Category "Judicial System & The Courts"

Judge Reform?

November 9th, 2006 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

Who Judges The Judge? Perhaps to reframe the question, ‘Who Should Elect The Judge?’

Is this “reform” movement headed in the same direction as the now stripped (or soon-to-be stripped) Sarbanes-Oxley bill that was to add oversight to corporate bad boys and girls?

It is a good idea for public hearings and revealing the federal judges’ corporate backgrounds…but why should they be appointed for life? Well, if the Constitution says so, then that’s the way it has to be forever. Can’t question that document. . .

Federal judges, like Congressmen, federal agency heads and even US presidents, sometimes take actions believed by other government officials, the public and the press to be outrageous, unethical or even criminal.

The difference for alleged victims and others complaining about federal jurists’ behavior, as opposed to other officials’ behavior, is striking. Congressmen, agency heads and presidents are not appointed to their jobs for life. Federal judges are. And justices of the US Supreme Court are not even bound by the ethics code that other federal judges are. Usually, any federal jurist can be removed only by the incredibly complex and difficult Congressional impeachment process.

- Posted by Kat Walter for USTV Media

Read The Full Article

US Law Trumps World Treaty, High Court Says

July 26th, 2006 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

More evidence of the corruption of a democratic society by having its powers usurped by institutional oligarchy control, in this case as incarnated by a governing body known as The Supreme Court.

The international treaty, drafted in 1963, seeks to protect foreigners, including Americans traveling or living abroad. It requires that officials notify the home-country consulate when a foreigner is arrested or held for “pending trial.”

Despite its clear terms, police and prosecutors in the United States have failed to notify foreign criminal suspects that they have a right to the help of their nation’s consulate.

Two years ago, the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, took up an appeal from the governments of Mexico and Germany. The court, based in The Hague, ruled that the treaty gave individuals a right to reopen their cases if they did not get the proper notification.

But the Supreme Court said Wednesday that it was not bound to follow that ruling.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. acknowledged that treaties ratified by the Senate were part of American law. Nonetheless, under the U.S. Constitution, the power to interpret the law and treaties “is vested in one Supreme Court,” he said.

They don’t reserve the right to interpret the law. They abrogate to themselves the right to make the law. The whole history of the United States is repleat with countless incidents of this handful of un-elected, unjuried judges, the majority of them eminating directly from corporate law firms directly to federal benches, simply making law, often from rationales right out of thin air.

We The People should have full sovereign rights to make the laws to guide and configure the kind of society we want to live in. Until we confront this tool of elite minority control constantly dictating to us what our laws our and who controls them, we will never have a truly democratic society.

Read the complete article from the LA Times Here

Supreme Court Ruling On Bush’s Detaining of “Enemy Combatants”

July 9th, 2006 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

So the Supreme Court rules that Bush deliberately disobeyed the law.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The ruling, a rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti-terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and Geneva conventions.

And you get this kind of analysis from the lawyers…

Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, who has represented more than 200 Guantanamo inmates, said, “What this says to the administration is that you can no longer decide arbitrarily what you want to do with people. It upheld the rule of law in this country and determined that the executive has gone beyond the constitutional and international law.”

So reading between the lines a little bit… Congress people had recommended to BushCo to do have their military tribunals legitimately by pass such and such law in 2002… but the Bush administration decided it was better to do it illegally.

And yet…would it be any more “legitimate” to put together an already “legalized” tribunal based on laws that hypothetically had been passed in 2002 (which the Supreme Court would by now have “upheld”)? Would the laws be legitimate? And would the question of legality STILL all be based on the veto or withheld veto of nine unelected and un-juried judges? Judges appointed by an indirectly “elected” (questionable) executive?

