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There are now 42 comments... what are your thoughts?
  1. pingo1387 says

    What will happen to the dealers? Will they be charged GUILTY . . . or INNOCENT!? And will the deputy ever get that promotion!? Find out in the next episode of . . . THE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE!!

  2. Tualha says

    Note the violation of the first amendment in panel 3.

    • I’m as irreligious as the next arctic fox, and I do have my qualms about the motto, but I’m pretty sure that it’s been ruled that “In God We Trust” does not violate the Establishment Clause.

      I sense a heated argument coming on.

    • Mmm… First Amendment! Yummy.

      I can’t wait to get to Constitutional Law. All those hot-button issues! That maelstrom of ideas where philosophy meets real life! Where even the boring stuff is enough to piss people off! It’s going to be fun.

      To get there sooner. I’m going to follow my law school’s example, and split Crim Pro into two courses: This present one, on mostly police-related issues prior to the filing of charges; and then Advanced Crim Pro, on mostly lawyer-related issues from arraignment to trial. That way I should be able to get started on Con Law before the end of this year.

        • I haven’t had to yet. The folks who comment here have been very civil and thoughtful. Occasionally something slips past my spam catcher, but that’s about it.

          For a while I was like “this is the internet, it’s gonna happen sooner or later,” but I’m starting to get used to the idea that the people here are really… civil. And thoughtful.

          I love it!

          • Well i think it’s because this is a very intellectual endeavor. Loudmouth jerks tend to also not be very bright… while intelligent people enjoy intelligent discourse.

    • You do realize, that to avoid any bias whatsoever upon grounds of religion, that every religion and an empty space symbolizing none would have to be represented? However, the first amendment says no such thing. It states that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (aka the state can’t declare an official religion,) or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (aka, the state can’t stop you from practicing your religion unless it violates the rights *not sensibilities* of others.) That is not the whole of the statement, but it is the part that applies to religion. There is no ‘freedom from religion’, nor a ‘no religion on government grounds’ clause in the amendment.
      If you really want to go overboard with the whole religious neutrality thing, I’m fine with that. I am, however, not interested in paying for it. So, if you and those of like mind care to fund the project, we can go ahead and place every known religious symbol and a noticeable empty spot at every locale that has any association with the government. To be honest, however, the idea is both ridiculous and overbearing.
      Personally… the issue is a non issue. I just don’t care. We have so many issues that are so much larger as a nation, that this falls way below the line. However, the more it gets pushed, the more I want to tell people off; because the people pushing never seem to want equality for all… but removal of all but the secular. Which, in and of itself, is closer to establishment than any inclusion of something with historic references.

      • “Removal of all but the secular”? If a blank wall it is an implicit endorsement of atheism, then the government sure does endorse a lot of atheism, as do many churches. Yes, remove all but the secular, because the government deals here on Earth (or occasionally the moon, but God doesn’t seem too too busy up there, either). Would you like the secular to be removed? A cross, maybe, on every wall and street sign? Whatever the courts may say, if a national motto proclaiming a shared monotheistic identity doesn’t count as an establishment of religion, nothing does.

        • But if you remove all other references on a topic, is that not endorsing that only the removal of all references on said topic is acceptable?
          Further, does it not violate the rights of those who have left loved ones and places with markers bearing a religious icon… when things like crosses are removed from graves?
          The point is that we are supposed to focus on the inclusion of all, rather than exclusion. I believe in the wisdom on not trusting government to do what is right in and of itself… and that is what the amendments are all about. It is a small step from ‘no religious icons/references’ to ‘you can’t even say something about religion here’ and another to ‘religion is not allowed.’ History is a great indicator of just how easily such things happen, and it was in large part such an overbearing reach of government authority that made the founders leave their homelands to come to the ‘new world.’
          So no, I do not think it is too much to ask that everyone be included within reason. To remove something, and leave only the secular is the problem… where what you are suggesting here is to add a single religion everywhere which is just as wrong. To focus on one set of beliefs, and exclude the others, is the issue here. It is stunning to me, therefore, that there is such a lack of thought about inclusion offered in reply to my comment. Ah well, I guess political stuff just stinks really badly!

          • And yet, none of what you’re saying bears even the slightest resemblance to a national motto that doesn’t invoke a supernatural being, or a blank wall in a courtroom. The “inclusion of all” includes only those who A: believe in a singular god, and B: believe it’s okay to mingle those beliefs with the apparatus of the state. (What’s that, Jesus? “Mark 12:17”?) It may be a small step from “no religious icons” to “no religion,” but it’s a friggin’ massive step from “no ‘ceremonial deism’ in state affairs” to “no religious icons, anywhere.” Replace it with even a simple “spirits be praised,” inclusive of almost as many, and you wouldn’t defend it for a second.

            • Raen:
              “Mark 12:17”
              Perfect recollection, dubious wisdom. Put it back in context. The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus into saying something so they could get him killed by the secular authorities.
              he pointed out to them that “the kingdom of god” wasn’t about whether or not you should pay taxes – but that you should treat people with respect and love, and not try to profit at their expense – as the Pharisees (religious power) were doing.

