Suicide Torts: Recent Bizarre Cases Raise Questions Over “Jumper” Liability

A couple of bizarre recent cases raise a question that we occasionally discuss in my torts class: the liability for suicidal acts, particularly jumping from buildings. This week, a 31-year-old man jumped from a high-rise in Jersey City, New Jersey and landed on a BMW. The car was heavily damaged but he was able to walk away after plunging nine floors.

A witness said that the man stood up and asked “what happened?”

What happened was that he landed on roof of the car and fell through the sun roof.

The witness took photos and videos of the aftermath, including graphic footage of the man who was soon screaming in pain.  He initially refused help and said that he wanted to die.

Recently, a man jumped from a parking garage in San Diego, Calif., and landed on a woman who was walking with a date below. She was killed but he initially survived. He later died at the hospital.

These cases raise the question of whether a suicide survivor (or a decedent’s estate) can be sued for intentional or negligent acts.

Intentional torts can be based on either actual intent or reckless conduct. A suicidal jump is clearly reckless.  Likewise, intentional infliction of emotional distress can be based on an individual who throught “extreme and outrageous conduct intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress to another is subject to liability for such emotional distress, and if bodily harm to the other results from it, for such bodily harm.”

A suicidal jump is also clearly negligent. RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS § 283B (1965) (“Unless the actor is a child, his insanity or other mental deficiency does not relieve the actor from liability for conduct which does not conform to the standard of a reasonable man under like circumstances.”). Indeed, as an unlawful act under most state laws, it is negligent per se.

The most obvious defense is insanity, but that is not widely accepted as a defense to an intentional tort or negligent tort.

The basis for this rule is often expressed to (1) guarantee that victims are “made whole” for injuries by the accused or guardians of the accused and (2) avoid the abuse of such a defense by those who feign mental illness. There are also rationales for giving incentives to families and guardians to take precautions to protect other’s from unstable loved ones.

States can differ in their approaches, though most follow this rule. In my class, we often discuss the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling in Breunig v. American Family Ins. Co. where the defendant caused a crash when she had a delusion that she could fly like Batman — resulting in a head-on collusion. (This may have been conclusive proof of insanity since Batman cannot in fact fly). The court noted:

“We think the statement that insanity is no defense is too broad when it is applied to a negligence case where the driver is suddenly overcome without forewarning by a mental disability or disorder which incapacitates him from conforming his conduct to the standards of a reasonable man under like circumstances. These are rare cases indeed, but their rarity is no reason for overlooking their existence and the justification which is the basis of the whole doctrine of liability for negligence, i.e., that it is unjust to hold a man responsible for his conduct which he is incapable of avoiding and which incapacity was unknown to him prior to the accident. . . . All we hold is that a sudden mental incapacity equivalent in its effect to such physical causes as a sudden heart attack, epileptic seizure, stroke, or fainting should be treated alike.”

The lack of an insanity defense or a “subjective standard” has long been criticized by legal experts, including my late colleague David Seidelson. See David Seidelson, Reasonable Expectations and Subjective Standards in Negligence Law: The Minor, the Mentally Impaired, and the Mentally Incompetent, 50 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 17, 38-44 (1981) (calling the tort standard for mentally ill “almost facially unfathomable” and arguing for adoption of subjective standard).

Notably this barrier is largely lifted for children who are compared to a reasonable “child of like age, intelligence[, capacity] and experience,” which can include mental disabilities. RESTATEMENT (SECOND) TORTS § 283A (AM. LAW INST.1965).

Thus, under the common law, a suicidal person or the estate of that person can be sued for damages or deaths caused by a suicidal act, including the recent wrongful death in San Diego. Likewise, the New York jumper can be liable for the damage to the car after he recovers. He can also be liable for the emotional distress in some cases.

However, absent a physical injury, New York limits negligent infliction of emotional distress claims to “immediate family members” who are bystanders. Thus in Trombetta v. Conklin, 82 N.Y.2d 549 (1993), the plaintiff was the adult niece of a woman who was killed. However, she was not deemed an immediate family member under the New York standard.  A stranger would obviously also be barred from recovery on the basis of being a pedestrian.

141 thoughts on “Suicide Torts: Recent Bizarre Cases Raise Questions Over “Jumper” Liability”

  1. Interesting post, but I saw this episode on Seinfeld and think you got just a few details wrong.

    Jerry drives the BMW, the jumper landed on George’s car, which was an 83 Chrysler LeBaron “Town and Country” convertible, … previously owned by “John Voight”.

