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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Law Students Behead Exotic Bird at Vegas Casino

December 28th, 2012 - 6:02 am

More good press from the law academy:

Prosecutors filed charges Thursday against two University of California, Berkeley, law school students accused of decapitating an exotic bird at a Las Vegas casino earlier this year.

The charges against Justin Teixeira, 24, include felony killing and felony torturing of an animal, while Eric Cuellar, 24, faces a misdemeanor charge of instigating, engaging in or furthering an act of animal cruelty.

And what did they do to the birds at the Flamingo Casino?

Police said the two men were seen Oct. 12 laughing and throwing around the body of a dead, 14-year-old helmeted guineafowl at the Flamingo resort-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The large bird named Turk was part of the Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat, a garden area with ponds and streams that houses many types of birds.

Surveillance video captured the men chasing the bird into some trees, authorities said, and witnesses told police the two emerged carrying the bird’s body and severed head.

Look for Justin Teixeira and Eric Cuellar at a big law firm in a few years representing clients.

Update: Bird Beheader Justin Teixeira worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Department of Justice Environmental and Natural Resources Division.  One does not usually obtain these sort of jobs without an element of (ironic) activism.

 

 

Earth First Journal Assassination Hit List

December 23rd, 2012 - 3:39 pm

The latest newsletter from the environmentalist group Earth First! Journal contains a curious topic — assassinations.

In fact, the newsletter conveniently provides the names, addresses and phone numbers of the assassination targets. Naturally, none of this is to be taken seriously, the environmentalists tell us. From the newsletter:

Let us say clearly, this is not a call to undertake assassinations of the elite scum who are pillaging the planet and enslaving the populace — but not because we think that is a bad idea. And it’s also not because we think killing CEOs and lobbyists is negative PR either. In fact, most everyone hates these creeps, and many would applaud their demise. Some would even be so enthusiastic as to make a bid on the assassin’s old underwear if given the chance in a government auction, as we found out last year, when the State sold off Ted’s personal belongings to further enrich the family of Unabomber victim Thomas J. Mosser, executive of corporate marketing giants Burson Marsteller.

We are not calling for the assassinations of CEOs and lobbyists primarily because those assholes are disposable and replaced with relative ease. Whereas eco-revolutionaries like us are still far and few between, and someone getting popped on that sort of charge it could pull them out of the game for a long time. So instead, until the police state and prison industrial complex is weakened, thus leveling the battlefield a bit more, we propose a campaign of “prank assassinations.”

And who are the suggested targets of the Earth First! Journal assassination campaign? Members of the productive class, of course, fill the “Hit List.” Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, is listed because his company has developed more efficient methods of developing cheap natural gas.

Aubrey McClendon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Armando Olivera is on the “Hit List” because his company has proposed a new power plant. Russ Girling, the CEO of TransCanada, is “pillaging” tar sands in Alberta and is putting up wind farms in Maine (endangering a couple of lynx). To round out the “Hit List,” Earth First! Journal names conservative blogger Brandon Darby.

Brandon Darby

The radical left loathes Darby because he is a heretic — a former leftist who helped the FBI break up a plot to bomb the 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis. That’s why loony publications like Mother Jones refer to him as a “snitch.”

Surely the FBI will find it difficult to track down the origins of these threats, right? Earth First is one of several shadowy fringe environmental groups that engage in the euphemism “direct action” but have no centralized structure.  So finding the author of these threats is probably impossible, right?

Except that the author of the assassination list provided contact information:

Earth First! Journal • PO Box 964, Lake Worth, FL 33460     (561) 249-2071

Will the FBI alert the targets on the “hit list”? Will Eric Holder make any inquiry about those publishing threats against utility executives and citizens helping his own FBI save lives?

