NOTE: We reserve the right to say thing blatantly offensive and opinionated against those who make a fool of themselves. We are the final arbiters of who is a fool. This post is in no way balanced, nor does it present an unbiased view on anything. With that said, read on!
For a briefer synopsis, read the executive summaries of the closing statements at the end.
Some quotes of the night:
8:00: Taylor Shiells, representing Andrew Brooks: “My client should have run un-opposed, but a series of events eventually caused him to lose.” You mean, the series of events called Democracy?
2:47: Brian: “Objection: why?” The best kind of objection.
5:00: Court: “Would you like to call a witness?”
Taylor (lawyer for brooks):”no!”
7:23: Noam, on being sworn in to give testimony: “Finally I get sweared into something!” Oh snap.
7:28: Q: Noam, did you put up any flyers or anything supporting your campaign?
A: No, I don’t like wasting paper.
1:35: The trial is about to begin! All you readers avidly checking our site (read: verrrrry few, hopefully), stay tuned for frequent updates.
1:40: It appears that the attorney for Brooks is Taylor Shiells, who wrote a ridiculous, scathing, op-ed against Students Against the Judge Rotenberg.
1:42: Shiells’ opening statement
oh noes he attackin’ us! We are “an internet-powered blog that can say whatever it wanted to,” according to Shiells. Insidious.
1:50: Rutrick’s opening statement, made by Brian Paternostro.
He’s saying that the elections commission took action, and yes that may be subjective. But like all decisions, it was one made by a commission according to standard procedure.
He has made the distinction between negative campaigning and libel, arguing that what occurred was the first.
“The elections commission did exactly what it was supposed to do – allow the students to choose the candidate they want.”
1:54: Noam’s opening statement, made by Ryan Mchalwhatever…
Their argument seems to rest on the fact that what was written was not libel at all, but merely opinion.
He’s pretty articulate in our defense, I must say.
1:56: Ryan is addressing the argument that Noam did not meet with an elections commissioner: the rule that one must meet with an elections official was not stated in writing and was thus not applicable.
1:58: Everyone is scurrying around looking for elections rules. What a prepared court… Brooks’ defense appears very over-pompously flustered.
2:00: 1ST WITNESS: Zach Pyle, former elections commissioner
Q: Have there even been complaints against Rutrick during his campaign?
A: Yes, Rutrick emailed clubs telling them that his opponents were all partisans in the Senate.
So-on-and-so-forth. He received a marking against him on the ballot.
1:47: According to this guy, Nelson is an evil overlord who wants to “impose his subjective will upon the elections process.” Double insidious.
He states that Rutrick was penalized during his own elections for libel charges.
Pyle has stated that the fact that we used cross-through as opposed to deletion should be used against us, when we did so only to make readers aware of our own mistakes! This man knows nothing about transparency.
2:07: Internal emails of the elections commission have been introduced.
Oooh apparently we have a read-aloud now. What fun. Shiells doesn’t even trust his own witnesses to read!
2:09: I never knew anyone could make reading emails so hilariously pompous. “DO you recognize these documents? Would you classify them as emails?”…x6.
2:12: An email shows that the issue of whether write-in candidates can campaign was addressed by the elections commission during the election.
Rutrick then wrote that candidates could address the UJ if they wanted (whaddya know?) but he did not see why write-in candidates could not campaign.
2:15: The defense cross-examines. The prosecution keeps making objections against questions being asked, which keep being overruled. Taylor Shiells also keeps making faces which remind me distinctly of a constipated walrus.
2:16: Pyle is being asked about the difference between libel and negative campaigning. He defines libel as “knowing that its false and/or a reckless disregard for the truth.” I find it hard to believe anything we said on IP was a reckless disregard for the truth.
2:21: Brian Paternostro asks about the campaign of another former Senator who won his election in a write-in campaign (and campaigned). Pyle dodges.
