Archive for the 'Law' Category

Pining Away For Jihad Johnny

The aptly named Unqualified Offerings has had its share of troubles lately, and I’m not usually one to pile on, but this is simply beyond the pale (emphasis added):
Have We Given Justice to Lindh?
By Mona
American citizen John Walker Lindh is now serving 20 years in this heinous prison for what appears to have been the […]

Halliburton/KBR and U.S. Government Accused of Covering Up a Gang-Rape (UPDATED)

This is one of the most bizarre and disgusting stories I’ve heard in quite a while:
A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.
Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a […]

Happy Repeal Day!

For information on Repeal Day you can visit
The turn of the twentieth century was a dark time in America. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which had been promoting Prohibition for many years, believed alcohol was the cause of many, if not all, social ills. Mistruths like this were spread. Lines were drawn. Bars […]

Attorney-Gate: Leahy’s New Ploy

Sen. Patrick Leahy is running a new gambit in order to force White House officials to testify before Congress, although I think there is another less-obvious goal here as well:
A Senate chairman acknowledged explicitly on Thursday that President Bush was not involved in the firings of U.S. attorneys last winter and therefore ruled illegal the […]

The Higazy Conundrum

For anyone who has been following the Higazy case and the puzzling circumstances under which a Second Circuit opinion was issued, withdrawn, and then reissued in redacted form, here is some information that seems to have been missed in the commentary (my emphasis):
A source close to the case said the opinion was withdrawn because of […]

Bad News in Housing

Foreclosure rates could drop!!!
That is bad news?
It is if it is because courts are throwing out cases because mortgage companies holding securitized mortgages  don’t have the actual note. I’ll let Luke explain:
The problem has arisen because most of these sorts of trust do not actually possess the physical mortgage note itself. Instead they have a […]

White House — Contempt of Congress

Since the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales the Attorney-Gate charade has basically fallen off the map. That’s a good thing for the most part because there never was any “there” there, at least not with respect to the politically appointed attorneys who were fired in the due course of the administration’s affairs.
However, […]

“Constitutional Scholar” Follies

Noted constitutional scholar, conspiracy theorist, sock puppet and all around frustrated guy, Glenn Greenwald, has a melt down over the spinelessness of the Democratic majority. Not to disagree with him, I agree they are spineless, but this little diatribe is profoundly silly.
First of all, if the Democrats had a spine Mukasey would have been confirmed […]

Dershowitz on Waterboarding and the Democrats

In the WSJ:
Consider, for example, the contentious and emotionally laden issue of the use of torture in securing preventive intelligence information about imminent acts of terrorism–the so-called “ticking bomb” scenario. I am not now talking about the routine use of torture in interrogation of suspects or the humiliating misuse of sexual taunting that infamously occurred […]

Courage Required Of Leaders

ED MORRISSEY: Waterboarding is torture and Congress should outlaw it. That would, however, require courage.
Hmmm, didn’t someone around here (and over there) say that recently??? OK, certainly not as eloquently, or verbosely, but it’s the same point all the same.
Congress should quit debating whether current law covers waterboarding and clear the issue up once […]

Stupid Human Tricks

Here are things not recommended to try in Indiana.
A) Speeding through a construction zone. You see orange cones (which seems like all the time around here) slow down.
B) Running from the cops, after speeding through a construction zone. Generally, if cops want to pull you over, you should find a safe place to […]

Zero Tolerance Idiocy

Hugging friends is equal to sexual harassment? What has replaced commonsense in school administrators these days? Risk aversion is one thing, defining a problem down to a list of “must not do” activities isn’t the way of solving it.

A 13-year-old junior high school student was given two days of detention after school officials […]

Levin and the shocking torture memo’s

Marty Lederman has a nice post up on the revelations of Daniel Levin about the development of the “torture memo’s.” Read the whole thing. I do have some caveats. He refers to Jack Goldsmith’s book which criticizes these memo’s and the way the Justice department was functioning at the time (and on a related note, […]

Clinton and Obama not fit to be Attorney General

I think this hits the nail on the head:
Clinton, Clinton, Obama and Schumer.  They have all, to a greater or lesser degree, embraced the concept of coercive interrogation (some, even torture — which is unquestionably illegal), and they have all underscored the excruciating complexity of this issue.  Somehow, they are fit to lead the Democratic Party […]

Ethnic Cleansing In LA

Who would have thought this kind of thing would happen in this day and age, in America. But, add one part “War on Drugs,” and one part “Illegal Immigration,” and you get volatile results.
A south Los Angeles Latino street gang targeted African-American gang rivals and other blacks in a campaign of neighborhood “cleansing,” federal […]

