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Tag: Law


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Senators Fume Over Torture Revelations

With statements such as “if the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong” guiding our government’s thinking during the formation and implementation of interrogation techniques, it’s no wonder Carl Levin and others were outraged in the Senate on Tuesday.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008 READ MORE


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One for the Constitution

It shouldn’t be necessary for the Supreme Court to tell the president that he can’t have individuals taken into custody, spirited to a remote prison camp and held indefinitely, with no legal right to argue that they’ve been unjustly imprisoned—not even on grounds of mistaken identity.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

Supreme Court Deals a Body Blow to Guantanamo

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled Thursday that detainees at Guantanamo Bay have a right to trial in civilian courts. As Justice Anthony Kennedy of the majority wrote, “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.” It has been widely speculated that such a ruling would ultimately force the closure of the detention facility.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


Gordon Brown
Flickr / World Economic Forum

British PM Wins Anti-Terror Vote

Gordon Brown has won an important victory in his effort to extend the time British authorities can hold terror suspects without charge from 28 to 42 days. The measure was significantly controversial, however, that 36 members of the prime minister’s party voted against it.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Florida Co-Chair Says Yes to Impeachment

Rep. Dennis Kucinich filed articles of impeachment against President Bush this week, and he already has a taker: Barack Obama’s Florida campaign co-chair, Rep. Robert Wexler. According to Wexler: “A decision by Congress to pursue impeachment is not an option, it is a sworn duty. It is time for Congress to stand up and defend the Constitution against the blatant violations and illegalities of this Administration.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

The Pentagon vs. America

Former Marine and U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter has spoken out vehemently against the war, so it surprises some that he still embraces military service. In this article, Ritter explains why opposition to a war doesn’t mean lack of patriotism or a failure to “support the troops” and the services in which they serve.

Posted on May 5, 2008 READ MORE


Unequal Under the Law

By now the Tale of Lilly Ledbetter is beginning to sound like the Perils of Pauline or the Pre-Feminist Follies. At 70 years old, she’s the star of a long-running drama about how hard we have to run to keep from slipping backward.

Posted on Apr 30, 2008 READ MORE


A Torture Debate Among Healers

The American Psychological Association is in the midst of its own heated presidential campaign. The central issue is whether APA members should be banned from participating in “harsh interrogations.”

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE


Are Medical Insurance Mandates Constitutional?

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s health-care plans contain some form of mandate—a requirement that Americans purchase insurance. At least one legal scholar wonders whether that’s constitutional. At the very least, Karl Manheim argues in an Op-Ed article, it’s “certainly unprecedented.”

Posted on Apr 4, 2008 READ MORE


John Yoo
Washington Post / Karen Ballard

Torture’s Poet Laureate

A recently declassified memo shines the spotlight once again on John “Take Them to the Point of Death” Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor and once deputy legal counsel in the Justice Department.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE


Slap Down ‘Free Market’ Pirates

For years, District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has warned that the nexus of capitalism and criminality poses a serious threat to America.  With Bear Stearns now in ruins, maybe we will listen to him.

Posted on Mar 26, 2008 READ MORE


Dan Abrams

Rush Runs Onto Shaky Ground

Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” is meant to throw the Democrats into disarray by keeping their primary race close, but according to MSNBC’s Dan Abrams, it just might be illegal.

Posted on Mar 26, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


Libby
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Scooter Libby Takes Another One for the Team

Poor I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.  First, he was tossed under the bus in the kerfuffle over Valerie Plame’s identity leak.  Now, as a result of same, Libby’s been stripped of his legal license in Washington, D.C.

Posted on Mar 20, 2008 READ MORE


supreme court
Flickr / dbking

Supreme Court Considers Second Amendment

The Supreme Court examined the District of Columbia’s handgun ban Tuesday, a case that could at last yield a conclusive ruling on the Second Amendment. So far, it doesn’t look good for gun control advocates.

Posted on Mar 18, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Mark Dowie on Michael Shnayerson’s ‘Coal River’

How a few brave Americans took on a powerful company and the federal government to save the land they love.

Posted on Mar 13, 2008 READ MORE


A Cause Bigger Than Any Scandal

The women of New York had a champion in Eliot Spitzer. The good news in the wake of the governor’s resignation is that his successor, David Paterson, and the state’s activists are ready to keep up the fight.

Posted on Mar 12, 2008 READ MORE


Nader
wcsh6.com

Two Views on Nader’s Candidacy

Ralph Nader has announced that he will run for the presidency for a third time. In the past months on Truthdig, the case has been made both for and against such a campaign. Here Chris Hedges says why he should run, while Robert Scheer tells Nader himself it would be better if he didn’t.

Posted on Feb 24, 2008 READ MORE


Gibney
Truthdig

Alex Gibney in Conversation With Robert Scheer

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer interviews documentarian Alex Gibney about his 2008 Academy Award-winning documentary, “Taxi to the Dark Side,” a compelling examination of the circumstances that led Americans to commit torture.

