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April 24, 2008

Vaffanculo

They don't even try to hide their lies anymore:

(CBS) People who believe the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision giving the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush was politically motivated should just get over it, says Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia denies that the controversial decision was political and discusses other aspects of his public and private life in a remarkably candid interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, this Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

"I say nonsense," Scalia responds to Stahl’s observation that people say the Supreme Court’s decision in Gore v. Bush was based on politics and not justice. "Get over it. It’s so old by now. The principal issue in the case, whether the scheme that the Florida Supreme Court had put together violated the federal Constitution, that wasn’t even close. The vote was seven to two," he says, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision that the Supreme Court of Florida’s method for recounting ballots was unconstitutional.

Furthermore, says the outspoken conservative justice, it was Al Gore who ultimately put the issue into the courts. "It was Al Gore who made it a judicial question…. We didn’t go looking for trouble. It was he who said, 'I want this to be decided by the courts,'" says Scalia. "What are we supposed to say -- 'Not important enough?'" he jokes.

In short:

vaffanculo.jpg

If we didn't have a Congress run by an incumbency protection racket, I'd say impeachment is too good for the slimebucket.

July 31, 2007

George Bush Don't Black/Women/Disabled/Religious/Etc People

Congress today passed a bill that would reverse the Alito Court's infamous ruling on Ledbetter vs. Goodyear. Bush has threatened to veto the bill that protects against pay discrimination.

And along the mainstream media landscape, crickets are chirping.

(via Atrios)

July 10, 2007

Another Man On Death Row Freed After Belated DNA Tests

Guess what race he is.

So when is that prosecutor going to be put under criminal investigation like Nifong.

June 25, 2007

When You're In School, You Have No Rights

And apparently, according to the Alito Court, when you are out of school you also have no rights:

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech Monday, ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner.

Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as
advocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court
in a 5-4 ruling.

Joseph Frederick unfurled his homemade sign on a winter morning in 2002,
as the Olympic torch made its way through Juneau, Alaska, en route to
the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Frederick said the banner was a nonsensical message that he first saw
on a snowboard. He intended the banner to proclaim his right to say
anything at all.

Gee, I wonder who those five justices were [/sarcasm]

God what a bullshit decision. The kid did his act when the school was dismissed so that the students could watch the Olympic torch pass. So now kids can be prosecuted for normally constitutional acts outside school hours? That's conservative, Constitution-trampling logic for you, and the last paragraph just made me grin a little:

Conservative groups that often are allied with the administration are backing Frederick out of concern that a ruling for Morse would let schools clamp down on religious expression, including speech that might oppose homosexuality or abortion.

Yep, in their zeal to put women's wombs under federal control and to reclassify gays as second-class citizens, they shot their own selves in the foot. Yes, let's round up all the hatemongering students of all stripes and expell them under this new empowerment of the public schools. They certainly deserve no less than what Fredricks had to go through because of their hard-on for authoritorianism.

Continue reading "When You're In School, You Have No Rights" »

June 20, 2007

"Are Ya Gonna Convict Jack Bauer?"

That's the workings of the Great Legal Mind currently sitting on the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia. Apparently, we now look to completely fictional and over-the top TV dramas that have lost audience share this season because of it's nonsensical story arcs in order to establish enduring constitutional principles:

Senior judges from North America and Europe were in the midst of a panel discussion about torture and terrorism law, when a Canadian judge's passing remark - "Thankfully, security agencies in all our countries do not subscribe to the mantra 'What would Jack Bauer do?' " - got the legal bulldog in Judge Scalia barking.

The conservative jurist stuck up for Agent Bauer, arguing that fictional or not, federal agents require latitude in times of great crisis. "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.

"Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so.

"So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes."

The other Canadian judges, in their own high-minded academic manner, told Scalia to go to hell, as they should. But why the hell is Scalia free to spout such nonsense in the first place? He and his kind can ever point to real-world situations where torture has saved people from an imminent threat, and since we are dealing with Islamic radicals, they would welcome such abuses - seeing it as the most holy martyrdom at the hands of their enemies. For the last time: torture doesn't work. The Abu Ghraib torture never helped us in Eye-Rack, torture is not helping us in Afghanistan, nor did it help in Vietnam or any other conflict. Our LACK of committing torure actually helped us defeat the Germans, whose squads would readily surrender to the Americans instead of to the Soviets whose prison camps they feared. So if Scalia thinks he's being a patriot, then he's dead wrong. He's just another man-child wanking off to cowboy movies.

I wonder how you can disbar a Supreme Court Justice?

April 19, 2007

Parallel Justice Systems Still Exists

But it's not about race - really!

HOUSTON -- After spending a year behind bars, Shaquanda Cotton walked out of a central Texas youth prison Saturday pretty much like many 15-year-olds would: eager for a hug from her mom and pining for a Big Mac.

So McDonald's was the first stop for the soft-spoken black teenager, who was abruptly released by Texas officials after nationwide civil rights protests erupted over her sentence of up to 7 years for shoving a teacher's aide at her high school.

