Category Archives: Supreme Court

Ritter To Appoint Lesbian Activist Deputy Atty. General Monica Marquez To Colo. Supreme Court

As anticipated, lame duck Colorado Governor Bill Ritter will appoint lesbian activist, Deputy Attorney General Monica Marquez to replace Mary Mullarkey on Colorado’s embattled Supreme Court, according to a report by the Denver Post’s top political correspondent, Lynn Bartels.


Marquez has the needed pedigree.  A law degree from Yale,  Lesbian activism, and a dad who was the first Hispanic to serve on the Colorado Court of Appeals.  We don’t know much more about Marquez or the other two finalists  as they all jointly refused to speak to the public, despite their contact information being provided for exactly that purpose.

She would be the second Hispanic to serve on the Colorado Supremes, and perhaps the only one  should Justice Alex Martinez lose his bid for retention in November.  Marquez, who obtained her law degree in 1997,  has scant experience – and almost all of it defending state government and its employees.  A much nicer photo of Marquez sporting a more stylish haircut is here, together with photos of her co-finalists. [deleted because Law week web site infected with malware]

Anyone who thinks Marquez’ votes on any of the disputed tax and other issues of legitimate concern to the public would be any different from Mary Mullarkey’s votes is delusional.

Clear the Bench Colorado may well have prompted Chief Justice Mullarkey’s resignation, and they and tireless Director Matt Arnold should be applauded for that effort.  It’s an important first step.

But until we achieve systemic change in the judicial branch, we are doing nothing more than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.  Worse, we fool people into believing that cosmetic cures mean something when they don’t.  Such deception will only slow reform, not aid it.  What Bill Ritter has given us appears to be a younger, more virile model of Mullarkey.

The U.S. Constitution: Downloadable PDF

The U.S. Constitution is here for your reference, in an easy-on-the-eyes , PDF format.  It’s only 19 pages.  Amazing the U.S. Constitution can contain so much in so few words, and at the same time 40,000 new laws went into effect in the US this year.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Forfeiture Racket, or How the Government can Seize Your Money and Property without Charges

In the February issue of Reason, Radley Balko has written an excellent, comprhensive summary of the largely unknown constitutional abuse of the public known as civil forfeiture law.  In The Forfeiture Racket, Radley lays out some of the more heinous current abuses and the history of the forfeiture law’s end run around the contitution.  Radley details how the law enforcement tag team of  prosecutors and cops use this racket  to keep what is essentially stolen property for their own agencies,  including personal junkets.  The complete article is here.

Money and Speech: Eugene Volokh

At he does masterfully and consistently, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh points out that while  money doesn’t equal speech, restrictions on it certainly curtail it as do money restrictions on other constitutional rights:

“People continue to characterize the Court’s campaign finance decisions as resting on the theory thatmoney is speech. And of course money isn’t speech.

But, as I wrote a few years ago, money isn’t abortion, either. Nonetheless, a law that banned the spending of money on abortion would surely be a serious restriction on abortion rights (whether or not you think that the Court was right to recognize such rights). A law that capped the spending of money for abortions at a small amount, far smaller than abortions often cost, would likewise be a burden on abortion rights, and dismissing this argument as “it is quite wrong to equate money and abortion” would be unsound.”

An Interview with the Boy Genius: First Amendment Stud Eugene Volokh

Bitter Lawyer has a fascinating interview with Volokh Conspiracy founder Eugene Volokh. I have visited Eugene’s blog since it’s early years. It was one of the first and is still the best. Then, recently, I saw a photo of Eugene and wondered how anyone this young could have had his years of prolific legal scholarship and practice experience. So I read up on him and discovered his family emigrated from the then-Soviet Union when he was only 10, and that he entered UCLA at the tender age of 12, and graduated at 16.  UCLAl not being apparently  challenging enough for this cute boy genius, he also worked as a computer programmer for the likes of HP. The interview is great, and has a lot of useful stuff for you law students out there.

Odd Girl Out: Supreme Court May be Poised to find Title 7 Unconstitutional

Recent portrayals of 2nd Circuit Judge and Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor characterize her as being in the mainstream of the liberal minority voting block.  This is true, but it also puts her within a minority that is growing more marginalized as Justice Roberts leads the Court in a direction that clearly believes it’s not 1972 anymore.  And while Roberts danced around the edges of the issue, in a concurring opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia stated explicitly that the Supreme Court couldn’t duck the crucial issue much longer:  do attempts by employers, including government, to avoid so-called “disparate impacts” fly in the face of the constitutional prohibitions against racial discrimination?

Audiotape of the oral arguments in Ricci v. DeSteffano, the New Haven Connecticutt firefighers case, show the short shrift Sotomayor gave to the arguments of the white (and Hispanic) plaintiffs.  The complete oral argument is contained in this Wall Street Journal blog post: Continue reading