 

If you needed another example of the extraordinary bias in law schools today, particularly when it comes to election law, take a look at the panel at the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting where election law will be discussed.  It is stacked full of liberal leftists.  Even the title betrays toxic bias in the meeting agenda (pun intended):

Hot Topic Workshop on Democracy and the Public Trust: Equality, Integrity, and Suppression in the 2012 Election

Moderators: Steven Bender, Seattle University School of Law  Audrey G. McFarlane, University of Baltimore School of Law

Speakers: Gilda Daniels, University of Baltimore School of Law

Richard L. Hasen, University of California, Irvine School of Law

Sylvia Lazos, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

Janai S. Nelson, St. John’s University School of Law

Spencer Overton, The George Washington University Law School

Terry Smith, DePaul University College of Law

 Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University School of Law [Former Howard Dean activist]

The goal is to focus on how the voice of the powerful and the vulnerable were affected by laws regarding election registration and voter ID, election participation and felony disenfranchisement and how the new form of political voice through financial contributions from political action committees have affected the election landscape.

The panel is stacked with liberal leftists, leftists who want to seize control over state elections and give it to the federal government, or leftists like Gilda Daniels who teach the next generation of lawyers crackpot critical race theories.  One election law expert who could bring balance to this panel described it to me as an “amazingly unbalanced panel, even by the left’s standards.”

The American Association of Law Schools should be ashamed of themselves.  The groups funding the event, such as Thomson Reuters Westlaw, Lexis Nexis and Pepperdine Law School should demand balance, after all, their customers and student body are balanced.

Sylvia Lazos

It isn’t hard to find conservatives or even moderates who could dilute the toxic bias of this panel.  Some law professors actually teach election law from a perspective that doesn’t involve criminalizing free speech, federalizing state control of elections and using a rotten racial world view to craft public policy.   Perhaps AALS head Susan Westerberger Prager (sprager@aals.org) will reassess this badly biased panel, or perhaps not.

But balance isn’t what the academy is about anymore.  Otherwise the Association of American Law Schools could have invited Brad Smith from Capital Law School, James Woodruff from North Florida or Gail Heriot from San Diego Law, among others.   But inviting them would mess up the echo in the chamber.

 

Eight Last Minute Book Gifts for Children

December 18th, 2012 - 10:33 am

It’s late in the holiday shopping season, and you are short on ideas for that child, nephew, niece or grandchild that loves to read.  As someone who has perused quite a number of books for kids, I can tell you that there are good ones and bad ones – and I don’t mean quality.  While some of the bad ones are obviously bad, sometimes it is not so obvious.  So here are eight PJ-approved gifts for kids, while there is still time to get them:

 1. The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco.

This is probably the most beautiful children’s book I have ever read.  It is the story of Jewish immigrants to the United States.  It tells the story of an article of clothing owned by those immigrants being turned into a quilt that is passed down, one generation to the next.  It is a story of traditions, family, goodness, celebration and America.

 2. The Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

These books are indispensable children’s literature and should be in every home.  They are the story of the Ingalls family through young Laura’s eyes as they travelled west and made America.  It is a story of self-reliance, hard work, faith, values and goodness.  The hardships suffered by this American family are a reminder of how this country was built.

 

3. The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown.

Skip the silly Goodnight Moon by the same author and get this lyrical story of a small island, faith, nature, and the march of time.

4. Land of Pilgrims’ Pride by Callista Gingrich.

Ellis the Elephant tells the story of the original 13 colonies.  There are lots of “history” books about America for kids, many written by Lynne Cheney, but Land of Pilgrim’s pride is one of the latest.

5. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordacai Gerstein.

This is the true story of Philippe Petit’s staggering caper to walk between the towers of the World Trade Center on a tightrope.  It is a story of courage, daring, fearlessness and ultimately, sad memory.

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I Got it Wrong: Senator Tim Scott

December 17th, 2012 - 7:05 am

I got it wrong.  My sources told me Henry McMaster would be the nominee.  But  Tim Scott is the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina.

