Digitus Impudicus

Flipping the bird at all things legal

Monday, October 25, 2004

Rehnquist & the Big "C"

Dahlia ponders the implications of the Chief Justice's health problems here. I'm sure we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Once again, rising from the ashes on the back of Dahlia

Here's a sample of her newest piece on Slate:

That's why Bush's answer to the Supreme Court appointments question in the second debate referenced the Dred Scott decision as emblematic of "activist" judging. (There Bush stood … casting about wildly for the most activist Supreme Court decision he could find, and then it came to him: Bush v. Gore! "Wait! Can't say that … think of another case, any case ... ")

Full article, on all the hullabaloo surrounding who Bush or Kerry would nominate to the Court, is found here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Good thing "jackass" isn't on the list!

The bill that tells us the eight words and phrases (including all derivations thereof) we are not allowed to say within the earshot of any FCC regulators, prudes, and/or small children.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I hear Massachussetts, Azerbaijan is hot this time of year.

Good to see that Trump isn't claiming that Miss USA is anything other than a beauty pageant. See Miss America. Some thoughts from the show (yes, I watched, dammit!):

Why make all the "delicates" (see below) say "USA" after informing the viewer of their state? As in, "Hi, I'm Missy McGuire, 21, Miss Massachussetts...USA." More pandering to the patriots among us? Is it so the other beauty pageanteers don't get confused? Or was it for laughs?

Golden nuggets from Billy Bush, the humorously named co-host of the event: "O'Dell, you look strong!" This was a compliment paid to his co-host, Nancy O'Dell. And he referred to the contestants as "delicates." As in, he "knows what goes on in Hollywood" and needed to "keep a close eye on the delicates" while they were there. Hmm.

The main designer of the dresses for the evening gown competition was obviously Sleazy McSleazums. Seriously. For the most part, they looked as if they were at the Porn Oscars. The winner was all glitter on body stocking, kind of like a showgirl. One girl actually wore a two piece, with about 10 inches of bare midriff. It was all class, baby!

I really wish I could make comments about the Q&A session, but I was talking on the phone and had the sound off. They did use questions from other finalists, though. I can only imagine: "Miss Arizona, your question is what contribution you can make to the love and goodness of the world?" "I would like to be either a brain surgeon or a beautician. Either way I get to work with the head."

Notable judges: Rocco the Chef, the gay psychologist from Law & Order, the Lakers' Jerry Buss, that little race car driver all the ladies used to like, and so on.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Here she comes to save the day!

Let's get the blog rolling again with a little Dahlia from Slate. Here's a sample:

"The growing national attention to Hiibel's case mainly reveals what the backlash against the Patriot Act promised: that people on the right and the left can all get along when it comes to fear of the state, especially when it involves persecuted librarians or—even better—a red-blooded American guy with a pickup."

Heh heh heh--persecuted libertarians.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

It was Bill, damn it!

The end of this on Bill O'Reilly's skeptism of the Bush Admin hints at what I think will be a running Republican theme for a long time to come. As in, 75 years from now the Republican's will still be striving to connect every ill in the known world to Bill Clinton.

Thursday, February 05, 2004


On Scalia and ducks. With a smidgen of Cheney.

After reading her article, watch the video of the VP and the Justice huntin' duckies.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The Patriot Act's Problem Parts

Informative infographic here.

A nugget of truth?

Within this "interview" from whitehouse.org, you'll find a very important aspect of the whole Scalia-Cheney mess that the regular news media seems to have overlooked.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Do bedroom eyes = entrapment?

In Florida, they might.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Fighting the good fight

We seemed to see our flag unfurled,
Our champion waiting in his place
For the last battle of the world,
The Armageddon of the race.

-John Greenleaf Whittier, Rantoul

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

It's vivid, and it certainly sounds insulting enough. But what on Earth does it mean?

For a very funny, and much more detailed discussion of what exactly Paul O'Neill was trying to say, read Michael Kinsley's, "Blind, Deaf, and Lame" here.

Friday, January 16, 2004

It brings new meaning to the phrase "it was a circus"

Regardless of guilt or non-guilt (I refuse to use "innocence" in this matter), I think Michael Jackson's behavior at his arraignment was appalling. He shows up late after telling the media how much he loved the crowds outside the court. His entourage passes out invitations to a party at his Neverland ranch, complete with driving directions and instructions not to arrive without a drivers license or passport.

I wonder if kids are invited. Seriously.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Yes, Republicans stand for limited government.

Which is why the current administration is launching the Healthy Marriage Initiative.

Now. Which one of the federal government's enumerated powers does providing counselling to promote marriage fall under? (And if you try to say the Commerce Clause, I counter with Morrison. If VAWA isn't Commerce Clause, this sure ain't.)

We should file an amicus digitus!

An American Airlines pilot was arrested in Sao Paolo after he made a certain obscene gesture in protest of Brazilian security measures while being photographed by immigration officers.

This story makes neither Brazilians nor Americans look all that good. The only winner, really, is the digitus impudicus.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Happy Birthday/Hatchday to Cheeky Monkey!

Love, Law Monkey and GB

Friday, January 09, 2004

``A blind man in a roomful of deaf people.''

I'm not even sure what exactly that means, but even I understand that former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill isn't happy. And calling President Bush "disengaged" is just the beginning.

Lesley Stahl will reportedly have more zingers, on this week's 60 Minutes.

Do Not Feed the Bears

"We have prohibited feeding coyotes and fox in any area where shooting a gun is not allowed," said Mike King, regulations manager for the [Colorado] state Division of Wildlife.

The regulation was prompted by an incident two years ago when a woman was nipped by a coyote that had been regularly fed at a restaurant in Highlands Ranch.

There are many good reasons not to feed wildlife, especially in (human) populated areas. But a coyote "nip" spurred a regulation banning salt-licks hundreds of miles away?

Suburban Sprawl for Rodents?

The city of Boulder, CO is running out of open-space for prairie dogs. The City's open-space board says it doesn't have any more room for the displaced "roly-poly rodents."


--Love, GB and CM.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Dahlia, oh Dahlia

Thoughtful piece on problems with how society deals with pedophiles (the whole crime v. sickness thing). Includes a creepy photo of Michael Jackson!

There is no betting in baseball!

Christian Science Monitor has an article, referring to the Pete Rose scandal, entitled "Why Americans are more forgiving of athletes than other figures". The subtitle is "While the public seems lenient toward Pete Rose's gambling, it is less accepting of lapses by elected officials and CEOs."

Um, the reason why Americans may be more lenient towards the ethical lapses of athletes is that, while athletes control the outcomes of games played by my favorite teams, elected officials and CEOs exercise a certain level of control over things like my civil rights and my money. It is called priorities.

I would also like to point out that this American thinks Pete Rose should continued to be banned from baseball for all eternity. And then some. I am not necessarily opposed to horsewhipping him as well. I would consider a law that says whenever Pete Rose attends some kind of event related to his being banned from baseball he should be pelted with tomatoes.

I know this sounds kind of harsh, but think about what Rose did without thinking about what a great player he was. If baseball players were allowed to bet on MLB games (or football players on NFL games, or whatever), it would turn the league into a complete farce. It doesn't matter that Rose was truly one of the best ever. There should be no exceptions to a rule that prevents the possibility of games being thrown.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Speaking of sports: impeaching Hall of Famers

"It's hard to say which Landis harmed more -- America's National Pastime, or its Common Decency. He was ghoulish even to look at, 'a wasted man,' wrote John Reed, 'with untidy white hair and an emaciated face in which two burning eyes [were] set like jewels, [his] parchment skin split by a crack for a mouth -- the face of Andrew Jackson three years dead.' For two decades, this succubus sat on the federal bench, torturing the poor and defenseless. Anyone who displeased him was sentenced to jail. He even sentenced a U. S. Congressman, Victor Berger, to 20 years in Leavenworth for speaking in opposition to America's involvement in World War I. The Supreme Court overruled Landis on that one, but he was used to being overruled and later complained that 'the laws of this country should have permitted me to have Berger lined up against the wall and shot.' You can see why he appealed to baseball owners."

