Author: denvirj

Constitutional Math

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

In a recent post I called for Chief Justice John Roberts to act.  I felt that the politicization of the Supreme Court was destroying its legitimacy in the eyes of most Americans and that the Chief Justice should take action to “save the Supremes.” https://guileisgood.com/2018/11/03/saving-the-supremes/ And, lo and behold, Roberts has taken action, publicly criticizing President Trump  for referring to a federal  judge as an “Obama” judge. Roberts insists all judges are just “judges.” The […]

Saving the Supremes

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Democracy's Constitution / The Supremes

I was recently complaining to a friend about the Republican party’s successful efforts to politicize the Supreme Court, efforts culminating in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.  The “Federalist Five”– Thomas, Alito, Roberts, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh– are expected to provide  a right wing majority for the foreseeable future. My friend surprised me by noting  that my criticisms sounded like  “sour grapes;” he wondered if I would be equally outraged if the Democrats had been clever enough […]

On the Road to Homeless

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Repairing the System / Untitled

  The true power of  Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize winning study of poverty in Milwaukee, comes from the individual stories it tells.  Arleen’s story is a good example. When we first meet Arleen (pseudonym) and her sons, Jori and Jafaris, they are moving into a new  apartment in Milwaukee’s inner city.  Arleen is busy  rearranging furniture and stacking  dishes next to her nice porcelain plates.  It’s a new […]

My Favorites

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Untitled

This month marks the 4th Anniversary of GuileisGood.com.   I have decided to celebrate this event by creating a new “page”  on  the blog–“My Favorites”. Its primary purpose is to provide new readers some sense of my interests and prejudices, but I hope long time readers might also enjoying taking a look.   Here are my personal favorite posts: 1.”What It Means to Think Like a Lawyer”  (1/04/2018) https://guileisgood.com/2018/01/05/is-it-good-to-think-like-a-lawyer/ 2. “What It Takes to be a Good Lawyer” (10/15/2014) https://guileisgood.com/2014/10/15/erin-brockovich-what-it-takes-to-be-a-good-lawyer/ […]

Contrition is Good for the Soul

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Guile is Not Always Good / Repairing the System

The cynical art of the “fauxpology” has entered the sacred precincts of the law.   Highly respected Judge Alex Kozinski of the prestigious Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was accused late last year by several former female clerks and interns of improper behavior that included unwanted touching and fondling.  Kozinski at first denied the allegations, but soon resigned his judgeship and issued this “apology”: “It grieves me to learn that I have caused any of my […]

How a Court Stops Being Supreme

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

The short answer is that the Supreme Court stops being  supreme when it allows a political party to dictate the substance of its judges’ decisions. Let me explain. A good place to begin might be 1990  when George Bush Senior appointed David Souter to the Court. Souter, a New Hampshire Republican, had served as a New Hampshire  supreme court justice before being appointed. Although he had a long judicial record, Souter had ruled on few […]

Guiled!

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The Sjupremes

Why did 81-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy, known best for his decisions protecting gay and abortion  rights,  choose to retire at the time that best enables Donald Trump to appoint a right wing successor who will most likely vote to reverse those decisions?  Adam Liptak and Maggie Haberman  of the New York Times give us the answer.  Trump  “guiled” him. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/28/us/politics/trump-anthony-kennedy-retirement.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news Liiptak and Haberman outline a  “flattery” campaign aimed at convincing Kennedy his legacy would be […]

Smart Law

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Book/film List / Repairing the System

Identifying a problem is usually easier than solving it. Take, for instance, the spate of police shootings of unarmed minority suspects like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Proposed solutions seem to vary from mild responses like more racial sensitivity training for police officers to more punitive ones like heavy criminal sanctions that are never in fact imposed . UC Berkeley Law professor Franklin Zimring in his book When Police Kill suggests a more indirect, but […]