Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Law

Federal Officials Condemn ICC

It’s good to see the entire federal government united and correct in their condemnation of the ICC.

The State Department was out with a longer statement that denounced the court for pairing Israel with Hamas.

 

‘We reject the Prosecutor’s equivalence of Israel with Hamas. It is shameful. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that carried out the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and is still holding dozens of innocent people hostage, including Americans,’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

 

And White House spokesman John Kirby noted that ‘we don’t believe the ICC has any jurisdiction in the matter.’

 

House Speaker Mike Johnson blasted the ICC and threatened to hold sanctions against the court.

 

‘The ICC has no authority over Israel or the United States, and today’s baseless and illegitimate decision should face global condemnation,’ he said.

 

‘Congress is reviewing all options, including sanctions, to punish the ICC and ensure its leadership faces consequences if they proceed. If the ICC is allowed to threaten Israeli leaders, ours could be next,’ he added.

 

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik was in Israel when the decision came down.

 

‘As Bibi leads @Israel through one of the darkest moments in its history, we must stand unequivocally with Israel against Iran and their proxies who seek to destroy the only democracy in the Middle East,’ she wrote on X.

Abbott Pardons Man Convicted of Killing Violent Protestor

Excellent

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a full pardon Thursday for a former U.S. Army sergeant convicted of murder for fatally shooting an armed demonstrator in 2020 during nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice.

 

Abbott announced the pardon shortly after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles announced a unanimous recommendation that Daniel Perry be pardoned and have his firearms rights restored.

 

Perry had been in state prison on a 25-year sentence since his 2023 conviction in the killing of Garrett Foster, and was released shortly after the pardon, a prison spokeswoman said.

Perry, who is white, was working as a ride-share driver when his car approached a demonstration in Austin. Prosecutors said he could have driven away from the confrontation with Foster, a white Air Force veteran who witnesses said never raised his gun.

 

A jury convicted Perry of murder, but Abbott called it a case of self-defense.

 

“Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive district attorney,” Abbott said.

Wisconsin Supreme Court to Decide Fewest Cases in 40 Years

Is this a problem? I rather like a minimalist court. Although it does seem that this particular court is usurping power and running roughshod over the Constitution where they choose.

It would be the first time the court has issued fewer than 40 decisions in a term in at least four decades.

 

According to Ball’s analysis, the court filed more than 130 decisions in its 1980-81 term and has generally fluctuated between 40 and 100 per term in subsequent years. Before the late 1970s and the creation of the court of appeals, the state Supreme Court often filed more than 200 decisions per term and sometimes more than 300.

 

[…]

The number of petitions for review has dropped significantly. The court received 658 petitions in its 2020-21 term, 624 in 2021-22 and 573 in 2022-23. According to a March 2024 report from the court, 332 petitions have been filed in the current term.

“In addition to a smaller number of petitions for review, the justices have clearly decided that fewer of the petitions merit acceptance. Why that might be is harder to say,” Ball said.

It is interesting that there are so few petitions. Does this indicate a lack of confidence in the court? Maybe. Maybe it’s just coincidence.

SCOTUS hears Case On Banning Homeless Encampments

This should be pretty simple. The Constitution is silent on homeless people, thus laws about them are up to the states.

A majority of Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared sympathetic to an Oregon city making it a crime for anyone without a permanent residence to sleep outside in an effort to crack down on homeless encampments across public properties.

 

The case, City of Grants Pass v. Johnson, carries enormous stakes nationwide as communities confront a growing tide of unhoused residents and increasingly turn to punitive measures to try to incentivize people to take advantage of social services and other shelter options.

 

“These generally applicable laws prohibit specific conduct and are essential to public health and safety,” argued the city’s attorney Theane Evangelis during oral arguments, which stretched more than two and a half hours.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said in a decision last year that a homeless camping ban amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment” under the 8th Amendment. But several members of the high court’s conservative majority took a critical view of that conclusion.

 

“Have we ever applied the Eighth Amendment to civil penalties?” asked a skeptical Justice Clarence Thomas.

Colorado Seeks to Ban Semiautomatic Weapons

Blatantly unconstitutional. 

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Democratic-controlled House on Sunday passed a bill that would ban the sale and transfer of semiautomatic firearms, a major step for the legislation after roughly the same bill was swiftly killed by Democrats last year.

 

The bill, which passed on a 35-27 vote, is now on its way to the Democratic-led state Senate. If it passes there, it could bring Colorado in line with 10 other states — including California, New York and Illinois — that have prohibitions on semiautomatic guns.

 

Geyser to Remain Institutionalized

Good.

