i woke up at 8:25am Wednesday morning damned tired.
i have a notice on my phone set up to go off at 10:10pm that tells me “Go To Sleep, Stupid!!!” but every time 10:10pm rolls around i am always doing something else.
by the time i get around to getting ready for bed and go through all the steps that entails it is 11:00, 11:30, 11:45pm and then, because i am old i have to get up and pee five or six different times before i finally fall asleep.
so, if i'm lucky i can get eight hours of sleep a night, though normally i come in under that.
so, i woke up damned tired Wednesday morning, thought for a second about going back to sleep and giving up on Law School entirely, then got out of bed and reluctantly started my day.
i ate a banana, brushed my teeth, had a shit, got dressed and kissed my girls goodbye.
i got on the TITScycle and, utilizing the choke, got it to start up pretty much right away [see yesterday's post.]
i got to Law School around 9:30am, went to my locker and got my Thermos and filled it full of ice water and some Nature Valley bars to snack on throughout the day, then reported to my first class.

at 9:40, in Constitutional Law we continued to talk about the Dormant Commerce Clause.
it was all pretty redundant because a lot of my classmates don't seem to get it.
i feel like it's all pretty easy to get which means that either i am smart, or i am so stupid i don't know it.
we'll see!
then we moved on to the related topic of Federal Preemption, which is where if the Federal government has legislated on a subject, it is superior to any laws the States may have passed.
that preemption may be explicit, Congress can say “and this law beats your laws...” or it can be implied.
then you have to ask, 'did Congress mean to legislate on the entire area of this subject, or is there any room left over for the States to have their say.'
makes sense to me.

at the end of class our Professor passed out our midterm assignments.
holy shit, how are we at midterms already?
the midterms aren't due for another several weeks, she's just giving us a lot of time to work on them but, come on, lady, already! can't we ease into this shit a bit?
the midterm asks us to write a memo on a choice of subjects.
i opted to go with the President's authority to extend DACA by executive order should Congress fail to act though, i don't have the slightest idea where to begin because we've only really been talking about the Commerce Clause and won't get to Presidential Powers for at least another week, maybe two.
for our midterm we can work in groups of up to three if we want, or by ourselves.
the exam won't be harder if we choose to work in groups, it would be the same amount of work either way.
of course, then, it would be easier to get into a group, to cut the amount of work i would have to do by a third, but odds are, i'm not going to do that.
if somebody asks to be in a group with me i would welcome it but because i'm a standoffish loner cunt i'm not gonna go out and join anybody else.
so, more work for me because of my poor socialization.

after Constitutional Law i went down to the library in the basement and spent an hour working on stuff.
a Ginger Loser First Year who is in my Civil Procedure class came and sat down at the same table i was at and struck up a conversation with me.
the guy has talked to me before, he always gives me the impression that he is forcing himself to make conversation, that he doesn't have any idea how to talk to people but he is willing to learn.
i like him, though talking to him can be a bit much.
we made whispering chit-chat about what kind of law we each want to practice, the first conversation anybody has with somebody they first meet in Law School, then we started talking about the Papacy of all things.
the Ginger Loser First Year was born and raised some kind of Southern Protestant religion but he's been getting more and more into Catholicism for some ridiculous reason.
this is a problem for his wife because, like a lot of other Southern Protestants, she thinks Catholicism is all a big cult predicated on blood magic and child sacrifice, which seems to be about right.
we talked about recent Popes about John Paul II and whatshisname, Ratzinger, the Hitler Youth, about the current Pope, Francis and how everybody seems to like him, and about John XXIII and Vatican II.
none of which is within my area of expertise, but it's nice to talk to somebody about whatever.
then, when i asked the Ginger Loser First Year what he was having for lunch [two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches] out of nowhere he offered me his fruit cup.
i was tempted, i like peaches in sugar-water as much as anybody, but after a minute or so i told the kid “i can't take your lunch...” and gave it back.
nice kid, though.

after an hour of whispered conversation and trying to work on whatever i was working on, i went up to the second floor to wait for my next class to start.
and to check to lunchroom to see if there was any free food to score.
sometimes there will be a catered presentation for some club or another during lunch and when there is food leftover, they will leave it in the lunchroom for the scavengers to pick over.
i like to be at the head of that gold rush.
i didn't find any food but in the Conference Room next to the lunchroom i found that they were having some kind of Student Club fair.
i went in there because different clubs were offering fun-size candy bars and i walked around, filling my pockets.
a buddy of mine asked if i wanted to join the Women Law Student's Association.
i joked “i don't think i qualify...” and when she told me earnestly that “no, you do, our vice-president is a man...” i had to tell her “yeah, i just don't want to...”
similarly, when another buddy of mine in the Hispanic Law Students Association asked me if i wanted to sign up to help do some pro bono volunteer work for kids affected by DACA, i had to just wander away muttering “yeah, maybe, lemmie think about it...”
motherfucker, i just came in here for the candy.

