TheAbsentMindedOne

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Why Bush chose Alito

Why was Alito chosen?

Good judge?

Good politics?

Good coffee recipe?

No.

Good taste in women.

George Bush married Laura, a librarian.

Sam Alito married a librarian, and fathered a daughter, Laura.

So, there we have it. The reason is out. Good taste!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Urgent Rush Limbaugh White House Alito

I think this is a big deal.

Compare Howard Dean to Alito’s Casey opinion. Dean does not say the woman may choose abortion. Dean says the woman and her family choose.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_110105/content/stop_the_tape.guest.html


RUSH: Two more bites here with Matthews and Howard Dean, and this is really good, because -- and I don't know what -- maybe Matthews is trying to regain some lost credibility after this Valerie Plame cliff that he went over, hoping for Fitzmas last couple weeks, but he continues to just bear down, bore in on Howard Dean on, "Why don't you just say it? Why won't you say that your party is pro-choice?"

DEAN: The position we support is a woman has a right to make -- and a family has a right to make up their own mind about their health care without government interference.

MATTHEWS: That's pro-choice.

DEAN: A woman and a family have a right to make up their own minds about health care without government interference, that's our position.

MATTHEWS: Why do you hesitate on the phrase pro-choice?

DEAN: Because I think it's often misused. If you're pro-choice, it implies you're not pro-life. That's not true. There are a lot of pro-life Democrats.

RUSH: Yeah. Are they allowed to say so? Name one. I'd like to meet the person. The last one I knew wasn't allowed to speak at the Democrat convention in '92, Bob Casey, who was the governor of Pennsylvania. So Matthews still keeps asking him, and he still keeps avoiding the question. So Matthews says, "Well, well, do you believe in abortion rights?"

DEAN: I believe that the government should stay out of personal -- the personal lives of families and women.

...

...

H.R. is saying, "I thought this was a winning issue for them. Pro-choice, pro-choice! They ought to be shouting in from the rafters, if the majority of the country is pro-choice. Why is Howard Dean so reluctant to use the term?"

DEAN: -- lives, that's what I believe.

MATTHEWS: I find it interesting that you've hesitated to say what the party has always stood for, which is the pro-choice position.

DEAN: The party believes the government does not belong --

MATTHEWS: I'm learning things about hesitancy I didn't know about before.

RUSH: I'm learning things here about hesitancy I did not know about before. Dean is probably flipping his wig here and is making plans to get even with Matthews as the interview ends....


----------------

Rush, did polls show that the public supports the PA law that Alito would have upheld in Casey?

In Casey, with some exceptions, the husband is notified, but he does not have the power to decide whether his wife gets an abortion.

Dean says the family decides. Not the woman.

Dean goes much farther than the PA statute. Way beyond. Dean puts Alito between Dean and the Supreme Court (which rejected the more limited PA notice requirement).

Is Dean more pro-life than Alito?

What is happening?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Answers, part 2.

This is from the 10/27/5 answers. Part of one paragraph has spaces between letters. That is how it was. Hopefully I will get a better source later.

The approach is simple. Put these in the middle. Make it seem as dull as possible. Withdraw before they are read.


17. Mortenson v. Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP, No. 99-12003 (126 th Judicial District, Travis County, Texas) (1999). This class action was filed by the receiver of Austin Forex International, L.L.C. (“Austin Forex”), a former client of the firm and its predecessor, Locke Purnell Rain Harrell, P.C., on behalf of itself and other named and unnamed class members who had invested in Austin Forex and related companies. The action alleged that Locke Liddell, various other law firms and accounting firms, and individuals at those firms knowingly assisted Russell Erxleben, the founder of Austin Forex, in perpetrating a complex fraudulent scheme involving foreign currency trading. The complaint alleged that Locke Liddell had assisted Erxleben in perpetrating his scheme and asserted causes of action for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and other violations of state securities and common law. The firm denied liability, but settled the case out of court for a sum of $23,696,000. To the best of my recollection, I did not participate in the firm’s representation of clients in the matters which are the basis for the allegations set forth by plaintiffs’ counsel in this complaint. During my tenures as Co-Managing Partner of Locke Liddell and President of Locke Purnell Rain Harrell, the firm improved its precautionary ethics measures, which included ethics briefings for all incoming lawyers, periodic (generally annual) ethics training for all lawyers, and distribution of written ethics materials. The firm also instituted tighter restrictions on client intake, including approval of new clients by senior lawyers in the firm, a Dunn & Bradstreet fraud check on new clients, mandatory engagement letters, and use of a new file opening form that specifically inquires about whether the client manages investments on behalf of others. The firm also has a conflicts/risk management committee with easy “walk-in” access comprised of partners in each city, and across varying practice areas, to which lawyers are encouraged to report concerns about ethics issues.

