The Onion Declares Bankruptcy After Wingnuts Steal Audience

[Washington Free Beacon, via BuzzFeed/Blogenfreude]

Another senseless death: Toobin says health reform mandate ‘looks like it’s going to be struck down’

@redmanlaw: All respect to Toobin — and I don’t follow SCOTUS arguments closely — but isn’t it standard for justices to challenge all facets of an argument? And could previous decisions be guessed from the orals?

Honest questions. SCOTUS tea-leaves are bewildering to me.

Mother Jones: “Disaster”

“Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. should be grateful to the Supreme Court for refusing to allow cameras in the courtroom, because his defense of Obamacare on Tuesday may go down as one of the most spectacular flameouts in the history of the court. ”

@nojo: One of my partners who has argued before the Supremes (although not this Court) and has a petition for cert pending now, thought that Toobin’s take was highly significant.

@redmanlaw: “If the law is upheld, it will be in spite of Verrilli’s performance, not because of it.”

Thus my questions. I guess it’s up to the clerks now.

@nojo: The better question might be, “Have previous decisions turned on oral arguments?” The popular wisdom is that, compelling as they are, the arguments don’t change anything.

On the other hand, who knows? Maybe Medicare for All will get a fresh wind.

@mellbell: And a much better way of asking what I was groping towards. It seems to be settled that the SG put on a clown show. But does that make any difference?

@nojo: If a clownish advocate doomed your case, this one would have gone the other way. (Believe me, I was there.)

@mellbell: “Sort by Vote • Sort by Seniority • Sort by Ideology”

jQuery is fun!

@mellbell: So I should wait to find and post a link to a blaring klaxon horn? My partner seemed pretty grim and resigned.

Meanwhile, back on subject:

The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin recommended that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, multiple sources told ABC News.

But Sanford, Fla., Investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney’s office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn’t enough evidence to lead to a conviction, the sources told ABC News.

Police brought Zimmerman into the station for questioning for a few hours on the night of the shooting, said Zimmerman’s attorney, despite his request for medical attention first. Ultimately they had to accept Zimmerman’s claim of self defense. He was never charged with a crime.

Doesn’t change anything, but a few more details to navigate.

Regarding the above: My, the local PD are a leaky bunch! One crew leaks (non-) Incriminating Details about Trayvon yesterday. Followed by another crew leaking a CYA story today about the lead homicide investigator.

Is it just me, or is the “Free Beacon” tacitly admitting that it’s BIG news that a paranoid racist assclown *wasn’t* a Republican?

@al2o3cr: There’s a wingnut game going on called “Narrative Fail”. The play here is “You know what moonbats would do if he was a teabagger”.

@al2o3cr: I thought it was “free bacon.”

I think they’ll be getting a cease and desist letter from the E.W. Scripps Co. over that logo .

Fun fact: My old paper The Albuquerque Tribune (RIP) gave Scripps-Howard that logo in its original form as well as the corporate slogan “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

@redmanlaw: Another fun fact: Somehow or another I’m related to their former CEO, Bill Burleigh, but the exact connection escapes me. He drops in at the big family reunions.

@redmanlaw: The revised version looks like cat whiskers.

@nojo: Part of me wonders if this is all a big insane high-stakes poker move by Unicorn to have SCOTUS strike down the health care law because you can’t force people to buy insurance, and therefore, well, I guess we’ll just have to drop the Medicare age to 18 and raise the Medicaid for kiddos family income limit to ONE MEEELYON DOLLARS, and ha ha ha ha.

Right? I can hold out hope?

@mellbell: Apparently the entire point of oral arguments at SCOTUS is to have a conversation with Justice Kennedy. Thus the brilliance of Judge Walker’s and the 9th Circuit decisions on Prop. H8. Sucks to talk to him if you are a black or brown person who wants to go to college, or a Vagina-American who gets pregnant without meaning to, but he might be okay if you’re a ghey man or lesbian who wants to get married, or a kid who is sentenced to be executed or to life without parole, or a prisoner who doesn’t want to be raped or slowly die from medical neglect while in custody. Apparently there’s some Jesuit/evolving standards of decency/international law logic to his decisions, but I can see why he ties Scalia’s panties into knots.

@SanFranLefty: Well, let’s play it this way: What happens — politically — if the mandate is tossed?

Okay, okay. Politically on the left.

@SanFranLefty: I think oral argument is generally useless. And I don’t want to hear about Scalia’s panties, thank you very much.

I’m Way Out West in China for another couple of days. Man, you talk about people with bad teeth, I thought for a minute I was back in Ireland.

Scalia’s panties, Scalia’s panties, Scalia’s panties!

I imagine the halitosis is off the hook, too, or are you trying to not get close enough to notice?

@SanFranLefty: Back to Martin leaks – you see a FERPA violation as regards the release by Somebody of his school disciplinary records?

@redmanlaw: Nope, not a FERPA violation, maybe a violation of state law. From the US Dept of Ed:

In July 1992, FERPA was amended to remove an impediment to the release of records created and maintained by a school’s law enforcement unit for a law enforcement purpose. Specifically, FERPA was amended to exempt from the definition of “education records” the following:

[R]ecords maintained by a law enforcement unit of the educational agency or institution that were created by that law enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement.

20 U.S.C. §1232g(a)(4)(ii).

The amendment neither requires nor prohibits the release of law enforcement unit records, but allows schools to follow their own policies or applicable State law. Accordingly, FERPA no longer prevents a campus law enforcement division from disclosing to outside parties law enforcement unit records, including campus security incident reports, that were created by the law enforcement unit for a law enforcement purpose.

The FERP A regulations define a “law enforcement unit” as the following:

(a)(l) “Law enforcement unit” means any individual, office, department, division, or other component of an educational agency or institution, such as a unit of commissioned police officers or non-commissioned security guards, that is officially authorized or designated by that agency or institution to –

(i) Enforce any local, State, or Federal law, or refer to appropriate authorities a matter for enforcement of any local, State, or Federal law again any individual or organization other than the agency or institution itself; and

(ii) Maintain the physical security and safety of the agency or institution.

34 CFR §99.8(a)(l)(i)(ii).

The regulations also define “law enforcement records” as follows:

(b)(1) Records of a law enforcement unit means those records, files, documents, and other materials that are –

(i) Created by a law enforcement unit;

(ii) Createdfor a law enforcement purpose; and

(iii) Maintained by the law enforcement unit.

34 CFR §99.8(b)(l)(i)-(iii).

Don’t know what Florida law is on confidentiality of school discipline records. In California, the law is mixed, whether it can be released depends upon what the kid did. Something like an empty baggie – that’d probably be protected.

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