SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Friday, June 17, 2005

BLOGSWARM: DEM SEN DICK DURBIN COMPARING U.S. SOLDIERS TO NAZIS & GULAG OPERATORS. The outrageous floor remarks by Senator Dick Durbin are now being widely discussed throughout New Media--including the blogosphere. James Taranto's "Best of the Web" has a post containing Sen. Durbin's worst words. So far leading Democrats have been eerily silent on this matter.

This morning, Hugh Hewitt cuts right to it:

Every member of the military and their families and every voter who admires the military should be watching very closely as the Democratic Party and MSM say and do nothing about Dick Durbin's smear. You can't be a supporter of the military and allow the #2 Democrat in the Senate to put the Nazi/Stalin/Pol Pot brand on the troops, which is exactly what Durbin did.

Precisely. Sen. Durbin's remarks are shameful. This story has been growing for a few days now, and I only suspect it will continue to grow.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

COVANCE STRIKES BACK AGAINST RADICAL ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS. Michael Fumento gives some background on PETA's anti-human ideology, discussing the recent lawsuit that its been slapped with by the medical research lab Covance. His article, "Animal Extremism Versus Human Rights," appeared yesterday at There are links aplently in Fumento's piece. Highly recommended.

Human exceptionalism is foundational to Western Civilization. Simply put, human life is more important than non-human life. PETA and eco-terrorists disagree.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MICHAEL JACKSON CASE. Having thought the whole matter through, I am still strongly inclined to think that Michael Jackson got away with something. Admittedly, it is difficult to keep the freak factor from influencing my opinion. Of course, the suspect nature of the accuser’s mother is certainly a factor here as well. In the end, excessive complaining can’t be called for given that a 12-member jury unanimously held for Jackson on all charges, and appeared to have carefully examined the evidence. It’s certainly legitimate to question the results of the legal process in a liberal democracy. But due process has undoubtedly taken place.

I remain extremely wary of a man who appears insulated and disconnected from reality and normative standards of behavior. And I still harbor doubts about the correctness of the trial’s outcome. Yet, the respect owed to the process and the verdict of a unanimous jury settles the matter: there was not sufficient evidence for a conviction. I don’t have to like it, but will accept it.

(Andrew McCarthy has some interesting observations in an NRO article from the other day.)

(Downtown Seattle, WA)
WITH BOARDS LIKE THESE... Kimberly Strassel has an interesting article discussing the NY Attorney General's case against former NYSE head Dick Grasso--available online in Tuesday's Opinion Journal. The extraordinarily high level of compensation given to Grasso in his contract made many headlines. I have not followed the case very closely and am not familiar with enough details to form an opinion, but as Strassel's article shows, there's more to this story than I first suspected. Namely, you had a board that voted on the contract but then turned on the very same man that they UNANIMOUSLY agreed to so generously compensate. Curious...

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Monday, June 13, 2005

JACKO JURY TRIAL VERDICT. As I've been watching on cable news for the last fifteen minutes now, Michael Jackson is in the courtroom, awaiting the jury's decision...

UPDATE (2:05pm). Judge Napolitano and Shepard Smith have discussed the judge's weekend conferences with the jurors. Interesting. There could be a hung jury on some lesser charges. Speaking of which, the jury has been seated. Waiting for the judge...he's now in.

UPDATE II (2:20pm). NOT GUILTY?! Wow. He was found "not guilty" on all counts--including the lesser-included. I'm shocked. This isn't good. We've not heard the last about this, I'm sure...

(Chelan, WA)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

CLARITY TO COME TO REPORTER-INFORMANT CONFIDENTIALIY? Former U.S. Soliciter General Theodore Olson has an editorial in today's OpinionJournal discussing the case of his client--Time, Inc. and one Matt Cooper--which he is hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will grant certiorari and hear.

Since I'm away from my office, I don't have my Van Alstyne's First Amendment casebook from law school, so I cannot recall with any certainty if I had perviously read any cases in the area of media and informant confidentiality. According to Olsen, the First Amendment protections afforded in this area are unclear. The Branzburg v. Hayes (1972) case was one of those close calls with a concurring opinion thrown into the mix for the majority, resulting in little clarity on the issue.

I throw in with Olsen on this matter--and not just because he's representing a guy named Cooper. A qualified reporter’s privilege concerning disclosure of confidential news sources is important for a liberal, democratic society with a free press.

It is worth noting that Washington State's Attorney General Rob McKenna has joined with thirty-three other State AGs on an amicus brief in support of Time and Cooper. As he states in a recent press release:

If reporters are unable to protect their sources, their ability to gather news is severely compromised. The First Amendment would be meaningless unless the law also protected the practical ways in which news is responsibly gathered.

Exactly. I applaud AG McKenna for joining the amicus brief and for his defense of an important component of a free press.

(Chelan, WA)