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:: A constitutional law blog by Scalia/Thomas fan David M. Wagner, M.A., J.D., Research Fellow, National Legal Foundation, and Teacher, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the NLF or Veritas. :: bloghome | E-mail me ::

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(I agree, and commented here.)

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    :: Thursday, October 28, 2004 ::
    Retired Brennan clerk defends Scalia in The New York Sun.

    :: David M. Wagner 1:43 PM [+] ::
    EU panel charged with vetting nation's nominees for the European Commission seeks to blackball Italy's Rocco Buttiglione for "expressing traditional religious beliefs on homosexuality and marriage during a Parliamentary review hearing."

    :: David M. Wagner 1:28 PM [+] ::
    :: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 ::
    Lots of interesting cert grants recently. Maybe by next week I'll have my life back a little bit, and I'll blog about them.

    :: David M. Wagner 8:02 PM [+] ::
    Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said last night, about game 6: "I became a Christian seven years ago and I've never been touched by God like I was tonight."

    :: David M. Wagner 11:55 AM [+] ::
    :: Tuesday, October 12, 2004 ::
    Portland judge assails sentencing guidelines
    PORTLAND (AP) - Although the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet ruled on theissue, a federal judge in Oregon issued an opinion this week attacking federal sentencing guidelines as an unconstitutional encroachment on judicial authority and discretion. U.S. District Judge Owen Panner's ruling Wednesday included a blistering attack on Congress and, in particular, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's efforts to strip judges of their authority and discretion. Panner, whose opinion quickly rippled through legal circles across the country, determined that attempts by the congressional and executive branches to control how defendants are sentenced in federal courts overstepped the authority of Congress and the president.
    He's right, of course -- except he doesn't take his point far enough: just as legislatures and executives shouldn't sentence, judges shouldn't be involved in determining "sentencing guidelines." Mistretta must be overruled.

    :: David M. Wagner 1:17 PM [+] ::
    :: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 ::
    Michael Moore files briefs....

    :: David M. Wagner 10:24 AM [+] ::
    :: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 ::
    Fanfan-Booker oral argument: the Sentencing Guidelines aren't toast yet, but they're getting warmer. The Blakely coalition seems to have maintained its unity at oral argument. Justice O'Connor last summer pronounced herself "disgusted in how we dealt with" the sentencing issue. How far would she and the other dissenters go? If a statute made the defendant's name a jury issue, and guilt or innocence a "sentencing factor," I assume they would agree the Sixth Amendment had been violated....

    Amazingly (to me), the government argued that, in contrast to the Washington State guidelines struck down in Blakely, "the federal guidelines should survive because they are created by a commission within the judiciary" -- the very factor that made the U.S. Sentencing Commission unconstitutional from the get-go, except the Court got that one wrong.

    :: David M. Wagner 3:45 PM [+] ::
    A state judge in Louisiana today has struck down an anti-same-sex-marriage amendment passed with 78 percent popular support three weeks ago. Had to, you know: it addressed two subjects -- same-sex marriage and civil unions -- so, you see, it had to go. Wonder which argument (due process or equal protection) the judge will use when the state electorate gets around this state-law obstacle with two separate one-issue amendments.

    :: David M. Wagner 3:34 PM [+] ::
    The President does not support those portions of H.R. 10 that are likely to lead to outsourcing of torture, says White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez says in a letter to the Washington Post. (Hat-tip: JURIST)

    :: David M. Wagner 3:27 PM [+] ::
    :: Friday, October 01, 2004 ::
    Today, just for a change, we bring you Manic Nino.

    EDITED TO ADD: Fun though headlines like this one are (I admit to a fondness for if-it-bleeds-it-leads journalism), the actual facts seem to have been better captured by the NYPost's crosstown rival the NYDaily News, which wrote (hat-tip: How Appealling, of course):
    [T]he jurist was making a rhetorical point - not revealing himself to be a swinger in black robes. The quote was taken "out of context," court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. The text of Scalia's Harvard speech shows that his "orgies" comment came as he derided a European court decision that struck down a ban on group gay sex. "Let me make it clear that the problem I am addressing is not the social evil of the [ruling]," he said. "I accept for the sake of argument, for example, that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged."
    So that's what that's all about. Looking forward to the cartoons, though.

    :: David M. Wagner 11:45 PM [+] ::

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