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Law/Politics

Texas Voter ID Misruling

Federal judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos – on a mission to “persist” perhaps – ruled last week that Texas’ voter ID law not only discriminates against minorities and/or the poor and/or the “disenfranchised” – but does so intentionally. That the judge was appointed by former President Barack Obama probably has nothing at all to do with her myopic legal views or her contrived and misguided ruling. It’s unfortunate that ideologically driven judicial rulings attempting to satisfy a political agenda continue to remain obstructions to justice and the expressed will of the people. For the past ten years, voters elected Republicans to both houses of the Texas Legislature and U.S. Congress by large margins as the means of achieving a very specific set of policy ideas and agenda items – one of which was implementing voter ID at the ballot box. Those legislators have gone to Austin and Washington, D.C. as representatives of the people who elected them and who hold them to their promises to carry out the badly needed reforms to… Keep Reading

Politics

Joan Mellen: The CIA’s Best Publicist

Joan Mellen is a professor of English and creative writing at Temple University, who has produced very little having to do with literature. Instead, she has focused her energies on exposing CIA criminality, specifically regarding the John F. Kennedy Assassination. As evidenced in three books — A Farewell To Justice: Jim Garrison; Our Man in Haiti, and The Great Game in Cuba — she reveals that she has never the left the mindset of the late 1960s, when the New Left regarded the CIA as a draconian secret government with its tentacles into every avenue of American life. How is one to explain this sudden shift from penning award-winning biographies of writers, the best of which is her expose of the real relationship between Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman, to the conspiracy school of history? Mellen’s desperation may spring from how the post 9/11 populace has largely shed its view of the CIA as a sinister organization and instead has wanted its “dark techniques” unleashed on terrorism (polls show… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

Kingsmen – End Sovereign Immunity!

The doctrine of sovereign immunity derives from the English notion that “the king can do no wrong” and hence cannot be sued without his consent. The purpose of this doctrine was, in England, from at least the Middle Ages until eighteenth century, to bar certain lawsuits against the monarch and his or her ministers and servants. With the rise of the English Parliament after the death of Elizabeth I, government officers and politicians sought to gain the power of immunity that the monarch and his or her agents had enjoyed. In practice, however, English subjects were not totally deprived of remedies against the monarch or the government. The doctrine of sovereign immunity was not an absolute prohibition on actions against the crown or against other branches of government;[1] subjects could avail themselves of petitions of right or writs of mandamus, for instance, and monarchs fearful of losing the support of the people would often consent to be sued. It was not until the monarchy had been demonstrably weakened that… Keep Reading

Politics

The Lawyers’ Guild

Last month thousands of recent law school graduates sat for a bar examination in their chosen state of practice. They were not undertaking a harmless rite of passage but overcoming a malicious obstacle: an artificial barrier to entry in the form of occupational licensure. Barriers to entry are restrictions on access to or participation in markets or vocations. Occupational licensure is a type of barrier to entry that regulates professions by requiring certification and licensing in the manner of medieval guilds. Medicine and law are perhaps the most recognizable professions to require their practitioners to obtain and maintain licenses. The purpose of occupational licensure is to reduce competition by using government power to restrict membership eligibility in a profession. The criteria for membership are often prohibitively expensive for low-income earners. To be admitted to the law in nearly every state in the United States, you must not only pass a bar examination but also earn a law degree from an accredited law school, admission to which requires a bachelor’s… Keep Reading

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