Patterico's Pontifications


Legal Genius Kamala Harris: Trump Should Not Pardon Joe Arpaio Because . . . He Committed A Crime

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:00 pm

Joe Arpaio stands convicted of a misdemeanor count of criminal contempt of court, for carrying out “targeted patrols aiming to catch illegal aliens in his Arizona jurisdiction.” Reports say that President Trump’s administration has filled out the paperwork for Arpaio to be pardoned. Arpaio is unrepentant and has not gone through the usual DoJ process for seeking a pardon. There are many reasons why pardoning Arpaio would be questionable.

This is . . . not one of them:

Pardons, how do they work?

Yes, while it is possible to pardon someone not yet convicted of a crime, that is decidedly not the norm. Arguing that someone should not be pardoned because they have been convicted is kind of like arguing that someone should not be allowed to seek absolution through the Sacrament of Penance because they have sinned. That’s sort of the whole reason the thing exists.

A note about Senator Harris: she’s physically and demographically attractive, she’s a first-term Senator of no particular distinction, she’s from a large state, she’s a partisan Democrat trying to make a name for herself by criticizing the current administration, and she’s young. (Democrats have not elected someone President in their 60s or older since Truman.)

Does any of this sound familiar?

Say hello to the likely next Democrat presidential candidate.

Fortunately, at least we know she won’t be pardoning anyone who was convicted of a crime! So we got that going for us. Which is nice.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Legal Genius Nancy Pelosi: You Can’t Yell “Wolf” In A Crowded Theater

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:30 pm

This is possibly the most entertaining political mangling of a famous quote since Dubya’s “won’t get fooled again” gaffe. Watch bubblehead Nancy give her vacant stare as she tries to defend denying a permit to organizers of an alt-right rally at Crissy Field in San Francisco. In the clip, which is from an interview done yesterday, Pelosi says that she is going to encourage the Park Service to deny a permit to the organizers. The permit has since been approved, and the rally will take place on Saturday. Enjoy some true Pelosi brilliance as Pelosi is asked how the Park Service could deny the permit, given the barrier of First Amendment:

INTERVIEWER: How could the Park Service justify denying that organization their free speech rights?

PELOSI: Because the Constitution does not say that a person can shout, yell wolf in a crowded theater. You are endangering people, then you don’t have a constitutional right to do that.

This clip came to me via Ken White at Popehat, who has spent a lot of time exposing the fundamental dishonesty of the actual phrase Pelosi was struggling to articulate: that you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater. In this post, for example, Ken describes the famous statement by Oliver Wendell Holmes as “the most famous and pervasive lazy cheat in American dialogue about free speech.”

The argument Pelosi is trying (and failing) to make is that violence will result from the alt-right rally. But the mere possibility that people on either side of an issue might get passionate at a rally, and that those passions could spill over into to violence, is not a valid reason to deny a permit.

Pelosi is, um, crying wolf here.

P.S. My constitutional law professor at U.T. Austin, Jack Balkin (now at Yale) once told our class that he had, in fact, yelled “fire” in an actual crowded theater. Nothing came of it.

UPDATE: On Twitter, someone pointed out to me that the group in question denies it is alt-right. The Mercury News article linked in this post says:

Previous events organized by the same Portland-based group, Patriot Prayer, have attracted white nationalist contingents and devolved into violence.

The leader of the group is a Trump supporter. I called the group “alt-right” because to me, groups led by Trump supporters whose rallies attract white nationalists tend to be alt-right. But given that the leader of the group has actually denounced Neo-Nazis and white supremacists, even according to the usually quick-to-label-everyone-hateful SPLC, calling the group “alt-right” might be a case of guilt by association.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Kindergarten Teacher Introduces Class Of 5-Year Olds To Transgenderism Without Parents’ Knowledge

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:33 am

[guest post by Dana]

Simply put: the district didn’t have to notify parents because district policy says the topic of gender identity is different from sex education and therefore doesn’t require prior parental notice. In other words, another school gives parents yet another reason to home school:

The Rocklin Academy school board is facing tough questions from parents concerned over a controversial incident involving transgender discussions inside a kindergarten class.

At Monday night’s board meeting, the teacher at the center of the controversy spoke out. With emotions high, she addressed a packed house.

“I’m so proud of my students, it was never my intent to harm any students but to help them through a difficult situation,” she said.

The teacher defended her actions to read two children’s books about transgenderism including one titled “I am Jazz.” She says the books were given to her by a transgender child going through a transition.

“The kindergartners came home very confused, about whether or not you can pick your gender, whether or not they really were a boy or a girl,” said England.

Parents say besides the books, the transgender student at some point during class also changed clothes and was revealed as her true gender.

As one parent at the meeting put it:

“I want her to hear from me as a parent what her gender identity means to her and our family, not from a book that may be controversial,” a parent said.

Go figure, right? No wonder some parents felt “betrayed” and “blindsided”. It gives on hope to realize that there are actually still parents who believe that it is their responsibility to decide the time and place and how to discuss sexual identity with their children, and become angered when other adults usurp that role and make those decisions for them.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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