Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Weigh 'Malicious Prosecution' and the 4th Amendment

SCOTUS will hear oral arguments this week in Manuel v. City of Joliet.

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On March 18, 2011, an Illinois man named Elijah Manuel was asleep in the passenger seat of his car while his brother was driving when their vehicle was stopped by Joliet police for allegedly failing to signal. Here is how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit summarized Manuel's allegations about what happened next:

A police officer detected an odor of burnt cannabis from inside the car. Without warning, the officer flung open the passenger's door and dragged Manuel out. The officer pushed Manuel to the ground, handcuffed him, and then punched and kicked him. The officer then patted down Manuel, and in one pocket found a bottle of pills. The pills were then tested by officers who had arrived at the scene, and these officers falsified the results to show that the pills were ecstasy. Based on these results, Manuel was arrested. In grand jury proceedings on March 31, the police continued to lie about the test results.

On April 1 the Illinois State Police Laboratory confirmed that the pills did not contain ecstasy; the lab further confirmed that the pills did not contain any other controlled substances. Yet the state's attorney's office was apparently not informed about the those test results because Manuel continued to remain incarcerated and then, on April 8, he was arraigned on felony drug charges. It was not until May 4, in response to a request from Manuel's public defender seeking the results of any such lab tests, that the prosecution finally moved to dismiss all charges. After spending 48 days in jail based on bogus accusations about non-existent illegal drugs, Manuel was finally set free on May 5.

Phil Roeder / Flickr.com

This Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case arising from Manuel's ordeal. At issue in Manuel v. City of Joliet is whether a federal "malicious prosecution" claim filed by Manuel is recognizable under the Fourth Amendment.

Manuel filed suit in April 2013 against multiple Joliet officers, as well as against the city, charging them with malicious prosecution and illegal pretrial detention in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Specifically, Manuel filed suit under Section 1983 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code, which provides a federal cause of action against any state or local official, including a police officer, who "subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws."

Unfortunately for Manuel, his federal suit was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. In December 2015 that court ruled against Manuel on the grounds that "federal claims of malicious prosecution are founded on the right to due process, not the Fourth Amendment." Furthermore, "there is no malicious prosecution claim under federal law if, as here, state law provides a similar cause of action." In short, the 7th Circuit slammed the federal courthouse doors in Manuel's face.

This week's oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court will focus on whether or not the 7th Circuit got it right.

There is good reason to think that the 7th Circuit got it wrong. For starters, that court is an outlier on this issue. Nine other federal appellate courts have ruled that malicious prosecution claims are recognizable under the Fourth Amendment. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit noted in Becker v. Kroll (2007), "We have repeatedly recognized in this circuit that, at least prior to trial, the relevant constitutional underpinning for a claim of malicious prosecution under [Section 1983] must be 'the Fourth Amendment's right to be free from unreasonable seizures.'" Had Elijah Manuel been detained in the 10th Circuit, or in any one of eight other federal appellate jurisdictions, his malicious prosecution claims could now move forward in federal court.

Furthermore, it makes little sense to say that the Fourth Amendment was not implicated in Manuel's pretrial detention. He was arrested, indicted by a grand jury, arraigned, and incarcerated based on trumped-up charges that were ultimately dropped. He spent over a month behind bars after being arraigned on drug charges that the Illinois State Police Laboratory knew for a fact to be baseless. Put differently, Manuel was detained at length without probable cause, a classic Fourth Amendment violation. Indeed, as Manuel and his lawyers observe in their main brief to the Supreme Court, "where, as here, officers mislead magistrates to sustain detentions without probable cause, the detentions thus violate the Fourth Amendment just as surely as when misrepresentations cause detentions under an unfounded arrest warrant."

In the words of the National Police Accountability Project, "Section 1983 provides a critical safeguard against official abuse, by deterring civil rights violations and, when that deterrence fails, compensating victims." Elijah Manuel deserves access to this critical safeguard so that he may seek to vindicate his Fourth Amendment rights in federal court.

