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Sanders Admits to Being the Fed Soc Heckler:
Justice Sanders' non-denial no-comment was a rather strange response to the simple question of whether he had screamed "TYRANT!" at the Federalist Society dinner, but now he has admitted that he was in fact the yeller in question.
  Sanders told The Seattle Times that he'd simply reached the point where he couldn't remain silent.
  "Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine there would be any mention of this in the press," he said. "But here we are."
I guess that's the problem with screaming at the top of your lungs in front of 2,000 people (several hundred of whom know who you are) at a speech covered by the national press: People kinda notice.

  Thanks to James Taranto for the link.

  UPDATE: Justice Sanders has issued a statement about the events, via Howard.
therut (mail):
This guy disgraced himself and his profession.
11.25.2008 8:06pm
DangerMouse:
This guy disgraced himself and his profession.

Oh, I'll admit he disgraced himself. But his profession? Judges in general are slime, especially Supreme Court judges. They're worse than politicians because they're unaccountable. I don't think what this guy did in this instance is worse than your typical Brennan opinion. They're both ridiculous.

Unfortunately, it really takes a lot these days for a judge to disgrace himself. The bar is far too low.
11.25.2008 8:10pm
Steve:
No one would have known or cared if not for Judge Mukasey's unfortunate incident. The fact that it was a "speech covered by the national press" would have been irrelevant otherwise; you certainly wouldn't have seen stories in every newspaper about how some guy yelled at the Attorney General.
11.25.2008 8:13pm
Kazinski:
therut:

This guy disgraced embarrassed himself. and his profession.


I don't approve of what Sanders did, but lets not blow it out of proportion. He has libertarian (which is synonym for crank) leanings, with somewhat of a reputation of speaking before he thinks. Although his opinions are pretty well thought out. And he probably had too much to drink, so he embarrassed himself at a social occasion. He'll get over it, and so should we.
11.25.2008 8:13pm
Kazinski:
And I certainly hope nobody is blaming Sanders for Mukasey's collapse. I doubt they were related and even if they were, it is not something Sanders, or anyone else, could have foreseen. It would be like honking gratuitously at somebody and then getting blamed for an accident they had 15 miles down the road.
11.25.2008 8:18pm
therut (mail):
Well maybe. But he should do community service in something that would teach him good manners. Maybe in a hermitage for a year on his knees begging forgiveness. Might be good for him. If his mother is still around she should take him back behind the woodshed or get a bar of soap and wash his mouth out.
11.25.2008 8:18pm
OrinKerr:
Steve writes:
No one would have known or cared if not for Judge Mukasey's unfortunate incident. The fact that it was a "speech covered by the national press" would have been irrelevant otherwise; you certainly wouldn't have seen stories in every newspaper about how some guy yelled at the Attorney General.
Actually, I suspect the oppose is true. Everyone was really curious about who the heckler was, and there was a lot of speculation about it at the tables until Mukasey's fall made other things much more pressing. Now that it's clear that mukasey is okay, attention is meandering back to the heckler question.

Of course, I should stress that no one thinks this is a big deal. But there is an imperfect correlation between a big deal and a pretty fascinating story.
11.25.2008 8:19pm
TCO:
Let's not blow it out of proportion. For one thing, we weren't there and didn't hear the volume...or if other outbursts were made, etc. Personally, I think he's got stones. More so, than most of the shriveled raisins around here.
11.25.2008 8:20pm
DangerMouse:
Of course, I should stress that no one thinks this is a big deal. But there is an imperfect correlation between a big deal and a pretty fascinating story.

Meh. Impeach him anyway, just to scare the others.
11.25.2008 8:27pm
Steve:
Everyone was really curious about who the heckler was, and there was a lot of speculation about it at the tables until Mukasey's fall made other things much more pressing.

Everyone at the event, sure. But no one outside of the event would have considered it particularly newsworthy.

