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Messages - greenplaid

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11
More on this Generous Gesture

http://media.www.thehilltoponline.com/media/storage/paper590/news/2008/07/21/Campus/Howard.Grad.Creates.Lsat.Prep.Scholarship-3392882.shtml

Howard Grad Creates LSAT Prep Scholarship
Jessica Lewis
7/21/08
Campus
 Students planning to take the LSAT may be able to prepare for the exam for free with the help of Kristina Maury.

Maury, a 2007 Howard graduate and Harvard Law student, introduced a scholarship for students interested in pursuing a career in law - The Terrance Mac Maury Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will cover the full cost of a Kaplan Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) classroom course, which averages about $1,299. Test takers will then be responsible for the $127 exam itself.

"The scholarship is named after my dad," Maury said. "He was murdered after getting involved with drugs and my scholarship represents the chance he never had."

After looking at the scoring pattern for blacks when compared to other races, who tend to be "overrepresented" in law school, Maury decided to hold a fundraiser to start her own scholarship fund to help adjust the trend.

"For my birthday, I held a mini fundraiser and asked my family and friends to make donations versus giving me gifts," she said. So far, Maury has raised enough funds to distribute the scholarship to one person in November 2008.

Junior legal communications major, Angela Porter expressed gratitude for the scholarship, as she thinks there is always a need for LSAT Prep courses, making this scholarship extremely beneficial to students.

"African-Americans tend to lag behind the majority when it comes to standardized testing," Porter said.

The average LSAT score for whites was 152.47 in 2004, and 142.43 for blacks, according to "The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education."

Maury recognizes this imbalanced trend. "I think the problem lies more in the tests versus whether or not we, as African Americans, are being prepared for it, but I think that I could make a bit of a difference," she said.

Along with the family and friends that contributed to the fund, Maury will judge applicants based on the criteria outlined on the Web site, www.makingtheway.org.

The scholarship is available to one black junior or senior currently enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States. The applicants must have a 3.5 GPA with a demonstrated financial need.

In terms of "demonstrated financial need," Maury requests applicants to define their need rather than provide documented proof.

Coming from a single parent, middle-class family, Maury says that she understands that financial need goes beyond numbers and income.

Porter is already planning to apply for the scholarship having met the criteria.
To increase the impact of the scholarship fund, Maury intends to provide the recipient with any help they may need in terms of preparation.

Maury plans to continue this scholarship in the coming years and increase the award amount by partnering with law firms and associations.

12
Do you have a link to this study on black children raised by white families?

I can't link you to the studies because I heard the results first hand from the researcher, who was a professor of mine, but I can tell you that the author of the studies I'm referring to was Al Maisto.

Here is a link to
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law
2005, Vol. 11, No. 2, 235–294
THIRTY YEARS OF RESEARCH ON RACE
DIFFERENCES IN COGNITIVE ABILITY
http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushtonpdfs/PPPL1.pdf

There is a section included on transracial adoptions which identifies by name some of the key studies and findings. You'll also find arguments that the studies require follow-up studies and cannot be taken at face value.

IMO, if you want a cutting edge perspective, take a look at the cognitive evolution book. It analyzes new brain studies to interpret what the iq data mean.


13
I'm getting into this thread late, but I have to point out that there is evidence against this claim:

Quote
the difference between analytical thinkers and non-analytical thinkers becomes one of upbringing and environment.

In fact, in numerous studies of identical twins raised in different homes (sometimes at opposite ends of the economic and cultural spectrums) the twins nearly always test within a couple points of each other in terms of IQ. This would suggest that IQ is almost totally genetically determined.

The author of the above quote may want to comment, but certain types of thinking patterns are learned. (to greater and lesser degrees) People go to law school to learn how to "think like a lawyer." On average these people are considered very bright, but they still must learn not only legal concepts but how to analyze and apply them and how to make legal arguments.

As to the issue of twins, studies of black children reared by white families suggest that some of the studies of twins are flawed or incomplete. If the average IQ of black children reared by whites is significantly higher than the average IQ of similar black children reared by blacks, then IQ cannot be prescribed primarily by genetics.

You may want to check out a book called Cognitive Evolution mentioned in the beginning of this thread. It proposes that the act of thinking itself has biological consequences. Heady stuff.


14


I was wondering if the Roberts gesture to North Carolina Central University students will make him more popular among African Americans? Does this sort of thing matter?

