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Supreme Court, 2020

Yes, it’s a little unseemly to talk about replacing Ginsburg so soon after her death. But the fate of the Supreme Court is simply too important to not talk about it.

First, let me say a few things about Ginsburg. She seems like she was a nice woman, not bitter and angry like a lot of feminists and liberals. She was said to be a good friend of Antonin Scalia, which speaks very well of her. She wrote one particularly really bad dissent, but she was a liberal after all. Antonin Scalia was still able to be friends with her after that dissent.

But now that she’s dead, it’s extremely important for Republicans to make sure that a good conservative Justice replaces her and not allow Biden to replace her with someone who will most likely be an extreme liberal based on the way things are going.

I expect that extreme liberals will be pushing the following extreme-left legal theories in the near future:

  • People in other countries have a constitutional right to enter into the United States, and a constitutional right to stay here once they’ve entered.
  • The planet has constitutional rights such that laws that are perceived by liberals to be bad for the planet (such as whatever liberals think causes “climate change”) are unconstitutional.
  • People no longer have freedom of speech if what they say is perceived as “racist,” with liberals controlling the definition of “racist.” This will then be extended to speech that’s is deemed to be “homophobic” or “Islamophobic.”
  • Any laws that perpetuate “systemic racism” are unconstitutional, with liberals, once again, controlling the determination of which laws fall under this rubric.
  • As a matter of statutory interpretation, any business that doesn’t have enough of the right types of minorities working for them are in violation of the various Civil Rights Acts.
  • Children have a constitutional right to get sex change operations, with parents forbidden from interfering.

If you’re response to this is “oh, that’s a lot of nonsense, where did you hear anyone say they are going to do that?”, well that’s the exact same thing that liberals would have said a few decades ago about gay marriage. They said that conservatives who speculated that liberal judges would find a constitutional right for gay marriage were just being paranoid and making stuff up.

But the reality is that it has been liberals, not conservatives, who have a long history of using the courts to accomplish political goals that they can’t accomplish through legislation.

Liberals are going to hyperventilate during the next two months about abortion, but we have had a conservative Supreme Court since Nixon, yet Roe v. Wade was never overturned. There’s no reason to think they are going to overturn it now. And if they do, it’s Democrats’ fault for not passing legislation to make abortion legal everywhere. After each of the last three Democratic presidents were elected, Carter, Clinton and Obama, Democrats controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress, but they never passed an Abortion Rights Act because they were too pussified or something. Democrats will probably control the government again after Biden wins and the Senate flips to Democratic control. Here’s my advice to any Democrats reading this: If you care so much about abortion, than pass a a damn law that gives women the right to have an abortion and stop depending on the Supreme Court to do it for you.

In order to prevent the possibility of a liberal Supreme Court, a sixth “conservative” Justice is essential, because otherwise during the next four years when we have a Democratric administration, the Supreme Court is just one heart attack away from going to a liberal majority (with Justices Thomas and Alito, both in their 70s, the most likely heart attack victims).

And I put the word “conservative” in parentheses because of the known phenomenon in which some presumed-conservative Justices become more liberal over time. There’s no guarantee that a five-Justice conservative majority will stay conservative.

Talking about Constitutional rights, there’s no dispute that the President has the Constitutional right to nominate a new Justice when there’s a vacancy, and that the Senate has the constitutional right to confirm the nomination. There has never been any sort of rule that a certain number of days before an election the President isn’t allowed to nominate someone or that the Senate isn’t allowed to do its Constitutionally required duty to consider the nomination and confirm if they think the nominee should be confirmed.

A few elected Republicans said otherwise four years ago, which caps a long history of politicians making up stupid reasons to hide their real reasons for doing things. Some dumb crap that some Republicans said to the media isn’t legally binding. A new Supreme Court Justice isn’t for the personal benefit of Trump, McConnell, or any other individual elected official, it’s for the benefit of the American people. I shouldn’t be forced to suffer an extreme liberal Biden appointee because McConnell, who I didn’t vote for, said some stupid crap four years ago that he shouldn’t have said. (Regarding Trump, he may be a bozo who’s unfit to be President, but one of the few things he and the Republicans have done right during his term in office is appoint judges).

