Tagged: criminal law

Lessons in Law 10: Libertarian Law

Bipartyism vs Multipartyism For Dummies

(Completes “Multipartyism is a corrupt form of people’s government” in Lesson 9)

From plurality voting to majority rule there must be, as for as the constitution of assemblies is concerned, a step of behind-doors negociations between parties that escape voters’ choice entirely.

Bipartyism, the two-party system, means majority voting: The result is an absolute majority (above 50%). The electoral platform can be applied at once.

Multipartyism means plurality voting. Let’s take three parties A, B and C with respective results 40%, 35% and 25%. Because the government needs majorities above 50% to have bills passed, party A must negociate a coalition pact with B or C to get a majority in Parliament, usually in exchange of governement positions. So there will be a coalition governement A+B or A+C formed upon a coalition pact that is different from all platforms presented to the electorate.

Let’s now look at France, a multipartisan and parliamentary regime, that is, the government’s head is from the majority party in the legislative body. The head of government thus governs based on a coalition pact bargained behind doors and not an electoral platform.

(There is in France another head of the executive, namely the president, elected in a two-stage election that eliminates all candidates but two in the first stage, which could be seen as a kind of primaries, by which most voters are asked to express their best choice and then, at the general election, their second best (runoff principle). The president in France has no power if the legislative assembly is of a different party, so I leave the dealing with him in parentheses even though he is the real ruler in case he is of the same majority as the assembly, so the real guy remains in parentheses, which shows you how absurd that system is.)


In fact the French president is in no way the “real guy” in the system, even when of the same party of the majority in Parliament: this is an illusion of commentators. Although he is elected on a platform which he does not have to discard the very next day, and he probably derives his greater aura as an institution from this, he cannot apply but the coalition pact of the coalition government. He is the coalition’s puppet.


“Because the government needs majorities above 50% to have bills passed”: Allow me to expatiate.

A vote on a bill is basically a yes-no question, votes are yes or no, so yes or no (pass or not) will at least get 50 percent of the votes. Those not present to vote (or with no proxy) or abstaining may make the result less than 50 (51) percent of members but that is not taken into account (a majority of members is not asked).

One could also imagine an actual abstention vote (yes, no, or abstention, as in polls) that could then make the result less than 50 percent of voters, and then a bill could pass by a plurality vote.

All in all what a government needs in the legislative body is enough people to vote the bills. This is why most multipartisan regimes make it compulsory for the first past the post (plurality winner) to start forming a coalition after election day, that is, to enter in a secret, clandestine coalition deal.

Some regimes do not, however (like Denmark, if I’m not mistaken): A government is formed from the party that has got a plurality of, say, 40 percent of the electorate’s vote and 40 percent of the seats in the legislative body. This minority government withholds the electoral platform for which it was elected but it will present bills to a legislative body where he has only 40 percent of yeses secured (we’re talking of an ‘ideal’ situation where party members are 100 percent aligned on the government’s platform but figures for US Congress, for instance, give a 90 percent congruence). At some point or other, even there the government will have to form a coalition, as it has no bargaining power with the opposition but in this way (because a government’s only power on representatives is to offer government positions, as parliamentary regimes are those where representatives have no other ambition than to make it to the governement, so a political coalition can only mean a coalition government in the final analysis).

Now such a system as I am describing is so disrepectful of the citizenry that even when parties make electoral deals where some withdraw candidates from some districts in exchange of the other parties withdrawing their candidates from other districts, that is, even though they are already agreed to form a coalition in case of victory, both parties still has no common platform and pretend to defend a platform of their own they know they won’t withhold unamended in case of victory.

This is the vicious nature of multipartyism.

In contrast I call the attention on the ‘top two’ system in the State of Washington, where after the primaries two candidates from the same party may be competitors in the general election. This is the true essence of a two-party system: The idea is not to get as many political parties as there are political ideologies, or currents, or opinions, or nuances (and in fact as there are politicians’ ego trips) but to get two parties where all ideas can find expression and in the frame of which they compete with one another. Two parties for all ideas.


