There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently… and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.
- Gore Vidal, writing in the 1970s, excerpted from Matters of Fact and of Fiction
Archive for category Justice
Posted on Fri, Jul. 20, 2012
As advocates of the First Amendment, we cannot be intimidated into letting the government control our work. When The New York Times agreed with Bush Administration officials to delay publication of its story of illegal wiretaps of Americans until after the 2004 election, it did the nation a great disservice. Acceding to the Obama administration’s efforts to censor our work to have it more in line with their political spin is another disservice to America. James Asher, Washington Bureau Chief
To our staff and to our readers:
As you are aware, reporters from The New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg and others are agreeing to give government sources the right to clear and alter quotes as a prerequisite to granting an interview.
To be clear, it is the bureau’s policy that we do not alter accurate quotes from any source. And to the fullest extent possible, we do not make deals that we will clear quotes as a condition of interviews.
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Kagan Health Care Vote Raises New Questions
Justice Integrity Project
Democratic Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan joined conservative justices June 28 in a 7-2 vote to strike down Medicaid expansion by states under the Obama-backed Affordable Care Act. Kagan, at left, joined the first ruling since the 1930s to void federal legislation for exceeding congressional power under the Commerce Clause.
Her vote has escaped major attention in the general media because a separate 5-4 majority, including her, upheld the law’s insurance mandate on the grounds that Congress could impose it as a “tax.” But her legal rationale has important long-term consequences for other federal legislation if the Court starts returning to a theory court conservatives used during the New Deal until 1937 to thwart Democratic legislation.
Legal critic Glenn Greenwald noted problems with her opinion in a Salon column excerpted below entitled, Kagan’s Medicaid vote. Greenwald, like the Justice Integrity Project, opposed Kagan’s Senate confirmation to Supreme Court in 2010. Our Project did so out of concerns over her commitment to civil rights. Greenwald shared those views, but also regarded her as a shaky replacement for Republican liberal John Paul Stevens Read the rest of this entry »
The failure of federal prosecutors May 31 to win guilty verdicts against former Democratic Presidential contender John Edwards on campaign violations illustrates the Justice Department’s ongoing arrogance and incompetence in politically sensitive cases.
The Justice Department’s crusade to imprison Edwards for up to 30 years on highly dubious charges showed poor judgment when the relevant campaign finance law is so murky. And now a federal jury empaneled in North Carolina has agreed by rendering an acquittal on one charge and no decision on the remaining five counts. The mistrial continues an extraordinary series of defeats and controversial results for the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, an elite unit that is supposed to preserve public trust in government by prevailing against the nation’s most corrupt officials in the most important cases.
As in recent high-profile cases stretching from Alabama to Alaska over the past four years, the unit has again humiliated itself, needlessly hurt defendants and wasted millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. Edwards is at right in a file photo from his term as a North Carolina senator before his current disgrace for cheating on his ailing wife, fathering an illegitimate daughter and trying to hide his affair.
“To pick this kind of case and spend tens of millions of dollars to prosecute a failed presidential candidate just doesn’t make any sense to me,” commented Bush-appointed former Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner. A Republican, he is now a partner at the powerhouse Washington law firm of Wiley Rein. “I’m not a fan of John Edwards or his underlying conduct,” Toner continued, “but I never thought it was a violation of the federal election laws, let alone a criminal violation.” Among others denouncing the Edwards prosecution as ill-conceived have been campaign finance lawyer Brett Kappel, who said the verdict was no surprise because “it was a difficult legal theory to prove.” Another is Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who published a column, Edwards’ Jury Couldn’t Decide and for Good Reason.
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By Michael Collins
(Washington, 2/30/2012) At the end of Monday’s Leveson Inquiry with Tony Blair on the stand, Lord Justice Leveson sent the credibility of the effort’s summary findings straight to Hell. After Blair’s pressured presentation and an interruption by a protester who called Blair a war criminal, Leveson began an odd exchange with the former Prime Minister. It began with this request to Blair:
Lord Justice Leveson:
2 So whatever assistance you can give, who have
3 thought about how you change things for the future, I’d
4 be very interested. Let me give you some potential
5 issues. (May 28 transcript page 38)
If things had ended there, this could be seen as a modest invitation, one Leveson might have offered any number of witnesses as a general courtesy. But the justice was not finished. He outlined specific issues covering five pages of transcript.
This was no a casual request. We witnessed the supposedly objective judge of press excesses recruiting a former politician who had just spent several hours intermittently bemoaning to Queen’s Counsel (QC) Robert Jay just how difficult it was for him to deal with the press. Read the rest of this entry »
An Alabama newspaper exposed a scandal May 16 that deserves national prominence. The headline was “Federal judge’s lengthy affair with court worker is exposed.”
This is a scandal not simply for the judge, Mark Everett Fuller, shown at right in a photo by my research colleague Phil Fleming. It is a lifetime shame for those in the Justice Department, federal court system and the United States Senate who have coddled and protected him for an entire decade during his obvious previous disgraces.
It was fully a decade ago that Fuller was first accused by Alabama’s pension officials at their highest level of trying to bilk the system out of $330,000. Yet Alabama’s two senators pushed Fuller forward for a lifetime appointment, which Fuller received from voice vote by the United States Senate with no serious discussion of his past. Fuller and his court staff were even able to hide from public view a 180-page impeachment filing against him in 2003 with no apparent attempt at investigation.
A corrupt federal judge is in position to create vast harm in both civil and criminal cases, especially when he controls the court administrative system, as Fuller did during a seven-year term from 2004 to 2011 as chief judge for Alabama’s most important federal district. This is the middle district surrounding the capital city of Montgomery.
Let’s start with today’s disclosures and then get to the implications. Montgomery Independent Publisher and Editor Bob Martin published a front-page news story quoting divorce papers filed April 10 by Lisa Boyd Fuller, the judge’s estranged wife of three decades. Her papers strongly suggested adultery. Interrogatories asked about drug use. Martin’s news story, distributed May 16 to a syndicate of 25 regional papers, reported:
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By Ross Kerber and Aruna Viswanatha BOSTON | Mon Apr 2, 2012
News Corp faces a call to appoint an independent board chairman on concerns Rupert Murdoch’s media company needs to pursue more reforms to deal with its phone-hacking scandal and other issues.
The proxy proposal, filed by Christian Brothers Investment Services, is likely to fan an ongoing controversy over governance at the company.
Although unlikely to get a majority of votes, the nonbinding resolution filed last month could put pressure on the board to remove Murdoch, currently News Corp’s chief executive, from his other role as chairman of the company, the sponsor said.
With current arrangements, the company is “stepping into the scandal with a flawed corporate governance structure,” Julie Tanner, who oversees socially responsible investing at Christian Brothers in New York, said in a telephone interview.