It's doubtful. (unless he begins to vote like Ruth Bader Ginsburg) ;)

15
Black Law Students / Re: Black Law Student Discussion Board
« on: July 31, 2008, 11:12:26 PM »
Best of luck to my favorite BLSD bar examinees!  

Seconded
oh I missed these.  Thanks!

You're welcome  8)

16
Black Law Students / Re: Black Law Student Discussion Board
« on: July 29, 2008, 12:14:57 AM »
Best of luck to my favorite BLSD bar examinees!  

Seconded

17
THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
July 10, 2008
Law School at North Carolina Central University to Host the Chief Justice Roberts

Students at the historically black law school at North Carolina Central University in Durham will have to be well prepared for next spring’s moot court competition. The judge presiding over the final competition will be John Roberts, chief justice of the United States.

Raymond Pierce, dean of the law school, met the chief justice at a judicial conference and Roberts offered to officiate at the moot court proceedings.

It will be the first time a current member of the U.S. Supreme Court has made an appearance on the campus of the law school. There are about 600 students at the law school, about one half of them are African Americans.

http://www.jbhe.com/latest/index.html

Chief Justice Roberts was nominated July 19, 2005.

THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
George W. Bush, the NAACP, and the Persistent Damage to Black Higher Education

"Both of President Bush’s nominees to the Supreme Court — John Roberts and Samuel Alito —appear to be strong opponents of affirmative action. In late 1981 Roberts wrote a critique of a Civil Right Commission report in which he said the “obvious reason” for the failure of affirmative action programs was because they “required the recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates.”

The record on Roberts appears to be even worse due to information that came to light in his confirmation hearings. Before the hearings it was discovered that a file headed “Affirmative Action” was missing from the White House files stored at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Roberts had worked as a White House aide during the Reagan administration.

A report from the National Archives inspector general found that White House aides from the Bush administration visited the Reagan Library to do a background check on Roberts. The report found that the aides were permitted to bring personal items into the library and they were left alone at times with the document collection. The report says that the White House aides were the last known people to see the file entitled “Affirmative Action.”...."
http://www.jbhe.com/features/51_specialreport.html


18


If the Court accepts that "no fundamental right in the constitution is absolute", the fundamental constitutional right to freedom (13th Amendment) would not be exempt from 'regulation' "for the safety of the public."
Some would suggest that such regulation  may be the next wave in protecting the public from violent criminals who in the District of Columbia, for example, are primarily people of color.

See post above:
Lanier plans to seal off rough ’hoods in latest effort to stop wave of violence
Michael Neibauer and Bill Myers, The Examiner2008-06-04 07:00:00.0

"D.C. police will seal off entire neighborhoods, set up checkpoints and kick out strangers under a new program that D.C. officials hope will help them rescue the city from its out-of-control violence.
Under an executive order expected to be announced today, police Chief Cathy L. Lanier will have the authority to designate “Neighborhood Safety Zones.” At least six officers will man cordons around those zones and demand identification from people coming in and out of them. Anyone who doesn’t live there, work there or have “legitimate reason” to be there will be sent away or face arrest...."

Is this constitutional because it's temporary? (as of now) If no fundamental constitutional right is absolute, it could be determined by the Court to be 'constitutional' even if made permanent in a more virulent form, " for the safety of the public" at large, as protection from those initially absolutely free men who have demonstrated an inability to adjust to the public order requirements of the social contract.


2 points:

(1) First, I understand what you are trying to get at, but the 13th Amendment does not lend support to your fundamental rights argument. In other words, our right to "not be a slave" as I guess it would be phrased is not a "fundamental right" in the Con Law context that we're talking about here.  Fundamental Rights are generally accepted to be those rights that citizens choose to exercise affirmatively, such as:

your right to travel between state lines
your right to child rearing
your right to own a gun
your right to speak freely
your right to marriage
your right to vote
your right to practice your own religion

When we speak of fundamental rights, these are what we're talking about.  These are rights that you and I, as citizens, can choose to exercise and that the government can regulate in some manner for limited reasons (typically public safety, general welfare, etc.).  None of them are absolute. The government can regulate them.  However, there is a balancing test that the government must meet before it can attempt to regulate one of these rights.  It is notable to observe that when the government infringes any of these rights, it is deemed a civil matter handled in the courts by way of civil litigation.  (ie. Individual Person v. Government Agency)

By contrast, the 13th amendment is not conferring a right that you can affirmatively choose to exercise.  It declares that slavery in the U.S. and all its territories is CRIMINAL.  Anybody, private actor or state agency, who engages in slavery can and will be placed under arrest, charged by a prosecutor, and taken to a criminal court where they will stand trial.  See 18 U.S.C. § 1581.   That is completely different from how infringements of fundamental rights are handled.  Nobody goes to jail for infringing your right to own a gun, your right to marriage, or even for infringing your right to speak freely.


