How Jacob Chansley Proved Patrick LeDuc Right

I have written repeatedly about how charging January 6 rioters with obstruction provides DOJ a really elegant way of holding people accountable, while providing the flexibility to distinguish between different levels of seriousness (until such time as some judge overturns this application of 18 USC 1512).

A review of what has happened with five men who’ve pled guilty to obstruction so far illustrates not only the range of sentences possible from the same charge, but also the factors DOJ is using to distinguish defendants based on their actions on January 6.

Before I lay out what has happened, first a word of explanation: To get to sentences, the two sides in a plea deal first agree on a  “Estimated Offense Level,” then (if someone pleads guilty), knocks a few points (usually 3) off for pleading. That gives a number that gets plugged into the Sentencing Table to figure out the guidelines sentence, in months, based on whether someone has a criminal record.

So in what follows, I’m showing the initial calculation (before the 3 points taken off for pleading guilty), and then showing what the plea agreement says the guidelines will be. In the table, I’ve marked the four different guidelines calculated in the five cases I discuss here (Scott Fairlamb has some criminal background so may get bumped up a level, but the others have no criminal background).

Paul Hodgkins, who traveled alone to bring his Trump flag to the floor of the Senate, pled guilty to obstruction, and went into sentencing facing a 15 to 21-month sentence (and ultimately got an 8-month sentence).

The number you’ll see Patrick LeDuc mention — 14 — in an email below is obtained by knocking 3 points off 17. And the 15-21 months is taken by checking the “0” criminal record column for an offense level of 14.

Scott Fairlamb. who didn’t plan for insurrection but while there punched a cop, pled guilty to obstruction and assault and goes into sentencing facing 41 to 51 months. DOJ has reserved the right to invoke a terrorist enhancement (including in his plea colloquy) that, if Judge Lamberth agreed, could result in a far stiffer sentence, up to 10 years.

Josiah Colt, who planned his trip to DC with two others, came to DC armed, and rappelled onto the Senate floor, pled guilty to obstruction, but faces (before getting credit for cooperation) 51 to 63 months.

Graydon Young, who planned in advance with a militia, entered the Capitol as part of a Stack, and tried to destroy evidence, pled guilty to obstruction, but faces (before getting credit for cooperation) 63 to 78 months. The difference in guideline between him and Colt is not that Colt’s “militia” was disorganized (a couple of guys he met online), but rather that Young tried to destroy evidence. Otherwise, they’re the same.

These four men all pled guilty to the same crime, obstruction of the vote count, but all faced and are facing dramatically different sentences based on the context of what they had done. And for those who deliberately used violence in pursuit of obstruction could face longer sentences, up to 20 years, which happens to be the same sentence that some sedition-related charges carry, but (again, unless judges overturn this application of obstruction) would be far easier to prove to a jury.

Somewhere around 200 January 6 defendants have been charged with obstruction, but among those 200, there’s a great range of actions they took in their alleged effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, including:

  • How obstructive their actions were (a 3 point enhancement)
  • Whether they used violence or threats thereof (an 8 point enhancement)
  • Whether they planned in advance to obstruct the vote count (a 2 point enhancement)
  • Whether they engaged in further obstruction (a further 2 point enhancement)
  • Whether someone did or abetted more than $1,000 in damage to the Capitol (which will likely get a terrorism enhancement)

And this is an issue that will play out in Paul Hodgkins’ effort to appeal his sentence.

According to claims made in court, Hodgkins decided to admit his guilt early on, which led to him being the first person to plead guilty to that obstruction charge. His lawyer at the time was a guy named Patrick LeDuc, a JAG Reserve Officer who learned after he started representing Hodgkins he had to deploy to the Middle East. Immediately after he was sentenced to a below guidelines sentence, per representations a new lawyer has now made, he asked if he could appeal (Friday, Judge Randolph Moss granted his request to extend his time to appeal). What LeDuc said in response will likely be the matter of a legal fight. We do know that on August 21, LeDuc told Hodgkins, “You have no right to appeal the sentenced [sic] pursuant to our plea agreement,” which suggests that at that point, LeDuc understood Hodgkins’ complaint to be with the sentence, not the competence of his representation.

But we know, for sure, that LeDuc told Carolyn Stewart, Hodgkins’ new lawyer, that other January 6 defendants who made it to the Senate floor were going to be charged with more enhancements to the base obstruction charge than Hodgkins.

Here is what you should know. Capitol Hill Defendants found in the Senate are all being offered a felony (same as Paul)(some more than one felony) with an 8 level enhancement (you might consider obtaining a Federal Sentencing manual for your reference). I was able to get the DOJ to agree to only a 3 level enhancement. You ought to know that my plea deal was adopted at the highest level to include the AG of the United States. That meant that my client was at level 14 instead vice level 19. Other Capitol Hill defendant [sic] are looking at 46 months low end. The AG instructed AUSA Sedky to argue for mid range – 18 months. And you would suggest that is evidenced [sic] of malpractice. I would argue that an attorney of 6 months accusing an attorney with over 250 jury trials at both the State and Federal level, and with 30 years of experience is unprofessional on your part.

If you think the plea deal was insufficient, then you ought to know that the United States makes offers with a a [sic] take it or leave it attitude. Everything in the plea deal was boilerplate with one exception that did not bother me. That was a provision that required me to agree that level 14 was good to go and that I would not object to the PSR. I was allowed to argue for a variance under 3553, which was my strategy all along, and the judge did indeed vary 3 levels into ZONE B. Ms. Sedky is a very experienced prosecutor, and the plea deal was arranged over many lengthy phone calls over a period of 3 months. Being the first felony case to be resolved was something that DOJ had to concur in because my case was going to set the precedent for every one to follow and the stakes were high for both sides.

My strategy paid off to Paul’s benefit. No other Federal defendant who is pleading to a felony will get a sentence better than Paul (nearly 250 others)  We had a very good judge who understood the issues, and the sentence was a fair reflection of the fats.

LeDuc is obviously furious at being called incompetent (and writing from Qatar where he is also juggling a huge influx of refugees from Afghanistan). But in this passage he describes a lot of the background to the plea deals that was evident to those  of us following closely, but for which there had been only off the record confirmation.

I think things may intervene that change DOJ’s plans (particularly if any of the challenges to 1512 are successful). But LeDuc describes that the plan when he was involved was to give Hodgkins a good deal and then use that as the precedent for everyone else. With other judges an 8-month sentence may not actually be the floor, but it is the base level treatment DOJ thinks it will adopt for those charged with felonies.

We’ve seen a few people plead down from felonies to 18 USC 1752, but thus far those people are looking at close to the same sentence as Hodgkins, 6 months, a difference of 2 months and the onerous felony conviction.

