Thursday, June 11, 2009

Alex O. v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - June 10, 2009)

I'm glad that Justice Benke decided to publish this opinion. It's important. In large part because I agree with her that it's unconstitutional for a court to tell a U.S. citizen who lives in Mexico that he can't come to the U.S. except to attend school, work, or visit his family. You can't banish people, even as a condition of probation. And it's important to remind people that, especially if (as here) both the trial court and -- even on appeal -- the California Attorney General's Office believe otherwise. (I also agree with Justice Benke, by the way, that it is nonetheless permissible to require the probationer to inform his probation officer in advance whenever he's planning to cross the border.)

I also appreciated the opportunity to read the opinion for another, much less significant, reason. You can buy four pounds of weed in Tijuana for $400?! Dude! I mean, I'm sure it's relatively skanky stuff, but still. $100 a pound? Wow.

Maybe now I understand why the place is so popular. Swine flu and decapitations notwithstanding.