What happens when you mix a mathematics professor with racial segregation and the communist party? You get a man like Lee Lorch who suffered (and his family) for his multitude of convictions. From trying to racially integrate a housing unit in New York to being denied academic appointments in the United States for being a communist (and even earning the enimity of Thurgood Marshall), one can only marvel at his courage and perseverence.
He ultimately was employed in Canada, for a few years here at the University of Alberta and then at York University.
I have always wondered why FDR is larger than life in US history. I can only conclude that he was winning a war and he died on the job. He failed in lifting the US from the Great Depression, until WWII came along. His constitutional intrusions are too numeorus to count. He interned the Japanese.
But all of that seems to have been overlooked by his fans, especially on the left.
I can't even begin to figure out what a judge who bought the affluenza defense was thinking. Then again, I have seen our criminal sentences in Canada, and especially for juvenilles that I shouldn't be shocked anymore.
Except the super-lenient sentence given on the pretext of a flimsy unscientific syndrome was handed down in Texas. I mean this is the sort of sentence I would expect in Missouri (anyone remember Roper v Simmons) But Texas - come on. Unless, of course, the message is that in Texas if you are wealthy and beautiful, you can spoil your children and they can then get a way with killing 4 people after being drunk. I wonder if the prosecution will appeal this. Maybe the legal realists and crits were right all along!
Here is a criminal law hypo: man is unarmed. He acts erratic (because he probably has some mental health issues). Police shoot him and two innocent bystanders. Who should be criminally liable for the inuuries to the two bystanders?
Sometimes the right to earn a living clashes with the regulatory Leviathan.
Case 1: Kid wants to make money for braces, but is told she can beg but can sell her mistletoe:
Case 2: Dude is fishing, and gets arrested for not having a license. Now he is hauled in front of a judge without a lawyer. I get that normal people just pay the fine or get the license, but in a way, dude has a point. After all, where do all these agencies get their authority from? The fiction of democracy? Why not the fiction of King Arthur?
Just how did a reporter manage to report exactly what happened inside Barry Bonds's grand jury session, even though they are closed? Read here how dumb luck helped one reporter get the scoop, and how it led to a more soundproof courtroom being built.
is meant as a companion to Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge. (Learned was his mother’s maiden name and he chose to be called that, though his full name was Billings Learned Hand.) ...
... [The] book is also intended as an antidote to Gunther’s. [The author] does not say so directly, but to mend Hand’s reputation, she seems to aim in particular at correcting what she considers a major misimpression left by Gunther’s book: that an article of faith of Hand’s—judicial restraint—took him outside the legal mainstream when it came to Brown v. Board of Education, the most important Supreme Court ruling of the twentieth century, and tarnished what he stood for as a judge.
John F. Kennedy’s personal pollster came to Canada with an assumed name, the blessing of the president and a secret objective: help defeat the Diefenbaker Tories.
Canadians might be surprised by the extent to which political events in this country were shaped by the charismatic U.S. leader, famously assassinated 50 years ago this week.
Helping to elect the Pearson Liberals, for starters, who would go on to introduce a new national flag, expand the welfare state and create medicare, the old-age pension system, and the royal commission on bilingualism.
The Liberals got tactical support, with state-of-the-art polling. Diplomatic rockets rained down on their opponents. And in the heat of an election campaign, the opposition leader was invited to the White House as an honoured guest.
On Tuesday, the party of Lincoln notched a big win. No, not the GOP, but the Whig Party, the original party of Lincoln. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Robert Bucholz defeated Democrat Lorretta Probasco to become the judge of election for the Fifth Division of the 56th Ward by a margin of 36-24 to become the first elected Whig in Philadelphia, if not the entire country, in roughly 150 years.
Georgia municipal ordinance imposing business license tax was not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad as it contained exhaustive list of businesses, occupations and trades subject to taxation, and given exhaustive detailing of wide variety of occupations and businesses covered, it required no great leap in logic to hold that a “catch-all” category was intended for those unique, extraordinary occupations such as plaintiffs’ talking cat. (emphasis added) Miles v. City Council of Augusta, Ga., 551 F. Supp. 349 (S.D. Ga. 1982)
Carl and Elaine Miles, owners and promoters of "Blackie the Talking Cat," brought this suit .... The partnership between Blackie and the Mileses began somewhat auspiciously in a South Carolina rooming house. According to the deposition of Carl Miles:
Well, a girl come around with a box of kittens, and she asked us did we want one. I said no, that we did not want one. As I was walking away from the box of kittens, a voice spoke to me and said, "Take the black kitten." I took the black kitten, knowing nothing else unusual or nothing else strange about the black kitten. When Blackie was about five months old, I had him on my lap playing with him, talking to him, saying I love you. The voice spoke to me saying, "The cat is trying to talk to you." To me, the voice was the voice of God.
Mr. Miles set out to fulfill his divination by developing a rigorous course of speech therapy.
I would tape the sounds the cat would make, the voice sounds he would make when he was trying to talk to me, and I would play those sounds back to him three and four hours a day, and I would let him watch my lips, and he just got to where he could do it.
Blackie's catechism soon began to pay off. According to Mr. Miles:
He was talking when he was six months old, but I could not prove it then. It was where I could understand him, but you can't understand him. It took me altogether a year and a half before I had him talking real plain where you could understand him.
Ineluctably, Blackie's talents were taken to the marketplace, and the rest is history. Blackie catapulted into public prominence when he spoke, for a fee, on radio and on television shows such as "That's Incredible." Appellants capitalized on Blackie's linguistic skills through agreements with agents in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. The public's affection for Blackie was the catalyst for his success and Blackie loved his fans. As the District Judge observed in his published opinion, Blackie even purred "I love you" to him when he encountered Blackie one day on the street. (Footnote 1: We note that this affectionate encounter occurred before the Judge ruled against Blackie. ...)
Sadly, Blackie's cataclysmic rise to fame crested and began to subside. The Miles family moved temporarily to Augusta, Georgia, receiving "contributions" that Augusta passersby paid to hear Blackie talk. After receiving complaints from several of Augusta's ailurophobes, the Augusta police -- obviously no ailurophiles themselves -- doggedly insisted that appellants would have to purchase a business license. Eventually, on threat of incarceration, Mr. and Mrs. Miles acceded to the demands of the police and paid $50 for a business license.
Those eleventh circuit judges had a good sense of humor. (Thanks to Hosteny for linking the case). Here is a short clip with some soundbites and background:
A local group of benedictine monks in Lousiana make hand-crafted coffins to bury themselves (and colleagues). And then the state coffin regulators decided that only the state could sell coffins. Luckily for the monks, legal challenge has ended in their favor.
Josh Blackman has a post about how a lawyer kept refusing to answer a hypothetical posed by one of the Justices. For some reason, many lawyers are too leary about answering them, but it usually means that the lawyer has never thought about the theory of their case.