Once upon a time, I agreed with Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy when... ...Once upon a time,..., Mr. Leahy held the concept of objectivity and colorblind justice on the bench as a key criterion for the Supreme Court. In a press conference after meeting with nominee (and now Chief Justice) John Roberts in August 2005, Mr. Leahy insisted: "Before I'll vote for anybody as judge, I have basically one touchstone. I ask myself, if I was a litigant before that court, no matter what my color, no matter what my station in life, no matter what the issue, can I look at this judge and think, 'If I make the right argument, a strong enough argument, I can be heard'? Or do I look at this judge and say, 'The decision's made before I even get there.'"
"If it's the latter," he continued, "I will not vote for the person, no matter who it is." To read more click here---- Collin Levy WSJ Political Diary May 29, 2009 Copyright Material
I whole heartedly agree here with Manual Miranda:
"The fact that Sonia Sotomayor is a Latina should not give Republican senators any pause. There is no larger demographic group in America today that could better understand what it means to have courts and judges who favor one side over another without an argument being made, than do Hispanics. It is among the reasons why we came here. This nomination offers a great opportunity to explain to Hispanic Americans why the Constitution must be defended against a judge who would rewrite it according to personal biases and politics." Manuel Miranda, Chairman, Third Branch Conference To read more click here
Two wrongs don't make a right--no matter how you spin them. I disagreed with the Supreme Court's ruling in June of 2003, upholding race based affirmative action, but I supported affirmative action still. Now, I am less inclined to support any affirmative action that is government mandated. Charity, liberty and market forces in a truly free market economy are the best anecdotes for the most amount of people to have the greatest opportunity to climb out of poverty and to brings others up alongside with them.
The following is an essay I penned, published June 29, 2003 in The Washington Post:
"...with the Michigan decisions, "We, the People" has been subordinated to "We, the Group." The Supreme Court has asserted that there are true differences among us, and that some of us have different inherent abilities determined by our ethnicity or race. That's ridiculous.
Until now, our Constitution was blind to such distinctions. The ruling marks a sad day in the history of a country whose basic tenet is equality under the law. It has defiled the concept of affirmative action, which at its noblest was intended to assist those of meager financial means and limited opportunities by giving them a chance to move up the social and economic ladder. "Diversity" of races and ethnicities was not the intention of affirmative action; it is simply an incidental outcome of belonging to a country populated by immigrants. What we shared were our common experiences of becoming and being Americans."
To read more click here
Friday, May 29, 2009
Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"
"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night.
But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.
|Death of an innocent.||Death or injury of a police officer.||Death of a nonviolent offender.|
|Raid on an innocent suspect.||Other examples of paramilitary police excess.||Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.|
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