One thing LeDuc did say is that other defendants who made it to the Senate floor will face 8 level enhancements. Again, I’m virtually certain there will be others who made it to the Senate that will avoid this treatment.

But yesterday, with Jacob Chansley’s sentence, LeDuc was proven correct: another defendant, with whom Hodgkins stormed the Senate floor, got an 8 point enhancement for doing so.

.

Note that, as with Fairlamb, the government reserved the right to ask for a terrorist enhancement, though I did not hear AUSA Kimberly Paschall make a record of that in yesterday’s plea hearing, as AUSA Leslie Goemaat did in Fairlamb’s plea hearing.

To be sure, Chansley’s Statement of Offense includes multiple things that weren’t present with Hodgkins (nor will they be present for some others who made it to the Senate floor). According to his sworn Statement of Offense, Chansley defied orders from Officer KR four different times, and made public and written comments while in the Senate that might be deemed a threat, including to Mike Pence personally.

11. At approximately 2:16 p.m., the defendant and other rioters ascended the stairs to the second floor to the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol building. In a clearing on the second floor, the defendant and other rioters were met by a line of U.S. Capitol Police officers, instructing them to peacefully leave the building. The defendant challenged U.S. Capitol Police Officer K.R. to let them pass, ultimately using his bullhorn to rile up the crowd and demand that lawmakers be brought out.

12. Instead of obeying the instructions of the U.S. Capitol Police to leave the building, the defendant traversed another staircase to the third floor of the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol building. At approximately 2:52 p.m., the defendant entered the Gallery of the Senate alone. The defendant then proceeded to scream obscenities in the Gallery, while other rioters flooded the Chamber below.

13. The defendant then left the Gallery and proceeded down a staircase in an attempt to gain entry to the Senate floor. There, the defendant once again encountered Officer K.R., who once again asked him to leave the building. The defendant insisted that others were already on the Senate floor and he was going to join them. Officer K.R. then followed the defendant on to the Senate floor.

14. The defendant then scaled the Senate dais, taking the seat that Vice President Mike Pence had occupied less than an hour before. The defendant proceeded to take pictures of himself on the dais and refused to vacate the seat when Officer K.R., the lone law enforcement officer in the Chamber at the time, asked him to do so. Instead, the defendant stated that “Mike Pence is a fucking traitor” and wrote a note on available paper on the dais, stating “It’s Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!”

15. After Officer K.R. again asked the defendant to vacate the seat, the defendant remained, calling other rioters up to the dais and leading them in an incantation over his bullhorn, which included giving thanks for the opportunity “to allow us to send a message to all the tyrants, the communists, and the globalists, that this is our nation, not theirs, that we will not allow America, the American way of the United States of America to go down.” The defendant went on to say “[t]hank you for allowing the United States to be reborn. Thank you for allowing us to get rid of the communists, the globalists, and the traitors within our government.”

16. Finally, at approximately 3:09 p.m., other law enforcement officers arrived to support Officer K.R., and cleared the defendant and other rioters from the Chamber. [my emphasis]

While it’s a puzzle to compare who posed more of a threat, Scott Fairlamb or Jacob Chansley, DOJ is treating both as people who deliberately tried to prevent the vote count by using violence or threats thereof. And because of that, DOJ has gotten their attorneys to agree, they should face a sentence more than twice as long as Hodgkins faced.

And that’s precisely what Patrick LeDuc told Hodgkins’ new lawyer would happen.

Update: I’ve corrected that these are the only five men who’ve pled guilty to obstruction. Some other Oath Keepers also did.

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112 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    LeDuc’s email to Stewart is a real gem. My favorite part, though, isn’t what you quoted (as good as that is), but the very last sentence:

    While it is good that Paul is getting the benefit of a second opinion, and I am glad you are willing to work with him, I would ask you to work pro-bono, because you should not be charging Paul a fee for simply wasting everyone’s time.

    Very respectfully,

    Ouch.

    • emptywheel says:

      We shall see. Letting Hodgkins appeal may be one way to fast track consideration of 1512 before the other challenges play out (tho like LeDuc I’m not sure of the competence of this woman to do that well).

        • FLwolverine says:

          Carolyn A. Stewart graduated from Ave Maria Law School in 2020 and was admitted to the Florida Bar in November 2020. The part of her Linked-In profile available to non-members (like me) lists a bunch of “certifications” obtained apparently in law school (never heard of this, but maybe that’s how places like Ave Maria do things). Her law firm, Stewart Country Law, in Plant City, FL, was incorporated in March 2021; the address on Swilley Road is a residence. She is a registered Republican voter in Florida, birthdate 1957.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            That resume should scare the pants off the average client, criminal or civil. She might become a talented lawyer some day, but less than a year after passing the bar is not that day. Sticking with the local PDs would be a much smarter move.

              • bmaz says:

                Nope, not a chance. One year out from the bar, in federal courts I covered I/As, arraignments and sat second chair for trials. Federal criminal court is very much not a place for noobies. Especially not 63 year old ones from Crackpot Law School.

          • Leoghann says:

            Graduated from law school at 63, then went into individual, independent practice in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, population 35,000. Now she’s in the big leagues, representing Patriot Political Prisoners ™ and proving to the evil judges that no Patriot should ever serve time in jail. I’ll bet I know what color her headwear is.

            • FLwolverine says:

              And about that law school. Ave Maria is one of the pet projects of Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and former owner of the Detroit Tigers. It is a conservative Roman Catholic school, because Monaghan is a rabid extremely conservative Catholic. US News & World Report ranks Ave Maria in the bottom quarter of law schools in 2022.

              Sort of Cooley Law School (Michael Cohen’s alma mater) with smells and bells.

              • harpie says:

                We have to start emphasizing that there is a WHOLE INDUSTRY which produces

                RADICALIZED lawyers and judges.

                They’re like termites coming out of the woodwork.

                This industry is undergirded by huge amounts of money from a few very wealthy people.

                • bmaz says:

                  Heh, I think people have figured out why I have been bitching about the Federalist Society since before the internet as we now know it was even a thing.

                  There simply is no counterbalancing effort from the good guys. The ACS was supposed to be, but short of a yearly meetup attended by a few elite professor types, they really do not do anything at all. I tried to join my “local chapter”, and it basically does not exist. It is a joke.

                  But the crazed FedSoc folks are playing the long game, and they are extremely good at it. Even during Dem administrations, they are winning the courts battles. The Dems never seem to really deeply care about judicial policy, and it really shows. It is maddening.

                  • ernesto1581 says:

                    only slightly ot:
                    house & senate judiciary comm’s to hold hearings on shadow docket.
                    and then? what leverage, if any, to deflect what has turned into a really sneaky-ass way of doing “business?”

