There has been some predicable and understandable objections to the selection of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted killer of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981, as this year’s commencement speaker for Goddard College in Vermont. Faulkner’s widow and others have decried his recorded appearance from Mahanoy state prison in Frackville, Pennsylvania. However, as is all too often the case, politicians have responded to such good-faith objections with a highly questionable, poorly crafted law that allows victims to seek injunctions in future such cases.
Archive for the ‘Constitutional Law’ Category
There is an interesting dimension to the ongoing circumvention of the Constitution over our latest undeclared war. While some Administration officials are finally calling our attacks in Syria as a “war,” the discomfort over defining this indefinite campaign has led to equal discomfort over naming it. After two months of airstrikes and statements that the campaign will likely go on for years, the Administration still have not named this war. The choice would now seem obvious: Operation Voldemort, the war which must not be named.
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor
I have written in the past about our large financial institutions and their uncanny ability to break the law and escape any criminal penalties at the corporate or personal level. If the Department of Justice had actually indicted a Bank of America official and procured a criminal conviction, that Bank of America official could have assisted the corporate office in their no-bid contract to handle all of the federal prison systems inmate financial services and email services.
“A few blocks north, however, at the New York Metropolitan Correctional Center, there exists a market that Bank of America has locked down, literally. For the 790 federal prisoners incarcerated at MCC, Bank of America controls the provision of money transfers, e-messaging and some telephone services.
The bank’s monopoly extends across the federal Bureau of Prisons system—121 institutions housing 214,365 inmates. Since 2000, Bank of America has collected at least $76.3 million for its work on the program.” Readersupportednews That would be $76.3 Million dollars in the Bank of America coffers without any need or worry about having to compete for this latest sweetheart deal. (more…)
Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Today we feature the City of Everett, Washington, a city with a few rather interesting municipal codes. Several ordinances on the book should serve as both lessons in unconstitutionality and comic relief. From prohibitions on certain public gatherings, to regulations on ducks to criminal impersonation of crossing guards, Everett can bring an assortment of entertainment for the unsuspecting tourist.
When the Obama Administration sent in a team to investigate civil rights violations in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, some of us expressed doubt over the basis for such a charge as well as the timing of the federal move into the case. Indeed, I was highly skeptical of how the case was charged and prosecuted. Now the Washington Post is reporting that, after two years of investigation, Justice officials do not believe that they have sufficient evidence to bring federal charges.
Recently I spoke at Utah Valley University about the private regulation of speech, particularly in businesses curtailing not just workplace speech but speech outside of the workplace. We have discussed such incidents where people were fired for YouTube videos or drunken scenes. This “little brother” problem falls outside of the first amendment which addresses government regulation of speech. As a result, businesses have wide latitude in punishing employees for private conduct, though some states have laws protecting some forms of speech and employment such as voting and political activities. We have a new such case involving a woman in Ontario who shot and posted a video of her berating a neighbor for flying a Mexican flag. The video caused many to be understandably angry with Tressy Capps, who didn’t seem to see how obnoxious she appeared in her own posted video. However, it has not escaped her employer, which proceeded to fire her.
Various media outlets are reporting the latest outrage from Sharia courts. Iranian authorities have reportedly executed Mohsen Amir-Aslani, 37, for allegedly “insulting” the prophet Jonah and accused him of committing adultery. For that exercise of free speech and freedom of religion, a Sharia court had him hanged.