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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 03-28-12, 10:12 AM   #151
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

Decadance, have you seen the Lauderdale & Clark paper (mentioned by Gelman today) on the SCt's many median justices? Right up your alley.
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Old 03-29-12, 06:58 AM   #152
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

Yes. Saw it when they presented it at a conference recently. Zorn and Martin were both in the audience and were clearly impressed. I love the idea, and they way they estimated it, but I wonder how it will be useful to other studies. Seems there is an endogeneity problem if you try to use their findings in a regular votes model.
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Old 04-02-12, 11:51 AM   #153
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

So strip searches for any offense is OK...

Question for the NJ case, if the wife was driving, and the husband was the PASSENGER, how would the police have known about his traffic tickets (which were later found to have been paid)? I guess the VIN and he voluntarily identified himself during the stop.
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Old 04-02-12, 02:28 PM   #154
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

I can't say that I like the fact that an unpaid parking ticket is now grounds for a strip search, but if the Supreme Court ruled the other way, would they have had to set a line differentiating which criminal offenses are worthy of a strip search and which offenses are not?
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Old 04-02-12, 02:46 PM   #155
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
I can't say that I like the fact that an unpaid parking ticket is now grounds for a strip search, but if the Supreme Court ruled the other way, would they have had to set a line differentiating which criminal offenses are worthy of a strip search and which offenses are not?
I haven't read the opinions, but from the articles I've seen, it seems like what motivated the justices was the fact that the petitioner was being put in jail, particularly in jail with other prisoners. So it's less about the specific crime and more about the dangers of smuggling weapons or other contraband into jail/prison.

I will add that after doing a little more reading, it appears the petitioner, Mr. Florence, was arrested for a purported unpaid fine, even though he presented the officer who arrested him with proof that the fine was paid. Moreover, he was jailed for seven days and strip searched twice during this period. As I said, I can see a justification for an initial strip search to be sure there is no contraband. I can't see the justification for the second strip search, nor for taking seven days to figure out that Mr. Florence had paid his fine years prior. Everyone involved with this on the government's side should be out looking for a new job and Mr. Florence should be cashing a check for millions of dollars from his county.
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Old 04-02-12, 02:59 PM   #156
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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I haven't read the opinions, but from the articles I've seen, it seems like what motivated the justices was the fact that the petitioner was being put in jail, particularly in jail with other prisoners. So it's less about the specific crime and more about the dangers of smuggling weapons or other contraband into jail/prison.
The reaction that I've seen so far suggests this is a bad decision because he was put into jail for only a minor offense.
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Old 04-02-12, 03:10 PM   #157
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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The reaction that I've seen so far suggests this is a bad decision because he was put into jail for only a minor offense.
I edited my post, but that's the part that bothers me the least. If I wanted to smuggle something into prison, I can think of worse ways to get in there than to find a cop and run a stop sign in front of him. So even though it was a minor infraction, I do think there's a legitimate reason to make sure that no prisoner -- from a jaywalker on up to a murderer -- walks into jail with a bag of coke or a shank or what have you concealed on his person.

Of course, there's a separate issue of whether a jaywalker (or a guy with an unpaid traffic ticket) should be in jail in the first place, but I don't think that was on the table in this case.
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Old 04-02-12, 10:19 PM   #158
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

Yeah, I hope Mr. Florence gets a big settlement but this case happened a long time ago, so I don't know if that'll happen. I suppose they actually send out warrants for unpaid parking tickets, I know they do that for unpaid speeding tickets.

And I understand why the court ruled the way they did, seems reasonable to take steps to prevent drugs and weapons from entering the jails. I'm actually surprised the case made it all the way to the top court.

Unfortunately, mistakes like these happen more often than we'd like to know. Public transportation is looking better everyday.
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Old 04-02-12, 11:59 PM   #159
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

Furthermore, it is up to the states to make this determination. The Court merely argues states have the authority to do it. If states disagree with the practice, they can prohibit it.
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Old 04-03-12, 01:58 PM   #160
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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Yeah, I hope Mr. Florence gets a big settlement but this case happened a long time ago, so I don't know if that'll happen. I suppose they actually send out warrants for unpaid parking tickets, I know they do that for unpaid speeding tickets.

