Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 3, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

NEGLIGENCE....Four years ago Jose Aguado Cervantes crossed the border from his home in Tijuana into the United States. Customs agents searched his car and found 119 pounds of marijuana hidden in his car's bumpers, so they arrested him and sent him to jail.

Fair enough, right? Not quite: it turns out he had bought the car at a U.S. marshal's auction and the marijuana was already there. Oops.

Anyway, Cervantes, a 67-year old grandfather, is now suing the U.S. government for negligence, which seems like a pretty open and shut case, but the feds are fighting it. On Monday they lost:

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the government's argument against Cervantes' negligence claim is "patently without merit" and "so off-the-mark as to be embarrassing."

....The government's arguments, they said, "simply fail the straight-face test."

That seems about right.

Kevin Drum 8:41 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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