Emigration Control

     Is it fair to put a student up against a Department of Justice Senior Litigation Counsel in an argument before a federal appeals court?
     Of course it isn’t.
     That Senior Litigation Counsel has no chance.
     Not only is the student more up-to-date on the law – he or she probably just got out of class – but the student is almost certainly better-looking.
     Case in point: Schnitzler v. United States of America from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in which a “Student Counsel” argued the matter against a Senior Litigation Counsel.
     You know, of course, who won.
     We also learn in this ruling that the government not only tries to keep people from entering the United States, but also wants to keep people from leaving the United States.
     Or at least leaving citizenship.
     I have no idea.
     And, strangely, no one seems to have questioned anyone’s motives on either side of this fascinating dispute.
     Why ruin a perfect absurdity with explanations when you can litigate up through the appellate system?
     Here are the first two sentences of the ruling:
     “For reasons we do not understand, Aaron Schnitzler, a South Dakota state prisoner, wants to renounce his United States citizenship. For reasons the government has failed to explain – or rather, for a host of ever-changing reasons – it has made it impossible for him to do so.”
     There’s something seriously wrong with the discovery process here.
     This case – and a host of others – illustrates the need for a new legal concept: summary judgment against everyone.
     If a dispute is completely ridiculous and both parties appear to be insane, a judge should be able to declare a “no-contest” and find something better to do.
     Both sides, of course, will then be liable for attorney fees – payable to the court.
     And when the crazy people on both sides appeal and lose, there will be even more fees.
     The judicial financial crisis will be over.
     Non-Truth in Labeling: Speaking of people who just maybe shouldn’t be suing, check out a ruling issued last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, called Seiser v. City of Chicago.
     Here we find a Chicago police officer suing the city for wrongful arrest.
     That’s not the weird part.
     This is the good part: He was arrested after being spotted on duty drinking from a bottle labeled “The liquor is in it.”
     Then he objected to having to take a breathalyzer test and refused to turn over the bottle until he got a written order.
     This is a police officer setting an example for regular citizens to follow – i.e. don’t cooperate unless you have to.
     His alcohol level turned out to be 0.00 and there was nothing but water in the bottle.
     He perhaps could have handed the bottle to the arresting officer and asked him to take a swig, but that would have been too easy. Rules are rules.
     Somebody was messing with somebody. My theory is that the plaintiff was seriously bored with his stakeout.
     This happened in 2011. A year later, he sued the city.
     Still bored.
     And in 2014 he has a 23-page federal appellate opinion saying he had no reason to sue.
     This guy will next be arrested for openly carrying a plastic toy Uzi while offering bags of powdered sugar to minors.

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