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  1. frist of all, how dare yo u

    1. We don’t need no stinking Constitutional Rights.

      1. No, but the Kleptocracy does. The Suprema Corte had to intervene to restore the economy after looter spoiler votes in 1892 frightened the poor little DemoGOP into passing an income tax. More recently those big bad pro-choice libertarians were kicking sand in the poor little Republican’s faces–while its mystical cranks were demanding the 14th Amendment begin with “All ova fertilized…” The Roe v. Wade decision saved the GOP from its own supporters. The GO-Pee were again saved when its cops were restrained from rolling queers. (The libertarian platform was pandering to those perverts). The Court is nominated, confirmed and appointed by the Kleptocracy, and will protect the hands that feed it even if tough love is at times necessitated to keep those uppity libertarians in their place.

      2. My Co-Worker’s step-sister made $13285 the previous week. She gets paid on the laptop and moved in a $557000 condo. All she did was get blessed and apply the guide leaked on this web site. Browse this site…. This is what I do… http://goo.gl/Vi9DVs

    2. My Co-Worker’s step-sister made $13285 the previous week. She gets paid on the laptop and moved in a $557000 condo. All she did was get blessed and apply the guide leaked on this web site. Browse this site…. This is what I do… http://goo.gl/Vi9DVs

  2. There is good reason to think that the 7th Circuit got it wrong.

    From the opinion: While Manuel’s counsel advanced a strong argument, given the position we have consistently taken in upholding Newsome, see Llovet v. City of Chicago, 761 F.3d 759, 760 (7th Cir. 2014); Ray, 629 F.3d at 664; Parish, 594 F.3d at 554, Manuel’s argument is better left for the Supreme Court.

    And from a similar opinion: After briefing on the present motion concluded, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Manuel v. City of Joliet, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct. 890, 193 L.Ed.2d 783 (2016), which will address whether Llovet was correctly decided. But unless and until the Supreme Court says otherwise, this court remains bound by Llovet….

    I don’t think they got it wrong. They’re hinting that they got Llovet wrong, but there are good reasons for following precedent – it creates problems if you keep changing the rules on a case-by-case basis. Having ruled that having a state remedy precludes access to the federal courts (“let’s not make a federal case out of this”), that’s the rule we’re following. There are procedures to follow if you want to change the rules the courts are following. Sucks for Manuel, but it’s unfair for everybody else if there’s never any certainty as to what the rules are, if you can’t look at precedent and use that as a guide to future actions.

    1. Certainly, a court should treat its own precedents as *presumptively* correct, but if the precedent is *clearly* wrong, as in, not simply debatable but wrong beyond a reasonable doubt, then they need to sack up and admit their mistake.

      That’s what we have here. If detaining someone in prison based on phony accusations isn’t an unreasonable seizure, then words don’t really have meanings, and we may as well skip off merrily into the land of the Living Constitution, where words mean whatever the interpreter wants them to mean.

      1. Skimming the opinion, it seems he was arrested in March 2011, and released from prison on May 5 of that year.

        He sued in April 2013.

        The court said that the two-year statute of limitations ran out in March 2013, the second anniversary of his arrest.

        But he was unreasonably detained until *May* 2011, so I’d say there was an ongoing 4th Amendment violation, and suing in April 2013 should be allowed.

        1. See my below comment – I’m a one-finger typer so I talk reeeaaaallllll slllloooowwww. I should have had that comment ready to go as an add-on but I haven’t had my coffee yet this morning.

          1. I do not get this euphemism.

            1. You’ve never tried the one finger method?

        2. Did the the court say that? So if they had detained him without counsel until mid-2013, he would have had no remedy at all, because the clock ran out when he was still held?

          No, the clock on limitation starts when the offense ends, if for no other reason than to give the offender a motive to cease the offense.

