Justiceline: October 14, 2011

Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice’s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice.

  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) writes Attorney General Eric Holder requesting an investigation into whether banks illegally colluded to set higher debt card fees.
  • The previously uncontroversial confirmation of Judge Alison Nathan, who just became the second openly gay woman ever to be confirmed to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge, suddenly turned ugly yesterday after two anti-gay groups came out against her nomination. Every single Republican senator who voted followed the far right groups lead and opposed her nomination.
  • Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, a former top Supreme Court advocate who traded away his credibility to tout constitutionally-unsound tenther proposals, raised over a million dollars for his U.S. Senate run.
  • Sheryl Gay Stolberg profiles the religious conservative law school that educated Michele Bachmann.
  • Garrett Epps explains the absurd facts underlying a strip search case recently heard by the Supreme Court:
  • Imagine, gentle reader, that you decide to become a criminal mastermind. The first step to global domination will be smuggling contraband — that is, weapons or drugs — into the Burlington County, New Jersey, jail. Your scheme is worthy of Oswald C. Cobblepot: You will insert the offensive items into a bodily cavity or affix them on an inconspicuous part of your body. Then, you and your wife and child will climb into the family BMW. To divert suspicion from your plan, you will place your wife behind the wheel, then have her commit a routine traffic infraction. (Luckily, you are African American, thus making a police stop far more likely.) When you are stopped, you will immediately identify yourself, thus ensuring that the police officer will find an invalid warrant against your name. You will play Tom Sawyer, producing documents suggesting that the warrant has been satisfied. This is a clever ploy: you appear reluctant to be arrested, when in fact it is your fondest wish.
  • So far, the plan has functioned flawlessly. There is still, however, a potential flaw: because the warrant is invalid, the police can thwart your scheme by simply presenting you to a magistrate upon arrest, as they should do, rather than processing you into the jail. But luck is with you: the officers ignore the law and frog-march you into the hoosegow.
  • But then — holy lockdown! — the alert jail staff, in violation of New Jersey law, conduct a strip search of your person. Foiled!