    Not “the” Jon Voight mind you, ..just some guy named John Voight. George’s erroneous belief that it belonged “Jon Voight” the actor led to a higher valuation of the vehicle, at least in his own mind (perhaps he has a tort there with the Dealership for misleading him about the previous ownership? …not sure…).

    But as we see in the provided video of the incident, you’re quite correct, he did in fact have some difficulty in attempting to receive compensation…

    https://youtu.be/U89M5GdkzYY

    1. The Left has deified Fauci — a megalomaniac who considers himself, not a scientist, but the embodiment of science. He’s a perfect example of how, in this culture, one becomes famous not by actually achieving something, but by being a media whore. As they say in Hollywood of that type: He would go to the opening of a can.

      To borrow an expression from Plato: He is our scientist-king.

      1. Sam,

        Too true. I was amazed when he basically said that it was anti-science to disagree with him. Has he reached the level of megalomania that he believes he is the only font of scientific truth? Nothing could be more unscientific.

    2. So, it’s Breitbart that is the source of “Trump haters regret voting for Biden” meme, that several of you Trumpsters keep repeating.

      1. Nope, they were just linking to Megyn Kelly. Attacking Trump wasn’t a wise career move but hoping for Biden has proven to be much worse.

  2. And then there is this: https://twitter.com/MattWalshBlog/status/1446208238601580547

    A black school shooter posts bail and is home while his victims are still in the hospital.

    The judicial system is going insane. The voters in this district need to commence a recall petition of this idiot judge. Maybe the governor or AG can intervene. The entire judicial district should be abolished and absorbed into those of adjoining counties.

    What is wrong with these people?

  3. “I was in analysis. I was suicidal. As a matter of fact, I would have killed myself, but I was in analysis with a strict Freudian and if you kill yourself they make you pay for the sessions you miss.”

    -Woody Allen

    I would kill myself if I thought it would solve all my problems.

  4. One of our Church committee leaders sent out the following advisory from this DOJ/FBI agency InfraGard stating:

    INFRAGARD MEMBERSHIP PURGE: Please be advised that the InfraGard Program Office at FBI HQ intends to purge dormant members within the next few months. This means InfraGard membership will be subject to termination unless members sign into the portal and update their password before the membership purge. Please go to http://www.infragard.org and log into the Portal today. If you forgot your password, contact the InfraGard Helpdesk for assistance: InfraGardTeam@FBI.gov.

    Now given the ongoing infrastructure debate and everything else going on with this administration, DOJ and FBI, their choice of the term purge doesn’t instill a sense of confidence that this public/private partnership will be retaining existing or approving new members whose background check doesn’t meet a particular orthodoxy.

  5. I think we need new signs on buildings – “If you are going to jump off this building, please ensure that there is no one walking below you and that you don’t land on anyone’s car. Don’t be selfish!”

    1. “Did you know hospital staff are being forced to take the vaccine or lose their job?”

      That is another example of the insane, monomaniacal attitude: “STOP COVD!” Without regard to the destructive consequences, they: lockdown, shutdown, compel masks (on children!), suspend civil liberties, arrest people for not wearing a mask outdoors, compel vaccines, lie about the science, make people miserable and terrified.

      The one you mentioned is particularly self-destructive, given that there was already an acute shortage of hospital staff. So now, what emergencies, medical procedures, and operations will go untended or canceled? How are those fired to support themselves? What of the destruction of their careers and their psychological pain?

      How many more people will suffer and die because of this monomaniacal stupidity?

      There’s an old joke about a surgeon who deftly removes the wrong organ, killing the patient. The surgeon responds: “But the operation was a success.”

      Now, though, it’s no joke.

      1. Absolutely not a joke. Take a look at the supply chain catastrophe we have right now. It’s a great metaphor for Democrat’s myopic governance style. It’s void of systems-thinking. And the damage that ripples out has and will continue to ruin lives.

        Now there is another explanation. They are thinking strategically and they are trying to destroy this country. Same result, but the response needs to be different.

        1. Olly,

          Two excellent points: “void of systems-thinking” and “they are trying to destroy this country.”

          My view is that the bulk of the Covid fascists are of the first type. They quite literally cannot think beyond: “What’s for lunch?” When you ask them to consider the broader and future consequences of shutdowns, lockdowns, et al. — they draw a blank.

