Archive for October, 2008

SPOOKY TORTS WITH TURLEY

Halloween is the favorite holiday for all torts professors and personal injury lawyers. (Indeed, I am convinced it was invented by a personal injury lawyer). Common carrier hay rides, lighting vegetables on fire, handing out foodstuffs without a permit . . . It’s the most wonderful day of the year. So, with no further ado, here is this year’s annual Spooky Torts list of actual cases from Halloween.
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In this increasingly bizarre political season, this one is off the charts. An anti-immigration group has linked illegal immigration to global warming. The video explains that their carbon footprint would be lower if they remained in their original countries.

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After years of de-regulation led to the current financial meltdown, the Bush Administration is now promising to re-regulate the industry. However, it is quietly moving to de-regulate environmental protection laws. These regulatory changes violate a core tradition in American politics. At the end of an Administration, sitting presidents have declined to make major changes or issue new policies that bind the incoming president. Here, Bush is seeking to rollback on environmental rules to cause years of delay before any new president can fully protect the environment.

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Ok, not that Bush. This was Hunter Bush, 21, of Lexington, Kentucky who was arrested with Joe Fischer, 22, a UK student, for hanging an effigy of Barack Obama from a tree. The charge was for disorderly conduct, though it is unclear why these men were arrested while a recent example of hanging Palin was not made into a criminal matter.

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Just days after a McCain supporter in Ohio shot a teenager for knocking over his sign, Shawn Turschak of Chapel Hill, North Carolina shocked a nine-year-old boy after electrifying his campaign sign to protect it. What is unbelievable is that the police will not charge Turschak for this reckless act. In this case, the boy was carrying an Obama sign, but the boy’s father, Andrew Noble, insists that he just wanted to see how the sign was put together and was not trying to tear it down.
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Sholom Rubashkin, 49, a powerful member of the Hasidic Jewish community and former head of the kosher plant Agriprocessors, is now in police custody after being arrested for harboring illegal immigrants and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. The Rubaskhin family has a long checkered history with the law.

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Below is today’s column in Roll Call where I discuss the Stevens conviction and the dismal state of the Alaskan delegation. The voters in Alaska will have a increasingly difficult time claiming to espouse “small town values” and “law and order politics” when they routinely reelect corrupt politicians.

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Sgt. Steve Brody of the Morrisville State College University Police seemed intent on fulfilling stereotypes when he was arrested for stealing donuts. The New York college officer was nailed at the Valero Nice N Easy and is accused of taking $30 worth of pastries on at least 17 occasions.

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The New York Times has misspelled her name over a dozen times since 2001 but it is finally stating publicly that, for the future, it will be Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and not Ginsberg. However, starting today it will be John Paul Stephens.

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Sen. Elizabeth Dole appears unwilling to simply run on her faith. She is now running an ad that accuses her opponent state Sen. Kay Hagan of being “godless” because she was seen in the company of atheists at a fundraiser. Hagan is now taking legal action to stop the political ads. Despite a cultivated image of Southern charm, Dole has now shown that she will sink to any low to get reelected. However, Hagan will have a very tough time getting a court to regulate political speech.
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Kenneth Rowles, 50, was charged in Ohio with felonious assault after he shot at two teenagers who had knocked over his McCain campaign sign. Patrick Wise, 16, had kicked the sign and then ran to a waiting SUV. Rowles fired a rifle three times at their fleeing SUV, hitting the vehicle all three times and wounding Kyree Flowers, 17.
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France has recently seem a rollback in free speech rights, but there remains enough in the country to defeat the ridiculous attempt by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s to stop sales of a “voodoo doll” in his image.

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A Monroe, N.C. police officer Darryl Howard had one wife too many. He has been fired and is facing bigamy charges after one of his wives filed a criminal charges with his colleagues.
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I am not sure which is worse, the criminal charge or the video for Democratic State Senator Dianne Wilkerson. In a video to be shown at her trial for bribery, Wilkerson is shown allegedly stuffing a $1,000 cash payoff into her bra during a meeting at an aptly named restaurant — the Fill-A-Buster.

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An ex-judge has apologized after the McCain campaign and Republicans denounced her email sent to Jewish voters in Pennsylvania suggesting that presidential candidate Barack Obama taught members of a community group “to commit voter registration fraud.” She also compared a vote for Obama ignoring “the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s.”

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