7.10.2007

It's Hard Out Here For A . . . . Defense Lawyer


For and Against the Defendant

The Supreme Court heard 22 criminal cases during the just-ending term, ruling eight times for and 14 times against the defendant. Individually Justice Stevens voted 16 times for the defendant, more than any other Justice, followed by Justice Souter (15), Justice Ginsburg (14), Justice Breyer (12), Justice Kennedy (7), Justice Scalia (6), Justice Roberts (4), Justice Thomas (4) and Justice Alito (3).

Source.

"For and Against the Defendant" could be read as "For and Against Civil Rights." Those Bush appointees didn't disappoint.

Side note: I actually got to peek into the the court's chamber depicted in the picture a few years back. The courtroom was empty but it was really and incredible experience.

23 comments:

TXsharon said...

We will have to live with those neocon judges for decades.

Anonymous said...

Before Bush appointed Roberts and Alito, the court ruled that a person could be thrown off of their property for the good of a property that would generate higher taxes. I don't hear TxSheehan bitching about that civil right being taken away. Selective bitching is her style.

wordkyle said...

Barry, please expand on how you arrived at the "against civil rights" conclusion. We non-lawyers are interested in your thought process.

Anonymous said...

Their attack on the rule of law in this nation will ruin this country. Paris Hilton did more jail time than Scooter Libby.

Anonymous said...

I hope this court gets a chance to hear a 2nd amendment case. I think they understand what an individual right is and what the the meaning of "shall not be infringed" is. Oh that ACLU queen Ruth or Souter (or both!!!:)) would hurry off to their eternal reward and we could really fix this court!

TXsharon said...

2:13 You are so wrong! I bitched loud and long about that. You really don't know me.

Anonymous said...

paris hilton commited a crime, scooter forgot about a crime that didnt even happen

Anonymous said...

You're right. I don't know any liberal weenies. And just what is your point? You bitched about a democratic leaning Supreme court, so you get what you wish for. 2:32, The Supreme court had nothing to do with either case.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Barry for using semantics to make a point. You know as well as anyone justices do not vote for or against civil rights. It is their job to decide whether the defendant was dealt with as prescribed by the constitution. As with any decision, we have the ability to put a liberal or conservative spin on it. I haven't read (nor will I) these cases. I believe the individual justices make their decisions as best they can with the information provided. No two people ever agree 100% of the time unless one is unable to think for themselves. Your "baiting" is a little obvious on this topic.

TXsharon said...

3:51 That judgment was not made by a liberal Supreme Court. O'Connor, who was the most liberal member, voted AGAINST it. So did Rehnquist who was also considered liberal. Neither of them were truly liberal though.

That was another right-wing judgment that favored the wealthy and big business over ordinary people.

Anonymous said...

Barry, you sure hate cops and love criminals, you pathetic fat bastard.

Anonymous said...

Yes, anonymous 4:04, I am starting to think Barry is actually a conservative and just likes to start the pot stewing for entertainment.

HHL said...

2:46: you may be right on how they would vote on a 2nd amendment case (and I hope you are), but it ain't because they understand "shall not be [abridged]", because if they did, then they would understand it in its 1st amendment context, and therefore would have ruled in favor of the "bong hits 4 Jesus" kid.

In my view, their constitutional opinions (at least the ones I've taken note of) have been unprincipled, in that they seem concerned far more with the outcome of the case than with upholding any abstract principle of interpretation (in law school, they call this "result-oriented" decision-making -- which is bad).

Anonymous said...

Barry, I hope you are a good lawyer because you suck at math. Consider that since most people who are accused of crimes and end up here actually did something wrong, the fors and againsts as you state them follow a natural mathematical model. They have nothing to do with ideological bias.

BSG said...

Sorry, a little slow on the response.

Why does voting against a defendant normally equate a vote against civil rights? Because that's normally the only issue on appeal in some form or fashion.

Was a defendant illegally detained or searched in violation of the 4th Amendment (can you hold someone on the side of the road for an hour waiting for a drug dog to arrive based upon a "hunch")? Or was there a Due Process / Fair Trial violation (did the State adequately tell him what he was charged with? Did the jury receive the proper instructions on the law from the judge?) Or a 5th Amendment violation (was he the subject of "custodial interrogation" when the cops began to question him?) And the list goes on.

And to 6:02 p.m.: Sir, I am offended on behalf of Nutrisystem.

mzchief said...

To 6:10...
Yours MAY be the MOST astute observation EVER made on The Blog.

There are indeed people who actually get quite the giggle from "stirring the pot."
*;)

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about the appeals process but I was under the impression several courts would hear a case before it got to the Supreme Court. If several courts have heard the case, you have to assume at least some were settled in the defendants favor in the lower courts. If some were resolved in the lower courts, overall, wouldn't this be a fairly large number decided in favor of the defendant by the Supreme Court?

Anonymous said...

Your exactly right 4:04. And, 6:06, it's obvious Barry likes to start the pot stewing for entertainment.

Anonymous said...

And, Barry...about your Nutrisystem adventure, 10 pounds....talk about somebody being vain..

wordkyle said...

Barry -- Re: the "defendant illegally detained or searched..." If you're referring to Brendlin v California, the appeal was based on whether, when the police make a traffic stop, the passenger is "seized" as well as the driver. (Duh.) They decided unanimously that yes, indeed, the passenger has to stick around as well as the driver until the cops are done with them. Brendlin, the passenger in the case, had violated parole and possessed a syringe. A bag of pot and meth-producing equipment were found in the car.

Is this the kind of "anti civil rights" decisions referred to in your post? Would you classify this as a "neocon" decision?

It seems to me that these rulings could just as easily be called "decisions that don't devalue genuine civil rights."

BSG said...

Good lord, WordKyle has drawn me into the fray!

Good research on your part. I followed the case, too.

But had the Court voted against the defendant then I would assert that would be a deterioration of our civil rights. By ruling that he had been "seized" that gave him the right to challenge the cop's actions in court and have the evidence thrown out.

That case is has been misconstrued because the passenger had warrants. What it stand for now is this: If you are a passenger in a car that is stopped and searched by the cops for no reason, you can challenge their actions because, as the court held, you were "seized" and thereby have standing.

Yeah, they voted for the defendant in that case, but that was not the norm.

(And, sheesh, replying to a comment is much more work than posting and off the cuff blog.)

Anonymous said...

So Barry, what you are saying is it is much easier to simply throw some liberal rhetoric our way than it is to actually think about your answer. When you beat the same drum over and over again, you don't have to think about it much. When you start to believe that any action from this administration is automatically wrong, credibility disappears. At least you haven't resorted to the childless name calling like so many of your liberal compadres.

Anonymous said...

Barry's response to wordkyle was just the way it should be: opposing, but with class and dignity. Wordkyle did a good job researching, and someone of a differing viewpoint applauded him instead of calling him wordbile or wordpile, etc.

Way to go, both of you! It's fun when this is a forum for good discussion and not a bunch of name-calling.