Bricker, you are not a law professor

The Fake Marine in full uniform at his High School reunion is found out by classmate & arrested With pic took on a hijack, and rather than paste a lengthly reply there I thought it more appropriate to spin it off here. It’s not a pitting per se (it was originally written for GD), but I believe this is the right forum to directly address other posters.

My apologies that this is a biased and ill-written summary — corrections are welcome:

The OP was about a civilian who was arrested and charged with impersonating a soldier. The law covers impersonating a soldier, claiming to have been a soldier, and claiming to have won a medal (all false claims). Aside from universally calling the person a douchebag (I believe it actually started in IMHO), a debate evolved over the relation between the law and the First Amendment.

Then the genesis for this thread occurred (again, corrections welcome). In a familiar move, Bricker started playing law professor to correct a poster with a semantic argument generally irrelevant to the specific topic being discussed.

Which set off the hijack. I got dragged into it, and there was a lot of back-and-forth among myself, Bricker and other posters. Here is where my reply originally written for GD began (again, my apologies if I cast this unfairly, as I said I originally wrote this as part of that thread and wasn’t thinking I’d be synopsizing it.):

Mock him/her all you want, Bricker but the thing is your shenanigans are that much more apparent to those of us with legal training. We’ve been 1Ls, where demands for exactitude have a pedagogical reason — definitionally, practically, and conceptually. But there was a difference between questions in class or office hours and relatively casual conversations over dinner or elsewhere. Professors weren’t there to feed their egos. And we’ve been 2Ls, 3Ls, and practitioners, and shifted focus, reframed parameters, and a host of other manoeuvres for practical and good ends. It’s the nature of the adversarial system.

But during that time we also learned to manage our social lives, and recognize the difference between situations. We learned, for example, to recognize that hyper-specificity is very important in contractual settings and disputes, but not in disputes about who does more housework on the weekend. We learned to understand what someone is saying, despite knowing that there are several other interpretations, and learned not to jump on one that is least favorable.

It’s a silly little game and hiding behind a slogan. There is ample ground for extreme specificity — a thread parsing out what how the Second Amendment relates to militias, or whether torture is punishment, for example. But reflexively hijacking threads just to play law professor is a transparent sop to your ego, not fighting ignorance.

But this isn’t GQ and the should/does distinction was not germane until you put on your professor costume and started the hijack. You’re **not **a scientist correcting terminology. You’re not popping in to say “Molecules are not atoms,” and then continuing the discussion. Rather, it’s like derailing discussions with arguments about Leibniz and proper credit in a discussion of orbital mechanics.
What’s really funny is that you also claimed that this derailment — this derailment that has you championing specificity — started with you answering a question about who made a “should” or “does” argument and then dragging me in for some schooling. But consider the exchange:

This really reveals the extreme bullshit of casting this as a case of Bricker innocently fighting ignorance. Notice that the post you quoted ended with a question about whether the law passed an Appellate Court.

Which is why I poked fun at you in my response. Playing the coulda woulda shoulda game just means that no one can say that the Constitution permits or denies anything, because the Court changes, because no two fact patterns are identical, etc. It’s fun to learn about law and language, but tedious when used to shit in a thread.

You are aware that Bricker is a lawyer, right? And thus, has “legal training” himself?

Objection, the witness hasn’t been sufficiently qualified as an expert.

Well, yeah, that’s kind of the point he’s making: Bricker might be able to snow us laymen, but others with legal training can more easily see that Bricker is dicking around.

So tell me this. We’re in GD. Poster makes a claim that the law against mopery is violative of the First Amendment. It’s not a side issue. It’s right on point to the thread.

And the prevailing statute and case law says otherwise – it holds that mopery may be criminalized without offending the First Amendment.

But in your view, I should not use that piece of information to counter that poster’s point in debate, because it’s hyper-specific?

Or are you saying I just chose a particularly assholish way of presenting it?

Or something else?

I see. (But then, I’m not a lawyer. :wink: So I was snowed.)


Yes. This is a reflection of a quick summary that didn’t capture everything, and of converting an in-thread GD post to a standalone OP here.