                  • KP says:

                    Yep, something I’ve been saying since the bozos captured the Republikkkan Party in 64 … there have been many “operatives” working tirelessly ‘behind the scenes’ pushing out first, the “Establishment” Republicans (the ones who actually would work ‘across the aisle’ to do things that are simply necessary for a decent, civilized nation), and second, driving the Republikkkan Party to the outer fringes of crazy. Newt really brought the many strands together, wrapped up with ‘talking points’ to be parroted by every one of the sheeples in the party. Democrats are too independent, and tend to be too smart, to simply parrot some canned blathering. BUT, there should be a bigger hammer pounding down the lies and confusion wrought by the RWNJs.

                  • Molly Pitcher says:

                    Another way to refer to how the Federalist Society functions is rabid. Or here’s another good one, ‘religious frenzy’. Opus Dei elicits strong emotions that few on the left experience without the assistance of pharmacology.

              • Pete T says:

                Fun fact…my son in law as a VP of one of the Collier County Companies (the Collier kids spilt up dad’s company when he died) was in charge of the site development of the City of Ave Maria. I am pretty sure Monaghan is not involved with the city, but may be with the school. Been talk on-off of changing the name of the City to, you know, distance the association. The initial population was like minded Catholics and others that shared a more – shall we say – puritanical view of wholesomeness. But housing is booming out there and a surprising number of western Broward and Miami-Dade people live there – not of same minded initial residents – and actually commute to the East Coast for work – daily. Maybe an hour drive. $ wins again.

              • posaune says:

                Inane fact re Monaghan, being obsessed with Frank Lloyd Wright. He wanted to buy Robie House (Oak Park, IL), but it was too small for him. So he started construction on a replica designed at twice the size in footprint, height, even grading. Ugh! malpractice, anyone? at least in architectural taste.

                • chicago_bunny says:

                  That is an insane fact. I have toured the house, and it is listed as 9,000 square feet. I cannot fathom thinking that the house could be improved by supersizing it.

        • emptywheel says:

          If DOJ wanted to play hardball they could say he didn’t accept guilt. But it won’t procedurally come up for some time yet.

  2. Max404 says:

    I have written repeatedly about how charging January 6 rioters with obstruction provides DOJ a really elegant way of holding people accountable

    This kind of writing could only have come from the pen of someone who has deeply studied, and deeply loves, language. An “elegant way of holding people accountable” – conjures up images of a parade of these motor-heads, wannabee Rambo’s, beer-swilling fat-asses, showing off their gowns, pearls and sequins, coiffed to kill, rhinestone earings and studded clutches, sauntering off to jail as if to the opera première.

    Bravo, Marcy, et châpeau.

  3. Hoping4Better_Times says:

    Great Job explaining the sentence guidelines and enhancements!
    You have mentioned the possible challenge(s) to 1512 Obstruction of a legal proceeding charge in this and other posts. Please elaborate further. How/why would a Jan 6 be able to challenge 1512? I read the paragraph and it appears to me (not a lawyer) that certifying the vote on Jan 6 by congress would qualify as a legal proceeding. That leaves “corrupt intent” to disrupt the proceeding. How do you prove corrupt intent? Social media posts? Assaulting police officers? Destroying property? Disobeying orders to leave the building?
    Something else?

  4. pdaly says:

    Thanks for the explanations of the sentencing guidelines and (as always) for reading and highlighting the footnotes.

    This ‘I appeal my guilty plea’ and ‘I blame my past lawyer for the mess I’m in’ seems to be a follow-on effect of Flynn (via filings by his next lawyer Sidney Powell) wiggling out of his guilty plea and blaming ‘bad advice’ by law firm Covington & Burling.
    A new way of doing business, or has this been standard practice for defense lawyers after a plea deal?!

    In Flynn’s case, at least, he had a sympathetic AG as well as a US President as his booster and (had not yet been sentenced?).
    Wondering whether Carolyn Stewart has any hint of similar support from Trump holdovers in the DOJ or the court system?

    • harpie says:

      I agree about this having the feel of that Flynn/Powell mess.
      I asked above if we knew anything about this lawyer, and FLwolverine answered:
      https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/09/04/how-jacob-chansley-proved-patrick-leduc-right/#comment-901683

      Carolyn A. Stewart graduated from Ave Maria Law School in 2020 and was admitted to the Florida Bar in November 2020. The part of her Linked-In profile available to non-members (like me) lists a bunch of “certifications” obtained apparently in law school (never heard of this, but maybe that’s how places like Ave Maria do things). Her law firm, Stewart Country Law, in Plant City, FL, was incorporated in March 2021; the address on Swilley Road is a residence. She is a registered Republican voter in Florida, birthdate 1957.

      So, as Leoghann notes: she graduated from law school at 63, and almost immediately is hired for this pretty monumental gig.

      Not fishy at all.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        She’s an expendable, in the same way that the guys who wore red shirts on Capt. Kirk’s crew were expendable. As is Ryan Marshall and, I suspect, the man-about-to-hit-bottom, “John Pierce.” That makes their clients expendable, too. Control the narrative and create martyrs for the cause. Amen.

        I hope more Dems wake up and realize that we’re in Salem Witch Trial territory here – and the right wing thinks we’re the witches.

        • pdaly says:

          Wondering whether she reached out to him, or he reached out to her, or whether we’re dealing with a matchmaker in the middle, sort of like “zombie ant fungi.”

          https://www.livescience.com/47751-zombie-fungus-picky-about-ant-brains.html
          excerpt:
          “Fungal cells in the ant’s head release chemicals that hijack the insect’s central nervous system. The fungus forces the ant to climb up vegetation and clamp down onto a leaf or twig before killing its hapless drone. It then grows a spore-releasing stalk out of the back of the victim’s head to infect more ants on the ground below. “

              • bmaz says:

                Heck if I know. Back in the mid to late 70’s. there used to be a very popular restaurant in Tempe called the Lunt Avenue Marble Club. In addition to the fungus among us offering, they had an “Ike And Tina Tuna Sandwich”.

                I pretty much flinch at all that now, but that was a very long time ago, and I just ate there at the time. It was pretty good food fwiw. And it is both long gone and where I met Mrs. bmaz, via a friend, for the first time ever.

                • P J Evans says:

                  There was a sandwich place on Colorado in downtown Pasadena, for a long time, with sandwiches named like that. (ISTR the “Jack Benny” was tuna salad. On rye.) They even had bottles of sarsaparilla (tastes like root beer, but slightly sweeter).

                • pdaly says:

                  That’s a great story.

                  I, not knowing anything about modern music, did a google search and thought your original comment about ”fungus among us’ might be a reference to this 1950s rockabilly song by Terry Noland “There Was A Fungus Among Us.”

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtjc5c9pt9Q

                  Perhaps you could play it on a date night with Mrs. Bmaz.