    2. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean?neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

      1. No, the question is ‘who is the master’. Now, STOP RESISTING!

  3. A second problem with the case is that Manuel had a variety of bases for complaints but all of them were dismissed because they were filed several weeks past the expiration of the two-year statute of limitations. Which suggests Manuel had an incompetent lawyer or he’s an idiot. Or that Manuel isn’t really the plaintiff here – somebody deliberately waited until after the SoL had expired to file the suit deliberately to strip out all the other claims and get a ruling strictly on the Llovet claim, deliberately to get a Supreme Court ruling on the issue. Is the ACLU or some other civil rights group actually running this case and Manuel is simply a compliant plaintiff? I have a suspicion that maybe this case isn’t about Manuel at all, it’s just a vehicle to overturn Llovet.

    1. He was arrested in March 2011 and kept in prison until May 5, 2011. He filed suit in April 2013. So if you measure the 2-yr statute of limitations from the arrest, he’s too late, but if it’s a 4th Amendment claim, the seizure continued until May so presumably that means he filed in time.

      I don’t know whether the lawyers sabotaged their own client’s other claims, or whether he hired them too late and they were only able to file the 4th Amendment claim, but in any case here he is in court, claiming that he was seized based on bogus charges, and if words have meanings that’s am unreasonable seizure in violation of the 4th Amendment.

      If the judges can’t muster the guts to admit they were wrong in their precedent, then the Supreme Court should clean up their mess.

      1. Now *that’s* how you manufacture a test case.

        (Or you can take the Buck v. Bell approach – assign a lawyer who’s actually on *your* side to represent the “challenger” to a law.)

  4. If the judges can’t muster the guts to admit they were wrong in their precedent, then the Supreme Court should clean up their mess.

    I have a suspicion that that’s exactly what’s going on here – it’s a “stop me before I kill again” sort of thing. The Appeals Court is following the rules. Perhaps too strictly, but there is a reason for the rules and there’s a reason for following the rules. Precedents don’t get overturned lightly and they shouldn’t be and maybe this court knew full well this case would be headed to the Supreme Court. Better SCOTUS make a ruling that sets a single clear line all the lower courts are bound to follow than have a variety of rules from each different circuit.

    1. OK, but if as the post suggests all the other circuits are already on the other side, this seems like a case of everyone out of step except Johnny.

      From the standpoint of stability in the law, if the Supreme Court can be trusted to get this right, then it’s good there’s a test case they’re prepared to take.

      But it sucks for the individual plaintiff, who has to put up with a bogus legal rule the overruling of which is going to be costly for him, if not in money (perhaps he’s on legal aid), then at least in time and stress.

    2. OK, but if as the post suggests all the other circuits are already on the other side, this seems like a case of everyone out of step except Johnny.

      From the standpoint of stability in the law, if the Supreme Court can be trusted to get this right, then it’s good there’s a test case they’re prepared to take.

      But it sucks for the individual plaintiff, who has to put up with a bogus legal rule the overruling of which is going to be costly for him, if not in money (perhaps he’s on legal aid), then at least in time and stress.

  5. All of this ignores the fact that if the state and its agents are held accountable for malicious prosecutions then the justice system will grind to a halt due to the chilling effect on malicious prosecutions.

    1. Even if the SC rules in favor of Manuel state agents will still not be held accountable. Taxpayers will be.

    2. That’s a feature, not a bug. Unless you’re a prosecutor.

    3. Police enjoy qualified immunity. Prosecutors enjoy absolute immunity. It’s possible, although incredibly unlikely, that the individual police officers involved could be held responsible in a civil court but no jury will ever allow that. They would have to live with the fact that they would be known as “troublemakers” every time the deal with the police. Anyone on a jury that convicts a cop would have to be willing to live with a lifetime of speeding tickets, resisting a lawful order (by asking “Why?” when told to do something) etc.

      The prosecutor can, at worst, lose his job and suffer possible disbarment but he can NEVER be held civilly responsible.

      Given those incentives can anyone expect things to change even if the SCOTUS rules in Manuel’s favor?

    4. You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  6. Some legal concepts require legal training to interpret. Your average Joe Sixpack may not know, right off the top of his head, every detail of securities law. (Not that every lawyer knows every detail).

