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  1. 16 Nov '11 11:55
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chermerinsky-healthcare-20111115,0,4312764.story

    By the way, Chermerinsky wrote a Con Law book used at my law school.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/scalia-thomas-health-care-dinner_n_1094648.html

    The Los Angeles Times:

    The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama's healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.
  2. 16 Nov '11 13:45
    Originally posted by moon1969
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chermerinsky-healthcare-20111115,0,4312764.story

    By the way, Chermerinsky wrote a Con Law book used at my law school.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/scalia-thomas-health-care-dinner_n_1094648.html

    The Los Angeles Times:

    The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors ...[text shortened]... d at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.
    Feels dirty doesn't it? Like Clinton renting out rooms at the white house.
  3. 16 Nov '11 14:51
    Originally posted by moon1969
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chermerinsky-healthcare-20111115,0,4312764.story

    By the way, Chermerinsky wrote a Con Law book used at my law school.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/scalia-thomas-health-care-dinner_n_1094648.html

    The Los Angeles Times:

    The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors ...[text shortened]... d at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.
    Do you wonder about Kagan's position? An exchange between her and Larry Tribe while she was solicitor general leaves little doubt about her bias.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    16 Nov '11 14:58 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by moon1969
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chermerinsky-healthcare-20111115,0,4312764.story

    By the way, Chermerinsky wrote a Con Law book used at my law school.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/scalia-thomas-health-care-dinner_n_1094648.html

    The Los Angeles Times:

    The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors d at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.
    They went to a dinner of the Federalist Society, which they've been going to for years. The law firm that will argue the case "was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner."

    Is that the best you got?



    Get real. So far there's nothing remotely unethical going on here.

    Come back to me when you have something real.

    Edit: That little piece of misleading BS about the "sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court" (when in fact it was not the firm but one of almost two dozen) was not written by Chermerinsky but by James Oliphant. I'm sure that the legendary Erwin Chermerinsky would be appalled by the use of that sort of journalistic sleight of hand.
  5. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    16 Nov '11 15:04
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Do you wonder about Kagan's position? An exchange between her and Larry Tribe while she was solicitor general leaves little doubt about her bias.
    Is there any real doubt about how any of the judges are going to vote with the exception of Kennedy and perhaps Roberts?
  6. 16 Nov '11 18:39
    Originally posted by sh76
    They went to a dinner of the Federalist Society, which they've been going to for years. The law firm that will argue the case "was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner."

    Is that the best you got?



    Get real. So far there's nothing remotely unethical going on here.

    Come back to me when you have something real.

    Edit: ...[text shortened]... n Chermerinsky would be appalled by the use of that sort of journalistic sleight of hand.
    Well, as you know, they are supposed to avoid in the mere "appearance" of a conflict, and I'm not really certain it should be deemed appropriate for a Supreme Court Justice to attend political events. It should be regarded as one of those sacrifices you make for the position.

    Can you imagine the howling on the right if Justice Ginsberg attended an ACLU dinner? I don't think it would be appropriate, even though she headed up the ACLU's Women's Rights Project for years. That was then and this is now and she has the obligation to at least appear to be neutral as a Supreme Court Justice.
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Nov '11 17:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    Well, as you know, they are supposed to avoid in the mere "appearance" of a conflict, and I'm not really certain it should be deemed appropriate for a Supreme Court Justice to attend political events. It should be regarded as one of those sacrifices you make for the position.

    Can you imagine the howling on the right if Justice Ginsberg attended an ACLU ow and she has the obligation to at least appear to be neutral as a Supreme Court Justice.
    I'm not saying there wouldn't be a howl from the right (both wings love to howl), but I see absolutely nothing wrong with Justice Ginsburg attending an ACLU dinner. Just because your day job is a judge does not mean you have to give up all the causes and political beliefs you've advocated your whole life.

