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Miss P

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2008, 12:51:51 AM »
Interesting.  But yeah, I guess face-to-face contact with one's lawyer isn't constitutionally guaranteed, huh.

Nope.  But I think the lack of it in a complicated case (where the client is not in isolation/protective custody based on an individual determination of culpability, dangerousness, etc.) could probably be challenged on due process grounds.  (I don't know of any cases in this area, though.)
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2008, 12:26:10 AM »
Justices Come Under Election-Year Spotlight
By LINDA GREENHOUSE

WASHINGTON — Thanks in no small part to Justice Antonin Scalia’s dire warning that granting Guantánamo detainees access to habeas corpus “will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed,” the Supreme Court finds itself on the verge of becoming something that it has not been for many election cycles — a campaign issue.

Senator John McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, opened a town-hall-style meeting in New Jersey on Friday morning by telling the crowd of 1,500 people that the Supreme Court “rendered a decision yesterday that I think is one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”

Mr. McCain’s initial response to the court’s 5-to-4 ruling in Boumediene v. Bush had been considerably milder. The decision “obviously concerns me,” he said on Thursday afternoon.

But overnight, the prospect of using the decision as a rallying point seemed to occur to many conservatives simultaneously. The ruling has “teed up the Supreme Court issue nicely for the G.O.P.,” Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, a group that advocates for Republican judicial nominees, wrote on his blog. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page quoted Justice Robert H. Jackson’s famous observation that the Constitution is not a suicide pact and added, with reference to the author of Thursday’s majority opinion, “About Anthony Kennedy’s Constitution, we’re not so sure.”

On the other end of the spectrum, liberals warned that the vision of civil liberties embraced by the court’s narrow majority — security requires “fidelity to freedom’s first principles,” Justice Kennedy wrote — was hanging by a thread. “One more Bush justice on the court and the decision would likely have gone the other way,” said Kathryn Kolbert, president of People for the American Way. Senator Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee, praised the decision as “an important step toward re-establishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law.”

Although Mr. McCain has criticized the Bush administration for employing harsh interrogation techniques, he has consistently supported barring the Guantánamo detainees from access to federal court. Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion, which called the decision “disastrous,” “devastating” and tragic, was reminiscent of the tone of his dissenting opinion almost exactly five years ago, when the court overturned a Texas criminal sodomy law and set out a constitutional foundation for gay rights.

That decision, Lawrence v. Texas, portended a “massive disruption of the current social order,” Justice Scalia wrote then. State laws “against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity” were all “called into question by today’s decision,” he warned.

While those comments helped fan the flames of the culture wars, as Justice Scalia may or may not have intended, they also may have had the effect of investing at least one item on his list with an aura of plausibility it had not previously enjoyed; barely five months later, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court interpreted the state’s Constitution as encompassing a right to same-sex marriage.

Justice Scalia’s consistent behavior demonstrates his enjoyment of “the instant gratification of getting something off his chest,” Professor Laurence H. Tribe of Harvard Law School said in an interview. “His tendency in case after case is to paint his dissenting view in the most inflammatory terms possible,” Professor Tribe added, “giving red meat to those who want to make the Supreme Court their whipping boy.”

In his dissent in the Guantánamo case, Justice Scalia accused the majority of harboring the “ultimate, unexpressed goal” of extending the ruling far beyond the United States naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to give courts “the power to review the confinement of enemy prisoners held by the Executive anywhere in the world.”

To the contrary, Justice Kennedy’s analysis made clear that the decision was limited to Guantánamo by the special nature of the American installation there as well as by the remoteness of the base from any zone of hostilities. But critics of the decision quickly picked up on Justice Scalia’s words, warning, as the editorial in The Wall Street Journal did, that prisoners at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or in Iraq would soon have access to federal courts — a proposition that would be unlikely to get any votes, let alone five, from the current justices.

If a sustained election-year spotlight is to be trained on the Supreme Court, it would be a novelty in recent political history. In 1968, a time of great public concern about crime and violence, Richard M. Nixon ran for president as a critic of the Warren court’s rulings in favor of criminal defendants. (Nixon made it to the White House, but nearly all the decisions he ran against are still on the books; Friday was the Miranda ruling’s 42nd anniversary.) But since then, even the superheated abortion issue has failed to resonate much beyond each party’s base, notwithstanding frequent predictions to the contrary.

