Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chicago Gun Case
Could Restore
Other Civil Rights

by Clark Neily - February 26th, 2010 - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Gun owners aren't the only ones who should pay close attention to the "McDonald" Chicago gun-ban case, which will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court March 2. If properly decided, the case could restore an important legal tool to protect the rights of small business owners and homeowners who face oppressive state and local government regulations.

Because the Supreme Court in McDonald may consider reinvigorating what is known as the "Privileges or Immunities clause" of the 14th Amendment, those engaged in civil rights battles nationwide may soon have a new arrow in their quiver to better defend the rights of homeowners and entrepreneurs. The clause states "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States."

After the restoration of free speech rights, eviscerated ever since progressives gained ascendancy over our courts in the last century, it would be truly astonishing if Justice Kennedy could be persuaded to take this monunmental step. It is clear that with the replacement of Rehnquist by Roberts, individual liberties have gained a powerful new voice. Thomas, Alito and Scalia are solidly on board with Robert's new activism in support of the rule of law and our Constitution.

Kennedy is the swing vote between these four and the progressive wing of the court.

Stevens, Ginsburgh, Breyer and Sotomayor will oppose this. You can expect another dissent with snarling and angry language at the idea that the rule of judges will be weakened through a return to respect for the Constitutional rights of citizens.

Of course, first Kennedy has to sign on - and that is never a sure thing. Who knows where he stands on anything? As a moderate his views are whimsical and inconsistent. Like the last so-called moderate on the court, O'Connor, his votes are never based on a theory of government or law that anyone can make sense of.

That is why I cannot get too excited about the chances for a sane ruling on this case until Kennedy actually votes.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Federal Court Requires State Of Washington To Allow Incarcerated Felons To Vote

by James Thunder - February 8th, 2010 - American Spectator

The Ninth Circuit found that the practices of the State of Washington with respect to policing, investigation, prosecution and sentencing resulted in racial disparities among the incarcerated that cannot be explained in race-neutral ways. For example, African Americans were "over nine times more likely to be in prison than Whites, even though the ratio of Black to White arrests for violent offenses was only 3.72:1…Native Americans were more than twice as likely to be searched as Whites…" (In the Second Circuit case, the plaintiffs alleged that African Americans and Latino Americans constituted 86% of the New York prison population but only 31% of the state's overall population.) Please note that intentional discrimination is not necessary to prove that the government violated the Voting Rights Act. Furthermore, the Ninth Circuit assumes that the convictions of incarcerated felons were lawful; that is, they were not innocent of the crime for which they were convicted. It is the criminal justice system that was found to be systemically racist, causing the plaintiffs to be investigated and prosecuted much more frequently, and to be given longer sentences, than Caucasians.

Under these circumstances, the Voting Rights Act has posed a problem for the courts because it would appear that the law would be plainly triggered and would require the courts to negate state laws (and state constitutions, as in the case of Washington) that disenfranchise these individuals who have been incarcerated on account of their race or color. The Second Circuit provided a litany of reasons why this law's plain text should not apply to incarcerated felons, including: (1) the Fourteenth Amendment allows the disenfranchisement of felons; (2) there is a long history "and continuing prevalence" of such disenfranchisement; (3) statements made in House and Senate committee reports and on the Senate floor as part of the legislative process leading to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act declare that the Act does not affect felon disenfranchisement; (4) the introduction after 1965 of bills by supporters of the Voting Rights Act to allow explicitly disenfranchisement; (5) the enactment by Congress of felon disenfranchisement in the District of Columbia soon after the Voting Rights Act was enacted; and (6) the enactment of laws to facilitate removal of felons from the voting rolls. All of these circumstances persuaded the Second Circuit that Congress did not intend its language to have literal effect. To apply the statute literally, the Court wrote, would be "demonstrably at odds with the intentions" of Congress. It would be an "unthinkable disposition."

None of this matters to the idiots of our courts. Read this article to find out how lawyers agonize over little issues in their search for perfect justice which can be portrayed as in conflict with obvious issues of greater import. This entire issue is due to judges insisting that a law not intended to cover felons must apply to felons even when it is clear that the legislative intent was not to cover them if the judges can find a way to argue they don't like the result and the court rules for how complicated laws must be written is not satisfied.

There is no justice in America. Our courts are not just corrupt, they are populated with imbeciles who spend all their working hours trying to sabotage the concept of justice.

The rule of law means nothing to totalitarian scum who favor the rule of judges.