Legal Eagles: Current Law Case Discussion & Other Legal News

Russell Street

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I think the Supreme Court is immune to the usual harassment by the gay mafia, but I forgot the scorecard on how many sane justice there currently are.
 

Zé Ferreira

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How do you see this one going down? I read earlier that the justices were saying "they weren't sure they wanted to force the states into this issue because the climate is already changing by itself."

FWIW, even Breyer (if I ID'd his voice correctly on the audio) was peppering the petitioner with questions. It wasn't just the conservatives+Kennedy who seemed hesitant on this. Of course BaderGinsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan were all over it though.

That's old man conservative talk. Invoke states rights whenever you need to respect the judicial process.
FTFY
 

Rambo

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FWIW, even Breyer (if I ID'd his voice correctly on the audio) was peppering the petitioner with questions. It wasn't just the conservatives+Kennedy who seemed hesitant on this. Of course BaderGinsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan were all over it though.
Breyer swung back around when the schmuck on the other side started talking about child adoption and children. He really seemed torn over the whole thing.
 

OfficePants

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Ha ha, law suit over fight of the century. Opinions???

Showtime and HBO Among Those Hit With Lawsuit Over Pacquiao Injury

Here is the complaint:

maypaq1

42.
At no time before the fight began did any defendant provide, release, or disclose any information that Pacquiao was injured or had been injured during training.

43.
If Defendants had informed the Nevada State Athletic Commission of Pacquiao’s injury, that information would have then been disseminated to the public through numerous media outlets and channels, and available to Plaintiffs and all members of the putative class.

44.
Unbeknownst to pay-per-view purchasers of the Fight, Pacquiao had injured his right shoulder during a sparring session on or about April 4, 2015 and had been evaluated and examined on and around April 6, 2015, including obtaining an MRI.

45.
Unbeknownst to pay-per-view purchasers of the Fight, immediately prior to the Fight Pacquiao requested a shot in his right shoulder that was denied by the Nevada State Athletic Commission based, in whole or in part, on Pacquiao and Top Rank’s misrepresentation(s) that Pacquiao had not suffered any prior injury.

46.
The facts that Pacquiao suffered an injury to his right shoulder during training and was suffering from that right shoulder injury immediately before and during the fight was only made public after the Fight had been fought and won by favorite, Mayweather.

47.
The facts that Pacquiao suffered an injury to his right shoulder during training and was suffering from that right shoulder injury immediately before and during the fight was only made public after the Fight had been purchased and watched, via pay-per-view, by viewers throughout the United States.

48.
Shortly after the Fight, Top Rank CEO, Robert Arum, reported that the injury was the same as the one that Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant suffered, a torn rotator cuff.

49.
Following the Fight, Pacquiao estimated that his right shoulder was at 60% during the Fight.
 
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Journeyman

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Ha ha, law suit over fight of the century. Opinions???

Haven't read it all, but what damages do they claim they incurred? They didn't enjoy the fight as much as they otherwise would have and if they'd known, they wouldn't have paid for pay-per-view or something like that?

If so, then it's an impossible claim, as there's no way to know what the fight would have been like. Mayweather was the favourite in any case, and he won, and he's notorious for being a boring fighter who excels at defence so even had Pacquiao's shoulder been fine, the fight probably would have followed a similar pattern.
 

OfficePants

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Haven't read it all, but what damages do they claim they incurred? They didn't enjoy the fight as much as they otherwise would have and if they'd known, they wouldn't have paid for pay-per-view or something like that?

If so, then it's an impossible claim, as there's no way to know what the fight would have been like. Mayweather was the favourite in any case, and he won, and he's notorious for being a boring fighter who excels at defence so even had Pacquiao's shoulder been fine, the fight probably would have followed a similar pattern.

Damages were the pay per view fees as a class action. Dunno about betting.

If the fighter is required to disclose an injury and does not, then the case can be made viewers should have had the ability to make a choice, in a sense false advertising.
 

