Archive for June, 2009
I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, the Minnesota Supreme Court Likes Me. This election may have been a virtual tie, but Al Franken swept the Minnesota Supreme Court today. The Court ruled that Franken should be certified as the winner of the state’s Senate race — rejecting a challenge by Republican Norm Coleman. With Franken, the Democrats will have the votes to overcome any filibuster (if you include the two independents).
Prince George’s County police are investigating a disturbing dash cam video of Cpl. Steven Jackson, who is accused of yanking a man out of his car and then slugging and tacking him. Shawn M. Leake, 24, had insisted on being told why he was being told to exit his car. The incident occurred on May 25, 2008.
There is an interesting manslaughter case out of Omaha, Nebraska. Courtney L. Antillon (left), 19, insists that she accidentally hit Ana Rodriquez-Delopez-Cardenas, 35, who was talking with her boyfriend, Israel Francisco Gonzalo. Prosecutors insist that it was a jealous rage that prompted Antillon to floor her Mazda. Her counsin, Dianna Dandridge, was also arrested.
Recently, Rush Limbaugh explained how Obama economic policies were the cause of Republican Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair with a beautiful Argentinian woman. But what caused the economic problems that caused the stimulus package that aroused Gov. Sanford? Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern has finally answered that question: our sins. Kern has drafted a resolution that puts the current economic crisis squarely on the backs of libertines and godless people who have produced a moral crisis. This includes Obama’s refusal to “uphold the long held tradition of past presidents in recognition of our National Day of Prayer.”
As expected, the Supreme Court voted in Ricci v. DeStefano, the New Haven firefighters case, to reverse the decision of the Second Circuit panel, which included Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Also as expected, Justice Kennedy played the swing vote in giving cities a new defense in such cases. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. The fear of litigation was not sufficient to justify the discrimination against white and Hispanic firefighters. Firefighters challenged a decision to throw out promotional exam results because no African-American firefighters were among the top scoring candidates for promotion — only white and Hispanic officers. Judge Sonia Sotomayor was on the panel that upheld the city’s decision in one of her most controversial decisions.
When researchers recently found that cheerleading is the most dangerous sport, they probably did not consider bull riding. The accident happened around 11:20 a.m at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. Richard Wayde Hamar, 12, of Yuma died in the junior bull riding competition held in Boulder County Fairgrounds this week while riding a bull.
Matthew Beider, 23, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, is not exactly the ideal son. Only last month, he was arrested after threatening his mother with a three-foot sword. Now, he has been re-arrested after tasering his mother and then stomping on her as she lay on the floor after being shocked.
Larry Wilder, the City Council attorney for Jeffersonville, Ind. has announced that he will resigned due to recent criticism. It was not Wilder’s skills or courtroom demeanor that proved his undoing. It was the combination of a certain trash can, a lawyer, and a camera. He resign before he was . . . well . . . canned.
The scandal involving University of Illinois Law School is getting worse by the day. We previously discussed the scandal involving the admissions process and the use of “special admits” where deans circumvent the usual process to guarantee admission for certain well-connected students.The Chicago Tribune continues to uncover shocking examples of manipulation of the admissions process at Illinois by politicians and donors. This may be an example of why admissions are like sausage and legislation — things that you should not watch being made.
Duke University faculty and students were shocked this week with the arrest of Frank Lombard, the school’s associate director of the Center for Health Policy, for allegedly offering his five-year-old son for sex with a man. Police say that Lombard identified himself as “perv dad for fun” and even suggested the hotel that the undercover officer could use for the crime.
Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers and wife of Judiciary Chairman John Conyers has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery. She is free on personal bond awaiting sentencing. This is
only the latest criminal plea or conviction for the Detroit political establishment.
The Iranian government has continued its crackdown on protests, including the arrest of dozens of university professors for merely meeting with opposition leader Hossein Mousavi. Senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami has called for the execution of some protesters and harsh treatment of all leaders of the protests.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued a major ruling on freedom of the press and privacy. The court ruled that Hustler did not have the right to publish nude photographs of Nancy Benoit, the wife of professional wrestler Chris Benoit. Chris Benoit killed his wife and his young son before taking his own life.
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania (The Weekly Vice) — Carolyn Maria McNeal, 39, is a mother who values education and will not tolerate bad grades. The high-school secretary in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania is accused of using a co-worker’s password to change her daughter’s poor grades. Of course, her better performance would be meaningless without allegedly lowering the grades of at least two other students.
There were of course many possible explanations for Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair with an Argentinian beauty. There is of course love, lust, or simply a mid-life crisis. However, it took Rush Limbaugh to isolate the true reason: President Obama. Limbaugh was heard yesterday explaining that Obama’s economic policies pushed poor Sanford into the arms of this mistress.
