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Supreme Justice

Supreme Justice

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Supreme Justice

Longitud:
152 página
2 horas
Publicado:
Aug 7, 2010
ISBN:
9781452362854
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

Jason Rhineman,son of a billionaire,is addicted to drugs and drifting without meaning or accomplishment. In a drug rage he kills his girlfriend and her Mother and is sentenced to life in prison. His Father has other plans for his son, and uses his power and money to blackmail Supreme Court Justices to get Jason released. But neither can escape the supreme justice that awaits them once he is free.

Publicado:
Aug 7, 2010
ISBN:
9781452362854
Formato:
Libro

Sobre el autor

I have been writing since I was a young child. I have diverse interests, so my books tend to cover a lot of genres. I began writing for my own satisfaction, but eventually decided I wanted to share my work. Watch for more books on Smashwords and in print at Wordclay in the near future.I live in Huntington Beach, California and have many hobbies, including softball, which I have played since I was very young.

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Supreme Justice - Patricia Bushman

Bushman

FOREWORD

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in the United States with nine members, consisting of the Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. The number of Justices has varied at times, from as few as five to as many as ten, but has stayed at nine since 1869. Most have served with honor and some with distinction.

Currently the Chief Justice is John W. Roberts and the eight Associate Justices are Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Antonin G. Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Since its creation there have been 112 Supreme Court Justices and the average length of service on the Court has been 16 years, primarily because of death, but often due to retirement. Occasionally there is a resignation. Since 1970 the average length of service has been 26 years.

The Chief Justice is allowed to have as many as five clerks to assist him, while Associate Justices are allowed four. These clerkships are eagerly sought and can become the basis for tremendous success throughout the clerk’s career. There is some degree of debate that too many of the clerks are selected from Ivy League schools to the detriment of other law school graduates.

Only one person in history has served both as the President of the United States and as a Supreme Court Justice. William Howard Taft holds that distinct honor.

Power to nominate a Justice for a Supreme Court vacancy is vested in the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Hearings are conducted in the Senate on whether or not the candidate will be confirmed. There have been Presidential selections, such as Harriet Miers, a long time associate of George W. Bush, who never made it to the Senate confirmation stage. Others, such as Clarence Thomas, have endured the intense grilling and character degradation in the Senate hearings before being finally confirmed.

A civil or criminal case is first heard in a lower jurisdiction, such as a County or State Court. The results may be appealed as far as the State Supreme Court, then finally through the Federal appeals courts up to the Supreme Court. The party filing an appeal is called an appellant and the party on the opposite side of the case is called a respondent.

The Supreme Court has direct jurisdiction over a few Federal matters but is primarily an appellate court. A person may file an appeal to have their case reconsidered if they’ve lost in the lower courts because the judge did not correctly apply the law or because a finding of fact was unreasonable, based on the evidence.

An appeal is not a retrial of the case, but is rather an examination of the trial record and whether the proceedings were conducted in a fair manner. Oral arguments are sometimes, but not always scheduled for a Supreme Court appeal.

An appellate court is looking for fundamental error in the heart of the case; harmful error that had a probable impact; or reversible error, which overturns the lower court’s decision. A criminal conviction that resulted from a trial has an absolute right to appeal.

Debate persists about whether the Supreme Court, or any other court for that matter, was intended to make law. In the formation of the nation, the intention was for legislators to make law and for courts to apply those laws. The United States court system has strayed from that intention, sometimes making law by means of interpretation. In their defense, it is fair to say the founders had no conception of how much the world would change, making hair splitting legal decisions an everyday necessity.

There have been controversial decisions by the Supreme Court, such as the determination of the 2000 Presidential election. The debate continues over whether the court had the jurisdiction and authority to make the ruling that the recount was to be stopped, thereby ending the State of Florida’s right to independent elections and the candidates’ rights to a recount. Just over five hundred votes decided that George W. Bush would be President and not Albert Gore. Nonetheless the court marches forward with decisions that enrage, alarm, or thrill.

While reading the remainder of these pages keep in mind that this is a work of fiction entirely derived from my imagination and is in no way intended to mirror the actual workings of the Supreme Court nor to disparage the fine men and women who currently serve on the Court. Many liberties have been taken in the processes, procedures, and powers of the Supreme Court clerks and Justices.

*****

PART ONE

Chapter One

Southern California weather is unequaled anywhere else in the world and this October evening was no exception. The temperature was a mild seventy degrees. A light breeze stirred the air and fluttered through the trees, causing leaves that had not yet fallen to the ground to tremble precariously.

