by Max Brantley
The line is open. Finishing up:
* WHO YOU CALLING ACTIVIST JUDGES?: Richard Posner in Slate takes down the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling eviscerating the Voting Rights Act, with its weird jurisprudence of gradual constitutionality and all. This is the money quote on the opinion:
"...decided Tuesday, struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act (the part requiring certain states with a history of racial discrimination in voting to obtain federal permission in advance to change their voting procedures—called “preclearance”) as violating the “fundamental principle of equal sovereignty” of the states. This is a principle of constitutional law of which I had never heard—for the excellent reason that, as Eric points out and I will elaborate upon briefly, there is no such principle."
Posner is a Reagan-appointed U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge who's not readily classifiable as liberal or conservative, though he's generally viewed as more right than left.
* W.P. SOOIE SURVIVES EVICTION EFFORT: Remember W. P. Sooie, the pot-bellied pig that Little Rock Animal Control tried to evict from its home with Jyll Latham? David Koon wrote the swine chronicles and followed up here. District court trial was held today to determine whether W.P. was livestock and an impermissible home pet. David had a conflict. But TV stations were on hand for Judge Alice Lightle's ruling that the pig could stay, despite a neighbor's complaint of insufficient sanitation of the output of the 58-pound porker.
Lightle noted, according to Channel 11's account, the same thing David's story noted. There's a conflict in city ordinances. One permits pot-belled pigs. Another seems to require a 300-foot separation between livestock and neighboring homes. For now, Woo Pig.
* LAW LICENSE DENIED: Because the case was in the news periodically, I note the Arkansas Supreme Court's decision today to turn down an appeal of the the Board of Law Examiners' decision not to grant a license to John Patrick Moody. The court agreed he hadn't sufficiently demonstrated overcoming a history of alcohol abuse. He was convicted in a hit-and-run accident while drunk that killed bicyclist Jason Pratt in 2005. At the time of the Board hearing, he said he'd been sober for eight months and was actively participating in AA.