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A judge ruled the woman accused of nearly killing her friend 10 years ago to appease the fictional character Slender Man will not be released back into the community. The judge said Morgan Geyser will remain in a mental health institution and continue to get treatment. This comes as the second day of a hearing to see if Geyser could get a conditional release, wrapped up.

Leftist Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Won’t Seek Reelection

This was unexpected, but welcome. We will have an open seat with no power of incumbency in play.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley announced Thursday she would step down at the end of her term next spring, putting liberals’ majority on the pivotal swing state’s highest bench at stake.

 

The April 2025 election to replace Bradley promises to be an expensive and bitter race and will likely feature many of the same momentous issues — like abortion rights and redistricting — that defined a 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court race that ultimately gave liberals their first majority on the bench in 15 years.

 

In a statement, Bradley, 73, said she would not run for a fourth 10-year term on the court, saying it was a good time to bring “fresh perspectives to the court.”

“My decision has not come lightly. It is made after careful consideration and reflection. I know I can do the job and do it well. I know I can win re-election should I run, but it’s just time to pass the torch,” wrote Bradley, who was elected to the technically nonpartisan court in 1995.

State Bar Tries to be Less Racist

Victory? I guess? But if the results of the program are the same, it doesn’t seem like much of a victory. Liberals have no problem saying one thing to appease the law and then doing whatever they want.

The State Bar of Wisconsin said that under terms of the settlement, its “diversity clerkship program” would continue unchanged under the new definition.

 

But the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which brought the lawsuit in December, declared victory, saying in a statement that “mandatory and annual State Bar dues will not fund internships and policies primarily based on race, but rather on merit and diversity of viewpoint.”

 

The original definition of “diversity” for the Wisconsin program said the concept includes race, ethnicity, gender identity and other factors. The new definition simply says it involves “including people with differing characteristics, beliefs, experiences, interests, and viewpoints.”

 

Under the deal, the bar association must also clearly say in all materials related to the program that race is not a factor in considering participation in the program, according to the conservative law firm.

 

The bar association also may not say that only law students from diverse backgrounds, with backgrounds that have been historically excluded from the legal field, or who have been socially disadvantaged are eligible, the law firm said.

 

The program in question offers summer internships for first-year law school students at top law firms, private companies and government offices. Past participants have included Alliant Energy, Froedtert Health, the Kohler Co., the city of Madison, the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the state Department of Corrections.

SCOTUS Allows Texas to Arrest Illegal Aliens

Excellent.

A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Texas to begin enforcing a law that gives police broad powers to arrest migrants suspected of crossing the border illegally while a legal battle over the measure plays out.

 

The conservative majority’s order rejects an emergency application from the Biden administration, which says the law is a clear violation of federal authority that would cause chaos in immigration law.

 

Texas Gov Greg Abbott praised the order — and the law — which allows any police officer in Texas to arrest migrants for illegal entry and authorizes judges to order them to leave the U.S.

The high court didn’t address whether the law is constitutional. The measure now goes back to an appellate court and could eventually return to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, it wasn’t clear how soon Texas might begin arresting migrants under the law.

 

It was also unclear where any migrants ordered to leave might go. The law calls for them to be sent to ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, even if they are not Mexican citizens.

 

But Mexico’s government said Tuesday it would not “under any circumstances” accept the return of any migrants to its territory from the state of Texas. Mexico is not required to accept deportations of anyone except Mexican citizens.

I suggest that Mexico make some effort to prevent non-Mexicans from crossing their country to jump our border.

Women Sue to Compete Against Women

Really… what does Title IX even mean if we obliterate women’s sports?

ATLANTA (AP) — Former Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines was among more than a dozen college athletes who filed a lawsuit against the NCAA on Thursday, accusing it of violating their Title IX rights by allowing Lia Thomas to compete at the national championships in 2022.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, details the shock Gaines and other swimmers felt when they learned they would have to share a locker room with Thomas at the championships in Atlanta. It documents a number of races they swam in with Thomas, including the 200-yard final in which Thomas and Gaines tied for fifth but Thomas, not Gaines, was handed the fifth-place trophy.

SCOTUS Unanimously Sides With Constitution

Excellent. Surprising that it was unanimous, but a good sign that the justices can sometimes put aside their personal political biases in favor of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court’s Monday ruling that Donald Trump should appear on the ballot in Colorado is a massive victory for the former president, vanquishing one of the many legal threats that have both plagued and animated his campaign against President Joe Biden.

 

Using the 14th Amendment to derail Trump’s candidacy has always been seen as a legal longshot, but gained significant momentum with a win in Colorado’s top court in December, on its way to the US Supreme Court. Since that decision, Trump was also removed from the ballot in Maine and Illinois.

