Thursday, December 30, 2010

Legal Standards for Use of Force against Immigration Detainees

Great article on an important topic. Due process is the standard. AELE is a great organization for finding good, current, legal materials relevant to CJ. If these topics interest you, I strongly you subscribe to their updates. LINK

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Great article on U.S. Gun Control Strategies

Great law review article on gun control strategies in the U.S. at LINK The author’s final words” “CONCLUSION Without a commitment to or capacity for eliminating the existing inventory of private guns, the supply-side ideal and regulations based on it cannot be taken seriously. It is best to acknowledge the blocking power of the remainder and adjust our gun control regulations and goals to that reality. Policymakers who continue to press legislation grounded on the supply-side ideal while disclaiming the goal of prohibition are deluded or pandering.”

Police fatalities up sharply in 2010.

Some of the increase is due to more incidents in which more than one officer is killed. LINK

Holiday Tragedy: Officer killed during traffic stop!

While many of us are home relaxing, our peace officers and military personnel are putting their lives on the line every day! Never forget! RIP! LINK

Review of the Year in CounterTerrorism

Yes, the workaholic is back. Had a great vacation! I hope everyone out there is feeling refreshed and revitalized. Anyway, great, brief article on the year in counterterrorism for those interested in the legal aspects of the topic. Also included a few relevant reading choices. LINK

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!

I'll be taking off a couple weeks (please keep the applause down), and hope everyone stays safe and enjoys the holiday season!

3 NOPD officers convicted in Henry Glover shooting case

In the post-Katrina hell, part of which was created by NOPD, Henry Glover, an unarmed man, was shot and killed by a NOPD officer. There was absolutely no justification for the shooting. Officers attempted to cover it up by burning Glover's body in a car and keeping quiet. In federal court, the officer who shot Glover was convicted of manslaughter. Two other officers were convicted of participating in the cover up. Two officers were acquitted. LINK Will officers who were acquitted but admitted involvement in the coverup be fired? Will NOPD finally be cleaned up? LINK

Monday, December 13, 2010

U.S. Dist. Ct. Judge finds part of Obama Care Unconstitutional

A U.S. District Court judge in Virginia held that a key part of the massive "ObamaCare" legislation was beyond Congress' power under the Commerce clause. I agree with the ruling. However, the Supreme Court will probably have the final say, and that could take years. Stay tuned! LINK

Friday, December 10, 2010

My top 11 impact (good or bad) Supreme Court cases

On one of the Professor Discussion Boards I watch, a Prof. asked for people's top 10-15 all-time high impact U.S. Supreme Court decisions--whether or not you agree or disagree with the decision. My list is below. Are there any you would add or subtract? Top 11 U.S. Supreme Court decisions in terms of impact/potential impact (whether or not I agree with the result) in no particular order. Everybody has a top 10 or Dirty Dozen--I just have to be different some times! 1. Dred Scott v. Sanford (expression of white supremacy, highly controversial at time, factor in triggering Civil War) 2. Brown v Bd. of Education (beginning of the end separate but equal and de jure racial discrimination, spurred Civil Right Revolution, highly controversial at time) 3. Mapp v. Ohio (4th Amend. Exclusionary rule applies to states, states now have to take Fourth Amendment seriously, great increase in police training on search and seizure, great increase in litigation in criminal cases, highly controversial) 4. Reynolds v. Sims (requires one-man one-vote in state legislatures, major shift in power from rural to urban in many states,highly controversial, very unpopular in rural circles) 5. Griswold v. Conn. (birth or substantive due process right to privacy, led to Roe and Lawrence, most people liked result, Court's methodology controversial) 6. Roe v. Wade (woman’s right to abortion under right to privacy; highly controversial to this day) 7. Marbury v. Madison (established principle of judicial review) 8. Miranda v. AZ (warnings required before police can interrogate suspect in custody, major change in required police procedures, helps make privilege against self-incrimination a viable right when dealing with police, promoted police professionalism and improved respect for suspects, controversial at time) 9. Gregg v. Ga. (allowed reinstatement of death penalty) 10. McDonald v. Chi. (Individual rights interpretation of 2nd Amendment binding on states, spurred gun-rights movement, lawsuits and legislative proposals, highly disliked by many on the Left, Full impact still to be played out) 11. Lawrence v. Texas (right to engage in adult consensual homosexual activity in private; will spurred more gay rights cases, e.g., right of gays to marry, “don’t ask, don’t tell, highly disliked by many on the Right) Being a CJ Professor, my list might be biased in that direction. What are your top 10-15 Supreme Court decisions in terms of impact (whether you like them or not)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Potential "repeal" amendment worthy of debate

With Republican and Tea Party gains in the last elections, the “repeal” amendment to the Constitution is getting increased attention. The basic idea is that if legislatures of 2/3 of the states so vote, it will repeal the targeted federal legislation. Although I am always leery of tinkering with our fundamental law (witness the 18th Amend.), I think this proposal is well worth exploring. Federalism, the 10th Amend., and alleged federal over-reaching are not new issues. They have been with us since the founding of the Republic. One of the key factors in America having a stable democracy is that there are lawful processes for challenging legislation that at least some people do not like. The proposal would strengthen the concept of limited government and complement separation of powers, checks and balances, and the Bill of Rights. It will help quell fears of a run-away, authoritarian federal government. Given our national political diversity, and the requirement that 2/3 of state legislatures must concur, the overruling or repeal of federal legislation will probably be a very rare occurrence. Of course, if one does not value the concept of limited government, the proposal is automatically a bad idea. Let’s start thinking about and debating this proposal. For more on the amendment see LINK

Monday, December 06, 2010

If you are trying to keep up with the legal challenges to "ObamaCare," the linked site might be helpful. LINK The blog states that the judge is likely to find at least one section unconstitutional. Even if that is so, this is just the beginning of the legal battle, which will likely take at least 2 years to get to the Supreme Court.