Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died today at the age of 87. Nina Totenberg has this report at NPR. Justice Ginsburg often disagreed with CJLF’s positions and had a different philosophy of the proper way to interpret the Constitution. Even so, we respected the fact that she had a principled approach to judging, not merely voting for the argument that produced the result favored by those of a given ideology. Continue reading . . .
Monthly Archive: September 2020
The Federalist Society has this white paper by Robert Alt surveying changes in criminal law in 2019. The most encouraging development comes from Alaska. That state’s legislature and governor realized that prior “reform” (i.e., soft on crime) legislation went too far and rolled it back substantially. California has an initiative on the November ballot that, if approved by the voters, would make modest roll-backs of the state’s ill-conceived Propositions 47 and 57 of earlier years. Continue reading . . .
Like much of the press, the Washington Post has walked away from its honorable role as a liberal but generally honest reporter of the news, and has become instead a relentless bullhorn for the Biden campaign and anything it thinks will assist that campaign. Today’s breathless story starts off with, “Attorney General William P. Barr delivered a scathing critique of his own Justice Department on Wednesday night, insisting on his absolute authority to overrule career staff, who he said too often injected themselves into politics and went ‘headhunting’ for high-profile targets.”
What have we come to? The AG thinks he can overrule a GS 15? Gads, I need my smelling salts. Continue reading . . .
My longtime friend and former colleague (in the US Attorney’s Office for EDVA) Paul Cassell has a must read op-ed out today. Its title is, “Homicide Stats Show ‘Minneapolis Effect’.” The subtitle is, “In cities across the U.S., the shooting started when anti-police protests led officers to pull back.”
A pro-criminal “reform” agenda cannot win public support if presented honestly. That’s the reason its advocates more or less continuously lie. Their marquee lie (or perhaps I should be charitable and call it merely an article of voodoo-like faith), is that the problem is the behavior of the system rather than the behavior of the criminal. Their second most important lie (and this is nobody’s mere article of faith) is that the sober measures we implemented in the Eighties and Nineties — more police, more proactive policing, more incarceration and more law-driven sentencing — had little or nothing to do with the enormous drop in crime that began after they took hold. The audacity and belligerence of this lie has been something to behold.
As Mike reminds us, the Left is now engaged in rampant lying about the scope and nature of the riots they pretend not to want. But Mike is not the only one to notice; Bill Barr has noticed, too.
Since the televised George Floyd killing in late May, a well-organized and funded army of thousands of activists have invaded scores of U.S. cities to protest against what Black Lives Matter leaders characterize as systemic racism infecting every facet of American society. While much of the mainstream media has told the public that these protests were peaceful, or mostly peaceful, local news outlets and independent on-site reporters have confirmed that, in many if not most cases, these protests turned violent, destroying millions of dollars of property, and injuring or killing dozens of law enforcement officers, property owners and occasionally a random bystander. On May 28, MSNBC reporter Ali Velshi won the “Baghdad Bob” award for standing in front of burning buildings in Minneapolis while telling viewers “this is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly. But fires have been started.”
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Attorney General William Barr told the nation’s federal prosecutors to be aggressive when charging violent demonstrators with crimes, including potentially prosecuting protesters for plotting to overthrow the U.S. government, people familiar with the conversation said.
The FBI has released its preliminary crime report for the first half of 2020. In this unprecedented year, we see crime rate changes varying widely by crime. Rates for rape, robbery, burglary, and most thefts are down, probably because of more people staying home. Rates for murder and arson are up sharply, and there are substantial increases in aggravated assault and auto theft as well. Continue reading . . .
Judge Amul Thapar is one of many excellent appointments President Trump has made to the federal courts of appeals. He showed it again in his opinion today for a unanimous Sixth Circuit panel that reversed, and removed from the case, a district judge disinclined to follow established law. The subtitle of Judge Thapar’s work could easily be, “Being A Judge Is A Job Not An Anointment.”
As more cities become afflicted with the forcible disruptions staged by BLM, the question before us is whether a peaceable society is justified in fighting back and, if so, at what point and by what means. I’m not talking here about violent assaults on police (like the one over the weekend in Compton, CA) or about riots, arson and looting. Almost every normal person — and certainly any person open to reason — agrees that these are intolerable. I’m talking about raucous demonstrations brought to the target’s home, or disrupting rush hour traffic, or forcing drivers out of their cars, or menacing ordinary people as they shop or dine or just walk down the street.
Most people understand that we need to accommodate free speech and perhaps, to a point, some of its excesses. They also understand that racial discrimination — opposition to which is the asserted reason for BLM protests — is morally indefensible and has to an end. The question is how far tolerance for forcible and quasi-forcible disruptions to the ordinary life of blameless people should go and thus, necessarily, when the correct response becomes, not tolerance, but intolerance, if necessary by force.