                  • bmaz says:

                    I don’t think I’ve ever heard that! Very awesome.

                    Also remember something called the “Who You Calling A Shrimp Dinner”. The whole menu was like that. Had a house drink called an “I Got Potted”. Served in glass flower pot with two straws. Was a great place

            • Notskeflamethrower says:

              “There’s a fungus among us, there’s a rumble in the jungle, there’s a static in the attic a Mia in’ and a groanin’: a fungus among us.” What a blast from the past!

  5. Solo says:

    Thanks so much for the clear explanation of sentencing guidelines, Dr. Wheeler. One more emptywheel post ( including many many comments, too) that helps me remember: be the student wherever you go – everyone you meet is a teacher.

    IMHO you are exactly in the right place, doing exactly what the world needs of you. Thank you.

    • Addison2021 says:

      I tell people to come here frequently for all of the reasons previously mentioned by all of you, but I always describe Marcy as something akin to an information savant.

      You are without a doubt one of a kind.

        • Eureka says:

          I’ve been glad to see EW getting love over the Labor Day holiday, because even though she makes it *appear* effortless, this is her _work_. I hope that people are clicking that “Support” button accordingly.

          I join all in gratitude that her life gifts include the ability to smoothly translate her expertise to our eyeballs.

    • posaune says:

      Remembering that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Self-Actualization from Psych 101?
      Marcy’s so far past the top they can’t even track her.

      Thank you — we learn so much here.

  6. John Paul Jones says:

    I noticed that one of the attached emails to the filing contains some really personal details about Hodgkins’ private life. As between a prosecutor and a defense attorney I suppose it’s perfectly okay to bring up such matters. But is it okay for the new defense attorney to broadcast those private matters to the entire world? Did she get permission from Hodgkins? I mean, I assume she was supposed to get his permission, but I find it odd that he would allow such personal matters to be out there in the wild, so I just wonder.

  7. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    Wow…

    Fascinating…

    It goes w/out saying that IANAL, but if I’m reading the above correctly, I come to the following conclusions:

    1. It was indeed wise to let the law take its own sweet time in dealing w/ these yahoos, and they are now starting to get the sentences they deserve. So many were so impatient w/ this process at the start and were told over and over again, relax, it’s a complex case and it’ll take time… it’s beginning to look like time has been taken, and to good effect!

    2. There really was no need or place for RICO charges here, or sedition charges, and no basis for treason charges, correct? It appears to my untrained eye that charging these buffoons w/ obstruction has worked quite well and accomplished what some of us hoped RICO or sedition charges might…

    3. And I love the phrase ‘substantial sentencing enhancements’… it brought an immediate smile to my face when I first read it.

    • bmaz says:

      Heh 1) The law proceeds apace, and that gets sorted out in courts. Sometimes one side or another complains about time constraints. I see little reason here other than posturing, and any legitimate argument would be by defense interests, and there has been darn little of those kind of mumblings.

      2) Of course not. RICO is almost always a joke. We shall see if there ever is any operative facts.

      3) Why cheer “sentencing enhancements”? Let defendants be sentenced fairly. On facts and conduct, not cheap “enhancements”. If the facts militate in favor of longer sentences, the court can so assign, public feel good “enhancements” are not necessary.

  8. Leoghann says:

    I was interested, and a little amused, at the words of Al Watkins, Chansley’s lawyer, in the plea hearing Friday. Now, I understand that Watkins (1) owes his client his very best efforts in defending him, and (2) is really prone to grandstanding. But it seemed to me he was over the edge, and thus not credible. He claims that, despite Chansley’s acts and words on 06 January and before, at various MAGA and Qanon gatherings, and despite his total King Baby routine since he has been sentenced, Watkins claims he is a changed man. He sees that he was duped into believing Qanon, as well as Trump. He’s now as nonviolent as a lamb, and just wants to go back to his parents’ toxic Trumpster upscale home, and be the sweet, all organic shaman he was intended to be. Apparently that change in personality occurred after his and Watkins’ television interview.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Leoghann, I heard Watkins’ paean to infatuation (sometimes “a man loves a girl”) with horror, especially when it turned out he was arguing as Chansley’s defense that the poor young barely clad man had a boy-crush on Trump. Hey, we’ve all been there, right?

      That man/girl discordance reminded me instantly of the Joy of Sex. When it was published in 1972 and became such a bestseller that I found it in almost every house where I babysat in my very Republican neighborhood, its professions of egalitarian pleasure principle were undercut on every page by the authors’ insistence on referring to the (always hetero-) sex partners as “the man” and “the girl.” Not a single woman interrupted this busy pair. And we wonder how Jeffrey Epstein got the notion he’d skate.

  9. harpie says:

    Above, bmaz mentions a PREMIER LAWYER-AND-JUDGE RADICALIZING INSTITUTION.
    Marcy retweeted this yesterday:

    https://twitter.com/n1n2w3/status/1434136078194257928 [Nicholas Wallace]
    8:47 AM · Sep 4, 2021

    Looking for something to do in Texas weekend after next? The Federalist Society is holding its annual Texas Conference on 9/18 at The Lumen Dallas. The first panel features two @FedSoc men who led the legal defense of SB 8, Texas’s new abortion ban.

    Panelist 1: Jonathan Mitchell, who developed the legal theory underpinning SB 8—the “bounty” scheme. Mitchell has also defended the law in court. [WaPo link]

    Panelist 2: Texas Solicitor General Judd Edward Stone. He is leading the legal defense of SB 8 for the state of Texas. Prior to becoming Texas SG he served as chief counsel for Senator Ted Cruz.

    Panelist 3: 5th Circuit Judge James Ho, who may eventually have to rule on the constitutionality of SB 8. Judge Ho is an outspoken critic of abortion. [Slate link]

    Panelists 4 & 5 are both former Texas SGs.

    All 5 panelists are former supreme court clerks, including 2 Scalia clerks, a Thomas clerk, an Alito clerk, and a Kennedy clerk.

    The Federalist Society does not appear to have announced the keynote speaker for the conference yet, but past keynote speakers have included George W. Bush, Ted Cruz, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito.

    • bmaz says:

      “5th Circuit Judge James Ho” is arguably the worst judge on the uniformly horrible 5th Circuit. Amazingly bad. And young, he will be there a long time.

        • Leoghann says:

          Apparently no relation, except Politically. Cleta is from Oklahoma, and moved to Washington, DC, thirty years ago to practice law. Jonathan Mitchell is 26 years younger, and is from the Philadelphia area. He lived and worked in and around DC until 2010, until Rick Perry named him Solicitor General of Texas, and has been in Austin ever since.