"I feel like I have a second chance," she said, moments after devouring her hamburger. "I'm going to be a better person now. I'm a good person, but I want to be a better person."

. . .At the heart of the controversy, which exploded across hundreds of Internet blogs and then scores of newspapers and radio and TV stations in the last three weeks, was the seeming severity of the teenager's sentence for an offense that caused no documentable injury to the teacher's aide.

Three months before Cotton, who had no prior criminal record, was sentenced by Paris Judge Chuck Superville in March, 2006, to up to seven years in youth prison for the shoving incident, Superville sentenced a 14-year-old white girl convicted of the more serious crime of arson to probation. Later, when the white teenager violated her probation, Superville gave her yet another chance and declined to send her to prison. Only when the youth violated her probation a second time did the judge order her locked up.

School officials, the Paris district attorney and the judge have all strongly denied that race played a role in the prosecution and sentencing of Cotton. But her case has coincided with an ongoing investigation of the Paris school district by the U.S. Department of Education, which is examining allegations that the district systemically discriminates against black students by disciplining them more frequently

March 11, 2007

20/20 Finally Does Something Useful

The newsmagazine 20/20 has for a long time given itself to covering fluff pieces and nonsensical snifflings by that reporter-savant John Stossel, but now we see that it did something for the social good for a change:

March 10, 2007 — Its official: Tyrone Brown, the man sentenced to life in prison for violating probation with a single marijuana cigarette, will be a free man.

ABC News' "20/20" documented this story in November 2006. Brown is African American, poor and without connections. His harsh sentence was contrasted with the mercy shown a white criminal who murdered someone, then repeatedly violated his parole with cocaine.

The privileged criminal, who was the son of a Baptist minister and the brother-in-law of a U.S. congressman, was never sent to jail, and now even his probation has been lifted.

Brown was involved in an armed robbery that yielded $2. He, too, was first sentenced to probation, but when he violated it just once with a marijuana joint, he was sentenced to life. He has served 17 years.Both men were sentenced by the same judge, Keith Dean.

. . .After the "20/20" report, Dallas voters ousted Dean from the bench, and Friday Tyrone Brown was granted a "conditional pardon" by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

March 1, 2007

"Stop Snitching" Campaign Doing It's Job

stopsnitching.jpg
Does Not Help Reduce Crime And Misery


With Witnesses at Risk, Murder Suspects Go Free

When Yusef Johnson, a 15-year-old honors student, was killed outside an apartment complex here so gang-infested it is known as Crazyville, a witness came forward within days and told the police she knew the man she had seen fire the fatal shots.

In another case three months later, in November 2005, officers found two people who identified a street gang leader as the man they saw kill a marijuana dealer named Valterez Coley during a dispute over a woman.

And when Isaiah Stewart, a 17-year-old wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet from a recent brush with the law, was gunned down that December, another Newark teenager sketched a diagram of the crime scene, correctly identified the murder weapon and named a former classmate as the person he had watched commit the crime.

They seem like slam-dunk cases, but none of the three suspects have been arrested. It is not that detectives are unsure of their identity or cannot find them. Rather, it is because so many recent cases here have been scuttled when witnesses were scared silent that the Essex County prosecutor has established an unwritten rule discouraging pursuit of cases that rely on a single witness, and those in which witness statements are not extensively corroborated by forensic evidence.

The 3 are among at least 14 recent murders in Newark in which witnesses have clearly identified the killers but no charges have been filed, infuriating local police commanders and victims’ relatives.

In 8 of the 14 cases, according to court documents and police reports, there was more than one witness; in two of them, off-duty police officers were among those identifying the suspects. But in a DNA era, these are cases with little or no physical evidence, and they often involve witnesses whose credibility could be compromised by criminal history or drug problems, or both.

“No one wants to solve these cases and lock up the killers in these cases more than we do,? the county prosecutor, Paula T. Dow, said in a recent interview. “But we have to weigh the evidence and move forward only if we believe that the witnesses are credible and that they’ll be there to testify at trial.?

The tension between the police and prosecutors here over the evolving standards of evidence required to authorize arrest warrants is a stark example of the profound effect witness intimidation is having on the criminal justice system in New Jersey and across the country.

Surveys conducted by the National Youth Gang Center, which is financed by the federal Department of Justice, have found that 88 percent of urban prosecutors describe witness intimidation as a serious problem.

In both Baltimore and Boston, where “stop snitching? campaigns by rap artists and gang leaders have urged city residents not to cooperate with the authorities, prosecutors estimate that witnesses face some sort of intimidation in 80 percent of all homicide cases.

In Essex County, prosecutors report that witnesses in two-thirds of their homicides receive overt threats not to testify, with defendants and their supporters sometimes canvassing witnesses’ neighborhoods wearing T-shirts printed with the witnesses’ photographs or distributing copies of their statements to the police.

Dozens of New Jersey murder cases have been undone over the past five years after witnesses were killed, disappeared before trial or changed their stories.

