Bench Gone Wild: Seven Stories, Seven Choices

Every once in a while, the well-oiled Bench Conference Team (which would be me) takes a step back from weighty constitutional questions to consider and evaluate other legal issues and themes. This is one of those times. So which story should I focus on? Here are your choices:

1. I should interview the federal marshals who complained about being mistreated by attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey. Among the allegations: The feds say they weren't allowed to "flush the toilet when working on the night shift." Ick.

2. I should investigate the curious case of the horse that was smuggled onto a plane in a dog crate. Apparently, the horse is okay, and his hay tasted better than those snack boxes they sell on United Airlines.

3. Keeping with the animal theme, I should travel to Austria to cover the case of Matthew Hiasl Pan, a chimpanzee that animal rights activists want declared a person so that a guardian can be appointed to care for him.

4. I should join the A-listers attending Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's book party next week-- I hear he makes great jello shots.

5. I should follow the case of "Reverend Billy," a New York street performer arrested for allegedly annoying police officers by continuously reciting the First Amendment through a bullhorn.

6. For a new chapter in story of Taser missteps, I should cover the case of the Maryland police officer who thought he was Tasering a suspect, only to discover too late that he had drawn his gun, instead. The suspect was wounded. The officer got into some trouble.

7. I should gauge public reaction in Tulsa, Okla., to the news that former trial judge Donald D. Thompson just lost the appeal of his conviction for using a penis pump on the bench during trials.

Have a great weekend. I'll have a Supreme Court preview for y'all by Monday.

By Andrew Cohen |  September 28, 2007; 7:37 AM ET
Previous: Patriot Games | Next: The New Court Term, Clearly


Please email us to report offensive comments.

If you take option 4, be careful of the Coke cans.

Posted by: David | September 28, 2007 09:21 AM

On a more serious note, are these all mutually exclusive?

Note about #6, this is not the first such mishap. An officer in Ohio killed a suspect last year. My son-in-law is a police officer and showed me the way they holster up the Taser and the Glock. The Glock is a straight-up draw on his right side with his right hand. The Taser is holstered on his left, at an angle, for a cross-body draw with the right hand. It's also bright yellow.

Hard to confuse the two, no?

Posted by: David | September 28, 2007 09:25 AM

Putting this all together we have US Marshals who want to be declared a person complaining about the judge who drew his pump with the wrong hand at a smuggled book party where the horse is reciting the first amendment to no purpose.

Sock it to me.

Posted by: okbyme | September 28, 2007 01:11 PM

I'm a First Amendment junkie, so I vote for No. 5. Thick with irony.

Posted by: Nellie | September 28, 2007 02:16 PM

How about some look-see into the government's records on what books travelers are reading? What titles were of particular interest to the government? What titles or authors earned the traveler some extra attention?

After all, it's Banned Books Week!

Posted by: djmagaro | September 28, 2007 04:35 PM

O.K., so the horse turned out fine, but what about those poor passengers who were exposed to United's wretched "food"?

Posted by: nat | September 29, 2007 01:25 PM

Cohen, it's starting to sound like you've lost your reason for existence since Gonzales left town.

Posted by: | September 30, 2007 05:01 AM

Cohen, it's starting to sound like you've lost your reason for existence since Gonzales left town.

Posted by: | September 30, 2007 05:02 AM

Can you cite any examples of cases that the Supreme Court should have accepted for review?

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