As an aside, when I was sworn into the Illinois Bar, there was a very similar incident at the swearing-in ceremony where one of the speakers began slurring his speech and suddenly collapsed at the podium during his speech. The comments on the latest incident seemed hauntingly familiar ("we thought all those long pauses were just for emphasis..."). Fortunately, like Judge Mukasey, our speaker turned out unharmed as well.

By the way, you guys are really missing a golden opportunity to tout this Justice Sanders as living proof of the broad intellectual diversity which allegedly exists within the Federalist Society.
11.25.2008 8:33pm
Anderson (mail):
After listening to Mukasey defend the Bush administration's counterterrorism policies — its detainment practices at Guantánamo Bay, its interpretation of the Geneva Conventions' reach — Sanders stood and shouted "Tyrant! You are a tyrant!"

"Frankly, everybody in the room was applauding or sometimes laughing, and I thought, 'I've got to stand up and say something.' And I did," Sanders told The Seattle Times Tuesday. "I stood up and said, 'Tyrant,' then I sat down again, then I left."


I sympathize with the sentiment, but some feelings really are better kept to oneself, or else expressed in a useful manner. Perhaps Judge Sanders needs to comment on blogs more.
11.25.2008 8:40pm
DangerMouse:
His statement is full of sanctimonious drivel:

I hope those who know my jurisprudence will agree that to truly love the Constitution is to uphold it, to speak out for it, not just in times of peace and prosperity, but also in times of chaos and crisis.

Oh really? To truly love the Constitution is to uphold it? Who would've thought? And also to speak out for it? Wow! He's totally convinced me!

Yelling "TYRANT" sure does that, doesn't it? That's "truly loving the Constitution."

Yeah, I'm sure of it now. Impeach him.
11.25.2008 9:28pm
Valkyrie (mail):
No one stood up and called Hitler or Stalin tyrants at public gatherings. At least not after a while.

Apparently such people as might have felt the urge realized they risked their lives.

It's good to know that risking embarrassment is an equally valid justification for not speaking truth to power.
11.25.2008 9:29pm
Roger_Z:
I sympathize with the feelings that the situation must have evoked in the Judge. I've been there many times. However, perhaps a simple "I disagree!" would have accomplished more.
11.25.2008 9:35pm
Frank M Howland (mail):
I don't know what caused Sanders to shout out tyrant, and I'm sure there are much better targets within the Bush administration, but I'm sympathetic. It amazes me that sensible people like you all who profess to believe in liberty could vote for the Republicans after the disgrace that has been the Bush Justice Department.
11.25.2008 10:02pm
EvilDave (mail):
[Deleted by OK on civility grounds. EvilDave, I know your point was decrying the loss of civility, but your post nonetheless crossed the line in its examples.]
11.25.2008 10:09pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

Impeach him anyway, just to scare the others.


Paging Admiral Byng!
11.25.2008 10:11pm
Portland (mail):
Mukasey was up on that stage making contemptible excuses for morally revolting, illegal and unconstitutional acts by this regime. Why should he be embarrassed? If someone is justifying torture to you and you applaud or are silent, then you should be embarrassed.

Now, if he'd waited until he collapsed and yelled "Sic semper tyrannis!" that would have been in poor taste. Funny, but in poor taste.
11.25.2008 10:13pm
fortyninerdweet (mail):
I'm with the Kasinski wing of this thread. Sometimes just standing up and quietly leaving is the most dignified way to extricate oneself from an unpleasant situation. But that might not have been judicial enough.
11.25.2008 10:13pm
Portland (mail):
Incidentally, if anyone needs a writing sample demonstrating to students how over-use of personal pronouns ("he") leads to jarring, confusing prose, I offer my last post as an example.
11.25.2008 10:17pm
Fedya (www):
If Mukasey had intended to take questions after the speech, then the correct thing to do would be to question him afterwards.

I'm ambivalent about outbursts such as Sanders', largely because if the roles were reversed, a lot of people here would probably be taking a different view of things. (Think Joe the Plumber here. And that wasn't even a disruptive outburst.)
11.25.2008 10:22pm
Reg Dunlop:

And I certainly hope nobody is blaming Sanders for Mukasey's collapse. I doubt they were related and even if they were, it is not something Sanders, or anyone else, could have foreseen. It would be like honking gratuitously at somebody and then getting blamed for an accident they had 15 miles down the road.

