Sunday, June 28, 2015


Before their ridiculous runs for the presidency get off the ground, three of the GOP's finest (please don't think I am not being sarcastic), Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have disqualified themselves to be President.  The reason is simple, they have already announced they will violate their oath of office.  You know those silly little words: "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic".

All three have announced they do not believe in the separation of powers which those brilliant men some 230 years ago were smart enough to understand and write into the most precious of our contracts.  It amazes me that, without even batting an eyelash, each of them, who claim to love this country and all it stands for, are ready to throw away one branch of those checks and balances, and sell the most important precept of our government (we are nation of laws) in order to suck up to the far right fringe of our body politic.  Let's look at each individually.

Bobby Jindal (the governor of the only state which has yet to grant even one marriage license to a same sex couple) said:
“The Supreme Court is completely out of control, making laws on their own, and has become a public opinion poll instead of a judicial body.  If we want to save some money, let’s just get rid of the court.”
Get rid of the court. Who needs that nasty old Supreme Court. While we are at it, let's get rid of the legislature, too. We don't need them, do we Bobby? You are smart enough to do it all by yourself. The last I looked the Supreme Court is the only court created in the constitution, you imbecile.

Not to be outdone, a former law clerk to Chief Justice Rehnquist, you know the macho man himself, Ted Cruz has decided that the little thing in the Judiciary Clause of the Constitution about not electing judges to keep them from political retribution for their decisions (lifetime appointments) is unnecessary.

To challenge "judicial activism" Cruz said he is proposing a constitutional amendment to require Supreme Court justices to face retention elections every eight years.  It is hard to imagine someone as close to the Court as he was, and claims his proudest moment as a lawyer is when he argued a case before SCOTUS and lost 9-0, could fail to understand this point.  If anyone wonders, this man means to take power no matter what it takes and no matter what he has to say or do, even if that anything is the destruction of the country he claims to love so much.

Lastly, Mike Huckabee.  This clown has stated the Supreme Court is not the supreme being and therefore you don't have to obey the orders of that court, or for that matter, any other.  He speaks of  SCOTUS like it is King George III incarnate.  He wants the other two branches of the government to make war upon the Supreme Court
"The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat."
"This ruling is not about marriage equality, it's about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court's most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny."
"The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature's God on marriage than it can the law of gravity. Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this President, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment."
It should be noted, that all three of these morons believe in the 2nd Amendment, which they praise SCOTUS for protecting. The ignorance and pandering of these men is astounding and disturbing. They are dedicated to the dumbing of America, so it will follow them in their quest for the end of our republic as we know it.  If they were not so dangerous, it would be funny.  It just makes my blood boil that so many of those, who wish to lead us, claim to love America, but not the government that makes us America.

Friday, June 26, 2015


In a decision, much closer than I thought it would be, SCOTUS  has reversed the 6th Circuit and made marriage a union between two adults, no matter what their sexual orientation.  Showing no faith in the political process, as they exhibited yesterday in King v. Burwell, the majority, spearheaded by Justice Kennedy, made marriage a fundamental right protected by the 14th Amendment.

Using precedents regarding marriage equality (specifically interracial marriage) the Court made it clear that gay couples are entitled to the same protections as any other citizens who are in legally recognized unions.  The majority indicated that to do otherwise relegates those couples, and the families they create, to second-class citizenship and the 14th won't tolerate that.

However, it is not complete.  The majority, in need of Kennedy's vote, had to agree to language that echoes the Hobby Lobby case.  Essentially, if a person can establish that they have a firm religious objection to "same sex marriage" they can refuse to provide services, such as officiating at the wedding, catering, providing use of a venue or bakery (wedding cakes).

This will be interesting in Pasco County, where the clerk has stated that she would issue licenses, but will not let her employees perform the ceremony.  However, in the end, being a government office, which can not promote any religious views, the clerk will mostly likely have to back off, at least as to her office.  Individual clerk's employees may be able to object.  Watch for Pamela Joe to jump on this one for the clerk.

The dissents mostly are rants about the good old days and the historical perspective of marriage.  Roberts disappoints with his last paragraph:

"If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."

Scalia does not disappoint in accusing the majority of hubris born of a mere majority, which, of course is not hubris when they side with him.  In essence he stands by his opinion that a provision of the constitution only means what it meant when adopted, and can mean nothing more.

Lastly, Thomas makes his usual remarks.  "Our Constitution - like the Declaration of Independence - was predicated upon a simple truth:  One's liberty, not to mention one's dignity, was something to shielded from - not provided by - the State" and he predicts doom and gloom for the republic.  Guess he forgot that the Constitution provided no dignity for African-Americans until the 13th Amendment gave them freedom and the 14th Equal Protection, which provided him with the opportunity to express HIS dignity.

The country has taken a huge step forward today.  One can only hope there will be many more in my lifetime.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Justice Roberts shows his true colors as a pragmatist.  Kennedy shows he has federalist leanings on important matters.  SCOTUS upholds the Affordable Care Act.  Kennedy follows up his opinion in a equal opportunity housing case with a vote in favor of the ACA, where he had voted against its constitutionality in a prior case.  Roberts writes with a direct and pragmatic approach.  He basically says that we read the whole law, not just five words.  Roberts says you must look at the intent of the law, not just the technicalities.

On the other hand Scalia says we should no longer call the ACA Obamacare.   It should be called SCOTUS Care.  (He does know how to turn a phrase.)  He calls Roberts opinion a "defense of the indefensible."

With the decision 6-3, this bodes well for Obergfell (same sex marriage).  That will also be 6-3 and Roberts will write on this one too.  Expect an even nastier dissent from Scalia and Thomas.

This court has now made a decided turn to the left.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Judges rarely change their minds. They often feel they can’t. When they put on their robes, they wrap themselves in a mythos of authority and certainty. They’re supposed to be distant, neutral and wise. They’re supposed to have all the answers. “Lawyers and litigants project infallibility onto judges,” (NOT THIS LAWYER says Rumpole ) says Jeremy Fogel, a federal judge in Northern California who directs the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, which provides training for every new federal judge that addresses the formidable social expectations that come with the job.

The NY Times article, which is a lengthy and thoughtful examination on judges and judging, sent to us by an alert reader, is here.

A Picture speaks a thousand words: 
These pictures and this tweet went viral over the weekend:

This is how you arrest a black man for selling loose cigarettes.

This is how you arrest a white man accused of killing nine black people in cold blood. 

Sort of makes you think.

South Carolina, where this troubled young man was raised, has the confederate flag, or some iteration thereof, flying about its capital.

Lets put an end to this nonsense right now.
The confederate flag celebrates a time in our country when white people enslaved and sold black people. Pure and simple. That is what the flag stands for. Yes, there were issues of what people call "states rights" (although metaphysically and  epistemologically speaking, States cannot have rights, only people can have rights). And if the South seceded because it didn't want federal (read  "northern") control over how it ran its business, then that's just removing by one step the issue that the South didn't want to give up its slaves.

People can celebrate how brave southern soldiers fought. But they bravely fought for the wrong cause. They fought to preserve slavery, pure and simple. It was the only issue that could not be resolved.

To to celebrate this  

because the south's soldiers fought bravely for the confederacy, we might as well celebrate this

because German soldiers fought bravely for their Fuhrer in the second world war. 

You can remember the soldiers and remember their sacrifice. But it does not require displaying the flag they fought under, for the country that advanced a repugnant idea antithetical to a country that has a bill of rights and celebrates and protects the freedom and and sanctity of the individual.  And you can use the confederate flag or the nazi flag interchangeably in that last sentence. The idea applies equally.

Make no mistake. A defense of displaying the confederate flag is nothing more than a cheap, rank, thinly disguised defense of racism.

Enough is enough. It's 2015. Take down the damned confederate flag from government buildings. If racist yahoos want to fly it from their home, so be it. Nazi sympathizers won the right to march in Illinois in the 1970's. But we are sick and tired of this ridiculous defense of the confederate flag as celebrating some noble effort. The South's effort was not noble. They fought to defend and preserve slavery. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's sophistry and blatant lies.

See Y'all in court. 

Friday, June 19, 2015


Welcome to the Dade County Clerk's Website. 
Using the website is fun and easy! 
Please follow these simple directions: 


Please copy and enter the following image

Then this image:

Then just quickly solve the following:

Now you are ready for your search. 

Thank you for your patronage. It's our goal to make using our website fun and easy. 

Please quickly divide 1098736 /17 and post the answer to continue.    

Thursday, June 18, 2015


The Florida Supreme Court has moved Laura Watson from the 17th Circuit bench for conduct committed before she became a judge.  According to the opinion, which is unanimous and unsigned, the Court found that Ms. Watson engaged in conduct designed to help herself and her partner to the detriment of co-counsel and her clients in bad-faith litigation against Flo and Progressive Insurance Company.

The actions of Ms. Watson were especially egregious, and should ultimately result in her disbarment.    The conduct started in 2002, and the investigation by the Bar started in 2012.  Seeking to pull a Rick Scott (avoid prosecution for conduct committed before taking office by getting elected) she ran for judge.  Much to her displeasure, upon her election the matter was transferred to the JQC.  She fought the charges against her with the scorched earth litigation style for which she was known.  The docket is voluminous.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Jeb Bush and The Donald are in. 

Trans Fats are out. 

Judge Victoria Sigler is also out, retiring after a stellar career as a PD and Judge. More on her in another post. 

County court is many things, but not the land of milk and honey. Or even just milk….

Female attorney before Judge Seraphin about to start trial. 
Recently had a child. We are reliably told that women in such situations need to …hmmm…pump breast milk every few hours just to ease the discomfort. 
The Judge's initial reaction: "too bad".  "Plenty of defendants have sat here uncomfortably." The judge then opined that another lawyer should take over the case and he could see no reason for giving the lawyer special treatment. 
Eventually reason and common sense and some harsh off the record comments from other female court staff members brought the judge around. The case was continued as the rumors spread and the media began asking questions. 

Check out the one minute mark. 


We're the greatest country. Yup. American exceptionalism. Can't run for president unless you believe with all your heart and christian lord fearing soul that we are different and better than mere mortals and the countries they inhabit with their ordinary bodies and souls. 

Here's an article that caught our attention. Exceptional. Gregory Orr remembers fifty years ago on June 14, 1965, when he marched in a protest in Jackson, Mississippi, one of fifty exceptional states. 

IT was 50 years ago tomorrow, on June 14, 1965, that I was arrested in Jackson, Miss., for parading without a permit. I’d driven south alone, at 18, from my home in upstate New York, as a volunteer in the civil rights movement on break from college.
I was part of a group of some 500 men, women and children, ranging in age from 6 or 7 to 80. Those arrested were mostly black Mississippians, but also white movement volunteers like me. ..
We walked two abreast on the sidewalk, a long line headed toward the Capitol. When each pair was told to disperse by a uniformed city police officer, we either did so or were arrested and then ushered onto closed trucks — all under the eyes of reporters, all calm and as civilized as such things can be. The 30 or so of us packed into our designated truck whizzed through town with a motorcycle escort, ignoring all stoplights, heading (we assumed) to the city jail.
We were wrong. When the doors opened, we faced a gathering of Mississippi highway patrolmen, each gripping a billy club. They wore blue motorcycle cop helmets, mirrored sunglasses, badges whose identifying numbers (I’d soon see) were covered with black tape. They were grinning. We were dragged from the truck and beaten — shoved and clubbed, and kicked when we fell. After about 20 minutes, the beating stopped.

If you were a woman or a child, once your paperwork was done, you were directed to the far end of this building, but each male was pointed to a small side door and told to exit. Out again, into the glare and a new discovery: I was facing a double line of about 30 troopers, and told to walk slowly between them, hat in hands. They clubbed me from both sides. The humiliation felt worse than the actual pain of wooden club against defenseless body.

Then we entered another barn. For two hours, we were clumped in a bunch, surrounded by guards who’d periodically run toward us and swing randomly with their clubs.

Hours later, we sat on the floor in the sweltering heat, waiting for mattresses, deep into the night. Sitting in rows five feet apart, bolt upright. The officers patrolled the rows. Any slouch or effort to stretch met with a swift blow or two. 

Then it happened. A patrolman stopped and loomed over a black kid next to me, who couldn’t have been older than 12. The kid was wearing a movement pin — a small, round tin thing, with one of our mottoes on it: either “Freedom Now” or “One Man One Vote,” I can’t remember.

“Swallow the thing,” he ordered again. A silent minute passed. Was the kid resisting, or was his throat so dry and clenched with terror he couldn’t swallow even if he tried? I’ll never know. By then, other officers had noticed the commotion and come over. They calmed down their comrade, who by now was shouting. They persuaded him away from his lethal insistence.

Maybe we are an exceptional country. But we are exceptional because of men like Gregory Orr and the men and women and children he marched with.  It's not the exceptionalism that republican presidential candidates are preaching to  Billy-Bob and Mary-Sue in the South Carolina primary. But nonetheless, we have some exceptional citizens. 

See You In Court.