(2) Secondly, even the 13th Amendment's ban on slavery (ie. "involuntary servitude") is not absolute.  As you can see in the text of the amendment itself, the words "except as a punishment for crime" give even this rule an exception to itself, therefore rendering it as not absolute.  If you are convicted of a crime, you effectively become a slave.  You are placed under  the "involuntary servitude" of the executive branch and held for X amount of time against your will.


So in short, the 13th Amendment doesn't apply to our fundamental rights debate.


1) Is not a fundamental right one that has origin in a country's constitution or that is necessarily implied from the terms of that constitution?

For example,
Preamble   The Constitution of the United States of America
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Have not the specific rights which fall under the definition of fundamental rights  varied over the history of the US?

For example,
During the country's first century, freedom of contract and other property rights were considered fundamental. As economic substantive due process declined, these rights lost their primacy. During the 20th century, personal liberties have taken on fundamental status. Over time, the Supreme Court has ruled that with few exceptions the provisions of the Bill of Rights meet the definition of fundamental liberties and are constitutionally immune from encroachment by state and local governments as well as federal. Most recently, privacy rights and protections against discrimination have increasingly been seen as fundamental."

Some argue that the concept of inalienable rights was written into the Bill of Rights as the Ninth Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Professor Laurence Tribe: " The ninth amendment is not a source of rights as such; it is simply a rule about how to read the Constitution."

Scalia  in Troxel v. Granville (2000):
"The Declaration of Independence...is not a legal prescription conferring powers upon the courts; and the Constitution’s refusal to 'deny or disparage' other rights is far removed from affirming any one of them, and even farther removed from authorizing judges to identify what they might be, and to enforce the judges’ list against laws duly enacted by the people."

[Initially the Bill of Rights was held in Barron v. Baltimore (1833) to be enforceable by the federal courts only against the federal government... which is a government of enumerated powers...not against the states. ]

The Ninth Amendment bars denial of unenumerated rights if the denial is based on the enumeration of certain rights in the Constitution. (liberty?)

2) The Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure and did not permanently end slavery. Though several former slave states passed legislation prohibiting slavery, some slavery continued to exist until a sufficient number of states ratified the 13th Amendment.

Even though the constitution has recognized slavery, in the case of John Van Zandt, Salmon P. Chase argued before the Supreme Court "The law of the Creator, which invests every human being with an inalienable title to freedom, cannot be repealed by any interior law which asserts that man is property."

Murder was determined to be a crime, for example, because of the belief that the right to life is fundamental.
Slavery was outlawed by the 13th Amendment and subsequently made a crime because of the belief that the right to liberty as promulgated in the Constitution's preamble is a fundamental right of all men...not just some men.

Does it necessarily follow that because enslavement is a crime, liberty is not a fundamental constitutional right? Is it not true that the violations of certain fundamental rights are not crimes simply because we have not made them crimes...suggesting that the right to life and the right to liberty are indeed fundamental?

The only suggestion of the earlier post is that selective restrictions on freedom only in certain neighborhoods and only among certain racial and ethnic groups...not as a result of conviction and/ or certified insanity, etc...could continue to escalate if Justices find it constitutional to 'regulate' fundamental constitutional rights for social engineering purposes (for example, keeping guns away from criminals)

Constitution Is Big Winner in D.C. Gun Case
June 26, 2008 - by Dave Kopel
"Justice Scalia accurately noted that the Breyer approach would negate the very decision to enact the Second Amendment: “We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding ‘interest-balancing’ approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government — even the Third Branch of Government — the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad.”


19

Stevens does have a good point - no fundamental right in the Constitution is absolute.  The government can always regulate our fundamental rights for the safety of the public, as it should. 
Quote

13th. Amendment   Right to Freedom  ???
to the U.S. Constitution

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.



???

Why are you citing the 13th Amendment on Slavery?


Quote from: Burning Sands, Esq. on June 27, 2008, 12:04:11 PM
"Stevens does have a good point - no fundamental right in the Constitution is absolute.  The government can always regulate our fundamental rights for the safety of the public, as it should."

