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Third Branch

Judge orders state to stop taking assets; Seizure of abandoned property forbidden until officials improve system for letting owners know

A federal court judge Friday barred the state from seizing abandoned assets such as forgotten bank account balances or lost stocks and bonds until officials develop a better way to notify people that their property is about to be taken.

The ruling means that fewer property owners will have their assets revert to the state and then be sold to help balance . . . [the state's] budget.

Wow, who knew there were such conservative property rights activists sitting on federal benches over there in California?

Go figure.

BTW, that particular judge -- William Shubb -- was appointed by George H.W. Bush.

Padilla judge won't toss FBI wiretaps

A federal judge refused Friday to toss out FBI wiretap evidence in the Jose Padilla terrorism support case, rejecting an attempt by defense attorneys to prevent jurors from hearing conversations about Osama bin Laden and other well-known Islamic extremist leaders.

Cry me a river.

That federal judge -- Marcia Cooke -- was appointed by George 'Dubya' Bush.

Key decisions remain for Supreme Court

Important cases on race in schools, campaign finance and student speech rights are still to be decided before the Supreme Court adjourns for the summer.


Okay, well, what the heck, predictions are in order:

1. The race-in-education cases will be 5-4 or perhaps 4-4-1 plurality decisions. Either way Justice Kennedy will cast the deciding votes as far as the cases themselves are concerned. Seattle's blatent racial gerrymandering plan is going bye-bye. Depending on what Justice Kennedy had for breakfast, so-called 'affirmative action' in public schools might generally be dealt a severe defeat.

2. The campaign finance case is an easy one -- the High Court will reign in McCain-Feingold.

3. The 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' case will be a 6-3 decision in favor of the students. Justices Thomas, Alito and Scalia will dissent.

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