Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Judicial Independence?

The Chief Justice of Massachusetts' Supreme Court this weekend spoke at a college commencement, lambasting the conservative rhetoric against "judicial activist" judges. She likeliwise disparaged the label itself as ambiguous. Preferring to dwell in the certainties of her phrase "judicial independence," and so encouraging judges to be, she opened with a humorous tidbit.

Justice Marshall began with a joke about the blue and white balloons suspended from the Gosman Sports Center ceiling. She said she liked the colors, which included "no red states" -- winning a big laugh.

For Marshall, a member of the majority allowing gay marriage in MA as a state constitutional matter (I believe the author of the opinion, in fact), to make such a joke and then speak of the independence of the judiciary is unbelievable!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

United Airlines and Social Security

Alex Tabarrok from Marginal Revolution likens the United Airlines pension disaster to the United States government Social Security disaster here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Georgia is Bush Country

No, not that Georgia. This Georgia. It seems that the former Soviet republic is one of the few countries that President Bush has visited in which he has been received warmly. Is it a coincidence that this country is also a fledging democracy whose citizenry knows what it is like to undertake real democratic reform? My guess would be that it is no coincidence.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Huffington Post

So Arianna Huffington's new blog is a disaster, according to at least one commentator. Ouch.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Judicial Humor

Justice Scalia's dissent in Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419, 466-67 (1995), qualifies:

To assert that unhesitant and categorical identification by four witnesses who viewed the killer, close-up and with the sun high in the sky, would not eliminate reasonable doubt if it were based only on facial characteristics, and not on height and build, is quite simply absurd. Facial features are the primary means by which human beings recognize one another. That is why police departments distribute "mug" shots of wanted felons, rather than Ivy-League-type posture pictures; it is why bank robbers wear stockings over their faces instead of floor-length capes over their shoulders; it is why the Lone Ranger wears a mask instead of a poncho; and it is why a criminal defense lawyer who seeks to destroy an identifying witness by asking "You admit that you saw only the killer's face?" will be laughed out of the courtroom.