Zé Ferreira

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I don't think any judge will touch that. Immediately opens up any sporting event to damages if any team/player has an off day. Way too speculative.
 

OfficePants

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I don't think any judge will touch that. Immediately opens up any sporting event to damages if any team/player has an off day. Way too speculative.

You may be right, but if the fighter was required to report an injury, doesn't that eliminate the speculative aspect? From my reading, it appears there was a diagnosis, doctor's recommendation, and no disclosure. Aren't there tons of instances where non-disclosure triggers lawsuits?

Somehow sports seems both above proper economic management and also the law. If a food corporation failed to disclose it was using a poisonous substance in their product, even though they were found to be advised not to use it, wouldn't they at least get past the first hurdle into discovery?

Secondly, if I was at a pro basketball game and got mad and punched a guy in the stands, starting a fight, wouldn't I get arrested? But fights happen on the court in sports and cops are there watching, I always kinda wondered why they get a pass. It's slightly off topic but germane to the idea a 'judge won't touch it', similar to a cop that won't arrest the athlete. I mean, if we have laws about this, why aren't they enforced at sporting events equally?
 

Zé Ferreira

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These are good points.^^

I hadn't heard about the doctor's rec. But then that too is so prevalent - NFL players playing hurt in the playoffs, etc. I think it makes Paq a douche and greedy, but not necessarily liable. People paid money to see the two fight. They fought and Paq got owned. What if one of their spouses died and they weren't completely focused for the fight (Mayweather probably wouldn't care...) - it's just too far removed.

I don't think you can prove people were paying to see both fighters in the peak of physical condition, even though that's basically expected. You can't sue Denver for playing Manning hurt last season during the playoffs.
 

OfficePants

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These are good points.^^

I hadn't heard about the doctor's rec. But then that too is so prevalent - NFL players playing hurt in the playoffs, etc. I think it makes Paq a douche and greedy, but not necessarily liable. People paid money to see the two fight. They fought and Paq got owned. What if one of their spouses died and they weren't completely focused for the fight (Mayweather probably wouldn't care...) - it's just too far removed.

I don't think you can prove people were paying to see both fighters in the peak of physical condition, even though that's basically expected. You can't sue Denver for playing Manning hurt last season during the playoffs.

The doctors rec is in the complaint.

From what I call tell is there is a checkbox that the Nevada boxing whatever makes you check for any injuries. He did not check it. The complaint mentions this as justification.

I don't think the NFL has such a req, but the boxing commission does.
 

Rambo

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Homo's can marry!

Scalia for the second day in a row acts like a petulant child.

WASHINGTON - Justice Antonin Scalia has really had it.

Scalia's dissent in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which officially made marriage equality the law of the land, runs for eight pages, but amounts largely to a big, arms-crossed "harumph."

"I join THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s opinion in full. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy," he begins.


"The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me," he offers.

"It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best," he adds.

"But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law. Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its 'reasoned judgment,' thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect," he opines.

Scalia even offered what may the first first legal cite of a hippie. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.” (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie."

He also bemoans the tone. "The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic," he writes. "If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

"And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation," he writes. "But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch."

Each of the four opponents of the ruling wrote their own dissent but Scalia, opposing for every reason anybody could come up with, joined the three he didn't write.

Here are the most delightfully cranky lines from his Obamacare -- or, in his christening, SCOTUSCare -- dissent from Thursday.
 

Russell Street

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Scalia said:
"But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law."
Fact. Is there some difference between this judicial coup and Bush vs. Gore?
 

OfficePants

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Fact. Is there some difference between this judicial coup and Bush vs. Gore?

Bush v Gore was more of a constitutional crisis, and had deeper implications.

I don't think it's a fact, and in fact to me the veneer here is Scalia. He doesn't belong on the court anymore, he's just a political operative.
 

Russell Street

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This is being forced down the throats of the populace in an undemocratic manner by judicial dictate.
And how many of those minorite of states had a vote on it?
 

