Thursday, April 05, 2018

Kerri Ruttenberg to speak at Federal Bar Association meeting

I usually don't post about local events because there are just too many to keep up with, but this one is worth mentioning. Kerri Ruttenberg, a partner at Jones Day in DC, will be speaking at the local Federal Bar Association's lunch meeting next Wednesday, April 11. She is a wonderful speaker and will be discussing graphics for lawyers. You've seen all of the bad graphics lawyers use these days... Kerri gives a great talk about how to make them better. Sign up here.

In other news, Judge Mark Walker absolutely crushed Rick Scott and Pam Bondi in this order yesterday. It starts out this way:
Rather than comply with the requirements of the United States Constitution, Defendants continue to insist they can do whatever they want with hundreds of thousands of Floridians’ voting rights and absolutely zero standards. They ask this Court to stay its prior orders. ECF No. 163.


Marc Caputo and Matt Dixon of Politico's Playbook summarize the order:

It was a little challenging putting together Florida Playbook because it took extra time to pull the choicest quotes from federal Judge Mark E. Walker's order on Wednesday torching Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi's legal arguments as the state defends its "arbitrary" clemency process. It might have been easier to just reprint the entire order. Wrote the judge: "this court does not play games." Indeed. Nor did he pull punches in noting that the Republican politicians' have "personal stakes in shaping the electorate" in the way they restore felons' voting rights. It's a pretty direct shot at Scott as he plans to announce next week whether he'll run for Senate.
DRIPPING WITH SARCASM, Walker said Scott, Bondi and the rest of the clemency board should get to work respecting the First and Fourteenth Amendments by drafting a constitutionally sound clemency scheme by April 26. "Bitter pills are clearly too hard to swallow," Walker snarked, saying they "fall woefully short" in some areas and "regurgitate" arguments that are "unpersuasive ... disingenuous ... astounding" or are "rooted in neither common sense nor reality."
'SCREAM INTO THE WIND' - Walker even compared them to toddlers: "Defendants stamp their feet and wail that 30 days is 'not [a] reasonably calculated' time to create a constitutional system of executive clemency. This Court again declines to act as a fifth Board member. But drafting new rules need not be complicated or time-consuming. Defendants could simply identify those rules that run afoul of the Constitution and rewrite them with specific and neutral standards. Instead, Defendants scream into the wind various questions it might consider in crafting constitutional rules. Answering those questions may be a better use of time."


Anonymous said...

Finally, an order from a Judge who stands up for the Constitution, not the sophistry put up by Scott and Bondi.

Anonymous said...

Great order. We need more of this. Right or wrong, its good to see judges lay it on the line and really let the litigants know what's going on. If judges did this more often, I think we'd see a lot less "hope and a dream" (to not call it frivolous) litigation/tactics.

Anonymous said...

The order is rightly decided but obnoxious. Judge need to set an example. Well I guess they do, but not in a good way.

Anonymous said...

Agreed it is totally obnoxious. Especially coming from a democratic appointee, lecturing Republicans in that tone is bad judgment. It just leads the average Republican to view the court as illegitimate. I wonder if people who like the tone of this order would like a Republican appointed judge lecturing them like this. I'm guessing no.

Anonymous said...

What is obnoxious is Florida's system of disenfranchising ex-felons for life without any real recourse. ScottAfrica

Anonymous said...

954 even so, you missed the point. I hope this judge is prepared for all the litigants before him to use this exact same tone in every case. This is the example he has set. When an attorneys objection is overruled, and he or she makes a snarky, sarcastic remark in response, what will this judge say?

If I were the attorney with this judge I'd say "judge, you can stamp you feet and wail 'overruled' to all my valid objections in a fit of histrionics, but your rulings are woefully off base and are at best unpersuasive."

Okay maybe I wouldn't, but this is the behavior this judge deserves.

Anonymous said...

Walker's out of control. Even if he is not reversed the 11th will tell him to grow up.