Roadkill to Become Fair Game in Virginia
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
6d ago
Good news, Virginians—the category of dead animals you can pick up off the side of the road and take home for dinner is about to expand by two. As you should all know by now, about half of U.S. states have laws that allow citizens, under certain circumstances, to harvest for personal use any supplies that may suddenly become available after a driver-involved animal-termination event. See, e.g., “California’s Roadkill Bill Becomes Law” (Oct. 30, 2019). Virginia is already one of those states, but it appears that the current statute has been deemed insufficient. On February 6, the state’s House ..read more
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Assorted Stupidity #160
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
1w ago
Federal law makes it a felony to “willfully or maliciously injure[ ] or destroy[ ] any of the works, property, or material of any radio, … or other means of communication, operated or controlled by the United States, or used or intended to be used for military or civil defense functions ….” I’m not sure I agree with the locals that this would apply to WJLX’s 200-foot-tall radio tower in Jasper, Alabama, but either way, whoever stole it is gonna be in big trouble. The theft was reported by a “bush hog” crew sent to mow the area on February 2. It’s unclear how long WJLX kept transmitting befor ..read more
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Florida Rep: This Bill Doesn’t Target All Bears, Just “the Ones That Are on Crack”
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
2w ago
Florida House member Jason Shoaf told a committee meeting that his House Bill 87, which would make it almost impossible to punish someone for the unauthorized killing of a bear, isn’t motivated by a dislike of bears in general. “We love bears,” he said, though it wasn’t clear whether he meant his family, his staff, or the Florida Republican caucus in general. “Bears are cute and cuddly and … amazing creature[s].” No, it’s only some bears that need to die. Which bears? The crack bears. “We’re talking about the ones that are on crack, and they break your door down, and they’re standing in your ..read more
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Reminder: Lawyers Should Try Not to Sleep Through “Important Aspects of Trial”
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
1M ago
You might think any first-degree-murder trial would be interesting enough to keep a lawyer awake for the duration, at least for the lawyer representing the defendant. This turns out not to be true. You might also think that someone whose defense lawyer fell asleep during such a trial would get a new trial because he or she received “ineffective assistance of counsel.” But this also turns out not to be true. It depends on the duration and timing of the snooze(s). You should, of course, already know this. See “TIP: Lawyer Who Sleeps for ‘Substantial Portion’ of Trial Is Ineffective” (Mar. 14, 2 ..read more
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Nicholas Rossi’s World Tour Continues: Now Appearing in Utah
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
1M ago
Guess who’s still claiming to be an Irish orphan named “Arthur Knight” and not a completely different guy who’s suspected of committing crimes in multiple jurisdictions? If you guessed “Nicholas Rossi” … well, I suppose I did put that information in the headline, but in any event, you are correct. When we last saw the Suspect Formerly Known as Rossi, which was just 10 days ago, he was struggling with police at an airport in Scotland. Also with his pants, which had somehow fallen down around his ankles during the fracas. See “Former Fugitive Extradited, Briefly De-Trousered” (Jan. 9, 2024). Th ..read more
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Federal Government Frowns Upon Humorous Electronic Traffic Signs
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
1M ago
The various book bans that have been oozing forth around the country are a far greater disgrace—in Florida some school libraries pulled dictionaries (temporarily) to review them for “inappropriate content”—but this one is also bad. And here, too, civil disobedience is the only patriotic response. The Associated Press reports that according to new federal rules, “humorous and quirky messages” on electronic traffic signs will be “banned in 2026.” That isn’t quite true, but the reality is bad enough. The AP is referring to the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control De ..read more
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Plaintiff Aghast That Her Peanut Butter Pumpkins HAD NO EYES
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
1M ago
Sometimes a lawsuit mocks itself and there’s really nothing I need to do to help. I guess that was probably true of all these, and these too, and probably also these, but I went ahead and helped anyway. But this one really does seem to speak for itself. And what it says is stupid. Well, that is indeed terrifying, and certainly more than sufficient justification to file a class-action lawsuit in federal court on behalf of plaintiff Cynthia Kelly and “all other similarly situated individuals who purchased a Reese’s Peanut Butter product [that didn’t have a little piece carved out of it] based ..read more
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Former Fugitive Extradited, Briefly De-Trousered
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
1M ago
Well, the day you’ve all been waiting for has finally come. Yes, at long last, Queen Margrethe of Denmark has decided to abdicate. According to The Guardian, she is the first Danish monarch to abdicate since 1146, so it really is kind of a big deal. In Denmark. I should probably clarify that Queen Margrethe is not the “former fugitive” mentioned in the headline. By all accounts, she is a respected and even beloved figure, and is stepping down voluntarily after 52 years on the throne. That does raise the question why you have long been awaiting her departure, I guess, because, man, what did Qu ..read more
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“I Hereby Swear to Hate Henry Symeonis, Whoever That Is.”
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
1M ago
Recently I learned that for more than 500 years, anyone who wanted a Master of Arts degree from Oxford had to take an oath promising they would never “agree to the reconciliation of Henry Symeonis” (this was in Latin, so quod numquam consencient in reconciliationem Henrici Symeonis). The requirement was added to the university statutes in 1264, and wasn’t removed until 1827—more than half a millennium later. The good part is that for most of that enormous span of time, nobody had any idea who Henry Symeonis actually was or what he might have done. But they swore that whatever it was, they wou ..read more
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Ninth Circuit Revives Nevermind Cover Baby’s Frivolous Lawsuit
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
2M ago
When I noted last year that Spencer Elden had appealed the dismissal of this incredibly stupid case, I said I assumed that was because he and his lawyers were “gluttons for punishment.” I still think that, but the punishment will have to happen in the district court, because the Ninth Circuit has now reversed. As you may recall, Spencer Elden is the former baby who was and still is shown on the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 Nevermind album. He was four months old at the time, so he didn’t exactly volunteer, but his parents volunteered him and took $200 for the photo shoot. As you surely know—becaus ..read more
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