Don't you take your collapsing Attorney General as you find him?
11.25.2008 10:26pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I think Sanders found no room on the program for expressing his self-importance, so he made space.
Congratulate him for making an opportunity.
11.25.2008 10:31pm
Hoosier:
Valkyrie
No one stood up and called Hitler or Stalin tyrants at public gatherings. At least not after a while.

Apparently such people as might have felt the urge realized they risked their lives.

It's good to know that risking embarrassment is an equally valid justification for not speaking truth to power.


"The truth"?
11.25.2008 10:49pm
David Warner:
You can't handle the truth.
11.25.2008 10:59pm
Bama 1L:
No one stood up and called Hitler or Stalin tyrants at public gatherings.

Didn't Hitler or Stalin--maybe both--just have their advance team instruct local law enforcement to deny entry to anyone wearing apparel or buttons supporting the other candidate? Problem solved.

Not them? I could have sworn. . . .
11.25.2008 11:08pm
Anderson (mail):
"What is truth?" asked jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.
11.25.2008 11:19pm
Jay Phillips:
Bringing the discussion back to the constitutional law issue, what in the text of the constitution indicates protection of non-citizen combatants? Habeas Corpus isn't a battlefield doctrine, it's a criminal law issue.
11.25.2008 11:29pm
Anderson (mail):
what in the text of the constitution indicates protection of non-citizen combatants

The 14th amendment applies to all "persons," and people detained in Gitmo are not on the "battlefield."

The issue is precisely *whether* the detained persons are "combatants" or not. To assume as much would beg the question.
11.25.2008 11:38pm
Simon Dodd (mail) (www):
fortyninerdweet:
Sometimes just standing up and quietly leaving is the most dignified way to extricate oneself from an unpleasant situation. But that might not have been judicial enough.
Many a true word spoken in jest, perhaps: Judges are used to filing a dissent when they disagree, rather than keeping their peace.
11.25.2008 11:38pm
krs:

I guess that's the problem with screaming at the top of your lungs in front of 2,000 people (several hundred of whom know who you are) at a speech covered by the national press: People kinda notice.

That is indeed the takeaway from all of this. Let this be a lesson to us all.
11.25.2008 11:57pm
Kazinski:
I am semi-defending Sanders here, but please don't mistake me, I do not associate myself with his comments. I have and continue to be a cheerleader for an agressive stance on the war on terror, and for applying the laws of war, not civil law to those in Gitmo. Plus even if you agree with Sanders general sentiment, "Tyrant" is not applicable. Bush/Mukasey of course has complied with every court ruling, as well as requested and received congressional approval at every necessary point. He may disagree with Bush/Mukasey but calling them Tyrants in a public place and then sauntering back to his hotel room is the act of a free citizen in a free society.
11.26.2008 12:09am
eyesay:
Kazinski: "Plus even if you agree with Sanders general sentiment, 'Tyrant' is not applicable." Our prisoners, identified based on mere assertions, captured (kidnapped) off-battlefield, tortured, humiliated, locked up seemingly forever, and denied basic rights, would reasonably themselves as victims of tyranny, of which Mr. Mukasey is, in fact, a part.

Innocent prisoners of the U.S. Global War on Terror never have a nice day.
11.26.2008 12:31am
eyesay:
Honi soit qui mal y pense.
11.26.2008 12:32am
Jay Phillips:
The 14th amendment applies to all "persons," and people detained in Gitmo are not on the "battlefield."

This seems an extremely broad reading of the constitution. If not, it was probably a due process violation to bomb German factories in 1943.

To the extent that Gitmo detainees are non-citizens detained outside the US, their treatment seems to be within the President's war powers and outside of constitutional protections for criminals. Incidentally, I'm not suggesting we *should* send our armies around the globe capturing people - just that the constitution doesn't prohibit it.

And thus we have a policy choice to make - not a constitutional issue to address.
11.26.2008 12:41am
Tony Tutins (mail):
So the United States can justly abandon its principles, because only nations can sign onto the Geneva Conventions? That was the thinking that let Vietnam torture the unprivileged combatant John McCain -- the Geneva Conventions have no slot for third parties who interfere in a civil war, absent a declaration of war. Perhaps tyrant is not the mot juste, but what would be more apt?
11.26.2008 12:42am
Obvious (mail):
Jay Phillips: " Incidentally, I'm not suggesting we *should* send our armies around the globe capturing people - just that the constitution doesn't prohibit it."

Absolutely right. Our Constitution established a limited government of restricted and defined powers, circumscribed by an indefinite sea of individual rights, delegated to act only within the strict limits of the rule of law, able to send our armies throughout the globe...a minimal nightwatchman state capable of policing the entire world.
11.26.2008 12:58am
Steve:
To the extent that Gitmo detainees are non-citizens detained outside the US, their treatment seems to be within the President's war powers and outside of constitutional protections for criminals.

Well sure, which is why the Supreme Court's decision was premised on a finding that detention at Gitmo is precisely akin to detention within the territorial borders of the US, as opposed to detention in camps at or near the battlefield.

If the detainees would have the right of habeas corpus if they were brought inside the US, you can't deny them that right simply by holding them a few miles outside the border, any more than we could keep them on a prison ship floating just off California. One can reasonably believe that denying habeas corpus in such a situation would make a mockery of the right.
11.26.2008 1:09am
Tony Tutins (mail):
If the detainees would have the right of habeas corpus
As I understood it, the Supreme Court held that habeas corpus was a power of the judiciary and not a right of the detainees. Eliminating habeas corpus violated the separation of powers.
11.26.2008 2:16am
Mark F. (mail):
Judge Sanders is heroic! F**k George Bush and his defenders.
11.26.2008 3:04am
kiniyakki (mail):
In these situations, I always think, why not impeach? There are plenty of qualified and more polite people in the wings. Why not get rid of him just to set the tone for what is not acceptable. I know this is not a big deal, but why put up with it.

Also, has anybody appeared in front of him in oral argument? His presence on the bench should be reduced after this. Does he tolerate interuptions in oral argument?
11.26.2008 3:38am
LM (mail):
DangerMouse:

Judges in general are slime, especially Supreme Court judges.

Are they slime when appointed, are do they get that way on the bench? If the former, how do otherwise partisan enemies in the other branches manage to agree on this one quality in selecting nominees of every ideological stripe? If it's the latter, why would decent people accept an appointment that signals their descent into depravity? Or are they blind to this obvious (to you) phenomenon? And how clueless were the founders for not anticipating this cancer on the Republic?
11.26.2008 6:07am
Smokey:
TCO:
Personally, I think he's got stones. More so, than most of the shriveled raisins around here.
Speaking for yourself? Imputing your personal faults onto others is called "projection."

That said, Sanders is obviously controlled by his emotions, not by reason. Makes you wonder if he follows the law in his courtroom, or rules based on his feeling on the issues.
11.26.2008 7:40am
Crimso:

Why should he be embarrassed?

Because he acted like an ass? I'm sure he'd be willing to entertain any and all rationalizations and justifications if someone in his courtroom did the same to him.
11.26.2008 7:40am
Frank M Howland (mail):
A courtroom is a very different place from a meeting with a speaker. I don't see why Judge Sanders needs to be held to the same standard as a spectator at a speech as the standard he would hold people in his courtroom.

Tyrant does indeed seem like the wrong word to apply, but it is not at all clear that the Bush administration believes in the rule of law. As just one example, look at the signing statements which even Ashcroft cannot defend (I heard him on this point in a question and answer period after a speech at Wabash College.)

