Georgia v. Randolph
The opinions are here. I am struck by 3 things.
1. Reading the main opinion (Justice Souter) is painful while reading the Chief Justice's dissent is smooth and easy.
2. The Chief successfully makes mockery of the majorities legal skills and logic.
3. None of them asked two questions that a non-lawyer like me finds obvious.
- If the wife had walked back to the bedroom and brought the cocaine out to the police, how would they have ruled?
- If the cop had called the DA and said "We are standing here and the wife says the husband has drugs in the bedroom, can we get a warrant?" would said warrant have been justified?
I am not sure if these questions have a specific legal impact as they did not happen. But they are the logical extension to the ruling. The next time a smart cop finds himself in one of these two situations won't he do one of these two? Or both? Would it have been so hard for Justice Souter to tell us what the logical extension of his opinion result in?
VDH asks an important question
From this column
We often hear about how incompetent the Iraqis, under American tutelage, have been in trying Saddam Hussein. After all, his trial is only in its initial stages, two years after he was captured. But compared to the more illustrious court of The Hague, Saddam's trial is racing along at a rapid clip. Before his sudden death, Milosevic had been in court for four years without a verdict. In terms of utopian international jurisprudence, the reprobate Milosevic died a free man, at his last breath still innocent until proven guilty.
The public wonders why the incompetent Americans can't catch Osama bin Laden, or at least Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Few note that it has been over six years since the collapse of the Serbian rogue regime, and still no one seems to know where either Radovan Karadzic, or his military commander, Ratko Mladic, is hiding inside Europe - not exactly the Sunni Triangle or the borderlands of the Hindu Kush.
What would Europe be saying if we had put a guy on trial for 4 years and he died before the trial was over? More importantly, what would the US press, who page 9'ed this story, be saying about the administration?
A rare disagreement with Peggy Noonan
I think Peggy Noonan is one of the politically brightest and best writers ever. I was surprised by this column where she asks:
When George W. Bush first came on the scene in 2000, did you understand him to be a liberal in terms of spending?
In a word, YES! True conservatives want the government to be small and unobtrusive. They want to be left alone and take care of their own. If that is true, what could a "compassionate conservative" be?
In my view there were only two choices. Bush planned to molify the Dems to get the rest of his agenda through by letting them overfund their social programs. Or, Bush planned to change the social programs so they worked in a more conservative way (think religious private/public endevours that he touts all the time) while continuing to increase their funding at above inflation rates.
The problem is that there wasn't a Ronald Reagan running. And let's face it, even Reagan had to bargain for some of his agenda by letting a Democratic controlled Congress overspend on liberal social programs. Our choices were a pseudo-conservative who spent like a liberal ........ or a liberal-liberal who spent like a liberal and didn't even pretend to be conservative about anything. Once again I voted for the lesser of two evils and I am glad I voted the way I did but I would have been happier to vote for a true conservative.
Read the column, it is well written even if I wasn't surprised by what she was.