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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Christine M. Flowers on Sotomayor: The unswoon-worthy Latino

By Christine M. Flowers
Philadelphia Daily News

ONE person's Great American Success Story is another's irrelevant footnote. All depends on who's telling the tale.

Example: Child of Latino immigrants overcomes adversity, works hard, makes it to the Ivy League, then the law review and rises to the highest echelons of the legal profession.

Child-turned-accomplished adult gets tapped for a prestigious federal judgeship. And Democrats wage a bitter battle against the nomination, up to and including the rarely used filibuster.

Nomination rejected. Justice denied.

Sonia Sotomayor obviously wasn't that ill-fated Hispanic, even though her own personal narrative is almost identical to that of Miguel Estrada, George W. Bush's pick for the D.C. court of appeals.
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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


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.
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.

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