U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent has finally resigned after Congress expedited his impeachment and Senate trial. In a remarkably dim-witted act, Kent’s lawyer announced that they had calculated that Congress could not possibly complete an impeachment and start a trial for a year. Thus, he decided that he would resign in a year to continue to bilk the government for salary and benefits. The inevitable result was that an infuriated Congress expedited the process.
In a major victory for student right, the Supreme Court has ruled that the strip search of a 13-year-old middle school student was unconstitutional. The Court ruled 8-1 with only Justice Clarence Thomas voting with the school in the case. For an earlier column on the case, click here. However, the justices also voted to protect individual school officials from such lawsuits.
Manhattan trial attorney Michael Harrison has been named as the unidentified lawyer that is the subject of an ineffective counsel ruling where the court found that counsel fell asleep during trial, read magazines during witness testimony and gave such a rambling, implausible opening argument that the jury laughed.
A white supremacist blogger, Hal Turner, 47, has been arrested for allegedly posting threatening messages about three federal judges in Chicago. Turner was upset with the decision to uphold a handgun ban in Chicago. The judges are Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, Judge Richard Posner, and Judge William Bauer. Turner is the host of the Hal Turner Show.
There are new reports of beatings and shootings as the Iranian government tries to crush protests by citizens demanding more freedoms and democratic rights. The violence is little surprise after it was disclosed this week that the person behind the crackdown is the notorious “Butcher” Saeed Mortazavi. He is a religious extremist previously called upon to do the dirty work of the mullahs.
It appears that the Connecticut Supreme Court has found a way to help spouses get rid of unsightly winkles in divorces. It ruled that the wife of wealthy skin and winkle cream doctor Nicholas V. Perricone may not speak of her divorce — forever. Thus, a private waiver signed before discovery is enforceable until death against Madeleine Perricone — presumably she is allowed to discuss the divorce in the afterlife as a matter beyond the jurisdiction of the court.
The respected newspaper Stars and Stripes has raised the alarm of censorship against the military. Stripes receives federal funding for the coverage of the military, but has long earned the respect of journalists for its independent reporting. An editorial raises a very disturbing incident involving the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division.
It was the perfect scene for a marriage. In a place called Kissimmee, Matthew J. Ditzel, 30, and Heather M. Bowser, 31, were married on a lakefront on a beautiful day on May 24, 2008 and the union was certified by notary and Wyndham Resorts employee, Veronica Gonzalez. There only one thing missing: Matthew. Bowser claimed that he had agreed to a marriage “by proxy.” They are now finally both present, albeit in court in a fascinating Ditzel v. Bowser where Bowser wants a divorce and Ditzel wants the court to declare that there was not marriage in the first place.
Belgian Kimberley Vlaminck caused an international outrage when she blamed tattoo artist Rouslan Toumaniantz for tattooing her left side of her face with 56 stars while she slept inside of the three that she asked for. She insisted that Romanian-born Toumaniantz did not understand her French and English instructions and threatened to sue. She now admits that she asked for 56 stars and lied because her father was “furious.”
Some of Iran’s most famous football (soccer) players have been banned for life due to their courageous show of solidarity with protesters in the recent World Cup games. The players wore green wrist bans and four refused to take off the bands at half-time when told to do so by the government or face punishment.
We have seen some unfortunately mug shots, but Marcus T. Bailey, 28, has reason to be aggrieved. The parolee allegedly stepped out of a barbershop in the middle of his haircut to do a drug deal — only to be arrested and then booked before, to quote Norma Desmond, he was ready for his close up.
Convicted drug dealer Calvin Eugene Wells is looking at a likely release from prison based not on his conduct or innocence, but a three-letter typo. Wells was sentenced in October 2005 to 10 years for his possession of more than 100 grams of cocaine. However, the verdict form signed by the jurors contained a typo that wast eh grounds for an appellate court to slashed his sentence down to a fifth-degree felony.
DePaul University President The Reverend Fr. Dennis H. Holtschneider (right) has announced his selection of Illinois Appellate Judge Warren Wolfson, 76, as the new interim dean at the DePaul University College of Law for a two-year appointment. The announcement led to the resignation of the associate dean and only further angered the faculty and students.
The St. Petersburg Times is running a series on the Church of Scientology that has some pretty eye-popping allegations, particularly with regard to Church leader David Miscavige. For those who have long argued that the Church is a cult (most recently in Europe) the exposé will likely reinforce their views.
>Israel has a case that would make for an interesting false light and defamation claim in the United States. Indymedia Israel, a news site popular with civil libertarians, ran a picture of a soldier with the caption “murderer” and said that he was responsible for the death of Bassem Abu Rahma, who was hit in the chest with a tear gas grenade in Bilin near the West Bank. The government says that the soldier was not involved in the incident.