(NOTE: The HP ad above was featured on the same page that contained Emily Bazelon’s Slate article below about the sexting and cyberbullying cases, and the juxtaposition struck me as…..um….amusing.)
LOOK, I TOO THINK JOHN YOO IS IN LEAGUE WITH SATAN, BUT GET A GRIP!
A group of lawyers and law students are demanding that Deputy Attorney General David Carrillo, who works in AG Jerry Brown’s office, drop his plans to teach a constitutional law class with the UC Berkeley professor John Yoo next semester.
In case you’ve dozed off on the matter, John Yoo is the guy who wrote the infamous torture memos to justify the actions of the Bush administration when he was a US Justice Department lawyer from 2001 to 2003.
The SF Chronicle has the story. Here are some clips.
By instructing a class with Mr. Yoo, you are helping to legitimize his illegal and unethical actions,” organizations led by the National Lawyers Guild said Tuesday in an open letter to Deputy Attorney General David Carrillo, a doctoral candidate and instructor at the university’s Boalt Hall law school.
They asked Carrillo either to teach the course by himself, if the school will allow it, or to leave it to Yoo. Signers included the law school’s chapter of La Raza Law Students Association and the Boalt Alliance to Abolish Torture.
Oh, please. I’m all for prosecuting Yoo. If someone can find a legal way to wrap the law around him and squeeze a bit, that’d be excellent. (Unfortunately, I don’t think they can.)
But, otherwise, if some nice liberal guy from the AG’s office wants to teach with him, leave them the heck alone. Good education—particularly a law school education—-thrives on differing points of view.
IN FLORIDA, CLEMENCY IS NOT DEAD
The horrible murders committed by Maurice Clemmons , and the subsequent attacks on Mike Huckabee, have not exactly encouraged the notion of clemency. Nevertheless, Wednesday a Florida woman named Jennifer Martin who was serving 16 years for manslaughter, was set free by a four person parole board that included Florida governor Charlie Crist.
ABC news has the details.
The video of Martin’s first day out is from the St. Petersburg Times.
THE 9TH CIRCUIT, THE SUPREMES & THE “PERILOUS FRONTIER OF CYBERLAW”
(I just like writing that: “….the perilous frontier of cyberlaw.“)
Anyway, regarding the two new Supreme Court cases we’ve already talked about here: the Ontario cop sexting case, and the issue with the rights of mean kids who cyberbully, Slate’s legal writer, Emily Bazelon, has written a good column that explores the two cases recently accepted by the Supremes, and notes that the California’s 9th Circuit of Appeals is smack in the middle of both of them. In each instance, the judges of the 9th came down on the side of the rights of the individual.
(In the case of the mean girls, I think they’re right. In the case of the sexting cop…. hmmmmm… maybe yes, maybe no.)
In any event, Baselon’s column engages in an informative discussion of both cases. Here’s a clip:
Before Jeff Quon got a pager from the Ontario Police Department, where he’s a sergeant, he signed a blanket statement that he had he had “no expectation of privacy or confidentiality” when using city equipment for e-mail or the Internet. But then his supervisor put in place an informal policy that undercut the official one. The supervisor told cops who had the pagers that they could send 25,000 characters worth of text messages a month and then after that, pay for the extra messagesâ€”and if they did, avoid an audit. Quon went above the character limit a few months in a row, paying each time. Then his chief started to wonder about whether Quon was wasting time on the job and asked the pager service for the texts. It turned out that lots of them were notes about sex Quon had written to his girlfriend. Quon sued, arguing that the search of his texts was a violation of his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches at work.
In June 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed with him. He had a reasonable expectation of privacy, the court said, given what his supervisor told him about paying for extra messagesâ€”the department’s “operational reality.” The court also found that there were other, less intrusive ways for the police chief to figure out whether Quon was frittering away his time: Warning him ahead of time to quit sending so many messages, asking him to count the characters himself, or asking him to cross out the personal parts before the department reviewed them.
This ruling, by Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw for a panel of three judges, implicitly recognizes that company pagers and e-mail accounts often turn into personal ones. Sometimes, that saves employees’ time: If I’m not toggling back and forth between my Slate e-mail account and Gmail, my day is more streamlined (or so I tell myself). If your boss says you can use company technology for your own business, then you should be safe from unnecessarily intrusive searchesâ€”even if he’s contradicting some official blanket disclaimer in which you signed away your privacy rights without really paying attention.
SF SUPERVISOR CHRIS DAILY DROPS F-BOMB ON GEORGE GASCON’S HEAD
Also in the SF Chron, it seems that new San Francisco police chief, George Gascon, was roundly cussed out by Supervisor Chris Daly.
(Gascon, if you’ll remember, a longtime LAPD cop, used to be the Assistant Chief under Bill Bratton. Before he took the SF job, Gascon was rumored to be the front runner to replace Bratton as the L.A.C.O.P. So we in LA we are justified as viewing him as one of ours.)
In any case here’s a clip that explains the situation:
Supervisor Chris Daly got up from his seat, approached GascÃ³n, cut him off to introduce himself and was heard dropping the f-bomb as he left the chambers in a huff. GascÃ³n looked surprised, said it was nice to meet Daly and continued testifying.
Apparently GascÃ³n hasn’t reached out to Daly since taking the job several months ago, despite his focus on cracking down on drug dealing in the Tenderloin, the heart of Daly’s district.
“I don’t know if it’s good politics or not, but if I was a new department head, I would certainly reach out to every decision maker,” Daly told us.
He said he appreciates the focus on the Tenderloin, but disagrees with the “nickel and diming” approach of going after low-level users which is overcrowding jails and causing the Sheriff’s Department to go over budget. He’d like to see the bigger fish nabbed instead.
We heard reports that Daly said “F- you, F-you!” as he left the chambers. So was the f-bomb directed at GascÃ³n? “I was muttering to myself, yes,” Daly confirmed. “I think probably it was more like f-ing a-hole. It wasn’t directed at him, and you know, I’m sure very few people could hear it.”
Evidently it was more than a few.