Electoral College

One critic of the American Electoral College writes: “Certainly, if one believes that the person who receives the most votes should win, the implications for democracy are evident.” (L.S. Maisel) He means the suppression of the electoral college.

But certainly such implication is not at all evident. In both federal and unitary (nonfederal) systems the winner gets the most votes (so a “minority winner” is a bogus notion anyway): In US he gets the most votes of the electoral college, elsewhere he gets the most votes according to the respective systems.

Look at the following map. (Found on Twitter a while ago with no source mentioned.)

In all these countries one observes a marked demographic imbalance between geographic parts (Canada and Australia are particularly salient cases). In all these countries, without a single electoral district system there can be no “one man one vote” principle unless one divides the blue area in a multitude of districts and the grey area in few districts, which would be absurd as the districts would then be mere geographic fictions, which states in a federal union are not (they have historical meaning).

Indeed as countries with single election districts are a small minority, the principle one man one vote is a rarity among democracies for national level elections of assemblies.

In any case, whether one in demographically imbalanced nations, which are the rule rather than the exception, adopts a single district system or a multiple districts system with mathematic precision as to district equality re population numbers, departure from one man one vote in a federal system is constitutionally mandatory at the federal level. If this is not democratic, then a federal constitution is not either in the first place and the subject is not the electoral college but the federal structure.


The Criminal’s Debt To Whom?

We all have heard of cases of alleged rape ending because the accused man pays money to his accuser and there is no trial. Something I don’t understand. Rape is a crime coming under criminal law. If one can have a rape trial cancelled by a financial deal, which satisfies prosecuting authorities, why is it not the same with, say, murder? The victim’s relatives could be given money (blood money) and the prosecutor would drop the case as a result of this financial compensation. Yet it does not happen: With murder there is a trial, only with rape there is not.

The implication is disturbing, as it amounts to saying that well-off rapists have no debt to the society but only to their victims.

If we’ve got criminal law rather than an all-encompassing tort law, it is because the government says criminals must pay their debt TO THE SOCIETY. Where there is no trial because of a financial agreement, like, as I said, in some rape cases, we are not talking of crime.

Assuming with great certainty that some other crimes (on paper), like assault, are subject to the same treatment (although the legislator never said a word on where to draw the line), the idea that justice treats differently the rich and the poor takes a more precise shape: No matter what they do, short of homicide, the rich must pay their debts not to the society but to their victims only, they cannot be criminals according to the system.


Prone Restraint: The Ballad of Chauvin and Floyd

Derek Chauvin must have had an extremely incompetent lawyer as he’s been found guilty even though his innocence is self-evident according to so many right-wingers. I’m urging the latter to be lawyers if they aren’t already.


Let me tell you what the defense of Derek Chavin should be, of which I haven’t heard a word among the vocal right-wing “lawyers” taking Chauvin’s fate at heart.

Derek Chauvin used, according to his training, a technique called prone restraint which is banned in several cities in the states and several countries in the world for being haphazardly deadly.

Therefore, as he conformed to his training, Chauvin is not to be held responsible for the death of George Floyd, but the authorities that allow the use by police of a haphazardly deadly technique are.


Derek Chauvin obviously could not be convicted for intentional murder. He has been convicted for, in a nutshell, unintentional murder and depraved-heart murder, that is, the jury found he applied the prone restraint technique that he is trained to apply, in an unsuitable manner.

Yet the ban on the technique in several cities of the states and several countries in the world is proof enough that the technique is hazardous in itself or at least difficult to handle without lethal risk for the persons subjected to it. Therefore Chauvin must be cleared and the administration that keeps training police officers to apply prone restraint must compensate George Floyd’s relatives for their loss, which was predictable and thus avoidable through the banning of the technique.

That Floyd said he couldn’t breathe is no proof of Chauvin’s neglect, as the latter might have perceived that Floyd was simulating in order to escape (even if Floyd was already handcuffed, as being handcuffed never was an obstacle to running except for those who run on their hands).