          The second are the more evil type — the ones who “never let a good emergency go to waste.” They’re the ones who use Covid as a means to an ends — power and the destruction of individual liberty. And to spread culture-wide, debilitating terror.

          The two types need each other: Active destroyers and useful idiots.

          1. The two types need each other: Active destroyers and useful idiots.

            Exactly. The destroyers have the perfect weapon to seize total power: pandemic lawfare.

            The people most likely to resist their abuse of power and not be a reliable force to defend them, are those honorable men and women in law enforcement and the military that still believe their oath means something. Vaccine mandates and CRT are being used to purge these folks from the ranks.

            1. And the destroyers have a lot of useful idiots to support them. Check out what Merriam-Webster’s did for them on October 4th:

              Previous versions of the “anti-vaxxer” webpage suggest that the word used to be defined as “a person who opposes vaccination or laws that mandate vaccination.” (emphasis added). It wasn’t until sometime on Oct. 4, the same day that U.S. officials outlined specific instructions for all federal employees to comply with President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for government workers, that Merriam-Webster swapped the word “laws” for “regulations.”

              https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/08/merriam-webster-thought-police-just-changed-the-definition-of-anti-vaxxer-to-attack-opponents-of-government-mandates/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_federalist_daily_briefing_2021_10_09&utm_term=2021-10-09

              1. “Previous versions of the “anti-vaxxer” webpage . . .”

                My word, I had not seen that. But it is unsurprising. Tyrants always use propaganda — the manipulation of words — to achieve submission.

                So if I resist government coercing me to undergo a medical procedure, I’m *not* defending individual liberty or limited government or my right to direct my own health care. I’m smeared as an “anti-vaxxer”?!

                Objective definitions are the bellwether of rationality. Nonobjective ones toll its death.

        2. “. . . the supply chain catastrophe . . .”

          Speaking of catastrophes caused by these monomaniacal, short-range mentalities:

          Over the weekend, Southwest Airlines canceled some 2,000 flights. (?!) The airlines dutifully implemented Biden’s vaccine mandates. And now (in a shocker), are faced with pilot and staffing shortages (in a market already stressed with labor shortages).

          The contortions of the apologists are almost comical. The airlines (and sundry commentators) are blaming the cancelations on “bad weather” and ATC snafus.

          Oddly enough, the “bad weather” and “snafus” only affected Southwest.

          1. The disparity between Southwest’s operation and other airlines fueled speculation on social media that employees were calling out sick.

            The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, Southwest pilots’ labor union said that “we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.”

            “Our Pilots will continue to overcome SWA management’s poor planning, as well as any external operational challenges, and remain the most productive Pilots in the world,” it said.

            Earlier on Saturday, the union noted that the company’s recent announcement that it will comply with the Biden administration’s requirement that federal contractors must mandate staff Covid vaccinations is contributing to distractions for aviators.

            “Make no mistake about it – due to months of staffing issues and inefficient scheduling practices we have been operating at a higher than normal operational risk,” the union’s safety committee told members in a post on Saturday.

            It said reports of fatigue, which require pilots not to fly, are triple historic norms.

            “All of these challenges have led to an added distraction in the cockpit,” it said. “This week’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate announcement by the Company only exacerbates the situation.”
            https://drrichswier.com/2021/10/11/southwest-airlines-walk-out-because-of-tyrannical-vaccine-mandates-more-than-1000-flights-cancelled/

            I’m going to go with Climate Change as the culprit or systemic racism. Sprinkle in a bit of Trump and you have the perfect storm. 😏

            1. “I’m going to go with Climate Change as the culprit or systemic racism. Sprinkle in a bit of Trump . . .”

              No. No. No.

              Clearly, it’s plot by the enemies of the state — the insurrectionists or the unvaccinated. Maybe both.

  6. “FROM EACH ACCORDING TO HIS ABILITY, TO EACH ACCORDING TO HIS NEEDS.”
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Whatever happened to Res ipsa loquitur?

    Apparently, GWU has admonished Professor Turley to avoid the fray – to effectively support the communist takeover by omission.

    GWU appears to have seen the writing on the wall and has no desire to be “dead right.”

    Whatever will a Constitutional scholar do without a Constitution – during the total destruction of the Constitution, in the absence of the Constitution, and during the imposition and in the presence of the Communist Manifesto?