Jason Rhineman wasn’t thinking of the weather or even aware of its appeal. He wasn’t a happy man. He’d tried for hours to reach Lenny, but the man wasn’t taking his calls. He owed Lenny some money, but so what? He was good for it. He’d paid the man thousands of dollars over the years and shouldn’t be cut off just because he was a little short at the moment.

Jason wasn’t aware of much of anything beyond the need of his body for the meth he used on a daily basis. Because of Lenny he’d been forced to search out another source and it had taken him hours to find one.

He’d finally met up with Danny just a half hour before in Costa Mesa. Danny’s location changed often, and it’d taken Jason nearly a half dozen phone calls to track him down. The hunger had gnawed with increasing intensity as each minute passed, until he handed over his last hundred dollars to Danny and got what he had to have.

He was still a little shaky from the long day of craving, but now, finally, he felt the familiar rush as the drug coursed through his body.

Jason Rhineman was twenty six years old, tall and quite handsome when his face wasn’t lined with strain from being strung out. He had been using drugs of one kind or another since he was sixteen. The first time was with Ronnie and David, his long ago friends from high school. They had sneaked a joint into Ronnie’s bedroom and took turns puffing until there was only a tiny stubble left. Almost immediately after the marijuana was gone, Jason craved more. His first time out, and he had no way to know it then, but he had stepped onto the path to drug addiction.

Craving, always craving. Nowadays he had to feed the habit daily or suffer the agony that he’d experienced for the last twenty four hours. It didn’t matter much what he used anymore and he didn’t care what it was, as long as it relieved the need. He often settled for whatever was most easily obtainable. Methamphetamine was his drug of choice because of the euphoric and intense high it brought to him and, when he could, he stuck with that. Tonight he had scored enough meth to get him through a couple of days.

His old man had never seemed to notice that Jason ran through his money quickly or that he was always broke within a few days of getting his check. Charles Rhineman was too occupied with his own life and, most recently, with his new twenty nine year old wife. Just three years older than him, Jason often thought bitterly.

Charles Rhineman could well afford to give him more money, but it never occurred to the old man that his son deserved more. Jason knew his Father had to be one of the richest people in the world with all his businesses and investments. He didn’t know exactly what the man was worth, but it had to be plenty.

There were Rhineman factories in a dozen countries, and his Father had homes in five locations. Not to mention the cars. The old man had at least ten of them, all expensive and luxurious.

But he kept his son on a short leash when it came to money. It angered Jason that he had to get by with a weekly pittance, and in his lowest moments he thought about what it would be like if his Father was dead. Because of the papers he knew the new wife had signed before the wedding, Jason was the only heir for most of the fortune, and it would all flow to him someday. His Father couldn’t live forever.

He had thought he would get a sizable portion when he turned twenty one, then again he had hoped at twenty five. But no, his Father wasn’t like other wealthy men. He had not structured such a trust arrangement and Jason had received nothing. What was the big deal that he had dropped out of college? He hated the drudgery of school and the confinement of sitting in a classroom. He had better things to do with his time.

Recently he had learned that he might have to split the money, despite the pre-nups, if Lacy was pregnant as his Father had hinted the last time Jason had seen him. Unbelievable. At sixty years old the man had gotten her knocked up. That was the last straw for his son. Another child would be a major roadblock for Jason’s future plans with the fortune he already thought of as his.

An image of his own sweet Mother flashed painfully through Jason’s thoughts. She’d been the first wife of his Father and as far as Jason was concerned the only real one. She’d loved Jason deeply and unconditionally, and he remembered happier days when she had still been alive. The two of them had been close, probably because of their similar temperaments and personalities. Betty Rhineman was a calming influence on the household, even when his Father insisted that Jason needed to toughen up, to play sports, to learn to fight. It wasn’t in Jason to do any of those things and constant battles ensued between Father and son. Now his peacemaking Mother had been gone for eleven years.

After his Mother’s death there had been a procession of other women in his Father’s life. The disrespect to the memory of his Mother angered Jason further and again he thought about what it would be like if his Father was dead.

He didn’t want to think about any of that tonight, alive or dead didn’t really matter to him. What really infuriated him was the requirement that he had to work every day at the Carson plant like a common laborer, hustling packages together to be shipped out. He showed up, but did as little work as he could without the foreman reporting back to Charles Rhineman. He couldn’t afford to have the money cut off altogether so he put forth the least effort he could, yet still be kept on the payroll.

He missed a few days now and then when he’d been out late and gotten loaded, but so far it hadn’t created a problem. He hadn’t gone to work today and he knew he’d hear about it.

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