Evil Is to Blame

December 14th, 2012 - 6:12 pm

Pay close attention to what gets blamed for the Newtown school shooting. Evil is to blame for these horrific murders and nothing else. Listen closely to the rhetoric over the coming weeks. How often will evil be named as the cause of the horror?

Not often, I suspect.

Some dispute the existence of conscious, deliberate, unseen evil. Perhaps that’s why blame for the murderous horror will fall elsewhere. Some consider the mention of evil in public discourse to be unseemly. Belief in pure deliberate evil can be inconvenient, because it includes other necessary beliefs.

Failing to name it evil lets evil flourish. If the sight of planes slamming into the World Trade Center towers wasn’t enough to comfortably believe in evil, maybe the horror in Connecticut will be.

Denial of conscious, deliberate evil makes it easier to deny the existence of conscious and deliberate good. If deliberate evil exists, then deliberate good must also. Otherwise human history would be one long ruinous loop of Stalin’s gulags and Pol Pot’s murder factories. Thankfully, those black times are broken up by goodness.

Evil seeks to destroy human life, human dignity, and even civilizations. Goodness and light offer an alternative. The sort of world we have is determined by what you and those around you choose. A man in Connecticut accepted evil.

Conditions, rough upbringings, or worldly objects are convenient explanations when evil manifests itself for all to see. Find any news account today and inventory what is being blamed for the mass killing of children.

But the systematic and deliberate slaughter of innocents is not a new story. It happened once before, after the arrival of an alternative way. It was also featured in the industrial scale eradication of European Jewry.

Spare no child of light, and usher in an age of darkness.

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Animals Swarm Around Michelle Malkin

December 14th, 2012 - 6:06 am

Twitter provides a fine example of the unfiltered rot that exists in American culture.  I’m not talking exhibitions of poor taste, I’m talking about human beings thinking and speaking as a hateful animal would if they could barely cross the frontier of speech.  Go to Michelle Malkin’s Twitter stream to see the vile racist, sexist and murderous things being hurled at her over the last 12 hours because she criticized a rapper’s album cover depiction of Jesus as a gangster.  A  small sample:

Andre, who notes he is “God’s Child,” but fails to specify which god, says:

Bushels of good old vulgar racism appear, demonstrating for all to see that open racism these days comes from curious new corners, a small sample:

And what would a swarm of ignorant animals be without the appearance of, well, plain ignorance:

No gathering of animals is complete without threats to kill.  Michelle endured several of those also.

One of the joys of the Narina series by C.S. Lewis are the speaking animal characters.  Its fun to meet a witty and endearing talking mouse like Reepicheep or the determined Mr. and Mrs. Beaver.  But if animals could really talk, I suspect they’d sound more like the violent tribal vulgarity we find this morning on Michelle Malkin’s Twitter stream.

I’ve written extensively about the Granite State Free Ride. Yesterday I wrote here at Rule of Law about how the Justice Department is colluding with Gerry Hebert to go on a bailout blitz in order to tell the Supreme Court that the law is easy to escape from. Hans von Spakovsky also described how bailouts are being mass produced to trick the Supreme Court. The Center for Individual Rights has intervened in New Hampshire v. Holder to block the bailout. From the motion:

This Court may take notice of two additional matters. First, the Supreme Court has granted a petition for writ of certiorari to this Court in Shelby County v. Holder, a case that challenges the constitutionality of the 2006 reauthorization of Section 5. Shelby County v.Holder, 2012 WL 3018430 (U.S. Nov. 9, 2012). Part of the defense of the constitutionality of that statute is that the provisions permitting bail-in and bailout ensure that the statute remains focused on the jurisdictions with the worst records, and that the bailout provision can be readily used by covered jurisdictions with clean records. Shelby County v. Holder, 679 F.3d 848, 881- 82 (D.C. Cir. 2012), cert. granted, 2012 WL 3018430 (U.S. Nov. 9, 2012). Indeed, one of plaintiff’s attorneys has cited this case and other bailout cases as an important reason why the Supreme Court should uphold the constitutionality of Section 5. Gerry Hebert, The ShelbyCounty, Alabama Case and Bailouts (Nov. 15, 2012), available at www.clcblog.org. The Attorney General thus has an incentive to interpret the bailout conditions very liberally, and his effort to defend the constitutionality of Section 5 in Shelby County seems likely to influence his determination of whether the bailout conditions have been met here.