    But when it comes to “unreasonable seizure,” I think this is a term addressed by the Constitution’s framers to the intelligent, historically-literate citizen. And if Joe Sixpack can’t see a guy locked up on bogus charges and think “unreasonable seizure,” maybe he’s a bit too law-and-orderish for the Founders’ tastes.

    1. I think they’d think of it as wrong, but not necessarily connect it to “unreasonable seizure”.

      1. Much of the Bill of Rights embodies the basic intuitions and experience of the American people, so if Joe Sixpack intuits that something is unconstitutional without knowing the technical details, he may be right.

        Of course, due to the defects in human nature, Joe Sixpack (like Judge Sixpack his cousin) may be tempted to put his own idiosyncratic preferences into the Constitution, so there’s no guarantee.

        1. But surely all those “civics” classes in the public schools have the effect of educating citizens about the Constitution?

          /sarc

          1. English aristocrats, even those who weren’t going to become lawyers, would generally pick up some law during their education – not for shits and giggles, but so that they could better manage their estates and serve as lay magistrates.

            In a country where the citizens themselves are the aristocracy, and may be called upon to handle legal documents, not to mention serving on juries, you’d think that a basic legal education would be part of civics training. Is it?

            1. Why should that part of public education be any better than, say, instruction in English? The schools are a disgrace, and the Teaxhers’ unions should be treated like the criminal conspiracies they are.

              1. I guess, in my snarky way, I was trying to make a related point.

            2. No, and this is by design. The Prussian System turns out Good Germans, not good citizens.

          2. Oh, they are educated about the Constitution. It is a 250-year-old living document written by a bunch of white men who couldn’t foresee the changes in society thus making much of it irrelevant.

            1. also its not a suicide pact

              1. The social contract, on the other hand, is a suicide pact.

                1. Let’s subject the so-called “social contract” to basic contract law:

                  Contract of adhesion?

                  a contract between two parties, where the terms and conditions of the contract are set by one of the parties, and the other party has little or no ability to negotiate more favorable terms and is thus placed in a “take it or leave it” position.

                  Check.

                  Unconscionable?

                  terms that are so extremely unjust, or overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of the party who has the superior bargaining power, that they are contrary to good conscience. Typically, an unconscionable contract is held to be unenforceable because no reasonable or informed person would otherwise agree to it. The perpetrator of the conduct is not allowed to benefit, because the consideration offered is lacking, or is so obviously inadequate, that to enforce the contract would be unfair to the party seeking to escape the contract.

                  Check.

              2. The Civil War determined that it IS a suicide pact.

                At least by strictly following the Constitution, the suicides will be progressives and socialists.

      2. I think they’d think “Well, he must of done something to get arrested.”

  7. I’m going to guess that SCOTUS will rule whatever way which will hold the state less accountable. Oh and fuck precedent.

    1. Sotomayor, at least, might vote in favor of the 4th Amendment. I don’t know about any of the other jokers on the Court. Except we know all the conservative Justices will vote in favor of government power in this case.

  8. Trump tax return obtained by the New York Times

    Donald Trump’s income tax returns from 1995 reportedly show he declared a $916 million loss, according to the New York Times, which said it received three pages from Trump’s filings that year.

    The Times posted three pages it said were from Trump’s New York, New Jersey and Connecticut state income tax filings from 1995, all of which declared a loss of $915,729,293. The documents came to the newspaper by mail, with a New York City postmark, the Times reported.

    The paper said the legitimacy of the documents was confirmed by Jack Mitnick, a lawyer and certified public accountant who handled Trump’s tax affairs until 1996 and who was was listed as the preparer on the New Jersey tax form.

    Hillary Clinton has used Trump’s failure to release his tax returns as part of her attack on him, most recently at the debate Monday evening. When Clinton alluded to Trump possibly not having paid any taxes, Trump said that made him “smart.”

    Trump’s campaign responded to the Times story by saying in a statement that did not confirm or deny the validity of the documents the Times posted, saying “The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained.”

