Tag: law

Beating a Constitution to Death

This didn’t go without notice, I see.

WASHINGTON – President Obama told human rights advocates at the White House on Wednesday that he was mulling the need for a “preventive detention” system that would establish a legal basis for the United States to incarcerate terrorism suspects who are deemed a threat to national security but cannot be tried, two participants in the private session said.

It has been noted by John Cole, Glenn Greenwald, and who knows how many others.

So, as long we are beating our Constitution to death, I may as well put in my two cents…  

Do you want investigations, or, a public kangaroo court?

There are a whole slew of things I want to write about coming out in the news, but, this one needs to be written NOW.

There are only two ways to go on torture; a) There are investigations, or, b) There is a continued public kangaroo court that means nothing.  There cannot be both.

Follow me after the fold…

First Colorado Anti-Transgender Violence Hate Crime Goes To Trial

So, the Dog thought that he was a pretty aware Liberal type hound as far as being sensitive to various minority groups’ issues and problems. Then he joined DD and found that there was a group of people that were all but forgotten about, the transgendered. Having the redoubtable Robyn on these pages for the last couple of years has taught the Dog that transgendered citizens are really not given the attention and help they need in terms of the law to live the lives they want.  

Gov. Sanford And Ideological Glare-Blindness

There are times for ideological fights, this the Dog believes with his entire heart. The issue is when to pick these fights. There is an argument that it is the best time when things are in crisis. The thinking on this, such as it is, is that when things are bad you need to be most correct in your actions. Of course this is what we are seeing from the Republican Party in general right now, and from anti-stimulus Governors in particular. It is also a complete fallacy. In times of crisis you need to have already decided the plan of action and act on it. If you are wise you will have planed and thought and argued prior to the crisis, but that is a rare trait in the America of the early 21st Century.  

The Supreme Court and Mr. Al-Marri, It Could Be Worse.

By now you probably know that the Supreme Court has dismissed the case of Mr. Al-Marri, which is a bad thing of course. Mr. Al-Marri was arrested on charges of credit card fraud by the FBI in December of 2001. He was in this country with his wife and five children to attend college in Peoria, IL. So far nothing really that out of the ordinary, but in June of 2003, 18 months later on the eve of a hearing to suppress illegally sized evidence in his criminal trail, he was declared an “enemy combatant” by the criminal President  Bush.

He was then taken not to Guantanamo Bay like most so-called enemy combatants, but to a military brig in South Carolina. There he sat for nearly six years without any further charges against him. He filed suit to in Al-Marri v. Spagone to under the theory that a legal US resident could not  be held indefinitely by the government without charges. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals found that based on the facts of this case, the President could indeed name anyone, citizen or not, as an “enemy combatant” and then hold him or her without charge for as long as the President felt.  

Our Noble Professions

(crossposted from DKos)

I’ve been working on the project Petition for a Special Prosecutor which for me has entailed writing a lot about justice, the intersection of justice and politics and justice and the practice of law.

Of course, due to the excellent work of blogger Valtin, the profession of psychology has also come under scrutiny, as the American Psychological Association did not protest when some of their members validated torture by participating in it at Gitmo and elsewhere.

The profession of law has been soiled by the work of folks like John Yoo, yet he has not been disbarred and I haven’t heard any official protest by the American Bar Association when it comes to lawyers writing legal papers justifying torture.

Ethics.  It is to laugh.

Our noble professions.  Doctor.  Lawyer.  Journalist.  All professions with ethical codes of conduct and a certain level of social privilege conferred upon their practitioners.

Oh, and let’s not forget accountants, shall we?  They have principles to adhere to as well.  I think they didn’t do a good job when it came to oh, say, Enron.  Just to name one example.

Here’s something about the code of conduct for lawyers in New York State (all emphasis mine):

The Code of Professional Responsibility consists of three separate but interrelated parts: Canons, Ethical Considerations, and Disciplinary Rules. The Code is designed to be both an inspirational guide to the members of the profession and a basis for disciplinary action when the conduct of a lawyer falls below the required minimum standards stated in the Disciplinary Rules.

What’s next for Republic Windows & Doors Workers?

What happened at that Chicago manufacturing plant brought back alot of memories of how extremely talented workers fought for what they knew were their rights, decent wages for their labor, on the job safety, trading wages for benefits like health and welfare directly and much much more. Fights that shouldn’t have really happened in a real model of capitalism where all should share directly in the quality and growth of their work and the companies they work for.

We need to return to that pride in company and product, quality products and customer service, correcting the defaults, and growth for all, owners, workers, and investors.

Coming Home – 60minutes Sunday 11-02-08

Reservists’ Rocky Return To Job Market

60 Minutes Report Also Examines Costs Borne By Employers Of Deployed Citizen Soldiers

Coming Home

Citizen soldiers returning from active military duty are entitled by law to get back their old jobs or at least the same salaries, but many are still having trouble. Leslie Stahl reports.

Every once in a while we win one: a summary of Schroer v Library of Congress

I was minding my own business, cooling my heels in Friday Philosophy, hoping for a little more than the usually suspects to show up.  From the activity at 6pm eastern on a Friday, one might suspect that people had actual lives or something.

Anyhoo, jessical dropped by at 8:20 by the time stamp, which is probably something like 8:45 in real time.  So not only had most of the likely readers left by then, thereby missing what jessica left, but most of the unlikely readers no doubt missed it as well.  It’s not like there has been a big Huzzah about it or anything.

Well, except for maybe jessica and me and a batch of other transfolk.

jessica dropped of a link to the text of a decision by the US District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of Schroer v. the Library of Congress.

NL dropped by and left a link to an ACLU announcement.

There was the obligatory article in the Washington Post, from their man on the District Court beat, which appears on B10 the day after the ruling of that court.

I’ve spent a couple of days searching for someone to write the story and explain how this is important to transsexual people, mostly because when news like this comes from me or someone like me, it is too easy to downplay the significance.

Whatever.  Doesn’t seem like this news has a chance of surfacing amidst the roiling seas of financial profligacy.

So, as short and sweet as I can make it [turns out, that didn’t happen – ed], from my own biased point of view, here’s the deal.

UK Court Rules Activists May Damage Coal-Fired Power Plants

Greenpeace activist on Kingsnorth Chimney

Yesterday, Sep. 10, 2008 a UK court acquitted six defendants from Greenpeace of all charges for their actions on Oct. 8, 2007, when they scaled a smokestack at the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station and attempted to shut it down. The defendants, accused of doing £30,000 in damage to the smokestack by  painting “Gordon Bin It” on its side, did not deny the damage but relied instead for their defense on the principle of lawful excuse. (For more on “lawful excuse” see here.)

In essence they argued that the plant was doing damage to other property through its greenhouse gas emissions on such a scale as to justify their damaging it.

St. Paul Arrests – What you should know

That law enforcement in St. Paul set out specifically to intimidate any potential protester is not news.  The charge, however, should be…

“Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations”

The House Judiciary Committee today, Friday, July 25th, will put Impeachment squarely back “on the table” and restored to its prominent place in our Constitution.

Wednesday 07/25/2008 – 10:00 AM

2141 Rayburn House Office Building

Full Committee

By Direction of the Chairman

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