Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Issues Non-Correction Correction on Special Order 40

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 8:58 pm

In this post, I noted an error in an L.A. Times article about Special Order 40:

The L.A. Times reports:

The Los Angeles Police Department’s landmark Special Order 40, which prohibits officers from inquiring about the immigration status of suspects, has come under an aggressive assault by anti-illegal immigrant activists who argue that it ties the hands of police.

Unfortunately, this is misinformation, as Special Order 40 actually does no such thing. You can read Special Order 40 here. Contrary to today’s Times article, Special Order 40 does not prohibit officers from inquiring about the immigration status of suspects.

Today the paper publishes this non-correction correction:

Police and immigrants: An article in the April 11 California section about a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department stated that the department’s landmark Special Order 40 “prohibits officers from inquiring about the immigration status of suspects.” The 1979 order states that “officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.” Although officers have long interpreted the order as a prohibition, LAPD officials said they don’t consider Special Order 40 a blanket ban on inquiring about immigration status.

That’s weaselly. The paper made a claim about what Special Order 40 actually says. That claim was wrong. Period. The paper should have the guts to admit it. Words mean things, and Special Order 40 simply doesn’t say what the paper claimed it did.

I recently suggested how the correction should have been worded:

An April 11 article stated that the Los Angeles Police Department’s landmark Special Order 40 prohibits officers from inquiring about the immigration status of suspects. It does not.

That’s the clear admission of error that the paper should have made — but did not.

And, looking at the bigger picture, there is an interesting story lurking under the surface, which I mentioned to the Readers’ Representative: why do officers interpret Special Order 40 as a prohibition against asking suspects about their immigration status, when the order itself actually contains no such prohibition?

Sadly, the paper shows no sign of interest in this critical issue — which, as I have explained, could be an important factor in helping Los Angeles deport illegal alien criminals. There are about 34,000 alien criminals a year that we should be deporting, but aren’t. Does the L.A. Times not consider this a big enough story to cover?

If I Thought He Understood What He Was Saying, This Answer Might Just Earn My Vote

Filed under: 2008 Election,Abortion — Patterico @ 8:16 pm

In last night’s debate of Democrat presidential contenders, the candidates were offered the chance to bash the Supreme Court’s partial-birth abortion decision — and each candidate duly did so. From the transcript, here was the very next question asked, together with Gov. Richardson’s answer:

MODERATOR BRIAN WILLIAMS: We’d like to ask the same question of all of you, down the line, in order, and it calls for you to say a name or to pass. And Governor Richardson, we’re going to start with you. The question is, your model Supreme Court justice.

GOV. RICHARDSON: It would be Justice Whizzer White.

MR. WILLIAMS: How about someone who is among the living? (Laughter.)

GOV. RICHARDSON: It would be — and in this particular case, Judge Ginsburg, who said that this was an erosion of a woman’s right to choose and degraded the ability of a woman to protect herself health-wise.

Who volunteers to tell Gov. Richardson how Justice White voted in Roe v. Wade?

(H/t: JCG.)

UPDATE: Matthew J. Franck has much more.

Why a “Media Exemption” to Campaign Finance Regulation is Always a Bad Idea

Filed under: Civil Liberties,General — Patterico @ 12:11 am

Eugene Volokh reports on a “media exemption” to regulation of speech in the name of campaign finance reform, in Washington State. Apparently the “media exemption” applies to talk radio hosts — but it may not apply to you and me:

[T]he Washington Supreme Court just confirmed that radio talk show hosts’ advocacy of a ballot measure is not regulated as a campaign “contribution” under Washington state law, because the advocacy is exempted by the “media exemption,” which excludes

A news item, feature, commentary, or editorial in a regularly scheduled news medium that is of primary interest to the general public, that is in a news medium controlled by a person whose business is that news medium, and that is not controlled by a candidate or a political committee ….

But what if a part-time but very popular blogger (think of the PowerLine people, for instance) advocates for a ballot measure? Uh-oh — the media exemption only covers media “controlled by a person whose business is that news medium.” . . . [I]f it’s a part-time sideline for the blogger (assume it’s a solo blog, just for the sake of simplicity), it doesn’t sound quite accurate to say that the blogger’s “business is that news medium.” . . . .

The blog posts supporting the ballot measure may thus have to be reported as contributions. What’s more, state law would limit them to $5,000 worth of help (whatever that means for a blog) “within 21 days prior to [the] election.”

So too bad for you, concerned citizen: Unless your “business is [a] news medium,” you’re regulated. The established, professional media are of course exempt; but, no, not you.

I have repeatedly opposed a media exemption for bloggers, describing such an exemption as “nothing more than asking our masters for permission to speak.” Over two years ago, I said:

In my view, political speech is speech at the core of the First Amendment. Neither the FEC nor any other government agency has any right to regulate it in any way. When my right to engage in such speech is threatened, my impulse is not to seek out a law carving out some exception for my speech. My impulse is to tell those responsible that they can go to hell.

At the risk of being tagged as someone who goes around saying “I told you so” . . . I told you so. The situation in Washington State well illustrates the total insanity of trying to protect our First Amendment rights by cravenly seeking media exemptions.

The First Amendment isn’t just for the media. It’s for everyone. If someone ever tries to get you to support a “media exemption” to any regulation of speech, tell them they’ll have to pry your keyboard from your cold, dead hands.

Kozinski Bashes Blogs?

Filed under: General,Kozinski — Patterico @ 12:00 am

If he was serious, Alex Kozinski just went down a few notches in my estimation. He was recently asked what he thought about blogs, and said:

I hate ’em. Hateful things. . . . I just think it’s so self-indulgent, you know. Oh, I’m so proud of what I’m saying, I think the world instantly wants to know what I’m thinking today. People wake up thinking, hmm, what does this person, whoever the blogger in question is — I wonder what great thoughts have come into his mind this morning that I can feel myself edified by. I can’t really have breakfast, really enjoy my day until I hear the great thoughts of Howard Bashman — I don’t think so. I go for months without ever knowing what Howard has to say. So I don’t know. I find it sort of self-indulgent. And I find it so grandiloquent.

But was he serious? Orin Kerr says:

Listening to the tape, it sounds like Judge Kozinski is exaggerating a bit for comic effect.

I’d like to think so. Judge for yourself. The audio is here. I will say that there is an awfully odd tone to his voice as he engages in this tirade, and although he is a genuinely witty guy, the above passage is not very funny and gets very few laughs.

But if you listen to the whole thing, he says that he hates all bloggers, with no exceptions — yet he clearly liked David Lat’s blog, and (I think) implied that he liked Howard Bashman’s as well.

So let’s hope Kozinski was just kidding. After all, Howard Bashman is the last guy you’d want to pick on for being flowery and self-indulgent — and his site is tremendously useful. Either Judge Kozinski was kidding, or he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about here. I’d prefer to think the former . . . but I’m not 100% sure.

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