We are joined on this episode by Andrew Torrez. Mr. Torrez is an attorney at the Law Offices of P. Andrew Torrez. He is also the co-host of the outstanding podcast Opening Arguments.
[3:11] We covered a pretty broad set of subjects from how to avoid being “fake news”, meaning what is the process of analyzing the news in a way that is fact based;
[19:40] Is our current environment pushing the boundaries of the three co-equal branches of government? Short answer is “Yes”;
[39:15] How does a legal mind explain originalism and the legal theory behind using precedent;
[1:15:00] And finally, we are in seriously dangerous territory by driving judges from office.
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3 thoughts on “RM85: Special Guest Andrew Torrez”
I originally sent this as an email because the episode hadn’t been publicly posted yet; reposting it here for completeness.
On your comments regarding the judge who was apparently drummed out of office for his unpopular decision on elevating a juvenile to adult court, and the subsequent discussion on whether or not it is a good idea to allow public outcry to determine the suitability of our judiciary, it reminds me of the situation back in the 90’s, I forget exactly when, but in the Supreme Court of Tennessee there was Justice Penny White, who rendered a number of opinions that were picked up by the media and public to the effect that she was attempting to turn vicious criminals loose onto the streets and that she was just too soft on criminals. There was such tremendous public outcry that she was removed from the Tennessee Supreme Court for these egregious decisions.
The internet was still sort of new at that time, but wondering what all the fuss was about, I proceeded to see if I could find out. I was able to download the case opinions that were deemed so problematic from the TSC website, where I read her opinions and discovered that (1) No convicted criminal was at risk of being released and (2) her opinions typically really had nothing to do with the convicted criminals per se at all; in fact, her argument was that the government had not sufficiently met its burden of proof and therefore the sentence (I believe, not the judgement itself) must be remanded for reconsideration. This has been a long time and the details are kind of fuzzy anymore, but I think that’s the gist of it.
Point is, here was a state supreme court justice whose career was torpedoed over right-wing public uproar. All those ultra-conservative do-gooders could only wish they had kept Justice White if they or their family members had ever ended up in the criminal justice system. I thought at the time that what happened with her was scary, and what’s going on now at all levels is perhaps scarier still.
BTW, love the podcast.
In spite of my flawed memory, I think I was mostly correct in my above comment on former Justice White. You can read a little more about her on Wikipedia:
My case was handled by three very vicious, bigoted women-two lawyers, a prosecutor, a public defender, and a judge-the latter appointed by Clinton and all democrats. The thing they all had in common was their gendeer biased hatred of ANY sort of porn. When encountering legal porn, they would charge it as 12-16 child porn-as they did in my case. My entire arrest, arraignment, subsequent hearings et al were very reminiscent of procedures from the Spanish Inquisition, with psychological torture and false information leading to a coerced plea of guilty. My point is that all these First amendment busting laws were promulgated by Democratic legislatures during the administration of a president who was also ultimately proved an adjudicated sex offender himself. My point is that I am hoping that all this latter day talk about Constitutionality and Civil RIGHTS from the right wingers in government (allies of Trump) and the fact that there are now TWO SCOTUS justices who should know what it feels like to be convicted in the court of public opinion might be willing to provide some relief for those of us entrapped and so tortured because we were too poor to lawyer up properly.