Patterico's Pontifications

11/18/2005

I Couldn’t Make the RNC Blogger Conference Call

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Judiciary — Patterico @ 11:29 pm

I couldn’t make the RNC blogger conference call again — but not for the same reason as last time. This time I was actually invited. And they held it during my lunch hour, when I normally could have participated.

Unfortunately, I worked straight through my lunch hour.

Still, it’s nice to have been invited.

VICTORY IS MINE

Filed under: General — Angry Clam @ 6:12 pm

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

The applicant’s name appears on the pass list.

– The Angry Clam

UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: If The Angry Clam is now a lawyer, victory is ours, not just his.

It is now legal to say “f**k” in a legal brief.

Congrats, Clam.

Oh Sweet Jesus

Filed under: Law,Terrorism — Angry Clam @ 7:32 am

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

California Bar Exam results are announced today at 6 PM PST.

Guess who’s not getting any work done?

Good luck to all examinees.

– The Angry Clam

Random Conversation with My Three-Year-Old Son Matthew in the Car, 1

Filed under: Humor,Real Life — Patterico @ 7:13 am

Hugh Hewitt’s radio show sometimes features ads by radio personality Dennis Prager for a lender known as Park Place Funding. I like Prager, but his emphasis on consonants makes for a speaking style that I just can’t resist mimicking.

Yesterday, I heard the commercial as I was driving home from work, with my three-year-old son Matthew in the back seat of the car. When the commercial was over, I turned off the radio, and imitated Prager’s voice. Which led to the following exchange between Matthew and myself:

Me: [mimicking Prager] The value is in the relationship. Park Place Funding.

Matthew: [quite clearly] You didn’t say “nothing out of pocket”!

RELATED: More evidence that kids are sponges here. And here is another random conversation with Matthew in the car, from when he was two years old.

iowahawk on OSM

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 6:55 am

iowahawk has a hilarious post titled The Blockbuster OSM Deal: What You Need to Know. It is about the former Pajamas Media, now known as OSM (and certainly not as Open Source Media, because that would be stealing these guys’ name).

The post features a handy chart explaining the concept, and a FAQ section opening this way:

Open Source Media is a new multi-aspect business concept in which many of the top superstar and mega-hyper superstars of the internet blogosphere have formed a powerful alliance to create shareholder value, and piss off Ann Althouse.

Heh.

Franck: Alito’s Opinion on Roe Was a Legal Opinion, Not a “Personal” One

Filed under: Abortion,Judiciary — Patterico @ 12:00 am

Matt Franck has an interesting post at Bench Memos about Judge Alito’s opinion, expressed in a 1985 job application, that the Constitution does not protect a woman’s right to an abortion. According to some Senators, Alito has been explaining this as a “personal” view that he would not have to apply as a judge. If this is what Alito is saying, this strikes me (and Franck) as disingenuous. Here is an excerpt from Franck’s post:

[T]he adjective “personal” just doesn’t do any work in front of the noun “opinion” or “view.” What other kind of opinion can I have but one that is personal, that is mine?

On the subject of abortion, one can have a variety of opinions — moral, political, and legal or constitutional — and all of them “personal,” of course. One might simultaneously think that every abortion is a great misfortune and a grievous immorality, that politically the wisest public policy is to permit women to make this choice for themselves, and that constitutionally the case for a “right” to abortion is completely fraudulent. (Readers take note that I am not saying any of these is my opinion, before you write to me.)

Samuel Alito declared in 1985 that he strongly believed that as a constitutional matter there is no “right” to an abortion. To call that long ago statement merely “personal” accomplishes exactly nothing. And Alito’s language in 1985 was plain and clear, that he was expressing a legal opinion, not a moral or political one. So the fair question today is, does he now, as in 1985, believe that Roe v. Wade was incorrectly decided? We don’t know his moral or political view of abortion from 1985, or today, and we neither need it nor want it. But his constitutional opinion we do want and need. And senators are entitled to have it, if they wish it, as a condition for their confirmation votes.

(My emphasis.)

Franck is absolutely correct that Alito’s opinion was not “personal” in any meaningful sense; it was a legal opinion, pure and simple. Although I am open to being persuaded otherwise, my tentative opinion is that it’s fair game to ask him whether he still feels this way. After all, he is on record with this legal opinion.

His answering this question would not necessarily mean that he is prejudging how he would vote on reconsidering Roe. There is still the question of precedent to consider. Casey had not yet been decided in 1985, and its intervening role of strongly reaffirming the central holding of Roe certainly provides an arguable basis for judges to uphold Roe even if they disagree with its reasoning.

The problem, of course, is that the general public won’t understand this. So while my desire for intellectual courage and consistency leads me to wish Alito would be forthright about these issues, the more practical side of me cringes a bit at the thought.

Based on reports to date, it appears Alito may take the weaselly route out of this quandry. It may not be the most courageous or consistent course, but it may be the approach that has the best likelihood of helping him get on the Court.


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