A few months before Floyd’s death a similar affair had occurred in France, with the death of Rémi Chouviat on the occasion of a routine trafic control which degenerated in an altercation between Chouviat and the police and to Chouviat’s death after a prone restraint. It is known that trivial altercations are a significant source of homicide and it is an even sorrier state of affairs when it is trivial altercations with the police that cause the termination of innocent citizens.


How To Curtail Crime

To reduce crime, numbers of police officers must be cut.

70 percent of homicides result from trivial altercations (Kenrick & Griskevicius, 2013). Merely pushing someone away, if he stumbles and falls on his head he may die from skull injuries. That will be counted as crime in statistics, and this is what crime statistics are: 70 percent of trivial altercations turning bad. You don’t need cops to fight “crime” like this.

You need cops to fight criminal organizations, but you never hear of criminal organizations being terminated. Here there is a philosophy of fatalism: Suppress one organization another will take its place, besides they aren’t bad for the economy when you think about it, and Epstein committed suicide in his cell when the camera wasn’t working. Corruption is rampant. The less cops the less state protection criminals will receive.


Government protectionism of the black market goes far beyond police. And less cops on inner city streets equates to more dead blacks. L.A. riots were due, in part, to LACK of policing. And look at what’s happening now with that same return to lack of policing: violence in black communities. But it’s ok, it’s not the cops hurting them, now it’s their ‘own kind’… right? Faux libertarian circular logic. (D.B.S.)

My interlocutor obviously is for a police state. He made a mistake that no true libertarian could make by conflating on the one hand “policing” and on the other hand “police” meant as police forces paid on taxpayer money. Saying more policing is needed, he wants us to hear more police bureaucracy, which is precisely the stance a libertarian is trained to dismiss from the outset.

That policing and police bureaucracy are not conflatable is what the history of the states tells us:

“One defining element in American criminal law had not yet emerged by the opening of the nineteenth century: the idea that localities, states, and eventually the federal government should supply professional police forces to enforce criminal laws and protect the public from criminal behavior. Eventually, members of police forces would emerge as the primary enforcers of the criminal law, but for much of the nineteenth century those forces were nonexistent. Instead, private citizens would be summoned to respond to antisocial behavior, as when a ‘hue and cry’ would go up when someone had been accused of theft or an assault against a citizen.” (G. Edward White, American Legal History, 2014)

Now the change on this point is no more “defining” than any other characteristic of American criminal law, even though non-libertarians believe there can be no turning back from bureaucracy’s cancerous growth.

For sure I am for defunding the police as much as I am for the suppression of standing armies and am for the citizens’ right to bear arms, of which right it is my deep-seated belief the police bureaucracy is the foremost opponent, although it says nothing about it for a bureaucracy isn’t supposed to have an agenda of its own and yet it is what all bureaucracies have.


The Political Cartel

I believe in Free Speech. Whatever I say, you can mull over, agree, disagree, argue with, and I’ll do the same, respectfully. (P. Little)

“Respectfully” is Little’s own version of free speech but if we set a “respectful” criterion on speech before allowing it to be free, then there’s no free speech. A lot of speech is actually scornful and this is the kind of speech that needs protection. If the government tells me to be respectful with them but their policies infuriate me, actually this is speech suppression by the government.


There is a distinction to make. It is less acceptable that you use scornful speech with your neighbor, because, although he may be a strong supporter of the policy that infuriates you, he isn’t directly responsible for it and has not asked for your vote in an election, unless he’s a public official, in which case your scornful speech will be more acceptable and protected.

Thus the scale of offensive speech acceptability is such in American law, from more to less: public officials, public figures (known personalities without public office but somewhat influential in the debate) and then the ordinary citizen (“your neighbor”). This is quite in agreement with the nature of the democratic debate.

In state terror states such as many European countries, the scale is the reverse: Public officials get more protection from speech than the ordinary citizen. This is how a political cartel shields itself from criticism.


The Latest on Wikipedia’s Moon Landing Hoax Debunking

NASA Picture

On the English page one reads: “The flag was rippled because it had been folded during storage – the ripples could be mistaken for movement in a still photo.”

