Supreme Court

KILLING THEM HARSHLY WITH OUR DRONES

October 8 2011
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The following is an excerpt from an article in The Economist. Readers who want more can link here. THE killing in Yemen of Anwar al-Awlaki and three al-Qaeda associates by a drone on September 30th has caused far more fuss in America than previous drone attacks. The reason is that al-Awlaki and one of his…

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LIFE WITHOUT A PREFRONTAL LOBE

October 31 2010
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When you are feeling bad about your life, remember this: you could be a lawyer. In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled juveniles cannot be executed for their crimes. This spring, the Court ruled life sentences for juvenile murderers without the possibility of parole is also a No No. Now, the Court is considering whether juveniles…

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ANITA HILL VS. MRS. CLARENCE THOMAS

October 30 2010
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This is reproduced almost in its entirety from LegalTimes. For those who want all of it, please CLICK HERE. Virginia Thomas Cancels Radio Show Amid Controversy Over Her Call to Anita Hill. Hill reported the call to campus police. Hill said she would not apologize — and had nothing to apologize for. Here is the…

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OBAMA JUSTICE

October 28 2010
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Some will tell you that this is all the doing of the Justice Department, headed up by Attorney General Eric Holder. But I don’t understand. Doesn’t Holder work for Obama? And whatever happened to the idea “The buck stops here”? Reprinted from the Wall Street Justice [with small omissions]. It can be hard to distinguish…

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ELENA KAGAN OFF HER ROCKER

October 4 2010
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Elena Kagan is making life easy for herself as she takes her seat on the U.S. Supreme Court bench. She has recused herself from 24 cases of the 52 that are on the Court’s docket. Why? Because as the former Solicitor General in the Justice Department, it was Kagan’s job to supervise all pending appeals…

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THE AMERICAN WAY OF INJUSTICE

June 22 2010
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Yup, the American way. Self-acclaimed greatest country in the world. Here is a fine example of American injustice at work. This article is reprinted from the NY Review of Books. Written by David Cole. On Monday, June 14, the Supreme Court declined to hear Maher Arar’s case, conclusively shutting the door on the Canadian citizen’s…

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THE SUPREME COURT – DOES NOT ALWAYS GET IT WRONG

May 17 2010
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The Supreme Court just ruled that teenagers may not be locked up for life WITHOUT CHANCE OF PAROLE if they haven’t killed anyone. Unsurprisingly, there were four dissenters – you know who they are – Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas. In 2005, Kennedy said for a majority that people under 18 are less responsible for…

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ANIMAL CRUELTY VIDEOS RULED CONSTITUTIONAL

April 21 2010
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The Supreme Court has struck down a federal law that said videos depicting animal cruelty are illegal. The vote was 8-1, with only Sam Alito dissenting. The Court held that unlike categories such as obscenity, fraud and defamation, there is no long history of viewing depictions of animal cruelty as outside the protection of the…

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JUSTICE STEVENS RETIRES

April 9 2010
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From The Blog of the Legal Times…………April 9, 2010. Following is the text of the letter, dated today, that Justice John Paul Stevens sent to President Barack Obama announcing his intent to retire at the end of the current term: My dear Mr. President: Having concluded that it would be in the best interests of…

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PROSECUTORIAL IMMUNITY

March 23 2010
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In 1984, John Thompson was found guilty of armed robbery and, in an unrelated case, of murder. Thompson’s lawyers later learned that prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence in the robbery trial that the perpetrator had a different blood type from Thompson’s. He was found guilty of robbery and did not testify at his murder trial. Thompson’s…

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BREAKING BONES NO LONGER PERMITTED

March 14 2010
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The U.S. Supreme Court in its infinite, collective wisdom has finally ruled prisoners have a constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment by prison guards and other specialists in inhumanity. This ruling is consistent with previous rulings but not with the previous ideas of Justices Scalia and Thomas. Dissenting from a vicious treatment case in…

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IT’S NOT THE LAW

March 2 2010
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“Ignorance of the law is no excuse” – unless you are a Justice of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court Monday decided not to hear the appeal of a group of Uighurs who have been held without charge at Guantanamo Bay for eight years. The case was originally scheduled for the high court’s docket March…

