Drugs

Ed. note: This is the second installment of Righteous Indignation, our new column for conservative-minded lawyers.

In Pennsylvania earlier this week, the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell drew to a close. Gosnell, a West Philadelphia abortion doctor, is accused of murdering four children who were allegedly born alive after Gosnell’s efforts to abort them. The jury now considers four counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of the children, along with one count of third-degree murder for the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a Bhutanese refugee to whom Gosnell allegedly gave a lethal overdose of Demerol. He also faces twenty-three counts of performing illegal late-term abortions. If convicted of first-degree murder, Gosnell faces the death penalty.

Trial witnesses, including clinic workers, offered gruesome testimony. Some of the allegations: the lethal drug Gosnell injected into the babies in utero failed to stop their hearts, and they emerged from their mothers’ birth canals breathing, wriggling, even crying; Gosnell then “snipped” the backs of the babies’ necks with scissors, severing their spinal cords; and Gosnell joked about the size of the “fetuses” whose spinal cords he cut, including a baby who he said was big enough “to walk me home.”

A mother of another of Gosnell’s alleged victims reportedly delivered her baby into a toilet while waiting for Dr. Gosnell. A clinic worker testified that the child made swimming motions in the toilet bowl before another employee snipped the child’s neck. Prosecutors dubbed Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society clinic a “House of Horrors”….

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor is a Wise Latina who seems to have a history with drugs. In her memoir, My Beloved World (affiliate link), she recounts the time her ex-husband tried to make her pop pills on their wedding night. She also tells the tale of unknowingly driving her cousin to a drug den (where he apparently did heroin) while she was working as a prosecutor. Later in her career, she asked about cocaine from the bench — specifically, if it could be made into a rock form without using a base.

From pills, to heroin, to crack cocaine, it seems like Sotomayor’s got all of her bases covered when it comes to drugs, but she claims not to have used any of them. Well, what about marijuana?

Come on, it’s just a little pot. Everyone smokes pot. Hell, 47 percent of our readers admitted to smoking it habitually. Some would wager that even Supreme Court justices smoke weed in the privacy of their own homes (they don’t sniff glue, though; ask AMK about that one). But no, not Sonia Sotomayor — that goody two-shoes doesn’t puff, puff, or pass, and she even quit her 3½-pack-a-day cigarette habit.

So then how does this woman know so freakin’ much about joints?

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* The Dukes of Hazzard and Braveheart cited in the Eleventh Circuit. Other circuits, the gauntlet has been thrown down. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Dave’s not here, man. Probably not the smartest stoner on the planet. [Lowering the Bar]

* Former Skadden attorney loses her appeal claiming that insomnia constituted a disability. It’s a setback for her, but nothing worth losing sleep over. [National Law Journal]

* The Second Circuit agreed with every other court that heard the motion and denied the effort to recuse Magistrate Judge Peck from the Da Silva Moore predictive coding case. [IT-Lex]

* Maybe it’s time for law professors to get off their duffs and try helping out their unemployed students directly. [Concurring Opinions]

* Chief Judge Easterbrook allows a $25K student-loan discharge for a “destitute” paralegal. The educational-industrial complex is not going to sit still for this. [ABA Journal]

* Saira Rao, of Chambermaid (affiliate link) fame, has a new publishing venture — check it out. [Kickstarter]

* Oh, BARBRI. What’s the Matter with Kansas, indeed (after the jump)….

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* Thieves made off with 5.5 tons of Nutella. Damn you Danny Ocean! [CBS News]

* Don’t try to play Baseketball in Canton, Ohio. [Legal Juice]

* The SEC finally allows companies to distribute disclosures via social media. Welcome to the 21st Century, SEC. [IT-Lex]

* Speaking of the SEC, Mary Jo White was confirmed by the Senate. [Fox Business]

* Chief Judge Alex Kozinski: “Can I get an oy vey up in here?” [COLLive]

* Kentucky is just all kinds of screwy. Lawyer jailed for not turning over documents/running drug ring. [AP]

* Energy law was number two in law firm activity this quarter. For the billionth quarter in a row, Third Amendment law failed to crack the top 10. [AOL Energy]

* Ha! “Thus, it seems that (as has so often occurred in IP law) the focus on the problems of copyright and patent has allowed trademark law to engage, unsupervised, in a great deal of mischief.” [Law of Fashion]

* Just a reminder: Legalizing gay marriage does not end discrimination. [National Law Journal]

Yo, You Smoke?

You were going to read this post, until you got high.

Yo, you smoke? I mean, you like to get high? I like to smoke pot on occasion. I don’t remember if the character and fitness application for bar admittance asked about drug use, but I think it probably did. It doesn’t matter, of course. Just another brick in the wall of hypocrisy that our nation’s drug laws and attitudes have become. Or have always been. I don’t really know. But seriously, you smoke?

