Wednesday Writs: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld

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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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16 Responses

  1. Avatar CJColucci
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    says:

    WW4: My take on the Musk case was that whatever way a jury went would stand up. It was for the jury to decide whether “pedo guy” was an actual accusation of pedophilia or just general abuse. Without having seen the witnesses, I would have leaned to the former, but I can’t fault the jury for coming to the latter conclusion. I don’t think the Musk case changes the law so much as it changes calculations about what a jury will do given a legally sufficient, but not factually slam-dunk, case.
    The linked piece also refers to the Clifford-Trump case. There, I think something might be going on. In defamation law there is the familiar concept of a “libel-proof plaintiff,” one whose reputation is so bad that even if what the defendant said was false and defamatory, it couldn’t make the plaintiff’s reputation any worse. What I think I see in Clifford-Trump is the possibility of the “libel-proof defendant,” a defendant whose credibility is so bad that nothing he says, however false and defamatory, can be taken seriously enough to be damaging.Report

  2. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    WW8: Zimmerman v Martin could be interesting if what Zimmerman’s lawyer claims is true, that the whole bit about Trayvon talking to his “girlfriend” Rachel Jeantel was a complete fabrication concocted by the family, their lawyers, Jeantel, and other participants. The new case will certainly involve phone logs, and perhaps the question of who actually owns or uses that phone.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      or she might actually be telling the truth. I know, I know, she has every incentive in your book to lie. Its just wearying that you never seem to give anyone the benefit of the doubt if it means someone can get away with something.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        Given my firm belief that 2 men can keep a secret if one of them is dead, I’m always suspicious of claims that require a group of people to concoct and keep to a lie. Not that it can’t happen, but such things usually fall apart.

        Still, phone logs exist and cell phones are pretty good at keeping track of who, when, and even where. This one should be pretty easy to wrap up in discovery.Report

  3. Avatar PD Shaw
    Ignored
    says:

    WW7: The newspaper claims that the film falsely portrays the newspaper as “engaging in constitutional malice,” which itself is “constitutional malice” on the part of the filmmakers. So beware we’re going to sue you in places like the UK, France and Australia which won’t know anything about this constitutional malice of which we speak.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to PD Shaw
      Ignored
      says:

      My response to such a threat would be “How many AJC subscribers live in the UK, France, or Australia? How many French readers do they even have? Likely none, and thus there’s no potential overseas harm to litigate.”

      I think another risk a lawsuit runs is that the defense team can try to put a bunch of the old editors and reporters on the stand and attempt to show that the paper did indeed act with what a jury might think is “reckless disregard.” It’s not libel if the movie’s portrayal is true, or if the defendant reasonably believed it was true, having dug into the matter at some length. The events happened 23 years ago, so producing some of the key witnesses might present a challenge, as might getting a jury to believe, after three years of non-stop Trump-Russia stories, that a US news organization still had any shred of credibility left to damage.Report

  4. Avatar Michael Siegel
    Ignored
    says:

    WW6: That was on top of a fairly generous professor salary. And a lot of us would consider $60k a year (actually $80k for the years she was active) a nice chunk of money for a side job.Report

  5. Avatar Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    The Court conceded that the AUMF did not authorize indefinite detention, and that a “clearly established principle of the law of war” is that those detained for no reason other than their status as an enemy combatant, not as a war criminal, must be released and repatriated promptly following a ceasefire.

    Exactly this. As long as the war goes on, we can detain AQ soldiers simply because they’re AQ soldiers.

    If that takes 4 years then that’s fine. If that takes 100 years then that’s still fine. Joining a terror army which follows no rules of war has side effects. If you want a nice life then you shouldn’t be dedicating your life to genocide, slavery, and lawlessness.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
      Ignored
      says:

      Can we do the same for domestic terrorists, lock them up indefinitely until such time their organizations cease fire?, He asks eagerly…Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        If it requires the army to deal with them, then yes.

        Criminal law is designed with the idea that the forces of law have control over the environment. Evidence can be collected and a chain of evidence maintained. Witnesses can be interviewed. Crime scenes controlled.

        Those rules become a bad joke when we try to apply them to a foreign battlefield where we don’t control the land.

        In reality the cops have enough power and organization to deal with everything inside the US so normal criminal law can be applied. Things like attempted mass murder and so forth normally carry life terms so that also puts us into “indefinite” territory.

        Solders get a pass for activities that would be considered murder in other situations. In return we expect them to follow basic rules which AQ is flatly unwilling to follow but whatever. If they want a pass for crimes that would normally be “indefinite” jail terms, then the war needs to end. If their organization is totally unwilling to end the war, well then life sucks but they probably shouldn’t have joined.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        “What additional power can we give Trumpler for his second and third terms?”, Chip asked eagerly.Report

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