On the French page one reads: “The flag is not fluttering, it only seems to flutter because of its apparent ripples. The flag was made of rigid cloth reinforced with iron wire in order to imitate the rippled aspect of a flag fluttering in the wind.” (My translation of: « le drapeau ne flotte pas, il donne l’air de flotter en raison de son aspect plissé. Il est en fait fabriqué dans une toile renforcée de fil de fer rigide imitant l’aspect fripé d’un drapé battant dans le vent » Wikipedia page « Théories conspirationnistes sur le programme Apollo », at the date of April 29, 2021)

Assuming the details of the French debunking page are right, although the English page says nothing about a special make of the flag, that means they FAKED THE FLAG. They used a contrived flag to give the illusion that it was fluttering in the wind (where there is no wind).

Now let us examine the English story. The flag looked rippled because it had been folded during storage and remained still on the Moon, they say. So the astronauts did not even take the pain to smooth the cloth for the picture, like by stretching it a little bit? My! they took the pain to make a photo with the flag, because it would be nice and patriotic, but it did not occur to them that the flag would look awkwardly rippled because of having been folded during storage!

No, my friends, the French-speaking page has to be the more honest of the two: They wanted the flag to look as if it were fluttering in the wind and they FAKED IT to that end.

People who do not shy away from tricks, what credit should they be given?


What’s wrong with making it look like it’s rippling? Isn’t an artistic touch possible?

My interlocutor’s question is: What’s wrong with making a flag look as if it were fluttering in the wind where there’s absolutely no air? This flag is and will remain forever a fiasco.

“Neil, it’s cool you went on the Moon but… a good artistic picture is what matters.”


A few years ago, the ripples on the flag, as one debunking went, were not due to air but to the shock caused on the flag by sticking the pole in the lunar ground.

Apparently, as none of the two pages I quoted mention it, said debunker was nuts and I’m the only one who remembers his debunking. I hope he wasn’t relying on official sources because that would mean they are changing their debunking versions over time. That two contemporary pages differ in their debunking, such that for one the ripples on the flag are accidental and for the other intentional, is enough trouble like that and one already wonders: Who the heck are these nutty debunkers?

Lessons in Law 5

Dec 2020. EN-FR

The argument against censorship is clear: no person should dictate our tastes, ideas, or beliefs. No official has the right to say what is trash or what has value.” – Justice William O. Douglas

It’s more than just an argument against censorship in the sense of prior restraint:

It is impossible to concede that by the words ‘freedom of the press’ the framers of the amendment intended to adopt merely the narrow view then reflected by the law of England that such freedom consisted only in immunity from previous censorship.” – Justice George Sutherland

In about all Western countries previous censorship, i.e. prior restraint, is past, but the amount of public prosecutions for speech is appalling in about all Western countries but the USA. In those countries it’s still the “narrow view then reflected by the law of England.


Invasive Moderation (Part II)

Read Part I here.


Seriously why do these people think nobody has successfully sued Twitter for First Amendment violations? ([A Twitter user named] The First Amendment)

Perhaps because people such as TFA, the Twitter user here quoted, spread the erroneous notion that Twitter can’t be sued for their moderation. But if such a suit can’t be a First Amendment issue as they claim, make no mistake it will be a free speech issue nonetheless and you’ll see it happen: The First Amendment vs Free Speech.


The First Amendment suit to come:

1/ The First Amendment’s aim is to maintain a free “marketplace of ideas” (the first occurrence of the phrase was in Justice Holmes’s dissent on Abrams v. United States 1919);

2/ Trusts must be combated on that marketplace too, and “preferred freedoms doctrine” gives “greater protection to civil liberties than to economic interests.”


What cause of action do you think exists against Twitter for moderating content, putting notices on tweets, or restricting the ability to like or retweet certain tweets? (The First Amendment)

The cause is invasion upon others’ rights.

Not admitting that a platform can be sued for moderation is like saying they can staff their moderation offices with maniacs and that would be just as good. I claim a staff of lunatics would do a less prejucided and prejudicial job than many a platform. They are an impediment to the free marketplace of ideas.