Some liberals are talking about packing the Court. It’s probably not going to happen, I don’t think enough Democrats will go along with such an extreme middle finger to our nation’s customs. If they can’t get enough of a majority together to pass an Abortion Rights Act (which would solve the abortion problem for Democrats without more extreme court packing), I don’t see how they can get enough of a majority together to pack the Court.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 20, 2020 at 1:40 PM

Posted in Law

Law school

A reader asked me about law school.

Bad idea. Unless you can get into a top law school. I’m not sure if the Top 14 is still a thing or not, so to be safe, go for a Top 7 law school.

Also, helps to come from a rich family, even better if your mom or dad is a lawyer, which gives you an in with potential employers. Don’t go to law school in a distant city unless it’s for a Top 7 law school.

An interesting thing about law is that, while everyone else is going to go to a work-from-home arrangement, lawyers need to be near the courts, so you can’t work for a NY law firm while living in Hawaii. This is an unappreciated downside to a career in law.

You’re better off getting an MBA. That Amy Cooper woman, who appears to be off her rocker and a very annoying person, has an MBA from Chicago and consequently she had a pretty good job as a “Vice President” at Franklin Templeton (before she got fired for being a racist).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 17, 2020 at 5:37 PM

Posted in Labor Markets, Law

RBG, still alive

Last week, RBG appeared before a live audience at UC Berkely.

Do you remember a few months ago, a bunch of morons, some of whom leave dumb comments on my blog, were insisting that there was some vast conspiracy to hide that she was actually dead?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 31, 2019 at 5:10 PM

Posted in Law

My first experience with the internet

A commenter asks:

I’d be curious what your first experience was with the Internet, that you thought it was going nowhere.

I met the two lawyers described in this Wikipedia article in the summer, or maybe the fall, of 1994 after I graduated from law school, and being unemployed I was looking for any crappy sort of legal work, even if it was doing a small amount of part time research for a low hourly rate. Or maybe they wanted me to do some non-legal work for their company (mentioned in the Wikipedia article), such as helping them write a business plan. They were trying to do everything on the cheap, I guess they weren’t clued into to getting venture capital.

These two weird attorneys had their employee, an uber-nerd (the person called “Jason” in the Wikipedia article), demo the internet to me. Using the Mosaic web browser. It was ridiculously slow. And it seemed to be nothing but a bulletin board that was harder to access than Prodigy or Compuserve. I also got the impression that “Jason” wasn’t doing much real work, but also that he wasn’t getting paid much, his payment was that he got to play around on the internet.

I decided to decline any further contact with them, because they gave me a lot of bad vibes. A fellow graduate of my law school who had also met them warned me about them, and pointed out that they weren’t even admitted to the Arizona bar (which was a big sticking point for him). He was also put off by the fact that he was at the female lawyer’s house, and he saw the guy there wearing a bathrobe, or so he claimed. When I met them, the guy was dressed normally. Three years later, one of them was disbarred (from a state other than Arizona, my friend was right).

My impression of the internet, after Jason demoed it to me, was that it was something for uber-nerds and that regular people would never be interested in it. How wrong I was! I have to admit that the two weird lawyers were totally correct that there were huge amounts of money to be made from advertising on the internet. They were just too totally clueless about internet technology or start-up companies to personally cash in on it.

* * *

Holy ****. It just occurred to me that this was 25 years ago, and that means I missed my 25-year law school class reunion.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 18, 2019 at 3:23 PM

Posted in Law, Technology

The Dangerous Federalization of Crime

Read this op-ed by Edwin Meese III written in 1999. It’s worth reading.