2:24: Ryan Mcwhatever tries to submit the election rules that are posted online (NOT the rules Rutrick used this election). Break for recess to figure out the rules… occasionally important for making rules judgements, they are.
2:34: No rules yet, there is a printer jam. Classic.
2:36: New band name: “Email evidence Number 6.”
2:38: We now have some telelapthy attempts: Q: What was Amanda Hecker thinking when she wrote her email evidence numbah 4? Possible idea for late talk show, perhaps?
2:40: Zach – “I ran an illegal write-in campaign in my freshman year. I printed my own fliers, etc. It was very illegal.”
2:44: Zach – The commission has the discretion on how to punish a candidate if a rule is broken. No mandatory punishments.
2:47: Brian: “Objection: why?” The best kind of objection, and the one I give to the prospect of waking up daily.
2:48: Pyle and is ideologically opposed to the concept of the strike-out, in general, apparently. War on internet standard syntax has been declared by the prosecution!
2:50: Shiell’s constipated walrus face makes another appearance.
NEW WITNESS: Michelle Minkoff, previous member of elections commission.
2:55: She seems to be saying that Nelso was baised because he did not appoint her to the elections commission. Presumptous, eh?
(a personal note – I am typing this while chomping on a bagel and lox. Thank you, Senator Sulsky!) ~Sahar
2:57: Michelle: “From what I’ve heard, the elections commissioner appoints members of his commission.” Hearsay! Hearsay!
Shorter Taylor: Nelson is a meanie who didn’t take Michelle on!
Shorter Hughes/Paternoso: Nelson believes that Michelle has a stupid idea of what libel is. Anways, Nelson took on Amanda Hecker, who even ruled against him in a previous campaign. What a gentleman.
WITNESS 3: Yuki Hasegawa.
Yuki ruled with Nelson on the libel issue, but disagreed with him on the issue of write-in campaigns. Fascinating.
Q: What was Rutrick’s response to Yuki’s objection to Noam’s campaigning?
A: Nelson asked the opinion of the rest of the commission and then made a judgement.
3:05: Shiell cannot pronounce his own witness’ name.
3:08: Brian: Would it be fair to say that a discussion occurred and then Mr. Rutrick made a decision?
**Battery in critical condition! Reverting to liveblogging web -2.0 style: with le papier.
3:15 Restarting ze liveblog: featuring special guest contributing laptop. Thank you, audience.
3:15 After this trial there must be a fight to the death – Ryan’s cowboy boot-style-shoes vrs Julia’s
patent-leather boots. Sorry, suede boots. I made a mistake and used a strikethrough. Quick, let’s have another trial! ~Sahar
NEW WITNESS – Justin Sulsky
3:18: UJ just smacked down the Eboard… and us. For talking. Oops. We apologize. You cannot silence the voice of the proletariat! (which we obviously are =P)
3:22: “No libelous statements have actually been submitted.” Soooo what are we all talking about again?
WITNESS 289: Asher Tanenbaum, former chair of the Ways & Means committee. He submitted an amicus brief to the court.
3:26: Q: “Was it within Nelson’s power to define libel and slander for the election?”
A: Not really in terms of libel and slander… but he can define negative campaigning.
Cross examine: (As far as I could understand):
Q: Are you an expert on the Union bylaws and constitution?
Q: Is the rule saying that a candidate must meet with the comission before campaigning in the byulaws or constitution?
Q: Does that elections comissioner have authority over all election rules not in the bylaws or constitution?
Open and shut. Case over! (we wish…)
Ryan Mcwhatever just smacked down Asher Tanenbaum. Asher says that rules can be changed if they aren’t written in the constitution or bylaws. The rule about meeting with candidates is not in the constitution or bylaws. Furthermore, the elections comissioner’s word supercedes the written rules. Threfore Nelson was allowed to let Noam and Kaamilla run.
Question that Ryan isn’t asking: isn’t adding that libel is against the rules after all the sheets with the ‘outrageously offensive’ rule written on them was distributed the same thing? I think so.