Second, earlier this year, the Attorney General agreed to a consent decree permitting bailout in which the covered jurisdiction admittedly had enforced changes in voting laws without preclearance. Consent Judgment and Decree in Merced County v. Holder, D.D.C. No. 12-cv-00354-TRH-DST-ABJ filed August 31, 2012 (Doc. No. 11) ¶ 29 (“Some recent submissions were made after the Attorney General reviewed the records of the County and the political subjurisdictions in the course of considering the County’s bailout request and advised that it appeared that several potential voting changes had not previously been submitted to the Attorney General over the preceding ten years.”). This only gives further support to the belief that the 1 Movant’s proposed motion to dismiss accompanies this motion as an exhibit. While a motion to dismiss is technically not a “pleading,” courts have repeatedly interpreted the “pleading” requirement of Rule 24(c) liberally so as to include a proposed motion to dismiss that makes clear the proposed intervenor’s position. New Century Bank v. Open Solutions, Inc., 2011 WL 1666926, *3 (E.D. Pa. May 2, 2011) (citing authorities); Danner Constr. Co. v. Hillsborough County, 2009 WL 2525486, *2 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 17, 2009) (ruling that a motion to dismiss suffices under Rule 24(c), and rejecting an overly strict interpretation of that rule).  The Attorney General, at least while Shelby County is before the Supreme Court, is not going to argue that full adherence to the bailout conditions must be met before this Court may issue the requested declaratory judgment.

According to Justice Department documents obtained by PJ Media, Eric Holder’s DOJ has launched a legal strategy to uphold the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act by deliberately disregarding statutory law, and by failing to inform courts about it in collusive litigation.

Perhaps the biggest case to be heard this term by the United States Supreme Court is Shelby County v. Holder. (Read more about the particulars of the litigation here.) Shelby County, Alabama, has challenged Section 5 coverage under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 5 requires the federal government to approve every change involving elections in 16 states, even changes as small as what time a county registration office is open. To help preserve this submission obligation, Eric Holder’s Justice Department has conducted an elaborate legal ruse in court litigation — and plans to do the same to the United States Supreme Court.

Because states are given the power to run their own elections in the Constitution, Section 5 rests at the farthest frontier of federal power. The DOJ had previously called Section 5 a “substantial departure … from ordinary concepts of our federal system.”  

States may “bail out” from the coverage requirements of Section 5 if they satisfy a clearly defined statutory checklist. This bailout provision lies at the heart of DOJ’s strategy to preserve Section 5, and at the heart of the litigation ruse involving jurisdictions across the country.

It isn’t hard to understand. Satisfy a bailout list, then file a friendly lawsuit against DOJ to escape coverage. DOJ will usually enter a consent decree with a plaintiff. The problem is that the list isn’t easy to satisfy. More on that in a bit. 

In 2009, the Supreme Court almost struck down Section 5, the provision most recently used to block voter ID in Texas. The 2009 case involved a challenge to the law by a Texas utility district. Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the Court, warned that the law was constitutionally suspect, but used a strained reading of a bailout provision to uphold the law. Because the utility was a political subdivision that didn’t register voters, nobody thought it could obtain a bailout. Nevertheless, Roberts, writing for the eight-member majority, said it could.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department views the 2009 Texas case as the key to the law’s survival. Because the Roberts court bent the language of the statute to permit a bailout in 2009, DOJ now thinks a flurry of bailouts, some of them obtained improperly, will convince the Supreme Court that Section 5 is not much of a burden and should survive.