Rambo

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This is being forced down the throats of the populace in an undemocratic manner by judicial dictate.
And how many of those minorite of states had a vote on it?
They gambled through the courts. They lost. If they wanted a vote they should have had one.
 

Pauly Chase

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Could this decision set up a precedent for a slippery slope progress? NAMBLA? Polygamy? Underage Marriage?
 

Pauly Chase

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But similar argument can be made for all those scenarios, I can argue that it's my right to multiple wives.
 

Rambo

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But similar argument can be made for all those scenarios, I can argue that it's my right to multiple wives.
No, no you can't make similar arguments. You weren't being denied a single wife to begin with.
 

Russell Street

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If they wanted a vote they should have had one.
California did. It was called Proposition 22. 61% of the voters answered correctly that marriage is an opposite sex thing. The court overthrew the will of the people in an undemocratic manner.
I believe they put in a caveat about marrying multiple people.
Well, there used to be a caveat about having a male husband and female wife too.
How long will people stand for two (or more) people that love each other being denied the expression of their love via full marriage equality? Yeah, there's already a spin term for acceptability of polyamory. It will take under ten years.
 
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Rambo

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The Craziest Lines in Every Dissenting Gay Marriage Opinion

The Craziest Lines in Every Dissenting Gay Marriage Opinion


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Each of the four Supreme Court justices who disagreed with today’s ruling in favor of legal same-sex marriage issued his own dissent. And each was fucking nuts in its own, special way. Here, the weirdest, craziest, and flat-out dumbest lines from each.

John Roberts
We begin with Chief Justice John Roberts, who—like most of his colleagues—stops short of condemning gay marriage itself, but argues that a Supreme Court decision was the incorrect method for implementing it nationwide. And also that we shouldn’t do anything the Aztecs didn’t do.

The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” Ante, at 11, 23. As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?

As Choire Sicha asks at the Awl, who are we to turn out backs against human sacrifice, as enthusiastically practiced by the Aztecs? Or more to the point, since we’re talking about the sanctity of marriage—against keeping concubines like the Chongzhen Emperor, last ruler of the Ming Dynasty?


Forget Scalia! Justice Roberts Is a Total Marriage Moron
Made-up garbage at the Supreme Court. Read more theawl.com

In Roberts’s argument that marriage has historically been defined as the union of one man and one woman, he also invokes the favorite rhetorical device of inarticulate groomsmen everywhere: The Webster’s Dictionary definition.

Of course, many did say it. In his first American dictionary, Noah Webster defined marriage as “the legal union of a man and woman for life,” which served the purposes of “preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, . . . promoting domestic felicity, and . . . securing the maintenance and education of children.”

The majority opinion on the same-sex marriage decision invoked the 14th Amendment, which prohibits states from denying a person’s “liberty...without due process of law.” To deny same-sex couples the right to marry is to deny them liberty, according to Justices Ginsberg, Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kennedy. But follow this line of thinking far enough and you might accidentally bring slavery back, says Roberts.

The need for restraint in administering the strong medicine of substantive due process is a lesson this Court has learned the hard way. The Court first applied substantive due process to strike down a statute in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393 (1857). There the Court invalidated the Missouri Compromise on the ground that legislation restricting the institution of slavery violated the implied rights of slaveholders. The Court relied on its own conception of liberty and property in doing so. It asserted that “an act of Congress which deprives a citizen of the United States of his liberty or property, merely because he came himself or brought his property into a particular Territory of the United States . . . could hardly be dignified with the name of due process of law.”

Later, Roberts touches on an old sawhorse of the bigoted religious right: If make gay marriage legal, why not polygamous marriage as well? Fortunately, he stopped short of bringing up bestiality, Ben Carson-style.

Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one. It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.

