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There are reasons to vote for, and reasons to vote against, the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.  Kent and I have discussed the question in several places.  

Kent has noted that Ms. Lynch, while not an ideal candidate from the perspective of those favoring resolute enforcement of criminal law, is about the best we can expect from this Administration.  I have expressed more than a little concern about Ms. Lynch's complicity is what she could not help knowing was perverse, and  -- much more troubling  --  unethical behavior by Judge John Gleeson.  On the other hand, I am favorably impressed with her refusal to adopt the liberal line on pot.

The vote on her nomination has not yet been taken in the Senate.  For whatever one might make of the procedural maneuvers involved, today we saw the announcement of an unusual but some might say compelling reason to delay the vote for weeks. Maybe months.

The Congress-following paper The Hill has the story.

How to misattribute a quotation

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Alexandra Petri has this amusing column in the WaPo. Love that flowchart.

One of my favorite quotes is, "It's not what we don't know that gets us in trouble; it's what we know for a fact that just ain't so."  Do I know for a fact that Will Rogers said that? Um, no.  Not Mark Twain either.

The Boston Bombing Trial Defense Rests

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The Boston Globe begins its story:

After 15 days of victims recounting their injuries, experts testifying about explosives and terrorism, and witnesses detailing the deaths of three people in the Boston Marathon bombings, the defense team of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had its turn to make a case.

It was over in six hours.

Defense counsel has been understandably circumspect in dealing with the press. Still, in an exclusive to this author, counsel gave a brief statement:

In the guilt phase of the trial, there wasn't a lot we could do.  We've been preparing for what we expect will be the penalty phase.

What's needed is to humanize the client, to show he's not a monster. That's where we've been aiming.  Still, it's not been without trouble. In the months we've been working with Mr. Tsarnaev, it's become clear that he's a narcissistic brat.  Not only did he never deny planting the bomb, he's proud of it. He's told us that America had it coming for its treatment of Muslims. When his brother broached the idea, he couldn't have been more enthusiastic. He thinks the little boy he blew up was just one more infidel.  To make things worse, he was headed toward an arrogant life of White Privilege. He was so spoiled he even wanted to play Little League. Can you imagine?

The reason I'm willing to discuss these things is that I think it's important for lawyers to tell the truth, be fully forthcoming, and not try to hoodwink anyone. I mean, this is about justice, right?"


Pi Day

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An off-topic note for math geeks.

Awkward

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fs3.amazonaws.com%2Fposttv-thumbnails%2Fthumbnails%2F54e394d7e4b0210747c745c1%2FCarterBidenWhisper.jpg&w=600&h=338

Too Good to Pass Up

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I will just let this item from today's Washington Post speak for itself:

Some snickered and wondered if Del. Joseph D. Morrissey might have had a conflict of interest Wednesday when he voted against a bill to keep "obscene materials" out of the hands of prison inmates.

Morrissey (I-Henrico) has been spending his nights in jail since before the start of the current legislative session, on a misdemeanor charge related to his relationship with a 17-year-old receptionist at his law office.

The lawmaker, who won reelection literally from his jail cell and has since been charged with four felonies on top of the earlier charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, has caused much hand-wringing and consternation in Mr. Jefferson's Capitol.

************************

Morrissey has a long history of legal skirmishes, starting 20 years ago with a courthouse fistfight.

In June, he was charged with multiple felonies for allegedly having sex with the young woman and sharing nude photos of her. Morrissey and the woman, now pregnant with a child prosecutors say is "perhaps" his, have denied any wrongdoing and blamed the woman's ex-girlfriend for hacking their phones to frame them.

Morrissey agreed to a plea deal in which he admitted no guilt but avoided conviction on the felony charges....A second indictment unsealed in January alleges that Morrissey, 57, submitted a forged document as evidence and lied under oath in the earlier case.

The phrase "you can't make this up" hardly suffices.



Interparty Dating

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From the Daily Show, off-topic but very funny.
I noted in my last post that President Obama erred in suggesting that crime and incarceration had both decreased for the first time in forty years.  The statistics are not yet in for 2014, and if the President was meaning to refer to 2013 (or any other year of his Presidency, for that matter), he was mistaken.

Six Supreme Court Justices attended the SOTU, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The tradition is that Justices do not react during the speech, lest they be thought to be expressing either approval or dissent from what the head of the Executive Branch is saying. (Although sometimes the temptation is too much for a truth-insistent Justice to resist).

Justice Ginsburg did a first-rate job of keeping faith with that tradition.

Self-Help For Package Theft

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Christin Ayers reports for KPIX, San Francisco:

A Vallejo homeowner fed up with package thefts from his front porch left a stinky surprise boxed up for the thief with a little help from his dog.
This article in the Georgetown student newspaper, written by a student who "understands" why he was mugged, is a parody.

I mean, it is a parody, right?

Will someone tell me it's a parody?

Please???


How A Bill Becomes Law, Revised

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Saturday Night Live updates a Schoolhouse Rock civics classic.
I was intending to make my next entry about the danger our country faces from the kind of murderous episode we saw yesterday in Ottawa, when this comic relief piece in the ABA Law Journal caught me eye.  The title is, "Judge Accused of Courthouse Sex Was 'Seduced and Taken Advantage Of,' Her Lawyer Says." It states (emphasis added):

A West Virginia judge accused of a sexual relationship with a community corrections director was "seduced and taken advantage of," her lawyer argued in her ethics case before the state supreme court.

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[Jaymie] Wilfong, a Randolph County circuit judge, had a two-year romantic relationship with North Central Community Corrections Director William Travis Carter that included in-chambers trysts between court proceedings...

Deitzler [her defense attorney at ethics proceedings] told the state supreme court there were only two instances of sexual conduct at the courthouse, and the affair didn't affect the judge's impartiality. He also said the judge was seduced.

"I'm not using it as an excuse," Deitzler said. "The perception unquestionably is she was seduced and taken advantage of."

You have to love the, er, creativity of an attorney who says, "I'm not using it as an excuse," and then, a full ten words later, says she was "taken advantage of."

How to Increase Gross Domestic Product

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The Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded yesterday by the Annals of Improbable Research.

And the prize in economics goes to [drum roll] ...

ISTAT -- the Italian government's National Institute of Statistics, for proudly taking the lead in fulfilling the European Union mandate for each country to increase the official size of its national economy by including revenues from prostitution, illegal drug sales, smuggling, and all other unlawful financial transactions between willing participants.

The full list is here.

Additional Shakespeare Autopsies

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Following up on Wednesday's Richard III story, Alexandra Petri in the WaPo offers up a bit of dark humor on other Shakespeare tragic characters. The first two are from Scotland, appropriately in light of today's news.

Simian Selfie Follow-Up

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MONKEY-SELF-PORTRAIT.jpg Off-topic but hilarious, David Post at the Volokh Conspiracy has a follow-up on the copyright dispute over this selfie, previously noted on this blog three years ago.

Update:  Abby Phillip has this story in the WaPo.

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