    Will GWU direct Professor Turley to study and transform himself into a Communist Manifesto scholar?

    Perhaps GWU will “…tear down this [university]” and “fundamentally transform” GWU into KMU, aka Karl Marx University.

    Barry Soetoro and company must be smiling broadly, no?

    Wait! Who defines “ability” and who defines “needs?”

  7. Don’t sue a suicide attempter. He will kill himself in court
    All those smokers out there are committing suicide. 480,000 died of smoking last year.
    Guns are quicker.

  8. A major US government witness against Julian Assange has admitted he lied. He is also somehow tied in with the FBI.

    https://www.nationandstate.com/2021/06/27/us-case-against-assange-struck-major-blow-as-key-witness-admits-he-lied/

    This is apparently undesired information since it is getting little if any coverage in the US. A quick search of Google brought up nothing but articles against Assange. Using the same search term with Bing brought up several articles plus some videos. Don’t trust Google results on narrative subjects.

    https://www.medialens.org/2021/a-remarkable-silence-media-blackout-after-key-witness-against-assange-admits-lying/

    He was very busy, but I wish Trump had pardoned Snowden and Assange before leaving the White House. The Democrats and some Republicans truly despise these two, a journalist and a whistleblower, because they have made them look so bad and, probably, they are terrified of what they may uncover next. The FBI and DOJ look more evil than ever.

    1. The Constitution loves Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

      They revealed the unconstitutional corruption of America by the “swamp” in the global communist Deep Deep State.

  9. When someone commits suicide, or tries to, their mind is not functioning right. They are desperate to end themselves. This is different than the cries for help that are intended to show they are in serious need, but want to be stopped. When someone really, desperately wants to die, they are crafty about it. They lie to their loved ones and say they’re fine. They send them away on an errand or go on one themselves. They find a way that they think won’t fail, and they’re usually right. All it takes is a few minutes.

    I don’t think most of them can be held accountable for their actions. I think it’s a form of insanity. They can see the same set of data as someone else, but their reality is completely different. Many really do think people will be better of without them, which is insane.

    Suicide is the wound that those they leave behind never heal from. They never recover.

    To hold loved ones responsible for the damage a suicide leaves in his wake seems unconscionable to me. Usually, they would have done all they could to prevent it from happening. They’re already second guessing themselves, comparing notes on the lies told to reassure them, castigating themselves for not seeing it. It’s the problem you can’t fix because it’s already done.

    I disagree with the torts law on this. You cannot expect people suffering irrational breakdowns to act rationally. They try their best, such as choosing a location away from family, but they are not firing on all cylinders. They can’t be held to the same standard.

    I am especially sorry for those who are accidentally killed by someone committing suicide, such as the innocent woman killed by a jumper.

    1. I don’t think most of them can be held accountable for their actions. I think it’s a form of insanity. They can see the same set of data as someone else, but their reality is completely different. Many really do think people will be better of without them, which is insane.

      That’s an oversimplification of a complex problem. I’ve known two people that committed suicide; my sister and a close friend. Both of them shared in my reality, but I was unaware of theirs. As I learned later, both of them were in deep despair over the failure in their marriages. And both of them made sure their estranged spouse was punished from the act. My sister died on her daughter’s birthday with the car running in the garage. We still believe she intended for her husband to find her before she died. He was late to the party. My friend called his wife to meet him at the beach and when her car pulled up next to him he pulled the trigger on his shotgun.

      On a lighter note, I do believe it’s insane to argue against natural rights and instead insist that all your rights are created by government.

      1. Olly, I’m so terribly sorry for your losses, especially as your sister sounded like she might have not wanted to go through with it. And your poor niece.

        You’re right; it is a complex problem.

        Anonymous is right that I’ve lost 2 people, as well, one of them a beloved relative. The regret I feel over not catching the signs is terrible and unceasing.

        1. Thank you Karen. Same to you. If anything positive has come out of this it would my increased sensitivity towards possible signs that someone might be asking for help .

          1. It’s hard enough for most everyone to get those we’ve known & loved a proper burial the first time & everyone does the best they can.

            People have to move forward with life though.

            1. People have to move forward with life though.

              Isn’t that ironic. They just buried a loved one that chose not to. This is where I learned you cannot skip any stages of grief.

        2. “The regret I feel over not catching the signs is terrible and unceasing.”

          I’m sorry for your losses, Karen and Olly. I, too, have lost people and have worries about others. It creates a hole that never really heals.

