WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

WINNER WINNER

UPDATE: THIS DEBATE WAS NOT CLOSE

Your president kicked Joe Biden's ass. It was not close. Biden continually fumbled every time he tried to cite statistics. Trump stayed calm. He dodged his weakest point- his response to covid- Biden never attacked Trump on telling people it would magically disappear and masks were not effective. 

Trump attacked one of Biden's son's military service. Biden never said "well at least he served. And didn't dodge service because he had flat feet." Biden never said "what does that have to do with you and me?" Time and time again Biden had chances and never followed through. 

We got the distinct impression that the moderator Chris Wallace would have been a better debater of the president than Joe Biden was. 

Biden fans- be honest. He got beat. Trump prepared and was very well prepared. He faked Biden out saying he was not preparing. He was prepared. He was as presidential as he ever has been and he stayed in his lane . Trump was on point and was the clear winner. 

Check out our tweets on @justicebuilding on Twitter. 


IF YOU ARE FOLLOWING US ON TWITTER @justicebuilding then you know Trump is cleaning Biden's clock. It is not even close. 

UPDATE OK FANS WE ARE GOING TO LIVE TWEET THE DEBATE @JUSTICEBUILDING

Tune in for the witty comments you have come to expect and love 


It was on everyone's mind. You couldn't go to the water cooler without hearing it: Will the Tampa Bay Lightening bring home the Cup? Well Monday night your Tampa Bay Lightening WON the Stanley Cup! And Miami and Floridians took to the streets, dancing and chanting and celebrating this "Ray" of light in a difficult year. Congrats!

We gave you the MNF game. Chiefs over Ravens and it was EZ. But then, we are rarely wrong. 

Tonight the line is Biden +4 over Trump. It's difficult to give points when you are going up against the President who is a disruptive debater. But when you dive a bit deeper and realize that the matchup is a man well versed in politics and history who has successfully led  versus an ignorant buffoon who loses money every year in his business, it's not hard. Lay the four and take the Veep. We may...may...live blog the event and we might...might ...even reactivate our dormant twitter. Check back later for details. 

Gotta love our new SCOTUS nominee. ACB  belongs to a group that believes  women should defer to men. Talk about peace in the home! And with that belief, can we expect no dissents unless a female justice writes the decision? 

This is how you handle psychological pressure. 


Monday, September 28, 2020

REPENT

 We try and steer clear of religion and politics, but we note that starting Sunday night the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur began. It is a time of introspection and reflection in which those who follow the faith neither eat, nor drink, nor wash. Courts will be, to use a Yiddish word, Cerrado/cerrada. 

We feel close to our readers. There is no need for the formal Usted when cuando hablamos Espanol.  We think we can use the familiar Tu. No reason not to. There is a give and take among the readers and we post almost all the comments we receive and while families may disagree and fight from time to time, no need to be formal. Tu it is. 

It occurs to us that if ever there was a time to use the formal usted it would have been by Julius Caesar. If ever there was a time when tu was NOT appropriate, one would believe it was when Brutus took part in the plot to murder Caesar. "Et usted Brutus!" just sounds more appropriate  for the occasion then "et Tu Brutus." 

As the Captain reported, Florida moved to phase Three. Hurray! The virus is gone. No need to wear mask. Go jam into restaurants and crowded areas and don't wear no stupid commie mask and if, by chance you get sick, tell the doc it cannot be Covid 19 because Florida's know-all Governor declared Phase Three. 

Stay safe. And repent. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

NFL 2020 WEEK THREE

 In honor of our new Supreme Court Justice nominee Clement Furman Haynsworth, Jr.,   (little historical joke for ourselves- no one else reading this will get that) Amy Coney Barrett, we are going old school conservative with our picks today. Just TDs and D. No legislating or commenting beyond the actual teams. No liberal picks today. No sir. 

We are 9-2 for the season on picks (not total over/under). And we need to kick it up a bit

Cowpokes at Seahawks. Conservative ineptitude (pokes) vs. fundamental great offense (Hawks). Only danger here is a Seattle let down. We would stay away from this case if it was in Dallas. But at home Fly Hawks Fly. Seattle -4.5 and over 55. WIN

Lions at Cardinals.  Phoenix is rolling and Detroit is not. Phoenix has the edge at almost every position except maybe safety. Phoenix -5.5 to make it 3-0. BIG LOSS 

49'ers at Giants. What a nightmare. Don't legislate from the bench. Under 41. LOSS

Just for fun- ride the Bills until they give you a reason not to. Buffalo -2 over LA. Bot teams are 2-0 and it's time for the Bills offense to start clicking. WIN

Nothing other very interesting...lets see...oh yeah...if you are bored and do not have anything else to do Monday night after you break your fast, tune into the (yawn) KC Chiefs vs Baltimore Ravens slug fest. Ravens are the popular pick but we are sensing a let down from last year. Chiefs just refuse to lose, ala their last second win last week. Chiefs +3.5. May be the last time KC gets points all year.  

Survivor Pool: the consensus pick this week is Indy over the J...E...T....S... Jets Jets Jets. Your New York Jets are on the clock for the first pick in the 2021 NFL draft. 

Everybody who picked Barrett in the SCOTUS survivor pool is a winner. Lagoa pickers, wait until next year! 

Week Three by HR on Scribd

Friday, September 25, 2020

YOUR NEXT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE

UPDATE: Friday 6:45 pm both the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal are confirming what the greatest legal blogger in the universe told you this morning: ACB will replace RBG as President idiot Trump's SCOTUS nominee.  

President Trump will announce his next Supreme Court nominee this weekend and it will not be the just retired Judge Jerri Beth Cohen who was feted by her colleagues in a fun Zoom send off Thursday. Cohen came to the bench in a deep 1992 class that included David Young (1.0) and Caryn Schwartz. The zingers were apparently flying on Thursday and we wish Judge Cohen Au Revoir in a well earned retirement. 

The two leading contenders for the RBG spot on the Supreme Court are Miami and Hialeah's own Barbara Lagoa and Judge Amy Cohen Barrett who boasts a Judge Moreno-like Notre Dame resume  and currently serves on the 7th Circuit. 

The strengths of Judge Lagoa is that she would be a stealth nominee with her years on the 3rd DCA containing opinions on mortgage fraud and juvenile dependency issues. Hardly Roe v Wade worthy. 

