Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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Poll

Should Judge Gossett go back to law school?

Yes
 3 (33.3%)
No
 6 (66.7%)
Yes, but not to an ivy league
 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Voting closed: May 22, 2008, 09:19:11 AM

Author Topic: Judge Goes Back To Law School?  (Read 1261 times)

dissident

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Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« on: May 20, 2008, 09:19:11 AM »
“That doesn’t give me a lot of confidence,” Judge Gossett said, staring down from the bench at Ms. Jeffs, who was dressed in a pale-blue prairie dress. “Your right to your religious belief ends when it violates the law.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/20/us/20raid.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

First Amendment, U.S. Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Tee-Hee ;D

$Bill

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Re: Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2008, 09:37:29 AM »
From religioustolerance.org


Petitioner church and its congregants practice the Santeria religion, which employs animal sacrifice as one of its principal forms of devotion. The animals are killed by cutting their carotid arteries and are cooked and eaten following all Santeria rituals except healing and death rites. After the church leased land in respondent city and announced plans to establish a house of worship and other facilities there, the city council held an emergency public session and passed, among other enactments,

Resolution 87-66, which noted city residents' "concern" over religious practices inconsistent with public morals, peace, or safety, and declared the city's "commitment" to prohibiting such practices;

Ordinance 87-40, which incorporates the Florida animal cruelty laws and broadly punishes "[w]hoever ... unnecessarily or cruelly ... kills any animal," and has been interpreted to reach killings for religious reasons;
   
Ordinance 87-52, which defines "sacrifice" as "to unnecessarily kill ... an animal in a ... ritual ... not for the primary purpose of food consumption," and prohibits the "possess[ion], sacrifice, or slaughter" of an animal if it is killed in "any type of ritual" and there is an intent to use it for food, but exempts "any licensed [food] establishment" if the killing is otherwise permitted by law;

Ordinance 87-71, which prohibits the sacrifice of animals, and defines "sacrifice" in the same manner as Ordinance 87-52; and

Ordinance 87-72, which defines "slaughter" as "the killing of animals for food" and prohibits slaughter outside of areas zoned for slaughterhouses, but includes an exemption for "small numbers of hogs and/or cattle" when exempted by state law.

Petitioners filed this suit under 42 U. S. C. 1983, alleging violations of their rights under, inter alia, the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Although acknowledging that the foregoing ordinances are not religiously neutral, the District Court ruled for the city, concluding, among other things, that [i]compelling governmental interests in preventing public health risks and cruelty to animals fully justified the absolute prohibition on ritual sacrifice[/i] accomplished by the ordinances, and that an exception to that prohibition for religious conduct would unduly interfere with fulfillment of the governmental interest because any more narrow restrictions would be unenforceable as a result of the Santeria religion's secret nature. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

I'd say that there is a compelling governmental/societal interest in preventing sexual abuse.

dissident

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Re: Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2008, 09:39:28 AM »
I agree... sexual abuse would certainly violate the endowed rights of the person abused.  Who was sexually abused, in this case?

Certainly not this mother's children, or the judge wouldn't be considering giving them back!

And certainly polygamy could be considered the free excersise of a religious principle, could it not?

$Bill

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Re: Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2008, 09:44:05 AM »
I agree... sexual abuse would certainly violate the endowed rights of the person abused.  Who was sexually abused, in this case?

The 13 year old girls that were impregnated, and likewise the male children that were religiously programmed to be perpetrators.  I am only responding generally to the assertion by the Jeffs church that their first amendment rights were infringed upon, not on any particular one of the ~453 cases.  Certainly there were some situations in that compound that are not as extreme as alleged... however, it seems likely that at least some of the patriarchs committed statutory rape.  The judge in question does seem to have misworded, but the above supreme court ruling pretty clearly states that governmental interests trumps freedom of religion.  Not really something I agree with, but a ruling based on that would probably be upheld.