    2. Karen, I almost always agree with you and in fact I can’t remember the last time I didn’t…until this comment. As much as I sympathize with the person committing suicide I have to say that feeling “especially sorry for … the innocent woman killed by the jumper” just doesn’t satisfy the situation here. That woman’s loved ones were robbed of her existence due to the actions of the jumper and they deserve some relief. Of course it isn’t, or probably isn’t anyone’s fault, but it was certainly negligent of the jumper and maybe his family as well.

      1. Hullbobby – I cannot imagine the anger and grief the woman’s loved ones must be feeling about her senseless loss. Her loss was indeed the direct result of the jumper’s decision.

        I just don’t think the families of suicide victims could have prevented most suicides. They would have if they could.

        This is definitely a complex issue. I’m probably biased because I’ve known 2 people who committed suicide. Having felt such losses, I can sympathize with the family of people who are accidentally killed by people committing suicide, such as jumpers. Her parents and family lost her, her future children, and she missed out on so much of life.

        Perhaps it would be more a matter of recompense from the person’s estate, rather than holding their relatives negligent or liable in most cases.

  10. Important issue.

    Just worth noting, as preliminary question, the issue of causation. First, one must observe, whether the act of tort, has been inflicted due to insanity ( I mean, the concrete act itself).

    Many times, the person is sick. Insane. But, the conduct itself, didn’t stem from it( from the insanity) although, the sick background of the person, may intuitively suggest it.

    Many times, sick persons, can suffer from sort of fluctuation: sometimes they are sick. Sometimes not, sometimes in remission etc…..

    Thanks

    1. Many times, sick persons, can suffer from sort of fluctuation: sometimes they are sick. Sometimes not, sometimes in remission etc…..

      Impaired judgement, cognitive decline, depressive symptoms, anxiety, pain, physical illness, etc, all adversely impact decision making. This is why granting such individuals the authority to end their own life should never occur. Likewise, allowing children and young individuals under the age of 25 to undergo gender transition is a grave error. The frontal lobe of the brain does not reach full maturation until ~ age 25. Note the apoplexy of gender transition proponents when real adults seek to protect those very young individuals. Ditto for abortion

      Those who seek the destruction of souls and hence terminate life, prey on individuals with chronic illness, depressive disorder, cognitive impairment and / or intellectually / psychologically / emotionally immature. Add to this the targeting of young women again under age 25 by Planned Barrenhood for abortion. That is no coincidence. Connect the dot$.

      Mental Disorders, Cognitive Impairment and the Risk of Suicide in Older Adults
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8423910/

      Maturation of the Adolescent Brain
      https://www.dovepress.com/maturation-of-the-adolescent-brain-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-NDT

  11. “The Senate Judiciary Committee in a report released Thursday revealed new information about how Trump tried to pressure Department of Justice officials to back up his claims of election fraud, leading top officials [Trump appointed] to threaten resignation.”

    https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Interim%20Staff%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

    You would think that this news would be *commentary-worthy* by a dutiful legal analyst. But since this report was censored by Hannity, Carlson and Ingraham last night, I suppose it is not surprising that Turley would censor it as well.

    I have said it before, but it bears repeating- Turley is a sellout (unless he comments on this Senate Report and gives his legal analysis of Trump’s attempt to overturn the election).

    Please Turley, say something- anything- about this report. Screw Fox News’ blackout.

    1. Please Turley, say something- anything- about this report. Screw Fox News’ blackout.

      Please stay on topic, or better yet steal all of the good Profs readers, and do your own blog.

      1. It is important that readers are aware that Turley *may be* ignoring a far more important news story because he is not willing to cross his employer Fox. I say *may be* because I may be misjudging him. I am hoping he will write an article about Trump’s attempt to place his stooge in power who was willing to do his bidding until the White House Counsel and his deputy and many other high-ranking Trump appointees threatened to resign en masse if Trump made that move.

        1. Jeffy-Please keep your daily diatribe mentioning President Trump because it reminds those who did not vote for him the mistake of their lives. Please don’t forget to mention this administration has the lowest approval rating of any administration. It struck me the other day with the gag restraints placed on President Trump by social media Americans need posters like you to remind us of what we had. Tell your handlers great idea.