Cranking out as many bailouts as possible is the deliberate DOJ strategy to convince Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy that Section 5 should survive because it really isn’t a heavy burden.

But when the justices learn that the bailouts are being mass-produced with collusion and deception, perhaps Kennedy and Roberts will find a new reason to strike down the law. 

Earlier this year, the DOJ entered into a collusive bailout with Merced County, California. Justice Department documents reveal that the bailout was completed without complying with the bailout checklist.

Before a bailout may occur, the Voting Rights Act plainly requires ten years of complete submissions of all election changes to the DOJ. They must “have complied with [Section 5], including compliance with the requirement that no change covered by Section 5 has been enforced without preclearance under Section 5.” (42 U.S.C. Section 1973b(a)(1)(D).) Simple stuff — if you want to bail out, you need to have submitted everything you were supposed to for a decade. Moreover, every subjurisdiction must have complied with the requirement. So if a state wants to bail out, every covered county must also have submitted every change for federal approval for the previous decade.

Also, bailout is available only if no final judgment, “settlement or agreement” has been entered into in a voting case that ends an unapproved practice. If a county enters a settlement involving unapproved changes under Section 5, then bailout isn’t available.

Merced County, California, was doubly doomed. But no worries — Eric Holder is in the bailout business, and bailouts come cheap.

Enter the attorney for Merced County — former DOJ Voting Section lawyer Gerry Hebert. Hebert is on a crusade to notch as many bailouts as possible before the Supreme Court hears Shelby. He is a true believer in federal oversight of voting, and his clients are tools to keep it in place. Hebert also has a slimy history from his days at the Justice Department Voting Section, which Hans von Spakovsky covered in detail here. The important part:

He once cost American taxpayers $86,626.24 in attorneys’ fees and costs awarded against the Justice Department for bringing an unjustified case under the Voting Rights Act.

Not only did Hebert lose, but Justice was castigated by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. v. Jones, 125 F.3d 1418 (1997), for what it concluded was “a very troubling case.” (Hebert is listed as the Justice counsel of record in the district court opinion, U.S. v. Jones, 846 F.Supp. 955 (1994)).

Hebert brought a case accusing defendants of intentional racial discrimination that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said was bogus. In addition to Merced, Hebert also now represents New Hampshire in their rush to bail out from the Voting Rights Act even though the DOJ has given the state a Granite State Free Ride for decades and refused to enforce the law there.

Gerry Hebert

 

According to DOJ documents which were not provided to the federal court, Merced County didn’t have just one un-precleared change in the previous decade. It had multiple un-precleared changes, and the Department of Justice documents plainly recognize this fact. “In total, for the County, the cities, the school districts and all other jurisdictions that had conducted an election during the past ten years, our investigation resulted in the submission of a number of previously unprecleared changes,” the Justice Department memo to Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez states.

Hit the eject button, no bailout for Merced. At least that’s what the law says.

But it gets worse. Merced County was also ineligible for bailout because they settled a case involving the failure to submit over two hundred annexations for Section 5 preclearance through 2006 — including 29 that occurred in the decade prior to seeking bailout.  Seattle law school professor Joaquin Avila warned DOJ lawyers that Merced could not seek a bailout because of this settlement.  Remember, bailout isn’t available if a county has entered into a final judgment or settlement regarding Voting Rights Act violations, something Merced plainly did.

When it came time, however, to submit a consent decree to the federal court, the Justice Department conveniently failed to mention that Merced enforced dozens of un-precleared changes in the previous decade. The consent decree also makes no mention of the hundreds of un-precleared annexations which were enforced. In fact, the consent decree falsely states the contrary and states that no change was enforced without first obtaining preclearance. It falsely states that no consent decree or settlement was entered into, contrary to the settlement reached by Avila. (Read the false pleadings here at page 2 and 3.)

Simply, the three-judge federal panel was conned by DOJ, including Judge Thomas F. Hogan, Circuit Court Judge David Tatel, and Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

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