Laura Finley: The idea of qualified immunity makes a certain sense, as it intended to ensure that police do not have to worry about frivolous lawsuits, but in the last several decades the Supreme Court has expanded its protections so dramatically it is, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor has said, a license to kill and an “absolute shield for law enforcement officers.”
Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: California’s 58 counties must deal with a sudden influx of state prison inmates, straining their jails and requiring innovative sentencing and supervisory programs.
Seth Hoy: Amid frustrated shouts of “Yes, You Can!” from advocates in the audience, President Obama again deferred the power to fix our broken immigration system to Congress Monday during a speech at the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) annual conference.
Tom Hall: A conservative Republican judge, appointed by George H.W. Bush has done what the Tea Party activists have been demanding – he restored the Constitution. Judge Vaughn Walker held that the U.S. Constitution, and its provisions requiring equal protection of the laws, required that Proposition Hate be stricken down.
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Tom Deegan: Fasten your seat belts and brace yourselves for the latest poop storm that is about to fall on Washington DC, folks. With the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens imminent, President Barack Obama is about to get his second appointee to the United States Supreme Court in a less than a year. And like last year’s Sonia Sotomayor confirmation travesty, you can expect the Republicans (and even some Democrats) to have a positive hissy fit. These people have moved so far to the extreme right in recent years, the wishiest washiest moderate is going to be perceived as too much of a radical, left wing ideologue for these nincompoops.
The American people who voted for “change” did not merely seek a return to the Nineties – or else they would have nominated Hillary Clinton. Obama stood to become the most progressive President in over 40 years, and yet his Administration has little to show for it.
This exclusion of Latinos from the health debate, and from all public policy issues other than immigration, is neither coincidence nor accident. It is part of the same strategy that sees Latinos excluded from the cable political news shows, and from the Sunday interview shows on the traditional networks.
One thing that I did learn from the hearings, however, was the extent to which the Republican Party will demonstrate the extent of their hatred for civil rights, diversity, foreign cultures and foreign law, Latino folks in particular and people of color in general.
Senator Jeff Sessions was once nominated to be a judge. He expressed his own brand of empathy tempered by toughness when he said that although he liked the Ku Klux Klan, he turned against any Klansman who smoked marijuana.
Senate Republicans confirmed they have an odd, almost sexual, obsession with “wise Latina women” that borders on a fetish.
We have seen the reaction to the September 11th attacks, not just in our own souls but also on the part of our “leaders”. “Be afraid, be very afraid”.