There was an exchange between Bricker and others that I believe started with DCMS’s “You are aware, aren’t you, that not everybody else in the world is a lawyer, right?” (It’s in the quote above).

Furthermore, my point of the quote you posted was that not only is his schtick apparent to non-lawyers, it’s that much more so to those who have been through it before under a different setting.

[Aside] The Google ad in my view of this thread is for Scientology - has this happened before?! [/Aside]

Objection: thread was in MPSIMS when you started throwing legal wankery to the simple opinion that “the unauthorized wearing of military medals should not be a criminal offense.”

mhendo expressed an opinion, you had to go all Westlaw on him. I’ve defended you before, Bricker, but this one reeked of “I’m a (former) lawyer, me.”

Missed the edit window:

How is it not germane??

Guy says, " In any event, where in your copy of the Constitution does it protect the right to defraud people?"

You reply, “I have one of those shiny Constitutions with the First Amendment intact. . . . But if you want to continue to defame the Constitution by criminalizing speech, understand that that’s more repugnant than flag burning, and far more insulting to the honor of those who served to protect the Constitution.”

So while my insult is to put something snarky here, I’ll just ask openly and honestly: how do you figure that what the caselaw actually says here is not germane to this exchange?

Well… that’s a fair point.

My response was out of line for MPSIMS.

Bricker, a simple question to you then: is it ever permissible in any thread, anywhere on the SDMB to post that a law “should not” be on the books?

Of course.


What I had a problem with in the thread under discussion was the claim that the law DID violate the First Amendment. A claim that it SHOULD BE CONSIDERED as violative of the First Amendment, I have no heartburn with. A claim that the law SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN PASSED, I’m fine with.

And as I already acknowledged, in MPSIMS or IMHO I should not have even jumped on the former.

And sorry for missing the edit window on my reply; I had not seen yours. Mea maxima culpa, as either a lawyer or a former ecclesiastical historian might say.

[aside]I, by the way, fully recognize the inherent dickishnish to starting a pit thread and not being able to keep up with it as I should. I generally only have time for one well thought out (or half thought out) post per day or so, so my replies will be sparser than they should. Again, I start out thinking Pit thread, but the GD post got too long so I cleaved this off here.[/aside]

I think it’s conceit. I think that injecting semantics regarding should/does unnecessarily hijacks the thread merely to showcase technical correctness. Whether or not DCMS, I, or anyone properly phrased the opening of their response does not speak to the merits of the response.

It’s proper and correct to ding a Jeopardy! contestant for failing to answer with a question, and even proper to do so during the Home Version of the Game. But in discussing the answer itself, whether or not it started with a question has no bearing on the answer part of the answer.

It’s proper, correct, and relevant to argue --and win-- on standing in a Pledge of Allegiance case. But if people are having a general discussion about the case’s merits, that subtle side issue, though procedurally dispositive, is not germane.

Have you really lost the ability to tell the difference between semantical issues and issues on the merits?

Lawyers do battle in the pit!

It’s like watching sharks at feeding time.

When Lawyers attack… NEXT ON FOX!

Had you stuck with questions of Constitutionality, we could make Constitution and eggs if we some had eggs.

This is somewhat illustrative of the question of whether you have lost the ability to tell when you’re playing like a lawyer. You ostensibly have the reading comprehension skills to see that the point of this thread, and the main thrust of the many replies to your hijack (including your own replies) had nothing to do with whether the law was Constitutional or not.

You shit on DCMS and others for failing to use the proper could/should/does form. You called him/her out for not being appointed to the judiciary, blah blah blah. That was the sidetrack. That was what I was replying to when I instead put it here. Now you’re trying to shift to “but I was talking about case law.”

It’s a billing nightmare!!

Can we get Dick Cheney to ref?

It’s called pettifogging. It means throwing up small clouds of bullshit to confuse the issue. Real lawyers don’t make a practice of it. I suspect that this tendency of Bricker’s is why he does not actually practice law. Try it in the real world and you lose your credibility very quickly. Try it on the SDMB and you can get a few morons to think you are making a real point.