An excerpt from Chuck Hirshberg's excellent argument as to why former Baseball Commissioner, and U.S. District Judge for the N.D. of Ill., Kenesaw Mountain Landis should be voted out of Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. There are baseball-related reasons for the removal of Landis (having to do with Sherman Act, treatment of Chicago Black Sox scandal, refusal to integrate, etc), as well. Read the piece, and suggestions for other impeachment candidates, here.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Hey batta-batta ... swing!

This is the result when legislators attempt to solve serious problems by reference to sports.

For Justice Rehnquist's view on discretion in sentencing, go here. And if you missed 60 Minutes last night, here is the recap of their story on the same topic.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Power dynamics, quid pro quo, and the freedom to hook up with my really really cute Professor

University of California moves to ban consensual relationships between students and professors: Is this feminism at its best, or the doctrine of unintended consequences?

Read this article for a take on Cal's paternalism and her suggestion: the power of information. Like workshops entitled: "10 Signs That Your Professor Is Sleeping With You To Assuage Mid-Life Depression and Will Dump You Shortly Afterward." Or, "Will Hooking Up With a Prof Really Make You Feel Smarter: Pros and Cons."

Let's face it -- I wasn't smitten with my professor(s) because I thought I would feel, eh hem, smarter.

BTW, I am sure the freedom to hook up with my really really cute Professor is in the Bill of Rights. (Its the Hook Up Clause and its inclusion spawned the much maligned (in this blog) Procreation Clause.)

Insane competency laws

Dahlia. 'nuff said.

"Euphemisms that would have embarrassed George Orwell"

Betcha can't guess what Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has to say about Bush, the second and his environmental policy in Rolling Stone. Go see. You know you wanna.

"They're here illegally, so breaking the law is clearly not a concern to them."

Maryland is considering a law to make explicit what is already common practice -- aliens in the country illegally cannot obtain Maryland driver's licenses.

The concern? Terrorists could open checking accounts, rent cars, drive cars, and board airplanes with these licenses that have become de facto "national identification cards".

Read more about the debate in Maryland, here.

No school district left unpunished

Some states are beginning to chafe under the No Child Left Behind, Full Employment for Standardized Testing Companies Education Act touted by the Bush administration and passed in early 2002.

I will leave it to my co-bloggers to discuss the Morrison and Lopez implications here.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

And if they're carrying a Bluebook, run like hell

Your federal goverment is asking that all good citizens be on the lookout for dastardly scoundrels carrying almanacs. "Especially if annotated in suspicious ways." In other words, if you see a dastardly scoundrel with an almanac, go up to them and immediately demand to see the book. Check for Post-It notes.

Personally, if terrorists are planning attacks with almanacs as their sole guide, I'm going to feel significantly less worried.

Read the several days-old article here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Absurdly attractive assistant district attorneys

While inspiring youngsters far and wide to become lawyers (or to play them on TV), is the Law & Order franchise becoming a leading economic indicator? You decide.

Monday, December 22, 2003

The Procreation Clause

Don't get me wrong, I question the constitutionality of a judicial ban on fathering more children. Penumbras, privacy, marital relations, Griswold, Roe, and all that. I just don't like it when lawyers (especially those who, in their day jobs, are law professors) start jibber-jabbering on about constitutional rights that, well, may not really, um, exist all that much.

"In the Bill of Rights,'' [lawyer for father in question and University of Akron law professor J. Dean Carro] said, "there are certain constitutional rights that have more or less protection than other rights. We know that one of the most important rights, the right that gets one of the greatest levels of protection, is the right to procreate.''