Posted on Feb 24, 2008 READ MORE


Justice Investigates Itself Over Waterboarding Approval

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating memos and opinions rendered by the department that endorsed the practice of waterboarding, which many consider to be torture. The inquiry is unrelated to the FBI’s criminal investigation of the CIA, which destroyed video recordings of the waterboarding of suspects.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


Larry Blumenfeld on New Orleans’ Refusal to Vanish

Ned Sublette’s remarkable new book tells an inspiring story of resilience and resistance by ordinary men and women who won’t cooperate in their own erasure.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


Supreme Court building
supremecourtus.gov

Top Court Sets Back the Foes of Bush’s Wiretaps

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal related to the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretap program on Tuesday, offering no explanation. The American Civil Liberties Union and others have had a hard time proving the plaintiffs were spied on because the evidence they need is considered a government secret.

Posted on Feb 19, 2008 READ MORE


waterboarding
wikipedia.org

CIA: Waterboarding Possibly Illegal

CIA Director Michael Hayden told lawmakers Thursday that waterboarding is a useful technique but might not be “lawful under current statute.” Hayden said his agency used waterboarding because of “misshaped and misformed” direction from Washington.

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton
wsvn.com

Fact-Checking Clinton’s ‘35 Years of Change’

Hillary Clinton has made much of her “35 years” of “working to bring positive change to people’s lives,” but when McClatchy’s Washington bureau investigated the claim, it found that the “bulk of her career” was spent “at one of Arkansas’ most prestigious corporate law firms, where she represented big companies and served on corporate boards.”

Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE


Protesters Punished, Blackwater Shooters Remain Free

Last week at the gates of the mercenary company Blackwater, nonviolent protesters who re-enacted an infamous Blackwater shooting were arrested. As “Blackwater” author Jeremy Scahill notes: “The arrest of the activists and the subsequent five days they spent locked up in jail is more punishment than any Blackwater mercenaries have received for their deadly actions against Iraqi civilians.”

Posted on Jan 29, 2008 READ MORE


The Next Florida

Election Day began with voting machines refusing to start up. It ended with them refusing to shut down.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


protesters
AP photo / Dennis Cook

International Protest Targets Guantanamo

Activists around the world took to the streets Friday wearing orange jumpsuits in protest of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which Amnesty International calls an “unlawful black hole.” Eighty demonstrators were arrested in or near the Supreme Court building, where justices are reviewing the legality of the government’s detention program.

Posted on Jan 11, 2008 READ MORE


Justice Is Blind, but Can She Vote?

The most revealing indicator of the state of our democracy is not to be found in the snowdrifts of New Hampshire but in the marbled chamber of the U.S. Supreme Court. Soon enough,  we will discover whether the court under Chief Justice John Roberts will become a partisan tool in the national Republican drive to place constraints on voting that are targeted at those who tend to support Democrats.

Posted on Jan 8, 2008 READ MORE


Hoover’s Secret Plan to Jail ‘Dangerous’ Americans

According to recently declassified documents, infamous FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover presented President Harry Truman with a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 people, mostly Americans, of whom he disapproved. The year was 1950 and the occasion was the start of the Korean War, but Hoover had apparently been building his list of the “potentially dangerous” for years.

Posted on Dec 27, 2007 READ MORE


Fear, Loathing and the Crisis of Confidence

A recent study found that one-third of Americans “believe in a broad smorgasbord of conspiracy theories,” which really isn’t that surprising considering we have a government that has gone out of its way to undermine the rule of law and public accountability.

Posted on Dec 20, 2007 READ MORE


Surviving a CIA ‘Black Site’

The kidnap and torture program of the Bush administration, with its secret CIA “black site” prisons and “torture taxi” flights on private jets, saw a little light of day this week.

Posted on Dec 18, 2007 READ MORE


Supreme Court
supremecourtus.gov

Supreme Court Rules Against Mandatory Minimums

The Supreme Court decided on Monday that federal sentencing guidelines, a kind of back seat judging considered by many to be racist, should be treated as “advisory” and not at all mandatory. Justices Alito and Thomas, to no one’s great surprise, were the only dissenters.

Posted on Dec 10, 2007 READ MORE


students protest Ashcroft
theithacajournal.com

Students Confront Ashcroft

Some 150 students donned hoods and turned their backs in silent protest of former Attorney General John Ashcroft at Cornell University on Thursday. Cornell law student and protest co-planner Michael Siegel told Truthdig the demonstrators were meant to represent “the detainees who were arrested and imprisoned without due process under Ashcroft’s leadership.”

Posted on Nov 30, 2007 READ MORE


America’s Gulag Goes Before the Court

The Supreme Court will soon revisit the constitutionality of Guantanamo Bay, where hundreds of men languish without any real legal recourse.

Posted on Nov 28, 2007 READ MORE


Saudi women
news.bbc.co.uk

Saudi Court Punishes Rape Victim

A Saudi woman has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail by an appeals court because she was riding in a car with a man when she was attacked and gang-raped by seven men. It is forbidden in Saudi Arabia for unmarried men and women to be together. She was 19 at the time of the attack.