    Very bad!

    1. It is. A CPA should never comment on a client’s return, past or present.

      1. He’s also an attorney, so fuck him.

    2. Trump – “Are you implying I did something illegal? For better or worse I played by the rules. I obeyed the law. I am not the one being investigated by the FBI.”

      C’mon Don, its a slow pitch right over the plate.

      1. No. We are saying you are a bad businessman who can’t be trusted to run the government.

        1. “We” are saying…

        2. “Trust? Do you really want to go there? Maybe we could just start over with this. We can wipe it with a cloth or something.”

      2. He would be 100% right to play victim here since this is an egregious violation of his privacy (and not to mention the privacy of his ex-wife Marla Trump, who is not a public figure).

        In addition, it seems possible that in publishing this information the editors at the New York times committed a felony by publishing someone’s tax return.

        But IANAL. Any folks here with knowledge of the law that can comment on this? Can Trump or Marla Trump turn the Times into the next Gawker over this?

        1. It’s an alleged tax return and the NYT can always fall back on the “everybody knows we’re big fat liars so nobody could possibly believe we were serious” fair-use parody defense. The Onion publishes this kind of stuff all the time, don’t they? And The Onion is certainly a more credible source of the straight dope than the NYT.

          That being said – I’ll pay my “fair share” of taxes the day the IRS sends me a letter asking me what I think a fair share would be and offers to negotiate the sum. What’s “fair” is what is mutually agreed upon, not what one side gets to say is fair. Even Trump (or Hillary) gets my approval if he’s found a way to keep the IRS out of his pocket. (It doesn’t change the argument that he might be a hypocrite or the facts suggest he’s not The Greatest Businessman in the History of the Universe or he’s lying about how much money he’s got and how much he’s given to charity over the years. Of course he’s lying.)

        2. disclosed in a manner not authorized by this title

          Trump’s former CPA is also a lawyer, right? There may be a “loophole” in the statute of which he is aware that authorizes this particular kind of disclosure.

        3. In addition, it seems possible that in publishing this information the editors at the New York times committed a felony by publishing someone’s tax return.

          NY Times probably received a legal opinion before publishing this. Odds are the opinion was “don’t do it”. The danger NY Times walked into is confirmed since I know of no other outlet that’s published the returns even partially; they just summarize the NY Times’ article and/or link to the article itself.

          That said, the First Amendment does provide substantial protections to the press when it comes to invasions of privacy of high-profile individuals and information that’s in the public interest. It’s possible that the statute criminalizing disclosure could be found to violate the First Amendment in this instance. This is, of course, untested.

          Also, regardless, the federal statute criminalizing unauthorized disclosure only applies to federal tax returns, which the NY Times did not publish and may not even possess (the article just puts forward a theory about what may be in Trump’s federal returns). There does not seem to be any criminal penalty for publishing the state tax returns of NJ/NY/CT. (The Internal Revenue Code defines “returns” and “return information” as filings/info which are filed with the US Secretary of Treasury. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6103)

  9. Fareed Zacharia has just weighed in on the election – after much thought he has gained this insight he feels must be shared with the world: Donald Trump is a strange standard-bearer for the GOP because so many of his positions are out of step with the rest of the Republican Party. I may have to check into this further; I know it seems to be a novel idea but this is a Thoughtful Thinker with Deep Thinkful Thoughts and I don’t want to just jump to the conclusion that he’s an idiot.

      1. Fareed “I want to be thought of as an intellectual, like Tommy Friedman” Zakaria

        1. That would be Fareed “I want to be thought of as an intellectual, like Tommy Friedman, so I’ll just plaigarize his latest column and I’m sure nobody will notice” Zakaria to you, mister.

  10. “Supreme Court to Weigh ‘Malicious Prosecution’ and the 4th Amendment”

    In pounds and not kilograms I presume?

    Also, all this for…cannabis?

    1. Yes, the demon weed must be stamped out at all costs.*

      *Well, maybe it shouldn’t be totally eradicated; those assets are not going to forfeit themselves!