Leftist court justices getting what they paid for

Here is my column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week.

There is an open secret in corporate America regarding consultants. While business leaders will sometimes hire consultants to actually study an issue and offer unbiased advice, perhaps more often than not, consultants are hired to tell the business leaders what they want to hear. This is exactly what is happening within the redistricting case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

 

Here is how the game is played: An executive knows they need to do something or wants to do something but either does not have support or does not want to take responsibility for the decision. The executive hires a consultant to “study” the issue and provide guidance with a wink and a nod. When the consultant miraculously comes back recommending that they do what the executive wanted, the executive can sell the decision to their bosses, employees, and customers as something “recommended by unbiased experts after rigorous study.” Consultants get paid. Executive gets what he or she wants.

 

When the leftists on the Wisconsin Supreme Court chose to violate the law and Constitution to throw out the legally implemented state legislative maps last year, they decided that they needed a fig leaf of legitimacy to force whatever new maps they draw. To that end, they went out and hired two consultants, Jonathan Cervas and Bernard Grofman. Both men are academics who have carved out a niche for themselves consulting on redistricting for clients all over the country. Both of these consultants will be paid $450 per hour up to $100,000 each for their work. It is a good side hustle if you can get it. The hiring process for these consultants was utterly opaque. There was no nationwide search for the best, most unbiased consultants. The leftists did not solicit input from any of the litigants in the case. There was no bidding process or price negotiation made public. We, the public, have absolutely no idea why these two consultants were selected or why we are paying them $450 per hour. The only thing we know is that the leftist court majority chose them.

 

The leftist court majority is getting exactly what they are paying for. In response to the court usurping the power of the Legislature and throwing out the state legislative maps, the court accepted six alternate proposals from interested parties. The six sets of maps were submitted by Legislative Republicans, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, Governor Tony Evers, Democrat plaintiffs, Senate Democrats, and a group of academic mathematicians.

 

Last week, accompanied by a statement heavy with meaningless academic jargon, the consultants rejected the two maps submitted by Republicans and WILL — the only two maps submitted by someone who is not a fellow traveler of the leftist court majority. The consultants did not declare which map was most correct but left open the option to draw their own if asked to do so by the court.

 

Let me save everyone the drama of what is to come. We already know. The leftist court majority has made it clear that they will redraw the maps to favor the Democrats as much as possible. They have a fundamental belief that legislative representation should mirror the statewide popular vote – ignoring small-“r” republicanism that balances geographic and popular interests. Given that the leftists have the majority, they will impose maps that are heavily gerrymandered to favor Democrats.

 

The leftist justices want to maintain the fiction of impartiality and judicial objectivity. Yes, “fiction” is the correct word. To that end, one of two outcomes will happen. The court will choose the maps submitted by the mathematicians. This lets the leftists pretend that there is objective science behind the maps without accepting maps submitted by obviously biased Democrats.

 

The more likely outcome is that the leftist justices will toss out all of the submitted maps and charge the consultants to draw new maps. This gives them ultimate control over the outcome and covers their overt partisanship with a veneer of academic impartiality and objectivity. The mainstream media will announce their approval for the allegedly fair, in reality completely unfair, maps like the clapping barking seals they are.

 

The two consultants hired by the leftist court majority were hired to deliver maps that favor Democrats. That is exactly what is going to happen. In the end, given the billions of taxpayer dollars that are going to flow to leftist operatives and priorities as a result of this decision, $200,000 seems like a reasonable investment for them to make to maintain the fiction of a rule of law in Wisconsin.

Leftist court justices getting what they paid for

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

There is an open secret in corporate America regarding consultants. While business leaders will sometimes hire consultants to actually study an issue and offer unbiased advice, perhaps more often than not, consultants are hired to tell the business leaders what they want to hear. This is exactly what is happening within the redistricting case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

 

Here is how the game is played: An executive knows they need to do something or wants to do something but either does not have support or does not want to take responsibility for the decision. The executive hires a consultant to “study” the issue and provide guidance with a wink and a nod. When the consultant miraculously comes back recommending that they do what the executive wanted, the executive can sell the decision to their bosses, employees, and customers as something “recommended by unbiased experts after rigorous study.” Consultants get paid. Executive gets what he or she wants.