Jay Phillps: As you doubtless know, the Allies bombed not only German factories but lots of German civilians in World War II. The horrible shame was that the bombing effort was not directed enough at the factories, railroads, and oil depots.
11.26.2008 9:05am
Brian S:
I can't believe there are people here advocating impeachment for simple rudeness. [If it even amounts to that - I think that even describing his actions as rude is a stretch.]

David Broder can look at 7 years of Bush administration lawbreaking and say, "We shouldn't prosecute people over policy differences". This judge stomps out of a speech by a political hack, and it's impeachable. It's official - the GOP noise machine is absolutely insane.
11.26.2008 9:07am
Brian S:
That said, Sanders is obviously controlled by his emotions, not by reason.

I'll tell you what - let's eliminate from our law anything that was written by or inspired by anyone who ever engaged in an outburst in a public place over a political issue. Then we can review what's left.
11.26.2008 9:09am
Crimso:

A courtroom is a very different place from a meeting with a speaker.

If he is uncourteous to others, he should have no expectation of having courtesy shown to him even in his courtroom (I know, this must be heresy to the lawyers here). Perhaps the judge feels that it's appropriate to behave this way when you feel vehemently about an issue, but I'd bet he wouldn't tolerate it if it was directed at him.
11.26.2008 9:18am
tired of blogs:
Yeah, it's rude to shout at a speaker at an otherwise dignified occasion. Fortunately, I'm certain that none of the judges and politicans to whose views your views are similar have ever done such an awful, awful thing -- and, if any have, I'm confident that you will support their impeachment and/or sentencing to a year community service.

Impeachment? A YEAR of community service? I get the strong feeling some of you just don't like it that the guy attacked your buddy. Maybe you should push for charges of assault! Mukasey did collapse after he shouted at him, after all.

Since I have not signed the Geneva conventions, I'll now go into hiding.
11.26.2008 9:22am
Crimso:

I'll tell you what - let's eliminate from our law anything that was written by or inspired by anyone who ever engaged in an outburst in a public place over a political issue. Then we can review what's left.

I'd just settle for mocking boorish behavior by someone you would think would know better. I don't know about anyone else, but when I was growing up I was taught how to behave in public. Behaving the way he did was frowned upon. But I guess as long as you're speaking truth to power (a la Code Pink; they sure are a bunch of real classy folks, eh?) it's all good.
11.26.2008 9:23am
Brian S:
If he is uncourteous to others, he should have no expectation of having courtesy shown to him even in his courtroom

If this is true, then I want every divorced judge removed from the bench immediately.

I guarantee you that 99% of divorced judges were, at some point in their marriages, discourteous to their spouses. I bet some of them even raised their voices during disagreements, or called them unpleasant names! Having done that once themselves, they should have no expectation of courtesy in their courtrooms.

Listen to yourselves.
11.26.2008 9:37am
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

The 14th amendment applies to all "persons," and people detained in Gitmo are not on the "battlefield."


Look, I realize this is a blog comment thread, and isn't actually expected to make sense, but are you nuts? People detained under any circumstances aren't "on the battlefield."

Try to remember what the Laws of War are for: we take and hold prisoners for the duration because releasing them tends to put them back on the battlefield; it's a humanitarian thing. Without it, the only way to remove them from battle is to kill them. Similarly, the rule about people fighting without a distinguishing uniform, or concealing themselves in the civilian population, is so you can tell them from the population; without it, again, a military has to consider anyone big enough to carry a grande a potential adversary.
11.26.2008 9:39am
Curt Fischer:

I can't believe there are people here advocating impeachment for simple rudeness.



I thought the calls for impeachment were based not on the idea that the judge's rudeness was criminal or even gravely serious, but on a facial interpretation of the phrase "good behavior".

In other words, instead of a call to apply a heavy-handed remedy to this little outburst, the idea seems to be a call to reduce impeachment from a heavy-handed technique to one that is less so.
11.26.2008 9:39am
Anderson (mail):
Look, I realize this is a blog comment thread, and isn't actually expected to make sense, but are you nuts? People detained under any circumstances aren't "on the battlefield."