      1. *Our boys in blue can use all the punching-bag practice they can get.

      2. They can make it up with the ‘Great Kratom Surge’ of 2017. Those prisons don’t build themselves!

        1. They used to. My dad’s old alma mater was built by the cons origionally.

  11. OT from Raw Story: Spot the irony:

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/0…..ing-white/

    “Education is supposed to be provocative. The way we get people to challenge their assumptions about the world is to provoke them,” Sociology professor Randy Blazak said.

    1. It’s provocative in the sense that traditional racism is provocative, I suppose.

    2. “talking about race has to start somewhere”

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

      1. They really, really want to poison the general public with their obsession, don’t they?

    3. Portland:

      76% white
      6.3% black

      1. That’s a lot of privilege.

      2. That’s called gentrification.

        1. No, seriously, Portland once had a much larger black population.

        2. Last night the news had some sob story about a guy who was priced out of Brooklyn and now Manhattan, what happened to muh community, etc.

          “Where do I go?!?!?”

          I get it. Moving sucks. Same shit happened to me. But… I don’t walk around claiming I have some sort of “right” to live wherever the fuck I want.

          1. What these people don’t seem to understand is that space is limited; someone will be forced to either move away from a place or be prevented from moving there.*

            What they never do is argue why, morally, others should be kept out while they get to stay.

            *Of course, the market would likely respond to diminishing living spaces by building more and taller apartments, but many municipalities disallow this. If only liberals understood that zoning is their enemy, not their friend.

            1. Oh, they routinely bitch about the prospect of building more tall, luxury buildings. You know, where the rich people could go if they were allowed, instead of moving into YOUR place.

              It’s madness.

          2. You do have a right to live where you live, as long as you pay for it.

            Property taxes are outrageous in most places and that needs to be fixed to max rate increase per year and requires 2/3 majority in state Legislature or whatever.

            Demanding “fairness” in how your neighborhood gets more expensive is ridiculous and exposes clear lack of understanding on how free market works.

            1. Idaho limits property taxes to a 3% increase a year. Guess how much they go up in my county ever year? It’s well over 1% of the assessed value, which has little control of growth. Over three years my place magically increased in value 57%

            2. The state of Washington passed an initiative for tax increases to require a 2/3 vote of the legislature. The WA Supreme Court ruled that since “education” is the primary goal of the state’s constitution, anything that restricted the state’s ability to fund education was necessarily unconstitutional.

              In Washington, an initiative can be overridden by the legislature after two years. Hence, the public had to vote for the same initiative every two years and did so three times winning every time by more that 55%. It took eight years for the politicians’ legal eagles to concoct the “Education is primary” argument, but they were relentless and succeeded in killing any attempt to limit taxation.

              Don’t ever try to get between a legislature and your wallet.

  12. But the cop detected the presence of the pots? What else matters? We have to save the children. They started legalizing this devil weed in some states and what happens? A fucking clown apocalypse, that’s what!

    1. To be fair, the juggalo menace needs to be dealt with.

      1. When you have a clown hammer everything starts looking like a clown. I look forward to the ‘it looked like a clown!’ excuses from the cops.

        1. In one town in WV that’s a valid excuse for the people, never mind the cops.

      2. They only use pot to come down from tweeking.

    1. thank mr skeltal

      Jill Stein approves this message.

      1. I applaud your proactive stance against osteoporosis.

  13. This is why we have to elect Hillary. She’ll finally put an end to these silly clingers and their silly 100 year old piece of paper written by old white guys who owned slaves.

    1. She’d determine everyone’s fair share of Fourth Amendment protections.

    2. She’d determine everyone’s fair share of Fourth Amendment protections.

  14. OT:

    OMG some people have more money than other people!!1!

    Et tu, NY Post?

    1. Notably, neither of them goes to public school.

      1. I liked this line:

        “The best part of growing up in the projects is that you learn how to live as a poor child.”

