Friday, January 14, 2011

“Fighting for the rights of men is not a very popular thing to do in America these days.”

Oh boy (no pun intended). Check out Babe’-Loving NY Lawyer Suspects Female Justices Helped Nix His Ladies Night Appeal. I'm not really sure how to describe it.

Other news items:

--As great as President Obama's speech was, did he make the prosecution's job in seeking the death penalty harder?

--The 9th Circuit has this memorial up for Judge Roll. We need to get our courthouses onto the site. If you happen to snap a picture,

--Most legal bloggers are obsessed with legal writing, both good and bad. And I've blogged quite a bit about Judge Carnes. Love him or not, he's a very entertaining writer. Here's the intro from the latest installment:

It has long been said that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance,”* and maybe as a matter of political philosophy it is. When it comes to pretrial release from custody, however, some are willing to pay for freedom with cold hard cash, and the amount of freedom that one on supervised release has increases as the vigilance of his supervising officer decreases. In this case a drug dealer indicted on state charges who was released pending trial bought himself more freedom by bribing the officer whose duty it was to supervise his release. That officer was convicted under a statute that makes this Court’s jurisdiction over the crime dependent on whether the drug dealer’s freedom, or increments of it, involved “any thing of value of $5,000 or more.” See 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B).

How should we value freedom and increments of it in monetary terms? There is lyrical authority for the proposition that, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose / And nothinain’t worth nothin’, but it’s free.” [Kris Kristofferson, “Me and Bobby McGee” (Sony BMG 1971).] Rejecting that view in this case, we adopt instead a non-lyrical, free-market approach that pegs the value of freedom and other intangible benefits to the price settled upon by the bribe-giver and the bribe-taker. Under that approach the value in bribes paid by a defendant on pretrial release to his supervising corrections officer in exchange for greater freedom while on release and freedom from jail does satisfy § 666(a)(1)(B)’s monetary requirement.

*The original source of the quotation is not entirely clear. Those words, or ones like them, have been attributed to Thomas Jefferson and others, but a better documented source is John Philpot Curran, an Irish lawyer and politician. In a speech given on July 10, 1790, concerning the disputed election for the mayor of Dublin, Curran said: “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance. . . .” John Philpot Curran, “On the Right of Election of Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin,” speech before the Privy Council, July 10, 1790, in Irish Eloquence: The Speeches of the Celebrated Irish Orators Philips, Curran and
Grattan 15 (Philadelphia, Desilver, Thomas & Co. 1836); see also Wendell Phillips, speech in Boston, Massachusetts, January 28, 1852 in Speeches Before the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 13 (Boston, Robert F. Wallcut 1852) (“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”).

--Sam Randall, a former Judge Jordan clerk and current AFPD, has filed a very interesting motion to dismiss a gun charge, alleging that the U.S. Attorney's office is selectively prosecuting African-Americans:

The demographic breakdown of federal felon-in-possession prosecutions in Miami
reveals an alarming racial disparity. Since the start of 2009, the Miami Division of the Federal Public Defender’s Office has handled 77 cases in which the defendant was charged with violating 18 U.S.C.§ 922(g)(1). 91% of those defendants were black (70 out of 77). By contrast, in the last year, the Public Defender’s Office for Miami-Dade County has handled 5,692 cases in which the defendant was charged with violating Fla. Stat. § 790.23(1), which similarly proscribes possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 77% of those defendants were black (4410 out of 5692; see Exhibit A). Moreover, according to the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2006 (the most recent year for which data is available), just 49% of felony defendants in Miami-Dade County were black (see Exhibit B, at page 36).

Here's the entire motion:

Dismiss for Racial Bias


Anonymous said...

Hollander makes a good point. I'm going to start paying full price voluntarily when I go to the club because it just ain't right.

Anonymous said...

Hey, David. The guy who just defeated Michael Steele to become the new Chairman of the Republican National Committee graduated with me in 1998 from The University Of Miami School of Law. His name is Rience Priebus and I remember him well. Wow, what an accomplishment!! Congrats, Rience.