Category Archives: Justice

UPDATED (7/10): Kavanaugh Questions

Constitution, Federalism, Justice, Law, The Courts

Brett Kavanaugh, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, has been nominated to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh comes from Administrative Law—was he good at fighting the Deep State?—was appointed and recently praised by George W. Bush, who gave us John Roberts, and George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley, who approved of Neil Gorsuch, suggests Kavanaugh is not an intellect of Gorsuch’s order.

For his part, libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R­–Mich.) is openly unhappy. He tweets:

Kavanaugh is not another Gorsuch—not even close. Disappointing pick, particularly with respect to his 4th Amendment record. Future decisions on the constitutionality of government surveillance of Americans will be huge. We can’t afford a rubber stamp for the executive branch.

Randy Barnett, on the other hand, approves.

I don’t know that libertarians want “big fierce nominees,” but I see what Turley, an interesting thinker himself, is saying in the must-read op-ed, “Why ‘big fierce’ nominees are rare.”

An original thinker is always a good thing (and how few of those there are).

Supreme Court nominees. Most are not especially remarkable in their prior rulings or writings. They are selected largely for their ease of confirmation and other political criteria. Big fierce minds take too much time and energy to confirm, so White House teams look for jurists who ideally have never had an interesting thought or written an interesting thing in their increasingly short careers. … The last nominee was a remarkable departure from this judicial ecology rule. As I testified at his confirmation hearing, Neil Gorsuch was an intellect of the first order with a long list of insightful and provocative writings as both a judge and an author. …The history of Supreme Court nominations is largely one of planned mediocrity. The influential legal minds of a generation often are avoided for more furtive minds. … There is a difference between fierce ideology and fierce intellect. Many on the list of 25 judges stand out for commitment to conservative values but are not particularly distinguished in contributions to legal thought. Most fall closer to the mold of Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, as opposed to Antonin Scalia and Gorsuch.

Confirmations tend to reward young lawyers who avoid controversies to advancement on the Supreme Court.

Jonathan Turley cites Richard Posner and Robert Bork as examples of “big fierce minds,” which simply could not be countenanced on the mediocrity-necessitating SCOTUS.

Brilliant piece. Turley is brilliant.

UPDATE (7/10):

John G. Roberts Jr.? Please no.

Trump’s List

Intellectualism, Intelligence, Justice, Law, The Courts

Amy Coney Barrett: How can one fail to be impressed by this 46-year-old mother of seven, former Notre Dame law professor and clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia?

Speaking on Fox News (7/5), constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, certainly an intellect, intimated to Jason Chaffetz that none of the justices on Trump’s list quite matches Neil Gorsuch for intellect. Turley sagely advised that the president “choose intellect, not optics.”

As Micky Kaus grumbles, the Federalist Society vets for Roe v. Wade. But do they vet for Flores? Making sure Trump doesn’t pick a Bushesque act-of-love justice seems like Job #1 for border controllers right now.

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul support Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), for reasons they don’t specify. They say he has fine principles. Well, what are Lee’s principles?

Principle is important. So is intellect.

This Washington Post item is crammed with grammatical mistakes. Mismatched subject and verbs, for example. Disgraceful. But here is, “Trump narrows list for Supreme Court pick, with focus on Kavanaugh and Kethledge.”

Today’s It’s Manafort, Tomorrow It’s YOU: Police State USA

Crime, Criminal Injustice, Justice, Law, The State

Prosecutors “argue,” and a judge agrees, that Paul Manafort is a “danger to the community,” to the public—not the legions of criminals and grifters pouring over the Southern border, but President Trump’s former campaign chairman.

“When Manafort was first arraigned and pleaded not guilty in October, a magistrate judge set a $10 million bail price and placed him under house arrest.”

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will await his trial for foreign lobbying charges from jail.
Two weeks after special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors dropped new accusations of witness tampering on him, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Friday revoked Manafort’s bail, which had allowed him to live in his Alexandria, Virginia, apartment under house arrest.

The order marked an end to almost eight months of attempts by Manafort to lighten his house arrest restrictions after he was charged and pleaded not guilty to foreign lobbying violations.
“The harm in this case is harm to the administration of justice and harm to the integrity of the court’s system,” Berman Jackson told Manafort in court.

The judge emphasized to Manafort how she could not make enough rulings to keep him from speaking improperly with witnesses, after he had used multiple text messaging apps and called a potential witness on an Italian cellphone.

MORE.

UPDATE II (4/5): Nothing New About Parkland School Massacre. FBI Has Been Criminally Negligent In Almost All Of America’s Major Terrorist Attacks.

Ethics, Government, GUNS, Homeland Security, Internet, Justice, Law

The FBI, now investigating POTUS, was criminally negligent or criminally culpable in almost all of America’s major terrorist attacks and, not surprisingly, in the Florida Parkland School massacre, too. Patrick Pool, national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia, coined the phrase Known Wolf just for the FBI’s feats of incompetence.

However, as far as I can recall, this is the first time this rogue agency has admitted to some wrongdoing.

FBI Statement on the Shooting in Parkland, Florida

On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report concerns about him. The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.

Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken.

We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on January 5. The information was not provided to the Miami Field Office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said:

“We are still investigating the facts. I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public. It’s up to all Americans to be vigilant, and when members of the public contact us with concerns, we must act properly and quickly.

“We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy. All of the men and women of the FBI are dedicated to keeping the American people safe, and are relentlessly committed to improving all that we do and how we do it.”

Another Florida-based mass murderer, Omar Mateen, practically begged the FBI to put him on their terror watch list. FBI refused. Director James Comey thought Mateen was too wholesome looking. Blood on their hands. See “Let The Gun Market Close Government Loopholes“:

It transpires a friend of Orlando mass murderer Omar Saddiqui Mateen had done his duty and reported Mateen to the FBI. Mohammed A. Malik had also worshiped at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce and had become alarmed when Mateen openly professed to an infatuation with the videos of Yemeni Jihadi Anwar al-Awlaki. Not only did the FBI discount Malik’s report, but when Malik softened his assessment of the danger his friend posed to others—a natural human tendency—the FBI acted post haste on that assessment.
In mitigation of the FBI’s decision to back-off Mateen, Director James Comey even cited Malik’s good reference. Better that FBI agents watch reruns of CBS’s Criminal Minds, than follow FBI Standard Operating Procedure, dictated by the Obama administration. Taxpayers would be safer.
The mad farrago got more maddening when Attorney General Loretta Lynch (confirmed by Republican lickspittles) stepped up to assure the public that federal authorities were scouring their contacts with Mateen, and those around him, to ferret out whether they’d missed anything. When grilled about Mateen’s wife, a key figure in the investigation and a possible co-conspirator, Lynch replied that Noor Salman was … missing.

What did the FBI do in response to Nikolas Cruz? Double down on Russia, of course. For which CNN’s Evan Pérez expressed his gratitude. Perez sure tapped into what Americans are thinking when he confessed to breathed a sigh of relief because … the best of the FBI just caught dem Russian bots, although the agents missed Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz (Perez added as an after thought).

UPDATE I (3/26):

FBI recruited Omar Mateen’s dad.

General intelligence:

UPDATE II (4/5):

Joe Kennedy hated the CIA: