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Tag: Law

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


Tipping the Scales of Justice in Jena

The Jena Six, teenage victims of good old-fashioned, Deep South racism, have won a crucial battle in their struggle against prejudice.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 READ MORE


driving woman
csmonitor.com

Saudi Women Lobby to Drive

Challenging their culture’s conservative gender laws, a group of Saudi Arabian women from the Committee of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars is preparing to petition King Abdullah to allow women to, well, drive cars.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 READ MORE


UC Irvine Fires Liberal Law School Dean

In a move that shocked legal scholars and outraged faculty, University of California Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake has fired noted liberal law professor Erwin Chemerinsky, who had signed a contract only a few days ago to become the first dean of UC Irvine’s new law school.

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 READ MORE


Intelligence Chief Gets His Facts Mixed Up

After German authorities foiled a terror plot earlier this month, U.S. National Intelligence Director J. Michael McConnell was all to eager to give credit to recently revised FISA rules, arguing, in effect, that potential civil liberty violations helped save American lives. Woops. It turns out that much of the information used by the Germans was obtained under the old FISA law, which McConnell continues to claim wasn’t effective enough.

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 READ MORE


Gay Marriage Approved in California, Again

Arnold Schwarzenegger has until mid-October to put his pen where his mouth is on gay issues. For the second time, the California Legislature has passed a law that would make marriage in the state gender-neutral. The governor vetoed the first effort back during his more conservative phase.

Posted on Sep 7, 2007 READ MORE


The Bigger Bathroom Picture

Whether or not Larry Craig manages to save his Senate career, the circumstances of his arrest bear exploring. Isn’t there a better way to secure an airport bathroom than the institutionalized entrapment and humiliation of gay men?

Posted on Sep 5, 2007 READ MORE


Abu Ghraib: One of Al’s Claims to Fame

It was among the worst nightmares of U.S. history, and it sprang from the brutal thinking that Attorney General Gonzales trafficked in.

Posted on Aug 28, 2007 READ MORE


Satire: Cheney Hides in Plain Sight

In a bold new strategy to avoid a congressional subpoena, Vice President Dick Cheney today declared himself a national monument.

Posted on Jul 7, 2007 READ MORE


With Friends Like These, Who Needs Judges?

Remember when President Bush promised to fire anyone in the White House involved in the leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity? How far we’ve come. “Scooter” Libby’s commutation is but the latest outrage perpetrated by an administration more concerned with protecting its secrets than the rule of law.

Posted on Jul 6, 2007 READ MORE


Pardon Fight!

The White House isn’t taking kindly to former President Bill Clinton’s characterization of the Libby commutation as being “consistent with their philosophy; they believe that they should be able to do what they want to do. ...”  Oh, snap!  Bush spokesman Tony Snow fired back with a reference to Clinton’s own pardon record: “I don’t know what Arkansan is for chutzpah, but this is a gigantic case of it.”

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE


The Supremely Disappointing Court

Let me wish the Supreme Court justices a fond farewell as they set out on their summer vacation. We can all rest assured now that they won’t do any more damage until the first week in October.

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 READ MORE


Trashing Precedent

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Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


The Way-Paver Makes Waves

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman left on the Supreme Court, has been forced to watch as a pack of ideologues undoes her life’s work. Once dismissed as a moderate, Ginsburg is ready for a fight.

Posted on Jun 28, 2007 READ MORE


Cheney the Survivor

Before the subject of whether George W. Bush should be impeached is given the slightest consideration, consider three scary words that will end any such discussion: President Dick Cheney.

Posted on Jun 26, 2007 READ MORE



gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/

The CIA’s ‘Family Jewels’

The National Security Archive at George Washington University has posted documents on its website that expose ugly activities by the CIA before reforms were made in the 1970s. The secrecy watchdog says the agency violated its charter for 25 years by spying on journalists and political dissidents, in addition to engaging in other nefarious activities.

Posted on Jun 22, 2007 READ MORE


The Price of Loyalty

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Posted on Jun 6, 2007 READ MORE


Libby
news.bbc.co.uk

Libby Gets 30 Months

Convicted perjurer I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has been sentenced to 30 months in prison, a $250,000 fine and two years of probation, pending appeal and the inevitable pardon.

Posted on Jun 5, 2007 READ MORE


Sentencing for Dummies

With his sentencing looming, it appears that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby—one of the highest White House officials ever convicted of a felony—has learned precisely nothing from his trial and conviction on charges of false statements, obstruction of justice, and perjury. Note: originally published on TomDispatch.