      • chicago_bunny says:

        Yep. He’s not even 50. And appropo of your comment upthread, both he and his spouse are members of the Federalist Society. She is head of the appellate litigation group at one of the premier Biglaw firms, Gibson & Dunn, after a SCOTUS clerkship, working in the Bush DOJ advising Ashcroft, and stints at other firms (including working with the odious Ted Cruz).

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      harpie, you probably already know that the Federalist Society has overseen/steered the career of Amy Coney Barrett for years, principally through Don McGahn. While McGahn has successfully worked the mainstream media referees to continuously rehabilitate his Trump-damaged reputation, his core project has always been the behind-the-scenes stacking of the courts with reactionary Fed Soc-approved judges. Amy Coney Barrett represented their greatest public triumph, but as you noted it takes a rotten village to raise a deformed judiciary.

      • P J Evans says:

        Once, back before Bush jr, the Senate looked at the ABA’s recommendations, instead of the FedSoc’s recs. I think we got better judges then.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. That said, the ABA is useless shit too. The one redeeming thing was that if even the ABA thought someone was “unqualified”, the nominee was probably truly horrible.

  10. harpie says:

    Marcy‘s having an exchange on Twitter with Oath Keeper lawyer Kellye SoRelle
    https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1434582233134870528
    2:20 PM · Sep 5, 2021

    I’m not going to link to SoRelle, but here’s a screengrab of her response to Marcy:
    https://twitter.com/thatguyinmiami/status/1434595465815891968
    3:13 PM · Sep 5, 2021

    [SoRelle]: Alright digital soldiers – time to politely explain to the left why we want to protect the minorities from the authoritarians and the racists.

      • harpie says:

        From The Digital General article, FLYNN on Parler in October 2020:

        #DigitalSoldiers must fight on battlefields NOT of our choosing. […] Allowing tyranny to reign over liberty keeps us from breathing freedom’s fresh air and informing our democracy of the grave threats our constitutional republic faces. Read, listen, understand, comprehend and respond with facts and sound analysis. That is how Digital Soldiers Fight back.

    • harpie says:

      FLYNN trademarked the term.

      THE DIGITAL GENERAL How Trump Ally Michael Flynn Nurtured — and Profited From — the QAnon Conspiracy Theory
      https://theintercept.com/2021/06/27/qanon-michael-flynn-digital-soldiers/
      Candace Rondeaux

      Raising an Army of “Digital Soldiers”
      Flynn articulated his vision of leveraging digital media to mount a political insurgency at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Veteran’s Day [2016] weekend five years ago.
      In November 2016, less than a week after Trump had been elected president, Flynn spoke at an event hosted by the Young America’s Foundation. A co-founding organizer of the right-wing flagship Conservative Political Action Conference, the YAF has kickstarted the political careers of dozens of well-known Republican Party personalities, including nativist former Trump adviser Stephen Miller. […]

      This is the speech RAYNE wrote about [and TRANSCRIBED!] in 2018, here:
      https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/03/30/michael-flynns-revolution/

    • Leoghann says:

      I’m LingOL at Flynn’s charge to “[r]ead, listen, understand, comprehend and respond with facts and sound analysis.” Apparently his followers never really got the hang of that. And their General certainly never practiced it. Of course, his interpretation of what constitutes facts and sound analysis is doubtful in itself.

  11. P J Evans says:

    I am getting so tired of people who think that DOJ and the FBI aren’t going after the 1/6 insurrectionists, or are doing so too slowly. (Some of them are even lawyers.)

  12. Rugger9 says:

    OT1: I’m seeing reports for a probe into the shadow docket especially as the RWNJ wing of SCOTUS has been running it. My question is how does the SCOTUS parachute in like they did these cases which were still being briefed in lower courts and render decisions without briefing much less argument? It makes me wonder whether the shadow docket has a RW ex-parte :briefing” pipeline for case input and preferred outcomes. What are the actual constraints on this kind of activity, and note that removal of Justices uses the same impeachment process as for the President, so expanding the court is really the only viable option.

    OT2: I’m posting this here since bmaz’s Roe post is about to close comments, noting that the city of Portland is pulling out of TX input. It will be interesting to see how this is supposed to work when the next 15-20 states join in TX’s process. I think it will take pulling of events like the NCAA did for NC’s bathroom bill and IN’s “religious freedom to discriminate” act that then-Governor Pence reversed to keep the final four, There are seven bowl games in TX. The NFL and MLB can also pull events, after all MLB pulled the All Star Game from Atlanta after GA’s voter suppression bill. The point is that a coordinated effort needs to starve TX of tourist revenue, and only that loss of money will move the TX GQP. LGM has several posts on this worth reading.

    These should also leave the political BS out as much as possible because TX’s deputizing of paid spies (who will doubtless get quotas to make budget as things progress) simply makes it unsafe to be there in a place where anyone can pack heat without training and a fully functional “stand your ground” law for the privileged. People of color or incorrect religion will be hassled and the cities and states that knowingly sent them to do the work in TX could be held liable themselves for the distress that comes from it. I found it interesting that Rich Lowry (aka “Sparklepants” from his Dancing With the Stars gig) thought it necessary that no one had been hurt yet from this law. He’s wrong, but laws made to be “in terrorem” are still on the books, and only takes some bored Panhandle sheriff to make an issue of it.

      • Leoghann says:

        It’s a toss-up. East Texas can boast of creatures like Gohmert, but the northern Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles are like a separate state. And the Potter County Sheriff’s Office has long been astonishingly corrupt, even by Texas standards.

        • P J Evans says:

          I’ve only been through Amarillo once – I lived in the South Plains, not the High Plains area. (Panhandle is west Texas. North Texas is like Collin county, which is, yeah, not good.)

          • Leoghann says:

            I meant the northern part of the Texas Panhandle, like Canadian, Perryton, Dalhart, Dumas. Plus Guymon, OK. I think of the South Plains as starting at Lamesa and ending at Plainview. I’m familiar with North Texas, having lived in Dallas for ten years, Gainesville for another ten, and Denton for fifteen. Although some call that Northeast Texas (e.g.: Willis Alan Ramsey).

            • P J Evans says:

              Boise City, OK, also. (That’s a kind of strange area. Nice people, but political they’ve gotten more conservative over time. My parents and I were about the only Californians they’d ever met, and we were so not like the stereotypes that it confused them.

                • P J Evans says:

                  Either hippies or movie/TV actors, since that’s what they saw/read about in the news. A lot of people in that area think that going to DFW is a long trip, and Houston or Austin are *really* far away. But they’ll go 50 to 90 miles for shopping they can’t do in their own town.

    • milestogo says:

      “I’m seeing reports for a probe into the shadow docket especially as the RWNJ wing of SCOTUS has been running it””

      I’m beginning to wonder what protects the people in our balance of power government if the Supreme Court goes blatantly against the plain meaning of the constitution. I suppose there is the “court packing” and justice impeachment route but they are of little use in a split two party system. Then again there’s always the Andrew Jackson route of ignoring the Supreme Court or the more extreme Joseph Stalin “How many divisions has he?” approach but of course that suggests the end of the rule of law.

