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Legal Archive

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Bush Shows 'Pattern of Hostility' Toward Civil Rights: The administration of President George W. Bush is steadily and systematically working to reverse longstanding civil rights policies and impede the enforcement of U.S. civil rights laws, according to a new report released Thursday by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF).
   ... "the combination of below-the-radar regulations, little-noticed litigation, and severe budget cuts illustrates a pattern of hostility toward core civil rights values and signals a diminished commitment to the idea of non-discrimination"

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Republicans Want Patriot Act Made Permanent: "Working with the Bush administration, Congressional Republicans are maneuvering to make permanent the sweeping antiterrorism powers granted to federal law enforcement agents after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, officials said today. The move is likely to touch off strong objections from many Democrats and even some Republicans in Congress who believe that the Patriot Act, as the legislation that grew out of the attacks is known, has already given the government too much power to spy on Americans. The landmark legislation expanded the government's power to use eavesdropping, surveillance, access to financial and computer records and other tools to track terrorist suspects."

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Police Open Fire At Anti-War Protest, Longshoremen Injured: (photo): "This young woman was shot in the face today by Oakland Police officers, who fired wooden pellets at protesters marching against the war in Iraq."

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Statute Becomes Justice Department's Weapon of Choice
The Justice Department, buoyed by a series of court victories, appears to be gaining traction in prosecuting Americans linked to terrorism by using a once-obscure law that predates the Sept. 11 attacks.
   Federal prosecutors in recent weeks have secured their first convictions under the 1996 law, which makes it a crime to offer "material support" to any group designated by the United States as a terrorist organization. The statute has become so useful that the Justice Department is exploring ways to cast an even wider legal net, despite objections from civil rights groups.
   In several dozen cases both high profile and little noticed, the law has become the Justice Department's main weapon in pursuing people it contends are linked to terrorists. Part of the appeal for prosecutors is that they do not have to prove that the defendants actually supported terrorist attacks, only that they helped a group tied to terrorism.
   Civil libertarians and defense lawyers, however, are increasing their criticism of the law and the department's aggressive use of it, saying the prosecutions smack of a McCarthylike notion of guilt by association. Critics say the law is so overly broad that people with no intention of helping terrorists are being prosecuted. Moreover, they accuse authorities of using strong-arm tactics to force pleas.

Wired News: Fears About DNA Testing Proposal 
  A Justice Department proposal to create a database containing the DNA of suspected terrorists has raised fears that the measure would lead to so-called DNA dragnets. The concern is that police could round up people of Middle Eastern origin and other targeted groups to force them to contribute genetic samples to the database.
  The Terrorist Identification Database Act of 2003 is buried deep within the department's secretly drafted Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 -- known colloquially as Patriot Act II. It would empower the attorney general to collect DNA samples for the purpose of "detecting, investigating, prosecuting, preventing or responding to terrorist activities."

Justice Scalia says rights excessive, can be scaled down in wartime: "U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had this to say on Tuesday: "The Constitution just sets minimums ... Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires." According to Scalia, during wartime, "the protections will be ratcheted right down to the constitutional minimum." "

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

St. Louis Police riot: Louis Indymedia - part 1:
part 2
part 3
part 4
"First-hand accounts from people who were attacked during a march following the peace rally at Forest Park March 30"

Friday, March 28, 2003

Uniting for Peace - Why The U.N. General Assembly Has Authority To Speak on the War on Iraq In the Event of Security Council Stalemate By MARJORIE COHN

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Red alert? Stay home, await word: "If the nation escalates to "red alert," which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror, you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home, the state [New Jersey]'s anti-terror czar says."

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

UN Resolution 1441 Does Not Authorize Force: "According to the UN charter, there are only two possible situations in which one country can take military action against another. The first is in individual or collective self-defence - a right under customary international law which is expressly preserved by Article 51 of the UN charter. The second is where, under Article 42 of the charter, the security council decides that force is necessary "to maintain or restore international peace and security" where its decisions have not been complied with. In other words, where a UN resolution clearly authorises military action. "

Thursday, March 13, 2003

China introduces execution vans "The introduction of mobile execution vans, in which condemned prisoners are put to death by lethal injection, has been hailed in Chinese media as "a more humane method of dispatch".

Michigan Man Uses Junk FAX Law to Sue Sears Over Spam

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal: "We sentenced Nazi leaders to death for waging a war of aggression," says International Law Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. By contrast, Prof. Boyle wants merely to impeach George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft for their plans to invade Iraq and create a police state in America.

[But the alternative looks pretty grim too. See: Order of Presidential Succession]

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act: by The Center for Public Integrity - "The Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of September 11, 2001, which will give the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial review and public access to information."

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Anti-War Ads Rejected During Bush Speech: "The Comcast cable television company rejected ads that an anti-war group wanted to air during President Bush's State of the Union speech, saying they included unsubstantiated claims. Peace Action Education Fund had spent $5,000 to have six 30-second ads aired on CNN by Philadelphia-based Comcast beginning Tuesday night. "

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Bill Of Rights Pared Down To A Manageable Six: "We're not taking away personal rights; we're increasing personal security," Ashcroft said... thanks to several key additions, the Bill of Rights now offers protections that were previously lacking, including the right to be protected by soldiers quartered in one's home (Amendment III)"

Friday, December 20, 2002

Ali Moayedian: Creating a Secure America or Another History of Shame?: "Most of the arrested people have been living in the U.S. for many years now. They have families, jobs (with work authorizations), and are hard-working and peaceful people. Their only "crimes" are being born in the "wrong" countries and being out of status, that is not having a current visa. But this is nothing new. This has been a tolerated and accepted practice by INS to allow people who have applied for permanent residency to stay in the U.S. until they receive an interview date from INS and receive their permanent residency (green card). And these people have naturally been in regular contact with INS and have been here with the full knowledge of INS. These people in a way were given a virtual amnesty until their case is processed by INS."

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Jennifer Van Bergen | Bush's Gulag: "The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) wrote in its amicus brief for one of these detainees: "The executive seems to be proposing 'enemy combatant' as a permanent legal category, not limited by the scope of the hostilities or the scope of the authorization to use force." The brief notes news reports that the Department of Defense is considering creating detention camps"

Mass arrests of Muslims in LA: "US immigration officials in Southern California have detained hundreds of Iranians and other Muslim men who turned up to register under residence laws brought in as part of the anti-terror drive. Reports say between 500 and 700 men were arrested in and around Los Angeles after they complied with an order to register by 16 December. "

Collected by Jonathan March with Radio Userland software