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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

BETTER RED THAN DEAD

Congratulations to DOM, Peter Sauter and Juan Gonzalez as they all won a one week pass in the Survivor Pool. Well done gentlemen.

Tuesday is the investiture of Justice Robert Luck in Tallahassee. How long lived that appointment will be remains to be seen. The Eleventh in Atlanta beckons. 

Coming this Friday- the investiture of Judge Robert Watson at 73 West Flagler, 12:15 PM, courtroom 6-1. 

And now, a Constitutional Calendar authored by the indefatiguable Judge Hirsch, with special resonance for our troubled times: 


On September 25, 1950, Justice Robert Jackson, sitting as circuit justice for the Second Circuit, rendered his opinion in Williamson v. United States.  The issue was whether certain leaders of the Communist party, having been convicted of conspiring to advocate and teach the violent overthrow of the United States government, were entitled to a continuance of their bail pending the adjudication of their petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

In his opinion, Justice Jackson began by discussing the law of bail, and the propriety of consideration of future misconduct by a bail applicant.  He wrote about the protections of the First Amendment, particularly as applied to the defendants before him.  (“[T]he very essence of constitutional freedom of press and speech is to allow more liberty than the good citizen will take.  The test of its vitality is whether we will suffer and protect much that we think false, mischievous and bad, both in taste and intent.”)

But perhaps what is most noteworthy, and most instructive in our own times, is the language with which Justice Jackson concluded his opinion:

If, however, I were to be wrong on all of these abstract or theoretical matters of principle, there is a very practical aspect of this application which must not be overlooked or underestimated – that is the disastrous effect on the reputation of American justice if I should now send these men to jail and the full Court later decide that their conviction is invalid. All experience with litigation teaches that existence of a substantial question about a conviction implies a more than negligible risk of reversal.  Indeed this experience lies back of our rule permitting, and practice of allowing, bail where such questions exist, to avoid the hazard of unjustifiably imprisoning persons with consequent reproach to our system of justice.  If that is prudent judicial practice in the ordinary case, how much more important to avoid every chance of handing to the Communist world such an ideological weapon as it would have if this country should imprison this handful of Communist leaders on a conviction that our own highest Court would confess to be illegal. ... [T]he worst they can accomplish in the short time it will take to end the litigation is preferable to the possibility of national embarrassment from a celebrated case of unjustified imprisonment of Communist leaders.  Under no circumstances must we permit their symbolization of an evil force in the world to be hallowed and glorified by any semblance of martyrdom.


Coming next: Everything you need to know about Prorogue and why we know much more about it than you or anyone else you know. 

11 comments:

Real Fake Former Judge said...

F'in Weisman is too lazy to make a pick for the pass? WTF Rump??

Anonymous said...

Are any of my taxes being used to fund an investiture for a justice who is presumably leaving office by the end of the year? The GOP has a strange view of fiscal responsibility. Please cancel.

Jen from the Ren said...

He's a very busy trial lawyer dude, lighten up francis.

Anonymous said...

This one is better:

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/john-andre-executed

Anonymous said...

Juan Gonzalez was not within 99 yards. He guessed 460 and the total was 563.

Photograph said...

Today is the 46th Anniversary of Ringo's release of Photograph, a song he co-wrote with George Harrison. Click the link to listen/watch.

It also made me notice the photos of some Miami judges taking their paparazzi road show to. MZ ringmaster. Can't get enough of themselves. Am I right?

REAL FORMER JUDGE said...

Was ZILBER at the Supreme Court singing the National Anthem for Justice Luck?

Perfect pitch in D minor. Bravo. You Sir are next to fill his short lived seat. Yes? I’m off for dinner at GARY DANKO .....

Anonymous said...

I'm not dumb enough to not realize that judicial appointments are political, but who the hell is Robert Luck so connected to that he runs up the career ladder with this type of speed? He's 42 years old and has been a judge for 6 whole years. Those of us who have been around long enough know that political connections get you your appointment to one or two judicial positions. But this guy is lapping even the connected Republicans on the bench. Three years on the Circuit bench, twenty-one months on the Third DCA, and now eight months on the Florida Supreme Court. No Ivy League credentials. Was basically an AUSA for five years. Seems like the Republicans cant move him high enough or fast enough. It also seems strange.

Any other judges (Republican or Democrat) have this kind of meteoric ascent before?

Anonymous said...

AUSA, Federalist Society, many 11th Circuit connections, Moreno

earl rogers said...

Robert Luck used to clerk for Judge Carnes, who I believe is still the Chief Judge for the Eleventh Circuit. Considering the possible alternatives, Judge Luck is the best nominee we can hope for from President Dinosaur Brain.

Anonymous said...

The "best" nominee? That's ridiculous. What about the Hon. Cecilia Altonaga?