Posted on Jun 3, 2007 READ MORE


Boys’ Club

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Posted on Jun 3, 2007 READ MORE


Bush
AP Photo / Ron Edmonds

Repudiation, Not Impeachment

The former weapons inspector and author of “Waging Peace” argues that the mere impeachment of President Bush would fail to repair the damage caused by an executive branch run amok and an uninformed and uninvolved citizenry.

Posted on May 31, 2007 READ MORE


Speeding Past Compassion

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Posted on May 28, 2007 READ MORE


Justice O’Connor Warns Against Judicial Inconsistency

In an apparent rebuke to the Supreme Court’s recent abortion decision, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor told Fox News that the law “shouldn’t change just because the faces on the court have changed.” O’Connor, who time and again swung the court in favor of a woman’s right to choose, also criticized lawmakers who try to put political pressure on the judicial process.

Posted on May 20, 2007 READ MORE


Pro-life protest
AP Photo / Evan Vucci

The Greatest Threat to Choice

When it comes to abortion, the Christian right presents a false choice between self-condemnation and a life of struggle. Until the impoverished and imperiled, so frequently driven into the arms of demagogues, are truly cared for, the freedom of all women will be at risk.

Posted on May 7, 2007 READ MORE


No One Should Be Above the Law

On Wednesday a group of activists, politicians, writers and thinkers came together in Washington to call for the impeachment of the president. Among them were Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Daniel Ellsberg and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, who argued that the president must be held accountable for his repeated violations of the rule of law, both at home and abroad.

Posted on Apr 25, 2007 READ MORE


Governing the Womb

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected decades of precedent and the rights of women to satisfy an ideological agenda. Is it any wonder that those most eager to legislate the womb are the lawmakers and judges without one?

Posted on Apr 19, 2007 READ MORE


Judge OK’s Student Gay Rights Club

A federal judge has ruled that Florida’s Okeechobee High School must grant the same privileges to the Gay-Straight Alliance that it grants to other student clubs.

Posted on Apr 7, 2007 READ MORE


In Orlando, Charity Can Be a Crime

A 21-year-old Floridian was arrested in Orlando for feeding a group of 30 homeless people. It is illegal in Orlando to feed more than 25 destitute people without a permit, which can be obtained only twice a year. As if to drive home the absurdity of the law, authorities took a sample of Eric Montanez’s illegal stew for evidence.

Posted on Apr 5, 2007 READ MORE


Gitmo Flag
AP Photo / Brennan Linsley

Leave Your Morals at the Border

The Supreme Court may not be interested in applying American values to Guantanamo Bay, but at least one soldier has taken a principled stand against the prison’s tortured justice system.

Posted on Apr 3, 2007 READ MORE


night vision
inhs.info

Defense Contractor Jeopardized U.S. Soldiers

ITT, the premier night vision equipment supplier to the U.S. military, will pay $100 million in fines for violating the Arms Exports Control Act by sending sensitive information to China, Singapore and Britain without permission. The U.S. attorney in charge of the case said American soldiers were the “principal victims of ITT’s crimes.”

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Judge Rules for Web Freedom

Yet another court has ruled against the 1994 Child Online Protection Act, a major victory for civil rights advocates. The law has been a mess from the start. With the stated goal of protecting kids from pornography, it would punish offending websites with $50,000 fines and jail time for exposing children to “harmful” material, whether intentionally or not. Innocent sites like Salon and BoingBoing could’ve been targeted under the legislation.

Posted on Mar 22, 2007 READ MORE


The Real Voter Fraud

By repeatedly attacking the integrity of elections, Republicans have managed to disenfranchise the voters whose votes they’re unlikely to get.

Posted on Mar 14, 2007 READ MORE


FBI Abuses Patriot Act Powers

An internal Justice Department investigation has documented multiple abuses by the FBI in obtaining the private records of U.S. residents. Even with the broad powers of the Patriot Act in place, the bureau is still required to certify that the phone, e-mail and financial documents it seeks are at least related to investigations of terrorism or intelligence activities.

Posted on Mar 9, 2007 READ MORE


A Partisan Purge Too Far

The plot to eliminate politically inconvenient U.S. attorneys was a direct assault on the integrity of American justice, and its architects should be investigated and punished accordingly.

Posted on Mar 7, 2007 READ MORE


Cherokees Oust Slave Descendants

The Cherokee nation has voted against recognizing the descendants of former slaves, despite a tribal supreme court ruling to the contrary last year. Of the estimated 250,000 to 270,000 members, 8,700 took part in the election. Defenders of the decision say they have a right to determine the nation’s makeup without interference from the U.S. government or others.

Posted on Mar 4, 2007 READ MORE


John Conyers
bradblog.com

Break Out the Subpoenas

Members of the House Judiciary Committee have said they will dust off that discarded tool of congressional inquiry, the subpoena. The committee is investigating the Justice Department’s allegedly partisan hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys.

