More Waiting

October 4, 2010

Today, I had the honor of partaking in the civic duty of jury duty once again. If you’ve never experienced it, imagine waiting in your doctor’s waiting room the whole day instead of just a few minutes — minus the part at the end where you get something to make you feel better.

I wrote a column for the Tampa Tribune several years ago on my first experience with this mind-numbing process lamenting the amount of hours jurors are required sit in a large room on uncomfortable chairs waiting on their name to be called. The lucky ones are those who get to wait the whole day without their name ever being called — sort of sadistic isn’t it?

After that first experience, imagine my surprise this morning when I was in the first group to be pulled out of the large waiting room to go through the actual juror selection process. Regardless of if I was going to be picked or not, I would be getting through this quickly this time!

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Constitutional Gay Marriage?

August 12, 2010

A timely cartoon in light of a California judge’s recent ruling concerning a voter-approved proposition banning gay marriage:

I think that section is in Article 8, right?

Kagan Confirmed

August 5, 2010

It’s official. Elena Kagan has been confirmed by the Senate as the newest Supreme Court Justice.

Here’s a previously-posted clip as a reminder of one of her views in case you mistakenly find yourself caught up in the euphoria of it all:

So much for that whole freedom of speech thing.

Kagan on Banning Books

July 22, 2010

In light of this week’s earlier news that the Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to send the Elena Kagan Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate for a vote, here’s an interesting clip displaying Kagan’s previous defense before the Court of the idea that it is OK for the government to have a law allowing the ban of a political book since it has never, in the past, actually used that law to ban a book:


Words for the Weekend – 7-2-10

July 2, 2010
“Judges rule on the basis of law, not public opinion, and they should be totally indifferent to pressures of the times.”
         – former Chief Justice Warren Burger

Kagan Asked About Twilight?

July 1, 2010

I hate to keep posting clips from these hearings, but taxpayers are paying for this waste of time:

We are wasting valuable time joking with Supreme Court nominees about Twilight?

Kagan Grilled on the Food Police

June 30, 2010

It’s moments like this that make me love Supreme Court nominee hearings:

She, honestly, can’t answer the question? What’s the point in these hearings if she can’t even answer this?

Kagan Nomination Announcement

May 10, 2010

Obama to Nominate Kagan

May 10, 2010

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=elena+kagan&iid=4828152″ src=”7/a/c/f/Solicitor_General_Elena_d5d5.jpg?adImageId=12805887&imageId=4828152″ width=”107″ height=”148″ /]A bit of breaking news: Reports are now saying that President Obama plans to nominate Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court on Monday. For nominee-hearing junkies like myself, bring on the C-SPAN coverage!

Kagan is the current U.S. Soliciter General. Here is more information on her from The Washington Post. Also, here is a bio from Fox News.

More on Obama’s Criteria for a Judge

May 4, 2010

Here is another doozy of an article highlighting the Obama administration’s approach to picking a Supreme Court nominee. The L.A. Times report notes, among other points, two interesting quotes from Obama’s chief staffers.

Senior advisor David Axelrod claimed, “The president is first and foremost concerned with finding a justice who understands the Constitution, but he also wants one who respects precedent and understands the effects of decisions on the lives of everyday Americans.” [picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=supreme+court&iid=8469692″ src=”7/9/d/8/Supreme_Court_Justice_303c.jpg?adImageId=12752100&imageId=8469692″ width=”250″ height=”181″ /]Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “The way [the president] looks at the Supreme Court is, do you want somebody who’s going to write a great dissent for the four? … Or do you want a group of people whom you’ve put your imprint on that can get five people together on behalf of improving people’s lives?”

In short, the president wants someone who sympathizes with “everyday Americans” and makes decisions “improving” their lives. Fidelity to the Constitution seems to be a side issue.

Similar sentiments were noted in one of my previous posts, where I noted that Obama was looking for a jurist who favors ordinary citizens over powerful interests and understands how the law affects the lives of those citizens. None of this, of course, has anything to do with the main duty of a judge: interpreting and applying the Constitution in cases before them. But sympathetic rhetoric often wins the day in politics, regardless of its implications for the rule of law.