Wednesday Writs: Criminal Justice Reform


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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8 Responses

  1. L5: See, that kind of thing I can get behind. Stunts like when a bunch of Chicago lawyers wore heels to work to show how much they hated sexism, don’t impress me. Money does.Report

  2. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I wonder if that judge is afraid of punishment now?Report

  3. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    L1: This just seems like poor legislative drafting. I think the residual clause is simply ambiguous and should have been voided. Make Congress do its job.

    L9: Surprised that the impeachment drama failed to mention that Johnson was correct that the Tenure of Office Act was unconstitutional, or at least the SCOTUS said so later when it struck down similar legislation. Congress had also passed the law with consequences that precluded its review. Grant was willing to temporarily hold the Secretory of War position to allow Johnson to obtain judicial review of the law (that he also thought unconstitutional), but when he discovered the Act imposed a $10,000 fine and imprisonment for disobeying the Senate once it formally objected to Stanton’s firing, he gave Stanton his job back and Stanton began building his fortifications.Report

    • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to PD Shaw says:

      Correct, it is poorly drafted. Begay and James are definitely not the only cases to grapple with it. I think the Johnson case in 2015 struck that residual clause as vague, and Dimaya was a related decision.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    L6: My bike has a bell, but I only use when going slow. If I’m moving, I don’t have time to ring the bell, and my voice is much, much louder. Stupid law, good riddance.Report

  5. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    L6 – If I bought a car from a dealership and then drove it home I would absolutely expect that it was sold to me in a street legal configuration – that I would have to do something wrong in my driving to get a ticket, beyond just having the car on a public road exactly as I bought it. If it turned out they sold me a car in a state illegal for street use, I would expect they’d cover both the fine and the cost of repairing the deficiency.

    It is really odd to me that we accept it as normal in the bicycle business that I can buy a commuter bike, ride it home, and be ticketed because it’s illegal to use as sold, for the purpose for which it was designed. In my jurisdiction that means bikes are sold without a bell (mandatory at all times) or lights (mandatory for riding after dark).

    I mean, I probably wouldn’t get a ticket because I present as white, middle class and middle age. But native or black people definitely do not get the same leniency as I do – they get frequently stopped for such ‘ticky-tack’ laws.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to dragonfrog says:

      I can see laws for lights and reflectors (remember the lady killed by the autonomous car in Mesa, AZ – no lights or reflectors).

      But bike bells aren’t loud enough to be worth much. Unless the law requires the ‘bell’ to be above a certain dB.

      Otherwise, totally agree with you.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Bike bells are good in places where there is a lot of bicycle use. You might not be heard inside the cabin of a car, but you can ring the bell when you’re approaching a blind corner and if someone’s coming the other way they won’t be taken by surprise.

        I saw this practice when I lived in Germany and thought “oh, that’s what bike bells are for”Report