Patterico's Pontifications


Jeffrey Toobin’s Supreme Court Prediction

Filed under: 2008 Election,Books,Constitutional Law,Judiciary — Justin Levine @ 9:34 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

Caught author/legal pundit Jeffrey Toobin speaking at the L.A. Library this evening, discussing his Supreme Court book “The Nine”. [Patterico’s thoughts on the book here, here, here, here, here, and here, here, and here. Recital of the one snippet I read here.]

Toobin made one bold prediction of note that stirred the audience’s attention. He said if Hillary Clinton becomes President and has the opportunity for a Supreme Court nomination, her first choice will be….Barack Obama.

He insisted that he was dead serious about this.

His reasoning?

1.  Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review before graduating with honors there.

2.  Obama was a professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

3.  “…and in typical ‘Clinton-Machiavellian’ fashion, Hillary would be getting rid of a potential political rival with her appointment.”

Texas Executions (almost certainly) On Hold

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 6:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas highest criminal appeals court stayed Wednesday’s scheduled execution of Heliberto Chi, making it virtually certain that future Texas executions will be put on hold while the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of lethal injections.


The Trumpster Bets on His Hedges

Filed under: Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 5:15 pm

Donald Trump has blocked the ocean views of some homeowners in Rancho Palos Verdes by planting trees (or bushes or hedges — apparently the correct term is disputed) along the Trump National Golf Course. Why? He doesn’t want golfers to have to look at some of the nearby homes.

Although median home prices in Rancho Palos Verdes are nearly $900,000, Trump said homes that overlook the course were an eyesore that distracted golfers. “They could use a coat of paint,” he said. “They use the homes as storage sites and it’s inappropriate. People come from all over the world to play the course and they don’t need to see that.”

I don’t know. Every time I ride my bike past the course on a weekend, it’s practically deserted.

I hope they fine him.

In fact, they could invite me down so I could yell at him: “You’re fined!”

The Military and Self-Driving Trucks

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

According to this report, “Congress has mandated that one in three ground combat vehicles be self-driving by 2015” in order to “free personnel for non-driving tasks such as reading maps, scanning for roadside bombs or scouting for the enemy – and to be able to deploy vehicles altogether unoccupied.”

The question is how? Oshkosh Truck has an answer.


Behind the Scenes at the Supreme Court (Updated)

Filed under: Judiciary — DRJ @ 4:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There’s something fascinating about the unknown and that may explain why the Supreme Court intrigues people. It’s only in recent years, basically since the publication of Woodward’s The Brethren, that the general public had an inkling of what went on behind the scenes at the Supreme Court.


Oakland, You have Some ‘Splainin’ to Do (Update X3)

Filed under: Air Security — DRJ @ 12:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Oakland International Airport (and the charter airline that handled this flight) needs to update its press release in light of this TSA Statement:

“TSA Statement on Incident Involving U.S. Troops at Oakland International Airport

On Thursday, September 27, 2007 North American Airlines flight #1777 carrying soldiers and marines landed at Oakland International Airport from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) where passengers were screened by U.S. Customs upon landing from overseas.

At no time were service men and women prohibited from entering the sterile area of Oakland International Airport by TSA personnel or regulations. Airport officials, the airline and ground handling company coordinated the arrival and all services associated with this flight, including refueling, refreshing supplies on the aircraft, maintenance checks and all passenger services.

TSA personnel across the country have worked closely with airports to ensure the utmost care when handling flights involving our troops and will continue to facilitate their movement to the greatest extent possible while ensuring a high level of security for all travelers.”



UPDATES below:


J. Peter Mulhern on “President Thompson”

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 10:13 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

J. Peter Mulhern in the American Thinker writes that Fred Thompson is the only candidate that makes sense to be the Republican Party nominee for President.


Major League Eating

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 6:41 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

A mohawk-sporting chef ate 21 pounds of grits in 10 minutes, and the two guys pictured next to him ate almost that much. Three average-sized guys ate 60 pounds of grits in 10 minutes.

By contrast, these two heftier guys each ate 12 corny dogs in 10 minutes. I might be able to do that.

OK, maybe not, but it seems easier than eating 21 pounds of grits.


Deport the Criminals First: Part Nineteen of an Ongoing Series — How the Policies of One of the Fired U.S. Attorneys May Have Killed Ivan Santos

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:04 am

[“Deport the Criminals First” is a recurring feature on this blog, highlighting crimes committed by illegal immigrants — with a special focus on repeat offenders. I argue that, instead of arresting illegal immigrants who work hard for a living, we should use our limited immigration enforcement resources to target illegal immigrants who commit crimes in this country.]

Back in March, in discussing the Great U.S. Attorneys Firing Scandal, I noted U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton’s overly restrictive guidelines regarding the prosecution of illegal re-entry cases.

I knew at the time that this policy probably cost lives.

Now I have evidence of it.

In my March post, I noted an e-mail in which a Bush Administration official complained:

When I was in Phoenix with Jon, we met with USA Paul Charlton. Charlton told us that his office didn’t prosecute illegal aliens until they were apprehended 13 times (after the initial removal order). His exceptions to that “policy” were: aliens with aggravated felonies; alien smugglers with 12 or more people; and aliens who cross the border illegally with children not their own.

I remarked:

No, that’s not a typo. It says “13 times.” Illegal re-entry prosecutions required 13 apprehensions after the initial removal order.

Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, Batman!

If that doesn’t amaze you, you’re beyond being amazed.

Here’s how that policy may have killed a man named Ivan Santos. From a September 13, 2007 story:

An illegal immigrant who’s been deported five times will be facing the death penalty for a Phoenix murder.

Now that’s a good lede.

Demetro Acosta-Uribe is accused of shooting Ivan Santos to death earlier this year.

According to police reports, Santos’ body was found in May 2007 in the front yard of a west Phoenix home. The victim had been shot to death after he was bound and his head covered in plastic wrap.

Two other men were also found on the property, restrained in the same manner. Neither had been shot, but one of the victims would have suffocated had a neighbor not rescued him.

Police allege Santos was shot and killed as he tried to escape.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s office says the case is an example of how wide open borders expose the Valley to violent crime.

Andrew Thomas said the government’s continuing failure to control the border has made Maricopa County residents vulnerable to violence.

Acosta-Uribe is a citizen of Mexico and had been deported five times.

The last deportation took place on May 7, 2004. He was also deported Nov. 21, 2003; Sept. 18, 1997; July 9, 1993; and April 29, 1998.

Jeez . . . with all of these deportations, you’d think the feds might have prosecuted him for illegal re-entry and tossed him in prison. Might have saved someone’s life, huh? I bet you’re wondering why that didn’t happen.

It all comes together when you realize that Paul Charlton was the U.S. Attorney who had jurisdiction over Phoenix from November 6, 2001 until December 19, 2006. Accordingly, he was the U.S. Attorney at the time of Acosta-Uribe’s last two deportations in 2003 and 2004 — and who, apparently, failed to prosecute Acosta-Uribe for illegal re-entry.

Demetro Acosta-Uribe shouldn’t have been free, in this country, after he was apprehended by immigration officials in 2003 or 2004. He should have been prosecuted for illegal re-entry, and sent to federal prison.

If he had been prosecuted by Paul Charlton — instead of simply deported pursuant to ridiculously lenient filing guidelines — maybe he would have been locked up, instead of committing murder.

Still think the U.S. Attorney firings were contrived? Still think they were over nothing?

Tell Ivan Santos.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 12

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:03 am

Evening view from restaurant, Lauterbrunnen valley (the wonderful Hotel Staubbach, our hotel, is in the lower left of the picture):


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