Blog Archives

Top Of The Ninth? Spider-Man & California Raisins

Four decisions from the Supreme Court today included an opinion, Kimble v. Marvel, that quoted Spider-Man creators Stan Lee & Steve Ditko (Amazing Fantasy, No.15, “Spider-Man”, 1962), and a takings case, Horne v. Department of Agriculture, brought by California raisin growers.

In announcing the California raisins case from the bench Chief Justice Roberts said,“The Constitution does not allow the government to take your car without just compensation if it promises to return the quarters it finds in the seats.”

The Court returns Thursday and Friday with more decisions, at which time it will truly be the bottom of the ninth with the possibility of extra innings next week.

 

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with: , , , ,

Scalia’s Gaffe, or The Goldberg Variation

No major decisions from the Supreme Court yesterday meant that a slight gaffe by Justice Scalia got a bit more ink, or is it pixels?

At the end of announcing the Court’s opinion in Kerry v. Din, Scalia referred to Justice Ginsburg, one of the dissenters, as “Justice Goldberg”. “Sorry about that, Ruth,” said Scalia who continued to smile and appear red-faced as the Court moved to admissions to the bar.

Mark Walsh has written about it here in SCOTUSblog.

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with:

Long Awaited Decision On Presidential Powers

Menachem Zivotofsky was born in 2002, the same year congress passed the Foreign Relations Authorization Act with a provision that U.S. passports listing the place of birth as Jerusalem should, upon request, also list Israel. Zivotofsky’s parents did just that, and the case had been kicking up and down the courthouse steps for years. Yesterday it concluded with a big win for the President.

It appears that Justice Kennedy’s opinion enshrines a presidential power nowhere mentioned, though implied, in the Constitution, namely recognition of foreign powers. “Recognition is a topic on which the Nation must ‘speak . . . with one voice,’” writes Kennedy.  “That voice must be the President’s.”

Justice Scalia, along with Justice Alito and the Chief Justice, dissented. Justice Thomas also dissented in part, making the decision either 6-3, 5-4 0r even 5 ½-3 ½ depending on who you listen to.

The case is Zivotofsky v. Kerry, and you can read about yesterday’s decision here and here.

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

Something Different

The plan was for me to join the panel briefly to discuss my experiences at the Supreme Court and Tsarnaev trial and then sketch the rest of the show.  News of Beau Biden’s death brought a more somber mood to the show that, along with Secretary of State John Kerry’s bicycling accident, caused me to get bumped from the show. Still, I did this sketch, and got to visit friends in New York.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

One Person One Vote ?

Does “one person, one vote”, a rallying cry of the Civil Rights Movement, and one that the Supreme Court enshrined in a 1964 decision in Reynolds v. Sims, mean voting districts should have the same number of people, or the same number of eligible voters?  That’s the new case, Evenwel v. Abbott, that the Court agreed to hear next term.

And also an excuse for me to exercise my inner cartoonist.

 

Posted in Supreme Court Tagged with: ,

The Verdict Is Death For Tsarnaev

Tsarnaev150515Nothing to say except I’m glad it’s over, which, of course, it isn’t. Tsarnaev150515

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , , ,

A Question From The Jury, A Laugh From Tsarnaev

Tsarnaev150514On the first full day of deliberations the jury had a question that so perplexed the judge and lawyers that clarification was sought before it could be answered.Tsarnaev150514

A first for this trial, we heard Tsarnaev laugh. While waiting for jurors to enter the courtroom to be dismissed for the day Tsarnaev, chatting with his lawyers as he usually does, let out a guffaw, then quickly checked himself.Tsarnaev150514

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , ,

Closing Arguments On Tsarnaev Death Penalty

Tsarnaev150513The jury in the Boston Marathon bombing trial heard closing arguments yesterday on sentencing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to life or death. Here are the sketches.Tsarnaev150513

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Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , ,

Dead Man Walking ?

Tsarnaev150511Yesterday was a strange day, eighty degrees in the morning, fifty-five by afternoon. It was also the last day of testimony in the death penalty case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.Tsarnaev150511The defense called as their final witness Sister Helen Prejean of “Dead Man Walking” fame. She testified about several meetings with Tsarnaev during which he once said, “No one deserves to suffer like they did.” Whether that was an expression of remorse, or merely regret is not clear.

Tsarnaev150511The government called two rebuttal witnesses and we were done. Closing arguments tomorrow and then it’s in the hands of the jury, Dzhokhar’s life that is.Tsarnaev150511

Moakley Federal Courthouse

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , ,

The Last Of Last Week’s Sketches

Thursday was a short day at the Tsarnaev trial last week as both sides met with the judge in chambers to discuss whether and to what extent Sister Helen Prejean will be allowed to testify. For much of the time nothing happened in the courtroom, though many tweets were read and sent. The previous day’s witness was brought back to the stand to complete his testimony, but that’s all.

I profited of the free time to ride a Hubway bike to the North End where I had an espresso and Italian ice and did the little sketch below.

 

 

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , , ,
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