Admit it. When someone calls you a “fool” or perhaps something worse, you want to respond. And not politely. You might lock ‘em up if you could…

This summer, incensed by a ruling in a child-custody case involving his granddaughter, 69-year-old Don Bandelman followed the judge into a public courthouse restroom and berated him as "a fool," court records show.

Continue Reading The Slightest Personal Impulse To Reprisal

This excerpt from the ABA Journal speaks for itself, so I’ll just file it in the “don’t try this at home” category, and move on:

A lawyer says his letter threatening to reveal a prosecutor’s alleged car registration violation was intended as a joke, but Gage County Attorney Randy Ritnour didn’t take it that way.

Continue Reading I’ll Dismiss Yours If You Dismiss Mine: Innovative Negotiating Tactics

I’m no First Amendment scholar, but I’ll lay donuts to dollars that versus freedom of speech and freedom of religion, “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” is the least litigated of the First Amendment’s three spheres of protection**.

The reason for that? My uneducated off-the-cuff guess would be that while the majority always rules the legislative branch, it’s easy for them to forget that only unpopular and therefore minority speech needs protection. Ergo lawsuit. And inherent tensions between the free exercise and establishment clauses of freedom of religion simply demand litigation. It’s enivitable.

Continue Reading May 35th, 1989

Any other referrer watchers out there getting flooded with searches from Bing?

It could be that the new Microsoft search engine (some say the name BING is an acronym for But It’s Not Google) is simply getting the initial benefit from curious internet users, and that Google will keep increasing its stranglehold on search.

But so far, the new site seems to be getting good reviews.  I’m torn between two competing instincts: (a) my need to at least try out the newest techie thing, and (b) my desire not to contribute to the global Microsoft monopoly.  I guess I’ll go mess around with it, with full intentions of returning to the Google.  Am I playing with fire?

Continue Reading Bing-O

The political landscape is shifting. Perhaps slowly, but the numbers don’t lie.

The first elected official who ever made the case to me for legalizing gay marriage — and maybe the last, come to think of it — was Jesse Ventura, the former governor of Minnesota…

His libertarian philosophy extended to social issues, on which Ventura, who counted gay men among his closest aides and friends, said government had no business intruding.

As the governor told me then, he didn’t care what the gay couple next door were doing in the privacy of their home, including hanging up a marriage certificate, just as he didn’t think anyone should pester him about keeping a gun in his nightstand.

From last week’s NYT Magazine article “Queer Developments”, by Matt Bai. Same source, the percentage of respondents, by age, who agree that not allowing same-sex couples to marry is discrimination, by age:

Continue Reading Come Senators, Congressman, Please Heed The Call

George Mason University School of Law Assistant Professor Neomi Rao writes a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece suggesting questions for recent Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings. She notes that:

[A] great deal of law is made (and unmade) when the court interprets statutes…

Statutes are enacted through a difficult constitutional process. They require passage