UPDATE!!! The Captain has reliably informed us that Miami Judges Kevin Emas and Gil Freeman have both made the cut and their names are among 6 being sent to Governor Crist for consideration as Florida's next Supreme Court Justice. Congrats to both.
CARS AND THE CONSTITUTION:If we ever lose the bill of rights completely, it will be in a case involving a car. I don't know why the Supreme Court has it in for people who own and drive cars, but ever since Carroll v. US in 1925, when the court held that people in cars have less expectation of privacy, the court has systematically stripped the protections of the Bill of Rights when it comes to people in motor vehicles.
Today (Tuesday) the Court hears argument in Arizona v. Johnson, (SCOTUS WIKI Link) in which the question presented is whether an officer who doesn't like the way a car looks can arrest the occupants and send them directly to prison without benefit of trial? Not really. But almost. The question in the case is whether an officer who admittedly does not have probable cause or even reasonable suspicion can conduct a " Terry pat-down search" of a vehicle passenger when the officer believes that the officer’s safety or that of the public may be at risk?
Put another way- does an officer's unfounded suspicions or fears allow him or her to perform a Terry Search on someone who has done nothing wrong and is just a passenger in a car?
Put another way- just how far can irrational fear and unfounded suspicion go in eroding the Bill of Rights?
Put another way- Just what can't the police do to someone who has the temerity to ride in a car?
We'll be following the oral argument.
Hottest Supreme Court Rumor (what? You thought we only knew about the REGJB?)
Justice David Soutter is so "unsuited" for life in Washington, and so unhappy about working on the court that the rumor amongst the regulars at the Old Ebbitt Grill is that Souter can barely wait until Obama becomes President so he can retire and return to his Cabin in New Hampshire. Several years ago Souter was mugged and beaten up pretty badly while jogging in DC. He is the first out of town when the court is not in session, and he has made several statements in the past that he would retire as soon as a democrat was elected president.
Who's first out: Souter or 87 year old Justice Stevens?
Who's brushing off their resume for an appointment to the S Ct? Anyone in South Florida? Lots of very interesting and brilliant Judges on the 7th Circuit (Illinois) including Judges Posner and Eastbrook. As a former law professor in Chicago, Obama must have more than a passing familiarity with Posner and Eastbrook.
Posner is a prolific author (40+ books) with very persuasive views on the economic theory of law. Posner was appointed by President Reagan and has been called the "greatest living jurist in the United States." Posner graduated first in his class from "Harvahd Law." He was president of the law review and clerked for Brennan on the Supreme court in 1962-63. He is known to be a supporter of Roe. He is 68 years old and is a renowned Blogger!!!! Click here.
Posner's November 30, 2008 post on the future of conservatism is a must read.
Hottest rumor in the REGJB? Judge Jerald Bagley wants to add the title "Chief" to "Judge". With Judge Ivan Fernandez also seeking the top spot, we would be well served if either of these two popular and qualified jurists took over for Judge Farina.
See You In Court.
It was 71 degrees at 6:00 AM. A veritable heat wave for Florida today.