Now let’s ponder what Alex Acosta did in the in the Jeffrey Epstein case. He agreed not to prosecute Epstein for crimes committed in Florida that are traditionally state-law crimes (sex with under-aged girls, recruiting them into prostitution, etc), and because Florida already was prosecuting a case against Epstein, prosecuting him again for the same crimes violates the spirit of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution, even though I am, of course, aware that the Supreme Court believes in a “dual sovereignty” doctrine in which they consider federal government and the state government to be like different nations. (The op-ed by Edwin Meese III also talks about violating the spirit of Double Jeopardy.)

As Trump said today about Acosta (who resigned, the latest innocent victim of #metoo), “He made a deal that people were happy with, and then 12 years later they’re not happy with it.” Up until this month, the topic of Epstein was mostly relegated to far-right conspiracy theorists. Epstein was a lot friendlier with bigwig Democrats, including Bill Clinton, than he was with any Republicans. (When Epstein knew Trump, Trump was just a rich playboy type who was not associated with the Republican Party or with conservatives in general.)

* * *

Check out this 2016 article at the Daily Mail with paparazzi-type photos of all the beautiful young (but not under the legal age in New York) women going in and out of Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse mansion.

Apparently, there are a lot of women out there who like having a billionaire (or at least billionaire-like) sugar daddy.

* * *

Here’s the most compelling thing I’ve read (in New York Magazine) hypothesizing that Epstein was running some sort of blackmail scam rather than a real hedge fund.

And this blog post has an interesting conspiracy theory, almost believable. Especially with the warning at the end: “There’s no need to invoke the Mafia/Russia/Mossad/CIA/etc, that’s just needlessly overfitting.”

So people are obsessing about some girls who were sort of like prostitutes, instead of the real victims who are the extremely rich people who Epstein blackmailed. If this theory is true. Girls being prostitutes are a dime-a-dozen, while a blackmail scheme like this is epic, making Epstein the greatest criminal mastermind of the century.

* * *

My dream scenario is that Epstein disappears after he is let out on bail, becoming the worlds’ most wanted fugitive, but releases all of the blackmail he has on the rich and famous and connected in order to punish them for letting this happen to him, and they all go to prison.

But anything that sounds too good to be true probably isn’t true.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 12, 2019 at 12:59 PM

Posted in Law

Hay un nuevo fiscal de distrito en Queens

Richard Brown, who was the DA forever (and Jewish despite his gentile-sounding name), died last month.

I remember meeting Richard Brown when I worked as an intern at the Queens DA’s office a long, long time ago, and I remember that he was short and had a very large pot belly. (And I also remember Jack Ryan, who was taller and skinnier than Richard Brown, but still had an impressive gut.)

There was a primary election yesterday, and the more qualified candidate, a Jewish woman named Melinda Katz with a long record of public service (which includes being the Queens Borough President), lost to a 31-year-old extreme liberal Hispanic woman, Tiffany Cabán, a public defender who promised to go easier on criminals (normally the opposite of what gets you elected as a DA).

Queens is only 31% non-Hispanic white. Some of those whites are Republicans, so the Democratic primary has an overwhelming majority of “minority” voters. I’ve pointed out before that the SWPLs running the Democratic Party will eventually lose control of it to minorities.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 26, 2019 at 9:49 AM

Posted in Law

Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc. (2019)

Click to access 18-483_3d9g.pdf

Lower courts held that Indiana’s law to “prohibit the knowing provision of sex-, race-, and disability selective abortions by abortion providers” is unconstitutional because it places an undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion, and the Supreme Court denied certiorari. It only takes four justices to grant certiorari, so we can presume that at minimum Roberts and Kavanaugh were against granting certiorari. As I predicted during the Kavanaugh hearings, he would be much friendlier towards abortion rights than just about anyone else on Trump’s list.