          1. Margot,

            I don’t make fun of your name. Please act your age. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

          2. Margot: to attach the title of “President” to that bloated, draft-dodging, puxxy-grabbing, narcissistic, lying, misogynist, election-stealing loser is profane. It demeans the office that your hero wanted just for the attention and adulation. Please stop. Calling that pig “President” is offensive to the majority of Americans. And, whatever alt-right media you rely on misinformed you on “this administration” having the “lowest approval rating of any administration”. No other administration has had to deal with daily alt-right fake “news” organizations criticizing everything he does and constantly lying about everything. Here’s a huge whopper: that raising the debt ceiling is needed to fund Biden’s projects, so Republicans should refuse to do it. That is a complete lie that I’ve heard on Fox. The debt is to pay for existing programs, like Social Security, military pay, funding for all other government projects that already exist, including those put in place by Trump. And, if your fat hero hadn’t cut taxes for the wealthy, raising the debt ceiling wouldn’t be needed so soon.

            Why does your hero keep pretending that the majority of Americans didn’t vote his fat ass out of our White House, and why does he do everything possible to get in front of cameras and bloviate about things, especially trying to blame Biden for problems with the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is mostly his fault for not getting an agreement with the Taliban for a continued presence in Afghanistan, for abandoning air bases, for drawing down troops from 14,000 to 2,500 and for demoralizing the Afghan government for agreeing to concessions without even involving them? Why does he keep trying to do everything possible to undermine Biden’s presidency, including encouraging people NOT to get vaccinated, and then trying to blame Biden for people refusing to get vaccinated? Why does he keep encouraging Republicans to resist working with Democrats to pass laws that are overwhelmingly popular with the American people? Why? The power he is so hungry to assert, and because dopes like you fall for the rhetoric, which is working, so they’ll keep it up. Why are Republicans pretending that Trump didn’t try to overturn our government when, after multiple recounts and court challenges failed, he told his faithful to “fight like hell or you’re not going to have a country any more”? How in the world could any sane person fail to see what a desperate loser Trump is by refusing to accept the will of the American people, by refusing to accept his defeat graciously, and to keep on lying about his “landslide victory” being “stolen”. You want to know what was the “mistake of their lives”? Those fools like you who still can’t see the fat slob you worship for what he really is: a wannabe tinpot dictator lacking in any semblance of patriotism and hungry for power, praise and adulation. You are incapable of perceiving his failures: he trashed a successful economy, leading to the worse recession since the Great Depression; he lowered taxes for the ultra-wealthy, thus leading to the need to raise the debt ceiling; he never got any significant legislation passed, he mishandled COVID and allowed it to get out of control, and he constantly lied. He still lies constantly, despite all proof establishing the fact that he DID lose the election. The mess he left for Biden to clean up will take time, but Fox, OAN, News Max, Brietbart will never stop hounding, pounding and criticizing. And people like you will not stop believing in this loser.

        2. It is important that readers are aware that Turley …

          That’s a massive, ego driven level of hubris to tell other people what is important. I can’t think of very many things less important than a political hit piece coming out of a congressional committee. Those paying attention, see the raw politics at play. Congressional committees have less credibility than today’s DoJ led by legal hack Garland

          That same ego that believes he can order strangers to dance to the tune played by random internet guy

          1. Iowan2 says:

            “Congressional committees have less credibility than today’s DoJ led by legal hack Garland.”

            Turley praised Garland when he was nominated:

            “President-elect Joe Biden made a highly commendable decision to nominate Judge Merrick Garland as the next United States Attorney General. Like many, I praised Garland as an outstanding choice and a move that advanced Biden’s earlier pledge to seek unity.”

            This is why I remind you Trumpists that Turley is unlike you people. He is on my side.

            1. Since Garland it trying to nationalize, elections, local police, and local school boards, I doubt -* a Constitutional Law Prof, would still hold the same high opinion. Thank God and McConnell for avoiding Garland on SCOTUS . Garland has no concept of the structure of the government. And ignores the fact States have the power to govern themselves with out interference from the DoJ

              1. Iowan2,

                I am going to rip a page out of the Trumpist playbook and dismiss all your comments about Garland because you are suffering from GDS- Garland Derangement Syndrome.

                And just like, my accusation of GDS settles the argument!

                When Turley disparages Garland as you do, I’ll take it seriously. Until then, get help with your GDS.

                1. Jeff; So you agree the federal government has the authority to “protect’ local school boards? Separation of powers and States rights have always been mythical?