Oh, really? Does he tell his students this? Ok, in a way, his statement may be correct. The right to procreate or, perhaps more precedentially accurate, the right NOT to procreate, certainly seems to be one that, in a roundabout way, is important and receives a goodly amount of protection. But, it is the insinuation that this right is found in the Bill of Rights that gets me all hepped up. It contributes to the general perception that one can find, in the constitution, the right to do whatever it is one wants to do at any given time. In the past week, for example, I have discovered that the consitution grants individuals:

The Right to Procreate
The Right to Fish in Lake _______ (didn't catch the name)
The Right to Have a Credit Card
The Right to Not Be Interfered With

I kind of like the last one, especially when I am out shopping during the holiday season with the credit card I have a federally-mandated, constitutional right to possess.

Anyway, Carro goes on to say in the article that the right to procreate "'holds such importance'...the U.S. Supreme Court decided it needed to be protected 'even when the activity was consensual homosexual activity.'''


Thanks to the good Howard Bashman for the link.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

"How inept can propaganda get?"

Slate asks this question in a short side note on the Saddam Hussein capture.

Side note of my own: Isn't Red Dawn the movie where they pee in the gas tank because of the lack of fuel?

Monday, December 15, 2003

Like Passing the Bar

Lawyers and performance anxiety, here.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

A New Era in Labor Relations

An excellent entry from The Onion. Here's a sample:

"The sexual-services agreement, however, marks the Reinhardts' first use of highly skilled foreign manpower."

Not going to be Da Probenator

Not-my-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has changed his mind about holding an investigation into the allegations that he sexually harassed/assaulted numerous women during his days as an "actor."

Surprise, surprise.

"The governor 'remains sincerely sorry to anyone he may have offended, but there comes a time to move on and focus on the critical issues facing the state,' [Arnold's spokesperson] said."

Good idea! How about the crippling budget crisis? Oh, wait.... We'll just ignore that while we repeal the car tax, something that will pass 4 billion in annual costs to the local governments.

Make sure to read to the end of this article for interesting stuff about an e-mail.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Take that, Congress!

"'They can have their blacklist," said Chief Judge Michael B. Mukasey of United States District Court in Manhattan. "But we have life tenure.'"

It appears that some members of the federal judiciary are miffed with Congress over more than the budget.

"'At some point you have to take a stand," he [federal judge Sterling Johnson Jr.] said. "If Congress wants to make a deck of cards for the judges like they did for the bad guys in Iraq, then make me the ace of spades.'"

Read more about judges who are less than happy with the Feeney amendment, and other Congressional meddling in sentencing, here.

A cost of homeland security

Layoffs at the federal courts. Read the story here.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Contraceptive Equity

The issue isn't really new. But the facts are stark:

"Within seven weeks of [Viagra's] approval by the FDA, more than 90 percent of insurance plans covered it. The birth- control pill, in comparison, had been around for more than 40 years - but was not included in most American insurance plans."

Read the rest of the story here.

Rum and Monkey has hours and hours of fun and games.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

"Then it's the crackpot's turn."

Oh, Dahila has outdone herself in The Wing Nut's Revenge. Really, something that Howard Bashman referred to as "a scream" is a must-read. Here's another quote:

"He in fact filled up at least 20 of those pages with demented conspiracy theory crap, but, OK. It's his brief."

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Maybe next time, the kid should say "jackass"

A 7-year old is disciplined in Louisiana for talking about his gay mom because "gay" is a bad word. Read the full article here. I hope this is a case of a teacher overhearing something (a kid referring to something being "gay") and overreacting by assuming the child was using the word in a derogatory form. If not, then this is just another example of how stupid and ignorant bigotry can be.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

"If I can't lock him up, I'll embarrass him"

If only all judges had this attitude..... If only all alleged criminals would agree not to do anything stupid....