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The health of the people should be the supreme law

Missouri state court judge Rex M. Burlison has ruled that Missouri cannot keep St. Louis officials from marrying same sex couples. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 5, 2014 - 18 comments

"This reduces the likelihood for irreparable injury...."

An appeals panel of the Seventh Circuit ruled yesterday (pdf) that Wisconsin may immediately implement a photo ID law, for the November 4th election. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 13, 2014 - 67 comments

pestilence is from the devil.

A federal judge in New York has ruled against a group of parents who had filed a lawsuit, asserting that the New York City policy that allows schools to ban unvaccinated kids from attending classes when another child has come down with a vaccine preventable illness infringed on their practice of religion. The decision cites Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), where the SCOTUS upheld Cambridge, Mass, Board of Health’s authority to require vaccination against smallpox during a smallpox epidemic.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 23, 2014 - 88 comments

The Plaintiffs today also ask for fairness, and fairness only.

"Our nation's uneven but dogged journey toward truer and more meaningful freedoms for our citizens has brought us continually to a deeper understanding of the first three words in our Constitution: we the people. "We the People" have become a broader, more diverse family than once imagined." In the case of Bostic v. Rainey, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia's Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen has declared Virginia's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 14, 2014 - 66 comments

Creative sentencing

A serial house flipper would rather stay in prison. The judge said no, and put the city councilman whose ward he destroyed in charge of the flipper's parole. In addition to electronic monitoring, being forced to live in one of his own derelict properties and financial restitution, the flipper will give the city the equivalent of 18 months' full time work creating gardens and other features for the community at his own expense.
posted by bitter-girl.com on Jan 17, 2014 - 31 comments

Did Your Father Touch You?

NY Mag on the fallout of false testimony that sends an innocent parent to jail.
posted by reenum on Jan 4, 2014 - 44 comments

"I have never been custodian of my legacy."

In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 6, 2013 - 89 comments

Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry

Yesterday, Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson of the Mercer County Superior Court ruled in Garden State Equality et al. v. Dow that New Jersey's civil unions are inherently unequal in light of the SCOTUS Windsor ruling, and that plaintiff couples and those similarly situated should be allowed to marry beginning October 21st. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 28, 2013 - 26 comments

There is a paradox in our distaste for "an eye for an eye."

The Case For Revenge [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 13, 2013 - 53 comments

RTF Print

Small Print, Big Problem (part I)
Imagine you’ve clicked on your computer screen to accept a contract to purchase a good or service—a contract, you only realize later, that’s straight out of Kafka. The widget you’ve bought turns out to be a nightmare. You take to Yelp.com to complain about your experience—but lo, according to the contract you have given up your free speech rights to criticize the product. Let’s also say, in a fit of responsibility, (a bit fantastic, I know) you happened to have printed out this contract before you “signed” it, though you certainly hadn’t read through the thing, which is written, literally, on a “twenty-seventh grade” reading level. Well, you read it now (perhaps with the help of a friend who’s completed the twenty-seventh grade). And you see that there was nothing in the contract limiting your right to free speech at the moment you signed it. That part was added later. Your friend with the twenty-seventh-grade education points to the clause in the contract in which you’ve granted this vendor-from-hell the right to modify the terms of the contract, unilaterally, at any time into the vast limitless future.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 1, 2013 - 36 comments

A priest, a dominatrix and a brain surgeon walk into a bar

Fifteen people summarise their jobs
posted by hoyland on Mar 24, 2013 - 65 comments

Gupta Trial Judge Reprimands Law Student Spectator

Benula Bensam, not having landed a summer job, decided to attend the Rajat Gupta trial. She felt that some of the judge's evidentiary rulings were incorrect, and so sent him three letters. The judge, Jed Rakoff, was not amused.
posted by reenum on Jun 16, 2012 - 119 comments

Judge William Adams beat his 16-year old daughter with a belt for downloading music and computer games

In 2004, Texas Judge William Adams beat his 16-year old daughter with a belt for downloading music and computer games. Unbeknownst to him, she filmed the whole thing. Seven years later, fed up with the continued harassment and abuse from her father, she uploaded it to YouTube (warning: graphic language and violence, NSFW). Less than 24 hours after hitting Reddit, the video is all over the news. Hillary Adams says on Twitter that she hopes her father will receive help, not condemnation.
posted by miskatonic on Nov 2, 2011 - 660 comments

Addressing the Justice Gap

Several commentators are advocating the deregulation of the practice of law.
posted by reenum on Aug 26, 2011 - 125 comments

