Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bad Trail Poetry

I'm shocked at the primary sweep Obama has managed to obtain.
Am I still living in the US of A?

They say that Hillary's back is against the wall, that she needs a political hat trick.
No question the big MO is going that way, even though some were afraid to say it sooner.

The question is, will there be backlash?
The tail of the dragon in defeat is still unpredictably dangerous.

The Asian, Latino, Black vote seems to have been, caricatured.
The white male's, the white woman's too is broad brush, certain.
But talk is cheap. In which direction will the vote actually be cast?
As Maine? Or New Hampshire? By a margin of . . . damn it's going to be close.
The superbowl wasn't this hard on the fingernails.

Michigan and Florida? Outta there. Who voted anyway?
Romney, out but could be back in 'twelve.

No question D turnout has never been higher.
So if super delegates don't go with the popular vote, what happens next?


The administration immediately condemned the House action, noting that no White House official has ever been cited for contempt. "This action is unprecedented, and it is outrageous. It is also an incredible waste of time -- time the House should spend doing the American people's legislative business," White House press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement.
Yes, the legislative business of, say, impeaching the President, investigating wrongdoing emanating from the West Wing, which has, you don't say, been politicizing law enforcement, trashing Justice, US Attorneys?

Oh, but that's exactly what the congress was doing. They're just finding more balls now. Read the WP on it here. Even if they will be pardoned anyway, don't we just want to know if anybody did anything wrong? Don't the ones who are under scrutiny want to enlighten us? Don't we care? This theoretical fight over Executive Privilege carries only so much water when at stake we find fragile notions of trust, integrity of Justice, etc.

December 7 is a date which will live on, in infamy to infinity ad infinitum. Bad, very bad. The point is not to throw anybody in jail but to promote the ability of Congress to investigate the executive, if and when necessary. It has never been more necessary.

AND ON HABEAS: (Thanks Howard)
Of Beethoven, of vodka, or of the Bill of Rights containing the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution? The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that if a criminal suspect indicates in any manner during custodial questioning that he wishes to remain silent, interrogation must cease. Today, a fifteen-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit resolves whether a criminal defendant's statement, during an interrogation, that "I plead the fifth" is sufficient to invoke the right to remain silent. Complicating this question, the appeal arises in the habeas context challenging a state court conviction and is governed by the federal law whose acronym is AEDPA. The majority, in a decision that you can access here, overturns the federal district court's denial of habeas relief. Back on November 6, 2006, a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel voted 2-1 to affirm the district court's denial of habeas relief. Now-Chief Judge Alex Kozinski joined in the original panel's majority opinion, which a federal district judge sitting by designation wrote. The judge who dissented from the panel opinion wrote the en banc majority opinion on behalf of a sizable majority. Because this case was reargued en banc before Kozinski became the Ninth Circuit's chief judge, he was not guaranteed a seat on the en banc panel, and he was not randomly selected to serve on the en banc panel. Thus, we can only imagine what he might have said in response to today's ruling.
By a vote of 8-5, en banc Sixth Circuit holds that the federal constitutional right to the appointment of counsel for indigent defendants seeking first-tier review of plea-based convictions in Michigan state court does not apply retroactively on habeas review: You can access today's ruling at this link. The U.S. Supreme Court specifically recognized this right to counsel in Halbert v. Michigan, a ruling that issued in June of 2005.


By entering into a plea that required at least a 27-year prison sentence on one count of child exploitation, defendant waived any Eighth Amendment challenge to what that the federal district judge described as "the most unjust sentence that I have ever imposed": The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued this ruling today (2/14).

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