    You can separate your political beliefs from the merits of the cases before you.
  8. 17 Nov '11 17:18
    Originally posted by sh76
    I'm not saying there wouldn't be a howl from the right (both wings love to howl), but I see absolutely nothing wrong with Justice Ginsburg attending an ACLU dinner. Just because your day job is a judge does not mean you have to give up all the causes and political beliefs you've advocated your whole life.

    You can separate your political beliefs from the merits of the cases before you.
    If you can separate political beliefs from decision-making, wouldn't that make you a very undesirable SCOTUS candidate for a US president?
  9. 18 Nov '11 00:19
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Is there any real doubt about how any of the judges are going to vote with the exception of Kennedy and perhaps Roberts?
    Not really. It makes the whole scenario of oral arguments and opinion writing somewhat idiotic.
  10. 18 Nov '11 00:21
    Originally posted by sh76
    I'm not saying there wouldn't be a howl from the right (both wings love to howl), but I see absolutely nothing wrong with Justice Ginsburg attending an ACLU dinner. Just because your day job is a judge does not mean you have to give up all the causes and political beliefs you've advocated your whole life.

    You can separate your political beliefs from the merits of the cases before you.
    "You can separate your political beliefs from the merits of the cases before you."

    Can you tell me when anyone has done so?
  11. 18 Nov '11 00:56
    Well, whether they can separate their beliefs is one question, and I think they can endeavor to do that, sometimes succeeding, and maybe sometimes failing. And in fact sometimes your political and social views correspond with your philosophy and approach to law and so your decisions are going to be based in part on how you look at the world in general. The notion that the law is something that can be reduced to a binary system of logic is unfortunately misplaced, or we wouldn't need judges. We could resort to an app or something.

    I know that there are biases and that most judges and justices do a pretty good job of maintaining a reasonable amount of objectivity. That's not my qualm, because not going to the dinner won't change how one feels about the issues, nor necessarily make him more or less objective. The issue is appearance, and it's my opinion, for what it's worth, that the Supreme Court Justices in general have a duty to maintain public confidence in the institution and should avoid even the appearance of bias. It should appear to be above the fray, and outside of politics.

    I don't think it's a really big deal, but why give the partisans an opportunity to howl? Wait until you retire, then write what you think.
  12. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    18 Nov '11 02:23
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Not really. It makes the whole scenario of oral arguments and opinion writing somewhat idiotic.
    Oral arguments are useful theater which can give those interested in the law some useful information and also help lawyers and law students develop advocacy skills. Not all cases and courts are as predisposed as this one is.

    I fail to see why anyone would have any problem with judges writing opinions which set forth in detail the legal reasoning they used to resolve a case.
  13. 20 Nov '11 18:40
    Cartoon on subject.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/20/1037822/-Its-good-to-be-Supreme?via=blog_1
  14. 24 Nov '11 00:30 / 6 edits
    Originally posted by normbenign
    "You can separate your political beliefs from the merits of the cases before you."

    Can you tell me when anyone has done so?
    The rosy view is that judges objectively apply case facts to legal precedent to give an outcome of the case. A cynical view is that judges start with a case outcome in mind, and then manipulate the presentation of facts and legal precedent to support that outcome. Moreover, it has been said that what a justice had for breakfast can influence how they vote.

    Or that their general life experiences (current and past) can affect their vote. In Atwater v. Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318 (2001), a mother with her kids was arrested and taken to jail for driving without wearing a seatbelt, a crime punishable only by a $50 fine. The Court in a 5-4 decision upheld the arrest. Souter, a former state attorney general who didn't drive a car but rode a bike to work, wrote the majority opinion. O'Connor a mother of three who regulary drove a car as a young mother, authored the dissenting opinion.

    From wikipedia:

    Atwater v. Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318 (2001), was a United States Supreme Court decision which held that a person's Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the subject is arrested for driving without a seatbelt. The court ruled that such an arrest for a misdemeanor that is punishable only by a fine does not constitute an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment.