Posted on Mar 1, 2007 READ MORE


New York City Hall
answers.com

New York Bans ‘N-Word’

The New York City Council has symbolically banned the use of the word nigger. The resolution, though unenforceable, is meant to defy the word’s popularity among young people, though, as the BBC points out, an “edict from elected officials” is unlikely to have much of an impact.

Posted on Feb 28, 2007 READ MORE


Luckovich: The Scooter Libby Musical

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Posted on Feb 22, 2007 READ MORE


No Judicial Recourse for Detainees

A federal appeals court has upheld the Military Commissions Act, denying Guantanamo detainees access to the U.S. judicial system. Attorneys for the detainees said they would appeal the 2-1 decision, which fell along party lines, to the Supreme Court.

Posted on Feb 21, 2007 READ MORE


Garbage
news.bbc.co.uk

EU Gets Tough on Environmental Crime

The European Union is about to unveil plans to further criminalize anti-environmental behavior, allowing the courts to imprison violators responsible for negligent pollution, among other crimes. The policy change demonstrates the growing power of the European Commission over member states.

Posted on Feb 8, 2007 READ MORE


Josh Wolf
AP Photo / Benjamin Sklar

Blogger Jailed Longer Than Any Other Modern Journalist

Josh Wolf has been in prison for more than 170 days—longer than any other journalist in modern history. The freelance videographer and blogger has been held since he refused to hand over footage of WTO protesters to authorities because, he says, the precedent would make journalists “de facto deputies and investigators” for law enforcement.

Posted on Feb 8, 2007 READ MORE


Libby Trial Reveals Cheney’s Upset

There can be no doubt after multiple witnesses and now audio recordings from Libby himself that the White House was hopping mad about Joe Wilson’s assertion that the administration cherry-picked intelligence to make the case for war. On the tapes, Libby describes the vice president as “upset” and “disturbed” over what he considered a political assault.

Posted on Feb 7, 2007 READ MORE


Lashing
asianews.it

When They Say No Parties, They Mean it

Four hundred thirty-three foreigners were arrested by Saudi Arabia’s religious police for attending a party that served alcohol and allowed men and women to dance together. So far, 20 have been sentenced to lashings and months of prison time. (Photo above involves a separate case.)

Posted on Feb 6, 2007 READ MORE


Ehren Watada
from commondreams.org

Watada Trial Off to a Rocky Start

The court-martial of Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse to go to Iraq, began on Monday with the judge refusing to allow most of the defense’s witnesses to testify. Watada’s civilian lawyer, Eric Seitz, had some harsh words for the judge: “If you are going to tie my hands and you are going to script these proceedings, then in my view we’re all wasting our time.”

Posted on Feb 5, 2007 READ MORE


drivers' license
secureidnews.com

States Revolt Against ID Law

The Real ID Act of 2005 requires all states to meet a national standard for identification cards and participate in a shared database, but some have objected, citing privacy and budget concerns. Maine has led the charge of about a dozen states that may pass laws objecting to and opting out of the federal mandate.

Posted on Feb 4, 2007 READ MORE


protest
peakpeak.com

Seattle Loses WTO Case

A jury has found the city of Seattle liable for the unlawful arrests of roughly 175 protesters during the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting, which attracted 50,000 activists. The demonstrators in question were arrested while sitting and singing in a “no protest” park.

Posted on Feb 2, 2007 READ MORE


Judge Preska
law.fordham.edu

Judge Says Doctor Can’t Treat Terrorists

A judge has ruled that a Florida doctor can be prosecuted under federal law for vowing to treat members of al-Qaida. Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir argued unsuccessfully that the Constitution protects a doctor’s right to perform medical services.

Posted on Jan 30, 2007 READ MORE


Gonzales and Bush
smh.com.au

Gonzales Installs Bush Loyalists in Key Positions

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is exploiting a loophole in the Patriot Act to appoint U.S. attorneys whose principal qualification is their loyalty to the Bush administration. Recently a number of attorneys have been fired, apparently to make way for Bush-friendly replacements.

Posted on Jan 26, 2007 READ MORE


Coulter voter registration form
from Bradblog.com

Ann Coulter’s Growing Legal Troubles

You may recall that right-wing hate-monger Ann Coulter was accused of voter fraud not too long ago, for registering to vote using her real estate agent’s address. Now it turns out she may have used the same address to register a driver’s license—meaning Coulter could be charged with two third-degree felonies and one misdemeanor, if only someone would prosecute the case.

Posted on Jan 11, 2007 READ MORE


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