Some of the factual assertions in recent amicus briefs would not pass muster in a high school research paper. But that has not stopped the Supreme Court from relying on them. Recent opinions have cited “facts” from amicus briefs that were backed up by blog posts, emails or nothing at all.
Some amicus briefs are careful and valuable, of course, citing peer-reviewed studies and noting contrary evidence. Others cite more questionable materials.
Some “studies” presented in amicus briefs were paid for or conducted by the group that submitted the brief and published only on the Internet. Some studies seem to have been created for the purpose of influencing the Supreme Court.
Yet the justices are quite receptive to this dodgy data. Over the five terms from 2008 to 2013, the court’s opinions cited factual assertions from amicus briefs 124 times, Professor Larsen found.
The phenomenon is novel. “The U.S. Supreme Court is the only American judicial entity that depends so heavily on amicus briefs to educate itself on factual matters,” Professor Larsen wrote.
The trend is at odds with the ordinary role of appellate courts, which are not supposed to be in the business of determining facts. That is the job of the trial court, where evidence is submitted, sifted and subjected to the adversary process. Appellate courts traditionally take those facts, fixed in the trial court record, as a given. Their job is to identify and apply legal principles to those facts. — The Dubious Sources of Some Supreme Court ‘Facts’ - NYTimes.com (via dendroica)
Any mother is better prepared for the business world. You spend so much time dealing with children.
(Source: brooklynmutt, via iammyfather)
Why do contact lenses come in 5-packs? How many people can that really work for?
After 30 years of having an (informed) nagging distrust of police, White people and the institutions that are supposed to serve Black, taxpaying citizens, I am not surprised by the events of the past week. I am not surprised that Mike Brown is dead. I am not surprised that the police have released information intended to sully his name. I am not surprised that peaceful protests have been met with violence and intimidation.
(And if you are surprised by any of this, let #Ferguson be the ice bucket dumped atop your head to jolt you from your slumber.)
Yet, I didn’t go to Ferguson last weekend to break news or grab some sort of exclusive coverage or to make a name for myself as a journalist Of course, I wanted to make sure that EBONY had boots on the ground and firsthand coverage, but telling a meaningful story wasn’t at the forefront of my mind.
I went to bear witness. I needed to see it all for my own eyes.
It cut me to my core to see the heartbreak in the faces of older women handing out lovingly prepared peanut butter sandwiches because, ‘Y’all better eat something.’ There is a choking sadness in the sight of toddlers holding signs begging for the ability to grow up. Walking down the street where the manchild known as ‘Mike Mike’ took his last, terrified steps, and seeing the place where he lay bleeding for hours like roadkill burned as much as the teargas we ingested for the simple crime of giving a f-ck. — Jamilah Lemieux, "Ferguson on Fire" (via sonofbaldwin)
Sweet caddie at.Atlanta’s dragoncon parade.
We allow this. In a modern democracy. For the same reason we don’t have background checks to stop murderers and terrorists from buying guns, or require people to report a lost or stolen gun, or stop people from buying a sniper rifle that can shoot someone from 10 football fields away.
We have allowed our culture to be manhandled by people who have purchased and repackaged our history. They don’t want you to know that as recently as the 1970s concealed carry in public was rare, and we took a similar stance on deadly weapons as many other similar countries. But then the NRA was taken over by a gun nut who had actually shot a kid dead in cold blood when he was younger. He brought with him the radicalized, right-wing mentality of a child, one that devalues human life and proclaims, as he did, that some dead people here, there, and everywhere is just “the price we pay for freedom.” — Cliff Schecter, "9-Year-Old With An Uzi? America Is Tougher On Toys Than Guns"
Knowledge is knowing that Frankenstein is not the monster.
Wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein is the monster.
(Source: tldrwikipedia, via dl-44)