Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Crow's Nest

Crow's Nest looks in the rear view and sees that he hasn't blogged in a day or two, for shame for shame. He has been a tad under the weather and taking care of some necessary business and has not had the time or the spirit. Before he say or reads anything else he will post the following old stuff from earlier in the week just to get it off the scratch pad and onto a more useful place.

He was looking forward to going to the Supreme Court Fellows Program tomorrow, titled "Judicial Independence: Drawing Lessons From History" but unhappily that does not look possible at this time (not due to ill health, thank goodness) (link here for info). He'll try to get some prepared remarks if they are available.

Now about the State of the Union, the best line was this one, from Sen. James Webb's designated Democratic response, paraphrasing, "if the President cannot be convinced to chart a new path in Iraq, we will show him the way." Amen!

SCOTUS decided Jones v Bock, Williams v Overton (consolidated PLRA /1983 cases from the 6th Circuit), important prisoner rights decisions, that with Monday's Cunningham decision leans in favor of prisoners rights, and against the grain of the "tuff on crime and criminals" trend. One supposes that either of these cases could easily have been decided the other way. There is more from SCT that I need to catch up on too. The syllabus is here. And the opinion here.

UPDATE: The opinion was unanimous, so maybe I spoke too soon and was being too cynical about the Court's inclination to be politicized, or results-oriented (so it could not have been decided any other way? How could the Sixth Circuit be so wrong on this? State's attorneys in the Fifth Circuit like to try to get the courts to ignore Leatherman and the simplified pleading rule in 1983 cases as well.). As Doug B suggests, maybe prison and criminal justice reform is morphing into the leading edge of civil rights issues of our time. I just hope, as I try to stay abreast of developments in the sex offender registration/restriction arena, that reform does not mean a continuation of the trend toward indifference and (stupidity is not too strong a word here) witchhunting that we have been seeing.

There seems to be an interesting Campaign Finance entry here at Electionlawblog (which might need to go over with my Poliblog); and

Also from SCT is U.S. v Atlantic Research Corp (link here for the SCOTUSblog entry) involving Superfund section 107(a) and PRPs "contribution" rights, which really needs to go over to my Brunswick/conservation place.

And once again, I can say with confidence that the reports of my early demise have been largely exaggerated. Whew! Grim Reaper, you need to be looking somewhere else, baby.

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