Brett Stuff
Judging the Judges

Supreme Court
2019 Term Year

In Conclusion

I am done reading Supreme Court Slips... or at least, that is my intention. The material does not make me happy. As Rather than seeking Truth, Justice, or any other High-Minded Ideal, The Court is coming across as increasingly petty... to me. The decisions are increasingly indicative of a broken system... to me. And the entire process is quite disheartening... to me.

You are free to disagree.

After all, that is what this entire exercise is about: Disagreement (i.e. my disagreement with The Court).

Meaning, I have dived quite deep enough (thank you very much) into The Rule of Law and I have lost all confidence.

Perhaps, I will write a few essays regarding all that (the obvious weaknesses of The System, possible improvements, mindless blatherings, and so on... and on... and on) after I am done with the present endeavour... or then again, perhaps I will not.


I am no lawyer. These write-ups are not really about The Law. And as should be obvious from the above, I have less-and-less respect for The Law at every twist and turn.

What's Going On Here?

Having previously written quite a great deal regarding the decisions in the 2018 Term Year (and consequently, having sunk hundreds of hours into the endeavour), I decided I would do the 2019 Term Year (what this page is about) much quicker. To that end (after skimming The Court's Opinion, often with blazingly rapidity, and almost always faster than a lasting comprehension would require), I recorded The Case Number and whether I Agreed or Not with The Court, followed by a sentence or two of cutting commentary, undeniably witty to the extreme.

    Case Number
    Agree or Not
    Some Commentary.

    Maybe a bit more.

A Better Disclaimer

Sure, I may have written a Case Number wrong. But they are listed in Term Year Order, so any such mistake would be trivial and unimportant.

As to my categorization of The Decisions as {Good, Neutral, Bad}, well that's (in theory) My Constitutionally given Right. And a goodly portion of the time, many a Supreme Court Justice would (maybe, or might) agree with me, as they are often split on their Decisions. Five to Four carries the day, after all.

So, I like to think that's all pretty straightforward.

But that commentary part can get a bit slippery. So, please. Let me qualify it to the point of absurdity... and/or to better explain my rationale, which once again, shifts like the wind. And to that end(s), here are some of the notes that I made as I went along in regards to just that... a personal quest to distance myself (as far as possible) from my own opinions.

Notes On My Commentary

And from there, I would say that I could go on, that I have just touched the tip of The Disclaimer Iceberg. But that's where my notes end. So really, I could not. Besides, any Intelligent Person, Place, or Thing should get the idea. This little project of mine (please, call it an exercise, all the cool contemporaneous writing professors are) is so much Mental Masturbation. I'm simply having fun. And there's not much point in belabouring the point any further.

2019 Term Year Commentary

The Meat & Potatoes Of The Page

The need for contribution limits for political campaigns indicates a failure of democracy, the free market system, and/or both.

{First, some, most, all, or none of the entries but this one will be deserving of additional commentary. Such secondary comments such as this one (or these three) have been made long after I read The Case in question. At this point, I have no idea what The Base Case was about.

Second, I view Life as a Game that Can't be Won and/or a Riddle that Can't be Solved. Mathematically, it's a Nonsensical Paradox. Ethically, it's a conundrum that will never be pulled straight.

Third, Money is one of those aforementioned Conundrums. It doesn't work. And it never has. Or maybe it does work. But I doubt it. For there to be Rich, there must be Poor. And it is hard to believe that someone who would take the food out of the mouth of another is in any way deserving of great wealth. But whatever. It's an unpopular opinion (certainly among the rich... and the popular media, which may or may not be under their control). Whatever the case, I don't have the time or inclination to delve any deeper into the subject at the present moment.}

In the case of an obvious injustice, justice demands reasonable accommodation (i.e. bending of the law as required) to right the wrong.

The American Rule: Everyone pays their own legal expenses... you know, when The American Rule applies.

As items become implemented they should, also, become actionable.

As a hobbyist, I am completely free to not care (in the least) about This Case.

Freedom of Religion does not mean freedom from government control. It means (or ay least, is supposed to mean) equal treatment under the law without respect to creed... or even if there is a creed.

{As such, Religions should be Taxed the same as everyone and everything else.

And on top of that, no law should refer to any Religion. After all, when two things are equal under the law, there is no reason to differentiate between the two.}

Sometimes, one should strike before the iron is hot. Or if that's not clear, best to get while the getting's good.

