Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thursday Morning Quick Hits.

Update on Justice Parker in Alabama

As previously posted HERE, Alabama Justice Tom Parker drew some criticism in the blogosphere (and elsewhere) when he wrote an OP-ED piece criticizing the Alabama Supreme Court's decision to follow SCOTUS precedent in Roper v. Simmons and remove an inmate from death row because the inmate was a juvenile when he committed his offense. Parker wrote in his OP-ED that his fellow justices should have disregarded the SCOTUS precedent as a means of trying to get SCOTUS to reconsider the issue.

In an update earlier this week, I noted a January 16 editorial in the Decatur Daily further criticizing Parker. Now there's more. The AP is reporting today that Parker's fellow Alabama Supreme Court Justice Mike Bolin is critical of Parker's OP-ED approach. "Bolin accused Parker of exercising the same judicial activism that he criticizes in his article." The article notes:

With Parker's strategy now moot, he's left to wonder whether anyone will file a complaint with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission accusing him of violating the state Canons of Judicial Ethics.

One of those canons says a judge should promote public confidence in the judiciary.

"You have to question whether some or all of this was a violation of the canons," Bolin said.

Parker says he was simply upholding his oath of office to support the Constitution, and his writing didn't violate the canons.

He's heard rumors that a complaint may be filed, like the one that led to Roy Moore's removal from office, but so far, he says he's seen no sign of it.

After the reaction to this op-ed article, would Parker write another?

"It depends on what comes up. I'm passionate in defense of the Constitution I swore to support," he said.

For even more on this story, there's an editorial in today's Montgomery Advertiser on the story.

(Hat-tip for these updates: How Appealing.)

(**UPDATE: Thanks to a thoughtful e-mailer, I've been pointed to an ABA Journal article on this story. It's thoughtful and well-written and incorporates many of the same thoughts/points as the earlier posts here on the story.**)

Update on Kathleen Sullivan and the California Bar Exam

Back in December I posted about Kathleen Sullivan, former Stanford Law Dean and noted Constitutional law scholar, failing the California bar exam. The Legal Reader is reporting today that Sullivan has been denied a request to appear pro hac vice in a case, presumably as a result of the bar failure.

(**UPDATE: WSJournal Blog has picked up on this, albeit several hours later than Legal Reader or even my post this morning.**)

Today's Disturbing Legal News

From the AP comes this story about an Ohio couple accused of abusing a number of special needs children who were in their care. According to the story:

The children were taken from the Gravelles in September after a social services investigator visited the home and saw wood and chicken-wire cages she likened to a kennel. In addition, one of the children testified last month that his parents made him sleep in a bathtub for more than two months because he wet the bed.

The Gravelles who live in a rural area 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Cleveland, Ohio have defended the enclosures, saying they were necessary to keep the children from harming themselves or each another.

The children have problems such as fetal alcohol syndrome and a disorder that involves eating nonfood items.

Now the couple wants these children back " because they removed the wire, alarms and doors from the enclosures." There is, apparently, a custody hearing currently scheduled to address this.

More news stories about this story:
Sydney Morning Herald.
Toledo TV.

**UPDATE: February 17, 2006 Update.


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