May 5th, 2003

wood cat

Cognitive Dissonance

So I'm taking a break from my present project by keeping current on jurisprudential developments, and in the Ninth Circuit's opinion in United States v. Gonzalez [8 page PDF], I read:

Gonzalez contends that a temporary zone of privacy was created when he was alone with Standifer. It is doubtless true that "the Fourth Amendment protects persons, not places." However, "the extent to which the Fourth Amendment protects people may depend upon where those people are." . . . Here, however, the defendant . . . chose to conduct his criminal activity in a public area.

Gonzalez would have us adopt a theory of the Fourth Amendment akin to J.K. Rowling's Invisibility Cloak, to create at will a shield impenetrable to law enforcement view even in the most public places. However, the fabric of the Fourth Amendment does not stretch that far. He did not have an expectation of privacy in the public mailroom that society would accept as reasonable.

It was . . . disconcerting.

*waves to ajhalluk, heidi8, and other legal types in the fandom, and goes back to what she was doing*

wood cat

Week in Review

The first part of last week was spent running around trying to get stuff together for a case, the papers for which needed to go in the mail on Wednesday. The catch was that I wasn't going to be there on Wednesday; I was going to be in New York City for a conference. And I am a control semi-freak when it comes to work and really prefer to oversee things myself, even when I know I've left everything in capable hands. My state of mind was not helped by the discovery that things would have been ready on Tuesday, had I not been an idiot and overlooked something important. Fortunately it was all fixable and went in the mail properly—on Wednesday.

I spent Wednesday through Friday in New York City, at the National Association of Attorneys General's annual conference on corrections law (prisons and prisoners). I think it was probably pretty standard as such things go: a reasonable variation in the levels things were pitched at; one person who went on about "me, me, me, me, me" for far too long; and a widespread inability to speak into microphones. Unfortunately, the more advanced topics were ones that I'd happened to work on already, so there wasn't anything incredibly new to me. We did get a CD-ROM with our printed materials that looks to have a lot of very nice research on it, though.

I also took advantage of being in NYC by having a nice dinner with redbird on Thursday night, at La Bonne Soupe (mmm, cheese fondue), and then went to see Perfect Crime, a play that I'd gotten a half-price same-day ticket for. Collapse )

My plans for Friday afternoon fell through when I never heard from the person I was going to meet, so I went to the Met before catching a train home. Collapse )

It was good to be home.

Saturday, I actually did some yard work, raking and trimming hedges (fun with cordless hedge trimmers!) while Chad dug up bushes (breaking a shovel in the process) and improved our patio. Went to see X2 that night, which I quite enjoyed. It didn't rock my world—I got more of an adrenaline rush from the Matrix trailer—and I don't drool over the prospect of a sequel, but it was good clean mostly-non-stupid fun and I recommend it. Ian McKellen just oozes panache, and Hugh Jackman really ought to be a star—no, I don't find him attractive, but he just has terrific screen presence, dreadful hair and all.

As far as trailers: ooooh, Matrix Reloaded. I'm not sure which trailer this was—not the final theatrical, which is all that seems to be on the website now—but it had a beautiful sequence, towards the end, of intercut parallel shots of jumps/flips/pikes/general arcing motion. Ooooh, pretty. (It's like watching diving, only with better clothes.) The eponymous Hulk looks disturbingly like Shrek; I don't think we'll be seeing that. I could probably see The Italian Job, being a sucker for caper films, even though I suspect that we saw most of the movie in the trailer. Everything else looked dire.

On Sunday, we bought a swing (as in porch, though this one is freestanding with its own cover, not as in playground) and Chad spent most of the afternoon putting it together. I made a risotto with shrimp that, to my philistine tastebubs, is just as good when you boil the rice as when you simmer. (Is there really a difference?) I'd meant to update both this and the book log after dinner, but I was still so tired from the week (the hotel bed was dire) that I just stared the screen blankly for a while, mindlessly playing Bejeweled, and then went to bed in a stupor.

This promises to be an interesting week. I have the Mental Hygiene calendar this month, which basically means appearing every Thursday at hearings that determine whether people who've been committed to a mental health facility, stay committed; and on Friday, I have at least one oral argument. Also, though I told rysmiel that we wouldn't make Montreal this weekend because we needed the time at home, I have discovered that thanks to miscommunication here, we actually have a prior commitment for Saturday, and maybe a new one for Sunday too. Whee. Which means I should go to bed instead of writing enormous LJ posts . . .