Unforgiven

Tony Washington, an NFL prospect, has a black mark on his record. At the age of 16, he was convicted of incest for sleeping with his then 15 year old sister, and forced to register as a sex offender. Washington feels this is the reason he is being ostracized by the NFL.
posted by reenum on Aug 27, 2010 - 122 comments

The numbers behind H8

With a ruling scheduled today on Prop 8 — the California ballot measure that took away the right to marry from same-sex couples — Dave Fleischer has an in-depth analysis of all of the polling data on Prop 8, and his findings include some counter-intuitive numbers, like that the confusing wording actually ended up helping the No vote more than the Yes.
posted by klangklangston on Aug 4, 2010 - 619 comments

Justice as Commissioner

The judge-umpire analogy has a long historical pedigree. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Mar 9, 2010 - 5 comments

Discretion?! They took our jobs!

In the US, for the past thirty years, new laws have been stripping judges of any discretion whatsoever in ensuring sentencing and other consequences of criminal activity are fair. Enter Qing Wong Hu, a Chinese immigrant who arrived in the US when he was 5, and now faces deportation for a string of muggings he committed in New York City in 1996, when he was still a juvenile. This, despite his successfully turning his life around and becoming a hard working, productive member of society.
posted by wierdo on Feb 21, 2010 - 19 comments

Real Texas Justice

Judge William Wayne Justice. 1920 -2009. Appointed to the federal bench in 1968, Judge Justice spent his career as a progressive jurist working to insure the rights of minorities, the poor and the disenfranchised. His rulings forced the State of Texas to desegregate public schools, reform its prison system and provide education to undocumented immigrants.
posted by anticlock on Oct 15, 2009 - 32 comments

Blind Justice

Blind Justice..... Sir John Fielding, 1721-1780, brother of novelist/playwrite Henry Fielding (Tom Jones), was a blind magistrate at the Bow Street court (known as the "Blind Beak of Bow Street"), home of London's first professional police force, the Bow Street Runners. [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on Feb 26, 2009 - 6 comments

"You can't sue God if you can't serve the papers on Him."

The case against God brought by Ernie Chambers (previously on MeFi) has been thrown out. (title via News Now Network, although I added a capital H.)
posted by homelystar on Oct 16, 2008 - 22 comments

Next, run with scissors.

Judge a book by its cover. See if you can guess the Amazon rating.
posted by prefpara on Sep 27, 2008 - 42 comments

When is being raped at gunpoint not being raped?

Hooker raped & robbed by justice system. Apparently, if you're a prostitute and you're gang-raped at gunpoint, that's not actually rape, but "theft of services". In Philadelphia, judge Teresa Carr Deni ruled exactly that in a case where a woman posted a Craigslist ad offering sex for money -- but when she met with her John, instead of the agreed upon exhange, he pulled a gun on her, raped her, then invited four other men to rape her as well. As if this weren't sad enough, a near-identical case -- with the same defendant -- came up four days later, and the prosecutor decided not to even try it as to not put the woman through the misery of being so resoundly denied justice. Devolution is real, spuds.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Oct 20, 2007 - 61 comments

Disrespectful Cockalorum

Blackburn makes manifest a propensity for turgid language. Not content with foisting “cockalorum” (meaning, boastful talk), “froward” (willfully disobedient) and “mordaciously” (bitingly) on the reader, he may be the first judge to use both “contumelious” (scornful) and “contumacious” (pigheaded) in the same opinion. Judge Robert E. Blackburn's ruling [pdf] granting a motion for a new trial based on attorney misconduct is an interesting read for those who enjoy the use of uncommon, flowery and "big" words. [more inside]
posted by amyms on Oct 14, 2007 - 14 comments

No Borat, but close

Judge Jamie delivers (youtube)
posted by Mach3avelli on Dec 4, 2006 - 11 comments

Can you hear the Constitution now?

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has ruled that warrantless wiretapping by the Bush Administration's National Security Agency is unconstitutional, saying it violates rights to free speech and privacy. Judge Taylor, a veteran of the civil rights movement and the first black female federal district judge in the U.S. 6th Circuit, was appointed to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by President Carter. Legal experts expect the decision to be overturned by the 6th Circuit sitting en banc. Background on the case by Glenn Greenwald: "The theory of the lawsuit -- [is that warrantless wiretapping's] mere existence deters citizens from freely exercising their free speech rights".
posted by orthogonality on Aug 17, 2006 - 91 comments

Hear ye hear ye!

