Sunday, March 06, 2016

239.5 - Clown Award: right-wing attorney Kory Langhofer

Clown Award: right-wing attorney Kory Langhofer

Now it's time for one of our regular features. This is the Clown Award, given as always for meritorious stupidity.

I had several contenders this week; it was that kind of week.

For one example, we had US District Judge Mark Kearney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rule that citizens do not have the right "to observe and record police officers absent some other expressive conduct," specifically, "without any stated purpose of being critical of the government."

That is, unless you are recording cops for the express purpose of protesting police conduct you have no right to do so.

Based on the ruling, it appears only police are entitled to this version of "Don't look at me" and of course the police are entirely free to film you - and in fact to do more; as one writer put it, we are now "a society where police are protected if they shoot you with guns but you're not protected if you shoot them with cameras."

Okay, but that is moving from clownish to outrageous, so what's the next option?

This picture is illegal in eastern PA
Well, it seems that in Idaho, the Education Committee of the state Senate has produced a bill to get that old time religion out of the churches and back into the schools where it belongs!

Senate Bill 1232 declares that the Bible - it doesn't actually say which version of the Bible, but I expect they just knew they meant the good Protestant version, not that dumb ol' Catholic one, but anyway, the bill says that the Bible
is expressly permitted to be used in Idaho public schools for reference purposes to further the study of literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, United States and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology, and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant.
It adds in one of those "this way we can't get sued" provisions that no student will have to use any religious texts if they or their parents object, but what I really want to know is how the Bible is going to be "useful or relevant" in the study of at the least astronomy, biology, and geology. Maybe for astronomy we can have the bit from Joshua about the Sun standing still, I don't know.

As a footnote, the same bill also repealed an earlier, 1963 version of the law which had required daily Bible readings of state approved passages in every classroom.

Okay, what could top that? Believe it or not, I have someone.

Kory Langhofer
So the Big Red Nose this week goes to right-wing attorney and self-described "no fan of government" Kory Langhofer, who said on Phoenix TV station KPNX on February 21 that Justice Antonin Skeletor's votes in cases now pending before the Supreme Court should still count even though he died before the court issued its rulings or took its final vote.

"There's no Ouija board required to figure out how Justice Scalia would vote on these things," he said. "We know exactly what he thought. And it’s not unprincipled to say we should give affect to that."

Now just to be clear, in case you're wondering if you heard right, you did: Langhofer is proposing that Skeletor still get a vote on pending Supreme Court cases despite laboring under the handicap of being dead, as deceased as Monty Python's parrot.

Kory Langhofer - who, by the way, was a lawyer for Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign and if this is the quality of his legal advice I wonder if he actually was responsible for "corporations are people, my friend" - but in any event, Kory Langhofer is a truly championship-level clown.

Sources cited in links:

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