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Topics - jeffjoe

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Nashville School of Law / NSL is a success?
« on: January 13, 2005, 04:18:24 PM »

Pointless Arguments / Love followers charged with hate
« on: January 12, 2005, 04:05:56 PM »
I don't know exactly what it is, but there's something wrong when the followers of the lover savior of the universis are charged with hate crimes.

Christian Activists Charged With Hate Crimes For Gay Protest
Charges Carry Penalties Of Up To 47 Years

POSTED: 2:54 pm EST January 12, 2005

PHILADELPHIA -- Four Christian activists are accused of hate crimes for their demonstration urging gays and lesbians to repent at last October's "Outfest" in Philadelphia.

Michael Marcavage and his fellow demonstrators face arraignment today for alleged ethnic intimidation, criminal conspiracy and inciting to riot.

Film shot for the upcoming documentary "The Philadelphia Five" shows Marcavage and other members of Repent America trying to make themselves heard over gay activists who whistled and surrounded them with pink signs. When Marcavage complained to police, he and his fellow Christians were arrested and jailed.

Their attorney said the charges carry penalties of up to 47 years in prison.

Nashville School of Law / Well, duh.
« on: January 10, 2005, 11:41:43 AM »
New VU law dean wants students to chase ideals

Staff Writer

Law students could have more incentive to enter their profession's least lucrative jobs after a prominent legal scholar takes charge at Vanderbilt University Law School later this year.

Edward Rubin, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, has been named dean of the Vanderbilt school, the Nashville university will announce today.

Nashville School of Law / Torts Hypo 1
« on: January 07, 2005, 03:55:15 PM »
A sees B and C near the edge of a cliff.  B is laying on the ground and is obviously seriously hurt.  C is standing nearby.

A picks up B intending to take B to the hospital.  As A turns around with B in his arms, B's legs strike C and send C over the cliff and C dies.  In the process of picking up B, A causes B's broken rib to puncture his lung and B dies.

What torts has A commited?  (It's a trick question)

Pointless Arguments / Don't hold back. Tell us what you really think.
« on: January 07, 2005, 02:45:22 PM »

Promoting torture's promoter

If the United States were to look into a mirror right now, it wouldn't recognise itself. The administration that thumbed its nose at the Geneva Conventions seems equally dismissive of such grand American values as honour, justice, integrity, due process and the truth.

So there was Alberto Gonzales, counsellor to the president and enabler-in-chief of the pro-torture lobby, interviewing on Capitol Hill on Thursday for the post of attorney-general, which just happens to be the highest law enforcement office in the land. Gonzales shouldn't be allowed anywhere near that office. His judgments regarding the detention and treatment of prisoners rounded up in Iraq and the so-called war on terror have been both unsound and shameful. Some of the practices that evolved from his judgments were appalling, gruesome, medieval.

General Board / Jerry's Jurists
« on: January 01, 2005, 03:56:59 PM »
The Reverend Falwell opens a law school.  Wudya think?

Falwell's Law School Joins Others in Teaching Law to Their Flocks
The legal program at the reverend's university represents the latest effort by the religious right to change American society.
By Emma Schwartz
LA Times Staff Writer

November 21, 2004

LYNCHBURG, Va. — What Debra Meador read disturbed her. It didn't seem right that schoolchildren were once barred from holding prayer groups after class. Or that the Ten Commandments couldn't be displayed in a government building.

So at 34, the human relations specialist from Lynchburg made good on a longtime interest by enrolling in law school. But unlike most prospective lawyers, she applied to only one place.

"I wanted to take it in a Christian setting," said Meador, a member of the inaugural law class at Liberty University, a Baptist college founded here in 1971 by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. "I don't believe anyone could be neutral. We're willing to tell you what we believe and to follow that."

The school, like Meador, who aspires to argue cases before the Supreme Court, has grand designs. Right now, it has only 60 students and six faculty members. Provisional accreditation by the American Bar Assn. — which certifies that a school has been evaluated on the quality of its legal education and allows students to sit for the bar exam in any state — is at least two years away.