Judge Cohen Barrett however boosts a deep conservative back ground as a member of a Catholic religious society; she once co-authored a law review article suggesting Catholic judges should recuse themselves from death penalty cases. The phrase you hear about Judge Cohen-Barrett is that she has been groomed for the Supreme Court since her first year in law school. With seven children she appeals to that working mother made good  storyline that the Republicans will trot out in support of her nomination. 

Judge Lagoa would rep the 305 and 786 nicely. But a little birdy whose work number starts with (202) 456-XXX0 whispered in our ear "It's  ACB  to replace RBG" and we are going with that prediction. 

Dark Horse no one is talking about: Pam Bondi. 

Just remember we told you first. 



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

PHASERS ON STUN

UPDATE: Dr. Fauci says Rumpole is right!

In a Facebook interview with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Dr. Fauci said this:

Another reason to wear a mask: "There's good enough data to say that aerosol transmission does occur," Fauci told Murphy, meaning the virus can hang around in the air "for a period of time," instead of falling to the ground in larger droplets.


UPDATES: We have two  three. First check our Judge Faber's hard-hitting response to our post in the comments section. And in response we link to this NY Times article about the politicization of the FDA approval process for a vaccine.  And 3rd a little birdy whispered to us the new Supreme Court nominee and she didn't use to work in Miami😢😢

Get out your face masks and face shields and get ready for phase two boys and girls. 

First, an obligatory comment praising our administrative judges. They are working hard on trying to get back to normal. They have guidelines issued by the Florida Supreme Court that they have to follow. The pressure is on and they are doing their best. Phase two does not mean the regular resumption of in person court calendars. But it does bring more people into the courthouse. 

Now our piece. THIS IS MADNESS!!  Jury trials (limited) will resume. Who wants to get Covid and die trying a case?  Step right up and enter the REGJB where the windows do not open and there is no fresh air and the AC is one step up from fans blowing on blocks of ice. 

IT IS NOT SAFE TO BE INSIDE A PUBLIC BUILDING. Rinse and repeat. Covid is spread by aerosols, tiny particles that N95 masks do not block and which linger in the air for 6-8 hours. One person in an elevator at a time? Nonsense and not safe unless there is an advanced HEPPA air filter and the interior is sprayed with Lysol after every trip. Use the escalator? Imagine a stream of colored air coming from each person you are behind much like the contrails of a jet. That is their exhaled aerosols you are breathing that will infect and kill you. Walk crowded stairwells with out of shape lawyers huffing and puffing out virus droplets? No thanks. So how do we get around the building safely? We don't. There is no way. 

Temperature check before entering? 

  HEALTH SCREENING REQUIRED, INCLUDING TEMPERATURE CHECK

-          Court security staff will conduct a health screening, including questions about symptoms and a required temperature check, to ensure that no one enters the courthouse when there is a likelihood that they have COVID-19. Persons who have a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater or who answer “yes” to two or more of the symptom questions shall not be allowed to enter the courthouse, and the presiding judge will be notified.

-          If an individual declines the health screening, they will not be allowed into the courthouse and the presiding judge will be notified.


COVID IS SPREAD BY ASYMPTOMATIC PEOPLE.  Temperature checks do not work with asymptomatic people. They have no symptoms like a temperature and they spread the virus. That is the difference between Covid and SARS. SARS is spread by only symptomatic people. That is why SARS killed 800 people worldwide and Covid has killed over 200 thousand Americans. 

N95 Face masks stop 95% of airborne particles. First- that white and blue mask everyone wears is not an N95 mask. Second, are you happy breathing in 5% of the air from a Covid positive person? We are not. And yet the memo says this: 

Ø  FACE MASKS REQUIRED

-          Face masks shall be worn at all times, including during court proceedings, while on court premises. If someone does not have a face mask, courthouse security staff will provide one.

-          If an individual declines to wear a mask, they will not be allowed into the courthouse and the presiding judge will be notified.


Six foot distancing being safe is a myth according to MIT and Oxford. We understand it's not  Hialeah Hospital giving this opinion, but MIT and Oxford seem to know what they are doing. 

Yet the memo says this:

Ø  SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIRED

-          Persons must maintain 6 feet of social distancing from each other while waiting to enter the courthouse and during their stay in the courthouse. Markers on the floor throughout the courthouse will assist visitors with maintaining 6 feet of social distancing.

Six foot distances being called safe, inside a building with no open windows is not just a myth- it may be manslaughter. It is reckless and dangerous behavior and mark our words- someone is going to get sick and die for something preventable. 

Set up a courtroom in Marlin's stadium. Seriously. With a breeze and fresh air and masks AND face shields with everyone miked up, a trial could be safely done. Bringing people inside a building built in 1960 that has dirty air and no open windows is beyond reckless. 

And yet, according to the memo that is just what they are going to do: 

 

The courts will transition to Phase 2 COVID-19 emergency operations on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. A description of Phase 2 operations is listed below.

During Phase 2, the courts will remain closed to in-person proceedings, with exceptions, in order to reduce person-to-person contact and potential transmission of coronavirus disease COVID-19. Court proceedings that can take place remotely via telephone or video technology will continue to take place. Trials will resume in limited number following strict adherence to health and safety protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health authorities. A video explaining the steps the Miami-Dade Courts are taking to keep all trial participants safe may be found

TRIALS

Trials will resume with in-person jury selection and in-person trial proceedings following strict safety protocols established by the CDC and other health experts with whom the Miami-Dade Courts consult regularly.

Due to the space limitations of our courthouses and the social distancing and other safety protocols required during the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be fewer trials conducted than in the past. In order to ensure social distancing and keep the number of people inside our courthouses to a minimum, only the trial participants will be permitted to enter the courthouses.

 

THIS IS MADNESS. We cannot bring people together inside our aging courthouses unless either : 1- there is daily at home inexpensive test. Take the test. Transmit the result to an app, scan the app for entrance into court, restaurants, Dolphin games, bars; and/or 2- there is an effective vaccine. Your own Rumpole is enrolled in a Vaccine study. We will be inoculated shortly. 

But in case we have not been clear lets make sure we are not being misread: It is not safe to go to phase two and bring people into the courthouse for any reason, especially trials. 

Phase two does not mean the end of Zoom hearings. We get that. But that is next up. And right now the Judges are going  to start trials on a limited basis. Why? Just to do it? The risks outweigh the rewards. We have judges in the REJGB who had Covid. Everyone now knows someone who has been sick or who has died from Covid.  What we do not want to happen- and what will occur- is that some healthy person right now- a courtroom clerk, a court reporter; a juror; a witness; a judge or some young ASA or PD will get sick and die. No one wants that happen. Phase two is judge a meaningless phase. When a sick person goes to the hospital and they suspect Covid is the person going to say "I can't have Covid- we are in phase two." ? No, but they may die. 