I’ve never been terribly enthusiastic about smoking weed. To be honest, I’m too lazy to develop a serious pot habit. To me, it’s no different than collecting stamps or reading literature. It takes effort. And that’s just something that I don’t have much of in large amounts. This is all to say that if I were a harder worker or had more motivation to do something/anything, I’d probably be a pothead. I mean, I like smoking pot well enough.

This weekend, the New York Times blew up your bubby’s spot. And Rand Paul went on national television and said a whole lot of sensible things that no one in their right minds could disagree with. And, well, it got me thinking.

Yo, you smoke?

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Paul Bergrin (via Getty Images)

I have to give Paul Bergrin some credit. This former federal prosecutor, accused of drug dealing, pimping, and murder, has been remarkably successful at eluding conviction for his crimes.

Bergrin was first arrested back in 2009. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey, where Bergrin once worked before becoming a defense lawyer, brought him to trial. That trial, which took place in 2011, ended with a hung jury. Some time was taken up with appellate machinations (in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office prevailed).

A new trial, before a different district judge, got underway this January. And today justice finally caught up with the man that New York magazine famously dubbed “the baddest lawyer in the history of Jersey”….

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* Legal advertising meets Godwin’s Law. [Lowering the Bar]

* Carla Spivack of Oklahoma City University’s law school suggests rethinking the logic of statutes that prevent a killer from inheriting from their victims. Spivak argues that most of such killings involve escaping abusive situations and not a “child who kills a grandparent to hasten an inheritance.” Um, Spivak hasn’t watched enough Murder, She Wrote. [The Faculty Lounge]

* “Would It Be Okay To Perform Surgery On Crack?” I’m not sure, but I’m a sporting fellow! Fetch me a scalpel and your finest rock! [Legal Juice]

* Dunkin’ Donut’s employee used hot coffee to spoil a robbery while yelling “go run on Dunkin.’” Moral of the story: Next time rob Winchell’s. [NBC New York]

* Bear Lawyer grapples with sequestration. I’m fairly certain the chalkboard behind him is a direct reproduction of a notepad Paul Ryan used. [Bear Lawyer, LLC]

* Subway founder says regulations would prevent him from building his business today. “I had an easy time of it in the ’60s when I started.” Yes, it’s harder to cut costs with horse meat today, but you can still dare to dream. [Overlawyered]

* Mila Kunis is the greatest interview ever, turning the whole thing around on a nervous interviewer. There are a couple important lessons here for litigators: (1) don’t get too stuck to your script; and, (2) if you’re going to let the witness take over the examination, just hope they’re trying to help you. Video after the jump. [YouTube via BBC Radio 1]

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Justice Sotomayor: you wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.

As we recently observed, Justice Sonia Sotomayor could be thought of as the people’s justice. The Wise Latina is also the Warm Latina.

Justice Sotomayor shows up on Sesame Street as well as One First Street. She hugs little girls on her book tour. She hires law clerks from outside the top 14 law schools.

But you need to stay on her good side; if you tick her off, woe unto you. Let’s check out the Beloved World (affiliate link) — of pain — that Her Honor just inflicted on a federal prosecutor down in Texas….

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Puff, puff, pass up your deductions.

An emerging industry that can provide hundreds of thousands of jobs is being held back by these crazy tax rates. We’re like any other small businesses, that just happens to be illegal in some states.

Betty Aldworth, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, commenting on a provision of the tax code that’s preventing those in the medical marijuana industry from taking standard business deductions, and forcing them to pay tax rates of up to 75 percent.

* Palestinian prisoners are smuggling spooge out of prison to make babies on the outside. The article raises some fascinating legal and ethical questions, but thankfully fails to explain the logistics of the scheme. [Bill of Health / Harvard Law Petrie-Flom Center]

* Florida is looking into the question of whether judges and attorneys can be Facebook friends. But it’s so useful to have real-time feedback of which arguments that judge is going to “Like.” [IT-Lex]

* The government has indicted a lawyer on charges of bankrolling a synthetic marijuana operation. So real-life Kentucky is just like Justified Kentucky. [USA Today]

* The defense of Oscar Pistorius springs back and has a good day. [Deadspin]

* This article about KU Law Professor Stephen Ware’s arrest on domestic abuse charges sounds bad, but he’s actually a hero for putting together an elaborate and interactive issue-spotting exam for his final. [6 News Lawrence]

* This will be fun. What are the weirdest constitutional arguments ever asserted in court? [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Former Senator Pete Dominici admits that he’s the father of Vegas lawyer Adam Laxalt of Lewis and Roca. While a Senator for New Mexico, Dominici was nailing the daughter of Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt… just to be neighborly. [Reno Gazette-Journal]

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