Poetic Justice

Published May 26, 2016 by Anne

Is the U.S. Constitution poetry? Maybe, maybe not. However, we do know that the Preamble is best memorized through song. Moreover, even this English major didn’t quite grasp structure until her Con Law class.

We enjoyed, although did not entirely buy, Q&A: Burt Neuborne on “Madison’s Music,” a Bold New Approach to Interpreting the Constitution, National Book Review (May 2016).

See also the ambitious The U.S. Constitution Is a Poem, (that certainly settles the question), Geoffrey Wessel, Overthinking.com (September 17, 2015).

Is it fiction? Kind of, yes. See Constitutional Law as Fiction: Narrative in the Rhetoric of Authority, Lash Larue, Penn State University Press (1995).

Grand Jury Reform

Published January 28, 2016 by Anne

Where have we been? Weeping over the inhumanity of a broken Asus laptop. Its failed body safely entombed in the trunk of our car, we are now emotionally able to continue with our regular blogging schedule. Here goes…

Ohio has created a grand jury task force. See Chief Justice Forms Grand Jury Task Force, Court News Ohio (January 27, 2916). Not sure why the grand jury mavens at the University of Dayton School of Law are not on the roster, but we assume and hope that their expertise will be utilized.

Why a grand jury task force? These things usually grow in the wake of some notorious case. Recall, for example, the bevy of petit jury reformers who got to work after the O.J. case in the 90s. Here, the grand jury is getting a closer look after the Tamir Rice shooting in Cleveland. That grand jury either never took a vote, or did, depending on who’s telling it.

Defunded and Fee-Funded

Published January 12, 2016 by Anne

Connecticut probate courts have been defunded.

That’s right, the legislature will no longer pay for them. Never mind the poor souls who accidentally die in testate, never mind the vulnerable people who are in need of guardianship. Never mind that probate court is supposed to be a public service.

Instead of funding the courts, the legislature raised fees. Thus, the rich (assuming they don’t have enough warning to plan to die elsewhere, and assuming they lack wills) will pay extremely high fees, which supposedly will fund the rest.

This seems to be one decision that will have an adverse effect on both the wealthy and the poor. See Connecticut’s Probate Fee Change Could Drive Out Wealthy, Some Say, Luther Turmelle, New Haven Register (January 4, 2016), and Defunding of Probate Courts Punishes the Poor, Judge Lisa Wexler, Greenwich Time (August 29, 2015). Who’s it good for?

Hail to the Chief Judge

Published January 8, 2016 by Anne

In this day and age, there is a lot we could say about the folks running certain state courts of last resort. Suffice it to say, we will miss the good example set by the pioneering Chief Judge Judith Kaye of New York, who passed away today.

She was smart and innovative, interesting and interested.

Her obituary appears in the New York Times.

Zombie Jamboree

Published January 7, 2016 by Anne

Who pushes the limits of free speech? Artists, writers, comedians, and…zombies.

Already known for his 15-foot tall zombie nativity scene, which went viral (as only a zombie nativity scene can), plus a few other antics, John Forest Thormer was arrested outside the Hamilton County Municipal Court. He was in full zombie getup (of course he was).

Apparently, First Amendment rights do not include use of a megaphone. You’d think trying to impress Tom Arnold (see link to story, below), would be a felony.

See Zombie Nativity Supporter Jailed, Kevin Grasha (hey I went to elementary school with him!), Cincinnati Enquirer (January 5, 2016).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.