3:50: They seem to be trying to adjust their argument in light of the quickly strengthening point that nothing we ever sadi was libelous. Duh. They are trying to say that even if he acted appropriately, his appropriateness indicates bias. I must ask – to what? The troof?
3:52: They apparently want to drop the libel part of their case.
Exclusive executive IP summary by Loki of the discussion following this:
Brooks’ side: There were libelous statements. We refuse to let you see them. but in any case, when Nelson decided that they were in fact not libelous, he was biased. Even if they weren’t libelous. Which we admit they weren’t. So we’re dropping that part of the case. Cause we’re wrong.
Court: WTF you talkin’ bout? You crazy. We only heard your case cause you wanted to prove libel! Were you trying to trick us so we’d hear you blow some hot air out your ass?!?!?
Shiells: But wait you don’t get it! wah wah wah. (makes walrus face)
Court: slams gavel. Taylor. Taylor. stop throwing a tantrum. bad boy.
Taylor: Due to time constraints, our strategy was random. Therefore, its not a suit about law or the right thing. Its a suit about trying to get Brooks the seat illegitimately. Wait, was I supposed to say that?
Court: Uh, do you guys want to take a 5 minute break and sober up before you fuck yourselves over even more?
Brian: Uh, can we make our 5 minute breaks closer to 10 minutes than 15?
Break for recess.
Sheills: Ok everything we said just now was a jk. Get it? A joke! Hahaha, right? Right? Anyways, so they were committing libel. We just had a crisis of faith, but we’re past it. But it was fun, eh?
The trial continues.
4:19: Finally, they are submitting the “libelous” post as evidence.
4:22: I must say, Adam’s post was pretty harsh. His opinion, true, and not one I agree with – I think Sulsky at least and to some extent Brooks have been adequate Senators. But his judgement of their senatorship is opinion, not mistruth.
So what’s going on here? Brooks is acting as his own lawyer. He’s bringing up Adam’s post, random rumors that may or may not exist, a facebook message by lisa hanania, and trying to lump them all together.
4:47: Q: “On innermostparts.org, a comment appeared under the name of Justin Sulsky. THe author claimed to be Justin Sulsky. The first line said “hi, it’s justin sulsky” Did you in fact write this comment?”
A: “yes” Laughter.
4:56: The defense is spending a whole lot of time trying to prove something that has already been proven Arghgh! This trial has a lot of ridiculous beating of dead horses.
4:57: Justice Jordan Rothman is sputtering mad as to why there is more case for libel here than in any other election. His statement is quickly struck from the record. Oh Jordan.
5:00: Court: “Would you like to call a witness?”
Taylor (lawyer for brooks):”no!”
WITNESS: ANDREW BROOKS
5:16: Nelson asks Brooks to read the entire sentence of the “absolutely nothing claim.” Including the key part that says ‘based on their project reports.’
5:18: Jon Kane (representing Brooks) objects on the basis that the claim was in “parentheses” (Jon Kane isn’t smart). See, it doesn’t count because its in parentheses!
5:20: Brooks can’t prove that his project reports say that he did anything for endowment transparency and gender neutral housing.
5:21: “Objection, we’re not here to debate Brooks’ idea that this is libel”
Paternoso: “Objection, we’re totally here to debate Brooks’ idea that this constitutes libel.”
Court: You can’t object to an objection!
5:26: Andrew Brooks doesn’t seem to understand the concept of a yes-or-no question. He just testified that he gave a two-minute speech in favor of the flag resolution. And he seems to want to give two-minute speech in response to over question. And now he’s questioning Brian Paternoso from the witness stand. Yikes.
5:30: Brooks: “Power to the people!” Right on brother.
5:38: We are having some room issues. Apparently a banquet is going to be coming to the room soon… and a performance. The court has admitted that this trial is going on way longer than anyone expected. For the record, we aren’t even half-way through the trial. The respondents haven’t presented their case yet.
