Monday, October 01, 2007


Today is the first Monday in October, and you know what that means.

Well for President Bush Monday means fried chicken and mashed potatoes, but for the rest of the country who cares, the First Monday in October means the beginning of the new term for the Supreme Court.

The Robert’s court finds itself as the most divided court in history with four justices in the conservative bloc, 4 justices in the liberal bloc, and moderate conservative Anthony Kennedy in the unlikely position as the sole voice of what the law in America means.

One wonders what Roberts, with the most divisive supreme court term in history behind him, would say now about his confirmation testimony in which he said- with a straight face- that he had no ideological agenda to pursue and viewed his job as an umpire-“ just calling balls and strikes as I see em.”

Last term saw the Court eroding the rights defendants have under habeas corpus, and for the first time since Brown v. Board of Education, the court came down on the side of school segregation, ordering Seattle and Kentucky to stop their school integration program.

Roberts came to the job promising to bring consensus and trying to avoid divisive 5-4 opinions. He currently leads a court that has turned the formerly mild John Paul Stevens into the great dissenter.

The Court’s decision in Bowles v. Russell closing the courthouse doors to a prisoner, who following a federal judge’s instructions filed a notice of appeal on the 17th day after a decision, when the law only gave him 14 days, prompted this outburst from Justice Souter:“it is intolerable for the judicial system to treat people this way.” He added, “There is not even a technical justification for condoning this bait and switch.”

And this was Steven’s opening paragraph of his dissent in the desegregation cases:

There is a cruel irony in THE CHIEF JUSTICE’S reliance on our decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U. S. 294 (1955). The first sentence in the concluding paragraph of his opinion states: "Before Brown, schoolchildren were told where they could and could not go to school based on the color of their skin." Ante, at 40. This sentence reminds me of Anatole Frances observation: " [T]he majestic equality of the la[w], forbid[s] rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread." THE CHIEF JUSTICE fails to note that it was only black schoolchildren who were so ordered; indeed, the history books do not tell stories of white children struggling to attend black schools. In this and other ways, THE CHIEF JUSTICE rewrites the history of one of this Court's most important decisions.

We watch the opening of the new term with the suspicion that four ideologues have set out on a course to re-write many more of the Court’s most important decisions in a manner that fits into their philosophy. What they fail to recognize is that by ignoring the importance of precedence, they are turning the court into a political pendulum, and what they do now is destined to be un-done by the opposite political philosophy when the court, some time in the future, has a different majority with different beliefs. In the end it is the majesty of the law which suffers through the diminishment of legal rationale, replaced by partisan argument of ipse dixit reasoning.

The 11th Circuit Historical Society is at it again!!!!

You just can’t keep these wild guys quiet. Its party party party all the time. This time it is tomorrow, Tuesday October 2, 2007 at 6:30 PM., at their regular hangout at the Historical Museum across the street from the Civil Courthouse at 101 West Flagler Street. The topic tomorrow is the book written by retired Circuit Court Judge Seymour Gelber: "On Behalf of Children - A History of Judicial Activism in the Dade County Juvenile Court." Call 305.375.1619 or 305.375.1492 to RSVP with Judge Scott Silverman and his staff.

And finally, comes this lengthy email from Rick Freedman who tirelessly devotes his time to this court appointment mess:

Beginning Monday, October 1, 2007, there will be major changes taking place in the Court Appointed Counsel system.

The Offices of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel can begin operation on October 1, 2007. Our Regional Director, Joe George has not found office space, nor has he hired the approximately 48 employees (attorneys and staff) and therefore he will not be open for business on Monday (nor should he be, adds Rumpole. Ever.). That means the conflicts should continue to flow at the same rate until Mr. George opens his office. This could occur as late as December 31, 2007. (or perhaps the first of never. Rumpole)

Because of some quirky language in the bill, the AOC will still maintain the Registry and Judge Farina as the Chief Judge will still be responsible for overseeing the Registry. The Screening Committee will continue to function, with Gene Zenobi as Chair, and the Fee Review Committee will continue with David S. Markus as Chair. Having said that, the AOC will NOT be responsible for the distribution of the conflict cases. They have been doing this job effectively for the past 39 months. Now that responsibility shifts to the Clerk of the Court and Harvey Ruvin. (Rumpole says, oh this oughtta be good. Given their efficiency for losing files, lets see how quickly the clerks grind the court appointment system down to the efficiency of .....well.....the clerk's office. People will wait for months to get lawyers appointed, and while they're at it they should make the judges run up and down the hallways of the ninth floor the way we do to get files. I can see it now: "Dear Judge, in order to have the clerk appoint an attorney on your case, please go to the ninth floor, wait in the public line until you get to the window. Then the clerk will give you a number. Walk that number down to the attorney's room and wait for the clerk. That clerk will then call out numbers. When your number is called, you will be given a password. Then walk back to the original line, wait in line, and go to the window and give the clerk the password. The clerk should enter the password in the computer to give you a name, but in all likelihood, the clerk will tell you the system is down, and to come back in an hour. Hope this makes your court appointment experience an enjoyable one. Sincerely, Harvey Ruvin, clerk of the everlasting lines and circuit court."