Stop the madness before it starts. Keep courts closed except for virtual hearings. 


Monday, September 21, 2020

MOSS v. RUMPOLE

 A few posts ago we complained about the politicization of sports. To be fair we have always complained about the jingoism of the NFL and owners turning a game into a forced patriotic moment where there are military jet flyovers and at halftime some poor Gunny Sergeant back from Afghanistan with half his face shot off is reunited with his family. Of course if NFL owners really cared about vets they would give them jobs and set aside a few hundred seats in the lower bowl at the 40-50 yard line and treat military members and their families to a game. But that would cost the owners money. So we have always seen the hypocrisy in the fake patriotic displays especially when most owners did not serve.  

As the nation erupted in flame and violence this spring over racial inequality players began speaking out. The NFL jumped in again with a fake display of solidarity by playing "Lift every voice and sing" but as we reported the Dolphins called them out on that hypocrisy and refused as a team to take the field during the anthems. 

But we also criticized the  players  saying we were paying to watch a game and didn't want to be lectured by players whose own moral backgrounds could be shady. 

Enter Tony Moss who called us to task with this comment: 

Anonymous Tony Moss said...

That's exactly what people like you once said about people like Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, and others who sacrificed in support of a greater cause than scoring buckets or touchdowns. How does history regard those men now? And you have the audacity to suggest that this tradition of Black athletes reaching beyond the gridiron or the court is "forcing" adverse views upon you? After all the adverse views and images that have been scarred into our collective psyche?

And in case you didn't consider it: perhaps that "350-pound Okie" you refer to just might have a thought or perspective on the country he's living in that merits consideration by the rest of us. How condescending of you.

Saturday, September 19, 2020 3:41:00 PM

 Delete

And the thing is...he was 100% correct. Ali was an idol of ours. We remember being a child but old enough to understand the social unrest and battle for civil rights at the time and seeing Smith and Carlos hold up their fists, and being inspired. They truly fought the power. It was a great and courageous act that became an iconic moment. 

We remember the adults we knew who hated Ali. They often not only wanted to see him beat but it was common to hear otherwise normal adults say that they wanted someone to "shut that nigger's mouth" and we use the actual word because we heard the phrase a lot and it made us love Ali even more. He stood up to hate. He stood up the the US government. He said no to war, One exact quote was that no Vietnamese person ever called him a nigger- He asked why he should go fight them? And he was right. He caused us to question the values of the adults we knew and the values of our president and our country. 

So what's the difference now? How could we idolize Smith and Carlos and Ali and Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russel and get angry now when some athlete makes a statement about the current problems in the country? 

Well once we read the stinging and 100% correct rebuke from Tony Moss we spent some time meditating on this. It is not often we are so devastatingly taken down by logic that we cannot refute. 

And to our great discomfort we came to the realization that it was age. We have grown old and closed minded. Oh does that hurt!  As a child Ali and Smith and Carlos and the other athletes were the adults -at least to us they were.  Now in our 50s we look at these 22-30 year olds as know-nothing kids. And yet it was the loud-mouthed kids like Ali and Smith and Carlos  who refused to shut up and changed the world. 

There is more here. More to think about and more to analyze. The athletes who speak out now are of a different generation. They didn't grow up with the overt racism of the "no blacks and jews " signs that littered the landscape of our youth. But they experienced the more insidious racism of economic subjugation.  They could eat wherever they wanted but their mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters didn't have the chance to earn a living to give them money to eat at the restaurant that would serve them. The door was closed -just another way and we have not been sensitive to that. When the "no blacks" signs came down we thought the struggle was won. And we were wrong. And these athletes are saying that and lest we become an old and bitter closed-minded man,  we need to listen to their voices. 

We recall that when Dr. King was killed in Memphis he was there to support a sanitation worker's strike. It was not a black issue. It was an economic issue because as 1968 got under way Dr.  King knew the real struggle was economic equality. But he was struck down before he could make a difference. 

So as our hero Winston Churchill was wont to say- those who do not change their minds do not change anything. We give round one to Tony Moss. It was not even close. We blew it. He kicked our butt with irrefutable logic and opened closed eyes. 

And for that we thank him for continuing to fight the good fight. 



Sunday, September 20, 2020

NFL 2020 WEEK TWO

UPDATE: 4-2 on picks - 9-2 on the season for picks (not over under)  

Headlines from the survivor pool last week saw lots of long time and great players like former Judge Colby, Memnon, and Judge Faber all falling to the first week jinx. We learned a long time ago- pick a favoutite in week one and then move on.

Last week out picks went 5-0 but no surprise there. This week we find these games worth a few bucks:

Falcons at Cowpokes. Both teams lost last week. We take the Pokes -4 to get the running game going. This is the highest total on the board. 52.5. Take the under. (loss and loss- Pokes won last minute.  

Bills at Fins. The Dolphins will bounce back, but we like the Bills. For them this is a must win division game if they are to be serious. Bills -4.5 (Loss- damn Fins last minute score). 

Lions at Pack. Best bet of the day. Go PACK!. Green Bay -6 at home. EZ.  (Win- finally)

Late games to get even- 

Ravens -7 over Texans  (win)

Cards over the Washington Football Team (how dumb is that name) -6.5 *WIN*

Seahawks over Cheaters Sunday night -3.5. *WIN*

Survivor pool up shortly. Get your picks in. 


week two by HR on Scribd

  
Covid 19- late pick Seahawks  

COMING MONDAY: The legendary litigator and REGJB irregular Tony Moss took Rumpole to task for a recent post. Who won the exchange? The results may surprise you.  Only on the best Covid-legal blog around. Monday. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

RBG HAS DIED

 SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG HAS DIED. 

THIS HAS ENORMOUS IMPLICATIONS. 

MORE LATER 

UPDATE:

Who says the almighty doesn't have a sense of humor? 

Could you have created a more Hollywood script then the blocking of Judge Merrick Garland in the last months of the Obama  Administration only to have RBG die in the last months of the first term of the Trump Presidency? 

Here is what we know: The Republicans drew a bright line in the sand when they blocked Judge Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court. They do not believe Supreme Court Judges should be approved when there is a pending presidential election....unless the Judge who dies was appointed by a Democrat AND there is a Republican president. THEN the analysis is that you cannot have a 4-4 court heading into an election that could be contested. Under those circumstances the Republican President should nominate a replacement and the senate should quickly confirm him or her. Anyone have Judge Francis's phone number? Barbara Lagoa is brushing off her financial disclosure forms. 

