January 24, 2008

Suhr takes another Knapp

Further to my post below, I had occasion to look at the case following immediately on Daniel Suhr's reference to State v. Cleaver.

As discussed previously, in his latest piece of anti-Louis Butler politicking, Suhr wonders whether (1) State v. Knapp has been "used as precedent for further decisions," and whether (2) "other courts [have] accepted or rejected the rationale and rule offered[.]"

He then presents a purported example of the foregoing from Ohio, State v. Farris (.pdf; 20 pgs.).

Of Farris, Suhr writes: "[T]he Ohio Supreme Court cited Knapp and one other state supreme court decision to hold that the Ohio Constitution provided broader pre-Miranda evidence gathering protection than the U.S. Constitution." Emphases added.

The impression Suhr is attempting to convey, clearly, is that the Ohio court relied on Knapp, or used Knapp as authority in support of its disposition. Except it didn't. The Farris court reached its conclusion independently, based on, among other things, previous holdings of the Ohio Supreme Court. But not Knapp.

The sole mention of Knapp in the entire opinion is as an aside. The Farris court simply observes, at the conclusion of its own independent analysis, that its decision happens to put Ohio in accord with Wisconsin on a particular question of law. That's it, that's all. No reliance on Knapp, and no citation to Knapp as authority.

So, as for the Ohio case of State v. Farris, the answer to Suhr's own two questions are (1) No and (2) Neither. To be sure, Knapp was not used as precedent in Farris. And Farris neither accepted nor rejected Knapp's "rationale and rule."

Which raises the question: Why in the world is Suhr using this Ohio case in support of his premise that Knapp has "been relied on by parties in Wisconsin and in other jurisdictions scores of times"?

The answer, obviously, is that Suhr has a preordained political thesis in mind, has set about gathering evidence in support of that thesis, and has few qualms about presenting as "evidence" citations to the law that, on closer inspection, in no way support his conclusion.

Additionally, there is a dissent in Farris. It's worth mentioning that while the dissenters disagree with the majority, their disagreement has nothing to do with Knapp either. Rather, their fundamental objection turns on whether the circumstances of a police confiscation of a bag of marijuana following a traffic stop should be evaluated according to the Fifth Amendment's Self-Incrimination Clause or the Fourth Amendment's Search and Seizure Clause. The dissenters don't mention Knapp at all.

Nor has Suhr any legitimate business mentioning Farris for the purpose of maligning Justice Butler. Bad form, Daniel.


Anonymous said...

What transparent fraudulence on the apprentice's part. I tend to agree that he combines the worst of both worlds, an errant reading of the law with the blindness of the zealot. But whatever. He's exposed in any case.

Don't take this as an insult, but it's just a matter of legwork to give the lie to these SOBs and their "analyses." It's the neat trick that they pull all the time-thinking that simply because something has footnotes, it's a scholarly document (e.g., any of Ann Coulter's writings).

So, comes now Illusory Tenant to do the Lord's Work. I'm not taking anything away from his legal acumen, but all it takes is for someone to actually CHECK OUT WHAT THEY ARE SAYING, instead of, say, publishing it on the front page of the Journal Sentinel with the academic patina. Hell, it's how Charlie gets away with calling himself a scholar and likely how Jessica McBride somehow insinuated herself into an academic setting. (Maybe the latter example is not the best.)

Anyway, keep giving 'em hell.

illusory tenant said...

I'll cop to doing the Lord's Work.

capper said...

In the hypothetical situation that Suhr would lose his position for his faulty and libelous posting, would that mean he was given a Knapp-sack?

illusory tenant said...

Wild hyperbole, such as the suggestion that Louis Butler is detrimental to the "safety, prosperity, and health of the citizens of many states, especially Wisconsin," is not so much defamatory as manifestly silly.

Fortunately for both of us, silly speech is generally protected speech.

Anonymous said...

Oh, deary dear, what a mess.

Master Suhr is dissembling at full speed regarding how the Ohio Supreme Court used that Wisconsin case. But let's set that aside.

The interesting fact to me is that the everyone in the majority on the Ohio decision -- Justices Pfeifer, O'Connor and Lanzinger, along with Chief Justice Moyer -- is a lifelong, old-school, law-and-order Republican. The notion that some wild-eyed liberal from another state could lead those four people down the garden path toward a real world Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is preposterous beyond description.

illusory tenant said...

Thanks, Counsellor. Interesting to me too.