I am asking — do we and our colleagues and friends intend to continue to give credence to this system of “justice” by debating the “merits” and weakness of such decisions, thereby giving them social legitimacy —- as if they deserve ANY respect? Is “following the rule of law?” in itself a “good,” even when that structure of law supports and creates and defends the rule of powerful minorities, some with “limited liability,”and a constitutionally and legally condoned and legitimized hierarchy of “rights” that places property “rights” above individual and human rights? Is there ANY justification for celebrating when this structure of law is upheld, defended, strengthened? Or are we instead sabotaging any hope for creating justice and democracy by acting as though “upholding the law” as it is solves anything? Aren’t we defusing the badly needed public outrage that should go off like a firecracker on the Fourth of July? Do we want to keep playing the game and jumping through the hoops?

Just my opinion, but I don’t think enough real thinking goes into the discussion of the “pros and cons” of this or any other court decisions, or the Congress’ partisan and laughable plans to “legalize” the illegitimate, by wiping up the executive’s crapping on rights with the papered proliferation of new powers. As long as the style of play is what we focus on, I don’t see how we’ll ever change the rules so the people call the shots.

One more illegitimate legality will hardly be opposed or forestalled, until people stop seeing the “legal” as equivalent to the “legitimate.” Writing laws that kill rights is easy. Getting appointed judges to uphold them is even easier. I can’t see how we can change the rules of this losing game by remaining dilettantes of political / judicial trivia. We have a court saying IT is the “decider” and an executive saying HE is the “decider.” (And a lapdog Congress saying he’s right).

When will The People DECIDE?

- Posted by BenGPrice@aol.com, CELDF

Justices Set Limits on Public Employees’ Speech Rights

June 27th, 2006 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

As if we ever had “free speech rights” at the workplace to begin with, the corporation’s, er the government’s Supreme Court has once again clearly spelled out our lack of rights at work, this time for government workers. And what’s the difference between corporate or government workers in this country where corporations run the government, the Supreme Court - even sitting on it, and our most fundamental laws of the land?

The Supreme Court declared today, in a ruling affecting millions of government employees, that the Constitution does not always protect their free-speech rights for what they say on the job.

Yet another blatant example of just how screwed We the People are, and unless and until we target the structure that denies We People from the getgo, weπre running up a hill of sand with the boulder that even Sisyphus wouldn’t attempt. How absurd must this get?

Read the full New York Times article Here

- Posted by Kat for USTV

The Supreme Corp

June 11th, 2006 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

The Supreme Court rules (and reigns) again.

In a unanimous decision Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a lower court ruling that would have invalidated massive taxpayer giveaways to Corporate America. The Supreme Court has long been the victim of a hostile takeover by Big Money interests. It is a court now headed by a corporate lawyer that has repeatedly gone out of its way to protect Corporate America’s ability to bleed the middle class dry. Today’s ruling, though, is particularly egregious. Not only did the court strike down an important ruling, but it essentially emasculated taxpayers’ ability to bring any such lawsuits against their own government in the future.

The details are as shocking as they are disgusting. As the Associated Press reports, “two years ago, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Ohio’s tax credit on new equipment, saying the practice hinders interstate commerce because the incentives are available only to businesses that invest in Ohio.” In other words, plaintiffs correctly noted the credits are creating a race to the bottom that violate interstate commerce laws by forcing states and cities to compete with each other to give away more and more taxpayer cash to Big Business. In the Ohio case, the tax credit was used to give DaimlerChrysler roughly $300 million in taxpayer cash - cash that Toledo’s county auditor says was siphoned away from local schools, forcing the city to close up to nine schools or fire 380 school workers.

Let’s get to the bottom line here…

Bought-off politicians giving away our hard-earned taxpayer dollars to already wealthy corporations without demanding anything in return. We see this with the Medicare bill and how it gives away more than $1 trillion to the health care/pharmaceutical industries without demanding these industries lower their prices (in fact, the bill prohibits the government from negotiating lower prices for medicines). We see it with the energy bill and how it gives away billions in new tax breaks to oil companies without asking them to lower their prices. And we see it with corporate welfare.