    Texas law provides for police officer discretion in arresting any person caught committing a misdemeanor, such as violating its mandatory seat belt laws. Violation of its seat belt law is punishable with the maximum fine of $50. In March 1997, Gail Atwater a long-term resident of Lago Vista, Texas, was driving her pick-up truck with her three-year-old son and five-year-old daughter. None of them were wearing seat belts. Police officer Bart Turek, then with the city of Lago Vista, recognized Ms. Atwater and pulled her over. According to court records, witnesses observed that Atwater and her children remained in her pick up when Turek [the officer] approached the driver's side window and aggressively jabbed his finger toward Atwater’s face. Turek screamed at Atwater about the seatbelts, frightening her children. When Atwater calmly and in a normal tone requested that Turek lower his voice. Turek immediately yelled out “you’re going to jail.” According to the record, Atwater remained calm, when Turek told her she was going to jail. She did not act suspiciously, she did not pose any threat to Turek, and she was not engaged in any illegal conduct, other than failing to wear a seat belt. Turek continued to speak to Atwater in a verbally abusive manner, accusing her of not caring for her children. Atwater's children and bystanders, including friends and other Lago Vista residents who drove or walked by, witnessed Turek's tirade.

    After telling Atwater that she would be taken to jail . . . Atwater then asked Turek to allow her to take her "frightened, upset, and crying" children to a friend's home just two houses down before taking her to jail, but he refused her request. Turek told her "[y]ou're not going anywhere." and stated that her children could accompany her to the police station. A friend of Atwater's who came to the scene took the children into her care while the officer arrested Atwater. Turek handcuffed Atwater, in front of her two young children, placed her in his squad car and drove her to the police station to be booked. According to the court document, "booking officers had her remove her shoes, jewelry, and eyeglasses, and empty her pockets. Officers took Atwater's 'mug shot' and placed her, alone, in a jail cell for about one hour." A magistrate released Atwater on $310 bond. She later paid a $50 fine for violating Texas's seat belt law. . . .

    Atwater and her husband, Michael Haas, an emergency room physician at a local hospital, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 . . . alleging that the city violated her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizures by arresting her for a crime whose only punishment was a fine. This argument required her to concede that the police had probable cause to arrest her for violating the seat belt law, and thus the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas found summary judgment for the city. A panel of the Fifth Circuit reversed, holding that arresting a person for a fine-only misdemeanor was per se unreasonable. The Fifth Circuit sitting en banc reversed the panel, agreeing with the district court's reasoning. Three judges dissented from the en banc panel's ruling, arguing that the police had to have a specific reason for arresting Atwater for only violating the seat belt law. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

    ****

    Justice O'Connor, presenting the (4-5) dissenting opinion, stated that the historical evidence was not uniform in . . .and reasoned that the Fourth Amendment required a balancing of interests in the case of an arrest for a fine-only misdemeanor. . . . [T]he dissent also argued that Atwater [the mother] could not have been characterized as a possible flight risk by the arresting officer, since she was known to him and was an established member of the community. [The dissent] further noted that arrest for a fine-only misdemeanor was not reasonable because sending someone to jail for up to 48 hours (the time necessary to get him or her before a magistrate to be released) was too great an intrusion upon the personal liberty interests of anyone who had committed a relatively minor offense as would only merit such a fine as punishment

    The Atwater dissenting court opinion states, “A broad range of conduct falls into the category of fine-only misdemeanors... Such unbounded discretion [given to law enforcement] carries with it grave potential for abuse. The majority takes comfort in the lack of evidence of ‘an epidemic of unnecessary minor-offense arrests’." Reasoning beyond the case of a misdemeanor arrest for a seat-belt-law violation, Justice O'Connor’s dissenting court opinion further cautions, “The Court’s error, however, does not merely affect disposition of this case. The per se rule that the Court creates has potentially serious consequences for the everyday lives of Americans.” Justice O’Connor concludes the minority’s dissent by stating, “The Court neglects the Fourth Amendment’s express command in the name of administrative ease. In so doing, it cloaks the pointless indignity that Gail Atwater (and her children) suffered with the mantle of reasonableness.”


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atwater_v._Lago_Vista