The Democrats know that they cannot stop a nominee being appointed in the face of a united Republican front. Senator Lindsey Graham (Rep. Kiss ass) is denying the video recording of him saying during the Garland fiasco four years ago that he would never approve a republican nominee in similar circumstances in the next administration. 

There are mumblings that the Constitution does not set the number of Judges required for the Supreme Court. They could pack the Court in the Biden administration- appointing three or four judges to tilt the balance of the Court. Query- where would the new justices sit? Would they put up a tent in the back with AC for their chambers? Would they have to build an annex? 

There are even more rough times ahead for our struggling democracy. This we are sure of. Many scenarios show that president Trump could win the popular vote on election day only to lose valuable states needed for an electoral college win when the mail-in votes are counted. That could send the Trump supporters (a/k/a white supremacists) into the streets. If you think we had social unrest before when a bunch of aging out of shape white lawyers were marching and shouting "black lives matter" wait until these jack-booted paramilitary thugs take to the streets at the urging of the president on Twitter. 

Yes dear readers, the almighty has a sense of humor. Our democracy is going to be tested like never before. And personally, we put the odds at 50/50 we survive. No guarantees here. 

Stay safe. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

RAGE AND CHAOS

 A few random thoughts heading into the weekend, starting with the new Bob Woodward book Rage. 

The hero of Rage, the account of the Trump Administration that starts with the beginning of Trump's term is retired General Jim "Chaos" Mattis. "Maddog" was a media nickname that Trump seized on that appealed to him. Chaos was his military call sign because of the chaos his unconventional ideas created on the battlefield for the enemy. 

Rather than being some uncontrolled military maddog. Mattis comes off as the only adult in the room. Well read, historically knowledgeable, Mattis spent a considerable amount of time trying to educate the ignorant and undisciplined commander in chief of the value of alliances. Along the way, as Trump and North Korea brought the world to the edge of a nuclear conflict,  Mattis began to contemplate the unthinkable- recommending  a nuclear response to North Korea's bellicose use of ICBMs - some of which had the potential to strike deep into the United States.  A work group was formed that met electronically whenever any North Korean missile launch was detected.  Mattis had a second car follow him wherever he was. The car didn't carry security personnel. Rather the car carried the equipment necessary for him to join the meeting when a missile was launched. When in DC he slept in gym clothes so he didn't have to dress if he had to rush to the Pentagon and he had a blinking light installed in his bathroom in case there was a missile  launch when he was in the shower. When a launch was detected Mattis led the group that had to decide what the trajectory was; whether the US was threatened; whether the missile had a warhead on it and whether Mattis should order the launch of missile interceptors and alert the president about whether a nuclear response was needed.  Mattis didn't sleep much. 

Here is a quote from what Mattis thought about Trump's public criticism of America's foreign alliances. America needed allies: "It was inexplicable to think otherwise. It was indefensible. It was jingoism. It was a misguided form of nationalism It was not patriotism.

The second hero from the book- another adult in the room- was Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson, who comes off more seasoned and prepared for the job than the media portrayed. When both were announced as nominees Tillerson invited Mattis to dinner where Mattis proposed a collaboration. Tillerson would be out front on foreign policy and Mattis would have his back. He would stay in the shadows as he revamped the military but always be ready to back up Tillerson with the might of America's armed forces if needed. Neither of them contemplated what would undo both of them- a president who tried to run world affairs through Twitter. 

OTHER THOUGHTS

We have in the past criticized the NFL for it's jingoistic approach to nationalism. Football games did not need to start with jet fighter flyovers and ultrapatriotic displays. Real patriotism was not something that was worn on a sleeve. In the same way that we view real charity- it is best done anonymously so the act is real and not done for any other purpose like publicity.  We recently learned that the US armed forces paid for those NFL pre-game demonstrations. 

Now things are worse. We have two anthems when we should have none. We have more displays about a player's personal views of society when none of that matters or should matter. Of course during times of crisis, a show of national unity- like what occurred after the assassination of JFK or after 9-11 is appropriate. But we should not be subjected to how some player, who most likely did not graduate college and perhaps in their private life cheats on his family- feels about racism or socio-economic issues. They have every right to express themselves on social media. We do not appreciate their views being forced on us. And when we say "their views" we mean the views of the owners, the players, the coaches, the trainers, whomever. We call for the end of both anthems at the start of every sports game. Most fans are standing around chatting, sipping their beer, and otherwise ignoring the anthem anyway.  The Miami Dolphins had it right last week when they called the NFL's show of concern for racial unrest in the US as fake. The Dolphins refused to participate- unfortunately that carried over to their offense during the game. 

There is still chatter of judges trying to start jury trials before it is safe to do so. We do not confine our remarks to Miami. This includes areas of Florida where judges had to be threatened by CJ Canady to wear a mask in court or he would personally file a JQC complaint. The same counties where sheriffs refused to enforce mask requirements and made statements that Covid was fake news.  It is those counties where lawyers will be forced into court and risk their lives to try a DUI or resisting without violence case and we will be watching, ready to pounce- blog wise. 


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

FACDL AND DE LA O SQUARE OFF OVER PVHS

 There are Judges who approach the REGJB pantheon of greatness. Judge Ed Cowart is the standard by which all REGJB judges are measured. In more recent times Judge Murphy was a favourite of both the state and defense for the way he ran his courtroom and his well reasoned and fair decisions. The same can be said for Judge Miguel De La O. He works hard at his job. Other judges have been known to commit felonious acts to get a copy of his well regarded case law email updates.  And now Judge De La O finds himself at the center of a standoff between the criminal defense bar, which does NOT want to proceed via ZOOM for probation violation hearings, and Judge De La O, who reads into the Supreme Court's Administrative Orders on proceeding electronically nothing- nada-zilch- zero- reasons preventing a PVH taking place via zoom. Although he didn't say it, defense attorneys want their cake (bond hearings via zoom) and to eat it as well (no PVHs via Zoom). Can't we all just get along? 

Apparently not.  If you should find yourself awake in the wee hours of any morning, unable to sleep, take a gander at the below litigation: The FACDL's motion, and Judge De La O's DENIED order. Because he is a good judge, De La O has rescheduled the hearing giving time for the defense and FACDL to take a writ to the Third.  No fear of appellate review is he.  As the old joke goes: "How do you get to the 3rd DCA? Lose a motion and take a writ." Ba dum dum. 

