Patterico's Pontifications

6/15/2020

You Think Those Protests Are Free?

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:19 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Well, this is one way to defund the police. Per Bill Melugin of Fox News Los Angeles, here is a message that was allegedly sent to members of the LAPD earlier tonight by their chief:

LAPD message

I’m sure that deep down inside the LAPD rank-and-file knew they would be made to suffer for the sins of law enforcement against the Forces of Woke, but being told that $40 million in overtime compensation is going to be converted into future time off has to be a slap in the face. Yes, LAPD cops still have it better than a lot of workers who have lost their jobs during the entire COVID-19 scare, yet somehow I don’t see this move (combined with Mayor Garcetti’s earlier announcement that around $150 million would be moved from the LAPD budget to some nebulous community services fund) engendering much good will between Spring Street and First Street. Indeed, Mr. Melugin goes on to inform us that officers are reacting kind of how we might expect them to react:

No more overtime for the Human Trafficking Taskforce? Yeah, that won’t come back to haunt them down the road.

– JVW

Trump Administration To Try And Block John Bolton’s New Book?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:41 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Apparently so:

Just a week before the much-awaited book by President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton is set to go on sale, the Trump administration is expected to file a lawsuit in federal court seeking an injunction to block the book from being released in its current form, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The lawsuit is expected to be filed in the coming days and could come as soon as today, sources said, cautioning that some details are still being worked out.

Bolton, who departed the Trump administration last fall, was originally supposed to publish his book, “The Room Where It Happened,” earlier this year, but it was met with delays from the White House as the book went through a standard prepublication security review for classified information by the National Security Council.

Details about the book:

In a description of the coming book, Bolton’s publisher says, “What Bolton saw astonished him: a President for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation.”

According to the description, posted online, Bolton details potentially impeachment-worthy “transgression” across “the full range” of Trump’s foreign policy.

Bolton and the NSC are at odds over the book, as the NSC claims that “significant amounts” of classified information are in the book and Team Bolton denies the assertion, saying that none of it “could reasonably be considered classified.”

While the administration will attempt to block the book from being published in its current form because of it allegedly containing classified information, the book’s publisher claims that any necessary adjustments to the book have already been made:

…the publisher said that in the weeks before Bolton’s book was printed,Bolton worked with the NSC to address NSC’s concerns, and the “final, published version of this book reflects those changes.”

Before reporters today, Trump pushed back against Bolton and his soon-to-be-released book:

Untitled

Because of Team Trump’s legal moves to postpone the release of the book in its current form and his wide-spread unpopularity, it’s hard not to see how this will only make people more curious about the contents of the book, and also – unintentionally – give the book free publicity. Apparently, I’m not alone:

Untitled

–Dana

Supreme Court Rules Gay and Transgender Employees Are Protected by Anti-Discrimination Laws

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



6-3, with Roberts and Gorsuch joining the lefties. Gorsuch wrote the opinion. Justice Gorsuch says, essentially, that when Congress outlawed discrimination “because of” sex in Title VII, Congress must have meant to include gays and transgenders “because it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

I leave the discussion of the policy to another time, but purely as a matter of legal interpretation, I think Justice Alito in dissent has the better of the argument:

The Court tries to convince readers that it is merely en­forcing the terms of the statute, but that is preposterous. Even as understood today, the concept of discrimination be­ cause of “sex” is different from discrimination because of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” And in any event, our duty is to interpret statutory terms to “mean what they conveyed to reasonable people at the time they were written.” A. Scalia & B. Garner, Reading Law: The Interpreta­tion of Legal Texts 16 (2012) (emphasis added). If every single living American had been surveyed in 1964, it would have been hard to find any who thought that discrimination because of sex meant discrimination because of sexual ori­entation––not to mention gender identity, a concept that was essentially unknown at the time.

The Court attempts to pass off its decision as the inevita­ble product of the textualist school of statutory interpreta­tion championed by our late colleague Justice Scalia, but no one should be fooled. The Court’s opinion is like a pirate ship. It sails under a textualist flag, but what it actually represents is a theory of statutory interpretation that Jus­tice Scalia excoriated––the theory that courts should “up­date” old statutes so that they better reflect the current val­ues of society. See A. Scalia, A Matter of Interpretation. [He is right. I own the book. — P]

If the Court finds it appropriate to adopt this the­ory, it should own up to what it is doing.

Many will applaud today’s decision because they agree on policy grounds with the Court’s updating of Title VII. But the question in these cases is not whether discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity should be outlawed. The question is whether Congress did that in 1964.

It indisputably did not.

I have bolded what I consider the key passage.

Gorsuch’s approach, in my view, is not Scalia’s textualism, but a sort of literalism that ignores the reasonable understanding of the words at the time they were written. That was Scalia’s textualism, and I believe he would have joined Alito’s dissent, and written a scathing one of his own, if he had lived to see this day.

Autopsy Of Rayshard Brooks: Death Was Result of Gunshot Wounds To The Back

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:53 am



[guest post by Dana]

The autopsy report has been released in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta P.D. officers:

Rayshard Brooks, the black man shot by Atlanta police outside a Wendy’s in the city’s Southside Friday night, suffered organ damage and blood loss from two gunshot wounds, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Sunday after completing an autopsy.

“His cause of death: gunshot wounds of the back,” an investigator from the medical examiner’s office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard released a statement about it Sunday.

“Today, members of my staff had the unfortunate duty of witnessing the autopsy of Mr. Brooks as part of our continued investigation.“Because this is a homicide investigation, there are several technical requirements that must be met before we are able to reach a decision. That includes the confirmation of the ballistics involved and obtaining a preliminary report from the Medical Examiner,” according to the DA’s statement.

You can read the account of Rayshard Brook’s death in Atlanta on Friday night here. There is also video at the link.

Rayshard Brooks leaves his wife and 4 young children behind.

–Dana


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