It's Friday -- Let's Get Out of Here

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

Even shootouts at Texas courthouse squares get lost in time. 

  • You don't see this every day: Shaquille O'Neill showed up in Paradise, Texas.

  • Affirmative Action was killed at the Supreme Court yesterday. Regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the decision, it is now clear that "constitutional law" is not law at all. It's politics and ideology.  

    • The newspaper of record isn't wrong: 

    • Justice Thomas, who is one strange guy, wrote a long concurrence.  But in trying to sound lofty, this a weird thing to say. Barriers don't matter? At all? 

    • Thomas can't like there now being a black woman on the court to counter him. She wrote:  

    • The satirical right wing site, the Babylon Bee, handled the decision with all the dignity you would expect. (Side note: The person retweeting it, Konni Burton, is a former elected -- and defeated -- Republican state senator from north Texas.)

    • Very legal nerdy stuff: The case was based on the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause which certainly applies against the defendant University of North Carolina which is a public school. But how can the 14th Amendment apply against private defendant Harvard? We all know, for example, that First Amendment's free speech clause applies against the government and not private persons so why does the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause apply against Harvard here? The answer was buried in footnote 2.
  • The deputy who failed to act in the Parkland mass shooting was acquitted yesterday afternoon. I don't know what I think about this. 

    • I basically suffer vicarious trauma and anxiety whenever I watch any verdict being read, and the one in this case was really hard to take.  Video. But I really felt it for his lawyer. After the not guilty verdict on the first count, the defendant clearly thought he was going to also acquitted on all of the other counts. And he was right. But you can tell his lawyer knew that was not necessarily so, and he's riding that thing out with white knuckles as the other verdicts are read.

  • Good. Let's see it all.  

  • Sue the guy all you want, but this isn't a criminal matter. That being said, if you watch the documentary of his rise to fame, which was shot before the Astroworld concert, he certainly had been put on notice that his crowds tend to "surge forward" causing a dangerous situation. 

  • Tiffany's in Manhattan caught on fire yesterday.

  • I don't recall this happening as such a big level or at such speed: Overstock.com bought the name of Bed, Bath & Beyond for $21.5 million after the retailer went into bankruptcy, and now will simply change its own name.

  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office, despite having a full male DNA profile, has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener in her home at Lake Bridgeport: 3 years, 361 days.


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Ten years ago this week, the Obergefell same sex marriage decision was handed down by the Supreme Court. That was one of the last times we had the "running of the interns" -- the event where they had to physically rush the newly released printed opinion to their respect networks.  The court would shortly modernize its practice by releasing PDFs instantaneously. 

  • You probably seen it, but the Allen PD finally released the bodycam video of the (still unnamed) police officer who stopped the shooter in the outlaw mall mass shooting last May. It's really incredible. You need to watch the whole thing to feel it.  And, man, will you will feel it. 

    • This is my own poor map of what I believe to be the officer's path of travel on foot in the heart of the video. He runs past the mass of dead bodies (in the area of the red circle) while pursuing the shooter. He turns the corner and finally gets a shot at the gunmen who is now way down in the area of the green circle. That's a heck of a kill shot.

    • After watching the video, did anyone else think about the response in Uvalde?
  • An emailer pointed out to me that in a recent Rhome City Council meeting the mayor wholeheartedly declined to join in a council/police officer group photo in celebration of a promotion of one of the Rhome officers to the position at sergeant. The moment is around the 26:00 minute mark, and I've got it cued up here. That's a bit odd.

  • I've mentioned before that the Bruen gun rights case from last of year will eventually invalidate all sorts of current laws making gun possession illegal. Late yesterday we had a Mississippi federal district court use it to strike down a big one: The federal Felon in Possession law. Ruling. It will now go to the Trump constructed Fifth Circuit whose rulings bind Texas. 

    • Legal nerdy stuff. This judge was appointed by President Obama and is not conservative. The opinion is really pretty fun. It basically says Bruen threw out all past jurisprudence, created an unworkable mess, and this is a consequence of that mess. 
  • Most Texas prisons don't have air-conditioning. We are barbarians.

  • Don't do that.

  • We learned yesterday that Madonna was found unresponsive on Saturday. Her new world tour has been put on hold.

  • Madonna's camp's statement:

  • The Dallas Morning News has a story today on how Brookshire's is positioning itself to be the new HEB. That one in Bridgeport, which recently went through a renovation to keep everything fresh looking, is a pretty, pretty good little store.
    That's the CEO of Brookshire's if you 
    ever wondered what he looked like.

  • Legal nerdy in the weeds stuff: A while back I posted a lower court appellate opinion on a bail bond forfeiture case involving an archaic requirement of the bailiff, after a defendant has failed to show up for court, having to call out loud the defendant's name at the "courthouse door." In a Wichita Falls case, the name was called at the courtroom door instead of the courthouse door. The lower court said that wasn't sufficient.  Well, we have an update. The highest criminal court in the state got involved yesterday and said that what he bailiff did was good enough. (Side note: They normally rule that anything the prosecution or trial court's do is "good enough.")
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

The trial about the shooting of Trayvon Martin got underway.

  • The new inmate in the Wise County Jail for murder that I mentioned yesterday was a juvenile who had previously been "arrested" for an alleged crime from March that we already new about. But he ended up on the jail roster, and his identity revealed, because he has just been certified by Judge Greg Lowery to stand trial as an adult. 
  • Dallas yesterday. Good grief.

    • Edit: There is an update. And the Dallas Morning News just posted a story on it 
  • This is quite the story. He'll be on the New York City Council representing part of Harlem.

  • Matt Krause, the godfather of the recent book banning craze in Texas by Ultra-MAGA extremists, and a guy who then went on to be a failed Tarrant County DA candidate, is thinking about running for Tarrant county commissioner.  Ever thought about the private sector, hoss?

  • Well, Trump has the black vote all sewn up with this missive. 

  • Jerry Jones real estate development in Prosper alone would be enough to make him a major player in DFW business. It's a 500 acre tract purchased a couple of years ago which now has a million feet of retail space and a 300 unit apartment complex. And this has nothing to do with the The Star in Frisco and all of its retail. That man has his thumb in a lot of pies. 

  • Supreme Court Nerdy Stuff: 
    • When the court granted cert last year to determine the viability of the fringe “independent state legislature” theory -- a doctrine that says states can do whatever they want when it comes to elections and the courts can't touch it -- everyone said the sky was falling. That went out with a whimper yesterday in a 6-3 vote when the court said the theory, for all practical purposes, didn't exist. And even the three dissenters didn't vote in favor of the doctrine, they dissented because they thought the court shouldn't have ruled on the issue at all because the case was moot due to its procedural posture.

    • Random SCOTUS thought: Yesterday the Supreme Court said that the constitution requires any state statute criminalizing "true threats" at least requires the prosecution to also require the defendant to be, at a minimum, at least "reckless" about understanding whether his words would be viewed as threatening violence. That is, no strict liability for words spoken -- kind of like defamation law. I used to say all the time that "constitutional law" is just making stuff up. And I still do.  Regardless of whether the decision is right or wrong, how do you get all of that from the very few words of: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech"?
  •  He was a baller at the University of Arkansas. I loved this play. Or this one.

  • Hope springs eternal.

  • The NCAA has wrapped up all sports for 2022-2023. Here are the national champions in every major sport. 

  • I mentioned Decatur's Bryce Elder yesterday, and he picked up another win last night. From wire reports: "As for Elder, he strengthened his All-Star bid by exiting with an NL-best 2.44 ERA."