A quick follow-up to yesterday’s post about Judge Richard Posner’s opinion in the “Giftes” free speech T-shirt case.
Thanks to the commenter who brought the two drawings in the opinion exhibits to our attention. We reprint them after the jump. And we look forward to seeing them in the august pages of the Federal Reporter.
- 7th Circuit, Art, Benchslaps, Education / Schools, Fashion, Kids, Lawsuit of the Day, Richard Posner
A quick follow-up to yesterday’s post about Judge Richard Posner’s opinion in the “Giftes” free speech T-shirt case.
- 7th Circuit, Benchslaps, Education / Schools, Fashion, Free Speech, Kids, Lawsuit of the Day, Richard Posner
A detailed excerpt, plus a link to the full opinion, can be accessed here (via How Appealing). Money quote:
[T]he picture and the few words imprinted on the Brandt T-shirt are no more expressive of an idea or opinion that the First Amendment might be thought to protect than a young child’s talentless infantile drawing which Brandt’s design successfully mimics. Otherwise every T-shirt that was not all white with no design or words… would be protected by the First Amendment, and schools could not impose dress codes or require uniforms without violating the free speech of the students, a proposition sensibly rejected in the Blau case.
“[T]alentless infantile drawing”? Judge Posner, that was way harsh.
You had to rule against the plaintiffs based on the caselaw; fine. But did you really have to insult their artistic abilities? Kids are like district judges: their feelings are easily hurt.
(If you’re not familiar with this bizarre but amusing litigation, read our earlier post, available here.)
Rulings of Note from the Seventh Circuit [How Appealing]
Earlier: Lawsuit of the Day: Gifties v. Tards
Does the copy editor of the DuPage Daily Herald, like Professor Jeffrey Rosen, think that Justice Antonin Scalia “is a huge dick”?
If so, it would make sense. Animus towards Justice Scalia might explain this amusingly salacious headline:
This innocent little headline, just seven words long, makes it sound like Justice Scalia has a mistress. Who’s a lush. And a criminal.
It’s an impressive feat, in its own way.
Woman tied to Scalia faces DUI charge [DuPage County Daily Herald]
Earlier: Justice Scalia’s Daughter Joins the Ranks of Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, and State Court Judges
If your mom or dad is a federal judge, that makes them perfect (by definition). But Article III infallibility does not extend to you, their offspring. Do YOU have a commission signed by the President? Where’s your fancy black robe?
In fact, federal judicial kids get into all sorts of embarrassing scrapes. For example, sometimes they spill coffee on airplanes.*
And sometimes they get into much bigger trouble. From the Chicago Tribune:
A daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was arrested Monday night in Wheaton and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment, Wheaton Deputy Police Chief Thomas Meloni said.
Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, was stopped about 7:25 p.m. in a 1996 Ford Econoline van near Gamon Road and Longfellow Drive after a citizen reported a possible drunken driver was at the McDonald’s restaurant near there, Meloni said.
Three of Banaszewski’s “small children” were in the van with her at the time, leading to the child endangerment charge, Meloni said.
Quips our tipster: “Now that I have kids, it really makes me mad to see someone drinking and driving with their kids in the car.”
(Similarly troubling: Banaszewski’s taste in vehicles. A 1996 Ford Econoline van? Not nearly as nice as the BMW her father tools around Washington in.)
Mrs. Banaszweski wasn’t eager to chat about the incident:
Banaszewski, reached by phone at home, declined to speak about the arrest, or whether she was Scalia’s daughter.
“I have no information and I certainly would not speak with a reporter about my father,” she said.
Some unsolicited advice: Next time, Ann, just say “no comment.” We don’t mean to be annoying or pedantic — we’re guessing you don’t speak to the media much — but saying you “have no information” about an episode in which you’re the protagonist isn’t true.
Anyway, we must say we’re rather surprised by this news. The offspring of Justice Scalia are an upstanding bunch. They include a priest, a military officer, and a hot ERISA lawyer. And given Justice Scalia’s emphasis on morality and personal responsibility, we think he’d be displeased to learn that his daughter was allegedly driving under the influence, with his three grandchildren in the car.
* For those of you who care, yes, we will (eventually) respond to Judge Alex Kozinski’s open letter to us. We’ve just been very, very busy.
Daughter of Supreme Court Justice Charged in DUI [Chicago Tribune]
Earlier: Flying the Friendly, Federal Judicial Skies
Judges of the Day: Patrick Young and Jan Fiss
The Honorable Nicole Richie?
* For you Starbucks haters out there, a glimmer of hope for the days of cheap, dishwater-tasting, non-fair-trade coffee, served by exploited employees. Or Central Perk. [Mercury News]
* In case you were worried about the gel-happy San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom still gets paid while in rehab. [Law.com]
* When you’re a pre-boyfriend and pre-mascara 8-year-old, too much time on the phone leads to more than just bad grades and parental despair. [Times Union]
* Not only do pedophiles not necessarily look like John Mark Karr, but they also need not look like the white-sock wearing, pillar-of-the-community suburban dad. If there’s one TV show with true diversity, it’s To Catch a Predator. [Los Angeles Times]
- Civil Rights, Department of Justice, Federal Government, Kids, Litigatrix, Rudeness, Shanetta Cutlar
We’ll get back to Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell in a minute. Here’s a quick update on our coverage of Shanetta Cutlar, the
embattled fantabulous chief of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section.
