Jury says Taylor Swift was groped by radio DJ, awards her a symbolic $1 settlement

A Denver jury decided on Monday that a country radio DJ did grope Taylor Swift before her concert in 2013, awarding the pop star a symbolic $1 after a week-long trial.

.. Mueller denied doing anything inappropriate and sought up to $3 million in damages. Swift then countersued for assault and battery, and asked for $1 in damages — demonstrating that her lawsuit was not about money

.. represents the fact that “no means no, and it tells every woman that they will determine what is tolerable to their body.”

.. I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”

.. “It makes no sense for Taylor Swift to make up this claim,” Baldridge said, who said earlier that Swift’s lawsuit “will serve as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts.”

Can Taylor Swift Lead America Out of the Campus Title IX Wars?

Denver radio personality named David Mueller. At issue is a brief encounter in June 2013. Mueller and his girlfriend took a picture with Swift after a concert. Swift said that Mueller groped her by putting his hand on her behind.

.. Incredibly — and in spite of the awkward pictorial evidence — Mueller sued Swift, attempting to hold her responsible for his lost salary and other business opportunities. Rather than settle the case quietly, Swift did something unusual. She countersued — asking for only $1 in damages — and demanded a jury trial.

.. Swift is showing America — in the most public way possible — that when it comes to adjudicating claims of sexual assault, the choice isn’t a binary one between criminal prosecution and campus kangaroo courts. There’s a third option: civil litigation.

.. Accused students are often denied any substantial legal assistance, access to witnesses, full information about the charges against them, the power to conduct legal discovery, and the ability to effectively question their accusers.

.. completely ignore standard rules of evidence.

.. Civil litigation requires plaintiffs to prove their case only by a “preponderance of the evidence.” Moreover, a plaintiff runs her own case. She can choose to file, she can choose her lawyers, and she can choose to settle. Courts also have far more power than campus tribunals. Unlike a campus court, they can issue injunctions and order defendants to pay compensatory and monetary damages.

.. At the same time, however, the accused enjoys the full array of due-process rights. He can use a lawyer. He has a right to see the evidence against him, a right to question witnesses, and a right confront his accuser. Oh, and the case goes before an impartial judge and a jury of his peers, not an ideologically stacked tribunal of social-justice warriors. The civil-litigation system corrects all the due-process flaws of campus kangaroo courts while also granting the accuser far more power to seek justice for wrongdoing.

.. when the court case is over, the university could take action based on the results — results obtained through the use of full and appropriate due process.

.. There’s simply no way to easily, cheaply, and justly adjudicate sexual-misconduct claims. And there’s certainly no way to painlessly try these cases. It took bravery for Swift to make her claims. But bravery can be contagious ..

Sorry, Mike Pence, You’re Doomed

When a story’s actually wrong, you eviscerate it, exposing its erroneous assertions without ever breaking a sweat. When it’s a stink bomb at odds with your plotting, you set your jaw, redden your face and proclaim it “disgraceful,” never detailing precisely how.

.. On some level, he must realize that he’s in a no-win situation. Without Trump he’s nothing. With Trump he’s on a runaway train that he can’t steer or brake. If it doesn’t crash, Trump can scream down the tracks straight through 2020. If it does, Pence will be one of the casualties.

.. So why has Pence formed a political action committee, the only sitting vice president ever to do so? Why is he taking all these meetings, building all these bridges? I guess there could be some imaginable future in which Trump falls and Pence is left standing strong enough to soldier on. But mostly he’s in denial, and he’s living very dangerously.

.. The scenarios are myriad, and to prepare for them, Pence indeed needs an infrastructure and a network of his own. But there’s simply no way to assemble those without looking disloyal to Trump and courting the wrath of alt-right types who know how to go on a Twitter jihad.

  • Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, whose unofficial 2020 campaign commenced even before Trump’s inauguration, can raise money, stage news conferences, take up residence on CNN and pick apart Trump’s proposals all he wants.
  • Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska can style himself as a humble, homespun remedy to Trump’s cupidity and histrionics.
  • Tom Cotton of Arkansas can take a calibrated approach, more hawkish than Trump on foreign policy but eager to link arms with him on immigration.

.. Pence, though, is squeezed tight into a corner of compulsory worship. And despite his behind-the-scenes machinations, he has done a masterful job of appearing perfectly content there.

.. In news photographs and video, you catch other politicians glancing at the president in obvious bafflement. Not Pence. Never Pence. He moons. He beams. It’s 50 shades of infatuation. Daniel Day-Lewis couldn’t muster a more mesmerizing performance, and it’s an unusually florid surrender of principles.

.. before he agreed to become Trump’s running mate, he blasted Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, tweeting that it was “offensive and unconstitutional,” and fiercely advocated free trade. I’m referring to Pence’s supposed morality.

He trumpets his conservative Christianity and avoids supping alone with any woman other than his wife, then turns around and steadfastly enables an avowed groper with a bulging record of profanely sexual comments.

.. No wonder he wants and expects a reward as lavish as the White House itself: He sold his soul. But I don’t think he studied the contract closely enough and thought the whole thing through.