And I understand why the court ruled the way they did, seems reasonable to take steps to prevent drugs and weapons from entering the jails. I'm actually surprised the case made it all the way to the top court.
Really? When you're booked in jail? This isn't prison after you've been convicted of a crime.

Is this such a problem that it warrants pissing over what remains of the forth amendment in this country? I can't imagine it is. Just another example of justifying the curtailing of our rights in the name of safety or some other arbitrary 'problem'.
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Old 04-03-12, 02:24 PM   #161
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

This "problem" being keeping drugs out of prisons?
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Old 04-03-12, 07:23 PM   #162
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

Or more importantly weapons.
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Old 04-03-12, 08:25 PM   #163
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

I don't have a problem with the strip search. The decision was limited to instances where the person arrested was being put into jail with other inmates. Unfortunately, people are making this decision to be about more than it was. The decision wasn't about whether Mr. Florence should have been arrested, or put in jail, or how long he was there, all of which involve outrageous conduct by the government that should have resulted in compensation.
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Old 04-03-12, 09:02 PM   #164
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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I don't have a problem with the strip search. The decision was limited to instances where the person arrested was being put into jail with other inmates. Unfortunately, people are making this decision to be about more than it was. The decision wasn't about whether Mr. Florence should have been arrested, or put in jail, or how long he was there, all of which involve outrageous conduct by the government that should have resulted in compensation.
I agree with that. He should (and hopefully will) be compensated by a complete cluster on the arrest & week long jail stay part.
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Old 04-03-12, 09:32 PM   #165
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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Public transportation is looking better everyday.
Public transportation is for jerks and lesbians.
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Old 04-11-12, 10:32 AM   #166
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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Originally Posted by Duran View Post
I don't have a problem with the strip search. The decision was limited to instances where the person arrested was being put into jail with other inmates. Unfortunately, people are making this decision to be about more than it was. The decision wasn't about whether Mr. Florence should have been arrested, or put in jail, or how long he was there, all of which involve outrageous conduct by the government that should have resulted in compensation.
The Supreme Court is not an error correction court, or a fact finding court. They rule on law, and how that law should be applied (and occasionally make law, as they did here). The folks who are up in arms about Mr. Florence's treatment are correct in that it was a bit appalling, but it is not SCOTUS' job, indeed, not their charge. They cannot operate Sua Sponte, and since the questions of Mr. Florence's arrest, and the conditions surrounding it were not in the briefs, nor one of the questions which the Court granted cert to, it is out of there authority.
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Old 04-12-12, 01:32 PM   #167
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

SCt will decide tomorrow whether to grant cert in an important 5th (via 14th) amendment property rights case: Harmon v. Kimmel. Issues as described at SCOTUSBLOG:

Quote:
Issue: (1) Whether a permanent scheme of possessory rent regulation with no foreseeable end exceeds the limits of the noncompensable exercise of the police power established in Block v. Hirsh, Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, and other decisions of this Court, which upheld the constitutionality of rent regulation and tenant possession without an owner’s consent, only as a temporary measure to address an “emergency” of limited duration; (2) whether the “explicit textual ... constitutional protection” of the Fifth Amendment against government takings bars a substantive due process claim that possessory rent regulation is arbitrary in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment; (3) whether rent regulation that “compel[s] a landowner over objection to rent his property or to refrain in perpetuity from terminating a tenancy” effects a taking proscribed by the Fifth Amendment as posited in Yee v. City of Escondido; and (4) whether, prior to enactment of possessory rent regulation, the Due Process Clause requires that personal notice or notice by certified mail and a meaningful opportunity to be heard be provided to an owner whose property selectively is made subject to such rent regulation.

