Monday Morning-ish Mash-up: April 16, 2012

After just getting it in under the wire last week, I have failed this week. It is no longer morning. I am ashamed.

But despite my tardiness, I can still provide you with a solid Monday Afternoon Mash-up! It was a good week for the Courts of Appeals, in my opinion. There was a case about the First Amendment rights of a purple octopus. This purple octopus:

And there was a case about an “unsightly and barren goat enclosure.”¬† Okay, so maybe it was just a good week if you like cases that have some relation to animals. But really, who doesn’t?

Okay, so I’ve gotten off track. On with the show. The song of the week is Rialto by The Pica Beats. They were a Seattle band before I moved out here, and then pretty much as soon as I got to town I think they moved to Portland. Oh well. They still play here a fair amount, which is great. This video is from a live performance at the KEXP studios. Enjoy!

And now on to last week’s Court of Appeals decisions:

Gary Merlino Construction Company v. City of Seattle (Division 1, April 9, 2012) — on whether an off-duty police officer directing traffic is an employee of the city for purposes of workers’ compensation.

Speelman v. Bellingham Housing Authority (Division 1, April 9, 2012) — on whether, prior to terminating housing assistance payments, the government must send notice to a person at her actual address (rather than her home address) when it knows the actual address and knows the person is no longer living at home.

Fowler v. Johnson (Division 1, April 9, 2012) — on whether a trial court has discretion to vacate a default judgment for some claims, but not other claims, asserted in a complaint.

Catsiff v. McCarty (Division 3, April 12, 2012) — on whether the First Amendment protects a store owner’s right to paint his store with a purple octopus contrary to regulations governing the height and area of signs.

Kofmehl v. Baseline Lake, LLC (Division 3, April 12, 2012) — on the availability of restitutionary damages following the invalidation of a real estate contract for failing to comply with the statute of frauds.

Gander v. Yeager (Division 2, April 10, 2012) — on the proper standard of review of a trial court’s award of attorneys’ fees, and also some stuff about goats.

Daily Decisions: First Amendment Protects Pornography; It Does Not Protect This Octopus

The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought.

– Justice Anthony Kennedy

It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.

– Justice Louis Brandeis

Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.

– U.S. Const. amend. I

In Catsiff v. McCarty (Division 3, April 12, 2012), the Court of Appeals held that the constitutional freedom of speech does not protect this octopus sign:

Octopus Hiding Behind Rainbow

Or this octopus sign:

Octopus Hiding Behind Buildings

Apparently, the First Amendment protects pornography and unlimited cash contributions to Super PACs, but not a huge painting of a purple octopus. Constitutional law is confusing. Continue reading