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SUPREME COURT SAYS “JUST KILL HIM”

January 21 2010
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Welcome, Sonia, to the Supreme Court where you will now have the power to kill. Sonia Sotomayor, the most recent lunatic added to the Bench, handed down the majority opinion in the Wood versus Allen ] case on purely narrow, technical grounds. [Wood v. Allen, as lazy killers and their slavish followers like to say.]…

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WHAT’S INNOCENCE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

September 1 2009
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The Troy Davis case revolves around the question whether a man, given a fair trial on a murder charge but later able to introduce evidence that he was innocent has done enough not to go to the execution chamber. Among those who think innocence is not enough is Justice Antonin Scalia. For details, CLICK HERE.

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THE VOTE ON SOTOMAYOR

August 7 2009
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Sonia Sotomayor is now a member of the U.S. Supreme Court or, at least, will be as soon as the formality of the swearing-in process is completed. The vote was 68-31. Every Democrat voted for her, including Spector, along with the following Republicans: Alexander, Tenessee……Bond, Missouri. Collins, Maine…..Graham, South Carolina Gregg, New Hampshire…..Lugar, Indiana Martinez,…

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THE POWER OF ANTHONY KENNEDY

July 26 2009
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As Kennedy goes, so goes the Supreme Court. Kennedy is the ultimate switch hitter. On the one hand, we have the conservatives: Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and brain-dead Thomas. On the other hand, the moderate liberals: Stevens, Breyer, Souter, and Ginsberg. In many important case, Anthony sides with one wing and in other equally important cases…

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THE SONIA NOMINATION

June 18 2009
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Below is a very extensive compilation of articles about Sonia – her good and bad points and her chances (almost 100%) of making it over the hurdles. This is all from the National Law Journal. To actually read the individual articles, CLICK HERE. • Judge Sonia Sotomayor continues to draw fire for her membership in…

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RICCI VERSUS DeSTAFANO/ARE WHITE PEOPLE THE VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION?

April 24 2009
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The U.S. Supreme Ct. has now heard arguments on a major case that tests our understanding of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. White firefighters in New haven, Ct., are suing the city because the city threw out the test scores of all applicants, Whites, Latinos, and Blacks alike on the grounds that not…

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THE COURT OF APPEALS GETS THIS ONE RIGHT!

April 11 2009
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“…a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [Thursday] declared unconstitutional … a federal statute intended to allow the federal government to place in indefinite civil commitment ‘sexually dangerous’ persons who have completed serving their federal prison sentences.” “After carefully considering the Government’s arguments, we conclude, for the reasons…

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SLUGGISH DEFENSE LAWYERS MEAN CANCELLATION OF THE RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL

March 24 2009
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From the Associated Press: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that a state is not responsible for a public defender’s delays in bringing a criminal case to trial. The court by a 7-2 vote reversed a Vermont Supreme Court decision in favor of Michael Brillon, whose conviction for assaulting his girlfriend was overturned. The state…

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TELL IT TO THE JUDGE

December 17 2008
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One of the stupidest clichés circulating in law and politics is that a president should not use an ideological litmus paper when making his appointments to federal courts. Of course he should; moreover he always does. The idea that a president should only be interested in legal competence is almost too crazy to criticize but…

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SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON AN IMPORTANT NONISSUE

December 7 2008
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The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Ali al-Marri, the only person living in mainland USA who is being held on indefinite detention although he is an American citizen. The government maintains (but doesn’t charge him with any offense) that al-Marri is an al Qaeda “sleeper agent” with the modest assignment of…

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WHAT WILL THEY DO NEXT?

June 13 2008
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June 13, 2008 Here is a link to yesterday’s NY Times article about the Supreme Court coming out in favor of habeas corpus. What a ridiculous bunch! Why, the next decision will probably be the announcement that people cannot be sentenced to execution without first being given a trial and found guilty. Can we survive…

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A LITTLE NIGHT LESSON IN LAW, AMADEUS

May 24 2008
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May 24, 2008 Law students are taught, by rote learning of course, the distinction between de jure and de facto. So, of course, when it is their turn to be law professors they misapply the ideas and bungle a new generation’s understanding. Here’s how it goes (into the student’s notes): If there is a written…

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