Posted on Nov 15, 2007 READ MORE


Mukasey
nytimes.com

Your New Attorney General

Michael Mukasey has been sworn in as U.S. attorney general, a day after 53 senators decided that a man who doesn’t know what torture is should have the job. But the real blame—for anyone who objects to the confirmation, that is—should be reserved for Democrats Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, who made Bush’s day when they gave Mukasey the green light.

Posted on Nov 9, 2007 READ MORE


Schumer and Feinstein Hand Torture a Victory

Do we really need another attorney general who doesn’t know what torture is? The Senate Judiciary Committee just barely approved the nomination of Michael Mukasey on Tuesday. He is expected to breeze through the rest of the process. Remember some weeks from now, when the head of the Justice Department is a man who, despite fact and testimony and common sense, can’t call torture by its name, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer are responsible.

Posted on Nov 6, 2007 READ MORE


A Vote for Mukasey Is a Vote for Torture

U.S. attorney general nominee Judge Michael Mukasey admits waterboarding is repugnant, but refuses to say whether it amounts to torture. Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein voted for his confirmation anyway.

Posted on Nov 6, 2007 READ MORE


The ‘T’ Word









Posted on Nov 6, 2007 ENLARGE


execution chamber

Supreme Court Puts Executions on Hold

The Supreme Court has placed a temporary moratorium on the death penalty while it considers the legality of lethal injection, which should take months. Justices Scalia and Alito dissented from the opinion, which spared prisoner Earl Wesley Berry only minutes before he was to be killed.

Posted on Oct 31, 2007 READ MORE


uncle sam

America Is Watching You

The “Last Days of Democracy” author warns that Congress is about to aid the Bush administration with its Orwellian plans by granting retroactive immunity to the telecommunications giants for helping the government spy on Americans.

Posted on Oct 30, 2007 READ MORE


redacted constitution
Original from archives.gov

The American Police State

A Dallas jury, a week ago, caused a mistrial in the government case against this country’s largest Islamic charity. The action raises a defiant fist on the sinking ship of American democracy.

Posted on Oct 29, 2007 READ MORE


Don’t Give Mukasey a Pass

The nominee for attorney general doesn’t know “what is involved” in waterboarding, and he appears to back Bush’s usurpation of power.  Isn’t it time for the Democrats to grow some spine?

Posted on Oct 24, 2007 READ MORE


A Word in the Hand









Posted on Oct 24, 2007 ENLARGE


Bush and Cheney
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

On the Eve of Destruction

The former intelligence officer and weapons inspector argues that the president’s recent World War III comment offers some rare insight into the highly secretive world of George W. Bush’s White House, where the leader of the free world gets advice from reckless neoconservatives, “war criminal” Dick Cheney and “God.”

Posted on Oct 22, 2007 READ MORE


smoking pot
sciam.com

Portugal’s New Fix for Drug Users

Portugal is the latest European country to pick up on a growing trend of favoring therapy over jail for possession and use of small amounts of illegal drugs.  Critics of the new law worry that Portugal will become a hot spot for foreign drug users, but supporters believe the law will shift the focus of the government’s anti-drug efforts from users to traffickers and will give addicts a better chance to get clean.

Posted on Oct 8, 2007 READ MORE


swift boat ad
youtube.com

Politicians Free to Lie In Washington State

Get ready for the inevitable barrage of jokes on late-night television:  The Washington state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a law holding politicians legally accountable for lying about their opponents is unconstitutional.

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 READ MORE


Congress Tries to Close Blackwater Loophole

The House voted 389 to 30 to pass a bill that would make private contractors working for the U.S. government in Iraq subject to United States law. It’s the second time Congress has attempted to apply some sense to the legal vacuum created by the Bush administration and its Coalition Provisional Authority, which pushed through what amounts to blanket immunity for mercenaries.

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 READ MORE


Supreme Court
wonkette.com

Justice for Sale?

The Supreme Court, arguably the most powerful institution in our democracy, manages to fly a bit under the radar. Take, for example, the $1.5-million advance Rupert Murdoch paid Clarence Thomas to write a book. Conflict of interest, perhaps? The Nation’s Jon Wiener thinks so.

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE


Gen. Pace on Gays and ‘God’s Law’

While attempting to clarify his previous remarks on the immorality of homosexuality, outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace on Wednesday managed to put his foot even deeper into his mouth, saying that, while he’s willing to keep an open mind, our nation should not “condone activity [read: gay sex] that, in my upbringing, is counter to God’s law.”

Posted on Sep 27, 2007 READ MORE


Privatizing Murder

There is no set piece more emblematic of the tragic farce that is the American involvement in Iraq than the grotesque episode of Blackwater USA and the killing of civilians in Baghdad—at least nine and as many as 28—on Sunday.

Posted on Sep 20, 2007 READ MORE


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