Monday, July 17, 2017

Blue Slipping And Sliding


  • The national spotlight will be on Nevada this week as OJ Simpson gets a parole hearing. [Deadline]
  • Here's a piece on Michael McClinton, one of Simpson's accomplices, featuring some local players throughout. [Heavy.com]
  • Here's a look at a Nevada Supreme Court ruling on equitable adoption. [RJ]
  • Dean Heller's decisions not to sign blue slips on federal court nominees is now coming back to haunt him as he tries to get someone else appointed. [RJ]

28 comments:

  1. I suspect the Republicans are willing to dispense with traditions of judicial appointment to suit their immediate desires.

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    1. Probably. I'm surprised and disappointed that Masto is turning out to be a petty knee-jerk partisan. I get that Heller (and lots of other Republicans) were just as bad and did it before her, but it seems like someone should eventually decide not to be a child just because his/her predecessors decided to act like children.

      Her "oh this guy worked on a case against my office once" excuse is the most infuriating to me. Isn't that what lawyers do? Advocate on behalf of people and entities--including unpopular ones--in disputes? God forbid anyone ever nominate a public defender to the bench.

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    2. The sex discrimination ruling should be disqualifying for Bower. There are qualified attorneys who don't have this type of judgment against them. Bower has been around for a long time and hasn't done anything which warrants appointment. His office has a bad reputation and his handling of the Bundy debacle is a joke. There are plenty of reasons to oppose Bower which have nothing to do with partisan politics.

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    3. 9:34 here. I agree re: the discrimination ruling, though it's really hard to tell how bad he really acted there. The basis for finding he was at fault is apparently that he told this person that she didn't have credibility, but it's not really clear why he would question her credibility. Is it based on a he-said-she-said against the white collar chief, and nothing else? Or was there something else, like did her story have obvious holes? It's not clear. I'd like to hear his side. But, again, I think that one issue is probably disqualifying.

      A note, though. He only served as US Attorney for a few years during the Bush administration. Bogden was the USA during the Obama years, i.e. during the Bundy debacle.

      Finally, I stand by my comment that her "this guy worked on a case against my office once" excuse is representative of partisan politics, which I'm sick of.

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    4. What he said was, "Filing the complaint was a mistake." Something any employer knows should not be said. Trump probably would like this behavior though.

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    5. While I completely disagree with the tit-for tat nature that current political action has devolved into, when it comes to a potential Bower nomination, I would support her pocket veto. From what is at least publicly available, Bower has very little in terms of compelling qualifications to justify his selection. He ran the U.S. Attorney's office for a short period of time during a period of political witch-hunts and gamesmanship. He served in the state legislature, also for a short period based upon a political juice appointment.

      While these may be impressive additions to a C.V., they hardly a Article III, lifetime federal judge make.

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    6. When back in 2012 Heller did not sign the blue slip for Judge Caddish, the judge is partly responsible for this happening.

      Unfortunately, although the judiciary should ideally be immune to political concerns and pressure, this is sadly not always the case.

      And on the federal level, matters are greatly amplified and politics, and the political leanings of everyone being considered, is brought into high relief.

      The judge, being a much smarter person than I am, obviously knows all of that. But she did have a lapse in judgment by filling out the questionnaire of an apparently conservative group(or, perhaps more fairly phrased, an organization in part committed to enumerated constitutional principles and safe guards). Such questionnaires often require that candidates do not equivocate but that they answer directly as to whether they agree with the constitutional principles which are the subject of the questions.

      This apparently occurred a few years prior to 2012, when the judge completed the questionnaire during her election, or re-election I belief, to the EJDC bench.

      Caddish, apparently a fairly left-leaning Democrat, had no chance at the organizations endorsement, and nothing to gain, but much to lose, by completing the questionnaire. But complete it she did, and she told them precisely what she thought of The Second Amendment, and quoted a current decision to support her position. It is no mystery that she did not come close to sharing the organization's view on gun ownership, and the constitutional ramifications and implications of such issue.

