Archive for February, 2007

Now it’s been reported that Republican congresspersons may be behind the political firings of US attorneys. Feinstein wants to subpoena the fired US Attorneys, so they can tell their side of the story. I say, go right ahead- and let’s kill two birds with one stone, and have them as warm-up witnesses for the prosecution in the impeachment of Alberto Gonzales.

(updated 3/2/2007, 15:45 pst): The WSJ lawblog had a story up yesterday as well, but they decline to go  so far as to name names, which TPM and McClatchy have already done.

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Today at Findlaw, Michael Dorf has a post discussing the recent ruling by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in the habeas petition filed by prisoners of the US government at Guantanamo Bay:

The Constitution states: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” But what exactly is the scope of the writ that shall not be suspended?

Dorf says that unlike the outcomes in Hamdi and Hamdan, which relied on statutory grounds,  this case will force the Supreme Court to rule on the underlying issue of whether the US Constitution provides a right of habeas corpus to all persons who are prisoners of the United States.

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David Iglesias, formerly US Attorney for New Mexico, has gone on the record to say that his firing was motivated entirely by politics. I’ve posted about this before; are the firings part of the crime, or part of the cover-up?

As both The New York Times and The Washington Post have reported, a number of the federal prosecutors who were fired in December had initially decided to go quietly… until, that is, the Justice Department declared publicly that they had been fired for performance issues. They didn’t like that one bit.

The folks at TPM have been following this story pretty aggressively.

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Short posts today, midterm coming up in conlaw.   Xeni at BoingBoing reports that the House is considering legislation to reform us copyright law:

Finally, the bill would loosen the grip of the DMCA, which restricts circumvention of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions even for lawful uses. The FAIR Use Act adds 12 exemptions, including the ability to circumvent for classic fair use purposes like news reporting, research, commentary, and criticism.

For the last 20 years, all the changes in copyright law have been made to the advantage of large corporate copyright holders, to the disadvantage of individuals and the public domain.  It’s too early to know for sure, but this looks like a step in the right direction.

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Well, it’s too late now.  Note the position of the tractor w/r/t the white box drawn on the ground, and then tell me why this is not a trespass.



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Easy as Pie

As I wrote just yesterday, and as Kagro X has been saying for some time now, there will be a Constitutional confrontation over the war in Iraq between the Congress and the President. There are only two ways out: (1) the President agrees to withdraw troops on his own initiative, or (2) Congress impeaches the President and removes him and his administration from office.
Passing some kind of law to constrain troop numbers or activities will be ineffective, because the President will ignore the law: he sent one of his minions out to say so, in so many words, on the morning talk shows today.

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the Democratic-controlled Congress not to interfere in the conduct of the Iraq war today and suggested President George W. Bush would defy troop withdrawal legislation.

Well, that’s it. Cards-on-the-table time is officially here. Carl Levin should send Dr. Rice a nice thank-you card, for saving him the time and effort of drafting legislation, because now he knows that it would be wasted. If Congress were to pass a new law, the President would ignore it (as he is already doing w/r/t FISA and the Geneva Conventions), and then Congress is right back where they started. The President will be openly breaking the law, and the only recourse for Congress is to impeach. Why waste time passing a new law so he can break that one too? Aren’t the laws he’s already broken enough? Start impeachment proceedings, now.

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I came home at the end of last week and founc this in my back yard:

drawing lines
I have no idea when they might start digging, but it certainly seems like “when” rather than “if” is the right question to be asking. And from a casual examination, it’s impossible for me to tell if they’re within the boundaries allowed on the deed. I don’t want to pay a surveyor to come out and tell me for sure- if anyone has any other ideas about how I can make sure the City stays on its side of the line, I’d be thrilled to hear them.

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