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May 3, 2009

A sentencing aside amidst all the SCOTUS speculation

Today's above-the-fold front-page article in the New York Times is all about President Obama's legal past as he prepares to make a pick for the Supreme Court's future.  This article, which is headlined "As a Professor, a Pragmatist About the Supreme Court," includes this notable aside noting how President Obama addressed sentencing issues back when he was Professor Obama:

Former students say that Mr. Obama does not particularly prize consistency or broad principle.... [W]hen it came to sentencing laws, Mr. Obama led [student Adam] Bonin in a more conservative direction than the student had expected.  The primary victims of black criminals were fellow blacks — and so minority neighborhoods had an interest in keeping sentencing laws tough, he taught.

May 3, 2009 at 09:12 AM | Permalink


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The political ideology of the nominee matters little. They are all cult criminals who will put lawyer rent seeking above all loyalties and beliefs.

It is Scalia that led the destruction of the sentencing guidelines, and who will cause the Scalia Bounce in a few years. There will be 1970's criminality rates again, as criminal lover judges loose millions of vicious predators, especially onto minority neighborhoods. It will be impossible to measure the mental deterrence of prosecutors in plea deals as they lose the negotiating advantage of mandatory guidelines. It will be easy to measure the result in crime victim survey rates' jumping through the roof.

Only the Rent Seeking Theory allows a prediction of Scalia's surprising coddling of criminals.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 3, 2009 10:17:37 AM

I agree with S.C. that Scalia and his ilk are cult criminal lovers in league with rent seeking scum lawyers to embrace predator criminals, defeat gravity, resurrect astrology, reveal the truth that the earth is indeed flat, and plant a tree in the Garden of Eden.

Posted by: anon | May 3, 2009 2:36:09 PM

I can clarify, for what it's worth: what I recounted to Kantor was some of the stuff Randall Kennedy was working on at the time (which Prof. Obama assigned to us as reading) -- some of the precursor papers to Race, Crime and the Law. That the papers led me in that direction should not be taken as an indication that that's where Obama himself is; I honestly don't remember.

Posted by: Adam B. | May 3, 2009 2:43:20 PM

Obama is going to pick what will be the most liberal member of the Supreme Court. Count on it. And guys, anyone that can characterize the vicious assault committed by the Jena Six as a "schoolyard fight" is not a moderate when it comes to crime.

Posted by: federalist | May 3, 2009 3:09:03 PM

I'd say it's high time for a Cardozo, Brandeis, or a Brennan.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | May 3, 2009 3:38:16 PM

Glad to see Adam B. offering context. Though I don't doubt Obama sees sentencing and race in a nuanced way, including the effect of crime on majority-black communities, I definitely did doubt that his opinion was as simple as was arguably portrayed in the article.

Posted by: Observer | May 3, 2009 5:10:50 PM

Those three Commie influenced Justices generated an explosion in lawyer work.

And I invite Anon to open any legal book, opinion, letter or utterance. On every page, you will find a supernatural doctrine far goofier and more idiotic than astrology.

It is frustrating that the profession that runs my government is so idiotic and delusional at this late date. And like psychotics, it believes others do not grasp the truth.

You may have started out with IQ's of 300. After law school, you emerge stupider than students in Life Skills track. You believe 12 strangers, after excluding any with knowledge, can detect the truth with their gut feelings. Cuckoo.

You allow 99% of crime to go unpunished. Then over 20% of the folks on death row are innocent, after spending $millions a case. What is the innocence rate in plea deals?

As to Legal Realism. It was taught to Cardozo, by the German Free Law Movement expert, the German Llewellyn, of contracts fame. The other offspring of this Free Law Movement? The Nazi Judiciary. Never mind the writing. "This is a Jew, he can be executed without conviction of a crime." That is the nasty cousin of the current psychotic crew controlling the judiciary. There is no qualified jurist in sight who is not a Legal Realist in practice, including Scalia and Thomas. Originalist or not, it's, forget the writing; I will impose personal bias, mostly in favor of lawyer rent seeking.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 3, 2009 5:24:08 PM

federalist, compare the Jena Six to Pa. jury: Immigrant's beating death no hate crime.

Be sure to check out the comments.

Posted by: George | May 4, 2009 12:42:45 AM

What's there to compare, George? The point of my post was not to rehash the Jena Six, but to show that Obama is liberal on crime. Care to dispute that?

And if you want to bring race into the mix, fine, I'll await your thoughts on whether Obama would be less dismissive of such a crime where the racial particulars were not black-on-white as in Jena.

Posted by: federalist | May 4, 2009 1:41:14 PM

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