Learn a bit about Alito, and then go along on an audio joy ride as Alito is grilled by our representatives. Listen now.
posted by stilgar on Jan 10, 2006 - 546 comments

Mainstream judge speaks out

Mainstream former federal judge speaks out
Former CNN talking head and Texas federal judge Catherin Crier speaks out in defense of the courts, and mainstream america... if Ms. Crier is now the left - how far to the right have we drifted?
posted by specialk420 on Nov 15, 2005 - 17 comments

ScAlito In The House

Alito documents show he is firmly against abortion. [news filter] So we all kind of new this to be true. But now there are documents showing it. From the Reagan Library of all places. This story also sheds a little light on the topic.
"Of course he's against abortion," his mother said,

posted by stilgar on Nov 14, 2005 - 61 comments

Scalito

Newsfilter: Samuel A. Alito Jr. is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. His ideological likeness to United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has earned him the nickname "Scalito." According to CNN, he is expected to be nominated to the Supreme Court later today. This site provides more background and links to some of his important decisions. Here's one anecdote about him. If you want, you can even rate him at Rate It All.
posted by Joey Michaels on Oct 31, 2005 - 223 comments

The slow passing of an era in civil rights.

Constance Baker Motley, civil rights lawyer and federal judge, is dead at age 84. (NYT; bugmenot). She was a brilliant lawyer in the NAACP's Legal Defense and Educational Fund when it was led by Thurgood Marshall, winning anti-segregationist legal victories against Alabama Governor George Wallace and many others, and defending the civil rights movement. A New Yorker, she was a state senator and borough president of Manhattan. In 1966, Lyndon Johnson appointed her to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and she became the first black woman federal judge in the United States. Speeches, writings and clippings.
posted by By The Grace of God on Sep 29, 2005 - 10 comments

Actuarial Justice

The State of Virginia (nyt) has provided judges with a checklist to determine whether or not nonviolent offenders should go to jail. 40 year old woman with a job and husband = no jail. 21 YO man without job or wife = see you in 3-5. Here are the official guidelines (pdf) for sex offenders with a detailed explanation of the process.
posted by jmgorman on Jan 2, 2005 - 38 comments

Adopted family values

The Evan Parker Scott case bears more than a passing resemblance to the Baby Richard case of several years ago. Once more, a toddler who barely knows what's going on is being confiscated by the parent who gave him up in the first place. Is the domestic adoption system broken?
posted by u.n. owen on Dec 27, 2004 - 13 comments

A funny thing happened on the way to District Court

A funny thing happened on the way to District Court. More mandatory minimum madness. See related story to the case here. More guidelines are being passed everyday. This Massachusetts judge has had enough. Are we destroying judges' ability to mete out justice or should the people decide justice through legislation? NYTimes coverage here.
posted by McBain on Jun 29, 2004 - 12 comments

Here comes the Judge

The justice system at work. A sitting Judge in Oklahoma has been removed from the bench for using a male enhancement pump, pleasuring himself and oiling his nether regions during court proceedings - including an August 2003 murder trial. At least he was awake during the proceedings, unlike other judges.
posted by thatothrgirl on Jun 24, 2004 - 29 comments

Trial by news conference

Laywer/novelist Scott Turow (non-wp, non-reg-req. link) and Nat Hentoff discuss the DOJ's decision to release a declassified document detailing the possible charges against Jose Padilla, at the same time as the U.S. Supreme Court nears a decision on the constitutionality of holding Padilla without due process ... "So at this point, you have no plans to present any of this to a grand jury?"
posted by mrgrimm on Jun 15, 2004 - 8 comments

Is getting a pro-lifer on the federal bench more important than the normal confirmation process?

On the fast track to the Supremes --In a recess appointment, Bush put Mississippi Judge Charles Pickering on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans today. The American Life League is thrilled, but NARAL not so much.
posted by amberglow on Jan 16, 2004 - 33 comments

It's mine!! All mine!!