“Five hundred lawyers on my side and 500 on the other side care about the court, but I’ve never seen it go much beyond that,” Richard Samp, chief counsel of the conservative Washington Legal Foundation, said in an interview. Nonetheless, Mr. Samp, who is strongly critical of the Guantánamo ruling, predicted that “as a political matter, it will help to rally those inclined to believe the Supreme Court is out of control.”

Habeas corpus, as such, is an unlikely crowd-mover. But the decision clearly tapped into deep feelings about the entire course of the Bush administration’s plan for the fight against terrorism. The debate among the justices was ostensibly over the fine points of constitutional history and interpretation. But what it revealed was a court as divided as the rest of the country, on the eve of a historic and perhaps close election, over the very nature of the post-Sept. 11 world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/14/us/14assess.html?ex=1371182400&en=0073cb911486cce7&ei=5124&partner=facebook&exprod=facebook

Statistic

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2008, 07:33:12 PM »
this is an interesting thread. surprised by the creator too.
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A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2008, 07:51:54 PM »
Lol.  I have an interest in such things...just a different view regarding how to achieve them ;)

Statistic

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2008, 07:53:30 PM »
ignore it and hope it will go away? lol yes we can!
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A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2008, 12:35:40 PM »
Lol no, mainly through private means.

A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2008, 12:38:32 PM »
How progressive of Crist.  ITA:

New Florida Rules Return More Than 115,000 Ex-Offenders to Voting Rolls
By DAMIEN CAVE and CHRISTINE JORDAN SEXTON

MIAMI — Gov. Charlie Crist announced on Tuesday that 115,232 Florida felons had regained their voting rights since new rules took effect last April, but 80 percent of the state’s disenfranchised ex-offenders remain off the rolls.

The governor — a Republican who had initially pushed for a broader clemency program — said he was proud of the progress and hoped the number of those regaining voting rights would increase.

“Once somebody has truly paid their debt to society, we should recognize it, and we should honor it and we should welcome them back into society and give them that second chance,” Mr. Crist told a crowd of law enforcement officials and advocates for prisoners’ rights in Tallahassee.

“That could make an enormous difference in November,” he said.

Indeed, the new figures arrive during a hotly contested presidential race — and as Florida has come under increased scrutiny for erecting barriers to voting.

Since 2000, Florida has passed some of the strictest voter registration rules in the country. It is also the most populous of three states (the others are Kentucky and Virginia) whose constitutions require withdrawal of voting rights from all felons.

So while ex-inmates in 47 states typically have their civil rights restored automatically, in Florida until April, most felons who finished prison and probation had to endure a lengthy review by state officials. About 7,000 each year were cleared to vote, to serve on juries and to get jobs that require state licenses, like a nurse or barber.

The newer rules create a three-tiered system for ex-convicts, based on the severity of their crimes. Those who have completed sentences and probation for the least violent, Level 1 offenses since April can have their rights restored without having to fill out paperwork, after the state confirms payment of restitution.

Of the 115,232 who have regained their rights, the vast majority are older cases that preceded the law. But most of the state’s estimated 950,000 felons must request reinstatement. It is not clear how many more people are eligible.

“There is a large demand for this,” said Muslima Lewis, director of the voting rights project at the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida. “And it is a lot higher this year with the election.”

Ms. Lewis said Mr. Crist deserved credit for changing the rules. But, she said: “It does need to be seen in context. There is a lot more that needs to be done.”

The issue of voting rights here has long been intertwined with race. The ban on voting by felons became part of the state Constitution in 1868, when many Southern states found ways to suppress black votes in the wake of the Civil War.

More recently, liberal groups have accused the state’s Republican-controlled government of retaining the policy in an effort to keep blacks, who tend to vote Democratic, from registering.

Some Republicans have argued that felons of all races forfeit their rights when they commit crimes. Mr. Crist, in turn, has emphasized the Christian value of redemption.

And yet, for those who are looking to have their rights restored, voting is just part of the appeal.

Gregory L. James was released from jail in March after serving 12 years on a federal drug conspiracy conviction. A talkative 46-year-old who founded a nonprofit organization that mentors former prisoners, Mr. James said he hoped to have his rights restored over the next few years. He sees it as a way to finally move beyond prison.

