Jeralyn Merritt of Talk Left has always had a stubbornly sensible streak about her when it comes to the absurdities of her side’s legal-themed shenanigans, and sometimes it gets loose. Case in point: her addressing of basic reality on the Martin-Zimmerman case, and exactly why the ACLU was smart to reverse course and get out of any further race-baiting in the form of trying for federally-spawned hate crimes charges.
Thousands may turn out to march, but millions will close their ears because of what they see as the unfair connection to George Zimmerman, a man with no history of racial animus, who a jury determined was not guilty of any crime at a trial at which no one alleged he acted out of racial animosity, and the connection to Trayvon Martin, whom they do not view as an innocent, but as someone who committed an unprovoked physical assault and unfortunately lost his life because the person he assaulted lawfully defended himself.
Others who will be turned off: Those who know that stand your ground laws had nothing to do with Zimmerman being found not guilty. He would have been found to have acted in self defense with or without the duty to retreat language, because the testimony and evidence at trial showed he had no place to retreat to once attacked by Martin.
It would be at this point that I should note certain state legislation co-sponsored by Barack Obama and passed in 2004. While it is not precisely a “stand your ground” bill (H/T: @JohnEkdahl)- certainly the Obama administration would do its level best to argue that it is not – the legislation itself is still a horrible PR problem for the administration:
Deletes all. Amends the Criminal Code of 1961. Provides that in no case shall any act involving the justified use of force in defense of one’s self or another person or in defense of one’s dwelling or other property give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting as an aggressor, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force. Effective immediately.
Senate Floor Amendment No. 2
Permits a claim for liability if the act involved willful or wanton misconduct[*].
…which means, essentially, that if the Obama administration says a single word to encourage a civil suit against Zimmerman then it will be obligated to explain why state Senator Barack Obama was so eager to cosponsor a bill that gave protections that President Barack Obama apparently doesn’t want extended in this case. Especially since the real answer – He didn’t read it: Barack Obama was always ready to jump on a bandwagon, not to mention siging whatever the Democrats put in front of him – is not so much an explanation or an exoneration as it is an embarrassing confession.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*This would probably be the immediate line of defense for Obama’s apologists, if and when the existence of this legislation becomes sufficiently publicly awkward for the administration to justify any kind of push-back**. Watching non-lawyers (including myself!) try to argue the specific definitions of legal terms is apparently high comedy for lawyers; so I’ll let others get to it, particularly since the law mentioned is from Illinois and thus not applicable to Florida cases. Alas for said apologists, Barack Obama is also from Illinois, and his officially stated opinion on the legitimacy of civil cases involving self-defense is applicable here… at least until the end of January 2017.
**I consider that scenario to be somewhat low probability.