January 13th, 2003

rivka as ww

(no subject)

Alex Kozinski rules.

Well, unfortunately not in this case -- he got outvoted. But his explanation of why the majority is wrong, and why the case is an object lesson that letting the government have too much power in criminal investigations is a Bad Thing, is just wonderful. The first six or so pages of the dissent, starting at page 23, are an imagined dialogue between the appellant's attorney and the appellant, wherein the attorney tries to explain to his client why he lost, even though the government deliberately deported eight witnesses who would have testified to his innocence. The best portion of the exchange:

Ramirez-Lopez: Isn't the jury supposed to have all the facts?
Lawyer: Not all the facts. Some facts are cumulative, others are hearsay. Some facts are both cumulative and hearsay.
Ramirez-Lopez: Can you say that in plain English?
Lawyer: No.

Kozinski's often funny, but he doesn't usually offer Dave Barry-style opinions. He's a wonderful example of a principled conservative; he doesn't trust the government of which he is a part, and unlike so many of his compatriots, that mistrust doesn't disappear when the police and the prosecutors enter the story. Here's hoping that the decision gets en banc review on the strength of his dissent.

In other news, the first day of the copyright course went well, I think. The difference between a 21-person seminar and a 90-person lecture course is that, in the latter, 20% class participation is a fair number of people. One down, twenty-seven to go. (Still difficult to believe they pay me for this.)

In celebration, I'm going to try to finish a draft of Switch!, which is going to be at least 80 pages. Yipes! Is anyone out there willing to beta read it, with special attention to making it funnier? Pretty please?
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