you keep using that word...
December 12, 2017

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) came to the defense of her colleague Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday after President Trump tweeted that Gillibrand "begged" and "would do anything for" campaign donations.

Trump's online attack on Gillibrand came one day after the New York senator called for the president to resign over the numerous allegations of sexual assault made against him. Gillibrand and Warren (whom Trump delights in calling "Pocahontas") have both been vocal critics of the president. Political commentators consider both women to be potential frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

There is however, one potential problem with Warren's defense of Gillibrand. The president's original tweet was criticized for its sexist implications, but Slate's Christina Cauterucci points out that Warren may have misinterpreted the meaning of "slut-shaming" in her tweet. Kelly O'Meara Morales

November 1, 2017

While talking to police during a voluntary interview over allegations of sexual assault of a minor, Warren Demesme asked police to "just give me a lawyer, dog." Last week, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that Demesme was not denied his constitutional right to an attorney when police ignored this request because Demesme only "ambiguously referenced a lawyer."

Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton wrote that Demesme was read his Miranda rights and subsequently waived them. "Nonetheless, the defendant argues he invoked his right to counsel," Crichton continued. "And the basis for this comes from the second interview, where I believe the defendant ambiguously referenced a lawyer."

Crichton cited a 2002 decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court that gives police officers leeway to deny a request for a lawyer and continue questioning if the request is deemed "ambiguous or equivocal." Per that ruling, Crichton concluded: "In my view, the defendant's ambiguous and equivocal reference to a 'lawyer dog' does not constitute an invocation of counsel that warrants termination of the interview."

Crichton's argument does not address the fact that the transcription of Demesme's statement does not include a comma between the two words in question. Demesme's request to police was written in the following manner: "If y'all, this is how I feel, if y'all think I did it, I know that I didn't do it so why don't you just give me a lawyer dog cause this is not what's up." However, a likely more accurate interpretation of Demesme's remarks may have read, "Just give me a lawyer, dog."

After the court's ruling, Demesme remains in jail on a $2 million bond. Kelly O'Meara Morales

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