      Admittedly, Sen.Heller may have refused to sign the blue slip anyway, and doom her appointment, even had it not been for the questionnaire. But the questionnaire gave him the coverage he needed, and it was, if memory serves, repeatedly cited as a primary reason he could not join Sen. Reid in approving Judge Caddish.

      So, Judge Caddish is certainly smart, and may even be courageous by not being too frightened to express her views and complete the questionnaire, even though any advisers with at least half a brain would have counseled her not to submit it. But being legally smart, and courageous in expressing one's views,does not always translate into being politically smart. As to this particular decision, to complete the questionnaire, she certainly did not demonstrate political smarts.

      Also, it is possible there are ethical implications with judges completing these type of questionnaires in that some of the questions attempt to commit the judge to political positions. Even though on the surface some of the questions may appear to touch on legal positions, they are often clearly phrased in a manner to force a judicial applicant/candidate to commit to political positions, sometimes of a highly-charged partisan nature.

      I can't in any way indicate that the specific questionnaire of this particular organization was problematic in the manner I indicate some such questionnaires are for judicial aspirants, but it is clear to me that at least that one question was potentially problematic for judicial aspirants.

      Other candidates for non-judicial office can complete those questionnaires if they wish, but judicial candidates need to be careful. When she was asked about the Second Amendment, by a group seemingly committed to that principle among others, and she allows herself to get sucked into a debate or even a discussion wherein she appears to disagree, only a fool would say they are discussing an issue which is merely a "legal issue." It, in addition to being a "legal issue", is also a highly polarizing "political issue."

      She should never have filled out the questionnaire.

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    7. 9:34 here. I agree with 12:52. I agree that Brower shouldn't be a judge. I'm just irritated at Masto's second excuse.

      So, just wondering, who do you guys think SHOULD be a federal judge? Boyd has been open for almost 20 years now, are there any Boyd grads up for the task? Are there any republicans that you'd pull for?

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    8. Bower will get nomination. It was an agreed upon deal when he didn't run again for state senate.

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    9. He made that deal before Trump was elected?

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    10. Judge Barker would have been a good federal judge.

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    11. 8:21 - agree.

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    12. Reid supports Brower. If Clinton won it would have happened.

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  2. Interesting bit on lawyers and addiction: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/business/lawyers-addiction-mental-health.html?_r=0

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    1. This was all over Facebook this weekend. Interesting read. Sad but true, in my experience.

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    2. Ha! I shut down my facebook because it was feeding my anxiety, stress, depression, and general misery.

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    3. @1:09 - Funny you say that, I just deleted Facebook off my phone this morning for the same reason.

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    4. Did the same a while ago. FB is toxic.

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  3. Dennis Prince prevailed in the Century Surety v. Dennis Prince (2:16-cv-2465-JCM-PAL). Judgment entered in favor of him and against Plaintiff.

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    1. https://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/nevada/nvdce/2:2016cv02465/118177/75

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    2. Short version, he won a anti SLAPP motion

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    3. Both he and George Ranalli got booted from this insipid suit. Hoping they smell blood and find a good, tenable basis to turn the tables on Century.

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    4. Who were the lawyers suing him? Who defended him?

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    5. Good. This was the most idiotic complaint I've ever read. Hope he takes them to the cleaners, on fees and costs at least.

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    6. He hired Rick freidman. That case is far from over.

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    7. What fool represented Century in this case, and/or told them that filing this was a good idea? I guess if you just made an $18,000,000.00 fuck up you have to go for the Hail Mary, but this is really going to cost them.

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  4. Does the bar ever answer the ethics hotline? I've called about three times since January and every single call went straight to voicemail.

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    1. No, the hotline never seems to go to a live person. If you're intent to talking to someone, just tell the nice receptionist that you need to talk to an Ethics hotline attorney, and she'll patch you through. They will then provide you with advice on the best way of screwing yourself in the inevitable Hunterton Licence Hunt proceeding.

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