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Tag: Justice


AP photo / Amy Sancetta

The Crooks Get Cash While the Poor Get Screwed

If you have defrauded banks and customers and investment firms of billions of dollars, as AIG or Citibank has, you get taxpayer money. If you are moral scum in America we take care of you. But if you are poor, if you are, say, Tearyan Brown of Trenton, N.J., you are in trouble.

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Khampha Bouaphanh

America’s ICE Backwards Approach to Immigration

While the nation’s understaffed immigration courts strain under a backlog that has grown to more than 200,000 cases, thousands of new border agents have been hired and the number of government attorneys who argue for deportation has increased by 35 percent, pushing more cases onto an already overburdened system.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Gays Losing Patience With Team Obama

Signed by Bill Clinton, the Defense of Marriage Act keeps the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allows states to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in other states. Barack Obama’s Justice Department has just issued a defense of DOMA, even though the president has said he’d like to see it overturned. The gays who voted for these Democrats, meanwhile, are losing patience.

Posted on Jun 14, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
thebeatwithin.org

Fighting Crime by Reforming Juvenile Hall

This week on the podcast: Sheerly Avni and Omar Turcios from The Beat Within, a magazine written by and for the troubled kids in juvenile prisons. Such facilities could be “recruiting grounds for crime fighting,” argues Avni, and that’s in our self-interest. “If you want to stop crime—very simple. You look at a bunch of 5-year-old kids in the ghetto. Ask yourself: ‘Do I want them to be criminals or not in 10 years? What’s that going to do to the value of my home?’ ”

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
thebeatwithin.org

Fighting Crime by Reforming Juvenile Hall

This week on the podcast: Sheerly Avni and Omar Turcios from The Beat Within, a magazine written by and for the troubled kids in juvenile prisons. Such facilities could be “recruiting grounds for crime fighting,” argues Avni, and that’s in our self-interest.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


A Wise Person for the Court

Forget Rush Limbaugh. In Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination, we face the riddle of the wise old man, the wise old woman, and the wise old person.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Why Obama’s Court Pick Is Already a Winner

The same impulses that have long driven the Republican Party toward ethnic polarization and immigrant-bashing seem certain to infect its opposition to Judge Sonia Sotomayor—in ways that can only benefit the Democrats and Mr. Obama in elections to come.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


In Praise of Empathy

So it is that I am watching the run-up to the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice with eyes wide open. We’ve already had pre-emptive strikes against three women on the media short list. Elena Kagan, Diane Wood and Sonia Sotomayor are getting the scary radical treatment without even getting picked.

Posted on May 21, 2009 READ MORE


Supreme Court
Flickr / methTICALman

Double-Flipping on ‘Identity Politics’

In my nearly two decades of covering New York’s irrepressible Alfonse M. D’Amato, agreement between us was, to put it politely, rare. Yet there was one extraordinary moment when good governance and good politics collided to bring me into alliance with the former senator.

Posted on May 5, 2009 READ MORE


Souter Painting
np.edu.sg

Souter Is Outer

U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter is reportedly planning to retire from the bench at the end of the court’s current term. Souter’s decision to leave will likely not affect the political balance of the court, as his replacement by President Obama will likely be another liberal-minded justice.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Eve Pell on America’s Culture of Punishment

“Cruel and Unusual” by Anne-Marie Cusac reveals a startling reality: Since 1973, America’s imprisonment rate has jumped more than five times and is now the highest in the world. Why?

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
theblacksentinel.wordpress.com

Holder Says He Will Pursue Torture Wrongdoing

What to make of the administration’s policy on holding torturers accountable? Attorney General Eric Holder says he “will not permit the criminalization of policy differences,” but will pursue wrongdoing “to the full extent of the law.” The problem here is that when it comes to torture, policy differences just might be criminal.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Torturers Should Be Punished

The door to bringing torturers to justice is open only a crack. Whether it is kicked open or slammed shut is not up to the president. Though he may occupy the most powerful office on Earth, there is a force more powerful: committed people demanding change.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama: Justice Could Prosecute Torture Lawyers