“Being whole again means that I have my rights again,” Mr. James said. “Without my rights, it’s like I’m still doing time all over again.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/us/18florida.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2008, 10:22:27 AM »
In fact, as Amanda Ripley writes in her superb new book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — And Why, older veterans of previous Gulf Coast hurricanes were the ones most likely to stay behind in the face of Katrina, because the strategy had served them well in previous storms.

Two-thirds of Katrina victims were over sixty and had been middle-aged when hurricane Camille battered New Orleans in 1969. It turns out that age and experience — not poverty — were the most important factors in determining who would remain in the path of the storm, and who would flee to safety.

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/when-experience-and-disaster-collide/

nadirhotel

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2008, 10:30:41 AM »
Boortz again referred to victims of Hurricane Katrina as "parasite"

On the June 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Neal Boortz asserted that "the real question" concerning the difference between the current floods in the Midwest and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is as follows: "[W]hy is it that the people who are being affected by the floods in Iowa and the upper Midwest, why is it that they seem to be so much more capable of taking care of themselves and handling this disaster than were the people of Katrina in New Orleans?" Boortz continued, "I think the answer's pretty clear, is that up there in that part of the country, you find a great deal of self-sufficiency. Down there in New Orleans, it was basically a parasite class totally dependent on government for their existence."

Boortz made the remarks during a discussion with a caller, who responded to Boortz by saying, "Right. And I don't -- and I'm not trying to and I don't want to make it a racial issue, but you don't -- " Boortz interjected, "Well, then don't." Boortz then added: "Look, it's a cultural issue, not a racial issue. In New Orleans, you had a culture of government dependence. In Iowa and the upper Midwest, you have a culture of self-sufficience -- self-sufficiency, self-reliance. It's two different cultures. It's not different races. It's different cultures."

On the January 30 edition of his show, Boortz declared that the "primary blame" for "Katrina and the disaster that followed" falls on the "worthless parasites who lived in New Orleans," as Media Matters for America documented.

From the June 19 edition of Cox Radio Syndication's The Neal Boortz Show:

    CALLER: I wanted to know why is it the Iowa floods and stuff like that aren't plastered all over the news like the Katrina thing is? I don't get that. Seems like that's much more massive than Katrina.

    BOORTZ: Yeah, just as you said that, I looked up at CNN on the TV, and there were the Iowa floods.

    CALLER: Yeah. I don't get that.

    BOORTZ: You mean -- well, because the toll of human tragedy is not quite so stark as it was in Katrina. So the question -- I -- the real question here is why isn't it get-- not why isn't it getting the coverage, but why is it that the people who are being affected by the floods in Iowa and the upper Midwest, why is it that they seem to be so much more capable of taking care of themselves --

    CALLER: Right.

    BOORTZ: -- and handling this disaster than were the people of Katrina in New Orleans? And I think the answer's pretty clear, is that up there in that part of the country, you find a great deal of self-sufficiency. Down there in New Orleans, it was basically a parasite class totally dependent on government for their existence.

    CALLER: Right. And I don't -- and I'm not trying to and I don't want to make it a racial issue, but you don't --

    BOORTZ: Well, then don't.

    CALLER: But the question I have is --

    BOORTZ: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Don't. Because it's not.

    CALLER: I know, but --

    BOORTZ: Look, it's a cultural issue --

    CALLER: OK.

    BOORTZ: -- not a racial issue. In New Orleans, you had a culture of government dependence.

    CALLER: OK.

    BOORTZ: In Iowa and the upper Midwest, you have a culture of self-sufficience -- self-sufficiency, self-reliance. It's two different cultures. It's not different races. It's different cultures.

    CALLER: OK.

    BOORTZ: And that's why you're seeing a difference in the coverage of these two events.

    CALLER: 'Cause I haven't seen anything about, "Where is the government? Nobody cares about us." I haven't seen no one on TV at the same level as that [inaudible].

    BOORTZ: Yeah, and you haven't seen George Bush saying, "You're doing a great job, Brownie."

    CALLER: Yeah.

    BOORTZ: Haven't -- perhaps one of the dumbest statements ever uttered by a politician that I've --

    CALLER: Well, nobody scripted that for him, did they?

    BOORTZ: No, that was foot-in-mouth disease with that one.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200806190009?f=h_clips

A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2008, 10:45:59 AM »
"It's not different races. It's different cultures."

umhmmmmm

I don't think the two situations are comparable.