If the Court accepts that "no fundamental right in the constitution is absolute", the fundamental constitutional right to freedom (13th Amendment) would not be exempt from 'regulation' "for the safety of the public."
Some would suggest that such regulation  may be the next wave in protecting the public from violent criminals who in the District of Columbia, for example, are primarily people of color.

See post above:
Lanier plans to seal off rough ’hoods in latest effort to stop wave of violence
Michael Neibauer and Bill Myers, The Examiner2008-06-04 07:00:00.0

"D.C. police will seal off entire neighborhoods, set up checkpoints and kick out strangers under a new program that D.C. officials hope will help them rescue the city from its out-of-control violence.
Under an executive order expected to be announced today, police Chief Cathy L. Lanier will have the authority to designate “Neighborhood Safety Zones.” At least six officers will man cordons around those zones and demand identification from people coming in and out of them. Anyone who doesn’t live there, work there or have “legitimate reason” to be there will be sent away or face arrest...."

Is this constitutional because it's temporary? (as of now) If no fundamental constitutional right is absolute, it could be determined by the Court to be 'constitutional' even if made permanent in a more virulent form, " for the safety of the public" at large, as protection from those initially absolutely free men who have demonstrated an inability to adjust to the public order requirements of the social contract.

20
Constitution Is Big Winner in D.C. Gun Case

"...In response to Justice Stevens’ complaint that “hundreds of judges” have relied on the anti-individual rights interpretation of Miller, Scalia shot back: “their erroneous reliance upon an uncontested and virtually unreasoned case cannot nullify the reliance of millions of Americans (as our historical analysis has shown) upon the true meaning of the right to keep and bear arms.”

Then, adopting the interpretation urged by lead counsel Alan Gura is his brilliant brief for Heller, the majority opinion states: “We therefore read Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns.” This language — along with language a few pages later implying that an automatic M-16 rifle can be banned — indicates that the federal ban on civilian possession of machine guns manufactured after 1986 is still constitutional; but a renewal of the expired federal ban on so-called “assault weapons,” which outlawed about 200 cosmetically incorrect sport-utility guns either by name or by generic description, might be unconstitutional.

As for the constitutionality of other gun controls: “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” The word “commercial” in the last sentence could suggest that there might be constitutional problems on some laws which applied to non-commercial arms transfers. (However, there are few federal laws on non-commercial transfers, other than criminal penalties for transferring guns to prohibited persons.)

The majority opinion also affirmed the validity of bans on gun carrying in “sensitive” locations such as schools and government buildings. The language may imply that a total ban on gun carrying in ordinary public places is unconstitutional. But Heller does not attempt to answer the question of whether the Fourteenth Amendment makes the Second Amendment enforceable against state and local governments, and most carrying restrictions in public places are created by state and local governments. For now, Heller limits only the federal government — and entities such as the D.C. City Council, whose powers are granted by the federal government.

D.C. and its amici had argued that a handgun ban was alright because people could still have long guns for self-defense in the home. But the majority observed: “There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: It is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper body strength to lift and aim a long gun; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.”

The D.C. law also required that rifles and shotguns as well as grandfathered pre-1976 handguns be locked or disassembled at all times in the home. D.C. and its amici conceded that a ban on using guns for self-defense in the home would be unconstitutional, but argued that the locking law contained an implicit exception for self-defense. Justice Scalia pointed out that when the D.C. law had been challenged in an earlier case (McIntosh v. Washington, 1978), the D.C. Court of Appeals (D.C.’s equivalent to a state supreme court) had pointed to the requirement that all guns in the home be inoperable as one of the features of the law.

While the majority opinion argued at length with Justice Stevens’ dissent on the text and history of the Second Amendment, the engagement with the Breyer dissent was shorter. Breyer wanted courts to perform an ad hoc balancing test on the merits of gun bans or gun controls, and he thought that there was enough social science in support of the handgun ban — although he conceded that there was a good deal of social science on other side, too — that the handgun ban should be upheld.

Justice Scalia accurately noted that the Breyer approach would negate the very decision to enact the Second Amendment: “We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding ‘interest-balancing’ approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government — even the Third Branch of Government — the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad.”

Today the law-abiding citizens of D.C. regained their right to defend themselves in their home, and to use the most suitable defensive arm for that purpose. But the bigger winner today was the Constitution itself, vindicated by a majority decision which was faithful to the Constitution’s text, and to the spirit of liberty which animated the American people who drafted and ratified the Second Amendment."
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/constitution-is-big-winner-in-dc-gun-case/2/

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