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Sorry for invading the law student board as a lowly prelaw student, but I had a question that needed some law student help. I'm trying to decide between several schools regarding where I'll attend next year. I'm leaning heavily towards Rutgers at this point, but its my understanding that they do not rank their students and instead just assign grades. Now, I am not going to go anywhere with the plan to transfer elsewhere and am more than aware of the folly in that kind of thinking. However, the ability to transfer if I don't like a place or if I do exceptionally well is an option I want to keep open. That being said, would going to Rutgers (or any other school with a non-ranking policy) hinder that ability or would the grades received instead substitute for the rank in some manner?

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Meta Discussion / For the National Anthem in Spanish!
« on: August 18, 2006, 04:54:53 PM »
Rather than cutting and pasting something I received as a bulletin that compelled me to share it with my friends, I've decided to write my own bulletin as a response to it.

This particular bulletin, entitled "enuf is enuf!!" which I'm sure many of you have already received, is an impassioned patriotic plea forbid the singing of the national anthem in Spanish *gasp*! It goes on to explain that this sentiment is not held out of malice towards immigrants, however it does make clear that the author, as well as those reposting it, insist upon immigrants learning the English language. For them the desicration of our proud national anthem was, apparently, the last straw.

Well the author and those circulating this chain bulletin are correct. Enough is enough and I've had enough. For starters, I've had enough of inconsistency and hypocracy. This is including, but is not limited to, heart-felt pleas to protect the sanctity and dignity of our country and language when the argument comes from those who can't, or won't, correctly spell their titles, who insist upon using multiple exclamation points to express themselves, and who fill their posts with entire phrases written in all capital letters. The English language is clearly nothing less than sacred to these people.

I've also had enough of patriotism being used to mask other motives. Patriotism is at an all time high, in our lifetimes. This is not a bad thing. What is unfortunate is how patriotism frequently travels in the same cart as bandwagon nationalism. If spanish-speaking Americans want to sing our national anthem in spanish then more power to them. After all, their song is a tribute to the United States. A tribute, perhaps, made more meaningful by the fact that it is done in a language that they have a deeper understanding of and which comes naturally from their hearts. For goodness sake, if our great Constitution and country support the right for the citizens of the United States to burn the American flag and sell T-shirts calling for the destruction of this government and its officials, then why can't people sing praise to the U.S. in a foreign tongue? In this day and age when it is so rare to hear our nation being honored outside of the English speaking world shouldn't we consider this an honor and blessing?

So if honoring the USA or the English language isn't what spreads this kind of dribble then what is it?  Its plain and simple intolerance. Now, before anyone jumps the gun here its important to understand that intolerance isn't necessarily hatred, racism, prejudice, or any of those other big nasties. Though it can be, intolerance means simply a lack of consideration for another's point of view. This is starkly disturbing when that other point of view is harmless and moreso if it is well intentioned. I know that in today's world it isn't popular to be sensitive to the concerns of other and political correctness is little more than a quaint and illogical tradition. All that stuff was a liberal 90's thing, right? They seemed important before we realized how dangerous the world we live in is and now they need to be put away with all the other childish nonsense from that way of thinking. Well that's just bullsh*t!

People should care about what other people thinking and stop running around like a bunch of vigilantes who's only concern is for their own thoughts and whims. Other people have thoughts and feelings too and, you know what, some of them are more important thans yours. There is room in the this country for two languages, heck there's room for 336. That's the number of languages spoken in America today. Out of all those languages English is spoken by 82% of Americans. So go ahead and divide the remaining 18% between the 335 non-English languages and tell me if you still feel threatened. Oh, by the way, that 82% is on the rise. This is largely due to the fact that almost 3/4 of Mexican-Americans and Asian-Americans speak English and they're kids are learning it from them and from our schools.

A multilingual America has countless benefits. First of all, studies have, without exception, shown that people who speak more than one language are smarter, more well rounded, and have a higher earning potential. Our fellow citizens that speak non-English languages not only function better personally, but bring countless resources to the benefit of our country and communities. Regions with a greater density of non-English speakers attract more businesses in terms of both numbers and diversity. Beyond that, any travel guide will tell you that they're also rated as more entertaining due to the vast amounts of cultural exhibitions and events. Multilingual Americans benefit this country by making international trade and negotiations more feasible and by making the US a prime target for international business that don't specifically appeal to the typical American market. They also benefit America by showing the world that we aren't quite so self-centered as we are believed to be. For over a century, we have expected other nations to appease us and learn our language in their dealings with us and our citizens, perhaps its time to be a good neighbor. Finally, lets face it, English is not the native language of this hemisphere. It's use is foreign and, in fact, it isn't the most widespread on this half of the globe. Its easy to assume that everyone speaks English when you live in America, but there's more to the Americas than the US and Canada. Why on Earth should we push against the prevalent language continentally south of us? There is a lot of south and a lot of people we should be trying to become closer to.

We have much bigger problems than Americans who don't speak English at the grocer or who want to politically participate in another language. Maybe the people worried about this sort of thing should make sure that they know all the words to the national anthem because over 1/3 of Americans don't know its name (Star-Spangled Banner), over 2/3 don't know its author (Francis Scott Key, and almost 2/3 can't sing it from memory. So everyone out there who is offended by the singing of the national anthem in Spanish (and that especially applies to the vast majority of you who fall into one or more of the above mentioned percentages) grow up and focus on your own short comings. We are one country and most of us are proud of it. How about we start acting like it and supporting anyone who is appreciates our nation's greatness. How about we start looking inside before pointing fingers. How about we appreciate what others add to our lives instead of lamenting how they complicate and challenge it. Finally, how about we stand by our fellow Americans, all of them, and focus our efforts towards our true enemies; those who don't seek to praise us with exotic tongues, but who seek to destroy us from foreign soils.