Blair Hornstine has won an injunction against her school naming a co-valedictorian. Now the suit (discussed earlier in this thread) will proceed to a trial to decide damages. The judge bought the argument of Hornstine's very expensive lawyer that the school is discriminating against her because of her vague, Chronic-Fatigue-like illness. The judge may have sided with Ms. Hornstine, but her classmates and the public at large are not. One anonymous poster who claims to be a classmate says "I can assure you from years of experience that the only condition Blair suffers from is chronic inflammation of the ego. " A Philly Columnist feels sorry for her. Personally, I think the judge is off her nut, as it seems pretty apparent that Ms. Hornstine isn't a bit disabled.
posted by CoFenchurch on May 9, 2003 - 73 comments

'20th Hijacker' Offers Guilty Plea and Cooperation

'20th Hijacker' Offers Guilty Plea and Cooperation
He is charged with helping plan the September 11 attack. During his third arraignment on amended charges, Zacarias Moussaoui offered to enter a guilty plea. "For the guilt phase, I'm guilty," he told the judge. "But for the death penalty, we will see." You'd think in this day and age, it'd be hard to pull off a complete surprise. Moussaoui is representing himself.
posted by rschram on Jul 18, 2002 - 15 comments

God's Justice and Ours.

God's Justice and Ours. Justice Antonin Scalia writes on capital punishment in First Things: "In my view, the major impetus behind modern aversion to the death penalty is the equation of private morality with governmental morality. This is a predictable (though I believe erroneous and regrettable) reaction to modern, democratic self–government."
posted by Ty Webb on Jun 12, 2002 - 28 comments

A judge has ordered a smoker to stop lighting up

A judge has ordered a smoker to stop lighting up at home or in her car if she wants continued visitation rights with her 13-year-old son who has complained about her pack-a-day habit. "Where the child's health is involved," the judge said, "the court would intervene, even if it meant overriding the parents' religious beliefs." Is this in the best interest of the child or an intrusive ruling?
posted by phooey on Mar 26, 2002 - 104 comments

Alabama Chief Justice on homosexuality: "abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature". The Christian Coalition applauded. This is the same judge who tacked up the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. I'm just happy we learned some lessons from the Taliban.
posted by owillis on Feb 20, 2002 - 80 comments

U.S. CONSIDERS MILITARY ACTION TO REMOVE SKATING JUDGES.

U.S. CONSIDERS MILITARY ACTION TO REMOVE SKATING JUDGES. I don't mean to pimp Borowitz again so soon... but damn. Best line from this: While the decision to use military force against the figure skating judges was Mr. Bush’s, sources say there was a split within the Administration as to the appropriateness of using U.S. troops and air power to change the results of an Olympic skating contest.... These sources indicate that Secretary of State Colin Powell favored using economic and diplomatic measures while Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz advocated detaining and torturing the figure skating judges until they reversed their earlier decision.
posted by mattpusateri on Feb 13, 2002 - 3 comments

Judge to referee road hockey complaint.

Judge to referee road hockey complaint. HAMILTON, ONT. - A Hamilton man whose son likes to play road hockey will have to face off in court Monday against a neighbour who's fed up with stray tennis balls landing on her property.
posted by mantaray on Jan 7, 2002 - 16 comments

Father Mychal Judge

Father Mychal Judge was the chaplain of NYFD, killed on 9/11. Read a little about him. (via andrewsullivan)
posted by marknau on Nov 8, 2001 - 24 comments

Judge Dismisses 300 Tickets Spawned by Red-Light Cameras.

Judge Dismisses 300 Tickets Spawned by Red-Light Cameras.
"Judge Ronald Styn of San Diego County Superior Court said the camera evidence was inadmissible..." Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this Halcyon's dad? Have you ever gotten a dreaded red-light camera ticket? Did you get out of it? Better question: Have you ever had to appear before Halcyon's dad?
posted by Hankins on Sep 5, 2001 - 18 comments

A California judge has ordered parents to pay $3,500 in monthly child support to their 50-year-old son.
posted by rcade on Aug 5, 2001 - 14 comments

Within a year, one authority expects, a judge will declare fingerprint evidence unscientific.

Within a year, one authority expects, a judge will declare fingerprint evidence unscientific. The Age of Genetics is upon us. I didn't know twins have identical DNA, but different fingerprints. And, for other reasons as well, fingerprinting will still be used. Just not the standard anymore.
posted by aflakete on Apr 8, 2001 - 4 comments

Pennsylvania school's anti-harassment code ruled too strict.

Pennsylvania school's anti-harassment code ruled too strict. The 3rd Circuit Court in Philadelphia struck down the State College Area School District's anti-harassment code yesterday, saying the policy restricted students' free-speech rights.
posted by darukaru on Feb 16, 2001 - 8 comments

Some people don't know when to keep their mouths shut.

Some people don't know when to keep their mouths shut. You'd think a judge of such long experience would know better. (Also this.)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Oct 10, 2000 - 0 comments

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