I was just reading about Miranda warnings, looking for evidence that we don’t lose our rights if we’re arrested for murder, much less when we join a homeowners association. I’ve seen a surprising number of Americans suggesting otherwise today. But much more interesting than a “Satanic” peace wreath (I totally saw that coming) was this:

Ten years after the ruling in the case that bears his name, Miranda was killed in a knife fight at a Phoenix bar; his suspected killer was read the “Miranda warning” and declined to give a statement. He was released and promptly fled to Mexico. The Miranda murder case became a “closed file.”

That’s the problem with rights: everyone has them.


There is only one candidate for Attorney General in Iowa. Apparently law is less important than agriculature in Iowa. The candidate, Tom Miller, is a Democrat, and looks good enough. He’s apparently cares enough about his stance against predatory lending to issue a statement on the issue. So I voted for Tom Miller.


When you're a law student, they tell you if say that if you can't argue the law, argue the facts. They also tell you if you can't argue the facts, argue the law. If you can't argue either, apparently, the solution is to go on a public relations offensive and make it a political issue... to say over and over again "it's lawful", and to think that the American people will somehow come to believe this if we say it often enough.

David Cole, Georgetown University Law Professor


A friend of mine sent me a link to a 'wrongful life' court case filed by a disabled Australian woman. That alone is interesting enough, but here's my favorite part:

Studdert also cited rulings from foreign courts, including the United States, which addressed the esoteric difficulties of putting a dollar tag on "the value of non existence" as compared to the costs of living with a disability.

How much is non-existence worth? What a great question. Earlier I tried to explain my existentialist leanings. In the future I'll just point to this case. The woman apparently wants to live or she would have killed herself. Yet she's basically putting life itself on trial to demand that someone else take responsibility for her life's unpleasantness. It's an excellent formalism of bad faith. We all blame others for choices we won't bring ourselves to make. But few of us do it so honestly.

One of the random quotes on the front page is from Simone de Beauvoir:

There is no such thing as a natural death: nothing that happens to a man is ever natural, since his presence calls the world into question. All men must die: but for every man his death is an accident and, even if he knows it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation.

For this woman, however, life is an accident and, even though she knows it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation. It will be interesting to see if the Australian High Court agrees.