Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Court hands down Georgia v. Randolph opinion

Six Justices wrote separately. A plurality held that police may not enter on the basis of consent when one occumpant gives permission, and the other clearly withholds consent to enter a dwelling. The facts and resolution of the case are discussed in the article.

I discussed this case in my criminal procedure class and predicted this outcome, despite the outcome of IL v. Rodriguez (1990), in which a live-in girlfriend gave police permission to search while her abusive bf slept. The facts in this case were unusual and clearly different than Rodriguez.

Perhaps predictably, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas sided with law enforcement. However, keep in mind that the bright-line rule that this case advances is that police could have called a DA to ask for a warrant while "chatting" with the "suspects." A mad dash into the house to flush contraband could have resulted in exigent circumstances sufficient to alow police to follow them into the house.

Indeed in this instance transactions costs in searching are increased. But the rights to home privacy, I think, should be inviolate. This should hold true even in instances of marital spats, even when the principle places a burden on law enforcement.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Decline and Fall of Barry Bonds

This book excerpt is perhaps the most detailed that I have read to date regarding Mr. Bonds. There is alot of news on this subject presently. It is sad that there are so many other steroid users in sports. Baseball is just the tip of the iceberg; it appears that no serious inquiry has ever been made in the NFL, nor is one forthcoming. It does seem now that a Hall of Fame induction is in serious jeopardy for Mr. Bonds as he and Rafael Palmeiro are now perhaps the only two players with serious credentials to ever be outright caught during their careers for steroid use.

Monday, March 06, 2006

SCOTUS rules in Solomon Amendment Case

Today the High Court threw a considerable set back on those hippies that keep handing out fliers to protest the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy (The case is titled FAIR v. Rumsfeld). The policy instituted during Clinton's administration was challenged by a collaborative of liberal law schools who were forced to choose between the receipt of federal funds and barring the military from conducting interviews on campus. Hamline is one of the many schools that raises a large stink, via advertisements and emails/letters from our Dean protesting this policy around the law school. (I am unsure if we participated in the lawsuit in any capacity).

The schools argued that the government was interfering with its First Amendment freedom of speech by making so onerous the conditions of the federal funds that it effectively prevented the schools from advocating socially responsible policy (consistent with each schools' views). The Court, however, apparently turned the case on the distinction between speech and conduct. Plainly the schools can and will make known their liberal ideology in the manner that Hamline does. However allowing military on campus was the condition precedent to idealogues such as Hamline (sarcasm) getting a boat load of cash. The Hamlines of the world are NOT willing to sacrifice the dough necessary to maintain their independence and moral superiority, or so it appears.

{Update: I wanted to note a few of the better comments at the link above.
One notes that Harvard and the other law schools are "firing at the wrong target"--that the military only follows Congress and the President's lead. It is truly hard to believe that the legislation and con law geniuses at Harvard don't know this. Ergo, the attack should be aimed at Congress.

Second, this story, though a bit bawdy, is illustrative (attributable to George Bernard Shaw, I believe) : A man approached a woman and asked for sex in return for 1 million pounds, she said yes. He then asked if she would sleep with him for 10 pounds, enraged, she asked "what kind of a woman do you think I am!" To which he replied, "Madam, we've already determined that, we're just haggling over price."}

Friday, March 03, 2006

Civil Liability and Medical Ethics

This civil suit seems unfortunate. However, I wonder how the true medical/emergency rescue issue would turn, if in fact the decedent had had HIV. Generalizations are tricky. The ACLU claimed that even if the decedent had HIV, the Americans with Disabilities Act would require treatment, including mouth-to-mouth by the police department. I am skeptical.