i did end up signing up for the American Constitution Society, which is a liberal counterweight to the Federalist Society.
i'm really not a joiner by nature but i figure being a member of a club looks good on your resume?
i don't know.
later, back home, i had to pay $10 on the American Constitution Society's website to sign up for their national membership.
it might just be that i've bought myself $10 worth of junk e-mails cluttering up my spam folder and i don't know how i feel about being on a list.

at 1:30, in Civil Procedure we started talking about Federal Questions.
basically, there are two was to get a case into Federal Court, the first is through Diversity Jurisdiction, that is, the parties involved in the suit have residency in two different states and the amount in controversy is greater then $75,000.
the other way is Federal Question, that is, when whatever is to be litigated about deals with a Federal matter.
but it's not as easy as a issue just abutting something the Federal government regulates or has legislated on.
it used to be, the standard used to be “if Federal Law forms an ingredient of the lawsuit” it qualifies under the Federal Question, but then they changed it to where now Congress has to explicitly grant people the right to sue on whatever subject.
why would they do that? i don't know.

at 3:10, in Legislation and Regulation we talked about words and how we should interpret they way they are used.
we talked about one case, Smith v. United States that dealt with a statute in the Federal criminal code that required a thirty-year sentencing enhancement for anybody who used a firearm in a drug deal.
but, what does it mean to use a firearm?
this idiot Smith crossed state lines to barter his Mac-10 for a bunch of cocaine and ended up dealing with undercover law enforcement.
he tried to argue that he wasn't using the Mac-10 in the way the statute contemplated but in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court decided that barter fell within the scope of using a firearm.
which is pretty lame.
Scalia, who is a pretty big textualist, who abides by what the text of any given law says and doesn't give a whit about the intent of Congress when they wrote the law or what their purpose might have been, dissented to say “naw, this is fucking retarded...”
which might seem hypocritical, which might seem like Scalia's deeply-rooted judicial philosophy takes a back seat whenever an issue comes up that he actually cares about like gun rights, but i can see a consistency there.
even textualists acknowledge the Absurdity Doctrine, and sending some idiot to prison for thirty additional years on top of whatever other base drug trafficking sentence is pretty damned close to being absurd.
though, i think most prison sentences in most situations are absurd, so what do i know?

//[ab irato ad astra]
xtitsx: (Default)
( 18 Sep 2017 06:33 pm)
the alarm went off at 8:25am Monday morning for Week Four of Law School.
time goes quickly.
but not quickly enough.
if i had my druthers, i'd be done with this shit already, but i guess there is still a lot more i have to learn.
i tended to my morning things, kissed my girls goodbye and left the apartment at 9:10am, giving myself a half hour to get to school.
the ride to school is only about ten minutes, plus i need maybe another ten to get my stuff from my locker and get myself all set up, but, i wanted to budget another bit of time just in case my TITScycle gave me any shit.
last week, when i would try to start the TITScycle in the mornings the ignition wouldn't catch.
i would have to sit there for five minutes turning the thing on over and over again, revving the engine all the while until finally it stayed on.
this time, though, i wanted to experiment with “the choke” which is a switch they have on motorcycles and lawnmowers that people sometimes need to fiddle with under certain circumstances.
so i fiddled with the choke and it turns out the circumstance applied and on my second time trying to start the TITScycle, it started up just fine.
when the weather is cold, use the choke.
i learned something new.
then i went speeding off down the highway, trying not to crash and die.

in Constitutional Law at 9:40am we continued talking about the Dormant Commerce Clause, which is a subject we started the week previous.
as i explained before [or maybe i didn't] the Dormant Commerce Clause is everything that is left unregulated by the Federal government that the States can then step in and regulate.
then we talked about the analytical model for evaluating the Commerce Clause and the Dormant Commerce Clause and whether or not any given legislation on commerce will pass Constitutional muster.
for the Federal Government, whos power to regulate interstate commerce comes straight out of the constitution, legislation is considered to be constitutional by dealt.
when challenged, all courts get to ask is whether Congress had a rational basis for passing this legislation and if the Solicitor General doesn't offer any explanation in their own defense, the Courts will often offer one.
for States operating under the Dormant Commerce Clause, legislation cannot not be either discriminatory against interstate commerce on its face nor can it be economic protectionism.
we used the example of Texas passing a law saying that any barbecue sold in the state has to be beef and cannot be pork.
never mind that Texas-style beef barbecue is the correct form of barbecue, that kind of regulation would still be unconstitutional.
it would be discriminatory on its face if Texas said “any barbecue sold in in the state has to be beef and cannot be pork unless it is pork from Texas pigs...” and it would be economic protectionism if Texas said “any barbecue sold in the state has to be beef and cannot be pork” because the end result would be a barrier to economic activity between the states.
that kind of legislation would be subject to strict scrutiny from the Courts and likely would not stand.
finally, a third analytical model for evaluating the Commerce Clause and the Dormant Commerce Clause is somewhere in between Rational Basis and Strict Scrutiny, it is called the Pike's Balancing Test and it asks the Court to evaluate the interests of the State in regulating whatever it is trying to regulate against the interests of the people who want it to remain unregulated.
all of that makes pretty good sense to me, but we spent a good long while going over it because some of my classmates were being obtuse.

