Is Originalism Bullshit? by Michael L. Smith

While not all instances of originalism are bullshit, I identify those instances which are, and go on to demonstrate that originalism is uniquely prone to bullshit as a result of institutional demands on those involved in constitutional disputes. When interpreters engage in historical analysis for purposes other than determining the correct original public meaning or original intentions, they veer into bullshit territory. An attorney who argues from selective historical research or citations designed to support his client’s case or a judge who relies on what she suspects may be incomplete party submissions but which are enough to reach the desired outcome are both engaging in bullshit originalism.

Source: Is Originalism Bullshit? by Michael L. Smith :: SSRN

Hat-tip to Lowering the Bar

The Bitemaster is not a big fan of . . .

The Bitemaster is not a big fan of . . .

  • The Rhode Island branch of the ACLU bringing suit against the nativity scene in Pawtucket RI (they were slapped down by the Supreme Court in Lynch v. Donnelly)
  • What the Taliban did to the Buddhas of Bamiyan
  • The bombing of the Borobudur temple
  • The tearing down of Confederate statues
  • The defacing of statues of Columbus
  • The renaming of the State of Washington
  • The renaming of sports teams

The Bitemaster is fine with

  • Ceasing to fly the Confederate battle flag over government buildings
  • Removing the Confederate battle flag from state flags (i.e., Mississippi)
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Multiculturalism
  • The ACLU defending the right of the Klan to march in Skokie, opposing Trump’s Muslim ban, and protecting the First Amendment rights of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville VA.

Director of the Missouri State Public Defender System Appoints the State’s Governor As Defense Counsel

Governor Jay Nixon (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Governor Jay Nixon (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Missouri  Governor Jay Nixon has consistently and repeatedly vetoed and cut funding for the state’s public defender system, forcing it into such a state of financial disrepair that it currently ranks second to last in the entire country.

So Michael Barrett, the director of the Missouri State Public Defender System, invoked Section 600.042.5 of the Missouri Revised Statutes and appointed Governor Jay Nixon as defense counsel:

[T]o ensure that poor people who face incarceration are afforded competent counsel in their defense, I hereby appoint you, Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Bar No. 29603, to enter your appearance as counsel of record in the attached case.

Source: After Repeated Budget Cuts, Pissed-Off Public Defender Appoints State Governor As Defense Counsel

Hat tip: MrMild

Court: Musical Preference Doesn’t Prove Gang Membership

Evidently “Los Tigres del Norte” is a band, not a terrorist organization.

In 2010, a court in the state of Washington convicted Anthony DeLeon of three counts of first degree assault. Because the crimes were committed while the defendant was armed with a firearm and with an intent to benefit a criminal street gang, DeLeon was sentenced to 1,002 months in jail.

The evidence of DeLeon’s gang involvement included a song by Los Tigres del Norte that he had on his cell phone.

The Supreme Court of the State of Washington has now weighed in on the case:

Los  Tigres  Del  Norte  have  sold  32  million  albums.  They  have  won  five  Latin  Grammy  awards,  and  they  have  performed  in  front  of  U.S.  troops  serving  abroad.  There  is  no  support  in  the  record  for  the  contention  that  enjoying  their  music  is  evidence  of  gang  involvement.  While  this  may  not  be  the  primary  issue  in  this  case,  we  felt  that  it was  nonetheless  important  to  take  this  opportunity  to  remind  courts  to  exercise  far  more  caution  when  drawing  conclusions  from  a defendant’s  musical  preferences.

Source: Court: Musical Preference Doesn’t Prove Gang Membership

NB: The Bitemaster actually owns a Los Tigres CD and he’s most certainly not a gang member, with the possible exception of the Internet Gang of Blowhards.

Why is jury pay so low?

Cecil Adams (the world’s smartest man) was asked why juror pay is so low. Unfortunately, he never gets around to answering the question. So the Bitemaster will step up and tell you: it’s because they can.

After all, why should the gummint waste money on a poor schlub like you when they have more important things to fund, like cheese museums, bridges to nowhere, or pay increases for themselves?

If it were up to the Bitemaster, juror pay would be set somewhere around the minimum wage. It might not help you, but at least your nanny wouldn’t lose her home because she had to serve.

Source: The Straight Dope: Why is jury pay so low?

Scalia murdered by Hollywood Star Whackers

Having quietly disposed of Philip Seymour Hoffman and David Carradine, the Star Whackers have taken out Justice Antonin Scalia, presumably on orders from President Obama and Cheryl Boone Isaacs. Their next victim is expected to be Clarence Thomas, though a hit on J. J. Abrams would be cheered by all discerning Star Wars fans.

Source: Conspiracy kooks shift into overdrive after learning Antonin Scalia was found dead with a pillow over head

Planned Parenthood files lawsuit, loses media war

Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit Thursday alleging extensive criminal misconduct by anti-abortion activists Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, and Troy Newman, who produced undercover videos targeting the handling of fetal tissue at some Planned Parenthood clinics.

The suit alleges that the activists engaged in a complex criminal enterprise to defraud Planned Parenthood, violated the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO Act), engaged in wire fraud, mail fraud, invasion of privacy, illegal secret recording and trespassing.

So the Bitemaster did a little Internet search to learn more and found only references to suits for fraud filed against Planned Parenthood.

Source: Planned Parenthood files federal lawsuit over undercover videos

Scalia Forms Search Committee for New Pope

According to the New Yorker magazine, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said today that he was forming an “independent search committee” to select a new Pope.

I’m sorry it had to come to this. The Pope said he doesn’t want to speak out against abortion and gay marriage. Well, sorry, my friend, but that’s the entire job description. You should have thought of that before you let them blow that white smoke in Rome.

Source: Scalia Forms Search Committee for New Pope – The New Yorker

DeBlasio’s Law Department says murder victim should have known ‘risks’ of public housing

In July of 2013, Olivia Brown was murdered by a vagrant in the Lincoln Houses. The following year, her mother Crystal Brown, sued the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which runs the Lincoln Houses project, claiming that NYCHA’s notoriously lax security was to blame for her daughter’s death.

The Bitemaster is not a lawyer and cannot say whether the City is immune from such suits or whether landlords generally are liable for the murder of their tenants, but the City has introduced a novel defense: they claim it was Olivia’s fault for living in the dangerous Lincoln Houses.

If you’re in a baseball stadium watching a game and you’re hit by a foul ball, you generally can’t sue. The doctrine is called “assumption of risk.” The idea is that baseball fans know the risks of attending a game and take those risks upon themselves.

That’s pretty much what De Blasio’s lawyers are asserting in this case:

“All the risks, hazards and dangers were open, obvious and apparent to [Brown] and said risks, hazards and dangers were openly and voluntarily assumed by [Brown],” said the documents, filed Thursday.

But shouldn’t the risks at least be prominently posted? I propose a sign such as:

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate

Source: City: Murder victim should have known ‘risks’ of public housing | New York Post