Here are the motion and order. The warning label states to not drive or operate large machinery after reading the motion and order. 


Zoom Hearing Objection Clarington w Facdl (1) by HR on Scribd

 
If you are still awake, here is the order.

Order Overruling Objection to Zoom Probation Violation Hearing (1) by HR on Scribd

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

WHY PHASE TWO DOES NOT MATTER

 As a young man returning from Vietnam, John Kerry appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1975 and famously said "how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam?"

We pose this questions to the Chief Judges of Florida: "How do you ask a lawyer or juror or trial judge or clerk to die for a trial?"

Because "Phase Two" is just a phrase that is meaningless in a pandemic. The so called "good news" coming from Judicial Circuits and Counties across Florida is that various counties are entering Phase Two is nothing but an artificially created term.  For Courts, Phase Two is defined as 

No confirmed or suspected cases of COVID‐19 in the court facility within a 14‐day  period; or if confirmed or suspected cases have occurred in the court facility, deep  cleaning and disinfecting of exposed areas and applicable employee self‐quarantine  actions have been implemented.  2. Rescission of local and state restrictive movement and/or stay‐at‐home orders. 3. Improving COVID‐19 health conditions over a 14‐day period in the community,  including conditions such as the number of confirmed COVID‐19 cases and related  deaths in relation to a community’s population density, downward trajectory of  positive tests as a percent of total tests, size of particularly vulnerable populations,  and availability of medical facilities including emergency and intensive care capacity.  4. Adequate testing programs in place, increased availability of COVID‐19 tests, and  emerging antibody testing. 

Here is the problem: On September 11, 2020 Florida registered 3,650 cases. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. One statistic is that the number on 9/11 is a 66% reduction from the high point of infections. But the other way of looking at it is that 3,650 souls on ONE DAY got infected with a disease which can and will kill some of them. And a similar amount were infected the day before and a similar amount will be infected the day after. By the time you read this, more than 10,000 Floridians will be newly infected with Covid-19. Yipee! The numbers are falling- except tens of thousands of people are still being infected every week. These are not the conditions under which it is safe to bring people back into aging Courthouses. Does anyone realize YOU CANNOT OPEN A WINDOW IN THE REGJB OR FAMILY COURT OR JUVENILE COURT? 

Feel like picking six? 

Full disclosure: Judge Soto has repeatedly made it clear that Miami will move very slowly and the announcement of phase two does not equal restarting the jury trial engine. Good for her. But this post is not aimed at just Miami-Dade, although Mr. Markus reported on his blog Tuesday that Judge Moore is sniffing around re-starting Federal Court sooner than January 2021. Nothing in this post is meant to imply criticism of the Miami -Dade State court Judges making this decision. This is a critique of Phase Two- it is meaningless. 

THE VIRUS IS SPREAD BY AEROSOLS: 

The CDC and WHO are resisting what science is telling the world- that the virus is spread by aerosols. Which means 1) Deep cleaning is mostly meaningless. The CDC now recognizes that "fomite transmission" (contact with objects) of Covid-19 is rare. A study of handwashing in England showed a slight decrease in infections; 2) Six feet separation as a safety measure is a fraud.  Six foot separation protects from droplet infection which occurs only when someone coughs or sneezes. No coughing or sneezing makes 6 foot separation meaningless. 

What the CDC and WHO do not want to acknowledge is that Covid-19 is spread by aerosols, not droplets. Aerosols are much smaller than droplets. Whereas gravity affects a droplet (like a cough or a sneeze) and brings it to the ground within moments, an aerosol containing Covid-19 can linger in the air for up to eight hours. 

To understand the scale of aerosols, the diameter of a human hair is about 80 microns, and aerosols smaller than about 50 microns can float in the air long enough to be inhaled. SARS-CoV-2 is only 0.1 microns in diameter, so there is room for plenty of viruses in aerosols.

Imagine a building full of hundreds of people exhaling aerosols smaller than what a mask can trap. How do you get around? It doesn't matter if you only allow one person in an elevator at a time- the aerosols from the last dozen people are in the air. Who wants to sit in a courtroom with 30, 40, 50 members of venire breathing out aerosols that can kill you? It only takes one asymptomatic person to infect a room. 

ER Doctor: I am sorry to tell you that you have Covid-19 and we have to put you on a ventilator.

Lawyer: Cough...cough...please...cough...run another...cough cough ....test. I cannot be ....positive...cough....I was only ....cough...in Court....cough cough cough...after they declared....cough cough ....phase two. How....cough cough...can I have gotten .....cough cough ...sick? 

One need only look at what is happening on college campuses across the country to understand that the simple fact of this disease is that it infects people when they are brought together and social distancing and handwashing and deep cleaning does  not stop transmission of infections. 

And one thing we know for sure is that Covid-19 cares not that a Chief Judge in Podunk County declares Phase Two for the County. 

What aerosol infections mean is that Phase two is meaningless. It is simply NOT SAFE to be inside around people who are breathing. If your judge promises to hold their breath during the hearing, then maybe. But otherwise, as difficult as this is for the Court System of Florida, it is not safe to hold in person hearings and trials until there is quick testing (five minutes or less) AND a safe an effective vaccine. Under those circumstances, a person seeking to enter a courthouse needs to take a five minute test and have been vaccinated. 

Only then will it be safe for people to appear in court. 

Until then, who wants to die for a jury trial? 

Monday, September 14, 2020

GOV. DESANTIS TO NAME (maybe) NEWEST FLA. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE .......


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

GOVERNOR NAMES JUDGE JAMIE GROSSHANS

Grosshans serves as a judge on the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach. She was an assistant state attorney in Orlando before going into private practice and then becoming a judge. In private practice she specialized in family law, including divorce, custody cases, and adoptions. She got her law degree from the University of Mississippi. She is a member of the Federalist Society.

Grosshans has been a member of The Florida Bar for less than 14 years. She began her legal career as an ASA in Orange County where she worked for one year. She spent nearly ten years in private practice running her own law firm which specialized in family law and criminal defense. She was appointed to the County Court bench in 2017 at the age of 38 by then Governor Rick Scott.  In 2018, Scott elevated Judge Grosshans to the 5th DCA. So, in just three years, Judge Grosshans has risen from the County Court bench all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.
=============================================


TAKE YOUR WRIT OF MANDAMUS AND SHOVE IT WHERE .....


Well, that’s not an exact quote from the esteemed Harvard educated, Trump-loving, Governor DeSantis, but it might as well have been.