5:44: Shorter Andrew Brooks: Saying that “there is no doubt that they would not be friendly toward Israel” may seem to be a statement that may be objectively true or false, but you have to put it in context of the full email, where its justifiable hyperbole.
My response: And saying that you did “absolutely nothing about almost every key progressive issue” can’t be? ~Sahar
Q: Andrew, do you think statements like “Ms. Shuster is a yes-woman, an insider, not an independent thinker” are libel?
A: “Because it’s only a matter of opinion.”
Everyone in the room: Laughter
End of the argument of the Prosecution
The court has denied a motion to dismiss the libel charges without hearing evidence against them. Surprising, especially considering that Brooks admitted even he thought the libel claims were bogus before reconsidering.
WITNESS: Tia Chaterjee
6:01: Tia: Rutrick never made any decisions against the will of the majority of election commissioners, and in fact bowed to the will of the majority when he was in the minority.
6:04: Tia says there aren’t many explicit rules for write-in candidates, and because of that the elections commission was entitled to make its own interpretations. Since facebook is such a new campaigning tool, there were even fewer clear-cut guidelines.
6:09: Judges: “You have to let her answer your question. Even if you don’t like the way she answers it, you have to let her answer it.” Bitchslap to the prosecution.
WITNESS: Nelson Rutrick
Nelson invited Zach, who had penalized him in the previous election, to give input to the discussion.Zach agreed with Nelson that a warning should be sent out, but that he was not strict enough in his examination.
6:18: Nelson: there is precedent in which write-in candidates have been allowed to campaign before their primaries, as often their campaigns are formed day-of. Zach Pyle was on the commission then and had no objections… Is it not curious that he did so in testimony?
6:25: Q: What about the flag resolution?
A: We voted and decided that this did not constitute libel because it lacked malicious intent.
Recess. We were kicked out of the room and have now moved to the multi-purpose room.
7:00: Interesting. The conversation has turned into a small debate over the term ‘union-members’ and whether or not that applies to all students, or just union officials. I’ve always assumed it meant all students. The court feels the same way.
7:03: The court just provided an official definition of the term “Dirty Jew.”
WITNESS: Adam Hughes (the one and only!)
Adam: Yes I knew that the ‘flag statement’ wasn’t true, I just worded it really badly. Innocent Mistake.
So our readers know, ever since moving to the multi-purpose room, we are having some serious ‘volume’ issues. There is a rock band playing loud music downstairs which makes it very difficult to hear the procedings. Especially when the door opens. Taylor’s facial expressions when he can’t hear are quite priceless (read: walrus and bowel-problem related).
7:12: Nelson has to go! His comedic presence will be sorely missed in this courtroom.
An update on the noise situation. The court has ruled that people may not enter and exit the courtroom unless its an emergency. Noam, our future Senator at Large has volunteered to man the door and prevent violators of the court’s rules.
7:16: Adam: “I never called anyone a dinosaur!” To me this is proof that this court case has dissolved into a name-calling battle. For the record, Adam is a dinosaur (velociraptor) and his calling someone a dinosaur would be the utmost compliment.
Exclusive IP executive summary:
7:20: Andrew: why did you not use the words “I feel” when lambasting my grievous offense against your people?
Lisa: English is my third language. I’m sorry if I don’t take into account sociopolitical connotations when I write facebook messages, beeatch!
Andrew: “Uh…. I’m done.”
WITNESS: Noam Shuster, future Senator-at-large
7:23: Noam, on being sworn in to give testimony: “Finally I get sweared into something!” Oh snap.
7:24: I am Israeli. I love the country.
7:27: Noam: “Immediately after winning, I recieived an email telling me I could not do anything – I could not campaign, until I meet Nelson. I called him immediately. I think he was probably in his pajamas or somethyiong, so he needed 10 minutes to get himself together. He came to the campus center and I imediately met with him.”
7:28: Q: Did you put up any flyers or anything supporting your campaign?
