian today, talked about prison reform and sentencing. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018 Yes, that’s the Donald with the world’s biggest Media Strumpet, talking about policy.  In reality, Kardashian wasn’t in the Oval […]

Conservative Supreme Court rules against labor

In a 5-4 decision today, with voting along political lines, the conservative Supreme Court Justices (including Trump appointee Gorsuch) ruled that workers could not file class-action lawsuits against employers if they signed arbitration clauses in their contracts that waived their right to file such suits in favor of binding arbitration. This is definitely a blow […]

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 […]