Wednesday Writs: Malicious Prosecution In Imbler v Pachtman

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.

Related Post Roulette

22 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    L7: Q is like a cognitive virus. Not even those seen as intellectuals are necessarily immune.Report

    • veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      I think Bobby Fisher is an instructive case here. He was clearly brilliant, as become a chess champion is not something a dunderhead can do. That said, he went all-in on a bunch of antisemitic conspiracy theories.

      Actually, this isn’t so surprising if you think it through. The ability to manipulate abstract models doesn’t preclude one from adopting an entirely incorrect model of the world. It merely allows one to construct a very elaborate incorrect model.Report

      • North in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        John Nash too. The preternatural ability to recognize patterns in things can be a HUGE boost in discovering previously unconsidered economic modes of thought.. but it can also lead you to imagine the commies are communicating with each other in code in civilian magazines.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        What’s the old quote from one of the computer science demigods about APL? “A bad idea perfectly executed,” or something like that?Report

        • veronica d in reply to Michael Cain
          Ignored
          says:

          Sacrilege! APL was pure awesome.Report

          • Michael Cain in reply to veronica d
            Ignored
            says:

            Once upon a time (mid-1970s-ish) at Bell Labs, Ken Thompson wrote a baby APL interpreter. The source went to Yale, then Berkeley, then Purdue, and eventually came back to me (also at Bell Labs). It was a toy, but when run on 32-bit hardware it was a toy on steroids. I did some real work using it. As part of the break up of the Bell System, I got to take a copy with me. After months of effort, I convinced the lawyers at all of the involved companies to let me open-source it. Much to my surprise, someone has put it up, with further enhancements, at GitHub.Report

            • veronica d in reply to Michael Cain
              Ignored
              says:

              Niiiice.

              I rarely meet a real life APL hacker these days, and I’m professional Common Lisp programmer, so I meet a rather eclectic mix of programmers.

              I assume you had a normal keyboard. How much of a pain was it to type all those weird symbols?Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Poking further, there’s more than one derivative of it at GitHub. Including one that was touched at least last year by someone who says they used it professionally for years. And I thought I was the only one :^)

                It used an odd ascii-to-APL mapping. Obvious characters are kept (eg, ‘+’ for plus), some of the funny ones used what Purdue had decided were look-alikes (eg, ‘}’ for right-arrow), and some were based on position from the standard APL keyboard (eg, ‘R’ for rho). The overstruck characters were more of a pain. It took surprisingly little time to adjust. Of course, everyone types APL pretty slowly anyway.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                AKA: Turing complete line noise 🙂Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Also probably why I think Perl’s syntax is fine.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Ha!

                I think the difference is that languages such as APL had a pretty clear semantic structure, whereas Perl was sort of a mess in that regard.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                I backed into Perl when I was doing road show demos of new cable and internet technology. Perl had reached the “swiss army chainsaw” stage and the CPAN repository was almost certainly the premier collection in the world of code to do this or that. For example, when you have to write enough code to implement the proper subset of a time service that the IETF had deprecated five years earlier, at 2:00 am, sitting on the floor under a spotlight in a half-finished hotel ballroom in Manhattan, NYC so that some vendor’s gear will work*. Fnck** elegance or consistency, I needed code that received the packets and spit back the proper responses. And damn, Perl was good for that.

                * One of my former colleagues was watching although I didn’t know. She told that story so well. Homer would have been proud.

                ** Note that this comment did not go into moderation.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        Whenever these things pop up, I think back to Sagan’s Demon Hautned World and his Bullshite Detector Toolkit.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        The very early Rabbis were against the idea of people earning money from being clergy for this reason. They thought that Rabbis should have day jobs in a wordly profession to keep their feet on the ground.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s true of a bunch of other, and much more respecable beliefs, as well. The idea that the son of god died on a cross for your sins is so absurd it takes *a lot* of indoctrination for an otherwise rational person to believe it. Doing so sets a bad precedent. 🙂Report

  2. Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    L1: I can absolutely see immunity from bad judgement calls, but I agree with White, Marshall, and Brennan that decisions to withhold evidence should not only be open to torts, but IMHO, they should be cause for immediate bar review and revocation of license. The whole idea of trusting to the voters to remove bad actors is great in theory, but has proven to be thin on the ground.Report

  3. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The Court, however, ruled that such immunities were an established part of common law not abrogated by the statute itself.

    What the hell?

    Doesn’t this just come out and say “yes, we passed a law to change this, but the law doesn’t count because of precedent”?Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Because the evidence that Congress did pass a law intended to displace common-law immunities wasn’t there. The law Congress actually passed doesn’t mention immunities at all, let alone clearly displace them. The common-sense presumption has long been, including back in the day when the law in question was passed, that such common law as is not clearly displaced by the statute remains in force because Congress is thought to know the applicable common law pre-statute — otherwise, why pass a statute? — and would have dealt with it if it had wanted to.
      Now, courts can get be wrong about what Congress meant to do. But if Congress thinks courts get its intentions wrong, it has the power to fix it — and has often done just that. Congress cleaned up what it regarded as the Supreme Court’s mistakes in Ward’s Cove and Ledbetter, and could undo Bostock if it wished. If the Court got Congress’s intentions wrong in Imbler, Congress has had ample opportunity to fix it.Report

  4. Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    L6: Calling Rubio a weasel is unfair to weasels.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *