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The Fate Of This Sex Offender May Lie In The Hands Of Justice Scalia [updated]

***Supreme Court Justice Scalia dies at 79; fiery conservative fought liberalism’s tide***

WASHINGTON — A man convicted of possessing child pornography wants the Supreme Court to read his offense under federal law narrowly — and in the process, to give him a break from a very long prison sentence.

Whether he’s successful may depend on the voice and vote of Justice Antonin Scalia. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. David H

    I thought this case involving a child porn matter before the U.S. Supreme Court: Lockhart v. United States has an interesting parallel being argued by plaintiff’s attorney and the lawsuit currently being filed with regards to HR 515: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lockhart-supreme-court_us_56390b0ce4b079a43c04e3d1

    in it the plaintiff’s attorney along with saying the statute being applied in a criminal sentencing matter is being misapplied, but a dialogue is going on with the Justices regarding lazy Legislators or “legislators who do a shoddy job:”

    ” Scalia seemed more convinced by Lockhart than by his opponent. Invoking the so-called “rule of lenity,” he reminded the government that judges must side with a criminal defendant and err on the side of leniency if a criminal statute is hazy with respect to the conduct it prohibits.

    “When the government sends somebody to jail for 10 years, it must turn sharp corners,” Scalia said. “It has to dot every I and cross every T. It must be clear.”

    That’s particularly true when Congress does a shoddy job at writing a criminal statute.”

    I believe an acknowledgment by Scalia and Aletto that legislators can do shoddy jobs is significant in our suit with (IML), as were arguing that the House and Senate rules were suspended and that only 5 members of the House gave only an unrecorded voice vote!

    Well just my thoughts.

  2. PK

    This statement by Justice Scalia speaks volumes:

    “Applying a similar principle, he convinced a majority of his colleagues in June to strike as unconstitutional a hopelessly ambiguous law that over the years subjected thousands of federal offenders to unduly lengthy sentences. It didn’t matter to Scalia that a good chunk of those offenders weren’t the most sympathetic; it sufficed that the law was simply too vague to survive in the books.”

    David H said: “were arguing that the House and Senate rules were suspended and that only 5 members of the House gave only an unrecorded voice vote!”

    I think there could be a lot more arguments regarding the shoddy job in “crafting the Bill” (as Smith said).

    • Margaret Moon

      Can it be proved that only five voted on HR515? How many representatives were present? What did the other representatives do?

  3. Jason

    Scalia was one of the guys who said “Sex Offender Registries aren’t punishment!” The guy is an inconsistent hypocrite.

    • Harry

      Or the truth is being realized by him, Jason.

      • Jason

        I really hope you’re right Harry. But Scalia has a long and detailed record and he’s not one to change his mind on something like this. His ego is too big and changing one’s mind requires humility.

        • Timmr

          How do you think he would fit SO registration into his idea of constitutional originalism? What would Madison think of sex offenders? The people at that time married 13 year olds.

        • Jason

          When he voted in the 2003 Alaska case that set the policy we are living under today, he saw the registry as “not punishment”. “Not punishment” = no problem. Nothing in the constitution implies that “not punishment” is problem.

          Like I said, I hope he changes his mind, but he’s not one to admit he was wrong on anything.

        • Timmr

          The term “punishment” was interpreted into the Constitution, re ex post facto, was it not? Was it the intention of the original writers of the Constitution to leave it only at punishment, not all government actions? Or would he scrap the originalist idea as a special exception for registered citizens? I think he uses it selectively. I suppose it would do no good to lobby Scalia, saying, hey, lets be consistent here. He will do what he will do.

        • Harry

          …or cold hard facts. Have a nice Jason and a better tomorrow.

      • Jason

        Well I’ll be damned. I guess we’ll never know.

  4. Timmr

    I noticed, Scalia looks a lot like Chris Smith. Could they be related?

  5. Lake County

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Has Died At Age 79. Wow, this is scary since we have no idea who will replace him.

  6. PK

    What does this case mean now, what kind of new Justice would be appointed to take the place of Scalia?

    • wonderin

      Judge Judy.

      • Lake County

        Judge Judy is too old at 73 for the job. And she would have to accept a big pay cut. But I like her. lol

    • Rob

      Wow Scalia is dead, unreal. The man has done tremendous damage to this country, I will not lose any sleep on this.
      PK well this means whatever judge Obama will be able to get approved by congress which is controlled by republicans. Obviously someone who liberal and progressive is what Obama would want. It might be easier having a moderate democrat get approved through congress. Even so it will be a battle.

  7. Steve

    Justice Scalia: wonder if God shows you the compassion you showed others…

  8. Joe

    A dead lawyer on a hunting trip in Texas… does Dick Cheney have a good alibi?

  9. Lake County

    This will be Obama’s 3rd time choosing a new Justice. Here’s the statistics if anyone is interested:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Justices_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States

  10. The Anon

    This was quite a surprise to see today. I believe that President Obama should act immediately to find a replacement, and should not wait for the next president to be elected. They can’t bank on the next president being a Democrat if they want to ensure that the Supreme Court leans a little more to the left. This, of course, doesn’t guarantee victory if our cases go before the Supreme Court but there are far worse scenarios. Finally, even though I strongly disagreed with most everything that he said, he was still a man with a family and I send my condolences to them.

  11. Timmr

    Politics is a complex, chaotic, intriguing human system. No one will know what happens next. This is an example of that. Things can change in an instant or remain the same. This may mean something or nothing to the outcome of the case against IML. Too many factors involved.
    A man has died. My condolences to his family.

    • Joe

      Yes, a man has died. Yes, a family is grieving. But this man has died of natural causes at the end of a long life.

      Unlike Hank Eisses, Victor Vasquez, William Elliott, Joseph Gray, Michael Dodele, Edward Keeley, Gary Blanton, Jerry Ray, Bobby Ray Rainwater, Charles Parker, Gretchen Parker, et al. Who were violently murdered for no other reason but a conscious decision that this man has made. While one should have sympathy for any grieving survivors, I am directing mine, again, on this day, to the families of the persons listed above (from the IML law suit – not a comprehensive list I am sure).

      I am sure Mother would not approve of my sentiment. Oh well. If this is small and petty, then small and petty be I.

      (Moderator, feel free to remove this if it is inappropriate on this site).

  12. David

    1. Is God aligning the stars in our favor???
    2. Obama will have an uphill battle trying to get anyone he nominates approved by the Republicans.

  13. G4Change

    Sorry to sound ignorant here, but I truly don’t know the answer to this, so please go easy on the sarcasm (lol): Was Scalia our friend or our foe?

    How did he vote in the “Price Club Decision” of 2003? etc?

    • Jason

      He was a foe. The worst one.

    • PK

      From what I’ve gathered from the comments by everyone, is that we would hope to have Obama nominate a liberal Judge, not a conservative. Correct me if I’m wrong please.

      • Timmr

        I would have a pre-Clinton era liberal. Indeed, I would have a pre-Reagan era Republican in place of the new democrats, for that matter.

    • David H

      All i can say is that with regard to the SO issue party affiliation almost doesn’t matter–we are like a test specimen on a petri dish the government is doing an experiment on us to see how far they can crush a set of of citizens before an armed resurrection ensues.

      All one has to do to believe this government would do is to look back to the 1930’s and recall what the government was doing to the mentally ill, oh and the Nazi’s weren’t the only ones engaged in eugenics we were working with German scientists to develop science to weed out inferior traits within its citizens!

      Believe it or not, like it or not but we are experiments–what else could explain the ludicrous things that happens to us??

      • Timmr

        The concept that we are an “illness” that needs to be removed from the body of society is very Nazi-esgue. I think the scary thing is that this time there is no dictator making people think this way. A dictator can be killed. Where do you attack the source of this concept today?

  14. JohnDoeUtah

    His death is nothing to celebrate, but his removal from the court is. Alas he will no longer be able to trample on the rights of citizens with his conservative hate machine. This is likely the best news I will hear this decade, unless we somehow defeat the registry.

  15. Timmr

    It looks like the Republicans expressed in their debate their intention to block any nomination until the new president is in office. Would it behoove us now to start contacting Congress people and demand that they confirm Obama’s nominee, whoever that is? Not sure if we have a consensus as mentioned by PK above, whether an Obama nominee is the safest bet. Should we wait to see who it is? I know for sure the Democrats are organizing a lobbying campaign right this minute.

    • Anon

      Sometimes when SCOTUS hears a case, there are only 8 Justices who rule on it. Justices may recuse themselves for various reasons. In the case of a tie vote, the ruling of the lower court stands. Generally speaking, the lower courts have been friendlier to us than SCOTUS. I believe that Obama would appoint a Justice who thinks the same way as the liberals, but we don’t know that. We could have a long term vacancy and that might not be a bad thing.

      • Steve

        If they do try to block a nomination that will ensure no republican gets elected president. Women will come out in droves to make sure Rowe vs wade will not get overturned by a ultra conservative court.

    • David H

      it would never happen the evangelicals would run out of town any republican who helped nominate an Obama SCJ; the SCOTUS already said Obama’s appointments he made during the May 2012 recess, I believe it was, were unconstitutional. Kennedy I believe wrote for the majority, which were all Justices 9-0), that a recess less than 1o days is not a compelling reason to take the constitutional authority away from one branch of the other. Therefore, by calling out 10 days in the opinion arbitrarily set 10 days as standard and Scalia had a shit fit!! Obama could appoint during the may recess, but if the Senate doesnt confirm then the appointment must step down after the elections! So both parties I imagine would probably have the largest turnouts ever to have control of the Senate and Presidency–will be an interesting election cycle!

      • Moderator

        Please refrain from using ‘four letter’ words in the future. This is a public forum and we wish to appear civilized. ***Moderator***

        • David H

          are you serious what 4 letter word do you think is offensive here??? I used no profanity every acronym i used is generally accepted abbreviations in any media!

          tell me which you thought is offensive I’ll clear it up for you!

        • Moderator

          Dead serious. Starts with s and ends with hit. ***Moderator***

        • Timmr

          I think it was the word synonymous with pooh.

  16. anonymously

    Was Scalia possibly turning over a new leaf when he came out against warrantless wireptapping. Some decisions he was for it, some he was against it. Scalia also was against “free speech zones” where protesters had to stay in certain areas to say certain things. Scalia acknowledged ‘flag-burning as protected speech’. So he wasn’t all bad on the 1st Amendment, 4th Amendment. And then, the comment he made in jest about orgies being good to relieve some of lifes pressures and also, the comment about the US being rife for concentration camps.

    • David Kennerly

      No, Scalia didn’t have a new leaf to turn over. Whenever one perceived that he might be going soft in a particular civil liberties vein, it was almost invariably because the law in question was federal and circumventing, in his view, the authority of the states, the interests of which he always saw as paramount, including over the individual. In his view, states could almost never do any wrong no matter how egregious the law. His principles were strongly majoritarian in which any private behavior could be persecuted if it was the will of the majority that they do so (and that it was expressed through the states rather than the federal government.

      He was a thug in a miserable court. Good riddance! One down and eight to go.

  17. Tobin's Tools

    In Conn. Dep’t of Pub. Safety v. Doe (2003) — argued/decided on same days as Smith v. Doe — Scalia, in a separate concurring opinion upholding constitutionaliy of a registry that only accounts for previous conviction and not current dangerousness, said the following: “[A] convicted sex offender has no more right to additional ‘process’ enabling him to establish that he is not dangerous than (in the analogous case just suggested) a 15-year-old has a right to ‘process’ enabling him to establish that he is a safe driver.” Yet at the same time, Scalia — in delusional fashion — proclaimed himself the “darling of the criminal defense bar.” Nonetheless, had SCOTUS affirmed the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ Connecticut decision, most of us would NOT be subject to registration at all! I just wonder if/when SCOTUS would ever reverse its position in Smith v. Doe — as, in the case of segregation, it took the Court over 50 years to reverse its clear error (i.e. the high Court does not humbly admit mistakes).

  18. Anonymous

    I’m watching fox inside edition news and there is a conspiracy that Scalia’s death might of been fowl play. A leading DC homicide detective is questioning why there was no autopsy done for someone as important as Scalia was and why did they determine his death so quickly and rushed. They also found him dead with a pillow over his head. Watch them blame his death on a registered citizen. The sex offenders must of done it. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised at anything anymore.

    • Joe

      Of course there was fowl play… he was quail hunting, after all 🙂

      • Robert

        LoL. Good old Texas. They should just blame that on Cheney again.

        Obama is also going to appoint a new justice before his term ends and not wait until the next president does. He says it is in his constitutional right and that there is no law anywhere in the books preventing him to do this.

        Well Mr. Obama. We also have a constitutional right to life liberty and happiness and to travel anywhere we want without government intrusion and harassment/bullying to it’s own citizens after a criminal sentence is done.

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