Roberts and Scalia both fixate on the idea that five “lawyers”—“unelected lawyers,” Scalia adds biliously—should not impose their will on the entire nation. Roberts also harps on the idea that ours is a “government of laws, not of men.” If that’s true, who better to make legal decisions than the country’s foremost experts on the law?

Antonin Scalia
Scalia, reliably the most unhinged of the justices, did not disappoint for his part. First up: the assertion that because the nine justices are not a representative sample of the Real America, they are not qualified to rule on the issue of marriage. There’s not even anyone from the west! (California does not count.)


Not surprisingly then, the Federal Judiciary is hardly a cross-section of America. Take, for example, this Court, which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner (California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans), or even a Protestant of any denomination.

There is also not, we might point out, an openly gay justice. But let’s make sure we get an Iowan on there first.

A few sentences later, Scalia refers to the decision as a “judicial Putsch”—Putsch, if you haven’t been inside a history classroom in a while, meaning an attempt to violently overthrow the government, and carrying a nearly inextricable association with the German Nazi Party’s failed “Beer Hall Pustch” of 1923.

In the most memorable section of his dissent, Scalia’s takes on the voice of an angry message board poster, block-quoting his enemies in a point-by-point takedown of their bad opinions on Yu-Gi-Oh!. He calls them pretentious; he talks about hippies; he offers one word rhetorical questions like “Really?” and “Huh?; he brackets “[whatever that means]” not twice but thrice.

The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so. Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.” (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie. Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.) Rights, we are told, can “rise . . . from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.” (Huh? How can a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives [whatever that means] define [whatever that means] an urgent liberty [never mind], give birth to a right?)

Not to be outdone by his boss, Scalia closes his argument with a dictionary definition of his own—with a Biblical reference thrown in free of charge.

Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall.

Clarence Thomas
After a long meditation on the meaning of the word “liberty,” Thomas turns to another term invoked in the majority opinion: “dignity.” Dignity shouldn’t be an issue, he says, because there’s no dignity clause in the Constitution. Also, because black Americans didn’t lose their dignity under slavery:

The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

The majority’s musings are thus deeply misguided, but at least those musings can have no effect on the dignity of the persons the majority demeans.

Samuel Alito
Finally, we come to Samuel Alito, who has the most nasty things to say about gay marriage itself. Here, he argues that a conception of marriage that is not focused on procreation—i.e., one that has room for same-sex couples—is only possible because the traditional baby-centric model has become “frayed” and “decayed.”

Have you guys heard about all these single moms?

If this traditional understanding of the purpose of marriage does not ring true to all ears today, that is probably because the tie between marriage and procreation has frayed. Today, for instance, more than 40% of all children in this country are born to unmarried women. This development undoubtedly is both a cause and a result of changes in our society’s understanding of marriage. While, for many, the attributes of marriage in 21st century America have changed, those States that do not want to recognize same-sex marriage have not yet given up on the traditional understanding. They worry that by officially abandoning the older understanding, they may contribute to marriage’s further decay. It is far beyond the outer reaches of this Court’s authority to say that a State may not adhere to the understanding of marriage that has long prevailed, not just in this country and others with similar cultural roots, but also in a great variety of countries and cultures all around the globe.

Alito then considers the majority’s comparison between laws that prohibit gay marriage with those that subordinated women and people of color—and concludes that homophobes will now be relegated to “whispering” their homophobic ideas in the safety of their own homes, lest they be labeled as bigots. Which—call me crazy—sounds like a desirable state of affairs to me.

Perhaps recognizing how its reasoning may be used, the majority attempts, toward the end of its opinion, to reassure those who oppose same-sex marriage that their rights of conscience will be protected. Ante, at 26–27. We will soon see whether this proves to be true. I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.

If any of this stuff strikes you as upsetting, don’t worry about it too much. The good guys won. The bad guys lost, and their gripes about losing are just that: gripes. Time to celebrate.
 

John Lee Pettimore III

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That op-ed is fucking scary. Rambo, do you actually agree with this line - "I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools."

 
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