Relax, fella. You need a rest, guy.
NASCAR driver is rebuked for Bush stickerThank God that the full power of the federal government can halt dangerous activities such as these. First it's decals, then what? Full-sized bumper stickers? I shudder to think.
It's no secret that NASCAR drivers skew Republican, which is fine with the Federal Election Commission, just so long as they don’t display their preferences where anyone can see them.
In a decision announced Tuesday, the FEC sent an "admonishment letter" to Kirk Shelmerdine Racing. Kirk Shelmerdine, a former pit boss for the late Dale Earnhardt, has been an unsuccessful, underfunded and undersponsored driver. He has never finished higher than 26th.
So back in 2004, in a move perhaps designed to draw some attention to his car, he placed a "Bush-Cheney '04" decal on his rear quarter panel, which was otherwise unencumbered by advertising. Democratic activist Sydnor Thompson complained to the FEC, and the agency found that Shelmerdine "may have made an unreported independent expenditure or a prohibited corporate expenditure."
Former commissioner Bradley Smith dissented in one of the case's early votes and blogged about the result this week. He has written that in reference to the FEC's $250 expenditure limit, "evidence is strong that the market value of Shelmerdine's rear quarter panel was approximately $0, give or take $249."
Lately, however, some members of the court have been popping up in unusual places - including network television news programs - and talking about more than just the law.The article cites some examples...
For an institution that has kept the media at a comfortable distance for much of its existence, the Supreme Court's increasingly public face is astonishing, said University of Chicago law professor Dennis Hutchinson, who served as a law clerk for Justices Byron White and William Douglas.
"More and more, the justices are spending time talking off the bench informally to reporters, on the record, off the record, in public, on tape, on film," Hutchinson said.
Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer recently debated their competing views of the Constitution. Breyer and retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor have talked publicly and repeatedly about threats to judicial independence. Justice Samuel Alito proudly affirmed his membership in the conservative Federalist Society, speaking in a packed ballroom at its recent convention.A few years back, Justice Scalia said something at one of his public events. It was something along the lines of "my kids tell me to do this... that it's harder to be demonized if you talk to the public." I'm sure I butchered what he said, but that's the main point. I think that Roberts especially sees how important this is. The Court is a weird, mystical body to most people. They hand down decisions that affect everyone in the country (to some extent), yet few people can even name more than two Justices.
Perhaps most noteworthy, though, has been the media-friendly attitude adoped by new Chief Justice John Roberts, in contrast to his predecessor William Rehnquist. Roberts recently was featured on ABC News' Nightline discussing both his view of the court and his son Jack's Spiderman imitation at Roberts' introduction by President Bush.
"Roberts is putting a smiley face in the center chair," said Hutchinson, who recalled earlier eras in which chief justices rigorously avoided the press and looked askance at their colleagues who consented to the rare interview.
THE SUPREME COURTThis show will premiere on Wednesday, January 31st. It looks interesting and will hopefully be an insightful look at the Court. It's PBS, so I'm not holding out hope.
The first television series to fully profile the inner workings of the court; exploring the history, impact, and drama of America's highest court.
JRP: I hesitate to draw a sharp line, because I don't know what the outer limit of potential terrorist destructiveness is. It is not unrealistic to fear the possibility of a nuclear attack by terrorists or an even more devastating biological attack. The appropriate preventive measures have to be scaled to the magnitude and probability of the threat.It's good to see that Posner can roll with the punches, or in this case, cubes. In addition to cube attacks, Posner also interacted with a raccoon-suited furry. If you don't know what a furry is, then you don't spend enough time on the internet... or I spend too much. There was also an interesting discussion about parody/satire as well as a fireball attack. The internet is really weird.
Suddenly, a large wooden cube materializes in the middle of the auditorium, blocking Judge Posner from the audience-- an apparent griefer attack on the event, or the Judge himself.
JRP: That's an example of the kind of threat that worries me-- a huge box marching through an amphitheatre.
For example, at a 1998 Senate hearing on the subject chaired by John Ashcroft, professors Freedman and Turley said the president could be criminally indicted and prosecuted (at least under some circumstances); professors Amar and Bloch said he couldn't. Three former federal prosecutors also testified. Two said the president could be prosecuted; one said he couldn't.Lots of help there. Ask two law professors a question and you're probably going to get three answers.
For one thing, few sequentialists argue that the vice president is immune from indictment while in office, and in fact Vice President Spiro Agnew was indicted prior to expiration of his term. In a 2000 survey of other cases of indictment without impeachment, professor Jonathan Turley points out that judges Robert Collins, convicted of bribery, obstruction of justice, among other things, and Harry E. Claiborne, convicted of tax evasion and filing a false financial statement, were incarcerated jurists who continued to receive their salaries in prison. Some accused federal judges have argued the sequentialist position but in every case the courts have ruled against them. Turley observes that "governors, high state officials, federal cabinet officers, and federal judges have been similarly subjected to criminal indictment and trial before removal."That historical perspective is strengthened with the fact that Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution explicitly gives Senators and Congressmen limited immunity, but the Constitution is mum about the president and VP. If the Framers were handing out immunity clauses and they didn't put one in Article II, I guess the president doesn't get it, right?
"The leading principle of our Constitution is the independence of the Legislature, executive and judiciary of each other, and none are more jealous of this than the judiciary. But would the executive be independent of the judiciary, if he were subject to the commands of the latter, & to imprisonment for disobedience; if the several courts could bandy him from pillar to post, keep him constantly trudging from north to south & east to west, and withdraw him entirely from his constitutional duties?"Too bad for Jefferson that the Supreme Court wasn't. They went the other way in US v Nixon. The Court said that Nixon was fair game for some subpoena action (absent a national security risk from it).
Students are frantically trying to absorb a semester's worth of information, and professors are frantically trying to come up with an appropriately diabolical fact pattern that will test in a single question each element of a course that fills 1500 casebook pages. Temperatures dropped about 35 degrees in a few hours. Yes, December is upon us.It's the most wonderful time of the year.
The case involves an appeal by a high school principal and the school board in Juneau, Alaska, supported by the National School Boards Association and various anti-substance abuse groups. The case tests whether it violates the First Amendment for school officials to bar students from displaying messages promoting the use of illegal substances at school-sponsored activities and whether school officials have immunity to damages lawsuits under civil rights law for disciplining a student for displaying a banner with a slang reference to marijuana.I love the explanations of "bong" and "bong hits" that SCOTUS's Lyle Denniston adds. They have a Principal Skinner sort of vibe to them.
The student, Joseph Frederick, at the time a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, was suspended for ten days after holding up a banner at a school-sponsored rally; the banner read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" -- "bong" is a slang word for the paraphernalia used to smoke marijuana, and "bong hits" is teen slang for smoking pot.