That's not true, actually. Prisoners can be detained on the battlefield, i.e., not sent back behind the lines. Where those prisoners appear to've committed capital violations of the laws of war, a "drumhead" court martial and execution may take place. The recent SCOTUS decisions expressly recognize this possibility.

In the present case, we have prisoners, some of whom for instance were rounded up by Afghan warlords and presented to us as "Qaeda supporters" in exchange for cash bounties. I.e., "we" didn't detain them on any "battlefield."

Similarly, the rule about people fighting without a distinguishing uniform, or concealing themselves in the civilian population, is so you can tell them from the population; without it, again, a military has to consider anyone big enough to carry a grande a potential adversary.

On that logic, an unarmed man is a "potential adversary" who can be detained in Gitmo for the rest of his life. Anyone who supported such an action would deserve to have Justice Sanders yelling "Tyrant!" at him 20 times a day.

In Afghanistan in 2001-02, carrying an AK-47 out of uniform (and what "uniform" did the Taliban affect?) could make one an enemy combatant ... or it could just be a healthy gesture of self-preservation.
11.26.2008 9:49am
Brian S:
Try to remember what the Laws of War are for: we take and hold prisoners for the duration because releasing them tends to put them back on the battlefield; it's a humanitarian thing. Without it, the only way to remove them from battle is to kill them.

I would argue that it's actually the reverse: the laws of war are designed to protect legitimate soldiers from criminal prosecutions for murder, arson, etc. And that if one is not a legitimate soldier, one is not entitled to the protection of the laws of war, but is subject to being treated like a common criminal, up to and including being executed if convicted of crimes.

But that makes the two choices "protected POW" and "criminal suspect". There's no third choice "person the executive branch can do with as it pleases". If you're not a POW, you should be either a criminal suspect in the civilian court system, a criminal suspect under military justice in an area under military authority, or a criminal suspect turned over to the government of the area where you committed your crime.
11.26.2008 9:52am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
A courtroom is a very different place from a meeting with a speaker. I don't see why Judge Sanders needs to be held to the same standard as a spectator at a speech as the standard he would hold people in his courtroom.


I don’t know if he’s expected to behave as if he were in a courtroom but a judge subject to judicial canons is going to be held to a higher standard of behavior in his public conduct than a layperson. Possibly his behavior might subject him to some sort of discipline (or not, I don’t have the relevant canons handy). I don’t believe that impeachment requires a violation of the canons so yes, I think he could be impeached but I doubt he’d actually be removed.
11.26.2008 9:54am
josh:
I would prefer it if my Article III judges didn't behave in this manner. But for those calling for his impeachment, I think you need to read up a little on the precedent.
11.26.2008 10:01am
David M. Nieporent (www):
I would prefer it if my Article III judges didn't behave in this manner. But for those calling for his impeachment, I think you need to read up a little on the precedent.
Also, might want to read up on the parties involved, Justice Sanders is a Washington state judge, not an Article III judge.
11.26.2008 10:41am
Anderson (mail):
I would prefer it if my Article III judges didn't behave in this manner.

He's really just a state-court judge. What can you expect?
11.26.2008 10:43am
Anderson (mail):
Say, what's that "Preview" button for? Maybe I should try it sometime.
11.26.2008 10:46am
Crimso:
I don't think he should be impeached. My point is that there are certain behaviors associated with activities in his courtroom that would constitute "acting professionally." I see no reason why "acting professionally" for a judge shouldn't extend to what appeared to be a professional activity. IOW, my employer expects me to adhere to certain standards in terms of how I behave in the classroom. They also expect that I will adhere to the relevant standards when attending a scientific meeting. I heckle neither my students nor my peers. Too bad for WA that one of their judges can't make an equivalent statement. They're the ones looking like fools, all because the judge felt his opinion was so terribly important that he needed to behave like an ass.
11.26.2008 11:07am
Sara:
The Justice was wrong to do this.

