A demonstrator who interrupted arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in February and whose group posted video of the protest online, a first for the court, has been sentenced to time served.
Noah Kai Newkirk of Los Angeles pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with the Feb. 26 disruption, after which he served a night in jail. After Tuesday's hearing, a Supreme Court policeman gave Newkirk a piece of paper that notified him he is also barred from the court grounds for a year.
After video of his protest was posted online, the Supreme Court, which forbids cameras and all other electronic devices, tightened its security screening. Newkirk declined Tuesday to say how the video of his protest was shot.
Newkirk, a member of the group 99Rise, told a D.C. Superior Court judge overseeing his case that he spoke out to protest the "unprecedented amount of money" corporations are spending on elections. He said the Supreme Court played a role in "deepening that corruption."
Newkirk's attorney, Jeffrey L. Light, told the judge Newkirk has no intention of returning to the Supreme Court. But Newkirk said outside the hearing that "it's a hypothetical possibility there may be others."
2. While keeping the Court closed to cameras and punishing those who disrupt the Court, Justice Scalia told a student that he should consider revolting:. From the WSJ:
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, after delivering prepared remarks before a standing-room-only crowd at the University of Tennessee College of Law on Tuesday, was asked by a student about the constitutionality of the income tax.
Justice Scalia, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel, replied that the government has the right to take his money. “But if reaches certain point, perhaps you should revolt,” he reportedly told the young man.
The justice, who was invited by the law school to present its annual “Rose Lecture,” delivered what he described as his “stump speech.”
He talked about the time he joined with the majority in 1989 in declaring that flag-burning was constitutionally protected speech.
“You’re entitled to criticize the government, and you can use words, you can use symbols, you can use telegraph, you can use Morse code, you can burn a flag,” he said, according to the News Sentinel.
Justice Scalia also said that he and his colleagues on the bench don’t care which party controls the White House, saying the clash of opinions among the justices isn’t partisan.
And he, naturally, offered a defense of his theory of originalism, the belief in a Constitution that’s fixed and unchangeable.
“The Constitution is not a living organism for Pete’s sake,” the justice said, according to the report. “It’s a law. It means what it meant when it was adopted.”
3. Another Rothstein indictment. This time it's Irene Stay. From the Sun-Sentinel:
Federal prosecutors filed a criminal charge Wednesday against Scott Rothstein's former bookkeeper, who became the chief financial officer of his law firm, court records show.
Irene Stay, now Irene Shannon, 50, of Miami, was charged with a lone count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and bank fraud. Prosecutors said she is the 18th Rothstein accomplice to be held accountable.
Shannon played a vital role in Rothstein's $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme, which he operated from 2005 to 2009, according to investigators.
Her job involved overseeing all of the law firm's accounting work from the secured inner sanctum that Rothstein had built in his Las Olas office, according to investigators from the IRS and FBI.
Some of Rothstein's investors alleged in a civil lawsuit that when Rothstein's law partners confronted Shannon after he fled to Morocco in late October 2009, she began crying and repeating the phrase, "I don't want to go to jail."