But by teaching law from a Christian perspective, Falwell hopes to train a cadre of Christian lawyers to fight what he sees as the growing secularization of public life across the country.

And the school plans to offer select students hands-on experience with a law firm that takes on constitutional issues. That would occur when Liberty Counsel, a legal organization in Orlando, Fla., that focuses on cases involving religion and traditional values, moves its legislative arm to the campus.

Best known for establishing in 1979 the Moral Majority, one of the first evangelical efforts to affect political discourse, Falwell sees the law school as an extension of his mission.

"We certainly are training Christian activists," Falwell, who this month announced the creation of a 21st century version of the Moral Majority that aims to re-energize religious conservatives, said in an interview last week. "We're turning their attention to understand the Bible is the infallible word of God, that the American Constitution is a sacred document and that the Christian worldview is their matrix of service."

But for many students, the Christianity at the school's core does not mandate that they promote religion in the courtroom. Nor do faculty members see producing such graduates as their goal. As they point out, lawyers — not Falwell — do the teaching.

For Brad Fraser, a 23-year-old Pennsylvanian who completed his undergraduate degree at Liberty, the law school's purpose is not "to legislate morality. Our goal is to get back to the underlying principles that form the law."

The school is not the first to approach the law from a Christian perspective, nor is it the only such institution to emerge in recent years. Legal organizations backed by evangelical Christians have been waging court battles over the last two decades.

But it represents the latest effort by the religious right to transform American society — on everything from the division between church and state to such social issues as abortion and same-sex marriage — from the inside out. And it's an indication of the alienation that many conservative Christians feel amid the larger secular culture.

"Christians are just now coming around to see the importance of law and legal institutions in terms of judges and government," said Michael P. Schutt, director of the Institute for Christian Legal Studies at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., whose law school takes a similar approach to Liberty's. "So Christians have begun to think about how we can influence these important perspectives."

It's a direction that has raised eyebrows among some civil libertarians and constitutional law scholars who fear that schools like Liberty are designed to preach, not teach.

"I don't believe that the understanding of Jerry Falwell about the history of America and of the American Constitution is remotely accurate, nor is it ethically responsibly," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and a longtime critic of Falwell. "It is designed to turn America into his view of a Christian nation…. When you get these insular institutions who believe they are right and fighting the entire world, you get extremists coming out as graduates."

The picture inside Liberty's law school — a recently remodeled building acquired from a manufacturing plant that moved out of town — sheds a decidedly more complex light on the sort of legal education students receive.

On Thursday, a property-law class opened with a prayer, led by the instructor. But for the rest of the hour, the students' attention turned to more mundane subjects: leases, mortgages and tenant contracts. They read cases on who had the right to inherit property and discussed the differences in legal interpretations across courts.

It's much like any other law school, instructor Morris E. Osborne, who spent years at the Florida firm of Akerman Senterfitt, said after class. The only difference: Osborne can, if he sees the opportunity, use the Bible as a teaching tool.

Students and faculty members say the curriculum includes law school staples: tort law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, contracts and real estate. There is also a three-year required series on lawyering — training in everything from filing a brief to interviewing clients.

Where Liberty's curriculum differs from most law schools is that legal studies are integrated with questions about morality, discussions centered on natural law and classes peppered with Christian perspectives on course material. The most concrete example, students and faculty say, is the first-year Fundamentals of Law course, which includes an examination of Christian influence on the foundation of the American legal system.

But mostly, what this viewpoint means for instructors like H. Beau Baez, a Georgetown University law graduate who teaches torts, is that "we can explain not just what the rule is in the current state of the law, but what the law should be."

It's an important perspective, said Bruce W. Green, the law school's dean, because law based on morality and natural law is "underrepresented in the free marketplace of ideas," making schools like Liberty all the more important to "make sure that viewpoint is heard."

Law schools with strong religious underpinnings are showing signs of growth around the country. Ave Maria School of Law, a Roman Catholic institution in Ann Arbor, Mich., opened four years ago, and University of St. Thomas, also Catholic, in St. Paul., Minn., graduated its first law class last spring. Both schools have received provisional ABA accreditation.