The property owner complaintants have lost in the lower courts. The government thought so little of their appeal to the SCt, that they waived their right to file an opposing brief with the Supreme Court. The SCt told them to respond to the petition anyhow, so maybe that's a good sign that the Court will grant cert.
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Old 04-16-12, 10:49 PM   #168
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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The government thought so little of their appeal to the SCt, that they waived their right to file an opposing brief with the Supreme Court. The SCt told them to respond to the petition anyhow, so maybe that's a good sign that the Court will grant cert.
A further sign that our government's current Solicitor General is a putz.
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Old 04-16-12, 10:55 PM   #169
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
SCt will decide tomorrow whether to grant cert in an important 5th (via 14th) amendment property rights case: Harmon v. Kimmel. Issues as described at SCOTUSBLOG:




The property owner complaintants have lost in the lower courts. The government thought so little of their appeal to the SCt, that they waived their right to file an opposing brief with the Supreme Court. The SCt told them to respond to the petition anyhow, so maybe that's a good sign that the Court will grant cert.

Obviously I come from a biased position, and don't know the other decisions that affect this, but this has always seemed wrong to me.
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Old 04-17-12, 08:09 AM   #170
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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A further sign that our government's current Solicitor General is a putz.
Well, this is NY's government, not the feds.
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Old 04-17-12, 09:06 AM   #171
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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Well, this is NY's government, not the feds.
Opps, assumed it was a CVSG.
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Old 04-23-12, 10:56 AM   #172
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

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SCt will decide tomorrow whether to grant cert in an important 5th (via 14th) amendment property rights case: Harmon v. Kimmel. Issues as described at SCOTUSBLOG:




The property owner complaintants have lost in the lower courts. The government thought so little of their appeal to the SCt, that they waived their right to file an opposing brief with the Supreme Court. The SCt told them to respond to the petition anyhow, so maybe that's a good sign that the Court will grant cert.
Cert denied.
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Old 04-25-12, 01:06 PM   #173
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

Arizona v. United States oral arguments today. SCOTUSBLOG recap:

http://www.scotusblog.com/?p=143841

Quote:
Argument recap: A choice between radical and reasonable?

Analysis

With Justice Antonin Scalia pushing the radical idea that the Constitution gives states clear authority to close their borders entirely to immigrants without a legal right to be in the U.S., seven other Justices on Wednesday went looking for a more reasonable way to judge states’ power in the immigration field. If the Court accepts the word of Arizona’s lawyer that the state is seeking only very limited authority, the state has a real chance to begin enforcing key parts of its controversial law — S.B. 1070 — at least until further legal tests unfold in lower courts.

In an oral argument that ran 20 minutes beyond the scheduled hour, the Justices focused tightly on the actual operation of the four specific provisions of the law at issue, and most of the Court seemed prepared to accept that Arizona police would act in measured ways as they arrest and detain individuals they think might be in the U.S. illegally. And most of the Justices seemed somewhat skeptical that the federal government would have to change its own immigration priorities just because states were becoming more active.

At the end, though, the question remained how a final opinion might be written to enlarge states’ power to deal with some 12 million foreign nationals without basing that authority upon the Scalia view that states have a free hand under the Constitution to craft their own immigration policies. The other Justices who spoke up obviously did not want to turn states entirely loose in this field. So perhaps not all of the four clauses would survive — especially vulnerable may be sections that created new state crimes as a way to enforce federal immigration restrictions.

If the Court is to permit Arizona to put into effect at least some of the challenged parts of S.B. 1070, there would have to be five votes to do so because only eight Justices are taking part (Justice Elena Kagan is out of the case), and a 4-4 split would mean that a lower court’s bar to enforcing those provisions would be upheld without a written opinion. It did not take long for Justice Antonin Scalia to side with Arizona, and it was not much later that Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., showed that he, too, was inclined that way. Justice Clarence Thomas, who said nothing during the argument, is known to be totally opposed to the kind of technical legal challenge that the government has mounted against S.B. 1070.

That left Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Samuel A. Alito, Jr., as the ones that might be thought most likely to help make a majority for Arizona. Their questioning, less pointed, made them somewhat less predictable. However, they did show some sympathy for the notion that a border state like Arizona might have good reasons for trying to deal with what Kennedy called the “social and economic disruption” resulting from illegal immigration.

