Wednesday, May 27, 2009

No Place for “Empathy” on SCOTUS

I was going to write something about why President Obama’s repeatedly stated desire for (what he considers) empathy in judges is so wrongheaded and detrimental to the rule of law, but Jonah Goldberg's column today covers that ground very nicely indeed.  So instead I’ll just send you to his column here and get back to writing a pre-trial memo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So, It’s Sotomayor

After I read the last pre-announcement news coverage (especially this item in the Times) this morning and thought a bit more about Obama’s proclivities I came to expectation that the pick to replace Souter would be either Judge Sotomayor or Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Frankly, I had guessed and was hoping that it would more likely be Kagan –during her career in academia she gained a reputation for being relatively fair toward those on the right—but Sotomayor was always a decent possibility for fairly obvious reasons.  Although we’re hearing a lot about some foolish things that Sotomayor has said in the past,  it seems a fairly safe bet that her confirmation process will proceed fairly smoothly.  Assuming that no serious ethical issues emerge (and that she doesn’t repeat her “I’m an inherently better judge than a white male could be” line in front of the Senate, which she won’t) there won’t be any serious effort to filibuster her approval.

So, the first Supreme Court Justice placed on the Court by Obama will be a pick that satisfies demands of two very important interest groups in the Democratic coalition, will take Souter’s place as reliable member of the “progressive” block on the Court, and won’t draw as much confirmation fire as a full-throated, no separation-between-law-and policy jurist would have. An entirely predicable but fairly safe political move, just like President Obama likes em.  

Sunday, May 24, 2009

WV Man Sues McDonalds For Mental Distress, Etc. After (Supposedly) Finding Part of a Fingernail in His Iced Mocha

And the hits just keep on comin’ . . .

Per this story from the West Virginia Record, a Mr. Jason Lycans of Putnam County is suing McDonalds after he bought an iced mocha and allegedly found “part of a fingernail”  in his drink.  Alas, no other details were given in the story about the  characteristics of the horrific contaminant.

Mr. Lycans, to no one’s surprise, apparently cannot present any proof that he actually contracted any disease from the item. Instead, he asserts that he is entitled to (presumably hefty) compensation for “medical testing”, emotional distress, and the lost ability to enjoy an iced mocha.

Of course, in many ways the real story here is not that someone is willing to bring  lawsuit against a deep-pocketed company (and its franchisees) with flimsy proof  and, even if the incident did actually occur, having suffered no real harm; everybody knows that there are many such greedy dirtbags walking around. The real story is which member of our glorious West Virginia Bar was willing to sign their name to such a suit.  According to the Record,  one Bree Whipp Ogle, Esq. of Atkins Law Offices  is representing the now mocha-less victim.