BREAKING UPDATE:

The Florida Supreme Court has now officially entered their WRIT OF MANDAMUS ORDERING THE GOVERNOR TO MAKE THE APPOINTMENT BY FIVE PM. The ORDER can be found here.

FURTHER BREAKING NEWS:

At 5 PM today, Governor DeSantis will hold a press conference in Tallahassee where he is expected to name our next justice.

To recap:

In November of 2019, Florida Supreme Court Justices Robert Luck and Barbara Lagoa both resigned and accepted appointments to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. In December of 2019. the Florida Supreme Court JNC, they of the "if you are not a member of the Federalist Society" don’t bother to apply group, interviewed 32 candidates for the two open seats on the Supreme Court of Florida. Those candidates included several "qualified" persons of color including our own Judge William Thomas and Judge Daryl Trawick of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.

On January 23, 2020, the JNC sent nine names to the Governor, only one of which was someone of color, and that person, Judge Renatha Thomas, was NOT qualified to sit on the Supreme Court of Florida.

Under the Florida Constitution, the words state that the Governor shall appoint a judge from the nominating list within 60 days of receiving the names. Well, Ron "call me the textual" Governor DeSantis, ignored the text of the Constitution and blew the March 23, 2020 deadline.

Finally, more than two months after the March 23 constitutionally prescribed (in words actually written in the Florida Constitution) deadline, the Governor "appointed" two replacements, John Couriel and Renatha Francis.

Of course, at the time of her "appointment", on May 26, 2020, Judge Francis was NOT qualified to serve by virtue of her not being a member of the Florida Bar for at least ten years. This requirement also appears, in words actually written, in the Florida Constitution.

In stepped elected Democratic state Rep. Geraldine Thompson from Windermere who filed suit in the Florida Supreme Court asking them to rule that Francis cannot sit on the court because she was not "qualified". After a hiccup in that lawsuit when Thompson had to file an Amended Complaint, the High Court finally ruled in Thompson’s favor. Five justices stated (Couriel did not participate in the decision) in a unanimous opinion that:

"The constitution’s 10-year Bar membership requirement and 60-day appointment deadline are bright-line textual mandates that impose rules rather than standards and prioritize certainty over discretion," the justices wrote. They continued: "To some, enforcing rules like these might seem needlessly formalistic when the result is to preclude the appointment of an otherwise qualified candidate. But "formalism," as Justice Scalia observed, "is what makes a government a government of laws and not of men."

They ordered DeSantis to name a justice from the list of seven remaining nominees by NOON today. Well, guess what, the Governor blew that deadline too.

In a comedy sketch right out of Saturday Night Live, the Governor’s legal team attempted to defend the "appointment" of Francis, by arguing that she was not actually appointed on May 26th, but instead, the Governor was only making an "announcement". The Court mentioned that that argument was ludicrous and pointed to the Governor’s previous pleadings where they stated that she was "appointed" and even his Press Release which stated:

May 26, 2020 Press release from Governor DeSantis:

"Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Judge Renatha Francis to the Florida Supreme Court. Francis’ appointment fills the vacancy of former Florida Supreme Court Justice Robert Luck, who now serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit after being appointed by President Donald Trump."

So, what has the Governor done so far, instead of naming a replacement for Judge Luck.

DeSantis took his show to the road, and last Wednesday, in Miramar, he stood on the stage with several elected black mayors (all Democrats) and excoriated the Florida Supreme Court for denying the citizens of Florida the chance for him to make history by appointing a Jamaican black female to the high court. In what can only be described as out of this world, Judge/Justice/Judge Francis not only appeared on the stage, but she spoke at the rally. (There must be a few Judicial Canons against that activity).
 
YOUR NEWEST FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, MAY OR MAY NOT BE NAMED AT SOME POINT TODAY .....

..... From the list of seven nominees remaining.

The remaining nominees are:

Judge Jonathan Gerber (Fourth District Court of Appeal)

Judge Jamie Grosshans (Fifth District Court of Appeal)

Judge Norma Lindsey (Third District Court of Appeal)

Judge Timothy Osterhaus (First District Court of Appeal)

Eliot Pedrosa (executive director, InterAmerican Development Bank)

Judge Lori Rowe (First District Court of Appeal)

Judge Meredith Sasso (Fifth District Court of Appeal)
 

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com





RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT UPDATE: High noon has come and gone and no new Justice for the Tallahassee Eight. So Our own Captain called the Governor and his press office said this:

“Governor DeSantis will be making an announcement about Judge Renatha Francis and the future of the Florida Supreme Court today” 

Booyah! 


As the song goes, "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down." Add to that a pandemic, a large part of the American West going up in flames, and multiple active tropical systems in the North Atlantic and Caribbean Seas.  If you are looking for a cheer-me-up- click on over to Mr. Markus's blog where perhaps they are discussing Judge Lagoa's chance to be the only judge to actively serve simultaneously as a a Justice on the Florida and US Supreme Courts. 

PANDEMIC NEWS:

Israel has so mishandled the pandemic that it is now going back to a full-shutdown as orthodox religious groups who have stores that do big business in the run-up to the high-holiday season threaten to ignore the government's order. In other words- civil unrest. 

Florida races to phase two openings in counties and court systems. We will have more to say in a later post this week on why pandemics, like recalcitrant two-year-olds, ignore rules. Suffice to say that when over 3,000 Floridians a day are still getting infected is no time to open bars and indoor dinning-even at 50% capacity. 

GLOBAL WARMING IS A FRAUD

The best way to deal with science that you do not like is to ignore it. The US has shown that over the last twenty years. Remember the applause and wild ecstasy the phrase "drill baby drill" caused ten years ago? Recall the current administration's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement was nothing more than a European plan to thwart American Exceptionalism. Americans - unlike any other people on earth- were given by the God himself the right to drive large pick-up trucks and SUVs. God ordained the burning of coal, otherwise he wouldn't have put so much of it in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Right? 

There is nothing more American than getting out of a coal mine shift, driving to 7-11 for a big gulp of diet soda before heading home to eat some fried chicken and watch football on Saturday and Sunday. This is what allowed our boys to storm the beaches of Normandy in June 1944. It wasn't some silly European concept like science or education. Such things did not allow Dr. Salk to invent the polio vaccine. It was big cars, big soda, big servings of greasy food and Football. Baseball. Hot dogs. Apple Pie and Chevrolet. 