$Bill

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Re: Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2008, 09:58:21 AM »
Jeffs himself was sentenced for arranging a marriage between a 14 year old and her married 19 year old cousin.  She claims she was raped starting on her wedding night.  Naturally this is a he said she said situation, but the court found it appropriate to put him away for it.
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3673963&page=1

The associated press has reported numerous children under 16 who were found to have children or have had children in the past.  Again, this is a situation of do we believe the press.  I dont see why we shouldnt in this case.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24356447

Furthermore, there is the lost boy phenomenon that has been reported on by NPR and the associated press, where boys who do not conform to religious norms are excommunicated and now constitute wandering gangs of children who were removed to cut down on competition for the wives.
http://www.slate.com/id/2189181/

I know slate is a liberal rag, but it would seem that this isnt really a witch-hunt.


edit: this is in response to your claim that all the women impregnated were of age which you deleted.

Majmun

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Re: Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008, 10:10:37 AM »


And certainly polygamy could be considered the free excersise of a religious principle, could it not?

There are many polygamist sects in southern Utah and Northern Arizona that openly practice polygamy with no legal consequences, it's not even remotely uncommon.  Practicing polygamy isn't what put Jeffs in the cross-hairs.

$Bill

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Re: Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 10:14:14 AM »


And certainly polygamy could be considered the free excersise of a religious principle, could it not?

There are many polygamist sects in southern Utah and Northern Arizona that openly practice polygamy with no legal consequences, it's not even remotely uncommon.  Practicing polygamy isn't what put Jeffs in the cross-hairs.

I think I read somewhere that its pretty much unofficially decriminalized in Utah.

dissident

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Re: Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 10:32:36 AM »
I deleted it because of misspellings and I did not think it added to the discussion... sorry.

The rest of that post also pointed out that I was talking about this specific case, if that's not clear from the op...

Generally, the Texas authorities made a huge gaffe from which they have been backpedaling.  Even the underage impregnantion rate they claimed at the time of this particular raid, which has since been discovered to be false, was significanlty lower than the underage pregnancy rate of Texas public schools.  Maybe those schools would be better places to remove children from.  If child rape is happening, than it should be investigated and prosecuted within the bounds of the law.  If it happens in a neighborhood, I object to all the kids in that neighborhood being removed. 

Back to the point, the judge's comments in this particular case are as funny as they are chilling... hence the poll.

dissident

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Re: Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 10:36:42 AM »
Also, another perspective... just for kicks :)

http://hughmcbryde.blogspot.com/2008/05/texas-inflated-numbers-of-underage-flds.html

So far, Texas is batting 0.000 on finding pregnant underage girls. I still say it's HUGELY important (a battle cry no one is picking up on) that it is now shown to have been IMPOSSIBLE that CPS or Sheriffs Department personnel even SAW a "pregnant underage girl" when they entered the ranch. They were down to three, I've mentioned this before. One was clearly not showing enough to be "evidence, " so much so that her pregnancy is disputed and cannot be documented until she takes a pregnancy test, which she has refused. The other two which have to have been the "obviously pregnant" ones, have been shown to be of age.



Majmun

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Re: Judge Goes Back To Law School?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 12:08:26 PM »


And certainly polygamy could be considered the free excersise of a religious principle, could it not?

There are many polygamist sects in southern Utah and Northern Arizona that openly practice polygamy with no legal consequences, it's not even remotely uncommon.  Practicing polygamy isn't what put Jeffs in the cross-hairs.

I think I read somewhere that its pretty much unofficially decriminalized in Utah.

It's mostly small towns where you'll find it but no one wants to prosecute it unless it involves child-brides ala Tom Green (the polygamist not the comedian).  That said, most Utahns aren't particularly pleased with the polygamist sub-culture.

I do think Jeffs is a dangerous character and no doubt there is abuse going on in the cult but the texas authorities thoroughly screwed up on this one.