1 8 . I v o r W o l f s o n C o r p o r a t i o n S A v . L o c k e L i d d e l l & S a p p L L P , P h i l l i p W y l i e , R e f c o S e c u r i t i e s , I n c . a n d J o n a t h a n S l a v i n ' N o . 9 9 - C I V - 1 1 4 7 1 ( U n i t e d S t a t e s D i s t r i c t C o u r t f o r t h e S o u t h e r n D i s t r i c t o f N e w Y o r k ) ( 1 9 9 9 ) . T h i s c a s e c o n c e r n e d a l a w s u i t s e e k i n g $ 4 8 . 6 m i l l i o n i n d a m a g e s o w e d t o p l a i n t i f f s b y B r i a n S t e a r n s , a f o r m e r c l i e n t o f L o c k e L i d d e l l . P l a i n t i f f s a l l e g e d t h a t a f o r m e r p a r t n e r a t t h e f i r m , P h i l l i p W y l i e , h e l p e d S t e a r n s d e f r a u d t h e m . S t e a r n s a l l e g e d f r a u d c o n s i s t e d o f o b t a i n i n g l o a n s o f $ 2 0 m i l l i o n f r o m I v o r W o l f s o n a n d $ 6 m i l l i o n f r o m T r e m m e r o n a p r o m i s e t o r e p a y t h e m $ 4 0 m i l l i o n a n d $ 8 . 4 m i l l i o n , r e s p e c t i v e l y , a n d t o s e c u r e t h e f u l l a m o u n t s d u e w i t h a m a r k e t a b l e s e c u r i t y , w h e n S t e a r n s k n e w t h a t h e h a d n o s e c u r i t y t o p o s t . P l a i n t i f f s s o u g h t t o r e c o v e r t h e f u n d s f r o m L o c k e L i d d e l l , a l l e g i n g t h a t t h e f i r m k n o w i n g l y a n d a c t i v e l y a s s i s t e d S t e a r n s i n t h e
commission of his fraud. Locke Liddell denied these allegations in court. This matter was resolved by confidential settlement. To the best of my recollection, I did not participate in the firm’s representation of clients in the matters which are the basis for the allegations set forth by plaintiffs’ counsel in this complaint. (For a description of the precautionary ethics measures in place at Locke Liddell, see above description of Mortenson v. Locke Liddell, case 17.)

19. Janet Mortenson, Permanent Receiver for Trans-Global Asset Management, Brian Stearns, v. Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP & Phillip Wylie, No. GN-002674 (53rd Judicial District Court, Travis County) (2000). This class action suit was filed by Janet Mortenson, in her capacity as the court-appointed permanent receiver of several companies owned by Brian Stearns, the former Locke Liddell client mentioned above (see case 18, above) who, prior to his arrest in the fall of 1999, held himself out as a successful trader of medium-term notes. The suit also represented a class of investors who were defrauded by Stearns with the alleged assistance of Locke Liddell. Plaintiffs alleged that Locke Liddell engaged in securities fraud, sale of unregistered securities, aiding a breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, and negligent misrepresentation, in violation of Texas law. It was alleged that Phillip Wylie, the former Locke Liddell partner, took money from investors and placed it in the firm’s IOLTA account, as a conduit to transfer the money back to Stearns, rather than using the funds to purchase legitimate securities, as had been promised. Locke Liddell denied the allegations, and the litigation was settled out of court for $8.5 million. A subsequent intervention in this case (captioned Brady National Bank v. Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP) was resolved by confidential settlement. To the best of my recollection, I did not participate in the firm’s representation of clients in the matters that are the basis for the allegations set forth by plaintiffs’ counsel in this complaint. (For a description of the precautionary ethics measures in place at Locke Liddell, see above description of Mortenson v. Locke Liddell, case 17.)

The mandatory withdrawal.

Miers could not fully answer the questionnaire without disaster. The Locke suit could not be explained.

It was not ignored.

She could not respond.

She withdrew.


Update:

Miers did respond very late on the due date, just after the decision to withdraw was finalized but before it was announced. Why? I wonder if anyone really knows. It was probably for a variety of reasons. My primary guess is that it provided a kind of cover. If she had not responded, people might look at those questions and speculate that she could not, or would not, answer. The actual answers would give rise to more detailed questions, but the withdrawal means that there will be no more questions. Miers can say she answered. Still, there is some interesting information in the answers. I will post excerpts separately.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Harriet Miers Hearings

Hearings will, for the Democrats, be a chance to discuss:

Bush and Miers

and

lottery, national guard, and corruption

tax cuts and tax shelters for the rich

negligent misrepresentations that enable a Ponzi scheme & stealing from the middle class

negligent misrepresentations that enable another Ponzi scheme & stealing from the middle class

trust accounts used too facilitate crime, in violation of a zillion rules

The Cs. Crony. Corruption. inCompetence.

