"About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop." So supposedly said Elihu Root, New York lawyer and secretary of war and of state, and U.S. senator from 1909 to 1915.
Today it seems that many liberal "would-be clients" are in desperate need of what Root called "a decent lawyer."
Take Texans for Public Justice, the so-called public interest group that has been pushing for the indictment of Gov. Rick Perry by a grand jury at the urging of special prosecutor Michael McCrum.
The basis for the indictment is, in the words of liberal New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait, "unbelievably ridiculous."
Recently in Politics Category
ICE is one of the agencies created in the post-9/11 reshuffle of homeland security organization. It has many of the functions previously performed by the old Immigration and Naturalization Service.
And the story has this nugget:
Ms. Saldaña got her current job after an unusual political standoff in which her nomination to become U.S. attorney was backed by Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) and opposed by some Democrats in the Texas congressional delegation.
I lauded Horne on this blog for moving forward with a "fast track" application for Arizona's capital cases in federal habeas corpus (here and here), but unfortunately the follow-through has been lacking. I expect Brnovich to take up the fight if he wins the general election. (He and I serve together on the Federalist Society's Criminal Law Practice Group Executive Committee, BTW.)
The general election is not a foregone conclusion, though. The race was close last time, the Democratic nominee had no primary opponent, and she has a formidable warchest.
In the Governor's race Doug Doucey has taken the Republican nomination. I haven't followed that race, but Doucey has endorsements from people whose judgment I respect. His campaign website is nearly devoid of useful information on his positions, as most campaign websites are these days.
Today the situation is very much the opposite. We don't see a lot of pretrial habeas corpus these days, but Texas Governor Rick Perry is doing it old school. Eugene Volokh has this post with a link to the application. Perry is in "custody," a jurisdictional requirement for habeas corpus, because he is out on bond.
Multiple investigations are under way into the circumstances under which Michael Brown was killed. They must proceed deliberately, in accordance with the rule of law. "I have to be very careful about not prejudging these events before investigations are completed because, although these are issues of local jurisdiction, the [Department of Justice] works for me and when they're conducting an investigation I've got to make sure that I don't look like I'm putting my thumb on the scales one way or the other," the president said.
People in positions of authority have an obligation to conduct themselves with reason and restraint. Whether or not the Ferguson police have lived up to that duty, the president, in his public statements on the crisis, has.
Eric Holder's Justice Department is in Missouri, some 50 strong according to Megyn Kelly, to investigate the shooting of Michael Brown and to decide whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson with civil rights crimes. The investigation and decision is in the hands of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division.
How much confidence can Americans have in the fairness and objectivity of this unit? The answer, I submit, is little if any.
Christian Adams at PJ Media has been covering the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division for years. PJ Media had to file a lawsuit to obtain the resumes of the lawyers Holder has brought into that group. According to Adams, it turned out that every one of his hires is a left-wing activist, and that some have histories of anti-police activity.
What follows is a hair-raising rundown of the background of the lawyers who will be running the grand jury. The short of it is that they're a bunch of far left ideologues.
If you thought the Rick Perry indictment was a creature of politics, you're right. But I fear it was just a rehearsal.
1. To begin with, the law applies to a public servant's misusing property that is in his "custody or possession." What property was in the governor's custody or possession?
2. Beyond this, how does vetoing the appropriation qualify as "misuse," in the sense of "dealing with" the $7.5 million "contrary to an agreement under which defendant held such property or contrary to the oath of office he took as a public servant"?
3. Is the prosecution's theory that vetoes of appropriations are criminal if they are not seen as "faithful execut[ion of] the duties of the office of Governor" -- though deciding whether or not to "approv[e]" a bill is itself part of the duties of that office? Or is it that such vetoes are criminal if they do not "to the best of [the Governor's] ability preserve, protect, and defend the [federal and state] Constitution and law. ###
Prof. Volokh's longer and more detailed analysis is here.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz calls himself a "liberal Democrat who would never vote for Rick Perry," but he's still "outraged" over the Texas governor's indictment Friday on charges of abuse of power and coercion.The charges are politically motivated and an example of a "dangerous" trend of courts being used to affect the ballot box and politics, he told Newsmax on Saturday."Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment," Dershowitz said. "If you don't like how Rick Perry uses his office, don't vote for him....Dershowitz also told Newsmax Perry was well within his rights when he vetoed the money for Lehmberg's office, as he "saw a drunk serving as DA" who "shouldn't be enforcing criminal law."Dershowitz believes Perry will be acquitted, and the indictment will become an embarrassment to those involved.
I disagree with Prof. Dershowitz in one respect. Perry will never be acquitted, because the indictment will never get to a jury.
[L]et's not move on before taking in the proximate cause of political dispute, the conduct of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who ironically runs the "public integrity section" of the DA's office while obviously having no public integrity whatsoever. If you have 15 minutes of leisure and a strong threshold against disgust, take in these two videos of Ms. Lehmberg in action, first in her DUI stop (where her blood-alcohol level was .23), and then, even better, her appalling jailhouse behavior.