Responding to reporters Tuesday, the president walked back from his “torture is a thing of the past” policy. While the administration still doesn’t want to hassle the good Germans who carried out torture, or even the superiors who ordered it, Obama said the Justice Department may go after the Bush lawyers who tried to legalize such abuses.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


Bybee Must Go

It is astonishing that someone who has proved in his memos to be so lacking in judgment and so ideologically twisted in his reasoning that he laid a blanket of legal immunity over those who wanted to torture now holds one of the most powerful and prestigious seats a lawyer can attain.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Doing Nothing

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Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE    



Wikimedia Commons

The 183rd Time’s the Charm

Was it for information or revenge that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who claimed to be the mastermind behind 9/11, was waterboarded 183 times by the CIA? That figure, sussed out of a Justice Department memo by some enterprising bloggers and repeated in the pages of The New York Times, makes the president’s determination not to prosecute such torture all the more curious.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE


Clarence Thomas
Wikimedia Commons/supremecourthistory.org

Clarence Thomas on Rights, Miraculous Dishwashers

Perhaps his rather unpleasant experience in the public eye during his 1991 confirmation hearings has something to do with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ taciturnity, but he recently gave a roomful of high school students a rare peek at his more private side, discussing what he does when he’s blue and whether Americans feel too entitled to their rights.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


Colorblind Justice? Well, Not Exactly

The Onion takes America’s prejudiced justice system to its logical, if absurd, extreme.

Posted on Apr 1, 2009 READ MORE


One Bad Apple

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Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


Walk Away, Rihanna—You’re a Role Model

A favorite of the MTV crowd, the stunning and successful singer now is a symbol of the ubiquity of domestic violence—and the dangerously confused message that celebrity culture sends about it.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE


Why Did So Few Americans Give a Damn?

Justice Department documents that demonstrate the Bush administration’s view of the president’s constitutional power in a “state of war” tell us things we suspected but didn’t want to know.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Prop. 8 protest
AP photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez

Prop. 8 Likely to Stand

Bad news for anti-Proposition 8 activists: As of Thursday afternoon, it appeared that the California Supreme Court was hesitant to overturn the gay marriage ban. However, it might be the case that the court will allow existing marriages to remain legally valid.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Redacted memo
aclu.org

Nine Secret Bush-Era Documents Released

The Justice Department has released nine secret memos and opinions written by the Office of Legal Counsel that authorized some of the Bush administration’s unlawful national security policies.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
change.gov

Attorney General: On Race, America Is ‘a Nation of Cowards’

Speaking at a Justice Department event in honor of Black History Month, the first black attorney general, appointed by the first black president, acknowledged that America has made progress but warned that “in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” His full remarks, after the jump.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Jailing Kids for Cash

As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Rebutting the False Choice Between Security and Freedom

A three-year review of more than 40 countries has found that justice systems prior to 9/11 were perfectly capable of combating terrorism. The U.S. and Britain were especially opportunistic in their violations of human rights and international law and gave comfort by example to other abusive regimes, the International Commission of Jurists found.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



State Dept. / Michael Gross, cropped

Israel’s Kingmaker in Legal Limbo

With his party holding 15 seats in the Knesset, Avigdor Lieberman of the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu is poised to pick Israel’s next government. Lieberman would like a choice cabinet post in exchange for anointing the next premier, but he’s under investigation for allegedly laundering millions of overseas dollars.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court / Steve Petteway

Justice Ginsburg Has Pancreatic Cancer

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a colon cancer survivor, had surgery for pancreatic cancer Thursday. Pancreatic cancer is especially lethal, but doctors were reportedly optimistic because they found Ginsberg’s cancer early.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail

Millions have served time in U.S. prisons for crimes that fall far short of those attributed to the Bush administration. Some criminals, it seems, are like banks judged too big to fail: too big to jail, too powerful to prosecute.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


What Can Obama Learn From Bush?

