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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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    :: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 ::
    Well, I haven't posted for a while, and it may be a few days before I can post again, so let's give a quick Scalia-sguardo at what's been going on.

    * Terrence Boyle may finall get a vote. (North Carolina federal district judge, up for promotion to the 4th Circuit, and in line for most-often-renominated at the next Robies)

    * Underneath Their Robes: Scalia on clothes, and on cars. And a link to me!

    * The Court decided Garcetti v. Ceballos, holding that the First Amendment is not violated when a government employee is disciplined as the result of something he wrote as part of his professional work-product. Critics are saying, oi, just what we need -- another category of unprotected speech. But the Kennedy opinion (5-4; Alito may have made the difference) points out the holding sought by plaintiff would have made meaningful evaluation and supervision of government employees impossible as long as the work-product involves anything spoken or written. That kind of judicial micro-management of government, no one needs, and the First Amendment does not compel.

    * The Court also decided House v. Bell: again, a Kennedy opinion (welcome to the "Kennedy Court"!), this time expanding the range of the Court's own de novo review of evidence in habeas cases where defendant seeks to revive a procedurally defaulted claim of "actual innocence" based on new evidence. The difference between the majority and the Roberts-led dissenters is over the degree of deference owed to the District Court's evaluation of the evidence. Mixed review. In capital cases one wants to think that mistakes, if any, by the District Court, even if upheld by the Court of Appeals, will be caught by the Supremes. OTOH, this comports ill with the deference always owed to triers of fact, on issues of fact, as this deference was explained in the applicable precedent, Schlup v. Delo.

    'Tsall for now.

    :: David M. Wagner 1:11 PM [+] ::

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