Look, a lot of people don't like the police - unless of course you need them, then they can't show up fast enough. So the grassroots support for the "Stop Snitching" campaign is just wrongheaded in so many ways.

On the other hand, the witness protection programs at the local level is just deplorable, so unless these states like having criminals run free, they should start being serious about protecting those that will help make the case against the predators.

February 13, 2007

Flori-DUH.

It is a given fact that a lot of teenagers like to have sex like rabbits. It is a fact of life, that's why there's no law against it, (at least not outside of Jawja).

But apparently if the kids take pictures of themselves enagaing in a sex act in the state of Florida, they've committed a felony:

Combine unsupervised teenagers, digital cameras and e-mail, and, given sufficient time, you'll end up with risque photographs on a computer somewhere.

There's a problem with that: Technically, those images constitute child pornography. That's what 16-year-old Amber and 17-year-old Jeremy, her boyfriend, both residents of the Tallahassee, Fla., area, learned firsthand. (Court documents include only their initials, A.H. and J.G.W., so we're using these pseudonyms to make this story a little easier to read.)

On March 25, 2004, Amber and Jeremy took digital photos of themselves naked and engaged in unspecified "sexual behavior." The two sent the photos from a computer at Amber's house to Jeremy's personal e-mail address. Neither teen showed the photographs to anyone else.

Court records don't say exactly what happened next--perhaps the parents wanted to end the relationship and raised the alarm--but somehow Florida police learned about the photos.

Amber and Jeremy were arrested. Each was charged with producing, directing or promoting a photograph featuring the sexual conduct of a child. Based on the contents of his e-mail account, Jeremy was charged with an extra count of possession of child pornography.

That's right, in order to protect these kids, we must arrest them and try them as sex offenders.

Morons.

January 26, 2007

Why I Hate Georgia III

If teenagers were investigated an prosecuted under Georgia's outrageous strict pedophile law, you couldn't build enough jails to hold the offenders:

Genarlow Wilson is standing on a threshold all right, at the end of the last hall of Burruss Correctional Training Center, an hour and a half south of Atlanta. He's just a few feet from the mechanical door that closes with a goosebump-raising whurr and clang. Three and a half years after he received that letter, he's wearing a blue jacket with big, white block letters. They read: STATE PRISONER.

He's 20 now. Just two years into a 10-year sentence without possibility of parole, he peers through the thick glass and bars, trying to catch a glimpse of freedom. Outside, guard towers and rolls of coiled barbed wire remind him of who he is.

Once, he was the homecoming king at Douglas County High. Now he's Georgia inmate No. 1187055, convicted of aggravated child molestation.

When he was a senior in high school, he received oral sex from a 10th grader. He was 17. She was 15. Everyone, including the girl and the prosecution, agreed she initiated the act. But because of an archaic Georgia law, it was a misdemeanor for teenagers less than three years apart to have sexual intercourse, but a felony for the same kids to have oral sex.

Afterward, the state legislature changed the law to include an oral sex clause, but that doesn't help Wilson. In yet another baffling twist, the law was written to not apply to cases retroactively, though another legislative solution might be in the works. The case has drawn national condemnation, from the "Free Genarlow Wilson Now" editorial in The New York Times to a feature on Mark Cuban's HDNet.

Well, at least Wilson wasn't punished for "molesting" a white girl. You know what to do.

January 3, 2007

We've Been Ruled By A Pillhead Junkie Nutcase

New FBI files currently released reveals the degree that recently deceased Chief Justice Rehnquist was out of touch with reality during his tenure

Also in 1986, the FBI conducted an intensive investigation into Rehnquist’s dependence on Placidyl, a strong painkiller that he had taken since the early 1970s for insomnia and back pain. Rehnquist’s bout with drug dependence had been made public in 1981, when he was hospitalized for his back pain and suffered withdrawal symptoms when he stopped taking the drug.

The FBI’s 1986 report on Rehnquist’s drug dependence was not released at the time of his confirmation, though some Democratic senators wanted it made public. But it is in Rehnquist’s now-public file, and it contains new details about his behavior during his weeklong hospital stay in December 1981. One physician whose name is blocked out told the FBI that Rehnquist expressed “bizarre ideas and outrageous thoughts. He imagined, for example, that there was a CIA plot against him.?

The doctor said Rehnquist “had also gone to the lobby in his pajamas in order to try to escape.? The doctor said Rehnquist’s delirium was consistent with him suddenly stopping his apparent daily dose of 1400 milligrams of the drug — nearly three times higher than the 500-milligram maximum recommended by physicians. The doctor said, “Any physician who prescribed it was practicing very bad medicine, bordering on malpractice.?

Apparently he stopped taking the drugs in 1982, according to the same doctors who filled out his overdosage of the painkillers (that sounds a lot like the story Rush Limpballs is hanging on to). But still, that goes a long way to explain some of his ridiculous rulings over the years, especially his concurrent judgement in Bush v. Gore.