February 1 roundup

  • “She Asked for Help for Postpartum Depression. The Nurse Called the Cops.” [Darby Saxbe, Slate] Under one Montana prosecutor’s announced policy, pregnant mother “proven to be using alcohol … might be monitored by law enforcement or sent to jail.” [Andrew Turck, Big Horn County News]
  • “The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a judge may be Facebook friends with lawyers who appear before the judge.” [Raymond McKoski, Orlando Sentinel]
  • Nation’s highest military court unanimously tosses sexual assault conviction of Coast Guard enlisted man, finding juror selection stacked by higher-ups; of seven jurors, four were trained sexual assault victim advocates [Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times; decision]
  • Report on legal landscape of cottage food industry [Jennifer McDonald, Institute for Justice] Deregulation efforts of Trump administration have yet to reach food sector [Baylen Linnekin]
  • So large and so diverse is the 400-member lower house of the New Hampshire legislature that it appears to contain a sovereign citizen believer [Jack Smith IV, Mic]
  • “Stash House Stings: When the Government Can Invent Crimes and Criminals” [Trevor Burrus and Reilly Stephens]


  • In the Coast Guard case, the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces seems really ticked off at not just those responsible for the packing, but at both the original judge and the appeals court for not doing something about it. You don’t often see judges go after other judges like this.

    They described the trial judge as “completely abdicating his responsibility” and “blithely asserting the issues could be worked out on appeal rather than actually investigating the allegation.” They called the failure of the judge and the appeals court to do anything about the stacking “a stain on the military justice system.” They said the errors “adversely affected not only Appellant’s right to a fair trial by an impartial panel, but also the essential fairness and integrity of the military justice system.” That’s rather scathing.

    They actually declined to even allow a retrial with a new jury, instead opting to dismiss the charges with prejudice, due to what they described as “patent and intolerable efforts to manipulate the member selection process” and “the failures of the military judge, the DuBay military judge, and the CGCCA, to investigate, recognize, or ameliorate the clear court stacking in this case” (and, of course, “the actual prejudice to the Appellant of being tried by a panel cherry-picked for the Government”.)

  • “Stash House Stings: When the Government Can Invent Crimes and Criminals”

    The judge should order the “other guy” arrested on the same charges. After all, since one of the co-conspirators has been convicted, there should be ample probable cause.

    I know the prosecutor would never proceed, but having the officer/criminal arrested ought to send a clear enough signal to everyone.

    • How about the judge order the federal agents arrested on the same charges?

    • While I fully understand the arguments against what the government did in this case, it’s difficult for me to muster much sympathy for either side. When I place myself in Conley’s shoes I can say with complete certainty that there is no way I would ever agree to be a part of an attempt to rob a stash house. I’d be far more likely to report the stash house to the authorities to get the drugs out of my neighborhood. If Mr. Conley had done this, he wouldn’t be looking at a 15 year sentence!

  • She Asked for Help for Postpartum Depression

    Coyote has a piece this week on government employee incentives. Some healthcare workers have the same system: Take no risks. The process is more important than the outcome. Then ask for a bigger budget because the system is broken.
    Here’s your government healthcare.


  • The OB and the NP should be reported to the Licensing board for their State. The care they gave this patient was substandard and bordering on neglect.

  • Bordering?

    No. Well on the side of outright abuse. Calling the cops on a person in need of compassionate care is beyond the pale.

    ‘Splain oh dear nurse practitioner & doctor exactly how you are helping your patient by putting them through the described ordeal? As is pointed out in the article, you have now given incentive for your future patients to not seek help, which may lead some to spiral down without treatment.

    Idiocy…..pure idiocy.

  • Eccentric NH State Reps–

    For an even more bizarre case, google “tom alciere cops”

    A small State, NH has 400 representatives in its assembly. Since each district has only about 6,000 constituents, and the *unpaid* job is part-time, not every district gets a wide offering of qualified candidates.

    A reliably Republican State in the 1980s, NH is now a tossup, partly because its more secular conservatism is a poor fit with the increasing religiosity of today’s Southern-dominated GOP. But NH is still more likely to elect far-Right eccentrics than far-Left eccentrics.