The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Archive for the ‘SCOTUS’ Category

Yale Kamisar Retiring

Posted by brightcoast on May 10, 2011

Great article here about renowned professor Yale Kamisar ‘s retirement(yes he’s that important he has his own wiki page). He’s also sometimes referred to as the father of Miranda (Miranda v. Arizona), which created the reading of Miranda Rights or Warnings to criminal defendants, preceding any custodial interrogation. It’s the notorious Cops catch phrase, “you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you…” which stems from your Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination.

Although I never had the pleasure of taking a class with professor Kamisar, I have heard many stories of his legendarily intense lectures, which sound to me more like custodial interrogation than anything else. What strikes me the most about prof. Kamisar, aside from his legendary writings, is his inquisitiveness and realness when it comes to legal issues. He seems like the exact sort of professor that would inspire his students to follow in his footsteps of greatness. His retirement shall be strongly felt, and USD Law will be hard pressed to replace him. (Which is not to say that certain other quasi-celebrity Criminal Procedure profs aren’t similarly entertaining and noteworthy– the phrase “no thank you officer, I’d rather not say” comes to mind.)

On behalf of USD Law students I’d like to thank Professor Kamisar for his 11 years of service.

Posted in SCOTUS, The Law, U.S. Statutes, Uncategorized, USD Law | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SCOTUS upholds funeral protests

Posted by brightcoast on March 2, 2011

Roberts wrote the majority opinion stating that the First Amendment protects the rights of such “outspoken” groups as Westboro Baptist, who protest at funerals of deceased homosexual soldiers.

What ever happened to Time, Place, and Manner restrictions? The Court noted that the protestors followed police instructions, and maintained a 1000 feet distance from the church, but regardless of the political message, what ever happened to the sanctity of a funeral, and respecting the rights of the mourners. Since when does freedom of speech mean that any fundamentalist group can set up shop and stir up some media attention merely to feed their self-centered and hateful group.

I find this sort of speech distinguishable from the court’s jurisprudence  on events such as parades because, while the content of the speech may be just as (if not more) vile, people can generally choose not to attend or otherwise avoid being subject to the distasteful speech, whereas here the mourners have no choice but to be subjected to the incredibly insensitive demonstrations. It seems as though the 1st Amendment protection in this case actually serves as a governmental endorsement of this sort of speech.

In the name of maintaining content neutral standards, I suggest Congress pass a statute prohibiting the protest of funerals of military members (or otherwise private citizens–as the argument to protect all governmental figures may be prohibited under the notion that they are public figures, and thus not privy to the same speech protections) within a more reasonable distance, say a mile. This simultaneously maintains the integrity of the mourning and funeral process, but also allows a forum for the passionate protestors to find alternative sites to express their hatred. I’m sure it would still garner the media attention these AWs are looking for, but would make for a more respectful and still constitutional process.

It is worth noting that the actual cause of action seems to be the intentional infliction of emotional distress or IIED.

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Interactive SCOTUS Justice Picker

Posted by brightcoast on May 6, 2009

Link here.

My preliminary pics (probably unsurprising): Sunstein, Napolitano, Sullivan (won’t hold the whole failing the CA Bar thing against her), Karlan. I could be wrong, but I think that 3 of them had some role in all the Con Law case books I’ve had to read, so that’s got to say something.

I am interested to hear the arguments for Al Gore and Bill Clinton. I get the political support, but I just can’t picture them as Justices. Perhaps it has something to do with my inherently tainted version of the Court after 3 years of law school. After all, I’m fairly certain that there aren’t any prerequisites to sitting on the Court, including no law school graduation requirement.

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In re Souter

Posted by brightcoast on May 4, 2009

An informative article speculating on Obama’s potential strategy for his SCOTUS appointment. Who knows if he’ll actually draw from academia as the article suggests, but if so, my vote’s for Sunstein. I do tend to agree with certain sources that a SCOTUS judge’s decisions should be firmly rooted in the Constitution, as that is what their job is to enforce, however, it is Marbury that created judicial review, and if you listen to the Crits, there is no such thing as neutrality on the Court, so claiming that certain contingencies of the Court are following the letter of the law because they follow what they believe is only way of deciding cases does not dictate that the opposite is therefore unconstitutional.

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We Don’t Want Your Pagan Statute

Posted by brightcoast on February 25, 2009

This article discusses SCOTUS’ recent decision allowing Utah to discriminate, pardon the pun, amongst privately donated monuments to display in its public parks. This decision is reminiscent of the Court’s decisions regarding the feds’ differing functions as patron v. governor (if I remember correctly) regarding funding decisions and awarding of grants to private artists or entities. So they can’t establish a religion, but they can accept private monuments to have in their parks, not sure how this falls under a free speech exception, but I am interested to see what the Ct. does with Buono v. Norton, which I hear they recently granted cert for.

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