I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Two new cosponsors sign onto S 3696 -- total is now 20

Though S 3696, the Senate version of the "Public Expression of Religion Act" (which IMO should have been called the "Establishment Clause Lawsuit Anti-Rip-off Act"), a bill that would prohibit awards of attorney fees in establishment clause cases, is not expected to pass in the current Congress, two new cosponsors have signed onto the bill in November and December, bringing the total to 20 (in addition to the sponsor). All the other cosponsors signed on in July, August, and September.

A study was made of Senate bill cosponsorship in the period 1973-1990. 20 cosponsors is much higher than the averages for all Senate bills (Fig. 3 on page 37) and bills that passed the Senate (Table 1 on page 40) during this period. It is stated on page 23 that the averages in Fig. 3 are only for bills that had a cosponsor. It is not stated whether Table 1 is for all bills or just bills that had a cosponsor, but the context of Table 1, which shows the numbers of all bills that passed and failed to pass the Senate, implies that bills without cosponsors were included in computing the averages in this table. The percentages of bills that had cosponsors are shown in Fig. 2 on page 36.

BTW, I incorrectly stated that S 3696 was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee -- the current status is that hearings have been held in the committee.

The House version of PERA passed by 244-173.

The enactment of PERA would put an end to the "Dover Trap" crap, which I am really sick of hearing about.

I have discovered than even Judge Jones conceded that the plaintiffs had too many attorneys in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case:

In January of last year, I conducted the first scheduling conference in the case in my courtroom. And it was my first exposure to the lawyers who would be involved in this case . . . . . at that early date it was clear that I had more lawyers in the case than I had parties. Now, I don't dislike lawyers, some of you may, but I practiced myself for 22 years before I became a judge. But at that point I was somewhat fearful because too many lawyers, like too many cooks, can indeed spoil the broth.

There is nothing wrong per se with having more lawyers than parties, but there were 9-10 plaintiffs' attorneys of record. Though the law (42 USC ยง1988) requires attorney fee awards to be "reasonable," Jones nonetheless approved an exorbitant attorney fee award of over $2 million (later negotiated down to $1 million). What a jerk.

I would greatly prefer a fee cap in both establishment clause and free exercise clause cases, but I think that the present version of PERA is much better than nothing. And I think that a reasonable fee-cap bill would be a shoo-in.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> What a jerk."

That should be jerks (plural) referring to the school board. The members of the board should have to pay personally for their irresponsibility, not the taxpayers.

Saturday, December 09, 2006 9:33:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

So shouldn't judges have to pay personally when they misbehave (re: the "Jail-4-Judges" initiative)?

Also, since your goal is to conserve the taxpayers' money, you ought to support PERA.

Consistency has never been one of your strong points.

Saturday, December 09, 2006 9:47:00 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Well, I for one support conserving the taxpayers' money.

And the best way to do that is to stop letting morons like the ones who sponsored this bill waste it.

Personally, I don't give a crap how many attorneys it takes to defend my rights and my education against christo-fascists like the ID creationism hoax crowd, as long as it gets done.

I think the buttheads on the schoolboard who knowingly violated the First Amendment to the Constitution, and the lying con-artists at the DI who encouraged them to do it should pay all the fees out of their own damned pockets.

It ain't like they're using their money for RESEARCH.

Saturday, December 09, 2006 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> So shouldn't judges have to pay personally when they misbehave (re: the "Jail-4-Judges" initiative)? <

Perhaps if you could find a case where a judge has misbehaved, this would not be a moot point. I am not denying that it has happened. It just hasn't happened in any case you have described, nor any case in which you have been involved.

> Consistency has never been one of your strong points. <

I have been quite consistent. As you have not been, your constantly changing perspective may make it appear otherwise.

Saturday, December 09, 2006 11:47:00 PM  

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