    • Rugger9 says:

      TX went there on voting, too. Now MLB, NFL, NCAA, NHL, NBA, etc. need to decide whether to go to TX if it isn’t really safe between “stand your ground” and no-license open carry (but only for the “right” ones). If GA’s bill was a bridge too far for MLB, TX’s bill should be as well.

  13. Rugger9 says:

    I’m still puzzling out why SCOTUS parachuted into this case, because as I have seen it in the past, the “shadow docket” is for emergency rulings where condemned prisoners get their appeals expedited. I see no need for speed here, especially considering that the matter was winding its way through the appellate process so it would seem that the 5-justice cabal wanted to make a point. Is there a written procedure for access to the shadow docket?

    The issue of regularity and the process is important, because if this cabal can jump in without sufficient notice the rule of law goes out the window. When all other civilized options for redress of grievances are blocked, eventually the aggrieved will resort to uncivilized ones especially when those blockages are petty, political and blatantly unfair. As much as the MAGA crowd screams about being so-called “victims” they did have their day in court, asked for evidence (of which there was none) and lost 60 out of 61 times. All of the “tourist” seditionists are getting their day in court. The legion of names cited by BLM (Grant, Martin, Garner, Castile, Floyd, Arbery, and so many others) were in detention but never had their day in court.

    • Rugger9 says:

      One wonders why the FedSoc / GQP fetish over “originalism” is really about returning all the way to the “law of the jungle” knowing they have all of their guns.

      • John Paul Jones says:

        When Kavanaugh and Barrett were appointed my sense of it was that we would end up with a modern-day version of the Taney court, that is, one that is so out of touch with the reality of the country that it will make outrageous judgements and not even really bother to justify them (which was Dred-Scott to a “T”). And so we have.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        The number of Justices on the Supreme Court changed six times before settling at the present total of nine in 1869. Since the formation of the Court in 1790, there have been only 17 Chief Justices* and 103 Associate Justices, with Justices serving for an average of 16 years.

        https://www.supremecourt.gov/about/institution.aspx

        Let us first note that the average life expectancy in 1870 appears to have been around 40 years. So a ‘lifetime appointment’ in a society with an average lifespan of 40 years meant something entirely different than it means in 2021.
        [See Statistica]
        Currently, Clarence Thomas has served for nearly 30 years — or 3/4 of the lifespan of a person in 1870.
        Breyer? Almost 28 years.
        Roberts and Alito, almost 16 years apiece, which in both cases equate to roughly half a lifespan of 1870.
        I could go on, but this little exercise is becoming wayyyyy too depressing… the notion of ‘lifetime appointments’ made sense in the 1870s, but now that the average American lifespan is 75, maybe it’s time to rethink this archaic notion?!

        —————
        So let us take a different view of the period in which the SCOTUS was set at 9:
        according to official US census records, the population of the US in 1870 was a mere 38,558,371

        And for further context, we discover that in 1870, America had:
        — only 37 states,
        — a population that had increased 26% from the previous 1860 census,
        — 11 people per square mile (keeping in mind that there were only 37 states, but the point being that the population would have had a lot of rural residents and a lot of agriculture}.
        The US was still recovering from the Civil War.

        Consider that 1870 is only 52 years after the Lewis & Clark expedition mapped out a route over land to the Pacific. More juicy, scintillating details can be found here:
        https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/decade.1870.html

        Whether or not you happen to be a census or data geek, the 1870 census was a big deal technologically, because it was the first US census that required a ‘tally machine’ — this was pre-computer, because electricity was in its infancy; the mechanical machine available to the US Census simply ‘tallied’ bigger numbers than they’d ever had to count before. In an age of mechanical machines, it was the best they could do, and it would have been a mighty effort at that time.

        Electricity would not really impact the average lives of most Americans for another 10 – 30 years, so SCOTUS was set at 9 in a pre-electric world.

        To reiterate, assuming that my facts and sources are accurate:

        (1) the SCOTUS of 9 justices that we have today was created around 1870, when
        Ulysses S Grant was US President, a mere 5 years after Lincoln’s assassination.

        (2) The US population was about 10% of its current population.

        (3) The following states were added AFTER the creation of the 9 justice structure of SCOTUS:
        — Colorado (1876)
        — North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington (1889)
        — Idaho, Wyoming (1890)
        — Utah (1896)
        — Oklahoma (1907, which always tickles my fancy)
        — New Mexico, Arizona (1912)
        — Alaska, Hawaii (1959)

        (bmaz, lemme know if you want a map; a quick visualization of just how antiquated the SCOTUS structure is might drive home the nuttiness and outdatedness of this artifact to even the most dull-witted among us. An even cooler map would show the economic drivers of the states that were added after 1870. Think Microsoft, Simplot, Coors, and a host of other familiar American brands, all of them based in the Mountain West, and/or states added after 1870.)

        The light bulb, the phonograph, and the telephone were not yet invented when the SCOTUS configuration of 9 justices was created.

        James Clerk Maxwell had published ‘A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field’ in 1865 in London, but it was still finding its way across the Atlantic to the US, with a multitude of implications. By 1870, future US citizen Albert Einstein was a mere spec in his papa’s eye, as he would not be born for another 9 years (in 1879, in the German Empire of Wurttemberg).

        In 1870, Benjamin Cardozo was born in NYC. He would be nominated to SCOTUS 52 years later by Herbert Hoover (in 1932). (And William O. Douglas would not be born for another 28 years, in 1898.). So how’s that for context?!

        In 1876, Mark Twain would publish “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” six years after the number of SCOTUS justices was set at 9. The year that “Tom Sawyer” was published, Custer lost The Battle of the Little Bighorn, but not in the ‘state of Montana” — because Montana would not officially become a US state for another 13 years.)

        I look at dates like those shown above, and data from census records, and rather than be in a lather about Roe or any individual case, I’m apoplectic that the US Senate can’t seem to find its arse with both hands.

        (I could go on about the Judiciary being under the clumsy thumbs of DiFi and Grassley for too long now, but that would be a digression as well as a waste of energy. The result is before us, and it’s tragic and appalling. Thank God for Durbin, Whitehouse, Blumenthal, Booker, Coons, and Klobuchar — they have their work cut out for them, and no time to waste.)

        If this current SCOTUS overreach, by way of a ‘shadow docket’, does not light a fire under Senate Dems, and the previously lazy US legal community, I don’t know what would. 🤬

        Nothing says, “Structural problem! Archaic [email protected]#!” like a shadow docket dark-of-night sleuth operation conducted by people who have been on the court for 20+ years, and who lack the human decency and gumption to realize that retirement can actually be a productive, sane move after decades of professional service. [Here’s hoping DiFi and Grassley take note, since I’m on the topic.]

        The SCOTUS is not some ordained number that Moses brought from Mt Sinai on metal tablets, carved there by the hand of G*d. In my increasingly strong view, all the hullaballoo and vapors over SCOTUS and SCOTUS nominations are horsesh!t. The underlying problem, when the nation nows has at least 330,000,000 people, is structural.

        A court that could manage key issues in 1870 in a nation of 38,000,000 is simply not going to be able to (as they say in software) ‘scale’ to deal with the business of 330,000,000 in a globally connected world of increased complexity in 2021.

        The configuration of SCOTUS is a creation of human minds — in this case, minds that did not know about electricity, that didn’t know Crazy Horse was going to kick the sh!t out of Custer, minds enthralled by tales of Tom Sawyer floating on the Mississippi.

        Today, Americans deal with upgrades. All. The. Time.
        Phones. Tablets. PCs. Mainframes. Car repairs. Maintenance and upgrades. All. The. Time.
        This *is* our new normal, and as long as we upgrade, things work pretty damn well.

        Now that the population is 10x what it was in 1870, it should not be a shocking horror, nor a political fight, to recognize that maybe SCOTUS badly needs an upgrade.

        For the love of God, am I simply ranting into space?!

        Does anyone besides Sheldon Whitehouse give a damn about the fact that SCOTUS is devolving into an embarressing freak show?

        Roe is a bright, shiny object.
        The outdated, corrupt, archaic nature of the SCOTUS, and what appears to be the larger federal courts system, is the underlying problem.

        IMO, this business of Roe is really a symptom of the fact that Senate Judiciary was in the sclerotic control of geriatrics for the past 20+ years.

        Consequently, dealing with the corruption of the courts, and the archaic inability of the courts to keep current with US population and demographics has become worse by the year, and the problems continue to compound.

        I am actually shocked that the entire US biz community has not raised holy hell with the US Senate about this ongoing mess with the federal judiciary, with the backlog, and with SCOTUS. It blows my mind that the CEOs of every Fortune 500 company aren’t making calls to DC to tell them, “Dammit, the rest of us invest and upgrade. You people need to get your sh!t together and our deadline is March 2022, or you won’t get a penny, nor a vote, from any of us.”

        If I’m reading the tea leaves right this time around, this whole mess with the shadow docket is going to trigger a serious upgrade to some archaic, outdated institutions. I expect pushback from offshore interests, but genuinely US interest should be looking for results on a reasonable timeline. If what I’m hearing is any indication, the silent disgust and contempt is absolutely epic at this point.

        • Rugger9 says:

          We also have the expansion in the number of appellate districts, which by itself calls for expansion of SCOTUS by at least two, but 4 is better.

          • P J Evans says:

            The number of appellate districts is a good reason for expansion, that even the conservatives should understand.

        • Eureka says:

          #demographics mini-splainer that’s timely to a few current events, besides clearing up a common misconception:

          “Average life expectancy” does NOT equal “lifespan”. An avg. life expectancy of 40 does not mean that people lived, on avg, for 40 years: it’s a whole-population (as defined) statistic whose number is dragged down (in this and most cases of low-looking numbers) especially by: high infant mortality / neonatal and maternal mortality (childbirth being a deadly risk*, in some contexts more than others; it remains higher in both poorer countries and in the US among women of color esp. Black women; among teen mothers, etc.) / childhood mortality (infectious diseases).

          Avg life expectancy is also a statistic from a given point in time (when the time point is not given, it’s assumed to mean ‘from birth’) and in a certain year.

          But as you can see from why that number gets moved, as one ages, the avg life expectancy increases — and the jumps tend to be bigger past certain trials of life (esp. e.g. US 1840 conditions), such as ‘at birth’ versus ‘at age one’ or ‘at age five’ (big traditional demarcations for reasons explained, though other ages are significant or of interest depending on context). You’ll see this if you locate your 1840 chart (called a “life table”).

          Seeing where the big differences lie can tell you a lot about what is/was going on in a society.

          [If you want to follow the same cohort look for an 1845 chart of life expectancy at age five; you’ll see that the expected additional years, when added to five, will significantly exceed 40 — or whatever the actual (to-the-decimal) number was for ‘at birth’ in 1840, other things being equal (e.g. barring some epidemic that selectively killed under-and-up-to five-year-olds). And so forth.]

          For any given year the avg life expectancy of older individuals in that year will be greater; as a separate matter the avg US life expectancy has tended to increase over the decades, with notable exceptions at certain points in time.

          And while I’m giving typical examples, it’s always an empirical question as are the causal movers which can occur at any stage of life.

          For ex., avg life expectancy recently ticked down (1+/2- years) due to COVID; it dropped by *several* years circa the 1918 flu pandemic (because that was killing more younger people). But those who weren’t taken out by the 1918 flu didn’t suffer shorter life_spans_ just because the average life expectancy went down due to these excess deaths.

          Similar improvements in things like sanitation, childhood immunizations, safety, and nutrition can increase what we see in life_span_. Regardless they are two very different kinds of numbers which are very commonly confused. Average life expectancy is an estimation at a given age; lifespan is a measure of actual birth-to-death dates though is sometimes expressed as a general maximum or potential number (i.e. “the human lifespan”).


          *Lack of anti-septic or even basic hygienic conditions (handwashing!) during childbirth is a common cause, but the large size of human neonates’ heads combined with the changes in pelvic shape over the course of evolution due to our bipedal posture present additional risks. Younger teen mothers with immature pelves have further risks (among many others); similar with gestational diabetes but that relates more to the risks of and posed by general fetal overgrowth (speaking solely to the structural aspects here; there are plenty of other factors).

          • Eureka says:

            To clarify: Just realized I misread RoTL’s 1870 as 1840, that’s why I repeated the 1840 example.

            In any case, I found a UK life table from 1841 expressed graphically (scroll to 2nd graphic, with slider):

            https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/articles/howhaslifeexpectancychangedovertime/2015-09-09

            A male in 1841 had an at birth life expectancy of 40.2 years; at age 20 that expectancy was 59.9; age 30 = 63.1, etc.

            The longer you live the longer you’re expected to live.

            And make that *several* a double as to 1918: the drop was ca. 12 years (which then rebounded quite nicely)!

            https://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2018/05/1918-flu/

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              Nah. It was still lovely and you made some excellent points.
              And yes, childhood mortality was A Thing. It explains the existence of one of America’s finest institutions: the children’s hospital.

              • Eureka says:

                Your comments are always very synthetic and data-oriented (and ultimately optimistic!) so I’d hoped you’d appreciate the discussion.

                Now we need the Californians to deliver a resounding “No!” to that recall effort or we’re well and truly … Mitched.

          • Nord Dakota says:

            “… the average lifespan of the 56
            signers to the Declaration of Independence was 66 years, and a quarter of them
            (including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Ben Franklin) lived to 80 or older.”

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Helps to be the richest men in the country, whose fathers were among the richest men in the country. A few, such as Franklin, were exceptions to the later rule, but not the former.

              • P J Evans says:

                A lot of not-rich people lived to be 60 to 80. Some even made it to 100 or more!
                (I do genealogy. I have a fine assortment of people in my file, most of them farmers or tradesmen. Child mortality, *oh* yeah. My great-great-grandfather’s family (mid-19th c) was considered to be very healthy: only lost one in infancy, and another in their early 20s.)

                • John Paul Jones says:

                  I love all the data points accumulated here. As an exercise (I wanted to know: did Shakespeare die unexpectedly young?) I once went through a whole lot of birth and death dates for Elizabethan and Jacobean figures and discovered that their average number of years on this earth – and because they were historical figures, most were, in terms of those ages, relatively wealthy – was around 55-60. And that’s for the period 1550-1650, so it seems fairly clear that the nineteenth century at least made some advances in how long one could expect to live supposing one survived childhood, and the twentieth century even more. As for Shakespeare, he seems to have died a little earlier than usual (aged 52), but not exceptionally so.

        • harpie says:

          Dear ROTL:
          From my spot here in outer space… THANK YOU!
          I hear and seriously appreciate and share your apoplecticy.
          -harpie

        • Savage Librarian says:

          The Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court first met on May 19, 2021. It is scheduled to meet once a month for 6 months, which takes it to November 19, 2021. So, it has a couple of months to go before the final report is due. But with all the unseemly recent behavior of the Roberts court and the Texas government, I wonder if they will ask for an extension.

          Maybe someone on the Commission can give us a heads up as to whether or not they are still on schedule.

          https://www.whitehouse.gov/pcscotus/commissioners/

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          You really want to break that up into two or three comments, perhaps nested. It’s hell reading it on a mobile device.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            It was a holiday.
            The more dots I connected, the more outraged I felt.
            Your point quite well taken, and I hope that despite not being on the post topic, the digits were worth the effort.

        • John Lehman says:

          Great flight over the last 175 years of US history.
          Never in all of recorded World history have scientific innovations and political institutions gone from “modern” to anachronistic as rapidly as in this time period.
          Wonderful observation.
          Thanks.

      • P J Evans says:

        I think it’s about going back to The Way They Believe It Should Have Been. The fact that it never was that way, and we’d be much worse off, doesn’t cross their alleged minds.

  14. Molly Pitcher says:

    from the Southern Poverty Law Center posted on Instagram today:

    splcenter The founder of #Russia Insider, Charles Bausman, promoted Stop the Steal, journeyed to the Capitol on Jan 6, and then disappeared to #Moscow –– leaving the Christmas lights still dangling from his #Lancaster home.

    We started reporting on Russia Insider’s Charles Bausman last year when we linked him to a white nationalist group through an email ID buried in the source code of a network of racist websites.

    We also linked Bausman’s site to a hyperpartisan blog focused on #LancasterCounty, PA.

    Read more in the #Hatewatch investigation at the #LinkInBio.

  15. Rugger9 says:

    OT: DJT and Junior are going to announce boxing matches on Saturday for which fans can pay $50 for their deathless prose. No nickel left behind, I guess, but contrast that with what Joe’s doing on Saturday even though Faux News and Joni Ernst (et al) were getting on Biden’s case for not being supportive enough for the troops (he was).

    Saturday is the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and while DJT’s grifting, Biden is visiting all of the memorials. Perhaps we should get those Gold Star dads (i.e. Hoover and Schmitz, etc.) to tell us why DJT’s actions are so much more respectful.

  16. Rugger9 says:

    Apparently there is a glitch in the Minuta case, where one of the Feebs went to Minuta’s tattoo shop in July, asked a bunch of questions without identifying himself as an agent and then reported the conversation as a something to charge. Minuta’s attorney is asking for a dismissal but FWIW it would seem to me that this is really no different than someone wearing a wire, or that the police can lie (there is precedent on this) during interrogations. OTOH, it’s doubtful Miranda rights were read so Minuta’s attorney does have a legitimate issue to leverage.

    https://www.recordonline.com/story/news/local/2021/09/08/newburgh-tattoo-shop-capitol-riot-tainted-case-roberto-minuta/5755151001/

    • bmaz says:

      “Apparently there is a glitch in the Minuta case, where one of the Feebs went to Minuta’s tattoo shop in July, asked a bunch of questions without identifying himself as an agent and then reported the conversation as a something to charge.”

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

      “OTOH, it’s doubtful Miranda rights were read so Minuta’s attorney does have a legitimate issue to leverage.”

      Nope, unless Minuta was present, made incriminating statements, AND was under custodial arrest, Miranda is no issue whatsoever. Some of these 1/6 attys are just throwing shit against the wall. You and I may wish the law was otherwise on these issues, but it is not.

  17. Savage Librarian says:

    Wazoo

    Greg Abbott, a deja vu specter,
    may need a human surge protector,
    With Ted Cruz & the coup coup nectar,
    He’d thrive in a padded, private sector.

    They can’t kill anyone on 5th Avenue,
    So they’ve created the State of Wazoo,
    with great big hopes to try to outdo
    Arizona’s obsession with bamboo.

    Barbara Jordan made Nixon answer for
    his depraved, malevolent acts of war,
    Old hands hoped it was never more,
    But Abbott & Cruz love a back door.

    Goodbye to judicial review,
    Big guns with their cock-a-doodle-do,
    Supremes Q’ed up, with no appeal to
    anything close to red, white & blue.

    It’s not democracy or Texas anymore,
    It’s just one big, stinking bedsore:
    A stretch of chauvinists & a Minotaur,
    Ann Richards might’ve axed that score.

  18. harpie says:

    FBI still seeking information on the PIPE BOMBS:

    https://twitter.com/capitolhunters/status/1435745056657395718
    7:21 PM · Sep 8, 2021

    #SeditionHunters – FBI has released a full ‘reel’ of the pipe bomber with maps and full route information, over 3 minutes of video. Video to follow in thread. 1/ [screenshot]

    Here’s the direct link, posted 9/8/21:
    January 5 Pipe Bomb Investigation: Route and Video of Suspect
    This virtual map depicts the approximate route an unknown suspect walked on January 5, 2021, while placing two pipe bombs in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The map also features video of the suspect at various points along the route.
    https://www.fbi.gov/video-repository/map-of-jan-5-pipe-bomb-route-090821.mp4/view

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