It will basically be about Bush. Miers will be the hammer.

Democrats are salivating.

That is why, if Republicans have any sense at all, there will be no hearings.

This is not new, but some of you are new to this blog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"Get me out of here."

Does Senator Sessions write the script for Harriet Miers? If not, he should.

New York Times
October 26, 2005

Asked if the debate had become "one-sided," with too few defending Ms. Miers, Senator Sessions, the Alabama Republican, struggled for words, then pushed a button for a nearby elevator in the Capitol building and told an aide, "Get me out of here."

Does Professor Bainbridge Still Think it was a Malpractice Claim?

The blogosphere, having discovered the Chicago Tribune article on the Locke settlement
has two misconceptions:

(1) sealed files means that no information is available and the facts cannot be found outside those files
(2) it was a malpractice case.

Neither is true.

It was about the Texas Chicken Feed Tort of Negligent Misrepresentation.

Juicy facts can be found. Easily.

And they will be found.

When will the good professor find them and announce them to the world?

Maybe we should bet him a glass of wine. Find it by Halloween and he wins. If not, he treats. Must he know about the bet for it to be binding?

Monday, October 24, 2005

The revised Questionnaire answers of Harriet Miers

Have you seen the revised answers to the Senate questions?

No?

Will she ever provide them?

What if they would hurt her chances?

Will she withdraw without answering?

She needs to do so.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Status Without Substance

Can we say that for most of her adult life, Miers sought roles that had status without substance, such as bar president and lots of groups that talk, announce, and tell others what they should do.

Harriet Miers, attorney

Would you hire Miers to represent you?

Do you want her as the attorney for the President?

Harriet Miers Writes Wrong

The Miers writings are bad prose, but my overall reaction is that she is generally wrong on the substance.

Examples:

She does not use the right wording for a will. (See prior post.)

She says she is writing in, and only in, her capacity as a former bar president. But there is no capacity of that sort. It is history, not capacity. She might have written only in her individual capacity, but her language excluded that. Her specific language was specifically wrong. (I think I said more on this in a prior post.

She says her Microsoft case was about the interplay between Texas and Federal class action rules. But Texas rules follow Federal rules. Interplay? No. This is either a poor understanding, poor writing, or a disingenuous effort to portray her record as having experience suitable for SCOTUS. The truth, that it was about a Texas rule that is the construed as the same as the Federal rule would suffice. But interplay? Not the right concept.

Item after item, important or not, she just keeps getting the substance wrong.

How can a SCOTUS nominee be wrong, and we can be right, about her history and cases? Amazing.

Harriet Miers Should Not Have This Job

Miers should not be in charge of selection or screening of Judges and Justices.

She is not up to understanding the substance.

She can judge based on her personal preferences.

She is completely unqualified.

Roberts was good because he was good. He was supported by great fans, such as the then Chief Justice.

Other than Roberts, Miers apparently was involved in very few selections.

Everything she did should be ignored. If she rated a candidate poorly, get out the file, redo the interviews, and do it over.

Were the other SCOTUS candidates rejected because they did not think and write and have background like Miers?

Do Over!

Short Term Politics And The Supreme Court Pick

Assume Miers withdraws now.

Assume a new nominee is named October 29.

What is the interesting political move?

Luttig or Alito.

Why?

Elections.

There are two major elections in November.

State officials are elected in Virginia and New Jersey.

Governors and legislatures.

Luttig went to college and law school in Virginia, and is based in Virginia.

Alito was raised in, went to college in, and has chambers in New Jersey.

Both are A list candidates.

Virginia has a very close governorship election. A toss up.

New Jersey is close, with the Democrat ahead by perhaps 5% to 10%.

If politics is a factor, appoint a Justice - elect a Governor!

What do you think?


Update 10/23/5

Are there others from Va. and N.J.? Sure. Substitute as you desire. Wilkinson is one with ties to a newspaper. Not bad:

(From SCOTUSBlog.com)

Judge Wilkinson was appointed to the Fourth Circuit by President Reagan in 1984. Before his appointment he was the Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division from 1982-1983. From 1978-1982, he worked as the editorial page editor of the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. From 1973-1978, he was a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to law school, he served in the army from 1968-1969.

Judge Wilkinson attended Yale College and the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, he clerked for Justice Powell.

Judge Wilkinson is 60 years old. He and his wife have two children.