And now we are paying the price for ignoring science as people in San Francisco awake to dystopian scenes of orange days. Fires surround Portland, Oregon. Thousands of people have lost their homes. Hundreds are dead. Has any one considered whether the farms of  California can continue to feed the country? Whether the fires have so upset the ecological balance of bees, birds, rain, sun, trees and soil that once the dust clears the farms will no longer produce food?  "Drill baby drill". 

This, dear readers, is fake news: 


So is this:


The Paris Climate accord will not stop this. Global warming did not cause this. We did not drill enough. Because Americans are exceptional, right? Science does not apply to us. Education at liberal colleges is part of the deep state that causes these problems. 

Covid-19 isn't a pandemic. It is nothing to be afraid of. It will "disappear like a miracle" because there is no reason to listen to doctors and scientists who trained their whole lives for this event. Science and technology did not allow the United States to be the only country to land a man on the moon. American exceptionalism did. The belief that we are better and different and entitled because our fathers and grandfathers and great grand fathers bravely fought at places like Belleau Wood, The Ardennes Forrest, The Chosin reservoir, and Khe Sanh. The fact that Buzz Aldrin had -in 1963 while a major in the US Air Force- earned a doctorate from MIT in Orbital Mechanics for his thesis on "line of sight guidance for manned orbital rendezvous"  had nothing to do with the success of the first moon landing. Right? 

Of course we are being sarcastic. We are paying the price and will continue to pay the price for ignoring science. But what is even worse is the 35-40% of Americans who believe what we wrote. That Harvard, and MIT and the University of Chicago and Stanford are not the backbones of a great University system whose leaders can help cool the planet and find a vaccine for Covid-19. That Americans do not succeed because we are innovative and educated. That Americans succeed because they are simply entitled to succeed because of some brave act our ancestors performed on foreign battlefields 60, 80, or a hundred years ago (do any of our readers even understand what occurred at Belleau Wood? Did anyone bother to talk to Sy Gaer about the fighting at the Chosin Reservoir? Much the shame for that.)

We should be rightfully proud of what our soldiers did in the wars we allude to. But the fallacy in the American Exceptionalism /Greatest Generation argument that those who hate scientists and doctors miss, is that the boys who picked up a rifle and held a line in a Belgium Forrest  or Korea or stormed a French Beach did so because they believed that they were preserving a country that promised a better life to their children through freedom, science and education- the very values those who support our current president despise. 

We are 50 days away from a Presidential Election that may well tear the country apart. Far from being the beacon of democracy, we may turn into a backwater dictatorship where votes are discounted and the will of the people thwarted by jack-booted thugs who march in support of their dictator while the Country burns from riots and Santa Ana winds. 

Drill baby drill. 



Saturday, September 12, 2020

NFL 2020 WEEK ONE

UPDATE: 5-0 Game picks week one; 1-2 totals. 

UPDATE: Survivor pool is posted below. The  KC/Texans game had a total of 54 points. If the Fins/Cheaters put up between 43-55 points, we are going to have some winners in the totals contest which pays a one week pass in the contest. 

UPDATE: Fins lost  21-11. The total was 32 + 54= 96 is the winning number. And your winners are: Rick Freedman(95) and The Ren (A Venue)(97).  YOU MUST USE YOUR FREE PASS BEFORE YOU PLAY THAT WEEK. IT IS LIKE A SURVIVOR IMMUNITY IDOL. IF YOU DO NOT PLAY IT AND LOSE THAT WEEK YOU ARE OUT. Kindly act accordingly. 

We lost eight good players in the first week with their picks off the Fins, Colts, and Eagles. The KC and Ravens and Bills plays were the safest. 23 out of 31 remain. 

And we are off and running. The 2020 NFL season has begun. They pulled it off without preseason games (say goodbye to those for the future) and with keeping players and staff safe. The NFL gets a Well Done...Well done indeed from us. 

We cannot promise we will be providing weekly picks and insights that some many readers have used to fund their boats, vacation homes, children's education...but we will try. Time zone issues make this a bit of a problem.  We start the season 1-0 with our pick of KC over the Texans this past Thursday. (Win)

Your Miami Dolphins are playing the Cheaters in New England  and we will be listening to this game via satellite radio. The Cheaters start a new era with Cam Newton at QB. He has a chip on his shoulder and we cannot advise taking the Fins +6.5. For fun we are taking a flyer on the money line for Miami +250 (250 for every 100 bet on Miami to win without any points), but the pick here is Cam&Bill -6.5.  WIN

J...E...T...S JETS JET JETS! shuffle off the Buffalo to play the resurgent Bills who have to be a favourite to win the division this year.  Buffalo is for real. Give the 6.5 in this one. Sorry to say this, but shortly the NY Jets will be on the clock for the number one pick in the 2021 NFL draft. WIN

Browns at Ravens. Latst year when we had never heard of Covid, in week four the Browns blasted the Ravens 40-25. After that game the Ravens went on a tear and they are a different team. The Browns will always be the Browns and that means give the 8 and take Baltimore. WIN

The game of the day has QBs with a combined age of 84 years. In their NFL careers Drew Brees and Tom Brady have thrown a combined 1,088 TDs and 151,987 yards. Brady is now a Buccanner and his coach Bruce Arians is a QB whisperer. But we like the talent surrounding Brees: Alvan Kamara at RB and WRs Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Take the hometown Saints -3.5. WIN

Here are some totals we like:

Raiders/Panthers under 48 (L); Bears/Lions under 44.5(L); Titans/Broncos over 41.5; Browns/Ravens under 48. WIN

We will have the survivor pool up Sunday around 1pm. There is still time to enter. Send a pick to Fbpool12@gmail.com. 


week one by HR on Scribd

Friday, September 11, 2020

THE REVENGE OF TEXTUALISM

UPDATE: Judge Francis has withdrawn her name from consideration to become the next Justice on the Florida Supreme Court 

We like nothing better than when a conservative court issues a conservative order that bites a conservative in their maskless butt. 

The Florida Supreme Court did that Friday when, invoking the ghost of Scalia past, it ordered our mask shaming governor to appointment a new Justice to the Court by Monday High Noon. A showdown at the OK Coral this is not. But still, it has the makings of some fun. Suppose for a second the Governor nominates a Judge who can serve for two months before mandatory retirement? Just a thought as to all the shenanigans that we may be in for.  Nothing better than a Constitutional Crisis Weekend. 