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News Discussion / Re: Dershowitz on Israel
« on: August 10, 2006, 04:00:14 AM »
As always Dershowitz is spot on. As much as it pains me, all the rhetoric we've been spouting about terrorism and guerrilla warfare in Iraq actually apply in spades to Israel. Its painful to me that the so many people and nations can't see it this way.

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: U tube hall of fame
« on: August 07, 2006, 01:14:26 PM »

First off, thats not YouTube. Second, GO BIG RED: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8oxg9xheXs

Dammit, you're right.  I really have to stop LSDing when I'm sick.   :D

I understand, high fever and vomitting have often been associated with preferring the 'Canes over the Huskers. ;)

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: U tube hall of fame
« on: August 07, 2006, 04:03:35 AM »
Ok, I realize I'm pretty much the only 'Cane here, but I just watched this about an hour ago and it is currently my favorite you tube video.   ;D

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1739404003630678637

First off, thats not YouTube. Second, GO BIG RED: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8oxg9xheXs

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Rutgers-Newark vs. Drexel
« on: July 24, 2006, 12:21:43 PM »
I ended up choosing RU-N. While I was really impressed by Drexel in a lot of ways, I didn't feel comfortable pinning myself in there. I'm not from the east coast so one of my major concerns was my ability to transfer my credits to another law school if I wasn't happy out there. I don't necessarily mean transferring up either, just that if it turns out the east isn't for me I'd like to have not completely wasted my time and money. Also, the areas of Drexel's focus didn't really appeal to me and I liked my post-degree prospects a little more at Rutgers. Ultimately, I think I preferred Drexel because of thier location, their novelty, and their enthusiasm. However, I decided that those probably weren't the best reasons for me to choose a law school.
I'd also like to thank everyone for their input on this subject. You gave me a lot to think about and helped me to mull out the thoughts I was having on my own. That all aided in making my decision.

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I don't believe DTA referenced "new" cases in any way, and as far as the intent of Congress, you know that the conservative jurists really won't care (as a strict constructionist, if DTA doesn't say "new cases" then it doesn't mean "new cases").  This is where Alito and Scalia would likely bump heads (though probably coming to the same conclusion regarding the meaning of statute): Alito is much more likely to use legislative history (and the perceived intention of Congress) than Scalia (see this terms U.S. v. Zedner in which the two duke it out over this idea).

Not explicitly, no. Section 1005(h)(2) states "REVIEW OF COMBATANT STATUS TRIBUNAL AND MILITARY COMMISSION DECISIONS- Paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (e) shall apply with respect to any claim whose review is governed by one of such paragraphs and that is pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.". The paragraphs it is referring to hear are the ones that limit the Court's jurisdiction over these cases. Basically, the Act is saying that any claim for reviewing combatant status (which is at the heart of any habeus corpus request or demands for PoW/Geneva rights) after the Act is passed can not be heard by the Court, hence my saying no new cases. The Court in this case, however, judged Hamdan to be pending before the Act was passed. Therefore, it had jurisdiction and therefore it could rule against the military tribunals and, I'm sure by no coincidence, against DTA restriction of judicial power.

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I see your point.  I would, however, interpret this as saying that Congress can assign original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court by statute, not that it can strip a court of any and all jurisdiction on a particular issue.  If Congress can strip the Supreme Court, or other courts for that matter, from any jurisdiction, doesn't this completely negate the judicial check on the legislature?

Actually, it states that the Court's appellate jurisdiction is at the mercy of Congress, but its original jurisdiction in beyond Congress. Historically though, the Court does not take kindly to Congress limiting its powers and, as a result, usually finds a way to moot such laws.

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The sad part is the mental gymnastics one has to go to in order to even find that SCOTUS has jurisdiction in this case.  DTA and Article III should've forbidden them from hearing this case at all.

I agree, but so goes many of the Court's decisions. In all fairness it isn't that big of a stretch. The DTA simply stated that the Court couldn't hear new cases concerning military tribunals. The Court then just decided that since Hamdan was appealing for a writ of habeus corpus that his case was pending. Whether or not that was the intention of Congress is highly debatable (I think its clear that Congress meant to keep SCOTUS from hearing any more cases regarding Bush's military tribunals), but the reasoning of the Court in hearing the case isn't that convuluted.

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Quote
Not if he asks immediately...if he shuts down Guantanamo, moves the prisoners there elsewhere, holds on to them until after the elections, and then asks, he might get it.

That would be a major risk for him politically. First of all, the legal implications of this trial are not isolated to Guantanamo Bay. The thrust of this case revolves around the "enemy combatant" status the DoD has been doling out as a reason to deny PoW rights and dodge the Geneva Convention. Simply moving them out of Gitmo won't rectify the problems the Court has found. Second, moving them and holding them until after elections would run him past the Detainee Treatment Act time table for reviewing and reporting "enemy combatants" putting his administration into further legal trouble than its been in thus far. At that point he would be directly violating a law passed by Congress that he pushed for. Finally, doing so would act contrary to the Court's decisions in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Rasul v. Rumsfeld which found that the sort of indefinate holding of detainees without fair trial was unconstitutional. I suppose a case could be made for a new time table being needed because of the Hamdan decision, but I doubt the Court would buy it.

What I think is more likely is that Bush will shut down Gitmo and release most of its prisoners back to their own countries for trial or release there. Of course, the real baddies will move into the federal court system and be tried there. On a side note, does anyone else find it interesting that Bush distinguishes between the real terrible guys locked up at Gitmo and the rest. I mean, if there's such an obvious difference who are these others we're holding and why? Oh yeah, the Court ruled on that too didn't it.

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