after a ten minute break in the middle of class we came back to talk about legitimate reasons a State might pass legislation that infringes on trade between the states.
health, safety and welfare of the citizenry are acceptable reasons to pass legislation regulating commerce that would pass both Pike's Balancing Test and Strict Scrutiny but, of course, the problem is that every legislature ever is going to say they are looking out for the health, safety and welfare of the citizenry in whatever the hell laws they are trying to pass, no matter how offensive to interstate trade they might be in practice.
Courts have to analyze the actual effect of the law in question, not the intent of the legislature.
as an example we talked about California's efforts at quarantining agriculture, how on every road and interstate leading into California they've got checkpoints set up where you've got to stop and turn over any produce you've got in your car.
though, the thing about quarantine laws is that they've got to be done in the least restrictive way possible and there has to be a way to do it that is less restrictive then that.
as a class we decided that California's agricultural checkpoints probably aren't Constitutional but i don't think we want to bother trying to smuggle a bushel of apples into the state as a test case.

after Constitutional Law i went down to the library to sit and work on some homework for an hour, then spent a half hour walking around the building chit-chatting with people and nibbling from a baggie of Cheerios that the PSE packed me for lunch.
in the student lunchroom i talked for a few minutes with a Mexican guy who was in my First Year section last year.
we weren't friends but we can chit-chat occasionally.
he was watching something on his phone without headphones, just playing it loud and obnoxious for all the rest of the lunchroom to hear.
i thought this was only a thing that poor trash did but this guy is obviously smart enough to get into Law School so i don't know what his problem was.
i went over to see what he was watching and it turned out to be a show on the YouTube where people watch Game Of Thrones.
he wasn't watching actual Game Of Thrones he was just watching a video of a room full of people all watching the show and having over-the-top reactions to things that happen.
which doesn't make a lick of sense, but apparently that's a thing now-a-days.
fucking Millennial. their need to be a part of something is pathological.

in Civil Procedure at 1:30pm we talked about Diversity Jurisdiction, which is where Federal Courts can rule on state law under certain circumstances.
there are two ways -and only two ways- to file a lawsuit in Federal court, the first is if it concerns a 'Federal question' that is, a Constitutional matter, and the second is Diversity Jurisdiction, where the parties to a law suit live in different states.
it gets complicated when you have multiple parties on either side, plaintiff and defendant.
some lawsuits can involve hundreds and thousands of people and not a single one of them can be from the same state as anybody on the other side.
well, they can be, but that's a different thing we haven't learned about.
for Diversity Jurisdiction, that's the way it's got to be.
also, or Diversity Jurisdiction, the monetary value of whatever is to be decided has to be over $75,000.
if you want to sue somebody who lives in a different state over an amount under $75,000, i don't know, i guess you're shit out of luck.

after Civil Procedure i had twenty minutes until my next class started so i went and walked around the building some more like i like to do.
in the vestibule near the elevators i found some cunts from LexusNexus had set up a table and were giving shit away.
LexusNexus is one of the two legal publishers that lawyers use to look up cases online.
LexusNexus and their competitor WestLaw charge lawyers thousands of dollars per year for access to their service so, in an effort to indoctrinate impressionable young law students into using their service and not the competitor's, periodically the LexusNexus and WestLaw people will turn up on campus with give-aways like a drug dealer or child-fiddler might do.
i went over to the LexusNexus table and grabbed a few pieces of candy and a banana.
they were also giving away Thermoses but i didn't take one. i don't need a Thermos that says LexusNexus on it.

in Legislation and Regulation at 3:10 we talked about different ways to think about meaning.
meaning can come from definitions, that is, a thing is made up of the way we describe it, or meaning can be prototypical, that is, a thing can be defined by how it compares to other things in the same category.
take a bird, for example.
when i say 'a bird,' you may think 'feathers' 'flies' 'lays eggs' 'gross feet' or you may just think of a Sparrow or a Robbin or a Parakeet or whatever your prototype of a bird is, and things that are kinda-sorta like it.
this is important for judicial interpretation, our Professor says, though i can't really see how.
the most noteworthy part of the day was when class was interrupted for nearly four long minutes as the entire class, all forty of us, stopped to watch an inordinately large insect buzz around the room.
then we were done for the day at 4:40pm.

//[ab irato ad astra]
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September 2017

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