The private citizen is a closer call. He is a longtime member of this group but disapproved of the speech and was upset by the clapping and laughing at the speech. Apparently, everyone who approved of the speech was allowed to interrupt the speech to show their approval. He, on the other hand, did not approve and showed it.

Perhaps he sould have published his views in a different way - assuming no state law claims that will come before him are implicated.
11.26.2008 12:15pm
commontheme (mail):
Two questions 1) does Mukasey's embrace of torture and other illegal and immoral acts make him a tyrant?

2) If #1 is true, is it improper to call a tyrant a tyrant to his face?
11.26.2008 12:43pm
RPT (mail):
"Anderson:

Look, I realize this is a blog comment thread, and isn't actually expected to make sense, but are you nuts? People detained under any circumstances aren't "on the battlefield."

That's not true, actually. Prisoners can be detained on the battlefield, i.e., not sent back behind the lines. Where those prisoners appear to've committed capital violations of the laws of war, a "drumhead" court martial and execution may take place. The recent SCOTUS decisions expressly recognize this possibility.

In the present case, we have prisoners, some of whom for instance were rounded up by Afghan warlords and presented to us as "Qaeda supporters" in exchange for cash bounties. I.e., "we" didn't detain them on any "battlefield."


This problem is why the conservatives have sought to define the "battlefield" as everywhere. In the meantime, Mr. Hamdan is in Yemen and we are no more at risk than before he was "captured".
11.26.2008 2:21pm
pintler:

A courtroom is a very different place from a meeting with a speaker. I don't see why Judge Sanders needs to be held to the same standard as a spectator at a speech as the standard he would hold people in his courtroom.


Honest question: how far do the rules of judicial conduct go? If a judge goes to a ball game and shouts 'The ref needs a seeing eye dog'? Is a political comment like this one considered better or worse than that?
11.26.2008 2:54pm
Bill Kilgore:
He should have jumped up and screamed, "I have the intellectual maturity of a first-grader."

Oh wait, I think he did.
11.26.2008 6:09pm
CLS (mail) (www):
How dare he?! Doesn't he know that the world will forgive anything but the truth. To call a Bush bureaucrat a tyrant is just something that is unforgiveable unless you have some respect for speaking the truth. As this libertarian sees it not only are all the Bush officials guilty of treason against the Constitution for their war, torture and assault on the bill of rights, but conservatives who enable them are guilty of similar crimes. I wouldn't put the conservatives on trial (voters did that in November) but I firmly believe Bush and his top officials ought to be on trial. The last eight years have convinced me that libertarians need to recognize conservatives as the greatest threat to individual rights today and end any alliances with the conservative movement.
11.27.2008 6:42pm
bushbasher:
how rude of sanders to call mukasey a tyrant, merely because he's a tyrant.
11.28.2008 7:32am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Hmmm... To bad Justice Scalia wasn't there too, given his capacities for outbursts and his views as expressed in his dissent in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, where he pretty much accused the plurality of supporting the evisceration of our protections against tyrany.....

I wonder what DangerMouse thinks of Scalia's dissent in Hamdi....
11.28.2008 11:55am
whit:

This problem is why the conservatives have sought to define the "battlefield" as everywhere.


actually no. the terrorists have defined it that way by their method of fighting and ignoring any and all rules of war.
11.28.2008 1:18pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
whit--

However, you have to admit that there is no way you can possibly argue that Padilla should not have been initially granted habeas. Surely someone detained by civil authorities in the US is not captured on the battlefield..... "The Battlefield" is not everywhere and needs to be defined as active theaters of operations relating to US military involvement. And if I get arrested for helping my son look up pictures of trains on Google in violation of their terms of service, the executive can't just claim I am a terrorist and deny me all rights of due process....
11.28.2008 2:07pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
(at least not as long as the Constitution actually governs our government)
11.28.2008 2:08pm
whit:

However, you have to admit that there is no way you can possibly argue that Padilla should not have been initially granted habeas. Surely someone detained by civil authorities in the US is not captured on the battlefield..... "The Battlefield" is not everywhere and needs to be defined as active theaters of operations relating to US military involvement. And if I get arrested for helping my son look up pictures of trains on Google in violation of their terms of service, the executive can't just claim I am a terrorist and deny me all rights of due process....



i would agree that padilla was not arrested on the (ever expansive) battlefield. we are in agreement on that.

i don't even grok your second point. you may disagree with the powers claimed during the war on terrorism, but the whole point with the GWOT is that "it's a war thang, NOT a crime thang"

the TOS thang is certainly a crime thang, except it's NOT a crime imo but you get my point.
11.28.2008 4:32pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Whit--

I am glad we are in agreement regarding the Padilla case. My reading of the attempt to define the battlefield as everywhere would be defined by that case.

Guantanimo Bay detainees captured in Afghanistan are pretty clearly captured on the field of battle by any reasonable modern definition--they were captured by US military personnel in active operations in a defined area (and yes, that area has a penumbra). Trying to argue otherwise would suggest that there are no battlefields anymore.

I define the battlefield as wherever the military is doing battle. I don't think it would apply to CIA-abductions of terrorists in Italy, for example. Calling that a "battlefield" seems to my mind to be a stretch.
11.28.2008 4:40pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Also my other point was:

If people are in favor of giving the government discretion in the Padilla case because the battlefield is everywhere than *anyone* can be detained indefinitely just because the government says that person is a terrorist. Arbitrary arrest on something like ToS violations makes that easier.
11.28.2008 4:44pm
whit:

If people are in favor of giving the government discretion in the Padilla case because the battlefield is everywhere than *anyone* can be detained indefinitely just because the government says that person is a terrorist. Arbitrary arrest on something like ToS violations makes that easier.



i don't think that's the argument they were making in padilla.

you are misstating it. padilla was arrested AFTER traveling to afghanistan, iraq, etc. and was intiially held as a MATERIAL WITNESS, via material witness warrant. it had nothing to do with him being on a battlefield AT THE TIME OF HIS ARREST or not.

fwiw, this was in may of 2002, iirc, and before we even WENT TO WAR with iraq, iirc.

then, when the issue of his being detained STILL on the warrant came up, bush said he was an "Unlawful enemy combatant". THAT was the issue, NOT the battlefield thang.

you are misrepresenting the case as i understand it.

the issue was detention of unlawful enemy combatants, NOT the expansion of the definition of "battlefield"

he was arrested in chicago iirc, and nobody (at least not bush et al) were claiming he was arrested "on the battlefield"
11.28.2008 5:56pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

the issue was detention of unlawful enemy combatants, NOT the expansion of the definition of "battlefield"


The issue was Bush using the authorization to use military force to declare he had the right to hold Padilla indefinitely without charges. That presumes the idea that Padilla was captured somehow through military force or at least on a battlefield.
11.28.2008 6:11pm
whit:

The issue was Bush using the authorization to use military force to declare he had the right to hold Padilla indefinitely without charges. That presumes the idea that Padilla was captured somehow through military force or at least on a battlefield.



cmon man. don't backpedal. you've been intellectually honest up to this point. you claimed (look back a few posts) that the issue in padilla was that it was a "battlefield is everywhere" case. it WASN'T

it was, in fact, quite the opposite. he was arrested on US Soil (initially pursuant to a WARRANT), and NO claim was made he was on ANY sort of battlefield when he was arrested.

you are now hedging and backpedaling what you previously claimed and saying he was captured "somehow through military force or at least on a battlefield" which is (fwiw) still wrong, although also a backpedal.

he was arrested pursuant to a MATERIAL WITNESS WARRANT.

later... he was declared an UEC. he was never captured through military force, or near a battlefield (south chicago aside)...

just admit you were wrong. this was NOT an "expansive battlefield" case. this was a UEC case. *that* was *the* issue here, it had nothning to do with authority to arrest people on the battlefield such as many (most) others who were detained at guantanamo.
11.28.2008 6:19pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Whit, fair enough, but it was what came to mind when people talk about the battlefield being everywhere.
11.28.2008 6:38pm

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