So much for the rights of the people. The law is owned by the welfare queens of the corporatocracy.

Read the full report by David Sirota Here

Hostile Takeover of America’s Court System

June 3rd, 2006 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

Good to see more attention being focused on this issue through media. David Sirota lays it out on the real significance of the Roberts and Alito appointments to the Supreme Corp. Forget all the hot air about abortion and gay rights. Those are side shows to the real motivating factors being these moves.

Regardless of the argument about the history of the role of the courts, its healthy to enlighten people in increasing awareness of the fact that the courts are not being used to protect their rights, but are agents of corporate power and tools of elite control.

Read his complete post on HuffPo Here

Democracy’s Constitution: Claiming The Privileges of American Citizenship

April 14th, 2006 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

A title well worth checking out on 1st Amendment issues is John Denvir’s, “Democracy’s Constitution: Claiming The Privileges of American Citizenship”.

Among other things, Denvir argues that the 1st Amendment not only gives us the right to speak, but also to be heard.

- Posted by Greg for USTV Media

(Look for Greg Boozell’s column regarding these issues and how their meaning in the context of access television and the internet in an upcoming issue of ‘Community Media Review’. You can write him at gb@cantv.org )

George Bush’s America or Terry Gilliam’s Brazil?

March 31st, 2006 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

We are living in Brazil - the movie that is. That point seems more and more disturbingly real. This editorial by The New York Times doesn’t allay those concerns at all.

This has been our nightmare since the Bush administration began stashing prisoners it did not want to account for in Guantánamo Bay: An ordinary man with a name something like a Taliban bigwig’s is swept up in the dragnet and imprisoned without any hope of proving his innocence.

A case of mistaken identity’s turning an innocent person into a prisoner-for-life was supposed to be impossible. President Bush told Americans to trust in his judgment after he arrogated the right to arrest anyone, anywhere in the world, and toss people into indefinite detention. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld infamously proclaimed that the men at Guantánamo Bay were “the worst of the worst.”

But it has long been evident that this was nonsense, and a lawsuit by The Associated Press has now demonstrated the truth in shameful detail. The suit compelled the release of records from hearings for some of the 760 or so men who have been imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay. (About 490 are still there.) Far too many show no signs of being a threat to American national security. Some, it appears, did nothing at all. And they have no way to get a fair hearing because Gitmo was created outside the law.

This is just sick. If this kind of stuff is allowed to stand, America is dead. And Lincoln was right.

“At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher”.”

It didn’t come from without. We did it to ourselves.

To Dobson, With Love, Sam Alito…

March 7th, 2006 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

Today’s reason to move to Canada. The Supreme Court is a tool of the King. There is no “we the people” anymore, officially. There is only power in interest groups aligned with the King.

For this my ancestors fought against the British at Bunker Hill?

During a recent broadcast, Focus on the Family founder and president James Dobson promoted his organization’s annual ex-gay conference, Love Won Out, in which gays and their families are told that homosexuality is “preventable and treatable.” Then, he presented evidence that “the pendulum is swinging back,” informing his listeners that he had just received a thank you note from new Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

And for those interested in some insightful analysis on the the brewing economic disaster that is the Bush-led American economy, check out Global Economic Analysis

-Posted by Pete for USTV Media

The Top 10 Filibuster Falsehoods

May 29th, 2005 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

The Top 10 Filibuster Falsehoods
Media Matters For America

With the Senate debate on two of President Bush’s most controversial judicial nominees, the heated rhetoric over the so-called “nuclear option” to ban Senate filibusters on judicial nominations has reached boiling point. The rules of the Senate are being challenged, and filibuster opponents have pulled all rhetorical stops, advancing numerous falsehoods and distortions. As Media Matters for America documents here, the media have too often perpetuated that misinformation by unskeptically, and sometimes even deliberately, repeating it.

Read about the Top 10 Filibuster Falsehoods here….
http://mediamatters.org/items/200505180004

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