Pre-Trial Poll: Should Men Still Pay For Dinner On the First Date?

11353720745_316418dba3_bToday we discussed the curious case of the so-called “Dine-and-Dash Dater.” Paul Gonzales is accused of running out on several women at restaurants after expensive meal.  As we discussed, much of the alleged crime would depend on the expectations or understanding of the daters.  Below is a poll designed to gauge how jurors might view such a case.

Continue reading

Sometimes Urine and Sometimes Your Out: Colorado Woman Faces Bizarre Claim of Property Damage In Seeking Job

920x920Angelique Sanchez, 26, may have serious difficulty in pursuing a new job in Aurora, Colorado.  Sanchez was cited for property destruction after she allegedly put a urine sample in a 7-Eleven microwave — resulting in it exploding.  She was found waiting for a physical and urinalysis at a health clinic a half-mile away.

Continue reading

Haspel Continues (Reluctantly) With Endangered Nomination Despite Opposition Over Her Prior Record Of Torture

440px-Gina_Haspel_official_CIA_portraitCIA nominee Gina Haspel reportedly sought to withdraw her nomination last Friday but was convinced to continue by the White House.  I have previously written extensively on my views the torture program implemented under the Bush Administration and why it was a clear violation of international laws and treaties.  As I wrote recently, CIA nominee Gina Haspel has featured greatly in that torture program.  Nevertheless, various Democrats continues to express a willingness to consider making her the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. In the meantime, Sarah Sanders has echoed the talking point that Senators will be hypocrites if they do not vote for the first woman to be nominated for this post.  The problem is that she is also the first person nominated with an admitted history of torture, even though she continues to mislabel the programs as “enhanced interrogation.”

Continue reading

Paul Ryan, Censor Deputatus


By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor 

I’ll admit that I had no idea who was serving as Chaplain of the House of Representatives until the recent controversy over the forced resignation of Fr. Patrick Conroy, S.J. But if someone had told me only that a Catholic priest had just been fired as House Chaplain, I would have guessed that he was a Jesuit.

The Society of Jesus has been a thorn in the side of princes and popes for centuries. Jesuits have been periodically banned by kings and suppressed by the Church, but they have always returned to continue speaking truth to power, inspired by a rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality and a fierce intellectual independence. My own alma mater, Jesuit High School in El Paso, Texas, occupied a campus built by Mexican Jesuits during a period of anti-clerical political repression in Mexico.

While I was still contemplating the meaning of the termination, the resulting political outcry resulted in Paul Ryan’s capitulation to political reality and Fr. Conroy’s reinstatement. But the question remains: what was behind the request for his resignation? The explanation initially provided, that he was not meeting the “pastoral needs” of  his congressional flock, struck me as contrived. Nor did I buy into the excuse that he was a victim of generalized anti-Catholic attitudes among certain House members. The correct answer, I believe, lies behind Fr. Conroy’s own comments that he had been asked to “stay out of politics” following a prayer before the opening of a House session on the then pending tax overhaul bill. The words of that prayer suggest that Fr. Conroy’s sin was primarily theological.

Continue reading

Former Trump Doctor Assails “Raid” By Trump Lawyer and Aide


medical symbol

Dr. Harold Bornstein has caused a firestorm of controversy after describing a “raid’ of his office by Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, a top lawyer at the Trump Organization, and an unidentified third man.  Bornstein said that he felt “raped, frightened and sad” from the encounter.  Bornstein’s description however not only conflicts with the description of the Trump aides but stains credulity.  It is common for newly elected presidents to have such records collected.  Moreover, Bornstein in my view showed appalling judgment in disclosing a medication used by his former client.  In the meantime, Bornstein has struck back by disclosing that he did not write his controversial letter during the campaign declaring Trump’s health as “astonishingly excellent” and his “physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”  He now says that Trump dictated the letter to him. Continue reading

Student Protesters Storm Columbia Library To Protest The Right Of Conservatives To Invite Conservatives To Campus

200px-ColumbiaNYUCoat.svgWe have been discussing the increasing practice of students interrupting classes or speeches to prevent others from hearing opposing views.  This has included protests where students have been prevented from studying as other students accuse them of privilege or racism.  Administrators at schools like Dartmouth have allowed such abusive conduct to occur without disciplinary action, even apologizing to the protesters.  Now, twenty students were allowed to storm the Columbia University library Wednesday to protest the fact that College Republicans were allowed to exercise their free speech in bringing conservative speakers to campus. It was a demonstration that not only sought to deny other students free speech but did so in a way to deny students their right to study.  Columbia has been silent on any effort to discipline the students.  The Liberation Coalition occupied the library staircase while holding signs proclaiming “Decolonize Columbia” and “Divest from White Supremacy Now.”

Continue reading

The Designated Defendant: Federal Judge Refers To Indictment Of Michael Cohen As “Likely”

Angeklagter-vor-GerichtIn criminal law, defense attorneys occasionally refer to a poor sap in a corporation as the “designated defendant” — the guy who by design will take the fall for the company after signing reports or submitting false statements.  For Michael Cohen, his possible indictment is not by design but his own hand — a notoriously poor lawyer with reckless inclinations.  However, according to federal judge S. James Otero of United States District Court in Los Angeles, Cohen appears to be the designated defendant for the Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. In staying the proceedings in California started by counsel for former porn star Stormy Daniels, Otero has referred to the indictment of Cohen as “likely.”  It is a view shared by many in the criminal law field, but it must be chilling when it comes from a federal judge.

Continue reading