After our last post, we received some interesting tips:
“When SYC brought her sons into work, one walked around the floor, popping into attorneys’ offices. He would say: ‘My mom tells you what to do. My mom can fire you.’ He was about six. Now, one has to think, where does a six-year-old get something like that?”
“Another time when SYC brought her sons in, a beloved security guard was making small talk with the boys. She turned to him and said, in a condescending tone: ‘Do you think they don’t have a Daddy? They already have a father. There is no need for you to speak to them.’”
“At [a recent] staff meeting, SYC gave orders for her troops to drum up Access to Reproductive Health Clinics and Places of Religious Worship, and Religious Exercise of Institutionalized Persons (FACE & RUPLA) cases. Apparently the Section has an underwhelming amount…. Pretty thin for statutes touted as part of the section’s mandate.”
“SYC and her loyal Principal Deputy positioned their offices so each exit from the building would be covered. A favorite pastime is to monitor the comings and goings of the staff. If anyone tries to slip out early or take a long lunch, they are called on the carpet and asked for a leave slip. Who says there’s waste in government? We pay an SES [Senior Executive Service -- a highly paid federal govt. official] to watch out the window!!”
“Apparently your coverage of SYC is the talk of DOJ managers, even those in other Divisions. Front office insiders expressed “concern” over the coverage at a recent lunch. They were appalled at the behavior and the fact that it’s public.”
That last item is especially interesting — but it makes us nervous. Please, front office people: Keep your hands off our Shanetta!
In addition to the foregoing comments, we received the exit questionnaire of another former SPL employee — one who hasn’t been in touch with us before.
It contains some good stuff. We’ll be posting excerpts in the near future.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of the Special Litigation Section under Shanetta Cutlar
- Crime, Education / Schools, Free Speech, Intellectual Property, Kids, Music, Non-Sequiturs, Perverts, Technology
* Music without DRM is like Esperanto, a worthwhile dream that had its moments, but never gained enough momentum to carry it through globalization. So isn’t I-Tunes, like English, close enough? [CNET News]
* I applaud StopSylviaBrowne.com’s creator for exercising his First Amendment rights, but part of me hopes he is forced to shut down so he can attempt something approximating a life. [Overlawyered]
* If you can’t spank kids anymore, how else do you discipline them? [Houston Chronicle]
* He found what worked, and stuck with it. Next time, he should try something less creative, like rush-hour in public transportation. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
* Blogs: Changing life as we know it — or just giving law students a respite from those pesky casebooks. [Balkinization]
* Guess this is more than playful alteration by a bored junior associate, like dropping the “l” from “public offering,” or the “cl” from “Class A common stock” in a prospectus. [National Review via Instapundit]
* Expect some “National Pork Board”/ “Chauvinist Pig” wordplay on a t-shirt soon. [Feminist Law Professors]
* We repeat: Blogging does not pay the bills. And Salon is not exactly old-establishment, so relax already — and edit your bookmarks, because Glenn Greenwald is moving February 8. [Unclaimed Territory]
* Young NYC graffiti artists, or just anyone ages 18-21 with a need for spray paint and broad-tipped markers, are free at last. [AM New York]
Yesterday we put up a post about the mishaps of a federal judge and her family on a recent plane trip. You can read that post by clicking here.
A number of you found it amusing. But not everyone was so pleased.
This morning we received an email from Judge Alex Kozinski, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Kozinski is one of the most highly respected members of the federal judiciary. He is a brilliant thinker, a great writer, and a colorful character. He is a top-ranked feeder judge, and a former Supreme Court clerk himself. Most importantly, he is the reigning Superhottie of the Federal Judiciary.
We reprint Judge Kozinski’s letter below (and after the jump). We are running the letter without interruption, in unredacted form. In a later post, we will reprint his letter again, but with our paragraph-by-paragraph commentary.
And now, Judge Kozinski:
I’ve been a long-time fan of your efforts to demystify and humanize the federal judiciary. Which is why I was so shocked and disappointed by your recent posting about my colleague, Judge [Marsha] Berzon. The part dealing with the incident on the airplane is a vicious and wholly gratuitous personal attack on Judge Berzon and her family. Assuming it bears some nodding resemblance to the truth, which I seriously doubt, it is so laden with pejoratives and half-witticisms that it seems designed only to wound and deride, rather than to enlighten. Federal judges may be public figures who must endure whatever criticism is leveled at us for our work product, but what possible justification is there for holding up members of our families for public ridicule?
Will a single one of your readers have been enlightened or helped in any way by learning what a lawyer who may be nursing a grudge against the judge based on his appearances before her, thinks about her family’s airplane demeanor?
We reprint the rest of Judge Kozinski’s letter after the jump.
The story we’re about to share with you is great, gossipy fun. But we must warn you that it’s not for everyone. It’s on the long side, and it’s aimed at a rather narrow demographic.
It’s most likely to entertain (1) current or former Ninth Circuit clerks and (2) people who follow the federal judiciary very, very closely. If you were a reader of Underneath Their Robes back in the day, then this story is for you.
In recognition of its “inside baseball” nature — and so as not to inflict it upon people who just want Biglaw salary info — we’ve placed the complete story after the jump.