 

When the leftists on the Wisconsin Supreme Court chose to violate the law and Constitution to throw out the legally implemented state legislative maps last year, they decided that they needed a fig leaf of legitimacy to force whatever new maps they draw. To that end, they went out and hired two consultants, Jonathan Cervas and Bernard Grofman. Both men are academics who have carved out a niche for themselves consulting on redistricting for clients all over the country. Both of these consultants will be paid $450 per hour up to $100,000 each for their work. It is a good side hustle if you can get it. The hiring process for these consultants was utterly opaque. There was no nationwide search for the best, most unbiased consultants. The leftists did not solicit input from any of the litigants in the case. There was no bidding process or price negotiation made public. We, the public, have absolutely no idea why these two consultants were selected or why we are paying them $450 per hour. The only thing we know is that the leftist court majority chose them.

 

[…]

 

The more likely outcome is that the leftist justices will toss out all of the submitted maps and charge the consultants to draw new maps. This gives them ultimate control over the outcome and covers their overt partisanship with a veneer of academic impartiality and objectivity. The mainstream media will announce their approval for the allegedly fair, in reality completely unfair, maps like the clapping barking seals they are.

 

The two consultants hired by the leftist court majority were hired to deliver maps that favor Democrats. That is exactly what is going to happen. In the end, given the billions of taxpayer dollars that are going to flow to leftist operatives and priorities as a result of this decision, $200,000 seems like a reasonable investment for them to make to maintain the fiction of a rule of law in Wisconsin.

Usurpers on the high court

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week.

The leftist-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court is continuing its rampage to strip Wisconsinites of self-governance and reshape the state to their will. Where leftists could not win support for their ideology at the ballot box, they will use the power of the court to advance it.

 

Unless you are a political nerd, it is difficult to convey how bad the court is acting in regard to Wisconsin’s legislative maps. Article 4 section 3 of the Wisconsin Constitution is crystal clear that it is the duty and responsibility of the state legislature to redraw the state’s legislative boundaries every 10 years after the federal census. The maps are redrawn to adjust for population shifts to ensure that each district is roughly equal in population.

 

After the 2020 census, the Republican legislature did their duty and redrew the maps. Democrat Governor Evers vetoed them, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended up settling the issue. The maps were challenged multiple times in state and federal court, but the maps were universally ruled constitutional and went into effect for the 2022 election.

 

This was a settled issue. Leftists are frustrated that their supporters are concentrated in a couple of areas in the state. This results in Wisconsin being evenly politically divided in statewide elections, but since legislative districts are geographically dispersed, the leftists’ geographic concentration puts them at a disadvantage in legislative elections. This is why challenging the legislative maps was high on the list of things for the newly Leftists Supreme Court to redo.

 

Right before Christmas, the Supreme Court threw out all of the legislative maps and committed to redrawing them under their own authority, thus usurping the express power conferred to the Legislature in the constitution. The fig leaf they used to cover their overt power grab was that all of the districts were not physically contiguous. Wisconsin’s districts have not been physically contiguous for many decades, but that was their excuse. In fact, in 1992, a Democrat-led legislature drew maps without physically contiguous districts and a federal judicial panel ruled them constitutional. It is goofy, but it is not unconstitutional.

 

Even if one accepts that incontiguous districts are unconstitutional (they are not); and even if one considers the issue so egregious that it must be dealt with now and not at the next apportionment (it is not); the court could have taken the least disruptive action of just redrawing the relevant districts. They did not take the least disruptive action. Instead, they threw out all of the maps and are completely redrawing them in the middle of a presidential election year. The court’s actions reveal the depth of their power grab.

 

On Jan. 12, seven interested parties submitted new maps to the court for them to consider. According to a review by the Marquette University Law School, all seven maps still result in a Republican advantage for the Assembly. That is just how the political math works in an age of ideological ghettoization.

 

The Republicans would also have an advantage for the Senate in five of the seven submitted maps.

 

The Supreme Court does not have to use any of the submitted maps. They could just ignore them all and draw their own. One thing is certain, however: The new maps will maximize the advantage for Democrats even if districts are gerrymandered such that they will be renowned as a piece of abstract art. One need only look to our neighbors in Illinois to see the depths to which Democrats will gerrymander districts to their advantage.

 

But the deeper outrage of the leftist court’s actions is not the “what,” but the “who.” Our government of self-governance relies on the rule of law and the separation of powers. The leftists are rejecting both of these bedrock principles in one stroke. They are substituting ideology for law and brazenly snatching an express constitutional power from the legislative branch of government.

 

We are watching a judicial coup unfold before our eyes. These are menacing times.

 

UN Court Rules Against Israel

Meh

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The United Nations’ top court ordered Israel on Friday to do all it can to prevent death, destruction and any acts of genocide in its military offensive in Gaza, but stopped short of ordering a cease-fire.

