Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

It was very Breaking Bad-like when a Taurus caught fire in Lake Worth and burned five occupants, but no charges were ever filed.

  • Incredible. I don't know the exact reason for this man's resignation, but it should be noted that we have seen a mass exodus of great superintendents across North Texas because they weren't going to put up with school boards, heavily funded by big money outsiders, who were obsessed with culture wars. Once again, I don't know if the two are related. But this isn't good for Decatur ISD. He started the job in November 2021.

  • The Messenger has a very good story today about a very unusual legal development in the Tanner Horner capital murder case in Wise County.  (Link not up yet but it is in the PDF of the paper.)

    • Recall that the judge, after discovering Wise County had signed a contract to farm out representation of capital murder defendants to an agency in Lubbock, removed Horner's court appointed lawyers of Bill Ray and Steven Gordon.
    • Now the D.A. is taking the very unusual step of immediately appealing that ruling and asking that all proceedings in the district court be stopped until the appellate court rules. 
    • So what's going on? As I understand it, the D.A. fears that the judge might have been wrong. So the last thing he wants is to have the case go to trial and then get reversed on appeal years down the way.  He wants to get a ruling on that issue now. 
    • I'm not sure he actually cares whether the judge was right or wrong, he just wants to find out now instead of years later. If he gets a ruling that the judge was wrong, the problem can be fixed ASAP.
    • The legal question here is: Can the D.A. do this? That is, can he file the appeal now? He's gone about it through the only arguable vehicle that exists: A a "writ of mandamus" directly to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals who has jurisdiction of death penalty appeals.  Will this work, or will the court tell him to go away? I don't know. I doubt he's 100% sure. But there is no harm, in his view, of trying. The best case scenario is that he gets  a ruling. The worst case is that his efforts get dismissed for want of jurisdiction and he's right back to where he is now. 
    •  But we did get a bonus insight in to the case. Attached to the D.A.'s motion (available here when state website isn't down) is a transcript of the hearing on the removal of the court appointed lawyers. They talk about the case at length before getting to the removal issue. 

  • If you haven't see Sen. Mitch McConnell freeze in front of reporters due to a health issue - again - here you go. I'm worried about the guy. 

  • Let me tell you, a jury is going to absolutely financially crush Rudy Giuliani for lying about two ladies tampering with the election count in Georgia by falsely claiming they were "quite obviously . . . passing around USB ports as if they are vials of heroin or cocaine."  And I do mean crush. After yesterday's ruling (pdf), the only thing the jury will be asked to do is to fill in a dollar figure of actual and punitive damages. 

    • And look at this jury instruction they will get!

  • The Justice Department just keeps coming. Good. 

  • For the life of me I don't understand the ultra-MAGA extremists support of Paxton. Do not character, truth, and crime by their own matter to these people? I'll say it again: The normal Republicans need to take their party back. 

  • Uvalde continues to be a cluster long after they buried 19 children. 

  • Nebraska says the attendance at last night's volleyball game was 92,003. I don't doubt it based upon the photos. But when rabid Nebraska fans, once the word went that the goal was to set an attendance record, would have shown up to watch a card game. 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold