Review Of The Charges

A close look at the law and the allegations suggests that outrage about the Brandon Duncan prosecution may be based on incomplete information. Burt Likko dissects the charges and the law for your review, compares that to the advice of his colleagues, and then finishes his nightcap.


No Way To Die In California

A judge recently found that California’s death penalty, as it is administered, is cruel and unusual punishment, serving no identifiable purpose. Digging in to the opinion, Burt Likko finds a perverse conflict: an effort to comply with one part of the Constitution leads to a violation of another.

Three Cheers for Command and Control

A couple in Glendora, CA face a $500 fine for saving water by not watering their lawn. Simultaneously, the state wants to fine people who water their lawns. That is, folks can receive a fine of up to $500 a day for wasting water. Perhaps what Californians are supposed to do is keep their lawns…


2013-2014 Term Recap (Save Two)

It’s the close of the term, and here’s a recap of the major cases from SCOTUS this year. Some surprising results. Some, not so much. Alsotoo: we’re waiting until Monday for the Hobby Lobby and Harris decisions.


Dreaming of the Guild

Now, before you get all in a huff about the California Supreme Court admitting an undocumented alien to practice law, at least read Burt Likko’s digest of the ruling.


Lies, Damned Lies, and Bar Applications

A few thoughts on recovering one’s reputation for good moral character from very public past misdeeds. There should both a skeptical eye cast towards those who have been dishonest in the past and room for redemption from mistakes made in the past — but when does the latter overcome the former? Is it enough to have stayed out of trouble?


There It Is — Take It

Burt Likko celebrates the history of a city that seems all too frequently to act as though it had none, on the centennial anniversary of an important, oft-overlooked event. In the beginning was a ditch…

Prop 19 fails

What a sad – and ultimately selfish and self-destructive – thing for Californians to vote down. Kevin Williamson says that along with the Harry Reid victory, this was the most depressing moment in the election: You’d think a state that just reelected Jerry Brown would be ready to go in whole-hog on the pot-legalization thing,…

Prop 19

Writing over at The Corner, Kevin Williamson points to the No on Proposition 19 campaign’s website, which has the following statement beneath the picture of a smashed up school bus: On average, a drunk driver kills someone every 45 minutes. Recreational marijuana use in fatal crashes will increase if Prop. 19 passes. It will be…

Feds no longer busting sick people for medical marijuana use

Well, I don’t know how we missed posting on this yesterday, but Obama has done something very, very right by calling off the Feds in states where medicinal marijuana use is permitted.  In terms of states’ rights, patient rights, and just sane, rational domestic policy, Obama made the right move. And according to Gallup, he’s…

the moderating influence of the technocratic Republican

Predictions are a mugs game, and mine are worse than most, so take this with a grain of salt. But I see two likely narratives emerging concerning Arnold Schwarzenegger, neither of which I like. Schwarzenegger’s golden political image has been tarnished lately by the utter fiscal insolvency of California. Part of this can be explained…