The Court’s three more liberal Justices — Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — offered what appeared to be a less than enthusiastic support for the federal government’s challenge, although they definitely were troubled that S.B. 1070 might, in practice, lead to long detentions of immigrants. They wanted assurances on the point, and they were offered some by Arizona’s lawyer, Washington attorney Paul D. Clement.

Clement’s entire strategy (aside from an emotional plea that Arizona had to bear the brunt of the wave of illegal and often dangerous immigants) was to soften the seemingly harder edges of the 2010 state law that set off a wave of new state and local legislation to control the lives of foreign nationals living illegally in the U.S. To each question Wednesday about how S.B. 1070 would work if put into effect, Clement pared down the likely impact and insisted that Arizona was only seeking to be a cooperative junior partner in enforcing federal laws and policies against undocumented immigrants.

But beneath the reassuring demeanor, Clement’s argument had a stubborn bottom line. He was not willing to endorse suggestions that the Court write its opinion in a way that would put some fairly tight limits on how Arizona chose to enforce specific provisions of its law — especially, the detention power that the state wants to hand to police officers when they stop anyone they think may be in the state illegally. He would, he said, embrace an opinion that said the Court would assume that Arizona police would not abuse the power they were given.
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Old 05-25-12, 01:14 PM   #174
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

I think this is, possibly, a very scary ruling. On the other hand, the judge's point may seem legitimate.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...znU_story.html

Supreme Court says double jeopardy does not protect against murder retrial

By Robert Barnes

May 24, 2012

Arkansas may retry a man for murder even though jurors in his first trial were unanimous that he was not guilty, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Alex Blueford, who is accused of killing his girlfriend’s 1-year-old son, is not protected by the Constitution’s Double Jeopardy Clause, the court ruled in a 6 to 3 decision.

Because the judge dismissed the jury when it was unable to reach agreement on lesser charges, Blueford was not officially cleared of any of the charges, the majority said, and thus may be retried.

“The jury in this case did not convict Blueford of any offense, but it did not acquit him of any either,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote.


The decision brought a sharp dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.

“Blueford’s jury had the option to convict him of capital and first-degree murder, but expressly declined to do so,” Sotomayor wrote. “That ought to be the end of the matter.”

The Double Jeopardy Clause is found in the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment and commands that no person shall be “twice put in jeopardy of life or limb” for the same offense.

Blueford was tried for the death of Matthew McFadden Jr., who died in 2007 from head injuries. Arkansas prosecutors said Blueford intentionally caused the boy’s death, while Blueford maintained that he had accidentally knocked the child to the ground.

Blueford was charged with capital murder, although the state waived the death penalty. At trial, the judge instructed jurors that if they had reasonable doubt about whether he was guilty of capital murder, they should next consider the charge of first-degree murder. If they found reasonable doubt about that, they should then consider manslaughter, they were told, and after that, negligent homicide.

The jurors’ final option was to acquit Blueford of all charges.

After a few hours of deliberations, the jury reported that it might not be able to reach a decision. The forewoman told the judge that the jurors were unanimous against capital and first-degree murder, had split 9 to 3 against manslaughter and did not vote on negligent homicide.

The judge sent the jurors back for more deliberations, but half an hour later the forewoman reported no verdict. The court declared a mistrial.

All agree that Blueford can be retried on charges of manslaughter and negligent homicide, but Blueford claimed the murder charges were off the table because a jury had rejected them.

The Supreme Court majority disagreed. “The foreperson’s report was not a final resolution of anything,” Roberts wrote. “The fact that deliberations continued after the report deprives that report of the finality necessary to constitute an acquittal on the murder offenses.”

He was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Stephen G. Breyer and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Sotomayor’s dissent said the ruling weakens the founders’ concerns about allowing the state to bring repeated charges against those it disfavors.

“This case demonstrates that the threat to individual freedom from reprosecutions that favor states and unfairly rescue them from weak cases has not waned with time,” she wrote. “Only this court’s vigilance has.”

The case is Blueford v. Arkansas .
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Old 05-25-12, 01:29 PM   #175
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Re: Supreme Court -- 2011 and beyond discussion

I would think they would technically be correct because he was not actually aquitted of anything. A mistrial was declared. But it does seem unsettling.
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