Category Archives: Law

Legal Polygamy

Not that I care that much, but it’s probably inevitable now. But as noted there, Richard Epstein makes a great point:

In particular, Kennedy never explains why his notions of dignity and autonomy do not require the Supreme Court to revisit its 1878 decision in Reynolds upholding criminal punishment for polygamy, which is still on the books. Nor does he ask whether the dignity of workers could, and should, be used as a reason to strike down the full range of labor regulations on both wages and hours that make it flatly illegal for two individuals to enter into a simple employment contract on mutually agreeable terms.

That would require them to rule consistently, rather than just making it up as they go along based on stuff they like.

The Fake IRS Scandal

The agency has until the end of the month (i.e., this week) to come clean:

All thinking Americans are fed up with the arrogance. Entitlement and disdain [sic] for the law demonstrated repeatedly by the IRS officials, especially Commissioner Koskinen, who is now proved by his own Inspector General to have lied to Congress when he claimed the IRS had made every effort to find the missing emails and backup tapes. …

Judge Sullivan has also set a hearing for July 1 at 1:30 in his courtroom. If the IRS has not sufficiently answered his questions in writing, there’s no doubt they will be called upon to do so in person. This hearing may be worthy of concession sales. It’s past time for “orange to be the new black” for some people in the IRS.

I’m not sure any change in outfit will really improve her looks.

Hillary’s Emails

It keeps getting worse:

This would present a huge legal issue for anyone whose name didn’t rhyme with Millary Minton. The Federal Records Act requires work-related communications to go to the National Archive, where the government determines what can and cannot be published for public review. That is why the Obama administration instructed its agencies not to use personal e-mails unless those communications were copied to official accounts, in order to comply with the FRA. Hillary and her team flat-out disregarded those directives and flouted the law in running their own private email system. Now, with records under subpoena by an official committee of Congress, it seems clear that Hillary and her team not only destroyed email subject to the subpoena but tampered with the evidence they did provide.

Any other government official would be looking at jail time for that kind of action. Sandy Berger got caught doing essentially the same thing with official government documents not under subpoena (presumably for the same purpose, to clean up after the Clintons), and traded his law license in exchange for not getting prosecuted. The chances of Hillary Clinton getting investigated for this by the Department of Justice are roughly nil while Barack Obama is President, but it’s certainly a good argument for keeping that authority away from Hillary by ensuring she doesn’t succeed Obama to the White House.

As he notes, if the White House is really unhappy about this, they have a Justice Department to look into that.

OK, stop laughing.

[Late-afternoon update]

The other story the media won’t discuss. Yes, with Bush and Cheney, it was all about Halliburton and oil. But not Hillary and Sid.

How Republics Die

My thoughts on the most recent judicial atrocities, over at PJMedia.

[Update later afternoon]

Some thoughts from Randy Barnett on “judicial restraint” and Republican judicial appointments.

I know it sounds crazy, but I want judges to follow the Constitution, not the tyrannical majority. I also want them to overturn crap decisions. Stare decisis my ass.

[Update a little while later]

Should we make Justices accountable to the voters?

It seems like a bad idea to me. I agree with Cruz’s diagnosis of the problem, but not his remedy. I think that one of the reasons that impeachment is so toothless is the original wording: “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The Founders had a very clear view of what that meant, but most people today do not, as we discovered during the Clinton impeachment trial. The only successful impeachments and removals I can think of occurred in the context of gross and blatant corruption (Alcee Hastings, who was later re-elected), or actual criminality. The other part of the problem is that, while they were adamantly opposed to political parties and made no Constitutional provision for them whatsoever, they perhaps didn’t anticipate how difficult they would make impeachment (even though court appointments are in theory non-partisan).

I think a better solution might be to amend the Constitution to simply modernize the grounds for impeachment. For instance, “…or, in violation of their oath of office, persistent indifference to the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Who could argue with that? It would be quite entertaining to watch Democrats attempt to argue that office holders shouldn’t have to uphold their oath of office. And if it passed, it would force impeachment trials to actual discuss those arcane concepts.

[Update a few minutes later]

This is sort of similar to proposals to rein in the government by adding the words “and this time we really mean it” to the 9th and 10th amendments against encroachments by the flawed interpretations of the Commerce Clause. It would be a “this time we really mean it” to simply following the Constitution and the rule of law.

A Shameless IRS

…is still withholding Lois Lerner’s emails:

Now, according to the most recent filing by Judicial Watch, the IRS asserts that the emails are not records of the IRS. Being a Texan, I’m not 100 percent sure how to pronounce it, but “chutzpah” is the only word to describe this latest assertion. To borrow from Lewis Carroll, “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.”

The IRS and its Department of Justice lawyers must be imagining that these emails were not repeatedly sought by Congress and Judicial Watch while in the possession of the IRS. The IRS must be imagining that its own commissioner never lied to Congress, the court and the public about their existence and purported efforts to find them. And it must be imagining that each of its seven filings in Judge Sullivan’s court did not fail to reveal the existence of the backup tapes. It must be imagining that Judge Sullivan won’t remember the lengths to which he and the magistrate went to try to find the emails and any backups. And it is imagining that it can continue stalling and lying indefinitely, while no one in the government is held accountable for far more serious legal infractions than those for which ordinary citizens have been imprisoned.

They’re just trying to run out the clock.

Senator Gillibrand

She thinks there is no such thing as an innocent man being falsely accused:

She’s suggesting that the criminal justice system isn’t easy enough for accusers. Police and juries won’t throw someone in jail based on nothing but an accusation. Therefore, a kinder, gentler justice system needs to exist to do just that. It is that kind of thinking that has prompted more than 70 male students to sue their universities after being expelled and treated like criminals without evidence — and sometimes with evidence that points to a false accusation.

Ashe Schow is doing yeowoman’s work in continuing to spotlight these Kafkaesque anti-male fascists.