In any binary distinction under law (and/or any legal distinction), one can expect differential application of the law, which typically put (as typically comes to my awareness), I am against.

Further, when legal remedies are forestalled, the only remedies which remain are extra-legal. Which is to say, the payment of blood money can often reduce the emotional need to shed more blood. After all, that is the historical (and/or putative) purpose of paying blood money in the first place.

{Enough said.}

The Precedent was a Special Case that does not apply to Similarly Situated Cases. Welcome to The Rule of Law.

{I want General Rules.

I, also, want Brevity, Clarity, and above all else a clear sense of Honour and Duty.}

Fancy legal footwork doesn't change the heinous nature of certain crimes.

More importantly, I could care less about underlying defects of mind (when it comes time to sentece), even if such defects may help to explain such dastardly behaviour in the first place.

I have little patience for Rules Lawyering.

Some quick research revealed (and/or has led me to believe) +/-15% of Americans have tried cocaine and +/-1% are current users. The exact numbers are debatable and completely unimportant, as I find it unsupportable to punish a behaviour so widespread (or even half as widespread) regardless of how damaging such a behavior may be.

{In short, The Pursuit of Happiness and Laws based upon Moral Prohibitions will forever be at odds. I come down firmly on the side of Happiness and its Pursuit, the consequences of which, be damned.}

Do we wish the legal system to be as complicated as possible or as fair as possible?

{Hint: The correct answer is Fair.}

Why have a single deadline when three will unnecessarily complicate things?

{If the average Third Grader cannot understand it, it probably should not be a law.}

Somethings are not crimes even though it is (nearly) impossible to do that thing without committing some other crime. At which point, how important is it to differentiate between the two?

Questions of Law are Questions of Fact. For, how else do we know if a law has been interpreted properly? In other words, is it a fact that this is the law?

Facts be Facts. But if those facts cannot be reduced to a form a person of ordinary intellect can understand, they're probably not really facts.

An ordered list of legal (and/or moral) priorities would go a long way towards solving (and/or resolving) conflicting doctrines wherever and whenever they inevitably collide.

A Human so devoid of reason they can no longer tell Right from Wrong or Good from Evil is no Human; but rather, little more than an animal; and thus, deserving of no mercy (beyond that of any other Human) merely on account of their defective nature.

To have A Cause of Action one must prove A Cause of Action.

Further, Fate (or it was going to happen anyway) would appear (for really, what do I know) to be a Positive Defense.

All Legal Arguments should always be preserved. Any other standard makes it Plain Error not to preserve Any & All Legal Arguments. I deny the validity of any Legal Strategy that contradicts this dictum.

The occurance of an Accident does not necessitate a lack of Safety.

A person could over-think it. But I can't see the point.

Let it be clear. Or let it be not at all.

{Third Grade Reading Comprehension!}

Does Per Curiam mean I haven't the guts to attach my name to this document?

History is not without its baggage.

In this day and age, the main obstacle to securing a patent is not one of invention, novelty, usefulness, or progress; but rather, one of paperwork, logistics, legality, and money.

{Intellectual Property is a fiction which hampers Human Progress!

Let The Revolution Begin!}

An Impartial Jury (to my mind) must, also, be a Random Jury. If a Jury is packed, it is packed and neither impartial nor random can it be.

Stare Decisis gives power to The Dead. No thanks. Life is for the living.

{I have little but (and/or nothing but) contempt for Stare Decisis. If something is wrong, it is wrong. And if something is right, it is right. I hardly matters what a Panel of Jurists (i.e. a different Supreme Court) thought at some distant time in the past.

I would build my argument up slightly differently. But in the end, this is more-or-less why I am against Endowments & Foundations.}

When does a drop become an ocean?

If diplomacy is the art of war by other means, then litigation is often the counter-insurgency equivalent.

If one has been defrauded by another and is in receipt of inferior goods, can one properly say they have profited from the transaction?

This country does not treat immigrants kindly. One might wish to keep that in mind prior to washing ashore... or behaving other than exemplary once here.

It wouldn't be the first time something had more value if it was split up and sold for parts.

A promise is a promise is a promise.

I believe it is Treasonous to enact (i.e. vote for) a law which obviously (and significantly) impinges upon any Constitutional Right. Of course, few agree and that's why our Constitutional Rights are slowly evaporating... one Compelling Governmental Interest at a time.

It doesn't matter if you're right if you do it wrong. Such is The So-Called Justice System.

On The other hand, it would appear it doesn't much matter if you do wrong, just so long as that wrong is done the right way.

Further, Not Guilty is often a far cry from Innocent. I wonder how many Politicians are truly Innocent?

The same thing cannot be argued twice. Once settled, it's settled. But more often than not (it would appear), I consider the entire process to be a bit small minded... and constitutes behaviour I would have hoped (at this stage of the game) was beneath us. Meaning, I could care less if This Case had never been argued the first time.

And does that mean The Other Country will now go into receivership?

If Diplomacy is War by other methods, does that turn Litigation into Diplomacy (and by further extension War) by other methods still? I'm going to guess anyone who has ever been in a Courtroom would agree.

Honour requires acting Honourably.

I've said before and I'll say it again. The existence of (and/or need for) arbitration underscores the failure of The Courts to provide an Equitable Forum for Legal Disputes.

{Arbitration exists as a cost savings alternative to litigation. But that there need be an alternative underscores The System's failure.

In very much the same way, Private Security Guards underscore the failure of The Law Enforcement Community to Keep the Peace. If The Law Enforcement Community were effective, no one would willingly pay for a secondary line of defence.}

Who were the Sharks? Who were the Jets? Well, there are some pretty big clues there. But it comes down to certain assumptions, which can easily be reversed. And of course, I am overlooking the biggest question of all. Do the Sharks come equipped with Lasers? And if not, how can they possibly compete against Jets?

I tend to like the juicy details that accompany the criminal convictions. But in a surprise twist, this time there's almost nothing there. I'm a bit disappointed.

No Harm. No Foul.

Very often, the base penalty is just the tip of the iceberg. It's the collateral damage that does one in.

Never trust a system to fix itself.

Insiders will always be favoured over outsiders.

Something about fighting City Hall.

Boons and Bains instituted by one administration should be revokable by the next. Bond? What bond? Contract? What contract? A clean slate every election cycle.

{It is for this reason that I am against all Public Bonds except those for the Federal Government, which have been argued (quite effectively, as I agree with the arguments) as being tools of National Security.

Local Bonds, on the other hand, are very much like Foundations & Endowments, allowing the Past to control the Present. Nope. No thanks.

Pensions fall into this category, as well.}

One way, yes. The other way, no.

Is there a difference between a noun and its preferred activity? Does discriminating against Playing Fetch discriminate against Dogs.

No doubt, sometimes The Law needs to be changed to make it Good Law. But if The Law is changed enough is it still The Law?

The clothes make The Man. Which is to say, dress for the Gender you wish to be even if it's not the Gender you are.

The Case reads like a Soap Opera of Epic Proportions.

Some Professionals are not nor should they be.

Mercy is not always appropriate.

Sometimes the wrong person gets off Scott Free.

A System in Failure Mode...

I am not saying that you cannot not do the opposite of that, which is not quite the opposite of that which is in direct opposition to... <some additional statements, as equally convoluted and meaningless.>

Control (by whatever name) is what's important. Ownership (though, it may be nine/tenths of the law) is hardly ever as important.

A Vote of No Confidence

I'm pulling the plug.

I am disheartened.

My first impulse is to say the Decisions are Arbitrary, Capricious, and Self Serving, which is exactly what I wrote down in my notes when I decided enough was enough. But the real truth is that I am not happy after reading about The Law. I find many Decisions quite disheartening and the need for such Decisions even more disheartening, still.

Suffice to say, I do not believe The Rule of Law (as currently implemented) is interested (in the least) with Truth, Justice, Liberty, or any of those other Highfalutin Ideals. And I'd rather spend my time contemplating those Ideals than to continue reading about a system, which I consider fundamentally broken.

All that said, I've got a Thousand Words.

So, how about a picture or two?

Meaning, some sort of Graphical Representations of The Data (i.e. This Page) follows on The Next Page.

I am nothing if not self-referential and full of myself.

Judging the Judges

Next Entry


Honour is the hard road, perhaps the hardest road.

And it does not happen by accident... nor, apparently, by nine person committee.

© copyright 2020 Brett Paufler
A Personal Opinion/Editorial