Wednesday, March 28, 2012


The setting: The highest court in the land.
The date: Tuesday March 27, 2012. 

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., the Solicitor General of the United States strode to the podium to address nine justices, of whom at least five were going to be hostile to his defense of the use of the commerce clause to make health care legislation constitutional. 

The courtroom was hushed. The moment historic. And Mr Verrilli.....stammered. Then he coughed. Then he cleared his throat. Then he grabbed his glass of water. 

And within a few moments Justice Scalia pounced with the most favourite and tried and true argument in the arsenal of every conservative: "If the government can do this (the health care mandate) what can it not do?" Scalia thundered. Verrilli stammered. It was not pretty. 

But the questions were not surprising. This was no ambush. Verrilli had to know the questions were coming, and yet he acted more like a first year moot court student who read the wrong problem rather  than the SG of the US. 

Chief Justice Earl Warren worked hard to engineer a 9-0 opinion, giving ground on several points to get Justice Frankfurter on board. What does it say about CJ Roberts that the very best outcome in case will be 6-3? This court, like this country is politically polarized and that is not good. 

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Nature and Selected Essays. 

Some of us find our Stars in the most unlikely of places. 

See You In Court. 


Eye on Freedman said...

Freedman, you are an annoying, self-important douchebag.
You can't ever write about someone else's great works without shoving in a boastful comment about yourself. You must have gotten picked on a lot in school.

Here is a recent e-mail excerpt taken from you:

" Many of you may remember attorney William Swor.  He was part of the great team of lawyers that won the Rodney Thaxton "Against All Odds" Award in 2008 - the same year I was honored to be sworn in as President of our great organization. "

You, Sir are a tool.

Barrister of Ballentrae said...

Dresnick DID NOT recuse himself. But ,Reading the comments in todays ( Thursday) Herald I saw this and I submit it for your comments.


These indians paid their lawyers the equivalent of the plaintiff's lawsuit. What cornholes !! They rather pay their jewish attorneys who are already rich than pay the plaintiffs who have lost a close relative.

The Barrister

Anonymous said...

They are not "Indians", they are native Americans.

And they are not "Jewish", they are native lawyers.

Anonymous said...

10:52 pm, a tool or a fool? Looks like your finger slipped a key LOL

mikal said...

BB, ok, I will take the bait, and by the way, I am using my real name.

I won't comment on the post in The Herald because its stupidity speaks for itself, but for the life of me I can't figure out why you posted a copy of it on this blog.

Do you object to: the obviously anti Jewish and anti Native American sentiments expressed by the writer; the fact that the attorneys were paid the equivalent of the verdict in attorneys fees; both; or the fact that morons like him / her are swimming around in our gene pool, and that perhaps the pool needs to be cleaned up a bit?

Please clarify your reasons for posting this so we can better understand who you are.

Anonymous said...

Lewis is not a member of the tribe.

Fake Andrew Dice Clay said...

"These Indians"

-- Even I am offended by that statement!

Anonymous said...

I submit to you that the Tribe paid their attorneys, not the plaintiff, because paying the plaintiff sets up a precedent and incentive for other plaintiffs. It was an investment in the future, whether we like it or not. They have larned from insurance companies to make everyone fight and reduce the esposure.

Anonymous said...

If you're trying to be politically or geographically correct, the Indians wouldn't be native Americans.
I was born on Miami Beach. I am a native American.
They would be "indigenous to a land mass that we named America."
America wasn't named that until after Amerigo Vespucci's expeditions in the 1500s.
If we go on the assumption that the 'not' Indians were here for possibly thousands of years prior to that, they were here long before this was America. Thus, they could not be called native to something that didn't exist at the time.

Anonymous said...

The sad part is the most direct answer to Scalia, and to a degree defuse his venom and make him more civil, was: "Mr. Justice Scalia, the government can do anything the constitution, as the Federal Courts interpret it, permits."

"Good Morning, your honors, Donald Verrilli, Jr., Solictor General of the United States on behalf of all the People of the United States of America."

(However, my real desire would be to look at him and say: "The government apparently can do anything it wants, like interfer in how an individual state holds its elections and counts its ballots. It seems that where it is, what this Court deems to be, in the best interest of the people and the orderly administration of our government, there is no boundry."

"By the way Mr. Justice, I think borcolli is different. Food, we all have to buy and is a necessity of life. If you don't eat brocolli, you might die, but it does not cost the public anything and does not really effect them. However, if you are sick and need treatment, doctors and hospitals are duty bound to treat you and if you can't pay, the public in some fashion or another foots the bill."

"We require people to participate in Social Security. That is in the publicinterest. Requiring someone who can afford it or it can be a benefit of employent to participate in obtaining and maintaining health insurance is in the public interest."

"Somehow your brocolli analogy is simplistic and ignores the real issue."

Lots of luck not being disbarred from SCOTUS practice with that answer.)

In this particular instance, as long as done with dignity and respect, and with the knowledge of where all of the justices generally stand, you can be as confrontational in your answer as the questions.

I agree the govenment was not well represented in the oral arguments and that is really too bad, because recordings of a good performance would have been used by the media to help sell the plan.

Prediction: Mandate gone, the rest they either defer under the injunction doctrine or upheld.

Barrister of Ballentrae said...

All those reasons. I posted it to place a mirror to it and let the blog readers comment on it.
The B of B

Anonymous said...


