I'm as thrilled as anyone that Tommy is out of prison.

That said, he is still in serious legal jeopardy. The contempt finding at Leeds was quashed for procedural reasons, not substantive ones.

Let's talk about what he faces going forward.

A thread.

First, the rationale for his release. The appeals court criticized:

1) the use of the draconian summary procedure,
2) the failure to specify the specific type of contempt and specific behavior at issue, and
3) the failure to fully consider mitigation evidence.
As a result, the case was not dismissed for time served.

The appeals court ordered a rehearing, because it believed that the contempt at issue was "serious."

Tommy will face a different judge, who may well throw him back in jail.
Two months ago I discussed how Tommy likely violated the reporting restrictions imposed on the underlying grooming trial. That is still the case.

Tommy will still not get the benefit of a jury trial.

The court only ruled that *summarily* whisking him away to jail 5 hours after the conduct in question was improper.

He will face another judge, who, after considering the evidence, can toss him back in.
This is still an archaic and draconian aspect of UK law.

To explain why, I'll talk about a US Supreme Court case on the same subject - Bloom v. Illinois.

Keep in mind - it was decided in 1968 - 50 years ago.
Bloom had similar facts. The contemnor was summarily 24 months by a judge with no jury trial, and argued that his 6th amendment rights were violated.
The court in Bloom recognized an obvious point that UK courts still, apparently, hasn't grappled with.

If jury trials are important - then criminal contempt, which carries severe consequences, should be tried to a jury!
I made this point two months ago. It still remains one of the most fundamentally unjust things about this case.

Tommy's reporting is a problem because it could taint a jury trial - but no one, apparently, thinks he's entitled to one himself!
British courts argue that the summary power is necessary to maintain the "dignity" of their courts.

Justice White explained why this was bull 50 years ago. Dignity is maintaned not by the "fear of unlimited authority" but by the firm application of standard procedures.
Justice White recognized that some contempt can be taken seriously.

But if it's serious enough to mandate heavy punishment (up to two years, in Britain!) then it's serious enough to justify a jury trial.
And if the court needs to use the summary power to maintain order in the courtroom, it can do so without imposing draconian sentences on a whim. For petty contempts, in the United States, the summary power is still available. ("Petty" meaning less than 6 months max sentence.)
To sum up: Tommy is still facing a "committal" of up to two years in jail, and he has no right to a jury trial.

This is simply wrong, and it's an injustice worth talking about.
I'll have more later about the injustice of the underlying reporting restrictions, which again people seem to be taking for granted.

Remember - Tommy is in jail for reporting on a criminal trial.

That couldn't happen in the United States, and it shouldn't happen in the UK.


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More from @willchamberlain

Oct 6, 2018
Almost three weeks ago, I called this a shit-test.

It was a test of Republicans' spine - a test of whether they would break in the face of an unverifiable, unfalsifiable, uncorroborated allegation.

They are about to pass.

I called @ChuckGrassley a "peacetime Senator" and called for his removal as @senjudiciary chair.

He proved me wrong.

He showed his mettle.

Thank you, Senator.

And thanks to the Senator's staff as well - Mike Davis (@mrddmia) first and foremost.

Also, thank you @senatemajldr.

No one has done more to improve their standing in the last year than Cocaine Mitch.

He went from bete noire to folk hero.

We have a true gangster running the Senate, and we should be grateful.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
Starting a commentary thread

Both Grassley and Feinstein are speaking too long

Neither are compelling speakers

Both would have been well served by shorter speeches

Also, at this point, Republicans of all stripes despise Feinstein

The longer she talks, the worse it is for Ford

As an aside: Notice how hard it is to sound persuasive and authentic when you are READING a speech

Your tonality when you read is often different than when you speak

It’s necessary here because people give have to read from prepared opening statements
Read 17 tweets
Sep 26, 2018
We need an FBI investigation into the Democratic plot to smear Brett Kavanaugh! #ConfirmKavanaugh pscp.tv/w/bnrZIDUzMzM2…
Senate Democrats have stated that:

- the burden of proof is on the accused
- there is no presumption of innocence
- innocent people demand FBI investigations of their own behavior if they are accused of wrongdoing

They must call for an FBI investigation into themselves!
Democrats like @ChuckSchumer say there is NO EVIDENCE that Senate Democrats colluded to smear Brett Kavanaugh.

They should welcome an FBI investigation then! After all, if they are innocent, they have nothing to hide!


Read 5 tweets
Sep 19, 2018
Obvious questions for Christine Blasey Ford:

- Why were you and your husband in couples therapy?
- Why did this accusation come up for the first time in couples therapy?
- Did your husband pressure you to come forward now?

Christine Blasey Ford and her husband were married in 2002.

The first time she told *anyone* "of the incident in any detail" was 2012.

She kept this from her husband for OVER TEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE.

And then it came up - in couples therapy.

This is my thesis (and to be clear this is just me extrapolating from public info)

I think Christine Blasey Ford fabricated this story in 2012 to save her marriage.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
The Kavanaugh circus is a reminder of why I voted for Trump.

Democrats are utterly ruthless. They will lie, cheat, steal, and smear to gain power. And they are institutionally bigoted towards straight white men.

Ignore the concern-trolling.

#ConfirmKavanaugh #MAGA
“Just switch to Barrett!”

Hell no.

You saw the hearings.

You saw the Democrats baying for blood.

Think they’ll be satisfied with just one scalp?

If there was ever a time to stand and fight, it’s now.

If Republicans give in they will lose the House and Senate. 100%. No one will vote for a party of cowards.

The accusation is patent bullshit. Judge Kavanaugh has categorically denied it. The end.

Read 4 tweets
Sep 10, 2018
Tolerance is our greatest strength.
Diversity is a stressor.

Tolerance is a measure of antifragility
“Diversity is our greatest strength” is a meme designed to increase a society’s tolerance
Read 4 tweets

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