        I’d hate to think about the worst part.

        “Like shootouts and all that stuff.”

        Oh.

        1. Of course there’s also communities and environments where you can be a poor child and not worry about shootouts and all that stuff, but we can’t talk about that.

          1. I remember growing up poor and thinking “god damn, it sucks to be poor”. No reporters came to interview me, hmph.

            1. Well they clearly knew that your privilege meant that you weren’t really poor. Like all the rural poor whites I grew up around. Because arbitrary racial lines matter a hell of a lot more than actual socio-economic status obviously.

              1. The real moral of the story:

                Kid from Spanish Harlem: “I want to be a neurosurgeon when I grow up. I’m going to graduate from Columbia University.”

                Kid from the West Village: “My dream job would be to do travel writing. I’d like to start my own publication. I’m not personally concerned with being as good as my parents or being better than them. I’m more concerned with being able to do what I want to do and do it well.”

                1. This is why you should beat your kids.

              2. Rural whites are poor because they are hics, so they deserve scorn. Duhh. Besides they vote republican so they should be eradicated.

                1. They got poor white privilege, so they are the enemy.

              3. “Because arbitrary racial lines matter a hell of a lot more than actual socio-economic status obviously.”

                Well of course they do. It’s race war rather than class war at the heart of America’s modus vivendi (way of life).

                And ‘actual socio-economic status’ is no less arbitrary than race, regardless of what your sociology teacher told you.

                1. It’s quite amazing mtrueman how you manage to be both a condescending and extremely shallow thinker at the same time.

                  1. “It’s quite amazing mtrueman …”

                    Forget about shootouts and all that stuff, let’s talk about the amazing mtrueman for a change.

    2. $50,000-a-year private school

      Sigh.

  15. Drudge is fucking with the New York Times. I love it.

    1. Link?

      1. Drudgereport.com

        Note the headline in red.

        1. Crickets from the Hilary Campaign.

        2. Good catch!

          Its like it was a trap set for the liberal media.

  16. Hillary Clinton has used Trump’s failure to release his tax returns as part of her attack on him, most recently at the debate Monday evening. When Clinton alluded to Trump possibly not having paid any taxes, Trump said that made him “smart.”

    Interesting, since Clinton is the one pushing tax rules designed to keep tax attorneys busy (and rich).

  17. Just wait ’til Trump has to show us that 1099 from Vladimir Putin for destroying American democracy.

  18. Serious question-

    Has anybody ever fought a malicious prosecution using the 8th?

    1. Did you read the article or something?

    2. I doubt it. AFAICT, the Eighth Amendment only applies post-conviction. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments’ Due Process Clause definitely apply to malicious prosecutions.

  19. Elijah Manuel? The name’s enough to get him in trouble.

  20. Stupid fucking pigs. Police who violate people’s rights should be given the same punishment to which they subject their innocent victims. Times 2.

    Jill Stein approves this message.

    1. Well, your first step is going to find some way to overturn Screws v US either by convincing the 9 whore in black robes they’re wrong or by convincing Congress to make the Civil Rights Act strict liability as it was before Screws.

  21. Progressive amendment suggestions:

    We, progressive shitheads matter, declare these following amendments:

    1) ‘The old white guys with slaves who spoke strange English’ amendment. Why should we listen to those guys?
    2) ‘Those were different times’ amendment. Seriously, they could not envision AK-47s and right-wing extremists.
    3) ‘Just a paper’ amendment. Why should we beholden to words written down on a piece of paper by the patriarchy?
    4) ‘Black lives matter’ amendment. We declare black lives are now worth more than 3/5. We assess that figure at 6/5.
    5) ‘No natives shall be President’ amendment. It’s clear Americans have made a mess of things. Therefore, we assert only foreigners shall rule and dictate above us. Preferably Canadians.

    1. Now to be fair Rufus, if you gave me the chance to completely destroy the Canadian constitution and start from scratch, without any insight from the idiot plebs of this country, I’d take it in a heartbeat. Of course “we” only signed it in 1982, but in the famous words of our leader: “It’s 2016.”