What rights? (The First Amendment)

a/ A notice on tweets could well be libel for ought I know, depending on the notice, but even a removal could have the same effect as to the person’s reputation. You tell me what rights libel laws protect.

One lawyer TFA has RTed said: Platforms’ moderation is by the First Amendment. I agree platforms must not be liable for users’ content but I disagree they must not be liable for moderation. Moderation is speech and not all speech is protected; moderation can be unprotected speech. A State of the Union address isn’t supposed to be libelous either but as a POTUS (President of the United States) once tweeted to advertize a certain pizza parlor we may see a future POTUS disparaging a burger parlor in his State of the Union address and that could be judged libelous by a court of law.

The worst scenario is platforms protected from liability both for users’ content and for their moderation – basically the current state of affairs.

b/ What rights? The same rights as here : “The conscious decision by an airline to deny a passenger a ticket for no good reason might justify the award of punitive damages.” (Encyclopedia of American Law, 2002, D. Schultz ed.: Punitive Damages)

Similarly the decision by a social media to deny a user speech for no good reason might justify the award of punitive damages. How could it be a good reason for a business set up with the corporate purpose of offering people a platform for speech, that it disagrees with what someone said?



I prevent Senator Ted Cruz (and the rest of Congress) from punishing private companies based on the content of the speech they allow or disallow on their websites. Companies have the First Amendment right to determine what speech is conveyed on their websites. (The First Amendment)

Take that statute: “In California, you [a business] also can’t discriminate based on someone’s unconventional dress.” This California statute goes beyond the Civil Rights Act’s protected classes. It’s still in vigor as of Sep 3, 2020. Dress, like an armband in the famous precedent, is speech, so in fact Cal companies don’t “have the First Amendment right to determine what speech is conveyed” on their premises already.

Besides, “The conscious decision by an airline to deny a passenger a ticket for no good reason might justify the award of punitive damages.” (See above for source and brief discussion.)


No, YouTube is not “violating Section 230” by deleting videos that question election results. YouTube could say that it won’t allow any uploads by professors named Jeff, and that wouldn’t “violate Section 230.” (It would, of course, be terribly short-sighted). (Asst. Prof J. Kosseff)

Short-sighted indeed: “The conscious decision by an airline to deny a passenger a ticket for no good reason might justify the award of punitive damages.” Perhaps it wouldn’t violate Section 230 but I wouldn’t advise it all the same.


The SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) has stressed time and again that the First Amendment ensures the free flow of information and ideas. If private actors turn out an impediment to that free flow, I rest assured the Court will uphold “antitrust” statutes that combat the problem.

No. The First Amendment applies to state actors. To hold otherwise would require SCOTUS to reverse longstanding First Amendment doctrine. (TFA)

TFA’s is a quite correct inference from the First Amendment and yet it is also misleading, because a balancing must be made with another inference which is the free flow of ideas, and the result must depend on how these conflicting yet both necessary inferences are weighed against each other. There’s no doubt in my mind that the free flow of information and ideas will prevail, as common law never has construed private property as a source of entirely discretionary power.

As to the doctrine TFA stresses, it is right insofar as the two inferences were not conflicting in the past and it is only since recently that they have been.


Des goûts et des couleurs

Le débat sur les « valeurs » communes a eu lieu il y a plus de 75 ans aux États-Unis, et ce pays libre a évidemment tranché dans un sens contraire à la majorité française actuelle avec sa loi contre le séparatisme :

While acknowledging that fostering national unity or shared values was important, the Court rejected the claim that it could force people to share or adopt values” Commentaire à l’arrêt West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnett (1943).

Aussi, quand on dit que le projet de loi contre le séparatisme est fait pour que nous restions un pays libre, c’est évidemment le contraire de la vérité : ce projet de loi est fait pour que la France reste un pays non libre.

Le contraire de rester un pays libre est en effet de rester un pays non libre, et non pas être un pays libre qui devient un pays non libre. Les Français ne savent pas ce qu’est la liberté et ne savent pas non plus qu’ils ne le savent pas.

Il y a devant nous plusieurs façons de rester un pays non libre : ou bien adopter la loi de sécurité globale puis la loi sur le séparatisme, ou bien ne pas les adopter, ou bien adopter l’une et pas l’autre et alors laquelle. C’est vrai qu’on a l’embarras du choix.

Quand l’État chinois a mis en place la reconnaissance faciale à tous les coins de rue, les commentateurs français n’ont pas fait des articles sur le thème : « Les Chinois perdent leurs libertés. » En effet, les commentateurs français ne sont tout de même pas demeurés au point de supposer des libertés aux Chinois de Chine maoïste avant la reconnaissance faciale et le système de crédit social. Ils voient bien de loin mais pas de près, je ne sais plus comment ça s’appelle.


A Country Where Pornography Isn’t Obscene?

Given that “obscenity is not protected under First Amendment rights to free speech,” it is puzzling that U.S. law doesn’t affirm at the same time a presumption against the whole pornographic industry.


That in American law obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment and yet most pornography is, is beyond my understanding. I honestly fail to see how the bulk of porn videos and pictures can pass the “redeeming value” test set up by the courts as I’m told they do.

So maybe scholars are wrong and it simply isn’t true that “pornographic materials are protected by the First Amendment” as far as as the bulk of them is concerned, and that so long as porn is cordoned off, “redlight-districted,” so to speak, authorities don’t prosecute.

That would be law enforcement discretion, choosing not to prosecute obscenity when it is cordoned off. The reason we would fail to see it this way is that such an extensive use of discretion is rather at odds with our sense of what the rule of law ought to be.


Judicial Singlism

Single defendants are more likely to be convicted and more harshly by a court of law. I think I read it in an American law encyclopedia but forgot to mark the passage.

Anyway, the first thing a criminal judge asks defendants is their marital status and whether they have kids.

Given that “the first thing a criminal judge asks defendants is their marital status and whether they have kids” and what I have read about judicial discrimination against singles, all convicted singles can appeal convictions on the ground of singlism.


The First Amendment Protection
of Speech and Assembly Which Advocate Violence

Otherwise, the First and Fourteenth Amendments protect even speech and assembly which advocate violence.” (Encyclopedia of American Law, D. Schultz ed: Brandenburg v. Ohio)

“Otherwise” = when speech is not intended to produce “imminent lawless action”(1) and not “likely to produce such action”(2).

The use of the negative form here (by me) is confusing. The decision poses (1) and (2) as compounded, not alternate conditions: there must be both the intent to produce imminent lawless action and, independent of the intent, an actual likelihood as to result. If one of the two conditions is missing, speech is protected.


Depuis la chute du Rideau de fer, l’Union européenne est le dernier régime stalinien au monde.


Un magistrat soumis au devoir de réserve, tu te demandes ce qu’il fait en dehors de la salle, s’il vient d’un meeting politique, d’une réunion d’association, d’écrire pour un journal, de publier un livre… Non, tu te dis qu’il sort d’un cercueil dans sa robe noire et qu’il y retourne.


Un bon avocat ne gagne pas forcément plus d’affaires qu’un mauvais, car il faut aussi que le juge soit bon.


Le meilleur des mondes meilleurs

Ce pays n’a pas d’autre nom pour le droit relatif à la liberté d’expression que « droit de la presse ». La presse que l’administration arrose de subventions. Comme c’est commode. Le meilleur des mondes.

C’était le meilleur des mondes… avant internet. L’État français fait aujourd’hui ce qu’il faut pour maintenir sa doctrine compte tenu d’internet : loi Avia, loi de sécurité globale, loi contre le séparatisme… Dire que l’État français devient autoritaire, c’est ne pas comprendre l’évolution. En effet, ce n’est pas parce qu’il adopte ces lois que l’État français devient autoritaire mais c’est parce qu’il est autoritaire qu’il adopte ces lois. Parce qu’il est autoritaire et qu’il entend le rester malgré internet.

S’agissant du droit de manifester, tant que les Français manifestaient encadrés par des syndicats subventionnés (les cotisations représentent moins de 30 % du financement des syndicats), ils croyaient à la liberté de manifester. Depuis qu’ils veulent se passer des syndicats, ils trouvent que l’État leur met des bâtons dans les roues.


La justice pour mineurs suit un principe d’atténuation de la peine. C’est pourquoi un garde des sceaux parlera d’autant plus fortement des droits des victimes dans la justice des mineurs que le principe qui sous-tend cette dernière s’y oppose.

Dans la justice des mineurs, la peine est atténuée par principe mais, pour la victime, l’acte est ce qu’il est, les dommages sont ce qu’ils sont, peut-être même plus violents que si le coupable avait été adulte car « On n’est pas sérieux quand on a dix-sept ans »…

Et c’est pourquoi le grand sujet, dans la justice des mineurs, le grand sujet défendu avec ardeur par les ministres successifs, ce sont les droits des victimes – qui ne peuvent avoir en justice des mineurs et tant qu’elle existera qu’une place au rabais.


Criminal penalties are illegal as they are grounded on the hubristic notion that the society is owned by its representatives, namely, at the date of the notion’s emergence, the king. Criminal law and criminal penalties are the artefact by which kings dispossessed traditional justices.

The consequence is that the judicial system is clueless about how to integrate “victim’s rights” => “victim justice, or what is often referred to as parallel justice“! It’s no integration at all but parallelization.

When you’ve got parallel justices but no double jeopardy doctrine, then you do the defendants an injustice. (To have parallel lines you need at least two lines, even in case they overlap.)


A Chronology of Desegregation in the USA
Cut-ups from the Encyclopedia of American Law

(Read sections Brown v. Board of Education & Desegregation and One Bused Nation from Lesson 4 here.)

As late as 1992 the state of Mississippi was before the Court because it was continuing to maintain a dual university system (United States v. Fordice) (about 40 years after Brown v. Board of Education).

In 1991 the Supreme Court ruled that once a school district eliminated “the vestiges of prior discrimination,” it no longer had to maintain racial balances. Oklahoma City Board of Education v. Dowell (1991)

In September 1999 a judge of the district court involved in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklemburg Board of Education (1971) found that the Charlotte-Mecklemburg School District had eliminated all traces of intentional racial discrimination and so ordered it to stop its massive busing program.

Finally, a counterpart to de jure segregation is de facto segregation, which refers to division of races based on residential patterns. De facto is not mandated by the state or required under law. Instead it is a voluntary form of segregation. De facto has been recognized by the Supreme Court, which ruled that because it was based on private action it did not allow for a judicial remedy. In the case of Milliken v. Bradley (1974) the Court ruled that de facto segregation in residential patterns could not be remedied by forced busing of students from suburban schools to urban schools.



In the USA coroners are elected officials in a majority of states (“More than 80 percent of U.S. coroners are elected“). In 2016 the Progressives of ThinkProgress published a paper “Why do we still elect coroners?” which conclusion –no surprise from Stalinians– is to stop electing them.

They give the example of one coroner in whose reports “suspicious deaths in police custody were simply accidents or natural causes.” What those Stalinians don’t tell you is that in countries where coroners aren’t elected, they ALL declare such suspicious deaths as natural.


The First Amendment Protection of Book Burning

Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. ” – Alfred Whitney Griswold

“They won’t burn”? Book burning is protected speech.

Picture: Comic books burning in Spencer W.Va. [West Virginia], 1948 (AP Photo via mtsu.edu Middle Tennessee State University’s First Amendment Encyclopedia)


Of course Griswold meant “books won’t burn as a result of state action.” However, I’m sure some people would cry foul state-sponsorship if a GOP local section carried out book burnings while the governor or POTUS is a Republican, for instance. Book burning is free speech.

“Books won’t burn as a result of state action without judicial redress” isn’t the same as “books won’t burn,” to begin with. People have the constitutional right to burn books. The ambiguity of Griswold (or is it GRIMswold?)’s words is unescapable. “Books won’t burn” has a smell of “You won’t burn books,” a threat at people who would exercize their First Amendment right to burn books in public in protest against those books spreading like morbid germs.