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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Go Figure

As some in today's society might say, and with good reason, 'Go figure.'"

-- From Nunez v. Holder, a ruling of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

I have some probably unexpected advice for you today: don't steal pants if you don't already have some.

I'm guessing most of you already have pants, so you haven't had to worry about this sort of thing, but the temptation to steal pants does indeed come upon some people.

I know this because of the Ninth Circuit ruling quoted above which deals with the issue of whether or not indecent exposure is a crime of moral turpitude.

Really. Go read it yourself if you don't believe me.

Apparently an immigration judge thought it was indeed a crime of moral turpitude and thus justification to toss a guy, who was married to a U. S. citizen and had kids, out of the country. It seems that if you are convicted of two crimes involving moral turpitude, you're automatically out.

And what was his other crime?

Yep. Stealing a pair of pants.

Now it seems to me that the two crimes should cancel each other out. If you're indecently exposed, you need pants. If you can't get pants, you're liable to be indecently exposed. It doesn't seem fair to penalize the guy for both.

The appeals court, in case you're wondering, sort of agreed. Getting hit with a $100 fine for petty theft was indeed evidence of moral turpitude, but indecent exposure was not. Hey, the guy didn't have the pants.

(OK, the two crimes didn't happen at the same time, but you must see the irony.)

And now you see once more why I recommend reading appellate opinions. Where else can you get stuff like this?

Footnote 7, alone, is worth the effort for the description of the "glory hole" and the inviting police officer on the other side of it.

This is why people love the law.

GOTCHA! I see tales of all manner of bad bosses in lawsuits but one filed the other day in Los Angeles is now one of my favorites.

It seems, allegedly, that this boss would toss a candy wrapper on the floor and then sit back to see what his employees would do when walking past it.

If they didn't pick it up, he'd yell at them and discipline them.

Yes, he was entrapping his own employees.

I'm not sure I see point of this. It's like hiring people so you can figure out how to fire them. But maybe if you look at it as a sort of sport....

MORE GOOD READING. Now for another fascinating legal read, check out Kleinman v. City of San Marcos from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in which the appellate panel is asked to decided whether a junked vehicle ordinance "can be applied to a wrecked Oldsmobile 88 that has been put to use as a cactus planter, colorfully painted, and adorned with the words 'make love not war.'"

I won't spoil the story for you by going into the details of what happened here, but, as I was reading the opinion, I kept wondering why the City of San Marcos cared about moving a cactus planter out of public view.

Was there are a history of cactus needle injuries in the area?

Did someone think the Oldsmobile was being disrespected?

I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get an answer to my question until I got to the very end of the opinion where I discovered that "the City never requested any affirmative relief."

Recall here that this has gone all the way up to a federal appellate court.

Literature doesn't get any better than this.

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