The Law Explained: FBI Interrogation Edition

The Appearance Of Impropriety
There is a minor brouhaha percolating at the blog-level right now regarding a Second Circuit decision that was issued, withdrawn, and then re-issued in redacted form. The small bit that was redacted is what’s causing all of the controversy because it concerned alleged threats from an FBI agent towards the family […]

A FISA Gedankenexperiment

Wulf at Atlas Blogged proposes a thought experiment regarding the FISA warrantless surveillance program that has been the subject of much civil libertarian hand-wringing:
Suppose the CIA wants to eavesdrop on Vladimir Putin. They don’t need a warrant. They just listen in on his phone conversations and they are legally within bounds as far as US […]

News Brief, À Cause Des Garçons Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Dear God. The USAF thinks it will win counterinsurgencies by copying the Viet Cong? These guys are almost as bad as the PMFs. In a must-read analysis, Abu Muqawama concludes, “This, America, is your uniformed military leadership. Be proud.” Oh I am.
“The reliable replacement warhead is a symptom.” […]

Reality vs. Snark

My tolerance for sheer bloody-mindedness is actually pretty high. If someone wants to insist that they are right despite every fact being against them, then that’s their problem as far as I’m concerned. When such persons continually lob snarky, and completely counterfactual bombs my way, however, sooner or later I’m going to respond. […]

Justice in Jena-Updated

As a Louisiana native I probably should have weighed in on the “Jena Six.” Like Michael, and many others, my initial reluctance has been being unsure of what really happened due to sketchy and conflicting reporting. What I can say at this point is that the decisions from a legal perspective have in each aspect […]


UC Irvine law school fires him for being too liberal?
About a week ago, Erwin Chemerinsky, the well-known constitutional law scholar at Duke, signed a contract to be the inaugural Dean of the new law school at the University of California at Irvine.
Yesterday, the Chancellor of the University of Cailfornia at Irvine flew to Durham and […]

Defaming Petraeus (Updated X4)

Promoting partisanship over prosecution of the war effort reaches an a new low today with the placement of an ad by blatantly libeling Gen. David Petraeus:
… as General David Petraeus provides his Iraq assessment to Congress–the antiwar group is running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times under the headline: “General Petraeus […]

Tarred and Feathered

Here is the story.

Sphere: Related Content

Hi-Tech Extortion and Terrorism

When threats are phoned in, how seriously should they be considered?
At my last company, one of the buildings we had offices in would get a bomb threat called in 2 or 3 times per month. Now, the company gave us the latitude to go wait outside the building until it was cleared, or we […]

Constitutional Matters at the New York Times

So, when you spend a great deal of time touting your authority based on the unique advantages of editors, the question must be asked, who reviews the views and claims of the editors? From the editorial board of the New York Times we get this rather startling new information on our Constitution:
It is an eminently […]

Huffpo off the deep end again-Update

General Pace, suddenly a voice of wisdom after supposedly being part of the problem, has suggested we need to draw down forces sometime next year. This has driven Martin Lewis to argue that Pace relieve Bush of his command and place him under military arrest. I assumed this was satire or hyperbole, and then I […]

Torture in criminal justice

Are we irrationally biased against torture?
In many situations it would be better to impose a punishment of torture than imprisonment. The fact that the U.S. justice system rejects torture as a punishment is the result of an anti-torture bias.
Torture has two benefits over imprisonment. It’s cheaper for the state to impose and it […]

Presidential aspirations anyone?

From Daniel Drezner:
Alex Tabarrok proposes So You Think You Can Be President? One proposed segment:

Game Theory: Candidates compete in a game of Diplomacy. I would also include several ringers - say Robin Hanson, Bryan Caplan and Salma Hayek. Why these three? Robin is cold, calculating and merciless - make a logical mistake and he […]

Just how close to economic fascism did we come?

We may have been closer than we think in 1935, though Nate Oman believes the threat would have receded in the light of political reality. Whatever the case, the discussion of the case of Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States is well worth reading in understanding legislatively what we came close to passing, […]

The Ever Expanding Reach of the State

Radley nails this:
So I guess once you’re elected to Congress, you’re immune from drunk driving laws; you can stash the evidence that you’ve committed a crime in your office, because investigators aren’t allowed to search it; if you kill someone because you’ve got a lead foot and blew a stop sign, the taxpayers will cover […]