- Some reps push to cut off federal funds for states with Stand Your Ground laws [Maguire, Just One Minute] Podcast and video of Cato’s panel discussion on SYG laws [and related from Tim Lynch] Muddle-prone media mischaracterizes other cases besides Martin/Zimmerman as SYG [Sullum] “Shame of mandatory minimums shows in Marissa Alexander case” [Roland Martin, CNN, via Alkon] More: Florida voter poll shows strong support for SYG [Sun-Sentinel] New medical reports could prove helpful to defense in Martin/Zimmerman case [WFTV, more]
- Feds prosecute building firm for paying NYC labor graft, but as for those who receive it… [Holman Jenkins, WSJ, with Wal-Mart Mexico FCPA angle]
- Why is the Center for American Progress helping the Obama administration pretend that it’s ended the Drug War? [Mike Riggs] “Jailed for trying to fill a prescription” [Amy Alkon] “She stole his heroin, so she was the victim” [Jacob Sullum]
- Conduct on which defendant was acquitted can still count as prior bad act evidence [Scott Greenfield]
- New UK justice law abolishes indefinite sentences for public protection (IPPs) [Barder]
- “Debtor’s Prison for Failure to Pay for Your Own Trial” [Tabarrok]
- ACLU on unsettling possibilities of surveillance drones, law enforcement and otherwise [Lucy Steigerwald]
The College Sports Council has recent reports from New York City, where both boys’ and girls’ squads have been sidelined following a New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) suit over fall vs. spring scheduling (related earlier here, here, and here), and Kentucky, where quotas have prevented formation of a boys’ team.
That’s a more controversial proposition than you might think; the Connecticut Supreme Court was split 5-2 in agreeing that a hearing was necessary to confirm the validity of a protective order against a defendant who has been accused but not convicted. The case pitted the state ACLU against the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. [Connecticut Law Tribune via Amy Alkon]
The lead plaintiff in Alli v. Decker, an ACLU-led class action lawsuit aimed at preventing the deportation of various aliens who commit crimes, turns out to be a conman who played a role in a huge Nigerian-led identity theft scam. Reports the Times:
The news media campaign was all set to go. There was even a Web site ready with a sympathetic profile of Alexander Alli, 49, the man the American Civil Liberties Union had chosen as the lead plaintiff …Court documents tell the story of Mr. Alli’s life before his fall as a familiar tale of immigrant pluck, luck and hard work.
Well, yes, court documents prepared by his lawyers would tend to do that, while tending to downplay or omit the massive identity theft operation in which Mr. Alli was a participant, which extracted more than $50 million by impersonating and victimizing some 30,000 credit card holders: he “admitted to being personally responsible for $70,000 to $120,000 of the multimillion-dollar losses to banks and credit card companies”. Start deporting people like that, and where is our next generation of scam artists supposed to come from? [New York Times, Patrick at Popehat]
A long-running controversy pits some elected officials and townspeople of Framingham, Mass., west of Boston, against a social service agency that has proposed the town as a site for halfway houses and other residential facilities for recovering addicts, the homeless and others. Two years ago things turned particularly unpleasant:
…[South Middlesex Opportunity Council] filed suit in federal court this week demanding damages not just from town officials, but from citizens who have dared criticize the agency and challenge its plans.
SMOC’s 99-page complaint [which alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act, federal Rehabilitation Act, Americans With Disabilities Act and Civil Rights Act — ed.] piles up charges against selectmen and planning board members not just in their official capacity, but as individuals. It targets town employees, both named and unnamed. It calls for damages against four Framingham Town Meeting members and two citizens for comments made on a private Web site and e-mails distributed on a privately-operated mailing list.
The ACLU of Massachusetts expressed unease at the naming of private citizens as defendants over their advocacy efforts. While the lawsuit has been narrowed somewhat in the two years since then, it continues to engender much acrimony as it drags on:
Aggravating the ill will is a recent revelation that a man charged with shooting a local police officer had lived in a home run by the agency, the South Middlesex Opportunity Council, or SMOC.
Hans Bader points out that a very important motivation for the pending expansion of federal hate-crimes law is to exploit a loophole the Supreme Court has created in its application of the important Constitutional principle, by exposing defendants to jeopardy a second time despite acquittal or dropping of charges in state courts.
- Pajamas TV interviews me on Obama cabinet prospects (RFK Jr., Caroline Kennedy, Schwarzenegger, Gorelick, etc.) (Nov. 13, subscription-only)
- Federal court in New Orleans hits attorney with five-year practice suspension after “intentionally contemptuous” filing and other misconduct [Times-Picayune, Ashton O’Dwyer]
- Lawyer sues his straying wife for giving him herpes, but her lawyer says a test proves she doesn’t have the malady in the first place [Above the Law]
- Doctors (e.g.) being put through hostile depositions are often tempted to talk back sharply to the lawyer. Bad move, says Ronald Miller [Maryland Injury]
- It’s a shame most of the press remains incurious about that episode a few days ago in which talk of compulsory national service appeared, then vanished from the Obama site [K. Ryan James]
- Batting cage pitching machine without prompting hits customer in most sensitive part of male anatomy, he collects $1.2 million [The Big Lead]
- ACLU will defend preacher sent to prison on parole violation charge after writing “God will smite this judge” newspaper article (having earlier been convicted of election misconduct)[AP/FoxNews, western Michigan]
- On appeal, Long Island attorney beats charges of coaching clients to fake injury and using “steerers” to gain business [NYLJ]
After much discussion in the blogosphere this story would seem more than ready to cross over into mainstream-press coverage; here’s a local columnist who says he left three messages with attorney Clifford Shoemaker but got no response (Dave Brooks, “What a Web of actional links we can weave”, Nashua Telegraph, Apr. 9)(via Liz Ditz/I Speak of Dreams’ ongoing list monitoring coverage).
Update 5:30 p.m.: Here’s James Taranto at WSJ Best of the Web, giving just the shove the story may need:
It might behoove the ACLU, or some organization devoted to civil liberties, to devote some resources to figuring out how to defend speech that is inconvenient to plaintiffs lawyers.