Here are some highlights from the order: 

"The constitution’s ten-year Bar membership requirement and sixty-day appointment deadline are bright-line textual mandates that impose rules rather than standards and prioritize certainty over discretion. To some, enforcing rules like these might seem needlessly formalistic when the result is to preclude the appointment of an otherwise qualified candidate. But “formalism,” as Justice Scalia observed, “is what makes a government a government of laws and not of men.”

In other words, "here is your Scalia textualism, now choke on it."

The Governor thought he was being sneaky when his counsel, in their latest argument wrote that DeSantis didn't Appoint Judge Francis to the Court...he just announced his Intention to appoint her when she was eligible. 

The Court didn't buy what the Governor was peddling, dismissing the linguistic slight of hand in a snickering footnote:  

"We note the inconsistency with the Governor’s assertion, in response to the initial petition in this case, that “Governor DeSantis completed his legal duty by appointing Judge Francis … to the Florida Supreme Court on May 26, 2020."

All over the State robed readers who want to live in Tallahassee are making their plans, and checking their phones twice, waiting for DeSantis to be naughty or nice. Someone is going to get the call "Hey, how do you feel about being my second choice?"

Meanwhile Judge Francis needs to call the realtor and see if she can get her deposit back on that apartment in Tallahassee. 


2020-985_disposition_150566_d04 by HR on Scribd

JUDGE/JUSTICE RENATHA FRANCIS, IN OR OUT .......

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

AND THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT HAS SPOKEN .......

The Florida Supreme Court responded this morning to the Governor's 11:57 PM filing by smacking him down "writ of mandamus" style.

Here is the link to the Order.:
 
Bottom line, every time the Governor and his legal counsel open their mouths, unconstitutional words come out. First, the Governor violated the constitution by not appointing Justice Luck's replacement within the constitutionally required 60 days. Second, he chose Judge Francis, who was constitutionally unqualified to serve (blame the JNC for nominating her in the first place).


The Florida Supreme Court ordered the Governor to pick one of the other seven "qualified" candidates by no later than Monday, September 14, 2020.

Judge Jonathan Gerber (Fourth District Court of Appeal)

Judge Jamie Grosshans (Fifth District Court of Appeal)

Judge Norma Lindsey (Third District Court of Appeal)

Judge Timothy Osterhaus (First District Court of Appeal)

Eliot Pedrosa (executive director, InterAmerican Development Bank)

Judge Lori Rowe (First District Court of Appeal)

Judge Meredith Sasso (Fifth District Court of Appeal)

PUTTING THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE .......

On a somber note, today is the 19TH anniversary of 9/11.

I just got off the phone negotiating with opposing counsel over the resolution of a case. Opposing counsel has been practicing for all of four years. She was 10 years old when our country was attacked on 9/11.

Have a safe weekend my friends.

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

 
 


Thursday, September 10, 2020

FOOTBALL (NOT WHAT YOU THINK)

 The Texans play the Chiefs Thursday night to open up the strangest football season ever. 17,000 morons fans will be allowed to attend the game in KC. It should be a good one.

(KC 42-Titans 27- take the over).  

But our post is not about that.  Check below for the link to the Miami Dolphins video blistering the NFL on fake concerns about race. It's powerful stuff. 

Presented for your consideration: Judge Francis is a political football. 

We have been indirectly critical of her appointment.  Judge Francis  is a nice woman and by all appearances a fine judge. She appears to be bright, committed, and hard working. But those are hardly the singular qualifications to serve on our state's highest court. 

So let us just put it in play: Judge Francis was selected because she is a woman of color from the Caribbean and her pick represents diversity.  (now you can ***gasp*** in horror).

Query: Pick your favourite Supreme Court Justice: Scalia; Burger; Douglas; Frankfurter; O'Connor or Marshall (first woman, first African American). Would you have preferred the president select someone less qualified in the name of diversity? 

Let us ask another question. You are dying from a burst appendix. Do you pick your surgeon based on diversity or skill? 

Governor No Mask has played the race card. He and his supporters have called upon the plaintiffs in the lawsuit (who are African American) to drop the suit because Judge Francis is black and that is their goal- the appointment of a black Justice. 

So Judge Francis, who wants to serve for all the rights reasons- she is committed to serving the people of Florida and (in the words of Janet Reno) to do her "level best" in discharging her duties as a Justice on our highest court- is nothing more than a political football- being kicked too and fro by politicians from both parties. 

"Rumpole grow up" some of you are saying. "Get your head out of your...(whatever)"- all court appointments are political. 

Yeah, but that doesn't mean it is right. As an advocate for litigants, we want the best judges, not the most diverse. We have seen white male judges fully understand the dilemma and discrimination (if not blatant racism)  our clients of color have faced  - be it in jury selection, or being targeted for being stopped for driving while black. We have seen judges who are minorities turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the same argument.  Woe be the lawyer who thinks a minority judge or juror will give their client special attention just because the client is of the same minority group. 

It is a difficult position to be placed in. Lifetime appointment to the job of a lifetime- but to get it you have allow yourself to be a political football. 

We have some direct experience in this- working a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away on the nomination of Judge Bork to the Supreme Court. The politics of that  failed nomination to the Supreme Court left Bork beaten and disillusioned.  Obama's last nomination for the Supreme Court- Judge Merrick Garland,  never made it to the senate for a hearing, and by all accounts Judge Garland has taken right back up on the DC Court of Appeals doing what he does best. And of course Justice Kavanagh is this generations Justice Thomas- indelibly stained with a partisan fight over his appointment. 

The concern for Judge Francis, for those who know her, like her and admire her should be this- neither side cares what happens to her. Whether her career is advanced or ruined in this fight is of almost no concern to those on either side. 

Caveat Nominee. 

SPEAKING OF RACE

Your Miami Dolphins have recorded and released a video blistering the NFL for failed promises and fake concerns over race. To protest this, the Fins will remain in the locker room this weekend while the NFL plays Lift Every Voice and the National Anthem. 

The Video is here

From the Video:

Lift Every Voice And Sing’ is just a way to save face So if my dad was a soldier, but the cops killed my brother, do I stand for one anthem and then kneel for the other? This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we will skip the song and dance, and as a team we will stay inside. … It’s not a black-white thing or a left-right thing. Let’s clean the whole bird and stop arguing about which wing.”

Powerful powerful stuff. A great critique and we applaud them for calling the NFL out for their band-aid approach to serious social problems. 


SURVIVOR POOL- STILL TIME TO PLAY BUT THE THURSDAY NIGHT GAME IS CLOSED 

Sign up with an email to Fbpool12@gmail.com


week one by HR on Scribd