Patterico's Pontifications


Judge Lawrence Karlton Screws Up the Pledge Case — Big-Time

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Court Decisions,Current Events,Judiciary,Law — Patterico @ 11:11 pm

Federal District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled today in this opinion that having students recite the Pledge of Allegiance is an unconstitutional act. In so ruling, Judge Karlton claimed that he is bound by the Ninth Circuit’s previous decision, which was reversed by the Supreme Court on prudential standing grounds.

Judge Karlton is just plain wrong. Eugene Volokh says so, and so does Howard Bashman. The chances that both of these guys are wrong is pretty low.

But you still must be hankering for Patterico’s analysis, so I’ll provide it in the extended entry. Reading further is something that will be pleasant only to those with a taste for intricate legal analysis. The rest of you can skip directly to the post below making fun of John Kerry.


He Has That Memory of Last Tuesday Which Is Seared — Seared — In Him

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 9:44 pm


WASHINGTON, DC — John Kerry contacted the Pentagon today to request a Silver Star for a recent swift boat mission he ran through the streets of New Orleans. While the Pentagon claims the mission was unauthorized, Kerry claims it was a secret mission approved by the highest levels of the government.

There’s more. Read it all here.

(Via Jay G.)

Will the L.A. Times Report Senator Specter’s Clarification? They’d Better!

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 7:13 pm

In its coverage of yesterday’s Roberts hearing, the L.A. Times made it a point to report a statement by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter that, while ambiguous, could be viewed as a statement that Judge Roberts was giving misleading answers:

During one testy exchange, Specter asked Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) to let Roberts finish, prompting Biden to retort, “His answers are misleading, with all due respect.”

“Wait a minute. They may be misleading, but they are his answers,” Specter responded. “You may finish, Judge Roberts.”

When I read that, I assumed that Sen. Specter simply used unfortunate language in an attempt to shut Sen. Biden down, and let Judge Roberts answer the question.

But a rational person could certainly read that language as an assertion by Arlen Specter that Judge Roberts had been misleading the committee with his answer. And, out of the more than 10 hours of hearings, the L.A. Times specifically chose to print that exchange. I think it’s undeniable that the editors believed it was important for their readers to be aware of the possibility that Sen. Specter was suggesting that he found Judge Roberts’s answer to have been misleading. Given that possibility — even though it’s a possibility I personally rejected — I didn’t fault the paper for reporting the exchange.

But I am going to be very, very disappointed if the paper fails to report tomorrow that Sen. Specter clarified his comments today, and stated unequivocally that he did not find Judge Roberts’s answer misleading.

Chairman Specter’s clarification came at the very beginning of today’s hearing:

CHAIRMAN SPECTER: The committee will now proceed with the confirmation hearing of Judge Roberts to be chief justice of the United States.

One preliminary statement: I noted after the session yesterday that there was some comment about my statement when I asked Senator Biden to allow you to continue to respond, or to respond at all, and he then interjected that you were misleading the committee.

My statement was, “While they may be misleading, they are his answers.” It was in the subjective, and I was not suggesting that your answers were misleading. But in that moment, the object was to let you answer.

If somebody wants to characterize them one way or another, they can do that and you can respond. And I was not suggesting in any way, shape or form that they were misleading. And you picked it right up and said that they weren’t misleading.

There are sometimes differences of opinion between the person asking the question and the person answering the question, but there was no doubt in my find as to the fact that they were not misleading.

I am dead serious when I say that this is news, and that I expect the L.A. Times to report this tomorrow. I do not intend to snarkily suggest that the paper will bury this clarification. I mean only to say that the editors would have no excuse to do so — and if they do, I am going to be one very upset reader.

The Daily Brainwash

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 6:36 am

I recently learned that my friend Steve Manning has a blog, called The Daily Brainwash. Steve is a talented writer and a good and decent man. Go tell him “hi” — and check out his blogroll, which is (in my opinion) the best blogroll in all the blogosphere.

I’d also like to mention Steve’s book The Courage of Common Men: Texans Remember World War II. It is a fascinating set of first-hand accounts of World War II from Texans who were there. I recommended this book in March 2003, back when nobody read my blog except for me and a couple of my relatives. I’d like to take this opportunity to plug Steve’s book again, now that I have picked up 1 or 2 extra readers. Steve gets out of the way and lets the vets tell their stories, and it’s just great stuff — interesting for anyone, not just Texans.

Steve has also written a book called Texans Touched by World War II. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s sitting on my shelf at home waiting for me, and I hope to get to it soon.

Roberts Hearing, Day 3

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Judiciary — Angry Clam @ 6:28 am

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

Um, Senator Brownback, I don’t know if I’d be as proud as you are about my state being the “home” of Brown v. Board of Education. That’s essentially saying that you’re pleased that your state felt it necessary to litigate in defense of segregation all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.


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