On Monday, each in court Calendar Clerk will have software on their computers that will allow them to see the Registry and whose name is next on the appointment wheel. When a conflict is filed by the Public Defender's Office, the in court clerk will be directed by the Circuit Court Judge to assign the case to the next attorney on the list. The software has been tested to make sure that multiple court clerks operating in different courtrooms can pull this off all at the same time; (without the same attorney getting all the appointments).

Each Judge will determine the procedure for assigning the cases, with three possible alternatives: (Rumpole notes, just what our dear robed readers need, more decisions to complicate their lives and make them late for lunch at the club.)

1. The Calendar Clerk pulls up the next name and the attorney is immediately assigned to the case. The judge signs the appointment order and the appointment package is mailed to the attorney. If the attorney does not want the case, it becomes their responsibility to put it back on the calendar and WITHDRAW from the case.

2. The judge passes the case and asks his JA to attempt a phone call to the next name on the list. If the attorney is contacted, the JA can tell the judge the answer before the end of the calendar.

3. The judge indicates that the case will print out the next day and in the interim, the JA will contact the attorney that is next on the list to see if they want the case.

Therefore, if the Judge chooses option one, you will have NO choice, you will be appointed to the case. If you want out, you must affirmatively take action to do so. Email is also being considered as a way to communicate quickly that a case has been assign to you. Those in charge understand that this system is a work in progress and we expect there to be much change during the next three months.

Rumpole says, we will believe it when we see it.

See You In Court, not getting court appointments.


Anonymous said...

Hey Rump. A little historical perspective. The most divided supreme court in history? No way. If you mean that there are a lot of 5-4 opinions, that may be true but irrelevant. What you really mean is that the court is being divisive but again, it is not true. Want a divisive court whose opinions anger more than a sliver of the legal elite? Try the following;
1. Marbury v. Madison;
2. Dred Scott;
3. Plessy v. Ferguson;
4. FDR's court packing;
5. Brown v. Board of Education;
6. Miranda;
7. Roe v. Wade.
Issuing 5-4 opinions that 99% of people don't care about is one thing (which is what we have now) but issuing opinions, whatever the vote count, that divide the country bitterly is quite another. Remember, after Miranda, Gerald Ford tried to impeach William Douglas over it. And Ike send troops to Little Rock to enforce Brown. And Dred Scott? That only caused a civil war. There is a cure for myopia. It is called perspective and for historical perspective, go to the library (if they still exist these days) and read American history. And you will then see that the contretemps over the current court is nothing.

Anonymous said...

There is alot more than meets than eye-or, to put it another way, there's alot more than the lefty media tells you,Rumpole, about the Seattle school cases. Kids were being bused 2 fucking hrs each way!!!! That is nonsense. The SCT. got that exactly right!

Learn the facts of these cases before spouting about the mouth.

And anyway, you couldn't hold Judge Roberts' jock when it comes to intellectual prowess. Get real about yourself!

South Florida Lawyers said...

Anyone else think Justice Thomas on 60 Minutes last night looked a few fries shy of a Happy Meal?

Anonymous said...

You jerks should be helping to operate the ROC -- not sitting by laughing at the system being broken. You are part of the broken system you fools. Go out and try to make it better!

Anonymous said...

How do I apply for a job with the conflict office? How much are they paying attorneys?

Anonymous said...

enough of the bottom feeders stories. get some substance like the broward blog. and bring back the TRIALMASTER. he was right one in most of his comments.

Anonymous said...

In the school "integration" cases, the BLACK parents in Kentucky were just as upset - they bore the brunt of the scheme, and wanted their kids to go to their neighborhood schools instead of spending hours on a bus.

Stevens is a relic, and needs to retire.

Anonymous said...

The trialmaster was a buffoon,
leave him where he is.

Anonymous said...

Last week, the Captain wrote:

This past term, the court's first full one with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., the percentage of 5-to-4 decisions in which the four liberals (John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and David H. Souter) were together in dissent rose to 80 percent, up from 55 percent in the 2004 term.

Sounds pretty damn high to me.