      1. Not according to Quebec! Night of the long knives! We were duped!

        I’d rip it up too.

        Two words: Notwithstanding clause – thanks to Quebec.

        Two disgusting words where liberty is concerned.

        1. “Two disgusting words”

          Notwithstanding is only one disgusting word.

          1. It’s called the ‘notwithstanding clause’ smart ass.

            1. Notwithstanding is one word. The lack of spaces between the letters is thegiveaway.

              1. And that’s completely irrelevant to what Rufus is actually talking about, which is the notwithstanding clause as a legal concept within the Canadian constitution. The two disgusting words are the words that describe the short-hand of Section 33 within the Constitution. ‘Notwithstanding’ on its own is not an accurate description of the legal concept Rufus is describing and deems disgusting.

                Which you would know if you spent ten minutes actually researching the subject at hand rather than spewing out condescending bullshit like you had any idea what we were talking about.

                1. “And that’s completely irrelevant to what Rufus is actually talking about, which…”

                  Which is nothing new or original, I promise you. My observation, that the word ‘notwithstanding’ is only one word, and a disgusting one at that, is breaking new ground here at Reason.

          2. “Notwithstanding clause” is two words. Learn to count, troofman.

            1. “Notwithstanding”

              It is only one word. You are all wrong to argue otherwise. Count the spaces!

              1. Are you retarded?

                1. You really have to ask? You are one of the most revered intellects who posts here. But I must insist. It’s one word and it’s disgusting. Nothing you have argued up to now has convinced me otherwise.

                  1. /stares and walks away.

                2. I think he’s autistic.

                  1. How is he autistic? I ain’t never seen no example of his autistry. He ain’t never shown no drawings or stuff!

              2. It is a single word, and common in American politics and law.

  22. Did you read the article or something?

    You slay me.

  23. Libertarians, if they’re thoughtful, will soon be quite glad to be rid of that mean-spirited sphere of flesh Scalia.

    1. Scalia revived the Confrontation Clause. You’re welcome.

      Scalia also joined O’Connor in decrying corporate eminent domain. You’re welcome.

      To thoughtful libertarians, there is no libertarian Supreme Court justice. It’s more of a “tallest midget” contest.

  24. Are the cops ok? That’s all I care about.

  25. See? If Herbert Hoover or George Waffen Bush were president, dry killers would have promptly shot the dope fiend and nationalized his Hoovercart?

    1. “Nothing to fear, but fear itself”

      And the government. Don’t forget the government.

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  27. Section 1983 pretty much crashes “gun control”!

  28. This isn’t just malicious prosecution. It’s also kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault and battery, perjury, wire fraud, and I’m sure any lawyer could come up with a dozen more felony charges.

    -jcr

    1. Line of duty, not possible to charge cops with those crimes even under color.

  29. 4TH AMENDMENT

    Anyone that supports “stop and frisk” laws is NOT a supporter, but rather an ENEMY, of the Constitution. Stop and frisk, without a warrant or probable cause FIRST, IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. I said that even BEFORE the higher courts affirmed it.

    It may seem reasonable and it may even be effective but it IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    And he did so while enforcing UNCONSTITUTIONAL laws in direct and blatant violation of his Oath of Office.

    “… against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC.” [emphasis mine].

    I really don’t care if a USURPER claims to be a D or an R or anything else. I don’t listen to their words. I watch their ACTIONS to determine if they’re a domestic enemy of the Consitution.

  30. May we please know the final disposition of this case by reading it here in Reason?

  31. Another SC case looks at “insider trading.” There is reason to suspect the Bush Administration caused the Crash of 2007 by confiscating (among other things) hemp grow houses thus destabilizing the rickety subprime CMOs market. But it gets better when the timing for TARP matches the spread through FATF et alii of the same confiscatory prohibitionism abroad. It would be a simple but sure thing to export asset forfeiture then short foreign currency and securities markets to recoup the losses. Then again… nah.

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