Wednesday Writs for 1/16


Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    [L1] “Justice Taney to despair that the Supreme Court would ‘ever again be restored to the authority and rank which the Constitution intended to confer upon it.’”

    Ex parte Merryman was written by Taney presiding as an individual riding the circuit during a Supreme Court recess, it was not a Supreme Court decision, though he sought to obfuscate this.

    His major impediment to fighting the war from the weakest branch, were the long delays for cases to become reviewable while events on the ground were constant change. He wrote briefs anticipating those cases, but the first real opportunity presented was the appeal from the trial and imprisonment of Representative Vallandigham, but Taney was too ill to participate (which was about the time he wrote the letter lamenting the fall of the Courts, i.e., himself) The SCOTUS ruled it lacked authority to review a military tribunal and dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction.

    All of the SCOTUS justices at the time of Merryman were Jacksonian Democrats that had supported strong executive powers in the past. Its not even clear (in fact, there is evidence to the contrary) that they agreed with Taney’s ambitions.Report

  2. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    [L5] I have never heard the term “Pinkerton” to mean anything positive. The Pinkerton agency is trying to sue a company founded in 1998 for the loss of a horse that had already fled by 1898.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      I read some book in elementary school, maybe this one(?), that was a completely positive biography of Pinkerton. (Iirc, it was “he solved crimes” and “he protected Abe Lincoln”, but not any of the other stuff.)Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        I think they frequent the background in a lot of Western movies, maybe not always in a negative way, but they aren’t the ones the audience roots for. (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid) If only the Pinkertons could find a way to destroy the Western movie genre once and for all.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          I consider myself a US history afficiando, but I think I went from that 4th or 5th grade book to the airing of Deadwood without even hearing about the Pinkertons.Report

  3. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    [L10] Not just any alderman. Here are some things that might be of more national interest:

    1. His law firm represented Trump and got a $14 million reduction in property taxes. He was compelled to fire Trump when activists complained.
    2. The extortion appears to have been abetted by a politician from another state (presumably Texas) that encouraged the business owners to seek out the alderman as someone they needed to know.
    3. The Burger King is near where the Laquan McDonald shooting took place, and its where the cops entered the restaurant, demanded the security tape, and when it was returned there was an 86 minute gap. The manager thought they were securing the evidence, he didn’t realize they were going to erase it.
    4. The criminal complaint is based upon a 37-page affidavit mostly taken from tapping the alderman’s cell phone and personal AOL e-mail account. The last few years really seem like a period in which the lack of knowledge about technology is undoing older men.
    5. The alderman is the head of the party committee that recommends all judges in the county. His wife is a Supreme Court justice who gets to appoint vacancies in the county. Between them, around 75% of judges in the county got there because of them.
    6. One of the recipients of the money was the County Board President, now running for mayor. Although the alderman actually endorsed another candidate, it appears that this along with a soda tax has probably ended her political career.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    L5: Take Two is now countersuing saying that the Pinkertons from the era count as fair use.

    Somebody explain to me why they’re wrong.Report

  5. Avatar Mike says:

    [L1] Among the things I did not like about Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Lincoln hagiography was that she defended the habeas suspension, quoting Lincoln’s AG’s response and saying “the logic was unanswerable” even though it absolutely was.Report