The Bush administration’s specific failures—in foreign and domestic policy and on matters related to civil liberties—are clear enough. Yet the deeper cause of the public’s disaffection goes beyond these specifics.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo

Still Dreaming After All These Years

Truthdig normally celebrates Martin Luther King Day by remembering the more complex, more subversive King—the man who railed against America as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and “a society gone mad on war.” But a day before America inaugurates its first black president, we have other things on our mind.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

U.S. Fails in Human Rights Role

It is unsurprising that a group like Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bush government for jettisoning the U.S. role as a defender of global human rights: Numerous examples—Guantanamo, gay marriage, Iraq, etc.—accentuate this failure.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Believe It or Not, 2008 Was Relatively Nonviolent

Peace is not at hand, at least not as Americans define it. Yet peace has been breaking out all over.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


What Nixon Admitted (and Cheney Won’t)

To understand the philosophy of government that Dick Cheney brought to Washington over the past seven years, it is most instructive to see “Frost/Nixon,” with Frank Langella’s remarkable reanimation of Tricky Dick for a generation that never knew him.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



Allen Barra on ‘Frost/Nixon’

Frank Langella as Nixon in the new Ron Howard movie does his best, but no one did Nixon like Nixon.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE


Sweeping Blackwater Under the Rug

The federal manslaughter indictment of five Blackwater Worldwide security guards for the horrific massacre of more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad may look like an exercise in accountability, but it’s probably the exact opposite.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Blackwater Guards Indicted for Shootings

Five Blackwater guards were indicted on charges of manslaughter on Monday in a case that will test the legal accountability of private contractors in Iraq. A sixth guard pleaded guilty. The Blackwater employees killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians without justification at a Baghdad traffic circle, the Justice Department alleges.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE



Warren I. Cohen on China’s ‘Factory Girls’

There’s a revolution underway in Chinese culture as young women flock from villages to factory employment in the cities, leaving traditional values behind.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE



filminfocus.com

Get Milk

Gus Van Sant’s “Milk” is a movie to be thankful for. Go see it, tonight if you can, and in a crowded theater. Then open up some merlot and watch the documentary “The Times of Harvey Milk,” by Robert Epstein—because these two films belong together.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE


The Smoke Is Clearing

This week marks a decade since a consortium of state attorneys general negotiated the landmark settlement of lawsuits against tobacco companies. The results are in: Cigarette consumption has declined by 28 percent in the past 10 years.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE



courtinfo.ca.gov

California’s High Court to Rule on Marriage Ban

The California Supreme Court has agreed to examine the state’s recently adopted marriage ban, scheduling a hearing for March. The court will decide whether Prop. 8 was a sweeping revision or a simple amendment to the state’s constitution, and whether legally married same-sex couples should suffer a blanket divorce.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevork Djansezian

To This Minister, Prop. 8 Is Repugnant

The thousands of same-gender couples who have married in the few months since the California Supreme Court cleared the way are in fact married. The notion that a majority vote by people who are not party to these marriages of love, commitment, care and family will have the power to impose a divorce on these couples is flatly repugnant.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. But there is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE


End of a Catholic Commandment?

Catholics, who are quintessential swing voters and gave narrow but crucial support to President Bush in 2004, are drifting toward Barack Obama. And this time, some church leaders are suggesting that single-issue voting—such as on abortion—is by no means a Catholic commandment.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE


The Next President’s Supreme Legacy

The 44th president could replace as many as three of the four moderate and liberal justices of the Supreme Court. You do the math. If Obama is elected, the court will stay pretty much the way it is. If McCain is elected, Katie bar the door.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


PROSECUTORGATE!
Washington Post / Melina Mara

Investigation Into Prosecutor Firings Is Dampened

Continuing investigation of the 2006 firings of nine federal prosecutors has uncovered new leads that directly involve White House staff and lawyers in the scandal. The unsurprising kicker is that Bush administration officials refuse to talk further about their role in the firings, and key documents have been redacted to a level “virtually worthless as an investigative tool.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


From Fired U.S. Attorneys to Sarah Palin

A new internal report confirms our fears about the politicization of the Justice Department. That same contempt for government can be found in the current financial crisis as well as the meteoric rise of the former mayor of Wasilla.

Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

They Claim the Bailout Is Necessary, but Is It Constitutional?

Wall Street will not trouble its collective consciousness with worry over the Constitution. But this bailout bill is virtually unprecedented in its assumptions and its reach for unchecked power.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


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