The L.A. Times has this fawning description of convicted felon Stephen Yagman in this morning’s paper:
Civil rights attorney Stephen G. Yagman, whose relentless quarter-century crusade against police brutality drew both admiration and ire, was convicted Friday in federal court of 19 felony counts of tax evasion, bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.
The article was co-written by Yagman sycophant Henry Weinstein, who never manages to write about Yagman without repeating his slanderous accusations against my former boss, the Hon. William D. Keller. Today’s article is, of course, no exception — and Weinstein manages to accomplish his usual trick of pretending that the allegations have substance:
When he accused U.S. District Judge William D. Keller of being anti-Semitic, a special disciplinary committee suspended Yagman from practicing in the federal courts for two years. Some 100 local lawyers rallied to his side, and a year later, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the suspension, saying it violated Yagman’s 1st Amendment rights.
Now, all of this is technically true. More than 100 local lawyers, including Eugene Volokh, did sign a legal brief that agreed with Yagman on the First Amendment issue. And the Ninth Circuit did rule in Yagman’s favor — in 2-1 opinion, by the way, that Judge Frank Easterbrook has written is inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent. Yes, that is all true.
But someone unfamiliar with the controversy might easily interpret that passage as meaning that “some 100 local lawyers” and the Ninth Circuit agree with Yagman that Judge Keller is anti-Semitic.
If Weinstein wanted to be fair to Judge Keller, he would note that the Ninth Circuit did not say that Yagman’s slander was true — and in fact said in its opinion: “Yagman’s criticism of Judge Keller was harsh and intemperate, and in no way to be condoned.” If Weinstein cared about being fair, he would note that Yagman later apologized to Judge Keller for his remarks. If Weinstein cared about being fair, he might tell you that Yagman, that First Amendment hero, sued a retired LAPD cop for writing Yagman a private letter that hurt his delicate and tender feelings.
But Henry Weinstein doesn’t care about being fair to Judge Keller, and never has. So he repeats these slanderous accusations — and repeats them and repeats them and repeats them — and doesn’t tell you that they are baseless. In this way, Weinstein slanders a good man, time and time and time again.
But you know what? Now that Yagman is convicted, it’s a new ballgame — because people now have more information about the source of these baseless attacks on Judge Keller’s character. In the future, the person who said those slanderous things will always be “convicted felon Stephen Yagman.” Which reminds me — today’s article about Yagman’s conviction ends with this passage:
His co-counsel on one of the Guantanamo cases, Duke University constitutional law professor Erwin Chemerinsky, said he was saddened by the news. “Steve is a person of unlimited courage in his willingness to fight injustice.”
He planned to call Yagman later Friday night, but did not know what he would say. “Hallmark does not make cards for occasions like this.”
Oh, sure they do, Erwin. Here are a few right here: