Brett Stuff
Judging the Judges
Term Year: 2018

Terance Martez Gamble, Petitioner v. United States

A United States of America flag fluttering in the wind, three time series images A United States of America flag fluttering in the wind, three time series images A United States of America flag fluttering in the wind, three time series images

Summary Analysis

DATE: 2019-06-17
DOCKET: 17-646
NAME: Terance Martez Gamble, Petitioner v. United States

   AUTHOR: Alito
   JOINING: Roberts, Thomas, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, Kavanaugh
   GOOD: No

OPINION: Concurring
   AUTHOR: Thomas
   JOINING: None
   GOOD: Yes

OPINION: Dissenting
   AUTHOR: Ginsburg
   JOINING: None
   GOOD: Yes

OPINION: Dissenting
   AUTHOR: Gorsuch
   JOINING: None
   GOOD: Yes

Case Commentary

As stated in the Fifth Amendment to The Constitution of The United States of America:
nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb;
Two Justices know how to read (Ginsburg and Gorsuch), while the others are no longer welcome at my Weekly Book Club Meetings.

Or as Gorsuch says:
The separate sovereigns exception was wrong when it was invented, and it remains wrong today.

I respectfully dissent.
Only, I'll leave off that respectful part at the end. The Justices (I presume) swore an oath to uphold The Constitution. Ginsburg and Gorsuch passed the test. The remaining 'justices' (and I use the term loosely, here) failed miserably. I say we start Impeachment Proceedings, immediately... for the crime of High Treason.

Certainly, if you wish to know the roots of my lack of respect for 'The Law', one need look no further than cases like this. Rather than defend The Constitution, seven Justices took the easy way out and backed the Status Quo... the Cowardly Curs... who lack Courage... in a Non-Courageous way... such as might be displayed by Curs.

{Basically, the question I am asking is whether The Court would be better without these seven Justices on it. I say yes. For me, it's not a matter of opinion. It's a matter of basic reading comprehension...

Oh, right. And Honouring one's oath to uphold The Constitution of The United States of American.}

The Court argues for sequential prosecutions for the same Offence by playing with words and claiming that the same Offence is not the same Offence if it is prosecuted by separate Sovereigns; and then, goes on to claim that The Federal Government and The States are separate Sovereigns. They are not. The States are Sub-Sovereigns under The Federal Government. And as such, sequential prosecutions by The State and The Fed are equivalent to sequential prosecutions by the FBI, Homeland Security, and the Secret Service.

The Court argues that since both The States and The Federal Government have been granted Sovereignty by The People, they are equal. But this is a misguided notion, which is clearly contradicted by practise.

In it's convoluted attempts to make sense of nonsense, The Court would give greater leniency to a Pirate than a common Thief, as a Pirate Sins against Mankind, but a Thief only Sins against specific individuals; and so, the Pirate can only be prosecuted the once for any one act of piracy as there is only one Jurisdiction of Man, while the Thief can be prosecuted separately in as many different Jurisdictions as feel harmed by the particular act of thievery in question.
{Which means if the charges of High Treason won't stick (or by some perverse twist of fate are never brought to bear in Federal Court) against The Illiterate Seven, each State can take a swing of the proverbial bat.}
The Court does use the above noted Pirate Example. But my understanding is imperfect (High vs Low, I get the Treasons confused). So if one wants a better understanding of The Court's Alice in Wonderland like logic, one should (perhaps, just perhaps) read the actual Slip (available on better Internets everywhere) or get your Supreme Court Commentary from an unbiased professional, which I am not.

Did you get that?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a legal professional and care little about The Law, principally, because The Law (as it is) is structured around asinine decisions like this one.

The Start of the Graffiti, this one is for a face with the word ugly below it, it is simple, two Xs for eyes, X X, with a line underneath, I do not know that any of these images are the best fit for the text, well, the flags fit, the decision is ugly, and the two below call out to the chaotic and arbitrary nature of the law, but I do not know that they are

Trover and Conversion (please see the Pirating example in the Slip for further contextual information): so like, if you are familiar with the concept of Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers and Possession Being 90% of the Law. Well then, Trover and Conversion is the crime that results the other 10% of the time.

As long as I am defining stuff (you know, stuff that's new to me... or new-ish, at least), I might as well define:

Syllogism: if A is B and B is C, the A is C.

There is, actually, a rather easy (convenient, if loopholey) way to get around Sequential Prosecutions for the same Offence and that's to increase the severity of the Offence on retrial.

Say, instead of Possession, next time around one can go for Possession with Intent to Distribute.


A whole new crime.

Personally, I would bar every act used to fulfil any element (did I get that right) in all Previous Prosecutions from all Subsequent Prosecutions. Now, I don't want a single Conviction for Possession to bar any (however hypothetical) future Prosecution for Possession with Intent to Distribute. But I do want there to be a separate Act of Possession at the heart of any future Trial.

Thus, I don't want Additional Elements to be a requirement for Additional Prosecutions. I want Separate Elements, as a requirement for Separate Prosecutions.
My the difference a single word makes.
Thus, I am OK with a person being Convicted for Manslaughter; and then Sequentially for Third, Second, and First Degree Murder... just as long as there's a different dead body for each Charge.

Personally, I've always hated it (i.e. I felt it was quite weenie and unjust) to pile up the Speeding and Running Red Light Offences, as that's all covered (and is likely a defining feature of) Reckless Endangerment.

And by the same token, no matter how many items a person takes at any one time, it's still just one instance of Shoplifting.

Anyhow, enough of that.

Some More Graffiti for your viewing pleasure, I like the frowning man at front and center overwriting it all

I like Thomas' write-up regarding Stare Decisis. Now, I don't think Stare Decisis has any bearing on this case, but I liked Thomas' write-up, nonetheless.

Per Thomas:
[Stare Decisis] provides a ready means of justifying whatever result five Members of the Court seek to achieve.

Our judicial duty to interpret the law requires adherence to the original meaning of the text.
The later being a statement I agree with. However, it is so much mincing of words, as Thomas sides with The Court.

Gorsuch response to Thomas is much more on point.
Stare Decisis isn't supposed to be the art of being methodically ignorant of what everyone knows.
At which point I should say 'Right On, Gorsuch!' and point out that I massage my quotes, rearranging punctuation and the like. So, once again, if you care, look to the raw document.

My personal opinion on Stare Decisi is fairly straightforward. Previous decisions do not matter. Not one iota. Do I care what the Current Supreme Court Justices have to say? No. They are not the final arbiter of my opinion. So, why would I put any additional weight (or in fact, any weight) on the opinions of Retired Supreme Court Justices?

In fact, the only time I would go with Stare Decisi (let the previous decision stand) is if I have no opinion, which is about the same set of circumstances under which I'll honour the Current Justices' Opinions. So at least, there is a parity of sorts there.

Double Jeopardy (or the lack thereof) is an old concept. All the Old Classical Legal Systems (the ones we care about) had it, including Greek, Roman, and Hebrew Law... and most importantly English Common Law.

Yeah, The Court reads its Case Histories all wrong on this. I'm going to go with Gorsuch's reading. Seriously, I'm going to have to take what he has to say more seriously in the future. I'm keen on Thomas. But, come on, he got this insanely easy (and quite obvious) case wrong. So, I'm likely to be a little more leery of whatever he has to say in the future.

Some Night Graffiti for your viewing pleasure

Finally, English Common Law is based on Fundamental Truths.

Per Thomas:
In other words, the common law was based in the collective, systematic development of the law through reason.

Our founding documents similarly rest on the premise that certain fundamental principles are both knowable and objectively true.

Unfortunately, this case is not soundly reasoned. It's a pragmatic policy decision based on the expediency of maintaining the Status Quo.

Undermining The People's Fundamental Right to be protected against Double Jeopardy is Bad Law and a Bad Policy Decision for it underscores the total lack of regard that seven Supreme Court Justices have for Common Sense, The Rule of Law, and The Constitution of The United States of America.

Judging the Judges

Next Entry



I'm still looking.

© copyright 2019 Brett Paufler
A Personal Opinion/Editorial