On the other issue, decided per curiam (which means that the Supreme Court is telling us the law is so settled that it’s stupid that they have to reverse a lower court decision and don’t have anything legally new to say), the court said that the litigants failed to pursue the undue burden argument with respect to the regulation of the disposal of fetal remains, and the 7th Circuit was totally off-base to say that such a law has no rational basis. Only Sotomayor dissented to that.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 28, 2019 at 12:54 PM

Posted in Law

Insane anti-abortion laws

Very low class of southern Republicans to pass these stupid laws.

Kavanaugh hasn’t been on the Court long enough to feel comfortable overruling a landmark decision like Roe v. Wade, and Roberts is too moderate to join a 4-man minority, there will be at least 6 votes in favor of declaring these laws unconstitutional.

Christian types should stop being obsessed with abortion and work on things they can do something about, like fighting against all the casual sex which is causing all the unmarried women to get pregnant (which is why they need to get abortions in the first place).

* * *

Frau Katze writes in a comment:

Anti-abortion legislation may well be motivated by genuine concern. But all the burden falls on the poorest and least intelligent, as the rest will simply travel to another state. This is plain unfair.

* * *

Jay Fink writes in a comment:

I am not a fan of these abortion laws. If women gave birth to every baby they ever aborted we would be worse off right now. There would be millions of unwanted children and most would grow up to be dysfunctional. The crime rate would be much higher than it is now. Also our debt would be all the more out of control with all the welfare we would give to the mothers who gave birth instead of aborted.

* * *

Tanturn writes in a comment:

The only realistic path to getting abortion banned is convincing people to value traditional monogamy, so they wouldn’t NEED abortion. As long as they feel they need it, they won’t care much for moralistic arguments against it.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 17, 2019 at 7:18 AM

Posted in Law

What happened to attorney-client privilege?

It looks like the biggest source of dirt on Trump came from two people who Trump thought of as his lawyers: Michael Cohen and Don McGahn.

You’re supposed to be able to tell stuff to your lawyers without it being used against you by law enforcement. It seems unseemly to me, as someone who is theoretically a lawyer (although I’ve never practiced law), that lawyers are helping to take down someone who sort of looked like their client.

The legal theory used by Mueller, presumably, is that Michael Cohen was an executive for the Trump Organization and not Trump’s personal attorney, and that Don McGahn was the lawyer for the “office of the Presidency” and not Trump’s personal attorney. And also that Trump waived attorney-client privilege by agreeing to “fully cooperate” with the investigation.

So there are lessons to be learned here:

1. Don’t assume what you tell a lawyer is privileged. Ask first.

2. If the lawyer is someone you aren’t paying with your own personal money, then what you tell him is probably not privileged. An exception is if you’re an indigent criminal defendant and the state gives you a free lawyer, then your conversations with that lawyer are privileged. Otherwise, you’d better ask. I am not even sure of a lot of different situations. Is the free lawyer provided by your insurance company representing you or representing the insurance company? I don’t know. You’d better ask. I do know that if you work for a corporation, a lawyer who is paid by the same corporation is definitely not your lawyer.

3. Never cooperate with any investigation if you think you might be a target of the investigation.

It still seems wrong that Don McGahn provided Mueller with so much dirt on Trump. Since the new rule is that, when you become president, the sore-losers from the other side start legally gunning for you, how can someone who’s not rich enough to afford to keep a staff of personally-paid attorneys afford to be President?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 23, 2019 at 12:48 PM

Posted in Law

Jussie Smollett refuses to pay Chicago

This seems like a really boneheaded move. He could have paid the $130,000, then complained that he was forced to settle because of the racist homophobic powers-that-be working against him.

Now, all of the facts will be aired in court, and being a civil proceeding, the burden of proof as well as the rules of evidence will be a lot more favorable to the city of Chicago than would be the case in a criminal trial.

* * *


I erroneously stated that the jury verdict wouldn’t have to unanimous. That’s the majority rule for civil trials, but Illinois is in the minority and requires a unanimous 12-man jury even in civil trials.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 5, 2019 at 3:13 PM

Posted in Law

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