                  I raised three separate actions taken by Garland, that by my understanding, he has no power to interfere. The derangement is you defending this unconstitutional overreach.

                  1. Iowan2,

                    If Garland is overreaching his authority as much as you think, I have no doubt that our resident Constitutional scholar will so inform us. If he remains silent on the subject, what am I to think?

                    That he does not agree with you Trumpists? Or he is trapped under something heavy, and he can’t reach his computer?

                  2. iowan,
                    Take note that Silberman will hypothesize that JT is not aligned with conservatives when he is silent on the actions of this administration. And then he will hypothesize that JT is a FoxNews hack when he is silent on all things Trump and conservatives. Even Paint Chips isn’t that schizophrenic.

      2. Oh, have some compassion for Silberman. He’s been humiliated so often and for so long, he’s begging for a win. After all, since his party and the entire machine behind it own every disastrous current event, his only play is Trump. Hopefully JT’s suicide post doesn’t…

        1. Olly-We can’t ever offer compassion to these people, do they offer any to you? As their mentor has written “let them live up to their own rules”. The good compassionate Americans must learn their MO and by the same rules.

    2. The Senate Judiciary Committee in a report released Thursday revealed new information about how Trump tried to pressure Department of Justice officials

      Fact check; The President of the United States has the Constitutional, plenary power to direct the Dept of Justice.
      On a side note. Even the corrupt DoJ has people that will resign rather than act against their personal views. A lesson Gen. Milley sorely needs. If we take people at their word, People in State, DoD, Intel, all advised against the Biden Plan. All acquiesced and allowed the President to carry out such a stupid, plan costing the lives of thousands, US citizens, and allies. All the paper tigers at the head of all these agencies refuse any responsibility, but none would think of resigning due to principles.

      1. Iowan2,

        Thanks for your viewpoint, but with all due respect, I would prefer to read Turley’s reaction to the Senate Report if it’s all the same to you.

        Aren’t you the least bit curious what he has to say?

    3. Here’s your reply: continued beating of this dead horse is itself a violation of the Hatch Act to a far greater and more sinister extent than any of the allegations against Trump, which are still awaiting support from NARA and witnesses.

      Now run along and go EABD, krassentein jr.

  12. Thomas Szasz, the libertarian psychiatrist and legal scholar, argued that everyone has a right to kill himself but not to inflict his suicide on others. And he pointed out that the monopoly on drugs that the state-enforced medical establishment enjoys plays a role in limiting people’s ability to kill themselves discreetly.

    1. The Thomas Szasz post here reminds me of several issues concerning suicide, libertarian defense of suicide, and even whether it is ever morally or legally required for a third person to prevent anothers suicide. Two of the pillars of libertarianism is self ownership and the liberty or freedom to do what one wants as long as it doesn’t seriously harm others in terms of their life, liberty and property.
      Self ownership for the libertarian includes complete control of one’s life that does not seriously harm others. Examples include the freedom to commit suicide, phisically injure one self, sell body parts, take drugs that are harmful. Libertarians argue that “no harm (to others) no foul”. Mill considered the no harm principle to be the main constraint on what government can coerce, setting up the philosophical foundation of limited government.
      We are considered negligent (commiting a sin of omission) if we allow the abandoned baby at our doorstep to die by ignoring it. Good samaritan laws hold that one must, if possible and reasonably safe, try to prevent crimes commited against other people. Some argue against pacifism by saying while its ok to let others harm you its not ok to allow others harm others. (Note the criticism of Gandhi’s pacifism during the holocaust).
      I used to tell my Ethics classes that the good samaritan law is wrongly named . It is actually a law against crimes of omission and negligence, a requirement to be “not evil” rather than good. If one goes beyong the call of duty to save others (such as risking one’s life) we call that supererogation (good).
      Final thought: I told my classes that libertarians are wrong that one owns oneself, and wrong to say that the self is the property of the self and disposable if needed. And further that libertarian should include the prohibiton of serious harm not just to others but to oneself as well. I submit that serious harm itself (regardless of the recipient) is an evil that is an inescapable presumption of the human condition (inalienable part of human nature). So I would claim that is not only permissable to interfere with suicide , but also sometimes the right thing to do and in cases (where there is safety in interference) may even be required.

    2. Thomas Szasz also wrote “The Myth of Mental Illness”; arguing that mental illness does not really exist, an idea that has caused considerable trouble despite being obviously wrong.

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