Rumpole said...

Last week, in the probably 25 weeks I have picked game, including last season, was I believe my worst week. I am not sure I have ever had a losing week. That is a fairly astouding statement for someone who publicly picks games to say.

However, defeat is the best teacher, and some introspective analysis is in order.

What were my mistakes: 1) I abandoned my trends- Did not go with Arizona over Steelers, and KC over San Diego. 2) Without a strong feeling I felt pressure to do something and made way too many picks. I had no business calling The Dolphins a winner, and picked against too many home dogs- Buffalo and the Giants. The real plays were the Lions and Over, and Giants/Philly Under and should have left it at that with maybe the Jets/Bills under as well. I have learned from this mistakes and they will not happen again.

So- Avoid home dogs and never pick more than 4 games or props. To go 5-4 is a sure way to lose money.

Rumpole said...

That bubbling sound you heard was our favourite federal blogger Mr. Marcus sinking in the suicide pool with the Chargers going down to KC. Glub glub glub.

Rumpole said...

10:39- you're right. I could not hold Robert's jock. He doesn't wear one. Namby pamby pampered right wing ideologues don't play sports with men. They do stuff like lawn cricket or sailing. Tell him to try mixing it up with me under the boards sometime. Then we'll see who can wear a jock and who can hold it.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't be more perfect:

Hugh Rodham speaking at the Arnold Klein Democratic Club of Sunny Isles Beach

Event Location: Denny's (17550 COLLINS AVE.SUNNY ISLES BEACH)

Event Description:

The Arnold Klein Democratic Club of Sunny Isles Beach

hosts its next meeting on:

Monday October 8th . 7:00 PM.



Guest Speaker will be


Brother of Senator

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Refreshments will be served for all members. Non members $ 5.00. Reservations are a must.

Reservations will be accepted up until Friday October 5th 2007th .

For further information and reservations, please contact Robert Paget : 305-868-3858 - Email: manfilms@the-beach.net.

Anonymous said...

Huey and the Arney Klein Demo club in Sunny isles. Can anyone say Pastrami on Rye please, extra fatty?

Anonymous said...

Rumpy, here are the Town Blog Crier's headlines as we steam towards 6PM

1) Judge Adrien wrapping up arraignment calendar with all usual haste, speed, and efficiency.

2) Jimbo Best NOT in trial today.

3) Brit Spears loses kustody of kids to k-fed.

4) Supreme Court hears oral arguments in two cases and issues several decisions in less time than Adrien clears AC calendar.

Anonymous said...

AUSA Hugo Black III passed away this weekend. David Marcus is opening comments.

If you ever had the great opportunity to meet the man you came away with a clear understanding of what a true honorable man was.

Hugo will be greatly missed. RIP.

Anonymous said...

Rump, I just got home, read the blog, tuned into channel 7 and my worst fears are true- Britney has lost her kids to K-fed. I am just so distraught and upset about this. Can you use your influence and get the Q to help her out? She needs quality legal representation and she needed it yesterday. I just feel so upset about Britney. Can't everyone leave her alone?

Thanks for listening and thanks for your help. You are the best.

Anonymous said...

NEWEST rumor...Mercy Bach, aka Swartz, aka Skyler, leaving the bench? Anyone else hear it?

Anonymous said...

6:15 Ahhhhhh, Just just please leave Britney Alone! She's been through so much. Oh why can't you just leave Britney Alone.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, how would you feel about a registry of "fakes". I would run it and people would have to apply to post as a fake- like Fake Alschuler today, etc. With that jerk Real Fake Blecher gone, I'm feeling much more in control of things.

Anonymous said...

6:26- Mercy Mercy me.!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Don't do it Rump. He's always trying to be the boss of us. Don't let fake Blecher get away with it.

Anonymous said...

L&L twins strike again. Take down the DUI chief. True?

Anonymous said...

Too true. And I taught them everything they know. Very proud I am.

Anonymous said...

Bach is leaving the bench in February according to her baliff.


This is just too funny; if you haven't heard it before, take a moment and enjoy a good laugh:


Anonymous said...

Rumpole I am a bottom feeder and need help. I know the statute of limitations for Florida crimes but I can't seem to find a link or site for Federal crimes. Do you or any one know the statute of limitations for offenses other than Capital or Terrorist crimes in general terms?

Can you help me? Gosh its early!

Anonymous said...

5 years accepy for tax evasion which is 6 years

Anonymous said...

Mercedes is leaving in February?

When will she be Bach?

Thanks everyone, ill be here all week. Please tip the waitresses.

Anonymous said...

David O', I thought that tax evasion has no limitations.