 

South Africa alleged that Israel’s campaign in the tiny coastal enclave amounted to genocide in the case, which goes to the core of one of the world’s most intractable conflicts, and had asked the court to order Israel to halt the operation.

 

While the ruling stopped short of that, it nonetheless constituted an overwhelming rebuke of Israel’s wartime conduct and adds to mounting international pressure to halt the offensive that has killed more than 26,000 Palestinians, decimated vast swaths Gaza, and driven nearly 85% of its 2.3 million people from their homes.

The UN is a defunct organization rife with antisemites and tyrants. It lacks the moral authority to levy judgment. As an example, the nation that brought this case, South Africa, is currently in the process of committing a slow genocide on their white population. Nobody cares.

Usurpers on the high court

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

The leftist-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court is continuing its rampage to strip Wisconsinites of self-governance and reshape the state to their will. Where leftists could not win support for their ideology at the ballot box, they will use the power of the court to advance it.

 

Unless you are a political nerd, it is difficult to convey how bad the court is acting in regard to Wisconsin’s legislative maps. Article 4 section 3 of the Wisconsin Constitution is crystal clear that it is the duty and responsibility of the state legislature to redraw the state’s legislative boundaries every 10 years after the federal census.

 

[…]

 

The Supreme Court does not have to use any of the submitted maps. They could just ignore them all and draw their own. One thing is certain, however: The new maps will maximize the advantage for Democrats even if districts are gerrymandered such that they will be renowned as a piece of abstract art. One need only look to our neighbors in Illinois to see the depths to which Democrats will gerrymander districts to their advantage.

 

But the deeper outrage of the leftist court’s actions is not the “what,” but the “who.” Our government of self-governance relies on the rule of law and the separation of powers. The leftists are rejecting both of these bedrock principles in one stroke. They are substituting ideology for law and brazenly snatching an express constitutional power from the legislative branch of government.

 

We are watching a judicial coup unfold before our eyes. These are menacing times.

SCOTUS Takes Aim at Chevron Doctrine

Yes. Kill it. Weaker government is better government.

What’s next

 

Legal experts say the court’s conservative justices appear very likely to significantly reduce the scope of the Chevron doctrine, if not eliminate it altogether. A final ruling is expected in early summer.

Perspectives

 

If Chevron is eliminated, the government’s power to do just about anything will be weakened

 

“​​Here’s the bottom line: Without Chevron deference, it’ll be open season on each and every regulation, with underinformed courts playing pretend scientist, economist, and policymaker all at once.” — Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

Illegals Crush Immigration Courts

Remember that these are only the people who were caught illegally entering our nation. Millions and millions more are just moving in.

…unprecedented 3 million currently pending in immigration courts around the United States.

 

Fueled by record-breaking increases in migrants who seek asylum after being apprehended for crossing the border illegally, the court backlog has grown by more than 1 million over the last fiscal year and it’s now triple what it was in 2019, according to government data compiled by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

Judges, attorneys and migrant advocates worry that’s rendering an already strained system unworkable, as it often takes several years to grant asylum-seekers a new stable life and to deport those with no right to remain in the country.

 

[…]

 

When migrants are apprehended by U.S. authorities at the border, many are released with a record of their detention and instructions to appear in court in the city where they are headed. That information is passed on from the Department of Homeland Security to the Justice Department, whose Executive Office for Immigration Review runs the courts, so that an initial hearing can be scheduled.

 

“They’re just being released without any idea of what comes next,”

SCOTUS to Consider Homeless Rights to Public Land

Nope

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether homeless people have a constitutional right to camp on public property when they have no other place to sleep.

 

Acting on appeals from city officials in California and the West, the court will review decisions of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which held it was cruel and unusual punishment for cities to deny homeless people a place to sleep.

 

As a result of the 9th Circuit rulings, public officials in California and the eight other Western states under its jurisdiction face greater scrutiny and legal challenges when they move to clear encampments or relocate homeless people.

The Constitution does not speak on this matter, so it is not a right protected by that document. As a matter of Natural Law, we all have a right to use public/communal/shared land. So if a homeless person sleeps on a bench for a night, no harm, no foul. Where it runs afoul is when a homeless person sets up a permanent residence with a tent or other structure. Or if they keep their stuff in a single place as to keep others away. In that situation, the homeless person is denying others the ability to use public/communal/shared land and the community is empowered to remove the homeless person to preserve the shared space.

The same principle applies with hunting on public land. A hunter is free to move into public land and hunt for a day or two in a spot. But if that hunter sets up a permanent shelter or stand, the hunter is claiming a spot of land as their own. It is squatting or de facto privatization of public land. In that situation, the community is equally empowered to make the hunter pack up and move along.

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