A: No, I don’t like wasting paper.
Court: direct quote: “Taylor, please stop talking.” Precisely.
Closing remarks of the Prosecution, Taylor Shiells (disclaimer: our interpretations of the remarks are VERY offensive, and entirely factually accurate):
Nelson never made clear that write-in candidates don’t have to meet with the elections commissioner before campaigning. Simply because it makes obvious sense and the established process of review led to a majority decision that agreed with him means nothing. It is all layers and layers of subtlety! And if there’s one thing I hate, its subtlety. Asher told us campaigning isn’t allowed. He is a better source than multiple elections commissioners, whose job it is to decide stuff like that. Why, you ask? Because he agrees with us, duh. Innermost Parts sucks. They called me a constipated walrus. (Now that’s libel!) On further introspection… I have to take a shit real bad. Who dares call my client a dinosaur? I HATE DINOSAURS! Rargghhhh! If only Adam had threatened to beat my client and used racial slurs on his blog, that would have made my case soooo much easier. That and a good laxative. But where was I? The cross-out is bad as an editing tool. DELETE POWER!!!! Jamie Ansorge once used the motherfuckin’ wrong staples! Therefore, Andrew wins. Those of you who disagree hate Israel. And America. And its flags. I need to shave the chunk of old crab grass on my chin. Layers and layers of subtlety. Did I say that already? You can’t have double standards. Write-in candidates aren’t different. I wish my mother had recognized that I was different. Maybe then I wouldn’t be up here right now, making a fool of myself. Nelson has authority, but only when it makes Andrew Brooks win. If he loses, TAKE IT TO THE COURTS!
End of our unbiased interpretation.
Shiells: “How can you say that the statements against Noam were injurious to her, and the statements made against Andrew were harmless to him?”
By the same logic, how can you say that the statements that were against Brooks were slanderous, but statements made for him, were not? Which is in fact the defense’s case. Thanks Taylor, for arguing our point.
8:00: “My client should have run un-opposed, but a series of events eventually caused him to lose.” You mean, the series of events called Democracy?
Closing remarks of the Defense, by Brian (with embellishment by Loki).
Campaigning is like football. If you’re holding the bal, someone is going to hit you (especially if its one of their balls). Opinions are opinions, not facts. Democracy. This election was held in the way elections should be handled – open, with dialogue. You can vote for me because I am the best, or because I am better than these bad candidates. Orrrr because I’m the only candidate. Oh wait – enter Noam. Shit, now you sue. So here I come in. Advocating community standards for our community to engage in discourse. You can make the argument – 500 people did – that Mr. Brooks is not the best candidate. Brooksy, ya lost, get over it. Therefore, I get to talk for 6 hours. At least I have pink nails. What action was taken that made it so much easier for Mr. Sulsky to win than Mr. Brooks? I know! He’s not as big an asshole. Empowerment. Female empowerment. Excretory system empowerment – thats addressed to you, Taylor. If commissioners were not appointed but elected, they might have bias. They did not – they remained unbiased. Noam followed the rules – immediately, after the election, Mr. Rutrick got out of his bed, changed from his pajamas, and came down to meet wth her. (What they did after the elections discussion is anyone’s guess, but it sure wasn’t g-rated.) Write-in candidates are important. Just like writing. Students don’t understand the Student Union. Just because you spend your free time reading bylaws doesn’t mean you can disqualify a motivated candidate. Rutrick is fair. He would also make a good juggler at a fair. That’s double fair! Yeah… my opponent says “we lost. Now we’re angry. Let’s sue!” (Hey, its not like there are better things to do on a Saturday). Yeah… you get the picture. We good. They are a mockery of democracy. Cool?
Closing remarks by Ryan Mcwhatever:
Too lazy to tease him. He’s pretty silly looking as is. Makes good arguments though.Altough has never managed to pronounce Nelson’s last name. Rut. Trick. Aha! Trick is in name! How could he be fair?