Patterico's Pontifications


The Phil Spector Trial: Shaping Up To Be An L.A. Noir Classic (and a First Amendment outrage – but whatever)

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Crime,Current Events — Justin Levine @ 2:57 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

It may not be nearly as epic in scope as the O.J. Simpson trial, but as a huge fan of L.A. noir, I think the Phil Spector trial is one of the most interesting to come along in quite some time.

It has many of the great L.A. noir elements: Has-beens trying to hang on to their former lives, hangers-on trying to define themselves by the company they keep, people on society’s fringes reaping heartache by praying to the false gods of Hollywood sex, fame & fortune. Tragic, sympathetic and lonely figures hoping somehow that the chimerical, empty promises of this town will manage to fill the void – failing to grasp before its too late that they never do.

The entry of Hollywood Madam  Jodi “Babydol” Gibson has added even more to the spice.

As the L.A. Weekly’s Steven Mikulan reports:


Federal Judge to Local Community: You Can’t Do Anything About Illegals in Your Community

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 10:12 am

The New York Times reports:

A federal judge in Pennsylvania yesterday struck down ordinances adopted by the City of Hazleton to bar illegal immigrants from working or renting homes there, the most resounding legal blow so far to local efforts across the country to crack down on illegal immigration.

. . . .

Judge [James M. ] Munley ruled that ordinances first passed last July by the Hazleton City Council interfered with federal law, which regulates immigration, and violated the due process rights of employers, landlords and illegal immigrants.

How does it “interfere[] with” federal law to deny rights to people who should not be here according to federal law?

“Whatever frustrations officials of the City of Hazleton may feel about the current state of immigration enforcement,” Judge Munley wrote in the 206-page decision, “the nature of the political system in the United States prohibits the city from enacting ordinances that disrupt a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme.”

How does it “disrupt” federal law to deny rights to people who should not be here according to federal law?

It’s another illustration of what I discussed here the other day. The problems caused by illegal immigration (like jail and prison overcrowding, for example) are local problems, according to federal judges. But if local officials try to solve them by making their communities less attractive to illegals, all of a sudden it’s a federal issue that locals can’t do anything about — again according to federal judges.

UPDATE: Fred Thompson gets it.

UPDATE x2: I don’t know that the decision is wrong — just that its result is unfair.

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