You of course are completely correct to my knowledge of history. I was just trying to use the wording that I think is currently accepted as PC.

Anonymous said...


Gets me thinking what would be my last words.

CAPTAIN said...



Plea bargaining is a pre-trial stage in which a defendant is allowed to plead guilty. Considering what he would receive if he was convicted after a jury trial, a defendant pleads guilty primarily in exchange for a lesser charge. Plea bargaining is prevalent in U.S criminal courts. Amongst the 89.7% convictions
out of 83,391 cases in Federal Courts in 2004, 96% were achieved through plea bargaining, and the rate increased from 87% in 1990 to 96% in 2004 for felony offenses.

It's almost as high a % in State Court.

The art of trial is a dying breed.

What say you.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

Took me a while, but just now realizing how funny the "not a member of the tribe" comment is.

Anonymous said...

Cap - I love trying a case, but you and I are not the risk-takers. The client is. Most clients will tell you that they do not want to put their fate in the hands of a jury. Would you if you were charged with a crime?

We all know that in most cases, a good plea is always in the client's best interest. We try the cases that have to be tried because no other alternative remains.

Anonymous said...

hey 1:03 nut job, you are half as smart as a third of one of Scalia's boogers.

Circle K

swlip said...

Hey, if you don't like political polarization, how about not ramming through legislation that has absolutely no bipartisan support?

CAPTAIN said...

Scalia's best line of the week was:

JUSTICE SCALIA: Mr. Kneedler, what happened to the Eighth Amendment? You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?

JUSTICE SCALIA: And do you really expect the Court to do that? Or do you expect us to — to give this function to our law clerks?

APD said...

On a 5-2 vote, the Florida Supreme Court has accepted a lower court's request that justices take up a legal fight over employee contributions to the state pension plan.

Leon Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford ruled earlier this month that the state can't require employees hired before July 1, 2011, to contribute 3 percent of their income to their retirement plans. She also struck down a portion of the law that would reduce cost-of-living increases for those employees.

Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince, Jorge Labarga, James Perry and R. Fred Lewis agreed to accept the case without a mid-level review by the 1st District Court of Appeal as "a question of great public importance."

Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justice Rick Polston, who frequently pair up in dissents, would have declined to take the matter up until after the lower court heard the appeal.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Sept. 5.

Anonymous said...


Will the distinguished commentators on the the lofty world of the Supreme Court yield briefly for a question and observation from a less lofty State Court journeyman?

Thank You Mr. Chairman

I have observed in recent days a mounting hysteria calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, a young man from Miami, temporarily living in Sanford Florida. As late as this evening,on the Tonight Show, an otherwise bright journalist/TV interviewer and reality(talent show) judge said he was shocked and appalled that Zimmerman was not arrested right then and there after the shooting and then a proper investigation could ensue.

Pardon my naitivity and call me crazy, I am only a 40 year Criminal Court functionary, but I always thought the idea was to investigate first before you made the crucial commitment to arrest and put a person in criminal jeopardy, not to mention starting that pesky "Speedy Trial clock".

Speaking of starting that "Speedy Trial Clock", doesn't that happen when a person is taken into custody or did I miss something.

In watching todays news programs
(translated:15 minutes of entertainment, 15 minutes of misinformation and then sports and weather,(usually accurately reported) on local and National TV, I saw video of a man coming out of a marked police car in the sallyport of a real live police station in Sanford, Florida. Coincidently that is where George Zimmerman lives. Whether that man in the video had observable injuries to his person is debatable. What seems without debate was that he was HANDCUFFED and remained so during the entire video of his emergence from the back seat of the police car to the interior of the station. Also without debate is that the HANDCUFFED man was and is GEORGE ZIMMERMAN.

Again, call me crazy, but GEORGE sure looked like he was, as they say at the MOTION to SUPRESS and/or DISMISS and/or (you fill in the blank) IN CUSTODY!!!!!
I think if you ask George Zimmerman today if HE thought he was in custody and not free to go He would say,(after consulting with his...( Wait a second, I went to those classes in law school where they talked about Constitutional law and speedy trial and all that other neat stuff)...Attorney,
"Damn right I was in custody, I can't believe they arrested me withought hearing my side of the story...I am asking my attorney to file a motion to dismiss/grant of immunity"

See you in Court.


Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I smell the phrase GEORGE ZIMMERMAN WAS,IN FACT, ARRESTED!!!!.

Better bring down a panel soon.

Oops !!!!!!!

Thank You Mister Chairman

Anonymous said...

screw being PC.
Call it as you see it.
We're so afraid of offending people that we've lost our ability to say what we really believe.

Anonymous said...

He wasn't under arrest... The handcuffs were on to help hold him upright so his broken nose wouldn't bleed anymore.

Anonymous said...

Custody. For purposes of this rule, a person is taken into custody (1) when the person is arrested as a result of the conduct or criminal episode that gave rise to the crime charged, or (2) when the person is served with a notice to appear in lieu of physical arrest.

Zimmerman was not arrested. He was taken into custody and released without arrest.

Anonymous said...

Hey Circle K - you are as out of business as the company whose name you have stolen. You obviously have the intelligence of the people who frequented those stores. How are things in the trailer park these days?

Obvioulsy you know a lot about Scalia's boogers since you are busy picking his nose.

Go eat some brocolli.


Anonymous said...

Guy Lewis=NOT Jewish!