              I.E., the Pharisees of the time were no different from war profiteers like GE – selling to the Reich, because it wasn’t illegal. (Many American companies did business with the Nazis before and during the war; there is speculation many continued the business AFTER America entered the war – which is illegal, BTW.)

        • The Government supports A religion: Statism.
          The State is Mother.
          The State is Father.

          The State is my shepherd; I shall not want.

          The State maketh me to lie down in its regimented, controlled, SAFE, green pastures: State leadeth me beside the still waters.

          State restoreth my soul: The State leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his* name’s sake.

          Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for The God State art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

          Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

          Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the State** for ever.

          Sorry to Corrupt Psalm 23, but you take a look at the pages – you see the parallels.
          *: “His” worked well here, so I left it.
          **: “House of the State” – Club Fed comes to mind, but it would be prison regardless… because the people are so much safer in prison, right? No drugs, no crime, no violence….?

          The State wants to establish itself as God. GOD, as in THE GOD, ONE AND ONLY, regardless of how many there are or aren’t.

          Whenever you find such a supporter of the state, treat it like any other cancer…

      • It’s really quite easy: Don’t have any explicit references to God/any deity in a court of law/public building. Is it too much to ask to not have “In God We Trust” on the wall? I mean, it would take a janitor 10 minutes to take it down…not a high bar to clear.

        • Would you ask them to remove a sign saying “In God we trust, all other pay cash?”.

          If “In God we trust” is ok, is “In Allah we trust” also ok? If not, you should reconsider, since “Allah” simply means “God”.

        • It doesn’t say the opposite – it’s a quote from it: “Freedom from religion does not mean, as some mistakenly seem to claim, being free from seeing religion in society. No one has the right not to see churches, religious expression, and other examples of religious belief in our nation — and those who advocate freedom of religion do not claim otherwise.

          What freedom from religion does mean, however, is the freedom from the rules and dogmas of other people’s religious beliefs so that we can be free to follow the demands of our own conscience, whether they take a religious form or not. Thus, we have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion because they are two sides of the same coin.”

          • The entire point of that article was that manifestations of state authority not be religious. Like courts, or legislatively endorsed mottos.

    • If the Second Amendment was enforced with the same zeal that you would enforce the First, then every member of the ATF and the Politicians that wrote our gun laws would be in jails as felons. I could work with that.

  3. Anonymous says

    Did his hair just change color in the last panel or is that a different case being cleared out of the room?

  4. David S. says

    Where is the last panel? I thought that suppression hearings would wait for full court, but looking at the clothing the defendants are wearing, they seem to be much earlier in the process, maybe even the same day.

        • That is an option! Perhaps this judge is a bit more easygoing. Or waiting to see just how entertaining the defendant becomes so she’ll have a better story to tell later.

          I would totally believe that judges get together and swap stories about the crazy defendants they’d had recently.

        • How someone dresses is his freedom. Of course only to some extend, but as the defendant has no offending slogan, no scurrilous clothes and at least covered his genitals, I don’t see why to complain about this? Bad taste in Fashion can’t be a crime.

          • There’s a difference between “bad taste” and “disrespect”. If you’re going to argue that clothes are speech, I’ll point out that some clothes make the statement “I don’t take this place seriously”, and that you really don’t want to be saying that to the judge. (If freedom were absolute, you wouldn’t even be able to be hauled into court, anyways.)

            I recall Miss Manners pointing out that even professional athletes who are given to wearing, shall we say, esoteric outfits still show up to court in suit and tie.

          • As I said, “only to some extend”.
            Miss Manners is a pure social Thing and has nothing to do with justice. As a Judge I wouldn’t act if the attire doesn’t Insult the attendants of the process. But of course I take it as the stance of the accused to the deed he commited and it will influence the amount of punishment, but not the findings. As Nathan said: poorly choosen wardrobe.
            Sorry, I’m not a native english speaker, so it’s quite difficult for me to explain deep philosophic concepts. …and its formulated different in british or US or australian english… …Google translate isn’t helping either…;)

          • Actually… no, it’s not your “freedom.” Judges have a lot of latitude in how they run your courtroom. They can decide you have to dress “appropriately.” And then decide what is appropriate. This judge just may not care.

            Still a poor choice by the defendant.

            • Or perhaps this judge considers it part of the argument. “Suppression denied! Tell your client his case will go the same way if he doesn’t learn to dress properly for court.”.

  5. Based on the cold weather, moose themed bar, and a dark navy blue colored state flag next to the judge….could this be Alaska? I know you like to keep things in Fremont, but as an Anchorage resident I do like to see my state in pop culture in ways that have nothing to do with fish, gold, or inhospitable wilderness.

    • Fremont sure does have a wide variety of geography, doesn’t it? But yes, I wanted this to look like Alaska — I’m glad a real Alaskan likes it! (And I’m… glad? …to have shown the drugs and violent crime side, I guess?)

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