Although nearly all of Liberty's students are Christian, not all are Baptist. One is Jewish; a few said they hadn't set foot in a church in years before coming here. (Attendance at services is not required, but most students do go.)

There were more than 200 applicants for Liberty's inaugural class, Green said. This year the school expects more than twice that number of applications.

Perhaps the closest parallel to Liberty is Regent University's law school, founded in 1986 by the Rev. Pat Robertson, host of television's "The 700 Club." Based three hours east of here, the school — which received its full ABA accreditation in 1996 — has a close relationship with the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington nonprofit law firm also founded by Robertson.

If Regent's graduates are any indication of Liberty's future, many more go into public-interest law than the national law school average of about 3% of a class. But even at Regent, they account for no more than 10% of the graduates, with the remainder opting for more traditional legal fields, said Jeffrey A. Brauch, the school's dean.

Although a number of Liberty's students express interest in public service and politics, their career goals run the gamut of the legal profession, from the intrigues of international law to the corporate offices of Wal-Mart.

Students and faculty express a similar draw to the school: that it's a place with a clear Christian mission, where a high priority is put on training honest, effective lawyers.

"A lot of us have concerns about where the culture is going and want to use the Bible and faith and their legal degrees to get the culture back in the direction they think is best," said Michael Krause, a 24-year-old from San Antonio who says he wants to be governor of his home state one day. "But it's not like they are teaching us to use the Bible. They're teaching us to use our education."

Pointless Arguments / Why Mr. Bush?
« on: December 27, 2004, 09:30:07 PM »
Why do we have to force information out of the 'moral' leader of the nation?

Gitmo torture claims appear substantiated by FBI documents   
Bernard Hibbitts at 9:06 AM

[JURIST] The Washington Post reported Sunday that claims of abuse and torture made by 10 former Guantanamo detainees and described in documents filed in federal court now appear to be substantiated by FBI documents recently obtained by the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act. Both the detainee complaints and the FBI papers (the release of which was previously reported in JURIST's Paper Chase) refer to incidents of severe interrogation, humiliation, rape and other behviours contrary to the provisions of the Geneva Conventions. Even the detainees' attorneys are said to originally have had doubts about their clients' abuse claims abuse given the lack of independent evidence of problems at Guantanamo, as opposed to Abu Ghraib in Iraq, but now Brent Michum, a DC attorney representing one of the detainees, says:

    now there's no question these guys have been tortured. When we first got involved in this case, I wondered whether this could all be true. But every allegation that I've heard has now come to pass and been confirmed by the government's own papers.

General Board / Judge awards ISP $1 billion in spam damages
« on: December 21, 2004, 01:16:29 PM »,10801,98421,00.html

Article says P doesn't expect to collect all that.  I wonder how the judge could award that much in light of State Farm v. Campbell (USSC 2003)

Is this what we are fighting for?

US military team threatened intel personnel who witnessed Iraq prisoner abuses   
Bernard Hibbitts at 5:29 PM

[JURIST] Documents released Tuesday by the ACLU pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act proceeding say that Defense Intelligence Agency personnel in Iraq who witnessed abuses of prisoners by a US Special Forces team were threatened to prevent them reporting those abuses, had their car keys taken and e-mails monitored, and were warned not to leave their base. See a scanned copy of DIA chief Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby's June 25, 2004 memo to the Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence here [PDF]. Other documents show what the ACLU claims was a "rift" between the FBI and military authorities about appropriate and effective methods of interrogating prisoners. The ACLU revelations come a day after AP obtained a letter from a senior FBI counterterror expert complaining of "highly aggressive" military interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo as early as 2002, previously reported in JURIST's Paper Chase. The ACLU press release on the documents released Tuesday is here. The documents themselves, and other torture-related materials obtained through ACLU FOIA reveals, are collected here.

Pointless Arguments / Four more years
« on: December 06, 2004, 04:11:45 PM »
Donald Rumsfeld said today that he hopes we'll be out of Iraq before the end of the Bush administration.  Oh, boy.

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